Time to upgrade your ‘farkle’

March 11, 2014

As spring arrives, this old man’s heart turns once again to motorcycles and getting ready for yet another riding season, which means deciding what “farkle” (a combination of function and sparkle) to upgrade, add or delete.

As I was upgrading my hand guards and the power outlet, to better accommodate my GPS and cellphone charger, a neighbor stopped by.

Joe Grove Press proofreader

Joe Grove
Press proofreader

“How do you know what kind of motorcycle to buy?” he asked.

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To the Editor

March 4, 2014

Tax changes

Mullet is confident with record as moderate, fiscally conservative Democrat

Terry LaBrue, a Republican campaign consultant, recently wrote a letter to the editor and I wanted to respond to his questions about my vote against placing a 2/3 vote threshold for tax changes in our State Constitution.

During my time on the Issaquah City Council, I never once voted to increase property taxes. Last year, I was one of the few Democrats who broke from party leadership to support a Republican budget that reduced the Business and Occupations tax on the service industry. I have a long history of opposing tax increases at the state and local level.

However, I have been consistent in my opposition to Tim Eyman’s 2/3 requirement to raise taxes. I opposed it during my campaign and I opposed it on the floor of the Senate this session.

I don’t pursue fiscally conservative policy because of an initiative, that’s just what I believe. I’m confident with my record of being a moderate, fiscally conservative Democrat. I know that the people of the 5th District are more than capable of keeping me accountable without Tim Eyman’s help.

Our district’s voters want legislators to work together, in a bipartisan and fiscally responsible way, to make Washington a better place to live and do business. I promise to continue acting on your behalf in that manner.

Sen. Mark Mullet

Issaquah

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Editorial

March 4, 2014

It’s time to let Klahanie go

Issaquah made the best offer it could to Klahanie, but most residents in the area are no longer interested in being part of that city. It’s time to let them go.

It had always been assumed that Klahanie would eventually become part of Issaquah. Indeed, the southern half of what is now Sammamish was at one envisioned as part of Issaquah.

Sammamish, of course, went its own way and formed its own city. In 2005, when Issaquah last attempted to annex Klahanie, Sammamish was fairly new — it didn’t even have a proper city hall yet.

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Buyer beware after winning a Super Bowl!

March 4, 2014

Memorabilia is a wonderful thing, and there’s nothing wrong with having some nice keepsakes to remind us of the places, people and events in our lives that hold a lot of meaning. My wife says I hang onto too much, but that’s another story.

There’s also nothing wrong with spending good money on a great object of value that reminds me of something historic or unique. If I see something nice and wait until later, it may well be gone by the time I’m ready to order. I always regret those missed opportunities for a long time.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

But do I really want to spend $300 on the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Express? Not only that, but do I want to be FOOLED into spending that much money on a plastic model train set with four cars and a 3-by-5-foot oval track?

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To the Editor

February 25, 2014

Tent City

The homeless are people who need a helping hand

It troubles me that the prospect of a temporary homeless encampment is so frightening to some in our community. Those called “the homeless” are simply neighbors who lack the security of having a space that they can call their own: four walls, a few amenities and a warm bed to rest in, undisturbed.

Some have lived for a long time well below the “average median income” and had no financial resources to cushion them when the economy collapsed or catastrophe struck. Some were models of worldly success until their well-planned future suddenly dissolved.

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Call me a citizen, not a customer

February 25, 2014

In Mayor Fred Butler’s Feb. 18 State of the City address, he said the first initiative of the coming year lies in providing “outstanding customer service.” It was the most recent example of hearing city officials in Issaquah and elsewhere refer to citizens as customers and I keep trying to unravel why it bothers me.

I should say up front that I have a silly little degree in political science, and obsessing over the details of government language comes with the territory. Still, my knee-jerk reaction would say, “You are a government, not Verizon or Domino’s pizza.”

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

Clearly, governments who refer to citizens as customers do so in order to clarify the relationship between the public and the establishment. By saying they hold themselves accountable for the taxes they receive and pledge to provide good services in exchange, it frames the relationship in an economically driven way. Additionally, it makes the give and take seem more friendly and personal.

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Editorial

February 25, 2014

Death penalty overdue for reconsideration

More than five years ago, this newspaper called for the state Legislature to revisit the value of Washington’s death penalty. Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee opened the door to begin the overdue conversation by implementing a death-penalty moratorium while he is the state’s elected CEO.

At first glance, it may seem unimportant. Washington state has had only five executions in the past 50 years.

But consider that there are nine men currently on death row in Washington prisons. Consider that taxpayers pay for the prosecution, for the public defenders and for the court system. Those cases are under appeal and the appeals will go forward. Inslee’s mandate does not do away with capital punishment, it just removes the killings from happening on his watch.

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Editorial

February 18, 2014

Parents of newborn had other options

Last week’s news of the discovery of a dead newborn baby in the woods just off a heavily traveled road in North Bend caught everyone’s attention. It’s just so sad. It didn’t have to end this way.

It is still uncertain whether the baby was already dead when it was left about 10 feet from the road, to be discovered by a passerby. The umbilical cord was still attached to the infant.

It is also unknown who left the child. Mother, father or someone else? Is the mother of the baby OK, physically and mentally? It’s easy to imagine the broken heart, the torture of carrying a full-term baby and having it taken from you so early.

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To the Editor

February 18, 2014

Marijuana

City shouldn’t allow pot facilities

I am hoping that the Issaquah City Council would not allow any pot facilities inside the city limits. It is still against federal law, you know, and the council is spending a bunch of money to move the skate park, because the prime reason presented was pot and drug usage around the park.

What would be the city’s costs associated with oversight and enforcement of city pot regulations? More or less the amount of the city’s part of the pot tax?

Is the tax money worth the impact of the human damage that will result of the open usage of pot in Issaquah? Kids will find ways to obtain pot, and the damage upon their bodies will be the fault of those that want more tax money. In addition, pot is just another way to create impaired driving and associated accidents.

Other King County towns have already declared not to allow pot in their towns, so just cut spending in lieu of the pot tax.

Ken Sessler

Issaquah

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List of distinguished retirees grows longer

February 18, 2014

Debbie Berto joined a growing, distinguished list within the past year when she announced her retirement. After 40 years at The Issaquah Press, she was ready to move on to the next challenge in her life.

She wasn’t the only one to call it quits on service in the public eye.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Locally, Ava Frisinger ended her run in January as Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor after 17 years. When Frisinger announced in 2009 she would not run for another term, her reasoning was simple.

“I didn’t want to become stale,” she said. “It’s important to let others in and run things with a fresh set of eyes.”

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