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Issaquah, Washington
March 11, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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March 11, 2009

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A4 WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2009 THE IS SAQUAH PRES S OPINION PRESS EDITORIAL Homeless at churches need regulations, too hen Tent City 4 came to Issaquah for three months in the summer/fall of 2007, it was first viewed with skepticism and concern. By the time the camp at Community Baptist Church opened, the city and community were solidly in support. In hindsight, it was a wonderful way for Issaquah to open its heart and roll out the welcome mat to the men and women who had nowhere else to sleep but in their tents under the blue tarps. Now the Legislature has taken steps to introduce a new law that would prohibit cities from interfering with the deci- sions of any church wishing to house homeless people. The bill has already cleared the House and is being reviewed by a Senate Committee. "It is inconsistent with the protection of the free exercise of religion for municipalities to unduly burden the ability of churches to shelter the homeless as part of their religious mission," says Substitute House Bill 1956. , Whoa! While Issaquah had only a positive experience with full cooperation between the City and church, religion should not supercede the rules and regulations already in place to protect and promote public health and safety. The bill's language specifically says a city or county cannot attempt to regulate the housing of homeless people based on proximity to a school or day care. Yet public schools in many cities already have designated "Drug Free" zones around schools. While Tent City came with restrictions about the use of drugs and alcohol, not all homeless people seeking shelter at a church come with those screenings. And it is a well- known fact that many homeless people are in that predica- ment due to mental health issues, a possible concern near children. Furthermore, SHB 1956 does nothing to stop a church from welcoming any campers to roll out their blanket and spend the night -- without regard for needed toilet and cooking facilities. Federal laws already protect churches from zoning dis- crimination, meaning a church can be located just about anywhere it wants. But SHB 1956 extends the right to prac- tice freedom of religion to the church "mission" -- without regard for those who might be impacted adjacent to the church's premises. While Tent City has been met with puzzling discrimination in many area communities, the dialogue is part of the process as citizens learn more about homelessness. Encour- aging communities to join in the mission of a local church is a better way than enacting de facto spot zoning from Olympia. OFF THE PRESS EFR firefighters step up to fight cancer inded, Eastside Fire & Rescue Capt. Craig Hooper pealed off his bunker gear and gulped in air on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Tower in Seattle March 8. His first thought upon hitting the last of 1,311 stairs? "Thank God, I'm done," he said. It is the fourth year Hooper, who is also the union president for local 2878, has participated in Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event challenges firefight- ers to climb 69 of the tower's floors in full firefighting gear, which can weigh more than 60 pounds. Eleven of his fellow EFR fire- fighters made the climb that day with him, he said. "It's the challenge of raising money for leukemia and the challenge of climbing the stairs both," that makes him come back year after year, Hooper said. It is the eighth year EFR fire- fighters have participated in the event. They were joined by other lo- cal firefight- ers and fire- fighters from as far away as Massachu- setts, Florida, Canada, New Zealand and Germany. This year 1,530 fire- fighters par- C I"IA_NTTELI[ ticipated, set- LUSEBRINK ring a new record for the Press Reporter event's atten- dance. "It has been really entertaining just to see See CLIMB, Page A5 MOST WAy TO USE A CREDIT CARD IN THESE 'ECONOMIC TIIV00... Garbage service Waste Management shouldn't cancel pickups with minimal snowfall We are constantly reminded of the wildlife in and around Issaquah. New trashcans in- stalled by the city are bear proof. Residents are encouraged to keep garbage inside until the morning of trash day. All of the provisions are intended to keep animals from becoming regu- lar inhabitants of populated areas. How is it that Waste Management doesn't collect garbage, but then tells residents it will accept double the following week? Are we all supposed to own a second can for garbage and recycling? It's ridiculous to expect residents to collect two weeks worth of garbage -- espe- cially in places where there are no garages, like the downtown area -- on their property except in extreme situations. I understand not serving hilly areas when there is ice and snow on the ground, and I un- derstand not serving all areas when the ice makes driving unsafe. What I don't understand is how Waste Management can suspend service in its entirety when there are two or fewer inches on the ground, all of which is slush and melting as the temperatures were above 32 de- grees by 8 a.m. Feb. 26. I don't understand how garbage trucks are unable to drive in the flatlands and I don't un- derstand why Waste Management doesn't col- lect on the next service day, as most garbage collection companies do. Waste Management is not run by the city. Considering the conflict in policies regarding garbage storage between Waste Management and the city, and then considering the city's ability to influence Waste Management more than individual customers, I would appreciate it if the city can address the issue. I'm not going to pay my bill this cycle. They need not worry though, I'll send them double the following billing cycle. John BirrelI-Levine Faith in Action Support seniors at annual fundraiser dinner/amion Festa Italiana Through volunteers, Faith in Action supports seniors living independently in the greater Is- saquah and Sammamish areas. The seniors in our community struggle to find ways to keep their homes clean and safe, make small home repairs, shop for groceries and other essentials, or travel to a doctor's ap- pointment. Too often these forgotten individu- als lose their independence completely and are prematurely placed in institutional care set- rings. Faith in Action rallies the resources to meet their basic living and safety require- ments. So, please, come to our fundraising dinner and auction, Festa Italiana, have fun and help TO THE EDITOR us continue to support seniors living in our community. Here are the details: Date: Saturday, March 21 Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m. Location: Mary, Queen of Peace, 1121 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish Price: $65 per person includes admission, dinner, wine and fun! Tables of eight may be purchased for $500. Faith in Action has served local seniors in need since 1997. We area charitable nonprofit organization (tax id number 26-3624411) and your participation in the event is tax-deducrible to the extent allowed by federal law. For more information, please call 369-9120 or see our Web site at www.faithinaction4sen- iors.org. For auction ticket sales or donations, send your checks to 1121 228th Avenue S.E., Sammamish WA 98075 Please join our circle of compassionate peo- ple who support Faith in Action. It's caring people like you who make a world of difference for our seniors. Claire Petersky Exetue director Park Pointe City Council needs to do all it can to prevent development rights transfer I just hope we can save Tiger Mountain from the Park Pointe development of cluster homes! City officials have been trying to arrange transfer development rights for the Park Pointe cluster:housing development on Tiger Moun- tain. The idea was to preserve the pristine wilderness on Tiger Mountain and let the de- veloper build in areas close to the highlands, areas that are already built up. For a while, I had the impression it was go- ing through smoothly, but apparently, that is not the case. If I understand correctly, the de- veloper, a Canadian group, is pursuing its envi- ronmental and other studies with the intention of continuing the project on Tiger Mountain. I hope our City Council and city administra- tion will vigorously continue their efforts to make the transfer development rights happen and do everything possible to prevent this de- velopment. The view of our lovely Issaquah Alps is al- ready obliterated by the highlands cluster de- velopment to the north and the Talus develop- ment to the west. Do we want to complete the obliteration with Park Pointe on the east? Thanks in advance for all efforts you can make. Barbara [xtmct lssaquah School project Elementary student from Hew Hampshire needs Washington mementos Dear citizens of Washington, My name is Kaylee and I am 10 years old and I am in fifth grade at Inter-Lakes Elemen- tary School. I live in Meredith, N.H. I am doing a project called State in a Box. I am studying Washington. I was wondering if you could send me items from Washington, like postcards, license plates or anything that would be from Washington, for my project, be- cause we get to show them to some of the other grades in my school. Thank you. Homework Inter-Lakes Ele School 21 Lakes Lane, Meredith, NH 03253 Completing assignments in high school prepares students for job demands A recent letter writer complained that her daughter had received a failing grade in her English class, because she regularly failed to complete and turn in required homework. She went on to question why her daughter now would be required to take English at the night academy, at their expense, to make up the grade. As we all know, skills and habits learned in high school are designed to prepare our chil- dren for the real world beyond school. In most cases, we are all required to complete home- work (reports, forecasts, expenses, etc.) at work unless we're one of the lucky few who are not in a job that requires such things. In the work environment, many times there are no second chances. We may know the infor- marion that we're required to deliver by report, but if we don't turn in those reports, we could either receive a ding in our performance review (report card) or worse, get fired. There usually are no second chances like night academy. At least her daughter is being given a second See LETTERS, Page A5 IfIERSWEEOME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although we reserve the fight to edit for space, potential libel and/or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words and type them, if possible. E-mail is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Deadline for letters is noon Friday for the fol- lowing week's paper. Address: RO. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 E-mail: Isspress@lsspress.com THE ISSAQUAH PRESS PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 19OO 45 FRONT ST. S. " P.O, BOX 1328 ' ISSAQUAH, KING COUNTY, WA 98027 $30 PER YEAR / $55 TWO YEARS / $18 PER YEAR FOR SENIORS ADD $15 OUTSIDE KING COUNTY / $20 OUTSIDE STATE ALL DEPARTMENTS CAN BE REACHED AT 392-6434 fax: 391-1541 e-malh Isspress@lsspress.com web site: www.issaquahpress.com DEBORAH BERTO ........ PUBLISHER JILL GREEN ...... ADVERTISING MGR. VICKIE SINGSAAS ...... ADVERTISING ANN LANDRY ......... ADVERTISING STEPHANIE HALLER .... ADVERTISING MARIANA SKAKIE ...... CLASSIFIEDS KATHLEEN R. MERRILL ...... EDITOR CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK . . . REPORTER DAVID HAYES ........... REPORTER JIM FEEHAN ............ REPORTER WARREN KAGARISE ....... REPORTER GREG FARRAR ...... PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID HARRIS ..... PRODUCTION MGR. DONA MOKIN ....... ART DESIGN DIR. BREANN GETPY ..... GRAPHIC ARTIST ScoTr SPUNG .......... ACCOUNTING KELLY BEZDZIETNY ....... CIRC MGR. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH Postmaster: Send address changes to: Issaquah Press, PO Box 1328 Issaquah,WA 98027