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Issaquah, Washington
April 8, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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April 8, 2009

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A4 WEDNESDAY)APRIL 8) 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS OPINION PRESS EDITORIAL Neither budget is acceptable oth houses of the Legislature have presented budgets with steep cuts in education funding. The Senate would slash $887 million and the House $365 million from K-12 funding. Higher educa- tion would lose $683 million in the House and $513 in the Senate. Neither of these are viable options. Both seem like a smokescreen for a tax hike. As everyone with any sort of soapbox seems to be pointing out these days, the state constitution says education is the paramount duty of the state. Let's repeat that: paramount. Our understanding of the word paramount is that it should come first. Education must be funded and whatever is left can go to other areas. This idea, that education should be the first priority, was embedded in the constitution when this chunk of land be- came a state. Voters have consistently reaffirmed it, most re- cently through ballot initiatives implementing teacher raises and smaller class sizes. To cut education funding is to ignore the will of the people. No budget cut would be more regressive. And education is the first defense against the need for future social programs. What we fear is that these proposed cuts are a pawn, part of a gambit that will lead to tax hikes. Legislators know that voters in this state value education. The people want their children to have fairly compensated teachers, and they don't want them crammed into a class with 35 students. So, let the idea of thousands of teachers losing their jobs sink in Let school districts across the state explain to par- . ents exactly what children will lose as a result of the cuts. Then, humbly suggest that a tax increase is the only solu- tion. Bingo, you've got your tax hike! We are not opposed to the concept of tax increases. What upsets us is the politics behind the proposed budget cuts. The state may need a tax increase to help offset an unimaginable budget shortfall. Just don't try to scare voters into a 'yes'vote with the specter of dire cutsto education! Leave K-12 education alone and get busy f'mding other programs to trim. OFF THE PRESS Rock icon still going strong after 50 years Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, a 17th century English poet, is credited with the famous quote, but the same could be said for rock stars in their 60s and 70s. Last week, Don Wilson, co- founder of The Ventures, com- memorated 50 years of recording rock 'n' roll during a news con- ference at Seattle's Edgewater Hotel. Wilson, who lives in Sam- mamish, recently turned 76. He looks great, hardly resembling someone four years shy of 80. Perhaps it's because he loves his work. Wilson grew up in Tacoma, working in the brick masonry business with Bob Bogle. In 1958, they bought guitars at a downtown Tacoma pawnshop for $15 each, learned how to play them, and 18 months later had a No. 2 hit on the Billboard chart with "Walk Don't Run." They soon gave up the brick- laying gig to tour the U.S., ap- pear on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" program and record more music. The band has gone on to record 250 albums and they enjoy a cult following in Japan, where they tour annually. Prior to forming the band, Wil- son was influenced by The Fabu- lous Wailers, another Tacoma band. This week, both bands re- leased an album, "Two Car Garage: Fifty Years of Rock and Roll." They'll also play together at Seattle's Moore The- atre April 10. Last year, The Ventures were in- ducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the Hall rec- ognizing The JIM FIEHAN Ventures as "the most successful Press Reporter instrumental combo in rock and roll history." John Fogerty, former lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival, said the Hall of Fame recognition was long overdue. In his induction of The Ventures, Fogerty described Wilson and Bogle as "two construction work- ers with a dream." It's a good thing they followed their dream. The bandinspired a generation of fledgling musicians to learn to play the guitar, and The Ventures have delighted au- diences for a half-century. And they don't plan to slow down anytime soon as they launch a worldwide tour. Living well truly is the best re- venge and longevity has its re- wards. Bruce Springsteen turns 60 this year; Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, of The Rolling See WILSON, Page A5 Free concert Thanks to the city for hosting a great performance by the chamber orchestra I'd like to thank the city of Issaquah for spon- soring the free concert performed by the Is- saquah Chamber Orchestra at Village Theatre on March 30. It was my 7-year-old son's first experience with an orchestra and he had a grand time lis- tening to the music, chatting with the musi- cians during intermission and wondering who made more money -- the conductor or the composer -- and whether the conductor's podium was attached to his music stand or not. It's nights like that that remind me why we are so lu :ky to live in such a great city. Thanks, city of Issaquah, for your sponsorship of a great evening. Sarah Flygare Riley lssaquah Tree Arbor Day's message needs to last longer than one day per year Arbor Day is the day that we salute the Tree City USA flag and congratulate ourselves on our annual achievements in tree preservation. Have the kids plant a few small trees, make sure they smile for the camera with politicians, and we're done with this nonsense for another year. Sadly, that's the way Arbor Day has gone in Issaquah since Ive lived here. While "main- taining the forested hillsides" is a cornerstone Comprehensive Plan goal, I've seen our trees and hillsides systematically obliterated. Drive Highlands Drive and gaze at the acres of cleared and massively regraded slopes, many which could and should have been re- planted with cedars and firs long ago. North of the park & ride, note all the invasive Scotch broom and blackberry infestations, choking out new but neglected street plantings. And then, there's the embarrassing eyesore above Home Depot. Look around the rest of Issaquah, and you'll see more of the same. Ask who's responsible; it's never whomever you are speaking to -- of course not the city, state or developers. Worse yet, nobody seems to care. Where is the code enforcement, a little maintenance or some common sense land management? The trees on my street are one of the treas- ures the Comprehensive Plan asks us to pre- serve. My neighborhood has been heavily logged twice in the past 100 years. It was de- veloped 40 years ago, but now has towering third-growth native trees that provide an ex- pansive green canopy and territorial view to the rest of the city. Amazing the beauty Mother Nature can create with a little time and nurtur- ing! If we were a city that really thought preserv- ing trees, forest hillsides andnatural environ- TO THE EDITOR ment for the future were important, we would plant thousands of native tree seedlings every year and put a little effort in to make sure enough survived and grew to maturity. Maybe having a Tree City USA flag on the wall in the City Council chambers is enough for the politicians to feel "green," but I challenge you to look around and ask yourself if this to- ken symbol is enough for you. C.A. Chdstensen Issaqu Rules of the road Pedestrians need to be aggressive in taking ownership of a crosswalk A recent writer understands that the law states a pedestrian must indicate his or her use of the crosswalk by entering the crosswalk, yet he or she wants a driver to ignore the law be- cause of his or her fear. This is just wrong and dangerous. We do not change the laws to match our own needs. I suggest the writer be confident, establish eye contact with the driver, assert his or her right to use the crosswalk and be prepared to act if nec- essary, instead of asking drivers to ignore the well thought out pedestrian crosswalk law. Michael T. 8art enenmh Traffic cameras Monitoring system could be slippery slope of omnipotent Big Brother I really wasn't surprised that all but one of our citizens published responses to the ques- tion, "How do you feel now that cameras are installed to catch speeders?" on our local streets was that the response was that they were fine with it all. I want to propose a question to all of us. If it is good to have monitoring systems such as this in place, at what point does it become too much? When does it become "Big Brother" (government) watching over our every move? Is it just around our schools, for the safety of the children, or then at the busy intersections to catch those endangering others? Or maybe it is just to allow our police to do "other" more important duties that justify having cameras watch our every move? I am all for pei:sonal responsibility, but when do we hold those who we vote into office to those same standards? It seems that there is a great big sucking sound of acquiring more and more of our hard-earued money going to gov- eminent. I see cameras on our corners as an infringe- ment on my right to move freely and also as a very, very lazy way to take more of our hard- earned money into government coffers. Paul Williams lssaquah Bicycles License plates should be required for two-wheeled forms of transportation Why doesn't Washington state require bicy- cle license plates? The plates would be renewed yearly just like automobiles and other vehicles. There are hun- dreds of thousands of bicycles using public streets -- roads and bicycle trails that are pro- vided for them at taxpayer's expense. All other forms of transportation using public streets are required to have a license; even boats are required to be licensed. The revenue would be used to help pay for maintaining the streets and can also be used to provide addi- tional bicycle trails as required. Any cyclist should be willing to pay a small fee ($25) for the opportunity to use public streets. When I was a kid growing up in Phoenix, Ariz., we had bicycle license plates that also served for recovering stolen bicycles. The department of licensing would handle the additional revenue with the current staff. William L"Bill" Brayer Edmonds Opinionated? The Press wants you.; Join our e-mail group -- Rapid Re- sponse. You give us your name and e-mail address. We send you questions regarding the news. You tell us what you think. What could be easier? We'll e-mail you a variety of questions. Answer one or all of them! Respond by the deadline in the e-mail and we'll get your thoughts into the newspaper. We'll edit for clarity, space and potential libel, then select a variety of responses and run them on a space-available basis. Send your name and e-mail address to editor@isspress.com. Put Rapid Response in the subject line. LETTERS WELCOME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although we reserve the right 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-mall: Isspress@isspress.com THE ISSAQUAH PRESS PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY INCE 1900 45 FRONT ST. S.' RO. 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: 391-1941 e-mall: Isspress@lsspress.om web site: www.issaquahpress.eom DEBORAH BERT0 ........ PUBLISHER JILL GREEN ...... ADVERTISING MGR. VICKIE SINGS&AS,..... ADVERTISING ANN LANDRY... ....... ADVERTISING STEPIIANiE HALLER , :.. ADVERTISING EMiLYBNEW " ..ADVERTISING A SKAKIE ' ... CLASSIFIEDS KATHLEEN R. MERRILL ...... EDITOR CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK REPORTER DAVID HAYES ........... REPORTER JIM FEEHAN ............ REPORTER WARREN KAGARISE ....... REPORTER GREG FARRAR ...... 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