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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
July 15, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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July 15, 2009
 

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A4 WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS 0PINION PRESS EDITORIAL County executive election critical welve years ago, as King County voters prepared to elect a new executive, a big issue was all about the need for more ball fields. And rural residents were threatening to form their own county in protest of land regulations imposed on property rights. Ron Sims promised a lot of ball fields and a little of everything else. He won the election. My, how times have changed. The county has encouraged cities to take over many of the parks and ball fields it built but couldn't afford to maintain. A court ruling rescinded much of the county's critical areas ordinance, putting rural land use issues in limbo. The economy has tanked, leaving local governments scrambling and King County in a world of financial hurt. Audit reports show the county's accounting system to be untrustworthy. Heck, the county can barely op- erate decent animal shelters. This year, voters will be looking for a county CEO that un- derstands fiscal management and how to get the county to a balanced budget. We also need a new executive that has a vision, not just more of the same. He or she will need to know how to bring different viewpoints together to create goals for transporta- tion, natural resources, solid waste, human services and more -- and then outline the steps needed to get us there. As the summer primary election among the eight candi- dates (six considered serious) heats up, voters should listen carefully. Which one best understands how to create a busi- ness environment that will help create more jobs? Who will be best at creating dialogue that leads to solutions and com- promise? Will we continue to have an executive who accepts the multiple complex layers of a bus/rail/ferry system or will he/she have the know-how to get us to one transportation agency? The King County executive election gives us a chance for change. Ballots will be arriving in the mail the first few days of August, narrowing the field to two candidates while most voters are still layering on the sunscreen. Let this year be the exception. Voters, start paying atten- tion now. Look beyond the sound bites to be sure your fa- vored candidates know what they are talking about, not just "connecting" with you to get a knee jerk vote. Then, be deci- sive, and tell your neighbors and family of your choice. The first step to a better county government starts on Elec- tion Day. OFF THE PRESS Things I learned at the record skinny-dip attempt uestion: What do you wear when you go to of_ ficially count naked peo- ple who are trying to set record? Answer: It really doesn't mat- ter what you wear when every- one else is naked. That's one thing I discovered last weekend when organizer Dawnzella Gearhart invited me to Fraternity Snoquahnie to be an official witness to the group trying to set a Guinness Book of Records record for the number of people skiuny-dipping. (There were 186 there and many of them were thrilled to bare all for the certifi- cate they got at the end of the dip.), Among the other things I learned were: It migh.t be embarrassing for you to encounter someone you already know from a profes- sional setting in the buff on the weekend. (I worried about this before going there.) It is far more embarrassing for the other person than it is for you, as I learned while he looked at me with huge, astonished eyes and I did my best to look away while saying hello. People get really com- fortable in this enwron- ment quickly. So much so that they will scratch and do all manner of things (that you wouldn't do while KATHLEEN clothed) while R. MERRILL looking you in Press Ed/tor the eye and talking to you. You can't tell who drives a new Mercedes or a rusted out Ford. You can't 1ell the doctors from the homeless. People at Fraternity Sno- qualmie are really friendly. Entire families were there, with every member in the buff. You'd make a lot of money if you could set up a sunscreen booth out there. Seriously, everyone seemed to be happy and having tim. There was music and dancing, swim- See DIPPING, Page A5 TO THE EDITOR Food bank lunch Join us in feeding the hungry - a fulfilling, joyful experience Thank you for the story a few weeks ago about the lunch we provide for folks outside the Issaquah Food Bank on Thursdays. We're glad you shared it with readers. Our hope, though, isn't that people know what we're doing for its own sake, but that some other groups of friends and neighbors might join in the joy of serving a lunch an other days of the week. We cannot fully express the gratitude and sense of community we experience each week in our hour with those who come for lunch. We've gotten to knbw most folks by name, and now can greet each other happily as we see each other around town. It is no longer "us" who have food and "them" who don't, but sim- ply folks sharing some abundance with one an- other. We cannot encourage strongly enough folks to form their own groups to offer a lunch on one of the other days of the week. It's mostly a matter of tossing something extra into the cart while at the store, spending a few minutes makingsandwiches or a pot of chili, and a few folks bringing it down and sharing it around. The reward is so much greater than the cost. If you want to see for yourself, just come down any Thursday between 11.45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and join in the fun! Wes Howard-Brook /ss00 Freedom of religion There are many facets and opinions regarding religion I feel compelled to respond to the letter by Becky Wilder in the July I issue. My first reaction to Wilder s disjointed rant was disappointment that it was published at all. The Press should apply at least a sem- blance of its dedication to accuracy to its edito- rial page. My thought immediately following was re- sentment of the apparent misappropriation of the term "Christian" to describe evangelistic (read "megachurch') groups to the exclusion of the multitude of religions devoted primarily to worship of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah of the New Testament (and sharing the Old Testa- ment with Judaism). Wilder needs to be reminded that most ad- verse reaction to the so-called "Christian" con- servative evangelist movement stems from the intolerance displayed on its behalf by groups such as te Westboro Baptist Church, sponsor of www.ffodhatesfags.corn. The abominations of such self-righteous splinter groups could be discussed ad nau- scum. Instead, we need to bear in mind that most residents of the U.S. are religious, } kind, tolerant and hesitant to condemn oth- ers. Reality is in fact in direct opposition to Wilder's assessment. Steve Scott lssaquah Boy Scouts Youth organization discriminates, SO city shouldni:000000mme+l!djjt In a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Ava Frisinger announced that she had sent a letter of commendation to a boy for reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. It is offensive that our city government is officially recognizing the activi- ties of a discriminatory group, such as the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA prohibits homosexuals and atheists (both boys and parent volunteers) from partici- pating. For example, a few years ago, the BSA ex- pelled an Eagle Scout in Port Orchard, be- cause he was an atheist. Thus, many Issaquah residents "need not apply" for BSA member- ship and can never receive a letter of com- mendation from the mayor for being an Eagle Scout. In 2002, the City Council passed a resolu- tion that proclaimed Issaquah a hate-free zone. The resolution stated, "We unequivo- cally condemn all discrimination." And yet,. city officials applaud when a resident reaches the highest rank of a discriminatory group? Yes, the BSA is a private group and is there- fore legally allowed to discriminate. But that doesn't mean our government officials should praise success in a group that ostracizes cer- tain Issaquah residents. And someone will be tempted to respond that failing to acknowledge such accomplish- ments will punish youth. However, many enti- ties -- including dozens of United Way chap- ters, many corporations, the state of California and cities such as Chicago -- have stopped supporting the BSA. It's not because they don't like kids. It's because they don't want to aid and abet discrimination. The city of Issaquah should abide by its own anti-discrimination resolution and condemn discrimination, not commend it. Matthew J. Barry lssaquah lssaquah Alps Thank you to volunteers who improved hiking the trails on $quak Moumin I recently hiked up Squak Mountain to break in a new pair of boots, and was pleasantly sur- prised at what I found. The Mountains to Sound Greenway has done some major trail renovations. No more squishy mud holes, no more creeks running 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 ques- tions regarding the news. You tell us what you think. What could be eas- ier? We'll e-mail you a variety of ques- tions. Answer one or all of them! Re- spond by the deadline in the e-mail and we'll get your thoughts into the newspaper. We'll edit for clarity, space and po- tential libel, then select a variety of re- sponses and run them on a space- available basis. Send your name and e-marl address to editor@isspress.com. Put Rapid Re- sponse in the subject line. down the trail, fewer ankle twisting rocks and, best of all, better signage no more get- ting lost. Many thanks to the greenway and its volun- teers for their great work. And while I m at it, thanks to all who maintain trails in our area, including the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, the Washington Trails Association, and especially to the individuals who donate their time and money. I've always thought of Squak Mountain as one of Issaquah's crown jewels. The improved trails have added to her luster, and now she truly shines. Go take a hike! lss LETIERS WELCOME 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: P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 E-mall: Isspress@lsspress.com THE ISSAQU/00 PRESS PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 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: 391-1541 e-mall: Isspress@lsspress.com web site: www.lssaquahpress.cem DEBORAH BERT0 ........ PUBLISHER JILL GREEN ...... ADVERTISING MGR. VICKIE SINGSAAS ...... ADVERTISING ANN [ANDRY ......... ADVERTISING JODY TURNER ........ ADVERTISING MARIANA SKAKIE ...... CLASSIFIEDS KATHLEEN R. MERRILL .... ".. EDITOR CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK ... REPORTER DAVID HAYES ........... REPORTER WARREN KAGARISE ....... REPORTER GREG FARRAR ...... PHOTOGRAPHER DONA MOKIN ...... ART DESIGN DIR. BREANN GETTY . PROD. COORDINATOR SCO'IT SPUNG ......... ACCOUNTING KELLY BEZDZIETNY ....... CIRC MGR. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH Postmaster: Send address changes'o: =ssaouah Press, PO Box 1328 msaouan WA 98027 ti+i ;'+ +i + |||IHiHiBf|]+}lll+ 'P,|TiB |+ I+++ +| +l |ItHllliliil  i | 3 ,J[| [ t| + I  N ;it; lllg ilil, [IBPIIIIHII +llliilililaPll ++l',+, t+ +ilr