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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 23, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 23, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS A4 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 23 2009 OPINION PRESS EDITORIAL Keep the giving spirit alive and well he Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund has passed the halfway mark to its 2009 goal of $50,000. But even $50,000 might not be enough. This year, the number of people needing help rose 50 percent -- to nearly 500. But, then, these are not ordinary times. Each year, the volunteers at Issaquah Church and Commu- nity Services wonder what they will do, how many people they will turn away, if donations to the Christmas fund don't arrive as hoped. About 90 percent of the year's emergency aid budget comes from people and businesses in the commu- nity who choose to help their Issaquah neighbors when times are tough. The giving spirit in Issaquah is alive and well! 0nly once since the emergency aid fund was started in 1981 has it not reached its goal. Last year, the goal was the same $50,000 as hoped for this year, but a wondrous $57,000 arrived. In spite of the robust generosity of the donors last year, the increase in requests meant less help for each family. Let's face it, when the electricity is about to be shut off in the mid- dle of winter, or the rent is overdue and eviction is on the horizon, a couple of hundred dollars paid to the landlord or power company doesn't seem like a lot. Yet each person or family in need finds relief, gratitude and peace of mind and heart for the little help they get. ICCS has few operational expenses, and they are covered by the city of Issaquah. The Issaquah Press provides all of the publicity at no cost. That leaves every dollar donated go- ing directly to emergency aid. Knowing 100 percent of a do- nation will be put to good use is a prime determining factor for donors as they choose where to send a year-end check. Keep the giving spirit of the season alive. To help, send a check to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027, or drop one offat 45 Front St. S. OFF THE PRESS Ruffled feathers lead to reader responses n one week, The Issaquah Press will publish its top 10 stories of the year for 2009. Among such issues as the school and city budgets, banning dogs in Timberlake Park and the weather, I have no idea where a rooster falls. That's right, a rooster. When we vote for a story, we usually weigh how much impact it had upon the community as a whole. Of all the weighty issues we've covered, none elicited as much passion, vitriol or feedback from our readers as McNugget the rooster. When I went to cover the latest breaking story of McNugget, I had no idea I was opening an- other Pandora's box. In Greek mythology, out of cu- riosity, Pandora actually opened a jar gifted by Zeus, which be- came a box in the retelling over the ages, and released all the evils, ills, diseases and burden- some labor mankind had not known previously. Who knew that my coverage of the latest tale of a rooster would release the floodgates of pent-up emotions for the well being of a fowl? Our Web site became a running blog entry for those in- volved and everyone else with an opinion. If we actually went back to when our Web site relaunched in its new format, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the Mc- Nugget story generated more comments than every other story combined. What could possibly be written about a rooster to generate such a prolonged reaction? Essen- tially, its at- tempted res- cue from the extreme cold weather a couple of weeks ago. Just who is this rooster that elicited such an emo- tional response? DAVID McNugget es- H_AE S caped from Is- Press reporter saquah Grange Supply several years ago during a customer appreciation day pet- ting zoo and he made the Staples parking lot his new home. After already surviving several winters and animal attacks, an effort to remove him was twice thwarted. Now, in full disclosure, I did not talk to both sides of citizens involved to get the story to the Web quickly, just the potential rescuers. I did get a copy of a po- lice report filed regarding the is- sue and those who complained I left out their side of the story, however, could not dispute any of the facts. But that did not stop the opinions from streaming in. Check out some of the com- ments left on our Web site: There were those who im- parted human emotion upon an animal: "McNugget is happy where he is and he always will be. If he wasn't, he'd do some- thing about just like how he did when he left his previous home." There were the misunder- See ROOSTER, Page A5 0 0 lssaquah Museums Thank you for asking candidates' position on new facility funding During the election coverage earlier this fall, I was pleased to see that The Issaquah Press asked candidates how the city of Issaquah might help fund a new facility for the Issaquah History Museums. The construction of a new facility for the photographs, artifacts and archival material of the community is sorely needed. We currently operate out of the Issaquah Depot Museum and the Gilman Town Hall Museum. After the com- pletion of a new exhibit at the depot in 2010, we will have filled our available exhibit area. Our storage space for collections is even more limited; many of our collections are cur- rently stored under less-than-ideal conditions. Work space is also at a premium, and staff and volunteers work very closely, in every sense of the phrase. Our primary need is 5,000 square feet of cli- mate-controlled, masonry-constructed, collec- tions-storage space. That space also needs a fire suppression system. We have witnessed devastating losses at other organizations due to fire; even when the fire is put out before it can do any damage, water used to extinguish the blaze causes its own brand of destruction. We also need roughly 1,000 square feet of rotating exhibit space, which will give us the opportunity to address many facets of Is- saquah's past, and share a variety of artifacts and images w guests. The city ha, n one of our most generous supporters over the years, providing the space that we work in along with most funding needed to pay staff. The museums also gener- ate lghly $50,000 annually through other grants, donations and earned income. TO THE EDITOR When we launch a capital campaign for a new museum facility, the support of the city - both the government and residents - will be critical to our success. City support will also continue to help us leverage funds fi:om other sources. If you haven't had an opportunity to visit the museums recently, I invite you to come take a look at your community's history at the Gilman Town Hall or the Issaquah Train Depot (loca- tion and hours available on our Web site at www. issaquahhistory, o rg). Mca S. Manlez Museums d/reaor School leo" . Vote yes to continue critical funding for essential classroom programs On Feb. 9, the Issaquah School District will ask voters to renew three district levies -- an operations and maintenance levy, a transporta- tion levy and a technology/capital repairs levy. I support these measures, which are important to maintaining the high learning standards of our local schools. The operations and maintenance levy is es- pecially critical, because it represents approxi- mately 21 percent of the district's total budget. Without it, our students would have larger class sizes, we would do without support staff like librarians and counselors, and curriculum choices would disappear. The transportation levy will pay for newer, safer school buses. The value of the technology levy is obvious in an economy shaped by computers and automa- tion. The district recognized today's economic cli- mate by not requesting new taxes or construc- tion bonds. Tax rates for these renewal levies will remain the same or lower for the next four years. It is so important to prepare all children for future employment, citizenship, and participa- tion in an increasingly competitive world. When your ballot arrives in the mail, please take the time to fill out your ballot and return it. Please join our family in voting yes for Is- saquah schools. Imeida Duldch Nexautle Harmony &High Tea Thank you to all who helped raise $15,000 for Women's Club fundraiser On behalf of the Issaquah Women's Club, thank you to all who supported our NOV. 14 Harmony & High Tea fundraiser at eickering Barn. It was a huge success with more than 250 attendees, and we raised more than $15,000 after expenses. We appreciate the merchants and businesses who purchased ads, donated auction items and/or contributed cash for our event; the members of the Issaquah High School DECA Club and Association of Student Body members who helped in countless ways; and Bronn Jour- ney, whose harp music entertained us during the event. And because of all of you, we will be able to continue to fund our scholarships and donate to the local charities we support. We are both proud and deeply grateful to this wonderful community we are privileged to be part of. Thank you, again. Mariann Crane President lssaquah Women's Club RAPID RESPONSE What suggestions do you have for the Central Issaquah Plan Advisory Task Force as It guides redevelopment In the 915 acres that include Gilman Village, Costco area and the retail corridor along East Lake Sammamlsh Parkway? Work to keep out big box stores. How many now sit empty in Issaquah? Work to promote "buy local," especially locally owned morn and pop stores. Jim Harris, lssaquah How can the corporate retail emphasis in the area also encompass community expression of private industry and new local small business start ups? Don Burnett, Issaquah What is the purpose of the new task force? Wasn't the Planning Commission doing this work? I would ask the task force to listen to what Issaquah residents want. In the early stages, people were invited to comment on various proposed plans and indicate their preferences. When I was there, most people selected the plans with the least density and fewest high rises. But that seems to have been ignored. And please, impose aesthetic Stan: dards; keep the craftsman style of Issaquah s character intact. Barbara Extract, Issaquah A shuttle. Have an eye toward reduction of congestion points in Issaquah's traffic. Mark Bowers, Issaquah Please consider the do nothing option. We are already at our 2070 population goal and don't need to look like Bellevue on Lake Sam- mamish. Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah Try to reduce traffic by linking development of business space with nearby residential space. Fred Nystrom, Issaquah I.EIERS 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: P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax." 391-1541 E-mall: Isspress@lsspress.com THE ISSAQUAH PRESS P[YBI, ISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 19OO 45 FRONT ST. S." RO. BOX 1328 ' ISSAQUAH, KING COUNTY, WA 98027 $30 PER YEAR / $55 TWO YEARS / $20 PER YEAR FOR SENIORS ADD $15 OUTSIDE KING COUNTY / $20 OUTSIDE STATE Advertising:. 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