Sammamish Forum Aug. 28
August 28, 2013
Congrats from afar
We would like to send a shout out to the Sammamish Little League team for their excellence in the World Series playoffs. Each one of those young men did an outstanding job.
We cheered them on all the way. Even the last game was played to the fullest. They should truly be proud of their accomplishments. Great job team and coaches!
Mike & Sue Skeeters
Prescott, Wash. (Walla Walla County)
Look up in wonder
Two weeks ago my wife and I watched the reflected light from the Japanese Space Freighter on docking approach with the International Space Station. The fact that we could see this from our lawn, without a telescope or binoculars was simply amazing!
How was seeing this even possible?
The space station orbits the earth multiple times a day at an altitude of about 260 miles and a speed of more than 17,000 miles per hour. The orbit shifts over time eventually making it visible from any longitude. All you need is the date, the time and a view of darkening evening or nighttime sky.
You will easily recognize the station because it brightens dramatically as it approaches from the west and reaches zenith.
It will be the brightest nighttime celestial object you will see with the exception of Venus at its peak. The Japanese Space Freighter was dimmer but still shining visibly.
It can be difficult to comprehend the space station’s altitude and tremendous speed, so consider that when you first see it in our southwestern sky on a typical pass it will be just leaving view in the northeast from Hawaii.
When it finally drops from our view, it will be directly overhead in the heart of central Canada and rising in the sky over Toronto. It will be speedy – traversing this vast distance in about five minutes!
My favorite tracking application is ISS Detector from the Google Play Store. It has good functionality, is extremely accurate and lets you easily add appointments for future sightings to your mobile device calendar.
In addition, it tracks the Iridium communication satellites that can produce very bright bursts of sunlight reflected off their solar panels.
I hope that I have given you a new source of scientific entertainment and wonder. Flyover passes happen relatively frequently. Look up and perhaps you will witness a docking event of your own.
Michael J. O’Connell
Growth is getting to be too much
I’ve lived in Sammamish since 2006 and have watched a somewhat unpleasant trend develop. I call it “growth at all costs”. I’ve watched acres and acres of trees be cut down to build dozens and dozens of new homes, large corporations moving into our commercial spaces and bumping out small town businesses and rush hour traffic reaching road rage levels.
All these things seem unnecessary, we were quite happy with the city the way it was; it’s why we moved here in the first place. Being from a small New England town, Sammamish’s size felt “just right”.
What feels so bad is that it’s completely unnecessary. There are hundreds of homes for sale in Sammamish, many have sat on the market for months and months, I’m sure the people trying to sell don’t need to see another “22 Luxury Homes starting from the low “700’s” sign posted on the edge of another pristine forested area, I certainly don’t.
I don’t have children and won’t be having any. My property taxes help finance our great school system, something I will never use but appreciate the need for.
Those taxes also help pay for our amazing parks, something I use often, especially Soaring Eagle Park. It’s very bothersome to me that a portion the only thing I actually take advantage of in this city is being deleted because we don’t have enough baseball fields? Seriously?
A problem we wouldn’t have if we weren’t packing 22 homes into just about every 1.5-acre parcel.
Since 2006, my house has burned down due to spontaneous combustion (and been rebuilt) and my wife has passed away in her sleep (for no known reason), both terrible things that I struggle with everyday.
Soaring Eagle was one of her favorite places and over the last two years it has been a place I go on my bike with our dogs to “recharge” when things become a little too much.
Neither of these tragedies chased me away from here, but the growth and the beginning of losing this park is likely going to.