Sammamish Forum Dec. 18
December 18, 2013
Spread Tent City around
In response to Ann Muzzey’s comment on Tent City, I represent the Redford Ranch Homeowners Association as it’s secretary and spoke to the Sammamish City Council Nov.18. There is certainly a burden borne by the residents of Redford Ranch, especially the homes that backup against Tent City. At the City Council meeting, I raised the example of a homeowner who wanted to sell or rent their home. The ease of selling or renting at a time when Tent City is present would certainly be impacted. The perception of safety, cleanliness, and inconvenience would impact our homeowners’ ability to sell or rent.
Ms. Muzzey’s assumption that our Homeowner’s Association’s request to share the responsibility of Tent City throughout Sammamish stems from a lack of soul searching is incorrect. We have residents who support Tent City, even those most impacted who can see Tent City from their homes. Our residents have been pleased with the engagement from Mary, Queen of Peace and the Sammamish City Council and staff, and our residents have made donations to Tent City. And while the presence of Tent City has not had a physical impact on our neighborhood, the ability to sell or rent our homes has been impacted due to perception.
The residents of Redford Ranch are simply asking that regulations be considered, so that our neighborhood is not the only one to take on this impact.
Fund the great outdoors
For many of us, these winter months mark a season of gratitude for the gifts and blessings of life. One gift that seems to slip beneath our radar time and again is the gift of creation. Washington is well known for aerospace, e-commerce, and tech development, but our true wealth is in our wilderness areas. We must ensure this gift will be preserved for our children and our children’s children.
Therefore I invite our elected leaders in Congress to join me in supporting full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Founded in 1965, the fund provided for a small portion of offshore oil and gas revenues to be invested in outdoor recreation and conservation, serving as an offset for the depletion of resources that belong to everyone.
Each year, a majority of these funds are diverted for unrelated spending. In fact, in its nearly 50-year history, it has only twice been fully funded. This has left dozens of projects nationwide unfunded and countless communities without properly designated and maintained trails, parks, and wildlife habitat.
Our economy is also harmed by this broken promise. Public lands support a $22.5 billion outdoor recreation industry, and opportunities for play provide a higher quality of life for hard-working American people. In Washington, we rely on the fund to protect and improve areas like Lake Sammamish, the Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Rainier, and many of our neighborhood parks and playgrounds.
Washington’s leaders understand preserving our land is not a partisan issue, but a cultural and moral obligation. I am grateful to Representative Dave Reichert and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for being vocal supporters of the fund.
The fund is essential to our economy, our health, and our heritage. Join the movement – call Congress and ask our elected leaders to keep this important promise to the American people. Together, we will preserve the land and give our children the gift of a future.
The writer is pastor of Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church and avid kayaker and backpacker.
Support the levies
Recently, I couldn’t help but think that our schools are a big part of what makes the area attractive. I’ve been with the Issaquah School District for 20 years, as a Speech/Language Pathologist and currently as the Issaquah Education Association President. I’ve worked in nine schools and now have the opportunity to visit all 25 schools when meeting with my members. This has given me a pretty good idea of what makes a great school and a great district. First, it’s the people: educators, administrators, and all the support staff working together to make the best learning environment possible. Second, our community strongly supports our schools and school-personnel. Third, our students learn in buildings that are safe, healthy, and modernized. Fourth, educators and students have the technology, curriculum, materials and supplies necessary to meet the high standards of our district.
The primary reason behind all these necessary elements of a great school and a great district is that our community passes our bonds and levies. The district will continue to hire quality teachers and support staff, maintain reasonable class sizes, and provide curriculum for all learners because of the Renewal M&O Levy. It will be able to buy new school buses because of the Renewal School Bus Levy. The district will be able to purchase new and repair older technology and offer professional development and on-line learning opportunities because of the Renewal Capital Levy.
We are able to do all this – even as the state Legislature fails to fully fund public education – because our community shows its support for public education by passing our bonds and levies. Please do so again Feb. 11, 2014. Vote “Yes” three times.
The writer is president of the Issaquah School District teacher’s union.