Sammamish Forum Dec. 25
December 25, 2013
If only I had a nickel for every time I was asked over the last 20 years “Why don’t you like Klahanie?” Klahanie is a fine community with lots of great people that deserve to be in a city that can efficiently and sustainably serve them. That city was never Issaquah and it is even truer now than in the past.
Klahanie has seen their road conditions significantly deteriorate since the 2005 evaluation, and accessing Klahanie for needed services has become much more difficult as traffic volumes have increased and a quick and easy trip across Highlands Drive is no more. Issaquah has now fully committed to their Central Issaquah Plan and to prioritize spending the many millions of dollars needed to make the plan work in the city core; surrounding residential areas have become a lower priority.
The dollars proposed in the Nesbitt Study will provide a substandard level of service to Klahanie. Realistically and fairly you can’t just underserve 10,000 people in your city. What combination of increased taxes and reduced service for the whole city would we look at to provide fair service to Klahanie?
Sammamish has essentially no debt and millions in the bank. Not only can they serve Klahanie, but they need to improve roads in and adjoining Klahanie to support their own existing residents living north of Klahanie. Look at a map of Klahanie and you will see the missing southeast corner of Sammamish.
One can wish the best for Klahanie, but one does not have to think Issaquah can most efficiently and sustainably serve Klahanie.
The writer is a former Issaquah City Councilman
the wrong call
My name is Corey Sinser, and I am an alumnus of the Eastside Catholic High School class of 2006. Let me begin by saying how grateful I am for having attended Eastside. I was instructed by an incredible staff of educators, many of whom I still keep in touch with after all these years. I experienced a significant family setback during the spring of my junior year, and I can’t imagine how I would have made it through the whole ordeal without the love and support provided by the greater Eastside Catholic community.
That being said, I have taken issue with several decisions made by the senior administration over the past few years. Most recently, Vice Principal Mark Zmuda has been relieved of his position at the school, as it has recently come to light that he married his partner over the summer months. As a Catholic community, we are well aware of the official stance our Church takes on the subject of homosexuality. However, we are also called by the Gospel to love and accept our neighbor. Considering the recent words and actions taken by Pope Francis, I find it hard to fathom that a grace-filled community such as the one at Eastside Catholic would choose to act in such a manner. While I understand that a lifestyle expectation document was signed by Mr. Zmuda at the time of his employment, this seems like a fantastic opportunity to engage in a significant, meaningful dialogue about the priority we place on the dogmatic institutions of our Church in light of the greater message we as Catholics are called to uphold. I am deeply troubled by the decision that was made, and I sincerely hope that we as a community, Catholic or otherwise, can come together and support this gentleman who was so beloved by his students, peers, and colleagues.
Growing up Catholic I learned the principles of love and charity, and Jesus’ sermons on these topics are among the most profound I have read. I am excited that Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of over 1 billion people is championing this focus. So Merry Christmas to you in a spirit that encourages your love and charity.
Now, consider replacing the current 8.3 million residents of New York City with children. Then withhold adequate food. You would never consider performing this highly immoral experiment, yet this is the number of food insecure children in our country today. Our leaders have cut food stamps (SNAP) across all households despite 76 percent of them having children, or an elderly or disabled person, and that three out of four of these households have at least one person working.
Jesus said feed the poor… with no conditions. Every American has a right to enough food.
Food insecurity is the result of declining income. The US median household makes less in constant dollars today than it did in 1978 and 95 percent of all income gains since the recession went to the wealthiest 1 percent. We are losing our broad-based prosperity and with it the futures of millions upon millions of poor and middle class American families and their children. The economy and our government have been shaped to enhance the wealth at the top and both are horribly broken. The problem is worsening and no political rhetoric or false morality tale can negate this fact. There is no equal opportunity in America.
Pope Francis, denouncing “trickle down” economics said in his first peace message that huge salaries and bonuses are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap. I ask you, regardless of religious or political affiliation to work to his admonition. Call your representatives and demand a basic standard of living for all Americans and a society that does indeed provide equal opportunity. We are one people. We are one America. It is the moral thing to do. Merry Christmas.
Michael J. O’Connell