Sammamish Forum June 18
June 18, 2014
Recycling means more than cardboard
Earlier this week I–a plateau resident for 30+ years–drove along 218th Avenue Northeast and noticed a gigantic steam shovel in what used to be a yard.
It was plowing around the lot, and behind it was …a house? Well, it used to be a house. Now it was a pile of rubble—boards sticking out every which way—it had been reduced to a mound of refuse. I drove by again today and there in the yard next door the same scene was unfolding, only this time the house was still standing with only the roof bashed in thus far.
I was appalled at the waste! Was a salvage company not allowed to come in and reclaim what were obviously very usable boards? Had window frames been removed? What about cabinetry inside the houses?
City Council, I ask you–is this the kind of community Sammamish is…when we don’t want something anymore, we just throw it in the garbage? Is recycling only important for soda cans and junk mail? The schools are knocking themselves out teaching kids to conserve and recycle, and this is the example we set? For shame!!
Protect homless rights
As the city of Sammamish considers an ordinance on the hosting of homeless encampments, no one wishes to make light of parental concerns. The problem is to assess how realistic our fears are in relation to homeless encampments.
Many of the residents of Tent City 4 and Camp Unity are parents themselves. Hundreds of children have visited the camps without incident.
For the schools and preschools that have chosen to interact with the camp, the return of the encampment is usually seen as a positive thing.
None of the thousands of people who have passed through the camps has ever assaulted or molested a child during their stay in the camp.
Looking at the record of the first encampment in Sammamish, aside from two incidents, unrelated to children, which are still under investigation, it appears that police calls, other than those related to the warrant checks, were for incidents where the danger posed was to people within the encampment, not to the wider public.
No one is saying that the camp residents are perfect and never violate their own rules. No one is saying that the camp never has to expel anyone for misconduct.
What I do recall hearing from police in Issaquah is that during the tree encampments at Community Church of Issaquah, they had fewer calls from Tent City than from nearby apartment complexes with about the same population, and that if there were no organized camps doing voluntary warrant checks for their own protection, there would be more people with outstanding warrants wandering around the area.
I believe that no ordinance which imposes more restrictions on one group of people than on the general public is justified unless there is clear proof that these restrictions serve a compelling social interest.
The writer is director of the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith coalition