To the Editor — Students deserve public charter school option

November 24, 2015

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Nov. 24, 2015

I attend a charter school, Summit Sierra High School, in Seattle. After hearing the court’s ruling that declared charters unconstitutional, I was crushed.

My experience in attending traditional public school is that it’s like trying to shove 1,000-plus kids into a box, expecting them all to fit. Some kids fit and thrive, while others don’t and are left behind. I was one of the latter kids.

Although I tried, I wasn’t engaged and was oblivious to my potential as a student. The large school I attended resulted in me being completely unheard by the staff and as long as I made their test scores look good, they couldn’t care less. I needed change if I wanted to find my potential and who I am as a person. Read more

To the Editor — Healthy Youth Survey shows kids not getting enough sleep

November 24, 2015

NEW — 2:27 p.m. Nov. 24, 2015

The Issaquah School District is seriously studying school start times, acknowledging that many people in our district want this change. In your Oct. 30 article, Superintendent Ron Thiele commented that the student population’s possible need for sleep can’t be the only consideration. There is overwhelming data from our own Healthy Youth Survey that the vast majority of our teenagers are not getting enough sleep. The 2014 HYS shows that 58 percent of eighth graders, 80 percent of 10th graders and 84 percent of 12th graders in the Issaquah School District report sleeping less than eight hours on an average school night. Given that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Sleep Foundation have stated that teens should get between eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, it seems to me that our adolescent student population definitely needs more sleep than they are currently getting. Read more

On Further Review — A good man leaves a great legacy at EFR

November 24, 2015

NEW — 2:07 p.m. Nov. 24, 2015

If Lee Soptich had been a fire chief when I was a child, and he had made as big an impression on me then as he and his Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters do today, I would’ve said I wanted to be a firefighter when I grow up.

He loves the people who work for him, he loves his profession, he loves the communities he serves, he loves his family and he loves his Creator, all with a combination of humility and humor that’s rare, if not unique, these days. His retirement on Nov. 30 matters.

One of my favorite pictures in our files tells the whole story: It’s of Soptich in 2008, looking straight at me with twinkling eyes bugged out and an expression that combines fear and laughter, and his hair is in a Mohawk as he is getting shaved bald. Read more

On Further Review — Random thoughts from the cold, wet football field

November 17, 2015

NEW — 3:22 p.m. Nov. 17, 2015

I was invited to watch a local youth championship football game Saturday night. These are some of the random thoughts I had while shivering in the 40-degree, misting rain while my second cousin-in-law’s team was getting blown out.

Despite the cold weather locally, my numbed brain was actually giving weight to the global-warming myth by the evidence of 80-degree weather east of the Rockies last week. True believers would actually have you and me believe that global warming is currently the single biggest threat to mankind.

Then the true biggest threat, Islamic extremist terrorists, reared their ugly heads in Paris on Friday and reminded us where our leaders’ priorities truly need to be. These barbarians are killing innocents today but global-warming fanatics want us to worry about what will happen 20 years from now if we don’t build more windmills? Read more

To the Editor — Road issues cause gridlock

November 10, 2015

NEW — 2:37 p.m. Nov. 10, 2015

Sammamish has a few road issues that probably affect many people all over the city and we need to figure out improvements. I do recognize everyone may see the issues but not have a solution.

  1. Traffic circles. My opinion is they cause traffic and are very dangerous to pedestrians because the driver is turning continually and does not always see pedestrians and the circles are too small to work properly. Many people can’t use them. I find I always try to merge and not stop or you will never go.  The worst one is at the back entrance to Eastlake.  Apparently now 228th is a bit better but no one can get to the middle school and high school at the same time. Gridlock ensues. Perhaps we need to stagger the high school and middle school start by five or 10 more minutes. There is no gridlock traffic on Thursday because of the late start. It should not take 25 minutes to get to school for a five-minute ride.  We are all wasting time and gas, though maybe some kids get to homework they forgot due to traffic. Maybe the circles work but not with the traffic volume.
  2. Why is there no Sidewalk on 228th leading from Northeast 14th Street? The road that has an elementary school on it to the light? Who would make it remain so dangerous and put the sidewalk on the other side when all the schools are closer on the east side? There should be a sidewalk to the light so you can cross safely. You can’t even walk to the crosswalk on sidewalk.

Kimberly Fee 


Guest column — Sammamish vs. Bangalore, India: eerie similarities?

November 10, 2015

NEW — 2:36 p.m. Nov. 10, 2015

By Deepa Rao

Sammamish resident and Associate Professor, University of Washington

In the 1960s, my parents moved from Bangalore, India (formerly known as the Garden City) to the United States for a better life for their children.

I grew up and trained in Chicago and got a great education there. I spent a year in Bangalore during my graduate training, and I go there often now for work in global health. I know the city well. Read more

Guest Column — Become a LINKS volunteer today

October 29, 2015

NEW — 5:16 p.m. Oct. 29, 2015

By Nanci Wehr and Shannon Parthemer
Lake Washington School District

“Helping at school made retirement easier and more fun for me,” said LINKS volunteer Phyllis Platz. “And I love working with little kids and helping them learn. It is wonderful to see their progress between September and June! Just working with 5 and 6 year olds renews your outlook on life!”

You don’t have to be retired to make a huge impact in the life of a student. Just one hour a week of your time can make a difference for a struggling student. Have some time to spare? Consider becoming a LINKS Volunteer in the Lake Washington School District. Read more

To the Editor — Consider accomplishments over attacks

October 29, 2015

NEW — 4:52 p.m. Oct. 29, 2015

As a 20-year resident of the area, I encourage local voters to recall what you felt and saw on the way to and at their most recent Sunday church service, Wednesday Farmers Market or Friday night football game. We do not need magazines and surveys to remind us of our blessings. However, great feelings and visuals aren’t enough in an election.

Review the facts and trends surrounding taxes, transportation, trails, town center, trees and transparency. An objective review takes some time, but here, perhaps, is where the divide begins.

Let us reinforce such accomplishments as fiscal savviness and budget surpluses leading to lower taxes than neighboring cities, consistent high marks from state auditors for financial responsibility and transparency, expanding parks and trails, tree retention and slope limitation requirements to counter development pressures enabled by the Growth Management Act, and improved roadways and public transportation. Accomplishments require years; attacks and promises based around snapshots and soundbites require seconds. Read more

To the Editor — It’s 2015. Grow up.

October 27, 2015

NEW — 7:26 p.m. Oct. 27, 2015

I was ashamed by this week’s Sammamish Review, in particular the article about the YMCA and its policy regarding transgender people.

I would like to offer my voice. I am transgender, so I do think that my voice should have significant weight because all I have heard so far are the voices of people who have no idea what it is like to live as I do.

Let me first address the resident who doesn’t want to shower with “someone like that.” We exist everywhere, and we are contributing members of this community. It is attitudes like this that keep us from being visible. Transgender people are routinely murdered worldwide, and this kind of ignorance and intolerance is a breeding ground for violence. Read more

To the Editor — Vote for Tom Hornish

October 27, 2015

NEW — 7:13 p.m. Oct. 27, 2015

Ever wonder why Councilman Tom Vance’s supporters are abandoning ship? Especially his environmental ones? I am because for the past four years he’s been on the council with me, I’ve observed him again and again making pragmatic, politically convenient decisions against the environment when we’ve needed strong leadership and a voice for the environment he has failed to provide.

A couple of examples: I believe he was largely personally responsible for the  lowering of our Town Center on-site storm water retention standards to 60 percent from 100 percent ignoring the fact that the higher standard can be achieved where infiltration is feasible. Why did he do this? I believe so one of his favorite pet city projects could be built.  Read more

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