Bert’s salty story entertains the coffee crowd

October 23, 2014

It was a bright morning, and we had finished off the coffee and conversation at the Mule Barn truck stop, and we couldn’t think of anything much to do because we were still full from breakfast and it was too early for lunch, and the political problems and Hollywood gossip tanks had been thoroughly topped off.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

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October 23, 2014

I-594 and Gun Owners

Every gun owner in the state of Washington should be concerned with and vote against the passage of Initiative 594. Every friend of a gun owner should think long and hard about the implications of this Initiative before considering a yes vote.

While I-594 attempts to do good by requiring background checks on gun sales, as written it creates a multitude of situations where the average law-abiding citizen could become a felon. While I-594 provides allowances for a handful of structured situations where an individual may share a firearm, the simple act of recreational target shooting with friends becomes illegal if they bring and share their own firearms.

With that being illegal under the initiative, it is absurd that I-594 makes it “OK” for you to loan your friend a gun if he or she is in danger. But how could you responsibly do so if you had not had the opportunity to teach and train that individual well before that situation arose?

It is exactly this type of safe, instructive, recreational shooting that fosters gun safety and personal responsibility that must not be lost to this initiative.

I strongly encourage you to please take a moment and read the initiative.

If you do so, you will find that the reference to a “transfer of ownership,” i.e. protection against barter sales, does not exist anywhere in this initiative.

Please focus on sections 1, 3 and 4, and appreciate how thoroughly I-594 articulates any time a firearm changes hands for any reason as being a sale or transfer subject to background checks (section 3).

Please think through the last time you went shooting with a friend and the limited accommodations afforded by I-594 (section 4).

I am going to vote against the initiative as actually written, not translated by others. I encourage you to educate yourself about this initiative and weigh whether criminals will actually follow the law versus the loss of such an important part of our pastime and heritage.

William Cosgrove




From the web:


Vote no on I-594, yes on I-591

You’re a gun owner and you are for I-594? Common sense? I doubt your genuineness. I, too, am a gun owner and no zealot, not a member of the NRA or any local clubs and rarely shoot any of my guns. I have never hunted.

But I am intelligent, read I-594 and it isn’t what they say it is. Huge money has been thrown at this. With all the propaganda it is difficult for some to believe and understand my words, but I assure you I am not a storyteller.

If all I-594 did was say any gun sold at a gun show will require a background check, I’d vote for it, too, as this would be simple, enforceable and might make some minute difference. But this is far from what it says. In fact, I-594 is making fools of the general public, the ones who seek greater safety surrounding this issue.

The million-dollar advertising campaign is lying and is creating a false sense of security. It also sets up a situation which infringes on the Second Amendment, interferes greatly with responsible law-abiding owners, will cost everyone money, and in the end will be virtually impossible to enforce with no data backing up the keeping of guns from the hands of would be criminals.

This is not the initiative many seek. It is a poorly written, complex, broad-brush law, just not good. It is not as simple as it sounds. The loophole they promote is not directly related to criminals obtaining guns in the first place, therefore the chances of being effective is virtually nil, zip, zero. But from the ads you’d be led to believe this is the exact way criminals obtain guns, it is just not true.

To conclude, even if you could care less about guns and hate them, I-594 must be a no vote as it will not keep guns out of criminals hands and yet will cost taxpayers money.

A yes vote on I-591 provides a path to foundational change and is not a burden on the non-gun owner as will be 594.

Gary Snyder



Yes on I-594 will to save lives

I guess I was wrong about there being no tax cost to the general public. I just received my “Voters Pamphlet” and it indicates a cost of around 180.000 a year, less than a million dollars in five years. So, how many million taxpayers are there in Washington? I’m guessing, but it seems likely that I-594 will not cost taxpayers more than a few pennies a year. If it saves one life in five years, is that worth a few pennies?

Roger Ledbetter



Vote yes on both North Bend propositions

October 23, 2014

Voters in North Bend have a chance to make a big difference in the town’s public safety and in the parks system in the Nov. 4 election.

The city of North Bend’s Proposition No. 1 will authorize the addition of 0.1 percent sales and use tax. The money collected will fund additional police services and help cover the projected cost increases for fire and emergency medical services.

The Si View Metropolitan Park District Proposition No. 1 provides the majority of the operations and management budget for Si View Community Center and pool, city parks, playgrounds, playfields and activities.

This is a continuation of a similar levy voters approved in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Both propositions deserve yes votes.

The funding for Si View covers not just maintaining the great system we enjoy, but fun programs beloved by the community, such as the summer concerts, the farmer’s market and this month’s haunted house.

If Proposition 1 doesn’t pass, Si View Parks would have to cut staff, hours and activities.

The operations levy doesn’t authorize any new taxes — it’s just a continuation of the approximate rate of $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The goal is to provide $450,646 to be collected in 2015.

The North Bend public safety and criminal justice bond would provide a lot of service for the miniscule amount we would pay — $0.01 per $10 spent.

The bond would fund an eighth police officer, giving North Bend two officers on the street 18 hours a day. The extra officer improves police safety by providing backup when needed. It also increases the police department’s ability to staff emphasis patrols — looking for drugs, drunken drivers and transients camping on trails.

We’ve already seen improvements since the city of Snoqualmie Police Department took over policing duties by the reduction of transient and drug encampments around town.

In addition, the estimated $180,000 additional revenue makes it easier for the city to fund our firefighting team that is part of Eastside Fire & Rescue. Because of funding changes within EFR, the annual bill will increase by about $50,000 next year.

Paying a little more than $1 million a year to EFR is a bargain. The city estimates it would cost a minimum of $2.2 million to start its own fire department.

As a community, we need our parks, police and fire departments to be fully operational.

When the initiatives pass, our out-of-pocket costs will have a big payoff in North Bend.

Vote yes on both propositions.


Baby corn dogs score a touchdown at tailgate parties

October 16, 2014

Hello, my name is Deanna and I own a deep fryer. There, I said it.

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Roll up your sleeve and keep your family healthy

October 16, 2014

It’s a little thing but important: A flu shot this month can keep you and your family healthy this winter.

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October 16, 2014

Vote yes on Initiative 1351

It’s simple. Every child in the Snoqualmie Valley is worthy of the opportunity to learn in an uncrowded classroom. By voting YES on Initiative 1351, you will be providing our valley’s children with the kind of education they deserve. Here’s why:

  • Washington ranks 47th out of 50 states in class size. 1351 moves us to the middle.
  • It makes common sense – lower class sizes make it easier for students to get the attention they need to succeed in school.
  • Small class sizes, which foster better connections between teachers and students, are the basic building blocks for academic success.
  • The initiative also increases the number of caring adults who help kids succeed in school every day. Teaching assistants, librarians, school counselors, and nurses are part of 1351.

As Snoqualmie Valley educators, we want the best for our students and ask you to vote YES on Initiative 1351 for smaller class sizes.

Linda Anderson, 4th Grade Teacher, North Bend Elementary

Nathan Barnes, 4th Grade Teacher, Snoqualmie Elementary

Marianne Bradburn, 3rd Grade Teacher, Opstad Elementary

Julie Daniels, 3rd Grade Teacher, Cascade View Elementary

Joyce DeLurme, 2nd Grade Teacher, Cascade View Elementary

Jennifer Engdahl, 5th Grade Teacher, Opstad Elementary

Ann Heideman, Art Teacher, Mount Si High School

Anne Melgaard, 3rd Grade Teacher, North Bend Elementary

Lisa Radmer, Librarian, North Bend Elementary

Teri Raja, 1st Grade Teacher, Snoqualmie Elementary

Jack Webber, Math Teacher, Two Rivers School

Nate Ziemkowski, 2nd Grade Teacher, Snoqualmie Elementary


Vote for Jason Ritchie

Recently there was a demonstration against Dave Reichert in Issaquah for bringing Newt Gingrich there for a $2500 a plate fundraiser.

Yes, that Gingrich. The Gingrich who shut down the government twice. The Gingrich who had 84 ethical complaints filed against him, and was fined $300,000. And yes, the Gingrich who impeached Clinton while he himself was betraying yet another wife. If you have any doubt that big money in politics leads to corruption, just remember that a billionaire donor kept Gingrich’s campaign for President afloat.

Somehow Congressman Reichert wanted to be associated with Gingrich. Demonstrators carried signs reminding voters of Reichert’s unpopular votes to shutdown the government (at a cost of 25 billion), to sue President Obama, and against equal pay for women. Another reminded us of Reichert’s 50 votes to repeal Obamacare. Other signs declared that “Money is Property NOT Speech”, and “Corporations are NOT People”.

On a whole score of issues Reichert appears to represent the Tea Party, and not the voters of the 8th Congressional District. If he wanted to represent his constituents wouldn’t he be holding town hall meetings?

He has not held one since 2005.

There is a good alternative: Jason Ritchie.

Ritchie taught history in college and currently owns a small business building access ramps for the disabled to be able to enter their homes. Mr. Richie believes in women’s rights to make their own healthcare and reproductive decisions, while Reichert apparently thinks government can do a better job.

Ritchie believes in making the changes to Social Security needed to preserve it, while Reichert has not even taken a position. Perhaps because he agrees with the extremists that Social Security should be privatized? Instead Reichert is content with working on solutions for problems that don’t exist like public assistance money being used to purchase marijuana.

Reichert has refused to debate Ritchie. Is it because of all of his unpopular positions? It is time to privatize Reichert?  Or perhaps we should sue him for doing nothing?

Roger Ledbetter


Think Tank member cashes in on offbeat idea

October 16, 2014

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It was a contemplative kind of morning, each member of the vaunted World Dilemma Think Tank seemed to be content to think silently for a change, just sipping on the coffee refills and waiting for Loretta to bring more.

Steve, the professional cowboy of the bunch, was reading the house copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle. Somebody else had already done the crossword, the sports page was old news, and if he wanted to keep up on church news, he’d probably attend every now and then. So Steve was belly deep in the personal ads in the classifieds.

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Membership in the club was brief

October 9, 2014

The Club didn’t last long.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It wasn’t the dues, which were nothing. It wasn’t being worried about being elected recording secretary or something if you missed a meeting. There were no officers, no directors and no meetings.

It was born of an idea that occurred to Doc one day. He said the members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s philosophy counter and world dilemma think tank should organize.

After his third cup, Doc turned to the others and said that sitting there having coffee day after day without any real purpose just didn’t seem right.

Doc said, “There are so many things a real organization can do.”

“What would those things be, Doc?” Steve asked.

“Giving shoes to orphans,” Doc said. “Or curing hunger in Third World countries. Or we could watch TV and file complaints.”

Then Dud piped up. “Would we have to wear funny hats and have a secret handshake and a password?”

“Absolutely,” Doc said. “Otherwise, how would you know who was one of your brother club members and who wasn’t?”

Mavis said, “What’s your secret password? Regular or decaf?”

“I don’t think we should let women join,” Bert said.

Nobody nodded until after Mavis had topped off the cups, and had gone into the bowels of the kitchen.

“OK,” Steve said. “Let’s get this straight. No meetings. No name for The Club, right? No officers. No dues to pay. All we have to do is give our shoes to some orphans, right?”

“And feed kids in Third World countries.”

“I don’t know any kids in Third World countries. Could we feed one or two around here, just to kinda e-e-e-ease into it?”

“I don’t think so,” Doc said. “We gotta come up with a Third World country and then find out who’s in charge of feeding kids. Then, we can send them something.”

“I move we adjourn this meeting,” Steve said.

“There are no meetings,” Doc said.

Since no one could name a Third World country without a map or listening to National Public Radio, The Club died a quiet death.

Brought to you by “Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing,” at



Letters to the editor

October 9, 2014

Vote for Initiative 594

I am a gun owner, and I support Initiative 594 because it is a common-sense law that will close loopholes in our current laws requiring background checks to transfer gun ownership.

Convicted felons are not allowed to own guns in Washington, and criminal background checks are required to purchase a gun except at gun shows and individual sales.

I-594 would make background checks universal, and close those loop holes.

About 80 percent of Washingtonians support criminal background checks because they have prevented thousands of criminals from buying guns. Supporters of I-594 do not make any claims that this will fix all our problems with gun violence or crime.

It will not. However, it will make it a little harder for convicts to get guns, and we hope save a few lives.

I-591 will forbid Washington to pass laws more restrictive than national gun laws. I-594 is more restrictive since universal criminal background checks are not required nationally.

If I-591 passes, it will cancel I-594. If both initiatives pass, a court battle is likely. The signs supporting I-591 say, “Stop Confiscation of Guns.”

Ask yourself: Have you ever heard of a gun being confiscated? The only gun confiscation is from felons, and when guns are used in crimes. I-594 does not confiscate guns. It only attempts to prevent felons from owning them. I don’t get it. Why do the NRA and the right-wing groups backing I-591 want criminals to have guns?

There is a great deal of misinformation being spread about I-594. Opponents say the law is not about sales, but about transfer of guns. I-594 uses the term “transfer of ownership” because if it said “sales,” then guns could be bartered without a background check. Opponents of I-594 say it will make it illegal to use, or even clean a friend’s gun. This is simply false.

It is also being claimed that a list is being created so the government can come take your guns away. There is no such list.

Use your common sense: Please vote yes on I-594 and no on I-591.

Roger Ledbetter



Dave Reichert is clear choice for 8th District

Without a doubt, Congressman Dave Reichert is the clear choice to represent those in the 8th District. During his tenure, Congressman Reichert has demonstrated that he has a strong understanding of the issues that matter to the constituents of the 8th Congressional District.

This is apparent by his numerous endorsements, which include the National Education Association, Washington Small Business Council, The Seattle Times and the major public safety organizations.

As a former King County sheriff, Congressman Reichert demonstrates his commitment to protecting and serving others. The President recently signed into law a package of bills including Congressman Reichert’s legislation to combat sex trafficking of foster kids. The First Focus Campaign for Children recognized Congressman Reichert for his extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the lives of youth with their “Champions of Children” award.

I thank Congressman Reichert for his leadership on this important issue and wholeheartedly add my name to the many endorsements he has already received.

Joan Crecca

North Bend

Change those smoke detector batteries

October 9, 2014

After years of fire prevention messages from local firefighters, we now associate October with more than just ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and Halloween. When we flip the calendar page to October, it means it is time to change the batteries in our home smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide alert sensors.

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