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Safety issues need attention
Recently a newsletter to the people of the city of Snoqualmie appeared
in local mailboxes. It carried the city logo, but did not display the date
of publication nor the author's name. Subjects addressed included the
city's official committees and boards together with their responsibilities.
Significantly absent was mention of a critically needed, fully
professional public health unit. Most communities have them, especially in
view of the rapid development of new types of health problems.
Public health units have primary responsibility for the overall health
of community residents. Basically, the methodology includes surveys,
laboratory work and educational programs. Topics may range from water
quality to human psychiatric problems. The scope is wide and quite technical.
As to the health needs of the people in the Snoqualmie area, the
historically high level of domestic abuse has long been a serious problem. Its
consequences have often affected families through more than one generation.
For purposes of this letter, domestic abuse is divided into two types
_ overt and covert. The latter is silent and leaves no superficial marks.
Eventually, successful covert abuse in the home encourages experimentation
of the practice in outside group activities, including the political arena. In
this way it has achieved a significant place in the unofficial culture of the
Three examples of the problem in the political arena in Snoqualmie
are as follows:
1. For more than a year and a half at least, the public basketball court
at Riverview Park in Snoqualmie has been too dangerous for would-be
players to use. But, some try it anyway.
As most basketball enthusiasts are aware, a completely level court is
a "must" for personal safety as well as proper ball control.
The cement court at Riverview tilts noticeably toward the southeast
corner _ approximately _ which in turn sinks even deeper. Attached to the corner
is a cement walkway leading toward the street. No danger signs seem to
have been posted by city officials or anyone else.
2. The problem of bicycle and unicycle riding on pedestrian
sidewalks within the city of Snoqualmie continues to be significant. Are both
riders and pedestrians aware that bicycles in motion guided by pedaling riders
require at least three separate actions on the part of the rider in order to
come to a full stop? The first is application of the brakes, the second is control
of the front wheel direction and the third is the placement of both feet on
the sidewalk for safe balance.
In contrast, the already dismounted bicycle rider has only to stop walking!
Corrective action rests with city officials who have been elected to
ensure safe sidewalks for pedestrians. Why are these officials so reluctant
to carry out their responsibility effectively?
3. What is the value of a pedestrian's life while its owner
is crossing the S.R. 202 highway intersection at River Street in the city
of Snoqualmie? To date, it seems to be just a nuisance to the elected
officials at Snoqualmie City Hall.
The marked crossing at S.R. 202 and River Street has long been
grossly inadequate for safety requirements of the pedestrian. In addition, the
stated assumption by elected city officials that the community must continue
to wait is more than absurd!
It is long past time that elected city officials accept their primary
responsibility for health and safety of community residents by assigning
crossing guards to personally escort all people who wish to cross the
state highway at that intersection. A guard should be available from at least
early a.m. to early evening.
The current situation is nothing less than silent abuse through neglect.
The happiest people in the world are those with good health. Doesn't
it stand to reason that the people of Snoqualmie begin building their
fair share of it now?