Opinion

Recreation needs of people have been ignored for too long

recreation needs People should turn out in droves for King County's public meetings to determine uses of proposed new funding for parks and open space. I infer that officials have already determined our needs, but minds can be changed with sufficient turnout.
   We need active recreation areas for people, and we should turn thumbs-down on new taxes if they're targeted to wildlife habitat and passive open space. Over 56% of King County is in officially designated forest production districts, and another significant percentage is designated open space and wildlife habitat, including massive fish corridors.
   We are desperately short of athletic fields. And cyclists need a greater variety of places where they're allowed.
   King County Councilwoman Louise Miller is to be congratulated for introducing new legislation to bridge the Sammamish River at the Tolt Pipeline Trail crossing, but to go with that, we need funding to develop the county-owned trail right-of-way on the west side of the river for equestrians and hikers, to relieve pressure on the existing eastside trail that will then serve cyclists, rollerblades, and hikers. (Hikers on both sides; horses on the west; wheels on the east.)
   So these tax-planning meetings emphasize that we need PEOPLE spending. People's needs have been ignored too long. Say we won't vote for new funding if they don't listen to us.
   The meetings are being held from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Redmond Library on March 26; Auburn School District Administrative Center on March 28; Renton Community Center on April 1; and Federal Way Council Chambers on April 8. Call 296-7800 for additional information.
   P.S.: Would you believe that I've written and called King County for current acreage in parks and open space and no one knows? How can they figure needs when they don't know what they have.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville