Get Involved

January 26, 2010

Issaquah High School

Robotics Society

By Alex Tucker

The Issaquah Robotics Society is in full swing as it gears up for its first competition in March in Portland, Ore. The robotics club has an impressive history of victories, and this year will likely be no different, due to the members’ enthusiasm and dedication.

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District opted out of voters’ guide

January 26, 2010

The voters’ pamphlet mailed by King County Elections baffled Issaquah School District voters when the guide arrived in mailboxes earlier last week. The mailer contained no information about the three district levies on the Feb. 9 ballot.

The lack of information, however, was not a mistake. District officials opted not to include information in the guide to save money — about $7,000.

But the pamphlets confused voters because the elections office included information about other school district levies. Klahanie voters received pamphlets with information about the Vashon Island School District levy, while south Issaquah residents now know about Tahoma School District’s levy.

Kim van Ekstrom, a spokeswoman for the elections office, said the format resulted from another money-saving measure. Without local items on the ballot, the office sent the same guides to various ZIP codes to cut costs.

Guides sent to voters in Issaquah do contain information about the King County Library System levy lid lift.

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Officials to discuss Newport Way upgrades at open house

January 26, 2010

City officials want to know how nearly a mile of Newport Way Northwest near Issaquah Valley Elementary School should be improved. Bring ideas to a city open house at 6 p.m. Feb. 3. Read more

Mayor sets technology, sustainability for goals

January 26, 2010

After a difficult year, Issaquah will enter the months ahead with a renewed focus on sustainability and technology, Mayor Ava Frisinger said in the State of the City address last week. Read more

Voters are asked to approve school levies

January 26, 2010

Editor: This story contains corrected information, indicated by a red asterisk.

The Issaquah School District is asking for voters to approve three levy replacement measures to supplement the district’s budget with more than $214 million by 2014. To pass, 9,908 ‘yes’ votes are needed by the Feb. 9 deadline.

The levy package includes a $172.5 million maintenance and operations levy, a $1.7 million transportation levy, and a $38.4 million technology and critical repairs levy.

“Levies are mandatory for our school district to operate,” said Kelly Munn, co-chair of the pro-levy Volunteers for Issaquah Schools organization. “They were created to provide enhancements to schools, extra things. Over the years they’ve become the bread and butter. They pay for teachers and books.

“If we weren’t to have it, it would be devastating to the education system in Issaquah because such a huge amount, around 20 percent of our budget, is made up of the levies,” she said. “That is huge.”

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Kevin Powers named to Swedish national lacrosse team

January 26, 2010

Kevin Powers, a midfielder on the Issaquah High School lacrosse club, battles in a game last spring. By David West

Kevin Powers has always been proud of his Swedish heritage. This summer, the Issaquah High School junior will show his pride as a member of the Swedish national men’s lacrosse team.

Powers qualified for the team because he was born in Sweden and spent the first five years of his life as a resident of the Scandinavian country.

He was selected for the Swedish national team from a tryout in October. Powers, who also plays on the Issaquah High School club team, and Sten Jernudd, a student at Seattle’s Lakeside School, were the youngest players to make the Swedish national team. More than 40 players tried out for the team, ranging mostly in age from their 20s to their 40s.

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Renewing ties with our Nordic neighbors

January 26, 2010

Issaquah visitor Joan Probala returns from  Norway with hopes to revive sister-city bond

Longtime Issaquah resident Joan Probala (right) addresses dignitaries during a November trip to Sunndal, Norway, a sister city to Issaquah. Contributed by Joan ProbAla

Longtime Issaquah resident Joan Probala traveled to Sunndal, Norway, in November to discuss the dormant sister-city relationship between Issaquah and the Norwegian town.

Dignitaries from both cities established the relationship in 1991, although the connection has waned in recent years. In the meantime, Issaquah and Chefchaouen, Morocco, started a sister-city relationship in 2007.

Issaquah City Council members hope to revive and strengthen the relationship between the city and Sunndal. Probala, a member of the city Sister Cities Commission, met with Sunndal leaders, sampled reindeer and talked about how to strengthen the bond between Issaquah and the small, quaint city on a fjord.

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Wanted: Fun, young professionals who want to get involved

January 26, 2010

Jackk Sercu (left), Sunset Elementary School fourth-grader, and principal Wayne Hamasaki show the rapidly disappearing cupcakes that Jack’s mom, Susan Sercu, made for the Sunset Kids for Haiti bake sale. By Greg Farrar

Beginning Feb. 11, the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah will host a satellite club designed to engage young professionals in the community who want to make a difference.

“Young professionals should participate in this group if they feel they would like to volunteer some of their time to help make Issaquah a better place,” said Craig Tasa, a founding member. “By being part of this club, they will also have the opportunity to meet many other young professionals who share the same passion for our community.

“This may also serve as a great networking opportunity for those professionals who are starting their careers and would like to meet other individuals in the community.”

The mission of Kiwanis is to help community members volunteer their time to change the world, one community and one child at a time.

Kiwanis is kicking off the new club to help young professionals access their club on their terms, according to a press release. Read more

Will the 2010 Oscars take a bold new direction?

January 26, 2010

By Ehrik Aldana

In 2009, moviegoers played witness to floating mountains, alien apartheid, levitating houses, time-warping red matter and at least three incarnations of George Clooney — those of which included a hippie and a talking fox.

Another year of film is over, and the movie awards season is creeping up with Oscar gold just around the corner. Of the 274 films eligible for the 2009 Oscar race, 10 — an adjustment from previous years’ five — will receive nominations for the Best Picture award.

Many professional associations, such as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the American Film Institute, the Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and countless critic groups across America, have chipped in their two cents as to what films they feel should be regarded as 2009’s best.

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Tent City 4, ‘a crossroads of humanity,’ returns here

January 26, 2010

Paul Winterstein points out a spot to unload pallets and plywood sheets from a moving truck as Tent City 4 arrives Jan. 23 in Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Tent City 4 returned last week, hauled piece-by-piece to Community Church of Issaquah, assembled by volunteers and readied for residents to settle into nylon tents by nightfall.

The homeless encampment returned to the Squak Mountain church where congregants last welcomed Tent City 4 in late 2007. The camp will remain at Community Church until late April.

Donald Brown, a Tent City 4 resident dressed in a plastic poncho and a hat with earflaps to protect against the chill, moved into the encampment last year. He described the camp as “a crossroads of humanity” where people with assorted backgrounds and experiences coexist.

“Some people come in and they stay a day,” he said. “Others stay for a year, two years, three years.” Read more

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