Frustration follows Eagles to Lakeside

January 5, 2010

Issaquah drops fifth straight game, to Lakeside Lions, 61-43

Evan Peterson (33), Issaquah junior forward, draws a blocking foul from Lakeside’s Tyler Gregg in the second quarter, for two points from the free throw line. By Greg Farrar

Evan Peterson (33), Issaquah junior forward, draws a blocking foul from Lakeside’s Tyler Gregg in the second quarter, for two points from the free throw line. By Greg Farrar

Frustration dogged the Issaquah High School boys basketball team at Lakeside School Dec. 30, as the Eagles tried to shake off a five-game losing streak.

At times, the momentum seemed to have shifted behind Issaquah, with the team moving the ball smoothly around the court and to the basket. But every time, Lakeside rallied and held the Eagles at bay to win the nonleague contest 61-43.

“We’ve been frustrated this whole season,” starter Derek Quan said. “We just need a win to end the frustration. We’re in desperation mode right now.”

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Former Councilman David Kappler lauded for environmental record

January 5, 2010

Issaquah claimed about 8,000 residents when David Kappler launched a successful City Council campaign in 1991.

David Kappler

David Kappler

Then, before the seismic shifts brought on by widespread growth, residents talked about still-unrealized plans to build urban villages on Cougar Mountain and Grand Ridge. Costco still maintained corporate headquarters in Kirkland.

Kappler, a tireless advocate for trails and open space preservation, won every election since his ’91 victory. The former councilman, who shaped decisions for almost 20 years, led the push to conserve land and cast crucial votes to shape transportation and public safety in Issaquah and across the Eastside.

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M&O levy heads list of school requests

January 5, 2010

Issaquah School District has three levy requests before voters Feb. 9, each a replacement levy that would supplement the schools’ budget with more than $214 million by 2014 if voters approve them.

A $172.5 million maintenance and operations levy is the largest. The others are a $1.7 million transportation levy and a $40.4 million technology and critical repairs levy.

For taxpayers, the total estimated tax for all three levies and the remainder of the 2006 construction bond next year would be $4.81 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The maintenance and operations levy covers the state’s shortfall for special education, teacher salaries, highly capable learners, English language learners, Advanced Placement and honors courses, extracurricular activities and fuel for buses.

“The maintenance and operations levy is the only way the state allows the local community to directly contribute to the operating budget of the school district,” said Sara Niegowski, district communications director. “Without the M&O levy, we would see a 20 percent decrease in our operating budget. That means everything that goes into the classroom, that means salary, that means everything that goes directly into the day-to-day operations budget.”

Broken down, the money taxpayers give the district through the levy equals 360 teachers or 425 positions for custodians, bus drivers and educational assistants.

From building to building, it means the levy pays for 12 elementary school teachers and two classified employees per elementary school; 17 middle school teachers and three classified employees at each middle school; and 22 high school teachers and four classified employees at each high school.

The $172.5 million maintenance and operations levy request is an increase from the district’s original proposal of $155.5 million. School board members approved the increase Dec. 9 in anticipation of the Legislature’s possible approval of an increase in the school levy lid, the amount allowed by law.

If the Legislature doesn’t approve a levy lid lift, district officials will only collect the original $155.5 million requested.

Ballots for the Feb. 9 election are expected to reach homes Jan. 19.

Why not state funds?

Washington state’s constitution declares the state’s paramount duty is to fund education. However, districts aren’t funded adequately to support education, according to research. To help provide all that is necessary in a student’s education, like technology — which is not included in the state’s definition of education — the state allows districts to ask communities to increase their taxes via levies.

What the levy means for students

Year Students Levy amount Amount per student

1998 12,734 $11.3 million $887

1999 12,967 $13.83 million $1,067

2000 13,321 $15 million $1,126

2001 13,629 $15.75 million $1,156

2002 13,804 $16.63 million $1,204

2003 14,113 $17.94 million $1,271

2004 14,438 $18.66 million $1,292

2005 14,860 $20.02 million $1,348

2006 15,150 $22.4 million $1,479

2007 15,340 $23.47 million $1,530

2008 15,480 $26.2 million $1,693

2009 15,810 $28 million $1,771

Total levy dollars range from 17 percent to 20 percent of the district’s total revenue.

Maintenance and operations

(breakdown of fund use between 2007 and 2010)

-Classroom services: $14.9 million annually for salaries; extracurricular activities; materials; curriculum development; libraries; counseling; and supervision, safety and health services

-Basic education support services: $4.3 million annually for custodial services; building maintenance and repair; grounds/playfield maintenance; building security; utilities; and maintenance of reserves

-Special education services: $3.3 million annually for teacher, educational assistants and specialist salaries; testing materials; contractual services required to meet students’ needs; individual education plans; and out of district placement

-Student transportation: $2.75 million annually for driver salaries, fuel and maintenance

-Other grants and programs: $700,000 annually for Title I/Learning Assistance Programs and support; English Language Learners programs; language and learning programs; National Board certification; and summer school

Source: Issaquah School District

Issaquah’s levy wrap-sheet

February 1996

-Maintenance and operation levy: Passed by 60.87 percent

February 1998

-Maintenance and operation levy: Passed by 62.25 percent

-Technology levy: Failed by 55.44 percent

-Transportation levy: Failed by 54.86 percent

-Construction bond: Failed by 46.40 percent

May 1998 (left over from February 1998)

-Technology levy: Failed by 59.25 percent

-Transportation levy: Passed by 60.08 percent

-Construction bond: Failed by 55.62 percent

April 1999 (left over from February 1998)

-Technology levy: Passed by 67.82 percent

-Construction bond: Passed by 69.44 percent

February 2002: Three issues passed

-Maintenance and operation levy: 67.21 percent

-Capital projects levy: 66.92 percent

-Transportation levy: 68.42 percent

February 2006: Four issues passed

-Maintenance and operation levy: 71.96 percent

-Capital projects levy: 71 percent

-Transportation levy: 71.78 percent

-Construction bond: 67.87 percent

Source: Issaquah School District

Failed levies:

February 1971

November 1972

February 1973

February 1974

March 1975

May 1975

March 1976

June 1976

February 1998

May 1998

Source: Issaquah School District

Public Meetings

January 5, 2010

Jan. 7

Council Transportation Committee Read more

Spartan grapplers take second at Brian Hill Memorial

January 5, 2010

Skyline High School’s Warren Chang battles Eastside Catholic’s Jared Shattenkerk during the 140-pound bout in the first round of the Brian Hill Memorial Wrestling Tournament Dec. 29 at Eastside Catholic High School. By Christopher Huber

Skyline High School’s Warren Chang battles Eastside Catholic’s Jared Shattenkerk during the 140-pound bout in the first round of the Brian Hill Memorial Wrestling Tournament Dec. 29 at Eastside Catholic High School. By Christopher Huber

Hundreds of grapplers from 19 schools congregated for a full day of wrestling Dec. 29 in the Eastside Catholic High School gym.

When all was said and done, the Skyline Spartans earned a second-place finish with 141 points, behind Cedarcrest, which racked up 178 points, at the sixth annual Brian Hill Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

Eastside Catholic scored enough (78) for eighth place.

“I think it went really well. The wrestlers did well,” said Eastside Catholic head coach Dennis Reddinger. “Obviously, we want more champions out there, but we’re happy with the performance that kids showed us.”

Among the day’s top achievements were Anthony DeMatteo’s first-place finish in the 215-pound weight class. He pinned Cedarcrest’s Evan Schreurs in 2 minutes, 39 seconds and also won the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award for the upper weights (145-289).

“He’s just been very dominant,” Skyline coach Gus Kiss said.

Eastside Catholic’s Ian Smith won the 135-pound championship when he pinned Kentridge’s Vince Motolla in two minutes. In addition, he earned the outstanding wrestler distinction for the lower weights (102-140), Reddinger said. Read more

Polar-bear dunking

January 5, 2010

By Greg Farrar Frigid start to the new year Connor Broughton, 12, Keith Nussbaum, 13, and twin brother Ben (left to right), all of Issaquah, have goosebumps and chattering teeth as they pop out of the cold water of Lake Sammamish at Idylwood Park in Redmond, on New Year’s Day in the Polar Plunge for Washington Special Olympics, after taking part with about 30 other swimmers. The water temperature was in the mid-40s for the Issaquah Swim Team teammates, including the fourth friend in their group, Henry Dees, 12 (not pictured). The swim registrations and pledges raised more than $9,300 for Special Olympics.

Frigid start to the new year Connor Broughton, 12, Keith Nussbaum, 13, and twin brother Ben (left to right), all of Issaquah, have goosebumps and chattering teeth as they pop out of the cold water of Lake Sammamish at Idylwood Park in Redmond, on New Year’s Day in the Polar Plunge for Washington Special Olympics, after taking part with about 30 other swimmers. The water temperature was in the mid-40s for the Issaquah Swim Team teammates, including the fourth friend in their group, Henry Dees, 12 (not pictured). The swim registrations and pledges raised more than $9,300 for Special Olympics. By Greg Farrar

Restoring smiles in Jamaica

January 5, 2010

Dr. Robert Tanner (right) and his assistant Erika Garrigues provide dental services for a Jamaican student in early November as part of a humanitarian relief effort with a nonprofit organization.  Contributed

Dr. Robert Tanner (right) and his assistant Erika Garrigues provide dental services for a Jamaican student in early November as part of a humanitarian relief effort with a nonprofit organization. Contributed

With winter weather in Issaquah, you can’t get much better than escaping to an island paradise for a week.

That’s exactly what local dentist Dr. Robert Tanner and members of his team did Nov. 13-21.

The team flew to Jamaica with the 1,000 Smiles program, sponsored by Great Shape! Inc., to help thousands of people in need of dental services there. It was their third visit to the country.

“Jamaica is a wonderful tourist island paradise, but things are very different outside the gates of the all-inclusive resort,” Dr. Tanner wrote in an e-mail. “1000 Smiles is trying to empower Jamaican children and their families through health care and education.”

There is only one dentist for every 100,000 people in Jamaica, which is why the free services and clinics are so needed, according to Great Shape. The population of Jamaica in July 2009 was about 2.8 million, according to the World Fact Book sponsored by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Less than 1 percent of the adults in the country ever see a dentist, Tanner said. When they do go, many simply go for an extraction, he said.

Even more disturbing, he added, was on his first trip to the country, he saw 13- and 14-year-olds with molars that were already decayed and beyond repair. Read more

John Rittenhouse is proud of human services impact

January 5, 2010

John Rittenhouse

John Rittenhouse

During a single City Council term, John Rittenhouse advanced watershed legislation to reshape city elections and establish a human services campus in Issaquah.

The former councilman led the effort to cap city campaign contributions at $500 for cash and in-kind donations from a single party — a measure the council overwhelmingly approved in May.

Rittenhouse led the push to open a proposed human services campus, a clearinghouse where needy people can receive food, healthcare and employment. The council OK’d the first steps toward a campus — location scouting and business planning — in a unanimous vote last month.

Before Rittenhouse left the council last week, colleagues praised him as affable and effective. Read more

Olympics visitors wanted

January 5, 2010

As Vancouver, British Columbia, prepares for epic crowds and worldwide attention when the 2010 Winter Olympics begin next month, we want to hear from Issaquah residents with plans to attend the games. Read more

Questions linger as animal control switch looms

January 5, 2010

Despite a Jan. 31 deadline to close county-run animal shelters, questions remain about how King County Animal Care and Control will provide service to Issaquah and 33 other cities after the deadline passes. Read more

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