Walking for a cure

June 8, 2010

Relay for Life tops $225,000 goal

Above, more than 800 people, on 83 different teams, showed up to walk around the clock and raise money for cancer research at Issaquah’s Relay for Life event June 5 and 6 at Skyline High School. Photos By Chantelle Lusebrink

This year, 813 people ran, walked and wheeled in support of finding a cure for cancer at the annual Issaquah Relay for Life June 5 and 6.

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Swimmers help set world record for largest swimming lesson

June 8, 2010

Young and old to be named in Guinness Book

Issaquah residents helped swimming pools reach new heights June 3 by participating in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

More than 50 people, ages 4 to 85, came to the Julius Boehm Pool to participate in the history-making event that took place at more than 200 locations in nine countries.

Local participants joined others from as far away as Lebanon, Zambia and Dubai for the lesson, held simultaneously. In all, the swim lesson was expected to have more than 10,000 participants worldwide. As of Monday, an official number still hadn’t been compiled.

Cameron Simmons takes a big gulp of air before bobbing underwater as K.C. Gere (left) and Katie Hirshberg (in background) teach two children’s classes, part of a coordinated worldwide swim class record attempt at the Julius Boehm Pool. By Greg Farrar

This is the first year the world record has been attempted. It was created to promote the need for water safety education, swim lessons and to help reduce incidences of drowning worldwide, according to a press release from World’s Largest Swim Lesson, the organization that coordinated the efforts.

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More than 1,200 seniors receive diplomas this week

June 8, 2010

Congratulations to the 1,240 high school graduates of the class of 2010.

Each of the district’s four high schools — Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline and Tiger Mountain Community high schools — as well as the district’s community-based Transition Program for special-needs students will have commencement celebrations during the next week.

Here’s what you need to know about each, in the order they happen.

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Teachers, EAs reach tentative agreement

June 8, 2010

Issaquah School District and union officials have reached a tentative contract for teachers and educational assistants.

The tentative agreements were reached May 27 for educational assistants, and June 1 for teachers, according to a district press release.

“The association is very pleased that we have a tentative agreement to bring to our members,” Issaquah Education Association President Neva Luke said in an interview. “The bargaining teams of the district and the association made completing this important work a top priority and spent many, many hours working to achieve this settlement.”

Few details are known about the agreement, since it has yet to be ratified by the unions’ members and the school board.

Teachers were scheduled to meet June 8, after The Press’ deadline, to vote on the contract; the educational assistants will meet June 15.

If the contracts are approved, they will go to the school board for approval at an upcoming meeting. The next school board meetings are June 9 and 23.

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Goats return to Issaquah Highlands

June 8, 2010

Goats will arrive June 12 to landscape the Issaquah Highlands.

On the heels — or hooves, rather — of a successful goat landscaping effort last summer, the Issaquah Highlands Community Association rented ruminant landscapers again. Check the highlands website for more information.

Herds from Vashon Island and Eastern Washington chomped across highlands hillsides last summer. The goats ate Himalayan blackberry and other invasive plants, and kept grass in check.

Best Buy to replace La-Z-Boy

June 8, 2010

La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast will close by early July in the busy East Lake Center shopping complex anchored by Fred Meyer and The Home Depot. La-Z-Boy will clear out merchandise in a closeout sale.

But the space might not be empty for long. National electronics retailer Best Buy plans to open a store in the fall or early next year in the La-Z-Boy space and in the former Pacific Fabrics space next door. Best Buy and city officials announced the plan in February.

Issaquah families asked to report student ethnicity, race

June 8, 2010

Issaquah School District officials are asking families to voluntarily report their children’s race and ethnicity information through June 15.

“Each year, school districts in Washington are legally required to report student ethnicity and race data to the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen wrote in an e-mail. “Because federal and state lawmakers recently changed the reporting categories for this data, we need to completely update our records system.”

Families can report the information two ways: By accessing their Family Access account or by filling out an ethnicity and race reporting form.

There are two mandatory questions in the new reporting system. First, all students must be identified as either Hispanic/Latino or not Hispanic/Latino. Second, students must be identified by at least one racial category.

The new reporting system still places Hispanic/Latino and those of European origin in the “white” category.

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Mayor, deputy carve up tasks once handled by City Administrator Leon Kos

June 8, 2010

Since former City Administrator Leon Kos retired April 30, the portfolio he handled — countless behind-the-scenes tasks, appointments to regional groups and community service — has been carved up and redistributed to other city leaders.

Mayor Ava Frisinger picked up the Mountains to Sound Greenway and Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency commitments. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini, the acting city administrator, has taken on most of the everyday duties. Kos’ departure led the other members of the city administration to assume more hands-on roles in the budget process.

“We always were involved, but Leon led the charge,” Frisinger said.

The mayor said Meneghini has been especially helpful because he has a background in finance. Besides the budget process, the deputy administrator also keeps the city on track to meet the goals set by the City Council.

Kos handled the long-running transfer of development rights from the Park Pointe property to the Issaquah Highlands, as well as myriad agreements with developers and businesspeople. The mayor and Meneghini picked up those responsibilities.

“It does mean that you’re stretched in many different ways all of the time,” Meneghini said.

Frisinger and Meneghini can count on the increased workload until October, when the city expects to hire a new administrator.

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Police officers honored for anti-DUI program

June 8, 2010

King County honored four Issaquah police officers last week for efforts to make local and county roads safer.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Sheriff Sue Rahr honored Issaquah officers Andy Rohrbach, Ryan Raulerson, Brian Horn and Tom Griffith, as well as officers, deputies and troopers from 27 other local law enforcement agencies.

Issaquah Police officers Tom Griffith (left, in front row), Andrew Rohrbach (center) and Brian Horn (second from right in front row) join other law enforcement officers and King County Executive Dow Constantine (right, in front row) at a ceremony promoting road safety. Contributed

The honorees received plaudits for efforts to reduce drunken driving through the X-52 patrols — enhanced DUI enforcement. Rohrbach coordinates the DUI patrol emphasis for the Issaquah Police Department.

The number of deaths from crashes dropped to 94, on average, in 2007 and 2008 from the average of 118 deaths from 2002 to 2006. Preliminary data shows the number of fatalities dropped to 76 last year. King County has the lowest traffic fatality rate in Washington.

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Autoworks of Issaquah earns AAA Top Shop Award

June 8, 2010

Autoworks of Issaquah has been recognized as a AAA Top Shop.

Each year, AAA Washington evaluates the quality of repair work, courtesy of employees, and the shop cleanliness of each AAA Approved Auto Repair facility in Washington and northern Idaho.

Measured by customer satisfaction surveys and feedback, the “best of the best” earn a AAA Top Shop Award. The facilities that earn the honor typically have received customer satisfaction rates close to 100 percent during the past calendar year.

Before being eligible for a AAA Top Shop Award, Autoworks of Issaquah met the precise standards needed to be part of the AAA Approved Auto Repair network.

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