Issaquah looks to improve 2009’s surprise success

March 23, 2010

Soccer preview

Quinn Grisham, of Issaquah, leaps up to plant his head on the soccer ball during a match in April 2009. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team was one of the biggest surprises in the 4A KingCo Conference last spring. Issaquah, an also-ran the previous year, reached the state playoffs for the first time.

The Eagles, however, are not satisfied with last season. They have even higher goals for this spring.

“The team wants to win the league title, and even the state championship,” Issaquah coach Jason Lichtenberger said.

But getting through the rugged KingCo could be a challenge. Read more

Robert John Laughlin

March 23, 2010

Robert John Laughlin, an Issaquah resident since 1992, died Wednesday, March 17, 2010. He was 90. Read more

Conservation district voters elect new board member

March 23, 2010

King Conservation District voters elected Renton resident Max Prinsen, a conservation district associate supervisor and the president of a wetland-conservation group, to the district board last week. Read more

Rescuers need help to find lost dogs taken from Eastern Washington home

March 23, 2010

A pair of dogs rescued from deplorable conditions from a Deer Park home escaped from foster care last week at a house between Issaquah and Preston. Now, rescuers need help to find the lost dogs. Read more

Chick rodeo roundup

March 23, 2010

Patrick Baker uses a gentle touch to round up five chicks March 20 at The Grange during the Chick Day giveaway. Grange employee Baker was working his first ‘chick rodeo’ for families who received five free chicks with any purchase that included chick feed. See video of the event at By Greg Farrar

Choking is a deadly ‘game’

March 23, 2010

Alex Tucker

There are many activities that high school students are told to abstain from. Teens are advised against smoking, doing drugs, skipping school and other destructive behaviors.

One dangerous trend that is not often covered, though, is a deadly activity teenagers have dubbed ‘the choking game.’

This is the practice of cutting off blood flow to the brain to achieve a natural high. The key is for the person to release pressure from their neck just before they pass out. But too many teens have died from not freeing themselves soon enough. This ‘game’ is often played with friends and, even more risky, alone.

This ‘game’ has been going on for many years, but the recent use of bonds such as ropes or ties has contributed to its growing fatality rate, in addition to more kids doing it alone. The organization Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play, also known as G.A.S.P., estimates that between 250 and 1,000 teens die each year from the choking game, but statistics are hard to track, because many are reported as suicides.

A place that has experienced firsthand the deadly effects of the choking game is Issaquah High School. On March 30, 2009, the choking game took the life of Issaquah sophomore Kevin Tork. As a student with good grades and a dedication to learning, his death came as a shock to many students.

“I sat next to him in math, and when I came into school one day to find that he was gone, it just blew me away,” junior Hayley Vickers said. “It was very unexpected, because he was the last person I would ever think would go that way.”

Perhaps the most frightening part of this growing trend is easy access to instructions. Sites such as YouTube explain in detail how to play the choking game, and the lightheartedness shown in the videos only encourages teens to try it. The videos do not discuss the immense risk and danger of it; they only portray the choking game as being fun.

The choking game is not an activity to be taken lightly, and the consequences of participating in this immensely dangerous ‘game’ can be devastating.

Off The Press

March 23, 2010

Brackets: Not just for office betting pools

Greg Farrar Press photographer


If necessity is the mother of invention, if desperation breeds creativity, maybe today’s column is the proof. In a panic on deadline for something to write about, maybe the humble thought I’ve just had is a stroke of genius.

Thank you, NCAA tournament! Thank you, my disorganized life! Combine the two, mix well, and behold, the invention of Bracketology Organization!

How many chores around the house are piled up undone for me to do? Oh, I don’t know, maybe 50 or 60, or even… 64! The four first-seed chores could be rebuilding the driveway, cleaning out the garage, building the fence and installing the new flooring. Read more

Roll Call

March 23, 2010

Y = Yes, N = No, E = Excused, X = Not Voting

Senate Bill 6696 creates an accountability framework for the state’s education system. The bill would require the superintendent of public instruction to enact an accountability system for school districts where persistently low-achieving schools are located. Additionally, the act establishes a four-level rating system to evaluate teachers and principals, which includes measurements of effectiveness in such areas as teaching practices and fostering a safe learning environment. The House amended the bill adding additional provisions including the use of federal funds for implementation of required action plans, requiring a report on recommendations for a single statewide assessment standard and plans to increase the number of teachers in math and sciences. The House passed it 72- 25. It’s before the governor for signature. Read more

Press Editorial

March 23, 2010

‘Blueprint’ purports to reshape government

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently unveiled his “blueprint for reform” to reshape the way King County government operates. It’s a step in the right direction, but it will take more than words to make us believers. Read more

Sports Calendar

March 23, 2010

Adult Sports

Issaquah Alps Trail Club

– March 26, 10 a.m., Dogs Welcome Hike, 4-5 miles, 600-1,000 gain. Call 206-322-0990 … March 27, 9:30 a.m., West Tiger, 9.5 miles, 3,700 gain. Call 281-8465 … March 28, 10 a.m., Coal Creek history hike, 1.5 miles, 150 gain. Call 453-8997. Read more

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