Gymnast springs to finish second at national trampoline championships

August 10, 2010

Ashleigh Thomas, an incoming Issaquah High School senior, performs at a nationally competitive level on the double-mini trampoline. Contributed

Ashleigh Thomas, an Issaquah High School senior, jumped, flipped, twisted and turned her way into second place on the double-mini trampoline at the USA Gymnastics Trampoline and Tumbling 2010 U.S. Elite Challenge at Virginia Beach in June.

Thomas finished her first meet as a senior-elite on the double-mini trampoline with 130.4 points and an invitation to the U.S. Nationals VISA Cup next month in Hartford, Conn., according to her mother Cathie Richardson. She has also earned points toward selection for the 2010 Senior National team that competes at the world championships.

Thomas began her gymnastics career at age 3, doing the traditional artistic gymnastics with bars, beams and floor routines. She decided to use trampolines to help her improve her floor skills, and ended up loving the trampoline and continued with it.

While trampoline is an Olympic event, double mini trampoline has yet to gain that status.

“It’s really a pretty good little sport,” Richardson said. “It’s really growing in popularity.”

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Enroll elementary students now for head count

August 10, 2010

Do you have an elementary school child who will attend an Issaquah School District school this year?

If so, district officials would like you to return the lime green enrollment postcard they sent to homes in mid-July.

The postcards help give the district an idea of how many students they can expect the first day of school to ensure they have enough teachers, and seats, at every grade level.

The first day of school is Aug. 31.

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Public input wanted in city administrator search

August 10, 2010

City leaders announced details late last week about the search to hire the next Issaquah city administrator.

Prothman — the Bellevue consultant conducting the search — received 50 applicants from candidates in 11 states. The firm then narrowed the list to the 27 people qualified for the position.

The city released the information Aug. 6.

Choosing the next administrator falls to Mayor Ava Frisinger. She plans to cut the list to six or seven finalists.

The finalists will then be invited to a community meeting Sept. 7. Read more

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City hosts park-planning picnic

August 10, 2010

Bring ideas to free Aug. 26 event

Head outside, grab a hot dog and offer ideas about the latest addition to the city parks system.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will host a picnic Aug. 26 for residents to share ideas about the downtown parks at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks.

The parks department planned the picnic for the 15.5-acre site in order for people to understand the terrain.

“We want people to see the land, walk the land, see the farmhouses and walk the creek to get a sense of it,” city Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said.

The city maintains the historic Anderson and Ek farmhouses and farm buildings at the parks site. Read more

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Swedish hits construction milestone

August 10, 2010

Shanthi Pathi, project assistant for Sellen Construction, smiles after adding her signature Aug. 6 on the final structural steel beam for the Swedish Medical Center office building and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

Crews completed a construction milestone at the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands last week, as a crane hoisted the last steel beam into place.

The piece completed the skeleton of the initial phase of the project, the medical office building. The campus, set to open in phases in July 2011 and 2012, will become the first new hospital in King County to open in 25 years.

During the Aug. 6 ceremony, hospital officials and construction workers signed the beam before a crane lifted the beam skyward.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and other dignitaries broke ground on the hospital in October. Plans call for the office portion to open next summer, followed by patient wings and hospital beds in 2012. The centerpiece of the hospital will be a light-filled atrium lined with food and retail vendors. Read more

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Backpacks, school supply donations needed

August 10, 2010

Help Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank clients get prepared to go back to school.

The food bank needs backpacks and school supplies for families unable to afford them. School begins in the Issaquah School District on Aug. 31.

A backpack filled with required supplies costs nearly $50 per student. The cost is even more for high school students who also need geometry sets and calculators.

Donations may be dropped off at the food bank, 179 First Ave. S.E., or at blue collection barrels at the Issaquah locations of Safeway, 735 N.W. Gilman Blvd.; Staples, 628 Front St. N.; Rite Aid, 1065 N.W. Gilman Blvd.; Walgreen’s, 6300 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.; Bartell Drugs, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.; Issaquah-Newport Way Storage, 795 N.W. Juniper St.; or The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S. Read more

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State suspends local ‘Judge Judy’ for ‘rude’ behavior

August 10, 2010

Judith Eiler

The state Supreme Court has suspended Judge Judith Eiler — the brusque King County District Court judge who has drawn comparisons to TV’s “Judge Judy” — from the bench without pay for rude behavior.

In a decision issued Aug. 5, Supreme Court justices ordered Eiler to be suspended for five days without pay. The judge used to preside at the Issaquah Courthouse, but has since been reassigned to a district courthouse in Seattle. Her caseload consists mostly of traffic infractions and small claims.

“Several litigants — and even some attorneys — reported being ‘embarrassed’ by Judge Eiler’s ‘degrading’ treatment, and feeling ‘mocked,’ ‘attacked’ and ‘uncomfortable’ in her courtroom,” Justice James Johnson wrote in the high court’s majority opinion.

Justices cited “voluminous testimony at trial documenting Judge Eiler’s rude, discourteous, undignified and demeaning treatment of the attorneys and pro se litigants who appeared before her, we find that clear, cogent, and convincing evidence” against her. Read more

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Press Editorial

August 10, 2010

School supplies needed for district’s students

The excitement of heading back to school — meeting a new teacher, seeing who will be in your class, wearing new school clothes — is only three weeks away. But for far too many children in the Issaquah School District, there won’t be new clothes. An even bigger worry is that these students won’t have the school supplies they need.

Most adults don’t remember the need to bring a long list of supplies to school. An old cigar box was helpful to store pencils in, but the school handed out the pencils and crayons on the first day of school. If there was an assignment not in a workbook, the teacher’s helper got to pass out paper. Construction paper folded in half made a cover for corrected homework, tests and student art.

That was then, when school funding meant books for every student, and all the rulers, pens and markers a student would need.

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Council seeks input on land swap, Issaquah Highlands changes

August 10, 2010

City leaders could allow 550 more residences to be built in the Issaquah Highlands in order to preserve a corner of Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School.

But before the deal can proceed, the City Council must agree to amend the longstanding development agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities.

Bring comments about the proposed change to a public hearing before the council Aug. 16.

The deal, a complicated transfer of development rights, aims to preserve about 140 forested acres — 102 acres at Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands.

Port Blakely owns 78 acres in unincorporated King County near Central Park. The proposed transfer calls for the developer to preserve 43 acres and allows dense construction on the remaining 35 acres. The city then intends to annex the 35-acre parcel. Read more

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Off The Press

August 10, 2010

* This story contains corrected information.

Tim Pfarr Press reporter

‘Getaway car’ has the latest technologies

When many people think of car technology, they think of a stereo, a wireless cell phone headset, a GPS and a car alarm. However, sit those people in Car Toys’ “getaway car,” and they will quickly see an entire world of auto technology they have been missing.

The car — a 2010 Honda CR-V donated by Bob Bridge Toyota* — may look ordinary on the outside, but inside it’s equipped with almost $4,000 worth of the latest gadgets that keep the driver, the car and others on the road safe.

“We’re wanting to promote driver safety,” said Kyle Brehm, Car Toys wholesale and commercial district manager, who visited the Issaquah store with the car July 30.

“There are a lot of distractions out there on the road, and there are tools on any budget to help you be a safer driver,” he said.

Among the handy gadgets inside are a $40 Samsung WEP470 Bluetooth headset, a $90 Blue Ant S4 Bluetooth speakerphone that clips to a visor and a $300 Parrot MKI9200 Bluetooth system that links with the car’s audio system and mutes music when a call is received.

Of course, the Bluetooth mac daddy is the $1,800 Kenwood DNX9960 that has all the previously listed features plus a stereo, GPS and DVD player, although the latter only works when the car is stopped. Read more

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