Scholarship fund named for former city clerk

July 27, 2010

Legendary City Clerk Linda Ruehle — already immortalized with a statue near City Hall — has been honored again.

Ruehle, the Issaquah city clerk for 27 years, died in 2005. During her tenure as a city employee, she earned admiration for her skill and her voluminous knowledge of city ordinances.

To honor Ruehle, the King County Municipal Clerks Association recently agreed in a 25-0 decision to name a scholarship fund after her. The city announced the fund July 21.

Details will be defined in the months ahead, but the Linda Ruehle Washington Municipal Clerks Association Fall Academy Scholarship Fund will consist of two scholarships per year.

Before she retired in June 2001, Ruehle served as a leader of the association.

Not long after she retired, the city honored her with the cast-aluminum bench across East Sunset Way from City Hall. The bench — supported by aluminum facsimiles of ordinance books — features a life-sized representation of the former city clerk.

Assault trial set for July 29 for Seahawks’ Leroy Hill

July 27, 2010

The prosecutor in the domestic violence case against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill has concerns about contact between the NFL player and the woman involved in the incident.

Hill, 27, appeared in Issaquah Municipal Court on July 23 as a trial nears for a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the April incident. Judge N. Scott Stewart set a July 29 trial, which should last two days.

Issaquah police said Hill attacked his girlfriend April 10. The woman told police Hill had pulled her by her hair down a set of stairs at his Talus home.

Hill has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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Report: State is prepared to help children in disasters

July 27, 2010

Washington ranks as a national leader for protecting children during disasters, a national child advocacy group announced July 21.

Save the Children — a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization — lauded the Evergreen State for taking steps to protect children. The state developed plans to evacuate childcare centers, reunite children with their families, account for children with special needs during disasters and develop evacuation plans for schools.

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High school students get new chemistry curriculum

July 27, 2010

Issaquah School District high schoolers will come back to their science laboratories this fall with a new chemistry book.

Issaquah School Board members unanimously voted to adopt the textbook “Chemistry 2008,” by Prentice Hall, at their July 14 meeting.

The new curriculum cost about $120,000 and was paid for with money donated to the district by the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

The curriculum replaces one the district has used for more than 14 years. While the science of chemistry hasn’t changed in that time, the best methods for teaching it has, district spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said.

The new books are more hands-on, she said, with more inquiry, deep-thinking problems and new laboratory experiments for students to do.

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Park Pointe development swap raises questions

July 27, 2010

Issaquah Highlands would absorb density

Issaquah Highlands residents raised questions last week about a proposed deal to preserve Tiger Mountain land near Issaquah High School and, in turn, allow more residences to be built in the highlands.

The city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities hosted a July 28 open house about the proposed transfer of development rights — a long-running effort to keep the forested Park Pointe site undeveloped.

The open house — hosted at Blakely Hall by highlands visionary Judd Kirk and Keith Niven, city Major Development Review Team program manager — covered familiar territory.

The transfer aims to prohibit development on about 140 forested acres — 102 acres at Park Pointe and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands. The deal aims to allow 500 additional residences in the highlands. The city hopes to complete the swap by December.

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Governor seeks residents’ budget ideas

July 27, 2010

The governor has asked regular Joes and Janes to help shape the state budget.

Gov. Chris Gregoire launched a website July 19 to allow citizens to share, comment and vote on budget ideas. State budget writers will consider the highest-rated items as they toil to develop a 2011-13 spending plan. Weigh in on the state budget here.

Ideas will be posted between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The site will be moderated; no profane or vulgar postings will be accepted.

The state could face a $3 billion shortfall next year. Deep cuts to spending and possible privatization of some state services — such as Washington State Ferries — could become a reality as state leaders pinch pennies.

“Closing our state’s budget gap requires innovative thinking as well as making some tough decisions,” Gregoire said in a news release. “This interactive website gives people an opportunity to share ideas and engage in a discussion about what ideas might work best for us. I’m eager to hear what people have to tell us.”

Virginia Mason hosts free prostate screenings

July 27, 2010

Virginia Mason Medical Center is hosting a free prostate screening in Issaquah on July 30.

More than 55 million American men face the risk of prostate cancer, and early detection is important.

Virginia Mason, in partnership with ZERO: The Project to End Prostate Cancer, will host the event from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at its Issaquah campus, 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

The screening is free, confidential and does not require an appointment or health insurance.

Virginia Mason providers will staff the screening and volunteers will be on hand to explain the process and answer any patient questions.

The screening consists of a simple blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood test and an optional physical exam. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, a Virginia Mason news release said.

Results are confidential and will be sent to patients in three to four weeks by ZERO. Patients with high PSA scores should follow up with their healthcare providers.

Additional health information for men and women will be available at the event.

Expect Interstate 90 lane closures near Issaquah

July 27, 2010

Plan ahead for lane closures on Interstate 90 east and west of Issaquah, due to state Department of Transportation projects.

The agency plans to close the left lane on eastbound I-90 from West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast to 192nd Avenue Southeast in Bellevue from 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. for guardrail work. The closures run through the morning of July 30.

During the closures, DOT crews will replace existing sections of low-tension cable barrier with high-tension cable barrier.

The updated barrier should be easier to maintain. The increased tension holds the cable taut even if some posts get knocked down. Federal stimulus money paid for the $9 million statewide project.

Expect I-90 lane closures east of Issaquah, too.

Crews will close a single lane on westbound I-90 from High Point to Preston from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. to clear trees through July 30.

The closures will occur so the transportation agency can continue work on a gravel trail — and important Mountains to Sound Greenway connector — near the interstate.

Off the Press

July 27, 2010

A hair-raising tale that will have you seeing red

The instant I popped out of my mother and into the delivery room, the nurse told my parents they had a redheaded daughter.

“Really?” my father asked, looking at my dark-haired mother and fingering his own dark waves. He said it was hard to tell because I was almost bald, but the nurse insisted it was red.

Now, thankfully, I have more hair, and yes, it has a red hue. So, it was exciting when I received one of my more curious news assignments this month: covering the Redheads and More Redheads Guinness World Record event at Skyline High School in Sammamish.

There were 901 thrilled redheads at Skyline, and though the most excited one of all, local photographer Anne Lindsay, wasn’t a natural ginger, she made up for it with her enthusiasm.

Lindsay called me the week before the occasion, proclaiming, “I’ll only talk to you if you have red hair,” before saying hello. I liked her immediately.

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KIDSTAGE explores race in ‘Ragtime’

July 27, 2010

Nick Johnson (left), Jordon Bolden, Aaron Johnson, Madison Willis and Robert Poole perform the "Gettin' Ready Rag" with the many other 18-and-under cast members in a rehearsal for the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of "Ragtime." By Greg Farrar

The power and drama of the American experience at the turn of the 20th century unfolds on Village Theatre’s Mainstage as aspiring young actors from the theater’s KIDSTAGE program present “Ragtime” July 31 – Aug. 8.

Tackling issues of poverty and wealth, hope and despair, and freedom and prejudice, the musical unfolds as a story told from the perspectives of three very different families living in post-industrial America.

One of the show’s main characters, Harlem musician Coalhouse Walker Jr., is faced with racism as he tries to make a career for himself as an artist.

The show is a challenge for young actors, because it deals with a wide variety of issues that allows them to stretch their abilities, said Renton resident Jordan Bolden, 16, who plays Walker.

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