Locals step up to aid Haitians

January 26, 2010

Nine cafeteria tables are covered with baked goods provided by more than 300 Sunset Elementary families for the Sunset Kids for Haiti bake sale. World Vision, American Red Cross and Partners in Health were the charities selected to receive the $4,164 raised. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah community groups, churches and schools are stepping up to help Haiti.

Since Jan. 12, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the country, rescue and relief efforts have been sent from around the world amid recurring aftershocks, which have registered upward of 5.0 magnitude.

Haitian officials have recorded more than 70,000 deaths. However, they estimate the death toll may rise to nearly 200,000. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook.

Locally, Issaquah School District schools, like Sunset and Challenger elementary schools and Liberty High School, have raised thousands of dollars to help relief efforts in Haiti.

Challenger is accepting donations for the U.S. Fund for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for Haiti. Read more

College News

January 26, 2010

Issaquah resident earns scholarship from WWU Read more

Ahlers, Pilon

January 26, 2010

Julia Ahlers and Jason PilonJulia A. Ahlers and Jason F. Pilon, both of Issaquah, have announced their plans to be married April 24, 2010, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Read more

Racing to the Olympics

January 26, 2010

Racing to the Olympics Yina Moe-Lange, a 16-year-old Sammamish resident and former Skyline High School student, will compete in alpine ski events for Denmark in the Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning Feb. 12. Moe-Lange will race in the giant slalom Feb. 24 and the slalom Feb. 26. ‘At 16, I am not yet a medal contender,’ she said. ‘But this is an extremely important step in the furthering of my ski racing career. Ever since my childhood, I have dreamt of going to the Olympics and this is an opportunity not to be missed.’ Moe-Lange ran cross-country in middle school and for the Skyline High School team. She has also been involved with the Issaquah Gliders for years, both as a runner and as a volunteer assistant coach. Photo contributed

Bulldogs clobber Spartans in rematch

January 26, 2010

The Skyline High School boys basketball team suffered a big 66-55 loss to Garfield Jan. 22. The defeat came only four days after the Spartans beat the Bulldogs 48-40 in overtime at the King Holiday Hoopfest. Read more

To The Editor

January 26, 2010

School levies

Vote yes to provide an essential safety net in these troubled economic times Read more

Another Democrat joins race against GOP incumbent

January 26, 2010

Another Democrat has entered the race to unseat incumbent Glenn Anderson in the November election. Read more

2010: A Year for DREAMers?

January 26, 2010

By Tiffany Xu

Until he moved to Issaquah from El Paso, Texas, Josue Lopez crossed the Mexican border every day in order to attend El Paso High School.

Although a permanent resident of the United States, Lopez lived with his mother in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, because they could not afford the rent in Texas.

Every morning, he was dropped off at the Santa Fe Bridge, where he walked an additional 30 minutes to get to school.

“I’ve always appreciated my education,” Lopez said. “But my experience is nothing compared to what these kids have to go through every day.”

He is referring to the 65,000 undocumented students in the United States who graduate from high school every year. Children of parents who immigrated here illegally, such students cannot obtain permanent citizenship. Without Social Security numbers, undocumented high school graduates cannot receive governmental financial aid for college. They also cannot legally find jobs.

The solution could lie in the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (deemed the DREAM Act), introduced to Congress on March 26, 2009. Part of comprehensive immigration reform, the legislation seeks to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants ages 12-35.

High school graduates of “good moral character” who entered the country before age 16 and lived in the country for five years are eligible to apply.

Once approved, students must pursue at least two years of military service or higher education. After five and a half years, they would be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

José Vasquez, of the Latino Community Fund in Seattle and recent University of Washington graduate, sees the DREAM Act as the path toward closing the achievement gap between Latino and other students in the state.

He said the 16 percent high school dropout rate for Latinos in the state is directly related to a large percentage of them not gaining permanent citizenship.

“They feel that there is no purpose in graduating from high school,” he said.

Vasquez said he believes passage of the DREAM Act would change their mindsets. He’s not alone. With the influence of nonprofit student organizations, 10 states — including Washington — have passed bills to grant undocumented high school students in-state tuition for state universities.

Many sympathize with these DREAMers, who had little say in their parents’ decisions. Opposition views the legislation as encouraging further illegal immigration and robbing legal U.S. students of education assistance and opportunities.

“A lot of people are saying the DREAM Act provides amnesty for people who have broken the law,” Vasquez said. “Instead of punishing individuals for breaking the law, why not analyze the broken immigration system and see how we can fix this system?”

The debate over the DREAM Act and immigration reform continues in Congress. But the legislation’s outcome could be life changing for hundreds of thousands of undocumented high school students who will no longer attend school in vain.

what do STUDENTs Say?

“I’m afraid it might just cause more illegal immigration, which could have potentially negative economic effects.”

— Adam Cordova, IHS senior

“I don’t think that students should be deported. They should be allowed to finish their high school and college education here, but the government should not provide special financing for illegal immigrants.”

— Allison Bolgiano, LHS senior

“I think it’s a good idea to increase the educated working class, but the DREAM Act could also negatively increase illegal immigration. It’s hard to say what is beneficial in the long run.”

— Emma Myers, SHS senior

Off The Press

January 26, 2010

Community center’s youth mentors shine

Greg Farrar Press photographer

There’s nothing like wading into the frenetic craziness of more than 500 newly minted teenagers at districtwide middle school dances, like the one held Friday night at the Issaquah Community Center.

Hundreds of gyrating, cheering, talking kids crowd the dance floor. Rock and pop music is being played loudly enough to bust an eardrum. Rainbow and mirrored disco balls and strobes turn the darkened floor into a spectacular light show for the students. Music videos by their favorite bands generate screams that remind an older generation of Beatlemania!

It presents a timely opportunity to express appreciation to the people with Parks and Recreation, who put on events all year. Wonderful folks like Cathy Jones, Stephanie Shimek, Brian Berntsen and Ross Hoover have been working with kids as long as or longer than I’ve been working at The Press. Read more

Press Editorial

January 26, 2010

School levies deserve your attention, your vote

If your Feb. 9 election ballot is still sitting in a pile of unopened mail, dig it out and mail it in. The No. 1 concern with passing the levies is getting enough voters to care. If you have kids or grandkids in school or soon to be in school, you probably do care. If you don’t, then care anyway — because the kids in the neighborhood today don’t deserve any less of an education just because the economy is in turmoil. Read more

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