Skyline High School downs Garfield in soccer battle

March 30, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. March 30, 2011

The Skyline High School boys soccer team won an early showdown with host Garfield on Tuesday when the Spartans posted a 4-2 victory in Memorial Stadium.

Last year the two teams tied for first place in the 4A KingCo Conference and later met in league tournament championship game, which was won by Garfield.

Kyle Olmstead and Travis Strawn each had a goal and an assist for Skyline, which handed Garfield its first loss of the season.

Braxton Griffin and Jason Twaddle scored Skyline’s other goals.

With the victory, Skyline went to 2-0-1 in league play and moved into first place in the league standings. The Spartans are 5-0-2 overall. Garfield went to 1-1-0 in league and 5-1-0 for the season.

In other action, Issaquah suffered its first loss of the season when the Eagles lost to host Inglemoor 3-1.

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Little League opening day / March 26, 2011

March 30, 2011

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County honors Issaquah district schools as Earth Heroes

March 30, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2011

King County is honoring Grand Ridge Elementary School — plus teachers, a student, and a staff member from across the Issaquah School District — as Earth Heroes at School.

The annual honor highlights schools and people for contributions to environmental protection and student environmental education. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Solid Waste Division announced the 2011 honorees Wednesday.

“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”

Grand Ridge Elementary recorded a 35-percent recycling rate last year.

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Salmon in the Classroom reaches crossroads

March 29, 2011

Clark Elementary School students (from left) Callie Mejia, 10, Hannah Halstead, 10, Jackson Rubin, 10, and Caelan Varner, 11, take turns feeding the coho salmon fry growing in the science room aquarium. By Greg Farrar

Questions remain about start-up costs, permits

For a Clark Elementary School class, raising coho salmon from eggs no larger than a BB pellet to miniscule fish is part lesson, part ritual.

Students traipse down the hallway from class to the aquarium in a science room in the morning, again at lunchtime and before the last bell rings in the afternoon. Using a small spatula, students scoop salmon food — a coarse substance similar to dirt in color and texture — into the aquarium.

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City preserves Tiger Mountain forest in historic milestone

March 29, 2011

Park Pointe protection occurs after years long effort to stop proposed construction

By Dona Mokin

The long-running saga to preserve Park Pointe — a slice of Tiger Mountain forest near Issaquah High School — ended late March 24, after more than a decade of public and behind-the-scenes negotiations to halt construction of hundreds of houses once proposed for the land.

The tradeoff: Under the agreement, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead, and, as a result, preserved more than 140 acres in the process.

“I think that this will transform the community in a very, very positive way,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said, minutes after the deal closed. “It has the three elements of sustainability. It has the environment — the environmental protection and preservation. It has a huge social element. It has economic vitality benefits as well.”

The historic conservation effort is part of a complicated transfer of development rights.

City planners and officials shepherded the agreement through the arduous process after Frisinger outlined the landmark opportunity to preserve Park Pointe in late 2008.

In the years since, representatives from the city, highlands developer Port Blakely Communities and other partners pursued the project until the recession scuttled the developer behind the proposed Park Pointe development.

Since a Seattle bank foreclosed on the land from the defunct developer last March, the preservation effort lurched into gear. Issaquah and King County officials adopted a series of agreements late last year to advance the process.

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Congressman, school board discuss education law

March 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert listens to school board members discuss the No Child Left Behind law March 25. By Laura Geggel

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and school board members from six different districts, including the Issaquah School District, met March 25 to discuss the problems swirling around the No Child Left Behind federal law.

In Washington, no school district larger than 6,100 students is meeting standards required by No Child Left Behind, Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz said.

“This is an issue that I’ve heard over and over and we just can’t seem to make any progress on it,” said Reichert, a federal representative for the 8th Congressional District, an area including Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside and South King County cities through rural Pierce County.

During the meeting, Reichert, R-Auburn, and the school board members agreed that No Child Left Behind needs reform.

No Child Left Behind uses data from standardized test scores in reading and math. In Washington, the tests are called the Measurement of Student Progress, for grades three through eight, and the High School Proficiency Exam, for sophomores.

If a school fails to meet standard in one of the 37 subgroups, it is listed as failing. Schools receiving federal Title I funds for low-income students that do not meet AYP must notify their parents and could face sanctions. For instance, depending on how many years a school has missed AYP, it must give students the option of moving to another school within the district and paying for their transportation.

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Legendary rocker offers hope for Japan

March 29, 2011

Japan ‘embraced The Ventures like no other’

The walls almost groan beneath a Fort Knox of framed gold records.

Inside a house on the Sammamish Plateau, amid a museum-quality collection of rock ‘n’ roll history, Don Wilson offered encouragement to people in catastrophe-stricken Japan.

Wilson, a cofounder of the seminal band The Ventures and a Sammamish resident, reached out March 23 to people impacted by the earthquake, tsunami and still-unfolding nuclear crisis in the island nation.

Don Wilson, of The Ventures (left), prepares to deliver a message of sympathy to be broadcast in Japan as videographers Holland Hume and Justin Peterson prepare to record several takes. By Greg Farrar

The Ventures, unlike perhaps any foreign musicians before, enraptured Japan in the early 1960s and have remained popular in the decades since.

Because the band is revered in Japan, NHK, the largest public-TV network on the island nation, reached out to Wilson to offer a message of encouragement to millions of viewers.

So, a crew set up cameras and lights amid the rock ‘n’ roll history, to capture a brief message from the unofficial ambassador to Japan.

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Skyline High School cheer coach dies

March 29, 2011

Tamara “Tammy” Fox, the assistant cheer coach at Skyline High School, died March 20, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fox, a 31-year-old Issaquah resident, was found dead in her home. Authorities are still working on a toxicology report to determine the cause of death, according to the medical examiner’s office.

A 1998 graduate of Liberty High School, Fox danced on the drill team her freshman year and cheered for three years as a member of Liberty’s cheerleading squad. Her classmates awarded her the honor of having the most school spirit in her senior year and she was a member of Signet, Liberty’s senior service club.

Tammy Fox

Liberty principal’s secretary Kathy Schroeder knew Fox from the cheer squad and from her work as an office teacher’s assistant.

“She was a great gal,” Schroeder said. “I’m just heartbroken.”

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Liberty High School picks a new assistant principal

March 29, 2011

Sean Martin, the Skyline High School dean of students and International Baccalaureate coordinator, has a new job at Liberty High School.

This summer, he will start his new position as Liberty High School assistant principal.

Martin replaces Bernie Gibson, who is retiring. Donna Hood will continue as Liberty’s other assistant principal.

Martin has taught not only in Issaquah but also in Turkey. He earned his master’s degree in teaching from the University of Washington in 2001, and began teaching English and history at Skyline that fall. In 2003, he moved to Turkey, first teaching at Tarsus American College and later at an international school, Bilkent University Preparatory School.

In Turkey, he led his students in a Model United Nations program, traveling to Istanbul, The Hague and the Netherlands.

“Teaching internationally was a wonderful experience, allowing me to travel and learn a great deal about the people, cultures and history of several areas of the world,” he said.

He returned to Skyline in 2008. In 2010, he earned his principal certification from the UW Danforth Educational Leadership Program.

He said he would miss teaching at Skyline, but looked forward to his new job as a Patriot.

“Looking to next year at Liberty High School, I am very excited to become a part of the school community,” he said. “The most enjoyable elements of teaching for me have always been the connections that I build with students, staff and parents, and I look forward to continuing this as an assistant principal.”

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Apply to represent council district on King County boards

March 29, 2011

Issaquah and Sammamish residents can apply to represent King County Council District 3 on county advisory boards.

County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the District 3 representative, urged people to apply for open seats on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Administrative Board, Mental Health Advisory Board and Women’s Advisory Board.

The alcohol and substance abuse panel recommends policies and programs related to prevention, intervention and rehabilitation. The mental health board focuses on the access and quality of mental health services in the county. The women’s group makes recommendations to the county executive and council to ensure the county meets the needs and rights of women.

Interested people should contact Grace Reamer at 206-296-0331 or

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