Local residents celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death

May 3, 2011

Issaquah residents set off fireworks late May 1 upon hearing President Barack Obama announce the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in a military operation.

The impromptu celebrations could be heard near Klahanie and in downtown Issaquah as residents celebrated almost a decade after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Police did not respond to any fireworks-related calls during the celebrations.

Usually, Issaquah Police Department officers issue a verbal warning for fireworks and confiscate them on a first offense. If police catch revelers putting off fireworks again, a citation is issued.

King County limits putting off fireworks in unincorporated areas to Independence Day and New Year’s Eve.

John Traeger decides against another City Council term

May 3, 2011

Candidate Paul Winterstein enters race for seat

Paul Winterstein

The race for another City Council seat launched last week, as John Traeger opted not to run for re-election and Human Services Commission Chairman Paul Winterstein announced plans to campaign for the seat.

Traeger, elevated to the council in 2007, decided to step down after a single term. Since early 2010, the Squak Mountain resident has served as council president, the top spot on the board.

“With my term on council such a personally rewarding experience, it was a difficult decision to return to private life,” he said in a statement released April 28.

Traeger, a technology consultant, said he intends to make his career a top priority after his term ends Dec. 31.

“While after my term I will be turning more of my focus to my professional responsibilities, I look forward to continuing to be involved in serving the citizens of our community,” he said.

The council president also endorsed Winterstein in the race for the Position 6 seat.

“Through his work as chair of the city’s Human Services Commission, advocacy for transportation options, and continuous outreach to and volunteering with local aid groups, Paul has been a tireless contributor to our community,” Traeger said. “I am grateful to my supporters and especially my wife Annette for helping me with a successful term.”

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State superintendent calls for more effective evaluations

May 3, 2011

Washington’s teacher and principal evaluations are about to get a makeover.

Results from the 2010 evaluations were released April 6. Of the 295 school districts in the state, 289 of them participated in the federally mandated survey.

The majority of districts doing the survey, including the Issaquah School District, allowed evaluators only two options: satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Given those options, most educators received a satisfactory rating, with 59,022 of 59,481 teachers, and 2,578 of 2,619 principals, getting a good check. Those numbers mirror national data, a news release from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn called the evaluations a “great first step,” but said more needed to be done.

“Evaluations are a national issue,” he said in the news release. “In Washington, we’ve had the same evaluation system for more than 25 years. Judged by today’s standards, the system is neither fair nor meaningful. We need a system that looks at performance in multiple ways. The work we’re doing now will get to that point, and I think other states will look to us as a model.”

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Skyline edges rival Eastlake, 8-7

May 3, 2011

Matt Lunde, Skyline High School junior pitcher, throws to an Eastlake batter in the bottom of the second inning to got himself out of a bases-loaded jam. Lunde was the winning pitcher in the 8-7 victory. By Christopher Huber

If the Spartan’s junior outfielder Clayton Huber had not been hit by a pitch in the top of the sixth inning, the Eastlake High School baseball team might have had a better chance to win.

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Bragging rights will be on the line at track tri-meet

May 3, 2011

District bragging rights will be on the line May 5 when the Liberty, Skyline and Issaquah high school track and field teams tangle at 4 p.m. in a regular-season ending meet in Issaquah’s Gary Moore Stadium.

Mike Baba, of Issaquah High School, aims his javelin-winning heave of 164 feet, 6 inches during the track and field meet April 28 against Eastlake. By Greg Farrar

Many athletes will use the meet to tune up for next week’s KingCo Conference championships at Juanita High School. However, head coaches for the three schools will still put together competitive lineups for the Issaquah District Meet, which annually showcases some of the top athletes in the state.

Certainly one of the headliners at this year’s meet will be Skyline’s Kasen Williams, who has the state’s best high jump at 6 feet, 11 inches and top triple jump at 48-3. Williams won the high jump and long jump April 30 at the Shoreline Invitational.

All three teams were in action last week and had some strong performances.

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Maple Hills Elementary students create giant glass curtains

May 3, 2011

Maple Hills Elementary School student Rianna Belaire (left) reaches for a glass chip while Mikayla Jaeger creates a multicolored mosaic on her glass tile for a schoolwide art project. By Laura Geggel

The kindergartners got the color red. First-graders decorated with blue. Second-graders used orange.

For a schoolwide art project, Maple Hills Elementary School students are creating giant, glass color-coded curtains that will greet visitors passing by the office.

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Liberty golfers take down Juanita

May 3, 2011

The Liberty High School girls golf team took down the Juanita Rebels, 148-170, during its final home match of the year at Maplewood Golf Course April 27.

Alex DuVall, Liberty High School junior, hits her golf ball and some rain water toward the green of the par-4, 285-yard ninth hole April 27. By Greg Farrar

However, the match — which marked Liberty’s senior night — was cut short after pounding rain and swirling winds caused one golfer to lose hold of her club midswing and throw it 30 feet, nearly into a water hazard.

Scores were only recorded through six holes instead of the standard nine.

Liberty junior Alex DuVall and senior Molly Culwell led the way for the Patriots, recording scores of 28 and 29, respectively, on the par-23 six holes. Both were in the first group to take to the course; it was the only group able to complete all nine holes. Had all nine holes been recorded, DuVall would have shot a 45 on the par-36, and Culwell would have shot a 47.

“That might have tied Alex’s personal best, and it would have been Molly’s personal best. Their drives were straight, long,” Liberty head coach Michelle Warlick said. “I can’t imagine what people are going to think when they see these scores posted.”

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Wolves get lone goal in 1-0 win over Spartans

May 3, 2011

In the 50th minute of play April 26, Eastlake High School head coach Adam Gervis benched senior Sawyer Preston.

Pedro Miola (2), Skyline High School junior midfielder, leaps to avoid sliding Eastlake senior midfielder Chris Discolo during the first half of their April 26 soccer match. By Greg Farrar

The midfielder needed some time to settle down and rethink his strategy against league rival Skyline. It had been an up-and-down match, with opportunities for both teams shifting like the gusty wind.

“He was trying to do too much,” Gervis said.

Preston returned to the action in the 67th minute with a new attitude — he later thanked Gervis for the time-out. And three minutes later Preston scored the game’s only goal.

“He adjusted, did what he needed to do, and led the team,” Gervis said. “When he went back on, he was a different player. He controlled the game.”

The Eastlake Wolves handed Skyline its first loss of the season with a 1-0 win. Eastlake improved to 6-1-1 in KingCo (7-3-2 overall) and Skyline went to 6-1-1 (10-1-2 overall). The victory created a three-way tie for first place in the KingCo 4A standings between Eastlake, Garfield and Skyline.

“This was a must-win for us,” Gervis said. “But we have more work to do.”

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Issaquah soccer blitzes Bothell and Ballard

May 3, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team stayed in the running for the regular-season 4A KingCo Conference title last week by posting two victories.

Michael Roberts and Alex Shane each scored two goals April 26 as Issaquah blitzed host Bothell, 5-1, in Pop Keeney Stadium.

Shane put the Eagles ahead with an unassisted goal at the third minute. Roberts, assisted by Shane, scored 10 minutes later as the Eagles went ahead for good.

On April 30, Issaquah downed host Ballard, 4-1. Shane had a goal and two assists to lead the Eagles, who trailed 1-0 at halftime. Roberts had a goal and an assist.

Shane tied the game in the 66th minute. Akash Ramachandran, assisted by Cooper Fry, put Issaquah ahead to stay at the 69th minute.

Issaquah improved its league record to 6-2-1. The Eagles trail Skyline, Garfield and Eastlake, all tied for the top spot, by just three points entering this week’s final round.

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Press Editorial

May 3, 2011

Teachers should not be exempt from evaluations

Last week, the Issaquah School District handed out a number of layoff notices to its education staff. Owing to state law, the newest teachers are the first to go.

The Legislature is considering changing that law to allow teacher layoffs based on performance, not seniority. The idea is good. The system where teacher layoffs are based on seniority needs to go.

Teachers’ union representatives often say there is no objective way to measure a teacher’s performance. In effect, they are saying it is not possible for administrators to determine who is a good teacher and who is bad.

Who are they kidding?

Every other profession in America manages to rate itself. In every office, supervisors rate the people who report to them. They establish performance criteria and judge how well the employee performs. In a well-run company, the system is reliable and predictable.

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