Math students calculate the best way to success

June 7, 2011

The Beaver Lake Middle School math team poses with awards after the 2011 Washington State Math Championship May 7 in Blaine. By Dennis Rogers

Eighth-grader Tommy Lin does not care if people call him a nerd because he likes math.

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Tastin’ n Racin’ events offer something for everyone

June 7, 2011

At about 9 a.m. June 11, the quiet atmosphere around Lake Sammamish State Park will be broken by the sounds of boat engines at the 15th annual Tastin’ n Racin.’

Tastin’ n Racin’ has become a popular Northwest event where the appetizers are on shore and the main course is served on the lake.

Racing begins at 9 a.m. June 11 and June 12. The menu of races features many boats from Northwest Limited Hydroplane Racing. Among the boats in action are 1 litre, 2.5 litre, 2.5 modifieds, 5 litre, national modified, Grand Prix and vintage hydros, superstock, pro-stock and the nostalgic flatbottom boats.

Fans of jet skis will be entertained by the Personal Watercraft races. There will be nearly 90 racers who will compete in a variety of events, including performance jumps, racing around ovals and maneuvering through obstacle courses.

The finals of the races, the KZOK 102.5 Cup, are set for June 12.

On shore, there will be exhibits of current and classic unlimited hydroplanes.

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Artists explore the soulful and mysterious

June 7, 2011

While they were looking at colleges last spring, Sammamish artist Ken Kisch and his daughter stopped their car at a graveyard in the middle of Baltimore.

Sammamish artist Andrea Prudente created ‘Surrender,’ an image of a woman floating in a room, for the art exhibit ‘Mysteries of the Soul.’ By Andrea Prudente

He found a limestone headstone that caught his interest, and he took a photo. When he learned artEAST Art Center and UP Front gallery were having a show titled “Mysteries of the Soul,” he was one of 30 artists who submitted a piece, and one of 10 to be displayed.

He called his tombstone photograph, “Ascension.”

“It’s a photograph of a gravestone with a tree positioned behind it,” he said. “The tree’s branches are coming up from behind and reaching up toward the sky.”

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Skyline High School students win National Merit Scholarships

June 7, 2011

Two Skyline High School Students — Saumya Copparam and Dipanwita Maulik — have won National Merit Scholarships, the National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced May 25.

Both students plan to attend the University of Southern California, where Copparam plans to study biology and medicine, and Maulik plans to study bioengineering.

Put in perspective, Copparam and Maulik are at the top of their game. Of the 1.5 million high school juniors who took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, only 16,000 were named as semifinalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

To compete for a scholarship, semifinalists submitted an application that included their academic records and an endorsement from a school official. Semifinalists also had to earn top SAT scores and write an essay about their extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions.

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Issaquah to get first Jewish preschool this fall

June 7, 2011

The Gani Preschool of the Art, the first Jewish preschool in Issaquah, will open its doors this fall.

Students will learn about their Jewish identity in addition to having lessons about art, movement, pre-writing and reading skills, and early math skills through hands-on learning taught by instructor Sharon Eichberg.

The preschool will serve children ages 3 to 5 and cost $6,500 per year for children attending five days a week. Less expensive rates are available for children attending two or three days a week. Class is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with an option for after care.

The bilingual English and Hebrew preschool is at the Chabad of the Central Cascades on the Issaquah Plateau, 24121 S.E. Black Nugget Road.

Learn more or register by calling Nechama Farkash at 427-1654, or email her at

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Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series continues June 11

June 7, 2011

The Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series continues June 11 with a seven-mile run.

Registration is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Sky Country trailhead off 166th Way Southeast. The race begins at 9 a.m., and awards and prizes are scheduled for 11 a.m.

The cost to participate is $35 in advance and $45 the day of the race. Seattle Running Club members receive a discount when they register in advance. Register at Click “Events” and “Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series.”

Of each racer’s fee, $15 goes toward King County park maintenance and improvements.

The series — in its ninth year — has raised more than $70,000 for King County Parks during the past eight years. Northwest Trail Runs and the Seattle Running Club sponsor the series.

The 2011 series began in May with a five-mile run, and it will continue July 9, Aug. 13 and Oct. 30 with a 10-, 13- and 31-mile race, respectively.

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Tastin’ n Racin’ keeps bringing in new hydroplane fans and keeps old ones hooked

June 7, 2011

During his early years in the 1950s and 1960s, Steve Compton would tie a wooden boat to a string, attach the string to a stick, and run up and down the west side of Lake Sammamish, watching his little boat hurtle through the water.

Steve Compton takes Duke Moscrip, owner of Duke’s Chowderhouse in Seattle, for a ride on Lake Sammamish during Tastin’ n Racin’ last year. By Julie A. Sparrowgrove

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have any professional sports in the city,” Compton said. “During the summer, the big event was the hydroplane race.”

All these years later, Compton is still involved with hydroplane racing. He and his crew are participating in the 15th annual Tastin’ n Racin’ celebrated on Lake Sammamish at the state park.

After graduating from Redmond High School in 1970, the Sammamish resident got involved with limited boat racing, a degree of hydroplane racing that is not as large, fast or as expensive as unlimited racing, such as at Seafair.

Compton worked with hydroplane repair crews. His family’s company, Compton Lumber Co., allowed him to flex his woodworking muscles, so he could easily fix boat hulls.

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Preston traffic stop uncovers drug cache

June 7, 2011

Police arrested a Seattle man toting marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and more than 200 Ecstasy tablets during a Preston traffic stop May 31.

The arrest occurred after a state trooper stopped a Honda Accord for illegally dark window tinting near milepost 22 along westbound Interstate 90 just before 11 a.m. The trooper smelled marijuana inside the Honda during the stop, and the driver allowed the officer to search inside the vehicle.

The trooper uncovered 216 Ecstasy tablets, 4.7 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 5 grams of marijuana, methamphetamine residue and drug paraphernalia, plus a .45-caliber handgun and $1,816 in American and Canadian currency.

Police arrested a 29-year-old passenger, Nehemiah Williams, for drug possession with intent to distribute. He remains in custody at the King County Jail after a judge denied him bail.

Meanwhile, the trooper notified the driver, a 54-year-old Seattle man, about the window tinting. The trooper said he “could not see inside the vehicle” and used a tint meter to determine whether the tinting met the legal requirement, Trooper Julie Startup said. Such dark tinting can pose a threat to officer safety, she added.

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Bellevue College appoints interim president

June 7, 2011

Former Bellevue College administrator Laura Saunders has been appointed as interim president for the institution.

The appointment came days after Bellevue College President Jean Floten announced plans to serve as chancellor of WGU Washington, the state’s online university.

Saunders is due to serve until a new president is in place. College trustees have started the process of hiring a firm to lead a nationwide search for a new leader.

Floten announced plans last year to build a campus in the Issaquah Highlands. The college has purchased land for a highlands campus, and although no construction timeline has been finalized, crews have started building the access road to the planned campus.

Saunders served as vice president of administrative services at Bellevue College from 2005 until she retired in 2008.

“She is known to Bellevue College’s faculty, administration and to some extent the students,” trustees Chairman Vijay Vashee said in a statement. “Her extensive background with the Washington community and technical college system will provide strong leadership and continuity for the college as we conduct our search for the permanent president. She will provide a smooth transition to the new administration.”

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Public invited to preview new English and science materials

June 7, 2011

The Issaquah School District is inviting the public to weigh in on upcoming curriculum changes for elementary school science and high school language arts.

Typically, the district updates curricula every seven years, but both subjects have had a longer wait, due to budget cuts. There were updates to the elementary school science curriculum in 2003 and to the high school language arts curriculum during a three-year period from 1999-2001.

The process for updating curricula is a long one, including gathering parent surveys, review by two committees, getting information from public input events and a fortnight of public preview.

Both curricula are available for view and public comment until June 22 at the district administration office, 565 N.W. Holly St.

After the public comment, the Issaquah School Board will vote to approve or reject the two curricula.

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