Skyline, Issaquah football teams size up next opponents

November 1, 2011

The Skyline and Issaquah high school football teams, both hoping to reach the Dec. 3 state title game in the Tacoma Dome, take the first step Nov. 4 when they enter the preliminary round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Skyline, 6-3, will host Monroe at 7 p.m. while Issaquah, 7-2, travels to southwest Washington and meets Skyview in Vancouver’s Kiggins Bowl.

Both Skyline and Issaquah won their crossover games last week.

Skyline rolled by Roosevelt, 45-14, Oct. 29 in Seattle’s Memorial Stadium. The Spartans shot to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Sean McDonald booted two field goals and quarterback Max Browne connected with Andrew Giese on a 42-yard touchdown pass.

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Issaquah Eagles football team advances to face Skyview

November 1, 2011

Reed Peterson, Issaquah High School junior wide receiver, stares down Inglemoor senior linebacker Anthony Moretti after a reception from quarterback Ethan Kalin. By Greg Farrar

After a decisive 40-24 victory in a must-win game over the Inglemoor High School Vikings on Oct. 28, the Issaquah Eagles advance to the preliminary round of the Class 4A state football playoffs this week.

“We tell the guys that we have to earn every week of practice,” Issaquah coach Chris Bennett said. “The Inglemoor players wanted to win just as bad as we did … and we’re really lucky that we’ve earned an extra week.”

The game was a loser-out contest and could have been Issaquah’s last of the season.

“We try to put too much on it,” Bennett said. “Over the last three years we’ve made some pretty deep playoff runs, and we just talk about getting better.”

The Eagles started out strong, as senior quarterback Ethan Kalin completed a hand-off to sophomore running back Jack Gellatly for Issaquah’s first score on the night just two minutes into the first quarter.

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Issaquah nursing center tees up adapted putt putt golf

November 1, 2011

Jennifer Sarzillo (left) gets a little help from Bill Perry in using a specialized putter from her wheelchair to make a golf shot. By Greg Farrar

When new resident Don Varney approached the makeshift tee, Bill Perry apparently thought he had an old pro on his hands.

Perry quickly took away Varney’s normal putter and introduced him to “BOB,” which in this case stands for “Ball on Ball.”

Basically, BOB is a metal golf ball on the end of a golf club, something golf professionals use to practice putting, according to Perry. When he’s out and about helping the mobility-impaired take on his highly portable putting green, Perry said he uses BOB to trip up the ringers, or the wise guys, as he put it.

Incidentally, Varney later said he was not really a golfer, or at least hadn’t been in a very long time. Giving folks a chance to swing a club again is one aim of Perry, who takes his traveling golf show all around the Puget Sound area to spots such as the Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he landed in late October.

A certified golf instructor as well as longtime owner of his own sales and marketing company in Bellevue, Perry launched Just Putt’n Around Golf in 2007. The idea is straightforward: make putting accessible to seniors and the mobility-challenged. There are a few keys to having that happen.

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Bugs and plants create excitement about fourth-grade science

November 1, 2011

Rachel Lee (left), Caleb McDonald, Hailey Warren and Brian Chan (hidden, right), four of Grand Ridge Elementary School teacher Becky Rappin’s fourth-grade students, make observations on their terrarium after placing isopods — common pill bugs —in the soil. By Greg Farrar

When Becky Rappin asks who might want to help transport crickets, there is no shortage of volunteers. Hands go up all around Rappin’s fourth-grade classroom at Grand Ridge Elementary School.

The crickets are just one element in the students’ study of ecosystems, that study being part of the new science curriculum implemented this year at elementary schools throughout the Issaquah School District.

“There’s a lot of excitement about this program,” Rappin said. “There is just so much hands on, it gets kids thinking and observing.”

Parent volunteer Lisa Porter said students put together from scratch the terrariums and aquariums lined up at the back of Rappin’s classroom. The first step was washing out the plastic bottles that are the basic components.

With the cone-shaped top half of the bottles removed, the bottoms of bottles were filled with dirt, and students planted alfalfa, rye and mustard plants. There are also leaves scattered in the makeshift terrariums.

On this day, for the first time, students will be adding live insects — isopods or potato bugs and the already mentioned crickets — to the terrariums. Also made out of the bottom half of bottles, small aquariums already have residents including plants, pond snails and mosquito fish or guppies.

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Washington’s minimum wage to rise to highest in nation

November 1, 2011

Washington’s minimum wage is due to increase Jan. 1 to $9.04 per hour — the highest state minimum wage in the nation.

The state Department of Labor & Industries announced the 37-cent per hour increase Sept. 30. The agency calculates the state minimum wage each year.

The recalculation is required under Initiative 688, a measure passed by Washington voters 13 years ago.

The increase reflects a 4.258 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers since August 2010.

The calculation is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services — such as food, clothing and fuel, and services, such as doctor visits — purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers.

The minimum wage applies to workers in agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-old workers may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.68 per hour, starting next year.

Washington and nine other states adjust minimum wages based on inflation and the CPI. Washington has the highest minimum wage nationwide, followed by Oregon.

Kiwanis Club of Issaquah seeks coat donations

November 1, 2011

The Kiwanis Club of Issaquah is holding a coat and shoe drive throughout November.

The drive runs from Nov. 1-30 and donations benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Coats and shoes — in adult and child sizes — should be clean, and new or gently used.

Donation sites include The Issaquah Press, KeyBank, AtWork!, Eastside Audiology, Hilton Garden Inn, Sammamish Club, Columbia Athletic, Liberty High School, Footzone and Starbucks by Safeway.

Issaquah cross country team qualifies for first state meet in 13 years

November 1, 2011

Some people maintain 13 is an unlucky number. However, they would have trouble convincing this fall’s Issaquah High School girls cross country team of that fact.

By placing fourth Oct. 29 at the Wes-King Bi-District 4A meet at West Seattle’s Lincoln Park, the Eagles qualified for a state meet for the first time in 13 years.

To put it into a different perspective, some current members of the team were just 2 years old when the Eagles last sent a girls team to the state championship meet.

Issaquah will race in the Class 4A state meet Nov. 5 at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

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Press Editorial

November 1, 2011

Tarleton, Bryant for port commissioners

The concerns in the races for the Port of Seattle Commission are about enemies and rivals — in the name of terrorism and new competition.

Candidate Gael Tarleton, the commission’s expert on security issues, is a shoo-in for another term. Her opponent, Richard Pope, is a perennial candidate for one office or another and not a serious contender.

The other contested port race includes sharp, dedicated candidates — incumbent Bill Bryant and his challenger, Sammamish resident Dean Willard.

Bryant has steered the commission through tough financial management issues and corrected the course. His commitment to bringing port issues to the public and for the public is outstanding.

Willard’s decision to challenge Bryant — a leader respected by Democrats and Republicans, business and environmental interests alike — seems oddly timed. We encourage Willard to remain engaged in the public process. The local political scene needs more candidates with his enthusiasm and ideas.

However, Bryant is the best choice to continue leading the Port of Seattle on the rough seas ahead.

Teachers eager to implement adopted science curriculum

November 1, 2011

Steve Rasmussen

The mad scientists have returned to their classrooms and some are completing observations of crickets, pill bugs and other creatures and plant life.

“Kids don’t just learn science, they do science,” said Joanne Griesemer, a curriculum specialist for the Issaquah School District.

Griesemer was referring to the district’s new science curriculum and said she has been happily busy over the past few months helping implement that curriculum.

During the past spring and summer, the Issaquah Schools Foundation, in partnership with the local PTSA, put on various fundraisers and took in roughly $438,000 toward replacing the district’s kindergarten through fifth-grade science materials. The fundraisers included having students dressed as mad scientists soliciting donations at various locations.

District officials pledged to match the foundation’s efforts with $700,000. The end result was the purchase of $1.1 million in new science materials. That includes everything from textbooks and workbooks to models, measuring instruments and so on. Every elementary school in the district has gotten at least some of those items.

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Larger class sizes, less class time could result from state budget cuts

November 1, 2011

For now, for the Issaquah School District, the biggest hit contained in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget could increase class sizes by two students.

That’s according to Jake Kuper, the district’s chief of finance and operations.

In anticipation of a special session of the Legislature set to begin late this month, Gregoire announced some tentative budget proposals of her own Oct. 27.

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