King County Sheriff Sue Rahr resigns for state training post

March 20, 2012

Sue Rahr

The lethal shootout between rival gangs at Lake Sammamish State Park on a summer night in 2010 offered lessons to King County Sheriff Sue Rahr as law enforcement officers encountered a rise in gang activity in unexpected places.

“What we learned there is that gangs definitely were moving out of the city and, basically, staking out certain places where they felt that they could socialize uninhibited and pretty much do whatever they wanted,” she said in a March 15 interview.

Rahr plans to step down as the top law enforcement officer in King County on March 31 after a long career in local law enforcement to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

The sheriff led the King County Sheriff’s Office as budgets dwindled, crimes turned more sophisticated and concerns about gang violence lingered — a problem illustrated by the state park shootings.

Read more

City hosts meetings on Central Issaquah redevelopment

March 20, 2012

The long process to transform more than 900 acres in the decades ahead is due to continue in the months ahead — and residents can offer input on the far-reaching proposal.

City Council and Planning Policy Commission members plan to delve deeper into the Central Issaquah Plan — a long-term proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90.

The next meeting related to the Central Issaquah Plan is the Committee-of-the-Whole Council on March 27.

The council, council committees and the commission plan a series of public meetings in March, April and May to discuss details proposed in the plan. In recent years, planners outlined a broad proposal to turn acres of low-rise office buildings, shopping centers and self-storage units on land near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

Read more

Issaquah Highlands retail plan comes up for review

March 20, 2012

Residents can offer input soon on the latest plan to add retail offerings to the Issaquah Highlands.

The plan for the proposed Grand Ridge Plaza, a highlands retail center, is scheduled to go before the Urban Village Development Commission in April and May. (The commission oversees large-scale development in the highlands and Talus.)

The commission is due to consider the Grand Ridge Plaza site development permit April 17. Then, commissioners plan to hold a public hearing on the permit May 1.

The commission meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way, at 7 p.m.

The developer, Florida-based Regency Centers, intends to transform 14 acres into a cinema, shops, restaurants and parking areas.

Lakeside Center for Autism uses technology as treatment tool

March 20, 2012

Dan Stachelski, CEO, director and a speech-language pathologist at Lakeside Center for Autism, stands at a mosaic of jigsaw puzzle pieces made by some of the youngsters in art class who attend the school. By Greg Farrar

The hustle and bustle at Lakeside Center for Autism is intentional.

Tucked in rooms outfitted in technology both tried-and-true and cutting-edge, children and therapists spend hours each day to overcome the obstacles put in place by autism. The commotion and laughter emanating from behind the closed doors come as signs of success.

Lakeside Center for Autism uses the popular Microsoft Kinect system and other tools to treat the complicated neural development disorder.

“It’s all about participation,” company CEO, president and founder Dan Stachelski said. “Technology can do that.”

Read more

School renovation is another priority for $219 million bond

March 20, 2012

Susan Mundell, Apollo Elementary School principal, checks some deterioration on a two-unit portable classroom dating from 1995, the oldest of three on the school grounds. By Greg Farrar

For Liberty High School, passage of the April 17 Issaquah School District bond would mean completion of the reconstruction and modernization plan now under way thanks to a 2006 voter-approved bond.

At the same time, Apollo and Issaquah Valley elementary schools would receive sizable space additions, making room for 120 additional students at each building. Both schools would benefit from some much-needed maintenance, according to the principals of each school.

Outside of schools being rebuilt or transplanted, Liberty, Apollo and Issaquah Valley are the three individual school facilities that would receive the most attention in terms of dollar value should the district win passage of its current bond proposal.

Read more

Weak economy equals boom for buyers of gold, silver and collectibles

March 20, 2012

Treasure Hunters buyer Craig Meadow shows off 70 pounds of casino chips he bought from a local woman last week. Meadow also was hoping to buy some slot machines from the woman. By Tom Corrigan

Early the morning of March 16, Craig Meadow, a buyer for Treasure Hunters Roadshow, said he had just made probably the most unusual purchase of his weeklong visit to Issaquah.

Meadow was one of two buyers in town with Treasure Hunters, who advertise themselves as buyers of precious metals, coins and antiquities. “Collectibles” could probably be added to that list.

Meadow’s noteworthy buy was 70 pounds of casino chips of every variety. Many were from various Las Vegas casinos and may even still be viable at the casinos they came from. Others were a lot more exotic, such as a porcelain chip still wrapped in a protective covering. Another was a Kenny Rogers memorial chip featuring a picture of the singer.

Meadow paid about $80 for the chips, saying he bought them primarily for the metal. The seller was supposed to return as the two still were working out a deal for several slot machines, including three that dispense gumballs. The seller said the items had belonged to her late husband, according to Meadow.

Read more

University of Washington grad student shares secrets of ancient Antarctica

March 20, 2012

Issaquah High School student Max McDermott (left) examines the fossil left in the Antarctic by an ammonite, a distant relative of the modern octopus or squid, and brought to the school by University of Washington graduate student Adam Huttenlocker. By Tom Corrigan

During more routine fossil digs, the field tools of his profession often include brushes and other delicate equipment, University of Washington graduate student Adam Huttenlocker said.

Read more

Smaller maintenance projects form big part of school bond

March 20, 2012

As voters get closer to deciding whether to OK a $219 million bond issue to benefit the Issaquah School District, big projects such as the rebuilding of the so-called corridor schools are getting plenty of attention.

The corridor schools are Issaquah Middle, Clark Elementary and Tiger Mountain High schools, all which will end up largely rebuilt and in new locations if the bond sale is approved.

Still, a significant portion of the proceeds from the bond sale would go toward more seemingly mundane items, such as rebuilding playfields and replacing fire alarm panels. The proposed project list includes dozens of maintenance and upkeep items at schools around the district.

“We have an obligation to protect roughly $1.2 billion in assets,” Jake Kuper, district chief of finances and operations, said referring to the estimated value of the district’s 28 total buildings, including 24 schools.

Read more

Issaquah police honored for conduct during shootout

March 20, 2012

The police officers involved in the deadly September 2011 shootout at Clark Elementary School earned a national honor for the incident, city officials announced March 15.

Officers involved in the shooting earned the Washington honorable mention award at the National Association of Police Organizations’ TOP COPS Awards.

The ceremony is scheduled for May 12 in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the association recognizes law enforcement officers from federal, state, county and local agencies for acts of bravery, courage and outstanding service during the preceding year. The organization reviews hundreds of submissions from throughout the county to identify the top 10 cases to appoint as TOP COPS. Of the cases not selected, one case from each state is selected for honorable mention.

The organization recognized Officer Brian Horn, Officer Jesse Petersen, Officer Laura Asbell, Officer Tom Griffith, Cpl. Christian Munoz and Sgt. Chris Wilson.

Meanwhile, a King County prosecutor-led inquest is poised to review the officers’ actions in the gun battle — a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. The shooter in the incident, Ronald W. Ficker, 51, was killed.

Sunset Elementary School choir to perform at national conference

March 20, 2012

Sunset Elementary School’s student chorus, the Sunset Singers, was tabbed to perform March 24 in front of educators from around the country at the National Association of Elementary School Principals National Conference, to be held in Seattle.

Sunset Singers is the only elementary school group invited to sing at the event.

A board member for the Association of Washington School Principals, Wayne Hamasaki helped arrange for his students’ appearance at the convention.

Comprised of close to 100 fourth- and-fifth graders, the Sunset Singers represent the largest extracurricular group at his school. About 70 students will make the trip to downtown Seattle for the conference.

Under the direction of music specialist Marie Bean, the singers will perform five songs in a roughly 25-minute session. They will be in front of 1,500 to 2,000 people waiting for the conference’s scheduled keynote speaker.

For the upcoming performance, Hamasaki said the school decided to rent two buses to take the singers and their parents to the event at the Washington State Convention Center.

« Previous PageNext Page »