Issaquah boys swimmers celebrate second place in state

February 21, 2012

Issaquah’s boys end with best finish ever

Jubilant members of the Issaquah High School boys swim team and their coaches hoist their state 4A second place team trophy and give themselves a cheer Feb. 18 at the King County Aquatic Center. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School coach Laura Halter hoisted the second place trophy high above her head and smiled ear to ear. Halter’s team had surpassed even her expectations when it finished second in the Class 4A boys state swimming and diving championships Feb. 18 in Federal Way’s King County Aquatic Center.

“This is just a surprise,” Halter said. “Any one of the top five teams could have won this meet. I’m really, really proud of the boys.”

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Sluggish start dooms Eagles to 62-51 loss in championship game

February 21, 2012

It wasn’t where Nick Price wanted to be.

After the Issaquah High School Eagles were only able to string together 16 points in the first half of the KingCo Conference 4A boys championship game Feb. 17 against Garfield, he was saddled with early foul trouble and was forced to the sidelines for the majority of the third quarter.

Issaquah rallied for an 18-9 run to bring the game within 10 points in the third, but the Eagles lost the contest 62-51 at Juanita High School.

“It’s always a factor when your best player gets into foul trouble, but at the same time the other kids and the younger guys stepped up,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said. “That’s when we went on a run. When Nick came back in, he played more like Nick.”

He credited the Bulldogs’ strength as the best offensive rebounding team in the league — a major factor as Garfield took the lead by as many as 21 points in the first half.

“We had a hard time getting into the rhythm,” he said. “We were forcing shots and we didn’t really play to our strengths, which is getting to the rim, making the extra pass and playing good defense.”

Griffith said he knew his team had the talent and dedication to end up in the championship game early on in the season.

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Liberty wrestler Hamilton Noel finishes sixth at Mat Classic

February 21, 2012

When the last chapter closed on the 2012 Mat Classic, all it said about Hamilton Noel’s performance was that the Liberty High School senior finished sixth in the 160-pound division at the Class 3A Tournament.

Not a word about his heart, of which he displayed plenty in the Tacoma Dome. Not a comma about his tears, of which there were also a few. Not a period about how he stepped on the mat weakened by an unspecified ailment that made him look almost nothing like the Noel that dominated at Regionals.

At the end, the fact that Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, the wrestler who won 160-pound state title was the same Noel defeated at the regional finals seven days earlier, seemed to do nothing but add insult to an already injured warrior.

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Skyline girls top Issaquah, earn KingCo No. 3 seed

February 21, 2012

Ty Gibson, Issaquah freshman guard, is fouled by Garfield forward Trey Williams during a furious third-quarter comeback at the 4A KingCo championship. By Greg Farrar

Local girls basketball fans always know it will be a battle down to the wire when the Skyline and Issaquah High School teams meet.

And, the third meeting of the season between the rivals was no exception. After an intense first half, Skyline pulled away in the final quarter Feb. 16 to beat Issaquah 47-41 in a loser-out game in the KingCo Conference 4A Tournament at Juanita High School.

With the victory, Skyline captured the KingCo No. 3 berth. The Spartans, 17-7, played at Stanwood, the Western Conference No. 3 entry, Feb. 21 in a playoff for a Class 4A Regional berth. The winner of the game advances to the regional at Auburn Feb. 25 and plays a team from District 3 or District 4 at 4 p.m.

In the first contest on Jan. 6 between Issaquah and Skyline, the Eagles held on for a 52-51 victory. In the Jan. 31 rematch, Skyline rallied in the second half to win 37-32.

In the third meeting, Issaquah held a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. The teams were deadlocked at 20-all at halftime. The contest stayed close through the third quarter. In the final period, Skyline outscored Issaquah 15-11 to win the contest.

Rachel Shim and Megan Wiedeman each had nine points to lead the Spartans. Morgan Farrar and Allie Wyszynski each contributed eight points.

Issaquah’s Sabrina Norton led all players with 15 points. Mandie Hill added nine points and Monica Landdeck eight points for Issaquah, which ended the season at 17-7.

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Celebration of life is mom’s gift to terminally ill son

February 21, 2012

Joyce Moore (standing), hosts a party for her son Michael Stallman, 51, who is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. As part of the celebration of his life, an Eastside Fire & Rescue crew decked out Stallman in firefighting gear. Photos by Tom Corrigan

Behind her, a party is in full gear, with lots of noise and conversation, a clown blowing up balloons and younger children racing around a public room in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Duthie Hill Road in Issaquah.

For her part, Joyce Moore herself is in a clown costume, as is her son and the party’s guest of honor, Michael Stallman. Moore tells a visitor the event is a celebration and nothing less. It is a happy occasion, she insists.

“It is a celebration of Michael’s life,” Moore said.

Stallman, who will be 52 in March, has Down syndrome. He has survived health issues including open-heart surgery and a blood clot.

“He breezed right through it all,” Moore said.

In October, Stallman was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. Refusing to mar the atmosphere at her son’s party, Moore said with only the slightest cringe that her son has only a few months left. She got the idea for the remembrance party after mulling over what to do for Stallman’s upcoming birthday.

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‘Speed’ food drive helps Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank at right time

February 21, 2012

The challenge was to see how many nonperishable food items could be gathered in one week.

In the end, students, families and staff members of Pacific Cascade Middle School rose to the occasion, said Tanya Hansen, food drive chairwoman. There was some concern the drive was going to stumble a bit, admitted Hansen and teacher Stan Kasemeier.

As of Feb. 13, one day before the end of the drive, the amount of food gathered was just not what they were hoping.

They need not have worried. Hansen said a surprising 1,100 items came in the last day.

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Press Editorial

February 21, 2012

Ban on plastic bags is way of the future

Carrying your own bag into a store for your groceries or other purchases will take some getting used to, but it’s the right way to go. We have no doubt that plastic bags will be banned statewide only a few years into the future. It appears the future is now for Issaquah.

The City Council’s Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee heard from the public for the first time last week regarding a citywide ban on plastic bags. We’re pleased to know the council is taking the idea seriously and will take an ordinance back to the council in March.

Only a few people representing themselves were at the committee’s Feb. 16 meeting, but environmental organizations were there to support or denounce the proposal.

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Off the Press

February 21, 2012

Fair predicted a brave new world 50 years ago

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

From a standpoint 50 years later and a dozen years into the 21st century, some ideas — flying cars, outer space colonies — presented at the Century 21 Exposition seem more quaint than far-fetched.

The idea of Greater Seattle as a technology hub, however, lingers long after the world’s fair closed in October 1962.

For a piece in the wintertime Issaquah Living magazine, I set out to collect local fairgoers’ memories from the heady days before and during the Century 21 Exposition. (Readers can find the magazine tucked amid the sales circulars in the B section.)

I heard the same question again and again from colleagues, family and friends as I reported the piece: “Do cities still put on world’s fairs?”

The answer is yes. Shanghai hosted Expo 2010 and Expo 2012 is scheduled to open in Yeosu, South Korea, in May.

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School bond campaign seeks success with YouTube song

February 21, 2012

The members of Listen Up — Sarah Kim, Monti Fleck, Luca Nardi, Emily Rudolph and Caitlin Neill (from left) — perform the ‘Pass the Bond’ song on a video shot at Issaquah Valley Elementary School. YouTube

An unlikely combination of a local school bond issue and a veteran Broadway lyricist has made local celebrities out of five young girls known collectively as Listen Up.

As of Feb. 16, a YouTube video of them performing Martin Charnin’s “Pass the Bond” song had received about 2,000 hits.

“I think it’s really great that this is happening,” said Luca Nardi, 10, one of the members of Listen Up.

Fellow singer and friend Monti Fleck, 10, said having the video gain some notoriety was “weird and cool” at the same time.

The song was written to promote the Issaquah School District’s construction bond issue that’s on the April ballot. That the catchy lyrics work so well is no accident.

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Washington Trails Association hosts youth work party on Tiger Mountain

February 21, 2012

The Washington Trails Association is organizing an all-youth, volunteer work party to help repair the Tiger Mountain Trail near Issaquah.

Intended for those ages 13-18, the event begins at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 25 at the Tiger Mountain trailhead. Participants must sign up in advance.

One-day trail work parties are designed to provide a unique opportunity for younger volunteers to learn about trail maintenance and the trails in their communities while meeting other like-minded youths, according to a press release from the trails association.

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