Bellevue College’s Dad and Me classes start April 7

March 20, 2012

The next set of Dad and Me classes is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays from April 7 to June 16 at Bellevue College.

Taught by Issaquah resident Tim Ryan, the class allows fathers to play and learn together with their child or children. Additionally, fathers will be able to attend Parent Education classes with some of their counterparts and deal with a variety of topics relating to raising children.

The class also will feature guest speakers, storytellers and field trips.

The course is aimed at fathers with children from 2 1/2 to 7 years old. Classes are held on the Bellevue College Campus, Building 1, the Early Learning Center, Room 116. Cost is $214 per quarter or $228 with two or more children from the same family.

Register by calling the Bellevue College Parent Education office, 564-2365, or go to Call Tim Ryan at 206-280-3458 or email him at

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Local students perform at state music competition

March 20, 2012

Music students from the Issaquah School District in grades five through 12 were selected to participate in the annual Washington Music Educators Association All-State Honor groups.

The Washington Music Educators Association sponsors a Youth Honor Chorus in grades five and six; junior all-state bands, choruses and orchestra for students in grades seven and eight; and high school jazz band, jazz choir, choirs, bands and orchestras for students in grades nine to 12.

Local honorees joined other students from Washington the weekend of Feb. 17 in Yakima. Students were selected after rigorous auditions. They then rehearsed together under the direction of nationally known conductors and performed final concerts.

The Pacific Cascade Middle School orchestra was the only middle school program chosen to perform as a whole at the Washington Music Educators Association conference.

Find a complete list of local students selected for the All-State program at the school district website, Click on link labeled “Points of Pride.”

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Send veterans’ photos for memorial section

March 20, 2012

Memorial Day seems a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. This year, The Issaquah Press will print its third annual veterans section — Lest We Forget.

We want your photos and information, veterans. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her. It is important for us to honor and remember all local veterans, living or deceased.

If you have already sent your photo and information to us, you don’t need to do so again. We keep them on file.

Fill out your form at and email your photo to

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Music lesson gets drummed in to elementary students

March 20, 2012

Sowah Mensah, serving as artist-in-residence at Cougar Ridge Elementary School, teaches the basics of drumming to a group of second- and third-graders. By Tom Corrigan

With a group of second- and third-graders sitting around him in a circle, Sowah Mensah, 57, asks a rhythmic question, playing that question with his hands on the bongo drum in front of him.

A native of Ghana and now a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., Mensah was the artist-in-residence recently for a week at Cougar Ridge Elementary School.

After Mensah played the question, individual students were supposed to answer with their own colorful bongo drums.

“When I beat out the question, you beat out the answer, whatever comes to mind,” Mensah told his charges.

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City reduces concealed pistol license fee

March 20, 2012

The cost of a concealed pistol license from the Issaquah Police Department has dropped by $2.75 due to a federal rule change.

Starting March 19, fingerprint checks cost $16.50 — down from $19.25 — and, therefore, the cost of a concealed pistol license drops from $55.25 to $52.50.

City residents can apply for the license at the Issaquah Police Department, 130 E. Sunset Way. The department processes fingerprints from 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In Issaquah, applicants for a concealed pistol license must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen or possess a valid alien firearms license. The applicant cannot have a pending trial, appeal or sentencing on certain charges.

The applicant cannot have any outstanding warrants for any charge from any court, any court order or injunction against possessing a firearm, or any felony convictions.

The state also prohibits a license for people determined to be mentally defective or incompetent to manage their affairs. The applicant must have never been committed to a mental institution.

Unincorporated King County residents must apply for a concealed pistol license at the King County Courthouse.

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Civic-minded citizens sought for ethics board

March 20, 2012

Get involved

Citizens interested in the King County Board of Ethics seat should email a letter of interest and résumé to or by mail to Kelli Williams, administrator, King County Board of Ethics, 401 Fifth Ave., Suite 135, Seattle, WA 98104. Application materials must be received by March 28.

Applicants must attend a one-hour informational interview at the board’s 9:30 a.m. April 16 meeting to be considered. The board meets in the King County Chinook Building, 401 Fifth Ave., Seattle.

Call Williams at 206-296-1586, email her at or go to the Board of Ethics website at to learn more.

Issaquah residents interested in ethics and law can apply for a seat on the King County Board of Ethics, a watchdog group.

The position, for a three-year term on the five-member citizen advisory board, is open to all King County residents.

The board provides guidance on allowable actions and interests defined by the King County Code of Ethics. The board also supports the county policy for the private conduct and financial dealings of public officials and employees to present no actual or apparent conflict of interest between the public trust and private interests.

In addition, the board oversees the administration of transparency programs requiring financial disclosure by elected officials, designated employees, and board and commission members, as well as disclosure by consultants doing business with the county.

The board is also responsible for interpreting the ethics code through advisory opinions and hearing appeals.

Officials said the ideal board member possesses balanced judgment, integrity and professional training or experience to ensure the ability to deal with complex and sensitive ethics issues. The county encouraged women, disabled people, racial and sexual minorities, and residents from outside of Seattle to apply for the post. Candidates may be interviewed.

County Executive Dow Constantine selects the appointee. Members may be reappointed at the end of their terms.

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Greatness isn’t measured by success

March 20, 2012

Hall Monitor Chris Volk Liberty High School

Amid the flurry, busyness and rat race of Liberty High School — essays, reading, spring sports, math problems, extracurricular activities, notes, the grade point average of second semester, science labs, the approaching SAT and ACT, researching college and daunting Advanced Placement tests — I, a junior, paused to reflect upon what truly constitutes greatness and on whether any of the aforementioned comprises any noteworthy bit of it.

For high school, success is determined by a letter grade, a certain percentage, what you missed and what you got correct, or the curve set by another. A little red etch upon a score sheet can seal your fate while a humble check upon a paper can knock your grade up just another .04 percent toward getting an A or B. Every added point helps your teetering grade, your position among others, your chance at a selective college and your dream of a prestigious career.

That A is greatness. That check is. That podium. That place above others where you are standing is success. Right?

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Knee surgery goes robotic at Swedish/Issaquah

March 20, 2012

Jeff Pochop, 69, of Bellevue, is happy to be back on his feet so quickly after orthopedic knee surgery with the new MAKOplasty robotic system helped give him a partial knee replacement Jan. 20. By David Hayes

Jeff Pochop said he plans to be physically active until he’s at least 100 years old. Now 69, the former athlete stays fit biking and hiking so he can attend his annual fishing and hunting trips with his buddies.

Unfortunately, an old football injury had been slowing him down lately — he partially tore an interior ligament in his left knee while playing football for the Harvard Crimson back in the 1960s.

Temporary fixes were no longer working — he’d had an orthoscopic procedure to clean it up about 20 years ago and a series of rooster comb injections about six months ago. It was starting to affect his tennis game and his outings hunting chucker and pheasant.

“Even my hunting buddies had noticed I’d developed a limp,” the Bellevue resident said.

So he went back to the well one more time. His doctor, orthopedic surgeon Gregory Komenda, had also operated on injuries to Pochop’s shoulder and elbow. And the timing couldn’t have been better to try something new — robotics.

Pochop became one of Swedish/Issaquah’s first patients to be operated on using MAKOplasty. It’s a new partial resurfacing procedure developed to treat early- to mid-stage osteoarthritis, a viable alternative to total knee replacement or traditional manual partial knee resurfacing, Komenda said.

A surgeon with Proliance Orthopedic & Sports Medicine for the past 15 years, Komenda has been performing MAKOplasty at Swedish’s Seattle location for a little over a year.

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Help for heating is available to low-income consumers

March 20, 2012

The state utility regulator reminds residents about heating help available through the agency and the federal government.

The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and utility company low-income assistance programs provide funding to qualifying households for assistance to pay for heating.

Residents can apply for heating assistance directly through energy companies. The utility in the Issaquah area, Puget Sound Energy, offers low-income assistance at

Call the state Utility and Transportation Commission’s Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-9882 toll free, or go to, to locate assistance agencies, or to get help to resolve a billing dispute, disconnect notice or service complaint.

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Issaquah Eagles fight Mount Si Wildcats to scrappy draw

March 20, 2012

Alex Shane (left), Issaquah High School junior, and Mount Si High School senior defender Chace Carlson battle early in the first period March 15, shortly after Shane’s goal for the Eagles and just before Carlson’s tying score for the Wildcats in the 1-1 contest. By Greg Farrar

Whatever notion the Mount Si High School Wildcats had that this season would be easy lasted 15 seconds.

In the 16th second of their match against visiting Issaquah, the Eagles stunned the Wildcats with a score.

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