Issaquah School Board debates high school graduation requirements

June 12, 2012

In an area like the Eastside, where science and technology put food on many families’ tables, the Issaquah School Board is debating whether students are studying enough science.

Some board members say the district should adopt tougher standards while others are concerned about putting unnecessary pressure on some students.

During two rounds of discussions, the board has considered requiring all students to take three years of science, instead of the state-mandated two years.

“We need to start with whether we think the minimum bar we have is sufficient or if we should raise the bar for everyone,” said board member Brian Deagle at a May 9 work session. “I’m in the camp that we should raise the bar on what it means to earn, in Issaquah, a high school diploma.”

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Expect lane closures during Interstate 90 fish passage project

June 12, 2012

Motorists should prepare for closures along westbound Interstate 90 as crews improve a passage beneath the highway for salmon and other fish.

Crews started construction last month on a fish passage east of Highlands Drive Northeast and the Sunset Interchange between Issaquah and Preston in unincorporated King County. The $2.8 million project is meant to replace a narrow culvert on the East Fork of Issaquah Creek.

The stream is home to chinook, coho and sockeye salmon, as well as steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout and resident trout.

Officials identified the 12-foot-wide culvert as a barrier to fish in January 2006. The state Department of Transportation planned a wider replacement to better accommodate the 25-foot-wide stream bed in the area near the culvert.

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Prepare for Fenders on Front Street traffic changes

June 12, 2012

Motorists should prepare for a downtown Issaquah road closure June 17 during the Fenders on Front Street Car Show and Cruise.

Organizers plan to close Front Street North from Gilman Boulevard to Sunset Way between 6 a.m. and   4 p.m. for the car show, a Mountains to Sound Greenway Days event.

Registration starts at 6 a.m. at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, 98 N.E. Gilman Blvd. Vehicles start to park at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, and then park along the Staples parking lot to Front Street North and then along Front Street North toward Sunset Way as the need for space increases.

The car judging starts at about 11 a.m., with trophies presented at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., at 2 p.m.

Following the trophy presentations, at 3 p.m., car show participants gather on Front Street North and cruise to Sunset Way, and then to Newport Way and along Gilman Boulevard to the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in.

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Issaquah School District receives state energy grants

June 12, 2012

The Issaquah School District has been awarded energy grants totaling $120,084, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“In addition to helping create jobs, it will help the district move forward with work that will reduce energy consumption and improve the learning and working environments,” Capital Projects Director Steve Crawford said in a statement. “The annual savings from this grant combined with our 2011 grant work will save the district a little over $200,000 a year in operational costs … especially significant as it is a reduction in general fund operational costs, which compete with classroom funding.”

The grants are intended to produce long-term energy and operational savings for the district, improve the indoor environmental qualities of schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs. The energy projects use utility incentives, energy savings, local money and grant funds to make improvements that may otherwise not be affordable. The OSPI awarded $5.9 million in energy grants to 14 school districts throughout the state.

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King County plans summer timber harvest near Issaquah

June 12, 2012

King County announced June 1 a summer timber harvest on Taylor Mountain near Issaquah.

The planned harvest encompasses about 66 acres in the 1,845-acre forest. Officials said the harvest includes poor-quality maple, and overmature and dying alder trees. Plans call for crews to then plant a mix of Western red cedar, Douglas fir and Western hemlock.

Officials said most of the conifers within the identified harvest area should not be cut, except for trees severely infected with root rot.

Eatonville-based Erickson Logging Inc. is conducting the harvest operation. The timber sale is expected to generate $75,000 for county officials to manage forestland.

The activity is expected to start in June or early July, depending on rainfall, and should last up to six weeks.

Hikers should prepare for a closure along a portion of Holder Creek Trail through the harvest area. Crews expect to reroute the trail after the harvest.

The county plans to post signs about the trail closure along the trail network and at the Holder Creek parking area along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, south of the state Route 18 interchange.

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Titanic connection leads North Carolina family to Issaquah

June 12, 2012

Ruth Becker

The tang of saltwater drifted on the cold, midnight air. So, too, did frantic calls for help from hundreds of people.

Titanic — a superlative achievement in engineering, grand and unsinkable — struck a history-altering iceberg minutes earlier.

Ruth Becker, roused to the deck after the collision, headed below for blankets to protect against the chill. By the time the 12-year-old girl returned moments later, blankets in hand, she needed to act fast to board a lifeboat as the ocean liner sank into the North Atlantic.

Becker’s cousin, Jill Carrizales, remembers hearing the account as a child. The tale sparked a lifelong interest in the tragedy. Now, Carrizales and her daughter Jennifer Ramsey plan to travel from Gastonia, N.C., to Issaquah to attend a June 16 event dedicated to the Titanic disaster.

In order to commemorate 100 years since the tragedy, the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah plans to host pre-eminent Titanic historian Don Lynch at a June 16 discussion.

The trip to Issaquah represents a milestone in Carrizales’ yearslong quest to meet Lynch. The historian interviewed Becker, then Ruth Becker Blanchard, before she died in 1990 at age 90.

Carrizales praised Lynch for coaxing Ruth Becker to open up about the disaster.

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Tastin’ n Racin’ hydros roar on despite attendance dropoff

June 12, 2012

Brent Harnack goes airborne in the National Modified class hydroplane, NM-88 Mr. Jiggs, on the way to his victory June 10 on Lake Sammamish during the 16th annual Tastin’ n Racin’ at Lake Sammamish State Park. By Greg Farrar

The 16th annual Tastin’ n Racin’ was filled with thunderous hydroplanes, high-flying wake boarders and classic hot rods, but what was most important for young Cooper Leavitt was that he get his candy from the Seafair pirates.

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Candidates for lieutenant governor to attend local debate

June 12, 2012

Voters can hear from candidates vying for the No. 2 job in state government at a June 21 event.

The debate among candidates for lieutenant governor is sponsored by the Issaquah/Sammamish Tea Party and the Woodinville/Redmond Tea Party Patriots. GOP candidates Glenn Anderson, a state representative for the Issaquah area, and former state Sen. Bill Finkbeiner plan to attend.

The race also includes incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat.

The debate is at 6:30 p.m. in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way. The event is open to the public.

The emcee for the event is Sammamish City Councilman John Curley.

The lieutenant governor carries few significant responsibilities. The official duties include standing in for the governor if he or she is incapacitated, presiding over the state Senate, and serving on a handful of committees and commissions, such as the State Finance Committee.

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Public Meetings

June 12, 2012

June 13

Issaquah School Board

7 p.m., Issaquah School District Administration Building,

565 N.W. Holly St.


June 14

Planning Policy Commission

6:30 p.m.

Council Chambers, City Hall South,

135 E. Sunset Way

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Off the Press

June 12, 2012

Superman wears a father’s cape

Sebastian Moraga Press reporter

This is my first fatherless Father’s Day. He died in March.

Now, if you fear this will turn into a weepfest, rest assured, it won’t. My dad is the reason why.

My dad had a tough life. The heart trouble that killed him at 69 started in grade school. His father died in his arms; his only marriage ended in divorce. And though he trained as an accountant, he turned 50 working as a fisherman in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, miles away from an IRS office.

But he never stopped believing that he was close to his next great day. To my dad, the past mattered little and today’s troubles would be overcome tomorrow. Girl break your heart? You’ll find a better one. You watch. His arthritic knees hurt? So what, they hurt yesterday, too. Now how about those Mariners?

That optimism bathed almost all of his actions. It made you feel safe and certain that things would improve. Even if they didn’t, he made you feel like he was on your side and that might just be enough to weather the storms.

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