Issaquah PTSA honors outstanding volunteers at Golden Acorn Awards

April 3, 2012

The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.

Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.

Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.

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Press Editorial

April 3, 2012

Revised water rates reject values

The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District’s new rate structure has taken a giant step backward.

Previously, the rates had been set up so that those who use the most water pay a higher rate. Now the tiers in the rate structure have been flattened — meaning a roughly 6 percent cut in water bills to those who use the most.

Swimming pool or hot tub? Farm animals to feed? No problem, no surcharge for extra water. Same rate for everybody — in fact, please use more!

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New rule, bats expected to lower scores, reduce injuries

April 3, 2012

New, stricter bat regulations are forcing producers to make less powerful bats and will greatly affect gameplay on both the college and high school levels.

The regulations require BBCOR bats, short for Batted-Ball Coefficient of Restitution. Though the bats are still aluminum, they are less “springy” and will hit more like wood bats. Permissible bats will feature a BBCOR-certified sticker.

A major problem with the old BESR (ball-exit-speed-ratio) bats was that they would become too powerful once broken in. As fibers within the bats repeatedly came into contact with baseballs, they would break down, become more flexible and surpass levels deemed safe.

“Back in the early days, the best it was going to be was right when you took it out of the wrapper,” Issaquah High School head baseball coach Rob Reese said. “Recently, bats would get more powerful after use.”

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Toast Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk as series ends for season

April 3, 2012

Visitors on Front Street who enjoyed wine tastings, snacks and live music in February during the Downtown Issaquah Association’s Wine Walk have one more chance on April 6. By Greg Farrar

Oenophiles can sip and stroll through town as the Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk series concludes for the season April 6.

Organized by the DownTown Issaquah Association, merchants host musicians, and offer sips from Washington vintners and hors d’oeuvres, during the monthly event. The inaugural Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk occurred in February.

“We got a lot of people down here that had either never been to downtown Issaquah or hadn’t been down here in a long time,” association Executive Director Karen Donovan said. “I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people saying how much they enjoyed it. They enjoyed the music and the appetizers and the wine, of course.”

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Off the Press

April 3, 2012

Greg Farrar Press photographer

EFR has new tools against disasters

P ower tools are so awesome! Your obedient correspondent loves to fix, build and clean messes with — among other tools — his table saw, drill, sander, chain saw and motorized plumbing snake. As Tim the Toolman Taylor would say, “Grunt, grunt, grunt!”

That’s why visiting Eastside Fire & Rescue’s Structural Collapse Rescue Training Exercise on March 27 was like being a kid in a candy shop.

Hydraulic concrete drills! Petrogen cutting torches! Water-cooled, hydraulic-driven concrete chain saws!

Donning a hardhat and earplugs, I shot photos as firefighters used the opportunity to become familiar with the new tools, received from a federal Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative grant.

EFR Capt. Pete Brummel, as a member of a regional committee, was able to coordinate the distribution of tools to fire departments serving Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Tukwila, South King County and EFR, which received $100,000 in equipment.

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Funded by voters in 2006, construction continues around Issaquah School District

April 3, 2012

Even as voters begin to mull a $219 capital bond package that will be on a special April ballot, work funded by a 2006 voter-approved bond continues around the Issaquah School District.

Some of the bigger ongoing projects include work at Maywood Middle, Briarwood Elementary and Liberty High schools.

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Eagles, Patriots, Spartans and Tigers Mix It Up

April 3, 2012

Hall Monitor Maddi Hutson Skyline High School

Students and staff members from Liberty, Issaquah, Tiger Mountain Community and Skyline high schools met March 27 at Issaquah High for a social event to highlight students from the four high schools’ learning resource classes, and let them meet new people and have a good time together.

The evening was organized by Associated Student Body seniors Jay Bowlby, Mason Gregory and Susie Tinker, and junior Olivia Fuller, all from Skyline.

Skyline’s leadership class created special VIP invitations to encourage LRC attendance. As students walked through the doors to Issaquah’s commons, they were greeted by friendly ASB members and given their first raffle ticket of the night. Colorful streamers and hanging stars gave the room a festive vibe.

Refreshments included free pizza, popcorn and water. For students who really wanted to quench their thirst — if they successfully landed a ring over a 2-liter bottle of soda in a ring toss — they were able to keep the soda.

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College News

April 3, 2012

Issaquah student receives academic honors at BC

Casey Pinckney, a second-year student from Issaquah attending Bellevue College, has been named a 2012 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar by Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for community college students.

Additionally, she has been named to the All-Washington Academic Team for academic performance and community service.

As a Bronze Scholar, Pinckney will receive a $1,000 scholarship and recognition in the April 23 issue of USA Today. As a member of the All-Washington Academic Team, Pinckney will receive a $750 scholarship and is in the running for selection to the All-USA Academic Team, which will be announced in April.

Pinckney also received an additional $1,000 scholarship for being the fourth-ranked member of the team.

Check out Washington history with historian’s new book

April 3, 2012

Lorraine McConaghy

A public historian for the Seattle Museum of History & Industry, Lorraine McConaghy describes her new book as an “exhibition between book covers.”

For “New Land, North of the Columbia,” McConaghy visited at least 50 archives, from national registries to small-town history museums. Very little of the research was done on the Internet. One reason is that some of the items she hoped to gather just aren’t available electronically, she said.

But probably more importantly, McConaghy said she wanted to actually see and feel the documents, wanted to see the context from which they emerged.

“I wanted to look at the material, to hold it in my hands,” she added.

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Disaster Preparedness Month includes earthquake drill

April 3, 2012

April is Disaster Preparedness Month, and the state Emergency Management Division encourages residents to plan for natural and manmade catastrophes.

Statewide preparedness activities include a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill at 9:45 a.m. April 25. The drill is part of the monthly Emergency Alert System test for broadcasters.

Citizens can find preparedness information for businesses, homes and schools from the Emergency Management Division at

“Citizens, companies and government agencies will be encouraged to review their individual preparedness plans, contact information and emergency kits, and to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, or natural or manmade disasters,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation.

State emergency planners also conduct a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill for National Preparedness Month in September.

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