Bellevue College seeks input about Issaquah campus

April 24, 2012

Bellevue College plans to gather public input as proposals coalesce for a planned satellite campus in the Issaquah Highlands — a long-term goal for city and college leaders.

Citizens can offer comments and ideas at a public forum at 6 p.m. May 1 at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive.

The college scheduled the forum to learn what citizens want for potential course offerings, campus planning, building design and more.

The forum is the latest phase in a plan to engage stakeholders — nearby residents, current and potential students, elected representatives and government officials — in the planning process.

Officials plan to construct a single building in the highlands for the initial phase and then add space in the years ahead, as resources and demand increase.

Off the Press

April 24, 2012

Christina lords Press reporter

Long and winding road comes to a sad end

I’m seated in the waiting room of Issaquah’s Midas Muffler and Brake Shop as Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” drifts through speakers overhead, but I don’t have to wait long.

The Midas man steps in through the door holding a section of rusty muffler from my 1995 Kia Sephia.

Before he even gets a word out, I know. Our 10-year run together is over.

Midas man, bless his heart, lets me down easy. It’ll cost $600 to $900 to fix, more than the car is worth.

I’ll explain my situation. I’ve been scrimping and saving for a down payment — $50 dollars here, $25 there — for a new car for nearly two years. I have $2,000 saved. Paying to fix the Kia (affectionately pronounced by her pet name “ki-uh” for years) now just doesn’t make financial sense.

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Citizens can comment on plastic bag ban April 30

April 24, 2012

In a push to collect more input on a proposal to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses, the City Council scheduled another opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed ban.

In the meantime, citizens can complete a survey and submit comments about the legislation at the municipal website,

Citizens can comment on the proposed ban at a meeting and public hearing at 7 p.m. April 30. The council is not expected to reach a decision on the legislation then.

The council meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Supporters said a plastic bag ban could reduce landfill waste and marine pollution. Opponents said the legislation could lead to lost plastics manufacturing jobs in the region.

The local proposal is similar to ordinances in Seattle, Bellingham, Edmonds and Mukilteo.

Eastside Catholic pitcher Alex Foley named state athlete of the week

April 24, 2012

Alex Foley, of Issaquah, pitches during a stretch of baseball games earlier this month for Eastside Catholic High School that garnered him a statewide honor from the WIAA. Contributed

Alex Foley, junior baseball player for Eastside Catholic High School, was named WIAA male state athlete of the week for April 1-7.

With an earned-run average of 0.88 and 23 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched, he led his 3A team to three victories against O’Dea, Skyline and Chief Sealth high schools.

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Issaquah Schools Foundation broadens scope to fund more, smaller projects

April 24, 2012

Last year, in connection with the Issaquah PTSA Council, the Issaquah Schools Foundation raised about $438,000 to help with the purchase and implementation of a new science curriculum at elementary schools in the Issaquah School District.

The curriculum included textbooks and other related materials aimed at students in kindergarten through grade five.

After a retreat of foundation administrators and a meeting with the Issaquah School Board, the foundation does not have any single, large-scale goal for this year, Executive Director Robin Callahan said.

Instead of concentrating on fundraising for one major effort, the foundation hopes to spread itself into various areas. One focus area will be the district’s stated goal of ensuring all third-graders are reading at grade level.

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King County calls for new schools in urban areas

April 24, 2012

A 30-member task force unanimously agreed to recommend that new school sitings in King County be done in urban areas and rural towns, not in areas designated as rural.

King County officials announced the decision April 11.

“These are thoughtful recommendations that will help deliver educational excellence for our children without sacrificing the environment of our rural areas,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a press release.

According to the county, the School Siting Task Force evaluated an inventory of 18 rural properties owned by eight school districts in King County.

The county lists one such property owned by the Issaquah School District at 21569 S.E. May Valley Road.

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New school material is available for public review

April 24, 2012

The Issaquah School District’s Instructional Materials Committee has recommended board adoption of the instructional materials Elementary Literacy: Phonics Curriculum For Grades K-2.

The materials are available for public review through May 4 in the lobby of the Issaquah School District administration office, 565 N.W. Holly Street. Public comment forms will also be available.

To the Editor

April 24, 2012

Issaquah School District bond

Issaquah residents care for the school district’s youths

Volunteers for Issaquah Schools wants to thank the Issaquah School District community for passing the maintenance and construction bond.

Each community has its own set of priorities. This community demonstrated that education is a top priority by approving the maintenance and construction bond during challenging economic times with a 70 percent yes vote.

We are honored to live in and be a part of a community that holds the education of its youth as a high priority. Your investment in our youth will pay off for years to come. Thank you again for investing in our youth and reaffirming the deep commitment this community has to education.

Lesley Austin

VIS Board

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Leaders call for increased access to regional transit card

April 24, 2012

King County Council members requested increased access to regional transit by expanding the One Regional Card for All, or ORCA smart card, in a unanimous decision March 26.

The council called for mass transit officials to analyze options to lead to a broader distribution and increased use of ORCA.

Before the program launched in 2009, King County sold transit fare through numerous retail stores. Through ORCA, the network limited to the Internet and direct distribution facilities. King County Metro Transit then received complaints about the reduction in purchase locations.

ORCA is a collaboration among the transit systems in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“ORCA cards have proven to be a fast and easy way to for local riders to pay for their transit fares,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said in a statement. “However, we need to find a way to expand access to these cards. Studies have shown that if you make paying for transit easy, more riders will use it.”

Skyline girls golf team finds silver lining in loss to Redmond

April 24, 2012

While it was not a winning day for Skyline High School’s girls golf team, or the weather, last week it was a victory for Layla Hiramoto.

Ignoring the rain that poured down on her and everyone else playing the 2,731-yard course at the Bear Creek Country Club in Woodinville on April 19, Hiramoto shot a 53. With an improvement of six shots, the No. 5 varsity golfer earned her season best and the top score of the day for Skyline.

“It took a lot of mental toughness to play well in that weather,” Skyline’s head coach Erik Hanson said. “She got it done. She looked beyond the weather and didn’t make excuses.”

Hanson was thrilled. Hiramoto had been struggling with her putting, he said, so much that in one match she used two different putters.

“For me, as a coach, I am always happy to see a kid work to improve their weakness,” he said.

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