Offer input at public meeting about state parks’ future

May 29, 2012

The agency responsible for Washington state parks is posing questions to citizens.

Should the state parks system operate more like a hospitality industry, a public conservation asset based mostly on grant and tax funding or a system of parks operating as community nonprofit entities? What do people enjoy about their park system? What improvements need to be made?

Citizens can offer answers to the questions as the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission starts a broad public outreach effort.

Officials plan to use the input to create a strategy to guide the parks system.

Participants at the public meetings can listen as parks staff members present a “state of state parks” report and ask for ideas and comments about visions for the future.

The meeting closest to Issaquah is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. June 6 at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services office, 900 Oakdale Ave. S.W., Renton.

Find public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of state parks at as the process proceeds.

Individuals, groups and organizations interested in joining the email list for updates regarding the planning process should email

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Issaquah painter Hiroko Seki is a force of nature

May 29, 2012

Hiroko Seki created a Nihonga painting of koi. By Hiroko Seki

Nature is the inspiration for the artwork of Issaquah resident Hiroko Seki. It is evident in her painting of a weeping willow in Lake Sammamish State Park, as well as in her sketches of Northwest birds.

“When I paint, I communicate with nature,” said Seki, explaining that she communicates with the subject she has chosen to create on canvas. In turn she “communicates to someone through my art.”

In this respect, Seki is a medium translating the natural world to her viewing audience.

One type of painting style that Seki uses is Nihonga, a traditional Japanese method thousands of years old. Nihonga uses natural ingredients — minerals, oyster shells and even semi-precious stones — that are crushed and distilled into a powder. The powder is then applied with traditionally rendered Japanese glue that has to be heated to the right temperature to adhere the powdered pigments to canvas, which produces vibrant colors.

Seki said that the Nihonga method does not fade like other paintings because “Stone never fades. Artificial fades.”

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Issaquah High School golfers stand with Mersadie Tallman at state

May 29, 2012

For Mersadie Tallman, going to state isn’t just about representing the Issaquah High School Eagles; it’s also about representing the Tallmans.

Her older sister Brittany, who is currently playing for the University of Washington, won the 3A state championship in 2005 and 2007.

Now that Issaquah has moved to 4A, the competition has risen.

“Mersadie did pretty well,” Issaquah head coach Tom Bakamus said. “She followed in her sister’s footsteps, which is pretty tough. She probably had a lot of pressure to live up to that.”

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Press Editorial

May 29, 2012

Take a hard look at arena deal

This area has a long history of skepticism when it comes to building sports facilities. Let’s put that attitude to good use when reviewing the proposal for a new basketball — and possibly hockey — arena in Seattle.

Though it may seem like a Seattle problem, the arena will have an impact here on the Eastside. In direct terms, the county is on the hook for up to $80 million, if certain conditions are met.

Where is this big chunk of money supposed to come from? Aren’t they about to ask us for a bond to build a juvenile justice center? Why is there money for a glorified basketball court, but not a justice center?

A possibly large, indirect impact on the Eastside could be the effect of the arena on freight mobility.

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College News

May 29, 2012

Student’s art to be featured at Cornish College of the Arts

Kayti Dupar, a 2004 graduate of Issaquah High School and graduating senior art major at Cornish College of the Arts with a focus in painting and print art, was featured at Cornish’s 2012 Art and Design BFA Show in May.

The BFA Exhibition is the crowning achievement for graduating seniors from art and design, announcing their introduction to the community as emerging artists and designers. This exhibit showcases the work of 67 individuals representing a survey of new ideas, themes and techniques that amalgamate our contemporary visual landscape.

View a sample of Dupar’s work at

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Skyline High School bids ‘irashaimase,’ or welcome, to Japanese culture

May 29, 2012

Student Lauren Brown (right) draws people as manga characters. By Lillian Tucker

“Irashaimase,” means welcome in Japanese and that is just what visitors heard May 19 when they entered Skyline High School.

Inside, students dressed in everything from jeans to kimonos were busy hosting the second annual Issaquah School District Japan Matsuri/Expo. Planned in collaboration with Liberty and Issaquah high schools, the event featured games, performances and plenty of food to sample.

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City Council announces annual goal-setting retreat

May 29, 2012

Citizens can join the City Council for a daylong retreat June 2 as officials meet to set goals for 2013.

The council meets each spring to draft goals and determine priorities for the months ahead. The process starts the effort to craft a municipal budget for the coming year.

Mayor Ava Frisinger, municipal department chiefs and other officials also join the council.

The retreat runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower Community Room at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, 949 N.E. Ingram Way.

The council set ambitious goals for 2012, including possible solutions for cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park, a more citizen-friendly budgeting process and a commission to address economic vitality.

Other priorities included offering additional city information online, improving downtown parking access and discussing possible arrangements for the aging Julius Boehm Pool.

The goal to create a municipal Economic Vitality Commission came to fruition May 16, as members held the inaugural meeting.

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Pine Lake Middle School welcomes new principal

May 29, 2012

Pine Lake Middle School will soon welcome a new principal. Beginning July 1, Michelle Caponigro will take over for retiring Principal Roy Adler. Caponigro has served as the school’s assistant principal for the past seven years.

“Parents and staff want a principal leader who is compassionate and personable and able to seamlessly continue the culture of excellent student achievement, collaboration, professional development and instructional leadership that has always been a hallmark of Pine Lake Middle School,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen wrote in an announcement to the community May 22. “We have found that leader in Michelle Caponigro.”

Adler, who is on medical leave, announced his plans to retire earlier this month. Since then, he has continued working with staff and Caponigro by phone. In a letter to families, Adler said his retirement will allow him to focus on his family and recovery. This year marks Adler’s 41st year in public education; 11 of those years have been at Pine Lake.

“Pine Lake is a school I couldn’t just walk away from. Something life changing had to happen to facilitate that,” he wrote. “No educator could ask for more than to serve this community. It has been a privilege, not a job.”

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Local lawmaker Jay Rodne hosts telephone ‘town hall’

May 29, 2012

State Rep. Jay Rodne invites 5th Legislative District constituents to join a telephone “town hall meeting” June 19.

The discussion is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and last for 60 minutes. Rodne plans to take constituents’ questions and share views about the recent legislative sessions throughout the discussion.

Call the toll-free number at 1-877-229-8493 and enter the code 15549 at the prompt.

Residents can also contact the North Bend Republican at 360-786-7852 or

Rodne’s district stretches from Issaquah to the Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley.

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King County plans to remove Preston trees, install guardrails

May 29, 2012

King County road crews plan to remove hazardous trees along a Preston road throughout the summer.

The removal is included in the annual Countywide Guardrail Program to improve roadside safety for drivers. Crews then plan to install guardrails in the area this fall.

The trees sit in King County road right of way. Officials identified the trees as hazardous because some could fall across the road or onto utility lines, many block sightlines for drivers on curves and hills, and others have a history of being struck by vehicles on numerous occasions.

Officials identified about 17 trees for removal on both sides of 308th Avenue Southeast on Mitchell Hill between Southeast 87th Place and Southeast 64th Street.

Citizens interested in learning more about the tree removal or guardrail installation can contact the county Department of Transportation at 206-263-9770 or

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