Community mourns Frank LaSalata, judge at Issaquah Courthouse

September 11, 2012

King County District Court Judge Frank LaSalata, a judge at the Issaquah Courthouse, died Sept. 1 after a battle against cancer.

LaSalata, 60, served as a King County District Court judge in the Northeast Division since 2006. Before then, he served for eight years as a pro tempore, or substitute, judge in King and San Juan counties.

The legal community — other judges, attorneys and courthouse employees — remembered him as a fair-minded and hardworking jurist.

LaSalata also served as a volunteer for the King County Kid’s Court program — a nationally acclaimed program to assist child victims of sexual abuse.

Before being elected to the District Court bench, he practiced law as a criminal defense attorney in King and San Juan counties.

Teenagers’ sustainability films garner spotlight

September 11, 2012

In June, city leaders put out a call for students to create films to answer the question, what does sustainability mean to you?

Now, audiences can see the results as organizers screen a pair of films in the inaugural Sustainability Film Shorts contest. Moviegoers can see the films from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N.

Organizers encourage attendees to arrive at noon to talk to local environmental and nonprofit partners in the theater lobby, and enjoy a snack before the event. Everybody attending the event receives a gift, and organizers also plan to award door prizes.

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City hosts meeting about electric vehicle charging stations

September 11, 2012

The city team responsible for building infrastructure for electric vehicles is hosting a public meeting about electric vehicle charging stations.

The meeting is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Pickering Room at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W. Interested citizens should RSVP to Kathe Geyer at 837-3400.

The agenda includes information about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, details about how charging stations work, optimal scenarios for installing electric vehicle infrastructure and details about different charging station brands.

Press Editorial

September 11, 2012

Excess campaign funds need clarification

Some state lawmakers have been taken to task for using leftover campaign funds in ways that may or may not be within bounds. There’s the problem. The rules are too vague and open to interpretation, so it’s unclear if there was a violation. More definitive guidelines should be developed.

An Associated Press reporter combed through records detailing the way politicians spend money left over from campaigns. The law allows them to hold onto the cash for the next election or use it for “public office-related expenses.” The vast majority of expenses are above board, though some are borderline and strain credulity.

One Issaquah legislator, state Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, had used some funds to help with car maintenance. Anderson reportedly said he has logged miles on the vehicle for official business, so it was reasonable to use the funds for maintenance. But that same car likely also made trips to the grocery store or the movies. Where is the line between official and unofficial use?

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Off the Press

September 11, 2012

Delegates defy conventional wisdom

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Early on, I dismissed the 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions as prime-time infomercials for both parties, more spectacle than substance.

Scenes from the convention stages in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., seemed about as garish as Times Square. For proof, look no further than the Republicans’ set fashioned from 13 giant LED screens — and billed as “America’s living room.”

Cynicism abounds come campaign season, and I admit to feeling more than a little jaded about the parties’ conventions.

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Freshman duo carries on legacy of fallen teammate

September 11, 2012

Jake Fritz, Kevin Powers play in memory of Tyler Lucas

High school teammates Jake Fritz and Kevin Powers are making an impact as teammates at Dominican and are carrying on the memory of high school teammate Tyler Lucas, who died in an automobile accident. Contributed by Dominican University of California

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — When Jake Fritz and Kevin Powers, high school teammates and longtime friends, led a freshmen lacrosse class to Dominican University of California last academic year, they came with high expectations.

They aimed to play. They aimed to score. They aimed to please.

“We knew that there were no seniors graduating (from last year’s team) and we knew they had a few games where they were one or two goals short,” Powers said. “We knew with the contribution of our freshmen class we would be able to win some of those games.”

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Spartans soccer team hosts scrimmage of defending state champs

September 11, 2012

Rachel Shim, Skyline High School senior forward, dribbles past Seattle Prep’s defense during the Sept. 4 game at Skyline Stadium. By Lillian O’Rorke

The Skyline High School girls soccer team has a lot to prove this year.

The defending state champions have won the 4A title three times in the past four years. They went undefeated in the 2010 season and finished last year at 18-0-2.

It’s a similar story for Seattle Prep’s girls soccer team. Coming off of two consecutive 3A state championships, the players are ranked second among Washington’s 3A teams.

So as an early-season test of their mettle, the two defending state champions came together for a friendly match. And when the whistle was blown after the 90th minute ticked away Sept. 4, the two teams walked away still on level ground — tied at 2-2.

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Students needed to star in ‘The Sound of Music’

September 11, 2012

Students from Clark, Sunset, Issaquah Valley and Grand Ridge elementary schools, as well as those who attend Pacific Cascade and Issaquah middle schools, are invited to audition for the upcoming production of “The Sound of Music.”

The musical, being produced by Issaquah High School, is looking to fill five Von Trapp children roles with students from feeder schools.

Auditions for younger children are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the choir room at Issaquah High and should last one to two hours. High school student auditions will be at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and could take more than three hours.

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Volunteers join forces to help Athletes for Kids

September 11, 2012

Skyline High School mentors in the Athletes for Kids program lend a hand at the Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race in July. By Janet Gadallah

What do a Pilates studio and a dozen area artists have in common?

They’re raising money for the local nonprofit organization Athletes for Kids.

For two days, Howling Dog Studio and the Creative Minds art collective are hosting an open house, art sale and raffle to help benefit the Sammamish-based organization that pairs high school athletes with younger children who have disabilities.

“I have a client whose child is active in Athletes for Kids and we just decided they were who we wanted to support,” said Nancy Brose, owner of Howling Dog Studio. She and Janet Gadallah, a Sammamish artist, are neighbors and wanted to hold an event to support an area organization. “I have just seen how much this client of mine, her daughter, has benefited.”

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges West Nile precautions

September 11, 2012

With the West Nile Virus outbreak continually growing, the nation’s emergency physicians urge the public to take precautions now to protect from being infected.

The West Nile Virus, a disease spread by mosquitos, causes only mild, flu-like symptoms in 20 percent of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About four out of five people who are infected show no symptoms at all.

But in rare cases, some will develop severe symptoms that can include high fever, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and vision loss. It can also cause permanent neurological damage and even death.

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