Schools fare well in House budget, officials wait for Senate proposal

February 28, 2012

Local officials are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward budget and revenue news coming out of Olympia.

The state House of Representatives passed its version of a 2012 supplemental budget Feb. 21.

In total, the spending plan slices about $890 million from the current budget. While local school officials have been steadying themselves for budget cuts, the House plan largely leaves funding intact, Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said.

However, Rasmussen quickly noted the state Senate must still act on its version of the budget. He didn’t say so, but the two plans almost certainly will need some work to blend them into one document, which still would need approval by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

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Local councilman urges Legislature to create ‘blue alert’

February 28, 2012

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn announced a plan Feb. 23 to urge state legislators to create a “blue alert” system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

The proposal came hours after a man fatally shot a state trooper in Kitsap County.

“We in government must do everything in our power to protect those who put their lives on the line every day in order to protect us,” he said in a statement.

Modeled after the AMBER alert, a “blue alert” could use media resources to inform the public about suspects accused of harming law enforcement officers.

“I am grateful that Councilmember Dunn is again offering his support to law enforcement to help stop future tragedies,” Republican state Rep. Mike Hope, prime sponsor of the “blue alert” legislation, said in a statement.

Local state Rep. Marcie Maxwell is a cosponsor of the measure.

Dunn, a Republican, is running for state attorney general against Democrat Bob Ferguson, a fellow councilman.

Learn to raise poultry at The Grange Supply’s 2012 Chick Days

February 28, 2012

The Grange Supply has announced its 2012 Chick Days, a program advertised as focusing on healthy starts for the many baby animals that often help herald the start of spring.

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Off the Press

February 28, 2012

Bob Taylor, we will miss you far more than you can know

Bob Taylor. I had heard of him before I even met him.

Kathleen Merrill Press managing editor

He is a legend in the sports community, I am sure many people will tell you. I certainly will.

People at the South County Journal used to talk about him in hushed, reverent tones. He had been at the paper’s predecessor, the Journal American, for many years. And in his career, he worked nearly every sports beat there was.

His list of career highlights began in 1972, when he graduated from college and was hired by the weekly Bellingham Metropolitan. In between then and now, he has covered many teams, including the Seattle Mariners. There is no way I could do justice to his career in this small space.

I think nowhere is he more well-known and beloved than on the Eastside. He has worked here at The Press since 2000, covering prep sports. I was thrilled when I applied for this job and found out that he worked here.

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Skyline girls basketball team center earns first-team honors

February 28, 2012

Skyline center Megan Wiedeman, who led the Spartans to the KingCo 4A Crest Division title, was named to the all-league first team. Wiedeman, a senior, averaged 13.3 points a game and ranked sixth in league scoring.

Senior forward Allie Wyszynski, of Skyline; and Issaquah sophomore guards Mandie Hill, Monica Landdeck and Mackenzie Wieburg were named to the all-KingCo 4A second team. Hill, who transferred to Issaquah from California before the beginning of the season, averaged 12.4 points a game. She ranked eighth among the league’s top scorers.

Sabrina Norton and Aimee Brakken, of Issaquah, and Hayley Smith and Rachel Shim, of Skyline, earned honorable mention.

Woodinville’s Ali Forde was selected as the league’s most valuable player.

(Nick) Price is right for KingCo 4A all-league team

February 28, 2012

A year after getting almost ignored by KingCo Conference 4A coaches on the all-league team, Issaquah High School senior Nick Price was not overlooked this season.

Price earned first-team all-KingCo honors this time when the all-league team was announced. Once again, Price has impressive statistics. He ranked third in KingCo scoring by averaging 19.7 points per game. Price also helped lead the Eagles to the KingCo 4A title game and a Class 4A regional berth.

“I was real happy for him,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said.

As a junior, Price earned honorable mention despite being the top scorer in the Crest Division. This time, he was one of three candidates for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

“He was unanimous all-KingCo. His play and leadership was respected by all coaches,” Griffith said.

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Liberty High School’s Aspen Winegar is named all-league

February 28, 2012

Liberty senior Aspen Winegar, who helped lead her team to the KingCo 3A/2A title game the past two years, was named to the league’s all-league first-team.

Winegar averaged 12.5 points for the Patriots, who reached the 3A Sea-King District Tournament.

Teammates Sierra Carlson, Ashlan Applegate and Delane Agnew earned honorable mention.

Liberty guard Tynan Gilmore was selected to the KingCo 3A/2A All-league second team. Gilmore, a 5-8 junior, ranked third in league scoring with a 14.8 average.

Eastside Fire & Rescue plans emergency medical service pilot program

February 28, 2012

Why send three people to do a job that only takes one?

That’s been a common rhetorical question for fire officials trying to handle a steadily increasing workload — about two-thirds of which are medical calls — in a time of tight public finances. Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County’s Emergency Medical Service officials will put the theory to the test this year with a Community Medical Technician pilot program.

Under the program, the agency will staff a one-person unit that will respond in an SUV to nonlife-threatening medical calls — a broken finger, bad back pain or a nosebleed, for example. As of now, the standard EMT crew responds to those calls in a fully equipped aid car or fire truck, tying up three responders that might be needed at more major calls.

EFR Chief Lee Soptich said the pilot program may prove to be more efficient and a cheaper model than adding another full-service unit to keep up with call volumes — which have grown around 3 percent per year recently.

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Kiwanis Young Professionals offer PC clinic

February 28, 2012

Run down? Fighting a virus? Are things taking longer to process? If your computer’s maladies seem to outnumber yours even during cold and flu season, the Issaquah Kiwanis Young Professionals Club offers a PC Clinic on March 4 at Gibson Hall, 105 Newport Way S.W.

Computers can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to noon and picked up between noon and 2 p.m.

The Kiwanis Young Professionals will run hardware diagnostics, scrub computers of viruses and spyware, do performance fine- tuning, and offer advice and tips. All services are free, but donations will be gladly accepted to support Kiwanis’ local community service.

Community members need only bring their computer and power cord. The Young Professionals will have monitors, keyboards, mice and peripherals to plug in and do testing.

If you believe your computer is beyond help, the Kiwanis also will offer free recycling for old computers, laptops and monitors. They will not accept keyboards, mice, copiers, scanners or printers.

Schools eye teacher evaluation system as state model

February 28, 2012

Hoping to take the lead in implementing a coming change in state law, local school officials have settled on a teacher evaluation system that could end up being a model for all of Washington.

The Issaquah School District will now spend time ramping up to implementation of the new system, according to Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele, as well information released by the district.

The new teacher and principal evaluation system should be in place in time for the next school year.

In fall 2013, every Washington public school will be implementing a state-mandated system to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals.

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