Students choose many classes for creativity

May 28, 2013

Art students at Issaquah High School express their creativity on a daily basis.

With a wide array of art classes, including “Studio Graphic Arts,” “Ceramics,” “Photography,” “Visual Art,” “Advanced Art” and, starting next year, “AP Studio Art,” students have many opportunities to engage creative outlets.

Madeline Wells Issaquah High School

Madeline Wells
Issaquah High School

Photography classes utilize technology with digital cameras and editing, as well as darkroom techniques with film. Visual art focuses on various forms of painting and drawing, and ceramics involves learning the clay-working process and design and glaze techniques.

Sophomore Hannah Balducci, a student who takes photography, filmmaking, drawing, printmaking and painting, enjoys taking advanced photography at IHS. She also plans to take “AP Studio Art” next year, and said she is looking forward to a challenge.

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Drama programs teach practical skills

May 28, 2013

Fine arts credits make up merely 3.5 percent of the total required credits to graduate at Liberty High School and 4.5 percent at Issaquah and Skyline high schools.

While algebraic ability and an understanding of American government are certainly invaluable, skills gleaned from involvement in the arts, particularly drama classes and productions, are equally applicable to the world outside high school.

Veronica Austin Liberty High School

Veronica Austin
Liberty High School

“I would like to see the arts integrated more into the core curriculum,” Liberty drama teacher and director Katherine Klekas said. “When I taught for a couple of years in Germany, I noticed that every student was automatically signed up for music and art classes… They weren’t ‘electives.’ The ability to read music and sketch things were considered part of a basic education.”

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Teen Talk

May 28, 2013

What symptoms of spring fever do you have?

Eastside Catholic High School

“I guess it’s more a symptom of senioritis, but I really hate being in school when the weather is so nice out! I have no motivation to do homework or study for tests when I know I could be out enjoying the sun.”

Katie Martin, senior 


“Literally or figuratively? Because I have really, really bad allergies in the spring. On a serious level, I’m just itching to get out of school and enjoy my last summer before I go off to college.”

Madison Blackburn, senior 

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The surprising benefits of senioritis

May 28, 2013

Every year, second semester seniors bond over, well, not doing anything at all. The feeling of anticipation to get to college and the lack of motivation to do any work when one reaches the home stretch of one’s high school career has been given the moniker “senioritis,” a “disease” that is both contagious and deadly.

Usually, a student catches senioritis after committing to college. With the future secure and bright and the school workload finally lessening after four years of long, hard work, students begin taking early summer vacations. Among my peers, I have already seen the symptoms blow up into full-fledged attacks on the immune system: students skipping class, students sleeping in class, students skipping school altogether. Thankfully, I myself have not fallen victim to the disease.

Lee Xie Skyline High School

Lee Xie
Skyline High School

In fact, it seems as if senioritis has made senior year the least stressful and most well-rested period of time in all my years of high school. I’ve discovered that the seemingly crippling infection brings a few beneficial side effects.

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To the Editor

May 28, 2013

Community thank you

I’m grateful for being surrounded with love, support

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the great people of Issaquah.

My husband, the father of our 12-year-old daughter, passed away suddenly two months ago. From the very day that he passed, there were people at our door offering prayers, condolences and food. Some of these people I had never even met before.

I am eternally grateful for all the love and support you have given my family in our time of need.

Brandi Farrell


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Off The Press

May 28, 2013

I’m glad to help make government transparent

I went to a discussion dinner recently that focused on civil behavior and the responsibility of government. I am excited. One of the topics that arose centered on the transparency of government and it made me romanticize all over again the profession of journalism and what I feel it gives to the world.

The other diners had varying opinions regarding this, but most contended that government should be more open for the citizens it serves.

Peter Clark

Peter Clark

Leaving aside state and federal governments, I will say that local governments that I have covered, included my short time here in Issaquah, have been exceedingly transparent. In this city’s new website, they appear to painstakingly put in most every piece of paper that is offered to the mayor, the council or different departments. Likewise, they offered limited public comments on many issues and hold public hearings on the most important, such as on the Klahanie potential annexation area.

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Pesticide free-yards sought

May 28, 2013

King County and Washington Toxics Coalition are offering Pesticide Free Zone ladybug signs free to families gardening without pesticides.

Families can take a pledge and receive a sign to recognize their efforts. The round sign has a ladybug on it and proclaims the lawn as a “pesticide free zone.” Sign the pledge to get your yard sign at

More than 800 public places in King County are pesticide free. “Pesticide free” means that no chemical pest controls are used. However, the coalition is allowing the use of products that are allowed in organic agriculture, in the hopes of encouraging companies to develop safer products.


Community donates $30,000 to local schools

May 28, 2013

The Issaquah School Board approved nearly $30,000 worth of donations to the district during its May 8 regular meeting.

The bulk of the money, $19,135, came from the Issaquah Schools Foundation to support students in the district with robotics in the classroom. The foundation also donated another $5,245 to provide supplement funding for portable technology throughout the schools.

Students at Newcastle Elementary School got an extra boost from their PTSA, which donated $5,556 to offset the costs of fifth-grade environment camp.



Smokin’ the competition

May 28, 2013

Competitive barbecuer Tom Wallin is fired up to win grilling’s top prizes

In the world of competitive cooking, entrants look for any advantage they can get to get a leg up on their competition.

The edge for local resident Tom Wallin, the road to championship barbecuing, including his latest win in April at the Washington State Spring BBQ Championship, came from the year he spent as a certified judge before joining the ranks of competitors.

In 2004, Wallin, a lifelong backyard barbecuer, was intrigued by the growing number of grilling competitions on the Food Network, when an opportunity presented itself that Memorial Day weekend.

By David Hayes Tom Wallin describes how the flames travel throughout his competition smoker he hauls to contests throughout the United States.

By David Hayes
Tom Wallin describes how the flames travel throughout his competition smoker he hauls to contests throughout the United States.

“My wife Kay and I thought, ‘Certified judging. What a great gig that would be,’” Wallin said.

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Small Business Award calls for nominations

May 28, 2013

Small businesses have to work hard to keep ahead of the big box stores, and King County wants to recognize that.

Small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in the county, according to a press release from King County. For the third year in a row, King County Executive Dow Constantine is celebrating small businesses by asking for nominations for the Small Business Awards.

Businesses are eligible for nomination if they operate within King County, have 50 or fewer employees, and have been in business for at least three years. Cities, chambers of commerce, certain business organizations, and small business owners may nominate local firms that meet the criteria. Go to to fill out the nomination form for your favorite small business. Nominations close July 15.

An average of 125 firms are nominated each year. Three finalist firms are selected in each of seven categories, and winners are announced at a ceremony attended by nearly 250 people from local chambers of commerce, cities and small business organizations.



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