June 10, 2014
City and school district leaders should be applauded. While the story is the sort that many readers just gloss over, local taxpayers are set to save a bundle of money as a result of recent developments.
The city of Issaquah and the Issaquah School District both recently had their bond ratings upgraded. The city’s rating was bumped up to AAA — the highest possible — by Standard & Poor’s, while the district’s was raised to AA+ by the same agency.
Ratings are determined only after the rating agency goes over the fiscal policies of an agency with a fine-tooth comb. They look at financial management, assets, existing debt and budgeting assumptions.
June 3, 2014
History tells us this weather is a trick. Soon enough, the June gloom will set in and take hold until July 4.
But if this lovely weather holds (and even if it doesn’t) many Western Washingtonians will head outside, braving the cold waters and muddy hiking trails.
Please, don’t let the sun lull you into contentment. As we learned last week on Mount Rainier, even experienced outdoor people with professional guides can get into trouble.
While most of us won’t be scaling mountains, it’s important to keep safety in mind no matter what your activity.
May 27, 2014
Many people came out to celebrate and remember veterans at ceremonies across the area on Memorial Day.
But the men and women who served or died in military service to their country should be remembered and honored all year.
Members of our military are still fighting and dying in remote areas all around the world.
May 20, 2014
Bike, cars can get along better
May 16 was Bike to Work Day, and thousands of two-wheeled commuters took to the road. The mere thought of a cyclist can start some drivers’ blood boiling, and cyclists, too, find themselves frustrated by inconsiderate motorists.
Bikes on the roads are here to stay, and indeed, if current trends hold, will be an ever-growing presence. More work must be done to help bikes and cars co-exist, and two of the biggest missing ingredients are predictability and education.
May 13, 2014
Prom season is upon us. All across America, high school seniors are finding new and creative ways to ask each other to the big dance, girls are searching for the perfect dress and at least one boy is determined to be that guy wearing the white tux with tails and a top hat. (Special private note to him: You don’t actually want to be that guy.)
While parents are watching this unfold — and “Sunrise, Sunset” plays somewhere in their minds — they must remember how important it is that they continue the work they’ve done to keep their children safe.
May 6, 2014
There is still time left to consider filing for an elected office — the ultimate volunteer job.
This year’s elections could give you a chance to effect change on the state and national level.
Every seat in the state House of Representatives is up for election this year, in addition to a number of seats in the state Senate.
April 29, 2014
The impacts of the state losing its No Child Left Behind waiver are unlikely to be profound locally, but they are still an embarrassment — an embarrassment that could easily have been avoided.
Washington, along with 42 other states, was operating under a waiver that allows the state to essentially ignore some portions of the federal law. But that waiver was revoked last week.
We are in this mess because the state teacher’s union and Democrat members of the Legislature were unwilling to allow test scores to be a factor in teacher evaluations.
April 22, 2014
Issaquah is a naturally beautiful place, but it could be cleaner. Litter — beer cans, gum wrappers — are often found along streets and sidewalks amid the landscaping.
It takes a community to care about keeping Issaquah beautiful, which is why volunteers begin litter patrol in the second annual Spring Clean-up this Saturday morning.
The event is hosted by the Downtown Issaquah Association and Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, but more than 200 volunteers from clubs, organizations and businesses, as well as individuals, have signed up to tackle a segment of town and give it a clean sweep. Girl Scouts will plant flowers to add some spring color to key locations.
April 15, 2014
Turns out you can fight City Hall after all
While it may be true that you can’t fight City Hall and win, you might be able to win it over.
So, it seems, is the case with Save Squak in its battle over Squak Mountain land that was set for logging a little more than a year ago.
In January 2013, 15-year Squak Mountain resident Helen Farrington was concerned that clear-cutting 216 acres of forest could impact a fork of May Creek. Salmon had just returned to the area, and residents feared that with logging, they would be gone again.
April 8, 2014
Tiger Mountain school rethink can work
The Issaquah School Board is planning some big changes for Tiger Mountain Community High School. Some of these changes are necessary, but the disruption of the community is not.
Tiger Mountain has about 100 students who would generally be considered “at risk.” The school tries to reach these students with nontraditional methods in an attempt to keep them engaged.
The attempt isn’t working as well as it should. The school’s graduation rate of 37 percent shows this. Whatever methods district officials are attempting are actually reaching only a fraction of the students.