September 2, 2014
It’s back-to-school time, and you know what that means.
We’re not talking about the purchases and chaos. We’re talking about slowing down and watching out for children, who may not be watching out for you.
State law says you must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road or not. These buses usually have a stop-sign arm on them, but you might not see it. Likewise, you might not see the children that step off these buses and run to nearby houses or people waiting for them.
August 26, 2014
On Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah School District will walk their children to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.
Finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee.
But wait, your school needs you. The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.
August 19, 2014
Sometime soon, some area parents will get a pair of letters. One is a federally mandated notice informing them their child’s school is failing. The other, likely included in the same envelope, will tell them not to worry about what the first letter says — things are just fine.
The mixed message will undoubtedly confuse some.
Here we are: 2014 was the year that every child in America was supposed to be at grade level standard in math and reading, according to the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The idea was well-meaning, but obviously flawed. While pretty much everyone agrees the law needs revisions, revisions mean Congress needs to get involved. Since Congress can barely agree on the color of the sky, it’s unlikely to see revisions any time soon.
August 12, 2014
Remember how simple voting used to be? You would drive or walk to your neighborhood voting place, sign in, get your ballot, go to the private voting area, drop your ballot in the secure box and be on your way. That wasn’t simple enough or possibly cost effective enough for King County, so we now have all mail-in voting.
In the recent primary election “some” (undisclosed number) return envelopes for ballots were found to be already sealed when voters opened the voting packets sent to them by King County Elections. That “some” was significant enough for King County Elections to send out a press release July 25 to the media in hopes of informing voters of the potential issue.
August 5, 2014
Coordination, new ideas needed on tolling
The feared 10-mile backups never materialized when the state took Interstate 90 down to one lane for construction. As often seems to happen in these situations, a thousand people made a thousand little changes, and we pulled through.
One big change, however, might have helped keep things flowing with a minimum of angst, toll relief on the state Highway 520 bridge.
In the weeks leading up to the closure, there was a bit of finger-pointing about whether or not one part of the state government gave a different part of the state government enough advanced notice.
July 29, 2014
Please don’t feed the bears, ever
“A fed bear is a dead bear.”
Those were true words from an expert who spoke to The Issaquah Press several years ago about the bears people were reporting in their yards and trashcans in the Issaquah area.
They are still true now. We have built our homes and businesses in their yards, and we are going to come into contact with wildlife.
We are the stewards of this land, and we have a responsibility to keep those animals (along with our neighbors) safe. That means letting animals be when we encounter them. Don’t hassle them. Don’t try to pet them. Don’t feed them.
July 22, 2014
Let the back-to-school shopping begin!
Wow, everything from erasers to three colors of ink pens, from scissors to notebooks are on the list. Don’t forget a box of Kleenex for the classroom and an apple for the teacher.
If you’ve purchased a new backpack for your student and added in the supplies, your receipts probably add up to well more than $100. And you still have to get new shoes and pay for a yearbook and a PTA membership.
July 15, 2014
The Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group is one of those little committees that government seems to form all the time. Typically, these sorts of bodies get together, author an important-sounding report and disband. The report gathers dust, and nothing actually happens.
This one is different. The kokanee work group has certainly done its share of fact-finding, but the facts are being put to use. The little red fish is recovering, and the efforts of the work group should be applauded.
July 8, 2014
No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)
And although there is not yet a local place to make a purchase, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses this week by the state Liquor Control Board.
A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot.
July 1, 2014
Students can get physical education credit for taking a class online, but not for playing sports. This policy has its root in a confusing aspect of state law, which needs to be cleaned up and changed to allow credit for sports.
Under current law, a student can waive the requirement for taking a physical education class if he or she is playing a sport, though students must still take a test to show they understand the concepts taught in class. However, they can’t earn the credit for knowing those concepts.
The benefit to students is in freeing up a class period to take something that might look more interesting on their college application.