September 25, 2012
No need here for charter schools
Once again, Washington voters are being asked whether charter schools should be allowed here, as they are in 41 other states.
From some perspectives, a charter school run by a nonprofit organization with a goal of better education might make sense. But from the Issaquah perspective, charter schools are not needed. Test scores are among the highest in the state and 21 Issaquah School District students were recently named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
Supporters see charter schools as an alternative to a system seen as failing. The Issaquah district already strives to offer innovative curriculum for those students who need and desire more challenging classes. Witness the International Baccalaureate program at Skyline High School, the science-technology program for third graders, the Night Academy for students needing to make up failed high school classes and the Humanities Plus program for highly capable middle school students.
September 18, 2012
Salmon Days still needs volunteers
To most of us, The Salmon Days Festival is a fun-filled weekend of fair food, live entertainment and early holiday shopping. But the orchestration of preparing a city for 150,000 weekend guests is almost incomprehensible.
The annual Salmon Days volunteer party held a week ago was a celebration for the festival committee as more than 250 people signed up to help during the Oct. 6-7 festival.
But that’s only about half of what’s needed. Without more people stepping forward soon, the festival could be scrambling.
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?
September 4, 2012
Healthy ecosystem supports salmon
Last week, the first returning salmon of 2012 were seen at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery where they have come home to spawn. More will follow in the fall months ahead, crowding the many tributaries that feed into Lake Sammamish.
A healthy return of the Northwest’s favorite fish is an important symbol of the health of our streams, lakes and Puget Sound ecosystems.
While some residents are crying about the imposition of tough city laws meant to strengthen the salmon’s habitat — and our own — the fact remains that Issaquah has embraced its role as watershed steward. Our waterways are healthier today than 10, 20 or 30 years ago.
August 28, 2012
School begins with need for volunteers
Next Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah School District will walk their kids to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.
Ahhhh, 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 21, 2012
Children win when community unites
The club challenge was just a small part of a wonderful outpouring of support to fill 1,000 backpacks for kids registered with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
Numerous groups got together to coordinate the drive. The PTSA Council and Issaquah Education Association kicked things off by gathering donations of gift cards that could be used to purchase school supplies.
August 14, 2012
Hired lobbyist could be good investment
We like the idea of the city of Issaquah hiring a lobbyist to represent its interests in Olympia to state lawmakers.
The lobbyist will be there primarily to bring money back to the city, going after local “earmarks,” a term generally associated with Washington, D.C., and Congress.
It doesn’t quite seem right to invest taxpayer dollars to go after a bigger pot of taxpayer dollars, but that’s the reality of today. Think of it as a donor development manager, a position paid for by many nonprofits. Most cities the size of Issaquah now use a paid lobbyist.
August 7, 2012
School supplies for 1,000 children
It’s many of these same students who will be the recipients of the 1,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies that the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank and other community service groups are providing. That’s double the number of recent years.
Every parent or guardian knows that school supplies are not a small expense. First, there is the backpack. One sturdy enough to last the year can cost $20 to $25. Thankfully, the employees at SanMar have committed to supply 1,000 backpacks.
July 31, 2012
Your Issaquah Press just got narrower
More than a year ago, two readership focus groups gave us their insights.
Why is The Issaquah Press so wide, they asked. Since then, we’ve heard from other readers who’ve asked the same question. They say they prefer the easy-reading width of The Seattle Times.
We listened to our readers, and we listened to advertising agency designers who were asking the same question. Ad designers much prefer we get in line with the industry standard.
It took a year of thinking and planning, but here we are.
July 24, 2012
Vote yes for juvenile justice center
The juvenile justice center is where we hope few Issaquah families ever have to go. The center houses courtrooms where minors are tried, and a jail for underage offenders.
Calling current conditions poor is an understatement. The existing building is cramped. Designed decades ago, the courts and conference rooms are small and don’t meet today’s needs.