Guest Column — Great schools, great communities and you

August 26, 2014

Issaquah schools are great — there’s no doubt about it. Our district is consistently ranked as one of the top in the state and our students’ test scores are among the best in the nation. Ask any real estate agent and he or she will regale you with tales of parents who relocated just so their kids can get an Issaquah education.

What is less apparent is how our schools continue to be world-class centers for learning. Much credit goes to our teaching staff and fiscally savvy administration. An equal measure belongs to the community — parents, residents and businesses who donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation, join our PTSAs and volunteer in our schools.

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Off The Press — Recent sightings of the ridiculous

August 19, 2014

I didn’t know a 23rd century, high-tech war was being waged in my armpits on my behalf by the cosmetics industry, but apparently it is.

For years, it’s just been the same ol’ deodorant scent for yours truly, Old Spice High Endurance Arctic Force. I think it smells good. The red plastic container is easy to find in the grocery aisle. Period. And I’m a guy. I don’t need directions for using deodorant, right? I never read the fine print on the back, until just recently:

Contains odor-fighting “Atomic Robots” that “Shoot Lasers” at your “Stench Monsters” and replaces them with fresh, clean, masculine “Scent Elves.”

Whoa!

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Off The Press — Election envelopes create sticky situation

August 12, 2014

Like any responsible procrastinator I pride myself at waiting to the very last minute to complete any task. So, on election eve, realizing this was the last chance to exercise my right to vote in the primary, I finally opened the envelope from King County Elections that had been sitting on my kitchen table for at least a month.

With a sense of duty I read through the names on my ballot and filled in the corresponding oval as neatly as a person with zero small motor skills possibly could. I progressed rather quickly, coming finally to the list of people running for the judge position. Like most voters I know nothing about any of these people so I did what I always do…voted for the person whose name seemed the most normal.

Joe Heslet

Joe Heslet

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Off The Press

August 5, 2014

To rent or to own? That is the question

Neil Pierson

Neil Pierson

My wife and I are considering buying a home in Seattle, the prospects of which are both exhilarating and a bit terrifying.

First, let me preface by stating that I wouldn’t be a first-time homeowner. I’ve done it before, and while there’s a sense of satisfaction and freedom, it’s far from perfect.

To some degree, I think, apartment living has spoiled me. I like being able to call maintenance every time we find mold or the sink clogs, and know that we’re not going to have to sell a body part to fix the darned thing. Homeowners don’t have that peace of mind – something breaks and you’re in trouble, unless you have a good warranty.

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Off The Press

July 29, 2014

And now, the rest of the story

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Over the years here at The Issaquah Press, I’ve been privileged to interview some fascinating people. Thinking back, however, some interesting tidbits from these interviews didn’t make the story. So, I thought I’d share three of my favorite looks behind the scenes of what can unexpectedly happen during a routine story assignment.

The first was a feature about a group of families that were homeschooling their children. Homeschooled children undeservedly earn a bad reputation as being not socially well adjusted or being underserved by learning from home. On that day, when I arrived at the home they took common lessons from, a group of six or eight were playing a friendly game of soccer in the front yard. Looked pretty socially adjusted to me.

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Off The Press: Send in your kudos for new Press feature

July 22, 2014

Sometimes, people do really good or smart things. And sometimes, they do really bad or stupid things.

And I’ve always felt it is a newspaper’s job to share not only bad news, but good news as well.

With that in mind, The Issaquah Press is kicking off a new feature on its Opinion page — Picnic or Poo Poo.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

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Northern Lights and the 40-year-old virgin

July 15, 2014

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see

Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

I cremated Sam McGee.

                     — Robert Service

 

I was the only one in the Providence Point pool that morning. There had been an exercise class, but it had cleared out. Large glass windows dominate one end of the pool and the sun was beginning its trek across the morning sky.

While floating on my back, I looked at the ceiling, only to be surprised by streaks of dancing light weaving and bobbing about. The sun was being reflected off the undulating water.

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Insert marijuana pun headline here

July 8, 2014

Well, the first retail marijuana store opens this week. Like, for real. It’s really happening.

While I’m not much for pot, I do admit that I’ve found covering the state and Issaquah’s planning to enact Initiative 502 completely thrilling.

Reporter Bob Young at The Seattle Times this weekend posted a comprehensive FAQ regarding what retail marijuana will look like and what eager buyers can and cannot do with their legal grass. In the first question, he outlines a striking fact about Washington’s implementation of the initiative and why it took a year and a half before the first store opened.

“The short version: The state created something untested on the planet,” he wrote.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

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Fourth of July really is more than fireworks

July 1, 2014

Libertarians believe in the maximum amount of personal freedom without government intrusion.

Over the years, they’d point to an encroachment of the government of these freedoms in the name of public safety, including seat belts, motorcycle helmets and traffic cameras.

I was all ready to rant about the erosion of my freedom on the Fourth of July to blow stuff up in celebration of our country’s independence. However, trying to find any place to legally blow up fireworks these days other than the parking lot of Fireworks City at the Indian reservation where they’re bought is becoming more and more futile.

David Hayes

David Hayes

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Placing the blame for the popped balloon

June 24, 2014

Imagine a balloon floating lazily through the air, as nonchalant and easy-going as can be. Now, imagine sticking a needle in that balloon before it can flutter away.

Pop!

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

That’s what it felt like June 22 when the air was sucked from the lungs of thousands of stars-and-stripes-clad fans at Fuel sports bar in downtown Seattle.

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