Mayor says deal is close on funding for Issaquah Senior Center

September 22, 2015

NEW — 2:21 p.m. Sept. 22, 2015

The administration is close to striking a deal with the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, Mayor Fred Butler told the City Council at its regular meeting Monday.

That deal could gain the center city funding next year despite some ongoing acrimony at the center. Butler said there was one issue remaining between the city administration and the center leadership. Butler did not say what that issue was, but did say he expects some resolution prior to the funding issue going before the council’s Services and Safety Committee.

That committee is the next step for the nonprofit funding recommendations presented to the council at Monday’s meeting. The committee is expected to meet Oct. 13 with the question of funding returning to the council later in October. Read more

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Senior Center’s funding may be in doubt for 2016

September 7, 2015

NEW — 4:17 p.m. Sept. 7, 2015

As of late last week, the Issaquah Valley Senior Center had not agreed to stipulations placed by Mayor Fred Butler on future funding by the city, casting doubt on whether the City Council would approve an appropriation for the center for 2016.

In recent years, Issaquah has supplied the center with $99,000 annually. For 2015, that figure represents about 44 percent of the center’s $221,490 budget, said Warren Kagarise, communication coordinator for Issaquah.

Kagarise said the funding picture might become clearer Sept. 14, when the City Council is set to discuss nonprofit funding during a work session slated for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

In an email, Butler said the center had applied for funding by the city’s deadline of Aug. 20. But he added that as officials processed the paperwork, “the city identified missing content.” Read more

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Amid controversy, mayor places conditions on future budget for senior center

August 4, 2015

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 4, 2015

Mayor Fred Butler says he will recommend continued city funding for the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, but only if the center board accepts various conditions on that funding for 2016.

In a letter to the center’s board of directors dated July 30, Butler wrote that “given the ongoing concerns that have developed with the Issaquah Senior Center” he would be placing “at a minimum” seven conditions on funding that could amount to $99,000 next year, the same amount given the center in 2015.

The city’s contribution represents a major percentage of the center’s budget.

Butler’s letter comes in the midst of ongoing controversy at the center, most especially back-and-forth accusations of misconduct on the part of various people. Read more

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Schools seek lessons from new Healthy Youth Survey

March 31, 2015

Results from a new survey show Issaquah School District students aren’t very different from students around the state when it comes to using alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and other behavior.

At a March 25 study session, district officials shared results of the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey with Issaquah School Board members.

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Girls fight bullies, Find Kind in club

November 26, 2014

Four years ago, Eastside Catholic High School welcomed guest speakers Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson to talk about their campaign and film — “Finding Kind” — that discussed the cause and effects of girl-on-girl bullying.

Marissa Secreto Eastside Catholic         High School

Marissa Secreto
Eastside Catholic
High School

The idea caught fire: Shortly after Parsekian and Thompson’s visit, EC created its own club under the same name, where middle-school and high-school girls could meet up once a week and discuss bullying prevention.

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Let’s Talk About It — Bullying over the Internet is easier than in person

May 27, 2014

Jacob Brunette Issaqauh         High School

Jacob Brunette
High School

Students at Issaquah High School pride themselves on their kindness and the inclusive atmosphere of their school. Yet, in the few instances where IHS makes the national news, it always seems to be for something that totally contradicts that positive self-image: Racist tweets directed toward students at Garfield High School or the sexist “May Madness” competition are the two major examples that come to mind.

And while Issaquah certainly has the most prominent profile in that regard, neither Skyline, Liberty, nor Eastside Catholic is free of bullying either. The question is, how can schools that pride themselves on being friendly, welcoming places still be host to such negative behavior?

A major explanation comes in the rise of social media. While the stereotypical view of bullying is that of bullies beating up kids for lunch money, in reality, that hasn’t been accurate for a long time.

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Issaquah Community Network seeks youth representatives

May 18, 2014

NEW — 10 a.m. May 18, 2014

The Issaquah Community Network is seeking youth representatives for the 2014-15 school year.

The deadline for applications is June 20. Interviews with applicants will be conducted over the summer and representatives announced in late August.

The Issaquah Community Network operates within the Issaquah School District boundaries to reduce adverse childhood experiences and risky behaviors in youths ages 12-20.

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Cyberbullying victim puts past behind her

March 25, 2014

The lewd images and messages scrawled across her daughter’s Facebook page in 2011 still burn bright in Issaquah resident Tara Cote’s memory.

In a case that made national headlines, then 12-year-old Leslie Cote was the victim of cyberbullying, as two classmates hacked into her social media page and posted altered photos, including one with “I’m a slut” superimposed on it.

Two Issaquah girls, who also used the site’s instant messaging service to act as Leslie to proposition boys for sexual acts, were charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing.

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Advisory board tackles youth substance abuse

March 25, 2014

Although drug abuse is a widely discussed topic, few dig deeper into the underlying causes, the reasons why youths would start risking their health by using dangerous substances.

Today’s generation of teenagers are faced with unprecedented challenges on a daily basis: family conflicts, rigorous schoolwork, bullying, peer pressure and sky-high parental expectations, just to name a few.

Not knowing how to deal with and manage the stress and emotions that result from these issues often leave teenagers in a dangerous predicament.

Erika Kumar Skyline High School

Erika Kumar
Skyline High School

Viewing drugs or alcohol as the only way to cope with their distress, many young people practice this harmful behavior and put their lives at risk. Easy access to illegal substances and a lack of understanding of the effects drugs have on their developing bodies further push teens toward substance abuse.

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Let’s Talk About It

December 24, 2013

Bullying: Do we even know what it is?

Noela Lu Skyline High School

Noela Lu
Skyline High School

A threatening note placed in a locker, a taunting remark in the hallway, a misguided rumor. Bullying has become a pressing issue in schools nationwide, affecting kids as young as 6 years old, and often has played the role of catalyst in teenage suicides and self-harm.

If bullying is such an important concern, why are 50 percent of bullying incidents not reported? The first step to lowering this statistic is to understand what bullying truly means. To put it simply, bullying occurs when one person or group uses superiority or aggression to exploit the weaknesses and flaws of another. This exploitation of others is seen everywhere, from elementary schools through high schools.

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