Issaquah School Board preserves Liberty High School’s block schedule

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10:40 p.m. Dec. 12, 2012

A celebratory cry gushed from the audience Wednesday night as the Issaquah School Board voted 4-1 to preserve the eight-period block schedule at Liberty High School.

“The data to support a six-period day has always seemed to me to be weak,” board member Chad Magendanz said. “At this point, I think it is premature to make a change without a compelling case driving it.”

Since 1995, Liberty has used an eight-period block schedule where students take four 90-minute classes each day. Many in the school’s community like that eight periods give students more chances to explore electives. This, supporters of the block schedule say, cultivates creativity, innovation and a commitment to learning.

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How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

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Chad Magendanz transitions from school board to Legislature

November 13, 2012

Chad Magendanz

Republican Chad Magendanz triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives, and in the process, set up a vacancy on the Issaquah School Board.

Magendanz defeated North Bend Democrat David Spring, a candidate for the seat in 2008 and 2010. The challengers vied to succeed retiring state Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Fall City Republican and lawmaker for a dozen years.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out of campaign mode — which has been the focus for the last year — and rolling up my sleeves and really getting into the tough problems to solve down in Olympia,” Magendanz said a day after the election.

Magendanz said decisions made in Olympia often frustrated the school board and Issaquah School District leaders.

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Brad Toft: State Senate race is too close to call, despite Mark Mullet’s lead

November 8, 2012

NEW — 12:10 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The contest for the 5th Legislative District state Senate seat is too close to call, Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft said Thursday, despite a 3,307-vote lead for Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet.

The race attracted attention in recent weeks for the insults the candidates lobbed at one another and, for a time, observers said the match-up could determine state Senate control. However, Republicans did not gain enough seats on Election Day to crack the Democrats’ majority in the chamber.

Mullet held about 54 percent — or 23,216 votes — to Toft’s 46 percent — or 19,909 votes — among more than 43,000 ballots counted in the race so far.

King County Elections is scheduled to release additional results at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

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Chad Magendanz readies for transition from Issaquah School Board to Legislature

November 7, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Nov. 7, 2012

Republican Chad Magendanz triumphed in the race to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives, and in process, set up a vacancy on the Issaquah School Board.

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz cruised to a comfortable lead against North Bend Democrat David Spring in the initial election results released Tuesday, 55 percent to 45 percent. The candidates vied to succeed retiring state Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Republican and lawmaker for a dozen years.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out of campaign mode — which has been the focus for the last year — and rolling up my sleeves and really getting into the tough problems to solve down in Olympia,” Magendanz said in a Wednesday interview.

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The Issaquah Press’ general election endorsements

October 30, 2012

See the editorial board’s recommendations for congressional and legislative candidates, and statewide ballot measures, in the Nov. 6 general election.

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Legislative candidates focus on education at forum

October 23, 2012

Candidates staked moderate positions and touted the importance of education as the contenders for offices to represent Issaquah in Olympia gathered for a candidate forum Oct. 18.

Education emerged as the signature theme in the races to represent local constituents in the state Senate and state House of Representatives. Candidates also tackled issues related to taxation, transportation, land use and — as lawmakers prepare for more budget cuts next year — government spending.

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Editorial

October 23, 2012

Our endorsements for state representatives

Local voters face some clear choices in the legislative races on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Issaquah is divided between the 5th and 41st legislative districts. Redistricting has changed district boundaries, but most Issaquah neighborhoods remain inside the 5th District.

North Issaquah and neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish shifted into the 41st District. Cougar Mountain west of state Route 900 and areas north of Interstate 90 act as the dividing lines.

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Liberty High School community speaks out against schedule change

October 16, 2012

It’s a little after 9 o’clock on a Thursday morning at Liberty High School and Marcus Milyko is working on his short video “Hidden Places,” which airs on the monthly broadcast show that is written, filmed and edited by the TV and Video Production class.

“I want to do video in my life,” he said. “I love all parts of it.”

But film wasn’t always Marcus’s passion. He hadn’t thought too much about it until Liberty’s film production course caught his eye last year when he was searching for a class. It’s this sort of chance to find a passion that Marcus, and many others in the Liberty community, are concerned will be lost if the district goes through with a proposal to change the high school’s schedule.

“Because of the eight-period schedule, I found this and without it I never would have,” Marcus said to members of the Issaquah School Board during its Oct. 10 meeting.

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Local legislative candidates answer questions

October 16, 2012

Click on the image to read candidate responses from state House of Representatives and state Senate candidates in the 5th and 41st legislative districts.

5th Legislative District — state House of Representatives

Chad Magendanz

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

• Budget writers must follow the Supreme Court ruling to fund education as our “first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations.”

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Reduce burdensome regulations by aligning with federal standards, reform workers compensation and unemployment insurance programs to lower costs, and simplify the B&O tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

A revenue-neutral swap of state property tax for local school levies would bring $1 billion of education funding into a more regular and dependable tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Return to a 50-50 deal with university students and restore funding levels to their historical average, rather than just 8 percent of the general fund.

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