5th Legislative District House contest includes familiar faces

October 9, 2012

Education is the No. 1 priority for state House of Representatives candidates in the 5th Legislative District — a local school board member and a citizen advocate for education.

Chad Magendanz

David Spring

Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz, a Republican, and North Bend Democrat David Spring remain focused on education in the race for a rare, open House seat.

In a 7-2 ruling delivered in January, state Supreme Court justices said the state is not fulfilling the “paramount duty” to fund education. Both candidates in the 5th District race said education funding is a bipartisan issue.

“There’s a huge amount of work to do together,” Magendanz said. “When you set aside all of the partisan rhetoric and you really focus on what needs to be done for our kids, for our future, there is a lot of work there.”

Issaquah School Board members appointed Magendanz to the panel in 2008. The software design consultant ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.

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Local legislative candidates join chambers’ forum

October 2, 2012

Voters can hear from candidates for the state House of Representatives and Senate on Oct. 9 at a forum organized by the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce.

The lineup includes the contenders for a 5th Legislative District House seat — Republican Chad Magendanz and Democrat David Spring — and the Senate seat — Democrat Mark Mullet and Republican Brad Toft.

The candidates in the 41st Legislative District, state Rep. Marcie Maxwell, D-Renton, and Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves — plus state Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, and Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge — also plan to attend.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, the uncontested candidate for the other House seat in the district, is also expected to attend.

The forum is from 3:30-5 p.m. at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive. Organizers plan to focus on business and economic issues.

Under Initiative 1240, local charter school is unlikely

September 25, 2012

On Nov. 6, people across the state will cast their vote whether to allow charter schools in Washington, and locals stand on both sides of the argument.

Supporters say the schools could pursue innovative educational techniques, free from most state regulation and without unionized teachers.

Opponents say charter schools have insufficient oversight and would drain money from traditional public schools.

“We have great schools, we have great teachers,” said Jodi Mull, an Issaquah High School parent who said she had no problem gathering signatures to get Initiative 1240 on the ballot. “Maybe it’s not going to help me in my community, but it will help others.”

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How did Issaquah vote?

September 18, 2012

Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided  — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.

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Construction crews clear out as staff, students return to school

September 4, 2012

Construction continues on the performing arts center at Liberty High School. By Greg Farrar

It’s official. The new school year is here.

“It’s always exciting,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said. “The beginning of the school year is the culmination of a lot of work.”

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Issaquah School Board tackles long to-do list

August 28, 2012

Over the course of two days the Issaquah School Board and several of the district’s administrative members met Aug. 21-22 for the Board Cabinet Retreat.

Marnie Maraldo

With participants shuffling between the library at Issaquah Valley Elementary School and a meeting space in the administration building, it wasn’t as glamorous as the name would suggest. Nor was it held in the resort town of Leavenworth, as is the choice of other school districts.

What it was, though, was 14 hours of discussion regarding everything from the new teacher/principal evaluation pilot program to scheduling to the importance of science and math, and the consumption of a whole lot of M&Ms.

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Brian Deagle is new Issaquah School Board president

August 28, 2012

Chad Magendanz has stepped down as president of the Issaquah School Board. Brian Deagle has been named Magendanz’s predecessor, effective immediately.

Brian Deagle

The announcement came at the end of the Aug. 22 school board meeting. Magendanz is running as a Republican for the 5th Legislative District seat in the state House of Representatives and cited the upcoming political debate season as his reason for passing the gavel.

“The only person who can really speak for the board is the board president,” he said. “And there was concern that there would be confusion when I talk in a debate as to who I’m speaking for — the board or myself.”

He added that the beginning of the school year seemed like the most logical point to step down.

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Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates

August 14, 2012

King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility to replace the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The property tax measure, Proposition 1, appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

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Off the Press

August 14, 2012

Election enthusiasm, fresh from New Jersey

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Election Day, as a barrage of ads across all media reminds us, is only weeks — days, really — into the future.

Forget the Aug. 7 primary and the gaggle of also-ran candidates for state auditor, state insurance commissioner and other unglamorous-but-important roles. Until Nov. 6, all attention is focused on the race for governor.

Yes, I realize the presidential contest represents a watershed moment, but Washington is not a battleground state and the most locals can expect to see is more in-state fundraising from President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Though the presidential race inched tantalizingly close to Issaquah in recent months — Obama in Seattle, Bellevue, Hunts Point and Medina; and Romney in Bellevue and Medina — neither candidate crossed Lake Sammamish.

So, in the meantime, amid the ubiquitous TV ads featuring Jay Inslee’s bulldozer and Rob McKenna’s family, do not overlook the races farther down the ballot.

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Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates

August 7, 2012

NEW — 8:40 p.m. Aug. 7, 2012

King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility, as King County Elections released initial results Tuesday night.

Officials asked voters to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The measure appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests. Voters in Issaquah and throughout Washington returned ballots in recent days, as the calendar inched closer to the summer primary — and the Tuesday deadline to postmark or return ballots.

The electorate chose the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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