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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Governor appoints former Issaquah school member to state school board

April 10, 2012

Though she was defeated in voting for Western Position 3, former Issaquah School Board member Connie Fletcher will retain a seat on the Washington State Board of Education thanks to Gov. Chris Gregoire.

While appointments need legislative approval, Gregoire directly names seven members of the 16-member board.

Fletcher first began serving on the state board in 2009. Her seat expired in December and she lost a bid for re-election to Mukilteo’s Kevin Laverty.

In total, five members of the state board are elected by public school board members from Washington.

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Issaquah family takes a swing at ‘Redneck Croquet’

August 16, 2011

John Kilpatrick, of Issaquah, pours out the contents of a large pot for a traditional Southern ‘Dump Dinner.’ Photos by Sebastian Moraga

For a game played with big mallets, this particularly croquet game was sedate and relaxed.

The rivalry was elsewhere.

The host was Lynda Kilpatrick, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Kiwanis. The co-host for the “Redneck Croquet” dinner was her husband John, a Rotary Club of Seattle member.

It didn’t get more heated than that. The game itself ended up in a rain-soaked tie and the players took it in stride.

The only thing heated about the July 15 match was a huge pot in the backyard of the Kilpatrick’s home.

The highlight of the game was the subsequent dinner, boiling inside said pot.

“The dump dinner is a tradition,” said Connie Fletcher, a Kiwanis member and former Issaquah School Board member. “Rotary had it, then it was gone for a few years and I brought it back through Kiwanis.”

Born in the South, the dump dinner consists of seafood, meats and corn boiling inside the pot. When they are done, the contents of the pot get dumped on a table and people dig in.

To honor the dinner’s Southern origins, post-game snacks and refreshments consisted of cheap beer, fried bologna sandwiches and Moon Pies.

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State eyes tougher high school graduation credits

December 28, 2010

Proposed graduation requirements

Before earning a high school diploma, it’s no secret that students have to pass a number of required courses — 19 mandated by the state and a few others required by their school.

After a three-year study of high school credits, the Washington State Board of Education has recommended that the number of mandatory credits increase from 19 to 24. Such an endeavor would cost the state an estimated $188 million between 2011 and 2016, and would need financial approval from the state Legislature.

Most of the money would pay for teacher and counselor salaries. The state pays for five high school periods now, and it would have to fund six if the bill passed. About $28 million would pay for facility costs, since some schools would need extra science and art classrooms so their students could meet the new recommended requirements.

With a gaping state budget deficit estimated at $4.6 billion, some educators aren’t holding their breath while waiting for the bill to pass.

Regardless of funding, Washington is woefully behind in the number of credits it requires of its high school students. The board reviewed how Washington ranks compared to other states and found 16 states require more than the state’s three credits of math; 36 required more than two credits of science; 39 required more than two and a half credits of social studies; and 45 required more than three credits of English.

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Kiwanis event funds grants for local organizations

April 13, 2010

Ready, set, bid — for a good cause as the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah hosts its 32nd annual auction and dinner fundraiser April 24.

The event is one of the largest Kiwanis fundraisers all year, President Connie Fletcher said.

Last year, the event made about $66,000, member Keith Watts said. Members are hoping to reach that again this year at the Hilton Garden Inn with help from emcee Leon Kos, Issaquah’s city administrator, and City Councilman Fred Butler.

Items for the auction include travel packages, an oceanfront condo in Mexico, iPod Touch, jewelry, local experiences like a fire truck ride, and two Trophy Club passes to the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Golf Course.

Proceeds from the event go to fund grant requests from local organizations, like Eastside Baby Corner, Issaquah Church and Community Services and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Read more

All-mail election could keep decision unknown on Nov. 3

October 27, 2009

When City Council candidate Joan Probala and her supporters gather at Gibson Hall on election night, the crowd could be cheated out of knowing how the months-long campaign culminates. Read more

Memorial stalled

October 27, 2009

Connie Fletcher laughs and enjoys a surprise sign placed on a ladies’ room stall door Oct. 19 during a reception honoring her retirement from 16 years of service on the Issaquah School District Board of Directors. In a ‘Very Special Resolution’ passed unanimously, the other board members, after several ‘whereas’ commendations, noting her ‘decided preference for the second stall from the left,’ resolved that it be ‘hereafter known as the ‘Connie Fletcher Commemorative Ladies’ Room Stall.’By Sara Niegowski / Issaquah School District

Connie Fletcher laughs and enjoys a surprise sign placed on a ladies’ room stall door Oct. 19 during a reception honoring her retirement from 16 years of service on the Issaquah School District Board of Directors. In a ‘Very Special Resolution’ passed unanimously, the other board members, after several ‘whereas’ commendations, noting her ‘decided preference for the second stall from the left,’ resolved that it be ‘hereafter known as the ‘Connie Fletcher Commemorative Ladies’ Room Stall.’By Sara Niegowski / Issaquah School District

Press Editorial

October 20, 2009

Our recommendations in local elections

City Council

Issaquah voters didn’t fare too well this year, getting candidate choices for only two of its four open City Council positions. But the quality of the four candidates running for positions 5 and 7 are excellent. The candidates have generated a vigorous debate about the issues and all merit your consideration. Read more

Register to vote by Monday

October 1, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 1, 2009

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election. People who have moved recently or are not yet registered can register online at the King County Elections Web site.

In addition to the race for King County executive and several ballot measures, Issaquah voters will choose two City Council members and a school board director to succeed longtime board member Connie Fletcher, who was selected for the state Board of Education.

Candidates Marnie Maraldo and Wright Noel are seeking the school board’s Director District No. 2 seat.

City Council candidates Nathan Perea and Tola Marts are vying to succeed longtime Councilman David Kappler, who will retire.

Council President Maureen McCarry will face Joan Probala as she works to retain her seat.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and Councilwoman Eileen Barber are running unopposed. So is newcomer Mark Mullet, who will succeed one-term Councilman John Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse opted against a re-election campaign.

Two vie for school board seat in Nov. 3 election

September 29, 2009

Two candidates — Marnie Maraldo and Wright Noel — are running for Issaquah School Board Director District No. 2.

It is the first time in 16 years the seat has been open; longtime board member Connie Fletcher isn’t seeking re-election.

The candidates are largely new to districtwide service, but both are active at their children’s schools and in the greater community. Read more

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