After-school program makes ‘hard’ math and reading fun,

June 21, 2011

Ella Bosancu (left) and Shannon Bergin work together at Briarwood’s ASAP program, which has dramatically raised math and reading test scores. By Drew Terry

Jacob Lovgren did not like math.

The Briarwood Elementary School fourth-grader called the subject “horrible” and his math scores showed it. When his teacher recommended he try Briarwood’s new After School Assistance Program in March, he got only 52 percent of the pretest math questions right.

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Rotary Club honors students of the month

March 1, 2011

The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for February.

Isabelle Chu

Isabelle Chu

-School: Issaquah High School

-Category of recognition: music

-Parents: Lawrence and Janet Chu

-Sponsoring teacher: Doug Longman

-Achievements: 4.0 grade point average, National Merit commended status

-Athletics: two black belts in martial arts

-Activities: principal cellist of the Evergreen Philharmonic and formal principal of Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra; second in state for large ensemble (2009)

-Scholastic activities: biology (and pursue that in college); National Honor Society executive board

-Hobbies: playing cello in orchestra and small ensemble/chamber groups; photography, fashion and traveling

-Outside school affiliations: Universal Energy Martial Arts; Eastside Chamber Choir and Orchestra; Sapor Dei Quartet; volunteer at Clark Elementary School

-Future goals: attend a four-year liberal arts college; dream school is Amherst or Princeton; still undecided on a career

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Off the Press

January 25, 2011

My weather knowledge was a little foggy

Every morning, when I get off Interstate 90 to drive into Issaquah, I look up at Tiger, Squak and Cougar mountains to get a glimpse of their surreal greenery. Mostly, I just see a bunch of fog.

Laura Geggel Press reporter

That dense, whitish-gray stuff isn’t on my A list. It reminds me of Harry Potter’s dementors. It’s gloomy and makes me feel claustrophobic. Fog hides the sun — which, I guess means I don’t have to wear sunscreen, but it shields all of the vitamin D I could potentially be making from those ultraviolet rays.

And don’t even get me started on literary metaphors. Charles Dickens used it to set a dismal scene in “Bleak House.” In Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” fog causes Huck and Jim to miss a turn, making them head south into slave country, away from the freedom of the North.

Still, it turns out my understanding of fog was, well, foggy.

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Rotary Club honors December students of the month

December 21, 2010

The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for December.

Arianna Romo

Arianna Romo

School: Liberty High School

Category of recognition: Foreign language

Parents: Charles and Tricia Romo

Sponsoring teacher: Michael Hausenfluck

Scholastic achievements: Four scholar athlete awards; Honor Society; 3.96 grade point average; early acceptance to Central Washington University

Scholastic interests: LINK Crew, Honor Society, president of Future Educators of America

Athletics: Captain volleyball team, two varsity letters, junior varsity most valuable player, junior varsity most inspirational

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The Hot List

November 23, 2010

By Kim Bussing

Album: “Loud” By Rihanna

Rihanna jazzes up her fifth album by collaborating with artists such as Nicki Minaj and Shontelle. Already the album has popular singles — “What’s My Name? (featuring Drake)” and “Only Girl (In the World).” Fans can expect to hear more of Rihanna’s catchy choruses with “Loud”’s release.

– Book: “Decoded” by Jay-Z

From rapper Jay-Z comes a novel with an in-depth look into the meaning behind his vast repertoire of songs. Explore the culture, history and stories submerged in the lyrics and music of one of America’s most popular rappers.

-Movie: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”

The first segment of the highly anticipated conclusion of the “Harry Potter” series follows the adventures of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they step outside the boundaries of Hogwarts to take on Lord Voldemort. With stunning special effects and a gripping storyline, “Deathly Hallows” is a must see.

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World record has photographer seeing red

July 27, 2010

Redheads set a world record on Redheads and More Redheads Day at Skyline High School. By Laura Geggel

World record holders often display some type of quirky talent, and the redheads gathering in Sammamish were no exception.

After all, it is an innate talent to carry two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16. These genes cause a change in the MC1R protein, which regulates skin and hair color.

“I love being a redhead,” Jennifer Phillips, of Mukilteo, said. “It’s fun to see everyone together at one time.”

Phillips and 900 other natural redheads convened at Skyline High School’s football field July 17 to set a Guinness World Record of the most redheads photographed in one location. So many redheads participated that they smashed the current record of 250 by more than threefold.

Sammamish photographer Anne Lindsay spearheaded the event. Her daughter, husband and dog have red hair, and she joined the bandwagon with a handy bottle of hair dye.

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Costco plans bargains in bulk from modest Issaquah headquarters

June 29, 2010

Every trip through a cavernous Costco Wholesale warehouse feels like a treasure hunt.

The company brings Dom Pérignon and Bud Light, platinum-set diamonds and scoopable cat litter, Prada handbags and Michelin tires together under the same flat roof.

Costco members line up to check out with carts full of their purchases at the flagship Issaquah warehouse. By Greg Farrar

The quest has been carefully designed for shoppers — 57.4 million Costco members worldwide. Shoppers must traverse vast retail plains and scan the jungle of exposed metal shelves for bargains in order to find loot — discounted Ugg boots, say, or smoked salmon.

Inside the Issaquah warehouse, customers hunt for deals in a retail ecosystem spread across 155,000 square feet. Costco cachet knows no class, no income. Part of the appeal, executives and industry watchers said, stems from the treasure hunt concept. Shoppers return to Costco for basics, yes, but also for the thrill of a surprise bargain.

“No matter what level of economic strata you are, you like good stuff,” company Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said. “Now, sometimes you have to choose to buy the chicken versus the steak, but the fact is, we’ve got some great stuff.”

The philosophy has made the Issaquah-based company the third largest retailer in the United States, the eighth largest on the planet and No. 25 on the Fortune 500.

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Extreme clubs

February 23, 2010

‘For the love of Harry Potter!’

Olivia Spokoiny

In a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, Allen Suner and Doug Dietzel fight for the Quaffle as (from left) Aseem Chipalkatti, Max Sherman, Sam Schneble, Erin Hoffman, Sam Stendal, David Zhong and Joseph Choung look on. By Jordan Rixon

Skyline High School’s Harry Potter Club is the largest (and certainly the quirkiest) club that the high school offers this year. Juniors Erin Hoffman and Erin Pazaski, founders and “Head Mistresses,” said the idea evolved over the past summer.

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Students enjoy ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

January 12, 2010

the Wild Things Are’ obstacle course that physical education teacher Polly Vaughn designed as part of the final day of their gymnastics unit. By Chantelle Lusebrink

the Wild Things Are’ obstacle course that physical education teacher Polly Vaughn designed as part of the final day of their gymnastics unit. By Chantelle Lusebrink

Tumbling through the jungle, flying through houses and hoops and spying on wild things were just a few of the things Maple Hills Elementary School students did before winter break Dec. 17.

For a few precious days, students celebrated the end of their gymnastics unit in their physical education class with teacher Polly Vaughn, by participating in an elaborate obstacle course designed to take students to another world — “Where the Wild Things Are.”

“It’s fun for students. They see the movies, they read the books and I use that to connect with them,” Vaughn said. “This gives them something special to look forward to here and something they can pretend with. Here, they’re Max, pretending to go through the land of the Wild Things.” Read more

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Journey to new territory

December 22, 2009

sci-fi-book-author-20091200One could say Laurence Moroney is quite the prolific writer, having authored 14 books since 2000. However, unless you’re as much of a computer gearhead as he, you’ve probably missed most of his technology guides.

“With technology guides, you get started at the bottom of the food chain, writing about topics publishers are having a hard time filling,” said Moroney, a freelancer with Microsoft since 2005. “Then, once they start selling, you can pick and choose the topics you want.”

For his latest project, Moroney has chosen to switch genres from technology guide to science fiction. His first book in a planned trilogy of teen novels, “The Fourth World,” came out in October.

With two children, 9 and 12, Moroney decided he wanted to write the kind of book they’d like to read.

“My daughter, Claudia, is a ’tween, and she’s read the whole Harry Potter and Twilight sagas,” Moroney said. “So, ‘The Fourth World’ should appeal to that audience.”

The idea of a Harry Potter in space has been percolating in his head since 2004.

“It came down to five years of procrastinating and two months of furious writing,” he admitted. Read more

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