Old year brought new problems

December 31, 2013

Top news stories of the year

Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.

While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.

Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.

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Superstar astronomer returns home

December 26, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2013

Issaquah grad IDs most distant galaxy ever detected

 

By Christina Corrales-Toy Steven Finkelstein (left), a 1999 Issaquah High School graduate, signs Issaquah freshman Colin Robitaille’s shoe Dec. 18 after a talk about his record-breaking discovery of the most distant and oldest galaxy ever detected.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Steven Finkelstein (left), a 1999 Issaquah High School graduate, signs Issaquah freshman Colin Robitaille’s shoe Dec. 18 after a talk about his record-breaking discovery of the most distant and oldest galaxy ever detected.

Issaquah High School freshman Colin Robitaille took off his shoe and thrust it into the hands of guest speaker Steven Finkelstein.

“Here, sign it,” Robitaille said as he forked over a black Sharpie.

Finkelstein, a 1999 Issaquah graduate, doesn’t often get autograph requests, much less one on a shoe, but that’s not to say he shouldn’t have fans clamoring for his signature.

The University of Texas astronomy professor recently made history with his discovery of the most distant and oldest galaxy ever detected.

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Fundraisers go above and beyond

December 24, 2013

 

Sophie Mittelstaedt Issaquah High School

Sophie Mittelstaedt
Issaquah High School

Issaquah High School students have gone above and beyond in their three fundraisers so far this year.

Stuff the Bus was a toy drive for Seattle Children’s. For a week, students stuffed a bus full of toys and books for the children at the hospital. In addition, many took the time to write kind notes to patients.

“Seattle Children’s was very appreciative and they even wrote an article about Issaquah High School’s donation in the magazine they publish,” junior Suzy Emerson, Associated Student Body representative, said.

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Schools plan future around expected growth

December 17, 2013

Officials are hoping to break ground on the new Issaquah Middle School next summer, and the replacement building will look much different than what was first envisioned.

The city of Issaquah’s 30-year plan for its central business district is expected to add more than 7,700 residential units, and it’s forcing the Issaquah School District to think more about long-term impacts to its facilities.

Steve Crawford, the district’s director of capital projects, told school board members Dec. 11 that if downtown Issaquah grows as projected in the Central Issaquah Plan in the next three decades, it would add an estimated 2,850 students to the school district’s enrollment. That represents a 15 percent increase over the district’s current population of 18,400 students.

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It looks a lot like a ‘White Christmas’ at Issaquah High

December 3, 2013

For the cast and crew putting the final touches on this month’s “White Christmas” musical at Issaquah High School, one of the most enjoyable parts is creating a performance that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

“The thing that makes it so engaging for so many people is everybody knows these songs,” said Holly Whiting, who’s directing her ninth musical at IHS. “These songs are old enough that every generation that’s going to be attending this program is going to be familiar with the music.

By Neil Pierson Issaquah High School drama students (from left) Caroline Hamblin, Kylie Fletcher and Ashley Young, rehearse a scene from ‘White Christmas.’

By Neil Pierson
Issaquah High School drama students (from left) Caroline Hamblin, Kylie Fletcher and Ashley Young, rehearse a scene from ‘White Christmas.’

“And I think we all have pretty good, happy memories attached to a lot of these songs.”

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Issaquah teachers are critical of ‘unsustainable workloads’

November 26, 2013

New standards, longer work days are top complaints

Members of the Issaquah Education Association met with the Issaquah School Board for an hour last week, and much of the discussion centered on what the IEA president termed “unsustainable workloads” for teachers.

During a study session prior to the school board’s Nov. 13 meeting, the IEA — a union of more than 1,000 certificated teachers — spoke about the results of a bargaining survey conducted this fall. More than 70 percent of Issaquah’s teachers responded, and a few common complaints emerged.

Washington’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, along with a new evaluation system for teachers and principals, have led to increased workloads and a general sense of overwhelming stress among educators, IEA officials said.

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Future now

November 26, 2013

Issaquah club uses robots to jumpstart career paths, competitive juices

Photos by Neil Pierson Issaquah High School students Sarah Powazek and Spencer Tickman lift Gigabot, the robot they created for the 2013 competition season.

Photos by Neil Pierson
Issaquah High School students Sarah Powazek and Spencer Tickman lift Gigabot, the robot they created for the 2013 competition season.

Robotics will likely be a growing field for today’s high-school graduates to pursue, and the Issaquah Robotics Society is trying to create a competitive buzz around their highly technical interests.

The robotics society, marking its 10th year this year, will begin its next season of competition in January. Like other student-led teams in the state — which compete under the rules of FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — they’ll have six weeks to build a robot for entrance in various regional competitions.

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Clash for the crown

November 5, 2013

Skyline blanks Issaquah to win 4A KincCo title

By Greg Farrar Amanda Johnston (left), Skyline junior forward, and senior midfielder Aleisha Gable, fight Issaquah freshman defender Kaylene Pang for the ball early in the first period.

By Greg Farrar
Amanda Johnston (left), Skyline junior forward, and senior midfielder Aleisha Gable, fight Issaquah freshman defender Kaylene Pang for the ball early in the first period.

Skyline High School has had a stellar defensive record all season, but in the span of seven days, it got even better against one of the state’s top teams.

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Slippery slopes are paved with good intentions

October 22, 2013

One has to sympathize with Allen Anderson for what transpired Oct. 10.

The longtime custodian at Issaquah High School has regularly worn a camouflage-printed jacket and carried an umbrella into work. But this particular day, someone mistook his signature look for that of a mysterious gunman.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

The high school and other nearby schools went into lockdown. When Anderson realized it was he who had caused the confusion, he told school administrators who advised him to turn himself in to the police surrounding the school.

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Battle of the Fans in the Stands is Oct. 25

October 22, 2013

Football fans, show your spirit and support the Issaquah Schools Foundation at the rivalry game of the season, Issaquah vs. Skyline, on Friday, Oct. 25, at Issaquah High School Stadium.

Battle of the Fans in the Stands is a friendly competition between Issaquah and Skyline to see which fans can rally the most support for the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

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