June 12, 2012
The trophy case at Issaquah Middle School just got a lot more crowded.
The school’s music department brought home seven top awards from the Music in the Park competition in North Idaho on June 2.
All three of the school’s groups — band, chorus and orchestra — won both first place in their divisions and best overall among the junior high/middle school musicians. Seventh grade chorus member Emily Rudolph also received a medal for best soloist in her age group.
“We are so proud of these kids,” chorus instructor Karen Lee said. “And we got these big trophies.”
While the music department at Issaquah Middle School includes sixth graders, only the advanced seventh and eighth-grade students attended the contest.
Held at Coeur d’Alene High School, the students spent the morning performing pieces for the contest’s judges. With the hard part over, everyone ventured north to Silverwood Theme Park, where the awards ceremony was held that evening.
“There were about 1,400 student performers,” Lee said. “The orchestra and band teachers and I all felt that the kids did well. We really didn’t get a chance to hear the others so we really had no idea that they would win all their divisions.”
June 5, 2012
City Council members agreed to study options for the aging Issaquah Skate Park to turn it from a bastion for drug use into a community asset, boost economic development efforts in the city and conduct another study about the future of Klahanie.
Other priorities included a plan to televise council budget deliberations, hire a lobbyist to advocate for Issaquah in Olympia, and develop a comprehensive policy related to bicyclists and pedestrians.
The council, alongside representatives from municipal departments, gathered in a YWCA Family Village at Issaquah conference room June 2 to formulate the list.
In the rare Saturday meeting, council members trimmed a long list into priorities for 2013. Though the council conducted the heavy lifting at the retreat, the process is not yet done.
May 15, 2012
Issaquah School District officials are wasting no time when it comes to putting their recently approved $219 million bond into action.
The school board reviewed a preliminary schedule of projects and timeline for school construction and other district upgrades at its May 9 meeting. Some projects could begin as soon as July and other smaller projects extend through the end of 2019.
“Somebody has to be first and somebody has to be last,” said Jacob Kuper, chief operations officer for the district.
Phase 2 construction of Liberty High School and Phase 2 at Maywood Middle School are first in line with finishes projected by the end of 2013. At the caboose of the tentative timeline of the larger projects is the reconstruction of Sunny Hills Elementary School, which wouldn’t finish until December 2018.
May 1, 2012
City and Issaquah School District leaders pledged coordination and cooperation as the city outlines a bold plan to add thousands of residences in the decades ahead.
Discussion about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 — and possible changes to the school district, such as redrawing boundaries for schools to accommodate population shifts, dominated the annual joint meeting April 24.
City Council and Issaquah School Board members, plus Mayor Ava Frisinger and Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and other officials, gathered at Mandarin Garden a week after school district voters approved a $219 million bond to fuel a school construction boom. The planned projects include major changes for schools in downtown Issaquah.
The groups, seated beneath red lanterns and arranged around lazy Susans, sipped tea and nibbled on fried rice and roast pork as discussion unfolded about long-term development plans. (The city hosted the meal and spent $311.24 on food and beverages.)
“Both organizations have gone from fast-growing organizations to more stable, mature organizations with different sets of issues,” Council President Tola Marts said. “So, now the challenge is how do we manage the remaining growth that we have?”
April 24, 2012
Issaquah School District voters overwhelmingly approved a $219 million bond to fund construction and renovation projects on campuses across the district.
In the April 17 special election, 70 percent of voters — encompassing more than 15,000 yes votes of out more than 22,000 ballots cast — approved the measure. (The measure needed to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a minimum turnout of 12,229 voters.)
Despite the passage of the bond, local homeowners will pay less in property taxes to the schools than they do now because a previous bond issue is set to expire this year.
The retirement of the earlier bond will drop the local tax rate from $4.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $4.05. Passage of the new bond would put the rate at $4.42.
April 24, 2012
Apparently they were no fools to marry on April 1, 1962!
Rowan and Barbara met at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., in 1960. Rowan was in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, and upon graduation in 1962, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and they got married. Their honeymoon was a cross-country trip to Augusta, Ga., where he attended basic officer’s school at Fort Gordon.
After more schooling at Fort Monmouth, N.J., Rowan was sent to France, where Barb joined him a few months later. They spent one year in France followed by two years in Germany before returning to Corvallis, where Rowan obtained his master’s degree.
In 1967, they moved to Longview when Rowan took a position with Northern Pacific Railway Timberlands (now Plum Creek Timber), and Barbara concentrated on building their first home and raising their toddler with a second on the way.
April 17, 2012
UPDATED — 9:55 p.m. April 17, 2011
The results are preliminary, far from final. But the question seems pretty much decided.
According to unofficial results from King County, local residents are voting heavily in favor of allowing the Issaquah School District to sell $219 million in bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the district.
Numbers issued by King County at just after 8 p.m. Tuesday show the bond issue is passing easily with 13,476 votes in favor compared to 6,006 votes against, or 69.1 percent to 30.8 percent.
The Issaquah school issue needs to win the approval of a supermajority of 60 percent of those who vote in order to pass. A minimum of 12,229 voters also had to cast their ballots.
Prior to the election, bond backers said based on the number of registered voters expected to cast ballots, the bond issue would need about 14,000 “yes” votes in order to win approval.
April 17, 2012
King County could join almost 600 local governments across the United States in creating no-smoking zones in county parks.
Legislation before the County Council aims to prohibit tobacco use in parks’ busiest areas, such as athletics fields, picnic shelters, playgrounds and trailheads.
The proposal calls for voluntary compliance, so, just like littering, failing to keep a dog on a leash or using alcohol in a park, enforcement occurs only if a problem is reported. Officials plan to use a federal grant to pay for signs denoting tobacco-free areas.
April 10, 2012
As of April 9, an estimated 43,000 voters had returned ballots that will help decide six issues on the ballot of the April 17 special election, said Kim Van Ekstrom, chief communications officer for the King County elections department.
The questions include a $219 million capital improvement bond issue put forth by the Issaquah School District. The 43,000 ballots represent all ballots returned in elections throughout the county, not just from the Issaquah School District. The county has not counted ballots for individual election questions, Van Ekstrom said.
April 3, 2012
By now, most of the campaign work is done, said Lesley Austin, one of the two co-chairwomen of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, the community organization promoting the Issaquah School District’s capital improvement levy on the April 17 ballot.
The VIS group organized so-called honk and waves at 13 locations throughout the district the morning and afternoon of April 2, Austin said. VIS slated a second such event for April 16, the day before ballots in the election are due back to King County.