Local Republicans gather for caucuses amid strong turnout

March 3, 2012

Terry LaBrue, a precinct committee officer and Issaquah political consultant, announces results for the Brookshire precinct Saturday at Discovery Elementary School. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 3:15 p.m. March 3, 2012

Republicans clustered at community halls and elementary schools in Issaquah and nearby communities Saturday, as a long presidential nominating contest offered local caucusgoers a chance to shape the national contest.

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School bond campaign seeks success with YouTube song

February 21, 2012

The members of Listen Up — Sarah Kim, Monti Fleck, Luca Nardi, Emily Rudolph and Caitlin Neill (from left) — perform the ‘Pass the Bond’ song on a video shot at Issaquah Valley Elementary School. YouTube

An unlikely combination of a local school bond issue and a veteran Broadway lyricist has made local celebrities out of five young girls known collectively as Listen Up.

As of Feb. 16, a YouTube video of them performing Martin Charnin’s “Pass the Bond” song had received about 2,000 hits.

“I think it’s really great that this is happening,” said Luca Nardi, 10, one of the members of Listen Up.

Fellow singer and friend Monti Fleck, 10, said having the video gain some notoriety was “weird and cool” at the same time.

The song was written to promote the Issaquah School District’s construction bond issue that’s on the April ballot. That the catchy lyrics work so well is no accident.

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Listen Up sings ‘Pass the Bond’ / Feb. 13, 2012

February 21, 2012

Local Republicans gear up for caucuses, a chance to pick presidential nominee

February 7, 2012

Local Republicans could tilt the national contest to nominate a GOP challenger to President Barack Obama, as residents across Washington gather for caucuses early next month.

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Ordinance faces test as marijuana collective applies for license

January 24, 2012

In the initial test for a landmark medical marijuana ordinance enacted last month, a patient-run collective at the center of discussions about changes to city rules applied for licenses to operate.

The application from the nonprofit medical marijuana operation, GreenLink Collective, came after planners, officials and residents crafted a medical marijuana ordinance designed to balance public safety concerns and patients’ access to the drug.

GreenLink organizers applied to occupy units E, F and G in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. The organization does not intend to grow marijuana in the space. GreenLink founders Jake and Lydia George applied for the license on behalf of the organization Dec. 19, the day the ordinance took effect.

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City, schools use county grant to reduce student lunch waste

January 17, 2012

“We were really trying to get people to look at the waste stream differently,” said Mary Joe de Beck, resource conservation coordinator for the city of Issaquah.

In November, for national America Recycles Day, the city used a small King County grant to bring the idea of reduce, reuse and recycle to the front lines of five schools in the Issaquah School District.

Those five schools house some 2,650 students and spent several weeks gearing up for America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

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Church hosts rocker-turned-healer

January 3, 2012

In the 1960s, Ginny Luedeman sang as a member of Morning Glory — a rock band sharing a bill alongside Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones.

“I got into drugs and was trying to find some ideas that would help me,” she said.

The compass she sought turned out to be the Church of Christ, Scientist — a church founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. Luedeman, now a spiritual healer and public speaker, plans to share insight about weathering tough times at a series of upcoming Issaquah talks.

The opening discussion is scheduled for the church hosting the Tent City 4 homeless encampment. Camp residents plan to attend the event at Community Church of Issaquah.

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Issaquah Valley Elementary principal feted for school’s academic improvement

December 6, 2011

Diane Holt named a distinguished principal of the year

When her school was named a School of Distinction for 2011, Issaquah Valley Elementary School Principal Diane Holt handed out specially made commemorative key chains to each member of her staff. By Tom Corrigan

“If somebody does something spectacular for your children, you’re never going to be more grateful,” said Trisha Neill, a PTSA officer and parent of a young student at Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

Neill is one of apparently a lot of parents ready and willing to sing the praises of Issaquah Valley Principal Diane Holt.

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Joshua Schaer is not afraid to disagree

October 11, 2011

On a City Council often united in 7-0 decisions, Joshua Schaer is the occasional outlier.

The councilman opposed a hike in cable rates, a redo along Newport Way Northwest and proposed changes to the same street near Issaquah Valley Elementary School. The opposition earned Schaer a grudging respect from council members — and a reputation for outspokenness.

“I’m not trying to be contrarian, and I’m not trying to be difficult, but you can’t have 7-0 votes on every issue,” he said.

Joshua Schaer

Now, as a candidate for a second term on the council, Schaer highlights the no votes just as much as accomplishments.

The councilman, 33, spearheaded a food-packaging ordinance to require restaurateurs and other food sellers to use compostable and recycle takeout containers and utensils.

The legislation is a signature issue as Schaer heads from door to door to greet potential supporters. Newcomer TJ Filley is the other candidate in the race for the Position 4 seat.

“I can’t take credit for the original idea, because it started in a lot of cities. Portland has been doing it for 20 years. Cities in California have been doing it for many years. Seattle was really the model that I looked at,” Schaer said. “If it can work in Seattle with the size of that city, then certainly it can work in Issaquah, where we are leaders in environmental preservation and sustainability. To be the first city on the Eastside to do this, I think, is a tremendous accomplishment.”

The measure caused some heartburn among business leaders, and the rollout continues to face difficulties almost a year after the ordinance took effect. Still, Schaer said the ordinance is a milestone for a city focused on sustainability.

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Press Editorial

October 11, 2011

Complex school bond will challenge voters

The Issaquah School Board has postponed the vote for a school bond from February until April, at the request of the campaign committee. It was the right decision. It will take every minute from now until April to convince voters that this $219 million bond should be approved — or not.

Heading the list of controversies will be the $82 million to rebuild Clark Elementary and Issaquah Middle schools so the two student populations can then switch places. At the same time, Tiger Mountain Community High School, home to about 100 students, will also be relocated — another $3.9 million.

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