‘Speed’ food drive helps Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank at right time

February 21, 2012

The challenge was to see how many nonperishable food items could be gathered in one week.

In the end, students, families and staff members of Pacific Cascade Middle School rose to the occasion, said Tanya Hansen, food drive chairwoman. There was some concern the drive was going to stumble a bit, admitted Hansen and teacher Stan Kasemeier.

As of Feb. 13, one day before the end of the drive, the amount of food gathered was just not what they were hoping.

They need not have worried. Hansen said a surprising 1,100 items came in the last day.

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Presidents Day Tournament showcases future prospects

February 14, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Feb. 14, 2012 

Some future high-school girls basketball stars could be on the hardwood at this year’s Eagle Eye Presidents Day Tournament.

The annual tournament, hosted by the Issaquah Girls Basketball Association, runs Feb. 17-20. Sixty teams are entered in the event with divisions in fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade and eighth grade. In the past many players from this tournament went on to become standouts for Issaquah, Liberty and Skyline High School programs.

Games will be played at Issaquah High School, Issaquah Middle School and Pacific Cascade Middle School.

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Reflections showcases students’ creative thoughts on diversity

January 17, 2012

These artworks were among the local works chosen to go on to the state level Reflections competition. This year’s national contest revolved around the theme ‘Diversity means…’ By Tom Corrigan

All in all, there were 247 examples of student creativity on display, according to Theora Dalupan, a member of the Issaquah School District PTSA Council board of directors.

Dalupan helped organize, and the district PTSA sponsored, the annual Reflections art show and reception the evening of Jan. 10 at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

Reflections is a yearly, nationwide PTSA art contest centered around a specific theme, which this year was “Diversity means…”

The work on display at Pacific Cascade represented the best entries from each district school, up to 12 per building.

“There’s some very creative ideas out there,” Dalupan said regarding the entries, which ran the spectrum from paintings and drawings to creative writing to musical pieces. Dalupan said there were also two short film entries.

Walking around the display at Pacific Cascade, one saw plenty of visual art with animal or nature themes in common. Plenty of creations had representations of people of all colors and ethnicities. Rainbows were another common symbol.

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Pacific Cascade Middle School presents ‘Willy Wonka, Jr’

December 2, 2011

NEW — 3:45 p.m. Dec. 2, 2011

The Pacific Cascade Middle School Players present “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr.,” at the school, 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3 and 9, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10.

The play is directed by Kelli Jaeger, with musical direction from Joellen Santos. Choreography was provided by Heather Carlyle.

The play is based on the well-known book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl.

General admission tickets are $5 at the door; $4 for students with a Pacific Middle School Associated Student Body card.

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Grant awards support local projects

November 29, 2011

The Issaquah Community Network recently awarded eight grants totaling $7,000 and, according to the network, those grants are aimed at supporting local school activities and efforts to promote healthy youth and strong families.

Awards were made at the regular meeting of the Issaquah Community Network board Nov. 7.

“We were pleased to receive grant applications from a mix of previous grantees and new applicants,” said Judy Brewer, board chairwoman.

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Little Leaguer selected for USA Baseball tryouts

November 22, 2011

Hiro Fujiwara is only one of three Washingtonians chosen for the event

Hiro Fujiwara (right), makes a play in a game this summer on the Issaquah Little League All-Stars. Contributed

If a baseball game is on, Hiro Fujiwara is watching it.

While he grew up watching the Seattle Mariners, he said his favorite team right now is the Boston Red Sox.

Someday, he hopes to be the one people watch — a goal not so far-fetched if he can continue to work hard, said Tom Chan, Issaquah Little League president.

“Hiro has a lot of range and a strong arm,” Chan said. “He’s one of the top pitchers for sure in Little League at the All-Star level.”

In September, the 13-year-old Pacific Cascade Middle School student joined 756 other players from across the country to participate in the 2011 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series. The series consists of players from three age groups that ultimately serve as an opportunity to be on one of USA Baseball’s national teams.

USA Baseball is the national governing body of amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic Team and World Cup Team, national teams and the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year.

After scouts came to watch Fujiwara in action locally, he was only one of three players from Washington to be chosen for the event.

As part of the Northwest region team, Fujiwara competed against 12 other regions from across the country in the NTIS at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

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Issaquah School District campuses host Veterans Day events

November 1, 2011

Several local schools have planned to honor current military personnel and other veterans just in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

At 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9, Clark Elementary School will open its doors to present and past military members and their families, said Heather Maloney, president of the Clark PTA.

Maloney said local veterans from the area, including from local VFW posts and the Providence Point retirement community, had been invited.

The school also had contacted the Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC program about providing a color guard.

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Proposed 2012 King County budget touts savings

October 18, 2011

Residents call for human services support at local budget hearing

As the King County Council begins to listen to hours of public testimony at a series of budget hearings, one overall theme became clear at its Oct. 13 session — support human services now, before it’s too late.

Kathy Lambert

Derek Franklin, a Sammamish resident and representative of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies, said the county must begin to formulate a dedicated and stable long-term funding source for human services, such as those aimed at protecting residents from homelessness, domestic violence and inadequate legal counsel.

“Although sometimes obscured by the high socioeconomic status of the Eastside, human service needs here are quite high,” he said during a public hearing at Pacific Cascade Middle School near Issaquah. “We urge the budget committee to establish a long-term fix for the human services safety net. It’s been significantly dismantled over the years by budget cuts, and people … are beginning to fall through the cracks.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine’s 2012 budget proposal earned praise from County Council members for eschewing cuts to services in the general fund — elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions. The overall budget proposal is $5.3 billion, including $648 million in the general fund.

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Suzanne Weaver focuses on students as board member

October 11, 2011

During her four years on the job, Issaquah School Board member and Sammamish resident Suzanne Weaver said that the board has done a worthy job of keeping its focus on student achievement and success.

Suzanne Weaver

“It’s work that I enjoy and I want to continue doing it,” Weaver said of serving on the board.

Holding the District 5 seat, Weaver is being challenged in the November election by Issaquah resident Brian Neville.

District 5 includes the northwest corner of Issaquah around Lake Sammamish as well as parts of the city of Sammamish. Although board candidates run for a specific geographic seat, voters from across the district cast ballots for all Issaquah School Board members. Members are elected to four-year terms.

Board members may request pay of $50 per meeting, but the current board has chosen not to accept that money, according to Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

Even as she praised the district for keeping students center stage in a time of massive financial distractions, Weaver said leaders need to deal with those financial hurdles.

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Kiwanis funds community aid through Salmon Days dinners

September 27, 2011

Key and Builders club members were among those helping out at last year’s Kiwanis Salmon Days booth. Contributed

Thanks to the great weather during last year’s celebration, the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah sold 2,500 pounds of salmon in the course of the city’s annual Salmon Days Festival event.

The community service club even ran out at about 3 p.m. the second day of the festival, according to incoming Kiwanis President Glenn Hall, who is running the group’s booth at this year’s Salmon Days.

Hall said all that fish translates to volunteers having served up about 2,200 dinners at the 2010 Kiwanis booth. Complete with coleslaw and a drink, over the years, the dinners have helped the Kiwanis raise an average of about $17,000 annually.

Hall said he believes the local Kiwanis have offered dinners every year since the inception of Salmon Days. Kiwanis organizers hope the weather this year again will be of the sunny, dry variety and they have upped their usual Salmon Day fish order to 2,500 pounds.

In past years, the Kiwanis ordered 2,000 pounds of fish and then bought more on Saturday depending on sales. The fish is grilled over alder.

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