Editorial — Rape kit testing gets much needed funding

September 22, 2015

Every day, a woman, man or child is raped. And every day, people go free for such crimes.

It’s hard enough for people to come forward after a sexual assault. We don’t know how many don’t out of fear of retaliation or because they decide they don’t want the stigma attached to such victims.

But for those who do come forward, imagine how they feel when evidence of the crime is tossed into a system full of backlogs, where it can degrade, get lost or not get tested at all.

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State park to see new playground in 2016

September 9, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 9, 2015

Community asked to help raise $250,000

A new all-inclusive destination playground will be built in Lake Sammamish State Park in 2016. Playground designers say it will be the best in the state.

In June, the Washington State Legislature approved $750,000 for the playground in its 2016-17 Capital Budget. However, the public is expected to raise the remainder of the $1 million cost.

“While we anticipate corporations and foundations to contribute, we are also counting on lots of children and families to participate in fundraising,” said Debbie Berto, coordinator of the campaign led by the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park.

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Editorial — Too much testing in high schools should end

September 3, 2015

What is happening in Washington’s public high schools gives testing a bad name.

Schools are pushing too many tests because of a mismatch between state and federal laws. The result is a backlash from students, parents and teachers with high numbers of students opting out of tests.

Test scores provide a valuable snapshot of what individuals have learned and how well schools are teaching them. But too much unnecessary or redundant testing detracts from learning and wastes time.

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School district embraces the new

August 26, 2015

NEW — Noon Aug. 26, 2015

As students head back to school Sept. 1, many will enter new buildings and utilize new facilities.

While this year’s school budget is in place, the future of the Issaquah School District’s finances is yet to be determined. While the state Legislature tackles a Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education, the Issaquah School Board will discuss future bond issues later this month as the 2012 bond expires.

Jake Kuper, chief financial operating officer, said the district has completed a lot of the work in the $219 million bond approved in 2012.

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Editorial — Legislature needs to reach transportation consensus

May 27, 2015

State legislators are closer than they’ve been in years to reaching a deal to fix the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. They must not get bogged down by ideology and let slip this opportunity to create jobs and make roads safer.

The Senate already passed a package, including a gas-tax increase, with bipartisan support. Last month, the House Transportation Committee passed two key Senate bills, ESSB 5987 and ESSB 5988. Negotiations are under way to reconcile differences between the Senate and the House’s Democratic leadership.

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Issaquah Teachers Protest Targets Legislature

May 26, 2015

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To the Editor — May 21, 2015

May 20, 2015


Strike doesn’t set a good example for students

When teachers go on strike, they doing so against state law (RCW 41.56.120). (Nothing contained in this chapter shall permit any public employee the right to strike or refuse to preform his or her official duties.)

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Sen. Steve Litzow declines pay raise until education is fully funded

May 17, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. May 17, 2015

Sen. Steve Litzow, a 41st District Republican, declined an 11 percent pay increase recommended and approved by an independent citizens’ commission that sets pay for elected officials until the Legislature addresses its paramount constitutional duty and fully funds public education.

“Washington state’s priority is to provide every child with a quality education,” Litzow, who serves as chairman of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, said in a news release. “Until lawmakers can get our job done and agree on a new budget that includes ample funding for important student programs, teachers and the actual cost of educating children, it’s irresponsible to accept a pay increase.

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Sen. Mark Mullet to donate pay raise to Issaquah Food Bank

May 16, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. May 16, 2015

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, will donate his share of a pay increase recently approved for state lawmakers to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

“I learned (May 15) there is no easy way to decline this pay increase,” Mullet said in a news release. “We did not ask for it, and did not vote for it, so I figured donating the pay increase to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank would make sure this pay raise benefits our local community.”

Mullet will donate the first portion of the pay raise — $3,368 — when it kicks in this September. The following year, the amount of his donation will increase to $4,723 as the second portion of the pay raise takes effect.

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Governor calls legislative special session

April 28, 2015

Gov. Jay Inslee told state legislative leaders he intends to call them into a special session April 29.

The idea is to complete what Inslee’s office called “major work” left undone when the regular session ended April 24. Inslee was to have budget negotiators in his office April 27 to give them a head start prior to the opening of the special session.

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