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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
February 11, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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February 11, 2009

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A4 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 117 2009 THE IS SAQUAH PRES S OPINION PRESS EDIT0 RIAL t*l Theater arts in need of community donors F in1913. irst Stage Theatre, owned and operated by Village Theatre on Front Street in downtown Issaquah, may epitomize the history of the area and its early citizens better than any other historic building in the area. The former Issaquah Theatre was built Pioneer families traveled from the plateau by horse and buggy to view the silent films to the accompaniment of a pi- anist. Vaudeville acts followed, and then movies. The the- ater's flat floor allowed for dances, graduations and other community events when the seats were pushed back. It was last run by a local church group as a movie theater before Village Theatre took over the operation, bringing live drama, comedy and musicals to the stage in 1979. At first, Village Theatre was more of a venue for local tal- ent, a true "community theater." But as the popularity of the shows grew, so did the professionalism. The theater began paying its actors and orchestra members. Shows were often sold out. Village Theatre built its new 490-seat theatre in 1984, but chose to keep First Stage for youth theater productions and Village 0ginals, plays that are making their debut, usually works in progress. Combined, First Stage and Village Theatre have brought national attention to the cultural arts in the Issaquah area. But the 96-year-old First Stage building is crttmbling. Re- modeling is out of the question. Reconstruction is critical. Reconstruction also offers opportunities to make better use of space. Tiny bathrooms will be replaced, a larger lobby will be incorporated, and there will be 195 new telescoping seats to continue the multifunctional part of the theater's history. And the new, larger stage will have all of the storage and modern equipment needed to ensure the theater's perpetu- ity. But these things don't come without a price tag. The $2.8 million reconstruction project needs the support of the com- munity. If you can help, or can help the theater connect to foundations that would be interested in helping, act now. Here's your chance to preserve local history while support- ing local arts. Call Village Theatre at 392-1942. OFF THE PRESS Uncommon calm in extraordinary event 'm usually fairly groggy when I wake up and walk my German shepherd in the early morning dark be- fore work. But I woke up quickly the morning of Feb. 3 when I got to the sidewalk in front of my home and saw multiple fire engines and the block lit up like it was daylight down the street. "Being a reporter/editor, I had to know what was going on. I walked around the block and ap- proached from the other end, with my dog in tow. (She really seems to like firefighters, at least the ones she met.) We came upon two women and a man standing in the drive- way of a home, and I asked them what was going on. Elizabeth Chubbuck pointed and said, "That's my house." Despite the fact that there was so much ac- tivity and smoke in the air, she seemed calm and collected. Her friend, Michelle Mohrland, had come with coffee and had also provided moral support. Elizabeth's dogs, Triscuit and Eleanor, were in her car in the driveway of the house across the street. Her cats, Dotti and Mon- key, were also safe. At 5:40 a.m., "I remember the time exactly," she recounted Feb. 9, she smelled' a faint plastic, burning smell. I thought it was odd, so I got up to be sure, trying to find where it was. I thought maybe it was outside, but it was strongest in my bed- room. "I turned on the light ][TEN switch in the R. MERRII closet and the Press Editor light bulb blew, and then the light in the room wouldn't turn on," she said. "Then, I realized it was too warm in my closet, and it's usu- ally cold in there. I touched the ceiling and it was hot. I just went out and bee-lined straight to my daughter's bedroom. "I said 'Elaine, fire in the house, get up and get dressed now.' I grabbed the cat out of the bedroom and shut the closet door, closed the bedroom door, called 911, and opened the slid- ing glass door and let the cats and dogs out." She said she stayed calm be- cause she thought it would help Elaine, 16, remain that way as well. "When I stepped outside, See FIRE, Page A5 INDIVIDUALS THAT RECEIVE AID DURING TOUGH TIMES = INDUSTI00Ii00$ THAT RECEIVE AID 1)URI NG TOUGH TIMES = TO THE EDITOR Inauguration Photographer's open letter to students brought tears of joy to their teacher To Photographer Greg Farrar, I am the teacher whose class you visited on Inauguration Day. First, many thanks for coming and staying throughout the morning. Although the break- fast for the students and parents was so very special in and of itself, having you there to doc- ument it, in your thoughtful way, made the event go well beyond my dreams. The photos you published and the touching letter to my students took the learning experi- ence and made it everlasting for them. As I shared the photos and read the letter out loud to my class, I was unable to complete it without tears streaming down my face. This, of course, doesnt happen often to a teacher in front of her students. However, they were welcome tears, as we adults understand the depth and power behind the inauguration we witnessed Jan. 20. As the children in my class mature and ex- plore thegrld, the memory of that day and your geneiI irrlounenting it for them, with such care and insight, will cofitinue to ....... bring new perspective as they grow into their potential. The joy of being an educator allows a teacher to touch students' lives in ways that are only unique and meaningful to them. Often, we never really know what sticks and what does- n't. Your letter was truly a gift to my class from you, and I am confident it will periodically guide them well into their future. Greg, for that, I am very grateful. Susan Adler, fiftb-lp'ade teacher lssaq Valley Elementary School Park Pointe Didn't bypass studies show development is bad for Tiger Mountain environment? Did I miss something? I believe the City Council just killed the famous bypass that was to go from Interstate 90 to Issaquah-Hobart Road due to environmental reasons. Now, I read that they are considering Park Pointe, a 32-acre development with 344 hous- ing units that will be adjacent to the bypass route just east of the high school. Will that not have a higher environmental impact on the same area? Do we have to have this kind of a development on Tiger Mountain, one of the ar- eas that makes Issaquah a special place to live? I hope the council will kill this proposal quickly before it goes any further. Woody Bernard lssaquah Education funding Thank you to local state representatives who support bills increasing spending As longtime advocates for improved educa- tion funding in our community, we wish to commend the 5th District legislative team of Sen. Cheryl Pfiug, and Reps. Glenn Anderson and Jay Rodne for co-sponsoring two impor- tant is this session. Wlthese bitls are still a work in progress, we are closer than ever to seeiffg legislative ac- tion on long-overdue needs in education fund- ing and system reform. SB 5444 and HB 1410 will improve teacher pay and support for new teachers, properly fund our schools and prepare students for life beyond high school. These reforms are the re- sult of the work of the Basic Education Task Force, which has studied this complex issue for more than a year with an eye to fairness and reform. Added thanks are due to Anderson for his work as a task force member and his willing- ness to stand for children and their futures. This is about funding and much, much more -- student achievement. Jody Mull and Leigh Stokes Stand For fhildren, Issaquah Chapter SHARE YOUR VIEWS Citizens can make a difference by contacting their elected representatives. Mayor Ava Frisinger, 837-3020; mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us Council President Maureen McCarry, 313- 9313; maureenm@ci.issaquah.wa.us Council Deputy President Fred Butler, 392- 5775; fredb@ci.issaquah.wa.us Councilwoman Eileen Barber, 392-1467; eileenb@ci.issaquah.wa.us Councilman John Rittenhouse, 557-9216; johnr@ci:issaquah.wa.us Councilman David Kappler, 392-3571; davidk@ci.issaquah.wa.us Councilman Joshua Schaer, 643-0665; joshuas@ci.issaquah.wa.us Councilman John Traeger, 392-9316; johnt@ci.issaquah.wa.us Write to the mayor and City Council at the City of Issaquah, e.0. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027. Call 837-3000. Opinionated? The Press wants you! Join our e-mail group -- Rapid Re- sponse. You give us your name and e- mail address. We send you questions re- garding the news. You tell us what you think. What could be easier? We'll e-mail you a variety of questions. Answer one or all of them! Respond by the deadline in the e-mail and we'll get your thoughts into the newspaper. We'll edit for clarity, space and poten- tial libel, then select a variety of re- sponses and run them on a space-avail- able basis. Send your name and e-mail address to editor@isspress.com. Put Rapid Response in the subject line. Economy Mayor Ava Frisinger has it right talking up the things that are good The Issaquah mayor has it right. Talk about the good things in lieu of talking down the economy. It is unfortunate that the mayor is not in the D.C. Oval Office. President Barack Obama has spent a lot of his short time in office talking about Henny-Penny and the sky is falling. He has stated he "won" and wants to spend tons of money in lieu of cutting spending and taxes to help the economy. It appears his plan is only wanted by 35 per- cent of those who put him in office. Hope more people in D.C. with the Issaquah mayor's fore- sight will bend the president's ear and he will listen. Ken Sassier LEIERS WELCOME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although we reserve the right to edit for space, potential libel and/or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words and type them, if possible. E-mail is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Deadline for letters is noon Friday for the fol- lowing week's paper. Address: RO. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 E-mall: Isspress@lsspress.com THE ISSAqUhtt PRESS PUBLISHED EERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 1900 45 FRONT ST. S." P.O. BOX 1328 ISSAQUAH, KING COUNTY, WA 98027 $30 PER YEAR./$55 TWO YEARS / $18 PER YEAR FOR SENIORS ADD $15 OUTSIDE KING COUNTY / $20 OUTSIDE STATE ALL DEPARTMENTS CAN BE REACHED AT 392-6434 fax: 391-1541 e-maih Isspress@lsspress.cem web site: www.issaquahpress.com DEBORAH BERTO ........ PUBLISHER JILL GREEN ...... ADVERTISING MGR. VICKIE SINGSAAS ...... ADVERTISING ANN LANDRY ......... ADVERTISING MARIANA SKAKIE ...... CLASSIFIEDS KATHLEEN i. MERRILL ...... EDITOR CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK . . REPORTER DAVID HAYES ........... REPORTER JIM FEEHAN ............ REPORTER GREG FARRAI ...... PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID HARRIS ..... PRODUCTION MGR. DONA MOKIN ....... ART DESIGN DIR. BREANN GETTY ..... GRAPHIC ARTIST SCO'Iq" SPUNG .......... ACCOUNTING KELLY BEZDZIETNY ....... CIRC MGR. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH Postmaster.. Send address changes to: Issaquah Press, P0 Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027