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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
March 11, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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March 11, 2009

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Kickstar ing spr wil : an Indoo r-- &gt; 70 ... I  mr-- * garden z , - 0 -.H Z *  Z 70-U : , r oee Oe   > ' ' < 70 0 rnm oo3 z o LOCALLY OWl Elementary "agles unlikely run at state  Wanted: Mountain men to join school ,nds with quarterfinals loss  club in reliving frontier life goes , Sports, Pag6 C1 , Communiff, Page BI .... __ __ waste free , See Page C6 L900 75 CENTS C'ty id 1 00t,.S ers Squak Me ta" un in bus transit route BY WARREN KAGARISE sporadic sidewalks, according to a transit study prepared for the city. Despite the difficulties, residents urged the city to consider the pos- sibility of a mass transit link or an alternative, such as a van-share service. With its unanimous vote March 2, the council referred the item to the Council Transportation Committee for further considera- tion. The committee met three days later, endorsed the proposal and sent it back to the full council for approval. Members are sched- uled to weigh the final proposal March 16. The transit study, delivered to the city in September, considers options to connect Squak Mountain with the Issaquah Transit Center. Several transportation possibili- ties would be difficult to achieve, according to the study. Running a bus line to Squak Mountain would likely be too expensive to establish. Rerouting an existing line .could leave key areas of the city without See BUS ROUTE, Page A3 Tune tales How to link Squak Mountain to the regional mass-transit system likely will receive a closer look from planners, the City Council decided last week. The decision follows a request from Squak Mountain residents, who asked city planners for ways to bring mass transit or another transportation option to their neighborhoods. The measure, which requires final approval by the council, would entail adjusting the budget for the city's Public Works Engineering Department. The pro- posal would add $4,000 to the department's budget. The addi- tional cash would pay for the time staffers spent studying options, responding to questions and preparing documents for council review. The effort will require between 40 and 60 hours of staff time, according to city documents. Bringing mass transit to Squak Mountain is a challenge, due to steep terrain, curving streets and BY GREG FARRAR TINY TUNES & TALES Alexandra May (left), 3, wears a finger puppet kitten for a song with animal sounds dur' hag Tune Tales March 5 at the Issaquah Library. At top, Pnya Bedi, 3, of Issaquah, wears a finger puppet kitten and smiles as Tune Tales instructor Jeanne Erickson asks musical questions. Above right, Angela Quan and her daughter Madison, 3, of Issaquah, play with rhythm sticks. To view a video presentation of the event, go to www.issaquahpress, com. WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2009 * VOL. 110 NO. 10 41, Community forum to focus on economy BY WARREN KAGARISE Residents concerned about the effect of King County's budget shortfall have an opportunity to voice their concerns to policymak- ers. A community forum will bring together residents with questions about the local impact of the eco- nomic downturn. The county will host a communi- ty forum March 15 in the Issaquah Highlands. The forum will bring together four to 12 county resi- dents to watch a video about the county's response to the recession. Mayor Ava Frisinger was tapped to serve on the panel that discusses the effects of the downturn. Frisinger appears in the 22- minute video, alongside other elected officials, including Sheriff Sue Rahr and County Councilmen Larry Phillips and Reagan Dunn. See FORUM, Page A3 Memorial held for IHS student BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK AND WARREN KAGARISE Nicholas W. Bethel, 17-year-old Issaquah High School student, died in Seattle March 3. The cause and manner of his death are pending, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. A cause of death could be days, weeks or months away, depending on the additional laboratory tests needed to make that determina- tion, officials at the Medical Examiner's ON1HEWEB Office said. Those tests Go to wu.tace- can include book.corn and m i c r o b i a l, type "In Loving neurological Memory of Nick and toxicology tests, officials Bethel" into the said. search box. Bethel's father called Issaquah High School officials March 3, after morning classes had started, said Karin Weihe, the high school's resource officer, No official announcement was made to students by school offi- cials after Bethers father had told them of his son's death, so the news passed through the student body by word of mouth, Weihe said. "They tried to keep as much normalcy as they could," she said. "Our entire campus is saddened by this loss of one of our stu- dents," Principal Paula Phelps said. "It has become clear how many lives he impacted at Issaquah High We are taking the time to ensure that all students and staff who need to grieve or remember their friend are able to do so in a safe environment with professional support." As a school resource officer, Weihe said, she had no discipline issues with Bethel. Bethel's friends said he loved to play baseball and that he had Nicholas W. d played on the school's baseball team. . He played on the school's team as a freshman but hadn't played since, Weihe said. Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press, com. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wka- garise@isspress.com. Comment on this article at www.issaquahpress.com. This note was sent to the school community via, the district's e- news system late March 3. Dear Issaquah High Community: We began our school day with the sad and unexpected news that one of our students died last night. The entire Issaquah High School community hurts from the loss.There is a chance your child will feel unsettled, atthe least, tonight and in the coming days. To prepare our campus for the impact of this sad news, we requested extra counseling support from nearby high schools and created a safe room where any student or staff member could go to process their feelings and receive help. We individually notified students and adults with close rela- tionships with the student, and we alerted the entire staff via e-mail. We will continue to have extra counseling support available, SO please encourage any students who show signs of grief to visit the coun- seling center. A significant change in any of these physical or emotional behaviors might be an indication: Sadness, anger, irritability, anxiety, loneliness, numbness, indifference, detachment, listlessness, headaches, stomachaches, nausea and appetite. Do not hesitate to call our counsel- ing center at 837-6140 for guidance or more information - we want all of our students to have the support they need during this sorrowful time. We want to respect the privacy and ieving process of the student's fami- ly, and it is not in our purview to share details. Our thoughts are with them. Sincerely, Paula Phelps Principal, IHS City holds 'sustainability' movie nights To foster discussion about sustainabillty, the city Resource Conservation Office hosts its first free movie night, 6:30-8:30, March 17. "Good Food," a documentary directed by Seattle filmmakers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young, kicks off a series of free movie nights. "Good Food" introduces viewers to local farmers, ranchers, disWibu- tors and restaurants who are building a sustainable food system in the Pacific Northwest. After the film, a panel discussion will be held. The panel will include local food experts Dave Sao, of the Issaquah Farmers Market; Trudy Bialic, of PCC Natural Markets; and Laura Niemi, Garden Programs manager for Seattle Tilth. PCC Natural Markets will provide snacks. Movie night will be held at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W. City eyes Federal sti]Imlus cash BY WARREN KAGARISE City officials said Issaquah is not likely to see a slice of federal stimulus money at least not yet. The first round of funding from the $787 billion package directed money to construction, infrastruc- ture and social services projects across the country. Officials pushed for the proposed Interstate 90 Undercrossing to be included among the projects considered for stimulus cash. But regional plan- ners recommended projects closer to breaking ground. Though the undererossing pro- posal received high marks from the Puget Sound Regional Council, unresolved right-of-way issues kept the project from receiving the planners' blessing. Officials said Issaquah would instead focus on garnering stimu- lus dollars for environmental projects, such as weatherizing homes. "We'd love to take some of the money, but our best bet is with the sustainability group," Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said. The stimulus package includes $5 billion to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. Details about how the money will be distributed are still vague. In the meantime, city staffers are working to identifi) programs to harness some of those dollars. "What money is coming down the road?" Resource Conservation Office Manager David Fujimoto asked. "How's it going to be avail- able and what can we use it for?" He listed three projects as possi- bilities for federal aid: Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72; a YWCA low- income housing project; and zHome, a townhouse development designed to produce as much elec- tricity as it consumes. Each of the projects was designed with eco- friendly features. But the slumping economy has slowed development. The zHome project is stalled because its developer ran into trou- ble with financing for the project. Money to weatherize homes and improve energy efficiency is also a key piece of the stimulus plan. City officials, who are work- ing to improve the city's environ- mental record, want federal money to help pick up the tab. "We'd love to be able to set up a program to help residents in Issaquah weatherize homes," Fujimoto said. Ideally, stimulus money could also be directed to existing sus- tainability programs, he said. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress, com. One school contra,',l: ratified, custodial workers still on hold Union rep calls the process 'frustrating" BY CHANTEI,LE LUSEBRINK The Issaquah School District's bus mechanics approved their contract March 4. The contract will go to school board members for final approval March 11. Close to voting on their tenta- tive contract Feb. 24, the district's maintenance and custodial work- ers delayed because the final agreement was amiss, union offi- cials said. Union officials and the district's attorney negotiated the tentative deal Feb. 10, during an unfair labor practice hearing, said Jason Powell, union representative for the custodial and maintenance workers. But when the contract came to union officials Feb. 24, it was missing a key component -- the retroactive payment for an atten- dance incentive both sides agreed upon, he said. The missing part of the deal suspended the vote. "It made me feel like the rug got pulled out from under us hours before the vote," Powell said. "We would like to see the district fol- low through with the agreement that their attorney made on their behalf, so that we can follow through with the offer." "I think the tentative agreement was made in good faith by both sides," said Sara Niegowski, dis- trict director of communications. "There was tentative agreement from all that negotiation and it was signed, but now there may be some issues about what one side thought went into that agreement and we're going to have to figure out how to move on." To do that, employees will prob- ably have to vote whether to approve or reject the tentative agreement, Niegowski said. The toughest part for eowell was that union officials withdrew See CONTRACTS, Page AS INI;IDE THE PRESS YOU SHOULD KN()W GAUGE RAIN GAIN A&E ........ B6 Opinion ...... A4 Classifieds ... C4-5 Police & Fire .. C5 Community ... B1 Schools ...... C6 Obituaries .... B3 Sports ..... C1-3 II!Jl I I!l Ill I  i ..... Beware of smishing -- unsolicited text messages -- says the Better Business Bureau. Washington consumers reported receiving the scam text message: "Application Center is an automated message from Cullman Savings Bank. Your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 1-888- 873-9356." Banks don't use e-mail, texts or phone calls to verify information. To verify unsolicited messages, contact the business at a valid number. ,ii ii (through Monday) i 1.27 inches Total for 2009: i il/... 12.57 inches Total last year: /if '/ (through March 9) !.. 13.6 inches BE9 LOCAL PIUCES* I, $2.12 - Costco I, $2.19 - Shell 825 Front St. HIGHF$1" LOCAL PRICE * , $2.45 - Chevron 25 N.W Gilman Blvd. To report gas ces in ur area, go to w.seamegaspnces.com. 'll