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Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
March 25, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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March 25, 2009
 

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2009 A3 BY CHRISTOPHER HUBER Challenger Elementary School has a new principal. Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen announced in a letter to the district that Clark Elementary School Principal Sue McPeak will replace outgoing Principal Robin Earl. District officials chose McPeak, who has served at Clark for nine years, after considering public feed- back and conversations with dis- trict administrators, the letter said. "Principal McPeak actively engages and supports staff in schoolwide instructional strategies that target high-achievers, strug- glers and every child in between," Rasmussen wrote. "These efforts have paid off in subjects like sci- ence, where students have made significant gains." McPeak is known throughout the district for her expertise in special education and her proactive and passionate approach to working with students and staff, Rasmussen wrote. "She truly enjoys interacting with students, staff, and parents," he wrote, "and she is naturally able to galvanize entire communities around the most important thing: students and their education." McPeak sited various reasons for her decision to change schools. But her main reasoning was profession- al growth and the rejuvenation that comes with change. "I need to go on to a new phase and a new challenge for myself," she said. "Change is always really hard, but you know when it's time to branch out a little bit." She said she looks forward to the talked-about sense of community at Challenger. "It's such a community school, and that's what I'm all about," she said. Throughout the remainder of the school year, Mceeak will work on the transition with Earl, who will become the planning principal of E-15, a future elementary school in Sammamish. School bus mechanics secure new contract Issaquah School Board members unanimously approved the ratifica- tion of a three-year contract for nine school district bus mechanics at their meeting March 11. The mechanics, represented by the International Association of Machinists, had been working with- out a contract since Aug. 31. The contract was approved March 4. The contract includes a 90-cent- an-hour raise in the first year, a 45- cent-an-hour raise in the second year and a 25-cent raise an hour in the third year. The raises are in addition to any cost of living adjust- ments the state Legislature passes. The mechanics also gained more money for their tool allowances for the next three years and obtained another personal leave day, increas- ing them from three days to four. They also negotiated an atten- dance incentive program where employees who call in absent three to four days earn an extra $300 during the second year of the contract; those who only miss one or two days earn an extra $650. During the third year of the contract, those rates increase to $450 and $850 respectively. However, employees who are sick for more than three days will have to obtain a physician's note excusing them from work. Their probationary period was extended from 60 workdays to 90 workdays. The new contract expires Aug. 31, 2011. District officials and the mechanics began negotiating in June. Since then, relations broke down several times, leading the bus mechanics' representative to file an unfair labor practice charge against the district Oct. 28 and to apply for mediation from the state. District officials and representa- tives for the 115 custodial and maintenance workers are still negotiating that contract. The two parties began negotiating in June. That contract also expired Aug. 31, but employees have continued to work. Police arrest two men during foiled vehicle theft Issaquah officers arrested two men whose attempt to steal a sport-utility vehicle March 20 was foiled by a red light. The owner of a Toyota 4Runner reported the vehicle stolen from The Timbers at Issaquah Ridge apart- ment complex, 23425 S.E. Black Nugget Road. While police were col- lecting information from the owner at 11:50 a.m., two officers in a police cruiser spotted the 4Runner nearby. As the officers turned their patrol car around, the SUV fled north on East Lake Sammamish Parkway. But traffic stopped for a red light at the intersection of the parkway and Southeast 56th Street blocked the suspects' route. The suspects instead barreled across a curb and a sidewalk, and attempted to drive up an embankment. The embank- ment was too steep, however, and the driver of the stolen SUV backed into the police cruiser. When the 4Runner struck the police vehicle, the impact damaged the push bar on the front of the cruiser. The force of the impact also slammed shut the driver-side door, injuring an officer's leg. The suspects, a 25-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, were then handcuffed and taken into custody. The injured officer was examined by Eastside Fire & Rescue para- medics and released at the scene. The suspects, whose names are not being released pending a court appearance, will likely be charged with possession of stolen property and possession of drug parapher- nalia. The driver will likely be charged with third-degree assault of a police officer, Sgt. Scott Trial said. The driver was also wanted on a first-degree robbery charge. Rebate program brings efficient toilets to apartments Dozens of Issaquah public hous- ing residents are part of a conserva- tion effort expected to save more than 650,000 gallons of water in the next five years. Eastridge House, 40-unit public housing complex for seniors and disabled people, replace inefficient toilets with new .: models and install water-saving measure has resulted in a drop of more 40 percent in water use for its properties since 2003, accord- ing to the agency. Rebates for water-saving appli- ances and irrigation systems are available to homes and businesses served by the Cascade Water Alliance, which includes Issaquah. A consumer who replaces an old toilet with an efficient model receives a $100 rebate through Cascade Water Alliance. faucet aerators and showerheads. I TIsIA T I Toilets will be replaced for free. 1J[AW S IH O]EIPIR U When the project is complete, all M, A] S n n D] 40 toilets at the downtown corn- A IS I I E I A D i E IN I E [G plex will USeperflush. 1.6 gallons of water c E-s;P-E'-V !!R~EE ~!! King County Housing Authority T[A1R workers will remove 27 water-guz- R II A P R IS I I zling toilets and replace them with AN~T:! Am 'EE~B i~l more efficient models. The other13 mR-S toilets were replaced through earlier T upgrades. PIA "D E'- C-i P I I IT IA T- E- Installation of the new fixtures is A [B I L E : OE I N I S E T also part of the housing agency's i [L [E R L R IE IT R E water conservation initiative. The R [ E I S S E E [ S I E S S Auto, Home and Life Insurance Issaquah Insurance Agency 22525 SE 64th Place, Suite 228 tel: 425-392-7887 www.lssylnsurance.com email: patrickshockley@co mcast.net Representing j Insurance CONTRIBUTED A SELLOUT SIP Sara Kimmitt (right), Encompass board member from Issaquah, watches as Josh Weltmer, of Sno- qualmie Casino, pours wine during the inaugural Sip of Snoqualmie wine-tasting event March 14. It was at the casino and benefitted Encompass. Issaquah sites spotlighted in new travel guide, Web site Pickering Barn and the Issaquah Depot are featured in new travel guides and a slick Web site produced by 4Culture -- King County's cultural servic- es agency -- and the King County Historic Preservation Program. The trio of free Destination Heritage guides highlights key themes from local history: agri- culture, industry and maritime. Issaquah attractions are spot- lighted alongside sites such as Snoqualmie Falls, Pike Place Market and Alki Beach Park. Guidebooks and the Web site also highlight local events and festivals. More than 70 attrac- tions and activities are featured. The guides invite visitors and residents to explore historic landmarks, attend festivals and take scenic drives. Destination Heritage guides Hill be distrib- uted and available at visitor information centers, hotels, landmarks and destinations throughout the county. Get printable versions of the guides, audio clips and more informa- tion on the Web at www.desti- nationheritage.org. But the guides are not just for tourists, according to a 4Culture news release. "If you have already been to the Pike Place Market, you might see it with fresh eyes by learning about the role that Japanese Americans played in the market's history," said Flo Lentz, of Preservation 4Culture, a group that promotes steward- ship of local historic sites. "And you might feel inspired to head out to the Snoqualmie Valley or the Enumclaw Plateau or Vashon Island and see some of the working farms and heritage barns that are still part of today's rural landscape, less than an hour from downtown Seattle. These guides encourage that kind of exploration." Support for the guides came from grants provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Preserve America program of the National Park Service, plus 4Culture and the county Landmarks Commission. ]BY" JEFF l~ICH/~DS l0 HELP OR GEI HELP Time is runningout for families hoping for a littlehelp paying their monthly bills for power and gas. Partnering with the Salvation Army, the Issaquah Food Bank has been assisting low-income families with their utility bills through the Warm Energy Fund since January. Cherie Meier, executive director of the food bank, said they have given out about $11,000 in assis- tance so far. She added that she expects the fund to likely run out by April. She said the food bank is very grateful to have the money and to be able to help people who are at the breaking point and don't know what to do. "Some people come in with $900 bills. I had one as high as $1,100," she said. "It's like, how are they going to pay this." Families seeking assistance need to bring in their utility bills to the food bank and have proof they are a low-income household. To learn more about the Warm Energy Fund, call 392-4123. Get donation and volunteer information at www.issaquahfoodbank.org. Low-income households are those that earn less than 80 per- cent of the median household income in King County. The medi- an for a household of two was $32,550 in 2008. A family can take advantage of the fund only once per year with maximum assistance of $250. This is the first year the food bank has offered the Warm Energy Fund. Meier said there are plans to continue it yearly and it should be able to offer the fund again in December. The Issaquah Food Bank is located on the corner of First Avenue Southeast and Southeast Bush Street in the Issaquah Valley Community Services build- ing. Tree damages elementary school portable classrooms BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Cascade Ridge Elementary School students won't be returning to their portable classroom soon, but they are still learning. A tree from a nearby Trossachs development that is under con- struction fell on one of four portable classrooms at the school March 7. The sizable tree hit just one of the portable buildings, but each houses two classrooms, said Principal Colleen Shields. The tree was removed and $7,000 worth of temporary repairs were made that weekend. Officials are still investigating whether damage was severe enough to warrant full replace- ment or whether the building can be repaired, said Keith Simmonds, district director of custodial and maintenance services. After a report is finished, district officials can determine the next step. Full replacement costs about $95,000 and repairs could cost up Crawford said, after The Press' deadline. Students are being taught on the school's stage, in the library and in the computer lab. School officials are prepared to give the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exams to students even if students aren't able to return to the portable classrooms, Shields said. "If we're still inside the building when it's time for WASL, we Hill adjust the schedule in areas where there are more disruptions, to make sure there are no interrup- tions," she said. "We'll be able to maintain a high-level, quality learning environment." With teachers, students and school employees' support, learn- ing has been the easiest thing to keep on track, she said. Organizing and rearranging school functions or rescheduling building time for community groups has been the most difficult. If there is a lesson for her stu- dents, Shields said she hopes they learn resiliency. to that, according to Steve "I think this has been a great Crawford, district director of capi- learning lesson for students to see tal projects. School officials should staff pull together to problem have the information soon, he said. solve, see the positive and make it As a precaution, school officials work the best they can/' she said. moved students from all of the "Kids see that they can be success- portable classrooms into the main ful when they have challenges that building until engineers and they have to face. arborists with the cityof Sammamish can determine whether the stand of Reach reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at trees is safe, Shields said. 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- Sammamish city officials were press.com. Comment on this article at expected to make a determination 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- about the stand of trees March 23, press.com. 000 re a s recession I know you want the best dental care for you and your family and that quality and guarantee is something that should not have to change. So I've come up with a way to work with you when everything seems to be working against us. I've been serving Issaquah families and their friends for 15 years, and I'm not about to let you down now. Here's what I can do: We belong to the following PPO organizations: Premera, Cigna. WDS, Delta, Aetna, United Concordia. Met Life, Regence, United Healthcare, Assurant PPO prices for non-insured patients Flexible payment plans available * Prices you can afford (I have always kept our prices and fees the most affordable in the area) A beautiful and friendly office with long term staff, as always, will be here to make your visits enjoyable. 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