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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
April 22, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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April 22, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS A4 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22~ 2009 PRESS EDIT0 RIAL ssaquah School District administrators will announce the number of teachers it will give layoff notices to at the school board meeting Wednesday night. While they say the number is a moving target up, they make no bones about the fact that the number will be large and it will hurt. But the community should not panic. Parents wondering what it will mean to their children will have tO wait and see. Take heart in knowing that administra- tors are not seeking program cuts, and hope they will not be needed. They are also committed to opening Elementary 15, the new elementary school on the plateau, on time as prom- ised, to relieve the crowding at Grand Ridge Elementary School. With a state budget still undetermined, the actual number of teacher layoffs will not be known until mid-summer. The union contract calls for teachers to be given notice by May 1 and none after that date. That means district officials must predict the worst, and hope to rehire at least some of those. The Issaquah Education Association (teacher union) also calls for layoffs to be based on seniority. There is no consid- eration given to saving those who are the "best" teachers, or those that come with specialized teaching skills for a partic- ular subject. Other nearby districts are able to make cuts based on need -- for example, they might save elementary school teachers and reduce high school teachers if that's what the need is. It will be interesting to watch IEA negotiations in 2010 to see if that's an issue worth re-evaluating. There is one thing parents can be relatively sure of there will be more students per classroom next fall. Make plans now to become a school or classroom volunteer to help teachers handle the extra workload without sacrificing qual- ity education. And make a commitment to your own students to help give them the one-on-one help they might need with teacher time spread thinner. The Issaquah School District is in good shape, having al- ready trimmed its budget in all other areas. With coimnurffty support, ISD students will still get the education" they de- serve. OFF THE PRESS ave Waggoner is a passionate man. His hands shake and his eyes fill with tears if you sit with him long while he talks about veterans their past, their present and their future. He can't shake the sight of Van, a young man whom he saw die in Vietnam. The young man, "just a kid really," was carrying ellenades when he tri,pped and Dave said he can t forget the sight, and his eyes well up. "He needs to be remembered," Dave said. "Everyone who has served his or her country should be honored." Dave does that, in many ways, but probably none more visibly than organizing the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Hill- side Cemetery. For many years, he and others have placed a flag and a cross on the grave of every doc- umented veteran in the cemetery. Someone complained about the crosses last year, and now Dave, with help from Allen Flintoft, of Flintoft's Funeral Home, is trying to get in touch withthe families of as many vet- erans as he can before this year's Memorial Day, so the tradition can be continued. So, if you are readingthis and you know of a veteranburied at Hillside Cemetery, please let his or her family know about this issue. Survivors of the departed vets need to say whether they want a cross, a flag KATHI EEN or some other R. MERRILL symbol on the Press Editor grave. Other- wise, there will only be a flag, and no cross. Just for the record, I can't imagine it was a veteran who complained, but I might be wrong. Also for the record, I served my country in the Army for six and a half years. If I am buried here, I want my cross. Let's talk a bit more about vet- erans. I think it is shameful how their memory hasn't been hon- ored nearly so much in recent years as it used to be. There were celebrations and ceremonies in small towns all across the country to honor and respect those who served, and particularly those who died serving, their country. Many of those ceremonies See VETERANS, Page A5 0 i I I III L ; I I I li " TO THE EDITOR Crosswalks It shouldn't have to come down to pedestrian versus cars to obey the law Recently, I wrote a letter asking drivers to be a little more aware of pedestrians. A Sam- mamish resident wrote a rebuttal suggesting pedestrians need to be more aggressive in "taking ownership of a crosswalk." He further suggested that the laws should not be changed because of a pedestrian's fear. He is suggesting that a 200-pound pedestrian get into the crosswalk and challenge a 4,000- pound car. Dumb idea! This letter was obvi- ously written by someone who does not walk. I do agree with what the letter writer alluded to, that drivers and pedestrians can use hand signals to indicate their intent. Remember, you are not invisible when you are behind the wheel. Waving a pedestrian across is perfectly acceptable. However, the pedestrian waving a car on by may not be -- I think only a police- man can direct traffic. However, the idea to sig- nal your intent is good. This crosswalk law is ignored by so many drivers that in front of the Issaquah Police Sta- tion a sign has been erected in the crosswalk reminding drivers to stop when it is occupied. And further, several crosswalks on Front Street have orange flags so pedestrians can signal their intent to cross. It would be nice if the law reflected the needs of pedestrians. It doesn't. My suggestion is that drivers be more aware of pedestrians and give them a break when they are on the curb wait- ing to cross. Pedestrians are out in the weather; drivers are not. Lee Woods lssaquah Mirrormont Kudos to Mirrormont president Brian Laugh- lin for resigning in protest of this embarrass- ment to his community and shame on T. J. Davis, the clueless county bureaucrat who au- thorized this waste. That money should go back into the King County budget and be put toward law enforcement for the benefit of everyone in the county. The No. i job of government is to protect the citizenry, not subsidize the rich with their hob- bies. Pea patches were originally designed for the benefit of the poor in the inner city who have no access to gardenable land, not those with acre lots. Let's keep pea patches for those who truly need them. I tte Riley lssaqu h Brian Yorkey Village Theatre alum's tale is one of local boy doing his community proud The article about Brian Yorkey (April 8) was interesting and very good news, but could have gone a little more deeply into his background. Yorkey grew up in Issaquah and really gained his start in theater at Issaquah High School. Though he was a good actor -- he nearly stole the show in "Sofith Pacific" as a sophomore in the minor role of Luther Billis -- his true talent came out when he wrote and di- rected two plays (longer than one acts), utiliz- ing music and large casts. Those productions were the highlight of the school's drama pro- gram in his junior and senior years, playing to overflow houses. When I directed "The Imaginary Invalid," by Moli re, in Brian's junior year, I gladly handed the more complex scenes to him as my student assistant director. Needless to say, the scenes came off very well. At Issaquah High, Brian Yorkey was an ex- Kudos to HOA , for .._L-- . pco ,n cellent student with an incredible flair for the- out against wasteful pea-patch spending Just last night, ,I sat at a meeting where County Councilman Reagan Dunn said that in the past two years, King County has had to do away with 200 law enforcement jobs. He added that the county is now $93 million in the red. Then, t read in The Issaquah Press that si- multaneously, King County has money to burn on a private little welfare garden for 14 fami- lies in Mirrormont. I would never have imag- ined there were that many people in Mirror- mont with their hands out expecting the gov- ernment to do for them what they should be doing for themselves. It doesn't cost $100, let alone $10,000 to dig up a small (10-by-20) plot of ground and toss in a few seeds. In this economy, with thou- sands of our King County neighbors out of work and truly hungry and needy, (9 percent unemployment as of last week), it is disgraceful to be spending so much on so few, especially since I'll bet none of them need the handout. ater. Those of us who knew of his efforts in high school, and in subsequent years, are not surprised by his making it big to Broadway. We are confident that his 'Next to Normal will do well there. We're very proud of this local boy being suc- cessful in his chosen field, a very difficult one in which to make it to the top. Doug Simpson Retired lssaquah High Teacher Re ding Issaquah residents have a fraction of the service available in Bellevue My family and I moved to Issaquah last fall and to Washington the fall before that. We first settled in Bellevue before discovering Issaquah. Overall, I love our new community. We have lovely neighbors and the schools are outstand- ing. However, my biggest disappointment is the lack of curbside recycling in my neighborhood. Yes, I do have unlimited recycling, but the lira- ited items they accept is frustrating. When we mSved to Issaquah last fall we were told by the previous residents that our re- cycling service was the same as Bellevue. I am not sure if Issaquah residents are aware of this, but even though you have the same curb- side waste removal service company, you can only recycle a fraction of things your neighbors can and you pay a lot more for these limited services (our bill has almost doubled). In Bellevue, my family of five used an aver- age of one garbage bag per week. Everything else was either yard waste or recyclable. Since moving here, our weekly garbage output has doubled. A recent legal notice regarding the Cedar Hills Landfill in your newspaper recently caught my eye. It would seem to me that if the landfill is filling up at a rate previously unfore- seen, efforts would be made for the community to send less to the landfill. I understand that the number of residents is part of the equation used to determine rates and in part directly affects the services offered, but there must be a cost effective way to recy- cle more curbside in Issaquah. Maybe your paper could write an article ex- ploring alternative options to recycling, items not accepted curbside and why Issaquah does- n't offer this service. I know I am not the only resident interested in this information. Becky Gorden lssaquah Justice system Incarceration rules need to be changed due to prison overcrowding Who can make sense of our criminal jus- See LETTERS, Page A5 LETTERSWELCGME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, althougn'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: P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 - Fax: 391-1541 E-mall: isspress@lsspress.com ALL DEPARTMENTS CAN BE REACHED AT 392-6434 fax: 391-1541 e-mall: Isspress@lsspress.eom web site: www.lssaquahpress.cem OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 1900 45 FRONT ST. S. P.O. BOX 1328 ISSAQUAH. KING COUNTY, WA 98027 $30 PER YEAR / $55 TWO YEARS / $20 PER YEAR FOR SENIORS ADD $15 OUTSIDE KING COUNTY / $20 OUTSIDE STATE DEBORAH BERT0 ........ PUBLISHER KATHLEEN R. MERRILL ...... EDITOR DAVID HARRIS ,PRODUCTION MGR. JILL GREEN ...... ADVERTISING MGR.CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK ... REPORTER DONA MOKIN ....... ART DESIGN DIR. VICKIE SINGSAAS ...... ADVERTISING DAVID HAYES . . . REPORTERBREANN GETTY ..... GRAPHIC ARTIST ANN LANDRY ......... 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