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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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September 9, 2009

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A2 WEDNESDAY~ SEPTEMBER 9~ 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS LEARNING LIKE A SPONGE Above right, Lacey Frantz teaches families how to talk about the moon in Japanese at the You're a Star Aug. 30 event at Sponge in celebra- tion of the Japanese and Chinese star festivals of summer. Below right, Kira and Kate Ogden create shooting stars at the You're a Star event. Children also had mini language classes and had their star portrait taken by Yuen Lui Studio. BY TARYN ZIER ~m By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter City officials want to rezone 15 properties at nine sites in Issaquah as they update a key planning document for 2009. City planners will soon update the municipal Comprehensive Plan and zoning map with public land that officials intend to rezone. The list for 2009 includes property for future parks, park expansion and land to be set aside for open space. Other properties are already used for city utilities, such as drainage facilities and storm water ponds. Officials want to rezone those properties to fit their existing uses. Under the state Growth Management Act, municipal offi- cials are required to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to outline future expansion. Issaquah adopted such a plan in 1995. Planners sent notices to more than 450 property owners within 300 feet of the sites. City Senior Planner 1Yish Heinonen said the city received little feedback from landowners. Heinonen said the lack of response could be due to the fact that the affected properties are IFYOU GO Planning Policy Commission Comprehensive Plan public heating 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 City Council chambers 135 E. Sunset Way already used for the purposes out- lined in the zoning changes. As part of the review process, the Planning Policy Commission will hold a public hearing for the Comprehensive Plan amendments Sept. 10. City Council members will likely review the Comprehensive Plan updates in late fall. The latest incarnation of the Comprehensive Plan was made effective last November. City planning staff has taken advantage of the construction slowdown to update other wide- ranging growth plans. Planners have been at work on the Central Issaquah Plan, a document that will outline growth and redevelop- ment in a broad swath of the city -- the 915-acre commercial core of the city surrounding Interstate 90. Meanwhile, Planning Director Mark Hinthorne has been updat- ing concurrency policies. Planners also tweak the Land Use Code annually. Among the Comprehensive Plan changes headed to the City Council this fall are measures to determine the fate of the Klahanie annexation area and to add lan- guage about climate change to the document. Other changes to the plan are housekeeping measures. Updated population information will be included, as well as the latest plans for transportation and capi- tal projects. Planners need to remove lan- guage about the Southeast Bypass, for instance, from the plan outlining development in downtown Issaquah, or the 01de Town subarea. City Council mem- bers voted to halt the proposed Tiger Mountain roadway last year. Aside from the bypass, Heinonen said the downtown area had changed since the plan was first drafted. "01d Towne has really come a long way over the last 10 years," she said. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. By Thn Pfarr unaware it was purchasing a Issaquah Press reporter stolen animal. Police arrested Zolfagharkani for Four car prowlers who struck prowling in October, and it was at various cities in King County, steal- that time that Zolfagharkani ing a dog in Issaquah, have .been informed police that he had previ- sentenced, ously taken the puppy. Given the Faraz Zolfagharkani, 20; Ashley information, police were able to Lynn Dickenson, 20; Wesley Moron, locate Cookie and return him to his 22; and Cierra Kastner also broke rightful owner. into vehicles in Newcastle, Renton, Zolfagharkani pleaded guilty to Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue. five counts of second-degree theft, In Newcastle, the group struck four counts of second-degree mali- Renton Academy in September cious mischief (which concerns 2008 during a soccer game, property damage), one count of smashing vehicles' windows and first-degree trafficking stolen prop- snatching purses, erty and nine counts of second- On one occasion, Zolfagharkani degree vehicle prowl. stole a Maltese puppy named He claimed to have stolen more Cookie from a vehicle in Issaquah. than $50,000 worth of stolen prop- He stole the puppy in September erty during his time as a car 2008 and sold him shortly after to prowler, telling police, "I'm good at a family in Bellevue; the family was what I do." He has been sentenced to five years in prison. Dickenson pleaded guilty to six felonies and was sentenced to in- patient drug treatment, two years probation and 240 hours of com- munity service. Moton pleaded guilty to 16 felonies and was sen- tenced to 25 months in prison and 25 months probation. Kastner was sentenced to two years probation. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chris Nielson prosecuted the four prowlers, and said they received con- siderable sentencing for their crimes. "You don't usually catch car prowlers, and when you do, they usually don't get that punished," Nielson said. Tim Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or new- cas@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpr ess. com. New high school math plan involves community Issaquah School District officials For now, students are using munity. Those meetings and forum announced a new draft timeline for College Prep Mathematics. Towill likely be held this fall or winter. a high school math adoption at the ensure students are still receiving Teachers will meet in spring to Aug. 26 meeting of the Issaquah math lessons that align with the re-evaluate the current math cur- School Board. state's new standards, teachers riculum and new ones, with the District officials put the high spent the summer reviewing les- community's input in mind, and school math adoption on hold in sons and infusing them with new then select one for adoption, July because they felt there hadn't material, said Patrick Murphy, dis- Murphy said. been enough community input and trict executive director of second- After a selection is made, the because there was a lack of clarity ary education, curriculum will go to the district's from the state about recommended At school curriculum nights in Instructional Materials Committee, materials. September, parents and students which analyzes the text for bias The school district's Math will be asked to take surveys about and readability and is a state Adoption Committee had selected how they use the current curriculum requirement. Discovering Mathematics, by Key and what they want to see in a new After that process is complete, Curriculum Press, while the state math curriculum, said Ron Thiele, board members will choose to Office of the Superintendent of district associate superintendent, adopt or reject the curriculum. Public Instruction had recom- District officials will also hold sev- The money from last spring that mended Holt Mathematics. eral meetings with parents and stu- was to be used to adopt the math Several parents contacted dis- dents about mathematics, andcurriculum has been moved to the trict officials, teachers and board include a community forum to gauge new school year budget and members about the lack of public what aspects of a curriculum are remain reserved for the purpose of involvement in the process, most important to the Issaquah com- purchasing new math materials. school children President 0bama will addressa recorded version, if it fits into the tively and in context of the curricu- the nation's school children in a context of their lessons and sched- hm without expressing personal speech about the importance of ule for the day. viewpoints." education at 9 a.m. Sept. 8. According to national and state Parents (or students) with con- Officials from the U.S. Secretary officials, the address is nonpolitical cerns can contact their child's (or of Education's office and from the in nature and is a historic event, their) teacher ff the child wants to state Superintendent of Public "Teachers are expected to pres- participate in an alternative activity. Instruction's office have asked ent the speech like any other real- Learn more about the president's local districts to inform schools world example of U.S. civics in address at the U.S. Department of about the event, action {which is a districtwide stu- Education's Web page, Teachers in the Issaquah School dent learning goal)," district offi- www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academ- District have been given the option cials wrote in an E-news letter to iafots.html. The full text of the to show the President's address, parents. "Any teacher who chooses speech will be posted on the site by via online streaming, on C-SPAN or to air the address will do so objec- Sept. 7. FROM PAGE A1 thing we anticipate, but it's not something we can rule out," Frisinger said. Issaquah faces a $3.6 million shortfall for 2009; a similar decline in city revenue is projected for next year. Major sources of dollars for the city -- building permits and sales tax revenue have dropped amid the recession. Officials have also deferred the purchase of supplies and equip- ment, and suspended nonessential staff training to save money throughout the year. City spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said the effects of cost- saving measures have been wide- ranging. "Every department at City Hall has been affected by the staffreduc- tions, whether it's been through frozen positions, the voluntary sep- aration or layoffs," she said. Monahan said cuts were made in order for the city to maintain essential services, such as police and utilities, at adequate levels. But the cuts will impact other city services. Frisinger said city work- ers would cut park maintenance and road projects to save money. Residents could also notice longer waits for passports at City Hall. The pace of large-scale projects will also slow, though the long- planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing be unaffected. Officials are re- evaluating other projects to see if costs can be curbed. Frisinger is due to present her 2010 budget to the City Council Oct. 5. The presentation will be fol- lowed by weeks of budget hear- ings, during which officials will decide what to cut and what to pre- serve. Council members will adopt the budget Dec. 21 The mayor said department directors have been vigilant about keeping expenses down as they budget for 2010. Duties assigned to laid off employees will be reassigned to remaining staffers. City leaders took similar steps to redistribute the duties assigned to vacant posi- tions and employees who opted for the severance. Frisinger said factors such as seniority and workload were con- sidered as officials decided which positions to eliminate. Though the last day of work for laid off employees will be Sept. 15, Frisinger said the employees would continue to be paid through the end of September, and their medical and dental benefits will continue for three months. Employees who received layoff notices were offered counseling and career transition help. The layoffs came a week after the city hosted a reception to honor seven employees who opted for a severance package. Frisinger described the mood at municipal buildings as somber and serious as employees were notified Sept. 3. Layoffs, Frisinger said, were "not a choice we wanted to make." Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. 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