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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 23, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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September 23, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 * A3 HABITAT RESTORED Ivy Howerton, Cynthia Aisaka, Nalena Santiago and Andrea Parsek (from left) transport and place rocks in a channel for erosion control, along with hay bales and hy- droseeded soil, Sept. 19 at the Habitat for Humanity building site in the Issaquah Highlands. The buildathon still needs volunteers on Sat- urdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., through Oct. 3. Visit www.habitatbuildathon.org or call the Habitat East King County office at 869-6007 to choose a volunteer shift. BY GREG FARRAR Residents sound off about concerns in south end district neighborhoods By Chantelle Lusebrink Issaquah Press reporter King County Sheriff's deputies and commanders met with con- cerned residents last week to talk about a recent police chase involv- ing two sheriff's deputies in the south end of the Issaquab School District. The group met at Liberty High School to discuss the Sept. 4 police chase by sheriff's deputies near Briarwood Elementary School, Maywood Middle School and Liberty as children were being dis- missed from school at about 3 p.m. The chase occurred after a sher- iff's deputy saw a yellow Mustang in the area with expired license plates, said King County Patrol Sgt. Cameron Lefler. When the driver of the Mustang saw the deputy pulling into the roadway behind him, he sped off. The deputy tried to relocate the car and caught up with it near Briarwood. The driver of the Mustang sped off again, but this time through the school zone at Briarwood, as children were walking home and headed in the direction of Maywood, and toward members of Liberty s cross coun- try team, who were practicing, Lefler said. Deputies activated their lights and sirens and pursued the vehi- cle for approximately two min- utes, until one deputy used his vehicle to stop the Mustang by blocking the road. The driver smashed into the deputy's vehicle and the driver and passenger of the Mustang were arrested. Another deputy in another car assisted with traffic management and scene work. According to the general orders manual for the sheriff's office, deputies are allowed to pursue a vehicle ff they believe "an occu- pant of a vehicle has committed, has attempted to commit, is com- mitting or is attempting to commit a crime." However, they may not pursue a vehicle "based solely on traffic infractions, negligent driv- ing, driving while suspended or revoked or any nonhazardous traffic misdemeanors." The two deputies have complet- ed their initial report of the inci- dent. Parents were angered by the deputies' actions, the pursuit of a vehicle through a school zone dur- ing dismissal times and because their children weren't contacted to provide an account of what the deputies had done. "What if the children adamantly disagree with the officer's inter- pretations?" asked Lisa Knoblich, a parent of two children. "No one has contacted us." Another parent, who asked not to be identified, said that the deputies' accounts varied substan- tially from what teachers and chil- dren said occurred. Investigators will follow up with those calls, said Major Dave Germani, who runs Precinct No. 3 in Maple Valley, which serves the area. "I have lived in this area for 30 years and I've raised four kids that have gone to these schools," he added. "I am as sensitive to these things as anyone else here. "I try to give my officers the lat- itude and discretion to make good choices, and know we have a sys, tem of internal checks and bal- ances to monitor them." "Thank you for what you do," said another parent, Jud[ Conners. "I only wish it wash t you getting our questions, but the gnjwho is responsible for this. ust think, if he would have shot somebody, you'd be mad they didn't stop him," she added, speaking to other parents. Lefier explained that the sher- iff's office has policies that require review of all pursuits. After deputies turn in their report, it is reviewed by Lefler, as the patrol sergeant, then by Brad Thompson, as the captain of oper- ations, and finally by Germani. Members of the Criminal Investigation Division and Internal Investigations Unit review the report, as well. If the pursuit was not conducted in accordance with policies and procedures, the deputies could be given additional training, repri- manded or dismissed, depending on the ruling. "Unfortunately, we can't give you the answers you want to hear at this time," Thompson said. "We are way out in front of this by about a month. I know it is uncomfortable to look up here and hear your public officers waffle, but we are here to present infor- mation about all pursuits and how the sheriff's office works." Parents and community mem- bers also had the opportunity to voice concerns about potential drug dealing in the Briarwood Shopping Center parking lot, and several home burglaries in the area. The evening prompted ideas by parents and residents of coordi- nating a community block watch and putting up a Web site for res- idents to report potential crimes or suspicious activity. "Criminals feed on the weak," Lefler said. "Neighborhoods need to act, not just put up signs, but act and get jacked up about any- one unfamiliar in their neighbor- hood." Deputies also asked residents to report any activity to officers in the Four Corners King County Sheriff's Office storefront. However, many residents said it doesn't have stable hours. Due to cutbacks in the county budget, the sheriff's office tries to keep it open five days a week, but the desk ser Bant also doubles as a backup d( uty and has to close the office if she is needed to help in the field. The best thing residents can do to keep .that from happening, Germani said, is to volunteer their time to help keep it open full time. Free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches help families in need Free and reduced-price lunch programs are available for stu- dents whose families qualify for assistance. About 1,200 students in the Issaquah School District were enrolled in the program last year. Families who earn less then fed- eral guidelines can apply for free and reduced-price meals for their children through their school. The reduced-price lunches and breakfasts are 40 cents and 30 cents, respectively. However, the state pays all lunch costs for public school students in kindergarten through third grade, and all break- fast costs for public school students. Participating schools and institu- tions must meet at least one-third of the recommendations made in the 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This includes recom- mended amounts of protein, calci- um, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and calories for lunch. In addition, no more than 30 percent of an individ- uals calories can come from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Breakfasts must provide one- fourth of the recommended dietary allowance for the same nutrients. Application packets for the pro- grams went to all households in the state with school children. Applications are also at your child's school. Applications can be submitted during any point in the school year. Students whose families receive federal assistance automatically qualify for the school federal nutrition programs. Once enrolled in the program, families are eligible for the remainder of the school year and up to the st 30 operating days of their child s next school year, at which point families must re- apply for the program. Go to www.kl2.wa.us and click on "Free and Reduced-Price Meal Programs" to see income guidelines. State suspends Issaquah physician's license By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter State officials suspended the medical license of Issaquah physi- cian Elizabeth Bennett last week. Charges from the Medical Quality Assurance Commission cite Bennett, a family practitioner in Issaquah, for unprofessional conduct. Information related to the charges was blacked out in the three-page statement of charges. In a separate case summary, commissioners said Bennett's "out- of-control conduct constitutes an immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare." Authorities said the suspension related to drug abuse. State Department of Health spokesman Gordon MacCracken could not pro- vide further details. "Patient safety is the issue," MacCracken said after the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission announced it would suspend Bennett's license. The suspension was effective immediately. Bennett cannot prac- tice as a physician until the issue is resolved. She has 20 days to respond to the commission. Appointed by the governor, the 19-member commission consists of physicians, physician assistants and citizens from across Washington. Members regulate the competency and quality of medical professionals licensed to practice medicine and surgery, according to a description provided by the gov- ernor's office. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. Families FROM PAGE A1 from mom, that something may be challenging, but it is worth- while," Maraldo said. "You can have a big impact if you take the risk." Candidates weigh other issues, too, including the rough and tum- ble of politics and its effect on fam- ily life. Probala said her family realized a City Council campaign could open her up to criticism. "I have a really smart family that understands the intricacies of poli- tics," she said. Noel said his family had a few concerns, too. His sons wanted to make sure he could still coach wrestling at their schools. His daughters wanted assurances they would not have to attend school board meetings, Noel said with a laugh. Carole Noel, too, wanted her husband to have enough time left for the family. Board members are allotted about 250 hours a year for work with the district. "I've been a Jot busier, earlier in my career," Wright Noel said. At the e he was a young father, a bishop at church and working for a national law firm. Maraldo, too, has enlisted her spouse in the school board bid. Her husband, Tony, has been planting signs around the school district. "I was down at the end of Issaquah-Hobart Road earlier this week. I've been up to the plateau, but I have a lot more to do, though," Tony Maraldo said. "You don t realize how big this district is until you start putting up the signs." Trusted counsel Spouses also serve as a sounding board and a surrogate for candi- dates. Tony Maraldo said a school board seat was the next step after his wife served on the Newcastle Elementary School PTSA. "Long before her decision to run for the school board, she was pas- sionate about education," he said. Noel promised his family, there would still be time for them. So far, he has stuck to his guns. He said he only works on the campaign about two hours a night. And the Noel family made its annual back- packing trip to Alaska this sum- mer. "The big thing they have done is be who they are. I've been blessed with wonderful kids," he said. Other concerns are more practi- cal, such as the time commitment a campaign for local office demands. Before he launched his bid for the Position 7 council seat, Nathan eerea had a discussion with his wife, Darcy, about the rigors of the campaign. The couple has 4-year- old and l 1-month-old daughters, so eerea had to be prepared to split time between the campaign and family. "I had to be ready to come home from the campaign and still have energy to help take care of the kids," he said. eerea said he and his wife had the advantage of both being serf- employed and able to work from home. He described the campaign commitment -- about 20-30 hours each week, he estimated -- as "a second job." Because his daughters are so young, the girls usually stay at home with their mother when Perea heads out to raise funds or meet voters. "Generally, bedtime comes before campaign events," he said. His opponent, Tola Marts, said 'his school-age children were eager to help with the campaign -- to a point. While Sophie, 11, and Aidan, 8, enjoyed helping as Marts distributed campaign signs to supporters, the younger Marts found door-belling to be a snooze. Despite the demands of the campaign, Marts said he finds time to spend with his children and wife, Tracy, BUt the workload associated with running for office occasionally intrudes. Marts said Aidan understood when he had to postpone a hike until next summer because of the cam- paign. He thanked his wife for filling in when he heads out to campaign. "Somebody has to stay home and make sure the homework gets done," he said.