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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
November 4, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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November 4, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS A4 WEDNESDAY~ NOVEMBER 4, 2009 PRESS EDITORIAL lahanie Park may soon become a Sammamish city park. No matter that the county's first-ever master planned community and home to about 10,000 is not even located within the city of Sammamish. At first glance, it appears only King County will be the big winner if it does manage to transfer ownership of the 64- acre park to the city of Sammamish. King County will save $95,000 a year in annual maintenance costs. The city of Issaquah was another contender for ownership of the park, but has not expressed any interest, even though Klahanie's future could include annexing to Issaquah. The local homeowners group, the Klahanie Association, has also been looking at the possibility of taking over the park. We understand some residents were questioning how unfair that would be for them to pay their county taxes and then have their homeowner's dues pay for the same amenity again. The thought of Sammamish taking over Klahanie Park also raises some pretty big questions that the neighborhood will want answered. What will the county transfer agreement say Sammamish can do with the park? Can the city resell it in the future? Can it be turned into ball fields or a dog park or let it go to weed? Just why would Sammamish want to own the park any- way? Is this the first step toward getting Klahanie residents to want to annex into Sammamish? If so, might that be a good thing? There are more questions than answers so far, but we're glad to see someone cares about the park. The thought of King County putting a fence around it and letting the park wither was irresponsible at best. Sammamish may be just the white knight Klahanie needs to ride in and save the park and its neighborhood. OFF THE PRESS ould my wife and I have chosen a worse time to tire of our current living condi- tions? Last year, we decided the condo life was no longer in our best interests. We were ready to upgrade to an actual home, with no shared walls with neighbors and a nice yard for the pugs to run around in. We made improvements in our home, watched the HGTV net- work for staging tips and pm the condo up for sale. We even en- listed the aid of an iiber-Realtor, who was friends with my wife's family, to help us sell. Boy, did reality hit us smack dab in the face. The housing marking chose late last year to tank, right about the exact time we went to market. We learned some hard lessons about house shopping that I'd like to share as a sort of "buyer beware." Lesson one, no matter what you're buying now, always -- and I can't emphasize this enough -- keep resale in mind. Chances are, this won't be the last place you'll ever live, so pic- ture how enticing a property is for the next owner. We thought our condo on the second floor was ideal. Nope. Most people prefer the first floor -- for security and access rea- sons -- or top floor -- vaulted ceilings and no neighbor noise from above. That really hurt our efforts to sell, no matter how nice we made the inside. Other consider- ations for resell include one-car garage versus two car, split level versus two story and move-in ready versus a lot of TLC needed. The second thing I learned the hard way is stay on top of your credit score, which DAVI]D HAY]ES Press Reporter may seem like common sense to everyone else. I discovered this little tidbit when applying for a pre-approved loan. Who knew a few late credit card payments would lower our combined rat- ing? We've discovered along the way to be aggressive, whether buying or selling. The condo market on the Sammamish plateau is oversa~u:ated, and ar- tificially deflated by a developer who converted a bunch of apart- ments in Klahanie and then un- der-priced them. Many condo owners couldn't afford to lower their price to stay competitive, us included. But if we had knocked our price down from the get-go, instead of nearly a year later, that may have brought in more competing offers. While our condo went unsold, several properties we would have loved to purchase came and went. Now that our condo has actu- ally sold, we're still behind the See EDUCATION, Page A5 TO THE EDITOR CaUingfor Kids Thank you lssaquah Press staff lem and will be seeking a solution," the audi- Thank you for helping to raise more Awards are a testament to 20 years ence was told. The principals met last year. I was told that the district will use what it than $235,000 for local schools of service to local community "learned" last year to help decide on a new math curriculum and how to smoothly inte- Thank you all who donated to Calling for Kids Twenty service and journalism wards! Wow. grate the Pacific Cascade freshmen back to last month, making it our most successful ever Way to go, guys. There should be$omething on Skyline and Issaquah high schools -- among with $235,000 pledged from 1,986 donors! the masthead denoting this, so that all of the other things. So much for equality among the These funds will be used to raise academic readers can be reminded and assured of the various district schools when it comes to achievement, support struggling students and quality of the reporting and writing,classes offered at the various schools. provide professional development opportunities I enjoy The Issaquah Press because it reports In the coming months, there will be dis- for staff. They come during a critical time of de- on what's happening in our city al ld environs, trictwide discussions -- with and without the clining resources for our district. We are grateful to the entire community for their support -- the high school students who made the calls, and in doing so, raised money for their clubs and teams; the teachers and other school district staff members including Superintendent Steve Rasmussen, who ad- dressed envelopes and made phone calls; the Issaquah Schools Foundation Board and Advi- sory Council for their critical support; the event committee led by Deborah Parsons and Leigh Stokes; and most importantly, the community, who gave so generously. Thank you, everyone, for your support. Robin Callahan, executive director lssaquah Schools Foundation Fundraiser will help pay to elevate, enrich school programs Thank you to all of the families in the Is- saquah School District who answered the call to support our children during the Issaquah Schools Foundation's Calling for Kids campaign. On the evenings of Oct. 20 and 21, more than 200 high school students from Issaquah, Lib- erty and Skyline gave up their evenings to help give back to our schools. Our students were joined by PTSA members, Superintendent Dr. Steve Rasmussen and members of his executive cabinet, teachers, parents and community vol- unteers. Together, they called every family in the Issaquah School District. So far, the campaign has raised more than $235,000 from 2,000 families and has put the foundation on track to reach its $1.4 million annual fundraising goal. Calling for Kids contributions will fundpro- grams that elevate and enrich education for all students -- After-School Homework Clubs, Aca- demic Enrichment Grants, financial literacy through the Junior Achievement Program, Na- tional Board Certification scholarships for teachers, critical curriculum updates and more. The willingness of our community to support our schools with their donations -- especially during this critical time of declining resources for our schools -- is so gratLfying. Did you miss the call? It's not too late to join the campaign and make a difference for our students and schools! Learn more and donate online at www.issaquahschoolsfoundation.org. Deborah Parsons and Lel Stokes Cdting /or Kids to-d Ws There has been a lot of talk and d: the media about the demise of nm movement toward the computer a I am happy to get my internatio tional news via TV or the internet ceiving the local paper and readin tides and reports about my local As an example, I had no idea th visited Issaquah for Salmon Days ended two days before and alread full report in the paper. scussion in vspapers and ad Internet. or na- I enjoy re- g stories, at- tea. ~t 180,000 Salmon Days we had a Rather than reading about it two weeks later, when other events have taken center stage, we get the statistics and human interest stuff right away; very timely and interesting reporting. Thanks again, newspaper staff You guys are the best. I Woods hsaquah Education Where's the PTSA representation for the south-end enrollment? A new school year is upon us -- but with an old problem. In my e-mail inbox recently was a note from the Issaquah School District. It told of an elec- tion preview meeting for school board candi- dates sponsored by the Issaquah PTSA Council to be held at Pacific Cascade Freshman Cam- pus. The Issaquah Press hosted a candidate's night for Issaquah City Council and school board positions in Issaquah. The PTSA president told me that because no one on the plateau knows the candidates, they decided to have the meeting up there. One of these candidates will represent this area on the school board. So far, none of the area schools have volunteered to have a candidate's night. How many south-end residents know who the candidates are? The PTSA and district are two separate enti- ties. But once again, south-end residents are left out. I attended the boundary review meet- ing at Liberty High School a couple of years ago. Parents attending the meeting were con- cerned about Liberty students not having as many classes as Skyline and Issaquah high stu- dents have to choose from. The same goes for the number of classes at Maywood Middle School versus plateau or val- ley middle schools. District staff blew the par- ents' concerns away. "We are going to meet to discuss this prob- PTSA Council and distri'ct Staff-- regarding the upcoming February levy vote Maybe the south-end residents should reject the levy to let the PTSA, other parts of the district and district administration know that we exist out here. Claudia Dannelly Renan City government Task force of same cast of characters can't solve same old problems Remember those "Force 10 From Navarone" World War II movies? The same group of mer- cenaries saving the world from evil? Now, here in Issaquah, we have yet another task force to deal with the same combination of subjects -- economy, environment, central Is- saquah plan and everything else under the sun. And just like in the movies, it's the same cast of characters. Can somebody please explain to me how the same group of people, who know and work with each other right now, when they are not on a task force, and have not figured out all the answers to our municipal problems, are going to now get it right just because they are on a task force? Kudos to all of us for the keep-on-trying-like- a-salmon-going-upstream mentality, but at See LETTERS, Page A5 LETTERS WEEOME The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although 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 andhave 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-mail: Isspress@lsspress.com SS 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 Advertising: Jgreen@lsspress.com Classifieds: classlfleds@lsspress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER JILL GREEN AD REPRESENTATIVE VICKIE SINGSAAS AD REPRESENTATIVE NEIL BUCHSBAUM AD REPRESENTATIVE JODY TURNER CLASSIFIEDS MARIANA SKAKIE Newsroom: Isspress@lsspress.com EDITOR KATHLEEN R. MERRILL REPORTER CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK REPORTER DAVID HAYES REPORTER WARREN KAGARISE REPORTER CHRISTOPHER HUBER REPORTER TIM PFARR PHOTOGRAPHER GREG FARRAR Circulation: Ip-circulaflo~lsspress.com KELLY BEZDZIETNY Accounting:. Ip-acgtLiHsspress.com SCOTT SPUNG PUBLISHER DEBORAH BERTO PHONE: 392-6434 FAX: 391-1541 OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF ISSAQUAH Postmaster: Send address chants to: Issaquah Press, P0 Box 1328 Issaquah, Wh 98027 WWW.ISSAQUAHPRESS.COM .......... .... T "' l ..... ..... ' =- -" --7 " "