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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 16, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 16, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2009 * A3 9 By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Get The Beat, a new page in The Issaquah Press by teens, for teens and about teens. Look for news -- like what you would see on Page A1 -- and almost as many features as the App Store: entertainment pieces, how-to guides, a reader poll and more. The Beat will replace the schools page the fourth week of the month. Look for the first edition in the Dec. 23 paper. Content from the section will also be featured at www.issaquah- press, com. Who says teens don't tweet? Despite stats to the contrary, The Beat crew will take to Twitter @issaquahbeat -- a blank canvas where Eastside teens can swap ideas and talk trends. Tiffany Xu, a Skyline High School junior, spearheaded the teens-only idea and brought the plan to Editor Kathleen R. Merrill several months ago. Merrill described the concept as "a mini-newspaper for teens." "We tried to really mirror the newspaper" -- with a twist, she said. "We want it to be edgy, cool and hip, because that's what teens are." University-run journalism and leadership workshops inspired Xu to put the training to use in a news- paper section run by Issaquah School District students. By devel- oping The Beat, Xu wants to count- er the image of teens as apathetic and disconnected. So far, so good, she said. "I was very surprised by the response I received from my peers when I said I was starting this pro- gram," Xu said. Students at the three Issaquah district high schools clamored to write for The Beat. In the end, Xu and Merrill selected eight teens to contribute to the inaugural issue. Xu is editor of the page; Merrill will oversee the teen crew. A $1,000 grant from the Seattle office of Youth Venture -- a non- profit set up to encourage teens to contribute to their communities -- will pay for the December and January editions of The Beat. After that, Xu and her team need grant and sponsor dollars to keep the section. The Press offered the page at a discount. "This is my baby and I really want to see it happen and be sustainable,' Xu said. "I'm going to work really hard to find that funding. Contribute by e-mailing editor@isspress.com. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress, com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com. Y By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter A state Supreme Court ruling will change the way Issaquah and other Washington cities pay for fire hydrants. City officials said the measure, headed for a City Council vote Dec. 21, would mean few changes for city water customers. The proposal cuts the water rate and adds a util- ity tax -- a move meant to be cost- neutral to customers. The city collects $129,000 through water rates to pay for municipal fire hydrants. The court ruling -- Lane v. Seattle -- said hydrants are a general government service, and cannot be paid for as a utility. Since the court ruled in October 2008, municipal officials across the state have searched for ways to remove fire-protection costs from utility rates. Legislation headed to the City Council next week asks members to adopt a measure to cut water rates 2.28 percent -- worth $129,000 -- Councilman Fred Butler, a Council Utilities Committee member, said city officials should consider the measure to avoid legal trouble relat- ed to the court ruling. He urged other committee members to send the legislation to the full council. "This will demonstrate that we got the process going in 2009," and Sewer District because both agencies provide water for cus- tomers inside Issaquah. Lynne said Bellevue and the dis- trict would then be responsible to develop a cost-neutral way to restructure the water rate and util- ity tax for Issaquah customers. Bellevue intends to use a cost-neu- and another ordinance to adopt a Butler said during the Dec. 9 utili- tral method, Lynne added. The 2.33 percent utility tax on city water ties committee meeting, plateau water district is apt to, -- to raise the $129,000 lost by the But the city utility is not the only :,i .... develop a sunilar strategy. rate decrease. The tax will enable water provider for Issaquah resi- "I can t promise what those two utilities will do. I can only promise generalthe city fund to use to money pay for from hydrants, the city geography, dents, due to annexations and to try and reinforce to them to Officials said the rate reduction, Sheldon Lynne, the No. 2 official become neutral, Lynne said. coupled with the utility tax, would in the Public Works Engineering be the same, dollar-for-dollar, for Department, said the cit plans to Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or every customer. The dual measures negotiate agreements with Bellevue wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at would go into effect early next year. and the Sammamish Plateau Water www.issaquahpress.com. FROM PAGE A1 the school's name be derived from the area, geographic land- marks, housing developments, voting precincts, directional names or from names of people that have contributed greatly to education in the district. After the five names were cho- sen, community members had an opportunity to rank their top choices in order. Creekside was the overwhelming leader; Ebright was the runner-up. The significance of the name Creekside, Earl said, is a creek that runs near the school, and the Snoqualmie Tribe used the area and the creek as part of its sum- mer lands where they would live for a time and fish. "My personal favorite going into it was not Creekside, but I'm warming to it," board member Chad Magendanz said. "I really think the community has spoken here and I want to honor that." "I was really surprised," Melody Chang said. "We thought there would be other families with the same name suggestion, but we were the only ones. "We are honored that we helped come up with a name that will stick with the elementary, even 30 years down the road." The $22.8 million school is under construction. When it is finished, the two-story building will have 28 classrooms, a com- puter lab, music room, multipur- pose room, gym and resource room for occupational and physi- cal therapies. It will also have two covered play areas in addi- tion to a sand playfield. The school's layout is very sim- ilar to Grand Ridge and Newcastle elementary scnools. Maraldo, Magendanz take office Marnie Maraldo was sworn into office as District Director No. 2 on the Issaquah School Board at its regular business meeting Dec. 9. Maraldo won the seat in November's election with 52 per- the Newcastle PTSA after win- ning the election. Chad Magendanz, who ran unopposed, was also sworn in. City Council will consider support for schools levy City Council members will hold cent of the vote against Wright A. a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Dec. Noel, a founding partner of 21 to consider supporting the Carson & Noel. Issaquah School District s Feb. 9 Maraldo is a stay-at-home moth- er of two children, but works part time at Janie and Jack, a children's clothing store. Before the election, she was an active volunteer with Stand For Children, a lobbying organization for education advance- ment and funding in the state, and was president of the Newcastle Elementary School Parents, Teachers and Students Association. She resigned her position with ballot propositions. There are three ballot proposi- tions for levies this year -- a $172.5 million maintenance and operations levy, a $38.5 million critical repairs and technology levy, and a $1.7 million trans- portation levy. City Council members will hold the hearing at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way. Officials wel- come input from residents. FROM PAGE A1 Transportation cuts -- through reduced roadwork and scaled-back efforts to cut traffic congestion -- will mean savings for the city. Officials will save $135,000 in city money because the budget cuts money for improvements to the Intelligent Transportation System, a series of traffic signals intercon- nected to smooth traffic flow. Council Transportation Committee members will review ways to pay for the system next year. The budget also delays a planned Route 200 bus service extension to Talus and the Issaquah Highlands, although the council will revisit the issue in early 2010. The Metro Transit route was scheduled to begin service to Talus and the highlands next September. Besides the city and Metro, high- lands developer Port Blakely Communities, retirement commu- nity Timber Ridge at Talus and the Talus homeowners association would share costs for the route extension. The parties agreed last December to add Issaquah Highlands and Talus to the route. City departments -- already forced to make do with fewer employees due to layoffs, a hiring freeze and a voluntary separation program -- will face additional cuts. The Building Department, for instance, will not buy a hybrid sport-utility vehicle to conduct inspections. And the city will save $5,000 with the reduced newslet- ter schedule. The council also wants city staffers to research a volunteer coordinator position, and offer ideas about the unpaid position to the Services & Operations Committee. Officials will also sever ties with Outside Seattle, a Web-based tourism bureau set up to encour- city goals sketched by council age Emerald City visitors to members and staffers during a explore East King County. The May retreat, though the lists reflect measure will save $20,000 in similar themes. Goals include hotel-tax revenue, but city officials left undefined how the city would work to draw tourists to Issaquah. The council also plans to exam- ine ways to improve safety and cut overtime costs at the 62-bed municipal jail housed in the City Hall basement. Officials want information about less-expensive alternatives to jail, like work-crew programs. A report is due in the first quarter. Memo mirrors city goals Before committees tackle full dockets, council members need to determine who will be assigned to the five panels tasked with review- ing and shaping legislation. The council will discuss 2010 commit- tee assignments at a Dec. 21 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. The list included in the budget memo stands apart from the 2010 Merry Christmas Issaquah pro- vided emergency aid to 301 fami- lies in 2008. In 2009, more than 450 families will have been helped. An increase of 50 i ercent in one year is staggering for Issaquah Church and Community Services, the nonprofit agency that has dis- tributed the donations from Merry Christmas Issaquah since 1981. In spite of having more donations than ever, the amount available to help families averaged only $160 each this year, down from $209 in 2008. To those who need just a bit extra until they get through a medical cri- sis, find a new job, wait for a deceased spouse's first Social Security check to arrive or myriad other life emergencies, the help from ICCS is enough to make a difference. The 450 families helped finan- cially tells only part of the ICCS story. This year, volunteers will answer nearly 1,500 phone calls for help. Many will get referrals to food banks, shelters, counselors and other agencies that might pro- vide assistance. Does the emergency aid really make a difference? Last week, ICCS received a letter from Susan, in appreciation for long-ago help. "Between 1990 and 2000, I was a single mom living in Issaquah, raising two little boys. Your organ- ization helped me out with auto- motive repairs, electric bills and rent. Even though I was always employed, there were many months when it was not possible to TO DATE: $9,337 2009 GOAL: $50,000 make ends meet," she wrote. "I always dreaded making the call to ask for help. You allowed me to keep my dignity by lending a lis- tening ear and whispering words of comfort. You have no idea what your support meant to me as a struggling morn and to my boys. "I can never truly repay you for what you did for us, but I try to pay it forward." Marilyn Taylor, president of ICCS, is one of the organization's many volunteers. "It is so heartwarming to assure people who come to ICCS that we are here to help and the people of Issaquah -- through Merry Christmas Issaquah -- contribute generously to help others," Taylor said. This year, the goal is to raise $50,000 through Merry Christmas Issaquah, the only fundraiser for ICCS. But Taylor acknowledges that may not be enough. Last year, donations topped a record $57,000 and it has barely been enough to get through 2009. "Some people write checks in the name of someone else. Others donate in memory of a loved one," Taylor said. "Families often pool their money, and sometimes chil- dren donate from their piggy bank. And then there are the generous donors who ite checks for thou- sands. It is all so appreciated." Donors can be assured that 100 percent of their contributions go directly to those in need. There is no paid staff. Office space, phone and supplies are covered by the city. Donations may be used to buy a Correction A Dec. 9 Press article, "Kicking the habit at 14,441 feet," incor- rectly stated the height of Mount Rainier. The mountain's height is 14,411 feet. uniform for a new job, atemporary telephone, a few nights shelter, a prescription, heating oil, tires for a car or help with rent. It's just enough to make a difference. And having someone to listen doesn't hurt either. You, too, can help. Send dona- tions to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Names of donors (but not amounts) will be published in the newspaper unless anonymity is requested. The Issaquah Press proud to be the paper of record for the city of Issaquah efforts to enhance the citywide transportation system, boost sus- tainability efforts and improve parks facilities and recreation pro- grams. The annual goals list includes nods to economic devel- opment and public safety improve- ments as well. Frisinger unveiled a tight 2010 budget in early October, and coun- cil members have tweaked the doc- ument since then. "I think that the budget that the council deliberated on met many of the council's goals for establishing cuts in the operating budget while preserving essential public servic- es," Councilman John Rittenhouse said. "As we deliberated this budg- et, I found it very easy to accept most of the administration's rec- ommendations." Other council members said the budget used less money but pro- tected key city services. Although the council could not predict how the economy would fare next year, Councilman John Traeger said the proposed budget "takes a pretty good shot at" addressing challenges the city faces. But council members could be stuck in a similar position next fall, when the time comes to formulate the 2011 city budget. We're going to have some even tougher choices, I think, in 2011, when these deferrals come due," Schaer said. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext, 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress, com. 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 [et you down now. Here's what I can do: We belong to thefoUowlng PPO organizations: Premera, Cigna. WD$, Delta, Aetna, United Concordia. Met Life, Regence, United Healthcare, Assurant PPO prices for non-ins~d patients Flexible payment plans available Prices you can afford (I have always kept our prices and fees the most affordable in the area) A beauO'ful and friendly office with long term staff, as always, will be here to make your visits enjoyable. Please visit our website at www.drronsherman.com to see why our patients "love it here"! 50% off in office LASER WHITENING We will work with you and your family to provide the best dental care you have ever had while working within your family's budget. Remember...teeth problems get worse and more expensive when left untreated. Our motto at First Impressions is... "No lectures, no guilt" \ i/ rsI Impiressiogs who [ore to smile. First Impressions DentaL Care 5825 221't PLace #100 Issaquah, WA 98027 4.25-391-4964 www.drronsherman.com DE Rofihtd Sherman