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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 A4 WEDNESDAY~ DECEMBER 16, 2009 PRESS EDITORIAL The Issaquah School District stands to lose $4.9 million in state funding if Gov. Chris Gregoire s budget is passed through the Legislature as is. Many of the cuts would come from measures de, signed to reduce class sizes. Under the governor s budget, all of the district's $2.1 million in Initiative 728 fund- ing -- used to lower class sizes -- is eliminated. Another $2.3 million will be cut fi'om the district's budget through other class-size reductions. The governor's budget also proposes taking away teachers' last professional development day, resulting in a pay cut for remaining teachers, unless the district pays the $250,000. Another $146,000 for the highly-capable programs will also disappear. Last year, the district cut $7.3 million from its budget to make up for the loss in state revenue. Class sizes were in- creased by one child per classroom, saving $1.8 million. An- other $2.2 million was cut from administrative and noncer- tificated staff positions and nonclassroom-related activities. Lastly, the district reduced its contribution to the state's pension program by $2.2 million. The remainder of the money came from the district's reserve fund and from fed- eral stimulus money -- another uncertainty this year. Gregoire has proposed a maintenance and operations levy lid lift for districts to make up the budget cuts. The Legisla- ture must fn'st approve it. If Issaquah's levy cap is lifted just 4 percent, from 24.9 percent to 28.9 percent, the district could recoup about $4 million from taxpayers. It looks like there will be no getting around the need for a tax increase to get the state through the recession. While there will be some districts around the state that will not gain voter approval for a school levy increase, this may be the best option for a tax increase -- and we'll know exactly how the money will be spent. The Issaquah School District will not gain from an increase to its M&O levy -- assuming it could get voter approval -- but it would keep the district from falling further behind. OFF THE PRESS According to Clark "When Griswold (played by they're walk- Chevy Chase) in ing the fields, 'Christmas Vacation," it can get , being frozen from the mighty cold, waist down is an part of the ex- she said, re- perience of cutting down a callin.g one Christmas tree. occasion The hardest of the hardcore where par- Christmas fanatics may agree ents allowed with this philosophy, but most their children people -- myself included -- do to come without not. When it comes to cutting jackets and down a Christmas tree, frostbite wearing flip- TIM PFARR Press reporter and other injuries are slightly less than desirable. Fortunately, Trinity Tree Farm, 14237 228th Ave. S.E., and En- chanted Winds, 18021 Issaquah- Hobart Road S.E., both offer help with loading trees onto cars. En- chanted Winds also offers help cutting and carrying trees. Both also offer complimentary hot beverages and raging ,,es to help you warm up after you ve finished cutting down your tree. These offerings help you -- the customer -- avoid senseless in- jury, but the friendly employees at the tree farms can only do so much. First and foremost, you need to dress appropriately. Don't come dressed like you're going to the beach. Do wear boots. Do wear gloves and hats. Maria Ulrich, with Enchanted Winds, said sometimes people don't take the December weather into account and come dressed far too lightly. flops although it was snowing. Next, remember to go at an appropriate time. Do go when you have plenty of daylight. Don't go when it's dark. Cutting a small tree is typicany not too dangerous, but doing so when you can't see what you're doing may be. Odds are the worst that could happen is you'd get a cut from the saw, but if you're extra stupid and your hands are numb, you might just be lucky enough to saw straight through a finger. Remember: Severed fingers don't make good ornaments, ex- cept for members of the Manson family. Also, if you do happen to somehow, on that one-in-a-bil- lion chance, manage to cut off a finger, remember to pick it up and take it withyou. How bad would you feel if you ruined little Sally's Christmas experience by See CHRIsTMAS TREES, Page A5 / TO THE EDITOR Highlands development Why are questions only now being asked after 11 years of planning? We can't blame the poor economy on Port Blakely or the companies being lured to the highlands, but there are other parties who should be accountable. Why is the Urban Village Development Com- mission only now asking about the lack of re- tail (after 11 years)? Why has the City Council been approving agreement after agreement with the developer, increasing residential units without promised retail investment? President Eisenhower, when a general, said, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." From the distance, of 11 years, we should all be Curves, plus an insurance agency, corporate re- cruiting company and more businesses. I invite you to come on up to the Issaquah Highlands, enjoy a meal at one of our great restaurants and check out the retail any time. Lane Scelzi Owner, SIP Police & fire Now is the time to thank them for their continued service to the community Coming from three generations of law en- forcement in the Boston area, I want to thank the Issaquah Police and all the people who serve our communities. asking who is accountable for the highlands and Imagine if we all got off our cell phones to its unfulfilled promises. As somebody who have a free hand to wave thanks to our police, nearly nine years ago almost bought in the high- firefighters and EMT personnel. We are not a lands, but instead chose 01d Towne, because I better society if we can't take a minute to show couldn't see a clear plan for the amenities up proper respect to those who wake up each day there, I, for one, am very interested to know. "To Protect and Serve" citizens like us. Now is Bryan Weinstein the time for us to show our strength as a com- hsaquah munity and a country. The Dougberty Family Residents do have retail stores and restaurants already in place Hatcher I read with interest and surprise Warren Ka- garise's article, "Issaquah Highlands residents await retail development." Many community organizations and volunteers helped the salmon in 2009 that they do for this community. I would also like to thank the individuals, or- ganizations, businesses and agencies that also supported FISH this year, including our prime supporters, the city of Issaquah and King County, as well as Microsoft Corp., Cascade Bank, Puget Sound Energy Foundation, the Ki- wards Club of Issaquah, the Issaquah Brew- house, QFC on Gilman Boulevard, Trader Joe's, Village Theatre, Starbucks on Gilman, Home Depot, Issaquah Trophy, Mark's Hallmark on Gilman, Fantasy Glass Works and Muckleshoot Seafood Products. (The list of supporters is so long that we simply do not have room to in- clude everyone!) Thank you all for your invaluable service and contributions this past year. We are so fortu- nate to have so many remarkable individuals and organizations making Issaquah the excep- tional community that it is. Gestln Suttle, executive director Friends of the hsaquah Salmon Hatchery Soccer Young athlete's life revolves around favorite soccer field The (Costco) soccer field is my favorite place to be with all the activity going on around me. For example, when I step on the field, I can feel the rush of the crowd cheering for me. While I am playing, I feel everything around me, as if I just came alive. Funny thing is, we already have retail here As the region grapples with some truly horri- As soon as I arrive at the eld, there is some- and it has been here since 2006. I should know ble events these past few weeks, I wouldlike to thing that makes me believe. For instance, the -- my restaurant, SIP, is in the Issaquah High- take a moment to share some of the good that smell of the wet grass, the sound of my cleats lands. We have a Merchants Committee that has taken place in our community this season, and the fresh mud are perfect reasons to love meets regularly so we can get involved in This year, as in many years past, a dedicated the field. events and activities, which include our prod- team of volunteers provided more than 2,000 ucts and services. Every business is a member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and ac- tively supports Issaquah Highlands and the greater community. This Issaquah neighborhood of 7,000 (that in- cludes the children) has five restaurants (Agave, SIP, Zeeks, Subway, RicenRoll) and a coffee shop (Caffe Ladro). We also have a dry cleaner, hair salon/spa, optometrist, pet supply store and doggie wash, Kumon Learning Center and volunteer hours to the community, teaching visitors about Pacific salmon and watershed stewardship. Because of the commitment of these trained guides, FISH (Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery) has been able to tell the salmon's story to more than 8,000 visitors this fall. It is truly an honor to work alongside people who give so much of themselves, but ask for nothing in return. I cannot thank them enough for all RAPID RESPONSE What should file city do to reduce expenses In 20107 along with a dozen other drivers at the state Route 900/Maple Street southbound left turn light, while no other traffic is moving through the intersection! Ken Sessler, Issaquah Issaquah is one of very few municipalities that is running a responsible budget. Our mayor and staff should be commended! Mark Bowers, Issaquah Survey all city-owned land and sell off the portions with no set plan to use, so that the land can be added to the tax base. Fred Nystrorn, Issaquah Don't build a dog park! Put all stoplight inter- sections on the demand system, that is used only on weekends. Thus, eliminate those watching the traffic sets in a control room and seeing people waiting for a light change and with no other traf- fic moving. I have waited a minute and a half Reduce to one city administrator and one mayor. (There are currently two administrators and one mayor -- top heavy for a town this size.) Remove public information officer and economic vitality position. Connie Marsh, Issaquah Once an I hear is the beautiful sounds of my cleats running on the lush grass. As all of that is happening, I take in my surroundings and breathe -- this is my life on the field. Caitlin Looney, age 12 Issaquah LETTERS WELCOME 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 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 PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY SINCE 19OO 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-clmulatlon@lsspress.cem KELLY BEZDZIETNY Accounting: Ip-acct@lsspress.com SCOTI" SPUNG PUBLISHER DEBORAH BERTO PHONE: 392-6434 FAX: 391-1541 WWW.ISSAQUAHPRESS.COM OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE CITY OF 1SSAQUAH Postmaster: Send address changes to: Issaquah Press, PO Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027