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TENNIS TWOSOME TEACHABLE MOMENT Eagles are too much for Patriots — A10 Village Theatre presents ‘The Tutor’ — A12 The IssaquahPress Issaquah’s only locally owned newspaper Wednesday, March 26, 2014 Family, friends say goodbye to helicopter crash victim By Peter Clark Hundreds of family members and friends gathered March 22 for the funeral of Gary Pfitzner, one of two men who died in a fiery helicopter crash near the Space Needle last week. Pfitzner, 59, was the pilot for the KOMO-TV helicopter, which crashed onto Broad Street outside Fisher Plaza on March 18. Veteran Seattle photojournalist Bill Strothman, 62, of Bothell, was also killed. Pfitzner lived in Issaquah with his wife Delen Castellano and sons Christopher and Brandon. Not only a contracted helicopter pilot, he also worked at The Boeing Co. for 35 years as a technical analyst. There, he developed three patents, which sent him to Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan. “What I will miss the most is his sense of humor,” Castellano said in the funeral program from Flintoft’s Funeral Home. She said everyone liked Pfitzner. She said he never left for work without telling her he loved her and kissing her goodbye. Originally from Spain, Castellano said Pfitzner loved her family, particularly how welcoming they were. Scott Behrbaum appointed to lead police department Mayor Fred Butler announced his appointment of Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum as the new chief of Issaquah police March 21. With more Cmdr. Scott than 18 years of service to the Behrbaum Issaquah Police Department, Behrbaum has served as a patrol commander for the past six. He has also worked as a patrol sergeant, crime prevention officer, narcotics officer and as the agency’s first school resource officer at Issaquah High School. If the City Council confirms the appointment, Behrbaum replaces Chief Paul Ayers, who will retire April 15. “I am excited to appoint Scott as our community’s next police chief,” Butler said in a press release announcing the appoint- ment. “I admire the fairness and integrity that he brings to every situation. Moreover, his dedication to community policing — as demonstrated through his service to Issaquah over the past two decades — is a tremendous asset.” Behrbaum has a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, and serves on the executive board of the FBI National Academy Associates Washington Chapter. “I am honored by Mayor Butler’s appointment, and I’m excited for what the future holds both for our department and the city,” Behrbaum said in the press release. “I am committed to leading a responsive, approachable and collaborative department that is rooted in safety and service to our community.” The City Council is expected to vote on a confirmation during its April 7 regular meeting. “Gary wants to go to Spain to spend time with my Dad and have my mom spoil him rotten,” she said in the program. “My dad is just the most amazing guy,” Christopher said in the program. “Did you ever know anyone who was 59 and was that amazing?” Pfitzner was one of seven siblings. Collectively, they expressed pride in Pfitzner to Flintoft’s and hinted at his joking charisma. “We bragged that our brother climbed Mount Rainier and Mount Baker,” the family said. “We all pointed to the KIRO traffic copter or KOMO new copter and said, ‘That’s my brother Gary flying that copter.’ Gary not only gave us rides in helicopters, but also enjoyed hovering over our houses, which made us look like a news event, or flashing his lights as he flew by.” KOMO News Anchor Molly Shen said Pfitzner had been the morning helicopter pilot for years. “He was just a really great guy,” Shen said in a phone interview the day of the crash. komo tv photo “Just the type of guy that you Pilot Gary Pfitzner, of Issaquah, want to work with. A great guy See PILOT, was killed when his KOMO helicopter crashed March 18, also killing photoPage A3 journalist Bill Strothman. SPRING BURSTS WITH COLORS Photos by Greg Farrar Two of the more than 100 revelers throw colored powder on each other (above) March 22 at Lake Sammamish State Park for the festival of Hoti Hai, an annual spring event that for Hindus in India symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The Seattle chapter of Vibha, a U.S.-India nonprofit helping educate children in India, raised money at the event. Robyn Yamaguchi (below, from left), Andrea Stoner and Taryn Reed blow powder at passers-by, and Kunal Gangopadhyay (below right), of Bellevue, is covered in colors. Cyberbullying victim puts past behind her By Christina Corrales-Toy The lewd images and messages scrawled across her daughter’s Facebook page in 2011 still burn bright in Issaquah resident Tara Cote’s memory. In a case that made national headlines, then 12-year-old Leslie Cote was the victim of cyberbullying, as two classmates hacked into her social media page and posted altered photos, including one with “I’m a slut” superimposed on it. Two Issaquah girls, who also used the site’s instant messaging service to act as Leslie to proposition boys for sexual acts, were charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing. The Cote family asked media outlets to name Leslie, then a student at Issaquah Middle School, as the victim in an effort to bring awareness to cyberbullying. It was the right decision, Tara said, but the three years since SLIDESHOW the March 18 incident haven’t always been easy. “It was hard, let me tell you,” she said. Getting past the anger The summer immediately after the March 2011 incident was a rough one for Leslie, Tara said, especially because one of the girls lived in the same apartment complex. “It was hard to overcome, because she wouldn’t leave our apartment,” Tara said of her daughter. “All summer long, your kids want to go outside and play. She wouldn’t.” It’s been hard on the family, too, Tara said, watching Leslie go through that pain. Flash forward three years, and Leslie, now a freshman at Issaquah High School, said she’s put the past behind her. “Yeah, I don’t pay much attention to that anymore,” she said of the stress caused by living in the See CYBERBULLY, Page A3 See more photos from the Hoti Hai festival of colors at Safety, security details changing in Issaquah schools, administration By Neil Pierson Shortly before Ron Thiele took the reins as the Issaquah School District’s superintendent last July, district officials began looking at ways to heighten security for its 18,000-plus students. They chose to conduct a safety and security assessment of Issaquah’s 24 schools, as well as its administrative, service and transportation centers. Michelle Trifunovic, the district’s executive director of middle schools, took charge of the initiative, and the district spent $30,000 to hire a professional school safety expert who could find chinks in the armor. Martin Speckmaier, a former police officer who now heads Comprehensive School Safety, a Seattle-based firm, toured all of the district’s facilities and spoke with dozens of school officials during a six-week period in the fall. He also gave principals a lengthy survey in which they were asked various questions and allowed to provide feedback about their building’s security and safety, Trifunovic said. “It wasn’t just looking at your locks and your doors or your signage,” she explained. “It was also looking at what kind of programs you have for harassment and intimidation and bullying. It was more than just your facilities.” The district received Speckmaier’s report in December and began discussing the results with an advisory committee. The group includes various adminSee SCHOOLS, Page A3 75 cents


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