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The IssaquahPress




Wednesday January 15, 2014

Issaquah family gets the most from their trip —


By Christina Corrales-Toy

Susan Mundell, Apollo Elementary School principal, is flanked by the school’s geography bee finalists Ishaan Sharma (left) and Sanjana Addanki. Ishaan won the Jan. 10 contest.

Photos by the Leist Family

Maggie, Scott and Anna Leist (from left) pretend to lift an enormous boulder over their heads in the Rhodes Matopos National Park in Zimbabwe. The rock formations are all over the southern part of the country. At top, a Zimbabwean man waves a pinkie finger that he had dipped in ink to show on Election Day last July that he had already voted in his nation’s presidential race. By Kaylan Lovrovich news@isspress.com


any people travel to Africa to sightsee, or to go on safaris. But Issaquah’s Leist family had a different agenda. The family explored parts of Africa in a Land Cruiser stocked with camping equipment this past summer and focused on the culture and the people. Scott, Sally, Maggie (15) and Anna (12) Leist, along with some family friends, spent five weeks visiting Johannesburg, South Africa, the coast of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya. About one-third of that time was spent driving from place to place and sleeping in tents on top of their rental car. “It was interesting to hear people’s questions when we said we were going” to Africa, Scott said. “People would say, ‘Oh my gosh, is it safe? You’re driving through the country?’ But it’s a beautiful part of the world

Photographing through the windshield while driving through a town in Southern Zimbabwe, the Leist family sees five cooling towers of a nuclear power plant close by.

A big group of children, in a program sponsored by Compassion International, surround Maggie (center) and Anna (right), captivated by their long, straight hair and the way they blush. and it’s definitely worth exploring.” “Someone we ran into along the way said, ‘I hope you’re not just coming to Africa to see the animals,’” Sally said. “The animals are interesting, but we actually were more fascinated by the people.” One of the more interesting events the Leists got to witness happened July 31 — Election Day in Zimbabwe. People came to their local villages to stand in line and vote. They would dip their hands in red ink afterwards to show that they had voted. The Leists were actually advised not to travel to Zimbabwe during that time because of the instability of the country. “Last time there were elections there, there was a lot of violence afterwards,” Scott

said. “The people who think their party should have won will fight the other party, and there’s a lot of killings and people going to jail.” Robert Mugabe, the man who has held control of Zimbabwe since 1980, lost the elections in 2008. Still, he refused to relinquish power and killed many in order to keep his position, Scott said. Now, according to the Leists, the elections are rigged so that Mugabe will always win. He still wants the international community to believe they are legitimate, so he pressures citizens to vote. When police question whether a citizen has voted, all they need to do is hold up their hand — the red ink serves as proof. See AFRICA, Page B3


Cascade Water Alliance offers gardening classes Cascade Water Alliance is offering free gardening classes to help homeowners create beautiful, healthy landscapes while using water efficiently. Cascade’s members are Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, Tukwila, Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District and Skyway Water and Sewer. Find the full listing of classes online at http://cascadewater.org/classes.php. Classes are free but registration is required. For assistance or more information call 1-800-838-3006 toll free. The following classes are in Issaquah and Sammamish: See CLASSES, Page B3


Fish hatchery, 1938 p68, #104 Arcadia book caption: “…local residents worked for the Works Project Administration, which provided jobs replacing the Issaquah sewer and water systems and constructing facilities like Gibson Hall, the Sportsmen’s Club and the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. The hatchery was constructed during 1936 and 1937. During a recent renovation, this graffiti was found on an interior board: ’Magnus Sellberg, High Point, Sept. 17, 1936, USWPA. This was the way we had of existing thru happy days of capitalism.’”

The Issaquah History Museums take requests regarding what people would like to see in the Digital Collection. Roughly quarterly, volunteers have a dataentry day and prep a bunch of records for upload. If there is a particular name, place or item you’d like to see more images of on the website, email Erica Maniez at erica.maniez@ issaquahhistory. org. If you have a photo or subject you would like to see in this feature, email editor@ isspress.com.

Apollo student shows geography supremacy By Christina Corrales-Toy newcastle@isspress.com It’s been a while since Apollo Elementary School held a geography bee, but when the competition was revived Jan. 10, it was almost as if it had never stopped. The school’s fourth- and fifth-grade contestants didn’t skip a beat when it came to testing their geography knowledge, making for a rather competitive scene. “I thought it was great,” said Jessica Ferranti, a fifth-grade teacher and the bee’s coordinator. “It was really fun, and it was great to see the audience so engaged. I think the kids learned a lot about geography.” The contest’s 10 finalists gathered in the school library in front of an audience of their classmates, parents and a distinguished guest in Issaquah City Councilwoman Mary Lou Pauly, who was a judge. It was fifth-grader Ishaan Sharma who ultimately bested his nine classmates, successfully answering questions taken directly from the National Geographic Society. “I studied almost every day,” Ishaan said of his preparation. “I just studied sort of general knowl-

edge about geography.” He and fourth-grader Sanjana Addanki made it to the final round. Ishaan captured the crown by answering two of three questions correctly, compared to Sanjana’s one correct answer. “Sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was easier, but I just had to keep studying,” Ishaan said. “I feel like all my work actually paid off.” Apollo Principal Susan Mundell moderated the event, telling her students “this is an opportunity for all of us to learn.” Ferranti, with the help of Apollo parent Stina Fluegge, decided to revive the competition, since her class was studying U.S. geography, and was excited about the prospect of putting what they learned to the test. After witnessing the Jan. 10 contest, both Ferranti and Mundell agreed they plan to continue holding a school geography bee. Ishaan will now have an opportunity to take a written test, with a chance to qualify for the state championship. The other competitors were Madeline Hanify, Sasha Reevosh, Michael Sherwood, Victor Nguyen, Pranav Nair, Reese Mills, Phillip Pham and Matthew Kim.

Nonprofit seeks new executive director

Eastside Friends of Seniors has begun the search for a new administrator to lead the nonprofit organization that was founded in 1997 to provide assistance to older residents of the community to maintain their independence. The board posted the vacancy on its website after accepting the resignation of Executive Director Claire Petersky, who has guided the growth and fundraising activities for the nonprofit group for the past five years. Petersky headed the expansion of services the organization provides to seniors in Sammamish and Issaquah to the communities throughout the Snoqualmie Valley and into Bellevue. She also

coordinated the group’s name change from Faith in Action to Eastside Friends of Seniors to better describe the organization’s mission. Petersky was honored with a Community Choice Award in 2011 for recruiting and training more than 100 volunteers to serve the needs of more than 900 seniors who utilize the services of the organization every year. Petersky has agreed to remain at her post until a new director is hired and trained to replace her. Read the job description at http://eastsidefriendsofseniors.org/about/careers. Résumés and cover letters will be accepted until Jan. 21 at careers@ eastsidefriendsofseniors. org.

The IssaquahPress



Wednesday January 15, 2014

Liberty sports will move to 2A next season By Christina Corrales-Toy newcastle@isspress.com Liberty High School sports teams will compete in the 2A classification for a two-year period beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association released enrollment numbers showing that Liberty, at 891.8, is the size of a 2A school. Schools with

less than 990.8 students, but more than 472, are considered 2A. In the recent past, the Patriots have opted up to the 3A level, despite its stature as one of the state’s smallest 3A schools, but this time around administrators have decided to test the 2A waters. “We are going to explore that two-year window at the 2A level,” said Stark Porter, Liberty’s athletic

director. The Patriots’ league opponents will not likely change, since KingCo is already a 3A/2A league. The difference will come in postseason play, as they compete against schools with more comparable enrollment numbers. Liberty has seen its fair share of success at the 3A level, most recently with the state champion girls soccer team. The drop

down to 2A won’t change the way she runs her program, though, Liberty girls soccer coach Tami Nguyen said. “I’m not bothered by it at all,” she said. “After seeing my team and the girls, what a positive experience state was, I believe that we’ll be competitive at 2A.” The team’s goal will always be to compete for a state championship, she

said, no matter at what level Liberty competes. Nguyen also dismissed concerns about athletes getting seen by college coaches at a lower level, saying she was a prime example that coaches will find the best talent, no matter where they’re playing. The Liberty coach played her high school career at 1A Seattle Christian, where she won four state titles

and became the state’s all-time leading scorer. Nguyen went on to play at the University of Washington. The Patriots cross-country team has also made significant strides at the 3A level recently. Coach Mike Smith’s team had its first state medalist in freshman Brigette Takeuchi at the See MOVE, Page B5

Chris Bennett is out as Eagles’ football coach By Josh Liebeskind The Seattle Times Issaquah High School football coach Chris Bennett was informed late last month that he would not be retained for next season. Coaches work off yearto-year contracts. Bennett said he was taken by surprise when informed of the decision. “To be honest, I was just told that my contract was not going to be renewed and when asked why, I wasn’t given a reason,” said Bennett, who compiled a 44-23 record in six seasons, along with an appearance in the 2008 state-title game. Issaquah Athletic Director Luke Ande declined to comment on the reasons behind the decision. Ande said the decision was made by a group of people, although he declined to specify those who were involved. “There’s a handful of things that are thought about and taken into account whenever making a decision like this,” Ande said. Bennett has coached in some capacity at Issaquah for 13 of the past 14 years and won Coach of the Year awards as an assistant and a head coach from both the Washington State Coaches Association and National Football Foundation. He was named the KingCo Crown Division Coach of the Year this past season after leading Issaquah to a 6-4 record and a first-round playoff loss at Union. “I think it’s a real shock for most people in the football community as well,” Bennett said. “Not only at our school, but from around the league and all leagues, and people I know. I’ve been super successful and super proud of what was built at Issaquah. We built

our program into one of the most competitive programs in the state, year in and year out. “A lot of great people that I’ve been fortunate to work with there and a lot of great players and families that I’ve become real close with over the years, there’s such a sense of pride and accomplishment from all those players and families and community,” he added. “It’s caught everyone off guard, including myself.” Controversy preceded Bennett’s hiring at Issaquah in 2008. After a year as head coach at Sammamish High School in Bellevue in 2006, he was selected as Issaquah’s coach in 2007, but resigned soon after for misrepresenting information on his résumé — he listed a stint as a walk-on football player at Washington State University, but later said he only attempted to walk on. Bennett served as a volunteer coach at Issaquah for the 2007 season, and then took the head-coaching reins the following year. Bennett said he has been offered assistant jobs at a few other programs, but has yet to decide how he would like to move forward. He is also interested in possibly being a head coach again. Issaquah posted its head-coaching vacancy on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s website Jan. 6. Ande said he prefers to hire someone as soon as possible, but will not rush the process and has no timetable. “We wish him the best,” Ande said of Bennett, “and look forward to see what he does in the future.” Reach Josh Liebeskind at jliebeskind@seattletimes.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.


Chris Bennett, during the team’s first practice Aug. 21, told players that doing every task right, no matter how big or small, prepares them for success.

By Greg Farrar

Robert Steil (top), Issaquah High School senior, closes in on a pin of Skyline High School freshman Henry Bainivalu in the third period of their 220-pound wrestling bout Jan. 9 at Skyline.

Eagles outgrapple Spartans By Neil Pierson npierson@ sammamishreview.com It wasn’t the ideal situation for Robert Steil to wrestle his first varsity match, but the Issaquah High School senior was up to the task. With their regular 220-pound starter, Terrance Zaragoza, out of commission, the Eagles turned to Steil to pick up some points in their Class 4A KingCo Conference dual against rival Skyline. Steil didn’t disappoint, dominating Henry Bainivalu for the first two periods and collecting six team points with a pin in 4 minutes, 38 seconds. Steil’s victory helped Issaquah build a 36-0 lead, and that proved too much

for the Spartans to overcome as the Eagles won, 45-31, on Jan. 9 at Skyline High School. Did Steil feel butterflies as he walked to the mat for the first time as a varsity wrestler? “Yes — especially with a guy that was bigger than me, and taller than me,” he said. “But I just fought hard, kept going until the end, and I won in the end, so I’m happy.” Steil nearly pinned Bainivalu late in the first period, but settled for an 8-4 lead. He had another near fall in the second period and increased his lead to 15-7, then quickly turned Bainivalu onto his back for the final time early in the third period. Steil said he has had help from two teammates

— Ruben Orta and Hunter Hurley — to improve his techniques this season, but his strategy was quite simple against Bainivalu. “First thing — don’t get pinned,” Steil said. “Second thing is just drive, drive, drive, grab a leg, get him on his back and just keep pushing.” The Eagles opened the dual meet with six straight victories. At 182 pounds, Chance Gunter needed only 40 seconds to pin Tim Tran. After a forfeit win for William Noguiera at 195, Steil’s pin made it 18-0 for Issaquah. Orta won by forfeit at 285, as did 106-pounder Jacob Lerch, who filled in for injured starter William Tickman. Torre Eaton (113) completed Issaquah’s huge surge, pinning Kody

Nguyen in 1:56. Skyline coach Gus Kiss gave credit to Issaquah coach Kirk Hyatt for filling his positions, and that spelled the difference on a night when the Spartans wrestled well, Kiss said. “It’s tough to give up points,” he said . “Kirk always has a full team, the kids always come prepared, and there were some great matches tonight. “Overall, I appreciate that it was a nice crowd. I think the kids had fun.” Skyline finally got a victory at 120 pounds as Nathan Swanson got an early takedown and pinned Yashar Ghavidel in 38 seconds. Nate Jensen (126) See WRESTLING, Page B5

Issaquah dunks Liberty swimmers By Christina Corrales-Toy newcastle@isspress.com Setting the lineups for swim meets can be a lot like a game of chess for coaches. Coaches need to anticipate what the opponent will do with his or her lineup, in order to attempt to schedule the best race possible. Never is that more evident than with Issaquah High School coach Laura Halter and Liberty High School coach Kris Daughters, who are rivals on the pool deck, but best friends away from it. They took a bit of a different approach in their Jan. 9 meeting, though, letting their swimmers compete in races they normally don’t. “There could’ve been some really, really fast matchups, which didn’t happen because Kris and I didn’t plan it perfectly, but there were still some really good races out there,” Halter said. Halter’s Eagles emerged from the meet victorious, with a convincing 116-69 win against the Patriots.

By Greg Farrar

Keith Nussbaum, Issaquah High School senior, plies through the water Jan. 9 at the Julius Boehm Pool to win the 500-yard freestyle race in a time of 5 minutes, 10.65 seconds during the Eagles’ swim meet against Liberty. Senior Keith Nussbaum and sophomore Jason Klein starred for Issaquah, each earning two individual wins. Nussbaum placed first in the 200 individual medley with a district-qualifying time of 2 minutes, 6.71 seconds. He also won the 500 freestyle in 5:10.65, defeating his teammate Jonathan Williams by more than 30 seconds. “Keith had a really good day,” Halter said. “I think he would’ve liked some-

body to push him on the 500, but he still swam it very well.” Liberty’s Nick Klatt, who took third place in the 500 at the 3A state championship last year, did not swim the event at the Issaquah meet. Daughters said she put her swimmers on their “off events,” after a competitive meet against Skyline earlier in the week. “I decided I’d give them a break from their normal events and put them in events they haven’t swam

in a year, and in some cases never swam before,” she said. Klein earned a statequalifying time in the 50 freestyle, winning in 22.66; and in what Halter called the best race of the day, he bested Klatt, a good friend of his, in the 100 butterfly. “Nick Klatt and Jason Klein, they train together in the offseason, so that was a fun race,” she said. Issaquah freshman Trey Gevers earned a score of 156.5 to win the boys 1-meter diving competition, just six weeks after he decided to give diving a try for the first time, while Eagles senior Nolan Wolgamott won the 100 backstroke in 1:06.73. The Eagles also swept the meet’s relays, a key reason for their large margin of victory. The team of Henry Pratt, Gabe Florsheim, Alex Sun and Klein won the 200 medley with a state-qualifying time of 1:43.19; Florsheim, Nussbaum, Pratt and Sun combined to win the 200 freestyle in 1:34.95; See SWIMMING, Page B5

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