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Issaquah’s only locally owned newspaper


118th Year, No. 7

‘Slam-dunk’ offer for Winterbrook Farm would preserve land as open space By Lizz Giordano A “slam-dunk” offer to purchase Winterbrook Farm that would leave the land undisturbed has not been taken seriously by the Issaquah School District, according to a real estate agent working with a member of the community who wants to buy the land. “The school district did not even allow an opportunity for a competitive offer to come in,” said Lisa Lam, a Windermere agent. “There is no financing contingency, no feasibility study and no inspection period,” Lam said about her client’s offer. “We would be able to close within a few weeks.” Lam called it a “slam-dunk offer.” Winterbrook Farm, located on Southeast May Valley Road across the road from the Squak Mountain trailhead parking area, was purchased by the Issaquah School District in 2006 for $3.33 million with the intent of

using the land to build future schools. But the school district had to rework those plans to comply with requirements of the Growth Management Act. In October, the Issaquah School Board authorized the sale of the 80 acres of land for $4.16 million to Bellevue developer William E. Buchan Inc. The developer wants to build 16 homes on the land. Buchan is in middle of negotiating with the school district and working on a feasibility study of the land. “It’s our responsibility to try to maximize the sale to the benefit of the school district,” Lisa Callan, school board president, previously told The Press. Advocates worry that if the land is developed, the county will not only lose a historic structure — the 87-year-old Speerstra dairy barn — but also valuable open space and a vital link in the wildlife corridor. New development would displace wildlife and impact salmon-bearing streams See WINTERBROOK, Page 5

In denying appeal, City Council clears way for Talus projects to proceed By Lizz Giordano In a 4-2 vote, the City Council upheld a hearing examiner’s decision to grant final plat approval to subdivide two lots in Talus during the Feb. 8 meeting. The appellant, ORA Talus 90 LLC, had the burden of proving the hearing examiner’s decision was “clearly erroneous.” ORA Talus is the owner of the property known as Parcel 9, which was impacted by the 2015 Talus landslide. ORA Talus filed

an appeal challenging a hearing examiner’s decision to grant final plat approval to subdivide two adjacent lots and move forward with development. The company worried if construction was allowed to begin on the nearby lots, known as Parcels 7 and 8, it would undermine their site’s stability. Talus 7 & 8 Investment LLC owns Parcels 7 and 8. According to court documents, ORA Talus claims “an analysis of See TALUS, Page 5

Co-workers raise $2,272 for family of Klahanie man killed in hit-and-run By Christina Corrales-Toy There’s a void in the kitchen at a popular Klahanie restaurant. The Hop Jack’s staff is feeling incomplete, devastated and mournful after line cook Mo Radcliffe, 22, was run over and killed at Sammamish’s Beaver Lake Park ballfields Jan. 25. Radcliffe, a Klahanie resident and Issaquah High School graduate, worked in the kitchen for less than a year, but the cook with a

Thursday, February 16, 2017

big smile left an impact on everyone in the restaurant. “It’s hard not seeing his face there,” said Wanda Triboulet, one of Radcliffe’s co-workers. “It really is.” Police have arrested two teenage girls and a 23-year-old woman believed to be the driver of a gold SUV that ran down Radcliffe after he confronted the group breaking into his car. See CO-WORKERS, Page 12


The Issaquah Press and her sister newspapers in The Issaquah Press Group will cease operations in print and online on Feb. 24. We will publish our final edition of The Issaquah Press on Feb. 23.


Frustrated by the lack of affordable housing, middle-class workers are giving up on Issaquah, adversely affecting traffic and the school district

Photos by Scott Stoddard /

By Lizz Giordano


hen Kat Wilkins moved to the Eastside a year and a half ago, she thought the cost of living in the area couldn’t possibly be more expensive than where she moved from, California’s Sonoma County. But with a monthly budget of $800 for housing, almost 50 percent of her income, Wilkins never bothered even looking in Issaquah, where she works for one of the city’s largest employers. The first place Wilkins considered was in Carnation, but the winding back roads between the towns and the long commute wasn’t appealing. “I didn’t think I would have a hard time,” Wilkins said about her search for a home. “But it’s crazy expensive.” She eventually secured a room in a large house in Snoqualmie with seven other roommates.

“I’m 55, I want my own place, but if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it,” Wilkins said. A few months later, a new position and a small pay increase at work allowed her to shed those seven roommates. Though finally on her own, each month the $975 in rent she pays is still almost 40 percent of her monthly income. It gets Wilkins the downstairs portion of a house she rents in Renton. Her commute distance hasn’t changed. The roughly 12 miles to and from Issaquah can take Wilkins as little as 20 minutes, but come rush hour, the travel times double or even triple. With her 1 p.m.-to-9 p.m. shift, Wilkins usually misses the afternoon rush hour that paralyzes the city. “It’s expensive, but I’m on my own,” Wilkins said. “Why can’t they bring the rents down so See HOUSING, Page 6

Single and renting in Issaquah? You’ll need a big paycheck A Feb. 11 survey of studio and 1-bedroom apartments in Issaquah’s 98027 ZIP code advertised on Craigslist showed monthly rent prices ranging from $1,150 to $1,785 per month. The minimum gross annual income for a single person to afford the least-expensive apartment without financial stress would be $43,100, according to figures provided by Monthly Apartment rent size

Apartment complex and address

Gross income to afford

Wage to afford

$1,150 unkn. sf, 1 BR

Azalea, 130 NE Creek Way



$1,200 600 sf, 1 BR

The Timbers, 254 Wildwood Blvd. SW



$1,297 379 sf, studio

Timberlake, 4615 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE



$1,450 735 sf, 1 BR

Sammamish Bluffs, 4737 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE



$1,505 750 sf, 1 BR

Wildwood, 660 Wildwood Blvd.



$1,520 740 sf, 1 BR

Lakemont Orchard, 18305 SE Newport Way



$1,685 715 sf, 1 BR

Windsong, 600 Front St. S.



$1,693 719 sf, 1 BR

Timberlake, 4615 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE



$1,716 730 sf, 1 BR

Atlas, 1036 Seventh Ave. NW



$1,785 701 sf, 1 BR

Estates at Cougar Mountain, 2128 Shy Bear Way NW





One Dollar

2 • Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Issaquah Press


Safety upgrades pointless if drivers can’t see them


f there’s one thing that chaps our hide more than anything else down here at the sprawling offices of Accountability Inc., it’s taxpayer dollars being flushed down the commode. Sadly, that’s what’s happening downtown on Front Street these days. The city spent your money to put up flashing lights for pedestrians using Front Street crosswalks — a good thing — only to have those lights obscured by the Downtown Issaquah Association’s pointless signs advertising such wonders as — well, we’ll stop there because we’ve pounded that drum to the point of permanent hearing loss. With each questionable decision, it becomes increasingly clear that our beloved downtown is in the hands of amateurs. We deserve better. Downtown deserves better. • • •

Will the six-month moratorium on large-scale

the time he was “86’d from three bars in one night.” Everybody has to be good at something, we suppose.

development be extended? We predict that it will. The city is currently soliciting proposals from consultants to “lead a community conversation and assist city staff in the preparation of architecural and urban design guidelines for the Central Issaquah sub-area.” Given the public seething over the out-of-place eyesore that is Atlas — perhaps we should rename it Butler Terrace? — it’s hard to imagine the City Council ending the moratorium without having architectural and urban design guidelines in place. • • •

We were impressed by a boisterous chap at the Sunset Alehouse the other night. He was reminiscing about

The city spent our money and your money adding flashing amber lights to two Front Street crosswalks only to have the Downtown Issaquah Association negate the safety benefits by blocking motorists’ views ofCHARLES.ePROOF.IP.CMYK.PDF the lights with unsightly signs. 0130 LAM 05.18567.THU.0202.6X13.45.LAM

Our reader was not willing to pay $48 for a discounted subscription — that’s 93 cents a week, mind you — but she did include a • • • check for $20. There is a select group “If this is not satisfactory,” of longtime advertisers — our adoring fan wrote, longtime as in decade after “please return our check decade — that deserve our and discontinue delivery.” gratitude. Two that stand See, not everyone head and shoulders above comprehends that these the rest are Fischer Meats very pages make up one of and Flintoft’s Funeral Home the best weekly newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. and Crematory. We can’t thank you enough for your When you can’t convince business, loyalty and support a reader to shell out all of of the First Amendment’s 93 cents per week, it’s a guarantee of a free press. pretty clear indicator that a business plan based solely • • • on subscriptions would We sincerely appreciate crash and burn. the outpouring of love from The discontinuation of readers over the past few delivery, as you might be weeks, but not all of you are aware, is pending. For so enamored with us. Here’s everybody. what one reader wrote to us a few weeks back when Make an appointment to she received her voluntary join us next week on this subscription renewal notice: very same channel for the “We have subscribed farewell edition of Front voluntarily every year since and Sunset. Up until Feb. we moved here in 2005, 17, you can still send tips, but we do not feel that this complaints, praise and bad paper is worth the annual poetry to frontandsunset@ fee you charge.”

Sun, March 19, 2017 10 a.m. - Noon

Dog owners and walkers are invited to bring their best pals for a walk around the park on a 5k trail or 3k all-accessible option. There will be an Agility Course along the way for added fun for the dogs, and all dogs will be invited to perform their best trick! In addition, Doggie Village will include booths from local dog service providers. An exciting raffle will include special items from these and other local pet-friendly businesses and organizations. The 2nd annual Walk’n Wag will raise funds for more park improvements. Come meet other dog owners in the community, make new friends and enjoy the park!


$15 Kids 15 or younger $20 Ages 16+ Early bird special! Register by March 1 and get two Walk’n Wag neckerchiefs (one for you, one for your pup!) PLUS a free raffle ticket! For more information, call 425-577-3657 email

March 19 is a FREE day at the park, so no admission fees Register at — search for Walk’n Wag Additional neckerchiefs and raffle tickets will be for sale at the event.


And media sponsors:


Thanks to our sponsor:

The Issaquah Press

Thursday, February 16, 2017 •


In bid to retain popular principal, Briarwood parents pack school board meeting By David Hayes

personnel moves play into the perception that many have in the south end of The Issaquah School Disthe school district that the trict has set in motion a seadministration doesn’t place ries of staffing changes that it as high on the priority list triggered an impassioned as the rest of the district. plea from the Briarwood Briarwood fifth-grade Elementary School commuteacher Phil Rossiter spoke nity to be removed from the of this perception, using a chain reaction. sports analogy. Nearly 200 parents, staff “We are the Everett members and students from AquaSox. We take the freshBriarwood attended the faced rookies, work tirelessly Issaquah as a community, only to School have our leaders taken up Board to the big leagues,” said meeting Rossiter, who has taught Feb. 8 to at the school for 20 years. show their “A change in leadership support for could have a negative effect retaining on staff, which could have principal a negative effect on our Drew Terstudents. In conclusion, we Drew Terry David Hayes / are big-league. Don’t take ry. Terry announced in a Feb. 3 letter Nearly 200 parents, staff members and students from Briarwood Elementary attended the Feb. 8 meeting of the Issaquah School Board. our leader.” to the Briarwood community They were there to oppose the transfer of Briarwood’s popular principal, Drew Terry. While he’s aware of the that he would be moving on. perception, Thiele said he “It is with some sadness doesn’t personally believe it’s that I share with you that Teachers also voiced their Even Terry expressed his staff over that time period, schools, he led the search true. He points to Briarwood starting July 1, I will no lon- strong support for Terry. appreciation for the comhe hasn’t added administra- that ultimately resulted in having just 12 percent of its student body on free ger be the principal at BriStephanie Mayo, a 23-year munity’s support in another tion staff, especially at the the hiring of Terry. or reduced-price lunches, arwood Elementary. I have veteran at Briarwood, went letter dated Feb. 8, but acdistrict level. “Hearing the outcry when the state average is 45 accepted the opportunity to so far as to equate him knowledged the move was a “That’s good in some ways. of support for Drew was percent. serve as principal of Cougar as the life source of the mutual decision. It’s kept us lean and efheartwarming for me,” “It’s true it may be Ridge Elementary starting school’s beating heart. “I have recently become ficient,” he said, adding that Thiele said. “I’d feel terrible less-affluent compared to next school year,” Terry “As you know, Briarwood aware of the petitions and the Issaquah School District if I moved a principal from wrote. “The last 12 years as has grown exponentially letters aimed at the school has the lowest administraa building and people didn’t Cougar Ridge, Cascade Ridge or Creekside elemenprincipal at Briarwood have over the last few years. board and district administive overhead in King County. feel that way about him. taries, which have some of meant the world to me. I Our heart could have been tration asking them to keep “But even the school board “Unfortunately, I don’t the lowest reduced lunch could not have found a more muffled, and it has been me at Briarwood. I feel it says if you get too lean that have the luxury to be rates in the entire Western supportive community to Drew’s mission to make is important to say that I it starts to impact the misconcerned about the wellbegin my administrative ex- sure that that has not haphave dedicated my career to sion, it becomes a problem.” being of just one building. I United States. Briarwood is still a very affluent school perience. The relationships pened. He is vocal about it educational leadership and To address the adminhave to oversee the entire compared to the rest of the that have been developed and he actively seeks ways to the success of all students istrative needs, Thiele district,” he added. state,” Thiele said. with students, staff, parents, to keep our blood pumping in the Issaquah School Discreated six new positions Thiele said he has just He said all of the schools grandparents, and younger strong. And it has worked. trict. I am honored that my — two directors in human one other principal in the siblings are deep rooted and We want our heart to be leadership and skills have resources, a third director school district with as much in the south end of the district have been rebuilt what I will miss the most.” heard,” Mayo said. brought an opportunity for of special services, a direcexperience as Terry’s 12 except Maple Hills, which is More than a dozen speak“We know he will do the me to grow and offer my ex- tor of early learning and years — Mike Williams at next on the list for expaners at the school board job you want him to do at pertise to the Cougar Ridge two associate directors of Echo Glen. Thiele also bemeeting shared their tales Cougar Ridge. He can get community. Superintendent compliance and counseling. lieves the move will be good sion. He’s also moved principals from other regions of Terry’s prowess as printhat building remodeled Thiele believes I am the right The series of staffing for Terry’s professional cipal, often eliciting tears while those teachers are person for the job and I think changes began a few weeks career as he’s ready to take to the south end, including Liberty’s principal Sean from those in the standing- still teaching. And he may so, too. Without a doubt, it is ago when Maywood Middle on new challenges. room-only crowd. even be able to turn that cli- not easy to leave Briarwood, School Principal Jason “What they’re experienc- Martin from Skyline, Morse to Maywood from Issaquah “I remember the first day mate around. But the heart- but I know it is the right Morse accepted a position as ing, every school in the Middle and Christy Otley, I went to register my kids in beat you hear at Briarwood move for our district and I director of school support. system has experienced. the middle of summer,” said will be irregular. We feel ask for this wonderful comHe’ll work out of May Valley. They’ve only had three prin- who has led schools from all three regions, including Nicole Morgan, who relothat open-heart surgery is munity to stand behind me Next, Natalie Fowler accipals in the last 22 years. Grand Ridge, Sunny Hills cated from Seattle five and not needed here. Just hear as we close out this school cepted the position as direc- That’s pretty remarkable. a half years ago specifically the heart beating (bam, she year together and begin the tor of human resources after I’ve heard about his skill set and Newcastle. The bottom line, Thiele so her kids could attend pounded on the podium) process of finding just the being at the helm of Cougar from the community and said, is he views all the Briarwood. “Mr. Terry came and the pulse (bam, on the right person to lead BriarRidge Elementary School for that’s what’s desperately schools equally. out of the office to make podium again) of the Briar- wood in its next chapter of just one year. needed at Cougar Ridge. “I’m 100 percent sinphotocopies of our informa- wood community.” success,” Terry wrote. Seeking to inject some With the amount of turntion because there was no As much as he heard and The need to shuffle Terry stabilization into the Cougar over they’ve had, they need cere when I say I wouldn’t hesitate to put my own child one else there to do it. He appreciated the Briarwood to another school came Ridge community, which someone with his relationin any school in the district. is not just a principal, he is community’s outpouring of about when Thiele decided was facing its third princiship skills, in building and They are all different, but our family. He loves every support for Terry, Thiele is to address his administrapal in three years, Thiele maintaining a bond with single child that comes moving forward with his tion’s lagging staffing levels. tapped the services of Terry. students, staff and commu- are all excellent. I believe that down to the marrow of into that school. He knows personnel moves. He said the district’s student Thiele said he’s no strang- nity,” Thiele said. everyone’s name. He has “Now we’re beginning population has grown by er to Terry’s qualifications Thiele acknowledged the my bones.” sweet nicknames for each work to getting a good remore than 1,500 in the in leadership. When Thiele of them. My son’s is ‘Cole placement for Briarwood,” last three years. While he’s was the executive director To My Kitten (Susan O’Connor) Hearted Snake.’ ” he added. added teachers and support of elementary and middle

You have been my shining light through my entire life. We have had so many fantastic times together and you have stuck with me through the tough times too. But most of all – we are still so much in love and care about every moment together. You are my love and my life... Love Happy Valentine’s Day – My Love!

Where Friends Meet.

317 N.W. Gilman Blvd • Issaquah, WA 98027 • 425-392-6802 •



Forever, Your Miko (Michael O’Connor)



O nhowthismuchspecialIdayloveIyou.want to let you know



Thursday, February 16, 2017  •  4



In the From The Editor’s Desk column published Feb. 9, an incorrect day of the week was given for the Feb. 23 landmarks commission meeting regarding Providence Heights College. Feb. 23 is a Thursday. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in City Hall’s Eagle Room.


One good question can make an entire story sing


o, here we are. The penulgather their thoughts, and say, timate Off The Press, the “That’s a good question.” second-to-last in a 117When I endeavor to relay your year series. How did we story to the rest of our readers, get here? they don’t want to hear what they That’s a good question. already know about you. That’s I say we, and not I, for as long why over the years so many of as I’ve been here, there is no me you sought out The Issaquah without you, dear reader. Sharing Press. What do we know that stories with you is what has kept you don’t? What can we uncover me here going into my 18th year. that you cannot? It’s a symbiotic David Through boom times and relationship that begins with a Hayes turbulent times, there is always well-structured question that gets Press reporter a tale to tell, a picture to paint, a you to open up beyond the basic blank to fill to keep readers feelwho, what, when, why and how. ing involved in their community. It has been My absolute, favorite moment during my privilege to be that conduit between the an interview I did for The Press was with known and unknown. hydroplane racer Nate Brown. He was I know how I got here. Authors write of building his own hydroplane from scratch decision points in their lives that led them out of his enormous garage in Preston. In down certain paths that culminate in their the midst of the routine questions of why current situation. he was doing the project, I had an epiphany My first decision point that without a — he was just like the guys I knew back in doubt knocked into motion all the other high school who purchased an old, ratty dominoes that led to employment with The pickup and restored them back to life. Issaquah Press was in 10th grade. Fulfilling So I pounced on that thought. a graduation requirement, I sat bored out “You restored an old pickup when you of my mind in chemistry, knowing to the were in high school, didn’t you?” I asked. core of my soul I would never, ever, use this A wondrous, blank look fell across his information again in my life. face. So I dropped it at the semester. “How did you know?” he finally asked. I had the highest grade of anyone dropThat’s a good question. ping it, a B, but I wouldn’t let the teacher We then chatted about his pickup project, talk me out of it. how it paralleled his current hydroplane Among the available classes to substitute build, and that became the lede for my feainto fifth period for the rest of the year was ture story about him and how history was journalism. Hmmm, I thought. I like writrepeating itself. ing. I’ll give that a try. The Issaquah Press has had many talLoved it. ented writers over the years who’ve coaxed Learning the ins and outs of the basics of the interesting out of the mundane. It’s been writing for a newspaper fascinated me. an honor to have worked alongside them — So I joined the school paper the next year too many to list here. They know who they and off I went down the career path that are. And you, the reader, know too. led here. Where shall you go next in your quest of But how did I succeed in bringing you the unknown? along with me on this journey? That too is a good question. That’s a good question. I say that because it’s also the answer. Email reporter David Hayes at dhayes@ In countless interviews when I’ve had the Twitter: @DavidHayesIP honor of listening to your stories to recount for others, what I thought was a simple Off The Press is a weekly column by inquiry that often made subjects pause, members of The Issaquah Press news staff.


It brings great sadness knowing your final edition is approaching. Your publication has done much for this community, not the least of which is the opportunity for regular citizens to express their opinions through letters to the editor. Your news articles have shed light in areas that might have gone unnoticed until it was too late. Your coverage has probed into many local issues and surely made a difference in how they were handled. You’ve asked the tough questions when necessary. Holding our city accountable is paramount and must be a priority as we move forward. Our city’s elected officials are supposed to act in “our” best interests, yet they have not taken any solid steps to actually find out what “we” really want. I can only hope our other local publication will pick up some of the slack left when you are no longer “on duty” to shed light on things that matter to Issaquah citizens: water pollution, soil movement, ugly buildings, terrible traffic, ill-thought-through bond measures, etc. The list goes on and you’ve covered them for us. Such issues may not get wide coverage anymore. If they don’t, we’ll all be the worse off for it. Thank you for all you’ve done to inform us, to share opinions and provide valuable information to us over the years. As an old Joni Mitchell song once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” You will be missed more than you and many of us can imagine. Best luck to all on staff in your next endeavors.

Bob Brock Issaquah


The Press is abandoning devoted, well-educated, well-funded readers Mr. Stoddard, as a 29-year resident of Issaquah I’m in shock and grieving the demise of The Issaquah Press. The abrupt loss of our trusted community sentry is excruciating to witness. I cannot fathom a business decision abandoning the equity of a devoted, welleducated, well-funded readership. With proliferation of “fake news,” the value of trusted investigative journalism is increasing. Perhaps The Seattle Times has euthanized its satellites to strengthen the mothership in preparation for rebirth in a format increasing their paid readership? There is money to be made here, the question is accessibility of format and delivery.

‘How would I feel about reading of my decision on the front page?’

Disclosing public records is a core duty of government, not a burden By the Editorial Board of The Seattle Times


ith citizens becoming more civically engaged and fearful of tyranny, public agencies should be increasing transparency. So it’s troubling that numerous bills proposed by Washington legislators this year would whittle away the state’s Public Records Act. They include new fees that would slightly increase agencies’ revenue but reduce accessibility of records belonging to the public. Not a good tradeoff. Agencies have legitimate concerns about rising costs to duplicate and share records. The vast majority of record requests are simple. But agencies do receive some that are voluminous and occasionally malicious, such as requests for every document they possess. Still, lawmakers must avoid responding to anecdotes about anomalies with rules penalizing everyone. Disclosing records is a core duty, not a burden to be mitigated.

Lawmakers should drop per-minute charges for audio and video files that are proposed. This extra layer of fees may make it prohibitively expensive to obtain such files. A provision allowing agencies to impose “customized service charges” is problematic. It’s vague enough that such charges could be used to gouge or dissuade requests they dislike. Especially concerning is a section of one bill enabling agencies to push requests to mediation, if they decide requests are unclear or dispute their validity. This could force citizens to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers. If agencies are struggling to promptly produce records, start by improving their workflow, forms and filing. As records are generated, they should be stored in ways anticipating disclosure. This could increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. Now more than ever, agencies must be making factual information easier to obtain, not harder.



Next week’s Issaquah Press is the final edition before we close. Something on your mind about your city? Tell us about it. The Issaquah Press welcomes letters to the editor about local issues — 300 words at most, please. Please note: We do not publish letters that have been printed in other publications. We may edit your letter for length, clarity or inappropriate content. Include your phone number (it will not be published). Send letters via email to, and please write “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line of your email. Alternatively, mail your letter to: Editor, The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027

a moral or ethical one, my advice was to try either of two scenarios. First, how would I feel about reading of my decision on the front page of The Issaquah Press (above the fold)? Or second, how would I feel about explaining that decision to my mother? If we are comfortable with either or both scenarios, it is likely a good decision. I still think those are two of the best examples in decisionmaking, so your paper will definitely be missed — at least by me — in that regard. I also must admit that the reporter’s job, particularly when it comes to covering city issues, is not easy. To personalize it currently, Lizz and your other reporters must take accurate, real-time notes, then write an article that is both interesting and informative when written at a middle-school level of comprehension, and do so in too-few column inches. There is no way I could do that job! When dealing with the media, in my time with the city it was usually you, The Issaquah Press, I always tried to remember two things: 1) you can disagree without being disagreeable; and 2) you don’t have to like something, but you better be sure you understand it. My final comment to you, as well as to all the past and present employees of The Issaquah Press, is: “Well done thou good and faithful servant!”

Rowan Hinds

Issaquah The letter-writer was the mayor of from 1990 to 1997 and a member of the City Council from 1979 to 1989.

Deborah Freng Journalism Issaquah




Coverage of important issues will be missed more than we can imagine

This letter is one I neither expected nor wanted to write but has unfortunately now become necessary. I am not privy to your financials, but my personal opinion is your situation is all too common in the print media. If there is some way to continue the long and illustrious history of The Issaquah Press in one form or another, I support that effort wholeheartedly. During my time as an elected official, I have some, but not all, fond memories of interacting with your paper, and as they probably occurred before many of your current employees were employed by The Press, I would like to mention a couple of them. Many years ago, while talking with your reporter at that time, Andrew from Australia, if I remember correctly, I mentioned something as being “off the record.” He commented to me that it was probably not a good idea to give him, or any reporter, information in that manner as the information was going to sit in their memory bank and at some future time could inadvertently slip out despite the “off the record” proviso. I have never forgotten that advice, and even though I sometimes still use that phrase (Right, Lizz Giordano?), I am always aware of that connotation. As mayor, I always thought it was helpful to staff, as well as myself, if we were able to easily visualize a situation. In making any decision, but especially

General manager CHARLES HORTON

She wanted to write a letter conveying congratulations, not condolences It is with great sadness that I pen this note. I have lived in Issaquah since 1959 and have been a subscriber to The Issaquah Press all that time, depending on it for local news. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the item in The Seattle Times saying that publication was ceasing. In fact, I had felt the reporting had improved the last several months and had intended to write to congratulate you. The press is so important locally as well as nationally. With our new national administration’s attitude toward the media, it is certainly an especially sad time for losing The Press. Thank you for all the years of coverage.

Mary Fricke



Former newspaper reporter grieves the closure of The Issaquah Press As a former newspaper reporter, I was grieved to read in The Seattle Times that you will be no longer publishing your excellent paper after Feb. 23. My son, who lives in your area, brought me a copy of your Jan. 26 edition, which I read thoroughly. You local coverage, and that of your sister papers, will be sorely missed. Best wishes to all of you in your search for new jobs.



Virginia Heiner Anacortes


425-392-6434 425-392-1695





CHRISTINA CORRALES-TOY...........DIGITAL EDITOR LIZZ GIORDANO.................................... REPORTER DAVID HAYES....................................... REPORTER STUART MILLER................................... REPORTER NEIL PIERSON..........................SPORTS REPORTER GREG FARRAR..............................PHOTOGRAPHER








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The Issaquah Press

Thursday, February 16, 2017 •


Mini-roundabout coming to Maple Street near Target By Lizz Giordano A plan to redesign the intersection of Maple Street Northwest and the entrances to parking lots adjacent to Trader Joe’s and Target was approved during the Feb. 8 meeting of the City Council. Kurt Seemann, the city’s transportation manager, called the intersection “a longtime source of confusion and aggravation.” In a 4-2 vote, councilmembers allocated an

additional $80,000 to install a rubber-curbed, asphaltcenter mini-roundabout and add pedestrian refuge islands with rapid-flash beacons to aid people crossing the street. The city’s 2017 budget already included $50,000 for enhancements to the intersection. The total cost of the approved project is now $130,000. City staff members gave the council three options: Keep the funding at the current level; allocate an additional $80,000 for the

rubber-curbed mini-roundabout; or spend another $480,000 for a standard roundabout with a landscaped median. This option would have also included pedestrian refuge islands with rapid-flash beacons. The staff recommended the third option because it has distinguishing features of a standard roundabout clearly indicating to drivers and pedestrians they cannot pass through. Council President Stacy Goodman and Councilmembers Paul Winterstein,

Eileen Barber and Maria Bettise all voted to approve the project at the $80,000 level. Deputy Council President Mary Lou Pauly and Councilmember Bill Ramos favored the more-expensive option. Councilmember Tola Marts was absent from the meeting. “The more-expensive option, that looks more permanent, I think it will have a much higher level of traffic calming because it looks like an actual a road improvement,” Pauly said.

RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS Inspections were performed Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 by Public Health, Seattle and King County. A food establishment inspection is only a snapshot of the operation during a limited time. Readers should look at more than one inspection (view inspection reports online at inspections) to get a better idea of the overall operation. Red violations: High-risk factors are improper practices or procedures identified as the most prevalent contributing factors of foodborne illness or injury. One red critical violation equals an unsatisfactory inspection. County environmental health specialists work with operators to make sure these violations are corrected before they leave the establishment. Blue violations: Low-risk factors are preventive measures to control the addition of pathogens, chemicals, and physical objects into foods. 435 or more red violation points require a reinspection within 14 days. 490 or more red violation points or 120 total violation points (red and blue) require closure of the establishment. Bartell Drug 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE Jan. 31: Routine inspection, satisfactory, 0 red, 0 blue Gourmet Latte No. 6 14327 Issaquah-Hobart Road SE Feb. 1: Routine inspection, 10 red, 0 blue Koffee Sutra, 102 Front St. S. Feb. 1: Routine inspection, 30 red, 5 blue Subway 5712 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE Jan. 31: Routine inspection, 25 red, 0 blue Umi Cafe, 80 SE Bush St. Feb. 1: Routine inspection, 35 red, 8 blue


She said the other option looked like a Band-Aid. “We just need to make sure that the consumer is able to cross the streets in a safe fashion,” Barber said. “I believe our residents will be just as safe at the lower amount.” The mayor-appointed Traffic Task Force recommended nine projects last April, “in prioritized order,” according to its report. The Maple Street intersection was given the highest priority by the task force, but it ultimately did not make

the $50 million package of projects that was ultimately rejected by voters in November. The task force’s preliminary estimated cost last April for improvements at the intersection was $5 million. The mayor’s state of the city address was originally scheduled for the same City Council meeting, but Mayor Fred Butler suffered a minor fall, missed the meeting, and the address was postponed to later this month.


the feasibility period with Buchan Homes,” she said. Lam said her client, who wishes to remain anonymous, is interested in preserving the land and protecting the wildlife corridor for the elk and other animals. Callan declined to comment about the offer. “I believe our offer is good for the public, good for the people and even good for the school district,” Lam said.

from page


that run through the property, neighbors say. Lam said when a contract between buyers and sellers is renegotiated, the seller is able to consider other offers. “Rather than looking at our offer, they renegotiated

OBITUARY Sharon L. Britton Jerry Klein /

The owner of Talus Parcel 9, which was affected by the 2015 landslide, wants to temporarily stop development of adjacent parcels. ORA Talus LLC says new work could undermine the stability of the hillside.


for potential landslide risk before and after the landslide. “I didn’t see or hear from page 1 anything that the hearing examiner was clearly the cause of the slide as well erroneous in this decision,” as the remediation design said Councilmember Paul has not been completed.” Winterstein. “There has been no Council President Stacy subsequent review postGoodman and Councilmemslide of the issues addressed bers Eileen Barber and in the critical area study,” Maria Bettise agreed with said Christopher Bain, an Winterstein and voted to attorney representing ORA affirm the decision. Talus, during the proceedDeputy Council President ings. Mary Lou Pauly and CounTalus 7 & 8 Investment cilmember Bill Ramos were said the appeal should be the dissenting votes. denied because Parcels 7 “Part of the body of the and 8 have been examined record that goes along with

this final plat approval is a geotechnical report and geotechnical peer review that occurred prior to a landslide and that is part of what makes this decision go forward,” Pauly said. “I think that is an error on the hearing examiner’s part.” Councilmember Tola Marts was absent from the meeting. Because Talus is under a development agreement, the appeal of the hearing examiner’s decision went before City Council for a decision. The City Council’s decision can be appealed in Superior Court.

Sharon Lynn Britton (Shore), born Aug. 15, 1943, passed away at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah, Feb. 3, 2017. Sharon is survived by her husband Jim; sons Brendan (and Debra) of Bay View, Ore., Graydon of Seattle and Robert of Issaquah; her grandchildren Maxwell Britton (and Emily) of Las Vegas, Bailey (and Colton) and Jocelyn (and Douglas) of Salt Lake City; great-granddaughters Melonie, Tomenika and Ike; and her siblings Donna Armstrong of Naniamo, British Columbia, and Maxine Crook of Toronto, Ontario, and Dale Shore of Kelowna, British Columbia. Sharon was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, and immigrated to Washington in 1976. Jim and Sharon lived in Bellevue until they moved in 1994 to Issaquah, where they lived in the Sycamore neighborhood. Sharon was an avid bowler, golfer and animal lover. She was an excellent friend willing to help those around her when they were in need. A private family service is scheduled for Feb. 25. The family would like to thank all of those that have expressed their condolences. In lieu of flowers, donations to your local animal shelter would have been very much appreciated by Sharon. To place a paid obituary in The Issaquah Press, call Claire Cook at 392-6434, extension 232, or visit us online at


Jack is a beautiful 3-year-old happy-go-lucky boxer mix that loves to play and will happily lead Jack you anywhere you want to go. Jack would do well with an energetic family with children 12 years and up where he can let his personality really shine. If you have room in your heart and home for this sweet boy, come meet him today at the Seattle Humane. As with all our dogs, Jack has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and behavior tested.

To adopt these or other animals, call the Humane Society for Seattle/King County at 641-0080 or go to seattlehumane. org. All animals are spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, and come with 30 days of pet health insurance and a certificate for a vet exam. ANSWER TO#5377 #1065 ANSWER TO M AR I S M A I D A R E N T G E R I N GO A I S T E V E N S I N E E T O D E D E T O N A E S B C O L ON G C H E A P E A C H U A RN M E S T A L T E O A T S N T A T E E G E M CG O V E R A MO ON MA U L T R A E R S I S A L DE







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6 • Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Issaquah Press

Thursday, February 16, 2017 •



“I’M 55, I WANT MY OWN PLACE, BUT IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT.” A pay raise helped Kat Wilkins leave behind a Snoqualmie home she shared with seven roommates, but she still wasn’t able to find an apartment she could afford in Issaquah, where she works. Instead, she rents the bottom floor of a home in Renton.

Sarah MacDonald, a teacher at Grand Ridge Elementary School in the Issaquah Highlands, faced a 16 percent rent increase for the apartment she shares in Klahanie.

More than half of the jobs in Issaquah are in fields that pay an average of $53,000 or less per year. With the average


“THERE’S NO REASON TO STAY. WE ARE CAPPED OUT. WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO? IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE.” Issaquah Highlands residents Erin Saldaña and her husband Tyler want to downsize to a smaller and less-expensive apartment in Issaquah, but their search became an exercise in futility because of the city’s high rents.

Hank Thomas serves on the board of Hutchison House, one of the city’s largest affordable-housing complexes. He believes developers who build affordable housing should donate the apartments to a charity.

Photos by Lizz Giordano

house price hovering around $700,000, homeownership here is out of reach for many people who work in the city. Housing from page


people can afford to live here?”

Two affordable homes in six years More than 1,000 units of housing — homes, apartments, condominiums — were built in Issaquah over the last six years. Only two of those residences were classified as affordable, while rents and real estate prices soared. The average home sales price jumped 40 percent in just the last five years, rebounding from a 2007 peak, according to data collected by ECONorthwest for the city. Rents over the same time have increased almost 30 percent. In a city where more than a third of all households spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, only 7.7 percent of the city’s total inventory of homes and apartments is subsidized affordable housing, according ECONorthwest’s research. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers these families housing-cost burdened. They are often unable to save for a rainy day, and a health crisis or unexpected car repair can put these households at risk of homelessness.

Priced out of the community In May of last year, less than two months before her lease was set to expire, Sarah MacDonald’s landlord informed her that the rent for her Klahanie apartment would soon be rising 16 percent, pushing her monthly outlay for the two-bedroom apartment she shares from $950 per month to $1,100. MacDonald, a Grand Ridge Elementary School teacher, didn’t want to leave the community she had become connected to over the previous 18 months, but she was forced to consider other cities outside the school district as her next home. MacDonald’s landlord eventually cut the young teachers a deal, increasing the rent only 8 percent. But she worries the next time her lease is renewed she might not be so lucky. “How ridiculous is it that we can’t live where we teach?” MacDonald asked. MacDonald wouldn’t be alone if she was priced out of the community where she teaches. Roughly half of Issaquah School District teachers live outside the district, often in cities with lower housing and rental prices, according to data gathered by the Issaquah Education Association. “A lot of teachers are leaving because they can’t afford to live here,” MacDonald said. “There’s a lot of turnover.” Ron Thiele, superintendent of the Issaquah School District, told a group of

Issaquah business leaders that the 201617 school year was the toughest staffing year in his career. At the start of the school year, 19 teaching positions remained open, the school district said. “Much of our staff commutes in,” Thiele said. “That makes it less-desirable to work here.” He blamed the cost of living, particularly the cost of housing, as the primary reason many teachers leave the district to teach elsewhere. Wanting to invest in a home rather than renting, third-grade teacher Maddie Ebi and her fiance lived with her parents in Issaquah for a year to save money as they looked for a home. Together, the couple makes roughly the median household income in Issaquah, which by city estimates means the young couple can afford to pay up to $360,000 for a home. However, only 25 percent of condos, houses or townhomes for sale in Issaquah are priced at or below $360,000, according to ECONorthwest’s data. With fierce competition for that quarter of the housing market they could afford, Ebi and her fiance, broadened their search and wound up in Maple Valley “It’s pretty affordable,” Ebi said of her new home, which is 19 miles from her job at Grand Ridge Elementary “A friend on Capitol Hill pays more in rent for her 500-square-foot apartment than we do for our mortgage.”

But lower home prices come at a cost. Each day, Ebi must make the long commute from Maple Valley to the Issaquah Highlands. “It’s not too bad, but I don’t think it’s sustainable for a super-long time,” Ebi said about the drive, which can take her anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes to get home at night. “I think in the long run I’ll look for (a job that’s) closer,” Ebi said. Of the 344 apartments constructed at one of the newest development in the city, none were within reach of residents making less than the median income. One-bedroom apartments can cost up to $1,800, which is the average rent in Issaquah. To afford that price without financial stress, a person or family needs to make at least $71,000 a year.

Squeezing out the middle class Erin and Tyler Saldaña are part of the 5 percent of residents who both live and work in Issaquah. Recently married, they moved to Issaquah at the beginning of 2015. The couple felt lucky to find an apartment in the Issaquah Highlands they could afford. It cost a little less than 30 percent of their combined income, but they were still managing to save a little from each paycheck. As their job situations changed, the Saldañas wanted to downgrade to a

smaller apartment but were unable to find a smaller and less-expensive apartment in Issaquah. Today, Erin manages a coffee shop in the city and Tyler works several part-time jobs. More than half of the jobs in Issaquah are in fields that pay an average of $53,000 or less per year. With the average house price hovering around $700,000, homeownership here is out of reach for many people who work in the city. Along with rising real estate values, developers are also building more expensive houses. Before 2000, a third of all houses, condos and townhouses built cost $360,000 or less. After 2000, that number drops to 11 percent. Looking around at their co-workers, many who still live with their parents or live outside of town, the Saldañas think about returning to California, or at least leaving Issaquah. “There’s no reason to stay,” Erin Saldaña said. “We are capped out. What else can we do? It’s only getting worse.”

Endless commutes Kat Wilkins is one of 21,000 workers commuting into Issaquah each day, swelling the city’s daytime population by 20 percent. And with approximately 14,000 people leaving the city each day for their jobs elsewhere, Issaquah’s streets are overwhelmed.

At a regional transportation summit hosted by the city late last year, Mayor Fred Butler told a gathering of Eastside leaders and transportation directors that Issaquah’s traffic congestion had reached a crisis level because of pass-through commuters. Long commutes leave workers less time to spend with their families or participate in their community, while at the same time increasing road congestion, according to Kelly Rider, government relations & policy director at the Housing Development Consortium Seattle-King County. “When employees are able to live close to their work, they are more likely to reinvest their wages back into the community,” Rider said. “When they live elsewhere, the wages are being earned in one community but invested elsewhere.” “It’s really hard here to be able to afford anything that is close to where you are working,” said Hayley Swanson, a 23-yearold third-grade teacher working in the Issaquah School District. Last year, Swanson lived in a threebedroom Redmond apartment with four roommates. She was paying less than $600 for her portion of the rent, but a move closer to her job came with a steep rent increase. “For new teachers, it’s really hard to get on our feet,” Swanson said. To adjust, she picked up extra work and canceled her gym membership.

“Living alone would be really nice, but it’s not something I can see myself doing,” Swanson said. “Financially, I don’t see how I could live anywhere within a reasonable commute distance without a roommate.”

How to fix it? A 2012 business survey showed 62 percent of local business said more affordable housing would be helpful to retain and recruit employees. The Issaquah Schools Foundation is working on a plan to provide additional resources to the Issaquah School District for recruiting — and, more importantly, retaining — teachers. “It’s a way to incentivize teachers to come and make it affordable,” said Kaylee Jaech, executive director of the Issaquah Schools Foundation. “Often the cost of living is so high (teachers) often end up moving out of the district.” Partnering with Gary Young and Shelter Holdings, the foundation is hammering out the details on a program that would waive security deposits and administration fees on apartments owned by Shelter Holdings to anyone working for the school district. The foundation hopes to finalize the plan in the next month so it can be used as a recruiting tool when the school district begins hiring for the next school year.

“We have to put a stake in the ground and try something,” Jaech said. “This is just part of the answer. This is just another way that we are trying to convey to our teachers how important they are to us.” Currently there is a three- to four-year waiting list for the Hutchison House Apartments, a 90-unit building near the intersection of Newport Way and Mountain Park Boulevard that is the one of the largest affordable housing community in Issaquah. Hank Thomas, a former member of the City Council and a current board member of Hutchison House, wants to expand their nonprofit model to increase the supply of affordable housing in Issaquah. He wants developers that build affordable housing to donate the apartments to a charity, removing the financial interest from the equation. That way, any profits can be put back into the affordable housing community instead of going to shareholders. Thomas said it’s hard for a business to maintain low-income housing. “Eventually (the building) goes to market-rate or collapses all together,” he said. “We need, together with our legislative group, to have a lengthy conversation and decide what is our responsibility when it comes to affordable housing,” Thomas said. “It will be an uncomfortable conversation.”



Thursday, February 16, 2017  •  8


Development Commission meetings have been canceled Rovin’ Fiddlers Jam Session, 7-9 p.m., Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 NE Creek Way, Opera Preview: “Katya Kabanova” by Leos Janecek, for adults and seniors, 7-7:30 p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, 392-5430

Play & Learn: Chinese, ages 2-5, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, 3925430 Youth Art February, 4-5:30 p.m., artEAST Art Center, 99 Front St. N., Pizza & Picasso, ages 6 and older, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Museo Art Academy, 300 NE Gilman Blvd. No. 100, $29,

“The 39 Steps” presented by Village Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $35-$70, Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N.,, 392-2200

“The 39 Steps” presented by Village Theatre, 8 p.m., $35-$70, Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N.,, 392-2200



Listening Mothers, an eightweek class for new mothers with newborns to six months, Wednesdays noon to 2 p.m. through March 22, Swedish Hospital Issaquah Campus, 751 NE Blakely Drive, $195, register at or 206-829-2660 Community Resource Fair: Drop-in Social Services; Meet the Employers: Terra Staffing and QFC, for single adults, parents, seniors and teens, 1-4 p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, 392-5430 Citizenship Classes, 4:30-6 p.m., for adults, Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, 392-5430

Squak Mountain hike, 9 a.m., moderate, 7 miles, 1,200- to 1,500-foot gain, meet at 175 Rainier Blvd. S.,, 633-7815 Mountains to Sound Greenway Native Plant Nursery at Lake Sammamish State Park, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., all ages, 2000 NW Sammamish Road, register at nursery AARP Tax Help, for adults and seniors, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, 392-5430

“The 39 Steps” presented by Village Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $35-$70, Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N.,, 392-2200

“The 39 Steps” presented by Village Theatre, 2 and 8 p.m., $35$70, Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N.,, 3922200


Wheel Throwing Course, 6-8 p.m., artEAST Art Center, 99 Front St. N., CT and Classic Soul, 7:3011:30 p.m., Vino Bella, 99 Front St. N., 391-1424 The Five Johnsons, ages 21 and older, 8-11 p.m., Pogacha, 120 NW Gilman Blvd., 392-5550

Felt Embroidery Workshop, for ages 8-12, 1-3 p.m., Issaquah “Moonwalk and Chatterbox” is one of the pieces of art highlighted in an exhibit at Blakely Hall, 2550 NE Park Drive in the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, free, Highlands. The exhibit, which features oils and acrylics by the late Eastside artist Dorothy Bonneau, runs through April 4. The show is preregister at 392-5430 sented by artEAST and pays honor to Bonneau and the support she gave to the Highlands Day Festival over several years. Teen Open House, homework and tutoring help for teens, 3-5 $70, Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Krutikov, for elementary-aged members only, 7-9:30 p.m., artEAST Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Front St. N.,, 392- students, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Feb. Way, 392-5430 Art Center, 99 Front St. N., $60 Sunset Way, 392-5430 2200 City Council regular meeting 20-24, Blakely Hall, 2550 NE Park monthly fee, Civil Service Commission and two public hearings. One Drive, $350 full day/$225 for meeting, 4:30 p.m., Baxter Room, public hearing will take public half-day, City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th testimony regarding a potential Mid-Winter and Spring Break Issaquah Alps area hike, 9 Ave. NW City offices, Community Senior Center Trip: Starbucks six-month extension of the city’s Camps, ages 7-12, Monday a.m., easy, 4-6 miles, 800- to Issaquah Landmarks Center, senior center and Julius through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon for Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, six-month moratorium related to 1,200-foot gain, meet at 175 Commission meeting, taking 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., register at least certain building permit and land Color Illustration and 1-4 p.m. Rainier Blvd. S.,, Boehm Pool are closed for the public testimony to assist in Presidents Day holiday two days in advance at Issaquah use applications. A second public determining whether Providence for Ceramics & More, artEAST Art 369-1725 Cougar Mountain hike, 9 a.m., Center, 99 Front St. N., $170/ Senior Center, 75 NE Creek Way, hearing will take public testimony Heights College and William Mono Print Portraits, 1-5 p.m., $5 regarding the proposed transfer members, $180/nonmembers artEAST Art Center, 99 Front St. N., moderate, 7 miles, 1,750-foot Conrardy House meet landmark gain, meet at 175 Rainier Blvd. S., for one course or $330/$350 for The Tortoise and the Hare: A of development rights by Polygon designation criteria, 5 p.m., Eagle, 269-3079 Play, for children and families, 11 Northwest that would raise the both, register at “The 39 Steps” presented by Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way Circus Camp with Sergey Village Theatre, 2 and 7 p.m., $35artEAST Studio Group February, a.m. to noon, Issaquah Library, 10 number of residential units in the Planning Policy Commission W. Sunset Way, 392-5430 Westridge Development project meeting, 6:30 p.m., Council Teen Open House, homework from 265 to 365. The council Chambers City Hall South, 6:30 and tutoring help for teens, 3-5 meeting and public hearings begin p.m., 135 E. Sunset Way p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. at 7 p.m., City Council chambers, “The 39 Steps” presented by Sunset Way, 392-5430 City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way Village Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $35-$70, One-On-One Computer Help, The River & Streams Francis Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front for adults, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Board and the Urban Village0130 LAM St. N.,, 392-2200 SCOTT Z.FINAL.IP.CMYK.PDF


Greg Farrar /




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J.C. had diamonds in various shapes and sizes from a variety of jewelry pieces and wanted to combine them into one ring. She also wanted the ring to have some yellow gold as an accent. We think it turned out Beautiful. J.C. does too. But don’t take our word for it. Stop by - we are just north of the Pine Lake QFC.




Thursday, February 16, 2017  •  9

Photos by Greg Farrar /

MAY DAD HAVE THIS DANCE? Seven-year-old Layla Witman (above) of Squak Mountain gets a dip during her dance with dad Tom as they take their turn on a raised stage while a shadow is projected on a screen at the Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine Dance Feb. 11 at the Issaquah Community Center. Many beautifully dressed girls in the kindergarten through second grade and third grade through fifth grade groups and their handsomely attired dads danced among the heart-shaped balloon bouquets under the disco lights to several decades’ worth of hits and then enjoyed cookies, fruit and punch refreshments.

Two dads and four daughters hold hands in a circle and go for a spin on the dance floor. LAURA F.FINAL.IP.CMYK.PDF 0213 LAM 07.18372.THU.0216.2X5.LAM

Samantha Kuehl of Issaquah, 6, has a joyful smile as she enjoys the evening with her dad Steffen on the dance floor. LAURA F.FINAL.IP.CMYK.REV1 0116 LAM.REV2 0116 LAM 03.18501.THU.0119.2X4.LAM

Senior Toenail & Callus Care Podiatrist Dr. Julia Overstreet

Jeremy Pitman of Klahanie (left) is dressed in his formals while dancing with daughters Emily, 8, and Ava, 7, on an unforgettable evening.

has directed the Senior Foot Care service at Issaquah Senior Center for more than 6 years. But we’ve out grown our space there!

LAURA F.noPROOF.IP.CMYK. PDF 0203 LAM 06.18077.THUR.0209.2X2.LAM

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Thursday, February 16, 2017  •  10

Issaquah, Skyline sending eight to Mat Classic By Neil Pierson

of his training and tenacity was needed. Solusod earned a return One or two moves can be trip to the Mat Classic XXIX all that separates a statestate meet at the Tacoma qualifying wrestler from one Dome with an 8-7 vicwho has to watch the big tory over Kentwood’s Jalen event from the sidelines. Ureta, and went on to a That was the case for second-place finish at 160 Issaquah junior Kaleb Solu- pounds during the regional sod at the Region II chammeet, Feb. 11 at Skyline pionships, where every bit High School.

Solusod looked in control as he entered the third period with a three-point lead and extended it by escaping out of the restart. But Ureta eventually tied the match at 7-7, forcing Solusod to score again. He escaped once more in the final 30 seconds and held off Ureta’s takedown attempts for the win.

“He was a lot stronger than I anticipated and I’m not the best on my feet,” Solusod said. “but I tried just to shoot my shots and make sure he couldn’t stop me.” A state qualifier last year at 145 pounds, Solusod See WRESTLING, Page 11

MAT CLASSIC XXIX State wrestling championships Feb. 17-18, Tacoma Dome First and second sessions, 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Feb. 17; third and fourth sessions, including championship bouts, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 18. Tickets: $14 for adults, $11 for students and senior citizens for all sessions

Eagles stumble in loser-out playoff game BOYS BASKETBALL WOODINVILLE 77 ISSAQUAH 63

Eastlake puts an end to Issaquah’s season with KingCo tourney triumph GIRLS BASKETBALL EASTLAKE 67 ISSAQUAH 38 By Neil Pierson Eastlake was a sizable favorite against Issaquah going into their Feb. 9 girls basketball playoff game, but things didn’t go according to plan in the first half. A mountain of missed layups and free throws at Eastlake’s end — and a tenacious, confident effort from Issaquah — kept the teams separated by only one point at the halftime break. Sixth-seeded Issaquah took a brief lead early in the third quarter, but third-seeded Eastlake found its rhythm and ended the Eagles’ season at the Class 4A KingCo Conference tournament. The Lady Wolves (17-6 overall) finished the third quarter on a 21-2 surge and got big performances from stars Gina Marxen, Cameron Edward and Keeli Burton for a 67-38 triumph in a loser-out contest at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. The Eagles (8-13), who had to win a Feb. 4 tiebreaker game against Newport just to get into the postseason, were buzzing around the court for the first two-and-a-half quarters as Eastlake’s normally potent offense was held in check. Eastlake won the two regular-season matchups easily (74-42 and 58-35) but it seemed Issaquah was ready to make it a four-quarter fight with both teams’ seasons on the line. “They played aggressive, physical defense and they’ve got some really talented players,” Eastlake coach Sara Goldie said. Junior guard Maya Witherspoon, who scored

Greg Farrar /

Issaquah’s Mariah Van Halm (21) is fouled by Eastlake’s Cameron Edward (left), defending with freshman center Keeli Burton (32), in the third quarter during their Class 4A KingCo Conference basketball tournament game Feb. 9. Van Halm made both shots from the foul line.

4A KINGCO GIRLS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT At Lake Washington High School Feb. 16 Eastlake vs. Skyline, 3:30 p.m. The winner faces Bothell or Woodinville with a trip to the regional round of 16 on the line, while the loser’s season is over. Eastlake is 3-0 against Skyline this season.

a season-high 20 points for Issaquah, said her team’s fire was doused as Eastlake’s lead grew. “I think we just lost our energy,” Witherspoon said.

“Once we got down by a certain amount of points, we didn’t think we could get back up, so we just lost focus and couldn’t come back from it.” Marxen, who finished with 25 points to lead all scorers, had nine in the first quarter as Eastlake took a comfortable lead, 17-9. The Lady Wolves had numerous chances to extend the lead in the second quarter, repeatedly getting second and third shots on offensive rebounds. But their layups didn’t fall and getting to the free-throw line didn’t help either as they shot 3 for 15 there in the opening half. Baskets from Witherspoon and Lucy Stewart tied

the score at 21 and only a late free throw from Elizabeth Chen was enough to put Eastlake in front at half. Goldie, however, stayed positive because her team was creating quality scoring chances and playing well defensively. She simply wanted the Wolves to reduce their turnovers and to keep attacking the basket. “We knew what the foul situations were,” she said. “We made sure we gave ourselves the best chance to kind of extend the lead a little bit there. “We were trying to go at players and we went at Mariah (Van Halm). She’s a great player. We knew if we got her on the bench, we had a better chance at ex-

tending the lead and that’s just what happened.” Van Halm picked up her fourth foul at the 6-minute mark of the third quarter. And the Wolves promptly took advantage, taking a 12-point lead. Witherspoon and the Eagles had an abbreviated playoff run but figure to be sharper in year two under coach Jackie Bykonen. They’ll lose only one player, Raiya Mastor, to graduation. “From the beginning, it was just really hard for all us because it’s a new team and a new coach,” Witherspoon said. “But throughout the season, I think we’ve adapted and we’ve come close as a team. And we’ve improved a lot.”

Skyline finishes second, Issaquah third at district swim meet trict 2 championships, held Feb. 10-11 at Juanita and Mercer Island high schools. Newport, Skyline and Newport won the district Issaquah all look to be con- title with 253 points, Skyline tenders for team trophies was second with 240 and at this weekend’s Class 4A Issaquah was third with swimming and diving cham- 237.5. Individuals who met pionships. time standards qualified A small margin separated for the 4A state meet, Feb. the three KingCo Confer17-18 at the King County ence rivals during the DisAquatic Center in Federal

Way. Issaquah set a new meet record in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Brandon Leu, Christopher Leu, Will Crewe and Kyle Millis won the race in 3 minutes, 14.03 seconds, breaking the mark of 3:15.16 that Inglemoor set in 2005. Here are the top three

finishers in each event: 200 medley relay: 1. Issaquah (Kyle Millis, Will Crewe, Christopher Leu, Brandon Leu) 1:36.89; 2. Skyline (Jacob Leahy, Jeremy Kim, Ryan Kinnear, William O’Daffer) 1:37.36; 3. Newport (Alexander Richardson, Frank Zhang, Henry Newsum, Martin Wu) 1:42.31. 200 freestyle: 1. Brandon Leu (Issaquah) 1:46.70; 2. Christopher Leu (Issaquah) 1:47.81; 3. Corey Stride (Bothell) 1:50.11. 200 individual medley: 1. Brandon Yue (Eastlake) 1:56.95; 2. Brandon Stride (Bothell) 1:57.05; 3. William O’Daffer (Skyline) 1:57.48. 50 freestyle: 1. Alex Crotteau (Inglemoor) 22.04; 2. Kyle Millis (Issaquah) 22.07; 3. Ryan Kinnear SCOTT Z.noPROOF.IP.CMYK. (Skyline) 22.66. PDF 0127 LAM 05.18327.THU.0202.1X2.LAM



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1-meter diving: 1. Jeffrey Goong (Bothell) 443.10 points; 2. Trey Gevers (Issaquah) 361.55; 3. Jacob Hansen (Issaquah) 284.50. 100 butterfly: 1. Will Crewe (Issaquah) 52.35; 2. William O’Daffer (Skyline) 53.27; 3. Henry Newsum (Newport) 53.48. 100 freestyle: 1. Jacob Leahy (Skyline) 47.06; 2. Brandon Leu (Issaquah) 47.67; 3. Andrew Wang (Newport) 49.61. 500 freestyle: 1. Joseph Spaniac (Skyline) 4:57.57; 2. Quinn McCloskey (Inglemoor) 5:04.22; 3. Bradley Wong (Newport) 5:04.83. 200 freestyle relay: 1. Inglemoor (Spencer Straight, Andrew Jumanca, Branden Hinckley, Alex Crotteau) 1:30.42; 2. Skyline (Jeremy Kim, Rehaan Bhimani, James Zheng, Ryan Kinnear) 1:30.94; 3. Newport (Jimmy Guo, Adam Benmalek, Andrew Wang, Frank Zhang) 1:31.20. 100 backstroke: 1. Kyle Millis (Issaquah) 51.55; 2. Jacob Leahy (Skyline) 51.83; 3. Will Crewe (Issaquah) 53.61. 100 breaststroke: 1. Brandon Yue (Eastlake) 57.93; 2. Brandon Stride (Bothell) 59.25; 3. Nolan Van Nortwick (Eastlake) 1:00.83. 400 freestyle relay: 1. Issaquah (Brandon Leu, Christopher Leu, Will Crewe, Kyle Millis) 3:14.03; 2. Newport (Andrew Wang, Jimmy Guo, Martin Wu, Henry Newsum) 3:22.72; 3. Inglemoor (Charlie Bohlin, Quinn McCloskey, Branden Hinckley, Alex Crotteau) 3:22.80.

By Neil Pierson In the fourth quarter of a Feb. 9 playoff game, Issaquah’s Bijon Sidhu coasted in for an apparent fast-break layup as his team attempted to overturn a double-digit deficit against the Woodinville Falcons. A late challenge from a Woodinville defender put Sidhu under pressure and his shot rolled off the rim, causing the sophomore point guard to slam his hand against the padded wall in frustration. It was the epitome of a disappointing night for the Eagles, who saw their string of Class 4A state-tournament appearances end. After winning trophies in the 2014, ’15 and ’16 state brackets, Issaquah was ousted in this year’s playoff opener, 77-63, in the KingCo Conference tournament at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Sixth-seeded Woodinville (10-10 overall) won this year’s rubber match with Issaquah in a battle of programs that had captured the past two KingCo tournament titles. The third-seeded Eagles (12-9) blistered the nets early in the game, with junior guard Garrett White hitting four straight 3-point attempts as part of his 16 points in the game. But minute by minute, Issaquah’s shots started missing their mark and Woodinville’s started falling. And the Falcons’ confidence soared. “They made a nice run at us,” Issaquah co-coach Neil Mendez said. “I talked to the coach (Greg Turcott) after the game. He said that was probably one of their better games of the season. “You’ve got to tip your hat to those guys for coming out and being aggressive. They wanted it, maybe just a little bit more than us.” Issaquah was dialed in from long distance in the first period, hitting five 3-pointers, including a 3 for 3 effort from White. The Eagles led 22-14 after eight minutes. Woodinville’s first serious charge started midway through the second quarter as senior guard Ethan Tarbet began leading a fastpaced attack. The Falcons also got six points from their bench to pull within 34-31 at halftime. Leading 55-45 entering the fourth, the Falcons kept pouring it on, leading by as many as 16 with under four minutes to play. It mattered little that Issaquah’s Tanner Davis scored 11 of his 20 points in the final period. Sidhu chipped in 14 points for Issaquah, but the Eagles didn’t have enough firepower on a night when Woodinville had its secondhighest offensive output of the season. “Everything we threw at them, they just kind of picked it apart and took everything in waves,” Mendez said. Davis, who was a fouryear varsity player, will continue playing basketball next year at Northwest University in Kirkland. He’s one of six Issaquah seniors who closed out their careers on Feb. 9. “In my opinion, he’s the MVP of the league,” Mendez said. “He meant a ton to every game that we played. He played a ton of minutes and did a lot for us in a lot of different respects.”

The Issaquah Press

champion Woodinville (183) and Bothell (173.8) — qualified as teams for the Feb. Area teams fell short of 16-18 meet. qualifying for this weekIssaquah’s Stephanie end’s state gymnastics Callans, Kensie Wall, Halle meet, but they’ll be sending Walgamott and Sarah Steer several individuals to the will compete for the Eagles competition at the Tacoma based on high-scoring indiDome Exhibition Hall. vidual events. Issaquah finished sixth At district, Callans took with 156.95 points and 16th place on vault (8.35 Skyline was seventh with points) and 20th on floor 147.625 during the Class 4A exercise (8.95) to move on District 2 championships, to state. Wall was 13th on held Feb. 11 at Ballard High vault (8.55), Walgamott tied School in Seattle. for 12th on beam (8.9) and Only the top two teams Steer was 22nd on floor — three-time defending 4A (8.875).

Wrestling from page

building a comfortable lead before pinning Kentlake’s Wesley King in 4 minutes, 41 seconds. The victory over Ureta punched Solusod’s ticket to the regional final, where he lost a 9-5 decision to Kentwood’s Stephen Watson. Solusod credited his coaches, including Kirk Hyatt and Manny Brown, and his practice partner, Kamil Solowieji, for helping him improve. And he may have an advantage as an experienced state participant. “I’ve been there once, so I know not to get distracted by how big the building is and how many people there are,” he said. “But it’s still definitely an eye-opener because there’s a thousand people, all who are the best in the state, so it’s kind of humbling.” South Puget Sound League powers Tahoma and Kentwood dominated at regionals, finishing first and second, respectively, and qualifying 27 individuals for the Class 4A state meet. The top four finishers at each weight moved on to Mat Classic. Skyline scored 80 points for fourth place, including five state qualifiers and one alternate, while Issaquah was seventh with 61.5 points, earning three berths and one alternate’s spot. Issaquah’s other state qualifiers were senior Dean Pearson, who took second at 182 pounds, and senior William Tickman, who was third at 120. Pearson is making his


didn’t reach the medal round. He’ll look to change that this weekend, when he opens the 160-pound bracket against Nathan Marin of South Kitsap. Solusod opened regionals with a sharp performance,





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Car prowls












A $20 bicycle seat was reported stolen at 5:02 p.m. Jan. 23 from the 300 block of Shangri-La Way Northwest.

4At 11:13 a.m. Jan. 25, a 61-year-old Fall City man was arrested for stealing a $61.99 printer from the 1800 block of 10th Avenue Northwest. 4A 41-year-old woman was arrested at 3 p.m. Jan. 31 for attempting to steal $125.98 in printer ink from the 1800 block of 10th Avenue Northwest.

iPad swiped A $600 iPad was reported stolen at 11:34 a.m. Jan. 25 from the 100 block of East Sunset Way.

Wallets stolen 4A wallet and its contents were reported stolen at 7:45 a.m. Jan. 28 from the 1000 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard. 4A wallet was reported stolen at 8:45 a.m. Jan. 28 from the 1000 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

Debit card taken A debit card and $220 in cash were reported taken at 10:48 a.m. Jan. 28 from the 1800 block of 15th Place Northwest.

Grand theft auto 4A $5,000 vehicle was reported stolen at 6:41 a.m. Jan. 29 from the 4600 block of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. 4A 2004 Acura TL valued at $5,000 was reported stolen at 9:34 a.m. Jan. 30 from the 18300 block of Southeast Newport Way.

Burglary At 10 a.m. Jan. 30, someone stole costume jewelry and a cash register from the 1000 block of Northwest Inneswood Drive. Total loss was valued at $865.

Gas guzzled

4Sometime before 11:16 a.m. Jan. 30, someone stole 4A 35-year-old Issaquah gas from a tank in the 1000 man was arrested at 5:53 block of 17th Avenue Northp.m. Jan. 24 in the 900 west. Total loss including block of Discovery Circle damage to the tank was Northeast for assault, mali- $530. cious mischief, exposing 4Sometime before 6:29 minors to domestic violence p.m. Jan. 31, someone stole and causing $100 damage gas from Toyota Tundra’s to a door. tank in the 1000 block of 4A 27-year-old Issaquah 17th Avenue Northwest. woman was arrested at 6:32 Total loss including damage p.m. Jan. 28 for domestic to the tank was $336. violence and obstructing 4Sometime before 2:20 officers in the 200 block of p.m. Feb. 2, someone stole Southwest Clark Street. gas from a fuel tank in the 4A 19-year-old Issaquah 1000 block of 17th Avenue woman was arrested at Northwest. Total loss in10:10 p.m. Jan. 29 for cluding damage to the tank domestic violence in the 300 was $3,000. block of Shangri-La Way Northwest. Gratuitous graffiti

Domestic violence

4An iPod and charger were reported stolen at 12:05 p.m. from a 2009 Volkswagen GTI in the 4300 block of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. 4At 2:05 pm. Jan. 23, a vehicle was reported broken into and a phone and pack were stolen in the 18700 block of Southeast Newport Way. Total loss including damage was valued at $1,350. 4Someone cause $250 in damage breaking into a window of a 2006 Toyota Corolla in the 2100 block of Northwest Poplar Way sometime before 8:16 p.m. Jan. 24. 4Someone broke into a

Flagpole filched A $25 flagpole was reported stolen at 9:05 a.m. Jan. 25 from the 200 block of Southeast Bush Street.

Someone caused $500 in damage spray painting graffiti under a bridge in the 500 block of Northwest Juniper Street sometime before 1 p.m. Jan. 31.

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4During a routine traffic stop at 11:33 a.m. Jan. 23 at Front Street North and East Sunset Way, a 63-yearold Seattle man was subsequently arrested on an outstanding warrant. 4A 21-year-old Issaquah man was arrested on an License plate stolen outstanding warrant at A license plate was re5:04 p.m. Jan. 27 in the 100 ported stolen at 7:57 a.m. block of East Sunset Way. Jan. 21 from a vehicle in the 4A 20-year-old Omaha 700 block of Eighth Avenue man was arrested at 11:58 Northeast. p.m. Jan. 28 for domestic violence and an outstanding warrant in the 900 block of Mailboxes mauled Northeast Ingram Street. Sometime before 9:42 a.m. Jan. 21, someone Bicycle stolen caused $3,500 in damage to a community mailbox in the A $3,749 bicycle was 22600 block of Southeast reported stolen at 1:25 p.m. 64th Place. Feb. 2 from the 700 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast.



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2016 VW Jetta sometime before 10 a.m. Jan. 25 in 4At 10:06 a.m. Jan. the 4400 block of 19th Place 20, someone stole $620 in Southeast and stole a pair of alcohol from a business in shoes. Total loss including the 700 block of Northwest damage was $350. Gilman Boulevard. 4A $500 GPS was re4At 6:12 p.m. Jan. 20, ported stolen at 5:09 a.m. another $330 in alcohol was Jan. 30 from a 2013 Ford stolen from a business in Transit in the 18700 block the 700 block of Northwest of Southeast Newport Way. Gilman Boulevard. 4Sometime before 9:57 4At 11:23 p.m. Jan. 20, a.m. Jan. 30, someone someone stole $1,067.70 of broke into a vehicle in the alcohol from the 1400 block 900 block of Northeast of Highlands Drive Northeast. Ingram Way, causing $300 4Someone stole $278 in in damage. alcohol at 9:58 a.m. Jan. 21 4Someone broke into from a business in the 700 a vehicle in the 900 block block of Northwest Gilman of Northeast High Street, Boulevard. causing $300 in damage, sometime before 11:18 a.m. Jan. 30. Assault 4At 8:45 p.m. Jan. 30, At 12:06 a.m. Jan. 21, a the owner of a car in the 24-year-old Covington man 700 block of Rainier Boulewas arrested for assault, vard North reported somemalicious mischief and obone broke into the vehicle structing law enforcement causing $400 in damage to in the 900 block of Fifth the ignition. Avenue Northwest.

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first state appearance and opens with Josh Erling of Glacier Peak. Tickman, who qualified in 2015, opens against Jose Campos of Sunnyside. Issaquah senior Chase Helgeson was fifth at 170 pounds, good for an alternate’s spot. Skyline sophomore Kenta Despe (113) led a parade of four first-time qualifiers for the Spartans. Teammates Cole Turner (113), Nick Beatty (195) and Matt Oss (220) will be making their debuts, while Scott Huff (138) is going for a second time. Chris Harper (182) is an alternate. Despe opened regionals with an 11-5 decision over Kentlake’s Robert Ashabraner. He sewed up the state berth with a narrow win over Kentwood’s Steven Bounyavong, 10-8. Despe avoided the disappointment of his freshman season when he was a state alternate. He’ll take on Mikah Fathers of Auburn Riverside at Mat Classic. “Last year, this was the point where I failed and I don’t really take failure that easily,” Despe said. “I don’t think many people do. But I think I put in enough effort this year and last year … I think, finally, it’s all coming to bear fruit.” Other Feb. 17 first-round matchups for Skyline are Turner against Glacier Peak’s Parker Hardy; Huff against Central Valley’s Bridger Beard; Beatty against South Kitsap’s Izaiah Davis; and Oss against Mariner’s Cayden #5377 Herbert. At the Class 2A Region II meet in Blaine, Liberty scored 56 points for ninth place and will send four athletes to Mat Classic. Jacob Holm was the runnerup at 132 pounds, Brendan Nguyen was third at 195, and Juan Flores (145) and Jakob DaSilva (285) were fourth in their divisions.


ACROSS 1. Hairy creatures 5. Baseball’s Roger __ 10. Biblical book 14. Lacks the skills to 15. Common contraction 16. __ fixe 17. Pennsylvania port 18. Member of a famous quartet 19. Trait transmitter 20. Candidate of the 1950s 23. Out of __; behaving improperly 24. Ike’s command: abbr. 25. Period of time 28. Cause to explode 33. Speak publicly 34. Punctuation mark 35. Argon or helium 36. Sniffer 37. Of inferior quality 38. Dines 39. Carbohydrate: suff. 40. Bracelet dangler 41. First name in cosmetics 42. British soldiers in the 18th century 44. Resews part of a garment 45. Colony member 46. To __; precisely 47. Candidate of the 1970s 54. Unbalanced 55. “__ For the Misbegotten” 56. Letters, bills and junk 58. Plumbing piece 59. Prefix for sound or violet 60. Sea bird 61. Direction 62. Strong fiber 63. Action 1

Skyline’s Anna Olsen reached state in three events, placing sixth on uneven bars (8.5), seventh on floor (9.25) and 14th on beam (8.8). Skyline’s Ally Kruper qualified on vault, tying for 17th (8.325). In the 3A/2A/1A District 2 meet, Liberty’s Ting Pan was the Patriots’ only state qualifier. She’ll compete on vault after tying for ninth place (8.3). Holy Names, Kamiakin, Lake Washington and Mount Spokane will compete for the team title after wrapping up berths.



Local gymnasts qualify for state championships By Neil Pierson

Thursday, February 16, 2017 •



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The Issaquah Press

‘We’re on a growth path, but it’s a slow process’

Robotics from the ground up at Gibson Ek By Stuart Miller As Gibson Ek, Issaquah’s new alternative high school, experiences its first year educating students, the school’s robotics team is also learning rookie lessons after starting from scratch this year. Part of the Turing League, Gibson Ek competed at the Jan. 14 Interleague Championship in Everett, winning two of its five matches by applying knowledge and lessons learned from the team’s first few months together, but it fell short of advancing to the state championship. The young 12-student team is comprised of eight freshman and four sophomores. They really didn’t know each other before this school year. “We didn’t know what to expect,” freshman Madeline King said. Only a few team members had experience in robotics prior to joining Gibson Ek Robotics, sophomore Evon Mahesh said. “At first, they started out lacking a purpose,” teacher and robotics coach Andy McDonald said. “By the end of it, they had a clear sense of purpose and what they wanted out of the club.” There’s been a steep learning curve. At the first Turing League event in November, the team finished last in a 14-team competition. In the second event in December, the team took eighth place. “We got better,” Mahesh said. “We’re on a growth path, but it’s a slow process.” Part of that growth process has been learning from some green mistakes. At the first competition, freshman Michael Oshima said, the team forgot to bring an Allen wrench they needed to fix its robot’s main axle between heats. They now make sure to check their tools and the robot’s mechanics before heading to events. The robot that competed Jan. 14 was the third, improved version of the robot. “We basically completely rebuild it between every competition,” Oshima said. Gibson Ek’s non-traditional class schedule and school set-up work well for the robotics team. Mahesh, who transferred from Skyline High School after his freshman year, said the confinement of traditional class schedules was a main factor in his decision to transfer. With no rigid “period” system at Gibson Ek, students have much more freedom in how they choose to learn. Students on the robotics team can even spend “independent work time” during the school day working on the robot, King said. “The (robotics) program meshes with the structure of Gibson Ek perfectly,” said Dan Rosenstein, a coach for the team. Rosenstein said he’s one of four or five mentors that helps guide the robotics team. After spending five years coaching the Issaquah High School robotics team, Rosenstein switched to Gibson Ek for the inaugural year. He’s volunteered hundreds of hours this year to FIRST Washington, which hosts the robotics leagues. His volunteer hours have funded Gibson Ek’s team through a Microsoft benefit program that donates money for its employees’ volunteer hours. FIRST Washington, a group that promotes student interest in science and technology, runs the First Tech Challenge, which includes the Turing League. This year’s competitive focus is “vortex velocity,” a physics-based theme. Challenges, based on a central

Greg Farrar /

Gibson Ek High School freshman Michael Oshima (lower left), with (from left) freshman Ian Hutchinson, freshman Madeline King and sophomore Jimmy Battistoni work on their robot in between rounds of competition at Mount Si Freshman Campus Dec. 10 during the FIRST Tech Challenge Turing League event.

said. “We were peas in a pod.” Fellow Issaquah graduate Zaviar Brown trained Radcliffe when he first started, and the duo often worked side-by-side on busy nights. Brown originally had the day off on Tuesday, but he and others rearranged schedules so they could make sure it was all hands on deck to honor Radcliffe at the restaurant on Feb. 7. “Mo was always able to make people laugh and never hurt anyone,” Brown said. Triboulet said she was watching the news when she learned her co-worker was killed. It left her heartbroken, but she’s happy to have the image of his wide grin forever emblazoned in her mind. “He had the nicest, brightest, flashiest smile, no matter what, no matter how busy, no matter how chaotic it was,” she said. “He was always smiling. That will never leave me.”

The Gibson Ek robotics team has resolved to continue the working through the rest of the school year, even though their season of compeitions is over. theme, change every year.

The match From roughly 15-person rosters, each individual team has two driver/operators, a coach and a robot in any given match. Each team competes in several matches per event. The two-and-a-half minute match starts off with a 30-second “autonomous” period. Robots will use only their pre-match programming to move from the starting position against the wall and try to score points. Knocking a large exercise ball, called a “cap ball,” off its stand onto the floor, scores five points. Shooting a large whiffle ball called a “particle ball” into a “vortex” will score points. Scoring in the center vortex, a basket-like

structure raised a few feet off the ground, earns 15 points. Particle balls shot through corner vortexes, small ramps with openings at the top, can earn five points each. Robots can also score by nudging one of the four “beacons” around the cage walls, turning it blue or red for their respective alliance. In this capture-the-flag style challenge, the beacon’s color at the end of the match will determine who is awarded points. A robot autonomously parked in specified locations at the end of the 30 seconds can earn even more points. After 30 seconds, the twominute driver-controlled period begins. Two teammates operate video game controllers programmed to control their robots. One teammate will move the robot around the floor while another operates whatever mecha-


As restaurant employees continue to process their grief, they banded together Feb. 7 to raise money for Radcliffe’s family. Hop Jack’s donated 20 percent of all sales from 5-9 p.m. In what was the restaurant’s busiest Tuesday night ever, Hop Jack’s raised a total of $2,272 through sales and donations. “Mo is part of our family here,” said Tim Taniguchi, the restaurant’s general manager. “We really wanted to honor Mo, because we know that he is a guy that would have been here tonight. This would be one of those days he’d be here taking care of business.” Co-workers remembered

“His dog is so goofy,” said Joshua Snyder, who worked with Radcliffe in the kitchen. “I’ve seen that dog take out Mo like three times, just running through his legs. They were inseparable.” Snyder and Radcliffe became good friends over the last few months. They played poker together, hung out away from work and enjoyed general “bro time,” Snyder said. The fast friends also bonded over their love for “SpongeBob SquarePants.” “He’s one of the few friends I have that we can quote the entire first five years of ‘SpongeBob’ like word-for-word, every episode, up until the ‘SpongeBob’ movie. After that, the episodes lost their quality, we both agreed,” Snyder said. He saw Radcliffe as a “friend for life,” someone he could always depend on. “It’s been really sad,” Snyder

Stuart Miller /

Co-workers from page

The Turing League in which Gibson Ek competes is only one of many throughout the state. About

11,000 kids participate with more than 1,000 robotics teams throughout Washington, said Erin McCallum, president of FIRST Washington. FIRST Washington is the largest after-school STEM program in state, McCallum said. Its goal is to promote interest in science and technology. The robot competition helps get kids interested in the subjects. “The robot is a shiny object that gets them excited and motivated, but teams learn so much more,” McCallum said. “Robot performance is a very small portion of the overall program.” Each team of up to 15 kids has a project leader, who is like the captain of the team. Below that, there are department heads for each category of work. A business coordinator tries to garner community sponsorships, reaches out to other organizations and takes care of the financial aspect of the project. The programming lead takes charge of the Java code written for Android operating systems. The design lead and the engineering-building lead get the physical robot body and mechanisms built. The skills involved with running a competitive robotics team are the same skills that employers around our region are looking for, McCallum said. While the Gibson Ek robotics team had a lot of learning to do its first year, Rosenstein said that the goal is to make it to the state championship in the next few years. With a young team comprised of freshman and sophomores, the students will have several years to learn together, form team bonds and improve their skills. McDonald said that the team has resolved to continue the robotics club through the rest of the school year, even though their season is over. They’ll meet at least once a week to work on design and development of mechanisms, focusing on key pieces of the competition challenges from years past.

Christina Corrales-Toy /

Hop Jack’s employees set up a donation bin and flyer before the fundraising event for Mo Radcliffe’s family begins Feb. 7 at the Klahanie restaurant. Radcliffe as easygoing, kind and always smiling. He enjoyed snowboarding, playing video games with his friends and muay thai, a combat sport originated in

Thailand. One of Radcliffe’s greatest loves was his golden retriever, Blu. He talked about the canine all the time, co-workers said.

nisms they’ve built into it. Similar scoring applies during driver-control, but the points are less valuable than during autonomous-control. The final 30 seconds of the match are called the “end game.” During this time, robots may try to lift the exercise ball off the ground to score points. Ending the game with the ball off the floor scores 10 points, lifting it 40 centimeters high earns 20 points, and placing the ball into the center vortex basket earns 40 points. Maneuvering the exercise ball is considered the trickiest part of the competition.

The league

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