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March 10, 2010 Locally owned Founded 1992 50 cents

Domestic violence increases

Olympic dreams

By J.B. Wogan

One Sammamish man remembers a time when his ex-wife’s temper would boil over at night, turning to physical abuse. “There would be slapping and clawing, a little bit of kicking,” he said. It happened six or seven times before he finally called police. “I wouldn’t call because I was never injured. You know, you don’t want to have your wife arrested.” The man spoke on the condition of anonymity, though he did say that he, his ex-wife and children still live in Sammamish.

Photo by J.B. Wogan

Paul Goehring, 13, Lena Alexander, 6 and Olivia Goehring, 13 protest the plan to dismantle the 115-year-old Freed House.

Residents stick up for historic home Freed House fans turn up at City Hall to make their case for preservation

“You know, you don’t want to have your wife arrested.” – Anonymous Domestic violence victim–

By J.B. Wogan Photo by Greg Farrar

His story is not unusual, even in a city known throughout the region for its affluence, high-quality schools and low crime. The most common crime related to domestic violence is a simple assault, where one person touches another person in an unlawful or unwanted manner. Police reported a 10.4 percent increase in simple assaults related to domestic violence between 2008 and 2009. The cases run the spectrum of threats, violence and abuse. One woman called police after her roommate, who has a history of violence, threatened to kill her. A son suffering from mental illness drank too much, broke See VIOLENCE, Page 2

Endeavour Elementary fourth-grader Maggie Iuppa, 9, was among 200 people who met Olympic bronze medalist, J.R. Celski, March 3 at the 24 Hour Fitness on East Lake Sammamish Parkway. She gave Celski the diorama of the short-track speed-skating oval where he competed. Celski signed autographs during his visit and posed for pictures.

“Save the Reard-Freed House,” one sign read. “Strip malls and cul-de-sacs don’t have character,” another one read. In the past, advocates of the city’s 115-year-old farmstead

home have been adults and members of the preservationist group, the Sammamish Heritage Society. This time, many of the building’s would-be rescuers weren’t old enough to drive. Lena Alexander, 6, Olivia Goehring, 13, and Paul Goehring, 13, were some of the sign bearers at the City Council meeting March 3. Elyse Kelsey, a student at Pine Lake Middle School, asked the council not to demolish the Freed See FREED, Page 3

Aldarra annexation runs into resistance By J.B. Wogan

Residents from the Aldarra and Montaine neighborhoods appear to be a house divided. One side wants to join the city of Sammamish. The other says most residents don’t want in and some were even tricked into signing an annexation petition.

The neighborhoods are located outside of the southeast corner of city limits. If annexed, they would increase the city in size by 93.3 acres and in population by 832 people. To reach this stage, the petition had to have signatures representing 60 percent or more of the total property values in the

two neighborhoods. It had 62.2 percent. However, a large portion of that percentage came from John Buchan Construction, the developer who built many of the homes in Aldarra and Montaine. At the time the petition was signed, the company owned land worth about 18 percent of

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the property value in the two neighborhoods. Tom Bartlett, who lives in the Montaine subdivision, complained that annexation petition gatherers misled his neighbors into signing the petition. “I knew a sales pitch when I

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See ANNEX, Page 6

2 •

March 10, 2010

Violence Continued from Page 1

things in their house and resolved to drive off — that is, before an officer talked him down, taser in hand. A boyfriend, already diagnosed with depression, admitted to police that he did wreck his apartment and frighten his girlfriend. In 2009, there were 53 simple assaults related to domestic violence, up from 48 in 2008.

Get help Experts say that people who suspect they are victims of domestic violence should evaluate whether they are currently in danger. If so, call 911. For additional support services, victims have a few options. They can reach Detective Amy Jarboe at the Sammamish Police Station by calling 425-295-0770. To contact the Eastside Domestic Violence Program, call its 24-hour crisis hotline at 425-7461940 or go to To contact the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, call its 24-hour crisis hotline at 425-656-7867 or go to Aside from simple assaults, the most common type of report related to domestic violence is a violation of a court order. Those were up 71.4 percent, from 14 in 2008 to 24 in 2009. Family disturbances related to domestic violence experienced a 64.3 percent increase, from 14 incidents in 2008 to 25 in 2009. Threats of domestic violence stayed the same, eight in 2008 and in 2009. The only area where domestic violence appeared to be down was in vandalism reports. There


were six in 2008 and only lence. three in 2009. Schram said her orga“I think it’s just the nization rejects the economy. There are so notion that the economy many people out of is responsible for an work,” said Sammamish increase in domestic viopolice detective Amy lence cases. She said her Jarboe. Until December organization emphasizes 2008, Jarboe was part of a that domestic violence is 10-person Domestic about power and control. Violence Intervention “There are stress facUnit run by the King tors that fluctuate in our County Sheriff’s world,” she said. Department. “Unemployment doesn’t The unit dissolved durcause domestic vioing budget cuts, and only lence.” Jarboe and two other Hobbs said the econodetectives still specialize my doesn’t cause domesin domestic violence in tic violence, but it can the county. Jarboe serves make things worse, Sammamish, North Bend, motivating more victims Kenmore and unincorpoto seek help. rated King County. Schram said statistics She said victims often indicate that victims of describe stress factors domestic violence are that led to the violence women 80 to 95 percent and the down economy is of the time, depending one of those factors. on the report. Chart by Dona Mokin “It’s usually over As such, the bulk of Assaults have increased by 56 percent from their 2006 low of 34 cases to 53 in money or it’s over excesher organization’s 2009. sive use of alcohol,” she resources go toward said. “I do hear a lot of them shelter for victims of domestic doesn’t have enough emergency helping women. But both the complain about being unemviolence. housing for victims of domestic Eastside Domestic Violence ployed or having too much debt.” Deanna Hobbs, a spokeswomviolence either. In 2009, the Program and Domestic Abuse Jarboe said police reports of an for the program, said her women’s network had to turn Women’s Network answer calls domestic violence only reflect a agency received 276 crisis hotline away 23 out of every 24 women from men and provide support fraction of what’s happening — calls from Sammamish residents in need. for men, she said. victims often suffer instances of in 2009, up from 98 calls in 2008. “That is extremely high,” she “Yes, men can be victims. domestic violence five times In spite of havsaid. “We’ve There is same-sex abuse (and) before contacting police, she said. ing two shel“It’s usually over money seen that going men can be victims of women,” The state defines domestic ters, the up for the last she said. or it’s over excessive use three to four violence broadly to include Eastside crimes committed by one family Domestic years.” Reporter J.B. Wogan can be of alcohol. I do hear a member or household member Violence Schram said reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or lot of them complain against another. Program only domestic To comThere isn’t a specific domestic had emergency about being unemployed lence crosses ment on this story, visit violence crime, so police reports housing availsocioeconomic or having too much related to domestic violence are able for one borders and debt.” filed under a variety of names: out of every 18 impacts all Correction simple assault, violation of court women in communities, – Amy Jarboe, The March 3 story about order, harassment, threat, crimineed. regardless of Sammamish Police choice schools in the Lake nal trespass and vandalism, Three years wealth. detective – Washington School District among others. ago, the rate She said it’s contained an error. Nonprofit agencies that serve was lower — possible that Renaissance School of Art victims of domestic violence say about one of every 13 women affluent people in Sammamish and Reasoning is located on the need for support services is could get housing, Hobbs said. are able to hide it better, able to the Eastlake High School only becoming greater. Sandi Schram, director of find safe shelter easier and able campus. The Bellevue-based Eastside housing for the Tukwilla-based to access support services easier, Domestic Violence Program proDomestic Abuse Women’s but they are not cordoned off vides education, counseling and Network, said her organization from the dangers of domestic vio-

March 3, 2010 Locally owned Founded 1992 50 cents

Teens weigh in on rec center By J.B. Wogan

Christopher Williamson, 17, doesn’t seem too concerned about whether teens think the future city recreation center is cool – they’ll use it. “There’s not really an alternative,” he said. Williamson is chairman of the Youth Leadership Board, a group of six high school students who interact with the City Council. The board is scheduled to make recommendations to the council April 6 about what it wants in the new recreation center. The city is partnering with the Sammamish-Redmond Boys and Girls Club to operate the facility, which would be located at the old Sammamish Public Library building, near the intersection of 228th Avenue and Inglewood Hill Road. No one has decided exactly what will go in it

yet. A 2007 concept proposal by the Boys and Girls Club included a list of potential features: ◆ A new 7,000 square-foot gymnasium with a climbing wall ◆ A game room with a stage for performances

“I think a lot of teens would be excited about it if they knew about it.” – Christopher Willamson, Sammamish Youth Board – ◆ A technology lab ◆ A music and video production studio ◆ An art studio ◆ A commercial kitchen ◆ A meeting room ◆ A mezzanine for staff offices Since then, adults at council meetings have talked about

other uses for the building, such as programs for senior citizens and space for hanging art. But what do Sammamish teens want? Williamson said he doesn’t think most teens even know the recreation center is in the works. “As far as I know, the only people who are really aware of this are people on the Sammamish Youth Board,” he said. “I think a lot of teens would be excited about it if they knew about it.” Williamson said he drives to Redmond for bowling and golf. When it comes to activities in Sammamish, there’s walking and there’s biking, but that’s about it, he said. “Personally, I’d like to see pingpong tables and some sport related games,” he said. The youth board also dis-

Breakdown of Sammamish Firefighter Calls (2009)

0.1% 4% 4.5% 18.4% 60.6% 12.2%

Emergency medical services Other Automatic fire alarms Fire-related calls Motor vehicle accidents Rescue calls

See TEEN, Page 3

Residents talk about park needs By J.B. Wogan

scheduled to meet April Getting an 19 to talk indoor aquatic about what center in citizens said Sammamish they wanted, was either and how imperative or that would something not feed into a worth botherformal docuing with until ment outlinthe economy ing parks turns around — projects in it depended on the next six which person years. The you asked. result will be A group of a broad outresidents met line of what Feb. 22 to disPhoto by J.B. Wogan people want cuss the city of Parks Director Jessi Richardson spoke at Discovery Elementary in their Sammamish’s School Feb. 22 about the city’s six-year parks plan. parks, withplans for its out getting parks system for the next six years. It was one of a into questions of what specific amenities might 10-part series of town hall-like meetings the city is appear in a specific park. hosting through March. The City Council and Parks Commission are See PARKS, Page 2

60.6% 18.4% 12.2% 4.5% 4% 0.1%

Emergency medical response dominates firefighter workload By J.B. Wogan

Sammamish firefighters spend a small fraction of their time fighting fires. That’s one overwhelming trend in a recent report from Eastside Fire & Rescue. Over the last five years, 5.1 percent of calls to EFR firefighters involved a fire. In 2009, 4.5 percent of calls were fire related. Most of EFR’s incidents in Sammamish — 60.6 percent in

Technology class and service

skyline takes kingco title

Schools page 12

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2009, 62 percent in the last five years — were for emergency medical services. In the last five years, the city averaged about 1,073 emergency medical services incidents each year. Last year was slightly below that average at 1,068. Wes Collins, deputy chief of planning at EFR, said emergency medical services incidents are everything from a cut finger to a

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See RESPONSE, Page 3



because they have more commercial buildings with fire alarm systems in place, he said. Continued from Page 1 What partners in EFR pay does not correlate with incident heart attack, from falling down counts. the stairs to twisting an ankle on Issaquah has the most incithe sidewalk. dents per year (averaging about The rest of the calls in 2009 3,100), but is paying the third included automatic fire alarms most out of the five partners (12.2 percent), motor vehicle (about $4.6 million in 2010). accidents (4 percent), rescue Sammamish has the third most calls (0.1 percent) and 18.4 perincidents per year (averaging cent were classified as “other.” about 1,731), but pays the second Other is a catchall category most (about $5.3 million in 2010). that includes non-emergency King County Fire District 10 has incidents as false alarms, broken the second most incidents per gas pipes, flooded basements and year (averaging about 1,733) but investigating suspicious subpays the most ($6.8 million in stances that could be hazardous. 2010). EFR is an The funding interlocal fire model for EFR “Whether the call is protection is based on made, or not made, the property valagency that serves a 190ues. The concost is the same.” square-mile cept is that res– Wes Collins, area, encomidents pay for Deputy Chief – passing fire protection Sammamish, and emergency Issaquah, medical North Bend, Carnation, May response in case something does Valley, Tiger Mountain, happen — regardless of whether Wilderness Rim and Preston. it actually does. The EFR report shows that Collins said the agency could emergency medical services have zero emergency medical make up the bulk of incidents services incidents in a given year, across the agency. In the last five and it would barely show up in years, emergency medical the annual budget. response calls constituted 66.4 “Whether the call is made, or percent of incidents in the agennot made, the cost is the same,” cy’s urban areas and 55.3 percent he explained. in its rural areas. The EFR’s incident count The urban areas — report also showed that firefightSammamish, Issaquah, North ers respond to significantly more Bend and Carnation — tend to incidents on Fridays and have a slightly lower percentage Saturdays than on other days of of incidents related to fires and the week. motor vehicle accidents, but The report also showed that higher percentages for emergenthe number of incidents more cy medical services and automatthan doubled between 5 a.m. and ic fire alarms. 9 a.m. and shrunk by about the Collins said urban areas tend same amount between 7 p.m. to have higher emergency mediand 11 p.m. cal services incidents because cities have higher concentrations Reporter J.B. Wogan can be of senior citizens, who are more reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or prone to injury. To comUrban areas have more automent on this story, visit matic fire alarm incidents

March 3, 2010 •

Teen Continued from Page 1

cussed having a fish tank and outfitting the gym with a stage for performances, Williamson said. Several other Eastlake High School students wrote e-mails with their thoughts on the recreation center. Danielle Dales said she supported the concept of a recreation center and thought there was a demand for something like it. “Because of the lack of a place to go, students are forced to drive off the plateau to do anything fun — something that parents don’t always allow,” she said. Nilofar Ganjaie said he thought the recreation center would have trouble competing with the Old Fire House in Redmond. He noted there was a similar venue in Kirkland, too. Dune Butler said he uses centers in neighboring cities, including one in Bellevue, but

he would like to have one in his community, too. Kaitlyn Bunger, an Eastlake graduate, said Sammamish needs more indoor sports facilities. She said teens could make use of an indoor track and indoor sports courts. “Even though it’s a rec center, a little movie theater room would be awesome, too! It’s so inconvenient to have to travel off the plateau to see a movie,” Bunger said. The city is scheduled to host two meetings about the recreation center at Inglewood Junior High School at 6:30 p.m. March 8 and at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. March 11. Jane Ronngren, branch director for the RedmondSammamish Boys and Girls Club, said the meetings will help shape the specific features in the facility. “We definitely have our own ideas, but we want to hear what the community has to say,” she said. One way the club is trying to get input is through visits to the local schools. She said her teen

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director and a city parks commissioner were stopping by during lunch and talking to teens about the center. But the space would be available to more than just teens, she added. Most teens said they would mostly use the space on weekends and sometimes on weeknights. There would be hours during school days, and on school nights, when many teens wouldn’t be using the center. The Boys and Girls Club may focus on youths, but it might be able to staff adult and senior programs. If not, the club could partner with organizations that would, Ronngren said. To give the Boys and Girls Club suggestions about the club, call Ronngren at 425-836-9295. To reach the city’s Parks Commission, call administrative assistant Janie Marie at 425-2950585. Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

December 23, 2009 Locally owned Founded 1992 50 cents

Police chase leads to missing mail

Merry Christmas to all

By J.B. Wogan

About a day after a police chase led to the recovery of a car load of missing mail, Sammamish Police Sgt. Robert Baxter had already fielded about 50 phone calls from people hoping theirs had been found. Most got bad news. “If we haven’t contacted you, we don’t have your mail,” Baxter said. Sammamish police pursued a suspect’s vehicle Dec. 15, beginning in Sammamish, weaving through Issaquah, and finishing off the High Point exit of Interstate 90 in Preston. The arrest of two Snoqualmie Valley-area women and the ensuing investigation turned up about 100 pieces of mail that police say are stolen. The mail comes from 24 different addresses in Sammamish, Redmond, Issaquah and Snoqualmie, according to police. Baxter explained that police are taking the initiative in communicating with residents whose mail they have. “We’re hoping that they can tell us if there might be other things that they might be missing,” he added. Police say they also found evidence linking the suspects to vehicle prowls in Bellevue and auto thefts in North Bend and See CHASE, Page 2

Photo by Christopher Huber

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints second ward youth group perform in a live nativity Dec. 18.

After 10 years, city will abide by state law By J.B. Wogan

What Troy Romero and Phil Dyer remember about 1999 is the cascade of work that went into forming a city from scratch. Neither of them remember hearing anything about a state law that mandated two-year mayoral terms. “I never heard that,” Romero said. “That’s still just one law to consider. You can’t even imagine … each week, we had to pass law, lots of law.” City Attorney Bruce Disend

said he tried to discuss the matter with the original council (including Romero and Dyer), but the council decided to have one-year terms anyway. The intent was to give multiple council members leadership experience, Disend said. “Everybody was a very strong leader in the community in their areas. Unlike some councils, I think everybody had an interest in being mayor,” Romero said. A state law passed in 1967 says mayors in city govern-

ments like Sammamish must have two-year terms. For 10 years, the city has been violating that law. “We see no legal authority for a council to vary from that twoyear term requirement,” wrote Pam James, a legal consultant with the Municipal Research and Services Center, in an email. The center is a nonprofit government consultant. James added that there isn’t case law or an attorney general opinion on the issue and that “nobody may care and challenge

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the council’s authority to provide a one-year term for the mayor.” State law doesn’t have a penalty established for not complying on mayoral terms, she said. Tim Ford, assistant attorney general for government accountability, agreed with James. “Aside from an audit standing, I don’t know that there is any kind of enforcement mechanism to ensure that cities com-

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Terms Continued from Page 1

ply with a two-year term,” Ford said. Like James, he noted that historically, no case law exists regarding the state-mandated mayoral terms. “That doesn’t surprise me because I would think the majority of all cities comply with this,” Ford said. Sammamish has a councilmanager form of government where citizens elect seven council members and the council, in turn, hires a city manager to manage staff and execute directives from the council. The council also selects one of its members to be mayor. The mayor helps to schedule and run meetings, and he usually acts as the city representative at public events like ribbon cuttings. One-year terms did give the majority of council members leadership experience. Of the 11 people who have served on the council thus far, nine have been mayor at least once. The council did comply with state law once, if only by accident: Romero was mayor in 2001 and 2002. The issue might be moot now. Disend recommended Dec. 1 that the council change the length of terms to comply with state law and after two and a half meetings, it did. On Dec. 15, the council voted 6-0 in favor of changing the length of mayoral terms to two years, with Councilwoman Kathy Huckabay absent. Both Romero and Dyer said they thought the change was appropriate. One-year terms were better in the city’s early years when the work load was more significant for a mayor. Today, a longer term might give the mayor more visibility and influence.

December 23, 2009 • 3

“There’s an advantage to having a mayor that’s known to the community and known to others,” Romero said. Current City Councilman Mark Cross, who was mayor in 2007, advocated for the change, not only because it would put the city in compliance with state law. “It would be good for a single person to track and follow a (twoyear) budget cycle to completion,” Cross said, adding that it would also help with advocating for Sammamish issues in a regional setting. But Huckabay, who was part of the original council, was still

against the idea. She said it makes the mayor more influential than he or she is supposed to be. “The mayor is really one of seven,” Huckabay said. Sammamish voters do not elect mayors — they elect seven equally empowered council members, she explained. Like Romero and Dyer, Huckabay doesn’t remember hearing legal counsel that oneyear terms would violate state law. She said she believes Disend when he says he cautioned against one-year terms, but adds that if the council had received

strong direction to establish twoyear terms, it would have done so. She questioned whether it was really necessary to comply with state law in this case, when no apparent penalty exists. Huckabay also said the timing could create a political problem. “It’s just that it’s so awkward because it comes at a point when people start to strategize who’s going to be mayor and deputy mayor,” Huckabay said. John Curley, John James and Tom Odell take three seats on the council next year. All three said they would prefer to weigh in on the issue in January.

Odell added that he recognized the council would likely have to switch to two-year terms and that it probably didn’t matter who approved the decision. The question in his mind was whether a lame duck council should make a decision on determining how long a council member can be mayor. In previous meetings, Huckabay voiced the same concern. City Council members Lee Fellinge and Nancy Whitten also expressed strong reservations about voting before the new council takes office, though they did anyway.

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December 9, 2009 Locally owned Founded 1992 50 cents

City won’t hike taxes in 2010

One for the thumb

By J.B. Wogan

Photo by Greg Farrar

The Skyline Spartans celebrate after winning their third straight state title, and their fifth in nine years. For game coverage, go to Page 18.

Myra Marton-Schultz was relieved to hear that the city isn’t raising the property tax in 2010. “That’s a good thing,” she said. Marton-Schultz lives by Sahalee Way in the north end of Sammamish. She described herself as lucky to have purchased her house at a low price. But that didn’t protect her from the diminishing value of property in 2010, where Sammamish homes saw a drop of about 16 percent on average. “Our house is worth less than what we paid for it,” she said. A Sammamish homeowner’s property taxes might still go up in 2010, but if so, the city won’t be to blame. The City Council passed a budget Dec. 1 that forgoes an increase in property taxes. The

projected tax rate for the city of Sammamish would be $2.42 per $1,000 of home value. For the median home value in Sammamish ($600,000), the city would collect $1,220. Once other governments and groups with taxing authority add in their taxes, the number will go up. The council’s decision to keep property tax revenues at the current level came as it passed a $72.5 million spending plan for 2010. The city’s Finance Department projects collecting $49.9 million in revenues for 2010. Since the city began in 1999, the council has always raised the amount it collects by 1 percent each year, the maximum allowed by law. But even with the council choosing to keep the amount the See TAXES, Page 3

Eastlake student Animal control is up in the air saves officer’s life By J.B. Wogan

By Christopher Huber

Up until Nov. 7, Eastlake senior and Running Start student Taylor Kowalski didn’t really believe in miracles. Up until that day she had never been late to class either. But her experience on campus at Bellevue College as she ran to class that day changed her view on life. Kowalski likely saved the life of campus police officer James McClung after helping him when he collapsed, according to the college and the McClung

family. The family said doctors are still somewhat stumped as to what caused him to lose consciousness Taylor Kowalski and fall, but they are leaning toward it being a sort of seizure. At 70, McClung had spent See HERO, Page 2

Susan Schlosstein watched Cocoa, her long, chocolate, mixed-breed dog bound through the off-leash area at Beaver Lake Park Dec. 2. Cocoa is officially licensed because Schlosstein paid a $30 fee to King County. However, she is in a distinct minority of pet owners. The lax rate of pet licensing is one factor contributing to a coming shake-up in the way King County handles animals. Yet, with a deadline for changing the system about seven weeks away, no one knows how things will work or what it will cost. County officials estimate that

See PETS, Page 3

Photo by J.B. Wogan

Stan Cavers plays with Koda, a Siberian husky, at Beaver Lake Park. Koda’s annual pet license costs $30.

STudents sing at tree lighting

Discovery runs for fun

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December 9, 2009 • 3

Pets Continued from Page 1

about one-fifth of Sammamish pet owners pay the fee, and say that rate is typical across the county. The fact that such a low percentage of people pay their licensing fees prompted the county to announce this fall that it would no longer provide animal shelters as of Jan. 31, 2010 and stop providing animal control by June 30, 2010. When Schlosstein heard the news, her reaction was simple: “Someone has to pick it up,” she said. So far, no one knows who that “someone” will be. Mike Sauerwein, Sammamish’s administrative services director, is trying to lock down sheltering and control services for 2010. Sauerwein said cities are working with the county and independent shelters to find a way of maintaining animal services if and when the county pulls out. Today King County Animal Care and Control provides sheltering service, education for pet owners and help with pet adoption. It also handles animal code enforcement for all parts of unincorporated King County and its contract cities. Pet owners pay for the majority of these services through licensing and other fees. However in recent years, fees haven’t covered expenses, and the county has had to use tax dollars to keep the shelters running. Elissa Benson, deputy director for strategic planning and performance management, said licensing fees generate about $4.5 million in revenue for the county (Last year Sammamish’s 4,758 licensed pets generated $92,347), not nearly enough to cover the department’s expenses (about $5.7 million). In the past,

Photo by J.B. Wogan

Cocoa, 2, played in the off-leash dog area on a crisp afternoon at Beaver Lake Park. Susan Schlosstein, Cocoa’s owner, said her only interaction with King County Animal Care and Control was paying the $30 pet license each year. the county has dipped into its general fund to cover the difference. Kurt Triplett, who was the county executive until late last month, announced in September that he wanted the county to stop providing those services because it was a money loser. The King County Council agreed, and on Nov. 9, directed Triplett to get the county out of the animal business. The responsibility of resolving the animal sheltering and control issue now falls to Dow Constantine, who took over as county executive Nov. 24. Sheltering Kendall LeVan, project manager in the King County Office

of Strategic Planning and Performance Management, said the county might continue to provide animal control services. If so, it would negotiate a “fullcost recovery” contract with cities. She added that the county has not provided a definition of what full-cost recovery would mean. Sauerwein said he has heard the suggestion that cities would contract with the county for full-time animal control officers. He said the bigger cities like Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle are likely to influence whatever solution the county ends up proposing. The county is also in talks with a handful of private groups about taking over sheltering ser-

vices, said LeVan. So far, those talks haven’t yielded a solution. Brenda Barnette, CEO of the Seattle Humane Society, said she isn’t optimistic about the county transferring the sheltering services to other agencies by the Jan. 31 deadline. “We’re pretty concerned that they’re going out of business without a plan in place,” she said. Regardless of what happens, Sammamish’s problems with animal sheltering would likely be relatively minor, according to Barnette. Cities like Auburn, Kent and Federal Way will likely be hardest hit since they have a history of high costs (because of large sheltering demands) and low revenues (because a low percentage of pet owners license their pets), Barnette said. “Other cities have been subsidizing them,” she said. Kay Joubert, PAWS’ director of companion animal services said even if PAWS and local humane societies step in to take over animal sheltering, they wouldn’t have enough space — leaving 4,000-5,000 animals with nowhere to go. “There’s a very large gap,” Joubert said. In the interim, Constantine is weighing his options, which include extending the deadline until solutions can be put in place, said Frank Abe, director of communications for the King County Executive’s Office. “If more time is needed, we’re certainly ready to work with the (County) Council on some flexibility on that timeline,” Abe said. “We recognize that we have an obligation to ensure that there is enough space for the animals and options for sheltering them.” Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

Taxes Continued from Page 1

same in 2010, residents could see their property taxes increase. The two factors that would impact an increase would be if their property values went up while others’ went down or if their other local taxing entities raised taxes. Sammamish residents pay property taxes to the state, King County, the King County Library District, the Evergreen Hospital District, the Port of Seattle, and one of two school districts. They also pay taxes for a ferry levy and for emergency medical services. Taxes paid to the city amount to less than a quarter of a resident’s total taxes. Finance Director Lyman Howard adjusted the budget to accommodate the lack of a property tax increase in 2010, meaning the city will make do with about $200,000 less. This was coupled with the council’s other direction not to cut city staff salaries by fourtenths of a percent. As a result, Howard had to find a way to fund an additional $30,000 in expenses. (The salary cut, proposed by city staff, was based on the rate of inflation, which had gone down for the first time in the city’s history.) Howard shrunk the city’s contingency fund and ending fund balance — both are types of reserve funds — to make up the difference. The council voted 5-0 in favor of the budget, with Deputy Mayor Jack Barry and Councilwoman Nancy Whitten absent. Councilman Mark Cross said he was glad the council decided to forgo the tax increase. “This is good that we’re doing this during this difficult financial time,” Cross said. Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or

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August 26, 2009 Locally owned Founded 1992 50 cents

Around Citizen to start group for teen center goes the money By J.B. Wogan

Candidates swap campaign contributions By J.B. Wogan

Three candidates in the Sammamish City Council race have traded campaign contributions. They say the gesture is an act of goodwill, not an endorsement and not the beginning of a coalition.

election 2009

Tom Odell gave $200 to Tom Vance’s campaign July 28. Vance then gave $100 to Odell’s campaign Aug. 2. Erica Tiliacos and her husSee MONEY, Page 2

Vanessa Martinez plans to get the proverbial ball rolling for a teen center in Sammamish. Martinez will speak at the 6:30 p.m. Sept. 1 City Council meeting about forming a teen center committee. “I want to generate a definite interest and I want the city of Sammamish to support its teenagers,” Martinez said. In an e-mail to Mayor Don Gerend, Parks Director Jessi Richardson, and Deputy City Manager Pete Butkus, Martinez laid out a blueprint for the teen center and offered to head a committee in charge of making the center a reality. “I am exceedingly willing to give of my time, expertise, and knowledge to make this happen,” she wrote. The first step, according to Photo by J.B. Wogan Martinez, would be the purTroy Moore, co-owner of Moore brother music, shows a drum kit to Alex (left) and Michael chase of the Sammamish Public Library at the corner of Mendillo. Inglewood Hill Road and 228th items, gardening and music to this endeavour,” Martinez recreation center for teenagers. Avenue. equipment like a piano can be wrote. Martinez lives off Inglewood If the City Council secures donated. The center would have movie Hill Road with her children, the building, then the communiPossibly a pool table, ping and open mic nights, band perRyan, 15, and Alanna, 13, both ty could help in the remodel and pong, and foosball table, as formances, plus fitness and acastudents at Inglewood Junior refurbishing of the center, she well as books, computers, demic events, she said. The High. said. and artwork could be joyfulspace would be similar to See TEEN, Page 5 “I see that sofas, athletic ly given by the community Redmond’s Old Fire House, a

Fire administration officials freeze their own wages By J.B. Wogan

Eastside Fire & Rescue announced Aug. 19 that its nineperson administration, including Fire Chief Lee Soptich, would freeze wages for 2010. The administration volunteered to forgo the wage increases, a press release said. “We don’t want to contribute to the pain,” Soptich said. Soptich said the wage freeze

would save EFR about $20,000, and the agency would have to find more ways to save money. In recent history, those nine employees would have seen wage increases based on cost of living adjustments. In certain cases, they may have received performance-based increases, too. “This is something that we just felt was necessary at a time when the economy is not rebounding,” Soptich said.

Without cost cutting, the agency is expected to increase its 2010 budget by 5.2 percent. Operations costs would outstrip revenues by $1.1 million in 2010 if EFR didn’t seek cost-cutting measures, Soptich explained. Labor contracts, cost-of-living increases and medical insurance premium costs are to blame for the cost increase, Soptich said. Finance Chief Dave Gray said EFR medical costs would

increase by 13 percent in 2010 and increased by 24 percent in 2009 (though employees had to cover about half of the increase). Revenues are increasing, too, but not at corresponding levels. In fact, the EFR Board of Directors set a goal in 2008 to cap budget increases at 5 percent each year. EFR serves Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, Carnation and two fire districts in

Eastlake eases transitions

Spartans look to threepeat

schools page 12

sports page 18

unincorporated King County. Some of the partner cities, such as Issaquah, have noted their own budget problems, Soptich said. The EFR board must approve a 2010 budget by December, Gray said. Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit

Calendar...........16 Classifieds........22 Community.......10 Editorial.............4 Police...............23 Schools............12 Sports..............18

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August 26, 2009

Money Continued from Page 1

band Nick gave a combined $100 to Vance’s campaign July 26. Both Vance and Odell said they intend to contribute to Tiliacos’ campaign, too. Odell said it was “not a total congruency.” “We’re not a slate or anything,” he said, referring to Tiliacos and Vance. “It’s just a courtesy thing.” Odell added that he hadn’t spoken with John James or John Curley — Tiliacos’ and Vance’s respective opponents — about their campaigns yet and hadn’t ruled out making contributions to them as well. Vance said he appreciated Odell’s and Tiliacos’ contributions, but didn’t want to talk

“Sometimes it’s not about raising money.” – Matt Barreto, Professor of political science –

specifics about their campaigns. Matt Barreto, a professor of political science at the University of Washington, said contribution swapping is a common tactic for building coalitions in an election, though usually it happens in congressional races. “Sometimes it’s not about raising money,” he said, adding that a candidate might contribute to a like-minded candidate to secure an ally on the council. Barreto pointed out that partisan candidates contribute to other candidates in their party without raising any eyebrows. It’s the nature of local nonpar-


Notable Contributions Aside from candidates contributing to each other, the 2009 City Council election is also seeing financial backing by current members of the council, its advisory commissions and their spouses. The City Council appoints people to the commissions. City Councilwoman Kathy Huckabay ◆ $37.50 to Tom Vance ◆ $75 to Tom Odell ◆ $50 to Erica Tiliacos Warren Huckabay (City Councilwoman Kathy Huckabay’s husband) ◆ $37.50 to Tom Vance ◆ $50 to Erica Tiliacos Richard Whitten (City Councilwoman Nancy Whitten’s husband) ◆ $100 to Tom Vance City Councilman Mark Cross ◆ $62.50 to Tom Vance ◆ $50 to Tom Vance Gail Twelves (Planning Commissioner Scott Hamilton’s wife) ◆ $75 to Tom Vance Parks Commissioner Mary Doerrer: ◆ $50 to Tom Vance ◆ $50 to Erica Tiliacos Steve Doerrer (Parks Commissioner Mary Doerrer’s husband) ◆ $50 to Tom Vance ◆ $50 to Erica Tiliacos Planning Commissioner Stan Bump: ◆ $100 to Tom Vance tisan races, such as the Sammamish City Council, that makes the practice less typical. “It could be that they’re trying to form a new coalition on the

City Council,” he said. “That’s harder to see on the City Council, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t coalitions and ideological positions on the City Council.” Odell, Vance and Tiliacos do have some commonalities in their campaigns. Both Vance and Tiliacos call attention to their experience as members of the Planning Commission. Tiliacos was the commission chair in 2008 and Vance is the current chair. Based on positions that the candidates list on their Web sites, all three say they want to exercise fiscal restraint. Both Odell and Vance list building a community center as a top priority. Tiliacos and Odell both list the East Lake Sammamish Parkway project — a 2.5-mile $44.5 million road revamping project that is scheduled for completion in 2020 — as something that needs to be reassessed. None of those positions are unique to their campaigns though. Don Gerend said in May that he supported building a community center and that he wanted to revisit the parkway project. John James, who is running against Tiliacos, also mentions building a community center as a top priority on his Web site. John Curley’s Web site doesn’t list positions on specific issues. Like Curley, Michael Rutt has not published positions on those issues. Jack Barry, Odell’s opponent, is the exception. Barry has expressed reservations about revisiting the parkway project. Candidate coalitions have some precedent in the city’s history. In the 1999 interim City Council elections, five of the seven candidates were part of a

Open Sunday, Aug. 30th

citizen group that wanted to institute a moratorium on development in the city and wanted to take legal action against King County for allowing too much growth (without enough corresponding infrastructure) on the plateau. All five lost. In recent elections, candidates have not sought to campaign as coalitions, or even to make the kind of gestures that Odell, Vance and Tiliacos have made. In the last two elections, the only case of a candidate contributing to another candidate was Stan Gunno giving $60 to John James’ campaign in 2007. But the contribution didn’t fit the same profile as the 2009 candidate contributions: James never gave back to Gunno’s campaign and the other five candidates in 2007 refrained from giving to any other council candidate. In the 2005 council races, no Sammamish council candidate contributed to any other council candidate’s campaign. Reporter J.B. Wogan can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 247, or To comment on this story, visit


Friends set up memorial fund for slain mother Friends of Rhan Rha, known by many as Rhannie, have set up a memorial fund for her 9-yearold son Noah. Natalia Mackevicius, Rha’s friend, is sponsoring the memorial fund, though Noah will be the sole beneficiary, Mackevicius said. To donate to the fund, go to any Rhannie Rha Bank of America and ask about The Children of Rhan Rha Memorial Fund. Police found Rha, 39, dead on a boat off Orcas Island Aug. 12. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said she had been strangled. Rha had been with Albert Beutler, 39, of Bellevue, who fatally shot himself after texting to friends that he had killed his girlfriend, as reported in The Seattle Times. Rha is survived by her mother, an older brother, two older sisters, her ex-husband and her son.

◆ The June 17 article “Beaver Lake plan revision could mean changes,” attributed a quotation to the wrong person. The quote: “There are a lot of people who feel that the park is a very special and spiritual place. It seems to be a very loved park the way it is and so I get very nervous about this master plan. The King County plan was a pretty fine plan.” should have been attributed to Janis Seil, a resident of West Beaver Lake Drive Southeast. ◆ The Aug. 19 story, “Rhannie Rha remembered” listed Rha’s parents as both being alive. Her father is dead.

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two neighborhoods. It had 62.2 percent. However, a large portion of that percentage came from John Buchan Construction, the devel- oper who...