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tukwila reporter 10 • 2013

the cultural side of Tukwila

SCHOOL CONNECTIONS: Tukwila School District update, pages 10-11

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2 h OCTOBER 2013

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Full recycling now offered at Bow Lake BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

Users of the county’s Bow Lake Transfer Station in Tukwila now have a whole new array of recycling opportunities. The new services begin after last week’s dedication of the new $88 million transfer station on Orillia Road in Tukwila. That’s $4 million under budget. The City of Tukwila worked closely with

the county in developing the new transfer station. Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton spoke at the dedication. The county’s Solid Waste Division opened the transfer station in July 2012 for garbage collection only; the grand opening awaited the new facilities for recycling, new scale house, artwork and other environmental improvements. Rainwater is collected to wash down floors and equipment. The scale house has moved closer to the

main transfer building and is at the center of new landscaped lanes that direct users to different parts of the facility. “Bow Lake is enormous,” said county Executive Dow Constantine in his remarks at the dedication last week. More than one-third of all waste collected by King County passes through Bow Lake on its way to the Cedar Hills Landfill near Maple Valley. He said the new facility will meet the needs of the county’s growing population,

now about 2 million, for years go come. The transfer station, which is visible from Interstate 5, is now fully set up to accept yard waste, clean wood, appliances, scrap metal, bicycles and bicycle parts, glass and cardboard. Medical sharps, such as syringes, are collected for safe disposal. There is a charge to recycle some items (appliances, clean wood and yard waste); the minimum fee to dispose of garbage is $22.

tukwila’sstory

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A society history BY LOUISE JONESBROWN

The Tukwila Historical Society was founded June 25, 1975, to preserve history of Tukwila and areas that included the Renton Junction, Foster, Riverton and Duwamish-Allentown. Founding officers were Rudolph Regel (former City Council member), president; Joanne Davis, vice president; Louise Strander (wife of former Mayor John Strander), secretary; Marie Gardner, treasurer, and Helen Nelsen (former City Council Council member) financial secretary. In 1990 the society obtained nonprofit status and deed to the Mess Family Cemetery. The “Tukwila, Community at the Crossroads” book project was undertaken by the Tukwila His-

torical Society with support of Mayor Gary VanDusen, Tukwila City Council members and Tukwila Arts Commission. It was published in 1991 and was directed by Dr. Kay Reinartz. Copies are still available for purchase at Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center and Tukwila City Hall. In September 2010, the Tukwila City Council approved a five-year lease with the Tukwila Historical Society at the Old Tukwila School/City Hall building. The Tukwila Historical Society agreed to assist with application for grants and proceed with fundraising to make needed improvements at the building renamed the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center. The Tukwila Historical Society has successfully obtained grant

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funds for an updated fire/ alarm system that was installed earlier this year. The most recent fundraising event held at the center on Sept. 15 raised more than $4,000. This money along with funds from previous fundraisers will be used to make renovations to the large washroom to have our building open to people of all abilities, making the building ADA accessible. The Tukwila Historical Society has established a local history museum, which was the vision of our founding members almost 40 years ago. Membership is non-restrictive and open to everyone with application forms available at the center. Renewals or new memberships received by Dec. 31, will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. If you would like to obtain a membership form, call the center at the number listed below. Tukwila’s Story is written by Louise Jones-Brown, who is acting director of the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center and treasurer for the Tukwila Historical Society. For hours and arrangements for a tour, call 206/244HIST or email: tukwilaheritagectr@tukwilahistory.org.

Calendar • Oct. 17 – Regular membership meeting at 7 p.m. with fall treats and cider • Nov. 2 – Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center “Open House” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visit our historical and Tukwila Sister City exhibits.


www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com » OCTOBER 2013

Newly realigned South 178th Street to open

Crime drops on TIB BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

South 178th Street, the steep road leading up from Southcenter at Southcenter Parkway, is closed in anticipation of its replacement route opening in early November. Contractors are doing the final paving and road markings on the new South 178th Street, which is weather dependent, and tying in utilities from the old to the new roadway. The new alignment will still connect to Southcenter Parkway. Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter

Tukwila International Boulevard saw a significant drop in police calls the month after three motels were closed in August for criminal activity in a massive multi-agency raid, according to Tukwila’s police chief “The pedestrian traffic has changed significantly,” Chief Mike Villa told the Tukwila City Council last week. “It’s a different environment in the Tukwila International Boulevard corridor.” Villa compared the crime statistics from Aug. 28-Sept. 27 to the same period last year: • 25 percent decrease in calls for service on Tukwila International Boulevard, or 885 calls in 2012 to 665 this year. • 4 percent decrease in calls for service citywide • 33 percent decrease in calls for service in the areas immediately around the motels

r a t S e h T

Since 1989

– the Great Bear Motor Inn, the Boulevard Motel and the Travelers Choice Motel. In 2011 and in 2012 the three motels accounted for 17 percent of all police calls in Tukwila, including rape, robbery assault, drug transactions, gun crimes and prostitution. Villa offered the new statistics at the City Council meeting, but told council members they don’t mean the job is done; his officers told him they’re “having a hard time” finding the criminal activity in the activity.” But, he cautioned, “it’s still up there. We still have to work it.” It’s also possible that the criminals have moved elsewhere, he said. One of the City of Tukwila’s priorities for 2013 is to reduce crime on International Boulevard. The future of the three properties is in the hands of U.S. District Court. The properties were seized under federal forfeiture statutes.

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recycling

King County’s new $88 million Bow Lake Transfer Station in Tukwila is now complete and is offering array of recycling options, along with garbage service

3

TIBsafer

Statistics show that the closure of three motels on Tukwila International Boulevard has significantly reduced the number of police calls in the area

4

takethetest

Foster High School students are having the chance to take allimportant college tests that will help them plan for their future

5

fallarts

Tukwila’s venues and others offer opportunities for cultural activities this fall and winter. Rainier Symphony calls the Foster PAC home.

7

gobulldogs

It’s homecoming week at Foster, as the Bulldogs prepare for the big game. And, on page 5, read about the Foster girls swimming team making history

tukwila reporter i19426 68th Avenue South i Kent, WA 98032 i253.872.6600 i www.tukwilareporter.com


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publisher ellen morrison publisher@tukwilareporter.com

editor dean radford editor@tukwilareporter.com

circulation james kostoroski 253.872.6610

The Tukwila Reporter encourages reader participation in your community newspaper. Share your thoughts in a letter to the editor (200 words or less) including your full name, address and phone number. HERE’S HOW To submit a letter to the editor, E-MAIL: editor@ tukwilareporter.com FAX: 253.437.6016 MAIL: 19426 68th Ave. S., Ste. A, Kent, WA 98032 STORY IDEAS: dradford@ tukwilareporter.com ONLINE CALENDAR: tukwilareporter.com

High school sports, played right, mirror what we expect in our broader community – fair play, team spirit and the attitude, “I’ve got your back.” I am not an athlete and my skills as a sports writer are, well, somewhat untested. But what I do know is a good story when I see one and Foster’s sports teams are filled with stories of triumph, perseverance and an awareness that Tukwila is a diverse community. And this is just from the fall sports! And we have some pioneers in our midst. Four years ago, Foster had a swimming pool next door but no swim team. Now, for the third year Foster’s girls are in the water, building a team and new traditions and learning a sport they will enjoy all their lives. It’s appropriate to give a shout out to the girls at Kennedy Catholic, who call the Tukwila Pool their home pool and have been instrumental in helping Foster’s girls with their encouragement and comradeship. And coaches are so critical in setting the tone for their team. And, if we’re lucky, they’ll recognize opportunities that honor what makes Foster so special. Take soccer coach Nasir Tura, himself a Foster graduate. What a gentleman he is. He talked to me about the importance of getting all girls in sports, even those who for cultural reasons, may not feel comfortable playing in sports. It has worked and Tura is developing a competitive soccer program for both boys and girls. If there’s a sport at the top of the pyramid, it’s football. It’s the game played at homecoming and the stuff of movies and TV shows. Coach Matt Leonard, a star athlete in high school and college, is a great fit for Foster. He praises the team’s spirit and that tone is set by the coach and coaching staff. And he’s gone beyond just to field to help Foster football thrive. That’s just three sports in just one season. Student achievement in many endeavors help build a sense of pride in Foster, including sports and drama and music and academics, of course. School Board candidates talked about their budget priorities at a recent candidates’ forum. Sports should have a place on their lists.

Foster High School Principal Pat Larson told me about a recent conversation she had with a student on an extended route to graduation. She asked him where he wanted to be five years from now. His response: Nobody had ever had a conversation like that with him before. Consequently, he never took the opportunity to imagine — to hope — beyond the struggle of today. They talked about his interests and skills and corresponding opportunities, and the wheels were visibly turning in his head. It was such a powerful experience that afterward the student asked Principal Larson if he could just sit in silence to process for a good 10 minutes. For the first time, every single student at Foster High School will take either the SAT college admission exam or the PSAT (practice SAT) on Oct. 16. This is a huge deal. For starters, there are the obvious tangible benefits. Completing the SAT — preferably with a high score! — is one of the most significant steps in the college enrollment gauntlet. The PSAT prepares students for the SAT, makes them instantly eligible for national scholarships and enters their contact information in a university database for outreach. But there’s something bigger that happens. The very process of taking the SAT or PSAT inherently asks each high school student to imagine their future — and not only that, to imagine a future in which college is within their reach. It’s no longer good enough to make this testing opportunity available to students who choose to take it; it’s our obligation to ensure every student has the exposure. Our children have an incredible ability to live up to their own self-beliefs . . . whether for good Nancy Coogan

Dean A. Radford

OUR SCHOOLS

College tests help turn dreams to reality

EDITOR’S NOTE

regional publisher polly shepherd

School sports deserve support

or for bad. I sincerely hope that Principal Larson will never hear from another student that he has never thought of his future because, at the very least, we are now dedicating time to dreaming big through annual SAT/PSAT testing. OK, OK — enough of the why. What most students want to know is the how. I wish I had the magic key to a perfect SAT score, but there’s no substitution for hard work and study. There are, however, many ways to help mentally and physically prepare for this particular test: • This is a long test! It’s important to be well rested so get a good night’s sleep and don’t let the option of late-night studying outweigh your wellbeing. • Eat a balanced, high-protein meal beforehand to help you focus. • Do continually practice in an environment with the same questions and time restrictions. There is a stamina and physical memory component that becomes easier each time. • When in doubt, leave it blank! There is a penalty for wrong answers on the SAT, so guess only if you can eliminate at least two of the five choices. • Use every second. Skip questions that have you stumped and come back to them. If you have time, rework questions that gave you some trouble. Foster staff members are the real experts here, and they are doing a masterful job leading up to the SAT/PSAT day to prep students. Ultimately, no matter what their final scores, every student has succeeded just by participating. It’s a door opening to endless possibilities for the future. In service, —Dr. Nancy Coogan Tukwila School District Superintendent Nancy Coogan can be reached via email at coogann@tukwila.wednet.edu.

Election ememy? Look in the mirror Chuck Parrish

viewpoint iwrite staff

tukwilacommentary

COMMENTARY

4 h OCTOBER 2013

When it comes to politics, we are our own worst enemies. Many of us are willfully ignorant of what goes on around us and choose not to vote. In the August primary, 82 percent of Tukwila voters did not vote. About 35 residents attended the School Board candidate forum. This problem is nationwide and, worse, children observe and repeat the pattern as adults. Professionally run campaigns are pragmatic, not ideological. They understand

voting patterns and try to work it to their benefit. Primaries, off-year general elections, presidential elections. Each is handled differently. Nothing wrong with that. The job is to do what it takes to win. It is not to fight the good fight. The evidence is clear that, most of the time, we will not fulfill our responsibilities as voters. Extreme policies will occasionally get passed with negative consequences. At times, extremist ideological candidates will be elected. Small numbers

of motivated or uninformed voters determine the outcomes. We deserve what we get when we do not pay attention, do not volunteer, do not run for office and do not vote. It is not the government’s fault or the campaign’s fault. The fault, dear friends, is ours. We are our own worst enemies. Contact Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish at dradford@tukwilareporter.com.


www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com » OCTOBER 2013 i5

the season

coverstory

The cultural side of Tukwila There are plays, the Rainier Symphony, high school productions, and multi-ethnic events this fall, winter in and near Tukwila for all tastes

For more than 30 years, the Rainier Symphony has offered the region some of the best music from a community orchestra in the nation. And for the past few years, the symphony has called Tukwila home, performing at the Foster High School Performing Arts Center. The symphony’s season kicks off in Tukwila on Oct. 20 with Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2” and Rachmaninoff ’s “Symphony No. 2.” The symphony also performs its concerts at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center. Both those pieces take “a very large and very capable orchestra,” said music director David Waltman, and are not often heard, so the opportunity for South King County audiences to hear that level of music at home “is pretty extraordinary.” They embody the “large orchestra pieces” the symphony performs, Waltman says. The Rainier Symphony is just one of many cultural opportunities available to Tukwila residents this fall and winter. And music is just a part of those offerings, which may take a little bit of travel to enjoy. The Burien Actors Theater and the Renton Civic Theater aren’t far away at all. The Burien theater (formerly the

Music Director David Waltman has conducted the Rainier Symphony for 12 seasons. The symphony’s home venue is the Foster High School Performing Arts Center. Rainier Symphony ON THE COVER: Juliet Stratton is a professional harpist who will perform with the symphony this season. Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter

Burien Little Theatre) is presenting “Young Frankenstein, the Musical” and “Coney Island Christmas,” a holiday comedy by Donald Margulies, in November. Upcoming at the Renton theater are Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and the romantic comedy, “She Loves Me,” (think “You’ve Got Mail). After a long run in Burien, Breeders Theater is now in Des Moines. Its upcoming performance is “Blood Pudding,” an original comedy that comes with a bite.

Drama with a twist is close to home at Foster High School this November with an updated version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” presented by Foster’s drama students. That updated movie version is called “Popularity” and it’s set in the 1950s. The students are analyzing how that movie translated Austen’s plot and characters (think Lizzie and Mr. Darcy), says their teacher, Cynthia Chesak. “They are doing research on 1958, the setting of the play, to get

BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

Ever had the yen to play for – or again – in Foster’s pep band? Foster band teacher Filipp Shabalov is extending an invitation to Tukwila musicians, Foster alumni and parents to join the Foster High School pep band as it plays at varsity football and basketball games. If you want to play, show up at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 18) at Foster Sta-

dium, which is a half-hour before the start of the homecoming game. Shabalov is looking for those with a brass or woodwind instrument to play with the Foster students. Contact Shabalov at the game and he can provide sheet music. The musicians who play will get in free to the games. Woodwinds and brass instruments are most helpful, he said, but if you play “other” instruments but read music or currently don’t own a horn, “things can be worked out,” he said.

Prokofiev – “Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2”

a further understanding of the time period in order to represent it more accurately,” she says. A website to bookmark for a comprehensive calendar of cultural events in South King County, including Tukwila, is sococulture. org. That’s the site of South King County Cultural Coalition, which represents more than 70 arts and heritage organizations. Of course, there’s always Seattle and Tacoma for your cultural fix. And that brings us back to the Rainier Symphony. For audiences, going to a Rainier Symphony concerts means they don’t have to go to Seattle to hear major musical works, said Waltman, the symphony’s music director. Waltman, who has directed the symphony for 12 years, calls the Rainier Symphony one of the best community orchestras in the country. Its concertmaster, Ilkka Talvi, held the same position with the Seattle Symphony for 20 years. Many musicians are career professionals and many hold advanced degrees in their instruments. There are teachers, both public and private, and community members who perform with the symphony, all as volunteers. They come from all over the region. “It’s a body of musical experience and expertise and passion that is unlike anything else really in this area,” Waltman said. “The quality here is extremely good,” Waltman said.

Come play with Foster pep band Shabalov, who teaches at Foster High and Showalter Middle School, is asking that the community donate instruments, even those in less-thanperfect condition, to the music programs at the elementary or secondary levels. He’s looking for flutes, saxophones, clarinets, euphoniums/baritone horns, trumpets, bass clarinets, or others. Shabalov can be contacted at shabalovF@tukwila.wednet.edu or 206331-6845.

Oct. 20 - 3 p.m., Foster High School Performing Arts Center, 4242 S. 144th St., Tukwila

Rachmaninoff – “Symphony No. 2” Holiday Concert

Friday, Dec. 13 7:30 p.m., Foster Performing Arts Center Classical Concert Two

Feb. 8 - 7:30 p.m., Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center Feb. 9 - 3 p.m., Renton IKEA Performing Arts Featuring Strauss “Don Quixote” Where to buy tickets Single tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com. Season tickets are available dat 206-781-5618. More information is available at www.rainiersymphony.org

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BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.

Here is the Rainier Symphony’s fall/winter concert schedule


6 h OCTOBER 2013 «

www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com

tukwilasports Foster girls make history in the water

BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

Four years ago, Foster High School didn’t have a swim team, even though it had a swimming pool right next door. Now, the Foster girl’s swim team is in its third year, building a tradition and a team that the seniors on the team will miss with tears.

The Foster High School girls swimming team includes, front row, left to right, Emily Chanthaphone, Salina Thai, Michelle Tran and Euerusalem Mesele, and back row, left to right, Laila McKinley, Paige Johnson, Regan Timm and Yaneth Garcia. Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter For the first year, the girls swam as part Returning swimmer and senior Regan of the Kennedy Catholic girls team; for two Timm took a leadership role this year, says years, they’ve been an independent but still her coach. remains close to the Kennedy girls, who “Everyone has improved so much,” she also practice at Tukwila Pool. says. The Bulldogs’ coach is Amy Kindell, who But she’s also “really upset” about graduis also the City of Tukwila’s aquatics spe- ating, because she’s leaving the swim team. cialist at the pool. “In my book these girls shine in every “They have worked very hard to build a event they compete in,” Kindell said. “None great sense of team cohesion and they have of the swimmers on the team ever particialso really buckled down to achieve their pated in competitive swimming before personal goals,” Kindell said. Thirteen girls they joined the team.” swim for Foster; this year they’re near the She’s expecting to see personal bests and bottom of the Seamount pack. team records this year.

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November 23

Tukwila Pool marks 40th

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The Tukwila Pool, built as part of King County’s Forward Thrust program in the 1970s, will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 21. Here’s the schedule of events. • 10-11 a.m. Swim-A-Thon to benefit the Tukwila Pool Scholarship Fund • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., family swim and lap

swim • 1 - 5 p.m., open swim for 40 cents to honor the pool’s 40th birthday. A three-month pass for $40 is available at the Birthday Bash or sign up for swimming lessons at the party and get a fivepunch card to bring a friend to an open swim or family swim.

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www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com » OCTOBER 2013 i7

Hail, all hail to Foster!

It’s homecoming and the Bulldogs are finding their footing on playing field BY DEAN A. RADFORD DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

The Bulldogs and Foster’s cheerleaders lead the crowd in singing the Alma Mater Oct. 4 after a close loss to Lindbergh High. BELOW LEFT: Quarterback Randy Tippins tosses a pass. BELOW RIGHT: Foster’s Aries Fernandez fends off a Lindbergh defender. DEAN A RADFORD/TUKWILA REPORTER

It’s homecoming at Foster, a weekend for dancing, celebrating school spirit across all ages and watching Bulldog football Friday night. The Bulldogs take on Evergreen at 7 p.m. at Werner Neudorf Field under first-year coach Matt Leonard, who’s coaching a team now at full strength. As of late last week the Bulldogs were 1-4 overall and 1-2 in Seamount League play. (The game against Kennedy Catholic Saturday was played after the Tukwila Reporter’s print deadline.) The game Oct. 4 against Lindbergh, which sat atop the Seamount League last week, showcased the talents of quarterback Randy Tippins and wide receiver Patrick Straight. For the first time, the team was at full strength, earlier hit hard by grades and injuries. “Randy Tippins had been our everything and has played extremely well on defense when I let him in,” Patrick Straight said Leonard. Tippins was leading the Seamount in passing, he said. Straight was leading the league in receiving, Leonard said, and “we are always looking for ways to get him the ball in space.” Defensively, sophomore Zane Jacobson has anchored the secondary and is “blossoming into a leader,” Leonard said. He calls sophomore linebacker Alvin Noa “a great star in years to come.” “We are making tremendous progress on both sides of the ball and learning to play together and with an attitude and swagger,” Leonard said. “We are a tight-knit family and have great chemistry, but we are finally learning to push each other and compete hard.”


8 h OCTOBER 2013

www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com Âť OCTOBER 2013

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TUKWILA CITY PAGES DON’T MISS TUKWILA’S

Is your business a “Home Occupation�? When your home address is identifed as a business address, that business is considered a “Home Occupation� in the City of Tukwila. House cleaners, landscapers, taxi cab operators, consultants, and many other types of professions – including internet sales – are commonly referred to as “Home Occupation� businesses. Their customer bases can be anyone or anywhere but, with the home address used as a physical business address, these are classified as Home Occupation businesses. A Tukwila business license is required if the residence is located within the Tukwila city limits. Independent contractors must acquire their own business license from the City as well as from the State. The State of Washington and the City of Tukwila require a physical address at the time you apply for a business license. A post office box may not be used as the physical address. If your business qualifies as a Home Occupation and you have not applied for a City of Tukwila business license, please contact the City’s business license specialist by calling at 206431-3680 or by emailing Licensing@ TukwilaWA.gov for more information. Contact the Washington State Department of Revenue at 1-800-6477706 for State licensing information.

Council Chat Come join the talk from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at FOSTER GOLF CLUBHOUSE 13500 Interurban Ave S

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Saturday, October 26, 2013 – 9:00am to 3:00pm

WHERE? Tukwila Village Site, corner of S 144th Street & 41st Ave S (One block west of Foster High School) WHO?

Tukwila residents who subscribe to Waste Management garbage collection services (Identification and proof of residency required)

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t .POJUPS t 1SJOUFS t 4DBOOFS t 4UFSFP t 3BEJP

SCRAP METAL Size less than 24� in any direction and less than 35 pounds per item LARGE APPLIANCES (Limit three items) t 8BTIJOHNBDIJOF t %SZFS t %JTIXBTIFS t 4UPWF t 8BUFSIFBUFS t 3FGSJHFSBUPS t "JSDPOEJUJPOFS t 'SFF[FS In the interest of safety, remove doors from all appliances.

FURNITURE t .BUUSFTTBOECPYTQSJOH (all sizes) t $IBJS (lounge, rocking, dining, lawn) t -PWFTFBUTPGB (NO sofa beds) t %SFTTFST QBUJPGVSOJUVSF BOE other large furniture mISCELLANEOUS t 'MBUUFOFEDBSECPBSE (NO plastic or wax coating) t -BXONPXFST (must be free of fuel and oil) t 4NBMMBQQMJBODFT

Items that WILL NOT be accepted AUTOMOTIVE WASTE Includes all fluids, batteries, running gears, tires, automotive body parts. CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION MATERIAL Includes concrete, asphalt, dry wall, masonry, roofing, siding, insulation, structural metal, brush, sand, rocks, dirt, windows, doors and door frames, vinyl flooring, fencing

'PSSFDZDMJOHBOEEJTQPTBMJOGPSNBUJPO for these items and more, visit KingCounty.gov/WhatDoIDoWith or call 206-296-4466

Next Chat: Nov. 9 Council Chat is a monthly chance to stop by and informally speak with one of your Tukwila City Councilmembers about anything on your mind regarding your community.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE Products on which labels read: caustic, flammable, warning, danger, poison, and pesticides. PRODUCTS CONTAINING MERCURY Including thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, mercury-added batteries and switches. HOT TUBS FURNACES WOOD (treated or untreated) This event is sponsored by the City of Tukwila and Waste Management

Throughout the evening, City of Tukwila staff members visited these events, getting a chance to speak with the attendees and listen to comments and concerns about the specific neighborhood or the City of Tukwila in general.

NNO is a great way for City employees and elected officials to get to know some Tukwila residents on a personal level. City of Tukwila staff members look forward to participating each year. 5IJT ZFBST WPMVOUFFS TUBGG JODMVEFE .BZPS )BHHFSUPOBOE$JUZ$PVODJM.FNCFST)PVHBSEZBOE%VGGJF Also visiting were 25 City employees – representing 1PMJDF 'JSF 1BSLT $PNNVOJUZ%FWFMPQNFOU )VNBO 4FSWJDFT  UIF .BZPST 0GGJDF  'JOBODF  1VCMJD 8PSLT  $PEF&OGPSDFNFOUBOE*5oBOEUISFF1PMJDF&YQMPSers. As a national sponsor of National Night Out Against Crime, Target Stores offers staff members the opportunity to attend local Night Out events and participate in the community; eight Target employees KPJOFEUIFUFBNTPGWJTJUJOHWPMVOUFFST

TUKWILA 101: Property Tax Basics

QUESTIONS? Call 1-855-TUKWILA WMNorthwest.com/Tukwila

FEE: $2.00 per child

Tukwila Community Center, 12424 – 42nd Avenue S Grab your friends, dress up in your best costume and come join in some festival fun with Halloween crafts, games, a costume contest, and much more (Pizza & hot dogs will be available for an extra cost).

1SPQFSUZUBYUJNFJTKVTUBSPVOEUIFDPSOFSBOEIFSF together. The assessed value of your property is multiplied by the combined levy rates which then becomes are some things you should know. your share of the total property tax levy in your area. King County property taxes are composed of two parts: the assessment of the land value and its im- All properties in King County pay taxes for the County, provements , and taxes arising from special levies UIF1PSUPG4FBUUMF UIF4UBUF &.4 'MPPE$POUSPMBOE pertinent to your taxing district . All properties in UIF'FSSZ4ZTUFN*O5VLXJMB UIFSFBSFEJGGFSFOU King County are inspected once in every 6-year cycle. levy codes for services such as schools, parks and Assessed value for residential properties is deter- 'JSF3FTDVFBNPOHPUIFST4PNFQBSDFMTJO5VLXJMB mined by first valuing the land which, by state law, is BMTPQBZGPSUIF5VLXJMB1PPM.FUSPQPMJUBO1BSL%JTto be valued as if it were vacant. This is done by ana- USJDU BOE)XIJDIJT7BMMFZ.FEJDBM)PTQJUBM%JTUSJDU MZ[JOHTBMFTPGDPNQBSBCMFCBSFMBOE"EPMMBSWBMVFJT 1SPQFSUZUBYFTBSFFYQSFTTFEBTQFSNJM BNPVOUPG then assigned to the land only. Next, sales and martax per one-thousandth of a dollar) 'PSFYBNQMF  ket trends of improved properties in the taxing area a property with an assessed value of $50,000.00 loBSFTUVEJFE UBLJOHJOUPBDDPVOUTVDIUIJOHTBTTJ[FPG cated in a municipality with a rate of 20, would have QSPQFSUZ ZFBSCVJMU BOERVBMJUZPGDPOTUSVDUJPO'SPN a property tax bill of $1,000.00 per year. ($50,000.00 x this value, the amount attributed to land is subtracted 20 =$1,000.000.00/1,000 = $1,000.00) in order to give the value of the improvements. Both Land and Improvement values are listed as separate 1SPQFSUZUBYCJMMTBSFQBJEJOUXPIBMWFT UIFGJSTUIBMG due by April 30 and the second half due by October items on your property tax statement. 'PSNPSFJOEFQUIJOGPSNBUJPOBCPVUUIJTTVCKFDU To determine your tax rate pertaining to levies, such including rate reductions, payment deferrals, mobile BTGPS4DIPPMTPS'JSF1SPUFDUJPO UIFUPUBMBNPVOUPG home taxes and additional valuation questions, conmoney needed for your district is divided by the total tact the King County Assessor’s Office at 206-296value of property in your district. Next, all levy rates 7300 or online at www.KingCounty.gov/Assessor. of the taxing districts in your property area are added

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Local access to Washington Healthplanfinder "UUIFTUBSUPGUIJTNPOUI ,JOH$PVOUZBOEQBSUOFSPSHBOJ[BUJPOTCFHBO hosting community events for residents to provide enrollment assistance in Washington HealthPlanFinder for health insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. Certified customer-service experts are available at each event to provide individual help for comparing and enrolling in health insurance coverage coverage. Depending on household earnings, residents may qualify for free or low-cost coverage, or for tax credits or financial help to pay for co-pays and premiums. No one will be denied coverage because they are sick PSCFDBVTFUIFZIBWFBQSFFYJTUJOHDPOEJUJPO.PSFJOGPSNBUJPODBOCF found at www.KingCounty.gov/coverage. You are welcome to attend a nearby event in Tukwila, Burien, SeaTac, Renton or other cities in King County. These are some scheduled upcoming enrollment events in Tukwila: TUKWILA LOCATION

Wednesday, October 30 – 6:00 to 8:00PM AT

On August 6 the City of Tukwila set a new record for National Night Out Against Crime (NNO) parties. Twenty-six different neighborhoods and businesses held events. The parties ranged from Ryan Hill to the .D.JDLFO )FJHIUT OFJHICPSIPPET  -PDBM CVTJOFTTFT sponsored two of the events; churches hosted another two events, with the rest of the events held at local apartment communities, condominiums or in single-family OFJHICPSIPPET'PVSPGUIFTFQBSUJFTXFSFBUMPDBUJPOT where a Night Out Against Crime event had never been held previously.

GARBAGE No household trash will be collected at this event

Autumn Harvest Festival

+PF%VGGJFt%FOOJT3PCFSUTPOt"MMBO&LCFSH 7FSOB4FBMt%F4FBO2VJOOt,BUF,SVMMFS

Watch your City Council meetings live on Monday nights – streaming video on our website at TukwilaWA.gov, or on Comcast Channel 21

HOUSEHOLD RECYCLABLE MATERIALS Includes mixed paper, glass, aluminum cans

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Drivers reserve the right to refuse items that are not listed, too contaminated, or too large to handle.

$06/$*-.&.#&34   

2013 National Night Out Against Crime was biggest year yet

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 3. (Good idea: That extra hour you gained from setting your clocks back? Use it to replace the batteries in your home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors)

*OQBSUOFSTIJQXJUI8BTUF.BOBHFNFOU UIF$JUZPG5VLXJMBT'BMM$MFBOVQ&WFOUBMMPXT residents to drop off hard-to-dispose-of items, including electronic waste, scrap metal, large appliances, furniture and cardboard boxes.

MAYOR: Jim Haggerton COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Kathy Hougardy

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DATE – TIME – INFORMATION

Healthpoint Tukwila Saturday, October 19, 2013 – 10:00am to 2:30pm .JMJUBSZ3PBE4 Languages: English, Spanish, Nepali, Amharic

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 – 5:00pm to 8:00pm Languages: English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Somali $BTDBEF7JFX Elementary School 4640 S 144th Street

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 5:00pm to 7:30pm

'PTUFS-JCSBSZ 4060 S 144th Street

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – 10:00am to 2:00pm Thursday, November 21, 2013 – 4:00pm to 8:00pm Saturday, December 7, 2013 – 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Meeting agendas, City programs, recreation activities, publications and more‌ get the most current information at TukwilaWA.gov!

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10 h OCTOBER 2013

« www.TUKWILAREPORTER.com

school connection Tukwila School District #406

‘Whatever it takes’ philosophy lands Tukwila on the 2013 Innovative Schools Tour The Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) selected the Tukwila School District to showcase in this year’s Innovative Schools Tour on Sept. 20. The event is part of WSSDA’s annual legislative assembly, and school board members from across the state got on school buses to spend a morning learning on-site how Tukwila schools are closing the achievement gap. The tour had two stops, Cascade View Elementary and Foster High School, at which principals, teachers, and students talked about their unique challenges and how they embrace those as opportunities. The visiting school Mari Taylor, Lake Stevens school directors heard about our interboard member and president-elect vention and language programs, of the Washington State School Dilearning specialists, peer-based rectors Association (WSSDA), talked teaching model, classroom techwith students in Laura Weber’s firstnology, and more. But perhaps Tukwila’s biggest grade classroom at Cascade View El“innovation” was best summed ementary during the tour. up by math coach Katrina Dohn when she said: “We are always working on the individual needs so no kid falls through the cracks. There is no single magic bullet. We have a whatever-it-takes philosophy.” Yes, that is certainly something all school districts want to emulate around the state!

October 2013

INTERPRETERS NEEDED Get paid while connecting families and schools! Are you fluent in English and any of these other languages: Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Cambodian, Chin, Chinese, Karen, Karenni, Laotian, Nepali, Punjabi, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Turkish, or Vietnamese? Please consider joining our paid

interpreter pool. As an initial step, the district is offering a six-hour training session on October 29 covering basic techniques, code of ethics, roles of the interpreter, and interpretation practice. Call Meghan Perez-Navarro at 206-901-8028 for information and to apply. Interpreters must be at least 18 and not a current student in the district.

We Scare Hunger: Trick-or-treating for a cause What’s more frightening than zombies and goblins knocking on your door this Halloween? The very real threat of hunger in our local community. So be ready on Oct. 31 to handout a different kind of treat when your doorbell rings… Last spring, a group of students from Foster High and Showalter Middle School attended We Day Seattle, an invitation-only event—the first of its kind in the United States—that brought together 15,000 young people to empower them to make positive change in their local and global communities. Continuing that momentum, Foster and Showalter are

now teaming with We Act (a full-year, post-We Day engagement program to inspire and support schools’ service projects) in a campaign called We Scare Hunger. This includes a food drive at each school and peerled education about hunger and its impact on learning. The culmination is on Halloween evening, when students will be coming to you. Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, they will go door to door throughout the community collecting non-perishable food items for the Tukwila Pantry. Please consider making a donation if they come knocking!

Shhh—it’s a surprise! The $1,200 Day Made Better award goes to… Cascade View Elementary secretary Kari Young had a heck of a time keeping her secret! For starters, she wanted to tell  everyone  the good news. Then there were the logistical aspects: planning an assembly, coordinating the visitors—all without anyone knowing why. And when the guest of honor came down with a cold the day before the big reveal, she almost panicked. “I called her husband and told him SHE HAS TO BE HERE TOMORROW,” Young said. Ultimately, the event went off exactly as planned: A sea of orange-clad Office Max employees announced to an unsuspecting as-

sembly crowd that English Language Learner (ELL) teacher Abby Stark—the most unsuspecting of them all—was the recipient of more than $1,200 in school supplies, including a new desk chair, a Kindle Fire, a camera, and many, many, many paperclips. The event was part of the Day Made Better campaign on Oct. 1, during which Office Max donated materials to 1,000 deserving teachers across the country in recognition that many classroom teachers pay for supplies out of their own pockets.  Young originally nominated Stark for the award on behalf of the

school, which has an ELL population that fluctuates as high as 70 percent. Additionally, many come to Cascade View as refugees with no previous schooling and the trauma of an upturned life. Stark’s outreach is two-way, as she also brings speakers from the students’ home countries to the school to provide lessons to everyone about their history, culture, political views, and language. “The compassion and understanding that Abby gives to our students along with the program she oversees for teaching ELL is so impressive,” Young said in her nomination. “She is adored by her students.”

Day Made Better representatives presented Abby Stark with roses, a new chair, and supplies unveiled in a big orange box.


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Tukwila School District #406

OCTOBER 2013

Move over, Louvre! The Vanderbilt Museum. The  Nassau County Museum of Art.    The Islip Museum.   Tribeca Works Catalogue. The Stricoff Gallery. The Amityville Gallery. And now … the Tukwila School District! Acclaimed New York artist Schery Markee Sullivan has shown her pieces across the nation and globe, but her most recent mixed-media creation—“Stars to Find”—now lives in the district’s administration building, the heart of the school community that inspired the work. The long-distance connection came by way of new Tukwila Superintendent Nancy Coogan, who met Sullivan years ago through a family member on the East Coast. “When Nancy began telling me about her new community, she said it was like speaking to a sea of faces that seemed like a rainbow,” Sullivan said. “She was awed by the beauty of the children and this experience. It was very clear to her that this community has hopes and dreams for their children to thrive and learn and flourish in an environment of support and opportunity while maintaining their own culture and individuality.” Sullivan was moved. The Tukwila School District, to her, represented the American dream at its essence.

She began creating images and phrases to represent Tukwila, using as the foundation a poem she authored called “Every Moody Fish.” “It was written about finding your place in the world, about trying to harness a collective energy, its positive force, but fiercely holding onto the truth of your own spirit,” Sullivan explained.    The finished artwork includes words of the poem scattered throughout, alongside many individual vibrant faces, cut out of paper with different textures and hues. Newsprint phrases “Rise one life at a time” and “An abundance of options” standout in the mural. “Stars to Find” is on display in the superintendent’s office in the administration building. Drop by or call to schedule an appointment to see it.

Website focus group To say that the Tukwila School District website is a little bit dated is like saying that Antarctica is a little bit cold! To kick-off the process to design and launch new sites for the district and each school, we are gathering as many user-experiences as possible to help ensure everybody can find the information they need intuitively organized in the format that works best. We will soon launch an online survey that all community members will be encouraged to complete (look for the link to be published here in November). We are also putting together an in-person focus group to guide the work and gather a wide range of viewpoints. If you are interested in being part of the focus group, contact Sara Niegowski, niegowskis@tukwila.wednet.edu or 206-901-8036.

Calling all Foster alumni and jazz lovers The Foster High School Alumni Hall of Fame will induct the great jazz pianist and composer Walt Wagner, Class of 1966, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the school lobby, 4242 S. 144th Street. Please come celebrate this homegrown music legend! During an assembly Sept. 19, performers with Up with People read pledges from Showalter Middle School students to be kind to and seek to understand one another. This followed daylong workshops at the school based on Up with People’s mission to decrease bullying and promote global acceptance for all people.

Rise and shine and learn with school breakfast! We understand that your busy schedule might make it difficult to provide a healthy breakfast every morning, so let the Tukwila School District help! Every day, our school cafeterias begin serving a complete meal—with milk, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains—30 minutes before classes start. We not only meet very high nutrition guidelines but the even more exacting kid taste-test standards! You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is especially true in schools. After going the entire night without food, students’ bodies need a source of energy to fuel their brains for a productive day of learning. In fact, research shows that children who start their day with a schoolserved breakfast have higher test scores, improved grades, reduced hyper activity, less irritability and fatigue, fewer behavioral problems, and decreased absence and tardy rates compared with children who rarely eat breakfast. That’s why one of our primary goals is to find creative ways to get more of our students to start their morning with a healthy breakfast. The district’s Food Services Department strives to be a great value and convenience for busy families. With the closing of the Tukwila Trading Company last month, it has become even harder for some of our families to find an appropriate grocer within walking distance to provide a supply of fresh and nutritious food at home. Luckily, we have breakfast covered for you! (Please note: until the SAARS Marketplace opens in the nowempty Tukwila Trading Company space, the closest alternative within walking distance in that neighborhood is Sea-Tac Market, 15221 International Blvd. S. There is a selection of produce, grains, and proteins, and food stamps are welcome.) Here are a few fun facts from the American Cereal Council to perk up your breakfast taste buds: •Cereal was invented when colonial housewives started serving up popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast.  Yum! •Of the more than 294 million people in the U.S, 49 percent start their day with a bowl of cereal.  •Astronauts from Apollo 11 boosted their brain power while in space with a cereal breakfast. The cereal was mixed with fruit and pressed into cubes since the lack of gravity kept the astronauts from pouring it into a bowl with milk. 

•There are 2.7 billion packages of cereal sold every year – that’s enough boxes to wrap around the Earth thirteen times. Now who’s ready for breakfast? Send your kids our way every morning, 30 minutes before class time, for a great start to the academic day! Pay for school meals online: FREE AND SIMPLE TO USE! Did you once again forget to send your hungry student to school with a check for lunch? No worries! You can now directly add money to your student’s food-service account online. It’s quick, easy, secure, and there is no added fee. Accepted forms of payment include Discover, VISA, MasterCard, and debit. To check your student’s account balance and add funds: •Go to www.tukwila.wednet. edu and log in to Skyward Parent Access via the Parent Resources menu on the bottom right (contact your school’s main office if you cannot log in). •Select “Food Service” from the left navigation menu. •View balance and select “Make Online Payment.” •Follow the instructions to select your students, enter a payment amount, and be redirected to the secure payment site, which is ran through RevTrak. You will need enter your email address for account purposes the first time you pay. If you have questions or run into logistical trouble, please contact your student’s main office.

school connection is presented by the Tukwila School District

Tukwila School District #406 www.tukwila.wednet.edu 206.901.8000 4640 South 144th Street Tukwila, Washington 98168

Board of Directors: Mark Wahlstrom, President 206.243.9855 Steve Mullet, Vice-President 206.244.7553 Mary Fertakis 206.767.6053 Dave Larson 206.244.2313 Alicia Waterton 206.248.4302 Superintendent: Dr. Nancy Coogan 206 901-8006


12 h OCTOBER 2013 «

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School board candidates explain views BY DEAN A. RADFORD

Director District 1

DRADFORD@TUKWILAREPORTER.COM

Two seats on the Tukwila School District Board of Directors are up for grabs in the Nov. 5 general election. In District 1, incumbent Mary Fertakis is running against Jennifer Johnson. In District 3, incumbent Alicia Waterton is running against Bobby Cruz. The four candidates appeared at a candidates forum on Oct. 9, sponsored by the Tukwila Reporter. The candidates were also asked by the Tukwila Reporter to respond to a questionnaire about issues facing the Tukwila School District. Additional info about the candidates is available online at tukwilareporter.com, which will have links to other election resources.

Mary Fertakis

Director District 3

Alicia Waterton

Jennifer Johnson

of Rochester, respectively. JENNIFER L. JOHNSON PERSONAL: Jennifer L. Johnson is a single mother, co-parenting two children Bre (12th grade) and Makelle (seventh grade) both of whom attend Tukwila schools. She’s employed as a social worker for the Department of Children and Family Services in Seattle and has lived in Tukwila for 10 years.

Director District 1

Here are their answers to the Tukwila Reporter’s candidate questionnaire:

MARY FERTAKIS PERSONAL: Incumbent Mary Fertakis has served on the Tukwila School District Board of Directors for 17 years. She and her husband Jon have lived in Tukwila for 23 years. Their two sons attended Tukwila schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and are currently in their senior and freshman years of college at Western Washington University and the University

What do you see as the biggest issue or problem facing the school district? FERTAKIS: The umbrella biggest issue is lack of adequate funding since it impacts everything we want to be able to do for students. Even though the Washington State Supreme Court agrees with us, as evidenced by the McCleary decision last year

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(which said the state Legislature was not meeting their constitutional responsibility to amply fund K-12 education), we have not received the dollars that we should to fully make up for the legislative cuts that have taken place for the last 10 years. JOHNSON: Securing funding and program supports to positively impact graduation rate How would you address that issue or solve the problem? FERTAKIS: The reality of funding is that we have both an inadequate system as well as more limited resources overall as a state. It is not a quick fix to overhaul the education funding system, and the economic recovery that we are still waiting for may never fully materialize. Because that is the funding environment for education, there are a couple of things that I support to address this. 1) Equity in funding. The limited resources available should be directed to the highest needs students, schools and districts. The legislature has tended to prefer funding formulas that distribute dollars in an EQUAL manner – which means Tukwila receives the same basic allotment as Mercer Island, though our student demographics are vastly different. The approach I think is more appropriate is EQUITY in funding, which means those who need more, receive more. The criteria to determine this should include at least the free and reduced lunch rate (used to determine poverty), ELL (English Language Learner) percentage, and mobility rates. Our board has advocated for equity in funding with our legislators and I’m happy to say that this past session we saw this start to happen, resulting in Tukwila receiving more funding than we have in the past. 2) Increasing public/private partnerships to support students and schools. We have too many issues to address to be able to do it on our own with the limited capacity we have. Increasing community involvement in schools benefits everyone. JOHNSON: Seek support to employ a competitive grant writing and resource outreach team What should be the top priority of the district’s new superintendent, Dr. Nancy Coogan? FERTAKIS: Dr. Coogan has a number of initiatives that she would like to undertake and she has the full support of the board in doing so. There are a couple of foundational pieces that need to be in place for her to be successful: 1) Improved and increased communication. This includes both internal and external communication efforts with our staff, students, families and the broader community. 2) Develop a new

strategic plan for the district. This plan will provide a blueprint for resource allocation to support the plan’s priorities and provide direction to the district for the next three years. This process is already under way. JOHNSON: To create tangible opportunities for professional development of Tukwila educators, conduct culturally relevant needs assessments to accurately depict program and staffing needs and ensure reasonable recommendations are adopted in our classrooms and/or among our school staff What is your assessment as to how the school district/school board handled the diversity issues, including the court challenges? FERTAKIS: Although as a board member I am not able to go into the details regarding the court case, I can direct you to the district’s answer to the charges filed in court. But, to be clear, the board, in its capacity to set policy has always seen it as a priority to ensure that it is serving its diverse student body. The incredible diversity we have has been a driver for many years for resource allocation and supporting programs that provide the assistance all our students need. Tukwila is not unique in encountering an on-going challenge to address the needs of an ever-changing population while ensuring academic success. This is a challenge confronted by many school districts in the nation. The district, however, has proactively embraced and implemented processes and programs expressly designed to ensure that its staff and all its students enjoy a positive environment, free from discrimination, in which to teach and learn. The district also strives to connect to the larger community with student-community liaisons to, for example, the Nepali/ Burmese/Bhutanese, Somali and Latino communities, cultural competency trainings, and discussions which address the cultural diversity of our community and the district. In the same fashion, we emphasize the importance of providing support for all students through programs such as IGNITE and Link Crew (high school and middle school peer mentoring), the Dream Project (provides assistance through the UW for college applications), and teacher professional development opportunities. JOHNSON: I believe the district and the board adhered to the current procedures for handling such issues. In addition, I believe we learn that diversity within a school district requires the board and the districts’ administrators to possess informed/responsive cultural competency skills; within that comes a responsibility for each to ensure our procedures are also informed and responsive case by case. What would you promote as the best way to improve student test scores? FERTAKIS: The best way to improve student scores is to remove the federal requirement that students must be tested, in English, on the state exams after one year of living in the United States. This requirement of the No Child Left Behind legisla[ more SCHOOL page 13 ]


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tion has had the biggest, negative impact on the Tukwila School District – and every district in the country with high concentrations of English Language Learners. It is physiologically impossible for someone of any age to take a high-stakes test in another language after one year of learning that language and expect them to get high scores. We have asked since 2002 – one year after this legislation went into effect - for this provision to be changed to three years and the Department of Education and Congress have refused to consider this. What our students are expected to do in this environment sets them up for failure, and is in no way a reflection of what they are capable of achieving if they were given more time to develop the language skills they need to be able to show what they really know. JOHNSON: Ensure tests are culturally relevant, administered if/when applicable in students’ first language or via special education provisions, and mainstreamed to reflect achievement of knowledge that is applicable to promoting further education readiness as well as work/life readiness. What would be your priorities for making renovations/repairs to district buildings or facilities? FERTAKIS: The district is in the unusual position of having successfully undertaken an aggressive plan to re-do all the buildings in the district in a short space of time. This facilities improvement plan was based on input from community and staff who developed a long-range plan about 20 years ago. What this has created is a situation where a lot of maintenance and upkeep projects need to be undertaken at similar times instead of being spread out. The district has a developed a list of projects that need to be undertaken as maintenance and upgrading and have prioritized them with the help of a construction consultant company. JOHNSON: As a board member, I would welcome proposals for renovations/repairs and would seek to, if supported by the board, ensure such work orders were stragetically calendared to ensure predictable completion and prioritization. What do you see as the school district’s biggest strength? FERTAKIS: Its diversity. Our children have benefited from the unique experience of going to school with the world. I know this has had a life-long impact on my own children, since this is a majority-minority school district. I have heard my oldest say on multiple occasions that the most important things he learned attending school in

Tukwila he was never tested on – he knows how to get along with everyone and to appreciate the many cultures represented here. We will be in a much better place as a society when more students have the opportunity for the type of school experience that Tukwila students have. JOHNSON: I see the diversity of the student body as the biggest strength. What is the school board’s main responsibility? FERTAKIS: The school board’s main responsibility is to govern through policy, which includes establishing school district goals and setting policy on various matters, such as program development and budget priorities. Developing policy is like looking at things from a 30,000-foot level to see the big picture of district finances, student needs, trends, and legal obligations as the context in which policy is developed. Policy does not involve administering the day-to-day operations of the district. That is done by the superintendent, as the chief administrator. This includes personnel decisions, which are made by the appropriate administrator or superintendent - including hiring, nonrenewal and transfer decisions. The board’s limited involvement in personnel involves approval of a new contract, or if a law allows for it, board consideration of a personnel matter. JOHNSON: To govern the direction and goal of the school district .

Director District 3

What should be the top priority of the district’s new superintendent, Dr. Nancy Coogan? WATERTON: I believe developing community relations; communication and providing strong leadership are critical. I believe Dr. Coogan is on her way to accomplish these priorities. CRUZ: Preparing students to reach the next level. What is your assessment as to how the school district/school board handled the diversity issues, including the court challenges? WATERTON: Although as a board member I am not able to go into the details regarding the court case, I can direct you to the district’s answer recently filed in the court. I understand that it provides another perspective on the lawsuit and some insight into the district’s positions regarding the claims made by this small group of district employees. CRUZ: The district needs to hire more staff of color. But I’m not sure if it’s because they are not applying or not qualified. Would

have to investigate more. What would you promote as the best way to improve student test scores? WATERTON: Provide support to all students that includes before- and afterschool programs. In addition, provide special tutoring services; online programs and family involvement. CRUZ: Candidate didn’t respond. What would be your priorities for making renovations/repairs to district buildings or facilities? WATERTON: District office maintains priority list for all the repairs needed for the facilities. We discuss the items on the list and take care of them as needed. CRUZ: Not sure. What do you see as the school district’s biggest strength? WATERTON: Our district’s biggest strength is our diverse student body and community. I’m very proud to have my children be educated here. CRUZ: Student diversity. Many cultures and languages, we as a community need to take advantage of that. What is the school board’s main responsibility? WATERTON: The board’s responsibility is to set all district goals and policies. We are here to ensure all students meet standards and are college ready. CRUZ: Make the correct choices for the students.

ALICIA WATERTON PERSONAL: Alicia Waterton and her husband Nigel have lived in Tukwila for 10 years. Their children attend school in Tukwila. BOBBY CRUZ PERSONAL: Bobby Cruz and his wife Gabina Perez have lived in Tukwila for 10 years. Daughter Bianca 19 is a graduate of Foster, son Xavier, 14, attends Foster and son Andre, 12, attends Showalter Middle School. Here are their answers to the Tukwila Reporter’s candidate questionnaire: What do you see as the biggest issue or problem facing the school district? WATERTON: For me the biggest issue is being underfunded by the government. They expect to provide our students with the best possible education but they do not give us the funds for it. CRUZ: Students academics drop significantly in the middle school level.

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Four on council unopposed Four members of the Tukwila City Council Council are running unopposed in the Nov. 5 general election. They are De’Sean Quinn, Joe Duffie, Allan Ekberg and Verna Seal. There are countywide races on the ballot, too, including for King County executive. The King County Elections Division is

How would you address that issue or solve the problem? WATERTON: Being underfunded is a bigger issue than I can solve all by myself. We can keep asking our leaders and Olympia or Washington for more money. It’s all about communication and lobbying on behalf of our kids. CRUZ: Mentoring from the high schoolers, smaller classes. I would have to learn more on what’s going on in our middle schools.

mailing out the election ballots this week and should arrive by Friday or Saturday at the latest. If you don’t get a ballot, contact the elections division at 206-296-VOTE (8683). Information about the election is available online at http://www.kingcounty.gov/ elections.

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[ SCHOOL from page 12]

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Tukwila Reporter, October 16, 2013