Editorial — Merry Christmas fund fosters giving spirit

November 24, 2015

NEW — 3:43 p.m. Nov. 24, 2015

As you sit down at the dinner table surrounded by family this Thursday, take a moment to give thanks.

Give thanks that you have electricity; give thanks that you have running water; and, most importantly, give thanks that you have a roof over your head. For some Issaquah families, the fight to obtain, and keep, these bare necessities is a daily struggle.

That’s where Issaquah Community Services comes in. ICS offers emergency financial aid to residents of the Issaquah School District in the form of utility payments, rent assistance and other miscellaneous contributions, depending on a client’s specific need.

Just last year, the nonprofit helped 193 families avoid eviction and kept the utilities on for another 184. In total, ICS’ all-volunteer staff helped more than 500 individuals and families. Read more

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Editorial — Rape kit testing gets much needed funding

September 22, 2015

Every day, a woman, man or child is raped. And every day, people go free for such crimes.

It’s hard enough for people to come forward after a sexual assault. We don’t know how many don’t out of fear of retaliation or because they decide they don’t want the stigma attached to such victims.

But for those who do come forward, imagine how they feel when evidence of the crime is tossed into a system full of backlogs, where it can degrade, get lost or not get tested at all.

Read more

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Editorial — Speed limit decrease is good, but go further

September 16, 2015

NEW — 5:43 p.m. Sept. 16, 2015

We want to applaud our Issaquah City Council members for lowering the speed limit on Newport Way Northwest.

The new speed limit, 30 mph between state Route 900 and the Lakemont interchange, goes into effect Sept. 22.

We also want to congratulate those council members and other city officials who took the time to drive the street, calculating times and speeds, doing their own research rather than relying solely on traffic studies, calculations and recommendations.

But before anyone pats themselves on the backs much, we ask that everyone take a moment to remember the reason for this change — 4 1/2-year-old Haochen Xu, who was hit in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive on June 26 while walking with his mother. He died from his injuries the next day. Read more

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Editorial — Help salmon and visitors to Salmon Days Festival

September 9, 2015

NEW — 5:13 p.m. Sept. 9, 2015

It’s that time of year again — time to step up to help the amazing salmon that are returning home and the crowds of people that will follow them.

Our Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, with thousands of visitors every year, is the most visited hatchery in the state.

There are many ways to do right by the salmon and visitors: Read more

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Editorial — Too much testing in high schools should end

September 3, 2015

What is happening in Washington’s public high schools gives testing a bad name.

Schools are pushing too many tests because of a mismatch between state and federal laws. The result is a backlash from students, parents and teachers with high numbers of students opting out of tests.

Test scores provide a valuable snapshot of what individuals have learned and how well schools are teaching them. But too much unnecessary or redundant testing detracts from learning and wastes time.

Read more

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Editorial — Consider volunteering in the classroom

August 26, 2015

On Tuesday, Issaquah parents will whisk their children off to school, symbolically bringing an end to the long summer nights.

A late Labor Day means school starts Sept. 1 this year.

After dropping the kids off at school, you might feel the urge to kick back, relax and enjoy some “me” time. You deserve it after a long summer keeping the young ones entertained.

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Editorial — Legislature must act on funding education

August 19, 2015

NEW — 3:50 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015

Washington state’s school-financing system has been inadequate, broken and inequitable for three decades. On Aug. 12, after multiple warnings, the state Supreme Court issued a new order in the landmark McCleary case putting a price tag on the failure to fix it: $100,000 a day in fines.

The penalty follows the court holding the state — the governor and the Legislature — in contempt 11 months ago. Despite a regular session and three overtime sessions, lawmakers still could not satisfy the court.

No more delays. Gov. Jay Inslee should show the type of bold leadership on the systemic solutions that he did not show during the six months of legislative sessions. He should work with legislative leaders to hatch a plan and then reconvene the full Legislature as soon as possible. Lawmakers must also set aside partisanship and ideology to find a sustainable new education-funding model.

The Legislature made admirable progress toward fuller funding of education in the recent marathon session. But the Supreme Court wants more detailed plans of how the state will pay for the space required for reduced K-3 class sizes and all-day kindergarten. The new order also rightly emphasized the state’s constitutional obligation to pay for teachers’ salaries. The broken school-financing model foists nearly one-third of compensation onto school levies, leaving have and have-not districts in rich and poor corners of the state. Read more

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Editorial — Consider your water consumption

August 11, 2015

NEW — 2:42 p.m. Aug. 11, 2015

It’s official. California isn’t the only one with a problem.

Cascade Water Alliance — of which Issaquah and Sammamish are members — joined Seattle Public Utilities, Tacoma Water and the city of Everett in declaring a regional water advisory at the end of July.

This year’s low snowpack coupled with high temperatures and increased customer demand have heightened the potential for lower water supply availability, according to a Cascade Water Alliance news release.

What does that mean for you? It means the time has come to take a good, hard look at your water consumption. Read more

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Editorial — New law protects dogs in hot cars

August 5, 2015

NEW — 12:02 p.m. Aug. 5, 2015

People who love animals are celebrating a new state law that protects pets left in hot cars. The law went into effect July 24.

It is now a class 2 civil infraction to leave an unattended animal in a motor vehicle or enclosed space where it might be harmed by heat or cold, or lack of water or fresh air.

The fine is $125, and a person could also be convicted of animal cruelty.

The law gives police and animal control officers the authority to free an animal “under any means reasonable” to protect the health and safety of an animal they believe is suffering or is likely to suffer harm, and it clears them of liability for damage to property resulting from any actions they take.

The bill also expands the state’s ban on animal fighting from dogs and roosters to all animals. And it makes it a crime for an adult to cause a minor to commit animal cruelty or make animals fight. Read more

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Editorial — Help children succeed with Tools 4 School

July 29, 2015

NEW — 11:13 a.m. July 29, 2015

Before you know it, summer will be over and children will head back to school.

And although it’s an exciting time for the many children who get new clothes and school supplies, it’s a tense time for families who don’t have the money for such things.

That’s where Tools 4 School comes in.

Read more

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