Editorial — Rape kit testing gets much needed funding

September 21, 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.

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Editorial — Volunteer for schools foundation board

September 16, 2015

Turn your passion for education into action with the Lake Washington Schools Foundation.

The Lake Washington Schools Foundation Board of Trustees is a passionate group of energetic volunteers. The members’ dedication to public education has brought the board together to raise more than $2 million since 2005, supporting opportunities for academic excellence and success for all students in the Lake Washington School District.

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Editorial — Using funds for their purpose is a great idea

September 9, 2015

As far as we can tell, Sammamish Mayor Tom Vance pretty much knocked this one out of the proverbial park.

Last week, in a special session, the City Council had to decide whether to proceed with construction of Big Rock Park despite cost overruns.

In July, the city received a grand total of one bid on the park project, a bid that was more than $250,000 over the initial estimate. The bid was rejected and the city restarted the process.

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Editorial — Too much testing in high schools should end

September 1, 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.

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Editorial — Consider volunteering in the classroom

August 26, 2015

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

A late Labor Day means school starts for both Issaquah and Lake Washington school districts on Sept. 1.

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 — 4:40 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

Editorial — Consider your water consumption

August 12, 2015

NEW — 12:12 p.m. Aug. 12, 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

Editorial — New law protects dogs in hot cars

August 5, 2015

NEW — 3:26 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. Read more

Editorial — Help children succeed through Tools 4 School

July 29, 2015

NEW — 9:02 a.m. July 29, 2015

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

And although it’s an exciting time for 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.

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Editorial — Fish win reprieve and so do residents

July 23, 2015

Score one for the little guy.

Homeowners in the Chestnut Estates area, the Friends of Pine Lake and environmental activist Walter Pereyra won, for now, after a recent ruling by Sammamish Hearing Examiner John Galt.

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