Laura Pierce

Kent Fire responds to blaze at vacant house on Southeast 208th

Kent Fire responded to a blaze Thursday night in a vacant home on 1100 block of Southeast 208th St. There were no injuries, nor were there any pets located at the one-story rambler home, which apparently had been left vacant for some time.


Mill Creek students create winning yearbook, heartburn and all

A group of Kent students have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be in the publishing industry. Heartburn, deadlines and all.


First day of school in Kent is Sept. 1: What else the school year calendar has in store

The first day of school for the Kent School District this year is Wednesday, Sept. 1. Unlike last year, which saw the unfolding of a teacher's strike starting in August, this year teachers will be reporting to work as usual, with the backing of a labor contract that was hammered out and approved following last year's strike.


Howard Hanson Dam safety issues topic of chamber meeting

Issues concerning a major flood-control dam on the Green River will be the topic of discussion at the next Kent Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting,… Continue reading

Valley/UW alliance meeting raised some questions: Editor’s Note

Last week I sat in on a meeting about the new strategic alliance that’s being vetted between Valley Medical Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine. If you haven’t heard about this concept yet, you should - and over the next few months, unless you have been living under a rock, you probably will. Under this proposal, Valley Medical Center would join forces with the UW, as a way to expand the health care Valley provides to South King County. Valley wouldn’t give up its name, employees or identity, but it would get more of the specialized medical services that the UW can provide. And the UW, which already has clinics in South King County, would add south King County as part of its service area. Overall, I think this is a good idea. We live in an era where smaller public hospital districts – like the one operating Valley – are getting eaten up by bigger health organizations. They’re losing their identity and vision in this gobbling-up process. Under the alliance proposed by VMC and UW, our local hospital wouldn’t be losing those things. In fact, it would gain things that should keep it au courant with the bigger health-care providers coming into the region. Enough said. There are people lining up to say these things – and they’re saying them better than me, if that informational video by Valley, which shows apparently dozens of supporters saying this idea is great, is any indicator. But what I did find worrisome at last week’s meeting, was the response audience members got, when it came to who would run the thing.

SLIDE SHOW: Thunderbirds unveil new jersey for 2009-10 season

A healthy-size crowd gathered Wednesday at the Kent ShoWare Center to take a look at the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team's jerseys for the season.

Kent youngsters experience ‘Girls on the Run’

For a lot of youngsters, running laps around a field can feel like a chore. Not so for a group of girls at Sunnycrest Elementary School in Kent. For 10 weeks, the students gathered two afternoons each week to stretch and put in the laps around the playfield at their school. Sure it was hard, and they sweated. But there was something extra special that kept them going.

Taking a stand in the face of tragedy

You may have read a particularly heinous story of child abuse in our pages and on our Web site today.It involves a 2-year-old Kent girl,… Continue reading

Thunderbirds seek Russian interpreter for new standout player Senturin

Wanted: Someone fluent in Russian; extra points for an advanced appreciation of hockey.The Seattle Thunderbirds are in search of an area resident who can function… Continue reading

Self-Serve Garage in Kent offers space, tools, info for doing your own repairs

For George Patterson, it was the sticker shock. The former Army medic needed a tune-up for his Jeep Grand Cherokee, and learned it would cost the hefty sum of $600 at a repair shop. But if he did it himself, it would be only $200-$300.

Kent school top brass finding new jobs, retiring: Why?

Becky Hanks, the Kent School District's longtime spokesperson, has retired after three decades of serving the Kent School District. Her stated reason was to take the pace of her life down a few notches. "I want to go play," Hanks said, when asked about her reasons for leaving. "It's been a great life but I'm gonna explore other aspects of it." But Hanks isn't the only high-level official decamping the school district this summer. The district also has lost Finance Director John Knutson, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Fred High, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Larry Minor and several other high-ranking administrative staffers.

After three decades in Kent schools, Hanks retires, but not ready to sit around

After 30 years in the employee of the Kent School District, Becky Hanks is moving on. Hanks, who wore many hats and outlasted several superintendents, saw her last day July 1, with a retirement party at district headquarters.

So does this make me a left-wing, media liberal? Or what?

The longer I stick around journalism, the more I hear the phrase “left wing, liberal media.”I heard that phrase bandied about in regard to me… Continue reading

Let’s get back to business at hand

The latest chapter has unfolded in our Kent teachers’ strike, and like all parties involved or watching from the sidelines, I am hoping this will… Continue reading

A visit from Japan

A group of exchange students from Tamba City, Japan, have been getting their first taste of American culture this week.Working through the Kent-Auburn-Tamba Sister Cities… Continue reading

Smash-mouth Irish sports you must watch: Editor’s Note

With Mick Kelly’s, a new Irish restaurant and pub coming to Kent’s Riverbend Golf Complex in coming weeks, I’ve been excited on several fronts. There’s always the food – you can’t beat Irish fish and chips or corned beef and cabbage. And there’s Guinness ale, which may be an acquired taste for some. But the other big one is sports – Irish sports, to be exact. According to Mick Purdy, who co-owns the biz with cousin Adrian Kelly, you’ll be able to watch the Setanta Sports network at their new Kent eatery.

FAA visits Kent site for new headquarters; city waits for ranking

It's a waiting game for the city of Kent, in its bid to bring a new Federal Aviation Administration facility to town. Ben Wolters, the city's economic development director said Tuesday that FAA officials made a visit to Kent's proposed site April 2. "You know, I thought we did well," Wolters said, noting their informal comments at the time were along the lines of "very impressive."

Thai Chili Restaurant owner in Kent going on medical mission to Guatemala: See slide show of past mission

Nina Saisombut, owner of Thai Chili Restaurant in Kent, is part of medical team that provides free dental care to Guatemala. She's departing this month for another mission, and people can donate to her cause.

An adventure in newspapering

I’ve always liked what Mark Twain said about being a newspaper editor: “I am not an editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be good, so that God will not make me one.”

Kent resident Stefano Langone moves on in ‘American Idol’: See the original audition tape!

He overcame a life-threatening car accident that landed him in a wheelchair and left scars on his arms and legs. It could have either broken his spirit - or made him hungrier to live life to the fullest. Kent resident Stefano Langone chose the latter route. The 21-year-old Kentwood High School graduate is now about to take that drive to succeed all the way to Hollywood.