Laura Pierce

Former Kent resident faces animal-cruelty charge following discovery of starving dogs

A former Kent resident has been charged with first-degree animal cruelty, following the discovery of three emaciated, thirsty dogs in a Kent home she reportedly abandoned. Kydey Hok is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 21.

Dictionary Day a big day for Kent School District, Rotary clubs

In the multipurpose room Oct. 12 at Meridian Elementary, the excitement was palpable. The school’s entire third-grade class was quietly abuzz, and all it took was a quick look around the room to know why. There, on a table near the doorway, sat a large stack of brand-new, colorful dictionaries.

Domestic abuse – how one woman walked away: Editor’s Note

It’s the little things at first. A put down. A shove. A household implement broken in anger. But those things start to escalate, until a word becomes a tirade, a shove becomes a beating and the broken things have become bones. Domestic violence is what happens when the love and the loyalty of a relationship get subverted into something pathologically wrong. It can happen to anyone – even the people who are trained to deal with domestic abuse. My friend, whom I will call Kim for the sake of a name in this column, is the survivor of domestic violence. She endured the verbal and physical abuse for nearly eight years, before she managed to break the cycle and walk away. She left with healed-over fractured ribs and a restraining order taken out on her partner, but at least she was able to walk away.

Kent’s Mark Pyne earns People’s Choice award at Sutter Homes Better Burger Contest

The dishes in the sink may have bothered Susan Pyne, but the trip she took with husband Mark Pyne to Miami certainly didn’t. That’s because Mark was a finalist in the Sutter Homes Better Burger Contest, and all that experimentation in the kitchen of their Kent home had a happy ending - a free trip to Florida. Mark was named the winner in the People’s Choice category of the Sutter Homes’ cook-off Sept. 21-23 at Miami Beach. He took third place in the judges’ review. It was an outcome that yielded him a $2,075 cash prize and a handcrafted pottery trophy of a hamburger, in addition to bragging rights at future family barbecues.

Neptune Society to answer cremation questions at Allied Waste Services and Kent Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

Like a number of Kent businesspeople, Edward Sudderth is preparing for the upcoming Allied Waste Services and Kent Chamber of Commerce Business Expo Wednesday. But unlike many of his business cohorts, Sudderth will be discussing a topic every person understands, but not everybody likes to contemplate. Preparing for death.

Strategic-planning group meets to define what success for Kent School District is supposed to mean

A group of about 65 community members, school district staff and students met for a second time in a week Friday at the Kent School District administration building. They had a specific job in front of them, and one which school administration hopes will be a lasting effort: Developing a new strategic plan for the Kent School District.

The American Dream knows no ethnicity: Editor’s Note

I spent part of an afternoon this week having lunch with State Sen. Margarita Prentice. We hadn’t planned to have lunch - but by happy circumstance we found ourselves seated next to each other at a welcoming party in Kent for the new Consulate General for Mexico, Alejandro Garcia Moreno. It was my first time meeting Prentice, who has been a state legislator for 22 years now. And while our paths seem vastly different - she was raised in a Hispanic household in California, I was raised an Irish kid in New York - there are some definite similarities.

Lucy Lopez Center: Helping Kent’s Hispanic community; needing help itself

When Cristina Cianca needed help, the Lucy Lopez Center was there for her. The Panama-born mother, who immigrated here seven years ago, was in serious need of legal assistance last year regarding her immigration status. She’d spotted the center as she was driving along Washington Avenue. Curious to see if they could help her, she stopped in. Cianca, who has two grown children living in Washington, wanted to ensure her ability to stay in this country. To do that, she needed to embark on a complex immigration pathway that started with a paper trail. Within minutes of walking through the door, Cianca was getting assistance from Lucy Lopez Center staff, ensuring her access to an immigration attorney willing to talk with her for free.

Animal-control officer speaks on abuse case; emphasizes need for struggling pet owners to ask for help

When King County animal-control officer Pam McClaren walked into the abandoned East Hill house earlier this month with a search warrant, it was all she could do not to lose her cool. The three dogs had been left in the home for roughly three weeks, faring as best they could with little food or water.

Thunderbirds legend Glen Goodall opens the T-Birds’ first home game of the season Saturday

Talk to Glen Goodall for just a few minutes, and the excitement is palpable. Through the twang of a slight Canadian accent, the former Thunderbird phenom’s voice goes up a few notches when he talks about his upcoming trip. He’s going back to where it all started: to the team that retired his jersey after six glorious years of making fans sit on the edge of their seats.

Doing right by my dog, and getting a license: Editor’s Note

I am a pet owner, and at times it’s a dubious honor. I have a dog that is not unlike Tigger. She doesn’t walk – she more or less bounces everywhere. “Everywhere” includes the bed, the car, or on top of me if I’m languishing on the couch. She’s eaten several of my shoes. She habitually sticks her tongue in my ear and up my nose – God forbid if I open my mouth when she’s in range.

Expect stronger T-Birds squad, coach says: Take in game Sept. 18 at ShoWare – Video

Expect to see a bigger, more physical Seattle Thunderbirds team this season.That’s the word from head coach Rob Sumner, of a team that had a… Continue reading

International Baccalaureate program gets Kent kids competing globally, helps offset college costs

There’s lots of talk these days about competing globally in the classroom. But did you know there’s a program enabling local students to do just that? And – better yet – that it could actually save them a year of study in college? It’s called the International Baccalaureate Program, and it’s been around since the 1960s, when it was first developed as a academic system for the children of foreign diplomats.

Spurred by Holocaust studies, Kent teacher puts emphasis on social justice in the classroom: Slide show of Holocaust sites

It was the shoes on a riverbank that brought Debbie Carlson close to tears. The Meridian Middle School teacher was on a trip to Eastern Europe this summer, and her tour group passed by a bronze sculpture of shoes, lined up on a riverbank. There were work shoes, children’s shoes, ladies’ shoes: a mixture of jobs, genders and ages. The significance of the sculpture wasn’t lost on Carlson, who happened by this spot in the soft light of a summer day in Budapest, along the banks of Danube River with her tour group, while visiting sites of the Holocaust.

Forget your meds? Kent man has a way to remind you

Have you ever been on medication, and it seems that you can never remember to take it on time? Aneel Robinson knows the feeling. “I’d always be forgetting to take my medication,” the Kent resident said. In fact, after continuously forgetting to take his blood-pressure meds, Robinson, a devoted entrepreneur, decided to do something about it. Figuring

What poor customer service really costs – billions: Editor’s Note

I realize in this era of recession it’s not always possible to fully staff a front counter. I also realize fewer employees mean more work for those folks doing counter duty. But when does being overworked cross the line with being helpful? This was a question I asked myself last weekend, standing in line to return a box of cable-TV supplies to my service provider in Auburn.

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.

Thunderbirds gather for training camp – watched by their families in the stands

The ShoWare Center fairly hummed with excitement this past weekend, as dozens of young, earnest athletes strapped on skates and pads, hoping for a coveted slot on the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team. The Western Hockey League franchise was conducting its annual training camps - the wellspring of flying pucks and dented boards from which the team's 2010-11 season squad will emerge.

Summer ending for Kent School District: First day of class is Sept. 1

Summer, it seemed, wasn’t ready to be over. With temperatures hovering in the high 80s Tuesday, the sun beat down as if it were the Fourth of July weekend. But at Mill Creek Middle School, there were obvious signs summer was on its way out. The parking lot was full and the grounds buzzed, with students as well as teachers.

Are we any smarter following Gulf oil spill? Editor’s Note

Have we learned anything from British Petroleum’s debacle in the Gulf? Frankly, I think we’ve learned just how much we don’t know. And because of that, we should cease drilling in U.S. waters until there’s better science to be had.