Comcast customers could be affected by digital TV switch

June 13, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. June 13, 2009

TV stations killed their analog signals yesterday as stations nationwide began to broadcast in a digital format. Though the transition was mostly smooth in the region and nationwide, some local Comcast cable customers may need to pick up a digital adapter box in order to receive their full channel lineup.

Comcast ended the analog signal for Channels 30 through 70. Customers who subscribe to Comcast standard cable or digital cable; or those who have a TV connected to Comcast service without a digital set top box may need a digital adapter box.

Comcast introduced digital service in two phases in Issaquah. The first phase ended yesterday; another phase is planned for July 6-10.

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Two, three-vehicle crashes on Issaquah-Hobart Road slow afternoon commute

June 12, 2009

NEW — 3:40 p.m. June 12, 2009

Several vehicles were damaged in two crashes in the 10100 block of northbound Issaquah-Hobart Road at about 2:30 p.m. today, briefly slowing traffic on the corridor ahead of the afternoon commute. No injuries were reported in the accidents, which occurred within moments of one another.

Drivers said the first chain-reaction crash began when the driver of a truck leading a column of vehicles slowed down, causing other drivers to slam on their brakes. All told, six vehicles were involved — three in each crash.

A tow truck driver checks with police before taking away one of six vehicles involved in a crash this afternoon on Issaquah-Hobart Road. — Kathleen R. Merrill

A tow truck driver checks with police before taking away one of six vehicles involved in a crash this afternoon on Issaquah-Hobart Road. — Kathleen R. Merrill

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Issaquah dancer gets booted from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

June 12, 2009

NEW — 2:10 p.m. June 12, 2009

See the story here.

Paris Torres

Paris Torres

Hay spill backs up traffic on I-90 westbound at the highlands

June 11, 2009

NEW — 4:38 p.m. June 11, 2009

A truck and trailer lost dozens of bales of hay on Interstate 90 under the Highlands Drive overpass this afternoon at 3:11 p.m. causing at times a half-mile to a mile backup of rush-hour traffic.

The truck and trailer was traveling westbound on the freeway in the center lane when a gold four-door sedan, driven by a woman with dark brunette hair, suddenly pulled in front of them.

“The woman cut over and was four car lengths in front of us when she cut over from the left and stopped in front of us, leaving less than half a car length,” said the woman, adding the car looked like a Honda Accord. “We couldn’t even see her tail lights. That’s how close she was. So, we laid on the horn.”

The man and woman in the truck pulling the hay said they had to break heavily and tried to navigate into the far right lane to avoid an accident. They gave police a partial license plate number, the woman said.

“That’s when it started swaying and we started losing it,” she said.

Traffic slows on Interstate 90 as a man tries to reload some of the hay that spilled from his truck. — By Kathleen R. Merrill

Traffic slows on Interstate 90 as a man tries to reload some of the hay that spilled from his truck. — By Kathleen R. Merrill

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Patricia E. (Morgan) Kubel

June 11, 2009

Patricia Kubel

Patricia Kubel

Patricia E. (Morgan) Kubel completed her life’s journey on June 3, 2009, after a 10-month valiant battle with cancer.

She was born in Seattle, to George E. and Lillie B.(Hoye) Morgan on Dec. 20, 1940. She was raised in Issaquah, and graduated from Issaquah High School in 1958. Pat sang in the choir in high school and also at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church choir.

In the early 1960s, she was a member of a USO troop in Seattle, where she met her future husband, Samuel Robert Kubel. They were married in the Bahamas in 1964. She and Sam spent the next eight years traveling to different naval bases: Eleuthera, The Bahamas, Rota and Cadiz, Spain, and back to finish his naval career in New York and New Jersey.

In the early 1970s, they returned to Sacramento, Calif., where she was office manager and private secretary to the rabbi at Temple B’Nai Israel until 1986, when Pat decided to move back to Washington to be closer to her family. She made her home in Olympia for 23 years during which time she became a member of the Sweet Adelines. She worked several places during these years, but finished her career at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office in the Financial Services Division, where she gained a second family.

She was predeceased by her parents.

She is survived by her sister, Michele Ann (Mike) and Bob Drewett, of Olympia; nephew John and Valerie Drewett, of Tenino, and their four children, Megan and Jason Sanders, Tyler, Matthew and Kelsey Drewett; niece Erin and Dave Houseman, of Rainier, and their three children, Devon, Aaron and Michael; brother John and Gayle Morgan, of Issaquah; niece Tanya and her son Nathan; nephew Bob and Jodine Morgan and their children, Aaron, Brianne, Cierra and Daytona.

Pat also had four great-great-nieces and nephews, Kylea, Jayson, Lilyana and William. She is also survived by many other relatives and friends.

A celebration of Pat’s life will be held at 1 p.m. June 13 at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. S.E., Lacey.

The family has requested that there be no flowers. Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, Group Health Oncology Department of Olympia or the Little Red Schoolhouse Project c/o The Thurston County Auditor’s Office, Financial Services Division, or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Funeral Alternatives of Washington. Sign Pat’s online guest book at

David Kappler pulls out of City Council election

June 11, 2009

UPDATED — 12:01 p.m. June 14, 2009

David Kappler announced yesterday he would not seek re-election to the City Council — less than a week after the longtime councilman filed with King County Elections to run for another term. Kappler withdrew his candidacy with the elections office yesterday.

Kappler said he plans to spend more time with his family and take care of his 93-year-old parents in Seattle.

Kappler, first elected to the seven-member council in 1991, is a staunch advocate for environmental preservation. The councilman and his supporters discussed his decision to withdraw at his house Monday night. He said some of his supporters urged him to run again. Kappler cited the time commitment of serving as a councilman when he announced he would step down.

“They would love to see me on the council, but they realize 18 years is an awfully long time,” he said.

Kappler, a longtime member of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, said he also plans to devote more time to the organization.

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Goats will landscape highlands hillsides

June 9, 2009

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects, Contributed

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects. Contributed

Parts of the Issaquah Highlands will resemble a PEMCO Insurance ad in late June and early July, when hundreds of goats start to munch invasive plants on steep hillsides. Some of the goats clearing brush in the highlands were featured in the “Goat Renter Guy” spot that poked fun at Pacific Northwesterners for relying on ruminants to tame wayward plants.

Issaquah Highlands Community Association managers hired a pair of goat herders — and about 400 goats — to tackle landscaping on stretches of hillside too difficult and expensive for human crews to maintain.

“I’m told they’ll eat anything that’s green,” said Russ Ayers, landscape manager for the highlands community association.

Goats will work in the highlands for about two and a half weeks. Ayers said arrival dates for the goats had yet to be finalized.

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A roarin’ day at the park

June 9, 2009




Spectators watch from the shores of Lake Sammamish as hydroplanes race by at speeds exceeding 130 mph in the Grand Prix finals at Tastin’ n Racin’. The June 6 events brought in more than 18,000 visitors. 

School buses evacuated to escape nearby brush fire

June 9, 2009

A brush fire at the Issaquah School District Transportation Center prompted the evacuation of 20 school buses from the burning area at about 11:40 a.m. June 2. The flames were put out by 11:55 a.m. Read more

Brian Yorkey wins Tony for best lyrics

June 9, 2009

Brian Yorkey

Brian Yorkey

The Village Originals musical “Next To Normal” took home three Tony Awards at the 63rd Annual Tony Awards Ceremony June 7. 

The awards were Best Original Score (music by Tom Kitt; lyrics by Brian Yorkey), Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) and Best Orchestrations (Michael Starobin and Kitt).

“Next To Normal” (formerly titled “Feeling Electric”) began as a staged reading at Village Theatre in March 2002. The creative team went on to develop the production further as a Village Originals workshop in June 2005. Read more

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