Federal money not coming for salmon hatchery project

July 11, 2009

 NEW — Noon, July 11, 2009

A proposal to replace a dam near the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery with a structure friendlier to migrating salmon will not receive federal dollars, leaving city and hatchery officials to search for new funding sources.

City and hatchery officials unsuccessfully sought a $3.2 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant to pick up the bulk of the $3.9 million project tab.

Local officials said the fish passage project competed for federal money against a crowded field.

“There were $3 billion in applications and only 6 percent were funded,” city Surface Water Manager Kerry Ritland said.

The dam is located on Issaquah Creek about a half-mile upstream from the hatchery. A poorly designed fish ladder blocks chinook, coho and other salmon as the fish migrate upstream. About 10 miles of prime salmon spawning habitat exist beyond the dam.

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Bare your all for world record attempt Saturday

July 10, 2009

 NEW — 3:45 p.m. July 10, 2009


Slip off your clothes Saturday afternoon, and you could slip into the Guinness World Records.
People will wade into pools at Fraternity Snoqualmie Family Nudist Park as they attempt to set the record for the largest skinny dip across North America. Participants will shed their clothes at noon Saturday.
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Two new tigers call Issaquah home

July 9, 2009

NEW — Noon, July 9, 2009

Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain Zoological Park is the recipient of two new Bengal tiger cubs.

“We are very happy. We want people to come out and be a part of these two boys’ lives,” said Robyn Barfoot, general curator for Cougar Mountain. “If it weren’t for our guests, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

The two cubs, a royal white Bengal, which is 13 pounds, and a standard orange-and-black Bengal, which is 15 pounds, came to the zoo July 2. They are brothers from the same litter, born at an Arizona zoo six weeks ago, Barfoot said.

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Valentine Performing Pigs / July 4, 2009

July 7, 2009

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Goats arrive to landscape Issaquah Highlands hillsides

July 7, 2009

UPDATED — 5:30 p.m. July 7, 2009

Issaquah Highlands backyards will resemble barnyards for the next few weeks as goats landscape vacant land.

About 120 rented goats set to work yesterday on about a half-acre along 24th Avenue Northeast. Goats nibble high grass and invasive species, such as Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom.

The first herd — from Rent-a-Ruminant, of Vashon Island — nibbled across TV screens and YouTube in a lighthearted spot for PEMCO Insurance about goat landscapers.

Goat Landscaping In Highlands / July 7, 2009

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Community calendar

July 7, 2009


The Issaquah Farmers Market is from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. July 11 at the Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. This week’s theme is Cooking at the Market with a cooking demonstration by PCC Market at 11 a.m. and a film, “Good Food,” at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the hay barn. Call 837-3311. Read more

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County Council urges protection for Lake Samm kokanee

July 7, 2009

Conservationists seeking to protect threatened Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon received a boost last week from King County leaders. Read more

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Sammamish Shootout attracts hundreds of state lacrosse teams

July 7, 2009

Skyline High School student Brennan West waits to substitute into the game in the first round of the high school playoffs at the Sammamish Shootout. By Christopher Huber

Skyline High School student Brennan West waits to substitute into the game in the first round of the high school playoffs at the Sammamish Shootout. By Christopher Huber

For Issaquah High School junior Tyler Lucas, the highlight of the 2009 Sammamish Shootout happened in the playoff game against the team from Skyline.

The best part of the day, Lucas said, was “seeing Jake Fritz doing an around-the-world. He pretty much went behind the back, but the other way.”

The shot came as Fritz sprinted toward the 12-inch-wide goal with defenders in his face. He whipped the stick right-to-left across his body, behind his left shoulder. To their surprise, the ball hit the net for a goal.

“I was running down the left side and I just kind of did it,” Fritz said.

The goal helped Lucas’ and Fritz’s team, the Sonics, win its way to the Sammamish Shootout high school-level championship game July 3 at Pine Lake Middle School. The four-man, all-Issaquah High team eventually beat the Issaquah Eagles’ five-man team 8-4 to take the gold medal in the final. The win was Fritz’s third time winning the tournament. Read more

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Plant now for a winter vegetable garden

July 7, 2009

H&G-garden-veggies-20090700In the midst of temperatures hitting the mid-80s locally last week would seem like a strange time to plan your winter vegetable garden.

Yet, many hardy seeds can be planted now that will be ready for harvest come the first frost and beyond.

Master gardener Chris Diggs, who teaches a class on the topic at Squak Mt. Greenhouses and Nursery, said the local mild winter climate allows for a wide variety of vegetables to grow in a home garden with the right planning.

“Plan now, even though it’s almost 80 days before the average first frost date in October,” she said.

Diggs said the key is that the planting seasons are long and mild. So, many crops that start in the cool season can be planted again for the fall.

“I’ve actually seen some vegetables that taste better after the first frost, like cabbage and brussel sprouts,” Diggs said. “They concentrate more of the juices from the fall.” Read more

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Little man wows crowds with big magic

July 7, 2009



10-year-old has sights on being the next David Copperfield

While most 10-year-olds spend their time playing video games and watching television, Matt Wells instead devotes his time to something else entirely. He is a licensed and practicing magician.

“I guess he started taking to magic around 5 or 6,” his mother Sharon Wells said. “His grandfather gave him a magic kit and Matt quickly learned everything that was in that kit. But he wanted to learn more.”

As Matt’s love of magic grew, so did his yearning for more knowledge about the subject. In first grade, Matt read a biography about famed magician Chung Ling Soo that numbered well over 400 pages.

“His father and grandfather started taking Matt to magic shows and meetings,” said Sharon. “He then started doing tricks in the garage and he really kept up with it.” Read more

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