Remember these safety tips amid high wildfire risk

September 5, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 5, 2009

State Department of Natural Resources officials urged campers and other forest visitors to be mindful of the danger of wildfires over Labor Day weekend.

Despite small amounts of rain, firefighters have been busy on both sides of the state putting out blazes.

“We want people to be aware that even if we’ve had a few scattered showers, wildfires can still occur because of the very dry landscape,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release. “We need much more rain than what this weekend will offer to help us with fire season.”

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Come to Bumbershoot with us!

September 4, 2009

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 4, 2009

We won’t let a rainy forecast dampen our spirits at Bumbershoot — and we want you to join us at the music fest.

Join The Issaquah Press ( and reporters Warren Kagarise ( and Tim Pfarr ( on Twitter as they tweet to the beat. Watch out for musings, photos and other snippets as the reporters roam the festival grounds in the shadow of the Space Needle.

Issaquah’s own Modest Mouse is a headliner at Bumbershoot. The indie rockers will close the festival Monday night.

When Modest Mouse takes the stage, follow The Press for even more about the homegrown act.

We want to hear from you, too. Issaquah folks with Bumbershoot plans: Talk to us — or, more specifically, tweet at us. We want to know what you like about Bumbershoot, what you don’t and which acts you’re psyched for the most.

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School district volleyball teams gear up for big season

September 4, 2009

NEW — 5 p.m. Sept. 4, 2009

Issaquah High School’s volleyball team could be a tower of power this season. The Eagles will see the return four players, all 6 foot or taller. These players also are very talented, which makes the Eagles optimistic for the 4A KingCo Conference season.

Skyline, despite three returning seniors, is also optimistic about the 4A KingCo season, and Liberty looks for improvement in its 3A/2A KingCo season.

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Head downtown for the last ArtWalk of the season

September 4, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 4, 2009

Hurry to ArtWalk Issaquah today. Otherwise, your next opportunity to stroll through ArtWalk will be May 2010.

The event runs from 5-9 p.m. Check out artists and musicians in downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village. Enjoy music and refreshments throughout downtown and Gilman Village, too.

Stop by Front Street Cafe to see the guitar work of Jonathan Nicholson, a master of open tuning. Kaleidoscope School of Music will be at the Issaquah Library with a variety of bands and musicians.

Devereaux will perform at the Hailstone Feed Store and Show Brazil will be at the historic train depot.

Gilman Village will also host plenty of live music and the creations of area artists.

A limo will run as a shuttle between Front Street and Gilman Village. Pick up the sweet ride outside Creighton Edwards at Gilman Village, in front of the library or at the corner of Dogwood Street and Rainier Boulevard. The shuttle runs about every 15 minutes.

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City will lay off 10 employees

September 3, 2009

NEW — 1:45 p.m. Sept. 3, 2009

City officials gave layoff notices to 10 employees today as the city takes dramatic steps to trim expenses by about $7 million.

Employees in the municipal Building, Human Resources, Parks & Recreation, Planning and Public Works Engineering departments received notice their positions would be eliminated soon. Some of the departments have been hit by a slowdown in building construction.

The layoffs followed a hiring freeze and a voluntary severance program enacted by the city. Municipal officials will save about $595,000 next year after seven employees opted for a severance package. All told, the hiring freeze, severance program and layoffs will save the city $2.025 million.

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10 city employees get layoff notices

September 3, 2009

BREAKING NEWS — 12:55 p.m. Sept. 3, 2009

Ten city employees were notified today that their positions will soon be eliminated.

The reduction is to help keep the budget balanced amid declining sales and property tax revenues. City officials need to cut about $7 million for 2009 and 2010.

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Plan ahead for Labor Day closings, Metro schedule changes

September 3, 2009

NEW — 12:55 p.m. Sept. 3, 2009

City, county, state and federal offices and banks will close Monday in observance of Labor Day.

Post offices will close and mail will not be delivered. State driver’s license offices will also be closed.

Metro Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule; if a route does not normally run on Sunday, there will be no service. Learn more by calling Metro Customer Information at 206-553-3000 or click here.

On Friday, most King County and Metro offices will be closed as part of a cost-saving furlough program. Metro will operate on a regular schedule Friday.

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Teach kids tips to avoid flu outbreak

September 2, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 2, 2009

Health officials braced for another wave of H1N1 flu are using the start of a new school year today as an opportunity to educate parents and students.

Red Cross officials encouraged parents to take flu-prevention steps now to keep their children healthy in the event of a swine flu outbreak. Officials recommend the following tips:

  • Teach children proper and consistent hand-washing techniques.
  • Tell children to avoid sharing utensils, cups and bottles.
  • Show children how to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and wash their hands afterwards. Teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow or upper arm if they lack a tissue.
  • Teach children to keep hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering the body.

“September is National Preparedness Month, so we always encourage families to go over their preparedness plans, but this year, it is especially important with the potential of H1N1,” said Amy Ezzo, youth and young adult services program coordinator for the local Red Cross chapter. “Parents should talk with the school about what the plans are for a potential flu outbreak, as well as going over flu prevention methods with their kids.”

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Born to ride the ponies

September 1, 2009

Lilia Habeman rides Dyna last month at the United States Pony Club West Coast Dressage Championships in Auburn, Wash. They helped their team place third at the event. By Tim O’Neal

Lilia Habeman rides Dyna last month at the United States Pony Club West Coast Dressage Championships in Auburn, Wash. They helped their team place third at the event. By Tim O’Neal

Even before Lilia Habeman could walk, she’s been sitting tall in a saddle. So, it was no surprise that the 13-year-old inherited her mother’s love for the ponies.

“I was born with it,” Lilia said.

Involved now in competitive riding for 10 years, Habeman’s bedroom is lined with a growing collection of event ribbons. Last month, she added her biggest one yet — a third place from the United States Pony Club West Coast Dressage Championships.

The challenging aspect of the competition was being assigned to a team of five, none of whom Lilia had ridden with before. Her squad of five, The All American Catch Team, had three people from Idaho and another one from California. So, Habeman was actually the local girl at the competition, held in Auburn.

Lilia admits her good fortune came at the expense of another rider’s bad luck.

“I was actually an alternate,” she explained. “Another rider broke her leg.” Read more

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Fewer chinook expected to return

September 1, 2009

FISH spots first chinook  at Issaquah hatchery

 The first chinook of the year returns from the Pacific Ocean to Issaquah near the Salmon Hatchery fish ladder. By Gestin Suttle

The first chinook of the year returns from the Pacific Ocean to Issaquah near the Salmon Hatchery fish ladder. By Gestin Suttle

At the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, chinook is king.

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Executive Director Gestin Suttle said the return of the first chinook is usually cause for celebration. But the festive mood could be dampened by a downsized forecast for the number of chinook.

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers and FISH members spotted the first chinook of the season in Issaquah Creek last week. But the good news was tempered with a stark prospect: Muckleshoot Tribe fisheries officials initially forecast 15,000 chinook salmon returns for the year, but the estimate has since been cut to 5,000 returns.

Suttle said the number was “very disappointing to say the least” and alarming. But she said the factors behind fewer chinook returns were difficult to determine. A hot, dry summer and water temperatures in Lake Washington could be behind the revised forecast. Read more

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