State auditors: no problems with city finances

October 20, 2009

State auditors found no problems with the way city staffers handle Issaquah finances, a recently released 2008 audit shows. The city performed well on the annual assessment of city finances, and staffers took steps to correct a trouble spot auditors discovered in 2007. Read more

St. Michael’s party celebrates tradition of All Hallows Eve

October 20, 2009

Organist-choirmaster Jason Anderson is in costume for All Hallows Eve. Contributed

Organist-choirmaster Jason Anderson is in costume for All Hallows Eve. Contributed

Looking for something other than tricks and treats to go with your Halloween costumes this year? Head to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church for a traditional All Hallows Eve celebration Oct. 25.

It kicks off at 10:30 a.m. and church officials like Ann Lukens said they can’t wait to see new and familiar faces.

“All who would like to explore and experience the Christian roots of Halloween, in a warm and family-friendly environment, are invited to join us,” Lukens wrote in an e-mail. “Costumes are optional, but most welcome. “ Read more

No longer science fiction, robots assisting surgeons

October 20, 2009

By David Hayes
Issaquah Press reporter
John Malina led a healthy lifestyle. The Issaquah resident had eaten healthily, worked out regularly and didn’t have any hereditary diseases that ran in his family.
So, the 64-year-old was rather surprised to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007.
“I was shocked, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I never expected it.”
When discussing treatment options with his urologist, Malina learned they caught the cancer early on, when it wasn’t aggressive yet, giving them several options. He was surprised one of the options seemed right out of science fiction — robotic surgery.
“I have a son serving in Iraq,” Malina said. “He told me the Army was already using robotic surgery, even on the battlefield, and it seemed to be working out well. I wasn’t even aware it was being used locally.”
Malina’s urologist, Dr. Joel Lilly, practicing since 1990, is one of a growing number of surgeons utilizing the new technology at Swedish Medical Center. He’s already approaching his 200th case using the robot-assisted surgery and Swedish has notched more than 2,000 since its invention.
“Patients hear their diagnosis and are anxious to get the cancer out of their body,” Lilly said. “The technology makes the surgery a lot less of a scarier proposition.”
Like operating an oversized flight simulator, the robotic apparatus comes in two parts — the surgeon sits at the first large consul at the side of the operating table, operating two actuators (joysticks for computer gamers) and foot pedals. The controls remotely operate four robotic arms — one a binocular camera giving him a 3-D view with two lenses, and three arms to hold the instruments for the operation.
“It’s pretty amazing technology,” Lilly said. “I’m excited to be working in an era to get to use it.”
All this technology essentially uses a smaller footprint to perform a surgery that in the past was quite invasive.
The conventional surgery used to require a six-inch incision in the lower abdomen; caused considerable blood loss requiring a transfusion that made the patient anemic; mandated a two- to three-day stay in the hospital for recovery, followed by two to three weeks with a catheter inserted into the bladder; and a lot of pain, Lilly said.
Now, the robotic surgery makes only eight to 12 tiny holes of one-third to one-half inch, which are easier to heal and cause less pain; patients are released a day after surgery, and the catheter is only needed for one week.
Malina said he decided to go the surgery route, because he wanted the round of chemotherapy to be a fallback if the surgery didn’t work. It’s looking like he’s made the right decision.
“While I was in the hospital two days, I recovered fairly quickly,” he said. “They got it all out before it could spread past the prostate walls. So, I should be cured.”
Malina said the surgery last November hasn’t slowed him down. He feels good, has a lot of energy and is back to eating right and working out. He said he thinks the robot-assisted surgery is a fabulous medical development.
“Anything that improves the eyes of a surgeon should play a huge role in any surgery,” he said.
Lilly added that robot-assisted surgery is being used in other areas, such as kidney procedures, ovarian cancer, and thoracic and heart surgeries.
The technology is continually expanding, he said. For example, the robotic arms provide a “feedback loop” that, using sensors, tells the surgeon when pushing on something how much pressure and resistance the arm is meeting.
“The bottom line,” he added, “is the robot-assisted surgery is making many of the surgeries of the last 20 years less invasive.”
Malina said he’s grateful the technology has helped him nip in the bud an insidious type of cancer, especially now that he’s approaching two years clean.
“I’m happy to talk to anyone about the experience,” he said. “A friend of mine was facing the same situation. I was happy to recommend to him robotic surgery. I’d recommend it to anyone.”
David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

New technology helps clear Issaquah man of prostate cancer

Swedish Medical Center surgeons operate on patients using the robot-assisted technology of the da Vinci Surgical System. Courtesy of Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Medical Center surgeons operate on patients using the robot-assisted technology of the da Vinci Surgical System. Courtesy of Swedish Medical Center

John Malina led a healthy lifestyle. The Issaquah resident had eaten healthily, worked out regularly and didn’t have any hereditary diseases that ran in his family.

So, the 64-year-old was rather surprised to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007.

“I was shocked, to tell you the truth,” he said. “I never expected it.”

When discussing treatment options with his urologist, Malina learned they caught the cancer early on, when it wasn’t aggressive yet, giving them several options. He was surprised one of the options seemed right out of science fiction — robotic surgery.

“I have a son serving in Iraq,” Malina said. “He told me the Army was already using robotic surgery, even on the battlefield, and it seemed to be working out well. I wasn’t even aware it was being used locally.” Read more

5K races are milestones in weight-loss marathon

October 20, 2009

Amy Herrmann, her friend Larissa Klein and Fitness Together trainer Brian Wehner (left to right) run in the Newcastle 5-K on Aug. 29. Photos Contributed

Amy Herrmann, her friend Larissa Klein and Fitness Together trainer Brian Wehner (left to right) run in the Newcastle 5-K on Aug. 29. Photos Contributed

Amy Herrmann climbed the ridge above Newcastle and stared down at the finish line Aug. 29 at the Newcastle 5-K race.

“I saw the finish and I just stood there and started freaking out,” she said. “I started feeling like what if people didn’t think I finished fast enough.”

Mustering all her courage and holding back tears, she followed her trainer Brian Wehner, from Fitness Together.

When she crossed the finish line, she sat down on the cement taking it all in.

“I felt so good at that moment,” she said. “It was the best thing I have ever done.

“It may have only been 3.2 miles, but it felt like a marathon.” Read more

Halloween Events

October 20, 2009

nightmare-halloween-2008103Nightmare at Beaver Lake, the sixth annual outdoor/indoor haunted attraction presented by the Rotary Club of Sammamish and Scare Productions, is Oct. 23-31 at Beaver Lake Park, 25101 S.E. 24th St., Sammamish. All net proceeds support community and international service projects. The first hour of every night (except Halloween), from 7-8 pm, offers a less-scary Family Hour. Full frights are from 8-10 p.m. on school nights and from 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission for Family Hour is $6 per person. Full Fright admission Sunday through Thursday is $11 per person, and $15 for Fridays and Saturdays. Parking is free. A $1 discount per person is given for a nonperishable food donation, which benefits the Eastside Domestic Violence Program. Learn more at www.NightmareAtBeaverLake.com.

Anyone interested in volunteering for acting, makeup or security at the Nightmare at Beaver Lake is invited to attend a volunteer-orientation meeting from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 at Sammamish City Hall, 801 228th Ave. S.E. New volunteers are required to attend an orientation. Go to www.NightmareAtBeaverLake.com. Read more

Wilmer Wilfred Lessard

October 20, 2009

Wilmer Lessard

Wilmer Lessard

Wilmer Wilfred Lessard died Oct. 11, 2009. He was 85. Read more

Health improves in some, but not all, King County areas

October 20, 2009

King County residents continue to enjoy generally improved health in many areas, with long life expectancies and low mortality from injuries and some chronic diseases. However, some trends are worsening or not improving, and health gains are not being experienced equally by all communities. Read more

Issaquah taxpayers could contribute more if Sammamish leaves EFR

October 20, 2009

If Sammamish leaves Eastside Fire & Rescue — a decision under discussion by city officials — Issaquah taxpayers could pay more to support the regional fire agency. Read more

Spartans prove to be unstoppable for Eagles

October 20, 2009

Nick Washburn, Skyline senior running back, motors ahead in the rain for a first down, despite being wrapped by Issaquah defensive backs Mitchell Blair (left) and Nick Wright during the second quarter. By Greg Farrar

Nick Washburn, Skyline senior running back, motors ahead in the rain for a first down, despite being wrapped by Issaquah defensive backs Mitchell Blair (left) and Nick Wright during the second quarter. By Greg Farrar

As torrential rain fell and soaked players to the core before the game, Skyline High School running back Nick Washburn’s teammates looked at him and said it was going to be all about the run against Issaquah.

The Skyline Spartans typically attack early and often through the air, but with extra slippery gloves and football for receivers Oct. 16, they were finally going to give Washburn his chance to prove himself.

He did, and 18 carries and 181 rushing yards later, Skyline beat the Issaquah Eagles 42-0 at Spartan Stadium.

“I’ve really got something to prove with the running game,” Washburn said after the game. “So, when we get these rainy days, I’m just glad we get to run the ball.”

The win clinched a first-place finish in the KingCo Crest division standings, as well as a spot in the playoffs with Bothell and the winner of the KingCo 4A crossover game in two weeks. Read more

Issaquah School Board candidates answer questions

October 20, 2009

Director district No. 2

Two candidates are vying for the Issaquah Schools Director District No. 2 on the Nov. 3 ballot. The candidates discuss their positions on various local issues, limiting their answers to 25 words or less.

Director district No. 2

Read more

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