Downtown Issaquah welcomes Santa at tree lighting

November 30, 2010

Santa Claus poses with Snoqualmie resident Ellen Ke and her daughter, Carol Gong, as husband and father Jeffrey Gong snaps a photo, during the 2009 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pedestrian Park. By Greg Farrar

Carolers and artists add holiday magic to Christmas kickoff

Though nighttime darkness falls at about 4:30 p.m. this time of year, Issaquah’s annual Christmas tree lighting is poised to light up the night with colorful ornaments, caroling, hot cider and cookies.

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Issaquah on ice: Snowstorm snarls traffic, prompts school closures

November 30, 2010

Ryder Marin, 9, of Issaquah, starts to spill after becoming airborne on the Issaquah Community Center hillside Nov. 23. ‘All the snow comes straight up in my face and I can’t see very well,’ he said. By Tim Pfarr

The nightmare occurred long before Christmas — and before Thanksgiving.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region slid to a halt during a fall snowstorm Nov. 22. The storm snarled commutes for Issaquah residents and prompted road crews to toil through Thanksgiving to clear streets. The poor conditions interrupted the regional transit system and left riders huddled in bus shelters. The fallout sent shoppers scrambling to stores for emergency supplies and Thanksgiving staples.

The mercury dipped into the teens and 20s — record cold temperatures — in the days after the storm and turned roads icy.

“People were very understanding of the situation,” Issaquah Police Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “I think a lot of people were just trying to get home Monday night.”

Some motorists abandoned vehicles and turned road shoulders along Highlands Drive Northeast, Newport Way Northwest and Southeast Black Nugget Road into impromptu parking lots. Police impounded more than 30 vehicles in travel lanes as conditions deteriorated Nov. 22.

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Hypothermia claims Issaquah-area man

November 30, 2010

The recent cold has claimed the life of a 66-year-old Issaquah-area man.

James R. Furseth died Nov. 20 in Issaquah from hypothermia, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported last week. Temperatures in the Issaquah area dipped to near freezing on the day Furseth died.

The medical examiner’s office said Furseth died in a trailer near rural Southeast May Valley Road.

Hypothermia occurs after a person’s body temperature has dropped significantly below normal due to inadequate protection against cold.

Temperatures in recent days dipped into the 20s and teens as a fall snowstorm swept into the region.

The cold also claimed a 76-year-old Redmond man, Jerry M. Fitzgerald. Officials said Fitzgerald died from hypothermia Nov. 19.

Architect offers bold plan for creekside parks

November 30, 2010

The proposed design for a downtown parks site includes a horseshoe-shaped bridge across Issaquah Creek and meandering trails. The Berger Partnership

Initial proposal emphasizes ecology and history at downtown site

Ideas abound for the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek: boulders for climbing, meandering paths, community gardens, historic farmhouses repurposed as meeting spaces and — the centerpiece — a horseshoe-shaped pedestrian bridge across the creek at the main stem and the East Fork.

The ambitious plan aims to transform the oft-overlooked, 15.5-acre site near Darigold into a destination. Seattle landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said the intent is to create a park site “unique to Issaquah and a reflection of Issaquah.”

The site — often referred to as the “crown jewel” in the municipal parks system — encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The effort is the largest parks project since the city built Squak Valley Park South in 2008 and the most ambitious plan since the city laid the groundwork for Tibbetts Valley Park more than 20 years ago.

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Annexation could resolve area’s contamination, fire concerns

November 30, 2010

Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District considers absorbing Overdale Park

Concerns about contaminated drinking water and inadequate fire protection could evaporate soon for Overdale Park residents.

The neighborhood near the former Albertsons store could be annexed into the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District after a yearslong debate about arsenic-tainted wells and questions about a stable water supply.

Overdale — through a neighborhood water association — has operated a private water system since the 1950s, not long after houses started to sprout at the then-rural site. Residents turned to the Sammamish district for service in 2005, after arsenic contamination left a well near East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast unusable. In addition, another neighborhood well could no longer meet residents’ demand for water. Read more

Press Editorial

November 30, 2010

Time to rethink snow make-up days

Last week, the Issaquah School District made the right call by shutting down because of the hazardous driving conditions brought on by snowy weather. But is it really necessary to make up those missed school days? Surely there’s a better way.

The school calendar is complicated enough without trying to squeeze in snow make-up days. State law mandates a 180-day school year — an arbitrary number now accepted as a minimum in every state in the nation. As a result, unexpected closures result in students sitting in classrooms a few days later into June. Read more

Spartans conquer Vikings 35-34

November 30, 2010

Skyline faces rematch for another state title

, With 25 yards to go, Kasen Williams still refuses to be stopped on his fourth-quarter, go-ahead 85-yard touchdown run by the combined effort of Jordan Copeland and Rahmel Dockery of Curtis. Skyline won the state 4A semifinal game Nov. 27 at the Tacoma Dome, 35-34.  By Greg Farrar

Rahmel Dockery and the Curtis Vikings had the Skyline High School football team’s number in the first half of their Class 4A state semifinal match-up at the Tacoma Dome on Nov. 27. Read more

To The Editor

November 30, 2010

Seeds of Love

Thank you to everyone who helped with memorial project to Cheryl Sherburne

Thank you for the article about the friends of Cheryl Sherburne planting daffodils (“Growing the Seeds of Love,” Nov. 10)!

It was a great testament to the power of their relationships and their faith.

We want to thank all of those volunteers for what they have done, but mostly for who they are and the power of their acts of love.

Family of Cheryl Sherburne

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Off The Press

November 30, 2010

Bob Taylor

Cindy sat alone in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance waiting room. She was waiting to enter the infusion area for some chemotherapy. As has become a routine for me, I walked over to say hi and to let her know I was a cancer warrior, too.

She smiled. I will never forget that smile. Cindy seemed at peace.

Peace. Isn’t that what most people want this time of year?

I realize it’s hard for some people to think of peace. Yes, for many, it’s been a tough year.

Some people are upset with the ailing economy.

Some people lost jobs. As a result of losing jobs, they were unable to pay the mortgage and inevitably lost their homes. Read more

Recount planned for Issaquah state Senate contest

November 30, 2010

The last undecided race to represent Issaquah in Olympia is headed for a recount.

State Sen. Randy Gordon trailed challenger Steve Litzow by more than 1,000 votes in the days after the Nov. 2 election. The gap between Democrat Gordon and Republican Litzow narrowed to 194 votes — or 0.32 percent — as the county tallied ballots.

Under state law, a machine recount is required if the difference between the candidates is less than 2,000 votes and also less than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.

King County Elections tallied 63,361 ballots in the race. The margin to trigger a machine recount in the race is about 315 votes.

The machine recount is scheduled to start Dec. 1.

Turnout reached 71.6 percent in the Nov. 2 election. King County Elections certified the election results Nov. 24.

The elections office predicted 68 percent turnout before the election. Read more

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