Preston resident heads to Haiti on aid mission

January 30, 2010

NEW — 9:40 a.m. Jan. 30, 2010

Preston resident Mark Bowers heads to Haiti on Saturday on a medical mission with a team of 14 other nurses and medical support professionals.

The group was scheduled to go to Haiti to help orphans and people in villages surrounding orphanages before the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit 12 miles from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, Jan. 12.

Now they will go to provide more trauma and triage support to victims of the earthquake.

“Our plan is to hit the ground running and do clinics every day that we are there, a total of nine clinics a day from dawn to dusk,” he said. “In this case, it will be a little different than our original plan in that the earthquake will have us focus on people that are affected more in terms of trauma or in terms of affected by illnesses of poverty.

“In addition, though, we’ll continue to do routine medical care and treatments that we would have been doing, like de-worming children, providing eyeglasses and providing medication and formal treatment.”

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Expect roundabout lane closures

January 30, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 30, 2010

Officials closed the southbound bypass lane on the new roundabout at East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Southeast 43rd Way for about two weeks, while crews revise signage and pavement markings.

The roundabout will be completed after final paving occurs; the task depends on weather conditions. Lanes will close for a few days — or during a single-day full intersection closure — during final paving.

The city and contractor will work to limit impacts to drivers. Officials will notify residents at least a week before final paving starts. Check the city Web site or 1700-AM radio station for updates.

Engineers often study traffic patterns created by new projects and then make revisions based on the data.

Workers completed initial paving for the project Nov. 17 and the roundabout opened the next day. Crews planned to construct the roundabout in mid- to late-summer, but unforeseen utility work and weather conditions extended the construction schedule by almost two months.

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Ballot returns for Feb. 9 election outpace elections office projections

January 29, 2010

NEW — 10:35 a.m. Jan. 29, 2010

Voters outpaced King County Elections’ estimates for projected daily returns by more than 10,000 ballots. Officials expected fewer ballots would be returned by Wednesday, but the office had received more than 120,000 ahead of the Feb. 9 special election. About 140,000 ballots — or 13 percent — had been received by Thursday.

King County voters will decide a library levy lid lift, and Issaquah School District voters will weigh three school levies in the all-mail election. Officials had received 8,410 ballots — or about 15 percent — of the ballots from school district voters by Thursday.

“We base our projections on voter behavior from previous elections to help us prepare for each upcoming election,” Superintendent of Elections Evelyn Arnold said in a statement. “We’re always pleased when voters exceed our expectations by getting their ballots back to us earlier than expected because it allows us to report a higher count on Election Day.”

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Woodinville tops Eagles in battle of division leaders

January 28, 2010

NEW — 11:34 a.m. Jan. 28, 2010

The Issaquah High School girls basketball team got off to a hot start like it has done often this season, but the Eagles couldn’t keep up with host Woodinville in the third quarter Jan. 27 and fell to the Falcons 54-47 in a battle of 4A KingCo Conference division leaders.

Issaquah led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter and was tied with Woodinivlle 26-26 at halftime. Woodinville outscored the Eagles 17-10 in the third quarter to take the lead for good.

Amanda Frost scored 17 points for Woodinville, which has a 10-1 record and leads the Crown Division. Maddey Pflaumer had 17 points for Issaquah. Teammates Mackenzie Schiltz and Blaire Brady contributed 12 and 11 points respectively.

The loss was Issaquah’s first in league play and just its second of the season. The Eagles, 10-1,dropped in to a tie with Newport for the Crest Division lead.

In other action, Skyline downed Inglemoor 58-51.

Kassia Fortier, of Skyline, scored  game-high 22 points. Haley Smith added 12 points for the Spartans, who are 5-6 in league play.

In 3A/2A KingCo action, Liberty lost to visiting Bellevue 41-33. Bellevue outscored Liberty 12-8 in the final quarter to pull away. Aspen Winegar topped Liberty with 12 points. Danni Sjolander added 11 points for the Patriots, who are 3-5 in league play.

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Reporters plan overnight stay at Tent City 4

January 28, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 28, 2010

Reporters Warren Kagarise and Chantelle Lusebrink will bed down at Tent City 4 on Friday to report in-depth coverage about the homeless encampment.

The reporters will talk with Tent City 4 residents and volunteers, break bread with the community and learn how the camp operates. The homeless encampment returned to Community Church of Issaquah last week.

The reporters plan to arrive at the camp as residents return from jobs, and talk with residents about life in the encampment, the rules occupants must obey to remain, the circumstances behind their journey to Tent City 4 — and help readers relate to how the residents reached the encampment, and Issaquah.

Follow the reporters on Twitter @wkagarise and @clusebrink for their observations from the encampment.

The camp hosts up 100 people; about 80 people usually reside in the community. Community Church last hosted Tent City 4 from August to November 2007. Organizers praised the community for welcoming camp residents during the 2007 stay.

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Skyline falls into three-way tie

January 27, 2010

NEW — 2:14 p.m. Jan. 27, 2010

The Skyline High School boys basketball team fell into a big first-quarter hole Jan. 26 and never quite dug itself out as the Spartans lost to the host Inglemoor Vikings 49-45 in a 4A KingCo Conference contest.

Inglemoor shot to a 20-6 first-quarter lead and maintained the lead despite a furious fourth quarter by Skyline. The Spartans outscored Inglemoor 18-9 in the final period.

Cory Hutsen led Skyline with 18 points.With the loss, Skyline, 8-3 in conference action, fell into a three-way tie with Eastlake and  Garfield for the Crest Division lead.

Eastlake topped Ballard 71-63 and Garfield downed Lake Washington 66-60. Inglemoor, 7-4, moved into a three-way tie with Lake Washington and Woodinville for the Crown Division lead.

In other action, Issaquah lost to Woodinville 59-50. Joe Evans had 20 points to lead Issaquah.

In the 3A/2A KIngCo Conference, Liberty lost to first-place Bellevue 78-40. Although the game ended in a rout, it didn’t start that way as Liberty held a 15-14 first-quarter lead. Chandler Jenkins and Kylan Marlow each had nine points to lead the Patriots.

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City seeks contractor for long-planned I-90 Undercrossing

January 27, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 27, 2010

Officials seek construction bids for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a long-planned connector from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 56th Street.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock put the project out to contractors for bid after the City Council cleared a final pre-development hurdle last week.

After the city receives bids, Brock expects staffers will select a finalist within the next few weeks. He hopes for the City Council to award the contract in March. The sluggish economy could make for bids at lower amounts than officials expect.

Officials budgeted about $3 million for undercrossing work in 2010. The overall cost of the endeavor included in the Capital Improvement Plan — a sweeping guide to all types of city projects — is $13 million.

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Get Involved

January 26, 2010

Issaquah High School

Robotics Society

By Alex Tucker

The Issaquah Robotics Society is in full swing as it gears up for its first competition in March in Portland, Ore. The robotics club has an impressive history of victories, and this year will likely be no different, due to the members’ enthusiasm and dedication.

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District opted out of voters’ guide

January 26, 2010

The voters’ pamphlet mailed by King County Elections baffled Issaquah School District voters when the guide arrived in mailboxes earlier last week. The mailer contained no information about the three district levies on the Feb. 9 ballot.

The lack of information, however, was not a mistake. District officials opted not to include information in the guide to save money — about $7,000.

But the pamphlets confused voters because the elections office included information about other school district levies. Klahanie voters received pamphlets with information about the Vashon Island School District levy, while south Issaquah residents now know about Tahoma School District’s levy.

Kim van Ekstrom, a spokeswoman for the elections office, said the format resulted from another money-saving measure. Without local items on the ballot, the office sent the same guides to various ZIP codes to cut costs.

Guides sent to voters in Issaquah do contain information about the King County Library System levy lid lift.

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Officials to discuss Newport Way upgrades at open house

January 26, 2010

City officials want to know how nearly a mile of Newport Way Northwest near Issaquah Valley Elementary School should be improved. Bring ideas to a city open house at 6 p.m. Feb. 3. Read more

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