Throw out the records when the Eagles clash with the Spartans

January 19, 2010

Nik Landdeck, Issaquah junior forward, is fouled in the first quarter, going two-for-two at the free-throw line. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team fell to Crest Division-leading Skyline 50-46 in a spirited battle at Bellevue College Jan. 15.

Issaquah came into the game in last place in the 4A KingCo Conference Crest division, but the rivalry proved the records were irrelevant.

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City seeks architect for park

January 19, 2010

The vision for Cybil-Madeline, Tollë Anderson and Issaquah Creek parks started to take shape in early January as city officials sent out a request for landscape architects to tackle the project. Read more

Tony Award winner adjusts to new normal

January 19, 2010

Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey (left) directs Suzy Hunt as she portrays Grandma Kurnitz, a main character in ‘Lost in Yonkers’ at Village Theatre. Village Theatre photo

Brian Yorkey returns to direct ‘Lost in Yonkers’

Everybody knew the odds — the cast, the producers, the director, the composer and, especially, the writer and lyricist.

Bookies and bloggers predicted a sweep. The feel-good “Billy Eliot” seemed poised for glory, not “Next to Normal” — a musical built around electro-shock therapy, raw emotions and even rawer nerves.

Everybody knew the odds at the Tony Awards last June — but nobody envisioned the upset to come, especially not the writer and lyricist, Issaquah native Brian Yorkey.

Nobody expected the odds to be so miscalculated, yet Yorkey and composer Tom Kitt toppled “Billy Eliot” to win the Tony for Best Original Score. The other nominees included songwriting titans Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton.

Yorkey, a Village Theatre alumnus stunned about the unexpected win, accepted the award from the presenter, comedian Will Ferrell, and mentioned the Issaquah playhouse during the national broadcast.

“We kind of went into it sort of expecting that ‘Billy Eliot’ would sweep, and that’s a great show, they deserve it, and just to be here is amazing,” Yorkey recalled in early January. “Then, to add on the win was kind of unbelievable. It was a little bit out of body. It didn’t sink in for a few days, I don’t think — if it has at all.”

Next came the dizzying sequence of congratulations, interviews and countless thank-yous from the humble Yorkey, who recalled, “all the clichés apply.” “Next to Normal” won another pair of Tony statuettes, for best orchestrations and best actress in a musical. Read more

New director looks to draw the community to the senior center

January 19, 2010

Courtney Jaren, new Issaquah Valley Senior Center executive director, stands before a twice-weekly exercise class at the center. By Greg Farrar

Only one day on the job and Courtney Jaren was busy meeting patrons and making plans at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center.

“We’d like to put out an all-call for volunteers,” she said of her first order of business. “We want people in the community to come volunteer with us, particularly our schools, Rotary or Eagles groups.

“We want to open ourselves up to new generations and embrace the entire community.”

Jaren, 58, is the new executive director for the center. Her first day was Jan. 12; she succeeds Janice Koriath, who left the position at the end October.

The senior center is a nonprofit organization that organizes a variety of senior activities in and outside Issaquah for adults older than 55. It also offers education, recreation and health and wellness programming.

On Jan. 13, Jaren’s schedule was already in full swing with a luncheon with senior center patrons and a public meet-and-greet opportunity at 2 p.m. But that didn’t stop her from getting in early to mingle with some of the students in the morning SAIL, Stay Active and Independent for Life, exercise class. Read more

Passage Point housing project to move forward

January 19, 2010

King County and Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance officials have reached an agreement that will allow the YWCA’s Passage Point project to move forward. Read more

Community calendar

January 19, 2010

Anniversary speech Museum of Flight President/CEO and retired NASA astronaut Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar (far right), of Issaquah, shares her unique perspective and experiences of Space Shuttle Mission STS-32 on its 20th anniversary at 2 p.m. Jan. 31 in the museum’s William M. Allen Theater, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle. The presentation will include photos and videos taken during the mission, followed by a question-and-answer session. The presentation is free with museum admission. Call 206-764-5720 or go to File


A free open house for Pickering Barn and Tibbetts Creek Manor is from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 20. Stop by either location to tour the facility and receive rental information. Call 837-3367.

The Issaquah Alps Trails Club presents its winter 2010 hike schedule. Meet at the Trails Center, 110 S.E. Bush St. Learn more at or call the individual hike coordinator.

East Bellevue’s parks and green spaces — 9:30 a.m. Jan. 23, Ralph Owen, 746-1070

Cougar Loop — 9:30 a.m. Jan. 24, Richard Mann, 281-8465

Midweek hike — 10 a.m. Jan. 29, dogs welcome hike

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce New Member Coffee is at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at the University House Issaquah, 22975 S.E. Black Nugget Road. RSVP at least 24 hours before by calling 392-7024.

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks is seeking comments at a public hearing from 10 a.m. – noon Jan. 25 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W., on a draft rule that describes procedures for considering recreational safety when placing large wood in rivers, done to improve habitat for fish and wildlife and stabilize stream banks. The draft rule and supporting documents are available online at Read more

Library system asks voters for funding

January 19, 2010

King County Library System officials will ask voters next month to increase property taxes to maintain programs and services at the third-busiest library system in the nation. Read more

Ilene Swanson

January 19, 2010

Ilene Swanson

Ilene Swanson, of Issaquah, died at Providence Marianwood, Issaquah, on Jan. 15, 2010. She was 83. Read more

Kiwanis Quilt

January 19, 2010

Quilt maker Marianne Plantinga poses with quilt winners The Lauves on Jan. 7. When Plantinga started her quilt years ago, she didn’t know it’d have such an impact in the community. After    donating the 38-by-39-inch quilt to the Kiwanis Club of Providence Point, however, that’s exactly what she did.
The club’s members held a raffle for the quilt, which earned $1,000 for Eastside Baby Corner. The winners of the raffle and proud owners of the quilt are both members of the club. The Lauves said they will rotate the quilt among their three daughters each year. Read more

Mammogram recommendations don’t sit well with doctors, women

January 19, 2010

When the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force made new recommendations for breast cancer screening in November, Susan Woerdehoff said she was shocked.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” said Woerdehoff, 43, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at age 38. “I didn’t necessarily understand it. But it was concerning. It didn’t seem to benefit the greater good.”

What the Bellevue resident said she didn’t understand was the recommendation to move away from years of standard practice.

The federally appointed task force recommended that women at average risk should wait to get routine screening mammograms until they’re age 50, instead of the current standard of 40.

It also advised that women ages 50 – 74 get them every two years and discourages doctors from advising women to examine their own breasts regularly.

The guidelines seek to reduce overtreatment. Downsides to screening include false-positives, radiation exposure and psychological harm, according to the task force report. Read more

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