New Habitat project to break ground in Renton Highlands

June 1, 2010

Renton Highlands will be the new home of a Habitat for Humanity community called La Fortuna.

Habitat coordinators break ground on the project, at 172 127th Ave. S.E., June 11.

The first phase of the $12 million project will include two buildings totaling 11 townhomes.

When completed, the project will have eight buildings and up to 41 units available for families making 60 percent or below the area’s median income, said Tom Granger, executive director for Habitat For Humanity of East King County. Median income for a family of four living in King County in 2009 was about $84,000, according to the nonprofit housing organization A Regional Coalition for Housing. Sixty percent of that would be about $50,000.

The project is made possible through Habitat for Humanity partnerships with Bank of America, Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County Impact Capital, JP Morgan Chase Bank, King County Housing Finance Program and the state Housing Trust Fund.

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Heather Gillette elected Washington State PTA Region 2 director

June 1, 2010

Heather Gillette, of Sammamish, was recently elected as Washington State PTA Region 2 director for a two-year term, beginning June 1.

Heather Gillette

Region 2 includes all PTAs and PTSAs in the Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, Riverview and Snoqualmie Valley school districts.

As region director, Gillette will head up a service delivery team that will be responsible for organizing training and support activities for all PTAs and PTSAs in the region. She will also serve on the association’s governing board of directors.

“One of my goals for next year is to increase the visibility of the services available through the Region 2 team to all local units,” Gillette said. “When local units understand the benefits of using the resources and region training available to them, it helps increase their confidence. This will also help build strong leaders and a strong and diverse organization, which can then more effectively and efficiently serve the needs of the students.”

Gillette has been actively involved in a number of PTAs, including serving as secretary of Carl Sandburg Elementary PTSA; executive vice president, president and vice president of communications of Cascade Ridge Elementary PTSA; co-president and secretary of Beaver Lake Middle PTSA; and co-president and vice president of membership of Skyline High PTSA.

At the council level, she served as president, co-president, and vice president of Issaquah PTSA Council. At the Washington state PTA level, she served on the Region 2 service delivery team, participated in a number of state level committees and presented classes at Region 2 conferences.

In addition to her volunteer service in PTA, Gillette has served the Issaquah School District in a number of volunteer capacities. She also has served as a soccer team manager and coach.

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Dino Rossi ends speculation, enters U.S. Senate race

June 1, 2010

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi — the former Issaquah representative in the state Senate and the Republican nominee for governor in 2004 and 2008 — has entered the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

In a short video posted on his campaign website early May 26, the Sammamish resident joined a crowded field seeking the GOP nomination — and ended months of speculation about whether he might enter the race.

“I know I won’t be able to look at my children and, someday, their children in the eye if I do nothing while this fundamental redefinition of America continues unchecked,” Rossi said in the announcement. “I believe the policies being passed in Washington, D.C., have put us on the edge of a fiscal cliff.”

The eventual nominee will face Murray, a three-term Democrat, in November. Before Rossi can take on Murray, however, he must contend with Republican challengers. Other candidates pledged to remain in the race, despite the advantage Rossi enjoys in support and statewide name recognition.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has endorsed another candidate, Clint Didier, a Pasco farmer and former NFL player, on Facebook and Twitter. The field also include Rossi’s former state Senate colleague, Vancouver Republican Don Benton.

Voters will winnow the entire field, regardless of party affiliation, to two candidates in the Aug. 17 primary election. The top candidates advance to the November general election.

Rossi represented Issaquah, Sammamish and other 5th Legislative District communities in the state Senate from 1997 until late 2003. He resigned to campaign full time for the Governor’s Mansion. King County Council members appointed then-state Rep. Cheryl Pflug to the seat.

In 2004, Rossi lost the closest gubernatorial election in U.S. history to Chris Gregoire. Only 133 votes separated the candidates.

Rossi then fell short in a 2008 rematch against Gregoire. The former state senator launched both gubernatorial campaigns from Village Theatre in downtown Issaquah.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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Rapid Response

June 1, 2010

What type of leader should city officials choose for the next city administrator?

Whoever it is, it will tell us a lot about the values of our leaders.

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

One that will reduce city spending and eliminate unnecessary non-city functions.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

Relevant municipal administrative experience; superior communications skills; an effective team builder; a commanding presence that inspires performance; most of all, the ability to remain above the fray, not perceived to be favoring any special interest, pressure group, political party or individual.

Ray Extract, Issaquah

I am hoping they find a candidate who will be an advocate for the employees as well as the city. One who will embrace the traditions and culture that we currently have. There is room for improvement and change, but get to know the “city family” first.

Michele Forkner, Issaquah Read more

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Off The Press

June 1, 2010

More than 100 people showed up Memorial Day at Hillside Cemetery to pay their respects to veterans, so it was a shame the annual ceremony had to be cancelled.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press editor

There is little parking at the cemetery. Most of it is along roads through the place. Unfortunately, many graves are close to those roads. It’s a juggling act to find a spot where you can be off the road enough and also away from nearby grave markers.

People were sad to be turned away. But Dave Waggoner, assistant quartermaster of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436, who heads up the ceremony, said safety for everyone was the main concern.

On May 29, as volunteers were walking the rows, placing flags and crosses on the final resting places of veterans, people were slipping on the already saturated, muddy ground. It was much worse two days later. In fact, cars that had pulled off the road were leaving deep ruts in places, and by Memorial Day one had even driven over a headstone.

Next year, a contingency plan will be made for inclement weather. So, if you turned out for this year’s ceremony only to be turned away, please return. It’s so important these men and women are not forgotten.

I had the pleasure of meeting a man out there in the rain who refuses to forget — Art Converse who lives in the May Valley area. Art served four years in Vietnam. On Memorial Day, he came to the cemetery looking for the grave of Robert Hoskins, one of 19 men and women named on the monument at Veterans Memorial Field as being killed or missing in action during wartime.

Art had seen Hoskins’ picture in our section “Lest we forget” that ran May 26. Art said he noticed Hoskins was a fellow Marine and he didn’t know whether the young man, who was 19 when he died, still had family in the area who would remember him.

His kindness brought tears to my eyes, as it does now to recount the tale. Art brought some flags to the cemetery, and specifically one to put on Hoskins’ grave. I watched him for a moment — without a coat, without an umbrella — at the grave we directed him to. He stood for a while, and knelt at some point, placing the flag in the soft ground. He also put flags on two other veterans’ graves.

Thank you, Art, for your service, and for remembering the service of others. Read more

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To The Editor

June 1, 2010


Thank you to all the sponsors who helped make veterans section a success

To the sponsors of the Honoring Our Veterans section of The Issaquah Press — Aegis of Issaquah, Brown Bear Car Wash, Flintoft’s Funeral Home and Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thanks for helping us honor the veterans of the Issaquah area. Veterans are an important part of our community history and it is special to partner with you in highlighting those members of the community who have served our nation with a commitment to the Armed Forces of America.

We observed Memorial Day in the city of Issaquah as we gathered at Hillside Cemetery to remember those who have served and are currently serving our country. We appreciate your contribution and support of this tradition.

Steve Johnson

VFW Post 3436 commander

City park

Hiring an architect can’t improve upon the appreciation of natural beauty

The city has hired a landscape architect to plan and develop the downtown “crown jewel” park. I’m not clear on what we are asking the architect to do.

The location of this park is currently a very beautiful, scenic area. It was my hope — and that of many others I talk to — that this area would remain protected and undeveloped, except for some walking trails and maybe a couple of benches.

There is nothing particularly beautiful about grass, so unless we are looking at creating a mini Butchart Gardens (Hey, not a bad idea!), let’s let the natural growth of the area provide us with the beauty we seek on a pleasure walk.

Barbara Extract


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Press Editorial

June 1, 2010

Greet census workers with smile and common sense

Census workers began filling in the gaps last month, going door-to-door to count people in households that didn’t receive or return 2010 census forms. If a form arrived too late to be processed, a census taker will visit the household as well.

Issaquah residents should help the workers to ensure an accurate census. But anytime a stranger knocks on your door, use common sense — verify who is asking questions and never give out sensitive data.

Census workers will only ask questions from the 2010 Census form. Read more

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Dirt-y film educates residents about soil

June 1, 2010

Conservation officials will dig deep for the next showing in the city Sustainability Film Series.

“Dirt! The Movie” will be the feature when the series returns June 8. The documentary — pardon the pun — sifts through a valuable and underappreciated source of fertility: soil.

The film examines the environmental, economic, social and political impact of dirt through stories from experts around the globe.

Following the film, a panel of experts will lead a discussion about dirt and what residents can do in their yards to keep soil healthy and toxin-free. Free information and refreshments will be available; door prizes will be awarded after the film.

The free event runs from 6:30-9 p.m. June 8 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

The city Resource Conservation Office presents the Sustainability Film Series through a grant from the King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. Call the Recourse Conservation Office at 837-3400 to learn more.

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Kiwanis Club of Issaquah seeks funding proposals

June 1, 2010

The Kiwanis Club of Issaquah’s annual community auction at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 24 raised $71,000, $12,000 better than club members expected. As a result, the club is seeking proposals from qualified charities as it seeks to disburse these funds into the community.

Established nonprofit organizations seeking grants of between $500 and $2,000 should visit for an application.

Each year, Kiwanis Club of Issaquah grants more than $75,000 to dozens of community organizations, and in the form of scholarships to qualified students. In addition to the community auction, the club’s other major fundraiser is its annual salmon bake during the Salmon Days Festival each October.

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Baccalaureate set for June 10

June 1, 2010

The Issaquah High School Class of 2010 Baccalaureate will be held at 7 p.m. June 10 at Eastridge Christian Assembly, 24205 S.E. Issaquah Fall City Road.

Graduates do not have to sign up to attend but should plan to arrive no later than 6:30 p.m. To participate, gowns and any stoles or honor cords must be worn. Graduation caps are not allowed.

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