Students to start calling for school donations

October 19, 2010

Students from Issaquah’s three high schools are banding together, phones in hand, with the goal of bringing home $300,000 for the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Calling for Kids annual fund campaign.

Students will be dialing numbers from 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 and 28.

In the past, the foundation used Costco’s call center, but “the writing was on the wall that we were not going have the use of Costco anymore,” Calling for Kids co-chairwoman Leigh Stokes said.

Faced with the dilemma of providing phones for 150 students, the foundation coordinated with Issaquah School District administrators and secured the use of the district administration building.

This year, callers will be spread out across the building, while others will use cell phones the foundation purchased for its annual campaign.

The foundation purchased 90 cell phones with reloadable minutes for $1,600, with T-Mobile underwriting $1,000 of the expense.

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City hosts Issaquah Creek parks open house

October 19, 2010

Help decide the future of downtown Issaquah parks at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house Oct. 21.

The meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The meeting includes representatives from the city Parks & Recreation Department and The Berger Partnership, the Seattle landscape architecture firm spearheading the design.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

City Parks & Recreation Department employees kicked off the planning process during a public picnic at the site in late August.

City announces sites for electric vehicle charging stations

October 19, 2010

The city plans to install a pair of charging stations at City Hall Northwest soon, as part of a regional push to create a network of charging stops to juice up electric vehicles.

The stations lay the groundwork for all-electric vehicles to be used in commuter vanpools traveling to and from Issaquah.

City staffers and other commuters plan to use the King County Metro Transit vanpools. The transit agency is due to provide the vehicles by early next year.

The effort is funded through a U.S. Department of Energy petroleum-reduction grant. The agency awarded the grant to the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition, of which Issaquah is a member.

The city announced the program Oct. 13, less than a month after King County Executive Dow Constantine outlined a plan to add more than 120 charging stations across the region.

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Initiatives could allow liquor sales at up to 22 local businesses

October 19, 2010

Liquor profits pour about $300,000 into city coffers

Like the Costco Wholesale outposts in dozens of other states, Washington warehouses could add Kirkland Signature vodka and dozens of other store- and name-brand spirits to store shelves — if the electorate approves a historic change to state liquor regulations next month.

The decision to redo state liquor regulations appears on the November ballot in the form of dueling initiatives, 1100 and 1105. Issaquah-based Costco is the biggest backer behind Initiative 1100.

The measures aim to close state-run liquor stores and roll back Prohibition-era policies to allow hard liquor to be sold in grocery stores, gas stations and other retailers.

“This has been an ongoing effort for 20 years to modernize some antiquated regulations that go back more than 75 years,” Joel Benoliel, Costco senior vice president and chief legal officer, said last week. “The world has changed since, almost literally, the horse-and-buggy days, when Prohibition ended.”

Washington and 17 other states still control liquor sales and distribution.

Like past clashes related to state liquor rules, questions about public safety and underage drinking dominate the debate.

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Number of returning coho salmon drops

October 19, 2010

Hatchery may not have enough eggs for schools, co-ops

In any given year, about 30,000 coho salmon pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, swimming to rivers and tributaries like Issaquah Creek, on a mission to reproduce before they die.

This year, coho counts are down, with only 3,608 coho swimming through the locks, as of Oct. 6. The Muckleshoot Tribe recorded the last low of 6,000 coho in 2002 and the highest run of 47,000 coho in 2000.

Many of the fish that swim through the locks make their way to Issaquah Creek and the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. Others return to Bear Creek, the Cedar River and the other major streams of the Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish watershed.

As of Oct. 18, about 400 coho had arrived at the hatchery, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Executive Director Gestin Suttle said.

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Comedy Central features Issaquah Highlands’ unemployment ‘scapegoats’

October 19, 2010

Funnyman Stephen Colbert shined a spotlight on the Issaquah Highlands last week for a serious message about unemployment.

Colbert sounded the alarm about illegal helpers — scapegoats — “gobbling up our jobs” and causing unemployment to rise.

Scapegoats? No, actual goats.

Stephen Colbert, host of the cable news spoof ‘The Colbert Report,’ gestures at the end of a segment about landscaping goats in the Issaquah Highlands. Contributed

So, the goats hired to landscape the highlands trotted into the national spotlight. The piece — a “People Who Are Destroying America” segment for the Oct. 14 episode of “The Colbert Report” — highlighted the Issaquah neighborhood and Rent-A-Ruminant.

In September, a Comedy Central crew filmed a segment on the living lawnmowers. The crew also interviewed Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager, for the piece.

“I had no idea what they were going to do with it,” he said.

The crew asked the highlands landscaping team to appear in the segment, but Ayers said the group decided to pass. Instead, Comedy Central turned to a Tukwila business, New Beginning Garden & Lawn Care, to portray landscapers edged out of business by hungry goats.

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Wanted: Nissan Leaf owners

October 19, 2010

The first all-electric vehicle from a major auto manufacturer — the Nissan Leaf — rolls onto dealership lots in December.

Before the Leaf drops, The Issaquah Press seeks prospective owners of the groundbreaking car — Issaquah-area residents on the Leaf reservation list and others considering a switch to the all-electric vehicle — for upcoming coverage of a city plan to add charging stations for electric vehicles.

E-mail your contact information to editor@isspress.com, or contact us on Twitter @issaquahpress.

Register to vote by next week

October 19, 2010

In order to cast a ballot in the November election, King County residents must register to vote in person by Oct. 25.

Register at King County Elections, 9010 E. Marginal Way S., Tukwila, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Find a full list of requirements and registration forms at the King County Elections website.

In order to register, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a Washington resident, at least 18 by Election Day and not under the authority of the state Department of Corrections.

Election Day is Nov. 2. Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by 8 p.m.

Voters do not have to register by political party or declare political party membership to vote in primary or general elections.

Beware of deadly mushrooms in local forests

October 19, 2010

Local public health officials last week offered a piece of advice to forest foragers: beware.

Public Health – Seattle & King County called for mushroom foragers to exercise caution after a poisoning related to the amanita phalloides — or death cap — species of mushroom.

Eating the poisonous mushroom landed a Bellevue woman in the hospital last month, but she has since recovered.

The poisonous amanita phalloides mushroom has been spotted often in forests and backyards throughout the fall. Contributed

“It takes extensive knowledge to know which mushrooms are safe to eat and which are poisonous,” Dr. David Fleming, Public Health – Seattle & King County director and health officer, said last week. “Amanita phalloides look very much like some edible types of mushrooms and increasingly can be found in the wild, in local parks and even in our own backyards.”

Hildegard Hendrickson, coordinator of wild mushroom identification in the Seattle area for the Puget Sound Mycological Society, said the episode served as a reminder for fungi foragers.

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Community board applicants needed

October 19, 2010

The Issaquah Community Network is seeking applicants for its volunteer board of directors.

Applicants should work or reside within Issaquah School District boundaries. To apply, send a letter to Barbara de Michele, executive director, at 360 N.W. Dogwood, Box R-101, Issaquah, WA 98027 or e-mail issaquahcommunitynetwork@mindspring.com.

In the letter, explain your interest in the network, list your community activities and interests and, if available, send your résumé before the Nov. 15 deadline.

Familiarity with human services or working with young people is desirable, but not required.

The network is a state-sponsored organization that focuses on youth issues, including suicide prevention, decreasing depression and risky behaviors among youths, and increasing availability of family counseling.

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