State appoints manager for natural areas near Issaquah

April 30, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 30, 2011

Tiger Mountain State Forest is under new management.

Art Tasker, a longtime state Department of Natural Resources employee, has been appointed to manage the agency’s South Puget Sound Region — the area encompassing the state forest and West Tiger Mountain Natural Resource Conservation Area near Issaquah. The region includes the state’s most-populous areas.

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark announced the appointment Thursday.

“Art is well-acquainted with the lands, resources, and communities of the South Puget Sound Region,” Goldmark said in a release. “He brings more than 37 years of experience with DNR to the job and has a deep understanding of sustainably managing the natural resources of Washington state’s trust lands.”

Tasker had been serving as the region’s acting manager before the appointment.

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Bears sighted near Issaquah’s skate park

April 29, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. April 29, 2011

A mother bear and two cubs were seen on Rainer Trail by Issaquah’s skate park on Friday, according to an email Clark Elementary School sent to parents shortly after noon.

Clark staff reminded parents to discuss wildlife basics with their children, including:

  • Students should always walk to and from school in groups, preferably with at least one adult.
  • They should not interact with any unknown animal.
  • They should never feed an unknown animal.
  • They should report any unknown animal sighting to the school or to their parents.

Animal control experts have listed several additional precautions residents can take during this spring season when bear and coyote sightings are frequently reported:

  • Keep garbage and compost piles securely covered.
  • Keep pet food and water inside, and keep pets indoors or confined in a kennel or covered exercise yard.
  • Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild birdseed in elevated feeders designed for birds, and clean up spilled seed from the ground.
  • Do not feed feral cats; coyotes prey on the cats and eat cat food left out for them.
  • Minimize ground cover vegetation near children’s play areas to avoid attracting rodents and small mammals that, in turn, attract coyotes.
  • Use noise-making devices when coyotes are seen. Check with local authorities regarding noise and weapons ordinances.
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Liberty athletes set records at track meet

April 29, 2011

NEW — 12:45 p.m. April 29, 2011

Hamilton Noel and Madison Birdsall each set school records Thursday to help their Liberty High School track and field teams defeat host Interlake in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference meet.

Noel won the pole vault with a school-record effort of 13 feet, 6 inches. He also ran on the Patriots’ winning 4×400-meter relay. Nick Knoblich, Joseph Bergmann and Hiron Redmon were other members of the relay.

The Liberty boys defeated Interlake 85-56.

Redmon won the 800. Devin Bennett captured three events for the Patriots. He won the high jump by going 6-3. He also won the long jump by going 19 feet, 1/4 inch, and took the triple jump by going 40 feet, 7 1/4 inches.

Birdsall won the 400 in a school-record time of 58.30. She also ran on the Patriots’ winning 4×200 relay and 4×400 relay. Delane Agnew, Elizabeth Ryker and Stacy Christensen were other members of the 4×200 relay. Ryker, Michaela Chucka and Agnew were other members of the 4×400 relay.

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Daphne Dodd Price Nys

April 29, 2011

Jan. 12, 1962 to April 8, 2011, 49 years of age

Daphne Dodd Price Nys

Daphne graduated from Issaquah High School in 1980 and attended Western Washington University. She moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1992 where she married and later divorced. Daphne resided the remainder of her life in Australia. She enjoyed cooking for and visiting with friends and was a friend in the true sense of the word. She was kind, loving, generous, a good listener, and had friends wherever she went. Daphne loved home decoration/interior design, camping, gardening, antiques, photography, animals, fast cars and her family.

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In council election shakeup, John Traeger is out, Paul Winterstein is in

April 29, 2011

NEW — 7:45 a.m. April 29, 2011

The race for another City Council seat launched Thursday night, as John Traeger opted not to run for re-election and Human Services Commission Chairman Paul Winterstein announced plans to campaign for the seat.

Paul Winterstein

Traeger, elevated to the council in 2007, decided to step down after a single term. Since early 2010, the Squak Mountain resident has served as council president, the top spot on the board.

“With my term on council such a personally rewarding experience, it was a difficult decision to return to private life,” he said in a statement released Thursday night.

The council president also endorsed Winterstein in the race for the Position 6 seat.

“Through his work as chair of the city’s Human Services Commission, advocacy for transportation options, and continuous outreach to and volunteering with local aid groups, Paul has been a tireless contributor to our community,” Traeger said.

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Skyline High School softball falls to Bothell

April 28, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. April 28, 2011

The final score looked like it came from a football game. The visiting Bothell Cougars outslugged Skyline 26-17 Wednesday in a 4A KingCo Conference fastpitch softball game.

There wasn’t a lot of pitching in the game as Skyline pounded out 14 hits and Bothell had nine. The Cougars scored 16 times in the top of the fifth inning to win the five-inning contest.

Anya Kamber went 4-for-4 to lead Skyline. Natalie De La Garrigue contributed three hits and two runs batted in. Megan Burris had two hits and drove in four runs, and Lindsey Nicholson had two hits and three runs batted in for the Spartans.

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GE Healthcare to acquire Issaquah’s Applied Precision

April 28, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 28, 2011

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Co., announced plans Thursday to acquire Issaquah-based Applied Precision, a biomedical imaging systems company and local innovator.

The acquisition is meant to allow GE Healthcare to offer additional products and services for pharmaceutical and life science research. The companies said the agreement should offer significant long-term customer benefits. The parties did not disclose the financial terms of the sale.

GE Healthcare plans to retain the Applied Precision facility in Issaquah — 50,000 square feet along 12th Avenue Northwest in the business district. Applied Precision employs about 130 people in Issaquah. If regulators approve the deal, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.

Applied Precision develops and manufactures high-resolution and super-resolution microscopy instruments featuring software and data visualization tools to allow scientists to gather detailed information about cells’ structure and behavior.

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City human resources director to retire May 6

April 28, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 28, 2011

Ruben Nieto

Ruben Nieto, the city’s human resources director and a longtime municipal employee, plans to retire May 6 after more than 10 years.

“It has been extremely fulfilling to recruit and support Issaquah’s extraordinary team of employees during the last decade,” he said in a release.

The city announced the retirement Wednesday.

Nieto oversees the recruitment, selection, retention of municipal employees, plus labor and employee relations, as human resources director. The city Human Resources Department also supports all City Hall staff, and ensures Issaquah’s personnel policies and procedures comply with employment laws.

Before joining the city, Nieto worked as a manager for the King County Office of Human Resources and the county parks department.

City Council members appointed Nieto, a city resident, to the city Park Board last week. He also served as a previous member of the board.

Beyond City Hall, Nieto serves in the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah and on the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank board.

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Issaquah School District could lose up to 51 teachers

April 28, 2011

NEW — 12:05 a.m. April 28, 2011

If the worst were to happen, Issaquah School District’s budget would take quite a hit for the next school year.

Although the Legislature has yet to finalize its biennial budget, the district is required, through its contract with the Issaquah Education Association teachers’ union, to alert teachers about impending layoffs by the last school board meeting in April.

At the board meeting Wednesday night, Jacob Kuper, finance and operations chief for the district, presented a worst-case-scenario, predicting the district would lose $2.7 million — a cut that would lead to the layoffs of 51 teachers, two maintenance-and-operations personnel, six custodians, 1.3 bus drivers, 1.15 educational assistants and 1.3 teachers on special assignment.

Of the 51 teachers, 15 plan to leave through normal attrition, meaning that 36 teachers will receive layoff notices.

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April showers bring wintry mix before May flowers

April 27, 2011

NEW — 7:15 p.m. April 27, 2011

Issaquah Highlands residents reported wintry mix pelting the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, as a springtime front rolled into the region.

National Weather Service meteorologists issued a hazardous weather outlook for the Western Washington interior lowlands. The potential for snow also re-enters the forecast Wednesday night.

The snow level is expected to plummet to near 500 feet late Wednesday behind a vigorous front. Forecasters said the potential exists for a dusting or up to 1 inch of snow in places higher than 500 feet. The snow should not stick to roads or pose a problem for motorists.

Meteorologists expect the air mass should become unstable on Thursday, creating the potential for isolated thunderstorms and hail. Stronger thunderstorms could produce dime-size hail or large quantities of hail on the ground.

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