Habitat for Humanity uses vehicle donations to fund homes

June 18, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 18, 2011

Donating a car, truck, boat or recreational vehicle can help Habitat for Humanity build homes.

The nonprofit organization’s Cars for Homes national vehicle donation program is meant to specifically assist Habitat affiliates by generating funds from the sale of donated vehicles.

Funding is then distributed to affiliates based on the donor’s ZIP code. The local affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of East King County, has received  $116,949.54 through the program.

The program started in Washington as a pilot program in November 2003. Habitat for Humanity International made the effort a national program in 2005.

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Express affection for Washington trails in haiku contest

June 18, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 18, 2011

Got a favorite trail? Express it in a haiku

Ever feel poetically inspired during a hiking expedition? The Washington Trails Association invites hikers to write haikus about their favorite trails.

“I just think it’s a unique way to showcase a trail,” WTA communications director Lauren Braden said. “It’s a different way to talk about a trail other than the trail goes up the mountain and turns right at the lake.”

A haiku is composed of 17 sound units divided into three parts. The first line has five syllables. The second line has seven syllables. It closes with another five-syllable line.

Hikers can submit poems online before the July 1 deadline. The WTA may use the haiku on its website or in its magazine.

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Issaquah events open Mountains to Sound Greenway Summer

June 17, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 17, 2011

Celebrate the season as the Mountains to Sound Greenway Summer launches Saturday and Sunday.

The events start Saturday as the Issaquah Alps Trails Club leads the Olallie Lake hike. Join hike leader Mary Nolan on a moderately difficult, five- to six-mile hike with 1,200 feet gain in elevation to Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area lakes — Talapus and Olallie. Participants need a Northwest Forest Pass. The hike is open to all ages; no reservation is required. Join the hike at the Issaquah Trails House, 110 S.E. Bush St., at 9 a.m. Saturday. Call Nolan at 837-1535.

Learn about the Puget Sound watershed and salmon at the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery open house and tours Saturday. Explore the life of a salmon through hands-on exhibits, tours and a family-oriented open house featuring activities for all age group. Join FISH docents for 30-minute hatchery tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way, is open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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King County honors 11 ‘green’ Issaquah district schools

June 16, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. June 16, 2011

Thanks to the “green” conservation work of staff and students, King County Green Schools Program is honoring 11 schools in the Issaquah School District.

In total, the county will honor 77 schools across the country, including the 11 schools in Issaquah.

The three-level Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs and website tools to schools. In addition to the Green Schools Program, King County provides an elementary school assembly program, classroom workshops and support for student “green” teams.

The program has saved schools and the district money from successful waste reduction and recycling programs and reducing energy and water use.

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Stores evacuated due to smoke alarm; no fire detected

June 16, 2011

NEW — 12:10 p.m. June 16, 2011

Eastside Fire & Rescue and Issaquah Police Department crews responded to the Issaquah Commons shopping center Thursday morning after a smoke alarm sounded, prompting evacuations of several stores.

Though the alarm sounded, nobody reported smelling smoke or seeing flames, EFR spokeswoman Josie Williams said. The evacuated stores include some of the busiest at the popular shopping destination, such as Target.

Police responded to the Issaquah Commons for crowd control. The evacuation remained in effect at noon.

The investigation into the reason behind the alarm sounded remains under investigation. The fire and police response raised concerns among shoppers and passers-by.

Lakeside Recovery hurlers blank Chaffey team

June 16, 2011

NEW — 12:05 p.m. June 16, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion team’s pitching staff came up with another gem Wednesday with nine scoreless innings against perennial power Chaffey at the Husky Ballpark. Unfortunately, Lakeside failed to score and the game ended in a 0-0 tie when the contest was halted after the bottom of the ninth because of darkness.

Lakeside Recovery starter Connor Lawhead, a Skyline High graduate, pitched the first eight innings and allowed just one hit. Lawhead, who played at Walla Walla Community College this spring, struck out five and walked just one batter in his sharpest outing of the season.

Brandon Mahvolich, of Issaquah, pitched the final inning.

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Waste Management rates rise in Issaquah soon

June 16, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 16, 2011

Waste Management customers in Issaquah start paying a few cents more for garbage service July 1.

The adjustment reflects changes to the Consumer Price Index, plus a hike in the state business-and-occupation tax. The increase applies only to Issaquah customers.

The garbage hauler sent notices to Issaquah residences and businesses about the change. For a residential customer using a 35-gallon container — the most popular size in the city — the monthly rate for weekly pickup is due to increase from $13.20 to $13.43. Expect similar hikes for other residential and commercial services.

The city Resource Conservation Office is encouraging customers to consider composting and recycling as methods to reduce garbage bills. Interested people should email the office at rco@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

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Darigold pleads guilty in Issaquah Creek spill case

June 15, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. June 15, 2011

Darigold pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Clean Water Act for a fish-killing ammonia spill into Issaquah Creek.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Darigold plans to work alongside the federal government to develop a corporate environmental compliance plan as part of the sentence. Including the downtown Issaquah processing facility, Seattle-based Darigold operates 13 processing facilities in five states.

The company must also pay a $10,000 fine and pay $60,000 to protect and restore natural resources in the Issaquah Creek watershed. Darigold also agreed to publicly apologize for the criminal conduct by publishing a statement in The Issaquah Press.

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Transit agencies welcome commuters for Dump the Pump Day

June 15, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 15, 2011

Puget Sound public transit agencies encourage commuters to climb aboard Thursday for National Dump the Pump Day.

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage people to use public transportation systems available in local communities across the nation. The goal is to encourage people to save money, help the environment and increase the nation’s energy independence.

“Puget Sound residents have so many great alternatives to driving — buses, light rail, streetcars, trains, vanpools and ferries. Dump the Pump Day is a great time to try out a new ride and save some money,” Kevin Desmond, King County Metro Transit general manager, said in a news release.

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Prosecutors file charges against Darigold for Issaquah spill

June 15, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2011

Federal prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges against Darigold on Tuesday for a fish-killing ammonia spill into Issaquah Creek.

Prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle contend Darigold violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act because the October 2009 spill impacted Puget Sound chinook salmon, a species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The spill occurred during maintenance and repair to the refrigeration system at the downtown Issaquah dairy. State investigators said a crew draining part of the refrigeration system allowed a toxic ammonia solution to flow onto the roof of the creekside building and down a storm drain.

In charging documents, federal prosecutors said Seattle-based Darigold acted “negligently” in discharging the pollutant.

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