Donate to Japan disaster relief at Pickering Barn sale

March 17, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. March 17, 2011

Nina Hawley and Allison Stephens plan to use a weekend consignment sale in Issaquah to collect donations for relief efforts in disaster-plagued Japan.

Shoppers at the Just Between Friends sale at the Pickering Barn can purchase $1 raffle tickets for a $50 Just Between Friends gift certificate. Organizers pledged to donate proceeds from the raffle sales, and portions of admission fees, to the American Red Cross.

Hawley, Stephens and other local mothers organize Just Between Friends maternity and children’s clothing consignment sales.

The sale runs Friday through Sunday at the historic barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. The sale is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.

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Shelter urges people to save ‘green’ and adopt pet on St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. March 17, 2011

The luck of the Irish is not necessary to find a pet at the Regional Animal Services of King County on St. Patrick’s Day.

The shelter used the holiday to remind residents to adopt a rainbow of cats and dogs in every size and color from the Kent shelter, 21615 64th Ave. S..

Pets from the shelter already had a veterinary exam, come spayed or neutered, have received all vaccinations and include a pet license. In addition, adult cats 6 months or older can be adopted for just the cost of the pet license.

The celebration kicked off Tuesday on Adopt the Internet Day, a joint effort from the county agency and to help the website celebrate 15 years.

State: Crisis in Japan poses no health risk in Washington

March 16, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. March 16, 2011

Radiation levels in Washington have not climbed above normal levels during the ongoing crisis at nuclear reactors in Japan, and state health officials do not expect radiation to exceed the normal level.

State Department of Health officials said several factors play a role in protecting Washington residents from radiation releases at the damaged reactors.

Most of the radioactive material is contained at the damaged plants. Even if radioactive material reaches the upper atmosphere, officials said the material would not reach Washington in concentrations high enough to pose a health risk.

The released radioactive material did not reach the upper atmosphere where the material could be carried toward North America by the jet stream in amounts capable of causing a public health impact.

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The Issaquah Press invites readers to conversation group

March 16, 2011

NEW — 9:45 a.m. March 16, 2011

The Issaquah Press wants to hear from readers about what they read most often in the paper and what components are missing.

Readers are invited to join a conversation group led by a moderator. Two sessions will be held: 6:30-8 p.m. April 14 and 1-2:30 p.m. April 15. Both groups will meet at the Hailstone Feed Store, the historic gas station, along Front Street North. Apply here.

It has been eight years since the last readership focus groups were held, said Debbie Berto, publisher of The Press.

“Times have certainly changed since then,” she said. “We need to hear from our readers about what is important to them today, not eight years ago. The Internet, smaller daily newspaper coverage and other competition has caused us to refocus some of our news space in recent years. But is it what readers want? More important, is it what they want in the future?”

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King County health agency addresses radiation concerns

March 16, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. March 16, 2011

Experts at the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state Department of Health do not expect significant levels of radioactivity in Washington or any health risk from the crisis at earthquake- and tsunami-damaged nuclear reactors in Japan.

Federal and state agencies continue to monitor radiation levels in the air and rain water as a precaution.

Public Health – Seattle & King County has posted frequently asked questions and responses about the nuclear crisis.

“We don’t know what will happen in Japan, but the state Department of Health has determined that even in the event of a significant release from the reactor, radiation should be diluted before reaching our state,” a statement from the agency reads.

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Skyline star Jake Heaps is BYU starting quarterback

March 15, 2011

NEW — 8:30 p.m. March 15, 2011

Jake Heaps

Former Skyline High School standout Jake Heaps is in line to be the starting quarterback at Brigham Young University, Cougars head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said as the team started spring practice Monday.

Heaps finished practice completing 6-of-8 passes for 52 yards and one touchdown in practice Tuesday.

“I’ve seen good tempo, enthusiasm and confidence,” Mendenhall said in a release posted on the BYU athletics website. “I know they are trying hard and the plays and execution will catch up to the enthusiasm.”

In three years of starting for the Spartans, Heaps amassed dozens of honors for skills as quarterback, including three consecutive state football championships.

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Decision to appoint Stacy Goodman splits City Council

March 15, 2011

Issaquah City Council members voting for Stacy Goodman on March 7 are (left) Mark Mullet, and (middle, from left) Joshua Schaer, Eileen Barber and Fred Butler. Tola Marts (second left) and John Traeger (right) voted for Paul Winterstein. By Greg Farrar

In the end, after 20 tense minutes, the City Council elevated Stacy Goodman to a seat left empty after Maureen McCarry resigned last December.

The usually consensus-driven council listened to applicants for a vacant seat for 90 minutes March 1, but needed a couple of rounds of balloting — plus some political maneuvering — March 7 to appoint a successor to McCarry.

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Strong coho salmon run predicted

March 15, 2011

The journey for coho salmon from the Pacific Ocean to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is long. Even after the fish enter Puget Sound from the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, coho must traverse lakes Washington and Sammamish. By Dona Mokin

State offers strong forecast for chinook, coho after historic low

State forecasters predict a strong coho salmon run in the fall, after a dismal run for the species to Issaquah Creek and other Puget Sound streams last year.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife expects 981,216 wild and hatchery-raised coho to reach Puget Sound streams — including 28,606 fish to the Lake Washington watershed. Issaquah Creek is included in the Lake Washington forecast, although the state does not break out data for the stream.

The forecast for Puget Sound includes about 367,000 more fish than last year. Though the coho run ended late last fall, managers continue to tally the total for the 2010 coho run.

The forecast comes after a tough year for the salmon species.

Teams at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery trapped a mere 475 coho last fall. The coho count at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard barely crested 3,600 fish — far less than the 6,000 coho recorded during the last slump in 2002.

The inexplicable shortfall prompted the Issaquah hatchery to turn to a state hatchery in Snohomish County for about 750,000 eggs to send to schools and co-ops.

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Leaders urge emergency preparedness after Japan disaster

March 15, 2011

The unfolding disaster in Japan — unleashed after a magnitude-9 earthquake struck the island nation — has emergency planners in Issaquah reminding residents to prepare for earthquakes and other calamities.

“This tragedy overseas reminds us that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “The time to prepare is before emergency strikes.”

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan in the afternoon March 11 (late March 10 in Washington and on the West Coast). The death toll could exceed 10,000 people.

The local group spearheading personal emergency preparedness is the Issaquah Citizen Corps Council, a nonprofit organization formed to prepare residents to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.

“The real basic message is: Be prepared,” council President Alan Bramwell said.

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Japan earthquake hits Costco operations

March 15, 2011

Costco Wholesale executives said all but one warehouse in Japan has reopened after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, and the Issaquah-based company has accounted for all employees in Japan.

The warehouse in Tamasakai, a Tokyo location, is scheduled to remain closed for several months, pending further inspections and repairs. The company said two people died after a parking ramp collapsed at the warehouse.

Overall, Costco operates nine warehouses and a cross-docking facility, or depot, on the island nation.

Costco is also accepting donations to the Red Cross relief fund at cash registers in warehouses around the globe. The company also set up a donation link on the corporate website,

Costco operates 581 warehouses worldwide — 424 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 80 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan and one in Australia, plus the Japan outlets.

Costco employs 2,700 people in Issaquah, more than any other business. The company claims 57.4 million card-carrying members worldwide.

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