County adopts plan to prevent offenders from returning to jail

May 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

King County leaders accepted a plan Monday to prevent offenders from returning to jail, and to help former offenders transition from incarceration to society.

The decision enables the county to access funds through the federal Second Chance Act, a measure meant to provide social services to prevent recidivism among former offenders.

The legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing and other services.

“I was pleased to put together a motion calling for the plan in July, and I am more pleased that we have adopted that plan,” Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor and Issaquah-area representative, said in a statement. “During these times of seriously declining resources, we need to do everything we can to position ourselves to compete for resources.”

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Mark Issaquah drains Saturday — and help Puget Sound

May 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

Help improve Puget Sound — in Issaquah.

More than 8,000 storm drains flow directly into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

Help install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers Saturday. Volunteers meet at the Pickering Barn Learning Garden, 1730 10th Ave. N.W., at 10 a.m. Email Laura Matter at Seattle Tilth to learn more.

The event includes a discussion about how to protect the watershed. Then, participants head out to mark drains at 11 a.m. and return to the garden at 2 p.m.

The city Resource Conservation Office has received grant funding to purchase markers for every storm drain in Issaquah.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of all pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff.

The runoff comes from the water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way.

People in the Puget Sound watershed can change a few things around their homes to help prevent pollution from reaching Puget Sound. Puget Sound Start Here offers some simple tips for residents.

Pacific Cascade performers evoke ancient China in ‘Mulan Jr.’

May 12, 2011

Pacific Cascade Middle School performers rehearse for 'Mulan Jr.' Contributed

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

Issaquah students are featuring the popular Disney animated movie “Mulan” on stage Friday for the Pacific Cascade Middle School theater production, “Mulan Jr.”

The play takes the audience to ancient China with the action-packed story of a Chinese girl and her sidekick dragon, Mushu, who both work to save the emperor from the invading Huns.

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DownTown Issaquah Association ArtWalk / May 6, 2011

May 11, 2011

Eastlake blanks Skyline in soccer title game

May 11, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. May 11, 2011

The Skyline High School boys soccer team lost to rival Eastlake 2-0 Tuesday in the 4A KingCo Conference championship game at Eastlake.

Sean Klauer scored both Eastlake goals.

Skyline and Eastlake both advance to next week’s state regionals.

In other action, Issaquah’s season came to an end when the Eagles lost to Garfield 5-2. Alex Shane and Michael Roberts scored Issaquah’s goals in the game for KingCo’s No. 3 berth.

Garfield advances to a sub-district game May 14 and hosts the Western Conference’s No. 3 team.

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King County highlights successes for Mental Health Month

May 11, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 11, 2011

King County used dollars set aside for mental-health programs to serve more than 27,000 people last year — a jump from 19,000 in 2009.

County Council members received the information Monday in a report about the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency sales tax, a revenue source for mental health and criminal justice programs.

The report also indicated a 23 percent reduction in jail bookings among mental-health clients and a 23 percent reduction in jail days between Oct. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2010. In the same period, psychiatric hospitalizations decreased by 19 percent for clients included in the sample.

“I sponsored the legislation authorizing the MIDD in 2007 because the costs of our jail being a de-facto mental institution were unacceptable and because I knew we could do better,” Councilman Bob Ferguson, Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairman, said in a statement.

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Pollution is focus as county sets rules for electronics recycling

May 11, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 11, 2011

In order to cut toxic chemicals from seeping into the environment, King County Council members set guidelines Monday to recycle old cellphones, computers, televisions and other electronics.

Many electronics contain toxic chemicals and pose a threat to the environment after disposal.

The ordinance requires the county contractors to follow Basel Action Network standards for responsible recycling and reuse of electronic equipment, or comparable standards.

The network is a Seattle-based advocacy organization dedicated to the proper disposal and electronics recycling, or e-cycling. The organization’s mission also includes preventing electronics waste from being exported to nations less-equipped for enforcing environmental and health standards.

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Boaters enjoying sunshine should remember life jackets

May 11, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 11, 2011

Sunshine and temperatures in the upper 60s could appear in Issaquah soon, prompting boaters to set sail on Lake Sammamish.

Experts from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds boaters to use life jackets and know boating laws.

Each year, a majority of boating deaths result from drowning, and a majority of the deceased had not been wearing life jackets.

Officials recorded 18 boating fatalities statewide last year. Wearing a life jacket can prevent many boating-related deaths.

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Moms empower one another at Habitat for Humanity event

May 10, 2011

Houses being built for — and mostly by — women took shape at Issaquah Highlands over the Mother’s Day weekend.

Jahna Smith (left) and Fanessa Ard (right), two Habitat homeowners living in Newcastle, and volunteer Angie Ulrich (middle), of Seattle, a longtime Habitat volunteer in Minnesota before moving to the Northwest, complete an exterior wall to be raised on the Magnolia Village Habitat project May 6 in Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

Several dozen people — the vast majority of them women — raised walls for one two-unit town house and did finish work on four other units through the Women Build event organized by Habitat for Humanity of East King County.

The goal was to empower women while furthering the cause of affordable housing.

“When you think of the construction industry, you think it’s sort of a man’s world,” said Jodi Marmion, a Habitat spokeswoman. “We want to show through Women Build that isn’t necessarily true.”

Builders included volunteers, AmeriCorps members, Habitat staff members and Habitat homeowners.

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Skyline High School grad helps orphans in Uganda

May 10, 2011

Kristin Klein longs for the day when she can teach in Africa.

Skyline High School graduate Kristin Klein (top) is selling shirts to support an orphanage in Uganda. She and her classmate Amanda Cook are traveling there this month to teach English, science, sanitation and HIV/AIDS prevention to children. By Garrett Richardson

The 2009 Skyline High School graduate and current sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego has committed herself to the youths of Uganda by organizing a fundraiser for its orphans.

On May 23, Klein and her classmate Amanda Cook will travel to Uganda to teach English, science, sanitation and HIV/AIDS prevention for six weeks at the Hope Child Care Program in Bulanga, Uganda.

Once in Uganda, they will purchase mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets for the orphans who live there, Klein said.

Next, they will travel to an orphanage in Kenya for five weeks, helping with teaching, cleaning and cooking.

The two women have already acquired the $4,000 needed to travel to Africa for 11 weeks, but they are still collecting donations for their fundraiser; raising $7,220 to buy bed sets, nets and pillows for orphans.

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