Lakeside Recovery 17U baseball team wins again

August 4, 2011

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Aug. 4, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery 17U baseball team exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday en route to an 8-6 victory against the Gonzaga Prep Bulldogs in the state AA American Legion Tournament in Spokane.

Curtis Kojima, James Ferris, Patrick Harrod and Frazier Krall each had two hits for Lakeside Recovery, which is 2-0 in the tournament. Lakeside Recovery played Burlington on Thursday in the winners’ bracket at Gonzaga Prep.

Pitcher Jacob Chinery went the distance for Lakeside Recovery. He struck out nine batters.

Lakeside Recovery, 41-18 on the season, scored twice in the first inning and then plated single runs in the second and third innings. The team then put the contest away with the four-run fourth.

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Issaquah forum to focus on King County outreach

August 4, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 4, 2011

Countywide Community Forums of King County is planning a forum at the Issaquah Library to discuss the county’s outreach plan for unincorporated area residents.

Residents in the rural, suburban and urban unincorporated areas can weigh in at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way. Participants should RSVP to the forum.

The model adopted by the King County Council last month establishes eight to 12 community service areas to cover all unincorporated areas, not just the communities included in the unincorporated area councils.

The framework affects the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council, a liaison for unincorporated area residents near Issaquah to the county government based in Seattle.

The framework calls for a single point of contact to hold meetings, develop work programs, and provide regular opportunities for homeowner associations, community development groups and unincorporated area councils to meet county officials.

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Nate Brown’s Miss Red Dot makes most of shoestring budget

August 4, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 4, 2011

Now, it’s being mentioned as the leader of the rest of the pack after the two boats generally considered the favorites — the Oh Boy! Oberto and the Spirit of Qatar.

“Are you kidding?” said owner Nate Brown, when asked about hearing his team mentioned as a contender. “To me, that’s a victory.”

Taking the next step to actually winning a race such as Sunday’s Albert Lee Cup at Seafair?

For now, that might take a little luck — and a bigger checkbook.

“The only thing holding us back (from the two leading boats) is gear ratios and the willingness to blow up motor boats,” said Brown. “I just don’t have the budget to do what it takes, the budget to be able to do that.”

Still, Red Dot is the surprise of the hydro season.

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Celebrating National Night Out / Aug. 2, 2011

August 3, 2011

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Encounters between black bears and humans increase

August 2, 2011

Jack Altree snapped a photo of a black bear in his backyard in the 3400 block of 239th Avenue Southeast at about 1:15 p.m. July 18, just before the bear destroyed a birdfeeder in search of a snack. By Jack Altree

Cool weather is factor in frequent sightings

The dreary summer is not just disrupting afternoons alongside Lake Sammamish or hikes atop Cougar Mountain.

The unseasonably cool conditions also impacted food sources for the black bears common in the forests around Issaquah and across the Evergreen State.

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Missing Preston man is found safe near Tiger Mountain

August 2, 2011

UPDATED — 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2, 2011

Ryan Dahlin

The man reported missing from Preston late Monday turned up safe and sound on Tiger Mountain just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, police asked for residents’ help Tuesday to find a 21-year-old Preston man missing since Monday afternoon.

Police described the man as depressed and despondent, and said his family feared for his safety.

Before Tuesday evening, police said the last reported sighting of Ryan Dahlin occurred at about 5 p.m. at his home in the Upper Preston area.

Dahlin is described as 6 feet, 4 inches tall, about 160 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. Police said he is believed to be wearing only black or dark blue swim trunks, and possibly sandals.

He might be attempting to make his way to Tiger Mountain, so hikers in the area should be especially alert.

If anyone sees Dahlin, call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 or 911.

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Biodiesel blaze destroys Cougar Mountain home

August 2, 2011

Fire roared through a Cougar Mountain home early July 31 after a backyard biodiesel kit started the blaze.

Just after 6 a.m., neighbors reported flames and smoke shooting from a house in the 17000 block of Southeast 60th Street, a tree-lined neighborhood between Cougar Mountain Zoo and Cougar Ridge Elementary School.

Firefighters converged on the home, and discovered barrels and other equipment used to manufacture biodiesel in the backyard. Investigators later pinpointed the biodiesel setup as the cause of the fire.

“The fire began in the middle of that process, outside of the home, and came into the home from there,” said Lt. Troy Donlin, a Bellevue Fire Department spokesman.

Flames roared through the ground floor and damaged the attic. The basement sustained water damage as firefighters extinguished the blaze. Donlin estimated the total damage at $400,000.

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Donations to charity honor late Issaquah girl

August 2, 2011

Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl, continues to inspire people around the globe.

In the days after Rachel died July 23 from injuries sustained in a Bellevue crash, donations to a charity she championed surpassed $700,000 from more than 20,000 people.

Inspired by a church fundraiser, Rachel asked in June, in lieu of birthday gifts, for donations to Charity:Water, a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to people in developing nations. So far, the charity estimates almost 4,000 projects have provided clean water to more than 1.7 million people in 19 countries.

Charity:Water estimates each dollar invested in improved water access and sanitation yields, on average, $12 in economic returns.

How to help

  • Rachel Beckwith asked people to donate to Charity:Water as a birthday gift. Now, people can donate as a tribute to the late 9-year-girl. Donate at the organization’s website, p/campaign?campaign_id=16396.
  • Or, donate to help Rachel’s family pay medical expenses. Donate at the Band of Brothers Northwest website,

Rachel’s $300 came up short, but in the days after the July 20 crash, leaders at EastLake Community Church asked Charity:Water to reactivate Rachel’s donation website.

Donations started to pour in, and the flow increased to a deluge as local news outlets carried the story. “NBC Nightly News” featured a segment about Rachel’s fundraiser July 29 and donations soared beyond $700,000.

Rachel’s mother Samantha Paul survived the Bellevue crash. In a message posted on Rachel’s donation website July 25, she offered thanks to donors.

“I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter’s dream and make it a reality. In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope,” she wrote. “Thank you for your generosity! I know Rachel is smiling!”

Troopers seek witnesses to crash

Washington State Patrol investigators put out a call last week for witnesses to the deadly pileup along Interstate 90 in Bellevue.

The crash fatally injured a 9-year-old Issaquah girl and injured numerous other motorists, including a handful of Issaquah residents. Investigators asked for witnesses to call Detective Greg Wilcoxson at 360-805-1195 or Detective Jeff Maijala at 401-7742.

Just before 8 a.m. July 20, as traffic slowed due to congestion near the Interstate 405 interchange at 133rd Avenue Southeast, a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a logging truck in the adjacent lane, authorities said. The impact dislodged the rear axle of the logging truck and sent the piece hurtling into traffic.

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Issaquah is cougar territory, but big cats still scarce

August 2, 2011

State wildlife biologist Brian Kertson spent five years studying the local cougar population, including this 130-pound, 2-year-old male captured and tagged in the Cedar River Watershed in 2008. Contributed

Now a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Issaquah native Brian Kertson likes to talk about what he calls the “wildland-urban interface.”

Basically, such an area is where raw, undeveloped nature bumps up against developed, urban areas.

Probably not surprisingly to those who live or work here, sitting as it does in the shadows of the Cascade foothills, Issaquah is just such an interface.

And, of course, such interfaces can contain plenty of wildlife, including larger animals not usually found in urban areas.

“The kind of territory we live in is cougar territory whether we realize it or not,” said Bob McCoy, a local wildlife activist who takes a special interest in cougars and is an admirer of Kertson’s work.

For his part, Kertson clearly agrees with McCoy’s assessment regarding cougars in Issaquah. From 2003-08, Kertson completed a large-scale study of cougars in Issaquah and surrounding areas. The work represented Kertson’s doctoral thesis at the University of Washington.

“Previously, we just didn’t know a lot about the cougars in that area,” Kertson added.

Finished last year, Kertson’s work is attracting some attention and may be published in the near future. Along with similar studies done across the state, it also is being used as the basis for developing a statewide policy on how to deal with Washington’s cougar population.

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Tiger Mountain hike launches statewide trails fundraiser

August 2, 2011

Lace Thornberg, Mickey Weinrich and Pam Roy (from left) start a month of Hike-a-Thon trips with a five-mile roundtrip West Tiger 3 hike Aug. 1 at the High Point Trailhead. By Greg Farrar

The long trek across the Evergreen State started just after dawn on Tiger Mountain.

The nonprofit Washington Trails Association launched Hike-a-Thon, a monthlong fundraiser to protect and maintain trails, at the High Point Trailhead near Issaquah just after 6 a.m. Aug. 1.

In the month ahead, more than 100 hikers plan to climb, ramble and slog across mountains, coasts and other scenic destinations.

“Tiger Mountain is the perfect place for people who work in Issaquah and Redmond and Seattle to just head out before work, get on the trail, get some exercise, get their hearts pumping before that long workweek,” association Development Director Rebecca Lavigne said.

Lace Thornberg, hike leader and Washington Trails magazine editor, said the early morning Tiger Mountain hike offered a chance for participants to jumpstart Hike-a-Thon.

“This 6 a.m. guided hike is our way of helping these awesome folks get their Hike-a-Thon campaigns started with a bang,” she said. “Before 9 a.m., when they head off to work on Monday, these hikers will already have five miles under their boots for their Hike-a-Thon campaigns. That’s pretty cool.”

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