Concerts keep late Issaquah girl’s charity wish alive

August 9, 2011

Local musicians from the Society of Emerging Artists will play a three-part music festival Aug. 12-14. Taking place at Daniels Recital Hall in Seattle, the performances will benefit Rachel Beckwith’s charity to bring clean water to African villagers.

Beckwith, 9, recently died from injuries she sustained in a 13-vehicle accident on Interstate 90. Prior to her June 12 birthday, Beckwith made it known that, instead of presents, her birthday wish was to raise money for Charity:Water. After her death, donations to Beckwith’s endeavor began to pour in.

“We chose this charity because the society emphasizes the power of youth,” said Erin Kim, director of press and media affairs for the society. “We thought it was a good way to emphasize the impact that young people have.”

The seed was sown for the Society of Emerging Artists when Korean-American violinist Kevin Lee was offered the baton during one of his eighth-grade orchestra classes. From that point on he knew music would be his life’s calling.

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Commemorate end of World War II on Spirit of ’45 Day

August 9, 2011

The guns fell silent and World War II ended as Japan surrendered Aug. 15, 1945 — Aug. 14 in the United States due to the time difference across the Pacific Ocean.

In the 66 years since the conflict came to a close, the accomplishments of the greatest generation — the nickname comes from a 1998 Tom Brokaw account — turned into near-legends. In order to commemorate the feats and the way ordinary citizens pulled together for the war effort, the Issaquah History Museums plan to celebrate Spirit of ’45 Day on Aug. 14 to mark the end to the long conflict.

“People made some amazing sacrifices and contributions,” museums Executive Director Erica Maniez said. “I think that really contributed to a lot of feelings of unity, not just on a local level, but on a national level.”

Overall, more than 16 million people served in the armed forces during World War II. The National World War II Museum estimates about 1,000 veterans of the conflict die each day.

“It’s amazing to me to get the individual stories about what all the national themes really meant on a day-to-day basis,” Maniez said. “What was it really like to be in the Pacific worrying about a Japanese kamikaze pilot flying into your ship?”

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Man files lawsuit against city about free speech at Salmon Days

August 9, 2011

The iconic Salmon Days Festival is at the center of a free-speech lawsuit after police threatened to arrest a man for distributing religious leaflets at the festival last year.

Snoqualmie resident Paul Ascherl sued the city in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Aug. 5 to challenge a municipal ordinance created to limit leafleting and other activities to designated “expression areas” at the fall festival.

Ascherl said Issaquah police officers threatened to arrest him for handing out Christian literature in places outside the pair of downtown “expression areas” on the festival grounds.

The city ordinance, crafted in 2000, prohibits leafleting, protests, unscheduled entertainment or nonprofit activities outside of booths and designated areas. The ordinance also sets rules for festivalgoers’ signs and bans megaphones on festival grounds. The city considers violations as misdemeanors punishable by fines and possible imprisonment.

City Attorney Wayne Tanaka said the city developed the ordinance “in response to concerns, frankly, about crowd control and public safety” at the festival. Salmon Days attracted more than 180,000 people to downtown Issaquah last year.

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Sunshine Day Camp returns for another summer

August 9, 2011

Sunshine Day Camp, run entirely by local teenagers, will be back again this year, from Aug. 8-12 at the Lake McDonald Club House.

For $20, children who are potty-trained and up to age 8 can enjoy a week of snacks, games, water activities and lunch.

“We are having special guests throughout the week, including a hip-hop teacher and possibly a clown or magician,” said founder Sada Adams, 14.

Adams started the camp in 2008 at age 11.

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Woman robbed, stabbed in Issaquah Highlands

August 9, 2011

Police said a man stabbed and robbed a 36-year-old woman early Aug. 8 in a typically quiet apartment complex in the Issaquah Highlands.

The incident occurred at about 12:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of 16th Lane Northeast in a parking lot at The Highlands at Wynhaven, a complex next to Grand Ridge Elementary School.

The woman said a man approached her as she returned to the apartment after parking her car. Investigators said he then punched and stabbed her, stole her purse and fled.

The woman described her attacker as a stocky white or Hispanic man dressed in dark clothing and a dark-colored baseball-type cap. She last saw him running east as he fled.

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Local organizations can apply for county grants

August 9, 2011

Issaquah nonprofit organizations can apply for grants through a program from Countywide Community Forums.

The grant program is open to any nonprofit organization operating in King County. Find the application and more information at The deadline to apply is Aug. 22.

Organizations can receive grants of up to $5,000. The amount is based on the number of survey responses each applicant can acquire during Countywide Community Forums’ online surveys from Aug. 19 to Oct. 16.

The survey topics focus on how residents in unincorporated areas can engage King County government, as well as the upcoming county budget and King County Metro Transit’s budget shortfall.

Participation in Countywide Community Forums is open to anyone living, working or attending school in King County. Options include both in-person forums and an online survey. Find the surveys at

Man dies after utility accident on Tiger Mountain

August 9, 2011

A utility company worker died after a predawn accident Aug. 5 in the Mirrormont neighborhood.

The lineman, a 40-year-old Buckley man, James B. Waters, sustained critical injuries after a coworker in a work truck ran over him in the early morning hours.

The crew for Sumner-based Potelco had been working on a downed pole in the Tiger Mountain neighborhood.

Investigators said Waters had been at work on the downed pole. Then, as he removed a wire that was under tension, the taut wire snapped back and knocked him backward and under the rear tires of the truck. The truck happened to be driving past at a slow speed, and he was caught under the right rear tires and run over.

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Voters to decide King County veterans-and-human-services levy

August 9, 2011

Measure funds Issaquah programs for teenagers, parents

King County voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy soon, and as Election Day nears, recipients of levy dollars demonstrated how the measure impacts Issaquah and other communities.

The electorate approved the initial veterans-and-human-services levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The measure, Proposition 1, is up for renewal on the Aug. 16 ballot.

If passed, the levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.

Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed. (The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.)

Proposition 1 receives broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The measure received unanimous support on the often-contentious council. The county Voters’ Guide does not include any statements against Proposition 1.

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No. 3 official at City Hall, Joe Meneghini, to retire

August 9, 2011

Joe Meneghini

Joe Meneghini, the No. 3 official at City Hall and a behind-the-scenes force in almost every important municipal project for more than a decade, intends to retire after 11 years in the post.

Meneghini is the deputy to City Administrator Bob Harrison. The administrators and Mayor Ava Frisinger oversee all municipal departments, cross-departmental projects, communications and economic development.

Often operating far from the spotlight, Meneghini left indelible imprints on creek restoration and open space preservation efforts, programs to meld technology to city services, and prepare City Hall and residents for emergencies.

The deputy administrator also acted as a key player in the effort to create a downtown park along Issaquah Creek and to bring a Bellevue College campus to Issaquah.

“I think a key thing has been our ability to stay focused and grounded on doing all of our basic business well,” he said.

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Use some simple steps for natural lawn care

August 9, 2011

Drive through any neighborhood, and there always seems to be that one house with the lawn so immaculate that it cries out for a golf ball to be putted across its pristine surface.

When following natural lawncare guidelines, set the mower to mulching, trim the grass blades at about two inches and leave the clippings behind on the lawn. Thinkstock

Whether a labor of love or through the outside hands of professionals, many homeowners are becoming more conscious of how they got their lawn that way. As such, they’ve educated themselves about the affects of their lawn care upon local lakes and streams. The latest trend is natural lawn care, which features mulch mowing, wise watering, and using natural alternatives to fertilizers and pesticides.

Dave Rogers, owner of Issaquah Landscaping, shared some tips to help keep your lawn (and the waters) healthy, beautiful and pesticide free while using less water throughout the summer.

“The biggest thing you can do for your lawn is to mulch,” Rogers said. “It returns nitrates to the lawn.”

To properly mulch, Rogers recommends a double-bladed lawn mower and to mow high. Mowing high, about two inches, leaves the grass clippings on the lawn. They add nutrients back to the soil and reduce the need to fertilize as much.

To help an unhealthy lawn return to a luscious green the neighbor on the other side of the fence would envy, try composting.

“Cedar Grove Composting has many options that will add liquid nutrients back to the lawn,” he said.

Whichever product is used, spread a 1/4-inch layer and rake it in when the yard would normally be fertilized. If the soil is compacted, try aerating first.

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