Veterans and Human Services Levy appears certain to pass

August 16, 2011

NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011

King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.

The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.

The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.

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.

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 existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.

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County elections chief reminds last-minute voters about 8 p.m. deadline

August 16, 2011

NEW — 6:15 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011

The deadline is approaching fast, but last-minute voters can still cast a ballot.

The deadline to return a ballot to a drop box is 8 p.m. Tuesday. If a voter decides to submit a ballot by mail instead, the ballot must be postmarked Aug. 16.

Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, is a ballot drop box location. King County Elections opened other drop boxes countywide.

If a voter has lost or misplaced a ballot, he or she contact the elections office ASAP for information about voting options. Call the voter hotline until 8 p.m. at 206-296-8683.

“This primary election is proceeding very smoothly,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “Turnout is a bit less than we had prepared for, but is consistent with past primary elections. I’m very pleased that our operations have returned to our Renton headquarters, where voters can visit and view ballots being processed.

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Issaquah man completes seven marathons in seven days

August 16, 2011

Doug Pariseau, of Issaquah, jogs down a road south to Portland, Ore., one of seven marathon legs in his recent 185-mile journey. Contributed

About two years ago, Doug Pariseau made himself a promise. At the time, he was overweight, out of shape and sitting in a doughnut shop.

As you might guess, the promise had to do with his health and fitness. A former athlete, Pariseau vowed he would be one again, his goal being to run a marathon.

He did, about a year later, crossing the finish line of the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon.

“When I first started, I couldn’t even run a mile,” Pariseau said.

After completing the marathon, Pariseau decided he needed a new goal. He didn’t exactly set his sights low.

Mostly for fun, he said, Pariseau decided he was going to run from the Issaquah REI where he works to a Portland REI. He further decided he wanted to do it in a week. And then he noticed that the 185-mile distance, divided by seven, just happened to equal about 26.

In other words, Pariseau made up his mind to run seven marathons in seven days. He completed the feat Aug. 3.

“Shock,” Pariseau said. “Shock and disbelief.”

Those were the common reactions when he told people what he intended, Pariseau added. As for himself, on the first day out, he admitted he was nervous, but not entirely for the reasons you might think.

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Intern shares love of salmon at hatchery youth program

August 16, 2011

When he hunted her down looking for a job at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Brian Hoefgen said Celina Steiger, the hatchery’s education coordinator, asked him to name the different types of salmon.

Brian Hoefgen

Hoefgen, 22, said he was able to come up with four of the seven salmon species but got the job despite some initial gaps in his salmon knowledge.

With AmeriCorps VISTA supplying him with what he described as a small stipend, the Issaquah native and graduate of Skyline High School now certainly knows all seven salmon types and quite a bit more about the fish as well. Hoefgen has spent the summer sharing his knowledge with area youngsters enrolled in the hatchery’s Summer Salmon Camps.

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YWCA Family Village at Issaquah opens

August 16, 2011

Lizzie Webb stands aside the railing to top-floor residences at her apartment building looking over the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and a view of Squak and Cougar mountains. By Greg Farrar

The airy apartment on the top floor at YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, a long-planned affordable housing complex, is a refuge for Lizzie Webb.

The longtime Issaquah resident relocated to the complex before anyone else, in late May, and created a sanctuary from domestic abuse in the cozy space.

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Issaquah family takes a swing at ‘Redneck Croquet’

August 16, 2011

John Kilpatrick, of Issaquah, pours out the contents of a large pot for a traditional Southern ‘Dump Dinner.’ Photos by Sebastian Moraga

For a game played with big mallets, this particularly croquet game was sedate and relaxed.

The rivalry was elsewhere.

The host was Lynda Kilpatrick, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Kiwanis. The co-host for the “Redneck Croquet” dinner was her husband John, a Rotary Club of Seattle member.

It didn’t get more heated than that. The game itself ended up in a rain-soaked tie and the players took it in stride.

The only thing heated about the July 15 match was a huge pot in the backyard of the Kilpatrick’s home.

The highlight of the game was the subsequent dinner, boiling inside said pot.

“The dump dinner is a tradition,” said Connie Fletcher, a Kiwanis member and former Issaquah School Board member. “Rotary had it, then it was gone for a few years and I brought it back through Kiwanis.”

Born in the South, the dump dinner consists of seafood, meats and corn boiling inside the pot. When they are done, the contents of the pot get dumped on a table and people dig in.

To honor the dinner’s Southern origins, post-game snacks and refreshments consisted of cheap beer, fried bologna sandwiches and Moon Pies.

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Nightly dinner is a chance for a good meal, talk

August 16, 2011

“You better watch him, he’s homeless,” a visitor called out from the other side of the Issaquah Community Hall on Sunset Way.

Starlene Tant and husband Michael Tant join volunteers Sylvia Mason and Diana Brown (from left) helping out in the kitchen and on the serving line during a recent free dinner offered by Catholic Community Services in Issaquah. By Tom Corrigan

The target of the jibe just laughed as he talked with a reporter, knowing that both and he and his would-be tormentor are indeed homeless.

They both also were tabbed as regulars at the free meals at the hall by Catholic Community Services.

Volunteers serve up the dinners at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 180 E. Sunset Way.

“I come mostly for the camaraderie,” said the visitor, who declined to give his name.

He said he’d been coming to the community hall for almost a year and knew quite a few of the other regulars among the visitors and the program volunteers.

Adria Briehl is a volunteer coordinator for the Seattle-based CCS and director of the local meal program. CCS began offering the dinners in 1989, but the program is still not very well known, Briehl said.

The meals are offered to anyone who shows up, no questions asked. Visitors usually number about 30 each evening. Many clients are homeless, but Briehl said she also sees plenty of seniors and others just looking to help make ends meet.

“A lot of people don’t think there’s homelessness in Issaquah,” Briehl said. “It just looks different than it does in Seattle.”

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Donations to honor late Issaquah girl surpass $1 million

August 16, 2011

Rachel Beckwith

Charity donations in honor of Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl fatally injured in a pileup last month, surpassed the $1 million mark Aug. 12, as the cause received another round of national attention.

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, highlighted Rachel’s mission to raise funds for Charity:Water, a New York-based nonprofit organization spearheading water projects in developing nations.

Donations surged to more than $900,000 after Kristof’s column appeared Aug. 11 and continued upward.

Rachel turned 9 in June and, in lieu of birthday gifts, asked friends and family members to donate to Charity:Water. The girl set a $300 goal, but came up $80 short.

“In the midst of this grim summer, my faith in humanity has been restored by the saga of Rachel Beckwith,” Kristof wrote. “She could teach my generation a great deal about maturity and unselfishness — even though she’s just 9 years old, or was when she died on July 23.”

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Metro Transit agreement preserves Issaquah routes

August 16, 2011

County Council enacts $20 vehicle-tab fee to generate transit dollars

Kathy Lambert

Kathy Lambert

Route 200 buses can continue rolling along downtown Issaquah streets due to a last-minute agreement to avert steep cuts to King County Metro Transit service.

King County Council members, after listening to more than 1,000 people urge against reduced bus service, enacted a $20 vehicle-tab fee Aug. 15 to forestall a 17-percent reduction to mass transit countywide. Metro Transit planners considered eliminating Issaquah-centric routes 200 and 927 in the proposed cutback.

In addition to enacting the vehicle-tab fee, the agreement calls for Metro Transit to phase out the free-ride zone in downtown Seattle in October 2012 and use smaller buses on less-popular routes as cost-saving measures. Metro Transit estimates eliminating the downtown Seattle free-ride zone should save $2.2 million.

The deal is meant to soften the impact of the economic downturn on cash-strapped Metro Transit. The sales tax revenues the agency uses to fund service plummeted due to the anemic economy.

“The people of King County voted with their feet, and they overwhelmingly turned out to tell us to save Metro Transit and keep bus service on the street,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “They have been heard.”

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Suspected heroin dealer faces homicide charge

August 16, 2011

Issaquah graduate died from drug overdose

King County prosecutors have filed a seldom-used drug homicide charge against a Seattle man accused of selling a fatal dose of heroin to a former Issaquah High School student.

Zachary Lyter

Prosecutors said Adam F. Pepka, 20, sold the heroin Zachary Lyter injected May 3. Investigators said Lyter later died from a heroin overdose. Lyter’s father discovered the former Issaquah High football player dead at the Bellevue home they shared the next day.

Investigators later determined his blood contained overdose levels of opiates. Police said Lyter admitted his drug problem to family members not long before he died. Officers discovered syringes and drug paraphernalia in his room during the investigation.

Pepka faces a charge for controlled substances homicide, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. Under state law, a controlled substances homicide is treated similar to manslaughter.

In order to convict Pepka, prosecutors must prove he sold the fatal dose of heroin to Lyter. Investigators said Pepka continued to sell heroin after learning about Lyter’s death from a 17-year-old girl.

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