Fire Station 72 public art reflects environmental theme

October 11, 2011

Throughout the year, as Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 rose from a barren patch on the Issaquah Transit Center site, artist Perri Lynch headed east from Seattle to observe the construction.

The longtime artist sought ideas for a public art piece commissioned for the station. The result is a series of flexible ribbons affixed to the façade of the completed building. Lights behind the ribbons illuminate the ribbons and radiate after sunset.

Perri Lynch bolts the red and yellow ribbons of her artwork together in August for the public art installation at Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72. By Greg Farrar

“The overall concept behind the work is this relationship between order and chaos, and how emergency and crisis interrupt the rhythm of our lives,” she said. “I wanted the artwork to reflect the stability but also the nimbleness that we all need.”

The artwork — and the $47,000 price tag — raised eyebrows among City Council members in June, although the council later approved funds for the piece.

Under city code, one-half of 1 percent of the initial $5 million in a project budget — plus one-quarter of 1 percent of the amount exceeding $5 million — is required to be used for public art.

The city initially set aside $32,000 for Station 72 public art. In addition, the municipal Arts Commission recommended another $10,000 in public art funding for the project.

The additional $5,000 in costs resulted because the artist changed the piece to incorporate more “green” materials. The resin used in the piece is 40 percent preconsumer recycled plastic.

“It was a great opportunity to design artwork in keeping with the larger values of the project,” Lynch said. “I love the ecological underpinnings of the station. That influenced the materials that I used.”

The untitled piece uses energy from the solar array on the rooftop to power the LED strips.

“So often, public art is brought in at the end of a major project. Often, you can tell — to the detriment of the architecture and the art,” Lynch said. “In this case, I had the opportunity to design as the station was taking shape, and that makes a huge difference.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

The Issaquah Press is best community newspaper in state

October 11, 2011

The Issaquah Press earned top honors as the best community newspaper in Washington, plus more than 30 other awards for reporting, photography, social media, design and advertising at a statewide journalism conference Oct. 7.

Overall, the newspaper and staff members received 33 awards in the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Judges named reporter Warren Kagarise as News Writer of the Year, a top honor for a community newspaper reporter in Washington.

The association honored The Press in the General Excellence category for the largest-circulation community newspapers in the Evergreen State. Sammamish Review, a sister publication, clinched the No. 3 spot in the category.

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Police seize 62 dogs from home in ‘animal hoarding’ case

October 11, 2011

King County animal control officers seized 62 dogs from a Cougar Mountain home in Issaquah — and 38 more from a Burien home — Oct. 6 in a case investigators described as “animal hoarding.”

Kristina Tsai bathes a dog Oct. 7 at a King County animal shelter after it was seized during an "animal hoarding" investigation Oct. 6. By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

In a raid on the Burien house, King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Regional Animal Services of King County officers discovered 38 ill Chihuahua, Japanese Chin and Pomeranian dogs in dirty crates. Then, investigators searched a house in the 5900 block of 189th Avenue Southeast on Cougar Mountain, about a mile south of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

Veterinarians later euthanized nine dogs from the Burien house due to poor health. The day after the raids, veterinarians euthanized another dog due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Investigators said the animals from the Issaquah house appeared to be in good health and housed in clean crates, although the condition of the house prompted animal control officers to take the dogs into custody.

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Find quiet contemplation in Issaquah’s Christian Science Reading Room

October 11, 2011

The Issaquah Church of Christ, Scientist Reading Room features a distinctive reflecting pool. By Greg Farrar

One of the staples of the Christian Science religion is its reading room.

Usually, it’s a quiet atmosphere that lends to the pursuit of thoughtful prayer, studying Bible lessons, reading Christian literature or investigating the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

With the church located on 238th Way Southeast, leaders have long had to rent out space in Issaquah for a reading room to serve its congregation of fewer than 200.

However, Issaquah’s last reading room didn’t have an ideal location for its intended pursuits in the Brandt Building on Front Street, not with its neighbor — The Kaleidoscope School of Music — pursuing its intended purpose.

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Council allows Issaquah Highlands gas station despite concerns

October 11, 2011

Opponents raise questions about groundwater contamination

City Council members, eager to attract more retail options to the Issaquah Highlands, decided a gas station can open in the neighborhood, but only if groceries accompany the fill-ups.

The council agreed in a 7-0 decision Oct. 3 to change the agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station in the community. Concerns about possible groundwater contamination led city officials to ban gas stations in the highlands before construction on the neighborhood started in the mid-1990s.

Safeway outlined plans for a gas station to accompany a proposed highlands store, and city officials and gas station proponents said the rule change is a crucial step to attract the grocery chain. The gas station is proposed for a funnel-shaped lot between Ninth Avenue Northeast and Highlands Drive Northeast, next to a future Safeway.

The debate before the council decision exposed a split among highlands residents eager for more amenities in the community, and residents from elsewhere concerned about potential groundwater contamination from gas station leaks.

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Sammamish mother juggles career, raising kids and running extreme distances

October 11, 2011

Jennifer Hughes trains in the neighborhood near her Sammamish home for ultra runner competitions, including a 100K (62.1-mile) race in Oregon. By Patti Enos

All Jennifer “Jenn” Hughes wants is to be a good mom, run a 100K race and manage a successful business.

Hughes is a Sammamish woman who juggles many ambitions while she stays organized, focused and energized on the trails ahead.

“I am inspired to live life as fully as I can,” she said as a huge smile extended across her face.

The 2000 University of Washington graduate worked in the Nordstrom corporate office in marketing after graduation. But when her son was born, Colin, now 4, Hughes changed direction to allow more time to focus on motherhood, running long distances and finding an outlet for the many ideas that keep developing in her mind.

“I have to laugh,” she said. “I spent most of the day yesterday working on my laptop from my son’s mini kid table while he played trains. I find a way to get it all done.”

Hughes is considered an ultra runner, an individual who participates in an event that involves a distance longer than a 26.2-mile marathon. Have you noticed a petite woman who pulls a tire behind her as she runs the steep hills of the Issaquah Highlands? That’s her.

“It’s an old weight belt with two poles that attaches to a big car tire and drags on the ground. Greg built it for me,” explained the 5-foot, 2-inch dynamo.

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Life Enrichment Options plans home, fundraiser

October 11, 2011

Founded 22 years ago by the parents of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities, Issaquah’s Life Enrichment Options is expanding.

One of the organization’s founders as well as a member of its board of directors, Rose Finnegan said LEO’s third family home should be completed by December.

The group also is planning what Finnegan said is only the second fundraising event in its history.

Harvesting Hope is the name of LEO’s luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 20 at Pickering Barn. Sammamish City Council member and former host of TV’s “Evening Magazine” John Curley will host the event.

LEO’s third facility sits in the Issaquah Highlands at the corner of 25th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Logan Street.

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Operation Bald Eagle seeks fan support at Eastlake homecoming

October 11, 2011

If you’re headed to watch the Issaquah High School Eagles take on the Eastlake High School Wolves on Oct. 14, be sure to look out for members of the Army and Marines in their Humvees.

The service members will be at the game to help garner support for Operation Bald Eagle, a Sammamish-based organization that supports military families and those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty.

Jeff Mitchell, the founder, and Dr. Mark Nelson’s Sammamish office staff will collect basic school supplies for military families, as well as general supplies for care packages, which they will send to troops overseas. Operation Bald Eagle will also conduct a raffle for a chance to win an iPad.

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Community replenishes local food banks

October 11, 2011

On Sept. 17, nearly 400 men, women and children walked door to door to collect food for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

The daylong effort produced 3,000 pounds of food, a substantial amount of nonperishable items to assist those in need at a time when inventory was critically low.

“We were told that need had risen by nearly 50 percent,” said Robert Johnson, president of the Bellevue South Stake that encompasses 10 Latter-day Saints congregations on the Eastside, and three in the Issaquah area. “We had to do something.”

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Swedish/Issaquah offers ambulatory infusion center, services to Eastside residents

October 11, 2011

Nurse Laurie Kirkham (left) checks Brelin Rismiller’s pulse as she receives her IV fluids in the Swedish/Issaquah Ambulatory Infusion Center. By Greg Farrar

Ken Morgan, 76, has kept active since bilateral knee replacement surgery in both legs in 2007.

In fact, he had just planned his latest fishing excursion on July 22. However, the week before, on the 13th, he caught a fever, checked into the hospital on the 15th with a mysterious infection in his knee and was in for surgery on the 16th.

Afterward, his physician placed Morgan on a six-week course of daily antibiotics, which needed to be given intravenously, or through infusion.

Morgan, a 1953 graduate of Issaquah High School, has lived just south of Issaquah since 1993. He was starting daily, lengthy trips to Seattle for his infusions.

Luckily, the new Swedish/Issaquah hospital had just launched its Ambulatory Infusion Center.

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