Volunteers needed for Medical Reserve Corps

March 8, 2011

Medical and nonmedical volunteers with the Public Health Reserve Corps set up shop for a mock alternative care facility, a place where certified volunteers can triage patients during a natural disaster, medical emergency or attack. Contributed

How should Issaquah respond to an earthquake? A terrorist attack? A newly discovered and contagious flu?

Volunteers with the Issaquah Medical Reserve Corps will know how to set up an emergency triage station, vaccination clinic and respond to and treat the public. The same goes for the Public Health Reserve Corps, run by Public Health – Seattle & King County, only instead of staying in Issaquah, these volunteers help across the county in the case of an emergency.

“We do encourage people to cross register with Public Health Reserve Corps, so in case of a disaster where Issaquah is fine, we can go to other areas and help out,” said Brenda Bramwell, a volunteer for both the Issaquah and the Public Health Reserve Corps.

The Medical Reserve Corps movement began in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

In the turmoil following the attacks, regular citizens wanted to help, especially those who were medically trained. At the time, there was no standard way for them to organize, and no way for victims to know if the do-gooders had proper credentials.

In President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, he asked Americans to volunteer in support of their country. Shortly after, the government formed the Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, with chapters for the organization forming at state and local levels.

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Issaquah, Sammamish councils face planning issues at meeting

March 8, 2011

Issaquah and Sammamish leaders meet March 10 at Tibbetts Creek Manor. The agenda includes dinner — and a packed docket of regional issues.

Members from the Issaquah and Sammamish city councils, plus Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, plan to discuss long-term planning efforts in both cities — the push to create a Town Center in Sammamish and the decadeslong goal to reshape the Issaquah business district — and other issues.

The annual meeting offers a chance for leaders to confer about issues face to face. The confab helps to cut out the chatter from municipal staffers and residents.

“One way to do that is to once a year to get together and talk about what is important to each city,” Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet said.

In recent years, talks focused on shared transportation concerns, Eastside Fire & Rescue operations and, in the meeting last year, nascent discussions about a regional fire authority and changes to King County animal control.

Officials from both cities also said the meeting could result in ideas for long-term planning efforts in Issaquah and Sammamish.

Sprawling Sammamish is in the midst of a yearslong effort to create a Town Center. Issaquah embarked on a plan last year to guide redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

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Off the Press

March 8, 2011

As a journalist, I’ve covered fatal accidents, murder plots and bizarre incidents involving women jumping naked through living room windows. These stories always catch me off guard, but a room of 11-year-olds recently caught me more off-guard than ever.

Tim Pfarr Press reporter

As part of Newcastle Elementary School’s literacy celebration the first week of March, I volunteered to read aloud to the school’s fifth-graders. After reading, I talked about my job and answered questions from the students.

“Do you do more interviews on the phone or in person?” one girl asked.

Very good question, I told her. Definitely on the phone.

“Have you ever interviewed Tim Lincecum?”

Not yet, but I’d love to, I said.

Then, the weird questions came.

“Who do you like more, the New York Knicks or the Orlando Magic? Who do you like more, the Orlando Magic or the Miami Heat? Do you like Duke University?”

What?!?

“Knicks? Magic? Yes?” I said.

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State Senate approves kindergarten assessment

March 8, 2011

Soon, every all-day kindergarten student might receive an assessment.

The state Senate passed a measure that would establish uniform assessments of children in all-day kindergarten, known as the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills, or WaKIDS.

If passed, the bill would begin the assessments in the 2012-13 school year. WaKIDS is being piloted now by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Early Learning, with consultation by Thrive by Five Washington.

The state Senate vote passed 31 to 15, with Issaquah state Sens. Steve Litzow, Rodney Tom and Cheryl Pflug voting for the measure.

The Senate passed the bill March 3. It now goes to the state House for consideration.

Registration opens for AtWork! breakfast fundraiser

March 8, 2011

Help AtWork! raise money for programs as the nonprofit organization hosts a fundraising breakfast April 13. The event runs from 7-9 a.m. at The Westin Bellevue.

The fundraiser is open to individuals, groups and corporate sponsorships. Register online at www.atworkwa.org/breakfast2011/index.html.

AtWork! is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs. The organization designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services.

The organization operates a recycling and training facility along Seventh Avenue Northwest in Issaquah.

Sound Transit offers Issaquah bicycle lockers

March 8, 2011

Sound Transit offers bicycle lockers to riders at many locations, including the Issaquah Transit Center.

The lockers tend to be popular, so the mass transit agency urges riders to call 888-889-6368 toll free to learn more about locker availability. Bicycle storage is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis at transit centers.

Sound Transit offers lockers for a $50 nonrefundable annual rental fee and a one-time $50 refundable key deposit.

Once riders check locker availability, they can download and complete a copy of the Sound Transit Bicycle Locker User Agreement at the agency website, www.soundtransit.org. Then, mail the completed form to Sound Transit, Attn: Customer Service, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104-2826.

Voting in conservation district election ends March 15

March 8, 2011

The clock is ticking for King Conservation District voters to cast ballots online in the contest for a vacant board seat.

Voters started to cast e-ballots in the supervisor race Feb. 15. The online voting period runs through March 15. Voters can also cast ballots in person at the district office March 15.

The conservation district is the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and for providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

Candidates Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera, Duvall farmer Eric Nelson and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente seek the volunteer position.

Elliott said he aims to balance environmental science and property rights. Herrera, a district Citizen Advisory Committee, said she intends to foster partnership among the district, landowners and other agencies. Nelson said he understands the district from a farmer’s perspective. Prudente said he intends to improve the district’s infrastructure and ability to assist landowners.

The election is open to registered voters in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County, except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish — cities outside the district.

King County Elections does not administer district elections.

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Historic preservation trust seeks endangered historic sites

March 8, 2011

Threatened historic sites could receive a boost from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

The trust is seeking nominations for the 2011 Most Endangered Historic Properties List. Download the nomination form at www.preservewa.org. Nominations must be submitted by March 21.

The trust encourages communities to take action to preserve the historic fabric of neighborhoods, main streets and rural landscapes.

Inclusion on the list can be a crucial step in advocacy campaigns designed to attract attention to historic resources.

Properties selected for inclusion on the list receive advocacy and technical assistance from the trust. By joining local organizations and concerned citizens, the most endangered list program has resulted in many high-profile success stories since 1992.

In 2010, the list featured the Reard Freed House in neighboring Sammamish. Now, the city and a heritage society continue to work to move and preserve the historic structure for the community.

The forthcoming list is to be announced at a press conference in May as part of the trust’s Preservation Month programming.

To the Editor

March 8, 2011

DownTown Issaquah Association

It’s a shame someone as invaluable as Greg Spranger was forced out

It is truly disappointing to hear of the departure of Greg Spranger from the DownTown Issaquah Association and the unfortunate but understandable subsequent resignation of Michael Johnson.

Having lived in town for close to 45 years, and my wife’s family having been here since the late 1800s, I think it’s fair to say we can recollect no other individual who has served the community, in a nonelected position, better and in more ways than Greg Spranger. Greg’s abundant enthusiasm, tireless energy and dedication to help make the downtown a better place for all of us has been nothing less than exemplarily.

Greg’s lengthy resume of years of accomplishments is amazing, many projects headed up by him and many others receiving his personal dedication. The city did the right thing recognizing Greg’s contribution and inducting him into the city Hall of Fame several years back.

I feel discarding such an individual as Greg is a travesty, a decision likely made by those not so endeared to or really understanding our historic downtown and all Greg has done. Indeed, as I look at the DownTown Issaquah Association board members’ makeup I wonder exactly who some are and what exactly they have personally done for the community.

Without Greg and Michael to head things up, I wonder about the long-term future of our downtown attractions like the Art Walks, Music on the Streets, Christmas decorations and more. Who will now imagine what could be and be able to pull it off?

As a member of the DownTown Issaquah Association, I do not believe the action of the board was in the best interest of the downtown or the community as a whole.

Greg and Michael: I and my family thank you both for all you have contributed and helping to enrich our lives.

David W. Harris

Issaquah

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City Council adjusts undercrossing budget

March 8, 2011

Interstate 90 Undercrossing

The budget for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing received some adjustments from the City Council late last week to account for cost overruns.

The council had authorized $2.96 million to complete the north-south connector. The council increased the total by $16,000 in a unanimous decision Feb. 22.

The increase uses unallocated project dollars, funds from utility companies and city dollars set aside for a traffic-calming program.

The council awarded the initial construction contract for the undercrossing last March, and then awarded a construction contract for another piece last July.

The project required more excavation than planners had anticipated in order to build a stable base for the roadway.

Planners did not anticipate the additional excavation based on the soil conditions at the site. The rain-soaked summer exacerbated the problem.

In addition, utility companies asked to install lines in a trench created as part of the undercrossing project.

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