State social services mobile office comes to Issaquah

April 5, 2011

The Mobile Community Services Office is coming to Issaquah from 2-5 p.m. April 12 at Issaquah Community Hall, 180 Sunset Way.

The 40-foot truck is staffed by experienced financial workers who are able to handle cash, food and medical interviews. They can also issue Electronic Benefits Transfer cards for food stamps, and receive documents.

The truck, run by the state Department of Social and Health Services, will visit the community hall during the Issaquah meal program.


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To the Editor

April 5, 2011

Ruth Kees award

Maureen McCarry is ideal pick to be honored for environmental legacy

Thank you for the front page coverage of the Ruth Kees award to Maureen McCarry and also for reviewing the accomplishments of past recipients on page A5.

Maureen is a classy lady who speaks her truth and acts on her intentions. Ruth would be proud.

Maureen was instrumental in guiding Issaquah away from the proposed Southeast Bypass to more effective traffic solutions and in the process of saving Park Pointe as green space for future generations. These two issues were front and center for Ruth while she was alive, and to see them accomplished would make her tremendously happy. Congratulations to Maureen and thanks for your efforts on behalf of Issaquah’s environment!

The Ruth Kees award is a big deal, and many environmentalists throughout the city would be excited to participate … if they knew. There was no public notice to call this out ahead of time so people could arrange their schedules to attend. It was on the council agenda that came out on Friday (before the Monday meeting) — hardly a timely and effective way to let people know.

When we conceived of this award in 2003, we had intentions of it being a celebration of all of the environmental initiatives and their instigators in and around Issaquah. As with many other awards, this should be a public process wherein the nominees are notified and published, a committee of peers (past recipients? reps from environmental organizations? River & Streams Board?) reviews and recommends the winner to the mayor and City Council.

Maureen and Ruth have been adamant that public participation and comment are key to a healthy city. I hope that Mayor Ava Frisinger and council members can create a calendar and process for future years that will give Ruth’s vision and award the notice, integrity and celebration that they deserve.

Each year as the skunk cabbage — Ruth’s favorite flower — begins to bloom and its pungent essence draws our attention, I think of Ruth and the importance of paying attention to how we nurture our environment.

Barbara Shelton


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Interactive map tracks junked cars, trash dumped on state forestland

April 5, 2011

State asks residents to help crack down on illegal dumping

The abandoned vehicle on state land near Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and the dumped household garbage on eastern Tiger Mountain represent — as the Department of Natural Resource’s law enforcement chief describes the illegal dumping problem — “the tip of the iceberg.”

The agency has unveiled a Web-based map to show locations of more than 200 illegal dumping sites on state trust lands.

The state — through the departments of natural resources and ecology, plus other agencies — spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to clean up household trash, junked vehicles, and commercial and hazardous waste dumped on state trust lands.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Larry Raedel, chief of law enforcement services for the Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement. “For every one of the sites we investigated, mapped and cleaned up last year, there are two or three more out there that we haven’t found yet.”

Illegal dumping often occurs near forest roads on the 2.1 million acres of forestland managed by the Department of Natural Resources. Hazardous sites, such as discarded industrial solvents or meth labs, can cost thousands of dollars each to clean up. Sending trucks to remote locations to remove abandoned vehicles is also expensive.

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Troopers start enforcing emergency zone law

April 5, 2011

Washington State Patrol troopers started enforcing a statewide emergency zone law April 1, meaning motorists need to make more room for emergency vehicles or face a stiffer penalty.

The enhanced emergency zone law builds upon existing “move over” regulations to create zones similar to constructions zones around emergency workers. The emergency zone stretches 200 feet in both directions from emergency vehicles.

Emergency vehicles include police cars, fire and emergency medical service vehicles, tow trucks and state Department of Transportation vehicles.

Under the law, the fine doubles for motorists caught speeding or failing to move over in emergency zones. Offenders face a possible gross misdemeanor charge, jail time and a mandatory 60-day license suspension.

Since the law took effect Jan. 1, troopers focused on educating drivers about the updated rule. Now, the 90-day education period is done.

The earlier “move over” law took effect in 2007. Despite the change, the problem continued to worsen. From 2006-09, the state patrol recorded 80 collisions involving passing vehicles striking patrol vehicles along the roadway.

Motorists speeding, driving too fast for conditions or driving under the influence contributed to the accidents.

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Officials to host meeting about sex offender

April 5, 2011

King County Sheriff’s Office and Issaquah School District officials reached out to parents March 23, because a registered sex offender is moving to May Valley.

Randall Berry

The sheriff’s office is holding a sexual-offender notification meeting April 20 at Apollo Elementary School.

The offender, Randall Eugene Berry, is moving to the 18800 block of Southeast May Valley Road. People living near Berry’s residence received mailers about the move.

Berry was charged with first-degree rape in 1984. Posing as an off-duty police officer with a fake badge, he used his vehicle’s headlights or emergency flashers to stop women who were driving alone, according to the sheriff’s office. He then told victims they had committed a traffic violation, or that they had defective vehicle equipment.

Berry then used a knife to force women from their vehicles and sexually assaulted them. The sheriff’s office said he had a total of four victims.

The sexual-offender notification meeting is in accordance with the Community Protection Act of 1990. People attending the meeting will learn about personal safety and how to best report criminal or suspicious activity.

What to know

Sexual-offender notification

  • 6:30-8 p.m.
  • April 20
  • Apollo Elementary School, 15025 S.E. 117th St., Renton

Call Detective J. Cline at 206-205-7988 with questions about the meeting. Learn more about Berry at Click on your state, and then your county and then search for offenders in your area.

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Music on the menu at Issaquah violin shop

April 5, 2011

Folk artists turn lunchtime into impromptu jam sessions

Most Tuesdays, the musical employees at Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah won’t be found working through lunch, nor will they be spotted eating out about town.

The motley group plays impromptu tunes together in the workroom where the luthiers mend and make instruments for their customers. Many in the group have played together for decades, back when the store was located south of Seattle in Des Moines.

r The luthiers and staff at Hammond Ashley Violins, in historic downtown Issaquah, jam and play folk music during Tuesday lunch breaks. By Kaylyn Messer

When Hammond Ashley moved to Issaquah in 2006, the group continued to play, led by its leader in both age and musical wherewithal, 82-year-old Abel Fortune.

“I started fooling with harmonicas when I was about 5 years old,” Fortune said. “I don’t know how many years it was before I could admit I could play a tune.”

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Stanley Charles Harris

April 5, 2011

Stanley Charles Harris, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and formerly of Issaquah, died March 8, 2011, in Coeur d’Alene. He was 68.

At Stan’s request, there was no service, but stories and messages can be shared on his dedicated webpage at

Stan was born Jan. 31, 1943, in Seattle to Ed and Edith Harris. He was raised in Issaquah and lived in the Issaquah area before moving with his family to Coeur d’Alene in 2000.

He graduated from Issaquah High School in 1962. He served six years in the National Guard.

Stan married Sharon Weber in 1965.

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Theresa Ann Levesque

April 5, 2011

Theresa “Memere” Levesque, of Issaquah, loving wife to Armand and abiding mom to Laurie, died April 1, 2011, after a courageous battle with carcinoid cancer.  A memorial service will be held from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at Flintoft’s Funeral Home in Issaquah. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Attn: Donations for Dr. Samual Whiting G.I. Oncology, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109-1023.

Friends are invited to view a full obituary, photos and directions at

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Charles Franklin Epps Jr.

April 5, 2011

May 3, 1923 – March 24, 2011

Charles Epps Jr.

Born in Miami, Okla., he died in Seattle.

Charles, known to his family as Papa Dugie, was the last survivor of 11 children. He was married to Florence Epps for 63 years.

He is survived by their three children Barbara Schaefer (and Al), Charnell Jay (and Ray) and Kevin Epps (and Connie); seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Charles was a tile setter by trade and an avid sportsman and great dancer. Gardening and fishing were his passions.

Donations are suggested to the Providence Marianwood Foundation.

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Japan disaster hits home for Issaquah family

April 5, 2011

When Kelli Dotson and her husband Robert sat down to watch a pre-recorded show, the evening started out like any other Friday night.

Rachelle Dotson

Their Issaquah house was quiet, only one of their five children still living at home. At about 10 p.m., Kelli’s phone showed a text message from her eldest son, urging her to turn on the news.

“It’s about Rachelle,” Kelli told her husband.

In horror, the two watched as a tsunami swept over the Sendai airport after a massive earthquake hit the northeastern part of Japan. They had reason for concern. Their daughter Rachelle was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 12 miles north of Sendai.

“She had just been transferred from Koriyama,” recalled her mother Kelli, who had received weekly emails from their daughter.

The week before, Rachelle had sent her parents a one-liner that said she had a new companion from Tahiti, didn’t know her new address or phone number and wouldn’t have email access.

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