Glitch delays ballots for more than 900 local voters

November 1, 2011

King County Elections did not mail ballots to 11,000 Eastside voters — including more than 900 people in Issaquah and Sammamish — in mid-October due to a glitch.

Officials, after receiving calls from residents about missing ballots, mailed ballots to the affected voters Oct. 29. The deadline to return ballots via mail, drop box or accessible voting center is Nov. 8.

Overall, the issue impacted 11,000 Eastside voters, including 54 in Issaquah, 141 in Newcastle and 875 in Sammamish. Some North Bend and Snoqualmie voters also face delays in receiving ballots.

King County Elections started mailing 1.1 million ballots to voters Oct. 19. Calls to the elections office about missing ballots started soon after. The reason for the delay remains unknown, officials said Oct. 28.

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Man robs local KeyBank branch, flees

November 1, 2011

Issaquah and federal officers continue to investigate a robbery from a local bank branch.

Issaquah police responded to a robbery at a KeyBank branch along Northwest Gilman Boulevard just after 2 p.m. Oct. 28.


Investigators said a man approached a bank employee and handed the employee a demand note. The employee handed the man cash, and the suspect then fled the bank, carrying the loot. Police did not reveal the amount of money stolen, per standard procedure.

Officers searched the area near the bank, 405 N.W. Gilman Blvd., but did not locate the man.

Investigators said the man departed the bank in a westbound direction. Police said the suspect is a white man in his 20s. Surveillance images show the suspect dressed in a dark-colored, long-sleeved shirt or jacket with the Adidas logo on the chest and white stripes on the sleeves, and a gray baseball cap.

The police department and the FBI continue to investigate. Ray Lauer, a special agent at the bureau’s Seattle office, said investigators do not believe the man is connected to other recent bank robberies in the region.

The most recent bank robbery in Issaquah occurred July 22, after a man demanded money at the Sterling Savings Bank, 705 N.W. Gilman Blvd., and then fled. Investigators said the suspect in the Sterling Savings Bank also robbed a Bellevue bank a day before the Issaquah incident.

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

Junior State of America students win awards for speaking their minds

November 1, 2011

Jake Barokas, a Skyline High School sophomore, takes to the podium during a regional Junior State of America debate at O’Dea High School. Contributed

A simple description would state the Issaquah School District’s Junior State of America groups are debate teams.

While technically accurate, such an explanation doesn’t seem to convey the whole story.

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Local congressman forms youth-focused advisory board

November 1, 2011

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Issaquah’s representative in Congress, is forming a youth-focused advisory board and needs local high school students to apply.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, seeks students from throughout the 8th Congressional District.

Contact Reichert’s Mercer Island district office at or 206-275-3438 to learn more. The office has also informed school administrators and teachers in the district about the opportunity.

“I’m excited to form the Youth Advisory Board because young people are impacted greatly by the decisions of policymakers at all levels of government — their voices should be heard,” Reichert said in a statement. “Participants will learn about public policy and I am eager to exchange ideas and hear their feedback.”

In addition to Issaquah, the district includes Bellevue, Renton, and other Eastside and South King County cities. The district stretches south into rural Pierce County.

Change smoke detector batteries for daylight saving time

November 1, 2011

Local firefighters encourage residents to change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries before 2 a.m. Nov. 6, as daylight saving time ends.

Eastside Fire & Rescue is part of the national Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery campaign. The effort encourages people to change smoke detector batteries at the end of daylight saving time.

EFR firefighters plan to remind people to check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors from 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

Meet firefighters and receive complimentary 9-volt batteries at Bartell Drugs, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.; QFC, 4570 Klahanie Drive S.E., and The Home Depot, 6200 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.

Liberty cross country team dashes to district championship

November 1, 2011

Liberty High School's varsity girls cross country team (left) came in second to Mercer Island (right) Oct. 21 at KingCo, but paid back the Islanders Oct. 27 by winning to become Sea-King District 3A cross country champions. File

The girls from Liberty High School repeated as Sea-King District 3A cross country champions Oct. 27 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The Patriots avenged a defeat to Mercer Island at the previous week’s KingCo Conference championship meet, beating the runner-up Islanders by six points.

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Curtain rises on Issaquah High School Theater

November 1, 2011

Theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson (left) and district construction coordinator Royce Nourigat discuss the finer points of Issaquah High School’s new theater. By Tom Corrigan

On this day, a little more than a week before the first public event is scheduled to take place, a few workers still are putting final touches on the new, 600-seat Issaquah High School Theater.

Overall, the theater was about 97 percent finished, said Royce Nourigat, district construction coordinator. Both he and theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson said there would be no problem in having the space ready for its inaugural evening, a concert featuring the district’s Evergreen Philharmonic slated for Nov. 5. The orchestra consists of musicians from schools across the Issaquah School District.

Orchestra Director Doug Longman said he is pleased to be putting on the first event in the theater, a facility he said would be the envy of many universities. A concert might be an appropriate first event, as Kelly-Peterson said the theater features “amazing” acoustics among other attributes.

For one thing, Kelly-Peterson said that while the theater comes complete with a wireless microphone system, speakers or performers could appear on the main stage minus any electronic amplification and be heard in the back of the auditorium. Further, that stage can be transformed into an orchestra shell, improving the theater’s acoustics even more.

“It’ll send the sound right out to the audience,” Kelly-Peterson said.

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Issaquah Library’s book sale offers plenty of bang for the buck

November 1, 2011

The local nonprofit group Friends of the Issaquah Library will sponsor the second of its bi-annual Issaquah Library Book Sales this weekend.

Proceeds will go toward library events such as the opera club, story time for children, teen reading groups and a handful of other programs.

“The librarians in King County sponsor the events, we simply pay for them. So we supplement the programs at the library,” said David Wettstein, president of Friends of the Issaquah Library.

The sale is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 6. Organizers hope to raise about $3,500. The sale will take place in the library’s conference room and will be staffed entirely by Friends volunteers.

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Issaquah School District campuses host Veterans Day events

November 1, 2011

Several local schools have planned to honor current military personnel and other veterans just in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

At 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9, Clark Elementary School will open its doors to present and past military members and their families, said Heather Maloney, president of the Clark PTA.

Maloney said local veterans from the area, including from local VFW posts and the Providence Point retirement community, had been invited.

The school also had contacted the Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC program about providing a color guard.

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City smoothes once-bumpy Central Park entrance

November 1, 2011

The cratered parking lot at Central Park’s popular artificial turf fields is gone, replaced by a special — and smoother — pavement to allow rainwater to percolate through the lot and into the ground.

Crews completed the 163-stall parking lot in late summer, and city officials gathered to open the space Sept. 26.

The parking lot upgrade is the latest addition to the area, called Pad 3. The city installed artificial turf, using a donation from the Issaquah Soccer Club and a state grant, and lights, using dollars left over from the turf installation, at the site in earlier phases.

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