Issaquah Christian Church’s Christmas tree sale benefits mission to Mexico

November 22, 2011

Jim Rockstad, a member of Issaquah Christian Church, stands next to a model house showing the mission work done with funds raised during the annual Christmas tree sales. By Greg Farrar

The annual Christmas tree lot at Issaquah Christian Church will open at noon the day after Thanksgiving.

The lot is on church property at 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E., a mile and a half south of the city limits.

“Buy a Noble fir for a noble cause” at the lot where proceeds from sales support missions, including Mexico homebuilding. Each year, a team of adults and teens travel to Mexico in June to build homes there at no cost to those in need.

This year, 38 adults and teenagers participated in the building of about 15 homes and a church near Tijuana. A model Mexico home has been constructed on the church property and people are encouraged to tour the model.

The model home measures a scant 11-feet-by-22 feet — a castle to families south of the border who often live in cardboard boxes.

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Kathleen Drew, former Issaquah lawmaker, enters secretary of state race

November 22, 2011

Kathleen Drew

Kathleen Drew, a onetime Issaquah state senator and a former aide to Gov. Chris Gregoire, entered the race Nov. 14 to succeed retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Drew, 51, served as a representative for Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the mid-1990s. In the Legislature, she crafted a tough ethics law for public employees — a national model designed to tamp down on conflicts of interest in state government — and led the effort to protect the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery from budget cuts.

“My strength is really that I’m an experienced public service manager on extremely complex issues at the state level,” she said in a pre-announcement interview.

Drew later served in Gregoire’s administration, initially as a policy adviser focused on the environment and then on general government issues. In the environmental role, she crafted the legislation to establish the Puget Sound Partnership, a regional effort to clean up Puget Sound.

Drew left Gregoire’s office last month to serve as a policy adviser at the state Department of Enterprise Services — a super-agency responsible for handling payroll and personnel, as well as managing contracts, real estate and supplies.

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Redrawn King County Council map includes minor changes for local residents

November 22, 2011

The citizen panel responsible for redrawing King County Council districts kept Issaquah in the same district. Contributed

King County’s reshaped political map keeps Issaquah in the same County Council district, even as the citizen panel responsible for the updated map made significant changes elsewhere.

In a unanimous decision Nov. 15, the council-appointed King County Districting Committee approved the updated boundaries. The reshaped map is effective immediately, although the impact of the changes might not be evident until after the 2012 elections.

Issaquah remains in Councilwoman Kathy Lambert’s District 3. The committee kept the rural communities south of city limits in Councilman Reagan Dunn’s District 9, and swapped some unincorporated areas southeast of Issaquah between districts 3 and 9.

The committee’s decision followed a 10-month process, after members collected ideas and input from the public in meetings throughout the county.

Overall, more than 80 people testified and more than 160 offered written comments during the once-in-a-decade process. The committee also reached out to elected officials in the county’s 39 cities and state legislators for insight into communities.

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Santa Claus is coming to Issaquah Commons

November 22, 2011

This holiday season, Arthur and Associates continues its decadeslong tradition of providing Santas and accompanying professional photographers at locations in the area, including a workshop in the Issaquah Commons, 975 N.W. Gilman Blvd., (between Panera Bread and Chico’s.) from Nov. 25 through Dec. 24.

According to Arthur and Associates, credited with being the first to boost small children onto Santa’s knee for the annual portrait, Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographer Art French opened Arthur and Associates in 1943 in a downtown Seattle department store. French continued to take Santa photos for the next 20 years, until the Viydo family, which has operated the firm since 1962, purchased the company.

Learn more, including specific hours, at www.santaphotos.com. Click on “locations” for information about the Issaquah Commons site.

Motel 6 launches Great Teddy Bear Roundup

November 22, 2011

Motel 6 presents its fourth annual Great Teddy Bear Roundup, supporting local law enforcement officials, fire departments, hospitals and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Drop off new small to medium-sized teddy bears through Dec. 8 at the Motel 6, 1885 15th Place N.W.

The teddy bears are donated to local service agencies to comfort children experiencing stressful or traumatic situations.

“We are grateful for the support of our guests and those in the community who have generously donated teddy bears for the cause over the past few years,” said Jim Amorosia, CEO of Motel 6 and Studio 6. “Local police, fire departments and social services are invaluable to our communities, and we are honored to support their efforts in comforting children in need.”

Over the past three years, the Great Teddy Bear Roundup has gathered more than 32,000 teddy bears, benefiting communities across the U.S. and Canada.

“It’s a pleasure for us to support our community in such a simple way,” said Phil Morris, general manager of the Issaquah Motel 6. “The teddy bears we collect make a big difference in children’s lives so we encourage our community to support our efforts by donating new teddy bears at Motel 6.”

Call 392-8405 to learn more.

‘Further than it’s ever been’ for Liberty soccer team

November 22, 2011

Liberty takes second at 3A state soccer championship

Kali Youngdahl (8), Liberty High School sophomore midfielder, is mobbed by teammates Mollie Cooke (left) and Kailiana Johnson after putting the Patriots up 2-0 with a goal in the sixth minute. By Greg Farrar

After the Liberty High School girls soccer team dropped its first match of the season to the Skyline Spartans on Sept. 6, the Patriots made a commitment to themselves — and each other.

“We never wanted to feel that way again,” Liberty starting forward and co-captain Cassidy Nangle said.

Eighteen straight victories, including the 1-0 win against Eastside Catholic Nov. 18 to catapult Liberty into the 3A state championship game, brought the Patriots closer to their ultimate goal: a state title.

The Nov. 19 state championship at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup pitted experience against unfamiliarity as Liberty faced Seattle Prep, the defending state champions who have played in the title game five of the past six years.

It was Liberty’s first time in the final game in the school’s 34-year history.

After battling hard into the final seconds of the game, the Patriots fell to the Panthers, 3-2.

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Committee sifts through criteria for uniform high school schedule

November 22, 2011

It’s a complex subject with a lot of variables and one that has ignited plenty of outspoken opinions.

But Patrick Murphy, executive director of secondary education for the Issaquah School District, said he believes a volunteer committee will meet a seemingly ambitious deadline and come up with a uniform schedule to be implemented at all four district high schools.

“That’s the goal,” Murphy said, noting the committee has two meetings and plenty of issues remaining.

In the meantime, many parents, especially those from Liberty High School, haven’t been shy about expressing their thoughts regarding the current high school schedules. Liberty operates on a different pattern than the other district high schools and many parents and students alike are defensive of the flexibility they believe that unique schedule allows.

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Eastside homeless shelters open

November 22, 2011

The onset of dreary autumn weather and the approaching winter focused attention on the need for homeless shelters on the Eastside.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, museums receive grants

November 22, 2011

Countywide Community Forums of King County announced the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank and the Issaquah History Museums as grant recipients Nov. 14.

The food bank received $500 and the museums received $100 after encouraging people to complete a survey about the King County budget. The more respondents completing the survey on behalf of each organization increased the grant amount.

Overall, the process generated more than 1,800 survey responses — a record for Countywide Community Forums, a nonprofit organization in partnership with King County government. Read more

King County Council extends benefits, income for active-duty employees

November 22, 2011

Just before Veterans Day, King County Council members extended salary and benefits for county employees serving as National Guard and reserve service members.

The council approved legislation to cover all county employees called to active duty. For some county employees, being called to active duty means taking a pay cut, because their military salary is less than their county compensation — a particular challenge if the service member is the only wage earner in his or her household.

Under the legislation, county employees called to active duty become eligible for military leave differential pay if their military pay is less than their county income. The employees can continue to receive full health and other benefits through the county as well.

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