Soup’s on: Issaquah home cooks offer recipes

February 15, 2011

Bernadette Anne sets out her ingredients for hamburger soup in the kitchen of her Overdale Park home. By Greg Farrar

Dish up hearty soups from home cooks to chase off the chill

Cold days call for something hot enough to steam up the windows. The solution is a crowd pleaser: Set a pot of soup to simmer to combat the gloom.

Soup is just right for wintertime. The simmering pot radiates heat. Each ladleful is the perfect pick-me-up on a frigid day. Most recipes require little tending after the initial prep.

Soup is the original set-it-and-forget-it dish. Sorry, Ron Popeil.

Though the mild Pacific Northwest climate means soup is a solid menu choice year round, late winter and early spring make for the best time to simmer a pot.

Local home cooks recommend bubbling soups to counteract the chill. Set the fuss-free recipes to simmer after the mercury drops.

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Along Issaquah Creek / Feb. 16, 2011

February 15, 2011

AmeriCorps teams restore Squak trails

February 15, 2011

Sam Decker (left), 20, of Seattle, and Kyle Johnson, 21, of Sibley, Ill. (population 300), do two jobs at once as they dig a drainage channel and fill in a trail path during their Americorps project on Squak Mountain. By Greg Farrar

The scrapes from shovels and the metallic ring from pickaxes splitting rock echoed across the morning stillness on Squak Mountain as AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members remade a stretch of trail along a forested slope.

The team from the national service program set up in Squak Mountain State Park near Issaquah last week to upgrade trails and carve drainage ditches in the popular hiking destination.

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Press Editorial

February 15, 2011

Annual pass for parks is not unreasonable

We are not a proponent of willy-nilly user fees to line the coffers of government agencies, but with voters repeatedly saying no to taxes, user fees will become more prevalent. For state parks, we support the implementation of a $30 annual Discover Pass as a solution to keep state parks open.

Washington state parks are in trouble, just as many other state agencies and services are — all part of the proposed budget cuts needed to keep the state out of bankruptcy. State parks are expected to need $64 million in the upcoming biennium.

Squak Mountain State Park atop the middle peak of the Issaquah Alps is already slated to lose funding. But that park is an array of hiking and equestrian trails that will still have public access.

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Route 200 bus remains free as extension stalls

February 15, 2011

City delays planned service to Issaquah Highlands, Talus

The long-established plan to expand free bus service to the Issaquah Highlands is on hold, after a financial backer pulled out of the public-private partnership behind Route 200 service.

In the meantime, the city and King County Metro Transit delayed a plan to charge for Route 200 bus service until the route expands in the future.

Route 200 had been scheduled to extend to the highlands and Talus in September 2011. The city and Metro Transit had planned to start collecting fares on Route 200 in the months ahead.

Instead, the line could be extended to the highlands and Talus in February 2013. Under the current arrangement, Route 200 buses circulate through downtown Issaquah and the business district.

“The tradeoff is you don’t get the expanded service,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said. “You’re not paying, but on the other hands, you’re not getting the routes that we said we’d give.”

Council Transportation Committee members discussed Route 200 service Feb. 11. The committee sent the measure to the full council for discussion on March 7.

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Issaquah property values climb, bucking trend

February 15, 2011

2011 tax bills start to arrive in mailboxes

Most Issaquah homeowners should pay about 29 cents more per $1,000 in assessed value on the property tax bills starting to arrive in mailboxes across King County.

Issaquah and county residents started to receive property tax bills in the mail Feb. 14. The county Assessor’s Office released a city and county property tax breakdown late last week.

Inside Issaquah city limits, homeowners pay, on average, $11.13 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed value. The total amounted to $10.84 last year.

Dollars collected through property taxes help fund the Issaquah School District, King County, and numerous state and regional districts.

The school district receives the largest slice — 44 percent. Issaquah municipal government collects about 20 percent. King County government receives about 18 percent and the Port of Seattle receives 2 percent.

The city has not raised property taxes since 2007. City Council members considered a 1 percent increase last fall, but then backed off after numerous tax measures on the November ballot failed.

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Off the Press

February 15, 2011

How to succeed in show business

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

In hindsight, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” seems like a prescient choice for a fledgling theater in a then-distant Seattle suburb.

The musical debuted at the just-christened Village Theatre in April 1979 — decades before the downtown Issaquah playhouse received a shout out during a Tony Awards telecast and credit for sending acclaimed musicals to face the toughest audiences in theater.

Only, unlike the title of the inaugural musical, Village Theatre tried again and again.

The playhouse has churned out hits — including “Next to Normal” and “Million Dollar Quartet,” the Village Theatre-nurtured duo responsible for hauling in the Tonys — and some duds, too, in almost 32 years.

For a piece in the wintertime Issaquah Living magazine, I set out to chronicle the long — and often arduous — journey from the Festival of New Musicals or the Mainstage to Broadway. (Readers can find the magazine tucked amid the sales circulars in the B section.)

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Rapid Response

February 15, 2011

Has the completed East Sunset Way interchange at Interstate 90 changed traffic flow in downtown Issaquah for better or for worse? Why or why not?

The traffic lights at Front Street and Sunset Way need to be on longer to allow the westbound extra traffic through.

Ken Sessler, Issaquah

It has been a welcome relief.

Mark Bowers, Issaquah

The real change is at Second Avenue and Sunset Way — some drivers can’t figure out the dedicated left and right turn lanes.

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

Traffic is better. The wide and extra turn lanes help. A light at Second Avenue would be better.

Barbara Shelton, Issaquah

The city received $100,000 to study another transfer of development rights, with the receiving site in the business district. Should the area along Interstate 90 be redeveloped into a dense neighborhood?

Better, where are those TDRs coming from? Will county TDRs get the priority over local ones?

Connie Marsh, Issaquah

No. Traffic is already a problem that the city has not been able to fix. We don’t need more jams along Gilman Boulevard, Front Street or Southeast 56th Street.

Jim Harris, Issaquah

This TDR is a bad thing. If the business district is going to get a pass on environmental and development rules, then the transfer mitigations (benefits) should be kept within our city limits, not placed somewhere in King County.

C.A. Christensen, Issaquah

Washington voters rejected a series of taxes on the Nov. 2 ballot, leaving the state to close a huge spending gap. What steps should Issaquah’s representatives in Olympia take to preserve local programs amid cuts?

Cuts must be fair, prioritized and based on realistic cost/benefit analyses, not pork-barrel favortism. Speak the honest truth about the importance of Issaquah programs and facilities, but if other areas of the state have a program or facility of higher importance, then it should keep its funding.

Ken Konigsmark, Issaquah

First, call attention, in Olympia and in the media, to the need to clearly define what role our state government should have, which does not include what should be done by city government, county government, federal government, charitable organizations, private businesses or individuals. Second, eliminate programs that do not fit that role. Third, spread our existing tax dollars among the remaining programs. Our budget gap is too large for every community to expect to preserve local programs.

Mel Morgan, Issaquah

We have to think out of the box to accomplish more with less, streamline bureaucracy and improve processes. Prioritize needs. Safety, education and repairing broken infrastructure are immediate needs.

Ray Extract, Issaquah

Bellevue College has expressed interest in the Issaquah Highlands for a possible campus site. How could a college campus change the community in positive and negative ways?

Graduating seniors would have an option close to home that could cut residency cost and allow for commuting.

Don Burnett, Issaquah

To have such easy access to higher education here in Issaquah would be a huge asset.

Gail Givan, Issaquah

Restorix Health hyperbaric chamber leads to space-age medical research

February 15, 2011

Mention hyperbaric chambers, and most people start thinking about pressurized rooms where scuba divers afflicted with the bends go to recover.

But the chambers can be used for much more, and Issaquah’s Restorix Health plans to participate in hyperbaric treatment and research to find other medical uses for the pressurized chambers.

“We think there is great potential nationwide for what they’re doing and what they started in Issaquah,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott said, congratulating it for receiving one of the chamber’s three Innovation in Issaquah awards.

Restorix Health Medical Director Latisha Smith shows one of the clinic’s six hyperbaric chambers. Restorix Health’s model of comprehensive care and research helped it receive an Innovation in Issaquah award. By Laura Geggel

Restorix Health, which opened in Issaquah in December, has grand ambitions for its comprehensive health care delivery system. With six hyperbaric chambers, it has the largest collection of large monoplace chambers in the country. The chambers deliver oxygen with an increased atmospheric pressure, and can help heal patients with diverse maladies, including diabetic patients who have dying tissue deprived of its regular dose of oxygen.

“By putting your whole body under pressure, we dissolve oxygen into the liquid part of your body,” Medical Director Tommy Love said.

Increased oxygen levels can stimulate different responses in the body, including faster healing and increased stem cells, Medical Director Latisha Smith said.

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To the Editor

February 15, 2011

Maureen McCarry

Picking a successor for longtime council woman will be a tough job the city

It is a great loss to our city to see Councilwoman Maureen McCarry have to step down because of serious health issues.

Now, as our City Council reviews candidates to take Maureen’s place, I hope they will remember why she was voted in by a strong majority. People voted for Maureen because of her focused commitment, her sharp competence, her ability to delve deeply into the details of issues before her and, most importantly because of her stand, her position, on issues that are critical to our city.

I hope, in making their selection, council members will honor what Issaquah residents expressed when they cast their votes for Maureen and choose a person who will carry on what she worked so hard to preserve.

Barbara Extract

Issaquah

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