Liberty boys, Issaquah girls take first in district track meet

May 10, 2011

Jason Hollaway, Issaquah High School senior, hits the bar at 14 feet, 9 inches while trying to pad the new school pole vault record of 14-6 he had made moments before, breaking Mike Katayama’s 14-0 set in 2000. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School boys team and the Skyline girls team earned district bragging rights May 5, when each finished first at the annual Issaquah School District track and field meet in Issaquah’s Gary Moore Stadium. Read more

Issaquah environmentalists receive Green Globe Awards

May 10, 2011

Every two years, King County awards its best environmentalists with the Green Globe Awards at the Earth Day Expo.

Of the 16 awards given to individuals, schools districts, cities and businesses that won the 2011 Green Globe Awards, three award-winners are from Issaquah — two people behind the Issaquah Zero Energy Village and Dr. Jessica Saepoff, a dentist with Natural Dental Health Associates in Issaquah.

County Executive Dow Constantine praised the finalists for their work toward helping “green” their communities.

“Award winners are leaders, innovators and are truly dedicated to making King County and the greater Puget Sound region such a tremendous place to live, work and play,” Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank all of our winners for proving that commitment and dedication makes a positive difference in the community.”

Linda Hall, with the YWCA, and Brad Liljequist, with zHome Issaquah Zero Energy, both received the award for Community Leadership in Green Building.

Their projects, the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and zHome, required years of planning, forethought and persistence on behalf of the YWCA and Issaquah to incorporate housing for Eastside working families.

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King County Council places veterans levy on August ballot

May 10, 2011

King County Council members last week called for voters to decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy in the August primary election.

The electorate approved the initial levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts — on the 2005 ballot, and the measure is up for renewal.

Councilman Bob Ferguson sponsored the original legislation in 2005 and the current proposal.

“The issue now goes to the voters in August to decide if they want to continue investing in our veterans and human services,” he said May 2 after the council agreed in a unanimous decision to put the measure on the ballot.

The proposal matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The ballot measure specifies for levy growth to be tied to inflation. So, the owner of a home assessed at $340,000 should pay $17 in 2012 under the levy, county estimates show.

The existing levy provides funding for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, job training and employment assistance for veterans, and emergency financial assistance for veterans and military personnel to pay for rent, food, utilities, medical needs and burial costs.

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Celebrate Local History Month in Issaquah

May 10, 2011

Mayor Ava Frisinger has declared May as Local History Month in Issaquah.

Issaquah History Museums Executive Director Erica Maniez said the occasion presents a chance for residents to consider the big themes present in the history of small places. Moreover, public recognition of local history helps to foster local pride, maintains community character and builds a deeper sense of appreciation for a place.

In celebration of Local History Month, the Issaquah History Museums joined the Common Grounds coffee stand at Front Street Market to celebrate. Common Grounds is offering six history-themed coffee beverages and free museum passes for all customers during May.

The museums also plan to sell a T-shirt celebrating Issaquah’s past. Learn more about the design at the museums’ website,

Issaquah ends regular season short of title goal

May 10, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team planned to shoot for the 4A KingCo Conference title this season. However, just like the previous year, the Eagles finished a bit short of hitting the target.

Michael Roberts, Issaquah senior midfielder (right), battles Garfield’s Ben Feldman (6) and Preston Hale (10) in the last moments of their soccer match May 3. Roberts scored both goals for the Eagles in their 2-1 victory. By Greg Farrar

After beating Garfield 2-1 May 3, Issaquah ended the season with a 7-2-1 record and third in the league standings. The Eagles finished just three points behind co-leaders Eastlake and Skyline, who ended in a tie at 8-1-1. A year ago, the Eagles finished just one point behind the leaders.

But on the plus side for Issaquah, the Eagles attained another goal and that was to reach the league tournament. The Eagles qualified for the league tournament for the third straight year.

“Getting to the league tournament was a big goal of ours,” Issaquah coach Jason Lichtenberger said.

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Spice up the garden — grow salsa ingredients

May 10, 2011

Imagine dipping a chip into a muddled mix of pimiento peppers, Santiago chilies, sweet cayenne, cilantro, white onions and diced tomatoes.

Bill King, Issaquah Lowe’s nursery specialist, shows a seedling starter kit and several pepper and tomato seed packets, materials needed for making homegrown salsa. By Laura Geggel

Next, imagine pointing toward the garden and showing friends where the salsa ingredients grew, giving new meaning to the term “homegrown.”

This spring, ambitious Issaquah gardeners can grow their own salsa, using starter seed kits sold at local hardware and home improvement stores ranging from $5 to $10, or from seed packets, most selling for less than $2.

“If you live in an apartment, you can put it in your window,” Issaquah Lowe’s assistant store manager Eric McPherson said. “If you live in a house, you can do it in your yard.”

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Eagles girls golfers win season finale against Spartans

May 10, 2011

Elin Skaardal, Issaquah junior, chips a shot to the flag at the par-4 second hole, on the way to scoring 50 on nine holes for second place overall May 4 against Skyline. By Christopher Huber

Minutes before the golf match began against Skyline at The Plateau Club, Issaquah High School golfer Lauren Merdinyan and coach Tom Bakamus consulted their golf pro at Snoqualmie Falls for some advice.

Merdinyan, the Eagles’ leader, was having trouble with her sand wedge and pitching wedge.

Turns out the over-the-phone advice paid off. Merdinyan shot a 42 on the par-36 course, medaling and helping Issaquah knock off Skyline, 265 strokes to 292, May 4 in the final match of the regular season. Last year, Issaquah only escaped with a three-stroke win.

“Coming into it, I knew it was going be a close one,” Merdinyan said. “It was nice to have the sun out there, and The Plateau Club has some tricky greens to read. But I think we handled it well.”

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City Council to consider selling highlands land

May 10, 2011

The city could sell a small parcel in the Issaquah Highlands, and residents can offer input on the proposal May 16.

The property under consideration is 16,000 square feet, or about the size of a typical Bartell Drugs, near the planned 15th Avenue Northeast extension and south of Park Drive Northeast.

If sold, the forested land could be used for residences. Bellevue-based developer Polygon Northwest is building a community near the site.

The sale could generate about $200,000 for the general fund — the account used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.

Or, the city could earmark the dollars for a specific project.

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Issaquah pitcher makes seamless transition to the Ivy League mound

May 10, 2011

A former softball standout for the Issaquah High School Eagles is making a name for herself in the Ivy League.

Mikenzie Voves, Issaquah High School 2010 graduate and fastpitch ace, now leads the Ivy League Pennsylvania Quakers squad as a freshman with a 4.12 ERA and an 8-7 record. By Greg Farrar

Mikenzie Voves, now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, caught the attention of Ivy League coaches, earning Rookie of the Week on March 29. Voves pitched three games the weekend of March 25-26, including a complete game win against Lehigh University, breaking their eight-game winning streak. Over her three games, she picked up two wins and had an ERA of just 2.93.

“Winning rookie of the week was an incredible feeling. It made me realize just how far I have come, and that no matter what anyone says I have accomplished my goal,” Voves said. “It also makes me want to work even harder. Getting that recognition just puts a big target on my back, so I need to step up my game even more.”

Playing softball is like a job for Voves, making her transition from high school to college seamless.

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State shores up King County Flood Control District funding

May 10, 2011

King County leaders praised state legislators and Gov. Chris Gregoire last week for supporting a measure to shore up funding for the King County Flood Control District, the agency responsible for flood-protection policies, programs and projects.

Gregoire signed a measure May 5 to protect funding for the district. The bill exempts the district from the statewide property rate tax cap by protecting up to 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The exemption is in effect from next year until 2017.

Until the governor signed the measure, the district faced a steep drop-off in funding due to the decline in housing values and a state cap on property tax rates.

“We worked together as a region to preserve this important tool that will protect people and businesses throughout King County from floods,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “I am pleased to see the overwhelming support in the state Legislature for this bill, and I thank Gov. Gregoire for signing it today.”

The district collects 11 cents per $1,000 in assessed value and uses the dollars to fund flood-control efforts.

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