Issaquah leaders honor zHome builder

July 26, 2011

Akinobu Ohno (left), president of Ichijo USA, receives the framed Ichijo Day proclamation from Mayor Ava Frisinger on July 18, for the zHome project in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

The long-planned zHome project under construction in the Issaquah Highlands — residences designed to produce as much energy as occupants consume — is in line to open in mid-September.

City planners and longtime project backers attributed the milestone to builder Ichijo USA, a subsidiary of Japanese homebuilder Ichijo Co.

In a July 18 ceremony, Mayor Ava Frisinger and Issaquah leaders spotlighted the pan-Pacific partnership responsible for jolting zHome from concept to reality. The mayor proclaimed the day as Ichijo Day in Issaquah.

“During our early discussions about Ichijo, the more we learned about the community, the more excited we became,” she said during the ceremony. “Although we were located thousands of miles away, many of our goals and ambitions were the same.”

Ichijo USA President Akinobu Ohno offered a graceful bow and accepted the framed proclamation from Frisinger.

Construction on zHome is scheduled to conclude in late summer, and then crews plan to prepare the units for public open houses. The opening date is Sept. 14 during the Built Green Conference, a gathering for building industry professionals interested in eco-conscious practices.

Ichijo USA joined the project early last year in a joint venture between the company and developer Matt Howland.

Ichijo Co. builds energy-efficient residences across Japan — a bonus for Issaquah officials.

“They have been a critical part of zHome coming together. With the downturn, we had worked very hard to find alternative financing and hardly any new construction is getting financed these days,” zHome Project Manager Brad Liljequist said. “Ichijo as a partner, they were very critical to getting zHome moving forward.”

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King County OKs rainwater as sole drinking water source

July 26, 2011

King County residents can now rely on cloudbursts as a thirst quencher.

On July 21, the county Board of Health approved a measure to allow rainwater captured from roofs as the sole residential water source for single-family homes on septic systems. Under older rules, rainwater could only be used as a supplemental source.

The board acted in response to residents interested in building eco-conscious homes.

Kathy Lambert, a board member and Issaquah’s representative on the King County Council, proposed adding rainwater-catchment systems as a tool for another water source.

“Extending public water lines or digging a well are not always available or feasible in rural and rugged areas of King County, or they can be so expensive to install that they render a lot unbuildable,” she said in a statement. “The ability to utilize rainwater will be a particular advantage in mountainous areas of the county with terrain and soil conditions that make it difficult to site a well and on-site sewage system that do not interfere with each other.”

The code change follows recent action by the state Department of Ecology to remove permit requirements for rainwater harvesting.

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Executive appoints county law enforcement oversight chief

July 26, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed a manager of internal investigations and performance audits for the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners as the inaugural county law enforcement oversight chief.

Charles Gaither is the designated leader for the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, a county agency established to monitor the King County Sheriff’s Office’s complaint and investigation process.

Constantine announced the appointment July 11, after a nationwide search.

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Lakeside Recovery bid for state falls short

July 26, 2011

Lakeside Recovery’s Mike Paulson, shown in a July 8 baseball game, pitched nine strong innings July 21 against the Spokane Blue Devils during the American Legion AAA Super Regional Tournament. By Greg Farrar

The baseball season ended a bit sooner than usual for Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion team.

Lakeside Recovery, for just the second time in 16 years, failed to qualify for the AAA state tournament when it lost two games July 21 in a Super Regional Tournament at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

After overcoming a variety of adversities throughout the summer, Lakeside Recovery manager Rob Reese liked his team’s chances of reaching state tournament when it entered the regional last week. Things looked promising July 20 when Lakeside Recovery, the regional host, hammered the Tacoma Cobras 12-0 in the opening round. Lakeside exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Issaquah graduate Mike Paulson, who played at Walla Walla Community College in the spring, had two hits and Newport graduate Dan Altchech had two hits and drove in three runs. Pitcher Travis Snider, a Skyline High graduate, blanked the Cobras on five hits and did not walk a batter.

With the victory, Lakeside Recovery entered July 21 with two chances to advance to the state tournament. In the first game, Lakeside Recovery met the Spokane Blue Devils, who also won their opener, in a winner-to-state game. The Blue Devils dealt Lakeside Recovery a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

“We had our chances to score early but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. We let them (Spokane) stay in the game and they put the ball in play when they had to. They executed when they had to,” Reese said.

Lakeside Recovery had a strong pitching performance from Paulson, who worked the first nine innings. He struck out seven batters. A costly error in the ninth inning helped the Blue Devils tie the game at 2-2.

“Paulson pitched great. He deserved the win but we just couldn’t get those last couple outs,” Reese said.

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Birth: Robert Daniel Pope

July 26, 2011

Robert Pope

Julia and Jeffrey A. Pope welcomed son Robert Daniel to their Boise, Idaho, home on June 28, 2011.

He was born weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 17 inches.

He arrived with twin, Elaine.

Maternal grandparents are Dan and Fran Pope, of Issaquah. Paternal grandparents are Norm and Judy Mithoug, of the Fairwood area of Renton.

Great-grandparents are John Pope, of Issaquah; Margaret Pratt, of Issaquah; Evelyn Carbaugh, of Spokane; Robert Mithoug, of Everett; and Vivian Francis-Wick, of Everett.

Julia is a 2000 graduate of Issaquah High School.

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‘Shakespeare on the Green’ features classic comedy July 28

July 26, 2011

Comedy comes to the Issaquah Community Center lawn July 28 as the Seattle Shakespeare Co. and Wooden O present “The Comedy of Errors” — a timeless tale about mistaken identity.

Catch “The Comedy of Errors” at the community center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S., at 7 p.m. Organizers encourage attendees to bring blankets, chairs and picnic baskets for the show.

In the play, two sets of long lost twins unknowingly cross paths — and set the stage for cases of mistaken identity, confusion and mayhem. The piece is full of slapstick, sight gags, puns and pratfalls.

The city Arts Commission and King County cultural service agency 4Culture present the “Shakespeare on the Green” performances at no cost to attendees. “Macbeth” opened the summer series July 7.

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The path less traveled leads to the top of beautiful Cedar Butte

July 26, 2011

A sign directs hikers to hang a right and up the hill from the Saddle Junction along the Cedar Butte Trail. Photos by Christopher Huber

If it weren’t for a few persistent hikers or devoted volunteer stewards, the Cedar Butte trail might not get any traffic.

Considered an unofficial trail by the Washington Trails Association, the relatively well-worn path gets just enough use and has just enough signage to provide hikers a clear way to the top. But it’s not nearly as popular as hikes across the Snoqualmie Valley, like Little Si, Rattlesnake Ledge and others, so someone walking the trail in the middle of a weekday might have the place all to themselves.

One seeking to traverse the Cedar River watershed via the Cedar Butte Trail will have to first walk about a mile up the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, a well-kept, recently re-opened walking and biking trail that connects Olallie and Iron Horse state parks with the recently re-opened Snoqualmie Train Tunnel 21 miles east at Hyak.

This trail is family-friendly and makes for a quiet half-day family outing for anyone visiting Rattlesnake Lake.

The Cedar Butte Trail itself stems from the larger, gravel John Wayne trail. From the parking lot, walk past the bathrooms, hang a right, following signage to the John Wayne trail. Hang a left up the gravel access path and at the main trail, take another left, at the Iron Horse State Park sign that lists mileage to other destinations.

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Nominate businesses for state’s highest civics honor

July 26, 2011

Secretary of State Sam Reed is accepting nominations for the most community-centric corporations in Washington. The prize is the state’s highest civics award.

The program is open to for-profit corporations, limited-liability corporations and limited partnerships of any size. Nominees must be registered through the Office of the Secretary of State, and meet federal and state compliance.

Find the nomination form and more criteria at the office’s website, The nomination period is open until Aug. 31. Contact Program Coordinator Patrick Reed at 360-725-0358 or to learn more.

“This is an opportunity to encourage standout corporations that are choosing to make their community a priority,” Reed said in a statement. “Particularly in these tough economic times, it’s important to cheer on businesses that are going above and beyond to make a difference in Washington.”

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Help mark Issaquah Highlands storm drains

July 26, 2011

Fact: More than 8,000 storm drains flow into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

Join volunteers to install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers at Issaquah Highlands storm drains from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 30. Meet at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, for a brief introduction about the watershed.

Contact Laura Matter at 206-633-0451, ext 110, or to sign up or learn more.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff. The runoff comes from water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way.

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King County Sheriff’s Office receives high marks in audit

July 26, 2011

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies received fewer complaints than the national average during the last five years, a county audit has determined.

The county Auditor’s Office analyzed misconduct, use-of-force incidents and complaints in the sheriff’s office for the period stretching from 2006-10. Auditors released the report July 11.

The agency received fewer use-of-force complaints than the national average reported to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. The sheriff’s office received, on average, 1.3 use-of-force complaints per 100 officers during the period. The national average is 6.6 complaints per 100 officers, and the average for large police agencies is 9.5 complaints per 100 officers.

Of the agency’s 706 sworn deputies last year, 96 percent did not prompt any complaints in 2010.

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