Stay safe from biting, stinging creepy crawlers all summer long

August 16, 2011

Summer means sunshine, heat and — in a not-so-appealing category — summer pests in the form of biting and stinging bugs.

Experts at the state Department of Health said learning how bugs behave is a key step to avoiding bites and stings.

Watch out for deer flies and horse flies, because both species can deliver painful, itchy bites — and transmit tularemia, a bacterial disease. Both species tend to be active during the day and can commonly be found near ponds, streams and marshes. In order to avoid nasty bites, cover exposed skin and use repellent.

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Athletes gear up for Beaver Lake Triathlon

August 16, 2011

An athlete speeds around a corner on West Beaver Lake Drive Southeast, at the beginning of the 13.8-mile cycling leg of the 2010 Beaver Lake Triathlon. By Christopher Huber

Local triathletes and others from around the Puget Sound will soon be at it again. The 18th annual Beaver Lake Triathlon will return Saturday, Aug. 20.

The race, which will begin, transition and end at Beaver Lake Park, will include a quarter-mile swim, a 13.8-mile bike and a 4.3-mile run.

The swim portion of the race will be in Beaver Lake. The bike route will take competitors northeast over Duthie Hill Road, which offers views of the Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Si and the Snoqualmie Valley. Bikers will then head east on Redmond-Fall City Road and back up the plateau along a 2-mile hill. The run will take participants through hills that circle Beaver Lake and finally to the finish line.
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Off the Press

August 16, 2011

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

In final fundraiser, girl inspires deluge to charity

The mission is about water and the response — outpouring, actually — came as a deluge.

Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old local girl injured in a pileup along Interstate 90 late last month, continues to inspire people around the globe, almost a month after she succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.

Fortunately, the terrible accident along the interstate does not define Rachel’s legacy.

In life, Rachel asked people to donate to Charity:Water, a New York-based nonprofit organization formed to complete drinking water projects in some of the poorest nations on the planet.

In death, Rachel created a legacy rooted in her generosity.

In the days after the July 20 accident, family and other members at EastLake Community Church requested for Charity:Water to reactivate Rachel’s fundraising website.

See, a month before the accident, Rachel hoped to raise $300 for the nonprofit organization to create a source of clean drinking water in developing nations. Rather than birthday presents, she asked people to donate to the charity.

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Cameron Jones breaks crab-walking record again

August 16, 2011

Cameron Jones, of Issaquah, breaks the world record last year.

Cameron Jones, who will be a freshman at Issaquah High School this fall, has broken his own Guinness World Record in the human crab walk.

Jones, who became the world’s fastest human crab walker in December in New York City, set his new record last week in Beijing. He went 20 meters in 7.83 seconds.

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Issaquah Community Center updates exercise equipment

August 16, 2011

“Our old machines had had it,” said Ross Hoover, recreation supervisor for the Issaquah Community Center.

Issaquah’s Bob Badolato, 71, works out on one of the new strength training machines installed in the Issaquah Community Center.By Tom Corrigan

Hoover was referring to the 20 or so exercise machines located off to the side of the elevated running track that encircles the center gymnasium.

Having built up a replacement fund in the past 15 years, the city spent just under $40,000 on the new machines, said Brian Berntsen, recreation manager for Issaquah Parks & Recreation. The city got good use out of the old machines, Berntsen added.

“We were able to get a lot more out of them than most gyms,” he said.

Ranging from rowing machines to various strength trainers, the 13 pieces of new equipment arrived at the center in July. Center officials still plan to bring in a few more new items, specifically replacing what Hoover described as two outdated treadmills.

On a recent afternoon, the still gleaming new equipment already on hand was helping about a half-dozen residents, mostly senior citizens, stay in shape. Hoover said the center attracts about 2,000 to 3,000 members a year. The single largest demographic group is, he added, Gold Pass members, those 65 years of age or older.

Gold Passes run $25 a year and include use of both the center and the city swimming pool.

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Ride shotgun on state patrol’s social-media blitz Aug. 17

August 16, 2011

Residents curious about a day in the life of a Washington State Patrol trooper can live the experience Aug. 17 — on Facebook and Twitter, at least.

The state patrol plans a social-media blitz from 6 a.m. to midnight to show citizens a side of the agency beyond the people in campaign hats and bowties.

“Most people see only our troopers patrolling the highways and responding to incidents,” said Capt. Jason Berry, commander of the state patrol’s Office of Government and Media Relations. “We do a lot of other work we think people will find interesting.”

The mission serves a dual purpose. Barry said the social-media effort is also intended to provide transparency.

For 18 hours, troopers plan to tweet and update to show what agency employees do — troopers on traffic stops or responding to collisions, forensic scientists checking DNA samples, deputy state fire marshals conducting inspections, commercial vehicle enforcement officers inspecting school buses and more.

Follow on Twitter @wastatepatrol and use the hashtag #daywithwsp to track the action. Connect on Facebook at

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State seeks adults to aid conservation projects

August 16, 2011

The state Department of Ecology needs 245 people between the ages of 18 and 25 to plant native shrubs and trees, restore salmon-bearing streams, respond to emergencies and more.

The agency is seeking applicants to the Washington Conservation Corps, a program to put young adults, including military veterans, on the job at projects in 16 counties statewide.

For the 2011-12 service year, the Department of Ecology intends to hire 150 Washington Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members using a $2 million AmeriCorps grant from the state Commission for National and Community Service.

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Local cell tower projects clear King County hurdle

August 16, 2011

The separate proposals to add equipment to cell towers in Issaquah and May Valley cleared a regulatory hurdle in early August. So, too, did a proposal to construct a cell tower in Klahanie Park near Challenger Elementary School.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on the Issaquah and May Valley towers.

Crews intend to add equipment on the existing towers near the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, 23600 S.E. Evans St., and 18011 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road, less than a half-mile southwest of the intersection of the street and Southeast May Valley Road.

The county permitting agency is handling the application for the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club site because the shooting range is a county island surrounded by Issaquah and is near Issaquah High School.

The telecommunications company also intends to build the Klahanie Park tower. Plans call for cedar fences of up to 6 feet tall to ring the base.

County planners determined the projects do not require environmental impact statements — a thorough review to assess how a project could impact the surrounding environment.

The decision, or determination of nonsignificance in planning parlance, is not the last step in the process. The county must still issue building permits for the projects.

Residents opposed to any of the cell tower projects cannot appeal to the Department of Development and Environmental Services, but instead must direct appeals to King County Superior Court.

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King County seeks users’ opinions about parks, trails

August 16, 2011

King County Parks administrators need opinions from visitors about parks, trails and natural areas — and ideas about how to improve the 26,000-acre system.

The agency plans to conduct in-person surveys at parks and along trails throughout August and September, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park between Issaquah and Newcastle.

“We want to hear directly from parks and trails users about their experiences at King County Parks’ facilities so that we can help plan and prioritize for the future,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement. “Measuring customer satisfaction is consistent with King County’s strategic plan and provides us with important feedback.”

The schedule for in-person surveys includes a session on Cougar Mountain near Newcastle from 8-10 a.m. Sept. 8.

People interested in providing feedback online can do so starting Aug. 17 at the agency’s website,

The agency is also scheduling workshops to gather input from younger park visitors.

Site Story, a local consultant specializing in community outreach, and cultural and public open space planning, is conducting the survey. The project is funded in part by a grant from the National Center for Civic Innovation.

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Support Groups

August 16, 2011

Eastside Alcoholics Anonymous hosts the following meetings. Learn more at or call 454-9192:

Any Length: 8 a.m. Sundays, Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way

Issaquah Smoke Free: 8:30 a.m. Sundays, Issaquah Community Hall, 180 E. Sunset Way

One Step At a Time: 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Thursdays, 206-686-2927

Core Relations (men only): 6 p.m. Sundays, Issaquah Community Hall, 180 E. Sunset Way

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