Issaquah Medical Building project receives boost from state

January 25, 2011

The planned Issaquah Medical Building is in line to receive $13.2 million in bonds, Gov. Chris Gregoire and the state Department of Commerce announced Jan. 18.

Plans call for a medical office building spread across 55,000 square feet.

The building is designed to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Gold standards. The site for the building is along the just-completed Interstate 90 Undercrossing.

Overall, Gregoire and Department of Commerce leaders announced almost $100 million in bonds to fund economic development, energy conservation and infrastructure projects in King, Cowlitz, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

“These investments are critical to our economic recovery,” Gregoire said in a statement. “They help local communities jump start important projects to improve their infrastructure, while putting people to work — primarily in construction, a sector that has been hit especially hard by the national recession.”

Officials said the projects should create or retain more than 700 jobs.

“Commerce’s mission is to grow and improve jobs in Washington,” Department of Commerce Director Rogers Weed said in the statement. “The 700-plus jobs supported by these projects are desperately needed, and represent another step forward in our state’s economic recovery.”

Issaquah-based SeaCon is building the medical office. The company also completed a piece of the undercrossing to facilitate access to the Issaquah Medical Building.

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St. Joseph is accepting applicants

January 25, 2011

The St. Joseph School invites families to enroll their children for the 2011-12 school year.

St. Joseph, founded in 1994, has three campuses: a preschool in Sammamish; a preschool through third-grade campus in Issaquah; and a fourth-grade through eighth-grade campus in Snoqualmie.

Get information meeting times at, or contact the school office at or 313-9129 to schedule a one-and-a-half-hour tour. Registrations for the Catholic schools are due Feb. 18.

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Local families needed to host Chernobyl children

January 25, 2011

The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is April 26. More than 750,000 children are still living in the most contaminated areas.

For the Children of the World provides health respite and rest for these children by providing some basic medical and dental care, and a chance to replenish their system with a clean environment and healthy food.

Time spent away from the radiation allows their bodies to flush out contaminants, so their immune system can rebuild and fight the effects when they return home.

This year, 20 children are looking for host families in the U.S. from June 14 – July 26. If interested in hosting a child (or sharing host responsibilities), call 206-953-2279 or go to

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Registration opens for AtWork! breakfast fundraiser

January 25, 2011

Help AtWork! raise money for programs as the nonprofit organization hosts a fundraising breakfast April 13. The event runs from 7-9 a.m. at The Westin Bellevue.

Registration is open for the event. The fundraiser is open to individuals, groups and corporate sponsorships. Register online at

AtWork! is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs. The organization designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services.

The organization operates a recycling and training facility along Seventh Avenue Northwest in Issaquah.

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King County Council appoints jail director

January 25, 2011

King County Council members have confirmed Bellevue Councilwoman Claudia Balducci as the director of the county Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the agency responsible for the King County Jail.

Balducci has served in the role as acting director since October.

The council confirmed the appointment Jan. 10. County Executive Dow Constantine praised the appointment.

“Claudia has earned respect in the corrections community and the region at large, and her unique combination of experience with labor and with cities provides a foundation for continued strong partnerships,” he said in a statement. “She brings intelligence, a willingness to listen and enthusiasm that will help lead us to continued improvements in the safety of the public, inmates and staff at our facilities.”

Balducci has served the county in numerous roles since 1999.

In the most recent post, she served as the county’s settlement coordinator as the U.S. Department of Justice checked improvements to inmate care at the jail. Balducci has also served the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention as operations manager, regional jail coordinator and labor negotiator. In addition, she has served on the Bellevue City Council since 2004.

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Nominate environmentalists for Ruth Kees award

January 25, 2011

Nominate environmentalists for the top city eco-honor — the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community.

The annual award recognizes people for a record of outstanding commitment to natural resource preservation. Kees, a teacher, mentor and role model, advocated open space preservation and environmental protection.

The application is available on the municipal website. Submit nominations until 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Then, a committee reviews nominees and recommends a group of finalists to Mayor Ava Frisinger and City Council President John Traeger for selection.

The award is usually presented at a spring or summer council meeting.

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Tuition hikes affect college decisions

January 25, 2011

Tuition hikes at Washington public universities make higher education an even bigger investment

By Ehrik Aldana

Over the next two years, tuition at the University of Washington and other state universities is expected to increase up to 11 percent per year. Washington’s community colleges would see increases of about 9 percent per year. And that still won’t be enough.

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Students put their many talents on display

January 25, 2011

Junior Statesmen of America lets students debate on civic issues

One of the largest student-run organizations at Issaquah High School is Junior Statesmen of America.

By Alex Tucker

“JSA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, student-run organization to evoke political awareness in teens through activism and debate,” said Sarah Greenhall, Issaquah’s JSA chapter president.

JSA provides the opportunity for students to form opinions, learn about the way their government is run and speak their minds. During meetings, “we formally debate using parliamentary procedure on hot topics, such as WikiLeaks and gay marriage,” Greenhall said.

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How to melt your lover’s heart on Valentine’s Day (guy’s edition)

January 25, 2011

If you want to win the Sweetheart of the Year Award or be the talk of your lover’s friends, then you’re in the right place.

The traditional way: Invite her to your house. Have a homemade dinner by candlelight. Crank up the Sinatra, Kenny G and Barry White.

The overachieving way: Dress to impress. Present her with a single red rose at her front door. Open the car door for her as you both roll into your sweet ride. Take her to a nice dinner at a classy restaurant (not Mickey D’s, sorry). During the course of the meal, present her with a teddy bear holding a heart-shaped box of chocolates. After dinner, take her to see a romantic comedy (a.k.a. a chick flick), like “Waiting Forever” (starring Rachel Bilson and Thomas Sturridge). Bring a box of tissues.

The under $20 way: Whether you’re Homer or not, express your affections through an ink-penned letter. Elaborate on all of the lovable qualities your girl has. (Emphasize her quirks, her sense of humor, her good music taste, etc.) Weather permitting, also take a stroll on Alki Beach, watch the sunset and enjoy a picnic under the stars. This letter-night-time-picnic combo will surely melt her heart!

Whatever your style, I guarantee that any of these plans will make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one for your special someone.

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Pint-sized air Jordan lands at Beaver Lake

January 25, 2011

Basketball whiz Jordan McCabe has a ball in national spotlight

Jordan McCabe, a Beaver Lake Middle School sixth-grader, has been gaining national attention for his basketball-handling skills. By Christopher Huber

The ball is almost too low to the ground to see it move, but you can hear the double-time pitter-patter as it rattles between floor and fingertips over and over.

Jordan McCabe is not just dribbling one, but two basketballs — in sync, out of sync, up and down, side to side — at the same time. It takes a second to see how he does it, but by the time you catch up, he’s already switching it up.

This time, he dribbles the right ball in front while taking another one around his left leg and through from the back, and then visa versa. The balls go faster, slow down and then go airborne, as he juggles them. Then, comes the tennis ball.

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