Prepare for ramp closure at state Route 900

February 8, 2011

The westbound Interstate 90 on-ramp — for traffic headed south on state Route 900 — closes from 7 p.m. Feb. 10 to 7 a.m. Feb. 11 as crews construct a trail connector.

Crews poured concrete for the last piers in the trail connector at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in mid-November. The project should be completed by late spring.

Plans call for the completed connector to feature a 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound interstate on-ramps, plus a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing on the existing state Route 900 overpass.

The city awarded the $4.4 million construction contract to C. A. Carey Corp. last June. The total project price tag is about $6 million.

The project relies on grants — including $400,000 from Sound Transit — to offset most of the project cost. The city contributed about $341,000 for the link.

Can you hear me now?

February 8, 2011

Ham Radio Support Group member Ross Morris operates a ham radio in the mobile communication station. By Allison Int-Hout

An earthquake that brings people to their knees, a window-shattering explosion or flood waters surging through the city’s streets — before the trembling subsides or the water settles, life without telephone, Internet and electricity begins.

These disastrous events, which would lead most people to panic, are precisely the type of situations to which certain Issaquah community members are trained to respond.

Radioing out of a trailer doubling as a communications station in the Issaquah Police Department parking lot Jan. 29, the Issaquah Ham Radio Support Group played out a possible emergency scenario, testing their equipment during a Washington State Emergency Operations Center 5th Saturday Exercise.

“King County does a quarterly exercise where all the ham radio groups test to make sure they can talk across the state,” said Mike Crossley, the Issaquah Radio Amateur civil emergency service officer.

During the EOC exercise, the Issaquah Ham Radio Support Group communicated with other EOC locations throughout the state, including Camp Murray in Tacoma.

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Milestone anniversary fosters new hope for veterans

February 8, 2011

Gathered for their regular meeting on Jan. 18, members of the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, drank coffee, traded stories and conducted business as usual.

Yet despite the routine atmosphere, this was no ordinary day.

Exactly 75 years earlier, the original founders of the Albert Larson Post signed the VFW charter, establishing one of Issaquah’s most historic organizations, which has been serving the city ever since.

“They formed 75 years ago, but are still going strong,” said Richard Whipple, the adjutant and quartermaster of the Department of Washington. “The recognition lets them know they’ve done a fantastic job.”

At the meeting, Whipple presented the post with a 75th anniversary certificate, known as the Diamond Jubilee Award. It’s an honor only a select group of posts have achieved, yet the local VFW members said they’re simply doing their duty to help the community.

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Tie-dyed and surprised at the bank

February 8, 2011

The Bank of the Northwest in Issaquah staff wore tie-dyed shirts, and had tie-dyed cupcakes and napkins, as a surprise for 30-year Gaslamp Bar and Grill employee Scott Armstrong’s birthday.

Gaslamp Bar and Grill employee Scott Armstrong found it odd that he was asked to complete the bar’s bank deposit on a Monday, but was more than happy to help out. As he walked next door, he had no idea what awaited him.

On the morning of Jan. 24, Armstrong entered the Issaquah branch of Bank of the Northwest and encountered a host of tie dye-clad employees surrounding a display of tie-dyed cupcakes and napkins in honor of his birthday. A crowd of customers also joined in the festivities, which included singing a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

“Right when he walked in, we yelled, ‘Surprise!’ and brought out the cupcakes,” said Kari Palmer, a personal banker at the branch.

She explained that a group of employees decided to celebrate “Scotty’s” birthday because he is such a loyal customer and friend, and has been banking with Bank of the Northwest for years. The colorful decorations were in honor of Armstrong’s notorious tie-dyed collection, according to Palmer. He wears tie-dyed shirts to work on a regular basis.

“It put a tear in my eye. It’s amazing that somebody knows you for what you are,” Armstrong said. “I can’t say enough about anyone that works there.”

Bank Manager Robert Ittes said that the celebration totally caught Armstrong off guard. He said Armstrong, who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, was humbled by the display.

“We got as much out of creating the celebration as he did being the receiver,” said Ittes, who encourages his staff to plan such events because he believes that by reaching out and getting involved in the community, there will be support in return.

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Community Calendar

February 8, 2011


The Issaquah Garden Club hosts Laura Matter, from Seattle Tilth, to discuss “Wildlife Friendly Gardening for Natural Pest Control” at 10 a.m. Feb. 9 at Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 Renton-Issaquah Road. Go to or call 677-7393.

Swedish Healthcare Closer to Home, presented by Dr. John Milne and Kevin Brown, is at 11 a.m. Feb. 9, Bellewood Retirement, 3710 Providence Point Drive S.E. Call 391-2880.

Providence Marianwood and artEAST present “Capturing Color” in the Providence Marianwood gallery, 3725 Providence Point Drive S.E., through March 31. A reception for the artists is from 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Wine and snacks will be served. Call 391-2895 or 213-3340.

Our Savior Lutheran Preschool’s rummage sale is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, in the fellowship hall at 745 Front St. S. Proceeds go to support the general preschool budget. Donations and shoppers are welcome the day of the sale. Learn more by e-mailing

“Cupid’s Critters,” Eastside Rabbits and Cavies 4-H Club Rabbit and Cavy Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 13, Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W., free

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Simmons, Johnson

February 8, 2011

William Johnson and Leslie Simmons

Leslie Simmons and William Johnson, both of Snoqualmie, were married Oct. 2, 2010, at Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Island. Minister Archie Brooks officiated.

The bride, the daughter of Stephen and Suzanne Simmons, of Bellevue, is a 1999 graduate of Issaquah High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan in 2003.

Her bridal attendants were Myla Colson, Ashley Kelley, Jennifer O’Connor and Catherine Benson. Leslie is a marketing manager at Grand Banks Northwest.

The groom, the son of William and Jeanne Johnson, of Lansing, Mich., is a 1999 graduate of Okemos High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Michigan in 2004.

His groomsmen were Rob Ley, James Choe, Nate Campbell and Justin Street. William is a software developer at VMWare.

The couple honeymooned in Kauai, Hawaii.

Who’s News

February 8, 2011

CrossPath Counseling & Consultation gets new counselor

Wayne Dykstra

CrossPath Counseling & Consultation in Sammamish welcomes Wayne Dykstra MA, LMHC, to its counseling staff.

Dykstra is an experienced psychotherapist and holds a master’s degree in psychology from Seattle University. He has counseled youth and families regarding a wide variety of issues including family conflict, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

In addition, he is a certified child and adolescent mental health specialist. He will be available by appointment, Monday to Saturday, at the CrossPath offices in Sammamish Commons Park, 550 222nd Place S.E., Sammamish.

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College News

February 8, 2011

Local woman receives national teaching fellowship

Emily Lee, of Issaquah, a 2007 graduate of Skyline High School, is one of 25 fellows selected across the country for the 2011 Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Lee, the daughter of Tran My Tran and Quy Lee, is a graduating senior at the University of Washington, majoring in English and public health.

She will receive a $30,000 stipend to apply toward the cost of a master in teaching degree. She also receives guidance towards achieving teaching certification, support and mentoring during the first three years of teaching, and a lifelong membership in a national network of Woodrow Wilson Fellows.

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Tyler James Lucas

February 8, 2011

Tyler Lucas

Tyler James Lucas, of Issaquah, died Feb. 1, 2011, in Kirkland. He was 18.

Services were Feb. 7 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sammamish. Committal service followed at Upper Hillside Cemetery in Issaquah.

Tyler was born Nov. 3, 1992, in San Mateo, Calif., the son of James and Patty Lucas. In February 1993, the family moved to Issaquah, where he was raised and attended Chrysalis High School, Issaquah High School, Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus and Pine Lake Middle School.

He was an avid lacrosse player, and was a member of U.S. Lacrosse, Issaquah Lacrosse Club, Seattle Starz Lacrosse Club, West Coast Starz and Junior Stealth. He also enjoyed basketball, music and long boarding.

Tyler was a great friend, and was known among them as the “stick doctor.” He was very athletic and extremely focused on his goals.

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Alex Oosterhof

February 8, 2011

Alex Oosterhof

Alex Oosterhof, of Maple Valley, died Jan. 22, 2011, in Ellensburg. He was 44.

An open house potluck memorial will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 3 at the Lake Wilderness Lodge, 22500 S.E. 248th St., Maple Valley.

Alex was born March 19, 1966, in the Netherlands, to Corry and Jan Oosterhof. He immigrated to America with his family, father Jan Oosterhof and mother Corry Oosterhof at age 6 months, settling in the Issaquah area.

Alex enjoyed owning his own business, Big A’s Trucking. He enjoyed going to the family’s recreational property in Cle Elum often with family and friends. Alex also enjoyed many vehicle sports, including four wheeling, snowmobiling and motorcycle riding.

Alex was always available to help his family, friends and neighbors when needed. Friend to all, he was a big man with a big heart.

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