Officials aim to avoid repeat of fireworks-related blazes

June 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 30, 2012

State fire officials reminded Independence Day revelers to practice fire safety in a bid to avoid a repeat of fireworks-related fires from 2011.

State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy said fireworks caused 264 fires last year, including 199 wildland and vegetation fires — or 75 percent of fireworks-related blazes. The fires resulted in $118,350 in losses.

Summer weather conditions make grasses and other vegetation dry and susceptible to fire. If revelers use fireworks in hot, windy conditions, a small fire can rapidly grow if grass or another fuel is present.

If a firework comes into contact with a vegetated area, use a hose or bucket of water and soak the area. Make sure no hot spot remains to rekindle later.

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Elks host Independence Day breakfast before communty celebration

June 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 30, 2012

Independence Day revelers can stop at the local Elks Lodge for breakfast before celebrating the holiday.

Lake Sammamish Elks No. 1843 members plan to host a 4th of July Community Pancake Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 765 Rainier Blvd. N., in downtown Issaquah.

The menu includes pancakes — of course — plus ham and eggs.

The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children. The breakfast is open to the public. Call 392-1400 to learn more.

After breakfast, revelers can catch the Kids, Pets ‘n’ Pride Parade and head to the Down Home Fourth of July and Heritage Day celebration.

Independence Day brings changes to transit schedules

June 29, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 29, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should prepare for Sunday schedules on July 4 as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit observe Independence Day.

The holiday schedule means many Metro Transit commuter bus routes do not operate. Bus riders should be sure to check the schedule for individual routes in advance of the holiday. Sunday fares go in effect on all Metro Transit routes July 4.

Due to many holiday events starting over the weekend and continuing through July 4, riders should check for bus reroutes in the Metro Online Alerts Center under the Construction & Events heading. Or, sign up for Transit Alerts to receive news about specific routes.

In addition, all Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone lines, close for holiday. When the Customer Information Office is closed, most transit information is available on Metro Online, or in the online Trip Planner.

Preston-based TalkingRain celebrates 25 years

June 29, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. June 29, 2012

Preston-based beverage company TalkingRain is celebrating 25 years in business by sending raindrop mascots to destinations and posting online videos to chronicle the adventures.

TalkingRain is marking other milestones alongside the anniversary. Sales recently jumped 300 percent. The brand Sparkling ICE earned the title of 2011 Food and Beverage Rising Star by SymphonyIRI, a market research company. TalkingRain products also scored successes in Canada, Japan, Korea and Mexico.

“We are proud to celebrate this landmark achievement as it represents our resilience in a highly-competitive industry,” company President Kevin Klock said in a statement. “It shows us that you don’t have to be big to be great and that our simple commitment to delivering products that people enjoy works.”

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Nightmare at Beaver Lake organizers need a hand after trailer heist

June 28, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. June 28, 2012

Nightmare at Beaver Lake organizers asked the public for donations to replace a trailer stolen from its Kent headquarters June 19.

Scare Productions, a nonprofit theater group and partner in the the annual Halloween-themed event at Beaver Lake Park, discovered the 18-foot Wells Cargo-brand cargo trailer had been stolen.

Kelcey Hendricks, promotions director at Scare Productions, said the group believes the trailer went missing late in the evening of June 12 or early June 13.

The group reported the theft has been reported to Kent police, but police have no leads yet, he added.

The trailer contained several props used in the Halloween event, including an 8-foot by 4-foot vibrating floor, two 5-foot-tall Jacob’s ladders and other tools.

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King County, Washington leaders react after Supreme Court health care ruling

June 28, 2012

NEW — 10:45 a.m. June 28, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine and other elected officials split along party lines Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the federal health care overhaul.

In a complex decision, justices on the high court ruled 5-4 to uphold the individual mandate — a requirement for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty. The provision is scheduled to go into effect in 2014.

The ruling limited the plan in the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by some — to expand Medicaid for the poor.

Justices ruled the federal government cannot withhold a state’s entire Medicaid allotment if the state does not participate in the planned Medicaid expansion.

“I celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act,” Constantine said in a statement. “A stable, healthier future has been made possible by this ruling. This is affirmation of our nationwide, bold move toward achieving quality affordable healthcare, and we are moving in the right direction.”

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2012 Summer Issaquah Living

June 28, 2012

Open publication – Free publishingMore community

Experience natural wonders in Washington’s national places

June 28, 2012

The landscape surrounding Mount St. Helens reflects signs of destruction from the 1980 eruption and the return of life to the blast zone. By Matthew Staerk

Splendor is not limited to Mount Rainier.

Mount Rainier dominates the landscape in Western Washington. The active volcano is unparalleled as a natural icon for the region — Mount Rainier even appeared on the state quarter — but the peak is not the only nearby national treasure.

Landscapes in the shadow of Mount Rainier and farther afield deserve attention, too.

Spaces set aside for conservation and recreation — national parks, national forests, national recreation areas, even a national volcanic monument — stretch from British Columbia to the Columbia River.

Discover the signature mountain and, along the way, a handful of other national treasures.
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Sasquatch, hairy hominid, maybe mythical, or maybe not, could roam Northwest woods

June 28, 2012

A statue of Sasquatch rises above state Route 504 en route to Mount St. Helens in rural Cowlitz County. By Matthew Staerk

The forests and mountains up and down the Cascades, cloaked in mist and mystery, could harbor Sasquatch, a reclusive creature noted for coarse fur, malodorous scent and, oh yeah, oversized feet.

Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, depending on geography and preference, just might roam Evergreen State forests, believers claim. Or, as detractors suggest, the creature is not 8 feet tall and covered in fur, but is rather a figment of imagination.

Evidence is concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington — especially the untamed backwoods near Mount St. Helens — and across the border in British Columbia and Alberta. Websites dedicated to Sasquatch encounters describe pulse-pounding contact between man and beast in the forests near Issaquah, including Squak Mountain and Rattlesnake Lake.

Sasquatch, maybe mythical, maybe not, is a fixture revered in American Indian lore and monumentalized in pop culture. Look no further than the Sasquatch statue outside a roadside attraction in Southwest Washington.

The statue along a rural Cowlitz County road stands 28 feet tall and bears a beneficent grin. The piece is perhaps the largest Sasquatch statue in North America, or anywhere.

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What’s your Issaquah IQ?

June 28, 2012

So, you think you know Issaquah? Is the city just another buttoned-up suburb? Nope. Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people — and more than a century of secrets. Issaquah anecdotes stretch deep into the past and continue into the 21st century. Look beyond the basics to discover tidbits and trivia.

Test your Issaquah IQ. (Scroll to the bottom to check the answers, but please, no cheating!)

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