Sammamish falls short in bid for state ferry name

November 24, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2012

The bid to name a ferry for Sammamish came up short, after state transportation officials selected other tribal names instead.

Washington Transportation Commission members selected Samish and Tokitae for the 144-car Olympic class ferries. The commission also considered Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot and Ivar Haglund as possible names.

Sammamish city officials asked residents to submit letter supporting the bid.

(In the late 1970s, Issaquah leaders successfully lobbied for the state to name a 124-car ferry for the city.)

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Demand is high at food banks in Issaquah, statewide

November 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 23, 2012

Demand is high at food banks across Washington, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Agriculture, and officials urged residents to donate to local food assistance programs.

The figures from the state agency show 1 in 5 Washington residents visited a food bank at least once during the past year. Between June 2011 and June 2012, officials recorded more than 8.6 million visits to food banks statewide — 500,000 more visits than in the previous year, according to the figures collected by the agency’s Food Assistance Program.

“These numbers show that, in the coming holiday season, we can expect that food assistance programs will be stretched to meet the need in many communities,” Director Dan Newhouse said in a statement.

The agency’s Food Assistance Program uses state and federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide food and money to food banks, meal programs and tribal voucher programs in Washington.

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State adds flexible start date to Discover Pass

November 23, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 23, 2012

State agencies encourage holiday shoppers to consider a Discover Pass as a gift for family and friends interested in the outdoors.

Officials added a feature recently to allow purchasers to choose the pass’ start date. The option is available to customers who purchasing the pass at, or in person from authorized retailers through the Washington Interactive Licensing Database, or WILD, system.

The pass is available in Issaquah at Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fred Meyer and Sports Authority.

The buyer can activate the pass immediately or on any day within one year of purchase.

State legislators passed the option into law in 2012 to allow greater flexibility to outdoor recreation enthusiasts, including people interested in giving the pass as a gift.

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Dump post-feast grease to protect pipes from damage

November 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 22, 2012

Thanksgiving grease is notorious for causing slippery situations in local sewer systems.

Grease can cause the same problems in municipal sewer systems as in human arteries. The goop sticks to the inside of sewer pipes, leads to blockages and, maybe, expensive cleanups.

So, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks joined Seattle-based General Biodiesel to offer residents with a safe way to toss cooking oil and grease. The material is then recycled, and does not end up in drains or landfills.

Officials recommend putting cooled cooking fats and grease into a sealed container for transport to the drop-off locations. Then, slowly pour the grease into the collection container to avoid splatters. Close the community lid tank and take containers home.

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Puget Sound Energy offers LED bulbs to Black Friday shoppers

November 21, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 21, 2012

Puget Sound Energy residential electric customers planning to hit Issaquah stores early for Black Friday shopping can receive a free LED bulb from the utility provider.

The first 50 people in line at Best Buy and Fred Meyer can receive a 40-watt equivalent LED bulb. The energy-efficient bulb uses less energy than incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, lasts years longer and is dimmable.

Best Buy shoppers receive a free Insignia 9-watt LED bulb, a $14 value. Fred Meyer shoppers receive a free Tulip LED bulb, a $17 value.

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Washington State Patrol reminds motorists to avoid holiday DUIs

November 21, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 21, 2012

Thanksgiving ranks at No. 2 in King County for the holiday with the most arrests for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Washington State Patrol troopers urged revelers not to turn celebration into stress by driving under the influence Thursday, Thanksgiving, and throughout the holiday season.

“At the end of the day, targeting behavior that kills and injures is truly what matters,” state patrol Capt. Chris Gundermann, District 2 commander, said in a statement.

In 2011, troopers in King County made 22 arrests for DUI on Thanksgiving. The number puts the holiday second only to New Year’s Day for the number of DUI arrests on a holiday. The arrests last Thanksgiving included four collisions without injuries and a minor collision with injuries.

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Dorothy Fell Kramer

November 21, 2012

Dorothy Fell Kramer, beloved wife and mother, and longtime resident of Issaquah, died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, after her battle with cancer.

She was born in Rigby, Idaho, on Nov. 24, 1931, the third of six children. She married Sam Kramer in 1952 in Boise, and moved directly to the Seattle area, where they eventually settled in Issaquah, in 1960. Together, they raised their eight children in love and hard work.

Dorothy spent her years cheering her children’s budding talents and was their greatest advocate. She had a pioneering spirit, and she was a lifelong learner who enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others. She was an avid gardener, and was happiest with her hands in the dirt. She loved her family most of all, and delighted in every one of their accomplishments.

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Issaquah retailers prepare for Black Friday rush

November 20, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving, long before the sun rises, open season for bargains starts at retailers throughout Issaquah and beyond.

Black Friday sends shoppers pinging from store to store like a pinball in search of deals — a 32-inch LCD television for $147 at Target, perhaps, or a Blu-ray player for $39.99 at Best Buy. Consumers brave predawn darkness, long lines and sharp elbows to score early-bird bargains.

The boost to retailers’ bottom lines could also offer a jolt to city coffers. Popular Black Friday destinations — including Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Fred Meyer, Target and, of course, Issaquah-based Costco — lure consumers from throughout the region.

Issaquah is a retail hub on the Eastside, and city officials hope the holiday rush resuscitates a flat year for spending. Overall, sales tax revenue forms a key piece in the city budget — a larger share than property tax revenue and permit fees, other main sources of dollars.

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Knit For Life crafts partnership at Swedish/Issaquah

November 20, 2012

Volunteers Leslie Albro (left) and Ellen Harbison knit and converse while waiting for members to join the session. By Lauren LeMieux

Tanya Parieaux was taught to knit by her grandmother when she was a little girl. Many years later, the craft would comfort her in an unexpected way.

Knitting helped her get through her battle with breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 1996 and for a second time in 2009.

“I had a hard time focusing on television and reading books and things, because I just keep thinking I have cancer, I have cancer, I have cancer,” Parieaux said. Knitting “ was something I did where time would pass so quickly.”

It didn’t take Parieaux long to share the comfort she found in knitting with others. In 1997, she began going around the high-dose chemo floor at the University of Washington Medical Center with a big basket of yarn and needles. She offered lessons and materials to anyone who wanted to participate.

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Church donates 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to residents in need

November 20, 2012

In a decade-old Thanksgiving tradition, Eastridge Church delivered 1,000 turkeys and bags of groceries to families in need Nov. 17.

The church distributed dinner packages on a first-come, first-served basis, and no demonstration of need was required for assistance.

“The Thanksgiving season is a time to we all naturally reflect on our lives and the good things that we’re experiencing, but it can also be a difficult time for families with limited resources,” Lead Pastor Steve Jamison said in a statement.

Church leaders held the event simultaneously at its Sammamish Plateau and West Seattle campuses.

“We want to show our community that Eastridge cares by providing a blessing this Thanksgiving to those who may be struggling to make ends meet,” Jamison continued.

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