Gov. Chris Gregoire asks president to declare King County as disaster area

February 24, 2012

NEW — 3:15 p.m. Feb. 24, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked President Barack Obama on Friday to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

If the declaration is approved, Issaquah and other governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance grants.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for Issaquah municipal government. Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

If a disaster declaration occurs, city officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through FEMA.

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Issaquah students’ artwork could grace U.S. Capitol

February 24, 2012

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Feb. 24, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert invites high school students in the 8th Congressional District to submit artwork to the 2012 Congressional Art Competition.

“Every year, the Congressional Art Competition serves as a creative opportunity for students to showcase their artistic abilities,” he said in a statement. “It is always an inspiration for me and my staff to study the art produced by our talented youth. The interaction and connection with young artists, their parents and their teachers is energizing. This competition highlights the importance for our young people to be creative, artistic, and motivated.”

Since 1982, the winning selection from the 8th District has graced the House of Representatives’ Cannon Building Tunnel in Washington, D.C., for a a year.

Download the Student Information & Release Form. The art submissions can be paintings, drawings, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art or photography. Learn more about the guidelines at Reichert’s congressional website.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honors local health advocates

February 23, 2012

NEW — 5:45 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

King County earned some recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health efforts related to obesity prevention and tobacco use, officials announced Thursday.

The 18 local honorees included Issaquah resident Christopher “Kit” Ledbetter, municipal parks and recreation director in SeaTac. Ledbetter earned recognition from the CDC as a champion for tobacco-free parks in the South King County city. The effort brings together teenagers, law enforcement officers, maintenance crews and other partners.

(Ledbetter is also the sole candidate for a King Conservation District board seat.)

King County Executive Dow Constantine, a leader in environmental protection, public transit and government reform, also earned recognition from the CDC.

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Issaquah-area councilman urges Legislature to create ‘blue alert’ for police

February 23, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

Reagan Dunn

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn announced a plan Thursday to urge state legislators create a “blue alert” system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

The proposal came hours after a man fatally shot a state trooper in Kitsap County. Dunn plans to introduce a motion Monday urging the council to support state legislation to create a “blue alert” system.

“This tragic pattern of injury and death to law enforcement officers in Washington state simply cannot continue,” he said in a statement. “We in government must do everything in our power to protect those who put their lives on the line everyday in order to protect us.”

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Village Theatre receives $25,000 grant from city, Puget Sound Energy

February 23, 2012

NEW — 1:50 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

Village Theatre received a $25,000 grant from the city and Puget Sound Energy to maintain and upgrade Issaquah facilities, officials announced Thursday.

Bellevue-based PSE awarded the grant to the city and requested for the funds to benefit a local nonprofit organization. In the process to craft a 2012 budget, City Council members selected Village Theatre as the grant recipient.

“By supporting the arts in Issaquah, this grant will benefit our local customers, their families and the greater community,” Andy Wappler, vice president of PSE Corporate Affairs, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to help Village Theatre continue its artistic excellence.”

The downtown Issaquah theater attracts more than 150,000 visits to the city each year. The theater’s classes, camps and productions for children and teenagers include more than 2,000 students.

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Swedish/Issaquah to offer massages, screenings at patient appreciation event

February 22, 2012

NEW — 7 p.m. Feb. 22, 2012

Swedish/Issaquah is offering massages and other freebies Thursday as a thank-you to patients.

The hospital is hosting the inaugural Patient Appreciation Day of any Swedish Medical Center campus. The event includes complimentary blood-pressure screenings, massages and heart-healthy food samples prepared on site by a crew from Coho Café.

Patient Appreciation Day is open to the public. The event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby at Swedish/Issaquah, 751 N.E. Blakely Drive.

Participants can also receive recommendations from dietitians about how to maintain a heart-healthy diet. Patient Appreciation Day attendees with higher- or lower-than normal blood pressure can also learn more from a physician.

Swedish/Issaquah opened in July 2011 and started offering in-patient services in November 2011. The 120-bed hospital is licensed for up to 175 beds.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honors business innovators

February 22, 2012

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Feb. 22, 2012

The most innovative businesses in Issaquah manufacture composite fasteners for airliners, educate and enrich autistic children, and rely on a tiny-but-talented staff to create slick productions.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — Marketing Masters, Lakeside Center for Autism and Impact Studio Pro — Wednesday.

The carbon-neutral community zHome also received a nod as the most innovative public-private partnership. The city spearheaded the 10-unit townhouse development.

Marketing Masters creates fasteners for Boeing and Airbus planes at a small facility behind Burger King in the Issaquah business district.

Lakeside Center for Autism uses technology, such as the Microsoft Kinect, to educate autistic children.

Impact Studio Pro, established at a home office in the Issaquah Highlands, is a video production company.

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Skyline High School girls’ hoop season ends in defeat

February 22, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Feb. 22, 2012

The Skyline High School girls basketball team looked like it was headed for an upset when the KingCo Conference entry had an 10-point halftime lead against host Stanwood.

However, third-ranked Stanwood rallied in the second half to post a 61-50 victory in a Wesco/KingCo loser-out playoff for a Class 4A Regional berth.

Skyline, which won the KingCo Crest Division title this season, finished with a 17-8 record.

It was a game where the team’s had the same mascots — both are Spartans.

The Skyline Spartans, sparked by Megan Wiedeman, jumped to a 16-10 first-quarter lead. Wiedeman scored seven of her game-high 13 points in the quarter. Skyline pushed its lead to 31-21 at halftime.

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USA Today spotlights Issaquah Alps hiking trails

February 22, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Feb. 22, 2012

Issaquah Alps peaks and trails garnered some national attention Tuesday after USA Today featured the Eastside mountains in a travel piece.

The piece outlines trails and points of interest on Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains — including the long-defunct Nike Ajax missile installation on Cougar Mountain and the paraglider launch site on Tiger Mountain.

“Hiking through Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, on to Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area and into Tiger Mountain State Forest adds mileage but provides a scenic route,” the guide notes.

The piece is the latest national recognition for the Issaquah Alps and the mountains’ namesake city.

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King County bumps overdue property tax notices from September to June

February 21, 2012

NEW — 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 2012

King County plans to start notifying homeowners about overdue property taxes sooner, officials announced Tuesday.

Officials plan to start sending notices in June, rather than September. County Executive Dow Constantine initiated the policy change after input from taxpayers and County Councilman Bob Ferguson.

The county assessor mailed property tax bills earlier in the month. The deadline for first-half property taxes is April 30.

Though the county is not required to send a delinquency notice, officials send a courtesy notice in late September to about 9,000 taxpayers. The property owners receiving the notice missed the April deadline and did not pay property taxes by Sept. 1.

Officials timed the notice to be close to the Oct. 31 due date for second-half property taxes.

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