Skyline High School boys suffer first league hoop defeat

January 4, 2012

NEW — 10:20 p.m. Jan. 4, 2012 

The Skyline High School boys basketball team got outscored 34-20 in the second half by visiting Ballard on Tuesday and lost 56-47 in a KingCo Conference 4A contest. The loss was the first in league play for Skyline, which had won its previous three KingCo contests and was first in the Crest Division.

Skyline led 27-22 at halftime. However, Ballard blew out the Spartans 18-8 in the third quarter to go ahead for good.

Seth Berger, a 6-foot-7 junior, led Ballard with 14 points. John Verduin, a 6-4 junior guard, added 12 points for the Beavers, who are 5-1 in league play and 7-4 overall.

Lucas Shannon, a 6-7 senior, topped Skyline with 14 points. Senior guard Will Parker had 10 points. Skyline went to 8-3 on the season.

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Save Lake Sammamish founder Joanna Buehler departs

January 3, 2012

 Joanna Buehler, founder and president of Save Lake Sammamish, has planted and kept runoff-filtering native wetland species on the lakeshore of her longtime South Cove home. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah trailblazer led efforts to protect lake from threats for decades

Joanna Buehler earned top honors for environmental efforts for decades spent on a difficult struggle to shield Lake Sammamish from constant pressures from a population boom occurring along the tree-lined shore.

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Inquest ordered in Issaquah police shooting

January 3, 2012

Jury is assigned to fact-finding mission in death of gunman

The search for more information about a lethal September shootout on the Clark Elementary School campus is due to deepen soon, as a court inquest into the officer-involved incident opens.

Ronald W. Ficker, 51, died in a firefight against Issaquah police officers on the school campus. The gun battle ended a meandering midday journey across downtown Issaquah after the rifle-toting Ficker brandished guns at passers-by.

In a decision expected since the Sept. 24 shootout, King County Executive Dow Constantine on Dec. 27 ordered the inquest — a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. The order directs King County District Court Presiding Judge Barbara Linde to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.

Linde did not set a date before county offices closed for the New Year’s holiday.

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Officers help Santa Claus deliver Christmas cheer to family in need

January 3, 2012

Santa Claus holds the door for (from left) Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum, Chief Paul Ayers and Officer Karin Weihe as a brigade of officers prepare to deliver Christmas gifts. Contributed

In a Christmas tradition, Issaquah police officers and department employees spread some holiday cheer to local families Dec. 21.

Each Christmas, the Issaquah Police Department adopts a needy family, gathers items from a Christmas wish list and then accompanies Santa Claus for a special delivery.

Santa receives some help from officers — a ride in a police vehicle — to present the gifts to the family.

Once the department picked a pair of families in need, agency employees snapped up items from the wish list.

Then, department employees wrapped the gifts for the family, headed to the home and — spoiler alert — Motorcycle Officer John Lindner donned a red suit to portray Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas Issaquah fund to stay open until Jan. 8

January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas Issaquah

2011 goal: $65,000

To date: $50,037

How to help

Help by making a tax-deductible donation to Issaquah Community Services. The organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. The names of donors — but not amounts — are published in The Press unless anonymity is requested.

For the first time in decades, the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund appears it will close the year well behind its goal, and well behind last year’s contributions.

As of Dec. 30, the fund was just past $50,000. The goal for the fund drive is $65,000.

Merry Christmas Issaquah benefits Issaquah Community Services, the nonprofit agency that provides emergency financial aid to families facing eviction, utility shut-off, medical needs and more.

Payments are never made directly to the client.

Issaquah Community Services is all volunteers, allowing 100 percent of donations to go directly to aid families in need.

The city provides office space and telephones.

To donate, send checks to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Donor names, but not amounts, will be published unless anonymity is requested.

Suspects arrested in area burglaries

January 3, 2012

Three people have been arrested in connection with two Sammamish burglaries, including one on Christmas Day.

Residents of the 2900 block of 196th Avenue Southeast arrived home the afternoon of Christmas to find the glass on their front door shattered, and jewelry and cash missing from their home, according to a Sammamish Police Department press release. Police recovered two steel ball bearings that appeared to have been launched from a slingshot in order to break the window.

On Dec. 26, a Sammamish officer was staking out a Klahanie apartment police suspected was being used to hide stolen items and traffic drugs. The officer saw a 30-year-old Carnation man he recognized from previous arrests leave the apartment, and he pulled the man over because records showed his license had been suspended and he had outstanding warrants for possession of stolen property.

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Issaquah representative to retire, run for lieutenant governor

January 3, 2012

Rep. Glenn Anderson

Issaquah’s most senior representative in Olympia — state Rep. Glenn Anderson — does not intend to seek re-election in 2012 and plans to run for lieutenant governor after serving the 5th Legislative District for a dozen years.

The longtime lawmaker enters a crowded field for the No. 2 spot in the executive branch. Other candidates include incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, former State Sen. Bill Finkbeiner and Mark Greene, a Newcastle resident.

The office carries few significant responsibilities. The official duties include standing in for the governor if he or she is incapacitated, presiding over the state Senate, and serving on a handful of committees and commissions, such as the State Finance Committee.

The situation in Washington is “a mess, and it’s not getting any better. So, I’m going to give it a go,” Anderson said Dec. 28. “Doing what we’re doing now is a sure death train.”

Local voters elected the Fall City Republican in 2000 and subsequently in even-numbered years since.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce urged city leaders to rethink medical marijuana decision

January 3, 2012

Matthew Bott

Before City Council members approved a landmark decision on medical marijuana collective gardens last month, business leaders quietly urged officials to consider possible fallout on the local economy.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott sent a letter to council members Dec. 2, days before the council set rules for collective gardens and limited medical marijuana operations near parks and schools.

The chamber did not take a position on the issue, but the organization’s Government Affairs Committee asked Bott to offer input on possible impacts to Issaquah’s standing.

“Our reputation as a safe, family-friendly and wholesome community is one of our greatest assets — and one that has been carefully developed by the community for decades,” Bott wrote. “Many in the community, and specifically those in the residential real estate market, feel that the sanctioning of a collective marijuana garden may damage this well-developed community reputation.”

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Smaller trees to replace some evergreens downtown

January 3, 2012

Crews plan to replace ailing Douglas firs at a downtown Issaquah intersection and add smaller trees.

The city recently approved a plan to replace nine Douglas firs near Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street. The plan does not affect the towering Douglas firs on the nearby Village Theatre property.

The replacement for the removed Douglas firs will be evergreen and deciduous trees, plus ground cover.

City officials said declining health is affecting seven trees included in the removal plan.

The removal is also meant to allow more sunlight to reach solar panels planned for installation nearby. Plans call for some of the solar panels to power a pair of electric vehicle charging stations.

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Cascade Water Alliance outlines long-term regional water supply

January 3, 2012

Cascade Water Alliance leaders outlined a plan Dec. 30 to secure water for Issaquah and the region in the decades ahead.

The nonprofit organization purchases water from Seattle Public Utilities, but the water bought from the utility is due to start declining in 2024 as the Cascade Water Alliance switches to other sources. Then, in 2030, officials plan to start drawing water as needed from Lake Tapps in Pierce County.

The information is contained in the transmission and supply plan — a document outlining the water systems in alliance member jurisdictions and plans for the future. Residents can also weigh in, as the plan is open for public comment until Jan. 31.

The regional alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts. The agency serves about 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses.

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