Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry dies

July 10, 2012

Maureen McCarry, a former City Council president and longtime community leader, died early July 4 after a battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, 18 months after resigning from the council.

Maureen McCarry

McCarry, 62, served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for McCarry.

In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.

The commitment earned McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized McCarry for tireless efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.

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Foster the People lends a hand to center for disabled adults

July 10, 2012

Volunteer Danielle Kuchler paints a bench’s decorations June 26 at the Tavon Center as part of The Pomegranate Center and Foster the Future’s project. By Lillian Tucker

The sawdust was flying June 26 when the local nonprofit Tavon Center received a helping hand from a rock band, an experimental artist and a whole lot of wet volunteers.

The unlikely group came together on a soggy northwest Tuesday to carve, paint, build and install six benches around the 5 acres at the center, which serves local adults with disabilities.

With not enough room in the workshop for the nearly 50 people that showed up ready to help, volunteers spread out across the property to weed the garden and clear trails.

“This property is so beautiful and big, we just wanted to create more places for them to sit, relax and be social,” Megan Wegner, program director, said of the center’s clients.

A large part of what Tavon offers clients is horticulture therapy.

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City Council decision advances dam project

July 10, 2012

Plans to replace a problem-plagued dam upstream from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery surged ahead July 2, as City Council members steered dollars to complete designs for a proposed replacement.

Crews intend to add boulder weirs to Issaquah Creek and demolish the dam, perhaps as early as next spring.

The legislation approved by the council increased city dollars for the project by $268,700 from the $155,000 municipal leaders initially set aside in the 2012 municipal budget for the replacement. Now, after the council decision, the total amount in the budget is $423,700.

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City considers permit for medical marijuana garden

July 10, 2012

City planners could allow a medical marijuana collective garden in Issaquah, months after another medical marijuana operation opened to patients.

The nonprofit medical marijuana operation Eastside Greenlight Collective Garden applied for a city permit to open in a commercial building at 230 N.E. Juniper St. — a mixed-use area near the Lakeside Industries quarry north of Interstate 90.

The marijuana operation does not intend to grow marijuana in the space. The applicant proposed minimal change to the unit, if any is needed.

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Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Dino Rossi to represent Issaquah again in Olympia

July 10, 2012

Former state senator is appointed to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi is headed back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeds former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members unanimously recommended Rossi for the caretaker position July 9, a little more than a week after Pflug, a Republican, resigned to serve on a state board.

“I do know the people of this district,” Rossi said in testimony to council members.

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Crossfire trio sets crosshairs on Sweden’s Gothia Cup

July 10, 2012

Pawehi ‘Pepsi’ Cloutier (right), Crossfire Premier reserve goalkeeper, and her teammates celebrate their Nike Manchester U Cup championship victory May 28 in Beaverton, Ore. By Christine McCaughey

Three Issaquah soccer players are going to represent America in the Gothia Cup, a tournament held in Sweden.

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Ballots for August primary to reach voters soon

July 10, 2012

Ballots should start to arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes in the days ahead.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

In the 5th Legislative District, voters must narrow the field of Republican Chad Magendanz, Democrat David Spring and independent candidate Ryan Burkett in the race for a state House of Representatives seat.

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Candidates receive boost from Municipal League of King County

July 10, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

The league ranks candidates through a rigorous process during each election cycle. The ratings provide a tool for voters — plus fodder for candidates’ campaign mailers and websites.

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, check references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on a set of criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.

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Lioness seventh-graders bring home hardware

July 10, 2012

A pride of lionesses roared in the desert.

The EBI Lioness AAU girls basketball team won the Reno Jam On It Championship’s seventh-grade division in June. The team included Skyline High School’s Gina Grossi, (back row, first from the left); Liberty High School’s Samantha Kelderman, (back row, third from left), Kadi Cooke, (front row, first from the left), and Megan Kirschner, (front row, fifth from the left); and Eastside Catholic High School’s Bailey Haner (front row, fourth from the left). Contributed

The EBI Lioness team, composed of teenage players all over the Eastside, earned first place at the Reno Jam On It Championship’s seventh-grade division in Reno, Nev., in May.

The team, part of AAU competition, “were determined to win it for their coach” Felicia Johnson, an email from one of the team’s parents stated.

Johnson fainted while at the tourney, so the team had to play on its own the first two games.

“I don’t even remember even having to call a timeout,” Johnson said.

Lioness center/forward Kadi Cooke, from Issaquah, agreed.

“It was stressful at first but then all of our teamwork paid off for the team and it was fun at the end,” she said.

The team spent a lot of time together off the court, shooting guard Bailey Haner said.

“We went go-karting together, we went on roller-coasters, we ate ice cream a lot,” she said. “It was really fun.”

All the fun stuff makes the team more cohesive, she added.

The level of competition was all over the place, Johnson said, but it got tough once they reached the semifinals.

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