Issaquah unveils salmon-centric city logo

August 21, 2012

The triangle is out. The salmon is in.

Issaquah leaders plan to phase out the longtime city logo — a triangle and stylized As meant to evoke the Issaquah Alps — and use a salmon-centric emblem instead.

Issaquah’s updated city logo (above) replaces 11 former logos used to represent the city, and municipal departments and boards.

The shift comes as the city and a contractor complete a monthslong effort to overhaul the dated municipal website and forge a more modern image for city government.

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Volunteer joins Taylor Bridge Fire relief effort

August 21, 2012

Towing a horse trailer packed with supplies, Kim Arellano steered her Ford F-350 across the Cascades and close to the Taylor Bridge Fire.

The wildfire raging near Cle Elum and Ellensburg caused hundreds of firefighters to descend on neighboring Kittitas County. The disaster also led Arellano and countless volunteers throughout Washington and the Pacific Northwest to mobilize and support the relief effort.

Arellano is modest about hauling supplies from Issaquah and the Snoqualmie Valley to the fire-stricken area.

“My part was so small, but it was so rewarding,” she said. “I hope that others had an opportunity to have similar experiences. I’m glad my kids were there to witness what it feels like to help out other people.”

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Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters head east to battle blaze

August 21, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent a tender truck crew east to assist fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire. Contributed by Eastside Fire & Rescue

Local firefighters made the trip across the Cascades to fight the Taylor Bridge Fire, which scorched more than 22,000 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg in recent days.

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent at least five local firefighters to the blaze. EFR is a party to a statewide agreement to send resources to respond to major wildfires.

Officials sent a Preston-based tender truck, used to carry water or flame retardant to remote areas, along with two career firefighters when the fire initially broke out Aug. 13, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer wrote in an email.

Since then, two more EFR firefighters have been sent to assist crews on the front lines. Josie Williams, EFR public information officer, is also in the area and helping to dispense information about the fire.

The state intends to reimburse the agency for firefighters’ time and any overtime costs needed to fill the firefighters’ positions back home. EFR also receives rental fees from the state for the vehicles used fighting the fire.

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Valley Medical Center executive identified in plateau drowning

August 21, 2012

Barbara Mitchell

Valley Medical Center identified the woman from a recent Sammamish Plateau drowning as hospital executive Barbara Mitchell.

Mitchell, 66, served as senior vice president of human resources and marketing at the Renton hospital. Police said she left for a walk and then drowned Aug. 8 in Rainbow Lake at Issaquah-Pine Lake Road Southeast and Southeast 44th Street near Klahanie.

Investigators said Mitchell lived within a mile of Rainbow Lake.

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Sammamish wants Issaquah to contribute more for plateau fire stations

August 21, 2012

Issaquah could pay a larger share to keep Eastside Fire & Rescue stable, after officials in neighboring Sammamish asked for other partners to contribute more to correct perceived inequity in funding Sammamish Plateau fire stations.

Mark Mullet

The stations in question receive large portions of funding from Sammamish, but most incidents handled by crews at the stations occur in Issaquah.

Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici met with representatives from Issaquah and Fire District 10 in recent weeks to discuss potential solutions to the funding issue.

(Fire District 10 is the EFR partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.)

The discussion is centered on funding for Station 83, at 3425 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road S.E., and Station 81, at 2030 212th Ave. S.E.

Issaquah-headquartered EFR determines the bill for partners based on the assessed value of property in each city or district.

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Local dentists tackle football safety, donate mouth guards

August 21, 2012

Katie Wilson (left), a dental assistant with Issaquah Dental Arts, and Issaquah High School incoming freshman Tyrus Tuiasosopo show how the plaster impression of his teeth was made for his mouth guard. By Greg Farrar

No one likes to go to the dentist. But when a few visits to the dental chair might prevent a lifetime of returning to the dentist instead of returning kick-offs to the end zone, Issaquah High School football players might just oblige.

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Voters could decide dollars for Eastside Fire & Rescue, emergency services

August 21, 2012

The source of dollars underpinning emergency response agencies throughout King County — including Eastside Fire & Rescue — is poised to go before voters next year.

In late July, leaders from the county, cities and emergency response agencies recommended a six-year renewal for the countywide Medic One/EMS levy. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31, 2013, and the task force urged leaders to put the property tax measure on the ballot again.

The annual property tax levy provided almost $1.4 million for the 2012 EFR budget. The amount each agency receives is derived through a formula based on assessed values and call volumes in the agency’s service area.

“It’s very important” as a funding source, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer said Aug. 2.

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In cafeteria meals, health, nutrition and fundraising come together

August 21, 2012

Many components come together to form a school lunch. Photo illustration by David Hayes and Warren Kagarise

Just after school got out last year, the Issaquah School District put out a bid for pizza.

After evaluating three local pizza pie makers, the lucrative contract went to Padrino’s Pizza and Pasta. It includes two one-year extension options if district officials are happy with the restaurant’s performance and pricing.

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Wanted: Local partisans headed to conventions

August 21, 2012

Election Day is coming, and The Issaquah Press is seeking local ties to the political parties’ national conventions, especially Issaquah School District residents headed to the events.

Republicans plan to gather in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Mitt Romney from Aug. 27-30. Democrats head to Charlotte, N.C., to nominate President Barack Obama from Sept. 4-6.

Email your contact information to, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at, or on Facebook at as soon as possible.

Elementary schools roll out new reading curriculum

August 21, 2012

Children will have the opportunity to sink their teeth into about 600 new books per Issaquah School District elementary school in the coming school year as district officials set their sights on rolling out a new reading curriculum for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The new curriculum is made up of three integral parts: a new book room for each school, a new phonics program and a new reading comprehension component to the program.

“We have a number of goals with this, including increasing reading achievement,” said Emilie Hard, executive director of teaching and learning services for the district. “Our scores are very good in Issaquah, but we know we can be even better. We’re lifelong learners … we want to keep moving forward every year.”

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