Group urges residents to open ‘Eyes on Issaquah’

March 13, 2012

The black-and-red signs started to appear on Issaquah street corners and road medians just as city leaders prepared to delve into a long-term blueprint for growth.

Ava Frisinger

In bold letters, the signs asks passers-by, “Re-development at what cost?” and directs onlookers to a website for more information.

The campaign, called Eyes on Issaquah, is the latest effort to encourage citizen oversight as the Central Issaquah Plan advances from proposal to policy.

The organization behind the eyes is the Issaquah Environmental Council, a watchdog group, and the face behind the organization is leader Connie Marsh, a longtime citizen activist and former City Council candidate.

“It seemed important enough to try to get as many eyes as possible on it, so it would be the people’s plan, too, and not just something laid upon them by their government,” she said.

The campaign urges residents to learn more about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90 in the decades ahead.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway proposal earns committee’s OK

March 13, 2012

The effort to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt along Interstate 90 — as a National Heritage Area received a key endorsement from a King County Council committee March 6.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could be the only National Heritage Area in Washington; no other region is designated as such. (Nationwide, Congress has designated 49 heritage areas from coast to coast.)

Council Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee members sent the full council a recommendation to pass a measure urging Congress to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. The council is expected to act on the measure March 19.

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Issaquah High School Navy JROTC salutes end of an era

March 13, 2012

At the end of the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps’ last public Pass in Review event March 7, unit commander Master Sgt. Richard DeMarco had cadets, parents and invited guests take to the stands for a giant group photo he termed historic. Photos By Tom Corrigan

Longtime program to be disestablished at end of school year

Master Sgt. Richard DeMarco several times referred to the evening as historic, as well as the last of its kind.

On the evening of March 7, the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps took to the school’s gym and held its 40th — and final — annual Pass in Review Parade, destined to become the last major public event held specifically by the IHS unit.

Due to falling enrollment within the local unit and budget reductions within the military, the Navy has decided to disestablish the IHS JROTC and some 20 other units nationwide at the end of this school year.

Local cadets wishing to continue in the program will be able to do so, but will need to transfer to the Liberty High School Navy JROTC.

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Fred Wise

March 13, 2012

Fred Wise

Fred Wise, beloved husband of Diane, father of Morgan and Hayden, brother of Rolf, died suddenly at 63 on Feb. 19, 2012.

A 22-year resident of Issa-quah, Fred loved his life on Squak Mountain, surrounded by trees. He loved his family above all else, treasuring our home life, our trips to Alaska, as well as fishing the Karta with his buddies, cooking incredible meals and holding court at the table.

A professor at the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry (Harborview), he also maintained a private practice in neuropsychology with his associate and friend, Bob Fraser, for 25 years. As an expert witness, he was uniformly respected by all sides in a legal dispute.

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Fundraiser to aid dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee

March 13, 2012

The message from groups toiling to save a fish species from extinction is simple and stark: SOS, for Save Our Salmon.

Kokanee S.O.S. is a planned fundraiser organized by Coho Café and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery to aid the diminishing Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon population. The restaurant and the nonprofit organization are planning a March 23 fundraiser to benefit kokanee restoration efforts.

“This possible extinction is literally happening right in our own backyard and if a community as educated and affluent as King County cannot turn this critical situation around, then I’m not sure there is hope for any people to protect a dwindling and important resource,” said Heather VanDorn, Coho Café Catering manager.

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Maryland fundraiser honors former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry

March 13, 2012

Maureen McCarry

Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry inspired a fundraiser in the Washington, D.C., area to generate dollars to alleviate a debilitating disease — and Issaquah residents can donate, too.

The Art Gallery of Potomac, in Potomac, Md., is hosting a monthlong fundraiser for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis programs research. McCarry resigned from the Issaquah City Council in December 2a010, as symptoms from the neurological disease, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressed.

The fundraiser near the other Washington benefits The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter, a regional branch of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the disease. The artists showcasing pieces in the fundraiser pledged to donate a portion of proceeds to the regional chapter.

The fundraiser runs through March 31.

How to help

Donate to the ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter at Browse artist Betsy Kimball Baden’s jewelry at

The featured artists include Betsy Kimball Baden, McCarry’s best friend and a frequent visitor to Issaquah since McCarry received the diagnosis. Baden plans to donate all proceeds from the fundraiser to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis programs research.

Baden uses crystals, semiprecious stones and sterling silver to create jewelry pieces.

The fundraiser enables the regional chapter to purchase assistive technology devices for patients, in addition to funding social worker visits, a medical equipment loan closet, and transportation and respite care grants.

Baden traveled to Issaquah in November as elected officials and neighbors renamed a forest in McCarry’s Squak Mountain neighborhood McCarry Woods. The former councilwoman led the push to preserve the land from development.

Bond includes dollars for relocating, rebuilding schools

March 13, 2012

The above map shows the current and future locations of Issaquah Middle, Clark Elementary and Tiger Mountain Community High schools. By Dona Mokin

Of the total $219 million bond package proposed by the Issaquah School District, four projects account for roughly half of those dollars.

If district voters approve the issue in a special election April 17, plans call for rebuilding the district’s three oldest schools, Clark and Sunny Hills elementary schools, along with Issaquah Middle School. Total cost: $109.1 million.

Intertwined with the plans to rebuild Clark and IMS is the plan to rebuild Tiger Mountain Community High School on part of what is now the IMS campus. Cost of that project is estimated at $3.9 million.

The overall plan

The buildings involved are old and largely past their useful life spans.

A bond feasibility and development committee developed the original capital improvement program during planning sessions held roughly a year ago. One long debate was whether to propose rebuilding the oldest schools or to push for dollars to repair and maintain those buildings.

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Issaquah father and son take on the Big Climb and each other

March 13, 2012

Bill Ramos (left) and son Max have a friendly wager over who can reach the top of Seattle’s Columbia Center the fastest during the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb on March 25. By Tom Corrigan

Bill Ramos has taken the challenge 22 years in a row.

Max Ramos, 18, has been taking on Columbia Center in downtown Seattle since he was 8.

This year, on March 25, the Issaquah father and the son will once again take part in the Big Climb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The event challenges participants to sprint up the 69 floors of the Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle. Runners go up 1,311 steps and cover 788 feet.

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Share outdoors photos in Department of Fish and Wildlife gallery

March 13, 2012

Outdoors enthusiasts in Issaquah and elsewhere can share photos of outdoors adventures through the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s online gallery.

The agency created the gallery to allow Washingtonians to share photos of fishing, hunting and enjoying the great outdoors.

“This is a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to share their fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching experiences with others,” Wildlife Program Director Nate Pamplin said in a statement. “We know Washingtonians have some great outdoor photos to share.”

Key subjects for the online gallery include fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing, plus scenic photo of Department of Fish and Wildlife-managed wildlife areas. Photos selected for display in the gallery may also be used in other electronic and print publications produced by the department.

Find guidelines for photo submissions at the Department of Fish and Wildlife photo website.

Pamplin said a citizen-submitted photo could appear on the cover of the department’s 2012 Big Game Hunting Pamphlet. Photos for consideration on the cover must be submitted by April 6.

“This year’s theme is youth hunting,” he said. “We’re hoping to use a photo submitted to our photo gallery of a young hunter with their first deer or elk from the 2010 or 2011 hunting season.”

Will Parker is selected for All-State game

March 13, 2012

Skyline High School senior guard Will Parker has been selected to participate in the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association All-State games March 10 at Curtis High School.

Parker will represent Skyline on the 2012 4A All-State roster and will play at 6 p.m.

Past players in the tournament include former and current NBA players Brandon Roy, Luke Ridnour, Jason Terry and Nate Robinson.

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