Department of Natural Resources urges Independence Day fire safety

June 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2012

Though rain dominated the early fire season, state Department of Natural Resources officials said a fire risk is still present, and Independence Day revelers should practice fire safety on state lands.

Discharing fireworks is illegal on Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah and all Department of Natural Resources-protected lands. In addition, a burn ban for Tiger Mountain State Forest and other Department of Natural Resources lands goes into effect July 1. The summertime ban runs through Sept. 30.

“The major wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico remind us how destructive they can be to our homes and lives,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “We urge everyone to exercise caution with any fire-related activities this holiday weekend.”

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King County animal control agency needs volunteers to find runaway pets

June 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County needs volunteers to help reunite owners and pets after Independence Day.

Holiday fireworks inevitably scare some pets and cause the animals to run away, so the animal control agency and the nonprofit Missing Pet Partnership plan to train volunteers for Mission Reunite: Help and Hope for Lost Pets. The program aims to reunite separated owners and pets.

“We’re excited to once again join with Missing Pet Partnership to offer this valuable training,” Sarah Luthens, Regional Animal Services of King County volunteer program manager, said in a statement. “And while Mission Reunite will help bring lost pets back together their owners, it’s also important for people to license and microchip their cat or dog. A pet that is licensed and microchipped has a much better chance of being reunited with its owner.”

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Puget Sound Energy project means lane closures

June 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2012

Motorists should prepare for lane closures near Lake Sammamish throughout the summer as Puget Sound Energy relocates power poles and lines.

Crews plan to start work July 2. Plans call for relocation of power poles and underground and overhead power lines on West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast between the Interstate 90 roundabout near Sunset Elementary and Southeast 34th Street in Bellevue.

The work makes way for a transportation project along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. Crews should start working on the transportation upgrade in the fall.

The effort is meant to enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists by providing a 10-foot-wide multiuse trail along the west side of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and a 4-foot-wide shoulder on the east side. Crews plan to restore the existing pavement.

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Local 4-H programs could receive $100,000 to continue

June 27, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 27, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine asked for $100,000 on Wednesday to continue county support for 4-H youth programs.

Constantine sent a budget request for the funds to the King County Council for approval. The measure is meant to continue 4-H programs through 2012. The proposal calls for dollars to continue horseback riding, county fair exhibitions and other 4-H programs.

The proposal also aims to re-appropriate $16,000 in funding from last year to Washington State University, the county’s partner in 4-H programs.

“More than 10,000 young people in King County gain valuable life experiences through 4-H, and this funding will keep the program going in collaboration with our partners at WSU Extension,” Constantine said in a statement.

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King County Council committee endorses awareness campaign for human trafficking

June 27, 2012

NEW — 3:15 p.m. June 27, 2012

King County Council members, led by Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn, recommended a proposal Wednesday to educate the public about human trafficking.

The motion unanimously passed by the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee calls on County Executive Dow Constantine to embark on a public awareness campaign and for the King County Transit Division public service to educate the public the crime and to let human trafficking victims know about available resources.

The measure heads to the full council for consideration.

Under federal law, human trafficking includes children involved in the commercial sex trade, adults 18 and older coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services” — such as domestic workers held in a home or farmworkers forced into work.

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King County task force to examine future funding for parks

June 27, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 27, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed 20 business and community leaders Tuesday to devise future funding plans for King County Parks before the levies supporting the parks system expire next year.

In 2007, voters overwhelmingly approved a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks and trails. The measures expire Dec. 31, 2013.

Constantine asked the King County Parks Levy Task Force to recommend a funding plan for 2014 and beyond. The group is expected to submit a plan by late September.

“Parks, trails and open space are part of what make King County a great place to live,” Constantine said in a statement. “I have asked the task force to map a course that keeps our parks open and continues to build the system for future generations.”

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Watch for Department of Ecology Youth Corps litter crews along King County roads

June 27, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. June 27, 2012

Motorists should use extra caution on King County roads in the months ahead, as teenagers clear litter for the state Department of Ecology.

The agency operates the Ecology Youth Corps program for teenagers age 14 to 17. Motorists should watch for orange “Ecology youth working” signs along state highways.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Steven Williams, regional litter administrator and coordinator for the Ecology Youth Corps. “Every driver needs to stay alert when passing a litter crew. For most crew members, it’s their first job. We’re proud of their work to help keep our roadways litter-free.”

Statewide, Ecology Youth Corps crews cleaned almost 5,225 miles of roadways, picked up 505 tons of litter and recycled 90 tons of materials last year — including more than 84 tons of litter in King County.

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Construction starts on long-awaited Issaquah Highlands retail center

June 26, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig Tuesday at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 11:45 a.m. June 26, 2012

Finally, after years of plans and promises, developers and officials gathered in the Issaquah Highlands early Tuesday to launch construction on a retail center in the neighborhood — a long-awaited amenity for residents and, in recent years, a symbol for the anemic economy and rebound.

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Steve Ferreira is a man of abilities

June 26, 2012

Steve Ferreira attends the Eelin Charity Fashion Show for Christian Salvation Services in Taipei, Taiwan, in April. Contributed

Advocate, entrepreneur and world   athlete are a few titles that 23-year-old Steve Ferreira holds. Most recently, Issaquah’s Ferreira added international motivational speaker to his résumé.

In April, Steve Ferreira traveled to his birthplace, Taiwan, to speak at numerous schools and events about living with athetoid cerebral palsy.

“I am really passionate about getting disabled rights, so I try my hardest to get the word out that disabled people are like any other people, so why treat us differently?” he said.

The Christian Salvation Service, a nonprofit adoption association in Taipei, invited Ferreira to Taiwan as part of their efforts to promote anti-bullying. CSS is the organization that Ferreira’s parents worked through to adopt him and his twin sister Emily.

Ferreira traveled to Taiwan with Emily and his mother, Mary Ann. While there, he spoke at two high schools, Dong Hwa University and a charity fashion show where proceeds benefited CSS. He said the experience was amazing and he hopes to return.

After birth complications, Ferreira was diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy. According to About-cerebral-palsy.org, this variation of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the areas of the brain that process the “signals that enable smooth, coordinated movements as well as maintaining body posture.”

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Celebrate Independence Day in Issaquah with parade

June 26, 2012

Fireworks are banned in Issaquah and surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day.

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