Duthie Hill mountain biking competition sweetened with all women riders

July 10, 2012

Women from across the United States and Canada flocked to Duthie Hill Park to prove that women belong in mountain biking.

Hailey Starr, an amateur rider from British Columbia, dons her protective gear before heading out on the course. By Brittany Cardoza

The Sugar Showdown on July 8 was the first women’s freeride competition in the state of Washington. The sold-out event featured 20 professional female bikers and 45 amateurs.

The two-day event was about “building sisterhood in freeride,” said Kat Sweet, founder of Sweetlines, a women’s-specific training program.

The event was a way for women to improve their skills, compete and bond with other female freeriders.

Freeriding is a style of mountain biking that focuses on riders doing tricks and using trail features to show off creativity, style and speed.

The first day of the Sugar Showdown consisted of a clinic taught by the pros. It focused on providing inspiration to women mountain bikers through building confidence to try new things and improve their skills.

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Runners break course record at 10-mile leg of trail run series

July 10, 2012

Beating the course record by nearly two and a half minutes, Seattle resident Eddie Strickler crossed the finish line of the latest installment of the Cougar Mountain Trail Run series July 7 with a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 54 seconds.

Iliana Sach (right), the first woman to cross the finish line at the 10-mile Cougar Mountain Trail Run on July 7, narrowly beats her husband Eric Sach. By Christina Lords

The previous record for the 10-mile run was held by Matt Messner’s 2006 time of 1:17:28.

Strickler, a 28-year-old software engineer who ran track and field and cross country for Seattle Pacific University, said he participated in each of the Cougar Mountain Trail Runs last year and plans to run in each of the five events this year.

This was Strickler’s first first-place win in the Cougar Mountain series.

“I probably run five days a week,” he said. “For me, it’s a good switch from sitting at a desk all day.”

Keegan Symmes, the race’s second-place finisher, and Gareth Jones, the runner who took third place, also beat the course record with times of 1:16:20 and 1:17:23, respectively.

“I love the park,” Strickler said. “I’ve run out here since being in college. I just love the trails … on a day like this you just want to get out into the woods and enjoy the day.”

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Eastside Fire & Rescue experiences booming Fourth due to fireworks incidents

July 10, 2012

Fireworks-related incidents kept Eastside Fire & Rescue crews busy before, on and after Independence Day.

The incidents included a torched barn and a vehicle lost to a fireworks-related blaze. The agency did not report any injuries related to the mishaps.

The action started July 2 in downtown Issaquah at Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest, as firefighters responded to a smoke bomb at 9:40 p.m.

Just after midnight on the holiday, firefighters started the Fourth of July by responding to a garbage can fire started by a sparkler bomb at Southeast Belvedere Way and 266th Way Southeast in Sammamish.

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Dump leftover Independence Day fireworks for safety

July 10, 2012

Fourth of July revelers should dump leftover fireworks, rather than storing the pyrotechnics inside a home or garage.

Curious children may decide to light old fireworks. Exposure to water or chemicals can cause the composition of fireworks to change, making them hazardous materials. Stray sparks could ignite fireworks and lead to disaster. Or the explosives could spontaneously combust.

Safety experts recommend disposing of small amounts of fireworks by removing the fuse, and then soaking the fireworks in water until saturated. The waterlogged fireworks should then be double-bagged in trash bags.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office offers additional tips for Independence Day revelers to toss leftover fireworks at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.

Program trains firefighters to remove people from vehicles

July 10, 2012

Firefighters practice stabilizing an inverted vehicle in a scenario to extricate potential injured passengers at an accident scene in a F.R.E.E. class held in Burlington. The training emphasis on rescuer safety and speed are keys to successful future rescue efforts. By Mark Lovell

Mark Lovell, marketing director of Precision Collision, was just 7 years old when his mother was killed in a car accident.

Now, Lovell is a champion of the national, nonprofit program First Responder Emergency Extrication, or F.R.E.E. It provides firefighters across the country with free training and technical information regarding how to remove people from wrecked vehicles.

“It really exists just to save lives,” Lovell said. “To be able to pass on information that could prevent that for someone else’s family is huge — it’s a huge value to the firefighters.”

The National Auto Body Council sponsors the program, and member auto body shops around the country choose to participate and provide all of the training. Precision Collision puts together all of the classes in Washington.

About 30 percent of Eastside Fire & Rescue first responders have been trained through F.R.E.E. and last year, a class was held in Issaquah. Since the program was launched in March 2010, firefighters from almost all of the fire departments in the state have attended F.R.E.E. sessions.

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Officials launch summertime water safety campaign

July 10, 2012

County mailers, signs remind public of rivers’ risk

Summer arrived last month, but despite balmier temperatures and abundant sunshine, King County rivers still run cold.

Revelers heading to the Raging River near Preston or the Cedar River south of Issaquah — and other local rivers — should exercise caution, and King County safety officials urged caution. Even a quick swim or a short jaunt on a raft can pose risks.

Officials from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the King County Sheriff’s Office joined forces to urge recreationalists to use common sense and follow safety tips.

Officials recommended for kayakers, boaters, rafters and other recreationalists to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before getting in the water.

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Habitat for Humanity of East King County meeting discusses open homes

July 10, 2012

Habitat for Humanity will hold a family information meeting from 6-7 p.m. July 18 at the Issaquah Library.

“These meetings are an opportunity for families to learn about the Habitat for Humanity program and find out if they would qualify for a home,” said Tom Granger, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of East King County.

Lola Reyes moved into her home in the Issaquah Highlands a year and a half ago with her two children.

“They are trying to provide all the necessary information to people before they apply,” Reyes said. “It’s a very comfortable atmosphere.”

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Camp Korey lets ailing teen feel normal

July 10, 2012

Kara Denson and Tobi both wear perpetual smiles whenever Kara is riding, here during a recent schooling show at the Freedom Run Equestrian Center in Maple Valley, where Tobi stays. Contributed

Imagine only having one week a year to feel normal. That is the life of Kara Denson, a local 15-year-old suffering from mitochondrial disease.

Camp Korey at Carnation Farm hosts youths with certain life-altering medical conditions each week. Mitochondrial disease week is from July 23-27.

Diagnosed at age 4, Kara now has many other health problems related to her primary disease. For example, she can’t eat much so to obtain enough nutrition, Kara has a feeding tube to help. Mostly though, she said her lack of energy to do things normal people do is her biggest obstacle.

“At Camp Korey, it’s completely normal to be tired after one event and everyone understands if you need a break,” Kara said.

Ages 6 through 16 from all across the United States come because the only other camp for the condition is in upstate New York. After 16, attendees have the opportunity to become a leader-in-training and at 18, they can become counselors. Kara said she is looking forward to doing both.

Last year, she and her roommates joked about being the noisiest group because of all of the medical equipment that was hooked up to each of them.

“We can have a good sense of humor about it,” Kara said. “We sounded like a symphony.”

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Press Editorial

July 10, 2012

July 4 parade has become candy mecca

Before the July 4 Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade becomes a distant memory, let’s revisit it.

The parade has been a community treasure since its first march down Front Street more than 30 years ago. There just isn’t anything as patriotic as this celebration of families decked out in every conceivable red, white and blue outfit with their fun accessories, all while riding bikes and scooters, walking dogs and rabbits, and waving flags.

Sadly, it has become hard to enjoy it, given the many kids in the middle of the street scrambling for the tossed candy. Read more

Get set to shake, rattle and roll at Pine Lake concert series

July 10, 2012

The Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of R. Joseph Scott, performs at Pine Lake Park in 2011 during the Concerts in the Park series. File

Pine Lake Park is set to transform into a family-friendly, grooving bandstand this summer with a concert series that promises to have crowds dancing and singing along.

Organizers have been listening to music demos since the beginning of the year and all of their hard work is about to pay off. The 2012 Sammamish Summer Concerts in the Park Series starts with a bang and a few bangles July 12 when The Spyrographs are set to take the stage with their take on ‘60s pop.

“It’s fun music, really diverse and very, very upbeat. Everyone wants to dance to it,” lead singer of The Spyrographs, Cheryl Serio, said.

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