Merry Christmas Issaquah helps families in need

November 27, 2012

Soon after a pipe burst, a deluge of generosity descended on Judith Tetzlaff’s home.

In early November, a pipe burst in the bathroom at the Tiger Mountain mobile home Tetzlaff and her sister share. The estimated repair expense from the unexpected problem strained the sisters’ limited incomes.

“If you have any kind of unexpected expense, there goes either the repair or the groceries,” Tetzlaff said.

So, the sisters turned to Issaquah Community Services for assistance.

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Costco CEO tells president not to raise middle-class taxes

November 27, 2012

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek told President Barack Obama not to raise taxes on the middle class, after the president called Jelinek to discuss the looming “fiscal cliff” — tax hikes and spending cuts poised to go into effect Jan. 1.

Jelinek, Issaquah-based Costco’s CEO since January and a longtime company executive, offered support for a compromise between Obama and Congress to avoid a tax increase for middle-class taxpayers. The president called Jelinek on Nov. 17, in a broad effort to reach out to the business community.

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In local legislative contests, outside spending reshapes races

November 27, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet raised $315,166 in the race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate and garnered 36,630 votes throughout the 5th Legislative District.

The total raised amounts to about $8.60 per vote for the ubiquitous campaign mailers, yard signs and TV spots, and online advertising in Mullet’s successful race against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft.

Toft collected $306,599 and received 30,683 votes districtwide — or about $9.99 per vote.

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How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

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Students choose Barack Obama, Jay Inslee in mock election

November 27, 2012

Students statewide and in the Issaquah School District chose the same candidates as grown-up voters — Barack Obama for president and Jay Inslee for governor.

The exercise included 38,848 students statewide, including classes at Cascade Ridge Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Pine Lake Middle and Issaquah High schools in the Issaquah School District.

The number of students participating statewide shattered the record for participation — about 18,000 students — set in 2008.

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Issaquah contributes more for fire protection

November 27, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members approved the agency’s $22.2 million 2013 budget Nov. 8.

The budget represents a 3.1 percent increase from 2012, something Deputy Chief Wes Collins attributes to already-agreed-to wage and benefit increases for firefighters, as well as to modest increases in several programs that the agency cut during the recent economic downturn, such as volunteer training and protective clothing for firefighters.

“After the downturn, we cut back on a lot of supplies like clothing and bunker gear,” Collins said. “Those things have a shelf life and we’re coming up on a bubble where they’re going to have to be replaced.”

EFR determines each partner’s bill for fire services based on the assessed value of areas covered by specific stations.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue’s lack of overtime funds stretches agency

November 27, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue could temporarily understaff or even close stations to deal with a shortfall in its overtime budget in the coming months.

The issue has led to an unfair labor practice charge from EFR firefighter’s union, International Association of Firefighters Local 2878.

Union members worry that temporarily shrinking units from the standard minimum of three full-time firefighters to two could lead to a nightmare scenario – firefighters unable to enter a burning building with people trapped inside, for example.

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Liberty High School student experiences campaigns

November 27, 2012

Veronica Austin
Liberty High School

This election season, many seniors in high school were eligible to vote, but some went further to have their voices heard, even volunteering for candidates’ campaigns to encourage others to vote.

One such student is Liberty High School senior Kiera Stevens, who worked with the group Friends of Dave Reichert after hearing that it was in need of volunteers. The group helped coordinate 8th District Washington congressman Dave Reichert’s campaign.

“I wanted to intern because I am a Republican,” Stevens said. “The party is a minority in this state, so I wanted to support it.”

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Officials examine Eastside Fire & Rescue’s business plan

November 27, 2012

It remains to be seen whether things will stay cordial when dollar figures get involved, but Eastside Fire & Rescue partners appear to be finding common ground regarding ways to fund the agency.

The agency is in a full-fledged review of the way it does business, with elected officials and city and EFR staff members holding weekly committee meetings to address the way fire service is provided and how cities are billed for it. The agreement between EFR’s partners — Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, and King County fire protection districts 10 and 38 — is due to expire at the end of 2014.

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Issaquah History Museums’ holiday open house welcomes guests

November 27, 2012

Add a hefty helping of cookies, an appearance by Santa himself and a dash of historical education, and you’ve got the ingredients for a perfect Issaquah holiday tradition — the Issaquah History Museums’ ninth annual holiday open house.

This year’s event will be Dec. 1 at the Issaquah Train Depot. Past events have attracted upward of 350 people and the museum staff expects about the same this year, said Laile Di Silvestro, program coordinator for the museums.

“It’s a really popular event, mostly with families with kids because it’s a fun place for the kids to meet Santa, and it’s great because there is a historical aspect to it,” she said.

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