Minor gas leak prompts road closure

February 14, 2012

Northwest Sammamish Road closed for about 90 minutes Feb. 2 after a city crew struck a gas line in the area.

Officials closed the road from west of 15th Place Northwest to the entrance of Lake Sammamish State Park from 12:30 p.m. until about 2 p.m. Workers digging in the area smelled gas in the air and alerted authorities to a possible leak.

Officials did not evacuate any surrounding structures due to the leak.

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Most state liquor stores remain open for Presidents Day

February 14, 2012

Evergreen State residents can raise a glass to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, because all state-run liquor stores remain open Feb. 20, the federal holiday to observe Presidents Day.

The stores open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m. Some contract liquor stores could be open Monday as well. Contact stores for holiday operating schedules.

Find a complete list of state-run liquor stores at the Washington State Liquor Control Board website, www.liq.wa.gov.

The state operates a store in Issaquah in the Town & Country Square shopping center, 1175 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite B18.

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The Farmhouse School moves into Gilman Village

February 14, 2012

The Farmhouse School recently moved into the former Wold farmhouse space in Gilman Village.

The Farmhouse is a new preschool learning environment where children are immersed in a discovery-based, Reggio Emilia-influenced curriculum. The goal at The Farmhouse School is to help each child develop lifelong joy in learning, belief in himself or herself, self-responsibility, drive to follow his or her passions, and a desire to contribute to his or her community.

The Farmhouse School is at 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 41. Call 391-4400 or go to www.thefarmhouseschool.org.

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Men may have attempted to lure student from Discovery Elementary School into truck

February 14, 2012

An incident of alleged child luring may or may not have been a false alarm, said Sgt. Cindi West, public information officer for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials put out a warning just in case, West said Feb. 13.

Two men tried to lure a local fifth-grader into a truck at about 2:40 p.m. Feb. 8, Issaquah School District officials said.

The student was walking home from Discovery Elementary School when a truck approached him on Southeast 20th Street just west of 228th Avenue Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau, said Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications.

Two men inside the truck reportedly waved to the student, pulled the vehicle over and then motioned for the student to come closer, Niegowski said in a press release.

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State utilities regulator focuses on energy conservation

February 14, 2012

The state utilities regulator, the Utilities and Transportation Commission, has created a Conservation and Energy Planning Section to focus on energy use and renewable energy, officials announced Feb. 7.

The section focuses on conservation and renewable energy requirements, energy reliability, greenhouse gas emissions and low-income programs.

“These changes recognize that conservation and renewable energy have become larger and more visible parts of our work,” Regulatory Services Director Mark Vasconi said in a statement.

The just-created Conservation and Energy Planning Section is under the leadership of longtime staff member Deborah Reynolds, assistant director.

The section continues to focus on economic regulatory matters, including rate cases, finance and accounting.

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Press Editorial

February 14, 2012

Heritage designation fits for greenway

It seems silly that different public land-use agencies cannot work together, but the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is trying to help resolve that problem.

Today, there are six major agencies that manage public lands with the 1.5 million acres known as the greenway. These include the U.S. Forest Service, City of Seattle Watershed, state Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Parks, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and King County.

The agencies should be able to intermingle land management. The benefit focuses on enforcement and environmental decisions. For example, one agency employee may not have the authority to stop hunters or timber cutting on public land. It also opens the doors to pilot projects that might be used elsewhere in the country.

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Off the Press

February 14, 2012

To our Hall of Famer and MVP, Bob Taylor

Hey Bob,

Greg Farrar Press photographer

You are an awesome sports editor, and your decision to bow out on March 9 to pursue your book-writing projects is going to make my transition from black-and-white film to color-digital photography seem like a piece of cake.

Thank you so much for the 12 years of wisdom and experience you have brought to your sports section. We hardly deserved to have you, considering your 19 “and-a-half” previous years covering Eastside sports for the old Journal-American. Any daily newspaper around Puget Sound would have been a better one with you on its staff.

It always amazed me when covering an event with you to see how grown dads and even coaches would approach you to reminisce about the times you covered their own high school athletic careers. You’re like the living encyclopedia of Eastside sports, and whenever it was relevant, any story you wrote could link to the past of a school’s athletic program.

We’ve had more time on the road together than I’ve spent with any other reporter in this business. No trip to Bellingham, Tacoma or Yakima ever seemed too long as we gabbed away the miles. I learned about your growing up in the southwest corner of the state, your awesome love for your wife Pauline and son David, and how you’ve worked with quite a few interesting characters, some sober and some inebriated, over the years.

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Spiritwood resident celebrates one Eck of a 100th birthday

February 14, 2012

Violet Eck (center) celebrates her 100th birthday Feb. 7 with friends and family including sons Steven Ek (left) and Roger Ek. By Tom Corrigan

At least in front of a reporter, Violet Eck didn’t have much to say on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

Eck celebrated the day with family Feb. 7 at the Spiritwood at Pine Lake retirement community in Issaquah. She was born in 1912 in Spokane, though she has lived in this area for a number of years.

Asked if she had anything to say to a reporter, Eck had a quick comeback that drew big laughs from family members.

“No,” Eck said, “I don’t tell those things.”

Nevertheless, her oldest, Steven Ek, told his mom’s story nicely.

While still in high school, Eck was offered a debate scholarship to Washington State University. But the Great Depression interrupted her college plans at least for a while. There simply was no money, Ek said, to pay for his mother’s living expenses had she gone to school.

By the way, you might have noticed the elder Eck and her sons spell their names differently. There are at least two stories as to why Violet Eck added an extra consonant to her last name.

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School leaders prepare for potential problems as food allergies rise

February 14, 2012

Students gather for lunch last week in the cafeteria of Issaquah Middle School. If a student has a food allergy, he or she can be put at an isolated table. By Tom Corrigan

There is absolutely no doubt that instances of food allergies have increased, said physician and allergist Marlene Peng, of Minor and James Medical in Seattle.

“No one knows quite why,” added Peng, though she did say there are several theories.

The issue of food allergies hit home in the Issaquah School District last month when an Issaquah High School student suffered what was described as a severe reaction to kiwi. From the school’s point of view, that specific issue is moot, as the student withdrew from local schools Jan. 26. Withdrawal forms do not require a reason for leaving the school and no reason was given in this instance, Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications, said in response to a public records request.

In the past, officials have said the district had a personalized health plan in place to deal with the student’s allergy. Creation of a unique health plan is one of several standardized steps the district takes when notified of any student health issue, including allergies, said Jan Stromgren, a registered nurse serving Pine Lake Middle School, who is also the nursing team leader for the district.

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Public Meetings

February 14, 2012

Feb. 16

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee

5 p.m.

Pickering Room, City Hall Northwest

1775 12th Ave. N.W.

Feb. 20

City, county, state and federal offices close for Presidents Day.

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