Echo Glen students pass donations on to Toys for Tots

January 3, 2012

Every year before Christmas, during an otherwise routine staff meeting, Issaquah School District administrators and principals pass the proverbial hat for the residents of the Echo Glen Children’s Center.

While Echo Glen is part of the Issaquah district, the facility is one of the state’s juvenile detention facilities. The money donated by Issaquah school leaders usually goes into purchasing games for the residents, providing them with something to do during the Christmas break.

“It’s a really tough time for our kids,” Echo Glen Principal Michael Williams said.

“When school is out of session, the incarcerated children face a lot of downtime and so the games make a lot of difference during the holiday season,” said Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications for the district.

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Local voters support liquor, homecare measures; reject tolling

January 3, 2012

In November, voters endorsed better care for senior citizens, halted a measure to change highway tolling, and turned liquor distribution and sales from state government to businesses.

The results in the Issaquah area mirrored the outcome statewide, though the margins differed depending on the legislative district. The information comes from district-level data released by state elections officials Dec. 21.

By the numbers

Issaquah is divided among the 5th, 41st and 48th legislative districts. Local voters’ choices matched the statewide results in the Nov. 8 election.

5th Legislative District

  • Initiative 1125 — 23,775 yes;
  • 26,919 no
  • Initiative 1163 — 31,757 yes;
  • 18,721 no
  • Initiative 1183 — 36,120 yes;
  • 15,916 no
  • Senate Joint Resolution 8205 —
  • 38,162 yes; 10,336 no
  • Senate Joint Resolution 8206 —
  • 33,476 yes; 13,346 no

41st Legislative District

  • I-1125 — 18,280 yes; 27,725 no
  • I-1163 — 25,282 yes; 20,329 no
  • I-1183 — 31,333 yes; 15,505 no
  • SJR 8205 — 36,049 yes; 7,860 no
  • SJR 8206 — 31,729 yes;
  • 10,846 no

48th Legislative District

  • I-1125 — 13,352 yes; 21,674 no
  • I-1163 — 19,015 yes; 15,679 no
  • I-1183 — 23,583 yes; 12,032 no
  • SJR 8205 — 27,925 yes; 5,616 no
  • SJR 8206 — 24,513 yes; 8,010 no

(Issaquah sprawls across the 5th, 41st and 48th legislative districts.)

Initiative 1183 called for state-run liquor stores to close and for the state to get out of the liquor business. The measure also requires the state to license private enterprises to sell and distribute hard liquor, set license fees based on sales and regulate licensees.

Opponents said safety concerns remain about efforts to privatize the system and sell booze at more locations.

Issaquah-based Costco, the largest employer in the city, spent $19 million to promote the initiative.

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 — a measure to require the Legislature to approve tolls rather than the appointed state Transportation Commission — came up short on Election Day.

The electorate approved Initiative 1163 — a measure sponsored by the Service Employees International Union to address homecare workers’ certification and training. Supporters said the measure means better care for senior citizens, although funding the requirements outlined in the initiative poses a challenge for the cash-strapped state.

The electorate also approved the noncontroversial constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 8205 addressed a residency requirement for presidential voting outlined in the state Constitution. The measure brings state law into synch with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Senate Joint Resolution 8206 called for the state “rainy day” reserve fund to require contribution of a portion of “extraordinary” revenue in the future.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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Timber Ridge at Talus wins ‘green’ award

January 3, 2012

The International Council on Active Aging has selected Timber Ridge at Talus to receive the 2011 ICAA Green Award, a category of its annual innovators program.

Timber Ridge at Talus is an Issaquah senior living community at the base of Cougar Mountain.

ICAA’s awards honor senior living communities that set standards and make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. The Green Award specifically recognizes organizations that encourage environmental stewardship by creating or implementing eco-friendly products, services, designs or programs, among other possible steps.

In 2008, Timber Ridge at Talus brought residents into the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified continuing care retirement community in the U.S.

Timber Ridge achieved Silver Certification based on criteria such as site development, water efficiency, energy optimization and indoor environmental quality.

One additional way Timber Ridge has reduced its environmental impact is by using Eco-Ware Containers. Previously, the Timber Ridge food and beverage department went through 5,000 compostable paper containers per month. The Eco-Ware containers reduce nonbiodegradable waste and do not occupy space in landfills.

Additionally, Timber Ridge has a recycling program that encourages residents to recycle the approximately 130 newspapers delivered daily to the community.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the North America’s most innovative green retirement communities and to receive this award from the ICAA,” Scott Doherty, executive director of Timber Ridge at Talus, said in a statement.

As an ICAA award-winner, Timber Ridge will receive a crystal award of recognition and be featured in an upcoming issue of ICAA’s main publication, the Journal on Active Aging.

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Puget Sound Gymnastics and Dance moves to Preston

January 3, 2012

After 10 years in North Bend, Puget Sound Gymnastics and Dance has moved to Preston.

The new location offers a more open floor plan, higher ceilings and better lighting, according to a news release from the store’s owners, Amy Murphy and Penny Loan. It also features an upstairs viewing area for parents and other spectators.

The gym’s new location is 8174 304th Ave. S.E., next door to Kidz Bounce in the Preston Industrial Park at Interstate 90’s exit 22.

The gym currently serves about 350 families in the Snoqualmie Valley, according to the owners.

The new location has already attracted new customers from Issaquah and Bellevue.

“Although there are some changes at PSGD, the organization’s dedication to families and the community will continue to remain a central focus for the business as will its commitment to its award-winning gymnastic, dance and Irish Dance competitive teams,” the owners said in the release.

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Liberty High School student is a world-class Rubik’s Cube master

January 3, 2012

iberty High School’s Kevin Hays near the beginning of his world-record-setting solve. Contributed L

In May, Liberty High School senior Kevin Hays, 17, told The Issaquah Press he wanted to break a world record.

For other youths his age, such a statement might amount to bragging or just daydreaming. Hays, on the other hand, already had won the 2010 national title for solving six-by-six Rubik’s Cubes.

The six-by-six designation means each side of the cube has 36 squares; a normal Rubik’s Cube, the ones you likely have played with, have a mere nine squares on each side.

As for that world records Hays wanted, on Dec. 10, he reached his goal. Twice. And for the third and fourth times.

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Church hosts rocker-turned-healer

January 3, 2012

In the 1960s, Ginny Luedeman sang as a member of Morning Glory — a rock band sharing a bill alongside Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones.

“I got into drugs and was trying to find some ideas that would help me,” she said.

The compass she sought turned out to be the Church of Christ, Scientist — a church founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. Luedeman, now a spiritual healer and public speaker, plans to share insight about weathering tough times at a series of upcoming Issaquah talks.

The opening discussion is scheduled for the church hosting the Tent City 4 homeless encampment. Camp residents plan to attend the event at Community Church of Issaquah.

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Community Calendar

January 3, 2012


Master Naturalist Training Program, an 11-week training program on wildlife ecology, wetland management, forest restoration, cultural history, plant identification, environmental interpretation and more, presented by the Bellevue Parks & Community Services, is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 3 through April 13, at the Lewis Creek Visitor Center, 5808 Lakemont Blvd. S.E. Apply at environmental-volunteering.htm. Learn more by contacting Alexandra DySard at 452-4195 or Applications are due by Jan. 6.

“The iPad as an Assistive Device,” a free presentation by the Issaquah Special Needs Group and Life Enrichment Options, is from 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Clark Elementary School Library, 500 Second Ave. S.E. Email

The Issaquah History Museums winter history program is at 11 a.m. Jan. 14 at the Depot Museum. Museum Director Erica Maniez will give an entertaining, illustrated overview of Issaquah’s history, illustrated with photographs and documents from the museum collections. This program is free to the public. Refreshments will be served. Call 392-3500 or

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Students prepare for ‘vocal boot camp’

January 3, 2012

Five Liberty vocalists set sights on all-state choir

Liberty High School selections to the state All-State Choir, posing during a Liberty Singers practice with teacher Robin Wood, are (from left) Ashlynn Rowe, Pamela Edmonds, Jaylyn Andrus, Eric Spradling-Reim and Courtney Santos. By Greg Farrar

For Liberty High School senior Pam Edmonds, the upcoming Washington Music Educators Association all-state choir workshop in Yakima isn’t just singing beautiful songs with some of the best high school singers in the state.

“Think of it more like a vocal boot camp,” she said.

There were 22 students from the Issaquah School District selected for this year’s WMEA annual conference, which culminates with a three-day marathon that will include more than 100 educational sessions, 30 performing groups and 80 exhibitors.

More than 1,600 students were selected for the WMEA All-State honor groups, which include students from fifth to 12th grade, and more than 1,000 music educators from the state are expected to attend this year’s conference.

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Penelope Ann Tracy Tierney

January 3, 2012

Penelope Ann Tierney

On Dec. 18, 2011, our beloved Penelope Ann Tracy Tierney cast off the complications of ovarian cancer and set sail for open waters, clear skies and a place where she can watch over her dear ones and the beauty of this world that she loved so much. She was 52 years old.

Born Dec. 5, 1959, to Doris and Richmond Tracy, in Pittman, N.J., she grew up in Bellevue. She leaves a legacy of love for family and friends, music, beautiful growing things, and telling the truth, even when you didn’t want to hear it.

She is survived by daughter Emily; stepchildren Nick Tierney and Kelsey Tushar; sister Kathleen Tracy; brother Richmond Tracy; husband Daniel Tierney; mother-in-law Dorothy Tierney; many beloved relatives; and dear friends Karen Slotnick Striker, Paul Furlong and Thomas Coggins.

Remembrances may be made to the Lake Washington College Foundation (memo: Penny Tracy Tierney scholarship) or the American Cancer Institute.

Dear Penny, we will find you in the beauty of every day as we watch your soul and spirit fly, into the mystic.

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Who’s News

January 3, 2012

Issaquah dentist voted the best by her peers

Dr. Kelley Fisher

Dr. Kelley Fisher, a dentist serving Issaquah and surrounding areas, has been voted Top Dentist by her peers in Seattle Metropolitan Magazine for the past three years.

Her Issaquah cosmetic dentistry practice offers restorative, cosmetic and implant dentistry to Issaquah-area patients, and her expertise in the field is recognized by her peers who awarded her the honor of Top Dentist in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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