King County seeks youth sports facilities grant applications

March 13, 2012

The Parks and Recreation Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks are seeking applications from qualified groups for the King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant Fund.

The YSFG program helps build and renovate public sports amenities, including skate parks, athletic fields and playgrounds.

“Through strong partnerships with community groups, we are able to stretch limited resources to provide new or improved recreational facilities in the areas that need them the most,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a press release.

YSFG matches grant funds up to $75,000 and the requests range from $5,000 to $75,000.

Applications are being accepted through June 15 and letters of intent are due May 4. Go to or call Program Manager Butch Lovelace at 206-263-6267 for more information.

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Volunteers ready big push to promote $219 million school bond

March 13, 2012

At a kick-off in early February, the coming push for passage of a $219 million bond issue was advertised as being possibly the largest campaign ever mounted in the name of the Issaquah School District.

With the April 17 deadline for voting in that election a little over a month away, residents can expect to start seeing tangible evidence of that campaign shortly.

Last week, volunteers should have picked up campaign materials for the first of several planned and targeted literature drops, said Lesley Austin, a former Issaquah School Board member and one of two co-chairwomen of Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, the grassroots group promoting the bond.

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Issaquah School District outlines school plans to public

March 13, 2012

About a dozen people showed up in the gym of Issaquah Middle School the evening of March 8 for a presentation regarding the possible future of at least three Issaquah School District facilities.

The topic was the possible relocation and reconstruction of IMS, Tiger Mountain Community High School and Clark Elementary School.

For the most part, those in attendance were in favor of the plans, though they had questions.

Janet Wright and Robert Clement live just behind IMS. Both said windows in their condominiums are about 20 feet from the property line separating their homes from the school property.

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Skyline High School to host speakers for Education Expo

March 13, 2012

The second annual Education Expo is from 4-8 p.m. March 15 at Skyline High School, 1122 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

The event is free and open to the public.

The expo is designed for parents seeking information and assistance to help guide their children from the pre-school years to beyond high school.

Vendors that provide services to children will be available along with representatives from schools, tutoring services, music schools and other businesses.

The afternoon also will feature three speakers. At 5 p.m., Polly Skinner will cover “How to Prepare Your Child for an Unpredictable World.” Skinner is the principal of Eastside Catholic Middle School.

At 6 p.m., medical doctor Terrence Cronin will speak about the latest research and treatments of concussions in youths. And at 7 p.m., David Aramaki will talk about financial aid and improving your child’s chances of receiving it. Aramaki, a financial adviser, belongs to the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admissions Counseling.

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Event benefits Space Needle Space Race semifinalist

March 13, 2012

Issaquah Brewhouse customers can help a local man blast off on a suborbital flight — and fulfill a childhood dream.

The downtown pub is hosting a public event at 5 p.m. March 15 to support Issaquah resident Saurabh Saxena, a semifinalist in the Space Needle Space Race 2012 — a contest to launch a civilian on a suborbital flight. The software programmer is among 20 contenders in the contest.

The brewhouse, 35 W. Sunset Way, plans to set up computers for patrons to cast Facebook votes for Saxena, who plans to make a short speech at the event.

Watch Saxena’s Space Needle Space Race 2012 entry video and vote at the Space Needle’s Facebook page, The voting is open until March 18.

Executives from the Space Needle and Space Adventures, a Virginia-based space tourism outfit, partnered to offer the contest to celebrate the structure’s anniversary.

Saxena dreamed of space travel as a boy growing up in India.

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Preston meeting to address agriculture, environment

March 13, 2012

King County is offering workshops to address field drainage issues related to fish and wildlife regulations.

Maintaining farm field drainage ditches has become complicated during the past 20 years because many ditches provide habitat for chinook salmon and other species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

“We want to help landowners maintain properly functioning drainage systems affordably and in a way that considers fish and wildlife issues,” said Mark Isaacson, county Water and Land Resources Division director.

The county is hosting workshops from 7-9 p.m. in late March. The initial meeting is at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E., March 19. The next meeting is at 21 Acres, 13701 N.E. 171st St., Woodinville, March 20. The last workshop is at Enumclaw High School, 226 Semanski St. S., March 22.

Staffers from the county agriculture program and the King Conservation District plan to show participants how to get coordinated services to complete maintenance projects in a cost-effective, efficient manner.

The workshop topics include project timelines, best management practices, landowner costs, farm plan requirements and how to obtain the necessary permit from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Issaquah Farmers Market seeks vendors March 17

March 13, 2012

The popular Issaquah Farmers Market returns April 21.

In the meantime, market organizers continue to attract vendors to the Pickering Barn market. The city is hosting a meeting for potential vendors from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 17 at the barn, 1730 10th Ave N.W.

Organizers request for potential vendors to bring a product sample to be juried. Call 837-3311 or go to to learn more.

The farmers market runs every Saturday, rain or shine, from mid-April to Oct. 13. The market features seasonal produce, crafts, food vendors, and demonstrations or entertainment each week.

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King County hosts meetings on long-term growth plan

March 13, 2012

Citizens can learn about the key King County growth blueprint at meetings in March and April.

The process to review the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update includes public meetings for residents to ask questions, and a chance for citizens to comment on the proposed land-use changes.

Residents can offer testimony about the plan at King County Council Transportation, Economy & Environment Committee meetings held throughout the county.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative, serves on the committee. The panel handles a broad portfolio, including development, roads and salmon recovery issues.

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Off the Press

March 13, 2012

Luck be an ashtray tonight

Christina Lords Press reporter

As I rolled over and brushed the sleep from my eyes Sunday morning, I had a powerful first thought to the day.

“Good God,” I thought, wrinkling my nose in disgust. “What is that smell?”

To my own horror, it struck me. The smell wasn’t originating from the garbage can in my apartment. It wasn’t wafting in from outside. It was emanating from me — à la Eau de Parfum Cigarettebutt.

Joining a friend, I ventured out the night before to check out the Snoqualmie Casino. With an ever-present affinity for Las Vegas, I thought it an excellent opportunity to try out some actual gambling tactics that require more than pushing shiny buttons on a slot machine without the expensive plane ride to Nevada.

A woman on a mission, I wanted to learn table games — especially the ways of the wheel in roulette. (Craps, as it turns out, still remains a mystery to me.)

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City, Cascade Water Alliance mail toilet leak detection kits

March 13, 2012

National Fix A Leak Week runs until March 18 and to mark the occasion the Cascade Water Alliance and Issaquah municipal government mailed toilet leak detection kits to homes in Issaquah and elsewhere.

The average home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year due to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks. The results: wasted water and pricier water bills.

“According to the U.S. EPA, household leaks from toilets, faucets and showerheads waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year nationwide,” said Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler, a Cascade Water Alliance Board member. “This drives up utility operating costs and places unnecessary strain on water and wastewater infrastructure. Finding and fixing leaking toilets is a great way to conserve our valuable water resources.”

Mailers should start to reach almost 100,000 homes throughout the Eastside and South King County in the days ahead. The kits include dye strips and simple instructions to check toilets for leaks.

The regional alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts.

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