Dogs help take a bite out of cancer at Bark for Life

June 26, 2012

Stephanie Quam’s favorite subject is Otis, her black pug and trusty companion.

Mention Otis and Quam simply gushes with pride. Her passion for the 11-year-old pug is undeniable. Quam fondly recalls the moment she knew they were meant to be together, when she met eyes with a 12-week-old Otis. Now, Quam looks for any opportunity to do fun and impactful things with her canine companion.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue offers fireworks safety tips

June 26, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue wants to remind Independence Day revelers to take safety precautions if planning to discharge fireworks.

  • Use only legal fireworks available at approved stands.
  • Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out any stray sparks.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from anything that can burn.
  • An adult should light all fireworks. Light one item at a time, move away quickly and keep at a safe distance until the display has finished. Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water.
  • If a firework does not discharge, an adult should wait at least 15 minutes before approaching it.
  • When finished, clean up all debris and be sure to place unused fireworks, matches and lighters away from the reach of children.

City considers overseeing water, sewer service for all Issaquah residents

June 26, 2012

City and Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials could end up at loggerheads as the city embarks on a study to assume water and sewer service for the portion of district customers inside Issaquah city limits.

Issaquah officials budgeted $300,000 to study expanded utility service for the entire city. State law encourages municipalities to assume utility services in neighborhoods located inside city limits.

City officials said such a changeover could reduce confusion among customers and enable municipal government to better manage the water and sewer system inside city limits.

Such a change could lead to a showdown between the city and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, because the district is bound to shed hundreds of ratepayers if the city expands water and sewer service to all Issaquah residents.

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Deaths serve as reminder not to feed grazing goats

June 26, 2012

Issaquah Highlands neighborhood leaders asked residents not to feed the landscaping goats due to arrive in the community soon.

Highlands residents received the information in a communitywide email June 21 because seven goats died last summer after ingesting yard waste. Organizers said the afflicted goats ate yard waste dumped on open spaces in the hillside neighborhood.

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Students envision classrooms of the future for exhibit

June 26, 2012

Eight-year-old Sam Korostov envisions that 50 years from now, children like him will be attending class in a blimp covered in windows, with sky bridges replacing school hallways.

“It would clear so you can see the sun,” Sam said. Inside the classroom “smart boards” would be everywhere so that whatever word said aloud would automatically appear. “And you would never have to go to bed because the blimp would keep flying around the world.”

Sam is one of the 20 students in Mary Rusk’s second-grade class at Clark Elementary School whose submission will be featured later this summer at the “Classroom of the Future” exhibition in Seattle.

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CleanScapes to offer bear-resistant trash containers to Issaquah customers

June 26, 2012

The next garbage hauler for most Issaquah residents, CleanScapes, rolled out a compressed-natural gas truck and wildlife-resistant containers in recent days, as the company prepares to start service in the city.

The contract between Seattle-based CleanScapes and the city starts July 1, though service in the city does not commence until July 2 because the previous day is a Sunday.

The changeover from Waste Management to CleanScapes affects most Issaquah customers. Allied Waste — a local name for national company Republic Services — hauls garbage in South Cove and Greenwood Point neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish.

In a June 13 ceremony, CleanScapes executives and city leaders celebrated the addition of a hydraulic launch assist, compressed natural-gas powered truck to the company fleet. Officials said CleanScapes is the first company in the Pacific Northwest to use the truck.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank gets makeover on Community Service Day

June 26, 2012

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank was hustling and bustling June 15 for the annual Windermere Community Service Day. More than 50 agents from the Issaquah Windermere office volunteered to clean and paint, and sort groceries.

“We are doing spring cleaning, like you’d do at home,” said Cori Kauk, executive director for the food bank.

Larry Miller, project director, found out the food bank needed help by calling and asking.

“It’s been a rough few years on a lot of people and they had to step up and help them,” Miller said.

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Vasa Camp offers lessons in Scandinavian culture

June 26, 2012

Eileen Little, Vasa Camp dance instructor (background left, in sunglasses) leads a group of young people in one of their activities. Contributed

More than 50 years ago, a tradition began in a park on Lake Sammamish. Today, Vasa Camp continues to offer lessons in Scandinavian culture to youth.

The camp started in the 1960s at the hands of Evelyn Nelson Norelius and May Johnson Bryan, both daughters of Swedish immigrants.

“They wanted the next generations to maintain some sort of connection with the Scandinavian heritage so it wouldn’t be lost,” Norelius said.

Along with Ginger Cox Grette and Cindy Bryan Stedman, Issaquah High School graduates like Norelius, the women continue the tradition of their ancestors. Like many other campers, Norelius and Stedman started as campers and then became counselors. Their children did too.

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City installs pedestrian safety features at accident intersection

June 26, 2012

The city installed additional pedestrian safety features at a Newport Way Northwest intersection May 31, 80 days after a hit-and-run motorist killed a pair of dogs in a crosswalk.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

The neighborhood is along Newport Way Northwest, about halfway between state Route 900 and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast.

A city Public Works Operations worker added another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. The upgrade also included the installation of reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

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Report: Little violence, drugs among Issaquah School District students

June 26, 2012

Issaquah’s students are pretty well-behaved, according to a report released this month by the school district.

The annual discipline report for the 2010-2011 school year was finished June 6 and presented to the Issaquah School Board at its June 20 meeting. Broken into two parts, behavior and weapons, the report shows that fewer than 2 percent of the district’s student body was suspended or expelled last year.

That rate is down a quarter of a percent from the 2009-2010 academic year. The annual report only looks at suspensions and expulsions. More minor infractions, including times that students are sent to the principal’s office or put in detention, are not included.

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