Skyline, Liberty high schools hire new basketball coaches

July 3, 2012

Skyline High School announced the hiring of new boys basketball coach Maui Borden.

For the past four years, Borden was an assistant basketball coach for Eastlake High School and also spent time as a member of the football staff.

“Coach Borden has a thorough understanding of the role of athletics in the lives of our students and how to push them to get the most out of the student-athlete experience,” Skyline Athletic Director Ryan Gilbert said in a press release.

Borden works in the Xbox division of Microsoft and is a national speaker with Proactive Coaching.

Liberty High School has hired Omar Parker as the boys basketball coach.

A graduate of Mercer Island, Parker played on a state championship team, and later was a member of the Mercer Island coaching staff for two more championships. Most recently, Parker was the director of player development at the University of Missouri.

“I’m excited to coach at Liberty High School and be the face of Patriot basketball for Liberty and the community,” Parker said in a statement.

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Report dead birds to help the state track West Nile virus

July 3, 2012

The impending arrival of summer also marks the start of mosquito season — and increased risk of West Nile virus.

State Department of Health officials asked citizens to report dead birds online in order to help track the virus. The location and testing of dead birds — especially crows, ravens, jays, magpies and hawks — is a way to track the West Nile virus.

Citizens can report dead birds at Officials encourage dead bird monitoring from May through November.

Mosquitoes spread West Nile virus after the insects feed on infected birds. The disease can sicken humans, horses, and many types of birds and other animals.

Most people do not feel the effects of infection, but in others, West Nile disease can cause severe symptoms, including brain and spinal cord diseases.

Statewide, health officials collected five positive mosquito samples in 2011 — down from 126 positive samples in 2010. Officials did not detect any bird, horse or human cases last year.

West Nile virus in Washington reached a high in 2009, as health officials documented 38 human cases, including one fatality.

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Watch for youth litter crews along King County roads

July 3, 2012

Motorists should use extra caution on King County roads in the months ahead, as teenagers clear litter for the state Department of Ecology.

The agency operates the Ecology Youth Corps program for teenagers ages 14-17. Motorists should watch for orange “Ecology youth working” signs along state highways.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Steven Williams, regional litter administrator and coordinator for the Ecology Youth Corps. “Every driver needs to stay alert when passing a litter crew. For most crew members, it’s their first job. We’re proud of their work to help keep our roadways litter-free.”

Statewide, Ecology Youth Corps crews cleaned almost 5,225 miles of roadways, picked up 505 tons of litter and recycled 90 tons of materials last year — including more than 84 tons of litter in King County.

Members earn $9.04 per hour, and work 7½ hours per day, Monday through Friday. Crews operate through July 25 and again from July 26 through Aug. 21.

Littering can draw fines up to $1,025. Fines for illegal dumping range from $1,000 to $5,000 — plus jail time.

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Off the Press

July 3, 2012

The paper or plastic battle isn’t over yet

Ahh, plastic bags. I don’t know of a time in my seven years here when there has been so much controversy. And most of it after a decision.

(There was that brouhaha in December 2009 over McNugget, the rooster that lives on Front Street across from Darigold, which brought so many comments I thought they would never end! I just checked our website and the main story brought 134 comments there alone.)

As for the bags, the comments and letters are still coming in. The most astonishing thing to me is the people who say they’re going to drive to other cities to shop. Seriously? Take the gas guzzling SUV to another city to get plastic bags and avoid the 5-cent paper bag fee? That just sounds ludicrous. How many bags of groceries do people get per trip?

Read more

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Lorangers celebrate 60th anniversary

July 3, 2012

Claire Loranger has been married for 60 years to the same man. She hesitates for nary a second to reveal her secret.

“I call it extreme patience,” she said.

It never hurts to say that, but it helps even more when it comes from an expert.

Claire and Ed Loranger (above) were married 60 years ago in 1952. Contributed

Ed Loranger, a product of Bellevue, met the Massachusetts-born, Montana-raised Claire while she was in town babysitting for an ailing aunt. Ed was the aunt’s mechanic. To keep a bored Claire from returning home, her aunt and uncle set her up on a date with Ed.

Fresh from a tour in Korea, soldier Ed was for an old-fashioned girl. A lifelong Catholic and the sister of a nun, Claire was looking for someone who had seen the world.

The year was 1951; she was 21 and he was 27. A year later, they were married in her hometown of Anaconda.

Sixty years later, they have three children, three grandchildren and a pile of hobbies. Well, she does the hobbies: bowling, traveling, choir, skiing and curling, or as Ed called it “watching paint dry.”

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Sound Transit earns highest possible bond ratings

July 3, 2012

Sound Transit received the highest possible ratings from major bond credit rating agencies June 27, despite a challenging economic environment.

Officials said the ratings mean savings for taxpayers in Issaquah and other communities served by the agency. Sound Transit is preparing to save at least $12 million by taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance about $350 million of outstanding bonds.

In a June 28 decision, Sound Transit board members unanimously approved motions to set parameters to proceed with the transactions. Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler serves on the board.

Moody’s Investor Service continued the Aa1 rating for Sound Transit’s senior bonds and the Aa2 rating for the agency’s junior “parity bond” obligations. The action maintains Sound Transit as one of the highest-rated transit agencies in the nation.

Sound Transit also carries the highest possible rating on both bond obligations, AAA, from Standard & Poor’s.

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Help Preston-based TalkingRain mark 25 years

July 3, 2012

Preston-based beverage company TalkingRain is celebrating 25 years in business by sending raindrop mascots to destinations and posting online videos to chronicle the adventures.

The company is marking other milestones alongside the anniversary. Sales recently jumped 300 percent. The brand Sparkling ICE earned the title of 2011 Food and Beverage Rising Star by SymphonyIRI, a market research company. TalkingRain products also scored successes in Canada, Japan, Korea and Mexico.

The celebration includes the mascots, Drip and Drop. The costumed characters pop up across the region and document the experiences in videos later posted online. TalkingRain is seeking ideas about where Drip and Drop should go to capture the character of Seattle and the Northwest.

Submit ideas for where Drip should go next on Facebook,, and Twitter, @driptalkingrain. For the person submitting a winning idea later made into a Drip video, a case of TalkingRain is the prize. The winner is also entered to win a Seattle barbecue set complete with umbrella.

TalkingRain employs about 150 people at offices six miles east of downtown Issaquah.

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Use common sense to protect pets in warm weather

July 3, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County reminds pet owners to keep animals safe as temperatures rise and spring changes to summer.

Animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees.

Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Though pets need exercise during warm weather, take extra care when exercising older dogs, short-nosed dogs and dogs with thick coats. On hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours.

Another danger is leaving pets in a vehicle, especially on warm days.

In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage or death.

Contact authorities if you see unattended animals in a vehicle. Authorities may be able to help locate the vehicle’s owner to unlock the vehicle quickly. If security guards or other authorities cannot be reached, call 911 or 206-296-7387 immediately.

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Retailers challenge liquor privatization process

July 3, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco and other supporters of liquor privatization filed a lawsuit challenging the way the state implemented the law.

Costco, joined by the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Restaurant Association, filed the suit June 21 — 20 days after private retailers started selling spirits, ending a decades-old state monopoly on liquor sales.

Washington Liquor Control Board officials said the agency is confident in the rules drafted to implement the liquor privatization measure, Initiative 1183. Board officials said the rule-making process remained open and transparent.

Costco — the largest employer in Issaquah — led the push to pass I-1183 last year. Statewide, almost 60 percent of voters supported the liquor-privatization measure.

The measure limits hard liquor sales to stores of at least 10,000 square feet.

The lawsuit is the latest case to result from I-1183. The day before the initiative took effect, the state Supreme Court upheld a challenge to the measure.

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U.S. State Department finds no problem in passport services

July 3, 2012

The passport services at Issaquah City Hall recently earned a clean audit from U.S. State Department officials.

The federal agency conducted a site visit and did not report any problems. The audit also lauded the city’s passport agents for outstanding knowledge of passport acceptance policies and procedures.

The passport office is open from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, excluding holidays. The counter is on the second floor of City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

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