Reindeer fly to Cougar Mountain Zoo for annual festival

December 4, 2012

Rogue, who was 5 months old during the 2011 Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo, checks out visitors through a barn window at Santa’s house. By Greg Farrar

If you saw a deer-shaped figure roaming the night sky in November, don’t be alarmed, said Cougar Mountain Zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot, it was just Santa’s reindeer getting some flying practice in before their big day.

But now Santa’s reindeer are done practicing and ready to meet with local residents at the Cougar Mountain Zoo’s 24th annual Reindeer Festival.

While the zoo is technically closed during the month of December, the zoo eagerly plays host to the festival that attracts more than 10,000 visitors every year, Barfoot said.

“It provides a really great opportunity for people to do something with their families during the day and kind of get everyone in the feel of the holidays,” she said.

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Editorial

December 4, 2012

Athletes’ triumphs create community pride

Skyline High School’s football and soccer teams just keep bringing home honors to the Issaquah School District. The Issaquah and Liberty high school teams have also added many awards to the virtual district trophy case.

Skyline girls soccer took first in state for the fourth time in five years. And the Dec. 1 state playoff football game gave Skyline the gridiron title again for the fifth time in eight years. Skyline’s 200-medley relay team won the state swim title last month.

Issaquah is a known winner among 4A KingCo teams. The Eagles came in second, to Skyline, for the state girls soccer championship. This year’s football team reached the playoffs. The school’s wrestlers won the district title in 2011 and sent six wrestlers to state.

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Student musicians rank among top performers statewide

December 4, 2012

Dozens of local students are among the state’s top performers that have been chosen to participate in one of the Washington Music Educators Association’s 2013 All-State Honor or one of the National Association for Music Education’s All-Northwest performing groups.

The group of school musicians from throughout the state and region will rehearse and perform in concert under the direction of world-renowned conductors. The All-State high school honor groups and the All-Northwest groups will meet in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14-17. Junior All-State groups, grades five through eight, will meet in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 16.

This year’s group includes students from all five of the district’s middle schools and all three of the district’s traditional high schools.

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Department of Ecology seeks input on environmental rule change

December 4, 2012

The state Department of Ecology is collecting public input on a proposed rule to give local governments, including Issaquah and King County, more flexibility for small construction projects.

The draft rule change to the State Environmental Policy Act aims to allow local governments more leeway to exempt minor construction projects from review under the law, such as small-scale residential housing developments, as well as certain agricultural, commercial office and school buildings.

The proposal also aims to simplify the checklist required under the law.

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Max Browne is finalist for U.S. Army Player of the Year Award

December 4, 2012

Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne is one of six finalists for the 2013 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding senior in high school football participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The selection process began this fall, as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from across the country.

“These players possess leadership, dedication and strengths similar to Army Strong soldiers. Being named a finalist for this award only underscores their talents,” John Myers, director of marketing for the Army, said in a statement. “These players are outstanding athletes. We congratulate them on their nomination and are proud to have them wear the Army colors.”

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Issaquah Eagles stand tall, tested on basketball court

December 4, 2012

If there is one thing even the casual observer notices right away about the Issaquah High School boys’ basketball squad, when its players come jogging out onto the hardwood for warmups, it is the fact that it looks like a basketball team.

In basketball, as in other sports, sometimes the intimidation-through-imagination factor is worth its weight in gold, but with the Eagles you don’t have to peruse a roster to easily surmise you could be outrebounded by these guys — it is clearly visible and obvious the Eagles possess great overall team height.

Coach Jason Griffith guided the Eagle hoopsters to the promised land as a crescendo to the 14-10, 2011-12 outing and is heading into his third campaign as the man at the helm for the Issaquah program.

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Governor urges Congress to pass sales tax bill

December 4, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire urged Congress on Nov. 26 — Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day all year — to require online businesses to collect sales tax.

The governor said Washington businesses face unfair competition from online and mail-order retailers that fail to collect sales taxes.

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act aims to give states the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers.

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King County tuberculosis rates reach 30-year low

December 4, 2012

The tuberculosis rate in King County has reached a 30-year low due to local efforts to fight the disease, public health officials announced Oct. 25.

The county still faces a higher risk for cases in the United States, due to the county’s status as a global crossroads.

The latest TB report from Public Health – Seattle & King County details the findings, as well as information about the agency’s efforts to fight the disease.

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Baby Peppers parents group starts in Issaquah Highlands

December 4, 2012

The Program for Early Parent Support presents Baby Peppers — a group for parents of 5- to 12-month-old babies — starting Jan. 14 at Bright Horizons in the Issaquah Highlands.

The group offers parents a place to meet (with their babies), and share and learn in sessions facilitated by a trained volunteer.

Issaquah Baby Peppers will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m. Mondays starting Jan. 14 at Bright Horizons, 930 N.E. High St., Suite 102. The program fee for the 11-week facilitated session is $155. Scholarships are available. Register and learn more at www.peps.org/programs/infants/baby-peppers.

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Jacksons Food Stores join domestic violence fight

December 4, 2012

Jacksons Food Stores join the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence “Give the Gift of Peace” campaign.

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