Community Calendar

February 14, 2012

‘Tribute to Trees’

“Tribute to Trees,” an artist presentation and talk hosted by artEAST and the Sammamish Arts Commission, is at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N. The exhibition “Tribute to Trees” will be on display through March 8 in the city of Sammamish Commons Gallery, 801 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish. Learn more at or call 392-3191.


The Northwest Driftwood Sculptor Artists’ Exhibit is on display at Bellewood Senior Living Galleria through February. Bellewood is at 3710 Providence Point Drive S.E. Call 391-2880.

Issaquah Brewhouse welcomes Rogue Brewmaster John Maier at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at 35 W. Sunset Way. Fans can meet Maier and try some of his award-winning ales.

The next DownTown Issaquah Association’s Wine Walk is March 2. Check-in is at 4 p.m. at the Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N. Tickets, which include six two-ounce drink tokens and appetizers, are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Make online reservations at

LearningRx hosts an Education Expo, featuring information for parents with children from newborns to teens, from 4-9 p.m. March 15 at Skyline High School, 1122 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

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Pickering Barn garden gets $19,000 grant for upgrade

February 14, 2012

The city has received a $19,000 grant from the King Conservation District to improve the Pickering Barn Demonstration Garden — a showcase for organic gardening and a source for the local food bank.

In addition to garden upgrades, officials intend to use grant dollars to improve the site and add more educational components. Seattle Tilth, a regional leader in sustainable organic gardening and public education in natural yard care practices, oversees the garden’s education component.

Plans call for the expanded education component to operate alongside the Issaquah School District and the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. The school district program aims to provide in-classroom teaching, teacher training and transportation for schoolchildren from campuses to the garden. The program through the parks department calls for classes in the garden for after-school community programs. The grant is meant to help transport children to the garden for the program.

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Who’s News

February 14, 2012

Renee Chaffin serves as Senate page

Sen. Cheryl Pflug and Renee Chaffin

Renee Chaffin, a sophomore at Skyline High School in Sammamish, recently participated in the Senate Page Program during the third week of the 2012 session. Chaffin was sponsored by Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley).

The Senate Page Program is an opportunity for Washington students to get firsthand experience working in the Legislature. Pages get a variety of experiences in their weeklong stay in Olympia, including running errands, delivering mail and paging in the Senate Chamber. Pages are also taught about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process.

Chaffin was one of 17 students chosen to participate last week.

“Renee was a delight this week,” Pflug said. “I am grateful for her passion, and it was exciting to see her passion for government.”

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Robert Lamar Heidler

February 14, 2012

Robert Heidler

Robert Lamar Heidler, of Issaquah, passed away Feb. 8 of natural causes.

Robert was born in Pennsburg, Pa., on April 11, 1927. After graduating from East Greenville High School, he served in the United States Army during World War II. He retired from U.S. Gauge, a division of Ametek, where he was employed in sales and as a machinist.

Robert loved regaling his children and grandchildren with tales of growing up during the Depression, his exploits in post-war France and Germany, and anecdotes about being a hot air balloon chaser. He was a man of varied interests and read everything. He soaked up facts and could point out the constellations, recall every Indy 500 winner by year, which Civil War general presided at any battle, what to do for mites on shrubs, how many times Sugar Ray Robinson stepped into the ring or who said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” He was a very sought-after Trivial Pursuit partner!

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Cleta Tafon Lapsansky

February 14, 2012

Cleta Lapsansky

Cleta Tafon Lapsansky, of Bothell, passed away Feb. 7, 2012. She was 87 years of age.

Cleta was born Nov. 7, 1924, in Cushing, Okla., the ninth child of Fred and Mary Campbell, along with four sisters and five brothers. Cleta raised her three children in Issaquah, and drove a school bus for the Issaquah School District until retirement.

Throughout her years as a school bus driver, she witnessed several generations of children grow up in the Issaquah area. After retirement, she assisted families by providing day care for their children, and remained close with the women school bus drivers. She married into the Lapsansky family, who were among the founding families of the city of Issaquah, where she and her husband John E. Lapsansky raised a family.

Cleta was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John E. Lapsansky; and daughters Dorothy and Terry Lapsansky. Survivors include a son, John R. Lapsansky; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one sister, Maxine; one companion, Everett Price; and many nieces and nephews.

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College News

February 14, 2012

Issaquah student works to ban bottled water on college campus

Collin Morris, of Issaquah, recently co-produced a short documentary, “Tap That,” about the dangers of bottled water.

He has been sharing his views on public radio at Linfield College, in McMinnville, Ore., and is working to get the product banned from schools across the Pacific Northwest.

See the video at

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Lavern Clifford Keir

February 14, 2012

Lavern Keir

Lavern Clifford Keir, Father of our late sister Diana, Jodie, Linda and Doug; Grandpa to Laurie, Frances, Lisa and Casey; Great-Grandpa to Ryan, Willow, Cara, Travis, Levi, Burt, Eric and Ariel; and Great-Great-Grandpa to Aleta and Slade; and uncle to Errol, Sandy and Honey.

Lavern was born near Chester, Mont., July 18, 1913, and passed peacefully away at his home in Issaquah on Jan. 30, 2012.

Raised in the Midwest, his mother died when he was very young and his dad struggled to raise him and his younger brother Earl in a hard world.

He apprenticed as a machinist to the railroad, doing a man’s work at 17, and learned the trade he would cherish the rest of his life. He moved to Washington to help the war effort in 1942.

He was married three times — to Lucille, Helen and Sue. Sue was his true lifemate and they were together for 50 years.

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Join planning effort for Snoqualmie Corridor recreation

February 14, 2012

State planners greeted about 120 people at a recent session to plan recreation in natural areas stretching from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si.

The state Department of Natural Resources hosted a meeting at Snoqualmie Middle School on Feb. 1 to launch the public planning process for 53,000 acres in natural areas along the so-called Snoqualmie Corridor in East King County.

Residents can email questions about the area to or go to the project website,, for details.

Department of Natural Resources officials plan to post a survey online this spring to collect additional feedback.

The corridor — a quick jaunt from Seattle and fast-growing Eastside cities — is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and more. Combined, the lands in the corridor form the largest network of natural areas in Washington.

In the past 20 years, the Department of Natural Resources added the amount of land managed in the area. The more recent acquisitions include the Raging River State Forest and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area. The land under state management includes working forests.

Timothy Steven Williamson

February 14, 2012

Timothy Williamson

Timothy Steven Williamson, of Sammamish, died Feb. 4, 2012. He was 21.

Tim lived life much like he skied mountains, with intensity, grace and conviction. As a child, he would point his skis downhill, bomb the mountain and fly into powdery snowdrifts, always emerging with a joyful grin. As he grew older, Tim carved the slopes more purposefully and with undeniable grace.

A graduate of Eastlake High School, Tim was a budding philosopher, with a wisdom and brilliance beyond his years. He endlessly questioned conventional principles, seeking truth and purity in his life.

Tim had a heart of gold. He reached out to help those in need — once securing medical attention for a complete stranger, a homeless man he found in distress. But he reached far more people with his irresistible smile and charm.

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Nelda Nadine Stephens

February 14, 2012

Nelda Stephens

Nelda Nadine Stephens, 83, passed from this life on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at Providence Marianwood nursing home in Issaquah.

Nelda was born May 5, 1927, in Winnfield, La., to Ocie Warner and Audie (Waller) Warner.

Nelda was raised in Winnfield, and graduated from high school and an accounting program there. She married Robert Terrell Stephens of Lindsay, Okla., on Aug. 26, 1946, in Winnfield. Nelda and Terrell were residents of Lindsay until Terrell’s passing 50 years later.

Nelda remained in Lindsay until she moved in 2003 to the Providence Point retirement community in Issaquah to be near her son. In 2010, Nelda moved nearby to the Providence Marianwood nursing home following an illness.

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