Eastside Fire & Rescue board agrees to strategic planning workshop

August 20, 2013

Come late September, the Eastside Fire & Rescue board will be right back where it was in June — having to decide on a funding model that meets the needs of all members.

The difference will be that in eight weeks the group will have agreed on two things: what value they need to offer to retain members and how they maintain a stable organization. The process won’t be easy, said facilitator Neville Wallace, with Online Business Systems of Portland.

“Whether you like it or not, you will be collaborating,” Wallace said. “We will be accessing what works well, what doesn’t and what can be fixed easily.”

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Advisory board seeks members for affordable housing group

August 20, 2013

If you have something to say about affordable housing funding and programs in the region, here’s your chance to make your voice heard. Join A Regional Coalition for Housing’s Citizen Advisory Board.

The volunteer board consists of 12-15 residents and housing professionals that work with the staff of ARCH, a partnership of King County, the city of Issaquah and other East King County cities to preserve and increase the supply of housing for low- and moderate-income families. Together, they evaluate local housing funding proposals and increase awareness of housing issues on the Eastside.

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Nudestock offers, at the bare minimum, a good time for all

August 20, 2013

Have you ever wanted to rock out in the nude outside your bedroom? Well, here is your chance — Nudestock 2013 is coming to Fraternity Snoqualmie Family Nudist Park Aug. 24.

The annual event, on Tiger Mountain, has happened for more than 20 years.

The event began in 1991 when KISW radio hosts Bob Rivers, Spike O’Neill and Joe Bryant came up with the idea. The station dropped sponsorship of Nudestock in 1996 when the three moved to KZOK. Since, the park has taken on the event as its own.

“I’ve gone to every single one since 1993,” said Dawnzella Gearhart, who does public relations for the park. Since 1998, she has been one of the main organizers of the event.

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Beware of shellfish: infections are at double summer average

August 20, 2013

Watch out for the shellfish — a saltwater bacteria has sickened more than twice the number of people in King County this summer than reported in past summers. During July, there were 13 confirmed or probable cases of vibrio parahaemolyticus infection in the county, compared to an average of four in recent years. Since the beginning of August, eight more cases have been confirmed.

“This is probably the tip of the iceberg. For every case that is reported, an estimated 142 additional cases go unreported,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief of communicable disease for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a press release.

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Volunteer to be a Salmon Watcher

August 20, 2013

This fall, you can volunteer to be a salmon watcher for King County.

Salmon Watchers are part of a 16-year-old multijurisdictional effort whose focus is protecting a Pacific Northwest treasure and educating the community about Issaquah’s iconic fish. The main area of focus is within the Lake Washington Watershed.

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Off The Press

August 20, 2013

Chandler and Jamie, this column is for you

I got two emails last week, on two consecutive days, that made me cry.

The first, an announcement and a photo, was one of joy — Chandler Balkman was getting married.

You may remember Chandler. On Aug. 3, 2006, Balkman, then 16, and his father went for a swim in Lake Sammamish.

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AAUW fashion show sends three local girls tech camp

August 20, 2013

Three middle school students from Issaquah schools attended the AAUW WA Tech Trek camp at Pacific Lutheran University in July thanks to funds raised by the Issaquah branch of the American Association of University Women.

Issaquah’s AAUW branch held a fashion show in April with a profit of $3,400 to fund the campers’ experience. During the show, women strutted their stuff in styles from the Issaquah Chico’s. The event took place at Timber Ridge at Talus.

The 100 available tickets for the event sold out, and tickets for the 24 raffle prizes “sold like hotcakes,” according to a press release. The resulting profit helped the girls attend the camp, which focuses on the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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King County plans to repave two local roads

August 20, 2013

Only a handful of roads are on the county’s summer paving program, including Southeast May Valley Road and Issaquah-Hobart Road.

In late September, depending on the weather, 3.41 miles on Southeast May Valley Road, from state Route 900 to 229th Drive Southeast, is planned to be paved.

In 2014, 1.56 miles of Issaquah-Hobart Road, from the Issaquah city limits to Southeast 132nd Way will be paved, with preparation and paving occurring at night.

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County grants fund two local community projects

August 20, 2013

Four Creeks and Hobart, both near Issaquah, are two of 25 projects throughout unincorporated King County that are receiving a total of $60,000 community service area grants from the county.

The money, up to $5,000 per project in addition to a required community match of at least one-fourth of the total project, will go toward neighborhood cleanup and planting in the Four Creeks area and support for food pantries in Hobart.

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Local man produces viral video parody of ‘Empire State of Mind’

August 20, 2013

Since Mark Griffith posted the video for Andrew Dougherty’s “Beijing State of Mind” to his YouTube channel July 9, it has gotten more than 119,100 views. The video is the culmination of 14 months of work, beginning in the 18 months he was recently in Beijing, China.

Griffith, 45, is a senior software manager for Amazon. From February 2011 to August 2012, his job took him to Beijing, where he continued his affinity for photography in the foreign landscape.

“I take my camera with me everywhere,” Griffith said.

Photos contributed Mark Griffith and his son Miles huddled by a fire on the Great Wall of China. They spent a night camping on the wall near the villiage of XiZhaZi.

Photos contributed
Mark Griffith and his son Miles huddled by a fire on the Great Wall of China. They spent a night camping on the wall near the villiage of XiZhaZi.

The avid hiker and traveler said he is always shooting video clips and taking pictures.

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