Prune it right

February 24, 2015

It looks like we are having a very early spring this year. Many of us will not be gardening and pruning early enough to keep up with the “El Niño” conditions.

Usually, February is a good time to dig and move plants, prune fruit trees and roses, cut back ornamental grasses, and just get ready for the growing season. This year, most plants are way ahead of schedule.

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Caring Conley — Relay for Life volunteers pay tribute to the passion of the late Karen Conley

February 17, 2015

Issaquah resident Stacy Strickland can remember the immediate bond she felt with Karen Conley the morning they met at Relay for Life on the track behind Issaquah High School.

Contributed Karen Conley (right) and Michelle Salene, of Team Aloha, which Conley started, get a ride up in the Eastside Fire & Rescue ladder truck during a recent Relay for Life event at Issaquah High School.

Contributed
Karen Conley (right) and Michelle Salene, of Team Aloha, which Conley started, get a ride up in the Eastside Fire & Rescue ladder truck during a recent Relay for Life event at Issaquah High School.

The women were both at the school in response to an article in The Issaquah Press that described the need for additional help at the annual fundraiser that raises money to fight cancer.

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Childhood cancer survivor now returns the favor for others

February 17, 2015

For Issaquah native Abigail Houck, now 23, the news arrived in the summer following third grade: At the age of 9, she was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Abigail Houck

Abigail Houck

And while it seems highly unlikely Houck will ever say being diagnosed with a childhood cancer was a good thing, it certainly has influenced her life.

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Rite of passage marks Scouts’ long-term achievement

February 17, 2015

The 15 boys who stood on the stage were mostly solemn, but some of them allowed grins to creep across their faces as they absorbed the magnitude of the moment.

By Neil Pierson Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

By Neil Pierson
Alex Hammingh is adorned with a new scarf and his Arrow of Light award, signifying his transition into Boy Scouts during a Feb. 3 ceremony at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

Cub Scout packs across the country hold annual transition ceremonies for 11- and 12-year-olds who have fulfilled the requirements to join Boy Scouts. Cub Scout Pack 682, which draws its members from Issaquah and Sammamish, honored its graduating fifth-graders Feb. 3 at Pacific Cascade Middle School.

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Game on! — History, strategy and socializing combine at hobby convention

February 10, 2015

Forget wizards and dragons and, with one exception, aliens and space armadas.

For Game ON! 2015, Feb. 5-8 at the Issaquah Holiday Inn, the name of the games was mostly history.

By Greg Farrar Geoffrey Phipps (left), game designer, longtime historical gaming hobbyist Tyler Roush and game developer Scot McConnachie, are aided by textbooks on the Battle of Gallipoli and inspired by an Australian recruiting poster, as they refine a draft original of ‘Gallipoli 1915: Churchill’s Greatest Gamble’ during the Game ON! convention.

By Greg Farrar
Geoffrey Phipps (left), game designer, longtime historical gaming hobbyist Tyler Roush and game developer Scot McConnachie, are aided by textbooks on the Battle of Gallipoli and inspired by an Australian recruiting poster, as they refine a draft original of ‘Gallipoli 1915: Churchill’s Greatest Gamble’ during the Game ON! convention.

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A fair amount of health

February 10, 2015

By Greg Farrar Robin Sheaffer, a registered nurse and volunteer for Issaquah’s Community Emergency Response Team, FEMA’s Medical Reserve Corps and King County Public Health Reserve Corps, shows a Vial of Life canister, which contains a front door sticker, refrigerator door magnet and medical information form. Sheaffer was in charge of the Issaquah Citizen Corps booth Feb. 7 during the Health & Safety Fair at Pickering Barn. The free canisters were funded by a grant from the Puget Sound Energy Foundation. The sticker and magnet alert first responders to check for the information form in the canister, stored in the refrigerator of any household resident who is in any vulnerable population group. The program enables emergency responders to quickly locate helpful information regarding a resident’s medical history and any advanced directives.

By Greg Farrar
Robin Sheaffer, a registered nurse and volunteer for Issaquah’s Community Emergency Response Team, FEMA’s Medical Reserve Corps and King County Public Health Reserve Corps, shows a Vial of Life canister, which contains a front door sticker, refrigerator door magnet and medical information form. Sheaffer was in charge of the Issaquah Citizen Corps booth Feb. 7 during the Health & Safety Fair at Pickering Barn. The free canisters were funded by a grant from the Puget Sound Energy Foundation. The sticker and magnet alert first responders to check for the information form in the canister, stored in the refrigerator of any household resident who is in any vulnerable population group. The program enables emergency responders to quickly locate helpful information regarding a resident’s medical history and any advanced directives.

From ant to zebra — Local author illustrates the ABCs for a good cause

February 3, 2015

Newcastle resident Dana Sullivan doesn’t always wear bunny rabbit slippers in public, but he will for a gaggle of adorable children.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Author Dana Sullivan reads his book, ‘Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari’ to a group of children at Bellevue’s University Bookstore on Jan. 22.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Author Dana Sullivan reads his book, ‘Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari’ to a group of children at Bellevue’s University Bookstore on Jan. 22.

Sullivan and his floppy-eared footwear made an appearance at Bellevue’s University Bookstore Jan. 22, where the author and illustrator read his newest book, “Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari,” to a cute, albeit somewhat restless, audience of toddlers.

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Three families volunteer together in Nicaragua

February 3, 2015

It’s not unusual to see three families become close friends, but it’s a bit abnormal when they give up Christmas at home for a two-week volunteer effort in Central America.

Contributed The Walley, Nelson and Connor families traveled together over the recent holiday break from Issaquah to Nicaragua, where they spent two weeks helping impoverished residents.

Contributed
The Walley, Nelson and Connor families traveled together over the recent holiday break from Issaquah to Nicaragua, where they spent two weeks helping impoverished residents.

The Connor, Nelson and Walley families have literally grown up together in Issaquah. The six children know each other well — four of them are classmates at Issaquah High School, and the other two attend Pacific Cascade Middle School together.

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Charity Circle has Skyline students smiling about volunteer work

January 27, 2015

By Neil Pierson Members of Charity Circle, a volunteer organization comprised of high-school and middle-school students from Sammamish, gather together during a Jan. 14 meeting at Sammamish City Hall.

By Neil Pierson
Members of Charity Circle, a volunteer organization comprised of high-school and middle-school students from Sammamish, gather together during a Jan. 14 meeting at Sammamish City Hall.

Teenagers might have some negative stereotypes about volunteer work, but the leaders of a Sammamish organization are trying to dispel the notion that unpaid labor is dreary and challenging. Read more

It’s not my yard

January 27, 2015

I have a question. Are the deer living in our yards, or are we living in theirs? About a year and a half ago I asked this question in a column about deer. I just reread that column, and my thoughts have changed. I used to complain, because they seemed to go for my most prized plants. Now, I see them more as part of the landscape rather than a challenge to it. Low maintenance, sustainability and an environmentally sensitive garden are important. I’m growing lots of natives and feel good when I share those plants with the deer.

If you are trying to grow roses, perennials and amazing flowers in suburbia without a fence, your plants are in harm’s way. You might detest the deer and if so, you are looking for plants they don’t like. We can’t remember everything they like and don’t like, so it’s best to know just the generalities. Here are a few: Read more

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