King County reminds locals to prepare after Vancouver Island earthquake

September 9, 2011

NEW — 2:10 p.m. Sept. 9, 2011

Many King County and West Coast residents felt the earth tremble Friday afternoon as a magnitude-6.4 earthquake occurred off Vancouver Island.

The tremor struck at 12:41 p.m. at about 14 miles beneath the surface. The earthquake occurred about 170 miles west of Vancouver. Residents as far south as Seattle reported feeling the tremor.

King County Executive Dow Constantine used the earthquake as a reminder for local residents to prepare.

“Over the past 10 years, in concert with our regional partners, we have worked to build a whole-community approach to disaster planning, response and recovery,” he said in a statement. “Strong communities begin with each of us making a personal commitment to prepare, and then reaching out to our neighbors to build the networks that will be crucial when disaster strikes.”

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County employees aid disaster victims across Pacific

July 5, 2011

King County employees donated more than 8,100 hours of accrued leave to disaster victims in Japan and New Zealand.

The county converted leave from 458 employees into a $286,815 cash donation to the American Red Cross for continuing earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

“This outpouring of support for our neighbors across the Pacific is another example of the determination to make a difference,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “I am so proud of King County employees for donating their hard-earned leave to help the people of Japan and New Zealand as they continue to recover from these tragic events.”

Constantine authorized the leave donation program in March, shortly after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. Because that disaster followed a major earthquake in New Zealand, the county opted to combine efforts and help the victims of both disasters.

The county enacted a similar donation program after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Following that disaster, 367 employees donated more than 5,500 hours of leave, or almost $200,000 for Global Impact, a federation of 55 international aid agencies.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue, Red Cross urge CPR preparedness

June 6, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. June 6, 2011

For National CPR and AED Awareness Week, Eastside Fire & Rescue and the American Red Cross encourage residents to consider CPR training.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 165,000 out-of-hospital deaths each year. Only 7.9 percent of people survive sudden cardiac arrest. Overall, less than one-third of the afflicted people received CPR from a bystander.

In many cases, effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.  Time is crucial and ,unless CPR is provided within minutes of collapse, the victim has very little chance of survival. Performing CPR before emergency personnel arrive can make the difference between life and death.

EFR holds monthly CPR classes; the next class is scheduled for June 11. Stop by any EFR station to enroll.

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Teen Talk

May 24, 2011

How does the number of fundraisers impact their effectiveness?

Issaquah High School

“Think of it this way: Philanthropists will care and donate less if there’s a new fundraiser every few days. Similarly, one well-publicized fundraiser can bring in a lot of money, but only if it’s run every month or so. So if fundraising wants to be successful, it needs to space out its events while well publicizing the fundraisers done.”

Andy Ramstad, senior

“I always try to donate at least a few dollars whatever the cause because I like donating to charity, because I know there will be numerous fundraisers over the year. But I know a lot of my friends would give, but they either don’t have the money or would rather spend the money elsewhere.”

— Zoey Kapusinskie, sophomore

Eastside Catholic High School

“I think that having so many fundraisers and so many causes to donate toward does impact the effectiveness a little, because it’s hard to know which ones to pick and it’s not possible to pick all of them.”

— Nalani Saito, sophomore

“Even though it can get a little overwhelming sometimes, I believe it’s a good thing to have so many ways to help.”

— Shannon Ludeman, junior


Liberty High School

“The more fundraisers we have, the more the topic is known. I think it’s important to spread awareness, so the more the better!”

— Katie McGuire, freshman

“Doing a lot of fundraisers is not effective at raising more money, because usually the same people are asked again and again and run out of ‘spare change’ to spend on fundraisers.”

— Ashley Brennan, junior


Skyline High School

“I think the number of fundraisers have a huge impact on their effectiveness. Regardless of how much money is actually put in by an individual, I feel like the number of people who actually donate to a specific cause is more important.”

— Kathy Lee, junior

“Much of what was donated to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami crisis was to Japan’s benefit. Fundraisers, such as texting to Red Cross and donating $10, were of much usage to the betterment of Japan.”

— Andy Lin, junior

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Find a niche at Issaquah Hobby & Volunteer Expo

May 3, 2011

Looking for a quilting club? How about a hiking group or a nonprofit that helps veterans?

Hobby hunters and volunteer enthusiasts need look no further than the 12th annual Hobby & Volunteer Expo, held at the same time as the Issaquah Farmers Market May 7 at Pickering Barn.

“It has just been a fantastic tradition, an annual event, in which community programs and hobby groups can get together and, one, network with each other, and two, put the word out that they exist and they are looking for members,” Issaquah Recreation Coordinator Cathy Jones said.

The expo targets a number of people: youths looking for volunteer opportunities; Issaquah newcomers looking for groups to join; empty nesters or recent retirees searching for new outlets; and just about anybody in need of a new venture.

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Off the Press

April 19, 2011

You really should prepare for disaster

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, far from Japan and its earthquakes, tsunamis and radiation that have claimed the lives of thousands of people, and far away from the American South and its tornadoes that have killed more than 40 people in just a few days.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press Editor

But such things don’t happen here in the Pacific Northwest, right? Well, yes — until they happen to you. Those people never thought they would see the things they’re seeing now, or live through the things they just experienced.

More than a decade ago, a tornado ripped through the part of Tennessee where I lived and ran a newspaper. The winds ripped the roof straight off my house, turned it over and dropped it pretty as you please in my backyard.

If that wasn’t scary and damaging enough, torrential rain poured into my then roofless house, ruining prized possessions. Still, I occasionally find something with black mold on it — mold that started back then. It’s not as bad as in the first years after the tornado, when I would have to throw out numerous items every Christmas when I unpacked my decorations. Or I would open a box of something during a move to find more molded things that hadn’t gotten dried or cleaned properly.

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Consider a seismic retrofit as earthquake insurance

April 19, 2011

Strengthening a residence through a home earthquake retrofit is as simple as ABC: anchor, brace and connect.

Most homes built in the past 30 years or so do not need a retrofit to hold steady in earthquakes, but older homes may need some foundation tune-ups. If the foundation is not secured to the rest of the structure, major damage can result from the ground shaking.

The earthquake in Japan — plus major temblors in New Zealand, Chile and Haiti in the past year — has renewed the focus on seismic safety at home.

“When the earth starts shaking sideways, the foundation moves with the earth,” Sound Seismic co-owner Leif Jackson said. “This big, massive object is not going to immediately move with the foundation. It’s going to kind of lag behind, and it’s going to lag behind when that foundation oscillates back in the opposite direction. So, the house and the foundation get out of synch, and it can get jolted off of the foundation.”

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Red Cross reminds people in flood-prone areas to prepare

March 30, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. March 30, 2011

The strong storm system rolling across Western Washington prompted the local American Red Cross chapter to prepare for potential flooding.

“The forecast for the next few days include a flood watch for local rivers with heavy rainfall so people should be aware of the possibility of urban flooding,” Susan Pelaez, director of preparedness and community engagement for the organization, said in a release. “Drivers should use caution when out on the road.”

Meteorologists issued a flood watch for East King County and much of Western Washington through Friday.

Under a flood watch, favorable conditions for flooding exist, but flooding is not imminent or occurring. National Weather Service meteorologists said resident should monitor forecasts and prepare to act quickly if a flood warning is issued.

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Clubs offer chance to donate to Japan, get fit at same time

March 24, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 24, 2011

People interested in donating to disaster relief efforts in Japan can offer aid and get fit.

Donate $45 to the American Red Cross, and receive a free personal-training session at Columbia Fitness-Sammamish or Columbia Athletic Clubs-Pine Lake on the Sammamish Plateau.

Donations should be made in the form of a check made out to the American Red Cross; 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to disaster relief.

The fundraiser runs through March 31 at Columbia Fitness-Sammamish, 22840 N.E. Eighth St., No. 105. Columbia Athletic Clubs-Pine Lake, 2930 228th Ave. S.E., is holding the fundraiser from April 1-15.

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Off the Press

March 22, 2011

Bill Gates and I finally have something in common. Neither one of us is at the top of Forbes magazine’s  list of the world’s richest people.

The fact that I’m not on the top of the list probably isn’t a huge surprise to most readers. But becoming a millionaire, or a billionaire, has never been one of my goals. Thus far, I’m doing a good job of avoiding it. However, there are Power Ball and Mega Millions lotteries coming up this week, so who knows? If I won a jackpot, after getting resuscitated, I would donate millions to charities.

Gates has a net worth of $56 billion. Yes, that ranked the chairman of Microsoft second on the list. Why? Gates has a generous spirit. His charitable contributions prevented him from being No. 1.

Bob Taylor        Press sports editor

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the world. In 2007, the couple contributed $28 billion to charities. The foundation contributes money to combat hunger, poverty, disease and illiteracy around the world. Gates has made huge donations to improve education in the United States, too.

I admire a person like Gates who is willing to give and give and give to make our world better.

Giving is something else that I have in common with Gates. Over the years, I have made contributions to many charities although not on the same scale. In recent times, however, my contributions haven’t been as frequent because of medical expenditures. My pockets are not quite as deep as they once were because of my battle with cancer.

Fortunately, my son David has taken over the role of being the family philanthropist. He has a very generous spirit, making donations to a variety of charities each month.

David is quite a success story. He has overcome a physical disability. He graduated from the University of Washington cum laude and later earned a master’s degree. He has a steady job with a good company. No father could be more proud. I’m especially proud of his giving spirit. David, like his dad, has no ambitions to become wealthy, either.

For many people, this is the giving time of the year. There is, after all, “the infernal revenue service” where some of us will again make a donation to Uncle Sam.

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