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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 17, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. March 17, 2011
Nina Hawley and Allison Stephens plan to use a weekend consignment sale in Issaquah to collect donations for relief efforts in disaster-plagued Japan.
Shoppers at the Just Between Friends sale at the Pickering Barn can purchase $1 raffle tickets for a $50 Just Between Friends gift certificate. Organizers pledged to donate proceeds from the raffle sales, and portions of admission fees, to the American Red Cross.
Hawley, Stephens and other local mothers organize Just Between Friends maternity and children’s clothing consignment sales.
The sale runs Friday through Sunday at the historic barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. The sale is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.
March 15, 2011
The unfolding disaster in Japan — unleashed after a magnitude-9 earthquake struck the island nation — has emergency planners in Issaquah reminding residents to prepare for earthquakes and other calamities.
“This tragedy overseas reminds us that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “The time to prepare is before emergency strikes.”
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan in the afternoon March 11 (late March 10 in Washington and on the West Coast). The death toll could exceed 10,000 people.
The local group spearheading personal emergency preparedness is the Issaquah Citizen Corps Council, a nonprofit organization formed to prepare residents to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.
“The real basic message is: Be prepared,” council President Alan Bramwell said.
March 15, 2011
Costco Wholesale executives said all but one warehouse in Japan has reopened after a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, and the Issaquah-based company has accounted for all employees in Japan.
The warehouse in Tamasakai, a Tokyo location, is scheduled to remain closed for several months, pending further inspections and repairs. The company said two people died after a parking ramp collapsed at the warehouse.
Overall, Costco operates nine warehouses and a cross-docking facility, or depot, on the island nation.
Costco is also accepting donations to the Red Cross relief fund at cash registers in warehouses around the globe. The company also set up a donation link on the corporate website, www.costco.com.
Costco operates 581 warehouses worldwide — 424 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 80 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan and one in Australia, plus the Japan outlets.
Costco employs 2,700 people in Issaquah, more than any other business. The company claims 57.4 million card-carrying members worldwide.
March 15, 2011
Earthquake in Japan is call to action here
The international effort to help the people of Japan deal with massive catastrophes is gaining ground. We have no doubt that Issaquah families will do what they can, with prayers, finances and volunteer efforts.
But there is something else every family here can do. Prepare.
The shock of the earthquake in Japan is way too close to what could happen here. If you had been ignoring the warnings to get ready for an emergency, now is the time to pay attention.
Yes, there is food and water to be stored, along with basic medical supplies, but there is more to be done.