Candidates gird for tough fight in House race

August 3, 2010

Less than 100 days before Issaquah and Eastside voters elect a representative to Congress, another high-profile campaign has taken shape as Democrats gun to unseat incumbent Dave Reichert.

Like the 2006 and 2008 contests, the race for the 8th Congressional District — the only Western Washington district represented by a Republican — has attracted outside money and outsized attention. In the latest match-up, Reichert faces Democrat Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft executive and Medina resident.

But the leading candidates and political observers said the race differs from earlier matches.

“The message du jour this year is, ‘I’ll cross the aisle to get things done,’” Seattle political consultant Cathy Allen said.

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Ferry tale

February 23, 2010

Vessel named for Issaquah overcomes early troubles to become fleet workhorse

Night descended hours earlier, when the weak, winter sun slunk behind the Olympic Mountains. Stragglers wait along Fauntleroy Cove; the afternoon rush ended long ago. The last commuters sit, impatient and weary, in vehicles, sealed behind steel and safety glass. Lines form and vehicles — mud-caked Subaru wagons, worn SUVs with stickers on the rear windows — inch into position. Destination: Vashon Island.

The ferry glides into view across Puget Sound. The hull carries the same name as a place 20 miles east: Issaquah.

The vessel matters little to the travelers; the Klahowya or the Tillikum could carry them home just the same.

Come daylight, the boxy Issaquah looks as unglamorous as a mail truck, with the same work ethic as a letter carrier — neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom keeps the ferry idle.

Darkness softens the hard edges, and the Issaquah looks handsome, even majestic. Light spills from the oblong windows and the open vehicle deck. Reflections glimmer across the dark water.

As the ferry approaches the West Seattle terminal, propellers churn the inky water into foam, like the frothy head on a glass of pilsner. The vessel nudges the dock, the ramp lowers and attendants in fluorescent gear direct vehicles from the maw. Not 20 minutes later, more cars, trucks and SUVs fill the hold.

The placid efficiency contrasts with the years in the Carter era when the Issaquah entered service and headlines blared problems aboard — and caused by — the ferry.

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