Boy Scouts tackle three Issaquah Alps in one day

July 3, 2012

Local group climbs mountains in less than 12 hours

A troop of Boy Scouts recently set what might be a world record when they climbed all three of the Issaquah Alps in one day.

Mason Jones, 11, the youngest of the group to complete the full hike, approaches the summit of Tiger Mountain, with the summit of Squak Mountain, climbed earlier in the day, at the right. By Rob McAdams

The 20-mile hike began behind schedule on a misty Saturday morning.

Roughly 10 minutes after 7 a.m. June 9, the hikers began their long walk from Newcastle to Issaquah.

The handful of Scouts accompanied by their parents had their work cut out for them. They called it the “Three Peak Challenge.” The troop was accompanied by experienced hiker Paul Mitchell.

The challenge was to hike Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains within 12 hours. The Scouts finished the hike in 11½.

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Who’s News

June 19, 2012

Four Scouts earn Eagle rank

Eric Hall, Zach Hall, Ben Fairhart and Jacob Tierney

Four Boy Scouts from Issaquah Troop 609 — Eric Hall, Zach Hall, Ben Fairhart and Jacob Tierney — earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest honor, at a court of honor ceremony June 4 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Bellevue.

Eric Hall planned and led for his Eagle Scout Project a volunteer effort to build the initial 150 feet of new trail in Squak Valley Park. Eric is an accomplished musician in the Issaquah High School wind ensemble, jazz band and Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. Eric also plays football for the IHS football team and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Zach Hall planned and coordinated Scout and neighborhood volunteers to replace 30 yards of sand at South Cove Beach, repair signage and clean up landscaping. Zach is a proficient musician in the IHS wind ensemble, jazz band, Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and Japanese Club.

Ben Fairhart’s Eagle project involved the restoration of 150 feet of trail in Squak Valley Park.  Outside of Scouting, Ben enjoys playing bass guitar with his band, The Greasy Spoon. Together they have performed in Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Buckley and most recently at El Corazon, in Seattle. He has also been active in service projects and mission trips through his church.

For his Eagle Scout project, Jacob “Jake” Tierney planned and organized the construction and ultimate emplacement of five wood duck nesting boxes along the shores of Lake Tradition. During this project, Jake also coordinated and supervised the relocation of wooden benches to a more useful location adjacent to Lake Tradition. Jake graduated with honors from Liberty High School on June 11. He will study engineering at Santa Clara University, in California in September. Jacob is also the proud recipient of a U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship.

Youth advocates take top honors at Community Awards

June 5, 2012

Renee Zimmerman reacts to a standing ovation May 31 after receiving the Citizen of the Year award from Issaquah Chamber of Commerce board chairwoman Dianna Reely, during the 33rd annual Issaquah Community Awards at the Hilton Garden Inn. By Greg Farrar

As Issaquah celebrated its very best at the 33rd annual Chamber of Commerce Community Awards, two residents — celebrated for their lasting contributions to the community — were inducted into Issaquah’s Hall of Fame on May 31.

Barbara de Michele and Master Sgt. Richard “Top” DeMarco received top honors at the May 31 ceremony, which included recognition for Issaquah’s finest in 18 categories, including awards for standout volunteers, businesses leaders, organizations and youth.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the Hall of Fame awards were based on several criteria, including inspiration, leadership, civic mindedness, fundraising efforts for public good and length of service to the community.

None more so affected by the awardees are Issaquah’s youth.

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Who’s News

May 22, 2012

Issaquah History Museums director wins county award

The Association of King County Historical Organizations recently honored Erica Maniez for her long-term leadership of the Issaquah History Museums.

The association chose Maniez for its 2012 Willard Jue Memorial Award, citing her 12 years of work in locating and digitally cataloging items for the museums’ collections, capturing oral histories of longtime Issaquah residents, providing local schoolchildren with educational programs and tours, and writing two books about local history.

King County Councilman Larry Phillips presented the award to Maniez at a ceremony at the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle.

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Who’s News

May 1, 2012

Local students earn Eagle Scout rank

Ian Engelbeck, a senior at Skyline High School, and Douglas Dietzel, a 2011 Skyline graduate and student at Washington State University, have earned the highest honor in Boy Scouting, the rank of Eagle Scout.

Engelbeck has been involved in Scouting since 2000 and joined Troop 636 in 2005. He has been a camp counselor at Camp Parsons on Hood Canal for the past two summers and will work there again this summer. His Eagle Service Project involved planning, supervising and organizing volunteers to build an observation deck at the Evans Creek Preserve in Sammamish.

Dietzel has been involved in Scouting since 1999 and joined Troop 636 in 2004. His Eagle Service Project involved planning, supervising and organizing volunteers to build a shelter at the preschool playground at Faith United Methodist Church.

Both Scouts were honored at a ceremony at Faith United Methodist Church on March 11.

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Issaquah PTSA honors outstanding volunteers at Golden Acorn Awards

April 3, 2012

The primary decorations were orange construction cones and yellow caution tape. Winners were described in terms keeping with that theme, such as construction tools or architects. One winner from the Issaquah School District PTSA Council was described as “the construction glue” that holds the council together.

Gathered in the commons of Pacific Cascade Middle School, the Issaquah PTSA Council held its annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremony March 27.

Not counting the several winners from the districtwide PTSA council, the night honored approximately 75 winners from 23 PTSA units, said Becky Lawrence, vice-president of elementary schools for the PTSA council. A committee of PTSA leaders from each school picked the winners from their individual schools, Lawrence added. As you might expect, criteria included what PTSA members have done for their schools, but also the district and their involvement in the community as a whole.

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City, King County offer options for recycling Christmas trees

December 26, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 26, 2011

Christmas is history, and Issaquah residents ready to pitch Christmas trees have a few options.

Customers tired of evergreens dropping brown needles can set out trees for yard waste collection on regular collection days. The trees must be cut to 4 feet or less. Haulers do not collect trees decked in flocking or decorations.

For residents interested in recycling, or tree-cycling, the King County Solid Waste Division offers a list of recycling locations throughout King County.

Or drop off trees at Cedar Grove Composting near Issaquah and other recycling sites.

Or, Issaquah Highlands and Sammamish residents can wait until Jan. 7, as a local Boy Scout troop collects Christmas trees for a fundraiser.

Who’s News

December 13, 2011

Eric Thies earns Eagle Scout award

Eric Thies

Eric Thies, of Sammamish Troop 571, received his Eagle Scout Award in a Court of Honor ceremony Dec. 11 at the Skyline High School Theater.

On the road to Eagle Scout, Thies earned 28 merit badges, hiked more than 350 miles, spent 75 nights camping and provided more than 160 hours of community service.

He also earned the Triple Crown of National High Adventure award after completing a 110 mile backpack trek at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, a 63-mile canoe trek out of the Northern Tier Canoe Base in Atikokan, Canada, and being a crew member aboard a 57-foot racing catamaran from the Bahamas Sea Base.

For his Eagle project, Thies led a crew of volunteers in the construction of stairway railing and installation of pathway lighting at Valley Camp in North Bend. The planning and completion of the project took almost 125 hours.

Thies is a senior at Skyline High School, where he is the co-community liaison for the Associated Student Body, and is a four-year team member of the state champion Skyline High School football program.

Tent City 4 needs help to prepare, serve holiday season meals

December 7, 2011

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 7, 2011

Tent City 4 organizers need a hand to prepare and serve meals at the homeless encampment.

Elizabeth Maupin, Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition coordinator and Tent City 4 organizer, asked for volunteers for Dec. 26 and 31.

Maupin and Earle Jones plan to coordinate the Dec. 31 meal. In order to complete the process, Maupin and Jones need a half dozen or so volunteers to help. Contact Maupin at to volunteer for either meal or to ask questions.

Organizers offer answers to frequently asked questions about serving meals at the campsite on the Tent City 4 website. The team also uses a frequently updated online calendar to track meals for Tent City 4.

Groups serving meals to Tent City 4 residents include faith organizations, families, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and more.

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Stuffed donations give kids a friend waiting in the ER

December 6, 2011

Boy Scout Nathan Karren, 14, sits in his living room surrounded by about 650 stuffed animals he collected for his Eagle Scout service project. By Tom Corrigan

Back when she was 4 or 5, Nathan Karren’s sister had to take what her brother described as more than a few trips to the emergency room.

During those trips to the ER, Nathan remembers that Emma, now 7, would be given a stuffed animal to help her feel better. Nathan, now 14, used that memory of Emma’s experiences as his inspiration when dreaming up a service project in order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

In about a month, while it was dubbed “Project Teddy Bear,” Nathan’s undertaking gathered more than 650 stuffed animals of all types, including teddy bears, rabbits, hippos and about every other creature ever recreated as a soft toy. The fuzzy menagerie was delivered to the ER at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue on Nov. 29. Nathan’s dad Boyd Karren said the delivery went very nicely.

“He was very well received,” Boyd said.

For his part, Nathan said Scouting is a big part of his life.

“It’s pretty important to me,” he said, adding it’s also a lot of fun.

While Boyd noted approximately one out of every 100 Boy Scouts becomes an Eagle Scout, Nathan is following what seems to be a family tradition. Boyd earned his Eagle award after creating a neighborhood watch group in Bellevue. Both Nathan’s maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were Eagle Scouts. Boyd said his father didn’t get to be an Eagle Scout when he was younger, but has earned a prestigious Silver Beaver award for his adult volunteering with the Scouts.

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