Senior center funding in limbo as council leadership questions operations

November 9, 2015

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 9, 2015

Controversy continues to plague the Issaquah Valley Senior Center and city funding of the center for 2016 still has not been decided.

City Council President Paul Winterstein and Deputy President Stacy Goodman said in a letter they would not, at this time, support funding the current leadership of the center.

The letter was partially read into the record of the Nov. 2 council meeting.

The council does not have to vote on funding until it approves the budget in December. But at a budget hearing Nov. 4, Winterstein said the issue would be on the agenda of another budget hearing the evening of Nov. 10. Read more

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Items needed for Issaquah Valley Senior Center White Elephant Sale

September 18, 2012

If spring cleaning has turned into summer cleaning, consider donating items to the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, which will host a White Elephant Sale during the Salmon Days Festival on Oct. 6-7.

The center is accepting any items except clothing and shoes. Items donated in the past included home furnishings, jewelry, collectibles and antiques.

“It’s like one big flea market,” center Director Courtney Jaren said.

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Tradition lives on at Issaquah Valley Senior Center’s annual pancake breakfast

May 15, 2012

Nothing says Americana more than the family tradition. The Issaquah Valley Senior Center is inviting the public to a tradition it has hosted since opening 33 years ago — its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser from 9-11:30 a.m. May 19 at the center, 75 N.E. Creek Way.

Center Director Courtney Jaren said she hopes to attract as many as 300 hungry eaters to the all-you-can-eat buffet, which features bacon, sausage, eggs, coffee, tea and juice to accompany the pancakes. At just $5 per person, Jaren said that adds up to a nice amount for the center.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said. “Netting $1,500 would be nice. It will go toward paying for all our programs. And nothing specific. Rather, it’s an amount to help defray all our costs.”

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Issaquah History Museums volunteer Stephen Grate dies in hiking accident

August 10, 2010

Stephen Grate teaches a girl at Heritage Day on July 4 how laundry was done more than 100 years ago. Contributed

Early last decade, a hiker had questions about the long-abandoned coalmines carved into the mountains surrounding Issaquah. The query led Stephen Grate to the Issaquah History Museums in 2003.

From the downtown Issaquah museum, he pored through the mining map collection and rummaged through archives to learn how the 19th century mines operated. Grate earned esteem in his final years for his knowledge of Eastside coalmining heritage and for the hikes he often led to derelict mine sites.

Grate, 52, died Aug. 6 in a hiking accident near Leavenworth. The outdoorsman died from head injuries he sustained in a fall from a rock on Asgaard Pass, a steep and challenging route in the Enchantment Lakes Basin.

The coalmining heritage brought Grate to the museums, but he also contributed to other civic and municipal organizations. Colleagues said the Renton resident brought a quiet passion to each role.

The independent computer consultant served on the Issaquah Cable TV Commission, taught a digital photography class at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center and volunteered as a docent at the historic Issaquah Train Depot. Read more

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Longtime Issaquah History Museums volunteer dies in hiking accident

August 9, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. Aug. 9, 2010

Longtime Issaquah History Museums volunteer Stephen Grate — esteemed for his knowledge of the area’s coalmining heritage and a frequent guide for hikes to local mine sites — died Friday in a hiking accident near Leavenworth.

Grate, 52, died from head injuries he sustained in a fall from a rock on Asgaard Pass, a steep and challenging route in the Enchantment Lakes Basin.

Grate, a Renton resident and former Issaquah Cable TV Commission member, became interested in coalmining history after he noticed traces of old mines on the mountains surrounding Issaquah.

“He was one of those people who, when he was interested in a subject, he researched it until he knew everything about it,” museums Volunteer Coordinator Karen Klein said.

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Project: serenity

August 3, 2010

Lowe’s volunteers beautify senior center patio

Courtney Jaren, executive director of Issaquah Valley Senior Center, steps out in the sun to admire the finished patio. By Sarah Sexton

A starkly undecorated patio at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center underwent a lush transformation July 10. Lowe’s Heroes planted geraniums, petunias, lobelia, marigolds and other basic plants that are colorful and easy to care for in pots all along the top of the walls surrounding the patio.

Generally small plants in size, it will be easy to pick off dead flowers to keep them looking fresh and to water consistently, given their exposure on the sunny patio. Lowe’s also installed a working fountain in the shape of a small girl standing on a little boy’s back, peering into a tall cylindrical bowl. The total cost of the project was $500.

Lowe’s did the project for free.

Gary Danberg, human resources manager, said Lowe’s gives away millions of dollars once per year to fund community relations and efforts, and Lowe’s Heroes is one of those projects. Each store is allotted its own amount of dollars to work with the community on a certain project. Read more

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Hot spell is no sweat for residents

July 13, 2010

Temperatures in Issaquah rose into the 90s last week, as summer weather made a belated debut.

The area posted records July 7-9 with three days that sent the mercury soaring past 90 degrees at Sea-Tac International Airport, where official measurements are taken, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike McFarland said.

The 90-degree heat July 7 and 95-degree heat July 8 broke records set at 88 degrees in 1953, while the 93-degree record July 9 broke the record of 91 degrees set in 1985, he said.

During the hot spell, police officers, city officials and firefighters said they kept busy with routine calls, but there were few instances of people in distress due to it.

“There were a few calls from folks who were worried about dogs left in vehicles, but the dogs were all OK,” city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan wrote in an e-mail.

There weren’t any cases involving heat-related injury or illness, Eastside Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Josie Williams said.

The local American Red Cross chapter and Public Health – Seattle & King County reminded Issaquah and King County residents — including children, the elderly and people with chronic health issues — to take precautions to address the heat and stay safe.

To help, The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, opened its doors to everybody who wanted to use the building as a cooling shelter.

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Health officials urge residents to keep cool as the mercury rises

July 7, 2010

UPDATED — 3:50 p.m. July 7, 2010

Forecasters predict temperatures in Issaquah to rise past 80 this week, as summer weather makes a belated debut.

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, is cooperating with the city of Issaquah and opening its doors to everybody who wants to use the building as a cooling shelter.

People of all ages who want to take shelter from the summer heat are more than welcome to come, Executive Director Courtney Jaren said.

The city opened the senior center and Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 71 as cooling centers during a heat wave last July, city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said.

“If we start getting calls from concerned citizens, or from firefighters or police, then we start to open cooling centers,” she said.

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Senior center hosts annual pancake fundraiser

May 11, 2010

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, is hosting its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8:30-11:30 a.m. May 15.

Jack Steidl, a 91-year-old retired military and commercial pilot, will bugle hungry supporters into the “Mess Hall” for hot and fluffy pancake stacks. Steidl will also be in uniform to honor Armed Forces Day. Mayor Ava Frisinger will dish up your food, as will volunteers from the City Council and other organizations.

Aegis of Issaquah will sponsor food for the event and Fischer Meats will donate sausages. Cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

“We have an amazing amount of activities here that are ongoing, like our art classes, our Tuesday after-lunch lecture series and special events, like our Literary Tea, that we don’t charge for but incur costs for,” Senior Center Executive Director Courtney Jaren said. “When people support us, they don’t just support one program, but all the wonderful things we do here at the center.”

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New director takes helm at Issaquah Valley Senior Center

January 13, 2010

Courtney Jaren, new Issaquah Valley Senior Center executive director, stands before a twice-weekly exercise class at the social center. — Photo by Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 2:06 p.m. Jan. 13, 2010

Only one day on the job, and Courtney Jaren is busy meeting patrons and making plans at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center.

“We’d like to put out an all-call for volunteers,” she said, of her first order of business. “We want people in the community to come volunteer with us particularly our schools, Rotary or Eagles groups.

“We want to open ourselves up to new generations and embrace the entire community.”

Jaren is the new executive director for the center. Her first day was Tuesday and she succeeds Janice Koriath, who left the position at the end October. Meet Jaren at a meet-and-greet event today at 2 p.m.

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