Press Editorial

April 17, 2012

Give a nod to planet Earth

Arbor Day is April 21, followed by Earth Day on April 22. Both are an equal opportunity to show appreciation for the third rock from the sun.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will plant 150 trees along Issaquah Creek on Saturday in honor of Arbor Day. Just last week, the city earned Tree City USA status for the 19th year.

Earth Day gets a jumpstart in Issaquah on Thursday when Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry are released into Laughing Jacobs Creek. Public tours are available this weekend to see what happens to unrecycled garbage at the Cedar Hills Landfill in south Issaquah. Also south of the city limits, volunteers will mulch and weed the Log Cabin Natural Area along Issaquah Creek. Volunteers will do back-country trail work on Cougar Mountain.

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King County hosts events to celebrate Earth Day

April 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. April 15, 2012

King County starts countywide Earth Day celebration in Issaquah on Thursday, as conservationists gather to release Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry into Laughing Jacobs Creek.

The county is also opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah to public tours.

Other Earth Day events entice residents to participate in environmental activities or adopt a “green” lifestyle habit.

“Small choices can add up to big changes,” County Executive Dow Constantine said. “The future is in our hands — please join me in keeping King County green. With these steps, it’s easy.”

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King County offers landfill tours for Earth Day celebration

April 10, 2012

See the destination for most King County garbage up close.

The county is opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill between Issaquah and Maple Valley for free tours April 21.

Cedar Hills, the last operating landfill in the county, encompasses 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from across King County, excluding Seattle and Milton.

The tour is designed for adults. Call 206-296-4490 to organize tours for school-aged children and school groups.

The tours start at 9 and 11 a.m. and last about one hour. The tours require reservations. Reserve a spot by April 16 by calling 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711.

Parking is provided at the landfill, 16645 228th Ave S.E., and participants board a Metro Transit bus for the guided tour. The bus is wheelchair accessible.

For safety, tour participants must wear closed-toe footwear and adhere to all traffic signs at the landfill.

Lake Sammamish kokanee fry release starts Earth Day celebration

April 10, 2012

Jessica Leguizamon watches kokanee salmon fry swim away from her Dixie cup into Laughing Jacobs Creek as her sister Sabrina waits her turn and their grandfather Gary Smith looks on during the 2011 release. County environmental scientist Hans Berge makes sure the procedure is done properly. By Greg Farrar

Conservationists plodded along rain-soaked creek banks last autumn to collect mature Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon in a soggy slog and pluck fish from a handful of streams to preserve the fading species.

The groups responsible for the salmon run restoration effort plan to return to Laughing Jacobs Creek on April 19 to release minuscule fry — a sign of success for the local, county, state and federal agencies entwined in the preservation program.

The annual kokanee fry release celebrates the ongoing push to restore the declining kokanee population in Lake Sammamish and launches Earth Day observances in the area. The community is invited to participate and learn about the salmon species — a landlocked cousin of sockeye — and the preservation program.

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FISH needs volunteers to prep hatchery before celebration

April 10, 2012

Before the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery celebrates 75 years, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery needs help preparing the hatchery grounds for a public celebration.

The nonprofit group is hosting a work party April 14 to spruce up the hatchery. The event starts at 9 a.m. and runs for the rest of the day. Participants can volunteer for the entire stretch or for a few hours.

Organizers asked for volunteers to report to the Steve Bell Theater at the hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way.

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King County offers landfill tours for Earth Day celebration

April 9, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. April 9, 2012

See the destination for most King County garbage up close.

The county is opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill between Issaquah and Maple Valley for free tours April 21.

Cedar Hills, the last operating landfill in the county, encompasses 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from across King County, excluding Seattle and Milton.

The tour is designed for adults. Call 206-296-4490 to organize tours for school-aged children and school groups.

The tours start at 9 and 11 a.m. and last about one hour. The tour requires reservations. Reserve a spot by April 16 by calling 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711.

Parking is provided at the landfill, 16645 228th Ave S.E., and participants board a Metro Transit bus for the guided tour. The bus is wheelchair accessible.

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Issaquah environmentalists receive Green Globe Awards

May 10, 2011

Every two years, King County awards its best environmentalists with the Green Globe Awards at the Earth Day Expo.

Of the 16 awards given to individuals, schools districts, cities and businesses that won the 2011 Green Globe Awards, three award-winners are from Issaquah — two people behind the Issaquah Zero Energy Village and Dr. Jessica Saepoff, a dentist with Natural Dental Health Associates in Issaquah.

County Executive Dow Constantine praised the finalists for their work toward helping “green” their communities.

“Award winners are leaders, innovators and are truly dedicated to making King County and the greater Puget Sound region such a tremendous place to live, work and play,” Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank all of our winners for proving that commitment and dedication makes a positive difference in the community.”

Linda Hall, with the YWCA, and Brad Liljequist, with zHome Issaquah Zero Energy, both received the award for Community Leadership in Green Building.

Their projects, the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and zHome, required years of planning, forethought and persistence on behalf of the YWCA and Issaquah to incorporate housing for Eastside working families.

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Issaquah’s innovative zHome community to open Sept. 14

May 3, 2011

NEW — 10:30 p.m. May 3, 2011

The opening date is Sept. 14 for zHome, a groundbreaking cluster of carbon-neutral townhouses under construction in the Issaquah Highlands, the project manager announced Tuesday morning.

Construction is scheduled to conclude earlier, but the additional weeks should allow crews enough time to prepare the units for public open houses. The grand opening is scheduled on the same day as the Built Green Conference, a yearly gathering for building industry professionals interested in eco-conscious practices.

Plans call for tours to run from the conference at Pickering Barn to zHome in the highlands. Brad Liljequist, zHome project manager, announced the grand opening date.

The project is designed to produce as much electricity as residents consume — hence the zero-net energy name — and is meant to be a leader in energy and water conservation.

Construction crews also used a high percentage of salvaged, reclaimed and local materials to build zHome.

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Earth Day offers opportunity to ‘detox’ homes

April 21, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 21, 2011

King County’s EcoConsumer program is taking the cleansing trend one step further with the Earth Day Detox.

The six-step regimen is intended to help residents detoxify homes in ways to protect health and the environment.

King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson, alongside nonprofit groups and government agencies, is encouraging residents to review the detox steps through Friday, Earth Day.

“Each day we’ll give you another step to help make your home a safer place, whether it be evaluating the contents of your medicine cabinet or sorting through the chemicals gathering dust in your garage,” Watson said. “The program will also give advice on how to properly dispose of toxic products and suggest greener and safer alternatives.”

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Guest Column

April 20, 2011

Innovative, ambitious ‘green’ programs earn their keep in Issaquah

Just a few years ago, many people considered sustainability a fad. The prediction was that cities passionate about recycling and green living would abandon sustainability when hard-pressed to stretch city dollars and services.

That didn’t happen. In fact, communities like Issaquah stand tall on Earth Day because of innovative and ambitious sustainability programs that are actually reducing costs. Here’s how:

Waste reduction for Issaquah businesses: The city of Issaquah and Waste Management are partners in innovative outreach to boost commercial recycling. As a result, Issaquah has sent less and less garbage to the landfill every year since 2005.

The city’s new food packaging ordinance is a prime example of an aggressive effort that’s paying off. It requires restaurants and food service-related businesses to compost and to use “to-go” packaging that is either recyclable or compostable. Since October, 90 local businesses have signed up for food waste collection, diverting 600 tons of food waste from the landfill. That’s roughly 60 Waste Management trucks full of food waste.

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