Proposed fire authority receives cool reception from cities

March 15, 2011

Issaquah, Sammamish leaders also raise concerns about pools at joint meeting

The potential regional fire authority for Eastside communities received a lukewarm reception from Issaquah and Sammamish leaders March 10, as city councils from both cities discussed planning for emergency services and other issues at a joint meeting.

Officials from Issaquah and rural fire districts formed a planning group in late 2009 to consider a regional fire authority in the Eastside Fire & Rescue service area. The authority could tax residents to fund emergency services, unlike EFR. Contributions from member cities and fire districts fund EFR.

“It’s really hard to see a scenario where you can provide fire service to the citizens of Issaquah with an RFA,” Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet said as leaders from both cities met at Tibbetts Creek Manor.

Participation in the planning process does not commit Issaquah or the fire districts to joining a regional fire authority.

Read more

Helen Russell celebrates 100 years of tough living, chasing dreams

March 9, 2010

Helen Russell wears a tiara at her 100th birthday party in November, and enjoys the quilt made and presented as a gift to commemorate the milestone. — Photo contributed

Helen Russell has accomplished a lot in her life. After all, she’s been around for a century.

Russell celebrated her 100th birthday Nov. 22. It was a day she won’t ever forget.

“My daughter-in-law threw a party to end all parties,” Helen said of Judy Russell, wife of her younger son Alan. “She took an 80-year-old address book and started writing invitations.

“If you want a party, get Judy.”

There were more than 100 people who came to help her celebrate her birthday, including her three granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.

Cousins, friends, family and neighbors came, said her older son, Mac Russell.

“It didn’t last long enough,” he said. “There were too many people who hadn’t seen her, or we hadn’t seen, in 20 years.” Read more