Community lunch spurs appetites, friendships

May 3, 2011

The buffet lunch boasted clam-and-salmon chowder, fresh fruit smoothies and a taco bar, but it wasn’t a ritzy restaurant — it was a delicious community gathering, served for free at the Issaquah Community Hall every Thursday.

Ray Anderson (right), a Henderson House resident, receives a bowl of mixed vegetables and a taco from volunteers Marsha Whitfield (left) and Jean Olsen. By Greg Farrar

The free lunch was the brainchild of Marilyn Ottinger. She regularly volunteered at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank and noticed how sometimes the lines moved slowly, with people waiting outside before they could collect food, clothes and other household comforts.

In 2009, she and her friends began serving lunch out of the back of their cars, setting up tables near the queue.

“We started to get to know the folks,” Ottinger said, which made her want to reach out even more.

Their portable lunch stop hit a snag in summer 2009, when temperatures topped 100 degrees. Ottinger worked with Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler to get a permanent indoor — and cooler — space. He helped them land the Issaquah Community Hall, the meeting room in the East Sunset Way fire station.

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Honor veterans in Memorial Day section

April 12, 2011

Dave Waggoner said he is worried that people are forgetting about U.S. veterans.

He recalled a phrase — selective disengagement — that journalist Bob Woodward had used.

“He said people across the United States selectively disengage from war, whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq or Korea or Vietnam or World War II,” said Waggoner, quartermaster with the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

When society selectively disengages from wars, it loses focus on the people who fight them and their experiences.

“The cost of war is people, and the people of Issaquah paid that price for their service,” Waggoner said.

The Issaquah Press is working to reverse that trend. For the second consecutive year, in its Memorial Day issue, The Press will publish profiles of Issaquah men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces.

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Hopelink cancels Talk Time English classes in Issaquah

January 25, 2011

Hopelink canceled its English Talk Time classes at Issaquah Valley Elementary School last month due to budget cuts.

About nine people used the free class, where they divided into beginning and advanced groups to practice their English speaking skills, Talk Time Coordinator and AmeriCorps member Kelli Graham said.

Hopelink is not the first to cut English language classes because of budget cuts. In March 2009, Renton Technical College ended its English class, which helped 22 people from Brazil, China, Korea, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine at a classroom at the Community Church of Issaquah.

Even with the cuts, English language learners looking for classes can still find them around town.

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center offers English language classes to people who speak Chinese. The center offers the free class for seniors and adults from 10 a.m. – noon every Monday at 75 N.E. Creek Way. No registration is required, Program Coordinator April Nelson said.

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Who’s News

January 4, 2011

Issaquah Nursing and Rehab donates $1,000 to senior center

Craig Hansen, Carmen Llewellyn and Lisa Stubenrauch

Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation recently donated $1,000 to the Issaquah Valley Senior Center. Presenting the check are (from left) Craig Hansen, president of the board of directors; Carmen Llewellyn, vice president of the board of directors; and Lisa Stubenrauch, administrator at Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Local Realtors honored

The Cascade Team Real Estate recently honored the following agents with its 2010 SOS (Simply Outrageous Service) Award:

  • Bridget Franklin
  • Diego Vitelli
  • Melissa Hughes Wilson
  • Erica Kahler
  • Tonya Eliason
  • Danielle Koval
  • Matt Jensen
  • Stan Hartman

The designation is awarded to agents and brokers who ranked in the top 10 percent for sales companywide, and who also demonstrated exceptional commitment to community.

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Help assemble holiday care packages for troops Saturday

November 12, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. Nov. 12, 2010

Operation Support Our Troops needs helpers to assemble care packages for troops stationed around the globe.

The organization needs up to 50 volunteers to assemble and pack boxes Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way.

The prospective volunteers must contact Sheryl Sheaffer at in order to sign up. The senior center can only accommodate a limited number of volunteers, so after Operation Support Our Troops reaches the 50-person limit, no more volunteers can be accepted.

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Operation Support Our Troops needs your donations

November 2, 2010

The local chapter of Operation Support Our Troops is putting together Christmas stockings for troops overseas.

You can donate small hygiene articles; leftover Halloween candy; lightweight, nonperishable food; and entertainment items, like DVDs or crossword puzzle books.

Call Nadine Gulit, with Operation Support Our Troops, at 369-2215, or go to the U.S. Army Recruiting Station at 1145 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. G2, to donate.

Volunteers are needed to help pack the items from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way. R.S.V.P. by calling Gulit, or here.

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Women’s Club tea combines good times, charity work

November 2, 2010

Steamy tea, little sandwiches and sugary treats await those snacking at the third annual Harmony and High Tea hosted by the Issaquah Women’s Club.

After a group of friends founded the club in 1983, “just a couple of women who wanted to get together and have fun and do some good for the community,” the club has intertwined itself with Issaquah, forming friendships and donating funds to local groups, community outreach chair Mary Mallet said.

Tea aficionados chatter during the annual Harmony and High Tea auction organized by the Issaquah Women’s Club. By Debby Bader

At the tea, women of all ages can catch up with their family and neighbors. Joann McHolland plans to bring her 12-year-old granddaughter, who has already saved $100 to spend at the auction.

McHolland joined the club in 2002, after a vehicle accident made it difficult for her to pursue her other extracurricular activity: golf.

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City prepares for earthquake aftermath

October 12, 2010

A dry-erase board at the city Emergency Operations Center lists mock local road closures as city employees handle emergency scenarios during the two-day regional earthquake drill. By Greg Farrar

The disaster — a magnitude 6.7 earthquake — struck the region less than 48 hours earlier, during rush hour at 7:54 a.m. on a Tuesday.

The temblor triggered landslides on steep slopes, damaged Interstate 90 through Issaquah, snapped mains and compromised the drinking water supply, and toppled cargo cranes at the Port of Seattle — a critical link to deliver food and fuel to Issaquah and the region.

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Flu shot protects against three strains

October 12, 2010

This year’s flu shot protects against three types of influenza: the H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and H1N1, also known as swine flu.

Flu shots combining vaccinations are not uncommon, said Virginia Mason Issaquah primary care doctor Ted Naiman, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marjorie Eikenberry (left), of Timber Ridge, prepares to receive her flu shot at Virginia Mason’s Issaquah clinic from Maxim Healthcare’s Delnaz Pithawalla, a registered nurse, as Eikenberry’s husband of 63 years, Ralph (background), receives his. By Greg Farrar

“Every year, it’s got multiple different ingredients,” he said. “Basically, what the CDC does is they look at the strains of influenzas the year before that made people the sickest and killed the most people, and they use those to make the next year’s vaccine.”

Influenza, a respiratory illness, can cause a multitude of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue or vomiting.

Most people recover in two weeks, but sometimes the disease has complications leading to pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.

Every year, between 5 percent and 20 percent of people get the flu, according to the CDC.

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Mayor unveils proposed 2011 city budget Monday

October 1, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 1, 2010

Mayor Ava Frisinger plans to roll out a proposed 2011 city budget Monday night and outline spending priorities after a year of cost-cutting measures.

Frisinger is due to present the proposal to the City Council at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The council meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The announcement launches at least a month of deliberations between council members and city staffers to produce a final budget.

The process starts Tuesday night, as leaders from nonprofit organizations — Village Theatre, DownTown Issaquah Association, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah Historical Society, Issaquah Valley Senior Center and AtWork! — present requests to the council. City department chiefs present budgets to the council Oct. 13 and 20.

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