USS George Washington is Issaquah native’s ‘home away from home’

September 18, 2012

Fireman Thomas Timmons, of Issaquah, poses for a photograph in the machine shop aboard the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). By MCSSA Brian H. Abel

Issaquah native Thomas Timmons spends his day doing what most welders do.

He welds, grinds, brazes and fabricates different metal pieces to make something new.

The difference is that Timmons does his work aboard a mammoth aircraft carrier that is made up of 60,000 tons of structural steel and travels across the Pacific Ocean protecting the collective maritime interests of the United States and its allies.

In a call from the USS George Washington, as it traveled somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, Timmons spoke about his life on the ship.

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Who’s News

August 14, 2012

Local teen signs with national agent

Sarah Arthur, 15, of Issaquah, has been signed with the talent agency The Crawford Agency.

She is the daughter of Esi Quaidoo-Arthur and Edmund K. Arthur, of Bellevue, and attends Issaquah High School.

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Summer job provides more than a paycheck

July 31, 2012

Recent Issaquah High School graduate Maria Dalzell isn’t bagging groceries or working retail this summer.

Maria Dalzell

Instead, she is busy meeting CEOs, sitting in on board meetings and getting a first-hand look at how nonprofit organizations function through her paid internship at Seattle Goodwill.

Dalzell is among a handful of Puget Sound-area teens selected to participate in the Bank of America Student Leaders program. The program awards community-minded teens from across the country with an eight-week paid internship at a local charitable organization and a July trip to Washington, D.C., for a weeklong Student Leadership Summit.

During a time when the teen unemployment rate in Washington state is among the highest in the nation, Bank of America’s Student Leaders program and Summer Youth Employment Initiative provide meaningful summer work for teens.

“Youth unemployment is a big deal, especially since there are many more adults in the field looking for jobs,” Dalzell said. “What’s really special about programs like this is that it’s not just a job that you get over the summer, it’s a job that really prepares you for the big world, prepares you for college and prepares you for life.”

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American Hero Quilts Galleria offers thanks to Iraq, Afghanistan veterans

July 17, 2012

Bellewood Retirement Center residents Ursula Tueffers (from left), Merle Klavano, Herb Lyons and Peggy Duncan unfold a quilt that will be displayed with others in the galleria display space for four weeks before being sent to soldiers. By Greg Farrar

She never heard his voice.

She never shook his hand or gave him a hug.

She didn’t even know his name until after he hanged himself.

But the story of Ken Dennis, a 22-year-old Marine who took his short life in 2004 after serving in Iraq, still haunts Sue Nebeker eight years later.

“He and his dad were at the mall,” she said, “and his dad said he looked around and said, ‘You know, I don’t fit in here anymore. I can’t do this. I’ve seen too much.’”

Nebeker would first learn of the Marine’s story in “The War Comes Home: Rifleman couldn’t take any more,” an August 2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about Dennis’ struggle — facing the challenges of a recently discharged serviceman. And while most people would absorb the information and move on, Nebeker knew she had to do something.

That’s when she started American Hero Quilts, a project that aims to ensure wounded veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan come home to a tangible thank you through the warmth and comfort of a patriotic quilt. Nebeker vows to continue the project until U.S. forces are out of Afghanistan, and she is working to make quilts available to Vietnam veterans as well.

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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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VFW hosts Memorial Day commemoration in Issaquah

May 22, 2012

Issaquah residents will have the opportunity to remember and celebrate local veterans who have given their lives in the line of military service at 10 a.m. May 28 at Issaquah’s Hillside Cemetery in an annual observance of Memorial Day.

The Issaquah High School Junior Naval ROTC will facilitate a 21-gun salute and provide the color guard for the event. It will be the final public performance of the group after more than 40 years of service, event organizer Dave Waggoner said. ROTC will no longer be offered at the school after this school year.

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Issaquah High School Navy JROTC salutes end of an era

March 13, 2012

At the end of the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps’ last public Pass in Review event March 7, unit commander Master Sgt. Richard DeMarco had cadets, parents and invited guests take to the stands for a giant group photo he termed historic. Photos By Tom Corrigan

Longtime program to be disestablished at end of school year

Master Sgt. Richard DeMarco several times referred to the evening as historic, as well as the last of its kind.

On the evening of March 7, the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps took to the school’s gym and held its 40th — and final — annual Pass in Review Parade, destined to become the last major public event held specifically by the IHS unit.

Due to falling enrollment within the local unit and budget reductions within the military, the Navy has decided to disestablish the IHS JROTC and some 20 other units nationwide at the end of this school year.

Local cadets wishing to continue in the program will be able to do so, but will need to transfer to the Liberty High School Navy JROTC.

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Veterans receive salute at Issaquah ceremony

November 15, 2011

A World War II Navy veteran, Paul Miller has been through his share of Veterans Day celebrations.

Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps members present a 21-gun salute to close the Veterans Day celebration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Nov. 11. See a slideshow of photos at By Tom Corrigan

Not surprisingly, he still thinks those remembrances are important and worthwhile.

“We need to pay our respects and honor those who have served and … especially those who made that ultimate sacrifice,” he said following the 45-minute commemoration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Veterans Day.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute provided by the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“Veterans do not take life for granted,” said veteran and Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler, who presented the keynote talk during the event. “They know that duty and sacrifice are more than words.”

Butler said the country has a new breed of veterans in those returning from often multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Too many veterans with real skills cannot find jobs in this economy,” he said.

He urged those listening to get to know those new veterans and help and hire them if possible.

Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3436, led by David Waggoner, presented the Veterans Day event. For his part, Waggoner’s talk highlighted an Issaquah vet he believes deserves more attention then she has gotten so far.

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Veterans Day observance In Issaquah / Nov. 11, 2011

November 14, 2011

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Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars leads annual Veterans Day celebration

November 11, 2011

Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps members present a 21-gun salute to close the Veterans Day celebration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Friday. By Tom Corrigan

NEW — 1:19 p.m. Nov. 11, 2011

A World War II Navy veteran, Paul Miller has been through his share of Veterans Day celebrations.

Not surprisingly, he still thinks those remembrances are important and worthwhile.

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