State offers tools to liberate motorists from Fourth of July headaches

July 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. July 3, 2011

The state Department of Transportation reminds motorists to prepare for increased traffic during Independence Day weekend.

The agency offers tools to help motorists to keep headaches to a minimum.

Still, expect delays along Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass and U.S. 2 at Stevens Pass, as well as along Interstate 5 at the Canadian border and between Olympia and Tacoma.

Work at most construction projects around the state moved off of highways at noon July 1 until Tuesday morning. Though active construction might not take place during the holiday weekend, motorists should prepare for shifted lanes, roadway detours and reduced speed zones in places.

The agency offers many ways for motorists to check road conditions, including a travel website and a travel information hotline, 511.

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AAA gives tips to teenage drivers

June 14, 2011

Summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and passengers, with six of the top 10 deadliest days of the year occurring between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays, according to an analysis of crash data completed by AAA.

The 10 deadliest days for teen drivers and passengers are Jan. 21, May 20, May 26, June 10, July 2, July 4, July 9, July 15, July 23 and Nov. 11.

More than 7,300 teen drivers and passengers ages 13-19 died in traffic crashes between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays during the five-year period of 2005-2009, according to the AAA. An average of 422 teens die in traffic crashes during each of the deadly summer months as compared to a monthly average of 363 teen deaths during the nonsummer months.

Parents can coach their teenage drivers about a few measures, including limiting the number of teenage passengers, limiting time spent as a passenger, restricting nighttime driving and signing a parent-teen driving agreement.

Get detailed information about Washington’s teenage driving laws at www.teendriving.aaa.com.

Off the Press

May 31, 2011

Veterans have earned their place of honor

I had tears in my eyes Memorial Day as about 200 people gathered at Hillside Cemetery to honor and remember veterans.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press editor

I’ve always thought that veterans got short shrift in some respects. But on this day, those who are living, those who have passed away and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice were the focus of young and old. Thank you to everyone who turned out.

I loved seeing the people, again young and old, who have served or are serving their country, lined up in front of the crowd. It always touches my heart especially to see the men and women who served in Vietnam and World War II standing up there, saluting the flag or standing at attention.

I hope you saw our second annual section — Lest We Forget — in last week’s paper. We are continuing to collect photos of and information about people from our community who have served in all branches of the armed forces.

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Prevent wildfires on Memorial Day and all summer

May 28, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2011

The state Department of Natural Resources urges outdoors enthusiasts to help prevention wildfires during Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer.

Though the weather remains on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend should attract a higher-than-average number of visitors to public forests.

Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish campfires. The state urges people to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits in acceptable areas.

Firefighters have responded to 51 wildfires so far in 2011.

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Memorial Day weekend serves a water safety reminder

May 28, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2011

Rivers make for inherently dangerous places to play — especially in the springtime as water flows high, swift and cold.

King County public safety officials and emergency responders stand on extra alert for spring and summer, because unusually heavy amounts of mountain snow is melting into local rivers. In addition, a tumultuous winter flood season changed river channels and reoriented logs.

The conditions create a recipe for river recreation tragedy.

“King County rivers are running fast and cold and are always extremely dangerous this time of year,” King County Sheriff Sue Rahr said in a statement. “But 2011 could bring even higher risks. We want to get the word out ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and before the next hot weather forecast that people should stay out of the rivers at this time.”

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2011 Memorial Day Special Section

May 25, 2011

Remembering Our Veterans

2011 Memorial Day Section

 

Issaquah VFW post plans Memorial Day service

May 24, 2011

The Issaquah Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 3436 hosts a Memorial Day service at Hillside Cemetery, just below the Veterans Section, at 10 a.m. May 30.

The Issaquah High School Junior Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit will provide the color guard and honor guard for a 21-gun salute.

The VFW-sponsored Boy Scout Troop No. 709 and Cub Scout Pack No. 639 will help set up at 9 a.m. May 28 and take down decorations from the cemetery after the ceremony. There will be someone at the cemetery between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to hand out forms for people to specify the symbols — such as crosses and flags — they want on veterans’ graves.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way.

Press Editorial

May 24, 2011

Thank you for the winning opportunities

A big journalism award like Best Nondaily Newspaper in the Northwest gets our adrenaline pumping — and gives us pause to say thank you.

Let’s just start with the special section inside today’s paper, our second year to publish Lest We Forget. It’s a labor of love, and a labor of respect. It’s also a lot of hard work. But we couldn’t do it at all without the community neighbors and businesses who step up to cover the minimal costs. Thank you.

Thank you to all of the businesses that advertise with us year after year. Part of our commitment to excellent journalism is our commitment to advertisers to keep readership high. Quid pro quo. Your success is our success.

Thank you to our readers, who inspire us with their contributions of service to the community. Thank you for submitting your story ideas and photos. Thank you to the thousands for following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you to the owners of The Issaquah Press and its three sister newspapers. The Blethen family encourages us, and then gives us the resources to do great work.

We are often asked whether newspapers will survive the test of a changing time. We’re glad to say our crystal ball is rosy and bright. We’re not in the business of making predictions, but with a commitment to strong journalism and a strong community, we have a formula that will keep us around for many years. Heck, 111 years is just the beginning!

Thank you, Issaquah. We’re proud to be your award-winning newspaper.

Plan ahead to steer clear of holiday travel headaches

May 24, 2011

Memorial Day weekend means more traffic congestion as people hit the road for the traditional start of summer.

The state Department of Transportation alerted drivers to expect delays along Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass and U.S. 2 at Stevens Pass, as well as along Interstate 5 at the Canadian border and between Olympia and Tacoma.

The agency offers many ways for motorists to check road conditions, including a travel website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic, and a travel information hotline, 511.

Motorists can find information such as camera images from across the state, state ferry schedules and a map of highway incidents and closures online.

People using mobile devices can go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/inform to see how transportation officials provide travel information through email alerts and other tools, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Off the Press

May 24, 2011

Here’s to those who help us remember

Sometimes we all need a little reminder. Thank goodness we have people like Dave Waggoner in the Issaquah community.

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

Waggoner, a quartermaster in the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars post, once left a small U.S. flag at the office so I would always remember Memorial Day. The flag still flies above my desk.

Each year, Waggoner, members of the VFW post and local Boy Scouts plant flags and/or crosses on the graves of former veterans at Hillside Cemetery for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Waggoner makes sure these former vets are remembered.

Waggoner expressed a concern in an April Issaquah Press story that people are forgetting U.S. veterans. With Memorial Day coming up, none of us should forget veterans, especially those in our family.

I do a roll call every Memorial Day, setting aside some time to remember the veterans in my family.

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