When did the holidays go up for sale?

December 25, 2012

“Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. Buy now and your cost will be only $9.95.”

Jacob Brunette
Issaquah High School

That is the American holiday season in a nutshell; the time of year in which we celebrate love, peace and incredible savings.

It seems that every year, however, the incredible savings start sooner, and the love and peace get pushed further into the background.

As soon as Halloween is over, the holiday season has begun. Stores start selling Christmas lights and decorations. Santa Claus appears on TV, advertising cars and clothing.

Holiday music loops endlessly in the mall. Every year, the onslaught of commercials starts a little sooner in an attempt to extend the lucrative period of holiday shopping for as long as possible.

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Expect reduced transit service on Christmas

December 23, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012

Expect reduced transit service from Christmas Eve until after 2013 arrives, as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit adjust schedules for the holidays.

Metro Transit operates on holiday and reduced weekday schedules Christmas week and during the New Year’s holidays.

The agency operates on reduced weekday bus service Monday, Christmas Eve, and on a Sunday schedule for Christmas. Then, transit goes to reduced weekday bus service from Wednesday to Friday.

Using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January is estimated to save Metro Transit about $1 million each year. The agency typically experiences a drop of about 15 percent in ridership during the holiday week.

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Holidays alter King County Metro Transit schedules

November 20, 2012

King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks.

The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December. Thanksgiving and the day after the holiday include reduced bus service.

The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.

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Issaquah Police Department joins holiday DUI patrols

November 20, 2012

Issaquah police officers plan to join a national push to pull drunken drivers from local roads during the holiday season.

The agency is joining other police departments in King County, Washington and across the United States from Nov. 21 through Jan. 1 in Washington’s initial participation in a national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

During the most recent DUI crackdown statewide, officers arrested 1,603 motorists for DUI from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3. The total includes 364 motorists arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in King County.

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King County Metro Transit holiday schedule starts on Veterans Day

November 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012

King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks, starting Nov. 12, as the nation observes Veterans Day.

The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December.

The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.

The mass transit agency uses a Sunday schedule for several of the upcoming holidays. The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but less service than on regular weekdays. Officials estimate the limited schedule saves Metro Transit about $1 million per year.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue experiences booming Fourth due to fireworks incidents

July 10, 2012

Fireworks-related incidents kept Eastside Fire & Rescue crews busy before, on and after Independence Day.

The incidents included a torched barn and a vehicle lost to a fireworks-related blaze. The agency did not report any injuries related to the mishaps.

The action started July 2 in downtown Issaquah at Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest, as firefighters responded to a smoke bomb at 9:40 p.m.

Just after midnight on the holiday, firefighters started the Fourth of July by responding to a garbage can fire started by a sparkler bomb at Southeast Belvedere Way and 266th Way Southeast in Sammamish.

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New Year’s holiday weekend leads to DUI arrests

January 10, 2012

State troopers arrested 253 people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the New Year’s holiday weekend.

“It is always the hope that the new year starts with people driving safe and sober,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “But, I am proud that our troopers are out ensuring impaired drivers are taken off the roads.”

The number of people arrested statewide for DUI by troopers during the holiday weekend decreased from the 286 people arrested for DUI during the same period in 2010. The total from the 2011 holiday weekend includes 32 people involved in DUI collisions.

The holiday weekend started at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 and ended at midnight Jan. 2.

Swedish/Issaquah welcomes first baby of 2012

January 10, 2012

Leah Katherine Ehrenstrom

Swedish/Issaquah greeted a baby to ring in 2012.

The first baby to be born at the hospital in the new year arrived at 2:16 p.m. Jan. 1, when Issaquah residents Katie and Matt Ehrenstrom welcomed 7-pound, 14.5-ounce Leah Katherine.

Dr. Kristen Austin delivered the 19.25-inch infant.

Katie Ehrenstrom works at Swedish/Issaquah. The ultrasound technician and her husband have two other daughters. Leah joins 3-year-old Addyson and 18-month-old Stella in the Ehrenstrom family.

Swedish/ Issaquah presented the Ehrenstroms with a gift basket to celebrate the occasion.

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New Year’s holiday means reduced Metro Transit, Sound Transit service

December 29, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Dec. 29, 2011

King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service for the New Year’s holiday.

Metro Transit usually serves 20 percent to 40 percent fewer weekday riders between Christmas and the New Year’s holiday, so the agency is in the midst of a weeklong service reduction.

The reduced weekday schedule and regular fares take effect for Metro Transit through Friday and again on Monday, Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Expect Sunday schedules and fares on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, and Jan. 2, New Year’s Day, observed.

For reduced weekday schedules, some commuter and school-oriented routes do not operate, and Metro Transit cancels some trips on other routes.

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Washington State Patrol urges revelers to plan for safe New Year’s travel

December 29, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 29, 2011

State troopers asked motorists to plan ahead for safe travels during the New Year’s weekend.

Before revelers bid farewell to 2011 and ring in 2012, the Washington State Patrol asked the public to make the weekend as safe as possible on local roadways. For revelers planning on drinking to celebrate the holiday, troopers recommended a plan to get home safely and not to drink and drive.

Troopers plan to continue a holiday season drunken driving enforcement through the holiday weekend. The DUI crackdown also includes the Issaquah Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.

Troopers asked motorists call 911 if they encounter a dangerous driver. Callers should be prepared to provide the location and direction of travel, description and license of the vehicle and the driving behavior that brought attention to the vehicle.

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