Survey: Washington drivers feel comfortable in snow

February 23, 2011

NEW — 7 p.m. Feb. 23, 2011

Surprise — not all Evergreen State drivers react to snowstorms like the First Snowflake Freakout Lady in the droll PEMCO Insurance spot.

The insurer polled Washington drivers and discovered 58 percent of respondents feel comfortable driving in the snow, and another 58 percent of respondents claimed to be safer than other drivers in snowy conditions.

Only 16 percent of the 606 respondents in the survey admitted to significant concern behind the wheel in snowy conditions.

PEMCO released the survey results Wednesday, as meteorologists predicted a drubbing for the Puget Sound region from a significant snowstorm.

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Report windstorm damage to emergency management agencies

November 16, 2010

UPDATED — 11:30 a.m. Nov. 18, 2010

The state Emergency Management Division encourages residents to report damage from the Monday night windstorm.

State emergency planners said homeowners and business owners should notify local emergency management agencies to damage. Find a list of local agencies and contact information here.

If a business owner suffered economic injury as a result of the severe weather, he or she should also report the information to the local emergency management agency.

This initial damage information is compiled and assessed to determine if citizens and businesses in the state qualify for federal assistance in recovering from the storm.

Winds gusting at more than 40 mph toppled trees and downed power lines, plunging thousands of customers across the region into darkness.

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Comedy Central features Issaquah Highlands’ unemployment ‘scapegoats’

October 19, 2010

Funnyman Stephen Colbert shined a spotlight on the Issaquah Highlands last week for a serious message about unemployment.

Colbert sounded the alarm about illegal helpers — scapegoats — “gobbling up our jobs” and causing unemployment to rise.

Scapegoats? No, actual goats.

Stephen Colbert, host of the cable news spoof ‘The Colbert Report,’ gestures at the end of a segment about landscaping goats in the Issaquah Highlands. Contributed

So, the goats hired to landscape the highlands trotted into the national spotlight. The piece — a “People Who Are Destroying America” segment for the Oct. 14 episode of “The Colbert Report” — highlighted the Issaquah neighborhood and Rent-A-Ruminant.

In September, a Comedy Central crew filmed a segment on the living lawnmowers. The crew also interviewed Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager, for the piece.

“I had no idea what they were going to do with it,” he said.

The crew asked the highlands landscaping team to appear in the segment, but Ayers said the group decided to pass. Instead, Comedy Central turned to a Tukwila business, New Beginning Garden & Lawn Care, to portray landscapers edged out of business by hungry goats.

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Issaquah Highlands goats featured on ‘The Colbert Report’

October 14, 2010

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 14, 2010

The goats hired to landscape the Issaquah Highlands trot into the national spotlight in a segment on “The Colbert Report.”

The piece is scheduled to air as part of the satirical show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Comedy Central. Watch the clip here.

In September, a Comedy Central crew filmed a segment on the living lawnmowers. The crew also interviewed Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager, for the piece.

The goats returned to highlands hillsides in June. The goats — more than 120 from Rent-A-Ruminant on Vashon Island — chomped through tall grass and invasive plants for several weeks.

Rent-A-Ruminant also provided goats to landscape the highlands last summer. The goats gained some notoriety as the ruminants in PEMCO Insurance’s “Goat Renter Guy” spot.

Goats arrive to landscape Issaquah Highlands hillsides

July 7, 2009

UPDATED — 5:30 p.m. July 7, 2009

Issaquah Highlands backyards will resemble barnyards for the next few weeks as goats landscape vacant land.

About 120 rented goats set to work yesterday on about a half-acre along 24th Avenue Northeast. Goats nibble high grass and invasive species, such as Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom.

The first herd — from Rent-a-Ruminant, of Vashon Island — nibbled across TV screens and YouTube in a lighthearted spot for PEMCO Insurance about goat landscapers.

Goat Landscaping In Highlands / July 7, 2009

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Goats will landscape highlands hillsides

June 9, 2009

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects, Contributed

Goats from Rent-a-Ruminant and Healing Hooves will eat invasive plants in the Issaquah Highlands this summer. Goats have done landscape work for several municipal projects. Contributed

Parts of the Issaquah Highlands will resemble a PEMCO Insurance ad in late June and early July, when hundreds of goats start to munch invasive plants on steep hillsides. Some of the goats clearing brush in the highlands were featured in the “Goat Renter Guy” spot that poked fun at Pacific Northwesterners for relying on ruminants to tame wayward plants.

Issaquah Highlands Community Association managers hired a pair of goat herders — and about 400 goats — to tackle landscaping on stretches of hillside too difficult and expensive for human crews to maintain.

“I’m told they’ll eat anything that’s green,” said Russ Ayers, landscape manager for the highlands community association.

Goats will work in the highlands for about two and a half weeks. Ayers said arrival dates for the goats had yet to be finalized.

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