Anglers turn out at Pine Lake for lowland lakes opening day

May 8, 2012

Anglers headed to Pine Lake as the lowland lakes fishing season opened April 28 and, on average, caught about three fish apiece.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said 75 anglers checked in at the Sammamish Plateau lake on opening day. The agency said, on average, each angler caught 5.1 fish and harvested 3.07 fish.

(The total for average number of fish caught includes the number of fish released.)

Based on creel checks conducted at 112 lakes across the state, the agency estimated anglers caught 3.99 trout on average.

Statewide, good weather and large trout helped boost the catch.

“The weather was good and so was the fishing,” said Chris Donley, Inland Fish manager for the agency. “We saw a lot of limits taken at lakes around the state.”

The department released 3 million hatchery-reared trout averaging 11 inches to 13 inches — 1 to 3 inches longer than last year — into lakes before opening day.

“Lots of folks noticed those larger fish,” said Mark Downen, a department fish biologist for Mason and Kitsap counties. “With bigger fish and cool but sunny weather, it was all in all a good opener.”

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Pine Lake anglers turn out for opening day

May 1, 2012

NEW — 2:45 p.m. May 1, 2012

Anglers headed to Pine Lake as the lowland lakes fishing season opened April 28 and, on average, caught about three fish apiece.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said 75 anglers checked in at the Sammamish Plateau lake on opening day. The agency said, on average, each angler caught 5.1 fish and harvested 3.07 fish.

(The total for average number of fish caught includes the number of fish released.)

Based on creel checks conducted at 112 lakes around the state, the agency estimated anglers caught 3.99 trout on average.

Statewide, good weather and large trout helped to boost catch rates as the lowland lakes fishing season started.

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5th District Republicans plan picnic to celebrate, plot future course

July 19, 2011

The state’s 5th Legislative District includes, of course, Issaquah and neighboring cities such as Sammamish and stretches east into the mountains past North Bend. And, as many probably know, it’s somewhat of a special place for Republicans.

While there are no major races specific to the 5th District this year, Republicans from the area will gather to celebrate their achievements and plot a course for the future during their annual summer picnic from 3-6 p.m. July 23 at Pine Lake Park in Sammamish.

The park is off 228th Avenue Southeast. The event is free and open to the public.

Representing the Klahanie area, Terry LaBrue is an area chairman for the 5th Legislative District Republicans. He said the district is the only one in what he called the “suburban crescent” around the Puget Sound to have all Republican representation at the state level.

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug and state Reps. Jay Rodne and Glenn Anderson all usually have an “R” near their names, as in “Republican.” LaBrue added that Republicans have held those seats since at least the 1990s.

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Fireworks, parade await Issaquah on Independence Day

June 28, 2011

On Independence Day, Issaquah residents can head downtown for the annual parade, churn butter at the Train Depot Museum, participate in a slug race or drive to Sammamish for the annual plateau celebration.

Practice fireworks safety

King County fire officials remind Independence Day revelers to use caution if they plan to discharge fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

Use only approved, legal and common fireworks from reliable state- and King County Fire Marshal-licensed retailers.

Remember: If a firework has a stick or fins, and if it goes up or if it blows up, it is illegal in Washington.

Celebrants should always have a responsible adult light all fireworks, and avoid aerial fireworks. Use eye protection, too.

Have a garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy during fireworks-related activities.

Use fireworks under outdoor conditions only, away from buildings, wood-shingled houses, trees and dry fields.

Light one item at a time, move away quickly and keep a safe distance away. Dispose of used fireworks by first soaking them in water.

If a firework does not light or discharge, adults should wait at least five minutes before approaching the device.

Fireworks regulations

In Issaquah, discharging fireworks is banned on Independence Day and the rest of the year. Usually, Issaquah Police Department officers issue a verbal warning for fireworks and confiscate them for a first offense. If police catch revelers putting off fireworks again, a citation is issued.

Residents in unincorporated King County communities, such as Klahanie and Mirrormont, face looser rules, but some restrictions apply:

Fireworks can be discharged only from 9 a.m. to midnight. July 4.

Fireworks sales remain legal only between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. through July 4, and no sales can occur after Independence Day.

People must be at least 16 and present a form of photo identification in order to purchase fireworks.

The annual Down Home Fourth of July begins with the Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade at 11 a.m. at Rainier Boulevard North, at the intersection of Northwest Dogwood Street and Front Street North.

The parade is free, but participants must fill out a form before they begin marching. Paradegoers can find the form online, or in The Issaquah Press. Registrants also can sign up the day of the event at 10 a.m. July 4 at 425 Rainier Blvd. N.

After the parade, families can plays games at Veterans’ Memorial Field and learn about Issaquah’s history from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Issaquah Train Depot Museum’s Heritage Day celebration, 50 Rainier Boulevard N.

On Veterans’ Memorial Field, children can enter potato sack, slug and three-legged races, go for pony rides and have their faces painted.

At the depot, children can get free passports and collect stamps as they visit different stations to do old-time activities, including splitting a cedar shingle, using homemade soap to scrub clothes, dressing in historic garb and whipping cream into butter. Other activities include operating an historic pump car and trying out an historic stump puller.

“I’m always a big fan of the butter, because nothing tastes quite so good as butter that you made yourself,” Museums Director Erica Maniez said.

The depot still needs volunteers. Call 392-3500 or email to learn more.

Once the sky darkens, Issaquah residents can flock to Sammamish for the annual fireworks show and carnival-style gathering from 7-10 p.m. at the Sammamish Commons, near City Hall at 801 228th Ave S.E., Sammamish.

The 10 p.m. fireworks show should last between 20 and 25 minutes.

“Hopefully this year there’ll be sun,” said Joanna Puthoff, Sammamish’s facility coordinator. “As rainy as it was last year, we actually had a good amount of people show up. The plaza still ended up packed.”

The children’s play area will feature pay-to-play bouncy toys, carnival-style games and activities put on by Skyhawks Sports Camps. The celebration is located on the far end of the lower commons, but is accessible via 222nd Place Southeast.

In addition to the main fireworks event, dozens of vendors will offer food and goodies, like ice cream, elephant ears, burgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, Thai food, barbecue and smoothies. The stage on the plaza will feature music from The Pop Offs from 6-8 p.m. and Dance Factory from 8-10:15 p.m.

Parking is free at Eastside Catholic School, Eastlake High School, Discovery Elementary School, Sammamish Highlands Shopping Center, Pine Lake Park and the Sammamish Park & Ride. Parking closer to Sammamish Commons is $5 at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Skyline High School and Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church.

“Come out and be with the people you live around,” Puthoff said. “Out of all the different shows I’ve seen in my life … it’s a great show.”

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Chris Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Comment at

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No license is required during Free Fishing Weekend

June 10, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 10, 2011

Anglers can reel in catches from Beaver and Pine lakes, and other state Department of Fish and Wildlife-managed waters, without a license Saturday and Sunday during Free Fishing Weekend.

For the event, no license is required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington. In addition, no vehicle use permit is required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the 600 water-access sites maintained by the fish and wildlife agency.

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing,” agency Fish Division Manager Craig Burley said in a news release. “Adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state.”

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Spring is a time for markets, parks and theater

May 24, 2011

Apples abound at the Issaquah Farmers Market.

The fun never sets at the farmers market

Nothing says summer like the sweet aroma of deep-fried delicacies wafting through the streets of Issaquah.

Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., people from all over flock to Pickering Farm to get a taste of the Issaquah Farmers Market. The market offers activities for people of all ages and is reminiscent of Salmon Days.

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Catch a license before state fishing season starts

April 19, 2011

State fish hatchery crews continue to stock more than 20 million fish in Washington waterways before the fishing season opens April 30.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is preparing for the state’s single biggest fishing season opener, and the state expects at least 300,000 anglers to turn out.

The agency manages Beaver Lake on the Sammamish Plateau.

In order to participate, anglers need a state freshwater fishing license valid through March 2012. Purchase licenses online, Call 1-866-246-9453 or visit licensing vendors across the state. Find a list of vendors at the agency website,

Licenses cost $26 for residents aged 16 to 69, $11 for 15-year-old and disabled anglers, and $8 for seniors 70 and older. Children 14 years of age and younger do not need a fishing license.

Anglers parking at agency-managed water-access sites must display a Department of Fish and Wildlife vehicle-use permit. Every person buying a fishing license receives a permit as well. Purchase additional permits for $6 each to license buyers.

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EFR agrees to purchase boat

February 22, 2011

Eastside Fire & Rescue increased its ability to rescue citizens trapped in rivers, lakes or rising floodwaters.

At its Feb. 10 meeting, the agency’s board of directors agreed to buy a used boat from the Duvall Fire District for $10,000.

The district is replacing the 1982 Wooldridge Extra Plus 21-foot jet boat with a newer model. EFR Deputy Chief Jeff Griffin said the district has taken excellent care of the old boat and that the 200 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor has plenty of life left in it. Griffin estimated a brand new version of a similar boat would cost the district $40,000 or more.

“This gives us a capability for water rescues and to deal with issues on our lakes and rivers,” EFR board Chairman Ron Pedee said. “It seems to me to be a great capability for the agency at a remarkably affordable price.”

EFR has an inflatable raft for water rescues but no jet boat. The boat will likely be stationed near Carnation, which most often sees water rescue calls due to its propensity for flooding.

Griffin said that water rescues in Lake Sammamish are the responsibility of officials at Lake Sammamish State Park at the south end of the lake. Given the difficultly of quickly moving a rescue boat, Griffin said firefighters making a water rescue on Beaver or Pine lakes will usually ask to borrow a nearby resident’s boat.

The board s also approved spending up to another $5,000 on repainting the boat, installing a radio and doing other necessary modifications.

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Issaquah girl’s art takes tour by bus

November 2, 2010

Young artist wins Overlake’s drawing contest

Overlake Hospital Medical Center’s bus advertisements got a new look recently when a 7-year-old Issaquah girl won a drawing contest depicting the medical center’s 50th birthday.

Isha Rudramurthy, a student at Grand Ridge Elementary School, loves to draw and said she wanted to enter the contest because it was an opportunity to be creative.

Isha Rudramurthy, 7, of Issaquah, shows pride in having her winning Overlake Hospital Medical Center art on the side of a Metro bus. Contributed

“The main thing in the picture is a hospital and then it has all the stuff on the top,” she said. “Then, I started to add in other things, like the beds in the windows, and then there is the ambulance parked in front, and on the sidewalk is a clown selling balloons.”

Isha said that she also got some of her inspiration from the local festival Salmon Days, where she remembered seeing a lot of colors and people.

The drawing contest was open to children under age 12 and they were asked to depict Overlake’s 50th “birthday party.” More than 50 entries were submitted. The five winning children each got $50 gift certificates to Bellevue Arts & Frame and The Toy Place.

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Off The Press

August 31, 2010

Against the assault on freedom No. 1

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Why should this writer feel it important to share thoughts about the proposed mosque and community center project 3,000 miles away from Issaquah, in New York City near the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack? Isn’t that a little bit outside our scope?

I don’t think so, and to name a few reasons, here’s why:

• An Eastlake High School girls’ basketball player wearing a headscarf in 2007.

• Chabad of the Central Cascades, located in the Issaquah Highlands.

• The Vedic Cultural Center on 228th Avenue Southeast in Sammamish.

• Issaquah’s sister city relationship with Chefchaouen, Morocco.

• The local Christian churches of many denominations, including Serbian Orthodox.

• A local Baha’i faith group having meetings in members’ homes.

• The Sammamish Muslims Association proposal for an Islamic Center of Sammamish and Issaquah near Pine Lake. Read more

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