Issaquah Middle School student to study at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

October 16, 2012

Chloe Heninger, 13, (front) performs in Emerald Ballet Theatre’s performance of ‘Les Sylphides’ in June. Courtesy of Heninger Fotographik http://heningerfoto.com

Viktoria Titova knew from the start.

Titova, the artistic director of the Emerald Ballet Theatre in Bellevue, knew she had someone special in Chloe Heninger, a 6-year-old from Preston.

The year was 2005, and Titova had been Chloe’s teacher for less than a year. In the middle of a lesson, the CD player quit.

Chloe wouldn’t.

The music would not start.

Chloe could not wait to.

“I was struggling with the music,” Titova remembers. “She was 6 years old. The dancers are usually like, ‘OK, let me know when you are ready.’”

Not Chloe. She did not move from her pose. She did not even blink, Titova said, until the music was ready.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

October 16, 2012

In response to a population decline in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Sept. 17, as officials prepare to relocate the office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

The department issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston. The agency also enforces county land-use and building codes, staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division and issues business licenses.

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Preston marijuana collective relocates to Black Diamond

October 16, 2012

The Kind Alternative Medical Collective, a nonprofit medical marijuana collective, has departed Preston for Black Diamond and the grounds of MMJ Universe.

In August, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sent letters to medical marijuana facilities operating near schools and drug-free zones. The Kind Alternative and 22 other facilities received such letters.

Billed as a medical marijuana farmers market, MMJ Universe includes a nursery and more. The operation is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Initiative 692, passed in 1998, allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. Under state law, physicians can recommend — but not prescribe — the drug for patients.

Initiative 502 appears on the November ballot. The measure asks voters to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational uses.

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Firefighters wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue employees and firefighters plan to don pink shirts from Oct. 17-19 to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The agency joins the International Association of Firefighters and many other local and national groups in the fight against cancer. In the United States, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society.

“No one is outside the reach of cancer,” EFR Chief Lee Soptich said in a statement. “Whether personally afflicted or in support of friends, family, neighbors or coworkers, most of us have experienced the impacts of cancer, and feel it a privilege to be associated with this worthy cause.”

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Eastside Fire & Rescue extends burn ban

September 25, 2012

Continued dry conditions have led Eastside Fire & Rescue leaders to extend the regional burn ban until Oct. 20, officials announced Sept. 21.

The moratorium affects Issaquah, Sammamish and North Bend, in addition to rural fire protection districts 10 and 38. In the Issaquah area, Fire District 10 encompasses Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont and Preston. The burn ban was due to expire Sept. 30.

“We remain in a serious situation for the potential of a wildfire and with many resources east of the mountains, we need to take these unusual steps to limit the risk,” EFR Fire Marshal Bud Backer, a deputy chief for the agency, said in a statement.

EFR’s moratorium is in addition to a burn ban imposed by the King County fire marshal until further notice.

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Citizens can comment on proposed Grand Ridge trailhead

September 18, 2012

King County parks planners asked the public for input on a proposed trailhead facility to add access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest near Preston.

The county Parks and Recreation Division is hosting a public meeting on the proposal Sept. 27.

The meeting includes a public question and comment period. Staffers intend to provide a summary of comments received to date, plus information about possible access and road improvements.

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Planners seek public input on proposed Grand Ridge trailhead

September 13, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 13, 2012

King County parks planners asked the public for input on a proposed trailhead facility to add access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest near Preston.

The county Parks and Recreation Division is hosting a public meeting on the proposal from 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E. The meeting includes a public question and comment period.

Citizens can also submit comments to the county through Oct. 12.

Officials said developed access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest is limited to two locations meant to serve only Grand Ridge Park.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters head east to battle blaze

August 21, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent a tender truck crew east to assist fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire. Contributed by Eastside Fire & Rescue

Local firefighters made the trip across the Cascades to fight the Taylor Bridge Fire, which scorched more than 22,000 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg in recent days.

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent at least five local firefighters to the blaze. EFR is a party to a statewide agreement to send resources to respond to major wildfires.

Officials sent a Preston-based tender truck, used to carry water or flame retardant to remote areas, along with two career firefighters when the fire initially broke out Aug. 13, EFR Deputy Chief Bud Backer wrote in an email.

Since then, two more EFR firefighters have been sent to assist crews on the front lines. Josie Williams, EFR public information officer, is also in the area and helping to dispense information about the fire.

The state intends to reimburse the agency for firefighters’ time and any overtime costs needed to fill the firefighters’ positions back home. EFR also receives rental fees from the state for the vehicles used fighting the fire.

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Sammamish wants Issaquah to contribute more for plateau fire stations

August 21, 2012

Issaquah could pay a larger share to keep Eastside Fire & Rescue stable, after officials in neighboring Sammamish asked for other partners to contribute more to correct perceived inequity in funding Sammamish Plateau fire stations.

Mark Mullet

The stations in question receive large portions of funding from Sammamish, but most incidents handled by crews at the stations occur in Issaquah.

Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici met with representatives from Issaquah and Fire District 10 in recent weeks to discuss potential solutions to the funding issue.

(Fire District 10 is the EFR partner serving residents in Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont, Preston and Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah area, plus Carnation in rural King County.)

The discussion is centered on funding for Station 83, at 3425 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road S.E., and Station 81, at 2030 212th Ave. S.E.

Issaquah-headquartered EFR determines the bill for partners based on the assessed value of property in each city or district.

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Local firefighters join effort to contain Taylor Bridge Fire

August 16, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue sent a tender truck crew east to assist fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire. Contributed by Eastside Fire & Rescue

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Local firefighters made the trip across the Cascades to fight the Taylor Bridge Fire, which scorched more than 22,000 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg in recent days.

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