Public is invited to three candidate forums

September 22, 2015

NEW — 5:08 p.m. Sept. 22, 2015

Residents will have up to three chances to hear from the five people running for the Issaquah City Council in November.

There are two contested council seats up for grabs in the Nov. 3 election. The council will have at least two new faces in 2016 as incumbent council members Joshua Schaer, Council Position 4, and Nina Milligan, Council Position 2, have chosen not to run for re-election. The Position 6 seat currently held by Council President Paul Winterstein also expires this year.

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Silver Alert for missing Issaquah man was state’s first

September 15, 2015

NEW — 5:34 p.m. Sept. 15, 2015

The state issued its first Silver Alert last week when 83-year-old Issaquah man Bryant Merrick went missing.

Merrick, who has Alzheimer’s disease, was found safe in Seattle Sept. 11, after he disappeared from his Providence Point area home Sept. 9.

A Silver Alert will be activated when a missing person 60 years of age or older, suffering from a form of dementia, is not able to return to safety without assistance, according to a Washington State Patrol news release.

When vehicle information is associated with the Silver Alert the state Department of Transportation highway signs and highway advisory radio messages will provide a brief description of the vehicle and license plate number. Read more

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Police locate missing Issaquah man

September 11, 2015

NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 11, 2015

Police located an 83-year-old Issaquah man with Alzheimer’s disease who had been missing since Sept. 9, according to a city news release.

After a statewide Silver Alert was issued Sept. 10, Bryant Merrick was found safe by the Seattle Police Department.

Officers Douglas Beard and Michael Shin were on patrol in the 9200 block of Aurora Ave. N. around 4:30 a.m. Friday when their patrol car’s Automated License Plate Reader picked up the missing man’s Chrysler driving past them, according to a post on the Seattle Police Department’s blog. Read more

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Police looking for missing Issaquah man

September 10, 2015

NEW — 2:15 p.m. Sept. 10, 2015

Issaquah police need your help to find a missing 83-year-old Issaquah man with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bryant Merrick

Bryant Merrick

Bryant Merrick left his residence in the Providence Point area at about 11 a.m. Sept. 9, and has not returned, according to a city news release.

Merrick moved to Issaquah from Everett within the last couple weeks and is not familiar with the Issaquah area. Read more

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Northern Lights and the 40-year-old virgin

July 15, 2014

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see

Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

I cremated Sam McGee.

                     — Robert Service


I was the only one in the Providence Point pool that morning. There had been an exercise class, but it had cleared out. Large glass windows dominate one end of the pool and the sun was beginning its trek across the morning sky.

While floating on my back, I looked at the ceiling, only to be surprised by streaks of dancing light weaving and bobbing about. The sun was being reflected off the undulating water.

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Double diamonds

July 2, 2013

Couple celebrates 75 years together

Willard and Jane Williams, in a 2013 photo, will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary in August. Contributed

Willard and Jane Williams, in a 2013 photo, will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary in August.

The number 98 surrounds the daily lives of Providence Point residents Willard and Jane Williams.

Willard celebrated his 98th birthday in September last year, while Jane turned 98 in April. Their beloved cocker spaniel, Maggie, is 98 years old, too, but that’s in dog years.

The couple will celebrate a more meaningful number, 75, on Aug. 19, the date of their 75th wedding anniversary.

“Married to the same man all those years, I don’t know how I stood it,” Jane said with a grin on her face.

Sitting in their Providence Point home, with their loyal dog Maggie resting at their feet, Willard and Jane reminisced about their years together.

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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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More drivers needed to take local seniors to medical appointments

July 3, 2012

Issaquah resident Catherine Swadley, 88, had open-heart surgery in November. As part of her recovery, she was advised to undergo physical therapy three times a week for three months, in Kirkland.

The problem: She wasn’t allowed to drive, let alone open heavy car doors.

“So I called Senior Services and they said they could provide drivers for me,” Swadley said.

These are not ordinary drivers, but rather volunteers who spend their time and gas contributing to the common good. Senior Services asks for small compensation (Swadley said she paid $6 each time), which goes to the nonprofit organization.

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City considers overseeing water, sewer service for all Issaquah residents

June 26, 2012

City and Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials could end up at loggerheads as the city embarks on a study to assume water and sewer service for the portion of district customers inside Issaquah city limits.

Issaquah officials budgeted $300,000 to study expanded utility service for the entire city. State law encourages municipalities to assume utility services in neighborhoods located inside city limits.

City officials said such a changeover could reduce confusion among customers and enable municipal government to better manage the water and sewer system inside city limits.

Such a change could lead to a showdown between the city and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, because the district is bound to shed hundreds of ratepayers if the city expands water and sewer service to all Issaquah residents.

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Issaquah man established fuel stations in the South Pacific during World War II

May 22, 2012

When William Bentz enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1943 to serve in history’s most widespread world war, modern technological communication did not yet exist.

William Bentz, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, holds a collection of materials he obtained while visiting the rededication of the National WWII Memorial in May 2004 in Washington, D.C. By Christina Lords

That meant no cellphones, no Skype, no email.

What he and his wife Onadee did have, however, was V-Mail. Short for Victory Mail, the hybrid mail system used by Americans in World War II to securely correspond with soldiers stationed abroad.

“I wrote what they call V letters,” he said. “During the war times, instead of having your 8.5 by 10 legal paper, they reduced them down … those days you couldn’t run to the computer to get it across and I was certainly too far away to yell.”

William Bentz reported for active duty at Fort Lewis before taking on firefighting training at a WWII U.S. Army camp called Camp Claiborne in Louisiana.

Bentz opted to be what was called service personnel instead of in the infantry because he had a wife and infant at home.

It took 25 days via naval ship to get to his first long-term destination during the war — New Guinea.

“A lot of people don’t think about it, but there were 2,500 to 3,000 troops up there, but they zigzagged going across the Pacific because of submarines,” he said regarding a maneuver that was supposed to make ships harder targets to hit. “Coming home was a different story, of course.”

After spending seven months in New Guinea, he served in the 781st Engineer Petroleum Distribution Company on Leyte Island in the Philippines.

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