Community offers support for Lake Sammamish State Park booster group

December 18, 2012

State officials laid the groundwork Dec. 10 for a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park as residents met to consider lifelines for the cash-strapped park.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission listened to ideas for the facility from about 50 attendees at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house, and received information from about 25 attendees interested in participating in a community organization to support the park.

The event, hosted by the city and state parks agency, launched a discussion about future ventures at Lake Sammamish State Park and what residents hope to see on the park’s 512 acres.

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Community offers ideas, support for Lake Sammamish State Park

December 11, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Dec. 11, 2012

State officials laid the groundwork Monday for a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park as residents met to consider lifelines for the cash-strapped park.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission officials collected information from attendees for a possible community organization to support the park, and listened to ideas about the facility at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house.

The event, hosted by the city and state parks agency, launched a discussion about future ventures at Lake Sammamish State Park and what residents hope to see on the park’s 512 acres.

In 2007, state parks commissioners approved a bold plan to remake and restore the park, but the economic downturn and state budget crises curtailed dollars to implement the plan.

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Issaquah Community Network, FISH net statewide award

November 20, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.

The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.

The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.

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Maria Cantwell discusses jobs, stumps for votes in Gilman Village

November 13, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Nov. 2, and urged voters to return ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting Democrats and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

Cantwell said Eastside residents — and a workforce defined by Boeing engineers and Microsoft programmers — value quality education.

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Issaquah Salmon Hatchery spawns chinook, coho

November 6, 2012

FISH docent Grace Reamer holds a handful of chinook salmon eggs for students at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on Oct. 30. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers and volunteers sloshed around in 40-degree water Oct. 30, as the annual effort to spawn coho salmon started again.

Teams from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery plan to collect 1.2 million coho eggs. The process to spawn coho started about a month after hatchery workers and volunteers started spawning chinook. In the resulting effort, teams collected 2.2 million eggs.

FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle and John Kugen, hatchery foreman, said the partnership between the nonprofit organization and the state agency is essential for the survival of Issaquah Creek salmon — and the hatchery.

The hatchery, a fixture in downtown Issaquah for 75 years, spawns and raises coho and chinook.

State fisheries experts expected a more robust chinook salmon return but a smaller coho salmon return to Puget Sound streams in 2012.

“It comes and goes,” Kugen said. “The best one that we had that I can remember was 2001, when we had 18,000 coho and then a couple years ago we had 13,000. Coho come back in bigger numbers because they’re released as bigger smolts. They’re about 7 or 8 inches long, so there’s less predation on them than chinook.”

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FISH, Issaquah Community Network earn state award

November 5, 2012

NEW — 8 p.m. Nov. 5, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.

The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.

The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.

In recent years, students with disabilities from local school districts received paid internships at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, and helped hatchery staffers and volunteers complete important tasks.

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Maria Cantwell discusses jobs at Issaquah campaign stop

November 2, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Friday, and urged voters to return ballots by the Tuesday deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting supporters and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

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FISH lures public to annual meeting

October 30, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery volunteers and hatchery crews spawned 996 chinook in the past month, as the autumn salmon run transformed the hatchery into a hub of activity.

Now, residents can learn more about the salmon conservation efforts spearheaded by FISH at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting next month.

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Vote for local spots in PEMCO Insurance contest

October 30, 2012

PEMCO Insurance could someday introduce audiences to Lawn Perfectionist Guy and Salmon Spawner Guy — characters from local contestants in the company’s latest advertising campaign.

Alex Bell, a Liberty High School graduate, created Lawn Perfectionist Guy and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery volunteers launched Salmon Spawner Guy as inspiration for the next Northwest Profile.

PEMCO asked residents to create characters for the popular “We’re A Lot Like You. A Little Different.” advertising campaign. The public can vote on videos through Oct. 31 at http://nexttype.pemco.com.

Watch the Lawn Perfectionist Guy spot at http://nexttype.pemco.com/videos/lawn-perfectionist-guy and the Salmon Spawner Guy spot at http://nexttype.pemco.com/videos/salmon-spawner-guy.

The finalists have a chance to win more than $18,000 in prizes and Northwest experiences.

Gubernatorial hopefuls support hatcheries, parks

October 23, 2012

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.

Jay Inslee

Rob McKenna

The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.

The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.

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