Editorial — Be safe in the water in this warm weather

July 2, 2015

Leading up to the long Independence Day weekend, Eastside Fire & Rescue officials are urging everyone to be extremely careful when heading out on the water.

Pine Lake, Beaver Lake, Rattlesnake Lake, Lake Joy, Lake Kathleen, Lake McDonald and Lake Sammamish, along with the Snoqualmie River and its tributaries, attract lots of recreationalists, especially this time of year.

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Tent City 4 to pull up stakes and leave area July 11

July 2, 2015

Having been camped out on the edge of Issaquah since March 14, the homeless encampment Tent City 4 is leaving the area July 11, said Sam Roberson, camp director and spokesman.

Roberson said the encampment sent the office of King County Executive Dow Constantine a $500 rent check on what turned out to be county property in the High Point area, just off Interstate 90’s Exit 20. The rent expires next week and Roberson said the encampment would be gone as promised.

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Birthday boy turns philanthropist

July 2, 2013

Spencer Blumenthal, 8, and his sisters, Meskie (left) and Etta, enjoy squirting clean water from a garden hose in the Blumenthal backyard.  Contributed

Spencer Blumenthal, 8, and his sisters, Meskie (left) and Etta, enjoy squirting clean water from a garden hose in the Blumenthal backyard. Contributed

Spencer Blumenthal, 8-year-old second-grader at Sunny Hills Elementary School, turned his birthday party into a charitable event, raising more than $700 for charity: water. The nonprofit organization brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

Spencer “primed the pump” by contributing $40 of his own savings and started the money flowing by asking his friends to make contributions rather than bring presents to his April 1 birthday party.

Spencer’s parents, Cami and Ryan, helped him set up an online link for donations. The campaign closed June 21.

What would cause a boy of 8 years to turn his back on birthday presents in exchange for contributions to a water charity? It began when his parents adopted Etta, an infant from Ethiopia. Shortly after the adoption, they discovered Etta had a sister, Meskie, in an orphanage in Ethiopia and adopted her also.

Meskie came home just shy of her 5th birthday, Cami said.

“What’s been amazing is that she still had a great memory of her time in Ethiopia and could share these stories,” she added. “Where Etta was so much younger as a toddler, Meskie could fill in the gaps for her sister.”

“She had to walk a long way to the nearest river or stream to get water and the water was dirty and had disease in it,” Spencer said of Meskie.

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