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Issaquah, Washington
March 11, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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March 11, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2009 A3 Chandler Balkman speaks at Harborview fundraiser BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK To a crowded house at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Chandler Balkman recounted his amazing story at the 17th annual UW Medicine Salute to Harborview Gala. The people sitting before him were the same doctors, nurses and hospital employees who helped make the moment possible. On Aug. 3, 2006, Balkman, 16 at the time, and his father Steve went for a swim in Lake Sammamish. As they began to swim back from a buoy, Chandler was accidentally hit by the family boat, driven by his then 19-year-old sister Jessica. His entire right leg past the hip had to be amputated and he endured countless surgeries, including a pelvic realigument and reconstructive surgeries to other areas where he was hit by the boat's propeller. Fewer than 1 percent of all peo- ple who suffer such an injury sur- vive, his doctors said. Today, he attends Brigham Young University in Utah, where he is focused on studying science and medical courses, so he can help other amputees as either an orthopedic surgeon or as a pros- thetician. BY BIYCE COVEyfrEAM PHOTOGENIC 0 2009 Chandler Balkman shares the story of his accident, medical travails and recovery at the 17th annual UW Medicine Salute to Harborview Gala as his parents Susan (left) and Steve look on. He spoke at the gala Feb. 28. The hospital's largest fundraiser raised more than $1 million. "I have spoken at small HMC events before, but it was a huge honor to have this opportunity to be a part of the gala," Balkman wrote in an e-mail. He answered some others ques- tions from The Press about his life now. Q: When did you first realize that peo- ple would want to hear your story? A: When I was in the hospital, my parents, my granddad and my uncle especially kept nagging me to make sure I was keeping a journal, "because this story is one that peo- ple need to hear. If it helps people in any way to hear my story, then I guess it s not a bad idea to share it with them. Q: How many speaking engagements have you done? A: Between speaking for the Boy Scouts of America, at medical con- ferences and events, at school events and to youths in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I keep busy. However, I think the grand total is only around 12 times. Q: How does It feel to toil your story? A: When I'm speaking, I always remember more and more little details, and I recall all the feelings I had during the rougher times. It doesn't make me sad or anything, but every time I tell my story it makes me even happier when I realize how improved my life is now compared to how I was feeling during the low points of my experi- ence. Q: What feedback do you get from your speaking engagements? A: Speaking at an event like this bgala is a humbling experience, ecause I am practically the youngest person in the room. So right after I finish, I'm always thinking that I bombed the speech, or that I said something stupid. What I don't realize is that when the entire audience is older than you, they're going to cut you some slack. Regardless of whether or not I said something dumb, peoples' reactions are always pos- itive towards me, which is encour- aging. Q: Is public speaking something you'll continue? A: I definitely am not planning on seeking out opportunities to speak, but if someone asks me to do it, I'm willing to help out if I can. However, this is something I do not want to make a career out of. Q: What was the most Interesting part of the evening with Harborvie. A: After all the donating was fin- ished, a live band took the stage and I got to share the dance floor with many of the doctors and nurs- es that worked with me. The very professional, doctor-patient rela- tionship dissolved, and pretty soon, it was just dancing with good friends. It was cool to realize that just a few years ago these were the people who were literally saving my life, and now everyone is healthy and everyone is happy, and all is well. Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.corn. Comment on this story at www. issaquahpress, com. ISF director to stay another year Issaquah Schools Foundation Executive Director Robin Callahan is staying on another year. "I believe given the cur- rent economic conditions, it is Robin l]]a]lall in the founda- tion's and my best interest to remain with the'foundation," she said. "I think that having consis- tent leadership is a good thing for our organization. And in the months between when I had made my decision to leave the foundation and now, the job climate has changed." Callahan rescinded her resig- nation in late January. At the time, foundation officials were getting ready to call in several candidates for first-round inter- views. "We were ready to roll," said Eve Martine, the foundation's board president. "We had a won- derful pool, a strong pool, of can- didates. Still, there is that piece of having to educate someone in a very, very difficult environ- ment." With a state budget that could severely cut education funding, Callahan's leadership is welcome, Martine said. The foundation's board mem- bers accepted Callahan's resigna- tion in late September but didn't announce it until late October, after the annual luncheon. She was supposed to end her nearly 10-year tenure -- six of those as the foundation's executive director -- June 30. Comp plan gets green light Planners will address sustain- ability in coming months as they craft changes to the city's growth plan. Following a March 2 City Council vote, planners will turn a set of proposed amendments into growth guideposts. The amend- merits will be added to the city's Comprehensive Plan, which out- lines long-term growth. "This simply sets the work plan for the Planning Department," Councilman John Rittenhouse said. Some amendments address improvements to city parks and municipal water and sewer sys- tems. Measures to address cli- mate change will be considered as well. Though a proposed annexation of Klahanie is included amonthe amendments, council members said the annexation was unlikely to be considered. The measure was also considered last year. Items not addressed during the amendment process are held for the following year. Members of the city Planning Policy Commission, who reviewed the proposals in January, offered two recommen- dations for the Klahanie propos- al. The recommendations include: informing the public of new developments since the failed 2005 annexation and clari- fy the future of the proposed annexation area. The Council Land Use Committee weighed the proposed amendments last month. Rittenhouse and Councilman John Traeger, who serve on the Land Use Committee, forwarded the proposal to the full City Council for consideration. The state Growth Management Act requires the city to prepare, implement and update a compre- hensive plan. Issaquah adopted its Comprehensive Plan in 1995. The annual process to amend the plan, zoning map, and city land use code begins with a set of pro- posed amendments. While the land use code can be amended at any- time, state law limits Comprehensive Plan amendments to once a year. Get beak to beak with herons on kayak tour Kayak Academy invites would- be paddlers to get a close-up look at great blue herons and other waterfowl. Guided tours along the shores of Lake Sammamish will be offered March 15 and )kpril 5. The program is from 9 a.m. - noon. Kayak Academy is accepting reg- istrations for the annual spring tour. A state park ranger will pres- ent an on-the-water program about the great blue heron. Participants are also likely to see a variety of waterfowl, bald eagles and red-tailed hawks. Lake Sammamish State Park hosts one of the largest heronries in the Seattle area with 80 to 100 nesting pairs. Spotting scopes will be available for land-based bird viewing. Participants should bring their own binoculars to view birds from the water. Preregistration is required for the event. Registration is $5 per person. Kayak rentals are $10 per per- son or $15 for couples or a family of three (children under 13). Free dry suits will be provided. Paddlers will meet at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road. Call 206-527-1825 to register. Forum FROM PAGE A1 Following the video, forum attendees will discuss the issue and complete a detailed ques- tiounaire. Those will be com- piled into a report shared by the County Council and local elected officials. The report will also be posted on the county's Web site. Frisinger called the forum an opportunity for citizens to learn how government functions and how the economic downturn ]FYOU G0 affects c o u n t y Community agencies. Forum "This is ,5 p.m. the first ,1882 11th time the Ave., Issaquah suburban cities have , Learn more at b e e n www.kingcoun- e n g a g e d ty.gov/opera- with the tions/auditor county and and then click on t a 1 k i n g "Community about our Forums." budget issues," she said. In the video, panelists said the coun- ty's budget crisis could have far- reaching consequences. Rahr said the shortfall could have "catastrophic" conse- quences on the county's crimi- nal justice system. "There is no other entity responsible for this function, and there is no other dedicated source of funding that comes from outside of local govern- ment," she said. But county Budget Director Bob Cowan said the downturn could be approached as an opportunity to redefine govern- ment. "It's times like this that give us the greatest opportunities to make change in the way that we approach county government," he said. "The situation that King County faces is an opportunity for King County government to sit back and take great stock in what we are doing, whether we're doing it right, whether we are doing it wrong and how can we change it in order to meet the changing demands that our citizens are placing on us." Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@iss- press.com. Comment on this story at www. issaquahpr ess. com. Bus route FROM PAGE A] bus access. A dial-a-ride service connecting Squak Mountain resi- dents to the transit hub would be too limited on its own. The transit study recommends a three-pronged approach: expand- ed dial-a-ride service, van-sharing promotion and a carpooling pro- gram. Councilman Joshua Schaer, Transportation Committee chair- man, said future planning would depend on which options were considered. Transportation Committee mem- bers said the reaction from Squak Mountain residents was a positive sign. "There appears to be a willing- ness to pay, said Councilman Fred Butler, a Transportation Committee member. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress, com. Serving you right here in Issaquah! Home Loans Auto Loans Personal Loans Much Morel Join a brand new YMCA tat combines a state-of-the-art facility with a friendly community atmosphere. We've createca gathering place where members of all ages can develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind and tdy. * Become a Charter Membel today and receive 100% off the joining fee, early access to the facility, priority registration or programs and more! * Visit 12635 SE St, Bellevue98006, 425.644.8417, seattleymca.org/coalcreek Watch the YMCA grow! See te new YMCA at our construction site, 13750 Newcastle Golf Club Road, Renton c-8059 Everyone is Welcome. 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