Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 2, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 2, 2009

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Old Allen's building to house new tenants Liberty, Skyline each to play for state football championships , Sports, Page C1 Local family joins fight to end the choking game ContourS, Page BI I M C See Page A6 LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 19OO 75 CENTS WEDNESDAY~ DECEMBER 2~ 2009 VOlE Santa visits tree lighting Saturday BY GREG FARRAR Jason Bond and Mark Taylor (from left), of the Parks Maintenance Department, install wreaths Nov. 25 along Front Street for the holidays. There are 36 wreaths for the lamp posts downtown, according to the maintenance department's Steve IJndsley. Deck the halls in historic downtown By Chanteile Lusebrink lssaquah Press reporter Shopping, too DIA members are hoping fami- lies will make a day of it. Many local merchants will offer dis- counts at their shops while the fes- tivities are going on in hopes resi- dents will do some holiday shop- . J P-~er"" the tree lighting, residents are invited to carol down the streets of Issaquah to Hailstone Feed Store, where refreshments will be provided. "This is what makes us a family, makes us close," said Greg Spranger, executive director of the association. "When you're part of this community, you are family." From the time of the tree lighting ceremony Saturday until Dec. 13, residents can vote for the down- town business with the best win- dow display. DIA has been spon- soring the event for several years to attract residents to come to the downtown area to shop, eat and spend time. "This is an event that we want people to come to and experience all the downtown area has to offer," Johnson said. Residents who vote are entered into a raffle. Winners will receive gifts from downtown and Gilman Village merchants. Sing along You can also join in with the choir at St. Michael and all Angels Episcopal Church for their Messiah singalong at 4 p.m. Dec. 6. The event is free and open to everyone, but donations are encouraged; they go to the Merry Christmas Issaquah Fund. "It deals with two things at once," said the Rev. Ann Lukens. "We just want to get anyone in the community to come together and See EVENTS, Page A7 Start your holidays off by helping Issaquah deck the halls. Join the DownTown Issaquah Association for the city's annual tree lighting at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Association volunteers, like Ryan Hughes, were already helping last week set the scene for a winter wonderland at Pedestrian Park, where the lighting will take place, by stringing white-and-blue low- vo!!age lights around the area. My wife and I just moved here, so I thought I'd get involved," he said. It is the first year in many that the tree will be lighted at Pedestrian Park, located at the cor- ner of Front Street North and East Sunset Way. The city's usual town tree at Front and Dogwood had gotten too big and became too expensive to light. The city cut the tree lights from its budget, said Michael Johnson, a coordinator for DIA. This year's tree is one that was purchased by a community mem- ber for the community years ago, Johnson said, adding that much more meaning to it. The nearly 15-foot tree was purchased years ago when it only stood about 6 feet tall. It was bought by Johann Sasynuik, who owns the Kung Fu Club of Issaquah, now located in Fall City. Prior to the lighting, families are encouraged to bring their children to a variety of tim-filled events, like the holiday open house from 10 am. - 5 p.m. at the Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N., sponsored by the Issaquah History Museums. Santa Claus will also make an appearance there from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Photos are free; just bring your own camera, Johnson said. Volunteers help build Habitat homes By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Volunteers have poured into the Issaquah Highlands since July to help build Habitat for Humanity duplexes, and the residences should be completed by next fall. The all-volunteer teams at the construction site along Northeast Magnolia Street are in the process of framing the units. Habitat of East King County Construction Manager Lee Brannam said the project generated "an amazing amount of support." Habitat for Humanity represen- tatives and families joined city offi- cials June 11 to break ground for the new development. Volunteers began construction work in earnest the next month. When the project is completed, five duplexes will be available to house 10 families. Construction will take place in two phases. Residents should move into com- pleted units next year, and anoth- er phase will be completed by 2012. The units will be the first Habitat houses built in Issaquah in 15 years. Since the local Habitat affiliate was founded in 1988, volunteers have built more than 80 homes across the Eastside. Brannam said volunteers from community organizations flocked to the highlands Habitat project. "Our numbers aren't lacking on volunteers right now," he added. The ranks include Habitat fam- ilies required by the program to contribute 500 hours of sweat equity toward their new homes. The res- idences planned for the high- lands will include a mix of two- to four- bedroom units and range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. "Families are out there working HOWT0 HELP Sign up to volunteer in construc- tion or nonconstruction roles, or donate to Habitat for Humanity of East King County, at www.habitatekc.org. when they can," Brannam said. Habitat home- owners are picked based on need and ability to pay the mort- gage. Families earn $20,400 to $40,700 -- less than half of the 2008 King County median income for a family of four. Homeowners are also BY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF EAST KING COUNTY Volunteers and future homeowners contribute sweat equity in November at the Habitat for Humanity construction site on Northeast Magnolia Street in Issaquah Highlands. required to live or work in King County for at least a year. Habitat units are sold at cost -- about $100,000 --and homeowners repay no-interest loans while Habitat retains ownership of the land. The new units will also help sat- isfy part of the development agree- ment between the city and high- lands developer Port Blakely Communities. The pact mandates at least 30 percent affordable housing in the highlands. Jodi Bridges, special events and communications officer for the local Habitat branch, said at least two families had been selected for highlands units. Mikel and Alissa Talton and their three children -- Mikayla, 14, Hayleigh, 5, and Isaiah, 2 -- earned a place in the highlands. So did the Reyes family: mother Lola, 19-year-old Patrick and 9- year-old Kyree. Both families told Habitat officials how they wanted to settle in the highlands and put down roots in a commu- nity. The families attended the June groundbreaking, where Alissa Talton told the crowd how Habitat officials surprised her and said she and her husband, a Navy reservist, had been select- ed for the highlands develop- ment. "I started crying and shaking," she said. "I was so excited." Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com. ~0~o* m~ ~m~ ~mm~ o~z School board honored for good governance Members of Issaquah School District's school board have been selected as the 2009 School Board of Distinction by the Washington State School Directors' Association. The announcement was made Nov. 20 as part of the associa- tion's annual conference. Issaquah's board was among eight honored at the 2009 confer- ence. The other school district's honored were from the Evergreen, Pasco, Puyallup, South Kitsap, Vancouver, West Valley and White River school districts. To be included in the associa- tion's award program, school board members were required to submit an essay and supporting evidence to demonstrate how they were putting the associa- tion's new standards into prac- tice. New standards included: Providing responsible school district governance Setting and communicating high expectations for student learning, with clear goals and plans for meeting those expecta- tions Creating conditions dis- trictwide for student and staff SUCCESS Holding the school district accountable for meeting student learning expectations, and Engaging the local community, and representing the values and expectations they hold for their schools. An independent panel of judges reviewed the applications and awards were given to school boards who received at least 70 points out of a possible 100. Each school board awarded this year received at least 80 points. 240 homes proposed for Issaquah Highlands By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter A proposal to build 240 resi- dential units in the Issaquah Highlands is under consideration by city officials. A Bellevue devel- oper proposed a variety of units -- including apartments, town- houses and stacked flats -- on 9.5 acres in the highlands, bor- dered by Northeast Discovery Drive to the north and Highlands Drive Northeast on the west. The development would include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Recreation facilities, community spaces and a leasing office would be included at the site. Parking for about 400 vehicles would be distributed throughout the complex. The proposal was scheduled to reach the Urban Village Development Commission during a Dec. I meeting, after The Press' deadline. The commission over- sees major projects in the high- lands and Talus. Projects go before the commission ff they encompass three or more acres. A public hearing related to the project will likely be held at the Dec. 15 commission meeting. At that meeting, commission- ers are set to review a site devel- opment permit application from See HOMES, Page A5 Merry Christmas fund helps those in need Many donors to Merry Christmas Issaquah, the local emergency aid fund, give year after year, confident their money will be used to make a difference in the lives of those who need it. One hundred percent of donations go to those in need. The city of Issaquah pro- vides office space and enough funds to cover a telephone and office supplies. And the volunteers at Issaquah Church and Community Services do all the work, from bookkeep- ing to meeting with those who find themselves needing a hand. One volunteer at ICCS recalls a young man who came for help after a storm. He had lost every- 2009 GOAl' $50,000 thing when the trailer he lived in washed away when the river overflowed its banks. ICCS volun- teers were able to get him food, clothes and a bus pass to a friend's house. They also made calls on his behalf to other agencies for additional assistance. "Our help gave this young man hope. Merry Christmas Issaquah dona- tions made this possible," the volunteer said. "Some donations are $1~, !and others send In $5,b00,'~ isaid Issaquah Press Publisher Debbie Berto, who h3s managed the fund See FUND, Page A5 INSIDE THE PRES', YOU SHOULD KNOW RAIN GAIN A&E ........ B4 Classifieds... C4-5 Community ... B1 Obituaries ....B3 Opinion ...... A4 Police & Fire .. C5 Schools ......C6 Sports ..... C1-3 The annual enrollment for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program runs through Dec. 31. Many plans are changing this year. If you're new to Part D or want to change plans, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors HelpLine is avail- able. Call the free consumer hotline at 800-562-6900 and ask to speak with advisers if you have questions about enrolling in a Part D plan. Last Week's Rainfall: (through Monday) iJ ii 1.88 inches , ' Total last year: "(through Nov. 30) . 50.87 inches ~f";'- ' f 0 IBI tOCkL PIICB 1, $2.77 - Costco ~, $2.87 - Cenex 145 N.E. Gilman Blvd. HIGIIEST I.Or, Al. PRICE * ~' $2.89 - Chevron 25 N.W. Gilman Blvd. To report gas p~es in your area, go to www.~.corn. ' I'I ' 'll II [" I ..... I ' II'l~'lUl' il[I I I .... J! J ~1r I I J ! ~ _ ~L!II!III!I; I! I !li_!i!:!_!: ~~