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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 9, 2009

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A2 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 9, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS Emergency aid fund is nearly depleted It might be the season of glad tidings, but just as the weather turns doubly cold, the city&apos;s emergency aid fund is nearly exhausted. The maximum assis- tance allowed any one family has dropped to half of what it had been earlier in the year. The need for donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah has never been greater. "More and more people just like you and I are falling on hard times and it's heart wrenching to see them come for help, feeling so embarrassed, as if it's their fault," said Marilyn Taylor, presi- dent of Issaquah Church & Community Services. "At the same time, it's heart- warming for ICCS volunteers to pl ........ S'lllOO e we tu-u nero to nmp -- because good people donate generously to the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund to help others in their community." ICCS depends on donations from individuals, churches, clubs and businesses. Merry Christmas Issaquah accounts for about 90 percent of the annual budget. Taylor said the increase in requests for assistance has been from newly unemployed people who are unable to make ends meet, but there has also been a sizeable increase in requests from people who always strug- gle. In the past few weeks, a teacher in the Issaquah School District came to ICCS for help with his household energy bill. He was laid off from his teaching 2009 GOAL: $50,000 job in September, but is still an on-call substitute teacher. His wife also lost her job. They Lave two children and are strug ling to meet their basic obligations. ICCS paid the electric bill this month, but this family will not be able to get more help from ICCS for at least six months. Merry Christmas Issaquah was started in 1981 and has raised more than $600,000 in the years since. All funds go to ICCS, mak- ing donations tax-deductible. No one on the ICCS staff is paid and no money is spent on flmdrais- ing, so 100 percent of donations go directly to those in need. Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Ib's I:;he season bo shape bhe healing power' oP bhe elemenbs bouch Special GiPt; Car'd pPicing at; our' Open House therapeutic massage Issaquah 670 NW Gilman Blvd, Ste B2 425.427.6562 www.etmtssaquah.com 4Culture gives $18,000 for caboose restoration By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter A 1942 caboose displayed at the Issaquah Train Depot -- and crumbling due to water damage -- will be restored with $18,000 from the county cultural services agency. The caboose, a key piece of the Issaquah History Museums' collec- tion, needs repairs to undo decades' worth of weather and wear. The grant from 4Culture will pay for about half the renovation cost, and museums volunteers will ask donors to help cover the remainder. The money, doled out as part of the Heritage Cultural Facilities Program, comes from a portion of the King County Lodging Tax, a credit on the state sales tax charged on every hotel, motel, inn and bd-and-breakrast room. Besides the Issaquah caboose, 10 other facility projects will receive a total of $328,835. The money is intended for the purchase, design, construction and remodeling of heritage facili- ties, and to buy equipment intend- ed to be used for at least a decade. For the caboose, the money will be used to weatherize the cupola, a raised portion of the roof outfitted with windows, remove rust and ready the interior for hands-on and interpretive exhibits. Museums Director Erica Maniez said the grant would prove critical, because a caboose is a key piece for a railway museum -- and a big draw for tourists and school groups. The museums exhibit the caboose at the depot along Rainier Boulevard North. Maniez said the facility plans to contract with the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie to repair the caboose. Work will be conducted at the Issaquah depot, though some pieces may need to be taken to the railway museum for fabrication work. Maniez said the Snoqualmie museum has "expertise the other nonprofits don't have" with regard to railroad restorations. The restoration will begin early next year, although the 4Culture grant will not cover the total cost ;:ifi:!;!:;::i:i::::: With$16,OO6 from 4C,,itum, tie issaquahHistowMuseums wii; estate this 1942 caboose: HOWIO H[LP Learn how to donate to the Issaquah History Museums' caboose restoration project at www.issaq uahhistory.org. Or send donations to Issaquah History Museums, P. 0. Box 695, Issaquah, WA 98027. for repairs. The grant will cover the initial phase, but Maniez esti- mated the total bill would reach $30,000: The museums will seek donations in order to fill the gap, she said. The restoration project will take about three to five years to complete, but Maniez said the timeline would depend on fund- ing. Richard Anderson, executive director of the Snoqualmie muse- um, said the organization is proud to assist the Issaquah organization with the restoration. Anderson noted how the Northwest Railway Museum restored a coalmine car last year for the Renton History Museum. The metal-and-wood car is now exhibited inside the Renton museum. In Issaquah, the distinctive yel- low caboose was constructed by CONTRIBUTED Southern Pacific and later pur- chased by Weyerhaeuser to be used in logging. The history muse- ums acquired the caboose in 1990, and made some intermediate repairs. But time and weather took a toll on the 67-year-old railroad car. A caboose is "one of those rail- road icons," Anderson said. The cupola atop the caboose allowed for conductors and other railroad workers to inspect the train. From the perch in the caboose, a worker could even "smell trouble," Anderson said. The odor of hot metal, for instance, could indicate a bearing problem. And the caboose served as a place for personnel to eat, sleep and catch up on paperwork. Anderson described a caboose as "an office with wheels under it." Until the 1980s, laws required railroads to use cabooses. Advances in technology, coupled with a desire to save money, caused railroads to phase out cabooses about 20 years ago. Nowadays, electronic monitor- ing devices provide data about critical systems, such as brake line pressure. Scanners alongside tracks determine whether a train is damaged or dragging equip- ment. Maniez said the Issaquah caboose would someday include displays to show how railroad crews used the car. Other 4Culture grant recipients include the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle -- money to off- set the cost of a new entrance and deck -- and funds to improve security at The Museum of Flight. The county cultural services agency also awarded $40,000 to the Northwest Railway Museum toward construction of a 25,000- square-foot exhibition space for some of the largest items in the museum collection, such as loco- motives and coaches. Anderson said the $4 million facility, near Snoqualmie Middle School, would be used to bring vul- nerable items in from the ele- ments. Anderson said the 4Culture grants were essential to the suc- cess of nonprofit institutions, like the Northwest Railway Museum and the Issaquah History Museums. "We would not be successful without it," Anderson said. "In fact, we may not even exist." Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com. 900v. Book any size holiday party now! Happy Hour Featuring half off all glass pours Daily 4:30-6:30pm & late night from 9-close Seattle Gig Harbor Issaquah Ladies Night Thursdays! Ladies receive 1/2 off all wine flights Reservations now being taken 425.369. 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