Winter 2022

Page 1


3 Directory

Inside This Issue


5-7 Feature: A New Generation 9 Volunteer of the Year 10-11 Volunteers of the Month 12 Community Engagement 13 Community Groups 14 Special Programming

15 What's Happening

16-17, 19 Homeowners Association 20 On the Blog 21 School Spotlight 23 Highlands Youth 24 Community Garden 26 Smart Home

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Editor's Note

Happy New Year, Issaquah Highlands! This winter, you might notice a new look around our community – our new Issaquah Highlands branding! When I joined the Issaquah Highlands Branding Committee in Fall 2020, I knew I was joining a talented team of passionate neighbors about to embark on an exciting journey to discover the “next generation” of Issaquah Highlands. After more than a year of hard work, the branding committee, in partnership with Outmark, an Issaquah Highlands-based creative agency, created a modern and meaningful brand identity that will firmly position Issaquah Highlands as a leader in community development in our region and beyond. Combined with a newly redesigned website (, I think you’ll love the new, fresh, and friendly look. All changes come with their challenges, and after almost two years of massive changes to our lives, any new change can potentially feel overwhelming. So, what better way to introduce the changes in our Issaquah Highlands branding than with a sweet, adorable baby? Four-monthold Ellie, a Forest Ridge resident with her parents Erik and Kandyce Lorhammer, was the perfect cover star for our big logo debut, photographed by volunteer photographer Michelle Enebo, an Ashland Park resident and professional photographer. There is a lot to celebrate in this issue. Be sure to read our full rebranding story on page 5, and don't miss our special 2021 Volunteer of the Year announcement on page 9.

Vicki Grunewald | Highlands Council Media Editor

A Neighborly View Resident Photographer Jessica Croyle

Issaquah Highlands Neighborhood Discovery West Apartments About the Photo Sunrise over the forest with Mount Si in the distance on a foggy, fall morning. Photo was taken from her deck at the Discovery West Apartments.

Community Management Directory More information available at

Issaquah Highlands Community Association

Our Dedicated Homeowners Association Executive Director: Sarah Hoey 2520 NE Park Drive, Suite B Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 425-427-9257 425-223-8887 (After Hours Only)

Highlands Fiber Network

Community-Owned Fiber to the Home General Manager: Jeremy Fallt 2550 NE Park Drive (inside Blakely Hall) Customer Service: 425-427-0999 General Inquiries: 425-394-4184

Share your "Neighborly View" with Issaquah Highlands media! Email your high-resolution photograph taken in Issaquah Highlands and first and last name to Vicki Grunewald at Highlands Council may share your photo in print Connections or on official Issaquah Highlands digital media channels.

By Community, For Community Connections is a nationally-recognized community publication produced mostly by Issaquah Highlands residents, including volunteer contributors, edited and published by Highlands Council. Connections helps Highlands Council fulfill its mission to develop a vibrant and caring community committed to service, diversity, stewardship, and well-being. JOIN THE CONNECTIONS TEAM Interested in volunteering your skills or pitching a story? Contact Vicki Grunewald, Highlands Council media editor, at ADVERTISE IN CONNECTIONS

Highlands Council

A Community-Building Organization Executive Director: Christy Garrard 2550 NE Park Drive (inside Blakely Hall) Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 425-507-1107

Issaquah Highlands Community Fund

Print ad sizes in every price range; digital advertising opportunities are also available. Contact Christy Garrard, Highlands Council executive director, at



A Philanthropic Community Organization President & Chair: Christy Garrard

Have questions or concerns? Visit or contact the appropriate community organization directly. Get weekly Issaquah Highlands updates to your inbox! Text IHNEWS to 22828 to signup. Get social with us!


For Issaquah Highlands residents only. See submission form and guidelines at announcements. MORE INFORMATION Opinions expressed by editorial or paid content do not necessarily reflect the views of Highlands Council. Highlands Council may refuse content that does not meet quality standards or reflect the organization's mission.






A community shuttle program is in process. The IHCF’s launch and the pending shuttle program created an opportunity to reexamine the original Issaquah Highlands branding – more than 20 years old – including the logo and tagline, to see if it still met the needs of our growing community.


by Kimberly Kapustein on behalf of the Issaquah Highlands Branding Committee President, Highlands Council Board of Trustees, and Dahlia Park Resident


ssaquah Highlands has more than a new year to celebrate this January; we’re celebrating the launch of a new generation of our community’s brand identity. After more than a year of intense efforts by a hardworking team of community volunteers, staff, and marketing professionals, I’m excited to reveal the new Issaquah Highlands logo and the story of how this new concept was born.

WHY REBRAND NOW? In the early 90s, Issaquah Highlands’ master developer Port Blakely purchased 2,200 acres of land in the Cascade Foothills with a vision to build a unique urban village that would be a new standard of masterplanned community development. This new community would be deliberately different, following guiding principles related to sustainability, diversity, walkability, and economic vitality. More than 30 years later, Issaquah Highlands is an internationally recognized, Built Green™ community and the largest master-planned community in Washington. With more than 4,000 homes and 12,000 residents, Issaquah Highlands has fulfilled Port Blakely’s vision, and the community continues to grow. In 2020, the Issaquah Highlands Community Fund (IHCF) joined the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA), Highlands Fiber Network (HFN), and Highlands Council as the fourth community organization.

Port Blakely deemed Highlands Council responsible for managing and protecting the Issaquah Highlands brand and trademarks. In Fall 2020, Highlands Council created a branding committee composed of community staff, leaders, and stakeholders. After evaluation, the committee decided the current branding no longer effectively portrayed Issaquah Highlands as a modern leader in community development. Issaquah Highlands needed a new brand identity to better reflect our high quality of living and regional status as a special place to live, work, and play. In addition, the branding committee recognized the ongoing challenges Issaquah Highlands residents had differentiating between the community organizations and identifying who does what. To add to the confusion, each organization had a unique logo that did not always align with the primary community brand. The committee determined residents did not need to thoroughly understand these differences to thrive in Issaquah Highlands. Ultimately, the committee would like to unite organizations under one community logo to deepen community pride and help avoid brand confusion, like how different municipal departments unite under one city brand. In Fall 2020, the branding committee hired Outmark, an Issaquah Highlands-based creative agency, to lead the community rebranding project. Outmark is uniquely suited for this project; the Outmark office is located in Ashland Park, owner Patrick Byers is a 20-year resident who also lives in Ashland Park, and several employees live in Issaquah Highlands or are long-time Issaquah residents. When taken with their impressive portfolio of brand work, Outmark’s hyper-local perspective made them an obvious partner. Highlands Council funded the rebranding project partly by reallocating funding from monthly Connections (moved to quarterly in 2021) and Highlands Day (canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic). Additional funding came in from overflow budget from higher community enhancement fees from home resales. Highlands Council funded the rebranding project in addition to their work supporting other nonprofit community partners. (Visit to learn more about Highlands Council funding.) After more than 130 hours of committee meetings and 200 hours of research and design, Outmark delivered a high-end yet approachable brand system that is more than capable of representing and growing with the community. Turn the page for the big reveal!




OUR NEW BRAND The committee wanted the new brand to reflect Issaquah Highlands’ natural beauty while resonating with the community’s culturally diverse population. Outmark created a unique visual brand identity that includes visual elements of Issaquah Highlands while leaving room for community interpretation. The sloped serifs of the capital “I” and “H” harken to the foothills and mountains that surround the community, as well as the slants of rooflines. Look closely at the capital “H” to find a hidden lowercase “i” inside, with a whimsical leaf on top instead of a dot, a tip of the hat to our legacy “Living Green” tagline, and a reminder that Issaquah Highlands’ natural beauty will always surprise and delight if you know where to look.

After conducting industry research and several rounds of usability testing, Highlands Council learned the website’s distribution of content by community organizations caused a major barrier to overall website usability. Website users do not think about our community’s organizational structure when visiting the site; they just want to find the information they’re looking for quickly and they get frustrated when they can’t. By removing that barrier, usability test participants found information faster and with more positive feedback on the experience. The new, developed by Outmark and launched in late December, is a complete website redesign, from redefined content organization and hierarchy to updated functionality and styling. Get answers to questions faster and more intuitively with more userfriendly navigation and new valuable features, like a single contact form to report community issues and concerns that will automatically forward your message to the appropriate staff – no prior knowledge of community organizations required.

In response to the need for a modernized brand identity, Outmark created a fresh four-color palette that captures the community’s vibrant natural surroundings. The new tagline, “An Urban Village,” reminds us of Port Blakely’s unique vision for Issaquah Highlands and emboldens us to stay true to our founding values as our community ages and grows.

Let’s Celebrate! We are excited to share our updated brand and celebrate a new generation of Issaquah Highlands history with you. Join the celebration of this historic moment and show your community pride with new Issaquah Highlands-branded swag.

Plus: A More User-Friendly Website This year, in parallel to the branding committee’s work, Highlands Council took on redesigning the official community website,, to serve as a more user-friendly resource. According to Highlands Council’s 2021 Annual Community Survey, 23% of participants said the website required too much effort to use, while 45% said it required at least some effort. Participants commented the website needed improved navigation and organization, that it was hard to find what they were looking for at times, and users did not know who to contact to report different issues.

• Stop by the Blakely Hall Open House on Jan. 30 to celebrate the community's new look. Enjoy treats and free swag (see page 4 for details). • Show off your community pride in your own way by visiting the new Issaquah Highlands online brand store ( for a variety of fun branded items, including apparel for the whole family. Purchases benefit the IHCF scholarship program. Above, center: An image of the new, primary brand for Issaquah Highlands.

Out With the Old...






Kimberly Kapustein

Zach Hall

Lisa Soboslai Allen Enebo

Christy Garrard

Katie Cannon Vicki Grunewald

President, Highlands Council Board of Trustees Member, IHCF Board of Directors Dahlia Park Resident Vice President, Highlands Council Board of Trustees Issaquah City Councilmember Vista Park Resident Member, Highlands Council Board of Trustees Timarron Resident VP and Secretary, IHCF Board of Directors Treasurer, HFN Board of Directors Ashland Park Resident Executive Director, Highlands Council Chair and President, IHCF Board of Directors Dahlia Park Resident Marketing and Media Creator, Highlands Council Issaquah Resident Media Editor, Highlands Council Harrison Street Resident


Phil Nored

Teresa Cowan

Highlands Council Trustee Owner, Discovery Heights and Discovery West Apartments

Director, IHCF Board of Directors

The idea that I am part of the greater community of the Highlands, and that we are centered on sustainable living (the leaf). The natural beauty of our environment is what drew us to the Highlands in the first place. We need to honor, treasure, and respect our beautiful surroundings and be stewards for future generations of residents.

I see collaboration. Issaquah Highlands is a community that values relationships and promotes inclusivity. I sense this togetherness when looking at the logo.

Chelsea Musick

Director, IHCF Board of Directors


“I see HOME.”

Above: The new brand icon.

Vicki Stier

Former Port Blakely Senior Executive

I view the upward slant of the 'H' as movement forward and up into the future.

Matt Jensen

Managing Broker, The Agency “A new community brand will reverberate greater relevance and recognition to an already highly sought after and very unique community in King County’s Eastside.”


COMMUNIT Y LEADERS SHARE WHAT THE NEW BRAND MEANS TO THEM Sylvia Chin Broker, WeLakeside, SC International Realty

Michele Arnold

Highlands Council Trustee

The vertical pillars of the 'H' are aligned in solidarity at the base, reminiscent of the roots of trees that comingle and are stronger together in community. I also interpret the cross-bridging within the 'H' as one reaching out to the other. The sloped 'H' reminds me of the slope up Park Drive, College, and Katsura. It took me a while to see the leaf in inverse, and of course, now I cannot NOT see it. Then I could see the entire graphic as depicting a home with a sloped roof and an open door.

"[The] rising 'H' with hidden 'i' logo in vibrant able to deliver a strong sense of home to all IH residents of different backgrounds with an onward and upwards spirit thriving in the green urban village as one unique community. I also believe the new...brand will yield for higher real estate value for years to come as it offers a powerful forwardthinking image in community building and management style.”

“I am very excited to see our community come together with a new look and a new brand. I understand the importance of branding when it comes to business and community. The Issaquah Highlands is a very special neighborhood that attracts new families from all over the world. This new brand reflects what is special about the Highlands and will help to keep our property values incredibly competitive as our urban village is truly like no other.”

Allen Enebo

Vice President & Secretary, IHCF Board of Directors; and Treasurer, HFN Board of Directors

“I see, in the 'H', a parent holding a child’s hand.”

Lisa Soboslai

Zach Hall

Vice President, Highlands Council Board of Trustees

"Our new brand is both a breath of fresh air and an expression of our longtime values. It represents sustainability, community, diversity, and hidden beauty, all aspects we’ve come to love about living, working, and playing in Issaquah Highlands."

Lynn Crane

Lynn Crane Real Estate

Lynne Varner

Director, IHCF Board of Directors

The 'H’s' asymmetry translates visually into an older/taller person holding the hand(s) of a shorter/ younger person. Welcoming. Generosity. Acceptance.

Highlands Council Trustee

I see so many elements of what it means to live, work, and play in Issaquah Highlands. The slant of the 'H' reminds me of the hills in our neighborhoods and the rooflines of our homes. The 'leaf' dotting the 'I' reminds me of our trails, amazing scenery, and the nature all around us. The legs of the 'H' remind me of two people holding hands... community, family!

Howard Kapustein

Director, HFN Board of Directors

“Housing, green, warm, cozy.”







2021 Volunteer of the Year

Standing Tall in the Community

ALLEN enebo

by Jeremy Fallt, HFN General Manager, and Central Park resident

I’m happy to announce Allen Enebo as Issaquah Highlands’ 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Allen serves as the treasurer of the Highlands Fiber Network (HFN) Board of Directors and vice president and secretary of the new Issaquah Highlands Community Fund (IHCF) Board of Directors. I am so thankful for Allen’s tireless work for this community; I feel his positivity, leadership, and energy in every interaction I have with him. Since moving to Issaquah Highlands from the Klahanie area in 2006, Allen has found numerous ways to benefit our community with his seemingly endless passion and energy. Early on, Allen understood the vision of what this community could be. He was drawn to the idea of a walkable grade-school neighborhood and has raised three daughters in the Ashland Park neighborhood.

Allen first volunteered in our community as a division representative then joined the HFN board. In 2013, when the community first evaluated the option to acquire HFN from master developer Port Blakely, Allen thankfully jumped in to assist with the feasibility study, serving on the committee that ultimately decided to make HFN fully community-owned. “I love being involved and protecting a huge community asset,” Allen wrote in his June 2021 “Volunteer of the Month” profile. Although Allen’s day job typically comes with a busy and hectic travel schedule, he always finds the time to participate in our virtual meetings from wherever he finds himself that week, be it boarding a flight, checking into a hotel, etc. That changed when the pandemic grounded Allen’s work travel for a period. Not one to waste an opportunity, Allen jumped in with both feet when approached to serve on the Issaquah Highlands Branding Committee and the IHCF board; his energy and passion have been felt by all who have the opportunity to serve with him. Allen sees a great future ahead for HFN as we continue to enhance bandwidth offerings to the community and review new technologies that will benefit the community going forward. It’s easy to see how much Allen values HFN and our community through his tireless work and willingness to serve. We hope Allen’s dedication inspires others to get involved and give back to this wonderful community.

What They’re Saying About “Mr. Fun”

-- Charlie Herb, HFN board president, and Pine Crest resident “No matter how long a day has been, if you jump onto a call where Allen is in attendance, the day gets better!” – Christy Garrard, Highlands Council executive director, IHCF president & chair, and Dahlia Park resident “[In 2013,] I was putting together a small group of residents to negotiate with Port Blakely for the purchase of Highlands Fiber Network. I needed one more volunteer, and I ran into Allen at Costco. I pitched the idea, twisted his arm, and the rest is history. Sometimes you’re surprised at what you can find at Costco. This honor of Volunteer of the Year is well deserved.” – Larry Norton, HFN board vice president, Highlands Council emeritus trustee, and Crofton Springs resident

“Allen definitely has this electric presence about him, there’s no denying that. I’ve loved working with him on the branding committee. Very often, he’s able to pull something new from an old conversation and he’s not shy about sharing a different opinion. People like this make decisionmaking so much more inclusive! What a great selection for Volunteer of the Year!” – Zach Hall, Issaquah City Council member, Highlands Council board vice president, and Vista Park resident “Allen’s nickname, ‘Mr. Fun’ is well-deserved. Whether it’s on one of the many committees he has served on, out in the community, or just helping a neighbor, Allen always brings a positive attitude, a big smile, and really thoughtful ideas. It seems like he is always up and always on, making things happen, moving things forward, and doing good. Congrats to Allen on being the 2021 Issaquah Highlands Volunteer of the Year!” – Patrick Byers, former Highlands Council board vice president, and Ashland Park resident Visit for more about Allen.

Photo by Michelle Enebo

“Allen brings passion and energy to everything he does and is always eager to volunteer whenever a new need arises. I am extremely thankful to Allen for all he has done this past year, especially for his efforts in representing HFN on both the branding committee and the new Issaquah Highlands Community Fund Board of Directors.”




2020-2021 Volunteers of the Month

Recognizing Our Community’s

STARS service How can YOU get more involved? Visit for more details.

October 2020


Crofton Springs Neighborhood Committee

HFN Board of Directors President

"Looking toward the future of Crofton Springs is an exciting part of being on the planning committee. I look forward to preserving the charm of Crofton Springs for years to come."


Former IHCA Board of Directors President

"With [IHCA Executive Director Sarah Hoey’s] leadership, the IHCA board has accomplished many goals, including opening our first maintenance facility and [moving] to our new office on Park Drive."

"My hope is HFN will continue to be the state-of-the-art fiber network that contributed to our decision to move to Issaquah Highlands so many years ago."

December 2020

Getting more involved in our community is a fun and easy way to meet people and contribute to the participatory culture of Issaquah Highlands. Volunteer opportunities in Issaquah Highlands are always available.


November 2020


e want to take another opportunity to recognize our 2020-2021 Volunteers of the Month and hope they inspire you as much as they do us.

September 2020


KIMBERLY KAPUSTEIN Highlands Council Board of Trustees President IHCF Board of Trustees member

"We believe our community is more vital for its diversity, and we are stronger together in what we build as one."

YANG LEE IHCA Architectural Review Committee

March 2021



Issaquah Highlands Book Club Co-Leader

HFN Board of Directors Secretary

"Because of book club, I’ve read books I never would have picked up on my own and have introduced books to others. Because of book club, I have made wonderful lifelong friends."

"My hope for the future of HFN is simple: to continue to provide high-quality and reliable service at competitive prices while investing in infrastructure to prepare for the future."

June 2021

April 2021

May 2021

"I love the diversity in our community. I believe diversity gives our community a richer culture and makes it a much more interesting place to live and raise a family."

February 2021

January 2021




IHCA Board of Directors President

Highlands Council Board of Trustees Treasurer, HFN Board of Directors

HFN Board of Directors Treasurer, IHCF Board of Directors VP and Secretary

"Fellow volunteers...thank you; there’s no pay or glory. Our community’s bylaws require residents to participate in the process, and even with families and step forward."

"I have loved working with the other board members, protecting, enhancing, and maintaining one of the biggest assets in the Issaquah Highlands."

IHCA Board of Directors Treasurer, IHCA ARC Committee

October 2021

"I share the passion of the...IHCA staff in ...assisting with the best use of financial resources in keeping up with the upkeep and enhancement of our community."

ANNIKA MEHTA Highlands Youth Advisory Board, Global Grub & Groove Volunteer

"Volunteering a daunting experience if it’s your first time, so starting with smaller responsibilities and getting to know other volunteers in your a great way to start to be regularly involved."

RENEE ZIMMERMAN Highlands Council Candidate Forum Planning Committee

"It’s been wonderful to be a part of this... process to help our community get to know our candidates…up close and personal in a welcoming, non-combative way."

November 2021


ALLISON ”ALI” SPIETZ IHCA Board of Directors, IHCA Finance Committee

"I feel very lucky to live in a place where the values include building community, being healthy, respecting differences, and celebrating successes."

ALEX GARRARD IHCA Finance Committee

"[T]here is a lot going on behind the scenes to maintain the fantastic look and feel of the community...there is a dedicated the IHCA...who make it all happen..."

December 2021

August 2021

July 2021

"I like seeing what it really takes to keep our community going. I don’t think people realize just how big Issaquah Highlands is. I’m lucky enough to be a part of it."

September 2021



Highlands Council Board of Trustees VP

"[V]olunteering isn’t something we should find time for; it’s something we should make time for. Don’t wait for the perfect the perfect time…Issaquah Highlands makes it easy to get involved."






Thank You, Kari!

Connections' beloved “Ask Kari” column will end next month. After eight years as a volunteer Connections contributor, Issaquah Highlands resident Kari O’Neill will publish her last “Ask Kari” column for Issaquah Highlands media in February to focus on her doctoral program. Kari is the longest-serving volunteer VICKI GRUNEWALD Connections contributor, Highlands Council having started her column in Media Editor, & 2012 with a desire to share Harrison Street Resident her passion for mental health and social work with the community. Kari was Issaquah Highlands’ Volunteer of the Month in September 2015 and has covered a wide variety of topics in her columns over the years, including family dynamics, drug and alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, and relationships. Highlands Council’s annual community survey participants often reported her “Ask Kari” column as the most popular Connections column. Highlands Council is grateful for Kari’s long-time contribution to our community. Countless readers gained valuable insights from her helpful columns. Kari’s passion for helping others continues to inspire us to find new and creative ways to use Connections and our media to benefit our community. Thank you, Kari! Before she signs off as the writer of “Ask Kari,” take a moment to get to know Kari, your Issaquah Highlands neighbor. We asked Kari to tell us a little about herself and share her volunteer story.

When did you move to Issaquah Highlands, and from where?

over the years. It has been a joy to work with everyone. I loved that “Ask Kari” offered support and guidance to readers, letting them know their feelings were normal, that life can be a ride, but hold tight, and it can be a great one.

My family and I moved to Issaquah Highlands in December 2007 from Fall City. We previously lived in Sammamish and Issaquah; we really love the area.

I am moving on from writing for Connections to allow myself more time to focus on my work as a doctoral student at Tulane University. My research focuses on access to healthcare for individuals with disabilities, a topic I am very passionate about. I also own a local counseling clinic that keeps me busy. I will continue the “Ask Kari” column in the future on other platforms.

What do you like best about living in Issaquah Highlands?

Community, feeling safe and connected. Feeling like I know my neighbors and that we look out for each other.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to my husband Michael since 1996. We just celebrated our 25th wedding Thank you for your support of anniversary this year. We “Ask Kari.” Thank you for taking met in a hospital cafeteria in Santa Monica, Calif. Michael the time to read my column; I hope it grew up in Shoreline, and we spoke to you and offered you support relocated here in 1994 from California. and guidance. Be well." — Kari I have two daughters: Elle, who is a teacher at Issaquah Middle School, and Caroline who is a senior at Washington State University. My parents, my sister Mandy and her family, and my brother Chris all live in Issaquah Highlands. My aunt and cousin even moved here!

What did you enjoy most about your experience as a volunteer Connections contributor?

What advice would you give to neighbors about volunteering in Issaquah Highlands?

Be open to volunteering in a time and space that is a match for you. Often getting out of our home and doing an activity such as volunteering offers us a chance to change our “view.” Volunteering offers us the chance to do good work and feel good about that work; all leading to better mental health overall. We, humans, are meant to connect with other humans, and volunteering offers us an easy pathway to do so.

I loved meeting the Highlands Council Connections team

Highlights from Highlands Council: Welcome 2022! Check Out (New) Community Groups

LINDSEY PINKSTON Highlands Council Community Program Manager, & Wisteria Park Resident

Thank you to our community group leaders who kept their groups going through the pandemic. Be sure to check the community calendar at for the latest news on all our community groups. If you’re a fan of chess, don’t miss our new group, Issaquah Highlands Chess Club, meeting every Wednesday evening starting Jan. 5 (see page 13 for more information). If you’re interested in starting a new community group, please contact me at

Eco-Market Continues in 2022

From delicious treats (yum, fresh-baked croissants) to eco-friendly shopping to recycling hard-to-recycle items, there is something for everyone at our monthly Eco-Market. On Jan. 8, bring fabrics (including clothing, towels, and sheets) and shoes for recycling by Ridwell. For additional vendor information, visit

Blakely Hall Open House and Gallery Exhibition

After closing for about two years, we are excited to reopen Blakely Hall and the Highlands Council office. We’ve missed seeing all of you; please stop by and say “hi” during normal business hours and join us for a special open house on Jan. 30 from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate the new community brand (with free swag) and tour the “A Focus on Home” photography exhibition.

Join the Cross-Cultural Committee

After a brief hiatus, the Issaquah Highlands Cross-Cultural Committee will resume on Feb. 17. Everyone passionate about celebrating the diverse cultures which make up Issaquah Highlands is welcome. We’ll begin planning this summer’s Global Grub & Groove series, so if you’d like to see your culture celebrated this summer, please join us. Please also feel free to email me at with ideas.

2022 Community Garden Patch Renewals and New Leases

This summer, we anticipate adding the Westridge Garden to our Issaquah Highlands community garden locations (including Vista and Sunset Walk). If you are interested in leasing a patch in any community garden location, please fill out the form at All 2021 gardeners will receive an email the first week of January with information on renewing their patches; we expect to start offering patches to gardeners on the list by the first week of February, with priority given to Issaquah Highlands residents. Questions? Contact me at




Your Move, Issaquah Highlands A new community chess group starts at Blakely Hall in January for players of all ages and skill levels.

Starting in January, we invite chess players of all ages and skill levels to participate in the new Issaquah Highlands Chess Club. Group leaders — Issaquah Highlands resident Daniel Kaseumsouk and Sammamish resident Chad Fondren — met in 2021 and observed a rapidly growing chess community in the area. The Issaquah Highlands Chess Club will meet at Blakely Hall every Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. LINDSEY PINKSTON Highlands Council Community Program Manager, & Wisteria Park Resident

What is chess? From Chad Fondren, Issaquah Highlands Chess Club group co-leader: “Chess consists of 64 squares, 16 pieces, and six different types of chess pieces. Your goal is to trap the opponent’s king. How do you accomplish that? Start by making your first move — one out of the 400 different possible positions — then contemplate your second move — one out of 72,084 possible positions. Sounds a bit intimidating, right? Well, the rules are actually simple. Players only need to learn six different movements then they are ready to play.”

Join Issaquah Highlands Chess Club co-leaders, Daniel Kaseumsouk (right) and Chad Fondren (left) for the first group meetup on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at Blakely Hall. Photo provided by Chad Fondren.

"Having resources to play chess online with an opponent at any skill level, at any time, has been a great development for chess in recent decades,” Chad said. “During the pandemic — and with the chess boom following ‘Queen's Gambit’ on Netflix — chess players everywhere found [online] was really the only option to play. Heading into 2022, people everywhere are looking to safely reconnect with one another, and for chess enthusiasts, the best way is over a chessboard."

About the group leaders

You're invited to make the next move

Daniel Kaseumsouk first started playing chess in middle school when a teacher set up tables with chess boards so students could play during lunch. At the time, Daniel did not know how to play, but after watching other students and obtaining guidance from teachers, he found a new hobby. Even 15 years after learning to play, Daniel continues to play chess daily. He moved to Issaquah Highlands in June 2021.

The first Issaquah Highlands Chess Club meetup is Wednesday, Jan. 5. Players can bring their own chess sets or borrow one from the group. Daniel and Chad recommend clocks, but they’re not required. It is free to participate, and — like all community groups — the group is open to non-Issaquah Highlands residents. Join the Facebook group at issaquahchess.

“I’m really excited to help launch the Issaquah Highlands Chess Club,” Daniel said. “I just want to teach new learners how to play and see if this is a hobby that will stick with them like how I experienced back in middle school.”

Per the King County Vaccine Verification Order, verified vaccination status or proof of negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours is required to enter Blakely Hall for everyone ages 12 and up. Check for updates.

Chad Fondren is a former Washington Class Champion and current member of the United States Chess Federation and Washington Chess Federation. He founded and led the Chess Club at Central Washington University and now leads the online King County Eastside Chess Club at He is a self-described “chess addict” who loves everything about the game, but he loves playing in person most of all.





"I found it useful how he went over where and how you can express your issues to which level of government. I also liked the links to the internships!" — Arya Mahajan , 10th grade "Zach's explanation of the 'civics mindset' (keeping an open mind, knowing who your leaders are, etc.) and engaging in democracy...really resonated with me and I can't wait to get pre-registered to vote and write to my city, state, or federal leaders!" — Anika Mehta, 12th grade


Thank you so much, Chef Kim. The soup and cake were both amazing! My family was amazed that I was able to do that...Thanks for helping me and I’m sure many others to step out of their comfort zones!" — Ryan Aby, Ninth Grade


"Zach...demonstrated that it's actually quite easy to bring change to the community, and how our representatives are truly looking for youth ideas and support. Overall, I really took a lot out of the presentation..." — Ethan Hunter, 11th grade

Zach helped me understand that our government wants to hear my voice and the opinions of youth." — Sage Cowan, 12th grade

"My son had an amazing experience." — Geeta, parent of a teen participant "Thank you so much for organizing the cooking class…and delivering all the ingredients to our houses. I had so much fun and learned a lot of great cooking tips along the way. My family and I loved the two dishes." — Vernika Jain, 11th grade

"What I found most informative was what to do when you get a ticket...Now I know to pay the fine and send it to the court. If it’s my first ticket, I can even negotiate to pay it/leave it on my record! Very helpful info!" — Sophia Hashmey, 12th grade "I thought I knew all the information about the rules of the road, but now I am aware of the perspective police officers have when handling situations." — Sage Cowan, 12th grade “I thought this session was actually really helpful and it filled in a lot of gaps that I didn’t even know existed! What I thought was most helpful was the part about what we should do if pulled over." — Ryan Aby, ninth grade


Driving instructors teach us the basics when regarding police interactions but hearing from an actual officer proved much more useful. Learning about how tickets work and what to do in the event of an accident was really informative, and I think everyone learned something, regardless of driving experience." — Ethan Hunter, 11th Grade

"The Art of Adulting" Workshop series continues in 2022 - see page 15 for details!




Community Groups

 Book Club

Third Tuesdays, 7 p.m.

Book club is a great place to meet neighbors, socialize, and explore a variety of books. Join the Facebook group at

NEW! Chess Club

Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m., Blakely Hall

Love to play chess? Miss playing over-the-board (OTB) games live with real people? Come join us for fun and (chess) games! All ages and experience levels are welcome. Please bring your chess set if you have one; otherwise, there will be plenty to share.

 IH Business Networking Group Monday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m.

Join other small business owners for a new spin on the standard practice of networking based on knowing the more we connect and share, the more we all grow! This group is inclusive, connection-based, and valuable to all members. No obligations, just genuine connections! Meets quarterly.

Issaquah Highlands Hiking Group

The Issaquah Highlands Hiking Group is open to all ages to connect with other hiking enthusiasts and go on planned hikes in the beautiful Northwest. For more information and details on our next scheduled hike, join our Facebook group at nwhiking.

 Meditation Group Fridays, 2 p.m.

Discover how to find moments to relax the mind. The group practices exercises that promote balance, strength, and calmness. Learn techniques to help deal with the stress and strain of a busy life. Free to attend and open to all! Questions? Contact ih.meditation@

 Photography Group Third Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.

For Teens

The Art of Adulting

Brought to you by the Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board, “The Art of Adulting” is a monthly series of fun and informative workshops for local high school students to come together and learn important life skills. Learn more at highlands-youth. Register for and attend the January, February, and March workshops to get your own personalized hoodie! Register at

Self-Assess for College & Career Interests Sunday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m., Blakely Hall

Facilitated by career development coach Deanna Carlisle, this workshop will help high school students realize how their unique gifts, talents, and interests can translate into fulfilling college paths and career opportunities.

Build Your Personal Presence Sunday, Feb. 6, 3 p.m., Blakely Hall

Facilitated by career development coach Deanna Carlisle, this workshop will help high school students develop their professional presence for college applications, resumes, LinkedIn, and social media.

Manage Personal Finances Sunday, March 6, 3 p.m., Blakely Hall

In this workshop, high school students will get an overview of what they need to know about their personal finances, including bank accounts, credit and credit scores, savings and investments, and how to read your pay stub (taxes & benefits). Facilitated by Kristin Montagne, financial services professional.

Governance Mtgs 

Highlands Council Board of Trustees First Tuesdays, 12 p.m.

Enjoy monthly meetings with guest speakers, share and discuss your work with others, and participate in an online community throughout the month. Contact

Issaquah Highlands Community Fund Board of Directors

Tai Chi Fitness Class

IHCA Architectural Review Committee

Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m., Blakely Hall

Free Chen-style Tai Chi for all who are interested in learning and practicing together. This ancient Chinese martial art promotes health by reducing bodily tension and stress, improving balance and coordination, increasing joint flexibility, calming the breath, and clearing the mind.

 Toastmasters Thursdays, 7 a.m.

Say it better with Toastmasters. Share your interests and goals in a positive, supportive environment. Let us help you expand your knowledge and horizons. Guests are welcome to join a meeting to see what it’s about – it’s one hour of fun, and you won’t be put on the spot! Learn more at

First Tuesdays, 4 p.m.

First Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.

IHCA Finance Committee Second Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.

Highlands Fiber Network Advisory Group Third Mondays, 5 p.m.

IHCA Board of Directors Fourth Mondays, 5:30 p.m.

 Yarns & Threads Group Fridays, 10 a.m.

All knitters, crocheters, and stitchers are welcome. For more details or questions, please contact Cathie Coulter at

 Indicates this group/event occurs online. All events are FREE unless otherwise noted. Per the King County Vaccine Verification Order, verified vaccination status or proof of negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours is required to attend all groups and events at Blakely Hall.

Don't Miss This

Scout Christmas Tree Pickup Saturday, Jan. 8, 8 a.m.

Have your Christmas tree recycled by local Boy Scouts; please place your tree curbside by 8 a.m. on Jan. 8. Suggested donation is $15-$25 per tree. Donate online (preferred) or attach a check to your tree payable to: “Scouts BSA.” More information at


First Saturdays: Jan. 8, Feb. 5, March 5 9 a.m.–12 p.m., Blakely Hall

Live greener with the new Issaquah Highlands EcoMarket! Shop from a variety of small eco-friendly vendors, farmers, and artisans while learning about sustainable living. Visit events for updates on each month’s vendors, special programs, and recycling initiatives.

Blakey Hall Open House

Sunday, Jan. 30, 1-4 p.m., Blakely Hall

Stop by Blakely Hall to celebrate the new community branding and view the new “A Focus on Home” photography exhibit. We’ll have treats and community swag for everyone!

Cross-Cultural Committee

Thursday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m., Blakely Hall

We invite anyone passionate about celebrating the diverse cultures which make up Issaquah Highlands to join our Cross-Cultural Committee. We’ll come together to learn from each other and help shape the direction of Highlands Council, as well as plan upcoming events, including this summer's Global Grub & Groove series! Contact Lindsey at lindsey.p@ or visit

“A Focus on Home” Gallery Exhibition Blakely Hall

This summer, over 150 local photography enthusiasts submitted their work o the “A Focus on Home” Photography Contest. Many of these beautiful photos of the Issaquah Highlands community (including all the winning photos) are on display at Blakely Hall for viewing during business hours or join us at the Blakely Hall Open House on Jan. 30 from 1-4 p.m.

Snowman Building Contest

For the second year in a row, keep an eye on the forecast and get your mittens ready for our Snowman Building Contest. We’ll watch for snowfall and announce the contest on the official Issaquah Highlands Facebook page (@issaquahhighlands) and our website at when it’s time to get building. Enter to win a prize by submitting a photo of your creation online at





Notice of Proposed Rule Updates

A public comment period is now open.

Per the Issaquah Highlands Community Association's (IHCA) governing documents, changes to the Use Restrictions and Rules (URRs) must be posted for public comment before the IHCA Board of Directors formally approves the changes. The proposed changes to the URRs and Architectural Review Committee (ARC) Guidelines were presented to the IHCA board on Oct. 25, 2021, and approved for publishing with a public comment period. If you have any comments or questions regarding the proposed changes, please contact Debbie Orosco, IHCA community manager, at The deadline for homeowner feedback is Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Your feedback will be reported to the board during the February 2022 board meeting. The proposed changes may be adopted at the February 2022 board meeting. Visit for meeting details.


DEBBIE OROSCO IHCA Community Manager

BLAIR KRIEG IHCA Community Manager

Call for Public Comment Homeowners can submit feedback to Debbie Orosco, IHCA community manager, at The deadline for homeowner feedback is Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Note proposed changes in red. To read the original documents in full, please visit

ARC Guidelines: Proposed Changes APPLICATION DEADLINE Any application received less than seven (7) days prior to the next scheduled ARC meeting will not be reviewed and considered by the ARC until the ARC meeting for the following month. The Architectural Committee may review applications via email prior to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. However, it may be necessary to have the application reviewed at the monthly meetings based on the type of request. REVIEW PROCEDURES The purpose of this section is to establish standard review procedures and submittal requirements for all exterior improvements on single-family and multi-family properties. The procedures and requirements are designed to promote timely and complete reviews by the ARC. Architectural Review Applications must be approved by the ARC prior to commencing any work.

items the ARC Application Checklist requires. Photographs are required which clearly show the area in which the exterior modification is taking place. Contact the IHCA Community Manager with any questions. AIR CONDITIONERS Air conditioner installation requires notification only and is not subject to a $20 review fee. However, voluntary ARC reviews may be requested. Such reviews provide consultation time with the IHCA Community Manager and a review by the ARC. The process ensures compliance with ARC standards. Please complete the application for Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Generators showing location, brand and style of air conditioner and documented decibel rating. Applications must be submitted prior to air conditioner installation. The Applicant is required to submit a Completion Verification Form. It is advisable to retain copies as the Applicant is responsible for proof of notification and completion.

No proposed modification requiring ARC approval should be initiated until the approval process is complete and written or emailed notification has been received. Applications received after a project is started are not valid and may result in removal and restoration at the owner’s expense as well as applicable fines. It is the property owner’s responsibility to determine if government body (City of Issaquah or other governmental) approval is required. Approval by the appropriate government body does not relieve the property owner of responsibility to obtain ARC approval nor does ARC approval relieve the property owner of responsibility to obtain all required governmental approvals. Approval by the ARC does not preclude owners from obtaining any required building permits. Please contact the City of Issaquah for more information regarding requirements.

All new air conditioners/heat pumps may be located on the side or rear of your home. The unit’s noise rating must be below seventy-five (75) decibels. The unit’s noise rating must meet City of Issaquah and State decibel requirements. Please refer to aspx?cite=173-60-040 for existing decibel regulations. Tubing and wiring attached to the home must be painted to match the house color.

Site visits from an IHCA staff member and ARC Committee liaison MAY be required prior to approval being submitted and prior to completion.

LANDSCAPING: SYNTHETIC AND ARTIFICIAL TURF Overview While drought tolerant landscapes consisting of natural vegetation are encouraged throughout Issaquah Highlands limited use of artificial and synthetic turf may be allowed subject to the following conditions. For low maintenance landscape alternatives and approved drought tolerant species, see Appendix C.

APPLICATION PROCESS The application process requires completion of the Issaquah Highlands ARC Application, Submittal Checklist, ARC Application Checklist, and Acknowledgement of Applicant forms. Applications may be found at the community website – or obtained from the IHCA offices. The Applicant is required to supply the ARC with all

Window air conditioning units must be mounted flush to the window and not allowed to protrude externally. Requests from condominium homeowners must be submitted with written approval from the condominium association’s Board of Directors in order for the request to be eligible for consideration.

Application All synthetic turf shall be subject to the following conditions and shall be subject to review and approval by the Issaquah Highlands ARC prior to installation. Synthetic and artificial turf may be used in the following applications: Front, Side, and Rear Yards 1. Use of artificial turf in the front yard shall be limited to discrete areas and must always be used in conjunction with living plants and other foliage to create a balanced and comprehensive landscape scheme not exceed more than 25% of the yard and must be discrete. If a homeowner’s request includes more than 25% of the front and side yards to be synthetic turf, the request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis dependent on lot location and other variables. 2. Artificial turf may be used in side yards not visible from a public right-of-way. 3. Artificial turf may be used in rear yard; however, such use shall not exceed the lesser of 25% of the usable yard or 250SF. 4. All edges of the artificial turf must be bordered by pavers, concrete curbing, treated lumber, or other nondeteriorating material subject to review and approval by the ARC. 5. Artificial turf shall not immediately abut concrete walkways, sidewalks, or driveways. 6. Artificial turf shall be required to meet the minimum product specification outlined below. 7. Artificial turf must be maintained free from animal waste that may saturate, penetrate or rest upon the surface. 8. Artificial turf must be maintained free from weeds or other vegetation that may protrude through the surface of the product. 9. Artificial turf must be replaced with similar, approved material, or other approved living vegetation upon product expiration according to the product manufacturer’s warranty. Continued on page 17



HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION Specifications Synthetic turf shall meet the following minimum specification:

LANDSCAPING: Discouraged

1. Thickness – Pile height or synthetic grass blades shall be 1-1/2” to 2” minimum. 2. Face Weight – Face weight or density shall be a 60LB minimum. 3. Color – Pile, synthetic grass blades, shall be a made up of a minimum of two colors or shades. 4. Blade Length – Pile, synthetic grass blades, shall be made of a minimum of two different blade lengths. 5. Product Warranty – artificial turf shall be covered by a 15-yr product manufacture warranty. Installation All synthetic and artificial turf shall be installed by a licensed, professional contractor with demonstrated experience working with artificial turf products. Installation must be covered by a minimum 15-year installation warranty. LANDSCAPING: A reasonable number of seasonal planters or pots does not require ARC approval, however if pots are intended to be permanent, an ARC application may be required for approval. Permanent pots and yard art require ARC approval prior to installation.

• Large expanses of impervious surfaces. • Large expanses of bark or mulch. • The use of trees that need to be “topped” to maintain view corridors. • Large expanses of impervious surfaces or bark/mulch is prohibited. Tree care shall be conducted under WA State timber law requirements and also adhere to all other governing entity regulations. ARC approval is required prior to removing or greatly altering trees on owners lots except for emergency purposes. GAZEBOS/ARBORS/PERGOLAS/PATIO COVERS All arbors, pergolas, gazebos, patio covers, and sun control devises require ARC approval prior to installation. Awning material and framing must be compatible with the house color. Samples of materials MAY be requested prior to approval. A photo of a similar installation MAY also be required as part of the application process. Wooden structures must be constructed of rot-resistant wood and painted or stained. Metal structures must be powder coated. Composite decking materials (i.e. e.g. Trex) are acceptable. A sample of the color must accompany your application. PAINTING No application or review is required for re-painting any part of the house with its original or existing color scheme. Prior ARC approval is required for new colors or any changes in exterior colors for houses, fences, decks, trim, and roofs in advance. Color chips (samples) must be submitted with the application along with a detailed description of where the

colors are to be applied (trim, body, and doors, et al.), along with a photo of the home. Painting with a single exterior color is discouraged. Every attempt should be made to paint the exterior to blend with the surrounding neighborhood’s architectural elements and colors. Owners are encouraged to complement existing external building materials such as brick or stone by choosing subtle paint colors for contrast on the home’s body, trim, garage, and doors. Subtle contrast provides depth which will complement the overall home. Color blocking (colors ending on an outside corner) is prohibited; all paint colors and materials shall end at inside corners of the structure. Colors must follow the existing architecture. If a change of house color is requested, a sample of the paint MAY be required to be painted on a small area of the home and reviewed by a member of the ARC Committee prior to approval. Approval of the newly proposed house color is also dependent on the color scheme of surrounding homes. IHCA discourages owners from painting their home the same color as their immediate neighbors. A photo of the immediate neighbor’s homes will be required as a part of the application. IHCA maintains the right to issue a stop work order during painting if the color is not approved. When applying for exterior painting approval, homeowner must clearly state on the ARC application which paint sheen will be used.

URRs: Proposed Changes BASKETBALL BACKBOARDS Basketball backboards may be attached to the house or garage when not visible from the street (e.g. garages on alleys, side-entry garages on courtyards). Fixed freestanding or portable basketball backboards (Hoops) are allowed if the following requirements are met: • The Unit on the Residential Property where the Hoop is located is not an apartment, condominium or townhome; • The Hoop has bottom weight sufficient to eliminate any significant risk of tipping; • The Hoop is kept reasonably clean and, in good working order and with a net fully intact at all times; • When stored, Hoops must be screened from view. SIGNAGE Signage may not be displayed in windows or be posted on the Residential Properties, except as otherwise expressly provided in these Rules. Advertising vendor services is prohibited on any unit or common area without IHCA approval. Signs or flyers may not be posted on mailboxes, street signs, or on community property in parks, or other common areas including the street frontages and right-of-ways without IHCA approval. Political signage: One (1) Political signs shall be permitted on a Unit at a time. The political signs shall not be more than five (5) square feet in size, have a maximum height of four (4) feet if posted in the ground meet City of Issaquah signage code regarding quantity, location, size, and type, be of professional quality and design, and not obstruct line

of sight for any traffic or traffic signals and signage. The term “political sign” means a sign which advocates for one particular candidate, political party, or ballot measure, or current event. The period in which political signs may be displayed shall be in accordance with state and local law. No political signs shall be placed on street frontages, common areas, facilities or grounds. EXHIBIT C: USE RULES FOR PRIVATE PARK USE AT ISSAQUAH HIGHLANDS Prohibitions. The following are prohibited: a. Use of illegal drugs or controlled substances; b. Lewd or immoral conduct; c. Rowdiness, brawling or fighting; d. Gambling; e. Sale of liquor or consumption of liquor by minors; f. Excessively loud noises or music; g. Use of kegs or party balls except as provided in item (4) h. Protests; i. Off leashed, unsupervised, pets and non-domesticated animals (as defined by the City of Issaquah); not disposing of fecal dog waste in provided receptacles. No animals allowed on play equipment. j. Nudity k. No unsupervised children l. No firepits or charcoal grills

EXHIBIT D: IHCA TREE MANAGEMENT RULES Potential tree root damage caused by IHCA common areas trees are to be reported to the IHCA. IHCA will inspect the tree for potential hazards and diseases. Owners are obligated to inform the IHCA when removing tree roots that could potentially cause damage to common area trees. IHCA has the right, but is not obligated, to remove IHCA owned tree(s) in question to assist in root mitigation. In accordance with Washington State Timber Law RCW 64.12.030, tree roots may be removed from on one’s personal property even if it comes from an abutting property; unless the tree is protected by a local tree preservation ordinance or straddles a property line. IHCA is not liable for damage or removal of tree roots on affected adjoining properties from common areas. EXHIBIT E: ISSAQUAH HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY WIDE STANDARDS Plant Standards: • All plant material shall be maintained in an orderly state, trimmed and neat in appearance. Selective pruning techniques must be utilized. Topping of trees is prohibited. Tree care shall be conducted under WA State timber law requirements and also adhere to all other governing entity regulations. ARC approval is required prior to removing or greatly altering trees on owners lots except for emergency purposes. • Trees and large shrubs should be located to avoid blocking views from interior rooms or adjacent properties. Existing view covenants shall be adhered to. Yard Standards: • No excessive use of yard items such as pots or yard art. Permanent pots and yard art require ARC approval prior to installation.





TOGETHER Since Swedish Issaquah opened their doors in 2011:


Creating healthier communities together. SWEDISH ISSAQUAH 751 NE Blakely Drive, Issaquah, WA 98029

Find connection and joy IN EVERDAY LIVING

University House Issaquah helps you stay engaged and connected—while covering the cooking, cleaning, care if you need it, and more. Schedule a tour or learn more (425) 200-0331 | Ask about special benefits for





Annual Budget Development The Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) and Finance Committee has started to prepare the IHCA 2022-23 budget. The Finance Committee will present the budget to the IHCA Board of Directors for approval in late February.

Read more about the IHCA budget development process at


Outdoor Lighting Any exterior lighting changes that are not part of the original structure — and/or any changes to the original lighting that are not comparable in style, scale, and color to existing lighting — must receive IHCA Architectural Review Committee (ARC) approval, including all walkway and landscape lighting not installed by the original builder. ARC guidelines always permit holiday lighting displays during the holiday season. Learn how to make changes to your home and landscape that follow ARC guidelines and download ARC applications at

The IHCA recognizes Matthew Hendrikse, maintenance facilities manager, for outstanding service. Despite the trials and tribulations of the past few years, I would like to spotlight an Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) staff member who has continually gone above and beyond what is required to help individual SARAH HOEY residents and the community. IHCA Executive Director Matthew Hendrikse, IHCA maintenance facilities manager, is an extraordinary individual who continuously expresses his commitment to Issaquah Highlands by preserving the community's appearance, maintaining all common areas, and supporting the IHCA however he can. When powerful windstorms hit Washington in October, Matthew immediately jumped into action; he was onsite within minutes, clearing felled trees for community safety. In addition to tending to damage from the storm, Matthew also acted as a first responder to a car accident in the community that occurred when no emergency services were available to assist at the time. He comforted a homeowner until her husband could get to the site and drove her to get medical attention. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries. Matthew showed initiative — changing the damaged car’s tire and moving the vehicle to a safe area out of the way of oncoming traffic. Matthew Hendrikse is a valued member of the IHCA staff. His quick thinking and compassionate commitment are present in everything he does. If you happen to see Matthew out and about, please tell him “thanks” for all of his hard work.


Holiday Decorations Holiday decorations may be neatly displayed and secured during seasonal times only on the Unit. Winter holiday decorations and lighting (including light clips) may be displayed from Oct. 1 through Jan. 15.


Download the IHCA Mobile App Have the IHCA at your fingertips with the IHCA mobile app. The app is free and is available in the iOS and Android app stores. See QR codes below to download.

Matthew Hendrikse with IHCA Executive Director Sarah Hoey at the reopening of the Summit Park slides in June 2021. Photo courtesy of the IHCA.

Download iOS app

Learn More!

Download Android app

These tips and rules reminders are only a subset of IHCA guidelines and regulations. For complete standards, visit Questions? Call the IHCA at (425) 427-9257 or email





This Month on the Blog

Read these upcoming stories from your Issaquah Highlands neighbors at

Volunteer of the Month

Emergency Preparedness

We Can Be Ready for Anything, Together

New Year's Challenge: Buy Nothing New in 2022

Missing "Ask Kari"? Find Past Columns in Our Archives

EKATERINA “KATIA” ZAKHAROVA IHCA Board of Directors, District 1

JOHNNA MASTERSON Owner of Inspired & Organized, and Central Park Resident

ALINE BLOCH Owner of Aline’s Cardboard and Out of the Box Eco-Store, and Central Park Resident

KARI O’NEILL, MSW, LICSW Clinical Social Worker; Owner of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group, and Issaquah Highlands Resident

"Issaquah Highlands first caught my attention back in 2010, when I was visiting with my friends in Klahanie, and they showed me the beautiful new community up on the hill....After moving to the Highlands, I have learned the structure of this planned community is the main reason behind the welcoming vibe I felt back in 2010." Read about Katia and her work on the IHCA board and Covenant Committee.

"Most people want to have their emergency kit ready, but it can feel very intimidating and expensive. The lists seem endless, and the process sounds exhausting...Each month, I will offer small steps to bring you closer to your goal of having (at a minimum) a stocked, functional 72-hour emergency readiness kit for your family." Read Johnna's intro to her new 2022 column.

Aline Bloch's "Living Green" column is back in 2022 with new inspirations and tips for living a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. In her January article, learn how you can join Aline in the challenge to "buy nothing new in 2022."

Although Connections' beloved "Ask Kari" column ends in February, you can still read all of your favorite past columns online. For archives of Kari's guidance and tips, visit For even more past columns, dig into our Connections archives at ihconnections.

Recognizing Ekaterina Zakharova in January

Living Green

Ask Kari





How to prepare for weather emergency closures, an update on the superintendent search, and more. Be Prepared for Emergency Weather Closures

CHELSEA MUSICK Issaquah Highlands Community Foundation Board Member, and Central Park Resident

As we enter the winter weather season, it’s important to prepare for school delays or closures. Learn about potential Issaquah School District (ISD) schedule changes in emergency weather scenarios at issaquah.wednet. edu/district/emergency/closures. Sign up for FlashAlert to quickly learn if ISD is on an emergency schedule at And verify your emergency contact information in Family Access at issaquah.wednet. edu/family/FamilyAccess.

ISD Levy Committee Update About School Spotlight

Be sure to check Issaquah School District (ISD) and school websites to confirm details and dates. Find the ISD event calendar at upcomingEvents. Specific school calendars can be found on each school's website.

The ISD Levy Committee continues to meet to discuss recommendations for a 2022 levy package. The Issaquah School Board voted to run the replacement levy package on the April 26, 2022 ballot. More details to come in 2022.

ISD Superintendent Search

On Nov. 9, ISD Superintendent Ron Thiele announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. At the ISD School Board meeting on Dec. 10, the board voted to contract with a search firm to lead a nationwide search for the district’s next superintendent. Watch the discussion on the ISD YouTube channel.

Issaquah Schools Foundation Grants Update

As we move into winter, the Issaquah Schools Foundation (ISF) heads into grant season. Teachers and staff were invited to submit grant requests in November, and those requests will be judged and winning grants announced in January. ISF is also excited to announce that Student Academic Grants will return in the new year. This program aims to improve accessibility to academic support services for Issaquah students. Stay tuned for application details in January. Curious about the ISF-funded programs at our local schools? Find the list at

Kindergarten Registration Starts Feb. 1

The window for kindergarten registration starts on Feb. 1, with most elementary schools hosting information sessions in January (see individual school websites for details). ISD has implemented a new online process to enroll new students. See the ISD website for more information, Kregistration. Not sure which school your student will attend next year? Contact the ISD Transportation Department at or call 425-837-6330.







How Teens Can Build the Future They Want The HY board invites high schoolers to find out at February's "Art of Adulting" workshop.

High school brings you one step closer to your adult life as you apply for colleges and jobs you find meaningful and will help you build the future you want. While in high school, teens should discover their assets to build strong resumes. If teens have little SAGE COWAN Highlands Youth Advisory experience with after-school activities, volunteering, or Board Member, working, it can be challenging 12th-grader, & to figure out how to highlight Central Park Resident their skills. Fortunately, the Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board’s next “Art of Adulting” workshop will help relieve some stress by teaching teens how to identify their talents and use them to create an exceptional professional presence with a resume and LinkedIn profile. Issaquah Highlands resident Deanna Carlisle will host the upcoming “Art of Adulting” workshop on Feb. 6, titled “Building Your Professional Presence.” In her career coaching business, Youth Career Compass, Deanna helps students find college majors and career paths that play to their strengths, as well as internships to get experience in their field. Deanna also assists students with resume and LinkedIn profile creation. She also has worked at Microsoft for about 25 years, where her responsibilities included hiring, so she knows what companies look for in new employees.

Deanna’s February workshop will show high school students how to develop a professional presence through a resume and LinkedIn account. Understanding these tools will be crucial throughout high school and college because they prepare students for getting jobs in the future. When deciding whether to hire a new employee or admit new students to a college, the first thing recruiters see is a resume. Resumes should reflect a person’s character professionally to ensure success with that institution/potential employer. In Deanna’s workshop, high school students will identify their strengths and discover the importance of creating a professional presence early, resume frameworks, and tips and tricks to make resumes stand out. The “Art of Adulting: Building Your Professional Presence” workshop for high school students is free to attend, taking place on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 3 p.m. Students should bring a pen, paper, ideas around their top three strengths, and a resume (if they have one). Students will leave this workshop feeling more confident about their online professional presence and more prepared for the future once they have a strong resume. The HY board plans to hold this workshop in person at Blakely Hall but may switch to a virtual event depending on current COVID-19 recommendations. Please note, King County requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend events at Blakely Hall. High school students can pre-register for the workshop at

Deanna Carlisle, owner of career coaching business, Youth Career Compass.

Don't Miss January's Workshop! Self-Assess for College & Career Interests Sunday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m., Blakely Hall Facilitated by career development coach Deanna Carlisle, this workshop will help high school students realize how their unique gifts, talents, and interests can translate into fulfilling college paths and career opportunities. Pre-register online at







Gardening & Gathering Together

Throughout history, community gardens have lifted spirits and brought people together. Our Issaquah Highlands community gardens are no exception.

ANIKA MEHTA Highlands Youth Advisory Board Member, 12th-grader, & Issaquah Highlands Resident

A light breeze sweeps through the air on a foggy November afternoon as Lindsey Pinkston crouches over a bare patch of dirt in the Issaquah Highlands Vista Community Gardens. Though not much grows this time of year, the Highlands Council community program manager still enjoys touring the gardens and observing gardeners who maintain their patches throughout the winter, keeping patches free of weeds, and planting cover crops to replenish the soil for a fruitful gardening season in 2022. The gravel trail leading to and from the Vista Community Gardens teem with small children bundled in layers of puffy coats and knitted hats, grasping their parents’ hands while walking home from Grand Ridge Elementary School. The prospect of growing your own food, coupled with the youthful buzz of energy around the gardens, makes it easy to see why someone might spend all their time here.

The Vista Community Gardens are along a trail below Black Nugget Park near the Roanoke Woods neighborhood. Since 2013, just over 60 raised cedar garden plots, measuring 4 feet by 12 feet, have annually garnered far-reaching community support from enthusiastic gardeners, some of which are not even Issaquah Highlands residents. With a second location in the Sunset Walk neighborhood and soon a third in the new Westridge neighborhood, the Issaquah Highlands community gardens provide lighthearted fun, bring families together, and promote healthy eating habits, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout American history, the purpose of community gardens has fluctuated based on societal needs. The concept of community gardens as we know them today dates to the 1890s, when the government focused on creating programs that cultivated vacant city lots and assigned plots to families to grow storable produce, such as beans and carrots. Fast forward to the Great Depression, where relief gardens mitigated hunger and food insecurity in addition to serving as a pastime to combat the unprecedented rates of unemployment. Along the same lines, World War I and World War II, which emphasized

patriotic volunteerism and relief work during a time of heavy rationing, brought about liberty and victory gardens. Though we haven’t faced the same level of food scarcity or need for rationing during the COVID-19 pandemic as in decades past, the need to garden as an escape from boredom and grim realities remains in our blood. “When COVID first hit, interest in the gardens spiked by a lot,” Lindsey, who helps manage the Issaquah Highlands community gardens, said. “There were shortages in the grocery store, and people didn’t have anything to do, [so] I think gardening became something a lot of people wanted to try, and we sold out right away that year.” Although some people gave up their patches midway through 2020 after realizing gardening entails more than watering plants and praying you have a green thumb, the gardens remain busy even in the second year of the pandemic. The Vista Community Gardens also foster a sense of community each passing year. According to Lindsey, neighbors are quick to share their successful harvests. “You’ll often see a post on our [community garden] Facebook group that says something like, ‘I had a really great tomato crop this week – anyone want tomatoes? I can drop them off!’ [The community gardeners] enjoy sharing with each other,” Lindsey said. It seems community service is just as much a part of the gardens as learning how to care for crops. Local Girl Scouts created a program called “Grow a Row,” which encourages people to grow an extra row of food so the Girl Scouts can harvest that row and donate the produce to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. The Issaquah Highlands Vista Community Gardens demonstrate how community gardens fulfill a larger purpose than simply providing fresh produce; they also encourage compassion for neighbors, promote sustainability, and create a much-needed sense of “normal.”

Interested in having your own community garden patch in 2022?

Visit to learn more and request a patch.

Anika (left) with Lindsey Pinkston, community program manager, in the Vista Community Garden in December.





Be Information-Ready for an Emergency

by JEREMY FALLT HFN General Manager and Central Park Resident

Days of wet, windy weather keep most of us inside, which can be a great time to cross off to-do list items and prepare for an emergency. There are a few easy things you can do to prepare your data and electronics for any emergency.

battery lasts. You can purchase a UPS locally or online. The UPS stays connected and kicks on when needed. They come in various sizes and can supply power for several hours.

Power Outages

Most of us are guilty of having all our contact numbers and important information stored on our cell phones and portable devices. If these devices become lost or damaged, you could lose important information when you need it the most. Consider using cloud storage for contacts, calendars, and other important information.

Your home might not be as prepared for extensive power outages as Highlands Fiber Network (HFN). If the power at your home is out, you will be without internet, and possibly phone service. Cell phones will work but need recharging often. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can supply power to your HFN portal, routers, and cordless phone equipment. With a UPS in place, you can continue accessing the internet on a laptop or tablet as long as the

HFN offers practical tips for preparing your data and electronics in case of an emergency.

Other devices or appliances to consider when the power goes out: cell phones and refrigerators. If power is out for days, an external power supply can fully recharge cell phones, and a small (1000 watt) portable generator can power your refrigerator.

Cloud Storage

Community-Owned, Fiber to the Home For rates and information, contact HFN Customer Service (425) 427-0999

Other cloud applications can keep track of and store passwords for all your sensitive data, like credit card information.

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