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In May 1968, Issaquah was a small town where bad things really didn’t happen to people. So, when 8-year-old David Adams disappeared, people turned out from all over the area to help look for him. Surely he must have just gotten lost on the mountain on his way home from a friend’s house. Surely he would be found. But he wasn’t. And as days turned into weeks, months, years and decades, the story of the blue-eyed boy turned into memories for those who knew him and was of little meaning to those who didn’t. The Issaquah Press did an occasional story about him in the early years, but later on, David Adams was all but forgotten. In summer 2006, reporter Bob Taylor tried to update the story, but records were gone or nearly impossible to find. People’s memories were fading, if those people could be found in the first place. In fall 2009, reporter Warren Kagarise took a new run at the story. He spent countless hours locating all newspaper accounts that could be found from the time of little David’s disappearance. And he began trying to contact people from that time, starting with David’s parents, whom The Press had stayed in contact with over the years. Kagarise talked to detectives who have taken on the cold case in hopes of solving it. He found classmates of David’s and interviewed them. He talked at length with David’s parents, and other family and friends. He talked to the last person to see David before his disappearance, a man who was a child then whose story brought tears to readers’ eyes. Kagarise talked to anyone he could locate who had any memory of the case at all. In all, he found more than a dozen people from that time and interviewed them. And he found that things didn’t get reported in the early days of the search turned investigation and, worse yet, things had been reported inaccurately. Then, in writing a three-part series about the boy lost on a mountainside four decades ago, Kagarise brought David to life for readers; explained how the search was done then and how it would be done much differently today; and corrected inaccurate information that The Press and other news organizations reported wrong in the first place and continued to re-report. Most importantly, Kagarise taught people that this newspaper cares about its readers and all of the city’s residents, no matter how long ago something happened to them. And he reminded readers that young David Adams needs to be brought home, and that he won’t be forgotten until the case of his disappearance is closed.

Tempers flare over rooster relocation 

Teller’s retirement means end of an era for local bank

Patriots surprise KingCo foes with two swim meet wins Sports,


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009 • Vol. 110, No. 50

Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents

Think holiday heart health

City budget:

Bus service, maintenance to be delayed By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Issaquah City Jail will add a corrections officer, but parks and road improvements will be scaled back in the 2010 budget headed to the City Council next week. The plan reflects difficult decisions as the council sought to balance savings and services amid the recession. City residents will notice changes large — fewer traffic signal upgrades — and small — only two city newsletters will be mailed next year. Mayor Ava Frisinger proposed a leaner budget for next year for a city with fewer employees and capital projects planned. After several tweaks, the City Council plans to adopt the $99 million budget Dec. 21. “In this economic climate, there were some difficult choices that had to be made,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said. “This is a consensus document, so no single one of us was able to control or dominate the way in which our city’s dollars are going to be spent.” The proposed budget contains no property tax or rate increases, though a separate measure headed to the council Dec. 21 would adjust city water rates. Officials tackled the budget after mid-year spending cuts and layoffs due to declining sales tax revenue and building permit fees — important cash sources for the city. Schaer noted that the tough choices include maintenance delays and spending cuts — decisions outlined in a budget memo from council members to Frisinger. The memo includes ambitious directives to re-examine the way several city departments conduct business. “I hope the budget is indeed lean, but I hope it’s not mean,” Frisinger said. Council considers alternatives The council asked the city administration to study privatization options for Parks & Recreation Department facilities and programs. Staffers are due to bring the options to the Council Services & Operations Committee in the first quarter. And, almost four years after city voters passed a $6.25 million park bond meant to improve recreation and preserve undeveloped land, the council wants updates on city open space. See BUDGET, Page A3


When 8-year-old David Adams disappeared in May 1968, the still-unsolved case generated unprecedented news coverage and attracted hundreds of searchers to Tiger Mountain.


Winter’s arrival The official start of winter isn’t until Dec. 21, but temperatures last week as low as 10 degrees put a chill on everything. Above, ducks on Lake Sammamish were still swimming, but smaller lakes and ponds were iced over. Left, water leaving the pipes at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery was stopped in its icy tracks.

Burst pipes leave damage in wake Village Theatre, AtWork! sustain water damage By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter AtWork! employees were gathered for a late-afternoon meeting last week when someone heard what sounded like rain — coming from inside the building. Employees watched as water gushed from the ceiling, and then leapt into action to cut off the supply and shove buckets beneath the leak, administrative assistant Winter Taylor said. The source of the deluge was a burst pipe, brought on by days of below-freezing temperatures. Lucky for the employees, the accident occurred when fewer

people were in the building, after clients left. The organization helps disabled people learn skills and find jobs. Homeowners and workers throughout Issaquah endured similar inconveniences last week as the mercury plummeted. The deep freeze and subsequent problems caused calls to spike to Eastside Fire & Rescue and the city Public Works Operations Department as property owners sought to deal with the damage. EFR crews responded to more than a dozen calls related to flooding caused by burst pipes. A near-disaster brought on by

old pipes and below-freezing temperatures brought the house down at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre building. Crews started cleanup efforts Dec. 10 to remove insulation frozen by leaking water. The frozen insulation then fell from the ceiling. The damage claimed KIDSTAGE costumes, a soundboard and other equipment. Managers did not have cost estimates for the damage by late last week, theater spokeswoman Michelle Sanders said. See WATER


District’s newest school named Creekside Elementary By Chantelle Lusebrink Issaquah Press reporter The Issaquah School District’s 15th elementary school finally has a name. Creekside Elementary School, 20777 S.E. 16th St., Sammamish, will open in fall 2010 for students on the Sammamish Plateau near Pine Lake. The school board unanimously voted on the name at its Dec. 9 regular business meeting. The Chang family, of Sammamish, couldn’t be more thrilled with the choice, since it was their submission, Melody Chang said.


Creekside Elementary School as seen from the northeast, with the main entrance at left and classrooms at right. Jesse and Melody Chang’s two daughters, Emma, 7, and Erin, 4, will attend the school. “When the community was

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asked to submit names, we came up with the name Creekside because it was simple, yet true to the area,” Melody Chang said.

“We think it is indicative of the surrounding area and the nurturing environment that the elementary school has such an important role in playing.” In early November, Planning Principal Robin Earl gave a presentation to the board about the five names the school’s Naming Selection Committee chose. Those were Creekside, Ebright Creek, Lake Vista, Opportunity and Samena elementary schools. Community members submitted more than 130 submissions based on a set of rules, which included


YOU SHOULD KNOW A free obituary lookup service is available on the Web at the Washington State Library at Find older obituaries unavailable on news Web sites. Use the service to locate hard-to-find and historical obituaries as well. The library has a large collection of Washington newspapers on microfilm, dating back to the late 1800s in some cases. The library also has an obituary requests page on the site to explain the service.

Only questions remain after ’68 disappearance By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter The walk home was short, but David Adams never completed the trip. David left a friend’s house on a late spring day in 1968, and set off down a shortcut worn by neighborhood children. Somewhere along the path — whether by accident, misstep or chance encounter — the 8-year-old boy disappeared from Tiger Mountain. Searchers volunteered by the hundreds and combed through dense forest for days. Tiny Issaquah, with 4,000 or so people then, was the nexus in the unprecedented search effort. With the techniques and technology available to investigators and searchers in May 1968, the search for David unfolded as a rescue mission. Searchers offered theories. Maybe David fell down a coalmine shaft. Maybe a wild animal attacked the boy. Maybe — a


LOST Part 1: Missing

A three-part series about the 1968 disappearance of David Adams.

more remote maybe in the 1960s — someone abducted David. Searchers found nothing. See LOST, Page A3

Klahanie Park transfer revives annexation talk By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Klahanie residents want answers about what will happen to the community after Sammamish acquires Klahanie Park from cashstrapped King County. Sammamish officials want Klahanie Park and adjacent Issaquah School District property. Klahanie Park and several other county parks were marked for closure in August as county officials worked to cut costs. Before the transfer, the deal between Sammamish and the county will prompt Sammamish, Issaquah and county officials to redraw planning maps to remove Klahanie Park and the school district land from the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area —

RAIN GAIN Last Week’s Rainfall: (through Monday) .06 inches Total for 2009: 56.10 inches Total last year: (through Dec. 14) 53.86 inches

about 1,200 acres spread across several subdivisions and home to about 11,000 residents. The park discussion has also opened a dialogue between Issaquah and Sammamish officials about future annexations, and whether Sammamish leaders would be interested in all or some of the potential annexation area — land bordered by both cities but included in long-term growth plans for Issaquah. “King County planning policy says within the urban growth boundary, there should be no islands,” Issaquah Planning Director Mark Hinthorne said. “We can’t give up any part of that potential annexation area unless See PARK, Page A3


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A2 • Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Issaquah Press

Rooster wranglers ruffle feathers Concerned citizens want a move to warmer location; new coop offered By David Hayes Issaquah Press reporter Issaquah icon McNugget the rooster became the center of controversy Dec. 8 and 9 when a group of concerned citizens were blocked from moving him to a warmer environment. Kristen Parshall and her friend Debby Welsh, both of Fall City, became worried about McNugget’s welfare in the face of temperatures reaching overnight lows in the teens and below. “Our biggest concern is the winters,” said Parshall, a former employee of Pasado’s Safe Haven. “He needs to be in a coop with a heat lamp.”

Their efforts were met by those who disagreed, saying McNugget had ample care at the Your Espresso stand and had survived just fine in previous winters. “McNugget eats three times a day and gets fresh water provided as a second source of water intake,” barista Candice Mercado wrote in an e-mail. “McNugget uses the small creek mostly for all his drinking needs. He never leaves the property and if a rooster were unhappy, he would have left over five years ago.” Parshall said Welsh called the nearby Issaquah Grange Supply the next day, this time asking for permission to remove McNugget. McNugget escaped from the

Grange years ago during a customer appreciation day event. Grange General Manager Gary Olson said McNugget was brought in as part of the petting zoo, but somehow got away. The rooster later adopted the parking lot of the Staples store as its new home. Employees of the espresso stand in the lot adopted the rooster and gave him his name and a crate for shelter. Your Espresso owner Michelle Schneider said customers, baristas and local residents all provided feed for McNugget over the years, enough to give him three square meals a day. About three years ago, Parshall, a regular customer of the espresso

Lost: Unsolved mystery is baffling FROM PAGE A1

In the decades since the disappearance, the unsolved mystery baffled investigators and stalled when evidence eluded detectives. The case gathered dust for years at the King County Sheriff’s Office, with investigators stymied by scarce evidence and witnesses whose memories were blurred by time and pain. Detectives revived the investigation in April with a federal grant meant to solve decades-old cold cases. Days after authorities announced the new Cold Case Unit, a detective interviewed a Lewis County man about the disappearance. But the case has produced no arrests. The events renewed attention, too, in Issaquah, where longtime residents recall the fruitless Tiger Mountain search. The investigation also forced the Adamses to confront the grief and unanswered questions associated with the disappearance.


Don and Ann Adams have never moved from the Issaquah area, more than 40 years after their son David disappeared from their Tiger Mountain neighborhood. ‘He was a bright little boy. He excelled at school,’ Ann Adams said. As the decades passed, however, accounts and recollections were muddied because news organizations — including The Issaquah Press — repeated incorrect information in the years since the disappearance. ‘A garden-variety 8-year-old boy’ The year he disappeared, David was a third-grader at Clark Elementary School. “He was like most any other 8year-old boy, sweet and naughty at the same time, loud, and just liked to play and do the things little boys play,” Ann Adams said when asked

Let there be hope.

Merry Christmas Issaquah Fund

Helping neighbors help themselves

Total: $9,337 from 55 donors

2009 Fund Goal: $50,000 Thank You! to this week’s donors: The Harringtons, in honor of Jerry & Wendy Blackburn Dale & Jeanett DePriest Dorothy Clark St. Michael’s Singalong Eastside Home Association Barbara & Matthew LePage Kiwanis Club of Providence Point Ronald & Shirley Koger Susan & Bernard Wright Cougar Mountain Veterinary Hospital Leo & Rose Finnegan L. & R. Skinner Marinell Schmidt Robert & Rebecca Hazel Michael & Sandra Nygaard J.D. & Kit Brown The Rezendes Family Joseph MacDonald Thomas & Sally Montgomery Joyce Johnson Bjorn & Gail Sorensen Beverly Huntington Andrew, Elise, Carolyn & Ned Nelson Nancy Viney Ivan & Diane Lee Hank & Jackie Thomas Mary Ann Hult Dan & Maria Menser Edwin & Joan Smithers Steven & Carla Hoffman Mary Fricke, in memory of James L. Fricke Joyce Kormanyos Five anonymous

to describe her lost son. “He was a bright little boy. He excelled at school.” Ann and Don Adams raised a close-knit family — six children in the house on Tiger Mountain, where the Adamses still live today. A daughter was born a few years after David disappeared. “He was just pretty much a garden-variety 8-year-old boy, endearing and frustrating at the same time,” said Ann Adams, now 76. And, she added with a laugh, “probably the bane of his teacher’s existence very often.” David, the second oldest, had a mischievous streak, Ann Adams recalled. She remembered a photograph from Easter, with her oldest daughter, Jill, in a frilly Easter dress, and David beside her in a holiday outfit. Look closely at the photo, Ann Adams recalled, and notice David holding fingers aloft above Jill’s head to make rabbit ears, with “just a glint in his eye of mischief.” David had dark hair and striking blue eyes, like his mother. In the most common photo of him — the picture reproduced on playing cards with photos of missing people — David wears a bright rustcolored shirt, but the eyes capture attention first. Jill Stephenson was not yet a kindergartener when her older brother disappeared. Though she recalls little about David, she said she remembers those blue eyes.

stand, provided a home upgrade to a doghouse and stopped by occasionally to feed him. She and Welsh’s concern for McNugget peaked when the temperatures dropped to overnight lows of 10 degrees. “It also looked like his comb was frost-bitten,” Welsh said. “I just felt so bad for him, standing there shivering while I was feeding him.” Parshall said she later offered Schneider hundreds of dollars to purchase McNugget, but the offer was declined. “I would leave them alone if they put up a proper coop with a heating lamp,” she added. Schneider said that over the past weekend a couple of her employees

Stephenson also recalls the day David vanished. She was playing in the backyard with her brothers when a neighbor told them David was missing. Rob Killian shared a desk with David at Clark. The boys went to the same church, and attended each other’s birthday parties. Killian said he remembers most the brittle silences in the years after David disappeared. “I am not sure if I have blocked all of these memories, but I remember being quiet around his family a lot in the days and months later,” he recalled. “There was such fragility and silence.” Killian, now a Seattle physician who runs a group family practice and works with HIV patients, said the 1968 school year came to a hushed, somber close. “My desk, the double desk,” Killian recalled, “eventually got cleaned out and I sat alone the rest of the school year.” A fateful day Friday, May 3, 1968: David rode the bus from Clark to the stop along Southeast Tiger Mountain Road. David and the oldest Adams son, Steven, walked from the stop to the house where the family had moved less than two weeks earlier. After school, David went to play with Kevin Bryce, then 6, a friend from church. Although the Adamses were new to Tiger Mountain, the family had worshipped with the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation for years. Don and Ann Adams and their five children settled on the Eastside after Don Adams accepted a job with Boeing. Don Adams, a captain in the Air Force Reserve, was called back to active duty after the Pueblo incident — a Cold War flashpoint in January 1968, when North Korea seized a U.S. Navy surveillance ship. By early May, Don Adams, now 77, was stationed in Oklahoma for Air Force training. Meanwhile, on the first Friday in May, David and Kevin walked on Tiger Mountain from the Adams house to the Bryce residence. The boys used the fateful shortcut, a path beaten across a field. The trail led behind the Adams house to a gravel road, now 241st Avenue Southeast. David and Kevin crunched down


McNugget the rooster, the center of controversy in a dispute to move him to a warmer climate, gets some sun in the Staples parking lot last week. had offered to take McNugget to their family’s farm, where they have chickens and a coop. But the offer proved unnecessary. “I called both the Renton Animal Control and King County Animal Control,” Schneider said. “Both said to just leave the rooster alone. So, that’s what I’m going to do.” She added that if animal control

the gravel road, crossed a bridge above 15 Mile Creek and headed up the hill toward the Bryce house. The boys used a trail worn by the Bryce children, instead of using the driveway circling the front of the house. At about 5 p.m., David was due home for dinner. Ann Adams planned to take the children to J.C. Penney in Bellevue to buy shoes. David asked his mother on the telephone if he could stay awhile longer. “I did tell him to come home because dinner was nearly ready and we were going to go down” to Bellevue, Ann Adams recalled. Kevin walked with David to the 15 Mile Creek bridge, and then asked if David knew how to get home. David said he could find the


Sammamish is willing to take it.” Planners in both cities would need to amend the respective comprehensive plans, or growth blueprints, to incorporate a redrawn potential annexation area. Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici sent a letter to Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger in early December to ask Issaquah municipal staffers to draft a letter to the King County Growth Management Planning Council, the group set up to guide development. Besides approval from the Issaquah and Sammamish councils, changes to the potential annexation area would require nods from the growth management board and King County Council. Issaquah officials discussed the proposal at a Council Land Use Committee meeting last week, where members noted how existing growth plans limit options for the potential annexation area. “As long as that PAA stays in Issaquah’s comprehensive plan, there are only two possible actions — either it stays in the county or Issaquah annexes it,” Councilman John Rittenhouse, the committee chairman, said during the Dec. 8 meeting. Another remote option exists: Klahanie residents could incorporate the area as a city, though residents at the meeting said the cost to provide municipal services would be prohibitive. Voters in the potential annexation area defeated a 2005 proposal to join Issaquah, even though 67 percent of voters approved annexation. But the Issaquah City Council balked because fewer voters — 47 percent — agreed to shoulder a portion of the city’s debt. Issaquah and Sammamish officials discussed redrawing the potential annexation area in late 2007, but the proposal withered in both cities. Like King County, Issaquah and Sammamish are under pressure to annex developments just outside city limits because county

officials told her McNugget needed to be moved to a farm, she would have acted without hesitation. Olson offered to provide a chicken coop hand-crafted by a Grange employee should a new home not be found for McNugget. Even so, Olson said a coop does not provide a surefire safehouse for the rooster. “The reality is no chicken is absolutely safe in a coop,” he said. “Predators, like raccoons, have gotten into coops on my farm and killed chickens. So, it’s not a sure bet, but it is better, keeping him out of the wind.” He said providing a coop is still not the end of the situation. Someone has to be committed to stay at the end of the day and lock McNugget safely inside the coop and again let him out in the morning. Those logistics have yet to be worked out. David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, Comment at

way, and he headed down the trail. After 15 minutes or so, Ann Adams called back to the Bryce house to tell David he needed to leave. David, she was told, left right after she had first spoken with him. Ann Adams and neighbors canvassed the neighborhood, calling for David and asking others if they had seen the boy. “Hours passed and they couldn’t find him. The authorities became involved,” she said. Within hours, a massive search would unfold on Tiger Mountain. Neighbors looked through the night. David was nowhere to be found. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

leaders want to shed the role of managers of unincorporated urban areas, like Klahanie. The park decision became the focus in the annexation discussion in August, when thenCounty Executive Kurt Triplett announced Klahanie Park would be closed. Sammamish officials then moved to secure the park. Issaquah leaders were uninterested in taking on the park and associated maintenance costs. Despite the effort to keep Klahanie Park open, neighborhood residents worry about the move by Sammamish into the community — a move some Klahanie residents view as a prelude to annexation. Klahanie resident Michelle Kolano addressed the Issaquah City Council last week, and said she felt uneasy about changes related to the park transfer. Kolano said residents consider the 64-acre park as a “crown jewel” in the neighborhood. “We’ve been in existence for 25 years, and to be absorbed or partially absorbed by a city who only has 10 years under their belt is very alarming,” she said during the Dec. 7 meeting. Development in Klahanie started in the mid-1980s and lasted about a decade. Sammamish was incorporated in August 1999. “We identify with Issaquah, we shop here, we were here before there was a Sammamish,” Kolano said. “It just doesn’t make sense to us for a part of our community to be absorbed by Sammamish.” In the letter to Frisinger, Yazici noted how Issaquah officials were uninterested in the park. Negotiations between Sammamish and King County officials will enable Sammamish to acquire the park. Kolano urged Issaquah officials to reconsider the decision not to acquire Klahanie Park. “We would really, really appreciate it if that sometime the Issaquah City Council would again revisit the idea of annexation,” she said. “And, in the interim, possibly think about taking over the stewardship of Klahanie Park.”

9 days until she believes again...


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Merry Christmas

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009 • Vol. 110, No. 51

Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents

Bake’s plans Friday variety show

Police recover stolen mail after chase

Developer: Park Pointe could break ground in 2011

All dressed up for the holidays

J.B. Wogan Issaquah Press reporter About a day after a high-speed police chase led to the recovery of a carload of missing mail, Sammamish Police Sgt. Robert Baxter had already fielded about 50 phone calls from people hoping theirs had been found. Most got bad news. “If we haven’t contacted you, we don’t have your mail,” he said. Sammamish police were part of a high-speed chase Dec. 15 that began in Sammamish, wove through Issaquah and ended off the High Point exit of Interstate 90 in Preston. The arrest of two Snoqualmie Valley-area women and the ensuing investigation turned up a “large amount” of what police say is stolen mail from Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond and Snoqualmie in the car. Baxter explained that police are taking the initiative in communicating with residents whose mail they have. “We’re hoping that they can tell us if there might be other things that they might be missing,” he added. Police say they also found evidence linking the suspects to vehicle break-ins in Bellevue and auto thefts in North Bend and Sammamish. The Dec. 15 chase began at about 5 a.m., when a patrolling officer saw a gray Chrysler New Yorker driving near the intersection of Issaquah-Beaver Lake Road Southeast and Duthie Hill Road and ran a database check on the license plate. King County dispatchers said the license plate expired in 2008, yet the plate said 2010. Thinking the discrepancy might imply stolen license plate tabs, the officer followed the car to Issaquah near the Front Street exit and turned on his emergency lights to stop the car. The driver then turned onto I-90 heading eastbound, getting off at the High Point exit and crashing the car in an embankment. The Sammamish officer managed to apprehend the driver on his own, but when the passenger took off on foot, officers from the Washington State Patrol and the King County Sheriff’s Office came in to help. A police tracking dog See MAIL, Page A5

By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter


We Wish You a Meow-y Christmas Alvin the cat answers the knock at the door for Michael and Courtney Bostjancic, who have made their home a most cheerful one for the holidays. More than 7,000 light-emitting diodes at 230 S.E. Bush St. decorate the fence, bushes and trim on their house for Christmas.

The developer behind Park Pointe said ground could be broken for the embattled Tiger Mountain residential project as early as a year after it emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearings. But city officials, accustomed to long delays related to Park Pointe, described the timeline as ambitious. Wellington Park Pointe LLC Vice President Ron Slater said the company would be ready to break ground on the Tiger Mountain subdivision 12 to 18 months after emerging from Chapter 11. Slater spoke during a Dec. 8 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Seattle. He described the challenges Park Pointe has faced since the project was proposed in the mid-1990s — everything from concerns about traffic to a zoning switch at the development site. The initial meeting between Slater and a trustee assigned to the case provided a glimpse of the project timeline. Slater said the

project could be ready to break ground in 2011. Despite the development scenario described by Slater, city officials said the process to break ground on Park Pointe could stretch up to three years. “There are all of these steps before you turn a shovel of dirt,” city Major Development Review Team Manager Keith Niven said. First, Wellington needs to complete the journey through bankruptcy. If the company still owns the Park Pointe parcel, a development agreement between the landowner and the city could take up to two years to draft. The permitting process could consume another year, and the time before city officials issued a grading permit to allow crews to clear trees and move earth could add another three months. “Optimally, you can do a development agreement in a year, but we haven’t seen anyone do it in under two,” Niven said. See PARK


Searchers scoured fields, forests for missing boy By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Only memories and frayed newspaper clippings remain from the fruitless search for David Adams. Ask any longtime Issaquah resident about the mystery, and talk turns to the May 1968 search for the missing 8-year-old boy. Many old-timers scoured fields and forests in the frenzied days after David vanished. The search drew people in the hundreds — perhaps even 1,000 searchers — to Issaquah, just a flyspeck on maps back then. Volunteers swarmed Tiger Mountain in the days after David disappeared, but the first searchers were bound together by faith, community and the desire to find the lost boy. The first teams included members of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where


LOST Part 2: Search

A three-part series about the 1968 disappearance of David Adams.

the Adamses worshipped. The call for help rippled through the congregation hours after David failed to return home. Searchers combed the mountain through the

night. By the next morning, the King County Sheriff’s Office arrived, and the case caught the attention of Seattle news organizations. Searchers said the effort represented the best qualities in humanity. But no trace of David was ever discovered. Don Cronk organized the volunteer search effort. From headquarters at the Adams house, he plotted a search grid and sent search teams into the thick forest. Cronk and other tireless searchers imagined David lost on the mountain, “out there somewhere, weaker and colder” as time passed. “We were just going for 24 hours a day,” Cronk said. “I don’t think I slept for a day or two.” Eileen Erickson heard about the

case the Sunday after David disappeared. A call for volunteers came during a church service in Magnolia, the Seattle neighborhood where the Ericksons worshipped with the local Mormon congregation. Issaquah claimed about 4,000 residents then. Seattleites viewed the outer suburb, beyond Lake Washington and nestled in the Cascade foothills, as rugged and wild. “Enough people knew Issaquah well enough that we thought of Issaquah as the end of the world,” Erickson said. Kevin Bryce was the last known person to see David. Bryce, then a 6-year-old neighbor, played with David in the hours before the May 3, 1968, disappearance. When David headed home for dinner, he

walked with Bryce to a bridge across 15 Mile Creek, and then set off down a trail toward home. Bryce was confused hours later when he heard David had never returned. “It’s so easy to get there,” Bryce recalled. “I don’t know how he could have not made it home.” ‘The world was a lot safer place’ David and Bryce parted ways at about 5 p.m. near a shortcut from modern-day 241st Place Southeast to the next street, where the Adamses had moved from Eastgate less than two weeks before. David planned to take a shortcut worn by neighborhood children. Bryce, now 48, See LOST, Page A6

Help provide emergency aid to those in need It’s life’s unexpected bumps that often cause people to seek emergency financial aid. They hate to ask, they are humbled, but they’re at the end of their rope. Take the teacher whose wife was injured and unable to work. The couple and their two sons quickly ran through their savings, in spite of his steady income. Thanks to donors to Merry Christmas Issaquah, they were able to get assistance through Issaquah Church and Community Services, who made a payment to the city on the family’s overdue water bill. Nurses aren’t supposed to get sick, but this unemployed nurse did. Her unemployment benefits ran out, and she needed a little help to get her going again. Relief with a portion of her rent one month was all she needed. The compassion of an ICCS volunteer was a little extra she hadn’t counted on. Ordinary people — those are the ones ICCS helps most, says Marilyn

Merry Christmas Issaquah Fund TO DATE: $26,962 2009 GOAL: $50,000 Taylor, president of the 501c3 nonprofit. But none of the work provid-

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Sports . . . . . C1-3

ed by volunteers would be possible without the generous donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, she said. Since 1981, local people and businesses have sent donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah. Since 1981, more than $600,000 has been donated. There is no such thing as too many donations, Taylor said. Last year, there was a record $57,000 donated, yet the need increased 50 percent. Assistance with rent, utilities, prescriptions and other needs was provided in smaller amounts to make the dollars stretch. Taylor doesn’t expect the need to be any less in 2010, but hopes it won’t be greater. You, too, can help. Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Names of donors (but not amounts) will be published in the newspaper unless anonymity is requested.


The Dickens/DECA carolers Students in Issaquah High School DECA donated a program of Christmas caroling Dec. 17 to residents of Timber Ridge at Talus, by fundraising $300 from the student store and candy bar sales to hire the Dickens Carolers to perform.

YOU SHOULD KNOW City, county, state and federal offices and banks will close Friday, Dec. 25, in observance of Christmas. Post offices will close and mail will not be delivered. State driver’s license offices also will be closed. Metro Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule. The week after Christmas, some Metro service will operate on a reduced weekday schedule, and some routes are canceled. Call 206-553-3000 or go to

RAIN GAIN Last Week’s Rainfall: (through Monday) 2.34 inches Total for 2009: 58.44 inches Total last year: (through Dec. 21) 54.89 inches


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• Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Issaquah Press


explained the route before David left. “For me, being a grown adult, looking back on it and knowing every inch of that land, I think he got to that lot, balked at the trail and then left the area under someone else’s guidance,” Bryce said. Investigators and volunteers handled the disappearance as a search-and-rescue mission. Issaquah was safe; some residents left doors unlocked, because crime was almost nonexistent. Ann Adams, now 76, said the Tiger Mountain neighborhood seemed like a safe place where she and her husband, Don, could raise their family. “At that time, everyone was just assuming that he had become lost; 40 years ago, the world was a lot safer place and we were in a very undeveloped neighborhood at that time,” she said. “The idea of crime in Issaquah just had not really raised its ugly head that much.” Cronk and the search team set up in the first floor at the Adams house. The family had just built and moved to the house; the first floor was fairly empty, with little furniture. Women from church transformed the kitchen into a soup kitchen to feed searchers. The group received help when the American Red Cross set up another soup kitchen in the driveway. Investigators set up the sheriff’s office command post at another site, though searchers could not recall the location. Investigators integrated volunteer efforts into the official search; detectives and deputies focused on the area where Bryce last saw David. Volunteers fanned across Tiger Mountain. “The idea of someone doing harm to a young boy was really not the first concern at that time,” Ann Adams said.


Ava and Bill Frisinger revisit forested fields near their old home on 231st Avenue Southeast at Southeast May Valley Road, where they joined in searches for 8-year-old David Adams in 1968. Clark Bean joined the initial search. Bean, now 76, was in the Air Force Reserve, like Don Adams, and the families knew each other through church. Bean recalled the effort to “comb the area foot-by-foot.” In the days after David disappeared, searchers were optimistic he would return. “We had every reason to believe he could find his way home,” Bean said. When David failed to return in the first hours after the disappearance, a call for help reached other Mormon congregations in Western Washington. “When you tell the Mormons you need a couple people, you get a couple hundred,” Bryce said. Soon, other searchers tromped

across Tiger Mountain — Explorer Scouts, mountain rescue teams, German shepherd teams, high school students, servicemen and congregations from other faiths. Exhaustive search, inexhaustible searchers Ava Frisinger and her husband, Bill, moved from Michigan to a May Valley house near Tiger Mountain the previous winter. Ava Frisinger was a University of Washington graduate student then. Nowadays, she serves as the mayor of Issaquah. Bill Frisinger, now retired, worked as a Boeing engineer. The couple joined a search party a few days after the disappearance, and scanned brush near

Issaquah Creek. About 15 people fanned out across that search area, kept arms’ lengths apart and ran wands through the brush to look for signs of David. “People thought this was something that happened in big cities,” Ava Frisinger said. “Small towns were safe places. They were good places for kids.” Bill Frisinger recalled when military helicopters equipped with then-secret infrared sensors buzzed the area at night. Noise from the rotors, and lights from the helicopter, startled the Frisingers awake. The infrared technology offered the Adamses new hope for resolution. “I said, even if there’s a body,

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would they find it?” Ann Adams recalled. “And they said, yes, that they could.” But the helicopter search, like the ground effort below, failed to find anything. Despite widespread efforts by area residents, and news coverage the case received, the disappearance received little attention in the Clark Elementary School classroom where David attended third grade. Rob Killian shared a double desk with David, and attended the same church. “Nothing was said at school,” Killian recalled. “It was not discussed. And, now that I think about that, in memory that seems so odd. We weren’t warned or counseled or offered grief counseling or interviewed.” At the Adams house, search organizers reached a grim conclusion. After days spent scouring Tiger Mountain, teams had found nothing. Investigators searched the area for about five days, while volunteers kept up the unofficial search for another five days or so. Cronk recalled how businesses donated food and batteries to the search teams. Volunteers were so committed that some searchers refused to leave the mountain, and lost jobs because they wanted to continue. Inside the search headquarters at the Adams house, however, Cronk and other organizers knew the search was done. Cronk walked outside and addressed the crowd — between 75 and 100 people — through a bullhorn and called off the search. People broke down, overcome with emotion. “We chased every loose end,” Cronk said. “We chased every possible lead we could find.” The case would gather dust at the King County Sheriff’s Office for the next 41 years. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

City pockets local, state dollars for parks upgrades City officials accepted parks grants from local and state agencies Dec. 7 in order to enhance and preserve land near Issaquah Creek. The city received $800,000 from the state Recreation and Conservation Office to buy land for Tollë Anderson Park, part of a downtown parks system at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork. The area encompasses three contiguous parks: CybilMadeline Park, Tollë Anderson Park and Issaquah Creek Park. City officials call the area the “crown jewel” of the municipal park system. The grant will supplement city park bond dollars, and be used toward the purchase of property where the park is planned. The council also accepted a $6,500 grant from the King Conservation District. The award will extend a partnership between the city and the Washington Native Plant Society in order to enhance and maintain riparian habitat at Berntsen Park through 2010. As part of the partnership, the plant society trains volunteers in a 10-week, 100-hour course. The volunteers then form five-member teams; a team from the group will restore the creek buffer at Berntsen Park, 804 Fourth St. N.W. The conservation district offers information and technical-assistance programs to landowners, as well as conservation grants. Taxpayers fund the district through a $10 per-parcel assessment fee; additional money comes from the state Conservation Commission.

Sports stories of the year 

r a e Y w Ne


See Page C4


See Page B1

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 • Vol. 110, No. 52

Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents

Best photos you didn’t see

Detectives re-examine ’68 cold case with few clues By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter


LOST Part 3: Clues

A three-part series about the 1968 disappearance of David Adams.

Investigators scoured Tiger Mountain for almost a week. Volunteers searched for days more. Still, the mountain yielded no secrets in the search for David Adams, the 8-year-old boy last seen near 15 Mile Creek in May 1968. The disappearance baffled investigators. Left to work with few leads and scant evidence, the case faded into memory for more than four decades — until now. In the spring, King County Sheriff’s Office investigators received a $500,000 grant to reexamine cold cases. The agency established a cold case unit; detec-

tives treated the Tiger Mountain disappearance as a priority. When David vanished May 3, 1968, authorities handled the case as a search-and-rescue effort. Perhaps the boy fell down a defunct coalmine shaft or suffered a wild animal attack. After exhaustive searches for David turned up no traces, people suspected something more sinister. David played with a friend after school, and then left for the short trek home at about 5 p.m. Ann Adams, now 76, asked her son to return home for dinner just before he vanished. “I have the firm, firm feeling that this was not an accident, that somebody was involved,” she said. “Now, whether it was an accident

on their part, I don’t know if they deliberately set out to do harm to him. But somehow along in the association that they had, harm was done to him.” The lead detective, Scott Tompkins, believes someone else caused the disappearance, too. Everything Tompkins knows about the case is contained in a binder labeled “homicide” — 41 years condensed into three inches. Detectives collected little evidence from the area where 6-yearold Kevin Bryce last saw David. Nobody knows if searchers damaged other evidence during the hunt for the lost boy. Tompkins said he was amazed by how little detective work was conducted in 1968, because

authorities managed the disappearance as a search-and-rescue effort instead of a child abduction. “If the community felt that he was attacked by a cougar or fell down a well, then it wasn’t on people’s minds,” he said. ‘Time is the enemy’ Robert Lowery, executive director of the missing children division for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said highprofile abductions and technological advances since 1968 reshaped the way investigators and people approach missing child cases. “We’re more sensitive now about See LOST, Page A6

Top 10 news stories of 2009

Highlands gas station decision is delayed

Economy, weather and more Growth slowed and the economy cooled throughout 2009. The watershed moments in Issaquah hinged on expansion and recession. Leaders broke ground for a major new employer, even while other businesses left town for good. Issaquah began the first decade of a new century as a fast-growing city, a title the city held for years. As 2009 reached a close, however, officials pared the size of government to face the new economic reality. From January floods to record July heat and brutal December cold, 2009 was jam-packed, but the year was never dull

Living ‘green’ continues in Issaquah A new community garden sprouted, threatened salmon received another chance and city officials worked to make dining out more eco-friendly. Volunteers harvested more than 300 pounds of organic peppers, squash and tomatoes for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. The effort brought together a community group, Sustainable Issaquah, and nonprofit AtWork! to feed the hungry.

Salmon benefited from good works, too. Throughout fall, Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers and volunteers collected almost 35,000 eggs to restore vulnerable kokanee salmon. King County Council members and local environmentalists also prodded the federal government to list Lake Sammamish kokanee as endangered, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended 2009 without a decision about the salmon’s status. Officials further burnished the city’s green credentials when the City Council banned polystyrene food containers, like Styrofoam takeout boxes. Issaquah will become the first Eastside city to require businesses to switch from eco-unfriendly polystyrene to compostable or recyclable — and pricier — containers and utensils. The council voted Nov. 16 to follow bans in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. What’s next: A voluntary adoption period will begin Jan. 1, and the ban will become mandatory Oct. 1. See TOP

10, Page A3

By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter


Happy birthday Above, Vitez rolls around with some bamboo, about the only Christmas present he enjoyed Dec. 23. At right, Bagheera eyes a box, one of his presents, suspiciously. Maybe he knew it contained nothing but small tufts of reindeer fur. The newest Cougar Mountain Zoo cubs were given Christmas trees, plenty of bamboo and boxes that had meat, fur and various smells in them. See video of the cubs enjoying their first Christmas at

Questions about commercial development in the Issaquah Highlands prompted developer Port Blakely Communities to ask city officials to postpone a decision on a highlands gas station. Port Blakely President Alan Boeker asked city officials to postpone the key vote less than a week after a city commission postponed a residential project in the highlands until Port Blakely answers questions about commercial development plans. City Council members were set to consider a change to the agreement between the city and Port Blakely to allow a highlands gas station, banned when the agreement was drafted due to concerns about ground water contamination. Officials scheduled the measure for a Dec. 21 vote. City officials and highlands residents subjected Port Blakely to criticism in recent months because additional commercial development has failed to materialize in the highlands. The gas station amendment also received a lukewarm reception from the Council See GAS


Christmas fund is still 30 percent under goal

ONCE AROUND THE LAKE Two Santa Clauses enjoy the cold, clear sunshine on Lake Sammamish Christmas Day, as Douglas Bubbletrousers, of Los Angeles, wakeboards behind the personal watercraft of Issaquah resident Jason "The Pirate" Gilluly. Bubbletrousers substituted for Issaquah resident Blake Thomson, who could not ski this year, in the fifth year of continuing a longtime holiday tradition started years ago by Barry Nyman. Sounds of cheers could be heard coming from surprised lakeshore residents.


INSIDE THE PRESS A&E . . . . . . . . . B8


The binder for King County Sheriff’s Case No. 68-008320, in the disappearance of David Adams, is labeled ‘homicide,’ and ‘open,’ with a blank after ‘S’ for suspect.

Opinion . . . . . . A4

Classifieds . . . B6-7

Police & Fire . . B7

Community . . . B1

Sports . . . . . . B4-5

YOU SHOULD KNOW City offices will close Thursday, Dec. 31. City, county, state and federal offices and banks will close Friday, Jan. 1. Post offices will close and mail will not be delivered. State driver’s license offices also will be closed. Metro Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule. On weekdays with reduced schedules, some commuter and school-oriented routes do not operate, and other routes will have trips canceled. Call 206-553-3000 or go to

It is very likely the Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund will set a new record for the number of donors this year. But the fund is still more than $16,000 away from its goal of $50,000. It usually takes about 200 individual donors for the fund to reach its goal, but this year 157 donations have already arrived and the fund is still more than 30 percent shy. Merry Christmas Issaquah has become known as the fund that helps people help themselves. Not having enough funds to help those who need help with a new pair of glasses, a prescription for a sick child, work boots to start a new job, a car repair, rent or an overdue power bill is something the

RAIN GAIN Rainfall unavailable at press time.

TO DATE: $33,822 2009 GOAL: $50,000 volunteers at Issaquah Church and Community Services cannot fathom. ICCS is the nonprofit agency that distributes the Christmas funds. “We don’t ever have as much as we’d like, but you’d be surprised how much a little bit can help,” said Marilyn Taylor, president of ICCS. “But the need is so great. This may be the year that funds run dry. We pray it won’t be so.” See FUND, Page A5


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The Issaquah Press

• Wednesday, December 30, 2009

key in cold cases. If another law enforcement agency had recovered unidentified human remains, DNA from them could be matched against genetic profiles in the database. Searchers recovered no traces of David. The first search teams scanned the forest near the Adams house in the hours after David failed to return home. King County investigators arrived the next morning, and volunteers came to Issaquah by the hundreds to search. Military helicopters equipped with then-secret infrared sensors buzzed the area. Volunteers traveled south toward Mount Rainier to investigate reported sightings. Searchers used fabric strips torn from bed sheets on which David slept to help dogs pick up the scent.


what happens in these cases,” he said. Although people opened newspapers, listened to radios or watched television broadcasts filled with information about the case, many reports contained incorrect information. The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer misidentified the lost boy as “David Adam.” Articles in the days after the disappearance carry reports about bogus sightings. Tompkins said a few reports turned out to be cruel hoaxes. David disappeared almost a full day before the case received widespread attention. The disappearance received unprecedented coverage, but a key tool investigators use today to locate missing children — the AMBER Alert — was nonexistent in 1968. Nowadays, information about a missing child can be beamed across TV news tickers, electronic highway signs and mobile phones minutes after authorities determine a child is lost. But 41 years ago, authorities were unable to saturate the airwaves with the description for a slender boy, 4 feet tall, with dark brown hair and intense blue eyes, dressed in green-and-brown plaid shirt, jeans and high tops.


Scott Tompkins (left) and Jake Pavlovich, King County Sheriff’s detectives, working out of their office at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, have a three-inch binder compiling the available information on the unsolved disappearance case of David Adams. “Time is the enemy when it comes to finding a child,” Lowery said. DNA technology, another crimesolving tool, was unimaginable 41 years ago. Detectives now collect a comb, toothbrush or another item chockablock with DNA traces from missing people to aid investigations. Not long after the King County Sheriff’s Office revived the Adams

investigation, agents collected DNA samples from Ann and Don Adams and uploaded the information in a national database. The agency also collected DNA — through a quick, oral swab — from the oldest Adams child, Steven, who lives in Alaska. Known as the Combined DNA Index System, the database helps investigators compare forensic DNA evidence nationwide. Tompkins said DNA samples are

Unanswered questions Don Adams, then a captain in the Air Force Reserve, remembers the search dog teams well. He returned from Air Force training in Oklahoma days after his secondoldest son vanished. But the dogs, like the searchers and the helicopters, found nothing. Don Adams, now 77, recalled a follow-up visit from searchers after organizers called off the hunt for David. “A few weeks later, they came back, and they said the dogs had never failed to find who they were looking for if who they were looking for was there,” he said. “Based on that, I just assumed that some-

On TV, when things go wrong in the ER, they win an Emmy. In real life, when things go right in the ER, they win one of these. You’re looking at the 2009 Press Ganey Summit Award. And, while you’ve probably never heard of it, if you ran a hospital you certainly would. That’s because the Press Ganey organization studies more than 10,000 healthcare facilities in the U.S. The 74 that delivered exceptional patient satisfaction scores three years in a row won this award — and that’s exactly what the Swedish/Issaquah ER just did.

body had taken him from the area.” Detectives eyed a 20-year-old man early in the investigation, a U.S. Navy corpsman whose family lived near the Adamses. Police reports from the days after David disappeared show the man piqued detectives’ interest. A search volunteer and Tiger Mountain residents said the man behaved in a strange way when asked about the disappearance. Neighbors told police they saw a man walking along Tiger Mountain Road the day David vanished. A detective interviewed the man May 6, 1968 — three days after a schoolmate last saw David near 15 Mile Creek. The man told the detective he had been taking tranquilizers because, he said, he was “a very nervous person,” court documents state. Tompkins requested a warrant in October to search mobile phone records because he felt the man, now a Lewis County resident, steered potential witnesses away from investigators. Tompkins described the man as a “person of interest” in the case. The man agreed to a polygraph test, administered in April at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The man told Tompkins he assisted with the search. The man failed the test, court documents state. A technician recorded the strongest deception reading when the man was asked, “Do you know where the body is?” The man also told Tompkins he passed a polygraph test in May 1968, court documents show. However, the test is not included in the modern-day Adams case file. No conclusive evidence links the man to the disappearance. The Issaquah Press typically does not name people until they are charged with a crime. Patrick Tiekamp, 64, is the older brother of the man interviewed by investigators. Tiekamp said Tompkins targeted his brother because the former neighbor happens to be “the last man standing.” Tiekamp said the investigation aggravated the post-traumatic stress disorder his brother developed in Vietnam. “If my brother had done anything like that, he would have confided in me,” Tiekamp said. Tiekamp said his brother served in Vietnam soon after David disappeared. In Vietnam, the man worked in a military morgue, and the word body still provokes strong

reactions, Tiekamp said. “Corpsman don’t kill people,” he added. “They save lives.” ‘All is well with David’ Ann and Don Adams never left Tiger Mountain where the family settled with David in 1968. “There for a long time, we kept thinking maybe one day there would be a knock on the door and there he would be,” Ann Adams said. “We wanted to be there.” They raised a close-knit family — six children in the house. A daughter was born a few years after David disappeared. Despite the disappearance and unsolved mystery, the Adamses said tragedy never forced them to become overprotective with the other children. “We’ve had a happy, good life,” Ann Adams said. “Whoever was involved with this, I think I feel sorrier for them than I do for us. My life is just overflowing with good memories and happy days, but they must be carrying a terrible burden.” The children biked, swam, hiked and picked berries in the thick forest nearby. Still, questions about David remained. Jill Stephenson, the Adamses’ oldest daughter, recalled how she walked through the woods as a child and wondered, “What if I came across him or his bones?” When detectives renewed the investigation in April, the new attention the case received forced the Adamses to relive the pain from 41 years earlier. Eileen Erickson, a longtime family friend, described Ann and Don Adams as hospitable, open people unlikely to become distracted by self-pity. “I don’t think they’re the kind of people who would sit there and say, ‘Why me?’” Erickson said. Searchers left the Adamses’ house about a week after David vanished. Grief lingered long after a family friend hoisted a bullhorn and ended the search. “You just deal with grief as anyone deals with grief,” Ann Adams said. “Actually, when they contacted us last spring that they were going to open the case again, now and at this point, I can’t say that I hope they find out what happened. We’re at peace. I know all is well with David, whatever the circumstances are or were.” Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

Let there be hope.

Merry Christmas Issaquah Fund

Helping neighbors help themselves

Total: $33,822 from 157 donors

2009 Fund Goal: $50,000 Thank You! to this week’s donors:

What makes Swedish patients happy? For starters, instead of making you wait in the lobby, you’re almost always ushered right into a treatment room. There are no long delays to see a doctor either — Swedish guarantees the doctor will be with you in 30 minutes or less. Truth be told, Swedish didn’t win this trophy. The men and women who work at this remarkable, efficient, patient-friendly place did. They’re the real stars of the show. And, while they may never win an Emmy, they definitely deserve a standing ovation.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah c/o The Issaquah Press PO Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027 Name will be published unless anonymity is requested.

cat 310: David Adams  

cat 310: David Adams

cat 310: David Adams  

cat 310: David Adams