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The IssaquahPress

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents

Old year brought new problems Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly. While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug. Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation. Cybersquatting city A city of Issaquah employee was directed to register websites in an apparent effort to deceive customers of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District. Two domain names had been registered that were similar to ones the district employs in business practices. Both sites, owned




by the city of Issaquah, took an Internet user straight to a city webpage entitled “Our water, our city.” The sites and bore a strong resemblance to the district’s sites and its main website City employee See TOP

10, Page A5

Only one week left for Merry Christmas fund By Christina Corrales-Toy After a week in which a flurry of donations came in to support Issaquah Community Services, the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund is less than $2,000 away from its $75,000 goal. Issaquah Community Services offers emergency financial aid to residents of the Issaquah School District in the form of utility payments, rent assistance and other miscellaneous contributions, depending on a client’s specific need. Volunteers at the nonprofit organization see families at their most dire hour of need. These are people that could lose their home or go without electricity if Issaquah Community Services didn’t step in with the next payment. Merry Christmas Issaquah is the organization’s most important fundraiser all year. Organizers set a $75,000 goal for 2013. The fundraiser — spearheaded by The Issaquah Press since 1981 — set a record for the number of donors last year with 244, but fell short of its $75,000 goal, raising

2013 GOAL: $75,000 TO DATE: $73,505 HOW TO HELP Help by making a taxdeductible donation to Issaquah Community Services. The organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. The names of donors — but not amounts — are published in The Press unless anonymity is requested. $68,683. The holiday fundraising drive accounts for about 80 percent See FUND, Page A5

By Greg Farrar

Mike Foss (left), a 13-year resident and vice president of the Brookshire Estates Homeowners Association, and association president Dick L’Heureux, a 27-year resident, recall their involvement in Klahanie’s 2005 annexation attempt into Issaquah.

KLAHANIE ANNEXATION Residents will vote again on unresolved issue By Peter Clark On Feb. 11, Klahaniearea voters will decide whether to join the city of Issaquah. A yes vote would expand the population of the city by one-third its current size. This will be the second vote regarding annexation in the past seven years. This series about the Klahanie annexation vote will attempt to answer many questions that remain on all sides of this discussion.

“In the late 1980s and early 1990s, all of a sudden, growth started happening … That’s when the state stepped in with the Growth Management Act and said, ‘OK, everyone stop fighting and start planning.’” — Diane Marcotte Issaquah finance director

Potential annexation areas Two square miles, 15 neighborhoods and almost 11,000 residents comprise the Klahanie potential annexation area. After the booming sprawl of the 1970s and 1980s around unincorporated areas, the state of Washington reacted by

passing the Growth Management Act of 1991. The legislation envisioned municipalities swallowing up the dangling, developed areas to save financially struggling counties from drowning in expenses. “Potential annexation areas are successors to what were called ‘spheres of influence,’” Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said. “They were catch-all areas for cities. Pre-Growth Management Act, Issaquah’s included at least half of the plateau and included, I think, almost as far as Mirrormont.” The quick growth and infighting between municipalities led the way to the Growth Management Act, which insisted regions craft a strategy for their future. “In the late 1980s and early 1990s, all of a sudden, growth started happening and cities were fighting, trying to pick up the low-hanging fruit from the counties,” Issaquah Finance Director Diane Marcotte said. “That’s when the state stepped in with the Growth Management Act and said, ‘OK, everyone stop fighting and start planning.’” The state directed cities to plan with surrounding areas and begin exploring future annexations. “Cities negotiated with those areas to determine boundaries for poten-

The Klahanie question A FOUR-PART SERIES ABOUT 11,000 PEOPLE SEARCHING This week: FOR A CITY

How’d we get here?

THE SERIES 4Part one — How’d we get here? 4Part two — The benefits for the Klahanie PAA 4Part three — The cost for Issaquah 4Part four — A Sammamish alternative?

tial annexation areas,” Issaquah’s Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen said, describing the city’s process of annexing various areas like Providence Point and South Cove. “When the 2000s came in, it seemed time for Klahanie.” ‘It was simply not a subject’ “We were not aware it was unincorporated when we moved in,” Brookshire Estates Homeowners Association President Dick L’Heureux said. “It was simply not a subject.” See KLAHANIE, Page A6

Dusk is a show at Sunset Valley Farms By Christina Corrales-Toy Sunset Valley Farms resident Art Converse doesn’t need a clock to determine what time of day it is in the tranquil neighborhood located at the foot of Squak Mountain. He simply listens for the soft pattering wings of the 60-70 geese that fly over the rural valley at both dusk and dawn. “Sometimes they’re honking By Greg Farrar and making all kinds of noise, Victoria Lee and Art Converse, longtime Sunset Valley Farms residents, and sometimes they’re not, stand at the entrance of their neighborhood along Southeast May Valley and if they’re not, all you hear Road. Behind them is a vacant lot that the community hopes to one day is whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,” restore and use as a neighborhood gathering spot.

Inside The Press Classifieds....... A9 Obituaries....... A9 Community..... A7 Opinion........... A4 Let’s Go!.......... A8 Sports............ A10


Sunset Valley Farms he said. It is a sound he would miss most dearly, Converse admitted, if he ever decided to leave the quiet neighborhood of 90 homes nestled along Southeast May Valley Road. Residents are not entirely sure

Quotable “Sammamish backed off and we kind of backed off. It sort of went dormant because the elephant in the room was the road and someone had to fix the road.”

— Trish Heinonen Issaquah long range planning manager (See story above and on Page A6.)

where the community’s name came from, but it isn’t hard to deduce. The neighborhood sits in a valley and boasts some magnificent views of the sunset, Converse said. Rural living Sunset Valley Farms was established in 1986 on land that used to house a vast dairy farm. To this day, homeowners still find remnants of its past buried in their backyards. Converse once found an old See SUNSET

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A2 • Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Issaquah Press

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members agree to budget, governance changes By Sherry Grindeland and Ari Cetron The Eastside Fire & Rescue board of directors did everything except sing “Auld Lang Syne” at its Dec. 12 meeting. The board unanimously voted to accept proposed funding model changes. That was followed with a unanimous vote to approve a revised EFR governing agreement. They even took a short break during the meeting to celebrate with glasses of sparkling cider and holiday cookies. After months of disagreements over funding issues, members of the group joked and teased one another. EFR is a consortium of Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, and Fire Districts 10 and 38 that pools resources to provide fire prevention services. Sammamish leaders had been exploring other fire service options, including opening their own fire department. The main issue was funding, which currently is based on assessed property value. Sammamish leaders have said that model leads to city residents contributing

a disproportionate amount toward the partnership. Sammamish asked the EFR board to change the funding to be based in part on the number of calls for service. Because meetings became so rancorous, EFR Fire Chief Lee Soptich recommended hiring a facilitator to help the board set goals and priorities. In November, an ad hoc committee was formed to hammer out an acceptable funding model. A second committee was to update the interlocal agreement and clarify details surrounding assets owned by the various members. The new funding model will be generally based 85 percent on assessed value and 15 percent on incidents. The interlocal agreement largely clarified parts of the existing agreement. Although it still has to be reviewed by the various entities’ legal advisers, the board approved the revised document. The interlocal agreement and the new funding breakdown will take effect in January 2015. During the Dec. 9 Issaquah Council Interlocal Agreement Ad Hoc

Committee work session, Councilman Paul Winterstein, the city’s member of that committee, gave a presentation about Sammamish’s proposed changes. Council members gave their approval to Issaquah’s representatives on the EFR board, Winterstein and Councilwoman Eileen Barber, regarding the funding model and the interlocal agreement changes. At the end of the Dec. 12 EFR board meeting, Sammamish City Councilman Ramiro Valderrama, who represents Sammamish on the EFR board, thanked everyone. “There will be no surprises from the Sammamish Council,” Valderrama said. “All our issues have been addressed.” Sammamish talks A few days earlier, at the Sammamish City Council Dec. 10 meeting, Councilman Don Gerend explained that the other partners had agreed to all of the changes suggested by Sammamish. Gerend represented Sammamish on the negotiating committee. Sammamish had gone in with a laundry list

of items that it wanted changed in the agreement that underpins EFR. They had expected the other partners to do the same, but no one else had any proposed changes, Gerend said. Largely, the changes amounted to small, technical adjustments, which clarified points in the existing agreement. The one change of greatest substance is an adjustment to voting on the budget. Under the new model, on single partner could veto the budget. Under the old model District 10 could have done so, although they never made a move to. Valderrama was pushing the council to vote to accept the agreement even before the EFR board finalized it. He was, however, overruled. The rest of the council wanted to wait for a final agreement, and to allow their attorney time to review it. If there are no problems, Sammamish, and the other partners could each end up approving the new agreement either this month or in early January. If everyone does so, it will be in place for seven years.

Missing Issaquah man found deceased By Peter Clark On Christmas Eve, Everett police found the body of an elderly man who went missing from his Issaquah home three days earlier. Joseph Douret, an 84-year-old man who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was reported missing Dec.

21 by his wife. He had left that afternoon to buy dinner and did not return. Issaquah Joseph Douret Police Cmdr. Stan Condrad said Douret usually went out a few times a

week for food. “This is just his usual routine,” Conrad said. “Something went wrong on this trip.” He said the department received reports of Douret being seen around the Puget Sound region, but responders were unable to locate him. Police found Douret 40 miles from his home in the

800 block of East Marine View Drive in Everett. “We received a call about an unresponsive male,” Everett Police Officer Darron Snell said. “Indeed, he was deceased.” At the scene, the cause of death was determined to be from natural causes. “There’s no indication of foul play or anything like that,” Snell said.


Ice and snow – take it slow on the road Washington State Dept. of Transportation offers these important reminders for winter driving: Protect yourself and your passengers. Allow extra time to reach your destination during inclement weather. It takes only one unprepared or careless driver to slow or stop traffic. Do not be that driver who shuts down the road. • Drive for conditions – slower speeds, slower acceleration. • Use your headlights. • Do not use cruise control. • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice. • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. And remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.

• Slow down when approaching intersections, off ramps, bridges, or shady spots. • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it is safe to pass. Remember that a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back (15 car lengths) until you’re sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road. • Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles. Stay tuned to weather and road conditions. Often mountain pass roads must be closed, usually to remove blocking vehicles. WSDOT also closes the road for: Avalanche Control – often scheduled at night when traffic volumes are low, but in an emergency, it’s not always possible. Road Clearing — if there is heavy snow in a short amount of time, road crews may close the pass to clear ice and snow from the travel lanes.

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Bomb claim was false at Skyline High School Police sweep fails to turn up a device Police conducted a sweep of Skyline High School the night of Dec. 18 using specially trained dogs after a bomb threat was found on a wall in a boy’s restroom that day. Police discovered no bomb or any other suspicious items “The threat indicated that the school should evacuate or a bomb would go off on Friday,” an email from Principal Lisa Hechtman read. “Since the threat was discovered, we have been working closely with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of students and staff. “Together we have been investigating the threat and trying to determine its source. This has included looking for unusual behaviors and objects in general, monitoring students’ coming and going from class and passing periods, and reviewing camera footage.” Because the threat was made for Friday, school

WAVE Foundation event raises $1,400 The WAVE Foundation (Women Against Violence Everywhere) Day of Shopping Event Nov. 14 raised about $1,400. Ten percent of all purchases at Look’s Unique Home Accents, Gifts and Cards that day went to the WAVE Foundation fundraiser. Sharon Anderson, WAVE Foundation executive director, said the group has hosted a day-of-shopping event for more than a decade. “It’s always a fun event for me,” she said. “It’s a great group of our usual customers who contribute to the cause.” The WAVE Foundation was established to bring attention to the many and diverse issues of domestic violence. Its purpose gives hope and education to women and men (including children, adolescents and young adults) in the defense and prevention of domestic violence, supports organizations that provide treatment, counseling, advocacy, crisis communication, outreach and shelter to victims of domestic violence, and generally promotes the social welfare of those at risk. Learn more about the WAVE Foundation at http://

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officials in conjunction with law enforcement made the decision to allow afterschool activities to proceed as usual, Hechtman wrote in the email. “We would not have allowed these activities unless we felt certain that students and staff were safe,” she wrote. “The police are following leads and will continue to investigate the source of the threat,” Hechtman wrote in an email to families the next day, Dec. 19. “In any situation where there is even a possibility of danger for students or staff, we will always take every precaution necessary until the threat is dispelled. “We have comprehensive evacuation and safety plans in place. Although we have received the all-clear from the police, today we will continue to operate with heightened vigilance,” she added. “We will have additional police on campus and administrators and support staff will be a continual presence at bus lanes, in hallways, and in common areas.”

Pediatric and family medicine naturopathic physician Dr. Bethany Glynn has joined Naturopathic Clinic of Issaquah. Glynn, an Issaquah native, completed her Doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University and her certificate in advanced pediatric therapeutics from the Boucher Institute of Natural Medicine. Glynn uses step-by-step nutrition and dietary modi-

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A LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY fication, botanical medicine, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, behavioral and emotional counseling, and biofeedback, among other modalities. Glynn helps families with the emotional and physical aspects of behavioral struggles, attention span, digestive issues, anxiety, sleep disturbances and healthy eating. Glynn is now seeing patients at the clinic, 48 Front St. N. Call 391-1080.

Spiritwood at Pine Lake’s parent company honored Village Concepts, a third generation family-owned business that owns and operates retirement and assisted living communities throughout Washington state, including Issaquah’s Spiritwood at Pine Lake, was honored as a “Silver Winner” in the 2013 “Seattle Business” magazine’s Family Business Awards. Village Concepts is one of the 13 family-owned businesses recognized in seven categories for their sense of responsibility, legacy, dedication and contribution to the local economy. Selected as a “Silver Winner” for large firms with more than 250 employees, Village Concepts was recognized at an awards gala Nov. 19. Spiritwood at Pine Lake is located at 3607 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

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The Issaquah Press

Marijuana regulations set for unincorporated King County By Peter Clark Marijuana operation regulations in King County received approval Dec. 9. During its regular meeting, the King County Council unanimously adopted legislation modifying county building codes and development regulations for the placement of recreational marijuana businesses licensed by the state Liquor Control Board. The regulations would only apply to unincorporated areas. Outdoor and greenhouse growing would be available in agricultural and rural areas. Indoor growing would be available in business and industrial zones. As per state guidelines, operations cannot exist within 1,000 feet of childcare centers, schools, parks, libraries, recreation centers or in residential areas. Specifically for unincor-

porated King County, this means marijuana growing could occur in areas east and south of Issaquah. The approved legislation allows for outdoor growing along the May Valley Road corridor, around the Mirrormont neighborhood and in Hobart. Indoor growing could exist in the industrialized areas of Preston. Issaquah Associate Planner Jason Rogers said the county’s approved regulation would not have much affect on the way the city proceeds with establishing its own rules, but leaders are still paying attention. “It has no direct effect on our regulations,” Rogers said. “It is interesting because it shares some of the concerns that we have.” He said the lingering questions of how much production to allow in specific areas still needs answers. The Issaquah City Council approved a six-month moratorium on

marijuana activities in September in order to wait for the state to set established rules. An interesting caveat to the council’s decision is the Klahanie area, whose residents will vote on annexation in February. Marijuana operations begun before a potential annexation would likely remain in the face of Issaquah’s moratorium. “Say someone gets a license in Klahanie and they begin the production process,” Rogers said. “There wouldn’t be much we could do about it. Timing is everything with this.” As Issaquah begins to clarify regulations, Rogers said the city has very limited potential areas for marijuana operations. “A lot of people haven’t seen a map of our zoning yet,” he said. “There are almost no areas south of Interstate 90 that exist where a producer or retailer could.”

Committee questions Polygon development cooperation By Peter Clark Many questions surround discussions about a huge Issaquah Highlands development that city officials hope will bring a high-tech college campus to the parcel. Economic Development Director Keith Niven introduced a draft development agreement between Issaquah and Polygon Northwest to the City Council Land and Shore Committee at its Dec. 10 meeting. The committee voted to recommend to the full council that the administration proceed with negotiating a new development agreement, but did not reach the decision unanimously. Microsoft sold its 63-acre Issaquah Highlands property to Polygon Northwest in October. Having received 256 buildable housing units from Microsoft in the landpurchase deal, the new development agreement would give Polygon 100 more in exchange for working with the city to use half of the land for something other than residential. “We’ve just been waiting for an office campus to happen there for a de-

cade,” Niven said, describing Polygon’s willingness to cooperate with the city. “They were willing to work with us to have a new development agreement for the property. They’re willing to do this as a partner to the city.” The committee met the introduction of the draft with mild suspicion. “The business person in me says that doesn’t make any sense,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said about Polygon’s willingness to create a new development agreement with the city. “Why would they do that? I guess what I’m saying is what’s the benefit to them just to get 365?” But Council President and Mayor-elect Fred Butler said he was enthused by the possibility of working with the developer. “I like the idea of a new development agreement,” he said. “I do know they want to get something under way next year, and that provides a little bit of leverage perhaps. This provides an opportunity to forge a public/private partnership, which could be beneficial to everyone.” He cited the recent agreement between the city and Swedish Hospital,

including their willingness to assist public transit, as an example. Butler also said he wanted an opportunity to maintain the aesthetic of the highlands. “Sixty-three acres with 365 housing units, I can’t imagine what that would look like,” he said. “It would be pretty ugly.” Niven said Polygon has an active interest in building quickly and keeping the city’s favor. “They’re wanting to actually be moving a plat through next year with the hope that they can be in the ground by the end of next summer,” Niven said. “They don’t want the city to be disappointed in them for building out the whole property as residential.” Winterstein had more worries about what the traffic system would look like with the addition of 365 more housing units, let alone with the addition of more commercial or office space. He abstained from voting on the recommendation until he had more information from the developer. The committee voted 2-0, with Winterstein’s abstention, to recommend the full council approve the administration.

OSPI releases new way to measure student success The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction released a new measure of student performance Dec. 9, known as Student Growth Percentiles. The percentiles are designed to measure the amount a student learns during one year and to show how students grow over time compared to their academic peers, students who earned similar scores on a prior test. “We shouldn’t look at the data in just one way,” state Superintendent Randy Dorn said in a news release. “We

need multiple measures. If a school is showing high growth from year to year, we should celebrate that. They’re doing exactly what they need to do to help kids be successful.” The OSPI will report student subgroup, school and district-level median student growth percentiles publicly at datareports. School districts have the choice whether they’ll distribute student growth reports to parents and students. The state Board of Edu-

cation plans to use school median SGPs as one of its measures in the revised Achievement Index, a snapshot of a school’s performance based on statewide assessments. It compares how schools perform in reading, writing, math, science and graduation rates. Teacher evaluations are a potential use for SGPs in the future. With new assessments coming to schools in the 2014-15 year, the OSPI is recommending districts wait until 2016-17 before using SGPs in evaluations.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 •




Man dies from car collision injuries

By Greg Farrar

Underground utilities are installed and work is ready to begin in the Issaquah Highlands on an 80-lot single-family subdivision by Steve Burnstead Construction, on parcels 1 and A, on Pine Crest Circle Northeast south of Northeast Falls Drive.

Issaquah police responded to a two-vehicle collision in the 5500 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast Dec. 27. The two vehicles were side by side when one vehicle attempted a lane change, hitting the other. The impact of the collision, which occurred as the two vehicles were turning onto East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast from Northwest Sammamish Road, caused one of the vehicles to leave the roadway and that vehicle struck a tree. Both occupants of that vehicle were transported to Swedish/Issaquah for treatment. A passenger, a 90-yearold Issaquah resident, later died as a result of his injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured. The accident remains under investigation.

is seeking an executive director to helm the formerly all-volunteer organization. The group’s board of directors decided it was time to add the position in an effort to create greater organizational structure and increase Life Enrichment Options’ ability to serve its clients. The community-based nonprofit advocates for and assists individuals with developmental disabilities in achieving their life vision and goals through supportive housing, recreation and employment opportunities, and community education. Learn more about the position at executivedirector.html, or email Nancy Whitaker, Life Enrichment Options’ board president, at nancy.

Life Enrichment Options seeks executive director

EFR reminds drivers to celebrate safely

Life Enrichment Options

Eastside Fire & Rescue

is reminding drivers to plan ahead for safe travels during New Year celebrations. People are much more likely to drink and drive Jan. 1 than during any other major holiday, according the National Safety Council. Alcohol interferes with a person’s coordination, driving skills and judgment. Drinking can cause people to lose control and become aggressive, which can also affect driving skills. The fire department offers these tips to get through the holiday parties: 4Do not have more than one drink per hour, and make every other drink a non-alcoholic one. 4Pick a designated driver to get you home safely. A designated driver should be someone who has not had anything to drink. 4If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safely. Plan to have sober designated drivers available. 4Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the road.

The IssaquahPress

A4 • Wednesday, January 1, 2014


E ditorial

2014 goals for a better Issaquah The Issaquah Press presents its annual list of goals for the Issaquah area. A few are repeats from last year, still waiting to be accomplished but worthy of repeating. February elections — The trio of school district levies, the Klahanie annexation decision and the repeal of the plastic bag ban are all up for a vote. The only good thing about the dismal turnout of voters in the November election is the easy assurance of getting enough voters to validate the school levy election. Let’s hope Issaquah voters get back on track and return their ballots in higher numbers in 2014. Central Issaquah Plan — The redevelopment plan is in place and developers now know how to maximize the use of their property. One project has already been proposed. It will be interesting to see what other plans come forward and whether the CIP is achieving its goals. State park priorities — Washington State Parks put out a call for proposals to enhance Lake Sammamish State Park and received three responses. They need to try again, seeking proposals for specific projects in the 2007 master plan that are waiting to be implemented. One should be for the RV, tent and yurt site, a sure boost in economic growth for both the park and city. Museum — How long must Issaquah History Museums wait for an appropriate facility to house their archives? Each year that goes by adds to the growing collection. It will take city leadership and partnership to get this done. Why not make it a ballot proposition? Comprehensive vision for the city — Reconnect city leaders with the community at large. Whether it’s a discussion of how high buildings should go or where to locate a skate park, the council needs to know what its citizens think. A series of town meetings would be welcome. School partnerships — Issaquah schools used a windfall of state cash to bring in counselors from Swedish. Contracting for services instead of hiring staff in an uncertain budget world of education makes a lot of sense. We hope the school district pursues other opportunities to contract for services without adding to the payroll. Transportation — Keep the toll off the Interstate 90 bridge and maintain funding for Metro bus routes to Issaquah, even if it means a higher gas tax. Marijuana — The city moratorium on recreational marijuana stores will expire in the first quarter of the years. We expect to see definitive rules on where stores can and cannot be located and building codes addressing ventilation concerns. Drugs and alcohol education — Issaquah-area adults and youths are not immune to drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, it is a major health concern. A new director is in place along with grant funding for Issaquah’s Drug Free Community Coalition. Look for heightened drug awareness and education programs in our schools and beyond. Teen mental health — Unconfirmed estimates say that nine Issaquah School District teens committed suicide last year. That’s absolutely unacceptable in a community that is steadfastly proud and supportive of its teens. We hope the Issaquah Family Health Network will help the community face up to the realities of suicide. It’s not a dirty little secret — suicide is the ultimate indicator of mental health issues facing teens and adults. Let’s get it out in the open and talk support and solutions. Plastic bag ban — We hope citizens here reject the ballot issue to repeal the plastic bag ban. Issaquah residents should be proud of their newfound habits of doing without the bags. Let’s not regress. Human services campus — A site has been identified for a new facility that will be home to numerous human services. We look forward to seeing partners sign up to lease space so construction plans can be moved forward. State budget — The city lobbyist will return to work for the city when the Legislature convenes this month, seeking improvements reflected in the I-90 Corridor Plan, including an overcrossing to 11th or 12th Avenue, pedestrian/bicycle improvements along state Route 900 and a potential overhaul of the Front Street interchange. New revenue from state sales taxes, including liquor and marijuana, are also on the wish list. Our local state representatives will need to work in tandem with those lofty goals. Future leaders — Issaquah is overdue to have its own leadership program. Start with a series of Citizen 101 classes for citizens to learn about their government, water issues, police department, school funding and volunteer opportunities. Informed citizens are tomorrow’s leaders — and Issaquah can never have too many leaders. Bring back elections with real choices, starting in November. Route 200 bus — The City Council should expand Metro Route 200, our intercity free bus. Add weekend loops to the highlands, Talus and up Squak Mountain, and add a 25-cent-per-rider fee to help offset the cost. We’ve seen little come from the Economic Vitality Commission. This is a recommendation it should push.

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T o the E ditor School levies

PAA” or “Acquisition Candidate for Incorporation into Issaquah.” While this melding into the city of Issaquah seems like such a natural and logical act, I’m suddenly being hit by a barrage of As we enter a new year, Iscampaign literature, from, of all saquah School District voters places, my water company. have a unique investment opWith wild claims of “Malicious portunity. and intentional pollution of the On Feb. 11, the entire commu- water supply” (which turned out nity will have the opportunity to to be false) to claims of “Finanvote yes on a three-part Issaquah cial Lies and Budgetary Irregudistrict school-funding ballot, larities” (again of a very quescomprised of the following items: tionable nature), it seems like the 4 Four-year Maintenance and Sammamish Water and Sewer Operations Levy in the following District has gone to war with the amounts: $44.5 million in 2015, city of Issaquah. As a member $48 million in 2016, $51.5 million of Issaquah’s chamber of comin 2017, and $54 million in 2018. merce, I tried to find out what 4 One-year Transportation had triggered such a voracious Levy in the amount of $1.7 milattack. lion in 2015. The more I asked, the more 4 Four-year Critical Repairs/ often people’s eyes rolled as they Technology levy in the following told me the story of a few indiamounts: $11.4 million in 2015, viduals, including a board mem$12.05 million in 2016, nearly ber of the water district, that $13.6 million in 2017, and nearly just didn’t want Klahanie and its $14.9 million in 2018. inherent financial value leaving When you consider the social its unincorporated status. While and economic impact of support- the acquisition plan intended ing our schools, there’s no better that Klahanie would remain with return on investment. These the water district, it no longer dollars directly help Issaquah was dependent upon it, should students and the future members Issaquah decide, in the future, to of our community. Our ability to develop its own water system. help develop creative, intelligent A few years ago, when Klaand productive young adults hanie originally voted down a offers such a contribution to the merger with Issaquah, the failure fabric of our community that, to was, believed by many, attributed borrow a phrase, it’s “priceless.” to a last minute slur campaign At $40 per year in per-houseby these same individuals, using later disproved attacks. hold increase in tax basis on Frankly, I’m tired of these average, we can contribute to a school district infrastructure shenanigans by a few dishonest individuals keeping my neighborand technology platform that is among the best in the state. As hood from lower taxes, better services and a safer community homeowners, this investment offered through the annexation. supports our community’s reputation as being one of the best Please join with me in supporting this important effort. places to live and raise children. It’s no surprise we find signs Paul Hutton in front of new housing developIssaquah ments, or homes being listed, touting “in the Issaquah School District.” Whether you’re a homeowner with school-aged children or not, the resulting If only I had a nickel for every contribution this investment makes to the value of your home time I was asked in the past 20 years, “Why don’t you like Klahor property is clear. It’s a great anie?” Klahanie is a fine cominvestment. For me, it’s an easy choice and munity with lots of great people that deserve to be in a city that decision. Please vote yes for the can efficiently and sustainably upcoming Issaquah School Disserve them. That city was never trict levies. Issaquah and it is even truer now Marc Messina than in the past. Newcastle Klahanie has seen its road conditions significantly deteriorate Klahanie since the 2005 evaluation and accessing Klahanie for needed services has become much more difficult as traffic volumes have increased and a quick-and-easy I have loved living in Issaquah trip across Highlands Drive is for the past 23 years. At least no more. Issaquah has now fully that’s what I’ve always told committed to its Central Issaquah friends and family. But the truth Plan and to prioritize spendis that I live in Klahanie, part ing the many millions of dollars of unincorporated King County, needed to make the plan work and most recently entitled “The in the city core as surrounding

Education — no better return on your investment

Klahanie isn’t and shouldn’t be in Issaquah

Slur campaigns shouldn’t enter into vote decision

Advertising: Classifieds: Ad Representative Deanna Jess Ad Representative Carolyn Trujillo Ad Representative Donna Duvall Ad Representative Sandy Tirado


Newsroom: Managing Editor Kathleen R. Merrill Reporter Peter Clark Reporter Christina Corrales-Toy Reporter David Hayes Reporter Neil Pierson Photographer Greg Farrar

Circulation: Kelly Bezdzietny

residential areas have become a lower priority. The dollars proposed in the Nesbitt Study will provide a substandard level of service to Klahanie. Realistically and fairly, you can’t just underserve 10,000 people in your city. What combination of increased taxes and reduced service for the whole city would we look at to provide fair service to Klahanie? Sammamish has essentially no debt and millions in the bank. Not only can it serve Klahanie, but it needs to improve roads in and adjoining Klahanie to support its own existing residents living north of Klahanie. Look at a map of Klahanie and you will see the missing southeast corner of Sammamish. One can wish the best for Klahanie, but one does not have to think Issaquah can most efficiently and sustainably serve Klahanie.

David Kappler Issaquah

The Children’s Garden

Thanks to preschool, founder for community legacy

Thank you for your article about Bonnie Steussy who founded the preschool The Children’s Garden. The article was great but only lightly touched on the impact The Garden has had on our community. It is a preschool that does amazing things in creating wellrounded adults who go out and take the world by storm. The type of adults this preschool creates, who go out in the world and have amazing accomplishments, is incredible. And it comes from a place of developing the whole child. The school has never focused on just academics but instead looks at the whole child and embraces and grows it — with art, music, learning to communicate and most of all being respectful. The Garden is also a place that helps the parents of its children See LETTERS, Page A5

LETTERS WELCOME Letters of 300 words or less should be emailed or mailed by noon Friday. We will edit for space, potential libel and/or political relevance. Letters addressing local news receive priority. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Email: Mail: P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027

Publisher: Deborah Berto

General Manager/Advertising: Joe Heslet phone: 392-6434 Fax: 392-1695 Postmaster: Send address changes to The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027

The Issaquah Press

Top 10 from page A1

Warren Kagarise registered both sites in May, six months after the district launched and years after became the district’s home website. Council members said they were unaware of the administrations actions, while Mayor Ava Frisinger explained the URLs were used in light of a “misinformation campaign” by the district. In response to the district’s complaints, the city took down the misleading sites. Salmon trucking Hatchery trucks had to drive about 2,000 salmon upstream due to renovation of the Issaquah Creek dam, which even now remains unfinished. Originally scheduled for a Sept. 15 completion, a number of problems held construction back on replacing the dam with a set of gentler steps and installing a new hatchery intake. The creek flow during much of the construction was diverted through tubes, leaving returning salmon no way to get to their destination. Per state-determined quotas, hatchery workers had to put 1,000 of each species into trucks and drive them past the construction. More than three months past the initial completion date, project manager Tim Ward cited ground water problems, unstable soil and heavy storms as reasons for the continued delay. The new structured is expected to last 50 or 60 years and benefit returning salmon and the hatchery.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 •

Many city officials described the Central Issaquah Plan as an unclear idea of how the central area of the city should redevelop. The design standards give developers specific guidelines for how to turn that into a reality. The many standards include key provisions, such as reduced minimum parking requirements, new community space stipulations and a focus on density that allows buildings up to 125 feet tall in certain areas. The document has 17 chapters of comprehensive rules; the council expects to adapt it to the changing face of Issaquah’s future. by Greg Farrar The first redevelopA trackhoe works Aug. 22 to place large boulders and tree root wads on the banks, bed and ment done under the new weirs in Issaquah Creek as part of the new intake dam project for the salmon hatchery. standards also entered the application phase this year as Lennar Multifamily Investors looks to put 340 residences in Gilman Square. Students work to dispel May Madness uproar Issaquah High School was thrust into the national By Greg Farrar

By Christina Corrales-Toy

after his announcement, the school district found a replacement in Ron Thiele, the former associate superintendent.

election, Save Our Choice managed to gather enough signatures in the waning days of summer to officially challenge the measure. Approved by King County, the petition left the City Council with the choice to either repeal the ban or let voters decide. The council called a Feb. 11 vote for residents to choose the fate of the ban, but the story did not end there. Save Our Choice founder Craig Keller challenged Issaquah’s ballot language in King County Superior Court in November, claiming it misinformed voters. Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled in Keller’s favor. The Feb. 11 vote will decide whether the ban stays.

New parks City voters approved a $10 million parks bond measure in the Nov. 5 election with 77 percent of the vote. Half of the large sum will go toward the Julius Boehm Pool. The city’s Parks & Recreation Department spent much of the year trying to engage citizens to determine what improvements were desired. The departPostponing pot ment set up a parks bond commission and several Civic voices protesting a medical marijuana collecpublic hearings to gauge interest. tive garden and the City The year 2013 also saw Council’s September moraGrand opening for Grand Ridge the opening of Confluence torium on recreational pot businesses set the tone for Park along Rainier BouleAfter years of very little the drug’s legalization. vard North. Nearly 20 years happening, the stores of in the making, the area The Peaceful Choice, a Grand Ridge Plaza were medical marijuana collecruns along Issaquah Creek built seemingly overnight. tive garden, submitted an and features new bathLong lines and scarce application in July to open rooms and a new picnic parking greeted the grand within the Issaquah Court area. Part of the approved opening of the plaza Oct. Condominiums, a mixedpark bond will be spent 25. More than 50 shops, use building in the 100 services and restaurants on the next phase of the block of First Place Northpark, including additional are currently open and west that houses residential landscaping and a possible more are expected in 2014. and commercial units. As Dick’s Sporting Goods, footbridge over the creek. Robin Brewer led comHome Goods, Marshall’s, Voters also passed a munity action against the Ulta Beauty Supply and King County park bond in the long-awaited Safeway facility, saying it would be the Aug. 6 election. The too close to local child care bond will raise $60.7 milopened to ribbon cuttings locations and the senior lion in 2014, to be used for and crowds of people, Twitter was abuzz with excenter. The city denied the open space preservation, pectant shoppers welcomapplication Sept. 6. trail building and park In September, the council improvements. ing the Issaquah Highlands also decided to hold off additions, while scorning Plastic bag ban on recreational business the lack of parking. Though the 2012 apAfter the opening practices until the state proved ban on plastic bags figured out official rules. flurry passed, parkA unanimous vote led to a took affect March 1, the ing was no easier in the story continued well after six-month moratorium. 320,000-square-foot retail that. Nonprofit group Save expanse that includes ReThe moratorium did not stop Issaquah applications Our Choice had complained gal Theaters, BevMo, Jos. about the ban after it during the state’s monthA Bank and others. Still, long window in November passed, but once the largethose who made their way down from the highlands and December. The Liquor volume stores put away or up from the valley were Control Board received five their plastic, the group producer applications, two launched a full-scale effort glad to have the new shops processor applications and to collect enough signatures in the $70 million complex. to petition the City Council three retail applications. for an end to the ordinance. Squak Mountain remains unlogged New leadership Though missing the deadline for the November After 16 years, Issaquah Only four days after voted in a new mayor, by a landslide. Council President Fred Butler ran against Councilman Joe Forkner in a mild race for the position. Full of neither drama nor Patty Groves, M.A., L.M.H.C. Stress large policy differences, the Issaquah Creek Counseling Center Depression campaigns unfolded civilly. 545 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah Life Transitions Butler, raised more than Loss and Grief five times the votes Forkner (425) 898-1700 did, almost 75 percent of Relationship Problems Now accepting most major Credit/Debit Cards the vote. During his campaign, he vowed to continue the work established by outgoing-Mayor Ava Frisinger. He said he would work on promoting the goals of the Central Issaquah Plan, finding transportation solutions and growing the city’s regional influence. Additionally, the Issaquah School District saw a turnover in its superintendent. After six years in the position and 40 years in public schools, Steve Rasmussen retired June 30. A month

Everyone Needs a Little Help Now and Then...

Above, Fred Butler enjoys the congratulations of his campaign supporters Nov. 5 as he is elected the new mayor of Issaquah. At left, Ben Benezra, 6, runs across the open field of Issaquah’s Confluence Area Park at the grand opening Aug. 28.

the state approved Erikson Logging’s application to clear-cut sections of a Squak Mountain parcel, King County announced concrete plans to purchase it from developers. After the January announcement of the company’s intention to harvest old-growth trees in the area in, concerted efforts were made by King County and local group Save Squak to find a way to protect the land. On May 8, the county announced it had struck a deal with the Trust for Public Land, which agreed to buy the 220-acre parcel and accept payment from the county over time. The county explored a number of possibilities to fund buying the land, including the Conservation Futures Fund. Then, seeing the necessity for quick action after the logging rights were acquired, the Trust for Public Land stepped in to loan King County the money. Design standards passed The vision established in the Central Issaquah Plan in 2012 officially took the first steps toward realization this year as the City Council approved design and development standards for future development April 15.


spotlight, after the school’s May Madness competition received significant media attention. The object of the underground competition is to determine the best-looking, or “hottest,” girls in school, an annual rite that administrators, teachers and many students were eager to stamp it out. Anonymous promoters of May Madness posted 64 yearbook-style photos of girls on a Facebook page for one-on-one matchups in brackets patterned after sports tournaments. In an effort to combat the negative attention the contest brought, Issaquah juniors Olivia Marcus and Keegan Holden created a video highlighting the school’s giving nature and providing insight into how the school’s students felt about May Madness. “I hope that as a school we are confident in our own abilities enough to not give into what May Madness stands for,” Marcus said.

Fund from page A4

of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget. Issaquah Community Services receives about 500 requests for emergency aid each year. The

Letters from page A4

become incredible parents and also people who are out in the community making change — people in our community making change and a difference, like Robin Callahan, Cathia Geller or Fred Nystrom. The Garden does this by bringing people together to work together. The auction it puts on every year, yes, is a fundraiser, but it builds community and people taking on leadership. These are the people making Issaquah and the world an even better place to live.

organization currently has an annual budget of just more than $100,000. The nonprofit is maintained by a team of 25 volunteers, allowing nearly every penny donated to go directly to the families in need. The fund has received more than $800,000 in donations since its inception.

So, yes, we are fortunate to have The Garden to grow our children but we are also fortunate to have The Garden to grow us as adults. When my 15-year-old was born, I was hoping that Bonnie and the school would be in existence long enough for Caroline to get through the preschool program. Little did I know our community would be fortunate enough that The Garden is still here and continues to grow us as a community. Thank you, Bonnie, for your vision and your legacy.

To My Kitten (Susan O’Connor)

Happy New Year My Love This has been an interesting year of good and bad things but through it all you are there to support me and help me be a better person Your love and help makes things always be so much better I think the best years are ahead of us although we have had so many great years in the past I Love you my Darling - thank you for being there for me Love Forever, Your Miko (Michael O’Connor)

1460 NW Gilman Blvd • Issaquah • 425-391-0383

Jody Mull Bellevue

A6 • Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Issaquah Press

Sunset Valley from page A1

Converse once found an old rotten box filled with what looked like cattle medication. Another time, he found a horseshoe. “The evidence of the farm’s existence just surrounds us,” he said. The neighborhood sits on a designated flood plain, one that is prone to flooding from nearby McDonald Creek in extreme weather situations. But that hasn’t been much of an issue recently, since King County dredges an intersecting creek, preventing major flooding. The creek bank does crest several times per year, though. Sunset Valley Farms is far from certain amenities, so in case of a storm or power outage, the community is often on its own, Converse said. “I’m one of the original owners, so I’ve been here through ice storms and power outages,” he said. “People really learn to depend on each other during

Klahanie from page A1

L’Heureux, one of the first homebuyers in the master-planned community built in the 1980s, has lived in the area for 27 years. Although his address lists his city as Issaquah, his house has always been in unincorporated King County. It took him and other residents a while to figure out what

By Greg Farrar

A cul-de-sac of homes in the 13400 block of 209th Avenue Southeast in the shadow of Squak Mountain is typical of the Sunset Valley Farms neighborhood. those times.” Sunset Valley Farms represents a small piece of suburbia along a road that is mostly dotted with farms, pastures and horses, but it is this rural quality that often attracts homeowners. “I’m a retired firefighter, and coming home from a difficult day at work, in the mornings, you’d drive through pastures of horses and it was just a serene setting that’s totally different from the environment that I just came from,” Converse said. ‘No two houses alike’ The community is

that meant. “One of the differences we’ve seen is they’ve got all the services, because the city pays for trucks and plows,” Klahanie resident Rob Young said of Issaquah residents. He’s another who did not realize his home stood outside city lines. “It took years and years to notice we didn’t get these.” Due to the desire for such services and nearby representation, residents began asking what Issaquah planned to do with

comprised of large family homes, sitting on larger plots of land, giving homeowners plenty of room for significant expanses of grass and gardens. “The sound of the lawnmowers during the summer is deafening,” longtime resident Helen Scott joked. The majority of the community’s houses were bought and designed by the original homeowners, providing for a variety of houses not often seen in modern day developments. Scott, and her husband Dick, for example, hired a contractor to build their

home in 1988, when they moved to the area from Burien. “There are probably no two houses alike,” Dick Scott said. “It’s not like a housing tract where they all look the same.” It’s a very walkable neighborhood with no major thoroughfares and many spacious driveways where kids can safely play. Children in the community attend Maple Hills Elementary School, Maywood Middle School and Liberty High School. There is also a fair share of wildlife from raccoons, deer and bears and sometimes residents even

spot elk at the edge of the neighborhood. “I had never seen them, and I had heard neighbors talking about them, and one night my sister and I went for a walk at dusk and there they were,” Helen Scott said of her elk sighting.

the area, since it was in the city’s potential annexation area. “In 2002, people in Klahanie were asking about being annexed to Issaquah,” Frisinger said. “In the meanwhile, Sammamish had incorporated and they decided that they might like to have Klahanie. The city said, ‘It’s in our PAA and you can’t have it unless we relinquish it.’ So, we held lots of public hearings and people came in to council meetings. It was overwhelmingly supportive of Issaquah.”

thought, ‘OK, this should do it.’” The vote failed. An Issaquah City Council decision led to two questions on the ballot, both of which needed 60 percent approval for annexation to happen. The proposition for the area to annex to Issaquah passed with 67 percent of the vote. The second proposition asked if residents would take on the city’s bonded indebtedness. That measure earned only 49 percent. “It was unusual,” Frisinger said about framing the vote into two questions. “The council felt that it needed to be clear to them that people were deciding both things.” Another nail in that vote’s coffin, according to some, was a heavily distributed leaflet that asked residents to “consider the facts” and presented a list of reasons why not to annex. “How did we get our-

selves into this predicament?” the flyer asked. “It was forced upon us by secret negotiations between King County Executive Ron Sims and the mayor of Issaquah without any input from Klahanie residents.” Though all residents and officials can do is speculate, many believe that flyer convinced voters. “We didn’t know we had any opposition until we were hit upside the head,” L’Heureux said. “We never thought something like this would happen. Frankly, we were snookered.” Many also believe the divided vote to take on the indebtedness raised fears. “The assumption of debt was a big issue,” Brookshire Estates Homeowners Association Vice President Mike Foss said. “But, I don’t recall ever moving to a city and saying, I don’t want that park or that city center and I don’t want to pay for those already expensed.” During the same election cycle, Issaquah gave South Cove the same ballot and received the opposite results. “It turned out really well with South Cove,” Heinonen said. “We did the exact same process, the exact same outreach, same involvement with the city, but South Cove just reacted differently. They just embraced everything that was going on, made sure everyone knew what was going on. And I think Klahanie just assumed they had it.”

‘Frankly, we were snookered’ Based on those hearings and a concerted effort by Klahanie residents, the city launched a study and ultimately a vote for annexation in November 2005. “Nobody really did anything until that 2005 push,” Young said. “Everyone felt things were taking the right path. When we had that vote in 2005, we

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A burgeoning sense of community Sunset Valley Farms’ large land plots allow for moderate spacing between neighbors, but that does not keep locals from forming strong bonds. “We know all the neighbors that live around us,” Helen Scott said. “People

Another campaign, another vote Movement then stagnated on annexing Klahanie. The 2008 recession halted long-range planning, and rising transportation improvement costs stopped any interest in the area. “They talked to Sammamish a little bit and

in the city don’t even know the person that lives next door to them. They come and go, and they don’t even interact.” The neighborhood is working to create more of a community identity, though, Converse said, and that starts with an active homeowners association. The association often hosts community gettogethers including garage sales and Halloween parties for the children. Sunset Valley Farms also has two vacant public parcels that the neighborhood hopes to refurbish and use as community gathering spots in the future. “There’s a village spirit here that I think is really unique in today’s society,” Converse’s wife, Victoria Lee said. The neighborhood is filled with growing families taking advantage of the spacious homes, as well as a few empty nesters, such as Converse, Lee and the Scotts, who just can’t bring themselves to move. “It’s hard to find a location where you like it as well as you do here,” Helen said. “It’s hard to leave a place like this.”

we talked to Sammamish a little bit and then the Issaquah-Fall City Road came up,” Heinonen said regarding the $38.7 million estimated in needed repairs to the road. “Somebody had to pay for that, even though it’s regional. So, Sammamish backed off and we kind of backed off. It sort of went dormant because the elephant in the room was the road and someone had to fix the road.” The question lingered. Five years after the first vote, a group of Klahaniearea residents began another campaign to the City Council, which had started expressing interest in settling the matter. Young and a group of neighborhood volunteers collected 565 signatures, 10 percent of the area’s registered voters, and approached the council during the 2011 goal-setting retreat. “We actively called on every single council member and the mayor, saying, ‘We’ve got to get to a spot where you either annex us or you have to release us so we could become part of another city,’” Young said. “There, they voted that they were going to pursue the Klahanie PAA. And if they couldn’t pass it as a lineitem issue, they would relinquish us from its PAA. That was a huge, huge thing.” The citizen response drove the council’s decision as much as the council simply wanted the issue finally decided. “In between times, we always had Klahanie residents who would come up to us saying, ‘When are you going to act on this? We’re tired of being on the back burner,’” Frisinger said. “It was a response to the citizens that the council made a goal to resolve the topic once and for all.”

The IssaquahPress



Wednesday January 1, 2014



Photos by Greg Farrar



Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

The Issaquah High School girls tennis team does homework and waits for transportation back to Issaquah after its April 16 game was delayed by rain puddles and a broken court squeegee broom at Redmond. The Eagles won the rescheduled match the next day.

Classic rock ‘n’ roll bands practice a set of music Sept. 30 at Amante Restaurant, in preparation for the Northwest All Star Salmon Jam in honor of David Harris at the Salmon Days Festival.

At right, Maria Volodkevich bolts toward the finish line with a scream of encouragement after the handoff from Kaylie Greninger during the state 4A track and field championships May 25 in Tacoma. With teammates Alex Daugherty and Dorie Dalzell, Skyline won third place in the 4-by-400 meter relay in school-record time.

Above, Todd Strange, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, recites the Stations of the Cross as he and several altar boys stop at each of the 14 events of Jesus’ crucifixion during the Good Friday Mass on March 29. Below middle, an angler casts his line at Beaver Lake April 27 on a quiet morning during the first day of fishing season.

At right, John Kugen adds a net full of 10-month-old coho fingerlings to the new visitors’ aquarium display Sept. 5 at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Above, a 5-inch-wide mushroom at the Cascade Business Park on Nov. 8 is part of a bumper crop of mushrooms and toadstools that grew in gardens and yards throughout the area after record-setting September rains.

Above, Rabbi Barry Farkash, of Chabad of the Central Cascades, lights candles on a menorah Nov. 30 in Issaquah Highlands at Blakely Hall during the annual neighborhood Hanukkah celebration. At left, Issaquah Parks & Recreation summer staff employees, and the youngsters they are chaperoning, enjoy the spraying of water Aug. 7 from Eastside Fire & Rescue’s Ladder 73A during Beat the Heat Splash Day.

A8 • Wednesday, January 1, 2014


GO! Comedy Night, 8 p.m. Jan. 15, Vino Bella, featuring Jay Hollingsworth and Mike Wally Walter, $15, reservations required, 391-1424 ‘Life In Service at “Downton Abbey,”’ 7 p.m. Jan. 21, Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, historian Tames Alan leads presentation about the real history behind the television show


‘Downton Abbey’, free, 3925430 Studio and Seconds Sale, regular business hours Jan. 24-26, artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N. Father-Daughter Valentine Dance, 7-9:30 p.m. Feb. 8, community center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S.E., grades 1-5 and dads, $20/preregistration, $40/at the door Health and Safety Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 8, Pickering Barn, free health screenings, emergency preparedness and more, free, 392-6434

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 4 Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to get rid of that Christmas tree. Consider doing so through a good cause — the Boy Scout Curbside Tree-Cycle, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Issaquah Highlands neighborhoods, local Boy Scouts will pick up all trees placed on curbs by 9 a.m. There is a $15-$30 suggested donation per tree. Get a coverage area map and more information at www.

‘Wondrous Winter Colors’ exhibition, regular business hours, Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, exhibition of works by artEAST floral and colorist artists Anne Anderson and Deb Freng, through Jan. 3 Issaquah Business Builders: 7:30 a.m., IHOP Restaurant, 1433 N.W. Sammamish Road, 7850984, Grand Ridge Trail Work Party, 8:30 a.m., Northeast Harrison Drive and Grand Ridge Drive, optional breakfast at 7 a.m. at IHOP, 1433 N.W. Sammamish Road,

JAN. 2 Issaquah Women’s Club: 9:30 a.m., September through June, Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W., 392-7016 or 391-5961, Friends of the Sammamish Library: 5:15 p.m., library meeting room, 825 228th Ave. N.E., 868-3057 Talk Time: An English Conversation Class, 6:308 p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, practice your English with a trained instructor, free, no registration required

Soaring Eagle Hike, 9 a.m., meet at 175 Rainier Blvd. S., moderate difficulty, 6-7 miles, 300-foot elevation gain, 516-5200 Chinese Story Times, 10-10:45 a.m., Sammamish Library, 825 228th Ave. S.E., free, 392-3130

Boy Scout Curbside Tree-Cycle, 9 a.m., Issaquah Highlands neighborhoods, local Boy Scouts will pick up all trees placed on curbs by

Ventura Highway Revisited, 7:30 p.m., Vino Bella, 99 Front St. N., 391-1424

Providence Point Kiwanis: noon, 4135 Providence Point Drive S.E., 427-9060 or for $5 lunch reservations Family Fridays at the Pool: Family Obstacle Course Night, 6:30-9 p.m., Julius Boehm Pool, 50 S.E. Clark St., $3/youths and seniors, $4/adult, $10 family New Age Flamenco, 7:30 p.m., Amante, 131 Front St.

N., 313-9600 A Toast to the Lord — a faith-based Toastmasters club: 7-8:30 p.m., Eastside Fire & Rescue Station No. 83, 3425 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road S.E., 427-9682,

Darren Motamedy, 8 p.m., Pogacha, 120 N.W. Gilman Blvd., 21 and older, $10 cover, 392-5550

H30, 8 p.m., Pogacha, 120 N.W. Gilman Blvd., 21 and older, $5 cover, 392-5550

SUNDAY Three Water Falls Hike, 10 a.m., meet at 175 Rainier Blvd. S., moderate difficulty, 6.5 miles, 1,500-foot elevation gain, 4278449

Master Chorus Eastside is holding auditions for its 2013-14 season, singers must have choral experience and basic music reading skills, tenors and bass voices especially needed, 392-8446, ‘Sneak Peek at the New World of the Macaws,’ Wednesday through Sunday, 12:45, 1:45 and 2:45 p.m., Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St., 391-5508 Volunteer at Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, help Friends of the Salmon Hatchery give tours, go to, click on ‘get involved’ and complete volunteer application form, learn more by calling 392-8025


JAN. 7


JAN. 8

Club: 7 p.m., Issaquah Lodge at Beaver Lake Park, 25101 S.E. 24th St., www.

Live Online Q&A: ‘United Against Divisiveness,’ 11 a.m., Christian Science Reading Room, 415 Rainier Blvd. N., 392-8140

p.m., community center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S.

Toastmasters, 7-8 a.m., Swedish/Issaquah, 751 N.E. Blakely Drive, www.ihtm.

School will tutor students of all grade levels, punctuality appreciated

Issaquah Community Network: 5:30 p.m., Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., 391-0592

Hindi Story Time, 7-7:30 p.m., Sammamish Library, 825 228th Ave. S.E., ages 2 and older with families, free, 392-3130

ArtEAST: 6:30 p.m., Up Front Art Gallery, 95 Front St. N., or 392-3191

Latin Club Special Event, 7:30-9 p.m., Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, details to be announced

Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club: 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sportsmen’s Clubhouse, 23600 S.E. Evans St., 392-3311

Sammamish Presbyterian MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers): Mothers of children (birth to kindergarten) are welcome to join, 466-7345

Beaver Lake Community

Yarns and Threads Group, 9-11:30 a.m., Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, all knitters and crocheters welcome, catherine.coulter@

JAN. 6

MONDAY City Council Special Meeting: Legislative Breakfast, 8:30-10 a.m., Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W.

JAN. 3



9 a.m. in coverage area, $15-$30 suggested donation per tree, get coverage area map and more information

Kids workshop: ‘Fun Desk Calendar,’ 9 a.m. to noon, Home Depot, 6200 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway, make a desk calendar and gain a sense of achievement and work ethic, ages 5-12, free, 391-8467


Christmas tree recycling


Send items for Let’s Go! to by noon Friday.




‘Reducing Stress Through Meditation,’ 7 p.m. Jan. 9, Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, explore meditation with Ajili Hodari, and learn to improve concentration and enhance clarity of thought

The Issaquah Press

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Teen Book Group, 3-4, Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, earn books to keep when you read and discuss them with the group, snacks provided, 392-5430 Open Mic, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Train Depot Museum, 50 Rainier Blvd. N., signups begin at 6:15 p.m., 10-minute maximum, Youth Advisory Board, 7

Opera preview: Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto,’ 7-8:30 p.m., Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, free, 392-5430

Issaquah Garden Club: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W., Le Leche League of Sammamish: 10 a.m. to noon, Sammamish Boys & Girls Club Teen Center, 825 228th Ave. N.E. sammamish.wa.html

Ted Vidil (John Denver tribute), 7:30 p.m., Amante, 131 Front St. N., 313-9600

School Homework Help, 3:45-5 p.m., YWCA Family Village, 930 N.E. High St., Suite 101, teachers and students from Issaquah High

Issaquah Amateur Radio Club meeting, 7 p.m., Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way ArtEAST board meeting, 7 p.m., artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N., 392-3191 Friends of the Issaquah Library: 7 p.m., djstein@ Sammamish Heritage Society: Pine Lake Community Center, sammamish.heritage@hotmail. com

The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 •


O bituaries Lynn Dean Acton Lynn Dean Acton, of North Bend, passed away Dec. 24, 2013. He was born in Snohomish on March 15, 1940. Loving husband of

Rae M. Castagno Bakamus Rae M. Bakamus passed away Dec. 23, 2013, after a courageous battle with a debilitatRae Bakamus ing illness. She was born in Renton on March 7, 1927, daughter of Rem and Gertrude Castagno, and was raised in Issaquah with her seven siblings. She graduated from Issaquah High School and later married her sweetheart and dance partner, Vlase Bakamus, whom she was married to for 64 years. They resided in Morton before retiring in Issaquah. Rae was known for life-guarding at the “old swimming hole” on the Tilton River; bowling a near perfect score, but settling for a 289; baking her famous blackberry and apple pies; and holding court for

Donald W. Benson Donald Benson, 78, of Sammamish, died Christmas morning. Born and raised Donald Benson in South Dakota, Don moved to Washington in 1964, settling in Sammamish in 1988. He joined Associated Grocers in 1967, becoming president in 1986, a position held until his retirement in 2000. Above all, Don valued his faith and his family. He is

Bernice Bonner

Bernice Bonner, 93, of Issaquah, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013. She is survived by children Jim and Shirley, and a number of grandchildren

Christopher Linden Christopher Matthew Linden, 45, went home to be with the Lord on Dec. 14, 2013. Chris Christopher Linden was born Aug. 14, 1968, in Vallejo, Calif., to Gail Elizabeth Linden of San Diego, Calif. Chris spent his early childhood enjoying the beautiful beaches of San Diego, and moved with his family to Issaquah when he was 9 years old. Here, Chris graduated from Issaquah High School and, after several career starts, settled into employment at Lowe’s Hardware Store. When Chris’ parents moved to the Flathead Valley in Montana, Chris followed, transferring to the Lowe’s in Kalispell. Chris had a smile that would light up the darkest day! He was born with cerebral palsy, but never considered himself different from others, or short-changed in life. He loved music from an early age and could name any song or artist with just a few bars hummed, and he loved old movies, Disney movies … any movie! Chris also loved sports, and was overjoyed that his beloved Seattle Seahawks were

Kyle Weber gets WSU scholarship Kyle Weber, son of Tina and Paul Weber, of Issaquah, has received a $1,000 Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Cheryl; two children, Heidi and Mike. Friends are invited to view photos, share memories at — Flintoft’s Funeral Home and Crematory, 3926444 whomever dropped by, a pot of coffee still waiting for her next visitor. Rae had a wonderful sense of humor, a readiness for having fun and an ability to make whomever she met feel so special.
Rae considered her family and friends her greatest treasures. She was a loyal and caring wife to her late husband Vlase Bakamus, and loving mother to her late daughter Jean Sackmann (Lou). Her daughter Janice Bede (Brew) and son Bill Bakamus (Cathy) provided extraordinary care for their wonderful mother over the past six months. She will be sorely missed by her eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. A service to celebrate Rae’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 11 at Flintoft’s Issaquah Funeral Home ( Remembrances may be sent to Shriner’s Hospital for Children at Portland, 3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Road, Portland, OR 97239.

survived and loved deeply by Janet, his wife of 32 years; daughters Laurie (Dusty) Henry, of Sequim, Lynn (Shawn) Fedina, of Sedro Woolley, and Lana (Mike) Johnson, of Arlington; son Mark, of Boise, Idaho; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Issaquah. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to his beloved church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran; Trinity Lutheran College in Everett; Mercy Corps or a charity of your choice. Online guestbook: www.

and great-grandchildren. Service is at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Gibson Hall in Issaquah. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity in Bernice’s name.

having a winning season this year. He was a most gentle, kind man, humble and always putting others’ needs before his own, softspoken and kind-hearted, with an unconditional love for others. Chris was simple in his desires and needs in life, with a heart filled with gratitude for the blessings he had been given in life. He loved the Lord with a childlike trust and faith, and also loved his family, his church family and his “Lowe’s” family. Chris will be so very missed in this life, but would want his family and friends rejoicing that he is in his new eternal and glorious home in Heaven! Chris is survived by his mother Gail Walashek; sisters Michelle Walashek and Laura Page; brother Keith Walashek; as well as many uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. God’s timing was perfect in taking Chris home to be with his Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and his earthly father Mike, who preceded Chris in death nine months earlier. Services were held Dec. 27 at the “Lab,” Fresh Life Church, 128 First Ave. E. in Kalispell, Mont. Acknowledgement cards may be sent to Chris’s family at P.O. Box 111, Lakeside, MT 59922.

Scholarship at Washington State University. Weber graduated from Issaquah High School in 2010 and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in December 2014.

The IssaquahPress



Wednesday January 1, 2014

Skyline’s Mat Taylor rejects Central Washington Skyline High School football coach Mat Taylor has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Central Washington University head coaching position. Taylor, who announced his decision Dec. 22, told The Seattle Times he first realized he wasn’t ready to leave his teaching and coaching job at Skyline while driving home from the end of his three-day interview at CWU. Dec. 20 could have been Taylor’s last day of work at Skyline

if he took the job, but snow had canceled school. As he drove home, instead of to work, Taylor said the implications started to dawn on him. After discussing it with his wife and sleeping on his decision, he let CWU know his decision. Taylor said he had no idea if the college was interested in hiring him. “It was an unbelievable process. I just, when I got home, I felt like, I’m a teacher,” Taylor said. “When

it comes down to it, that was a part of me I wasn’t ready to let go of yet.” Taylor’s six-year record at Skyline is 72-9, including state titles in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He served as an assistant coach for nine seasons before taking over for Steve Gervais in 2008. CWU announced three other finalists for its coaching vacancy last month — John Graham, defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington; Chris Tormey, a

former head coach at Idaho and Nevada; and Ian Shoemaker, cooffensive coordinator at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. The school was expecting to make a hiring decision prior to Jan. 1.

Mat Taylor, Skyline High School football coach presents the 2012 state 4A championship trophy to his team at the Tacoma Dome. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah athletes take top state honors It was another successful year for Issaquah community sports. Athletes at the three district high schools took home conference titles and state championships, while an Issaquah racing team made a splash on the water. Here’s a recap of the top local sports stories in 2013: Liberty soccer wins state The Liberty girls soccer team captured its first state title with a 2-1 victory against Kamiakin Nov. 23. It was an improbable finish for the 2013 Patriots, who didn’t even win their league championship, which went to Bellevue. But they won the only trophy that mattered. They got some early postseason momentum with a shocking upset of top-ranked Columbia River in the first-round. Liberty was the first team to score on the defending-champion Chieftains this season, notching a 2-0 victory on the road. “To end your season with a win, only one team does it and we’re glad it’s us,” Liberty coach Tami Nguyen said. Kip Brown wins gold The National Football League has the Super Bowl; Major League Baseball has the World Series; but for hydroplane racing, it’s the Gold Cup that stands as the pinnacle of the sport’s achievements. Local team Our Gang Racing, of Preston, took home that gilded trophy, after driver Kip Brown came in first place in the Detroit American Power Boat Association’s Gold Cup July 14. Brown, of Ravensdale, drove the 95 Spirit of Qatar, in what Our Gang Racing principal owner and Issaquah attorney John O’Brien said was one of the best races he had ever seen. District boys swimmers excel All three school district boys swim teams competed at the 2013 State Swim and Dive Championships Feb. 15-16 and each came home with a first-place finish. Issaquah High School’s 200 freestyle relay team of Willy Matsuda, Henry Pratt, Gabe Florsheim and Spencer McCulloh surprised everyone but themselves with a come-from-behind, first-place finish in 1 minute, 28.95 seconds. Skyline High School’s Max Levy won the 1-meter diving championship, compiling 463.50 points to obliterate the competition. Finally, Liberty High School senior Raymond Ha successfully defended his title in the 100 breaststroke with an All-American consideration time of 57.79. Issaquah, Liberty tennis doubles teams take second The top doubles tennis teams from Liberty and Issaquah high

Liberty wrestlers win Barry Knott Classic The Liberty High School wrestling team won the Barry Knott Classic Dec. 21, sending eight wrestlers to the final. Four emerged as champions. Nate Sjoholm (145), Jimmy Andrus (152), Conner Small (160) and Romney Noel (170) each placed first in their weight classes. Dillon Ching (113), Kyle Armstrong (126), Will Nguyen (195) and Zach Arther (220) took second place in their final matches.




schools had a lot in common this season. Both teams paired a senior with a junior. Issaquah’s girls team consisted of senior Sam Garrard and junior Kelsey Wilson, while Liberty had a similar duo of senior Kristy Braunston and junior Jenny Adams. The teams each took second place at the KingCo championship. Garrard and Wilson finished second to Garfield in the 4A tournament, while Braunston and Adams fell to Mercer Island in the 3A competition. Finally, in what was a rematch of the KingCo championship for both teams, each earned secondplace medals in the state tournament May 25. Skyline cheerleaders claim state title For the third time in three years, the Skyline High School green cheer team walked away from the Cheerleading State Championships on Jan. 26 with the state title. The girls’ score of 253 points in the large 3A/4A division not only shot them to the top of their own category but it also was the highest score earned by an allgirls team in any category. The only squad that scored more was a co-ed team from Kentwood. Issaquah’s final Gellatly brother suits up for senior season When Jack Gellatly played his final football game at Issaquah High School this year, it was the end of a glorious era that began with his brothers Cameron, Matt and Grant. Arguably, no family has meant more to Issaquah High sports than the Gellatlys, with all four boys starring for the football and baseball teams. When one graduated, another one would surely follow, leaving opposing coaches lamenting, “Another Gellatly?” Issaquah athletics without a Gellatly is something that the Eagles haven’t had to worry about in more than 10 years, but it will soon become a reality, as the final Gellatly is in his senior year. Skyline girls basketball team advances to state quarterfinals While the season ended in disappointment with losses to Mead and Inglemoor, the Skyline Spartans girls basketball team

The tournament featured teams from Roosevelt, Redmond, Edmonds Woodway, Shorewood, Sammamish and Nathan Hale high schools.

Early registration for Issaquah Little League ends Jan. 7 Enrollment fees for Issaquah Little League will increase by $25 after Jan. 7, the end of the early registration period. The league offers T-Ball through major baseball for boys and T-Ball through junior fast-pitch softball

By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School girls soccer team exults with the state 3A championship trophy Nov. 23 after beating the Kamiakin Braves, 2-1, in Puyallup.

By Greg Farrar

Above, Jack Gellatly, Issaquah High School senior running back, sprints for yardage during the third quarter of the Eagles’ Oct. 25 football game against Skyline. At right, Max Levy, Skyline High School senior, performs the final dive on his way to winning the state 4A diving championship Feb. 16 at the King County Aquatics Center. turned a lot of heads in its march to the 4A Elite Eight. The Spartans (20-7 overall, 13-2 conference) had a balanced lineup, as guards Rachel Shim and Lacey Nicholson aligned with Coloradobound post Haley Smith — the KingCo Player of the Year — to form a dangerous scoring trio. Liberty’s Mackenna Briggs recaptures state title Liberty junior Mackenna Briggs captured her second individual crown in three seasons, winning the 100 butterfly (55.02). Briggs, who won the 100 backstroke title as a freshman, also finished second this season in the 200 individual medley (2:04.71) at the Nov. 15-16 state swimming championship.

for girls. The growing program has more than 800 players, 150 coaches and 58 teams playing on local fields, including the newly turfed Dodd Field. Instructional T-Ball, Coach-pitch and Coast division teams offer players training in the mechanics and rules of the game along with sportsmanship and fitness. The competitive divisions play other teams from the district and local tournaments highlight the season. Register and learn more at

Issaquah soccer comes in second, again This was supposed to be their year. After a painful loss to rival Skyline in last year’s state championship, the Issaquah High School girls soccer team was not about to let the sting of second place plague them again. The Eagles got off to a great start in 2013, finally defeating the Spartans in a thrilling shootout victory in the state quarterfinals Nov. 16. They ran past Olympia with ease, notching a 3-0 win in the state semifinals Nov. 22. Yet, for the second straight year, the Eagles came up short

Former Issaquah soccer team named All-American Kristin Maris, a former Issaquah High School soccer star, was named a second-team 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Scholar All-American. A behavioral neuroscience major and chemistry minor, Maris, a senior, maintains a 3.81 grade point average. Earlier, she was named a second-team College Sports Information Directors of America Capital One Academic All-American, a first-team College

in the 4A state title game after a heartbreaking 3-2 penalty-kick shootout loss to Central Valley at Puyallup’s Sparks Stadium Nov. 23. Issaquah coaches named to halls of fame Issaquah coaches Gwen Robertson, Rob Reese and Brandon Fortier were each selected to their sports’ state hall of fame this year. Robertson was named to the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame; Reese was elected to the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame; and Fortier was added to the Washington State Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Division District 8 Academic all-star and for the third straight year, a Great Northwest Athletic Conference academic all-star. Maris, a second-team NSCAA All-American and an honorable mention Daktronics All-American, finished the season with 11 goals, three of them game winners, and eight assists. She finished tied for eighth among WWU career leaders in goals with 28 and tied for sixth in assists with 19. Maris also received NSCAA and Daktronics West Region all-star recognition, both for the second straight season.

She was named the 2013 GNAC Player of the Year, being the league’s only unanimous choice on the first team.

Correction A swimmer in the Dec. 18 sports section was misidentified. Jacob Leahy, Skyline High School freshman, was the swimmer shown in a photo of the winner of a 100-yard butterfly race in a meet Dec. 10 against Eastlake and Redmond. Lane assignments were changed after the meet program was printed and meet results were not updated.