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The Issaquah Press





Calendar fundraiser celebrates felines

To the edge of infinity and beyond

Leah Katherine Ehrenstrom

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Swedish/ Issaquah welcomes first baby of 2012 Swedish/Issaquah greeted a baby to ring in 2012. The first baby to be born at the hospital in the new year arrived at 2:16 p.m. Jan. 1, when Issaquah residents Katie and Matt Ehrenstrom welcomed 7pound, 14.5-ounce Leah Katherine. Dr. Kristen Austin delivered the 19.25-inch infant. Katie Ehrenstrom works at Swedish/Issaquah. The ultrasound technician and her ON THE WEB husband have two other To follow all daughters. the firsts and Leah joins 3other develyear-old opments at Addyson and the 18-month-old Swedish/ Stella in the Ehrenstrom Issaquah family. campus, Swedish/ check out Issaquah pretheir blog at sented the http://swedi Ehrenstroms with a gift bas- ket to celebrate /Blog/Tags?t the occasion. agid=31#axz Since inpaz1iyjOX2BT tient and childbirth services opened at Swedish/ Issaquah on Nov. 1, more than 50 babies have been born at the hospital. The birth on New Year’s Day marked the latest milestone for the hospital’s childbirth program. In November, less than 25 hours after the hospital opened a childbirth center and 80 patient beds, Swedish/ Issaquah greeted the inaugural baby born at the facility, 8-pound, 20-inch-long Liliana Yozelin. The first newborn delivered at the hospital also arrived to local parents. Liliana became the second child born to Issaquah residents Zulma Gutierrez-Tiznado and Francisco Javier Rodriguez.


Having cleared the Earth’s cloud cover, Chinn’s balloon bounced against the outskirts of outer space. This picture was taken by a camera attached to a frame beneath the balloon.

Balloon flight takes senior as close as he can get to space By Tom Corrigan Issaquah Press reporter


n Dec. 29, Issaquah High School senior Josh Chinn, 17, took himself and about 250 of his closest friends and relatives into space, or at least the edge of space, some 100,000 feet up. For his flight, Chinn used a helium-filled weather balloon attached to a small, square carbon fiber frame. Heavily taped to the frame was a collage of pictures of himself and friends and relatives who have made a difference in his life. Their “flight” into space was, of course, by proxy, through the collage that was placed inside a pouch. Along with the pictures, Chinn put in a patch of the letter “I” such as might be found on an Issaquah High jacket. Chinn said that for the most part, he just wanted to do something to mark and honor his time at Issaquah High as well as his friends and relatives. “I just wanted to do something absurd,” he said. “As a dad, I just feel so proud of him,” Victor Chinn said. He termed his son’s project inspiring, but also said it was “just awesome fun.” The younger Chinn got the idea for the balloon flight from the Internet. He started calling his


Josh Chinn attached this collage of friends and family to the frame beneath a weather balloon so that they could all ‘visit’ space. idea his senior project, but it’s not connected with his schoolwork at all. It’s just something he decided he wanted to do, a fact Victor Chinn said made his son’s work all the more meaningful. Powering Josh Chinn’s figurative trip into the outer reaches, the balloon measured about 6 feet in diameter when it first left the ground. Besides the already mentioned items, the frame carried a parachute that eventually eased the return of the launched items to Earth. Chinn was able to keep track of his payload via a GPS such as is used by hikers to let others track their position. A small camera on the frame filmed


See SPACE, Page B3

Josh Chinn holds on to the weather balloon he eventually sent about 100,000 feet into the air. Helping him ready the balloon are friends Shawn Terasaki, kneeling, David Park and Alyssa Wilson.

Bullit the poodle survives shooting, finds local home By Tom Corrigan Issaquah Press reporter


Now waiting to be adopted, Bullit the poodle is recovering nicely from a gunshot wound he suffered in California. Issaquah’s People United for Pets brought Bullit to Western Washington, saving him from possibly being put to sleep.

California is what Laura Tonkin refers to as a “high-kill” state. Tonkin is the founder and director of the Issaquah-based People United for Pets. PUP routinely rescues dogs from shelters in Washington and California. Especially in the latter case, the rescued dogs otherwise likely would be euthanized. The animals are placed in volunteer foster homes until permanent new homes can be found. When Tonkin first saw a picture, from a California shelter, of a poodle now known as “Bullit,” she thought the dog had been painted red for the recent Christmas holiday. According to an animal protective officer from that state, Bullit had not been painted, but shot. Tonkin did not report officials having any suspects in the incident, but said the California protective officer speculated a juvenile might have shot the dog. In any

ON THE WEB If you are interested in adopting Bullit or any other PUP animal, learn more at

case, Tonkin was able to arrange to have the poodle sent to Western Washington, where Bullit is now in the hands of a PUP foster family. Last week, Bullit had just received updated shots and what Tonkin referred to as some much needed dental work. The dog should suffer no permanent harm from the shooting, Tonkin reported. Tonkin estimated that Bullit is about 2 years old. He weighs about 10 pounds, roughly normal for a dog of his breed and general size, Tonkin added. She believed PUP likely could find a permanent home for Bullit in a few weeks.

“We are screening applicants very carefully,” she said. PUP is also working with Bullit’s foster family to see if he needs any special training before placing him in a new home. “He is a very nice dog,” Tonkin said. While Bullit has gotten some publicity because of the way in which he arrived in Washington, Tonkin added that PUP has plenty of other dogs available for adoption. “This time of year is tough for shelters,” she said. Those shelters generally are overcrowded as people tend to dump animals they no longer want right around the holidays. Why? Tonkin said owners might want to go out of town without having to put their animal up in a kennel or they perhaps desire a new animal, often a younger animal. Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

Susan Bunch, an employee at Microsoft’s Issaquah campus, loves animals. Her current family includes two rescued cats, a horse and a dog. But Bunch admits there’s a soft spot in her heart for cats. “Pets bring so much to our lives, and cats in particular are unfortunately overlooked sometimes as an almost disposable pet,” she said. “They deserve so much more.” In 2009, Bunch along ON THE WEB with fellow Microsoft emLearn more ployees Karen about the Easterbrook Forget Me and Kristi Minietta began Not Animal the yearly cre- Shelter, or ation of the donate, at Cats of www.forgetMicrosoft calmenotshelendar ing the Forget Me Not Animal Shelter. Every year, Microsoft employees are encouraged to donate to the shelter located on the eastern side of the state in Ferry County. In return for their contributions, Bunch puts together a calendar featuring cats that belong to the many generous donors. Last year, the calendar raised $60,000 for Forget Me Not. Bunch hopes the calendar will continue to be a successful source of funds for the shelter. “I’d be thrilled to raise that much again, but no matter how much we make I am always really grateful for the donations we get,” she said. “Good work is always done with the funds.” Forget Me Not relies on volunteers and receives no government funding, according to Kim Gillen, the shelter’s executive director. So, she really appreciates the funds raised by this Microsoft campaign. “Forget Me Not Animal Shelter is the only animal shelter in Ferry County, Washington, which is an area roughly the size of Delaware,” Gillen said. “We rely on donations and grants for our annual funding needs.” One of the shelter’s primary services includes the Happy Homes Adoption Program that serves the entire Northwest. “We accept stray, impounded and owner-surrendered cats and dogs, spay and neuter, vaccinate and microchip them all, and find them new adoptive homes,” Gillen said. “About 85 percent of our adoptions are outside Ferry County. We have monthly deliveries of adopted pets to the Seattle and Spokane areas, and we have adopted pets to families from California to Montana to Alaska.” The Cats of Microsoft calendar is part of the Microsoft Giving Campaign. The campaign encourages employees to give back to their communities and support nonprofit organizations, according to the company’s website. Bunch is proud to contribute to the company’s campaign. “I am very passionate about Microsoft’s Giving Campaign and all the effort our company puts into making it a success so charities can benefit,” she said. Bunch encourages everyone to give back, and to remember animals when doing so. “I think there are a lot of people who still don’t realize that they can donate to charities that benefit animals,” she said. “I have always believed that no matter who you are, you have something to give. Whether you donate money or items or time, it all adds up.” Most of the calendars are bought up by the Microsoft employees. This years’ calendar was expected to be ready by mid-December. If there are any left, the shelter sells a few online at Christina Corrales-Toy is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at


Wednesday,January 11,2012 • Vol.113,No.2 Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents Teacher recalls being milestone visitor to 1962 World’s Fair “T...


Wednesday,January 11,2012 • Vol.113,No.2 Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents Teacher recalls being milestone visitor to 1962 World’s Fair “T...