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Annual race is a pleasure, challenge



By Erin Hoffman

Timber Ridge veteran shares his WWII adventures

As a child, Tim Finnegan watched as his siblings raced soapbox derby cars every year. Due to a developmental disability, he was never able to participate, until his father Leo Finnegan built a doublewide car that could fit two kids. With his siblings at the wheel, Tim could finally participate in the activity he watched for so long.

By Evan Pappas As the former pilot of a B-17 bomber named “Pandemonium Reigns” during World War II, Robert Ploss has had his fair share of adventures. The 91-year-old veteran and resident of Timber Ridge recalls his adventures and experiences through life with captivating style, and a knack for storytelling led him to start a monthly newsletter at Timber Ridge, which he calls “The Splinter.” In the newsletter, Ploss shares stories, jokes and poems. Before joining the U.S. Army, Ploss went to the University of Buffalo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history, English and political theory. After that, he joined the Reserve and then the Army in 1945. “I signed up for aviation cadet school because I always wanted to be a B-17 pilot. And fortunately for me, I got right into cadet school and after several hairline escapes from being wiped out, I passed,” Ploss said. Taking the silverware During the war, the Army had a rapid training program where Ploss and his peers would advance every six weeks from primary, to basic, to advance, and finally operational where he got to


Above, Bob Ploss enjoys sharing the stories of the lifelong friendships he made with the men of the B-17 bomber crew he served with during World War II. Below, Ploss (front row, left) and his World War II B-17 crew pose in December 1944 at Drew Field in Tampa, Fla.

combat chronicles


fly the plane intended for combat. Ploss and his crew flew the Atlantic as they took the plane to their base in England. “We picked up our own plane in Savannah and we flew the crew

from there to Bangor, Maine, to Goose Bay, Labrador, to Greenland, to Iceland, to Wales, delivered the plane, and went to our base in England,” Ploss said. “We were our own ferry pilots. Coming

home was the same way.” About a week after the war was over, Ploss was called for one more mission — fly to Linz, Austria, and pick up some French POWs who had been imprisoned by the Germans for years. Once in Linz, Ploss met his old friend Jerry Montgomery, who ofSee VETERAN, Page B3

Overlake Auxiliaries present Auxilian of the Year Award Overlake Medical Center Auxiliaries has honored Kristi Feder as Auxilian of the Year. The award was presented by Phyllis Stark, board president of the Auxiliaries, at their annual meeting June 11. The distinction of Auxilian of the Year recognizes an outstanding volunteer for his or her passion, commitment and tireless work in raising funds for Overlake. A longtime resident of Issaquah, Feder first joined the Auxiliaries in 2000 and has been a staunch supporter of the Auxiliaries year after year. She has CONTRIBUTED shown great leadership in Kristi Feder, board president of the Overlake Medical Center her many roles, including Auxiliaries, receives her Auxilian of the Year award June 11. past Auxiliary board presi-

What happened to the rain? By Jane Garrison For the first time in many years, we had nice, dry weather in June when the sun was at its highest and the days were the longest of the year. That means we had more early heat, and crops west of the Cascades got a big boost. We can all celebrate by consuming tons of strawberries. Early, dry weather may be good for crops and farmers, but it could mean stress for some of your garden plants. If your plants look bad, and you wonder if water is the problem, check out the following symptoms: 4Fruits are different sizes 4Stunted plants 4Wilted discolored flowers and leaves. You can’t tell by looking at just the plant; you have to check the soil. It’s time to water when the

Wednesday July 17, 2013

top 3 inches to 5 inches of soil are dry. You can buy a probe or just dig down and look. Shrubs and lawn take different amounts of water. Lawn requires more. The following may help you determine how much water you need for a healthy landscape. If you live on the hard soils around Issaquah, during drought, water shrubs beds slowly, twice a week until they begin to puddle or run off. Planting beds should be moist to about 2 feet deep. Lawn is more difficult if you want to keep it green. It needs to be watered to a depth of 6-8 inches each time, which means about 3-4 minutes every day. If you don’t have an automatic system, this is very difficult to do. Rather than drag hoses around every day, just try to deliver about an inch of water per week, and it will prob-

Master gardener’s corner With Jane Garrison

GET SOME HELP Visit master gardener clinics on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Squak Mountain Nursery and the Issaquah Farmers Market. Bring problems, samples and photos, or just stop by to visit.

ably be able to stay green depending on soil and exposure. Otherwise, brown grass is a good thing for our water supply. New trees and shrubs need more water than established ones. They need to be watered regularly, because the roots have not

dent, executive committee member, Bandage Ball co-chairwoman, hospital board member, Foundation board member and Perfect Settings event founder, according to a news release from the Auxiliaries. She has been a catalyst for recruiting new Auxiliary members and bringing the various Auxiliaries together to work for their shared goals. As one nomination expressed, Feder “is the model for excellence, passion and achievement for every Auxilian.” Overlake’s Auxiliaries are a dedicated group of volunteers who support medical excellence at Overlake through community engagement and fun-

spread to take in water from a big area. Basins around new plants help retain the water near the roots, especially on sloped sites or mounds. Watch to see if water soaks in or runs off. Run-off does the plant absolutely no good. We all need to be aware of the stresses on our water supply and ways to conserve. Consider the following: Mulch shrub beds to reduce loss of water through evaporation. Limit lawn areas or allow it to brown. Use drought-tolerant species or native plants in your landscaping. Now, go water per the above guidelines and enjoy the rest of the summer. Don’t forget to eat a big bowl of fresh strawberries. They are amazing when they are locally grown. Jane Garrison is a local master gardener and landscape architect. She gardens in glacial till on the plateau.

draising. Auxilians played an important role in Overlake’s founding, and today, more than 80 committed advocates continue to provide tremendous support for Overlake. The Auxiliaries host a wide variety of events and activities throughout the year. Membership in the Auxiliaries is open to all community members who want to share their talents, meet new friends, have some fun and support Overlake. Learn more about volunteering with the Auxiliaries by calling 688-5527, emailing or going to www.overlakehospital. org/auxiliaries.

Challenge Series Race 49 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. 4Second Avenue in front of the Issaquah Community Center 4Free for all participants and spectators 4Call 392-5692 to register.

On July 20, the Rotary Club of Issaquah and Life Enrichment Options will put on their 16th annual Challenge Series Race, where people with disabilities can race in their own soapbox derby cars alongside their peers. “It was a real thrill when we were able to have Tim participate,” Rose Finnegan, Tim’s mother, Leo’s wife and past president of LEO, recalled. “He was always on the sidelines, and winning a trophy was really exciting for him.” For each race, ablebodied volunteers, who sit behind the wheel, pair up with participants with disabilities, who sit in the passenger seat. Each participant gets to race three times, and everyone gets free lunch and a trophy at the end of the day. There is no age limit, although participants must be 5-foot-2 or shorter and 130 pounds or lighter to fit in a car. On race day, check-in begins at 8 a.m. for three sessions, beginning at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pre-registration is required, and the 10:30 session is already full. Each race begins on Second Avenue in front of the Issaquah Community Center. According to Rose Finnegan, the effects of the race on the community extend beyond each participant’s enjoyment. “People have become more aware of kids with See RACE, Page B3


An early 2013 contest entry of a bald eagle in the highlands was photographed by Dave Taylor.

Win $100 in annual photo contest The annual Issaquah/ Sammamish Amateur Photo Contest is already receiving entries from photographers eager to win the $100 prize in each of three categories. The strength of the Issaquah/Sammamish community as depicted in an entry is the top criteria for a winning photo, but originality, composition and lighting are also judged. Entries are accepted in three categories — People,

Animals/Nature and Scenic. All submissions come with permission for the photo to be reproduced in any publication of The Issaquah Press or Sammamish Review. Enter by emailing photos (minimum 300 dpi resolution) to contest@isspress. com. Include the photographer’s name, address, phone number and the story of the photo. Deadline is Aug. 11. Winners will be announced Sept. 4.

B6 • Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Issaquah Press Become more informed by attending Citizens’ Police Academy You can ride along with a police officer as part of the 10-week Citizens’ Police Academy for adults who live or work in Issaquah. Trained Issaquah police officers will teach each course, with topics such as the art of investigation, stories from the patrol unit, officer safety and criminal law. The free academy takes place from 6-9 p.m. every Wednesday from Sept. 4 to Nov. 6 at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way. Applicants must be 21 and older, have no prior felony convictions and pass a criminal background check. Apply online at http://bit. ly/12rNyIi.

City, state ask for Lake Sammamish State Park concept proposals As the recently passed state budget included funding for Lake Sammamish State Park improvements, Issaquah and Washington State Parks asked for request for concept proposals July 11. Specifically, the region seeks to explore opportunities to improve community exposure to the park, seek uses that would create more activity and use within the park, and seek revenue-generating activities. Find the official request for concept proposals at The parties have scheduled a respondent briefing session from 2-4 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Pickering Conference Room at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W. Representatives from the city and State Parks will answer questions about proposal requirements and clarify expectations. The due date for proposals is Sept. 7 and must be received by the city’s permit center no later than 4:30 p.m. that day. Learn more by calling the Economic Development Department at 837-3430.

King County authorizes new parking lot Construction of a parking lot to serve Duthie Hill Park will begin soon. The new lot, near the intersection of Issaquah-Fall City Road and Duthie Hill Road, will offer space for up to 74 vehicles. The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks will still welcome public comment, which must be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. July 31. Learn more by calling Capitol Project Manager Chris Erickson at 206-2968687.

PSE offers $500 worth of free duct sealing Puget Sound Energy is offering electric customers who live in manufactured homes and use electric forced-air as their primary heat source the chance to seal up leaky ductwork and receive other energy efficiency upgrades for free. The service offered to PSE customers in Issaquah, Fall City, Carnation and surrounding areas has up to a $500 value per customer and could reduce their energy bills by about 30 percent. The program helps customers who live in manufactured-homes install energy-efficient measures to increase their comfort and manage their energy bills. A certified specialist will seal the ductwork, as well as provide free on-site installation of ENERGY STAR®-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs in high-use areas such as kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. Customers also receive air filter replacements and an energy-efficient showerhead. Eligible homeowners cannot have taken advantage of previous manufactured home energy-efficiency upgrade service. PSE customers can request the service by calling 1-800-828-8440 toll free.