Band Fishwives joins Fourth of July lineup

July 1, 2011

NEW — 3:45 p.m. July 1, 2011

Cover band Fishwives has joined the Fourth of July lineup, City Manager Rob Wyman said. The band will play from 6-7:30 p.m., opening for Shelley and the Curves, which takes the stage at 8 p.m.

Vendors at the celebration will be Tastyz Kettle Corn, Charlie’s Buns ‘n’ Stuff — which serves burgers and hotdogs — and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, Wyman said.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m., and fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

Black bear hit on Interstate 405

July 1, 2011

NEW — 10:35 a.m. July 1, 2011

A small black bear was hit sometime overnight between June 30 and July 1 on Interstate 405 near Newcastle, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A motorist called in around 2 a.m. to report an animal carcass on the freeway, said Julie Startup, a spokeswoman for the patrol.

Troopers responded and found the dead bear, which Startup said had been hit hard and was in pieces. They moved it off the freeway and notified wildlife officials, she said.

Lake Boren Park playground reopens just in time for summer

July 1, 2011

It was love at first sight at the Lake Boren Park playground ribbon cutting ceremony June 16. Every inch of the new structure seemed to be occupied by a smiling child eager to explore the new climbing, spinning and sliding toys at his or her disposal.

Children play on the Lake Boren Park playground.

The modernized merry-go-round was among the most popular features at the Lake Boren Park playground ribbon cutting June 16. A $325,000 state grant funded the playground. By Tim Pfarr

The new playground was constructed this spring thanks to a $325,000 grant from the state, which was secured in 2010 by former state Sen. Randy Gordon. The playground opened to the public June 13, but hundreds showed up for the ribbon cutting, which followed the last day of school for students in the Issaquah School District. Read more

City Council race gets more competition

July 1, 2011

Candidates file for August primary

Resident Frank Irigon and former City Councilman Gordon Bisset have filed to run for City Council Position 4 in this year’s election.

Gordon Bisset

Frank Irigon

Frank Irigon

Bisset — who served as a member of the council from 2002-2005 — and Irigon will face off against Parks Commission Chair Andrew Shelton in a primary election in August.

The top two finishers will advance to the general election in November.

Councilman Sonny Putter, who holds Position 4, announced in April he would retire from the council at the end of the year.

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Playwright offers tales from the heart

July 1, 2011

“I went to a vocational school that was me and like 2,500 guys,” Elena Hartwell remembered with a laugh. It was there the high school dropout from San Diego learned to become an auto mechanic.

Elena Hartwell speaks talks about

By Dave Hastings Elena Hartwell talks about writing her first play as an auto mechanic without a high school diploma.

She was 17, and although working on cars was not her lifelong dream, it was work. The days were filled with grease, oil and motors, but after work — and wiping the grease from her fingers — Hartwell became an artist.


It was during these years that she completed her first full-length script for the stage: “Fast Ducks.” The story followed several people in a diner, exploring their relationships with one another. The play took place in a town in which residents raced ducks.

“Inspiration strikes in strange ways,” Hartwell said with a laugh, adding that she wrote the script not knowing anything about theater.

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Liberty High School graduation / June 10, 2011

July 1, 2011

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Hazen High School graduation / June 14, 2011

July 1, 2011

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Valley Medical Center and UW Medicine finalize alliance

July 1, 2011

Valley Medical Center — which has a clinic at 7203 129th Ave. S.E. in Newcastle — and UW Medicine finalized their planned strategic alliance last month.

The alliance will likely make UW Medicine services more readily available to Valley Medical Center patients.

Specifically, more specialists and specialized procedures will likely be available to Valley Medical Center patients.

Valley Medical Center CEO Rich Roodman said the alliance is the most significant and visionary accomplishment that has been made in his 28 years with the company, because it will help facilitate the most comprehensive clinical care available to people in the community.

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New trails plan distinguishes between horse, non-horse trails

July 1, 2011

The City Council June 7 approved a usage plan for which trails in the city should allow horses. The Parks Commission recommended the plan, and the council only made changes to plans for future trails, changing sections of would-be horse trails to pedestrian-only trails.

The trails the council changed were the Sylvan Creek Trail, the segment of the East Cross Town Trail east of the Terrace Trail, and two sections of the Horse Trail. The portions of the Horse Trail the council changed were the segment north of the West Cross Town Trail and the segment south of the 84th Street Trail.

Also, the segment of the Waterline Trail to be built south of the connection with the Olympus Trail will first be built to pedestrian standards, but it will later be built to equestrian standards. A trail to accommodate horses will also likely be built parallel to the Terrace Trail.

Newcastle Trails asked the council to approve the trails map so it could build trails to the appropriate standards when it holds work parties.

City Council adopts policy for memorials on city property

July 1, 2011

The City Council in June adopted a policy detailing how residents can purchase memorial trees and benches for city parks. Per the policy, residents can also donate larger items — such as statues or fountains — or name parks on a case-by-case basis.

The new policy replaces the city’s prior, informal donation practices, and City Manager Rob Wyman said that donating a tree or bench can be a great way to remember a loved one.

“If you had a family member or loved one who like to hang out at the park, every time you go to the park it kind of evokes the memory of that person,” he said. “I think it’s kind of a neat thing for people to be able to do.”

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