1. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee paid a visit to the Issaquah Highlands Friday afternoon to celebrate a local innovator in the fight against climate change.
The governor was given a personal home tour by residents Bryan Bell and Karin Weekly, whose townhouse—part of the zHome development on Ninth Place Northeast—functions a little differently than the average American home.
Opened in 2011, zHome is the first zero-net-energy multifamily project in the nation, meaning the homes replace all of the energy they consume with clean energy.
The 10-townhome development uses solar panels and other green energy strategies to reduce its carbon footprint and give residents an opportunity to live a environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
“Through the solar panels, they produce a little bit more [energy] than they actually use … They actually come out ahead,” said City of Issaquah Sustainability Director David Fujimoto.
zHome homeowners also use 70 percent less water than the average house due to a rainwater collection system.
The groundbreaking project was created through the teamwork of the City of Issaquah, Port Blakely Communities, King County, Built Green, Ichijo USA, Puget Sound Energy, and the Washington State University Energy Office.
“It’s very efficient and inexpensive for residents,” Inslee said, adding that “it’s great for the air we breathe to reduce pollution” and “it helps us in our fight against climate change.” Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter
2. When the children of the late and legendary Mercer Island residents Aubrey and Henrietta Davis were looking for a way to honor their parents, they wanted to do something that would reflect their lives of service and impact not only on their town, but on the region.
Their daughter Trisha Davis, professor and chair of biochemistry at the University of Washington, came up with the winning idea: an endowment at the UW named for “Aubrietta.”
“I’ve been involved with other endowments at UW, and I’ve seen how well-managed they are and how valuable they are to the department,” Trisha Davis told the Mercer Island Reporter.
According to the fundraising website, “family members joined together recently to establish the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professorship in Biochemistry in recognition of their parents’ dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, to excellence and to altruism.”
Aubrey and Henrietta began their careers in Washington, D.C., as interns in the Roosevelt administration. There they met, married and became “Aubrietta” for the next 67 years. They lived rich lives centered on family and service to their community.
Aubrey is well-known on Mercer Island as the mayor who oversaw the redesign of Interstate 90—the “lid” park built on top of the highway was renamed after him—while Henrietta obtained her Masters of Education from UW, becoming an elementary educator who encouraged each of her students to discover and explore their interests.
Trisha Davis said that her parents were “very positive influences” in her life and the lives of her three siblings. They also have eight grandkids and seven great-grandkids.
She said that funding for education is a big issue for K-12 in Washington state, but that support for public institutions in higher education is important as well.
The family is inviting others to join them in building the professorship, which is currently held by David Baker. Baker’s work on protein design was recently featured in the New York Times, and Trisha Davis said that the applications of the research in healthcare, clean energy and other fields are “very exciting.”
“We talk about cutting edge research,” she said. “This is way ahead of that.” Mercer Island Reporter
3. Julian Tuimauga, 18, pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault and malicious harassment, the state’s statute for hate crimes, at an arraignment Monday morning in King County Superior Court at Kent’s Maleng Regional Justice Center.
The Auburn teenager is accused of brutally beating 26-year-old son DaShawn Horne with an aluminum baseball bat on Jan. 20. King County prosecutors and Auburn Police have called the beating a hate crime attack.
Tuimauga is in county jail on $500,000 bail. The trial-setting date is March 5, although attorneys will ask for more time to prepare the case.
Horne remains in an intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a traumatic brain injury.
The not-guilty plea left Horne’s mother, LaDonna, scrambling for words.
“Can I yell? I’m angry. I’m upset. I mean, what else is there to say? LaDonna Horne said outside the courtroom afterward. “He should have pleaded guilty. I mean, the evidence is clear. … Justice is going to be served for DaShawn. Maybe it’s going to take a little time, but he’s going to serve his time.”
LaDonna Horne’s brother, Rodney King, had stronger words for the defendant.
“His intention was clear when he tried to kill my nephew,” King said. “He’s so cowardly that he couldn’t fess up to the fact that he was guilty of a crime. … If you’re man enough to pull a bat and play Mark McGwire on my nephew’s head, you should be man enough to plead guilty to what you did. Own up to what you did. It’s undeniable what you did.”
Defendants rarely plead guilty at arraignments. It can takes months or even years before a case goes to trial, though sometimes defendants plead guilty before a trial.
King led a chant of “wake up DaShawn, wake up DaShawn” with family and friends outside the courtroom. Several supporters donned T-shirts bearing the victim’s photo and the inscription, #wakeupdashawn. The Horne family has set up an up a GoFundMe page page to help cover the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and child support for his 16-month-old son. Kent Reporter