Contribute to local and South African students through Generation Joy until Friday

March 21, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. March 21, 2009

Thousands of Issaquah students have been rummaging through their closets, drawers and garages to find items they can give to others a half-world away, and you can help.

Students from Beaver Lake Middle School have been making presentations to other schools in the district to help them raise donations for orphans and students in South Africa.

The students made a presentation to Clark Elementary School students March 11. This is the first year Clark students will join Beaver Lake students in raising donations of items for Generation Joy.

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Police arrest two men during failed vehicle theft

March 20, 2009

NEW — 5:45 p.m. March 20, 2009

Issaquah officers arrested two men whose attempt to steal a sport-utility vehicle today was foiled by a red light.

The owner of a Toyota 4Runner reported the vehicle stolen from The Timbers at Issaquah Ridge apartment complex, 23425 S.E. Black Nugget Road.

While police were collecting information from the owner at 11:50 a.m., two officers in a police cruiser spotted the 4Runner nearby. As the officers turned their patrol vehicle around, the SUV fled north on East Lake Sammamish Parkway.

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IRS and partners offer free ‘Super Saturday’ help tomorrow

March 20, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. March 20, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service and many of its community partners will open their doors tomorrow to help people who need free tax preparation, a question answered or a payment schedule arranged.

Four IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in Bellevue will be open for “Super Saturday” to provide free tax help to area residents. IRS employees will be going the extra mile to prepare basic tax returns for those whose income is less than $42,000; to work with people having a hard time paying; and to provide tax forms and information about e-File, which can speed refunds. 

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Vote today for King Conservation District board supervisor

March 19, 2009

NEW — 10 a.m. March 19, 2009

Voters cast ballots today for a King Conservation District board supervisor.

Polls are open at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. In order to cast a ballot, voters must present proper identification, such as a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate.

Three contenders are seeking election to the five-member volunteer board. Carnation residents Preston Drew and David Mauk, as well as Seattle write-in candidate Mark Sollitto, are seeking the post.

King County Conservation Voters endorsed Sollitto; the King County Republican Party backs Drew.

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Southeast May Valley Road restricted to one lane until November

March 19, 2009

NEW — 9 a.m. March 19, 2009

Traffic on Southeast May Valley Road is restricted to one lane just west of Issaquah-Hobart Road. The closure started at 6 a.m. today.

Crews are replacing the Bandaret Bridge across Issaquah Creek. The roadway is expected to be narrowed to one lane over the creek through November.

A new temporary traffic signal at 230th Avenue Southeast and May Valley Road will allow vehicles to proceed through the construction zone in one direction at a time.

The King County Department of Transportation is overseeing the $5.5 million project.

The existing bridge, near Issaquah-Hobart Road between 230th Avenue Southeast and 231st Place Southeast, carries about 5,100 vehicles daily – too many for an aging, deteriorating structure, transportation officials said.

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Pine Lake pottery class / March 17, 2009

March 17, 2009

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Cameras slow speeders on Second Avenue

March 17, 2009


Pole-mounted cameras monitor traffic on Second Avenue Southeast in both directions near Clark Elementary School. By Greg Farrar

Smile, speeders: Authorities are using cameras to keep watch in the bustling Second Avenue school zone. Motorists caught during the next four weeks will escape with a warning. But the Issaquah Police Department will begin mailing fines to speeders next month.

Police activated the system March 16. Starting April 13, speeders will receive $124 fines for exceeding the 20 mph limit. Read more

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Last call

March 17, 2009

Until he melts awaysnow-weather-lhs-20090310

Skyler Monroe (left) and Chris Harlan, Liberty High School juniors, finish building a snowman on the   football field after school March 10, on a day of crazy winter weather. By Greg Farrar

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Contract awarded for high school construction

March 17, 2009

Other school projects on track 

Structural steel has been delivered for Skyline High School's new southwest classroom wing.Issaquah School District

Structural steel has been delivered for Skyline High School's new southwest classroom wing.Issaquah School District

Issaquah School Board members unanimously voted March 11 to accept the bid presented by Cornerstone General Contractors for the Issaquah High School construction project. 

Cornerstone had the lowest bid of the nine general contractors who submitted applications for the project. Cornerstone submitted a $61.5 million base bid for the project. The second lowest bid was $61.6 million — about $88,000 more. The highest bid was $67.6 million, according to district documents. 

“It has been a very close, very competitive bidding process,” said Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the district. “That is good. It means the general contractors are seeing the same, clear set of documents and information.”

When asked by board members whether references for Bothell-based Cornerstone were positive, Crawford said they were.

“We have had good responses from discussions and inquiries with other schools,” he said, adding that Cornerstone has worked on several school projects, including Newport High School in Bellevue.

District officials sent out a Notice of Intent March 12, which asks Cornerstone employees to file a contract and complete bond and insurance paperwork with the district by March 23. 

Once that paperwork is in, district officials can issue a Notice to Proceed and the general contractor can begin developing plans and site work.

If city officials approve the demolition permit requested by district officials, work at the school could begin by the end of March, Crawford said. 

City officials also have to approve the building and Public Works permit package submitted by the district before construction can get underway. Those permits, which underwent another round of reviews at the city, should be available soon, he said. 

City and district officials are also closer to finalizing the traffic mitigation plans at two intersections on which school traffic will have an impact: Sunset Way and Second Avenue, and Front Street South and Second Avenue. 

“Issaquah is going to get started very quickly,” he said.  

The budget for the project is $84 million, and is scheduled to have core facilities and three new three-story classroom wings completed for the return of freshman students by fall 2010.

Board members also received an update on the Skyline High School and Elementary 15 projects from Crawford. 

“Skyline is continually moving forward,” he said. “Skyline is making good progress and we’re now in the phase of construction where you see improvements.”

During the clear, cold month of February, contractors were able to finish a lot of steel construction for the northwest classroom wing and were able to pour several concrete slabs, he said. Contractors were also able lay electrical and plumbing lines for that area and began work on the science labs. 

The next shipment of structural steel for the southwest classroom wings arrived and was sorted, he added.

“As we start on the exterior wall framing, Skyline will start to look more and more like a building,” he said.  

The budget for the project is $34.5 million, which includes several new classroom wings, core facilities and a new, expanded gym.

Conversations with Sammamish city officials are still going well for the Elementary 15 project, Crawford said.

He hopes to have the project ready for bidding by the end of the month and site work could begin as early as late spring.

Crawford said his office staff and Maywood Middle School officials continue to work on preliminary plans for that remodel.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment on this story at

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Yes, there’s a March 19 election

March 17, 2009

An election for a King Conservation District board supervisor will be held March 19. The vote will be held at 13 polling locations across King County, including a site at the Issaquah Library.

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