I-90 bridge will be closed overnight this weekend

May 9, 2009

NEW — 8 a.m., May 9, 2009

Drivers crossing the Interstate 90 floating bridge over the weekend will be restricted to a single westbound lane Saturday and Sunday nights. Crews will shut down the two left lanes of the westbound span in order to park the flatbed trucks carrying new expansion joints for the express lanes.

Crews will close the two left lanes of the westbound floating bridge from 10 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday and again from 9 p.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday.

State Department of Transportation officials recommend for drivers to plan for delays or use the State Route 520 floating bridge to cross Lake Washington.


Crews are replacing expansion joints on the Interstate 90 floating bridge express lanes this month. Contributed

Crews are replacing expansion joints on the Interstate 90 floating bridge express lanes this month. Contributed



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Stay cool: stay in the shade

May 8, 2009

NEW — 4:20 p.m. May 8, 2009

When Angie Cluff, a 13-year-old sixth-grader at Pine Lake Middle School, drew a sun-safe poster over spring break, she never thought it would draw so much attention.

“I was surprised,” she said, about winning the SHADE Foundation’s state competition. “We just did it for fun.”

Angie won a new digital camera for having the best sun safety poster in Washington. Now, she has a chance to win a vacation for her family to Disney World, if her poster is selected as the national winner.

Angie and her two sisters, Emily, 8, and Sarah, 10, participated in the contest during their spring break as a project their mother, Barbara Cluff, had found to keep them busy. She saw the contest advertised in The Issaquah Press.

 “We enter contests as a family all the time,” Barbara Cluff said. “It’s just something fun we do together.”


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Issaquah Youth Lacrosse — Week 8 / May 8, 2009

May 8, 2009

Environmental activist Ruth Kees dies

May 7, 2009

NEW — 3:05 p.m. May 7, 2009

Longtime environmental activist Ruth Kees died this morning. She was 84.

Kees was a longtime local advocate for preservation of open space and environmental protection. The city created the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community in her honor. The award recognizes others if they have “demonstrated outstanding commitment to protecting and preserving Issaquah’s natural resources for a sustainable community.”

Issaquah Alps Trails Club co-founder Harvey Manning was honored posthumously with the award Monday night. Kees did not attend the ceremony.

City Councilman David Kappler said Kees was an amazing person.

“All her work was with so much life and energy to make Issaquah a better place,” said Kappler, who had known Kees since the mid-1970s through his work with the trails club.

By Greg Farrar

Ruth Kees in 2004 with her formidable Rolodex at her Tiger Mountain home. By Greg Farrar

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Bring your crayons to two Issaquah locations for Seattle Children’s fundraiser Saturday

May 6, 2009

NEW — 7 p.m. May 6, 2009

The Project Crayon Drive collection for Seattle Children’s, sponsored by Cascade Team Real Estate based in Issaquah, will have drop off locations from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. May 9, at Caffé Ladro in the Issaquah Highlands and the QFC in Klahanie.

The hospital distributes more than 240,000 crayons each year, spending more than $12,000, yet each patient only receives two crayons due to limited supply.

Cascade is on track to deliver more than 24,000 crayons to Children’s, 10 percent of the annual need. The public is invited to donate crayons (nontoxic Crayola brand only) during the drive.

Diego Vitelli, real estate agent Mateo Vitelli, Keenan Porter and agent Brad Young (from left) were at a recent collection site. — By Cary Porter

Diego Vitelli, real estate agent Mateo Vitelli, Keenan Porter and agent Brad Young (from left) were at a recent collection site. — By Cary Porter

Highlands grocery store deal off

May 5, 2009

NEW — 10:15 p.m. May 5, 2009

A Central Market grocery store will not open in the Issaquah Highlands, city officials and a project developer said tonight. Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities planned to open a 50,000 square foot store in mid-2010.

Highlands residents have long lamented the lack of a grocery store in the hillside community. Port Blakely is negotiating with other grocery chains to occupy the site, said Kathy Burnaman, Port Blakely’s vice president of project development.

Blame a tough economy for the delay. The downturn has slowed other long-planned retail offerings in the highlands. Burnaman said talks with other grocers are ongoing.

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City to cut costs by $1.6 million

May 5, 2009

City of Issaquah officials will slash spending by $1.6 million as they work to patch a $1.5 million budget gap. Officials will defer buying some equipment and supplies, delay filling vacant positions and enact other measures to save money. City Finance Director Jim Blake said the city can avoid tapping into rainy day reserves to cover costs.

Blake presented the forecast at the April 28 Committee-of-the-Whole Council meeting. In February, City Council members asked for quarterly updates on city finances.

A construction slowdown and sluggish spending has contributed to the shortfall, said Blake. Key sources of dollars for the city — building permits and sales tax revenue — have dropped.

“Most of the revenues are doing very fine, coming up with meeting the budget or exceeding it,” Blake said. “The side we have to watch, again, is the permits side. The sales tax primarily is based on the sales tax on the construction side. It’s more or less all attributable to the permits coming in.”

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Harvey Manning honored posthumously

May 5, 2009

Harvey Manning

Harvey Manning

Harvey Manning — the late conservationist who coined the term “Issaquah Alps” to describe the peaks surrounding the city — was honored May 4 with a top city environmental award. Manning also helped to establish the Issaquah Alps Trails Club and lobbied officials to preserve Cougar Mountain.

City officials honored his work with the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community, which honors those who take steps to protect natural resources. Officials and trails club members said Manning was a tireless advocate for protecting forests and open space.

His relatives and trails club members were set to accept the award from city officials. Manning died at 81 in November 2006.

In addition to his conservation efforts, Manning was a prolific writer. He wrote several books and guides about hiking trails throughout Washington and the Northwest. Manning is noted for creating the “100 Hikes” series of guidebooks to trails in the Cascades, Olympics and other natural areas. The standard textbook for climbing — “Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills” — also bears his imprint. Manning helped edit the first edition of the book. Read more

City, schools prepared for swine flu

May 5, 2009

After several probable cases of swine flu were identified in King County, city and Issaquah School District officials said they were prepared if an outbreak occurs here. Officials took steps to reassure the public as the number of cases rose and officials elsewhere closed schools as a precautionary measure. Read more

Commuter traffic delays ahead

May 5, 2009

Interstate 90 lane closures begin

Transportation officials advised commuters to pack their patience during a busy construction season that includes two shutdowns on the Interstate 90 floating bridge. Read more

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