Chamber names new CEO

February 12, 2009

NEW — 1:22 p.m. Feb. 12, 2009

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce has hired Matthew Bott as its chief executive officer. He starts Feb. 23.

Bott brings a great deal of prior experience selling membership, which will be critical, according to a press release.

“Increasing Issaquah Chamber membership is very important and we are excited about having Matt take this chamber to the next level,” Chamber Board Chairman Bob Ittes said in the release.

Matthew Bott

Matthew Bott


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Issaquah faces Eastlake / Feb. 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

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Dispose of unneeded medication at police department

February 11, 2009

NEW — 9 a.m. Feb. 11, 2008

The Issaquah Police Department is launching a new medicine disposal program aimed at not only preventing the improper use of medications , but also helping to protect the environment.

“It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said in a press release sent out this morning. “Saving unused or expired medications can lead to improper and illegal use, which has become increasingly common among teens and adults. In turn, when you have finished your course of treatment or stopped using a medication, it’s best to dispose of it.”

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Fundraising begins to renovate historic theater

February 9, 2009

$2.8 million needed for reconstruction

Robb Hunt, executive producer of Village Theatre, gestures around the old First Stage Theatre building while describing some of its aging problems, at a capital campaign fundraising kickoff event. By Greg Farrar

Robb Hunt, executive producer of Village Theatre, gestures around the old First Stage Theatre building while describing some of its aging problems, at a capital campaign fundraising kickoff event. By Greg Farrar

Village Theatre officials kicked off the public phase of fundraising last week to reconstruct the First Stage Theatre and they’re asking people to donate $1,000 for a named seat in the new venue.

First Stage, Issaquah’s original theater, is home to children’s programs, new plays and workshops.

Plans were to remodel the 95-year-old building at 120 Front St. N. but after officials learned the building had no foundation and the walls have been sinking, they had to change plans.

“Expectations when coming in this building to see a show are not very high,” Robb Hunt, executive director of Village Theatre, said to laughter from the audience at a fundraising kickoff Feb. 5. Read more

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Home for his sweetie

February 9, 2009




Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Schmidt, happy to be home from Iraq, adjusts the shawl for his daughter Rachel, 8, at their first Father-Daughter Valentine Dance, sponsored by the Parks & Recreation department Feb. 7 at the community center. By Greg Farrar

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Mayor to be honored

February 9, 2009

Ava Frisinger

Ava Frisinger

The Municipal League of King County has named Mayor Ava Frisinger Public Official of the Year.

The award is given to a public official or department head who in addition to routine service, has brought to the office outstanding innovations or contributions.

“It’s good to see Issaquah recognized regionally and I’m very happy for that,” Frisinger said.

She is the first individual from Issaquah to receive a Municipal League Civic Awards honor since the awards’ inception in 1960. In 2002, Chevrolet of Issaquah won business of the year honors. In 2007, then-State Rep. Fred Jarrett was named Public Official of the Year. Jarrett represents the 41st District that includes a portion of Issaquah. Read more

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City Council divided over land sale

February 9, 2009


After City Council members’ votes ended in a tie, Mayor Ava Frisinger used her vote to approve a motion authorizing city officials to enter into negotiations to sell part of the Zetec property.

The Zetec property, at 6401 224th Ave. S.E., is behind the city’s post office but on the other side of Interstate 90. City officials purchased it from Clyde Denton for about $2 million in 2005, said Bob Brock, city Public Works director.

The property was purchased by the city to secure the right of way to complete a new bridge as part of the I-90 Undercrossing project.

However, after securing what they need for the right of way, city officials are beginning negotiations to sell the remaining building and property for redevelopment.

“This has been a high priority for us and I believe authorizing the purchase and sale agreement for this moves us closer to achieving a number of important Issaquah priorities,” Councilman Fred Butler said.

Butler and council members Eileen Barber and Joshua Schaer voted to approve the motion, while John Rittenhouse, Maureen McCarry and David Kappler voted it down. Councilman John Traeger was absent from a Feb. 2 executive session.

“Certainly, after our discussion, I understand the rationale behind the decision either way. But personally, I don’t feel I can support it, because I don’t feel there is enough benefit to outweigh the conditions of the sale agreement,” Rittenhouse said after the closed-door session.

The mayor’s vote approved negotiations.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-434, ext. 241, or Comment on this story at

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Illegal bridge work threatens salmon

February 9, 2009

A concerned neighbor took this photo of illegal construction being done in Lewis Creek on Jan. 24. Contributed

A concerned neighbor took this photo of illegal construction being done in Lewis Creek on Jan. 24. Contributed

Illegal construction in Lewis Creek on Jan. 24 may have jeopardized fragile kokanee salmon eggs and fry in the stream.

The construction was done at 18448 S.E. 43rd St., where nearby residents were attempting to shore up a private bridge over the creek that provides access to their homes.

Police stopped the work and city code enforcement officials are investigating how the bridge can be worked on, how the work that has been done can be mitigated and what can be done to protect the stream, said Autumn Monahan, city public information officer.

“This is a very serious issue,” she said.

A downstream neighbor found the illegal construction. Richard asked that his last name not be published because he didn’t want to be confronted by other community members.

He said he heard a lot of noise Jan. 24 and when he looked down at the creek, he noticed a lot of sediment washing down the creek.

“I couldn’t see what was going on, because there was a large clump of trees in the way,” he said. “When I walked up there, I saw a gigantic backhoe and two large dump trucks dumping boulders into the creek.”

He said there appeared to be no sediment control measures for the construction.

The first thought he said he had was for the kokanee salmon, which use the creek to spawn.

The kokanee are a species city officials have requested be put on the endangered list, Monahan said.

“I’ve participated, in the past, with King County to count the kokanee and I know that they are endangered,” Richard said. “What few eggs were left are now probably gone.”

He said he asked the neighbors what they were doing, since most work in the creek is usually done in August or September, when it has the least impact on the salmon.

He said the people he talked to were concerned that there may be a structural problem with the bridge.

“I told them that was fine,” he said, adding he is not a civil engineer, but the bridge didn’t appear to him to be in imminent danger. “But if there is a structural problem with the bridge, they need to do it the right way, a way that doesn’t hurt the kokanee or other Lewis Creek fish.”

When the neighbors didn’t appear to listen to him or stop the work, he said he called the police since it was a Saturday.

When police arrived, the residents had no permits granted or on site for the work, Monahan said.

The case has been forwarded Michele Forkner, the city’s code enforcement officer, for review with regard to the city’s critical areas ordinance and its clearing and grading codes.

The case is still under review and no citations have been issued.

“Our main goal now is to work with the homeowner to make sure the bridge is properly improved, but we also want to make sure the creek is protected,” Monahan said. “Lewis Creek is one of the remaining kokanee spawning beds for Lake Sammamish.”

Although this type of incident doesn’t happen very often, she said, work without the proper permits or research can have a wide range of effects on the city’s salmon bearing creeks. Among those are destruction of fertile salmon beds and loss of habitat.

“Any work that involves the city’s waterways, the citizen needs to call the city’s Public Works office early,” Monahan said. “Before they hire a contractor or design their project, they should know what permits they need from the city, and also with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, at the state level.

“We’re here to work with residents to make sure their work is properly mitigated and properly done in the creeks,” she added.

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

Know the law

Call the city’s Public Works Department at 837-3400 to know what permits you might need before beginning your next project.   Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment on this story at

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Way of the wheel

February 9, 2009


Steve Pelikan, a technical analyst and writer from Issaquah, stands beside “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak. Pelikan is a contestant on the episode that will air Feb. 16 on KOMO-TV, channel 4. Contributed

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City Council unanimously approves plans for Issaquah High School

February 9, 2009

The Issaquah City Council has unanimously approved the master site plan and site development permit for Issaquah High School. Read more

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