State finds no problems in King Conservation District audit

May 22, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. May 22, 2010

Auditors determined the King Conservation District followed proper procedures to safeguard public dollars and assets, a state audit released May 1 shows.

The audit examined accountability through items related to open public meetings and conflicts of interest — areas with the highest risk of noncompliance, misappropriation or misuse. The state team found no problems, and said the district complied with laws and regulations, as well as procedures established by district officials for 2008, the period examined during the audit.

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‘Deadliest Catch’ captain appears at Costco on Saturday

May 21, 2010

NEW — 11:28 a.m. May 21, 2010

Sig Hansen, the combative captain from “Deadliest Catch,” will sign copies of his autobiography at the Issaquah Costco on Saturday.

Hansen will appear at the flagship Costco to promote “North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters.”

The appearance starts at noon at the warehouse, 1801 10th Ave. N.W. Call the warehouse at 313-0965 for additional information.

In the book, Hansen recalls the Ballard of his childhood — then a Scandinavian enclave — growing up in Shoreline and finding success as a star on “Deadliest Catch,” the Discovery Channel hit populated with Bering Sea crab fishermen.

“Deadliest Catch” returned for a sixth season last month.

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Liberty High School’s Peter Stacy wins district javelin title

May 20, 2010

NEW — 11:25 a.m. May 20, 2010

Liberty High School’s Peter Stacy captured the boys javelin title Wednesday at the 3A Sea-King District Track and Field Championships at the Southwest Complex.

Stacy finished first with a throw of 179 feet, 5 inches.

Liberty’s Devin Bennett placed second in the boys triple jump and Eric Bice was third in the 1,600.

In the girls’ competition, Emily Pest-Dimmitt was fourth in the high jump.

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Issaquah Police officers will be recognized for anti-DUI effort

May 20, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. May 20, 2010

Issaquah Police officers will be honored June 1 for stepping up patrols to spot intoxicated drivers.

The officers — Andy Rohrbach, Ryan Raulerson, Brian Horn and Tom Griffith — will be recognized alongside other officers, deputies and troopers assigned to the enhanced DUI patrols, known as X-52 patrols.

Rohrbach coordinates the DUI patrol emphasis for the Issaquah Police Department.

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Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill makes Issaquah court appearance

May 19, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. May 19, 2010

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill (left) and his attorney appear in Issaquah Municipal Court. By Greg Farrar

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill appeared in Issaquah Municipal Court on Tuesday morning for a charge related to a domestic violence incident.

Hill faces a misdemeanor assault charge related to the April 10 incident. During a brief appearance, the court scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for June 11.

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Raising the bar: U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan hails from Issaquah

May 18, 2010

Jenny Durkan, U.S. attorney for Western Washington, talks in her office at the federal courthouse in downtown Seattle about her role as the top federal prosecutor in the region. By Greg Farrar

The future U.S. attorney for Western Washington — the top federal prosecutor in the region — had a singular goal as a girl growing up in then-rural Issaquah.

“I always wanted to be a lawyer, from the time I was very, very young — grade school,” Jenny Durkan recalled. “When I was in grade school, my sister and I always used to talk about how we wanted to be lawyers, and I imagined being kind of a storefront-type lawyer.”

President Obama instead picked the daughter of influential state Sen. Martin Durkan for U.S. attorney last May.

Martin and Lorraine “Lolly” Durkan raised eight children near Lake Sammamish. Jenny Durkan stood out as the first girl to become a Sunset Elementary School safety patrol member.

Nationwide, 93 U.S. attorneys prosecute federal crimes and represent the federal government in their districts. Durkan works from a fifth-floor office at the postmodern courthouse in downtown Seattle.

“As my mother said when I graduated from law school, ‘Finally, someone is going to pay you to argue,’” she recalled. “I think I had a natural affinity for debate.”

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Issaquah eyed as a regional growth center

May 18, 2010

Designation could attract funds for mass transit

Leaders hope to attract dollars for transportation and mass transit to Issaquah by pitching a slice of the city as a regional hub for residences and jobs.

The effort will focus on the 915-acre commercial area spread along Interstate 90 and state Route 900. Planners hope the process will dovetail with the Central Issaquah Plan, a yearlong effort to chart redevelopment in the commercial core.

The long-term growth blueprint for the Puget Sound region calls for areas designated as regional growth centers. The designation helps officials plan regional transportation infrastructure and determine the best sites for economic development. The centers also receive higher priority for state and federal funding in order to connect the regional hubs.

The initial step calls for city planners to determine if Issaquah meets the growth center criteria laid out by the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The agency distributes about $160 million per year in federal funding for transportation projects.

City Planning Director Mark Hinthorne said the Central Issaquah Plan effort fits well with the growth center designation. The task force drafting the plan should deliver a report to city leaders by September.

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School supporters donate $406,000

May 18, 2010

More than 770 people attended the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s Nourish Every Mind Luncheon May 13.

In some cases, luncheon goers donated up to $5,000 to set a new estimated fundraising record of $406,000, said ISF Executive Director Robin Callahan.

“This luncheon is an event the entire community can take pride in, because it is a culmination of the combined efforts of hundreds of volunteers,” Callahan said.

“Awesome! That is what I have to say about today, in one word, just awesome,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said after lunch. The foundation “really connects our community in a different way to our kids, to our teachers and to our school communities.”

Proceeds benefit Issaquah School District students and schools by providing funding for after school programs, classroom grants, teacher scholarships to pursue National Board Certification, textbooks, the high school and middle school robotics teams, and many other essentials.

Local comedian Pat Cashman donated his time for the seventh year to be master of ceremonies for the luncheon. He tossed out punch lines while honoring many of the district’s most inspirational teachers.

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Cities asked to restrict shoreline development

May 18, 2010

The federal government has called for stricter environmental standards along Lake Sammamish, prompting protests from officials in Issaquah and other cities along the lake.

The standards — outlined in a March e-mail from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — aim to limit development within 250 feet of the Lake Sammamish shoreline. But municipal officials said the proposed change could limit public agencies and homeowners alike from building along the scenic lake. Even road construction — such as widening East Lake Sammamish Parkway, for instance — might be impacted by the proposal.

Under the proposal, landowners within 250 feet of the lake could not increase a building in size by more than 10 percent. The measure also aims to limit property owners from adding more than 10 percent of paved roads or roofing within the buffer.

The e-mail originated at the FEMA office in Bothell.

Citing a 2008 National Marine Fisheries Service report, the FEMA message recommended broad standards to restrict new development within 250 feet of fish-bearing lakes and tributaries within floodplains across the Puget Sound region.

FEMA prepared the proposed regulations in response to the report. The report said the National Flood Insurance Program influences development along lake shorelines and therefore has a direct impact on shoreline habitat.

The report said several species — including salmon and orca varieties, and a steelhead species — could be jeopardized or impacted if officials did not adopt the shoreline standards.

But the report did not include Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon among the species in trouble, although environmentalists and scientists said development along Lake Sammamish and tributary creeks has pushed the fish to the brink of extinction.

Issaquah and Sammamish officials, alarmed at the possible implications for private and civic development along the lake, pushed back against the proposal.

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I-90 to close Thursday night

May 18, 2010

Issaquah- and Seattle-bound drivers should make alternate travel plans when crews close Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue overnight.

From 11 p.m. May 20 until 5 a.m. May 21, state Department of Transportation crews will close eastbound I-90 at Richards Road and detour traffic onto Richards Road, Southeast 36th Street and to 150th Avenue Southeast to return to eastbound I-90. Workers will also close the ramps to eastbound I-90 from north and southbound Interstate 405, Bellevue Way and the 142nd Place Southeast high-occupancy vehicle ramp during the same period.

Plan ahead for additional overnight closures on segments of westbound I-90 between I-405 and Interstate 5 from May 24-27.

During the closures, DOT crews will install overhead electronic signs meant to smooth traffic flow.

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