Plan to resurface city streets hinges on grant money

February 20, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 20, 2010

City planners took the first step earlier this month toward repairs for sections of Front Street North and Northwest Sammamish Road.

City Public Works Operations crews plan to grind two to three inches of pavement from the streets and replace the surface with new asphalt. Money for the project hinges on a grant. If the city receives funding, construction could begin by summer.

Crews plan to resurface Front Street North from Sunset Way to Gilman Boulevard and Northwest Sammamish Road from the Lake Sammamish State Park to the western city limits. The project would not increase capacity for the streets.

Planners approved a shoreline exemption permit for the project Feb. 5. The project requires the permit because work will take place near the East Fork of Issaquah Creek, Lake Sammamish and other wetlands. Because the project repairs and maintains existing roadways, the work is exempt from State Environmental Policy Act review.

Thai Ginger owner sentenced for immigration scheme

February 19, 2010

NEW — 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19, 2010

A judge sentenced the owner of the Thai Ginger restaurant chain, Issaquah resident Varee Bradford, to six months in prison Friday for her role in what authorities described as a long-running immigration scam.

Bradford, 44, recruited U.S. citizens to enter sham marriages with Thai citizens in order for the immigrants to obtain legal status to stay in the United States. She pleaded guilty last October to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and three counts of fraud relating to immigration documents. Agents arrested Bradford for the immigration scheme last June at her Issaquah home.

“You used your money and position to circumvent the law,” U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told Bradford during the sentencing hearing. “This mocks the efforts of immigrants who work hard and wait years to obtain citizenship.”

Thai Ginger operates restaurants in Klahanie, Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle.

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Issaquah Police officer selected for FBI training

February 19, 2010

NEW — 2:55 p.m. Feb. 19, 2010

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum will attend prestigious FBI National Academy training, the department announced Friday.

The academy — a program taught at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. — trains U.S. and international law enforcement officers about how to improve the management of police departments and agencies, and raise law enforcement standards, knowledge and cooperation worldwide. Behrbaum will attend the 241st session of the academy this spring.

“It is an honor to be selected and to be able to go,” he said.

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Eastlake shocks Issaquah in 4A KingCo tournament

February 19, 2010

NEW — 11:24 a.m. Feb. 18, 2010

Kendra Morrison and Alyssa Charlston combined for 41 points Feb. 17 as Eastlake High School  upset Issaquah 60-57 in the first round of 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball tournament.

Eastlake advances to the tournament semifinals and plays Garfield at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Juanita High School. Issaquah plays Roosevelt at 3 p.m. Feb. 20 in a loser-out game at Juanita.

Issaquah had defeated Eastlake twice this season, 68-61 and 51-45. This time, Eastlake came from behind in the final quarter to outscore the Eagles 15-11 to win.

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24 Hour Fitness opens Issaquah health club

February 19, 2010

NEW — 8:15 a.m. Feb. 19, 2010

The new 24 Hour Fitness in Overlake Center opened Friday.

The health club is the first 24 Hour Fitness in Issaquah. The 46,638-square-foot facility features a full-size basketball court, indoor lap pool and a personal training area. Find free seven-day passes to the club here.

David Watson, a six-year veteran of 24 Hour Fitness, manages the club. Find the facility at 5712 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., 200. About 75 people work there.

The facility also features a pro-shop, sauna, whirlpool and Kids’ Club, where children ages 6 months to 12 years can participate in activities while their parents work out.

Personal trainers are also on hand to help members achieve their fitness goals.

City Council OKs agreements to build I-90 trail connector

February 19, 2010

NEW — 7:55 a.m. Feb. 19, 2010

A pedestrian connector designed to bridge Interstate 90 will move ahead, after City Council members approved important agreements for the project Tuesday.

The project aims to complete a trail about 1,600 feet long, between the end of the state Route 900 boardwalk at the eastbound I-90 off-ramp on the south side of the interstate, and the Sammamish Trail on the north.

Transportation officials said the project should improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists along SR 900. Critics encouraged planners to build the crossing at another location, to no avail.

The agreement between Issaquah and the state Department of Transportation shifts the requirement for maintenance of the connector from the agency to the city. The pact also allows the city to use some of the state right-of-way for the link.

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Who’s News

February 18, 2010

Donna Shirey appointed chair of NAHB Remodelers

Donna Shirey, president of Shirey Contracting in Issaquah, was appointed the 2010 chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers last month during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Read more

NEW — Wednesday sports update

February 17, 2010

NEW — 10:40 a.m. Feb. 17, 2010

Spartans cruise in tourney opener

The Skyline High School Spartans shot to a 10-point first quarter lead Feb. 16 and cruised past the visiting Ballard Beavers 59-36 in the first round of the 4A KingCo Conference boys basketball tournament.

Skyline, 18-3 on the season, plays Woodinville at 8:15 p.m. Feb. 19 in the semifinals at Juanita High School. The Spartans, who are the top seeded team in the tournament, blew out Ballard 18-8 in the first quarter and held a commanding 33-20 lead at halftime.

Miles Edwards led Skyline with 15 points and Cory Hutsen added 13.

In other tournament action, Ziad Aziz hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left in overtime to left Woodinville to a 56-53 victory against Eastlake. Conner Iraola topped Eastlake with 14 points.

Garfield, paced by Glenn Brooks’ 21 points, defeated Inglemoor 73-54, and Lake Washington topped Bothell 57-53. Garfield and Lake Washington meet in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Juanita.

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King County Council supports measure to deny bail to ‘third strike’ offenders

February 17, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 17, 2010

King County Council members offered support Tuesday to a measure designed to deny bail to felons arrested on a potential “third strike” offense — like the man who killed four Lakewood Police officers last November.

County Councilman Reagan Dunn — who represents unincorporated King County south of Issaquah, as well as Newcastle, Renton and Bellevue — sponsored the motion. The gesture offered support of a measure under consideration by state lawmakers.

“The King County Council today sent a message to Olympia — we don’t want to see any more cops killed,” Dunn said in a statement. “Criminals facing the possibility of life in prison are a flight risk and are dangerous to the community. They should stay incarcerated until the courts have a chance determine guilt or innocence.”

Since October, six law enforcement officers in the region have been shot and killed. Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed the Lakewood officers inside a Pierce County coffee shop, faced a life sentence under the state three-strikes law when the incident occurred.

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Retail giants plan Issaquah stores

February 16, 2010

Sports Authority, Best Buy coming soon

Sports Authority will open a store in the Northwest Gilman Boulevard space last occupied by Joe’s — the defunct sporting goods chain — by late spring.

Meanwhile, Best Buy plans to open a store in the former Pacific Fabrics space along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

Best Buy — headquartered in Richfield, Minn. — plans to open the Issaquah store in the fall or early next year, company spokeswoman Jill Nezworski said. City Senior Planner Jerry Lind said city officials continue to work alongside Best Buy to resolve signage issues before the electronics retailer opens a store there.

Sports Authority — based in Englewood, Colo. — operates several stores in the Puget Sound region, with the Crossroads Mall store in Bellevue as the closest outpost to Issaquah.

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