Leon Kos will retire from city after 33 years

April 27, 2010

City administrator leaves behind a bigger, stronger Issaquah

Leon Kos

The past three decades can be attributed to — or blamed on — legendary City Clerk Linda Ruehle.

Issaquah needed a new city administrator in early 1977. Leon Kos, a recent Seattle transplant from California, applied for the job.

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Issaquah benefactor Julia Pritt dies

April 27, 2010

The philanthropist who donated land for a planned downtown park and housing for the homeless has died.

Julia Pritt, 77, died April 3 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The philanthropist amassed a fortune when she and then-husband Frank Pritt launched a software company, Attachmate Corp. Julia Pritt led accounting and human resources for the company.

The retired software executive left a diverse legacy in downtown Issaquah. Her donations laid the foundation for a much-anticipated park and needed transitional housing units.

The city purchased the Beebe property — today known as Cybil-Madeline Park — in August 1995 with a $500,000 donation from Pritt. City officials have worked for more than a decade to assemble parcels near the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork. Officials refer to the area of planned trails and open space as the “crown jewel” of the municipal park system.

Pritt requested for the parcel to be renamed for her granddaughters, Cybil and Madeline.

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Salmon Days team releases 2010 theme, logo

April 27, 2010

Salmon Days Festival organizers adore puns, and the theme for the 2010 nods to dry land with a bit of wordplay: “Something up our leaves!”

The team behind the four-decade-old festival unveiled the theme April 23. The wordplay and accompanying logo — rendered in earthy greens and eye-popping reds — will appear on festival signs, artwork and merchandise.

Salmon Days returns for its 41st year Oct. 2-3.

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Newport Way upgrades, trail links on city transportation plan

April 27, 2010

The long-term plan to upgrade Issaquah roads reaches the City Council next week.

Officials plan a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP. The hearing presents residents and landowners with a chance to offer input on the sweeping document. The plan outlines transportation projects though 2016.

Some of the projects slated for completion will be familiar to longtime residents. They include the Interstate 90 Undercrossing and a pedestrian connector to link trails across the interstate and along state Route 900.

The plan also calls for about $213,000 to overhaul Newport Way Northwest from West Sunset Way to Maple Street Northwest. Officials hope to upgrade paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, and to add roundabouts to ease traffic congestion in the corridor.

The plan also includes the partnership between the city and the largest employer in Issaquah to upgrade road access near the Costco corporate headquarters and flagship store. The city and Costco agreed in March to split the $63,736 cost to study possible improvements.

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Veterans special section

April 27, 2010

The Issaquah Press is seeking photos and information about local veterans, both living and deceased, to include in a special section to celebrate and honor them for Memorial Day.

If you or a loved one is or was a veteran and he or she lives or lived in the boundaries of the Issaquah School District, he or she can be included.

The section will have photos and the following information:

  • full name
  • highest rank achieved
  • branch of service
  • where served
  • dates of service
  • whether the veteran was wounded (WIA), missing (MIA), or killed in action (KIA) and details.

Those submitting information should include their name, phone number and/or e-mail address and a mailing address if they want a photo returned.

Photos and info can be submitted by either e-mail to editor@isspress.com, or mailed or brought to The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S., Issaquah, WA 98027. They must be received no later than May 18.

Download the form here:

Veteran’s Memorial (50.1 KB)

More space needed at city’s cemetery

April 27, 2010

City Council members will consider a plan next week to accommodate additional cremated remains at the city-run cemetery.

The decision could address the dual issues of increased demand and limited space at the cemetery. The plan headed to the council May 3 recommends spending about $25,000 to install additional columbaria — niches to store cinerary urns — and benches at Issaquah Hillside Cemetery.

Residents with opinions about the cemetery plan can address the council during the public comment portion of the 7:30 p.m. meeting. Members meet in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Officials proposed a pair of granite columbaria and four benches for the lower section of Hillside Cemetery. Plans call for a columbarium to be added in the veterans’ area, and for the second columbarium to be installed near another, existing columbarium.

The city Cemetery Board suggested a bid from Pacific Coast Memorials, a tombstone company based in Everett and the lowest bidder. Council Services & Safety Committee members reviewed the proposal April 21, and recommended the item to the full council.

The cemetery sits perched above Newport Way Northwest on a Squak Mountain slope between West Sunset Way and Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest.

Habitat for Humanity hosts Women Build event

April 27, 2010

Habitat for Humanity of East King County will hold a volunteer event for women who want to learn construction skills and contribute by building houses.

The event, Women Build, will be held at Habitat construction sites in the Issaquah Highlands and Snoqualmie Ridge.

Teams will gather at the highlands site, 2500 N.E. Magnolia St., May 5-6. Registration opens at 8:45 a.m. Teams will break for lunch at noon, and cleanup starts at 4 p.m.

In Snoqualmie, volunteers will meet at 36912 S.E. Gravenstein Court on May 7-8. Workers will follow the same schedule at the Snoqualmie site.

Nationwide, Women Build projects helped construct more than 1,650 houses. Register before the events here.

Habitat representatives and families joined city officials last June to break ground for the new highlands development. The project should be completed within the next several months. The initial phase includes five duplexes that will be available to house 10 families. Teams will complete another phase of the development by 2012.

Veterans’ families need to decide on grave markers

April 27, 2010

Once again this year, the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars plans to continue its two-decade tradition of placing flags and crosses at this year’s Memorial Day service at Hillside Cemetery.

And once again, members need input from the families of veterans buried there to get the job done.

This year’s Memorial Day ceremony is at 10 a.m. May 31 at the cemetery.

In 2008, a resident complained about the placement of crosses at the gravesites. The VFW and Flintoft’s Funeral Home now ask families of veterans buried at the cemetery to sign a form authorizing the placement of various symbols, including a flag, cross, Star of David or other symbols that a family recommends at the gravesite. Families can choose more than one symbol or none.

Some family members may not want their veteran’s grave marked with a cross and it’s possible that a U.S. flag may not be appropriate for some graves, too, he said.

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Give to Issaquah Schools Foundation at annual luncheon

April 27, 2010

The Issaquah Schools Foundation is hosting its 12th annual Nourish Every Mind Luncheon from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 13 at the Issaquah Community Center.

The luncheon benefits the Issaquah School District, its students and schools by providing crucial funding for after-school programs, classroom grants, teacher scholarships to pursue National Board Certification, funding for textbooks (such as a financial literacy program for eighth-graders), high school and middle school robotics teams, and many other programs.

This year, foundation officials are hoping to raise more than $150,000 to help fulfill their pledge to help update the high school chemistry curriculum, as well as provide money to help purchase an elementary school science curriculum in 2011-12.

This year’s Golden Apple sponsors are Swedish Medical Center of Issaquah and Microsoft. Jointly, the companies are underwriting the luncheon’s expenses.

Local celebrity and comedian Pat Cashman returns to host the event as master of ceremonies and will help honor the foundation’s Academic Enrichment Grant recipients.

Seats are still available. A minimum donation of $150 is requested. Reserve your seat by calling 416-2045. Learn more here.

City Council OKs trash pickup contract

April 27, 2010

Greenwood Point and South Cove residents will soon pay a few cents more — less than $1 in most cases — for trash-collection service.

City Council members OK’d a contract with garbage hauler Allied Waste last week. The deal allows for reductions in garbage-cart rental fees, additional options for yard-waste service, curbside electronics recycling and universal garbage carts, or standardized carts meant to make trash pickup more efficient.

“This is a pretty good deal to get the contract renewed with Allied Waste, and I think for the residents in the area that this is going to affect, it’s definitely a good bargain,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said April 19, before the unanimous decision.

The contract takes effect May 1, and runs through February 2016.

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