2010 Summer Freetime

June 2, 2010

Open publication – Free publishingMore summer

Help break the world record for largest swim lesson Thursday

June 2, 2010

NEW — 9 a.m. June 2, 2010

Just in time for summer, Julius Boehm Pool is looking to break a world record Thursday morning — and you can help.

The pool’s swim instructors, lifeguards and managers will try to break the world record for the world’s largest swim lesson.

In a town renowned for its swimming community — thanks to pool namesake Julius Boehm, a candy maker, Olympic swimmer and community swim instructor — it’s only appropriate for Issaquah to shatter the record.

If you’d like to participate, check in at the pool’s office at 6:45 a.m. The lesson will last from 7-7:45 a.m. The pool is located at 50 S.E. Clark St.

Don’t forget your swimsuit and towel, and be prepared to get wet.

King County steps up enforcement of dog rules in parks

June 2, 2010

NEW — 7:30 a.m. June 2, 2010

King County Animal Care and Control officers have started emphasis patrols at King County Parks to enforce rules related to unlicensed, aggressive and unleashed dogs.

County rules pets are required to be leashed and under control at all times. The code also requires owners to clean up after pets.

The increased patrols came in response to numerous complaints from park users over the past year about aggressive and uncontrolled dogs in county parks.

Read more

Spartan boys take second at state

June 1, 2010

Kasen Williams, Skyline junior, flings himself out of the sand pit after his final leap in the final round of the long jump. His longest distance of 24 feet, 1.25 inches came in second place. Williams won the triple jump and finished second in the high jump. By Greg Farrar

Junior Kasen Williams paces Skyline with two seconds, one first

Skyline High School junior Kasen Williams is still chasing the 50-foot mark in the triple jump. However, he has plenty to be happy about after taking a first-place and two second-place medals home from the 2010 state 4A track-and-field meet. Read more

Highlands developer hires consultant for commercial growth

June 1, 2010

Grocery store delayed again

Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities has hired a Seattle real-estate consultant to help jumpstart commercial development in the hillside community.

Heartland, the consultant, will help guide Port Blakely in the tough economy, and help the developer in the hunt for a partner to develop a planned town center of businesses and residences along Highlands Drive Northeast.

“Port Blakely hired Heartland to help give them some new strategic direction,” John Shaw, a director at Heartland, told City Council members last week.

Read more

City makes Route 200 bus service a priority

June 1, 2010

Expanded bus service to the Issaquah Highlands and Talus will be a priority when the City Council finalizes the budget for next year.

City leaders last week reaffirmed a plan to expand King County Metro Transit Route 200 to the urban villages.

The city, highlands developer Port Blakely Communities, the Talus Residential Association and the Timber Ridge at Talus retirement community joined to fund the Route 200 service. But budget cuts last year prompted the city to delay the planned expansion until 2011 in order to save money in the short term.

The agreement calls for the city to contribute about $235,000 per year for Route 200 service.

The earlier plan called for the line to expand to the highlands and Talus in September 2010. The council approved the expansion in December 2008.

Until then, buses circulate along Route 200 through downtown Issaquah and on to North Issaquah, where buses stop at the Pickering Place and East Lake Center retail complexes.

Council Transportation Committee members endorsed a measure May 27 to treat the expansion as a high budget priority for 2011. City department chiefs will begin drafting the budget soon, and Mayor Ava Frisinger will present the proposal to the council by mid-October. Then, the council launches into weeks of deliberations to tailor the final budget before approval in late December.

Transportation Committee members also requested for Metro to incorporate the Swedish Medical Center campus under construction in the highlands into Route 200.

The city, Port Blakely and Timber Ridge requested the expansion be delayed until 2011, but Talus residents called for the expansion to proceed.

“As there is a current transportation need within the Talus community that will continue to grow, the association desires service to commence as soon as possible,” Terrie Stedman, Talus Residential Association president, wrote in a May 4 letter to Metro.

Men accused of beating reported rapist are released

June 1, 2010

King County prosecutors did not file charges against two men suspected in the revenge beating of a reported rapist and instead released them from jail last week. Meanwhile, Issaquah police continue to investigate the May 23 incident.

Police said the men beat the suspect — a 31-year-old Kirkland man — with a brick and a rubber mallet after acquaintances said he raped a Bellevue woman at a residence in the 400 block of Northeast Birch Street.

Officers later recovered the broken, bloodstained mallet outside the house but could not locate the brick, court documents state.

Meanwhile, the reported rapist remained in serious condition — and in a coma for at least part of last week — at the Harborview Medical Center intensive-care unit. Police had been unable to interview the man due to the extent of his injures.

Charges against the rape suspect also remained pending until he recovered enough to be interviewed by investigators.

Police said the incident occurred after a night at a downtown Issaquah bar.

Officers responded to a rape report at a downtown Issaquah residence at about 2 a.m. May 23. Police discovered the Kirkland man, unconscious and bleeding, on the living room floor. The man had suffered a large laceration to the head and facial injuries, court documents state. Eastside Fire & Rescue medics said bones in his face might have been fractured as well. Medics transported him to Harborview for treatment.

Officers arrested the assault suspects — a 31-year-old Bellevue man and a 30-year-old Issaquah man — for the beating. Police said the Bellevue man is the husband of the woman who reported the rape. Read more

County outlines plan for Lake Sammamish Trail

June 1, 2010

The plan to upgrade a King County trail snaking along Lake Sammamish from Issaquah to Redmond inched forward last week, as the county released a key environmental report for the project.

The county released the environmental impact statement May 28. The report details the effect trail development could have on water quality, nearby wetlands, fish and wildlife, and adjacent properties.

Residents can review the document at the Issaquah and Sammamish libraries. The final document will be available for 30 days.

East Lake Sammamish Trail stretches from Northwest Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah and north to Redmond. Issaquah and Redmond sections of the interim trail opened in March 2004. The interim portion through Sammamish opened in 2006. The trail meanders through a former railroad corridor along the east side of the lake.

Plans call for the county to replace the existing gravel trail with asphalt and a separated soft-surface strip for pedestrians and equestrians. Rules prohibit equestrians from using the existing trail.

Design for the Issaquah segment should be completed by October. Construction on the Redmond portion should start in late November or early December.

The upgrade should complete a missing link in a 44-mile urban regional trail corridor connected to the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail and the Issaquah High Point Trail.

Planners released a draft environmental report in late 2006. The design team then addressed questions and comments from trail users and county residents in the final environmental report.

The county prepared the final report in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and the state Department of Transportation in order to meet federal and state environmental requirements.

Get involved

King County planners released the final environmental impact statement for a planned redevelopment of East Lake Sammamish Trail. Read the report at the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, or the Sammamish Library, 825 228th Ave. N.E.

City picks architect for downtown parks

June 1, 2010

The landscape architect behind Warren G. Magnuson and Cal Anderson parks in Seattle has been picked to design a trio of downtown parks along Issaquah Creek.

The selection kicks off the monthslong public process to plan the park complex. The Berger Partnership, a Seattle firm, and the city Parks & Recreation Department will seek input from residents about the features people want for the downtown Issaquah parks.

The architect will spearhead the overarching design, or master site plan, for three contiguous properties spread across 15.5 acres: Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase. Issaquah voters approved money for development of the confluence-area parks in a 2006 bond.

Issaquah Parks & Recreation officials announced the selection of The Berger Partnership on May 24.

Preservation rules and the parks’ creekside geography will limit development to trails, picnic areas and other passive recreation uses.

City Parks Planner Margaret Macleod said the parks department had not picked a date for the first meeting of residents, parks staffers and the architect. Macleod said she expects the department to start asking for public input within the next few months.

“The public process is going to be a huge part of the master site plan process,” she added.

The park complex should be completed early in the next decade, though the final timeline hinges on available grants and city dollars.

Guy Michaelsen, principal at The Berger Group and the landscape architect, led the transformation of old runways and taxiways at Magnuson Park — 315 acres of a former military base along Lake Washington — into manmade wetlands and sports fields. The architect trekked through the Issaquah parks several times after he decided to submit a proposal for the project.

“You can design something with an aerial photograph and a survey, but there’s something to be said for the feel of the place,” he said.

Michaelsen said the Issaquah Creek-side parks should “enhance ecology, improve the environment and invite people in.”

The city received 16 responses from landscape architects, and the selection committee culled the list to three finalists. The Berger Partnership and the other finalists prepared a conceptual design for the parks.

The other finalists: San Francisco landscape architecture firm Bionic and Nakano Associates, the Seattle firm behind the 1995 rebuild of the International Fountain near the Space Needle.

The Berger Partnership transformed decaying Lincoln Park into Cal Anderson Park early last decade. The design added a lid to the Lincoln Reservoir on the site, capped by sports fields and a landmark fountain.

Officials in neighboring Sammamish also enlisted the firm to design Sammamish Landing Park. Read more

State finds no problems in King Conservation District audit

June 1, 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.

Formed in 1949, the district promotes sustainable uses of natural resources and responsible land stewardship across most of King County, except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish.

Issaquah and other King County cities receive grants from the conservation district for projects as diverse as gardening classes at Pickering Barn and habitat restoration in city parks.

A five-member board of supervisors — with three members elected by district residents and two members appointed by the Conservation Commission — oversees the district and a roughly $1 million annual budget. The district employs 14 full-time workers.

Landowners fund the district through a $10 per-parcel assessment fee. The state Conservation Commission — as well as state, federal and local grants — provides money for the district. The agency receives no ongoing operating budget from the Legislature

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