Candidates file for legislative races

June 15, 2010

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia include some familiar faces and political newcomers.

June 11 marked the deadline to file as a candidate for federal, state, county, city, judicial offices. No city posts will be decided this year.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson announced his re-election campaign late June 10, a week after Democrat Dean Willard kicked off his bid for the seat. Anderson, a Fall City Republican, has held the 5th Legislative District post for a decade.

“In spite of the drastic downturn in the economy, the Legislature and governor ignored the effects on regular people outside of Olympia,” Anderson said in a campaign news release. “We need to get Washington back on track with a ‘live-within-our-means’ budget and no new taxes. We should not be following California down the road to bankruptcy.”

Willard, a Sammamish information technology consultant and a former T-Mobile executive, launched his campaign at Vino Bella in downtown Issaquah on June 3.

The race also includes 2008 Democratic candidate David Spring, although the local party has endorsed Willard.

Incumbent GOP Rep. Jay Rodne will face Sammamish Democrat Greg Hoover, a real estate agent and attorney, for the other 5th Legislative District seat.

King County Council members appointed Rodne, a North Bend attorney, to the seat in 2004 when then-5th District representative Cheryl Pflug became a state senator. Rodne has been elected and re-elected since.

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Beaten man charged with rape

June 15, 2010

The man beaten into a coma after a reported rape at a downtown Issaquah house last month has been charged with rape.

Steven McCanless, a 31-year-old Kirkland resident, faces a second-degree rape charge in King County Superior Court. Prosecutors filed the charge June 10, almost three weeks after Issaquah police discovered McCanless in a pool of blood after two men — including the husband of the 22-year-old Bellevue woman who reported the rape — beat him with a brick and a rubber mallet.

Issaquah officers responded to a reported rape at a residence in the 400 block of Northeast Birch Street at about 2 a.m. May 23. Officers discovered McCanless lying on the floor, beaten and bloody. He spent at least part of the week after the attack in a coma at Harborview Medical Center.

Officers arrested the two men — the husband, a 31-year-old Bellevue man, and a 30-year-old Issaquah man — for the beating. Prosecutors did not file charges against the assault suspects, but could decide to do so in the future.

Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said assault charges hinge on the extent of the injuries McCanless sustained in the attack — or if the injuries turn out to be permanent — and whether the men acted to defend the woman.

Goodhew said investigators continue to gather statements from witnesses to the assault, and prosecutors should decide whether to file charges within the next several weeks.

The incident occurred after the group gathered at a downtown Issaquah bar to celebrate a birthday.

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Greenway Days kicks off summer-long festival

June 15, 2010

Every year, more than 4,000 volunteers help the Mountains to Sound Greenway conserve and educate the public about a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 90.

Greenway Days returns Father’s Day weekend for its seventh year to celebrate their efforts and draw visitors to more than 25 events in 10 communities along the route.

Greenway Days offers many group hikes, bike rides and community celebrations in addition to its signature events: Greenway Geoteaming, a high-tech geocaching competition; and Let’s Go Fishing, a chance for 6- to 15-year-olds to learn the technique of fishing at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.

Issaquah’s Fenders on Front Street car show, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 20, has also become a signature event for Greenway Days. Front Street is literally shut down as hundreds of cars line both sidewalks and bands provide entertainment along the route.

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Micro-earthquake recorded near here

June 15, 2010

The ground beneath Issaquah shook last week, though most residents did not feel the tiny temblor.

University of Washington seismologists said the magnitude 1.1 micro-earthquake occurred at 2:29 p.m. June 9, about four miles east of Issaquah. The quake struck at a depth of five miles. Such small quakes rarely cause structural damage.

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Goats return to the Issaquah Highlands

June 15, 2010

Residents of the Issaquah Highlands welcomed herds of goats into their backyards last weekend.

On June 11, 120 goats were rented and brought to the highlands to eat a half-acre field of weeds by 28th Avenue and Julep Street. The goats came in for the second year in a row as an alternative weeding method to using human labor.

“The first time we brought the goats in, it was very successful,” said Russ Ayers, Issaquah Highlands Community Association landscape manager. “It is much better than using people. Hiring man-labor costs around $35,000 and the goats cost about a quarter of that.”

Along with costs, using goats as an alternative to standard weeding methods helps reduce the carbon footprint of the highlands community.

“This whole thing was really about going green. This whole community is about going green,” Ayers said.

The goats arrived via trailer from Rent-A-Ruminant, located on Vashon Island, where they reside in winter.

As soon as the trailer’s doors opened, the crowd gathered around cheered as the goats poured out and made their way to the field to begin munching away.

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City Council delays undercrossing proposal

June 15, 2010

Completing a piece of the Interstate 90 Undercrossing hinges on a pact headed to the City Council next week.

The city needs to secure right of way along 221st Place Southeast in order to complete paving and install a traffic signal where the road meets Southeast 62nd Street.

Staffers proposed a development agreement between the city and landowners Doug and Linda Ebi to acquire the right of way. The council held a public hearing on the proposed agreement June 7, but after residents and council members raised questions about the deal, sent the proposal to the city River & Streams Board and the Council Land & Shore Committee for additional scrutiny.

The measure will return to the full council for another hearing June 21.

The undercrossing should be completed in November. The phase attached to the Ebi property includes paving three lanes — but not installing curbs, gutters or sidewalks — from 221st Place Southeast to East Lake Sammamish Parkway.

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School’s out for summer

June 15, 2010

The last day of school for Issaquah School District students is June 17. Be sure to drive carefully near neighborhoods and community areas where children gather during summer months.

School begins for Issaquah students Aug. 31.

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May Creek Bridge closes from June 21 until August

June 15, 2010

The bridge near the intersection of Southeast May Valley Road and state Route 900 will close June 21 and remain closed for most of the summer, as workers dismantle the aging structure and build a replacement bridge.

King County plans a modern May Creek Bridge to replace the timber-supported, 60-year-old span across the north fork of May Creek. Crews posted signs near the bridge last week to alert drivers to the shutdown and construction. Detour signs will be posted for the duration of the closure.

The replacement bridge will be longer, with wider lanes and shoulders. Moreover, the $1.7 million project has been designed to bear heavier loads.

The narrow roadway on the existing bridge constricts traffic at the nearby intersection of state Route 900 and Southeast May Valley Road.

King County Road Services Division planners started readying for the project several years ago. The agency contacted the state Department of Transportation, emergency-service providers and the Issaquah School District to prepare.

Sara Niegowski, district spokeswoman, said the timing dovetails with summer break. The school year ends June 17 and starts Aug. 31.

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Dump the gas pump June 17

June 15, 2010

On June 17, board King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit buses to dump the pump.

The transit agencies encourage Issaquah residents to participate in Dump the Pump Day by riding public transit. The national event aims to beat gas prices and protect the environment by encouraging commuters to leave behind cars for buses, trains and ferries.

Metro Transit will host customer appreciation activities with refreshments provided by Issaquah-based Costco and Seattle-based Starbucks. The events will run from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. at the Bellevue Transit Center, Northgate Park & Ride and the Federal Way Transit Center.

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Seahawks linebacker could face trial next month

June 15, 2010

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill could stand trial in Issaquah Municipal Court next month for a domestic violence charge.

Leroy Hill

Hill faces a misdemeanor assault charge related to the April incident. During a brief appearance June 11, Hill stood alongside his attorney as the court set the date for another procedural hearing. Hill, 27, will appear again before Judge N. Scott Stewart on July 14.

The court also set July 23 as a readiness date — a meeting of the parties to determine if a trial should occur. The trial could begin the following week. Hill has pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll has not said whether Hill will stay on the team for the coming season. Hill had not been part of any off-season practices since the Issaquah arrest, but rejoined the workouts June 14. The team starts training camp July 31.

Issaquah police arrested Hill after a late-night domestic incident at his Talus home April 10. Officers said a dispute occurred between Hill and his then-girlfriend. Police said the woman had marks and injuries consistent with assault; she told police Hill caused the injuries.

The domestic violence incident occurred less than a month after a Georgia judge sentenced Hill to 12 months probation for marijuana possession. The probation could be revoked if the domestic violence charge proceeds.

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