Troopers make 57 DUI arrests during holiday weekend

July 8, 2010

NEW — 11 a.m. July 8, 2010

State troopers in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties arrested almost 60 people for driving under the influence during the Fourth of July weekend.

The crackdown came as part of Target Zero, a statewide plan to eliminate traffic deaths and traffic-related serious injuries by 2030.

Troopers on the Target Zero patrols arrested 57 impaired drivers. The total includes four arrests by the Bellevue Police Department as part of the Target Zero team.

Issaquah police officers participated in the multi-agency effort, but did not make any impaired-driving arrests during the holiday weekend.

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City planners mull Best Buy proposal

July 8, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. July 8, 2010

The planned Best Buy at East Lake Center inched closer to reality Wednesday, as city planners started reviewing a permit application from the electronics chain.

Best Buy seeks to remodel the former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in the shopping center along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

Plans call for Best Buy to occupy the former furniture store and the long-empty Pacific Fabrics space. The store should open by early 2011.

Best Buy has proposed to modify the front of the building, as well as the truck loading dock in the back. In order to accommodate the updated delivery area, the chain has proposed added landscaping to the north, east and west sides of the building.

In February, Best Buy — headquartered in Richfield, Minn. — announced plans to open a store in Issaquah. La-Z-Boy closed at the site last month.

Prepare for undercrossing-related lane closures

July 8, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. July 8, 2010

Plan for overnight construction along Northwest Gilman Boulevard through Friday, as workers limit traffic to a single lane in each direction.

Crews plan to close lanes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. in order to construct the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a road link between north and south Issaquah.

The city hopes the connector reduces traffic congestion at the I-90 interchanges at Front Street North and state Route 900.

Crews started construction on the initial piece of the undercrossing in May. Construction should wrap by early fall.

Plans call for the completed roadway to run from the traffic signal at the post office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, form a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continue along 221st Place Southeast and then end at Southeast 56th Street.

Learn more about the project here.

Dump leftover Fourth fireworks to avoid headaches

July 8, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 8, 2010

Fourth of July revelers should  dump leftover fireworks, instead of storing the pyrotechnics inside a home or garage.

Fireworks should not be stored until the next fireworks season. Stray sparks could ignite fireworks and lead to disaster. Or the explosives could spontaneously combust.

Learn more about fireworks safety at the state’s Celebrate Safely website.

“All fireworks purchased at a consumer fireworks stand should be discharged during the legal discharge dates,” state Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy said Sunday.

Safety experts recommend disposing of small amounts of fireworks by removing the fuse, and then soaking the fireworks in water until saturated. The waterlogged fireworks should then be double-bagged in trash bags.

Health officials urge residents to keep cool as the mercury rises

July 7, 2010

UPDATED — 3:50 p.m. July 7, 2010

Forecasters predict temperatures in Issaquah to rise past 80 this week, as summer weather makes a belated debut.

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, is cooperating with the city of Issaquah and opening its doors to everybody who wants to use the building as a cooling shelter.

People of all ages who want to take shelter from the summer heat are more than welcome to come, Executive Director Courtney Jaren said.

The city opened the senior center and Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 71 as cooling centers during a heat wave last July, city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said.

“If we start getting calls from concerned citizens, or from firefighters or police, then we start to open cooling centers,” she said.

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Shakespeare heads outside in Issaquah on Thursday

July 7, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. July 7, 2010

Tragedy comes to the Issaquah Community Center lawn Thursday evening — a Shakespeare tragedy, that is.

The city Arts Commission and 4Culture — the King County cultural agency — have sponsored a pair of free “Shakespeare on the Green” performances at the community center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S. Learn more about the summer program here.

“Othello” opens the series opens at 7 p.m. Thursday. The tragedy chronicles the fallout after the title character, a general, bypasses the scheming Iago for a promotion.

“Much Ado About Nothing” plays July 29. The comedy tells the tale of the courtship between bickering Beatrice and Benedick.

Police dispatcher buzzes hair for cancer research / July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010

Dare to bare all Saturday for world-record skinny dip attempt

July 7, 2010

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. July 8, 2010

Fraternity Snoqualmie, the nudist campground nestled in the Tiger Mountain forest, plans to celebrate the 35th Annual Nude Recreation Week — naturally — with a world-record attempt skinny dip.

Saturday marks the second year the campground has participated in a global attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest skinny dip.

Dare to bare all for the American Association for Nude Recreation-sponsored event at the park’s pools. Participants can sign up starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The event starts at noon.

In order to adhere to the rules for the world record, all participants must be completely nude — no swim trunks allowed — during the skinny dip.

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EPA awards almost $1 million to monitor Issaquah Creek, other streams

July 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 7, 2010

The federal government awarded almost $1 million to King County on Tuesday to monitor Issaquah Creek and other salmon-bearing streams.

The county intends to use the federal dollars to monitor up to 50 stream reaches in the Sammamish watershed, as well as 10 EPA sites. The watershed encompasses numerous streams — including Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, as well as other smaller creeks draining to the east and west shores of Lake Sammamish.

The grant funds creek monitoring for the next four years. Scientists intend to examine the impact of growth on the watershed and determine how to best manage the waterways.

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Greenway leader receives top environmental honor

July 6, 2010

NEW — 7:50 p.m. July 6, 2010

Mountains to Sound Greenway pioneer Ted Thomsen — “the unsung hero” behind the 101-mile greenbelt — received the highest environmental honor in Issaquah on Tuesday night.

The late Thomsen received the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community — the prize named for late environmentalist, a tireless advocate for open space preservation. The city selected Thomsen for the yearslong effort to establish a billboard-free greenbelt from Seattle to Central Washington along Interstate 90.

Cynthia Welti, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust executive director, nominated Thomsen for the honor.

“He was essential to bringing the greenway vision to fruition,” she recalled in the nomination. “Ted is the unsung hero of the launch of this tremendous coalition effort.”

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