Union trash haulers, Waste Management reach agreement

May 4, 2010

Waste Management and trash haulers represented by the Teamsters Union reached a labor agreement last week, after a three-week standoff and brief strike.

The agreement resulted after intense negotiations between the garbage hauler and Teamsters Local 174.

“We are delighted to reach agreement on a new contract that delivers a solid compensation package to our hardworking and professional drivers,” Waste Management spokeswoman Jackie Lang said in a statement. “Our drivers provide first-class service to our customers each and every day. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Teamsters that ensures uninterrupted service for our customers.”

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King County Council sets priorities

May 4, 2010

Officials want county government to protect public health and safety, enhance residents’ quality of life and earn the trust of constituents, King County Council members decided April 19.

The council adopted a “21st Century Governance” motion last week to track 45 actions the county plans to complete or begin by December. Find the progress report here.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — who represents Issaquah and other parts of the Eastside on the council — cosponsored the motion. Read more

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Issaquah police seek man who attempted to lure boy into SUV

May 4, 2010

Issaquah Police need help to find a man who attempted to lure a 12-year-old boy into a vehicle near Timberlake Park on April 27.

Police said a man driving a late-model, dark-purple SUV approached a boy walking on the sidewalk in the 4300 block of 182nd Avenue Southeast at about 2:35 p.m.

The man asked the boy if he wanted a ride. The boy then declined, and the man asked if he was sure. The boy left unharmed.

Police described the driver as a white man, about 50 years old, with short, gray hair and dark eyes.

Authorities reminded parents to review safety procedures with children, and to report suspicious activity and people to police.

Direct questions, or provide information, about the incident to Detective Sgt. Bob Porter, or to the on-duty patrol sergeant, at 837-3200.

Issaquah School District officials reminded parents to tell children to never talk to or get too close to a stranger, never share personal information with a stranger and always alert adults if a suspicious person approaches. If a stranger tries to grab a child, he or she should yell loudly and run away.

Officials also encouraged children to walk in pairs with a friend or adult, to stick to well-lit paths and not to obstruct hearing with iPods or other portable music players while walking.

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City approves deals to use King and Snohomish counties’ jails

May 4, 2010

City leaders approved agreements late last month to use jail space in King and Snohomish counties if necessary.

City Council members extended the interlocal agreement with King County to use the King County Jail through December 2016. The council also OK’d a contract with Snohomish County to use the jail there as another alternative. The interlocal agreement allows Issaquah to use the Snohomish County Jail through December 2014. The council approved the separate measures April 19.

“Given the volatility of jail space in the state of Washington, the city needs several options in place,” the Snohomish County legislation reads.

Issaquah and King County entered a jail agreement in November 2002. The interlocal agreement allows Issaquah to rely on King County to help handle inmates with special behavioral, medical or mental health needs.

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Workers will close exit to state Route 900 overnight May 6

May 4, 2010

State Department of Transportation crews will close the off-ramp from westbound Interstate 90 to state Route 900 overnight May 6.

Workers will close the ramp from 8 p.m. May 6 until 5 a.m. May 7. Signs will direct drivers to the exit at West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The work will take place as crews near completion of the yearslong effort to widen state Route 900 and improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians through the corridor.

The state Department of Transportation opened two new lanes on almost a mile of the road between Southeast 82nd Street and Newport Way Northwest on April 14. Expect more activity in the weeks ahead as workers complete the $33.9 million project.

Crews widened the road from Newport Way Northwest to the vicinity of Northwest Talus Drive and Southeast 82nd Street. Narrow shoulders bracketed the old, single-lane roadway. Workers added a lane in each direction and a left-turn lane in the center of the roadway, as well as a bike lane and a raised sidewalk on the west side of the road. Crews also installed a synchronized signal system to help smooth traffic for the 16,000 or so drivers who use the road every day.

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Senator hosts town halls May 8

May 4, 2010

State Sen. Randy Gordon will host three town halls May 8 to meet with 41st Legislative District constituents. The district includes Talus and southwest Issaquah.

The opening town hall will be from 10-11:15 a.m. at Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 S.E. 24th St., Mercer Island. The next forum will be from noon – 1:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110 Ave. N.E. Gordon will conclude the series at Hazelwood Elementary School, 7100 116th Ave. S.E., Newcastle, where the town hall runs from 2-3:15 p.m.

“I am proud to say that in just over 80 days, we were able to responsibly address the worst economic downturn in just over 80 years,” Gordon said in a news release. “Now, it’s time to get back and report to my employers — the people of the 41st. Nothing is scripted.”

King County Council members appointed Gordon, a Bellevue Democrat, to the seat in January, after former state Sen. Fred Jarrett stepped down to become deputy King County executive. Gordon intends to run for a full term in November.

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Standford test results released

May 4, 2010

Issaquah School District families can now access their students’ Stanford 10 Achievement Test results in their Family Access accounts online.

The test is multiple choice and helps teachers find out what students know and are able to do, according to the website. Administrators obtain data to evaluate progress toward meeting the challenges set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act and national and state standards.

Teachers can use the data to help identify children who are at risk for falling behind their peers. Parents will also receive information about how much their child knows and what they need help with.

All students in grades kindergarten through nine took the test.

If you have trouble with your login or password, call your child’s school office.

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Students to take progress tests

May 4, 2010

Issaquah School District third- through eighth-graders will participate in the state’s Measures of Student Progress testing in May.

Most of the testing will occur May 10-20.

The test replaces the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam.

The test is similar to the WASL in that it also tests students’ ability to meet state and grade-level requirements in the areas of writing, reading, math and science. The test is shorter than the WASL exam and takes only one day for the reading, math and science sections instead of two. The writing exam will still take two days.

This year, the state is also piloting its first online testing formats. But Issaquah schools are not part of the pilot program.

School district officials have sent out e-mail reminders to families about how important it is for students to be in school on testing days. During the testing period, some schools may be on a revised schedule, so check your student’s school calendar for updated information.

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Mammography coach comes to Sammamish on Wednesdays

May 4, 2010

The Evergreen Hospital Medical Center Mammography Coach will be open 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. each Wednesday until further notice at the Evergreen Primary Care Center Sammamish, 22850 N.E. Eighth St.

The 40-foot mobile digital mammography coach contains the same digital mammography equipment used in the Breast Center at Evergreen Hospital. Patients will register in the reception area and complete a clinical history form in a relaxing environment. After changing into a gown in a private room, a mammography tech performs the exam.

The mammography images are interpreted at the Breast Center by board-certified breast radiologists. Screening mammograms are also analyzed with computer detection tools. The radiologist’s report is then sent to the patient’s primary care provider.

When patients call 899-2831 to schedule their mammograms, they will be offered the option of an appointment in the mobile coach or at the Breast Center at Evergreen Hospital. You do not need to be a patient at an Evergreen Primary Care Center to access the mobile mammography coach.

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Poplars will be replaced with dogwoods, ginkgos

May 4, 2010

The company behind the ARCO station redevelopment will pay to plant ginkgo and dogwood trees near Front Street North and Northeast Gilman Boulevard after city workers remove aging poplar trees.

The city approved the poplar removal early last week, and then workers started removing the almost four-decade-old trees. The updated landscaping will include evergreen and deciduous shrubs and groundcover, as well as a perennial bed.

The poplars — planted in 1972 — usually live for about 35 years, but as the trees age and become less healthy, they can pose safety issues. Ginkgos can live for more than 100 years, dogwoods for more than 50 years.

The dogwood species planted will be Eddie’s White Wonder — Issaquah’s centennial tree.

Crews removed poplars from the northwest corner of the intersection in October 2008, and from the southwest corner last July.

Workers installed a new sign and pumps at the ARCO station, and work continues on a convenience store inside the shell of the former station. Crews will also refurbish the canopy above the gas pumps.

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