Plan for state Route 900 lane closure

July 20, 2010

Expect changes on northbound state Route 900 as construction starts this week on a trail connector across Interstate 90.

The initial phase calls for the northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane on state Route 900 to temporarily close. The contractor, Issaquah-based C. A. Carey Corp., also plans to narrow the driving lanes on state Route 900 between the interstate’s eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp.

City engineers expect the project to prompt future closures of the HOV lane on the westbound on-ramp.

City Council members picked a contractor for the nearly $5.3 million project last month. The city has steered about $341,000 to the project, and received grants to cover the rest of the tab.

Plans call for a separate 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound I-90 on-ramps and modifications to the existing state Route 900 overpass to install a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing.

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Issaquah woman injured in car accident

July 20, 2010

A 19-year-old Issaquah woman was injured in a single-car accident at 11:17 p.m. July 17 along state Route 202.

An SUV, a 1998 Ford Escape driven by a 21-year-old male from Monroe, was traveling westbound on the highway when it veered into the bushes near Southeast Eight Street, according to Washington State Patrol documents.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Trooper Cliff Pratt said the driver had obviously been drinking and was arrested for driving under the influence. A sample of the driver’s blood was taken and has been sent to the state crime lab for testing, he said. Those results won’t be back for a few weeks.

The woman, Kendra J. Gaspard — one of five occupants in the vehicle — was taken to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, because she had a broken femur, Pratt said.

The woman said she had been wearing a lap belt; however, it was either buckled improperly or not on because she flew forward during the collision, he said.

She was treated and has since been released from the hospital, spokeswoman Karen Johnson said.

The driver, and three other people — a 21-year-old male from Duvall, 22-year-old female from Woodinville and a 19-year-old from Carnation — all wore their seatbelts and sustained minor injuries treated at the scene.

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Texting can help nab poachers as part of new program

July 20, 2010

Reporting poaching and other fish and wildlife violations to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife just got easier.

The agency has added a new text-messaging option, Tip411, to report activity threatening fish, wildlife and sensitive habitat. The system allows users to send a text message to the agency’s dispatch center.

Tips should be sent to 847411. The message must begin with the letters WDFWTIP followed by a space, and then a brief description of the violation and location. Include useful information, such as license plate numbers, vehicle make and color, the type of violation, the time the incident occurred and a description of the person or people involved.

Deputy Chief Mike Cenci said the system removes the texter’s name and replaces it with an alias before the message arrives at the communications center.

In some cases, the system allows the reporting party and the on-duty wildlife officer to exchange text messages in real time.

The agency contracted Minnesota-based Citizen Observer, a private vendor, to provide the system.

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Trivia Night comes to Zeeks Pizza

July 20, 2010

The popular Trivia Night launched last year by the municipal Sister Cities Commission and the American Moroccan International Exchange returns July 26.

Proceeds from the event will be used for programs that will further strengthen the relationship between Issaquah and sister city Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Sister Cities Commission members work to promote international goodwill and understanding through people-to-people diplomacy, education and cultural exchanges.

Trivia Night will be hosted at Zeeks Pizza, 2525 N.E. Park Drive, in the Issaquah Highlands. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Trivia Night teams will match wits for fun and prizes. The entry fee is $20 for each team of up to four people. Participants should arrive early in order to secure a table.

There is no pre-registration for the event, and Zeeks will remain open during Trivia Night.

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Business group salutes Issaquah state senator

July 20, 2010

A statewide business group has recognized state Sen. Cheryl Pflug as a “pro-retail” legislator for her opposition to new taxes on bottled water, beer, candy, gum, soda and cigarettes.

Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican and the Issaquah representative in the Senate, received the nod last week from the Washington Retail Association. The organization honored 18 other state lawmakers for “efforts to reduce financial burdens on retailers and consumers during the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions.”

Pflug earned a 100 percent rating from the organization. In addition to opposing the tax hikes, she also fought the rollback of Initiative 960 — a measure requiring a two-thirds vote from lawmakers for tax increases.

“They resisted the temptation to increase taxes that can only hurt retailers struggling to survive the recession,” Mark Johnson, vice president of government affairs for the organization, said in a news release.

In 2004, Pflug, then a state representative, succeeded Dino Rossi in the state Senate; she has been subsequently re-elected.

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Highlands meeting to address impacts of preserving Tiger Mountain

July 20, 2010

Bring questions about a landmark proposal to preserve more than 140 forested acres to a July 22 open house hosted by the city and Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities.

The proposal aims to preserve the undeveloped Park Pointe site near Issaquah High School and foster additional growth in the highlands.

Stop by Blakely Hall in the highlands to review maps, ask questions about the proposal and offer input.

If city officials and landowners can pull off a proposed transfer of development rights, about 140 forested acres will be preserved — 102 acres at the Park Pointe site on lower Tiger Mountain and 43 acres adjacent to the highlands.

Read more

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Candidates vie to represent 41st District in state House

July 20, 2010

Three candidates will vie for a 41st District House of Representatives seat in the coming primary election, including the incumbent, Judy Clibborn. Issaquah and other 41st District voters will narrow the field to two candidates in the Aug. 17 primary election. Read more

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Workers start replacing Sycamore water lines

July 20, 2010

Crews started to replace deteriorated water mains in the Sycamore neighborhood last week.

Plans call for Mosbrucker Excavating crews to replace about 3,500 feet of eight- and 12-inch pipe, as well as valves, water meters and fire hydrants.

Construction hours vary between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. The work requires some temporary lane closures, but access for residents will be provided during construction. Residents and landowners will be notified 48 hours in advance of anticipated water shutdowns.

The project should be completed by September.

Crews also installed a water main beneath East Sunset Way between Sixth Avenue Southeast and Sixth Avenue Northeast in early July.

In April, the City Council selected Mosbrucker to replace the undersized and deteriorating water lines. The council awarded a $354,000 contract to the Bothell contractor.

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One-truck crash snarls July 15 morning commute near Preston

July 20, 2010

A rollover accident on westbound Interstate 90 caused rush-hour traffic headaches for commuters July 15.

Traffic backed up for more than a mile after a 2000 Ford pickup careened off of the roadway and into brush alongside the Interstate near Exit 20, the High Point Way interchange, at about 7:30 a.m.

The driver, a woman in her late 70s, was ejected from the vehicle in the crash. Medics transported her to Harborview Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Cliff Pratt said he did not know whether the driver had been wearing a seatbelt.

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Overlake Hospital Medical Center seeks memories

July 20, 2010

Overlake Hospital Medical Center marks its 50th anniversary by inviting former patients and community members to share their experiences at Overlake.

Visit the hospital’s website and submit stories and photos. Each person who shares a story will receive a free Overlake 50th anniversary T-shirt.

Overlake also invites area children ages 12 and younger to enter a drawing contest. Download the contest entry form here. The five children who best depict Overlake’s 50th “birthday party” will win a $50 gift certificate to Bellevue Art & Frame and The Toy Place. The winning child’s artwork may also be used on Overlake’s transit advertising throughout the summer and fall.

Overlake will also distribute drawing contest entry forms at its many summer events. Selected stories will be shared on the hospital’s Facebook page. The winning drawings will be displayed at Overlake the week of Oct. 16-23.

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