Design a new patch for the Issaquah Police Department

July 27, 2010

Issaquah’s finest need a fresh patch — and the police department has asked residents to redo the almost three-decade-old design.

The patches adorn the upper arms of all police uniforms. The department adopted the current design more than 25 years ago.

Anyone can submit a design for consideration, including children. Submit designs by Sept. 24. The final design will be announced in October.

Need some inspiration? Artists should review patches from other police departments. Check out a display of more than 200 patches on display in the City Hall lobby, 130 E. Sunset Way.

Learn more about the contest and download the specifications at the city website.

“Our department is seeking a new, fresh design that clearly represents Issaquah’s unique qualities,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said. “And who better to ask for ideas than the community we serve?”

Habitat restoration starts along creek at Squak Valley Park

July 27, 2010

Crews started this week to restore Issaquah Creek habitat at Squak Valley Park North.

Plans call for soil to be excavated from the existing levee and floodplain. The project also includes logs to be added to the creek, plus habitat features for fish and wildlife. Mountains to Sound Greenway volunteers will plant native vegetation at the site this fall.

The completed project should allow the creek to resume a more natural, meandering flow. The city expects work to last up to eight weeks.

Expect construction to occur from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, although additional work could occur on Saturday to meet schedules.

The excavation requires a considerable amount of dirt hauling using dump trucks with trailers. Most of the trucks will use Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, but some trucks must use Sycamore Drive Southeast and Southeast Sycamore Lane to access a portion of the project site.

Flaggers will direct traffic, and streets will be swept to remove dirt.

City plans to clear ditch to lower flooding risk

July 27, 2010

Pickering Place drainage ditch

The city plans to clear a silt- and weed-choked ditch in Lake Sammamish State Park to protect city streets and sidewalks — as well as Pickering Place businesses — from flooding.

The former agricultural ditch near the park’s soccer fields handles storm water runoff from Pickering Place and the retention pond behind Costco corporate headquarters.

Blockages in the ditch have caused water to back up into the pond and inundate area sidewalks. Rainfall last winter caused the water level to rise and nearly swamp nearby electrical equipment.

City Surface Water Manager Kerry Ritland said deferring maintenance on the ditch could cause worse flooding in the future.

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Echo Glen Children’s Center receives solar energy grant

July 27, 2010

Echo Glen Children’s Center — a state juvenile detention facility in Snoqualmie with education administered by the Issaquah School District — is racking up grant funding this summer.

The facility has received two grants that will help enhance the education and experience of children at the facility, all of whom have committed a crime.

The first grant the school received is one from Puget Sound Energy for a renewable energy program. With the funding, the school will install a 1.5-kilowatt portable household power system, charged by an 85-watt solar module.

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Damaged Lake Sammamish data buoy placed back in service

July 27, 2010

The data-gathering buoy damaged by vandals the weekend of July 17 has been placed back into service on Lake Sammamish. Contributed

Vandals damaged a county data buoy bobbing in Lake Sammamish in mid-July, and the cash-strapped county might be unable to repair or replace damaged equipment crammed aboard the float.

King County Sheriff’s Office and county environmental officials said suspects flipped the buoy, causing a gap in the weather and water-quality information gathered by the device. County staffers do not yet know if equipment can be salvaged from the damaged buoy.

The buoy had been returned to Lake Sammamish by late last week. Though temperature and relative humidity probes had been damaged beyond repair, the buoy suffered little damage.

“We definitely dodged a bullet,” King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks spokesman Doug Williams said.

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Fill the Boot fundraiser returns to Issaquah

July 27, 2010

Help local firefighters find a cure for muscular dystrophy

Give a dollar or $20 to local firefighters and help a child with muscular dystrophy go to camp.

Eastside Fire & Rescue Firefighters of Local 2878 will be raising money in the streets from 2-6 p.m. July 30 and Sept. 10.

The fundraiser is part of the firefighter’s annual Fill the Boot fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jerry’s Kids.

“It is a great cause and we’re committed to finding a cure,” EFR firefighter and organizer Thomas Tull said.

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Incumbents earn high marks in Municipal League ratings

July 27, 2010

Issaquah residents face some good choices — and a few not-so-good options — in the primary election next month. Or so the Municipal League of King County has decided.

For the most part, Issaquah-area lawmakers fared better than the challengers campaigning against them in August and November. The league released the ratings July 19.

The league ranks candidates through a rigorous process during each election cycle. The ratings provide a tool for voters — plus fodder for candidates’ campaign mailers and websites.

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, talk to references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. Candidates then receive a grade ranging from the coveted outstanding to the less-desirable not qualified.

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Union members protest school district for using nonlocal labor

July 27, 2010

Several local union workers gathered at Front Street South and Second Avenue Southeast to protest construction work at Issaquah High School on July 21-23.

Union workers with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters gathered to protest the Issaquah School District’s decision to hire Cornerstone General Contractors, who they claim isn’t making sure local subcontractors are being used to construct the $84 million project.

“Cornerstone General Contractors hired these out-of-state subcontractors to work on the project, knowing that those workers were only living here temporarily and sending their monies as far away as Ohio,” union organizer Bruce Kelley said. “To me, that is an abomination for the people that live here and pay taxes in the city of Issaquah and have the same skills. It just doesn’t seem right.”

However, officials said they are following state law.

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Compassion House units named for philanthropist

July 27, 2010

Compassion House — a nonprofit provider of housing for homeless people — plans to name a new downtown duplex after a longtime philanthropist instrumental to the construction.

Dignitaries will gather July 29 to dedicate the Julia L. Pritt House. The namesake philanthropist donated land for the housing units.

Join Mayor Ava Frisinger, Compassion House leaders and volunteer builders at the duplex, 260 S.E. Andrews St. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m.

Volunteers built most of the structure using materials donated by HomeAid Master Builders Care, a program of the Master Builders Care Foundation.

The foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the largest homebuilding group in the nation.

The duplex will provide housing for two homeless families. Compassion House volunteers will work with the families to help them become self-sufficient.

Pritt died April 3 at age 77. In addition to the Compassion House donation, she donated money to help the city form downtown Cybil-Madeline Park.

Zoo plans masquerade gala to pay for state’s first cheetah exhibit

July 27, 2010

Love to dress up in costumes but can’t wait for Halloween? Want to get gussied up for an adults-only soiree? Want to help bring a new, exotic exhibit to the local zoo? Then here’s the event for you.

The Zoological Society of Washington and the Cougar Mountain Zoo present the 2010 Cheetah Masquerade Gala. Zoo Curator Robyn Barfoot said the goal is to raise $100,000 to be the first zoo in Washington to acquire two to three cheetahs and build a state-of-the-art exhibit. Barfoot said she hopes the gala gets them on their way toward that goal.

“Any dollar amount helps us,” she said. “We don’t want everyone to be afraid of that $100,000 number. Just $10 makes a difference.”

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