ArtEAST signs lease to turn old Lewis Hardware into arts center

September 7, 2010

Issaquah’s artEAST more than tripled its space last week, creating more room to sell and display art and hold art demonstrations, workshops and lectures.

ArtEAST Executive Director Karen Abel has signed a five-year lease for the historic Lewis Hardware building.

“I handed over the big check,” Abel said. “I kind of recall the very first time it occurred to us to think, ‘Wow, maybe we should move forward and try to make this happen.’ It’s pretty amazing to be sitting here four months later.” Read more

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New club aims to connect bicyclists

September 7, 2010

Paul Winterstein bicycles up 12th Avenue Northwest, by Tibbetts Valley Park, on his commute home from work in Redmond. By Laura Geggel

Almost every day, Paul Winterstein commutes the 12.5 miles from his house on Squak Mountain to his workplace in Redmond.

He began biking to work in 2008, after two of his four children got their drivers’ licenses. Instead of buying another car, he decided to bicycle to work, rain or shine. Bicycling helps keep him fit and be a good role model for his children, he said.

The more he used local roads to bike to work, the more he noticed how road construction affected his safety and route.

With road changes happening frequently, Winterstein decided to start an Issaquah Bicycle Club that would unite the area’s bicyclists, helping give them a voice at Issaquah City Council meetings and a presence in the community.

The group could also organize rides, share bicycling tips and bring people together, giving bicyclists a stronger unified identity, much like hikers who belong to the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kent Peterson, an Issaquah bicyclist who works as a bike technician at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, said he enjoyed mountain biking and that he looked forward to joining the club.

“There are certain roads that are better riding on than others,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to have a place where you can share that knowledge with other people.” Read more

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Highlands residents seek another dog park

September 7, 2010

The only off-leash dog park in Issaquah could be joined by another off-leash park, if Issaquah Highlands residents succeed in a grassroots effort.

Kandis Paden, a highlands resident and business owner in the community, spearheaded the drive through the highlands homeowners association. Paden and other members of the neighborhood Pets-n-Pals Committee aim to turn a slice of city land near Central Park into a dog park.

“We’ve been asking for this to happen for a long time,” she said. Read more

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A moment in time: 2010 Issaquah/Sammamish Amateur Photo Contest winners

September 7, 2010

The Issaquah Press announces the winners of the 2010 Issaquah/Sammamish Amateur Photo Contest. More than 200 images were submitted in three categories — Animals (64), People (52) and Scenic (92). Photos were judged based on local identity, composition. originality and lighting. First-place winners in each category will receive $100. The contest returns next year, so start saving your best photos now.

Here’s a look at the first-, second- and third-place winners.

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Issaquah High School tour and barbecue is open to community

September 7, 2010

Take a tour of the new Issaquah High School with a burger in hand.

Issaquah High School students will lead tours of their new high school from 5-6:30 Sept. 14, showing views from the commons and classrooms of Tiger Mountain and the purple-and-gold stadium.

The barbecue dinner costs $5 and will benefit the Associated Student Body and PTSA.

School leaders will be on site, thanking the community for its support. The official dedication of Issaquah High School takes place next year, once its performing arts center is complete.

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Turnout in August election failed to meet expectations

September 7, 2010

Turnout in the August election reached the highest level for a primary in six years, but participation did not meet pre-election estimates.

The all-mail election attracted 39 percent of King County voters. King County Elections had forecast 45 percent turnout before the election. The office tallied 421,157 ballots.

The county Canvassing Board met Sept. 1 to certify the results of the Aug. 17 contest. Read more

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Issaquah sustainability ‘report card’ indicates successes, shortfalls

September 7, 2010

The inaugural sustainability “report card” from the city touted Costco carpools, a community garden and affordable-housing construction in the Issaquah Highlands as signs of progress.

The report released last week packs data about environmental, economic and social health.

The “report card” is based upon recommendations from a 16-member panel assembled in 2008 by Mayor Ava Frisinger. The group, the Sustainability Sounding Board, formed a long-term sustainability plan and then set benchmarks for the city to track progress.

Read more

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Plan to upgrade East Lake Sammamish Trail proceeds

September 7, 2010

King County has applied for a city permit to upgrade the East Lake Sammamish Trail through Issaquah. The city has notified nearby property owners.

Plans to improve the interim trail would call for paving the gravel trail and increasing the width to 12 feet of asphalt, plus gravel shoulders on both sides.

Because the project could impact wetlands, the plans call for wetlands to be restored in Lake Sammamish State Park to offset the construction.

The county plans to conduct the Issaquah improvements in two phases. The initial phase calls for the second from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to 56th Avenue Northwest, plus the wetland work in the state park. The final phase includes 56th Avenue Northwest to Southeast 43rd Way.

The trail is located within the trail corridor along the former Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, from Northwest Gilman Boulevard northward along Lake Sammamish to the city line.

Comment on the project by Sept. 10. Send comments to city Senior Planner Marion O’Brien at P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027, or e-mail

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To The Editor

September 7, 2010

Park Pointe

Editorial turned community opportunity into a polarizing issue

Unfortunately, The Issaquah Press turned Park Pointe into a polarizing issue in its editorial Aug. 25. Having lived in the Issaquah Highlands for six years, I do not believe a large number of highlanders would want to see a land preservation project go awry. However, the issues raised at the public hearing are not “misguided,” but rather valid concerns not for just highlanders, but all Issaquah residents and should be depicted by our “official newspaper” as such.

I happen to agree with the overall plan to swap highlands development for the preservation and believe Mark Mullet’s vote was cast in the best interest of the entire city. But I also believe there should be greater thought put into the plan.

Schools are just one issue. Enrollment at Grand Ridge last year was 950 students, 180 of whom were taught in portable classrooms that according to The Issaquah Press did not exist. In defense of the school district, they have had to repeatedly deal with “poor planning” by re-districting multiple times, reallocate funds and delaying construction. I’m surprised they’ve been able to do as good a job as they have, given our willy-nilly planning efforts. Read more

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Human services campus study is due to city next month

September 7, 2010

City leaders last week outlined ideas for a human services campus — a clearinghouse for charities providing food, healthcare and employment services to the needy.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and other top officials met representatives from the San Francisco-based consultant conducting a city-funded feasibility study of the proposed campus.

Former Councilman John Rittenhouse — a longtime proponent of the campus — updated council members about the study Aug. 16.

“I’m very confident that you’ll find the end product useful as you deliberate how to make this vision a reality,” he said.

The nonprofit Family Resource Center is a similar human services campus in Redmond. Rittenhouse serves on its board of directors.

The city and Family Resource Center partnered to study the need for a campus. The council started the process in December by spending $35,000 for the study.

Rittenhouse said the study should be completed and delivered to the city by late October. Officials used impact fees paid by the Talus developer to fund the study.

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