Issaquah woman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

November 9, 2010

The parking lot accident caused minimal damage, but a driver involved in the fender bender claimed chronic back pain as a result.

In the aftermath, state investigators said the driver, Issaquah resident Linda Ann Rose, 67, bilked more than $300,000 from insurers.

Rose pleaded guilty to three insurance fraud charges in King County Superior Court last week.

The charges stemmed from a Nov. 13, 2004, accident in the Pine Lake Village shopping center parking lot in Sammamish. State Office of the Insurance Commissioner investigators said a Lexus sport-utility vehicle backed out of a parking stall and struck Rose’s vehicle, a rented Ford Mustang.

Though photos of both vehicles showed only minor damage, Rose claimed severe back injuries resulted from the collision. The other driver had coverage from three insurers, and Rose demanded compensation from all of them.

Investigators said she filed a claim for $800,000 against the driver and Progressive Insurance. The claim turned into a personal injury lawsuit.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue cuts could mean slower responses

November 9, 2010

Agency shields Issaquah Highlands station from reductions

Eastside Fire & Rescue has announced plans to reduce staffing at stations in Issaquah, Sammamish and other communities — and the cuts could mean slower response times for emergency crews.

In order to confront a budget shortfall, EFR plans to keep fewer responders on duty at fire stations. The result: Crews could take a longer time to reach emergencies, because help could come from more distant stations.

The agency has a policy to maintain three responders on duty at all times at nine stations throughout the EFR coverage area. Under the plan announced Nov. 5, the agency plans to drop a station per day from three responders on duty to two.

In extreme situations, EFR plans to reduce staffing by two responders and close a station for a day. The agency said the station is to be selected after considering workload, overall operation and location.

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Press Editorial

November 9, 2010

Veterans Day history is worth understanding

Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. At precisely 11 a.m., a wreath will be laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery to honor and thank those who have served in the armed services of the United States.

The time, 11 a.m., is symbolic. It was at this time on Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), that a cease-fire agreement was signed, bringing an official end to World War I, “the war to end all wars.” Read more

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Metro reminds bus riders of holiday schedule changes

November 9, 2010

King County Metro Transit riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks, starting Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December.

The planned reductions arrive during a period when Metro usually has 20 percent to 40 percent fewer weekday riders. On several of the upcoming holidays, Metro uses a Sunday schedule.

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City seeks input on shoreline development rules

November 9, 2010

Landowners along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish could face updated construction rules under the latest Shoreline Master Program, the guide to development along important waterways inside Issaquah city limits.

The program is designed to protect creek and lake shoreline, but the proposal also allows for residential development, recreation and public access along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish.

The city Planning Policy Commission has planned a public hearing next week for creek- and lakeside landowners, plus any other citizens interested in development and shoreline protection.

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Off the Press

November 9, 2010

Warren Kagarise

Voters can count on King County Elections

Like any other civic-minded King County resident, Sherril Huff studied the issues on the crammed ballot, sealed the sheet inside dual envelopes and slipped the assembly inside a ballot drop box on the way to the office.

Like any other curious voter, she used a nifty tool to track the ballot online. Read more

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City requests residents’ parks input at Pickering Barn

November 9, 2010

Issaquah has more than 15 downtown acres ready to be transformed into the “crown jewel” of the municipal parks system — and city leaders need residents to help shape the space.

Bring ideas for the latest additions to the city parks system — Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks — to Pickering Barn next week.

The city Parks & Recreation Department has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at the barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Conservation rules and requirements attached to land donations limit how the creekside parks can be developed. Issaquah leaders often refer to site as a “crown jewel.”

In late May, parks officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership to craft the overarching design, or master site plan, for the parks complex.

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Village Theatre seeks mystery writers

November 9, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night in Issaquah, and Village Theatre was looking for mystery writers.

The theater is teaming up with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association to hold a mystery-writing contest. Entries should be no longer than 800 words, double-spaced in 12-point, Times New Roman or Times font. The author’s name and mystery title should be on every page. Entries must be received by Nov. 20.

New York Times bestselling mystery author Bob Dugoni, local literary agents and authors will judge the entries. Village Theatre will publish the winning story in its “Sleuth” playbill, and the three runners-up will have their stories posted to the Village Theatre website and have the opportunity to read their stories at the Writers’ Cottage, in Issaquah’s Gilman Village.

Send entries to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Sleuth Contest, PMB 2717, 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 2, Issaquah, WA 98027.

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Issaquah offers grants to arts organizations, programs

November 9, 2010

The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.

Each year, the city awards grants to organizations to present performances and programs in the city and local schools.

Organizations must apply for the grant dollars by Nov. 15. Download the application here.

For 2010, commissioners awarded $128,825 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.

The city generates money for the grants though a 5 percent admissions tax on movie theaters and special events.

Commissioners received 22 grant applications from 18 organizations for the 2010 grants. The commission recommended 21 grants to the City Council for approval.

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King County cuts wait times for building permits

November 9, 2010

The long waits for King County environmental and building permits should shrink, because the county permitting agency has adopted a more user-friendly policy.

Beginning Oct. 18, the county Department of Development and Environmental Services started to provide same-day or “over the counter” reviews for many permit types.

The “over-the-counter” permits include small residential remodels, tenant improvements to commercial spaces, building additions, decks, seismic retrofits and others. Complex development proposals still require appointments.

Customers still have the option to make appointments.

“It doesn’t make sense for someone who needs a quick oil change to have to wait in line behind someone who needs their engine rebuilt,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release.

The permitting agency offered walk-in permit services in the past, but in the late 1990s the department shifted to the appointment system due to a building boom.

Department Director John Starbard said the existing lower volume of permit applications and a smaller customer base due to annexations and incorporations allowed the return to a walk-in system for many permit types.

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