Salmon leap onto fresh police patch

January 4, 2011

Issaquah Police Department unveils new patch designed by highlands resident

The updated Issaquah Police Department patch features a salmon in mid-leap. By Greg Farrar

The officers in blue had started to look a little blasé.

So, the Issaquah Police Department asked residents to redesign the patch the agency had used for more than 25 years.

The result: The updated patch features a jumping salmon rendered in electric hues and set against a blue backdrop meant to pop against the uniforms’ dark navy. Police Chief Paul Ayers announced the updated patch Dec. 31.

The designer is Issaquah Highlands resident Tim Bissmeyer, a project manager at CollinsWoerman, the architecture firm behind the Swedish Medical Center campus under construction in the highlands.

“I wanted to do something that was pretty simple and not too complicated, and it just naturally kind of drew me to the salmon,” he said.

The prize: $250 from the city Arts Commission for crafting the design and a long-term installation of the artwork on the shoulders of uniformed Issaquah officers.

The police department plans to phase in the patch as officers order uniform coats, coveralls and shirts in the months ahead.

The agency set out to find a fresh patch in the summer, as the supply of existing insignia started to shrink.

The police department put out a call for submissions in July. The agency offered artists templates for a half-dozen patch shapes and a series of criteria for the patch.

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Issaquah schools face end of Salmon in the Classroom

January 4, 2011

State program is a casualty of deep budget cuts

The salmon — or, more specifically, delicate salmon eggs no larger than a pencil eraser — return to a Clark Elementary School classroom each year.

But fourth- and fifth-grade teacher Liza Rickey could face a change in the curriculum soon as the state Salmon in the Classroom program ends.

In the program, students raise salmon, learn about water quality and salmon habitat, and discover the relationship between Issaquah Creek and Puget Sound.

State legislators eliminated dollars for the program in a round of budget cuts during a Dec. 11 special session. The program is a casualty of cuts as state leaders face a $4 billion budget hole. Read more

Legislature tackles tough agenda

January 4, 2011

Tiger Mountain State Forest hikers could be required to spend some green to access the trails crisscrossing the mountain soon — if state legislators impose user fees to raise dollars for the cash-strapped state.

The proposed Explore Washington Pass is the latest idea to increase funds for state natural resources agencies. The pass is designed to address maintenance needs and repair damage to state forests and other trust lands — but the proposal is all but certain to raise ire among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

In the months ahead, Evergreen State residents could face increased fees on state lands, shrunken services from state agencies and larger class sizes in elementary school classrooms as cuts permeate all sectors.

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City crews mobilize to confront late December snowfall

January 4, 2011

Kelly Knox, teaches her daughter, Madelyn, 23 months, how to make a snowball Dec. 29 after snow fell in their Issaquah Highlands neighborhood park at Northeast Magnolia Street and 35th Avenue Northeast. By Greg Farrar

Snow dusted rooftops and dappled lawns in the Issaquah area as 2010 slid to a close, but snow showers did not impact commutes or cause the gridlock motorists faced during a pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm.

The last snow showers of the year started early Dec. 29. Throughout the morning, Issaquah residents at higher elevations on Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains, plus Grand Ridge, recorded steady snowfall, after a dusting as light as confectioners’ sugar coated downtown Issaquah.

Then, the mercury dipped into the 20s in the hours after the snowfall and roads slicked by melted snow turned icy. In the meantime, graupel — granular snow resembling mini-marshmallows — left a crunchy layer on the ground.

City Public Works Operations Department and King County Road Services crews monitored conditions around the clock and deployed after nightfall Dec. 29 as the temperature dipped into the 20s.

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Policies limit flood damage

January 4, 2011

City has spent more than a decade on flood projects

Issaquah Creek sloshed into neighborhoods and onto streets in early December, but city and county leaders credit land-use policies for helping to limit damage from flooding and landslides.

Because much of Issaquah is located in a floodplain, officials can only do so much to limit flooding. Though the risk remains, the city has made strides since the 1996 flood to upgrade creek buffers and shore up bridges and other infrastructure to withstand floods.

The process has included purchasing and removing homes in the floodplain, plus buying undeveloped floodplain lots for preservation. Read more

Options abound for disposing of Christmas trees

January 4, 2011

Issaquah residents eager to toss out a dried-out fir face a handful of options to dispose of natural Christmas trees.

Customers tired of evergreens dropping brown needles can set out trees for yard waste collection on regular collection days. The trees must be cut to 4 feet or less. Haulers do not collect trees decked in flocking or decorations.

For residents interested in recycling, or tree-cycling, the King County Solid Waste Division offers a list of recycling locations. Or, residents can drop off trees at Cedar Grove Composting near Issaquah and other recycling sites. Read more

Donations needed to help fund for needy meet goal

January 4, 2011

It is very likely the Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund could end with less than the goal for only the second time in its 30-year history.

It usually takes about 200 individual donors for the fund to reach its goal, and nearly that many have already contributed. Donations received as of Jan. 3 were equal to 2009 donations of $53,000. Read more

King County leader reflects on 2010 milestones

January 4, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine last week touted a series of initiatives to reform county government after a year in the top spot.

The executive highlighted efforts to reduce labor costs, implement a “green” energy policy, reform the permitting process and upgrade infrastructure. Key accomplishments included the creation of a regional partnership to offer animal-control services in Issaquah and more than 30 other cities, and recommendations to change Metro Transit in order to put the agency on more solid financial footing. Read more

Skyline loses gamble on game against Nevada team

January 4, 2011

Kasen Williams, Skyline High School senior forward, tries to get a shot past Bishop Manogue’s Zach McElroy during the fourth quarter Dec. 30. By Christopher Huber

Of the many things the Skyline High School basketball team didn’t know about the visiting Bishop Manogue team was that senior guard Brennan Hogan could shoot threes in the clutch.

“He was a dark horse,” said Skyline junior forward Lucas Shannon, a defensive force for the Spartans.

The Bishop Manogue Miners (10-4), from Reno, Nev., ended Skyline’s 12-game home-winning streak with a 55-53 final-seconds win Dec. 30. Read more

Students put the book ‘Light in the Forest’ on trial

January 4, 2011

Prosecutor Carly Rosenbaum (left) questions witness Ashmi Chakraborty as judge Tiffany Tran looks on during a mock trial at Pine Lake Middle School Dec.1. By Christopher Huber

Pine Lake Middle School student Laurel Buck could not have had a better mentor for her eighth-grade humanities project. Read more

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