Legislators preserve dollars for trail projects

May 31, 2011

Plans to acquire land for a Cougar Mountain trail and upgrade trail bridges in the Tiger Mountain State Forest received a last-minute boost from state lawmakers before a special legislative session ended late May 25.

Before sending the $32 billion state budget to Gov. Chris Gregoire, legislators allocated $42 million to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The slice for the Issaquah area amounts to more than $1.5 million.

In addition to the Issaquah Alps projects, lawmakers directed funds to Duthie Hill Park and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The proposed budget recommends $500,000 for King County to acquire land for Precipice Trail near Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and $247,870 to upgrade Tiger Mountain trail bridges. In addition, the proposal recommends $500,000 for the East Lake Sammamish Trail project and $317,477 for Duthie Hill Park.

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City receives grant to determine tree canopy coverage

May 31, 2011

The city is poised to deploy experts to determine how much land sits beneath leafy tree branches.

The most recent estimate — using 2006 aerial photography and collected in a 2008 tree canopy survey — pegged the tree canopy coverage inside city limits at 51 percent.

The percentage could vary between surveys, due to recent construction and the methods used in the earlier effort. The initial program did not meet regional standards for tree canopy surveys, but the measure did provide baseline tree canopy information for the city Comprehensive Plan, a key growth blueprint.

Issaquah received a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to fund the upcoming study. Municipal staffers intend to contribute $6,350 to the project through in-kind services. City Council members accepted the grant May 2.

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Arjun Kumar returns from National Geographic Bee experience

May 31, 2011

Arjun Kumar, 13, recently competed in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. The Beaver Lake Middle School seventh-grader was ultimately eliminated during the preliminary round May 24.

The top 10 finalists competed for a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands in the finals May 25 at the National Geographic Society.

During the preliminary round of questions, Arjun missed one question: In which country is the Airedale Valley and the Aire River located? The correct answer is the United Kingdom. The mistake sent him to the tie-breaker, where he was eventually eliminated with the question: Amman and Cochin-China are the former names of which country? The answer is Vietnam.

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City Council, school board meet to discuss shared safety issues

May 31, 2011

School-zone construction, illegal skate-park activities are top concerns

With communication in mind, the Issaquah City Council and Issaquah School Board met May 26 to talk about issues that concern them both, including road construction near schools, illegal activities at the Issaquah skate park and whether the school board could televise its public meetings.

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Issaquah Triathlon returns June 4

May 31, 2011

For many athletes, the triathlon season begins with the Issaquah Triathlon. This year’s Issaquah Triathlon is June 4 and is again held at Lake Sammamish State Park.

More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 11th annual event. The Issaquah Triathlon actually includes a variety of races.

The first race, the sprint triathlon, starts at 7 a.m. The sprint triathlon appeals to veteran triathletes, as well as novices.

The sprint triathlon course consists of a quarter-mile swim, a 15-mile bicycle ride and a 3-mile run.

The sprint duathlon consists of a 15-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run.

Among the other events are the 5K and 10K runs, and the kids’ triathlon. The kids’ triathlon is broken down into two groups, ages 10-13 and 9 and under.

Call 206-914-4846 or go to www.issaquahtri.com.

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Robots stop swimming pool’s pretend oil spill

May 31, 2011

Maywood Middle School’s team (from left) members Hannah Matson, Matthieu Blanchet, Jason Jarman and Sydney Hartford, check the buoyancy and maneuverability of Vortex, the name of their remote operated vehicle. By Marla Crouch

Time was of the essence as students navigated their handmade robots underwater, doing their best to stop the oil spill and save the sea life from impending disaster.

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Track restoration starts for downtown trolley

May 31, 2011

The long-awaited Issaquah Valley Trolley Project is back on track.

Workers with Coast Rail, a Lakebay contractor, add new rock to the rail bed along Rainier Boulevard North on May 20 for the trolley track rehabilitation project. By Greg Farrar

Officials issued a notice last month for the track rehabilitation project to start. The city has selected Lakebay-based Coast Rail to replace depleted railroad ties along the proposed trolley route from the historic Issaquah Train Depot to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

The state Department of Transportation sent a railroad track specialist to the city May 6 to determine the number of timber ties in need of replacement.

In addition to the track rehabilitation, plans call for traffic signal modifications at Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street to accommodate the trolley. The contractor has 30 days to complete the project.

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File to run for election in local races by June 10

May 31, 2011

The deadline is approaching for people to run for City Council, Issaquah School Board and King County offices.

Candidates can file in person at King County Elections headquarters from 8:30 a.m. June 6 until 4:30 p.m. June 10. If a candidate opts to file by mail, the elections office must receive his or her material by the June 10 deadline. Candidates can also file online at the elections office’s website until 4 p.m. June 10.

Candidates must pay a filing fee at the time of entering the race. Most races require a filing fee equal to 1 percent of the annual salary of the office. The filing fee is nonrefundable.

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Press Editorial

May 31, 2011

City, school cooperation serves everyone

Last week, the Issaquah City Council and Issaquah School Board members took time to meet with each other and chat. The pairing has become an annual event.

The Issaquah School Board also met last week with the Sammamish City Council to discuss issues that matter to their constituents. This kind of interaction is valuable and irreplaceable.

Of course, at the staff level, these interactions happen all of the time, as they should. Most issues and communications are ably handled by the administrators who run the city and schools day to day. There is, however, nothing quite like letting the policy makers sit around a table and get to know each other and share their concerns.

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Mock crash teaches real lessons

May 31, 2011

Nathan Lane, Issaquah police officer, as the first emergency responder on the scene, checks on a student reenactor in the position of a passenger thrown through the windshield of a car and killed during a mock DUI accident. By Erik Bugge

On May 12, a mock crash was held for 11th- and 12th-graders at Issaquah High School. Eastside Fire & Rescue, lead by Ryan Anderson, with medical personnel, law enforcement agencies and students performed a realistic portrayal of an alcohol-related car accident and the likely response of emergency crews. Parts of the mock crash were graphic in nature due to the realistic portrayal of the impact to the human body when involved in a car accident.

This two-part event was an educational activity showing the dangers of driving, or being a passenger in a vehicle, when poor choices are made. The goal is to educate students about making the best possible decisions to keep them safe and protect their future.

Students first witnessed the mock crash that had student actors Jeff Crocker, Audrey DeLuca, Becky Rex, Hadyn Coxen, Kim Bussing, Jamie Lutz, Anthony McChesney, Josh Batzel, Skyler Kersten, Seth Margolies, Kellyn Alberg and Rebecca Allen.

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