Issaquah quarry site is considered for homes, businesses

November 8, 2011

The hillside quarry below the Issaquah Highlands, plus land adjacent to the highlands, could someday transform into businesses and homes, if the city and landowner approve a long-term agreement to redevelop the site.

The landowner and quarry operator, Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed a development agreement for the 80-acre site.

The site — a quarry, a hillside and land on the plateau adjacent to the highlands — is zoned for mineral resources. The agreement under consideration could change the zoning to urban village — the same zoning for the highlands and Talus.

“We envision redevelopment that follows the patterns we are seeing in the highlands,” Lakeside Industries CEO Tim Lee said in a letter to City Administrator Bob Harrison. “Specifically, we foresee mixed uses and moderate density in a walkable community.”

City Council members sent the proposal to a committee Nov. 7 for further discussion.

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Metro Transit reminds riders to prepare for holiday schedules

November 8, 2011

King County Metro Transit bus 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 slow period, because Metro Transit usually serves 20 percent to 40 percent fewer weekday riders. The mass transit agency uses a Sunday schedule for several of the upcoming holidays.

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Deadline looms to remove campaign signs

November 8, 2011

Relief is in sight for local motorists and residents tired of seeing signs for City Council, Issaquah School Board and other political candidates.

Though the ballot count continues, Election Day is done, and the deadline to yank political signs from along state highways and city streets looms.

Under state law, property owners must remove temporary political signs visible from state highways by Nov. 18 — or 10 days after the election.

Issaquah rules call for campaign signs to be removed by Nov. 15, or within a week after Election Day. City Code Compliance Officer Michele Forkner starts to round up rogue signs after the deadline passes.

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Rob McKenna highlights fight against human trafficking

November 8, 2011

Rob McKenna, state attorney general, addresses local business leaders Nov. 2 at a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit. By Greg Farrar

In a speech to Issaquah business and nonprofit leaders Nov. 2, gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Rob McKenna highlighted efforts to combat human trafficking — a global pipeline into forced labor and the sex trade.

McKenna, as the top legal officer in Washington and president of the National Association of Attorneys General, launched a nationwide initiative in June to combat human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is now a $32 billion global criminal enterprise in our world,” he said at a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit organized by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

The attorney general and Republican candidate for governor served as the keynote speaker. U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is the Democrat in the 2012 gubernatorial race.

Criminals smuggle 14,000 to 17,000 people into the United States each year for forced labor, McKenna said. In addition, rough figures indicate smugglers traffic 100,000 to 300,000 people each year inside the country, although the problem could be larger.

“What we don’t know is how people are being trafficked within countries — from one part of India to another, from one part of China to another or from one part of the United States to another,” he added.

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Cascade Land Conservancy changes name to Forterra

November 8, 2011

Cascade Land Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental group involved in numerous conservation projects in Issaquah and elsewhere, is now Forterra.

The organization announced the name change early Nov. 2. Leaders said the shift reflects the Seattle-based organization’s expanding mission.

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Klahanie Shopping Center is sold for $22 million

November 8, 2011

The commercial hub in Klahanie, the namesake Klahanie Shopping Center, sold last week for $22 million.

Seattle-based Hogate Properties sold the shopping center to Gerrity Group, a company based in Solana Beach, Calif.

QFC anchors the 49,000-square-foot shopping center, the commercial hub for the Klahanie community in unincorporated King County. Other tenants at the shopping center include a fitness center, restaurants and a bank branch.

The sale is among the largest real estate transactions in Issaquah area in the past year.

In July, Preston-based apparel company SanMar purchased a glass-sheathed office building as a corporate headquarters for $32 million. In September, Hawaii-based A&B Properties Inc. acquired the Siemens Building along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast for $19.7 million.

Join leaders at McCarry Woods dedication on Squak Mountain

November 8, 2011

Citizens can join former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry and other leaders to dedicate McCarry Woods, a Squak Mountain forest protected as public land.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 12, rain or shine, at the end of Sierra Court Southwest near the city sign for the property.

In August, City Council members renamed the forested tract for McCarry.

The city acquired the land in August 2007 as part of the Cougar-Squak Mountains Wildlife Corridor project. The forested land is just east of Squak Mountain Loop Southwest in the Forest Rim neighborhood high on Squak Mountain. McCarry is a Forest Rim resident.

In addition to preserving wildlife habitat, the acquisition protected a piece of the Bullitt Fireplace Trail — a link to the state park from Mountainside Drive Southwest.

McCarry resigned from the council in December 2010 as symptoms from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressed.

The former councilwoman also received the top environmental honor in Issaquah — the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community — for efforts as a public official and city resident to preserve open space.

King County hosts discussion on Cedar River watershed

November 8, 2011

Residents from along the Cedar River and people interested in recreation on the waterway can learn more about long-term plans for the river at a King County open house Nov. 15.

The county and the Cedar River Council, a stakeholders group, planned presentations, a question-and-answer session, and opportunities for citizens to meet county staffers involved in the management of the river and nearby environs.

The watershed for the Cedar River stretches north to encompass local streams, including Coal and May creeks between Issaquah and Newcastle.

The meeting is from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Lake Wilderness Lodge, 22500 S.E. 248th St., Maple Valley.

Meeting attendees can hear from Mark Isaacson, director of the county Water and Land Resources Division. Isaacson is scheduled to present the county’s short- and long-term goals for a safer and healthier Cedar River, plus the potential changes river users and neighbors can expect.

Participants can also hear about several planned projects on the Cedar River. The county is working to maintain recreational opportunities in a safe way, protect and restore a natural resource for people and wildlife, and reduce flood risks to people and property.

Swedish/Issaquah greets its first baby — 8-pound, 20-inch Liliana Yozelin

November 8, 2011

Zulma Gutierrez-Tiznado holds daughter Liliana Yozelin, the first baby born at Swedish/Issaquah, at 7:23 a.m. Nov. 2. Contributed

The latest addition at Swedish/Issaquah greeted the latest addition to a local family early last week.

Less than 25 hours after the hospital opened a childbirth center and 80 patient beds, Swedish/Issaquah greeted the inaugural baby born at the facility, Liliana Yozelin.

The 8-pound, 20-inch-long newborn is the second child born to Issaquah residents Zulma Gutierrez-Tiznado and Francisco Javier Rodriguez.

Liliana arrived at 7:23 a.m. Nov. 2. Swedish/Issaquah opened the additional patient beds and childbirth center at 7 a.m. Nov. 1.

Dr. Maria Holmes, a board-certified obstetrician from the Issaquah Women’s Clinic, assisted during the delivery.

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Issaquah power outage impacts 4,300 customers

November 8, 2011

Equipment problems left more than 4,000 local residents without power early Nov. 1.

The outage started after a power disruption at Newport Way Northwest and Issaquah-Renton Road occurred just after 8 a.m. Puget Sound Energy dispatched a service crew to the area to investigate.

In the meantime, homes and businesses — including the Costco corporate headquarters — sat darkened for about an hour. Residents in the Talus urban village and other Cougar Mountain communities reported blackouts.

The disruption also left traffic lights nonfunctional during the busy morning commute. Overall, the outage impacted about 4,300 customers.

PSE crews restored power by 9:15 a.m. PSE spokeswoman Allison Stanford said equipment failed at the substation at about 8:15 a.m. and caused the outage.

Residents reported seeing a flash and hearing a loud pop before the power failed.

Bellevue-based PSE serves Issaquah and more than 1 million customers, mostly in Western Washington.

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