Off the Press

February 8, 2011

Greg Farrar Press photographer

A recent photo assignment for our Issaquah Living magazine coming in next week’s Press has shed some insight into what can only be described as our little local miracle, Issaquah Creek.

We all have seen the creek as it moves past the hatchery, or under the vehicle bridges on Gilman Boulevard, Newport Way or Front Street. We definitely get a good look when it floods. But that leaves more than 99 percent of the creek unseen by most people as it comes down from Tiger Mountain and north through the valley.

I’ve been wading knee-deep in water, pushing through hummocks of blackberry vines, hiking and climbing down hillsides of forest to find the headwaters, trickles, waterfalls, and brooks that give birth to our creek.

There are four main branches — Holder Creek, which starts on the southeast slope of Tiger Mountain; Carey Creek, which begins in Hobart and comes together with Holder Creek at the Bonomi Farm by Highway 18 to create Issaquah Creek; Fifteenmile Creek, which starts on Tiger’s southwest slope and meets Issaquah Creek at Southeast May Valley Road; and the East Fork, which starts at High Point and joins Issaquah Creek west of Darigold.

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Press Editorial

February 8, 2011

Legislature should focus on priorities

Foolishness seems as prevalent as ever in the state Legislature, in spite of the urgency of dealing with a $5 billion shortfall — or whatever the newest high mark of the hour is.

We could start with our own 5th District Rep. Glenn Anderson, who filed a bill giving the Legislature the right to dissolve up to eight counties across the state, if they are deemed to be overly dependent on state funds. The bill is expected to go nowhere, yet Anderson is getting his day of fame for having put forth the idea. But the bill is at least an educational opportunity about the state budget and is worthy of thought.

Many other bills being filed this year are less than that. Remember, each bill costs time and money as it makes the rounds on committee agendas, is reviewed by attorneys for correct and legal language, co-sponsors are solicited, etc. It’s the business-as-usual attitude we object to, when it feels like a crisis that is going to impact us all.

Some of those bills that could easily be skipped include establishing coffee as the state beverage; renaming Interstate 5 as The Purple Heart Trail; designating sandstone from the Tenino quarry as the official state rock; designating the great blue heron as the state bird — replacing the current state bird, the willow goldfinch; and designating a state Christmas tree.

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Rapid Response

February 8, 2011

The city Parks & Recreation Department has hosted a series of open houses and offered a Web questionnaire to gather input on a planned downtown parks complex. How would you rate the city’s public outreach effort during the planning phase?

Though I was not able to attend, I appreciated that the effort was made to get citizen input — good job parks and rec!

Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah

The Parks Department has been doing an excellent job having meetings to get community input, but the real question will be if they were actually listening or not.

C.A. Christensen, Issaquah

I attended a Confluence Park Meeting and Central Park Plan Open House; both were informative, accessible and inclusive of all interested parties.

Gail Givan, Issaquah

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To the Editor

February 8, 2011

City Council vacant seat

Stacy Goodman’s experience as a reporter, lawyer make her ideal choice

I was so pleased to see Stacy Goodman’s name in the article about selecting a replacement for Maureen McCarry on the City Council.

When Stacy was a reporter, she was very thorough and objective in her research and reporting, listening to all sides involved in any issue. Put this together with her experience as an attorney and you have someone highly qualified to make good decisions on behalf of Issaquah residents and business owners.

We couldn’t have a better choice than Stacy for the City Council.

Jackie Thomas

Issaquah

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Pubic Meetings

February 8, 2011

Feb. 9

Issaquah School Board

7 p.m.

Issaquah School District Administration Building

565 N.W. Holly St.

YWCA Community Open House

7 p.m.

Agenda: Passage Point, YWCA Family Village Issaquah

Multipurpose Room, Maple Hills Elementary School

15644 204th Ave. S.E.

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Man tries to pick up three Maywood students

February 8, 2011

Three Maywood Middle School students reported that an unknown man offered them a ride home when they were walking back from school at about 2:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

None of the students knew the man, who was driving a turquoise Taurus along Southeast 144th Street in Renton.

The students declined the man’s offer and ran home, where they told their parents about the incident. One parent called the King County Sheriff’s Office, and an officer interviewed one of the students and filed a report. She visited the neighborhood, but did not locate any vehicles matching the description, Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said in an e-mail to parents.

Parents should remind their children never to talk with strangers, let a stranger get too close or tell a stranger personal information, Niegowski said. Students should try to walk with adults or in groups and stay near well-lit paths.

“If a stranger tries to grab you, yell as loudly as you can and run away,” Niegowski said.

Police seize pot from sophisticated grow operation near Klahanie

February 8, 2011

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators haul tanks and other equipment from a marijuana grow house near Klahanie on Jan. 18. Contributed

King County investigators busted a sophisticated marijuana grow operation in a Sammamish Plateau neighborhood in mid-January.

Police hauled off numerous marijuana plants, plus lights and other materials used to grow pot, from the vacant house. King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives descended on the four-bedroom house in the 23400 block of Southeast 46th Way on Jan. 18.

Sgt. John Urquhart, sheriff’s office spokesman, said the agency also arrested two people in connection with the bust, but charges had not yet been filed last week because the investigation is ongoing.

The house is in the Brookshire neighborhood in unincorporated King County near Klahanie.

Neighbors said the property owners attempted to make the house appear occupied, and even set up a Christmas tree in the front window during the holiday season. The setup also included a system to water the plants and propane tanks so as not to alert Puget Sound Energy to the amount of electricity used to power the operation.

Urquhart said the sheriff’s office does not classify drugs by estimated street value, because the amount is often misleading. Instead, he classified the bust as significant due to the sophistication of the grow operation and the number of plants recovered.

Urquhart said detectives discovered the grow house in course of some investigative work, but he declined to elaborate.

Learn about education exploration at free expo

February 8, 2011

Joan Sharp, the former executive director of Encompass and a national education consultant, will be among the speakers at Education Exploration, a free event from 3-9 p.m. Feb. 15 at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W.

This event, sponsored by Issaquah, Sammamish and Beyond magazine, features Encompass and 40 other educational organizations and agencies. Sharp’s presentation, “The Importance of Early Learning in a Student’s Eventual Success,” is from 4:45-5:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker, Scott Oki, will speak at 7 p.m. about “The Benefits of a Business Approach to Public Education.” Oki is a well-known philanthropist, author, founder of Oki Golf Development, and former senior vice president of sales and marketing for Microsoft.

Rescuers free man from truck tangled in power lines

February 8, 2011

Emergency crews responded to Northwest Mall Street early Feb. 4 after a Waste Management truck became snared in power lines, trapping a man inside the cab.

Rescuers freed the injured man at about 7:30 a.m.

Eastside Fire & Rescue and Puget Sound Energy crews responded to the incident in the 1600 block of Northwest Mall Street as news helicopters thudded overhead.

Waste Management handles garbage pickup in most areas of Issaquah.

Drive-thru espresso shop OK’d

February 8, 2011

City planners approved a permit Jan. 31 for another place for Issaquah residents to stop for a morning java jolt.

The city has OK’d a 650-square-foot espresso shop with two drive-thru windows in the parking lot of the Heritage Square shopping center along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The shop is for drivers only, so no walk-up window service or seating is included in the plan. The stand is to be constructed apart from existing buildings and landscaping is to be added around the completed structure.

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