2012 Spring Home Tour

April 20, 2012

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Washington State Patrol seeks 60 trooper cadets

April 20, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. April 20, 2012

Washington State Patrol leaders need 60 trooper cadets — and fast.

The agency just received approval to run the 101st academy class in state patrol history. The class is scheduled to start in October, as the milestone 100th class concludes.

“We hear of agencies hiring five or six at a time, and we’re trying to find 60 top-notch people in just a couple of months,” said Capt. Jeff DeVere, commander of the state patrol’s Human Resources Division. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone considering a career in law enforcement.”

But potential recruits need to act fast. The state patrol is testing candidates in late April and early May.

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Issaquah School District bond measure amasses more votes

April 19, 2012

NEW — 12:45 p.m. April 19, 2012

Prior to the election, supporters said they would need about 14,000 “yes” votes in order for the Issaquah School District’s $219 million bond issue to pass.

They nearly had that number in hand when just the first round of election results were released late Tuesday, the day of the election. As of Wednesday, voters cleared the 14,000 ballot hurdle.

As of Wednesday, according to King County Elections, the bond has earned 14,763 votes in favor compared to 6,419 against. That translates to 69.7 percent in favor; 30.3 percent against.

The district needed a supermajority of 60 percent of the ballots cast in order for the issue to pass. If needed, the county will post new voter tallies each afternoon. Elections officials said the special ballot will be certified April 27.

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Issaquah mayor hires Prosser official as deputy city administrator

April 18, 2012

NEW — 7:30 p.m. April 18, 2012

The city administrator for Prosser, a wine country destination in Eastern Washington, is the next No. 3 official at Issaquah City Hall, Mayor Ava Frisinger announced Wednesday.

Charlie Bush

Charlie Bush is due to start as the deputy city administrator June 1, as officials reorganize departments and attempt to streamline city operations. Plans call for the deputy city administrator to oversee development and planning functions.

Bush joined Prosser City Hall as city administrator in 2008, after a long municipal government career in Washington and Arizona.

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Issaquah School District voters pass $219 million bond issue

April 17, 2012

UPDATED — 9:55 p.m. April 17, 2011

The results are preliminary, far from final. But the question seems pretty much decided.

According to unofficial results from King County, local residents are voting heavily in favor of allowing the Issaquah School District to sell $219 million in bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the district.

Numbers issued by King County at  just after 8 p.m. Tuesday show the bond issue is passing easily with 13,476 votes in favor compared to 6,006 votes against, or 69.1 percent to 30.8 percent.

The Issaquah school issue needs to win the approval of a supermajority of 60 percent of those who vote in order to pass. A minimum of 12,229 voters also had to cast their ballots.

Prior to the election, bond backers said based on the number of registered voters expected to cast ballots, the bond issue would  need about 14,000 “yes” votes in order to win approval.

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Spring means more bear encounters in Issaquah

April 17, 2012

A male black bear surprised residents of the Overdale Park neighborhood — and ate some garbage for a quick snack — the afternoon of April 15. Contributed

The calm afternoon in the Overdale Park neighborhood April 15, a sun-splashed Sunday, changed in a heartbeat after a surprise guest greeted resident Wendy Brown.

The arrival of a black bear in the neighborhood marked the start of spring — and the annual balancing act to ensure safety for bears and humans.

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Organizations offer tips to avoid conflicts between bears, humans

April 17, 2012

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project offers tips for people to avoid bear conflicts.

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Construction to start on downtown Issaquah parks

April 17, 2012

Timeline remains uncertain due to lack of funding

The downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — 15.5 acres referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system — can soon start a long transformation into undulating paths, picnic areas and more.

In a March 19 decision, City Council members approved the overarching design outline, or master site plan, for the interconnected Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The action laid the groundwork for construction to start on the site by late summer, though the effort to complete the parks could stretch for years.

City parks planners still need to acquire municipal permits for the initial construction phase. Meanwhile, architects at The Berger Partnership, a Seattle firm, continue to fine-tune the design for the parks.

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Issaquah voters could decide parks funds in November

April 17, 2012

Issaquah voters could decide as early as November on a multimillion dollar package to fund expansions and upgrades to city parks.

The proposed park bond could generate dollars to add amenities to existing parks, create additional parkland and purchase undeveloped land for conservation. The package could infuse funds into the parks system as lean municipal budgets limit the number of projects the city can undertake.

The municipal Parks & Recreation Department is in the initial stage to prepare for such a bond package, although the timeline is not yet firm. The decision to put a bond measure on the ballot is left to the City Council.

The city is considering offers from firms to conduct a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in parks amenities. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Overdale Park residents face steep fee to resolve water problems

April 17, 2012

Overdale Park homeowners could pay about $15,000 per household to change water utility providers — a transition meant to eliminate years-old concerns about arsenic contamination and fire protection.

The hillside neighborhood near the former Albertsons store in North Issaquah is involved in a process to integrate into the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District. The next step is to create a special district for Overdale homeowners to fund $1.1 million in improvements to the aging water infrastructure in the neighborhood.

The decisions to shift Overdale into the district and upgrade infrastructure came after officials discovered arsenic contamination in a well near East Lake Sammamish Parkway. The other Overdale well could no longer meet residents’ demand after decades of use. The neighborhood includes about 140 residences.

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