Buses offer free rides for bicyclists during Bike Month

May 3, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 3, 2012

May is National Bike Month, and to mark the occasion, bicyclists loading a bike onto local buses can ride for free.

Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free from May 14-19.

The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.

Each bus has three spaces on a bike rack available on a first come, first served basis.

If the bus’ bike rack is full, cyclists should be prepared to wait for the next bus or consider leaving the bike parked in a bike rack at a transit facility.

Many Metro Transit and Sound Transit facilities also offer bike lockers.

Issaquah police plan extra DUI enforcement for Cinco de Mayo

May 2, 2012

NEW — 1:30 p.m. May 2, 2012

Local law and public health enforcement agencies asked revelers to toast Cinco de Mayo responsibly as the holiday approached.

Statewide, law enforcement agencies and the Issaquah Police Department plan to embark on a campaign to nab drunken drivers on the holiday, Saturday.

Local law enforcement agencies, plus the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington State Patrol, scheduled extra DUI officers and troopers to remove dangerous drivers from the road. Law enforcement officers also plan to visit bars to ensure responsible service.

Latino community leaders from the Mexican Consulate in Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, SeaMar Community Health Centers and Consejo Counseling & Referral joined Public Health – Seattle & King County and Target Zero Teams to support the traffic safety effort.

Read more

Councilman Reagan Dunn condemns violent May Day protests

May 2, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 2, 2012

Reagan Dunn, a local representative on the King County Council, condemned violent May Day protests as downtown Seattle merchants started to clean up after the Tuesday incident.

Reagan Dunn

“These threats to public safety and the attacks on our fellow citizens and on private property must not be tolerated,” he said in a statement released late Tuesday, after protesters marched through downtown Seattle and smashed windows at American Apparel, Wells Fargo and other businesses.

“Our right to protest is sacred,” Dunn continued. “That right is protected, not only by the Constitution, but by the men and women in uniform that serve our communities. It is also preserved by those who choose to exercise their rights peacefully and responsibly.”

Read more

King County earns mixed grades for air quality

May 2, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 2, 2012

King County earned a D grade for smog pollution in the latest air quality report from the American Lung Association, officials at the nonprofit association announced April 25.

The report found smog levels in Washington remained at similar levels as in previous years. King County received the grade for ozone, or smog, the most widespread air pollution.

When inhaled, ozone irritates the lungs, like a bad sunburn. The irritant can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks and premature death.

However, for particle pollution, King County earned an A ranking from the American Lung Association. In Washington, particle pollution levels can spike dangerously for hours to days during the winter home heating season.

Read more

City plans to install pedestrian upgrades at accident intersection

May 1, 2012

The city plans to add a flashing sign to alert motorists to pedestrians at a problematic intersection along Newport Way Northwest.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

Now, city officials plan to add another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. Crews also plan to install reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

Installation is expected to occur before late spring.

Scholzen’s partner, Jon Francis, said a lower speed limit for the road should accompany the additions.

Read more

Eastside Fire & Rescue offers pedestrian safety tips

May 1, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue offered tips for pedestrian safety as the temperature rises, rain recedes and more people start using sidewalks and crosswalks.

  • Walk on sidewalks. If a sidewalk is unavailable, walk on the edge of the road or on the left shoulder of the road, facing the traffic flow. Use pedestrian bridges and walkways if available.
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections.
  • Always stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic. Stopping at the curb signals drivers you intend to cross.
  • Stay out of the driver’s blind spot. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets.
  • Wear bright colors or reflective clothing when walking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
  • Small children should not cross streets by themselves or be allowed to play or walk near traffic. Children cannot accurately judge vehicle distances or accurately predict vehicle speeds or movements.
  • In bad weather, make sure your umbrella or raincoat does not prevent approaching vehicles from seeing you.

Police search Issaquah home for North Bend murder suspect

May 1, 2012

Peter Keller

Police searched a home in Issaquah’s Summerhill Village neighborhood April 23 for the suspect in a pair of North Bend murders.

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators searched a condominium in the 23000 block of Summer Hill Lane for Peter A. Keller, agency spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West said.

(The neighborhood is on the Sammamish Plateau near the intersection of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and 238th Avenue Southeast.)

Police discovered Keller’s body April 28 in a survivalist bunker near the Rattlesnake Ridge Trailhead, just outside North Bend. Police said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In Issaquah, the Summerhill Village condominium resident, a relative of the Keller family, asked for police to search the home for Keller, West added. The occupant had been out of town during the murders, and believed Keller could be hiding inside the home.

Read more

Issaquah legislators top list for missed votes

May 1, 2012

Local legislators missed the most votes in the Legislature during the 2012 regular and special sessions.

Read more

Local school plays role in French presidential election

May 1, 2012

Inside the Issaquah School District boundaries is a rarity in vote-by-mail Washington — a polling location.

Frédéric Dubut

The election did not appear on local ballots, but the outcome could resonate on a global stage. The only polling location for French expatriates in the region is the French Immersion School of Washington, a campus situated along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast next to Sunset Elementary School.

The campus hosted a stream of voters late last month amid the initial voting in the French presidential election.

Frédéric Dubut drove from Seattle in a borrowed Zipcar on April 21 to slip a ballot into a transparent box and cast a vote in the 10-candidate contest.

The initial round culled the field to top candidates for a runoff election. Dubut plans to return to the French Immersion School of Washington to cast a ballot in the runoff May 6 — or May 5 in Washington due to the time difference.

Read more

Growth is focus as City Council, Issaquah School Board meet

May 1, 2012

City and Issaquah School District leaders pledged coordination and cooperation as the city outlines a bold plan to add thousands of residences in the decades ahead.

Chad Magendanz

Discussion about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 — and possible changes to the school district, such as redrawing boundaries for schools to accommodate population shifts, dominated the annual joint meeting April 24.

City Council and Issaquah School Board members, plus Mayor Ava Frisinger and Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and other officials, gathered at Mandarin Garden a week after school district voters approved a $219 million bond to fuel a school construction boom. The planned projects include major changes for schools in downtown Issaquah.

The groups, seated beneath red lanterns and arranged around lazy Susans, sipped tea and nibbled on fried rice and roast pork as discussion unfolded about long-term development plans. (The city hosted the meal and spent $311.24 on food and beverages.)

“Both organizations have gone from fast-growing organizations to more stable, mature organizations with different sets of issues,” Council President Tola Marts said. “So, now the challenge is how do we manage the remaining growth that we have?”

Read more

Next Page »