King County Council creates tax incentives to promote trail links

June 16, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 16, 2012

Landowners could receive tax incentives for allowing public access to trails to link to points of interest and existing public trails.

In a decision Monday, King County Council members approved implementation strategies to expand trail linkages through a program created in October 2010. The program expands the Public Benefit Rating System — a program for private landowners to receive incentives to conserve and protect land resources and open space.

“With more people throughout King County using trails for recreation and transportation, finding low cost options for increasing access and connections to our trail system makes sense, especially for taxpayers,” Councilman Larry Phillips, trail legislation sponsor, said in a statement.

The system program provides incentives to encourage landowners to conserve land. In return for preserving and managing resources, the land is assessed at a value consistent with “current use” rather than the “highest and best use.”

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CleanScapes unveils natural gas garbage truck, wildlife-resistant containers for Issaquah

June 15, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. June 15, 2012

The next garbage hauler for most Issaquah residents, CleanScapes, rolled out a compressed-natural gas truck and wildlife-resistant containers in recent days, as the company prepares to start service in the city.

The contract between Seattle-based CleanScapes and the city starts July 1, though service in the city does not commence until July 2 because July 1 is a Sunday.

The changeover from Waste Management to CleanScapes affects most Issaquah customers. Allied Waste — a local name for national company Republic Services — hauls garbage in South Cove and Greenwood Point neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish.

In a June 13 ceremony, CleanScapes executives and city leaders celebrated the addition of a hydraulic launch assist, compressed natural-gas powered truck to the company fleet. Officials said CleanScapes is the first company in the Pacific Northwest to use the truck.

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King County launches Veterans Treatment Court

June 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2012

King County officials celebrated the launch of Veterans Treatment Court on Thursday, a milestone in the effort to direct veterans into treatment and services, rather than incarceration.

The combination of mental health issues, alongside post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, can lead veterans into the criminal justice system. Officials said the Veterans Treatment Court offers a better route for nonviolent offenders.

The program, a part of Mental Health Court, is rooted in legislation adopted by the King County Council last year. Officials gathered at the King County Courthouse to launch the program.

The program is to receive future funding by the Veterans and Human Services Levy. King County voters renewed the property tax levy package in 2011 with almost 70 percent approval.

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City hosts sustainability film contest for students

June 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2012

Capture a vision of sustainability on film for a city-sponsored contest, and share ideas about how to make Issaquah a more livable community.

City leaders launched the student film contest in part to gather ideas for fostering a healthy environment, a strong economy and active citizens in the present and the future.

Organizers plan to feature selected films on the municipal website. In addition, a panel of judges plans to select 10 winners to receive a special honor and invitation to the Issy Awards at Village Theatre in September.

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Microsoft, Nordstorm executives invest in arena proposal

June 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2012

The investment group for a proposed Seattle arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball and hockey franchises to the region — includes top executives at Microsoft and Nordstrom.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nordstrom executives Peter and Erik Nordstrom add strength and credibility to the proposal.

“These backers are pillars of our local community whose reputations precede them,” Constantine said in a statement. “The people of King County know that these local leaders are committed to bringing the NBA and NHL to this region.”

In February, investor Christopher Hansen presented to Seattle and King County a proposal to construct the arena to host NBA and NHL teams.

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Seattle Tilth seeks volunteers for Pickering Barn garden

June 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2012

Seattle Tilth is searching for volunteers to tend the community garden at Pickering Barn.

Organizers plan to a host a family workday in the garden on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. The garden is located on the Pickering Barn grounds, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. On Saturday, Seattle Tilth needs volunteers to make and plant seed tapes, scavenger hunt, weed and feed chickens and dig in the soil.

The organization also needs volunteers for harvest parties, work parties and other tasks. Find opportunities from Seattle Tilth at http://seattletilth.org/get-involved/volunteer/volunteering-in-issaquah.

Gardeners donate fresh produce to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Officials to break ground June 19 on Issaquah Highlands retail complex

June 14, 2012

NEW — 9 p.m. June 14, 2012

City leaders and representatives from Issaquah Highlands developers plan to gather June 19 to break ground on a long-awaited retail complex in the neighborhood.

Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust based in Florida, intends to build the retail complex, dubbed Grand Ridge Plaza, on vacant land along Highlands Drive Northeast between Swedish/Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride.

The proposed retail complex morphed throughout the years to reflect the developers involved and the economy.

In the latest iteration, announced tenants include a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Regal Cinemas and Safeway intend to open next year. Other tenants could open in 2013 as well.

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Prepare for detours amid Costco gas station expansion

June 14, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 14, 2012

Motorists should expect lane restrictions and detours near Costco in the months ahead, as the Issaquah-based warehouse giant expands the gas station at the flagship warehouse.

The changes should occur along Lake Drive and 10th Avenue throughout the summer.

In addition, the sidewalk along the north side of Lake Drive should be temporarily closed for most of June and some of July. Pedestrians can instead use the existing sidewalk along the entrance and exit to Costco on Lake Drive along the front of Costco and the tire center and to a sidewalk to connect to Northwest Sammamish Road.

Crews plans to post detour signs to guide pedestrians.

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King County to make safety improvements near Liberty High School

June 14, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. June 14, 2012

King County road crews plan to make safety improvements near Liberty High School soon.

The county King County Road Services Division received federal grant funding to complete the project east of Renton. Crews plan to restripe the westbound lanes at the intersection of 168th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 128th Avenue Street — located north of Liberty.

Plans also call for the the existing traffic signal to be changed to provide a left-turn signal. Expect improved pedestrian facilities to result from the project, too.

Officials expect the changes to reduce the number and severity of rear-end collisions involving motorists waiting to turn left from Southeast 128th Avenue Street onto 168th Avenue Southeast.

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Maple Hills Elementary School musical pays homage to rock

June 12, 2012

Lacey Williams, Drew Cain, Bailee Hawkins and Aden Bryan (from left) rock out on stage June 7 during Maple Hills Elementary School’s fifth-grade musical ‘Rock and Roll Forever.’ Photo by Lillian Tucker

To celebrate the end of the year, fifth-graders at Maple Hills Elementary School did what many of them enjoy most — performing.

“I love entertaining people,” Andrew Intonti said.

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