Prepare for detours amid Costco gas station expansion

June 19, 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.

Crews plan to post detour signs to guide pedestrians.

Several months ago, city planners approved Costco’s application to add two fueling islands to the gas station, and to expand the parking area adjacent to the warehouse for a net increase of 101 parking spaces, including upgraded handicapped parking stalls.

Plans call for about one-fourth of existing wetland to be filled for the parking lot. Costco plans to mitigate for the impact by creating about 2.2 acres of wetland and 2.8 acres of wetland buffer on land east of Pickering Place and Issaquah Creek.

The gas station expansion is adjacent to the intersection of 10th Avenue and Lake Drive. The parking area expansion is located along Lake Drive east of 11th Avenue.

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters brighten boy’s day with new bike

June 19, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters
(left to right) Jason Stotler, Mark Harper and Lt. Russ Tanner replaced Tudor Magda’s bicycle after he was hit by a car. Contributed by EFR

When Tudor Magda woke up May 14, there was no way he could envision what the day’s events would entail. It would be a mixture of good and bad, but ultimately, it would be a day to remember.

It was a sunny, nearly cloudless sky. The area was graced with one of the warmest days of the year. For the Issaquah Valley Elementary School fourth-grader, it was the ideal day to ride his bike to school.

Tudor was careful. He made sure to look both ways before traveling across streets and obeyed pedestrian crossing signs.

As he approached the crosswalk across from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, the one connecting the library parking structure to the apartment complex, he gradually slowed his bike.  Simultaneously, a car neared, preparing to turn toward the crosswalk. As the car slowed, Tudor took it as a sign that the driver allowed him to cross. So, he proceeded.

But the driver failed to see him. Tudor and his bike were struck.

Tudor sustained a few scrapes and bruises, but the bike took the brunt of the damage. Read more

King County increases 2013 sewer rate

June 19, 2012

King County Council members hiked the sewer rate for 2013 to $39.79 a month per residential customer.

The rate increase approved by the council June 11 is less than the $39.85 rate King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed in April. Officials intend to keep the same rate in 2014.

The county charges the rate to 34 cities and sewer districts, including Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, to carry and treat wastewater. The amount ratepayers see on bills depends on local sewer utilities. Jurisdictions set rates independently, but typically pass along such costs to customers.

Officials focused on reduced operating costs in announcing the rate increase. Read more

County to make safety improvements near Liberty High School

June 19, 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 — north of Liberty.

Get involved

Submit comments about the project by June 29 to Community Relations, King County Department of Transportation by phone at 206-263-9770, by email to community.relations@kingcounty.gov or by mail to 201 S. Jackson St., MS: KSC-TR-0824, Seattle, WA 98104.

Learn more about the project at www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/Roads/Construction/ConstructionProjectsOther/HighwaySafetyProgram.aspx.

Plans also call for 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.

In the existing arrangement, a curve limits the visibility of vehicles stopped in the inside westbound lane. Advance warning signs and flashers located east of the intersection should help alert westbound motorists of changes and the need to merge to the right.

Construction is expected to begin by September and be completed by the end of the year. Students return to Liberty and other Issaquah School District campuses Sept. 4.

No full road closure is expected as crews complete the work. Expect to see project signs on the approaches to the intersection to alert motorists a few weeks prior to the start of construction.

King County Flood Control District preserves dollars for salmon projects

June 19, 2012

Issaquah salmon-restoration projects could garner grant dollars after all, even though a lawsuit threatened to cut off funds for conservation projects countywide.

King County Flood Control District leaders decided to fund salmon-recovery projects after the King Conservation District stopped doling out grants amid a legal challenge.

Flood Control District officials approved $3 million May 14 for projects to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts. King County Council members sit as the executive board for the Flood Control District.

The decision is meant to plug a gap left after the King Conservation District halted a separate process to issue salmon-recovery grants. Read more

Return of the freak show as Tim Lincecum makes pitching debut at Safeco Field

June 19, 2012

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants Cy Young award-winning pitcher and former Liberty High School star, makes his pitching debut at Safeco Field June 16. By Greg Farrar

With their season on the line in a loser-out playoff game in the KingCo tournament, the 2003 Liberty Patriots knew they something had to give. Read more

Press Editorial

June 19, 2012

Graduates, take time to explore life

A collective sigh of relief can be heard across the district from graduates of Issaquah’s four high schools.No longer will they have to endure the most frequent question asked of high school teens: “What are your plans after you graduate?”

By now the graduates know the answer and so do those who asked the question repeatedly for four years. The answer, of course, is most likely what all graduates before them have answered: Go to college or technical school, join the military, get a job, get married or take time off and then decide.

Congratulations to all. But special applause for those who have a next step that ends with “then decide.” Read more

Off the Press

June 19, 2012

A legacy of selflessness to keep for a lifetime

In keeping with the tradition of previous years, these are excerpts of the commencement speech I heard from a student or adult at graduation that, in my opinion, stood out from the rest. Enjoy!

— Greg Farrar Read more

Public Meetings

June 19, 2012

June 20

Economic Vitality Commission

Agenda: officer elections, mission statement, strengths and weaknesses, business retention

5:30 p.m.

Pickering Room

City Hall Northwest

1775 12th Ave. N.W. Read more

Community invited to celebrate diversity at Highlands Day

June 19, 2012

Cultural diversity is the theme of this year’s Highlands Day, hosted by the Issaquah Highlands Council.

The annual event that marks the summer kickoff traditionally boasts an American theme. But this year, the council plans to celebrate the great diversity found in the Issaquah community, according to Christy Garrard, special events planner for the council.

“We’re partnering with the Issaquah Arts Commission, Swedish hospital and several other title sponsors to bring a four-hour outdoor festival that highlights different ethnicities and cultures,” she said.

This year’s celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23. The event takes place in the heart of the Issaquah Highlands at Blakely Hall and Village Green Park. The event is open to the entire community, not just those from the Issaquah Highlands. Read more

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