Press Editorial

January 24, 2012

Help businesses recover from storm

“Support your local business” takes on new meaning when the city becomes a frozen wasteland for three days.

While homeowners were struggling to stay warm without power, business owners were wringing their hands over the lost business. Restaurants were particularly hard hit as food went to waste without refrigeration. Employees, too, suffered the loss of wages. It was life interrupted, not a fun week.

This week we can try to make it a bit better for each other. Tip your waiter or other service provider just a little extra. Be sure any purchases you make are done locally to help businesses recoup the lost revenue.

Don’t forget to say thank you to those who are helping out. Offer a cup of coffee to the utility workers repairing lines or clearing trees. Let them know they are appreciated.

This is Issaquah, where neighbors help neighbors. With the usual thoughtfulness for the other guy, we’ll be just fine.

Public Meetings

January 24, 2012

Jan. 26

Planning Policy Commission

6:30 p.m.

Council Chambers,

City Hall South

135 E. Sunset Way

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Off the Press

January 24, 2012

Another winter storm, and not so prepared

Debbie Berto Press publisher

Storm coming, so get prepared. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The weatherman never gets it right.

My husband Tom and I are certified members of a CERT — Citizen Emergency Response Team — here in Issaquah.

Sadly, we found ourselves not so prepared last week.

On Tuesday, Tom suggested he should charge the generator. He didn’t follow through, but it did start when the power/phone/Internet/cable went out Thursday morning.

But we only had two gallons of gas on hand to keep the generator going. Uh oh.

Tom siphoned some gas from the 4-wheeler but learned that our cars have anti-siphon devices. A call to the police department confirmed that The Grange did have gas and a generator to pump it, and about 40 cars in line for it. We decided to wait for city power to return.

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To the Editor

January 24, 2012

Winter weather

Newspaper provides information readers needed in the emergency

Just a grateful thank you for the real-time news updates on your website regarding the opening of emergency shelters this evening in downtown Issaquah and the plateau.

I am a ham radio operator who is rendering communication assistance to an elderly lady, with a medical condition, living in downtown Issaquah. She is being helped by a neighbor, but they have been without power all day (and will continue to be all night). Fortunately, I am located out of the downtown area and didn’t lose my power, so I have been able to monitor your website for your news updates.

The publishing of the emergency shelter openings was a very critical piece of information I was able to relay to the person assisting the elderly lady, as well as to other Seattle area emergency networks throughout the evening.

Everyone was relieved and thankful to know there were local area shelters open in Issaquah and on the plateau.

I can’t thank you enough for making this information available after hours in such a timely manner so it could be passed on to those without power and no access to the Web.

Kevin Millar


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Diners share storm stories at 12th Ave. Café

January 24, 2012

As of about 11 a.m. Jan. 21, the 12th Ave. Café in the Issaquah Commons was packed. Every table was filled and a dozen or so people waited in the small area in the front of the eatery for their chance to sit down.

A hostess for the café, Ashley Hutchinson, was one of the several employees rushing around the very busy restaurant. During a brief respite after taking a to-go order, Hutchinson said the café had reopened the morning of Jan. 20 after closing early the morning of the day before due to a loss of power brought on by the storms that hit Jan. 18.

While the café was open Jan. 20, most of Northwest Gilman Boulevard still seemed dark and oddly deserted that afternoon. The only store obviously up and running was QFC supermarket, open thanks to a generator and seemingly doing a very brisk business.

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State reschedules open house for natural resources

January 24, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources has rescheduled a planned meeting regarding recreation in the Snoqualmie Corridor, a network of natural areas stretching from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si.

The meeting is from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Commons Room, Snoqualmie Middle School, 9200 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie.

Snow prompted officials to cancel the meeting planned for Jan. 18.

The state agency is readying for future recreation opportunities on 53,000 acres in natural areas along the so-called Snoqualmie Corridor in East King County. The open house is meant to continue the public planning process.

The corridor — a quick jaunt from Seattle and fast-growing Eastside cities — is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and more. Combined, the lands in the corridor form the largest network of natural areas in Washington.

In recent months, Department of Natural Resources officials started gathering input about recreation in the Snoqualmie Corridor. The open house is the latest step in the planning process.

Officials plan for the meeting to include a brief presentation from agency staffers and then opportunities for participants to share ideas.

Snowstorm does not disrupt life for Cougar Mountain Zoo denizens

January 24, 2012

Snowstorm, ice and aftermath / Jan. 16-20, 2012

Biff the alpaca stands in the snow as a snowstorm hit Cougar Mountain Zoo on Jan. 18. By Robyn Barfoot/Cougar Mountain Zoo

The macaws retreated inside to toastier temperatures. The tigers tolerated the cold. The reindeer, unsurprisingly, reveled in the snow.

Though most Issaquah residents experienced a snow day Jan. 18, a major snowstorm did not disrupt the routine for the denizens of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

“The animals don’t care that it’s snowing outside and we don’t want to get out of bed,” General Curator Robyn Barfoot said. “They need us and that is our driving force.”

The rare Bengal tigers Almos, Bagheera, Taj and Vitez lounge in heated enclosures if the mercury falls. Some species — such as colorful macaws and other birds from tropical climates — spend cold days inside and off display. Other animals carouse in the cold temperatures and deep snow.

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Signal comes online along Interstate 90 Undercrossing

January 24, 2012

Crews installed a traffic signal to facilitate access to the almost-completed Issaquah Medical Building.

The complex, 1301 Fourth Ave. N.W., is along the Interstate 90 Undercrossing. The building is due to open to the public next month.

Pedestrians using the Pickering Trail can use a button to activate the signal for safer crossings.

The undercrossing is a north-south road linking Northwest Gilman Boulevard to East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. Officials opened the connector to traffic in late 2010.

City adjusts traffic signal timing at key intersections

January 24, 2012

The city is updating timing at traffic signals at key intersections in order to adjust the transportation system.

City engineering staffers collected traffic counts and updated weekday and weekend signal-timing plans for the signals along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Front Street North from Gilman Boulevard to Southeast 51st Street. The city also updated signal-timing plans for the corridors along state Route 900, Northwest Sammamish Road and Southeast 56th Street.

Plans called for officials to implement the plans last week, and to monitor and adjust the signal-timing plans as needed in the weeks ahead.

Tent City 4 relocates to Kirkland church

January 24, 2012

Tent City 4 residents pulled up stakes and left Issaquah for a Kirkland church Jan. 21.

The encampment departed as scheduled, despite icy conditions and power outages in Issaquah and across the region.

Tent City 4 settled in the Community Church of Issaquah parking lot in late October. The encampment rotates among Eastside religious institutions every 90 days.

Tent City 4 arrived in Issaquah on a rain-specked morning Oct. 21, as residents and volunteers loaded belongings into trucks parked at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue and headed east.

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