Send us your tales about The Issaquah Press’ Bob Taylor

February 21, 2012

Bob Taylor

It is with much sadness that I tell you that Issaquah Press longtime Sports Editor Bob Taylor is leaving us. His last day at the paper will be March 9.

We are seeking your photos, your videos, your memories and anything else you have to share with us for a tribute to him that we will have in the paper.

Email your items and contact information to Managing Editor Kathleen R. Merrill at editor@isspress.com, or contact the paper on Twitter, www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or Facebook, www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

Please help us send Bob off the right way, with much love and respect. He’s a Northwest sports legend.

Mountains to Sound Greenway seeks federal recognition

February 21, 2012

The greenway, shown above, runs parallel to Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront, through Issaquah and across the Cascades. The greenbelt encompasses 1.5 million acres in conservation lands, recreation areas, farms, working forests and cities. By Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Greg Farrar

National Heritage Area is meant to highlight environment, history

The 100-mile-long Mountains to Sound Greenway — greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront and across the Cascades — is often heralded as a national model for conservation and land use.

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Issaquah’s bill for response to January storms tops $500,000

February 21, 2012

The city’s initial tally for response and cleanup from the January snowstorm and subsequent ice storm reached $530,000 — although the number could shrink if federal officials release dollars for disaster efforts.

Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

The city could receive federal dollars as a reimbursement if President Barack Obama declares the January storms as a federal disaster. Such a decision means local governments could apply for reimbursements for emergency response and cleanup activities.

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Fire District 10 voters OK $5.5 million bond to relocate fire station

February 21, 2012

Fire District 10 — May Valley, Mirrormont and other communities near Issaquah — received approval to build a fire station and upgrade other facilities as voters approved a $5.5 million bond in a special election Feb. 14.

Officials plan to use bond dollars to relocate crews from Fire Station 78 at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast.

The district asked the electorate to OK the bond to fund a rebuilt Station 78 and improvements to other fire stations throughout the sprawling district. The price tag for the rebuilt station alone is expected to reach $4.5 million.

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Issaquah man is sole candidate in King Conservation District election

February 21, 2012

The election for a King Conservation District board seat starts Feb. 28 and, although only a lone candidate appears on the ballot, district voters in Issaquah and elsewhere can cast ballots online.

The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

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Businesses earn reprieve from city fee until March 2013

February 21, 2012

City leaders offered entrepreneurs a reprieve from a fee for another year, as officials attempt to entice businesses to relocate to or remain in Issaquah.

In a unanimous decision, City Council members agreed to exempt businesses from paying the transportation impact fee until March 2013. The exemption applies to the initial 10,000 square feet of floor area per project.

The council action continues a project initiated in 2009 to roll back the transportation impact fee and encourage entrepreneurs to consider Issaquah. In 2009, officials earmarked $1.58 million — money left over from the canceled Southeast Bypass — to offset the fee. City planners said $976,589 remains available for businesses.

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Issaquah-based Costco ranks No. 1 for quality in survey

February 21, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco pleased shoppers more than other major retailers, Consumer Reports announced Feb. 7.

The magazine surveyed more than 26,000 readers to compile the data. Customers told Consumer Reports about 55,108 shopping experiences at 10 retailers, including Costco, JCPenney, Macy’s, Target and Walmart. The survey respondents also detailed experiences at the retailers’ online outlets.

Costco emerged as the only chain to earn the top rating for overall merchandise quality, in brick-and-mortar stores and online. The warehouse chain also earned above-average scores in all 10 product categories, including electronics and jewelry.

Costco’s website performed better than warehouses on all counts except product quality. The website also received top marks for checkout, layout and product value.

Customers dinged Costco for below-average selection in warehouses, in-store service and the checkout experience, due to long lines. Shoppers also complained about Costco’s dearth of fitting rooms.

In addition to store ratings, the report also includes Consumer Reports reader scores for the product offerings at all major stores, including clothing, jewelry, hardware, home decor, kitchenware, electronics, sporting goods and toys.

The complete survey results appear in the March issue of Consumer Reports.

Costco is the largest employer in Issaquah. The company employs about 2,700 people in Issaquah corporate offices and at the flagship warehouse in Pickering Place.

Students focus on foreign exchange programs

February 21, 2012

‘Everything is way bigger’ on this journey

By Samantha Garrard Issaquah High School

When asked about her first impressions of America, Perrine Moser, a foreign exchange student from Switzerland, said, “Everything is way bigger, like the streets, grocery stores, cars, portions of food.” Similar to her “big impressions” of America, Perrine is currently experiencing a “big journey.”

Perrine said she could not choose where she wanted to go for the foreign exchange problem, but she’s really happy that she ended up in Issaquah.

This year, Perrine began attending Issaquah High School as a junior. She said a big difference between the Swiss and American school systems is that Swiss students take about six more classes than America students, which makes Swiss school days four hours longer than the average American school day.

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State to release initial 2012 salmon forecast Feb. 28

February 21, 2012

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to announce the forecast for 2012 salmon returns and possible fishing seasons Feb. 28.

The annual forecast announcement is the initial indicator of salmon returns to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery along Issaquah Creek.

The agency invited anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in salmon fisheries to the public meeting at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. The meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To launch the salmon season setting process, Department of Fish and Wildlife officials present initial forecasts — compiled by state and tribal biologists — of projected returns. Meeting attendees can talk to fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts, and participate in work sessions focusing on possible salmon fisheries and conservation issues.

The state also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on regional salmon issues through early April.

The process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council — the organization responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water off the Pacific coast.

King County mails property tax bills to homeowners

February 21, 2012

King County residents started to receive property tax bills in recent days and, although property tax collection in the county is up 1.71 percent from last year, owners should see a drop in bills and a decline in valuation.

Officials said property values declined in almost every area in King County last year.

The county uses assessed property valuations established during the previous year to determine property taxes.

April 30 is the deadline for King County to pay or postmark property tax bills.

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