Councilman calls for county to ‘closely examine’ arena proposal

February 21, 2012

Reagan Dunn

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor McGinn unveiled a proposed public-private partnership Feb. 16 to construct a Seattle arena for professional basketball and hockey teams.

The proposed arena — a $500 million facility, including $290 million from private investors — could host NBA and NHL teams in South Seattle near Safeco Field. Local elected leaders, including Issaquah-area County Councilman Reagan Dunn, lauded the proposal, but said the package needs additional scrutiny.

“As stewards of public money, we must closely examine any plan that seeks King County’s role in financing such a project,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to learning more about the proposal.”

Constantine and McGinn said investor Christopher Hansen, a Seattle native, sent a proposal to King County and Seattle to construct the arena. The executive and mayor also appointed a 10-member panel comprised of community leaders and finance experts to study the arena proposal.

If a memorandum of understanding can be reached among King County, Seattle and Hansen, the Seattle City Council and the King County Council could consider a proposal later in the spring.

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Sammamish Symphony Mardi Gras performance features guest pianist

February 21, 2012

Kimberly Russ

For R. Joseph Scott, Mardi Gras means lively, sprightly music.

And that is exactly what Scott has planned for a Mardi Gras concert of the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra slated for Feb. 26 at the Eastlake Performing Arts Center.

The concert will feature guest pianist Kimberly Russ, of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Russ will perform Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15.”

“The third movement is very lively and dance-like,” Scott said, meaning that to him, the music is perfectly in keeping with the Mardi Gras theme.

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King County Metro Transit expands Issaquah bus service

February 21, 2012

Issaquah residents can expect more bus trips to Seattle under the latest King County Metro Transit service plan.

Officials added 500 hours for weekday service on Route 218 buses from the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride to Seattle. The change comes as Metro Transit shifts more than 35,000 hours of service from lower-performing bus routes throughout the system to bolster service on high ridership routes.

King County Council members adopted the changes in a unanimous decision Jan. 30.

“This is another step in the long march towards reforming how Metro serves King County riders,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said in a statement. “Eastsiders over the course of this process are also going to see an overall increase in their service hours.”

The shift in service is also meant to address issues related to crowding and on-time performance, and add service to underserved corridors.

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Issaquah business joins delegation to global technology conference

February 21, 2012

Issaquah business Chetan Sharma Consulting is among 11 small businesses from Washington representing the Evergreen State at the Mobile World Congress — the premier event in the global mobile tech industry.

The event — scheduled to unfold in Barcelona, Spain, from Feb. 27 to March 1 — includes 60,000 mobile technology leaders from more than 100 countries.

Chetan Sharma Consulting is a management consulting and strategic advisory firm formed in 2001. The company’s clients include telecommunications giants, such as Comcast, Qualcomm and Sprint Nextel.

The state Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration assembled the Washington delegation.

Though trade shows such as Mobile World Congress provide companies valuable opportunities to reach additional customers, costs often put such shows out of reach for many small businesses.

More companies in Washington received the opportunity to participate opportunity via a Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Promotion, or STEP, grant. The state Department of Commerce uses the funds to provide export vouchers of up to $5,000 with a 25 percent match to qualifying companies.

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Words have the power to affect the lives of youths

February 21, 2012

By Olivia Spokoiny Skyline High School

In September 2010, 18-year-old college student Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet without his consent. The tragic event made headlines all across the nation, but was not, unfortunately, a one-time occurrence.

It could happen to anyone, anywhere, and it doesn’t always make the headlines. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young people from ages 10-24, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

With the rapid increase of teens using social media in just the past few years, there has been a spike in bullying in the most severe form.

Just last month, an anonymous Skyline High School student created a Twitter page called “SHSgossipgurl,” and used it to publicly bash and humiliate his or her peers where everybody could see it. Fortunately, the page was taken down within a few days and the cyberbullying was put to an end before it could get worse. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but sometimes words hurt even more.

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King County streamlines rules for wetlands

February 21, 2012

Builders in rural and unincorporated areas can purchase credits to offset construction-related damage to wetlands, after a King County Council decision Jan. 17.

Dow Constantine

County Executive Dow Constantine spearheaded a measure to enable builders to pay a fee, rather than completing projects in a process called mitigation, to compensate for damaged or destroyed wetlands.

The law requires builders to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands and other sensitive areas as much as possible. Mitigation is required if damage is unavoidable.

The legislation creates “mitigation credits” for builders to purchase to offset damage to wetlands. The county can then use the payments for “mitigation credits” to design, construct and maintain watershed restoration projects.

“This market-based tool is the first of its kind in the state, and will better protect our environment while providing options for the building industry,” Constantine said in a statement.

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Department of Transportation adds Tiger Mountain traffic camera

February 21, 2012

Motorists can check road conditions on Tiger Mountain before hitting the road, due to a just-installed traffic camera along state Route 18.

The state Department of Transportation added a traffic camera at the busy state Route 18-Interstate 90 interchange in recent weeks. The interchange is in rural Preston just east of Issaquah.

Motorists can see images from the camera at

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The Hot List

February 21, 2012

By Sampurna Basu Skyline High School

Book: ‘Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am’ by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis’ unique interpretation of the aftereffects of modern warfare is explored in their new book, “Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am.” The relatively short novel captures author Mazer’s own military experiences. The book explores protagonist Ben Bright’s life from the end of high school to his life as an injured veteran who served in Iraq. The book explores the strains on his relationships with family, friends and professional superiors, as well as the overall hardship that comes with being a veteran. The book is a prime representation of the power of honesty and hope.

Movie: ‘The Vow’

Director Michael Sucsy’s “The Vow” finally premiered this month after much anticipation. The romantic drama is about a newlywed couple that recovers from a severe car accident, which puts the wife in a coma. After she wakes up with memory loss, her husband attempts to win her heart a second time. Based on a true story, the movie stars Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, who bring a charming addition to the Valentine mood.

Music: “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” by Whitney Houston

Although certainly not recent, “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” is a must hear. The album, first released in 2000, is a compilation of American singer-songwriter Whitney Houston, who recently passed away. Songs include Whitney’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 25th Super Bowl and other famous Whitney pieces. Right now, the album is the second most popular on iTunes. Listen to this album in honor of Whitney Houston.

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College News

February 21, 2012

Christian Verbrugghe graduates from UW

Christian Verbrugghe, of Issaquah, graduated from the University of Wyoming Feb. 14 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

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Developer proposes 80-lot Sammamish Plateau subdivision

February 21, 2012

King County is considering a request from a developer to turn land along Issaquah-Pine Lake Road Southeast into 80 lots for houses.

The plan from the Kirkland-based developer, Issaquah-Pine Lake Road Investors, calls for homes, plus tracts for recreation, drainage and critical areas. The lots on the site average about 2,400 square feet in size.

The site is east of Issaquah-Pine Lake Road Southeast and north of 238th Way Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau. The land is zoned for six residential units per acre.

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