Final public hearing for Swedish development agreement is Nov. 18

October 29, 2013

A final public hearing concerning the adoption of a new development agreement for Swedish Hospital will take place at the Nov. 18 City Council meeting.

The new development agreement would remove the 28-acre property from the Issaquah Highlands Development agreement with Port Blakely and allow a longer time line for the owner to build additional healthcare buildings on the adjacent lot.

“Swedish plans to be the property owner for a very long time, here,” Economic Development Director Keith Niven said in a presentation before the first public hearing Oct. 21. “And having Port Blakely involved in that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

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Healthcare workshops scheduled in November

October 29, 2013

Theresa Baker, of the Baker Insurance Group, will provide updates and insights into the implementation of the Affordable Care Act during a free public workshop in November.

The 25-year insurance veteran will lead an interactive informational session entitled “What You Need to Know” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Spiritwood at Pine Lake retirement community, 228th Ave. S.E.

For more information, contact Baker at or 292-0004.


Applications sought for state poet laureate

October 29, 2013

Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission are now accepting applications for the next Washington State Poet Laureate. The poet laureate helps build awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops and other activities in communities throughout the state. The next laureate, the state’s third since the program was created in 2007, will serve from Feb. 1, 2014, to Jan. 31, 2016.

Selection of the Washington State Poet Laureate is governed by state regulation. To be considered, applicants must meet all eligibility criteria (which can be found online at and submit an application online at

Applications must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m. Nov. 8. A review panel will select the final candidate and forward its recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee for confirmation by the end of the year.

The Washington State Poet Laureate is a working position and applicants will be asked to propose activities they would hope to accomplish during their tenure. The poet laureate will receive a stipend of approximately $13,000 per year to cover expenses and program costs.


State adopts new science standards for schools

October 29, 2013

Washington has adopted a new set of standards aimed at providing consistent science education for students in all grade levels.

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards — which emphasize skills in engineering and technology — was announced Oct. 4 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and Gov. Jay Inslee at a press conference at Cascade Middle School in Highline.

The standards spell out what students at each grade level should know in four domains: physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology and science application.

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School’s open, drive carefully

October 29, 2013

In 2011, 521 pedestrians ages 0-19 were injured in collisions and seven were killed in Washington, according to state Department of Transportation data.

Now that fall is here, more than 1.1 million Washington children are enrolled in school and back in the classroom. AAA urges drivers to be aware of increased child pedestrian activity and to be extra cautious when backing out of driveways and parking spots in school zones and neighborhoods, especially during the morning and afternoon hours.

“As schools become more active with children, it is critical that drivers take extra precaution and adhere to the 20-mile-per-hour speed limit in school zones,” said Jennifer Cook, senior manager of Corporate Communications at AAA Washington. “The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous, with more than one-fourth of child pedestrian fatalities occurring between 3 and 7 p.m. during the last decade.”

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City Council unanimous in support of continued fire service through Station 83

October 29, 2013

Joining with Eastside Fire & Rescue, the Issaquah City Council lodged its support for Fire Station 83. Unanimously, the council decided to support Fire District 10’s resolution passed Oct. 3, declaring its wish for the first right to purchase Fire Station 83 from Sammamish should that city decide to leave EFR and close the station.

“The city desires to make a policy statement and answer the question regarding levers of service to area served by Station 83 and be willing to partner with District 10 to purchase this station if it became available,” the agenda bill read.

The move was an attempt to assuage fears of a decrease in fire service for the area, particularly in the Klahanie area. Should Sammamish leave EFR and close the station, which it owns, the region would be left without nearby fire support. Issaquah’s resolution would assist with a speculative purchase to ensure continued service for residents.

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Nearly 1,300 drivers ticketed for distracted driving

October 29, 2013

In the past six weeks, law enforcement agencies throughout King County have participated in emphasis patrols to reduce the number of people driving while distracted.

The patrols targeted drivers using cellular phones, texting or involved in other behavior that affected their ability to drive in a safe manner.

More than 1,100 citations were issued to drivers for the use of cellphones and 180 drivers were ticketed for texting while driving. Law enforcement made more than 2,300 contacts with drivers, which included driving while suspended and DUI. Officers also made arrests of subjects with felony warrants, and recovered two stolen vehicles.

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Metro Transit launches pedestrian safety campaign

October 29, 2013

With school in session and the fall season here, King County Metro Transit is reminding pedestrians to do their part to remain safe on the roadways.

“Our transit operators are always on the lookout for pedestrians, especially as darker, rainy days set in — but people can do their part too by being safe, being seen and being smart,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a press release.

In King County, pedestrian deaths increased from 12 in 2011 to 21 in 2012. There are also hundreds of pedestrian injury collisions each year. Based on preliminary information, at least 220 pedestrian injuries from 210 collisions in King County were reported in the first three months of this year, according to the state Traffic Safety Commission.

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October 29, 2013

Joe Forkner is best for Issaquah Mayor

Issaquah voters have only one outlet on the Nov. 5 ballot to express their concerns about impending city issues:

Who will best lead the city, as its next mayor, through a throng of issues — traffic, redevelopment, increased population, water supply, increasing taxes, economic vitality and environmental sustainability — while enhancing Issaquah’s connectivity as a community?

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Mayor candidates are already both winners

October 29, 2013

In the editorial above this space, I’m sure you will find our newspaper’s official endorsement for the next mayor of Issaquah. One of the two candidates will take office in January as the first new mayor in 16 years. With your indulgence, here follows my own personal endorsement.

For the odd-numbered months during their term of office I prefer Fred Butler, and for the even-numbered months Joe Forkner.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

The fact is, not only are they both among the best and most caring people in town that I know, but they have run without a doubt the most gentlemanly, civil, respectful and considerate campaign in the history of politics ever.

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