Bill would allow Issaquah to continue marketing Salmon Days

February 26, 2013

Funding for parts of Salmon Days could be in jeopardy if the state Legislature doesn’t pass a bill under consideration in the house and senate.

Since 2007, localities in the state have been able to use money from the lodging tax, taxes paid by hotel guests, to help fund special events or festivals and also nonprofit organizations that promote tourism. The provision that allows those uses expires June 30.

Localities would still be permitted to collect the taxes, but they would have more restrictions on the ways they could use the money. In Issaquah, that means funding for some parts of the Salmon Days festival and other activities would be in jeopardy.

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Issaquah starts countdown to plastic bag ban

February 26, 2013

The citywide ban on most retail plastic bags starts March 1, and Issaquah leaders are reminding residents and retailers to prepare for the ordinance to go into effect.

The measure also sets a 5-cent fee for most paper carryout bags. Under the ordinance, retailers keep the fee to offset the cost to phase out plastic bags. Shoppers can see the expense itemized on receipts.

Though the ordinance requires most plastic bags to disappear from retailers in March, consumers should not expect to see the bags vanish altogether.

The legislation contains exemptions for plastic bags for bakery items, bulk foods, meat, produce, dry cleaning, newspapers, small hardware items and takeout foods.

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Issaquah City Council revisits central plan design, development standards

February 26, 2013

The Issaquah City Council moved one step closer to reaching a consensus concerning the Central Issaquah Plan’s development and design standards at a Feb. 20 work session to identify and discuss any remaining issues with the standards.

In December, the council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, a long-term vision for the city that would transform it into a dense urban core complete with 125-foot tall buildings.

The council delayed adoption of the development and design standards at the time, preferring instead to put them through a more thorough review process.

The development and design standards consist of rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more. It is the only piece of Central Issaquah Plan legislation that has yet to be approved.

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Donation is available for computers, electronics

February 26, 2013

CleanScapes is accepting unwanted computers and electronics for donation at the company’s Gilman Village store.

Through a partnership between CleanScapes and Seattle-based nonprofit organization InterConnection, residents can drop off old electronics at 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Each donation is tax-deductible and benefits InterConnection’s technology access programs.

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King County seeks residents’ input on stormwater management program

February 26, 2013

The King County Water and Land Resources Division is seeking public input as it reviews and updates the 2013 stormwater management program.

The draft program describes actions the county is taking to avoid, reduce and repair damage caused by the amount and quality of stormwater runoff in unincorporated areas.

Stormwater runoff is the top source of toxic pollution to Puget Sound and the region’s rivers and streams.

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Next superintendent discusses job

February 26, 2013

Ron Thiele maybe the associate superintendent now, but come July 1, he’s dropping the associate and stepping in as the superintendent of the Issaquah School District. Thiele took the time last week to answer a few questions from The Issaquah Press.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Ron Thiele drops the associate from his title and becomes the Issaquah School District’s superintendent July 1.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Ron Thiele drops the associate from his title and becomes the Issaquah School District’s superintendent July 1.

Q: What is your overarching education philosophy?

A: Public schools should strive to create the best overall experience possible for every student in order to prepare them to embrace the academic and practical challenges in front of them. My philosophy is very aligned with the mission of the Issaquah School District.

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Issaquah City Council adopts updated lake, creek shoreline plan

February 26, 2013

The Issaquah City Council voted unanimously Feb. 19 to adopt updated plans for land along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish.

The updated Shoreline Master Program is designed to guide construction and development for 12 miles along the creek and the lake. The rules combine local plans for future development and preservation, plus recent development ordinances and related permitting requirements. The plan is meant to minimize environmental damage to shoreline areas.

Following a state mandate, the city has been working for several years to update its plan. More than a dozen public meetings on the matter took place between 2007 and Dec. 19, 2011, when the council approved the shoreline update. The plan was then sent to the state Department of Ecology, which reviewed the program and sent it back to the council Sept. 24, with requests for a few specific changes.

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State Sen. Mark Mullet joins key committee

February 26, 2013

State Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, is the latest addition to the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee — a panel responsible for ensuring state government operates effectively, efficiently and accountably.

The freshman senator filled a vacant seat on the bipartisan committee, Senate Democrats announced Jan. 30.

The committee members help conduct performance audits, program evaluations, reviews and other analyses as assigned by the Legislature and the committee itself. Independent auditors then issue recommendations to improve performance.

Issaquah Valley Elementary School is honored

February 26, 2013

For the second year in a row, Issaquah Valley Elementary School has received recognition for dramatic increases in reading and math for 2012. Only 96 other schools in Washington earned the award.

To earn School of Distinction status, schools must be performing at least at the state average in each grade level measured in their school (third through eighth grades, and 10th grade) on reading and math assessments as measured in the spring 2012 Measures of Student Progress and High School Proficiency exams. Schools meeting the requirement were then evaluated on combined reading and math improvement over the past five years. The top 5 percent of the elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools and alternative schools are designated as Schools of Distinction.

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Off The Press

February 26, 2013

The road less taken leads to the woods

I wonder where that road goes? With that question, I am off on another of Robert Frost’s roads less taken, as I explore Issaquah, my new home. With the scarcity of streets laid out in grids, discovery is the best way to learn my way around, especially being map challenged.

Joe Grove Press proofreader

Joe Grove
Press proofreader

Sometimes, I leave the house on my motorcycle with my only intent being to take the next right turn or the next left turn. The most amazing find on these serendipitous trips has been the frequency with which roads lead to a trailhead or series of trailheads.

Too many years too late, I realize I am in a hiker’s paradise.

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