July 16, 2013

Maxwell’s replacement needs east district roots

State Rep. Marcie Maxwell (D-41st) has served the northwest side of Issaquah well. We are anxious to learn more about her replacement in the Legislature.

Last year, the 41st District got new boundaries and now includes most of Sammamish, as well as the South Cove area of Issaquah, Newcastle, Renton and Mercer Island. With the district’s other two legislators — Rep. Judy Clibborn and Sen. Steve Litzow — both from Mercer Island, we hope the Democratic leadership selecting Maxwell’s replacement will give some extra consideration to candidates from Sammamish, the opposite side of a sprawling district.

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July 9, 2013

Skate Park needs higher visibility

We are pleased to see that the mayor and Issaquah City Council listened to the people who spoke up for a solution to relocating the Skate Park.

It was teens who brought their skateboards and their voices to the council in 1996 when they asked for the Skate Park to be built. It was opened in 1997 just behind the Issaquah Community Center and for a while was a true asset to the primarily teen set who had a place to careen on their boards up one cement wall and down another.

The seclusion of the park — along the wooded Rainier Trail that connects the high school and middle school — proved to be too attractive to youths who need supervising. The Skate Park is now known in the community as much for its drug dealing as a place to skate. Litter, including drug paraphernalia, gives insight into illegal activity going on there.

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July 2, 2013

Good riddance to state park geese

The No. 1 problem that keeps people away from Lake Sammamish State Park has been the overpopulation of Canadian geese — and the toe-deep goose poop.

If you’ve been to the park in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed the geese are gone. After a couple of days of pounding rains, so is the excrement that covered the beaches and lawns. Former goose poop is now just fertilizer.

Of course, a straggler goose may swim ashore and find that the grass is greener at the state park, but for a moment in time, the geese have been relocated. We sincerely hope the state park will continue its program in future years, especially with new pristine sand slated to refurbish Sunset Beach for swimmers.

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June 25, 2013

Visitor guide marks beginning of summer

How do you know when summer is on the cusp of arriving, even though the calendar says it already has?

Graduation parties are over, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds more often than not, produce at the Issaquah Farmers Market is getting plentiful and the Issaquah Living Visitors Guide has arrived with your newspaper.

Salmon-centric Issaquah enjoys a nearly perfect natural setting, nestled at the edge of Lake Sammamish between the lush green hills of the Issaquah Alps. We enjoy a mix of urban theater, arts and shopping, but also fishing, boating, museums and festivals — all showcased in the stunning visitors guide in today’s paper.

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June 11, 2013

Don’t mix alcohol with graduation parties

Graduation Day at our local high schools brings a whole range of emotions — pride, relief, amazement. And trepidation.

Certainly, the anxiety comes from the unknown future as students prepare to move away from families and begin new life, job and educational challenges.

But the first wave of fear is about the well-deserved partying in celebration of commencement and warm weather that often goes hand-in-hand with drunken driving and the loss of life of a local graduate or student while summer is just getting started.

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Volunteerism is city’s most treasured value

June 4, 2013

One of Issaquah’s best assets and most treasured values is its volunteer spirit. The city has grown enough that a volunteer coordinator is becoming critical to keep that spirit going.

It’s that time of year when organizations are recognizing their many volunteers. The awards culminated last week with the annual Community Awards event. Everything from environmental work to education advocates were recognized by assorted organizations, including the city.

Maxwell Tang, the Youth Leadership Award winner, said after the awards that hearing each honoree’s story has inspired him to want to come back after college to play a part in Issaquah’s future.

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May 28, 2013

Boy Scouts of America makes right decision

Boy Scouts have played a big role in Issaquah’s history, as well as shaped numerous boys and young men to be better citizens.

Local Scouts provide numerous community service hours of good deeds, from food drives to litter cleanup, from construction of the early version of Gibson Hall’s log cabin in 1932 to the many Eagle Scout projects that provide new amenities around town today.

However, the Boy Scouts of America have not led by example, choosing to discriminate against gay boys. Last week, BSA’s National Council voted by secret ballot to change the rules to open their ranks to openly-gay members. It’s a good step, but a tiny one.

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May 21, 2013

Fall council elections look to be ho-hum

Isn’t it wonderful how happy everyone is with the future of the city of Issaquah?

We assume that’s the case, since incumbent City Council members up for re-election this fall have all gone unchallenged, giving Stacy Goodman, Tola Marts and Eileen Barber another four-year term. Even Mary Lou Pauly gets a free ride into office with no challenger for the council’s only open seat.

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May 14, 2013

Sign code revisions can build on success

The city sign code is as important to our feelings about Issaquah as the trees that line the streets. Signs are important to commerce, and help lead the way, but for the most part are visually pleasing, adding to the ambiance of the town.

That said, we’re glad to see the city of Issaquah taking the time to listen to business owners about possible revisions to the sign code ordinance.

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May 7, 2013

Kokanee Work Group progress is heartening

A few years ago, the news about the kokanee salmon was pretty uniformly discouraging. Now, thanks largely to the efforts of the Kokanee Work Group, the fish species seems like it might be taking a step back from the brink.

Old-timers will tell you about the days when the streams running into Lake Sammamish were so thick with fish returning to spawn, you could practically walk across the water on their backs.

As years went by, the salmon suffered. Exploding development, particularly in the late 20th century, degraded streams and likely exacerbated a series of infamous algae blooms in the lake.

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