August 6, 2013
Parking fees raise more questions than money
Get ready to pay for reserved parking at the Issaquah Transit Center.
Sound Transit has approved a plan that could mean that up to 40 percent of parking spots will be fee based. Officials say this pilot program will test whether people 1) will pay, 2) if pre-paid reserved parking will shift drivers to other less-full lots, and 3) if drivers can be encouraged to carpool.
Sound Transit will set aside 10 percent of the Issaquah spots for single-occupant vehicles and another 10 percent for carpools, though either or both of those numbers could expand to 20 percent. Single drivers will pay $33 per quarter and carpools $5. The spots would be reserved during peak hours after which they revert to general parking.
July 30, 2013
Vote yes on county parks levy
As it’s had to do since 2002, the King County Parks Department is asking for money to help support parks maintenance and the acquisition of new parkland.
Voters should vote approve the property tax levy.
The county no longer funds parks from its general fund budget. It still pays for essentials like transportation, public safety, health, law enforcement, courts and sewers. Parks, however, are largely on their own.
July 23, 2013
1,200 backpacks needed for students
Let the back-to-school shopping begin!
Wow, everything from erasers to three colors of ink pens, from scissors to Pee Chees are on the list. Don’t forget a box of Kleenex for the classroom and an apple for the teacher.
If you’ve purchased a backpack for your student and added the supplies, your receipts probably add up to more than $100. And you still have to get new shoes and pay for a yearbook and a PTA membership.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.