September 17, 2013

City’s cybersquatting is wrong on all levels

The city of Issaquah spent tax dollars to trick taxpayers.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District have been involved in a series of disagreements of late. One of the more recent involved Issaquah’s plan to use a water filtration system a few hundred feet from one of the district’s wells. Issaquah says it will be fine; the district fears contaminated water.

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September 10, 2013

Now hiring! Local opportunities abound

Looking for a job? Issaquah has become the land of opportunity!

When the Growth Management Act was adopted by the state more than 20 years ago, one goal was to encourage job growth near homes, with the aim of cutting down on traffic and new roads.

This fall, Issaquah’s growth at Grand Ridge Plaza, as well as new businesses spurred by a rebounding economy, have led to numerous new job positions being created.

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September 3, 2013

There is nothing fishy about volunteering

The rains arrived last week, signaling the way for thousands of spawning salmon to sniff their way from Puget Sound back to Issaquah Creek. It’s a miracle indeed, one worth celebrating!

But celebrations don’t just happen. They take hundreds of volunteers working together to host more than 150,000 people at the annual Salmon Days Festival on Oct. 5 and 6.

Volunteers work at the shuttle bus locations, the information booths and help with the parade lineup. Others greet the more than 350 arts and craft vendors, help set up multiple stages for live entertainment, put up signs and balloons, even clean up trash when the party is over.

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August 27, 2013

Next step: one less garbage bag a month

Issaquah shoppers are already getting the hang of carrying their own bags into grocery and large retail stores. The plastic bag ban has been in effect for nearly six months. Ready for the next step?

King County is getting in on the action of reducing plastic and other materials in the landfill by encouraging residents to use one less plastic garbage bag a month by recycling more of the basics.

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August 20, 2013

Early school levy decision welcome

We appreciate early decision making by the Issaquah School Board in regard to its 2014 school levy and bond package.

The board approved its request that will go to voters in February on June 26, although exact numbers could vary slightly before being confirmed this fall, after state funding is considered.

With the citizen task force research done and needs identified, there was no reason to delay the school board vote. It’s always a good thing to get the facts out there early, as voters will need the seven months lead time to get their head around the numbers.

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August 13, 2013

Downtown condos are no place for dispensary

According to the city of Issaquah ordinance regulating medical marijuana, a dispensary cannot reside within 500 feet of a preschool or within 1,000 feet of a community center.

While the definition of a preschool seems pretty clear, there is room for argument regarding what exactly constitutes a community center. It has become a point to be argued as a medical marijuana dispensary attempts to locate at 175 First Place Northwest.

If you only consider the Issaquah Community Center, then there is no doubt that the location at the Issaquah Court Condominiums is far enough away. But the applicant failed to consider the Issaquah Library or Issaquah Senior Center, both of which are within 1,000 feet. In fact, both are only about 500 feet away.

The city needs to get the community center designation clear — and now. There will be future applications for dispensaries, and both landlords and business tenants should not have to wonder whether their application will be approved.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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