October 16, 2012
The candidate no longer in the race looms over the contest for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat.
Cheryl Pflug, a Republican former senator and erstwhile candidate, is a constant presence in the race — in television spots supporting the Democrat in the contest and in diatribes from Republicans.
The acrimonious race to succeed Pflug pits the Democrat, Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, against Republican Brad Toft, a manager for a national financial services firm and a Snoqualmie resident.
In a race focused on the economy and education, distractions abound — including Toft’s past legal troubles and accusations of dirty campaign tactics from both sides.
Toft entered the race late last year, before Mullet announced plans to run and Pflug filed for re-election.
October 16, 2012
The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office could hinge on a series of audits into how the agency operates.
The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.
The contentious race pits Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former Kent police chief, against John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman.
King County Council members appointed Strachan as sheriff in April, not long after former Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, or state police academy.
Though the election is to fill the Rahr’s unexpired term through 2013, the next sheriff faces a landmark effort to reform the agency in response to audits critical of policies put into place under Strachan’s predecessors.
Strachan, a SeaTac resident, served as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before accepting the Kent post in 2006. In the Minnesota Legislature, he helped pass legislation to reduce the blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. Rahr tapped Strachan as the chief deputy, or No. 2 spot, at the sheriff’s office in early 2011.
October 9, 2012
Issaquah homeowners can expect to pay about $5 more in property taxes next year, if City Council members adopt a 1 percent rate hike to fund long-term projects.
The property tax increase, proposed Oct. 1 by Mayor Ava Frisinger, is not expected to generate much next year. If enacted, city officials expect to raise only $69,707 — a drop in a proposed $35 million general fund budget.
The decision to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, 1 percent, is projected to cost the average homeowner $4.75 per year.
October 2, 2012
The ode to salmon migration, Issaquah’s iconic Salmon Days Festival, returns to downtown Issaquah on Oct. 6-7.
September 25, 2012
Mayor Ava Frisinger plans to unveil the 2013 municipal budget Oct. 1 and outline priorities for the year ahead.
The annual announcement launches at least a month of deliberations between City Council members and city staffers to craft a complete budget. The council is required to adopt the budget before Dec. 31.
Frisinger is due to deliver a budget address at the Oct. 1 council meeting. Leaders meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.
In December 2011, council members approved a $36 million general fund budget — dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.
The total city budget — including dollars for capital expenses and from other accounts — reached $85.7 million.
September 25, 2012
The garbage hauler for most Issaquah neighborhoods, Seattle-based CleanScapes, is also a tenant at Gilman Village.
CleanScapes renovated a space in the iconic retail center for a customer service center and store. CleanScapes President Chris Martin and Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger cut the ribbon on the facility Sept. 21.
Customers can stop at the center — 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 22 — to ask questions about service and drop off difficult-to-recycle items, such as cellphones.
CleanScapes also offers items meant to help consumers reduce waste — such as stainless-steel water bottles and cloth diapers — and products made from recycled materials, including a bike messenger bag fashioned from inner tubes.
The company started garbage and recycling service in Issaquah on July 1.
September 21, 2012
NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 21, 2012
Salmon Days Festival organizers tapped cyclist Jennie Reed, a silver medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Issaquah High School alumna, to serve as grand marshal in the celebration’s Grande Parade.
Reed, a 1996 Issaquah High graduate, won a silver medal in women’s team pursuit, a cycling event, last month at the London Olympics.
Salmon Days returns to downtown Issaquah for a 43rd outing Oct. 6-7.
Reed and the U.S. team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo finished in 3:19.727 for silver. Great Britain earned the gold in the event and Canada claimed the bronze.
September 18, 2012
The callers punching 911 into cellphones on Sept. 24, 2011, a bright Saturday darkened as a gunman stalked across downtown Issaquah, heard a calm voice amid the chaos.
In the hours after the gunman set across from a downtown intersection to Clark Elementary School, communications specialists at the Issaquah Police Department fielded a tsunami of calls.
In the tumult, a trio of dispatchers — including a recent addition to the team — attempted to assuage panicked citizens and advise the officers at the scene.
The voices citizens and officers heard on the line came from Dominique Hill, Janelle Knight and Felicia Moore.
August 21, 2012
The triangle is out. The salmon is in.
Issaquah leaders plan to phase out the longtime city logo — a triangle and stylized As meant to evoke the Issaquah Alps — and use a salmon-centric emblem instead.
The shift comes as the city and a contractor complete a monthslong effort to overhaul the dated municipal website and forge a more modern image for city government.
August 21, 2012
Citizens can offer input about trails on a Tiger Mountain tract called Park Pointe, a section of forest set aside for conservation and recreation last year.
Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department staffers created a draft trail plan for Park Pointe — a site encompassing 101 acres near Issaquah High School.
The public can comment on the proposal to the Park Board at 7 p.m. Aug. 27. The board meets at the Issaquah Trails House, 110 Bush St. Read the draft trail plan for Park Pointe at http://bit.ly/LSmlum.
Once the Park Board listens to public comment, members intend to develop a recommendation for Mayor Ava Frisinger and city Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill. Frisinger and McGill then intend to finalize a plan for the site.