Small businesses wrap up plastic bag use

May 27, 2014

The city’s ban on plastic bags kicks in July 1 for small businesses.

The ban — passed by the Issaquah City Council in 2012 — went into effect for businesses over 7,500 square feet on March 1 the following year. The council staggered the roll-out of the prohibition, giving other businesses another year before they were expected to comply.

The ban will prohibit stores from providing customers with single-use plastic bags and require a minimum 5-cent charge for paper bags.

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To the Editor

April 1, 2014

Skateboard park

Don’t build it at Veterans’ Memorial Field

Here we go again. Our one and only park/ field donated to the city is up for construction again. Growing up in Issaquah, it was so nice to have a field right in downtown Issaquah. Open space — what a concept!

But then the city needed a library, a police station, a senior center and now the skateboard park. So, the city needs to take other land from people to claim it as “open space” just to let us know they “value” parks.

I’m pretty sick and tired of our one and true memorial field slowly getting hacked up by those who deem it more suitable for other uses. Soon, Veterans’ Memorial Field will be just that — a memory.

Very sad.

Jean McMullan

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 25, 2014

Gilman redevelopment

Proposal needs geo-tech, hydrological review

The proposed redevelopment at Seventh and Gilman (Antique Mall area) is the first go through our new Central Issaquah Plan regulations. One thing that has become clear is the difficulty of construction in high-ground water, near creek, earthquake hazard areas … much of the valley floor. The land at Seventh and Gilman has the further complication of being a Special Flood Hazard Area.

It is imperative in these difficult sites that there is belt-and-suspenders review of both the geo-tech report and the hydrologic modeling from the developer. Please require third-party peer review of both the geo-tech analysis and the model.

Connie Marsh

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 18, 2014

Plastic bags

Thanks for upholding the ban

Thank you, Issaquah, for upholding the bag ban. It was the right time and the right thing to do.

It may be an extremely small step in the overall scheme of being responsible for our surroundings, but hopefully other smaller communities from around the area and the country will follow our lead, step up and move forward as we have.

Geoff Carson

Issaquah

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Klahanie votes against annexation; Issaquah approves the bag ban

February 25, 2014

Issaquah’s ban on plastic bags still stands, while a Klahanie-area annexation continues to fall short.

As of Feb. 21, 1,504, or 49.51 percent, of the residents in the Klahanie area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,534, or 50.49 percent, voted against it.

Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.

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Voters, so far: Bag ban stands, Klahanie stays unincorporated

February 18, 2014

Eleven thousand people might still be searching for a home.

King County Elections released preliminary numbers for the Klahanie-area annexation vote Feb. 11 and the numbers stand close on whether to join Issaquah.

At the end of the first week of vote counting, 1,490, or 49.4 percent, of the residents in the area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,524, or 50.6 percent voted against it.

Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.

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Judge orders changes to bag ban ballot

December 10, 2013

King County Superior Court ordered changes to Issaquah’s bag ban ballot language Dec. 6.

Craig Keller, chairman of Save Our Choice, filed a petition with the court Nov. 15 to protest language he felt misrepresented the bag ban and would misinform voters.

Save Our Choice was the primary driver behind the circulation of a successful petition that ultimately led to the City Council’s decision for a February referendum on the matter and drafting of the ballot by City Attorney Wayne Tanaka.

Keller’s main complaint objected to language in the 71-word title saying the law applies only to “certain retail establishments,” bans “lightweight” bags and “encourages reusable bag use.”

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Issaquah City Council sends plastic bag ban to February vote

October 22, 2013

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Oct. 22, 2013

Voters will ultimately decide the fate of Issaquah’s plastic bag ban.

In a unanimous decision, the City Council approved a resolution to hold a special election Feb. 11 to ask voters whether a ban on plastic bags should continue.

“Over 60 percent of the citizens that contacted me were in favor of that ordinance,” Councilman Paul Winterstein said, defending his vote in favor of the original ban. “And I followed that duly and I take that very seriously. But we’re also a city of laws. I’m in favor of putting it in front of a vote, and I can accept whatever outcome that comes.”

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Issaquah plastic bag ban appeal request bags enough signatures

October 4, 2013

NEW — 1 p.m. Oct. 4, 2013

The petition is in the bag.

After consumer group Save Our Choice fought a long battle to gather enough local support, King County officially approved the petition to end the ban on plastic bags Oct. 4.

“King County Elections has completed verification of the signatures submitted to our office for the City of Issaquah Initiative Petition regarding the Repeal of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Paper Bag Charge,” Sherril Huff, director of King County Elections Department wrote in her letter notifying Save Our Choice of the findings.

“Of the signatures that were compared against those on file with our office, 2,597 were determined to be registered voters of the city of Issaquah,” she wrote. “Since that number met the requirement of 2,549, it is determined that the petition is sufficient.”

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Residents settle in to bag ban

April 23, 2013

After almost two months of the Issaquah bag ban, which bars large-scale retailers from distributing plastic shopping bags to customers, the reception has been generally positive.

The ban went into effect March 1 for retail stores larger than 10,000 square feet.

Prior to the implementation, the city’s Department of Sustainability launched an extensive education campaign for citizens and retailers. Resource Conservation Coordinator Micah Bonkowski was pleased to find that most of the affected stores were prepared for the law.

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