Police ask for tips after pipe bomb is discovered in portable toilet

July 17, 2012

NEW — 6:50 p.m. July 17, 2012

Police safely detonated a pipe bomb discovered inside a portable toilet in the Issaquah Highlands on Monday, not long after a construction crew discovered the Honey Bucket had been damaged by explosives.

The incident occurred at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast College Drive. Bellevue Police Department bomb squad personnel responded to the scene after workers discovered the unexploded pipe bomb inside the damaged Honey Bucket. The case remains open and under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department.

Police said another portable toilet in nearby Central Park sustained damaged from explosives July 4.

Investigators asked for tips and assistance from citizens in reporting suspicious activities near construction areas in the highlands.

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Issaquah Highlands road link opens to vehicle traffic

May 15, 2012

By Dona Mokin

Issaquah Highlands residents, long limited to a single east-west route uphill through the hillside neighborhood, celebrated the opening of another road link May 10.

The city opened a pair of connected roads — Northeast College Drive and Northeast Falls Drive — to connect motorists to the area from Grand Ridge Elementary School to a proposed retail complex downhill from the campus.

The roads supplement the existing east-west corridor, Northeast Park Drive. The project is also meant to address congestion caused by morning and afternoon drop-offs and pick-ups at Grand Ridge Elementary.

The link starts at Central Park, runs behind the school and terminates at 10th Avenue Northeast. The link — completed by developers — is meant to offer additional access to the school, residences and a planned Bellevue College campus. (Hence the name Northeast College Drive.)

Developers shouldered most of the roughly $1.75 million project cost.

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City Council approves Issaquah Highlands land sale

May 1, 2012

City Council members agreed April 16 to sell land to homebuilder Polygon Homes, despite objections from local environmentalists.

The city earned $80,000 in the land sale — dollars earmarked for landscaping in Central Park and elsewhere, wetland programs and Park Pointe conservation.

The property is 14,693 square feet, or about the size of the Issaquah Library, in the Issaquah Highlands’ Forest Ridge subdivision. Polygon intends to use the land for residences.

The property is included in the complicated Park Pointe transfer of development rights. In exchange for preserving a forested Tiger Mountain site near Issaquah High School, officials agreed to open additional highlands land to development. The long process ended in March 2011.

Despite the conditions council members added to the agreement, leaders in the environmental community protested the decision.

David Kappler, Issaquah Alps Trails Club president and a former councilman, and Janet Wall, a longtime local environmentalist, urged the council to reconsider. Kappler raised safety concerns about a trail leading to the property.

The council approved the sale in a 5-1 decision. Councilman Paul Winterstein dissented. Councilman Joshua Schaer did not attend the meeting.

Construction prompts changes at Issaquah Highlands intersection

May 1, 2012

Northeast College Drive — a road in the Issaquah Highlands from 15th Avenue South to Central Park — is almost finished and, to accommodate traffic, crews plan to install signals soon.

Plans call for traffic signals to be added at the intersection of Northeast Park Drive and 15th Avenue South in early summer.

Until then, to improve safety for motorists and crews, temporary stop signs have been installed at the intersection to ensure motorists can safely turn left onto Northeast Park Drive.

Issaquah voters could decide parks funds in November

April 17, 2012

Issaquah voters could decide as early as November on a multimillion dollar package to fund expansions and upgrades to city parks.

The proposed park bond could generate dollars to add amenities to existing parks, create additional parkland and purchase undeveloped land for conservation. The package could infuse funds into the parks system as lean municipal budgets limit the number of projects the city can undertake.

The municipal Parks & Recreation Department is in the initial stage to prepare for such a bond package, although the timeline is not yet firm. The decision to put a bond measure on the ballot is left to the City Council.

The city is considering offers from firms to conduct a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in parks amenities. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Join hike, barbecue to celebrate Grand Ridge Park milestone

April 3, 2012

The effort to link the High Point Trail to Duthie Hill Park on the Sammamish Plateau consumed almost a decade and more than 40,000 hours from Washington Trails Association volunteers.

The public is invited to join King County Parks and the Washington Trails Association on April 5 to celebrate the yearslong push to complete the trail connection. Citizens can join a hike through Grand Ridge Park and a barbecue at Duthie Hill Park.

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City smoothes once-bumpy Central Park entrance

November 1, 2011

The cratered parking lot at Central Park’s popular artificial turf fields is gone, replaced by a special — and smoother — pavement to allow rainwater to percolate through the lot and into the ground.

Crews completed the 163-stall parking lot in late summer, and city officials gathered to open the space Sept. 26.

The parking lot upgrade is the latest addition to the area, called Pad 3. The city installed artificial turf, using a donation from the Issaquah Soccer Club and a state grant, and lights, using dollars left over from the turf installation, at the site in earlier phases.

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Construction changes vehicle access to Central Park

September 17, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 17, 2011

Motorists headed to Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands should prepare for a route change from Monday through Friday.

The road to access the park from Northeast Park Drive is closed to accommodate construction at the park.

Motorists can instead access the park via the east entrance from 24th Avenue Northeast.

Construction prompts change to Central Park access

August 28, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 28, 2011

Motorists headed to Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands should prepare for changes Monday.

The road to access the park from Northeast Park Drive closes from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. as crews build a satellite storage yard for the municipal Parks & Recreation and Public Works Operations departments.

Motorists can instead access the park via 24th Avenue Northeast.

Landscaping goats return to munch across highlands

July 5, 2011

The ruminants returned on June 24.

In a summertime tradition for Issaquah Highlands residents, a goat herd started chomping across open space in the Wisteria Park neighborhood. Onlookers can also catch a glimpse of the goats from Davis Loop.

Then, a few days later, the action is due to shift west, to open space tracts near South Pond, just east of Central Park. Plans call for another herd of landscaping goats to arrive July 6.

The goats, a cheaper and more eco-conscious option than traditional clearing, eat tall grasses and invasive plant species.

Issaquah Highlands Community Association leaders reminded residents and onlookers not to feed the goats.

The practice started in July 2009, as goats from Edwall and Vashon Island arrived to nibble Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom. In June 2010, more than 100 goats chomped across the highlands landscape.

The goats also attracted the national spotlight. Comedian Stephen Colbert lampooned the goats as undocumented workers stealing jobs in a segment on “The Colbert Report” in October 2010.

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