Lobbyist update finds silver lining in legislative clouds

May 13, 2014

Issaquah’s Lobbyist Doug Levy tried to make legislator lemonade out of the lemons given in the most recent legislative session.

He presented a post-session update to the City Council during the April 7 meeting and found some positive things to say about a relatively uneventful session.

“My sum up of this session would be there were certainly not areas where we feel like there was any significant harm done,” Levy said. “It’s just that I would have liked to be able to report more progress to you. It was a little bit more of a running-in-place kind of session.”

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Confluence Park community garden is ready for applications

March 11, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 11, 2014

Residents can grow their gardens in Issaquah’s newest park.

The city’s first attempt at managing a community garden has begun with 31 new vegetable beds in Confluence Park.

Offering 27 raised cedar beds and four Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible plots, the city welcomes citizens to apply to organically grow flowers and vegetables for this inaugural season, April 1 to Oct. 13. Cost is $75 per season.

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The green necklace: a gift to the city and the environment

February 21, 2014

More and more, people within the city are talking about the planned “green necklace.” It isn’t a gift of jewelry to citizens, but many see it as a gift to residents nonetheless.

The green necklace refers to a circle of parks and open spaces around the city, allowing easy pedestrian and bicycle access. It includes Lake Sammamish and the Issaquah Alps in the goal to surround the city and provide interconnected pathways between open spaces.

By Peter Clark Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

By Peter Clark
Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

Though the idea has existed for decades, the Issaquah City Council expressly outlined a plan to create the network of open space in the Central Issaquah Plan, approved in December 2012.

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State funds could help finish Confluence Park

January 28, 2014

Confluence Park may get a $2 million boost from the state Legislature.

After officially opening the park last July, Issaquah’s Parks & Recreation Department wasted no time in trying to fulfill its three-phase completion. To that end, the department submitted a capital budget request to the state Legislature.

Peter Clark Anne McGill, Parks & Recreation Department director, stands in the department’s storage facility. The area is planned to join Confluence Park, behind her.

Peter Clark
Anne McGill, Parks & Recreation Department director, stands in the department’s storage facility. The area is planned to join Confluence Park, behind her.

“It would pretty much cover all of our phases,” Parks & Recreation Department Director Anne McGill said of the petition asking for $2 million.

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Old year brought new problems

December 31, 2013

Top news stories of the year

Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.

While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.

Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.

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City receives $600,000 grant for creek restoration

December 17, 2013

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership recently awarded more than $42 million in grants to organizations in the state for projects that restore and protect salmon habitat, helping bring salmon back from the brink of extinction.

Issaquah was awarded a $600,000 grant to restore Issaquah Creek at Confluence Park.

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City purchases more open space

July 9, 2013

In its continued attempt to found a “green necklace,” surrounding Issaquah with parks, the city announced another purchase of open space June 19.

Almost 2 acres of undeveloped land were bought by the city for $850,000. Described in the Parks & Recreation Department as the Pritt Property, the land is at the corner of Northwest Juniper Street and Fifth Place Northwest, bordering Issaquah Creek.

Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill said that the land would be used in accordance with the city’s desire to create protected park space.

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Park Board approves bond improvements

July 2, 2013

The Park Board has approved recommendations to the City Council regarding how a $10 million park bond, including $5 million for “life support” for the Julius Boehm Pool, should be spent.

The council was expected to decide at its July 1 regular meeting whether to send the bond to voters in November.

During the past year, numerous information gathering tactics have been employed by the board and the Parks & Recreation Department to ascertain whether citizens would favor a bond and how they would like to see it used. Phone surveys, public meetings and a citizen’s advisory board were employed to gauge Issaquah’s opinion.

On June 24, the board recommended the city approve a bond for $10 million to send to the voters. It included a detailed list of items related to park space and recreational facilities, which focused heavily on repairing the Julius Boehm Pool, improving sports fields and providing money for the city’s continued acquisition of open space.

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Council sends $10 million park bond to voters for November decision

July 1, 2013

NEW — 10:30 p.m. July 1, 2013

Almost 50 people turned up at the Issaquah City Council’s regular July 1 meeting to witness the consideration of the long-deliberated park bond, which passed with a 6-1 vote.

“You can see we’ve gone through quite a process getting to tonight’s hopeful vote,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. As chairwoman of the Services & Safety Committee, she fostered the bill through a long fact-finding process. “The idea to delay this any longer is not something I would like to see happen.”

The decision follows the Park Board recommendations to the City Council regarding how a $10 million park bond, including $5 million for “life support” for the Julius Boehm Pool, should be spent.

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