Issaquah receives creek restoration grant

January 1, 2013

Issaquah recently received a $225,000 state grant to restore salmon habitat along Issaquah Creek at a downtown parks site.

The grant is meant to supplement city dollars to restore aquatic and creekside habitat for chinook, coho and kokanee salmon, as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead, at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork of Issaquah Creek. The city plans to contribute $45,000 to the project.

Plans call for crews to remove about 1,000 feet of rock creek banks, reconfigure 1,900 feet of channel, add logjams to form pools for fish, restore wetlands and replant vegetation along the creek.

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More kokanee return as community works to restore species

December 4, 2012

Homeowner funds $175,000 culvert project

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon swim Nov. 27 in the restored stretch of Ebright Creek at Wally Pereyra’s property in the 100 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. By Greg Farrar

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon — a landlocked cousin of sockeye and a species noted for distinctive red coloration — dwindled in recent decades, since before Wally Pereyra moved into a house along Ebright Creek in 1973.

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Darigold donates water for Lake Sammamish kokanee

November 6, 2012

Darigold joined the effort in recent weeks to preserve dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery announced Oct. 26.

The downtown Issaquah dairy is donating water from a well to the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer for the hatchery to use in the ongoing effort to restore kokanee. The contribution from Darigold should save the hatchery about $50,000 over the program’s anticipated lifespan through 2021.

Experts said the Darigold water is ideal for kokanee due to consistent quality and temperature. Using the water allows hatchery teams to prevent the fish from imprinting on Issaquah Creek water, and instead allows fry to imprint on Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis creeks.

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All aboard, Issaquah, as downtown trolley starts service

October 16, 2012

Barbara Justice drives Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 to the Issaquah Train Depot on Oct. 14. By Michael Johnson

The long-envisioned Issaquah Valley Trolley started service Oct. 14, as organizers start limited service after more than a decade of planning.

The public can ride the streetcar from the Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N., during limited weekend service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. into November.

The streetcar runs from the depot to the bridge across the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Darigold, about a half-mile north.

Though the track extends to Northwest Gilman Boulevard, additional work is necessary to prepare the track to accommodate the trolley. North of Northwest Gilman Boulevard, crews removed the track to create the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Downtown Issaquah streetcar rides start Oct. 14

October 9, 2012

The long-planned Issaquah Valley Trolley is due to start service Oct. 14, as organizers start limited service after more than a decade of planning.

Issaquah Valley Trolley Project volunteers plan to host a dedication ceremony at the Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N., at 1 p.m. and then start public rides.

The public can ride the streetcar during limited weekend service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. into November.

The streetcar runs from the depot to the bridge across the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Darigold, about a half-mile north.

Though the track extends to Northwest Gilman Boulevard, additional work is necessary to prepare the track to accommodate the trolley. North of Northwest Gilman Boulevard, crews removed the track to create the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Downtown Issaquah Valley Trolley starts service soon

October 8, 2012

Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 stops at the Issaquah Train Depot. Contributed from Issaquah Valley Trolley Project

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 8, 2012

The long-planned Issaquah Valley Trolley is due to start service Oct. 14, as organizers start limited service after more than a decade of planning.

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Trolley returns, and supporters prepare for rides to start in October

August 28, 2012

The next stop for the Issaquah Valley Trolley is downtown Issaquah.

Traffic is stopped at Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street as the restored Issaquah Valley Trolley Project car makes its way to the Issaquah Train Depot barn. By Greg Farrar

On Aug. 23, a vintage streetcar completed a 1,659-mile trip from Ida Grove, Iowa, to Issaquah aboard a specialized flatbed trailer. The arrival marked a milestone in the $744,700 effort to refurbish the vehicle, restore downtown railroad track and prepare the streetscape for streetcar traffic.

Organizers plan to start offering rides to the public starting Oct. 14, a day after a celebration for the Issaquah History Museums’ 40th anniversary. The planned route stretches about a half-mile from the Issaquah Train Depot to the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Darigold.

“It looked every bit as good as we expected it to — and probably better,” Issaquah Valley Trolley Project Chairwoman Jean Cerar said. “If you gave it just a cursory glance, actually, it kind of looked like the car that left, only brighter.”

Crews repainted the streetcar in the same cream-and-red color scheme, but beneath the surface, workers installed modern systems and revamped the battered interior. The result “has that new trolley smell to it,” Cerar said.

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Contractor sought for downtown Issaquah parks project

August 28, 2012

The city is on the hunt for a contractor to start construction at the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — a 15.5-acre expanse often referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system.

The information for potential bidders outlines the site preparation and grading, picnic shelter construction, and sewer and water utility work planned for Phase 1. The contractor must also place a pre-manufactured restroom facility at the site, and add lighting, walkways, stone seating and walls, and plantings to the parks.

Officials allocated about $1 million for the initial phase. The amount is not enough to complete the ambitious plan for the site, but is enough to start the process.

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Issaquah Valley Trolley is back on track, poised to return

August 14, 2012

The historic Issaquah Valley Trolley Car No. 519 undergoes renovation at the Gomaco Trolley Co. facility in Ida Grove, Iowa. Contributed by Gomaco Trolley Co.

Quietly, after a decadeslong coal and timber boom fueled expansion, passenger rail service to Issaquah ceased 90 years ago.

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Off the Press

July 3, 2012

The paper or plastic battle isn’t over yet

Ahh, plastic bags. I don’t know of a time in my seven years here when there has been so much controversy. And most of it after a decision.

(There was that brouhaha in December 2009 over McNugget, the rooster that lives on Front Street across from Darigold, which brought so many comments I thought they would never end! I just checked our website and the main story brought 134 comments there alone.)

As for the bags, the comments and letters are still coming in. The most astonishing thing to me is the people who say they’re going to drive to other cities to shop. Seriously? Take the gas guzzling SUV to another city to get plastic bags and avoid the 5-cent paper bag fee? That just sounds ludicrous. How many bags of groceries do people get per trip?

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