Issaquah, Sammamish councils face planning issues at meeting

March 8, 2011

Issaquah and Sammamish leaders meet March 10 at Tibbetts Creek Manor. The agenda includes dinner — and a packed docket of regional issues.

Members from the Issaquah and Sammamish city councils, plus Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, plan to discuss long-term planning efforts in both cities — the push to create a Town Center in Sammamish and the decadeslong goal to reshape the Issaquah business district — and other issues.

The annual meeting offers a chance for leaders to confer about issues face to face. The confab helps to cut out the chatter from municipal staffers and residents.

“One way to do that is to once a year to get together and talk about what is important to each city,” Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet said.

In recent years, talks focused on shared transportation concerns, Eastside Fire & Rescue operations and, in the meeting last year, nascent discussions about a regional fire authority and changes to King County animal control.

Officials from both cities also said the meeting could result in ideas for long-term planning efforts in Issaquah and Sammamish.

Sprawling Sammamish is in the midst of a yearslong effort to create a Town Center. Issaquah embarked on a plan last year to guide redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

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The redheads are coming, the redheads are coming

July 13, 2010

The few, the proud, the redheaded got symbolic support from Sammamish Mayor Don Gerend at a City Council meeting July 6.

Gerend and the rest of the council proclaimed July 17 Redhead Day in Sammamish.

That’s the day local photographer Anne Lindsay is attempting to set a world record for the largest gathering of natural redheads at 2 p.m. at Skyline High School Stadium, 1122 228th Ave. S.E.

It’s estimated that only 2 percent to 4 percent of Americans are naturally redheaded.

Learn more at www.redheadsandmoreredheads.com.

Kokanee fry released into Ebright Creek

May 4, 2010

When Wally Pereyra was a fisheries biologist, his first project was rehabbing trout in a stream in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

By the time he moved to his current farmland on the Sammamish Plateau in 1973, he was “imprinted with stream ecology,” he said.

“The stream is a major part of the farm that I moved into,” he said. “The kokanee were a part of the landscape in the fall.”

A hodgepodge of elected officials, government scientists, school children and citizen volunteers met April 21 on Pereyra’s property to release some 200 Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry into Ebright Creek.

Ray Mullen, of the Snoqualmie Tribe, banged a ceremonial drum while the fry were dumped from three coolers into the creek on an overcast spring day. Most people in attendance wore boots to trudge through the spongy terrain around the creek.

“I feel like we’re taking a step toward recovery today, instead of steps toward extinction,” said David St. John, chairman of the Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group.

The fry released April 21 were part of a larger group of 37,000 fry released into Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis creeks in April.

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Sammamish decides against taking over Klahanie Park

April 13, 2010

Sammamish will not become the temporary owner of Klahanie Park, the Sammamish City Council decided last week.

With a 7-0 vote, the council decided against becoming the temporary owner of the park April 6. The city will still work to keep the park open.

King County had offered up the park on a three-year basis and on the condition that if Issaquah annexed the Klahanie development in the future, the park would transfer to Issaquah.

For Sammamish to take it over on a permanent basis, the Sammamish City Council would have to sign off on the transfer, the city of Issaquah would need to remove the park from its potential annexation area and the King County Council would have to give its blessing, too.

None of that may matter now, though. The prospect of paying to maintain the park without having permanent ownership wasn’t all that appetizing to Sammamish’s council.

“Why are we cutting their grass for free? That’s how I see it,” Councilman John Curley said.

Concerned Citizens of Klahanie, a citizen group that opposes Sammamish’s proposed takeover of the park, also turned some council members’ heads.

“We’ve gotten a lot of e-mails from people in Klahanie. They really don’t want Sammamish in their park. I think we really should respect their wishes,” Councilwoman Nancy Whitten said.

Councilwoman Michele Petitti went so far as to say that she was offended by the negative publicity attached to the proposed takeover. Read more

Sammamish leaders scrutinize public relations push by fire officials

March 23, 2010

Elected officials debated the merits of ramping up public relations efforts for Eastside Fire & Rescue on March 11. Read more

Cities name regional fire district, animal control top concerns

March 16, 2010

Issaquah and Sammamish city council members met last week for a wide-ranging discussion about the challenges faced by the neighboring cities.

Talk about Klahanie Park, how the cities will provide animal-control services after June 30 and the future of emergency services dominated the March 9 meeting at Sammamish City Hall.

With county-run animal shelters set to end June 30, members of both city councils said no proposal exists yet to provide the services now handled by King County Animal Care and Control. Although, representatives from both cities said staffers continue to work on a solution.

A solution could result in a regional partnership among several cities, or individual cities could commission animal-control officers. Federal Way officials, for instance, announced a plan to form a city animal-services agency.

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Rescued eagle takes flight at Pine Lake

March 16, 2010

A bald eagle takes flight over Pine Lake March 9 after it was released. By Christopher Huber

A rescued bald eagle is flying free again after being released from the Ek family’s Pine Lake waterfront home March 9.

The male eagle spent nearly a week recovering from a range of injuries at an aviary in Arlington, according to its rescuers — Tim Brown, of Snoqualmie, Dennis Brown, of Sammamish, and various Pine Lake residents.

“Now he’s checked out and now he’s going back home to his mate,” said Tim Brown, a raptor specialist who calmed and handled the bird after the eagle injured itself March 2.

Pine Lake neighbors and other community members gathered on the Eks’ lawn to watch the eagle’s quick but much-anticipated exit.

“It was exciting to see the eagle — looks like he’s back to full strength,” Sammamish Mayor Don Gerend said. “It’s very encouraging to see the natural species thriving on our lake up here.”

At about 4:30 p.m. March 2, the eagle became entangled in a rope tied between the Eks’ dock and shoreline. It had captured a duck in the middle of the lake, but could not carry the weight, said Dennis Brown, an across-the-lake neighbor. He noticed the bird struggling in the shallow water after swimming to shore with its wings. That’s when he hopped in his canoe and came to help.

“I had never seen anything like this happen,” he said. Read more

Klahanie Park closer to transfer of ownership

November 3, 2009

The King County Parks Department has taken a major step toward ceding Klahanie Park to the city of Sammamish. Read more

Issaquah taxpayers could contribute more if Sammamish leaves EFR

October 20, 2009

If Sammamish leaves Eastside Fire & Rescue — a decision under discussion by city officials — Issaquah taxpayers could pay more to support the regional fire agency. Read more

Council elections could change EFR’s leadership

August 18, 2009

The ranks of Eastside Fire & Rescue leadership will be shaken up after Election Day. Read more

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