April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April 1, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue urges drivers to eliminate those things which limit their ability to maintain focus on the road.

Texting while driving and talking on cellphones increases crash risk. Recent reports dispute the myth that a hands-free option greatly reduces or even removes risk.

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National Poison Prevention Week is March 16-22

March 15, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 15, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue reminds everyone that National Poison Prevention Week is March 16-22.

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year. The majority of nonfatal poisonings occur in children under age 6, with most poisonings happening in the home.

Poisonings are the leading cause of accidental death in Washington, surpassing car crashes and falls. Children, teens, adults, seniors and pets are all at risk.

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To the Editor

March 11, 2014

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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Mayor states goals in first State of the City speech

February 25, 2014

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler vowed to maintain momentum in his first State of the City speech.

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler is a member of the Issaquah City Council.

Fred Butler

 

Given during the Feb. 18 regular City Council meeting, the speech laid out what Butler hopes to achieve in the first year of his inaugural term.

“A community is made up of many elements,” he said. “We are blessed with an outstanding school district, an active and professional chamber of commerce, students who are involved, first-class medical facilities and a City Council dedication to regional involvement.”

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Senate bill takes aim at potential annexation tax credit

February 4, 2014

Annexing Klahanie would be much less palatable for Issaquah if a bill introduced by state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) is approved.

Hill, who represents the northern half of Sammamish, introduced a bill Jan. 29, which would mean a drastic reduction to Issaquah’s expected revenue from an annexation.

Councilman Don Gerend said the Sammamish City Council did have a hand in bringing the bill to the Senate, and to Hill, chairman of the Senate’s budget-writing committee.

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Kellman Mansion EFR Final Burn Exercise / Jan. 13, 2014

January 21, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members agree to budget, governance changes

December 31, 2013

The Eastside Fire & Rescue board of directors did everything except sing “Auld Lang Syne” at its Dec. 12 meeting.

The board unanimously voted to accept proposed funding model changes. That was followed with a unanimous vote to approve a revised EFR governing agreement. They even took a short break during the meeting to celebrate with glasses of sparkling cider and holiday cookies.

After months of disagreements over funding issues, members of the group joked and teased one another.

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Burst gas pipe sends at least four to emergency room

December 17, 2013

A burst gas pipe at the Cedar Hills Landfill south of Issaquah sent nearby residents to the emergency room Dec. 7.

That evening, neighbors began smelling a great deal of gas in their homes and responded by calling Eastside Fire & Rescue and the King County Solid Waste Division. According to an EFR report of the incident, all responding members identified gas in the area.

“Engine 71 proceeded to the address and was met by the homeowner,” Lt. Jason Ward’s EFR report reads. “The homeowner stated the smell of gas in the area was very strong. All three members of Engine 71 could smell landfill gas in the area.”

Supervisors at the scene found that the gas line used to pull landfill-produced methane gas into the Bio Energy Washington plant had ruptured. They immediately shut down the gas to the pipe.

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Joe Forkner finishes time on City Council

November 26, 2013

Mary Lou Pauly will be sworn in Dec. 2

Joe Forkner served his last regular City Council meeting Nov. 18.

After former Councilman Mark Mullet was elected to the state Senate, the City Council chose Forkner to fill the interim position last January. This month, Forkner ran for mayor against Council President Fred Butler and lost, while Mary Lou Pauly ran unopposed for the seat Forkner filled. King County expects to certify Pauly’s election Nov. 26, ending Forkner’s commitment to the council.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

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Issaquah agrees to support new EFR funding model

November 19, 2013

After 18 months of chess-like moves among its players, the Eastside Fire & Rescue board may have averted a checkmate by the city of Sammamish. It unanimously approved a new funding model at its Nov. 14 meeting.

The group agreed to shift to an 85-15 split.

That means 85 percent of EFR money would come from taxes on assessed property value and 15 percent from call volume. The change will be effective beginning with the 2015 budget. The change was recommended and presented by an ad hoc committee appointed last month to see if it could move negotiations along.

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