Who’s News

January 29, 2013

Local Realtors earn regional leadership posts

Joan Probala

Joan Probala

Joan Probala, a managing broker at Windermere Real Estate/East in Issaquah, has been elected as the 2013 president of the Seattle King County Realtors.

Probala, a real estate professional since 1990 and resident of Issaquah, serves as vice chairwoman of the Issaquah Planning Policy Commission, chairwoman of the Issaquah Arts Commission and survivor chairwoman for Issaquah Relay for Life. In addition, she is a past president of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.

Also named to the leadership team was Mike Winkler, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain Issaquah, as this year’s East Region director.

Read more

Funding fire service per call could cost Issaquah

January 15, 2013

Issaquah could contribute more to Eastside Fire & Rescue if the regional agency changes to a funding model based on the amount of calls each member produces.

Meanwhile, Sammamish could trim fire service costs by $156,000 and $314,000 per year if EFR partners — Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire districts 10 and 38 — agree on changing the funding model.

For Issaquah and North Bend, the change could substantially increase the amount the partners pay to EFR in the name of maintaining the agency’s current incarnation beyond 2014.

A committee of elected officials and staff members from each partner met last month to discuss the implications of using call load as a factor in determining how much to charge.

Read more

Landowners receive fire benefit charge notices

January 15, 2013

Landowners in Fire District 10 — Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — recently received fire benefit charge notices.

The notice includes a letter of explanation and per-parcel benefit charge information. The notice is not a bill, and the recipient is not required to act, unless he or she believes some information is erroneous.

Read more

Eastside Fire & Rescue closed station, cut staff in Issaquah

January 8, 2013

Eastside Fire & Rescue closed a fire station in Issaquah on Dec. 19 and reduced staff at another Issaquah fire station Dec. 14 as the agency’s overtime budget ran low.

The agency closed a Sammamish fire station Dec. 16 for the same reason.

Officials closed Station 72, 1575 N.W. Maple St., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and reduced the staff at Station 71, 190 E. Sunset Way, to two firefighters from the typical three, for six hours Dec. 14. The agency also shut down Station 81, 2030 212th Ave. S.E., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 16.

The closures and staffing reductions have become something of a holiday tradition at EFR. In recent years, the agency’s overtime budget has become a lightning rod and a target for partners seeking to tighten the belt on personnel costs.

“We’re trying to make the administration and union aware that this is not a fund they can keep coming to,” EFR board member and Sammamish Mayor Tom Odell said.

Read more

Public can comment on May Valley fire station proposal

January 1, 2013

The public can comment on the permit application for a planned Fire District 10 fire station in May Valley.

Plans call for crews from Eastside Fire & Rescue Fire Station 78, at 16135 S.E. 113th Place near Renton, to relocate to a modern facility at a more central location at Southeast May Valley Road and 207th Avenue Southeast after construction is complete.

Construction on the 10,000-square-foot fire station is expected to start next year. Meanwhile, residents can comment on the permit application to the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

Read more

Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

Read more

Eastside Fire & Rescue closed station, cut staff in Issaquah

December 31, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue closed a fire station in Issaquah on Dec. 19 and reduced staff at another Issaquah fire station Dec. 14 as the agency’s overtime budget ran low.

The agency also closed a Sammamish fire station Dec. 16 for the same reason.

Officials closed Station 72, 1575 N.W. Maple St., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and reduced the staff at Station 71, 190 E. Sunset Way, to two firefighters from the typical three for six hours Dec. 14. The agency also shut down Station 81, 2030 212th Ave. S.E., from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 16.

The closures and staffing reductions have become something of a holiday tradition at EFR. In recent years, the agency’s overtime budget has become a lightning rod and a target for partners seeking to tighten the belt on personnel costs.

Read more

Issaquah contributes more for fire protection

November 27, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue board members approved the agency’s $22.2 million 2013 budget Nov. 8.

The budget represents a 3.1 percent increase from 2012, something Deputy Chief Wes Collins attributes to already-agreed-to wage and benefit increases for firefighters, as well as to modest increases in several programs that the agency cut during the recent economic downturn, such as volunteer training and protective clothing for firefighters.

“After the downturn, we cut back on a lot of supplies like clothing and bunker gear,” Collins said. “Those things have a shelf life and we’re coming up on a bubble where they’re going to have to be replaced.”

EFR determines each partner’s bill for fire services based on the assessed value of areas covered by specific stations.

Read more

Officials examine Eastside Fire & Rescue’s business plan

November 27, 2012

It remains to be seen whether things will stay cordial when dollar figures get involved, but Eastside Fire & Rescue partners appear to be finding common ground regarding ways to fund the agency.

The agency is in a full-fledged review of the way it does business, with elected officials and city and EFR staff members holding weekly committee meetings to address the way fire service is provided and how cities are billed for it. The agreement between EFR’s partners — Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, and King County fire protection districts 10 and 38 — is due to expire at the end of 2014.

Read more

Editorial

November 27, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue funding change will impact taxpayers

Eastside Fire & Rescue partners — including the city of Issaquah and Fire District 10 serving areas outside the Issaquah city limits — are getting creative in their hopes of finding a more equitable funding model before the partnership contract expires in 2014.

The city of Sammamish is driving the push. Leaders there contend that city taxes are too high for the number of emergency response calls in Sammamish. Without some relief, the city will look to other providers for fire service, namely Redmond.

Read more

Next Page »