August 23, 2011
The legal challenge to city rules for leafleting at the Salmon Days Festival is focusing attention on unfettered freedom of expression in public places.
The lawsuit presents hurdles to the plaintiff, a Snoqualmie man, and the city, constitutional scholars said. The case is rooted in past court decisions about limits on freedom of expression and the steps governments can enact to limit such acts.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Paul Ascherl said Issaquah police officers threatened to arrest him for handing out Christian literature in places outside the pair of downtown “expression areas” on festival grounds last year. Ascherl relocated to the “expression areas” after police and a festival official intervened.
“The suit presents some cognizable First Amendment arguments,” said David Hudson, a First Amendment scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Salmon Days featured “expression areas” near downtown festival entrances last year. The areas hosted local political parties and candidates for office.
August 9, 2011
Emergency crews converged on westbound Interstate 90 between Front Street and state Route 900 just after 8 a.m. Aug. 5 after a tractor-trailer toppled across three lanes, snarling the morning commute.
The tractor-trailer was heading westbound in the center lane when the driver attempted to make a lane change to the right, Washington State Patrol Trooper Julie Startup said. In the process, the truck bumped into a car in the adjacent lane.
The truck driver, realizing the rig had bumped the car, attempted to correct to avoid a more serious collision, but lost control and ended up in a brush-filled ditch on the left road shoulder.
Then, as the truck driver attempted to pull out of the ditch, the rig flipped and landed on its side, blocking most of the westbound interstate.
Medics transported the driver of the car, a 29-year-old Sumner man, to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue for treatment of minor injuries. The truck driver, a 30-year-old Auburn man, escaped uninjured.
The state patrol’s commercial vehicle inspectors plan to inspect the tractor-trailer as a standard part of the investigation. Startup said the tractor-trailer driver is unlikely to face charges in the incident.
Crews managed to right the toppled rig after 8:30 a.m. and reopened lanes to traffic at about 9:15 a.m. Traffic backed up for two and a half miles as state troopers closed the lanes to investigate and clean up. Startup said the toppled truck had been hauling hay.
“Luckily, the hay stayed inside the vehicle today,” she added. “That could be a mess. But hay is much easier to clean up than a load of marbles.”
July 26, 2011
Rachel Beckwith, a 9-year-old Issaquah girl injured in a 14-vehicle pileup in Bellevue early last week, died July 23 from injuries sustained in the crash.
Rachel and a 2-year-old sister rode in a Lexus sedan driven by the girls’ mother, Samantha Paul, as a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a loaded logging truck and spurred the chain-reaction crash.
Medics transported seven people, including a handful of Issaquah residents, to area hospitals in the aftermath.
Only Rachel sustained life-threatening injuries, and responders rushed the girl to Harborview Medical Center.
Just before 8 a.m. July 20, as traffic slowed due to congestion near the Interstate 405 interchange at 133rd Avenue Southeast, authorities said a tractor-trailer jackknifed into a logging truck in the adjacent lane.
“For whatever reason, whether the semi truck was going too fast, wasn’t paying attention or a combination of the two, for the conditions, he didn’t seem to see that traffic had stopped until the last second,” said Sgt. Keith Trowbridge, a Washington State Patrol spokesman. “At that point, he tried to put the brakes on, but he jackknifed and went into the log truck.”
The impact dislodged the rear axle of the logging truck and sent the piece hurtling into traffic.
July 19, 2011
One good mania deserves another
After a decade of sweeping readers and moviegoers off their feet with a school named Hogwarts, games of Quiddich and battles of good against evil, the final wave of Pottermania is now sweeping over Issaquah, the nation and the world, with the last of the epic movies having blasted through every worldwide box office record last weekend.
Ticket sales of $475 million in three days is not too shabby!
Over the years, we’ve covered lines of fans at the local movie theater, costume parties for the latest book release at local shops, and huge shipments of Harry Potter books making their way from King County Library System headquarters on Newport Way to all of the branches in the system.
The question is, now what? Every generation has its “mania.” We’ve had the Jazz Age, Golden Age of Hollywood, Beatlemania, discomania and now the end of Pottermania. What should we proclaim in Issaquah to be the next all-consuming mania?
For the socially conscious, my personal preference would be to promote “Littermania,” getting us all to join in to pick up every scrap of paper, every beverage bottle and every plastic wrapper. Ever hear of the 1950’s fad of college students cramming into a phone booth? There’s at least one phone booth still in town, across the street from The Press building. Let’s have a contest of bagging up litter around town and seeing how many bags it takes to fill the phone booth!
Or, how about “musicmania?” There are a lot of scheduled music events this summer in town. For instance, during the next ArtWalk on Aug. 5, we could all bring that musical instrument in the back of the closet that we used to play — kazoo, violin, bongo drums, tambourine — and make ourselves a gleeful racket on Front Street and at Gilman Village.
July 3, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. July 3, 2011
Motorists should plan ahead for Fourth of July road closures in downtown Issaquah on Monday, as revelers gather for a parade and festival.
Expect closures along Front Street North from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to East Sunset Way, Rainier Boulevard North from Northwest Dogwood Street to Northwest Juniper Street, East Sunset Way from Front Street to Second Avenue Southeast, and Front Street South from East Sunset Way to Newport Way Southwest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The annual Down Home Fourth of July includes the Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade at 11 a.m. at Rainier Boulevard North, at the intersection of Northwest Dogwood Street and Front Street North.
Following the parade, families can plays games at Veterans’ Memorial Field and learn about Issaquah’s history from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Issaquah Train Depot’s Heritage Day celebration, 50 Rainier Boulevard N.
On Veterans’ Memorial Field, children can enter potato sack, slug and three-legged races, or saddle up for pony rides.
May 31, 2011
School-zone construction, illegal skate-park activities are top concerns
With communication in mind, the Issaquah City Council and Issaquah School Board met May 26 to talk about issues that concern them both, including road construction near schools, illegal activities at the Issaquah skate park and whether the school board could televise its public meetings.
May 3, 2011
The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.
ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.
Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.
“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”
For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.
April 19, 2011
Help spruce up downtown Issaquah during the annual Spring CleanUp on April 30.
DownTown Issaquah Association members need volunteers to help clean the historic Front Street corridor.
The cleanup is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants plan to fan out across downtown to sweep, weed and pick up litter.
Participants should bring gloves and tools. The association provides lunch and drinks.
March 15, 2011
Issaquah, Skyline hope to challenge for first place
The 4A KingCo Conference boys season could be headed for another traffic jam. Last year, the league was bumper to bumper, just like Issaquah’s Front Street on a Friday afternoon.
When the regular season ended, just two points separated the first-place team from the sixth-place team. Three teams tied for first place and two were just one point behind the leaders.
Issaquah High School coach Jason Lichtenberger said he believes it could be another close race.
“From top to bottom, I believe KingCo is the toughest league in the state. I fully expect another close race,” Lichtenberger said. “I think there are some quality teams in the league again. There are two or three teams that could be a bit stronger than the rest, but almost every team has a player who can change a game.”
Lichtenberger said he believes Skyline, one of last year’s tri-champions, and Eastlake and Newport, both with experienced teams, could be the frontrunners. Garfield, one of the tri-champions last spring, might be another contender.
Issaquah has aspirations of continuing its success from the past two seasons. However, the Eagles lost eight starters from last season’s team that finished just one point out of first place. Lichtenberger pointed out that the Eagles have talent and the potential to be among the top teams.
In 3A KingCo, Liberty had a disappointing season in 2010, but has some outstanding players returning who have hopes of moving the Patriots in the standings.
February 8, 2011
A recent photo assignment for our Issaquah Living magazine coming in next week’s Press has shed some insight into what can only be described as our little local miracle, Issaquah Creek.
We all have seen the creek as it moves past the hatchery, or under the vehicle bridges on Gilman Boulevard, Newport Way or Front Street. We definitely get a good look when it floods. But that leaves more than 99 percent of the creek unseen by most people as it comes down from Tiger Mountain and north through the valley.
I’ve been wading knee-deep in water, pushing through hummocks of blackberry vines, hiking and climbing down hillsides of forest to find the headwaters, trickles, waterfalls, and brooks that give birth to our creek.
There are four main branches — Holder Creek, which starts on the southeast slope of Tiger Mountain; Carey Creek, which begins in Hobart and comes together with Holder Creek at the Bonomi Farm by Highway 18 to create Issaquah Creek; Fifteenmile Creek, which starts on Tiger’s southwest slope and meets Issaquah Creek at Southeast May Valley Road; and the East Fork, which starts at High Point and joins Issaquah Creek west of Darigold.