Supporters meet fundraising goal for science curriculum

June 14, 2011

Kasten Donahoe and Abigail Serna participate in the effort to raise money for updated science curriculum. By Lynn Juniel

NEW — 3:45 p.m. June 14, 2011

After 47 days of fundraising at McDonald’s, Zeek’s Pizza and in school parking lots, the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah PTSA Council have raised enough money for a new elementary science curriculum this fall.

The current elementary science curriculum, last updated in 2003, does not meet state standards.

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Motorcyclist arrested after fleeing from police at more than 100 mph

June 7, 2011

Police descended on the Issaquah Highlands June 3 after a man driving a motorcycle at more than 100 mph led state troopers to a condominium near Grand Ridge Elementary School, prompting administrators to take precautions as the school day ended.

The afternoon incident started after the crew in a Washington State Patrol airplane observed a motorcycle rider driving more than 100 mph on westbound Interstate 90 near Preston. The crew in the Cessna 206 had been monitoring King County traffic.

After receiving notification from the aircraft crew, a trooper in a patrol car pulled behind the motorcycle and turned on its flashing lights to try to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued undeterred.

“Because of the extreme speeds and the maneuvering that he was doing, the trooper did not pursue,” Trooper Julie Startup said.

Meanwhile, the crew aboard the Cessna continued to monitor the motorcycle and relayed the location to troopers on the ground. Troopers then followed the motorcycle to the highlands.

The aircraft crew observed the driver pull into a garage at the highlands condominium complex and close the garage door moments before patrol cars arrived at the scene. The motorcycle driver, later identified as a 62-year-old Issaquah resident, lives at the complex.

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Crews start construction on highlands’ College Drive

June 7, 2011

Construction started late last month on Northeast College Drive in the Issaquah Highlands.

Plans call for the road to snake for about a half-mile behind Grand Ridge Elementary School and link to the existing street grid at Central Park. The road is meant to serve as access to a Bellevue College campus planned for the highlands.

In addition, the road through The Highlands at Wynhaven apartment complex is due to be improved and turned into 15th Avenue Northeast. College Drive is planned to form a T-shaped intersection at 15th Avenue.

The road project is occurring at the same time as residential construction on nearby land. The project is ultimately meant to provide another east-to-west access point to Falls Drive Northeast.

In order to accommodate the project, a city maintenance yard is to be constructed immediately south of the Central Park Reservoir.

The south access path to the school from Central Park is due to close until fall. Parkgoers should also expect short-term closures along the park access road.

The road should be completed at about the start of the 2011-12 school year.

City Council, school board meet to discuss shared safety issues

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.

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Crews start construction on highlands’ College Drive

May 30, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 30, 2011

Construction has started on Northeast College Drive in the Issaquah Highlands.

Plans call for College Drive to snake for about a half-mile behind Grand Ridge Elementary School and link to the existing street grid at Central Park. The road is meant to serve as access to a Bellevue College campus planned for the highlands.

In addition, the road through The Highlands at Wynhaven apartment complex is due to be improved and turned into 15th Avenue Northeast. College Drive is planned to form a T-shaped intersection at 15th Avenue.

The road project is occurring at the same time as residential construction on nearby land. The project is ultimately meant to provide another east-to-west access point to Falls Drive Northeast.

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City Council sells highlands land to Bellevue homebuilder

May 24, 2011

City Council members agreed May 16 to sell Issaquah Highlands land — a scrap measuring 16,000 square feet — to a homebuilder and set aside dollars from the sale to improve municipal parks.

The city stands to receive $191,496 for the parcel near the planned 15th Avenue Northeast extension and Northeast College Drive construction.

Bellevue-based developer Polygon Northwest is building the Forest Ridge at Issaquah Highlands neighborhood near the site and intends to add the parcel to the community.

The homebuilder could create three lots for single-family detached homes on the site.

“As a new member to the Issaquah Highlands community, we want to do what’s in the best interest of the community, and we feel that this fits that goal,” Ben Rutkowski, development project manager for Polygon Northwest, told council members.

The council agreed in a unanimous decision to sell the land, but members raised questions about how to use dollars from the sale, as well as road access to possible homes on the site.

Keith Niven, city Major Development Review Team program manager, said the city created the site after carving up a larger parcel.

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City Council sells Issaquah Highlands land to homebuilder

May 18, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. May 18, 2011

City Council members agreed Monday to sell Issaquah Highlands land — a scrap measuring 16,000 square feet — to a homebuilder and set aside dollars from the sale to improve municipal parks.

The city stands to receive $191,496 for the parcel near the planned 15th Avenue Northeast extension and Northeast College Drive construction. The land measures 16,000 square feet, or about the size of a typical Bartell Drugs.

Bellevue-based developer Polygon Northwest is building the Forest Ridge at Issaquah Highlands neighborhood near the site and intends to add the parcel to the community.

The homebuilder could create three lots for single-family detached homes on the site.

“As a new member to the Issaquah Highlands community, we want to do what’s in the best interest of the community, and we feel that this fits that goal,” Ben Rutkowski, development project manager for Polygon Northwest, told council members.

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City Council to consider selling highlands land

May 10, 2011

The city could sell a small parcel in the Issaquah Highlands, and residents can offer input on the proposal May 16.

The property under consideration is 16,000 square feet, or about the size of a typical Bartell Drugs, near the planned 15th Avenue Northeast extension and south of Park Drive Northeast.

If sold, the forested land could be used for residences. Bellevue-based developer Polygon Northwest is building a community near the site.

The sale could generate about $200,000 for the general fund — the account used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.

Or, the city could earmark the dollars for a specific project.

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Issaquah Schools Foundation luncheon sets record

May 3, 2011

In spite of the recession, the Issaquah Schools Foundation has never had such a successful fundraiser.

At the 13th annual Nourish Every Mind Benefit Luncheon, the foundation raised the considerable sum of $593,000 April 28. Last year, the luncheon raised $410,000, and organizers had set a goal of $450,000 for 2011.

Still, more money is needed. The Issaquah School District has plans to buy a new elementary science curriculum, but doesn’t have the funds. The money it had earmarked for the curriculum was spent covering the $1.4 million the state retroactively took from its budget this year.

In light of the state’s cuts, the foundation has jumpstarted a campaign to raise $500,000 to buy the elementary science curriculum by June 30.

Thanks to the successful luncheon at the Issaquah Community Center, the foundation has raised $263,000 of the $500,000 needed.

“As public funding shrinks, we will need to do more,” foundation community representative Leigh Stokes said.

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Highlands Brownie troop organizes pajama drive

May 3, 2011

Issaquah Highlands Brownie Troop 41151, a group of third-grade girls from Grand Ridge Elementary School, is organizing a pajama drive to collect new and gently used pajamas.

The girls from Brownie Troop 41151 hold up pajamas they’re donating to the pajama drive they are holding in Issaquah in May. By Shanna Petersen

All collections will be donated to Eastside Baby Corner, an Issaquah-based nonprofit organization that distributes supplies for children, from birth to age 12, through a network of community partners throughout the area.

The Brownies thought of the idea for the drive last fall, when they were filling gift bags for homeless and low-income children at Eastside Baby Corner. The girls noticed there was a shortage of pajamas for at-risk children, and they decided they would address the problem with a community drive.

“I think they could relate to it because they were girls their own age,” troop leader Kim Foster said. “Everybody wants warm pajamas and cute pajamas.”

The troop asked that people donate pajamas sizes newborn to 14. The following businesses will have donation boxes during the month of May: Agave Cocina; Alice’s Beauty Salon; Allstate Insurance; Ben and Jerry’s; Blakely Hall; Caffe Ladro; Highlands Dentistry; Issaquah Highlands Chiropractic; Kumon; Le Chic Pet; Occhio! Vision Care – Issaquah and Sammamish locations; Ricenroll; Sorella Salon & Spa; Zeeks Pizza; Lakeside Montessori and Highlands Cleaners.

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