Prepare for Independence Day road closures in downtown Issaquah

July 2, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. July 2, 2012

Motorists should prepare for downtown road closures as Issaquah celebrates Independence Day.

In order to accommodate the Down Home Fourth of July and Heritage Day celebration and the Kids, Pets ‘n’ Pride Parade, plan for closures from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. along:

  • Front Street North from Northwest Gilman Boulevard to East Sunset Way
  • Rainier Boulevard North from Northwest Dogwood to Northwest Juniper Street
  • East Sunset Way from Front Street to Second Avenue Southeast
  • Front Street South from East Sunset Way to Newport Way Southwest

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Rainier Avenue and Northwest Dogwood Street. Then, the festivities move to Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Red Cross offers Independence Day safety tips

July 1, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. July 1, 2012

Independence Day means many people plan to discharge fireworks and fire up grills for backyard barbecues — but both activities can cause burns and fires.

Experts at the local American Red Cross chapter remind revelers to practice some simple safety tips to keep the holiday safe and fun.

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Officials aim to avoid repeat of fireworks-related blazes

June 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 30, 2012

State fire officials reminded Independence Day revelers to practice fire safety in a bid to avoid a repeat of fireworks-related fires from 2011.

State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy said fireworks caused 264 fires last year, including 199 wildland and vegetation fires — or 75 percent of fireworks-related blazes. The fires resulted in $118,350 in losses.

Summer weather conditions make grasses and other vegetation dry and susceptible to fire. If revelers use fireworks in hot, windy conditions, a small fire can rapidly grow if grass or another fuel is present.

If a firework comes into contact with a vegetated area, use a hose or bucket of water and soak the area. Make sure no hot spot remains to rekindle later.

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Elks host Independence Day breakfast before communty celebration

June 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 30, 2012

Independence Day revelers can stop at the local Elks Lodge for breakfast before celebrating the holiday.

Lake Sammamish Elks No. 1843 members plan to host a 4th of July Community Pancake Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 765 Rainier Blvd. N., in downtown Issaquah.

The menu includes pancakes — of course — plus ham and eggs.

The cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children. The breakfast is open to the public. Call 392-1400 to learn more.

After breakfast, revelers can catch the Kids, Pets ‘n’ Pride Parade and head to the Down Home Fourth of July and Heritage Day celebration.

Independence Day brings changes to transit schedules

June 29, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 29, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should prepare for Sunday schedules on July 4 as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit observe Independence Day.

The holiday schedule means many Metro Transit commuter bus routes do not operate. Bus riders should be sure to check the schedule for individual routes in advance of the holiday. Sunday fares go in effect on all Metro Transit routes July 4.

Due to many holiday events starting over the weekend and continuing through July 4, riders should check for bus reroutes in the Metro Online Alerts Center under the Construction & Events heading. Or, sign up for Transit Alerts to receive news about specific routes.

In addition, all Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone lines, close for holiday. When the Customer Information Office is closed, most transit information is available on Metro Online, or in the online Trip Planner.

Department of Natural Resources urges Independence Day fire safety

June 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2012

Though rain dominated the early fire season, state Department of Natural Resources officials said a fire risk is still present, and Independence Day revelers should practice fire safety on state lands.

Discharing fireworks is illegal on Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah and all Department of Natural Resources-protected lands. In addition, a burn ban for Tiger Mountain State Forest and other Department of Natural Resources lands goes into effect July 1. The summertime ban runs through Sept. 30.

“The major wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico remind us how destructive they can be to our homes and lives,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “We urge everyone to exercise caution with any fire-related activities this holiday weekend.”

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King County animal control agency needs volunteers to find runaway pets

June 28, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County needs volunteers to help reunite owners and pets after Independence Day.

Holiday fireworks inevitably scare some pets and cause the animals to run away, so the animal control agency and the nonprofit Missing Pet Partnership plan to train volunteers for Mission Reunite: Help and Hope for Lost Pets. The program aims to reunite separated owners and pets.

“We’re excited to once again join with Missing Pet Partnership to offer this valuable training,” Sarah Luthens, Regional Animal Services of King County volunteer program manager, said in a statement. “And while Mission Reunite will help bring lost pets back together their owners, it’s also important for people to license and microchip their cat or dog. A pet that is licensed and microchipped has a much better chance of being reunited with its owner.”

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Celebrate Independence Day in Issaquah with parade

June 26, 2012

Fireworks are banned in Issaquah and surrounding areas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue offers fireworks safety tips

June 26, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue wants to remind Independence Day revelers to take safety precautions if planning to discharge fireworks.

  • Use only legal fireworks available at approved stands.
  • Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out any stray sparks.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from anything that can burn.
  • An adult should light all fireworks. Light one item at a time, move away quickly and keep at a safe distance until the display has finished. Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water.
  • If a firework does not discharge, an adult should wait at least 15 minutes before approaching it.
  • When finished, clean up all debris and be sure to place unused fireworks, matches and lighters away from the reach of children.

King County permitting system to go offline during software upgrade

June 26, 2012

Landowners should prepare for a weeklong shutdown at the King County permitting agency, as officials roll out a software upgrade from July 2-8.

What to know

Though the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services cannot process permit applications from July 2-8, other services remain available on days other than July 4:

  • Free technical assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Records Center assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Phone Center assistance at 206-296-6600, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays
  • Building and fire inspections may be requested by calling and leaving a voice message at 206-296-6630.
  • Online query, Permits-At-A-Glance, can be accessed as read-only throughout the week.

The planned upgrade coincides with the Independence Day holiday, a slow period for the Department of Development and Environmental Services.

The agency’s Renton office is open during the upgrade except for July 4, but during the week, staffers cannot accept, create or issue permit applications. Cashiers also cannot process financial transactions of any kind.

The agency issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated King County, enforces county building and land-use codes, issues business licenses and staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division.

Staffers can continue to work on existing permitting applications during the shutdown. Then, after the software installation, agency employees can enter additional information.

Once the software is installed, customers can access enhanced online services, such as permit applications, building inspections and other services.

The computer system transition is part of a countywide project to integrate all permitting in various county departments into a single system. Officials said the process is meant to streamline the permitting process and provide customers with easy access to multiple departments for the same project.

“The Fourth of July holiday is historically the week of least demand from our customers, so that’s the best time for technicians to perform computer upgrades,” agency Director John Starbard said in a statement. “I urge residents who need permits from us to plan ahead for this necessary shutdown.”

Come fall, the agency plans to relocate from Renton to offices in Snoqualmie Ridge. Officials said the location change is meant to provide a more central office for residents in unincorporated areas.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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