February 8, 2013
NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013
High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.
Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.
The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.
December 25, 2012
Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences
City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.
The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.
“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”
December 11, 2012
Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.
The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.
Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.
December 11, 2012
The gravel quarry on a hillside below the Issaquah Highlands, plus land adjacent to the highlands, could someday transform into businesses and homes, if city leaders approve a long-term agreement to redevelop the site.
The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed a 30-year development agreement last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The proposed pact is scheduled to reach the City Council on Dec. 17, as officials consider a plan to remake the area.
The land under consideration is zoned for mineral resources and single-family residences. The development agreement could change the designation on some areas to urban village, the same rules used for the highlands and Talus.
August 21, 2012
The triangle is out. The salmon is in.
Issaquah leaders plan to phase out the longtime city logo — a triangle and stylized As meant to evoke the Issaquah Alps — and use a salmon-centric emblem instead.
The shift comes as the city and a contractor complete a monthslong effort to overhaul the dated municipal website and forge a more modern image for city government.
July 3, 2012
Local group climbs mountains in less than 12 hours
A troop of Boy Scouts recently set what might be a world record when they climbed all three of the Issaquah Alps in one day.
The 20-mile hike began behind schedule on a misty Saturday morning.
Roughly 10 minutes after 7 a.m. June 9, the hikers began their long walk from Newcastle to Issaquah.
The handful of Scouts accompanied by their parents had their work cut out for them. They called it the “Three Peak Challenge.” The troop was accompanied by experienced hiker Paul Mitchell.
The challenge was to hike Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains within 12 hours. The Scouts finished the hike in 11½.
June 28, 2012
So, you think you know Issaquah? Is the city just another buttoned-up suburb? Nope. Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people — and more than a century of secrets. Issaquah anecdotes stretch deep into the past and continue into the 21st century. Look beyond the basics to discover tidbits and trivia.
Test your Issaquah IQ. (Scroll to the bottom to check the answers, but please, no cheating!)
April 17, 2012
Give a nod to planet Earth
Arbor Day is April 21, followed by Earth Day on April 22. Both are an equal opportunity to show appreciation for the third rock from the sun.
The city Parks & Recreation Department will plant 150 trees along Issaquah Creek on Saturday in honor of Arbor Day. Just last week, the city earned Tree City USA status for the 19th year.
Earth Day gets a jumpstart in Issaquah on Thursday when Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry are released into Laughing Jacobs Creek. Public tours are available this weekend to see what happens to unrecycled garbage at the Cedar Hills Landfill in south Issaquah. Also south of the city limits, volunteers will mulch and weed the Log Cabin Natural Area along Issaquah Creek. Volunteers will do back-country trail work on Cougar Mountain.
April 17, 2012
Despite its adventurous name, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club looks more like your local Lions Club.
“Most of the club members are getting pretty long in the tooth,” said board member George Potter, 63. “The average age of our board is almost 70.”
The graying of this grass roots hiking-and-environmental advocacy group has spawned a new goal: to get younger, edgier and hipper, if only for its very survival.
March 27, 2012
The Northwest Paddling Association has tabbed Issaquah and Lake Sammamish State Park as the future location of its annual Paddling Festival.
The event will feature paddling industry vendors, product demonstrations, kayak tours and more, according to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.
The first event on Lake Sammamish is set for May 11-12.