City surveys 2,300 businesses for ideas, input

October 16, 2012

Issaquah leaders put a question to business owners in recent days: How can we help you?

Citywide, all 2,300 businesses started to receive surveys from the economic development team at City Hall last week. The effort is designed to help officials understand business leaders’ concerns and needs.

The data collected from survey responses could influence future decisions related to business regulations, incentives and more.

Not long after joining the staff at City Hall earlier this year, Economic Development Manager Andrea Lehner gathered anecdotal information from business owners from meetings and visits, but, through the process, started to crave more empirical information.

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Salmon Days Festival is packed to the gills

October 9, 2012

Unseasonably warm weather greets visitors for fun, sun

Thousands of visitors to Salmon Days fill Sunset Way on a warm and sunny Saturday to help set an attendance record for the annual two-day festival. By Greg Farrar

The calendar says it is October. The changing colors of the tree leaves suggest that autumn is in the air and the endless stream of chinook congregating at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery definitely confirms it.

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Issaquah mayor eyes property tax hike

October 9, 2012

Issaquah homeowners can expect to pay about $5 more in property taxes next year, if City Council members adopt a 1 percent rate hike to fund long-term projects.

The property tax increase, proposed Oct. 1 by Mayor Ava Frisinger, is not expected to generate much next year. If enacted, city officials expect to raise only $69,707 — a drop in a proposed $35 million general fund budget.

The decision to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, 1 percent, is projected to cost the average homeowner $4.75 per year.

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Meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 9, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup for the Oct. 18 forum includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress. The forum includes candidates in contested and uncontested races.

The event is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from the moderator, Publisher Debbie Berto.

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Press Editorial

October 9, 2012

Join conversation at candidate forum

In 2008, fueled in part by the historic candidacy of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, voters engaged in the political process in a once-in-a-generation way.

Though 2012 cannot recapture the sense of excitement, contests up and down the ballot merit some serious attention from Issaquah voters. So much attention is focused on the race for president, but Washington voters must decide important races for governor and other executive positions.

Voters also face a chance to make history through ballot measures to legalize marijuana and affirm the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

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Dump expired, unused medication at Issaquah City Hall

September 25, 2012

Saving unused or expired medication can lead to improper and illegal use.

So the Issaquah Police Department is offering residents a chance to dump leftover medication. The agency is hosting a medication take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

Issaquah residents can also drop off medications anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, at the police department.

Dispatchers demonstrate poise under pressure amid shootout

September 18, 2012

Dominique Hill, Felicia Moore and Janelle Knight (from left) were on duty as Issaquah Police Department communications specialists when gunman Ronald W. Ficker set off across downtown Issaquah on Sept. 24, 2011. By Greg Farrar

The callers punching 911 into cellphones on Sept. 24, 2011, a bright Saturday darkened as a gunman stalked across downtown Issaquah, heard a calm voice amid the chaos.

In the hours after the gunman set across from a downtown intersection to Clark Elementary School, communications specialists at the Issaquah Police Department fielded a tsunami of calls.

In the tumult, a trio of dispatchers — including a recent addition to the team — attempted to assuage panicked citizens and advise the officers at the scene.

The voices citizens and officers heard on the line came from Dominique Hill, Janelle Knight and Felicia Moore.

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Issaquah marks 9/11 anniversary

September 18, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Sept. 11 to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day — officially Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and other elected leaders marked the anniversary.

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Dump expired, unused medication at Issaquah City Hall

September 18, 2012

Saving unused or expired medication can lead to improper and illegal use.

So the Issaquah Police Department is offering residents a chance to dump leftover medication. The agency is hosting a medication take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

Issaquah residents can also drop off expired or unused medications anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, at the police department.

State policy change dings county jails, but not Issaquah facility

September 11, 2012

Officials said a recent change in state policy means fewer inmates in King County-run jails — and $9.4 million less for county jails next year due to fewer bookings from the state Department of Corrections.

King County officials said the drop contributes to a projected $13 million shortfall next year in revenues to support operations at the King County Jail in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The shortfall could lead officials to eliminate 40 or more positions in the proposed 2013 jail budget.

The state corrections agency contracts with the county to house thousands of felons released from prison who then violated their conditions of release. The so-called “DOC violators” go back to jail to await administrative hearings.

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