Old year brought new problems

December 31, 2013

Top news stories of the year

Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.

While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.

Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.

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City receives $600,000 grant for creek restoration

December 17, 2013

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership recently awarded more than $42 million in grants to organizations in the state for projects that restore and protect salmon habitat, helping bring salmon back from the brink of extinction.

Issaquah was awarded a $600,000 grant to restore Issaquah Creek at Confluence Park.

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Issaquah Creek dam project finish pushed back to Nov. 30

November 19, 2013

By Greg Farrar Construction continues Nov. 14 on the new Issaquah Salmon Hatchery intake (right) at Issaquah Creek, above the sloping fish ladder weir system, which is complete and handling the creek flow.

By Greg Farrar
Construction continues Nov. 14 on the new Issaquah Salmon Hatchery intake (right) at Issaquah Creek, above the sloping fish ladder weir system, which is complete and handling the creek flow.

November could end before the Issaquah Creek dam project.

Originally slated for completion Sept. 15, the replacement of the old creek dam with a series of sloping weirs has fallen well off schedule. Tim Ward, project manager with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, now says he expects completion around Nov. 30.

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King County offers new free flood app

November 5, 2013

King County has released a new King County Flood Warning app, to help safeguard people and their property by providing real-time flooding information for the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Tolt, Raging, Cedar, Green and White rivers, and Issaquah Creek.

The first app to be developed and released by King County, the Flood Warning app provides the most-recent critical flood data from U.S. Geological Survey and National Weather Service – Northwest River Forecast Center.

Users can see current river flows, flood stage data and forecasts, plus real-time flood phases, while hydrographs make it easy to see several days of river data and forecasts.

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Gilman Square plan could add 340 residences

October 22, 2013

Contributed This architectural drawing shows the three building proposed for a redeveloped Gilman Square.

Contributed
This architectural drawing shows the three building proposed for a redeveloped Gilman Square.

A pre-application for three five-story buildings at Gilman Square could mark the first test of the Central Issaquah Plan.

Developer Lennar Multifamily Investors wishes to turn the 6.7-acre site, the home of Lombardi’s Restaurant until it shut its doors in July, into a large residential location. They entered talks with the city in September before submitting a pre-application in early October.

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Budget season opens with the mayor’s final budget

October 15, 2013

Mayor Ava Frisinger presented her final budget proposal, which includes $98.3 million in budgeted expenditures, to the City Council Oct. 7.

It includes adding a new human services manager and a police officer, increasing funding for “sustainable” efforts and $55,000 for a feasibility study into a campus to consolidate the locations of city services.

“I’m extremely proud to reflect on the last 16 years,” Frisinger told the council as she presented her budget to them. “Today, we’re planning for what’s next: a commitment to environmental protection, a strong economic base and a strong quality of life for our citizens.”

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Come out for food, fun and flair at 44th annual Salmon Days

October 1, 2013

As the salmon return, so do the thousands of people expected for this year’s Salmon Days Festival.

Oct. 5 and 6 will see coho, chinook, sockeye, kokanee and many festivalgoers make their way to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery for a weekendlong celebration full of events, activities, food and music.

The homegrown event celebrates the return of local salmon as they make their pilgrimage from the Pacific Ocean back to the spawning grounds of Issaquah Creek and the hatchery. Approximately 180,000 people attended last year’s event, which was met with sunny, mild weather.

The Grand Parade will kick off the weekend beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 5. It will wind its way down Front Street to the hatchery in a bright display of community spirit and appreciation of the surrounding environment.

By Greg Farrar Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

By Greg Farrar
Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

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Editorial

September 24, 2013

State park proposals have merits, limits

Washington State Parks needs to seek specific Requests for Proposals for improvements to Lake Sammamish State Park, the jewel at the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Earlier this month, State Parks and the city of Issaquah received only three proposals in response to its call for RFPs. The two agencies were trying to get outside-the-box ideas that would add to Lake Sammamish park’s bottom line as well as help the city’s economic development.

The three each have merits.

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Come to state park today to welcome salmon back

September 14, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 14, 2013

Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park are welcoming salmon home to Issaquah Creek from noon to 5 p.m. today at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road.

Visitors can learn about the two organizations as well as a number of other local groups focused on environmental stewardship.

Volunteer guides will explain the characteristics of the ideal creek habitat for salmon, identify the salmon species swimming in Issaquah Creek and describe the salmon lifecycle. The newly constructed boardwalk will be open for the public to explore the delta and lake shore at the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Vehicle access to Lake Sammamish State Park requires a Discover Pass or a $10 daytime parking pass.

Learn more about the hatchery here. Like the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park here.

Groups team to welcome salmon back

September 10, 2013

Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park are welcoming salmon home to Issaquah Creek on Sept. 14 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road.

Visitors can learn about the two organizations as well as a number of other local groups focused on environmental stewardship.

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