March 11, 2014
City and developer assurances couldn’t hold back a flood of doubt March 4.
The Rivers and Streams Board held a public hearing about plans for redevelopment on Seventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest Gilman Boulevard. Almost 40 people attended to hear how developer Lennar Multifamily Investors’ residential building plans might affect the existing floodplain.
“We’re primarily here to hear the public’s comments,” City Environmental Planner Peter Rosen said at the meeting. “There’s a lot of information and a lot of issues in terms of the building design, and that’s going to be dealt with by the development commission. Here, we’re trying to focus on the natural resource issues and flooding.”
March 11, 2014
Kayak Academy is now taking registrations for its annual spring nature tour along the shores of Lake Sammamish.
A professional kayak guide leads the two-hour tour along the shores of Lake Sammamish and up a portion of Issaquah Creek.
During the tour, a state park ranger will present an on-the-water program about the Great Blue Heron.
March 4, 2014
After nearly six months of delays, the Issaquah Creek dam replacement could be finished next month.
Originally slated to be done Sept. 15, the project to remove the 60-year-old dam and replace it with a sloping set of rock weirs experienced weather problems and some undefined setbacks.
State Fish and Wildlife Project Manager Tim Ward said the $3.1 million project is still within the established budget contingency. However, that could change before contractors finish the job.
“Essentially, the contractor incurred some extensions that we’re negotiating right now,” Ward said.
February 25, 2014
A draft Stormwater Management Program report is available for public comment through March 24.
The document was created to educate the public about stormwater pollution, outline steps to reduce harmful discharges and limit runoff in environmentally sensitive areas.
Under a municipal stormwater permit for Western Washington, the city of Issaquah is authorized to discharge stormwater into “waters of the state,” including Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish, if the city takes action to prevent stormwater pollution.
February 21, 2014
More and more, people within the city are talking about the planned “green necklace.” It isn’t a gift of jewelry to citizens, but many see it as a gift to residents nonetheless.
The green necklace refers to a circle of parks and open spaces around the city, allowing easy pedestrian and bicycle access. It includes Lake Sammamish and the Issaquah Alps in the goal to surround the city and provide interconnected pathways between open spaces.
Though the idea has existed for decades, the Issaquah City Council expressly outlined a plan to create the network of open space in the Central Issaquah Plan, approved in December 2012.
February 21, 2014
Artist’s memory lives on in his many murals
Oregon-based muralist Larry Kangas was a one-man show with a paintbrush.
He had the innate ability to tell the story of a community with paint, ladders, a large blank wall and an unrivaled imagination.
Kangas died of cancer Nov. 25, 2013, but his memory lives on in the more than 1,000 murals he crafted across the Pacific Northwest, a few of which grace Issaquah walls.
“Larry never had any children. He was a great uncle for many kids, but he called his murals his kids, his legacy,” said Sandy Kangas, Larry’s wife.
February 4, 2014
Lennar Multifamily Investors wants to move quickly on the first redevelopment in central Issaquah.
The developer with a Seattle office submitted an official site development permit application Dec. 18. It has an interest in working with the city to construct the first large project under the Central Issaquah Plan. However, it also has an optimistic schedule.
“We’re basically just starting our review,” Project Oversight Manager Christopher Wright said. “There doesn’t seem to be any major issues.”
January 14, 2014
Ava Frisinger reflects on her 16 years as mayor
These days, Ava Frisinger, when not volunteering her time on various councils and boards, is spending a lot of catch-up time with her grandchildren. She won’t say which role is harder, being Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor or that of grandmother.
“But being a grandmother is a very satisfying job, rewarding as well,” Frisinger said. “It’s neat to watch kids grow, encourage them to do what it is that they want to do.”
January 7, 2014
Finley and Gillda, the two Issaquah Salmon Hatchery mascots, turned in for the night after New Year’s Day, and slept so soundly that they were not awakened by an anonymous overnight visitor with a delivery.
If they have ever yearned for an addition to the family, that wish was being fulfilled while they dreamed.
When the two steel sculptures awoke the early morning of Jan. 2, they had a new buddy, 5 feet tall, made of a wooden log, with “Issaquah” carved in its base. The obvious intention was of it being a new permanent artistic attraction for local residents and annual Salmon Days visitors to enjoy.
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.