King County Metro Transit expands Issaquah bus service

February 21, 2012

Issaquah residents can expect more bus trips to Seattle under the latest King County Metro Transit service plan.

Officials added 500 hours for weekday service on Route 218 buses from the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride to Seattle. The change comes as Metro Transit shifts more than 35,000 hours of service from lower-performing bus routes throughout the system to bolster service on high ridership routes.

King County Council members adopted the changes in a unanimous decision Jan. 30.

“This is another step in the long march towards reforming how Metro serves King County riders,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said in a statement. “Eastsiders over the course of this process are also going to see an overall increase in their service hours.”

The shift in service is also meant to address issues related to crowding and on-time performance, and add service to underserved corridors.

Milestones from the year 2011 reflect changes

December 27, 2011

Renewal defined the year, as the community paused after a population boom and economic bust — and positioned Issaquah for the decades ahead.

Milestones from the last 12 months offer contrasts.

Leaders opened showcases for “green” design and concluded a milestone effort to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland. Tragedy left indelible impressions, too, as a gunman menaced downtown pedestrians on a September morning and turned a school campus into a crime scene.

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Issaquah Highlands pedestrian bridge is meant to smooth access

December 13, 2011

The pedestrian bridge across Highlands Drive Northeast is lifted into place the early morning of Dec. 8 after arriving on site the day before in pieces on flatbed trucks from Florida. Contributed

The route is easier for pedestrians to cross a major thoroughfare after crews completed a pedestrian bridge across Highlands Drive Northeast on a moonlit morning last week.

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Zombie dancers shuffle, step to ‘Thriller’ for record attempt

October 25, 2011

Chandler Osman, 12, an Issaquah Middle School student, strikes a ‘Thriller’ pose Oct. 22 during rehearsal for Green Halloween Festival performances. By Greg Farrar

The undead shuffle across TV and cinema screens. Zombies chomp across bestseller lists. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a droll guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The zombie zeitgeist is ceaseless. Just like a horde of the undead on a mindless search for brains.

The pop culture phenomenon reaches Issaquah on Oct. 29 as revelers dressed as the undead shuffle downtown and in the Issaquah Highlands just before Halloween.

The most able-bodied zombies plan to inch to the Green Halloween Festival and the Issaquah Library to duplicate the complicated choreography from the 1983 Michael Jackson epic, “Thriller” — a 14-minute MTV masterpiece from “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis.

Zombies plan to re-create “Thriller” at 2 p.m. for festivalgoers and at 4 p.m. at the downtown library. Then, zombies around the globe plan to gather for Thrill the World, a simultaneous attempt to dance to “Thriller” and set a world record. In Issaquah, 6 p.m. is the designated hour for the Thrill the World attempt.

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Mitsubishi rolls out electric vehicle at zHome

October 11, 2011

Mitsubishi is rolling out the i, billed as the most-affordable electric vehicle on the U.S. market, Oct. 15-16 at a “green” venue — zHome, a carbon-neutral community in Issaquah.

The team behind zHome and Mitsubishi partnered to offer zHome attendees a chance to test-drive the car. The i is rated for a miles-per-gallon equivalent of 112.

Enthusiasts can see the i from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16.

Mitsubishi loaned a Japanese model of the vehicle to zHome Project Manager Brad Liljequist during the summer.

“It was quiet, quick and surprisingly roomy given its small size,” he wrote in a post to the zHome blog.

In addition to kicking the tires on the i, attendees can also tour zHome. The site is along Northeast High Street, just east of YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride.

The “green” complex features electric-vehicle charging stations.

The i is also scheduled to appear at Best Buy, 6000 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 22.

Change comes to Issaquah bus routes Oct. 1

September 27, 2011

King County Metro Transit riders should prepare for changes soon as transportation planners adjust routes between Issaquah and Seattle.

Issaquah routes receive some shuffling in the latest service plan from the mass transit agency. Under a service plan starting Oct. 1, Route 211 runs from hospital-dense First Hill in Seattle to the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride. Metro Transit is also adding trips departing First Hill for the highlands at 3:05 and 5:30 p.m.

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City, King County leaders flip switch on zHome

September 20, 2011

Issaquah and King County leaders gathered Sept. 14 to flip the switch on zHome, the first zero-energy, carbon-neutral multifamily community in the United States.

Built to use zero net energy and 70 percent less water than a traditional home, Issaquah, King County and other partners collaborated to open the 10-townhouse complex in the Issaquah Highlands. The project is meant to serve as a model for incorporating “green” elements into mainstream homebuilding.

King County Executive Dow Constantine (right, at lectern) prepares to address the crowd at the opening of zHome in the Issaquah Highlands on Sept. 14. Contributed

County Executive Dow Constantine joined Mayor Ava Frisinger to open the facility at a ceremony in the zHome courtyard.

“This pioneering project sets a new standard for how homes can — and should — be built in our region and country,” Frisinger said in a statement. “Our vision is that zHome’s innovative approach will catalyze the market for much ‘greener’ building materials and technologies, as well as inspire the next generation of homebuilders through examples that are replicable and market rate.”

The project included aggressive benchmarks to set a different standard in “green” homebuilding. Units in zHome range from the low $400,000s to the $600,000s.

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Family Village causes no concerns among Issaquah school officials

September 20, 2011

Occupants were expected to move in en masse in late June and managers expected most residents to occupy the new $53 million YWCA Family Village at Issaquah in the Issaquah Highlands by late August.

Designed to be affordable housing, Family Village is expected to attract its fair share of, well, families, including school-age children. Still, Issaquah School District officials say they are ready for what they expect to be a modest influx of new students.

Family Village consists of 146 units of affordable housing, said Cathy MacCaul, director of community affairs for the local YWCA.

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City plugs in energy-saving zHome, leader in ‘green’ living

September 13, 2011

Family spends night at zero-energy townhouse to test innovations

Some of the 10 carbon-neutral townhomes of the zHome community glow in the setting sun along Northeast High Street in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

The steeply angled roofs and street-side rain garden attract attention to the townhouses along Northeast High Street.

The effect is deliberate, because the 10-townhouse complex, called zHome, is designed to encourage people to explore and rethink notions about “green” living. The project is the first carbon-neutral and zero-energy multifamily community in the United States.

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Issaquah Highlands Self Storage opens

July 19, 2011

Issaquah Highlands Self Storage has officially opened its doors.

The storage facility is located on High Street between Ninth Avenue Northeast and Northeast Highlands Drive, adjacent to the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride.

In early May, customers began moving items into storage units just in time to rotate storage of seasonal items.

The storage facility is six stories high and 68,000 square feet, containing 503 heated storage units that protect possessions from the damp Northwest weather. Sizes range from 25 square feet to more than 200 square feet. The transit center next door contains reserved parking for customers in addition to the main loading area in front.

West Coast Self-Storage is the management company.

Office hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Customers have access 365 days a year via a keypad from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Learn more at www.issaquahhighlandsselfstorage.com or call 295-2959.

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