Future transit plans include bringing light rail to Issaquah

August 26, 2015

NEW — 4:20 p.m. Aug. 26, 2015

Visiting city after city and holding numerous public meetings, King County Metro and Sound Transit officials are working on long-range plans that might spell out the backbone of local mass transit through 2040.

In the case of Sound Transit, the planning process dubbed ST3 likely will lead the agency to placing a funding question on the ballot in November 2016.

Perhaps most noticeably for Eastsiders, Sound Transit’s plan might well include long-discussed light rail service to Issaquah, rail service that easily could impact other local communities, such as Sammamish.

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Issaquah safety traffic study moves forward

August 24, 2015

NEW — Noon Aug. 24, 2015

Already underway and involving more than 20 crosswalks and intersections around Issaquah, the city’s promised and highly publicized traffic safety study will look at any number of factors, from average car speeds to the crosswalk “treatments” already in place.

At the same time, city staffers will look at numerous additional crossings around the city, said Autumn Monahan, assistant to the city administrator.

“Each of the corridors we’ll be looking at has a different character,” said David Markley, founding principal of consultant Transportation Solutions Inc.

Mayor Fred Butler authorized the safety study following a fatal June accident involving 4-year-old Haochen Xu at the intersection of Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive.

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Attorneys fire volleys as funding application deadline looms for Issaquah Senior Center

August 23, 2015

NEW — 1:15 p.m. Aug. 23, 2015

An attorney representing people barred from the Issaquah Valley Senior Center has demanded a public apology for a letter sent out by the center board of directors.

If that is not done, attorney Inez Petersen said, she will file a libel suit against the board.

But an attorney representing the board says his clients were doing their duty in reporting alleged mistreatment or harassment of “vulnerable adults,” and that his clients are protected from libel laws while doing so.

In the meantime, the center board has until Aug. 25 to apply for its annual grant from the city for 2016 or possibly face losing $99,000 in funding, which represents a significant portion of its yearly budget.

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Reports say underage alcohol and marijuana use are local problems

August 14, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 14, 2015

In November, about 50 community leaders gathered in the YMCA Village Community Room in the Issaquah Highlands.

Several topics were mentioned but the one most seemed to think is on the rise in the Issaquah area and the Eastside is drug abuse, particularly marijuana and heroin.

Speaking at the November meeting, Mayor Fred Butler referred to the interrelated problems of what he called “DHM,” which stands for “drugs, homelessness and mental illness.” He added he probably has spent more time on those issues than any others.

“It touches on everything,” Butler said. “We are committed to trying to make a difference.” Read more

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HOAs call public session on fatal accident

August 5, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 5, 2015

The meeting was intended to be sort of a community-building exercise, Mary Lynch, of the Summerhill Homeowners Association, said.

Still, the main topic of conversation was safety along Newport Way Northwest and the fatal accident that took place there last month.

In addition to Summerhill, several HOAs along Newport Way Northwest co-sponsored a public meeting held July 30 at the King County Library Service Center.

The crowd of about 25 people was decidedly smaller than the one that showed up for a city public meeting regarding pedestrian safety held a few days earlier. Read more

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Issaquah mayor says Newport Way Northwest speed limit may drop in September

July 28, 2015

NEW — 4:17 p.m. July 28, 2015

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said when the City Council ends its summer recess in September, he will recommend the speed limit on Newport Way Northwest be lowered.

Although people at the meeting suggested the limit be 25, Butler didn’t mention a specific speed limit for the change. He said the move would come prior to completion of a crosswalk safety study being launched by the city.

The announcement drew applause from some of the 60 or so residents jammed into Tibbetts Creek Manor on July 27 for a public meeting on pedestrian safety.

The session was organized by the city following the death of 4-year-old Haochen Xu after the boy was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive on June 26. He died the next day.

By Tom Corrigan During a public meeting July 27, Mary Hammerly and husband Joe Verner (second and third from left), neighbors of the young boy killed in a recent traffic accident on Newport Way Northwest, talk about traffic issues on their street with consultant David Markley, of Transportation Solutions Inc.

By Tom Corrigan
During a public meeting July 27, Mary Hammerly and husband Joe Verner (second and third from left), neighbors of the young boy killed in a recent traffic accident on Newport Way Northwest, talk about traffic issues on their street with consultant David Markley, of Transportation Solutions Inc.

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Building a better bathhouse

July 23, 2015

By Janet Farness Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park Board President Chris Kovac, State Sen. Mark Mullet, Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, State Rep. Chad Magendanz and Park Manager Rich Benson cut the ribbon for the new Sunset Beach bathhouse.

By Janet Farness
Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park Board President Chris Kovac, State Sen. Mark Mullet, Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, State Rep. Chad Magendanz and Park Manager Rich Benson cut the ribbon for the new Sunset Beach Bathhouse below.

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City leaders will study Issaquah crosswalks

July 16, 2015

On July 8, Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler announced the city would undertake a detailed study of numerous crosswalks throughout Issaquah.

Butler later said in an email that consultants would help determine which crosswalks as well as how many crosswalks would be studied. He did say the Newport Way crosswalk, where Haochen Xu was struck, would be scrutinized.

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Fatal accident brings out emotions at crowded City Council session

July 16, 2015

Tina Conforti said the evening prior to the accident, her next door neighbor, 4-year-old Haochen Xu was playing in the sprinkler in her backyard. After clearing it with his parents, she shared a peanut butter sandwich with him.

“A little angel lost his life,” Conforti told the Issaquah City Council at its regular meeting July 6.

She was just one of about 50 residents who attended the meeting to talk about the accident site — the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive.

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Open house will celebrate new Sunset Beach Bathhouse at state park

July 6, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. July 6, 2015

The Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park will host an open house July 7 to celebrate the completion of the park’s new Sunset Beach Bathhouse.

The event also will commemorate the annexation of the park into the city of Issaquah earlier this year.

The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road. Get directions at https://goo.gl/maps/XSFsf.

Festivities will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by music from the Sammamish Symphony quartet and tours of the new building. Refreshments will be served.

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