Zoo celebrates tiger birthdays, Earth Day; city also has events planned

April 14, 2015

Celebrate Earth Day at Cougar Mountain Zoo’s Party for the Planet on April 18.

Special guests include the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society, Mountains to Sound Greenway and many more. Activities include Tobias the Magician, face painting and Earth-friendly arts and crafts, as well as Earth Day-themed mini-lectures for the zoo animals. You can also get your portrait drawn by a caricaturist.

See a complete schedule of mini-lectures at http://bit.ly/1axnfe0.

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Guest Column — Transportation: We must act now

March 25, 2015

This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.

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Council salary commission attracts little interest; volunteers still needed

March 16, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. March 16, 2015

In December, at one of its last meetings of 2014, the Issaquah City Council voted unanimously to create an independent, five-member salary commission to study council compensation.

Last month, the city clerk’s office began asking for volunteers to serve on the commission. For whatever reason, the February application deadline came and went with only one person applying, City Clerk Tina Eggers said. With that in mind, the city has extended the application deadline, basically indefinitely. Selected commissioners would begin serving April 1 with some recommendation on council pay due to the clerk’s office by June 30.

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State transportation package could ease local highway woes

March 10, 2015

A transportation package passed by the state Senate would allocate $15.1 billion for road projects statewide, including three major projects directly affecting Issaquah and Sammamish.

The area could see roadwork totaling $126 million on portions of Interstate 90. The package passed the Senate on Feb. 27, but still must clear the state House of Representatives.

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Traffic only knock on city in resident survey

March 10, 2015

Completed in December, a city-sponsored survey of local inhabitants showed 91 percent of Issaquah residents believe their town is a great spot to call home.

That positive rating included 41 percent who rated Issaquah as an “excellent” place to be, along with 50 percent who said it is a “good” place to live, Emily Moon, deputy city administrator, said in a report to the City Council on March 2.

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Skate park goes back to Issaquah City Council after supporters make their case

March 3, 2015

March 16 may be a big day for supporters of a larger footprint for the proposed new Issaquah Skate Park.

Four supporters met Feb. 27 with Mayor Fred Butler, who promised he would bring the issue before the City Council at what will be its second meeting of March.

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Supporters still pushing for larger skate park

February 24, 2015

Supporters of a bigger footprint for the proposed new Issaquah skate park have taken their case to the Internet and hope to take it directly to Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler.

As of Feb. 23, backers had 1,272 names on an electronic petition supporting the larger skate park, resident and park enthusiast Theresa Stoppard said.

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Arborist loses job to budget cuts after 30 years with city

February 17, 2015

After what will be 30 years on the job at the end of March, Issaquah City Arborist Alan Haywood will vacate his long-time position.

Haywood did not directly criticize Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler or the city administration in general. But he was clear he was not overly happy with the situation.

“My position was eliminated,” Haywood said. “It was a budgetary decision.”

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Growth dominates mayor’s annual State of the City talk

February 10, 2015

Issaquah has morphed from a small town into a small city and more changes are on the way, Mayor Fred Butler said in his annual State of the City speech before the City Council on Feb. 2.

“The state of our city is strong,” Butler said at the outset of the talk.

Butler promised his administration was building an Issaquah for everyone, “from the cashier at Costco to the surgeon” at Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah Campus.

Issaquah will grow, Butler added, “up not out… compact, not sprawling.”

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Growth and traffic are on the minds of city leaders

January 13, 2015

Growth and development, along with traffic, seemed to be the main topics of the day as the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce held its second annual Preview Luncheon on Jan. 8.

“One thing is clear to me,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler told the gathering of about 150 people at the Holiday Inn of Issaquah. “Our community is evolving… Your government is evolving also.”

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