Police chief retires after 39-year career

March 18, 2014

By Greg Farrar Paul Ayers, Issaquah’s police chief for the last seven years, pauses in his office for a portrait.

By Greg Farrar
Paul Ayers, Issaquah’s police chief for the last seven years, pauses in his office for a portrait.

After 39 years in law enforcement — seven in Issaquah — Chief Paul Ayers is ready to take it easy.

Though it started out as a ride-along after serving his tours of duty in Vietnam, police work became a decorated career for Ayers almost four decades ago. He will serve his last day April 15.

“Literally, my first day riding along was a huge eye-opener for me,” Ayers said. “What people know about law enforcement is what they read in the paper and what they see on TV. When you’re at street level and see those things happen, it really makes you realize this job is a lot more.”

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Skate park location could be decided at March 24 meeting

March 18, 2014

After two public meetings, the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department has narrowed the number of possible sites for a new skate park.

“It’s down to four that we’re considering now,” Parks & Recreation Manager Brian Berntsen said.

The locations are Veterans’ Memorial Field, Gibson Park, Central Park and Tibbetts Valley Park, near the Issaquah Transit Center.

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To the Editor

March 11, 2014

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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Issaquah Mayor hosts Q&A breakfast Saturday morning

March 7, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. March 7, 2014

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler invites citizens to stop by a no-host Mayor’s Breakfast from 9-10 a.m. March 8 at Caffe Ladro, 1200 10th Ave. N.E., to discuss topics of interest.

Mayor states goals in first State of the City speech

February 25, 2014

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler vowed to maintain momentum in his first State of the City speech.

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler is a member of the Issaquah City Council.

Fred Butler

 

Given during the Feb. 18 regular City Council meeting, the speech laid out what Butler hopes to achieve in the first year of his inaugural term.

“A community is made up of many elements,” he said. “We are blessed with an outstanding school district, an active and professional chamber of commerce, students who are involved, first-class medical facilities and a City Council dedication to regional involvement.”

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Editorial

February 25, 2014

Death penalty overdue for reconsideration

More than five years ago, this newspaper called for the state Legislature to revisit the value of Washington’s death penalty. Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee opened the door to begin the overdue conversation by implementing a death-penalty moratorium while he is the state’s elected CEO.

At first glance, it may seem unimportant. Washington state has had only five executions in the past 50 years.

But consider that there are nine men currently on death row in Washington prisons. Consider that taxpayers pay for the prosecution, for the public defenders and for the court system. Those cases are under appeal and the appeals will go forward. Inslee’s mandate does not do away with capital punishment, it just removes the killings from happening on his watch.

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Picture this

February 21, 2014

Issaquah sets its sights on adding the French town of Savigny-le-Temple to its family of sister cities.

The city of Issaquah is expecting.

Like most new parents, city officials have a special glow in anticipation of the new arrival. Members of the City Council and Sister Cities Commission are anxiously waiting for a written proposal from the town of Savigny-le-Temple in France to establish a Sister City relationship.

Contributed Minister Mohamed Saad El Alami, mayor of Chefchaouen (center), and former Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) walk through the Moroccan city’s streets with other delegation members and a security detail in 2007.

Contributed
Minister Mohamed Saad El Alami, mayor of Chefchaouen (center), and former Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) walk through the Moroccan city’s streets with other delegation members and a security detail in 2007.

The transatlantic courtship began last fall, when a delegation of students from the French town came to Issaquah during Salmon Days and were so impressed they requested their city reach out to establish an official relationship. Leaders from the community 20 miles southeast of Paris have made plans to send another contingent of young people to the Northwest this summer.

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The green necklace: a gift to the city and the environment

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.

By Peter Clark Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

By Peter Clark
Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

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.

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Sen. Andy Hill stops Klahanie bill to block tax credit

February 10, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 10, 2014

Sen. Andy Hill (R-45) announced he would not move ahead with a bill he introduced to alter Issaquah’s tax credit if it were to annex the Klahanie area.

Under current law, Issaquah would get a state sales tax credit for annexing the Klahanie area. Hill introduced a bill Jan. 29 that would have eliminated that credit.

The bill came before the Senate Ways & Means Committee for a public hearing Feb. 4. Hill is chairman of that committee.

In a statement Feb. 6, Hill said he would not continue to advance the legislation.

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Residents bring questions, decisions to annexation open house

February 4, 2014

For Klahanie-area residents’ remaining questions, the city of Issaquah offered answers.

As the deadline approached for the Feb. 11 vote on whether people living in the potential annexation area would join Issaquah, city employees held an open house Feb. 1. Directors from most city departments came prepared with maps and answers to any questions residents could ask.

Department heads, police officers and Mayor Fred Butler headed into the middle of the annexation area and hosted the event at Klahanie’s Challenger Elementary School. Curious residents and the undecided showed up to ask questions in a session that lasted an afternoon.

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