State Parks offers a day of free parking today

March 19, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 19, 2014

Today is Washington State Parks’ 101st birthday, and it’s your lucky day because you can park at Lake Sammamish State Park and the Tiger Mountain State Forest for free.

Washington State Parks has 12 free days in 2014 when visitors are not required to display the Discover Pass to visit a state park.

The free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on state-managed recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources.

The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days apply only at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required to access DFW and DNR lands.

Learn more here.

State eyes June construction for state park bathhouse

March 18, 2014

Lake Sammamish State Park will receive its Sunset Beach Bathhouse this year, officials said.

Park Manager Richard Benson said plans outlined in 2007 might finally see the light of day with the help of funding secured in last year’s legislative session.

“Apparently, bids will go out around April 1 with construction beginning early enough to have substantial progress by June 13,” Benson wrote in an email. “That really is good news. It will have been 40 years since we have had improvements like this here at the park.”

The bathhouse would offer updated restroom and concession facilities along with space for a future lifeguard program.

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State park annexation enters council consideration

March 18, 2014

The Issaquah City Council will consider adding annexation of Lake Sammamish State Park to its comprehensive plan.

In the March 11 Land and Shore Committee meeting, council members discussed the docket of items for the annual update to Issaquah’s comprehensive plan. The addition to the docket came in response to a March 4 letter from Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch asking the city to consider annexing the park.

“We’ve been working with State Parks on a request for proposals,” City Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen said about the cooperation aimed at economically developing the park. “I think it allows us to partner with them more seamlessly. They felt like it would help us with our rules and regulations.”

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Editorial

March 18, 2014

An annexation that may make sense

Washington State Parks has asked the city of Issaquah to consider annexing Lake Sammamish State Park. The idea is worth considering.

As it stands, the park, even though it is a state park, sits in unincorporated King County. However, it is surrounded on all sides — except the lake side — by Issaquah.

As there have been plans to add some developments to the park, Issaquah has taken the lead in vetting those plans. But, once a specific plan is chosen, the county would need to get involved in issuing needed permits.

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To the Editor

March 18, 2014

Plastic bags

Thanks for upholding the ban

Thank you, Issaquah, for upholding the bag ban. It was the right time and the right thing to do.

It may be an extremely small step in the overall scheme of being responsible for our surroundings, but hopefully other smaller communities from around the area and the country will follow our lead, step up and move forward as we have.

Geoff Carson

Issaquah

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Editorial

March 11, 2014

State park lifeguards worth considering

The park manager at Lake Sammamish State Park is asking Issaquah to consider chipping in for lifeguards at the beaches on Lake Sammamish. The idea is worth considering, but the city must protect its interests.

The state ran a pilot program of placing lifeguards on the beaches in 2007 and 2008. In that time, the number of average daily visitors to guarded beaches rose from about 178 to 267. Considering it sometimes takes time for word to spread of a new program, it’s likely that many of the visitors in the second year heard about lifeguards and made the decision to come to the beach because they knew they and their children would be safe.

If the increase in visitation continues, with a commensurate increase in revenue from fees to enter the park, it would help offset the costs of hiring lifeguards for the swimming season. From a fiscal standpoint, the lifeguards would quickly pay for themselves.

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Sign up now for kayak tours at Lake Sammamish

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.

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State asks Issaquah to annex Lake Sammamish State Park

March 9, 2014

NEW — 5:15 p.m. March 9, 2014

Lake Sammamish State Park might drop the state from its name.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch asked in a March 4 letter that Issaquah officials consider authorizing filing an annexation petition toward the state park.

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Protests, acceptance fill meeting on whether to host Tent City 4

February 18, 2014

Tempers flared Feb. 11 at Faith United Methodist Church’s community meeting to discuss hosting Tent City 4.

Almost 200 residents — with concerns for children, jobs and safety — crowded into the church on Issaquah-Pine Lake Road in unincorporated King County. The meeting, according to the Rev. Dr. John Brewer, was to share information about the possibility of housing the traveling homeless shelter on church grounds.

“We were approached two and a half weeks ago with a serious request,” Brewer said. “While we had only briefly considered hosting in the summer time, this request came urgently.”

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Geese likely won’t be killed at state park this year

February 4, 2014

The geese that roam Lake Sammamish State Park are likely safe this year, according to Virginia Painter, spokeswoman for Washington State Parks.

State park officials killed about 90 birds last summer to control the population and mitigate any harmful effects their feces may cause. So far, there are no plans to kill any at the local park this year, Painter said.

A Canada goose balances on one leg, preening among a flock of seagulls recently as one more gull glides in for a landing on Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park.  By Greg Farrar

A Canada goose balances on one leg, preening among a flock of seagulls recently as one more gull glides in for a landing on Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park.
By Greg Farrar

“Managers don’t foresee us doing a lethal solution at Lake Sammamish State Park this year,” she said.

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