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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Lake Sammamish State Park offers ‘free days’ to park visitors Jan. 19-20

January 18, 2014

NEW — Noon Jan. 18, 2014

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington State Parks is making Jan. 19 and 20 the first of 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.

Editorial

December 31, 2013

2014 goals for a better Issaquah

The Issaquah Press presents its annual list of goals for the Issaquah area. A few are repeats from last year, still waiting to be accomplished but worthy of repeating.

February elections — The trio of school district levies, the Klahanie annexation decision and the repeal of the plastic bag ban are all up for a vote. The only good thing about the dismal turnout of voters in the November election is the easy assurance of getting enough voters to validate the school levy election. Let’s hope Issaquah voters get back on track and return their ballots in higher numbers in 2014.

Central Issaquah Plan — The redevelopment plan is in place and developers now know how to maximize the use of their property. One project has already been proposed. It will be interesting to see what other plans come forward and whether the CIP is achieving its goals.

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Christmas Boat Parade hits Lake Sammamish

December 3, 2013

A new tradition begins this year with the first parade of boats decked out in holiday lights on Lake Sammamish at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 (rain date Dec. 8) at the state park beach.

Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park invite the public to sing carols around a bonfire and sip hot chocolate while enjoying the magic of the twinkling lights on the boats from the beach at the park. Visitors will need a Discover Pass to enter the park or pay a $10 admission fee per carload.

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Come see holiday lights at Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Sammamish on Dec. 7

November 26, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 26, 2013

A new tradition begins this year with the first parade of boats decked out in holiday lights on Lake Sammamish at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 (rain date Dec. 8) at the state park beach.

Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park invite the public to sing carols around a bonfire and sip hot chocolate while enjoying the magic of the twinkling lights on the boats from the beach at the park.

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Friendly setting finds few feuds between mayoral candidates

October 22, 2013

Mayoral candidates City Council President Fred Butler and City Councilman Joe Forkner restated major themes in a largely agreeable forum Oct. 17.

In one-minute answers, both candidates stuck to their agendas, which remain fairly similar.

“When I retired form Seattle City Light as their chief engineer, I decided to devote myself to public service,” Butler said during his opening statements. “I believe in sustainability. All decisions need to take in the three legs of sustainability: people, planet and prosperity.”

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

By Greg Farrar
Fred Butler (left) and Joe Forkner conclude their mayoral candidate forum Oct. 17 with a handshake and some laughter.

Forkner took the insider’s approach, citing his years of work within city government and as a board volunteer.

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