King County Flood Control District preserves dollars for salmon projects

June 19, 2012

Issaquah salmon-restoration projects could garner grant dollars after all, even though a lawsuit threatened to cut off funds for conservation projects countywide.

King County Flood Control District leaders decided to fund salmon-recovery projects after the King Conservation District stopped doling out grants amid a legal challenge.

Flood Control District officials approved $3 million May 14 for projects to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts. King County Council members sit as the executive board for the Flood Control District.

The decision is meant to plug a gap left after the King Conservation District halted a separate process to issue salmon-recovery grants. Read more

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King County reminds boaters to avoid lake buoys

May 8, 2012

King County officials reminded boaters to avoid environmental monitoring buoys in lakes Sammamish and Washington after a Lake Washington buoy sustained damage.

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King County reminds boaters to avoid lake buoys

April 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. April 30, 2012

King County officials reminded boaters to avoid environmental monitoring buoys in lakes Sammamish and Washington after a Lake Washington buoy sustained damage.

Officials said a boat struck the bright yellow buoy between 4-6 p.m. April 23. The impact caused the buoy to flip and submerged sensitive data-collection equipment. The tally for damage is expected to reach at least $5,600.

The incident echoes a similar problem from Lake Sammamish. In July 2010, vandals flipped a buoy bobbing in the lake and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage. In May 2009, vandals also damaged a buoy on Lake Sammamish.

Crews managed to repair the buoys involved in the earlier vandalism incidents.

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Wanted: Locals’ 1962 Seattle World’s Fair memories

April 3, 2012

April 21 marks 50 years since the Century 21 Exposition opened — and transformed the Puget Sound region.

Though the fair unfolded 17 miles east, on the Seattle Center grounds, Issaquah residents headed to the expo in hordes.

Some Issaquah residents spent a summer working at the fair. Many more residents crossed Lake Washington to experience the fair’s futuristic fun.

Issaquah also greeted travelers as the Century 21 Exposition at a tourism station along U.S. Route 10, a precursor to Interstate 90.

Now, as the fair’s 50th anniversary approaches, The Issaquah Press is seeking Century 21 memories from local residents for upcoming coverage of the milestone.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com by April 18, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

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Tomorrow turns 50: In 1962, Issaquah residents crossed Lake Washington for fair’s futuristic fun

February 21, 2012

Diners enjoy drinks — and a now-forbidden smoke — in the Eye of the Needle revolving restaurant atop the Space Needle. MOHAI, Milkie Studio Collection

The distance from Issaquah to the future measured a mere 17 miles.

In 1962, as the Century 21 Exposition greeted fairgoers from the United States and beyond, residents from Issaquah — then home to about 3,000 people — crossed Lake Washington from April 21 to Oct. 21 for the Space Age fair.

Nowadays, 50 years after the spectacle at Seattle Center closed, memories remain as clear as the Bubbleator dome. The fair introduced countless palates to strawberry-topped Belgian waffles and tempted millions of guests to brave the maze inside the IBM Pavilion.

“Everybody went to the fair,” said Lorraine McConaghy, public historian for the Seattle-based Museum of History & Industry, or MOHAI. “It was not just an urban phenomenon. It was a regional phenomenon.”

The iconic Space Needle — then painted in Technicolor hues — and the Bubbleator left lasting impressions on locals. The bubble-shaped elevator carried fairgoers to exhibits inside the Washington State Coliseum.

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Executive emphasizes partnerships, prosperity in State of the County address

February 14, 2012

King County is akin to the Oakland A’s depicted in the film “Moneyball” — nimble and unconventional — County Executive Dow Constantine declared Feb. 6.

Dow Constantine

Constantine, in the annual State of the County address, used the baseball team to illustrate a recent effort to streamline county government.

“The county used to be a little like the New York Yankees. Its first response to a problem was to throw money at it,” he said. “Now we’re more like the 2002 Oakland A’s depicted in ‘Moneyball’ — smart and scrappy. Finding inefficiencies in the established system — seeking out the highest performance at the lowest-possible cost. Getting the best value.”

The top elected official in the county emphasized partnerships and prosperity as steps to reshape local government. Some changes resulted from a performance-based management program modeled on a system at Toyota.

“The state of county government can be found in this simple fact: King County is back on sound financial footing,” he said.

Officials did not need to make deep cuts to services last year in order to craft a 2012 budget.

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Dow Constantine emphasizes partnerships, prosperity in State of the County address

February 7, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 7, 2012

King County is akin to the Oakland A’s depicted in the film “Moneyball” — nimble and unconventional — County Executive Dow Constantine declared Monday.

Dow Constantine

Constantine, in the annual State of the County address, used the baseball team to illustrate a recent effort to streamline county government.

“The county used to be a little like the New York Yankees. Its first response to a problem was to throw money at it,” he said. “Now we’re more like the 2002 Oakland A’s depicted in ‘Moneyball’ – smart and scrappy. Finding inefficiencies in the established system – seeking out the highest performance at the lowest-possible cost. Getting the best value.”

The top elected official in the county emphasized partnerships and prosperity as steps to reshape local government. Some changes resulted from a performance-based management program modeled on a system at Toyota.

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Pondering perch in local waterways

January 24, 2012

What’s in the lake? Perch.

Dallas Cross

Why not perch? A good question for Eastside fishers to ponder, because both Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish are rife with yellow perch. The number of perch you may catch is virtually limitless according to state fishing regulations.

Although perch are mostly small, averaging about 10 inches and weighing a half-pound, some can get up to 2 pounds in weight. Perch have flaky white meat with a very pleasant and mild flavor. As for eating, if you ask a multispecies fisherman how these fish fare gastronomically you will find them rated far more desirable than trout and bass.

I have caught perch in both of the above urban lakes. However, my most unique experience was during a goose hunting trip to the Potholes Reservoir region of Eastern Washington. Bill Arndt, a longtime Issaquah resident, asked me to accompany him and we drove to Othello for a hunt the next morning. Being winter, there were very few areas of ice-free water in the Potholes area, so we hunted the early morning from a blind near where the geese flew in to feed.

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State Route 520 bridge tolls alter Interstate 90 commutes

January 10, 2012

State transportation planners said local traffic patterns shifted as motorists adjusted to tolls on the state Route 520 bridge.

Though motorists on the bridge across Lake Washington between Seattle and Medina experience shorter commutes, drivers elsewhere noticed changes in traffic congestion and longer travel times.

The morning commute on Interstate 90, for instance, started sooner, almost 30 minutes earlier than normal.

Data from the Jan. 4 morning commute indicates state Route 520 bridge experienced 30 percent less eastbound traffic and 35 percent less westbound traffic during the 7-9 a.m. peak morning commute compared to normal. On the other bridge across Lake Washington, however, the peak commute started 30 minutes earlier than historical averages and commuters experienced travel times near the high end of the normal range.

Planners said as motorists use I-90 as the alternative to state Route 520, traffic volumes increased slightly and travel times increased up to five minutes more than normal. The state recorded the typical westbound travel time from 6-8 a.m. at 11-20 minutes.

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Transit is option during state Route 520 bridge tolling

December 27, 2011

King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit leaders encouraged commuters to use mass transit after tolling starts on the state Route 520 bridge Dec. 29.

The state Department of Transportation estimates tolls should cause thousands of motorists to use the Interstate 90 bridges or drive around Lake Washington instead. Officials encourage commuters to consider mass transit to cross the lake.

In the past year, Metro Transit and Sound Transit increased daily bus service in the Route 520 corridor by 20 percent — or about 6,500 seats and more than 130 additional bus trips. Find complete schedules and more information at http://metro.kingcounty.gov and www.soundtransit.org.

Commuters can use Metro Transit’s online “Seat Finder” service at http://kingcounty.gov/metro/seatfinder to find a vanpool.

Many transit service improvements came through a partnership with the state Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation to better manage congestion on Route 520.

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