Sammamish Club goes up for auction

June 26, 2012

A Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company plans to auction the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain next month.

CBRE Auction Services is putting the property up for auction July 26. The opening bid for the Sammamish Club is $2.5 million and bidders must put down a $150,000 deposit.

The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 48,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.

The land is inside the area targeted for long-term redevelopment in the Central Issaquah Plan, a sweeping proposal to transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood. The seller touted the redevelopment opportunity in information about the auction.

The fitness facility includes a 25-yard enclosed swimming pool, spa and massage facilities, aerobic and training studios, and other amenities.

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Police ask for help to find suspect after violent attack

June 12, 2012

Suspect

Police asked for assistance June 5 to find the suspect in a violent attack against a woman near Southeast Newport Way and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Bellevue investigators said the woman used pepper spray to fend off the attacker and later escaped. Bellevue police responded to the area near the Bellevue-Issaquah city line at 11:30 p.m. June 1.

The 23-year-old woman had just disembarked from a King County Metro Transit bus at a stop near the intersection. Police said the male suspect, another passenger on the bus, followed her as she exited the vehicle. The bus did not have a surveillance camera.

The suspect then grabbed the woman from behind and attempted to drag her from the roadway. Police said she resisted, but the suspect punched her in the face several times and then threw her to the ground.

What to know

Investigators ask people with information about the Southeast Newport Way and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast attack to call 911 if they see the suspect.

The woman then retrieved pepper spray from her pocket and sprayed the suspect. The attacker then fled from the scene.

Police later used a dog to search for the suspect, but could not locate him.

The woman and the Metro bus driver described the suspect as a noticeably pale, white male. They described him as mid-20s; about 5 feet, 7 inches tall; with a thin build, shaved head and thin mustache. Police said he wore a white polo shirt with brown horizontal stripes and baggy blue jeans.

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City plans to install pedestrian upgrades at accident intersection

May 1, 2012

The city plans to add a flashing sign to alert motorists to pedestrians at a problematic intersection along Newport Way Northwest.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

Now, city officials plan to add another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. Crews also plan to install reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

Installation is expected to occur before late spring.

Scholzen’s partner, Jon Francis, said a lower speed limit for the road should accompany the additions.

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In hit-and-run accident, unidentified motorist hits, kills pets in crosswalk

March 20, 2012

Neighbors unite to comfort owner, make area safer

Troy Scholzen mourns March 15 next to the neighborhood memorial to his dogs Yogi and Jake at the crosswalk where they were killed. Below, a memorial to Yogi and Jake on Newport Way Northwest grows. By Greg Farrar

Somewhere is the hit-and-run driver of a vehicle that upended an Issaquah man’s life last week.

The driver killed two service dogs, who were on a leash in a crosswalk with the signal blinking. Their owner barely escaped serious injury.

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Snowstorm does not disrupt life for Cougar Mountain Zoo denizens

January 24, 2012

Snowstorm, ice and aftermath / Jan. 16-20, 2012

Biff the alpaca stands in the snow as a snowstorm hit Cougar Mountain Zoo on Jan. 18. By Robyn Barfoot/Cougar Mountain Zoo

The macaws retreated inside to toastier temperatures. The tigers tolerated the cold. The reindeer, unsurprisingly, reveled in the snow.

Though most Issaquah residents experienced a snow day Jan. 18, a major snowstorm did not disrupt the routine for the denizens of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

“The animals don’t care that it’s snowing outside and we don’t want to get out of bed,” General Curator Robyn Barfoot said. “They need us and that is our driving force.”

The rare Bengal tigers Almos, Bagheera, Taj and Vitez lounge in heated enclosures if the mercury falls. Some species — such as colorful macaws and other birds from tropical climates — spend cold days inside and off display. Other animals carouse in the cold temperatures and deep snow.

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King County road crews report ‘very treacherous’ conditions

January 19, 2012

NEW — 8:30 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

King County Road Services Division crews reported “very treacherous” road conditions Thursday morning due to additional snow and freezing rain on local roadways.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation extended the closure of state Route 18 from Interstate 90 to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast from the interstate to state Route 164 in Auburn — a 22-mile stretch.

City crews reopened Newport Way Northwest from Northwest Oakcrest Drive to state Route 900 by 8:30 a.m. after a downed tree prompted a closure.

Though city, county and state crews continue efforts to keep major arteries clear for motorists, drivers should expect icy conditions on less-traveled roads. County crews reported problems related to downed trees and limbs from heavy ice accumulations.

More rain or freezing rain is in the forecast for the next several hours, s0 motorists should use extreme caution on local roads. If possible, officials urged people to postpone trips until later in the day after temperatures inch upward.

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Downed trees snarl morning commutes in Issaquah area

January 19, 2012

NEW — 7:25 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Fallen trees caused road closures and traffic headaches early Thursday, as icy conditions caused fresh problems a day after a major snowstorm.

Newport Way Northwest from Northwest Oakcrest Drive to state Route 900 is closed due to a downed tree. State Route 900 from Northwest Talus Drive to the southern city limits is closed due to a downed tree.

Meanwhile, outside Issaquah city limits, state Route 18 is closed in both directions from Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast to Interstate 90 due to multiple fallen trees blocking the lanes.

Puget Sound Energy reported more than 1,200 without power at 7:45 a.m.

Early Thursday, National Weather Service meteorologists issued a regional ice storm warning through noon. Forecasters said to expect travel impacts related to icy conditions, although temperatures should start to rise by midday.

City road crews continue to focus on high-priority routes, as ice poses a different challenge than the snow from previous days.

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Snowstorm does not disrupt life for Cougar Mountain Zoo denizens

January 18, 2012

A cougar cub at Issaquah's Cougar Mountain Zoo turns skyward as a snowstorm blankets the region Wednesday. By Robyn Barfoot

NEW — 8 p.m. Jan. 18, 2012

The macaws retreat inside to toastier temperatures. The tigers tolerate the cold. The reindeer, unsurprisingly, revel in the snow.

Though most Issaquah residents experienced a snow day Wednesday, a major snowstorm did not disrupt the routine for the denizens of Cougar Mountain Zoo.

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Issaquah power outage impacts 4,300 customers

November 8, 2011

Equipment problems left more than 4,000 local residents without power early Nov. 1.

The outage started after a power disruption at Newport Way Northwest and Issaquah-Renton Road occurred just after 8 a.m. Puget Sound Energy dispatched a service crew to the area to investigate.

In the meantime, homes and businesses — including the Costco corporate headquarters — sat darkened for about an hour. Residents in the Talus urban village and other Cougar Mountain communities reported blackouts.

The disruption also left traffic lights nonfunctional during the busy morning commute. Overall, the outage impacted about 4,300 customers.

PSE crews restored power by 9:15 a.m. PSE spokeswoman Allison Stanford said equipment failed at the substation at about 8:15 a.m. and caused the outage.

Residents reported seeing a flash and hearing a loud pop before the power failed.

Bellevue-based PSE serves Issaquah and more than 1 million customers, mostly in Western Washington.

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Puget Sound Energy restores power for 4,300 customers in Issaquah

November 1, 2011

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011

Puget Sound Energy restored power to about 4,300 customers in Issaquah by 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

PSE spokeswoman Allison Stanford said equipment failed at a substation occurred at about 8:15 a.m. and caused the outage.

The outage started after a power disruption at Newport Way Northwest and Issaquah-Renton Road. PSE dispatched a service crew to the area to investigate.

Residents reported seeing a flash and hearing a loud pop before the power failed.

In the meantime, homes and businesses — including the Costco corporate headquarters — sat darkened for about one hour. Residents in the Talus urban village and other Cougar Mountain communities reported outages.

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