Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 22, 2011

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans last week to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance and polystyrene container ban.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Joshua Schaer

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns about cost among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

The first-term councilman also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

In recent months, as the transportation committee and the seven-member council tackled Newport Way Northwest upgrades, Schaer has been critical of the effort to remake a section of the road near the Bellevue city line and a separate proposal to widen the street near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

In addition to Schaer’s post, the council seats held by Council President John Traeger and Councilman Fred Butler appear on the November ballot.

Candidates must file to run in Issaquah and other races by June 10. Schaer is the only council candidate so far.

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Joshua Schaer announces City Council re-election bid

February 17, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 17, 2011

Joshua Schaer

Incumbent Joshua Schaer announced plans Thursday to run for a second term, setting off the campaign season for City Council seats.

The candidate highlighted environmental accomplishments in the announcement, including a first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance.

“Shaping the future of our community is a great honor,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to another four years of creating practical solutions, while continuing to advocate for fiscal responsibility.”

Schaer drafted and shepherded the food-packaging ordinance to fruition throughout 2009. Though the measure initially raised concerns among local restaurateurs, the compliance date in October 2010 passed quietly.

Schaer also leads the Council Transportation Committee and serves as the Issaquah representative to the Eastside Transportation Partnership, a regional group responsible for road and transit issues.

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Off the Press

February 8, 2011

Greg Farrar Press photographer

A recent photo assignment for our Issaquah Living magazine coming in next week’s Press has shed some insight into what can only be described as our little local miracle, Issaquah Creek.

We all have seen the creek as it moves past the hatchery, or under the vehicle bridges on Gilman Boulevard, Newport Way or Front Street. We definitely get a good look when it floods. But that leaves more than 99 percent of the creek unseen by most people as it comes down from Tiger Mountain and north through the valley.

I’ve been wading knee-deep in water, pushing through hummocks of blackberry vines, hiking and climbing down hillsides of forest to find the headwaters, trickles, waterfalls, and brooks that give birth to our creek.

There are four main branches — Holder Creek, which starts on the southeast slope of Tiger Mountain; Carey Creek, which begins in Hobart and comes together with Holder Creek at the Bonomi Farm by Highway 18 to create Issaquah Creek; Fifteenmile Creek, which starts on Tiger’s southwest slope and meets Issaquah Creek at Southeast May Valley Road; and the East Fork, which starts at High Point and joins Issaquah Creek west of Darigold.

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Newport Way improvement plan includes roundabouts

January 11, 2011

City to redo stretch near Issaquah Valley Elementary

Roundabouts could someday punctuate Newport Way Northwest under a plan the City Council adopted last week to upgrade the bustling corridor in the years ahead.

In a lopsided decision Jan. 3, the council agreed to pursue a plan to add roundabouts at the Northwest Juniper Street, Northwest Holly Street and Northwest Dogwood Street intersections. Planners also recommend extending another southbound lane to the corridor from West Sunset Way to Maple Street Northwest. The plan is designed to address projected congestion on the street in the coming decades. Read more

Press Editorial

January 4, 2011

2011 goals: Building on success of 2010

Issaquah reached numerous milestones in 2010.

In the steps to preserve Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, the city inched closer to a lasting environmental legacy. The bevy of road upgrades offered real transportation solutions and quality-of-life improvements for Issaquah residents.

Though many of the main city issues attracted attention in 2010, the ramifications should continue to be felt in 2011.

Here, then, is our list of our goals — some significant and some small — for the year ahead: Read more

Construction prompts city to close northbound Front Street

January 4, 2011

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Jan. 4, 2011

Steer clear of Front Street and East Sunset Way on Tuesday as crews started to replace a traffic signal pole at the bustling downtown Issaquah intersection.

Crews closed northbound Front Street at about 10:30 a.m. The closure is expected to last several hours.

The city has suggested for motorists to use alternate routes, including Newport Way Northwest or Second Avenue Southeast.

The closure stems from a Dec. 22 accident. In the early morning collision, a tractor-trailer destroyed a decorative pole and traffic signal at the intersection. City crews toiled throughout the day in order to install a temporary traffic signal — rented from the state Department of Transportation — at the scene.

The construction Tuesday is a step in the process to add another sturdier, temporary pole. Then, the city waits for a decorative pole to be cast and shipped. The process could take about six months to complete.

Truck topples downtown traffic signal at Front Street

December 22, 2010

Debris left from a fallen light pole litters the corner as police direct traffic away from the intersection of Front Street and Sunset Way. Photo by Tim Pfarr

UPDATED — 10:30 a.m. Dec. 22, 2010

A large truck knocked down the traffic signal and pole on the southeastern corner of the Front Street and Sunset Way intersection at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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County acquires Cougar Mountain land for park

December 21, 2010

King County has acquired 41 acres near Issaquah to be added someday to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

Officials and open space groups considered the land — west of Newport Way Northwest and south of Northwest Oakcrest Drive — as a high priority for conservation.

County planners aim to purchase additional land in the area to connect Newport Way Northwest to the 3,115-acre park. The parcel is located in the northeast corner of the preserve.

The county used $1.55 million from the King County Parks expansion levy and the Conservation Futures open space program levy to purchase the forested site near the Summerhill neighborhood. The deal closed Dec. 3. Read more

King County acquires Cougar Mountain land near Issaquah for park

December 17, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 17, 2010

King County has acquired 41 acres near Issaquah to be added someday to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

Officials and open space groups considered the land — located west of Newport Way Northwest and south of Northwest Oakcrest Drive — as a high priority for conservation.

County planners aim to purchase additional land in the area to connect Newport Way Northwest to the 3,115-acre park. The parcel is located in the northeast corner of the preserve.

The county used $1.55 million from the King County Parks expansion levy and the Conservation Futures open space program levy to purchase the forested site. The deal closed Dec. 3.

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Issaquah on ice: Snowstorm snarls traffic, prompts school closures

November 30, 2010

Ryder Marin, 9, of Issaquah, starts to spill after becoming airborne on the Issaquah Community Center hillside Nov. 23. ‘All the snow comes straight up in my face and I can’t see very well,’ he said. By Tim Pfarr

The nightmare occurred long before Christmas — and before Thanksgiving.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region slid to a halt during a fall snowstorm Nov. 22. The storm snarled commutes for Issaquah residents and prompted road crews to toil through Thanksgiving to clear streets. The poor conditions interrupted the regional transit system and left riders huddled in bus shelters. The fallout sent shoppers scrambling to stores for emergency supplies and Thanksgiving staples.

The mercury dipped into the teens and 20s — record cold temperatures — in the days after the storm and turned roads icy.

“People were very understanding of the situation,” Issaquah Police Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “I think a lot of people were just trying to get home Monday night.”

Some motorists abandoned vehicles and turned road shoulders along Highlands Drive Northeast, Newport Way Northwest and Southeast Black Nugget Road into impromptu parking lots. Police impounded more than 30 vehicles in travel lanes as conditions deteriorated Nov. 22.

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