Editorial — People care about the little things

May 5, 2015

In the past 10 years at The Issaquah Press, one topic has received the most website comments, the most letters to the editor and the most phone calls.

The police shootout with a gunman at Clark Elementary School? Elections? Annexations? Plastic bag ban? Growth? Development? Traffic?

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2014 remembered for what went away

December 31, 2014

Annexations, retirements, plastic bags, development, a looming school closure, retail marijuana, bank robberies, the Concerts on the Green series, and business and occupation taxes made the list of the top 10 news stories of the year in Issaquah.

Here are those stories, in no particular order:

Klahanie-area annexation issue moves to Sammamish

Issaquah residents voted no, for the second time, on the city of Issaquah annexing the Klahanie area. The King County Growth Management Planning Council then unanimously approved the idea to move the Klahanie area from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish’s.

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Small businesses wrap up plastic bag use

May 27, 2014

The city’s ban on plastic bags kicks in July 1 for small businesses.

The ban — passed by the Issaquah City Council in 2012 — went into effect for businesses over 7,500 square feet on March 1 the following year. The council staggered the roll-out of the prohibition, giving other businesses another year before they were expected to comply.

The ban will prohibit stores from providing customers with single-use plastic bags and require a minimum 5-cent charge for paper bags.

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To the Editor

April 1, 2014

Skateboard park

Don’t build it at Veterans’ Memorial Field

Here we go again. Our one and only park/ field donated to the city is up for construction again. Growing up in Issaquah, it was so nice to have a field right in downtown Issaquah. Open space — what a concept!

But then the city needed a library, a police station, a senior center and now the skateboard park. So, the city needs to take other land from people to claim it as “open space” just to let us know they “value” parks.

I’m pretty sick and tired of our one and true memorial field slowly getting hacked up by those who deem it more suitable for other uses. Soon, Veterans’ Memorial Field will be just that — a memory.

Very sad.

Jean McMullan

Issaquah

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To the Editor

March 25, 2014

Gilman redevelopment

Proposal needs geo-tech, hydrological review

The proposed redevelopment at Seventh and Gilman (Antique Mall area) is the first go through our new Central Issaquah Plan regulations. One thing that has become clear is the difficulty of construction in high-ground water, near creek, earthquake hazard areas … much of the valley floor. The land at Seventh and Gilman has the further complication of being a Special Flood Hazard Area.

It is imperative in these difficult sites that there is belt-and-suspenders review of both the geo-tech report and the hydrologic modeling from the developer. Please require third-party peer review of both the geo-tech analysis and the model.

Connie Marsh

Issaquah

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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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Voters approve plastic bag ban

March 4, 2014

Voters decided to keep plastic bags out of Issaquah.

King County certified the final results of the Feb. 11 election on Feb. 25 and Proposition 1’s aim to overturn the city’s ban on plastic bags failed. With 39.32 percent of registered voters submitting a ballot, only 47.58 percent, or 3,595 people, voted to get rid of the ban, while 52.32 percent, or 3,945, approved of keeping it.

The ban took effect March 1, 2013, and even before its enforcement, volunteer organization Save Our Choice worked to collect signatures against it. After securing enough signatures in October, the Issaquah City Council decided to send it to the voters and let them decide whether it should stand.

“I think this was an interrupting process that showed representative democracy actually works,” 5th District Sen. Mark Mullet said. “This just kind of validated the bag ban.”

Mullet spearheaded the ordinance when he served on the Issaquah City Council in 2012. He said the board held six public input meetings before approving the ban, and he believed the vote allowed an opportunity to support the council’s action.

“You don’t get to see that often,” he said. “You can say, ‘Oh, the council voted against the public,’ but it played out.”

Save Our Choice co-founder Craig Keller lamented the low turnout of the election.

“The burden of restoring retail harmony to Issaquah now drops squarely back upon the council who created this mess.” Keller said, warning about the impact on the future extension of the law and the recent vote against an Issaquah annexation of the Klahanie area. “A little more pain inflicted on shoppers, checkers and small merchants may be required before the council swallows its pride. It must not have escaped their wonder whether their ‘nanny knows best’ approach influenced a souring of Klahanie residents against annexation.”

Keller, a West Seattle resident, invited citizens and business owners to mount another petition immediately and said Save Our Choice would assist.

The City Council decided to stagger implementation of the ordinance, so it currently only affects larger stores. It will impact every business beginning July 1.

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Klahanie votes against annexation; Issaquah approves the bag ban

February 25, 2014

Issaquah’s ban on plastic bags still stands, while a Klahanie-area annexation continues to fall short.

As of Feb. 21, 1,504, or 49.51 percent, of the residents in the Klahanie area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,534, or 50.49 percent, voted against it.

Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.

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Voters, so far: Bag ban stands, Klahanie stays unincorporated

February 18, 2014

Eleven thousand people might still be searching for a home.

King County Elections released preliminary numbers for the Klahanie-area annexation vote Feb. 11 and the numbers stand close on whether to join Issaquah.

At the end of the first week of vote counting, 1,490, or 49.4 percent, of the residents in the area voted in favor of the annexation and to take on the encumbered debt of Issaquah, while 1,524, or 50.6 percent voted against it.

Although the measure needs 60 percent to pass with the new residents sharing the city’s indebtedness, the City Council can still choose to annex the area if the vote receives a simple majority. Under that scenario, the Klahanie area would not assume its share of the city’s current indebtedness.

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Editorial

February 4, 2014

More than one way to community unity

The community is still riding high on the wave of anticipation and celebration of Seahawks glory. It created a new wave of Northwest unity unlike anything in recent memory. Hold on to that feeling!

Coming up is another thriller — the 2014 Olympic Games, beginning Feb. 6. The pride of America grows with every gold medal earned and won in Sochi, Russia.

But let’s not miss out on another opportunity to make a difference in the esprit de corps right here at home. All you have to do is vote. It’s easy, it’s patriotic, it’s essential. And it unites us all.

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