Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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Leaders adopt King County growth blueprint

December 7, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2012

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Monday is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

The plan sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation and the environment. Under the State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, state law directs the most-populous and fastest-growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans for a 20-year span.

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TalkingRain earns international beverage honor

December 4, 2012

Coconut Pineapple Sparkling ICE, a beverage from Preston-based TalkingRain, earned the Best Sparkling Beverage title in a recent international competition.

The award at the InterBev trade show in Las Vegas, recognized the zero-calorie beverage.

The awards attracted more than 170 entries from 15 countries in 30 categories. The annual event recognizes projects for creativity, innovation and best practices.

Issaquah holiday activities offer fa-la-la fun

November 27, 2012

Bartell Drugs and Salvation Army’s Toy ‘n’ Joy drive through Dec. 14, accepts new, unwrapped gifts for children up to age 14, or shoppers can chose a gift request tag item in the store and put it in the donation barrel in the store. The Issaquah Bartell is at 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. Learn more at www.bartelldrugs.com.

Toys for Troops seeks donations for Christmas presents for children of service members. Drop off donations through Dec. 15 at the Issaquah Police Station, 130 E. Sunset Way, or make financial donations at www.operationbaldeagle.org.

Small Works Holiday Exhibition, through Dec. 29, artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N., 392-3191, www.arteast.org

Downtown Issaquah holiday lights work party, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1, meet at Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St., a lunch break at noon features donated pizza from Flying Pie Pizza, call 391-1112 to volunteer

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Thanksgiving changes Issaquah garbage pick-up

November 20, 2012

Customers should not expect regular garbage service on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

The haulers serving Issaquah do not collect garbage and recycling on the holiday. Instead, if a customer’s collection day falls on Thanksgiving, service is delayed one day.

So, for example, because Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, customers with garbage and recycling collection on Thursday receive Friday service the day after Thanksgiving, and Friday customers receive Saturday service after the holiday. The regular collection schedules resume Monday, Nov. 26.

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Issaquah Middle School student to study at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

October 16, 2012

Chloe Heninger, 13, (front) performs in Emerald Ballet Theatre’s performance of ‘Les Sylphides’ in June. Courtesy of Heninger Fotographik http://heningerfoto.com

Viktoria Titova knew from the start.

Titova, the artistic director of the Emerald Ballet Theatre in Bellevue, knew she had someone special in Chloe Heninger, a 6-year-old from Preston.

The year was 2005, and Titova had been Chloe’s teacher for less than a year. In the middle of a lesson, the CD player quit.

Chloe wouldn’t.

The music would not start.

Chloe could not wait to.

“I was struggling with the music,” Titova remembers. “She was 6 years old. The dancers are usually like, ‘OK, let me know when you are ready.’”

Not Chloe. She did not move from her pose. She did not even blink, Titova said, until the music was ready.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

October 16, 2012

In response to a population decline in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Sept. 17, as officials prepare to relocate the office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

The department issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston. The agency also enforces county land-use and building codes, staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division and issues business licenses.

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Preston marijuana collective relocates to Black Diamond

October 16, 2012

The Kind Alternative Medical Collective, a nonprofit medical marijuana collective, has departed Preston for Black Diamond and the grounds of MMJ Universe.

In August, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sent letters to medical marijuana facilities operating near schools and drug-free zones. The Kind Alternative and 22 other facilities received such letters.

Billed as a medical marijuana farmers market, MMJ Universe includes a nursery and more. The operation is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Initiative 692, passed in 1998, allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. Under state law, physicians can recommend — but not prescribe — the drug for patients.

Initiative 502 appears on the November ballot. The measure asks voters to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational uses.

Firefighters wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue employees and firefighters plan to don pink shirts from Oct. 17-19 to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The agency joins the International Association of Firefighters and many other local and national groups in the fight against cancer. In the United States, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society.

“No one is outside the reach of cancer,” EFR Chief Lee Soptich said in a statement. “Whether personally afflicted or in support of friends, family, neighbors or coworkers, most of us have experienced the impacts of cancer, and feel it a privilege to be associated with this worthy cause.”

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Eastside Fire & Rescue extends burn ban

September 25, 2012

Continued dry conditions have led Eastside Fire & Rescue leaders to extend the regional burn ban until Oct. 20, officials announced Sept. 21.

The moratorium affects Issaquah, Sammamish and North Bend, in addition to rural fire protection districts 10 and 38. In the Issaquah area, Fire District 10 encompasses Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont and Preston. The burn ban was due to expire Sept. 30.

“We remain in a serious situation for the potential of a wildfire and with many resources east of the mountains, we need to take these unusual steps to limit the risk,” EFR Fire Marshal Bud Backer, a deputy chief for the agency, said in a statement.

EFR’s moratorium is in addition to a burn ban imposed by the King County fire marshal until further notice.

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