Eastside Fire & Rescue plans emergency medical service pilot program

February 28, 2012

Why send three people to do a job that only takes one?

That’s been a common rhetorical question for fire officials trying to handle a steadily increasing workload — about two-thirds of which are medical calls — in a time of tight public finances. Eastside Fire & Rescue and King County’s Emergency Medical Service officials will put the theory to the test this year with a Community Medical Technician pilot program.

Under the program, the agency will staff a one-person unit that will respond in an SUV to nonlife-threatening medical calls — a broken finger, bad back pain or a nosebleed, for example. As of now, the standard EMT crew responds to those calls in a fully equipped aid car or fire truck, tying up three responders that might be needed at more major calls.

EFR Chief Lee Soptich said the pilot program may prove to be more efficient and a cheaper model than adding another full-service unit to keep up with call volumes — which have grown around 3 percent per year recently.

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Local Republicans gear up for caucuses, a chance to pick presidential nominee

February 7, 2012

Local Republicans could tilt the national contest to nominate a GOP challenger to President Barack Obama, as residents across Washington gather for caucuses early next month.

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Bellevue utility tax hits some Issaquah residents

February 7, 2012

Bellevue officials decided Jan. 23 to impose a utility tax on water customers in Greenwood Point and South Cove — Issaquah neighborhoods served by the Bellevue municipal water system.

Bellevue City Council members approved extending a utility occupation tax to the water utility’s revenue, including for customers beyond Bellevue. Starting March 1, customers should start to see a 10.4 percent increase on water bills. The change does not affect customers in Bellevue.

Officials intend to use the additional dollars for fire hydrants, oversized pipes and reservoir storage.

The decision followed a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling related to how cities pay for municipal fire hydrants. The ruling in Lane v. Seattle identified hydrants as a general government service and not a utility.

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Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District service is restored

January 20, 2012

NEW — 8:35 a.m. Jan. 20, 2012

Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials said power has been restored and district facilities returned to normal functions.

The request for customers to conserve water is no longer in effect. Customers can use water and sewer facilities as normal.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County. Overall, the district serves 16,300 water customers and 10,100 sewer customers.

Officials said some areas in the district service area remain without power. Customers without power and on a sewer grinder pump system should continue to minimize water and toilet use until the power is restored.

The winter storm interrupted operation to 11 district water facilities and 15 sewer lift stations. The district kept facilities operating through the use of backup generators, but the loss of power and communication posed challenges for the continuity of operations.

Local water agency urges conservation for Issaquah customers amid power outage

January 19, 2012

NEW — 11:40 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Some Issaquah residents should conserve water until further notice, as a local water agency operates on generators due to widespread power outages.

The conservation notice affects residents served by the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District. Officials asked residents to not flush toilets or put water down drains until further notice.

Customers can call the district’s 24-hour emergency line at 392-6256 if they experience pressure or water quality issues.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County. Overall, the district serves 16,300 water customers and 10,100 sewer customers.

The agency’s headquarters in Sammamish is operating on generator power after snow and ice caused outages to more than 180,000 Puget Sound Energy customers across Western Washington.

Customers served by the Issaquah municipal water utility can use water normally.

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Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials consider water rate hike

December 13, 2011

Less than a month after the City Council raised water rates for most Issaquah customers, the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District is considering a hike next year to offset losses related to the cool, soggy summer.

District officials blame the weather, in part, for water revenues coming in about 8 percent below budget in 2011. The cloud cover and moderate temperatures meant fewer people watered lawns — resulting in lower water consumption and less money for the district.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County.

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City Council approves Wave Broadband cable agreement

December 13, 2011

Wave Broadband is the cable provider for customers in many multifamily residences, City Council members decided Dec. 5.

The city needed to complete the routine action to transfer the cable franchise agreement from Broadstripe to Kirkland-based Wave Broadband.

The decision comes as Broadstripe dissolves. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Wave Broadband started to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August.

Wave Broadband inherited the Broadstripe customers in multifamily complexes in the Issaquah Highlands and Providence Point, plus some single-family residences.

The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than Broadstripe. Wave Broadband offers more services and a broader channel lineup than Broadstripe.

The council started the process to transition from Broadstripe to Wave Broadband last month.

Issaquah handles the franchise negotiation process through a citizen Cable TV Commission. Commissioners and Wave Broadband representatives then negotiated the 10-year agreement.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members discussed the proposal Nov. 8 and sent the agreement to complete council for approval.

Jazz club Bake’s Place is moving to Bellevue

December 6, 2011

The Bakers’ “living room” is moving.

Bake’s Place is closing its doors after eight and a half years in Providence Point following a final performance Feb. 14. Owner Craig Baker and his wife, Laura, decided to move to a bigger facility in Bellevue.

The right fit for the new location was with Columbia West Properties, owner of the Columbia West Building. The new location will be at 108th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Second Street in downtown Bellevue, across from Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.

The new Bake’s Place and Premier Live Music Venue will boast a 4,500-square-foot facility, doubling the Issaquah capacity. Baker plans to expand a mezzanine, to accommodate more seats, and add an outdoor patio.

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Bake’s Place jazz club to move from Issaquah to Bellevue

December 1, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 1, 2011

The Bakers’ “living room” is getting larger.

Bake’s Place is closing its doors after eight-and-a-half years in Providence Point following a final performance Feb. 14. Owner Craig Baker and his wife, Laura, decided to move to a bigger facility in Bellevue.

The right fit for the new location was with Columbia West Properties, owner of Pacific Plaza. The new location will be at 108th Avenue Northeast and Second Place in downtown Bellevue, across from Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.

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Wave Broadband acquires Broadstripe, cable service changes for local customers

November 29, 2011

The cable provider Broadstripe is out and Wave Broadband is in for some Issaquah customers.

Broadstripe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Kirkland-based Wave Broadband started the process to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August, and received a green light from the City Council to proceed Nov. 7.

Wave Broadband intends to invest $15 million in broadband systems in the Northwest to upgrade offerings and service for former Broadstripe customers.

The changeover could end a long disparity in cable service for Issaquah residents. The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than rival Broadstripe.

“Hopefully, if Wave is true to form, customers will see an improvement in offerings and cable lineups,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

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