Village Theatre receives $25,000 grant from city, Puget Sound Energy

February 23, 2012

NEW — 1:50 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

Village Theatre received a $25,000 grant from the city and Puget Sound Energy to maintain and upgrade Issaquah facilities, officials announced Thursday.

Bellevue-based PSE awarded the grant to the city and requested for the funds to benefit a local nonprofit organization. In the process to craft a 2012 budget, City Council members selected Village Theatre as the grant recipient.

“By supporting the arts in Issaquah, this grant will benefit our local customers, their families and the greater community,” Andy Wappler, vice president of PSE Corporate Affairs, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to help Village Theatre continue its artistic excellence.”

The downtown Issaquah theater attracts more than 150,000 visits to the city each year. The theater’s classes, camps and productions for children and teenagers include more than 2,000 students.

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Study: Most greenhouse gas emissions in King County come from outside sources

February 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by good and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.

The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Wednesday by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.

In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.

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Cleanup from storms could last for weeks in Issaquah

January 31, 2012

Terry Hillier, a Capella Drive Northwest resident, unloads branches from his station wagon Jan. 28 at Tibbetts Valley Park. By Greg Farrar

In the days after snow and ice hobbled Issaquah and the region, crews deployed across the city to collect sand from streets and downed trees from neighborhoods.

The recovery effort lurched into gear before snow and ice melted, but city residents and officials continue a daunting task to clean up from the recent storms and prepare for possible conditions in the months ahead.

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Puget Sound Energy restores power for Issaquah, surrounding communities

January 25, 2012

NEW — 12:35 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Crews restored power to Issaquah and surrounding communities Wednesday, after snow, ice and wind damaged transmission lines.

Strong winds Tuesday night caused additional damage and outages for 38,000 customers across Western Washington. Crews managed to repair most of wind-related outages throughout the night and restore power for 28,000 customers.

Restoration work is completed for Issaquah, plus Hobart, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — unincorporated communities hit hard in a snowstorm and a rare ice storm last week.

Crews working on the PSE system Wednesday remain on schedule to complete the restoration work to customers without power for almost a week.

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Cleanup continues after snowstorm and ice cause havoc

January 24, 2012

State Route 900 remains barricaded at midafternoon Jan. 20 to motorists wanting to go southbound past Northwest Talus Drive, a day after a downed tree blocked access to the urban village. By Greg Farrar

In the days after a snowstorm pummeled the region, blackout chased whiteout, as residents uneasy about thorny commutes and missed meetings instead confronted sinking temperatures and toppling trees — all sans electricity.

The major snowstorm dropped 3 to 6 inches across the Issaquah area Jan. 18, but the struggle started the next day, as a rare ice storm led to widespread power outages and caused trees to send ice- and snow-laden branches earthward.

The harsh conditions tested road crews, prompted spinouts and fender benders around the region, and led officials to cancel school for almost a week.

“It was like a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 punch,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said Jan. 23, as cleanup efforts continued. “For awhile there, I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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Some Issaquah customers face wait for power restoration

January 22, 2012

NEW — 12:40 p.m. Jan. 22, 2012

Some Puget Sound Energy customers in the Issaquah area could remain without power until late Wednesday evening, as utility crews continue the arduous cleanup from crippling winter storms last week.

Customers in Issaquah and unincorporated King County communities — Hobart and Preston — face the longest waits for restoration, late Wednesday evening.

Power is expected to be restored in Mirrormont on Tiger Mountain by early Monday evening.

In a proposed restoration timeline released Saturday evening, Bellevue-based PSE said communities in forested or remote areas face the longest waits.

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Crews restore power to some Issaquah residents, but others wait

January 20, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 20, 2012

Puget Sound Energy crews had restored power to many Issaquah neighborhoods by early Friday evening, but large swaths remained in the dark as workers race to restore power across the region.

Downtown residents reported power coming back just after 5:30 p.m. Crews restored power for residents in some areas, including the Issaquah Highlands, late Thursday.

Puget Sound Energy estimated 8,876 customers in Issaquah without power early Friday evening — down from about 18,000 customers without power midday Thursday. Crews continue to work on restoring power to the areas left in the dark.

Still, despite the success, officials remained concerned about the possibility of additional weather challenges in the days ahead.

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Officials urge residents to check on elderly neighbors as outage lingers

January 20, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Jan. 20, 2012

The pummeling from winter weather for several days means many people, especially senior citizens and people of limited mobility, have been stuck at home for almost a week.

Officials urged residents in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County to check on people in their neighborhoods to see if they need assistance. Consider inviting people without power to a warm place to heat up amid the ongoing power outage.

(Puget Sound Energy estimated about 11,000 customers without power in Issaquah early Thursday morning.)

Residents can also seek refuge at a 24-hour shelter at the Issaquah Community Center, 301 Rainer Blvd. S. The shelter is operated by the city and the American Red Cross.

Officials also reminded people to limit calls to 911 to actual emergencies.

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In Issaquah, power outage, travel headaches continue for another day

January 20, 2012

Rodney Amburgey, a lineman with City Pacific Services contracted to Puget Sound Energy, works Jan. 20 to secure a broken and dangling utility pole crossbeam at Southeast May Valley Road and 231st Place Southeast. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 6:30 a.m. Jan. 20, 2012

Though the forecast calls for temperatures to inch upward Friday, effects from a major snowstorm and rare ice storm continue to impact Issaquah residents.

Puget Sound Energy estimated 11,235 customers remained without power in Issaquah at 6:10 a.m. — a drop from the more than 18,000 left in the dark Thursday. Difficult road conditions continue to challenge motorists on city streets and roads in unincorporated King County.

City road crews continue to focus on maintaining priority routes and removing downed trees from the roadway. Numerous roads in Issaquah and nearby areas closed Thursday due to fallen trees and downed power lines.

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Issaquah Community Center opens as 24-hour shelter

January 19, 2012

Barry Morgan (right), American Red Cross volunteer, registers the 100th client at the Issaquah Community Center at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 for a place to stay. Volunteer Stan McKenzie and service dog Katsu are at left. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 9:20 p.m. Jan. 19, 2012

The city and the American Red Cross partnered to turn the Issaquah Community Center into a shelter for people without heat and power.

The 24-hour shelter opened Thursday night at the community center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S.

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