February 14, 2012
Officials intend to use Seattle ordinance as model
Canvas bags could turn into a more common sight in Issaquah checkout lanes soon.
The city is poised to join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.
Though a decision on a plastic bag ban is months distant, the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee plans to start collecting input from businesses owners and residents Feb. 16.
“To me, the beauty of it is, you get to your end objective, which is getting rid of plastic bags, and you’re not putting an undue, negative impact on the businesses in your community,” said Councilman Mark Mullet, a local merchant and the committee chairman.
December 13, 2011
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery again elected Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger to lead the organization.
FISH also elected Norman “Crash” Nash as vice president, Mark Allen as treasurer and Darrell Wells as secretary. Each officer serves a one-year term.
FISH is a volunteer based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. FISH volunteers educate the community and visitors about the salmon lifecycle and encourage stewardship of the Puget Sound watershed.
November 29, 2011
In the near future, builders in rural and unincorporated King County could purchase credits to offset construction-related damage to wetlands.
Under a plan proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine, builders could pay a fee, rather than completing projects in a process called mitigation to compensate for damaged or destroyed wetlands.
The law requires builders to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands and other sensitive areas as much as possible. Mitigation is required if damage is unavoidable.
September 18, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 18, 2011
The state is seeking to enlist military veterans to spearhead the effort to protect and restore Puget Sound.
The state ecology and veterans affairs agencies seek to hire veterans for the Puget SoundCorps, a branch of the Washington Conservation Corps.
State legislators created the program earlier in the year to restore, protect and preserve the sound.
Puget SoundCorps, a special AmeriCorps crew, is meant to aid the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency, to return the sound to a healthy condition by 2020.
September 13, 2011
NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 13, 2011
Issaquah is among 19 cities nationwide on Outside magazine’s Best Towns 2011 list.
The city and others on the list earned plaudits for access to outdoor recreation — Issaquah is described as “a Seattle-area hang-gliding mecca” — and, perhaps, more mundane attributes.
“Adventure amenities make a lot of towns seem dreamy,” notes the article in the October issue. “What sets these 19 burgs apart is their nod to reality: affordable homes, solid job prospects and vibrant nightlife. Start packing.”
Issaquah’s proximity to Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains turned out to be a selling point.
“As Boeing’s and Microsoft’s fastest-growing bedroom community, the former lumber town (pop. 23,200) has experienced a surge in out-of-towners in the past few years,” the article continues. “And for good reason: a 20-minute drive can put you in downtown Seattle or the oyster flats on Puget Sound. An hour away, there’s skiing in the Cascades, kayaking and rafting on the Class IV Skykomish River, and access to a half-dozen steelhead streams.”
September 6, 2011
The unbridgeable gulf separating days before 9/11 from days after runs along a Manhattan street named — as if by chance — Liberty.
The street slices across Lower Manhattan and presses close to the World Trade Center site.
Issaquah resident Dana Macario, 33, endured the initial confused, chaotic moments after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks along Liberty Street.
August 30, 2011
The autumn salmon spawning season in Issaquah Creek started early Aug. 23 as chinook reached the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.
Hatchery Foreman John Kugen spotted a pair of female chinook, or hens, in the creek just north of the bridge across Issaquah Creek on the hatchery grounds and alerted Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Executive Director Jane Kuechle at about 9 a.m.
“I was here and I was kind of fiddling around the office and all of the sudden he popped his head and he said, ‘The chinook are here!’” she said.
The announcement came as a tour group explored the hatchery. Docents led the guests to the creek bank to see the fish.
“I’m just excited to see the fish come and for things to get started around here,” Kuechle said.
August 23, 2011
The creeks crisscrossing Issaquah remain in good condition, despite increased construction nearby, a population boom in the surrounding watershed and, alongside both developments, more potential for pollution.
August 23, 2011
Creeks leading to Lake Sammamish could serve as staging areas in the years ahead for a bold plan to restore salmon habitat.
The regional Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group has proposed 11 projects in Issaquah and Sammamish to restore habitat for chinook salmon — a species protected under the Endangered Species Act — and dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.
The once-abundant kokanee has declined in recent decades, perhaps due to construction near creeks, increased predators, disease or changes in water quality. Scientists estimated the total 2010 run at 58 fish, including the 40 kokanee spawned at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in a last-ditch effort to save the species.
The proposed projects range from colossal — such as rerouting Laughing Jacobs Creek through Lake Sammamish State Park — to small — adding plants in the Lewis Creek delta, for instance.
August 16, 2011
With cloud cover not only being common, but seemingly the norm around Puget Sound, many locals may not be overly worried about exposure to the sun and the possibility of skin cancer such exposure can cause.
That might be a big mistake according to area doctors and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, the rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the state are 35 percent higher than the national average from 2001-2005. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
The occurrences of melanoma in the state was the fifth highest in the country. An estimated 1,900 state residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2008. The two most common forms of skin cancer — basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas — are highly curable, according to Roger Muller, senior medical director for United Healthcare of Washington.
Melanomas are not. Approximately 175 people in Washington die of melanoma each year, according to the CDC. That’s the 16th highest melanoma death rate nationally and 7.4 percent higher than the national average. In a seemingly odd statistic given our local climate, Washington’s Island County is among the top 10 counties in the country for new melanoma cases striking the area at the dangerous clip of 130 percent above the national average.
“At first blush, I can see how the numbers could be surprising given that much of the year here is cloudy,” said Arlo Miller, a dermatologist with Virginia Mason Issaquah. “However, digging into melanoma risk factors … it actually makes a lot of sense.”