Harsher penalties at core of new domestic violence ordinance

August 22, 2013

The Issaquah City Council took the first steps in setting an increased penalty for domestic violence that was first discussed in a May goal-setting retreat.

The council voted on an ordinance in the Aug. 5 regular meeting that would mandate a minimum of 30 days imprisonment to those committing domestic violence in the presence of children.

“In an effort to break the cycle of domestic violence, protect children in domestic violence situations and rehabilitate abusers, the following ordinance is proposed to strengthen our current domestic violence laws,” the agenda bill reads. “This ordinance would make it a gross misdemeanor to commit a domestic violence offense in the presence of a child.”

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Petition leads to action on skate park relocation

July 9, 2013

A groundswell of support for relocating the skate park moved the City Council to action July 1 after the issue was removed from the park bond discussion.

When the council met for its regular meeting, Mayor Ava Frisinger alerted the crowd of more than 50 people that there was a change to the official agenda. A bill was added and later approved that calls for the Services & Safety Committee to investigate possible action with regard to the skate park.

By Greg Farrar Issaquah’s Skate Park, built in 1997 behind the community center and placed between the Rainier Trail (left) and Second Avenue Southeast, stands unused July 8 in the middle of the day, with abandoned litter and clothing lying in the grass by a damaged bench.

By Greg Farrar
Issaquah’s Skate Park, built in 1997 behind the community center and placed between the Rainier Trail (left) and Second Avenue Southeast, stands unused July 8 in the middle of the day, with abandoned litter and clothing lying in the grass by a damaged bench.

Long seen as a location for illegal activity, the skate park has come under increasing scrutiny by parents and community groups. The secluded placement of the park and its proximity to schools has made it somewhat of a haven for drug use and fights, according to many educators, parents and citizens who spoke during the meeting’s public comment. The city agreed that negative presence keeps families from using the skate park and turns pedestrians away from the adjacent Rainier Trail.

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Park bond goes to November ballot

July 9, 2013

Almost 50 people turned up at the Issaquah City Council’s regular July 1 meeting to witness the consideration of a long-deliberated park bond, which passed with a 6-1 vote.

“You can see we’ve gone through quite a process getting to tonight’s hopeful vote,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. As chairwoman of the Services & Safety Committee, she fostered the bill through a long fact-finding process. “The idea to delay this any longer is not something I would like to see happen.”

The decision follows Park Board recommendations to the City Council regarding how a $10 million park bond, including $5 million for “life support” for the Julius Boehm Pool, should be spent.

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Parks bond talks move forward

April 9, 2013

After a hourlong presentation delivered from the Parks & Recreations Department on a proposed park bond, the City Council decided to move forward with the discussion instead of acting immediately.

It was introduced by Councilwoman Eileen Barber, chairwoman of the council Services & Safety Committee, who detailed the goals the city accomplished with previous park bonds. In the 2006 passage that gave the department $3.5 million of tax funds, the Parks & Recreation administration was able to leverage it into $6.25 million through grant funding.

“We do well with our park bonds,” Barber said.

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