Who’s News

March 20, 2012

Wounded warriors treated to snowmobiling trip

Lake Sammamish Elks Lodge and the Cascade Drift Skippers

A local group of wounded warriors were treated by the Lake Sammamish Elks Lodge and the Cascade Drift Skippers for a day of snowmobiling and barbecue March 3.

Elks member Monte Russell (left) escorted to Snoqualmie Pass U.S. Army members (not in order) Ulises Osequera, Gregory Williams, Glenda Gates, John Steele, Rebecca Carroll, Jazz Burney, Jeanette Rodriquez, Jade Phillip and Bruce Harley.

Mountains to Sound Greenway heritage plan earns King County endorsement

March 20, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. March 20, 2012

King County Council members endorsed a plan Monday to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.

The council motion is the latest support for the National Heritage Area effort. The push includes numerous supporters in Issaquah, such as Mayor Ava Frisinger and the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, a crucial and early greenway backer.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway proposal earns committee’s OK

March 13, 2012

The effort to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt along Interstate 90 — as a National Heritage Area received a key endorsement from a King County Council committee March 6.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could be the only National Heritage Area in Washington; no other region is designated as such. (Nationwide, Congress has designated 49 heritage areas from coast to coast.)

Council Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee members sent the full council a recommendation to pass a measure urging Congress to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. The council is expected to act on the measure March 19.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway heritage proposal earns committee’s endorsement

March 6, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. March 6, 2012

The effort to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt along Interstate 90 — as a National Heritage Area received a key endorsement from a King County Council committee Tuesday.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could be the only National Heritage Area in Washington; no other region is designated as such. (Nationwide, Congress has designated 49 heritage areas from coast to coast.)

Council Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee members sent the full council a recommendation to pass a measure urging Congress to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. The council is expected to act on the measure March 19.

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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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Snowy forecast prompts Issaquah cancellations, closures

January 17, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Jan. 17, 2012

The potential for historic snowfall prompted cancellations and schedule changes for public agencies in Issaquah and elsewhere on the Eastside.

Issaquah City Hall is open for normal hours. Though Julius Boehm Pool and the Issaquah Community Center remain open, classes and programs have been cancelled. The community center is open for drop-in use and the pool is open for lap and public swims. Call the community center at 837-3326 for additional weather updates.

Issaquah Municipal Court is open for normal hours today to hear in-custody matters only, as regularly scheduled.

The forecast also led officials to cancel public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.

Issaquah officials canceled the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night. Meanwhile, state Department of Natural Resources canceled a planned discussion about recreation on public lands from Tiger Mountain to Snoqualmie Pass. (The state meeting is to be rescheduled for early February.)

In addition, Issaquah School District campuses closed for Tuesday due to icy road conditions and possible snow.

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Dave Reichert’s district retains Issaquah under redrawn congressional map

January 3, 2012

Dave Reichert

Issaquah remains in U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s 8th Congressional District but some Issaquah School District communities shift to another district as the state panel responsible for a redrawn political map shifts boundaries to create a new congressional district centered in Olympia.

In a plan unveiled Dec. 28, Washington State Redistricting Commission members Tim Ceis and Slade Gorton proposed a 10th Congressional District based in the capital city and a 9th Congressional District stretching from Tacoma to Bellevue.

The redrawn 8th District — confined to King and Pierce counties in the existing arrangement — is stretched from South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The current and future district includes Issaquah.

Under the redrawn map, Issaquah remains in a redrawn 8th District alongside other cities contained inside existing district boundaries — North Bend, Sammamish and Snoqualmie — plus Pierce, Chelan and Kittitas counties.

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Holiday travelers can expect a white Christmas on mountain passes

December 21, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 21, 2011

Travelers can expect a white Christmas on Washington mountain passes.

Forecasts call for a snowstorm to hit the mountain passes just in time for Christmas holiday travel — and travelers should plan to pack tire chains and a winter kit alongside gifts before hitting the road.

Meteorologists said to expect a storm system moving into the mountains late Saturday, Christmas Eve, into Sunday, Christmas, and heavy snow could hit areas above 2,500 feet — or all Washington mountain pass highways.

If the Christmas and New Year’s holidays fall on a weekend, traffic historically increases nearly 40 percent compared to a typical December weekend. Historic traffic volumes during the Christmas holiday rank 12 percent lower than Thanksgiving.

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Crash ‘miracle’ protects local motorist amid fatal collision

November 8, 2011

Traffic stopped on eastbound Interstate 90 late last month as emergency responders raced to a deadly accident — and a miracle.

Longtime Issaquah resident Lily Skelton, sister Priscilla Schenkel, a Renton resident, and friends Kate Cochran and Lisa Malmin, survived the fatal crash Oct. 17, as motorists in another mangled vehicle died at the scene.

“It was a miracle,” Skelton said days after escaping from a crumpled car lodged between tractor-trailers.

Tractor-trailers smashed the Buick LeSabre carrying Issaquah resident Lily Skelton, her sister and friends Oct. 17 near Hyak. Contributed

Cochran and Malmin traveled to Washington from Arizona for Schenkel’s birthday. Leavenworth made for a perfect trip to glimpse autumn foliage and mountain splendor after days spent sightseeing in Issaquah and Seattle.

In the backseat, Cochran and Malmin snapped photos as Skelton’s Buick LeSabre crossed Snoqualmie Pass. Near Hyak, Skelton deactivated the cruise control and slowed amid the construction zone.

“It was a beautiful day and everybody was driving calmly,” Skelton said.

Signs about the Snoqualmie Pass East construction project lined the roadside. Soon, traffic stopped and Skelton, a cautious driver, left about a car length between the Buick and a tractor-trailer up ahead. Behind the car, another tractor-trailer sat idle.

“We’re coming down Hyak and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful!’ — the lake, the mountains, the colors — and then, kaboom,” Skelton said.

Washington State Patrol investigators said a tractor-trailer and a Jeep Cherokee collided behind the Buick. The impact pushed the rig behind the Buick into the car. The sedan surged ahead into the other tractor-trailer.

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State allows motorists to use studded tires Nov. 1

October 29, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2011

The approach of winter means motorists can again use studded tires.

In Washington, studded tires can be legally used between Nov. 1 and March 31. Violators face a $124 penalty.

The state Department of Transportation recommends for motorists headed into higher elevations should carry chains and use approved traction tires year-round. If the state requires chains on a roadway, studded tires alone cannot meet the chain requirement, unless the vehicle has four- or all-wheel drive.

The abrasion on pavement surfaces caused by studded tires wears down pavement at a much greater rate.

Moreover, rutting damage caused by studded tires is limited to state routes, primarily interstates, due to higher speeds and traffic volumes. Rutting leads to safety issues such as ponding and water on roadways, hydroplaning, excessive roads spray, and steering problems.

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