April 15, 2014
Turns out you can fight City Hall after all
While it may be true that you can’t fight City Hall and win, you might be able to win it over.
So, it seems, is the case with Save Squak in its battle over Squak Mountain land that was set for logging a little more than a year ago.
In January 2013, 15-year Squak Mountain resident Helen Farrington was concerned that clear-cutting 216 acres of forest could impact a fork of May Creek. Salmon had just returned to the area, and residents feared that with logging, they would be gone again.
April 15, 2014
The Issaquah Alps Trails Club has announced the topics for its annual Bill Longwell Memorial Scholarship.
Longwell was a longtime club member who taught English at Hazen High School for many years. He was an avid hiker and trail builder who, often with the help of his students, was responsible for building and maintaining many of the trails on Tiger and Squak mountains.
Each year since his death in 2007, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club has offered a $1,000 scholarship available to graduating seniors at Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline and Hazen high schools. Often, runners-up qualify for smaller awards.
April 8, 2014
After the devastating Oso mudslide March 22, long-held fears arose in Issaquah.
“It’s scary,” resident Philip Cherian said about the large hill steeply rising over Southeast Black Nugget Road, blocked from the roadway, Home Depot and Fred Meyer by a wall. “We live in the area and drive by there, and you can see water seeping through.”
Rapid earth movement at that site, and at others around town, has long been a concern for the city. Public Works Engineering Director Sheldon Lynne said the city has remained vigilant over the Southeast Black Nugget Road site, performing studies on the private property.
April 8, 2014
A public celebration is set to commemorate preservation of 226 acres of high-quality forestland in the Issaquah Alps — the result of a partnership between King County and The Trust for Public Land.
The acquisition adds to King County’s Cougar-Squak Corridor parkland. The area was set for logging more than a year ago.
“Our partnership to protect Squak Mountain’s irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat is cause for celebration,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank The Trust for Public Land and the people of King County on behalf of generations who will enjoy hiking, viewing wildlife and other recreation in this forest.”
December 31, 2013
Top news stories of the year
Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.
While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.
Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.
December 31, 2013
Sunset Valley Farms resident Art Converse doesn’t need a clock to determine what time of day it is in the tranquil neighborhood located at the foot of Squak Mountain.
He simply listens for the soft pattering wings of the 60-70 geese that fly over the rural valley at both dusk and dawn.
“Sometimes they’re honking and making all kinds of noise, and sometimes they’re not, and if they’re not, all you hear is whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,” he said.
December 31, 2013
2014 goals for a better Issaquah
The Issaquah Press presents its annual list of goals for the Issaquah area. A few are repeats from last year, still waiting to be accomplished but worthy of repeating.
February elections — The trio of school district levies, the Klahanie annexation decision and the repeal of the plastic bag ban are all up for a vote. The only good thing about the dismal turnout of voters in the November election is the easy assurance of getting enough voters to validate the school levy election. Let’s hope Issaquah voters get back on track and return their ballots in higher numbers in 2014.
Central Issaquah Plan — The redevelopment plan is in place and developers now know how to maximize the use of their property. One project has already been proposed. It will be interesting to see what other plans come forward and whether the CIP is achieving its goals.
December 10, 2013
New Issaquah City Councilwoman Mary Lou Pauly wants to connect with the community.
After Pauly won an uncontested election last month, Mayor Ava Frisinger swore her into office during the Dec. 2 regular council meeting.
Though she knew she would not have an opponent in the election, Pauly took the opportunity to introduce herself to the citizens of Issaquah.
“I went out doorbelling,” she said, thanking the kindness of strangers for helping her shake off slight nervousness. “After one doorbell and one friendly face, it was wonderful.”
May 14, 2013
Trust for Public Land, King County, steps in with purchase
Only four days after the state approved Erikson Logging’s application to clear-cut sections of a Squak Mountain parcel, King County announced concrete plans to purchase it from developers.
Since the announcement of the company’s intention to harvest old-growth trees in the area in January, concerted efforts have been made by King County and local group Save Squak to find a way to protect the land. On May 8, the county announced it had struck a deal with the Trust for Public Land, which agreed to buy the 220-acre parcel and accept payment from the county over time.
April 30, 2013
Expiration of the county’s park levy seems to spell the greatest threat to preventing logging on Squak Mountain.
Early April 27, the King County Conservation Futures Citizens Committee took a trip up to the parcel that could face clear-cutting by landowner Erikson Logging Inc. through an application process begun in January.
The group has a mandate to fund projects with dollars raised from the Conservation Futures Tax that protects open King County green space or saves it from development. The county’s Parks Department and a local advocacy group, Save Squak, hope to convince the county to purchase the 220 acres. Unfortunately, there is a lot of competition.