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.
April 9, 2013
Erickson Logging Inc. turned in a new application April 2 to the state Department of Natural Resources, seeking logging rights to Squak Mountain, not two weeks after the removal of its first.
The revised forest practices application differentiates itself from the former in several key areas. The most notable change is the halving of projected harvest acreage, from 195 acres of the parcel’s available 216 to 95 acres.
It also stipulates that the steep gradient of the land will necessitate extra equipment, something the previous application failed to list. In addition, the proposed road construction needed was greatly reduced, from 3,800 to 1,900 feet.
April 5, 2013
NEW — at 1:59 p.m., April 5 2012
Erickson Logging Inc. turned in a new application to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, seeking logging rights to Squak Mountain on April 2, not two weeks after the removal of their first.
The revised forest practices application differentiates itself from the former in several key areas. The most notable change is the halving of projected harvest acreage, from 195 acres of the parcel’s available 216 to 95 acres. It also stipulates that the steep gradient of the land will necessitate extra equipment, something the previous application failed to list. In addition, the proposed road construction needed was greatly reduced, from 3,800 to 1,900 feet.
March 5, 2013
More than two decades after battles over logging in spotted-owl habitat began to die down, plans to clear-cut trees next to a county park near Issaquah have ignited a new controversy.
As with most anything having to do with real estate, it boils down to location, location, location.
February 12, 2013
Proposal could lead to clear cut timber operation
High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.
Downhill, 15-year resident Helen Farrington is concerned about how a plan to clear cut the forest above could impact a fork of May Creek.
In September, after a long permitting process and almost $100,000 out of pocket, the Farringtons replaced a crumbling culvert with a passage easier for fish to cross.