Joe Forkner launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

February 4, 2013

NEW — 3 p.m. Feb. 4, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Monday.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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City Council appoints Joe Forkner to open seat

January 29, 2013

NEW — 6:20 p.m. Jan. 29, 2013

Joe Forkner returned to the City Council on Tuesday after a divided council appointed the former councilman, onetime city employee and longtime community leader to a vacant seat.

The council appointed a successor to former Councilman Mark Mullet after about 15 minutes of discussion.

Members nominated Forkner and longtime Development Commission member Mary Lou Pauly for the post. The council chose Forkner in a 4-2 decision.

The seat opened Jan. 8 after Mullet departed to serve in Olympia. The entrepreneur and former banking executive defeated Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate.

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Fred Butler enters race for Issaquah mayor

January 22, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Jan. 17.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and, late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

“We are in the process of evolving from a small town to a small city, moving from suburban to urban,” he said in a Jan 17 interview. “Because I’ve been involved in a lot of the planning and the development of the urban villages and the Central Issaquah Plan, I believe I’m in a pretty good position to help implement the direction that we are going in.”

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City Council applicants offer varied skills

January 22, 2013

Members to appoint candidate Jan. 29

The applicants for a rare open seat on the City Council include long-established community leaders — and some candidates from the last time the council accepted applications to fill a vacancy.

The seven candidates offer assorted skills in community, government and military service in the process to succeed Mark Mullet on the council.

Initially, Ken Sessler, a retired Boeing engineer and a prolific letter writer to The Issaquah Press, applied for the vacancy, but withdrew not long after the city released the applicant list.

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Poll: Northwesterners divided on belief in Sasquatch

January 22, 2013

Many Northwesterners believe Sasquatch is more than a myth, according to the latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll.

By the numbers

PEMCO Insurance surveyed Washington and Oregon residents about routine driving habits, and also asked respondents whether they believe Sasquatch exists.

Do you believe it is possible that Sasquatch exists?

Washington

April 2012

  • Yes: 36 percent
  • No: 44 percent
  • Don’t know: 20 percent

King County

April 2012

  • Yes: 31 percent
  • No: 52 percent
  • Don’t know: 17 percent

Do you know of anybody who has ever seen Sasquatch?

Washington

April 2012

  • Yes: 14 percent
  • No: 77 percent
  • Don’t know: 9 percent

King County

April 2012

  • Yes: 8 percent
  • No: 84 percent
  • Don’t know: 8 percent

Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance surveyed Northwest residents about the hairy hominid and found 33 percent believe Sasquatch possibly exists, and about one in 10 respondents claimed to have actually seen Sasquatch or know somebody who did.

Oregon residents seemed less convinced, though, than Washington counterparts. Overall, more than half of Portlanders — 55 percent — doubt the creature exists. Still, more than a quarter of respondents polled in Portland — 28 percent — embrace the possibility of Sasquatch.

Washingtonians continue to believe. The poll first asked Washingtonians about Sasquatch in 2009, and more than one-third of respondents maintain the view of Sasquatch as real.

The respondents included 159 people in King County. The sample size for Issaquah is too small to offer much data.

“People might wonder, ‘Why is an insurance company even bothering with something so silly?’ Is PEMCO pondering Sasquatch-protection coverage? No. Does it matter to our business if they exist? No. Is it a fun and whimsical topic for a survey? Absolutely! Especially here in the quirky Northwest where, Sasquatch is part of our culture,” PEMCO spokesman Jon Osterberg said.

PEMCO Insurance commissioned the independent survey to ask Washington drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes about current Northwest issues. The sample size included 629 respondents in Washington and 400 respondents in the Portland, Ore., metro area.

Believers have reported Sasquatch sightings near Issaquah and in East King County.

In 1982, a father and son out for a hike on Squak Mountain ran into a giant, muscular creature and then fled, a user recounted to the Bigfoot Encounters website.

A sighting at Rattlesnake Lake occurred in August 2000, a supposed eyewitness recounted to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. The creature stood more than 7 feet tall, moved in a manner similar to a human and sported dark fur.

Fred Butler launches campaign for Issaquah mayor

January 17, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Thursday.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, and late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

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Explore state, national parks at no cost for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013

Washingtonians can observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lake Sammamish State Park and other state facilities, Tiger Mountain State Forest and other state forestlands, or in national forests and parks.

Officials at the agencies responsible for state and national public lands waived admission fees for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.

Visitors do not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks, including Lake Sammamish and Squak Mountain near Issaquah.

Mount Rainier National Park waived entrance fees to the 235,625-acre park. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is waiving fees at more than 74 day-use sites in the forest.

Throughout the year, state and national parks waive entrance fees to promote outdoor recreation.

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How school officials know when to call a snow day

January 1, 2013

All roads come under consideration during winter weather

Issaquah School District buses line up on a snow day. Contributed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast for a drier-than-normal winter in the Pacific Northwest is good news for local schools, but just in case, Jo Porter and her transportation staff are prepared.

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Poll: Northwesterners divided on belief in Sasquatch

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

Many Northwesterners believe Sasquatch is more than a myth, according to the latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll.

Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance surveyed Northwest residents about the hairy hominid and found 33 percent believe Sasquatch possibly exists, and about 1 in 10 respondents claimed to actually see Sasquatch or know somebody who did.

Oregon residents seemed less convinced, though, than Washington counterparts. Overall, more than half of Portlanders — 55 percent — doubt the creature exists. Still, more than a quarter of respondents polled in Portland — 28 percent — embrace the possibility of Sasquatch,

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Snow causes few disruptions for Issaquah residents

December 25, 2012

Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.

In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.

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