Issaquah community’s ‘green’ achievers observe Earth Day

April 19, 2011

Earth Day is observed April 22, but some Issaquah-area residents celebrate the eco-conscious holiday year-round.

As people elsewhere take initial steps to “green” vehicles, volunteer for earth-friendly activities, reduce carbon footprints and make homes and gardens more earth-friendly, the Issaquah community includes avid recyclers, car-free families and “green” homeowners.

Issaquah resident Kent Peterson, who traded his car for a bike more than 20 years ago, leads a procession of well-wishers as he departs last year for Banff, Alberta, the starting line for the 2,745 mile Tour Divide race. By Greg Farrar

Recycling to superstar status

Wayne Elson started recycling cans and bottles more than 30 years ago — long before recycling became as simple as a trip to the curb.

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Duvall farmer Eric Nelson elected to King Conservation District board

March 22, 2011

King Conservation District voters elected Duvall farmer Eric Nelson to the board of supervisors in a pioneering online election last week, although turnout dropped sharply from the last district election in 2010.

The contest concluded March 15, and conservation district officials announced the results March 17.

Eric Nelson

Nelson bested Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente to secure the open seat for a three-year term. Nelson is scheduled to assume office at the Washington State Conservation Commission meeting in May.

The election attracted 2,299 voters — a decline from 4,232 people in the last district election in March 2010. Officials had hoped the option for voters to cast electronic ballots online, instead of traveling to polling locations scattered throughout the county, might boost turnout.

The district offered a traditional polling site in Renton for 12 hours March 15.

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Mayor predicts ‘momentous year’ in State of the City speech

February 15, 2011

City is poised to complete long-term projects in coming months

Mayor Ava Frisinger offered a bold prediction for the year in the State of the City address last week.

“2011 will undoubtedly be a momentous year for Issaquah — one that will not only reinforce the importance of our day-to-day business, but will also celebrate our larger accomplishments,” she said during the Feb. 7 address.

The can-do speech highlighted projects scheduled for completion in the months ahead, including the city-coordinated zHome townhouses and a landmark effort to outline redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

“2010 sets high expectations for this year, and I am confident that we can meet them,” Frisinger said. “Our list of goals for 2011 is extremely impressive and yet very feasible.”

The annual address — like the spring City Council goal-setting session and the autumn budget announcement — helps city leaders outline priorities for the public.

Frisinger used the speech to shine a spotlight on long-term efforts on track to mark milestones.

The city is poised to complete the long-running effort to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain soon.

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King Conservation District rolls out online voting for board election

February 15, 2011

Supervisors handle conservation projects, programs in Issaquah

The little-noticed election for a King Conservation District board seat kicked off Feb. 15 and, for the first time, district voters in Issaquah and elsewhere can cast ballots online.

The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

The electorate must choose among Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera, Duvall farmer Eric Nelson and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente for the open seat.

“We are pleased to have a full slate of candidates for our inaugural online election,” board Chairman Bill Knutsen said in a statement.

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King Conservation District rolls out online voting for board election

February 11, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 11, 2011

The little-noticed election for a King Conservation District board seat kicks off Tuesday and, for the first time, district voters in Issaquah and elsewhere can cast ballots online.

The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

The electorate must choose among Kent farmer Bruce Elliott, Redmond real estate agent Teri Herrera, Duvall farmer Eric Nelson and Sammamish retiree Preston Prudente for the open seat.

“We are pleased to have a full slate of candidates for our inaugural online election,” board Chairman Bill Knutsen said in a statement.

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Mayor highlights accomplishments in State of the City address

February 8, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 8, 2011

Mayor Ava Frisinger offered a bold prediction for the months ahead in the State of the City address Monday night.

“2011 will undoubtedly be a momentous year for Issaquah — one that will not only reinforce the importance of our day-to-day business, but will also celebrate our larger accomplishments, ” she said.

The can-do speech highlighted projects scheduled for completion in the months ahead, including the city-coordinated zHome townhouses and a landmark effort to outline redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

Frisinger used the annual address to shine a spotlight on other long-term efforts.

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Policies limit flood damage

January 4, 2011

City has spent more than a decade on flood projects

Issaquah Creek sloshed into neighborhoods and onto streets in early December, but city and county leaders credit land-use policies for helping to limit damage from flooding and landslides.

Because much of Issaquah is located in a floodplain, officials can only do so much to limit flooding. Though the risk remains, the city has made strides since the 1996 flood to upgrade creek buffers and shore up bridges and other infrastructure to withstand floods.

The process has included purchasing and removing homes in the floodplain, plus buying undeveloped floodplain lots for preservation. Read more

Issaquah braces for rain-soaked winter, creek floods

November 2, 2010

City completed projects to reduce risk since last flood

Mike Crossley (yellow vest) works in the HAM radio communication station during a Community Emergency Response Team flood drill. By Autumn Monahan

January rain turned placid Issaquah Creek into a debris-filled torrent in early 2009 — and emergency planners hope fresh memories of the flood prompt residents to prepare for the rain-soaked winter on the horizon.

Long before fall rain blanketed the area, Issaquah and King County emergency planners had prepared to respond to Issaquah Creek flooding.

Meteorologists predict La Niña conditions — colder-than-normal temperatures and greater-than-normal rain- and snowfall — in the months ahead. The combination has emergency planners concerned about rain-gorged Issaquah Creek and the potential for disaster.

“If you look at Issaquah Creek now, you think, ‘Oh, that’s a nice, pretty little creek.’ It can turn into a roaring monster pretty quick,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said last week.

The city has completed a series of flood-control projects in the 21 months since the most recent flood, including a high-profile floodplain restoration effort at Squak Valley Park North.

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City restores Issaquah Creek salmon habitat

October 19, 2010

Greenway volunteers plant native trees, shrubs

Environmental restoration crew workers add tree trunks to Issaquah Creek last month at Squak Valley Park North to provide habitat for salmon and other fish to spawn and hide from predators. By Greg Farrar

Squak Valley Park North — a slice of former farmland sidled against Issaquah Creek — started to resemble a bygone era by the time more than 250 planters left the site on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

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Squak Valley Park North Restoration / Oct. 16, 2010

October 19, 2010

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