To the Editor

September 2, 2014

Transportation plan

A little Aloha while sitting in traffic

How is it that Peter Clark, of The Issaquah Press, has read my mind these last several months as I’ve traveled the roads downtown getting to and from my home in the nearby Sycamore neighborhood? His recent article “Traffic plan can’t come soon enough” nailed it.

I understand that the City Council’s master plan is intent upon growing residential and business opportunities while lessening our dependence on cars. As in the Issaquah Highlands, townsfolk will be able to walk, rather than drive, to most places. However, as Clark indicates, that idyllic scenario won’t happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, those of us living in the midst of construction that is sure to tie up traffic for years to come will have to grin and bear it.

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City workers will flush water mains overnight through Dec. 6

November 18, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 18, 2013

Issaquah’s Public Works Operations will be flushing a portion of the city’s water mains through Dec. 6.

The southeast section of Issaquah — east of Front Street South and south of East Sunset Way, as well as the Sycamore neighborhood — will be flushed during this maintenance project.

The work will take place from 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday, during those three weeks.

Customers typically do not experience a change in their water service during this annual maintenance. If you do experience changes, or have any questions or concerns, call Greg Keith at 837-3470. Before or after working hours, call the Issaquah Police Department at 837-3200.

Issaquah burglary offers lesson in vigilance

August 14, 2012

The call from the Issaquah Police Department interrupted dinner at Pogacha for Fred and Mardi Nystrom, longtime residents in the Sycamore neighborhood south of downtown.

The officer on the line asked if the Nystroms expected any family members to leave their home through a bedroom window.

“I told him, ‘Not our family, man, we wouldn’t fit through that window,’” Fred Nystrom recalled Aug. 13.

They rushed home July 6 to discover their home had been burglarized. The thief shimmied into the home through a small bedroom window left open in the July heat, and stole jewelry, computers and family heirlooms.

“Most of what she stole from me were memories,” Fred Nystrom said.

Police later identified the suspect as Jackie Jean Johnston, 45, a SeaTac resident with a long rap sheet.

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Woman arrested for July burglary

August 7, 2012

Issaquah police arrested a SeaTac woman Aug. 1 in connection with a July burglary.

Police said the arrest came after a positive identification by residents and a weekslong investigation. The burglary occurred in early July in the Sycamore neighborhood south of downtown Issaquah.

Jackie Jean Johnston, 45, remained in custody at the King County Jail on $10,000 bail Aug. 6 on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property.

Officers discovered Johnston’s truck at the Issaquah Transit Center, 1050 17th Ave. N.W., Aug. 1 and alerted a detective.

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Issaquah police arrest woman for residential burglary

August 2, 2012

NEW — 5:15 p.m. Aug. 2, 2012

Issaquah police arrested a SeaTac woman Wednesday in connection with a July burglary.

Police said the arrest came after a positive identification by residents and a weekslong investigation. The burglary occurred in early July in the Sycamore neighborhood south of downtown Issaquah.

Detectives served a search warrant on the 45-year-old woman’s vehicle Wednesday, and discovered stolen items from burglaries in Issaquah and surrounding communities.

Police later booked the woman into the King County Jail on burglary, possession of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property charges. The case remains open and under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department.

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Food scraps return as compost to fuel community garden

November 29, 2011

King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson (left) adds compost to a garden plot Nov. 16. Contributed

Turning trash to treasure — or, at least, rich compost — could lengthen the landfill’s lifespan.

King County Solid Waste Division officials said the average King County family tosses 45 pounds of food scraps each month. The agency estimates food recycling could divert the amount of garbage headed to the county-run Cedar Hills Regional Landfill by more than 20 percent.

So, the Solid Waste Division enlisted 10 families in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah to collect food scraps throughout August — and demonstrate the ease of food-scrap recycling. Overall, neighbors amassed more than 400 pounds from refuse otherwise headed for the landfill — chicken bones, pineapple tops, paper towels soaked in bacon grease and much more.

The garbage pile festering beneath the hot August sun in Donna Misner’s driveway re-emerged Nov. 16 as rich compost.

King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson joined the residents in late August to bid the garbage heap farewell on a journey to Cedar Grove Composting.

Then, 85 days and a decomposition cycle later, Misner and other Sycamore neighbors gathered on a rain-soaked morning to see the result.

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Neighborhood turns trash, food scraps, to treasure, rich compost

August 30, 2011

Residents donate 400 pounds of garbage for composting effort

The half-gnawed corncobs, shorn pineapple tops, slimy banana peels and grease-stained pizza boxes simmered in the midday sun — a concoction assembled from the kitchen castoffs of 10 Issaquah families.

Residents of the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah dump a last load of food scraps into more than 400 pounds of collected food waste. Contributed

The festering pile in Donna Misner’s driveway Aug. 24 included more than 400 pounds collected from residents in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah.

King County joined the residents to increase food-scrap recycling for a month to accomplish dual goals: demonstrate the ease of food-scrap recycling and turn the garbage into rich compost for a community garden.

“I don’t consider this waste. People always joke, ‘Oh, it’s garbage and it’s stinky. This is a material. This is a resource — that’s what this is right here,” King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson said during a midday event in the Sycamore driveway. “It may smell a little bit on a hot day, but when you do it at home, it’s not going to smell. When Cedar Grove makes it into compost, the final product is a product that’s going to help your garden grow. It’s a resource.”

Cedar Grove Composting plans to transform the refuse into compost and then donate the results to the Issaquah Flatland Community Garden near the AtWork! Recycling Center by late fall. Gardeners send 25 percent of the organic bounty to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

“The garden is a nice focal point for the Issaquah community,” AtWork! Community Development Manager Dennis Wadja said. “Neighbors walk to the garden, children are exposed to growing food, the food bank receives nutritious organic food and space is available for the disabled population. We see this recycling project as an opportunity to connect deeper to the wider community.”

(Cedar Grove Composting is near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley.)

Officials and teams from the King County Solid Waste Division and Cedar Grove Composting — including a county staffer dressed as a banana — gathered at the Misner home along Issaquah Creek as Tiger Mountain basked in the sunshine beyond.

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Residents donate 400 pounds of scraps for trash-to-treasure composting effort

August 24, 2011

King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson mucks around in a pile of more than 400 pounds food scraps from Issaquah residents Wednesday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 12:50 p.m. Aug. 24, 2011

The half-gnawed corncobs, shorn pineapple tops, slippery banana peels and grease-stained pizza boxes simmered in the midday sun — a concoction assembled from the kitchen castoffs of 10 Issaquah families.

The festering pile in Donna Misner’s driveway included more than 400 pounds collected from residents in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah. King County joined the residents to increase food-scrap recycling for a month for a month to accomplish dual goals: demonstrate how easy such recycling can be and turn the garbage into rich compost for a community garden.

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City to elevate flood-prone homes

August 2, 2011

The city Planning Department is considering a permit to allow crews to elevate flood-prone homes along Issaquah Creek.

Plans call for elevating four homes in the Sycamore neighborhood by about 4 feet above the 100-year floodplain. The project includes decks, stairs, landings, walks, foundations, crawlspaces and some minor modifications to the homes to account for the elevation.

The homes along Sycamore Drive Southeast and Southeast Sycamore Place qualified for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program administered by the city.

The city also intends to elevate a home along Northwest Cherry Place.

In January 2009, floodwaters ruined houses in hard-hit Sycamore. Since the major flood, crews breached a Great Depression-era levee across the creek from the neighborhood to allow more room for the creek to meander during floods.

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

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