City Council cuts $300,000 in projects from mayor’s budget

November 19, 2013

Highlighted pieces of the mayor’s proposed budget faced a City Council chopping block before they reached a final public hearing.

A plan to remodel the Tibbett’s Creek Manor kitchen, funding for a city business marketing plan and a feasibility study for a city campus were all voted down in the Nov. 7 council work session.

After extended conversations, in which the phrase “financial sustainability” was repeatedly used, the council asked the city’s Finance Department to lop $300,000 off the draft budget. Finance Director Diane Marcotte said the council created the figure with the end of 2014 in mind.

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‘Influence the Choice’ video winner named

April 9, 2013

A winner was announced April 2 for the “Influence the Choice” video contest, led by the Issaquah Community Network and Drug Free Community Coalition.

Issaquah High School student Hannah Balducci won the grand prize of $800 for her submission of a two-minute video that tried to influence friends and other teenagers to resist using alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs.

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Community offers support for Lake Sammamish State Park booster group

December 18, 2012

State officials laid the groundwork Dec. 10 for a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park as residents met to consider lifelines for the cash-strapped park.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission listened to ideas for the facility from about 50 attendees at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house, and received information from about 25 attendees interested in participating in a community organization to support the park.

The event, hosted by the city and state parks agency, launched a discussion about future ventures at Lake Sammamish State Park and what residents hope to see on the park’s 512 acres.

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Community offers ideas, support for Lake Sammamish State Park

December 11, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Dec. 11, 2012

State officials laid the groundwork Monday for a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park as residents met to consider lifelines for the cash-strapped park.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission officials collected information from attendees for a possible community organization to support the park, and listened to ideas about the facility at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house.

The event, hosted by the city and state parks agency, launched a discussion about future ventures at Lake Sammamish State Park and what residents hope to see on the park’s 512 acres.

In 2007, state parks commissioners approved a bold plan to remake and restore the park, but the economic downturn and state budget crises curtailed dollars to implement the plan.

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Offer ideas for future of Lake Sammamish State Park

December 4, 2012

Lake Sammamish State Park, a 512-acre urban oasis surrounded by Issaquah and a destination long overdue for a makeover, is in the spotlight again as city and state officials seek residents’ ideas for the park’s future.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission leaders scheduled a Dec. 10 open house about the state park. The event is meant to restart the conversation about options for the park, including a stalled plan approved in 2007 and meant to guide upgrades to aging facilities and the expansion of recreation opportunities.

Options to revive the plan could include a partnership between the state parks agency, city and a nonprofit organization to help the park. The state parks agency is also open to commercial ventures on parkland as a potential way to generate funds for the facility.

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‘I Do!’ Casino Night goes all in with wedding prep

October 2, 2012

Normal bridal shows are large, impersonal events where brides-to-be shuffle around a large convention center and attempt to gain valuable information for their big day, said Vicky Markussen, owner of Victoria Graceson Floral Design.

“It’s sort of like a cattle feed — they put you in the chute, you walk around all of the booths, and then they shove you through and shove you out,” she said.

So, Markussen and Gina Mary Bahhage, owner of Gina Mary Hair Design, worked to create an event where brides and grooms could come together in an intimate atmosphere to get all of their questions answered.

The result is “I Do!” Casino Night, a fun-filled evening with cocktails, food, gambling and a handful of vendors available to answer wedding questions.

“We want it to be a fun, casual, enjoyable but intimate experience for the bride, because wedding shows are so crazy,” Markussen said. “I mean you have thousands of people and you don’t get a chance to have a nice conversation with a vendor.”

The event takes place Oct. 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Issaquah. Markussen asked that attendees RSVP beforehand at www.idocasinonight.info, but there is no registration deadline.

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City Council approves controversial Cougar Mountain subdivision

September 11, 2012

City leaders OK’d a Cougar Mountain subdivision after months of negotiations among the city, neighbors and the developer — and despite objections from neighbors about impacts to street parking and concerns about landslide risk.

Stacy Goodman

In a unanimous decision, City Council members approved the subdivision, called Forest Heights — a proposal to add 24 single-family homes to about six acres on a 13.9-acre site. The agreement also set aside land for storm water detention and to preserve open space.

The proposed project site is northeast of Talus, south of Northwest James Bush Road and uphill from state Route 900, across from Tibbetts Creek Manor.

Officials approved the Forest Heights development agreement Aug. 6, after the Council Land & Shore Committee spent months sifting through details related to the plan.

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King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg showcases high-tech crime-fighting tools

May 1, 2012

Investigators used saliva from a cigarette butt discarded at a murder scene to connect a suspect to the slaying. Recorded jailhouse phone conversations led prosecutors to convict a man for brutal acts of domestic violence. Cellphone data allowed police to trace gang members’ movements before and after a chaotic shooting at a crowded car show.

Dan Satterberg

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg delved into recent cases April 17 and outlined the forensic science tools investigators and prosecutors use to lock criminals behind bars.

In a talk given to the Rotary Club of Issaquah, Satterberg offered a presentation akin to “CSI: Issaquah” — down to using the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” theme music, The Who’s “Who Are You.”

“This has changed the way that we investigate cases. It has given us results that we never thought we’d be able to get to solve cold cases going way back,” he said to the Tibbetts Creek Manor audience. “It has in some ways made the job of the police investigator and the deputy prosecutor more complicated.”

The cigarette butt and a spent shell casing linked gang member Omar Norman to the October 2005 murder of Terrell Milam, a rival gang member.

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Issaquah Women’s Club luncheon supports scholarships, local charities

February 28, 2012

At a recent meeting of the Issaquah Women’s Club, a speaker from the Eastside Domestic Violence Program expounded upon how the 60 or so scholarships supplied to that group over the years by the club had changed lives.

The scholarships were intended to help clients of the program get back on their feet, to help them get out of abusive situations. Past president and current promotions director for the Women’s Club Deborah Bader said she and other group members especially enjoyed hearing personal stories about how their efforts had helped other women.

“It was just really special,” Bader added.

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Issaquah Women’s Club holds scholarship fundraiser

October 25, 2011

In order to help support three separate scholarship programs, the Issaquah Women’s Foundation of the Issaquah Women’s Club presents a benefit concert from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Vasa Park Ballroom in Bellevue.

The featured entertainment will be Route 66, which performs the big band sounds of the swing era.

The Issaquah Women’s Foundation is the charity arm of the Issaquah Women’s Club. Founded in 1983, the group is an official 501(c)3 charity. The club is a social and service organization with about 100 members, said the group’s publicity committee chairwoman Deborah Bader.

“It’s grown over the years,” she added, saying members are of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

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