Construction to start on downtown Issaquah parks

April 17, 2012

Timeline remains uncertain due to lack of funding

The downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — 15.5 acres referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system — can soon start a long transformation into undulating paths, picnic areas and more.

In a March 19 decision, City Council members approved the overarching design outline, or master site plan, for the interconnected Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The action laid the groundwork for construction to start on the site by late summer, though the effort to complete the parks could stretch for years.

City parks planners still need to acquire municipal permits for the initial construction phase. Meanwhile, architects at The Berger Partnership, a Seattle firm, continue to fine-tune the design for the parks.

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Hazardous conditions impacted response to January storms

March 6, 2012

The battle against the elements created dangerous conditions for city crews during a snowstorm and a rare ice storm in January, officials said in a recent update on response to the storms.

City crews scrambled to keep pace as the storms battered Issaquah and the region. Sometimes, limbs crashed onto city streets mere moments after a snowplow scraped snow and ice from the surface.

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Historic oaks receive Heritage Trees designation

March 6, 2012

Mayor Ava Frisinger designated a trio of historic oaks as Heritage Trees — a distinction meant to reflect the plants’ age, size, historic significance and ecological importance, officials announced Feb. 24.

Early residents planted the Bur oak trees — believed to be the largest and oldest in Issaquah — more than 75 years ago near modern-day 495 Sycamore Lane.

City Park Board members developed the Heritage Tree Program to promote identification and recognition of trees that reflect the character of Issaquah. Each Heritage Tree is identified and recorded in a register maintained by the city Parks & Recreation Department.

“I urge all citizens to enjoy and protect our Heritage Trees and to appreciate the value that these and other trees give our community,” Frisinger said.

The mayor did not designate any Heritage Trees last year. The most recent round — announced in 2010 — included thee giant sequoia at Tibbetts Valley Park, the Empress Tree at Cornick Park and the Oregon white oak at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Hazardous conditions impacted response to January storms

March 5, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. March 5, 2012

The battle against the elements created dangerous conditions for city crews during a snowstorm and a rare ice storm in January, officials said in a recent update on response to the storms.

City crews scrambled to keep pace as the storms battered Issaquah and the region. Sometimes, limbs crashed onto city streets mere moments after a snowplow scraped snow and ice from the surface.

“You’d clear a road, you’d come back down and you’d have to clear your way back out the same road,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said in a Feb. 28 briefing to the City Council. “Or you’d clear a road and you’d get a call from somebody else in the snowplow that said, ‘I thought you cleared this road.’ The answer is, well, we did. We were just there, but those trees were coming down so fast and frequent that it was impossible for awhile to stay on top of that.”

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Mayor Ava Frisinger designates historic oaks as Heritage Trees

February 27, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 27, 2012

Mayor Ava Frisinger designated a trio of historic oaks as Heritage Trees — a distinction meant to reflect the plants’ age, size, historic significance and ecological importance.

Early residents planted the Bur oak trees — believed to be the largest and oldest in Issaquah — more than 75 years ago near modern-day 495 Sycamore Lane.

City Park Board members developed the Heritage Tree Program to promote identification and recognition of trees that reflect the character of Issaquah. Each Heritage Tree is identified and recorded in a register maintained by the city Parks & Recreation Department.

“I urge all citizens to enjoy and protect our Heritage Trees and to appreciate the value that these and other trees give our community,” Frisinger said.

The mayor did not designate any Heritage Trees last year.

The most recent round — announced in 2010 — included the giant sequoia at Tibbetts Valley Park, the Empress Tree at Cornick Park and the Oregon white oak at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Issaquah’s bill for response to January storms tops $500,000

February 21, 2012

The city’s initial tally for response and cleanup from the January snowstorm and subsequent ice storm reached $530,000 — although the number could shrink if federal officials release dollars for disaster efforts.

Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

The city could receive federal dollars as a reimbursement if President Barack Obama declares the January storms as a federal disaster. Such a decision means local governments could apply for reimbursements for emergency response and cleanup activities.

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City hosts another debris drop-off event at Tibbetts Valley Park

February 8, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. Feb. 8, 2012

Issaquah residents and business owners can drop off tree branches and other woody debris from recent storms at Tibbetts Valley Park on Saturday and Sunday, officials announced Wednesday.

The drop-off site is scheduled to open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park, 965 12th Ave. N.W. Only storm-related woody debris is accepted. Though representatives plan to monitor drop-offs, customers must unload material themselves.

The city held the initial debris drop-off event Jan. 28-29, and collected about 500 cubic yards of debris from 610 people. The most recent event, held Feb. 4-5, attracted more than 500 people to the park.

Cleanup continues in Issaquah after a crippling snowstorm and subsequent ice storm in mid-January.

Issaquah plans another debris drop-off event at Tibbetts Valley Park

February 1, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 1, 2012

Issaquah residents and business owners can drop off tree branches and other woody debris from recent storms at Tibbetts Valley Park on Saturday and Sunday, officials announced Wednesday.

The drop-off site is scheduled to open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park, 965 12th Ave. N.W. Only storm-related woody debris is accepted. Though representatives plan to monitor drop-offs, customers must unload material themselves.

The city held a similar event Jan. 28-29, and collected about 500 cubic yards of debris from 610 people.

King County is also offering a debris drop-off event for residents.

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Cleanup from storms could last for weeks in Issaquah

January 31, 2012

Terry Hillier, a Capella Drive Northwest resident, unloads branches from his station wagon Jan. 28 at Tibbetts Valley Park. By Greg Farrar

In the days after snow and ice hobbled Issaquah and the region, crews deployed across the city to collect sand from streets and downed trees from neighborhoods.

The recovery effort lurched into gear before snow and ice melted, but city residents and officials continue a daunting task to clean up from the recent storms and prepare for possible conditions in the months ahead.

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King County offers wood-debris recycling to storm-ravaged residents

January 29, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 29, 2012

Debris continues to linger outside King County homes, long after the snow and ice melted.

The recent snowstorm and ice storm left tree branches and limbs, plus other debris, on roads and lawns in Issaquah and elsewhere. King County Executive Dow Constantine cleared the way for disposal events in the days after the storms.

“We have made it easy for residents to dispose of debris so they can quickly put the storms of last week behind them and move on with life,” he said in a statement released Jan. 26.

Residents can recycle wood debris for free from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 4-5 at the Shoreline, Enumclaw and Cedar Falls solid waste facilities, and at Russell Road Park.

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