Citizen committee to study funding options for Issaquah transportation projects

August 4, 2015

NEW — 10:35 a.m. Aug. 4, 2015

By November, the city administration plans to name a resident advisory committee to study and propose a ballot issue to raise up to $96 million for Issaquah transportation projects.

The city could go to voters with anything from a bond sale to a local sales tax. Of the several options presented, a 0.20 percent sales tax would rake in the most, about $75 million, according to information presented by city Finance Director Diane Marcotte.

City officials hope to have something on the ballot by November 2016.

To be named by Mayor Fred Butler, the advisory committee will begin meeting either late this year or early in 2016. Butler expects a recommendation to present to council by mid-2016.  Officials have not determined how many people will serve on the committee, said Emily Moon, deputy city administrator. The City Council will have the last say on any ballot issue and will need to vote to present any question to voters. Read more

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Hike explores the hidden trails of Cougar Mountain

July 8, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. July 8, 2015

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is leading a hike July 18 to explore some of the lesser-known trails of Cougar Mountain.

But you have to pre-register, so sign up now at Cost is $25 per person.

Cougar Mountain is a favorite destination for trail runners and hikers, but only a small fraction of its trails are well-known. This guided hike will travel from east to west across the mountain, traversing many of its quieter trails.

The Hidden Trails of Cougar Mountain hike is a part of the 25th anniversary Mountains to Sound Greenway Trek, as participants hike and bike across the proposed Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area from Ellensburg to Seattle.

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Officials share progress on local walking and bike paths

July 2, 2015

About a dozen people settled down the evening of June 9 into the Issaquah Trails Center to hear updates from the city and King County regarding local trails and bike paths.

First up with a PowerPoint presentation was Mary Joe de Beck, a city senior program manager, talking about the city’s highly touted Walk and Roll program. The city has hired a great consultant and spent some time trying to include the entire community in the overall plan, de Beck said.

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Help improve outdoor recreation on National Trails Day

May 31, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. May 31, 2013

Volunteers will celebrate National Trails Day on June 1  at locations throughout the Issaquah area, and you can join in to improve the community’s recreation opportunities.

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is a trail-awareness program to inspire the public to discover, learn about and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities and trail stewardship projects.

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Village Theatre original ‘Trails’ debuts

March 12, 2013

When Village Theatre announces a new season, tucked in among the productions is usually something original that will have audiences eager to be the first to experience.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of other recent original musicals with their roots in Issaquah, such as “Next to Normal” and “Million Dollar Quartet,” comes “Trails,” opening March 14.

By Mike Hipple/Village Theatre Joshua Carter (left), in the role of Seth, and Dane Stokinger as Mike, appear in the Village Theatre production of ‘Trails.’

By Mike Hipple/Village Theatre
Joshua Carter (left), in the role of Seth, and Dane Stokinger as Mike, appear in the Village Theatre production of ‘Trails.’

“Trails” debuted with its first reading during Village Theatre’s 2011 season’s Festival of New Musicals.

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Explore outdoors in King County Parks Fitness Challenge

February 6, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

Parkgoers can participate in challenges, enjoy the outdoors and burn some calories as King County Parks rolls out a fitness program at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and other sites.

Countywide, organizers designed 30 challenge locations countywide for the King County Parks Fitness Challenge.

The challenge — initially created through a partnership with Group Health’s Fitness Network for county employees — is available to the public.

“The public can also enjoy the parks fitness challenge as a great way to exercise while enjoying some of the 26,000 acres of parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 180 miles of backcountry trails that we proudly maintain,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement.

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Levies could fund Cougar Mountain trailhead, other projects

January 15, 2013

King County voters could decide soon on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last year, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the task force to explore options for future funding.

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King County milestones shape 2012

January 1, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently reflected on the top accomplishments of 2012, including same-sex marriage legalization and improvements in county agencies.

The accomplishments include the merger of once-incompatible business systems, a decision to place future schools in urban areas, procurement reforms, revitalization of Seattle’s Pioneer Square and a regional animal services contract.

Voters approved a property tax levy for a juvenile criminal justice facility. The county also oversaw a shift in the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie, delivered honors for small business owners, enacted a deal to build a sports-and-entertainment arena in Seattle, and acquired a rail corridor for Eastside rails and trails.

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Crews to start trail project near Sunset Elementary School

January 1, 2013

Motorists should prepare for changes along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast near the Issaquah School District’s Sunset Elementary School, as crews start work on a $4.8 million project to add a trail for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The initial phase encompasses a section of roadway between Interstate 90, near the Issaquah-Bellevue line, to Southeast 34th Street in Bellevue.

Under a plan approved Nov. 5 by the Bellevue City Council, crews from Tacoma-based Active Construction plan to add a multipurpose trail separated from vehicle traffic by a landscaped buffer. Plans also call for crews to add pedestrian crossings along the north-south corridor.

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Department of Ecology fines King County for trail work violation

December 18, 2012

State regulators fined King County $1,500 after workers failed to follow rules to stop sediment discharges into a municipal storm drain during construction on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The state Department of Ecology said crews from the county Facilities Management Division repeatedly did not install the proper controls outlined under the storm water permit to prevent sediment discharges.

The agency issued the fine July 20, but did not announce the penalty until Nov. 27, as the Department of Ecology detailed all fines issued statewide between July and September. Officials typically do not issue individual media releases unless a penalty reaches $10,000 or more.

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