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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Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year 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 month, 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 Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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Tiger Mountain trail development is recommended for state grant

November 1, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 1, 2012

The state Recreation Conservation Office recommended Tiger Mountain trail development — and more than 100 projects statewide — as priority projects for grants.

Funding for the Tiger Mountain trails and other projects hinges on dollars for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a program established to conserve land and waterways.

If the $320,000 grant for Tiger Mountain is funded, the state Department of Natural Resources can develop two trails or about five miles overall in east Tiger Mountain State Forest. The project requires a $137,200 match from the Department of Natural Resources.

Leaders at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a nonprofit group set up to support the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, praised the project list.

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Tiger Mountain is test for commissioner of public lands candidates

October 30, 2012

Tiger Mountain is a destination for hikers, mountain bikers and loggers, and the official responsible for acting as a referee to balance the competing interests is the state commissioner of public lands.

Clint Didier

Peter Goldmark

Republican Clint Didier is challenging the incumbent, Democrat Peter Goldmark, to serve as the top natural resources official in Washington.

The commissioner of public lands leads the state Department of Natural Resources, and oversees about 3 million acres of forests, agricultural land and other properties, as well as about 2.6 million acres of shorelines, tidelands, lakes and rivers.

The position carries outsized influence in the Issaquah area. The agency is often a factor in local policymaking, due to the connections among the Department of Natural Resources, Issaquah City Hall and outdoor recreation groups.

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