Editorial — Legislature needs to reach transportation consensus

May 27, 2015

State legislators are closer than they’ve been in years to reaching a deal to fix the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. They must not get bogged down by ideology and let slip this opportunity to create jobs and make roads safer.

The Senate already passed a package, including a gas-tax increase, with bipartisan support. Last month, the House Transportation Committee passed two key Senate bills, ESSB 5987 and ESSB 5988. Negotiations are under way to reconcile differences between the Senate and the House’s Democratic leadership.

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Off The Press — Air travel is for the birds

May 5, 2015

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and I’m surely not alone in feeling this way, but going away to a foreign city or a secluded beach resort would be a lot more enjoyable if it weren’t for those pesky airports.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

Unfortunately, we haven’t invented a more efficient mode of transportation, like those rocket ships sci-fi master Robert Heinlein envisioned. And even if we had, they would certainly fall under the governance of everyone’s favorite bureaucracy — the Transportation Security Administration.

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To the Editor — May 6, 2015

May 5, 2015

State park funding

Preserve new dock funding at Lake Sammamish State Park

Wonderful new docks in the Lake Sammamish State Park Master Plan won a $1 million Boating Facilities Grant but they will lose this without matching legislative funding. This is included in the governor’s and Senate budget proposals, but is not in the House budget.

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Federal legislators urge emergency federal funding for I-90 overpass

April 22, 2015

NEW — 4:45 p.m. April 22, 2015

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-8) in urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to grant Emergency Relief program funding to help Washington state cover the costs of repairs for the Interstate 90 overpass, according to a news release from Murray’s office.

On March 13, a Recology CleanScapes garbage truck with its lift in the air struck and damaged the overpass above Front Street.

“The Front Street I-90 overpass is critical to in King County and to the State of Washington,” the members of Congress wrote. “As part of the I-90 corridor, it plays an important role in supporting international trade through the movement of goods across Washington and to our ports, creating and sustaining hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state.

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Two council members decide not to run in 2015

April 14, 2015

The makeup of the Issaquah City Council is about to change.

In the past week, Councilman Joshua Schaer and Councilwoman Nina Milligan have announced they won’t run for re-election come fall.

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Guest Column — Transportation: We must act now

March 25, 2015

This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.

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City officials sound off on space crunch

March 17, 2015

As they move forward with two separate planning processes, city officials have returned several times to two major topics: a perceived need for added space for both police and the city administration.

“We’re overcrowded in the police department,” Police Chief Scott Behrbaum said during a March 9 City Council work session.

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Editorial — Keep transportation package moving

March 10, 2015

The state Senate, after two years of frustrated effort, has passed a $15 billion transportation package. Its 11 measures — a mix of reforms and revenue — are key to relieving traffic congestion with investments in transit and roads, and maintaining the state’s existing highways and bridges.

A bipartisan group of senators exercised some imagination to negotiate and shepherd the compromise, which includes an 11.7-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax, through their chamber. The deal could create an estimated 200,000 jobs over the next 16 years.

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State transportation package could ease local highway woes

March 10, 2015

A transportation package passed by the state Senate would allocate $15.1 billion for road projects statewide, including three major projects directly affecting Issaquah and Sammamish.

The area could see roadwork totaling $126 million on portions of Interstate 90. The package passed the Senate on Feb. 27, but still must clear the state House of Representatives.

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Traffic only knock on city in resident survey

March 10, 2015

Completed in December, a city-sponsored survey of local inhabitants showed 91 percent of Issaquah residents believe their town is a great spot to call home.

That positive rating included 41 percent who rated Issaquah as an “excellent” place to be, along with 50 percent who said it is a “good” place to live, Emily Moon, deputy city administrator, said in a report to the City Council on March 2.

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