Legislators’ priorities reflect education, transportation needs

January 15, 2013

Lawmakers confronted a familiar scenario as the Legislature convened Jan. 14 — a budget shortfall, opposing pressures to preserve essential services and rein in government spending, and a court mandate to spend more money on education.

Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet

Chad Magendanz

Chad Magendanz

Observers expect education and transportation to rank as the dominant issues in the 105-day session. The state faces a $900 million budget shortfall for 2013-15 and, in the meantime, faces a court order to increase education funding by 2018.

In addition to the statewide issues on legislators’ docket, a lobbyist hired by city leaders to represent Issaquah is in search of support for local projects, including dollars to upgrade transportation infrastructure and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah is also focused on securing state dollars for a transportation improvement district in North Issaquah near Costco headquarters and high-traffic retail centers.

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State hosts meetings on Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 15, 2013

The state Department of Transportation is evaluating potential impacts of tolling Interstate 90, and the public can learn more about the proposal at a series of meetings on the Eastside and in Seattle.

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Planners steer more than $3 million to local road projects

January 15, 2013

Issaquah-area road projects received a green light to proceed — and more than $3 million — after planners approved a regional transportation program.

Puget Sound Regional Council leaders recommended funding for projects on Southeast May Valley Road, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and 228th Avenue Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau.

The lineup includes projects just outside Issaquah city limits, but none inside the city.

Some dollars for the projects come from $440 million in federal funds distributed by the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. State gas tax revenue and local funds then cover the remaining project costs.

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Crews prepare for wintry conditions as mercury drops

January 10, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 10, 2013

Issaquah, King County and state road crews prepared for snow Thursday, as forecasters urged caution on roads, and rain threatened to turn to snow and create icy morning commutes Friday.

The city placed public works crews on standby Thursday to prepare for possible road hazards related to the winter weather.

King County prepared for a beefed-up response to ice and snow. Overnight, ice buildup on already-damp roadways is a concern for road crews.

The county put extra crews on the road for response, and as many as 12 trucks could remain on duty throughout the night. In addition to anti-icing operations, crews sand roads and plow slush or snow as necessary.

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Police bust 795 motorists for DUI during holiday crackdown

January 8, 2013

Police in Issaquah and King County busted 795 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a holiday season crackdown.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign included law enforcement agencies at the local, state and national level. The effort started Nov. 21 and lasted through New Year’s Day.

Statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI. In King County during the same period in 2011-12, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 960 people for DUI.

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Police bust 795 motorists for DUI during holiday season crackdown

January 4, 2013

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Jan. 4, 2013

Police in Issaquah and King County busted 795 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a holiday season crackdown.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign included law enforcement agencies at the local, state and national level. The effort started Nov. 21 and lasted through New Year’s Day.

Statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI. In King County during the same period in 2011-12, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 960 people for DUI.

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How school officials know when to call a snow day

January 1, 2013

All roads come under consideration during winter weather

Issaquah School District buses line up on a snow day. Contributed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast for a drier-than-normal winter in the Pacific Northwest is good news for local schools, but just in case, Jo Porter and her transportation staff are prepared.

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City Council questions Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 1, 2013

The prospect of tolling on Interstate 90 received a cool reception from the City Council, as state officials consider the idea as a way to generate dollars for the state Route 520 bridge replacement project.

The state Department of Transportation is at work on a $4.1 billion project to replace the 49-year-old floating bridge across Lake Washington and overhaul the 12.8-mile corridor between Interstate 5 in Seattle and state Route 202 in Redmond. The floating bridge is scheduled to open in traffic by early 2015.

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Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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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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