Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 9, 2009

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Man quits smoking at 14,000 feet , See Page BI A tale of two titles: Liberty falls, Skyline threepeats , Sports, Page Cl Cougar Mounta!n Zoo hosts 21st annual Reindeer Festival , A&E, Page B6 Garden club holds creative workshop ,See t LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1900 75 CENTS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2009 VOL. 110: R30 - t-O :' ,:; r--3> 0 mr--: D - omm Contamination concerns taint future for Overdale water SUl Residents continue to rely on plate, m water district By Warren Kagarise T ....... K D ......... .. Zbt]Utll$ I I U,bD I pUl bill to the community. Many residents installed water sof- VVI[31I 11:o/. J(:]boI# JLOId[XU bllUJ. bff UltlAJ(.bb bll IIUb.L'.J. yVb,.7, Sammamish Parkway Southeast is A second well at another site in contaminated with arsenic and the neighborhood is no longer ade- manganese. The well cannot be quate to meet demand. used to supply drinking water The private system supplies unless the neighborhood water water to 139 households, both association installs a pricey treat- 0verdale residents and nearby ment system to remove the metals, homeowners. Environmental Protection Overdale has relied on the water Agency arsenic standards prevent district to supply the neighborhood the water association from tapping since late 2005. The association into the supply from the well. pays the Sammamish district about Residents said iron and man- $30;000 per year for water. ganese in the water cause unpleas- But the Overdale customers ant odor and taste. The metals also exhausted the emergency need for stain clothing and appliances, water defined in the agreement with 0verdale Park residents -- con- cerned for years about arsenic con- tamination in a well drilled to serve the community -- are worried about how water will be supplied to the northwest Issaquah neigh- borhood in the future. The problem: Contaminated and inadequate wells cause Overdale residents to rely on the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District for service. Overdale has a private water system, but the Sammamish district supplies water the water district. Now, homeown- ers face difficult decisions about where water will come from when customers turn on taps in the future. D,orlao mihaA aaaru] options -- with tough choices and big price tags attached -- last week. 0verdale. customers raised questions Dec. 3, when representa- tives from most of the 139 house- holds supplied by the Overdale sys- tem flooded a standing-room-only 0verdale Park Water Association meeting. The gathering was rife with questions about contamination and what residents would do if emer- gencies plagued the system. "I'm concerned if we have a major well breakat 2 o'clock in the morning, where do we go? Who do we call?" longtime neighborhood resident Lynn Chambers said at a forum before the Dec. 3 water dis- trict meeting. Options carry costs, risks 0verdale customers face several possible scenarios. Residents could install a water treatment system and work to counteract the contamination in the lower well, in order to meet drink- ing water standards. 0verdale cus- tomers could blend water from the wells with water from the Sammamish district to reach drink- ing water standards. Crews could drill the lower well deeper to search for better quality water. i 0verdale could be e the Sammamish di,,. neighborhood could existing arrangeme lina.r about whether r,u** wouid be able to afford the existing arrangement in the future, or if the other options would prove viable. Sammamish district official Ron Little suggested for residents to hire engineers to help make the decisions. Overdale customers have % whole plateful of options," Little said. The private water system was installed in the 1950s when a developer broke ground on the See WATER, Page A3 Tent City'. Meeting to address concerns By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Bring questions about Tent City 4 to a series of meetings organiz- ers have planned to address issues about the roving homeless encampment. Tent City 4 will return to the Community Church of Issaquah property Jan. 23 and remain at the site until late April. Organizers will host hourlong meetings Dec. 12 and 15 at the church, 205 Mountain Park Blvd. S.W. The first meeting will begin at 2 p.m., while the Dec. 15 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Attendees will hear from church members, public officials, organiz- ers from past host sites and Tent City 4 residents. Members of the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition -- a group helping organize the return -- will be available as well. The coalition plans to raise money and organize volunteers to coordinate meals and donations for camp residents. See TENT CITY, Page A3 Issaquah Highlands residents await retail de00,,elopment By Warren Kagartse Issaquah Press reporter When Issaquah Highlands devel- oper Port Blakely Communities announced plans for a neighbor- hood movie theater in late sum- mer, highlands residents were told the proposal for a long-promised grocery store would be revealed within several weeks. Instead, residents waited -- and waited -- for the announcement. The year will end with residents left to wonder when -- and whether -- a grocery store ,.'will ever open m the hillside neighbor- hood. Highlands residents -- among them, many people lured to the neighborhood with promised retail options -- will enter another year with questions about commercial development in the highlands, a prospect now stymied by the bad economy. Negotiations with a grocery chain to build a store in the high- lands halted after the unnamed company decided against building there. After the latest frustrating delay for Port Blakely, the high- lands developer entered discus- sions with yet another grocer. The latest -- and unnamed -- chain is "I'm going to be as transparent as possible: I'm ticked off about it. I'm not happy to sup- port anything that is going to bring additional residents before we see a commitment to commercial space:' - Geoffrey Walker Urban Fdla#e Development Commission Otaitman the third potential grocer courted for the highlands since spring, when plans for a Central Market collapsed. Port Blakely President Alan Booker said the most recent grocer appeared to be a good fit for the community, but he kept the opti- mism in check. He declined to name the grocery chains, and said the grocer would handle the announcement and rollout. "I feel even more strongly about this one as the last one, but we're not done yet," Booker said. Commercial development has See HIGHLANDS, Page A5 DOT report ,;hews less local traffic congestion On a typical weekday commute between Issaquah and Bellevue in 2006, drivers faced traffic snarls on interstates 90 and 405 -- a 67 percent chance of traffic moving slower than 35 mph, in fact. Drivers who made the same commute last year, however, had only a 32 percent chance of traffic plodding along at less than 35 mph. Officials released the informa- tion last week in the state Department of Transportation's annual traffic congestion report. Department of Transportation officials attributed reduced conges- tion throughout the region last year to higher fuel prices, the recession and the completion of several congestion-relief projects on state highways. Read the com- plete report at www. wsdot, wa.gov/Accountability Congestion/2009. Average peak travel times improved on 30 of the surveyed high-demand commute routes in central Puget Sound from 2006 to 2008, and, because of improve- meats to travel times, Puget Sound-area commuters shaved between one and 16 minutes from their daily drives last year, the report states. But the report lacks important data for Issaquah commuters. Information about the Issaquah-to- Seattle morning and evening com- mutes was not included in the report because construction lane shifts on westbound 1-90 between 1-405 and I-5 affected the quality of data. Although DOT officials lacked sufficient data for the full year, the data available shows travel times and vehicle miles traveled on the Issaquah-to-Seattle routes dropped See TRAFFIC, Page A6 SPARTANS CELEBRATE WIN BY GREG FARRA, The Skyline High School football team poses for photos in celebration of winning their third straight state title 45-21 against Ferris Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. For more, see page C1. GAUGE INSIDE THE PRESI RAIN GAIN YOU SHOULD KNOW II[[U!!![ll![!!lJl]ll A&E ........ B6 Opinion ...... A4 Classifieds... C4-5 Police & Fire .. C5 Community ... B1 Schools ...... C6 Obituaries .... B3 Sports ..... C1-3 Unincorporated King County property owners now have an easy way to correct minor environmental violations on their property. King County's Department of Development and Environmental Services has hunched a program to reduce the burden for owners who inadvertently cleared into critical areas and caused minor environmental damage. Call 206-296-7274 or 253-632-2563 to learn more about the program. Last Week's Rainfall: iJ?i (through Monday) .23 inches i 56.04 inches ' Total last year: Iif '/ (through Dec. 7) . 51,63 inches '-' M BEST LOCAl. PRICES * I, $2.77 - Costco 1801 lOth Ave. N.W. IIIGItI LOCAL PIII * , $2.89 - Shell 825 Front St. N. To report gas prices in ur area, o to mv.seaffleSascmces.cora,