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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 9, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 9, 2009
 

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 9, 2009 A3 Election breakdown shows key to lopsided City C l " " ouncl victories By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter City Council candidates clinched victory last month by vacuuming up votes in opponents' strong- holds, King County Elections data shows. Although voters cast ballots in four council races in the Nov. 3 election, only two races were con- tested, Challenger Jban Probala faced Coundl President Manreen McCarry for the Position 5 seat, while the showdown for Position 7 attracted newcomers Nathan Perea and Tola Marts. Probala, a South Cove real estate agent, talked up her efforts to annex the area into Issaquah dur- ing the council race. But the neigh- borhoods failed to provide a stronghold for her. The candidate won a pair of South Cove precincts; McCarry picked up the other three precincts in the area. In fact, McCarry bested Probala in 28 of the 30 city precincts. Incumbent McCarry ontpaced Probala, 68.47 percent to 31.21 percent -- or 4,634 votes for McCarry to 2,112 for Probala. Marts and McCarry won the precincts on Squak Mountain -- where the candidates reside -- by decisive margins. Marts also posted a strong show- ing in the Issaquah Highlands, home to opponent Perea. Although Perea captured the five highlands precincts, Marts pulled within a handful of votes in three of them. Citywide, Marts outlasted Perea, 60.42 percent to 39.21 percent -- or 4,014 votes for Marts and 2,605 for Perea. After results were released Election Day, Marts and McCarry credited issue-oriented campaigns for the success, despite being out- spent. Candidates knocked on thousands of voters' doors and deployed hundreds of roadside campaign signs in the race to Election Day. City voters also elected incum- bent Councilwoman Eileen Barber, council newcomer Mark Mullet and Mayor Ava Frisinger in unop- posed races. The county Canvassing Board met Nov. 24 to certify the election results, the final step in the first all-mail general election organized by King County Elections. Issaquah proved to be a battle- ground in the county executive race, as candidates pushed for Eastside votes in the weeks leading to the ballot-mailing deadline. The victor, former County Councilman Dow Constantine, and challenger Susan Hutchison, a for- mer television newscaster, split the Issaquah precincts. In most of the city precincts, however, distance between the candidates was close. In the Aug. 18 primary, Hutchison and then-candidate Fred Jarrett took the Issaquah precincts. Constantine, a West Seattle native, won most of the county seat. Jarrett represents part of Issaquah in the state Senate. Constantine later appointed Jarrett as deputy county executive, the No. 2 spot in King County gov- ernment. Jarrett will resign from the Senate, and the County Council will pick a new senator in the weeks ahead. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress, com. parts per billion. The water association could .,. :blend water from the contaminat- . .... edweU with water provided by the FROM PAGE hl Sammamish district in order to neighborhood. The community remained part of unincorporated King County until voters approved the annexation of the neighbor- hood into Issaquah a decade ago. Many customers near Overdale are Sammamish district cus- tomers. The district serves about 16,300 water customers and 10,100 sewer customers in parts of Issaquah, Sammamish and unin- corporated King County. Construction of the most recent lower well strained the associa- tion. Costs rose after the water association drilled a new well in 2004 to replace the original well. The initial well, drilled to 140 feet, was completed in 1963. The wells are located near the Overlake Center retail complex. Cost could be deciding factor After the association sunk more than $170,000 into the project, it discovered the arsenic level was too high to meet federal standards for drinking water. The manganese level was high, too, but manganese does not pose a health risk. Arsenic, however, presents a long-term health risk. The poison- ous element occurs naturally in the ground near the well. Arsenic-con- taminated ground water has been connected to various cancers and other health problems. EPA regulations for arsenic in drinking water allow 10 parts per billion; the arsenic level in the newest 0verdale well is 11.54 produce drinking water with acceptable arsenic levels. The blending option would cost about $58,000 -- cheaper than con- structing a water treatment plant. But how to lower the arsenic level in water drawn from the lower well poses another chal- lenge. Chambers referenced the expense when she discussed avail- able options. A breakdown of available options notes how the cost of a treatment system -- about $200,000 -- would be prohibitive. "The economics of that study are: it's expensive," Chambers said. Another well, known as the upper well, was completed about five decades ago. The well, along Southeast 53rd Street, is inade- quate to serve modern-day demand. Residents said water from the 510-foot-deep upper well also smells and tastes unpleasant. Although customers could some- times be unaware of manganese in the water supply, other conditions provide distasteful reminders. Bob James, northwest region manager for the Office of Drinking Water, part of the state Department of Health, illustrated the problem. Manganese emerges through faucets "when you have high veloc- ity of water through the pipe, it can slough off and then, all of the sud- den, you fill your glass, and it's black," James said. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www. issaquahpress, com. L6 Your Family's Holiday Gathering Place Wishing you a ]o yo us Holiday Season Happy Holidays from our family to yours! f Great tab: Genero.s Portions D'esb baked in-house desserts senior discounts Meadows Sboppittg Cettttr Open Mort. - Sat. 6am-3pm Sun. 7am-3pm (next to OFC) 425.391.9690 1580 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Where It's Never Too Late For Breakfast! _ Skate park, biking course may be in highlands' future By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter Issaquah Highlands residents envision places in the hillside community where skateboarders can practice kickflips and novices can learn how to handle a moun- tain bike. Highlands residents are in the early stages of separate efforts to open a skate park and a mountain bike skills course -- both near sprawling Central Park. Highlands resident Rob Milligan spearheaded the effort to bring a skate park to the highlands. Milligan said he grew tired of driving his 12-year-old son and friends to the downtown Issaquah and Sammamish skate parks. Ding the past _yea_r, _hes__veyed llllllllUb ItS,IUIILb O,IIL[ bUllUUl- aged skateboarders to determine demand for a skate park in the ne!ghborhood. The demand, he said, exists for a skate park on land near Central Park. The city Parks & Recreation Department operates the Issaquah Skate Park in downtown Issaquah near the community center. Milligan collected e-mails from supportive residents -- and a mes- sage from a woman who said she worried about noise -- to be deliv- ered to the City Council during the final budget hearing Dec. 7. Milligan acknowledged the proj- ect would take time to come to fruition. "This is not something that can happen overnight," he said. Both the skate park and skills course supporters mentioned real- ity: stark city budgets and a slow- down in parks construction spend- ing. But the organizers for both projects said they would be willing !o seek:private donations.to help 1,111 _JJlUJbt,D UbUIIIG IUCIAIty. Using private money to pay for a public recreation facility would not be unprecedented. In July, city officials relied on a $100,000 donation from the Issaquah Soccer Club and a $500,000 state grant to help pay for a $1.9 mil- lion effort to add lighted artificial turf fields to Central Park. City parks officials included a plan to demolish and replace the existing skate park in the next Capital Improvement Plan. The plan outlines city projects related to parks, transportation and utili- ties. The document prioritizes projects and determines the efforts city staffers tackle first. The existing skate park would be razed, and a $350,000 facility would be built at Veterans Memorial Park behind City Hall. City officials are seeking grant money to help pay for the project. The proposed mountain bike course would teach new riders the basics, such as how to traverse a LtUVVILLt lu (Jb o, j,J ,J. s,a&a or navigate down a steep incline. Highlands resident Tony Cowan said he envisions the course on about three acres of county land near Central Park. Seattle pioneered the urban mountain bike sells park with a course beneath Interstate 5 between Capitol Hill and Eastlake. Cowan said a similar skills course, if built in Issaquah, would provide a good way to introduce beginners to the sport in a controlled envi- ronment. Cowan said he hoped the proj- ect would someday be able to secure grants from King County in order to facilitate construction. He estimated the cost to complete the course would be about $20,000; organizers would be on the hook for about half if the county award- ed a grant to the project. Cowan said organizers would ask the city and volunteers to support the project. "Because it's only $10,000 that ....... a ,. ,-oo ;,' t.l.a ofdth- in striking distance," he said. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. Tent City FROM PAGE A1 "Continuing a ministry of out- reach to the poor and homeless of our area, Community Church of Issaquah has again invited the residents of Tent City 4 to set up camp on our property," the Community Church pastor, the Rev. Dick Birdsall and Paul Winterstein, chairman of the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition support group, wrote in a Dec. 2 letter to church neighbors. The church last hosted Tent City 4 from August to November 2007. Organizers said Issaquah welcomed Tent City 4 residents to the community then. "Back then, the residents of the encampment demonstrat- ed considerable care and con- cern for their host community, and they have maintained an excellent record ever since," Birdsall and Winterstein wrote. Tent City 4 residents volun- teered at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank during the 2007 visit. Birdsall and Winterstein said the application for a permit to host the encampment had been submitted to city staffers. Organizers announced plans to bring Tent City 4 back to Issaquah at the Nov. 16 City Council meeting. When the 2007 city permit was issued, staffers from most city departments had com- ments. Organizers were required to maintain the site and address security issues. The camp will again be required to adhere to local fire, health and safety codes. Community Church will be responsible for electricity, sani- tation and water. The complex includes up to 100 homeless residents, and moves between Eastside churches. Tent City 4 will return to Issaquah after a stint at a Bellevue church. Residents leave the camp for work during the day. Prospective Tent City 4 resi- dents also undergo sex offender and warrant checks. "Though the resident popula- tion of Tent City 4 turns over on a regular basis, because of their stringent acceptance rules, we expect their excellent track record of being good neighbors to continue with us again this time," Birdsall and Winterstein wrote. Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com. Cascade Land Conservancy hosts second growth workshop Learn how to organize commu- nity members and participate in city-planning efforts at a Cascade Land Conservancy workshop. The free event follows a November workshop held to edu- cate citizens about growth and the associated decision-making process. The workshop will be at Eastside Fire & Rescue headquarters, 175 Newport Way N.W., from 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 10. R.S.V.P. to Skye Schell at skyes@cascadeland.org or 206-905-6891. Refreshments will be provided. Organizers said the event would teach attendees "concrete ways to make your community more vibrant, compact and livable." Cascade Land Conservancy is the largest land conservation, stewardship and community- building organization in the state. Donate toys to needy children through EFR Eastside Fire & Rescue will dis- patch the "Reindeer Engine" to round up toys for needy children throughout December. EFR teamed up with nonprofit Hopelink: Sno-Valley for the holi- day season. EFR sends the "Reindaar Engine" -- decked with lights, music and sleigh carrying Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer -- to several loca- tions to collect unwrapped toys, food and clothing for families in need. Hopelink: Sno-Valley serves homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and disabled peo- ple. EFR crews from the Carnation station began working with the nonprofit organization five years ago in the Carnation area. Now, the partnership and collection areas have grown. Fliers were distributed in neigh- borhoods throughout the EFR cov- erage area to alert residents to the toy drive. Crews will take the dec- orated engine through the areas and collect toys. Look for the "Reindeer Engine" at the following locations: Dec. 13, noon-4 p.m. - Station 74, 8641 Preston-Fall City Road S.E. Dec. 13, 4-8 p.m. - Pine Lake Dec. 15, 4-8 p.m. - May Valley area Dec. 16, 5-9 p.m. - Forrest Rim and Issaquah Highlands Dec. 18, 4-9 p.m. - South Cove Dec. 19, 4-9 p.m. - Trossachs Donate nonperishable food items or a new unwrapped toy at any staffed EFR station. The agency works with Hopelink, Toys : for Tots and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank to help families in need throughout the holiday sea- son. Our friendly Medicare team has the answers. Attend a FREE REGENCE SEMINAR for expert guidance through your choices. We have plan options to meet your needs. Such as Regence MedAdvantage (PPO), which offers: A large preferred provider network, guaranteed access and freedom from referrals All-in-one medical and prescription drug coverage available; most Medicare-covered drugs are on our list Preventive dental (routine) and vision coverage For more information and to reserve your place at one of our seminars, call 1-888-RF:GENCE (1-888-734-3623) (TTY users should call 711), 8 a.m: to 5 p.m., Pacific time, Monday through Friday Regence Monday, December 14, 2009 10:00 a.m. Issaquah Kiwanis Hall 105 Newport Way SW, Main Area Issaquah, WA Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:00 a.m. North Bellevue Community/Senior Center 4063 148th Avenue NE, Room D Bellevue, WA Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:00 a.m. Merrill Gardens 104 Burnett Avenue S Large Media Room Renton, WA Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:00 p.m. Merrill Gardens 104 Burnett Avenue S Large Media Room Renton, WA Regence BlueShield MedAdvantage (PPO) is a health plan with a Medicare contract. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, but not a comprehensive description of available benefits. Additional information about benefits is available to assist you in making a decision about your coverage. This is an advertisement; for more information contact the plan. A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings, call 1-888-REGENCE (1-888-734-3623) 48 hours in advance. TTY users should call 711. MO016_QUESTIONSROP2