PATRIOTS SURPRISE READY FOR THE ROAD Liberty basketball teams sweep at home — B4 Skyline grad is world explorer finalist — B1 The IssaquahPress Locally owned since 1900 • 75 Cents Sammamish offers promises, without study By Peter Clark firstname.lastname@example.org Of all the outlying, and geographical, factors surrounding the Feb. 11 Klahanie potential annexation vote, Sammamish remains the largest. The Sammamish City Council adopted a resolution Jan. 7, committing the city to “fast track” an annexation of the Klahanie area, should residents vote against joining Issaquah, the latest move in a long campaign. Why isn’t the Klahanie PAA already in Sammamish? Geographically, Sammamish almost surrounds the Klahanie area. However, when the city began incorporating in 1999, it did not include those neighborhoods. “It was left out because their board was indecisive,” Sammamish City Councilman Don Gerend said about the Klahanie neighborhood association’s board of directors. “People that voted for incorporation were worried about that.” Sammamish stalled on pursuing the issue, largely to concen- www.issaquahpress.com MOCK FIRE, REAL TRAINING The Klahanie question A FOUR-PART SERIES ABOUT 11,000 PEOPLE SEARCHING This week: FOR A CITY A Sammamish alternative? trate on itself. “We were more passive than active, but it had to be,” Gerend said. “The reason is that we were three years old or less. We were expanding parks, putting in sidewalks.” Residents felt that a Sammamish option closed to them, and they considered Issaquah the only choice. “Sammamish never stepped up,” said Mike Foss, Brookshire Estates Homeowner’s Association vice president. “We never heard from any of them.” By Greg Farrar Lt. Mark Vetter (left), incident commander for the final burn of the Kellman mansion, and Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighter Jamee Mahoney, look on while the exterior entryway ceiling falls, as the onetime home is deliberately burned to the ground Jan. 13. The mansion behind the Sammamish Library on 228th Avenue Southeast, owned by the city, was used for six weeks in practical, hands-on training exercises before the final fire and demolition. See KLAHANIE, Page A6 Residents to decide ban on plastic bags By Peter Clark email@example.com To ban or not to ban? That is the plastic bag question. On Feb. 11, Issaquah voters will decide on whether to keep the current ordinance or to scrap it altogether. “I felt like it was a good policy,” 5th District State Sen. Mark Mullet, the former City Issaquah Councilman who originally championed the ordinance, said. “I figured if we can wipe out tens of millions of plastic bags from the city, it’s all worth the headache.” When the City Council passed the plastic bag ban in June 2012, it did not take long for a pocket of resistance to grow. Volunteer organization Save Our Choice began collecting signatures to end the ban even before the March 2013 start of the ordinance. By the end of the year, it had secured enough signatures to earn King County’s approval to send the issue to voters. Save Our Choice complained the council had taken the decision away from the public and Wednesday, January 22, 2014 hurt local business sales. “Council’s ban is poisoning Issaquah’s retail economy for shoppers and our wonderful cashiers,” Save Our Choice founder Craig Keller wrote in his voter guide statement. “Thousands of Issaquah residents and others now shop in Klahanie, Bellevue and Renton, depressing sales tax revenues vital to city services.” Keller received the city’s public records for sales tax figures and cited a significant decrease from February 2013 to March 2013, which he claims the plastic bag ban caused. “Sales tax revenues cratered from $1,084,000 in February to $753,000 in March, the first month of ban enforcement,” he wrote. However, city officials say the numbers represent a regular occurrence. “Our sales tax in February is from Christmas the previous year,” city Finance Director Diane Marcotte said, explaining See BAG BAN, Page A6 PHOTOS By Greg Farrar Above, several of the 30 firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue on site for the final burn face the mansion from the driveway. At left, flames that have collapsed the roof of the Kellman mansion spring into the air as firefighters keep an eye on the structure. SLIDESHOW See more photos from the Jan. 13 Keller mansion burn at www.issaquahpress.com. City, water district end feud Both sides hope to end water pollution worries By Peter Clark firstname.lastname@example.org A regional conflict may soon be water under the bridge. The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District and new Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler signed a memorandum of understanding Jan. 13, which will require an agreement to decommission the Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery. In exchange, Issaquah will halt an investigation to assume district wells inside city limits for a time. “There was an opportunity to settle these longstanding issues and develop a foundation of trust,” Butler said. “The previous administration laid the groundwork and we would rather invest our resources in real issues.” Water district General Manager Jay Krauss said the real negotiations began in December in hopes of finding common ground. See DISPUTE, Page A3 Capital levy proposal has many targets By Neil Pierson email@example.com Visitors to Issaquah Valley Elementary School might not notice any differences in how meals are served to the roughly 560 students, but the kitchen staff there has appreciated upgrades. As part of a $5.6 million “critical repairs” levy passed by Issaquah School District voters in February 2010, more than $850,000 was spent to replace By Greg Farrar outdated equipment in several Brian Olson, the Issaquah School District director of food services, stands in school kitchens. the new walk-in refrigerator (and by the below-zero freezer, left) at Issaquah Brian Olson, the district’s Valley Elementary School that was put in last summer as part of a 2010 director of food services, said the improvements occurred largely at six elementary schools — Challenger, Cougar Ridge, Discovery, Endeavour, Sunset and Issaquah Valley. “It was really upgrading a lot of the older kitchen equipment that’s been in place for 10, 15, 20 years or so,” he said. At Issaquah Valley, which is in the midst of a large-scale modernization project, the kitchen has several new appliances. There are two large warming boxes that double as proofers — capital levy. Inside The Press A&E................ Classifieds....... Community..... Let’s Go!.......... B8 B7 B1 B2 Obituaries....... B3 Opinion........... A4 Police & Fire �� A5 Sports...........B4-5 Quotable “We’ll answer questions like how has the new marijuana law affected your school, how do you think it will affect parents and how people feel about it.” — Robin Lustig Issaquah High School senior who will be a member of a teen panel at an upcoming marijuana forum (See story on Page B1.) SCHOOL LEVIES APPROVE REJECT A THREE-PART SERIES LOOKING IN DEPTH AT THE BALLOT MEASURES FACING VOTERS See LEVY, Page A3 Social Media Connect with The Issaquah Press on social media at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress and www.facebook.com/issaquahpress. Scan the QR code to go to www.issaquahpress.com.