Reporter ISSAQUAH | SAMMAMISH
Friday, November 30, 2012
Sammamish resident Wally Pereyra played a major role in this year’s increased kokanee run, removing a 70-year-old blockage on Ebright Creek to allow the salmon more room to spawn. Below, a male and female kokanee pair up for spawning in Ebright Creek (Photo by Roger Tabor, USFWS). KEVIN
Two Issaquah facilities to be honored for energy efficiency BY LINDA BALL ISSAQUAH & SAMMAMISH REPORTER
Typically only three streams — Ebright Creek, Laughing Jacobs Creek and Lewis Creek — have a significant number of fish spawn, but this year a new stream, Pine Lake Creek, started to see heavy numbers. While there’s no way for St. John to pinpoint the exact reason for the surge, he said it could
Using a combination of new technologies, Issaquah’s Fire Station 72, will be rewarded for its innovation and energy efficiency in January, when its creators receive an ASHRAE award, what project manager Brad Liljequist described as the Oscars of engineering. Nationwide, two of the six first-place awards given in 2013 will be for projects in Issaquah. The second is for Swedish Issaquah, the state-ofthe art hospital that opened in 2011. ASHRAE, or the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, recognizes the most energy efficient structures throughout the country each year. The fire station, open since Oct. 2011, is the highest scoring LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum fire station in the world. “This is the most energy efficient fire station in America,” Liljequist said. “There’s been a lot of evolution in the green building process for a number of years.” Liljequist said they were in some pretty exalted company, including the Montreal biodome, which was the site of a 1976 Olympic venue, and is now a conservatory which allows visitors to walk through replicas of four ecosystems found in the Americas. Liljequist also said the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. will be honored. Fire station 72 won in the institutional category, and Swedish won in the new health care facilities category.
SEE KOKANEE, 11
SEE ENERGY, 3
ENDEJAN, ISSAQUAH & SAMMAMISH REPORTER
A STRONG RETURN Lake Sammamish kokanee continue to make record runs up local creeks
BY KEVIN ENDEJAN ISSAQUAH/SAMMAMISH REPORTER
hen Wally Pereyra says he’s never seen anything like it before, take note.
The Sammamish resident has lived along Ebright Creek — a feeder to Lake Sammamish — just shy of 40 years. In that time, he said he’s never seen so many brightly colored kokanee salmon splash their way up the adjacent waterway to spawn. “This is the biggest run I’ve ever seen, by far,” said Pereyra, noting that in one day volunteers counted 1,100 kokanee in the stream. “I think the total is going to be several thousand.” David St. John, an administrator with King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, shares Pereyra’s enthusiasm, but remains cautiously optimistic. “I never use the words ‘great,’ ‘good,’ ‘well’ or any of that, I just say we’re doing better because there is a long way for us to go,” he said. “This is a good sign. We think something good is happening, something is going right.” St. John said the first signal things were different this year came with an early run. The
“This is the biggest run I’ve ever seen, by far.” – Wally Pereyra kokanee, which typically start spawning in mid- to late-November, began to run the last week of October — the earliest he’s ever seen in 15 years of monitoring the species. And it wasn’t just a few kokanee here or there — the feeder streams have remained thick with the bright red fish. “There really hasn’t been a drop off,” St. John said.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Sammamish approves budget for 2013-14
kokanee CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
be due to ideal lake conditions or the heavy rains that came at the end of October. He also has a hunch that the increase has a lot to do with the Issaquah Hatchery’s supplementation program — a project that started four years ago to prevent extinction of the native land-locked fish. “If they came back this year, they would have been in the lake for three years and they’re usually four-year fish,” said St. John, noting the goal is to keep the hatchery program running for up to 12 years until the fish population has stabilized. Whatever the cause of this fall’s fish explosion, St. John said the timing couldn’t have been better. Pereyra recently fixed a major blockage on Ebright Creek, removing a 70-yearold cement culvert. The structure only had a 20-inch pipe running through it, allowing for only a lucky few fish to make it through and get full use of the creek. This past summer, Pereyra had the culvert taken out, replacing it with a brand new 40,000-pound structure that allows the fish to comfortably swim upstream. Pereyra fully funded
No new property taxes for fourth straight year BY Kevin endejan Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter
Months of deliberation and discussion ended Nov. 19 as the City of Sammamish approved its 2013-14 biennial budget. With councilman John Curley absent, the City Council unanimously approved the two-year budget, totaling just over $107.8 million. “I think what we’ve ended up with is a very good budget,” councilman Tom Vance said. “I appreciate all the hard work.” While everyone agreed to approve the city’s financial plan, some still had reservations. Councilman Romiro Valderrama was particularly worried about the $6.8 million set aside for parks over the next two years — placing it as the second highest line item behind police and fire services. “I am very concerned that we live within our means, in particular in the area of the parks,” he said. “I love the parks, I’m a heavy user of them, but it has to be sustainable and the process that we’re undergoing now I don’t think is fair to our citizens because if we con-
“We have to be able to look at some cuts coming into play, we have to live within our means here.” – Councilman Romiro Valderrama tinue this process I don’t believe we will be able to sustain and maintain the parks like we’re used to.” Valderrama also voiced concern about the hiring of new staff — something he said directly contradicts the state of the economy and practices of other nearby cities. “We have to be able to look at some cuts coming into play, we have to live within our means here,” he said, referencing future budget planning. Deputy Mayor John James was in full support of the budget, but noted that if the Community and Aquatic Center gains approval the city’s healthy reserve budget will take a hit. “I think this is a budget that works for now, but the next budget cycle, I think the council has
some harder work to do, especially if we’re not raising revenue at the same time we’re increasing expenses,” James said. For the fourth consecutive year, the council also voted to not add a 1 percent property tax increase to residents. State law allows the city to “bank” the 1 percent increase for each year it’s not taken. By not increasing the levy, the city will bank more than $186,000 in 2013 for future levies. It will move the four-year total of banked funds to $718,600.
Wally Pereyra stands in front of the new 40,000 pound culvert he had installed over Ebright Creek this past summer. kevin endejan, issaquah & Sammamish Reporter the project, he estimated at $175,000. “When the kokanee started coming up, they didn’t even stop and wave a fin or anything,” he said, laughing. In an effort to keep the fish population growing, Pereyra recently purchased property adjacent to his that includes Zaccuse Creek — another stream he hopes can be reintroduced to kokanee. “I just think it’s such a wonderful asset to the city of Sammamish to have these
fish coming back like this,” he said. Numbers from this year’s Lake Sammamish kokanee run won’t be official until April, according to St. John. There’s little question, however, they will be the largest returns seen in quite some time — something he said wouldn’t be possible without neighbors of the surrounding creeks like Pereyra. “I don’t think we could do this without folks from the community,” St. John said. “I don’t think it’s sustainable.”
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