City’s first murder among most notable 2014 news

December 31, 2014

The city’s first homicide might have been the biggest story of the year about to end, but there were several issues that got the attention of residents and city leaders as well.

Tree preservation became a hot topic and the ongoing construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail continued to be a big source of contention for many residents living near the trail.

In no particular order, here are our choices for the 10 biggest local news stories of 2014.

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New firefighters join EFR

September 11, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 11, 2014

Five firefighters have been hired by Eastside Fire & Rescue to fill vacancies that exist or will happen by year’s end.

“This bunch is quite diverse, very talented and certainly motivated, so we could not be happier,” Fire Chief Lee Soptich said in a news release.

The five include a couple of military veterans, an experienced firefighter from a neighboring district, a former EFR volunteer and an owner of her own white-water rafting company.

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EFR on the road to becoming a nonprofit

August 7, 2014

New: Aug. 7, 10:33 a.m.

A move to make Eastside Fire & Rescue into a nonprofit is proceeding, but the Sammamish City Council wants some answers before they’ll support the effort.
Sammamish is a member of the consortium, including Issaquah, North Bend and Fire Districts 10 and 38, which provides fire and emergency services to the area. Read more

Firefighters bring career perspectives to Beaver Lake

June 22, 2014

New: June 22, 10:14 a.m.

If Chris Tarkir hadn’t been tenacious, he likely never would have landed what he calls his “dream job” with Eastside Fire & Rescue.
“It’s about believing in yourself, and probably the biggest characteristic a person has to have is that you can’t take no for an answer,” Tarkir told a group of students during a June 5 visit to Beaver Lake Middle School’s !MPACT after-school program.
Four of the Issaquah School District’s five middle schools offer !MPACT as a safe haven for students with working parents. The program generally runs until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and costs between $95 and $230 a month depending on how often a child attends. Read more

EFR imposes seasonal burn moratorium

June 16, 2014

Eastside Fire & Rescue begins the annual burning moratorium on June 15.  Anyone living within the boundaries of EFR needs to be aware of these guidelines:

Cooking and recreational burning, permit required (no-fee permit)

  • Not subject to the seasonal burn ban moratorium.
  • Cooking and recreational fires burning wood shall use only dry, seasoned wood.
  • Propane, natural gas and charcoal fires do not require a burn permit.

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EFR agreement staying in place

May 13, 2014

New: May 13, 2:43 p.m.

Councilwoman Nancy Whitten raised the idea of re-opening parts of the Eastside Fire & Rescue agreement, but none of the other Sammamish City Council members were interested.
The agency is in the midst of becoming a nonprofit organization, which would allow some administrative changes that will not affect service to residents. Read more

EFR reduces turnout time

April 25, 2014

New: April 25, 1:16 p.m.

Units from Eastside Fire & Rescue have some of the best turnout times in the area, according to Laura Philpot, Sammamish’s assistant city manager.

During an April 14 presentation to the City Council, Philpot gave an overview of fire services in Sammamish.

She showed a graphic highlighting the turnout times from various fire stations around King County, and showed that EFR stations are consistently among the top. Read more

EFR agreement finalized

January 24, 2014

New: Jan. 24, 11:56 a.m.

It’s finally over. After more than two years of negotiations, an agreement is in place to preserve Eastside Fire & Rescue for at least another seven years.

On a 5-2 vote, the Sammamish City Council approved the new agreement Jan. 21, but not before dissenting council members Tom Odell and Kathleen Huckabay admonished the firefighters’ union. Read more

Sammamish City Council continues discussion of EFR contract

January 18, 2014

New: Jan. 18, 12:14 p.m.

Although approval on a new agreement for Eastside Fire & Rescue seems assured, two members of the Sammamish City Council raised concerns during a Jan. 14 council meeting.

The city has been negotiating with the other members of EFR for several months. The main issue involves a funding formula, which Sammamish officials say caused the city to subsidize fire service for other members. Read more

EFR agreement nearing completion

January 15, 2014

New: Jan. 15, 10:17 a.m.

On Jan. 7, Sammamish began what could be the end game of its drawn-out negotiations with other members of Eastside Fire and Rescue.

While some city council members advocated making a few last-second changes, others were quick to discourage them.

After years of complaints and months of intense discussions and brinksmanship, Sammamish secured a new funding model for the organization. The old model resulted in Sammamish subsidizing fire coverage for other members of EFR, city leaders complained. Read more

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