fixing 'pinball highway
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DESCRIPTIONA woman crusades for safety on a newly narrowed highway
INDEXVALLEY VIEWS 4 LETTERS 5BUSINESS 6 SCENE 8CALENDAR 10OBITUARIES 12CLASSIFIED ADS 13-14
Vol. 97, No. 17
NESS Antiques dealer
says farewell to Valley clients, store mascot Page 6
TS Mount Si cross country teams strong on the streets Page 9
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Committee calls for fresh approaches at
Middle school annexBY ALLISON ESPIRITU
Mount Si High School freshmen could attend a dif-ferent kind of institution at a Snoqualmie Middle School annex starting in 2013, under the latest recommendation by a Snoqualmie Valley School District committee.
Months of discussion by parents and school officials culminated Sept. 9, when the High School Educational Program Study Committee presented its views on best-practice ways to make the middle school part of a high school campus.
Annexation would fix overcrowding at Mount Si and create new outlets and opportunities for ninth grade students, committee mem-bers told the Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors.
Under the committee’s proposal, the new annex would act as a pilot site for new educational approach-es, such as blended class-es, integration of honors with regular classes, and emphases on leadership or a Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) model.
Decision nears for Mount Si freshman campus
SEE CAMPUS, 11
Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Measuring the shoulder strip along Highway 203, Voters for a Safer 203 founder Jackie Perrigoue believes new guardrails didn’t solve road safety concerns, and wants more shoulders. “This project was $6.6 million,” she said. “This two-bit yardstick: priceless.”
Fixing ‘pinball’ highwayCarnation woman forms group, calls for wider roads, discussion
BY SETH TRUSCOTT Editor
Cars race by as Jackie Perrigoue wielded a yardstick by the narrow side of Highway 203, aiming to prove a point.
In a traffic lull, the lifelong Carnation resident and retiree darted across the highway and checked the width of pavement between the fogline and recently installed guardrail near the 77th Street intersection.
“It was less than a yard,” she said. “There is no room for error.”
Taking aim at narrow roads and rails installed by the state this spring in Carnation’s vicinity, Perriguoe has founded a group called Voters for a Safer 203. She has called a town hall meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30,
at Tolt Middle School, inviting state and local officials and demanding new road standards with more space for bike lanes and shoulders.
“The shoulders we have are pretty much non-existant,” Perrigoue said.
While she welcomed new guardrails in some areas, Perrigoue pointed to several stretches, including north of town near 77th Street and south near Pleasant Hill, where she said narrow lanes could be more dangerous during icy conditions or accidents.
“The DOT turned this into a pinball machine,” Perrigoue said.
When cars lose traction or swerve, she is concerned that they will glance off rails rather than crumple them. Fewer shoulders mean that police and firefighters may be challenged to pull over or pass drivers, she added.
Perrigoue said Highway 203 north of the Snohomish county line is wider and safer, and wants the local stretch to catch up.
“It’s never been brought to the same standard,” she said.
Perrigoue, who was also part of a Carnation branding committee, said that narrow highways also deter cyclists from visiting the Lower Valley.
The Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation’s newest regional bicycle network report gives Highway 203 a ‘fail’ rating.
“That space can be the difference between
having your heart rate rise and hitting
Advocacy Director, Cascade Bicycle Club
SEE PINBALL, 3
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Police securing prescriptions for
National Takeback DayBY ALLISON ESPIRITU
North Bend and Snoqualmie police are giv-ing residents a new way to empty medicine cabinets and keep potentially danger-ous prescription drugs off the streets.
During National Drug Takeback Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, North Bend police will accept unwanted drugs at a drop site at the parking lot next to Rock-O’s Diner, 247 East North Bend Way. Snoqualmie police will place a drive-through booth at Snoqualmie Fire Department on Snoqualmie Parkway.
The one-day effort brings a national focus on prescrip-tion drug abuse, allowing citizens to safely dispose of drugs without contaminat-
ing their communities.North Bend and
Snoqualmie police already keep collection boxes at their stations.
“We saw it as an opportu-nity to get the word out that we have a drop-off box,” said North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner.
Police created a prescrip-tion drop-off box service this summer in response to community concerns about safe options to dispose of unused medicines.
Prescription drugs have the potential for abuse and also pose a threat to the environment, if disposed of improperly.
“If people have stuff before or after the 25th, they don’t have to drop it off in those four hours,” Toner said. “If they call us, we can get some-one to pick it up, or they can bring it to the office during normal business hours.”
• For a list of drop-off points, visit www.medice-nereturn.
Allison Espiritu/Staff Photo
North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner opens the prescription drop box at the King County Sheriff ’s substation. Valley police will accept and dispose of drugs on National Takeback Day.
Drug takebacksPINBALL FROM 1
David Hiller, advocacy director for the club, said the high-way near Carnation did not pass muster because of fast speeds combined with a lack of shoulders.
While Carnation is connected to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Hiller said trails aren’t an adequate replacement for wider roads and dedicated bike lanes. Cyclists will not ride where they don’t feel safe, he added.
“Anytime you’ve got a line that says ‘this area is free of high-speed traffic,’ it proves an extra degree of comfort,” Hiller said. “That extra space can be the difference between having your heart rate rise and hitting someone.”
Shoulders aren’t just a bike issue, he added—they also offer safety benefits to motorists and pedestrians.
“On rural highways, a shoulder is just about the only place to walk to your mailbox or your neighbor’s house,” Hiller said.
Different viewJenny Bullard, transportation director for the Riverview
School District, said while some guardrail fixes might need to be made, most staff have told her that the state Department of Transportation’s project made roads safer.
“I was getting more positive feedback than negative,” she said.
Bullard planned to be at the middle school meeting to learn more about local highway statistics.
Hiller said the Cascade Bicycle Club will alert its members to attend and comment.
Perrigoue has invited officials including 45th District State Representative Roger Goodman and Larry Springer and State Sen. Eric Oenig to the meeting. She called the gathering this month to send a message during campaign season.
“We want to strike while the iron is hot,” she said.”