Brown Bear offers free car washes Thursday

August 25, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Aug. 25, 2010

Brown Bear Car Wash has decided to treat drivers to free car washes Thursday as the chain turns 53.

Get a free “Bear Essential” car wash in the automated tunnel at the Issaquah location, 22121 S.E. 56th St. The free offer runs from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Brown Bear has washed almost 79,000 vehicles for free during the annual free car wash days to celebrate the company’s founding.

Victor Odermat opened the first Brown Bear in Seattle in 1957. The chain has since expanded to 38 locations throughout Washington.

Washington Conservation Corps needs a few good men and women

August 25, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 25, 2010

The state Department of Ecology needs outdoors enthusiasts to help protect the environment and offer relief in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Backed by a $1.9 million federal grant, the agency plans to add 180 Washington Conservation Corps members statewide.

The agency needs people ages 18 and 25 years to fill the positions for the upcoming service year — Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2011. Apply for a position here.

Established in 1983 as a response to the sour economy, the program became affiliated with the federal AmeriCorps program in 1994 and then expanded.

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Bellevue College declares interest in opening Issaquah Highlands campus

August 24, 2010

UPDATED — 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010

Bellevue College is interested in buying 20 acres in the Issaquah Highlands for a potential extension campus, the college president announced Tuesday — a week after the City Council opened the land under consideration to denser development.

The announcement kicks off a comprehensive review by Bellevue College leaders. The college — the third-largest educational institution in the state — intends to determine how the site could meet its long-term needs.

“Our main campus is reaching the limit of how much we can expand our classroom space,” college President Jean Floten said in a statement. “If we don’t take action now, we could easily end up boxed in by our own property boundaries, not to mention the growing traffic congestion all around us. We need to be able to keep expanding with the community.”

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Highlands residents protest plan to preserve Tiger Mountain

August 24, 2010

Despite opposition from Issaquah Highlands residents, City Council members decided last week to take steps to add more residences to the community and breathe life into the moribund effort to bring businesses to the hillside neighborhood.

City leaders intend to allow up to 550 more residences in the highlands in order to preserve 102 forested acres on Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School. The deal, part of a complicated transfer of development rights, aims to set aside about 140 acres — the Park Pointe land and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands.

The council OK’d the measures in a unanimous decision after members offered a forceful defense of the plan to preserve Park Pointe.

Port Blakely Communities, the developer responsible for the highlands, owns 78 acres in unincorporated King County near Central Park. The proposed transfer calls for Port Blakely to preserve 43 acres and open the remaining 35 acres to construction. The city then intends to annex the 35-acre parcel.

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Updated development rules could boost chances for highlands retail

August 24, 2010

Long after slick sales brochures and pitches from real estate agents promised the chance to live, work and play in the Issaquah Highlands, the neighborhood may become more appealing to businesses.

Or maybe not.

Milestone development measures passed by the City Council last week loosened the rules for parking and signage in the highlands — sore spots for potential tenants. Read more

Iraq war challenges Issaquah family

August 24, 2010

Mother, daughter endured tense days while sons, brothers served in Iraq

Every day apart turned into a waiting game.

Terri Aahl hung the stars and stripes outside the Squak Mountain home she and her teenage daughter share each day.

Terri Aahl (left) talks about her two sons’ simultaneous deployments in Iraq as daughter Allison looks on. By Greg Farrar

Sustained by prayer, she passed the hours until the evening news started; she could watch until the somber music played to introduce segments about the Iraq war.

Like thousands of other mothers across the United States, Aahl had a son serving in sun-blistered, strife-torn Iraq.

But she bore a more ponderous burden than most. Sons Matt and Marshall Cusick served in Iraq at the same time.

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President Barack Obama touts Issaquah businesses

August 24, 2010

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria founder Joe Fugere (right, in black blazer) listens as President Obama talks to small business owners in Seattle. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (left) also attended the discussion. Contributed

The restaurant President Obama mentioned in a Seattle speech about small business last week: Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria in Issaquah.

The lender the president referred to a few sentences later: the former Issaquah Community Bank.

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EFR firefighter’s life celebrated

August 24, 2010

Surely, Tom Stapleton would have appreciated it.

A man whom his friends say thrived on making you smile would have loved seeing his fellow firefighters smile during his life celebration Aug. 17.

The Seattle Firefighters’ Pipes and Drums perform ‘Going Home’ during the celebration of life for Tom Stapleton, an Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighter who died in his sleep Aug. 10. By Sebastian Moraga

A man whom his friends say loved helping others would have loved seeing firefighters help firefighters attend the ceremony at Pickering Farm.

Stapleton, a husband, father, cancer survivor and longtime Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighter EMT who worked at the Pine Lake station, died in his sleep Aug. 10. He was 52.

Seven days later, crews from around the area filled in for EFR crews so they could honor their comrade.

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Vote for favorite state park in Coke contest

August 24, 2010

Help a Washington state park nab $100,000 for upgrades from Coca-Cola.

The soda giant launched the contest as part of a campaign to encourage families to enjoy state and national parks throughout the United States.

Participants can vote as many times as they like for their favorite park by Aug. 31. Vote here.

The most popular park stands to receive the $100,000 prize. America’s State Parks and the National Park Foundation shared contest information with state parks systems across the country.

Coke has supported national parks for 40 years through donations and trail building.

In the Evergreen State, the 97-year-old state parks system includes more than 100 parks and recreation programs, including Lake Sammamish State Park.

State House hopefuls headed for ’08 rematch in 5th District

August 24, 2010

The race to represent Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District is a 2008 rematch.

State Rep. Glenn Anderson and Democrat David Spring faced off in the last election. Spring fell short to the Republican incumbent by about 2,200 votes. They meet again in the November election.

Sammamish Democrat Dean Willard — the candidate endorsed by the local and state party — failed to advance beyond the Aug. 17 primary, despite raising more money than Anderson and Spring combined.

Fall City resident Anderson received 58 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for North Bend resident Spring. Willard received 17 percent.

The district includes Issaquah, North Bend, Snoqualmie and other Eastside communities.

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