Nominate eco-friendly workplaces for county award

May 11, 2010

King County Solid Waste Division officials seek nominees for the fourth-annual Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction list.

The award spotlights businesses with strong recycling, reuse and waste-prevention efforts. The list, formed in 2007, recognizes the accomplishments of small and large businesses for conserving natural resources, as well as reducing the amount of recyclable materials headed to landfills.

“King County businesses are not only helping conserve resources and protect the environment, but they’re also cutting costs when they cut waste,” Program Manager Karen May said in a news release. “Many of the best practices for resource management are really easy to do.”

Businesses operating in King County outside of Seattle can apply. Complete the application here. Entries must be submitted by May 24. The list will be announced in June.

Find a list of criteria at the site as well. The criteria include waste reduction and recycling practices, like using reusable or compostable dishware in kitchens, collecting batteries for recycling or setting all printers to default to double-sided printing.

Contact May at 206-296-4353, or to learn more.

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Furniture store relocates, new businesses open

May 11, 2010

Leathers Home Furnishings & Accessories, the longtime Northwest Gilman Boulevard furniture store, will soon relocate to the former Linens-N-Things storefront in Pickering Place.

Owner Mitch Setlow said he plans to open the new Leathers by May 15 and, for the next several weeks, run a closeout sale from both the Pickering Place and Gilman Square locations. Setlow plans to close the original Leathers in June.

“We’re not going, we’re growing,” he said.

The store will depart the 8,000-square-foot Gilman Square location after 14 years for the 37,500-square-foot Linens-N-Things space. Linens-N-Things closed after liquidators shut down the bankrupt chain in late 2008.

Leathers, as the name implies, offers high-end leather furniture. Setlow said the store also plans to offer mattresses and bedroom furniture, dining room pieces and additional accessories in the larger space.

The store planted a red-and-black balloon on the store roof to announce the closure. Expect to see the balloon on the roof at Pickering Place, too, as the relocated Leathers welcomes shoppers.

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King County Elections hosts candidate workshops

May 11, 2010

King County Elections will host free workshops for prospective candidates May 14 and 19. The workshops will offer information about filing to run for office in King County.

Besides filing information, elections staffers will discuss voters’ pamphlet information, campaign sign regulations and basic public disclosure requirements.

The workshops will be from 2-4 p.m. at the elections office, 9010 E. Marginal Way S., Tukwila. Following the workshops, staffers will explain how the office designs ballots.

“These workshops provide a comprehensive overview of Elections’ operations and are very helpful to experienced as well as prospective candidates,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a news release.

Candidates must file for election by 4:30 p.m. June 1. Learn more about candidate filing here.

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Senior center hosts annual pancake fundraiser

May 11, 2010

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, is hosting its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8:30-11:30 a.m. May 15.

Jack Steidl, a 91-year-old retired military and commercial pilot, will bugle hungry supporters into the “Mess Hall” for hot and fluffy pancake stacks. Steidl will also be in uniform to honor Armed Forces Day. Mayor Ava Frisinger will dish up your food, as will volunteers from the City Council and other organizations.

Aegis of Issaquah will sponsor food for the event and Fischer Meats will donate sausages. Cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

“We have an amazing amount of activities here that are ongoing, like our art classes, our Tuesday after-lunch lecture series and special events, like our Literary Tea, that we don’t charge for but incur costs for,” Senior Center Executive Director Courtney Jaren said. “When people support us, they don’t just support one program, but all the wonderful things we do here at the center.”

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Upgrades will allow drivers to check traffic images online

May 11, 2010

The next time snow blankets Issaquah — and snarls traffic — drivers might be able to check the municipal website for real-time updates from cameras perched throughout the city.

Officials plan to include the traffic images on the city website within the next several months. The cameras — part of the Intelligent Transportation System — allow engineers to monitor traffic at 26 intersections citywide.

The technology does not allow for streaming video to be posted online. Instead, the images will be a series of photos updated every minute or so.

The city also plans to post real-time traffic alerts to the municipal website and the electronic message boards constructed as part of the system.

Officials hope drivers check the camera feeds and alerts — either from home computers, smart phones or other devices — to gauge traffic before taking to city streets.

The planned upgrades reached the City Council last month. Members agreed to spend $84,000 to post the traffic snapshots online, add monitors for the feeds at the Issaquah Police Department and improve the traffic signal-timing plans through important corridors. The equipment and software to add the real-time images to the city website carries a $49,000 price tag.

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Leaders get sneak peek at school’s new look

May 11, 2010

Issaquah School Board members and district officials received an advance look at construction at Issaquah High School on May 5.

“This will be an incredible environment for student learning,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen wrote in an e-mail. “The layout facilitates connections, there is an emphasis on green construction, we have flexible spaces to accommodate different instructional needs, science labs are customized for each course, the performing arts facility is going to be state of the art, and the list goes on and on.

“Not only will this building facilitate learning, it’s a school that everyone will be proud to belong to,” he wrote. “I expect that it will be a focal point for the entire community.”

It’s hard to remember the school’s former configuration; the changes have been that drastic. All that really remains familiar to the eye is the stadium and the part of Building A, facing the student parking lot.

In place of the school’s former gymnasium, the new classroom wings are in plain view. But the construction goes deeper than what you see from Second Avenue.

“What you see from the road is about half of what is going on right now,” said district Capital Projects Director Steve Crawford. “If there was a sporting event that took you to the football field and stadium, you could look back to the courtyard between the classrooms and the gym and get a full extent of what has been going on this year.”

Principal Paula Phelps led the tour that took board members and district officials through new classroom wings, sky bridges, gymnasiums and weight facilities, locker rooms, part of the commons, administrative offices, and library and mechanical systems.

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Chamber suggests business-friendly goals to city

May 11, 2010

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders recommended business-friendly policies to City Council members last week, as the elected officials set city goals for 2011.

Chamber members urged the council to add information about the economic impact of ordinances to proposed legislation, determine the barriers to opening a business in Issaquah, conduct annual regulatory reviews to keep city codes up to date and implement the Economic Vitality Plan — a set of proposals meant to make Issaquah friendlier to businesses.

The chamber asked the city to examine the municipal Sign Code for changes to make the rules more palatable to business owners.

“As we enter into economic recovery, it is critical that we are focused on ways in which we can support our businesses and ensure they are successful,” chamber CEO Matt Bott said in a news release.

During a daylong goal-setting retreat May 1, council members wove elements of the chamber proposals into milestones for next year. The council might add the economic impact item to proposed legislation, and a plan to determine the opportunities and hurdles Issaquah faces in the hunt for new businesses attracted support as well.

City staffers will winnow the goal list proposed by council members into a final stack of goals for the full council to approve next month.

The council included similar economic-development language in the list of 2010 goals.

“Everything we do in Issaquah, from services, parks, police and public safety, arts promotion, community promotion and quality of life, comes down to the tax receipts and general commerce flow the city receives from the businesses who have chosen to operate here,” Bott said.

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School board to meet with legislators

May 11, 2010

Issaquah School Board members will meet with local legislators at 6 p.m. May 12 at the school district administration building, 565 N.W. Holly St.

The meeting is open to the public.

The purpose of the meeting is to talk about the impacts to the school district from the most recent legislative session and plan action for the next session.

Afterward, school board members will hold a regular business meeting.

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Council confirms board and commission appointments

May 11, 2010

Former City Council candidates Nathan Perea and Vincent Ippolito will serve the city in a different capacity in the years ahead: as volunteer members of a city commission.

City Council members confirmed 35 appointees to city boards and commissions May 3. The appointees — selected by board officers and Mayor Ava Frisinger — advise officials about everything including development, the environment and the arts.

The mayor reappointed 18 members and chose 20 people for other positions. Some appointees, like former Councilman Joe Forkner, serve on multiple boards.

“Congratulations, and welcome to the many volunteers who will be helping the city with a wide array of issues and important work,” Frisinger said after the council OK’d the appointments.

Rules do not require appointees to live in Issaquah, but officials said most of the members reside in the city. The council praised members for donating time and expertise to the myriad boards and commissions.

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Photos, information sought for special veterans section

May 11, 2010

The Issaquah Press is seeking photos and information about local veterans, both living and deceased, to include in a special section to celebrate and honor them for Memorial Day.

If you or someone you know is or was a veteran and lives or lived in the boundaries of the Issaquah School District, he or she can be included.

The section will have photos and the following information:

  • full name
  • highest rank achieved
  • branch of service
  • where served
  • dates of service
  • whether the veteran was wounded (WIA), missing (MIA), or killed in action (KIA) and details.

Those submitting information should include their name, phone number and/or e-mail address, and a mailing address if you want a photo returned.

Photos and information can be submitted until May 18 to, or delivered to The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S., Issaquah, WA 98027.

Download the form here:

Veteran’s Memorial (50.1 KB)

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