Holiday means freebies for veterans and active duty personnel

November 10, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 10, 2010

Freebies abound for veterans and active-duty military personnel Thursday, Veterans Day.

Brown Bear Car Wash offers free tunnel car washes to veterans and active-duty service personnel. Find the local Brown Bear outlets at 22121 S.E. 56th St. in Issaquah, and 3050 228 Ave. S.E. in Sammamish. In order to receive the offer, veterans and service members should identify themselves to the wash attendant in order to receive a free wash.

“This program is designed to show our support and gives us a unique opportunity to say thank you to people who sacrifice for our freedom,” Brown Bear President Victor Odermat said.

Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants offers free hamburgers and cheeseburgers to veterans and active military personnel.

Veterans and service members who military identification or wear their military uniform can receive a free hamburger or cheeseburger at every Dick’s Drive-In Restaurant. Find a complete list of restaurants here.

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Wallabies hop to Cougar Mountain Zoo habitat

November 9, 2010

Lantana, a female wallaby, carries Hemlock, then 9 months old, in her pouch while they share Easter treats in April at Cougar Mountain Zoo. By Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Cougar Mountain Zoo’s swamp wallaby family is growing, and so is its habitat.

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Issaquah ceremony honors veterans’ service

November 9, 2010

Dave Waggoner is a stickler for military tradition and no other symbol better pays homage to those serving in uniform than the American flag.

“I’ve always wanted people who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country to never be forgotten, for their actions to be respected,” said Waggoner, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War.

That’s why he spearheaded the effort to ensure that the city of Issaquah always had new flags flying on its 11 flagpoles. In the continually growing tradition, the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, hosts its fourth annual Veterans Day Service on Nov. 11.

Waggoner will present new flags purchased by the VFW to City Councilwoman Eileen Barber. Barber’s family has long ties to military service, from her father in World War II to her nephew, who is just back from serving his second tour in Iraq. She said she looks forward to the ceremony each year.

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Republican tide ebbs in Issaquah-area races

November 9, 2010

Both parties highlight successes in local contests

The national GOP tsunami carried Republicans into statehouses across the nation on Election Day, but in Washington, the wave amounted to little more than a gentle crest.

Republicans did not dislodge Democrats from majorities in the state Senate or state House of Representatives, but candidates faced a testier electorate, and Democrats face shrunken majorities in both chambers.

Despite strong candidates and a favorable political environment, Republicans did not reclaim a majority in Issaquah-area statehouse seats.

Democrats and Republicans trumpeted successes in the days after Election Day, as elections offices tallied the remaining ballots for statehouse contests.

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Leaders pledge ‘draconian’ cuts after sales tax defeat

November 9, 2010

In the half-dozen years Dave Montalvo has served as the Liberty High School resource officer, the requests start just before homecoming and prom: Students ask for a boy or girl to be caught in a traffic stop as part of a detailed ruse to ask for a date.

The longtime King County Sheriff’s Office deputy said the ritual helps build bonds between students and law enforcement officers. Despite the success, Montalvo could be reassigned to patrol duty soon.

“I come in here with more of an educational attitude rather than with a punitive attitude,” he said. “Just by working with the kids and explaining the circumstances and bad decisions, rather than saying, ‘I’m going to throw the book at you every time that I can,’ really makes a difference in making relationships.”

The cash-strapped county could reassign Montalvo and other school resource officers, close police storefronts in rural areas, lay off deputies and reduce court services.

Proposition 1 — the countywide measure to raise the sales tax rate to 2 cents per $10 purchase to limit the proposed cuts — collapsed in double-digit defeat on Election Day. Officials estimated a $35 million boon next year and $48 million in 2012.

Instead, King County budget leaders said the defeat means “draconian” cuts in order to close a $60 million shortfall.

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Dino Rossi falls short in Senate bout

November 9, 2010

By Greg Farrar Dino Rossi, U.S. Senate candidate, kisses wife Terry as children (from left) Jake, Joseph, Juliauna and Jillian look on during a GOP celebration in Bellevue Nov. 2.

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah legislator, faltered in a hard-fought U.S. Senate race to the incumbent, Democrat Patty Murray.

“I ran for the Senate because I believe we need a basic course correction from where Washington, D.C., has been taking us and to make sure this country is as free, as strong and as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past to preserve the best of America for future generations,” Rossi said in a concession statement released Nov. 4. “That was a message that found a very receptive audience all across this state, though not quite receptive enough.”

Rossi campaigned as a fiscal conservative, and used the years he spent as a budget architect in Olympia as a touchstone in the U.S. Senate campaign.

Murray, bolstered by strong turnout in true-blue King County, built a slim lead on Election Day until more than 60,000 votes separated the candidates.

Rossi stumbled in the 2004 and 2008 races for the Governor’s Mansion to Democrat Chris Gregoire. He offered no hints about future political plans.

“The lesson I leave you with is one we learned as kids: We’re all in this together,” he said in the statement. “If Washington, D.C., doesn’t act to help the economy grow and solve this massive spending and debt, it’s going to hurt us all. It won’t distinguish by political party.”

Yank political signs from city and state roadsides soon

November 9, 2010

Relief is in sight for motorists tired of seeing signs touting Patty Murray, Dino Rossi and a host of other political candidates.

Though the ballot count continues, Election Day is history, and the deadline to yank political signs from along state highways and city streets looms.

Under state law, property owners must remove temporary political signs visible from state highways by Nov. 12.

Issaquah rules call for campaign signs to be removed within a week of Election Day, or Nov. 9. City Code Compliance Officer Michele Forkner started to round up rogue signs after the deadline passed.

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Costco-backed liquor initiative floats

November 9, 2010

Costco Wholesale poured millions to a campaign to loosen state liquor regulations, only to come up dry on Election Day.

Issaquah-based Costco backed Initiative 1100, a liquor privatization measure. The initiative aimed to close state-run liquor outlets and roll back Prohibition-era policies to allow hard liquor to be sold in grocery stores, gas stations and elsewhere. In Issaquah, the measure could have allowed liquor sales at up to 22 businesses.

The initiative also aimed to allow volume discounts on alcohol and eliminate the state markup on hard liquor.

The electorate defeated I-1100 and the other liquor privatization measure on the ballot, Initiative 1105.

I-1100 trailed statewide — about 53 percent to 47 percent. I-1105 received only 35 percent of the vote.

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Eastside food drive helps stock Issaquah food pantry for winter

November 9, 2010

The pantry at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank is fuller after a monthlong food drive spearheaded by local churches.

Parishioners mobilized in late September to grocery stores throughout the area to encourage shoppers to donate. In the subsequent month, the faith groups pulled in 11,700 pounds of food for the downtown Issaquah pantry.

The drive — called the Eastside’s Month of Concern for the Hungry — united businesses, community leaders, faith-based organizations, hospitals, neighborhood associations and schools to stock area food banks before the holiday rush.

“The need has increased because of job layoffs and we’re getting more clients and new families every day,” Kim Ortego, assistant to the executive director at the Issaquah food pantry, said last week.

The food bank serves about 400 families from throughout the Issaquah School District.

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Businesses run by women vie for honors

November 9, 2010

Issaquah businesses run by women are finalists for Stevie Awards for Women in Business, an international competition to honor women executives, business owners and the companies they run.

Issaquah-based companies Artitudes Design and Career Woman are finalists for a total of five awards.

Artitudes Design is a woman-owned graphic design firm that specializes in executive and senior leadership communications for high tech, retail and nonprofit groups through customized presentations, marketing and branding solutions.

Its employees volunteer at elementary schools in the Northshore, Sultan, Highline and Snoqualmie school districts as part of its Artitudes in Action: Art Docent Campaign.

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