Issaquah family bids bittersweet goodbye to business

June 22, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. June 22, 2011

Goodfellas Sandwich Shop, a decade-old gathering spot for Issaquah High School sports teams and office workers on lunch breaks, is due to close Friday after owners Steve and Melinda Sanelli stack the last sandwiches.

Steve Sanelli, a longtime South Cove resident and Issaquah High assistant baseball coach, said business is good, but the impending closure stems from a disagreement between the eatery and the building owner.

“It would be one thing if I was failing in business and we had to close,” he said. “This is something that’s not my choice.”

For Sanelli and other family members, the closure is about more than the bottom line.

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Swedish’s Issaquah Highlands hospital is ‘green’ by design

June 21, 2011

Facility is built to lessen impact on environment

The highlands hospital campus features a 6,000-square-foot landscaped rooftop deck — a ‘green’ feature meant to improve aesthetics and patient wellness. By Aaron Blank

In health care, physicians pledge to do no harm.

The oath applies to the environment as much as to patients at the Swedish Medical Center campus about to open in the Issaquah Highlands. Cutting energy use is a challenge, because a hospital is always on and medical equipment gulps energy. The result: Hospitals rank near the top among industrial energy users.

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Issaquah-based King County Library System is named No. 1

June 21, 2011

The top library system in the United States is headquartered in Issaquah.

Moreover, strong circulation at the Issaquah and Sammamish libraries — and others across the 46-library system — helped earn the King County Library System the Library of the Year title from Library Journal magazine and Gale, a publishing company.

“We really got this award because of our patrons and our communities,” Julie Brand, community relations and marketing director for the library system, said after the announcement. “It’s really a reflection of their support and their use of us. Going forward, we need to continue to find the ways to be relevant to them in their lives, in how we deliver services, and the sorts of resources and information that we provide to them.”

Organizers cited the library system’s efforts to encourage reading, help people searching for jobs and community outreach. The library system is run from offices along Newport Way Northwest.

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Tent City 4 to return to Issaquah church in October

June 21, 2011

Tent City 4, a tarp-clad encampment for up to 100 homeless people, is due to return to Issaquah in October.

Community Church of Issaquah congregants voted June 19 to allow Tent City 4 to settle on the church’s parking lot, Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition member Elizabeth Maupin said the day after the decision. Under the arrangement, the church provides space and the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition coordinates volunteers and support for Tent City 4.

The camp also settled in the city in August 2007 and January 2010. Tent City 4 remains in a place for 90 days, and then residents pack up and relocate to another Eastside church.

Temple B’nai Torah is due to host Tent City 4 starting July 23. In the meantime, the camp is set up at St. Jude Parish in Redmond. The encampment should arrive in Issaquah by mid-October. Community Church of Issaquah is along Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest, about a half-mile up the Squak Mountain slope from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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Issaquah funeral home proposal raises traffic congestion concerns

June 21, 2011

Concerns about traffic congestion prompted downtown Issaquah residents and business owners to mobilize last week in a neighborhood effort to thwart a funeral home operator from opening a facility in a church along East Sunset Way.

The municipal Planning Department is considering a proposal from Service Corporation International, a Houston-based funeral products and services provider, to renovate Abide Baptist Church, 425 E. Sunset Way, into a funeral home. (The company also operates Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue and Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, plus funeral homes in the same cities.)

The applicant’s parking proposal attracted the most ire from project opponents. Plans call for aisle parking, similar to the lineup near a ferry dock, to accommodate about 20 vehicles for services and visitations at the funeral home. The proposal also calls for using a parking attendant to direct vehicles before and after events.

“I can’t say that that’s going to work,” city Senior Planner Marion O’Brien said. “There are some problems with what they’re showing there as well as with dimensions. We will need to have clarification on some of these proposals. That’s a given.”

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Darigold pleads guilty in Issaquah Creek spill case

June 21, 2011

Darigold pleaded guilty June 15 to violating the Clean Water Act for a fish-killing ammonia spill into Issaquah Creek.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Darigold plans to work alongside the federal government to develop a corporate environmental compliance plan as part of its sentence.

Including the downtown Issaquah processing facility, Seattle-based Darigold operates 13 processing facilities in five states.

The company must also pay a $10,000 fine and pay $60,000 to protect and restore natural resources in the Issaquah Creek watershed. Darigold also agreed to publicly apologize for the criminal conduct by publishing a statement as a notice or advertisement in The Issaquah Press.

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Celebrate Independence Day in downtown Issaquah

June 21, 2011

Children with pet dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens or snakes are invited to dress them up and register them for the Down Home 4th of July & Heritage Day celebration.

The annual parade boasts hundreds of pets sporting patriotic colors and children on decorated bicycles.

One year, “One of the groups was a tap-dancing group, so they did tap-dancing routines on cookie sheets,” Pauline Middlehurst, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce spawnsor manager, said.

Registration is free for the 11 a.m. Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade, but participants must fill out a form before they begin marching. Paradegoers can find the form online, or in The Issaquah Press. Registrants can sign up the day of the event at 10 a.m. July 4 at 425 Rainier Blvd. N.

All bicycling participants must wear a helmet. Children and teenagers in the parade can also throw candy, though they must supply the sweets themselves.

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Supporters meet fundraising goal for science curriculum

June 21, 2011

After 47 days of fundraising at McDonald’s and Zeeks Pizza, and in various school parking lots, the Issaquah Schools Foundation and the Issaquah PTSA Council have raised enough money for a new elementary school science curriculum this fall.

The current elementary school science curriculum, last updated in 2003, does not meet state standards.

The fundraising campaign began April 29, the day after the foundation’s annual luncheon. There, foundation community representative Leigh Stokes explained that the district had initially set money aside for the curriculum update, but after the Legislature cut $1.45 million from the district’s budget midyear, the district could no longer afford the curriculum update on its own.

The district committed $700,000 to the elementary school science update, and the foundation and PTSAs partnered to raise the remaining $500,000.

Recently, district administrators negotiated with the curricula vendors and bargained for a better price. Originally, the update was supposed to cost $1.2 million, but after the negotiation, the price tag dropped to $1.1 million. The district is also saving money by developing a specific curriculum of its own, which has a price tag of $50,000.

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Councilman Reagan Dunn enters race for state attorney general

June 21, 2011

Reagan Dunn, a local representative on the King County Council and a former federal prosecutor, entered the race June 14 for state attorney general.

Reagan Dunn

In a long-expected campaign announcement, Dunn, a Republican, referenced his experience at the U.S. Department of Justice as a key asset in the race, and rolled out a series of high-profile endorsements.

“I am running for attorney general because I am concerned about the overall direction of Washington state government and I believe we can do much better,” he said in a statement. “While Rob McKenna has done a very fine job as our AG, much more still needs to be done. Our state faces significant challenges, including high unemployment, an unfavorable business climate for job creation and crime levels that are unacceptable.”

Dunn is seeking to succeed Attorney General Rob McKenna, the leading Republican in the 2012 race for governor. McKenna launched a bid for the Governor’s Mansion on June 8. Incumbent Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, is not seeking a third term; Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is expected to run.

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Issaquah man experiences Vancouver’s hockey riot

June 21, 2011

Erik Richards, a lifelong Vancouver Canucks fan and Issaquah resident, experienced the mayhem up close June 15 as Vancouver, British Columbia, erupted into a riot after the team lost the Stanley Cup.

Richards — a self-described “huge Canucks fan” — stood among the crowd on Granville Street and snapped photos as rioters lit cars aflame and smashed storefronts.

“There were people running and cars on fire,” he said after returning to Issaquah. “It was like a scene out of a movie.”

The riot started at about 8 p.m. as the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins at Rogers Arena. Immediately after the loss, frustrated fans started tearing signs down along Granville Street, a destination for Canucks fans watching the Stanley Cup finals on a huge screen.

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