Issaquah Salmon Hatchery holds gift shop sale

December 1, 2011

NEW — 9:40 a.m. Dec. 1, 2011

The FISHop, the still new gift shop at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is holding an end-of-the-salmon season sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the shop in the hatchery, 125 W Sunset Way.

The hatchery is advertising 30 percent off all merchandise, such as official hatchery adult T-shirts for $9.45. Other items include limited edition art prints, children’s educational card games, hatchery 75th birthday magnets and more.

The FISHop sits in the hatchery next to the Steve Bell Theater near the hatchery bridge over Issaquah Creek. Learn more about the hatchery in general at

Eagles, Patriots basketball teams win season openers

November 30, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 30, 2011

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team and the Liberty girls squad both opened their seasons Tuesday with nonleague victories.

The Issaquah boys cruised by host Mount Si 76-36. After a close first quarter that saw Issaquah lead 10-7, the Eagles blew out Mount Si 26-9 in the second quarter and raced away to the victory.

Issaquah senior guard Nick Price hit 8 of 15 shots and finished the night with a game-high 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots and had three assists.

Ty Gibson contributed 10 points for the Eagles. Jake Henke added nine points. Ryan Sexton and Grant Bair, who each hit a pair of three-point field goals, each had eight points.

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Issaquah man wins 2011 Marysville Pokémon City Championships

November 30, 2011

NEW — 11:10 a.m Nov. 30, 2011

After a full day of head-to-head Pokémon Trading Card Game battles, Tyler Ninomura, 21, of Issaquah, won first place at the 2011 Marysville Pokémon City Championships held Sunday.

Ninomura earned a top city ranking and championship points, which count toward a potential invitation to the Pokémon U.S. National Championships next summer. National winners could play in an international tournament in Hawaii, competing against players from more than 25 countries.

The Pokémon City Championships are sanctioned by the Pokémon Co. and locally managed by Premier Tournament Organizers. These volunteer organizers run Pokémon trading card and video game tournaments across the country throughout the year.

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Jacob, Sophia rank as most popular baby names in Washington

November 30, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Nov. 30, 2011

Washington parents caught a national trend last year. The most popular names for babies born in the Evergreen State — Sophia for girls and Jacob for boys — mirrored the No. 1 choices nationwide.

The state Department of Health released the information Tuesday.

Jacob — buoyed in recent years for a tie to a character in the “Twilight” saga — has held the top spot nationwide for the past decade. Jacob claimed the top spot in Washington in all but three recent years. Alexander topped the list in 2009, and Ethan ranked No. 1 in 2008 and 2002.

The most popular names for girls change more frequently.

Statewide, four names filled out the top five for most of the decade: Olivia, Isabella, Emma and Emily.

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Hayes Nursery, longtime local business, to close

November 29, 2011

The entrance to Hayes Nursery below Tiger Mountain was recently renovated. By Greg Farrar

Hayes Nursery, a destination for springtime shrubs and sage gardening advice, plans to close by late December, after rain-sodden summers and a feeble economy hurt the longtime local business.

Clare and Larry Hayes opened the nursery along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast in time for Mother’s Day 1987 and expanded the business throughout the decades.

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Apple Cup rivalry heats up football fever

November 29, 2011

Theresa Schaap (right), city administrative assistant, keeps score as University of Washington and Washington State University fans face off in a pre-Apple Cup competition for city employees. By Greg Farrar

The faithful donned crimson and gray or purple and gold, depending on geography, history or loyalty — and sometimes, a combination.

University of Washington Huskies and Washington State University Cougars, all city employees, gathered in a City Hall conference room Nov. 23 to spend lunchtime trashing the other team and singing fight songs.

The pre-Apple Cup rally is a tradition at City Hall. The boasts and good-natured — maybe — insults started early in the week, but the cross-Cascades competition unfolded Nov. 26 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. In the end, the Huskies triumphed, 38-21.

Clad in team sweatshirts and caps, employees deciphered football referee signals, answered trivia questions about the rival universities and snacked on tailgate-party-style foods.

The trash talk served as the appetizer.

“Do you know how to get rid of a Cougar at a party?” a UW fan asked. “Pay him for the pizza.”

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Wave Broadband acquires Broadstripe, cable service changes for local customers

November 29, 2011

The cable provider Broadstripe is out and Wave Broadband is in for some Issaquah customers.

Broadstripe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Kirkland-based Wave Broadband started the process to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August, and received a green light from the City Council to proceed Nov. 7.

Wave Broadband intends to invest $15 million in broadband systems in the Northwest to upgrade offerings and service for former Broadstripe customers.

The changeover could end a long disparity in cable service for Issaquah residents. The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than rival Broadstripe.

“Hopefully, if Wave is true to form, customers will see an improvement in offerings and cable lineups,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah makes a difference all year

November 29, 2011

Issaquah Community Services is highlighting successes to help people in need as the annual Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive opens.

The organization provided a lifeline to Vicky Tranilla as her husband battled cancer.

“We got behind on our bills, and I was paying the medical bills for his cancer instead of paying the bills for the rent and power, because my husband came first,” she said.

Issaquah Community Services is the all-volunteer nonprofit organization responsible for dispersing the donations to families living inside Issaquah School District boundaries. Merry Christmas Issaquah is the organization’s most important fundraiser of the year.

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Cougar Mountain Zoo hosts 23rd annual Issaquah Reindeer Festival

November 29, 2011

One of Santa’s sled-propulsion units walks about for exercise before Christmas Eve last year in the front yard of Santa’s House at Cougar Mountain Zoo. By Greg Farrar

First held in 1988, the annual Issaquah Reindeer Festival runs Dec. 1-23 at the Cougar Mountain Zoo.

Zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot said the event regularly attracts up to 10,000 visitors. Some travel relatively long distances to make it to the festival, even coming from well east of the Cascades.

“It’s a family tradition for many people,” Barfoot said.

Although the zoo is technically closed for the season, 10 of Santa’s reindeer team will be ready and awaiting visitors daily.

At the Magic Forest, visitors can hand feed the South American reindeer. And among numerous other activities, kids and parents also can visit Santa in his house and get a picture with the jolly old elf.

Visitors can also listen to stories read by an elf, see Santa’s sleigh, shop and pick up hot drinks and snacks. The younger set also can write a letter to Santa and then place it in his personal mailbox.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Santa will take a lunch break roughly from 1-1:30 p.m. daily. Pictures with Santa are $15 for the first shot and $10 for additional shots. You can take your own pictures for a fee.

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Issaquah Police Department targets holiday shopping grinches

November 29, 2011

The holiday shopping season means bargains galore for shoppers — and tempting targets for thieves.

Issaquah police officers headed out in patrol cruisers and on foot Nov. 25, Black Friday, and will continue throughout the holiday season, to search for prowlers and remind shoppers not to leave valuables out in the open.

“During the holidays, parking lots can be very enticing to prowlers looking for quick and easy targets,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said. “We’re hoping these extra patrols will remind our shoppers to protect their property.”

Officers also distributed a display card at local business’ checkouts to remind shoppers to lock vehicles and not leave valuables in plain sight.

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