DIY Network crashes Issaquah homeowners’ master bathroom

July 12, 2011

$70,000 upgrade transforms space into spa-inspired destination

The master bathroom in Jeremy and Carrie Paget’s South Cove home resembled a time capsule from 1981, the year the house was built — colorless tile, a slim skylight and oak cabinets accented in brass.

Factor in a leaky shower and a dearth of space, too, and the need for a floor-to-ceiling overhaul became apparent.

“We didn’t really use this room other than just to get ready and use the sink to brush our teeth, things like that,” Jeremy Paget said.

Reclaimed teak is a prominent feature in the renovated bathroom at Jeremy and Carrie Paget’s home after a ‘Bath Crashers’ makeover. By Greg Farrar

Now, after some persistence and TV magic, the blah bathroom is a destination. DIY Network’s “Bath Crashers” transformed the space. The episode featuring the Pagets debuted July 4.

The remade space includes a spacious shower outfitted with a pebble-tile floor, a deluxe bathtub and larger skylight to drench the bathroom in natural light. The upgraded bathroom also includes more electrical outlets than the 1981 original.

The reclaimed teak flooring and surround-sound system lend the space a feel more commonly found in a spa than a suburban bathroom. The estimated cost for the renovation: $70,000 in donated materials and labor.

Crews used some attic space above the garage and space from a closet to expand the bathroom. The team enlisted the homeowners to help install tile and flooring.

“They came through,” Paget said. “They made some really cool changes.”

The homeowners listed ideas for “Bath Crashers” host Matt Muenster, a contractor, and a crew descended on the house in March.

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A great bathroom does not need TV makeover

July 12, 2011

After visiting the bathroom several times a day, 365 days per year, it’s no wonder homeowners decide to fix up or remodel the room.

Before replacing the first tile or installing a new faucet, two Issaquah contractors advised customers to do their bathroom homework.

“One thing I know we run into a lot is preparation in selections,” Bellaren owner Kyle Curtis said. “It seems that a lot of people aren’t selecting the right fixtures and amenities that go in the bathroom and it ends up costing more.”

Homeowners who buy shinier faucets tend to spend less money, while customers who purchase duller, premium-finish gear typically spend more. By Greg Farrar

Homeowners should shop around, not just at the usual retail stores, but also online, at wholesale outlets or at specialty stores, such as lighting companies. Then, they can bargain with several stores and get a better price, saving 15 percent to 20 percent sometimes.

“You can always ask for a better price and the worst thing they can say is no,” Curtis said. “It never hurts to say you’ve found something for a lesser amount.”

Once the supplies are procured, the cheapest way to redo a bathroom is to do it yourself, Bob Cole, owner of Cole NW Construction, said.

“The most economical way to do a bathroom is to do it yourself, but that takes a lot of proper planning and research,” he said.

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Habitat for Humanity store to open soon on Eastside

July 12, 2011

Habitat for Humanity of East King County plans to open a 10,000-square-foot Habitat Store by late summer.

Profits from the store support Habitat’s mission to build affordable housing. The nonprofit organization is in the midst of construction efforts in the Issaquah Highlands and Renton.

In the meantime, the Bellevue store is accepting donations for resale. Call 351-1186 or go to to learn about donation options.

“We’ve been planning this store for a year and feel confident about moving forward after the University of Washington’s Leadership MBA Program completed a comprehensive market study last winter,” Tom Granger, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate, said in a news release.

Habitat homes use environmentally friendly materials and follow “green” practices in design and construction.

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State reaches settlement in Echo Glen rape case

July 12, 2011

The state has agreed to pay $375,000 to a woman who was raped by an employee of Echo Glen Children’s Center in 2008.

Echo Glen is Washington’s juvenile detention center located in Snoqualmie, and is part of the Issaquah School District.

“A criminal act was inflicted upon this resident by a depraved individual more than three years ago and we deeply regret that it took place,” state Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration Assistant Secretary John Clayton said in a news release.

In 2008, then 38-year-old Robert Fox sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman at Echo Glen.

Since the incident, Fox was charged and pleaded guilty to first-degree custodial sexual misconduct, and spent eight months behind bars.

The woman also sued the state for employing Fox, a man her lawyers called unqualified for the job, and for not protecting her from him.

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Community input is sought on medical marijuana moratorium

July 12, 2011

Issaquah leaders enacted a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens June 20, as the city prepares to address a state law meant to clarify the hazy rules surrounding medical marijuana.

Now, community members can offer input to the City Council about the moratorium at a public hearing during a July 18 meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Members enacted the moratorium in a unanimous decision. State law authorizes a city to impose a moratorium as leaders consider possible land-use or zoning changes. The pause is meant to allow city leaders to consider options for collective gardens before updated state laws for medical marijuana collectives take effect July 22.

The moratorium also prompted questions about the only medical marijuana collective in Issaquah.

GreenLink Collective appealed in March after the city denied a business license to the downtown medical marijuana collective. The city denied the application, because planners decided the collective is more similar to a drugstore or a pharmacy, rather than a social services organization. The city hearing examiner denied the appeal June 20.

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State estimates Issaquah added 256 residents last year

July 12, 2011

Issaquah, long ranked among the fastest-growing cities in Washington, is no longer experiencing a population boom, but the city continues to add residents.

The latest tally from the state Office of Financial Management indicates Issaquah added 256 people last year. The estimated population is 30,690 — about 170 percent more people than a decade ago.

The state used data from the 2010 Census as a baseline, and then estimated population for Issaquah and other Washington cities by using information related to school enrollment, housing construction and driver licensing.

State officials use the population data to determine how to allocate dollars to municipalities.

State demographers released the data June 30. The figures represent population changes between April 1, 2010, and April 1, 2011.

Issaquah added 104 housing units during the past year, to bring the total to 14,018 units.

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Press Editorial

July 12, 2011

State tourism budget cut hurts economy

The state’s elimination of tourism dollars, also known as economic development, flies in the face of wisdom. Each city is left to its own devices, and surely won’t have the impact that comes from sharing an umbrella with the state’s push for tourism.

Tourism is our state’s fourth largest industry. Visitors spent about $15.2 billion here last year, according to state figures. Yet Washington is now the only state in the nation with no money to spend on self-promotion.

A few states that made similar cuts are upping their marketing budgets again, but have expressed concerns they have already lost market share.

About half of the states are reportedly stepping up their marketing budgets to lure tourists and their vacation-happy wallets, knowing that state and local sales tax revenues get pumped up by all that spending. Isn’t that Washington’s aim, too?

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Issaquah’s zHome partners share project insights

July 12, 2011

This month’s zHome interview is with Patti Southard, program manager for King County GreenTools, the county’s green building program.

What do you do for your organization?

I provide technical assistance to the county’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and Built Green programming and work with nonprofit organizations, such as the Cascadia Green Building Council and Built Green to institutionalize green building and climate change strategies countywide. As a former business development director for Green Depot (formerly the Environmental Home Center) and Duluth Timber Co., I also have more than 10 years of experience developing markets for green products.

How do you define a green building material?

What makes a product green can vary depending on the material, but it typically has one or more of the following attributes:

  • Is manufactured using recycled material, and/or sustainably managed and renewable resources.
  • Is salvaged, refurbished or remanufactured material.
  • Is manufactured with locally available components, which saves energy and transportation resources.
  • Does not contribute to poor indoor air quality, meaning the material emits few or no carcinogens, toxins or irritants, and have minimal to no emissions of volatile organic compounds.
  • Does not pose health risks to employees during the manufacturing process.
  • Is manufactured to be durable/long-lasting, yet can be easily repurposed or recycled at the end of its useful life.
  • What is unique about zHome’s materials?
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YWCA opens campus near Issaquah for homeless parents

July 12, 2011

Cynthia Liggitt shares her story, and tells how she was helped by the YWCA, during the July 7 grand opening of Passage Point’s transitional housing. By Greg Farrar

Cynthia Liggitt is a single mother, the former wife of a minister and a former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

“It still pains me to say that, but I’m learning to tell the truth about my life so that I don’t go down that wrong route again, and I hope that my story might help others,” said Liggitt, who was charged with felony theft and forgery and served four and a half years in prison.

With the help of YWCA’s Passage Point program, Liggitt has finished her incarceration, earned a degree, and received parenting classes and counseling that have helped both her and her 2-year-old daughter, Jayden Wyrick.

Liggitt and local dignitaries, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, spoke at the grand opening of Passage Point in Maple Valley on July 7.

Located next to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, the six buildings have 46 housing units for men and women recently released from incarceration who wish to reunite with their children. The residents of Passage Point will have access to housing, employment and counseling services.

Residents must be homeless at the time of intake. Violent offenders or people convicted of crimes against children will not be allowed to stay at Passage Point.

The facility is already in high demand.

Tiffany Bradley, from Tacoma, was incarcerated after being charged with 19 counts of identity theft. She was also addicted to methamphetamine, she said.

In October, “I’ll be two years clean,” she said.

Bradley is completing her work-release program at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, and she will exit the system in October. She finished her screening for Passage Point on July 6, and attended the grand opening with her case manager so she could see the campus.

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Prosecutors: Issaquah HOA president bilked organization

July 12, 2011

Investigators said a 46-year-old Issaquah man bilked more than $11,000 from a homeowners association he once led.

Kennedy M. Mulwa served as the homeowners association president at Sammamish Crown Condominiums, 4330 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., in early 2010. King County prosecutors said he transferred $11,370 from the homeowners association’s account to his business, Orwell Tours and Travel.

Mulwa faces a first-degree theft charge in the case. He had not been jailed after prosecutors filed charges June 23. He failed to appear in court for a scheduled July 7 arraignment, leading a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

The penalty for first-degree theft is up to 10 years in prison or a fine up to $20,000, or incarceration and a fine.

In January 2010, a homeowners association employee discovered a withdrawal from a reserve account. Fellow board members confronted Mulwa about the withdrawal on Jan. 19, 2010, but said he lacked the funds to replace the money in the homeowner association’s account, court documents state.

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