Issaquah man faces charges in Metro Transit vanpool crash

January 18, 2011

Prosecutors charged a 27-year-old Issaquah emergency medical technician for smashing a pickup into a King County Metro Transit Rideshare van along Interstate 90 in September.

The early morning crash injured the vanpool passengers and snarled the commute near Issaquah for hours, as emergency crews cut trapped people from the crumpled van.

Douglas Burt Henderson faces a vehicular assault charge for the Sept. 24 incident. Read more

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City Council nixes Park Pointe committee as deal nears finish

January 18, 2011

City Council members decided to eliminate the committee responsible for the Park Pointe preservation deal as the council updated the way members conduct business.

The council nixed the Major Planning & Growth Committee and redistributed the responsibilities of the former group Jan. 3. The group handled agreements related to the proposed transfer of development rights between forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and the Issaquah Highlands. The proposal is on track to be completed in the months ahead.

“This last year, there was an awful lot of major activity with the TDR and with the Central Issaquah Plan,” Council President John Traeger said. “This year, we’re down to the Central Issaquah Plan and it’s kind of in autopilot mode. It’s working on its own timeline now.” Read more

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Michael Cisneros joins Issaquah Tutta Bella

January 18, 2011

Michael Cisneros has joined the team at the Issaquah Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeras as kitchen manager in charge of back-of-the-house operations and food preparation.

Cisneros joined Tutta Bella as a line cook in 2009 at the Stone Way Tutta Bella prior to being promoted to kitchen manager in December 2010. He received his formal culinary training and an associate’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America.

Cisneros has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years in many positions.

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Planners OK restaurant overhaul at Issaquah Commons

January 18, 2011

The city Planning Department has OK’d modifications to turn a former copy center into a restaurant.

Planners approved a permit Dec. 16 to remodel the exterior of the former FedEx Office in the Issaquah Commons shopping center along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

Plans call for the 6,600-square-foot commercial space to become Wildfin American Grill.

The tenant plans to add a timber entry structure, space for outdoor dining area and planters. The plan calls for some minor parking modifications. The exterior of the building is also to be modified to include metal canopies, a fresher color scheme and stone wainscoting.

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FISH holds steady in 2010, but challenges remain

January 18, 2011

Memberships buoyed Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and helped the nonprofit organization finish in the black for 2010, but challenges exist in the year ahead.

The organization experienced a 27 percent increase in funds due to more memberships last year. Employees reined in expenses and FISH finished about 5 percent under budget estimates for the year. The steps helped to offset a drop in legacy donations last year.

FISH also relies on grant dollars from Issaquah and Sammamish.

Issaquah provides grant dollars to the organization each year, but FISH has lacked a key source of funding since cash-strapped King County dropped funding for the organization last year. FISH used a $23,750 grant from Issaquah to fund operations last year. Read more

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Small Business Administration offers grants

January 18, 2011

Issaquah businesses could qualify for grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The federal agency is accepting grant proposals from eligible national organizations interested in providing training, guidance, counseling, mentoring and procurement assistance to small businesses through the Small Business Teaming Pilot program.

Congress established the program in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, and the SBA expects to make 10 to 20 grant awards worth up to $5 million in the 2011 fiscal year.

Applicants must be a private, nonprofit or for-profit entity; have been in existence continually for the past three years; have experience dealing with issues relating to small business on a national level; and demonstrate a capacity to provide assistance to small businesses.

Proposals must be submitted through the governmentwide financial assistance portal,, by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 25. Learn more about the program at the SBA website,

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AtWork! hires leadership staffer

January 18, 2011

AtWork! has hired a senior leadership staff member: Karen Walters.

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs.

Walters comes to the organization after serving as CEO of the Washington State Business Leadership Network, a network of businesses, employers and community partners set up to support and educate other businesses to recruit, hire, retain, promote and increase customer service for disabled people.

AtWork! designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services handled by the organization.

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Liberty grapplers’ comeback comes up short in pin bid over Bellevue

January 18, 2011

Josh Muttart thrills with emotional pin in first match after injury

Heading into the final four matches of the Liberty High School wrestling team’s final home meet of the year Jan. 13, the scene was grim. Bellevue High School wrestlers had manhandled the Patriots most of the evening, dampening Liberty’s spirits.

But when Liberty junior Hamilton Noel took to the mat, it was as if the Patriots’ passion had been reignited. It was the beginning of a thrilling late-meet comeback, and although it was not enough to get the win, it made the 46-35 3A/2A KingCo Conference loss feel slightly less painful. Read more

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Health & Safety Fair comes to Issaquah on Feb. 26

January 18, 2011

The seventh annual Issaquah/Sammamish Health & Safety Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26 at Pickering Barn. Admission is free.

Nearly 2,000 people attended last year’s fair to take advantage of free health screenings and the opportunity to meet with the 50 health care providers all under one roof. Medical clinics, dentists, pharmacies, home health care, health insurance, chiropractors, assisted living facilities, surgical centers and a nursing home should be represented at the fair.

The fair is presented by Overlake Hospital Medical Center and co-sponsored by the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department and The Issaquah Press.

Contact Amelia Vesper at 425-392-6434, ext. 243 or to learn more about booth space.

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See’s Candies plans Issaquah shop

January 18, 2011

Lovers can pick up some Scotchmallows in time for Valentine’s Day at the See’s Candies under construction in the Issaquah Commons.

The store is expected to open by Feb. 1 in the shopping center along Northwest Gilman Boulevard. The candy shop replaces a teriyaki restaurant in the space.

See’s Candies is known for numerous treats, including the Scotchmallow — marshmallow and caramel enrobed in dark chocolate.

Operators applied for a city building permit at the end of September. Construction started on the store in late November, and city inspectors issued a temporary certificate of occupancy Jan. 5.

The chain also has outposts in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle. See’s Candies — based in South San Francisco — operates more than 200 stores throughout the West and the Midwest.

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