Issaquah economic development manager departs for Burien

October 25, 2011

The top economic development official at City Hall departed Oct. 21 for a similar post in Burien.

Economic Development Manager Dan Trimble traded a decadeslong plan to redevelop the Issaquah business district for a chance to join a yearslong effort to redevelop downtown Burien.

“I think a great majority of the job of an economic development person is building relationships with people in the community and people in the business community, and being there as a good resource for them after you build the relationship,” he said before the transition from the Eastside to South King County. “Projects come and go, but to me that’s the most important.”

Trimble started at City Hall in July 2007, after a community economic vitality task force outlined strategies for city leaders to retain businesses and encourage other entrepreneurs to settle in Issaquah.

The post in Burien opened after Economic Development Manager Dick Loman retired last month. Trimble served in similar roles for cities in California and Maryland before the Issaquah appointment.

“I was the first one in, so I’m just proud to have launched it in the right direction and gotten things going here,” Trimble said.

Mayor Ava Frisinger described the position as “a growing role” for Trimble and city leaders.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce to spotlight nonprofit groups at leadership summit

October 25, 2011

Rob McKenna

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders plan to showcase local nonprofit organizations at a summit dedicated to the groups’ efforts in the community.

The chamber is hosting a Nonprofit Leadership & Civic Service Summit on Nov. 2 to spotlight nonprofit organizations and encourage business leaders to foster closer ties to the nonprofit sector.

“It’s a tough time for everybody,” chamber CEO Matthew Bott said. “If there are ways we can work together and partner, that’s what the chamber wants to help do.”

The chamber lined up Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, Leadership Eastside President James Whitfield and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican candidate for governor, to speak at the summit.

(U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is the Democrat in the gubernatorial race.)

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YWCA Family Village at Issaquah opens for tours

October 25, 2011

The community outreach for YWCA Family Village at Issaquah started long before backhoes sliced into soil at the Issaquah Highlands site.

The outreach effort continues Oct. 29, as YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish hosts a public open house on the $53 million campus. The event and the annual Green Halloween Festival coincide.

The open house is meant to introduce guests to Family Village residents, spotlight “green” design details, and highlight a daycare center, meeting space, playground and other features open to the surrounding community. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt on the Family Village campus.

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Woman, 17 Scouts scale Mount Adams

October 25, 2011

Maria Faires, with members of Troop 636 in the background, stands at the summit of Mount Adams. Contributed

Personal trainer, registered dietician and clinical exercise specialist Maria Faires seems a natural to also just happen to be a mountain climber.

However, what might not seem as natural is that Faires also is a leader of Boy Scout Troop 636 of Issaquah.

In late summer, Faires led 17 members of the troop to the summit of Mount Adams, which at 12,276 feet is the second highest peak in the state.

“It was 17 guys and one girl,” said Faires, who added this is not the first time she has taken Scouts up local mountainsides. On her own, Faires said she has reached the top of every major Washington summit.

“It was really the culmination of a lot of work,” Troop 636 Committee Chairman Ed Steenman said.

He added he always was pretty sure his troop of 13- to 15-year-old boys would make it to the top. As a self-professed member of the “over 50 crowd,” he said he wasn’t too sure he personally would be with them when they did.

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Ballots’ journey juggles security, transparency

October 25, 2011

Odyssey leads from Everett printer to voter to Renton office

King County Elections places a huge mail order each year.

Officials must secure enough ballots for more than 1 million voters spread across a county larger than Rhode Island. Then, the elections office is responsible for ensuring a secure — and hassle-free — process to distribute, authenticate and tally ballots on a strict deadline.

Matthew Chan uses a practiced flip of the wrists to levitate voter ballots from a tray onto a sorting machine at King County Elections in Renton during the August primary. By Greg Farrar

The complicated process starts on a printing press in Everett and ends in a tabulation machine in Renton. The voter is situated in the middle, black ink pen at the ready.

The job to print almost 1.1 million ballots is delegated to a commercial printer. The elections office oversees the process as Everett-based K&H Election Services prints and inserts ballots into envelopes.

The printer creates ballots for King County and jurisdictions across the United States. Then, ballots stacked on pallets await shipment to voters.
“At any given time, you can see boxes that are shrink-wrapped with ballots that go to all different kinds of counties,” King County Elections spokeswoman Kim van Ekstrom said.

About 20 days before Election Day, as TV campaign advertisements reach cruel-and-unusual-punishment status, the U.S. Postal Service starts to mail ballot packets to voters.

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King County Elections relies on census data to determine languages for ballots

October 25, 2011

Law requires elections office to offer materials in Vietnamese

King County is often celebrated as a melting pot and, reflecting a demographic shift recorded in the most recent census, ballots should soon start to include another language spoken in the community.

Under a provision in the U.S. Voting Rights Act, King County is required to create and offer election materials in Vietnamese.

The county is home to about 28,000 Vietnamese speakers — enough to trigger the federal threshold for election materials in Vietnamese. Data collected in the 2010 Census determined King County needed to add the language.

The elections office already produces instructional election information and ballot packets in English and Chinese.

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Kiwanis Club of Issaquah seeks coat donations

October 25, 2011

The Kiwanis Club of Issaquah is holding a coat and shoe drive throughout November.

The drive runs from Nov. 1-30 and donations benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Coats and shoes — in adult and child sizes — should be clean, and new or gently used.

Donation sites include The Issaquah Press, KeyBank, AtWork!, Eastside Audiology, Hilton Garden Inn, Sammamish Club, Columbia Athletic, Liberty High School, Footzone and Starbucks by Safeway.

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Oct. 31 is last chance to register to vote in November election

October 25, 2011

The deadline for people to register in person to vote is Oct. 31.

People can also register in person at King County Elections from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton. Or register in person at the Voter Registration Annex in the King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Ave., Room 311, Seattle. The annex is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.

In order to register as a Washington voter, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a Washington resident, at least 18 by Election Day and not under the authority of the state Department of Corrections.

In Washington, voters do not register by political party or declare political party membership to vote in primary or general elections.

Learn more about the process at the King County Elections registration website,

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Bellevue College construction in Issaquah could start next year

October 25, 2011

City, college partner to plan Issaquah campus

Bellevue College could start construction on a campus in the Issaquah Highlands as early as next year, college and city officials announced, as the project gains momentum despite budget cuts and a dismal forecast from Olympia.

The college purchased about 20 acres last year in a complicated transfer of development rights designed to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland from construction and open additional highlands land to builders.

“In a time when a lot of the news in our part of world is very depressing, in terms of budget cuts and things, this is something we can look forward to,” Laura Saunders, Bellevue College interim president, said in a presentation to City Council members Sept. 27. “This is a way of building to the future.”

Throughout the summer, crews built and paved a road to access the planned campus.

Keith Niven, city Major Development Review Team program manager, said the timetable for construction is a surprise.

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State nets almost $3 million from Discover Pass sales

October 25, 2011

Sales prompt backups, confusion at state park

The state-mandated Discover Pass generated $2.9 million for state parks and other public recreation lands since the state and retailers started offering the pass in June — crucial dollars for the cash-strapped agencies responsible for managing public lands.

Officials started requiring a $30 annual pass or a $10 day-use pass to park vehicles at recreation lands statewide July 1. The pass is mandatory for state parks, as well as lands managed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources.

State public lands agencies need to generate about $60 million per year in sales to compensate for deep budget cuts. The agencies split the revenue — 84 percent for state parks and 8 percent apiece for the others.

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