Democrats elect 5th Legislative District officers

March 8, 2011

Democrats in the 5th Legislative District elected Maple Valley resident Jim Baum as chairman Jan. 19.

The district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley. The organization represents the Democratic Party in the 5th District.

“I think we have turned an important corner in politics,” Baum said in a statement. “Conservative right-wing candidates like Sarah Palin have crested. It’s all downhill from here for Republicans.”

The biennial reorganization also shuffled other leadership positions.

The leadership team includes Sammamish resident Robyn Scola as first vice chairwoman, Sammamish resident Dorothy Willard as second vice chairwoman, Issaquah resident Jennifer Sutton as state committeewoman, and Maple Valley resident Mike Barer as state committeeman.

Sutton just completed a two-year term as chairwoman.

Members also elected Di Irons as secretary; Gloria Hatcher-Mays as treasurer; August Luniuck Rakita and David Spring as delegates to King County Democratic Central Committee; and Sadie Maloney and Konrad Roeder as alternate delegates. The group also elected Snoqualmie resident Scott Williams to the new role of communications director.

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Local Republicans re-elect party chairman

March 8, 2011

Longtime Republican and community activist Bob Brunjes has been selected for a third term as chairman of the 5th Legislative District GOP.

The organization represents the GOP in the 5th District. Brunjes oversees 182 precinct committee officers throughout the district.

The district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley. The district is unique in Western Washington for being represented entirely by Republicans.

King County GOP Chairwoman Lori Sotelo described him as “a tenacious professional.”

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Diners can sample bargains during restaurant month

March 8, 2011

Eateries encourage diners to sample special offers and menu items during Issaquah Restaurant Month.

The inaugural dine-out event kicked off March 1, as more than 20 restaurants rolled out discounts and other treats for diners. Organizers said the monthlong celebration is meant to attract attention to local restaurants, and encourage residents to try fresh flavors.

The participating restaurants include longtime establishments and newcomers. Diners interested in checking out Issaquah restaurants during the event can nosh on barbecue and pizza one day, and nachos and lo mein the next.

“Each restaurant will offer a lunch and/or dinner prix fixe menu that represents the best of what that restaurant has to offer,” Diane Symms, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants president and CEO, said in a release. “This is not a discount but rather an offer of quality and value for the community.”

Issaquah Restaurant Month is similar to events staged in Seattle and other major cities nationwide. The year-old Issaquah Restaurant Coalition, a trade group, coordinated and promoted the celebration.

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U.S. News honors Briarwood Health Center at Timber Ridge

March 8, 2011

Briarwood Health Center at Timber Ridge received five stars overall, the highest possible score in the in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s best nursing homes.

The rankings are based on health inspections, nurse staffing and measures of medical care quality. Briarwood received five stars for health inspections and nurse staffing and four stars for medical care quality.

U.S. News profiles and ranks more than 15,000 facilities nationwide and ranks them by state, using data from the federal government. The rankings are updated quarterly.

“Our team at Briarwood is extremely proud to be named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Nursing Homes for the third year in a row,” Briarwood Administrator Grant Linacre said. “Every day we strive to ensure our culture of caring and hospitality not only meet, but exceed our residents’ expectations.”

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State tourism guide spotlights Issaquah

March 8, 2011

Issaquah is highlighted as a destination for hiking and other attractions in the latest state travel planner.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce released a 152-page, full-color print travel planner Feb. 23. The digital guide is available at the Washington State Tourism website,

Users can browse the free guide or order a print copy online. Or call 1-800-544-1800 toll free.

The guide spotlights time-honored Issaquah attractions and traditions.

“A cute downtown, chocolate factory, zoological park and the famous Salmon Days Festival, held the last weekend in September, are just a few reasons to give Issaquah a try,” the guide states.

Salmon Days, for the record, is usually held the first weekend of October. The state corrected the online guide last week.

“Our goal is to provide visitors with the resources they need to plan a perfect getaway in Washington, so our new travel planner is chock full of helpful articles, maps and inspiring photos from all across our beautiful state,” Washington State Tourism Executive Director Marsha Massey said.

Officials did not use state funds to produce the guide and instead relied on advertising to cover production and printing costs for 350,000 copies.

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Raise the Dough for Seattle Children’s

March 8, 2011

Diners looking for a savory or sweet treat can get both and help sick children at the Hope on the Hill guild’s second annual fundraiser in the Issaquah Highlands on March 22.

Mark Mullet’s two franchises — Zeeks Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s — will donate 20 percent of the day’s sales, including take out and delivery, to uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s.

Last year, before Mullet opened Ben & Jerry’s, the fundraiser raised $1,200 for the hospital at Zeeks. This year, the guild has a goal of raising at least $1,500, Hope on the Hill event chair Amy Trenary said.

In 2010, the hospital provided more than $100 million in uncompensated care to families in need.

“We want all kids to be able to have access to the best health care possible, regardless of their family’s ability to pay,” Trenary said.

The guild started in 2009 and has collected money and toys for Seattle Children’s through a variety of ways, including the Tea for Hope auction.

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Photographer splashes water work at two shows

March 8, 2011

Mark Dyason first picked up a camera as a teenager growing up in London in the 1960s. Black-and-white photography was the rage; nothing was instant the way digital technology is today.

Squak Mountain resident Mark Dyason’s photograph ‘Steps to the Ocean’ is on display at two photography shows on the Eastside. By Mark Dyason

“It was a whole process compared to today in terms of chemicals and dark rooms and enlargers,” Dyason said.

He got his degree in structural engineering and now works as a project manager for a full service commercial real estate company, but his hobby has not changed: Dyason owns three cameras, and he usually has at least one on him that he’s snapping pictures with, either for work or for pleasure. He even had one of his photos — a picture of a structure in Germany — published in the July 2010 issue of Shutterbug magazine.

Now, everyone can see his photos. This past winter, the Squak Mountain resident took a photography class with Bellevue College’s Continuing Education Program, called Shoot to Show.

The class’ artwork hangs at two locations: Daniel Smith Art Supplies, in Bellevue, through March 16 and Vino at the Landing, in Renton, through May 1.

“I love it. It’s fantastic,” Chris Frazer, art curator for Vino at the Landing, said. “It’s a whole new look for us.”

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Issaquah students serve as legislative pages

March 8, 2011

Iman Baghai, an Issaquah High School 10th-grader, and Issaquah Middle School eighth-grader Justine Connelly recently served as a legislative pages in January, seen here on the floor of the state House of Representatives with Rep. Marcie Maxwell, D-Renton.

Students ages 14-17 are eligible to serve as a legislative page in the state House or Senate, where for one week, they deliver messages for lawmakers and learn first hand about the democratic process

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Community Calendar

March 8, 2011


John Scieszka, the popular “Guys Read” advocate and author of the “Stinky Cheese Man” and “Time Warp Trio” series, speaks and signs books at 7 p.m. March 9 at the Sammamish Library, 825 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish. Call 392-3130.

The Pomegranate Center, based in Issaquah, presents From Anger to Insight from 6-8 p.m. March 9 at the McKinstry Innovation Center, 5005 Third Ave. S., Seattle. This salon discussion is about extreme rhetoric in community conversations and what we can do to make these conversations more collaborative and productive. Pomegranate Center’s Executive Director Milenko Matanovic will moderate the discussion. Jim Lauinger, former mayor of Kirkland, and Dianne Brudnicki, Duvall City Councilwoman, will bring their perspective to the conversation. RSVP to this free event at

ArtEAST presents Art of the Written Word March 11 to April 24 at its UpFront Gallery, 95 Front St. N. An opening reception is from 6-8 p.m. March 11. Go to

Issaquah Paddle Sports is taking registrations for its annual spring nature tour along the shores of Lake Sammamish from 9 a.m. to noon or 1:30-4:30 p.m. March 12 or 1:30-4:30 p.m. March 13 at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road. Registration is $6 per person. Kayak rentals are $10 per single and $15 per double or triple. Pre-register by calling 206-527-1825 or 866-306-1825 toll free. Learn more at

Healthy Living Series, presented by Snoqualmie Valley Hospital pharmacist Ron Bennet speaking about top five categories of prescription drugs, is at 1 p.m. March 16 at Bellewood Retirement Living, 3710 Providence Point Drive S.E. Call 391-2880.

BMC is hosting an open house with the Masterbuilders Association Remodelers Council for SnoKing March 17 at the Issaquah location, 5210 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. There will be food and beverages and a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses. Call 657-4012.

Just Between Friends Children’s & Maternity Consignment Event, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19, and 9 a.m. to noon March 20, Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. Entry fee is $2 March 18, free the other two days. Learn more and find a coupon for free admission at Call 233-1703.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries plans Issaquah restaurant

March 8, 2011

Five Guys Burgers and Fries is planning to open in the Issaquah Commons.

Operators applied for a business license from the city Feb. 16, and a sign announcing the restaurant appeared in a vacant storefront at the commons at about the same time. The opening date has not been announced, and a Five Guys spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

The restaurant features a no-frills menu — think burgers, fries and hot dogs.

The market research firm Chain Store Guide ranked Five Guys at No. 3 last year among the 50 fastest-growing restaurant chains in the United States and Canada. Five Guys boasts more than 500 outlets nationwide.

The closest Five Guys restaurant to Issaquah is in The Landing in Renton, and another is planned to open soon at Overlake Fashion Plaza in Bellevue.

Five Guys is the latest national or regional chain to set up shop in the Issaquah Commons in recent months.

See’s Candies opened a shop just before Valentine’s Day and Bright Now! Dental settled in last November.

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