City offers human services grants

April 10, 2012

Issaquah is seeking proposals for human service programs to fund in 2013-14.

In the past, city grants funded programs such as Eastside Baby Corner, Friends of Youth and the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

Potential recipients can apply at The application deadline is 4 p.m. April 26.

Email city Human Services Consultant Steve Gierke at to learn more.

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Citizens can comment on proposed Issaquah Highlands land sale

April 10, 2012

The city could sell a small parcel in the Issaquah Highlands, and residents can offer input on the proposal April 16.

The property under consideration is 14,693 square feet, or about the size of the Issaquah Library, in the Issaquah Highlands’ Forest Ridge subdivision. If sold, the land could be used for residences.

People interested in the proposed transaction can appear at the City Council’s public hearing and offer input for or against the item, or provide comments about the proposed agreement. The council meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way, at 7:30 p.m.

The property is part of a complicated transfer of development rights completed in March 2011. In exchange for preserving a forested Tiger Mountain site near Issaquah High School, officials agreed to open additional highlands land to development.

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Schools administrator to take assistant superintendent spot

April 10, 2012

The Edmonds School District has tabbed Issaquah School District administrator Patrick Murphy as its new assistant superintendent for secondary schools, according to an announcement made on the Edmonds district website.

Murphy currently serves as Issaquah’s executive director of secondary education, a position he has held for four years. Murphy also spent 12 years as a middle school principal and high school assistant principal in Issaquah schools.

In his current post, Murphy’s duties include providing leadership and support for secondary schools; supervision of high school principals; all high school co-curricular activities, athletic and academic programs; and oversight of the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, according to the Edmonds website.

Murphy received his Washington State Superintendent Certificate from Washington State University in 2010 and will earn his doctorate in education from WSU this fall. His state principal certification was through the Danforth Program at the University of Washington.

Prior to coming to Issaquah, Murphy was a junior high school assistant principal in Bremerton. He taught social studies in the South Kitsap School District before going to Bremerton.

In Edmonds, Murphy replaces Assistant Superintendent Ken Limon, who is retiring in June. Murphy’s first day on the job in Edmonds is July 1.

Issaquah schools are on spring break and Murphy was not available for comment.

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Users can transfer state recreation pass between vehicles

April 10, 2012

Users can transfer the Discover Pass for state parks and recreation lands between vehicles, under legislation Gov. Chris Gregoire signed March 30 — not long before Memorial Day launches the summer recreation season.

The change to the 1-year-old Discover Pass took effect immediately. The legislation allows users to transfer the annual pass between two vehicles at no additional cost.

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Issaquah School District bond issue is now in the hands of voters

April 10, 2012

As of April 9, an estimated 43,000 voters had returned ballots that will help decide six issues on the ballot of the April 17 special election, said Kim Van Ekstrom, chief communications officer for the King County elections department.

The questions include a $219 million capital improvement bond issue put forth by the Issaquah School District. The 43,000 ballots represent all ballots returned in elections throughout the county, not just from the Issaquah School District. The county has not counted ballots for individual election questions, Van Ekstrom said.

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Judge upholds Costco-backed liquor initiative

April 10, 2012

The state can continue to implement the Costco-backed initiative to privatize liquor operations, a judge ruled March 19.

Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning reversed a March 2 ruling and upheld Initiative 1183.

In the earlier ruling, Warning upheld most of I-1183, but decided the measure violated a state rule prohibiting initiatives from addressing more than a single subject. I-1183 included a section directing $10 million to public safety, in addition to the liquor-privatization language.

The attorneys for the state said the source of funds and the allocation of funds share a close connection, so the section did not violate the single-subject rule.

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King County to explore internship program for veterans

April 10, 2012

King County leaders introduced a measure March 26 to tap into veterans’ knowledge and skills to create a county internship program for former service members.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert and Councilman Reagan Dunn — Issaquah-area representatives on the council — joined Councilman Bob Ferguson to craft the legislation. The measure calls on county government to explore a possible veteran internship program and present the results to the council by Aug. 23.

The representatives called on staffers to evaluate existing county employment policies and practices for veterans, explore potential costs to operate the internship program and identify possible funding sources.

The legislation also calls for analysis of comparable veteran internship efforts. Los Angeles and San Diego operate similar programs.

“In addition to technical skills, military veterans bring with them a built-in dedication to public service that can be of great benefit to our county operations and our citizens,” Lambert said in a statement. “We can honor the sacrifice of these veterans by welcoming them home with meaningful work and opportunities.”

(Dunn, a Republican, is running for state attorney general against Ferguson, a Democrat.)

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Follow precautions, rules as wildfire season starts

April 10, 2012

Though springtime rain continues to drench the ground, wildfire season starts April 15.

The date is mandated in state law. The state Department of Natural Resources reminds residents to be aware of how rapidly a cool, rainy spring can transition to warmer, drier conditions.

State summer fire rules go into effect April 15 and last through Oct. 15. These rules apply to the 12.7 million acres of forestlands protected from wildfire by the agency, including Tiger Mountain State Forest.

In fire season, people using motorized equipment in the woods must have approved spark arresters and follow fire safety precautions. Citizens working in the woods must have fire prevention and extinguishing equipment at the job site, in good working order, and staffers trained in proper use.

Residents can receive fire updates from the agency via Twitter,, through the Fire Update, and the Incident Information System,

Call 800-527-3305 toll-free for daily fire precaution levels listed by geographic region.

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Consumers laud warehouse chain in national grocery survey

April 10, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco earned high marks among 52 major grocery chains in a Consumer Reports survey released April 3.

The largest warehouse club chain in the United States clinched the No. 5 spot on the list. Survey respondents lauded Costco for price, products and shopping environment, but dinged the retail giant for customer service.

The 24,203 Consumer Reports subscribers involved in the survey rated Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Publix and Fareway in the top spots in the survey. (Trader Joe’s operates a store in Issaquah at Pickering Place.)

Though Costco earned points for a selection of quality meat and produce, a clean shopping environment and budget-friendly prices, the chain faltered in the service category, defined as employee courtesy and checkout speed.

Consumer Reports said “service is minimal at warehouse clubs such as Costco, and lengthy lines are a tradeoff for day-in, day-out deals.”

Pathmark, Walmart Supercenter, Shaw’s, A&P and Jewel-Osco received the lowest rankings in the survey.

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Banic Chiropractic and Massage is moving to downtown

April 10, 2012

Banic Chiropractic and Massage opens for business April 16 at its new downtown location, 72 E. Sunset Way. A family open house — featuring office tours, chair massages, children’s activities, music, free gifts and refreshments — is from noon to 4 p.m. April 21.

“We’ve grown out of our current office and it doesn’t really reflect our quality of service,” said Dr. Leslie Banic, who owns Banic Chiropractic and Massage along with her husband, Dr. Tony Banic. “With our new building, we get a totally updated facility and so much more room.”

The Banics will add spinal decompression, laser therapy and vibration plate personal training to their regular offerings of spinal adjustments, traction, exercise therapy and massage. In addition, they will add a second massage room and space for nutritional counseling with their clients.

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