Club to convert tennis courts for soccer

February 12, 2013

Change is coming to the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Seattle-based Arena Sports intends to purchase the property. Plans call for the company to upgrade the pool and fitness areas, and convert the tennis courts into a soccer field and indoor inflatable playground.

Arena Sports also operates facilities at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, and in South Seattle and Redmond.

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Greenway leader is choice for Cabinet

February 12, 2013

REI leader Sally Jewell, a leader in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, is President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. interior secretary.

Jewell is Kent-based REI’s president and CEO, in addition to serving as a board member for the nonprofit organization underpinning the greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington.

Obama announced Jewell’s appointment Feb. 6 at a White House ceremony. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to succeed outgoing Department of the Interior chief Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

Jewell started as CEO at REI in 2005 after earlier stints in the banking and energy industries. Throughout Jewell’s tenure, REI increased sales from $1 billion to almost $2 billion, and added 71 stores, including a store at the Issaquah Commons in 2007.



Register for Youth Job Skills Fair

February 12, 2013

Registration is open for the March 9 Youth Job Skills Fair at Issaquah High School.

The fair is open to all youths ages 14 to 24 who live in Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, Renton, Redmond, Newcastle or unincorporated areas of East King County. Participants do not need to be enrolled in Issaquah School District schools.

This is event is free, but advance registration is required. Space is limited to 200 participants. Register at and submit the required forms.

Youth Job Skills Fair attendees will be able to access breakout sessions, including lessons about writing a winning resume, cultivating attention-grabbing interview skills, landing an internship, learning how to network, finding jobs in the global marketplace and more.

The fair is funded by the state Department of Social and Health Services through the Issaquah Community Network.

Issaquah planners envision opportunity in business district redevelopment

February 12, 2013

Issaquah leaders, planners and residents spent years on a blueprint to define redevelopment in the business district over the next few decades.

The guidelines approved late last year in the Central Issaquah Plan aim to transform about 1,000 acres along Interstate 90 from strip mall suburbia into a dense urban core in the next 30 years. The plan also increased the building height limit to 125 feet in the commercial core, up from 65 feet.

The change is meant to attract businesses and residents to mixed-use development.

“To some extent, if you build it, they will come — if it looks good and feels good,” said Mary Newsom, associate director, urban and regional affairs, at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and a former columnist for The Charlotte Observer.

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February 12, 2013

I-90 toll targets Eastside drivers

When tolling on the Evergreen Floating Bridge was first considered, this newspaper believed it should extend to the Interstate 90 bridge as well, to generate funds for the bridge at a quicker pace and to keep the cost down for any one group of commuters.

However, two years have passed and the notion of extending tolling on I-90 feels more like the Eastside is being picked on.

If Seattle commuters and visitors are asked to help pay for a new bridge, shouldn’t it extend to all, including those coming and going along the Interstate 5 corridor and state Highway 99?

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Off The Press

February 12, 2013

Adding spice to another Salmon Days

As you may have read on our front page two weeks ago, the Salmon Days Festival has chosen this year’s theme, “Streaming Live,” for the city’s annual October blast of fishy fun. Swimming through a crest of water that looks like an oscilloscope wave is a school of high-tech, rainbow-hued coho salmon, with their fins leaving trails of pixelated bubbles in their wake.

One of the unsung heroes of Salmon Days is Mirrormont resident Robin Dale Spicer, who frequently suggests the theme and always provides the artistic creativity for the logos, the pins, the festival clothing — the “look” of the event.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

For “Streaming Live,” Kelley quotes Spicer saying, “‘It just came into my head. It seems perfect and I can’t think of anything else.’” Kelley calls it “colorful and powerful, she was so right.”

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To the Editor

February 12, 2013


Annexation under review again?

Noted in recent editions of The Issaquah Press, the unincorporated areas contained within the borders of Issaquah-Fall City Road, Issaquah-Pine Lake Road and Issaquah-Beaver Lake Road/Southeast 32nd Way — known as the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area, or Klahanie PAA — is again under review for annexation.

Opinions will vary for residents as to preference for annexing to Issaquah versus Sammamish versus remaining unincorporated. Currently under Washington state law and the King County Countywide Planning Policies, the city of Issaquah has the first right of refusal to annex the Klahanie PAA.

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Liberty grad takes food truck to head of the class

February 12, 2013

Michael Kramer grew up in the kitchen. So, it’s no surprise to his closest family members and friends that his food truck Za’aTar is receiving rave reviews.

As a youngster, if he weren’t entwined in his grandmother’s legs while she was cooking comfort food worthy of any diner, he’d be underfoot while his dad whipped up a pretty mean homestyle Italian meal

What to know

To follow Za’aTar’s locations, go to:


Now 22, the Liberty High School graduate said that in looking back, it was perhaps his mother who provided the most memorable life lessons to prepare him for what not to do while running a kitchen.

Contributed Late-night customers line up for fresh Mediterranean food from the Liberty High School graduate Michael Kramer’s food truck Za’atar Dec. 13 when it set up shop at Second and Pike in downtown Seattle.

Late-night customers line up for fresh Mediterranean food from the Liberty High School graduate Michael Kramer’s food truck Za’atar Dec. 13 when it set up shop at Second and Pike in downtown Seattle.

“One time when we went camping, she was trying to fry up some potatoes for breakfast when she asked, ‘Why is the oil bubbling up?’” Kramer recalled.

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Red Corner seeks to carve out niche in crowded market

February 12, 2013

Red Corner, the newest Chinese restaurant in town, faces an uphill battle trying to wrangle its way into a small dining market already saturated with established Asian eateries.

With so many other Chinese restaurants with their own loyal clientele, it takes something special to pry them away to build up your own base of regulars. Red Corner might not pull it off.


If you go

Red Corner Chinese Restaurant

  • 1025 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
  • 391-9888
  • 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Appetizers: $4.95 to $13.95; soups: $1.95 to $12.95; entrées: $9.95 to $16.95

Red Corner offers up Szechuan cuisine inside a hole-in-the-wall diner next to Gold’s Gym. While dining with a couple of friends, nothing we had was bad, but just nothing we ate was particularly memorable either.

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Liberty hosts discussion about prevention

February 12, 2013

Families can learn more about alcohol and drug use among Liberty High School students — plus ways to prevent illegal use and communicate with teenagers — at a community event.

Kevin Haggerty, a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Social Work, is scheduled to present a discussion titled “Teens, Marijuana & Alcohol: Setting the Framework for Healthy Communication” from 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Liberty High School Performing Arts Center, 16655 S.E. 136th St.

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