Virginia Mason Medical Center CEO touts innovation

January 29, 2013

Dr. Gary Kaplan sought to streamline health care and create a safer — and more inviting — environment for patients upon assuming the CEO post at Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2000.

“We said, ‘Should we just focus on being victims of this system? Can we just complain and go to Congress and say, “Give us more money,” or should we actually focus on our circle of concern and our circle of influence — things we can actually do something about?’” he recalled Jan. 24 at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation in Issaquah luncheon.

So, Kaplan, a practicing internal medicine physician at the hospital, set out to apply the Toyota Production System, or Lean, to health care management with goals to rein in high costs and improve quality, safety and efficiency to deliver better and more affordable health care.

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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ sets Village Theatre sales record

January 29, 2013

By Jay Koh/Village Theatre Eric Polani Jensen stars as Tevye in Village Theatre’s record-setting production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

Eric Polani Jensen stars as Tevye in Village Theatre’s record-setting production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ By Jay Koh/Village Theatre

Theatergoers embraced “Fiddler on the Roof” and propelled the classic musical to a Village Theatre sales record.

The spectacle centered on the godfearing milkman Tevye played at the downtown Issaquah theater through November and December, and then shifted to the Everett Performing Arts Center.

In Issaquah, a record 32,726 audience members attended the show, including more than 14,000 single-ticket buyers — a significant number for a playhouse reliant on seasonal subscribers.

In Everett, “Fiddler on the Roof” set more milestones. The show reached the revenue goals before opening night — a first for Village Theatre’s Snohomish County stage — and broke the sales record for single-ticket revenue two weeks before “Fiddler on the Roof” closed Jan. 27.

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Central Issaquah Plan team earns honor from chamber

January 29, 2013

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders honored residents, planners and City Council members Jan. 24 for crafting and adopting a long-term redevelopment plan.

The council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan in December to transform the business district from strip mall suburbia into a dense urban core punctuated by buildings up to 125 feet tall.

The chamber praised the people involved in the Central Issaquah Plan effort at the annual Innovation in Issaquah Luncheon.

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Forest Fairy Bakery opens in downtown Issaquah

January 29, 2013

Forest Fairy Bakery, a staple at the Issaquah Farmers Market, has opened a brick-and-mortar location downtown.

The bakery, 485 Front St. N., D-1, specializes in artisan breads, cookies, cakes and organic granola.

The business dates back to 2004 and is committed to offering trans-fat and preservative-free products.

Learn more about Forest Fairy Bakery, and order items online, at www.forestfairybakery.com.

QuickMedical celebrates 20 years in business

January 29, 2013

QuickMedical medical supply company recently celebrated its 20th year in business in Issaquah.

In 1993, Scott Hanna and a couple of friends created the first digital height measuring device, Heightronic 23, to measure height to .01 centimeters. Sales were managed from Hanna’s garage in North Bend.

The company grew so quickly, it was moved to a warehouse in Snoqualmie and then finally a bigger facility in Issaquah.

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King Conservation District holds bareroot plant sale

January 29, 2013

Residents can stock up on native shrubs and trees as the King Conservation District holds a bareroot plant sale.

The taxpayer-funded district offers the plants for conservation purposes, such as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation and stream enhancement.

The plant stock is bareroot, meaning the shrubs and trees do not come in pots or burlap bags.

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Tougher dig safety law goes into effect

January 29, 2013

Changes to the state call-before-you-dig law went into effect Jan. 1, and the updated rules include stiffer penalties, mandatory damage reporting and clearer procedures — even for deep digging in a garden or yard.

The law affects all excavators, including contractors, homeowners and utilities. State lawmakers passed the law in 2011 at the request of the state Utilities and Transportation Commission. Officials said the switch is intended to decrease damage to underground pipelines and utilities.

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Bartell Drugs, public health agency offer flu vaccine

January 22, 2013

Bartell Drugs, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., offers in-store flu vaccinations during pharmacy hours for $29.99. Pharmacists can vaccinate anybody 5 and older. Patients ages 5-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In addition to regular flu vaccines, Bartell’s provides customers with other options, including the Flu Mist nasal spray and, for seniors 65 and old, Fluzone High-Dose vaccines and Fluzone Intradermal — the latest flu vaccination technology with a 90 percent reduction in needle length.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is offering free flu vaccination clinics at the Eastgate Public Health Center, 14350 S.E. Eastgate Way, Bellevue, on Wednesdays through January from 3-7 p.m.

The vaccination is available to people without insurance or who cannot afford to pay for vaccination otherwise.

Top Pot to open Issaquah drive-thru location

January 22, 2013

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts plans to open a drive-thru Issaquah location as early as next month — a first for the Seattle-based pastry purveyor.

Cofounder Mark Klebeck said Top Pot intends to upgrade Rowley Properties’ existing building at 1235 N.W. Maple St. — a round structure most recently occupied by Mondo’s Espresso — near the Issaquah Transit Center.

The iconic structure’s Mid-Century Modern design and proximity to the transit hub appealed to the Klebecks.

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IHOP offers complimentary stack for National Pancake Day

January 22, 2013

IHOP is offering free stacks Feb. 5 to celebrate National Pancake Day.

The restaurant chain intends to use the annual event to raise $3 million to kick off 2013 fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

During IHOP’s largest philanthropic event, guests are invited to enjoy a stack of complimentary buttermilk pancakes.

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