Issaquah man develops sudoku-inspired game to teach math skills

January 22, 2013

Victor Zou (right), the creator of Sukugo, poses with his wife and business partner Lucy Lu and a Sukugo game board, in their Issaquah home. Sukugo is a family-friendly board game that can help develop a child’s math skills, Zou said. By Christina Corrales-Toy

Issaquah resident Victor Zou first tried sudoku on a long bus ride while headed for a company retreat. He was intrigued by the numbered logic puzzle, but put off by the solitary and bland nature of the game. Sudoku, he said, could be so much more.

So, Zou set out to create a product that could be the centerpiece of family game night and challenge kids and adults alike to use both sides of their brains. The result is Sukugo, a versatile and colorful sudoku board game that develops users’ logic and reasoning.

“Our left brain is really good at math, numbers and logical reasoning, but our right brain is more about color and creative thinking, so I wanted to combine these two together to really make an enjoyable game,” he said.

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Issaquah health fair offers wellness screenings

January 15, 2013

The annual Issaquah/Sammamish Health & Safety Fair returns to Pickering Barn from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9 with plenty of free health screenings to make it fun and worthwhile for area families.

The fair will feature 50 or more health care professionals. Free health screening will include blood pressure, glucose, eye pressure, injury screening, posture and spinal analysis, oral cancer, sleep apnea and orthotic evaluations. There will be free gifts and information to take home.

The King County Police Union will host its MY ID Club, offering parents free fingerprints of their children, an important tool should children be abducted. The Issaquah Citizen Corps Council, the city of Issaquah and Eastside Fire & Rescue will offer safety and emergency preparedness information.

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Issaquah Trophy & Awards helps homeless

January 15, 2013

Issaquah Trophy & Awards has selected Heroes for the Homeless as its latest Awards for a Cause recipient.

If a customer purchases select awards on the Issaquah Trophy & Awards website,, a portion of proceeds goes to Heroes for the Homeless.

Heroes for the Homeless serves up to 700 people every month by providing food and water, hygiene supplies, clothing, tents and sleeping bags, and information about how to access social services.

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Sleep Country USA collects pajamas for foster children

January 15, 2013

Sleep Country USA is hosting a Pajama Drive for foster children through March 3 to collect pajamas, socks and underwear to distribute among local foster care organizations.

People can donate new pajamas, socks and underwear in all sizes — from infant to adult — at the Issaquah store, 730 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite C-110, or Sleep Country USA locations elsewhere.

The local store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Sammamish pet store moves to Issaquah Highlands

January 15, 2013

Sammamish pet store Civilized Nature plans to move to the Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza, by August.

Civilized Nature owner D’Arcy Dent has been looking for a new space after learning that Petco would be moving close to its existing location in the Sammamish Highlands retail center.

The developer of Grand Ridge Plaza, Florida-based Regency Centers, is also the owner of Sammamish Highlands.

Expect Grand Ridge Plaza’s initial offerings — Regal Cinemas and some restaurants — to open at about the same time in the spring.

Issaquah apartment complex sells for $28.2 million

January 8, 2013

Issaquah’s Langara Apartment Homes sold to a California real estate company for almost $28.2 million last month, according to King County property records.

Langara Apartment Homes consists of 100 units in 11 buildings on a 5.56-acre site. The complex opened to residents in 2001.

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State loosens restrictions for small developments

January 8, 2013

The state Department of Ecology recently changed development rules to give local governments, including Issaquah and King County, more flexibility for small construction projects.

The rule change to the State Environmental Policy Act allows local governments more leeway to exempt minor construction projects from review under the law, such as small-scale residential housing developments, as well as certain agricultural, commercial office and school buildings.

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TalkingRain’s Sparkling ICE earns beverage honor

January 8, 2013

Preston-based TalkingRain received a national beverage honor for Sparkling ICE, a zero-calorie beverage.

Sparkling ICE recently earned the title of Best Enhanced Water at the 10th Annual BevNET Live Winter Conference in Santa Monica, Calif.

BevNET is the leading beverage-oriented media company and a respected authority on the beverage industry. The awards serve as a benchmark for the developing beverage landscape.

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Tougher dig law goes into effect with intent to reduce damage

January 3, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 3, 2013

Changes to the state call-before-you-dig law went into effect Tuesday, 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 improve communication and decrease damage to underground pipelines and utilities.

Under the law, excavators and utilities must report to the Utilities and Transportation Commission any damage to underground facilities within 45 days. Under the previous law, excavators only had to report damage to regulated natural gas and hazardous liquid facilities.

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Jones Soda Co. bottles Issaquah High School purple, gold beverages

January 1, 2013

The Jones Soda bottles in Issaquah High School flavors of grape and pineapple cream feature pictures of Issaquah students at a school assembly and cheering for their football team. By Greg Farrar

Stores will soon introduce an innovative tandem of new Jones Sodas, featuring pictures and ideals furnished by nearby Issaquah High School and Eagles event coordinator Tim Baynes.

Baynes has been working in unison with Eric Chastain, vice president of operations with Jones Soda Co.’s Seattle headquarters. The tiny inscription on the back of the Grape Soda bottle reads:

“Issaquah High School is located at the foot of the beautiful Cascade Mountain range in the heart of Issaquah. We pride ourselves in our ability to serve and support one another and the world around us. Whether that is building wells in Ethiopia and Nepal or joining the fight against cancer, we impact our world when we work together.

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