CleanScapes accepts computers, electronics for recycling

February 5, 2013

 NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

CleanScapes is accepting unwanted computers and electronics for donation at the company’s Gilman Village store.

Through a partnership between CleanScapes and Seattle-based nonprofit organization InterConnection, residents can drop off old electronics at 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Each donation is tax-deductible and benefits InterConnection’s technology access programs.

InterConnection then collects the materials and erases the computer hard drives using U.S. Department of Defense protocol. Reusable computers then get refurbished and recycled to nonprofit organizations for use.

InterConnection refurbishes and reuses more than half of the computers it receives. The organization’s refurbished laptops, tablets and desktops benefitted more than 800 nonprofit organizations nationwide and helped thousands of low-income families and students in the Puget Sound area last year.

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Washington ranks near bottom for taxes per income

February 5, 2013

 NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

Washington ranked near the bottom in state and local taxes paid per $1,000 of personal income in 2010, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data published by the state Department of Revenue.

Washingtonians paid $96.08 in taxes for every $1,000 in income, the second-lowest rate in 50 years. Officials recorded the lowest rate in 2009 at $93.24 per $1,000 in income.

Even though 2010 taxes climbed higher than in 2009, Washington dropped a notch among the states from its 35th ranking in 2009 to 36th in 2010 because taxes in some other states increased more.

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Wells Fargo is latest Issaquah Highlands tenant

February 2, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 2, 2013

Wells Fargo is the latest announced tenant for the long-planned Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo plans to open a 2,600-square-foot branch at Highlands Drive Northeast and Northeast Federal Drive by September.

Customers can expect to see “green” features in the business, such as energy efficient light fixtures, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and sustainably grown and harvested wood materials.

The company also announced plans to open 15 to 20 outposts throughout the Puget Sound region in the next five years.

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Issaquah starts 30-day countdown to plastic bag ban

January 31, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013

The citywide ban on most retail plastic bags starts March 1, and Issaquah leaders reminded residents to prepare in the 30 days before the legislation goes into effect.

The measure also sets a 5-cent fee for most paper carryout bags. Under the ordinance, retailers keep the fee to offset the cost to phase out plastic bags and shoppers can see the expense itemized on receipts.

Though the ordinance requires most plastic bags to disappear from retailers in March, consumers should not expect to see the bags vanish altogether.

The legislation contains exemptions for plastic bags for bakery items, bulk foods, meat, produce, dry cleaning, newspapers, small hardware items and takeout foods.

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Issaquah innovators earn business honor

January 29, 2013

Innovation in Issaquah is exemplified by a leading apparel manufacturer, a revolutionary process to transform garbage into fertilizer and a theater renowned for fostering Broadway-bound musicals.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of garbage-to-fertilizer harvesters, and the nonprofit Village Theatre — at a Jan. 24 ceremony and luncheon.

Leaders from the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services. Honorees demonstrate innovation in product development, services, systems or strategies.

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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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