AtWork! dumps subminimum wage jobs for clients with disabilities

August 6, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015

As of Jan. 1 of this year, the Washington state minimum wage became $9.47 per hour.

However, there are 40 organizations statewide authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay subminimum wages. One of those organizations is Issaquah’s AtWork!, which helps put people with disabilities from all around the Seattle area into wage-earning jobs. Rules allow some workers with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage based on their productivity.

As of the end of July, AtWork! officials were happy to announce, via press release, that it would no longer place any employee in a position that earns less than the state minimum wage.

“We believe that all workers have a basic right to integrated employment at a fair wage, including workers with disabilities,” Chris Brandt, AtWork! CEO, said in the news release. “How serendipitous that the 25th anniversary of the ADA coincides with AtWork!’s end to paying subminimum wages. We are proud and honored to celebrate these two momentous events.” Read more

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To the Editor — July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

Recycling center

Residents still need the  center, will miss convenience

Our household is saddened by the news of the closure of the Issaquah Recycling Center. Not all of us here on the outskirts of the city have the luxury of curbside recycling, so a stop at the recycling center had become a near-weekly stop to unload cardboard, plastic, glass, newspapers and more.

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To the Editor — July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

Dangerous crossing

When will the city do something to really fix the problem?

Well, here we are three years after the former mayor wrote me this letter, promising improvements to the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive.

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Human Services Campus plans move forward

August 26, 2014

Issaquah’s planned Human Services Campus has made its way back to the City Council for discussion.

Service organizations AtWork!, of Issaquah, and the Together Center, of Redmond, have long worked to develop an Issaquah campus that would incorporate a number of local nonprofit organizations under one roof.

A search for a location to house the campus held the project up until last year. Now, with a location in mind, the two organizations will work on a three-party agreement with the city to see the plan come to fruition.

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Art goes outdoors for new weeklong festival

July 15, 2014

ArtEAST and the Issaquah Highlands Council have separately done their parts to support and enliven the local arts community. Now, the two groups have combined efforts to present the area’s first ever Art Outside festival.

The weeklong festival that started July 11. It combines five events from the two organizations and lasts through July 20. ArtEAST Executive Director Karen Abel said combining forces with the Issaquah Highlands Council for the festival is a match made in heaven.

“ArtEAST has always been about supporting artists getting involved with the community and the Highlands Council wanted a way to get the community involved with art at their annual festival,” Abel said.

One of the artists participating in the Plein Air Paint Out is Arlon Rosenoff, who painted this painting, ‘Sun dress.’

One of the artists participating in the Plein Air Paint Out is Arlon Rosenoff, who painted this painting, ‘Sun dress.’

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‘Caring Community Award’ nods are due May 14

May 6, 2014

Life Enrichment Options, AtWork! and the Tavon Center invite the community to nominate a volunteer who dedicates him or herself to supporting those with developmental disabilities for a “Caring Community Award,” as part of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s Community Volunteer Awards.

Awards will be presented at the 35th annual Community Awards Banquet on May 22, where Issaquah’s service clubs celebrate and honor those volunteers dedicated to making a difference.

Deadline for nominations is May 14. Submit a nomination at

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Maywood Kiwanis Builders Club helps children, seniors

March 18, 2014

The latest addition to the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah family is the Maywood Middle School Kiwanis Builders Club.

The chartering of the Maywood Builders Club was initiated two years ago by Key Clubber Lisa Antonio, currently lieutenant governor of PNW Key Club Division 28. It took two years to find a faculty adviser, Samantha Neff.

With her leadership, the Kiwanis Maywood Builders Club recently engaged Kiwanis and Key Club with the project of making hospital dolls for Seattle Children’s. Doctors use the dolls to explain medical procedures by drawing the procedure on a doll, which is then given to the patient.

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Earned privilege

March 11, 2014

In a life of milestones, local author meets another with self-published book

Sitting in a ray of sunshine in his “hooray for me” room in his Cougar Mountain home, Randy Harrison paused while discussing his book “West From Yesterday.”

From the window seat in the room (a Southern nickname for a room full of mementos from one’s life), the first-time author said he had shared the manuscript with family and friends before self-publishing it through They’d realized the tale of Tucker, a post-Civil War-era plantation owner who journeys West in a bout of self-discovery, sounded a lot like someone they knew.

By David Hayes Randy Harrison, author of ‘West from Yesterday’ stands in his Cougar Mountain home’s ‘hooray-for-me’ room where he’s planning his next project — teaching himself to play guitar.

By David Hayes
Randy Harrison, author of ‘West from Yesterday’ stands in his Cougar Mountain home’s ‘hooray-for-me’ room where he’s planning his next project — teaching himself to play guitar.

“They said they found a lot of me in Tucker,” Harrison said. “I realized both me and Tucker were from a Virginia family, had come from a life of privilege only by birth. And we both felt a sense of obligation that we had to earn what comes from that gift of privilege.”

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Mayor states goals in first State of the City speech

February 25, 2014

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler vowed to maintain momentum in his first State of the City speech.

By Greg Farrar Fred Butler is a member of the Issaquah City Council.

Fred Butler


Given during the Feb. 18 regular City Council meeting, the speech laid out what Butler hopes to achieve in the first year of his inaugural term.

“A community is made up of many elements,” he said. “We are blessed with an outstanding school district, an active and professional chamber of commerce, students who are involved, first-class medical facilities and a City Council dedication to regional involvement.”

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December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday should be only the beginning

If you missed the opportunity to make a charitable donation on Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3, never fear. The need is still there today and your check will be every bit as welcome.

If there is a community with a bigger heart than Issaquah’s, we’d like to meet it. It may be true that much of Issaquah’s population is well off enough to be able to write donation checks, but that doesn’t mean they have to.

Just last week, 2,419 people turned out for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank’s fourth annual Turkey Trot. That’s a few miles of running down the road — and runners actually paid for the privilege.

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