Off The Press — Holiday season should remind what’s important

November 18, 2014

Two years ago, my soon-to-be-wife and I spent Thanksgiving in Spokane with my father, and we shared an experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

My dad and I both earned our degrees from Washington State University, and naturally we’re both big fans of Cougar football. His roots with the football program stretch much deeper than mine — as a small boy, he accepted the challenge of some fraternity brothers and carried a live duck onto the field during a game against Oregon. Or so the legend goes.

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November 26, 2013

Shop Small, Shop Local comes to Issaquah

We have all heard the hype surrounding Black Friday, when big box retailers roll out their lowest sale prices of the year to kick off the holiday shopping season. And then there is Cyber Monday, the big day for online shopping orders.

But Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize the storefronts right in their own hometowns.

Building on the theme of Small Business Saturday, initiated by American Express in 2010, the catchier phrase Shop Small has become a nationwide movement. The Downtown Issaquah Association adopted the movement to get things rolling here, literally.

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Puget Sound Energy offers LED bulbs to Black Friday shoppers

November 21, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 21, 2012

Puget Sound Energy residential electric customers planning to hit Issaquah stores early for Black Friday shopping can receive a free LED bulb from the utility provider.

The first 50 people in line at Best Buy and Fred Meyer can receive a 40-watt equivalent LED bulb. The energy-efficient bulb uses less energy than incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, lasts years longer and is dimmable.

Best Buy shoppers receive a free Insignia 9-watt LED bulb, a $14 value. Fred Meyer shoppers receive a free Tulip LED bulb, a $17 value.

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Issaquah retailers prepare for Black Friday rush

November 20, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving, long before the sun rises, open season for bargains starts at retailers throughout Issaquah and beyond.

Black Friday sends shoppers pinging from store to store like a pinball in search of deals — a 32-inch LCD television for $147 at Target, perhaps, or a Blu-ray player for $39.99 at Best Buy. Consumers brave predawn darkness, long lines and sharp elbows to score early-bird bargains.

The boost to retailers’ bottom lines could also offer a jolt to city coffers. Popular Black Friday destinations — including Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Fred Meyer, Target and, of course, Issaquah-based Costco — lure consumers from throughout the region.

Issaquah is a retail hub on the Eastside, and city officials hope the holiday rush resuscitates a flat year for spending. Overall, sales tax revenue forms a key piece in the city budget — a larger share than property tax revenue and permit fees, other main sources of dollars.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue launches food, gift drive

November 20, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue is joining local businesses for a holiday season food and gift drive set to start on Black Friday.

The agency, Issaquah-based First Due Movers and Fred Meyer plan to collect food, clothing and toys from Nov. 23-25 in Lake Sammamish Center at Fred Meyer, 6100 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. Items donated during the drive go to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank and the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank in North Bend.

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Off the Press

December 6, 2011

The latest invention: the iColumnist

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Never fear! Although the passing of Steve Jobs has left many of us Applemaniacs saddened and adrift, there still are people with many good ideas for products which, in the tradition of this great inventor, Americans don’t know they have to have until they get in long lines to buy them.

One of those idea people is me. Although these products are not available this Christmas, by next year they’ll be at Issaquah’s Best Buy, Fred Meyer and Target stores in time for the Black Friday mobs.

Of course, since there is no improving on the perfection of either Jobs’ inventions or his marketing skills, my first idea is to make sure to slap a lower-case “I” in front of everything I want to sell.

One product idea came to mind just this morning, it will be called the “iScraper” and it will instantly remove all of the snow and ice from your car each morning in the Issaquah Highlands. The GPS in your car will send its coordinates to a satellite in orbit, which in turn will send a microwave burst down to heat your car. Think of it as your own personal microwave oven in space! Just to be clear, I will not be responsible for anyone going all Dixie Chicks and putting Earl in the trunk first.

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Hayes Nursery, longtime local business, to close

November 29, 2011

The entrance to Hayes Nursery below Tiger Mountain was recently renovated. By Greg Farrar

Hayes Nursery, a destination for springtime shrubs and sage gardening advice, plans to close by late December, after rain-sodden summers and a feeble economy hurt the longtime local business.

Clare and Larry Hayes opened the nursery along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast in time for Mother’s Day 1987 and expanded the business throughout the decades.

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Issaquah Police Department targets holiday shopping grinches

November 29, 2011

The holiday shopping season means bargains galore for shoppers — and tempting targets for thieves.

Issaquah police officers headed out in patrol cruisers and on foot Nov. 25, Black Friday, and will continue throughout the holiday season, to search for prowlers and remind shoppers not to leave valuables out in the open.

“During the holidays, parking lots can be very enticing to prowlers looking for quick and easy targets,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said. “We’re hoping these extra patrols will remind our shoppers to protect their property.”

Officers also distributed a display card at local business’ checkouts to remind shoppers to lock vehicles and not leave valuables in plain sight.

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Attorney General Rob McKenna offers shopper survival guide

November 24, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 24, 2011

Black Friday starts at some stores as early as midnight, as turkey-and-stuffing-stuffed shoppers line up for bargains.

Then, comes Cyber Monday, as online sales ramp up and the holiday shopping season shifts into gear.

Just before Thanksgiving, state Attorney General Rob McKenna offered consumers some tips for a safe shopping season.

Take ads for sales and deals with to the store, because advertising a set of sales or deals — and refusing to honor the advertisement — is deceptive, illegal advertising in Washington.

Shoppers should make specials advertised match the items on shelves, and then read the fine print or disclosures before making a purchase.

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Browse black cats on Black Friday at Seattle Humane Society

November 24, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 24, 2011

Cat lovers are invited to shop around for a new best friend on Black Friday at the Seattle Humane Society.

For that day only, the society will waive adoption fees on all black cats and kittens. Those who take an animal home also will receive instant membership in the Black Cat Club. Members are entitled to a $10 Black Cat Club T-shirt and access to the Humane Society’s Black Cat Club Facebook page.

According to the humane society, black animals often get overlooked at shelters, which explains the extra push for adoption.

The Seattle Humane Society is at 13212 S.E. Eastgate Way, Bellevue. Business hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday.

Learn more and see cats available for adoption at

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