King County leaders celebrate 737 MAX announcement

December 13, 2011

King County leaders hailed the decision to build next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft in the county after a local and state effort to secure the project.

“We’ve laid a strong foundation with creation of the King County Aerospace Alliance and the statewide Pegasus Project to build the transportation, education and other infrastructure to keep Boeing and the more than 400 local aerospace suppliers as the leaders in an increasingly competitive global industry,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement after the Nov. 30 announcement.

In a push to promote King County as the top place to assemble the 737 MAX, County Council members agreed in October to fund retention efforts. In a complementary effort last month, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a $9.8 million plan to retain the project.

The existing 737 model is assembled in Renton.

“I applaud Boeing and its workers for coming together to preserve jobs in the Puget Sound region,” Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn said. “It’s that kind of cooperation that made the region what it is today and will continue its success into the future.”

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King County Council joins effort to land 737 aircraft assembly site

November 29, 2011

Dow Constantine

In a push to promote King County as the top place to assemble next-generation Boeing 737 jets, County Council members agreed Oct. 24 to fund studies to support local and statewide efforts to land the program.

In a complementary effort to ensure the planes get built in Washington, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a $9.8 million plan Nov. 16 to retain the project.

The global aerospace company is researching possible locations to assemble the next-generation 737 — a re-engineered aircraft called the 737 MAX. The existing 737 model is assembled in Renton.

In order to land the manufacturing facility for the aircraft, dubbed the 737 MAX, Gregoire proposed spending $7.6 million to expand engineering programs at the University of Washington and Washington State University; $1.5 million to create a Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation at the UW and WSU; $450,000 to support aerospace curriculum at 12 high schools; and $250,000 to bolster science, technology, engineering and math programs at 10 high schools.

“There is no question that Washington state is the best place in the world to build the Boeing 737-MAX jetliner,” Gregoire said in a statement.

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King County Council joins effort to land next-generation Boeing 737

October 25, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 25, 2011

In a push to promote King County as the top place to assemble next-generation Boeing 737 jets, County Council members agreed Monday to fund studies to support local and statewide efforts to land the program.

The aerospace company is researching possible locations to assemble the next-generation 737 — a re-engineered aircraft called the 737 MAX. The existing 737 model is assembled in Renton.

County Council members agreed to spend $130,000 on a King County study and to provide funds for a study conducted for the statewide retention effort, Project Pegasus. State officials expect to present a study next month identifying Washington’s ability to meet likely requirements as a 737 MAX assembly site.

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Port of Seattle race could shape region’s economic engine

September 27, 2011

In November, voters in King County, including those in Issaquah, will be asked to choose from among four candidates hoping to serve as commissioners for the Port of Seattle.

The port includes both the seaport in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. According to the port’s annual report for 2010, the port collected $75.6 million in property taxes in 2009. The projection for 2010 was $73.5 million. Those collections come from all King County residents, including those in Issaquah.

“The port is an economic engine for the entire county, not just the city of Seattle,” said Charla Skaggs, corporate media officer for the port.

Both Skaggs and other port officials said thousands of jobs depend directly and indirectly on port operations.

According to what is billed by the port as an independent report released in 2009, the port was directly and indirectly responsible for 190,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region. Port facilities generated more than $17 billion in revenue for businesses who deal with the port or the port tenants who operate the maritime terminals. All in all, those employers and employees pay about $867 million in state and local taxes.

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In Fabulous 5, six — yes, six — ladies form lasting friendships

September 13, 2011

Mary Ann Knowles, Colleen Buck, Jo Ann Gazdik and Marilyn Boone (from left), four of the six members of the Fabulous Five, meet for lunch and an afternoon of conversation. Contributed

In 1994, Marilyn Davis invited to her home four fellow Providence Marianwood nurses who, like herself, were approaching retirement. It was the first meeting of the Fabulous Five.

Since then, the group (now comprised of six women) have met regularly to laugh about old times and support each other as they confront the trials of growing older.

With only a couple days’ notice, four of the six met at Marilyn Boone’s house in Issaquah for an interview. The only two missing were Davis, who now lives in Australia, and Diana Millikan, who lives on Guemes Island.

To clarify, the Fabulous Five met in the apartment behind the 97-year-old house Boone bought in 1977. “The worst house in town” is what she called it. Boone became a self-taught carpenter and electrician. She fixed up her new home on her own — all the while raising three children and working as a nurse — until she met her husband.

“He was a retired engineer and he just loved the fact that I had two very old houses that needed redoing,” she said.

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Off the Press

September 13, 2011

In New York or here, the lesson is to love

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Pundits and writers this week have been trying to come up with some profound things to say about the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country. What are the lessons? What has changed?

Here is a lesson I feel I have learned and would like to share, not only from the last 10 years since 9/11, but from my last 15 years of being blessed with this career at The Issaquah Press:

Love in the now. Love often. Don’t leave people guessing, make sure they know you love them.

One of our obituaries this week is for Lillian Tucker, 81, of Issaquah. “Auntie Lil” or “Mrs. Santa Claus” as I knew her, was one of the first people I met here in 1996. She was famous for her holiday nutcracker collection and her love of the Seattle Mariners. She worked a number of years in the deli at the Front Street Market, serving and smiling for her customers.

There have been so many people, some I was able to know and some I wasn’t.

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Issaquah earns spot on Outside magazine’s Best Towns list

September 13, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 13, 2011

Issaquah is among 19 cities nationwide on Outside magazine’s Best Towns 2011 list.

The city and others on the list earned plaudits for access to outdoor recreation — Issaquah is described as “a Seattle-area hang-gliding mecca” — and, perhaps, more mundane attributes.

“Adventure amenities make a lot of towns seem dreamy,” notes the article in the October issue. “What sets these 19 burgs apart is their nod to reality: affordable homes, solid job prospects and vibrant nightlife. Start packing.”

Issaquah’s proximity to Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains turned out to be a selling point.

“As Boeing’s and Microsoft’s fastest-growing bedroom community, the former lumber town (pop. 23,200) has experienced a surge in out-of-towners in the past few years,” the article continues. “And for good reason: a 20-minute drive can put you in downtown Seattle or the oyster flats on Puget Sound. An hour away, there’s skiing in the Cascades, kayaking and rafting on the Class IV Skykomish River, and access to a half-dozen steelhead streams.”

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King County Council honors former Issaquah mayor

August 31, 2011

A.J. Culver (center), former Issaquah mayor, holds certificate from the King County Council after members recognized him for a long public-service career Monday. Contributed

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 31, 2011

King County Council members honored former Issaquah Mayor A.J. Culver on Monday for important contributions in public service.

The council recognized Culver for service as mayor, on the Municipal League of King County and Harborview Medical Center boards, and as a representative to the county Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway comes of age

July 26, 2011

Leaders nurture Interstate 90 greenbelt, acre by acre, year by year

Ken Konigsmark (left), a longtime Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust board member, and founding president Jim Ellis stand near North Bend on Rattlesnake Mountain in 2000 . By Greg Farrar

Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid the souvenir shops and seafood restaurants at the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.

Issaquah, situated on the route, is not quite at the center, but the city is central in the long effort to create a greenbelt along the major roadway.

The idea for a conservation corridor along the interstate germinated in Issaquah more than 20 years ago. Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.

The disparate citizen, conservation, corporate and government interests behind the proposal coalesced to form the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in 1991. Supporters marched from Ellensburg to Seattle in early July to celebrate the 20-year milestone.

“The original vision was, what can we agree on to preserve what’s important to everyone along this corridor?” retired Issaquah City Administrator Leon Kos said.

The corridor stretches for 100 miles, connects 1.4 million acres — or a landmass about 15 times larger than Seattle — and includes more than 800,000 acres in public ownership.

The conservation is enmeshed in cooperation.

The organization is built to foster dialogue among divergent groups. Seattle civic leader Jim Ellis, founding president of the greenway trust, called on rivals to sit down at the same table to create the conservation corridor. So, representatives on the 58-member board include the Sierra Club and Weyerhaeuser Co.

Kos, a longtime greenway supporter and board member, said the Issaquah Alps Trail Club assumed a fundamental role early on.

“The community group that was really very instrumental was the Issaquah Alps Trails Club,” he said.

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Paragliding prompts Issaquah author’s book to take flight

July 26, 2011

Issaquah author Clark McCann readily admits that lowering his sights helped him reach his goal of getting his first novel into print.

Issaquah author Clark McCann said when he was younger he used to write poetry for ‘little magazines’ that nobody read. By Tom Corrigan

“I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to try to create art,’” said McCann, who added he likes thrillers, is an avid paraglider pilot and has spent time in Mexico.

So his novel “Black Air,” published this spring by Black Rose Writing, is a fictional thriller about Tom Shepard, a combat veteran and paraglider pilot who travels to Mexico for an international paragliding event and ends up crossing paths with a local drug dealer. After being framed for murder, Shepard spends the rest of the novel hunting for the man who set him up and, as any good hero would, winning the girl he meets along the way.

McCann said that even though he wasn’t out to write the Great American Novel with “Black Air,” he took the time to carefully plot out the book before he started writing. McCann added he had tried to write novels in his youth, but often “wrote himself into a corner” or just gave up.

A seemingly young 68, McCann spent the largest part of his professional life writing in one way or another. He served as director of communications for the University of Washington Business School and while at The Boeing Co., wrote speeches for the firm’s corporate leaders, as well as creating things like annual reports. He also worked as Boeing’s corporate director of advertising.

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