State planners offer tools to ease holiday travel headaches

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

The state Department of Transportation delivered gifts to holiday travelers — tips to avoid travel-related headaches.

The agency offers numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience holiday weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah helps during hardships all year

December 18, 2012

Sudden hardships can expose people reeling from the effects of the fragile economy to even more risk — financial trouble, utility shutdowns and, in extreme cases, homelessness.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah strengthens community ties

December 11, 2012

Since the economy entered a nosedive in 2008, and throughout the fragile recovery since, volunteers at Issaquah Community Services keep hearing a familiar story.

The breadwinner for a household, laid off during the recession, needs help to make ends meet. The volunteers listen and, in many cases, offer assistance to pay the rent or to keep the electricity on.

Milicent Savage, Issaquah Community Services president, remembers the stories from two men recently at the organization’s office.

The men, both fathers and husbands, needed assistance to cover rent expenses for the month. Savage recalled how one man — a former Microsoft employee now working as a custodian — broke down.

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Wanted: Local reaction to ‘fiscal cliff’

December 4, 2012

The “fiscal cliff” is dominating the national conversation, and The Issaquah Press seeks residents concerned about the ongoing negotiations and potential fallout.

White House officials estimate a typical middle-class family of four could see taxes rise by $2,200 if the president and lawmakers cannot reach a deal to avert the crisis.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

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Wanted: Issaquah-area holiday light displays

December 4, 2012

Holiday lights started to twinkle from homes and businesses in the Issaquah area just before Thanksgiving.

Before Christmas arrives, The Issaquah Press seeks spectacular — or just plain cute — light displays from throughout the Issaquah School District to feature in upcoming issues.

Email your contact information and, if possible, a photo of your illuminated light display to editor@isspress.com, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

Santa Claus collects gifts at charity-focused cash mob

November 27, 2012

Al Krush returns as Santa Claus for a charity-focused cash mob Dec. 5 at Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys. File

Santa Claus is coming to town — to a cash mob, to be exact.

The next cash mob is due to descend on Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys on Dec. 5, just in time for the pre-Christmas rush. The event is meant to reflect the holiday spirit, because organizers asked cash mob participants to purchase something for themselves, and something extra for charity.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

The 20- and 30-something business leaders in the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — Young Issaquah Professionals, or YIPPIES for short — modeled the cash mob on similar events elsewhere.

The concept for the upcoming cash mob is BOGO — buy one, give one — and customers can donate toys to the Wounded Warrior Project. The toys then go to children of military personnel killed or wounded in action.

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Off the Press

November 27, 2012

A competitive friend is taken too soon

Sunday night, as I was meandering about on Facebook, where more than a dozen of my friends are local newspaper and professional photographers, the Internet suddenly lit up from one end to the other like a lightning bolt across the sky with the sad news that one of our brethren had passed away.

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

The pre-eminent high school sports photographer for our parent company The Seattle Times, and a friend, Jim Bates, had finished his struggle against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. And while I might flatter myself to think a few of my sports photos are clipped out and pasted in your scrapbooks, it’s a sure bet that if you have been a high school athlete or a parent of one at any time during the past decade, and look back in those books, you will find Times photos with Jim’s byline.

There is a contingent of us local photographers who follow our school sports all year, including Don Borin, Jim Simpkins, Jim Nicholson, Chuck Babcock and Gary Babcock. And the truth is, we’re all trying to make sport photos as good as Jim Bates did. In his very unobtrusive and workmanlike way, he always knew exactly where to be for the consummate image.

Whether they are football, basketball or soccer photos, and whether they have been at Issaquah, Liberty or Skyline high schools, Jim Bates was there.

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Wanted: Issaquah-area holiday light displays

November 27, 2012

Holiday lights started to twinkle from homes and businesses in the Issaquah area just before Thanksgiving.

Before Christmas arrives, The Issaquah Press seeks spectacular — or just plain cute — light displays from throughout the Issaquah School District to feature in upcoming issues.

Email your contact information and, if possible, a photo of your illuminated light display to editor@isspress.com, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress.

State serves Thanksgiving travel advice to motorists

November 19, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 19, 2012

Before the feast, Thanksgiving launches the holiday travel season.

The state Department of Transportation is offering numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out during the holiday weekend.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience Thanksgiving weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

Thanksgiving weekend is typically ranks among busiest period all year for I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass and U.S. 2 over Stevens Pass.

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Sammamish couple hails same-sex marriage milestone

November 13, 2012

Washington voters’ groundbreaking decision to approve same-sex marriage elicited a simple — but heartfelt — response from a Sammamish couple: thank you.

Referendum 74, buoyed by strong support in King County, authorized same-sex marriage in Washington. Dana and Sage Alixander, longtime partners married in California before Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriage, hailed the historic decision in Washington.

Dana Alixander offered a “collective thank you” to R-74 supporters not long after the measure inched ahead in election night results.

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