Best Buy spares Issaquah store from closure

April 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. April 15, 2012

Best Buy plans to spare the Issaquah store from closure as the electronics retailer closes 50 stores nationwide in a bid to cut costs.

Executives announced the closure plan March 29, but did not release the list of affected stores until April 14. The only Washington store impacted under the plan is in Vancouver.

The company plans to close most of the stores by May 12 and the additional locations by late summer.

Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy announced plans in February 2010 to open a store in Issaquah. The outpost opened in November 2010 in the same retail center as Fred Meyer.

The local Best Buy sprawls across almost 40,000 square feet in the former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.

In addition to the closures, Best Buy plans to eliminate about 400 positions in corporate and support areas, and cut costs by $800 million.

City Council delays decision on plastic bag ban

April 10, 2012

The decision to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses is on hold, City Council members decided April 2 after listening to appeals from environmentalists concerned about Puget Sound pollution and plastics manufacturers anxious about lost livelihoods.

The proposed plastic bag ban at local retailers is meant to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce marine pollution.

The measure stalled after speakers questioned the scope, timing and lack of input from the businesses affected by such a change. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting in May.

“It bothers me that in this last week that we were still turning over stones,” Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said before the meeting.

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Users can transfer state recreation pass between vehicles

April 10, 2012

Users can transfer the Discover Pass for state parks and recreation lands between vehicles, under legislation Gov. Chris Gregoire signed March 30 — not long before Memorial Day launches the summer recreation season.

The change to the 1-year-old Discover Pass took effect immediately. The legislation allows users to transfer the annual pass between two vehicles at no additional cost.

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Stores say no more ‘pink slime’ in meat cases

April 3, 2012

Questions about ground beef fly more often across the counter at Fischer Meats since the issue of “lean finely textured beef” — more recognizable by the headline-grabbing nickname “pink slime” — captured the media zeitgeist late last month.

“I’ve probably had a half a dozen people that have mentioned it and said, ‘We’ll never buy ground beef in the grocery store again because of that,” owner Chris Chiechi said April 2. “We have been selling a little more ground beef in the last month. I wouldn’t call it a huge impact.”

Fischer Meats does not use the additive.

The product is made from beef trimmings treated in ammonium hydroxide to eliminate pathogens. The additive is used in ground beef and beef-based products.

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Best Buy announces closures, but no plans for Issaquah store

April 3, 2012

Best Buy announced a plan March 29 to close 50 stores nationwide, but the electronics retailer did not outline the future for the Issaquah store.

“We will announce details about additional, specific store locations and timing for closings as they are finalized,” a company representative said in a response to emailed questions.

In February 2010, Best Buy — headquartered in Richfield, Minn. — announced plans to open a store in Issaquah. The store opened in the same retail center as Fred Meyer in November 2010, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

The local Best Buy sprawls across almost 40,000 square feet in the former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.

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Best Buy announces closures, but no plans for Issaquah store

April 2, 2012

NEW — 10:30 a.m. April 2, 2012

Best Buy announced a plan March 29 to close 50 stores nationwide, but the electronics retailer did not outline the future for the Issaquah store.

“We will announce details about additional, specific store locations and timing for closings as they are finalized,” a company representative said in a response to emailed questions.

In February 2010, Best Buy — headquartered in Richfield, Minn. — announced plans to open a store in Issaquah. The store opened in the same retail center as Fred Meyer in November 2010, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

The local Best Buy sprawls across almost 40,000 square feet in a former La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.

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City Council to decide plastic bag ban soon

March 27, 2012

The proposal to ban plastic bags from Issaquah stores reaches the City Council for a public discussion April 2.

The city could join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — a step designed to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Issaquah council members could decide to vote on the measure or continue the discussion at a later meeting.

“The goal isn’t just to get everyone to switch from plastic to paper, it’s to get people to switch from bags that you use once to bags that you reuse,” Councilman Mark Mullet said.

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Officials consider plastic bag ban for Issaquah

February 14, 2012

Officials intend to use Seattle ordinance as model

Canvas bags could turn into a more common sight in Issaquah checkout lanes soon.

The city is poised to join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Though a decision on a plastic bag ban is months distant, the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee plans to start collecting input from businesses owners and residents Feb. 16.

“To me, the beauty of it is, you get to your end objective, which is getting rid of plastic bags, and you’re not putting an undue, negative impact on the businesses in your community,” said Councilman Mark Mullet, a local merchant and the committee chairman.

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Issaquah police crack down on liquor sales to minors

January 17, 2012

Issaquah police and the Washington State Liquor Control Board joined forces late last month to crack down on businesses serving alcohol to minors.

Officers cited six people for furnishing liquor to minors during the Dec. 21 operation. The crackdown encompassed businesses throughout Issaquah.

Such enforcement is part of the routine compliance checks conducted by the liquor board and law enforcement agencies.

“Enforcement of all of the liquor laws — not just these — are important,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said. “They’re there for the purpose of making sure that a person can go into a bar and have a drink if they want, but that they’re not driving after being overserved or that they’re not underage and having alcohol. It’s just important that we enforce all of those laws.”

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2012 city budget clears crucial hurdle

December 13, 2011

City Council members inched closer to approval for a 2012 municipal budget Dec. 5, as the document cleared a crucial hurdle.

In a unanimous decision, council members directed staffers to prepare a 2012 spending plan. The council is due to adopt the plan Dec. 19.

“I think this is a fairly conservative budget,” Council President John Traeger said.

In October, Mayor Ava Frisinger sent to the council a $32 million general fund budget — dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.

The process to form a 2012 budget started earlier, at a council goal-setting retreat in May. Officials outlined priorities for the year ahead and helped shape department chiefs’ spending proposals.

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