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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State Route 520 bridge tolls could divert traffic

December 13, 2011

The state Department of Transportation plans to start tolls on the state Route 520 bridge Dec. 29 — and motorists could experience additional traffic on Interstate 90 as commuters avoid the toll.

The state estimates tolls should cause thousands of motorists to use the I-90 bridges or drive around Lake Washington instead.

Meanwhile, the state is encouraging motorists to set up a Good To Go! pass account.

Purchase a pass at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo or a $5 sticker pass at participating stores, including Costco, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC. Find a list of retail locations at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo/retail.

The state extended call center hours and hired extra customer service staffers to prepare for the anticipated high volumes of customers registering and activating accounts. Customers can purchase the sticker passes at stores and activate them online.

“Tolling is helping Washington move forward with critical transportation investments and will finance ongoing and future work to replace the vulnerable SR 520 floating bridge and corridor,” state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement.

Council recommends study for pool financing

December 6, 2011

The city intends to survey Issaquah School District residents about support for financing a pool and other parks amenities next year.

City Council members included the pool proposal and others on a list of changes to the 2012 city budget.

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.

Overall, the council’s recommended changes amount to $4.1 million. The change to the general fund is $469,784.

The total proposed city budget — including dollars for capital expenses and from other accounts — is $85.7 million after the council’s recommended changes.

The budget adjustment is routine. The council offers changes to the mayor’s proposed budget each year to produce a concrete spending plan.

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Couple searches for lost wedding ring

December 6, 2011

Tyler and Tami Johnson’s lost ring is seen here around the leg of their son Deacon, who was born prematurely along with twin sister Avigail. Contributed

On Nov. 29, Tami Johnson’s husband Tyler visited the Fred Meyer store in Issaquah. She admits the wedding ring he lost at the store can be replaced, but the memories attached to it are well out of the ordinary.

When Tami Johnson gave birth to twins in 2009, she had been pregnant for a mere 24 weeks. Deacon and Avigail weighed in at 1 pound, 10 ounces and 1 pound, 7 ounces. They were given only a 40 percent chance of survival.

“I am very fortunate to say that today they are healthy children with minimal issues,” Johnson said.

Deacon is in therapy to help with some general motor skill issues, but otherwise both children are in good health, she said.

Still, back when they were born, Tyler Johnson could put his wedding ring around Deacon’s leg with room to spare. That is the source of the couple’s added emotional attachment to the ring. The Johnsons have a striking picture of the ring around Deacon’s leg, with Tami’s hand in the frame to add a further sense of scale.

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Issaquah couple search for special lost wedding ring

December 2, 2011

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Dec. 2, 2011

On Nov. 29, Tami Johnson said her husband Tyler visited the Fred Meyer store in Issaquah. She admits the wedding ring he lost at the store can be replaced, but the memories attached to it are well out of the ordinary.

When Tami Johnson gave birth to twins in 2009, she had been pregnant for a mere 24 weeks. Deacon and Avigail weighed in at 1-pound, 10-ounces and 1-pound, 7 ounces. They were given only a 40 percent chance of survival.

“I am very fortunate to say that today they are healthy children with minimal issues,” Johnson said.

She later added Deacon is in therapy to help with some general motor skill issues, but otherwise both children are in good health.

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