Task force tries to answer, ‘What is downtown vitality?’

August 22, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 22, 2015

For months now, they have been billed as the Olde Town Vitality Task Force, a coalition consisting of business owners, residents, community leaders and others involved with downtown Issaquah in one way or another.

They have toured the downtown, talked with business owners and met with city officials. But they still have one major question that needs to be answered.

“What does ‘vitality’ mean for downtown?” Andrea Snyder, the city’s economic development manager, asked.

Snyder has been acting as city liaison with the task force, named by Mayor Fred Butler.

Cori Walters, a task force member, spends most of her time as executive director of the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. She said the task force has been looking at a little bit of everything: streetscape, color palettes, permitting, city code, signage and parking.  Read more

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New chamber director is on a mission to help local business

August 19, 2015

NEW — 1 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015

Kathy McCorry ran her own company in the 1980s and early 1990s while living in California. A clothing manufacturer, Kathy’s Klothes took up a huge portion of her time. She joined the local chamber of commerce but said she didn’t participate often and never really learned what the group had to offer.

Kathy McCorry

Kathy McCorry

McCorry sold Kathy’s Klothes in 1994 with the idea of retiring. She said she soon grew bored and took a temp position with a local chamber of commerce. As she learned more and more about the chamber and its workings, McCorry came to feel she had discovered a new career.

After working her way up to lead at least two other chambers and the Economic Development Council in Mariposa, California, McCorry became the new executive director of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce in June. Read more

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Together Center abandons plans to bring human services campus to Issaquah

August 17, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 17, 2015

An effort apparently underway since 2006 has come to an end.

On Aug. 14, Together Center announced it is concluding efforts to establish a human services campus in Issaquah.

Lead volunteers Margaret Moore and John Rittenhouse, along with Together Center CEO Pam Mauk, met with Issaquah officials to inform them of their decision.

“Identification and acquisition of appropriate property has been the major stumbling block,” Moore said in a press release. “We know the Issaquah community’s need for easier access to services has only grown. We also know that there are many agencies that would love to be part of a nonprofit service hub. We just could not find a site where we could pull this off in Issaquah.” Read more

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City unveils crosswalks to be examined in safety study

August 13, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 13, 2015

Using several criteria, including public input and accident history, a consultant has come up with a list of more than 20 street crossings to include in a coming safety study of crosswalks around the city.

Mayor Fred Butler called for the study following a fatal June accident at the intersection of Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive.

To be undertaken by Transportation Solutions Inc., of Redmond, Butler has promised the study will be done by the end of September so that any recommended safety projects can be included in the city’s 2016 budget.

In addition to the consultant study, city staffers are slated to look at crosswalks that may need attention, but perhaps not the in-depth work to be supplied by the consultant. That list has not been released. Read more

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Levitate elevates pub grub from the mundane to the sublime

August 11, 2015

UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 13, 2015

*Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Levitate Gastropub was located in the former H&H Tavern. The H&H Saloon is still open and located at 91 Front St. N.

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

There are plenty of options for “pub grub” in Issaquah, consisting of your typical bar food, from burgers to salads.

However, there’s only one eatery in town touting itself as a “gastropub” — Levitate.

By Greg Farrar The wild boar pulled pork sandwich (top) and the fish taco with mahi mahi are two upscaled pub grub menu items featured on the Levitate Gastropub menu.

By Greg Farrar
The wild boar pulled pork sandwich (top) and the fish taco with mahi mahi are two upscaled pub grub menu items featured on the Levitate Gastropub menu.

The basic definition of a gastropub is a pub that elevates its menu fare with high-end ingredients. Read more

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Third Avenue bridge idea doesn’t sit well with neighbors

August 7, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 7, 2015

The notion of a new north-south route through Issaquah won healthy support from those taking a city survey, but fell completely flat with most of the 50 or so people crammed into City Council chambers Aug. 3.

To produce the new north-south route, the survey indirectly suggested building a traffic-supporting bridge over the East Fork of Issaquah Creek, connecting what is now the end of Third Avenue Northeast with Northeast Gilman Boulevard south of Northeast Dogwood Street.

During the public comment section of the Aug. 3 council session, residents said they had fought against such a bridge previously and would do so again. They claimed the added traffic would ruin a now quiet, largely secluded neighborhood, one of the last residential neighborhoods in downtown Issaquah. Read more

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Citizen committee to study funding options for Issaquah transportation projects

August 4, 2015

NEW — 10:35 a.m. Aug. 4, 2015

By November, the city administration plans to name a resident advisory committee to study and propose a ballot issue to raise up to $96 million for Issaquah transportation projects.

The city could go to voters with anything from a bond sale to a local sales tax. Of the several options presented, a 0.20 percent sales tax would rake in the most, about $75 million, according to information presented by city Finance Director Diane Marcotte.

City officials hope to have something on the ballot by November 2016.

To be named by Mayor Fred Butler, the advisory committee will begin meeting either late this year or early in 2016. Butler expects a recommendation to present to council by mid-2016.  Officials have not determined how many people will serve on the committee, said Emily Moon, deputy city administrator. The City Council will have the last say on any ballot issue and will need to vote to present any question to voters. Read more

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Watch for Front Street lane closures July 28

July 27, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. July 27, 2015

Drivers should prepare for what the city called short, recurrent lane closures at two Front Street intersections July 28.

Starting as early as 5 a.m., crews intermittently will close lanes at the intersections of Front Street and Sunset Way, along with Front Street North and Northwest Dogwood Street, to accommodate tractor-trailers carrying 95-foot bridge girders.

The girders will be used in the new bridge on Northwest Dogwood Street.

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Get your fill of the blues at Gas Station music series

July 9, 2015

Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons headline the first concert of the Gas Station Blues series.

The performance is from 7-9 p.m. July 16 at the Hailstone Feed Store (historic Shell station), 232 Front St. N.

The series runs every Thursday night through Aug. 20.

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Down Home 4th, Heritage Day are pure patriotism; see fireworks at state park

July 2, 2015

Robin Kelley may be kept busiest when it comes to Salmon Days in October. But as director of festivals for the city of Issaquah, she confided that their favorite time of year just might be the Fourth of July.

That’s when the community turns out for Issaquah’s Down Home 4th of July and Heritage Day.

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