City planners approve Hyla Crossing extension

March 22, 2011

City planners approved a request March 4 to allow Rowley Properties until 2014 to develop the Hyla Crossing area near Interstate 90 and the base of Cougar Mountain.

The city approved the initial plan in July 1998. The approval remained valid for a decade. Rowley Properties requested a three-year extension, and in March 2008, the City Council extended the deadline to July 2011.

The developer sought and received another three-year extension for the master site plan. Now, the plan is valid until July 2014.

Hyla Crossing has been approved for about 620,000 square feet of commercial use on about 45 acres.

Some of the area — including a Hilton Garden Inn and a Chevrolet dealership — already came to fruition. The approved plan also includes office buildings and parking structures.

Most of the property is zoned for intensive commercial use, and a small portion along Tibbetts Creek is zoned for professional office use.

Hyla Crossing is also part of a long-term effort to redevelop the city’s 915-acre business district.

Rowley Properties requests Hyla Crossing extension

March 8, 2011

The city could extend the deadline on a key plan for commercial property wedged between Interstate 90 and the base of Cougar Mountain.

Rowley Properties has asked the city to extend the approval period for the master site plan, or overarching blueprint, for Hyla Crossing until July 2014.

The city approved the plan in July 1998. The approval remained valid for a decade. Rowley Properties requested a three-year extension, and in March 2008, the council extended the deadline to July 2011.

Now, the developer is seeking another three-year extension for the master site plan.

Hyla Crossing has been approved for about 620,000 square feet of commercial use on about 45 acres.

Some of the area — including Hilton Garden Inn and a Chevrolet dealership — already came to fruition. The approved plan also includes office buildings and parking structures.

Most of the property is zoned for intensive commercial use, and a small portion along Tibbetts Creek is zoned for professional office use.

Hyla Crossing is also part of a long-term effort to redevelop the 915-acre business district.

Man takes to Web to retrieve stolen guns, belongings

February 22, 2011

Zack Judson hoped to settle in the Seattle area after escaping the hustle and bustle of Southern California.

Instead, a criminal or criminals in Issaquah stole the U-Haul truck carrying his possessions — including numerous handguns and rifles, plus ammunition.

In the days after the heist, Judson launched a website — www.communitycrimefighting.com — and started broadcasting updates about the case on Facebook and Twitter. Now, the Santa Monica transplant is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.

“I have little confidence that I’ll get any of my stuff back,” he said late last week. “I have high confidence that, with the help of this Seattle area community, we might be able to catch the people who did it and prevent them from committing another crime.”

Issaquah Police Department Detective Sgt. Kevin Nash praised Judson for sharing details in order to help solve the case.

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Hilton Garden Inn says ‘I do’ to host bridal show debut

February 22, 2011

Vicky Markussen, owner of Victoria Graceson Floral Design, arranges a bouquet of peach and cream roses with peach stock and peach-colored hypericum berries. By Gary Halperin

Brides and grooms often have a flurry of shopping before their big day, and they usually have to leave Issaquah to do it.

The “I Do!” Casino Night reverses that trend, with 17 vendors — including wedding planners, photographers, bakers, hair stylists and even an eyelash extension company — coming to Issaquah’s Hilton Garden Inn.

Dress for the evening is casual.

Gina Mary Bahhage, owner of Gina Mary Hair Design, plans to show patrons hairdos and makeup that her stylists have done for brides in the past. If a bride has a scar or a blemish, airbrush makeup can cover it up, leading to a beautiful wedding photo.

Cynthia Golpe, the Snoqualmie founder of MyCakes, plans to have three wedding cakes on display and a medley of sample cakes, including guava, carrot, caramel, red velvet and chocolate.

Jules Nesenblatt, the owner of Amaris Design Fashion Consulting, will showcase the handmade jewelry she fashions with pearls, 14-karat gold, sterling silver, Swarovski crystals and gems.

Nesenblatt said she looks forward to sharing her craft with the community, as well as “having a mini Vegas-style event.”

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Who’s News

December 28, 2010

Elks Poker League

Elks donate to Compassion House

On Dec. 18, Elks Poker League Directors David Hayes (left) and Jeff Wood (right) help and Dave Wallbom, chairman of the Elks board of directors, present checks of $1,147, from tournament donations, and $1,000, from members’ Friday night poker donations, to Rick McCarty, president of Compassion House, and Bonnie Karmouch, of Compassion House.

Sarah Hanna named scholar athlete of the month

Sarah Hanna

Sarah Hanna, a senior at Issaquah High School, has been selected by the Issaquah Booster Club and Red Robin Restaurant as the Red Robin Scholar Athlete of the month for November.

Hanna was a four-year starter on the IHS volleyball team. In 2010, she earned a First Team All KingCo award, and helped lead the girl’s volleyball team through the state tournament three out of the past four years, placing second at state in 2010.

In addition to excelling in athletics, Hanna has a 3.9 grade point average. She is a member of the Honor Society and tutors students at IHS. Her exceptional SAT scores earned her a position as a National Merit Scholar finalist.

Kiwanis Club coat drive

Kiwanis collects hundreds of coats for food bank

The Kiwanis Club’s community coat and shoe drive collected several hundred coats and about 150 pairs of shoes for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

Community members dropped off their donations at The Issaquah Press, US Bank, Foot Zone, KeyBank (Issaquah and Snoqualmie Ridge branches), Eastside Audiology, Hilton Garden Inn, Eastridge Church and Starbucks during the month of November.

Kiwanis Club volunteers then collected the donations for delivery to the clothing bank, where the items will be distributed to needy individuals and families.

Delve into long-term plan for business district at open house

December 7, 2010

Rowley Properties proposal encompasses almost 90 acres

Rowley Properties and city planners embarked on a bold effort in April to shape growth in the decades ahead near Interstate 90 and state Route 900.

Now, the city and the longtime Issaquah developer seek opinions from residents about the potential impacts redevelopment could cause to traffic, mountain views and the environment. Planners scheduled a Dec. 15 open house to gather input from residents.

Participants can listen to presentations from the Community Advisory Group, the citizen panel appointed to shape the process. Organizers also plan to present information about possible environmental impact studies for redevelopment on the site.

Beyond the open house, residents can also provide input later, as the project progresses through policy discussions and environmental studies.

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Kiwanis Club coat and shoe drive ends Nov. 30

November 23, 2010

Clean and gently used coats and shoes of all sizes are being collected by the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah to support the needs of Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank clients.

The coats and shoes will be collected through Nov. 30 at the following Issaquah businesses: Foot Zone, 755 N.W. Gilman Blvd., The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S., KeyBank, Starbucks Coffee, Hilton Garden Inn, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd., US Bank, 1295 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Eastside Audiology, 49 Front St. N., and Eastridge Church, 4205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

The Snoqualmie Ridge branch of KeyBank, 7917 Center Blvd. S.E., will also accept donated coats and shoes.

Donations after Nov. 30 can be taken directly to the clothing bank, 179 First Ave. S.E.

Redevelopment ideas to be unveiled at open house

November 23, 2010

The city and longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties partnered in April to brainstorm redevelopment of about 90 acres in the commercial core.

Now, the city and Rowley plan to roll out the recommendations from a community group appointed to guide the redevelopment effort. Residents can offer feedback at a Dec. 15 open house for the project. The open house is scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd.

Participants can review materials from the Community Advisory Group, the citizen panel appointed to shape the process. Organizers also plan to present information about possible environmental impact studies for redevelopment on the site.

Beyond the open house, residents can also provide input as the project progresses through policy work and environmental studies.

Before the December open house, residents can catch a sneak peek of the redevelopment proposal at the next Committee-of-the-Whole Council meeting. Members meet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Attorney General Rob McKenna challenges businesses to innovate

November 16, 2010

Enlisting the political magnetism of state Attorney General Rob McKenna, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce kicked off a three-month program focused on innovation Oct. 27.

Throughout his local talk, McKenna focused on the necessity of innovation, locally, statewide and nationally, before he answered questions about his talk.

He praised Issaquah companies, like Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Democracy Live, Restorix/Innovative Health and SearchMarketMe, for their innovation, and congratulated the city for attracting Dataram Corp., a manufacturer of computer memory, storage products and software. Dataram announced last week it would open a development and testing facility in Issaquah.

“Now, why did they decide to come here for their testing and development?” McKenna asked. “Simple, they said, because there is a rich technology talent pool and a welcoming business climate.”

As about 60 chamber members lunched on chicken salad and iced tea at the Hilton Garden Inn in Issaquah, chamber Chairman Chris Hysom introduced McKenna, the 17th attorney general to serve Washington. Voters elected McKenna, a former King County councilman, in 2004 and again in 2008. McKenna is considered a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2012.

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Attorney General Rob McKenna challenges businesses to innovate

October 29, 2010

State Attorney General Rob McKenna answers questions from audience members at an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday. By Laura Geggel

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 29, 2010

Enlisting the political magnetism of state Attorney General Rob McKenna, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce kicked off a three-month program focused on innovation Oct. 27.

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