Joyce Adams named volunteer of the year

April 22, 2014

The Issaquah Valley Grange No. 581 will honor Joyce Adams as its Community Service Volunteer of the Year at 7:30 p.m. April 28.

The public is invited to celebrate Adams and be entertained by The Roving Fiddlers. The celebration will be in the Masonic Hall, third floor (there is an elevator), across Sunset Way from the Issaquah Library parking lot. There will be refreshments after the program.

Joyce Adams

Joyce Adams

The Issaquah Valley Grange is a fraternal organization that supports local agriculture. It also emphasizes community service, including support for other Issaquah organizations like the fish hatchery, VFW and local schools. For 11 years, the organization has given a dictionary to every third-grade student in the Issaquah schools in the Words for Thirds program.

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Issaquah residents: Ready, set, speak!

April 15, 2014

I hope you have opinions, citizens of Issaquah, because they could really come in handy.

The next few months seem yet again chock full of important decisions that the City Council will make. I have heard and reported repeatedly that they want public input on all matters that will impact the future of Issaquah. So, this is another message to encourage you to take them up on that.

Let’s think about what’s to come over the next several months. And, keep in mind, this is your government and you should you tell it what you think.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

While the City Council extended the marijuana moratorium, it expects the ban to lift in July. As the council continues to look at how a recreational marijuana business should operate in Issaquah, let it know how you feel.

Two public input meetings left the Park Board with a recommendation to build a new skate park in the Tibbetts Valley Park, across from the park & ride. How does that strike you?

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City, chamber get tourism guidance

April 8, 2014

How can Issaquah attract more visitors?

That questions lies at the heart of a burgeoning effort by the city’s Economic Development Department and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce. The “kickoff” for the effort was delivered March 31 by local tourism guru Roger Brooks.

“For more than 30 years, he has worked to change ordinary places to extraordinary destinations,” chamber CEO Matt Bott said, introducing the keynote speaker.

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Life Enrichment Options names Fred Nystrom as its executive director

March 25, 2014

NEW — 11:45 a.m. March 25, 2014

Fred Nystrom has been named executive director of Life Enrichment Options, a community-based nonprofit that advocates for and assists individuals with developmental disabilities.

Fred Nystrom

Fred Nystrom

Nystrom has an extensive background in media and fundraising with both nonprofit organizations and businesses.

He is very involved in the Issaquah community, serving previously as a board member for the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

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Issaquah to host tourism expert

March 18, 2014

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — in coordination with the city of Issaquah and local hoteliers, restaurants and hometown attractions — is featuring world-renowned expert Roger Brooks in a community presentation about developing Issaquah’s tourism program.

The presentation is from 6-8 p.m. March 31 at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave N.W. Registration is strongly encouraged to ensure a seat. Attendees can register online at http://bit.ly/1dRvlgg by March 28.

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Issaquah resident to run against Jay Rodne

March 11, 2014

Issaquah resident Essie Hicks plans to take on incumbent 5th District Rep. Jay Rodne in this year’s Nov. 4 election.

Hicks, a Democrat, announced her candidacy Feb. 18. Rodne, a Republican, has held the seat since 2004.

HicksEssie5thVote 20140300 copy

Essie Hicks

“I believe my experience as a business owner, my long history in service to my community, and as the mother of five boys, I am ready to represent all residents of the 5th District,” Hicks said. “In Olympia, I will work every day to provide all our kids with a quality and fully funded education, deliver real transportation solutions that work for our region, and protect and preserve the natural resources that make our state so unique.”

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Issaquah’s Combat Flip Flops is a post-conflict success story

March 11, 2014

What do Army Rangers, a dedication to helping global post-conflict areas and flip-flops have in common? Together, they create innovation in Issaquah.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honored Combat Flip Flops last month as one of three Innovation in Issaquah award winners. The award marked another milestone in the interesting business’ trajectory, which began in the mountains of Afghanistan.

By Greg Farrar Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin, CEO of Combat Flip Flops, poses in his Issaquah workroom with a sarong hand-embroidered by a woman-owned business in Afghanistan, along with the very first finished pair of sandals he produced in February 2013.

By Greg Farrar
Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin, CEO of Combat Flip Flops, poses in his Issaquah workroom with a sarong hand-embroidered by a woman-owned business in Afghanistan, along with the very first finished pair of sandals he produced in February 2013.

“We fought in a different war,” company co-founder Matthew Griffin, casually known as “Griff,” said in his Issaquah garage, which served as the manufacturing facility for the first 4,000 pairs of flip-flops. “We had to run guys down in the most adverse conditions. But it was a really giving culture and we never forgot it.”

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Cedar Grove completes the compost circle of life

March 4, 2014

Local composting takes global technology.

Cedar Grove Composting has grown a lot in its 25-year history of turning organic material into plant fertilizer. The May Valley facility recently won an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Innovation in Issaquah award, due to its continuing community efforts. Such progress did not happen all at once.

“In 1989,” Cedar Grove’s Chief Environmental and Sustainability Officer Jerry Bartlett said, “nobody knew what compost was and nobody knew what to do with it.”

The company had received a contract with the city of Seattle to convert yard waste into fertilizer. It turned into a first for both entities.

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Semble brings together communities and investors through innovation

February 25, 2014

For nonprofits always on the lookout for funding, Semble bridges the gap between those communities and investors.

Chosen as one of the three Innovation in Issaquah award winners by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Semble has grown a lot since beginning in 2008.

By Peter Clark President Chris Walcott stands in the open offices of Semble. The Bellevue company that aims to match nonprofits’ needs with community investors was given an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Innovation in Issaquah award.

By Peter Clark
President Chris Walcott stands in the open offices of Semble. The Bellevue company that aims to match nonprofits’ needs with community investors was given an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Innovation in Issaquah award.

“This was birthed out of necessity,” President Chris Walcott said. “When there are communities around the nonprofits, there’s a community that would support that nonprofit. Our role is to help communities be intentional with their investments.”

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Issaquah innovators honored at chamber luncheon

February 18, 2014

Nonprofit lending, flip-flops and composting are leading the way in innovation, according to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

Local businesses received recognition Feb. 13 in the fourth annual Innovation in Issaquah Awards. From 19 nominees, collected through area suggestions, the chamber chose three winners who best represented business innovation in Issaquah.

By Greg Farrar Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin (left), CEO of Combat Flip Flops; Karen Dawson, community relations director for Cedar Grove Composting; and Chris Walcott, president of Semble, hold their Innovation in Issaquah award plaques Feb. 13 at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

By Greg Farrar
Matt ‘Griff’ Griffin (left), CEO of Combat Flip Flops; Karen Dawson, community relations director for Cedar Grove Composting; and Chris Walcott, president of Semble, hold their Innovation in Issaquah award plaques Feb. 13 at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

In a large luncheon at the Issaquah Holiday Inn, where more than 100 people gathered to celebrate the nominees, Cedar Grove Composting, Semble and Combat Flip Flops received the top awards.

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