Issaquah’s 34th Annual Community Awards / May 30, 2013

June 4, 2013

Beat blues with brews at Gilman Village

February 5, 2013

There is a solution to chase away the doldrums of a rainy, cool Issaquah winter, and if the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is correct, it comes pouring from your favorite wine or pilsner glass.

The chamber will host its inaugural Beat the Winter Brews Fest, complete with spirit, beer and wine tastings, food and music, all scattered along the storefronts and boardwalk of Gilman Village on Feb. 26.

“We were looking to do something in the winter, when people are saying there is nothing to do, and we came up with this unique adult-friendly event,” said Robin Kelley, director of festivals for chamber.

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Issaquah innovators earn business honor

January 29, 2013

Innovation in Issaquah is exemplified by a leading apparel manufacturer, a revolutionary process to transform garbage into fertilizer and a theater renowned for fostering Broadway-bound musicals.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of garbage-to-fertilizer harvesters, and the nonprofit Village Theatre — at a Jan. 24 ceremony and luncheon.

Leaders from the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services. Honorees demonstrate innovation in product development, services, systems or strategies.

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Virginia Mason Medical Center CEO touts innovation

January 29, 2013

Dr. Gary Kaplan sought to streamline health care and create a safer — and more inviting — environment for patients upon assuming the CEO post at Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2000.

“We said, ‘Should we just focus on being victims of this system? Can we just complain and go to Congress and say, “Give us more money,” or should we actually focus on our circle of concern and our circle of influence — things we can actually do something about?’” he recalled Jan. 24 at the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation in Issaquah luncheon.

So, Kaplan, a practicing internal medicine physician at the hospital, set out to apply the Toyota Production System, or Lean, to health care management with goals to rein in high costs and improve quality, safety and efficiency to deliver better and more affordable health care.

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Salmon Days Festival is ‘Streaming Live’

January 29, 2013

2013 Salmon Days Festival logo

2013 Salmon Days Festival logo

Salmon Days Festival organizers adore puns. For the next festival theme, expect a blend of homespun and high-tech.

The theme for the October celebration is “Streaming Live” — a nod to instantaneous communication and salmon habitat.

“Even after 44 years, our Salmon Days Festival promises to be more current than ever,” Robin Kelley, lead Salmon Days organizer, said in unveiling the theme Jan. 24. “Innovation and interpretation, pixilation and Pinterest, in the cloud, going viral, browsing and blogs. This year’s theme is today and looking to the future.”

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Central Issaquah Plan team earns honor from chamber

January 29, 2013

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders honored residents, planners and City Council members Jan. 24 for crafting and adopting a long-term redevelopment plan.

The council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan in December to transform the business district from strip mall suburbia into a dense urban core punctuated by buildings up to 125 feet tall.

The chamber praised the people involved in the Central Issaquah Plan effort at the annual Innovation in Issaquah Luncheon.

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Who’s News

January 29, 2013

Local Realtors earn regional leadership posts

Joan Probala

Joan Probala

Joan Probala, a managing broker at Windermere Real Estate/East in Issaquah, has been elected as the 2013 president of the Seattle King County Realtors.

Probala, a real estate professional since 1990 and resident of Issaquah, serves as vice chairwoman of the Issaquah Planning Policy Commission, chairwoman of the Issaquah Arts Commission and survivor chairwoman for Issaquah Relay for Life. In addition, she is a past president of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.

Also named to the leadership team was Mike Winkler, principal managing broker at Coldwell Banker Bain Issaquah, as this year’s East Region director.

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honors business innovators

January 24, 2013

NEW — 1:40 p.m. Jan. 24, 2013

The most innovative businesses in Issaquah clothe people around the globe, transform garbage into fertilizer, and create productions for local and Broadway audiences.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of fertilizer harvesters, and Village Theatre — at a ceremony and luncheon Thursday.

Leaders at the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services.

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Issaquah School District superintendent to retire in June

January 15, 2013

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, sits in his office Jan. 14. The 62-year-old educator plans to bid farewell to the district when he retires June 30. By Lillian O’Rorke

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen intends to retire June 30 after leading the Issaquah School District for six years.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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