Judd Kirk, highlands mastermind, to leave Port Blakely

June 28, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. June 28, 2011

Judd Kirk, a visionary behind the Issaquah Highlands urban village, is due to depart from highlands developer Port Blakely Communities on Thursday.

“Judd has brought an extraordinary breadth of skills and experience in community building, real estate and sustainable development to Port Blakely Companies,” Port Blakely Communities President Rene Ancinas said in a statement. “His creative ideas and collaboration with public officials, builders, residents and so many others helped create the successful community we have today.”

Following the long-planned move from Port Blakely, Kirk plans to serve as a consultant in the real estate industry.

Kirk served as Port Blakely Communities president from 1990 through December 2008, and later as senior real estate strategist for the company.

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José Enciso, drive-in proprietor, receives top honor

May 24, 2011

José Enciso Sr., longtime Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor, received dual awards May 17, including the community’s highest honor.

José Enciso, owner of the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, smiles while audience members applaud as he is inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the annual Issaquah Community Awards banquet. By Greg Farrar

The city inducted Enciso into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 32nd annual Community Awards Luncheon. The man serving behemoth burgers and enormous root beer floats along Northeast Gilman Boulevard also received the Business Person of the Year honor.

Enciso said he was told about being nominated for Business Person of the Year, and that was why he had to attend the luncheon. But the Hall of Fame honor surprised him.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was great.”

Enciso joins a diverse and rarified group in the Issaquah Hall of Fame. Past inductees include environmentalist Ruth Kees, Salmon Days Festival organizer Robin Kelley and, last year, retired City Administrator Leon Kos.

Enciso bought the iconic drive-in more than a decade ago. Nowadays, the restaurant is a mecca for spring and summer car shows.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders also named Tom Sessions as Citizen of the Year, another leading honor. Councilman Fred Butler received the Volunteer of the Year honor.

The lunchtime ceremony at the Holiday Inn attracted a who’s who of Issaquah — City Council members, Issaquah School District administrators, business leaders and community activists.

José Enciso, drive-in proprietor, receives top community honor

May 19, 2011

José Enciso, owner of the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, smiles as audience members applaud as he is inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the annual Issaquah Community Awards. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 12:30 p.m. May 19, 2011

José Enciso Sr., longtime Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor, received dual awards Tuesday, including the community’s highest honor.

The city inducted Enciso into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 32nd annual Community Awards Luncheon. The man serving behemoth burgers and enormous root beer floats along Northeast Gilman Boulevard also received the Business Person of the Year honor.

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City seeks Issaquah Hall of Fame nominees

April 19, 2011

Nominate outstanding citizens to join community leaders past and present in the Issaquah Hall of Fame.

The mayor and the City Council president recognize at least one person each year for his or her lasting contribution to the community.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and Council President John Traeger evaluate nominees based on things such as civic-mindedness, leadership and length of service. Past honorees all played a role in attracting positive attention to Issaquah and fundraising for the public good.

Send the name of a nominee and a brief summary of his or her contributions to the community to: Office of the Mayor, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027-1307. Or email the nomination to mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

The nominations must be received by May 2. Evaluators maintain confidentiality throughout the selection process.

The recipient or recipients is to be announced May 17 at the annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Greenway pioneer receives top environmental honor

July 13, 2010

Mountains to Sound Greenway pioneer Ted Thomsen — “the unsung hero” behind the 101-mile greenbelt — received the highest environmental honor in Issaquah in a City Hall ceremony last week.

The late Thomsen received the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community — the prize named for the late environmentalist, a tireless advocate for open space preservation. The city selected Thomsen for the yearslong effort to establish a billboard-free greenbelt from Seattle to Central Washington along Interstate 90.

Cynthia Welti, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust executive director, nominated Thomsen for the honor.

“He was essential to bringing the greenway vision to fruition,” she recalled in the nomination. “Ted is the unsung hero of the launch of this tremendous coalition effort.”

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City leaders ignore protests, honor retired administrator Leon Kos

June 29, 2010

Former City Administrator Leon Kos shunned the spotlight during the week before he retired April 30. The longest-serving city administrator in the state repeatedly insisted against a farewell party.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and the City Council ignored the protests.

The city inducted Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame last month, but he had departed for a trip to the Midwest after he retired, and missed the ceremony.

City leaders managed to lure Kos back to City Hall on June 21 to recognize his contributions to Issaquah and the region.

“This year’s Hall of Fame recipient’s contributions to our community can’t be summed up quickly, because they took place over the course of 33 years,” Frisinger said at the June 21 council meeting.

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City leaders ignore protests, honor retired administrator

June 28, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2010

Former City Administrator Leon Kos shunned the spotlight during the week before he retired April 30. The longest-serving city administrator in the state repeatedly insisted against a farewell party.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and the City Council ignored the protests.

The city inducted Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame last month, but he had departed for a trip to the Midwest after he retired, and missed the ceremony.

City leaders managed to lure Kos back to City Hall last week to recognize his contributions to Issaquah and the region.

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Retired City Administrator Leon Kos inducted into Issaquah Hall of Fame

May 18, 2010

NEW — 1:55 p.m. May 18, 2010

Community leaders honored the man at helm of the city administration through more than three decades and four mayors with the top city award Tuesday.

The city inducted retired City Administrator Leon Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 31st Annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Besides Kos, the city and civic organizations honored more than a dozen people in 15 categories for community and volunteer efforts.

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Press Editorial

May 11, 2010

Issaquah marked by achievers, volunteers

A Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award nominations, environmental awards, Tree City USA, scholars, top athletes, best Retirement City…. are there still awards Issaquah and its citizens have yet to receive? The recognitions come from near and far, locally and nationally — and they just keep coming. Read more

City seeks Hall of Fame nominees

April 20, 2010

Nominate outstanding citizens for the Issaquah Hall of Fame, the annual honor bestowed by city leaders on someone who has made a lasting contribution to the community.

Every spring, the mayor and City Council president select the honoree. Mayor Ava Frisinger and Council President John Traeger will evaluate nominees on several criteria, such as civic-mindedness, leadership and service.

Frisinger and Traeger will also evaluate the role a person plays in drawing positive attention to Issaquah and fundraising for the public good. Length of service will be a factor in the decision as well.

Send the name of the nominee and a brief summary of his or her contributions to the community to: The Office of the Mayor, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027-1307. Or submit the nomination via e-mail to mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

The nominations must be received by May 3. Call 837-3020 or e-mail mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us to learn more. Evaluators will maintain confidentiality throughout the selection process.

The recipient or recipients will be announced at the 31st Annual Community Awards Luncheon on May 18.

Past honorees include Harriet Fish — the historian who led the drive to name a ferry after Issaquah — environmentalist Ruth Kees and, last year, Issaquah Highlands mastermind Judd Kirk and Issaquah Valley Trolley backer Barb Justice.

In a separate honor, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce named Frisinger as Citizen of the Year at the 2009 luncheon.

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