Cashiers put state grocery title in the bag

October 26, 2010

Issaquah man competes in bag-off

The champions came from checkout lanes at mega-chains and from behind cash registers at mom-and-pop stores in every corner of the Evergreen State.

Dressed in uniforms of aprons and plastic nametags, the contenders stood poised for the signal to start the competition.

Nathan Frerker (right), a cashier at the Issaquah Trader Joe’s, smiles as judges inspect a grocery bag he packed during the annual Best Bagger Contest Oct. 21. By Greg Farrar

Ready. Set. Bag.

Forget, for a moment, the self-scan checkout lane. The annual Best Bagger Contest celebrates the skill — nay, the art — of packing groceries into paper, plastic or canvas.

The contenders included Nathan Frerker, 22, a cashier at the Issaquah Trader Joe’s. Before the Oct. 21 competition inside a SeaTac hotel ballroom, the Issaquah resident and Skyline High School alumnus packed a couple of bags as practice.

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Issaquah grocery bagger competes in state bag-off Thursday

October 18, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 18, 2010

The best bagger in the state might be packing up groceries at the Issaquah Trader Joe’s.

Nathan Frerker, 22, is in the running to be Best Bagger of Washington State. The title is awarded to the winner of the Washington Food Industry Association’s annual Best Bagger Championship Finals.

Frerker and nine other challengers could take a $1,500 prize, the title and the chance to compete in a national bag-off in Las Vegas in February.

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State senator tackles ports’ economic impact

July 6, 2010

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug and other legislators plan to study the impact of ports on the Washington economy, the lieutenant governor announced last week.

Pflug has been appointed to the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations, a group led by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen.

Pflug and 13 other lawmakers will hear about operations, challenges and opportunities in the 75 port districts throughout Washington. The group meets July 9 in Tacoma.

Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, has represented Issaquah in the Senate since 2004.

“As one of the most trade-dependent states in the United States, Washington has a huge stake in international trade,” Owen said in a statement. “Thousands of jobs are tied to it across many sectors, and much of our economic success depends on the successful operation of our ports.”

Watch the ports meeting on the statewide public affairs network, TVW, starting July 12 at 7 p.m., or online at

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License plates can benefit musicians

February 23, 2009

Local residents and musicians are banding together to help save music programming in public schools in the state, but need your help to get started.

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