Lawmakers to discuss legislative session in Issaquah

June 14, 2011

Meet more than a dozen Eastside state lawmakers June 21 as business groups hold a legislative wrap-up in Issaquah.

The event is open to all Issaquah businesses. Join lawmakers at Timber Ridge at Talus, 100 Timber Ridge Way N.W., at 3:30 p.m. RSVP early at the East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition website, www.eastkingchambers.org. The cost to attend is $20 and includes light appetizers.

The wrap-up will feature a chance to meet informally with Eastside legislators, followed by a moderated panel discussion on issues such as the state budget, education, job creation, economic vitality, transportation, state competitiveness, regulations and more.

The coalition included the Issaquah chamber and nine other Eastside chambers to advocate for local businesses and job growth.

“Issaquah’s businesspeople are looking forward to meeting with Eastside state leaders to discuss our shared goals of job creation on the Eastside, regional/state competitiveness, education excellence and more on June 21,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott said in a news release.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce honors innovators / Feb. 21, 2010

February 21, 2011

Restorix Health hyperbaric chamber leads to space-age medical research

February 15, 2011

Mention hyperbaric chambers, and most people start thinking about pressurized rooms where scuba divers afflicted with the bends go to recover.

But the chambers can be used for much more, and Issaquah’s Restorix Health plans to participate in hyperbaric treatment and research to find other medical uses for the pressurized chambers.

“We think there is great potential nationwide for what they’re doing and what they started in Issaquah,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott said, congratulating it for receiving one of the chamber’s three Innovation in Issaquah awards.

Restorix Health Medical Director Latisha Smith shows one of the clinic’s six hyperbaric chambers. Restorix Health’s model of comprehensive care and research helped it receive an Innovation in Issaquah award. By Laura Geggel

Restorix Health, which opened in Issaquah in December, has grand ambitions for its comprehensive health care delivery system. With six hyperbaric chambers, it has the largest collection of large monoplace chambers in the country. The chambers deliver oxygen with an increased atmospheric pressure, and can help heal patients with diverse maladies, including diabetic patients who have dying tissue deprived of its regular dose of oxygen.

“By putting your whole body under pressure, we dissolve oxygen into the liquid part of your body,” Medical Director Tommy Love said.

Increased oxygen levels can stimulate different responses in the body, including faster healing and increased stem cells, Medical Director Latisha Smith said.

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Democracy Live shifts ballots from polling place to the digital age

February 8, 2011

Most voters pick up a pamphlet from the mailbox or steer to a county or state elections website to study candidates and issues before Election Day.

The process of researching ballot issues and mailing a ballot is not so easy for residents living abroad and military members deployed overseas.

Bryan Finney, founder and president of Democracy Live, describes a webpage that shows ballot measures and office candidates. By Greg Farrar

“You think about the soldier out there in Kandahar, you know, he’s fighting for our right to vote and our democracy and, ironically, he’s the one guy who can’t vote,” Democracy Live founder Bryan Finney said.

The endless chatter from cable TV pundits and countless jokes on late-night TV in the 36 days after the disputed 2000 presidential election inspired Finney to create a better process to elect leaders. The former U.S. Senate staffer had created a dot-com startup, so he melded the skills to launch Democracy Live.

The result is a technology firm dedicated to simplifying elections for military voters overseas and disabled voters in the United States. The technology the Issaquah company offers is light years distant from infamous butterfly ballots and indecipherable chads.

“Here it is, the late 20th century and we still can’t figure out how to count votes,” Finney said. “So, I got involved with modernizing the balloting systems and voting technologies that were out there to try to rid the world of hanging chads and butterfly ballots.”

The company’s signature product, LiveBallot, is not online voting. The tool allows voters to print, mail and track ballots.

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Bellevue College president sketches bold vision for Issaquah campus

January 4, 2011

Hurdles remain before construction can start in Issaquah Highlands

Jean Floten

The formula for the Issaquah Highlands remains, for the most part, unchanged since residents settled in the community a dozen years ago: homes built almost eave-to-eave on tree-lined streets, even as plans for offices and retail offerings sputtered.

Bellevue College could juice up the long-established formula, or so community leaders hope.

The college campus proposed for the highlands could someday serve as a learning center for groups as assorted as school-aged children and retirees, a gathering spot for cultural festivals and fuel for the economy — if Bellevue College opts to transform a forested parcel near Central Park into a satellite campus.

College President Jean Floten started to consider the possibility more than a decade ago, as the population boomed on the Eastside.

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Business groups plan pre-election rally Friday

October 14, 2010

NEW — 5:45 p.m. Oct. 14, 2010

Issaquah and Sammamish business leaders plan to rally Friday to raise awareness about the issues facing the business community in the Nov. 2 election.

Enterprise Washington, plus the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce, has scheduled rally for noon Friday at Proliance Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, 510 Eighth Ave., in the Issaquah Highlands. The event — called the Jobs for Main Street rally — is open to the public.

The lineup includes local business leaders discussing why they chose Issaquah and Sammamish, how they support job growth and what they do to promote economic development.

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Congressman talks trade during stop here

July 13, 2010

Congressman Dave Reichert emphasized trade as a prescription to revive the stalled economy during a meeting with Issaquah business leaders late last week.

Reichert, a Republican and former King County sheriff, stopped at Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands on July 9 for a 90-minute discussion about how recent federal legislation affects businesses.

The congressman called on the federal government to make ports in trade-dependent Washington more attractive to businesses, because, he added after the Issaquah meeting, the state cannot afford to lose trade to ports in neighboring British Columbia.

Dave Reichert

“If our ports start to lose business, the businesses here that are supported by importing and exporting goods will begin to falter,” he said.

The fallout, he said, could impact businesses throughout the Eastside — the population center in the congressional district Reichert has represented since 2003.

President Obama appointed Reichert to the President’s Export Council in May. The group — lawmakers, federal department chiefs, and business and labor leaders — advises the president on trade issues.

Reichert offered support for a White House goal to double U.S. exports by 2015.

“His mission, which I applaud, is to double exports in the next five years,” Reichert said. “I’m going to bring some ideas on how we might be able to do that. One of those would be: We need to pass trade agreements.”

The congressman said a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea could help meet the goal. Though the Bush administration negotiated most of the pact, the proposal has been stalled since 2007.

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Congressman talks trade during Issaquah stop

July 9, 2010

NEW — 6:25 p.m. July 9, 2010

Congressman Dave Reichert emphasized trade as a prescription to revive the stalled economy during a meeting with Issaquah business leaders Friday afternoon.

Reichert, a Republican and a former King County sheriff, stopped at Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands for a 90-minute discussion about how recent federal legislation affects businesses.

The congressman called on the federal government to make ports in trade-dependent Washington more attractive to businesses, because, he added after the Issaquah meeting, the state cannot afford to lose trade to ports in neighboring British Columbia.

“If our ports start to lose business, the businesses here that are supported by importing and exporting goods will begin to falter,” he said.

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City Council puts concerns aside to approve undercrossing pact

June 23, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. June 23, 2010

Despite some grumbling from members, the City Council approved a pact Monday to help complete the Interstate 90 Undercrossing.

The city needed to secure right of way along 221st Place Southeast in order to complete paving and install a traffic signal where the road will meet Southeast 62nd Street. The council approved a development agreement with property owners Doug and Linda Ebi for the right of way.

The council initially discussed the agreement June 7, but sent the proposal to the Council Land & Shore Committee and the city River & Streams Board for additional scrutiny after residents and council members raised environmental concerns about the pact.

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2010 Community Awards

May 25, 2010

City inducts Leon Kos into Hall of Fame; chamber names Bob Ittes as Citizen of the Year

Leon Kos, Hall of Fame

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

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 people in 15 categories for community and volunteer efforts at the May 18 ceremony.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders named longtime community banker Bob Ittes as Citizen of the Year. Chamber CEO Matt Bott praised Ittes as “one of the pillars of our community” before the announcement.

“In his quiet way, the recipient has provided strong, steady leadership to a number of local organizations,” Bott said.

Ittes launched Issaquah Community Bank in July 2007 — “known by many as Bob’s bank” — Rowley Properties executive Kristi Tripple, the ceremony emcee, said in the announcement.

The bank merged with three other Puget Sound-area institutions in February to become Bank of the Northwest.

“Pulling together a bank merger during one of the worst economic periods in history is no small feat,” Tripple said. Read more

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