Photographer Barry Sweet brings book of iconic images to Issaquah

August 14, 2012

Madonna performs at the Paramount Theatre in 1985. Explosions demolish the Kingdome in 2000. By Barry Sweet

Barry Sweet, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and The Associated Press’ longtime Seattle-based photographer, captured photos as astronauts returned from the moon, as Robert F. Kennedy campaigned for president, after Mount St. Helens erupted and at thousands of other events across the Pacific Northwest.

In 1985, however, Sweet received a more unfamiliar assignment — instructions to photograph a pop singer on the rise.

“None of us had any clue who Madonna was or what she was or what she was going to become,” he recalled in a recent interview. “Basically, I got a phone call saying, ‘There’s a woman who’s a singer. She’s going to be at the Paramount singing and she’s pretty good — and it’s really interesting because she’s going to be on stage and wear her underwear outside of her clothes.’”

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Celebrate National Night Out with local police officers, and a hot dog

July 31, 2012

Local residents can meet officers from the Issaquah Police Department, obtain valuable safety information and munch on free hot dogs at the city’s National Night Out event Aug. 7.

The nationwide event heightens neighborhood crime awareness, generates support for local anticrime efforts, and strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. Some 15,000 communities and 36 million people around the country are expected to participate in their local neighborhoods.

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Giving back to Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, a community ‘treasure’

July 17, 2012

When Kelly Richardson was a child, her grandmother used to take her and her sister for picnics along Tibbetts Creek.

“We saw fish spawn, tree frogs lay their eggs, and watched eagles and blue herons fly,” she said.

These days, the Issaquah resident volunteers with the city’s historic staple attraction — the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. Richardson calls it an “Issaquah treasure.” She works for a program called FISH, or Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, which gives tours to thousands of visitors a year.

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Construction starts on long-awaited Issaquah Highlands retail center

July 3, 2012

Earth-moving equipment works at the intersection of Highlands Drive Northeast and Northeast High Street on June 26 as construction starts on Grand Ridge Plaza. By Autumn Monahan

Finally, after years of plans and promises, developers and officials gathered in the Issaquah Highlands early June 26 to launch construction on a $70 million retail center in the neighborhood — a long-awaited amenity for residents and, in recent years, a symbol for the anemic economy and rebound.

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Skyline, Liberty high schools hire new basketball coaches

July 3, 2012

Skyline High School announced the hiring of new boys basketball coach Maui Borden.

For the past four years, Borden was an assistant basketball coach for Eastlake High School and also spent time as a member of the football staff.

“Coach Borden has a thorough understanding of the role of athletics in the lives of our students and how to push them to get the most out of the student-athlete experience,” Skyline Athletic Director Ryan Gilbert said in a press release.

Borden works in the Xbox division of Microsoft and is a national speaker with Proactive Coaching.

Liberty High School has hired Omar Parker as the boys basketball coach.

A graduate of Mercer Island, Parker played on a state championship team, and later was a member of the Mercer Island coaching staff for two more championships. Most recently, Parker was the director of player development at the University of Missouri.

“I’m excited to coach at Liberty High School and be the face of Patriot basketball for Liberty and the community,” Parker said in a statement.

Off the Press

June 26, 2012

Preparing for worst-case scenario in Issaquah

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

The earthquake existed only on paper and pixels for a brief span in early June, but the aftermath lingers.

Officials in local, regional, state and federal government participated in a drill, called the 2012 Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, to prepare for a devastating disaster in Issaquah and Western Washington.

The scenario for the exercise reads like the script for a disaster flick set in Issaquah.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled along the Seattle Fault at 8 a.m. Monday, June 4, as motorists surged on Interstate 90 and clogged city streets, en route to work and school.

The interstate turned impassable in a matter of seconds, as the exit to Front Street North and East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast crumbled.

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Microsoft, Nordstrom execs invest in arena proposal

June 26, 2012

The investment group for a proposed Seattle arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball and hockey franchises to the region — includes top executives at Microsoft and Nordstrom, officials announced June 13.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nordstrom executives Peter and Erik Nordstrom add strength and credibility to the proposal.

“These backers are pillars of our local community whose reputations precede them,” Constantine said in a statement. “The people of King County know that these local leaders are committed to bringing the NBA and NHL to this region.”

In February, investor Christopher Hansen presented to Seattle and King County a proposal to construct an arena to host NBA and NHL teams.

Hansen, Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, announced a proposed agreement last month.

The amount of public support for the arena is capped at $120 million if organizers secure only the basketball franchise. The total could rise to $200 million if a hockey team is added to the equation.

Microsoft, Nordstorm executives invest in arena proposal

June 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 15, 2012

The investment group for a proposed Seattle arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball and hockey franchises to the region — includes top executives at Microsoft and Nordstrom.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nordstrom executives Peter and Erik Nordstrom add strength and credibility to the proposal.

“These backers are pillars of our local community whose reputations precede them,” Constantine said in a statement. “The people of King County know that these local leaders are committed to bringing the NBA and NHL to this region.”

In February, investor Christopher Hansen presented to Seattle and King County a proposal to construct the arena to host NBA and NHL teams.

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Issaquah startup transforms trash into treasure at local grocery store

May 15, 2012

City Council President Tola Marts speaks at WISErg’s public unveiling of a food-scrap harvester at PCC Natural Market on May 8. By Autumn Monahan

The castoffs from daily activity in a grocery store — fruit peels from the juice bar, meat trimmings from the deli, discarded vegetable leaves from the produce section — no longer go to the compost heap at the PCC Natural Markets store at Pickering Place.

Instead, employees dump the refuse into a boxy structure tucked near the loading dock. The apparatus, a machine called a harvester, transforms the peels and trimmings into sludge — a building block for organic fertilizer.

Issaquah-based WISErg developed the harvester and built the prototype for the local grocery co-op. The company also uses the sludge to produce fertilizer, a tawny liquid no thicker than water.

Microsoft alumni Larry LeSueur and Jose Lugo founded WISErg in 2009. The startup venture is based across the street from Pickering Place. (The company name is a nod to the erg, a tiny unit of energy.)

“We all know the scraps headed for the Dumpsters are full of nutrients and value,” LeSueur said at a public debut for the harvester May 8. “The last thing we should do is landfill them and create more environmental and community headaches.”

WISErg approached Diana Crane, director of sustainability for Seattle-based PCC, and broached the idea of installing a harvester at a store.

“How exciting it is that the trash produced daily from our juice bar, deli, meat and produce departments that would otherwise be sent to landfills is now being offered in our PCC stores as a high-quality plant food,” Issaquah Store Director Debbi Montgomery said.

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Local school plays role in French presidential election

May 1, 2012

Inside the Issaquah School District boundaries is a rarity in vote-by-mail Washington — a polling location.

Frédéric Dubut

The election did not appear on local ballots, but the outcome could resonate on a global stage. The only polling location for French expatriates in the region is the French Immersion School of Washington, a campus situated along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast next to Sunset Elementary School.

The campus hosted a stream of voters late last month amid the initial voting in the French presidential election.

Frédéric Dubut drove from Seattle in a borrowed Zipcar on April 21 to slip a ballot into a transparent box and cast a vote in the 10-candidate contest.

The initial round culled the field to top candidates for a runoff election. Dubut plans to return to the French Immersion School of Washington to cast a ballot in the runoff May 6 — or May 5 in Washington due to the time difference.

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