Issaquah Highlands tenants to include RAM Restaurant & Brewery

October 9, 2012

Tenants for the long-awaited retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands include local restaurants and a beauty supply store, city officials announced Oct. 2, not long before project developers plan to unveil a more complete list of retailers.

The latest announcement for the $70 million highlands project, called Grand Ridge Plaza, adds RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Big Fish Grill and ULTA Beauty to the lineup alongside a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Lucy Sloman, city land development manager, and Keith Niven, city economic development director, announced the latest additions to the Urban Village Development Commission.

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Issaquah Highlands retail options to include RAM Restaurant & Brewery

October 3, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 3, 2012

Tenants for the long-awaited retail complex in the Issaquah Highlands include local restaurants and a beauty supply store, city officials announced Tuesday.

The latest announcement for the $70 million highlands project, called Grand Ridge Plaza, adds RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Big Fish Grill and ULTA Beauty to the list alongside a Regal Cinemas multiplex, and a Safeway and associated gas station.

Lucy Sloman, city land development manager, and Keith Niven, city economic development director, announced the latest additions to the Urban Village Development Commission. The project developer, Regency Centers, and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities plan to unveil more tenants at a community meeting Oct. 10.

In another major development for the highlands, Microsoft plans to sell long-vacant land once envisioned for a campus, Niven said.

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Under Initiative 1240, local charter school is unlikely

September 25, 2012

On Nov. 6, people across the state will cast their vote whether to allow charter schools in Washington, and locals stand on both sides of the argument.

Supporters say the schools could pursue innovative educational techniques, free from most state regulation and without unionized teachers.

Opponents say charter schools have insufficient oversight and would drain money from traditional public schools.

“We have great schools, we have great teachers,” said Jodi Mull, an Issaquah High School parent who said she had no problem gathering signatures to get Initiative 1240 on the ballot. “Maybe it’s not going to help me in my community, but it will help others.”

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Harvard grad leaves Microsoft to teach at Issaquah High School

September 11, 2012

Brett Wortzman, to give his students an idea of what it takes to write a program, pretends to be a computer that is being instructed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich Sept. 6 at Issaquah High School. By Lillian O’Rorke

A glob of peanut butter piles up on Brett Wortzman’s finger as students in his intro to computer science class shout commands at the man who left his job at Microsoft to become a teacher.

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Students use video games to learn problem-solving skills

September 4, 2012

Video games at school sounds like the dream of many teenagers, but for many in the Issaquah School District designing and having them in the classroom became a reality last year.

Through a partnership between the district and Microsoft, students taking “Introduction to Computer Science” last spring at Skyline, Issaquah and Liberty high schools got to design, program and ultimately play video games, all in the name of learning. And starting this year, the course will also be offered at Tiger Mountain Community High School.

For Kevin Houghton, math and engineering teacher at Issaquah High, this was the first time video games made an appearance on his syllabi.

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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.

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