Prepare for Fenders on Front Street traffic changes

June 12, 2012

Motorists should prepare for a downtown Issaquah road closure June 17 during the Fenders on Front Street Car Show and Cruise.

Organizers plan to close Front Street North from Gilman Boulevard to Sunset Way between 6 a.m. and   4 p.m. for the car show, a Mountains to Sound Greenway Days event.

Registration starts at 6 a.m. at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, 98 N.E. Gilman Blvd. Vehicles start to park at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, and then park along the Staples parking lot to Front Street North and then along Front Street North toward Sunset Way as the need for space increases.

The car judging starts at about 11 a.m., with trophies presented at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., at 2 p.m.

Following the trophy presentations, at 3 p.m., car show participants gather on Front Street North and cruise to Sunset Way, and then to Newport Way and along Gilman Boulevard to the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in.

Trader Joe’s to occupy former Issaquah Commons party store

June 5, 2012

The longtime party store in the Issaquah Commons along Northwest Gilman Boulevard moved the celebration elsewhere last week to make way for Trader Joe’s.

Party @ Display & Costume settled in a space next to Best Buy in the same shopping center as Fred Meyer and The Home Depot along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. The relocated party store opened to customers May 31.

The 60-year-old company also operates stores in Everett and Seattle.

Party @ Display & Costume left a space at the Issaquah Commons near Lane Bryant and Ross Dress for Less to make room for a relocated Trader Joe’s.

The specialty grocer’s existing location in Pickering Place does not meet the 10,000-square-foot threshold for retailers to sell liquor, but the former party store space in the Issaquah Commons offers enough space.

Trader Joe’s is expected to relocate within the next several months.

State Supreme Court upholds liquor privatization initiative

May 31, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. May 31, 2012

The state Supreme Court upheld a liquor privatization initiative Thursday, a day before the measure goes into effect and liquor sales expand statewide.

In a 5-4 ruling, justices upheld Initiative 1183, a Costco-backed measure to end the state-run liquor system. Voters approved the measure in November and, in April, the state auctioned the rights to private entrepreneurs to sell liquor at former state-run stores.

Opponents said I-1183 violated the single subject rule for statewide ballot initiatives.

In addition to the liquor privatization language, I-1183 included a section directing $10 million to public safety, in addition to the liquor-privatization language.

“The challenged portion of I-1183’s ballot title is not palpably misleading or false,” justices wrote.

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City approves permit for medical marijuana operation

April 10, 2012

The long process to establish a medical marijuana collective garden — and city rules for such operations — reached a milestone March 23, as planners approved a permit for GreenLink Collective to open along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The facility in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. is proposed as a place to process and deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients, offer classes and information, and sell supplies for people to produce and consume marijuana under a framework established by state law. GreenLink does not intend to grow marijuana in the space.

State law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces.

Under the city code established last year, GreenLink must operate entirely inside the enclosed structure and cannot deliver marijuana in areas visible to the public.

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Stores say no more ‘pink slime’ in meat cases

April 3, 2012

Questions about ground beef fly more often across the counter at Fischer Meats since the issue of “lean finely textured beef” — more recognizable by the headline-grabbing nickname “pink slime” — captured the media zeitgeist late last month.

“I’ve probably had a half a dozen people that have mentioned it and said, ‘We’ll never buy ground beef in the grocery store again because of that,” owner Chris Chiechi said April 2. “We have been selling a little more ground beef in the last month. I wouldn’t call it a huge impact.”

Fischer Meats does not use the additive.

The product is made from beef trimmings treated in ammonium hydroxide to eliminate pathogens. The additive is used in ground beef and beef-based products.

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Man robs Issaquah bank at gunpoint

March 27, 2012

Issaquah KeyBank robbery suspect

Police said a man robbed a KeyBank branch along a bustling Issaquah street March 24, and then escaped.

Police said the man showed a bank employee a gun and passed the employee a note demanding money at about 10:51 a.m.

Officers responded to the bank at 405 N.W. Gilman Blvd. moments later, but could not locate the suspect.

The employee described the man to police as a white man in his 30s, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighing 200 pounds. Police said he wore a beige hooded coat, jeans and a dark-colored baseball cap, and carried a motorcycle helmet.

The suspect used dark clothing to conceal the lower portion of his face during the robbery. Police said he then fled eastbound from the bank.

The case remains under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department and the FBI.

What to know

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Call 1-800-222-TIPS toll free.

The last bank robbery to occur in Issaquah unfolded at the same KeyBank branch.

In October, a thief robbed the bank and fled. FBI agents arrested the suspect, a former Snoqualmie resident connected to other thefts in the area, days after the robbery.

Investigators said the suspect, Christopher Isaac Titian, approached a bank employee, handed the employee a demand note and then fled.

Police: Man robbed Issaquah bank at gunpoint

March 24, 2012

NEW — 7 p.m. March 24, 2012

Police said a man robbed a KeyBank branch in Issaquah on Saturday morning, and then escaped.

Police said the man showed a bank employee a gun and passed the employee a note demanding money at about 11 a.m.

Officers responded to the bank in the 400 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard moments later, but could not locate the man.

The employee described the man to police as a white man in his 30s, 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 200 pounds. Police said he wore a beige hooded coat, jeans and a dark colored baseball cap, and carried a motorcycle helmet.

The suspect used dark clothing to conceal the lower portion of his face.

The suspect fled eastbound from the bank.

The case is under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department and the FBI.

City approves permit for medical marijuana collective

March 23, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. March 23, 2012

The long process to establish a medical marijuana collective garden — and city rules for such operations — reached a milestone Friday, as planners approved a permit for GreenLink Collective to open along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The facility in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. is proposed as a place to process and deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients, offer classes and information, and sell supplies for people to produce and consume marijuana under a framework established by state law. GreenLink does not intend to grow marijuana in the space.

State law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces.

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Lakeside Center for Autism uses technology as treatment tool

March 20, 2012

Dan Stachelski, CEO, director and a speech-language pathologist at Lakeside Center for Autism, stands at a mosaic of jigsaw puzzle pieces made by some of the youngsters in art class who attend the school. By Greg Farrar

The hustle and bustle at Lakeside Center for Autism is intentional.

Tucked in rooms outfitted in technology both tried-and-true and cutting-edge, children and therapists spend hours each day to overcome the obstacles put in place by autism. The commotion and laughter emanating from behind the closed doors come as signs of success.

Lakeside Center for Autism uses the popular Microsoft Kinect system and other tools to treat the complicated neural development disorder.

“It’s all about participation,” company CEO, president and founder Dan Stachelski said. “Technology can do that.”

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Historic Issaquah trolley car departs for restoration in Iowa

March 13, 2012

Don McWhirter, with the Issaquah Valley Trolley Project, lops overgrown brambles at the railroad track beside the Darigold plant so the trolley could be moved March 12 onto a tractor-trailer for the trip to Iowa for restoration. By Greg Farrar

The historic trolley car on display at the Issaquah Train Depot departed the station March 12, as the long-planned effort to restore and run the car in downtown Issaquah inched ahead.

The 87-year-old Lisbon No. 519 trolley car left for Ida Grove, Iowa, and the Gomaco Trolley Co. — a trolley car manufacturer and restorer. If the restoration plan unfolds as scheduled, the trolley should return to Issaquah in September.

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