Mountains to Sound Greenway, REI leader is choice for Cabinet

February 6, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

REI leader Sally Jewell, a leader in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, is President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. interior secretary.

Jewell is Kent-based REI’s president and CEO, in addition to serving as a board member for the nonprofit organization underpinning the greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington.

Obama announced Jewell’s appointment Wednesday at a White House ceremony. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to succeed outgoing Department of the Interior chief Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

“Sally Jewell is a respected leader and passionate advocate for conservation, recreation and outdoor education,” Cynthia Welti, greenway trust executive director, said in a statement. “We are delighted with this news. Sally will serve our country well.”

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Washington senator calls for input on federal budget priorities

January 29, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 29, 2013

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is encouraging taxpayers to engage in the federal budget process.

Murray, Senate Budget Committee chairwoman and a Washington Democrat, announced the start of MyBudget, a platform to share budget ideas and priorities.

“The federal budget is where we lay out our values, our priorities, and our vision for what our government should look like now and in the future,” she said in a statement. “So I believe that it is absolutely critical that the ideas and perspectives of families across America are heard loud and clear in a budget process that belongs to them, but is too often limited to politicians and bureaucrats.”

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Top Pot to open Issaquah drive-thru location

January 22, 2013

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts plans to open a drive-thru Issaquah location as early as next month — a first for the Seattle-based pastry purveyor.

Cofounder Mark Klebeck said Top Pot intends to upgrade Rowley Properties’ existing building at 1235 N.W. Maple St. — a round structure most recently occupied by Mondo’s Espresso — near the Issaquah Transit Center.

The iconic structure’s Mid-Century Modern design and proximity to the transit hub appealed to the Klebecks.

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Change in geography alters landscape for congressional race

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

The showdown in the 8th Congressional District is far different from the most recent contests for the seat.

Incumbent Republican Dave Reichert held on amid spirited challenges from Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Redistricting last year reshaped the landscape for the district, and the 2012 race is not attracting the same kind of attention — or money — as the earlier battles.

Reichert’s opponent is Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Porterfield grew up in Seattle, in a family active in Democratic politics, and settled in Issaquah more than a decade ago. She said the expertise she gained in affordable housing development and in leadership roles at nonprofit organizations means she could offer a unique perspective in Congress.

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Issaquah marks 9/11 anniversary

September 18, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Sept. 11 to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day — officially Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and other elected leaders marked the anniversary.

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City lowers flags to mark 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 11, 2012

City leaders lowered flags to half-staff at Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings Tuesday to commemorate 11 years since the 9/11 attacks.

The federal government and local governments across the United States lowered flags at public buildings for the day, officially called Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The flags should remain at half-staff until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

“More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed,” President Barack Obama said in a proclamation to commemorate the anniversary. “But as we mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a nation, our faith in one another, and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness.”

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Lawmakers earn award for family legislation, performance as employers

September 4, 2012

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and other Evergreen State lawmakers earned recognition as family-friendly bosses on Capitol Hill.

Overall, 30 lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — received the 2012 Best of Congress Award from Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media. The award recognizes lawmakers’ legislative accomplishments and performance as employers.

“I recognize the constant struggle of so many people to make family life a priority while working to excel in a beloved career,” Reichert said in a statement.

Reichert represents Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District. The former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican is running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Murray, a Democrat and longtime advocate for issues related to working families, has represented Washington in the U.S. Senate since 1993.

Washington Democrat Adam Smith and Washington Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers also received the award. Smith represents Newcastle and the 9th Congressional District. McMorris Rodgers represents the 5th Congressional District in Eastern Washington.

Patty Murray, Dave Reichert receive ‘Best of Congress’ honor from family groups

July 25, 2012

NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 25, 2012

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and other Evergreen State lawmakers each earned a 2012 Best of Congress Award on Wednesday from national organizations advocating for working families.

Overall, 30 lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — received the honor from Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media. The award recognizes honorees for leadership in improving the quality of life for working families, plus support for congressional staffers.

“I’m honored to be chosen to receive the 2012 Best of Congress award,” Reichert said in a statement. “Throughout my life and career, I’ve seen firsthand the difficulty of balancing work and family life. I recognize the constant struggle of so many people to make family life a priority while working to excel in a beloved career. In my legislative work and the organizations I’ve been fortunate to be a part of, I have always been committed to improving the lives of working families.”

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Washington elected officials earn honor for conservation efforts

July 24, 2012

Evergreen State elected officials earned a national honor for efforts to conserve Washington wilderness.

Both U.S. senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and the Issaquah representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Dave Reichert, received recognition as America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions from The Wilderness Society, a national conservation group.

The organization also recognized other Washington representatives, Democrats Norm Dicks and Rick Larsen, for conservation efforts.

Murray earned recognition for championing the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness in the Cascades. Murray and Reichert coauthored the Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions bill to add 22,000 acres and more than 30 miles of rivers in the Middle Fork of Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River valleys.

Cantwell worked to preserve the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and introduced legislation to preserve public access and protect lands in the San Juan Islands.

The recognition came in late June during Great Outdoors America Week.

“Washington state is fortunate to have incredibly strong advocates for protecting and reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors,” said Peter Dykstra, Pacific Northwest regional director at The Wilderness Society.

Dino Rossi to represent Issaquah again in Olympia

July 10, 2012

Former state senator is appointed to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi is headed back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeds former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members unanimously recommended Rossi for the caretaker position July 9, a little more than a week after Pflug, a Republican, resigned to serve on a state board.

“I do know the people of this district,” Rossi said in testimony to council members.

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