King County honors local organizations’ sustainability efforts

July 15, 2014

King County has credited a number of local organizations for commitment to sustainability.

Rowley Properties Inc., Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Cartridge World, the Issaquah School District and the city of Issaquah were named Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling.

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Grocery workers’ union reaches agreement hours before strike

October 22, 2013

Just two hours before grocery store workers were set to head to the picket lines, union representatives announced they had reached a tentative agreement with the national grocery chains.

“This tentative agreement has been unanimously recommended by the union member bargaining team,” the union wrote in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

Union members must still review and vote on the proposal. Until then, the statement said details of the agreement will not be released.

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A little food love goes a long way

February 19, 2013

Valentine’s Day snuck up on me this year. It feels like yesterday I was planning Super Bowl food. And yet, last week I found myself scrambling to come up with something divinely delicious for the annual day of love.

Creating a special dinner for my family is my way of saying I love you. But alas, my dazzling Valentine dinner didn’t quite happen the way I’d planned. From work to school activities, homework and deadlines, it seemed a momentous task to bring everyone together on a Thursday evening for our Valentine feast.

RecipeBox Food 20130200

The lovely celebration dinner was postponed. However, always looking for a good excuse to dine on the delicious, my darling family agreed to reconvene this weekend for our annual evening of food love.

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Issaquah innovators earn business honor

January 29, 2013

Innovation in Issaquah is exemplified by a leading apparel manufacturer, a revolutionary process to transform garbage into fertilizer and a theater renowned for fostering Broadway-bound musicals.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and city leaders announced the Innovation in Issaquah honorees — apparel manufacturer SanMar, WISErg, a manufacturer of garbage-to-fertilizer harvesters, and the nonprofit Village Theatre — at a Jan. 24 ceremony and luncheon.

Leaders from the chamber and City Hall recognized the entrepreneurs’ accomplishments through the Innovation in Issaquah contest, a showcase for local businesses offering unique services. Honorees demonstrate innovation in product development, services, systems or strategies.

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Off the Press

September 18, 2012

It’s not hard to cook up a lasting marriage

David Hayes
Press reporter

My wife Michelle and I celebrated our 17th anniversary in August. While we’ve more than doubled the national average, we’re still young ‘uns compared to some of the couples The Issaquah Press has featured in recent months.

The paper has been celebrating along with some local couples who’ve hit some mighty milestones in their marriages. Each was kind enough to also share their secrets to staying together all these decades since tying the knot.

Preben and Ruth Hoegh-Christensen celebrated their 70th anniversary Aug. 2. Their secret was to make sure there was give and take in their marriage, and after an argument to always kiss each other goodnight before bed, never going to sleep angry.

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Donate bicycles for African students at PCC Natural Markets

August 7, 2012

Olympia-based Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care and Seattle-headquartered PCC Natural Markets have teamed up for Bicycles for Education.

PCC Issaquah is hosting a bike drive, accepting functioning, adult-sized used bicycles from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1810 12th Ave. N.W. The bicycles will then be distributed to disadvantaged teens in Africa for transportation to and from school.

Learn more at www.pccnaturalmarkets.com or www.empowermentalliance.org. Learn about volunteer opportunities by contacting Olowo-n’djo Tchala at 360-866-0080, ext. 204, or bikes@alaffia.com.

Issaquah School District, businesses earn ‘green’ honor from King County

August 7, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling July 25.

Dow Constantine

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

(The school district stretches from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.)

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

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Issaquah organizations earn King County honor for ‘green’ practices

July 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. July 26, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling Wednesday.

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

The county put Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets and Rowley Properties on a Business Honor Roll for making the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list for at least five consecutive years.

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City Council bans plastic bags at Issaquah retailers

June 12, 2012

Ordinance goes into effect for most businesses in March 2013

Issaquah joined a string of cities along Puget Sound to outlaw plastic bags at local retailers June 4, after months of sometimes-acrimonious debate about adverse impacts to the marine environment and the regional economy.

In the end, concerns about the environment led the City Council to decide 5-2 to eliminate most retail uses for plastic bags. The legislation — and a 5-cent fee on paper bags — go into effect in March 2013 for most businesses.

The council listened to advocates from environmental groups and the plastics industry in public meetings throughout April and May, and then again before the decision.

The plastic bag ban sponsor, Issaquah Highlands entrepreneur and City Councilman Mark Mullet, presented the legislation as a way to reduce the estimated 10 million plastic bags the city sends to the King County landfill each year.

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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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