Issaquah Chamber of Commerce unveils city-focused agenda

July 5, 2011

Leaders focus on changes to signage, tourism

Issaquah business leaders plan to focus on City Hall in the months ahead to foster economic development, bolster tourism-promotion efforts and shape regulations to benefit businesses.

Matthew Bott, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the local agenda formed after chamber leaders consulted Issaquah entrepreneurs. The effort marks the inaugural legislative agenda from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce focused on city issues.

“We really went out and asked our members, ‘What are you seeing? What are your priorities? What would you like to see?’” he said. “We made a specific focus on city government.”

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The Issaquah Press is best in Northwest

May 24, 2011

The Issaquah Press is the best nondaily newspaper in the Pacific Northwest — again.

The regional Society of Professional Journalists chapter announced the paper’s general excellence award at a Safeco Field ceremony May 21. The newspaper competed against similar publications in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

The 111-year-old publication earned the top award for general excellence last year, too.

“To win this award two years in a row is a real high for The Press,” Publisher Debbie Berto said. “Is it possible for a publisher to be more proud? Our newspaper team, from reporters to advertising reps, is all very dedicated, and they deserve to be recognized as the very best that they are. The community should be proud to have their hometown newspaper be No. 1.”

The annual contest honored more than 200 journalists for accomplishments in print, online, radio and television media. Judges from outside of the region evaluated more than 2,500 entries.

Staffers at The Press, and sister publications Sammamish Review and SnoValley Star, also claimed individual awards in numerous other categories, including a sweep in the Environment and Science Reporting category.

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City makes history in effort to turn restaurants ‘green’

September 28, 2010

A plastic fork and spork get picked out of the compost waste pile by Cedar Grove Composting General Manager Nick Harbert. By Greg Farrar

Groundbreaking packaging ordinance takes effect Oct. 1

Inside the neon-illuminated Rollin’ Log Tavern, the full effect of the city-mandated change from foam and plastic to eco-friendly cups, containers and utensils is apparent after a quick glance at the timeworn bar.

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Press Editorial

September 28, 2010

Sustainability takes leadership, balance

Issaquah is about to make history. The city, a longtime leader on sustainability issues, has followed Seattle and other large cities to change how restaurants and all other food sellers — from school lunchrooms to corporate cafeterias — serve food.

In many restaurants, diners noticed the change months ago, as innovative containers made from corn and paper replaced landfill-clogging options made from foam and plastic.

The alternative, the expanded polystyrene foam called Styrofoam, sits in landfills for years. The substance does not biodegrade and instead breaks into smaller and smaller pieces. Read more

Council seeks to fine-tune food-packaging ordinance

August 24, 2010

Less than eight weeks before a landmark food-packaging ordinance goes into effect, city leaders plan to fine-tune the legislation to compensate for fast-melting compostable straws, foil-backed sandwich wrappers and other potential pitfalls.

In a milestone decision late last year, Issaquah became the first Eastside city to ban polystyrene food containers and instead require containers and utensils fashioned from compostable materials. The ban goes into effect Oct. 1 — but businesses can ask to be exempt until early next year.

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City Council sets parks, transportation among 2011 goals

May 4, 2010

City Council members outlined goals for parks, technology, economic development and transportation to be accomplished next year. The council eschewed broad policy goals and recommended specific projects.

Members culled 62 suggestions into a handful of rough goals. Municipal staffers will then hone the list into a final stack of goals for the council to approve next month.

The council gathered in a Public Works Operations Building conference room May 1 for the daylong discussion to set goals for 2011.

Council President John Traeger encouraged members to offer multiple suggestions.

“There are no bad ideas, and no goal is too big or too small,” he said.

The retreat included initial discussion about the upcoming budget. City department chiefs use the goals set by the council to formulate budgets for the upcoming year.

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Former Councilman David Kappler lauded for environmental record

January 5, 2010

Issaquah claimed about 8,000 residents when David Kappler launched a successful City Council campaign in 1991.

David Kappler

David Kappler

Then, before the seismic shifts brought on by widespread growth, residents talked about still-unrealized plans to build urban villages on Cougar Mountain and Grand Ridge. Costco still maintained corporate headquarters in Kirkland.

Kappler, a tireless advocate for trails and open space preservation, won every election since his ’91 victory. The former councilman, who shaped decisions for almost 20 years, led the push to conserve land and cast crucial votes to shape transportation and public safety in Issaquah and across the Eastside.

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Top 10 news stories of 2009

December 29, 2009

flood weather GF 0108a

Sisters Jennifer Davies, Julianne Long and Mindy Heintz (from left) retrieve belongings Jan. 8 from the toppled guesthouse at the home of their parents, Jack and Karen Brooks, beside Issaquah Creek in the 23300 block of Southeast May Valley Road. — By Greg Farrar

Growth slowed and the economy cooled throughout 2009. The watershed moments in Issaquah hinged on expansion and recession. Leaders broke ground for a major new employer, even while other businesses left town for good.

Issaquah began the first decade of a new century as a fast-growing city, a title the city held for years. As 2009 reached a close, however, officials pared the size of government to face the new economic reality.

From January floods to record July heat and brutal December cold, 2009 was jam-packed, but the year was never dull.

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Polystyrene ban will begin next October

November 24, 2009

Issaquah will become the first Eastside city to ban polystyrene food containers, when Styrofoam takeout boxes and plastic foam cups are outlawed next October. Businesses will be required to switch to compostable or recyclable — and pricier — containers and utensils by May 2011.

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Press Editorial

November 24, 2009

Polystyrene ban is a solid first step

Issaquah became a leader in the effort to ban difficult-to-recycle polystyrene last week. The legislation represents a watershed moment as Issaquah seeks to set the regional standard in sustainability issues. Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is tough to recycle and can be tough on the environment. Read more

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