Off The Press — Welcome to a world with free speech, North Korea

February 24, 2015

My arrival was massively late, but last week I finally got around to seeing “The Interview,” the highly controversial film that landed Sony Pictures Entertainment in hot water with the North Korean government.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

In case you missed it — and chances are you have, since the movie was distributed to only a small handful of theaters nationwide — “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as farcical journalists who visit North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Their stated purpose is an exclusive, televised interview, but the CIA has sent them in for an assassination attempt.

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Sally Jewell announces watershed

April 29, 2014

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined local conservation leaders April 25 to announce that Lake Sammamish has been chosen as one of eight pilot partnerships nationwide under the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative.

The partnership will help connect people in the Seattle metro-area to the great outdoors and, in particular, efforts to restore kokanee salmon runs in the Lake Sammamish Watershed.

By Greg Farrar Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler (left) shares a laugh with Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, as she meets and greets dozens of local officials April 25.

By Greg Farrar
Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler (left) shares a laugh with Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, as she meets and greets dozens of local officials April 25.

“Children have become increasingly disconnected from nature,” Jewell said in a news release. “The Lake Sammamish Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership seeks to reverse this trend by providing meaningful opportunities for urban residents in the region, especially young people, to get outdoors and engage in hands-on learning and conservation of kokanee salmon and its habitat.”

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Opinion: Pro on Obamacare

December 18, 2013

NEW — 10:50 a.m. Dec. 18, 2013

In the past few years, you have most likely heard people around you discussing Obamacare. Chances are you haven’t really paid much attention to what they were saying. I mean, as a teen, it doesn’t affect you right? Think again.

Before I begin, what is Obamacare?

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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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February 5, 2013

Separating education is not a budget solution

Last week, the state House of Representatives split along party lines on a proposal to create a separate budget for K-12 education funding. If approved, the education budget would need to have been funded before the state could look at its other obligations.

It’s just not that simple.

House Republicans said their proposal to split the budget was meant to address the state Supreme Court’s 2012 decision that the Legislature wasn’t funding education properly. That might be more believable if they hadn’t been pushing the measure every year since 2006.

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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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Skyline High School student petitions for disability rights

January 22, 2013

On Dec. 4, when the U.S. Senate failed to ratify a United Nations Treaty, the Convention for Rights and Persons with Disabilities, Skyline High School senior Joshua Schaier had something to say about it.

Schaier said he was upset by the rejection of the treaty, which is meant to protect the basic human rights of people with disabilities around the world.

“I didn’t think it was right that the United States fail in their duty to help protect people everywhere, including people with disabilities,” Schaier said.

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On Inauguration Day, lawmaker urges cooperation

January 21, 2013

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert said Congress and President Barack Obama must join forces to address challenges as the president embarks on a second term.

Reichert represents Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. The former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican attended the inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Monday.

“Our country is facing great challenges and we must work together to provide opportunities and prosperity for all Americans,” Reichert said in a statement. “We must find common ground to move our country forward, stop the political posturing and do what is right for the American people.”

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Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

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How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

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