Swedish/Issaquah earns Building of the Year honor

April 3, 2012

Swedish/Issaquah earned the Building of the Year title in a recent poll of Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce readers.

Swedish Medical Center announced the honor March 26.

The $365 million hospital opened in July 2011. The initial phase encompassed clinics and offices spread across 200,000 square feet in a medical office building. The entire facility encompasses 528,000 square feet.

In November, Swedish/Issaquah opened patient beds and started offering inpatient services. The facility is licensed for up to 175 beds.

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Help for heating is available to low-income consumers

March 20, 2012

The state utility regulator reminds residents about heating help available through the agency and the federal government.

The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and utility company low-income assistance programs provide funding to qualifying households for assistance to pay for heating.

Residents can apply for heating assistance directly through energy companies. The utility in the Issaquah area, Puget Sound Energy, offers low-income assistance at http://pse.com/accountsandservices/YourBill/Pages/Low-Income-Assistance.aspx.

Call the state Utility and Transportation Commission’s Consumer Protection Help Line at 1-888-333-9882 toll free, or go to www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/energy/Pages/default.aspx, to locate assistance agencies, or to get help to resolve a billing dispute, disconnect notice or service complaint.

Village Theatre receives $25,000 grant

March 20, 2012

Village Theatre received a $25,000 grant from the city and Puget Sound Energy to maintain and upgrade Issaquah facilities, officials announced Feb. 23.

Bellevue-based PSE awarded the grant to the city and requested the funds benefit a local nonprofit organization. In the process to craft a 2012 budget, City Council members selected Village Theatre as the grant recipient.

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Hearing offers customers a chance to respond to utilities’ January storm efforts

March 15, 2012

NEW — 11:15 a.m. March 15, 2012

Utility customers from Issaquah and other areas impacted during the January storms can offer input on energy and telephone companies’ responses at a public hearing in Olympia.

People affected by the snowstorm and subsequent ice storm can speak at the state Utilities and Transportation Commission’s public hearing Monday. The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday at 1300 S. Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., Puget Sound Energy representatives plan to discuss electricity-related problems encountered during the storms. Then, at 10:30 a.m., regional cable and telephone companies plan to discuss performance during the storms. The public comment portion starts at 11:15 a.m.

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Study: Most greenhouse gas emissions come from elsewhere

March 13, 2012

Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by goods and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.

The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Feb. 8 by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.

In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.

Overall, greenhouse gas emissions from producing goods and services, including materials and manufacturing, comprise more than 60 percent of all emissions related to consumption. Then, using goods and services — such as fueling a car or powering a refrigerator — represents more than 25 percent of consumption-based emissions.

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Village Theatre receives $25,000 grant from city, Puget Sound Energy

February 23, 2012

NEW — 1:50 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

Village Theatre received a $25,000 grant from the city and Puget Sound Energy to maintain and upgrade Issaquah facilities, officials announced Thursday.

Bellevue-based PSE awarded the grant to the city and requested for the funds to benefit a local nonprofit organization. In the process to craft a 2012 budget, City Council members selected Village Theatre as the grant recipient.

“By supporting the arts in Issaquah, this grant will benefit our local customers, their families and the greater community,” Andy Wappler, vice president of PSE Corporate Affairs, said in a statement. “We are very pleased to help Village Theatre continue its artistic excellence.”

The downtown Issaquah theater attracts more than 150,000 visits to the city each year. The theater’s classes, camps and productions for children and teenagers include more than 2,000 students.

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Study: Most greenhouse gas emissions in King County come from outside sources

February 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by good and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.

The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Wednesday by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.

In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.

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Cleanup from storms could last for weeks in Issaquah

January 31, 2012

Terry Hillier, a Capella Drive Northwest resident, unloads branches from his station wagon Jan. 28 at Tibbetts Valley Park. By Greg Farrar

In the days after snow and ice hobbled Issaquah and the region, crews deployed across the city to collect sand from streets and downed trees from neighborhoods.

The recovery effort lurched into gear before snow and ice melted, but city residents and officials continue a daunting task to clean up from the recent storms and prepare for possible conditions in the months ahead.

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Puget Sound Energy restores power for Issaquah, surrounding communities

January 25, 2012

NEW — 12:35 p.m. Jan. 25, 2012

Crews restored power to Issaquah and surrounding communities Wednesday, after snow, ice and wind damaged transmission lines.

Strong winds Tuesday night caused additional damage and outages for 38,000 customers across Western Washington. Crews managed to repair most of wind-related outages throughout the night and restore power for 28,000 customers.

Restoration work is completed for Issaquah, plus Hobart, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — unincorporated communities hit hard in a snowstorm and a rare ice storm last week.

Crews working on the PSE system Wednesday remain on schedule to complete the restoration work to customers without power for almost a week.

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Cleanup continues after snowstorm and ice cause havoc

January 24, 2012

State Route 900 remains barricaded at midafternoon Jan. 20 to motorists wanting to go southbound past Northwest Talus Drive, a day after a downed tree blocked access to the urban village. By Greg Farrar

In the days after a snowstorm pummeled the region, blackout chased whiteout, as residents uneasy about thorny commutes and missed meetings instead confronted sinking temperatures and toppling trees — all sans electricity.

The major snowstorm dropped 3 to 6 inches across the Issaquah area Jan. 18, but the struggle started the next day, as a rare ice storm led to widespread power outages and caused trees to send ice- and snow-laden branches earthward.

The harsh conditions tested road crews, prompted spinouts and fender benders around the region, and led officials to cancel school for almost a week.

“It was like a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 punch,” Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said Jan. 23, as cleanup efforts continued. “For awhile there, I wasn’t sure if we were ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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