Issaquah liquor store closes before changeover

May 29, 2012

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah closed May 29, as the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to shift stores from public to private ownership.

Under a state law approved by voters last year, liquor sales by private entrepreneurs can start June 1.

The board auctioned the rights to entrepreneurs to sell liquor at the state-run store in Town & Country Square along Northwest Gilman Boulevard last month. State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000.

“There is a lot of work involved in transferring these stores to private ownership,” Chris Liu, director of retail services for the liquor authority, said in a statement.

The availability of liquor in Issaquah is poised to expand beyond a single storefront.

Bartell Drugs, Fred Meyer, Front Street Market, Rite Aid, Safeway, Target, QFC, Walgreens and Costco received licenses to sell liquor.

QFC received licenses for the Northwest Gilman Boulevard and Klahanie stores.

Issaquah liquor store to close May 29 before changeover

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah is due to close May 29, as the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to shift stores from public to private ownership.

Under a state law approved by voters last year, liquor sales by private entrepreneurs can start June 1.

The board auctioned the rights to entrepreneurs to sell liquor at the state-run store in Town & Country Square along Northwest Gilman Boulevard last month. State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000.

“There is a lot of work involved in transferring these stores to private ownership,” Chris Liu, director of retail services for the liquor authority, said in a statement. “This method will ensure that our customers have the ability to buy liquor right up until June 1, when private retailers take over.”

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Liquor sales expand in Issaquah, statewide June 1

May 15, 2012

Jeffrey Roh, of Milton, purchased the right to sell spirits at a liquor store under construction in the Klahanie Shopping Center. By Greg Farrar

The availability of liquor in Issaquah is poised to expand beyond a single storefront next month, as major retailers prepare to add spirits to store shelves and the state completes the process to privatize liquor sales.

Bartell Drugs, Fred Meyer, Front Street Market, Rite Aid, Safeway, Target, QFC, Walgreens and Costco received licenses to sell liquor. (QFC received licenses for the Northwest Gilman Boulevard and Klahanie stores.)

Until the transition to liquor privatization is completed, liquor is available only at a state-run store.

In the meantime, entrepreneurs purchased the rights to apply for a retail spirits license at the state-run liquor store along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and a liquor store under construction in the Klahanie Shopping Center.

State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000. The right to the unfinished Klahanie store sold to Milton entrepreneur Jeffrey Roh for $82,100.

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City Council delays decision on plastic bag ban

April 10, 2012

The decision to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses is on hold, City Council members decided April 2 after listening to appeals from environmentalists concerned about Puget Sound pollution and plastics manufacturers anxious about lost livelihoods.

The proposed plastic bag ban at local retailers is meant to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce marine pollution.

The measure stalled after speakers questioned the scope, timing and lack of input from the businesses affected by such a change. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting in May.

“It bothers me that in this last week that we were still turning over stones,” Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said before the meeting.

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Stores say no more ‘pink slime’ in meat cases

April 3, 2012

Questions about ground beef fly more often across the counter at Fischer Meats since the issue of “lean finely textured beef” — more recognizable by the headline-grabbing nickname “pink slime” — captured the media zeitgeist late last month.

“I’ve probably had a half a dozen people that have mentioned it and said, ‘We’ll never buy ground beef in the grocery store again because of that,” owner Chris Chiechi said April 2. “We have been selling a little more ground beef in the last month. I wouldn’t call it a huge impact.”

Fischer Meats does not use the additive.

The product is made from beef trimmings treated in ammonium hydroxide to eliminate pathogens. The additive is used in ground beef and beef-based products.

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City Council to decide plastic bag ban soon

March 27, 2012

The proposal to ban plastic bags from Issaquah stores reaches the City Council for a public discussion April 2.

The city could join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — a step designed to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Issaquah council members could decide to vote on the measure or continue the discussion at a later meeting.

“The goal isn’t just to get everyone to switch from plastic to paper, it’s to get people to switch from bags that you use once to bags that you reuse,” Councilman Mark Mullet said.

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Who’s News

February 28, 2012

School stocks up through Honda Auto Center

During Honda Auto Center of Bellevue’s annual business meeting, workers did team-building exercises. Ten teams were tasked with finding items at the Factoria QFC and coming the closest to spending $100.

After the event, Honda Auto Center donated more than $2,000 in food and supplies to Tiger Mountain Community High School.

“Our staff, along with the QFC staff and their customers really enjoyed this activity and knowing that we are donating all of this food to a great cause makes it that much better,” said Mike Lavigne, Honda Auto Center of Bellevue general manager.

Officials consider plastic bag ban for Issaquah

February 14, 2012

Officials intend to use Seattle ordinance as model

Canvas bags could turn into a more common sight in Issaquah checkout lanes soon.

The city is poised to join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.

Though a decision on a plastic bag ban is months distant, the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee plans to start collecting input from businesses owners and residents Feb. 16.

“To me, the beauty of it is, you get to your end objective, which is getting rid of plastic bags, and you’re not putting an undue, negative impact on the businesses in your community,” said Councilman Mark Mullet, a local merchant and the committee chairman.

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State Route 520 bridge tolls could divert traffic

December 13, 2011

The state Department of Transportation plans to start tolls on the state Route 520 bridge Dec. 29 — and motorists could experience additional traffic on Interstate 90 as commuters avoid the toll.

The state estimates tolls should cause thousands of motorists to use the I-90 bridges or drive around Lake Washington instead.

Meanwhile, the state is encouraging motorists to set up a Good To Go! pass account.

Purchase a pass at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo or a $5 sticker pass at participating stores, including Costco, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC. Find a list of retail locations at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo/retail.

The state extended call center hours and hired extra customer service staffers to prepare for the anticipated high volumes of customers registering and activating accounts. Customers can purchase the sticker passes at stores and activate them online.

“Tolling is helping Washington move forward with critical transportation investments and will finance ongoing and future work to replace the vulnerable SR 520 floating bridge and corridor,” state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement.

Klahanie Shopping Center is sold for $22 million

November 8, 2011

The commercial hub in Klahanie, the namesake Klahanie Shopping Center, sold last week for $22 million.

Seattle-based Hogate Properties sold the shopping center to Gerrity Group, a company based in Solana Beach, Calif.

QFC anchors the 49,000-square-foot shopping center, the commercial hub for the Klahanie community in unincorporated King County. Other tenants at the shopping center include a fitness center, restaurants and a bank branch.

The sale is among the largest real estate transactions in Issaquah area in the past year.

In July, Preston-based apparel company SanMar purchased a glass-sheathed office building as a corporate headquarters for $32 million. In September, Hawaii-based A&B Properties Inc. acquired the Siemens Building along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast for $19.7 million.

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