October 1, 2013
It may not be Mount Everest, but it’s still an honor.
King County Executive Dow Constantine stood with the first American to climb Earth’s tallest mountain to unveil new names for the Wilderness Peak Trail that winds its way up the southeastern side of Cougar Mountain on Sept. 26.
Jim Whittaker, a Seattle native, whipped the burlap off the wooden signs that led the way to the new Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail and the Nawang Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail, named after Whittaker’s Sherpa, who braved all 29,000 feet with him. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the historic ascent. A year later, Gombu climbed to the summit again, becoming the first person to make the trip twice.
On a simple wooden bridge, extending over a calm stream, Tibetan prayer flags flapped as Constantine praised Whittaker and Gombu’s bravery.
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.”
December 18, 2012
Eastside Audubon brings its holiday giftwrap service to the REI, 735 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
Volunteers from Eastside Audubon will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 21-24 to wrap REI purchases into presents ready to take home and put under the tree. Suggested donations will range from $3 to $9, depending on package size.
Donations raised by the giftwrapping service helps support Eastside Audubon’s programs in wildlife conservation and youth education. Those programs include habitat restoration on the Audubon BirdLoop at Marymoor Park and classroom presentations about birds and bird behavior for school-aged children.
November 27, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 27, 2012
Gov. Chris Gregoire urged Congress on Monday — Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day all year — to require online businesses to collect sales tax.
The governor said Washington businesses face unfair competition from online and mail-order retailers that fail to collect sales taxes. Gregoire said Congress should address the issue by passing legislation to treat out-of-state sellers the same as local businesses.
The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act aims to give states the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the bill a year ago.
Congress is now reconvening to address expiring tax provisions and the looming “fiscal cliff” crisis. Gregoire said the focus on taxation issues is a good opportunity to address the online sales tax legislation.
August 21, 2012
Civilization fades far into the distance along the Wonderland Trail, a 93-mile loop around Mount Rainier.
The volcano looms above the landscape, as clouds play peek-a-boo around the glacier-capped summit. The meadows below buzz as marmots and other creatures dart among the wildflowers.
The scenes along the trail seem cut from a postcard. Even the name is majestic.
Tami Asars, a third-generation Washingtonian and lifelong hiker, created a guidebook for the premier trail in Mount Rainier National Park — “Hiking the Wonderland Trail,” a recent release from The Mountaineers Books.
“You get to see almost everything when you go on the Wonderland,” she said in a recent interview. “You get to see so many glaciers. You get to see all of these little great meadows and little nooks and wildflowers. The creatures that live in the park are just everywhere. You get to see the marmots — they’re in almost every field you come across, whistling and squeaking and playing patty-cake.”
Asars, a North Bend resident and former employee at REI in Issaquah, led classes about the Wonderland Trail at the sporting goods store. Then, as she amassed more and more information for prospective hikers, the idea for a book germinated.
June 5, 2012
FootZone, a destination for runners and walkers, closed June 1 after 13 years in Issaquah.
The store operated in the Issaquah Commons shopping center near Safeway and REI.
In a post on the store’s website, the staff announced plans to eventually relocate to another space in Issaquah, once the right location becomes available. In the meantime, former shoppers at the Issaquah store can head to FootZone locations in Bellevue and Redmond.
The other stores plan to honor family plans and frequent buyer cards from the Issaquah location.
“After over 13 years, it is with a heavy heart that we have closed the Issaquah FootZone,” the staff wrote in the website post. “We want to thank all of you for supporting us over the years. It has been an honor to build relationships and get to know all of you over the years.”
May 22, 2012
Join the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and REI on Tiger Mountain to celebrate National Trails Day.
The annual event, scheduled for June 2, is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Potential volunteers can learn more and sign up at www.mtsgreenway.org.
Tiger Mountain is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Its trails bring visitors through the remains of old growth forests left over from Tiger Mountain’s logging past.
Volunteers plan to repair overused trails by resurfacing, brushing, fixing drainage issues and repairing trail structures.
Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is meant to inspire hikers to visit a favorite trail or try something different.
Volunteers play a key role in keeping state and regional recreation areas open and safe for the public.
The public helps maintain trails and facilities, picks up litter, participates in work parties, provides information to visitors and alerts law enforcement to illegal activities.
In addition, King County Parks hosts more than 100 volunteer trail work events on projects to complement work done by the agency’s full-time backcountry trails crew.
May 15, 2012
City leaders, local businesses and the Cascade Bicycle Club invite bicyclists to celebrate Bike to Work Day on May 18.
The city is hosting a Salmon Friendly Commute Bike Station at the corner of state Route 900 and Northwest Sammamish Road from 6-10 a.m. Bicyclists can load up on snacks and water bottles to help fuel their trips.
Pacific Bicycle Co., a Sammamish bike shop, also plans to be on hand to do small repairs and answer questions.
Then, REI, Costco and the city plan to host a barbecue for bicyclists at Lake Sammamish State Park’s rotunda picnic area from 4-6 p.m.
May is National Bike Month.
Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free through May 18. The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.
February 14, 2012
During the first rehearsal for the upcoming inaugural Issaquah High School Fashion Show and Auction set for March 9, event co-chairwoman Pat Batt showed off a copy of a New Jersey newspaper. A native of that state, Batt pointed to one article in particular.
The article was coverage of a long-standing high school fashion show in Chatham, N.J. that last year raised $65,000. After seeing that story, Batt couldn’t think of any reason IHS couldn’t do the same. Batt granted that she doesn’t see the local event bringing in as much as the New Jersey event. Read more
January 31, 2012
There’s a reason Linsey Warren works at the Issaquah REI store.
“I grew up in the outdoors and I’ve always liked the idea of a challenge,” she said.
Now, Warren’s taking her love of the outdoors and adventure and using it for a good cause.
This month, Warren and two others will race Ski-Doos in the province of Quebec. The expedition will raise money for the oncology department at St. Jerome’s Hospital, located just outside Montreal.
The trek begins at the Inuit village of Puvirnituq and proceeds north toward the villages of Akulivik and Ivujivik, on the northern tip of the province in the arctic region of Nunavik. The group expects to cover several hundred miles during the journey.
Craig Ross, a first aid instructor at the Nunavik Arctic Survival Training Center, created the project.
Ross has a personal connection to the cause. His wife received successful treatment at the hospital when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“He wanted to take everything that he knows about the north and everything that the hospital was doing to fight for his wife, and combine it into one dream,” Warren said.