January 22, 2013
Last annexation attempt failed in 2005
The question of how a large-scale annexation on the Sammamish Plateau could affect residents in Issaquah, Klahanie and other unincorporated King County neighborhoods is under the microscope again, almost a decade after a citizen panel tackled the issue.
Issaquah leaders commissioned a $100,000 study and created a citizen task force to examine the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area — 10,800 people in about 3,900 households in the namesake neighborhood and adjacent communities.
The potential annexation area under consideration is in unincorporated King County, and bordered by Issaquah to the south, Sammamish to the north and west, and more unincorporated areas to the east.
January 22, 2013
Longtime city employee Steve Gierke retired last month after serving as human services coordinator and in numerous other roles at City Hall.
Gierke most recently oversaw a broad human services portfolio — the City Council funds dozens of organizations and programs each year — and served as the liaison between the city administration and the Human Services Commission.
In early 2010, council members considered eliminating the human services coordinator position, but retained the position after realizing the extent of Gierke’s contributions.
October 30, 2012
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery volunteers and hatchery crews spawned 996 chinook in the past month, as the autumn salmon run transformed the hatchery into a hub of activity.
Now, residents can learn more about the salmon conservation efforts spearheaded by FISH at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting next month.
May 15, 2012
Nothing says Americana more than the family tradition. The Issaquah Valley Senior Center is inviting the public to a tradition it has hosted since opening 33 years ago — its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser from 9-11:30 a.m. May 19 at the center, 75 N.E. Creek Way.
Center Director Courtney Jaren said she hopes to attract as many as 300 hungry eaters to the all-you-can-eat buffet, which features bacon, sausage, eggs, coffee, tea and juice to accompany the pancakes. At just $5 per person, Jaren said that adds up to a nice amount for the center.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said. “Netting $1,500 would be nice. It will go toward paying for all our programs. And nothing specific. Rather, it’s an amount to help defray all our costs.”
April 24, 2012
Former Mayor Herb Herrington, a genteel Texan and the chief executive as Issaquah started a long metamorphosis from a one-stoplight town to a commercial hub, died April 13.
Herrington, 83, served as mayor from 1974-81, before the Eastside population boom reshaped Issaquah from a former coal-mining and logging settlement into a center for high-tech and service industries. Later city leaders credited Herrington for creating a City Hall culture more responsive to citizens’ concerns.
“One of the things I learned from him is that you can disagree without being disagreeable,” former Mayor Rowan Hinds said.
Compassion also defined Herrington’s legacy. In 1977, the then-mayor spearheaded Community Enterprises of Issaquah, a predecessor to AtWork! — a nonprofit organization dedicated to skills training and job placement for disabled people.
April 24, 2012
Apparently they were no fools to marry on April 1, 1962!
Rowan and Barbara met at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., in 1960. Rowan was in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, and upon graduation in 1962, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and they got married. Their honeymoon was a cross-country trip to Augusta, Ga., where he attended basic officer’s school at Fort Gordon.
After more schooling at Fort Monmouth, N.J., Rowan was sent to France, where Barb joined him a few months later. They spent one year in France followed by two years in Germany before returning to Corvallis, where Rowan obtained his master’s degree.
In 1967, they moved to Longview when Rowan took a position with Northern Pacific Railway Timberlands (now Plum Creek Timber), and Barbara concentrated on building their first home and raising their toddler with a second on the way.
February 15, 2011
Issaquah sister-city bond fosters cross-cultural understanding in Morocco — and at home
The grand and imposing door, set amid brick buildings and evergreens in downtown Issaquah, offers clues from a far-off place.
The door is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar and built to endure for ages. The place is ancient.
The door is painted in the same soothing blue as a summer sky over the Mediterranean. The place is exotic.
The door is a gateway. The place is Chefchaouen, Morocco.
The door on the Issaquah City Hall grounds is a gift from Chefchaouen, a sister city almost 6,000 miles from the Cascade foothills.
The relationship is a study in contrasts.
Suburban Issaquah is perched on the outer rim of Greater Seattle. Chefchaouen is isolated in mountainous terrain, 100 miles from the nearest major city, Tangier. Chefchaouen is in Muslim-majority Morocco. Issaquah is in the secular United States.
Issaquah and Chefchaouen inked a sister-city agreement in 2007.
June 29, 2010
Every trip through a cavernous Costco Wholesale warehouse feels like a treasure hunt.
The company brings Dom Pérignon and Bud Light, platinum-set diamonds and scoopable cat litter, Prada handbags and Michelin tires together under the same flat roof.
The quest has been carefully designed for shoppers — 57.4 million Costco members worldwide. Shoppers must traverse vast retail plains and scan the jungle of exposed metal shelves for bargains in order to find loot — discounted Ugg boots, say, or smoked salmon.
Inside the Issaquah warehouse, customers hunt for deals in a retail ecosystem spread across 155,000 square feet. Costco cachet knows no class, no income. Part of the appeal, executives and industry watchers said, stems from the treasure hunt concept. Shoppers return to Costco for basics, yes, but also for the thrill of a surprise bargain.
“No matter what level of economic strata you are, you like good stuff,” company Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said. “Now, sometimes you have to choose to buy the chicken versus the steak, but the fact is, we’ve got some great stuff.”
The philosophy has made the Issaquah-based company the third largest retailer in the United States, the eighth largest on the planet and No. 25 on the Fortune 500.
January 12, 2010
A city resident asked the City Council to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from meetings last week — less than a month after he asked the Issaquah School Board to remove the pledge from its meetings. Read more
November 10, 2009
The dormant relationship between Issaquah and Sunndal, Norway — the first sister city partnership forged by Issaquah leaders — could be rekindled next week when longtime Issaquah resident Joan Probala travels to the far-flung corner of Scandinavia.
Issaquah and Sunndal became sister cities in 1991, but the relationship faded and the pact failed to produce more than a handful of visits between the cities’ residents. In the meantime, Issaquah established a second sister city relationship with Chefchaouen, Morocco, in early 2007.
Probala, a member of the Issaquah Sister Cities Commission, hopes her trip to Norway can reinvigorate the partnership with Sunndal. She departed Nov. 9 for Norway and the distant sister city. She plans to spend three weeks in Norway, where her daughter lives. The trip to Sunndal will be a high-profile side trip. Read more