Fond farewell

January 14, 2014

Ava Frisinger reflects on her 16 years as mayor

These days, Ava Frisinger, when not volunteering her time on various councils and boards, is spending a lot of catch-up time with her grandchildren. She won’t say which role is harder, being Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor or that of grandmother.

By Greg Farrar New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

By Greg Farrar
New Mayor Fred Butler (left) presents Ava Frisinger with a gift from city employees as her husband Bill Frisinger looks on.

“But being a grandmother is a very satisfying job, rewarding as well,” Frisinger said. “It’s neat to watch kids grow, encourage them to do what it is that they want to do.”

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Event honors late environmentalists Ruth Kees, Maureen McCarry

November 6, 2012

Environmentalist Ruth Kees and Issaquah City Councilwoman Maureen McCarry campaigned hard to preserve forested Park Pointe, and both community leaders left legacies dedicated to the slice of Tiger Mountain.

Leaders at the nonprofit Issaquah Environmental Council plan to honor the late Kees and McCarry on Nov. 11, in a public event to clear invasive plants and add native species to Park Pointe, a 101-acre tract near Issaquah High School.

Barbara Shelton, Issaquah Environmental Council secretary, said the planting event is designed to honor Kees and McCarry, and to encourage residents to explore the public land at Park Pointe.

Kees served as a longtime advocate for efforts to preserve open space and protect the Issaquah Creek watershed.

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Nominate environmental advocates for Issaquah sustainability honors

October 16, 2012

City leaders put out a call last month for Sustainable Community Award nominees.

The honor is divided into categories for the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community and the Sustainable Community Award.

The honor named for Kees is the highest environmental award in Issaquah, and the Sustainable Community Award recognizes significant achievements and positive results of individuals.

The nomination form is available on the municipal website, www.ci.issaquah.wa.us. Send forms to City of Issaquah, Office of Sustainability, P.O. Box 1307, 130 E. Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA 98027, or email them to sustainability@ci.issaquah.wa.us. The nomination deadline is Oct. 19.

Kees award recipients receive $500, funded through a donation from the Kees’ estate, his or her name is engraved on a commemorative plaque, and a tree is planted in the Kees Grove of Trees.

Nominate Issaquah environmentalists for honors

October 9, 2012

NEW — 11:50 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012

City leaders put out a call last month for Sustainable Community Award nominees.

The honor is divided into categories for the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community and the Sustainable Community Award.

The honor named for Kees is the highest environmental award in Issaquah, and the Sustainable Community Award recognizes significant achievements and positive results of individuals.

Past Kees honorees include late City Council President Maureen McCarry, late Mountains to Sound Greenway pioneer Ted Thomsen and Issaquah Alps Trails Club President David Kappler, a former councilman.

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Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry dies

July 10, 2012

Maureen McCarry, a former City Council president and longtime community leader, died early July 4 after a battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, 18 months after resigning from the council.

Maureen McCarry

McCarry, 62, served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for McCarry.

In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.

The commitment earned McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized McCarry for tireless efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.

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Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry dies

July 5, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. July 5, 2012

Maureen McCarry, a former councilwoman and longtime community leader, died early Wednesday after a battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, 18 months after resigning from the City Council.

Maureen McCarry

McCarry served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for McCarry.

In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.

The commitment earned McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized McCarry for tireless efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.

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Submit Issaquah Hall of Fame nominations by May 21

May 8, 2012

City leaders need outstanding citizens as nominees for the Issaquah Hall of Fame, the annual honor bestowed on someone for making a lasting contribution to the community.

Every spring, the mayor and City Council president select the honoree. Mayor Ava Frisinger and Council President Tola Marts plan to evaluate nominees on several criteria, such as civic-mindedness, leadership and service.

Frisinger and Marts also evaluate the role a person plays in drawing positive attention to Issaquah and fundraising for the public good. Length of service is a factor in the decision as well.

The award is among the most prestigious honors in the Issaquah community.

Send the name of the nominee and a brief summary of his or her contributions to: The Office of the Mayor, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027-1307. Or submit the nomination via email to mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

The nominations must be received by May 21. Call 837-3020 or email mayor@ci.issaquah.wa.us to learn more.

The city plans to announce the honoree at the annual Community Awards Luncheon on May 31.

Past honorees include environmentalist Ruth Kees, Issaquah Highlands mastermind Judd Kirk and, last year, Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor José Enciso.

Officials seek outstanding citizens as Issaquah Hall of Fame nominees

May 7, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. May 7, 2012

City leaders need outstanding citizens as nominees for the Issaquah Hall of Fame, the annual honor bestowed on someone for making a lasting contribution to the community.

Every spring, the mayor and City Council president select the honoree. Mayor Ava Frisinger and Council President Tola Marts plan evaluate nominees on several criteria, such as civic-mindedness, leadership and service.

Frisinger and Marts also evaluate the role a person plays in drawing positive attention to Issaquah and fundraising for the public good. Length of service is a factor in the decision as well.

The award is among the most prestigious honors in the Issaquah community.

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City hosts community tree planting event for Arbor Day

April 10, 2012

Residents can join the city Parks & Recreation Department to plant trees and celebrate Arbor Day.

The parks department is holding a community tree-planting event April 21 along Issaquah Creek and the Pickering Trail. Organizers collected more than 150 trees for participants to plant.

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José Enciso, drive-in proprietor, receives top honor

May 24, 2011

José Enciso Sr., longtime Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor, received dual awards May 17, including the community’s highest honor.

José Enciso, owner of the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, smiles while audience members applaud as he is inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the annual Issaquah Community Awards banquet. By Greg Farrar

The city inducted Enciso into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 32nd annual Community Awards Luncheon. The man serving behemoth burgers and enormous root beer floats along Northeast Gilman Boulevard also received the Business Person of the Year honor.

Enciso said he was told about being nominated for Business Person of the Year, and that was why he had to attend the luncheon. But the Hall of Fame honor surprised him.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was great.”

Enciso joins a diverse and rarified group in the Issaquah Hall of Fame. Past inductees include environmentalist Ruth Kees, Salmon Days Festival organizer Robin Kelley and, last year, retired City Administrator Leon Kos.

Enciso bought the iconic drive-in more than a decade ago. Nowadays, the restaurant is a mecca for spring and summer car shows.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders also named Tom Sessions as Citizen of the Year, another leading honor. Councilman Fred Butler received the Volunteer of the Year honor.

The lunchtime ceremony at the Holiday Inn attracted a who’s who of Issaquah — City Council members, Issaquah School District administrators, business leaders and community activists.

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