May 15, 2012
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.
May 8, 2012
More options to shop and dine in the Issaquah Highlands could open as soon as next year, after a landmark decision by city officials to approve a long-awaited retail complex in the neighborhood.
Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust based in Florida, intends to build the retail complex, dubbed Grand Ridge Plaza, on vacant land along Highlands Drive Northeast between Swedish/Issaquah and the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride. Construction could start as early as next month.
The decision by the Urban Village Development Commission represents a milestone in the stop-and-go effort to add more retail options in the neighborhood. The commission — a city board to oversee large-scale projects in the highlands and Talus — OK’d the site development permit for Grand Ridge Plaza in a May 1 decision.
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.
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.
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.
March 6, 2012
Inside the video marketing agency Impact Studio Pro, a Mountain Dew-fueled operation creates TV commercials, promotional spots, public service announcements and music videos for more than 100 clients.
The tiny company operates from a converted Issaquah Highlands apartment, a space referred to as the “think tank” by founder Nathan Bosseler. The office overlooks rooftops and the Issaquah Alps. Bosseler uses a space designed for a bedroom as the executive suite.
Major clients include the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Gene Juarez Academy, Hyundai of Kirkland, and municipal governments in Sammamish and SeaTac.
Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders spotlighted Impact Studio Pro as a business innovator in the Innovation in Issaquah contest late last month.
The chamber also honored Marketing Masters and Lakeside Center for Autism as innovators. The carbon-neutral community zHome also received a nod as the most innovative public-private partnership.
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.
December 20, 2011
Issaquah High School senior Allie Lustig won the silver level President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 200 hours of community service with the city of Issaquah during 2010.
The silver level award is given by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to young adults who complete 175 to 249 hours of community service to thank and honor Americans who have inspired others to engage in volunteer service.
Lustig said that it was important for her to volunteer to give back to the community.
“I think you should give back to the places that give to you,” she said. “I grew up here and now that I’m going to college, I feel good that I gave back to the community that gave so much to me.”
In addition to an official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin and a personalized certificate of achievement, Lustig also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama.
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.
November 29, 2011
Holiday grease is notorious for causing slippery situations in local sewer systems.
Grease can cause the same problems in municipal sewer systems as in human arteries. The goop sticks to the inside of sewer pipes, leads to blockages and, maybe, expensive cleanups.
Seattle-based General Biodiesel and the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks joined to offer residents a safe way to toss cooking oil and grease. The material is then recycled, and does not end up in drains or landfills.
General Biodiesel is offering 10 locations countywide to dump leftover cooking fats and grease. The closest 24/7 drop-off location is Safeway, 630 228th Ave. N.E., Sammamish. The tank is located behind the store.
Officials recommend putting cooled cooking fats and grease into a sealed container for transport to the drop-off locations. Then, slowly pour the grease into the collection container to avoid splatters. Close the community lid tank and take containers home.
In May, City Council members adopted regulations for grease and other oily discharges from Issaquah businesses. Supporters said cutting out the fat could lead to reduced maintenance costs from clogged and damaged pipes.