Top Pot to open Issaquah drive-thru location

January 22, 2013

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts plans to open a drive-thru Issaquah location as early as next month — a first for the Seattle-based pastry purveyor.

Cofounder Mark Klebeck said Top Pot intends to upgrade Rowley Properties’ existing building at 1235 N.W. Maple St. — a round structure most recently occupied by Mondo’s Espresso — near the Issaquah Transit Center.

The iconic structure’s Mid-Century Modern design and proximity to the transit hub appealed to the Klebecks.

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County officials wager Starbucks, Coke on playoff game

January 12, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 12, 2013

Leaders in the home communities for the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons made a friendly wager before the teams clash on the gridiron.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Fulton County, Ga., Chairman John Eaves each put iconic beverages on the outcome. Constantine put up coffee from local roasters, including Seattle-based Starbucks and several smaller companies. Eaves wagered a gift basket from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.

“The whole region is excited for the game on Sunday, and I want to thank Chairman Eaves for joining me in this friendly wager to highlight our local companies, and our winning teams,” Constantine said in a statement. “Go Hawks!”

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County executives engage in friendly football wager

January 8, 2013

Leaders in the home communities for the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins engaged in a friendly rivalry in the days before the teams met on the gridiron Jan. 6.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Prince George’s County, Md., Executive Rushern Baker each put up a case of coffee on the outcome.

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County executives make friendly football playoff bet

January 5, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 5, 2013

Leaders in the home communities for the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins engaged in a friendly rivalry in the days before the teams meet on the gridiron.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Prince George’s County, Md., Executive Rushern Baker each put up a case of coffee on the outcome.

The java comes from from local producers — Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Diva Espresso and other locally roasted coffees from King County, and 8 O’Clock Bean Coffee from Cheverly, Md.

The county CEOs also agreed for the loser to wear the winning team’s jersey to community service events in January. The effort is meant to promote National Mentoring Month and Martin Luther King Jr. Day service projects.

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Max Browne earns Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award

December 25, 2012

Skyline High School football quarterback Max Browne, surrounded by his teammates, was named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year on Dec. 18. By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

At midmorning Dec. 18, Skyline High School quarterback Max Browne was called out of class by his football coach, Mat Taylor, on the pretense that he was needed at an emergency captain’s meeting.

Browne fell for it hook, line and sinker. What awaited him in the upstairs classroom stunned him — his parents, a gaggle of cameras, a crowd of friends and, emerging from a hidden spot, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson had been summoned to present Browne with the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious honors in high school athletics. They had managed to keep it secret from Browne, who later was formally presented the Gatorade trophy during a ceremony in the school’s theater packed with classmates.

“I had no idea,” Browne said afterward of the ruse. “Totally surprised. It was awesome.”

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Seattle Seahawks to appear at Verizon store opening

December 15, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 15, 2012

Seattle Seahawks linebackers Malcolm Smith and Michael Morgan plan to celebrate the opening of a new Verizon Wireless Communication store in Issaquah.

The opening celebration is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Dec. 18, with a special appearance by the Seahawks players.

The new Verizon EVO 2.0 store, 755 N.W. Gilman Blvd., is designed to optimize water and energy use, enhance indoor environmental quality, and reduce waste through specifications and responsible procurement and construction practices.

Seattle Seahawks honor Issaquah School District teachers

October 23, 2012

Lane Helgeson, Liz Villa and Kelly Kosier (from left), a Renton teacher, were honored as Heroes in the Classroom at the Oct. 14 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Contributed

The Seattle Seahawks, in partnership with Symetra Financial Corp., honored Issaquah Middle School’s Liz Villa and Tiger Mountain Community High School’s Lane Helgeson as Heroes in the Classroom this month.

The duo is among 24 teachers across the Puget Sound area being honored for educational excellence during the 2012 NFL season.

Winners are recognized in front of their students at surprise in-school presentations and receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.

In addition, Villa and Helgeson were recognized in an on-field presentation at the Oct. 14 game when the Seahawks beat the New England Patriots.

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Issaquah Trophy & Awards donates to Jim Mora’s foundation

October 16, 2012

Issaquah Trophy & Awards has selected the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation as its Awards for a Cause Recipient for the fourth quarter.

If a customer purchases select awards on the Issaquah Trophy & Awards website,, a portion of proceeds go to the foundation.

Mora, a former Seattle Seahawks coach, created the foundation to support children in need — primarily children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, mentally or physically challenged children, and children at risk.

The foundation affords young individuals the opportunity to realize their potential. Learn more about the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation at

Off the Press

August 28, 2012

When news photographs whistled through wires

Our recent story about the book by Barry Sweet, the Seattle Associated Press photographer for more than three decades, brought back a lot of memories. I visited with Barry at the Issaquah Costco and enjoyed reliving old times.

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

Would you believe that once upon a time, it took 10 minutes to send one black-and-white photograph to newspapers across the country? And 40 minutes to send color?

While studying at the University of Washington, I landed a job in 1977 as one of five wirephoto operators at the Seattle bureau, working right next to Barry Sweet at the same desk and the same darkroom for two years.

A wirephoto — or Laserphoto — transmitter was about the size and weight of a carton of 10 reams of office paper. We typed a caption on sticky paper, put it on the margin of an 8-by-10 print, put it in the slot and pressed start.

The picture would slowly feed at an inch per minute as the laser would scan 120 lines an inch, turn the shades of gray into a constant rapid whistling of high- to low-pitched sound frequencies and send it across telephone lines.

Receivers at the nation’s newspapers would expose glossy thermal paper with synchronized lasers at the same time and spit out their reproductions when the transmission was done.

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King County councilwoman touts arena proposal’s economic potential

August 7, 2012

Before the King County Council made a landmark decision to authorize public dollars for a sports-and-entertainment arena, Kathy Lambert received 2,700 emails.

The councilwoman, a Redmond resident and the Issaquah representative on the council, said most messages urged the council to approve the arena proposal.

Kathy Lambert

Reagan Dunn

In the end, after months of discussion and hours of testimony, Lambert joined the council majority to approve a key agreement for a $490 million arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball back to Washington.

The council agreed July 30 to contribute up to $80 million for a proposed Seattle arena near Safeco Field — if investors can secure NBA and NHL franchises. The county contribution is capped at $5 million if only professional basketball comes to the arena.

The agreement does not include additional taxes for county residents. Plans call for 30-year public bonds to finance the arena, and for arena revenue to pay off the bond debt.

Lambert later cited the proposed arena’s economic benefits — jobs for arena construction and operation, plus tax revenue for the county and a tourism attraction — for the region as reasons for the yes vote.

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