Facing fake bullets and real scars

April 19, 2011

Issaquah Police Department joins shooting exercise in Snoqualmie

The shooter fired on the victims and policemen fired on him.

A shooting simulation at Snoqualmie Middle School March 31 involved members of the Coalition of Small Police Agencies. By Sebastian Moraga

Then, they strolled one room over and reviewed it all while sipping Starbucks.

Another shooter fired twice. Police broke into his hideaway and unloaded on him.

Then, the shooter thanked the officers. They told him to give his family their best regards.

It may look like fun and games at times, but the Coalition of Small Police Agencies’ active shooter training is serious business.

Officers from 14 police departments trained at Snoqualmie Middle School March 28-31 for public-place shootings.

The setting was realistic: shots ringing out, victims screaming and police officers in full gear breaking into rooms like in the movies.

Firearms weighed the same, looked the same and felt the same as the real thing. They even loaded and disassembled the same way.

Instead of bullets, the weapons carried Simunitions, nonlethal wax bullets filled with dyed laundry detergent.

Instructors allowed no other weapons — like Tasers or batons — besides the Simunition-loaded guns and rifles. They frisked everyone entering the school — twice.

Officers received one loaded weapon and one magazine of Simunitions.

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Swedish Medical Center campus nears completion

April 12, 2011

The north wall of the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands is close to completion. By Greg Farrar

Campus serves as economic engine in highlands

Starbucks is coming to the Issaquah Highlands.

Only, rather than opening a shop on a street corner, the coffee giant is setting up inside the Swedish Medical Center.

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Starbucks chief Howard Schultz greets fans, heckler in Issaquah

April 12, 2011

Howard Schultz (left), Starbucks CEO, meets a young reader of 'Onward,' Matthew Snodgrass, 7, and his mother Mary, of Renton, as Schultz signs books April 8 at Costco. By Greg Farrar

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and a disgruntled Seattle Sonics fan came face to face in Issaquah last week, as the coffee company president and CEO — and former basketball team owner — inscribed books at Costco.

The heckler cursed at Schultz and shouted, “You betrayed the whole city of Seattle!” before Costco employees and a police officer whisked the man out of the store during the otherwise-quiet event. Schultz smiled and signed “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a bestselling account of Starbucks’ turnaround — for other patrons.

Schultz, a former Sonics owner, sold the team to Oklahoma City investors in 2006. Feelings about the decision remain raw among some Seattle-area basketball fans.

Costco employees and off-duty Issaquah police officers steered people in Sonics regalia away from the signing table. Overall, about 200 people turned out for the early afternoon appearance.

“Sonicsgate” producer Adam Brown showed up in a Sonics ball cap and filmed the book signing on a handheld camera, before security intervened.

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Starbucks chief Howard Schultz greets fans, heckler in Issaquah

April 8, 2011

Howard Schultz (left), Starbucks CEO, meets a young reader of 'Onward,' Matthew Snodgrass, 7, and his mother Mary, of Renton, as Schultz signs books Friday at Costco. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 1:45 p.m. April 8, 2011

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and a disgruntled Seattle Sonics fan came face to face in Issaquah on Friday afternoon, as the coffee company president and CEO — and former team owner — inscribed books at Costco.

The heckler cursed at Schultz and shouted, “You betrayed the whole city of Seattle!” before Costco employees and a police officer whisked the man out of the store during the otherwise-quiet event. Schultz smiled and signed “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a bestselling account of Starbucks’ turnaround — for other patrons.

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to appear at Costco

April 8, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. April 8, 2011

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz is due at Costco at noon to sign copies of a book about navigating the coffee titan through a successful turnaround.

Shultz, Starbucks’ president and CEO, had been previously scheduled to appear at the Issaquah warehouse at 1 p.m.

The book is “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a frank account of how the Seattle-based company reached out to customers and battened down to weather the recession.

Schultz joined Starbucks as director of marketing in 1982. In 2000, Schultz stepped down from daily oversight of the company, but returned as CEO eight years later as the company foundered.

The experience is the basis for Schultz’s account. Publishers Weekly praised “Onward” as “a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer.”

Starbucks CEO to sign books at Costco

March 29, 2011

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz is due at Costco early next month to sign copies of a book about navigating the coffee titan through a successful turnaround.

Shultz, Starbucks’ president and CEO, is scheduled to appear at the Issaquah warehouse at 1 p.m. April 8. The book is “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a frank account of how the Seattle-based company reached out to customers and battened down to weather the recession.

Schultz joined Starbucks as director of marketing in 1982. In 2000, Schultz stepped down from daily oversight of the company, but returned as CEO eight years later as the company foundered.

The experience is the basis for Schultz’s account. Publishers Weekly praised “Onward” as “a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer.”

Fans can meet young adult author

March 29, 2011

Dori Jones Yang, the author of a novel for young adults about the Mongol Empire, is scheduled to sign books for fans April 2 in Issaquah.

Yang’s debut novel — “Daughter of Xanadu” — introduces readers to 16-year-old Princess Emmajin, the granddaughter of Kublai Khan. The princess is determined to serve as a warrior in the Mongol army — something no woman has done before.

Fans can meet the author at 1 p.m. at Costco, 1801 10th Ave. N.W.

Yang, a former China correspondent for Business Magazine, teamed up with Starbucks chief Howard Schultz to write the bestselling “Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time” in the late 1990s.

Starbucks CEO to sign books at Issaquah Costco

March 23, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 23, 2011

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz is due at Costco early next month to sign copies of a book about navigating the coffee titan through a successful turnaround.

Shultz, Starbucks’ president and CEO, is scheduled to appear at the Issaquah warehouse at 1 p.m. April 8. The book is “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a frank account of how the Seattle-based company reached out to customers and battened down to weather the recession.

Schultz joined Starbucks as director of marketing in 1982. In 2000, Schultz stepped down from daily oversight of the company, but returned as CEO eight years later as the company foundered.

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State investigators: Ex-Issaquah insurance agent bilked seniors

March 22, 2011

State insurance investigators on March 15 arrested a former Issaquah insurance agent suspected of stealing more than $1 million in retirement funds from elderly clients, and then using the money to pay for online psychics and more.

Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim faces 21 counts of first-degree theft for stealing retirement funds. Investigators said five victims — Bellevue, Renton and Seattle seniors ranging in age from 74 to 90 — made out checks to the agent, because they trusted her to reinvest the money.

Instead, investigators said she funneled the money into a personal account. Records show thousands of dollars spent on clothes, jewelry and a trip to Mexico.

The records also show large payments to online psychic advisers, including $20,000 in charges from one psychic website in a single month.

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Investigators: Insurance agent bilked $1 million from seniors

March 15, 2011

NEW — 1:05 p.m. March 15, 2011

State insurance investigators on Tuesday arrested a former Issaquah resident suspected of stealing more than $1 million in retirement funds from elderly clients.

Investigators from the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office and the Washington State Patrol arrested the insurance agent at a Starbucks in Factoria.

Insurance investigators and Issaquah Police Department officers initially attempted to track down the suspect at her former Issaquah Highlands home Tuesday morning. The house is for sale and the owner has since moved to Kent, Insurance Commissioner’s Office spokesman Rich Roesler said.

Investigators said the five victims — Bellevue, Renton and Seattle seniors ranging in age from 74 to 90 — made out checks to the agent, because they trusted her to reinvest the money.

Instead, the suspect funneled the money into a personal account. Records show thousands of dollars spent on clothes, jewelry and a trip to Mexico.

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