List of distinguished retirees grows longer

February 18, 2014

Debbie Berto joined a growing, distinguished list within the past year when she announced her retirement. After 40 years at The Issaquah Press, she was ready to move on to the next challenge in her life.

She wasn’t the only one to call it quits on service in the public eye.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Locally, Ava Frisinger ended her run in January as Issaquah’s longest-serving mayor after 17 years. When Frisinger announced in 2009 she would not run for another term, her reasoning was simple.

“I didn’t want to become stale,” she said. “It’s important to let others in and run things with a fresh set of eyes.”

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Mountains to Sound Greenway, REI leader is choice for Cabinet

February 6, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

REI leader Sally Jewell, a leader in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, is President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. interior secretary.

Jewell is Kent-based REI’s president and CEO, in addition to serving as a board member for the nonprofit organization underpinning the greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington.

Obama announced Jewell’s appointment Wednesday at a White House ceremony. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to succeed outgoing Department of the Interior chief Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

“Sally Jewell is a respected leader and passionate advocate for conservation, recreation and outdoor education,” Cynthia Welti, greenway trust executive director, said in a statement. “We are delighted with this news. Sally will serve our country well.”

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Washington senator calls for input on federal budget priorities

January 29, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 29, 2013

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is encouraging taxpayers to engage in the federal budget process.

Murray, Senate Budget Committee chairwoman and a Washington Democrat, announced the start of MyBudget, a platform to share budget ideas and priorities.

“The federal budget is where we lay out our values, our priorities, and our vision for what our government should look like now and in the future,” she said in a statement. “So I believe that it is absolutely critical that the ideas and perspectives of families across America are heard loud and clear in a budget process that belongs to them, but is too often limited to politicians and bureaucrats.”

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Skyline High School student petitions for disability rights

January 22, 2013

On Dec. 4, when the U.S. Senate failed to ratify a United Nations Treaty, the Convention for Rights and Persons with Disabilities, Skyline High School senior Joshua Schaier had something to say about it.

Schaier said he was upset by the rejection of the treaty, which is meant to protect the basic human rights of people with disabilities around the world.

“I didn’t think it was right that the United States fail in their duty to help protect people everywhere, including people with disabilities,” Schaier said.

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Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

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How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

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Washington’s presidential electors to cast votes for Barack Obama, Joe Biden

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Washington’s Electoral College members plan to cast votes Dec. 17 for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Each state is afforded the same number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives a state has in Congress. Washington possesses 12 electoral votes, one for each congressional district and another two for each senator. Democrats chose the electors from the state’s 10 congressional districts at caucuses in May, and chose the at-large electors at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

The group plans to gather in Olympia to cast votes for Obama and Biden. The incumbents received 56.16 percent of votes in Washington. Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan pulled in 41.29 percent statewide.

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USS Arizona Memorial inspires photographer to capture Pearl Harbor images

December 4, 2012

Jerry Kaufman (left) hands a copy of his book, ‘Renewal at the Place of Black Tears,’ to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran. Contributed

The day etched into history for the brazen attack on Pearl Harbor and the tremendous loss of life — Dec. 7, 1941 — repeats often for Jerry Kaufman.

The photographer and Issaquah resident created a book of images dedicated to the steady release of oil from the USS Arizona shipwreck, or “tears of the Arizona” in Pearl Harbor lore. For years, Kaufman journeyed from Washington to Hawaii to collect images at the memorial for the eventual book, “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” — photographs shot at the majestic structure.

The multicolored patterns formed by the intermingling of oil and water long intrigued Kaufman and provided inspiration for the book. “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” also struck a chord among the throngs of visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial.

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Governor urges Congress to require online businesses to collect sales tax

November 27, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 27, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire urged Congress on Monday — Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day all year — to require online businesses to collect sales tax.

The governor said Washington businesses face unfair competition from online and mail-order retailers that fail to collect sales taxes. Gregoire said Congress should address the issue by passing legislation to treat out-of-state sellers the same as local businesses.

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act aims to give states the option to collect sales and use tax revenues from out-of-state sellers. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the bill a year ago.

Congress is now reconvening to address expiring tax provisions and the looming “fiscal cliff” crisis. Gregoire said the focus on taxation issues is a good opportunity to address the online sales tax legislation.

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Maria Cantwell discusses jobs, stumps for votes in Gilman Village

November 13, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Nov. 2, and urged voters to return ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting Democrats and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

Cantwell said Eastside residents — and a workforce defined by Boeing engineers and Microsoft programmers — value quality education.

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