What’s the Credit Union Difference?

Harborstone Credit Union Issaquah

When Harborstone Credit Union opened a new branch on High Street at Grand Ridge Plaza, manyHarborstone Credit Union Issaquah community members asked how a credit union differs from a bank. When most people think of mortgages, checking accounts and savings, they think of banks. However, credit unions offer many of the exact same services. The primary difference between the two is their business structure. Here’s a quick look at how credit unions and banks differ.

Typically, credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that are local or regional. (Note that a not-for-profit cooperative is not the same as a nonprofit organization/charity.) Credit union customers are called “members” and each member is entitled to one vote in the cooperative’s decision-making process. Membership in credit unions is limited. Eligibility is determined most often by a person’s residency (location), employment or school affiliation. For example, Harborstone is open to Washington State residents only.

By comparison, the majority banks are for-profit financial companies that are typically national or even international. Many banks have branches located across the country. In most cases, banks are publicly-held companies with shareholders. In contrast with credit unions, banks are open to all consumers with no membership restrictions, just like a typical business.

Whichever option best suits your needs, remember that the majority of banks and credit unions offer many of the same financial products: loans (car, home improvement, etc.), mortgages, online banking, ATMs, savings and checking accounts, regular and money market accounts, and credit cards. Both credit unions and banks are also “insured” by different agencies that provide deposit insurance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits to at least $250,000 at most banks while the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) insures deposits to at least $250,000 at federal credit unions as well as most state credit unions.

Harborstone Credit UnionAbout Harborstone Credit Union: With branch locations in King, Pierce and Thurston counties, Harborstone is a community credit union open to all Washington State residents. From its roots as McChord Credit Union (founded in 1955 on McChord Air Force Base) and Prevail Credit Union (founded in 1940 as King County Employees Credit Union), Harborstone is a member-owned, not-for-profit alternative to banking. A name change and 60 years later, Harborstone is still serving members with the same member-owned approach—in person, over the phone and on digital devices. At Grand Ridge Plaza, the ATM is available 24/7 and the branch is open Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.


Food Allergies and Kids by Dr. Richard Keeler

Richard Keeler Allegro Pediatrics

Richard Keeler Allegro PediatricsOur guest blogger, Dr. Richard Keeler, is a pediatrician at Allegro Pediatrics, which recently opened a clinic at Grand Ridge Plaza. Please reach out to Allegro Pediatrics with any questions regarding this article. 

I’d like to start by admitting that sometimes as physicians we make things confusing for families. Sometimes, we make a recommendation and then a year later say that the exact opposite is now recommended. As pediatricians, we know that medicine is a “soft science” and there is more gray than black and white. But we also recognize that new parents want (and to a certain degree need) black and white. And, sometimes it turns out that black is actually white and vice versa, which is a good way to introduce the topic of food allergies.

In the U.S., the rates of food allergies have increased slightly over the last two decades. Food allergy is more common in the first two years of life than later in life. Food allergy affects about 5 to 10 percent of children under the age of two. Over the age of two, about 5 percent of children have a food allergy. In 2000, in part due to the increasing rate of food allergy, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended delaying the introduction of common food allergens. Subsequent studies showed that delaying the introduction of these foods actually increased the risk of food allergy. This rather abrupt pivot has caused a lot of confusion. I’ll attempt to clarify food allergy and the updated recommendations in this article.

What are the things new parents should know about allergies and when should they seek help?

Infants usually start eating solid foods at an age of four to six months. Some infants are at a higher risk for an allergic reaction than others (see below). If a child is allergic to a food, they will usually have a reaction with their first ingestion. It is important to learn the symptoms of a food allergy and know how to get help, since sometimes an allergic reaction can be serious or even life threatening.

What is a food allergy?

More than one third of parents will report an adverse food reaction in their infant or toddler, but this is rarely a food allergy. There are many ways that children can have an unfavorable response to food such as vomit, get a mild facial or diaper rash, get a bloated stomach, get diarrhea or constipation. When doctors use the term “food allergy”, they are talking about a very specific thing. Food allergy is when the body misinterprets a food

(typically a protein) and uses the body’s own allergic mechanisms (a.k.a. IgE antibody) in response to that food. This can be measured by looking for IgE antibodies against food proteins.

What are the typical symptoms of an allergy?

Shortly after ingesting a food, a child can develop a rash called hives (a.k.a. urticaria), swollen lips or facial swelling, itchy throat, wheezing, blotchy or pale skin, sweating or trouble breathing. Diarrhea and vomiting can also be a sign of food allergy, especially if they occur at the same time as other allergic symptoms. Typically, the more serious allergic reactions show more symptoms. The more serious and potentially life threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This is a medical emergency and parents should call 911 for immediate help.

What are the most common food allergens?

Although children can be allergic to any food protein, the most frequent allergens are cow’s milk, hen’s egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nuts and seafood.

What is my child’s risk for a food allergy?

Certain infants are at a higher risk for food allergy than others. A child that has difficulty controling eczema is at potentially higher risk. A child that has a family history of food allergy, asthma or eczema in a first degree family member is at higher risk. A child that has had an allergic reaction to one food is considered high risk for the remainder of the common food allergens.

A recent study called the LEAP study showed that high risk infants are probably okay to start potentially allergic foods at the same time as other infants, however this should be discussed with your pediatrician prior to starting. Some of these high risk infants will need allergy testing prior to starting potentially allergenic foods.

For infants that aren’t at high risk for food allergy, is it better to avoid potentially allergic foods or to start them with the other solids?

It is better to start potentially allergic foods when solids are started (4 to 6 months). As mentioned previously, we used to recommend delaying the introduction of common food allergens. It is now clear that this can increase the risk of food allergy. As result, we recommend starting potentially allergenic foods at the same time as other complementary foods. It’s unclear why starting solids earlier is protective, however it’s likely that breast milk plays a role in inducing immune tolerance (this is when the body can tolerate a protein without having an allergic reaction). Given that a child will likely experience an allergic reaction after their first exposure to a food, it is recommended that the first time a child eats a potentially allergenic food that they consume a small amount while at home.

If your child is allergic to a food, what can you expect? Will they outgrow it?

Some food allergies, such as egg or cow’s milk, are typically outgrown. Others can stay for a lifetime. Some allergic reactions are mild and some can be life-threatening. Depending on the allergen and the severity, food allergies can be a minor inconvenience or a life changing diagnosis. For children with food allergies, eating at restaurants, parties and school can be problematic. Some families need an epinephrine autoinjector on-hand at all times. A lot of research is underway on treatments that may be able to decrease the severity or eliminate a food allergy. For example, oral immunotherapy may be a treatment option in the future.

Is gluten intolerance a food allergy?

Gluten intolerance is a little confusing. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains. People can be allergic to it, be intolerant, or have celiac disease. There are important differences between wheat allergy and gluten intolerance. Wheat allergy is when the body is allergic to wheat and children develop typical allergy symptoms after eating wheat. Some people have constipation, bloating, low energy or other symptoms after eating gluten, but don’t have an allergic response and have negative celiac testing. This is gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is when the immune system of the intestine is stimulated by the gluten protein which results in a myriad of symptoms. This is an increasingly recognized disease and can typically be diagnosed with a blood test.

Like a lot of topics in medicine, food allergy is an evolving field. Inevitably, future studies will force us to change our recommendations in the future. We’ll try to keep things black and white when they do. If you have any doubts or questions, your pediatrician is the single best source for up-to-date information. You can also find some helpful information online through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org website.

Allegro Pediatrics IssaquahFor nearly 50 years, Allegro Pediatrics (formerly Pediatric Associates) has been partnering with Eastside families to heal, nurture, and empower each child in their journey to adulthood. With more than 80 providers in eight neighborhood locations, Allegro offers same-day appointments 365 days of the year and 24-hour nurse phone consultations. AllegroPediatrics.com


5 Reasons to Visit AJI Sushi & Grill

AJI Sushi Issaquah Highlands

AJI Sushi IssaquahSushi aficionados and first-timers alike will find something to love at AJI Sushi & Grill, where a team of expert sushi chefs create irresistible bites seven days a week. Located on a quiet corner of Grand Ridge Plaza on Park Drive, AJI Sushi & Grill offers a feast for the senses.

At AJI Sushi & Grill, we recommend sitting at the bar to watch the chefs at work. It makes the experience of eating sushi fun and fascinating. If you’ve never visited the restaurant – or just need a reason to go out for dinner – here are five great reasons to pay AJI Sushi & Grill a visit.

1. Low-carb Rolls: Yes, it’s possible to make sushi rolls without rice. AJI offers rice-free rolls on theAJI Sushi Bar Issaquah regular menu and can modify many rolls to skip the rice. Better yet, one of their rice-free rolls is filled with real crab meat.

2. The Heat Is On: Love a spicy kick? AJI brings the heat with rolls such as the “I Need a Water Bottle” Roll and The Fireball.

3. Vegetarian Options: AJI’s menu features many vegetarian and vegan options, and will create the perfect roll for you. Popular fillings include daikon (radish), cucumber, avocado, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, Kampyo (Japanese gourd), and carrot. You Sushi Chef AJI Issaquahcan also request a favorite.

4. Catch of the Day: AJI features the freshest seasonal fish, and the menu rotates daily. On any particular day, you might strike it rich and find Bluefin Tuna or even Oh Toro (the fattiest portion of the tuna) on the menu.

5. Abundance of Sake Choices: Sake, which is gaining popularity across the U.S., is a fermented riceSake Issaquah AJI Sushi drink also known as rice wine. AJI offers more than a dozen choices. Rely on your server’s recommendation if you’re spoiled for choice.

Bonus Tip: If you love Korean fare, AJI Sushi & Grill offers a selection of hot, cooked Korean dishes on its regular menu. Be sure to ask for their homemade kimchee.

Locally-owned, AJI Sushi & Grill is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. They also offer sushi platters to-go. With a few hours’ notice, AJI Sushi & Grill can prepare a mouth-watering sushi party platter.

AJI Sushi & Grill is located at 1052 NE Park Drive next to Agave Cocina & Tequilas. To reach the restaurant, call 425-369-8445.

Photos by Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC.


Chef Thoa’s Jicama Summer Rolls Are Always in Season

Thoa Nguyen Recipe

Chinoise Sushi Bar Asian Grill IssaquahLight, refreshing Jicama Summer Rolls make an excellent appetizer or snack at any time of year. If you’ve never made this healthy vegan dish at home, you’re in luck. Chef Thoa Nguyen of Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill at Grand Ridge Plaza is sharing a simplified and easy-to-make version of her recipe. You’ll find all the ingredients you need at Safeway Issaquah Highlands.

Jicama, also known as yam bean, is root vegetable that’s enjoyed in many parts of the world. It’s crunchy, slightly sweet and great raw or cooked. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals, including a healthy serving of Vitamin C.

Roll up your sleeves and get ready for a culinary adventure!

Jicama Summer Rolls
A traditional Vietnamese snack for when you’re on the go, Jicama Summer Rolls can also be made with grilled shrimp. They’re great school lunches, too. If you’re making rolls to-go, be sure to wrap the rolls in waxed paper or plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
Yields about 8-10 rolls
Serves: 4

Ingredients:Safeway Issaquah Highlands Asian Food

  • 1/2 lb. jicama, julienned (peel the jicama and cut it into slim matchsticks)
  • 2 Tsp. salt
  • 6-8 leaves of red leaf lettuce
  • A hand full of Thai basil, wash and remove leaves from stems
  • 1 package rice paper/bánh tráng – may also be labeled as spring rolls skin (This is a staple of the Vietnamese kitchen and is available in most grocery stores, including Safeway Issaquah Highlands.)

Sauce for inside the rolls:Safeway Issaquah HIghlands

  • 2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce (available at most grocery stores near the soy sauce)
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Sambal Oelek chili paste (available at most grocery stores in the Asian foods section or near the hot sauces)


  1. Peel and julienne jicama; add to pot with 2 tsp. salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce to very low boil for about 15 minutes or until soft but slightly crunchy.
  2. Wash and prep the vegetables.
  3. Assemble the summer rolls: Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip a rice wrapper into a plate of Chinoise Issaquahwarm water for about four seconds, shake off excess water, and lay it flat on a cutting board to soften.
  4. When the rice wrapper is soft and pliable, add lettuce, jicama, basil, crushed peanuts, hoisin, and a touch of Sambal Oelek (to taste). Carefully roll the bottom edge of the wrapper and the filling once; the filling should be contained in a single layer of the wrapper. Fold the 2 sides of the wrapper over the rolled filling, then resume rolling from the bottom edge, rolling all the way to the top to create a tight log.
  5. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling, making sure to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Enjoy!

At Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill, Jicama Summer Rolls are served with a Pineapple-Chili Dipping Sauce. They also includes cilantro, pickled daikon and carrots.

Chinoise Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaAbout Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill: Chinoise is a contemporary Pan-Pacific Rim restaurant defined by fresh, beautiful food ranging from sushi to pho, and from wok dishes to summer salad rolls. Founded by Chef Thoa Nguyen, Chinoise merges cuisines from across the Asian continent with Northwest sensibilities.

Chinoise Sushi Bar & Asian Grill is located at 936 NE Park Drive. To reach the restaurant, call (425) 394-4177. Reservations are available for parties of 6 or more.


Think Outside the Box with 3D Framing

Frame Central Issaquah Custom Framing

Frame CentralWith a little outside the box thinking, it’s easy to create a distinctive keepsake: a framed shadow box. Also known as memory boxes and 3D framing, shadow boxes are an excellent way to showcase and preserve items that aren’t suitable for conventional framing. Possibilities range from sports jerseys to wedding keepsakes, from marathon racing bibs to baby shoes, and from seashells to baseball mitts. If it’s something that has special significance, then it’s ideal for shadow box framing.

At Frame Central Issaquah Highlands, the team can help you to create a one-of-a-kind shadow box. Tap into their expertise and use their custom framing services or build your own DIY project; they have all supplies on-site. The team has framed keepsakes such as dresses, musical instruments, a 17th century handwritten Quran, and signed Seattle Seahawks footballs. There’s no limit to what you can frame – even if it’s an unusual size and shape (think LEGO).

For thicker items, Frame Central can build enough depth so particular objects appear suspended. TheyFrame Central Shadow Box can also offer advice on selecting the best type of glass. Generally, glass that provides UV protection is recommended for most shadow boxes. You can choose Museum Glass for extra protection. It offers a nearly invisible finish (no reflections) and blocks up to 99 percent of indoor and outdoor UV light rays. It’s preferable if the items in your shadow box are likely to fade.

Looking for inspiration to get started? Here are some creative ideas from Frame Central:

  • Collection wall. If you have an assortment of small items that deserves more visibility, consider making a shadow box collection wall with multiple frames in a series.
  • Vintage Books. This works particularly well with beautifully bound books that are too fragile to handle. Options include framing an open book to a meaningful page or illustration.
  • There’s likely no shortage of jewelry items stashed away in drawers in most homes. Whether it’s the necklace your daughter wore at her wedding or the watch dad wore every day for 40 years, jewelry frames beautifully. These are great gifts for birthdays and holidays.
  • Silk Paintings. Typically, silk paintings appear squashed when enclosed in conventional frames. Shadow boxes offer depth so you can admire the painting as the artist intended.

Frame Central IssaquahWhen it comes to shadow boxes, the ideas are unlimited. Drop by Frame Central to discuss your options and get their ideas for creating a shadow box you’ll treasure for years to come.

Frame Central Issaquah Highlands is located at 1568 Highlands Drive NE in Issaquah. To reach the store, call 425-837-9761 or visit framecentral.com.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography