Village Theatre’s longtime artistic director shares Broadway producer’s tale

October 4, 2011

The story of young actor embarking on a life in the theater forms the foundation for the novel “Little Did I Know” — a coming-of-age tale set in a small-town theater.

Steve Tomkins, longtime Village Theatre artistic director, interviewed the author, Broadway producer Mitchell Maxwell, as part of a regional book festival. The overarching message in the book is aimed at young actors, but the theme is universal, he said.

“When you have goals and have a dream, don’t let anything get in the way of that. Go for your dream,” Tomkins added. “When you’re young, you can totally do that.”

Maxwell appeared Oct. 1 at the Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland to discuss “Little Did I Know.” Tomkins conducted the interview and described the novel as “required reading for everybody who is going into theater.”

“Every book or every play has a story, but what’s more important is the themes that are conveyed,” Maxwell said before the festival appearance. “As a producer and a director and a writer over the years, the story is not as important as the resonance that it brings to the moment or the audience through its themes, and what it has to say about society or what it has to say about people.”

The material comes from the Broadway producer’s stints at the Priscilla Beach Theatre on Cape Cod and as the leader of a traveling theater troupe. Maxwell suffered a head injury days before departing for college and, as a result, could no longer play contact sports. Instead, the 21-year-old former jock discovered a life in the theater. Maxwell adored musicals since childhood — and the gig offered other opportunities.

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State lawmaker asks residents to complete budget survey

October 4, 2011

State Rep. Glenn Anderson called on residents in Issaquah and elsewhere in the 5th Legislative District for ideas to address a $1.4 billion hole in the state budget.

The longtime lawmaker, a Fall City Republican, is asking residents to complete a 19-question survey as the Legislature prepares to return to Olympia for a special session to address the budget gap. However, legislators might need to cut about $2 billion in order to ensure the state maintains adequate reserves.

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Births: Azure, Kinsley and Hayden Riter

October 4, 2011

Azure, Kinsley and Hayden Riter

Ian and Tamra Sparks Riter welcomed triplets Azure, Kinsley and Hayden to their San Antonio, Texas, home Aug. 10, 2011.

They were born weighing 4 pounds, 2 ounces; 5 pounds, 11 ounces; and 5 pounds, 8 ounces; and measuring 16.5 inches, 18.1 inches and 19.1 inches, respectively.

They join siblings Cohen, 4, and Aurora, 2.

Grandparents are Jack and Luann Sparks, of Issaquah, and Ken and Frances Riter, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Great-grandmother is Shirley Riter, of Salt Lake City.

Tamra is a 1999 graduate of Issaquah High School.

Off the Press

October 4, 2011

Bemoaning traffic does little, but feels good

Tom Corrigan Press reporter

Complaining about traffic around here is kind of like complaining about the rain: completely pointless. In the case of traffic, everybody knows it stinks and it won’t be improving anytime soon. There probably isn’t even a solution to the problem.

Since land costs alone would be astronomical, I don’t see there being any way of building new freeways, if new freeways are even the answer. Still, can I ask a few traffic questions and take at least one potshot at the Washington State Department of Transportation? Please? Pretty please? Thanks.

There is absolutely no reason you should remember, but the last time I needed to fill this space, I wrote about moving here from Cleveland. Kind of beside the point here.

What’s not beside the point is that Cleveland’s population fell under 400,000 in 2010. The whole Cleveland metro area has about 2.8 million in population, a figure bound to drop. And the metro area includes folks pretty far south of the city, people who have little reason to drive into Cleveland every day. Seattle’s metro area has about a million more folks, topping out at 3.9 million and growing.

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Meet candidates for local, regional offices at forum

October 4, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

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Issaquah Singers seek members

October 4, 2011

Rehearsals have begun for the 2011-12 Issaquah Singers concert season. Organizers invite vocalists who wish to join to attend a few rehearsals.

Rehearsals are from 7-9 p.m. Thursdays in the Fellowship Hall of the Community Church of Issaquah, 205 Mountain Park Blvd., Issaquah.

Choir leaders say male tenors are especially needed, as are a few basses.

Issaquah Singers is a 60-member community chorus that for 35 years has performed at civic events and senior citizen centers. The choir emphasizes vocal jazz of the 1940s but also performs earlier works as well as more modern selections.

All choir members, including the director and accompanist, are volunteers.

Learn more at

College News

October 4, 2011

Issaquah student graduates from Miami University of Ohio

Taylor Wolfe, of Issaquah, was among 684 students from Miami University of Ohio, in Oxford, Ohio, who graduated in the summer term.

Wolfe received a master’s degree in business administration.

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Military News

October 4, 2011

Tiger Mountain graduate completes Navy boot camp

Navy Seaman Apprentice David B. Wright, a 2009 graduate of Tiger Mountain Community High School, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Wright completed a variety of training, which included classroom study and practical instruction regarding naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

Help greenway plant trees at Lake Sammamish State Park

October 4, 2011

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust holds the first of its annual native tree and shrub planting events from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

There will be food, music and booths as well as plenty of trees to plant.

The Issaquah event is the first of several planned. Registration is required. Full and half-day shifts are available.

The park address is 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road. From Interstate 90, drive east to Exit 15 and follow the signs.

Learn more and/or register at and click the “volunteer” link.

‘Green’ Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 opens for tours

October 4, 2011

Citizens can tour the ultra-“green” Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 72 as the facility opens for public tours Oct. 8.

The open house is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the station, at 1770 N.W. Maple St. Firefighters plan to serve hot dogs and offer tours of the facility.

The station ranks among the most energy-efficient fire stations on the planet. Station 72 is designed to achieve the highest-rated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum status.

The fire station is unlike any other in the United States. The building includes a system to pump heat from the ground, photovoltaic cells to catch sunlight and triple-paned windows to reduce heat loss — enough features to achieve the toughest standards from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The existing Station 72, a temporary structure meant to last five years, opened 11 years ago.

City Council members initiated the design process for a replacement in 2007. Construction started on the station in June 2010.

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