Issaquah artists combine faith, flair to create stained-glass masterpieces

June 28, 2012

Jim Perry, 82, holds a sheet of red-layered clear glass up to the light in the Perry Stained Glass Studio workroom at 470 Front St. N. By Greg Farrar

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the oldest permanent structure in Chelan, is nestled near the southern tip of the 55 mile-long lake that bears the same name.

The chimes that ring out from its dark-brown bell tower audibly undulate throughout the area, and worn, wooden pews line the aisle of a structure that has been a place of worship for residents since the 1890s.

Two such devotees are Issaquah’s Jim and Liz Perry.

Their part in the structure — though only a few of the church’s faithful know the story behind their contributions — are lasting, resplendent and illuminating.

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Saloon stories recount mayhem, carnage and chaos

June 28, 2012

Patrons celebrate the opening of the Union Tavern. The building that housed the establishment was repurposed as a restaurant before it was demolished in 2000 to make room for the Issaquah Library. Contributed by Issaquah History Museums

Pistol duels. Free-for-all brawls. Bombings.

These are just a few standout bar stories that permeate Issaquah’s rich history and its favorite drinking establishments along the way.

Many of the early hotels — if not every hotel — in the area would have had a drinking establishment associated with the business as Issaquah became established as a municipality.

“They knew that whenever the miners did get home, they were going to want to get a beer, to get a drink they enjoyed,” said Issaquah History Museums Executive Director Erica Maniez. “It made sense to have them right there in the boarding house, or they could walk down the block and go to a saloon.”

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How to survive summer vacation

June 28, 2012

The summer months have arrived.

School is out, the anticipation of summer weather is almost too much to bear, and now you’re ready to head outdoors and enjoy it.

But wait! Before you head out the door, there are summer hazards to be aware of and ways to make sure you stay safe.

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What is the Mountains to Sound Greenway?

June 28, 2012

Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid fried fish counters and souvenir shops along the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.

The greenbelt represents decades of effort to protect the natural landscape along the interstate, even as Issaquah and other Eastside cities experienced a population explosion in recent years.

Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.

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Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club offers chance to shoot for thrills

June 28, 2012

Women, such as this Seattle resident, and men alike have equal opportunity to pick up a rifle and aim for the bull’s-eye at the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club. By Greg Farrar

The range at the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club is a virtual paradise for people who like to take target practice.

“It’s for people who like to put holes in paper,” joked John Dallaire, the club’s range safety officer, who explained that most gun enthusiasts who come to the range are trying to improve their accuracy.

Folks stand in a covered outdoor area and shoot at targets that are between seven yards and 100 yards away. And there is no typical shooter. Some are new, some are seasoned. There are young, old, male, female, hunters and businessmen.

“You name it, they come out here to shoot,” Dallaire said.

Some have handguns; others might be shooting a submachine rifle. And the regulars are always willing to help out a newbie.

“You can tell when someone’s nervous or just not comfortable handling the gun yet,” said Tony McIntosh, a club member. “We’ll go over and offer some advice to help them out.”

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Cool off on a river float, but remember safety tips

June 28, 2012

Rumor has it there’s a season in the year where the sun outmuscles the clouds and shines for more than once a week.

Were that rumor to come true, some rain-drenched, sun-starved Washingtonians will no doubt choose to spend their days tubing in one of the state’s rivers and lakes.

Don Martin, an experienced rescuer, river guide and owner of whitewater rafting company River Recreation, said rivers and lakes offer different advantages.

“The allure of rivers is that you’re traveling to a different section of river,” as you float, he said. A lake offers a calmer alternative, with not so much moving water. Washington state is full of lakes like that, he added.

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From Issaquah Creek to Puget Sound

June 28, 2012

A Puget Sound Starts Here badge on a storm drain in downtown Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Puget Sound starts in Issaquah — among other places — and problems in local streams can impact the sound’s overall health.

Glance at any storm drain in downtown Issaquah, and the connection between runoff from city streets and Puget Sound comes into focus.

“Puget Sound Starts Here” read placards about the same size as a deck of cards.

The shortest distance between Issaquah and Puget Sound is about 15 miles, separated by open spaces set aside for conservation and acres sealed beneath concrete. The actual division between suburb and sound is shorter.

Curbside storm drains throughout Issaquah drain to Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, and then into Lake Sammamish. The lake is connected through a broad, interconnected watershed to Puget Sound.

“It’s all of us that live in the watershed,” said Michael Grayum, director of public affairs for the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency formed to spearhead cleanup. “The work of the Puget Sound Partnership goes from the snowcaps to the whitecaps, and everything is connected to Puget Sound in between.”

Many sources of pollutants in Puget Sound exist far from the shoreline.

The most common way toxic chemicals reach Puget Sound is through polluted surface runoff from residential, commercial and industrial lands. Untreated runoff sluices into freshwater lakes, streams and then drains into Puget Sound.

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Lights! Camera! Issaquah!

June 28, 2012

“Twin Peaks” put North Bend on the map, but the TV cult classic filmed some scenes in the Issaquah area, too.

Tiger Mountain is not as recognizable to outsiders as Mount Si — thanks, David Lynch — but Hollywood called on Issaquah and the surrounding area in recent decades for productions in need of suburban streets and forested backdrops.

“Twin Peaks” aside, most productions filmed in the Issaquah area faded into pop culture ephemera.

Remember “Hot Pursuit” — a short-lived ’80s thriller about a couple on the lam? Or “An Upstanding Citizen” — a 1998 Lifetime movie melodrama, in true Lifetime movie melodrama form, about a tragic car accident and the aftermath?

Both productions included scenes shot in the Issaquah area.

The crew for “The Secret Life of John Chapman” filmed in the Issaquah area and included local extras. Ralph Waite — the father on the homespun TV series “The Waltons” — starred in the 1976 film about a college president on sabbatical as a laborer.

Perhaps the most notable film to feature Issaquah scenes is “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.” The 1992 flick about a psychotic nanny turned into a moderate hit at the box office.

The Herbfarm: From farm to table to Issaquah

June 28, 2012

The most-lauded restaurant in the Pacific Northwest, a bastion in farm-to-table dining and a place possessed of more stars than the Milky Way, once added national prestige to dining in Issaquah — a city recognized for chocolates, root beer and little else.

The Herbfarm served slow-roasted salmon in zucchini blossoms, tarragon ice-topped melon soup and other creations from a space near Boehms Candies from May 1999 until April 2001. The restaurant then departed for more upscale digs at a bucolic Woodinville inn.

Tragedy led The Herbfarm to Issaquah. Fire destroyed the original Fall City restaurant in January 1997.

Owners intended to rebuild in Fall City and, in the meantime, selected the since- closed Hedges Cellars tasting room along Northeast Gilman Boulevard as the interim location for the restaurant.

The location presented challenges and, for diners during the Issaquah era, altered the experience. The garden tour, a precursor to meals in Fall City and Woodinville, went on hiatus while The Herbfarm operated in Issaquah, cofounder Carrie Van Dyck recalled.

The floorplan shielded the kitchen from the dining room, a departure from the open kitchen in Fall City.

Still, the restaurant reeled in diners — and accolades. The New York Times recommended The Herbfarm in a 2000 travelogue and national magazines clamored to feature the Pacific Northwest menu.

The menu is ever-evolving to reflect changes in seasons and themes.

“We never serve the same thing,” Van Dyck said. “You could come to the same theme year after year and have a different experience each time.”

Made in Issaquah

June 28, 2012

Go ahead, sample some local products.

Boehms Candies

Boehms Candies

In 1956, Julius Boehm opened Boehms Candies in Issaquah, 17 years after the former Olympian fled Nazi-occupied Austria.

The iconic chocolatier offered a taste of Issaquah to chocoholics attracted to the city to see candy makers in action.

Nowadays, the chalet-inspired chocolate factory turns out caramels, cordials, truffles and candy bars in a distinctive gold wrapper.

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