Off The Press — It’s the unnamed holiday first October weekend!

September 30, 2014

Maybe it goes without saying, but maybe not. Salmon Days is just one heck of a lucky theme for us to have for the annual Issaquah community festival! No one today would ever build a fish hatchery in an urban area like this.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

But more than 75 years ago, with no floating bridge from Seattle, this was about as far out as the boonies as we could imagine. With a big salmon-habitat creek running through a small downtown, with the automobile age in its infancy, what was a logical place for a hatchery has turned out to be a stroke of luck today.

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Off The Press — These people are gone but are not forgotten

September 23, 2014

Every single person in this world makes a ripple. Every single person matters.

That was the message at a funeral ceremony for 33 women and 104 women buried last week as part of the King County Indigent Remains Program.

Some were homeless when they died. Some just didn’t have anyone willing or able to take possession of their bodies.

“We have 137 fellow human beings. They’re here as an indictment to our failure as a society for not taking them in,” said Pastor Kelle Brown, of Mary’s Place. “Like all of us, they smiled, they struggled, they brought joy to their mother’s hearts with their first cry.

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Off The Press — Ray Rice has the problem, not the NFL

September 16, 2014

It’s been difficult to watch television lately — doesn’t matter which channel you’re tuning in — and not find coverage of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.

Neil Pierson

Neil Pierson

I’ve taken to changing the channel when I see a news anchor reporting the latest, or the average Joe giving his two cents on the situation. Mostly, I’m just not interested in seeing the videotape again, a sober reminder that some men are still stuck in prehistoric times.

Janay Palmer — Rice’s then-fiancee, now-wife — slaps the Baltimore Ravens running back in a hotel elevator. Rice, who reportedly can bench press 400 pounds, then throws two punches, the second one knocking Palmer cold before he drags her from the elevator, all of it caught on a security camera.

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Off The Press — Only a tourist could be this disrespectful

September 9, 2014

Once again, a perfectly good vacation moment was ruined by all of the dolts around me.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Nothing sets my blood a boilin’ more than tourists who can’t stop being tourists for one darn second to appreciate what’s before them.

Last month, my wife and I visited my sister outside Baltimore. The last day of the trip, we trekked into Philadelphia to take in a few sites. Top on my list was the Liberty Bell, one of the most iconic artifacts from our history that is uniquely American.

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Off The Press — Ornament artists are treated like rock stars

September 2, 2014

If you don’t collect anything, you may not understand collectors. But you can certainly appreciate people loving what they love.

When I first received a news release about two Hallmark Keepsake Ornament artists coming to Mark’s Hallmark here in Issaquah, I thought, “Well, that’s interesting for people who collect them.”

Then, I learned that Issaquah’s store was the only one in the Northwest and one of only 14 in the country that would have artist signings this year. Then, I learned that the last time an artist came to Washington state was in 1995, for a Hallmark convention in Seattle.

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Off The Press — Traffic plan can’t come soon enough

August 26, 2014

Rowley Properties’ construction of the long-stay Homewood Suites by Hilton has brought a massive crane to central Issaquah.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

It’s not the first one locals have seen, but it heralds the start of the Central Issaquah Plan, which city officials expect to change the face of the valley over the next 30 years or so.

The crane stands over the western edge of the city and so will hopefully not have any impact on surrounding traffic. However, it represents a symbol of things to come as parcels go on sale and some, like the Atlas project on Gilman Boulevard Northwest, sit in the middle of the permitting process.

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Guest Column — Great schools, great communities and you

August 26, 2014

Issaquah schools are great — there’s no doubt about it. Our district is consistently ranked as one of the top in the state and our students’ test scores are among the best in the nation. Ask any real estate agent and he or she will regale you with tales of parents who relocated just so their kids can get an Issaquah education.

What is less apparent is how our schools continue to be world-class centers for learning. Much credit goes to our teaching staff and fiscally savvy administration. An equal measure belongs to the community — parents, residents and businesses who donate to the Issaquah Schools Foundation, join our PTSAs and volunteer in our schools.

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Off The Press — Recent sightings of the ridiculous

August 19, 2014

I didn’t know a 23rd century, high-tech war was being waged in my armpits on my behalf by the cosmetics industry, but apparently it is.

For years, it’s just been the same ol’ deodorant scent for yours truly, Old Spice High Endurance Arctic Force. I think it smells good. The red plastic container is easy to find in the grocery aisle. Period. And I’m a guy. I don’t need directions for using deodorant, right? I never read the fine print on the back, until just recently:

Contains odor-fighting “Atomic Robots” that “Shoot Lasers” at your “Stench Monsters” and replaces them with fresh, clean, masculine “Scent Elves.”


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Off The Press — Election envelopes create sticky situation

August 12, 2014

Like any responsible procrastinator I pride myself at waiting to the very last minute to complete any task. So, on election eve, realizing this was the last chance to exercise my right to vote in the primary, I finally opened the envelope from King County Elections that had been sitting on my kitchen table for at least a month.

With a sense of duty I read through the names on my ballot and filled in the corresponding oval as neatly as a person with zero small motor skills possibly could. I progressed rather quickly, coming finally to the list of people running for the judge position. Like most voters I know nothing about any of these people so I did what I always do…voted for the person whose name seemed the most normal.

Joe Heslet

Joe Heslet

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Off The Press

August 5, 2014

To rent or to own? That is the question

Neil Pierson

Neil Pierson

My wife and I are considering buying a home in Seattle, the prospects of which are both exhilarating and a bit terrifying.

First, let me preface by stating that I wouldn’t be a first-time homeowner. I’ve done it before, and while there’s a sense of satisfaction and freedom, it’s far from perfect.

To some degree, I think, apartment living has spoiled me. I like being able to call maintenance every time we find mold or the sink clogs, and know that we’re not going to have to sell a body part to fix the darned thing. Homeowners don’t have that peace of mind – something breaks and you’re in trouble, unless you have a good warranty.

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