June 28, 2012
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.
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.
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.”
June 28, 2012
Go ahead, sample some local products.
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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February 21, 2012
Opportunities seemed endless as Seattle prophesized a sleek future at the 1962 Century 21 Exposition.
In the years before the fair opened a half-century ago, local leaders imagined the fairgrounds along Lake Sammamish. Envision, as entrepreneurs dared to do in the late ’50s, Lake Sammamish State Park as a site for the still-embryonic exposition.
The fairgrounds showcase Cougar Mountain as a backdrop for the Space Needle. Or, rather than the bubbling International Fountain, placid Lake Sammamish defines the landscape. The monorail, all Swedish design and German engineering, connects suburban cities, not Seattle neighborhoods.
Organizers considered, if only for a moment, a fair situated amid farmland and forests, perhaps a Festival of the West set in Issaquah, a former frontier settlement.
“What if it had been in Issaquah?” asked Lorraine McConaghy, public historian for the Seattle-based Museum of History & Industry, or MOHAI. “What if 10 million people had come to Issaquah between May and October of 1962?”
Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders proposed the then-300-acre state park as a possible fair site in July 1958, as boosters from the Puget Sound region urged organizers to consider locations outside Seattle.