DownTown Issaquah Association director resigns

December 7, 2011

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 2011

The leader of the DownTown Issaquah Association — the second person to hold the post since board members replaced the longtime executive director in February — resigned Tuesday, after only a few months on the job.

“I have not been empowered by the DIA Board to accomplish the goals they set for themselves or for me,” Executive Director Annique Bennett said in a message emailed to association board members Tuesday afternoon. “I have enjoyed working with each of you and wish you the best of luck on your community wine events and marketing.”

The announcement came a day before a major event on the DownTown Issaquah Association calendar, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the historic Hailstone Feed Store.

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City, DownTown Issaquah Association need citizens for parking study

November 15, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2011

The city and the DownTown Issaquah Association volunteers should start fanning out across downtown in the days ahead to determine if the historic district needs more parking.

Municipal officials and representatives from the merchants group, partnered to conduct a downtown parking study to understand the demand for existing public and private parking stalls.

The effort is meant to update a 1998 downtown parking study. The city should release results from the latest effort early next year.

Throughout the study, volunteers plan to check downtown stalls’ occupancy. The effort runs at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. If weather causes delays, organizers plan to reschedule the survey until later in November.

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Find quiet contemplation in Issaquah’s Christian Science Reading Room

October 11, 2011

The Issaquah Church of Christ, Scientist Reading Room features a distinctive reflecting pool. By Greg Farrar

One of the staples of the Christian Science religion is its reading room.

Usually, it’s a quiet atmosphere that lends to the pursuit of thoughtful prayer, studying Bible lessons, reading Christian literature or investigating the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

With the church located on 238th Way Southeast, leaders have long had to rent out space in Issaquah for a reading room to serve its congregation of fewer than 200.

However, Issaquah’s last reading room didn’t have an ideal location for its intended pursuits in the Brandt Building on Front Street, not with its neighbor — The Kaleidoscope School of Music — pursuing its intended purpose.

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City offers 2012 arts grants to local organizations

September 9, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 9, 2011

The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.

The city offers grants each year for organizations to present performances and programs in public spaces and local schools.

Only projects inside Issaquah city limits or at Issaquah School District campuses qualify for funding. The deadline to apply for the grants is Nov. 4.

Commissioners awarded about $120,000 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.

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Discover digital surprises as ArtWalk season concludes

August 30, 2011

QR code exhibition is designed to launch conversation

The latest exhibition from artEAST is a series of stark images — square and oblong patterns in a “Tetris”-esque arrangement against a colorless background.

The smartphone-equipped in-crowd recognizes the patterns as QR codes, barcodes designed for mobile devices to read.

Expect to see oversized QR codes along Front Street North as the spring- and summertime ArtWalk concludes Sept. 2. The nonprofit artEAST collective plans to deploy the codes to connect attendees to images and videos at the Art Center & Up Front Gallery and along the street during the event.

Seattle artists Stephen Rock and Nichole DeMent used QR codes to connect smartphone users to data and images during a spring exhibition in Seattle.

Now, the duo plans to offer a similar experience to ArtWalk attendees. Rock is creating a sculpture up to 12 feet tall designed to evoke building blocks — and covered in QR codes — for the event.

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Economic downturn returns upbeat agent to first love

August 23, 2011

Artist Cammy Davis, whose first public showing is on display at the Issaquah Coffee Co. through mid-September, shares some of her paintings, including the large red work on the wall behind her being considered for placement in a local fire station. By Tom Corrigan

About 20 years ago, Cammy Davis, now 46, was a single mom with an overriding interest in art.

“But the thought of being a starving artist and a single mom … The two just didn’t go together,” Davis said.

Davis took up studying architecture, but never was able to finish her degree. She married, became a stay-at-home mom and later became a single mom once again. At that point, Davis thought she had her future pretty much charted out, gaining her license to work in real estate escrow.

Then, the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. Instead of helping other people with their home sales, Davis said she was forced to sell her own residence.

“I’d just started painting again at that point,” she added.

Davis is now nearing the end of an interior design program at Bellevue College. Her artwork is getting its first official public viewing at the Issaquah Coffee Co., in Gilman Village along Juniper Street in Issaquah.

Hanging on nearly every wall in the homegrown coffee shop, Davis’ work will stay on display between now and Sept. 18. The closing date of her show is important to Davis since it means her art will stay on display through the last Issaquah ArtWalk of the year Sept. 2

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Downtown Issaquah ArtWalk returns Aug. 5

August 2, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on Aug. 5.

The summertime event runs 5-8 p.m. along downtown streets and in Gilman Village.

In rain or shine, regional artists set up temporary shows in downtown businesses and on street corners for the evening.

The teen group Electric Foot plans to play a final performance at the Issaquah Library during the August ArtWalk. Catch the set at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way, from 4:45-6:15 p.m. Other bands from the Kaleidoscope School of Music also plan to play at the library throughout ArtWalk.

The last ArtWalk for the year is Sept. 2. ArtWalk is scheduled to return in May 2012.

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Off the Press

July 19, 2011

One good mania deserves another

After a decade of sweeping readers and moviegoers off their feet with a school named Hogwarts, games of Quiddich and battles of good against evil, the final wave of Pottermania is now sweeping over Issaquah, the nation and the world, with the last of the epic movies having blasted through every worldwide box office record last weekend.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Ticket sales of $475 million in three days is not too shabby!

Over the years, we’ve covered lines of fans at the local movie theater, costume parties for the latest book release at local shops, and huge shipments of Harry Potter books making their way from King County Library System headquarters on Newport Way to all of the branches in the system.

The question is, now what? Every generation has its “mania.” We’ve had the Jazz Age, Golden Age of Hollywood, Beatlemania, discomania and now the end of Pottermania. What should we proclaim in Issaquah to be the next all-consuming mania?

For the socially conscious, my personal preference would be to promote “Littermania,” getting us all to join in to pick up every scrap of paper, every beverage bottle and every plastic wrapper. Ever hear of the 1950’s fad of college students cramming into a phone booth? There’s at least one phone booth still in town, across the street from The Press building. Let’s have a contest of bagging up litter around town and seeing how many bags it takes to fill the phone booth!

Or, how about “musicmania?” There are a lot of scheduled music events this summer in town. For instance, during the next ArtWalk on Aug. 5, we could all bring that musical instrument in the back of the closet that we used to play — kazoo, violin, bongo drums, tambourine — and make ourselves a gleeful racket on Front Street and at Gilman Village.

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Issaquah City Council sets ambitious goals for 2012

June 14, 2011

Top priorities include downtown parking, Economic Vitality Commission

NEW — 8 a.m. June 14, 2011

Less than a month after gathering to brainstorm ideas for the coming year, City Council members set ambitious goals for 2012, including possible solutions for cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park, a more citizen-friendly budgeting process and a commission to address economic vitality.

The council OK’d the list June 6, and sent Mayor Ava Frisinger priorities for the months ahead. The decision represents the initial step in the process to shape the 2012 municipal budget. The unanimous decision came after council members met for a rare Saturday meeting May 14 to outline goals.

“In my view, these are a balanced set of goals that cover just about every aspect of city government,” Councilman Fred Butler said during the June 6 meeting. “There’s something in there for everyone.”

The list calls for the city to join with the DownTown Issaquah Association and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce to determine options for a structured parking study. Issues related to downtown parking — a headache during ArtWalk, Fenders on Front Street and other summertime events — emerged as the top priority at the retreat.

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ArtWalk returns Friday to downtown and Gilman Village

June 1, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. June 1, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on Friday.

The event is 5-8 p.m. along downtown streets and in Gilman Village.

In rain or shine, regional artists set up temporary shows in downtown businesses and on street corners for the evening.

On Friday, Museo Art Academy opens a new studio, 111 Front St. N. The location offers more exposure for the organization.

“Now we are on the corner at street level in this amazing 100-year-old building that is a historic icon. We have wide sidewalks for demonstrations, we are in the middle of all the action,” Marci Knutsen, owner and director, said in a news release.

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