Nightmare at Beaver Lake / October 2011

October 21, 2011

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‘Friday the 13th’ ghoul to haunt Nightmare at Beaver Lake festivities

October 18, 2011

Jason Voorhees stalks the forest on the Sammamish Plateau.

C.J. Graham — the title star in “Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI” — is due to appear Oct. 28-29 during Nightmare at Beaver Lake.

Jason Voorhees

C.J. Graham

“Most people, if you say the word Jason and ‘Friday the 13th,’ they may not know you personally, but they know the character,” he said in a recent interview. “I am blown away by the cult following that still exists.”

“Friday the 13th” producers selected the former nightclub owner in part due to his stature. Graham stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall.

“They felt very confident with my physical structure and my physical abilities that I’d been fine as a stunt man and doing the burns and all of the different stunts that came with it,” he said.

The actor researched the slasher-film genre before accepting the 1986 role as a superhuman serial killer.

“I didn’t really know the series well until I was asked to come interview for the series,” Graham said. “I actually had to go back and do some review of my own to watch a couple of the prior films to make sure I understood the character that I was trying to portray.”

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Birds like it here, too

February 8, 2011

In January, a friend and I took a walk in Beaver Lake Park, winding through dense, dark woods. We came into an opening and were shocked by the rush and noise of dozens of large birds exploding into the sky.

It looked like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. We couldn’t imagine what they were until one lit on a branch next to us. It was just a big, fat robin.

Most of us think robins migrate and return in spring as expressed by writers of poetry and song. So, this rather boisterous display by these supposedly sweet birds in January was quite a shock. It makes more sense when you know that the English robin does leave in winter and return in spring, and most of those old writers were from England.

Research told me that robins don’t migrate anymore, at least not here. They, like Canada geese, Brewer’s blackbirds, and Western gulls find it easier to just hang out with us all winter. In fact, some sources say our robins may have never migrated.

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Paranormal activity: Nightmare at Beaver Lake ups the scare factor

October 5, 2010

Dana Young, Curt Madden and Chris Shea (from left) work on the spinning vortex set for this year’s Nightmare at Beaver Lake. By Christopher Huber

For Dana Young, Curt Madden and Chris Shea, it’s all about the scare.

The trio from Scare Productions, which puts on the annual Nightmare at Beaver Lake, spend months before the mid-October haunt in Sammamish, scheming, recruiting actors, and building and designing sets to optimize the Halloween experience for thousands of area residents who flock to the event.

“We get paid in screams,” Young said as the three recently built the roof for the spinning vortex at Beaver Lake Park.

The seventh annual Nightmare opens Oct. 19 and will feature about 120 actors aiming to scare, startle and frighten anyone who dares to take a stroll through the 85-acre park.

“Hopefully we’ll get someone to throw up,” said Madden, Scare Productions president.

Scare Productions does receive actual compensation, but the majority of ticket proceeds benefits the Sammamish Rotary Club and its variety of scholarship funds and local and international giving programs.

Nightmare at Beaver Lake will highlight similar features this year as in past years, such as ornery orcs launching fireballs from a trebuchet and various dreary and creepy settings. This time, it will be a little more interactive.

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Take a closer look at Issaquah’s public art

February 23, 2010

Public art is a big part of Issaquah today. In fact, there’s an entire city policy dedicated to it.

While it may be an addition to the city’s beauty — depending on your tastes — you may have driven by more than one of the pieces and wondered, “What is that?”  Well, here are some answers to some pieces you may have wondered about.

Have others that we didn’t list? Send them to

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Klahanie Park closer to transfer of ownership

November 3, 2009

The King County Parks Department has taken a major step toward ceding Klahanie Park to the city of Sammamish. Read more

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Skyline grad needs to raise funds for educational trip to Guatemala

July 21, 2009

Bill Doerrfeld has been accepted with a select group of 12 students around the country for a yearlong cultural learning experience and opportunity to help local communities in Guatemala. Contributed

Bill Doerrfeld has been accepted with a select group of 12 students around the country for a yearlong cultural learning experience and opportunity to help local communities in Guatemala. Contributed

While many 17-year-olds might be kicking back during summer, recent Skyline High School graduate Bill Doerrfeld spends his days washing cars and selling tickets, so he can participate in a yearlong educational program to help people in Guatemala.

Doerrfeld was one of 12 students in the U.S. and abroad who was selected by the Magic Carpet Rides program to visit Guatemala.

“Seeing the world would allow me to gain new insights on life and I’m excited about it,” Doerrfeld said.

Magic Carpet Rides is a gap-year program that gives high school graduates the opportunity to experience diverse cultures, explore natural attractions and assist indigenous people.

“The program is for people who want to travel and explore,” Doerrfeld said. “The point is to engage us in complete cultural immersion.”

Valerie Doerrfeld, Bill’s mother, said she believes the program is an exciting opportunity for her son. Read more

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