Artist re-creates favorite downtown landmarks in handmade postcards

September 13, 2011

Jane Garrison, Issaquah landscaping architect, displays her hand-drawn postcards of downtown landmarks. By Tom Corrigan

Downtown Issaquah isn’t necessarily related to Jane Garrison’s duties as a docent for the Issaquah History Museums at the Gilman Town Hall Museum.

Still, it seems appropriate that Garrison can speak happily and fluently about the background of various downtown buildings and landmarks.

“I love downtown Issaquah. I love the buildings,” said the talkative and friendly Garrison, 70.

With an architectural landscaping business of her own on Front Street for roughly 25 years, Garrison said that after she retired she got to know and truly appreciate the feel of downtown Issaquah. Always having been an artist, one of her side projects included pen-and-pencil drawing of various downtown landmarks.

The spots she sketched include Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, the Eagles Hall and the salmon hatchery. Garrison initially made the drawings strictly for her own enjoyment. But now she has decided to use the sketches to create some very unique and localized greeting cards.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the cards will benefit the history museums. The cards are blank inside, but one of Garrison’s 12 drawings appears on the front along with a history capsule about the location depicted.

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Protect bugs to ensure beautiful, fragrant flowers

September 13, 2011

I was down at Boehm’s Candies the other day. The weather was gray but warm, and I was feeling a little flat.

When I got out of my car, I sniffed the air to see if I could find the wonderful scent of chocolate. I couldn’t.

I couldn’t, because the smell of a fantastic rose overcame everything. It flooded the parking lot, the air, and me. It was terrific. I was uplifted just by that smell.

The sense of smell is very strong and capable of bringing back images and memories that we think are lost, including childhood experiences or maybe a fantastic meal. A nice memory can lift your mood and change a cloudy day into a sunny one. I’m not sure if you can overload your senses or not, but it would be fun to try.

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Who’s News

August 30, 2011

New veterinarian joins Issaquah Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Lynne Kunitz joined the Issaquah Veterinary Hospital in June.

Kunitz graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine with her doctorate degree in 1994.

A Wisconsin native, she moved to Issaquah six years ago with her husband and two children. She spent the past several years practicing emergency and critical care medicine before taking some time off to raise her children.

Kunitz has been an active volunteer in the Issaquah community and is now proud to serve as a veterinarian, focusing on geriatrics and preventative medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, camping and skiing.

Kunitz sees patients on Mondays and Thursdays and some Saturdays.

Issaquah Veterinary Hospital is at 795 First Ave. N.W. Call 392-6211.

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Boehm’s chapel captures the essence of the Alps

August 23, 2011

Correction: The chapel is a replica of one in Ilse Maria, not St. Moritz. Julius Boehm could not have seen the Swiss village chapel from Vienna, so he built a replica of the small church that he could see from his Issaquah chalet. The Moroder Studios’ “Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples” artwork inside the chapel was carved in Italy, unlike the chapel doors. Kirch’l is German for “little church” or “chapel.” The High Alpine Chapel is also known as the Luis Trenker Kirch’l or Luis Trenker Chapel. In addition, the only chocolates that are “discounted” are pieces considered to be “brokens” or “seconds.”

For their wedding last July, Sara and John Henry Bruner were looking for a small, intimate venue that was in their budget and fit their personalities. He happened upon the High Alpine Chapel online.

Rev. Jeanne Dembeck stands at the top of a stair in the chapel, where newlywed couples may pull a rope to ring the brass bell in the steeple. By Greg Farrar

The unassuming website showed only one photo of the 48-person chapel in Issaquah, so the couple made an appointment to check it out. Sara recalled that her Sammamish-based mother wasn’t convinced a chapel on the grounds of Boehm’s Candies existed.

“So many people don’t know about our chapel,” said the Rev. Jeanne Dembeck as she jiggled open the chapel’s double doors, which were imported from Italy.

The unique European key design is one of Dembeck’s favorite parts of the building. The key itself doesn’t have teeth. It has little hole/nub things randomly placed on the flat part.

Dembeck relies mostly on word of mouth advertising to promote the High Alpine Chapel, although a Seattle-based travel agency does connect it with Japanese couples looking for a unique destination wedding.

“It isn’t really ritzy, but to me it is nice and casual,” Dembeck said.

And though it is just 20 minutes east of Seattle and right off Interstate 90, stepping onto the grounds of Boehm’s feels like entering another world.

On the outside, the nondenominational building is a replica of a 12th century chapel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which still stands today. But on the inside, “It’s all Julius,” said Mindi Reid, a chief tour guide.

Julius Boehm, the founder of Boehm’s Candies, was born in Vienna and grew up with a view of the St. Moritz chapel from his bedroom window. He added the chapel replica to the grounds of his successful Issaquah candy shop in 1981 to memorialize fallen mountain climbers and to honor his mother.

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20 reasons to ♥ Issaquah

July 2, 2011

The spectacular landscape is a reason to love Issaquah. By Connor Lee

Discover 20 reasons to love Issaquah, from the highest Tiger Mountain peak to the Lake Sammamish shoreline, and much more in between. The community includes icons and traits not found anywhere else, all in a postcard-perfect setting. The unique qualities — Issa-qualities? — start at the city’s name and extend into every nook and neighborhood. (The lineup is not arranged in a particular order, because ranking the city’s pre-eminent qualities seems so unfair.)

Salmon Days

The annual salmon-centric celebration is stitched into the city’s fabric. Salmon Days serves as a last hurrah before autumn, a touchstone for old-timers and a magnet for tourists. The street fair consistently ranks among the top destinations in the Evergreen State and, for a time last year, as the best festival on earth — in the $250,000-to-$749,000 budget category, anyway.

Issaquah Alps

The majestic title for the forested peaks surrounding the city, the Issaquah Alps, is a catchall term for Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. (Credit the late mountaineer and conservationist Harvey Manning for the sobriquet.) The setting is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. Trails — some official and others less so — for hikers, bikers and equestrians crisscross the mountains, like haphazard tic-tac-toe patterns.

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Posters encourage residents to read

February 22, 2011

With hectic lives filled with chores, errands, work and school, who has time to sit down and read a good book?

Aware of the constant time crunch, the King County Library System developed a time coupon through its Take Time to Read program.

“Chores can wait,” the coupon reads, “Take Time to Read.”

“I flash that one at my family and say, ‘The dishes are going to be there 10 minutes from now,’” Issaquah Library Site Manager Philis Bodle said. “You don’t need a great big block of time to read — five minutes here, 10 minutes there.”

The reading coupons are only one facet of Take Time to Read. It also includes the Winter Reading for Adults program, in which adults 18 or older can tell the library how they took time to read and win prizes for their submissions.

Enter the contest before March 31 at for the chance to win gift cards to local stores, including Starbucks, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, Barnes & Noble and University Book Store.

Participants can also enter on Facebook by searching for Take Time to Read.

“The kids have all the fun in the summer, so we thought, ‘Let’s let adults have some fun, too,’” library system public relations specialist Marsha Iverson said.

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Eastside food drive helps stock Issaquah food pantry for winter

November 9, 2010

The pantry at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank is fuller after a monthlong food drive spearheaded by local churches.

Parishioners mobilized in late September to grocery stores throughout the area to encourage shoppers to donate. In the subsequent month, the faith groups pulled in 11,700 pounds of food for the downtown Issaquah pantry.

The drive — called the Eastside’s Month of Concern for the Hungry — united businesses, community leaders, faith-based organizations, hospitals, neighborhood associations and schools to stock area food banks before the holiday rush.

“The need has increased because of job layoffs and we’re getting more clients and new families every day,” Kim Ortego, assistant to the executive director at the Issaquah food pantry, said last week.

The food bank serves about 400 families from throughout the Issaquah School District.

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Issaquah dentist gives back to vets

November 9, 2010

You’d think that when American veterans return from active duty, dental care would be an automatic benefit. However, you’d be wrong.

Only veterans deemed “completely service-disabled” are covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and that is for only certain types of dental work, according to Issaquah dentist Theresa Cheng. That means most veterans don’t get seen by dentists — and it goes for their caretakers and family as well. Read more

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Off The Press

October 26, 2010

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Ahh, Halloween — my favorite holiday.

Time to get out the costume and go trick-or-treating, that time-honored tradition of going door to door and getting free candy. What a great concept!

And yes, I mean me trick-or-treating. If I come to your door, trust me, I have already heard whatever you’re going to say about an adult trick-or-treating. I know it’s “supposed” to be for children. But really, if you’re purchasing candy specifically to give away to whoever comes to your door, why care who you give it to or how old he or she is?

See, I didn’t get to go much when I was a kid and I have just never outgrown the joy of shouting “Trick or treat!” Or choosing a costume. Or sorting candy into my favorite stuff — which I will eat over the coming months — and that “other” candy, meaning it goes to others. You know the stuff. Those hard candies, nonchocolates and other candy items that just aren’t on your wish list. (Smarties and Pixy Sticks are on mine, so don’t hold back on those.) Read more

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Treat yourself right

June 29, 2010

On hot days, reach for the coolest treats Issaquah has to offer

Judy Sanchez, Gina Fernandez and Mari McCann (from left) serve up a famous Triple XXX super-sized root beer float. By Greg Farrar

Summer, glorious summer, means fat ice cream bars at Boehm’s Candies, enough Triple XXX Root Beer to float a battleship and ample pints at the Issaquah Brewhouse.

Summertime makes for a great excuse to sample quintessential delights from the classic Issaquah joints. Bonus: On blistering days, the treats offer respite from the heat.

Forget the drizzle and damp. Forget calorie counts. Indulge in something cool — and a little nostalgic. Hey, it’s summer.

Float on

Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in stands as a monument to the era before interstates and drive-thrus. Behind the barrel-shaped façade, the Enciso family serves big burgers portioned for Fred Flintstone, canoe-sized sundaes and enough flavors of shakes to put Baskin-Robbins to shame.

The titular attraction reigns supreme: root beer served in a frosted mug as big as a medieval tankard. Upgrade to a root-beer float and the potion comes crowned with whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream as big as a baseball.

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