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.
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.
July 2, 2011
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.)
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.
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.
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 www.kcls.org/taketimetoread 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.
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.
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
October 26, 2010
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
June 29, 2010
On hot days, reach for the coolest treats Issaquah has to offer
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.
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.
May 25, 2010
The latest measure to close a $2.8 billion state budget gap could hit consumers in the sweet tooth.
Consumers will pay sales tax for candy, gum and soda starting June 1. Lawmakers imposed a 2-cents-per-12-ounces tax on carbonated beverages last month. Legislators also repealed the sales tax exemption for bottled water.
But the impending candy tax — with more exemptions than a Whitman’s Sampler has chocolates — has attracted the most attention.
The state does not levy sales tax on food. Lawmakers decided to no longer consider candy as a food. Instead the state will consider candy as, well, candy. Not all candy, however.
Products made with flour derived from grain will not be considered candy. The exempt items include both the chocolatey — Twix and other cookie-based bars — and the gummy — Twizzlers and other licorice.
Confused? The state Department of Revenue has posted a list of more than 3,000 sweets online to help consumers tell the difference between taxable and exempt indulgences.
April 27, 2010
City administrator leaves behind a bigger, stronger Issaquah
The past three decades can be attributed to — or blamed on — legendary City Clerk Linda Ruehle.
Issaquah needed a new city administrator in early 1977. Leon Kos, a recent Seattle transplant from California, applied for the job.
February 23, 2010
In 1956, in a town more renowned as a farming community and for its legacy in the logging and mining industries, an unlikely new venture opened its doors in Issaquah by an even more uncommon man.
In the foothills of the Issaquah Alps, Julius Boehm found a perfect setting, one that reminded him of his home in the Austrian Alps, from which to offer up a risky venture few thought had much chance at success — selling handmade chocolate confections.
“People thought it was a joke of an idea at the time,” said Bernard Garbusjuk, the current owner of Boehm’s Candies.
Well, the joke was on the doubters, as Julius Boehm added a new legacy the city of Issaquah can now lay claim to.
But as time marches on further away from Boehm’s passing in 1981, fewer remain who knew the man willing to take that risk.