Salmon Days Festival returns to downtown Issaquah

October 1, 2011

Girl Scout Troop 42127 members ride on a flatbed truck decorated with salmon Saturday during the annual Salmon Days Festival Grande Parade. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 12:50 p.m. Oct. 1, 2011

The ode to salmon migration, Issaquah’s iconic Salmon Days Festival, returns to downtown Issaquah on Saturday.

The festival is expected to lure more than 100,000 attendees to the city Saturday and Sunday for a parade, carnival games, street snacks, arts and crafts, and, of course, a chance to see migrating chinook in Issaquah Creek.

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Issaquah sends condolences to Norway after Oslo tragedy

August 2, 2011

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway prompted a global outpouring of goodwill to the Scandinavian nation, including a message from Issaquah.

Sister Cities Commission Chairman Mike Pautz sent a note to officials in Issaquah’s sister city, Sunndal, after the July 22 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Oslo, and a nearby youth camp. Authorities put the death toll at 77 people.

“I wanted to take a moment to say hello and send our positive thoughts to you and your families throughout Norway. Given the recent events in Oslo, and elsewhere in the world, it is important that we all do our best to help spread goodwill and support,” Pautz wrote. “Many of us in Issaquah are thinking of you and hoping that you are all doing well.”

Sunndal is more than 200 miles from Oslo, the largest city in Norway.

Issaquah and Sunndal leaders established a sister-city relationship 20 years ago. The pact included some early exchanges, but diminished as the years passed. Representatives from both cities intend to reignite the relationship soon.

Issaquah also claims Chefchaouen, Morocco, as a sister city.

Issaquah sends condolences to Norway after Oslo tragedy

July 31, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. July 31, 2011

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway prompted a global outpouring of goodwill to the Scandinavian nation, including a message from Issaquah.

Sister Cities Commission Chairman Mike Pautz sent a note to officials in Issaquah’s sister city, Sunndal, after the July 22 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Oslo, and a nearby youth camp. Authorities put the death toll at 77 people.

“I wanted to take a moment to say hello and send our positive thoughts to you and your families throughout Norway. Given the recent events in Oslo, and elsewhere in the world, it is important that we all do our best to help spread goodwill and support,” Pautz wrote. “Many of us in Issaquah are thinking of you and hoping that you are all doing well.”

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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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Sister Cities Commission seeks members

June 7, 2011

The municipal Sister Cities Commission is seeking members to help foster relationships among Issaquah and sister cities Sunndal, Norway, and Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The commission’s objective is to increase knowledge, goodwill and understanding through people-to-people diplomacy, education, cultural exchanges, economic exchanges and humanitarian assistance.

The commission has three openings. People can pick up application packets at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, during regular business hours. Submit a completed packet and volunteer service agreement by noon June 24.

After commission members and city staffers interview candidates, Mayor Ava Frisinger recommends appointees and the City Council confirms the appointments.

City Council confirms, lauds municipal board appointees

May 3, 2011

Onetime City Council finalist Paul Winterstein is going to continue serving the city on the Human Services Commission, the liaison between social service groups and municipal government.

The council appointed Winterstein and 35 other people as members and alternates to city boards and commissions April 18. Terms on the 11 affected boards start May 1. The city does not pay members.

“I am continually amazed at the number of people — and their qualifications — that stepped forward to fill our boards and commissions,” Councilman Fred Butler said before the unanimous decision to appoint the members. “It seems to me in going through the applications and the qualifications of folks, we’ve got an especially strong group of people filling some critical holes on our boards and commissions again this year.”

The city put out a call for board and commission applicants in January. Then, Mayor Ava Frisinger and board officers narrowed the applicant pool, and recommended appointees to the council for approval.

The city is continuing the interview process for alternates to serve on the Sister Cities and Urban Village Development commissions.

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Issaquah students can join sister-city writing contest

April 12, 2011

Students interested in sustainability and sustaining international relations can participate in a writing contest organized by Sister Cities International, the citizen diplomacy network set up to create and strengthen partnerships between U.S. and international communities.

Students ages 13 to 18 can enter a personal essay or poetry into the contest. Using the theme “Shaping Your Community for a Greener Future” as a guideline, participants should illustrate how they, their community or their sister city is working to protect the local environment.

Issaquah has sister-city relationships with Chefchaouen, Morocco, and Sunndal, Norway.

Learn more about the contest at Sister Cities International website, www.sister-cities.org/programs/yas.cfm. The deadline for submissions is April 29.

Match wits at Trivia Night to foster sister-city ties

April 8, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 8, 2011

The popular Trivia Night launched by the municipal Sister Cities Commission and the American Moroccan International Exchange to promote ties to Morocco returns April 20.

Proceeds from the event fund programs to further strengthen the relationship between Issaquah and sister city Chefchaouen, Morocco. Sister Cities Commission and AMIE members work promote to international goodwill and understanding through people-to-people diplomacy, education and cultural exchanges.

Trivia Night is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Issaquah Brewhouse, 35 W. Sunset Way.

Trivia Night teams match wits for fun and prizes. The entry fee is $20 for each team of up to four people.

The event has no pre-registration for the event, and the brewhouse remains open during Trivia Night.

Issaquah and Chefchaouen inked a sister-city agreement in 2007.

Issaquah poker tournament fosters sister city ties

March 29, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. March 29, 2011

Pull up a chair at the poker table and help foster the sister-city bond between Issaquah and Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Members of the Lake Sammamish Elks Lodge, alongside the municipal Sister Cities Commission and the nonprofit American Moroccan International Exchange, host a Texas Hold ‘em poker fundraiser at 6 p.m. April 8 at the lodge, 765 Rainier Blvd. N.

Proceeds from the poker tournament benefit Sister Cities Commission activities, such as helping to bring artists to Issaquah from Chefchaouen to share art and culture in local schools and at the Salmon Days Festival.

Registration starts at 5 p.m. April 8 and all participants must be registered before the 6 p.m. start time. The buy-in is a $50 donation. The awards include donated prizes and cash. Call 837-3000 to learn more.

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All in the family: Discover Issaquah’s sister cities

February 15, 2011

Issaquah sister-city bond fosters cross-cultural understanding in Morocco — and at home

The dominant color in Chefchaouen, Morocco — Issaquah’s sister city since April 2007 — is a dreamy shade of blue. Contributed

The grand and imposing door, set amid brick buildings and evergreens in downtown Issaquah, offers clues from a far-off place.

The door is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar and built to endure for ages. The place is ancient.

The door is painted in the same soothing blue as a summer sky over the Mediterranean. The place is exotic.

The door is a gateway. The place is Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The door on the Issaquah City Hall grounds is a gift from Chefchaouen, a sister city almost 6,000 miles from the Cascade foothills.

The relationship is a study in contrasts.

Suburban Issaquah is perched on the outer rim of Greater Seattle. Chefchaouen is isolated in mountainous terrain, 100 miles from the nearest major city, Tangier. Chefchaouen is in Muslim-majority Morocco. Issaquah is in the secular United States.

Issaquah and Chefchaouen inked a sister-city agreement in 2007.

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