Issaquah police invite community to celebrate National Night Out

July 27, 2010

Trevor Thompson, 6 (left), draws the name of a raffle prize winner from a basket held by Issaquah police officer Scott Trial on Aug. 5, 2009, during National Night Out at Issaquah City Hall. By Greg Farrar

Ever wonder who wears our city and county police uniforms?

Well, head down to Issaquah City Hall or the Maple Hills Community Center between 5 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3 and you can find out – even better, our men and women in uniform will cook up free hot dogs.

“It is something our officers have come to look forward to, barbecuing and meeting the public,” Sgt. Scott Trial said. “It is a really important partnership between the citizens of Issaquah, the business community and the police department to solve crime and know what to look for in suspicious activities.”

This year marks the 27th annual National Night Out, a night designed to encourage residents in cities and counties throughout the nation to come out and meet each other and local law enforcement officers to find ways to fight crime and keep their communities safe.

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Turn sidewalks into art at Chalk Art Festival on Tuesday

July 25, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 25, 2010

City sidewalks become canvases for artwork Tuesday during the annual Summer Chalk Art Festival sponsored by the city Arts Commission.

Each summer, about 100 artists of all ages come together to create street-side artwork near the Issaquah Community Center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S.

Artists can work between noon and 5 p.m. Participants should arrive early to choose a shady sidewalk spot. Pick up free chalk and water at the event.

Judging starts at 5 p.m. Participants receive awards and prizes just before the Concert on the Green performance at 7 p.m.

Kirkland artist Geoffrey Castle performs a Celtic soul set during the free outdoor concert on the community center lawn.

Community performances of Shakespeare return

July 20, 2010

The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's ‘Othello’ performs during the summer's first ‘Shakespeare on the Green’ presentation in Issaquah. By Amy Dukes

The famous Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing” won’t put a dent in pocketbooks July 29, when Issaquah’s Arts Commission and 4Culture will co-sponsor the play for the final show of this year’s “Shakespeare on the Green.”

This year is the second annual Shakespeare on the Green event according to Amy Dukes, arts coordinator for the Arts Commission. Issaquah hosted the event several years ago before Wooden O and Seattle Shakespeare merged; the program restarted last year.

The Arts Commission supports the event because it provides, “free high quality performing arts to the community in a relaxed accessible environment,” Dukes said. Read more

Buy concert concessions to help new community group

July 20, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. July 20, 2010

Help members of the Aktion Club — a group of civic-minded adults with disabilities — raise money for community projects at Concerts on the Green.

Aktion members will serve concessions during the 7 p.m. concert. Mr. Miyagi, a band playing ’80s and ’90s classics, performs Tuesday on the Issaquah Community Center lawn.

Aktion resulted from collaboration between the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah and AtWork! The nonprofit organization helps people with disabilities learn skills and find jobs.

Aktion launched last month; 12 adults with disabilities joined the group at the inaugural meeting. The organization provides members with opportunities to participate in community events and projects.

Before the school year starts, Aktion members will help Kiwanians collect supplies and stuff backpacks for needy children.

Concert series heats up summer nights

June 29, 2010

By Greg Farrar Shelley and the Curves performs for a packed house of dancers and picnickers at the Community Center, during the final Concert on the Green show of 2009. By Greg Farrar

This year, the city’s Concerts on the Green concert series is guaranteed to heat up your summer nights. For 14 years, the city has sponsored the summer concert series at the Issaquah Community Center that draws hundreds of residents to downtown with family friendly tunes and great hits of times past, said David Harris, event organizer.

This year’s lineup is no exception, he said.

“What is important about the concerts, I love what I do and I love to produce them, but what is really behind it is the community-building aspect of it,” he said. “You watch kids meet other kids, families meet other families. It’s really special.

“For me, it’s a privilege and an honor to be a part of all that.”

There’s truly something for everyone: Timeless classics from Half Pack Live July 6; time travel with Mr. Miyagi, who will play favorites from 1980s and ’90s July 20; and south of the boarder fun Aug. 3 with Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana. One of the series’ biggest draws returns. Neil Diamond cover band Cherry, Cherry plays Aug. 31.

If you like what you hear, keep coming back. And don’t forget the public concerts are sponsored in part by residents who attend.

“To help pay, again, this is where Issaquah is unique, we go around with a shopping basket,” Harris said of several volunteers. “Each week, we collect several hundred dollars and that money goes into the concert fund for next year.” Read more

Mayor, deputy carve up tasks once handled by City Administrator Leon Kos

June 8, 2010

Since former City Administrator Leon Kos retired April 30, the portfolio he handled — countless behind-the-scenes tasks, appointments to regional groups and community service — has been carved up and redistributed to other city leaders.

Mayor Ava Frisinger picked up the Mountains to Sound Greenway and Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency commitments. Deputy City Administrator Joe Meneghini, the acting city administrator, has taken on most of the everyday duties. Kos’ departure led the other members of the city administration to assume more hands-on roles in the budget process.

“We always were involved, but Leon led the charge,” Frisinger said.

The mayor said Meneghini has been especially helpful because he has a background in finance. Besides the budget process, the deputy administrator also keeps the city on track to meet the goals set by the City Council.

Kos handled the long-running transfer of development rights from the Park Pointe property to the Issaquah Highlands, as well as myriad agreements with developers and businesspeople. The mayor and Meneghini picked up those responsibilities.

“It does mean that you’re stretched in many different ways all of the time,” Meneghini said.

Frisinger and Meneghini can count on the increased workload until October, when the city expects to hire a new administrator.

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Free films return to depot museum next month

December 29, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink
and Warren Kagarise
Issaquah Press reporters
All aboard! Another free film series begins Jan. 9 at the Issaquah Train Depot.
The city Arts Commission and 4Culture — King County’s cultural services agency — will screen a series of train-themed flicks during the Films @ the Train Depot! program.
“It’s meant to be a fun, free program for community members who are looking for something different to do downtown,” Arts Commission spokeswoman Amy Dukes wrote in an e-mail. “We also hope people will enjoy other downtown amenities when they come to see a film,” like dining out, getting drinks or shopping.
Organizers also want to help participants connect with the community.
“In this day, where you can download any movie you want, or rent any movie from the Internet, like from Netflix, what we’re losing is viewing them with our community, our neighbors and our friends,” 4Culture Executive Director Jim Kelly said. “I think that it is an important part of community building.”
The free films will be shown at 7 p.m. the second Saturday of the month at the historic depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N. The lineup is built around the theme Great Train Movies.
Films @ the Train Depot! launches Jan. 9 with “Twentieth Century,” a 1934 film about a successful Broadway director who tries to win back a star for a new show.
The series continues Feb. 13 with “Murder on the Orient Express,” the 1974 big-screen adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie mystery. The last train-centric film will be March 13. Organizers will show “The Lady Vanishes,” a 1938 Alfred Hitchcock thriller about a woman who disappears on a train.
When possible, pre- or post-film discussions and supplemental film information will be added to the event, Dukes said.
Kelly described the depot film program as the first of its kind.
“It looks like this is the first time they’ve done this program, to our knowledge, and we haven’t seen others like it,” he said.
Films @ the Train Depot! launched in October with a lineup built around the theme Made in Washington. Audiences turned out for “The Egg and I,” a 1947 comedy about a society girl whose new husband convinces her to move to the country and start a chicken farm; “Singles,” a 1992 film, written and directed by Cameron Crowe about singles life in early ‘90s Seattle; and “Smoke Signals,” a tale of two young American Indian men on a life journey. The series concluded Dec. 12.
The film project combines an appreciation of the town’s rich transportation and railroad history with film appreciation, Kelly said. To link the two by showing train-oriented films in a “wonderfully restored” depot is a great idea, he said.
The idea for the films came about as Arts Commission members identified gaps in arts programming in the city. Film was one of them, Dukes said.
“We support a good amount of visual arts, music and theater programs,” she said. “Having a diversity of arts programs helps reach a wider community audience. And, film is a fairly approachable art form.”
The program costs about $200 per film, because the city has to pay for the large audience rental rights to show each film. But the Issaquah Historical Museums donated the space for free.
Money for the program comes from annual 4Culture support for the Arts Commission.
Kelly said he did not know how much the agency had given to the city for 2009-10 programming. In 2008, 4Culture steered $7,200 to the Arts Commission to host the Concerts on the Green series, the Chalk Art Festival, ArtWalk and Music on the Street.
“Hopefully, audiences will enjoy seeing something in a group and enjoy something intrinsic to the city’s history,” Kelly said. “I think this could be a really fun annual event for Issaquah.”
Although the film series ends in March, Dukes said arts commissioners would like to continue the program with other film themes if people are interested.

All aboard! Another free film series begins Jan. 9 at the Issaquah Train Depot. Read more

Off The Press

August 25, 2009

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

Maybe the newspaper in front of you arrived at your doorstep, fashioned from ink and paper and delivered in a plastic bag. Perhaps you steered your browser to the Web counterpart, Now, another option exists: The Issaquah Press has joined popular microblogging site Twitter. Follow us @issaquahpress.

Wait. What? Microblogging?

Let me explain how it works: Twitter users — tweeters — post updates, known as tweets, capped at 140 characters, or about the length of a text message. Each tweet is a condensed burst of information — a useful device, especially as news breaks and reporters gather information piece by piece.

Users follow other tweeters to build a network. As a user follows others, their tweets appear in his or her timeline. A conversation begins.

Like other news outlets worldwide, we utilize Twitter to speed information to our readers. Unlike other news providers, we strive to deliver hyperlocal content and news about regional issues that affect Issaquah residents. Since we first tweeted July 27, we’ve used the medium to chronicle a record heat wave, City Council decisions, ArtWalk and Concerts on the Green, the arrival of new businesses and the departures of others. Read more

Press Editorial

August 18, 2009

By Kathy Lambert and Christie True
Most people are busy and need to fit their housework into crowded schedules. It’s no surprise that cleaning products are increasingly marketed to consumers eager to get the job done as quickly as possible. A new product has become wildly popular in the past few years — disposable cleaning wipes.
According to a recent report, North American consumers bought nearly 83,000 tons of disposable wipes in 2004, enough to fill about 9,000 semi trailers. reports that 60 percent of adults have used household cleaning wipes, and sales are expected to reach the $2 billion mark by 2010.
However, convenience has its price.
While some products boast the added convenience of being flushable and safe for sewers and septic systems, the people who maintain and operate our local and regional wastewater utilities disagree.
King County operates a regional sewer utility that provides wastewater treatment services for 34 local sewer agencies. The local agencies collect wastewater from homes and businesses, and send it to the county’s regional system for treatment.
Sewer utility crews for the local and regional agencies are increasingly being called out to do battle with great balls of “flushable” cleaning wipes, pads, facial tissues, baby wipes and feminine hygiene products that have become tangled in pumping equipment.
In a worst-case scenario, jammed up pumps can lead to raw sewage overflows into homes, businesses and waterways, which threatens public health and the environment. At best, these problems are making the treatment process more expensive for ratepayers. In 2008, King County spent well over $100,000 just to haul and dispose of sewer system trash in a landfill.
It’s important to clarify that King County has not conducted tests on any particular brand or type of disposable or flushable product. Neither does the county discourage people from buying and using cleaning wipes.
King County does urge consumers who choose these products to dispose of them in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet. In fact, like most sewer utilities, King County and its customer agencies recommend flushing only bodily waste and toilet paper — that’s it.
So, in the quest to reduce costs and keep things tidy — from bathroom to baby — please don’t flush items that may cause trouble. Please help protect public health, the environment and water quality and put used cleaning wipes, pads, swabs and anything else besides human waste and toilet paper in the trash, not in the toilet.
King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert represents District 3, which includes Issaquah, and is a member of the Regional Water Quality Committee and the King County Board of Health. Christie True is the division director of King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division.

This is a great place  to spend your summer

Don’t let last week’s rain and cooler weather — or the Back to School section in today’s paper —take your thoughts to fall. There is still plenty of fun to come this summer! Read more

Enjoy the classics at green concerts

June 30, 2009

What could be better than spreading out a blanket and chilling to good tunes under the summer sunshine?

concert-green-legend-200808If you’re up for a rockin’ good time, without traveling far, Concerts on the Green is your solution.

For 13 years, the city has sponsored the concerts at the community center, with family friendly tunes and great hits from days past. This year’s lineup should rival that, according to David Harris, the event’s organizer.

“I think it’s about bringing families and people together,” he said. “It’s about bringing the community together.” Read more

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