Concerts on the Green covers the classics

June 28, 2011

The ever-popular Concerts on the Green Series will kick-off on Tuesday, July 5, at the Issaquah Community Center with the Paul McCartney and Wings tribute band Wings N Things.

Various bands will perform free concerts on the community center lawn Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. through Aug. 30.

The series is presented by Issaquah Parks & Recreation and the Issaquah Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.

While the event is typically a nine-concert series, this year’s schedule includes a special Friday evening performance to celebrate the Mountains to Sound Greenway’s 20th anniversary. The greenway trust is devoted to conserving 1.5 million acres of land surrounding Interstate 90, from the Cascade Range to the Puget Sound.

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Off the Press

March 1, 2011

Issaquah attractions are worthy of bucket list

I’ve worked here at The Issaquah Press for over a decade now, covering different aspects of one of the state’s fastest growing towns.

David Hayes Press Reporter

I’ve patrolled the schools beat, sat in on City Council meetings when the city reporter was out of town, and roamed the sidelines at sporting events when Bob Taylor, our sports editor, couldn’t be everywhere at once.

Seeing so many sides of Issaquah, it has really grown on me over the years. How could it not, with so much to do and see, and with such interesting people waiting to tell their tale?

And that’s the problem. As I move further into my second decade covering Issaquah, I’ve realized there is still so much I haven’t done.

As “bucket lists” — where you make up a list of things to do before you die — have become all the rage, consider this my list of righting all the missed opportunities I’ve incurred since living and working in Issaquah.

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Issaquah offers grants to arts organizations, programs

November 9, 2010

The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.

Each year, the city awards grants to organizations to present performances and programs in the city and local schools.

Organizations must apply for the grant dollars by Nov. 15. Download the application here.

For 2010, commissioners awarded $128,825 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.

The city generates money for the grants though a 5 percent admissions tax on movie theaters and special events.

Commissioners received 22 grant applications from 18 organizations for the 2010 grants. The commission recommended 21 grants to the City Council for approval.

Issaquah offers grants to arts organizations, programs

October 16, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 16, 2010

The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.

Each year, the city awards grants to organizations to present performances and programs in the city and local schools.

Organizations must apply for the grant dollars by Nov. 15. Find application information here.

For 2010, commissioners awarded $128,825 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youth.

Read more

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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