Issaquah cash mob aims to stock food bank

November 13, 2012

The indefatigable team behind recent cash mobs at Issaquah businesses is asking consumers to shop BOGO — buy one and, in a holiday season change-up, give one.

The next cash mob is due to descend on specialty grocer Champion Grocery on Nov. 17, and organizers encourage shoppers to buy something for themselves, and something extra for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

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Sleep Country USA collects toys for foster children

November 13, 2012

Sleep Country USA is hosting the annual Secret Santa Toy Drive for Foster Kids through Dec. 16.

The public can drop off new, unwrapped toys, books, electronics or musical instruments for children of all ages at any Sleep Country store, including the Issaquah location, 730 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite C-110. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Donors can also snap a photo as they donate and enter the Sleep Country Be a Secret Santa Photo Contest on Facebook. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HD. Learn more about the contest at

Sleep Country USA hopes the social promotion increases donations by at least 10 percent. The toy drive for foster children collected 21,387 toys and gifts last year.

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Runner races for charity after storm cancels New York City Marathon

November 6, 2012

Sabina Honig, Becki Chandler and Amir Feinsilber (from left) come west on East Sunset Way as they near the two-mile mark of a 26.2-mile run — a substitute for Honig’s canceled New York City Marathon and as a fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. By Greg Farrar

In Issaquah, native New Yorker Sabina Honig awaited word from family and friends as Hurricane Sandy walloped the East Coast.

The prospective New York City Marathon runner also listened closely for information about the race scheduled to occur less than a week after the Oct. 29 superstorm.

Lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy led organizers to cancel the New York City Marathon, but Honig did not let the setback interrupt her race. Instead, she set out from home in the Issaquah Highlands on race day, Nov. 4, and logged 26.2 miles on local streets.

No medal awaited Honig at the finish line, but she used the race to raise money for relief efforts along the Eastern Seaboard.

Honig, 44, raised more than $2,000 by Nov. 5, as the fundraising cutoff deadline approached. The public can continue to donate online to Honig’s cause.

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Off the Press

October 30, 2012

With Twitter, WYSIWYG in 140 characters

With new skinny papers come new short Off The Press columns, 450 words max. Future is here. Better learn to tweet, too, max 140 characters!

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

Warren is great @ this, won big WNPA social media prize. Better get some tips from him. Don’t want to be left back by march of progress!

Someday will prob have to tweet for Press myself. To get a lot of thoughts in that limit is big challenge! Practice x 3! So far, WDY think?

H8 to misspell wrds to sav space. What about contractions? Leave out punctuation for dont, whats, cant? Better get ruling from the editor.

Googling ‘texting shortcut glossary.’ Results! Aha, should help. Big list! TIME doesnt mean time, it means ‘Tears In My Eyes’!

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Cyberbullying crackdown is priority for sheriff’s office

October 23, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators could soon crack down on cyberbullying, after the King County Council approved a motion introduced by Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn.

Reagan Dunn

Cyberbullying is the use of information and technology to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior. The crime exploded in recent years due to the prevalence of social media services, and gained national attention last year after classmates targeted a then-12-year-old Issaquah girl online.

Dunn said cyberbullying is increasingly a concern for law enforcement agencies.

“In recent months, all across the country, we have seen tragedies unfold as a result of cyberbullying,” he said in a statement. “This motion will allow the sheriff’s office to study this issue thoroughly and ensure King County has a plan to deal with any of these troubling bullying trends.”

(Dunn represents rural areas south of Issaquah and Newcastle on the council.)

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Halloween happenings abound in Issaquah, nearby

October 23, 2012

Revelers explore a hay maze during the 2009 Green Halloween Festival. File

Enciso Family Farm, featuring you-pick pumpkins and fresh Christmas trees; an old country store with snacks, cozy fireplace and a selection of specialty gourds and pumpkins; a barn from the 1800s; tractors from past and present; and more, 19417 196th Ave. S.E., Renton, 206-595-5845

Pumpkin Patch at Trinity Tree Farm, featuring pumpkins for sale in the shop or farm stand, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, open daily through Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 14237 228th Ave. S.E.,

Nightmare at Beaver Lake, Oct. 24-31, Beaver Lake Park, Southeast 24th Street, Sammamish; The family scare runs from 7-7:45 p.m. nightly. The full scare runs from 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 8-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $10 per person for a family scare; $16 per person for a full scare. Donate a can of food and receive a $1 discount on tickets. Learn more and purchase tickets at

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Nightmare at Beaver Lake returns to offer Halloween scares

October 16, 2012

Samantha Gavin, Nightmare at Beaver Lake makeup artist, practices creating fake wounds Oct. 14. By Lillian O’Rorke

Zombie motorcyclists, like a flock of bats out of hell, should roar from the dark to claim a Sammamish Plateau park as passers-by watch in terror.

The scene sounds lifted from a zombie flick, but Nightmare at Beaver Lake organizers planned a zombie motorcycle ride to open the annual Halloween haunt.

The motorcyclists, led by former child star Danny Bonaduce, a radio host for KZOK-FM — a Nightmare at Beaver Lake sponsor — plan to open 11 nights of frights in the park. The event returns Oct. 19 and continues through Halloween.

Nightmare attendees should prepare for characters lifted from tales by Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Wells, plus a ransacked cityscape reminiscent of “The Walking Dead” before a finale inside a haunted house.

Event organizers expect more than 10,000 people to venture into the dark forest and more than 20 scenes arranged along a trail and inside park buildings. Nightmare hosted more than 12,000 attendees last year, and organizers hope for 14,000 people to head into the haunt in the coming nights.

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Skyline High School student spreads ‘be nice’ message after threat

October 16, 2012

The tense days after Issaquah School District administrators closed Skyline High School due to a shooting threat spurred chatter on Facebook and Twitter.

In the aftermath, though, a video from Skyline junior Jake Barokas turned into a bona fide viral sensation.

Inspired by the unity students displayed after administrators closed school in response to the Sept. 19 threat, Barokas created a video based on a simple message: Be nice.

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Skyline High School alumnus injured in bicycle crash

October 16, 2012

Ryan Concannon

Ryan Concannon, a 2009 Skyline High School graduate, remains in critical condition at Regional Medical Center of San Jose after suffering a severe head injury in a bicycle accident Sept. 21.

Concannon, who recently completed his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was riding his bike to his sister house in Santa Cruz when he lost control of his bike and struck the pavement. He was not wearing a helmet.

According to an online journal posted by Patty Concannon, the family continues to see signs of Ryan Concannon’s healing. While he remains in a coma, swelling is going down and his bruising is almost gone.

“He is passionate about coffee and coffee roasting,” family friend Robin Holland wrote in an email, adding that he was planning on starting his own freshly roasted coffee bicycle delivery business.

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Facebook, friends lead police to suspect in Skyline threat

October 9, 2012

Police said a trail of Facebook comments led investigators to a suspect in the Sept. 20 shooting threat against Skyline High School.

Parker N. Mace

Facebook taunts directed at Skyline High School students linked the incident to a 16-year-old Edmonds boy, a former Skyline student. Police said Parker N. Mace posted the Skyline threat on the online bulletin board 4chan just before midnight Sept. 19.

Then, after frightened Skyline students created a Facebook group to discuss the threat, police said Mace posted mocking comments. The taunts, plus information from friends, led police to a surprising arrest in the case.

King County prosecutors filed a felony harassment charge against Mace on Oct. 4, after King County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Helen Halpert ordered electronic home detention and restricted computer access for him. Mace pleaded not guilty to the charge Oct. 5.

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