Eastside Fire & Rescue experiences booming Fourth due to fireworks incidents

July 10, 2012

Fireworks-related incidents kept Eastside Fire & Rescue crews busy before, on and after Independence Day.

The incidents included a torched barn and a vehicle lost to a fireworks-related blaze. The agency did not report any injuries related to the mishaps.

The action started July 2 in downtown Issaquah at Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest, as firefighters responded to a smoke bomb at 9:40 p.m.

Just after midnight on the holiday, firefighters started the Fourth of July by responding to a garbage can fire started by a sparkler bomb at Southeast Belvedere Way and 266th Way Southeast in Sammamish.

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Press Editorial

July 10, 2012

July 4 parade has become candy mecca

Before the July 4 Kids, Pets N’ Pride Parade becomes a distant memory, let’s revisit it.

The parade has been a community treasure since its first march down Front Street more than 30 years ago. There just isn’t anything as patriotic as this celebration of families decked out in every conceivable red, white and blue outfit with their fun accessories, all while riding bikes and scooters, walking dogs and rabbits, and waving flags.

Sadly, it has become hard to enjoy it, given the many kids in the middle of the street scrambling for the tossed candy. Read more

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on July 6

July 3, 2012

The Downtown Issaquah Association’s next ArtWalk is from 5-8 p.m. July 6.

Stroll the various businesses that host local and regional artists, including Artists in Action at the artEAST Artist Alley, and a wood carver at the historic Shell Station. ArtWalk venues include artbyfire, Centennial Park, Confetti Cupcake, Christian Science Reading Room, Eastside Audiology, Experience Tea, Fischer Meats, Hailstone Feed Store, Illuminate, Issaquah Valley Senior Center, Issaquah Library, Mills Music, Museo Art Academy, Opus Bank and Thrive.

Scattered along the walking route are musical acts, including Acoustic Couti, Sold Only As Curio and the Kaleidoscope School of Music.

Event maps will be available in front of the library, 10 W. Sunset Way, and the historic Shell station, 232 Front St. N.

To accommodate the ArtWalk, Northwest Alder Place will be closed from First Place Northwest to Front Street from noon to 10 p.m.

Learn more at www.downtownissaquah.com.

Off the Press

July 3, 2012

The paper or plastic battle isn’t over yet

Ahh, plastic bags. I don’t know of a time in my seven years here when there has been so much controversy. And most of it after a decision.

(There was that brouhaha in December 2009 over McNugget, the rooster that lives on Front Street across from Darigold, which brought so many comments I thought they would never end! I just checked our website and the main story brought 134 comments there alone.)

As for the bags, the comments and letters are still coming in. The most astonishing thing to me is the people who say they’re going to drive to other cities to shop. Seriously? Take the gas guzzling SUV to another city to get plastic bags and avoid the 5-cent paper bag fee? That just sounds ludicrous. How many bags of groceries do people get per trip?

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Prepare for Fenders on Front Street traffic changes

June 12, 2012

Motorists should prepare for a downtown Issaquah road closure June 17 during the Fenders on Front Street Car Show and Cruise.

Organizers plan to close Front Street North from Gilman Boulevard to Sunset Way between 6 a.m. and   4 p.m. for the car show, a Mountains to Sound Greenway Days event.

Registration starts at 6 a.m. at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, 98 N.E. Gilman Blvd. Vehicles start to park at Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, and then park along the Staples parking lot to Front Street North and then along Front Street North toward Sunset Way as the need for space increases.

The car judging starts at about 11 a.m., with trophies presented at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., at 2 p.m.

Following the trophy presentations, at 3 p.m., car show participants gather on Front Street North and cruise to Sunset Way, and then to Newport Way and along Gilman Boulevard to the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in.

Find quiet contemplation in Issaquah’s Christian Science Reading Room

October 11, 2011

The Issaquah Church of Christ, Scientist Reading Room features a distinctive reflecting pool. By Greg Farrar

One of the staples of the Christian Science religion is its reading room.

Usually, it’s a quiet atmosphere that lends to the pursuit of thoughtful prayer, studying Bible lessons, reading Christian literature or investigating the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

With the church located on 238th Way Southeast, leaders have long had to rent out space in Issaquah for a reading room to serve its congregation of fewer than 200.

However, Issaquah’s last reading room didn’t have an ideal location for its intended pursuits in the Brandt Building on Front Street, not with its neighbor — The Kaleidoscope School of Music — pursuing its intended purpose.

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Find simple Italian cooking off beaten path at Montalcino Ristorante Italiano

October 11, 2011

When my wife and I vacationed in Venice, Italy, one of the best meals we had the entire trip came via recommendation of a local resident.

The bed-and-breakfast owner suggested a little family-run restaurant, way off the beaten path away from the usual touristy spots. The food at this hole in the wall was exquisite and memorable for its simplistic, yet bold flavors.

Well, Issaquah now boasts its own hole in the wall, family run ristorante Italiano — Montalcino Ristorante Italiano.

Located on Northwest Alder Place, a block off the beaten path of Front Street, Montalcino brought back memories of Venice with its intimate, rustic interior.

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‘It was like being in a war zone’ amid shootout

September 27, 2011

Guardian One, the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter (above), takes off from the Issaquah Community Center lawn as law enforcement agencies respond to a gunman in downtown Issaquah. By Christina Lords

Investigation continues after police kill gunman at Issaquah school

Issaquah police stopped a gunman in a fusillade of gunfire Sept. 24, after he led officers on a circuitous chase through downtown Issaquah, prompting residents to scramble for cover inside homes, and athletes and spectators at a youth football game to duck beneath bleachers for protection.

Officers fatally shot the 51-year-old Maple Valley man on the Clark Elementary School campus, not far from a youth football game on nearby Issaquah High School fields.

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Off the Press

September 27, 2011

It can’t happen here; yes, it can

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen here,” people always say when some tragedy, especially one involving violence, occurs in a community.

I heard the phrase again and again Sept. 24, because that kind of thing doesn’t happen in Issaquah either. Until it did.

I was shopping in Maple Valley when a friend called to tell me there was a gunman on the loose in Issaquah and she couldn’t get into town because of all of the police officers blocking the streets.

Despite the fact that her voice was crystal clear, I immediately said, “What? Can you say that again?”

Same thing — gunman, downtown Issaquah, cops everywhere with guns drawn, helicopter flying overhead. She then asked if I was OK. (I live downtown.) I felt stunned for a moment. Were my pets OK at home? Could I even get there? Did I want to go there? How would I know if the gunman was inside the house or hiding on the property?

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Artist re-creates favorite downtown landmarks in handmade postcards

September 13, 2011

Jane Garrison, Issaquah landscaping architect, displays her hand-drawn postcards of downtown landmarks. By Tom Corrigan

Downtown Issaquah isn’t necessarily related to Jane Garrison’s duties as a docent for the Issaquah History Museums at the Gilman Town Hall Museum.

Still, it seems appropriate that Garrison can speak happily and fluently about the background of various downtown buildings and landmarks.

“I love downtown Issaquah. I love the buildings,” said the talkative and friendly Garrison, 70.

With an architectural landscaping business of her own on Front Street for roughly 25 years, Garrison said that after she retired she got to know and truly appreciate the feel of downtown Issaquah. Always having been an artist, one of her side projects included pen-and-pencil drawing of various downtown landmarks.

The spots she sketched include Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, the Eagles Hall and the salmon hatchery. Garrison initially made the drawings strictly for her own enjoyment. But now she has decided to use the sketches to create some very unique and localized greeting cards.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the cards will benefit the history museums. The cards are blank inside, but one of Garrison’s 12 drawings appears on the front along with a history capsule about the location depicted.

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