Zombies overrun Issaquah, menace unsuspecting residents

November 1, 2011

Zombies lift a fallen comrade from the pavement on Front Street North as traffic stops for the horde of undead in downtown Issaquah on Oct. 29. By Warren Kagarise

The undead creaked and rasped to life in Issaquah hours before sunset Oct. 29, as zombie hordes menaced motorists on a downtown street and overran a festival in the Issaquah Highlands.

The zombies, groaning and ashen-faced, clad in blood-spattered and torn clothes, started to creep south along Front Street North just after 3 p.m.

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Off the Press

November 1, 2011

Kathleen Merrill Press managing editor

Try not to spoil the holidays for others

Well, the holiday slide has begun.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I love getting together with family and friends, eating and drinking, and all of the pageantry that goes with each individual celebration.

I love shopping for people I care about, and for decorations. I love all of the planning and organizing.

However, I do not like putting holidays before their time, like putting out the Christmas stuff before Halloween has even happened.

And I do not love the naysayers and the Scrooges and the grinches.

Well before Halloween, my favorite holiday of all, I received a press release entitled, “The Trick to Fewer Treats: Eight Ways for Cutting Back on the Candy This Halloween.” I got it numerous times in the past few weeks.

Here’s my problem with it.

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Zombies overrun Issaquah, menace unsuspecting residents

October 29, 2011

The undead, including zombie physician, overrun downtown Issaquah en route to the Issaquah Library for a 'Thriller' dance routine Saturday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 p.m. Oct. 29, 2011

The undead creaked and rasped to life in Issaquah late Saturday afternoon, as zombie hordes menaced motorists on a downtown street and overran a festival in the Issaquah Highlands.

Zombies, groaning and ashen-faced, clad in blood-spattered and torn clothes, started to creep south along Front Street North just after 3 p.m.

Traffic decelerated to a crawl as zombies shambled down the centerline and along the lanes’ edges as motorists — some bewildered, some bemused — aimed cameras at the horde. Others stared straight ahead in stunned silence as zombies peered inside and tapped on windows.

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State fire marshal offer tips, tricks for Halloween safety

October 29, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2011

Flammable costumes and decorations can turn Halloween from a celebration into a fright.

The state fire marshal reminds parents to plan ahead for the safety of little ghouls and goblins to make Halloween a fire-safe holiday.

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Police trick-or-treat for Halloween DUI suspects

October 29, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2011

Extra law enforcement officers in Issaquah and elsewhere in King and Pierce counties fanned out on local roads Halloween weekend to search for impaired motorists.

Halloween is a historically dangerous holiday on local roads due to the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The extra patrols started Friday evening and continue throughout the weekend. Halloween is Monday.

“Impaired drivers are the scariest things on our roads this weekend,” Dr. David Fleming, Public Health – Seattle & King County director and health officer, said in a statement. “Treat everyone to a fun and safe Halloween by driving sober or planning a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver, ride a bus or use cabs this weekend.”

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Zombie dancers shuffle, step to ‘Thriller’ for record attempt

October 25, 2011

Chandler Osman, 12, an Issaquah Middle School student, strikes a ‘Thriller’ pose Oct. 22 during rehearsal for Green Halloween Festival performances. By Greg Farrar

The undead shuffle across TV and cinema screens. Zombies chomp across bestseller lists. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a droll guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The zombie zeitgeist is ceaseless. Just like a horde of the undead on a mindless search for brains.

The pop culture phenomenon reaches Issaquah on Oct. 29 as revelers dressed as the undead shuffle downtown and in the Issaquah Highlands just before Halloween.

The most able-bodied zombies plan to inch to the Green Halloween Festival and the Issaquah Library to duplicate the complicated choreography from the 1983 Michael Jackson epic, “Thriller” — a 14-minute MTV masterpiece from “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis.

Zombies plan to re-create “Thriller” at 2 p.m. for festivalgoers and at 4 p.m. at the downtown library. Then, zombies around the globe plan to gather for Thrill the World, a simultaneous attempt to dance to “Thriller” and set a world record. In Issaquah, 6 p.m. is the designated hour for the Thrill the World attempt.

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YWCA Family Village at Issaquah opens for tours

October 25, 2011

The community outreach for YWCA Family Village at Issaquah started long before backhoes sliced into soil at the Issaquah Highlands site.

The outreach effort continues Oct. 29, as YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish hosts a public open house on the $53 million campus. The event and the annual Green Halloween Festival coincide.

The open house is meant to introduce guests to Family Village residents, spotlight “green” design details, and highlight a daycare center, meeting space, playground and other features open to the surrounding community. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt on the Family Village campus.

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Off the Press

October 25, 2011

David Hayes Press reporter

Halloween is a time for terrifying tales

Halloween remains one of those rare observances throughout the year where we still pay homage to the event’s pagan origins.

Some of our fondest memories come from Hell Night (thank you, Detroit, for that colloquialism).

Before I share mine, I thought I’d let some of my coworkers recount their favorite Halloween ghost story.

Sports Editor Bob Taylor enjoys digging up from his memory archives a yarn memorable not for its creep factor, but for its pleasantly surprising ending.

When he was 10, it seems Bob had this particular school bus driver who was independently wealthy, and as far as Bob could tell, only drove the bus to antagonize kids.

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The Hot List

October 25, 2011

Kim Bussing Issaquah High School

Movie: ‘Footloose’

A remake of the cult classic, “Footloose” once again hits theaters as the iconic story of a town where dancing is outlawed and new kid Ren MacCormack challenges the music ban and strikes up a forbidden romance. Replacing Kevin Bacon as the main character (Ren) is Kenny Wormald; Dennis Quaid takes on the role of the Rev. Shaw Moore, and Julianne Hough plays Ariel, the reverend’s rebellious daughter and Ren’s love interest. An upbeat soundtrack accompanies the movie and features Zac Brown, Cee Lo Green and Victoria Justice.

Book: ‘Steve Jobs,’ by Walter Isaacson

In remembrance of one of the most notable American figures, Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” produces an honest and riveting look into Jobs’ life. Comprised of several years’ worth of interviews from Jobs and his family, friends and colleagues, the biography pries beneath the superficial knowledge of Jobs’ imagination and innovativeness to examine the personal demons and desires that contributed to his success. The author, Isaacson, has been widely recognized due to his books about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.

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Nightmare at Beaver Lake relies on dedicated team to create serious scares

October 25, 2011

Marek Kossik, 14, an Eastside Catholic High School student, has zombie face paint applied by Nightmare on Beaver Lake volunteer Kelly Davis before the Oct. 21 haunt. By Greg Farrar

The blood run occurs in a deep forest moments before 8 o’clock on nights leading to Halloween.

Dawn Gonser, lead makeup artist for Nightmare at Beaver Lake, dispenses a crimson liquid to ghouls stationed along a path through Beaver Lake Park.

The distinction between blood types is important. The other type is a goo used to create fresh scabs. The stage blood Gonser races across Beaver Lake Park to squirt into actors’ mouths is a nontoxic liquid similar in taste to mint-flavored mouthwash.

The last-minute touch-up increases the creep factor as actors prepare to scare attendees in horror-film fashion.

Gonser, a longtime Nightmare at Beaver Lake organizer, is part of a close-knit team skilled at scaring.

“It gets into your blood and you keep coming back year after year,” she said.

Nightmare at Beaver Lake is the largest Halloween haunt in the Puget Sound region and, perhaps, in the West.

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