Issaquah meeting to focus on King County outreach

August 16, 2011

The way King County leaders and residents interact is due to change soon.

In a decision last month, leaders changed how county government and unincorporated-area residents interact. Now, Countywide Community Forums of King County — a public-engagement program overseen by the county auditor — is asking citizens for feedback about the updated outreach effort. The effort includes a forum at the Issaquah Library and a survey for residents to complete online.

The outreach model adopted by the County Council establishes eight to 12 community service areas to cover all rural and unincorporated areas in sprawling King County, not just the communities included in the six existing unincorporated area councils.

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King County residents can complete outreach survey

August 9, 2011

Countywide Community Forums of King County is planning a forum at the Issaquah Library to discuss the county’s outreach plan for unincorporated area residents.

Residents in the rural, suburban and urban unincorporated areas can weigh in at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way.

In the meantime, citizens can complete a survey to help county leaders learn how to best to expand community participation, and strengthen the communication link between residents in unincorporated areas and county government.

From Aug. 19 to Sept. 9, citizens can attend forums or offer opinions at

The outreach model adopted by the King County Council last month establishes eight to 12 community service areas to cover all unincorporated areas, not just the communities included in the unincorporated area councils.

Issaquah forum to focus on King County outreach

August 4, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 4, 2011

Countywide Community Forums of King County is planning a forum at the Issaquah Library to discuss the county’s outreach plan for unincorporated area residents.

Residents in the rural, suburban and urban unincorporated areas can weigh in at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way. Participants should RSVP to the forum.

The model adopted by the King County Council last month establishes eight to 12 community service areas to cover all unincorporated areas, not just the communities included in the unincorporated area councils.

The framework affects the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council, a liaison for unincorporated area residents near Issaquah to the county government based in Seattle.

The framework calls for a single point of contact to hold meetings, develop work programs, and provide regular opportunities for homeowner associations, community development groups and unincorporated area councils to meet county officials.

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Downtown Issaquah ArtWalk returns Aug. 5

August 2, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on Aug. 5.

The summertime event runs 5-8 p.m. along downtown streets and in Gilman Village.

In rain or shine, regional artists set up temporary shows in downtown businesses and on street corners for the evening.

The teen group Electric Foot plans to play a final performance at the Issaquah Library during the August ArtWalk. Catch the set at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way, from 4:45-6:15 p.m. Other bands from the Kaleidoscope School of Music also plan to play at the library throughout ArtWalk.

The last ArtWalk for the year is Sept. 2. ArtWalk is scheduled to return in May 2012.

20 reasons to ♥ Issaquah

July 2, 2011

The spectacular landscape is a reason to love Issaquah. By Connor Lee

Discover 20 reasons to love Issaquah, from the highest Tiger Mountain peak to the Lake Sammamish shoreline, and much more in between. The community includes icons and traits not found anywhere else, all in a postcard-perfect setting. The unique qualities — Issa-qualities? — start at the city’s name and extend into every nook and neighborhood. (The lineup is not arranged in a particular order, because ranking the city’s pre-eminent qualities seems so unfair.)

Salmon Days

The annual salmon-centric celebration is stitched into the city’s fabric. Salmon Days serves as a last hurrah before autumn, a touchstone for old-timers and a magnet for tourists. The street fair consistently ranks among the top destinations in the Evergreen State and, for a time last year, as the best festival on earth — in the $250,000-to-$749,000 budget category, anyway.

Issaquah Alps

The majestic title for the forested peaks surrounding the city, the Issaquah Alps, is a catchall term for Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. (Credit the late mountaineer and conservationist Harvey Manning for the sobriquet.) The setting is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. Trails — some official and others less so — for hikers, bikers and equestrians crisscross the mountains, like haphazard tic-tac-toe patterns.

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Issaquah-based King County Library System is named No. 1

June 21, 2011

The top library system in the United States is headquartered in Issaquah.

Moreover, strong circulation at the Issaquah and Sammamish libraries — and others across the 46-library system — helped earn the King County Library System the Library of the Year title from Library Journal magazine and Gale, a publishing company.

“We really got this award because of our patrons and our communities,” Julie Brand, community relations and marketing director for the library system, said after the announcement. “It’s really a reflection of their support and their use of us. Going forward, we need to continue to find the ways to be relevant to them in their lives, in how we deliver services, and the sorts of resources and information that we provide to them.”

Organizers cited the library system’s efforts to encourage reading, help people searching for jobs and community outreach. The library system is run from offices along Newport Way Northwest.

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Library offers prizes for teens to film book reviews

June 7, 2011

Some books make great movies, especially if they have a great director.

For the third consecutive year, the King County Library System is holding the Read.Flip.Win Video Book Review Contest, open to middle and high school students.

Library staff members invite teenagers to shoot a short video about a book they have read. The contest has two categories — video book review and video trailer — allowing participants to create a review for the book or to film a trailer about it.

All videos must be three minutes or less.

“It’s totally a fun contest,” Issaquah teen services librarian Jessica Gomes said. “It’s a highly interactive way of sharing what you’re reading with other people.”

Once teenagers create their video, they have to post it on YouTube and give it the tag, “RFWkcls2011.” Participants can enter as many videos as they want, and each submission must have a registration form.

The deadline for the contest is July 31. A panel of librarian judges will award the winners Aug. 27 during a red carpet event at the King County Library System Service Center in Issaquah.

The top winner in each category will receive a $150 gift card to Best Buy, purchased by the KCLS Foundation. The judges will award mini Oscars to other creative entries.

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Opportunity is focus at Issaquah forum

May 10, 2011

King County has launched a round of another forums dedicated to gathering input from residents.

The program, part of the Countywide Community Forums, comes to the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way, at 6 p.m. May 16. The topic is equity and economic opportunity in the county.

The forum is designed to gather input about the relationship between equity and job creation, as well as what communities need for people to be safe, healthy and successful.

Participation is open to anyone living, working or attending school in King County. Options to participate include both the in-person forums and a Web survey at The online survey can be accessed until May 29.

Residents can also register as citizen councilors, or facilitators. Register at the program’s website

The independent Countywide Community Forums sponsors the discussion and the survey.

ArtWalk returns for 10th season

May 3, 2011

Pedestrians pause to admire art displayed at the former UP Front Gallery during ArtWalk last year. The gallery has since relocated down the street. File

The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.

ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.

Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.

“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”

For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.

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Opera aficionado hits high notes with audiences

April 26, 2011

Think opera is kind of ho-hum? If so, perhaps you’ve never experienced Norm Hollingshead’s take on it. The retired middle school teacher has been giving opera previews locally for nearly 35 years, and he’s converted many a skeptic.

Norm Hollingshead holds his copy of the novel ‘Don Quixote’ during a preview of Massenet's opera ‘Don Quixote’ at the Mercer Island Library on Feb. 25. By Allison Int-Hout

“We would crawl over broken glass to go to one of his previews,” season-ticket holder Kristin von Kreisler said of herself and her husband John Bomben.

The Mercer Island Library hosted nearly 40 people Feb. 25 as Hollingshead made one of his final stops during a series in the Seattle-area library system. He delivered the 12th of 14 scheduled lectures in preparation for the Seattle Opera’s upcoming performance of Jules Massenet’s “Don Quixote.”

Two regulars at Hollingshead’s opera previews are Bob and Coleen George, of Sammamish, who were in attendance at his lecture at the Mercer Island Library and said they rarely miss one of his previews. They usually go to the Issaquah Library for Hollingshead’s previews, but snow prevented them from going there the last time it was scheduled.

“He does an excellent job,” Bob George said. “He’s almost more entertaining than the opera itself.”

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