Mayor unveils proposed 2011 city budget Monday

October 1, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 1, 2010

Mayor Ava Frisinger plans to roll out a proposed 2011 city budget Monday night and outline spending priorities after a year of cost-cutting measures.

Frisinger is due to present the proposal to the City Council at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The council meets in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The announcement launches at least a month of deliberations between council members and city staffers to produce a final budget.

The process starts Tuesday night, as leaders from nonprofit organizations — Village Theatre, DownTown Issaquah Association, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah Historical Society, Issaquah Valley Senior Center and AtWork! — present requests to the council. City department chiefs present budgets to the council Oct. 13 and 20.

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ArtEAST signs lease to turn old Lewis Hardware into arts center

September 7, 2010

Issaquah’s artEAST more than tripled its space last week, creating more room to sell and display art and hold art demonstrations, workshops and lectures.

ArtEAST Executive Director Karen Abel has signed a five-year lease for the historic Lewis Hardware building.

“I handed over the big check,” Abel said. “I kind of recall the very first time it occurred to us to think, ‘Wow, maybe we should move forward and try to make this happen.’ It’s pretty amazing to be sitting here four months later.” Read more

ArtWalk plans to go out with a bang at finale

August 31, 2010

A pedestrian pauses to look at art displayed at the UP Front Gallery sidewalk on Front Street North during ArtWalk. By Greg Farrar

The start of Labor Day weekend marks the end for ArtWalk.

Before the outdoor happening goes on hiatus until May 2011, head to downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village for a final first Friday of artists and musicians. ArtWalk runs from 5-9 p.m. Sept. 3 along Front Street and in Gilman Village, 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd.

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Issaquah History Museums volunteer Stephen Grate dies in hiking accident

August 10, 2010

Stephen Grate teaches a girl at Heritage Day on July 4 how laundry was done more than 100 years ago. Contributed

Early last decade, a hiker had questions about the long-abandoned coalmines carved into the mountains surrounding Issaquah. The query led Stephen Grate to the Issaquah History Museums in 2003.

From the downtown Issaquah museum, he pored through the mining map collection and rummaged through archives to learn how the 19th century mines operated. Grate earned esteem in his final years for his knowledge of Eastside coalmining heritage and for the hikes he often led to derelict mine sites.

Grate, 52, died Aug. 6 in a hiking accident near Leavenworth. The outdoorsman died from head injuries he sustained in a fall from a rock on Asgaard Pass, a steep and challenging route in the Enchantment Lakes Basin.

The coalmining heritage brought Grate to the museums, but he also contributed to other civic and municipal organizations. Colleagues said the Renton resident brought a quiet passion to each role.

The independent computer consultant served on the Issaquah Cable TV Commission, taught a digital photography class at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center and volunteered as a docent at the historic Issaquah Train Depot. Read more

Longtime Issaquah History Museums volunteer dies in hiking accident

August 9, 2010

NEW — 3 p.m. Aug. 9, 2010

Longtime Issaquah History Museums volunteer Stephen Grate — esteemed for his knowledge of the area’s coalmining heritage and a frequent guide for hikes to local mine sites — died Friday in a hiking accident near Leavenworth.

Grate, 52, died from head injuries he sustained in a fall from a rock on Asgaard Pass, a steep and challenging route in the Enchantment Lakes Basin.

Grate, a Renton resident and former Issaquah Cable TV Commission member, became interested in coalmining history after he noticed traces of old mines on the mountains surrounding Issaquah.

“He was one of those people who, when he was interested in a subject, he researched it until he knew everything about it,” museums Volunteer Coordinator Karen Klein said.

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Project: serenity

August 3, 2010

Lowe’s volunteers beautify senior center patio

Courtney Jaren, executive director of Issaquah Valley Senior Center, steps out in the sun to admire the finished patio. By Sarah Sexton

A starkly undecorated patio at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center underwent a lush transformation July 10. Lowe’s Heroes planted geraniums, petunias, lobelia, marigolds and other basic plants that are colorful and easy to care for in pots all along the top of the walls surrounding the patio.

Generally small plants in size, it will be easy to pick off dead flowers to keep them looking fresh and to water consistently, given their exposure on the sunny patio. Lowe’s also installed a working fountain in the shape of a small girl standing on a little boy’s back, peering into a tall cylindrical bowl. The total cost of the project was $500.

Lowe’s did the project for free.

Gary Danberg, human resources manager, said Lowe’s gives away millions of dollars once per year to fund community relations and efforts, and Lowe’s Heroes is one of those projects. Each store is allotted its own amount of dollars to work with the community on a certain project. Read more

August ArtWalk features many new attractions

August 3, 2010

August is heating up and the DownTown Issaquah Association is turning up the volume at its fourth ArtWalk from 5-9 p.m. Aug. 6 on Front Street and in Gilman Village.

Here are some highlights:

– ArtEAST’s UP Front gallery: Opens the annual Sammamish Invitational show, which features work from members who live in Sammamish, and some of their friends’ work. Artists will have their creations on display and for sale at 48 Front St. N. ArtEAST also hosts a third open house for a potential community arts center at Lewis Hardware, 95 Front St. N. This time, there will be live art demonstrations and music. ArtEAST members and the building’s owners are negotiating a lease.

-Gilman Village: Check out new talent at the village with three solo musicians headlining that evening — Ronnda Cadel, a 12-string instrumental guitar soloist; 14-year-old violin phenom Evan Hjort; and singer/songwriter Sarah Christine are sure to help you kick the workweek blues. Get to the village, 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., with free limo service between downtown and the village. It leaves from Front Street every 10 minutes and picks up at the Issaquah Library and the intersection of Rainier Boulevard North and Northwest Dogwood Street.

– Along Front Street: If you’re a photography buff, then this is the ArtWalk for you. Up and down Front, you’ll find a variety of landscape, portrait, black-and-white, film and digital photography to ogle and purchase.

– Issaquah Valley Senior Center: Ready to rock? Head to the center’s third open-mic night. Featured performers include PreHeat, playing folk originals, at 6:30 p.m. and The Studebakers, playing easy listening, at 7:30 p.m. There will be free food and beverages, and artists featuring their works. The center is at 75 N.E. Creek Way.

Hot spell is no sweat for residents

July 13, 2010

Temperatures in Issaquah rose into the 90s last week, as summer weather made a belated debut.

The area posted records July 7-9 with three days that sent the mercury soaring past 90 degrees at Sea-Tac International Airport, where official measurements are taken, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike McFarland said.

The 90-degree heat July 7 and 95-degree heat July 8 broke records set at 88 degrees in 1953, while the 93-degree record July 9 broke the record of 91 degrees set in 1985, he said.

During the hot spell, police officers, city officials and firefighters said they kept busy with routine calls, but there were few instances of people in distress due to it.

“There were a few calls from folks who were worried about dogs left in vehicles, but the dogs were all OK,” city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan wrote in an e-mail.

There weren’t any cases involving heat-related injury or illness, Eastside Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Josie Williams said.

The local American Red Cross chapter and Public Health – Seattle & King County reminded Issaquah and King County residents — including children, the elderly and people with chronic health issues — to take precautions to address the heat and stay safe.

To help, The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, opened its doors to everybody who wanted to use the building as a cooling shelter.

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Health officials urge residents to keep cool as the mercury rises

July 7, 2010

UPDATED — 3:50 p.m. July 7, 2010

Forecasters predict temperatures in Issaquah to rise past 80 this week, as summer weather makes a belated debut.

The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, is cooperating with the city of Issaquah and opening its doors to everybody who wants to use the building as a cooling shelter.

People of all ages who want to take shelter from the summer heat are more than welcome to come, Executive Director Courtney Jaren said.

The city opened the senior center and Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 71 as cooling centers during a heat wave last July, city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said.

“If we start getting calls from concerned citizens, or from firefighters or police, then we start to open cooling centers,” she said.

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ArtWalk returns with new features

June 29, 2010

Just in time for the long Fourth of July weekend, the DownTown Issaquah Association kicks off its third ArtWalk from 5-9 p.m. July 2 on Front Street and in Gilman Village.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • ArtEAST’s Upfront Gallery: Has a “29 Pegs” salon show featuring new and old members and their creations, for sale at 48 Front St. N. ArtEAST also hosts a second open house for a potential community arts center at Lewis Hardware, 95 Front St. N. ArtEAST members and the building’s owners are negotiating a lease.
  • Gilman Village: Sip on wine from Fles Wines, 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., while enjoying music from the Collin Mulvany Jazz Quartet. There’s a free limo service between downtown and the village. It leaves from Front Street every 10 minutes and picks up at the Issaquah Library and the intersection of Rainier Boulevard North and Northwest Dogwood Street.
  • Issaquah Valley Senior Center: Ready to rock? Then head over to the center’s second open-mic night. Featured performers include Fred Hopkins and The Studebakers, playing easy listening and dance favorites from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and Gordon Birse and the Train Wreck Band, playing pop and dance favorites from 7:30-8:30 p.m. There will be free food and beverages, and artists featuring their works. The center is at 75 N.E. Creek Way.

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