Issaquah Police Department, other agencies continue DUI crackdown

August 28, 2012

Issaquah police officers continue to target drunken drivers as summer heads into the Labor Day weekend.

The agency is participating in the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign through Sept. 3.

During the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign last year, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 452 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in King County, and statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 1,824 drivers for DUI.

Besides the Issaquah Police Department, the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed campaign includes the nearby Bellevue, Newcastle, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Renton police departments, in addition to the Washington State Patrol.

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Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria offers complimentary gelato for children

August 7, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 7, 2012

Children can score a complimentary gelato cone at Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria until Labor Day.

In the promotion every child younger than 12 can receive a Lilliput Pizzelle Cornetto — a waffle cookie rolled into a small cone, filled with a vanilla or chocolate scoop of Bottega Italiana gelato.

Lilliput, or Lilliputian, is taken from the island of miniature people in “Gulliver’s Travels” and is a moniker popularly used in Italy for children, as well as for small items or portions.

“This is for the kids, our biggest little fans,” restaurant owner Joe Fugere said. “We wanted to express our gratitude and love, and say thank you to the more than 6,000 parents who voted, their Lilliputians and the community at large who have made Tutta Bella the incredible success it is today.”

Tutta Bella operates in Issaquah at 715 N.W. Gilman Blvd. The local chain also operates restaurants in Seattle’s Columbia City, South Lake Union and Wallingford neighborhoods.

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Iconic clown J.P. Patches, Salmon Days Festival star, dies

July 24, 2012

By Greg FarrarAlec Sharon, then 5, with mom Jill and dad Tod, don clown noses to pose with J.P. Patches for a family photo Nov. 7, 2008, during a celebration at Front Street Market. Tod lived in Mirrormont and watched the legendary Northwest clown on TV when he was his son’s age. By Greg Farrar

Before the Salmon Days Festival turned into a Pacific Northwest icon, organizers turned to a bona fide Pacific Northwest icon in 1970 to lead a parade at the celebration.

The clown J.P. Patches, a mainstay of after-school TV for generations of Seattle-area children, and sidekick Gertrude marched in the initial Salmon Days parade before a 15,000-member crowd.

Chris Wedes, a.k.a. Julius Pierpont Patches, died July 22 after a long battle against multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Dressed in a tattered hat and patchwork coat, J.P. Patches resided in a landfill, cavorted alongside the mop-headed Gertrude — played by ex-Marine Bob Newman in lipstick and a Raggedy Ann wig — and introduced TV audiences to a colorful cast of characters as a host on KIRO.

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Iconic clown J.P. Patches, Salmon Days star, dies

July 23, 2012

Alec Sharon, then 5, with mom Jill and dad Tod, don clown noses to pose with J.P. Patches for a family photo Nov. 7, 2008, during a celebration at Front Street Market. Tod lived in Mirrormont and watched the legendary Northwest clown on TV when he was his son’s age. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 11:30 a.m. July 23, 2012

Before the Salmon Days Festival turned into a Pacific Northwest icon, organizers turned to a bona fide Pacific Northwest icon to lead a parade at the celebration.

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Issaquah Salmon Hatchery history is focus of 75th anniversary program

July 17, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
The historic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery started raising salmon along Issaquah Creek in 1937.

The iconic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is celebrating 75 years, and to mark the occasion, the Issaquah History Museums is educating residents about the downtown facility — a lifesaver for countless salmon since the 1930s.

Conservationists and longtime Issaquah residents credit the hatchery for restoring the historic Issaquah Creek salmon runs after decades of logging and mining damaged the creek and surrounding watershed.

The program is among a series of events to commemorate the 1937 hatchery opening.

Jane Kuechle, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery executive director, plans to offer attendees a glimpse at the hatchery from throughout the decades.

“It’ll be a past, present, future kind of presentation,” said Laile Di Silvestro, Issaquah History Museums program coordinator.

In 1936, Works Progress Administration crews started to build the hatchery complex on a former city park and bandstand.

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King County deputies start safety patrols on regional trails

June 26, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies started fanning out on regional trails June 2 in a summertime safety exercise.

Deputies patrol stretches of regional trails across King County to provide trail users with information about proper conduct, including posted speed limits, leash laws and other rules.

“Trail use increases when the school year ends and summer weather begins, so now is the right time to remind everyone about the basic rules of conduct,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said.

Deputies patrol the trails on bicycles and on foot, and could issue either a warning or fine for observed violations. Some of the most frequent observed violations include cyclists and other wheeled trail users exceeding the trail system’s 15 mph speed limit, failure to follow pet leash laws and alcohol use.

The enhanced enforcement effort is scheduled to continue along portions of trails through Labor Day weekend.

The program cost is estimated at about $20,000, and is funded through the King County Parks budget.

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120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.


  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.


  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.


  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.


  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.


  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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Salmon Days promises ‘thrills’ in festival theme

March 27, 2012

Salmon Days Festival 2012 theme

Salmon Days Festival organizers dipped into local history to craft the 2012 festival theme — “Thrills & Gills,” a hat tip to the Issaquah Rodeo from a century ago.

The logo sports a cowboy astride a leaping — or bucking — salmon. Organizers said the theme is meant to reflect the excitement of salmon returning to Issaquah Creek to spawn each autumn.

In the early 1900s, long before Salmon Days, a Fourth of July celebration and a rodeo at modern-day Veterans’ Memorial Field served as the main attractions in the coalmining and farming community. By 1910, the celebration shifted from Independence Day to Labor Day.

In 1970, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce presented the inaugural Salmon Days Festival as part of Labor Day festivities.

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Family uses almost 400,000 lights to create Christmas extravaganza

December 6, 2011

The Ginnaty family home, just south of Issaquah, is a bright festival of Christmas lights, including Santa’s high-flying sleigh led by a red-nosed Rudolph. By Greg Farrar

The effort to install holiday lights on the Ginnaty home just outside city limits along the base of Tiger Mountain starts the weekend after Labor Day.

Jeri Ginnaty flips the switch on the estimated 350,000 to 400,000 lights on Thanksgiving night. The attraction lures Christmas light seekers down the rural road to see illuminated strand after illuminated strand.

The super-sized tradition started more than a decade ago, after Ginnaty traded a more modest display — a mere 50,000 lights — for a multicolored tribute to the season.

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Most liquor stores to remain open for Labor Day

September 4, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 4, 2011

Washingtonians can toast Labor Day on Monday, because most state-run liquor stores remain open on the holiday.

The state stores open at the normal time, 10 a.m., and close at 7 p.m. (The state Liquor Control Board rolled out uniform hours for liquor stores in July.)

Contract liquor stores might also open on the holiday. Contact the stores for holiday operating schedules.

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah is at 1175 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Call the store at 313-1817.

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