What’s your Issaquah IQ?

June 28, 2012

So, you think you know Issaquah? Is the city just another buttoned-up suburb? Nope. Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people — and more than a century of secrets. Issaquah anecdotes stretch deep into the past and continue into the 21st century. Look beyond the basics to discover tidbits and trivia.

Test your Issaquah IQ. (Scroll to the bottom to check the answers, but please, no cheating!)

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Homegrown band Modest Mouse nods to hometown flavor

February 21, 2012

Modest Mouse is perhaps the most recognizable phenomenon to originate in Issaquah. (Sorry, loyal Costco members, but the mega-chain started in Seattle.)

Pacific Northwest gloom permeates Modest Mouse songs, but Issaquah receives scant attention in the lyrics.

However, band members tucked a reference to a certain local burger joint into a song. The nod is the closest the band comes to a clear-cut reference to Issaquah.

The mention appears in the song “All Nite Diner” on the “Interstate 8” EP. (The collection dropped in August 1996, a year before the album “The Lonesome Crowded West” turned the band into 1990s indie rock darlings.)

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Off the Press

September 6, 2011

Road turtles don’t grow in Idaho

Everyone told me two things about my move from Moscow, Idaho, to my new home writing for The Issaquah Press and Newcastle News.

Christina Lords Press reporter

One: “Issaquah? You know that’s where Modest Mouse is from, right?”

Two: “You’re going to hate the traffic.”

But on a dark, fateful night in late July, this native-born Idahoan met her newest pesky road foe — and it had nothing to do with learning first hand how ill-advised it is to leave the office here on Front Street at 5:05 p.m. to make it on time to, well, anywhere.

I didn’t know what to call them, these white and yellow traffic bumps in neat little rows held down against their will by thick, black tar-like goo.

All I knew was that these little road turtles were masquerading as my beloved solid painted lines that have so faithfully led me to my chosen destination time and time again.

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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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The new brew: Rogue snaps up talent for Issaquah Brewhouse

August 10, 2010

Master brewer Steve Luke hoists a pint of Shakespeare Stout, one of the beers brewed onsite at Rogue’s Issaquah Brewhouse. By Greg Farrar

For some, it’s all about the wine, for others the sweetest part of life is coffee, but when it comes to quenching a thirst for Steve Luke, 26, it’s all about the beer.

“Beer is fun, it’s social and you get to make a product not only you enjoy, but other people enjoy, as well,” he said at a Meet the Brewer event Aug. 4.

“What I like most about it, though, wow, that’s tough. I like drinking it,” he said, with a laugh.

Setting foot inside Rogue’s Issaquah Brewhouse June 15, just days after passing his international brewers’ exam, Luke has hit the ground running and is planning to take the brews served there to new heights as the new master brewer.

Can you say, Modest Frog and Pumpkin Frog? Just two new beers, Luke said, he is crafting that will be available in mid-August and mid-September, respectively.

Modest Frog, a light American pub ale, pays a bit of homage to the rock band Modest Mouse that started here, Luke said. The pumpkin ale, he said, is a Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with 200 pounds of local pumpkins and will be spiced with vanilla bean, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.

But don’t worry, White Frog fanatics. You’ll still see your favorites on tap, he said. He’s not shaking it up that much.

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Off the Press

July 6, 2010

Is that a famous person? Quick, get the camera!

Issaquah is not in Southern California, if all the rain and forests didn’t give it away. But our town on the edge of the greater Seattle area is linked to its fair share of recognizable and famous people. Some have moved here, others used to live here and some just drop in from time to time.

So, just who are these famous folks who graced Issaquah at one time or another, you ask? Modest Mouse front man Isaac Brock; Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki; sportscaster Rick Rizzs; former Mariners Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr., Paul Sorrento, J.J. Putz, Omar Vizquel, Dave Valle and Jeff Nelson; former Seattle Supersonics Detlef Schrempf and Ray Allen; Pulitzer-winning playwright Brian Yorkey; authors Deb Caletti and Serena Rolan; actress Cynthia Geary, who played Shelly Marie Tambo on “Northern Exposure”; Lockergnome founder Chris Pirillo; and Red and Rover comic strip artist Brian Basset.

Also, don’t forget Colin Curtis, who graduated from Issaquah High School and now plays for the New York Yankees. Oh, and Train lead singer Pat Monahan lives somewhere up on Lake Sammamish as well, although that may be just out of city limits.

Others who have been said to live here include The Decemberists’ bassist Nate Query, NBC news correspondent Margaret Larson and filmmaker Phil Lucas, who passed away in 2007.

Many of the city’s notable residents have been featured in The Issaquah Press before, and it may not be unusual to see some of them around town. However, the more famous people in the area aren’t seen around town as often, and their exact whereabouts can be hard to pinpoint.

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2010 Census: Time to stand up and be counted

February 23, 2010

Once every 10 years, it comes out of hiding, and it feeds. It feeds on your personal information, and it’s hungry for its decennial supper. No, it’s not a horrible monster; it’s the 2010 census.

Here’s the good news: The Census Bureau has taken steps to ensure the process is as quick and painless as possible for residents.

The census is a short questionnaire mailed to every household across the country every 10 years. Only one census must be filled out per household, and the census will ask about the number of people living in a given household. Specifically, it will ask the ages, genders and races of the people living in the household, and their relations to the homeowner. It will also ask for a phone number.

All residents need to do is fill out the census and return it in the postage-paid envelope the Census Bureau provides. It’s as simple as that.

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Come to Bumbershoot with us!

September 4, 2009

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 4, 2009

We won’t let a rainy forecast dampen our spirits at Bumbershoot — and we want you to join us at the music fest.

Join The Issaquah Press (www.twitter.com/issaquahpress) and reporters Warren Kagarise (www.twitter.com/wkagarise) and Tim Pfarr (www.twitter.com/timpfarr) on Twitter as they tweet to the beat. Watch out for musings, photos and other snippets as the reporters roam the festival grounds in the shadow of the Space Needle.

Issaquah’s own Modest Mouse is a headliner at Bumbershoot. The indie rockers will close the festival Monday night.

When Modest Mouse takes the stage, follow The Press for even more about the homegrown act.

We want to hear from you, too. Issaquah folks with Bumbershoot plans: Talk to us — or, more specifically, tweet at us. We want to know what you like about Bumbershoot, what you don’t and which acts you’re psyched for the most.

Follow us to Bumbershoot

September 1, 2009

Get ready to rock Labor Day weekend. Follow The Issaquah Press to Bumbershoot, the three-day music and arts festival at Seattle Center. Issaquah indie rockers Modest Mouse will close the festival Sept. 7. Read more

New Modest Mouse EP, Heath Ledger-directed video debut

August 18, 2009

“King Rat” — the new video from Modest Mouse, directed by late actor Heath Ledger — came out Aug. 4 alongside a new EP. The video from the Issaquah band was released at the same time as the EP, “No One’s First, And You’re Next.” Read more

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