Fantastic Fly-in takes off Sept. 12

September 3, 2015

NEW — 10:57 a.m. Sept. 3, 2015

Expect to see more than your average paraglider landing Sept. 12 during the Fantastic Fly-In.

The Downtown Issaquah Association, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Lake Washington Partners, artEAST and Seattle Paragliding are partnering to launch the first event featuring paraglider floats and costumes at the paragliding landing zone on Tiger Mountain from 2-7 p.m.

DIA Executive Director Karen Donovan said she was excited to work with Seattle Paragliding founder Mark Chirico to bring the event to fruition.

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Magazine names Issaquah a top town for families

July 29, 2015

NEW — 11:33 a.m. July 29, 2015

Issaquah has been named one of the Best Towns for Families in 2015 by “Family Circle” magazine.

To compile the list, the magazine’s team of editors worked with Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm that provides real estate, demographic and other data, to select 4,500 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 100,000. From that, about 1,400 localities having a high concentration of households with median incomes between $60,000 and $110,000 were selected.

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Paragliding flights to benefit Nepal earthquake victims

June 24, 2015

NEW — 1 p.m. June 24, 2015

Karma Flights Seattle will hold a unique Issaquah fundraiser to benefit victims of the deadly Nepal earthquake June 27.

The organization, which is made up of paragliding pilots that work around the world to raise money for developing communities, will provide instructional tandem paragliding flights at Tiger Mountain.

“If anyone has ever thought about paragliding, now’s the time to do it,” said instructor Paul Moyes. “Not only is it for a great cause, but it’s a bargain. The minimum donation is $150 whereas commercial tandem flights are typically $200.”

The flights are off of Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain. The donation will go directly to a relief team already active in rural Nepal.

Email to reserve your spot in the sky. Learn more about Karma Flights Seattle here.

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Unforgettable fog

January 20, 2015

By Larry Lusch Hikers to Poo Poo Point recently capture a majestic view of the valley fogged in.

By Larry Lusch
Hikers to Poo Poo Point recently capture a majestic view of the valley fogged in.

It was a sunny January morning on Snoqualmie Ridge — a good day to hike up to the paragliding launch site on Poo Poo Point in Issaquah. Read more

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Issaquah’s unique heritage is on display for History Month

May 6, 2014

“Every community has its own weird, wild and wonderful stories, and Issaquah is no exception,” according to Erica Maniez, director of Issaquah History Museums.

This is the fourth year the museums will spotlight Issaquah’s unique heritage throughout the month of May for Local History Month.

The organization operates two museums people can visit, Gilman Town Hall, 165 S.E. Andrews St., and the Depot Museum, 78 First Ave. N.E.

Town Hall has exhibits on display that show the history of the town; the Depot Museum highlights the role the railroad played in the town’s development.

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Trader Joe’s opens at Issaquah Commons

November 20, 2012

Trader Joe’s reopened Nov. 14 in a location large enough for the California-based grocer to offer spirits under the state’s revised liquor laws.

The grocer relocated to 975 N.W. Gilman Blvd. from a smaller space at Pickering Place, and renovated 11,000 square feet at the Issaquah Commons for the store.

Trader Joe’s carries domestic and imported foods and beverages, in addition to basics, such as eggs and milk.

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Paraglider pilot plummets to death near Squak Mountain

August 9, 2011

A paraglider pilot plunged to his death Aug. 7 as he attempted to land in a pasture near Issaquah.

Renton resident Kenneth Blanchard, 53, completed hundreds of paraglider flights before the deadly accident.

Seattle Paragliding owner Marc Chirico said Blanchard launched from Poo Poo Point on Tiger Mountain a couple of hours earlier and planned to land near his home on a “postage stamp of a landing field” in a pasture.

Chirico said Blanchard completed about 300 flights before the accident.

The accident occurred at about 7 p.m. in the 12300 block of 202nd Place Southeast, near the intended landing site. Blanchard plummeted to the ground in the High Valley area southwest of Squak Mountain State Park, about three miles from the usual paraglider landing site along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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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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Excuse me? Uncover fertile dirt behind Poo Poo Point’s name

July 2, 2011

The collection at the Issaquah Train Depot includes a steam donkey. File

The poo poo referenced in Poo Poo Point is not destined for the bathroom.

Instead, the designation for a ridge on Tiger Mountain nods to logging.

Loggers used a winch called a steam donkey to haul logs through Tiger Mountain forests to a loading point.

“There was a steam whistle set up that they would blow before they started pulling these logs through the forest at high speed, which was dangerous,” Issaquah History Museums Executive Director Erica Maniez said.

The high-pitched whistle on the steam donkey emitted a “poo poo” sound.

(The history museums’ collection includes a steam donkey parked outside the restored Issaquah Train Depot.)

Maniez said Poo Poo Point is a contemporary designation. The late William Longwell Jr., a longtime Issaquah Alps Trails Club member, described the tale behind Poo Poo Point in a guide to Tiger Mountain trails.

Still, uttering “Poo Poo Point” prompts giggles from outsiders and recent transplants.

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Man rescued after Tiger Mountain paragliding accident

June 14, 2011

Rescuers came to the aid of a man after a paragliding accident on Tiger Mountain on a sunny afternoon June 12.

The man, reportedly about 50 years old, had been on the west side of the mountain when he sustained injuries after colliding with a tree about one-quarter of a mile down Poo Poo Trail. He did not suffer life-threatening injuries and he remained conscious as rescuers transported him from the mountain.

The incident started at about 1:35 p.m. after the man slammed into a tree. Rescuers reached him about 30 minutes later and then plucked him from the mountain on a stretcher. Medics transported him to Virginia Mason Medical Center for additional treatment.

Crews from the King County Sheriff’s Office and Eastside Fire & Rescue aided the man.

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