City Council approves Wave Broadband cable agreement

December 13, 2011

Wave Broadband is the cable provider for customers in many multifamily residences, City Council members decided Dec. 5.

The city needed to complete the routine action to transfer the cable franchise agreement from Broadstripe to Kirkland-based Wave Broadband.

The decision comes as Broadstripe dissolves. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Wave Broadband started to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August.

Wave Broadband inherited the Broadstripe customers in multifamily complexes in the Issaquah Highlands and Providence Point, plus some single-family residences.

The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than Broadstripe. Wave Broadband offers more services and a broader channel lineup than Broadstripe.

The council started the process to transition from Broadstripe to Wave Broadband last month.

Issaquah handles the franchise negotiation process through a citizen Cable TV Commission. Commissioners and Wave Broadband representatives then negotiated the 10-year agreement.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members discussed the proposal Nov. 8 and sent the agreement to complete council for approval.

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Jazz club Bake’s Place is moving to Bellevue

December 6, 2011

The Bakers’ “living room” is moving.

Bake’s Place is closing its doors after eight and a half years in Providence Point following a final performance Feb. 14. Owner Craig Baker and his wife, Laura, decided to move to a bigger facility in Bellevue.

The right fit for the new location was with Columbia West Properties, owner of the Columbia West Building. The new location will be at 108th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Second Street in downtown Bellevue, across from Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.

The new Bake’s Place and Premier Live Music Venue will boast a 4,500-square-foot facility, doubling the Issaquah capacity. Baker plans to expand a mezzanine, to accommodate more seats, and add an outdoor patio.

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Bake’s Place jazz club to move from Issaquah to Bellevue

December 1, 2011

NEW — 3 p.m. Dec. 1, 2011

The Bakers’ “living room” is getting larger.

Bake’s Place is closing its doors after eight-and-a-half years in Providence Point following a final performance Feb. 14. Owner Craig Baker and his wife, Laura, decided to move to a bigger facility in Bellevue.

The right fit for the new location was with Columbia West Properties, owner of Pacific Plaza. The new location will be at 108th Avenue Northeast and Second Place in downtown Bellevue, across from Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar.

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Wave Broadband acquires Broadstripe, cable service changes for local customers

November 29, 2011

The cable provider Broadstripe is out and Wave Broadband is in for some Issaquah customers.

Broadstripe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Kirkland-based Wave Broadband started the process to purchase local Broadstripe assets in August, and received a green light from the City Council to proceed Nov. 7.

Wave Broadband intends to invest $15 million in broadband systems in the Northwest to upgrade offerings and service for former Broadstripe customers.

The changeover could end a long disparity in cable service for Issaquah residents. The major cable provider in the city, Comcast, long offered a broader lineup and more services than rival Broadstripe.

“Hopefully, if Wave is true to form, customers will see an improvement in offerings and cable lineups,” city TV Coordinator Tim Smith said.

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Issaquah couple celebrates a lifetime together

September 20, 2011

Marv and Lucille mark 68 years of marriage

Lucille and Marv Lemke keep the love bright for each other as they recall highlights of their 68-year marriage. By Greg Farrar

At a fateful wedding in Wisconsin during the early 1940s, Marv Lemke and his parents attended the reception to offer their congratulations to the groom.

Lucille Lueder and her family attended the event to do the same for the bride.

Little did they know that attending that wedding would soon lead to their own.

After decades of traveling across the United States and around the world, being active in the Lutheran church and starting a family, the Issaquah couple will celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary Sept. 22.

But the relationship almost never got off the ground.

After Marv introduced himself at the wedding in Wisconsin, where the Lemkes were raised, he asked if he could drive Lucille home.

She declined.

But as a driver for a Ford tractor distributor, Marv was resourceful and asked around to find out where Lucille lived.

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Marv and Lucille Lemke celebrate anniversary

September 13, 2011

Marv and Lucille Lemke celebrate 68th anniversary

Lucille and Marv Lemke in 1943

Marv and Lucille Lemke, of Issaquah, celebrated their 68th anniversary Sept. 2.

Marv and Lucille both grew up on dairy farms near Milwaukee, Wis., and met at a friend’s wedding reception dance. Marv, smitten by Lucille Lueder, asked if he could drive her home, but she refused. Through a friend, Marv found out where Lucille lived and drove by her family farm the next day, finding her standing at the well pump. He asked her for a Saturday night date, she accepted and they continued seeing each other every Saturday night for the next year.

They married in Thiensville, Wis., on Sept 2,1943.

Marv served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and set foot in Japan on Sept. 2,1945, right after the USS Missouri battleship was in Tokyo Bay for Japan’s signing of the official instrument of surrender.

After his discharge from the Navy in 1945, Marv worked at the Washington State Employment Office, in Seattle, and helped reactivate the Washington National Guard, which was demobilized at the end of the war. He rejoined the Navy in 1948 and worked at Sand Point Naval Air Station until he was transferred in 1966 to the U.S. Navy Reserve Fleet in

Marv and Lucille Lemke in 2011

Bremerton, where he worked for 10 years.

Marv then worked at the Safeway Beverage Plant, in Bellevue, until his retirement 14 years later.

Marv and Lucille have always been very active in the Lutheran church, both serving in many leadership roles. Over the years, they, along with their son Paul, traveled to every state, camping in all of them with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. They have lived at Providence Point for 26 years.

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Gardeners grow community spirit in pea patches

August 30, 2011

Issaquah-area community gardens offer bounty, camaraderie

Summertime in the Mirrormont Pea Patch resembles a slice of Eden on Tiger Mountain.

Linda Jean Shepherd (above) points to some of the plants growing in a raised garden plot at the Mirrormont Pea Patch. By Greg Farrar

Pathways crisscross the ground among the lush leaves and verdant vines reaching out from bean, potato, tomato and dozens of other plants. Colorful blooms and delicate herbs greet guests at the garden gate.

“It’s about growing food, but it’s also about growing community,” Linda Jean Shepherd, a longtime Mirrormont resident and lead figure in establishing the pea patch, said on a stroll through the garden.

Some plots contain plants in neat rows. The plants in others bend and coil to Mother Nature’s whims.

“It’s so fun to see how people’s personalities are expressed in their gardens,” Shepherd said.

In Mirrormont and elsewhere in the Issaquah area, community gardens continue to sprout on empty lots and unused corners. The pea patches offer opportunities to grow produce, sure, but also a chance to grow community as neighbors join to dig and plant.

Gardeners from the pea patches often donate fresh, and often organic, produce to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank and other food pantries.

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Issaquah Philharmonic conductor retires baton

August 30, 2011

As Duane Bowen conducted the band at Louisiana State University in the school’s fight song, the cymbal player sneezed and put a gash in his forehead requiring several stitches. Unforgettable moments like that have made maestro Bowen’s career as colorful as it is rich with passion for the art of music.

Duane Bowen holds a commemorative baton given to him by the Issaquah Philharmonic for his service to the group. By Quinn Eddy

At the Issaquah Philharmonic’s final concert of the season June 15 at Faith United Methodist Church, conductor Bowen, 81, announced his retirement from the group. Bowen had been conductor for 12 years.

“I’ve been at it awhile. My hearing isn’t as acute as I would like it to be — the curses of getting old,” Bowen said.

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City planners consider proposal to build subdivision on steep site

July 26, 2011

The city Planning Department could decide soon on a 43-lot subdivision near Providence Point, but the site along Southeast 43rd Way could pose challenges.

Bellevue architect Dennis Riebe proposed the subdivision on 11.97 unoccupied acres along the south side of the street, across from Providence Point and west of the Forest Village neighborhood.

The project proposal includes single-family detached residences and townhouses. The site is zoned for single-family homes on small lots.

The plan also includes proposals for road-frontage improvements and access to Southeast 43rd Way.

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Cardboard keys take beginner musicians way beyond ‘Chopsticks’

July 19, 2011

Issaquah piano teacher Carolyn Carson’s fingers flew across the keyboard, and although she pressed on the keys, her sonata was silent.

Bobbie Anderson, David Hewett, Sally Allen, XiaoLing Yue and Sharon Bestwick (from left), play piano on their cardboard keyboards at Providence Point’s Communiversity. By Carolyn Carson

Instead of teaching on a piano or an electric keyboard, Carson instructs her students on cardboard keyboards.

The Providence Point resident began teaching her neighbors how to play the piano in January through Communiversity. Demand for her classes was so high that she began offering two sessions for her 13 students.

Piano student Sally Bahous Allen hasn’t played the piano since she was a girl in Palestine. At Communiversity, Allen said she likes playing on a cardboard keyboard because she can take it home with her to practice.

“I don’t have a piano at home, which is really devastating,” she said.

During class, Carson tapes her cardboard keyboard to the wall and shows the fingering to her students. The cutout’s keys are the same size as a regular keyboard, so when the time comes, “We are prepared to put our fingers on the piano,” Allen said. “It’s just the same.”

The students take turns playing a real piano, and everyone plays in class recitals on a real instrument.

Teaching piano allows Carson to spread her joy for music. As a child, she would listen to her grandfather, a tailor in New York, sing arias all day. She began taking piano lessons at age 6.

“I was one of those weird kids,” Carson said. “I didn’t mind practicing.”

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