Issaquah High School fashion show is a model fundraiser

February 14, 2012

Nicole Hancock and Anna Fairhart (from left) try their fashion runway walks as Regina Overton, of Seattle Talent, watches and gives instruction Feb. 9 during the first practice for the Issaquah High School Fashion Show and Auction. By Greg Farrar

During the first rehearsal for the upcoming inaugural Issaquah High School Fashion Show and Auction set for March 9, event co-chairwoman Pat Batt showed off a copy of a New Jersey newspaper. A native of that state, Batt pointed to one article in particular.

The article was coverage of a long-standing high school fashion show in Chatham, N.J. that last year raised $65,000. After seeing that story, Batt couldn’t think of any reason IHS couldn’t do the same. Batt granted that she doesn’t see the local event bringing in as much as the New Jersey event. Read more

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REI employee braves sub-zero temps for a good cause

January 31, 2012

Linsey Warren, an Issaquah resident and avid outdoorswoman, with the Olympic Mountains behind her in a view from Issaquah Highlands, plans a trek through Quebec in February to raise money for the oncology department at St. Jerome’s Hospital near Montreal. By Greg Farrar

There’s a reason Linsey Warren works at the Issaquah REI store.

“I grew up in the outdoors and I’ve always liked the idea of a challenge,” she said.

Now, Warren’s taking her love of the outdoors and adventure and using it for a good cause.

This month, Warren and two others will race Ski-Doos in the province of Quebec. The expedition will raise money for the oncology department at St. Jerome’s Hospital, located just outside Montreal.

The trek begins at the Inuit village of Puvirnituq and proceeds north toward the villages of Akulivik and Ivujivik, on the northern tip of the province in the arctic region of Nunavik. The group expects to cover several hundred miles during the journey.

Craig Ross, a first aid instructor at the Nunavik Arctic Survival Training Center, created the project.

Ross has a personal connection to the cause. His wife received successful treatment at the hospital when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“He wanted to take everything that he knows about the north and everything that the hospital was doing to fight for his wife, and combine it into one dream,” Warren said.

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Issaquah hot yoga studio opens Nov. 1

October 25, 2011

The hot yoga studio HOT YOGA Experience will open Nov. 1 in the Issaquah Commons near REI. HOT YOGA Experience will offer more than 30 classes each week in a variety of styles including: Vinyasa and Hatha for beginners to advanced. It also offers state-of-the-art personal, FAR infrared saunas.

HOT YOGA Experience will donate 100 percent of its merchandise sales to the Issaquah Schools Foundation in an effort to help students achieve their academic potential. is a blog site developed by HOT YOGA Experience to provide useful information to the community, contributed by local businesses, and provides updates and opportunities to positively impact nonprofit organizations in the Issaquah and surrounding area.

HOT YOGA Experience is kicking off its grand opening with charter member classes Oct. 27 and 28. Charter members and their guests can see the new studio, take special classes and enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks. Receive a personal invitation by going to

HOT YOGA Experience offers classes seven days a week. Thirty-minute sauna therapy sessions are from 6 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome for all classes and sauna appointments.

Learn more at

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Mountains to Sound tree-planting event is set for state park

October 11, 2011

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust holds the first of its annual native tree and shrub planting events from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The day will feature food, music and booths as well as, of course, plenty of trees to plant.

The Issaquah event is the first of several planned. Registration is necessary. Full and half-day shifts are available.

The park address is 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road. From Interstate 90, drive east to Exit 15 and follow the signs.

The kick-off event is sponsored by Carter Subaru, KMTT-103.7 and REI.

Learn more and register at and click on the “volunteer” link.

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Conservancy plans Central Issaquah discussion series

September 27, 2011

Citizens interested in the long-term plan to reshape Issaquah’s business district can learn more at a series of discussions hosted by the Cascade Land Conservancy, a nonprofit organization focused on conservation and land-use issues.

The series is dedicated to discussions about livability, growth and the Central Issaquah Plan. The city is in the midst of a push to define redevelopment in the 915-acre Central Issaquah in the coming decades.

The conservancy advocates for locating density adjacent to existing urban services and preserving developable open space.

The initial meeting is at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at REI, 735 N.W. Gilman Blvd. The discussion is scheduled to include tactical urbanism strategies — short-term, small-scale actions to create long-term change. Email Andrea Gousen to RSVP or learn more.

The next discussion is at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at REI, and transportation is the discussion topic. The group is also scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., for a land-use discussion.

Each meeting includes experts about the topic as discussion leaders.

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Learn to spot shorebirds at Eastside Audubon’s Issaquah class

September 8, 2011

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8, 2011

Learn more about the fall and winter shorebirds reaching Washington’s coast at a class from Eastside Audubon.

Tim Boyer, a shorebird expert and accomplished bird photographer, is leading a class about shorebirds at REI, 735 N.W. Gilman Blvd., at 5 p.m. Sept. 14. The class includes a field trip to the coast along Grays Harbor on Sept. 17.

Fall is the prime time to see flocks of sandpipers and many other species along the Evergreen State’s coast. Participants in the Eastside Audubon class can also learn how to tell bird species apart and how to spot rarities.

Call the Eastside Audubon at 576-8805 to register and pay by credit card over the phone. Or, email to sign up.

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Issaquah man completes seven marathons in seven days

August 16, 2011

Doug Pariseau, of Issaquah, jogs down a road south to Portland, Ore., one of seven marathon legs in his recent 185-mile journey. Contributed

About two years ago, Doug Pariseau made himself a promise. At the time, he was overweight, out of shape and sitting in a doughnut shop.

As you might guess, the promise had to do with his health and fitness. A former athlete, Pariseau vowed he would be one again, his goal being to run a marathon.

He did, about a year later, crossing the finish line of the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon.

“When I first started, I couldn’t even run a mile,” Pariseau said.

After completing the marathon, Pariseau decided he needed a new goal. He didn’t exactly set his sights low.

Mostly for fun, he said, Pariseau decided he was going to run from the Issaquah REI where he works to a Portland REI. He further decided he wanted to do it in a week. And then he noticed that the 185-mile distance, divided by seven, just happened to equal about 26.

In other words, Pariseau made up his mind to run seven marathons in seven days. He completed the feat Aug. 3.

“Shock,” Pariseau said. “Shock and disbelief.”

Those were the common reactions when he told people what he intended, Pariseau added. As for himself, on the first day out, he admitted he was nervous, but not entirely for the reasons you might think.

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Portland run to benefit Issaquah trails club

July 26, 2011

“About two years… and many, many pounds ago, in a doughnut shop in Seattle, I set my very first running goal: to run a marathon.”

That’s the first full line on Douglas Pariseau’s still growing website.

By the way, Pariseau, 44, reached his initial goal. His first marathon was the 2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon. The achievement came just a year after Pariseau had decided he needed to run a marathon. So, as he says on his site, Pariseau needed a new goal.

He came up with one.

Mostly for fun, but also to raise money for the Issaquah Alps Trail Club and the cross-country team at Mt. Rainer Lutheran School in Tacoma, Pariseau leaves July 27 for a 185-plus mile run from the Issaquah REI store where he works to an REI in Portland, Ore.

Pariseau said he plans to make the trip in seven days.

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Up, up and away: Evergreen State peaks challenge climbers

February 15, 2011

John Junke, a supervisor at the Issaquah REI, poses at the summit of Mount Rainier. Contributed

Mount Rainier and other Evergreen State peaks challenge climbers of all skill levels

For skiing, go to Colorado. For surfing, grab a ticket to Hawaii. For mountaineering? You don’t have to go anywhere; you’re in Washington state — a veritable Mecca of peaks that many consider one of the best climbing locales in the country.

“You could spend the rest of your life in the Olympics and Cascades and not have climbed every peak,” said 60-year-old Joe Horiskey, a longtime climbing guide with RMI Expeditions. “There are so many rarely climbed peaks out there. I’ve been climbing for decades and haven’t even scratched the North Cascades personally.”

But just because you can do Tiger Mountain or Mount Si in your sleep doesn’t mean you’re ready for the big boys. And however tempting it might be to charge up Mount Baker in hiking boots and a fleece, there’s a certain amount of training necessary to make sure you get to the summit and then home safely to brag about your adventure to friends and family.

That training is a small investment in exchange for the experience of being on top of the world, said John Junke, a climber and supervisor at the Issaquah REI. Junke vividly recalls the site of the sun cresting over the horizon early in the morning on his first Mount Rainier climb.

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See’s Candies readies store in Issaquah Commons

January 6, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 6, 2011

Lovers can pick up some Scotchmallows in time for Valentine’s Day at the See’s Candies under construction in the Issaquah Commons.

The store is expected to open by Feb. 1 near REI in the shopping center along Northwest Gilman Boulevard. The candy shop replaces a teriyaki restaurant in the space.

See’s Candies is known for numerous treats, including the Scotchmallow — marshmallow and caramel enrobed in dark chocolate.

Operators applied for a city building permit at the end of September. Construction started on the store in late November, and city inspectors issued a temporary certificate of occupancy Wednesday.

The chain also has outposts in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle. See’s Candies — based in South San Francisco — operates more than 200 stores throughout the West and the Midwest.

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