Issaquah memorable moments from 2012 entertain, educate

December 25, 2012

The cast of the national tour of the jukebox musical ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ performs a song in the Tony Award-winning show. File

Entertainment came to Issaquah in some surprising forms throughout 2012.

Besides the usual retinue on the page, stage and screen, a documentary peeled back the layers at Costco and big-name authors signed books for local readers.

The city hosted celebrities, spotlighted residents on the national stage and celebrated big debuts in recent months. The boldface names earned cred through stints on reality TV, titles on bestseller lists and hardware aplenty — a Tony Award, a National Book Award.

Reality TV plugs in local contestants

Lindzi Cox pursued “The Bachelor” and Lizzie Parker competed for the title “Fashion Star” as local women added grace to reality TV contests.

Cox, a 2003 Liberty High School grad, competed against 24 other bachelorettes to win a rose from the titular bachelor, Ben Flajnik, and reached the final round on the ABC dating game.

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Author plates Evergreen State in ‘Dishing Up Washington’

December 4, 2012

Photo illustration by Warren Kagarise

Evergreen State cuisine is not all Neah Bay salmon, Seattle coffee, Walla Walla onions and Wenatchee apples.

“Dishing Up Washington” author Jess Thomson said the ingredient-driven cuisine indigenous to the Pacific Northwest is not so easy to pigeonhole.

“In general, what defines the Northwest is a willingness to experiment,” she said in a recent interview. “I think that you can see that in the willingness of chefs to combine traditional technique with the ingredients that we have — that weren’t necessarily used with those traditional techniques.”

Take, for instance, foraging — a common foodie pastime in Washington’s chanterelle- and fiddlehead-packed forests.

“Using things that are foraged that aren’t used in traditional French food, but using those ingredients in traditional French applications,” she said.

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Chef Tom Douglas cooks up Issaquah stop

November 13, 2012

Renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas is due in Issaquah just before Thanksgiving, to promote a cookbook packed with recipes for treats, including a famed coconut cream pie.

Douglas is scheduled to sign copies of “The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle” at Costco, 1801 10th Ave. N.W., from 5-6:30 p.m. Nov. 19.

The cookbook contains 125 recipes for cakes, cookies, ice creams, pastries, pies, sandwiches, tarts and more. Food Network star — and recent Issaquah Costco visitor — Giada de Laurentiis called the doughnuts in the book the “best thing I ever ate.”

Douglas, proprietor of a dozen Seattle restaurants and with more on the way, is the 2012 James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur Award winner — the top honor in the United States for a restaurateur.

Local celebrities offer election information

October 23, 2012

King County Elections turned to a lineup of boldface names — Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, mystery writer J.A. Jance and sports announcer Kevin Calabro — to share important tips for voters as the Election Day ballot deadline approaches.

Adrian, Jance and Calabro joined a regional voter education campaign featuring radio, TV and online ads to educate residents about the voting process. See the spots at the elections office website, www.kingcounty.gov/elections/news/psa/2012.

Sponsored by elections departments from King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and the Office of the Secretary of State, the ads remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes and get ballots back on time.

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Local celebrities join voter education campaign

October 19, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 19, 2012

King County Elections turned to a lineup of boldface names — Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, mystery writer J.A. Jance and sports announcer Kevin Calabro — to share important tips for voters as the Election Day ballot deadline approaches.

Adrian, Jance and Calabro joined a regional voter education campaign featuring radio, TV and online ads to educate residents about the voting process.

Local elections officials started the voter education campaign before the August primary. The initial round of spots featured renowned chef Tom Douglas, travel guru Rick Steves and Seattle Storm players. The celebrities involved in the campaign agreed to donate time for the effort.

“Everyone can be a voting champion,” Adrian said in a statement. “Don’t wait til the last second. Go for the gold by following the directions and getting your ballot back early.”

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Issaquah election results offer clues to November

September 18, 2012

King County is a hard-fought battleground in the race for governor, and the August primary election results for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna confirm Issaquah is closely divided, too.

Only 150 votes separated McKenna from Inslee among Issaquah voters last month. In 2004, for comparison, 133 votes statewide decided the contest between Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

The information comes from a detailed analysis of precinct results in the Aug. 7 election. Elsewhere on the ballot, Issaquah voters endorsed incumbents, and rejected past and present state legislators’ bids for higher office.

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Voter education emphasized as deadline approaches

July 31, 2012

Elections administrators used the last days before the Aug. 7 primary to remind voters to follow proper ballot instructions.

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Tom Douglas, Rick Steves join forces to remind voters to return ballots

July 19, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. July 19, 2012

Local elections administrators enlisted renowned chef Tom Douglas, travel guru Rick Steves, Seattle Storm players and other local celebrities to remind voters to follow ballot instructions.

The elections departments in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, plus the Office of the Secretary of State, collaborated on the voter education project. The effort is meant to inform voters about the voting process. The celebrities involved in the campaign donated their time for the effort.

The campaign includes radio, TV and online advertisements to remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes, return ballots back on time and follow other important instructions. The deadline to return primary election ballots is Aug. 7.

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Off the Press

June 5, 2012

Subject matter expert turns up unexpectedly

David Hayes Press reporter

In my decade-plus of working here at The Issaquah Press, we’ve had many readers who’ve offered unsolicited advice after reading something. We especially enjoy receiving the hand-written notes of grammar corrections that one old-timer saves up and periodically mails in.

So, a couple months ago, after writing in this space about the perils of being the go-to guy at family barbecues, a new voice emerged offering sage advice.

Thinking this was an old codger with too much time on his hands, I took my time getting back to him. Shame on me for not remembering it’s usually the codgers who have the most character. Do you know anyone who’s co-authored a book with someone as renowned as the Baron of Barbecue? But I get ahead of myself.

A retired English teacher, Bob Lyon, 86, lives at Timber Ridge at Talus with his wife, Sandra, also a retired English teacher.

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Issaquah company cooks up Bite of Seattle

July 12, 2011

The birthday celebration for the Bite of Seattle is super-sized to reflect a festival much, much larger than the gathering around Green Lake 30 summers ago.

So, for hungry festivalgoers trekking to Seattle Center on opening day July 15, organizers plan to hand out 1,000 cupcakes.

In a downtown Issaquah office building along East Sunset Way, the company behind the largest food festival in the Puget Sound region is planning celebratory cupcakes and other touches to mark the 30th event.

The company, Festivals Inc., settled in Issaquah in January 2009 after stints in Mercer Island and Bellevue.

Festivals Inc. also produces Taste of Tacoma each June. In the same building, sister company Lifestyle Events Inc. produces Coffee Fest, a popular trade show for the coffee industry.

Jody May, Festivals Inc. president, said the original concept for a picnic in the park evolved into a celebration encompassing more than 60 restaurants and, in a good year, more than 400,000 attendees.

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