Mirrormont, nature-loving neighborhood, thrives at 50

January 29, 2013

Linda Shepherd (in blue sweater at end of table), Mirrormont Pea Patch director; Paul Baer (in white striped shirt), community association president; and other residents who are pea patch users and caretakers, enjoy a potluck dinner attended by two dozen people Jan. 25 at the home of Gerard and Loretta Jancoski. By Greg Farrar

Linda Shepherd (in blue sweater at end of table), Mirrormont Pea Patch director; Paul Baer (in white striped shirt), community association president; and other pea patch users and caretakers, enjoy a potluck dinner Jan. 25 at the home of Gerard and Loretta Jancoski. By Greg Farrar

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Issaquah, nestled at the base of Tiger Mountain, sits a neighborhood unlike any other in this community.

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Village Theatre sets intriguing drama in ‘The Mousetrap’

January 22, 2013

Mysterious guest Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong, passes his dark coat, light scarf and felt hat to Monkswell Manor’s proprietor Mollie Ralston, played by Hana Lass. By John Pai/Village Theatre

Mysterious guest Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong, passes his dark coat, light scarf and felt hat to Monkswell Manor’s proprietor Mollie Ralston, played by Hana Lass. By John Pai/Village Theatre

To enjoy some of the finer things in life, there are rules. For example:

  • The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
  • What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
  • And, do not reveal the plot of “The Mousetrap.”

Each has its own reason to remain spoiler free. Village Theatre hopes its patrons adhere to the latter so subsequent audiences can enjoy its latest production, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

What started as an 80th birthday tribute written for Queen Elizabeth in 1947, Agatha Christie thought her radio broadcast, “Three Blind Mice,” adapted for stage would have an uneventful eight-month run, tops.

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USS Arizona Memorial inspires photographer to capture Pearl Harbor images

December 4, 2012

Jerry Kaufman (left) hands a copy of his book, ‘Renewal at the Place of Black Tears,’ to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran. Contributed

The day etched into history for the brazen attack on Pearl Harbor and the tremendous loss of life — Dec. 7, 1941 — repeats often for Jerry Kaufman.

The photographer and Issaquah resident created a book of images dedicated to the steady release of oil from the USS Arizona shipwreck, or “tears of the Arizona” in Pearl Harbor lore. For years, Kaufman journeyed from Washington to Hawaii to collect images at the memorial for the eventual book, “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” — photographs shot at the majestic structure.

The multicolored patterns formed by the intermingling of oil and water long intrigued Kaufman and provided inspiration for the book. “Renewal at the Place of Black Tears” also struck a chord among the throngs of visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial.

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See ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ for free

September 4, 2012

“Captain America: The First Avenger” comes to Issaquah soon for the summertime Movie on the Green.

The film starts at 8 p.m. Sept. 8 on the Issaquah Community Center lawn, 301 Rainier Blvd. S. The free event is presented by the municipal Parks & Recreation Department and Lunar Flicks.

Lunar Flicks provides the inflatable screen and the digital projectors to screen the film.

Released last year, “Captain America: The First Avenger” features Chris Evans as the title character, a patriotic crusader unleashed against the Nazis — and super-villain Red Skull — in World War II.

The film runs for 124 minutes, so attendees should bring a blanket or lawn chair to remain comfortable during the event. Organizers also plan to sell concessions during the film.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” is rated PG-13.

Issaquah burglary offers lesson in vigilance

August 14, 2012

The call from the Issaquah Police Department interrupted dinner at Pogacha for Fred and Mardi Nystrom, longtime residents in the Sycamore neighborhood south of downtown.

The officer on the line asked if the Nystroms expected any family members to leave their home through a bedroom window.

“I told him, ‘Not our family, man, we wouldn’t fit through that window,’” Fred Nystrom recalled Aug. 13.

They rushed home July 6 to discover their home had been burglarized. The thief shimmied into the home through a small bedroom window left open in the July heat, and stole jewelry, computers and family heirlooms.

“Most of what she stole from me were memories,” Fred Nystrom said.

Police later identified the suspect as Jackie Jean Johnston, 45, a SeaTac resident with a long rap sheet.

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High school sweethearts celebrate platinum anniversary, 70 years of marriage

August 7, 2012

Lorraine and Bud Cochran enjoy summer from the wicker patio swing at their home near Issaquah High School.
By Greg Farrar

Bud Cochran used to walk more than a mile to see his sweetheart Lorraine back when they were students at Puyallup High School in the late 1930s. With no car and a girlfriend that lived on the opposite side of town, the trek became a familiar path for the love-struck Bud.

“It didn’t seem far at all,” he said. “I was just smitten.”

Seven decades later, the two longtime Issaquah residents are still together, having celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary May 2. Sitting in their cozy ranch-style home situated next to Issaquah High School, Bud, 90, and Lorraine, 88, fondly reminisced about their eventful 70 years together.

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What is the Festival of New Musicals?

August 7, 2012

The summertime festival at Village Theatre is a laboratory to test original musicals before audiences.

Often, selections from the festival re-emerge later at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, or Mainstage, and sometimes on Broadway.

The festival introduced audiences to “Next to Normal” precursor “Feeling Electric” and “Million Dollar Quartet” before the musicals carted off Tony Awards on Broadway. “Next to Normal” also garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a rarity for musicals.

The recent Mainstage productions “Take Me America” and “It Shoulda Been You” debuted to Issaquah audiences at the festival.

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See ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ for free

July 31, 2012

“Captain America: The First Avenger” comes to Issaquah soon for the summertime Movie on the Green.

The film starts at 8 p.m. Sept. 8 on the Issaquah Community Center lawn, 301 Rainier Blvd. S. The free event is presented by the municipal Parks & Recreation Department and Lunar Flicks.

Lunar Flicks provides the inflatable screen and the digital projectors to screen the film.

Released last year, “Captain America: The First Avenger” features Chris Evans as the title character, a patriotic crusader unleashed against the Nazis — and super-villain Red Skull — in World War II. Tommy Lee Jones stars as a gruff colonel; Hayley Atwell is Peggy Carter, Captain America’s love interest.

(Evans’ character later popped up in the summer mega-blockbuster “The Avengers.”)

The film runs for 124 minutes, so attendees should bring a blanket or lawn chair to remain comfortable during the event. Organizers also plan to sell concessions during the film.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” is rated PG-13.

American Hero Quilts Galleria offers thanks to Iraq, Afghanistan veterans

July 17, 2012

Bellewood Retirement Center residents Ursula Tueffers (from left), Merle Klavano, Herb Lyons and Peggy Duncan unfold a quilt that will be displayed with others in the galleria display space for four weeks before being sent to soldiers. By Greg Farrar

She never heard his voice.

She never shook his hand or gave him a hug.

She didn’t even know his name until after he hanged himself.

But the story of Ken Dennis, a 22-year-old Marine who took his short life in 2004 after serving in Iraq, still haunts Sue Nebeker eight years later.

“He and his dad were at the mall,” she said, “and his dad said he looked around and said, ‘You know, I don’t fit in here anymore. I can’t do this. I’ve seen too much.’”

Nebeker would first learn of the Marine’s story in “The War Comes Home: Rifleman couldn’t take any more,” an August 2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about Dennis’ struggle — facing the challenges of a recently discharged serviceman. And while most people would absorb the information and move on, Nebeker knew she had to do something.

That’s when she started American Hero Quilts, a project that aims to ensure wounded veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan come home to a tangible thank you through the warmth and comfort of a patriotic quilt. Nebeker vows to continue the project until U.S. forces are out of Afghanistan, and she is working to make quilts available to Vietnam veterans as well.

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Off the Press

July 10, 2012

Christina Lords
Press reporter

Remembering Mr. Bentz

There are few better aspects of this job than sitting down with the likes of William Bentz.

A 92-year-old World War II veteran who spent much of his Army service in the South Pacific, William constructed and supervised pump stations to ensure those fighting the enemy in the Air Force had ample fuel.

William, his wife Onadee and their daughter Judy welcomed me into their Issaquah home at Providence Point one May afternoon so I could tell William’s story of service for The Issaquah Press’ annual Lest We Forget Memorial Day section. The section highlights and honors every Issaquah veteran of which we’re aware.

On June 18, I received a call from William’s nephew, who informed me that William had passed away the day before — less than one month after I interviewed him.

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