Off The Press — Enjoy being scared? Check out these films

October 21, 2014

Horror movies aren’t really my area of expertise. I prefer watching classic sports movies, like “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham” or “Rudy,” or spending years waiting for book-based fantasy adventures like “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” to wrap up.

Neil Pierson

Neil Pierson

However, I’m more than willing to get into the spirit of the season when it comes to Halloween. There’s a certain sense of exhilaration that comes from viewing hordes of zombies, chainsaw-wielding psychopaths, and enough blood and gore to make your average emergency-room physician nauseous.

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Off The Press — Halloween is best for its customized scares

October 14, 2014

Halloween — it’s got to be one of the most interesting times of the year.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

We’re still two weeks out from Oct. 31, but I thought it would be a perfect time to broach the subject as events are already coming up on the calendar, like Nightmare at Beaver Lake, which starts Friday, and Saturday is the annual Halloween in the Highlands festival and Zombie Walk in downtown Issaquah.

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Guest Column — Go All in for Kids during annual fundraiser

October 14, 2014

Great schools and great communities go hand in hand. It is likely that one or both of these influenced your decision to live within the Issaquah School District boundaries.

The Issaquah Schools Foundation asks you to ensure both remain great by contributing to the All in for Kids Annual Fund Campaign.

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Off The Press — Tourism should tread the boards

October 7, 2014

I had several qualms about Roger Brooks’ tourism presentations to the good people of Issaquah. However, I completely agree with his basic advice that the city should choose one aspect and focus on that as the main draw to get outsiders to visit and spend their money.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

He left this up to residents and city leaders to decide what that main draw would be, advising it should be a year-round affair that would guarantee a unique and beneficial experience that would keep people coming back. In two remarkably similar presentations, Brooks said Issaquah tourism dollars could go to highlight the divergent trail system or maybe even the penchant for paragliding.

I would like to offer my humble opinion and say Issaquah should prop up its fantastic theater culture as the focus for tourism.

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Off The Press — It’s the unnamed holiday first October weekend!

September 30, 2014

Maybe it goes without saying, but maybe not. Salmon Days is just one heck of a lucky theme for us to have for the annual Issaquah community festival! No one today would ever build a fish hatchery in an urban area like this.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

But more than 75 years ago, with no floating bridge from Seattle, this was about as far out as the boonies as we could imagine. With a big salmon-habitat creek running through a small downtown, with the automobile age in its infancy, what was a logical place for a hatchery has turned out to be a stroke of luck today.

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Off The Press — These people are gone but are not forgotten

September 23, 2014

Every single person in this world makes a ripple. Every single person matters.

That was the message at a funeral ceremony for 33 women and 104 women buried last week as part of the King County Indigent Remains Program.

Some were homeless when they died. Some just didn’t have anyone willing or able to take possession of their bodies.

“We have 137 fellow human beings. They’re here as an indictment to our failure as a society for not taking them in,” said Pastor Kelle Brown, of Mary’s Place. “Like all of us, they smiled, they struggled, they brought joy to their mother’s hearts with their first cry.

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Off The Press — Ray Rice has the problem, not the NFL

September 16, 2014

It’s been difficult to watch television lately — doesn’t matter which channel you’re tuning in — and not find coverage of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.

Neil Pierson

Neil Pierson

I’ve taken to changing the channel when I see a news anchor reporting the latest, or the average Joe giving his two cents on the situation. Mostly, I’m just not interested in seeing the videotape again, a sober reminder that some men are still stuck in prehistoric times.

Janay Palmer — Rice’s then-fiancee, now-wife — slaps the Baltimore Ravens running back in a hotel elevator. Rice, who reportedly can bench press 400 pounds, then throws two punches, the second one knocking Palmer cold before he drags her from the elevator, all of it caught on a security camera.

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Off The Press — Only a tourist could be this disrespectful

September 9, 2014

Once again, a perfectly good vacation moment was ruined by all of the dolts around me.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Nothing sets my blood a boilin’ more than tourists who can’t stop being tourists for one darn second to appreciate what’s before them.

Last month, my wife and I visited my sister outside Baltimore. The last day of the trip, we trekked into Philadelphia to take in a few sites. Top on my list was the Liberty Bell, one of the most iconic artifacts from our history that is uniquely American.

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Off The Press — Ornament artists are treated like rock stars

September 2, 2014

If you don’t collect anything, you may not understand collectors. But you can certainly appreciate people loving what they love.

When I first received a news release about two Hallmark Keepsake Ornament artists coming to Mark’s Hallmark here in Issaquah, I thought, “Well, that’s interesting for people who collect them.”

Then, I learned that Issaquah’s store was the only one in the Northwest and one of only 14 in the country that would have artist signings this year. Then, I learned that the last time an artist came to Washington state was in 1995, for a Hallmark convention in Seattle.

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Off The Press — Traffic plan can’t come soon enough

August 26, 2014

Rowley Properties’ construction of the long-stay Homewood Suites by Hilton has brought a massive crane to central Issaquah.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

It’s not the first one locals have seen, but it heralds the start of the Central Issaquah Plan, which city officials expect to change the face of the valley over the next 30 years or so.

The crane stands over the western edge of the city and so will hopefully not have any impact on surrounding traffic. However, it represents a symbol of things to come as parcels go on sale and some, like the Atlas project on Gilman Boulevard Northwest, sit in the middle of the permitting process.

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