James Russell Mitchell

March 9, 2009

James Russell Mitchell

James Russell Mitchell

James Russell Mitchell, of Issaquah and formerly of Moses Lake, died Feb. 28, 2009, in Seattle. He was 90. Read more

Donald R. Tolstedt

March 9, 2009

death-tolstedtdonald-20090

Donald R. Tolstedt

Donald R. Tolstedt, of Issaquah, died at Evergreen Hospice Center on Friday, March 6, 2009. Read more

Arts calendar

March 9, 2009

 

MARCH

11th

Singer-pianist CJ, the Backbeat of the Party, performs from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Vino Bella, 99 Front St. N. Call 391-1424. Read more

Duo self-publish guestbook to record ‘Happenings’

March 9, 2009

Rebecca Byus (left) and Kristi Gage display their self-published book ‘Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts.’  Contributed

Rebecca Byus (left) and Kristi Gage display their self-published book ‘Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts.’ Contributed

Kristi Gage and Rebecca Byus don’t so much consider themselves as authors as they are publishers. That’s because their book, “Happenings: A Guest Book of Sorts,” has but one page of type with the rest containing a distinct lack of content. And that’s just the way they intended it.

“Our inspiration was to make something from our shared passion,” said Gage, a mother of two who runs her own business from her Issaquah home.

“We wanted to make a journal for the home, where guests could leave written comments from events, that you could leave on the coffee table as an elegant keepsake,” said Byus, also a mother of two who runs her own financial planning business. Read more

Local artists get ‘Unclad’ for annual show

March 9, 2009

A Drawing from artists who contributed to the Eighth Annual Unclad Art Show include Gretchen Van Dyke. Contributed

A Drawing from artists who contributed to the Eighth Annual Unclad Art Show include Gretchen Van Dyke. Contributed

Gretchen Van Dyke always enjoyed drawing animals and nature scenes growing up in rural Lewis County. She later discovered the artist within herself after a 15-year career detour as a graphic designer.

“I went back to school to get my hands dirty and to paint,” she said.

Three years ago, she graduated from the University of Washington School of Art with a degree in painting and drawing. She used her childhood memories of playing, wandering and working close to the earth on her parents’ Christmas tree farm near Chehalis as inspiration for her work.

The Issaquah artist’s work has appeared at the UpFront Gallery and Bellevue Community College. The work of Van Dyke and fellow Issaquah artists Ellen Borison and Lee Berry will be featured at the eighth annual Unclad Art Show.

The show features works by 105 artists, depicting the human nude. Visitors will find a range of styles and media from oils and pastels to charcoal, photography, bronze and wood sculpture. Read more

Indoor garden gets head start on spring

March 9, 2009

 

A display at Squak Mt. Green Houses & Nursery shows many of the supplies needed to start your own indoor garden. By David Hayes

A display at Squak Mt. Green Houses & Nursery shows many of the supplies needed to start your own indoor garden. By David Hayes

For those amateur gardeners who can’t wait for the permafrost to melt, the solution is simple — grow a garden indoors.

Whether the goal is to grow vegetables, herbs or flowers, there are many hardy genera that can get a jumpstart indoors while the weather is still disagreeable. They can later be transferred outside when the garden is more accommodating.

Read more

Balancing native, non-native plants in a yard is a tough act

March 9, 2009

All ecosystems, if untouched, are beautiful. Look at the high Cascades, the Sonoran Desert, the Washington coast, our woods here, and you find only perfection. Why are our yards so difficult? Why does my yard look like blight in comparison? Read more

Eagles end coaster ride at state

March 9, 2009

Erin Nicol, senior guard (left), crashes to the floor for the last time as an Issaquah Eagle, as she and Mercedes Whitmore of Auburn-Riverside collide, in the last minute of Saturday’s state 3A trophy game at the Tacoma Dome. By Greg Farrar

Erin Nicol, senior guard (left), crashes to the floor for the last time as an Issaquah Eagle, as she and Mercedes Whitmore of Auburn-Riverside collide, in the last minute of Saturday’s state 3A trophy game at the Tacoma Dome. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah leaves undefeated Pasco in its wake en route to 7th place

The Issaquah girls basketball team didn’t finish No. 1, but it did beat a top-ranked team and set the tone for future 4A marches with a seventh-place finish in the state tournament last week at the Tacoma Dome.

The KingCo Conference champion Eagles finished the season with a 19-8 record. The state trip was Issaquah’s sixth since 2000, but first since moving up a class to 4A. 

After beating Jackson 58-55 in the opener, the Eagles’ first loss of the tournament was a 54-38 decision to Federal Way in the quarterfinals. Facing traps both in the full-court and half-court, Issaquah turned the ball over 20 times and shot just 22 percent from the field in the defeat. Read more

Issaquah paralympian makes U.S. Sailing Team for 2012 games

March 9, 2009

Bob Jones, of Issaquah, sails with teammate Sarah Skeels at the Last Quadrinnium Training Camp on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island in April 2006. Contributed

Bob Jones, of Issaquah, sails with teammate Sarah Skeels at the Last Quadrinnium Training Camp on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island in April 2006. Contributed

The whistle of wind blows past your ear, signaling the moment to ease the sheets on the sails. The smell of grass means the wind is coming from the direction of land.

Suddenly, the blast of wind eases from your nose to your cheek, and your gaze, set on the upcoming current, notices the slight shift in direction.

When being propelled by nature onboard a sailboat, one must use nearly all of the five senses, and for Issaquah’s Bob Jones, 58, that is one of the driving forces for his love of sailing, something he’s had since the beginning.

“The first time I stepped on the boat, I got the bug,” he said. “It just felt natural.

“You’re out sailing on the ocean, and it’s not long before you run into a pod of killer whales. It’s pretty magical actually.”

After more than 30 years of sailing, and almost 20 years in competitive racing, Jones has reached the peak of his sport after qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Sailing Team at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta Jan. 30 on Biscayne Bay, south of Miami.

The top three finishers among U.S. sailors at an Olympic-class regatta are invited to the U.S. team, and after several fourth-place finishes, Jones placed second in the Miami Regatta and fourth overall.

 

Finding funds is next

Now, he is faced with the task of competing for the next four years in international competition with the ultimate goal of making the Paralympics in 2012. But to do so, he will first need to raise funds.

“You earn the right and the prestige to compete on the U.S. Sailing Team, but to compete for four years is quite expensive,” he said.

In order to pay for travel costs for himself and a crew, and two sailboats along with other gear and expenses, Jones said he would need to raise approximately $400,000 to $450,000 for a two-person team.

Leading up to the Paralympics, he will have to keep his competitive edge before the U.S. Team Trials, which will decide who represents the U.S. in London.

“You have to hone your skills, get as fast and as competitive a team as you can, and it all boils down to one race,” he said. “I’m currently ranked second in my class, so I have to get better if I want to boat first.”

Jones competes in the SKUD-18 class of sailing, a two-person boat for athletes with disabilities. He has been a paraplegic since a car crash Dec. 5, 1981, took away the use of his legs.

Living in Issaquah at the time, he was driving home from a tennis tournament when he fell asleep at the wheel and drove over a 30-foot drop. The car landed upside down. 

His vertebrae smashed into his spinal cord, and doctors gave him a 5-percent chance of walking again.

The accident came 90 days after he’d bought his first sailboat, a San Juan 28, and Jones said even in the hospital, faced with the prospect of never walking again, he thought about getting out on the open sea with his boat.

“There wasn’t any doubt that I would continue sailing when I got out of the hospital,” he said. “I hadn’t even left the hospital before I went on my first sail.”

Before his official discharge from the hospital, friends came by and took him on a trip aboard the San Juan 28. An active athlete before the accident, sailing would be the only sport Jones would continue afterward.

 

A level playing field

Being able to modify a sailboat to adapt to disabilities helps the disabled compete with the able-bodied, said Ken Kelly, a fellow sailor and longtime friend.

Kelly, also a paraplegic, has competed with Jones at several regattas.

“It’s a different sport, because you’re able to compete against nondisabled people,” he said. “The sailboat levels the playing field.”

Kelly participated in the 1996 and 2004 Paralympics representing Canada. In 2005, Jones and he sailed together for a Canadian national championship, which they won, competing against able-bodied people.

The Paralympics began in 1960 and are held alongside the Olympics every four years. As a member of the U.S. Sailing Team, made up of both disabled and able-bodied people, Jones gains the training and resources afforded to members of the team, but he is not guaranteed a spot on the Paralympics roster.

While anybody may compete at the U.S. Time Trials, held several months before the Paralympics, Jones said he would need consistent competition at the international level to be ready, including regattas all over the world.

 

‘Putting in the time’

“If things fall into place for him, he finds the right crew, gets the financing, he should do fine,” Kelly said. “The more time that you put in, the better you will do. It’s just a matter of putting in the time.”

Up next for Jones is the U.S. Sailing training camp. He will officially become a member of the team upon gaining a doctor’s clearance March 15. From there, he must prepare both physically and financially for the close to 40 competitions he plans to enter in the next three years.

“It’s not just about jumping in a boat and sailing hard and fast,” he said. “It would be nice if I could just forget all that and just compete.”

Throughout the years, sailing has been the one way he can express his competitive nature, Jones said. 

On a national stage, in London in 2012, would certainly be the largest competitive event of his life. But no matter what happens, he’ll be doing what he loves, riding the fastest current and soaring with the wind on the open sea.

Reach intern Jeff Richards at 392-6434, ext. 236, or isspress@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

Youth soccer team rallies around cancer-stricken parent

March 9, 2009

The Arsenal Blue 97 won the Commissioner's State Cup Tournament and is now raising money for a teammate's mother who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

The Arsenal Blue 97 won the Commissioner's State Cup Tournament and is now raising money for a teammate's mother who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

It didn’t take much to convince Federico Rubiolo to help teammate Alex Appel’s mother who was diagnosed with leukemia.

“Alex is one of my good friends, and I just don’t like cancer,” said Federico, a fifth-grader at Endeavour Elementary School. “The less people that have it, the better.”

Federico and Alex’s team, the Arsenal Blue 97, has been together for 11 months. On Feb. 15, they won the Washington Youth Soccer Commissioner’s Cup tournament with a 4-0 victory over a team from Tacoma. Read more

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