Find a new Harry Potter adventure with locally penned book

July 21, 2009

author-villaluz-20090700If walking through walls in a London train station or battling an evil wizard wasn’t enough for you, then you might be interested in traveling through J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series again — but this time, with some help.

Local first-time author Nancy Solon Villaluz is hoping you’ll let her be your guide through your next read with “Does Harry Potter Tickle Sleeping Dragons?”

In three new books, designed as a literary commentary on the “Harry Potter” series, Villaluz explores the depths of Rowling’s series and hidden critical elements she thinks “Harry Potter” fans should know.

“This ‘Harry Potter’ commentary is meant, like Harry, to challenge the reader to walk through what appears to be a wall into belief in what they can’t see and to walk in love when things get hard,” she said, of Rowling’s deeper plot. “That message is always relevant and necessary in society, and Rowling tackles it in spades.”

Villaluz said she couldn’t be happier to see more than five years of researching and writing come to fruition.

Local author Nancy Solon Villaluz wrote a companion guide to the popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. By Greg Farrar

Local author Nancy Solon Villaluz wrote a companion guide to the popular ‘Harry Potter’ series. By Greg Farrar

“To me, this is a pursuit of passion,” she said. “My journey of discovery delighted me and my book is written as a journey of delight for readers who want to know more about J.K. Rowling and Harry.”

Like some people, Villaluz admitted she was a “Harry Potter” avoider when the books took the world by storm, partly because she was a busy mother of two and partly because she believed the book series was filled with dark messages, she said. Read more

Free burn permits available

July 21, 2009

Before building a campfire, remember: A seasonal burn ban lasts through Sept. 30 and burn permits are required for certain activities. Read more

Challenge Race

July 21, 2009

By Erin Kim
On July 18, children with and without disabilities raced down Second Avenue Southeast for the 12th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race.
Two children raced in each soapbox car. The co-drivers were disabled children paired with 11- to 13-year-old able-bodied children.
It’s through Leo Finnegan’s efforts that the Challenge Race occurs each year. Twenty-eight years ago, Finnegan’s son Tim wanted to race like his younger brothers, who participated in regular soapbox derby races. Because Tim did not have the motor skills to participate, his father created a soapbox car that was two times as wide as the regular cars so Tim and his brother could race against his friends. To this day, Finnegan and his son actively participate in the races.
Finnegan used the fiberglass shells he had inherited from a previous program for the Challenge Day races. An auto body shop fixed and painted each car, making them look as sleek as any professional soapbox car.
Finnegan said the race gives disabled children “an opportunity to be the star of the show.”
Disabled participants Logan Stark and Matthew Rogan, 6, both exclaimed that they would drive fast.
Spenser Wright, another disabled participant, said he loved the cars. Every time they zoomed by, he stood and jumped up and down in excitement.
With their hands in the air and huge smiles across their faces, there was no doubt the participants were having a blast as spectators cheered for them.
“It’s kinda cool to help out,” said volunteer David Tozer, 13. “Everybody is always smiling.”
Zach Williams said he volunteered to “give them a chance and make them smile.”
When it was time for the awards ceremony, each child walked up to pick up his or her own glimmering trophy and certificate. Some children leaped and waved their hands.
The race “creates a sense of belonging and community,” said Jeanette Mogrigde, a mother of a disabled participant.
Mike Fratantoni, a father of one of the disabled participants, said he believed sports is a real confidence builder. He and many other families said they were thankful the Rotary Club was able to put on the program.
Finnegan said he appreciates the parks, police and fire departments for their help and the community for being supportive of disabled children.
Coach Kirk Hyatt, who brings his Issaquah High School wrestling team each year to help with the soapbox cars and their riders, high-fives Kazu Ohea, at the end of a race with driver volunteer Will Hendriks. By Greg Farrar

Coach Kirk Hyatt, who brings his Issaquah High School wrestling team each year to help with the soapbox cars and their riders, high-fives Kazu Ohea, at the end of a race with driver volunteer Will Hendriks. By Greg Farrar

On July 18, children with and without disabilities raced down Second Avenue Southeast for the 12th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race.

Two children raced in each soapbox car. The co-drivers were disabled children paired with 11- to 13-year-old able-bodied children.

It’s through Leo Finnegan’s efforts that the Challenge Race occurs each year. Twenty-eight years ago, Finnegan’s son Tim wanted to race like his younger brothers, who participated in regular soapbox derby races. Because Tim did not have the motor skills to participate, his father created a soapbox car that was two times as wide as the regular cars so Tim and his brother could race against his friends. To this day, Finnegan and his son actively participate in the races. Read more

Soaring Eagle Park offers solace, plenty of recreation options

July 21, 2009

Take a Hike An occasional series about exploring the area’s trails

Take a Hike An occasional series about exploring the area’s trails

As the sun creeps out from behind the shady trees, the birds begin their morning rituals. The call-and-response chirps and flutters fill the air with vibrant song. A plethora of critters emerge from the moist ground and dewy vegetation to start the day once again.

Butterflies drift along the trails and retreat back into the thick woods as one of the first early-rising mountain bikers tear through the park.

It’s a perfect day for a stroll through Soaring Eagle Regional Park just outside Sammamish. The park is known for its 12-mile network of trails, popular with area mountain bikers and equestrians. Because of its relatively small area, the park is conducive to quick bike rides after work or at night, according to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. The trails can be bumpy and rough in some places, but are not too difficult.

Soaring Eagle Park also offers solace to those interested in taking a walk on their lunch break or families wanting to explore the backwoods before enjoying a picnic outside.

The 630-acre (one-square-mile) park, filled with mature forests and protected wetlands, is a refuge for black tail deer, black bears, bobcats and more than 40 species of birds, according to the King County Parks and Recreation Web site. About 300 acres of the park are protected under a conservation easement. It was named in 2001 by a second-grader at Samantha Smith Elementary School.

King County last year ceded 30 acres of the park to the city of Sammamish. In exchange, the city will be developing ballfields near the park’s Trossachs entrance, but planning has not yet begun for the process. Another 50 acres might be available (a 1993 plan called for the development of 80 acres of the park), but its future is uncertain. Read more

Challenge Race makes everyone happy

July 21, 2009

David Enger (left) and driver Zach Williams begin to roll in their soapbox car from the starting line in one of the heats held July 18 during the annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race.By Greg Farrar

David Enger (left) and driver Zach Williams begin to roll in their soapbox car from the starting line in one of the heats held July 18 during the annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race.By Greg Farrar

On July 18, children with and without disabilities raced down Second Avenue Southeast for the 12th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Race.

Two children raced in each soapbox car. The co-drivers were disabled children paired with 11- to 13-year-old able-bodied children.

It’s through Leo Finnegan’s efforts that the Challenge Race occurs each year. Twenty-eight years ago, Finnegan’s son Tim wanted to race like his younger brothers, who participated in regular soapbox derby races. Because Tim did not have the motor skills to participate, his father created a soapbox car that was two times as wide as the regular cars so Tim and his brother could race against his friends. To this day, Finnegan and his son actively participate in the races.

Finnegan used the fiberglass shells he had inherited from a previous program for the Challenge Day races. An auto body shop fixed and painted each car, making them look as sleek as any professional soapbox car. Read more

Downing, Cady

July 21, 2009

Laura Downing and Jeffrey Cady

Laura Downing and Jeffrey Cady

Bob and Debbie Downing, of Issaquah, wish to announce the engagement of their daughter, Laura Ashley Downing, to Jeffrey Douglas Cady. Read more

Concussion Program Opens

July 21, 2009

5th District Rep. Jay Rodne (from left to right), Mercedes Lystedt, her son Zackery Lystedt and his father Victor Lystedt cheer for Zackery during the opening of the University of Washington Medicine/Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program at Harborview Medical Center on July 14. House Bill 1824, the Zackery Lystedt law, sponsored by Rodne in the 2009 legislative session, created the program and partnership. In 2006, a then 13-year-old Zackery, of Maple Valley, was playing in a middle school football game when he sustained a head injury while making a tackle. Although he showed signs of a concussion, he did not leave play. Near the end of the game, he collapsed and had to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for emergency surgery to relieve swelling on his brain. He spent 31 days in a coma, followed by more than a year of intensive therapy at a Dallas rehabilitation center. Despite incredible progress, Zackery remains unable to walk or function without 24-hour care. Gov. Chris Gregoire was also at the event. Rodne’s district includes Issaquah.

5th District Rep. Jay Rodne (from left to right), Mercedes Lystedt, her son Zackery Lystedt and his father Victor Lystedt cheer for Zackery during the opening of the University of Washington Medicine/Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program at Harborview Medical Center on July 14. House Bill 1824, the Zackery Lystedt law, sponsored by Rodne in the 2009 legislative session, created the program and partnership. In 2006, a then 13-year-old Zackery, of Maple Valley, was playing in a middle school football game when he sustained a head injury while making a tackle. Although he showed signs of a concussion, he did not leave play. Near the end of the game, he collapsed and had to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for emergency surgery to relieve swelling on his brain. He spent 31 days in a coma, followed by more than a year of intensive therapy at a Dallas rehabilitation center. Despite incredible progress, Zackery remains unable to walk or function without 24-hour care. Gov. Chris Gregoire was also at the event. Rodne’s district includes Issaquah. By Clare McLean

Rapid response

July 21, 2009

What are your suggestions for dealing with abandoned retail spaces, such as those left by Albertsons and Joe’s? Read more

City hosts free sustainability movie night

July 21, 2009

On July 22, city officials are hosting a free movie night in which the documentary “King Corn” will play. This is the third film that the city has had this year on sustainability. The aim of these quarterly movie nights is for local residents to become aware of ways to help sustain and maintain the environment around them. Read more

Issaquah resident becomes consultant with Tastefully Simple

July 21, 2009

Johanna Kimura, of Issaquah, has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct-sales company featuring easy-to-prepare food products. Read more

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