Musicians reshape school music scene

November 23, 2010

Young rapper Ronnie Hamilton

Eastside Catholic High School

By Katie Sutherland

Eastside Catholic High School isn’t usually known for its hip-hop scene, but one student just might be able to change that perception. His name is Ronnie Hamilton, a 16-year-old junior and aspiring rapper who has become involved in the local rap game lately.

“I love the art of hip-hop music and the way the music comes across to me,” he said. “I’ve always had a knack for writing, as well.”

Hamilton started writing simple rhythms at age 12. However, his work had never been performed or recorded until last year, when a friend suggested he put out a mix tape. It created a lot of buzz at Eastside.

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Press Editorial

November 23, 2010

The community wins when you shop local

A little snow is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. “The horse knows the way, to carry the sleigh, through the white and drifted snow…” goes the traditional song, often sung before Thanksgiving.

But more than a little snow can be very hard on local merchants who are depending on the holidays to make up for a slow consumer year — and that is a concern for all who live here.

In 2010, the economic recession and forecasted slow recovery came true, narrowing the scope of reality. For many businesses, treading water came to mean success. But even as business improves, owners of small businesses are still nervous. It’s hard to enjoy the beauty of snow when you know that consumers will be staying home.

But there is a full month before Christmas, plenty of time to make a commitment to shopping locally. Read more

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A fresh start from Real Change

November 23, 2010

Bruce Osman, of Issaquah, laughs with a PCC customer last month as he sells her his final copy for the day of an issue of Real Change. By Greg Farrar

At a Real Change fundraising breakfast last month, Bruce Osman was scheduled to introduce Seattle’s mayor. But something different happened. Instead, his 11-year-old daughter Chandler spontaneously delivered Mike McGinn’s introduction.

“She stepped forward, I stepped back and she read it perfectly,” Osman said proudly.

Formerly homeless for several years, Osman has consistently sold Real Change since 1997. For the past 14 months, he has sold the newspaper at the Issaquah PCC Natural Market most Saturdays and Sundays. He had been asked by Timothy Harris, Real Change executive director, to speak at the 16th annual fundraiser.

The crowd was the largest Osman had ever addressed. Nearly 500 business representatives had assembled to make donations.

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Duo takes national tour of ‘Great Lodges’

November 23, 2010

Kristi and Barry Feder take a reprieve during their trip to Crater Lake, Ore. Once they get to a national park lodge, the couple usually hikes, fishes, wines and dines, and makes new friends. Contributed

Under the mossy roof of Lake Quinault Lodge, Kristi and Barry Feder, of Issaquah, found a book that changed their lives, and ended up putting a lot of mileage on their car.

The book, “Great Lodges of the National Parks,” showed them dazzling views of lodges across the nation, and spoke of their histories.

The lodges had made their debut as a documentary on the Public Broadcasting Service, one that the Feders had seen.

“We turned to each other and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to go to each one of those?’” Barry, a dentist in Issaquah, said. “Not only do you get to stay in a lodge, some of them are quite rustic, but you also get to see national parks.” Read more

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Sammamish portrait artist paints powerful, political

November 23, 2010

Sammamish artist Michele Rushworth recently completed a commissioned portrait of Melissa Essary, dean of the Campbell University Law School in Raleigh, N.C. By Christopher Huber

Upon entering Michele Rushworth’s humble second-story, in-home art studio near Discovery Elementary School, one might not gather that she paints portraits of the rich and famous.

You might gather that she has a steady flow of work to do by the empty golden frames dangling from large hooks on the wall. Or by the small sketch paintings lying on the table. But for Rushworth, business is booming. She has an up to two-year waiting list of well-to-do families, heads of state and pro athletes to have their lifelike portraits painted. She also paints landscapes and portraits of children.

Rushworth was recently chosen to paint outgoing Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons’ official portrait. The work, scheduled to be delivered by Dec. 17, will hang in the state’s capitol along with her portrait of former Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Rushworth will be paid $17,500 for the painting and the frame, and $2,500 for travel expenses. She was chosen after a monthslong selection process, involving 43 other artists from across the country, said Teresa Moiola, public information officer with the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. Read more

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Off the Press

November 23, 2010

Keep peace, patience this holiday weekend

Tim Pfarr Press reporter

Choo choo! The Polar Express is on its way.

That’s right, we’re on our way to another holiday season filled with gratuitous joy, massive family gatherings and sweaters strung with blinking lights. And there isn’t a single thing you can do to stop it.

Terrifying? Absolutely. Fun? Always.

And it officially starts this weekend, with Thanksgiving and Black Friday — perhaps two of the most lively and simultaneously horrifying days of the entire year.

Obviously, Thanksgiving is about the food, and recording the amount you eat in pounds instead of servings. Fun? You bet. Each year, I look forward to bursting through my pants like The Incredible Hulk in the presence of my extended family. Read more

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To the Editor

November 23, 2010

Compassion House

Caring community united to raise $12,000 at charity pie auction

This past weekend, several local churches banded together in support of Compassion House, a local ministry providing transitional housing to families on the margins. Specifically, these churches — Covenant Presbyterian, Foothills Baptist and Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship — hosted a pie auction featuring 40 freshly baked pies, which were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The evening started with a spaghetti dinner held in Covenant Presbyterian Church’s spacious fellowship hall. The event also featured numerous silent auction items, which were donated by local supporters, including a beautifully embroidered, handmade quilt featuring the Compassion House logo. At the end of the evening, more than $12,000 was raised to benefit Compassion House. Several of the pies were auctioned off for more than $400 each!

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Downtown Issaquah trolley faces another delay

November 23, 2010

The downtown Issaquah trolley has to make another stop before the cars return to the rails.

The long-planned tourism attraction needs contractors to refurbish historic trolley cars and a stretch of track in downtown Issaquah, but a tight budget could push the project off track.

The state Department of Transportation estimated the track refurbishment could cost about $185,000 and the car rehabilitation could total about $235,000. The city administers about $500,000 in federal grant dollars awarded to the Issaquah Valley Trolley Project, the group behind the effort.

However, the low bid for the track project alone amounted to about $200,000. Because the bids turned out to be more expensive than the $185,000 state Department of Transportation estimate used to budget the project, city engineers raised concerns about running out of funds before the trolley car could be rehabilitated.

The additional cost imperiled the car upgrades, so city engineers and trolley backers decided to re-advertise the projects for separate bids at the same time.

The adjustment should allow planners to evaluate costs and available dollars — and reduce the risk of awarding a contract before the other contract and jeopardizing dollars needed to complete the project.

Under the recommendation of city engineers, the City Council rejected the low bid for the track project in September.

City Senior Engineer Rory Cameron said, after the re-advertisement of the bids, the council could make a decision by early next year.

Organizers hope to run historic trolleys through downtown Issaquah by next summer.

The trolley group leased a trolley from the Yakima organization several years ago, and ferried more than 5,000 passengers through downtown Issaquah in 2001 and 2002.

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How to give back during the holiday season

November 23, 2010

Make good use of your Thanksgiving leftovers

Alex Tucker

The holiday season is a time we usually associate with food, family and gifts. It is easy to get caught up in the holiday madness, and amid the chaos we often forget how blessed we really are.

There are so many families just trying to get by this time of year, and every person should do his or her part to give back to the community and make someone else’s holiday as joyful as it should be. Here are just a few of the many ways that people of all ages can give back:

Volunteer at a shelter

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission offers plenty of opportunities to volunteer with the homeless among many other people needing care. You can serve meals at shelters, make sack lunches for students, help at nursing homes and much more. Find more information at Read more

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Skyline dominates in rivalry with Issaquah

November 23, 2010

Spartans win quarterfinal match with Eagles, 42-21

Taylor Wyman, Issaquah senior running back, is brought down by (from left) Skyline's Alex Carey, Jordan Simone and Damien Green during their state 4A quarterfinal football game Nov. 19 at Skyline Stadium. By Jim Simpkins/

Skyline High School football fans expect star receiver Kasen Williams to pull out all the stops and lead the Spartans to another victory every Friday night. That was the case Nov. 19 in a Class 4A state quarterfinal game against rival Issaquah. Read more

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