Eagles eager to finally play on their home court

January 4, 2011

Blair Brady, Issaquah High School guard, puts up two points against Eastlake during a 2009 basketball game. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School girls basketball team concludes the longest road trip in history of the program. The Eagles finally play on their home court Jan. 5, when they host Garfield at 7:30 p.m. in the new Pat Hatmaker Gymnasium.

Issaquah was unable to play at home last year when the school was undergoing massive reconstruction. This season, the Eagles opened on the road with 4A KingCo Conference games at Woodinville and Newport before heading south to Chandler, Ariz., for the Nike Tournament of Champions.

“All our players are looking forward to playing at home. They are really excited about that,” Issaquah coach Kathy Gibson said.

Issaquah defeated Woodinville 70-56 Dec. 8 and downed Newport 56-39 Dec. 10 before heading to Arizona.

The Eagles faced strong competition in the Nike Tournament. The field of teams included former state championship teams from Florida, Arizona and California.

“There were some outstanding teams there. Most of them had two or three players who had already committed to colleges,” Gibson said. “Some teams were really talented. They looked like a small college team.”

Issaquah went 1-3 in the tournament with its victory coming against Tolleson, Ariz., 51-41. Tolleson was ranked No. 2 in the Arizona 5A Division II poll and had previously won two state Division II championships.

The Eagles also played Etiwanda, one of the premier programs in California; host Chandler, ranked No. 4 in the Arizona 5A Division I poll and loaded with four players 6-foot-2 or taller; and Dillard, a defending Florida state champion. Issaquah lost to all three teams, but held a lead in each game.

“We didn’t get blown out in any game. We didn’t lose confidence. Our defense was really, really good. That’s what kept us in the games,” Gibson said. “However, we struggled on the offensive side.”

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Grapplers stay fresh at Brian Hill memorial tournament

January 4, 2011

The Skyline Spartans wrestling team stayed fresh over the winter break by taking third place in the 2010 Brian Hill Invitational Wrestling Tournament Dec. 30 at Eastside Catholic High School.

Two Spartans finished second in their respective weight categories and others on the Skyline Green and Skyline Silver squads pulled their weight, too.

O’Dea took the team title with 178 points, but Skyline Green placed third (131) and Eastlake placed fourth (113). The Eastside Catholic Crusaders tied for eighth with Kennedy with 87.5 points. Skyline Silver placed 14th of 18 teams, scoring 54 points.

Eastlake’s Cole Neves’ second-round victory was among the highlights for Sammamish wrestlers. His most notable win was a 39-second pin of Bishop Blanchet’s Zach Weber.

“I’ve got it down to muscle memory,” Neves said after the speedy match. “It all comes natural.”

He ultimately earned the top spot of the 145-pounders when he pinned Lake Washington’s Joel Gonzales in 2:30 in the final round. Read more

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Mayor to cut ribbon at undercrossing ceremony

January 4, 2011

Crews completed another road link between north and south Issaquah last month, and residents can join Mayor Ava Frisinger to cut the ribbon on the roadway Jan. 11.

The long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing — Fourth Avenue Northwest — runs from a traffic signal at the Issaquah Post Office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, connects into the rail corridor behind Gilman Station, forms a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continues along 221st Place Southeast and then terminates at Southeast 56th Street. Read more

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Cascade Team Real Estate hosts open house

January 4, 2011

Check out the new office for Cascade Team Real Estate at a Jan. 7 open house.

The real estate team has secured the western side office in St. George Square in Gillman Village, 355 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 101. The office opened Jan. 1.

The open house to celebrate the move is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Jan. 7. Guests can stop by for appetizers and Champagne, plus gifts for members of the public and real estate agents.

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Rise of the machines: Middle school students take control of a Lego robot

January 4, 2011

Members of The Devil Duckies were often forced to scramble and make quick fixes to their robot during the two-and-a-half-minute rounds. By Tim Pfarr

If anyone ever said Legos were just toys, he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. A team of eight local middle school students that entered the state’s First Lego League robotic competition knows that better than anyone.

The group banded together in July and teamed up with parent adviser Eleonor Schneider to build and program a robot made almost entirely of Legos to enter into the competition, open to those ages 9-13 and which took place Dec. 4 at Seattle’s Brighton Elementary School. Read more

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KIDSTAGE kicks out with ‘Footloose’

January 4, 2011

A trio of friends in ‘Footloose,’ Sarah Russell (Rusty), Molly Knudson (Urleen) and Emily Johnson (Wendy Jo) burst into a 1980s song. Photos by Jean Johnson

The 1980s are back with Village Theatre KIDSTAGE’s production of “Footloose,” drawing audiences into a small California town that has a ban on dancing and many young, eager dancers trying to repeal the stifling law.

KIDSTAGE last performed “Footloose” in 2002, shortly after the musical made popular by the 1984 movie with Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest was turned into a stage show. Director Faith Russell and her colleagues chose it again for its high-energy music and dancing, and good take-home messages, Production Coordinator Helen Voelker said.

“The musical is about having an obstacle and overcoming that obstacle — and having a dance,” she said.

The play follows Ren McCormack (Jordon Bolden) and his mother Ethel (Joell Weil) when they move from Chicago, where Ren is the king of teenage dancers at Windy City nightclubs, to Bomont, Calif. Read more

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Liberty graduate stars in Seattle’s ‘Don Giovanni’

January 4, 2011

Danny Kam

Danny Kam, a 2006 Liberty High School graduate, has landed the lead role in “Don Giovanni: A New Musical,” at Seattle Musical Theatre and Fruition Productions.

Kam, who graduated from Western Washington University in 2010, said he was excited to play Don Giovanni so soon after college.

He recently talked about his background and his impressions about the musical:

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Liberty grads tame a wild SUV to win USC film competition

January 4, 2011

Andrew Joncich, Craig Hung, Alex Bell, Trevor Marti Smith and Josh Cumbee (from left) plan the details of their short film, ‘Check Engine.’ Contributed

One day while attending the University of Southern California, Liberty High School alumnus Trevor Marti Smith had a bad experience with his Jeep.

Water seeped through the sunroof, shorting the car’s electronics and killing the battery. He was forced to jumpstart the car, and as the car came to life, the horn began honking on its own.

“I thought I better take it to the mechanic,” said Smith, a 2007 Liberty graduate.

As he drove down the streets of Los Angeles to the auto shop, the horn continued to honk uncontrollably, and electric windows, headlights and windshield wipers began functioning on their own.

“I thought I was going to get shot,” he said.

However, in November, Smith teamed up with four other USC student filmmakers —including friend and 2009 Liberty graduate Alex Bell — to create a short film based on the experience. That film took best picture in the school’s Campus MovieFest.

“We were completely shell shocked,” Smith said about winning.

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Issaquah dentist helps extract 1,218 teeth in Tennessee

January 4, 2011

Dentist Donna Quinby and dental hygienist Stephanie Keane, of Issaquah’s Eastside Pediatric Dental Group, give free medical care to a patient in Tennessee while working with the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps. Contributed

More than 450 people filled the parking lot at Signal Mountain High School in southeastern Tennessee, waiting for a chance to see a group of volunteer healthcare professionals who could fill their cavities or make them a new pair of glasses.

These were the working poor who were uninsured or underinsured, adults who needed medical care, but could not afford it after having to pay for rent, food and other expenses.

After seeing a “60 Minutes” segment about Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, Dentist Donna Quinby, of Eastside Pediatric Dental Group in Issaquah, decided she wanted to help.

“Having the opportunity to reach out and help people in need is one of the most rewarding experiences, and one of the reasons why I chose dentistry as my profession,” Quinby said.

She flew to Signal Mountain to deliver free dental care during an Oct. 23-24 clinic and helped pay the airfare of three co-workers who joined her: dental hygienist Stephanie Keane and dental assistant Christina Moon, from Eastside Pediatric Dental Group; and dental hygienist Seng Phanhthavilay, from Seattle Special Care Dentistry, where Quinby teaches dental residents. Phanhthavilay commended Quinby for pushing them.

The four healthcare workers volunteered to set up medical supplies on the Friday before the clinic and were among the first to arrive and the last to leave that weekend.

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Teenager donates 1,000 books to Issaquah food bank

January 4, 2011

Nathaniel Turtel, a seventh-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School, donated 1,000 books to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. By Laura Geggel

Bibliophiles looking for a good read in early Issaquah might have popped into the local barbershop. Barber Enos Guss shared his love of books with the public when he opened the city’s first library in a corner of his shop on Front Street North in 1906.

More than 100 years later, Sammamish 13-year-old Nathaniel Turtel resolved that he, too, would share his interest in books with others. It took him four months, but Nathaniel amassed 1,000 books with the help of his family and donated them all in a grand pile to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank in early December.

“I went to garage sales and sometimes we asked people for donations,” Nathaniel said. “Sometimes, people gave us money to buy books.”

To bolster the collection, Nathaniel and his father, Scott Turtel, journeyed to Once Sold Tales, in Kent, where they bought books for a dollar a pound.

“We picked out the light ones,” Nathaniel said.

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