Off The Press — Influence the Choice videos amaze, inspire

April 21, 2015

There were 11 winners, but if you ask me, everyone who entered the 2015 Influence The Choice Student Video Contest were winners.

Kathleen Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen Merrill
Press managing editor

In this year’s contest, from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 260 students participated in producing 100 videos. Those entries represented 959 creating hours!

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Off The Press — There’s something sick about healthcare

April 14, 2015

Late in February, my wife Michelle became suddenly, seriously ill, ending up in the hospital for a little over two weeks. One week of that was spent in intensive care.

Tom Corrigan Press reporter

Tom Corrigan
Press reporter

The beautiful part here is she is home and doing fine. To me, that’s the most important sentence in this column.

Still….

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Off The Press — Dear NFL: You need Kasen Williams

April 7, 2015

All right, you NFL football scouts, listen up.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

More than four-dozen of you were here in Seattle last week at the Huskies’ Pro Day workout, looking over stars from the University of Washington, salivating over the prospects.

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Off The Press — Life is relaxed without March Madness stress

March 31, 2015

This may come as a big surprise to readers who know me as a sports-loving lunatic, but I didn’t participate this year in a time-honored tradition — filling out a bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

Why, you might ask, would I decide to do such a wacky thing? Hasn’t the whole March Madness thing spread to all corners of our society, where even Fran the lunch lady or Pete the computer geek — people who never follow sports — are now waxing poetic on the virtues of the Butler Bulldogs, Creighton Bluejays and Wichita State Shockers?

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Off The Press — Hey, big government, keep your mitts off my barbecue

March 25, 2015

I’m a live-and-let-live kinda guy. As long as what you do doesn’t bother what I do, I usually don’t have a problem with it, legal issues aside.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

Well, now I might have a beef with the Environmental Protection Agency. It seems the EPA is encroaching on my territory, specifically, my backyard.

That’s where I keep my barbecue grill.

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Guest Column — Transportation: We must act now

March 25, 2015

This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.

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Off The Press — Local residents are doing great things, here and away

March 17, 2015

I spend a lot of time thinking about local people and things, and I’d like to point out some of them here.

Kathleen Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen Merrill
Press managing editor

Kudos to the parents of young Maddie Sprague, Jeannie and Colin Sprague who met Maddie when she was only a couple of weeks old. Although they knew about her health problems — she had open-heart surgery the day she was born — they adopted her anyway.

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Off The Press — Surprises can still be found on government beat

March 10, 2015

A weird thing just happened in the city of Sammamish.

Tom Corrigan Press reporter

Tom Corrigan
Press reporter

The final word has yet to be written, but local officials and residents have reason to be optimistic, maybe even happy.

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Off The Press — In a world of vengeance, forgiveness is the key

March 3, 2015

It seems as if the ability to forgive others is disappearing from the face of the earth.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

Maybe I’m becoming a worse driver as I become an old fart, but it seems lately as if more and more people are laying on their horns with a “Beeeep” if I don’t sprint into the road the instant the light turns green.

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Off The Press — Welcome to a world with free speech, North Korea

February 24, 2015

My arrival was massively late, but last week I finally got around to seeing “The Interview,” the highly controversial film that landed Sony Pictures Entertainment in hot water with the North Korean government.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

In case you missed it — and chances are you have, since the movie was distributed to only a small handful of theaters nationwide — “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as farcical journalists who visit North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Their stated purpose is an exclusive, televised interview, but the CIA has sent them in for an assassination attempt.

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