February 12, 2013
Adding spice to another Salmon Days
As you may have read on our front page two weeks ago, the Salmon Days Festival has chosen this year’s theme, “Streaming Live,” for the city’s annual October blast of fishy fun. Swimming through a crest of water that looks like an oscilloscope wave is a school of high-tech, rainbow-hued coho salmon, with their fins leaving trails of pixelated bubbles in their wake.
One of the unsung heroes of Salmon Days is Mirrormont resident Robin Dale Spicer, who frequently suggests the theme and always provides the artistic creativity for the logos, the pins, the festival clothing — the “look” of the event.
For “Streaming Live,” Kelley quotes Spicer saying, “‘It just came into my head. It seems perfect and I can’t think of anything else.’” Kelley calls it “colorful and powerful, she was so right.”
February 5, 2013
This time, the obituary write-up was personal
I have a newfound respect for the fine work the Flintoft’s Funeral Home family does.
I’ve always thought handling service arrangements for recently deceased loved ones with distraught families had to be one of the hardest jobs imaginable.
While I’ve helped my fair share of families through the obituary-writing process here at The Press, in my 13 years, it never crossed my mind that one day I’d be writing one for my own father.
Our recently departed, former sports editor, Bob Taylor, God bless his soul, used to write about his own battle with cancer as a marathon. It was a long race, with many ups and downs and many helping hands along the way guiding him and praying for his recovery.
January 29, 2013
Relationships change due to social media
The Issaquah Press is not the largest Twitter presence in Issaquah.
The most-followed title goes to Issaquah-based medium Margaret McElroy. The getaway masterminds at Costco Travel rank near the top, too.
The newspaper, at more than 5,100 followers at last count, is not the largest Twitter presence in Issaquah, but it is quintessential to the conversation.
Behind the jumping salmon avatar, I answer questions, offer encouragement and, yes, respond to criticism amid the daily stream of information.
I am grateful to dedicated group of followers on Facebook and Twitter, and I am often humbled at the importance readers place on a personal relationship with the newspaper.
January 22, 2013
Share your sports accomplishments
I get complaints from people about things we miss in sports on some kind of regular basis. Not daily, but probably about once a week, someone calls or emails to ask, “Hey, why didn’t you cover this game?” or “How could you miss my son’s first school record?” or “Why isn’t my daughter’s swim meet time in your scoreboard?”
I hear you, and I care about your comments and concerns. I have the same concerns.
When I first started working here nearly eight years ago, we had a three-page sports section, with a color front page. (Schools ran on the back of that standalone section.)
Ahh, those were the days! We not only ruled prep sports, but we also had the occasional Mariners or Seahawks feature story.
January 15, 2013
Words aren’t always what they seam to be
Yes, the headline has the wrong word on purpose!
During one of my recent columns, the Twitter and Facebook revolution was under discussion and how it was shrinking our attention spans and thought processes to a maximum of 140 characters at a time.
There’s something else going on in this new way of communication that drives me crazy, not only in the social media universe but in the good old everyday world of newsprint and magazines.
Homonyms! Or in current smartphone texting lingo, autocorrect errors. Nowhere does the absence of good proofreading drive me as crazy than when it comes to them.
When there are a whole lot of people attacking a strategic position, they are a “horde.” When a storm is coming and we stock up on batteries, we are saving up a “hoard.”
January 8, 2013
Each new shooting jars painful memories
The imprinted memories come back with every school shooting. I was in my first year of teaching at Westside High School in Jonesboro, Ark. It was March 28, 1998, during my prep period. I heard the principal in the hall.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“There’s been a shooting at the middle school and we’re locking down the school,” he replied.
I helped him finish the task and then stood in front of the glass doors to observe the middle school about 50 yards away. Two boys, 11- and 14-year-olds, had set up a sniper’s nest just off the school playground.
One slipped into the school, set off the fire alarm, and ran to his post. The students and teachers, thinking it was a fire drill, filed out of the building. The boys began picking them off, killing four students, one teacher and wounding 16 others.
January 8, 2013
Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by volunteering
At the Y, volunteering is part of our DNA as more than half a million people donate their time and talents at Ys across the country in a variety of capacities. Whether serving on the board of directors or tutoring (and everything in between), the Y relies on volunteers to make an impact in communities.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 21, the Coal Creek Family YMCA encourages residents of Issaquah, Renton, Newcastle and South Bellevue to honor Dr. King’s legacy by not only giving back and supporting our neighbors, but by reflecting on how each of us can further activate the passion for contributing to the community that lasts all year long.
December 18, 2012
Birthdays are personal, not meant to be stolen
I have a beef with my birthday.
Not that I’m yet again a year older this Dec. 18 (I eternally hope to be a year wiser with each passing anniversary).
I have also long reconciled its proximity to Christmas and all the combined gifts I received over the years for the two occasions.
In the Navy, there was even a saying when you got in trouble, but had been in so much hot water before that one more run-in was inconsequential, “What are they going to do? Take away my birthday?”
December 11, 2012
Elusive Christmas wish ignites holiday meltdown
Christmastime means basic cable is awash in the holiday staples I remember from childhood — animated Whos in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a stop-motion Santa Claus in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and, above all else, BB-gun-seeking Ralphie Parker in “A Christmas Story.”
In 1990, at age 6, I followed Ralphie’s lead and trimmed my Christmas list down to a single wish.
That November, I dutifully wrote Santa Claus a letter outlining my desire for a Patch Up Pet, nowadays a long-forgotten toy. I knew if I wanted to score such a hot item, I needed to bypass my parents and appeal directly to the big man.
Santa wrote back. In hindsight, that should have been a big indicator of trouble.
Despite much searching by the elves, he wrote, there were no Patch Up Pets to be had, not at the North Pole, and especially not in Lorain, Ohio, where my parents and I then lived.
December 4, 2012
Use common sense to keep all critters safe
It’s been an interesting and somewhat sad year regarding local wildlife.
Interesting because of some of the new critters I’ve seen at home. Sad because of several deaths in the area.
My heart continues to ache for the 15-year-old golden retriever that was killed by a cougar in the Riverbend area of North Bend in September. What a horrible way for a beloved pet to die. That dog, left outside and attacked in the middle of the night, deserved more.
Also in September, a bear was shot and killed by a Snoqualmie man. The bear was in the man’s garbage, according to police. That bear, doing what bears do, forage for food, deserved more.
Last week here in Issaquah, a bear was hit and killed on Front Street South. I’ve said for a long time that people drive far too fast in some places, especially within our cities. It doesn’t seem to me that bears are so fast that one would dart out in front of a car, but maybe that’s what happened.