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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Off The Press — How many shades of grey lead to success?

February 17, 2015

The inevitable success of the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” (box office returns were not available at the time we went to press) got me thinking.

David Hayes Press reporter

David Hayes
Press reporter

The movie is based on a trilogy of books which themselves originated as a fan fiction ode to the characters of “Twilght” vampire novels. Author E.L. James became affectionately nicknamed “mommy porn,” as they provided soccer moms with a fantasical outlet for unrequited desires.

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Off The Press — Go all the way or don’t go at all

February 10, 2015

According to Random House Dictionary, the word fan is a noun meaning “an enthusiastic devotee, follower or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.: a baseball fan; a great fan of Charlie Chaplin.”

Kathleen Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen Merrill
Press managing editor

Its synonyms are supporter, enthusiast, partisan, booster, addict.

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Off The Press — Decompression tips for distraught 12s

February 3, 2015

After the James Cameron movie “Titanic” became a big box office smash, one of the popular memes that soon followed was a slogan T-shirt that said “The boat sank. Get over it!”

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Greg Farrar
Press photographer

Today, as Monday gets underway here at the office the day after the Super Bowl and coworkers endlessly debate the pass play at the end, I want to climb on a desk and announce, “It’s just a football game. Get over it!”

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Off The Press — The trees will speak of Alan Haywood

January 27, 2015

Have you ever tried to listen to the trees?

Sometimes while swinging in my backyard hammock under the maple I try to hear the poetry of the leaves shining in the breeze. Sometimes on a Tiger Mountain hike, in a grove of firs towering above the ferns on the forest floor, I meditate on the hymns they sing. Coming across a gnarled old giant like the Ruth Kees tree at Lake Tradition, I imagine being able to hear lessons from its centuries of wisdom.

Yet my affection for them pales in comparison to the love Alan Haywood has shown the trees and plants of Issaquah for the last 30 years as the city’s professional arborist. He will no longer be employed by the city after the end of March, and I’m going to miss him as a friend and as a walking, talking botany encyclopedia.

Alan is the only person I have ever met who seems to know off the top of his head the Latin name of every single plant and tree in his care! Not only that, he knows each one’s favorite soil, growing season, optimum requirements for sunlight, shade and irrigation, and best pruning practice. Read more

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