March 12, 2013
Want a tax deduction for reading this column?
Are you staring at your 1040 form this month wondering where all your income went?
Just in case you are in the 1 percent of taxpayers that have been slammed by this year’s repeal of your tax cuts, don’t think we here at The Issaquah Press can’t try to help you get a little of it back, with our thoughts about new tax loopholes that should help make ends meet.
I polled some of our employees on their ideas. If the American people can get Congress to put these on the books, it would benefit the 1 percent, the 99 percent, the 47 percent and all the other percenters that are out there.
March 5, 2013
It’s a milestone poker party for River Bil
Milestones. There are many ways to observe and celebrate them. At the Elks Lodge, among the poker crowd, we host a tournament.
The milestone in question is a celebration of longtime member Bill Weimer’s 80th birthday. Or, as we affectionately call him, River Bill. More about that in a minute.
Weimer remains the only old-timer who still plays at the Elks what is called the easiest card game to learn, yet the hardest to master, Texas Hold Em. It was from another old-timer, Dallas Cross, who recently moved to Idaho, that Weimer received his moniker, River Bill.
February 26, 2013
The road less taken leads to the woods
I wonder where that road goes? With that question, I am off on another of Robert Frost’s roads less taken, as I explore Issaquah, my new home. With the scarcity of streets laid out in grids, discovery is the best way to learn my way around, especially being map challenged.
Sometimes, I leave the house on my motorcycle with my only intent being to take the next right turn or the next left turn. The most amazing find on these serendipitous trips has been the frequency with which roads lead to a trailhead or series of trailheads.
Too many years too late, I realize I am in a hiker’s paradise.
February 19, 2013
Getting hired doesn’t have to be this hard
I’ve just finished hiring a new reporter for The Issaquah Press.
It never ceases to amaze me, when we advertise for help, the strange and sometimes ugly replies we get from people. Last week, I thought maybe a kind of list of do’s and don’ts might help people in their job search. Of course, these aren’t concrete rules, but as a hiring manager, these are some things I look for. Or not.
1. “Dear sir or madam.” Don’t write that. If you can’t take the few minutes it would take to learn my name and put it on your cover letter, how can I be sure you’ll check out the things you should if you worked here?
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.