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.
November 27, 2012
A competitive friend is taken too soon
Sunday night, as I was meandering about on Facebook, where more than a dozen of my friends are local newspaper and professional photographers, the Internet suddenly lit up from one end to the other like a lightning bolt across the sky with the sad news that one of our brethren had passed away.
The pre-eminent high school sports photographer for our parent company The Seattle Times, and a friend, Jim Bates, had finished his struggle against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. And while I might flatter myself to think a few of my sports photos are clipped out and pasted in your scrapbooks, it’s a sure bet that if you have been a high school athlete or a parent of one at any time during the past decade, and look back in those books, you will find Times photos with Jim’s byline.
There is a contingent of us local photographers who follow our school sports all year, including Don Borin, Jim Simpkins, Jim Nicholson, Chuck Babcock and Gary Babcock. And the truth is, we’re all trying to make sport photos as good as Jim Bates did. In his very unobtrusive and workmanlike way, he always knew exactly where to be for the consummate image.
Whether they are football, basketball or soccer photos, and whether they have been at Issaquah, Liberty or Skyline high schools, Jim Bates was there.
November 20, 2012
Not quite ready to start a new tradition
Elsewhere in this week’s paper, we’ve scoured the community, asking citizens what they’re especially thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.
I’ve always been thankful for the opportunity to share a traditional meal with either my family in Oregon or my wife’s family in Bellevue.
But we’re trying something a little different this year. My mom suggested my parents and my wife and I go out to dinner and return home for homemade pumpkin pie. This would leave all the hassle and stress to others and we could simply enjoy the meal.
Well, for one, my wife and I love to cook, which we did last year for them. Two, half the fun of the meal is having leftovers for a week.
November 6, 2012
Political ads turn downright scary
Last week, there was one day that I was literally sick to my stomach. No, not because I ate too much Halloween candy. Instead, it was because of all of the hate and ugliness in political ads.
Oh yeah. You know the ones I’m talking about:
“If he’s elected, my opponent will make sure you lose your house, and your kids go hungry and your dog dies.”
“My opponent is not who he says he is. He’s a big, fat liar.”
“My opponent has an autographed picture of Osama bin Laden on his desk.”
“My opponent has not been honest with the American people.”
“My opponent eats puppies for breakfast and drowns kittens on weekends.”
November 6, 2012
Go ‘All in for Kids’ to help students succeed
You have no doubt heard about the Issaquah Schools Foundation’s All in for Kids Annual Fund Campaign. Since August, we have reminded the community of our annual fundraiser via postcards, emails, letters, honk and waves, a billboard and even a Battle of the Fans promotion at the Issaquah vs. Skyline football game.
Why so much energy exerted to encourage the community to go “all in”? Because the revenue generated during the campaign is used to do amazing things for our students and schools. It can help transform struggling students into confident learners, equip teachers with skills to reach and engage students of all learning styles, create interest in critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects by connecting classroom learning to real life applications, and expand students capacity for innovation and creativity through support of music and arts programs.
October 30, 2012
With Twitter, WYSIWYG in 140 characters
With new skinny papers come new short Off The Press columns, 450 words max. Future is here. Better learn to tweet, too, max 140 characters!
Warren is great @ this, won big WNPA social media prize. Better get some tips from him. Don’t want to be left back by march of progress!
Someday will prob have to tweet for Press myself. To get a lot of thoughts in that limit is big challenge! Practice x 3! So far, WDY think?
H8 to misspell wrds to sav space. What about contractions? Leave out punctuation for dont, whats, cant? Better get ruling from the editor.
Googling ‘texting shortcut glossary.’ Results! Aha, netlingo.com should help. Big list! TIME doesnt mean time, it means ‘Tears In My Eyes’!
October 23, 2012
Some lonely eateries deserve another look
For the hungry lunchtime crowd, Issaquah offers a smorgasbord of eating options to satisfy a craving for just about every cuisine.
To help satiate this hunger, The Issaquah Press staff writes semi-regular restaurant reviews to update diners of the newest arrivals or other options that may have been missed.
Lately, by the absence of fellow diners, we’ve discovered more than a handful of establishments that fit in the latter category. Sure, anyone can go to the established, popular joints, but there’s a lot of fine dining being missed. Let’s revisit some of these eateries that, for whatever reason, haven’t attracted the lunch crowd they deserve.