Off the Press

December 18, 2012

Birthdays are personal, not meant to be stolen

David Hayes
Press reporter

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?”

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Eastside Audubon offers giftwrapping at REI

December 18, 2012

Eastside Audubon brings its holiday giftwrap service to the REI, 735 N.W. Gilman Blvd.

Volunteers from Eastside Audubon will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 21-24 to wrap REI purchases into presents ready to take home and put under the tree. Suggested donations will range from $3 to $9, depending on package size.

Donations raised by the giftwrapping service helps support Eastside Audubon’s programs in wildlife conservation and youth education. Those programs include habitat restoration on the Audubon BirdLoop at Marymoor Park and classroom presentations about birds and bird behavior for school-aged children.

Issaquah food bank Caring through Sharing / Dec. 11, 2012

December 17, 2012

Follow consumer tips to turn Christmas ‘green’

December 17, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 17, 2012

‘Tis the season for consumption — parties, gifts, shopping, decorations, food and more food — leading to more waste, so King County is encouraging revelers to turn the holiday season “green.”

The county launched the Green Holidays campaign to educate consumers about how to cut waste, save energy and support the local economy during the holiday season.

The campaign covers holiday décor, entertaining, Christmas tree-cycling and more.  The “green” motif also extends to cards, packaging and gift wrap.

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Eastridge Church hosts performances of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

December 11, 2012

In 1947, The Lux Radio Theatre delivered “It’s a Wonderful Life” from the silver screen to living rooms across the country via the radio. Now, 65 years later, Eastridge Church is recreating the radio play for the Eastside community.

With performances Dec. 14 and 15 at the church’s 72,000-square-foot Issaquah facility, the performance is not short on theatrics.

“It’s got layers to it,” said director Steve Wright, of Sammamish. “It’s a radio show performing a movie, so we have a few things going on.”

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Merry Christmas Issaquah strengthens community ties

December 11, 2012

Since the economy entered a nosedive in 2008, and throughout the fragile recovery since, volunteers at Issaquah Community Services keep hearing a familiar story.

The breadwinner for a household, laid off during the recession, needs help to make ends meet. The volunteers listen and, in many cases, offer assistance to pay the rent or to keep the electricity on.

Milicent Savage, Issaquah Community Services president, remembers the stories from two men recently at the organization’s office.

The men, both fathers and husbands, needed assistance to cover rent expenses for the month. Savage recalled how one man — a former Microsoft employee now working as a custodian — broke down.

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Hallelujah! Sing & Play Along Messiah! returns

December 11, 2012

Christmas revelers can create a joyful noise and benefit Issaquah Community Services as St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church hosts Sing & Play Along Messiah! — a concert to aid people in need throughout the community.

Proceeds from the event go to Issaquah Community Services’ Merry Christmas Issaquah fund.

“The real intent behind ‘Messiah’ was and still is to benefit the needs of the local community,” said Jason Anderson, associate for liturgical arts and youth formation at the downtown Issaquah church.

George Frideric Handel composed “Messiah” in 1741 to illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. “Messiah” ranks among the best-known musical works from the Baroque period, and the piece is especially popular around Christmas

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Follow safety tips to avoid Christmas tree catastrophes

December 11, 2012

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but fire hazards from Christmas trees and other decorations can dampen the festive spirit.

Experts at the State Fire Marshal’s Office remind residents to properly care for and decorate Christmas trees, and to practice fire safety in order to prevent yuletide emergencies.

If a household holiday display includes a natural tree, keep the tree adequately watered. Improper care and decoration of live or artificial Christmas trees can lead to catastrophic fires.

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Holiday donors can avoid charity scams

December 11, 2012

Secretary of State Sam Reed and state Attorney General Rob McKenna urged consumers to beware of holiday charity scams, and unveiled a report to help residents donate wisely.

Throughout 2012, charities using commercial fundraisers in Washington received 46 percent of total donations raised by the fundraisers — lower than the 56 percent in the 2011 report and a major drop from the 77 percent in the 2010 report. Read the most recent report on the Office of the Secretary of State’s website at http://1.usa.gov/TgnGu0.

The report is updated on a weekly basis. Consumers can also run reports in real time and receive current registration information on commercial fundraisers.

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Off the Press

December 11, 2012

Elusive Christmas wish ignites holiday meltdown

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

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.

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