Issaquah father and son take on the Big Climb and each other

March 13, 2012

Bill Ramos (left) and son Max have a friendly wager over who can reach the top of Seattle’s Columbia Center the fastest during the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb on March 25. By Tom Corrigan

Bill Ramos has taken the challenge 22 years in a row.

Max Ramos, 18, has been taking on Columbia Center in downtown Seattle since he was 8.

This year, on March 25, the Issaquah father and the son will once again take part in the Big Climb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The event challenges participants to sprint up the 69 floors of the Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle. Runners go up 1,311 steps and cover 788 feet.

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Skyline High School slashes paper use 60 percent

May 17, 2011

On average, Skyline High School uses roughly 50,000 sheets of paper per week — enough to stack 16 1/2 feet high. That translates into uprooting about six average-sized trees.

But for a week last month, the school tried something different — the school’s printers and copiers were largely silent, as staff members attempted to address large-scale paper use and go “paperless.”

During the week of April 18-22, Skyline used about 20,000 sheets, a 60 percent reduction from a typical school week, said the effort’s organizer, Librarian Elisabeth Bacon.

“It was a challenge, of course,” Library Assistant Kathi Eide said, “But it was cool.”

After the “paperless” week ended, Bacon looked at how much the school had used and said she didn’t think the school was really saving much paper.

Her pessimism was a little off, however. She monitored staff computer IP addresses to measure the use another week and saw paper use jump back up.

“I did not think it was (a success), but staff did,” Bacon said.

She said she got the idea to attempt a “paperless” week at a technology committee meeting. It was pretty simple: Because their goal is to get people to use the technology available at school, why not save paper in the process?

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Off the Press

April 20, 2010

Local woman’s legacy lives on at the Big Climb

Chantelle Lusebrink Press reporter

Lisa Abrahamsen was endearing, energetic, devoted and inspired.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at functions she’d helped plan at Cascade Ridge Elementary School. From those meetings, I remember her as a truly remarkable woman who always had a great quote and a friendly smile.

Lisa died Feb. 18, at age 42, after fighting non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for two years.

But her legacy is living today, forever woven into the fabric of her children and the community she served.

“My mom was really helpful,” said Lisa’s youngest son, Blake, 8. “When I had a bad day, she kind of just turned it upside down and I’d feel better immediately.” Read more

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Off the Press

November 10, 2009

Take in campaign season from a journalist’s eye

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

Election Day ended early, with a slow coast to prime time. Results were delivered in a single, anticlimactic burst at 8:15 p.m. with no nail-biting suspense. The frontrunners opened up big leads early, snuffing the chance to track trends or offer last-minute prognostications. Issaquah voters knew the make-up of the next City Council and school board well before “NCIS” was over.

Despite the quiet coda, campaign season was chockablock with memorable moments, at least for someone outfitted with a notebook and a digital voice recorder. Throughout the campaign, I jotted down observations and asides about the candidates and the race to public office.

What I observed — among the Issaquah candidates, anyway — were amicable, issue-oriented campaigns accessorized with the usual yard signs, candidate fliers and e-mail blasts. But the best — and cheapest — campaign tool I saw was the laminated placard Nathan Perea placed beside him at coffeehouses: “I’m running for Issaquah City Council. Please stop and chat!” the sign read. And it worked: Voters stopped to talk with the first-time candidate. Read more

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Off the Press

March 9, 2009

EFR firefighters step up to fight cancer

Chantelle Lusebrink Press reporter

Winded, Eastside Fire & Rescue Capt. Craig Hooper pealed off his bunker gear and gulped in air on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center in Seattle March 8.

His first thought upon hitting the last of 1,311 stairs?

“Thank God, I’m done,” he said.

It is the fourth year Hooper, who is also the union president for local 2878, has participated in Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The event challenges firefighters to climb 69 of the tower’s floors in full firefighting gear, which can weigh more than 60 pounds.

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