January 25, 2011
My weather knowledge was a little foggy
Every morning, when I get off Interstate 90 to drive into Issaquah, I look up at Tiger, Squak and Cougar mountains to get a glimpse of their surreal greenery. Mostly, I just see a bunch of fog.
That dense, whitish-gray stuff isn’t on my A list. It reminds me of Harry Potter’s dementors. It’s gloomy and makes me feel claustrophobic. Fog hides the sun — which, I guess means I don’t have to wear sunscreen, but it shields all of the vitamin D I could potentially be making from those ultraviolet rays.
And don’t even get me started on literary metaphors. Charles Dickens used it to set a dismal scene in “Bleak House.” In Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” fog causes Huck and Jim to miss a turn, making them head south into slave country, away from the freedom of the North.
Still, it turns out my understanding of fog was, well, foggy.
December 21, 2010
The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for December.
School: Liberty High School
Category of recognition: Foreign language
Parents: Charles and Tricia Romo
Sponsoring teacher: Michael Hausenfluck
Scholastic achievements: Four scholar athlete awards; Honor Society; 3.96 grade point average; early acceptance to Central Washington University
Scholastic interests: LINK Crew, Honor Society, president of Future Educators of America
Athletics: Captain volleyball team, two varsity letters, junior varsity most valuable player, junior varsity most inspirational
November 23, 2010
- Album: “Loud” By Rihanna
Rihanna jazzes up her fifth album by collaborating with artists such as Nicki Minaj and Shontelle. Already the album has popular singles — “What’s My Name? (featuring Drake)” and “Only Girl (In the World).” Fans can expect to hear more of Rihanna’s catchy choruses with “Loud”’s release.
- Book: “Decoded” by Jay-Z
From rapper Jay-Z comes a novel with an in-depth look into the meaning behind his vast repertoire of songs. Explore the culture, history and stories submerged in the lyrics and music of one of America’s most popular rappers.
-Movie: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
The first segment of the highly anticipated conclusion of the “Harry Potter” series follows the adventures of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they step outside the boundaries of Hogwarts to take on Lord Voldemort. With stunning special effects and a gripping storyline, “Deathly Hallows” is a must see.
July 27, 2010
World record holders often display some type of quirky talent, and the redheads gathering in Sammamish were no exception.
After all, it is an innate talent to carry two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16. These genes cause a change in the MC1R protein, which regulates skin and hair color.
“I love being a redhead,” Jennifer Phillips, of Mukilteo, said. “It’s fun to see everyone together at one time.”
Phillips and 900 other natural redheads convened at Skyline High School’s football field July 17 to set a Guinness World Record of the most redheads photographed in one location. So many redheads participated that they smashed the current record of 250 by more than threefold.
Sammamish photographer Anne Lindsay spearheaded the event. Her daughter, husband and dog have red hair, and she joined the bandwagon with a handy bottle of hair dye.
June 29, 2010
Every trip through a cavernous Costco Wholesale warehouse feels like a treasure hunt.
The company brings Dom Pérignon and Bud Light, platinum-set diamonds and scoopable cat litter, Prada handbags and Michelin tires together under the same flat roof.
The quest has been carefully designed for shoppers — 57.4 million Costco members worldwide. Shoppers must traverse vast retail plains and scan the jungle of exposed metal shelves for bargains in order to find loot — discounted Ugg boots, say, or smoked salmon.
Inside the Issaquah warehouse, customers hunt for deals in a retail ecosystem spread across 155,000 square feet. Costco cachet knows no class, no income. Part of the appeal, executives and industry watchers said, stems from the treasure hunt concept. Shoppers return to Costco for basics, yes, but also for the thrill of a surprise bargain.
“No matter what level of economic strata you are, you like good stuff,” company Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said. “Now, sometimes you have to choose to buy the chicken versus the steak, but the fact is, we’ve got some great stuff.”
The philosophy has made the Issaquah-based company the third largest retailer in the United States, the eighth largest on the planet and No. 25 on the Fortune 500.
February 23, 2010
‘For the love of Harry Potter!’
Skyline High School’s Harry Potter Club is the largest (and certainly the quirkiest) club that the high school offers this year. Juniors Erin Hoffman and Erin Pazaski, founders and “Head Mistresses,” said the idea evolved over the past summer.
January 12, 2010
Tumbling through the jungle, flying through houses and hoops and spying on wild things were just a few of the things Maple Hills Elementary School students did before winter break Dec. 17.
For a few precious days, students celebrated the end of their gymnastics unit in their physical education class with teacher Polly Vaughn, by participating in an elaborate obstacle course designed to take students to another world — “Where the Wild Things Are.”
“It’s fun for students. They see the movies, they read the books and I use that to connect with them,” Vaughn said. “This gives them something special to look forward to here and something they can pretend with. Here, they’re Max, pretending to go through the land of the Wild Things.” Read more
December 22, 2009
One could say Laurence Moroney is quite the prolific writer, having authored 14 books since 2000. However, unless you’re as much of a computer gearhead as he, you’ve probably missed most of his technology guides.
“With technology guides, you get started at the bottom of the food chain, writing about topics publishers are having a hard time filling,” said Moroney, a freelancer with Microsoft since 2005. “Then, once they start selling, you can pick and choose the topics you want.”
For his latest project, Moroney has chosen to switch genres from technology guide to science fiction. His first book in a planned trilogy of teen novels, “The Fourth World,” came out in October.
With two children, 9 and 12, Moroney decided he wanted to write the kind of book they’d like to read.
“My daughter, Claudia, is a ’tween, and she’s read the whole Harry Potter and Twilight sagas,” Moroney said. “So, ‘The Fourth World’ should appeal to that audience.”
The idea of a Harry Potter in space has been percolating in his head since 2004.
“It came down to five years of procrastinating and two months of furious writing,” he admitted. Read more
July 21, 2009
If walking through walls in a London train station or battling an evil wizard wasn’t enough for you, then you might be interested in traveling through J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series again — but this time, with some help.
Local first-time author Nancy Solon Villaluz is hoping you’ll let her be your guide through your next read with “Does Harry Potter Tickle Sleeping Dragons?”
In three new books, designed as a literary commentary on the “Harry Potter” series, Villaluz explores the depths of Rowling’s series and hidden critical elements she thinks “Harry Potter” fans should know.
“This ‘Harry Potter’ commentary is meant, like Harry, to challenge the reader to walk through what appears to be a wall into belief in what they can’t see and to walk in love when things get hard,” she said, of Rowling’s deeper plot. “That message is always relevant and necessary in society, and Rowling tackles it in spades.”
Villaluz said she couldn’t be happier to see more than five years of researching and writing come to fruition.
“To me, this is a pursuit of passion,” she said. “My journey of discovery delighted me and my book is written as a journey of delight for readers who want to know more about J.K. Rowling and Harry.”
Like some people, Villaluz admitted she was a “Harry Potter” avoider when the books took the world by storm, partly because she was a busy mother of two and partly because she believed the book series was filled with dark messages, she said. Read more
May 26, 2009
Aspiring musicians yearn for a chance to play Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony or perform alongside Grammy-nominated vocalists.
Benjamin Richardson, 10, has accomplished all of the above.
A member of the prestigious Northwest Boychoir, Benjamin and his fellow pint-sized performers frequent concert halls and other venues across the Puget Sound region and throughout the state.
He also plays gigs closer to his Issaquah home: Benjamin and his mother perform at the Issaquah Farmers Market.
“You can put your emotion into music,” Benjamin said. “I enjoy knowing that I’m giving people joy.”
His mother, Rochelle Pearson, plays viola in the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Pearson also teaches viola and violin. Her pianist husband, Harry Richardson, is the music director at Seattle First Presbyterian Church, where the family also worships. Benjamin took to music at an early age. Read more