Dave Niehaus, voice of Seattle Mariners for 34 years, dies

November 11, 2010

NEW — 11:10 a.m. Nov. 11, 2010

Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus, the voice of Seattle Mariners’ baseball for 34 years, died Nov. 10 of a heart attack in his home in Bellevue. He was 75.

Issaquah resident Rick Rizzs, a longtime partner in the broadcast booth with Niehaus, was stunned with the news of Niehaus’ passing.

“What a loss,” Rizzs said. “Holy cow. I feel numb. He meant everything to Mariner baseball. Everything. He was not only the voice of the Mariners, he was the Mariners. He was the face of the franchise. When you turned on the radio, everything was right with the world when you heard Dave’s voice.”

“This is truly devastating news,” Howard Lincoln, the Mariners chairman and CEO, and team President Chuck Armstrong said in a joint statement released by the team. “… Dave has truly been the heart and soul of this franchise since its inception in 1977.”

Read more

A major league homecoming

July 13, 2010

Issaquah grad Colin Curtis, now a New York Yankee, plays in Seattle for first time as major leaguer

Colin Curtis, former Issaquah High School baseball standout, takes batting practice July 8 at Safeco Field, before his New York Yankees meet the Seattle Mariners in the first game in front of his hometown fans. By Greg Farrar

Fifteen years ago, had Colin Curtis known he would someday become a major league outfielder, he would have said, “perfect, my plan is going to work.” At least that is what Curtis, now 25, said with a laugh when asked what his reaction would have been.

Read more

Off the Press

July 6, 2010

Is that a famous person? Quick, get the camera!

Issaquah is not in Southern California, if all the rain and forests didn’t give it away. But our town on the edge of the greater Seattle area is linked to its fair share of recognizable and famous people. Some have moved here, others used to live here and some just drop in from time to time.

So, just who are these famous folks who graced Issaquah at one time or another, you ask? Modest Mouse front man Isaac Brock; Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki; sportscaster Rick Rizzs; former Mariners Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr., Paul Sorrento, J.J. Putz, Omar Vizquel, Dave Valle and Jeff Nelson; former Seattle Supersonics Detlef Schrempf and Ray Allen; Pulitzer-winning playwright Brian Yorkey; authors Deb Caletti and Serena Rolan; actress Cynthia Geary, who played Shelly Marie Tambo on “Northern Exposure”; Lockergnome founder Chris Pirillo; and Red and Rover comic strip artist Brian Basset.

Also, don’t forget Colin Curtis, who graduated from Issaquah High School and now plays for the New York Yankees. Oh, and Train lead singer Pat Monahan lives somewhere up on Lake Sammamish as well, although that may be just out of city limits.

Others who have been said to live here include The Decemberists’ bassist Nate Query, NBC news correspondent Margaret Larson and filmmaker Phil Lucas, who passed away in 2007.

Many of the city’s notable residents have been featured in The Issaquah Press before, and it may not be unusual to see some of them around town. However, the more famous people in the area aren’t seen around town as often, and their exact whereabouts can be hard to pinpoint.

Read more

Teachers’ union leader takes many memories with her into retirement

July 6, 2010

Neva Luke, who is retiring as Issaquah Education Association president, sits in her office with a picture of her and husband Pat Ciairelli, and a framed Rosie the Riveter World War II poster. By Greg Farrar

Neva Luke, 60, cleared the treasure trove of memories from her office at the Issaquah Education Association in the days leading up to her retirement from the Issaquah School District.

Photos of her travels to Versailles with her husband, Pat Ciairelli, the framed placard of Rosie the Riveter saying “We can do it!” and a card from her sister of Gilda Radner’s “Saturday Night Live” character Roseanne Roseannadanna, whining that “It’s always something,” — all are mementos of a life dedicated to helping children and advancing public education.

Read more

Living the dream

February 23, 2010

Issaquah resident Rick Rizzs fulfilled his boyhood fantasy of calling major league games

Dreams do come true. Seattle Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs is living proof. From the time he was able to pick up a baseball bat and throw a baseball, Rizzs dreamed of becoming a Big League announcer.

“I’m one of the most fortunate guys in the world,” the Issaquah resident said. “How many people get to do what they dreamed of as a kid?”

Rizzs grew up in Chicago and was passionate about baseball at an early age.

“I’ve always been a baseball fan,” said Rizzs, who would get together with guys in his neighborhood and play sandlot ball during the summer.

“We would play all day long,” he said.

Read more