September 11, 2012
Excess campaign funds need clarification
Some state lawmakers have been taken to task for using leftover campaign funds in ways that may or may not be within bounds. There’s the problem. The rules are too vague and open to interpretation, so it’s unclear if there was a violation. More definitive guidelines should be developed.
An Associated Press reporter combed through records detailing the way politicians spend money left over from campaigns. The law allows them to hold onto the cash for the next election or use it for “public office-related expenses.” The vast majority of expenses are above board, though some are borderline and strain credulity.
One Issaquah legislator, state Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, had used some funds to help with car maintenance. Anderson reportedly said he has logged miles on the vehicle for official business, so it was reasonable to use the funds for maintenance. But that same car likely also made trips to the grocery store or the movies. Where is the line between official and unofficial use?
August 28, 2012
When news photographs whistled through wires
Our recent story about the book by Barry Sweet, the Seattle Associated Press photographer for more than three decades, brought back a lot of memories. I visited with Barry at the Issaquah Costco and enjoyed reliving old times.
Would you believe that once upon a time, it took 10 minutes to send one black-and-white photograph to newspapers across the country? And 40 minutes to send color?
While studying at the University of Washington, I landed a job in 1977 as one of five wirephoto operators at the Seattle bureau, working right next to Barry Sweet at the same desk and the same darkroom for two years.
A wirephoto — or Laserphoto — transmitter was about the size and weight of a carton of 10 reams of office paper. We typed a caption on sticky paper, put it on the margin of an 8-by-10 print, put it in the slot and pressed start.
The picture would slowly feed at an inch per minute as the laser would scan 120 lines an inch, turn the shades of gray into a constant rapid whistling of high- to low-pitched sound frequencies and send it across telephone lines.
Receivers at the nation’s newspapers would expose glossy thermal paper with synchronized lasers at the same time and spit out their reproductions when the transmission was done.
August 7, 2012
Bud Cochran used to walk more than a mile to see his sweetheart Lorraine back when they were students at Puyallup High School in the late 1930s. With no car and a girlfriend that lived on the opposite side of town, the trek became a familiar path for the love-struck Bud.
“It didn’t seem far at all,” he said. “I was just smitten.”
Seven decades later, the two longtime Issaquah residents are still together, having celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary May 2. Sitting in their cozy ranch-style home situated next to Issaquah High School, Bud, 90, and Lorraine, 88, fondly reminisced about their eventful 70 years together.
August 7, 2012
Before the King County Council made a landmark decision to authorize public dollars for a sports-and-entertainment arena, Kathy Lambert received 2,700 emails.
The councilwoman, a Redmond resident and the Issaquah representative on the council, said most messages urged the council to approve the arena proposal.
In the end, after months of discussion and hours of testimony, Lambert joined the council majority to approve a key agreement for a $490 million arena — a linchpin in the plan to bring professional basketball back to Washington.
The council agreed July 30 to contribute up to $80 million for a proposed Seattle arena near Safeco Field — if investors can secure NBA and NHL franchises. The county contribution is capped at $5 million if only professional basketball comes to the arena.
The agreement does not include additional taxes for county residents. Plans call for 30-year public bonds to finance the arena, and for arena revenue to pay off the bond debt.
Lambert later cited the proposed arena’s economic benefits — jobs for arena construction and operation, plus tax revenue for the county and a tourism attraction — for the region as reasons for the yes vote.
July 3, 2012
Rotary International District 5030 — which runs from Mill Creek to Enumclaw — has recently found itself in distinguished company.
The district, which includes the Rotary Club of Issaquah, joins the Gates family, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and former Seattle Mariner Jamie Moyer as recipients of the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award for their commitment to community and public service.
Don Oellrich, president of the Rotary Club of Issaquah, said being part of the district that received the award is an honor.
June 19, 2012
With their season on the line in a loser-out playoff game in the KingCo tournament, the 2003 Liberty Patriots knew they something had to give. Read more
June 12, 2012
Superman wears a father’s cape
This is my first fatherless Father’s Day. He died in March.
Now, if you fear this will turn into a weepfest, rest assured, it won’t. My dad is the reason why.
My dad had a tough life. The heart trouble that killed him at 69 started in grade school. His father died in his arms; his only marriage ended in divorce. And though he trained as an accountant, he turned 50 working as a fisherman in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, miles away from an IRS office.
But he never stopped believing that he was close to his next great day. To my dad, the past mattered little and today’s troubles would be overcome tomorrow. Girl break your heart? You’ll find a better one. You watch. His arthritic knees hurt? So what, they hurt yesterday, too. Now how about those Mariners?
That optimism bathed almost all of his actions. It made you feel safe and certain that things would improve. Even if they didn’t, he made you feel like he was on your side and that might just be enough to weather the storms.
June 12, 2012
If all goes according to plan, Tim Lincecum, former Liberty High School and University of Washington star and current San Francisco Giant, will face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field for the first time in his career.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner is having struggles this year, posting a 6.00 earned run average, along with a 2-7 record in his first 13 starts.
The Giants previously visited the Mariners at Safeco during May 2009, but Lincecum pitched the previous day, missing the Mariners series by one day.
The game starts at 7:10 p.m. June 16.
May 1, 2012
Seattle Mariners fans can dig deep into the team’s troubles in “Shipwrecked: A Peoples’ History of the Seattle Mariners” — author Jon Wells’ account.
The author is scheduled to appear at Costco, 1801 10th Ave. N.W., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5 to sign the book. Fans can meet the author and discuss the book and Mariners baseball.
Wells accuses team executives of shortsightedness and stubbornness, even as results failed both fans and the team’s bottom line. Despite the challenges, Wells sees optimism ahead for the team.
“Despite the heroic efforts of many great players, the Seattle Mariners haven’t been to the World Series because their owners’ relentless passion for the bottom line has repeatedly undercut chances for success on the field,” a passage from the book reads.
Wells, a Seattle resident, is also the publisher of the independent Mariners’ game program The Grand Salami. Learn more about the program and “Shipwrecked” at www.grandsalami.net.
April 17, 2012
EFR honors firefighter Wayne Parker
Wayne Parker, an Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighter, was recognized by the Lake City Elks Lodge as the 2011 Firefighter of the Year at their annual Firefighter Recognition Banquet and Awards Dinner in February.
The lodge invites fire departments from throughout the region to attend this event in thanks for their service to the public. Parker, who works at Station 72 in Issaquah, was recognized for his efforts with Ryan’s Solution, a program bringing awareness of the prescription medication overdose problem in teens today, and International Medical Response, which helps people during disasters.
Parker was hired by EFR in 2007 and has been a firefighter since 2003.