Off the Press

June 12, 2012

Superman wears a father’s cape

Sebastian Moraga Press reporter

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.

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Tim Lincecum scheduled to face M’s June 16

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.

‘Shipwrecked’ Mariners author to appear at Costco

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.

Who’s News

April 17, 2012

Contributed EFR members (from left) Deputy Chief Bud Backer, Firefighter Wayne Parker and Battalion Chief Glenn Huffman.

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.

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Local Democrats prepare for caucuses, opportunity to shape party priorities

April 10, 2012

Caucusgoers could change state and, perhaps, national policies as Washington Democrats gather for caucuses April 15.

President Barack Obama is the standard bearer for the Democrats in November, but although the party is not in the midst of a nomination fight, caucusgoers can still influence local, state and national issues by shaping the Democratic Party platform. Caucusgoers can present resolutions on political issues for consideration at local, state and national party gatherings.

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Off the Press

March 6, 2012

Time flies when making a lifetime of memories 

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

Mr. Hune was a very insightful teacher. In my ninth-grade yearbook he wrote “to a future newspaper reporter.”

How did he know?

I do not believe Mr. Hune, who taught the newspaper class at my junior high school, realized I would later venture into an enjoyable career that would last 40 years.

Forty years — sometimes it does not seem I just started yesterday. In 1972, when my career started, “The Godfather” was playing at most cinemas. Regular gasoline cost just 36 cents a gallon and postage stamps were only 10 cents. Three Dog Night and Moody Blues were some of the hit bands.

And on a sunny June afternoon in 1972 I graduated from Western Washington University. I had no time for the congratulations from two aunts who came to the graduation ceremony, because I had to go to work. I had recently been hired by the Bellingham Metropolitan, a new, enterprising, weekly newspaper that expected to challenge the established Bellingham Herald for the reading audience. My assignment was to write a story about the graduation. With diploma in hand, I raced to the office to write my first professional story on a Royal typewriter.

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Off the Press

January 31, 2012

Joys of eating lutefisk — there’s none for me

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

My last name might fool you. Actually, I am half Finnish and darn proud of that heritage.

The half comes from my mother’s side of the family, or as she always said “my best half.” Her father, Peter Kopra, came over from Finland in the late 1890s in hopes of striking it rich in the gold fields. Grandpa Peter never found gold, but he did discover the United States was a land of opportunity.

After securing a job down in California, he saved enough money to bring over Grandma and the rest of the family, which at the time included two boys. He also purchased a farm in Southwest Washington.

It was on this farm where my mother was born. It was later on a section of the farm, which my parents purchased from one of my uncles, where I was raised.

In this community, the last name Taylor was unique because most families were Finns, Swedes and Norwegians. However, I grew up proud of most Scandinavian traditions.

But there was one tradition I could never partake in — eating lutefisk.

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Where in the world is Our Gang Racing?

January 24, 2012

The Miss Red Dot, driven by Kip Brown, prepares for racing in the Oryx Cup World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in November. By Chris Denslow/H1 Unlimited

Local hydroplane team competes in the Middle East

There’s nothing quite like watching an unlimited hydroplane race.

The sleek boats travel at speeds of about 200 mph, kicking up massive walls of water (called rooster tails) in their wake, all while majestically skipping across the surface waves.

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Japanese woman rediscovers teenage roots in Issaquah

August 30, 2011

The story Miku Banno and Issaquah’s Barrie and Margaret Austin tell isn’t necessarily complicated, but it covers just over a few decades.

Moto and Miku Banno prepare sushi on the deck of the Austin family home during their recent visit to Issaquah. Contributed

As of August, in fact, it was 21 years ago to the month that Miku Banno first visited Issaquah.

At the time, she was 17 and a high school student who came as part of a program run by the Japanese government.

“I had been interested in the U.S.A. since I was little,” Banno said.

Her family had served as host to a visiting American girl when Banno was about 12.

“At that time nobody spoke English in my family and she felt homesick,” Banno continued. “I didn’t do anything for her and I was so sorry about it.”

With her family, Banno traveled to Guam and Hawaii, and then spent a month in Canada, including a short amount of time living with a local family.

“It was only a few days, so I wanted more,” she said.

It was a short time later that she ended up in Issaquah for about a month on a trip that also included an excursion to Disneyland.

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Celebrities turn out for memorial golf tournament

July 19, 2011

Months before the Joshua P. Williams Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament each year, a posse of his old buddies from Skyline High School scheme about what to wear on tournament day.

By Christopher Huber Mark Hanan, Luke Tulshar, Collin Roberts and Brandon Hemphill (from left), old friends of Josh Williams, watch a ball fly from the bunker on the 12th hole at The Plateau Club on July 12.

This year, four of the guys each played while decked out from head to toe in one color. They found the vibrant attire at a thrift store, intent on standing out everywhere they went at The Plateau Club.

“They look like popsicles out there,” said Debra Williams, Josh’s mother and event organizer. “They make it fun.”

More than 200 people participated in the 2011 celebrity golf tournament in Sammamish July 12. Centered around the casual golf tournament, the charity event raised money for the Williams family’s foundation at the dinner-auction that evening.

A total wasn’t immediately available.

“It’s a fun way for everybody to come out and celebrate Josh’s life,” said Mark Hanan, one of Josh’s high school friends, who wore a baby blue polo shirt and pants. “It’s the best day of the year. It’s a good way to give back to the community.”

This year’s tournament brought 36 local celebrities, including Chance Fry (Seattle Sounders), Tracie Ruiz-Conforto (Olympic gold medalist), Tyler Malsam (auto racer from Sammamish), Alonzo Mitz (retired NFL player), Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks), Dave Valle (former Seattle Mariners catcher) and Gino Torretta (NFL retired player, NCAA Hall of Fame).

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