Eagles grad becomes PLU RBI champ

April 12, 2011

Former Issaquah High School baseball star Ryan Aratani has become Pacific Lutheran University’s all-time career leader in runs batted in.

Aratani, a senior outfielder, took over the top spot April 10 by drawing a bases loaded walk in the Lutes’ 8-0 victory against Whitworth. It was his 118th run batted in. Aratani went 2-for-4 in the game.

For the season, Aratani is hitting .340. Last year he hit .398 and earned Northwest Conference first-team honors. In fact, he has hit better than .300 every season at Pacific Lutheran.

Another local player who is off to a good start for the Lutes is Liberty grad Jaron Iwakami, another outfielder. Iwakami is hitting .280.

One of the best games for both Aratani and Iwakami came March 27. Aratani went 4-for-5 and drove in two runs. Iwakami went 3-for-4 as Pacific Lutheran topped Willamette 14-11.

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Skyline High School cheer coach dies

March 29, 2011

Tamara “Tammy” Fox, the assistant cheer coach at Skyline High School, died March 20, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fox, a 31-year-old Issaquah resident, was found dead in her home. Authorities are still working on a toxicology report to determine the cause of death, according to the medical examiner’s office.

A 1998 graduate of Liberty High School, Fox danced on the drill team her freshman year and cheered for three years as a member of Liberty’s cheerleading squad. Her classmates awarded her the honor of having the most school spirit in her senior year and she was a member of Signet, Liberty’s senior service club.

Tammy Fox

Liberty principal’s secretary Kathy Schroeder knew Fox from the cheer squad and from her work as an office teacher’s assistant.

“She was a great gal,” Schroeder said. “I’m just heartbroken.”

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Edgar Martinez now swings a hammer

March 29, 2011

Local resident is passionate about giving back

To say Frank Perry is a busy man is quite an understatement.

Frank Perry (left) and Edgar Martinez pause in the middle of work to wave while building a home in February with other Habitat for Humanity of East King County volunteers in Puerto Rico. Contributed

Between volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity, The Martinez Foundation, The Moyer Foundation, the College Success Foundation, Washington State Mentoring and Zion Preparatory Academy, Perry is always busy with something. And to top it all off, Perry serves on the boards of a couple of those organizations.

Did I mention he also he does human resource consulting on the side?

“The days and the weeks just fly by with activities,” Perry recently said with a laugh.

Yes, Perry — a former senior vice president of human resources at Lanoga/ProBuild — is a busy person, but that didn’t stop him from taking five days off to help build a house for a low-income family in Puerto Rico.

The East King County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity organized the trip, which took place Feb. 14-18.

The trip was special not only for the work that the group was able to accomplish, but also for one of the members who joined them: Seattle Mariners legend and Puerto Rico native Edgar Martinez.

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Skyline High School assistant cheer coach dies

March 22, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. March 22, 2011

Tamara “Tammy” Fox, the assistant cheer coach at Skyline High School, died Sunday, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A 1998 graduate of Liberty High School, Fox cheered for three years on Liberty’s cheerleading squad. Her classmates awarded her the honor of having the most school spirit in her senior year.

Liberty principal’s secretary Kathy Schroeder knew Fox from the cheer squad and from her work as an office teacher’s assistant.

“She was a great gal,” Schroeder said. “I’m just heartbroken.”

She remembered teasing Fox about the crush she had on former Seattle Mariners star Alex Rodriguez during their hours together in the main office.

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Sammamish portrait artist paints powerful, political

November 23, 2010

Sammamish artist Michele Rushworth recently completed a commissioned portrait of Melissa Essary, dean of the Campbell University Law School in Raleigh, N.C. By Christopher Huber

Upon entering Michele Rushworth’s humble second-story, in-home art studio near Discovery Elementary School, one might not gather that she paints portraits of the rich and famous.

You might gather that she has a steady flow of work to do by the empty golden frames dangling from large hooks on the wall. Or by the small sketch paintings lying on the table. But for Rushworth, business is booming. She has an up to two-year waiting list of well-to-do families, heads of state and pro athletes to have their lifelike portraits painted. She also paints landscapes and portraits of children.

Rushworth was recently chosen to paint outgoing Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons’ official portrait. The work, scheduled to be delivered by Dec. 17, will hang in the state’s capitol along with her portrait of former Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Rushworth will be paid $17,500 for the painting and the frame, and $2,500 for travel expenses. She was chosen after a monthslong selection process, involving 43 other artists from across the country, said Teresa Moiola, public information officer with the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. Read more

Off the Press

November 16, 2010

Dave Niehaus: My, oh my, what a grand voice

Bob Taylor

Call me nostalgic, but last Friday I got out the rye bread and mustard to make a salami sandwich. It was grand.

But not as grand as listening to legendary Seattle Mariners’ broadcaster Dave Niehaus for the past 34 years. The sandwich helped take away some of the sorrow I still felt for the passing of Seattle’s voice of summer.

When I heard the news of his passing last Wednesday, it was a shock. I had just picked up my son David from work. For a few minutes, neither of us spoke as we listened to radio reports that Niehaus, 75, had died at his home.

I thought Niehaus would be in the Seattle Mariners’ broadcast booth forever. He was the kind of person you wanted in the broadcast booth forever. Niehaus was a consummate professional, the best baseball announcer I’ve ever heard — and I’ve heard a few in my time.

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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.”

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Liberty grad Tim Lincecum pitches Giants to World Series title

November 2, 2010

San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum carries the World Series trophy after winning baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Monday in Arlington, Texas. The Giants won 3-1 to capture the World Series. By David J. Phillip/AP

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 2, 2010

When Tim Lincecum came to Rangers Ballpark on Monday he was wearing a bow-tie and dressed as if headed to a party. As things turned out for the former Liberty High School baseball star, he will be doing some serious partying the rest of this week in San Francisco.

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Locals help grieving children

October 19, 2010

Grief is incomprehensibly difficult for many people, especially children.

Now, grieving children have a place to cry and bond with friends going through the same experience of loss. Former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer has reached out to children with his network of Camp Erin bereavement programs across the country.

Linda Treosti (far right) stands with some of her friends and volunteers in front of her horse trailer loaded with supplies this summer for its trip to Camp Erin. By Jane Quirk

The camp is named for 17-year-old Erin Metcalf, of Woodinville, who met Jamie Moyer through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. When Metcalf died of cancer in 2000, her family worked with the Jamie Moyer Foundation to set up a camp that would help children grieving from the loss of a loved one, a grief felt by Erin’s sisters and family.

The camps — 36 in all — are staffed by counselors and other volunteers, who help children manage their grief.

For the past few years, more than 20 volunteers from Issaquah have helped with the local Camp Erin at Camp River Ranch in Carnation.

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Off the Press

October 12, 2010

Wishes can come true, um, sort of

One day recently I stopped by a garage sale where they were selling gift bags. The bags, which cost $5, were sealed so customers wouldn’t know the contents until after purchasing one. So I spent $5. Over the years, I’ve wasted money on other meaningless purchases, like lottery tickets. So what’s $5?

When I got home, I opened the bag. There were baseball cards of Dave Cripe (1978 Royals), Gary Cooper (not the actor, 1980 Braves) and Frank Zupo (1961 Orioles) — I had to look these guys up in my Baseball Encyclopedia just to make sure they existed. There was a yo (string was missing, so it wasn’t a complete yo-yo), and an orange tie with purple stars. The bag also had something that looked like Aladdin’s lamp. The lamp was dingy and dusty, and in need of some serious polishing. I gave it a brisk brushing. All of a sudden, smoke poured out of the lamp and a man appeared.

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

“I am the genie of the lamp. My name is Bashar,” the genie said. I later researched the name and discovered he had a Persian name that meant “bringer of glad tidings.”

“Wow! My very own genie,” I thought.

But before I could make a wish, Bashar said, “I must warn you. I am retired. I have no wishes to give you.”

I thought “Oh, man, just my luck. A retired genie.”

Bashar noticing my frown, continued.

“You think you got problems, man. I live in an old genie’s home in Genieapolis, but I’m not sure how long I can afford to stay there. I’m down to my last shekel. I lost all my savings in Enron. I have emphysema from all that smoke I’ve been breathing from the lamp over the years. I have no health care,“ he said.

“If I had a wish, it would be that you could give me three wishes,” Bashar said before disappearing in a poof of smoke.

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