Here’s to getting to know you — at long last

April 1, 2014

I’ve been working for this newspaper for 10 months, so it seems high time I got around to introducing myself.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a big fan of reporters who write about themselves, even in opinion pieces. My job is to tell your stories, not my own. But hey, most people are a little curious about the guy hanging around the school board meetings and the high-school football games, so I’m happy to oblige.

Neil Pierson Press reporter

Neil Pierson
Press reporter

I grew up in Spokane and matriculated to the fine institution of Washington State University to get my journalism degree. Basically, it’s the only school I ever wanted to attend because half my family did as well. My dad, aunt and uncle all earned pharmacy degrees in Pullman. For three years, I lived in the same dormitory my grandfather did in the 1940s.

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Top Pot to open Issaquah drive-thru location

January 22, 2013

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts plans to open a drive-thru Issaquah location as early as next month — a first for the Seattle-based pastry purveyor.

Cofounder Mark Klebeck said Top Pot intends to upgrade Rowley Properties’ existing building at 1235 N.W. Maple St. — a round structure most recently occupied by Mondo’s Espresso — near the Issaquah Transit Center.

The iconic structure’s Mid-Century Modern design and proximity to the transit hub appealed to the Klebecks.

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Community mourns longtime sports editor Bob Taylor

January 1, 2013

Robert L. “Bob” Taylor, former longtime sports editor of The Issaquah Press, died Christmas Eve morning, Dec. 24, 2012, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He was 63.

Bob Taylor

Taylor, of Renton, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and was battling that and leukemia at the time of his death. He wrote about his illness many times in The Press.

He married his wife, the former Pauline Namit, who he called his best friend, in 1976, and she was his main caregiver in his last years. He was very proud of his son, David, 34, a University of Washington graduate. Family meant everything to him. He also loved his dog Katie.

Taylor was half Finnish and proud of his heritage. He was born Oct. 4, 1949, in Vancouver, Wash., to Hilda (Kopra) and Layton Taylor, and raised on a farm in Southwest Washington.

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Community mourns former sports editor Bob Taylor

December 28, 2012

NEW — 3:05 p.m. Dec. 28, 2012

Robert L. “Bob” Taylor, former longtime sports editor of The Issaquah Press, died Christmas Eve morning, Dec. 24, 2012, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He was 63.

Bob Taylor

Taylor, of Renton, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and was battling that and leukemia at the time of his death. He wrote about his illness many times in The Press.

He married his wife, the former Pauline Namit, who he called his best friend, in 1976, and she was his main caregiver in his last years. He was very proud of his adult son, David, a University of Washington graduate. Family meant everything to him. He also loved his dog Katie.

Taylor was half Finnish and proud of his heritage. He was born Oct. 4, 1949, in Vancouver, Wash., to Hilda (Kopra) and Layton Taylor, and raised on a farm in Southwest Washington.

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King County councilwoman touts arena proposal’s economic potential

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.

Kathy Lambert

Reagan Dunn

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.

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Issaquah Soccer Club debuts Women’s Premier Soccer League teams

June 12, 2012

The Issaquah Soccer Club is promoting two new Women’s Premier Soccer League teams.

One team is playing while the other is provisional but still practices with the club.

The club is off to a promising start of the season, winning two of its first games.

The team premiered with a home game win May 25, 3-0, against Eugene Metro.

The team enjoyed its latest victory June 1 against the Portland Rain, 2-0, at Skyline High School.

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King County launches Shockingly Simple Campaign to encourage AED registration

June 4, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. June 4, 2012

King County public health officials launched a campaign Monday to encourage businesses and organizations to adopt and register automated external defibrillators — portable devices designed to use electrical therapy to treat people suffering from cardiac arrest.

The effort, called the Shockingly Simple Campaign, is meant to encourage AED owners to register the devices with the county. The registration allows 911 dispatchers to locate the nearest AED during emergencies.

“AEDs don’t work if we can’t find them, so after purchasing an AED it is absolutely crucial to register them through King County,” said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, medical director for the King County EMS Division of Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Businesses and organizations should think of an AED as part of an office safety kit.”

AED owners can register the devices on the Public Health – Seattle & King County website.

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Soccer tournament to raise funds for fields in Africa

May 1, 2012

Cliff McCrath is surrounded by soccer players in Ethiopia, Africa, in 2009. Contributed

On a 2009 trip to Africa, longtime local soccer coach Cliff McCrath was inspired to improve the lives of teenagers there. Founder of the nonprofit organization Soccer Saves, McCrath partnered with Save the Children in order to visit there.

Fast-forward to today. The Bellevue-based Soccer Saves is hosting a 3 v 3 soccer tournament June 3 at the Preston Park Athletic fields. All funds generated will go directly to build a soccer field and a community- center clubhouse for disadvantaged youths near Cape Town, South Africa.

The top four teams in each age bracket will advance to the 3 v 3 Challenge National Tournament, to be held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Florida from Aug. 3-5.

The Soccer Saves 3 v 3 tournament is the only qualifying tournament in the Pacific Northwest for the 3 v 3 Challenge National Tournament.

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Issaquah man is kickin’ it with new friends — Seattle Sounders FC players

April 3, 2012

Brian Gordon (right), of Issaquah, holds a new pair of autographed goalkeeper gloves after a scrimmage with (from left) Sounders FC forward Roger Levesque, keeper Michael Gspurning and forward David Estrada March 20 at the Starfire Sports center in Tukwila. By Greg Farrar

Brian Gordon raved about the men in rave green.

The Issaquah resident spent part of an afternoon kicking a soccer ball with a bunch of new friends — the 2012 Seattle Sounders FC.

Gordon earned the honor by winning the Man of the Match promotion of the Washington’s Lottery, which allowed one person and his family to suit up and practice with the Major League Soccer’s Seattle franchise.

On March 20, the dream of many a fan became true for Gordon, who traveled to the Sounders’ practice facility in Tukwila and got to share a soccer pitch with people like David Estrada, Michael Gspurning and Roger Levesque, all Sounder players.

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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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