Issaquah man is ready to celebrate rare Feb. 29 birthday

February 28, 2012

Christopher Hetzel has a special appreciation for the February page of a calendar on every fourth year, when the number 29 comes up in the last square. By Greg Farrar

Christopher Hetzel, a middle-aged man, is poised to turn 10.

The architectural historian and Issaquah resident is actually closer to 40, but due to a quirk in the Gregorian calendar, Hetzel’s birthday, Feb. 29, only comes around as often as a presidential election.

In other years, Hetzel celebrated the leap day birthday on Feb. 28. Come Feb. 29, however, the quadrennial occasion requires a blowout celebration.

“When you’re young, it always sets you apart as being special, which is of course a positive thing,” he said.

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Mardi Gras theme comes to Grand Ridge Elementary School auction

January 24, 2012

Artwork like this piece, ‘Hands,’ is up for auction to raise money for the Grand Ridge Elementary School PTA. Contributed

A past president of the Grand Ridge Elementary School PTA, Lida Buckner makes no secret of the fact she wants to start a tradition.

Buckner is one of the driving forces behind the school’s first auction event, dubbed Mardi Gras 2012. The fundraiser is split into two parts, an online auction and a live auction event. The online portion of the fundraiser began Jan. 22 and runs through Jan. 29. The live auction is set for Feb. 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah.

Buckner said proceeds will benefit science, art and music programs, as well as programs run by the school PTSA.

During the online event, parents and others can bid on 37 original student art projects, one from each classroom in the Issaquah Highlands school. As for the live event, organizers wanted to make it a little different. Buckner said their choice of the Hilton Garden Inn as a venue is another reason the live auction will run a bit unlike similar events parents and others may have seen put together by other schools.

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Seattle Sounders FC restores greenway / Aug. 29, 2011

September 1, 2011

Sounders assist at Lake Sammamish State Park

August 30, 2011

Players join Mountains to Sound Greenway restoration project

Servando Carrasco (left), Seattle Sounders FC midfielder, and Tor Bell, restoration program manager, use loppers to remove blackberry bushes Aug. 29 while joining other volunteers during a Mountains to Sound Greenway habitat restoration project beside Issaquah Creek at Lake Sammamish State Park. By Greg Farrar

Seattle Sounders FC fans often hold blue-and-green scarves aloft to show support for the team at CenturyLink Field.

Fans offered the same ardent support Aug. 29 for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust at Lake Sammamish State Park. The restoration team greeted Sounders forward David Estrada and midfielder Servando Carrasco as volunteers pulled invasive plants.

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Help Sounders FC restore Lake Sammamish State Park

August 23, 2011

Join Seattle Sounders FC players and Seattle Bank employees as they volunteer with the Mountains to Sound Greenway to clear invasive weeds from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Lake Sammamish State Park.

Washington State Parks and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust are partnering together on the multiyear restoration of Lake Sammamish State Park. The park provides important habitat for several species of salmon, birds — including bald eagles, great blue herons and red-tailed hawks — amphibians, insects and other wildlife.

But recently the area has become extremely degraded by invasive weeds, including blackberry. In the past five years, volunteers have removed invasive species and re-established native plant communities throughout the park.

For this United We Serve event, Mountains to Sound will focus on clearing blackberry and other invasive species from around newly planted trees and shrubs to give these native plants a better chance at survival.

After a brief orientation and safety briefing, volunteers will dive into work along Issaquah Creek removing invasive weeds. The greenway trust will provide all of the tools, technical training and oversight for the projects — no experience is required.

Register for the event at www.SoundersFC.com. Search for “United We Serve” under the “Outreach” tab.

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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Egg-cellent Easter festivities abound

April 19, 2011

Children gather for a local Easter egg hunt. File

Hop to Easter egg hunts throughout the Issaquah area before the holiday dawns April 24.

The holiday is celebrated against a backdrop of baskets, bunnies and goodies at numerous churches and community organization.

Splash into the Underwater Egg Hunt & Carnival at Julius Boehm Pool, as the family tradition is brought indoors and into the shallow end of the pool. The underwater egg features prizes and carnival games, in addition to the submerged eggs. Organizers recommend participants bring plastic Easter baskets.

Meet the Easter Bunny at the 20th annual Gilman Village Easter EGGStravaganza. Children can also stop at participating shops and businesses for Easter treats.

The annual EGGStravaganza at Gilman Village is not the only eggs-travaganza in town.

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Issaquah sports shrink talks a good game

March 29, 2011

Mike Margolies always tells his audience that he was a very good, unsuccessful athlete.

Issaquah radio show host Mike Margolies gets ready for his program, ‘The Athlete Within You’ from his home office on Squak Mountain. By Greg Farrar

“I had the physical tools, but I didn’t understand the mental side of the game,” he said. “I didn’t understand that my thoughts contributed to how I performed on the field. I didn’t understand there were things I could do to help me focus better.”

No matter at what level an athlete is playing — from Little League baseball to the Olympics — the field of sports psychology can help players channel the pressure of their sport into a positive force.

“I’ve worked with athletes who have won world championships, gone on to play professional sports,” Margolies said. “The difference between them and someone who has an equal level of tools is how they deal with adversity, how they deal with the stress of the game, how they plan and prepare for the game.”

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4A KingCo soccer teams ready for another jam

March 15, 2011

Issaquah, Skyline hope to challenge for first place

The 4A KingCo Conference boys season could be headed for another traffic jam. Last year, the league was bumper to bumper, just like Issaquah’s Front Street on a Friday afternoon.

When the regular season ended, just two points separated the first-place team from the sixth-place team. Three teams tied for first place and two were just one point behind the leaders.

Issaquah High School coach Jason Lichtenberger said he believes it could be another close race.

“From top to bottom, I believe KingCo is the toughest league in the state. I fully expect another close race,” Lichtenberger said. “I think there are some quality teams in the league again. There are two or three teams that could be a bit stronger than the rest, but almost every team has a player who can change a game.”

Lichtenberger said he believes Skyline, one of last year’s tri-champions, and Eastlake and Newport, both with experienced teams, could be the frontrunners. Garfield, one of the tri-champions last spring, might be another contender.

Issaquah has aspirations of continuing its success from the past two seasons. However, the Eagles lost eight starters from last season’s team that finished just one point out of first place. Lichtenberger pointed out that the Eagles have talent and the potential to be among the top teams.

In 3A KingCo, Liberty had a disappointing season in 2010, but has some outstanding players returning who have hopes of moving the Patriots in the standings.

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Spartans see four hurdles on road to state threepeat

September 7, 2010

Skyline midfielder Madi Barney jostles with Eastlake defender Jamie Marzano to control the ball last fall. File

Soccer Preview

From the hint of concern in head coach Don Braman’s voice Sept. 2, the sole aim in 2010 for the Skyline High School girls soccer team is to make it through the final week of the regular season.

If the defending back-to-back 4A state champions carry their confidence and energy into that final week, they stand to compete against the four teams Braman expects to lead the KingCo Conference this season: Eastlake, Issaquah, Woodinville and Redmond.

“That last week you could go from first to last, from last to first, or something,” he said before practice Sept. 2. Read more

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