Piloting pandemonium

July 16, 2013

Timber Ridge veteran shares his WWII adventures

As the former pilot of a B-17 bomber named “Pandemonium Reigns” during World War II, Robert Ploss has had his fair share of adventures.

By Greg Farrar Above, Bob Ploss enjoys sharing the stories of the lifelong friendships he made with the men of the B-17 bomber crew he served with during World War II. Below, Ploss (front row, left) and his World War II B-17 crew pose in December 1944 at Drew Field in Tampa, Fla.

By Greg Farrar
Above, Bob Ploss enjoys sharing the stories of the lifelong friendships he made with the men of the B-17 bomber crew he served with during World War II.

The 91-year-old veteran and resident of Timber Ridge recalls his adventures and experiences through life with captivating style, and a knack for storytelling led him to start a monthly newsletter at Timber Ridge, which he calls “The Splinter.” In the newsletter, Ploss shares stories, jokes and poems.

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Seniors share holiday traditions, memories

December 18, 2012

When asked what their favorite holiday memory is, most people will say spending time with loved ones. Dig a little deeper and the holidays are home to a whole score of memories.

Al Watenpaugh, 85, still remembers one Christmas present in particular. Around age 10, he went feeling around under the Christmas tree, trying to see if he could suss out what surprises the gift-wrapped packages held. Feeling around, his fingers moved across a shape that was unmistakable.

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Salmon Days Festival volunteer sign-up party is Sept. 12

September 11, 2012

Salmon Days Festival organizers need a phalanx of volunteers to offer directions to festivalgoers, sell souvenirs, drive a shuttle bus and, importantly, clean up after the event concludes.

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Who’s News

August 28, 2012

Timber Ridge at Talus receives Excellence in Innovation award

Celebrating receiving Timber Ridge at Talus’s Excellence in Innovation award are (from left) Bik Cheema, Jo Hollis and Scott Doherty. Contributed

Timber Ridge at Talus was recently honored during the King County Healthcare Coalition Forum held at Seattle City Hall for its creative fire and earthquake survival training videos for staff and residents of nursing and retirement communities.

Timber Ridge at Talus received the Excellence In Innovation award for producing a three-part DVD training series and facilitator toolkit with the help of Eastside Fire & Rescue and Fire Station 72 with scripting, filming and producing.

The videos provide general safety guidelines and scenarios: Drop, Cover, and Hold techniques, fire extinguisher demonstrations and defend-in-place strategies. In Timber Ridge’s training delivery, personnel from EFR added realism by using a smoke machine to imitate a fire in a health center room as staff members demonstrated correct procedures during emergency situations.

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Who’s News

August 14, 2012

Local teen signs with national agent

Sarah Arthur, 15, of Issaquah, has been signed with the talent agency The Crawford Agency.

She is the daughter of Esi Quaidoo-Arthur and Edmund K. Arthur, of Bellevue, and attends Issaquah High School.

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Gravity — and team spirit — power Rotary racers’ soapbox derby cars

July 17, 2012

Cian O’Farrell, 11, and driver John Morse, 10, ride the gravity car by sponsor Fred Meyer to a checkered flag waved by the Rotary Club of Issaquah’s Fred Nystrom. By Greg Farrar

A day filled with happiness for children was the goal of the 15th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Day Race on July 14.

Viewers lined Second Avenue Southeast to watch — standing or sitting on the bleachers halfway down the block.

The event pairs up children with disabilities and volunteer children drivers to race soapbox derby cars. Gravity pulls the cars down the hill. The vehicles reach speeds of 17 mph.

About 50 children with disabilities got to race three times with rotating drivers and cars. Liberty High School cheerleaders greeted the racers at the finish line before cars were towed back to the starting line.

“It’s a great event for kids to experience a fast, free ride down Second Avenue,” Rotary Club member Russell Joe said. “For some of the riders, it’s the first time they’ve been in a car that’s running on its own without mom or dad.”

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Rotary Club soapbox derby race celebrates 15th anniversary

July 10, 2012

Drivers, co-drivers, parents, Rotary Club of Issaquah members, Issaquah High School wrestlers, Liberty High School cheerleaders and student volunteers pose for a group photo at the 2011 Challenge Day gravity car races. By Greg Farrar

The 15th annual Issaquah Rotary Challenge Day Race, an event that pairs children with disabilities with a young driver of a sleek soapbox derby car, is set for July 14.

The event allows participants to experience the fun of a derby race down Second Avenue past the community center in downtown Issaquah.

For the race, the pair of youngsters climb into the seat of a sleek soapbox derby car. With the slam of the starting gate, the car’s wheels begin to turn. As gravity kicks in, the two-seater makes its way along the street.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with racing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other activities include adaptive cycling for children and adults with disabilities and lunch hosted by the Rotary Club of Issaquah for event participants and volunteers.

The event was inspired by the vision of longtime Issaquah resident and retired Puget Sound Energy executive Leo Finnegan, the father of an adult son with a disability.

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Off the Press

June 5, 2012

Subject matter expert turns up unexpectedly

David Hayes Press reporter

In my decade-plus of working here at The Issaquah Press, we’ve had many readers who’ve offered unsolicited advice after reading something. We especially enjoy receiving the hand-written notes of grammar corrections that one old-timer saves up and periodically mails in.

So, a couple months ago, after writing in this space about the perils of being the go-to guy at family barbecues, a new voice emerged offering sage advice.

Thinking this was an old codger with too much time on his hands, I took my time getting back to him. Shame on me for not remembering it’s usually the codgers who have the most character. Do you know anyone who’s co-authored a book with someone as renowned as the Baron of Barbecue? But I get ahead of myself.

A retired English teacher, Bob Lyon, 86, lives at Timber Ridge at Talus with his wife, Sandra, also a retired English teacher.

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AAA Driver Improvement Program set

April 10, 2012

The AAA Driver Improvement Program is accepting reservations for its refresher course on defensive driving skills.

The course is advertised as giving practical guidelines for traffic accident prevention and enhancing driver safety and confidence. Successful course completion qualifies drivers 55 and older for automobile insurance premium discounts.

The Driver Improvement Program is operated locally by American Driving Services. Classes are from 8:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 at Timber Ridge at Talus, 100 Timber Ridge Way N.W. Cost is $16 per person.

Pre-registration is advised. Call 206-243-3564.

Timber Ridge at Talus wins ‘green’ award

January 3, 2012

The International Council on Active Aging has selected Timber Ridge at Talus to receive the 2011 ICAA Green Award, a category of its annual innovators program.

Timber Ridge at Talus is an Issaquah senior living community at the base of Cougar Mountain.

ICAA’s awards honor senior living communities that set standards and make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. The Green Award specifically recognizes organizations that encourage environmental stewardship by creating or implementing eco-friendly products, services, designs or programs, among other possible steps.

In 2008, Timber Ridge at Talus brought residents into the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified continuing care retirement community in the U.S.

Timber Ridge achieved Silver Certification based on criteria such as site development, water efficiency, energy optimization and indoor environmental quality.

One additional way Timber Ridge has reduced its environmental impact is by using Eco-Ware Containers. Previously, the Timber Ridge food and beverage department went through 5,000 compostable paper containers per month. The Eco-Ware containers reduce nonbiodegradable waste and do not occupy space in landfills.

Additionally, Timber Ridge has a recycling program that encourages residents to recycle the approximately 130 newspapers delivered daily to the community.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the North America’s most innovative green retirement communities and to receive this award from the ICAA,” Scott Doherty, executive director of Timber Ridge at Talus, said in a statement.

As an ICAA award-winner, Timber Ridge will receive a crystal award of recognition and be featured in an upcoming issue of ICAA’s main publication, the Journal on Active Aging.

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