Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Old Neighbor's House Now Vacation Rental

In the early to mid 1970s, an upshot in the price of wheat caused a boom to Walla Walla's economy.  Wheat rancher Bob Lonneker brought "Hollywood style" conspicuous consumption to the quiet, Conservative town when he bought an historic house on South Palouse.  It was three houses down from ours, the property underwent an extensive facelift.  The house had a pool and a white stone fence in front, an iron gate on each side of a semi circle driveway that boasted a menagerie of fancy cars. 
Ironically, the first time I met one of them was by coincidence in Seattle.  I was visiting friends and Arlene Lonneker had moved from the house. We struck up a conversation on a dock in the Leschi area.
The house is now a VRBO, a rental for those who wish to vacation in Walla Walla. That stands for vacation rental by owner.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Coug Legend Bobo Brayton Dies

Bobo Brayton who coached Baseball at WSU for 33 years, has died at 89.  A World War II veteran,  Brayton coached the Cougar team from 1962-1994.  During his tenure, the Cougs won 21 conference titles, 10 NCAA postseason appearences and 2 trips to the College World Series.  The baseball field at WSU is named both for him and his coach and mentor during his playing days, Buck Bailey. 

Knox Saga Seems To Finally Be Finished

The murder conviction of Seattle's Amanda Knox has been overturned by Italy's highest court.  Knox an exchange student was convicted in the death of Meredith Kercher. After serving four years in an Italian prison, her sentence was overturned and she was freed.  Soon, after returning to Seattle, her acquittal was overturned.  Knox faced extradition to Italy, had her conviction not been overturned.  While we probably will never know the exact facts of the murder, we can be happy that this matter has been settled.

Gonzaga Gunning For Final 4

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (better known as "The Zags"), are advancing to the Elite 8, after a 74-62 victory over the UCLA Bruins.  This is the first time the Zags have been in the Elite 8 since 1999.   The little school out of Spokane faces Duke tomorrow (Sunday the 29th) afternoon.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ready For The Game

The summer of 1969,  Walla Walla had a brand new Northwest League Baseball team known as the Bears, this picture was taken at Borleske Stadium and appeared in the Sunday paper.  I am in the back between my two parents.  My brother, Danny and sister, Debbie are in front.  My brother, Steve was born two years later.
Thank you to my brother, Danny for posting this on Facebook.

Long Illness Claims Cedic James

The Seattle broadcasting community was  saddened yesterday by the passing of Melkor McGuire Odom, who used the radio name Cedric James.
When I was at WSU, Mel was the morning man at KUGR, the student radio station.  He would often stop by our dorm to visit friends.  A tall, athletic, outgoing man, you couldn't miss him. He could often be seen playing basketball on the outside court of Stimson Hall, where he lived in his freshman year.
When I had a morning class at the Murrow building which also housed the KUGR studio, I would often come into to visit.  Even though he was just a Freshman, Mel could do his show, talk to me, and tease the news reporters.  Mel's voice was smooth and articulate.  It was obvious that a career in broadcasting awaited him.  He also had a tremendous knowledge of music. He was gregarious and also brutally honest. 
He would work in sales at KZOK and was on air recently at the smooth jazz station in Seattle.
Mel's health issues caught up to him in his adult life.  When I saw him in later years, he had gotten heavier.  I had seen him last in the mid 1980s at a party in Seattle.
I caught up to him when I joined facebook, we often chatted when playing online Texas Holdem. he alluded to his health troubles, but always in a smiling positive way.  A few years ago, a benefit was held to raise money for his medical expenses.
When Mel's health took a turn for the worst, he updated his friends on his condition by posting on Facebook, hinting he would be leaving us soon.  I  had just read his last status update, where he expressed his love for his friends,  when I learned of his passing.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Walla Walla's Jim Buchan Still Sports Writing

At least one name from my childhood is still around, Jim Buchan started at my hometown paper,The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, in 1968. That's before I was a teenager, I'm now 57.  Buchan still writes for the UB, on a part time basis.  Seeing his name on a sports column byline that my friend sent caught my eye.  When I used to read about the local baseball team and high school sports, I would see his writing along with the late Jim Redding, who went on to a great career here in Seattle.  He would also write with Skip Nichols and eventually, Don Davis.  He left briefly in the early 1970s to work in Phoenix.  I would think Buchan is ranked high in the nation amongst long serving sports writers.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Veteran News Reporter Linda Brill Retiring

Retiring King 5 TV reporter Linda Brill, reflects on her 37 year career.  Probably her most notable recent interview was Seattle's socialist councilwomen Kshana Sawant.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Likable Shark In Puget Sound Last Summer

He's billed on The Shark Tank as the son of immigrant factory workers.  Robert Herjavec, comes across as maybe the most personable of the 5 venture capitalists who sit on the panel of The Shark Tank.  Herjavec is good looking, stylish and polite, belying the millions that he has acquired through his security company.
It has recently been revealed that Herjavec has gone through personal crisis last year when his marriage broke up.  As a result, his children stopped talking to him.  He considered suicide. Herjavec's Pastor steered him to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, where after volunteering in a "soup line", he seemed to get a new perspective on life.
This season, in addition to his Shark duties, Herjavec is currently a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars".  His teaming with Australian dancing beauty Kym Johnson has sparked rumors of a new romance.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Former Contestant On Food Network Star Slain

My wife and I are big fans of reality shows and one of our favorites is Food Network Star.  It offers contestants the chance to have a cooking show of their own on the Network.  It usually runs on the network during the summer.  This morning I was saddened to read about the murder of season 8 contestant Cristie Shoen Codd.  Codd, who was 5 months pregnant, has become a murder victim along with her husband, JT Codd.  A suspect is in custody, Robert Jason Owen, lived nearby and was a handyman for the couple. 
Although the couple lived in North Carolina, they both had jobs in the movie industry, Cristie did catering work on movie sets, while JT was a key grip.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Popular Sports Media Figure To Speak In Maple Valley

Mike Gastineau, who left Sportsradio 950 KJR a few years ago to pursue some independent projects, will speak this Saturday, March 21st at the Greater Maple Valley Community Center Benefit Breakfast, according to the Voice Of The Valley, this area's community newspaper.  Gastineau's book "Authentic Masterpiece" addresses the creation of the Seattle Sounders, considered one of the most successful expansion team launches of all time. The doors will open at 9am with the program starting at 9:30.  The Maple Valley Community Center is located at 22010 SE 248th in Maple Valley.  For information and tickets, call 425 432-1272.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The UPS Store Call me Maybe

Working at The UPS Store can be fun, Maybe not this fun, but love this video.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Burl Barer appears and does voice over in this TV spot.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sports Industry Spotlight Interview with Shannon Drayer of EPSN. Part 1

When I met Shannon Drayer last January at the Hutch Awards.  She surprised me by mentioning that she knew me from reading this blog.  Being a huge Mariner fan, it's only natural that I should dedicate a post to her.  Shannon's a Cinderella story in Seattle sports media, once a barista at Starbuck's who submitted a tape to enter a contest, much like Q-13's Aaron Levine was on the ESPN talent search show "Dream Job".  She is now the traveling reporter for Mariner flagship station 710ESPN.  She also writes a blog for the team. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Former Walla Walla UB Editor Bill Asbury Dies

Bill Asbury became editor of The Walla Walla Union Bulletin in the 1970s.  He assumed a much higher profile than previous ones.  A native of Western Washington, his more Liberal views did little to endear him in a small town, at least as I remember.
Seattle mayor Wes Uhlman was a  good friend of my Uncle Arny.  When Uhlman announced that he was running for Governor of Washington, the UB carried a scathing editorial.  Although, I had not lived in Seattle at the time, I was a big fan of Uhlman's so I wrote my first letter to the editor.  I will always credit Asbury for inspiring me to write it.  I was so excited when it was published. 
During Asbury's tenure, the journalism staff of the University Of Washington newspaper, The Daily, came to Walla Walla to put out an edition of the UB.  They largely published a satirical look at some of the town's institutions that enraged locals.  In an e-mail several years ago, Seattle Times Publisher, who at that time, was publisher of the UB, hinted that this was Asbury's idea. 
Asbury would eventually leave the UB, and become news editor at the Seattle PI, where he eventually became executive editor.
He would later serve on the staffs of three Washington governors.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tight End Jimmy Graham Traded To Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have acquired Tight End Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for Center Max Unger and a 2015 first round draft pick.  The trade gives the 'Hawks a real pass threat, Graham has had 46 touchdowns since 2011, third behind Marshawn Lynch and Dez Bryant. 

The Dogs of Pet Partners

Dasher, our Golden, makes a couple appearances in this video.  That is him pictured above.

Google Hangout with Dan Springer

Our family friend, Dan Springer is featured here, the Springers live near my in-laws in suburban Seattle.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Brandi Carlile "Closer to You"

Several years ago, I was in Bellevue CD store Silver Platters.  I was looking for a CD and picked Brandi Carlile's first (I believe).  I put it in my car's player and was sorry, it did not sound like my music at all.   But as luck would have it, I continued to play it.  Over the next few weeks it grew on me and soon, I became a big fan.
  She is from here in Maple Valley and I believe she still lives here when she is not on tour.  She recently released a new album, but this cut is from her first.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Breakfast At The Testy Chef

Maple Valley keeps changing,  but Maple Valley's unique cafe The Testy Chef is going strong! The deck overlooks the Cedar River. The Testy Chef does not take credit cards, so bring cash or check.

Friday, March 06, 2015

The Beast Will Return

Seattle Seahawks fans would like nothing better that to get back the Super Bowl Trophy and those hopes took a big leap today with the announcement that Marshawn Lynch has signed a new 2 year agreement with the team worth about 24 million.  Lynch is known as Beast Mode for his ability to run through defenses.  NFL analysts have consistently said that the Lynch signing was essential for the 'Hawks to make a Super Bowl run in 2015.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

KING 5 TV Plans Move

It will still be at channel 5, but Seattle's oldest broadcasting station KING is planning to move it's offices and studios to the SODO area.  The station has been at it's Dexter Avenue location, not far from KIRO, KOMO and the Space needle for over 63 years.   The new location will be in the Home Plate Center, kitty corner from Safeco Field.  The new location will have a street level studio, where passersby can watch news casts, much like the Today Show, which airs on the station.  Two of KING 5's sister stations KONG 6 and NWCN will also have offices and studios at the new facility. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Meg Coyle Leaving King 5

Meg Coyle (center) announced this weekend that she is leaving King 5 for another job opportunity.  Coyle has been with King 5 since 2000, most recently anchoring the Saturday morning news, with Natasha Ryan.  Coyle said she is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. 
Many will remember Coyle as the reporter that had her report interrupted by an angry snow tuber.  Meg is married to Evening Magazine's Michael King.