Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Zany Game Show Host And Producer Chuck Barris

Well, a couple of days ago, we lost Chuck Berry, now Chuck Barris has died.  The two have little to do with one another but their names were similar.
  Barris, created The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, but is most famous for hosting The Gong Show.  The Gong Show featured amateur performers, who would attempt to get through their act in front of celebrity judges before their were "gonged",  The judges would hit an Asian type cymbal with a huge mallet when they could no longer stand the act. Usually, the bad acts were more entertaining than the good ones.  If all three would gong at the same time, Barris would say they were "gang gonged!   Barris differed from other game show hosts in that he always seemed to speak off the cuff.  He seemed more high energy and did not have the measured speaking style of other game show hosts of that era.
The 87 year old Barris is reported to have died of natural causes.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mike Hopkins Named Husky Hoops Coach

It has been announced that Mike Hopkins, an assistant coach for Syracuse, has been named head coach of the Washington Huskies Men's Basketball team. He had been thought to be the successor of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim upon his retirement.  Hopkins has worked under Boeheim since  1996.  It will be interesting to see how Husky fans react to this news. It seems like he has no ties to the Northwest and some may question his sense of loyalty.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry Dead At 90

CNN reports rock legend Chuck Berry has died.  One of Rock's pioneers, Berry was famous for such songs as "Johnny B. Goode" and "Sweet Little Sixteen".

One Year Later--Remembering My Father

Alan Barer (center) with my brother and I.  September 26 1929-March 18, 2016.

Whitman Dream Season Ends

The Whitman College Blues became the last collegiate basketball team in America an any level to lose it's first game when it was defeated by Babson in the NCAA Division 3 Final Four 91-85.  The Blues were ahead at one point by 25 points, but Babson persisted and is now in line to win it all. The game was played in Salem, Virginia.
  It will be a long flight back to Walla Walla for Whitman, knowing it fell short, but the player really have every reason to be proud and next season they can work to take the whole thing!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Romar Out As Husky Coach

The Seattle Times reports Lorenzo Romar who hadcoached the Washington Men's Basketball team for 15 years has been fired.  Under Romar, the team made 6 NCAA tournament  appearances.  However, it had been 6 years since the the team has earned a spot in the Big Dance.  The Huskies closed this season at 9-22 and endured 13 straight losses.

O.C. Smith - Little Green Apples

Here is another great song from my childhood.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seahawks Sign Former Packer Lacy

The Seattle Seahawks hope to boost the running game with the signing of former Packer Eddie Lacy.  The signing raised eyebrows as Lacy was out most of  last season with injuries, he has also come under fire from his Packer coach for being overweight.
After 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons, injuries have limited Lacy to 1000 yards total in the last two seasons.
The Seahawks running game was 25th in the NFL.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Appreciation From The 5th Dems

Last year, I decided to step away from full involvement in politics.  I spent several terms representing Washington's 5th legislative district on the state Democratic central committee.  My friends at the 5th LD presented me with a plaque in honor of my service.  Although I loved the work that I did, it was great to leave on my own terms.  I plan to go to the monthly meeting and help on various projects.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Linda Cohn Autobiography--Book Review

In the early 1990s, KIRO 7 TV in Seattle had two personalities who would eventually work for national networks.  Aaron Brown, originally was an anchor for KING 5, would go on to ABC and eventually, a prime anchor spot on CNN and Linda Cohn, who was soon bound for ESPN. 
I have long been a fan of Cohn because of her special talent of being able to relate with her audience. She comes across on TV as a friend with whom you want to chat about sports.
Cohn-Head (a nickname that she got from an SNL skit) chronicles her journey from growing up in the New York area, to her struggles to fit in at college, to her desire to break into what at the time was a male dominated sports broadcasting field. 
What I did not know is that Cohn was a star goalie on her school's women ice hockey team.  She devotes a chapter to her time in the Seattle area, she actually turned down the first offer that ESPN made to bring her aboard.  She also writes about her family, her struggles to balance her home life to the demands of having a  high profile job. 
The impression that I have is that Linda's success is because of her reliability and her genuineness.  She loves sports and she loves her job.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Whitman Headed To Final Four

Whitman is still the only the only unbeaten college team at any level in the nation and now have a chance to win it all.  They beat Rochester in a nail biter today.

This Bus Won't Run Out Of Gas

An all-electric bus turns into Northeast 8th St from Northup in Bellevue. Details on the buses can be found by clicking here.  It is part of King County's plan to cut auto emissions in the area.  It says on the bus that it takes less than 10 minutes to charge.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Popular Radio Team Interview Seattle Mayor

Mayor Ed Murray appeared on the Ron And Don Show after turning down previous offers to speak with them. Ron And Don have held the KIRO Drive Time position for over a decade.  Known more as entertainers than political commentators, Don O'Neill has been famously critical of the mayor's policies.  O'Neill is generally the loudest and most opinionated of the pair.  Ron Upshaw, his partner, is more explanatory and even keeled
  In this segment, O'Neill appears articulate and on point.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Mayor Murray To Appear On Don And Ron

Seattle mayor Ed Murray will be a guest on the Ron And Don Show on KIRO FM 97.3 tonight (March 9th, 2017).  Although the show, with a huge audience skews mostly toward entertainment rather than politics, the pair have been extremely critical toward Murray on issues ranging from homeless encampments to the city's alleged refusal to pay for a veteran police detective's surgery.  Don has been the main instigator on criticism of the mayor's policies. He lives in Seattle.
The appearance has been announced for 6:00pm.  Ron and Don, have had the KIRO Drive Time position for well over 10 years starting on 710 AM  than moving to 97.3 FM when the  AM station went to an all sports format.  Murray will be up for  election later this year.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Helen Sommers--Veteran Washington Legislator

Helen Sommers, who was the first Democrat elected from her district in decades in 1972, and would continue in the Washington House Of Representatives for 36 years, has died.  Today, of course, her district, as is most of Seattle, totally dominated by the Democratic party.  Sommers had the second longest legislative career in Washington history.  She was known for being socially Liberal and fiscally moderate.  She also, at many times, chaired the house appropriations committee.
Helen Sommers was 84.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Arnold Self Terminates As Apprentice Host

Former California governor/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced he will no longer host the Celebrity Apprentice.  The show, which launched Donald Trump's celebrity, reportedly did not do well in the ratings, as Trump detractors probably wanted nothing to do with the show, while Trump supporters probably could not accept anyone else in the role.  It may also be that the show had run it's course.
It's debatable as to how effective the Governor was, he had a lookalike nephew as one of his advisors and often spun stories of his days as a body builder in Austria.
His catch phrase was "your terminated, now get to the chopper!"

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Whitman College--Only Current Unbeaten Team In US

This May, it will mark 38 years since I moved to the Seattle area from Walla Walla, but I can't help to have a little bit of  pride when something wonderful happens in the old home town.  Whitman College, the small liberal arts college within walking distance from the house where I grew up is making national news.  What's even more incredible, it's sports news.  US News reports that the Whitman Blues, they are no longer the Fighting Missionaries, are they only unbeaten men's college basketball team at any level in the nation. 
At one time, Whitman's football team was a powerhouse, coached by the legendary Raymond Vincent Borleske. Walla Wallans may not know of Coach Borleske, but probably know the name. The local stadium was named after him.
A few decades ago, the school discarded it's football program on account of economics.  Basketball remained, not achieving much more than yawns. Until now
The school's academics have been source of pride to the community, however, it's often Liberal social outlook often infuriates local Conservatives. 
Whitman at one time was an NAIA school, it's now NCAA Division III

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Hidden Figures--Great Movie

Last Tuesday, having a day off, I decided to catch the movie Hidden Figures.  it is a true story of three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA.  It is the early 60s and the Jim Crow segregation laws are in effect.  The women are good hard workers, but get little respect because of their gender and race.
The main character is Katherine, an amazing mathematician, she leaves the segregated computer room to have an assignment at the space task room.  She is mistaken at first for the cleaning lady. She is not allowed to use the ladies room near where she works, so she has to cross the compound everytime she needs to go. 
Katherine's two friends each have their own ambitions, to which they each have hurdles they need to overcome because of their race.
Kevin Costner is great as Mr Harrison, Katherine's stressed out, but "good at heart" boss. Jim Parsons of TV's "The Big Bang Theory" plays Katherine's biggest detractor.
I watched the film at the Regal Issaquah Highlands, one of the area's newest theatres.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Inslee For President?

In the media, there is talk of Washington governor Jay Inslee making a run for president.  The governor's profile has risen with his and Attorney General Bob Ferguson's successful fight against Trump's travel ban. 
While sometimes Inslee's policies have been questioned even by fellow Democrats, Washington seems to have a thriving economy.
Inslee seems to have a knack of winning elections.  Like Trump in 2016, Inslee was seen by everyone as the underdog against popular Attorney General Rob McKenna in the race to be Washington's governor.  Inslee pulled out the victory. In 1998, he beat a incumbent Rick White to represent Washington's 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives. 
The last Washington figure to run for president was Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson in 1976.  Jackson was one of the last "cold warriors" in the Democratic party.  He lost the nomination to Governor Jimmy Carter who would go on to win the White House.  There is no doubt that since then, our state has become a much bigger player on the national stage.