Friday, March 31, 2017

Why I Love Maple Valley!

On one of the best days of the year, the reflection of Mt Rainier can be seen on Lake Wilderness.

Gonzaga Plays This Weekend

Tornado Hits Monroe

A weak tornado, which means terrifically strong winds, hit the city of Monroe, about 46 miles from Maple Valley, yesterday.  No injuries were reported but some trailers were turned over at the Speedway RV Center in mid morning.  The funnel also damaged some houses that were near the RV center.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Raiders Going To Las Vegas

After becoming the first team in major professional sports to return to it's original city.  San Diego returned to Los Angeles where it's origins lie.  The St Louis Rams, last year, returned to Los Angeles. Now the Raiders are moving for the third time.  The team will head for Las Vegas becoming the first major sports team to leave the same city twice.
For me it looks like teams in the 1990s moved to cities where they could connect with blue collar fans.  After about 20 years of no NFL moves, it seems now that teams are following the money. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hydro Post Goes Viral

My post on KIRO 7 TV ending it's live hydro coverage has well over 4000 hits and over 70 Facebooks shares.  It has knocked the Tracy Taylor post out of the top spot for the first time in 3 months.  Residents of the Seattle area are very angry to see this tradition end because it was one event that seemed to bring us together at one moment in time.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Your Comments Will Appear

Ok, you read a blog post, you either disagreed and wish to tell it like it really is, or you love it so much, you want to respond.  You type out the perfect comment push the post column then, POOF, it vanishes.  Did I push the wrong button?  You type it out again, then make sure you hit post, it's gone again. 
Don't worry! Comment moderation is on.  That gives me a chance to look at comments before they are posted.  I love comments, it means I moved the reader enough to wear they want to respond.  What's great is that lately, I've gotten plenty. 
I only don't post them if they are selling something, spamming the board, which is what made me to to comment moderation in the first place, or if they are super mean.  For instance, if I'm writing about how I really admire someone and write something very nice, then someone makes a mean comment to the point that it may be hurtful, chances are, I may not post the comment. If you write something accusatory of the subject of the post and show no proof, I may also not post the comments. 
Thanks to everyone who reads this blog and thank you for your comments!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sports Illustrated Mariners Tribute Eddition

I don't know if it's a regional or a national release, but a special edition of Sports Illustrated pays tribute to the Seattle Mariners on the baseball club's 40 anniversary.  Many of the cast and characters of Mariners history are featured including Edgar Martinez, cover guy and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey,Jr, The Big Unit, Alex Rodriguez, whom I hear is dating Jennifer Lopez, and Felix.  Former Mariner broadcaster Ken Levine, also a renowned TV comedy writer, added a touching tribute to the heart and soul of the team, Dave Niehaus.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Zags Get It Done

Spokane's Gonzaga has beaten Xavier to go the Final Four for the first time.

KIRO 7 Will Stop Live Seafair Race Coverage

The Seattle Times is reporting that KIRO 7 TV is stopping it's live coverage of  Seafair  Hydroplane Races.  The copyrighted story by veteran reporter Eric Lacitis appeared on the paper's front page. 
When I moved to Seattle for the first time in the early 1980s, the "world" stopped on the first weekend in August when the hydroplanes raced.  Hydoplanes were the perfect marriage of Seattle's airplane building heritage and it's proximity to the lakes and the sound.  At one time the races were carried live on KING, KOMO, and KIRO, the area's three major network TV stations.  Of course at that time, the Seattle Mariners were fairly new and Seattle's offerings seemed smaller.
Of course, times have changed, Seattle is probably known more for being home to Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Costco, than to Boeing and newcomers now probably outnumber natives. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gonzaga Reaches Elite 8

Gonzaga of Spokane is just one win away from it's first Final Four appearance.  The Zags squeaked by West Virginia 61-88.  This will be Gonzaga's 3rd appearance in the Elite 8.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rockin' Beau Roberts

I just heard his voice on the KZOK voice bumpers this morning.  Puget Sound Media blog announced that Paul Stencil, known in this area as Beau Roberts has passed away. I met Beau, who then went by "Paul Roberts" at the WSU student radio station, KUGR.   He was hailed by the staff as a production genius and he was.  He did about 90 per cent of the stations commercials as I remember.  In addition, he had a Sunday Night Jazz Show on the station.  With his deep voice, it was obvious that he was born for radio.  He would soon get on the air at KRPL, the top-40 station in nearby Moscow. 
By the time I moved to Seattle, Roberts was an established air presence at KISW.  He would later move to KZOK, where it seemed like the bulk of his work was in the production studio.  Just tonight, on my drive home,  after hearing of his death, his voice was still on the station promos.  Thank you for the picture.

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.