Sammamish band Great Waves opened the Bumbershoot music festival last weekend, and I was on hand to take photos. Check them out on The Issaquah Press’ website here!


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Couple brews up their happiness at new coffee shop

Here’s a story I wrote about a Newcastle couple that opened a coffee shop at the Renton Landing. Read it below or at The Issaquah Press’ website here!

elly and Ron Stilwell have dreamed of opening their own coffee shop ever since backpacking through France 15 years ago and visiting European coffee shops.

“We said, ‘This would be really cool to do someday,’” Kelly Stilwell said.

They were in their late 20s at the time, and both were working in banking.

“It kind of went on the dream back burner,” Kelly Stilwell said.

In 1998, they moved to Newcastle’s Windtree neighborhood, and in 2001, Kelly gave birth to their son Tyler. She stayed home to raise and homeschool Tyler, and life continued as usual until Ron lost his job in the Washington Mutual collapse of 2008.

For many, losing a job is a curse, but for the Stilwells, it was somewhat of a blessing.

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A major league homecoming

Here’s a story I wrote for The Issaquah Press’ July 14 edition about an Issaquah High School graduate who now plays for the New York Yankees. I got the rare opportunity to interview him from the visitor’s dugout at Safeco Field before a game. Check it out here, or read it below!

Fifteen years ago, had Colin Curtis known he would someday become a major league outfielder, he would have said, “perfect, my plan is going to work.” At least that is what Curtis, now 25, said with a laugh when asked what his reaction would have been.

“It’s what I dreamed of doing when I was 10,” he said.

The 2003 Issaquah High School graduate was called up from the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to the New York Yankees on June 21, and he has become a pinch hitter and an occasional starter for the major league team.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said about reaching the majors, adding that playing for so many years and finally reaching his goal of making it to the major leagues gives him a great sense of accomplishment.

“To finally reach it really means a lot,” he said.

Curtis, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer during his freshman year of high school, played three years of college baseball at Arizona State University before being drafted by the New York Yankees in the fourth round of the 2006 draft. He then began working his way up the minor league ladder.

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Off the press: Is that a famous person? Quick, get the camera!

Check out my column in the July 7 issue of The Issaquah Press! You can read it below or on The Issaquah Press’ website here. Happy reading!

Issaquah is not in Southern California, if all the rain and forests didn’t give it away. But our town on the edge of the greater Seattle area is linked to its fair share of recognizable and famous people. Some have moved here, others used to live here and some just drop in from time to time.

So, just who are these famous folks who graced Issaquah at one time or another, you ask? Modest Mouse front man Isaac Brock; Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki; sportscaster Rick Rizzs; former Mariners Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr., Paul Sorrento, J.J. Putz, Omar Vizquel, Dave Valle and Jeff Nelson; former Seattle Supersonics Detlef Schrempf and Ray Allen; Pulitzer-winning playwright Brian Yorkey; authors Deb Caletti and Serena Rolan; actress Cynthia Geary, who played Shelly Marie Tambo on “Northern Exposure”; Lockergnome founder Chris Pirillo; and Red and Rover comic strip artist Brian Basset.

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Newcastle News’ July 2 issue now online!

The July 2 issue of Newcastle News (the paper I write) is now online! Woohoo! You might not find it to exciting unless you live in Newcastle, Wash., but it’s more or less a list of all the stuff I’ve been working on for the last month at work! Check out the pdf of the full paper here, or visit Newcastle News’ website here.

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Hydroplanes take to Lake Sammamish

If you live in Western Washington, you may find this story kind of fun. It’s about Tastin’ and Racin’, the annual event where hydroplanes race at 150 mph on Lake Sammamish. The wet weather prior to the event turned Lake Sammamish State Park into a swamp, and a local racer walked away with just scrapes and bruises after flipping his boat while going 115 mph. Check out the story on The Issaquah Press’ website here, or read it below! Enjoy!

Perfectly in accordance with gorgeous sunshine, speeding and thundering hydroplanes took to Lake Sammamish over the weekend at the 2010 Tastin’ n Racin’ competition, an American Powerboat Association event.

The event also showcased many other attractions, including a car show, rocking tribute bands on the O’Brien Law Firm Mainstage, the SeaFair Pirates, two beer gardens and — of course — plenty of food.

However, event organizer Chris Courtright said this year’s wet spring had turned Lake Sammamish State Park into a mud bath.

“I get down there on Wednesday and it’s one big mud puddle,” Courtright said, recalling visiting the park June 9. “We’ve never had the ground like that.”

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Goats return to landscape Issaquah Highlands

Check out this recent video for which I was the lead editor. Unfortunately, it actually costs money to host videos on this page, so I’m being economical and just linking to it instead. It’s about goats, and you should probably watch it. See it here. Enjoy!

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