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South King Media to expand into Kent with acquisition of iLoveKent.net

10 hours 25 min ago

This week iLoveKent.net and South King Media, owner of six local blogs – including The B-Town and Waterland Blogs – celebrated their 10-year anniversaries with a big announcement. 

Effective January 1, 2018, South King Media will take over the day-to-day operations of iLoveKent.net, a Kent-based blog started by freelance writer and publisher Dana Neuts in September, 2007. Scott Schaefer will be responsible for the editorial side of the business, and Theresa Schaefer will manage the business side including sponsorships and advertising.

iLoveKent celebrated its 10-year anniversary last Friday at Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons in downtown Kent with about three dozen guests in attendance, including readers, sponsors, advertisers and friends. Neuts made the announcement that evening.

“I started iLoveKent ten years ago to fill a growing media gap in South King County. The site has grown beyond my expectations, particularly in the last year with our rebranding, participating in community events and hosting of two Kent political candidate debates,” Neuts said. “It is time to take the site to the next level, and I know that the Schaefers and their team are the right people to do that. They will retain all of our strengths and build upon our successes.”

South King County media will keep Michelle Teeter and Kara Hackney of the iLoveKent team on to assist with the transition and future growth. Neuts will stay on as an advisor and occasional writer, and the Schaefers will be responsible for all editorial and operational decisions starting January 1.

“This is a very exciting opportunity,” Schaefer said. “Our goal is to utilize what we’ve learned over ten years of producing local, award-winning reporting and translate that to iLoveKent. Dana has done a terrific job building her site up, and we will work hard to replicate what we’ve done in our other markets – in this case our goal will be to make this the leading news source for Kent.”

Kent is the sixth largest city in the state, and third largest in the county, with a population of 126,952.

iLoveKent will be the seventh local news blog that South King Media publishes in the region.

For more information:

CLIFF’S EDGE: Getting to know those we finally get to meet

14 hours 3 sec ago

My wife and I sat in on the 10th birthday party of this blog Monday evening, and I came away realizing how little I know about a community in which I’ve lived for some 45 years.

For one thing it was my first time spent in the Tin Room Bar where the party was held. In contrast, many of those who had packed into the bar and then the theater behind it gave the impression they’d been in it forever.

In a way I felt like we were guests in their home.

I could drop names of many of those I met there for the first time, but you’d probably wonder what took me so long to get to know them.

I was asking myself the same thing, until I realized that in the 45 or so years my wife and I have made our home in Burien that I was employed, first, in Seattle and the last 35 years or so in the Tacoma area.

We got to know well the schools our children attended for the first two or three decades, but only lately have included them again in our routine activities.

We have done our banking at a couple of local banks. We have a long-standing, frequently exercised relationship with a Burien pharmacy,

We’ve put our elbows on the table at a few local restaurants, but would call only a couple of them our “regulars.”

It’s only since I started writing with The B-town Blog last June that I’ve wandered off the familiar routes between home and customary places of business, and I’ve come to really “find” Burien and its neighbor communities, White Center and Normandy Park.

I came to know Des Moines well only because I drove through there regularly on my way to Tacoma.

When we came to this area in 1969 one of the first people I got to know was a Burien resident, Jerry Robinson. But he also was a local newspaper publisher and I got to know him, not as a Burien neighbor, but through my association with the Washington Newspaper Publishers Assn.

One of those I chatted with at the Tin Room Bar Monday had worked with Robinson at the Highline Times in a production capacity. He knew him within a Burien context, while I’d known him through a context that seemed in a whole different world.

While we’d come together Monday evening to celebrate 10 years of The B-Town Blog’s existence it was obvious many of those in the place were looking ahead to the next 10 years, or 20, or more, and it was a treat to listen in on their aspirations.

As I’ve mentioned recently in this column, you can’t be around media people these days without sensing the uncertainty that’s a part of their everyday lives.

Those who spoke aloud Monday used terms that those in news media have used in this country for a couple hundred years… free press and media responsibility on the one hand, and building audience and making money on the other.

I pretty much kept my thoughts to myself, but a dominant one was that it is great to sit in on a conversation like this knowing that it’s similar to those going on all over the country as we try to preserve a vigorous and responsible press.

And through those conversations, old-timers and newcomers also are meeting for the first time or reacquainting themselves with their communities for a really meaningful time.

Like we were doing.

Cliff Rowe is a retired journalist and journalism professor. (He practiced both in a time before journalists and what they produced were considered “enemies of the people.”) He and his family have lived in the Shorewood area of White Center (then Burien) since 1969 when they returned to the Northwest after seven years in the Chicago area. There, following graduate school, he wrote and edited with the Chicago Sun-Times and with Paddock Publications in the Chicago suburbs. On moving here, he was with The Seattle Times for 11 years before turning to teaching journalism at Pacific Lutheran University for 35 years, retiring in 2015.

COMMENTARY: South King Media would not exist if not for Michael Brunk

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 18:00

Michael Brunk

By Scott Schaefer
Founder/Publisher

Michael Brunk is one of the most impressive, creative and talented media professionals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. As we celebrate our 10th blog-iverssary, it is incumbent upon me to recognize the fact that if it were not for the generosity and talent of my esteemed colleague with the big lens and a gift for coding, South King Media would not be what it is. In fact, it most likely would not exist.

Blog readers might not recognize him if he walked past them at the grocery store, but they do know him from hundreds of his amazing photos that have graced the pages of our six South King Media websites over the past ten years.

And while most may know him as an amazing Photographer who has generously taught classes as a volunteer at the Burien Community Center, shot numerous theatrical productions and art events (check out his work at nwlens.com), we have the privilege to also know him as an incredible technical expert (aka our tech/code “god”). He has single-handedly built our websites from scratch using his vast expertise in WordPress, html, css, coding, servers, and much, much more, and our blogs wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.

Let me repeat that – our blogs would not be here if it wasn’t for Michael Brunk.

It would take way more than the constraints of this post to do Michael’s contributions and talents even a modicum of justice. Coding expert. WordPress expert. He knows Servers about as well as Servers know themselves.

He has attended and shot dozens and dozens of events for us, most recently the 2017 Dia de los Muertos celebration.

He has an eye for shooting the most majestic, perfectly timed and framed photo. We call it, simply, “Brunksmanship“.

Michael Brunk is an amazing man, highly intelligent with a “keen sense of keenness in the quiet” as a friend of mine once described him. He is a “tenderfoot in the corner” as he shoots, performing his photographic genius.

This is deliberate on his part, because he knows never to “interject himself into the scene” as he shoots, or to distract his camera’s subjects for even a second.

In that mode he was at our 10th birthday bash on Monday night. So here – where I can’t screw up like I did then – I’d like to pay homage to his unique talents and graces.

Please enjoy this video, which showcases just some of Michael’s amazing contributions and talents – aka “Brunksmanship“!

If you enjoy the Blog, please join us in thanking the man who makes it work!

Thank You Michael Brunk!

PHOTOS: A window on a wonderful sunset

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:50

Courtesy Elston Hill comes these great photos showing Thursday night’s (Dec. 14) wonderful sunset (click images to view larger versions/slideshow):

Music4Life delivers 1,665 musical instruments to Highline Public Schools

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:44

Organizers at Music4Life report that during the first quarter of 2017-18 (Sept. 1 – Nov. 30), they delivered 1,665 ready-to-play musical instruments – having a fair market value of $28,237* – to Highline Public Schools.

These 1,665 included two alto saxophones; one baritone; one bassoon; three clarinets; four flutes; one mandolin; three acoustic guitars; one trombone; five trumpets; one cornet; one digital piano and one digital piano keyboard; one drum practice pad kit; 1,645 recorders for fourth graders; three violins (various sizes); one viola; two drum sets; assorted percussion instruments; and two electric guitars.

“In addition, there are other instruments in-process of repairs that should soon be delivered to Highline P.S. and more are coming in,” said David Endicott, Co-Founder/President/COO.

*These numbers have been verified with Stefan Nelson of Highline Public Schools.

PHOTOS: Dramatic fog hides most of Puget Sound Monday morning

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:38

Courtesy resident Elston Hill comes these amazing photos showing the fog around our region.

“The fog this morning reduced visibility in much of Burien to only a few feet and the Sound was completely hidden,” Elston said. “By mid-day the sun burned off the fog and Vashon and the Olympics came into view. The towers in some of the photos are the towers on Vashon Island. The fog is expected to get worse each day this week so extra caution is advised when going out in the morning.”

Click images to view larger versions/slideshow:

Happy Birthday to us – 10 years ago today, The Blog started publishing!

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:53

Happy 10th Birthday to Us!

Ten years ago today – on Dec. 11, 2007 – the first stories were published on The B-Town Blog, with the hopes of providing an effective, frequently-updated, professional online news and events source for Burien and its fine residents.

We were Burien’s first local blog, and one of the very first in the entire Northwest.

On Dec. 11, 2007, we posted our very first two stories, linked below for your flashbackian pleasure:

First created as a hobby by Scott Schaefer, the blog grew organically over the next few years, with Scott posting local news stories, event listings, arts events, photos and more, before being asked if he “sold ads” (what???). He then sought and received excellent business mentoring advice from Northwest marketing legend Larry Coffman, as well as one of the founders of Starbucks – Zev Siegl at the SBDC at Highline College.

Then, the amazing Janet Grella met Scott at a Burien Farmers Market sometime around 2009 and asked “what’s a blog?” Janet came on board as our first “Sales Diva” and helped turn a hobby into a full-time biz by selling ads to local businesses.

Since 2007 – and well over 14,000 posts, over 7 million Unique Sessions and more than 18 million Pageviews later (whew!) – we’re stronger than ever, averaging this year 105,887 Unique Visits and nearly 356,000 Pageviews per month (as per Google Analytics so far for 2017), up an excellent +53% growth in impressions over 2016.

In addition to our ever-increasing traffic, we are continuing to build a fast-growing social media network as well. As of Dec. 11, 2017, our Facebook Page has 12,614 Followers, and our Twitter Feed goes out to 6,253 Followers.

And if you like getting all your B-Town news in a FREE daily digest, please subscribe to our email newsletter, which will arrive in your email inbox at 6 p.m. every day: http://eepurl.com/blthaf

We couldn’t have done any of this without YOU, our great Readers – your community spirit, your involvement in the blog, and especially your continued support of our wonderful Advertisers and all the local non-profits that we help!

Oh, and we’ve had some great help along the way – a huge Tip O’the Hat to the following team members (hopefully we’ve listed them all, and if we didn’t include someone we apologize – it’s been 10 years!):

  • Theresa Schaefer, Sales Manager. Scott’s wife is the newest member of the team, having joined in April, 2012. Most recently she served as a member of the Victorinox Swiss Army Sales Management team. Theresa is a veteran sales and marketing professional – with deep customer service experience at Nordstrom – who is ready to help marker your business. Email her for our Media Kit.
  • Jack Mayne, Associate Publisher/Senior Reporter. Jack Mayne has done about all there is to do in print journalism. He has been city editor of the Seattle P.I. back in its glory days, edited the Journal American in Bellevue and Valley Daily News in Kent in the 1990s. Before that he was a freelance international journalist and reported from South Africa, China, visited over 80 countries and even covered a colonial war in the 20th century between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the desolate Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. He got his start at the Vancouver Province, thence to The Associated Press, becoming chief of the New England bureau, but a desire of AP to send him to Buffalo, N.Y., drove him back to Seattle. With writing for print becoming quaint and dated, he is now setting his sights on Web journalism and has written several stories for the B-Town Blog and its sister sites and plans many more.
  • Michael Brunk, Photographer/Technical Guru. With a love of photography that spans more than 20 years, Michael has fond memories of film but wouldn’t give up his digital SLRs for anything. His checkered past includes stints as a monthly columnist for a nationally published magazine on telecommunications and technology, and several years reviewing movies. He’s also been known to dabble in community theater. His main qualifications are a large camera, and a love of coding/technology. He also builds and maintains the code that runs our sites.
  • Mark Neuman, Writer/Marketing: former real-world Journalist, TV Host, Producer and Marketer, Mark is an old friend of Scott’s going back to when they worked on their high school newspaper together (West Seattle High’s “Chinook”). Mark has interviewed two US Presidents, cops, cooks and cartoonists, authors and artists, senators, singers, scholars and senior citizens, along with the first Mayor of Burien and a local man running for State Superior Court.
  • Cliff Rowe, Columnist. Cliff is a retired journalist and journalism professor. (He practiced both in a time before journalists and what they produced were considered “enemies of the people.”) He and his family have lived in the Shorewood area of White Center (then Burien) since 1969 when they returned to the Northwest after seven years in the Chicago area. There, following graduate school, he wrote and edited with the Chicago Sun-Times and with Paddock Publications in the Chicago suburbs. On moving here, he was with The Seattle Times for 11 years before turning to teaching journalism at Pacific Lutheran University for 35 years, retiring in 2015.
  • Blake Messer, Marketing Consultant, Newfangled Commerce. Blake is an expert in marketing, and helps us manage our growing Daily Digest Email Newsletter and Advertising.
  • Colton Townsend and Connor Talbott of Tall Town Design. These guys ran our recent, popular B-Town’s BEST Awards promotion, which resulted in increased traffic and many happy local business owners!
  • Ralph Nichols, Senior Reporter. Ralph specializes in public policy and legal issues, medical matters, and business profiles. For several years, he was an editor, reporter, and columnist for the Highline Times. Previously he worked in the Seattle area, Alaska and Idaho as a reporter for daily newspapers, United Press International, and trade publications; as a state capitol bureau chief and columnist; and a public relations writer and project manager.
  • Greg Wright, Writer/Editor. Greg has helped us a lot over the years, mostly for our sister site The Waterland Blog.
  • Todd Christensen & Wendy Quesinberry, Quesinberry & Associates. Todd & Wendy are partners in LOL Dudez, LLC (dba South King Media), and they designed our wonderful logos and helped with web design.
  • Shelli Park, Reviewer. Shelli is a local Artist who has become our main Reviewer, especially for Burien Actors Theatre.
  • Virginia Wright, Phoenix Tea. Virginia created and maintains the Burien Culture Hub, which is featured in our main menu.
  • Shawn Underwood, Humor Columnist. Twenty-five years of living in Burien gives this Humorist much fodder for her writings. All of her stories are true, or at least have a grain of truth with no added embellishments. Or something like that.

And of course our awesome Big Picture Interns over the years:

ALL-LOCAL “MOM & POP” INTERNET PUBLISHERS
The B-Town Blog is part of South King Media, a network of six local blogs for the area, and is managed by Scott & Theresa Schaefer (pictured above), who live, work, play and spend their money right here in B-Town. That’s right, we’re a true, indie, and all-local “Mom & Pop” internet business!

Of course we very much appreciate the ongoing support of the dozens of local businesses who count on us to market their messages to our engaged Readers. And if you’re interested in receiving our Media Kit/Rate Card, please email Sales Manager Theresa Schaefer here, or call our office at (206) 248-2565.

We’d also like to remind any potential Advertisers out there to shop around and ask for actual, independent proof of website traffic statistics (ie: Google Analytics) or independent circulation stats before buying, because you deserve honesty, transparency and professionalism.

Again – THANK YOU for reading our blog, supporting our Advertisers, giving us feedback (yes, commenting will be returning soon), and being engaged with your community through us!

Oh, and stay tuned for a big announcement soon!

Celebrate New Years Eve at Burien Elks Lodge

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:38

From the folks at Burien Elks #2143:

Come Celebrate New Years Eve at the Burien Elks lodge with Dinner and Dancing!

We will serve dinner from 6 – 8 p.m. – enjoy Steak and Lobster, potatoes, salad & dinner rolls for $25.00 pp for adults $10.00pp for children.

If you want to stay for dancing the cost for dinner and dancing is $30.00pp. Note: we will Toast New York New Years Eve @ 9 p.m. for those that would like an early evening.

If you only want to join in for the Celebration only from 8:00pm until 12:30am with a dessert bar and dancing the cost is only $10.00.

Please stop in the lodge to prepay before Dec. 20 as the price will increase by $5.00…$30.00 for dinner only, $35.00 for both dinner and dancing, $15.00 for celebration only.

You may also pay at the door.

This event is open to the public so please share with your family and friends.

We hope to ring in the New Year 2018 with our lodge members and friends anew!

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/190832938149750/

CLIFF’S EDGE: Reasons to Speak Up About Speaking Out

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:00

The Burien City Council heard from The Seattle Times this week with what I would assume was unsolicited advice.

Some might be surprised at The Times weighing in on the ongoing local dispute over a council policy prohibiting online posts by council members (Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz, in particular) during meetings.

Rest assured, I will not stop tweeting. The US Constitution trumps the disappointing votes of four Burien City Councilmembers.

— CM Lauren Berkowitz (@BurienBerkowitz) October 3, 2017

The Times’ opinion:

“The Burien City Council should do away with this portion of its social-media policy…”

Now why, you might ask, would this topic be of concern to Times readers?

I can offer two reasons, one frivolous, the other most serious.

First, having spent a couple of years on the staff of The Times editorial writers, I know there are days when what some might consider a lesser topic for pontification is the best that can be found in the face of that never-yielding demand to fill space on the editorial page.

Suddenly, a smoldering issue in Burien takes on greater significance..

On the serious side there is a question of whether Berkowitz’s email correspondence during council sessions violates the state’s open-meeting laws because she may be discussing council business with people outside the council walls.

There is disagreement within the council as to the legality of such a practice, and right there is enough justification for The Times, which has long campaigned for openness in government at all levels, to speak up from the sidelines of this dispute.

Indeed, free-speech issues such as this are drawing increased attention on many fronts as social media have greater impact in both public and private communication.

What happens to basic principles of vigorous and free speech as a factor in society’s governance when different means of communicating with still evolving principles become involved in the vital interaction between governments and their citizens?

Another such issue about which I have similar concern is that of anonymity in the exchange of information and opinion on topics of importance to all of us.

Whether among official voices or the voices of those they’re serving, there are persistent questions as to the relative validity of words from those who mask their identities and affiliations behind anonymity or false identification.

That issue, again, has relevance for those of us in Burien as our B-Town Blog rightly encourages its readers to involve themselves in the day-to-day issues of our time—crime, homelessness, education, governance — but closes the door to their responses to them.

Since Oct. 12, as you know, the “comments” capability of this blog has been closed with rare exceptions. This stance has not been taken frivolously, as evidenced by the blog’s poll of its readers regarding that closure.

Readers have been asked if they want the opportunity to comment restored, but only on the condition that writers’ real names are published? Or should they be returned with pseudonyms or anonymity allowed?

Some three-quarters of those responding say they want the comments back, 43 percent wanting actual, true names on them, 32 percent accepting pseudonyms.

Only 22 percent have said they don’t want the comments back, and, thankfully, only 3 percent don’t care. This is too important an issue, to my way of thinking, for anyone to not care.

Transparency in government along with citizen participation, both guaranteed in part through free and open speech, are more important now than they have ever been as we attempt to deal with complex issues in a fragmented society.

As suggested by The Times and The B-Town Blog, we in Burien are right in the thick of the struggle.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good place to be.

Cliff Rowe is a retired journalist and journalism professor. (He practiced both in a time before journalists and what they produced were considered “enemies of the people.”) He and his family have lived in the Shorewood area of White Center (then Burien) since 1969 when they returned to the Northwest after seven years in the Chicago area. There, following graduate school, he wrote and edited with the Chicago Sun-Times and with Paddock Publications in the Chicago suburbs. On moving here, he was with The Seattle Times for 11 years before turning to teaching journalism at Pacific Lutheran University for 35 years, retiring in 2015.

REMINDER: ‘ChristmasSOUNDS’ is this weekend at Performing Arts Center

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:45

REMINDER: This Saturday, Dec. 9 & Sunday, Dec. 10, the entire Northwest Associated Arts family will present their annual Christmas program at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien.

This annual holiday extravaganza – titled ‘ChristmasSounds in Burien!’ – features nearly 200 singers, ages 8 to 80, and is one of Burien’s unique holiday traditions. All seven NWAA ensembles will share a single stage, combining beloved traditional Christmas carols, like The Holly and the Ivy, with festive favorites, like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

As always, NWAA encourages families to attend with their affordable Youth Ticket Program. Parents and adults looking for a risk-free way to introduce their children to the joys of choral music can bring young guests for free. Youth under age 17 can attend for free when accompanied by a paid adult.

WHEN:

  • Saturday, Dec. 9: 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 10: 2 p.m.

WHERE: Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S 152nd Street, Burien (map below)

TICKETS: $20-25 (17 & under free with a paid adult) www.nwassociatedarts.org or 206-246-6040

INFO: ChoralSounds Northwest is comprised of adults from 18-80+. SilverSounds Northwest is comprised of 40 retired men and women. KidSounds Northwest, YouthSounds Northwest, and TeenSounds Northwest are also part of the NWAA family. Together, all these Burien-based choruses are part of Northwest Associated Arts (NWAA), which has developed a loyal and growing following with family-friendly shows that offer much more than the usual “choral concert.”

REMINDER: Save $5 on tix for last two weekends of BAT’s ‘Christmas Carol Rag’

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 15:51

From left to right, Anne Cratchit (Hannah Rockel) and Bob Cratchit (Jaron Boggs) celebrate the birth of their baby while friend and co-worker Agnes (Jessica Robins) looks on in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

From left to right, Bob Cratchit (Jaron Boggs) mourns at the grave while Evelyn Scrooge (Cara Hazzard) looks on in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Angelica Barksdale) sings gospel in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

REMINDER: There are only two weekends left to catch Burien Actors Theatre’s “Christmas Carol Rag’ and you can save $5 on tickets by printing our Coupon below!

But first, our Review by Shelli Park

The holidays are upon us and with the holidays we can always look forward to the seasonal offering which Burien Actors Theatre serves up.

This year’s production The Christmas Carol Rag is a musical comedy with live piano accompaniment performed by Elizabeth Bender. The story has bones from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with a few twists.

Scrooge is a woman, for one.

Cara Hazzard plays the indomitable Evelyn Scrooge. Hazzard brings just the right amount of cold-hearted bitterness to the role. Through her journey with the three Ghosts she times her heart-thawing evolution perfectly. As we visit her history with the Ghost of Christmas Past it is clear that she was damaged by more than childhood loneliness and heartbreak. Scrooge was rejected because she is an intelligent woman with ambition, bringing a wholly different, and greater, purpose to this story.

The three Ghosts, of Past, Present and Future, presented themselves as stand alone, unique characters. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Robins; also plays Agnes) is delightful! Robins pulls off an East Coast Jewish character with aplomb! This ghost is geshmack, and initiates Scrooge’s journey in the best way.

The Ghost of Christmas Present continues the fun! Angelica Barksdale (also, Ruthie) brings soul to the stage. Scrooge is the one being bossed around this time. And the lessons keep on coming. As with Robins, Barksdale’s voice fills the stage as she belts out Go Tell it on the Mountain. Another delightful performance.

The Ghost of Christmas Future (Rochelle Flynn) is a dark, silent presence. Scrooge allows her mind to be manipulated by her own fears in the company of this staid Ghost.

Another important character is Bob Cratchit. Played by Jason Boggs, Cratchit is a delight. Boggs brings this sensitive and sincere character to a higher level. He is charming, and has a delightful singing voice, though it could use a little more volume.

Cratchit’s lovely wife, Anne, (Hannah Rockel) is long-suffering in the service of Ms. Scrooge. And she is pregnant, almost to term. Rockel plays Anne as a sweet, but practical, woman, the perfect counterpart to her dreamer husband. Together, they sing a transporting version of Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland.

The second half contains the strongest performances. “If I Were on The Stage,” sung by Fred (Scrooge’s nephew, played by Max Lopuszynski), Sylvia (Fred’s girlfriend, played by Rosemary Herold) and company falls under the purview of the Ghost of Christmas Present. Lopuszynski and Herold have great chemistry. Their stage presence and vocal training shine.

As Scrooge’s metamorphosis comes to completion she sings I Heard the Bells. It is a very moving piece. While Hazzard does not have the most polished voice, she is able to bring us with her full circle as she realizes life’s beauty and celebrates the season by giving back to her community.

To add to the wonder, the set design by Albie Clementi, is another exercise is flexible space management. The number of configurations made possible, and the choreography necessary to bring about scene changes, adds to the entertainment!

While this is not the best that BAT has presented over the last couple of years, The Christmas Carol Rag is successful in getting the audience into the warm feeling of the holiday season.

Remaining show dates and times:

  • Friday, December 8, 2017 8pm
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017 8pm
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017 2pm
  • Friday, December 15, 2017 8pm
  • Saturday, December 16, 2017 8pm
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017 2pm

COUPON
Click on the coupon below, then print from your home computer and save $5 bucks:

TICKETS
Ticket prices range from $10 to $20. Student tickets are just $10.

For tickets, special deals or other information, go to www.burienactorstheatre.org or call 206-242-5180.

BAT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers.

It’s located at 14501 4th Ave SW:

PHOTOS: Clear (and cool) views of Mt. Rainier and Three Tree Point at sunset

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 17:42

Courtesy Photographer Aaron Wells comes these great photos showing Wednesday night’s sunset and view of Mt. Rainier from Three Tree Point (click images to view larger version/slideshow):

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Scenes from Normandy Park’s Winterfest Tree Lighting (& Santa!)

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:16

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the annual Winterfest Tree Lighting – and rock star-like arrival of Santa (complete with police escort!) – took place at the Normandy Park Towne Center.

Also on hand to entertain were numerous vendors, non-profits and the great talents of:

  • Marvista Orchestra Ensemble
  • Marvista Choir
  • Mount Rainier High School Choir
  • Pacific Middle School Choir

Here’s video that we broadcast live on Facebook:

And some photos courtesy Winterfest Organizer Susan West:

Rock in the New Year with the Molner Band at the Tin Room on New Year’s Eve

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:09
“Back by popular demand!”

ROCK in the New Year with the Molner Band at the Tin Room on New Year’s Eve, starting at 9:30 p.m.!

Molner Band Rock’in New Year’s | Tin Room | 12.31.2017 | 9:30 p.m.

“Come Join Us!”

More info:

The Tin Room Bar & Theater is located at 923 SW 152nd Street:

Support our local library – join the Burien Library Guild at Jan. 8 meeting

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:05

Join the Burien Library Guild and support your library’s programs on Monday, Jan. 8.

This meeting – which runs from 7 – 9 p.m. – is open to everyone and will be held at the library.

More info here: https://kcls.bibliocommons.com/events/5a217fd12698fa350052ac75

Monica Bretherton’s Art on display at Community Center through January

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:04

The Burien Community Center is currently presenting the works of artist Monica Bretherton until the end of January, 2018.

Monica began her artistic career in Denver Colorado, where she exhibited sculpture and painting, including some public commissions.

She completed her BFA at the State University of New York at Purchase, and went on to work professionally in film and finance, careers that didn’t leave much time for art.

After a move to the Pacific Northwest, she returned to artistic practice with a new focus on acrylics. She discovered that her chickens made excellent subjects, and she credits them with getting her mojo back.

She currently resides in Arlington, WA, and is part of the Arlington Arts Council, with a mission to bring more art and arts education to the town. More information about the artist can be found at www.triangleranch.com.

The Burien Community Center is open Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information please call Burien Parks and Recreation at 206-988-3700.

St. Luke Church in Renton’s Muslim-Christian Friendship meeting is Dec. 9

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:15

St. Luke Church in Renton will host talks and conversation with two Islam scholars on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Dr. John Morrow and Imam Sheikh Noor-uddin will be joined by Zahra Abidi, Executive Director of Seattle non-profit “Roots of Conflict.”

All are welcome to attend this free event, co-sponsored by St. Luke Church and St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Presented by:
Zahra Abidi, Roots of Conflict Executive Director

Featuring:
Dr. John Morrow, Senior Research Scholar
Imam Sheikh Noor-uddin

Schedule:

  • 4:00 p.m. Welcome
  • 4:05 p.m. Introductions
  • 4:15 p.m. Covenants of the Prophet (pbuh) with all Christians, by Dr. John Morrow
  • 4:45 p.m. Birth of Islam, by Sheikh Noor-uddin
  • 5:05 p.m. Questions & Answers
  • 6:15 p.m. Refreshments & Socializing

St. Luke’s Church:

St. Luke’s is located at 99 Wells Ave S. in Renton:

South Sound Choruses ‘ChristmasSounds’ to ring in Holidays Dec. 9 & 10

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 16:55

On Saturday, Dec. 9 & Sunday, Dec. 10, the entire Northwest Associated Arts family will present their annual Christmas program at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien.

This annual holiday extravaganza, titled ChristmasSounds in Burien! Features nearly 200 singers, ages 8 to 80 and is one of Burien’s unique holiday traditions. All seven NWAA ensembles will share a single stage, combining beloved traditional Christmas carols, like The Holly and the Ivy, with festive favorites, like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

As always, NWAA encourages families to attend with their affordable Youth Ticket Program. Parents and adults looking for a risk-free way to introduce their children to the joys of choral music can bring young guests for free. Youth under age 17 can attend for free when accompanied by a paid adult.

WHEN:

  • Saturday, Dec. 9: 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 10: 2 p.m.

WHERE: Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S 152nd Street, Burien (map below)

TICKETS: $20-25 (17 & under free with a paid adult) www.nwassociatedarts.org or 206-246-6040

INFO: ChoralSounds Northwest is comprised of adults from 18-80+. SilverSounds Northwest is comprised of 40 retired men and women. KidSounds Northwest, YouthSounds Northwest, and TeenSounds Northwest are also part of the NWAA family. Together, all these Burien-based choruses are part of Northwest Associated Arts (NWAA), which has developed a loyal and growing following with family-friendly shows that offer much more than the usual “choral concert.”

CLIFF’S EDGE: ‘I was born an absent-minded professor.’

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 09:00

I’m not easily embarrassed, and that’s a good thing, given how likely I am to say and do embarrassing things.

I really outdid myself this week, however, and not only am I figuratively blushing in embarrassment today, but I owe an apology to any of you who may have read last week’s column.

Last week I wrote about our local street paper, “Real Change,” and an article I’d read in it regarding homelessness. I concluded with the information that there would be a program at the Burien Library on “Thursday, Nov. 29,” dealing with that topic and featuring some of those associated with “Real Change.”

I hope none of you waited until last night to attend the presentation. You see, Wednesday was Nov. 29, and that’s when the library presentation was. I hope you and a whole lot of others attended.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Burien resident Maureen Hoffmann attended, and you can read her recap here].

I didn’t make it.

It was yesterday a short time before I was planning to head to the library that it dawned on me that a couple of hours earlier I had dated a check Nov. 30. Something didn’t seem right about that, and I soon figured it out.

I wish some sharp-eyed reader had noticed the error last week, and I know there are sharp-eyed readers out there because they’ve caught me in other screw-ups.

But this was my fault alone, and, again, I apologize.

I could blame errors such as this on genetics. In my family we often alluded to the absent-mindedness of my father, who, like me, was a college professor for many years at a small school in Oregon.

The town it was in also was small town, and dad would walk to the campus in the morning and back home in the evening. The morning leg usually was direct. In the evening he most often would alter the route and walk through town.

It was customary that most evenings we would get phone calls at home with messages like, “Tell your dad he left his pipe at the barber shop.”

Or, “You can tell your dad he left his briefcase at the hardware store.”

Or, perhaps, “We have your dad’s hat at the bowling alley.”

His explanation? “I was born an absent-minded professor.”

I suspect that with me it’s not as much an absent mind, as it is overconfidence wrapped in carelessness.

I used to grade down the students in my journalism classes for any error in fact in what they wrote. I’ll hope none of them see this admission on my part.

As for the rest of you, I once more apologize for the error. I also regret having messed up my own schedule and not getting to the library program.

I suspect it was a good one.

Cliff Rowe is a retired journalist and journalism professor. (He practiced both in a time before journalists and what they produced were considered “enemies of the people.”) He and his family have lived in the Shorewood area of White Center (then Burien) since 1969 when they returned to the Northwest after seven years in the Chicago area. There, following graduate school, he wrote and edited with the Chicago Sun-Times and with Paddock Publications in the Chicago suburbs. On moving here, he was with The Seattle Times for 11 years before turning to teaching journalism at Pacific Lutheran University for 35 years, retiring in 2015.

REVIEW: BAT’s ‘Christmas Carol Rag’ – fun, warm feeling of the holiday season

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 17:48

From left to right, Anne Cratchit (Hannah Rockel) and Bob Cratchit (Jaron Boggs) celebrate the birth of their baby while friend and co-worker Agnes (Jessica Robins) looks on in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

From left to right, Bob Cratchit (Jaron Boggs) mourns at the grave while Evelyn Scrooge (Cara Hazzard) looks on in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Angelica Barksdale) sings gospel in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Angelica Barksdale) sings gospel backed by choirboys (from left to right, Max Lopuszynski and Jaron Boggs) in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Robins) take Evelyn Scrooge (Cara Hazzard) back to her past in an attempt to change her miserly ways in Burien Actors Theatre’s musical The Christmas Carol Rag. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com.

Review by Shelli Park

The holidays are upon us and with the holidays we can always look forward to the seasonal offering which Burien Actors Theatre serves up.

This year’s production The Christmas Carol Rag is a musical comedy with live piano accompaniment performed by Elizabeth Bender. The story has bones from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but with a few twists.

Scrooge is a woman, for one.

Cara Hazzard plays the indomitable Evelyn Scrooge. Hazzard brings just the right amount of cold-hearted bitterness to the role. Through her journey with the three Ghosts she times her heart-thawing evolution perfectly. As we visit her history with the Ghost of Christmas Past it is clear that she was damaged by more than childhood loneliness and heartbreak. Scrooge was rejected because she is an intelligent woman with ambition, bringing a wholly different, and greater, purpose to this story.

The three Ghosts, of Past, Present and Future, presented themselves as stand alone, unique characters. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Robins; also plays Agnes) is delightful! Robins pulls off an East Coast Jewish character with aplomb! This ghost is geshmack, and initiates Scrooge’s journey in the best way.

The Ghost of Christmas Present continues the fun! Angelica Barksdale (also, Ruthie) brings soul to the stage. Scrooge is the one being bossed around this time. And the lessons keep on coming. As with Robins, Barksdale’s voice fills the stage as she belts out Go Tell it on the Mountain. Another delightful performance.

The Ghost of Christmas Future (Rochelle Flynn) is a dark, silent presence. Scrooge allows her mind to be manipulated by her own fears in the company of this staid Ghost.

Another important character is Bob Cratchit. Played by Jason Boggs, Cratchit is a delight. Boggs brings this sensitive and sincere character to a higher level. He is charming, and has a delightful singing voice, though it could use a little more volume.

Cratchit’s lovely wife, Anne, (Hannah Rockel) is long-suffering in the service of Ms. Scrooge. And she is pregnant, almost to term. Rockel plays Anne as a sweet, but practical, woman, the perfect counterpart to her dreamer husband. Together, they sing a transporting version of M eet Me Tonight in Dreamland.

The second half contains the strongest performances. “If I Were on The Stage,” sung by Fred (Scrooge’s nephew, played by Max Lopuszynski), Sylvia (Fred’s girlfriend, played by Rosemary Herold) and company falls under the purview of the Ghost of Christmas Present. Lopuszynski and Herold have great chemistry. Their stage presence and vocal training shine.

As Scrooge’s metamorphosis comes to completion she sings I Heard the Bells. It is a very moving piece. While Hazzard does not have the most polished voice, she is able to bring us with her full circle as she realizes life’s beauty and celebrates the season by giving back to her community.

To add to the wonder, the set design by Albie Clementi, is another exercise is flexible space management. The number of configurations made possible, and the choreography necessary to bring about scene changes, adds to the entertainment!

While this is not the best that BAT has presented over the last couple of years, The Christmas Carol Rag is successful in getting the audience into the warm feeling of the holiday season.

Show dates and times:

  • Friday, December 1, 2017 8pm
  • Saturday, December 2, 2017 8pm
  • Sunday, December 3, 2017 2pm
  • Friday, December 8, 2017 8pm
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017 8pm
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017 2pm
  • Friday, December 15, 2017 8pm
  • Saturday, December 16, 2017 8pm
  • Sunday, December 17, 2017 2pm

COUPON
Click on the coupon below, then print from your home computer and save $5 bucks:

TICKETS
Ticket prices range from $10 to $20. Student tickets are just $10.

For tickets, special deals or other information, go to www.burienactorstheatre.org or call 206-242-5180.

BAT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers.

It’s located at 14501 4th Ave SW:

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