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Here’s what not to read

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:31PM

Every once in awhile I read a book I really hate. This becomes awkward when the book is one chosen by someone in my book group. Or sits atop the New York Times best seller list for 17 weeks. Or is praised by people whose judgment I tend to trust.

Birding at 65 miles per hour

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:31PM

Although I prefer birdwatching along a sylvan path or deserted beach, I often find myself stuck in a car during our gloomy winters. Birding from the driver’s seat can be dangerous — you should keep your eyes on the road, not the sky — but watchful passengers or drivers ensnarled in traffic can enjoy spotting birds.

Recipe for a grateful heart

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:31PM

My ability in writing books is not matched by my ability to read a cookbook. My wife and three daughters will attest to that. Except for popping corn and blending chocolate milk shakes, most of my efforts in the kitchen taste like mistakes.

On traditional Scottish instrument, Mercer Island teen is piping hot

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:31PM

Playing the bagpipes may not be something “normal teenagers” do, but it’s his unusual hobby which 17-year-old Micah Babinski thanks for allowing him to do “normal teenager things.”

Some choice books for the holiday shopper

  • Dec 6, 2006 at 12:00AM updated Nov 24, 2008 at 6:31PM

Like most of you, when I think of the holidays, I think of children, so that seems like a good place to start this month’s column. I’ll include some fiction and non-fiction suggestions for the youngsters in your life, and then move on to some titles for the adults on your list. But remember: nothing beats the slow browse through a bookstore at this time of year, so be sure to do some exploring on your own.

Ski season update

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

It is said that light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Social change

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

We’d all love it if our phones rang more often with people on the other end asking if they could give us money. Particularly for the folks at Mercer Island Youth & Family Services — they’re usually on the phone doing all the asking.

For Island remodeler, a steady climb to the top; Davis makes list of fastest-growing

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Peter Davis knows the right way to build a house. From small remodels to large developments, he has some 200 construction projects around the Seattle area to prove it. And now that he has landed on the list of the Puget Sound region’s top 100 fastest-growing private companies, he has proven that he knows how to build a business, too.

Listen up, Ma ! JCC program teaches moms to pay attention

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

“Those of you who are breastfeeding, — are you just hungry all the time?”


  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Understanding All Kinds of Minds, Learning About Learning - The Challenge of Homework: is from 10 a.m. to noon. Session 1, Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 S.E. 24th St.; Session 2, Saturday, Dec. 9, at Lakeridge Library, 8215 S.E. 78th St. Space is limited and preregistration is required. For more information and reservations contact Jaymi Garvetat at or 236-0050.

Face value

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

After four years of hiding behind a Web site, the man responsible for Mercer Island’s is coming out from behind the curtain.

A Tale of Two Holidays: Celebrating faith with food

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year at sunset on Dec. 15, and commemorates the Maccabeean victory some 22 centuries ago. A miracle happened at the cleansing of the temple when the Maccabees found only enough sacred oil to light the menorah for one day. But a miracle occurred, and one day’s supply lasted for eight days. Since this eight-day holiday revolves around a miracle of the oil, many recipes that contain oil have become significant in celebrating Hanukkah -- such as latkes, which are sometimes called potato pancakes. Brisket just seems to be the meat of choice, so it wasn’t a surprise to find those very dishes being prepared at Lisa and Ralph Katsman’s home.

Gem of a business: Islander’s borderless beauties

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Lee Gelb might have a hard time putting herself out of a job this time.

Perspectives: MIY&S keeps the focus on relationships

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Many communities in the greater Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area each have their own social service organization dedicated to their support; ours is Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS), headquartered in Luther Burbank Park.

Heritage for $10 a pound

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:30PM

Recently I caught a snatch of a radio program explaining some people are paying $10 a pound for “heritage” turkeys this holiday season. According to the program, these turkeys are comparable to heirloom tomatoes; sturdier, able to survive outdoors and closer to their original heritage. The commentator claimed that farmers growing heritage turkeys could trace the bloodlines back to the birds consumed by the Pilgrims.

Surviving the winter weather

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

Wintertime can be hard on inside plants as well as those outside. The dry air of our homes can stress delicate plants, and the low light levels of this time of year can also wear on them. Here are some ways to encourage your favorite flowering plants to make it to spring in better health.

Goodwill hunting for Christmas

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14, KJV).

A gift of health

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

I don’t what to get my grandmother for Christmas, Denise told me. “She's in a wheelchair after her stroke and has everything she wants or needs. Still, I want to let her know she's special.”

Not your parents’ television: Flat-screen TVs pose a challenge to viewing audiences

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

If you happened to catch the Street of Dreams this year, you probably noticed that the only thing more prevalent than the color combination of soft aqua and caf/ latte was the ubiquitous placement of flat panel televisions in almost every room of each house. One home even featured a screen seamlessly placed in the middle of the master bathroom mirror!

Refugee All-stars

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

From their boats to their friends’ couches, Islanders sought out warmth and comfort in some interesting places last week.

Mixology of the vine

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

While I notice many consumers have learned that blended wines are not inferior wines, I still see that some almost wrinkle their nose when they see blends.

What to keep and what to throw out

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

WSU Department of Extension
Special to the Reporter

Help is just a phone call away. But how far away is a land line?

  • Nov 24, 2008 at 6:29PM

By Cody Ellerd
Mercer Island Reporter

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