Up for Grammy, Arlington NW, bank, magazine

Thumbs up to Island native Charles Michael Brotman for winning a Grammy Award in the Hawaiian music category on Feb. 13, for his album ``Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2.'' Brotman grew up on Mercer Island in a musical family, with his parents, himself and a sister all playing instruments and another sister was involved in dance. He now lives in Hawaii, where he founded a record label with sister, Jody. They plan to record a ``Slack Key Guitar Vol. 3.''

Thumbs up to Arlington NW, the traveling memorial honoring U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq. The more than 1,500 markers displayed at Mercerdale Park on Saturday, Feb. 19, created an impressive memorial to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Everyone could take something valuable away after viewing it, regardless of their position on the war.

Thumbs up to our newest business and neighbor, Banner Bank for holding its gala opening Thursday, Feb. 17, despite being robbed of an undisclosed amount of money just days earlier. The bank was held up Monday, Feb. 14, three weeks after first opening its doors. No one was injured in the robbery, but it certainly made Valentine's Day for bank employees less than stellar.

Thumbs up to ROCKRGRL magazine on its 10th anniversary. The magazine, founded by Mercer Island resident Carla DeSantis, focuses on musicians who are women. What started out as a black and white publication printed via copy machine is now full color and has a circulation of 25,000.

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