An inside look at the voter’s experience – Part 1

This is the first piece in a series of three parts by Mountlake Terrace resident Michelle L. Hankes on her experiences as a voter throughout the years and becoming more engaged in politics. The next part will be published Thursday. The year was 1994 and I had recently turned 18. I stood in line, my…

Healthy Eating: Celebrating a legacy of food in moderation

My 86-year-old mother, Edith Binder, has been in the throes of Alzheimer’s for the past three years. She passed away peacefully two weeks ago. Although it’s hard to lose my last parent, it is a relief that she is free to dance with my father and brother now. She was a shadow of herself at…

Recommend Reads: ‘Dark Nantucket Noon’ an intriguing, cozy mystery

Dark Nantucket Noon, by Jane Langton Katherine, or Kitty as everyone calls her, returns to the island of Nantucket especially to view a spectacular, noon eclipse of the sun. She flies from her Boston home, time away from teaching, to experience nature’s show in the only place where the entire total eclipse will be visible….

Recommended Reads: Enjoy a Roman holiday with ‘Coins in the Fountain’

Coins in the Fountain: A Memoir of Rome, by Judith Works You’re invited on a Roman holiday. You’ll linger over each page of this book, savoring the full-flavored descriptions of all that is seen, heard, tasted, and felt. Just like all holidays, you won’t want this book to end. Judith is an adventuresome American who…

Military Wire: VA suicide hotline — please leave a message

More than 22 veterans commit suicide a day. The Department of Veteran Affair’s crisis hotline – the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary– received more than 450,000 calls in 2014, a 40 percent increase over the previous year. According to the VA’s own office of inspector general, one in six calls are redirected to backup centers…

Recommended Reads: Bicycle memoir an exciting ride across America

Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America, by Brian Benson This memoir will take you on an exciting ride from small town Wisconsin to Portland, Ore. Brian is a young man with lots of energy and little direction. In a small Mexican town, adventuring Brian met Rachel. They shared a love of music, and a…

Playtime: Mother of teen who died too soon now working to save others

Many of my columns focus on what to do with the kids nearby. Lately, with the abundance of ways to help those around us, and in this case ourselves as well, community issues have been at the forefront. If you haven’t already heard about Matthew Truax, he was a 16-year-old Meadowdale High School student who…

Fitness Corner: Avoiding (mostly) the Fitness Cliff

I don’t know about you, but I’m smack in the middle of the winter doldrums. It’s cold and wet outside, the sun is still setting too early, and it is just a slog to get out and exercise. I do it, but there is a little voice in my head that is beginning to sound…

Playtime: Sobering statistics about homeless kids, and how you can help

In 2013, after hearing a story about homeless children in the Edmonds School District, a local mom started a grassroots effort to get snacks for those children that has since snowballed into so much more. Born from that initial effort, and the local support behind it, Washington Kids in Transition is now a full fledged,…

From the Vet: Human prescriptions – the most common pet poison

According to the records of the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) of the ASPCA. for the seventh year in a row human prescription medications top the list of potential toxins most commonly ingested by pets. The APCC handled more than 167,000 cases in 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are currently available, and…

Playtime: Fresh ideas for overscheduled families

Recently, in our house, it became obvious that our schedule was way too much. “Way too much” feels like an understatement. I got to the point where I wasn’t sure I was having conversations with the kids that didn’t involve telling them to hurry up and finish whatever it was they were doing to head…

Fitness Corner: Reflections on loss

I questioned myself as to whether I ought to write yet more about this topic, for a column titled “Fitness Corner.” After two years, people might be wondering, is she ever going to get over it? But really, the answer is no. It just doesn’t work like that. I have adapted, changed, grown, learned to…

Military Wire: Is Wounded Warrior Project worthy of your donations?

During the past right years or so, I have often been pulled aside and asked my thoughts on WWP — otherwise known as The Wounded Warrior Project. Their mission is sound, “To honor and empower wounded warriors.” BUT their motives have led some to believe they are less then honorable. Did the organization that started…

Playtime: Where to find homework help, relieve study stress

This week marks the end of the first semester of the 2015-16 school year in the Edmonds School District. Older kids had finals, some kids had a final push to get stuff done, and others will have some ‘splaining to do when their report cards make it home. Finishing off the semester and getting a…

Military Wire: An exclusive behind-the-scenes workshop for veterans

Across America, a number of agencies and organizations are rolling out programs and initiatives geared to help veterans find healing, a new mission and a sense of purpose after the military. South Snohomish County is joining the effort. On Feb. 5 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., veterans, their friends and families are invited to an…

Playtime: Time to register for spring sports; Girls on Run needs coaches

There are SO many options for youth sports in and around Edmonds, and many are based right at the Frances Anderson Center. While our kids have done Kids Love Soccer, Sno-King Youth Club Soccer, UK Elite Soccer, Pacific Little T-Ball, and I’m sure something else I’m forgetting, they both seem to have landed on hockey….

From the Vet: Mitral valve disease in dogs

The mitral or left atrioventricular valve is one of four one-way valves in the heart. It controls blood flow from the left atrium, where oxygenated blood coming from the lungs collects, to the left ventricle, where arterial blood is pumped out into the body. When the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve closes, thus preventing…

Military Wire: Veteran-related issues solved by outgoing administration?

The President’s final State of the Union is this Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. PST. His plan is to address the nation on what his Administration has deemed critical pathways forward: Economic Progress; Acting on Climate; Engagement in the World; Health Care Reform and Social Progress and Equality. A continual issue that has plagued…

Playtime: Saying good-bye to our family’s best friend

The parental heavy lifting I forecast while pregnant could have never prepared me for having to navigate the majority of what has actually gone down. In my days of trying to “make everything that’s uncertain certain,” I could have never pictured the look on my 6 1/2-year-old’s face when he walked into the vet’s examination…

Military Wire: The first step to making 2016 your year

I have a confession. Yep. Instead of kicking off the New Year with a few new commitments, I’m kicking the New Year off with a confession. My “confession” is that some of my commitments weren’t commitments last year – they were “intentions” with an exit strategy. After watching the movie “South Paw” last year, I…

Fitness Corner: 31 Days of New Year’s fitness inspiration

1. Water–an essential weight loss tool. Make it a habit, bring it with you. Hydrates, filling, ice cold burns more calories. 2. A little goes a long way. Take the stairs, park farther away, eat a bit less each meal, skip that final drink. It adds up. 3. I once knew someone who lost 60…

Recommended Reads: ‘Alone on the Wall’ chronicles climber’s passion

Alone on the Wall, by Alex Honnold with David Roberts Alex Honnold is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. He’s a world-class, free solo climber, known for climbing without the help of ropes, equipment, or a partner. He’s been known to scale 2,000 feet with only shoes and a chalk bag for…

Military Wire: Take part in memorable event Dec. 12 — Wreaths Across America

(Portions reprinted with permission) Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12- year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington, D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression…