I don’t know how much national politics and issues have played a role in local politics, but you don’t have to dig too far beneath the surface of the North Boroughs to see at least some effect. Ballots on which offices were once filled by anyone who could get a few write-in votes are now being contested by an abundance of candidates. And some of the most troubling issues that confront us as a nation have stepped into the local spotlight as well.


I hope you all took advantage of summer and vacations and all the good things that come with the warmer weather. In what seems to be turning into an extremely annoying summer tradition, I spent a portion of my summer in the emergency room, followed by way too much time in doctors’ offices. Fortunately this year’s catastrophe was only a broken wrist, which appears to be well on its way to healing.


A few weeks ago, I got what was probably my last look at the house where I grew up. For those of us who grew up in the same house, in the same town, for all or most of our youth, “home” is a powerful concept. It carries with it not just the bricks and wood of a particular structure, but embodies the essence of a powerful period of time in our lives. It represents our roots in a time and place that, hopefully, is still cherished by most of us.


One year ago today, I died. A couple of times, if you want to get technical about it. During one 20-minute stretch, I believe I had a somewhat lengthy conversation with whatever Great Spirit each of us believes in, about the pros and cons of staying dead or coming back to life. I'm not sure which of us advocated living, but that was the side that won.

And so began a journey of recovery that the doctors tell me will take at least two years. Sometimes I feel like I take one step forward and 10 steps back as I struggle to define what heart attack survivors call my “new normal.”


As usual in Bellevue – because nobody does drama like Bellevue does drama – the primary election campaigns have turned into something like…well, like the 2016 presidential campaigns. We at The Citizen are going to do what we have always done – give everyone involved a chance to speak and be heard, and let the voters sort it out. But there is one issue that troubles me personally, and I have written about it in the past – Candidates who run for the nomination of a political party they don’t even believe in.


I have to admit that my jaw hit the ground when I read some of the comments made during the Avonworth School Board meeting concerning the Gender Sexuality Alliance that has been proposed as a club by students to support their LGBTQ classmates.


The recent national election and inauguration of a new President of the United States troubles me on many levels, but one issue in particular scares me to death…perhaps literally.


The first time I came face to face with senseless, completely incomprehensible loss on a personal level was when I was 13 years old.

Until that time, death had been something that happened to really old people I didn't know very well. Then came a warm Saturday evening in June, and my view of the world changed forever.


This past weekend, as I constantly updated The Citizen’s Web site in response to the changing circumstances of the fire in Bellevue, I remarked to a friend, “Sometimes being in the news business is not a lot of fun.” That same statement is true for most of us who live within this small, fairly close-knit community of the North Boroughs, sometimes being so connected to the people of your community is not a lot of fun.