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community photoCITIZEN AVENGERS
From women in the tech industry to those wearing their Wonder Woman costume to bed, geeks are a force to be reckoned with.
By Allyson Marrs

It's about embracing your cred—geek cred.

The first GeekGirlCon graced the Emerald City in 2011. Its mission is simple: all people deserve equal recognition and everyone should feel empowered to pursue their passions. But, as Susie Rantz—Manager of GeekGirlCon Public Relations—says, this isn't always the case for women who work in, or enjoy, the sciences, technology, comics and gaming.

The reality, she says, is that women aren't the minority in geekdom; they just don't get the recognition. Forty percent of San Diego Comic-Con guests were women, and Susie adds that 47 percent of game players are women, too. "Until recently, geeky women and their supporters didn't have one safe and welcoming place to share their passions, attend or run panels concerning their contributions to geek culture and celebrate who they are and what they love," Susie says.

There have been some disturbing instances in the past where women have been forced out of doing what they love. Susie remembers the story of Miranda Pakozdi, an experienced gamer playing in a Cross Assault video game tournament, who was repeatedly harassed by her team's coach. Throughout the game, the team's webcam focused on her various body parts, while the coach repeatedly hurled sexual comments at her, saying it was "just part of the game." Miranda ended up forfeiting the tournament.

GeekGirlCon to the rescue. "Women can be just as fanatical about comics, video games or any other topic as men," Susie says. "They should not have to prove their 'geek cred' to anyone." At the con, women can connect to discuss cosplay (costume play) ideas, debate about favorite TV shows and create a community of support.

"We try to present diversity in our convention so that people who just want to 'geek out' have a great time, and those who are looking for networking connections or to have serious discussions about issues of gender, race and ability feel satisfied when they leave our convention."

The convention plays host to entertainment and fandom, networking and job connections and academic discussions. This is seen in panels, workshops and interactive sessions, covering the fun (comic books) to the fundamental (portrayal of women in geek culture).

"The most important thing we want to convey through GeekGirlCon is that geek girls (and women) are out there, and we support one another. We also believe there is power in numbers (some of us GeekGirlCon staff members are math majors, after all)."

That being said, Susie encourages anyone to come to the con. In year's past, 20 to 25 percent of guests were men, and 20 percent of guests in 2011 and 2012 were girls younger than 10. If you self-identify as a geek and support the achievements of women in the culture, then you're welcome. Just imagine the Avengers—a team made up of men and women (and creatures) with different strengths, all fighting for the same cause.

"Pursue your geeky passions and strive to contribute to geek culture," Susie says.

So, "to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand," geeks … assemble!


Convention Details
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit
Oct 19 & 20
Washington State Convention Center's Conference Center
Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Su 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Two-day pass: $35, Saturday OR Sunday only: $20/each, Kids, ages 5-10: $5

A Selection of GeekGirlCon Programming
Comic book writer : Kelly Sue DeConnick will be a featured guest.

Jane Espenson, who has written for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Battlestar Galactica" and "Once Upon a Time," will be on a panel with the cast of her webseries "Husbands."

Professional cosplayer Chaka Cumberbatch will be a featured guest.

Robin Harwick will lead a discussion about the intersection between music, gender and disability.

Mike Madrid will give a presentation titled "Divas, Dames, and Daredevils."

A Ready-To-Wear Superhero panel hosted by Anika Dane.

community photoTHE SPIDER'S SAGA
What has eight legs, eight eyes and bites you when you're sleeping? According to Rod Crawford, the curator of arachnids at the Burke Museum, it's not a spider.
By Katie Vincent

Tall Tales
As Washington's most prominent spider expert, Rod Crawford has made it his mission to debunk the ridiculous myths our spider-fearing culture has created and—gasp—actually believed. His "Spider Myths" web page offers witty yet comprehensive rebuttals to nearly 60 arachnid tall tales he has overheard over the years, including one of his favorites: Baby spiders can hatch out of spider bites.

"All of a sudden one bite magically transforms into eggs… and then they hatch?" he laughs. "It couldn't possibly happen!"

A similar urban legend arose in the bouffant-crazed '50s, involving a spider that allegedly laid its eggs inside a woman's fashionable updo, which later, much to her dismay, hatched and bit her to death.

"Each spider has its own preferred place to lay its eggs, and human hair—the human body in general, really—is not one of them."

Yet, despite the common fear of spiders, there is much more for us to celebrate about our local arachnid friends than for us to fear.

A Web of Truth

In the Pacific Northwest—and in the rest of the state, really—we are safe. Crawford claims there are absolutely no spiders in our area whose venom could seriously harm a human. Not to mention, bites themselves are rare.

Consider the situation of a spider's fangs: underneath the body.

"For a spider to bite you, it has to be standing on you and pressed down upon," Rod says.

He argues that a "true" spider bite could only occur if a spider is stuck inside clothing or if someone "foolishly puts a hand into a spider habitat without looking."

Indoor house spiders are especially harmless. Rod regularly brings male giant house spiders—often the size of his palm—into his classes to demonstrate their incredibly docile nature to students.

"Their digestive system has partially atrophied (declined in effectiveness) to temporarily increase their mating endurance," he says. "They're just hanging around for the ladies."

Indeed, they will linger near our water fixtures to grab a sip of water between mating and between meals of fruit flies, fleas, cockroaches, carpet beetles, silverfish, Indian meal moths, clothing moths and other pesky insects.

And, luckily for the squeamish, beds are not a hot spot for spiders.

"A spider might walk across a made bed one to two times per year… they simply don't find what they're looking for in a bed."

Moving Past It

A spider's paramount role on our planet often goes unnoticed.

"About 40 percent of the world's insect biomass will pass through spiders," Rod says. "Without spiders, it would be a whole new ballgame."

He estimates that, were spiders to be extinguished, insect populations worldwide would skyrocket, leaving the rest of Earth's living creatures—humans included—hard put to survive.

But how can we get over our fears?

Education, Rod claims, is the most effective treatment. As a child, he overcame his qualms with "Spiders and Their Kin" by Herbert Levy—which he proudly displays on his office bookshelf.

Yet he does acknowledge the real phobias out there. "There are some people who can't function if they think a spider is in the room … which there always is." For this, Rod suggests contacting a professional.

But for those who are just creeped out by the arachnids, remember there would be a lot more bugs without them.

Find more at Rod Crawford's "Spider Myths" page:

-Katie Vincent is a Seattle-based freelance writer specializing in outdoor living, wellness, travel and sustainable gardening.

community photoUNIDENTIFIED
By Danielle Zorn

Intrigue. It's the driving force behind writer/producer Steven Edmiston's and director/producer Scott Schaefer's newest film project. Joining their curious and creative minds together, and gaining support from local talent and funding from the Seattle International Film Festival, the two set off with their team to bring "The Maury Island Incident" to life.

In December 1969, the Secretary of the Air Force terminated Project Blue Book, a program conducted by the Air Force that was investigating UFOs. According to the Project Blue Book fact book found in declassified U.S. government documents, the research ended because there was no obvious national security threat, no technological discoveries or advancements at stake, and no sound proof that the "unidentified objects" were extraterrestrial vehicles. Regardless of the official dismantling of Project Blue Book, lack of explanation remains the driving force behind the fascination with UFOs.

Consider the not-so-well-known incident that occurred close to home. According to UFOs Northwest, it was June 21, 1947, and Harold Dahl was salvaging logs in Puget Sound off of Maury Island with his son Charles and his dog. Around 2 p.m., six "doughnut-shaped disks," hovered above his boat, one of which looked to be malfunctioning. Debris fell from the disk killing Harold's dog and burning his son's arm, before all six disks sped off. A man dressed in black soon visited Harold, telling him that what he had witnessed was not meant to be seen.

Three days later, pilot and federal marshal Kenneth Arnold saw nine objects, which he called "flying saucers" near Mount Rainier. And just two weeks later, an unidentified object crashed on a ranch northwest of Roswell, New Mexico.

Media personnel and members of the military soon interviewed Kenneth and Harold. Two servicemen arrived in Tacoma to learn about the incidents, then returned by plane to Hamilton Field, an Air Force Base in California, for further investigations, taking with them debris from Harold's disk sighting.

However, their B-25 bomber never made it. The next day, journalist Paul Lance wrote an article for the Tacoma Times (now defunct), titled "Sabotage Hinted in Crash of Army Bomber at Kelso; Plane May Hold Flying Disk Secret." Two weeks later, Paul mysteriously died—reason unknown.

These mysteries keep Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, directors of the Seattle UFO/Paranormal Group and Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore, intrigued. "We can't explain it, and it irks the hell out of us," Charlette says. "There has to be an explanation, but there isn't."

That's what Charlette says bothered Kenneth in 1947. Living in Boeing country right after WWII ended, anyone—military or civilian—at that time would be able to identify any aircraft. Kenneth was a pilot himself, and he just couldn't explain it. Charlette and her colleagues reopened the case eight years ago after discovering leftover debris at the B-25 crash site, mobilizing UFO groups nationwide, which have never let the Maury Island incident drift far from their focus.

As for the film exploring the events, "I have been so impressed with the quality and work that has been put into this film," Charlette says. "It's nostalgic history, and at the same time, educational."

With UFOs, men in black, a government plane crash and cover-up undertones, the Maury Island incident is just too ripe a mystery not to investigate just a little bit more—unless you're afraid of what you might discover?

-Danielle Zorn is a very curious, Seattle-based freelance writer who loves that learning about anything and everything is part of her job description.

community photoSTANDING TOUGH
By Allyson Marrs

October marks National Bullying Prevention month. Unfortunately, with the availability of Wi-Fi and smartphones now as common for elementary kids as they are for adults, bullying has become an even easier act to inflict.

Nancy Kaplan, a licensed clinical social worker and the director of CRU Institute—an organization that provides materials and training for students in peer mediation, anti-bullying and cultural awareness—defines bullying as an ongoing, hurtful interaction. The power is unequal, and the act may be physical, verbal, cyber or even isolating.

"The way the victim feels is more significant than the intent of the perpetrator," she says. "If the recipient of the harassment is significantly impacted in a negative way, it is bullying."

The impact, Nancy says, is largely determined by personality type, as someone with low self-esteem and no support network will most likely feel worse emotionally, and victims who handle stress well and have supportive families can potentially make it through less scarred.

"Often, victims of emotional harassment suffer in silence, fearing that reporting their concerns may create further problems," Nancy says. For this reason, kids may not always speak up, so parents need to take extra notice of their child's behavior and any significant changes.

It's a tough job, but Nancy says that creating an open, honest relationship with your children is the most important step parents can take, as is setting a good example of how to treat others, and how, you too should expect to be treated. This relationship of both listening and communicating will help children feel more comfortable confiding details about situations they may feel embarrassed, or scared, about.

If you are concerned that you're child may be a victim of bullying, ask questions first. Figure out the specifics of the situation, what's happening and how it's impacting your child. Then, Nancy says, ask your child what he or she wants to do or plans to do. Involving the child in the resolution process is important. From there, involve the appropriate figures, depending on where the bullying is taking place—school, camp, sports teams, etc.

"Keep your eyes and ears open! Observe and listen," Nancy says. "This may be a situation that will easily be resolved, or it could be a very serious situation where drastic measures need to be taken."

For the reverse—if your child is doing the bullying—observing, listening and starting a discussion are key, too. In some case, children may not know the serious effect their behavior is having on others, and to understand this, counseling or speaking openly with the parties involved can be a resolution.

On the other hand, parents can have a significant impact by evaluating their own behavior. Nancy recommends parents study how they speak to, and about, others. "We all need to remember that children emulate parents, and many repeat things that they have heard their parents say."

Ultimately, "some young people have not developed the understanding of how their behavior may impact others." Parents, this is where you come in.

If you have questions about bullying, or about how to resolve a situation your child may be involved in, visit for more information.

Signs your child may be getting bullied
Courtesy of Nancy Kaplan

Loss of interest in activities
Change of sleeping patterns
Change in eating habits
Isolation/more time spent in room
Increased hostility or aggressiveness

Signs your child may be the bully
Courtesy of Nancy Kaplan

Suddenly more secure, or acting stronger
Putting down others, including family members
Speaking in a derogatory way
A sudden new group of friends, who act more like followers
Power struggles at home

community photoOF NOTE
The Summer Basketball League final saw Trees and Threes square off against Legacy in a highly anticipated championship game. Legacy used a quick run at the end of the first half to build a 43-27 lead and carried the hot shooting into the second half to secure an 83-54 victory. Congratulations, Legacy!

From l to r: Isaiah Cormier, Justin White, Jaime Booker, Brent Williams, Ryan Symes, Chris Keller and Elan Baumchen.

employee spotlight photoEMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

Employee: Samantha Allen
Position: Billing Specialist

Worked at the BC for: five years
Favorite part about my job: My co-workers make work fun every day!
Favorite hobbies: Rock-climbing, biking, rafting, hiking, travel, volleyball and tennis, and, of course, spending time with my friends and family.
Three words to describe me: Strong, kind and funny.
Siblings: One older sister and one younger brother.
Favorite food: Tacos.
Favorite movie: "The Blind Side"
I would never: fly via wing suit!
I just can't live without: adventure/adrenaline!
An item on my bucket list: To live abroad in a Spanish-speaking country for at least a year.
Favorite place in the world: The San Juan Islands, the mountains or anywhere with water!
Best memory made at the Club: Being starstruck by Oprah's significant other: Stedman!

community photoEVENT HIGHLIGHTS

Murder Mystery Dinner
Oct. 11, 6:30-9 p.m.
Imagine you're sitting down for an elegant meal with your closest friends and family. Just as you're about to spear your lettuce the butler falls to the ground. His mouth is frozen into a look of shock, and you immediately start eyeing your dinner guests. Who did it? Who killed the butler?

Reminiscent of a childhood favorite, "Clue," this interactive dinner is all about solving a crime. The night depends on information submitted by guests before the game begins, and you can even setup your fellow guests; secrets are all part of the fun. However, if you'd rather just watch the investigation unfold, your participation is not required.

During the mystery fun, you'll enjoy dinner and interrogation, which begs the question, "Who's guilty?"

$59 includes dinner, glass of wine and the game. For tickets: Contact Membership Director Kaarin Keil at

Paddle and Wine
Oct. 12, 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Adventure is rewarded with alcohol—it was earned, after all. Thrill seekers will begin their kayaking trek at Golden Gardens Park and paddle south, past Shilshole Bay Marina. During a break at Discovery Park, a naturalist guide will teach you a thing or two about the intertidal habitat.

After stopping by the Ballard Locks, you'll finally get to rest and drive to Woodinville, where you'll sip your way around the boutique wineries—your reward for a fun, tiring day on the water.

Exact kayaking route and location may change based on weather conditions.

$235. For tickets: Contact Membership Director Kaarin Keil at

Casino Royale
Oct. 18, 7-11 p.m.
It's the second annual casino night fundraiser—an evening of charitable gaming.

Bellevue LifeSpring (formerly Overlake Service League) is a local organization that fosters stability and self-sufficiency for Bellevue's children and their families. All gaming proceeds will support their efforts, meaning that whatever happens at the event will certainly not just stay there.

Entry into the little Vegas will include appetizers, one glass of wine and $10 worth of gaming chips. A live DJ will also be spinning all night.

So if you're 21 or older, put on your casino best, strut the red carpet and make a difference in your community.

$30, all gambling proceeds benefit Bellevue LifeSpring. For tickets: Purchase at the Athletic Desk or visit

Halloween Carnival
Oct. 25, 6-8:30 p.m.
This annual carnival is always filled with games, prizes, photos, fun costumes and lots of candy. It's a holiday that celebrates children's delights—spooky stories and sugar being the best part of the day.

As always, the Club's basketball gym will be converted into a Halloween dream (or is it a nightmare?). Guests are encouraged—and somewhat expected—to show up in their best costumes, mom and dad included, especially since there will be a haunted photo booth to capture every moment!

Although dinner will not be served at the event, candy will be offered at nearly every game station.

$15/ages 3 and older, adults and kids younger than 2 are free. Register at the Athletic Desk or email

In the Cards
Membership Card Reminder
In order to protect the Bellevue Club’s private membership status, every member who enters the Club must have his or her membership card swiped by a staff member.

Although most members become familiar faces around the Club, the card scanning policy helps stop unauthorized use by nonmembers and members who have been suspended or left the Club. Also, the use of membership cards creates a more efficient entrance environment, in contrast to manually entering each member into the computer.

For those with lost or missing cards, be sure to tell the Athletic Entrance representative so they can order you a new card. We completely understand that you may occasionally forget or misplace your membership card. However, any member who refuses to comply with our card-scanning policy will be subject to disciplinary actions.

Be Our Guest:
Guest check-in procedures
Guests are always welcome at the Bellevue Club. We encourage members to bring a guest for the day to enjoy use of the facility. All guests that are brought to the Club shall abide by the Rules and Regulations of the Bellevue Club. This includes checking in. To ensure that guests are eligible to use the facility, we ask that all members abide by the following rules:

• The same guest may visit the Bellevue Club once per month, but not to exceed two visits within a six-month period. The Bellevue Club does offer multi-day and weekly passes through Membership Services.
• The sponsoring member must be present with the guest upon check-in. The only exception is with special passes or arrangements made in advance through Membership Services.
• All guests must fill out a Guest Registration Form, which is to be signed by both the member and guest.
• All guests are subject to pay a guest fee upon check-in. The fee is $16 for an adult and $8 for a junior.

All the News that's Fit to Blog
Bellevue Club launches blog and Twitter
There’s officially a new blog on the block. The Bellevue Club recently launched a new media outlet with all the latest information and member news on the Eastside at

Created as a place for members to stay connected to the Bellevue Club community, the new blog is focused on posting timely stories and announcements about member and Club happenings. Along with member news, also look for fitness tips, recipes, social events and class updates.

If you or somebody you know is hosting a charity event or you recently won an award, the Bellevue Club Blog wants to hear about it. Send all interesting news items and tidbits to

In addition to a shiny new blog, the Bellevue Club is also on Twitter. Follow the Club at to get last-minute class openings or cancellations, parking alerts, special offers and weather-related announcements, as well as information about community events in Bellevue.

Nominate a Member for a Profile
Do you know any members who have special talents or athletic abilities, unique hobbies, far-flung travels or interesting careers, volunteer or charity work? We are looking for members to feature for profiles in future issues of REFLECTIONS, and we’d love to hear from you. Call 688-3162 or e-mail with your nomination.

Sign Up for E-Mail Alerts
Bellevue Club members can now sign up to receive e-mail alerts about the latest fitness classes, social events, construction updates, restaurant specials and more. Visit and click on “Subscribe to E-mail Alerts.” From this screen you can sign up to receive specific e-mail alerts about various departments at the Club. Tailor individual alerts to exactly what you want to know about at the Club, from last-minute tennis court openings to promotions at the Spa. Receive only the information you requested, and unsubscribe or change alerts at any time. If you have questions about
e-mail alerts, contact the web coordinator at 688-3293 or e-mail

See What’s Happening ‘This Week’
Stay up to date on the latest construction news, classes and happenings at the Bellevue Club with the new “This Week at the Club” page at The link will provide information about special events, current specials, promotions and sales around the club, upcoming events, construction updates, parking alerts, membership information and more.

Use Automatic Deduction to Pay your Club Bill
The Club accepts automatic deductions from your checking or savings account as a convenient, dependable and safe way to make your monthly Club payment.

To sign up for our automatic deduction program, pick up an Authorization Agreement form at Membership Services and return it with a voided check or preprinted savings withdrawal slip.

Once you drop off the completed form, we’ll withdraw your payment directly from your checking or savings account. Automatic deduction payments are made on the 15th of the month and will be reflected on your bank statement. We will continue to send you a monthly Club statement of activity for your review. For more information, please call Membership Services at 688-3221.

Parking Lot Theft Alert
There have been a number of automobile break-ins at the Club due to valuables being left unattended in cars. To reduce the possibility of this happening to you, please never leave valuables—or for that matter, anything—in your car. Do not hide items in your car, either. We have extended security’s presence in the parking lot as well as having the Bellevue Police provide random surveillance throughout the day and evening.

If you observe any unusual activity, please report it to the Athletic Desk immediately.

Locker Room Reminder
Please note that all members under 16 years of age are required to use the Family/Children’s locker rooms. Opposite sex children under 6 years of age are permitted in the boys or girls locker rooms when accompanied by an adult. Please be aware that adults do use these locker rooms. If you are uncomfortable for any reason please contact the Athletic Desk and we will arrange for a staff person to assist your child.

Club Employment Not Available for Members
Please remember that the Bellevue Club does not employ Club members, including Junior and Intermediate classifications. We appreciate your understanding and hope you will continue to enjoy all the activities available at the Club.

Child Care and Kids’ Camp Sick Policy
Please do not bring your sick child to the Child Care Center or Kids’ Camp. This includes a child with a cold, runny nose, cough or fever. We ask that you respect this rule for the protection of other children and our staff.

Reminder for Parents Regarding Junior Members
Summers are a busy time and we have many youngsters in the Club every day taking classes and camps. Please remind your children of the following junior member rules to make time in the Club more pleasant for everyone.
• Junior members shall use the Athletic Entrance upon entering and exiting the Club except when accompanied by a parent for dining purposes or when attending a social function.
• Junior members under 12 years of age shall be accompanied by a parent while in the Club unless participating in a supervised class/activity or open swim.
• Junior members 12 years of age and older are allowed to bring a guest without having their parents present. A membership card or identification must be presented at the Athletic Entrance.
• Junior members 16 years of age and older may use the adult locker rooms. All other junior members shall use the children’s locker rooms.
• Junior members are not permitted in Polaris restaurant, Cosmos, the ballroom or conference rooms, or hotel guest areas unless accompanied by a parent or while attending a supervised class/activity.
• The Junior Activity Lounge is provided for junior members. No rowdiness or foul language is allowed.
• Junior members shall use the Athletic Entrance upon entering and exiting the Club except when accompanied by a parent for dining purposes or when attending a social function.
• Junior members under 12 years of age shall be accompanied by a parent while in the Club unless participating in a supervised class/activity or open swim.
• Junior members 12 years of age and older are allowed to bring a guest without having their parents present. A membership card or identification must be presented at the Athletic Entrance.
• Junior members 16 years of age and older may use the adult locker rooms. All other junior members shall use the children’s locker rooms.
• Junior members are not permitted in Polaris restaurant, Cosmos, the ballroom or conference rooms, or hotel guest areas unless accompanied by a parent or while attending a supervised class/activity.




Membership Services: 425-688-3221 or 425-688-3150 | | M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


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