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NEWSLINE 253-833-0218

Happy Holidays A U B U R N˜ Sports | Chris Young leaves his mark on Sun Devils’ defense [8]


Phillip to face second trial in Frankel murder case BY STEVE HUNTER


William L. Phillip Jr., faces a second trial starting Feb. 24 in Kent because jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict last week about whether he stabbed Seth Frankel to death in 2010. King County Superior Court Judge

Andrea Darvas declared a mistrial Dec. 18 after the 12 jurors deliberated for one-and-a-half days. Phillip is in custody in the county jail on the firstdegree murder charge. Jurors considered whether Phillip stabbed Frankel to death on May 21, 2010 in the home he shared in Auburn

with Bonny Johnson, a woman each man loved. The trial lasted six weeks. Frankel was a video program coordinator for the city of Kent. “It’s obviously always disappointing to have a trial of that length and to not have an outcome and have to do it all over again,” Patrick Hinds, deputy pros-

ecutor, aid in an interview last Friday after Darvas had set a new trial date at the Maleng Regional Justice Center. Hinds said the mistrial came as a disappointment for Frankel’s family as well. His father, Richard Frankel, traveled from his home in Hawaii, and his [ more TRIAL page 14 ]

Local Boy Scout troop to leave BSA BY SHAWN SKAGER

Local Boy Scout Troop 835 will no longer be associated with the Boy Scouts of America beginning Jan. 1. According to Scoutmaster Jim Brass, the 12-member troop – formerly based in Pacific – intends to leave the BSA and start its program under the nonprofit organization he already manages, Help Northwest, based in Auburn. “The name for our new program is Help Northwest Youth Corps,” Brass said. “We will continue to serve any youth

in the area that wishes to be part of our organization and adhere to a moral code.” Brass cited the decision the BSA made in May, when more than 60 percent of the organization’s 1,400 member national council voted to allow openly gay youth to join scouting, effective Jan. 1. “I grew up in scouting more than 50 years ago,” Brass said. “But it’s their decision to go away from the traditions of Boy Scouts and do things that we believe are not moral. I’m just not comfortable with the [ more TROOP page 2 ]


Hope, inspiration through art Autistic savant artist shares his passion, studio with others


When Michael Tolleson takes up a brush, his autism paints. In strokes of vivid color and harmonizing hues, he creates outstanding, and outstandingly beautiful, art. Tolleson in-breathes the emotional

tone of a landscape, a person or a situation, and in one hour or less exhales an inspiring piece. His medium of choice, acrylic, lets him finish a work even before the paint has dried. The resulting oil-like painting is revealing, almost impressionistic.


[ more ARTIST page 7 ]


City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Classes & Leagues

Magician Jeff Evans performs magic during a recent visit to the Algona-Pacific Library. Among the many tricks to the library, a trained reindeer that performed card tricks

and a drawing of Santa that came to life and spoke, all to the delight of his entranced audience. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter

Michael Tolleson’s art has picked up a global following. Now, using his art studio, he wants to reach out and work with the autistic community. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Wellness | Fitness | Sports | and More! 946005

Register now: | 253-931-3043

December 27, 2013 [7]



Auburn Tourism: For special events or to add a special event, go to www. 2014 Auburn Relay for Life Community Kickoff: 6-8 p.m. Jan. 16, First United Methodist Church, 100 N St. SE, Auburn. Meet the event committee, learn about the relay. Guest Speaker: Mayor-Elect Nancy Backus. Fun, refreshments too. Public is welcome. For more information, contact Cheri Staples at 253-332-8279 or Miss Auburn Scholarship Pageant: 7 p.m. Jan. 24; 6 p.m. Jan. 25, Auburn Performing Arts Center, 206 E St. NE. Miss Auburn & Miss Auburn Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant, “Wizard to Wicked, and all Points In between.” Sponsored by the Auburn Noon Lions. Order tickets at

Benefits The Bus Barn Bonanza: 9 a.m.4 p.m., Held on the first Saturday of every month, February to June, October to December, Auburn School District Transportation Yard, 615 15th St. SW. Featuring arts and crafts from local artists and business people. Free to the public. A $10 vendor fee supports the Auburn High School seniors scholarship fund. For more information, contact Janie Bartro at 253-227-7789, or visit

Puget Sound Blood Center drives: 9-11 a.m., noon-3 p.m. Dec. 27, MultiCare Auburn Medial Center, mobile At 2nd Street entrance, Plaza 1, 202 N. Division St. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 16, Zones, Inc., 1102 15th St. SW; 9 a.m.-noon, Feb. 5, 650 Milwaukee Blvd., Algona. For more information, call 253-945-8667 or please visit Living Tobacco-free Weekly Free Support Group: 6 p.m. Wednesdays, MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, second floor, Heart Care Center classroom, 202 N. Division St. Free one-hour weekly support group meeting open to adults and teens wanting to quit tobacco, newly quit, struggling with relapse or helping a friend quit tobacco. For more information, contact Heidi Henson at 253-2237538 or

Recycling Holiday Styrofoam Recycling Collection Event: Daylight hours, Dec. 30-Jan. 6, south parking lot, 12th Street Southeast and J Street Southeast of Les Gove Park. Free. Collection carts located in the northwest corner of the parking lot near the (free) used cooking oil collection container. Resident can access the collection site during daylight hours. For more information and guidelines visit and click on “Upcoming Events” on the menu to the left.


Health Cascade Regional Blood Center drives: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jan. 4, Lakeland Hills Community, 1408 Lake Tapps Parkway El 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jan. 12, Auburn City Seventh-day Adventist Church, 402 29th St. SE. For more information, call 1-877-242-5663 or visit

Auburn Valley Humane Society: 6-8 p.m., fourth Wednesdays of the month; 10 a.m.-noon, fourth Saturdays of the month, VRFA Community Room, 1101 D St. NE, Auburn. Volunteer orientation and trainings. Stop by the shelter to pick up a volunteer application or download one from www.auburnval-

Got an event? or post online at and bring it to the orientation. You may register to attend anyone of the sessions in the future by emailing For more information, call 253-249-7849 or visit

Entertainment AUBURN AVENUE THEATER Auburn Avenue Theater, 10 Auburn Ave. Call Auburn Parks, Arts & Rec at 253-931-3043, MondayThursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-noon, or online at www. Almost Live/206 Comedy Blowout: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28. John Keister, Pat Cashman, Michelle Westford and Brooks McBeth burn the Auburn Theater down with the biggest comedy show of the year. Tickets: $20. Order: ELSEWHERE New Year’s Eve Gala: 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31, Neuwaukum Grange Hall, 38402 180th Ave. SE, Auburn. Featuring live music by Vegas musician Sammy Steele. Cost: $30 per adult. Available at www. Admission includes gourmet appetizers, complimentary champagne toast, dancing and a night of festivities. Elegant cocktail attire preferred. For more information, call 253-640-3345, email info@ or visit www. Jazz series:: 6-9 p.m., Saturdays, Auburn Wine and Caviar Company, 2402 A St. SE, Auburn. No cover. For more information, call 253-887-8530. Zola’s Cafe: Live music every Friday, 7-9 p.m., 402 E. Main St., Suite 120. Open mic on the last Wednesday of the month. For information, contact Sonia Kessler at the cafe at 253-333-9652.

[ ARTIST from page 1 ] It’s a gift he struggles to explain. “I don’t even know what I’m doing,” the autistic savant artist said from his recently-opened art studio in south Kent. “When I start the canvas, I don’t know what it’s going to look like when I finish, but I know it’s always right. “I’m blessed with something,” he said. “It’s a gift housed inside this vessel.” Tolleson’s career has blossomed in such a short time, garnering national and worldwide attention from the autistic art community. Galleries – local and beyond, including Polly’s Place in London – have embraced his emotion-based paintings. The Kent man’s autistic journey through his work is the subject of a soon-tobe-published book that will display 100 of his paintings. All this from an unpretentious artist self-diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which, he explains, accounts for his ability to paint proficiently and effectively without formal training. Tolleson deflects the praise. “It’s not about me, it’s about what I do through what I have,” he said. With his career and company established, Tolleson wants to share his gift with

others. Tolleson is continually told that his paintings give hope, inspiration and light to the autistic community, especially to youth. Tolleson has donated his work to numerous charitable organizations throughout the country. Such work, he hopes, will open more gateways and inspire more children with autism to believe that they can express themselves through art. To spread his mission and become more accessible to families and children in South King County, Tolleson and his partner, Jack Carl Anderson, also an autistic artist, recently moved their Seattle studio and autistic art mentoring center to the Kent Business Center, 25524 74th Ave S. The Michael Tolleson Savant Art Center is roomy, accommodating offices, art mentoring classrooms, a parent lounge area, a large art studio and a warehouse to store finished artwork. The center allows the artists to continue their meaningful work even as they inspire others to grow through the language of art. At the center, children on the autistic spectrum can express themselves through art and various mediums. “We’re making a difference,” Anderson said. “We believe in giving them the opportunity and tools they need to express their creativity and judgment.”

The center provides oneon-one attention, a flexible hands-on approach to artists age 6 and older who can take instruction, verbal or otherwise. Each month, as part of an open house and community outreach, the MTS Art Center hosts a group art project. “What we do for the kids who come in is needed,” Tolleson said. “They look forward to being here and they look forward to what we do with them.” The idea, Tolleson says, is to welcome and challenge students, not to judge them. “We give them a safe place and a place where they are recognized,” he said. “We listen. We’re not art therapy, we’re not babysitting. … We’re here because we have something to give. “We push limits, what their abilities are. By doing that, we’re making them go beyond.” And to become something more, just like the instructors themselves. “For whoever we are,” Tolleson said, “we recognize that (if) you have a gift, you give a gift.” To learn more about the center and its programs, call 253-850-5995, visit www. or email michaeltollesonartist@ Michael Tolleson Savant Art Center can be found on Facebook.

New Pets for the New Year? Be sure to get them licensed! It’s their ticket home!

AUBURN, WA 888-723-7128 P001234

NEW FOR 2014! PERPETUAL TAGS One tag! One number! For as long as you own your pet. Do you have a new addition to your family? In Auburn, all dogs and cats are required to be licensed with the City. When you license your dogs and cats, you are not only helping your animal, but also other pets who may need help or assistance. Specifically, pet licensing: • • • •

More information: | 253-876-1997

Helps get your pet home if it gets lost Assists with pet adoptions Funds Auburn’s animal shelter services Helps care for injured and lost pets


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318 hope, inspiration