Don't use the word "retirement" around Howard Finck. Although the Eastsider who has been president and executive director of Friends of...

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Don’t use the word “retirement” around Howard Finck.

Although the Eastsider who has been president and executive director of Friends of Youth for 26 years is leaving those titles behind, he insists to co-workers that he’s not retiring.

The Redmond-based Friends of Youth has been providing services such as mental-health counseling, substance-abuse treatment, residential services and after-school development programs to youths and their families since 1951.

In his new role as president emeritus, Finck, 61, will direct the social-service agency’s planned fund-raising office, develop an endowment fund and oversee the group’s social-enterprise operations — all on a part time basis.

“Howard doesn’t like the word ‘retirement,’ ” said Joan Campbell, vice president of operations and the agency’s interim director. “But you can say he’s going to work part time so he has more time to ski, fly fish and hike.”

Message received

What happens when you mix a semaphore, a Braille typewriter, old telephones and an ear trumpet?

If you’re the Eastside Heritage Center, you use those historical artifacts to demonstrate communications through the ages. Today’s hands-on program at the Winters House (2101 Bellevue Way S.E., Bellevue) lets people play with the old communication tools.

The program runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sporting event

Bid high, bid often at tonight’s Evening of Smiles Gala at Bellevue’s Embassy Suites. International Smile Power will spend the money on great things to help treat health problems in places such as Bolivia, Jamaica and Tibet.

Auction items — many of them sports-related — include autographed balls from future Hall of Famers Edgar Martinez of the Mariners and Jerry Rice of the Seahawks.

Jerri and Sherwin Shinn of Issaquah started the Smile Power Foundation after the nurse and dentist began volunteering their skills in impoverished countries. The couple has received many humanitarian awards for their work.

Patty Concannon, co-chairwoman of the party, said just a few $125 tickets remain for the event. She can be reached at 425-392-5229.

Mixed message

KMPS Radio news guru Don Riggs said our unseasonably warm weather comes with interesting sound effects.

It has been warm enough that he was able to put the top down on his convertible.

“I was driving down the street and hearing an odd noise,” he said. “I looked at the car next to me and realized he had on his studded tires. Snow studs are something you don’t usually hear in convertible weather.”

Musical note

Steve Gilbert, owner of Gilbert’s Deli on Bellevue’s Main Street, says he serves special breakfasts on weekends.

“Gershwin with pancakes and Cole Porter with French toast,” he said.

That’s Gilbert’s way of saying he’s added jazz to the brunch menu.

The Holly Hamilton Jones Trio will be playing there starting at 10:30 a.m. today.

One last grin

People’s Furniture Rental, a Northwest business, touts the motto, “You are number one.” The phrase extends to one of the company’s delivery trucks, spotted on Northeast Eighth in Bellevue.

The license read: URNMBR1

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or