In January, I was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma, and have been unable to work since then.
Snoqualmie Valley School District is currently deep in the thorny thicket of bond planning, hoping to come up with a measure to build a new Valley school. It’s been 11 years since voters in Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City passed a measure building a real, brick-and-mortar school, as opposed to portables. The district’s latest survey sheds some light on why we have such trouble passing a bond.
The Fourth of July is a time for parades, barbecues—and loud bangs. Fireworks are a time-honored American tradition on the Fourth, but one accompanying tradition that I tire of is when people don’t follow the rules, and wind up bothering their neighbors, making a big mess, and hurting themselves or others. There were 45 fireworks related fires and 54 injuries reported in King County in 2013—down from 70 fires and 51 injuries in 2012.
T The year 1889 was a big one for the Valley. It was the year that Washington territory became the 42nd state. It was also the year that trains rolled into the Valley for the first time. Railroads transformed daily life for the people here, opening the local economy up to a wider world. The train came here mainly due to tourism—big city folk wanted to see the wonders of the Snoqualmie waterfall.
Consider this a confession. My headline last week, “Vandals behind fish caper,” really didn’t do the story justice. As I thought about it, after the pages had gone to press, I realized that those four words didn’t fit the strange and interesting situation that happened May 13 at the Tokul Creek fish hatchery near Snoqualmie.
The next few months are going to be interesting ones for the Valley voter. We’ve got a four-way primary shaping up in the local State Representative race—in Position 2, incumbent Chad Magendanz faces a challenge from an Issaquah resident, Ryan Dean Burkett, and a Fall City man and Mount Si High School alumnus, Colin Alexander. David Spring, North Bend, who has unsuccessfully challenged for a seat in 2008, 2010 and 2012, and tried for school board in 2013, is also back for another go.
Our reporter, Carol Ladwig, attempted a novel Question of the Week idea last week. It almost worked. She had heard about how local businesses were stepping up, and wanted to recognize them in person.
The Battle of the Books is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never gone to the annual Battle of the Books—a Jeopardy game-show-style battle that puts teams of elementary-age readers in competition to see which school has the most storybook smarts—then you’ve missed out.
I love the sound of the train’s horn. There’s something so evocative about it—the announcement of a journey about to begin, or of the arrival of newcomers and merrymakers to our downtowns in North Bend and Snoqualmie.
Since becoming publisher of the Valley Record in October 2008, one characteristic I have quickly and regularly noticed about the people of the Valley is their generosity and their resilience. Whether it was the 2009 flood, the Great Recession, miscellaneous ice and snow storms and days-long power outages, or even the Taylor Bridge Fire over the pass in Cle Elum and Ellensburg, the Valley has always come together to generously support others affected by events.
The other day, I was reading about a planned visit by President Obama to the mudslide-devastated community of Oso, when I happened to scroll to the bottom of the page to read the comments. I’ve long been skeptical of most of the public comments and ‘facts’ I read on Web pages and social media, but this felt like a new low. From the very first comment, it was bickering, name calling, partisan fighting and point-scoring. Regardless of party, the fact that the leader of the nation is coming to pay respect and attention to this tragedy is noteworthy. The only dialogue we can have on this is a toxic one?
The calls are starting to stand out. If you pay attention to the police blotter, maybe you’ve noticed that a few folks need to take a chill pill before hitting the gas. On Tuesday, March 11, a man got out of his car in North Bend and chased another driver with a 2X4, after the person in front didn’t let him through a locking security gate at a local storage facility. The caller managed to outrun his lumber-brandishing pursuer.
It’s that time again, when I break out the pen and sign dozens of ‘Best of the Valley’ prize certificates. It’s great how people take our annual contest so seriously, and interesting to see how the results change, year to year.
Continuity. That’s what I show the Cub Scouts, every time they tour our office. And that happens more often than you think. About half a dozen times a year, I open the door at our Snoqualmie office to groups of Tigers, Webelos and assorted Cubs, to help them earn their media badges. A badge entails a trip to a local media business, and since we’re the closest, many den moms and troop leaders come to us.
A bump in the night, a suspicious vehicle parked out on the street, or that uncomfortable feeling you have when strange people show up periodically who don’t belong in the neighborhood. These are a few of the reasons why block watch programs, such as a neighborhood watch, are important to have.
The winter can seem like a crummy time to live in the Valley. All this cold and rain. Even our snow days are rainy. The news can get you down—fire, crime, taxes, shoddy winter Olympics construction. But before you really get down consider that there’s a lot of love that makes the Valley go round. With Valentine’s Day upon us, let me just chalk up the things that may brighten your heart, locally speaking.
Levies are a fact of life in local school districts. For generations, they’ve been a crucial ‘secondary’ funding source for school districts. Voters in the Snoqualmie Valley School District and neighboring Riverview School District are asked to approve, renew and boost their local school levies, by voting yes and returning their ballots by mail before election day, Tuesday, Feb. 11.
It’s inspiring to see how local youth, like the Opstad students described on page 2, are taking a stand against bullying, and more importantly, showing others how to react and stop it. Parents, other children and local educators should take note of what these kids are doing. At the same time, we should all educate ourselves about how to stop bullying before it gets serious.