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.
It’s in the nature of a dog to protect its owner and its home. And it’s in the nature of black bears to flee when threatened. But only to a point. That point was about 100 yards into the woods, on the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 2, when this particular Ridge bruin turned and showed his teeth and claws to the pursuing dog, who did not survive the encounter.
This week, we focus a lot on health—the fitness programs at Mount Si Sports, youth activities at Si View Community Center. Most of those activities involve getting active and in motion. There’s another way that you can get involved for health, and it will affect not just your own well-being, but that of thousand of people inside and outside this Valley.
On the first week of January, we ran a Year in Review story that was a little bit different from how we’ve done it in the past. The selections were based on the numbers of readers who clicked and read these stories on the Valley Record web or mobile pages.
It’s 2014 already? And look what’s just around the corner—an election. Specifically, operations and tech levies are on the Feb. 11, 2014 ballot for both local school districts, Riverview and Snoqualmie Valley. So, with only three weeks until ballots go out, it’s worth remembering a couple of things. First, for any new voters and newcomers, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, Jan. 13. You can register online at www.vote.wa.gov, or call (206) 296-8683.
The holidays are a time to come together and do good to your loved ones, friends and neighbors. So, with the spirit of community in mind, I’d like to offer the following ways you can do good for the people around you, now. Deadlines may apply, so get your do-gooding done before the new year begins and it’s back to business as usual.
Our reporter, Carol Ladwig, usually handles our Question of the Week duties. But, with Carol on a much-deserved vacation. I shouldered the question of the week duties and went out into the pre-Thanksgiving crush to ask my question.
Is the cart in front of the proverbial horse with the latest Snoqualmie Valley School District bond proposal? I hope not, but as we get closer to a decision to put a $200 million measure to revamp Mount Si High School in front of voters, I start to wonder. The school board and officials are moving into an unofficial campaign mode on a proposal to update and expand Mount Si into one of the biggest schools in the state.
Whether they wore the uniform seven decades ago, or five, or just yesterday, the Valley’s veterans still serve their neighbors. For many, a tradition of taking action to make a better world, and better Valley, has never stopped. Take the four older gentlemen who make up the Color Guard at the local American Legion post. Veterans of Vietnam, most of them—with one exception, World War II vet Lee Scheeler—these men shoulder vintage rifles and stand tall at all the local cemeteries to ensure their vanished brothers and sisters in service are not forgotten.
An interesting contrast. That might be the phrase I’d use to describe the two police situations in the Upper and Lower Valley right now. At the same time as Snoqualmie is gearing up and hiring up to become the contract police agency for the city of North Bend, Carnation and Duvall are parting ways after nine years. There’s a huge question mark right now over who will cover Carnation residents, and how the city will pay for it all after next year. Duvall scooted after questioning the stability of a Carnation-contracted force, so who’s next? What will they bring to the table?
I took a moment in the newspaper this week to talk about our Washington Newspaper Publisher’s Association awards. The six story prizes—plus another news writer finalist award for Carol Ladwig, who, once again, is the second greatest writer for papers our size and bigger in the state—are a neat ego boost, showing us that the time we put in is worthwhile.
Times change, even for what is, for me, North Bend’s coolest place. Back when I lived in downtown North Bend, the open field between Two Rivers School and North Bend Elementary, also known as Claggett Field, was the most idyllic spot in town. True, it didn’t have EJ Roberts’ dry creek or walking path, or Si View’s public amenities. But it was closer to home, and its row of stately firs beckoned for book reads and Frisbee games on summer afternoons.
The Kingfish. Tut. The Tri-Corner Department. These are some of the bygone bylines and columns that ran in the Snoqualmie Valley Record when the Valley and the world were very different places. We will celebrate the Valley Record’s 100th anniversary this fall, and are preparing a special collector’s publication, similar to our annual Visitor’s Guide, to give the occasion some ink and fanfare. It’s been fascinating to hear the stories of former staff—and there are a lot of them—and to go down memory lane with historians like Gardiner Vinnedge, president of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, which is also doing a retrospective on the newspaper.
Something I never thought would happen is happening. I always assumed that without an Olympic-sized indoor pool in the Valley, we’d never see a true, hometown swim team. Yet, starting on August 26, a group of 18 girls has been racing through the full-size, outdoor pool at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Huh? I thought. They swim in the rain? Yes, comes the answer, they do.