Seth Truscott

Gunnar Harrison wraps up Bellevue’s Garret Williams in their match on January 10. With some league challenges approaching

Tightening techniques: Physically and mentally, Mount Si wrestlers come into their own with Bellevue win | Photo gallery

New skills were in evidence as first one, then another Mount Si wrestler deployed recently-honed moves against a league foe to lethal effect. Mount Si handily won over Bellevue on Thursday, Jan. 10, but faces a better test this coming Thursday, Jan. 17, on the road at Mercer Island. The Wildcats bettered Bellevue at home last week, 58-21, with pins by wrestlers who are honing both physical and mental technique as this season moves toward a climax.

Gunnar Harrison wraps up Bellevue’s Garret Williams in their match on January 10. With some league challenges approaching
Valley (South County) SWAT team members move around a flood-damaged Fall City house during a practice session Thursday. They practiced basic techniques used in entering buildings.

Empty Fall City house is a good place for south county SWAT team practice

One of the flood-ravaged homes on State Route 202 near Fall City was the place where members of the Valley SWAT Team—not this Valley, but a regional team for South King County—got down to basics all day Thursday, Jan. 10. The team, which is made up of police officers from Kent, Renton, Auburn, Tukwila, Federal Way and the Port of Seattle, meets to train every month. Thirty members spent from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday in Fall City. Squad cars, vans and an armored truck lined up on the highway outside as the officers, clad in black or camouflage, some carrying non-lethal firearms, practiced in and outside the house.

Valley (South County) SWAT team members move around a flood-damaged Fall City house during a practice session Thursday. They practiced basic techniques used in entering buildings.

Get in on the ground floor: Volunteer now for Snoqualmie Valley’s summer festivals

January drizzle and dark evenings are a far cry from the balmy days of June, July and August. But right now is when the seeds are planted for some of the great things that happen in this Valley every summer. With the quiet(er) part of the year upon us, it’s a good moment to consider the year ahead. For some, it’s a moment to ponder personal changes: diet, lifestyle, priorities. One way that folks can make a difference is to get on board one of our Valley festival committees. Now is a great time to do that. You can get involved, on the ground floor, in events that really help make our summers special.

Valley pastors Mark Griffith

Embracing the darkness: On year’s longest day, pastors come together for a moment of comfort

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and light. But the reality for many is that the holidays can be a time of stress, loneliness or grief. Personal loss, death of a loved one, illness and job loss can make us feel estranged from the happiness around us. That’s why four Valley pastors came together on the longest, darkest night of the year—December 21—to share their compassion with those who feel like they’re in darkness. Greeting the small gathering, “You’re not alone. Your feelings are honored,” says Rev. Paul Mitchell, new pastor at Snoqualmie United Methodist Church.

Valley pastors Mark Griffith
Kailyn Campbell goes up for a basket in the second half of the Jan. 2 game against Granite Falls. She was one of the game's top scorers.

‘A real team effort’: Cedarcrest girls keep up the pressure as second half of season begins | Slideshow

The clock was in continuous mode, the Red Wolves enjoying a 50 point lead over the Tigers, but neither team was easing up. Both the Cedarcrest and Granite Falls girls squads battled for the ball down to the bell. It rang on a lopsided 72-16 win for Cedarcrest, now 9-2 and positioned for a strong run into the second half of the winter season. Pressing defensively and keeping the ball on the run are the strengths for this team, and while head coach Brad Knowles called off the press, with a huge lead, at the half, "We can't stop running."

Kailyn Campbell goes up for a basket in the second half of the Jan. 2 game against Granite Falls. She was one of the game's top scorers.

Carrier 101: How the paper gets to you, and how to make for a great delivery experience

When the bad weather starts to really hit home, that’s when nailing the newspaper porch delivery gets even more important. This week marks the second anniversary of the Valley Record’s switch to home delivery. We used to go through U.S. mail, and the change brought new benefits and connections but also the occasional headache. Ever wondered how newspaper delivery works? Consider this a brief lesson. Right now, the Record relies on 38 youth routes and 22 motor routes to get the paper to some 12,000 addresses. Every week, a small army of grown-ups and children, age 12 and up, form up on the Ridge and haul papers in Snoqualmie, Carnation and North Bend.

Tilted bollards and big cracks show where an aging road base caused a water main to burst last week in Snoqualmie's Park Avenue neighborhood

Underground street woes lead to sealed water main, closed road in Snoqualmie

The approaching pickup slowed, halted, then backed straight up. There was no getting past the multiple 'road closed' signs at the corner of Park Avenue and River Street. A patch of gravel and deep cracks in the pavement showed why. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, problems first started showing up on this corner of the downtown street, which sits on a bank of the Snoqualmie River. Mike Roy, operations manager for the city of Snoqualmie, said an eight-inch water main came apart that day. Public works crews cut the line, which had looped through the neighborhood, and capped its ends. Residents on River and Park are still getting water, but the city will eventually want to reconnect the lines. Looped mains perform better, Roy says.

Tilted bollards and big cracks show where an aging road base caused a water main to burst last week in Snoqualmie's Park Avenue neighborhood
Snoqualmie man Nate Gunderson’s quest for a new heart led to a book by his wife

Finding the light: Snoqualmie woman pens personal story of family’s transplant experience

‘Catchlight’ is a term of the photographer’s art: “It’s the twinkle you see in a subject’s eye,” says Genevieve Ruth. A portrait photographer by trade, and a Snoqualmie wife and mother, Ruth had to find the light in her own life when things turned dark for her family three years ago At the time, her husband, Nate Gunderson, was in dire need of a heart transplant, after battling for his life against a severe bacterial infection. For Genevieve, that experience, and the personal discoveries she made during her family’s journey to health, are the centerpiece in her first book, “Catchlight: Perspective Through an Optimistic Lens,” which also explores the true story of Nate’s transplant.

Snoqualmie man Nate Gunderson’s quest for a new heart led to a book by his wife
Braving the snow to place signs announcing a warm weekly meal

Holiday for the homeless: Valley churches, Salvation Army come together with food, gifts, and care

The snow is blowing fiercely as Mike Walter hikes down Ballarat Avenue to the main road, a sandwichboard sign in hand reading “Free hot food.” I am shivering, but this New York state native is bred to conditions much colder. In his sweatshirt, he’s plenty warm as he plops down the sign, hopefully to resist this wind as well as he does. “I have a service heart,” says Walter, a North Bend Community Church member and a computer technician who can set his own hours. He’s out here to let people know, homeless and needy included, that someone cares about them on this frigid morning. “People need a hot meal every now and then. If they’re not getting it for themselves, we’re more than happy to give it to them,” he says.

Braving the snow to place signs announcing a warm weekly meal

What end of the world? Real, scary life rolls onward | Opinion

Thank heavens that last Saturday, I had a Christmas party to attend where real families and happy children celebrated each other’s company. It was a moment free of violence, worry and fear, and felt like a breath of fresh air, a moment of the real, and an escape from a weekend of saturation news coverage of a national tragedy. I am thankful for that. A week or so ago, it seemed like you couldn’t escape all the silliness over the December 21, 2012, end-of-the-world prophecies. Then, real madness happened.

Scale of Snoqualmie Tribe’s hotel expansion plan is up to the members

Whether it's 20 stories or a boutique lodge, members of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe will determine the size and scope of a proposed hotel expansion at the Snoqualmie Casino. After airing plans for the hotel at a Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association dinner on Nov. 29, Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson confirmed the tribe's hotel intentions. However, he says the size of the venue is still very much fluid. According to Mattson, the tribe has a wide range of options, from hotels large and small to a phased project, and is taking a hard look at all of them. A feasibility study on the number of rooms that the casino site could support is in the works.

Legalized marijuana in the Valley; For teens, drivers, Snoqualmie stays strict on pot use

When he started in law enforcement 30 years ago, Steve McCulley wouldn't have predicted the day when smoking marijuana would be legal. But last month, Initiative 502 changed things. Backed by 55 percent of Washington state voters, I-502 makes it legal to possess marijuana, in certain quantities. Snoqualmie police are adjusting to 502's new rules, which took effect Dec. 6. McCulley, Snoqualmie's Chief of Police, says his department will observe the letter of the law while maintaining strict enforcement for drivers and youth.

A lifetime of Valley connections and a stuffed Rolodex have helped Jeanette Busby keep Encompass running smoothly. Busby

She’s the face of the place: After long, varied career connecting Valley citizens, Jeanette Busby ready to retire | Photos

For 15 years, Jeanette Busby has been, more often than not, the first face when you walked in the doors of Encompass. That means that the Snoqualmie woman is always prepared for anything—from excited children to families in crisis. “You never knew what need was going to come,” said Busby, Encompass’ office manager and receptionist. She’s slated to retire Thursday, Dec. 20, after a career that’s taken her to Valley institutions as varied at the Snoqualmie Valley School District, the Snoqualmie Valley Record and the former Milk Barn grocery store.

A lifetime of Valley connections and a stuffed Rolodex have helped Jeanette Busby keep Encompass running smoothly. Busby
Miranda Gillespie

The high flyers: Mount Si’s cheer squad’s tumbling prowess sending them far

For a second, Miranda Gillespie is flying through the air. She holds her breath. Her mind clears. Then she’s down, cradled in the arms of her teammates. Miranda is a flyer, one of the Mount Si cheerleaders who perform aerial stunts for spirit routines and competitions. This breathtaking moment is a lot of fun for her, and the senior is confident that she’ll come down just fine. “I trust the people that I’m flying with,” she says. On the Wildcat squad, she adds, the whole team’s got everyone’s back.

Miranda Gillespie
Mount Si's Hunter Conway

Headed into ‘true test’ at Sedro Woolley, Mount Si’s mat masters on a roll

Tim Corrie wasn't expecting his Interlake opponent to take a shot right at the whistle. He reacted, fast all the same. The 182-pounder, Jonathan Palagashvili, went for Corrie's legs. Tim went for the headlock, and made his pin in a minute-55. It was his third in a season that's included two decisions and four occasions when he was unanswered on the mat. "I want to keep my undefeated streak," the senior says. Something's clicking for the Mount Si wrestling team right now.

Mount Si's Hunter Conway

Opinion | Expectations for a new sports season

Fall sports are grand, but I love winter sports—perhaps selfishly, because I’m not getting rained on and windblown. There’s something about the thrill of standing only a few feet away the action, and being right up in the thick of it. Winter high school sports, held in gyms, allow the reporter to do that. You’re face to to face with the game, and you can see the looks of triumph, determination, and sometimes tragedy, in these young athletes’ eyes. When I came to this newspaper, six years ago, sports weren’t part of my brief. But situations and faces change, challenges come and go, and you rise to the occasion. The way it’s done today is different, but expectations still remain.

Riders get a closer look at Belgian horses Bonnie and Belle—and vice versa—during Snoqualmie's weekend holiday celebrations. Carmichael's Hardware sponsored the rides for the second year.

Jingle Belles: Draft horses, wagon thrills give Snoqualmie downtown celebration an old-fashioned touch | Slideshow

From the sidewalk, windows and balconies, onlookers wave and smile as Bonnie and Belle, pulling an oversize wagon and a well-bundled family, pass. The big Belgian horses enlivened the evening of Saturday, Dec. 1, offering free rides during Snoqualmie’s holiday celebration. The bells on the wagon jingle energetically as driver Jeff Van der Peyl navigates the intersection, cars and trucks slowing to make way.

Riders get a closer look at Belgian horses Bonnie and Belle—and vice versa—during Snoqualmie's weekend holiday celebrations. Carmichael's Hardware sponsored the rides for the second year.

Opinion | Slow but serious steps toward Valley schools’ brave new future

Educationally, we’re entering a new era. With the approval earlier this month, 3-0 with one abstention, of new middle school boundaries that split all Snoqualmie Valley School District students in grades six through eight between Chief Kanim Middle School and Twin Falls Middle School, the new direction in middle and secondary education in this Valley is solidifying. Boundary approval is a concrete step in shuttering Snoqualmie Middle School and installing a freshman campus at that site. It’s part of a bold vision to fix crowding and drop-out rates at the high school. But what will it mean for middle schoolers? Here’s a short answer: Challenges. And more portables.

Airman Bill Borden

Not forgotten: Snoqualmie Falls’ George Borden, airman son Bill honored with flag dedication at Snoqualmie Y

For two decades, he made a huge impact on the lives of people of all ages. And when tragedy struck his family, a sacrifice in a battle half a world away, Borden left the Valley, and painful memories behind. But he wasn't forgotten, not during World War II, and not today. George Borden and his son Bill were honored this month with a commemorative plaque at the new flagpole at the Snoqualmie Valley Y. As manager of the Community Hall, George Borden was at the center of work and play in Snoqualmie Falls during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The lane up to the new Y is named for him.

Airman Bill Borden
Griffin McLain pushes the ball during a second-half attempt at state. Blake Herman

Wildcat football team’s historic ride ends at Tacoma | Photo gallery

Mount Si's history-making arrival at the 3A state semi-final football game saw the Wildcats make a season-first impact on a tough foe. Mount Si beat Bellevue onto the scoreboard—a first for the Wolverines this season--but ended up falling, 37-7. It was senior Joey Cotto who put up the Wildcat touchdown, collecting a pass from Nick Mitchell, at 6:45 in the first quarter. Cameron Van Winkle then delivered the kick. In the first quarter, Bellevue elected to receive, and Cameron Van Winkle kicked it clear to the end zone, his standard procedure. In their first drive, Mount Si's rushes were halted. A Van Winkle punt to Bellevue led to a fair catch fumble, recovered by Jimbo Davis.

Griffin McLain pushes the ball during a second-half attempt at state. Blake Herman