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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 Mount Si baseball team’s early-season potential showed last Wednesday, April 9, as the Wildcat defense held the Sammamish Totems to a single run, on the road in Bellevue. Meanwhile, Mount Si’s hitters broke to a lead, then gradually added to the tally, led by junior Brock Johnson. Tanner Simpson pitched the first six innings for Mount Si, giving up few hits.
Grown up from a garage, Preston’s Dark Horse Ink screen printing business still climbing | Photo Gallery
As a college student and an avid runner, Michael Hughes thought of himself as a hard worker. And, a bit of dark horse. Growing up in Issaquah, Hughes often talked about running his own business. But life seemed to be going down a different path, until an opportunity—printing designs T-shirts on his own press—presented itself. Hughes took it and ran with it.
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.
The Mount Si High School girls golf team got a taste of competition last week, competing in early-season jamborees. Mount Si won on Thursday, March 27, in a four-team round robin at Mount Si Golf Course. The Wildcats led on points, 240 to Interlake’s 265, Liberty’s 259 and Mercer Island’s 278. Sophomore Caitlin Maralack tied with senior Tabitha Dorn for a score of 43 on the par-36 nine holes. Bianca Backman shot a 47, Kara Murray shot a 48, Ashley Miller shot 59 and Rachel Warnke shot for 71.
Child fundraisers and adult volunteers in the Valley are trying to help victims of the Oso mudslide in Snohomish County. At least 27 have died and 22 people are still believed missing following the slide, which happened at 10:37 a.m. on Saturday, March 22. A hillside above a neighborhood about four miles east of the town gave way, burying 50 properties over a square mile in earth and debris.
What makes a business ‘the best’? Go behind the votes in the annual ‘Best of the Valley’ competition
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.
For the new cops in North Bend, there’s no substitute for boots on the ground. So Snoqualmie Police Chief Steve McCulley had the six officers assigned to his department’s inaugural North Bend police patrol, plus extra officers from the home station, park their cars whenever possible and hit the streets and shops for some old-fashioned community policing.
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.
Changing of the chiefs: As Snoqualmie Fire Dept. rebooter Bob Rowe eases out, Mark Correira begins new era
On a cold winter morning a few weeks ago, Bob Rowe found himself on a call. “It was 6:30 a.m.—a broken femur.” A motorized cart had flipped on its driver, injuring the man. “It was freezing, windy, the rain was blowing sideways. I was there, managing that call. That’s what I’m going to miss,” said Rowe. Not the meetings, not the paperwork—but the real responses, out in the real world, that he’ll remember.
Snoqualmie’s city council is watching the progress of a state bill exempting tribe-owned land from property taxes with growing concern, wondering how that change would affect everyone else’s taxes. Council and staff weighed in on the potential negatives of a state bill exempting tribal property from tax during the committee-of-the-whole discussions on February 10 and 24.
Moments after practicing her floor routine, Jenn Rogers did it again, for a special audience—the much younger athletes at Mount Si Gymnastics Academy. "They wanted to watch, so the kids can see my energy," said the junior, who has worked here for the past two years, coaching 6- and 7-year-olds. "It's awesome to be able to pass my passion on to the little kids," Rogers says. They in turn watch her at high school meets.
Boxley’s legacy: Danny and Robyn Kolke turn to foundation to preserve North Bend jazz club’s music, education
An up-and-comer in the world of jazz drumming, Walker Byford learns as he plays. Byford is just 10 years old. By rights, he should prefer the newest pop music. But there’s something about jazz. “You’re able to play whatever you want,” says Byford, who listens as his teacher, local jazz drummer Brian Gmerek, improvises riffs to the sounds of Chris Clark’s bass. The two adult musicians are jamming on the stage at Boxley’s, the jazz club and restaurant in downtown North Bend, as middle-school and high-school age jazz musicians arrive for their Wednesday night show.
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.
Chip on their shoulders: Mount Si basketball team bringing physicality to postseason battle | Slideshow
The Mount Si boys basketball team looks to be peaking at the right time, as they approach some crucial postseason battles. The team is playing with confidence and absorbing some key lessons, as is shown in the Wildcat’s home win, 56-40 against Juanita on Saturday, Feb. 8. Strong play by seniors Tyler McCreadie, Jack Nelson and Beau Shain anchored a very athletic performance.
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.
Thirteen high school-age performers showed their vocal talents last Friday, Jan. 31, in the second round of the 11th annual Wildcat Idol competition. A vote by the audience of parents, students and community members sent three groups—soloists Sydnee Springer-Simon and Wilkins Melgaard and duo Madelynn Esteb and Emilia Glaser.
The Mount Si girls got so very close to their long-sought conference win Wednesday, Jan. 29. Facing Interlake at their final home game, the Wildcats fell behind, but never by more than a few buckets, to a Saints team blessed with some strong outside shooters. “We wanted to win,” said Camryn Buck, a quiet player who brought her high intensity into battles for the ball.
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.
Die hard: Young Mount Si girls basketball squad still close, hungry, despite challenging season | Photo Gallery
The score was lopsided, but the Mount Si girls never gave up. The Wildcat varsity team skews young, yet has a lot of heart even in a season that has seen few wins. But the score didn’t make a difference in the team’s attitude last Wednesday, Jan. 22, when, down in a road game, the girls scrapped for balls with a physical Mercer Island team down to the last buzzer.