Seth Truscott

Playing Foodball: Teens and kids lead the way in Mount Si High School’s long-running, ambitious charity drive

“Action,” says the director, Mount Si High School senior Joey Dunning. “Go.” A Santa-hatted Ally Schwabe strides onto the set, carrying a canned-food box. “What’s this?” says fellow student Jesse Guyer, already there and waiting, a ‘Grinch’ sign on her neck. “This,” says Schwabe, “is the Foodball.” “The what-a-what-y?” improvises Guyer. “It’s a food drive we do annually to raise money for local food banks,” Schwabe explains to the camera.

Bond push already? Let’s talk about it first | Opinion

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.

I remember that song: Harley Brumbaugh leads old-fashioned sing-along | Photo Gallery

Toes tapped Sunday, Nov. 24, as Harley Brumbaugh kept the music coming. About 80 people came to “I Hear America Singing in 1940,” the musical program at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society’s annual meeting, Sunday, Nov. 24, at Boxley’s place. Past President Gardiner Vinnedge convened the meeting with a vote on the officers and board, conducted by 'ayes' from the crowd.

Big day arrives for new North Bend drugstore | CEO, staff celebrate ‘next generation’ 60th store | Photo Gallery

Chairman and CEO George D. Bartell celebrated the opening of the Washington drugstore chain’s 60th full store before a crowd on Wednesday, Nov. 20. On a bright, cold, “picture-postcard day,” he joined Terry Clinch, pharmacist at the newly opened North Bend Bartell Drugs store, with manager Charlotte Grondahl, and a guest, North Bend mayor Ken Hearing, as they sliced a red ribbon with an enormous pair of scissors. Then, he welcomed visitors inside the new store, there to partake of popcorn or slices of commemorate cake, or, as a voice from the crowd suggested, shop.

Giving season starts early: Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis Club’s Giving Trees are under early-holiday pressure | Photos

Eight-year-old Ava Gardiner spots the Giving Tree at the same time as her mother, Elizabeth. Ava’s attention goes to a tag for a one-year-old girl. Instantly, she grasps the purpose, and is excited to buy clothes for the tot. As Ava and her friend, Lillie, look at the tags for toddlers, tweens and teens, Elizabeth makes sure they understand the lesson here: that not every child in the Valley gets enough presents for Christmas. This Christmas tree, installed today at the Snoqualmie Y, seemingly early for the holidays, helps people share to ensure every child’s holiday is full of smiles.

Swing years: North Bend bandleader Harley Brumbaugh to lead voices in 1940 community sing-along

Harley Brumbaugh was six years old in 1940—still years from embarking on a musical career that led him from the U.S. Army to teach at high schools and colleges in the Northwest, to lead his own band, and finally back home. Yet he has love for the tunes of his early boyhood. “These are the songs that have lasted,” he said.

On to state! Mount Si football team downs Oak Harbor in lopsided playoff battle | Photo Gallery

The Mount Si football team won 40-7 against Oak Harbor on the road Saturday, Nov. 9. Now. fifth-ranked Mount Si (9-1) advances to the state playoffs to face second-ranked O’Dea (10-0) of Seattle, this Friday, Nov. 15, in Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center. Game time is 7 p.m.

Thank you, veterans: Generations gather at Snoqualmie Elementary to reflect on service, sacrifice | Photo Gallery

It wasn’t until late in his long life that Alvin Macko told his family what he went through in World War II. Alvin, who attended past Veteran’s Day assemblies at Snoqualmie Elementary School, where his grandchildren attend classes, didn’t make it to this year’s assembly. He passed away in 2011. Yet this year, his daughter, Krista Holmberg of Snoqualmie, and widow, Betty Macko of Sammamish, came to honor the veterans in his stead.

Mount Si girls learn and react to gut out match six win at Sea-King tourney | Road to state ends in Seattle | Photo Gallery

For the Mount Si girls volleyball team, the road to state ended last Saturday, Nov. 9, when the Wildcats fell in three matches to Seattle Prep, Holy Names and Bishop Blanchet. State was on the line. Two nights earlier, Mount Si learned, reacted and gutted out a hard-fought win in match six of the Sea-King volleyball tournament. The Mount Si girls used strong defense to a tough Bishop Blanchet team and used tactical kills to win in five on Thursday, Nov. 7. “It was pulling together as a team, doing our jobs, and doing it well,” that led to success Thursday, said senior Haley Holmberg.

What Valley veterans do for you | Opinion

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.

It’s a timber sports world: Snoqualmie’s David Moses finds surprising celebrity as part of lumberjack Team USA | Photo Gallery

It will always be one of the proudest moments of David Moses’ life. Half a world away from home, the Snoqualmie man got to carry the flag of the United States of America into the world championships of timber sports on Friday, Oct. 25. “That was awesome,” said Moses, who bore the banner in front a cheering crowd during the Stihl Timbersports Series World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. There to chop and saw as part of the relay team, he was selected after placing third at nationals.

We were all readers: Gloria McNeely shared life’s details as Valley Record editor in the 1950s

“I was born with a streak of curiosity a mile wide,” insists Gloria McNeely. “And I still want to know what’s happening around the corner and what’s happening tomorrow.” McNeely, has spent her adult life in the Valley, chronicled its history, championed causes, and for 10 years, wrote up the news of the day as associate editor of the Valley Record. She has to be the only editor here ever to start work as the paper’s bookkeeper.

Make it easy, make it fun: Emergency preparation in four weekly steps

Pondering how to prepare for a disaster can often be overwhelming. So, a good way to tackle emergency preparedness is to break down the various steps into weekly assignments that families can easy tackle over a month or so. Here are easy ways to get your family ready for a disaster, in four steps, based on information from FEMA and the American Red Cross.

Holding the line: Fall City floats first M&O levy after annexations take a toll

You don’t just hop in a hovercraft and zoom away. “It takes a lot of training to be able to operate it,” explains firefighter Brett Krache, as he shows me the Fall City Fire District’s big fan-powered rescue craft. In some situations, like floods, it’s too dangerous to ply the Snoqualmie River with an outboard motor. So the department trains at ballfields and the river with the hovercraft. And that takes time.

Royalty for a day: Homecoming crowns are a surprise for Mount Si students | Photo gallery

Prince and princess on Monday, David Butler and Sami Kieffer were king and queen by Friday, enjoying royal status for a single weekend. The crowns came as a nice surprise for the pair, the 2013 Mount Si homecoming queen and king, who took the recognition at halftime last Friday, Oct. 25, with smiles, then went to the next night’s dance as a royal couple. “I don’t think we expected it,” Keiffer said of the recognition.

Hard hitters: Mount Si football’s linemen reap the rewards of a team approach | Photo Gallery

On the field, Deven Lalgee and Jon Proctor are a pair of predators. The quarterback is their prey, and their hunt lasts only a few seconds when two opposing sets of linebackers collide. If the opposing quarterback sees Proctor coming and reacts, chances are that Lalgee is waiting behind him. Or vice versa. Other times, the Wildcat line and tackles flush the prey toward the two defensive linemen, and “We reap the rewards,” said Lalgee.

Big, wet trouble: What to expect when floods threaten the Snoqualmie Valley

Years of enduring flooding, and rebuilding, are etched in Snoqualmie’s downtown neighborhood. Residents who’ve been here more than a few years can point to the lines on the wall that mark high water. Locals anticipate the areas that flood first. And the city firefighters have the warning system down to a science. “We know floods,” says Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe. “That’s one thing Snoqualmie is known for.”

The pumpkin people: Snoqualmie residents Jerri and Julie Johnson grow giants with love | Photo gallery

To Jerri Johnson, growing a pumpkin is a spiritual affair. He takes the same from-the-heart approach to all of the growing things in the garden that he and wife Julie tend every year. Maybe that’s why his pumpkins are so big. Both Johnsons work as house painters at their business, Falls Painting. At home, though, they’re both avid gardeners. Jerri started all of this with a carrot plant, then, as his green thumb matured, turned to corn, then a three-foot-wide garden patch. When Julie decided, several years ago, that she wanted a fish pond on their patch of ground, downhill from Snoqualmie Casino, he decided he got to have something new, too. So they planted a pumpkin patch.

Opinion | Contrasts as Valley towns split, merge over police

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?

Opinion | Why we win journalism awards—hint, it’s really you

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.