One of the thing we’ve accomplished at the Valley Record this past year was to pick up a slew of awards in the 2014 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual better newspaper contest.
This year’s awards showcase not only our work, but also underscore just how special this Valley is. The personalities, passions and events that drive the news in the Snoqualmie Valley not only keep us constantly scrambling to cover everything, they also show what true community is about.
Reporter Carol Ladwig was, once again, a Writer of the Year finalist, this time for features. Among the stories we submitted that got her this recognition were “Blending of Worlds,” a look at Johann Sasynuik’s kung fu school in Fall City; “Home, again,” a story about Kris and Dick Kirby’s restoration of Dick’s original home in Carnation; “To the ends of the earth,” about Marty and Chris Fagan’s Antarctic journey of a lifetime; and “The guide,” about Gene Grantham’s puppy-raising work for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
“Highway to Heaven,” Ladwig’s story about Preston’s annual motorcyle dedication, got a third place for best long, general feature story. This piece explores how deep religious faith and leather-wearing bikers go together, instead of canceling each other out.
Next up is a 2014 first place for best general, long feature story for my March look at the transition in leadership at Snoqualmie Fire Department, titled “Changing of the Chiefs.”
Bob Rowe, who helmed the fire department during its crucial years of growth, was stepping down after 15 years with Snoqualmie Fire. At the same time, Mark Corriera was coming on board as the new head of the department, so the two chiefs had to work together and share knowledge during a time of change.
I also got a third place for best story on the arts, for last fall’s “Swing Years” story, all about Harley Brumbaugh’s 1940s singalong for the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. It’s easy to grab an award if the subject is Harley, a local legend in the teaching, sharing and performance of song and music. Many more words can and should be written in this paper about his civic work, and it was good to see him continuing to do his thing at the recent North Bend holiday tree lighting festival.
The Record also picked up a third place award for an in-house advertisement promoting our carriers, the “Carrier of the Month” ad. This was something I had wanted to give some attention to for several years.
Carriers are among the people who make the Record stand out, ever since we switched to this delivery mode four years ago. While using real carriers to bring you your paper introduces the human element, complete with the vagaries of weather, turnover, learning curve and all that, it’s also a way for young people to get their first job, learn how to do a good job and be responsible, and we’ve had quite a few kids try it over the years. Our award-winning ad showcases those young workers who stand out and do a great job.
These awards were announced back in October; The next round of submissions is next spring. You can bet we’ll be going over the archives soon for the 2015 contenders. If you had a favorite story, let us know; drop a line to email@example.com.