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APRIL 30, 2009

King County Library System to offer job help By Chantelle Lusebrink Who said the library was just for kids? The King County Library System is tackling some very adult issues this week by opening an hour early to help residents in search of jobs or unemployment resources, beginning May 1. “Really, it is for anyone that has run into trouble with this hard economic time,” said Julie

Williams, the library system’s community relations and marketing director. “We can help get them started.” The program, Look to Your Library, has four unique categories for people facing economic hardship or those who find themselves in the midst of a job search — Just laid off, Searching for a job, Struggling small business and Bills piling up. “Our library system has been

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amazingly supported by our community for a long time,” Williams said. “When we noticed a lot of people coming in and looking for assistance, we asked, ‘How can we

help?’” “We have four stations where people can come in and get hands-on assistance with whatever they need,” she added. The foundation of the program is on the library system’s Web site, accessible from home or at the library. Each of the four categories is featured on the site, in one place, with clickable links to books, library databases, and resource lists

of organizations that can help residents. It is something the library hasn’t done before, said Marsha Iverson, media relations coordinator for the library system. Each of the categories links you with the tools, assistance programs and tips you need to get started. “If someone needs hands-on experience with writing a resume, See LIBRARY HELP, Page 7

Equestrian painting comes to the Valley Artist guild shows local artwork at library “I couldn’t have anything in my life that gave me joy,” she With its mane covering its said. eyes, a white and black horse galThe North Bend resident lops across a piece of aging sheet moved to Snoqualmie Valley music titled “Gypsy Love Song.” with her husband Peter and Diane Solomon recently startdaughter Tami in 1995, pursuing ed painting horses on old newswork as a marketing consultant. papers, old Then, one day, sheet music — she lost that, any paper that too. has escaped the “I was crying recycling bin on the phone, and is over the ‘I’ve been fired,’ legal age. and Peter said, “Feel this, its ‘Good, now you almost like can start paintcloth,” Solomon ing,’” she said. said, rubbing a And she did. newspaper she She painted had salvaged cards for the from 1942. Snoqualmie Using her Falls gift shop. unorthodox One day, a canvases, woman in the Solomon paints shop asked her watercolors and if she painted acrylics of horses. She did Gypsy Vanner, not, but the stallions, thoridea nagged on Photo by Laura Geggel oughbred and her until she Diane Solomon shows off one of decided to give any horse that her works. strikes her it a go. fancy. She startSolomon vised painting with watercolor, even ited Sequim for four days, paintthough it can be unruly at times. ing horses non-stop in a two-bed“Water color is so hard. It’s room apartment. like sudden death,” Solomon “I started with the eyes and said, “You can’t cover it up; if the eyes just came alive,” you lose your white, it’s gone.” Solomon remembered. “I was The paints may be unwieldy, laughing, I was crying, it was a but Solomon has control over catharsis. That’s when I became which subject to paint. Right whole again.” after saying “momma” as an Cats and dogs have also infant, Solomon’s second word starred in her paintings, but was “horsy.” By age 13, she had eventually Solomon concentrated one of her own, and she later less on commissions from small bred Arabian horses as an adult. four-legged animal owners and Then, a death in the family focused instead on horses. shattered her world, and Now, Solomon travels all over Solomon decided to give up her the Puget Sound area to photoequestrian career. graph horses for her paintings. By Laura Geggel

Photo by Laura Geggel

Diane Solomon works on a painting of a horse. The North Bend resident will have work on display during the Mt. Si Artist Guild show at the North Bend Library. She took the ferry to Orcas Island to snap shots of Gypsy Vanner, horses used by gypsies to pull carts. During a photo shoot, Solomon gets to know the horses’ personalities and envisions ways to portray them on paper. “She really captures the sprit of the animal in her work,” Erica Becker, Mt. Si Artist Guild spokeswoman said. Solomon’s work has graced the covers of “Washington Thoroughbred” and the Northwest horse magazine

“Flying Changes.” One of her pieces won the Equine Art Show at Emerald Downs.

Art on Display The North Bend Library will showcase three of Solomon’s paintings at the Mt. Si Artist Guild show, alongside nine other guild artists. The show will be on display until the end of May. The guild has four shows a year, allowing people to view and buy art from Snoqualmie Valley artists. Solomon started the guild

with artists Sandy Robinson and Michael McDevitt in 2006, and now the group meets monthly to show artwork, paint and offer critiques. The next guild meeting will be held at Solomon’s house at 10 a.m. May 16. To learn more, email her at Reach reporter Laura Geggel at 392-6434 .221 or To comment on this story, visit



OCTOBER 1, 2009

Trucker turned jeweler beads gems “I found jewelry through TV. Have you ever seen jtv? Don’t.”

again in a second life, I would be a gemologist,” she said. All that glitters is not gold. In When her daughter Shannon Susannah St. Clair’s case, it invited her to a beading show in could be a mineral like 2007, she considered it beneath — Susannah St. Clair labradorite or a Swarovski crysher. Beads were “plebian,” nothJewelry designer tal. The trucker turned jeweler ing compared to her gems. But fashions bracelets, necklaces, she went, “because I wanted to earrings and more at her dining spend time with my daughter. room table in North Bend. The more she drove, the more “I went. Once I started lookIn spite of her careers, St. she enjoyed it. St. Clair even ing around, I went, ‘Oh!’ You Clair’s education had little to do trucked materials for the 1990s can do this with beads?” St. with either truck driving or jewrehabilitation of the InterstateClair said. “I got hooked.” elry. She majored in English lit90 Mount Baker Tunnel in St. Clair enrolled in beading erature and minored in art at Seattle. A true teamster, St. Clair classes in Issaquah and West Virginia State. Her drove until the age of 59 before Redmond and picked up a few boyfriend brought her to the retiring to her books and televitricks from jewelry vendors at West coast, but she dumped the sion. Alpine Days. Her jewelry is elecad when she learned he was It was the latter that did her gant, on thin chains with colortwo-timing her. in. ful beads and gems grabbing the In need of a job, St. Clair “I found jewelry through TV,” eye’s attention. started driving, first a cement St. Clair said. “Have you ever “Basically I learned on my truck and later a dump truck. seen jtv? Don’t.” own by messing around and try“I remember the first time I The jewelry on television ing things,” she said. drove down the road by myself,” sparkled. St. Clair began orderIn 2008, she made her jewelry St. Clair said. “I was going, ing gems non-stop. official, founding the Whimsy ‘what am I doing here?’” “If I could come back here Wear business. Her jewelry can be found at the Salish Lodge & Spa gift shop and at Birches Habitat. “I like to support the local artisans and I think that customers like to know that there are things here that were made in North Bend by people who live in the Valley,” Birches Habitat coowner Nancy Wray said. “She had a different style and I thought it fit well with what we’re doing here.” Laurie Andrews, St. Clair’s co-worker at Dress Barn asked the jeweler to surprise her with a creation. After some thought, St. Clair Photo by Larua Geggel designed a pair of red Susannah St. Clair shows necklaces she created through her Whimsy Wear jewhummingbird earrings elry company. with Swarovski crystals. By Laura Geggel

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Susannah St. Clair wears one of Swarovski crystal earrings she fashioned.

Learn more E-mail Susannah St. Clair at

“They’re real different, but I like different things,” Andrews said. “I’ve gotten all kinds of

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compliments on them.” Her jewelry might be deckled with gems, beads and crystals, but St. Clair keeps her prices lower than most jewelers, with earrings starting at $10. She buys most of her supplies online, and though she can spend hours on end bending wire and beading necklaces, St. Clair said she would rather part with a piece than keep it forever. “My point is do you want to keep them the rest of your life, or do you want to sell them?” St. Clair said. “A lot of people do this to make extra money. I do it because I love it.”

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Your locally-owned newspaper, serving North Bend and Snoqualmie, Washington

October 15, 2009 VOL. 2, NO. 39

County executive candidates shift focus to Eastside By Warren Kagarise

Wildcats top Islanders Mount Si has a dynamic second quarter to beat Mercer Island. Page 21.

School board race Up close with the candidates for the school board’s district no. 3. Page 3.

Home & Garden Spruce up and fine tune your home with these tips. Pages 10-14.

King County executive candidates Dow Constantine and Susan Hutchison are engaged in a down-to-the-wire push to appeal to Eastside voters. But political experts said the effort by the candidates, both Seattleites, could be difficult. Voters will decide between Constantine, chairman of the King County Council and a former state lawmaker, and Hutchison, director of the nonprofit Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and a former KIRO news anchor. The next leader will oversee about 300,000 people who live in unincorporated King County, where the executive functions almost as a mayor. About 1.8 million people live in the county. Voters knocked the Eastside candidates — state lawmakers


2009 Meet the candidates ❑ 9-11:45 a.m. Oct. 17, Golf Club at Newcastle

Fred Jarrett and Ross Hunter — out of the race in August. Jarrett and Hutchison took Snoqualmie Valley. Constantine won most of Seattle. Despite the candidates’ efforts to generate regional appeal, Valley voters “still have a sense

Mount Si students get creative for homecoming

Susan Hutchison of being a long, long way from downtown Seattle and the courthouse,” Seattle political consultant Cathy Allen said. Constantine and Hutchison have high hurdles to overcome.

Valley strongman

SMS volunteers Parent volunteers help keep SMS library open. Page 18.

Photo by Laura Geggel

Junior Tyler Brown buys a homecoming dance ticket during lunch at Mount Si High School.

Notes encased in ice, scuba suits and trails of clues — Mount Si students find unique ways to ask dates to homecoming. Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Kent, WA Permit No. 71 POSTAL CUSTOMER

By Laura Geggel Mount Si High School senior Joy Opsvig recently found a cooler on her front lawn. “It was full of ice and it had a hammer and pick next to it,” Opsvig said. She and her twin sister Natalie dumped the ice onto their lawn and picked away at it

until they found a note from fellow senior Bradford Bonner It said, “Now that we’ve broken the ice, will you go to homecoming with me?” With the Mount Si homecoming dance coming up Oct. 17, students are putting their creativity into action, especially See HOMECOMING, Page 19

Allen said voters wonder if Constantine represents the ineffective status quo and whether See EXECUTIVE, Page 6

NB Planning Commission backs hotel amendment with stricter standards The change would allow local business owner George Wyrsch to develop a hotel on his property near Interstate 90’s Exit 31. Planning Commission member Charles Zeder quit after vote. 2,000 people south of the freeway over a buck,” Zeder said, North Bend’s Planning referring to the Forster Woods Commission recommended that neighborhood. The area’s poputhe City lation is closer to Council change “We have just alienated 500. zoning regulaBefore voting, 2,000 people south of the tions to allow Zeder argued freeway over a buck.” hotels south of that a hotel Interstate 90. could drive — Charles See Zeder down property The change would allow Planning Commission member values in Forster local businessWoods. man George Some Forster Wyrsch to build Woods residents a hotel on his property at the had told him their homes were southwest corner of I-90’s Exit already valued less than the 31. amount of their mortgages due Commissioners voted 4-3 to to the economic recession, he approve the recommendation, said. along with stricter design stan“If property values go down dards for hotels drafted by city 10 percent it would tank a lot planners. Commission members of people,” Zeder said. Charles See Zeder, Jena Gilman Some Forster Woods resiand Scott Laufer, the commisdents have voiced concerns in sion’s chairman, voted against the past that a hotel would recommending the amendincrease crime in the area. ment. Commission member After the vote, Zeder abruptly Frankie Westlake said Bothell resigned from the commission police told her they don’t see and stormed out of the room. See HOTEL, Page 7 “We have just alienated By Michael Bayless Rowe

North Bend Elementary teacher Alan Tepper takes gold in world weightlifting championship. Page 8.

Dow Constantine

SnoValley Star

OCTOBER 15, 2009


Sandy Smelser honored

Photo by Natalie Watters

Cascade View Elementary School Counseler Sandy Smelser reunited with a friend and received an award Oct. 9. Former CVES Principal Tim Nootenboom joined Smelser when she received an award from the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Homecoming From Page 1 when it comes to finding dates. “I’m so excited. It’s going to be so much fun,” said Opsvig, who said ‘yes’ to Bonner. “We’re going in a big group.” For the first time in Mount Si’s history, the homecoming dance will not be held at the school. The student-run homecoming committee has been working since spring, organizing the dance, which will be held at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge golf club. Thanks to the homecoming committee, students will see two firework shows — one during the Oct. 16 homecoming football game halftime show and the other during the homecoming dance on the ridge. “We decided that since it was the first year on the ridge, we would make it a big deal,” senior Emily Beekman said. Spirit week precedes homecoming, with royalty and pep assemblies, hallway decorations


and dress-up days. Parents beware — children will soon be raiding closets to find grunge, oversized cartoon-character shirts, spandex and slap bracelets for ‘90s day. Meanwhile, students are asking out their peers right and left. Junior Tyler Brown, who just moved to the Snoqualmie Valley from Shanghai, passed a note to his date between classes. Senior Matt Laird knew junior Aubrey Lane wanted a goldfish, so he left her an empty goldfish bowl on her fifth-period desk. A scuba man figurine holding a sign saying, “Homecoming ‘09” stood in the bottom of the bowl. “I was asking everyone, do you know who brought me this fishbowl?” Lane said. After school that day, Laird appeared wearing a scuba suit, complete with mask and flippers. He even had a goldfish for the bowl, which Lane is now caring for while she waits for the homecoming dance. Senior Florence Servais, an exchange student from Belgium, found a series of clues that led her to the staircase, where she

agreed. “It’s good that I can go to the library and pick out an advenFrom Page 18 ture book that I can read and enjoy,” Toney said. and Mount Si High School, Burns said recruitment has meaning the library is normally been going well, but she could closed on days she is not there. always use more volunteers, “I think it’s a waste of money especially fathers. to have all of these books in She has her sights set on here if nobody’s going to read the walk-about program at them,” sixthIssaquah grader Payton Middle Graves said. School, Get involved Parent volunwhich has teers at least Chief Kanim Middle volunteers keep the library School needs library volmonitor the open during unteers from 7:15-7:45 hallways durlunchtime, but a.m. Mondays and ing lunch can’t help stuFridays. E-mail Miranda and before dents to the Thorpe at miranda.thorand after degree that a school. This trained librarian Snoqualmie Middle year, the IMS can. School needs volunteers. program had E-mail Sarah Burns at Instructional 60 new aids and unteers regisTwin Falls Middle Treisman at ter to be least teach volSchool needs library volwalk-abouts. unteers. E-mail Carol unteers how to “Sometimes Masters at check out and just having an shelve books. adult there Volunteer Paige makes people Dolecki, whose behave better,” résumé includes IMS PTSA colibrary and bookstore experipresident Camille Vaska said. ence, explained why she chose Kern told parents to ignore to volunteer. the myth that middle school “My daughter spent all of students want their parents out sixth grade and seventh grade in of the picture. the library,” Dolecki said. “It “The kids, they say they’re was heartbreaking to hear the embarrassed by it, but in reality, kids would only be able to use they look forward to it,” Kern the library one day a week.” said. “We’re in this together. Sixth-grader Sarah Hong Parents and school need to work browsed through book titles together.” after eating lunch. To her, having the library open “means we Laura Geggel: 392-6434 ext. can learn more than what the 221 or teachers tell us.” Comment at Her classmate Brock Toney found a classmate waiting with flowers. Servais said she was excited for homecoming, especially because her school in Belgium did not have dances or occasions where boys shower girls with balloons or flowers. “It’s not the same in Europe,” Servais said, “We don’t have events like homecoming.” Other students’ plans took them out of the Snoqualmie Valley. Sophomore Alex Welsh thought she was having lunch with her friends in downtown Bellevue, but when her friend drove her by the pedestrian sky bridge connecting Bellevue Square to Lincoln Square Center, she noticed a sign reading, “Homecoming, Alex?” “He was up there, waving,” Welsh remembered. When they met, junior Zac Miller gave her a rose, and she agreed – homecoming would be great if they were a couple. Senior Garrett Rohan took a page out of Walt Disney’s book. During the DECA fashion show at Mount Si, Prince Charming grabbed the microphone and asked if Ms. Rissy Past would be

his Cinderella for homecoming. The duo is going to the dance with their friends, and Rohan said he was excited for the limo ride. Assistant Principal Beth Castle reminded students to make good decisions the night of the dance. “We have had issues at times,” Castle said. “Sometimes, kids make poor decisions and inevitably our students let us know because they don’t want it there either.” Police will be on site for the dance, and any inappropriate behavior could result in a suspension. “We hope it doesn’t happen this year,” Castle said. “It’s such a wonderful night. The kids look so great dressed up in all of their finery.” Homecoming dance tickets cost $25 per person for the 9 p.m. - midnight dance. Photography by Joy will snap photos of Wildcats with their friends and dates. Laura Geggel: 392-6434 ext. 221 or Comment at

Levy From Page 18 development, technology support and infrastructure and new technologies. Washington does not include technology as part of basic education, meaning except for about $55,000 of federal dollars, all of the district’s money for technology comes from local taxpayers. According to the 2008-11 Snoqualmie Education Association contract, teachers will be compensated for attending technology training sessions and integrating technology into the classroom. Students would see more ActivBoards and ActivExpression clickers in classrooms. The district would use the taxpayer-supported levy money to upgrade its 12year-old telephone system, expand its online emergency communication systems and implement a bus fleet management safety system. Until now, Snoqualmie Valley has spent less money on technology relative to other Eastside school districts. During the 2008-09 school year, Snoqualmie Valley spent $171 per student with technology levy funds. In comparison, Riverview School District spent $215 per student, Issaquah spent $264 per student and Mercer Island spent $426. If passed, the new technology levy would provide $422 per student, on par for other 2010 technology levies. Snoqualmie Valley schools technology director Jeff Hogan would like to see Snoqualmie Valley use technology to help its students learn on the cutting edge. “It will help us be a leader in instructional technology,” Hogan said. He said the district had looked for matching grants in the past, including from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but has had little success, as most grants aim to help districts with higher poverty rates. The board will vote on the resolution at the Oct. 22 meeting, held at 7:30 p.m. in the district office, 8001 Silva Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie. If approved by the board, levy ballots would be mailed Jan. 22 and would need to be postmarked by Feb. 9. To pass, the maintenance and technology levies would need a simple majority. Laura Geggel: 392-6434 ext. 221 or Comment at

Your locally-owned newspaper, serving North Bend and Snoqualmie, Washington

MAY 7, 2009 VOL. 2, NO. 18

Mount Si track and field Page 10

Judge rules for banished tribe members By Michael Bayless Rowe

Production of love Chief Kanim Middle School students ready to perform play. Page 8.

A federal-court judge ruled on April 30 that the Snoqualmie Tribe violated the right to due process of nine tribe members that it banished last year. “I’m very grateful for Judge Robart. He handled the issue very well for both Indian sovereignty and for individual Native American civil rights,” said Carolyn Lubenau, who was a tribal council vice chairwoman, before her banishment. Judge James L. Robart set

aside the banishment of the nine tribe members, and placed a 90day limit on the tribe members’ social banishment. The social banish- Lubenau ment prevents them from visiting tribal lands or other tribal members. During the suit, the tribe argued that it had the sole

authority to determine membership and punish tribe members, because of the tribe’s sovereignty. The banished tribe members argued that they did not receive adequate notice of the banishment proceedings, nor did they have an opportunity to defend themselves from the banishment. The judge ruled that the banished members did not receive adequate notice and a chance to defend their rights. In lawsuits like the Snoqualmie banishment case, federal courts walk a fine line

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between protecting the rights afforded to all Americans — such as the right to due process — and interfering with a tribe’s interest in sovereignty and internal control over tribal government. “I think they both can exist peacefully,” Lubeanu said. Snoqualmie Tribal Administrator Matt Matson noted that the ruling did create broad implications on tribal sovereignty. He wrote in an email to the SnoValley Star that See TRIBE, Page 3

Local seats up for election

North Bend still hoping to construct Park & Ride project off North Bend Way. Page 3.

By Laura Geggel

Purchase a plant Mount Si High School students to hold spring plant sale. Page 6. Photo by Laura Geggel

Ready to run

Emanuel Vardi (left) gives Seth May-Patterson a viola lesson as Lenore Vardi walks toward them.

Candidates announce intentions for school board, City Council elections. Page 2.

A true Valley treasure

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Master viola and violin players call North Bend home By Laura Geggel


Emanuel Vardi is 94 years young and has played the viola with more celebrities than most people have in their CD collections. Like a concert violist churn-

ing through a long score — as Vardi once did — he tells his life stories with little else beyond his long memory. And Vardi has much to tell: he played for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his youth, produced music for Louie Armstrong and accompanied musicians like Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan and George Benson. Vardi and his wife, Lenore, moved to North Bend in 2007

and spend much of their time painting and teaching their craft to the next generation. But, before the Snoqualmie Valley and a life in New York, Vardi started his story with his birth in Israel in 1915. At that time, Israel was still part of the Ottoman Empire, serving as a haven for Jews escaping pogroms and religious intolerance in Europe. His parents did not stay See VARDI Page 16

Six City Council seats, four school board seats and one mayoral spot in the Snoqualmie Valley will be up for grabs on a November ballot this year. Candidates for election can file by mail starting May 18, or in person from June 1-5. All but one of the spots on the Snoqualmie Valley School Board will be up for election. School Board President Marci Busby’s term expires at the end of 2009. School board member Rudy Edwards moved out of District 1, making him ineligible to run there again. Also, both school board members Craig Husa and Dan Popp were appointed to their positions, which requires them to run in the next school board election. Only Vice President Caroline Loudenback, who represents District 2 in downtown North Bend, will not have to run. In the city of Snoqualmie, there are four City Council seats up for election. Position 1 is currently held by Robert Jeans, Position 3 belongs to Bryan Holloway, Position 5 is held by Maria Henriksen and, at Position 7, is Kathi Prewitt. The position of mayor in Snoqualmie also will be See ELECTIONS, Page 2

SnoValley Star


Vardi From Page 1 there for long, moving to New York when Vardi was only 4 months old. His violinist father and pianist mother wasted no time in his music education, either. “My father gave me a violin when I was 3, so I knew nothing else,” Vardi said. “He was expected to be a violinist,” Lenore said. Music encompassed Vardi’s life. He attended Juilliard at age 12, but never graduated because the NBC Symphony Orchestra recruited him at age 21, and he was not about to turn down the chance to play with renowned Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini. By that time, Vardi had switched from violin to viola, a larger-stringed instrument with a lower range. He heard a recording of William Primrose, a famous violist whom he later played with at NBC. “When I heard that and how a viola could be played, I said ‘That’s for me,’” Vardi said. “I decided that I was going to go into viola.” When World War II swept young men into the draft, Vardi had the chance to play in the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. After one of

his recitals, Eleanor Roosevelt approached him and asked if he would play for the president at the White House. “The secret service whisked me in a car,” Vardi remembered. “They made sure that I didn’t have any guns and that my viola case only had a viola in it.” If they had caught him after the war, he might have had a paintbrush on him, too. Using the G.I. Bill, Vardi spent two years in Florence, Italy studying portrait and landscape painting. Upon returning to the States, he played in the ABC Symphony Orchestra. Back then, the music was live and musicians had to constantly play to avoid dead air. In his free time, Vardi played in quartets and solo. To this day, he is only one of two violists who have delivered solo recitals at Carnegie Hall. Because fewer soloists played the viola, Vardi found himself creating new pieces for the instrument. “I created a lot of solos, because the viola repertoire was very limited,” Vardi said. “I changed the attitude of the viola into a solo instrument by creating solo pieces for the viola.”

Manny meets Lenore The daughter of a steel worker and a dancer, Lenore Vardi found her father’s old violin by the age of 2, but did not start playing it until age 7.

“I wanted to touch it and be part of it,” she said. When her parents finally agreed to let her play, Lenore’s teacher was beside himself with her talent. “He said, ‘This is the thing I’ve been waiting for my whole life,’” she remembered. Lenore quickly progressed, taking advantage of Detroit’s public school system and music program. When she got into Oberlin Conservatory of Music, “I was out of there like a shot.” In the year she took off of college, Lenore studied with Dorothy DeLay, a famous violin teacher whose students include Itzhak Perlman. From there, she went to Sarah Lawrence College. “During my last year, I decided I wanted to learn a bit about the viola,” Lenore said. As luck would have it, Lenore turned to Vardi for viola lessons. She played the instrument for a while, but the larger string instrument required more energy and stretching. “Most violists play in orchestras or chamber groups,” Lenore said. “As a soloist, it’s exhausting. I would have my chiropractor waiting backstage after the show.” Lenore eventually returned to the violin, but her brief instrument switch led to her marriage with Vardi in 1984. “She just didn’t want to pay for lessons,” he joked.

MAY 7, 2009 The duo has since played together for all sorts of movie scores and musicians. Their stringed instruments can be heard in “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Tootsie,” “Aladdin,” “Fame” and more. Vardi even played with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and made sure to get their autographs for his two daughters from his first marriage. In 1993, Vardi hurt himself at a construction site and broke his wrist. Then, he slipped on a sheet of ice and tore his shoulder. After six surgeries, he put away his violin and instead concentrated on his art, which he had been slowly developing since the 1970s. The couple slowly began moving across the country, teaching at universities as they moved from the east coast to the Midwest and finally to Washington state. Lenore, who still plays her violin, often plays for the public, surrounded by her husband’s art. “If I would do a string trio, Manny would paint a string trio,” said Lenore, who also paints. The Vardis’ artwork can be found locally at Revolution Gallery, in Issaquah, Laurel Tree Gallery in Duvall, For Art Sake Gallery in Gig Harbor and at “I also believe that Manny is a national treasure, an incredible painter and musician and should

be cherished as such,” said Revolution Gallery owner Pennie Humphreys. “His sweet demeanor and generosity of spirit is inspirational, as well as a delight.” General Manager at Hammond Ashley Violins Bryce Van Parys sells prints of the Vardis’ work at his store in Issaquah. “He is one of the performers that is equally great as a musician and an artist,” Van Parys said. “They’re very colorful, they really capture a performance.”

Art and a free performance The Vardi duo will showcase their art during the Bellevue Jazz Festival. They will show twodozen of their paintings during a free, live jazz jam of the Greta Matassa Quartet at the Sherman Clay piano store at 1000 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue from 4:30-6 p.m. May 23. Their art will show from May 22-24. Vardi explained how he paints musicians lost in the reverie of their music. “They’re always within themselves,” Vardi said. “They never open their eyes.” The Vardis would also like to share their love of music for beginning and seasoned players both young and old. To learn more about lessons, call 292-0137 or e-mail

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JULY 30, 2009

Snoqualmie teen a reader for all seasons By Laura Geggel When Eastside Catholic teacher Leslie Meier asked her language arts students to read 25 independent books that school year, some students groaned. Snoqualmie teenager Rose Young had a different response. “I said, ‘I bet I can read twice as much,’” Young said. But Young didn’t read 50 books, or even 100. The 13-yearold read 395 books, and she’s reading more, even if she’s not keeping track. “She is probably the most voracious reader I know,” King County Library Services Teen

Photo by Laura Geggel

Rose Young stacks some of her many books.

Librarian Sarah Lynch said. Young can’t remember exactly when she began reading, but she must have been reading a storm by the second grade because her teacher asked her to tutor two slower readers in her class. Young started reading young adult literature in the fifth grade and can now finish about three of these 200-paged behemoths per day. Two of her favorite series are “Maximum Ride” by James Patterson — a series about children whose DNA is mixed with a genetic code from birds — and “Peeps” by Scott Westerfeld — a series about people affected with parasites that turn them into vampires. But young adult literature has its conventions, and Young said she’s gotten pretty good at guessing the endings for some books. At a loss, Young’s mother Deborah Bellam turned to Lynch for book recommendations. Many adult books have adult situations, and Bellam wanted her daughter to read books appropriate for her age level. “Basically, what I do is I have an e-mail relationship with Rose and her mother where we talk about books back and forth,” Lynch said, saying she alerts Young “any time I read about a new book that is hot off the presses.” Lynch encouraged others in need of book recommendations to visit, call or e-mail their local

Rose Young has read more than 300 books this school year and is still reading more.

state of her eyes, even took her to the eye doctor to make sure reading in the dark was not affecting her vision. “I would rather stay up all night and sleep-in in the morning,” Young said. Bellam is used to confiscating her daughter’s books, especially at the dinner table. Still, she is grateful for the knowledge her daughter gleans from historical fiction books. “She once asked me, ‘I want to know why we don’t learn Latin in school like the ancient queens?’” Bellam said. “She reads a lot in class,” Meier said. “If she’s finished with her work early, she’s definitely the one where you say, ‘Okay, everybody put your book away.’” In fifth grade, Young started writing poetry, but hid it from her friends, afraid they would judge her just as the characters in the books she read judged poets as weird or lame. But her friends thought her poetry was great and they soon started a poetry club. Young continues to write today, although she admitted it was hard to finish stories she had started. “It’s inspiring to see someone with such a passion for reading,” Lynch said. “She puts me to shame.”

librarians. Once Young has a book, she reads everywhere. She reads in the car on her way to school,

Reach reporter Laura Geggel at 392-6434 .221 or To comment on this story, visit

Photo by Laura Geggel

singing lessons and soccer practice. She reads at night under the covers with her flashlight. Her parents, worried about the

Kindergartners get a head start on challenges ahead By Laura Geggel The kindergarten class acted like any other. The 5-year-olds boys and girls giggled and sang as Snoqualmie Valley teacher Jan Formisano led them in a rhyming song about colors and animals. “We need to wake up our brains this morning,” Formisano said before singing, “Blue is for endless skies, orange is for butterflies.” Each of the class of about 20 were at Snoqualmie Elementary for a free, three-week summer school session for English language learners. When parents register their children for kindergarten, the district gives them a questionnaire asking, among other things, if English is the primary language spoken in their home. Children coming from families who speak another language at

Photo by Laura Geggel

A group of summer school kindergarten students listen as Jan Formisano teaches them a song about colors.

home are given a test called the Washington Language Proficiency Test. Those who score within a certain percentile qualify for language-support services. For the first time, Snoqualmie Valley School District decided to give these children a head start, instead of waiting until September to start services. The 2009 summer school introduced the pre-kindergartners to the academic language of kindergarten, including letter identification, phonic skills, counting and colors. “I met with the kindergarten teachers and asked them what they wanted the kindergartners to know,” Formisano said, explaining how she came up with the curriculum. Formisano first taught with Dana Nohavec and later with See CLASS, Page 7

Feature Writer of the Year  

1. Equestrian painting comes to the Valley 2. Trucker turned jeweler beads gems 3. Mount Si students get creative for homecoming 4. A true V...

Feature Writer of the Year  

1. Equestrian painting comes to the Valley 2. Trucker turned jeweler beads gems 3. Mount Si students get creative for homecoming 4. A true V...