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

November 29, 2012 VOL. 4, NO. 48

Mount Si football team ends historic season Page 8

Focus on homeless is uniting the community By Michele Mihalovich

County budget finalized Council cuts proposed roads fee. Page 2

North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner knows the city has a homeless problem. He knows citizens are concerned about the gauntlet of sometimes scary people who line the bridges by the river trails. He knows city leaders want something done about the homeless sleeping in tents by the rivers. What he didn’t know was what could be done about it. What started out as a roadside conversation about the local homeless population later turned into an impromptu community meeting of more than

30 folks trying to come up with some kind of solution. Toner, with the help of Pastor Pete Battjes at North Bend Community Church, organized a Nov. 6 meeting through wordof-mouth and a string of emails. Toner told the Star he had had no idea whether anyone would show up, or if too many people would show up. He didn’t know if they were going to be in the “let’s help the homeless” camp or the “let’s run ‘em out of town” camp. But after the first meeting, he said, “I was extremely impressed with the significant and diverse turnout. From what started as

a small roadside conversation a few weeks ago with four others to having nearly three dozen energetic and compassionate citizens show up eager to offer input, support and resources is another great demonstration of the high level of community involvement people in our area consistently show.” The first meeting focused on who is homeless, and what the community can realistically do to help. Toner knows the group of about 24 homeless who live in the tents along the river, but others who turned out figured there were probably 80 regulars

if you count the car campers — people sleeping in vehicles on the city streets or private parking lots every night. Both are illegal in North Bend. The next question the group tried to answer was how it could help immediately. Talk turned to Frosty, a local river camper often seen walking around town with plastic bags on his feet. Toner recounted finding Frosty during January’s snow and ice storm down by the river with nothing but a sheet over his shoulders. See HOMELESS, Page 3

Christmas concert is coming

Tree time Group continues annual tree sale tradition. Page 6

By Sarah Gerdes

Checkmate Elementary students take up chess. Page 7

Local team digs deep Youth soccer team comes together. Page 8

Police blotter Page 10

By Michele Mihalovich

North Bend Public Works Director Ron Garrow, aka Crazy Tie Guy, demonstrates with the sailboat model what he plans to do after his Dec. 4 retirement.

Crazy Tie Guy is setting sail Dec. 4 By Michele Mihalovich

Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Kent, WA Permit No. 71 POSTAL CUSTOMER

The city of North Bend made two decisions that would change the course of its history. First, in 1999, it imposed a 10-year moratorium on all new construction that required water rights. Three years later, it hired Crazy Tie Guy. The city named Ron Garrow as its first public works director, and brought him on spe-

cifically to find a solution to the water problem. And if he could do it, they were willing to overlook his propensity for donning silly ties. Garrow didn’t use a divining rod to find a new water source, but he did use knowledge gleaned from his University of Washington master’s degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis in water resource management, and his work

with the cities of Fife, Milton and Federal Way. Tapping into that experience, he knew to not look for water in loose, sandy soil down by the river, and instead pointed the drill right on the city’s public works property, set atop hard rock. The Centennial Well was dug in 2008, and the final See GARROW, Page 3

For Snoqualmie Valley residents, the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony is the kick-off for holiday activities and celebrations in the Valley. Another tradition in the Valley is attending the annual Community Nativity Christmas Concert, a nondenominational, interfaith affair that involves internationally celebrated recording artists alongside local student performers. This year, the 12th annual event is at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at the North Bend building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. “Christmas is a time for family, community and friends to gather together, and we are honored to be able to share in a little bit of this by hosting and providing the venue for such a wonderful event,” said Lind Stapley, a presiding counselor in the Bellevue South Stake that oversees the LDS congregations for the Snoqualmie Valley. “It’s a time and a place for us to come together, feel the love for See CONCERT, Page 2


SnoValley Star

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

Budget From Page 2 cleanup on about 1,500 miles of roadway in unincorporated King County. The fee proposal arrived about a year after Constantine unveiled a tier system to rank roads in unincorporated areas. Rather than enacting the fee and creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated areas, officials plan to lobby state legislators for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance. “The proposal to enact a transportation benefit district was a small solution to a very large problem,” Councilman Joe McDermott, Budget Leadership Team chief, said in a statement. “You will find the county in Olympia with a diverse and committed group of allies asking for a dedicated and adequate funding source for roads and transit.” Countywide, crews conducted about 20 percent less snow and ice removal this year, due to a lack of staffing. The county could cut plowing and sanding further during future winter weather, depending on resources. The shortfall stems

Garrow From Page 1 water rights were approved in 2009, which put an end to the city’s imposed moratorium, he said. Garrow said finding a new water source was his greatest achievement as a public works director. Since then, the city annexed a huge chunk of rural King County, houses are being built, a new pharmacy is being constructed, and who knows, maybe one day North Bend will get that new hotel it’s always dreamed about. But it was a different achievement that brought him the most personal satisfaction — convincing an anti-roundabout City Council to approve the traffic circle at North Bend Way and Southeast Cedar Falls Way, rather than putting in a traffic light. Garrow said he used to live in Bermuda and in Europe, where round-

from annexations of unincorporated areas into nearby cities, lower property valuations and a dip in gas tax revenue caused the fund to drop 25 percent, from $128 million to $96 million. Since 2010, the county Road Services Division has eliminated about 200 positions. Local property tax revenue and a separate roads levy support the County Road Fund. The county collects $2.25 per $1,000 in assessed value through the levy. Criminal justice system saves the county money Officials said the $7.6 billion county budget allocates $685 million to the general fund — the source of dollars for elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions. King County Council budget team members said 73 percent of dollars from the fund go toward public safety and criminal justice programs. The budget does not dip into cash reserves or the county’s rainy day fund. Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, North Bend and Snoqualmie’s representative on the council and a budget team member, said using more efficient practices in the criminal

abouts are heavily utilized. “I knew they worked great and knew a roundabout at that intersection would work great as well,” he said, but the council was pretty set on a traffic light. It wasn’t until a public hearing, with about 25 members of the public saying they wanted to give a roundabout a try, that the council finally relented and approved the newfangled traffic control device. “And every single one of those councilmembers have come up to me and said how great that roundabout is,” Garrow said, adding that more will be gracing the city soon. Garrow is also credited with securing $7 million in grants for street capital improvement projects; $1 million in grants for water capital improvement projects; $5.8 million in loans for water/sewer capital improvement projects; starting a pavement preservation program for city streets; and coordinat-

justice system saved the county money. “With better coordination, savings in one department will have a ripple effect among the sheriff’s office, courts, prosecutors and jails, while also improving outcomes for those caught up in the criminal justice system,” she said in a statement. The spending plan preserves funding and staffing for King County District and Superior courts, and the King County Prosecutor’s Office. The budget allocates funding to ensure the King County Sheriff’s Office has sufficient resources to maintain and replace the commissioned officers for patrol, as the agency faces a growing number of retirements. The council raised some fees in the budget, including building permit and surface water management fees. Officials included $1.3 million in onetime funds to support domestic violence shelters, legal aid, services for sexual assault survivors, post-incarceration education and housing services. The budget includes support for gang intervention programs and to improve educational opportunities for offenders transitioning from incarceration.

ing the overlay of many street segments, including portions of North Bend Way, Main Street and Park Street. He also developed the city’s Incident Command System and opened the Emergency Operations Center as incident commander for several local disasters. And all the while, wearing an appropriate, yet crazy tie. Budget hearings meant dusting off his Daffy Dollars and Bugs Bunny Bucks tie. The day the Star interviewed him, he wore a Dilbert tie. And on his last day as pub-

Homeless From Page 1 The group agreed that an emergency, overnight shelter was needed — especially since the rains had begun — even if it was just for the winter. “The purpose is to save lives,” said Paula Matthysse, a Fall City woman who showed up for both meetings. “There are a lot of fragile people out there in the woods, and some people don’t even have tents. I think about them every time the skies open up with the rains.” The assignment for everyone in attendance was to go to his or her church, family and friends, and see if anyone was willing to offer this no-frills, emergency overnight shelter just for the winter months. They were also asked to find out whether any churches would allow car campers use of their parking lots at night. The second meeting on Nov. 20 brought many of the same people, but a few new faces as well, including King County Commissioner Kathy Lambert. She said after the meeting that she showed up because the topic of

lic works director, he’ll sport a tie with sailboats — what he hopes to be boarding often as a retiree. Garrow works as a volunteer for the Red Cross and hopes to continue the emergency work that gets him out of bed late at night. He also told the Star that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently contacted him and asked him to be on its reservist list. Garrow said the list basically makes him available for federal disasters, like the recent Hurricane

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homelessness is near and dear to her heart. Lambert said she had to go into hiding years ago with three of her children to escape a domestic violence situation and they stayed in her car for a couple of days until family were able to take her in. “Homelessness can happen to anyone,” she said. “Homeless people have amazing stories. And they just need someone to reach out and help.” Lambert said it was wonderful coming to the community meeting where so many were willing to step up and possibly change lives. While no one came to the second meeting with a definite location suggestion, others agreed to hit the streets, make some phone calls and check on possible buildings. Lambert and North Bend City Attorney Londi Lindell strongly encouraged the group to seek out faith-based locations, because they wouldn’t have to apply for a conditional use permit, which could take a year or two to get approved. Someone said a local church was going to check with its board of directors to see if the church parking lot could

Sandy that hit the East Coast. It’s unknown what tie he’ll pick for responding to natural disasters. North Bend will honor Garrow at the Dec. 4 City Council meeting at 7 p.m.

be used for car campers. And a third meeting was scheduled for Nov. 27 at North Bend Community Church. But the community gatherings also resulted in a Thanksgiving feast. Toner said more than 40 people showed up, but only a handful of those were “homeless.” “We really wanted those guests to feel welcome and involved, so we insured that guests and volunteers ate together and interacted,” he said about the meal served at Mount Si Lutheran Church in North Bend. “During the meal, I looked up and saw all the tables full with a nice mix of everyone … If we separated them out, it may deter them from coming again.” Toner said after the second community meeting that he was thrilled about how things were moving. “The fact that so many came back is huge,” he said. “This is a fantastic example of grassroots work, and with this kind of involvement I have high hopes that we will succeed in our efforts.”   Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar. com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

if you’d like to see his sailboat tie. Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.


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

October 18, 2012 VOL. 4, NO. 42

Detour ahead Lake Alice Road closes temporarily. Page 2

Budding author Valley woman publishes her first novel. Page 6

Heartbreaking loss Mount Si football team loses first game of season. Page 8

Fundraiser next week School’s custodian is stricken with leukemia. Page 9

Police blotter Page 10

Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Kent, WA Permit No. 71 POSTAL CUSTOMER

Tiny dancer Page 7

No easy solutions to North Bend homeless problems By Michele Mihalovich Every neighborhood is bound to have a troublemaker or two. And that is true, even if your neighborhood is a homeless camp in North Bend. North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner and the Star walked along the Snoqualmie River South Fork trails on Sept. 27 in search of the chronically homeless who live in tents along the river. Turns out, that group was just as upset about a recent incident — in which a couple who came down to fish were told by a man with a machete that they didn’t belong there, and not to come back — as the rest of the public. “I would have told them to knock it off,” said Joey, a man in his early 50s who didn’t give his last name. “There’s always people who come down here, drinking and causing trouble for the rest of us.” There are some regulars Toner confirmed that some of the people causing trouble are not part of the homeless community living in tents on the Tollgate Farm property. They have homes, but they come down to the river and drink and when they cause

By Michele Mihalovich

Joey, a homeless man who has lived by the Snoqualmie River in North Bend for about 20 years, agrees to be interviewed at his camp Sept. 27. trouble, they get lumped in with the homeless living down there, he said. Toner said about 20 to 24 regulars live along the river, but he added that during the summer,

that number tends to double. He said that for the most part, the regulars, many of whom are dealing with mental illnesses, are quietly living in the forests and don’t bother anyone.

“I tell them they have to keep a clean camp, and try to keep out of sight,” Toner said. “And they know that if two homeless See HOMELESS, Page 3

Neighbors are leery of Two area teens charged proposed youth shelter with multiple felonies By Michele Mihalovich A youth organization is asking the city of Snoqualmie to allow a temporary, overnight, emergency homeless shelter, but neighbors who live by the proposed shelter have concerns. Friends of Youth, based in Redmond, is the primary provider of housing to homeless youth on the Eastside, Terry Pottmeyer, CEO of Friends, said at a public hearing with Snoqualmie’s hearing examiner Oct. 8. She said the organization has been offered a grant to open an overnight shelter for three months. The shelter, which would operate from 8:30 p.m. to 8

a.m. for up to eight homeless 18- to 24-year-olds, is being proposed at Friends’ existing counseling building at 7972 Maple Ave. S.E. in Snoqualmie’s historic downtown district. Pottmeyer told Ron McConnell, the hearing examiner, that there has been a significant increase in homelessness among young people 11 to 24 years old over the past couple of years in Washington, and that a lack of resources has created challenges, especially in the Snoqualmie Valley. She said that during the three months of operating an emergency overnight shelter, See SHELTER, Page 2

By Michele Mihalovich Two North Bend area teens have been charged with multiple counts after a five-hour vandalism spree that included fires, damage to vehicles and stolen property. Jarred M. Burklund, 18, and Charles Daniel Naub, 15, were each charged with one count of felony second-degree attempted arson, one count third-degree theft, one felony count seconddegree burglary, one count second-degree malicious mischief and three counts third-degree malicious mischief, according to charging documents from the Superior Court of Washington for King County Juvenile Department. The nonfelony charges are gross misdemeanors.

Burklund was 17 at the time of the incident, which police say began at 10:15 p.m. Aug. 6, and ended about five hours later. In a probable cause statement, investigators say Burklund and Naub began the evening by stealing 10 peaches from QFC and then threw them at cars in the Chaplin’s Chevrolet lot. They then walked to Si View Park, pulled a metal parking post out of the ground and tossed it through an office window and kicked sprinkler heads, breaking them off at the ground. Burklund and Naub walked across the street to a residence and covered two cars with construction adhesive and a white foamy substance, according to See TEENS, Page 2


SnoValley Star

OCTOBER 18, 2012

Homeless

is letting their city officials know about it.

From Page 1

No easy solution

people cause trouble, it could mean all of them have to move and give up their fake homes, which is all they have. So, they are really good about policing themselves.” Joey has been living in the woods near North Bend for 20 years, after he and his wife divorced and drugs and alcohol got the best of him. No one walking along the main trail by the river could have spotted his camp. He was living in a blue tent on one side of a 4-foot-wide tree. A 27-year-old woman named Sunny was living in a tent on the other side. And they had draped a tarp around the backside of the camp, and brush and trees camouflaged the camp from any onlookers from the river. Quietly living in the woods, being invisible to society, is how Joey prefers things. And that’s why keeping the peace in his neighborhood is important to him. “But I’m like the sheriff,” he said. “I can’t be everywhere at once. I can’t stop everything from happening.” The fact remains, however, that incidents are happening, and the public

North Bend City Administrator Londi Lindell said there is no easy solution. “Councilmembers are compassionate and want to do the right thing,” she said. “But at the same time, there is a concern about public safety. The council will always err on the side of citizens’ safety.” Lindell said she recently received a call from a woman who had taken her daughter to the river, but had to leave because there was a group of homeless adults and some teenagers getting drunk under a bridge. “She felt very uncomfortable and didn’t feel safe,” Lindell said. “It appears that there are some homeless who are interfering with recreational opportunities in North Bend.” A couple of councilmembers also said they had concerns about the group of homeless who hang out all day at the park near the depot, she said. They thought maybe other users were being discouraged from using the park because of their presence, she said. To try and address

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the situation, Lindell has is a public park and everyasked Toner to “please use one has a right to be there, the tools in your toolbox. so long as they are not I told him that if people violating laws. are breaking the law, we But he also reiterated need to the fact “So, I could chase off that not enforce those the homeless who are everyone laws.” hanging living in tents by the Longout at the term park, or river, but where are camping down at under a they supposed to go?” the river, bridge, is homeor any — Mark Toner less. publiclyToner Police chief owned said resiproperty, dents of does violate city laws, she the Mount Si Transitional said, adding that providCenter near the park often ing alcohol to underage come and sit at the picyouth is also against the nic tables wearing their law. pajamas or with a blanket Toner said his deputies wrapped around their do enforce the laws when shoulders. they see they are being “Anyone driving by the broken. park might get the impression that those people are homeless, when in fact, Not everyone is homeless they aren’t,” he said. “But With regards to people everyone is getting labeled in the park, Toner said it as homeless.”

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Toner said the matter is further complicated by the fact that North Bend doesn’t have a homeless shelter for men. “So, I could chase off the homeless who are living in tents by the river, but where are they supposed to go?” he asked. Lindell said that perhaps directing the homeless to services in the greater Seattle area would be appropriate. “There are facilities there that provide for the homeless, services such as shelter, food and counseling,” she said. North Bend has a limited amount of financial resources, but it does what it can by providing funding to organizations that help the homeless, Lindell said. Last year, the city of North Bend provided nearly $90,000 to organizations in the area that help those vulnerable popula-

tions, she said. Toner said he often asks the homeless who are living in tents, “What can we do? How can we fix this? Some are happy with the way things are. Some want help finding a job or getting counseling, and I try to put them in touch with people who can help.” Toner asked Joey if he would go to a shelter in Seattle. Joey rubbed his ankle, which was wrapped in gauze from what he said was a recent cougar attack. “I’m not a city person at all, you know that,” he told Toner. “But I’ve been out here a long time. I’m getting too old to live out here. If North Bend had a shelter, I’d go. Or Bellevue, maybe, I would go there.” Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.


Opinion

PAGE 4

Editorial

Letters

Designate a camp for the homeless

Thanks for help with our sale

Please don’t think we’re heartless when we say it’s time to do something about the homeless camps near North Bend. We learned in this week’s police blotter that a husband and wife ran into a very disturbing situation Sept. 10. The man reported to police that he and his wife were walking along the trail by the solid waste plant to go fishing when five homeless males and two homeless females told them that they live down the trail and that there was no fishing there. The man assured the group that he and his wife were going past the tents to a location farther downstream. As the husband and wife passed the group, he said one of the men got on a walkie talkie to report to someone that they were coming down the trail. The man said they later encountered another homeless man with a large knife attached to his belt. He said the man with the knife told him and his wife that they didn’t belong there and not to come back to the area. The man reported to police that they were not specifically threatened, but did feel intimidated and wanted to report the incident to police. We know the economic downturn has had devastating effects. People lost jobs, homes, apartments and health insurance. But to set up camp on public lands and then tell people they cannot fish, that they don’t belong there and not to come back is completely unacceptable. Earlier this summer, we learned of a group on an organized hike in that same area who say they had to practically step over two homeless men who were sitting on the trail drinking whiskey and playing cards. Homeless people who intimidate others do not earn our compassion. The time has come for the city of North Bend and King County Sheriff’s Office to designate a homeless camp where people can live in peace — and we can take back our public trails.

WEEKLY POLL What do you think of the city of North Bend’s move toward contracting with Snoqualmie Police? A. They fixed something that was not broken. B. It was a necessary improvement. C. I still don’t know what motivated the decision. D. It’s a gamble but one that I think might just work out. Vote online at www.snovalleystar.com.

Deborah Berto

Managing editor

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The Friends of the North Bend Library wish to thank the community for donating used books, CDs and DVDs throughout the year for our annual book sale. We also wish to extend our gratitude to all those who helped with setup, to the North Bend librarians who assisted us throughout the sale and to everyone who purchased books. The money raised stays in the North Bend Library. It helps fund library enhancements as well as programs for children, teens and adults. All programs are open to the public, free of charge and held at the North Bend Library. Keep in mind that we always have a selection of used books, movies and 2012 magazines for sale on the shelves just inside the doors of the library. Anyone interested in becoming a member of our Friends of the North Bend Library group is

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 invited to join us at our monthly meetings, the second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. in the meeting room at the North Bend Library. Thank you again for supporting the Friends of the North Bend Library book sale. You are appreciated. Nancy Doherty North Bend

More hospital beds are needed

This is in response to Herschel Backues’ letter (Sept. 20 issue) regarding the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. In his letter, Backues stated that the hospital is a “drain on the Valley taxpayers.” The hospital district is primarily supported by nontax revenues with more than $30 million in annual revenue. The new hospital will be entirely paid from revenue, not taxes. The new facility will not change the current tax rate of 50 cents per thousand for residents (only $15 per month for the average home). Backues also wrote that “the new, proposed hospital will cost

approximately $100 million.” In actuality, the capital cost of the new hospital is approximately $38 million, which is set by contract. Cost overruns, if any, will be borne by the developer per our agreement. Our patient volume is constrained by the size of our current facility, which has only 14 inpatient rooms, forcing us to double-up patients when we can. In the event that a patient needs to be isolated, all of the beds may not be utilized. The new hospital will have 25 rooms, making it possible to utilize all 25 beds at any given time. We will also expand existing services and update technology, including the emergency department, lab services, imaging and diagnostic services, and accommodate an enlarged primary and specialty care clinic. It is evident from the increased patient volumes that Valley residents want and need a new hospital. Isn’t it time to put the same old, misleading arguments to rest? Rodger McCollum, superintendent King County Hospital District No. 4

Home Country

Walking teaches a lesson the hard way It was that magic time of morning for those of us at the Mule Barn; the time when we’re so full of coffee we can’t walk, and it’s time to decide whether to order lunch there or go home. That’s when Bert walked in. Kinda limped in, actually. He made his way over and sat down and turned his coffee cup right side up. “I’m hurting boys,” he said. “That’s a fact. ‘Course Maizie told me it was a fool thing to do, but you know how she is, so I did it anyway.” “What’s that, Bert?” “Grandfathering, that’s what. But what the heck, guys, you gotta do it, don’t you? I mean, we owe it to the kids to start them on the road ... yes, that straight and narrow road leading to a fulfilling future, filled with ...” “Bert,” said Doc, “you get tattooed with a phonograph needle? Just tell us what happened.” “My granddaughter, Gina,” he said. “She’s 8 now, you know, and she’s been staying with us for a while. Well, she’s the best girl you ever met, but it’s hard to get her up on time. Seems like every other day she fools around and misses the school bus, and then we have to drive her to school. I just got tired of that, and figured I’d teach her a lesson.

“Well, she missed the bus again this morning and said, ‘Grandpa, you’ll have to take me to school.’ And Slim Randles I said, ‘OK, Columnist Honey, get your books.’ So she got her little backpack with the books on and I walked her to school.” “All the way to school? How far is it from your farm?” “Eight miles, boys. Eight very long miles.” He grinned. “Several times people stopped and offered us rides, but I just

said no thanks, and explained that it was an object lesson. Gina just mumbled that she hated object lessons, but she kept walking. Walked all the way up the canyon and didn’t sit down once.” “How about Grandpa?” Dud asked. “He didn’t sit down, either. Hey, how would it look?” “No wonder you’re tired, Bert.” “Well,” he said, grinning. “I don’t expect I’ll ever need to do this again. I believe the lesson got learned just fine.” Brought to you by the personally inscribed new book “Home Country,” at www.slimrandles.com.

Write to us Snovalley Star welcomes letters to the editor about any subject, although we reserve the right to edit for space, length, potential libel, clarity or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words or less and type them, if possible. Email is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Send them by Friday of each week to:

snovalley star

P.O. Box 1328 q Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 q Email: editor@snovalleystar.com


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

February 14, 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 6

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Another try for lakes Alpine Lakes bill re-introduced in congress. Page 2

Who will pay? Possible EFR funding changes raise tempers. Page 3

Police blotter Page 5

A pair of Mount Si wrestlers go to state Page 10

North Bend camping ban is now in effect hike or fish on public lands and encountered homeless camps. North Bend Police Chief Mark Lindell also cited large Toner has been making the amounts of garbage being left at rounds at the homeless camps camps, illegal “human waste disaround town, letting people posal and urination,” and pubknow that the city will start finlic health risks associated with ing folks $100 if they are caught discarded hypodermic needles camping on city other drug “Since the shelter opened, and property. paraphernalia as On Jan. I haven’t received a single reasons for the 15, the City new law. complaint about the Council unaniSpecial permously adopted homeless,” mits for groups a new law prosuch as Girl hibiting camp— Mark Toner Scouts and Boy ing in public Police chief Scouts will be parks, public available for rights of way overnight campand other public lands, effective ing in city parks. Jan. 28. Toner has said that about 24 At the council meeting, City regular homeless people have set Administrator Londi Lindell up camps near the Snoqualmie cited public safety as the No. 1 River at Tollgate Park. reason for the new law. He said he wanted to give She said the city has received them a heads-up first about the complaints about people feeling intimidated when they went to See BAN, Page 2

By Michele Mihalovich

By Sebastian Moraga

North Bend shelter moving to new church and operations costs to help get the temporary winter shelter in The Snoqualmie Valley North Bend up and running. Winter Shelter, which opened Matthysse said that from Dec. 23 at the North Bend Dec. 23 through the first week Community Church, is moving of February, the shelter has to Mount Si Lutheran Church served 561 meals and provided on Feb. 15. 348 overnight stays to people Paula Matthysse, who helped without shelter in Snoqualmie organize the Valley. “Three members of the shelter and Michael serves as a shelter have been able to Small, a volsupervisor, said unteer with find jobs.” it had always the shelter, been the hope said that since — Michael Small the shelter has that the shelter Volunteer opened, more would be hosted by multiple than 1,900 volfaith communities in the Valley. unteer hours from 100 people That follows the same model have been logged. used by Congregations for the “All of us from the shelter Homeless in Bellevue, which have been pleasantly surprised hosts a winter shelter at a differby the great amount of supent church each month, accordport from this community,” he ing to Executive Director Steve said. “The shelter has been able, Roberts. through all of its many partners, That organization has comSee SHELTER, Page 5 mitted $14,000 in staff, training

By Michele Mihalovich

California dreamin’ Neil Simon play coming to the Black Dog. Page 6

Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Kent, WA Permit No. 71 POSTAL CUSTOMER

Native studies in arts and crafts

Carver Bruce Larson and one of his many pupils Feb. 6, Lucia Diaz. Diaz and her fellow exchange students from the Peruvian town of Chaclacayo visited Larson and other carvers at their Snoqualmie shop and tried their hand at the ancient art.

Two charged in attempt to rob truck stop By Michele Mihalovich Two Renton men were charged with first-degree attempted robbery when they tried stealing cash from the truck stop in North Bend at gunpoint. Randy Joseph Peters, 21, and Tanner M. Neal, 20, were charged Jan. 23 in King County Superior Court. Charging documents say Peters, who is known as R.J. to friends and coworkers, used to work at the TA Truck Stop until he quit late last year. At 2:30 a.m. Jan. 12, Peters went to the truck stop and was talking to the clerk and then, about an hour later, Neal entered the store carrying a

handgun and backpack and told the clerk, “Give me the money from all three tills,” according to charging documents. A video surveillance camera at the truck stop showed the clerk emptying the first cash register and getting ready to move on to the second one, when another employee entered the store to refill his soda, according to the documents. The clerk took the opportunity of the distraction to run into the truck stop office with the backpack and lock the door and call police, at which point Peters and Neal left the See CHARGED, Page 3


SnoValley Star

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FEBRUARY 14, 2013

Alpine Lakes Bill reintroduced in U.S. Congress

Above it all

Ban From Page 1 new law, and said he was grateful that the group did have a place to go since volunteers and church organizations opened the

Photo by Lillian O’Rorke

Looking northwest from Rattlesnake Ridge, fog settles on Snoqualmie Valley Jan. 19.

Snoqualmie Valley Winter Shelter on Dec. 23. Toner said he has not had to issue any $100 citations to any homeless people since the law went into effect. “They heard it was coming and knew it was going to happen,” he said,

adding that he’s only had to tell a couple of people twice to pack up. Toner said he thinks the new law will probably result in some unintended consequences — like homeless people being very visible in town during the day because they

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have nowhere to go after the shelter closes at 8 a.m. He said there’s already been an uptick at the library, and a couple of weeks ago, police had to kick some people out because of suspected drug activity. The shelter has been an effective tool in reducing citizen complaints about the homeless, he said. “In fact, since the shelter opened, I haven’t received a single complaint about the homeless,” he said. The shelter offers a hot meal every night. Toner said that has reduced shoplifting complaints and

Sen. Patty Murray, Congressman Dave Reichert and Congresswoman Suzan Del Bene last month reintroduced the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act into the House and the Senate. The legislation is identical to the Senate bill that passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last session. “We are happy to see the continued bipartisan leadership from Sen. Murray and

it has helped reduce garbage, because food wrappers aren’t getting tossed outside at camps. But, the temporary shelter is slated to close at the end of March, and Toner said he doesn’t know what will happen then. He said he is trying to direct people to shelters in Bellevue and Seattle, but he said the closed shelter, along with the camping ban, could mean an increase in break-ins at vacant homes — or people will just try to camp again. “I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Toner said.

Congressman Reichert for this popular piece of legislation,” Tom Uniack, Washington Wilderness Coalition’s Conservation Director, said in a press release. “We also are pleased to see newly elected Congresswoman Suzan Del Bene join the effort as an original co-sponsor of the legislation.” The legislation would protect an additional 22,000 acres of wilderness adjoining the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and would add 10 miles of See LAKES, Page 3

Paula Matthysse, one of the organizers who helped get the shelter opened, said, “There is, of course, great concern about where people who have been camping closer to town will go. The wild areas of Snoqualmie Valley are not safe. We need to engage in a rich conversation about public health and safety that applies to everyone, especially those living unsheltered or in substandard housing in our community.” Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.


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

January 3, 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 1

Funding ideas wanted Tribe is accepting grant applications.

Local man sketches portraits of the fallen Page 11

Homeless in the Valley are invisible no more corner of North Bend Community For 30 years, Church where the Joey has slept in a q To donate, shelter is being tent in the damp mail a check to hosted and took in woods along the Congregations the scene. Snoqualmie River, for the Homeless Some of the battling bears that (write SVWS in the homeless sat in wanted his food memo line on your the kitchen eatand black mold check), 2650 148th ing their meals that threatened Ave. S.E., No. 202, and chatting with to eat holes in his Bellevue WA 98007 volunteers. Others tent. q Volunteer by had already laid But on Dec. 27, contacting snovaldown on mats Joey, was warm and leywintershelter@ spread out on the dry and all smiles. gmail.com. church floor. He and about q Sign up to “If someone had 10 other homeless bring food at told me back at ate hot lasagna www.takethemathat first meeting cooked by volunmeal.com/meals. that I’d be sitting teers before turning php?t=ILAY4803. here, spending the in for the night at night at a homeNorth Bend’s first less shelter created homeless shelter. by the community, “This place is a blessing right I would have told them they now to quite a few of us,” Joey were crazy,” she said. said, referring to the cold, wet Matthysse showed up Nov. 6 and snowy weather that has at that first community meeting moved into the Snoqualmie with a friend. Valley. “I wanted to get away from Paula Matthysse, one of all the election coverage and I about 30 dedicated volunthought it was great that the teers who helped organize the temporary shelter, sat in the See HOMELESS, Page 2 By Michele Mihalovich

Page 3

Firefighters wanted EFR is seeking volunteer firefighters. Page 3

Readers wanted Local author publishes first e-book. Page 6

Competitors wanted Youth wrestling league hosts tournament. Page 8

How to help

By Michele Mihalovich

Joey, who has been living in the woods along the Snoqualmie River for 30 years, enjoys a hot lasagna dinner at North Bend’s first homeless shelter, which opened Dec. 23.

North Bend planner is a world-class athlete Artists wanted Students use newly learned computer skills to make comic strips. Page 10

Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Kent, WA Permit No. 71 POSTAL CUSTOMER

By Michele Mihalovich Gina Estep is not just North Bend’s Community and Economic Development director. She’s also a world-class athlete after competing with more than 3,000 others in the 2012 Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand, in October. Estep, 39, placed 12th in her Contributed

Gina Estep (right) poses with friend Stephanie Haner, of Carnation. The two women competed in the 2012 Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand, in October.

age group class against 46 other women with a time of 1:19:43. She also had the best time of any of the women from the United States. “This was absolutely so exciting, and a huge compliment to even be able to participate and run alongside people who are so driven in life,” Estep said. What she found most interesting, she said, was the highenergy atmosphere of incredibly driven individuals from so many cultures being brought together for the competition. Estep said athletics has always been a part of her life. “Growing up, it was part of our family lifestyle to always be See ESTEP, Page 3


SnoValley Star

PAGE 2

Homeless From Page 1 community was starting to have a conversation about the homeless in this area,” she said. “But to think I’d be here – today – I think God put the right people at the right place at the right time that day,” Matthysse said. Getting started The Snoqualmie Valley Winter Shelter opened its doors Dec. 23, not even two months after that first meeting. The core group of volunteers comes from a mixed bag of communities: church members, veterans groups and the River Outreach. Some have day jobs as real estate agents, and a handful, such as Matthysse, have experience working with the homeless. But they banded together, meeting nearly every week, trying to save the lives of the vulnerable population of homeless people who sleep in tents or cars throughout the Valley. Matthysse knew she had to come up with a shelter proposal before she could approach funding agencies for money, and the group agreed they needed a no-frills overnight shelter for about 40 people. They hoped it would provide one hot

meal a day and stay open at least until March 7. Once that was in place, the money started rolling in. United Way donated $5,000 toward the shelter. Congregations for the Homeless in Bellevue committed $14,000 in staff, training and operations costs. NBCC offered up its church to host the shelter. Members of the Cascade Covenant Church in North Bend pooled their money to purchase 40 mats. When organizers learned that the mats wouldn’t be available in time for the opening, a Seattle shelter and the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital loaned mats to the shelter. The hospital is also making medical and mental health care staff available when needed. As people donated blankets, a Blanket Brigade was created to launder them. Organizers created an advisory group to handle some of the day-to-day decisions. They then created a website, Facebook page and an online sign up sheet to organize bringing in meals and breakfast. Neighborhood concerns In order to secure a temporary use permit from the city of North Bend, organizers held two public meetings with neighbors to address any concerns about the church hosting a shelter.

JANUARY 3, 2013

Pastor delivers holiday goodness to truckers Contributed

Pastor Tom Kemp, who has served at the Transport for Christ Mobile Chapel at the truck stop in North Bend for 20 years, began passing out small bags of Christmas cookies to truck drivers Dec. 15. Kemp said he’s been passing out the 150 dozen cookies, made by members of the Church on the Ridge in Snoqualmie, for several years. He said the church figures that if truckers are at a truck stop around the holidays, then they definitely aren’t home eating freshbaked cookies. Kemp said some truckers tear up at the thoughtful little package of homemade goodness, and some tell him, ‘This is the only gift I’m going to get this year.’

The neighbors were a bit nervous, raising a laundry list of concerns: What are you going to do about people who are drunk or on drugs? Will you let sex offenders stay here? Kids will be walking to school just as the homeless are leaving the shelter in the morning. Is that even safe? “Those are all valid concerns, and we understand those concerns,” said Matthysse. “But these people are already living in your community. There are families sleeping in cars. The assumption that the homeless are crimi-

nals, or jobless and just loitering isn’t an accurate view. I invite you to come to the shelter when it opens and share a meal with these people. Listen to their stories.” One man who showed up at the Dec. 15 public meeting said he remembered the same kinds of concerns from neighbors when Two Rivers School, an alternative high school, was trying to open. “The thought then was that this neighborhood was going to turn into a lawless, dangerous place,” he said. “That

did not happen. This is another opportunity to show our kids that we’ll jump through hurdles to help others no matter how uncomfortable it makes people. I fully support this.” After listening to the community’s fears about the types of people who might be staying at the shelter, volunteer Mary Cordova, spoke up. “These are veterans, kids and moms,” she said. “Not all homeless are drug users and criminals. But all of these people need to be loved on. They need to be safe and they need to know there is hope.” Brent, a homeless man who was also staying at the shelter Dec. 27, understood the neighbor’s fear — but he had a request.

“This is unchartered territory for us, as well as the people who live near here and the people who got the shelter started. We’re all just trying to figure it out,” he said. “But one of the worst things people can do is profile the homeless,” Brent said. “You just never know who is standing beside you, or what that person has gone through in life. Before you make a judgment, you should really get to know them. Because you if don’t, that’s not only a disservice to the person next to you, it’s a disservice to yourself.” Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

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Opinion

PAGE 4

Editorial

JANUARY 10, 2013

Letters

Here’s what ‘can do’ attitudes can accomplish A pack of dedicated volunteers set a Dec. 15 goal for opening an emergency winter shelter for the homeless. Paula Matthysse, one of nearly 30 volunteers who met weekly since Nov. 7, admitted that date was kind of a moving target. So much had to be organized. They had to find a place to host the shelter; find sleeping mats and blankets and then storage for the mats; organize evening meals and a light breakfast; train staff and volunteers; secure a temporary use permit from the city of North Bend; organize two public meetings with neighbors; allay citizen fears about the homeless; develop partnerships with organizations that could help, like the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and Congregations for the Homeless; and find money. Check. Done. Did it and done that. Somehow this group, which wants to do anything to save the lives of homeless people of the Snoqualmie Valley, managed to accomplish just that. North Bend Community Church, which is hosting the temporary shelter, opened its doors Dec. 23. Anyone who attended those weekly meetings knows that the Dec. 23 opening was a Christmas miracle. “I don’t know if something’s in the water here or what, but I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly,” said Congregations for the Homeless Executive Director Steve Roberts, who has been helping the volunteers. “This community is just wonderful.” And we agree. Those committed volunteers should be proud of themselves. They came together, facing challenges from several fronts, but they never gave up. Other communities could learn a thing or two from this group. Number one, never give up on something you believe in. Now comes the next challenge … running the shelter and keeping it open until at least March 7. The shelter still needs help from the community — whether it’s a commitment of time, a pledge of money or making a meal. Learn how you can help at www.facebook. com/SnoqualmieValleyWinterShelter.

WEEKLY POLL What’s the biggest lie people say during the New Year’s holidays? A. Sure, bring the kids. B. I can’t wait for the snow. C. My diet starts tomorrow D. I just get better with age. Vote online at www.snovalleystar.com.

Deborah Berto

Publisher

Kathleen R. Merrill

Managing editor

Michele Mihalovich

Editor

Nathan Laursen Advertising manager Sebastian Moraga

Published by

ISSAQUAH PRESS, INC. P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Phone: 392-6434 Fax: 392-1695

Ari Cetron Michelle Comeau

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MAIL SUBSCRIPTION

$30 per year Call 392-6434

Finding bliss in the squalor of poverty Earth is the home of us all, but as I live in a small tent in a windy and rainy, forested area of North Bend, I am considered homeless. My moneyless life consisted of writing outdoors for the entirety of the day and creating music during the night. Writing tirelessly, since we humans are gifted with two hands to share the burden of writing. Perhaps my idle attitude toward paying work is a trait to be frowned upon, and so I am deserving of my fate. An angry, drunken roommate and my joblessness have led me here. But the gain of wisdom hinges not on riches. Paper and pens are still plentiful and learning is always free. Time moves forward and no matter our circumstances, we may all seek to reach the sky eventually. My odd perspective follows. Surrounded by a landscape of such fascinating natural beauty, most ride interchange-

able vehicles to their next seemingly all-important destination. The journey has been forgotten. Convenience fosters ease of attaining the result. But it is in the action performed that we learn and grow most, not its completion. There is more to the mind than the little section governing the spoken internal voice. Much that we observe becomes memory, although we may not consciously register it at the time. The sensation of nature is a kindness to the eternal witness hidden within each of us. Here, of all places, we are blessed by wild splendor of a sort beyond boring unbroken fields and endless buildings. My homelessness, thankfully, clarifies what is necessity and what is superficial. For me, to find bliss in the squalor of poverty allows contentment in all states of higher comfort I may ever experience. All things are relative. A child raised to be happy with nothing appreciates much more of

what they obtain than one who has always had everything. My exposure to this is better having just turned 24, than in my elder years. What we find normal is a changeable point on an infinite scale, and the scale is kept throughout life. Max DeGroot North Bend

Criminals are the problem, not guns

Two days after the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, there was an incident in San Antonio that could have ended up as yet another tragedy. But it did not. It was not a lead story on the national networks either because the mainstream media would rather focus our attention on guns being the reason for what happened in Connecticut. They only report shootings by criminals, not stories where a gun was used in self-defense. See LETTERS, Page 5

Home Country

One day, all mysteries will be solved There were two little boys down at the Doughnut Hole Café the other day, standing outside, just waiting. They didn’t have long to wait. The Greyhound bus pulls up just about 1 each afternoon, give or take a little. When the bus pulled up and parked and the brakes went whoosh, those two little boys had eyes like saucers. They took in everything, from the mud on the tires to the snow clinging to the mud flaps. The driver stepped down and helped her passengers out, proudly wearing the Greyhound uniform. She had pride in her eyes, too, as we all know how that mountain can get when it’s snowing. It’s always been that way. There have always been little guys watching and wondering as the people get off for their lunch stop. Where are these people from? What was it like up on the mountain? I wonder if I could drive the bus someday when I’m grown. When we’re small, our world and our view of it tends to be smaller as well. The exotic places of the world — to an 8-year-old — aren’t Singapore or Nairobi or Calcutta. The exotic places tend more toward Smithfield and Riverbank and Oakdale

and Cottage Grove. At 8 years old, the world’s horizon is Thompson Ridge, rather than the Pacific Slim Randles Ocean. But Columnist that doesn’t make the world any less fascinating. Those little boys knew that, after lunch, those people would get back on that bus (they even have a restroom on the bus, you know) and they would go out of town in a diesel rush and cross the bridge on Lewis Creek and then disappear. But

they know that bus will be going right past their grandparents’ house in about two hours. They asked and they know. The people on that bus might be able to look out and see Grandpa’s dog Sadie as the bus goes by. I wonder what Sadie’s doing right now? If I were on that bus right now, I could get off there and see. And someday I will. Someday I’ll get on and ride and I’ll know what’s out there. I’ll know… Brought to you by Slim’s award-winning book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at www.nmsantos.com/Slim/Slim. html.

Write to us Snovalley Star welcomes letters to the editor about any subject, although we reserve the right to edit for space, length, potential libel, clarity or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words or less and type them, if possible. Email is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Send them by Friday of each week to:

snovalley star

P.O. Box 1328 q Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 q Email: editor@snovalleystar.com


Opinion

PAGE 4

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

Editorial

Letters

More questions than answers about homeless

Thank you to voters for passing levy

We are impressed by the compassionate gathering of folks who are showing up at community meetings about the homeless, organized, in part, by North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner. The focus of these meetings is what can we do to help the homeless in North Bend, in the Snoqualmie Valley really. We’ve heard about the group of chronically homeless who live in the woods by our rivers, but we also learned about people who live in their vehicles and call the Safeway parking lot in North Bend home; and the people who live in campers and tents all year long in Fall City; and teenagers who’ve been kicked out of the house and live under bridges, or on friends’ couches if they’re lucky. But when you get 30 people together to find a solution, a lot of questions come up that are hard to answer. Where will we put them? Will it just be for winter or year round? Should a shelter be open all evening or 24/7? Will there be case managers on hand to help with services like mental illness, health issues, job placement and transitional housing needs? Will we provide food or showers? Who will staff a shelter and train volunteers? Are we going to turn away people who are drunk or who have criminal records? How are we going to pay for this? But the people who come to these meetings have not been deterred by all the questions. They are answer people. Being homeless is no fun, but being homeless in the winter can be a matter of life and death. And as one woman at the meeting said, “You don’t want that to happen here. It changes a community.” The community can’t turn its back on the problem when a life is at stake. Organizers and community members are trying to find a warm, dry place for the homeless in order to save lives. It’s a simple yet complex concept, and we hope they succeed.

WEEKLY POLL How do you feel about the redrawing of middle school boundaries? A. They pushed it on us, like they pushed the freshman learning center. B. They seem fair. We have to learn to adapt. C. I disagree with the final decision, but I respect the process. D. None of this is fair. Vote online at www.snovalleystar.com.

Deborah Berto

Publisher

Kathleen R. Merrill

Managing editor

Michele Mihalovich

Editor

Nathan Laursen Advertising manager Sebastian Moraga

Published by

ISSAQUAH PRESS, INC. P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 Phone: 392-6434 Fax: 392-1695

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We would like to thank Snoqualmie voters for passing city of Snoqualmie Proposition 1, the Public Safety Operations, Streets and Parks Maintenance Levy. Approval of this levy was critical to support current levels of public safety in Snoqualmie, maintenance of the city’s parks and trails system, and maintenance of safe streets. Your yes vote will ensure that all Snoqualmie citizens continue to benefit from these services and enjoy the high quality of life our community has built. Jim Schaffer, Chelley Patterson and Dave Battey Co-chairs, Keep Snoqualmie Safe Committee

cougar attacks and burglaries on the trail. I suggested to my friend that he should reevaluate his perception of what is a real threat, and what is “threatening looking.” Additionally, I suggested that the gentleman rescue a dog and assimilate it into our semi-country community, rather than be an antagonist. Howard W. Clark North Bend

Share your views

Citizens can make a difference by contacting their elected representatives.

Federal

Real threats are out there A friend of mine relayed a story about a gentleman who had a concern with “threateninglooking dogs” “off leash” on local trails the other day. No attack mentioned, just that the dogs were threatening looking. I am a newcomer to the Valley. I have only lived here for 13 years. I use various trails and mountains in the area, on an almost daily basis. I have never been threatened, or seen any threatening-looking dogs on these trails. I have, however, been threatened by a man with a machete, and seen coyotes and bears on the trails. I have read about murderers, escaped convicts,

President Barack Obama (D), The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500; 202-456-1414; president@whitehouse.gov U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), 511 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20510; 202-224-3441; http://cantwell.senate.gov; 915 Second Ave., Suite 512, Seattle, WA 98174; 206220-6400 U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D), 173 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; 202224-2621; http://murray.senate.gov; Jackson Federal Building, Room 2988, 915 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98174; 206-553-5545

Home Country

Play it smart and you will keep it safe Coffee always tastes perfect before daylight on the opening day of deer season, Dud Campbell thought as he sat in near-total darkness in his kitchen. He was being extra quiet so as not to awaken Anita. Turning on a flashlight on the kitchen counter, he wrote: Honey, I’ll be up Pine Canyon, hunting up a feeder creek 1.4 miles to the right. The truck will be at the campground. Doc and Steve both know the area I’m hunting. I’ll be back no later than 10 p.m. unless I call. An hour later, Dud quietly got out of the pickup and left a note under the windshield wiper: Hunting to the west between here and the ridge. Should be back here no later than 9 p.m. Dud Campbell Dud was sitting on a rock outcropping as the sun rose, feeling the warmth spread from inside out as another great day of anticipation came. He smiled, and then prayed. He always did during hunting season. His prayer wasn’t wishing for success, but simply expressing gratitude for this special time. This was the success. Sitting here

in the sun, hunting yet another year. An actual deer for the freezer is simply gravy on this feast. After lunch, Dud decided to try a different location, so he returned to the pickup and left a difSlim Randles ferent note. Columnist He got home about 9 p.m. and raved to Anita about the wonders of the day in the woods. “You left me that note, Dud,” she said, “but I don’t even know where that is.”

“No. But the sheriff’s department does, and search and rescue knows, and both Doc and Steve know.” She still looked puzzled. “You’re a good outdoorsman, though, aren’t you?” “Well, yes I am. That’s why I left the notes. Anyone can twist an ankle or fall up there.” He smiled at her. “Hunters have an old saying, Honey. If you take crutches with you, you’ll never break a leg.” Brought to you by the national award-winning book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Read a free sample at www.slimrandles.com.

Write to us Snovalley Star welcomes letters to the editor about any subject, although we reserve the right to edit for space, length, potential libel, clarity or political relevance. Letters addressing local news will receive priority. Please limit letters to 350 words or less and type them, if possible. Email is preferred. Letters must be signed and have a daytime phone number to verify authorship. Send them by Friday of each week to:

snovalley star

P.O. Box 1328 q Issaquah, WA 98027 Fax: 391-1541 q Email: editor@snovalleystar.com


PAGE 6

community

AUGUST 2, 2012

Snoqualmie supermarket is launching pad for phone app By Sebastian Moraga To math wizards, 3.14 equals pi. To computer wiz Aaron Roberts, pie equals inspiration. Standing in a checkout line at Costco the day before Thanksgiving 2010, Roberts looked at the serpentine queue in front of him, looked at the two huge pumpkin pies in his cart and thought there had to be a better, quicker way to get the pies to his wife. Enter QThru, a phone application coupled with an in-store kiosk that allows shoppers to scan products as they shop. “It’s a downloadable application for smartphones,” Roberts said of his invention. “If you download it, you enter your credit card information by scanning the credit card. Then you enter the CVV number, once that’s entered they can begin to shop.” The CVV number is a card security code located in the back of credit and debit cards. After entering the CVV, customers may scan products as they shop. If they decide they don’t want to buy the item after all, they swipe again and delete it. They may also drop an item quantity down to a zero. For alcohol purchases, the application suspends approving the purchase until an attendant verifies age. Once he or she does, the attendant enters a separate barcode, which approves the transaction. For products that don’t have a scanable code

By Sebastian Moraga

QThru, a downloadable application that scans products as you shop, is being tested at the IGA supermarket on Snoqualmie Ridge. Computer expert Aaron Roberts developed the idea to help customers avoid long lines at check stands. on them, like produce, shoppers may print a separate barcode at another kiosk, Roberts said. When they finish, Roberts said, they check out at a kiosk by entering a personal identification number that secures the credit card information. After scanning a quick-response code (also known as a QR code), their

card gets charged. An attendant then compares their receipt with what they carry, the way they do at Costco exits, and then the customer goes home. He added that the product is still in its pilot stages. “We will remain in a beta period for the next few months and will open it up to general

availability,” he wrote in a subsequent email. The application is available to some smart phones like iOS for Apple, but not for Android yet. The application is free, but the stores are still testing the feedback they get from consumers. “We have had lots of customers asking about it, since the kiosk

is right up front,” said Jessica Brookman, manager of the IGA supermarket in the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood. “Everyone is wondering what’s going on.” QThru, Brookman said, has selected people in the area who have shown interest in the application. It’s not available for customers yet. “We’re making sure all the kinks are worked out,” she said. Brookman said she did not think the QThru application meant a threat to the livelihood of checkstand cashiers. “There’s always going to be people who want to go through the line,” she said. “There’s always the comfort of dealing with a live person. There’s also people who want to get in and out, and that’s who this application is for.” Roberts praised Snoqualmie’s IGA store owner Tyler Myers for his willingness to try out QThru. “The toughest part is getting people to believe in the idea, to embrace the idea,” Roberts said. “We were lucky to find the owner of the IGA supermarket on Snoqualmie Ridge. Lots of grocery owners are risk-averse.” The store’s size, its proximity to many users of mobile technology and the owner’s willingness to try the application made Snoqualmie a prime location, Roberts said. The goal is to make QThru a pivotal part of a more complete shopping experience, he added, teaching shoppers about nutriSee APP, Page 7

Valley group fights to help feed and shelter homeless people By Sebastian Moraga All it takes is two words and Patricia’s heart cringes. The words are as harmless as they come, but they remind her, a grown woman not using her real name, of her situation. She’s homeless. So when people she meets during the colder months tell her to stay warm, “it hits me right in the heart,” she said. “I don’t know what they should say instead, what I do know is I see my brothers and sisters out there in the cold,” she said. Homeless for months. Janie has struggled to make ends meet. Starting in 2011 she lived in downtown Seattle homeless shelters for a year after she lost her job. Her homes have included the YWCA, the Union Gospel Mission, Share Wheel and the Snoqualmie Valley’s River Outreach. She has found help through the River Outreach, which fights

homelessness in the Valley. To the outreach’s Brian Busby, the question of what Jesus would do does not belong on a wristband. In fact, it’s not a question at all for him. “For us, it’s about Christ, No. 1,” he said. “Jesus told us we should love God and love others, and this is the way we do it.” Busby has spearheaded the outreach’s search for toiletries, clothes and food for homeless people for months. “It’s been amazing to see God’s work,” he said. The work continues from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 4 with a free barbecue for customers of the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank. It will give those in need a chance for a free meal, Busby said. He added that he knows that eradicating homelessness in the world is a nearly impossible task. He said that’s not his goal. Changing one person’s life would be gratifying enough, he

added. Sometimes, homeless people appear in his neighborhood near the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Their presence made his commitment more urgent, he said. “I can’t really sit in my home, when it’s right underneath my nose,” he said. The homeless population fluctuates in the Valley, given its nomadic nature, so it’s hard to know if the work is making an impact. “They may be passing through, they may be resident homeless people, they may have just lost their jobs,” he said. “We don’t get specifics. If there’s a need and it looks justified, that’s what we do.” Owen Rooney helps the outreach discern whose needs are real, Busby said. “Some of these guys are rough customers, some of them are legit, some of them just take the stuff and sell it,” Rooney said. “That’s where it’s been a

bit of a challenge to be not judgmental.” As time goes by and faces become more familiar, the outreach tries to establish trust with its visitors. That trust needs to expand into the community, Busby added. “People might be a little bit uptight about helping someone who is on drugs or someone who might not need it,” he said. “My thought is, ‘If they are cold and they need a coat, let’s give them a coat. If they are drunk, let’s come back later and talk to them, and maybe steer them in the right direction.’” Patricia agreed. “We are human,” she said. “We do judge.” More so in the Valley than in Seattle, she added. Sometimes that steering in the right direction never happens. Most homeless keep moving, if they are not from the area, so there’s no time to establish a relationship.

Furthermore, there’s only so much a church, a police beat, a community or an outreach like his can do on its own, Busby said. Change happens when everyone does a little bit. “Homelessness is solved when people stop looking the other way,” he said, or stop at offering comments like stay warm. “You know you need more than that,” Busby told Patricia, and she agreed. “Is that selfish? Absolutely,” she said, her voice breaking. “But I’m scared to go out into beautiful North Bend and sleep on the bench across the street, ‘cause it’s cold and dangerous out here nowadays.” On the other hand, people’s generosity makes it easy to remain hopeful. “It’s been a blessing for me to see God provide these items,” Busby said. “I barely have to ask and these things just come in. This tells me we are doing good and it’s the right thing to do.”

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