• Multi-million dollar homes • Home-brewed beer hobbyists • Get lost among the floral & fauna • North vs. South Sammamish — the ties that bind • The buzz about bees is good business
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TABLE OF CONTENTS THE CITY Pricey properties — Take a look inside one of the highest value homes in Sammamish, and get the rundown on other high-end properties. Page 12 North vs. South — 10 years ago, the city seemed poised to split into parts of Redmond and Issaquah. Has it made a move toward being more unified? Page 40 Businesses soldier on — Local businesses find community and customer service help them fight through the recession. Page 52 THE RESIDENTS Hindi Community — As Sammamish
draws more people of Indian descent, what are they doing to hold on to their language and culture. Page 18 Religious diversity — Step inside local houses of worship and find out about the tapestry of Sammamish faiths. Page 44 PASTIMES Clubs — want to get out more? Here’s some local clubs that cater to almost every interest under the sun. Page 24 Homebrewing — Those green leafy buds are hops, and some neighbors can turn them into mouthwatering brews. Page 28
Adver tising manager
Dan Catchpole Warren Kagarise Tim Pfarr Laura Geggel Christopher Huber Caleb Heeringa Sebastian Moraga
Adver tising staff Vickie Singsaas Neil Buchsbaum Michelle Comeau
Pa g e 5 p h o t o Christopher Huber
Breann Getty Dona Mokin
C ov e r d e s i g n Dona Mokin
P h o t o g r a p hy Pa g e d e s i g n David Hayes
C ov e r p h o t o Carol Nadalin
Greg Farrar Laura Geggel Christopher Huber
Printing Rotary Offset Press
Bee sellers — Sammamish is home to one of the largest mason bee distributors in the nation. The superb pollinators rarely sting and are easily kept. Page 34 RECREATION Take a hike — Sammamish has a number of good, easily accessible trails within the city limits. Page 6 Calendar — What’s happening when? Page 50 Soccer in Sammamish — Other sports are around, but soccer is still one of the most popular among the city’s youth. Page 58
A SPECIAL SECTION OF
SAMMAMISH REVIEW 45 Front St. S. P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, WA 98027 392-6434 Fax: 391-1541 www.sammamishreview.com
By Tim Pfarr
A whopping 12 miles of trails makes Soaring Eagle Park a playground for anybody who likes to find themselves out in the middle of the woods.
Into the wild countryside Residents need only leave the beaten paths of the city to find recreation and beauty awaiting along local trails
By Larry Petersen
Photographer Frank Blau takes a photo while leading a trail walk through Beaver Lake Park in 2010.
7 BY TIM PFARR
unlight filters through evergreen branches on a summer afternoon while birds sing as they flutter from tree to tree. Rain patters ferns on a winter evening, leading to overnight snow that drapes tree limbs in white. In Sammamish, this wilderness is just over the back fence, and the city’s trails create a playground for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and those who just want to explore. Regardless of what you’re looking to do, there is sure to be a trail well suited to the activity.
One park fits all Beaver Lake Park, at the southwest corner of Beaver Lake, is an ideal place for picnics, swimming, private parties, an off-leash dog area and baseball games. For those who prefer an adventure, the park further shows its versatility, with trails snaking through its 54 acres of forest. These trails have a wide main path great for running, mountain biking and horseback riding. They also include narrower, more remote trails for those who want to venture deeper into the woods.
Trillium is a common sight along the trails in the spring, and those who listen carefully may hear owls hoot from the forest. The trails are fairly flat, with only gentle ups and downs. The trail also skirts past Long Lake in the southeast corner of the park. Beaver Lake Park is open from dawn until dusk, with parking on Southeast 24th Street near the lodge and on 244th Avenue Southeast near the baseball fields. The trailhead off Southeast 24th Street is just south of the covered picnic area, and the trailhead off 244th Avenue Southeast is just east of the baseball fields. These trails are among the most accessible in the city. The main trail through the park also hosts the popular haunted forest portion of Nightmare at Beaver Lake each October.
One step further into the wilderness To get a little deeper into the woods, continue east past Beaver Lake Park on Southeast 24th Street, and follow the road as it turns into West Beaver Lake Drive
Continued on Page 8
Sammamish Walks To find more information on these and other city trails, go to www.sammamishwalks.org. Sammamish Parks Commissioners Judy Petersen and Rena Brady founded the site, and thanks to help from website programmer Sunita Dublish, it contains maps for many of the city’s trails, as well as photos, links to related websites and lists of upcoming free guided trail walks. “The hope is to get people out there,” Brady said. Volunteers lead guided trail walks from April to October, using their specific expertise as the focus of the trip. Walks always start at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and they typically last one-and-a-half to two hours. Dogs are not allowed. Sign up for a trail walk on the city’s website, www.ci.sammamish.wa.us. Click “events,” and the date of the walk you wish to attend. Space is limited for each walk. Upcoming Trail Walk schedule ❑ April 30: Beaver Lake Park ❑ May 21: Pine Lake Park ❑ June 18: Beaver Lake Preserve ❑ July 16: Soaring Eagle Park ❑ Aug. 20: Grand Ridge Trail ❑ Sept. 17: Beaver Lake Park (a focus on photography) ❑ Oct. 15: Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve
By Tim Pfarr
Evergreen trees keep the forest floor mostly shaded in Beaver Lake Park.
From Page 7
By Tim Pfarr
Trails inside the Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve are lined with moss and ferns. The scenery is similar to that on the Olympic Peninsula.
Southeast. One mile down the road, the trailhead for the Beaver Lake Preserve trail is on the left. This trail is a 1.2-mile foot-traffic-only loop that takes users into the dense 67-acre wildlife preserve that boasts towering western red cedars and Douglas firs. The trail crosses West Beaver Lake Drive Southeast twice, taking walkers and joggers to a picnic meadow near the lake. On the north end of the loop, keep an eye out for northern red-legged frogs swimming through the nearby bogs. Also watch for birds — such as olive-sided flycatchers and willow flycatchers — as well as bald eagles and barred owls. Sammamish Parks Commissioner Judy Petersen said the Beaver Lake Preserve trail is one of her favorites in the city, and one she likes to visit with her dog. “You definitely get more lost in there, feeling like you’re lost in nature,” she said, comparing the
By Tim Pfarr
A marsh lies at the heart of the Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve, and the walking trail skirts just feet from the water. preserve to the nearby Beaver Lake Park. The trail connects to Soaring Eagle Regional Park and Hazel Wolf Wetlands on the north end of the loop. Soaring Eagle, although just outside city limits, contains perhaps the most remote trail system in the Sammamish area. The park contains 12 miles of trails that twist through more than 600 acres of forest. The trails create loops and intersect with each other, creating a spider web of paths that allow
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9 Eagle are prone to seeing deer and occasionally bobcats. While those on foot can access the park from the Beaver Lake Preserve, those on horseback or bikes must access the park via the trailhead at the end of East Main Drive, just past The Plateau Club.
For the sightseers By Larry Petersen
Keep an eye out for frogs in the marshy Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve. They often plop through the lily pads. walkers, runners, bikers and horseback riders to make their own routes. Those who enter Soaring Eagle used to do so at the risk of getting lost in the maze of trails, but each intersection now contains a trail map, allowing users to travel as deep as they please without leaving trails of bread crumbs to find their way back. “You can walk in there for days and days and not cover them all,” Petersen said. Those who venture into Soaring
Those who prefer to visit the most scenic trails should be sure to check out the Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve and the Illahee Trail. Nestled between the Windsor Greens neighborhood and the rolling hills of the Plateau Club’s golf course, the 116-acre Hazel Wolf Wetlands take trail-goers to a seemingly hidden oasis filled with wildlife and moss-coated trees. “There are lot of people I’ve realized who live very close and have never stepped a foot in there,” Petersen said. “You just feel like you’re lost when you get in there. You feel like you’ve left civilization.”
Continued on Page 10
By Tim Pfarr
Trails in Soaring Eagle Park often pass over streams, which curve between trees before twisting out of sight.
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From Page 9 The trail loops around a central marsh, with entrances at Windsor Greens to the west, East Main Drive to the north and the Beaver Lake Preserve to the south. No bikes or running is allowed in the preserve, and dogs must be kept on a short leash on the main trail. However, dogs are prohibited on Ann’s Walking Trail, which makes up the inside loop in the preserve. “Enjoy nature, listen to the birds,” Sammamish Parks Commissioner Rena Brady said about Hazel Wolf. “See what birds you can find.” Hazel Wolf also hosts projects for students in advanced biology courses at nearby Skyline High School. During the last three years, students have installed more than a dozen wood duck boxes in the preserve’s trees — for wood ducks to make their nests — as well as numerous wildlife cameras. The Cascade Land Conservancy owns the property, and its stewards
By Larry Petersen
Above, trillium is a common sight along the Beaver Lake Park trails, especially in the springtime. At right, the wide, accessible trails in Beaver Lake Park make it a great place for walking, running, biking, or horseback riding. work with the students. For steward Elsa Sargent, making the trip to the preserve is a scenic adventure. “Every time I come out, I try to see a new corner of this property,” she said. To access the trails from Windsor Greens, park in the semicircular parking lot on 248th Avenue Southeast just north of Southeast 14th Street.
By Tim Pfarr
The Illahee Trail, just north of Northeast 8th Street, circles around Llama Lake. The surrounding area is a large meadow and a great place to spot migrating birds. The trail is a half-mile, paved, and accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
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One of the Henkels’ dogs stands in Lake Sammamish on the family’s dock, partially submerged during the winter. Betsey Henkel said she appreciates the peacefulness of the lake.
Living large in Sammamish Take a look inside one of the highest value homes in Sammamish
BY DAN CATCHPOLE
A house is a person’s castle, but it can be the personal touches that make it feel like home. That is why Betsy and Bing Henkel jumped at the chance to design their own home. Betsy, a graphic artist, immersed herself in the project’s details. It is that thoroughness that contributes to the Henkels’ house having one of Sammamish’s highest property values. Nine of the top 10 homes in terms of property values line Lake Sammamish, according to the King County Department of Assessments. No. 10 is on Pine
Lake. The highest value home, on Weber Point, is assessed at $7.5 million. Although they come in at No. 8 in the top 10 ($3.5 million), to the Henkels their house is just their home, where they live with their two children and two dogs. “I like looking at the lake from my kitchen sink while I’m doing the dishes,” Betsy said. She enjoys the water’s peacefulness. Water has played an important role in the Henkels’ lives. Bing is a retired commercial crab boat captain. He and his boat, C/V Erla-N, appeared on the pilot episode of
Continued on Page 14
Top five homes in Sammamish
Source and photos by King County Department of Assessments
1 — 3400 block of East Lake Sammamish Lane Northeast Assessed value: $7.531 million Highest assessed value: $8.5 million (2008) Property tax bill 2011: $81,149.56 Year built: 1991 Square feet: 7,060 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms 4.5 Lot size: 55,287 Extras: pool, helipad, dock
2 — 4100 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast Assessed value: $5.219 million Highest assessed value: $5.891 million (2008) Property tax bill 2011: $63,531.07 Year built: 1991 Square feet: 5,880 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms 4.25 Lot size: 38,987 Extras: dock
3 — 3400 block of East Lake Sammamish Lane Northeast Assessed value: $4.358 million Highest assessed value: $4.982 million (2008) Property tax bill 2011: $47,027.55 Year built: 2006 Square feet: 8,320 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 4.5 Lot size: 22,258 Extras: dock
4 — 3600 block of East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane Northeast Assessed value: $4.120 million Highest assessed value: $4.785 million (2007) Property tax bill 2011: $50,186.91 Year built: 2002 Square feet: 9,150 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 5.25 Lot size: 18,997 Extras: dock
5 — 800 block of East Lake Sammamish Shore Lane Southeast Assessed value: $3.9 million Highest assessed value: $4.509 million (2008) Property tax bill 2011: $47,515.83 Year built: 2005 Square feet: 6,290 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4.5 Lot size: 29,142 Extras: dock, hot tub
Above, the soaring grand staircase at the Henkels home. At left, For many people, the kitchen is the heart of a home. The Henkels took special care in designing their kitchen with quality cooking implements, such as the stove and range, and views. Betsy Henkel enjoys looking at the lake from the kitchen.
From Page 12 Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. A painting of the red-hulled boat hangs on the wall in the living room, which has a soaring cathedral ceiling. The water theme continues on the room’s floor, where Betsy designed an inlaid-tile mosaic of a mariner’s compass. Bing’s wood-paneled office is designed around a giant, antique ship’s wheel and on the nearby shelves is a photo of the Erla-N and
trophies his children have won. Living on the lake offers an amount of privacy, but the Henkels didn’t want to be too secluded, and they appreciate the Lake Sammamish Trail, which runs beside their property. The mix — lake and trail — offer a combination of privacy and neighborhood that can be hard to find. The couple moved to the Sammamish Plateau in 1998, and saw the area quickly fill in. Since incorporating in 1999, Sammamish has cemented itself high on the list of median home
prices in the state. In 2010, the median home value was $495,000, compared to $337,000 for King County. The statewide median is about $248,000. Like the rest of the county, the median value of homes in Sammamish has declined in recent years. The 2011 median value, which is based on sales prices in 2010, is down 15.7 percent from 2009, according Iris Hoffner, director of the accounting division at the Department of Assessments. That compares to a countywide 17.8 percent drop during the same
Designing their home allowed the Henkels to personalize it. Betsy Henkel, a graphic designer, threw herself into the work, adding highlights such as the mariner’s compass in the sitting room. The compass is also a nod to her husband, Bing, who made his living in crab fishing. Contributed
period. Actual market values are down more, though, said Cary Porter, a realtor with The Cascade Team. Prices are typically down around 2003 levels due to short sales, he said. That is when the homeowner cannot make the mortgage payment, and the lender agrees to sell the house at a moderate loss, rather than foreclose. High-end properties have been especially hard hit by short sales, Porter said. The Henkels weren’t thinking about property values when they moved here from Seattle, though. They were thinking about schools. Their oldest child was approaching kindergarten, and they wanted to ensure he went to a good neighborhood school. Contrary to the old adage, “location, location, location,” a home’s value depends on more than simply its location. But the address is still usually the largest factor. Myriad factors influence value: quality of construction and materi-
Continued on Page 16
The centerpiece of Bing Henkel's office is a massive ship's wheel, a tribute to his career as a crab fisherman.
From Page 15 als, finishing details, layout and onsite features, to name a few. Quality is key, Porter said. “You can tell the difference when you walk in.” A home built with lower-end materials and skill results in such problems as drawers that don’t close smoothly or flush. Liveable space is another key, Porter added. Any house can have large square footage, but is it liveable? Is there smooth flow between the kitchen, living room and dining room? That is one reason the Henkels built their current home. Their previous one, which they had designed as also, had lots of space that wasn’t very functional. They made beginner’s mistakes, Betsy said. “Of course, you see all the mistakes you made the first time.”
While Lake Sammamish’s water may be cold, the Henkels can enjoy a warm sauna (below).
By Christopher Huber
Manju Upadhyaya, leader of the Sammamish Library’s Hindi Story Time program (left) tickles a girl while they play a game, practicing words in English and Hindi.
LANGUAGE LESSONS Sammamish residents keep their Indian culture alive by teaching Hindi
BY CHRISTOPHER HUBER
Growing up in Bombay, India, Bansri Bhatt was required to learn Hindi in school, in addition to English and her first language, Gujarati. At home in Sammamish, she and her family speak Gujarati. Like many, she can speak Hindi fluently, but her command of reading and writing in Hindi has diminished since about the 10th grade. “It’s not my preferred language (for reading and writing),” Bhatt
said. But because Hindi is more commonly spoken and used at Indian ceremonies and festivals around Sammamish, she, her daughters and their friends are all trying to improve their speaking, reading and writing skills, she said. “Hindi is pretty popular,” Bhatt said. Throughout American history, new immigrant groups have arrived and tried, with varying degrees of
Continued on Page 20
Other ways a heritage is preserved When Arun Lakshmanan immigrated to the U.S. in 1994, like many, he came for a job, he said. While not many Indians had yet come to America, he said he made a concerted effort to blend into American culture such as wearing the same clothing. As more Indians immigrated here, and as he assimilated even more, he actually found himself and much of the Indian community seeking ways to better preserve their heritage amid life in the U.S., rather than lose it altogether. Although he and other Sammamish families now consider themselves American, Lakshmanan said they feel less inclined to always dress “American” and tend to bring out their traditional Indian garb for the frequent festivals and other occasions. The culture has been so well preserved here, he said, that it’s actually a culture shock to return to an increasingly Westernized India for vacation. “Our memory is suspended in time when it comes to our culture, but India has actually progressed beyond our imagination,” Lakshmanan said. Among other cultural traditions maintained, he said, are: some Indian-Americans still have arranged marriages and they have easy access to the typical Indian foods (at stores in Redmond and Bellevue), with an occasional dish substituting certain fruits or vegetables for ones not available in the U.S. Within Lakshmanan’s circle of friends, about half of the families have both parents working, and most tend to have two children, about on par with the average American family. He has also noticed that many tend to stay. Whereas in 1994, most Indians were coming here on
By Christopher Huber
Skyline High School freshman Prabha Dublish performs an ‘East-meetsWest’ Indian dance during the school’s World Exposition event March 30. student or business visas, Lakshmanan said it seems more now move to the U.S. on work permits or green cards and eventually work to gain citizenship. “In Sammamish there is good
awareness of the Indian culture. I feel people in the Northwest are very friendly. It makes it easier to assimilate,” he said. “It goes both ways, and I feel people here are more accommodating.”
From Page 18
By Christopher Huber
Sachi Bhatt, a fourth-grader at Carson Elementary, writes ‘fire’ in Hindi and English at the Vedic Cultural Center March 18.
success, to hold on to the culture of their homeland. That paradigm is now playing out in Sammamish. As the Indian population in Sammamish grows, so do efforts to help preserve the culture and language. Although India is home to hundreds of languages, Hindi is the official language of India and is spoken by about 500 million people worldwide. Within India, Hindi is most commonly spoken in major metropolitan centers like Bombay, Delhi and Hyderabad, said Bhatt, who has lived in the U.S. since 1994. It’s also the primary language of Bollywood, India’s pop-culture film factory. In Sammamish, signs of the increased effort to teach the younger generation include the growing attendance at the Sammamish Library’s Hindi Story Time, as well as steady enrollment at the Vedic Cultural Center’s weekly Hindi classes.
Hindi Story Time at Sammamish Library
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Every Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the library’s spacious conference room, families gather with their young children to hear stories, play games and sing songs in English and Hindi. The program caters to children ages three and up and their parents, and teaches basic vocabulary phrases in Hindi and English by comparing words to using gestures. Program leader Manju Upadhyaya, of Sammamish, reads books in both languages, casually converses, sings songs and leads games with participants, all the while changing between English and Hindi. “Language is important because language is an important part of culture,” Upadhyaya said before Hindi Story Time March 10. “It really helps for them to know there is this. They feel important when they know we offer this.” While not always packed, Hindi
21 Story Time draws about 20-30 people on a good day, Upadhyaya said. She has been running the story time since October. In all, the program has been available to the public since spring 2010, she said. She said she began to see a significant increase in attendance after the two-hour story time session moved from Monday mornings to Tuesday afternoons. “Somehow, I think it’s working out better,” Upadhyaya said.
The VCC influence In addition to the Hindi Story Time event, members of the community volunteer to teach a Hindi language class at the Vedic Cultural Center. Not only do students learn to read, write and speak the language through classroom exercises, but participation in the numerous cultural festivals and religious events at the center help them practice their Hindi — most songs and chants are sung in Hindi, said Bhatt. Sachi Bhatt, a fourth-grader at Carson Elementary, said she is taking Hindi classes at the center so she can better speak the language with her friends. She and her family speaks Gujarati at home and, as with her parents’ generation here, Hindi is the common language among her peers. “All my friends speak it,” Sachi said. Sachi’s Hindi classmate, Shiksha Arun, a fourth-grader at Cascade Ridge, said she can speak it a little better than some. But she wants to improve her reading and writing skills, the two aspects Bansri Bhatt said most Hindi speakers lose the fastest when they move out of India. “I like learning to write Hindi,” Shiksha said. Proximity to those classes, and the other activities at the Vedic Cultural Center has become a draw for some Indian families. “For us, festivals are very important,” Upadhyaya said.
Continued on Page 22
From Page 21 Both Bhatt and Trossachs resident Arun Lakshmanan said the Vedic Cultural Center’s location carried a lot of weight in their family’s decision to move to Sammamish, and in helping them preserve many aspects of Indian culture and heritage. Although English is spoken commonly at the center, the two said Hindi tends to be the default language when speaking casually or in small groups. “It’s natural we start speaking (Hindi),” Bhatt said.
Common phrases English
Hello Namastey Goodbye AlvidÇ Thank you ÂhukriyÇ You’re welcome Kÿ'¥ bÇt nah¥. How are you? Åp kaisï hey? What time is it? Samay kyÇ huÇ hey? How do you say BLANK in Hindi? Hindi may <BLANK> kaise bolte hey? Where is the bathroom? Bathroom kahÇ hey? I love you. May tumhey pyÇr kartÇ hoon. What is your name? ÅpakÇ nÇm kyÇ hey? Source: Sammamish resident Arun Lakshmanan
Preserving the language Lakshmanan said he speaks Hindi with his family. But when they visit India, his wife speaks a totally different language with her parents, he said. One thing that helps their children keep up on their Hindi skills is watching Hindi cartoons and Bollywood movies, Lakshmanan and Bhatt said. They,
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However, in Bhatt’s and Lakshmanan’s experience, their parents’ generation is better at helping their children preserve their Hindi roots. Lakshmanan said since his and his wife’s parents are removed from the English immersion of American culture, they stay fluent and are able to teach the
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23 children when they visit here. “They have just more patience,” Bhatt said. While English and other languages might be used in the home or at work, many in Sammamish acknowledge that Hindi is, and will likely be, the language that keeps Indian culture alive and well on the plateau and around the country. “Hindi is our common link,” Lakshmanan said. “Hindi is the core of our culture. No matter how good or bad, we speak it.” Aditi Bhatt, a Carson Elementary sixth-grader, demonstrates how to pronounce certain characters in Hindi. By Christopher Huber
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The High Valley Riders sport colorful, coordinated outfits when they ride in competition.
Popular Sammamish club saddles up for team riding competitions The High Valley Riders is a ladies equestrian team based in Sammamish. The women practice drill team riding, which involves a group of horses and their riders performing well-rehearsed routines to music. Drill riding can be just for show, or for competition, and the High Valley Riders do both. The routines
usually last between four and 12 minutes The group is among the best in the state and, in 2010, won the Washington Ladies Riding Club Association freestyle competition. Team members vary in experience, and they are open to new members. You must have your own horse, and there are some other
requirements, although any breed or color is acceptable. They hold weekly practices at the Rockmeadow Equestrian Center in Sammamish throughout the winter, and move to the bridle trails area in Kirkland in the spring. For more information about the group, upcoming events or join, go to www.highvalleyriders.com.
Discover what other Sammamish clubs offer Civic/Community ❖ Beaver Lake Community Club meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday at the Lodge at Beaver Lake Park, 25201 S.E. 24th St. ❖ The Cascade Republican Women’s Club meets at 11:30 a.m the third Wednesday (except July and August) at the Sammamish Plateau Club, 25625 E. Plateau Drive. Call 788-2028.
❖ Friends of the Sammamish Library meets monthly in the library meeting room. Visit www.sammamishlibraryfriends.org. ❖ Lake Sammamish Elks Lodge No. 1843 meets at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday at 765 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah. Call 392-1400. ❖ Moms Club of the Sammamish plateau has weekly activities, including age specific playgroups, and monthly meetings,
coffee mornings, mom’s nights out, craft club and local area outings. Visit www.momsclubsammamish.org or call 836-5015. ❖ Moms in Touch prayer groups meet for one hour each week. Visit www.MomsInTouch.org. ❖ Mothers & More of Sammamish and Redmond has play groups, mother’s night out, book club, movie night, family night and family events. Go to
meets from 7:15-8:30 a.m. Thursdays for breakfast at Bellewood Retirement Apartments, 3710 Providence Point Drive S.E. Visit www.sammamishrotary.org. ❖ Sammamish Chamber of Commerce meets at 11:30 a.m. the third Thursday (January through November) at the Plateau Club, 25625 E. Plateau Drive. Visit www.sammamishchamber.org. ❖ Sammamish Citizen Corps holds a refresher/advanced training class for CERTs on the second Saturday of each month from 9-11 a.m. at Station 82. The Citizen Corps, a volunteer branch of the Department of Homeland Security, is for those interested in learning more about Disaster Preparedness Education and Training. Visit www.sammamishcitizencorps.org. ❖ Youth and Government, teaching democratic values and skills to students in grades nine to 12, meets from 5-6 p.m. Mondays at the Sammamish Family YMCA, 4221 228th Ave. S.E. Call 391-4840.
Hobbies Photo courtesy Clark Photography
The High Valley Riders perform a ‘Salute to America’ in a recent competition. http://www.redmondmothersandmore.org ❖ Sammamish Plateau Parent Networking Group usually meets the last Monday of the month at Sahalee Fire Station #82, 1851 228th Ave. N.E. Visit www.pinelakecommunityclub.com. ❖ The Pine Lake Community Club Board usually meets the third Wednesday, with other meetings held as needed. Call 392-4041 or (206) 601-9103. ❖ Sammamish Heritage Society meets regularly. Visit www.iinet.com/~shs. ❖ Toastmasters of Sammamish meets from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Mary, Queen of Peace Church, 1121 228th Ave. S.E. Call 391-4834 or 373-6311. ❖ Foster Parent Support Group meets the last Thursday of each month from 6-8 p.m. at Mary, Queen of Peace Church, 1121 228th Ave. S.E. Earn your training/foster
parent hours. Refreshments and child care are provided. Call 206719-8764.
Service ❖ The Eastlake Junior Orthopedic Guild for Seattle Children’s meets at 2:30 p.m. the third Tuesday at Eastlake High School. Members earn communityservice credit by volunteering at the hospital or working on projects that promote the hospital. ❖ Kiwanis Club of Sammamish meets at 7 a.m. Wednesdays at Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church, 22818 S.E. Eighth St. Visit www.sammamishkiwanis.org. ❖ Kiwanis Club of Providence Point meets at noon Fridays at Bake’s Place at Providence Point. Visitors are welcome. ❖ Rotary Club of Sammamish
❖ Sammamish Garden Club, formerly Morning Glories Garden Club, meets the second Tuesday. Call 836-0421. ❖ Pine Lake Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of each month. Call 836-7810. ❖ Sammamish Saddle Club meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday at Bellewood Retirement Home, 3710 Providence Point Drive S.E. The club hosts a trail ride for horse owners at noon the first Saturday at Section 36/Soaring Eagle Park, Sammamish. Visit www.sammamishsaddleclub.org. ❖ Washington Park Arboretum Unit 74 meets the fourth Friday on the plateau. New members are welcome to meet and study local trees and shrubs. Call 868-4344. ❖ Block Party Quilters Club meets at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Mary, Queen of Peace Church, 1121 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish. Visit www.bpquilters.org.
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Pastimes/Hobbies BY CALEB HEERINGA
Courtesy Steve Suhy
Sammamish resident Steve Suhy stirs his wort, the term for unfermented and unfinished beer. Suhy has brewed seriously for about two and a half years.
Something wicked this way brews Amateur mixologists are stirring up homemade beers
Aroma, finish and mouthfeel are the types of descriptors that used to be saved exclusively for wine. But with the proliferation of microbreweries in recent decades, specifically here in the Pacific Northwest, beer has fast become just as complex and obsessed over as its grape-based cousin. And, with home brewing kits now widely available and the Internet providing a glut of howtos, it takes little more than a garage and a spare afternoon for beer connoisseurs to start making their own brew. Many Sammamish residents are among those that are wading into the rewarding world of homebrewing. For 45-year-old Sammamish resident Steve Suhy, a love of local microbrew Mac & Jack’s Amber Ale and a desire for a new hobby led him to buy a Homebrewing for Dummies book and a beginner’s 5gallon brewing kit, which can be purchased for less than $100. That purchase two and a half years ago sparked a passion that has led to dozens of brews, some of which he’s submitted to local homebrew competitions. “You can do a Google search and find a recipe for just about any (commercially available) beer that is spot on or just about there,” said Suhy, who lives in the Autumn Wind neighborhood. “If I like a beer, I like to find the recipe and put my own little tweaks on it … Maybe change the hop profile around – there’s all kinds of variables you can mess around with.” Once Suhy got a handle on the process, the sky was the limit as far as the types of beer he could make. Among the brews that Suhy has experimented with are a Kona Coffee Stout, a Chocolate Orange Stout and a Brown Ale with woodruff, a fragrant herb used in potpourri and winemaking. The creative aspects of beermaking also appeal to Matt Plude, a 27-year-old Sahalee-area resident who has been brewing for
Courtesy Steve Suhy
Raw ingredients boil to make beer in a large brew pot.
about five years. He, his brother and his father made a beer using smoked hickory wood chips. Plude said he recently tasted a Peanut Butter Stout that has gotten his creative wheels turning, though he’s hoping to brew something comparable to Rogue’s Hazelnut Stout next. “It’s almost a fun little mad scientist kind of thing,” Plude said. “There’s something great about tasting the fruits of your labor, even if it’s a fantastic batch or not.” Plude brews once every few months with his family and said it’s a common interest that has proven to be a good bonding experience with his dad and brother.
“We’ve got a lot of similarities, but we’re all three very different personalities,” Plude said. “It’s been a common thread that we have together – something we can talk about together and do together.” Jon Mendrick, owner of Mountain Homebrew in Kirkland, sells equipment for both beer making and wine making. Mendrick said the popularity of microbrews in the country has led to a resurgence of people wanting to try their hand at making it. He said as long as they follow directions carefully,
Continued on Page 30
Ale — Beers distinguished by use of top fermenting yeast strains, saccharomyces cerevisiae. The top fermenting yeast perform at warmer temperatures than do yeasts used to brew lager beer, and their byproducts are more evident in taste and aroma. Fruitiness and esters are often part of an ale’s character. Bottom-fermenting yeast — One of the two types of yeast used in brewing, bottom-fermenting yeast works well at low temperatures and ferments more sugars. It leaves a crisp, clean taste and then settles to the bottom of the tank. Also referred to as “lager yeast.” Dry-hopping — The addition of dry hops to fermenting or aging beer to increase its hop character or aroma. Hops — Herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavor. IBU — International Bitterness Units. Indicates the bitterness of the hops in a beer. Lager — Beers produced with bottom fermenting yeast strains, saccharomyces uvarum (or carlsbergensis) at colder fermentation temperatures than ales. This cooler environment inhibits the natural production of esters and other byproducts, creating a crisper tasting product. Malt — The process by which barley is steeped in water, germinated, then kilned to convert insoluble starch to soluble substances and sugar. The foundation ingredient of beer. Secondary Fermentation — Stage of fermentation occurring in a closed container from several weeks to several months. Specific gravity — A measure of the density of a liquid or solid compared to that of water. Top-fermenting yeast — One of the two types of yeast used in brewing. Top-fermenting yeast works better at warmer temperatures and are able to tolerate higher alcohol concentrations than bottom-fermenting yeast. It is unable to ferment some sugars, and results in a fruitier, sweeter beer. Also known as “ale yeast.” Source: beeradvocate.com
Courtesy Matt Plude
Sammamish resident Matt Plude (left) pours drinks from the ‘home brewer’ he constructed with his brother Zach Plude (center) and father Leo Plude (right).
From Page 29
Sammamish resident Steve Suhy prepares a table full of raw hops prior to brewing. Courtesy Steve Suhy
most people are successful at brewing their first attempt. “It ebbs and flows – a few years back everyone wanted to make wine,” Mendrick said. “Now people seem to be a little burned out on wine and there’s been more people coming back to beer.” Though it’s a relatively cheap hobby to start, those who brew repeatedly will soon find themselves wanting to upgrade their equipment. Most home brewers start out brewing with malt extract — a storebought syrup containing sugars that have been boiled out of a certain type of grain. Both Suhy and Plude have upgraded to socalled “all grain” brewing, which requires several large kettles that allow a brewer to boil the sugars out of a grain themselves. Plude, with the help of his Boeing engineer father, has gone a step further, investing thousands of dollars in what he calls a “home brewery” — a system of kettles and burners on wheels that allows the Plude family to monitor and control temperatures of 10-gallon batches of beer from beginning to end.
31 Mendrick said repeated brewers often tire of bottling process and find themselves investing in a kegging system, which allows a brewer more control over the level of carbonation in their beer. A simple system can cost about $220. Though Suhy and Plude have had a fair amount of success brewing, they both admit to having been responsible for a few duds over the years. Either an experimental recipe didn’t turn out as expected or they weren’t diligent enough in following the golden rule of brewing – sanitize everything and then sanitize some more. Even the slightest hint of bacteria can propagate and ruin an entire batch. “If you do one thing right the entire day, make sure you sanitize well,” Suhy said. “If something gets contaminated it will ruin your beer and all the time you put into (brewing) will be wasted.” In March, Suhy gathered with dozens of other home brewers and local microbrew companies at the
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Courtesy Matt Plude
The brewing process begins by boiling grain in this custom-made brewing set-up. Exbeerience event at RedHook Brewery in Woodinville. Suhy had submitted four of his beers to a team of judges, who gave out awards at the event. Though he
didn’t place, Suhy was thankful for the feedback he got on his beers. He said this year’s submissions were
Continued on Page 33
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Courtesy Matt Plude
Hop vines grow up the side of Sammamish resident Matt Plude’s home.
From Page 31 just what he happened to have around – next year’s will be specially made and aged just right for the event. The judge’s rankings were not at all what Suhy expected. “The beer I thought would do the best did the worst and the beer that I thought would do the worst did the best,” he said. Suhy’s thankful friends and neighbors, who have a constant flow of new beers from his garage, are kinder judges. With the positive feedback he’s getting and the passion he has for beer making, he admits to having grand dreams for the future. “With the restaurant situation in Sammamish what it is, everyone says I should open up a brew pub,” Suhy said. “In a different economy, if I had access to some venture capital I might think about it.”
By Greg Farrar
Lisa Novich, of Sammamish, holds a â€œbee chaletâ€? nesting house, made in Wyoming under patent to Knox Cellars. The house holds 10 paper liners in each row and can be expanded.
All abuzz about bees Sammamish beekeeper transforms hobby into bustling business
A male orchard mason bee begins to emerge from its cocoon, after growing through embryo, larva and pupa stages inside a Knox Cellars cardboard nester tube. By Greg Farrar
BY WARREN KAGARISE
The buzz, both figurative and literal, in a tree-lined north Sammamish neighborhood is all about bees. Not the honeybees so beloved for providing the amber liquid inside plastic bears on grocery store shelves. Not the bumblebee immortalized in the violin-propelled orchestral piece. Instead, the bees buzzing in the air around Knox Cellars Native Bee Pollinators along a Sammamish street come from a different species altogether: orchard mason bees, a hardy workhorse used to pollinate gardens and orchards throughout Western Washington. The bee evangelist behind the buzz at Knox Cellars is Lisa Novich, a former Weyerhaeuser marketing manager turned bee entrepreneur. “This is a hobby that went out of control,” she said. The hobby started after Novich’s father, Brian Griffin, hoped to increase the yield from some backyard apple trees — “lots of blossoms but no fruit” as she recalled. Then, Griffin came across a Washington State University pamphlet describing mason bees as a reliable — and minimal-fuss — pollinator. “This little pamphlet said just drill some holes in a block of wood and put it out on a sunny wall, and see if you can get a local population going,” Novich said. “He did that, and he had apples that year. As a joke that next Christmas, he cut slices off of this wooden block and gave it to some of his buddies for a Christmas gift. Everyone laughed at him, but lo and behold, the next spring the bees emerged and they had fruit on their fruit trees.” Griffin later put the knowledge into a book to offer a plain-English explanation for home gardeners about mason bees. Until “The Orchard Mason Bee” reached beekeepers and gardeners, only academic papers about mason bees existed. Griffin and Novich started operating Knox Cellars on the Sammamish Plateau more than 20
By Greg Farrar
Two cans, each holding 74 nesting tubes, will fit in a Knox Cellars bee nester shelter. These six-inch tubes have had a number of both male and female eggs laid inside each one, where they became pupae and are ready to emerge as adults. years ago. The father-and-daughter duo toiled side by side for more than a decade, until Griffin retired several years ago. “It’s a family business,” Novich said. “When it’s busy, the kids pack bees, and my husband packs bees and runs the website. The cousins
help work the garden show when we need it.”
Humble and sturdy Orchard mason bees do not reside in a hive and, most crucially,
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From Page 35 do not produce beeswax or honey. The species lacks the queen and hierarchical social structure inherent in honeybee colonies. The bees emerge in the early spring, toil for a short period and then die off in late spring. Meanwhile, eggs fertilized during the brief spring spend the rest of the year gestating into mature bees. Novich is quick to list the benefits of the humble species: “They don’t fly very far. They don’t attack the kids. They don’t freak out the neighbors.” Knox Cellars sells mason bees to customers in Sammamish and Issaquah — including Hayes and Squak Mountain nurseries — and across the United States. The company is a national leader in the mason beekeeping industry. Gardeners can create nesting habitat for the bees in DIY wooden blocks or special plastic containers. Then, the bees handle the rest. “It’s kind of the lazy man’s bee,” Novich said. Unlike the delicate European honeybee, a familiar sight to folks across North America, the orchard mason bee is native to the continent and, therefore, better suited to the climate. The species also flies in cold and rainy conditions, the default climate in the Pacific Northwest. “They make all the difference in getting fruit on those fruit trees around here,” Novich said. Sammamish Plateau resident Linda Hines transformed her yard into a native plant sanctuary and started keeping orchard mason bees from Knox Cellars about a decade ago. “I’m just interested in pollinating without all of the work of honeybees and the problems that they have, I don’t even want to bring those into my yard,” she said.
Survival instinct Hines stashes the maturing bees in the refrigerator during the cold months, and places the bees outside after the Oregon grape starts to
By Greg Farrar
Lisa Novich puts the finishing touch, a Knox Cellars stamped logo, on a wood nester shelter, available in several styles. bloom in early spring. In the spring, mason bees emerge from mud nests and seek out nearby pollen sources. “You want big, fat peasant bees,” Novich said. “You don’t want any of these skinny, little ballerina bees. You want a big, burly girl.” Mating occurs just after the females emerge, and males catch the
still-flightless females. The male bees die not long after mating, and the female bees start collecting pollen to stock in straw-shaped nest cells. “They lay an egg and then they fly off and lay another egg, and then they fly off and lay another egg, and then they die,” Novich said. The female can also determine the gender of the next generation,
37 in order to create the best chance for survival. The mother bees then create a mud barrier to seal off each nest cell. “That’s why they’re called mason bees, because they use mud like bricklayers,” Novich added. In addition to minimal maintenance, orchard mason bees offer another important selling point for gardeners disinclined to keeping the insect. The species is not aggressive or easily provoked.
Bees attract buzz Novich describes mason bees as more mellow than honeybees. “You can be stung by one, but it’s pretty hard,” she said. “I mean, if you get stung by a mason bee, you really deserve it. You have to really, really piss them off. If you sat on one, it might sting you. It’s an absolutely last-ditch operation for them, and it’s a pretty mild sting.” Further separating the species is aesthetics. Orchard mason bees resemble a housefly more than a honeybee. “Every year, I’ll get a call from at least one customer who will be all upset because the bees I sent them, ‘Well, the bees aren’t emerging from those straws, but houseflies are,’” Novich said. Though honeybees remain a more familiar presence than mason bees during the summertime, the mason bees existed in North America long before honeybees. The continent lacks honey-producing bees, except for bumblebees — though that species does not stockpile honey. “Honeybees, which is what we’re all taught about when we grow up, are not even native to North America. They’re all European,” Novich said. “They came to North America with the very first settlers, and the Pilgrims at Plymouth had wine casks full of honeybee colonies.” In the United States, farmers and gardeners occasionally receive a startling reminder about fragile honeybees. “Every time the honeybees go
Continued on Page 38
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From Page 37
A handful of cocoons, from which orchard mason bees are ready to emerge, sit on a paper sheet. The cocoons had been removed from a small paper tube resembling a drinking straw, where they were laid as eggs the previous year.
through a collapse — over the last 20 years, there have been a number of honeybee collapses — every time they go down, there’s a big interest again in the native bees,” Novich said.
Honey fuels trend Brad Jones, Puget Sound Beekeepers Association president, said interest in urban farming and homegrown products has also sparked interest in the 63-year-old group and backyard beekeeping. The association is a honeybee group, although some members keep both honeybees and mason bees. Jones keeps Carniolan and Italian honeybees in a Seattle backyard. The simpler-to-maintain mason bee could someday join the honey-producing bees. “I have all these grand intentions of doing it myself,” he said. “I just have to find the time to build the little blocks and all that.” Jones started keeping bees to
By Greg Farrar
produce honey mead, the ancient alcoholic drink, and tends to numerous honeybees colonies each spring and summer. “I grew up in rural Montana and, living in the city it’s kind of tough sometimes when you’re used to wide-open spaces,” Jones said. “Keeping bees is kind of a connection to more of an agrarian lifestyle in the city.” The observational beehive at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle is
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another agrarian outpost in the city — and a conversation starter, especially since beekeeping started to catch on among urban and suburban gardeners and colony collapse disorder appeared in the headlines. “The No. 1 question is, where’s the queen? And the No. 2 question with an observation hive is, are they trapped? There’s a common perception that they can’t get out or, if they got out, they wouldn’t come back,” said Sarah Moore, the life sciences manager at the science center and the wife of a hobbyist beekeeper. The honeybees do indeed return to the colony at the iconic science center. The teeming beehive is a popular attraction at the science during the spring and summer months. “People are a lot more informed than they have been in the past,” Moore said. “They either know a lot about bees, or at least there’s a general knowledge that the bees need some help; they’re having trouble.” The focus on colony collapse disorder, plus burgeoning organic and urban farming trends, continues to fuel interest in Novich’s business. The longtime beekeeper said the anemic economy also made a difference, as people started to rely more on backyard orchards as a cheap food source. Novich urges gardeners and people considering beekeeping as a hobby to rely on mason bees as a native alternative to the honeybees imported long ago. “Everything in North America got pollinated before honeybees were here,” she said.
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South By Caleb Heeringa
Southeast 8th Street is the unofficial line dividing north and south Sammamish.
Sammamish began as a tale of two cities BY CALEB HEERINGA
In many respects Sammamish’s history is a tale of two cities. Throughout the 1990s, the north end, including Sahalee and Inglewood, had long been considered an eventual annexation target of nearby Redmond. Similarly, it was often assumed that Pine and Beaver lakes and the surrounding developments would end up a part of Issaquah. Though uniting the two halves – and scattered single-family housing developments – into a single city has long been one of the chief goals of city leaders, this north-south divide is still evident in the layout of the city and, to a certain extent, the social circles of its citizens. Safeway and the Sammamish Highlands Shopping Center are the nearest commercial outlet for those that live in the north, while
southerners likely find QFC and the Pine Lake Shopping Center as the closest place to do go shopping or eat out. Political boundaries also divide the city –largely Democratic 45th District state legislators represent several thousand Sammamish residents at the north end of the city, while three Republicans represent the rest of the city through the 5th District. But the boundaries that likely play the largest role in the day-to-day lives of Sammamish families might be the school districts – Sammamish now has three of them, with the recent annexation of the Aldarra and Montaine neighborhoods bringing the Snoqualmie Valley School District into the mix. Southeast 8th Street, which was long seen as the eventual dividing line between the Issaquah and Redmond portions of the Plateau, serves as the
boundary between the Issaquah and Lake Washington school districts. Though the two high schools have an Inter-high program and play some sports against each other, some students say they don’t have many friends from the opposing high school. Each district has its own independent Little League and lacrosse league. Unless a teen makes friends from another part of the city through a select sports league or church youth group, there are not many opportunities to interact between the two districts, students say. “Personally, I have almost zero friends that go to Eastlake,” Skyline Senior Molly Knutson wrote in an e-mail. “Even though we are seconds apart, there is almost zero interaction between us. I know of some other students who know Eastlake students, but do not hang out on a daily basis.” Hanging out in front of the Starbucks in the Pine Lake Shopping Center after school, Pine Lake Middle School students Lexie Haggett, Victoria Snytser and Shelby Sullivan reported knowing a couple people from Inglewood Middle School and other Lake Washington schools, mostly through other friends. “This is about the only place we hang out,” Snytser said. “There’s not much to do around here.” The old library, on the corner of 228th and Inglewood Hill Road, was purchased by the city and will likely be opening up this summer as a teen recreation center run by the Boys & Girls Clubs. The city’s children may not be the only ones who find their social
Continued on Page 42
Though not official, the boundary between the haves of the city falls generally along Southeast Eighth Street, which also marks the border between the Lake Washington and Issaquah school districts. Map by Sammamish Review graphics
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By Christopher Huber
Cheerleaders from Eastlake and Skyline performed a joint routine at the 2011 SAMMI awards. The awards are one effort residents make to draw the halves of the city together.
From Page 41 circles affected by the two school
districts’ boundaries. “I think the school districts are a huge factor,” said Megan Bigbee, who lives in the Castle Pines neigh-
borhood in the north part of the city. “A lot of my friends are the parents of kids who go to school with my children.” Bigbee said she does know some fellow parents on the south side because her children attended preschool in the southern half of the city. But Bigbee said she’s a big fan of the community events the city has started since incorporation, which pull residents from around the city. Bigbee said she regularly attends the summer concerts in Pine Lake Park and the weekly Farmer’s Market, which she wishes was bigger. Kathy Huckabay, who played a role in the city’s incorporation in 1999 and served on the City Council until 2009, also pointed to the events and parks the city has opened in the last decade as tool for building a sense of community. “The school district (boundaries) weren’t doing much to bring the community together, so we thought it was incumbent on the city to do it,” Huckabay said. “And we did – with City Hall, the library … the Fourth of July event and the farmer’s market … There are tons of events designed to bring people together to mingle and mix.” Huckabay said the city had the north and south divide in mind when deciding where to build its City Hall – along 228th Avenue about halfway between the two shopping centers. Councilman Mark Cross said opening up the new library in the middle of the city, next to City Hall, was a big symbolic step and its pop-
ularity shows that residents enjoy having such an amenity so close. He said he hopes that if the city decides to proceed with a community or aquatic facility that they find a location that is accessible to everyone – most likely near the center of town. “When you walk by the library and see it so packed, it shows you how important it is to people,” Cross said. Cross said any north and south division was more prevalent when the city first came into being and officials were forced to pick between dozens of worthy road and sidewalk improvements. He said he felt the city had done a good job balancing the needs of both halves over the years. City officials admit that the city’s dearth of restaurant choices and isolated commercial zones may contribute to sense of there still being a north and a south Sammamish, but hope this will be alleviated by the Town Center project, which will eventually be considered “downtown Sammamish.” In 2010, the City Council approved development regulations for up to 600,000 square feet of commercial development in the area, but it may be a decade or more before the project comes to fruition. Until then, the city will continue it’s decade-long promotion of its parks, facilities and programs that allow people to rub shoulders with someone aside from their immediate neighbors. “I think we’ve made every effort to make (Sammamish) into one place,” Cross said. “I’m pleased with how we’ve pulled the city together and given it its own identity.”
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By Greg Farrar
Twelve families celebrate Hanukkah at the Donna and Stuart Rosove home in Lakemont, as they light menorahs, share food and conduct other traditions of the Jewish holiday.
MANY FAITHS, ONE COMMUNITY BY CHRISTOPHER HUBER
The loud rock music echoes from the concert-worthy stage as worshipers lift their hands and sing in the main auditorium. Greeters smile wide and shake hands as families filter in through the main entrance. While the adults find their seats for the service, their children shoot down colorful slides into the KidZone, a place of fun and adventure that takes up the whole downstairs. This is a typical Sunday morning at Eastridge Church. Like Eastridge, dozens of churches and places of worship contribute their own cultural and religious style and flavor to make up the fabric of faiths in Issaquah. In addition to the evangelical Christian
Sammamish is a melting pot of major religions from across the globe
faith Eastridge attendees practice, Issaquah residents attend Christian churches of a variety of denominations, including St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. Many others keep their Jewish faith alive at the Chabad of the Central Cascades near the Issaquah Highlands. Issaquah is also home to growing Hindu, Muslim and Bahaâ€™i contingents, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints plays a major role in numerous community service events and activities. While some might have an idea of what people of other faiths believe, religious leaders provide some substance to an important aspect, for many, of life in Issaquah. They discuss what they believe and dispel some common misconceptions.
Evangelicalism Eastridge Church is considered Evangelical, said lead pastor Steve Jamison. Evangelical Christians believe in salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he said. Evangelicals also believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Jamison acknowledged differences between Catholic and Evangelical worship styles, but said they share the same underlying belief in Jesus Christ’s divinity. Approximately 2,000 to 2,200 people attend on a given weekend at the Issaquah campus of Eastridge, Jamison said. The church hosts concerts and large community events throughout the year and strives to be a solid place to raise a family, he said. A misconception he said people might have is that Evangelical Christians are labeled as being against things. That’s the opposite of
what he said the message should be. “The message of Christianity is a completely positive message. Through Christ, we have an amazing invitation to God to be forgiven,” he said. “Sometimes it gets painted with a really broad brush. The greatest message … the message of Christ, is a message of hope for everybody.”
Catholicism Catholics believe in God’s plan of creation and salvation, as revealed in both the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament, said the Rev. Bryan Dolejsi, of St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. It differs from Evangelical Christianity in that Catholics believe the Roman Catholic Church is the unbroken line from the apostles of Christ — the original church — he said. To Catholics, the Pope is
Continued on Page 46
By Greg Farrar
Machael and Erica Tarlowe pour their share of candy into a 10-foot-tall menorah of clear poastic pipe as Rabbi Shalom D. Farkash looks on.
By Christopher Huber
Eastridge Christian Assembly members fill their new worship sanctuary at the dedication service last year for the church building on Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road.
By Greg Farrar
St. Joseph Catholic Church altar boys (from left) James Reed, Jack Dougherty, Cedar Cunningham and Boston Munro assist Father Bryan Dolejsi with the Eucharist on Jan. 2 during Mass on Epiphany Sunday.
From Page 45
By Leta Paine
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is located at 2208 148th Ave. S.E., Bellevue.
a living representation of the apostles. “The Pope is the Vicar of Christ,” Dolejsi said. St. Joseph originally opened as a mission, located near Flintoft’s Funeral Home, in 1896. It now serves approximately 1,300 households and holds five masses each weekend, drawing about 1,500 people weekly. During the week, the church’s school serves about 340 students. One misconception Dolejsi said some people have is that Catholics worship Mary. He said Catholics don’t worship her, but simply hold her in high regard since she was the mother of Jesus. “We honor and respect Mary, but we only worship God,” Dolejsi said.
Mormonism Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the one God-head, and have faith in Jesus, who atoned for sin, said Greg Mackay, president of the Bellevue stake, a group of 11 LDS congregations in Issaquah, Sammamish and Bellevue. And believers become more like Jesus by doing good works, he said. They believe in modern-day prophets and that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both the word of God. The LDS church is completely run by volunteers, Mackay said. Two locations serve the Mormon community in Issaquah — one along Southeast Duthie Hill Road and another on Sixth Avenue. One common misconception people might have is that Mormons are not Christians, he said.
By Christopher Huber
Wassim Fayed, of the Sammamish Muslims Association, reads the Koran at the new mosque in south Sammamish. “We may be one of the most misunderstood religions in history,” Mackay said. “We work pretty hard to help everybody understand that we are focused on Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.”
A devotee pours yogurt during a Hindu ceremony celebrating the birth of Krishna at the Vedic Cultural Center in Sammamish. By Christopher Huber
The foundation of the Jewish faith is that they were God’s chosen people, and that it was the religion from which all other monotheistic religions stemmed, said Rabbi Berry Farkash, head of Chabad of the Central Cascades, on Black Nugget Road. The Torah — made of the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — is the central text of the Jewish faith. Chabad of the Central Cascades serves hundreds of families from east Bellevue to North Bend and even Ellensburg, Farkash said. It is primarily an educational center for Jewish families unaffiliated with a synagogue. The center provides various youth classes and holds religious and cultural events throughout the year. “We create the setting to give people the opportunity to reconnect to their origins,” Farkash said. One misconception Farkash addressed is that people think
Continued on Page 48
From Page 47
according to Wassim Fayed, of Sammamish. Those who believe in the foundation of Islam then seek to practice it through prayer, charity, fasting and the Haj — taking a journey to Mecca in one’s lifetime, if financially or physically able — Fayed said. One misconception Fayed said people might have about Islam is related to the treatment of Muslim women. He said Muslim women are highly regarded. “Islam teaches us that women are to be respected as … the building blocks of society,” Fayed said.
Judaism is exclusive. It’s not, he said. “We know that all (monotheistic) religions emanated from Judaism,” he said. “It is a message for the entire mankind.”
Islam Muslims believe in the one, unique, incomparable and merciful God, who created and sustains the universe, according to the Sammamish Muslims Association. They believe in prophets — including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus — who brought God’s revelations to the world, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Currently, practicing Muslims in Issaquah and Sammamish might attend prayers and services at the Islamic Center of Eastside in Bellevue. Others may attend various annual celebrations held at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic
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Hinduism By Christopher Huber
Gaur Kumar picks out jewelry to place on a deity at the Vedic Cultural Center last summer. He works full-time at Microsoft but volunteers as a priest, teacher and cook. Church in Sammamish. But soon, the Sammamish Mosque will open along Southeast 20th Street,
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Whether or not you understand the concepts of Hinduism, there’s no denying its impact on suburban culture, and sometimes the traffic. One of the newest and largest Hindu temples in the state, the Vedic Cultural Center in Sammamish, draws thousands of followers during its religious celebrations and Indian cultural festivals throughout the year.
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49 Devotees adorn the building inside and out with lights and vibrant flowers. Inside the temple during these events, worshipers — with the women and girls dressed in richly died saris — chant to Krishna while leaders and youths sing and play unceasing worship music. Some decorate the deities, placed on ornate wooden altars, while others enjoy the free Indian cuisine downstairs. Those who follow the Krishna Consciousness — a Hindu tradition — believe in one supreme God (Krishna) who is the origin of everything in existence, said Harry Terhanian, the center’s co-director. Love and devotion to the Lord is the goal of life by which a human attains the pinnacle of his or her potential, he said. Followers receive God’s mercy through acts such as eating according to God’s suggestions in scripture (the Bhagavadgita). Towering above 228th Avenue Southeast in Sammamish, the Vedic Cultural Center is one of the
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most noticeable religious structures in the Issaquah area. Serving about 300 families in Sammamish and Issaquah, the center is home to more than just the temple for followers of the Krishna Consciousness. Its facilities and staff offer numerous weekly cultural and spiritual education programs, and also play host to a variety of grand festivals and celebrations annually. Terhanian addressed a misconception that Hinduism is polytheistic: “God is eternally a person that possesses infinite and inconceivable powers.”
Baha’i The basic principal of the Baha’i faith is the unity of mankind, said Saba Mahanian, a longtime Issaquah resident and member of the local Baha’i Spiritual Assembly. According to the Baha’i faith, all religions have been progressively working throughout history toward a point of unity. Baha’u’llah, whose name means
“glory of God,” founded the Baha’i faith in Persia in 1844. Baha’i is an independent, monotheistic religion and is based on Baha’u’llah’s writings and teachings. It has more than five million adherents in 236 countries, according to the Baha’i U.S. office of communications. Currently, the Issaquah Baha’i organization has about 25-30 members, Mahanian said. “All religions are from the same divine source,” he said. “There needs to be a progressive evolution of faith.” Many of the community religious leaders said they are seeking ways to work together and promote understanding and community involvement. Also, during the difficult economic times, Jamison said he has noticed more people coming to church or seeking spiritual growth. “There’s lot of great churches in this community,” he said. “We feel like there’s some real spiritual hunger being expressed.”
Look forward to annual events While Sammamish is still a fairly new city, several annual traditions and celebrations have already taken root. While many events don’t yet have a date set for 2011, here’s what to expect.
event, 6-8 p.m. April 8 at City Hall. ❑ Earth Day celebration, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. April 30 at Beaver Lake Park.
January ❑ Christmas Tree Recycling, first week of January, by local Boy Scouts as a fundraiser for troop activities. Visit www.pickupmytree.com.
❑ Spring Home Tour of choice real estate for sale is a free driveyourself affair, April 30 and May 1, 2011. Visit www.sammamishreview.com for details. ❑ Sammamish Farmer’s Market opens for the season at 4 p.m. May 18, 2011. Every Wednesday through Aug. 31.
June ❑ Tastin’ and Racin’, complete with hydroplane boat races and summertime food and live music, at Lake Sammamish State Park, June 11-12, 2011. Go to www.tastinracin.com. ❑ Annual Home and Garden Tour of the city, hosted by the Sammamish Heritage Society. www.sammamishheritage.org Madison Smith, shows her excitement at the treat she found in her egg during the 2010 YMCA Eggstravaganza. ❑ Eggstravaganza, annual Easter Egg hunt combined with entertainment arts and crafts for the kids, hosted by the Sammamish Family YMCA. Call 391-4840.
May Caroline Brown (left) and Angela Kennedy accept the 2010 Spirit of Sammamish awards, the tops honor presented at the SAMMI awards.
The annual teen fest and skate competition draws hundreds of youth from around the region.
❑ Sammi (Sammamish Acknowledging Magnificent Moments of Inspiration) Awards are presented. Community members nominate their peers, co-workers and friends, and the winners are announced, celebrated with music and dance performances. Visit www.sammiawards.org.
April ❑ New art exhibit opening
Deb Sogge, executive director of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce, rings the bell to open the Farmer’s Market.
❑ Teen Fest is a teen-only event, 1-9 p.m. June 17 at Sammamish Commons, featuring live music from local teen bands, skate competition and free food and games. Sponsored by Sammamish Youth Board and Boys & Girls Club. ❑ Evans Creek Preserve trail building, most Saturdays through
51 the summer, starting June 18. Contact Dawn Sanders firstname.lastname@example.org. ❑ Lifeguards on duty at Pine Lake Park beginning June 18, through Labor Day. ❑ Kids First! concert at the Sammamish Library, free, 11 a.m. June 28.
❑ Kids First! Noontime Series bring live entertainment to various city parks, noon-1 p.m., July 19, Aug. 2 and 29. Visit www.ci.sammamish.wa.us. ❑ Shakespeare in the Park is free for all, 7-9 p.m. July 16 & 23 at Pine Lake Park. This year, Wooden O Theatre presents “The Comedy of Errors” and “Macbeth.” Visit www.ci.sammamish.wa.us.
Soaked with rain, Mia Atkins slides down the inflatable slide at the Fourth on the Plateau. ❑ Fourth on the Plateau is City Hall’s backyard barbecue for about 20,000 friends and family featuring food, entertainment and grand fireworks display, 6-11 p.m. July 4 at the Sammamish Commons.
❑ National Night Out on Aug. 2 is celebrated by several neighborhoods with a barbecue and block party. Police and firefighters stop by each party to educate children and adults about safety. Call 8980660. ❑ Challenge Day Race, a soapbox derby-type race for physically and mentally challenged children, is presented by The Rotary Club of Sammamish, in partnership with Life Enrichment Options on Aug. 16. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; the race starts at 9 a.m. Call 837-
Kris Ball samples some red wine during Sammamish Nights. ❑ Sammamish Days, an annual birthday party for the city is Aug. 13 at City Hall.
September ❑ Homecoming Pep Parade for Skyline High School along 228th Avenue Southeast, before the football game. Call 837-7700.
Jason Houck, of Issaquah, crosses the finish line first at the 2010 Beaver Lake Triathlon.
A girl sucks on an Itzakadoozie to stay cool during a concert series at Pine Lake Park. ❑ Summer Nights in the Park concert series, every Thursday evening at Pine Lake Park, 6:30-8 p.m. July 7 through Aug. 25. Bring your picnic! Visit www.ci.sammamish.wa.us.
3773. ❑ Beaver Lake Triathlon will be held August 20, 2010. Registration has already begun for this year’s 15th annual .25-mile swim, 4.3-mile run and 13.8-mile bike ride. Visit www.beaverlake.org/blt. ❑ Sammamish Nights wine tasting and jazz event, presented by the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce will be held 6-10 p.m. Aug. 12 at Sammamish Commons. Visit www.SammamishChamber.org for tickets.
❑ Sammamish Art Fair is Oct. 8 and 9 at City Hall. ❑ Ski and Sport Swap meet, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Sammamish, is usually held in early October. Visit www.sammamishkiwanis.org. ❑ Nightmare at Beaver Lake, a Halloween haunted house and outdoor event, is at Beaver Lake Park for two weeks, sponsored by Sammamish Rotary Club. Visit www.nightmareatbeaverlake.com.
December ❑ Breakfast with Santa is in early December. Includes visits with Santa, music and holiday crafts. Visit www.sammamishkiwanis.org. ❑ Sammamish’s annual Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting, usually early December. Visit www.ci.sammamish.wa.us.
By Laura Geggel
Saleswoman Betty Berg works with Issaquah customer Tracy Deiglmeier at Plateau Jewelers.
Riding out the recession Entrepreneurs build up their business so it can weather an economic downturn
BY LAURA GEGGEL
Kirsten O’Malley began her career with a one-way plane ticket from her home in Alaska to Argentina. Fresh out of college, O’Malley felt prepared to teach English to students in Buenos Aires. After two years, she flew to Japan where she taught both youths and adults the nuances of grammar and verb conjugation. After getting a degree, she leveraged her background to start her own tutoring business, The Learning Curve, in 2004, from her plateau home. Like so many other entrepreneurs, O’Malley learned that to
operate a business she needed to connect with her community and offer sought-after services. She found she excelled by promoting customer loyalty and encouraging word-of-mouth advertising, not to mention joining professional societies and pursuing continuous education. She did just that, and her careful steering has help her weather the recession. Michael Verchot, the director of the Business and Economic Development Center at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, said several industries were hit hard by the recession, including construction, retailers and any business offering personal services, such as hair
salons or family attorneys. That tracks with what’s been going on in Sammamish, said Deb Sogge, executive director of the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce. “People are still buying products, but the service industry has been hit hard,” Sogge said. Even business-to-business relationships have suffered as customers have had a hard time paying, she said. Sponsorships of chamber events, like Bravo! and Sammamish Nights are also down, Sogge said. Sponsors are harder to find, she said, and larger companies have slashed their budgets for that kind of marketing. “What is interesting about this recession is just how long it’s taken to get out of it,” he said. “I think companies that have done more professional services — corporate attorneys, consulting firms — they have recovered at a little bit faster.” The obvious problem with the recession is that unemployed people usually turn to penny pinching and cut back on products and services that aren’t necessary to daily life. Spiking gas prices don’t help either, as frugal shoppers drive less, visiting fewer stores. Still, “things are looking better, and no economist is talking about a double dip recession,” Verchot said. But, “It’s going to be a long, slow recovery.” For example, in February, Washington added 11,000 new jobs, an impressive growth, Verchot said. If that number of jobs were added every month, it would take two years for the state to return to the unemployment levels it had at the peak of the last boom. In Sammamish, at least some of those unemployed seem to be striking out on their own, Sogge said. She said that the chamber has seen a dramatic increase in people seeking master business licenses from about 3,000 a few years ago to 5,000 now. Sogge was quick to note that applying for a license does not mean the business is in operation. She also noted that about a fourth of the new licenses are for people
By Laura Geggel
Jeweler Sanh Ly polishes a diamond earring at Plateau Jewelers in Sammamish. who live somewhere else, but hope to expand their customer base into Sammamish. “I think people are reaching out to places they haven’t before,” Sogge said. She theorized one reason for the spike is layoffs. As management level people — likely among the more business savvy — are laid off
they take the chance to strike out and open a new business. She also noted that the chamber has seen an increase in its memberships. Sogge said that most seek the kinds of marketing advice the chamber can provide, at a much lower cost that a consultant.
Continued on Page 54
By Laura Geggel
Joy Swapp (left) adjusts the lighting over her client, Melody Tjossem, of Fall City, during an appointment at Appearances Hair & Skin Care Clinic.
From Page 53 Despite the recession, many Sammamish businesses have kept their doors open, even though times were challenging.
The Learning Curve After O’Malley began her onewoman tutoring company, a friend wrote her a $6,000 check to expand the business. “A friend of mine said, ‘Rather than just tutoring by yourself, I think you need to start your own company,” she said. Within five weeks, O’Malley handed the check back to her friend. “I knew I could make it,” she said. O’Malley had observed classes in Sammamish and Issaquah, knew a handful of teachers in the Issaquah
and Lake Washington school districts and felt comfortable with the curriculum. Thus began her word-of-mouth campaign, which is how she acquired all of her clients for the first three years of her business. “For me, Sammamish is the crossroads of every place I’ve ever been,” she said. She differentiated her businesses by offering in-home tutoring (she does not have an office for tutoring), high school credit and SAT preparation. Parents receive a progress report of their child’s work twice a month. Waverly Cassill, of Sammamish, said she choose The Learning Curve because O’Malley helped her son balance his busy life of academics and athletics. Growing her business felt necessary, especially after O’Malley learned one of her clients wanted help with a high school chemistry
class — a subject she did not know well. When she began hiring tutors for The Learning Curve, she held each one up to a magnifying glass. “I have really high standards for what tutoring should be,” she said. “For any person who is going to work with my students, I wanted to have the oversight, I wanted to have the last word on the quality.” In addition to increasing her staff to 20 tutors, O’Malley also raised her rate from $45 an hour to $67 an hour. Even in midst of a recession, she chose not to lower prices. “There was a point about a year and a half ago that families were calling to announce that one or more parents in the family had lost a job and they needed to take a hiatus,” she said. “It was gratifying to see those same families come back after finding job stability, but we definitely noticed a downturn.”
Cassill’s family chose to cut back on their housecleaning services and coffee-a-day treats, but kept the tutoring service. Educational tutoring survived the recession because many parents saw it as a good investment, O’Malley said. Good grades and higher SAT scores can help students get into college and secure financial aid packages. “So we’re top of mind for people who are planning long-term, even with limited resources,” she said. Networking during the recession also helped her business. She had already joined the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce, the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Leadership Eastside, Hopelink, Rotary and Facebook. Belonging to professional organizations is key for three reasons, Verchot said. First, it puts business owners in touch with one another, making it easier for them to trade ideas and management tips. Second, it connects owners with potential clients. Third, it clues people into the economy and developments in their community. During a Chamber of Commerce meeting, for example, members can learn from owners when new businesses are opening and from real estate agents when
By Laura Geggel
Kirsten O’Malley established her business Learning Curve from her Sammamish home in 2004. housing developments are opening. “Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” she said. “It’s something I think about every day. It takes a community to grow a business.”
Plateau Jewelers Plateau Jewelers President Kelly Jensen discovered his passion for jewelry after researching it for a project at the University of North
By Laura Geggel
Joy Swapp, owner of Appearances Hair & Skin Care Clinic, explains how wordof-mouth advertising has helped her client base grow to 680 people.
Texas. “I interviewed a lot of business managers,” he said. “And one of them offered me a job.” A personal experience many men share also propelled him toward the world of jewelry – selecting an engagement ring for the woman who would become his wife — and the opportunity thrilled him. He opened Plateau Jewelers with a business associate, whom he later bought out. Just as The Learning Curve offered something out of the ordinary – in-home tutoring – Jensen’s business put forward something unusual: in-store custom jewelry design. “More and more jewelers send (orders) out,” he said. “It’s important for me to have control over the quality.” If a client wants a specific design for any item, be it a ring or a necklace, Jensen uses a computer-aided design program so he can make the piece virtually before he brings it into reality. The entire process takes four to six weeks. “The client knows where we’re going before we even get there,” he said. As word about the business
Continued on Page 56
From Page 55 spread, the business grew organically, Jensen said. At its peak, Plateau Jewelers employed eight people, but because of the recession Jensen had to lay off two of his workers. He took both aside individually and gave them the bad news. Luckily, the employees were able to find new jobs before their last day at Plateau Jewelers. Looking back, Jensen said he probably held onto each worker longer than he should have financially, but it’s hard to lay off people when you work at such a small company, he said. Verchot said the challenge Jensen faced is normal for small businesses. “You know them, you know their family, you hear stories about what their kids are doing and you now if you lay them off,” Verchot said. “It’s not an abstract number. You know you’re affecting their lives and their spouses’ lives.” Hiring and helping employees is one of the perks of opening a business, he said. “I’ve heard small business owners say that what makes them most pleased about their business is they can provide good income for their employees and that allows them to send their kids to college or take care of their aging parents,” Verchot said. Though Plateau Jewelers still has six employees, Jensen said each of their personalities matched the majority of their customers’, meaning his clientele is getting its needs met come shopping time. Tracy Deiglmeier, of Issaquah, came in one day to look for a chain. Several employees helped her as she perused their inventory. “It’s a great store and they do lots of special orders,” she said. Jensen said he was glad to have customers like Deiglmeier. “Business has picked up in the last six to eight months,” he said. “I think we’ve hit bottom.”
Appearances Skincare Clinic Joy Swapp has lived along the
By Laura Geggel
Jeweler Bronwyn Welch works at Plateau Jewelers, where customers can have their custom jewelry orders designed or repaired. edges of the United States, moving with her husband every time the U.S. Coast Guard relocates him. “We love Sammamish,” she said. “It’s beautiful. It’s close to everything that’s really important to us. You can get to the mountains. You can get back into the city. We were real rural when we moved out here.” In 1987, she began her own business, Appearances Skincare LLC, in a commercial space. Her plans changed, though as she moved it to a recreational vehicle adjacent to her house on 212th Avenue Southeast in the 1990s. “Commercial space is expensive,” she said. And, “you have to have a store open 12 hours to make a profit,” in addition to paying employees. At Appearances, Swapp offers various services, including hair removal, permanent makeup, tattoo removal, and laser hair regrowth therapy. Her varying menu has carried
her through times of recession; usually someone is interested in at least one of her services, she said. “I started taking all the training I could find,” said Swapp, who joined professional societies promoting education about her craft. “The object is to constantly keep educated.” Just as The Learning Curve and Plateau Jewelers thrived on wordof-mouth advertising, Swapp heard her clients — about 680 people total — drop her name in casual conversation. “I have clients now who are sending me their children,” she said. “They’ll say, ‘Joy can take care of that little mustache,’ or ‘she can pierce your ears.’ I think there’s a great deal of client loyalty that doesn’t exist in other businesses.” Verchot, the business development expert from UW, said word-ofmouth is important, but often more is needed. “There is a difference between word of mouth that you hope that happens and word of mouth that you hope to spur along,” Verchot said. “If you’re a happy customer, great go tell somebody,” but even better is “if you refer someone to us, you’ll get a discount the next time.” She often rewards clients with discounted or free service once she learns they have referred a friend to her, but Swapp said she usually surprises them with the gift. After learning of Verchot’s advice, she said she might make the awards known beforehand. Finding solutions to problems is also important to aiding word of mouth. Good business owners will go out of their way to fix the problem, and end up with an even happier customer. For example, the owner could offer the service for free, or have the missing item at the customer’s next visit. After all, word of mouth can be both good and bad. “If you’re happy with something you tell one person, if you’re unhappy you tell seven,” Verchot said.
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Michael Gallagher, a member of the Eastlake High School varsity team, prepares to take a free kick during practice. By Sebastian Moraga
The other football is alive and kicking Plateau soccer programs remain popular at all skill levels
BY SEBASTIAN MORAGA
To hear coach Adam Gervis tell it, in Sammamish there are two seasons instead of four: soccer season and soccer off-season. “Soccer has probably never been stronger,” the Eastlake boys’ soccer coach said. “Soccer is strong across the board, with clubs and local association doing a terrific jobs of teaching and building the sport up.” Gervis’ zeal might be excused, he coaches soccer in Sammamish after all, which is a little like a hoops coach in Indiana or a football coach in Texas. Clubs and local associations spread the gospel of the sport from a very young age. Plus, the city
houses select-level youth teams like Crossfire, and myriad of what Gervis calls “feeder clubs,” that ensure a pipeline to high school and college, sometimes even farther. Taylor Mueller, an Eastlake product who went on to the University of Washington, just got drafted by the Portland Timbers, a Major League Soccer squad, which will have its inaugural MLS season this year. “It was pretty awesome that I got picked up by them,” Mueller said earlier this year. It was even more awesome for Patti Mueller, his mom. “I cried during the national anthem,” she said of the TimbersSounders preseason match.
“Watching him in a professional uniform, it was surreal.” Mueller was a product of the local soccer culture. He began playing at 3 and played for nine years at Crossfire and four at Eastlake. He played baseball and soccer until age 14, when he left the diamond behind. Tyler Klein, another Eastlake alum, just entered the senior year of a stellar career at the University of Washington. Starting his freshman year at Eastlake, Klein was Mueller’s teammate for eight straight seasons. Just like Mueller, he began playing when he was 3. “Watching him, I’ve grown to love soccer,” said Sandy Klein, principal at Margaret Mead Elementary School in Sammamish and quite possibly Tyler’s biggest fan: He’s her oldest child. Soccer in Sammamish, Sandy said, is “huge.”¡ “It’s a continually growing sport, with more and more kids participating,” she said. “The Sounders coming to town as an MLS team has grown soccer to a new level.” Soccer, at least in Sammamish, is still king, following the national trend that says soccer is one of the nation’s most popular youth sports, with more than 18 million players under the age of 18, according to a 2006 CNN article. “It appeals to girls and boys and
By Sebastian Moraga
Sam Langston takes a shot on goal during practice at Eastlake High School.
Soccer players Simon Lee (right) and Mark Matula compete for a ball during a drill in practice at Eastlake High School. By Sebastian Moraga
that’s what is great about it,” Sandy Klein said. To Patti Mueller, the popularity is a tossup between soccer and Little League baseball, but at the high school level, the soccer scene is more intense. “Soccer on the plateau really started taking off when the Crossfire started developing,” Patti said. Vicki Barnett, a spokesperson for the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association, which houses Crossfire, said the interest in the sport ranges across age groups and skill levels, from recreational to Select and Premier. Recreational matches happen in the fall and the spring and are open to anybody. “We even have a kindergarten program,” she said. The fall season runs from August to November while the spring season comprises April and May. The Select program starts at age 10, Barnett said. Practices begin in June, tournaments begin later in the summer and last until the fall. The season itself lasts until the winter. The Premier program is the Crossfire’s top youth program and it lasts the entire year. Both the Select and Premier programs are by tryout only. A huge amount of children participate each year in all three levels, Skyline High School varsity soccer coach Don Braman said. “Thousands of kids each year get involved in Recreational, Select and Premier,” he said. “It’s a great way to stay fit, learn
about themselves and develop leadership skills.” Soccer wasn’t always this popular. Patti said that when Taylor was a little boy, she found herself defending soccer. “Back then, baseball and football were big,” she said. “We would say, ‘This is the real football.’” While Crossfire brings soccer to the youth within the Lake Washington School District, manifold adult leagues have sprouted on the Sammamish Plateau and beyond. The adult leagues like the Issaquah Soccer Club, Eastside Football Club and others, “have really improved the quality of play in our area,” Braman said. Having the Seattle Sounders FC training grounds of Starfire 30 minutes away helps, too, he added. In Sammamish proper, there’s a markedly suburban tone to the soccer scene. Mueller said that has aided the sport’s growth. “Most families over here have the means to support their children financially in a select sport, and physically are perhaps more able to get them to all the trainings and games. That takes money for gas and time.” When Sammamish-based teams played elsewhere, the other team’s fans talked about how across the sidelines stood the rich kids’ team, Mueller said. “And we moved here in 1982, when Sammamish wasn’t Sammamish. It was rural.” The
Continued on Page 62
From Page 61 Muellers have since moved to Maple Valley. The Sammamish-area soccer scene is about to get yet another spark on the Eastside, with the arrival of the Washington Crossfire, of the United Soccer Leagues of America’s U-23 league. The Crossfire, which changed their name from Seattle Wolves two years ago, played last year at Interbay Stadium in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. This season, the home games will occur at Redmond High, where they will host three other Puget Sound teams, one from Everett, one from Bremerton and another one from Tacoma, three Canadian teams and one from Oregon — the U-23 branch of Mueller’s Timbers. With the Crossfire, the Sounders, their respective youth academies and many other squads at all levels, children of all skill sets can find a field and a team in or around Sammamish. “There’s a wide range,” Sandy Klein said. “It fits a wide range of kids.” Mueller agreed, saying “The whole academy has changed the face of soccer. The academy team is the way of the future.” Much has changed since Klein’s high school days. She was still a teenager when Title IX kicked in, mandating equal activities for boys and girls. However, back then, soccer only fit one type of child. “All we girls had was softball and baseball,” Sandy Klein said. “I didn’t know a thing about soccer.” Nowadays, the pipeline is long and it starts early. With players reaching the top, Gervis said, the pipeline of talent flows in both directions, which works great for the younger players. The teens have someone to emulate and the alums have someone to teach. “The great thing about Taylor and Tyler is that they come back to check in with their old high school during our season,” Gervis said. “I keep in touch with both of them and have seen them as somewhat iconic to the young kids.”
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Home & Garden Bellevue Paint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Greenbaum Home Furnishings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Issaquah Cedar & Lumber . . . . 43 Mount Si Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Specialty Shopping ArtbyFire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Plateau Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Worship Sammamish Hills Lutheran . . 48