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

January 3, 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 1

Funding ideas wanted Tribe is accepting grant applications.

Local man sketches portraits of the fallen Page 11

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

By Michele Mihalovich

Page 3

Firefighters wanted EFR is seeking volunteer firefighters. Page 3

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

Competitors wanted Youth wrestling league hosts tournament. Page 8

How to help

By Michele Mihalovich

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

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

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

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

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

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

SnoValley Star


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

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

JANUARY 3, 2013

Pastor delivers holiday goodness to truckers Contributed

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

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

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

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

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

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Juveniles are charged in connection with car theft By Michele Mihalovich Two boys were charged with felonies after multiple vehicle break-ins and a car theft in North Bend. Thomas M. Campbell, 15, and Bailey W. Polson, 16, are accused of entering multiple vehicles the night of Aug. 19, stealing GPS systems, a camera, flashlights, cell phone, loose change and, eventually, a black BMW, according to charging documents from the King County Superior Court’s juvenile department.

Snoqualmie Tribe fund is accepting winter grant applications The Snoqualmie Tribe Fund is accepting applications from charitable organizations in Washington state, according to a press release. The Snoqualmie Tribe Fund has donated more than $2 million in the past three years to organizations working in various areas including arts and culture, community development, education, the environment, and health and social services. Developments supported by donations from the Snoqualmie Tribe Fund include the University of

Estep From Page 1 very active,” she said. That family lifestyle turned into a love of basketball that led the Redmond High School graduate to a full scholarship at Western Washington University. The shooting guard and forward started coaching basketball after graduating with a planning degree at the college and high school level, but she also helped for a couple of years at Chief Kanim Middle School. While basketball and staying fit were always top priorities, triathlons — grueling bike, swimming and foot races — weren’t even on her radar until she turned 30. Estep said a friend of hers had been competing

While looking for things inside the vehicle, the boys found an extra set of keys to the BMW and drove off, according to court documents. The next afternoon, the owner of the BMW phoned 911 to report she saw juveniles in her vehicle driving near Southeast Cedar Falls Road and Southeast North Bend Way, and she followed the vehicle to Torguson Park, according to court documents. King County Sheriff’s Office deputies found

Campbell and Polson, along with two other boys, in the vehicle. According to court documents, those two boys had nothing to do with the BMW theft. Polson was charged Oct. 12 with felony theft of a vehicle, and gross misdemeanors of seconddegree vehicle prowl and third-degree possession of stolen property, according to court documents. Campbell was charged with felony second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, and

gross misdemeanors of second-degree vehicle prowl and third-degree possession of stolen property, according to court documents. Both boys pleaded not guilty at their Nov. 5 arraignments, and no trial date has been set, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Washington’s House of Knowledge, the Woodland Park Zoo’s More Wonder More Wild exhibit, King County Conservation District’s Cherry Creek restoration project and Bastyr University’s Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail. Read more about the organizations and projects at The deadline for applications is Jan. 31. All applying organizations must have proof of nonprofit status and be located within the state.

EFR will provide a physical exam and all required clothing. Go to; email David Misakian, volunteer program manager, at; or pick up an application from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Headquarters Station, 175 Newport Way N.W., Issaquah. Completed applications are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 11.

Eastside Fire & Rescue is looking for male and female volunteer fire-

fighters for the Lake Joy, Wilderness Rim, Preston, Tiger Mountain and Maple Hills communities. Fire, emergency medical and special response services are provided from 15 stations, of which 10 are staffed with volunteer firefighters and EMS responders who carry pagers and respond when there is an emergency in their neighborhood. The minimum age to apply is 18. Applicants must have good driving records and can now live outside the boundaries of EFR within five miles of the closest response station. The testing process includes written, physical and psychological tests, and an oral interview.

in triathlons, so she decided to give it a try. She competed in the Kirkland race and said she finished pretty well, which added fuel to the fire. “I love being active, but with a purpose, like being able to set goals,” Estep said. “You know the distances you have to run, so I set goals on how

fast I need to run that distance. I do the same with biking and swimming. Swimming’s been the biggest challenge because I hadn’t done it since my younger years. And even then, it was just beboppin’ in a lake.” Her early triathlon success is what pushed her to do more, which is why she

found herself competing in sanctioned qualifying races in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Moses Lake. Those races allowed her to compete in a national race in Burlington, Vt. “You have to finish in the top 18 in your age group to qualify for the world championship,” Estep said. “I finished

EFR needs volunteer firefighters

Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or Comment at

Write to us SnoValley Star welcomes letters to the editor on any subject, although we give priority to local issues. Letters should be no more than 350 words. Send letters to: Editor@


Solid waste fee increases Jan. 1 King County’s Solid Waste Division is set to increase disposal fees Jan. 1 to help cover rising costs and modernize a half-century-old solid waste handling system. The county is in the midst of a modernization program to update its 1960’s-era network of transfer stations and meet the needs of residential self-haulers, businesses and garbage collection companies, according to a press release. The basic fee for bringing solid waste to a transfer station or drop box will increase from $117.42 to $129.40 per ton. The minimum fee will increase from $20 to $22. The new fees will be in effect through 2014, according to the release. An average residential customer who puts out one can of garbage per week for curbside collection is likely to see an increase of about 57 cents per month in the garbage bill from their hauler to cover the new disposal fees, according to the release. The new rate, approved earlier this year by the Metropolitan King County Council, applies to residents of King County who pay for curbside collection service or who use a county transfer station and live outside the cities of Seattle and Milton, which are part of separate solid waste handling systems. Fees for separated yard waste and clean wood waste will be lowered from $82.50 per ton to $75 per ton, with a minimum fee of $12 per load. Separated yard waste and clean wood waste is accepted at Shoreline, Bow Lake and Enumclaw transfer stations, and at the Cedar Falls drop box, according to the press release. While separating these materials from solid waste is not mandatory, the lower fees are meant to act as incentive to deliver yard and clean wood waste separate from solid waste so they can be recycled and composted. To date, the Vashon, Enumclaw, Shoreline and Bow Lake transfer stations have all been renovated or replaced. Current plans are to next upgrade the Factoria Transfer Station. Finally, the Algona, Renton and Houghton transfer stations will be closed and two new stations will be built by 2019, according to the press release. King County operates eight transfer stations, two rural drop-boxes and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. Learn more about the Solid Waste Division at

sixth.” Estep has no plans to slow down either. She recently competed at the same national race

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in Vermont, which means she’s headed to the world championship grand finale race again, next time in London.

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Our 2013 goals for the Snoqualmie Valley

Say no to the hotel at Snoqualmie Casino

New Year’s resolutions aren’t exclusive to individuals. Sometimes, it’s a good thing for a community to have its own goals. These top our list: Education. One of the biggest challenges is going to be the opening of the Freshman Learning Center, as well as kids being shuffled to different schools due to redistricting. We hope it’s a smooth transition for the students, teachers, bus drivers and parents. Let’s exercise patience during what could be a very trying time. Hospital dollars. The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital actually has millions of dollars in reserve. In December, it cut its $30 million debt by $7 million when it paid off the 22-acre Leisure Time property. With this reserve, refinancing the current debt load would be prudent. A reserve means a better interest rate. We also want to see audiorecorded minutes of board meetings available online. Community involvement. January is when North Bend and Snoqualmie city governments hold retreats to set their 2013 priorities. The public is invited to attend. Not only can you listen, but you can also offer input. Take it a step further — attend at least one City Council meeting this year. As a news organization, we attend nearly every meeting for you, but grassroots government is worth experiencing yourself. Humanity. Last year, two Snoqualmie Valley neighborhoods had temporary homeless shelters move in. In spite of concerns, get acquainted. Take a hot meal to the shelters, sit down, with the guests, get to know them. What they say may just might change your mind about who is homeless. Fire service. Eastside Fire & Rescue leaders must find a solution that works for all its partners or prepare to move on possibly without the city of Sammamish. North Bend and Fire District 10 taxpayers have much to lose without Sammamish. We hope to see a resolution by mid-year. Local elections. We’re only months away from candidate filing for city councils and school board positions. If you are interested in the ultimate volunteer job, it’s time to start planning your campaign. The community is best served when every position has challengers to engage in good dialogue and offer voters a choice. New legislators. State Sen. Mark Mullet and state Rep. Chad Magendanz need to join Rep. Jay Rodne with their ears wide open and their hands outstretched when the Legislature convenes next week, and be prepared to set aside party agendas in favor of bipartisan cooperation to develop solutions to the state’s education and budgetary issues. Deborah Berto


Kathleen R. Merrill

Managing editor

Michele Mihalovich


Nathan Laursen Advertising manager Sebastian Moraga

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I would like to respond to the audacity of proposing an addition of a 20-story hotel at the Snoqualmie Casino. It’s not enough that we have to put up with the traffic, the debris and garbage that can be seen along exit 27 as far as the underpass and North Bend Way, but also the incredible noise during the “summer concerts” being held in a parking lot. Where is the promise of being “good neighbors” toward their surrounding neighborhood and respecting and interrupting the tranquility of the people around here? They (the Snoqualmie Tribe) knew very well the idea of a casino was in no way welcome at the existing location, they could have chosen to build it in several other available locations. Not only did they displace many animals, but they totally

JANUARY 3, 2013

focused on pursuing their selfish financial need. So now that the casino is here to stay and provide money for the “Tribe,” what happened to the “Stewards of the Land” that they can’t clean up the garbage dump they live on at Reinig Road? It is a most disgusting site to behold. Have “they” no shame and where is their “Indian

pride?” I moved here seven years ago with the intent of getting away from the noise and traffic that plagues so many areas of this wonderful Valley, only to be cast right back into the midst of it all. I hope they will reconsider their expansion. Eva Funes Snoqualmie                 

WEEKLY POLL Roe v. Wade turns 40 this month. How should people commemorate the anniversary? A. By remembering the lives lost before abortion was legal B. By remembering the lives lost since January 1973 C. By pushing President Obama to appoint enough justices to overturn it D. I don’t follow boxing. It’s too violent. Vote online at

Home Country

Is that manure or is it just an excuse? By Slim Randles The phone rang just before Dewey pulled off his clothes for his end-of-workday shower. “Hi, Dewey.” He smiled. “Hi, Emily.” “Hope I’m not interfering with anything by calling you.” “Just got home from work and about to dive into a shower, so you called at a good time. How are you?” He thought that would be a good way to start a conversation with this paragon of single bureaucratic women. “I’m fine. Thanks, Dewey. May I ask you some more questions? Got them right here. Tell me first, though, do you always shower after work?” “Every day.” “Any special reason? I mean, is it related to the cow manure thing?” “Directly, actually. Cow manure … well, it permeates my very existence. It fills my waking hours. It … oh, it’s hard to explain.” The king of fertilizer grinned as Emily Stickles wrote notes on the other end of the phone. If she wanted to think of him as having a fertilizer fetish, he didn’t mind. As long as she called. “I’ve been reading up, Dewey. I think that … together … we

can break this hold cow manure has on your life.” “Oh, Emily, you really think so? What should I do Slim Randles about it, you Columnist think?” “To get started, you should picture yourself free of cow manure. Just tell your mind that cow manure has no place in your thoughts and your life. Let’s see if that will cancel out some of the … unpleasantness.” “You think cow manure is unpleasant, Emily?” “You like it?”

“Let’s say I like what it can do for others. It’s a little like a smile or sunshine,” said our fertilizer king, “it works wonders when you spread it around a little.” Emily Stickles, the county employee in charge of fixing things for people who don’t realize they need fixing, was silent. “Dewey, we really need to talk.” “Dinner at the Chinese place tomorrow, maybe?” Then he just sat there, glowing in fertile, pre-shower radiance, and grinned. Brought to you by Slim’s award-winning book, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at html.

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JANUARY 3, 2013

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JANUARY 3, 2013

Jump into fiction is a first for local author Roy Ratzlaff By Sebastian Moraga It’s his book, even with no tangible copies. It’s his baby, even if gestation took a decade. “It might be like pregnancy,” North Bend author Roy Ratzlaff said of finishing his first book of fiction. “There are different highlights that draw your attention along the way, but there is nothing like getting it done.” “Freeboard” tells the tale of four men from varied backgrounds and how they deal with crises in their lives. The term “freeboard” describes the height on a boat’s side between the waterline and the deck. “If you and I were getting in trouble in our lives, our freeboard, and our safety distance above the water, is low,” Ratzlaff said. He got the inspiration for the story while canoeing down the Willamette River in Oregon in the summer of 2000 with his son Fraser, then a junior in high school. “We started talking and we saw one of these barges moored on the side of the river and we started talking about how when you

start standing on them, it feels like solid ground although it’s on the water, and we started making up this story about these Roy Ratzlaff guys on a barge and what it would take to take it out to sea,” he said. A couple of days later, Roy walked into his son’s room and told him the story sounded like a good plot for a book. Roy wrote it when he got laid off, seven months later, near Christmas. “I had nothing else to do,” he said. “So, I just started living with those characters.” Fraser agreed. “He treated it like a full-time job,” he said. “Eight hours a day. He would go on trips and interview people, and have a home office.” The characters, four men — an ex-con, a fast-living wild child, a strict Mormon latebloomer and a goody two shoes — find themselves in the mid-

1990s confronted with crises and big changes in their lives, all while at sea. Little from the book is outof-thin-air fiction, Ratzlaff said. Every situation in the book either happened to him or to someone close to him. Ratzlaff based the ex-con on people he met while on a construction job inside a prison. The rest of the main characters have “bits and parts of me” in them, he said. Nevertheless, he said, his proximity to the events did not make the research any easier. “I was surprised by the amount, the enormous amount, of research that I tied into,” he said. “Most of that was my own standards, requiring an increased amount of research to make it more realistic. I couldn’t just get it off the Net.” The research included trips to Ilwaco, near the mouth of the Columbia River, to talk to Coast Guard personnel about crossing the river’s bar. “I needed to know the reality of that, and nobody better than the Coast Guard,” he said. “They do the rescues.”

Ratzlaff said the book “took off like a scared rabbit,” to the tune of 102,000 words. The work energized him, he added, even if it took proofreading it six times. The writing wasn’t hard. Getting it published was. After rejection No. 25, he lost the stomach for it and decided to shelve his book. More than 10 years later, selfpublishing and electronic publishing burst in, and suddenly

that long wait looked like a great decision. “It made me feel fortunate that I waited that long,” Ratzlaff said, “with ePublishing having become the rising star in publishing and allowing little old me to get the book out.” The book is available on “No hard copy,” he said. “It’s incredibly difficult to get a hard version published, especially books about men. The eBook allows it to stay as long as there’s interest anywhere in the world.” The sequel to “Freeboard,” “Freeboard II,” is about halfway done, Ratzlaff said. He kept the name to make it easier for readers of the first part to find it. He described the sequel as a “wrapup” to the message in the first story. “We can face our problems,” he said. “Our problems that seem insurmountable at first can eventually be resolved with the help of our friends and with our own fortitude.” Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or Comment at

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital volunteer follows his dream to pursue medicine Volunteers play a vital role at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, contributing more than 200 hours per month of service. They provide assistance to patients, their families and the community and help fulfill the hospital’s mission to safeguard the health of the community. Volunteers serve in many capacities: providing clerical and office support, assisting with community events and special projects, helping with patient activities, and serving as advocates for the hospital, patients and their families. Volkmar Gaussmann began volunteering in January 2012 to fulfill his requirement as a premed student with Bellevue College to increase his experience in the medical field. He plans to become a pediatric hospitalist. “Every pre-med student has to volunteer at a hospital to show their interest in medicine,” Gaussmann said. “I chose Snoqualmie Valley Hospital because I couldn’t see myself in a larger hospital where I might not have as many opportunities to help out.” He volunteers about three hours per week, helping in a variety of ways. His projects include filing, consolidating medical records, assisting with individual staff projects and helping keep track of volunteer hours.

“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve helped with at SVH and everyone I have worked with,” he said. “It’s been good to learn what else goes on in a hospital setting besides patient care.” Medicine hasn’t always been a dream for Gaussmann. In 2004, he and his wife learned that their 14-month-old son had kidney cancer. The couple spent countless hours at Seattle Children’s, watching their son endure various tests and surgery. Gaussmann realized medicine was the right path for him. “At the time, I remember thinking how sad I was that I would never get to know him – what he likes, what sports he wants to play and what he wants to be when he grows up,” he said. “Now, he’s 9 years old, healthy and plans to be an architect.” Gaussmann was recently accepted into the medical program at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “I want to be able to help other children the way the doctors and staff helped my son,” he said. “I’m just happy I can live my dream. Who wouldn’t want to do this?” Learn more about the volunteer program by emailing Shawn Boynton, volunteer coordinator, at; calling 831-2300, ext. 145; or going to

By Lindsey Oliver/Snoqualmie Valley Hospital

Volkmar Gaussmann stops long enough for a photo at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, where he volunteers about three hours per week.

SnoValley Star

JANUARY 3, 2013

Police blotter North Bend Copper wire theft Police received a report Dec. 10 from an employee of Richmond American Homes that over the weekend someone entered a home under construction and stole 10 feet of copper wiring. Repairs and replacement of the wire is expected to cost $1,200.

Threats and theft ends in banning

Police were asked Dec. 14 to come to the Mount Si Senior Center to take a report about a man who had been “conning” people into giving him money for lunch, had slept in a chair all day, and then made statements to a senior center employee that “they fed me, now it’s time to kill someone.” Police spotted the 55-year-old homeless man walking with a bicycle and

Sno Falls Credit Union will close Fall City office Due to the economic downturn, Sno Falls

a wheelchair. The man told police he found the wheelchair, but police observed the security fence around the senior center’s donation area had been torn down. Police informed the man he was banned from going to the senior center, and the case is being forwarded to the North Bend prosecutor for possible theft and malicious mischief charges.

of his vehicle on snowy streets at 4:22 a.m. Dec. 18 at Snoqualmie Parkway and Fairway Avenue. A bioswale was damaged.

More slippery roads A Metro Ride Share bus slid into a vehicle due to snowy road conditions at Douglas Avenue Southeast and Southeast Ridge Street at 6:10 a.m. Dec. 18. No one was injured.


Interstate 90. Two fire engines responded to a chimney fire at 3:55 p.m. Dec. 19 at the 43000 block of Southeast 77th Street. One fire engine responded to a person burning without a permit at 12:27 p.m. Dec. 20 at the 43000 block of Southeast 142nd Street.

Snoqualmie fire calls

A man lost control

Six fire engines responded to a motor vehicle accident with injuries call at 10:59 a.m. Dec. 19 on eastbound

Firefighters responded Dec. 13 with EFR units to a motor vehicle accident. No injuries found. Firefighters responded Dec. 16 to a fire alarm at the Snoqualmie Train museum. A malfunctioning smoke detector caused the alarm. Firefighters responded Dec. 17 to a fire alarm at Echo Glen Children’s Center. The alarm was being tested and officials forgot to call the alarm reporting company. Snoqualmie, along with Fall City units, responded Dec. 19 to a motor vehicle accident at Stearns Road and Tokul Road. All

Credit Union recently decided to close the Fall City branch office in the Hauglie Financial Building in Fall City on Dec. 31, according to a

press release. There will be no loss of services to area members other than physical availability of the branch itself. Sno Falls continues

to have full service offices in downtown Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Ridge and North Bend. The Fall City staff members will continue to

Snoqualmie Warrant Washington State Patrol arrested a person with a Snoqualmie warrant at 3:53 p.m. Dec. 14 on Highway 18.

Suspicious A man called at 7:32 p.m. Dec. 16 to report someone was following and tailgating him on Snoqualmie Parkway.

Slippery roads

GO WILD at Bounce for Hope

BOUNCE FESTIVAL! Bouncing fun! Live entertainment! Brian Vogan and his good buddies Caspar Babypants Eric Ode

Face painting! Balloon artists! Martial arts demo! Photo Booth!

Drunken hit and run

Police arrested a man about 7 p.m. Dec. 20 after the man hit another vehicle head-on on Railroad Avenue Southeast and then drove off. The man and his white pickup were found at the Snoqualmie Casino, and police say he was highly intoxicated.

North Bend fire calls

patients were treated and transported to a hospital. EMTs responded Dec. 20 with EFR units to a car accident just past the Snoqualmie Casino roundabout. A patient refused treatment and was left at the scene. EMTs responded Dec. 20 with Fall City firefighters to a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident on Highway 202. A patient was transported to the hospital for evaluation. EMTs responded Dec. 20 to Interstate 90 at exit 44 for a non-injury vehicle accident. Patients were evaluated and released to their parents. EMTs responded Dec. 26 to a vehicle accident on I-90 near exit 25. The vehicle had reportedly been involved in multiple collisions all the way down the pass. The driver was transported to the hospital by private ambulance. The Star publishes names of those arrested for DUI and those charged with felony crimes. Information comes directly from local police reports.

work from the downtown Snoqualmie office and the Snoqualmie Ridge office, less than seven miles from Fall City, according to the release.

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JANUARY 3, 2013

Cheering embodies ultimate athleticism By Michele Mihalovich

By Michele Mihalovich

A pack of Mount Si cheerleaders hold up flyer Miranda Gillespie during a Dec. 18 practice. The girls are practicing for upcoming competitions, which include nationals at Orlando, Fla.

Anyone who doesn’t think cheerleading is a demanding, athletic sport, has obviously not watched their three-hour practice sessions, or seen cheerleaders compete. “People may have that impression because they’re only watching them cheer at games,” Mount Si High School assistant coach Travis Anderson said. Cheerleaders are limited to what they can do on the sides of football fields, basketball courts and wrestling mats. But at competitions, cheerleaders tumble, flip and lift others 20 feet in the air. “Cheerleading is a combination of gymnastics, dance and acrobatics,” Anderson said. “This is ultimate athleticism that incorporates cardio, strength and flexibility. Plus, there’s the performance aspect of it. Other athletes aren’t being judged on whether they’re smiling or not.” Anamika Gilbert, a freshman Wildcat cheerleader, said she watched an ESPN cheerleading competition when she was in seventh grade and knew cheerleading was going to be part of her high school career. And so she started training.

Today, Gilbert said she runs two miles a day. “Before cheerleading, I was lucky if I ran one mile a month,” she said. On days when the squad isn’t practicing, Gilbert is in the gym doing pull-ups, cardio and leg workouts, and lifting 95 pounds. “Cheerleading works every muscle in your body,” she said. A concussion has temporarily sidelined Gilbert, but she’s anxious to get back on the floor, where she serves as the “base” — the cheerleader who helps launch the “flyer” into the air. “I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” she said. “Throwing someone 20 feet into the air makes you really feel good about yourself.” Miranda Gillespie, a senior, is one of the “flyers,” the girl getting tossed 20 feet in the air. She also loves her role, but admits that trusting the girls on the base develops over time. It helps, Gillespie said, that she has no fear of heights. “Some girls are terrified to be up there — but it doesn’t bother me at all,” she said. The cheerleaders, in addition to getting athletically fit,

also need to balance cheering at Wildcat games with learning routines, attending camps and practicing for competitions — as well as competing. Basketball and wresting are in full swing right now, but cheer coach Jessii Stevens said cheerleading competitions are also heating up about the same time. The team competed a week before Thanksgiving, twice in December, and are looking at weekly competition in January, including at state Jan. 26. The first two weeks in February are also reserved for competitions, which includes the national competition in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 7. It’s not enough to just learn the competition routines. At a Dec. 18 practice, Stevens called out, “Your movements have to have energy — skills are not enough. You have to smile when you’re performing, and the judges and the audience need to see that you’re enjoying yourselves and having fun.” She said getting all the girls in sync takes a lot of time and practice. “That’s why it’s so important See CHEER, Page 9

Young Valley wrestlers host tourney for first time in decades By Sebastian Moraga The wrestlers? Novices wanting to make a good first impression. The adults? More experienced, but with pretty much the same goal. The Snoqualmie Valley Wrestling Club hosted the first youth wrestling tourney in its six-year existence and the first tourney of its kind in the Valley since 1980. The tourney was a dream of many supporters of the sport for many years, club coach Thomas Marum said, many of whom have to travel long distances for matches. “We go to all corners of the state and we live within a 50-mile radius of a wrestling Mecca,” he said. “So, we would like set up a regular sanctioned event next year.” First, the club had to get USA Wrestling to let it host a tournament. This summer, USA Wrestling gave the OK for a novice tournament, for wrestlers with two or fewer years of experience, ages 4-13. More than 25 teams signed up for the tourney, tournament

director Leilani McClure said. More than 600 people — including wrestlers, parents and siblings from as far as Anacortes and Burlington — were expected to land in the Valley Dec. 29 for the one-day tourney. “The cool thing is that it’s going to be the start of many,” said Smokey McClure, club coach and Leilani’s husband. The results of the tournament weren’t available before press time. Marum credited McClure with landing the tourney, which “got our foot in the door,” he said. Wrestling is a sport that is thriving in the Valley at several levels. At the youth level, the middle school season yielded 10 champions in 13 categories. All 10 champions belonged to the SVWC, Marum said. “If that’s not total dominaSee WRESTLING, Page 9 Contributed

Jake Knowles gets his arm raised in triumph at a wrestling match earlier this year. Knowles is among the novice grapplers who participated in the Midseason Challenge.

SnoValley Star

JANUARY 3, 2013

Seattle Times names two Wildcats to All-State football team The Seattle Times has announced the All-State football team, selected by Seattle Times staff reporter Jayson Jenks, and two Mount Si Wildcats made the team. Wide receiver Trent Riley was named to the offense for his 59 catches, 872 receiving yards and a school-record 22 touchdowns. Kicker Cameron Van Winkle was

also named to the offense for his state-record 39 career field goals, and all but four of his kickoffs this season were touchbacks.

Mount Si gets new varsity baseball coach Greg Hart, Mount Si High School athletic director, announced Dec. 6 on the school’s website that Zach Habben will take over as head baseball coach for the 2013 season.


Habben was most recently the varsity pitching coach for the Wildcats during their 2012 season, where the team placed first in the KingCo 3A/2A League, according to the website. Habben played baseball for Central Washington University and has coached numerous club and select baseball teams. He is busy preparing for the upcoming competitions, according to the website.

By Michele Mihalovich

Cheer routines often involve girls being flung high into the air.



Maddox Harrison (wrestling on top) is one of more than 300 wrestlers who showed up at Mount Si High School on Dec. 29 for a wrestling tournament for grapplers with less than two years of experience.

Wrestling From Page 8 tion, I don’t know what is,” he said. At the high school level, Mount Si High School placed eighth out of 40 teams in a tournament in San Diego during Christmas break. Several Wildcat wrestlers are former SVWC members, including Wilkins

Melgaard, son of club founder Nels Melgaard. The sport had thrived in the 1970s under the name of Mount Si Wrestling Club, Marum said, only to dwindle after the end of that decade. In the 1990s, he said, Valley wrestlers of the then-Snoqualmie Falls Wrestling Club had the talent but not the numbers. Then, Joe Marenco and Nels Melgaard started the latest reincarnation, with a different name.

And yet, the tourney remained elusive. Many wrestling enthusiasts have wanted to hold a tournament, Leilani said, “but it’s been pretty much my husband’s and my pushing,” she said. Smokey said the biggest reason he pushed for it was the fellows with the nervous faces wearing the singlets Dec. 29. “The kids in our novice class,” he said. “I wanted them to experience wres-

tling regardless of whether they are going to have success. Most of them don’t travel to Burlington or Arlington, and now they have a tournament.” The tourney, he said, could serve as a springboard for a career in wrestling. “It could spark something in the kids to say ‘I like this sport and I want to go to more tournaments,’” he said. “It takes a spark to start a fire.”

From Page 8

eral times and we’re still working on trying to look like were one fluid body.”

that they are practicing here, and at home,” Stevens said. “We’ve already competed sev-

Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or Comment at

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JANUARY 3, 2013

Future ‘Peanuts’ makers of the world get their start at CVES By Sebastian Moraga The dog jumps off a plane, shouting for help on the way down. Then, his parachute opens and he reflects, “Ah, that wasn’t so bad.” Then, his plane lands and he finds a spot on one of the wings of the plane. The end. Or maybe the beginning, if Parker Norah wants to continue drawing his “Dangeres Dog” cartoon. Students at Cascade View Elementary School embarked

on an eight-week project to create their own comic strip using Microsoft Paint. The strips will be finished in February. Every week, the strips progress a bit more, right alongside the children’s computer skills. Besides drawing the strip on the screen, they learn about saving and opening files, erasing and starting over, and setting up desktop backgrounds. “My goal is to teach technology in a fun way that encompasses ‘real world’ activities for students to draw upon and become excited about,” teacher Heather Hall wrote in an email.

By Sebastian Moraga

Megan Algrim loves teddy bear cuddles, but her first loyalty is to her dog, so that’s what she’s drawing on the computer screen.

Students like learning about technology while drawing a self-portrait, a comic strip or an animal. “I picked a doggie because I have a dog,” said first-grader Megan Algrim, who clutched a teddy bear throughout the entire hourlong class. Hall engaged students not just in creating but in observing. Students went on an “art walk” around the lab, giving positive feedback to their classmates, and anonymously voting on their favorite. “The student with the most number of votes had their project printed out for the bulletin board in the lab,” Hall wrote, “along with their picture.” Principal Ray Wilson praised Hall’s inventiveness. By Sebastian Moraga “She has really This teddy bear either is laughing on the inside or does not have much of a sense of raised the bar for our students’ expe- humor, because these three Cascade View Elementary children, including his closest (and nearest) buddy Megan Algrim, are creating some mighty funny comic strips and riences,” he wrote he just sits there without saying much. Some bears just don’t appreciate art. in an email. The next step of the project involves stuthese slides will be inserted into a computers at school,” Hall told dents creating a two-character Word document as a comic strip.” the class Dec. 13. strip, complete with dialogue Students will give their comic Students have really taken to their creations, but also to the or thought bubbles, Hall said. strip a title — Dangeres Dog medium that produces them. The two characters will interact is taken, though — and then “It’s been my observation that through eye contact and speech. save it to their own drive in the young students of technology “Students will create three school’s computer. learn quickly,” Hall wrote, “and slides in ‘Paint’ for their comic “Each student has a drive. are eager for more knowledge.” strip,” Hall wrote. “Eventually, That way, it will be in all the

Valley students seek to aid Alzheimer’s patients with inventions By Sebastian Moraga It’s not meant to be disrespectful. They are all children after all. But the group of boys wanting to ease the struggles of Alzheimer’s patients through technology named their team the iForgot. That’s just about where the jokes end for the six middleschoolers from the Snoqualmie Valley. They all know what they are up against. They know too well. A quick survey of the group reveals that three members have grandparents with Alzheimer’s disease. “It is so destructive,” Quinn

Gieseke said of the disease, which affects one of his grandparents. “And it can’t be cured.” Gieseke and his buddies Hari and Vishnu Rathnam, Beau Johnson, Rahul Chaliparambil and Rahul Raj want to, if not cure, at least improve the lives of people in the early stages of the disease. Budding technology experts all, the middle-schoolers have an ambitious project called the Holokayne. The Holokayne (pronounced Holo-Cane) is a cane that would serve not just as a source of stability for ailing senior citizens, but would also carry mechanisms including a hologram, a GPS, a voice assistant, a database

and recorder, face-recognition software and a daylight simulator. “For those seniors affected by sundown syndrome,” Gieseke added. Sundown syndrome, though not considered an “official” disease, relates to the agitation some dementia-afflicted seniors feel in late afternoons. All of the mechanisms would make senior citizens’ lives easier, group member Hari Rathnam said. Many of them live alone, Gieseke added, and they may need a little help. The Holokayne would help seniors remember things. Given the severity of Alzheimer’s, the cane would be most useful early

on, Rathnam said, when the disease is attacking the short-term memory. The cane itself would be made of titanium, have a groovedrubber handle to help grip it and would carry a 35-terabyte memory. Each terabyte is the equivalent of 1,024 gigabytes. The rubber handle would keep hands warm, and the holograms would allow real-time communication with family and friends. Both Rathnam boys and Chaliparambil are the group’s veterans. They represented the Valley in the state Lego robotics competition last year. They are taking the Holokayne to this year’s competition.

“Our team won the champions’ award and is going to the state finals in February,” team mentor Ram Rathnam wrote in an email. Hari Rathnam, Ram’s son, said the cane has not been invented, but that does not mean it can’t. The super-loaded cane is closer to future reality than to pipe-dream. The technology is there, he insists. “It could probably be done in a couple of years with the technology we have,” he said. Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or Comment at

JANUARY 3, 2013

SnoValley Star


Vietnam veteran is on mission of healing By Sebastian Moraga It breaks his heart. It feeds his soul. Twice a day, Edmonds artist Michael Reagan calls on his talent and puts pencil to paper. About six hours later, the paper has a face staring back at him. But not just any face. Not that of a movie star or a politician. Not that or an athlete or a model, all of whom he has drawn by the hundreds. In fact, the face is probably unknown to most of the world. It’s the face of a dead soldier. “I’m looking at someone looking at me who is no longer with us,” said 65-year-old Reagan, a Vietnam veteran who will visit a Snoqualmie Middle School assembly in mid-January. “And I’m trying to create a piece of art that, when the family of that dead soldier gets it, they get something that helps them heal.” Tom Burford, a social studies teacher at SMS in charge of the assembly, called him a great man. “Every once in a while you cross paths with someone who inspires you to be a better person,” Burford wrote in an email. “I will support this man and his efforts for as long as he will allow me to.” Reagan’s mission started in 2004, when his work drawing celebrities caught the eye of Evening Magazine and then the show’s network, NBC. A woman in Idaho saw the show and contacted Reagan, asking him to

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Michael Reagan shows some of the 3,100-plus heroes whose faces he has drawn in the past nine years. draw a portrait of her hus- to be able to talk to her more rewarding,” he said. band, who had died a year daughter or granddaughter “What I get to do is thank earlier in the war in the and say ‘That’s me with these people.” Middle East. my dad,’” Reagan said. He’s not the only one That was the first por“’If you hadn’t drawn that doing the thanking. The trait. In the almost nine picture, the conversation National Veterans of years since, he has drawn could have never hapForeign Wars will present about 3,000 more. Never pened.”’ Reagan with a three-year, unsolicited, always for free. Reagan said he draws $75,000 grant Feb. 8. And “A lot of them tell me two pictures a day but at the January assembly, I bring their kids home,” draws each like it’s the the students at SMS will he said. The woman from only one on his schedule. present him with money Idaho who requested the He watches videos, looks they raised in a coin drive. first portrait told him the at pictures, sometimes All to keep him pencil night the portrait arrived even reads the diaries the in hand, recouping his was the first full night of family sends him. All in soul and honoring heroes. sleep she’d had since her an effort to get to know “My project is to draw husband’s death. someone he will never portraits of every soldier A survivor of the 1967 meet. who died in a terrorist battles of Con Thien near “You bet it’s tough,” he attack,” he said, adding the North Vietnamese said. “I have a cold right that around Christmas, he border, he said a fellow now, but for the last few received a request from Vietnam veteran once years, I walk five miles a the family of a victim of told him his drawings day, just to kind of center the 1983 American embaswere helping Reagan’s myself.” sy bombing in Beirut. soul return from Southeast On the other hand, he General Charles H. Asia. said, the payoff is greater Jacoby, Reagan said, told One of Reagan’s porthan any he earned drawhim that the families of traits pictures a soldier ing celebrities, the Seattle these victims won’t let with the 13-week-old Seahawks or as the official him stop. daughter he never met. artist of the University of That’s fine by him. “His mother told me, Washington Huskies from “I will stop drawing ‘You know what you did? 1979 to 2005. portraits the day before After you and I are gone, “There’s been no someone has to draw my granddaughter is going money, but it’s much mine,” he said.

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Music/ entertainment q The Voodoos, New Year’s Eve party, 9 p.m. Dec. 31, Finaghty’s Irish Pub, 7726 Center Blvd. S.E., Suite 110, Snoqualmie, 888-8833 q Mount Si Vocal Workshop, 5 p.m. Jan. 7, Boxley’s, 101 W. North Bend Way, 292-9307 q Chris Kendziorski, 8 p.m. Jan. 12, The Black Dog, 8062 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie, 8313647 q Valley Center Stage presents “The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes,” a one-woman musical about beating cancer “and living to sing about it,” written and performed by Eva Moon at 8 p.m. Jan. 18 and 19 at 119 W. North Bend Way, 8315667. Tickets are $12.50 and $10 for seniors.

North Bend Library Unless otherwise noted, all events occur at 115 E. Fourth St. North Bend, 888-0554. q Special Needs Story Time, 10 a.m. Jan. 5, join us for stories, songs designed for children with special needs and their families. This program targets developmental ages 3-6, although children of all ages and abilities are welcome. q Study Zone, 2 p.m. Jan. 6, 13. Drop in during scheduled hours for free homework help in all subjects. For teens. q Infant and Family Story Time, 11 a.m. Jan. 7, newborn to age 3 with adult, siblings and older children welcome. q Drop-in eReader Assistance, 6 p.m. Jan. 7, learn how to download eBooks to your eReader or computer during this digital download demonstration. q Talk time, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7, improve your speaking and listening skills in this English conversation group. Learn more about American culture and meet people from around the world. q North Bend First Tuesday Book Club, 7 p.m. Jan. 8. Join for a book discussion of “Martin Chuzzlewit” or any other novel by Charles Dickens. For adults. q Toddler Story Time, 10 a.m. Jan. 8, share the world of books with your child and come for stories, songs and surprises. Ages

JANUARY 3, 2013



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Save the date for the second annual Empty Bowls and Silent Auction fundraiser, supporting the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank. The fundraiser is at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Mount Si High School Commons, 8651 Meadowbrook Way, Snoqualmie. Local restaurants will provide a meal of soup and bread, in bowls handcrafted by Valley middleschool and high-school art students. Tickets are available starting this month at or at the food bank, 122 E. Third St., North Bend. 2-3 with adult. Younger children and siblings welcome. q Preschool Story Time, 10:45 a.m., Jan. 8, ages 3-6 with adult. Siblings welcome. q One-on-one computer assistance, 1 p.m. Jan. 9, get extra help on the computer or with any special projects you have. q Family Story Time, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9, all young children welcome with adult. Wear your pajamas if you like.

Snoqualmie Library Unless otherwise noted, all events occur at 7824 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie, 888-1223. q Preschool Story Times, 1:30 p.m. Jan. 7, ages 3-6 with adult, share the world of books with your child and come for stories songs and surprises. q Study Zone, 3 p.m. Jan. 8, 15, drop in during scheduled study hours for free homework in all subjects from volunteer tutors. q Young Toddler Story Times, 10 a.m. Jan. 9, 16, ages 6-24 months, with adults, younger children and siblings welcome. Enjoy bouncy rhymes, familiar songs and stories

with your little one. q Anime and Manga Club, 3 p.m. Jan. 9, 16, watch anime movies, eat popcorn and practice your manga drawing. All skills levels welcome. q Drop-in eReader assistance, 11 a.m. Jan. 10, 17 learn how to download eBooks to your eReader or computer during this digital download demonstration. q Family Story Times, 7 p.m. Jan. 10, all young children welcome with adults. Wear your pajamas if you like. q Preschool Story Times, 1:30 p.m. Jan. 14 and 10:45 a.m. Jan. 16, ages 3-6 with adult. Share the world of books with your child and come for stories, songs and surprises.

Classes Acting/improv for children, 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Jan. 15 to Feb. 26, for ages 9-12, $150 fee. Sponsored by Si View Metropolitan Park District. Classes happen at Valley Center Stage, 119 North Bend Way. Send us your calendar item by emailing us at




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