Page 1

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

May 2, 2013 VOL. 5, NO. 17

Sisters make up half of relay team Page 10

Group completes Snoqualmie Valley elk count By Michele Mihalovich

Up and running Snoqualmie Falls power plant is back online. Page 3

High-stakes reading Studnets show off their book smarts. Page 5

Police blotter Page 6

Mr. Toad’s wild ride Wind in the Willows debuts.

Page 6

Green hopes Snoqualmie wants ecofriendly title. Page 9

By Michele Mihalovich

Michael Walker, a volunteer participating in the Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group’s elk count, spots a group of elk across the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River April 12.

Local volunteers spiff up veterans’ memorial

Mid-season check-up for softball team Page 10

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Dave Humphrey couldn’t drive by the Snoqualmie Valley Veterans’ Memorial Park next to Snoqualmie City Hall and not notice the patches of weeds that seemed to be taking over the place. “This is a brand new and wonderful veterans’ memorial, but it doesn’t look like there is any kind of long-term maintenance plan,” he said. “It looks like nobody cares.” Humphrey, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Snoqualmie Valley, also serves as the liaison to Mount Si High School’s Key Club, the youth club of Kiwanis that helps with community service projects. He felt getting the park “in shape” would be a perfect spring project for the youth group. On a sunny afternoon April 24, he, along with other Kiwanis members and a handful of Key Club members, set out to tackle the See MEMORIAL, Page 2

See ELK, Page 3

Day of Silence passes quietly By David Hayes

By Michele Mihalovich

Pitcher’s duel

Mist hovered over a pond at Mountain Meadows in North Bend as Michael Walker looked through binoculars and counted 48 elk. Four of them had collars around their necks, which made the receiver sitting on the dash of his Jeep beep and blip like crazy. Walker said there are four different types of beeps, which can tell an elk counter whether an elk is standing, lying down, lowering their heads to eat — and even if an animal is dead. The herd was definitely alive, barely paying attention to the Jeep as they munched dew-covered grass. Walker, at 6 a.m. April 12, met up with nine other Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group volunteers at QFC to come up with a game plan for the day’s count. They usually break up into pairs and head out to count on certain routes. One is the Mount Si Road route, the others are Meadowbrook, Cedar Falls, the

By Michele Mihalovich

Princeton See (left), 16, of Snoqualmie, pulls up a dandelion, roots and all, during a clean-up project at the Snoqualmie Valley Veteran’s Memorial Park April 24. Also helping are Dave Humphrey, Dylan Johnson and Nari Emerson.

Few school events’ success are judged by the amount of what doesn’t happen. For the Mount Si High School Gay-Straight Alliance’s Day of Silence April 19, less was actually more. While participation numbers are up, according to club adviser Eric Goldhammer, at about 215, the negatives associated with the day are way down. The national event, now in its eighth year at MSHS, is bringing attention to the prejudice, harassment and discrimination gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students regularly face in their schools and communities. It is also five years removed from the protests that marred the event’s goals See SILENCE, Page 2


SnoValley Star

PAGE 2

MAY 2, 2013

Memorial

Houses destroyed, but plants saved

Four homes were demolished last week in North Bend, on the corner of Park Street and Bendigo Boulevard, to make way for the new Bartell Drugs. Gina Estep, director of North Bend’s Community and Economic Development Department, said many of the large, 10- to 30-year-old rhododendrons and other mature native plants were salvaged and temporarily relocated to The Nursery at Mount Si in March, and are available for purchase.

From Page 1 in 2008, resulting in high absenteeism. “Most parents’ experience in 2008 is all they have heard about the event,” senior Carly Melson said. So, when the silent protest results in a mellow,

well-behaved day, it’s mission accomplished. One of the misconceptions the Day of Silence had to overcome, senior Aaron Tevis explained, is it’s not a day to turn into a three-day weekend. “It used to be students would not show up, saying, ‘Oh, we don’t have to be here,’” he said. Now, just a handful of students were absent, Goldhammer said.

On the Web

Learn more about the Mount Si High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club at www.mshsgsa.com. The key to a successful protest, he said, was ensuring the participants had strict guidelines they had to promise to follow. Gone are the days from the first year of the protest

said the event stays exactly as it should be — a silent protest that doesn’t bring attention to itself. “It makes kids realize there are still kids out there who feel they can’t tell someone what they’re feeling, that fear being bullied,” senior Maria Kajercline said. “That for a day, this helps them get a better understanding.” The GSA throughout the year provides at its meetings a safe haven for students. “This is a safe space for those students who might still be in the closet to the general population,” senior Terra Hauser said. “It is a place they can feel safe to come out to the GSA members and have a support base.” “Students can walk in

the door and be accepted, somewhere they can talk about situations happening to them or go over new developments in the LBGT community,” Kajercline added. One of goals of the club is to break down misconceptions. “One of the misconceptions about Mount Si High School is that it is very anti gay,” Goldhammer said, adding that this is actually one of the most accepting communities he knows. To help promote gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students’ issues, the clubs also brings in guest speakers, screens movies and participates in other regional events, such as the Seattle AIDS Walk.

From Page 1

By Mary J. Miller

Silence

landscaped areas choked with weeds. The memorial, dedicated in November 2011, came together after years of collaboration within the Valley community. Six flags representing the various arms of the military flapped above the group of workers. A granite monument lists all of the service members from the Valley who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country, which includes 12 from World War I, 48 during World War II, six in the Korean War, nine in Vietnam and four during our current Iraq/ Afghanistan conflicts. Key Club member Dylan Johnson, 15, of North Bend, pulled dandelions next to Nari Emerson, 15, also of North Bend. Johnson said he enjoys projects like this because he likes helping the com-

munity and restoring land to its natural environment. But, he also said he understood that the memorial was created to celebrate and honor American soldiers and show respect. “In a way, clearing this site is a way to also show respect,” Johnson said. Humphrey said he is not a veteran, but he feels strongly about honoring people who “sacrificed for the rest of us, and in some cases, suffered horrifically. It’d be nice if the community gave back to them.” Humphrey said he’d love it if community or service groups could share in the responsibility of a regular maintenance plan. “It’s too much for just one group,” he said. “Heads need to be put together to try and come up with a plan. It’s really not that big of an area, but after being neglected so long, it turns into a really big job. But, if it were regularly maintained, it wouldn’t be so hard.”

where students actually wore duct tape over their mouths for the day. In its place is an understanding between students and their teachers that participation in class supersedes remaining silent. “We now have big, open signup tables where we give out the guidelines to the event,” Melson said. Armed with these guidelines, Goldhammer

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Kirkland woman shot herself at Salish A 46-year-old Kirkland woman shot herself in the chest with a handgun April 29, and was taken to a local hospital. Capt. Nick Almquist, with the Snoqualmie Police Department, said police responded at 7 a.m. to the Salish Lodge near Snoqualmie Falls after a report of a self-inflicted shooting. He said the woman had been staying at the lodge for a couple of days and had reportedly been depressed. She shot herself while sitting in a car at the lodge’s parking lot. Almquist said that when police arrived, she was still con-

scious and was transported to a local hospital, where her condition remains unknown.

Snoqualmie Falls power plant No. 2 is back online One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest power plants, the historic Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project, is once again producing electricity for local homes and businesses following a threeyear, top-to-bottom overhaul, according to an April 23 Puget Sound Energy press release. PSE’s 102-year-old Plant 2 powerhouse at Snoqualmie Falls, idled in June 2010, last week

PAGE 3

restarted commercial generation of electricity. Located about a quarter-mile downstream from the falls, the plant underwent near-total reconstruction under a new, 40-year federal operating license. The energy site’s Plant 1 powerhouse — just upstream from the falls in a bedrock cavity almost 270 feet underground — also is getting a comprehensive makeover. Built in 1898-99, the elder powerhouse is scheduled to resume electric generation in July. “The Snoqualmie Falls project was an engineering marvel when built in the late 19th century,” Paul Wiegand, PSE senior vice president of Energy Operations,

said in the press release. “The redevelopment of its backbone infrastructure truly marks the renewal of a renewable resource for our customers and our region.” Once Plant 1 comes online this summer, Snoqualmie Falls’ generating capacity will be 54 megawatts, compared to about 44 megawatts previously. The increased output, enough to serve about 40,000 homes, is being achieved through greater plant efficiencies as no additional water will run through the project’s seven turbines. Besides the upgrades to Snoqualmie Falls’ power-generating infrastructure, PSE is nearing completion of major

Elk From Page 1 Uplands, and Walker’s route that day, called the 428th, which pretty much follows the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. Harold Erland, a wildlife research biologist and vice president of the elk group, said this is the third year the management group has counted elk in the Snoqualmie Valley. It’s done during the first three weeks in April so as to not disturb the females, who are generally hitting their third trimester in late April and typically give birth in May and June, Walker said. Erland said the count is necessary to come up with a new management plan for the elk. He said the last time the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department released the North Rainier Elk Herd Plan was in 2007. The Snoqualmie Valley elk herd is one of 10 that make up the North Rainier herd and Erland said he hopes a new plan will be released in 2014. Walker said Erland is the one who asked him to help with the annual counts and he has no regrets, despite the early

By Michele Mihalovich

Two of the four elk spotted in Ernie’s Grove April 12 during the Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group’s elk count. said. “An elk will do anyhour. learned over the years Walker, a northern about the elk — their mat- thing for apples.” But, an elk counter New York state transplant, ing and breeding habits, can’t help but see other works at home integrating propensity to eat expenwildlife while out in the computers for a living and sive plants homeownwilds near the river. He sets his own hours, which ers try to grow, antlers spotted two mountain allows him the freedom to growing and falling off, goats April 12, along with drive around North Bend’s how transient elk are a a bunny. rural back roads looking bit more skittish than the for elk. local herd population, He said he enjoys the the herd’s relatively small elk counts, driving around grazing areas and how the year after year and seeing management group traps the changes to the area. elk in order to study them Walker spouted off tidand put on collars. bits of information he’d “We use apples,” he

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“We don’t count those,” he joked. At the end of the count at about 8 a.m., Walker had counted 65 elk altogether, including four “bachelor” bucks near Ernie’s Grove, but, he said, “Every now and again, you come up with a zero.” Lynn Brechtel also helped out with the elk count April 12. She and another woman drove the Mount Si Road route and counted 60 elk. She moved to North Bend from the San Francisco Bay area a year and a half ago and figured participating in an elk count would be a good way to learn about the flora and fauna of the area. “Each time I go out, I learn more about the Valley — the forestry, animals, predators in the area, plus the people,” Brechtel said. But, the elk’s personality is what will keep bringing her back. “They are obviously intelligent and have senses of humor,” Brechtel said, recounting a group of elk playing king-of-the-hill on top of a manure pile at a horse ranch.

After 12 days of counting elk, the tally sheets are turned over to Erland, who turns them over to a number cruncher. Erland said the numbers aren’t ready yet, but it looks like the Snoqualmie Valley may have about 500 elk. A 2010 draft of the North Rainier Elk Herd Plan indicates that the Valley can probably support 250 elk. But, as Erland put it, obviously this area can support more because “we’re already seeing that.” The elk count in 2011 and 2012 saw about 430 elk each of those years. Erland said the fact that elk can forage during all four seasons in the Valley is probably why the area can support such a large herd. Nonetheless, he looks forward to seeing the 2014 management plan now that hard numbers, and not estimates, are being provided to the state’s fish and wildlife department. Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

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Opinion

PAGE 4

MAY 2, 2013

Editorial

Letters

Don’t miss out on the new North Bend

Thank you for supporting the first North Bend Blues Walk

North Bend is turning in to quite a happening place, and we love seeing it. When the city faced a decade-long moratorium on new development, city leaders did not just give up. They decided to bring in more events, branded the city as “Easy to reach … Hard to leave” and promoted all the recreational opportunities in the area. A quick look at the 2013 events calendar packs a punch with old standbys and new and innovative events: International Fly Fishing Film Festival, University of Washington Cycling Criterium, North Bend Farmers Market and Summer Concert Series, Downtown North Bend Block Party, Festival at Mount Si, Twin Peaks Film Festival, Tour de Peaks Bike Ride, North Bend Adventure Sport Festival & Iron Horse Relay, Jazz Walk, Halloween Festival & Haunted House, Mountain Film Series, Amateur Outdoor Film Challenge, Banff Film Festival and Holiday Tree Lighting Festival. New this year was also the North Bend Blues Walk, and the streets and businesses were packed. Danny Kolke, owner of Boxley’s and who helped organize the event, said 1,200 people turned out. The streets were alive with energy and great music wafting into the streets. Of course, that was on a Saturday. But, an April 25 trip to downtown — on a Thursday — found a packed house at Boxley’s and at Valley Center Stage for the opening of “The Wind in the Willows” musical. New businesses and new opportunities are moving into the city all the time. And, since the moratorium has been lifted, houses are being built, Bartell Drugs is going in and there is still talk of a hotel being built — perhaps next year. The city is also focusing on its appearance — a new plaza that could spur downtown development, a possible new civic center — the possibilities are endless. We love that North Bend didn’t just sit and lick its wounds when things were tough. Leaders thought outside the box, which means a lot of entertainment and recreational opportunities for locals and Seattleites alike.

Deborah Berto

Publisher

Kathleen R. Merrill

Managing editor

Michele Mihalovich

Editor

Nathan Laursen Advertising manager Megg Joosten

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The first-ever North Bend Blues Walk was a great success thanks to everyone involved. More than 1,200 people came out April 20, filling 13 venues downtown. Following in the same fashion as the successful Jazz Walk in September, music could be found all up and down North Bend Way from 6 p.m. to midnight, and patrons wandered from venue to venue enjoying the experience of it all. We had a great group of new venues added to the list with music in some unconventional places. There was live music in a retail storefront like Birches Habitat and a car dealership showroom like Chaplin’s Chevrolet. Thanks to all our host venues. The event was sponsored and produced by the nonprofit Boxley’s Music Fund, which is organized and run by members who want to support live music programs and education in the Snoqualmie Valley. We want to recognize the Blues Walk Committee chairwoman for her exceptional role in organizing the event, Audrey Paisley. Audrey also had a great team helping, including Paul Green, Karen Granger, Pat Cutchins, Courtney Cutchins, Bob Baumann, Linda Grez and another 40 or so volunteers. The music was fabulous all night long. More than 40 musicians showed up with a variety of bands including T-Town Aces, Blues Redemption, Katie Bourne, Nick Vigarino, Rod Cook, Eric Madis, The Wired Band, Brian Lee Trio, Kim Field, Paul Green, Brian Butler, Chris Stevens’ Surf Monkeys, Dan O’Bryant, John Stephan Band, James King & the Southsiders, Mark Riley, Little Bill and the Blue Notes.

Home Country

Promoting business is a job itself By Slim Randles Emily’s dilemma was obvious: How do you sell manure? Since she fell in love with Dewey Decker, she could think of nothing less than spending her life with him and embracing the fertilizer business whole hog, so to speak. Emily Stickles has never done anything halfway. In her job with the county, she has kept a vigilant eye on almost every business around, encouraged where she could, and crushing hard if she needed to stomp on violators. But, Dewey’s business, scooping up cow manure and redistributing it to gardens all over the county, was a labor of love with her. This was her man’s business, and she would do what she could to help. She had papers spread out all over the kitchen table and was jotting down ideas.

We also want to thank our sponsors without whom this would not have been possible. What’s next? It’s time to start planning for the second annual North Bend Jazz Walk, Sept. 20. Mark your calendars! You don’t want to miss this one. Thanks again for all your support. Danny Kolke boxleymusicfund.com

Address gun background checks There is more than a little to criticize in Dave Olson’s April 18 critique of Joe Crecca’s April 11 letter, subject NCIS background checks. I can’t agree wholly with Joe’s claim that “only honest, law-abiding citizens” are buying guns subject to a check. Recent data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse revealed a couple of interesting things. One — that the district within which Chicago resides ranks last in terms of prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita. And, two — that “nationally federal gun crime prosecutions hit a decade low in 2011 under President Obama, down 40 percent from their peak under President George W. Bush in 2004.” And, National Criminal Justice Reference Service, found that in 2010, “of 6 million Americans who applied to buy a gun, less than 2 percent — or 76,000 — were denied. Of those, the ATF referred 4,732 cases for prosecution. Of them, just 44 were prosecuted, and only 13 were punished for lying or buying a gun illegally.” So, it might be said that there are some dumb criminals out there trying to illegally purchase firearms legally. And, the current background check system is barely enforced. Olson writes of “law-abiding citizens of record.” I was granted a license to carry a concealed weapSee LETTERS, Page 5

The first and most obvious one was to take advantage of the local paper and send them a Slim Randles news release. Oh, they Columnist might want advertising money, too … they’re kinda funny that way … but a news release comes out looking almost like a news story. The trick is, it can’t look like a free ad for the business, which it is. She looked down at story ideas: “Local merchant says no shortage of product in sight.”

“County soils need biodegradable amendments.” “Avoiding infertility: spread the word, and the manure.” Well, that last one needs work. Tomorrow she’s going to corner Dewey and work up a business plan with him. Oh, she realizes all he wants to do is shovel … but he’ll need to graduate to supervisory work if his company is going to progress. OK, how about “Valley expert says: bovine donations enrich local gardens.” Maybe a cup of coffee will help her think. Brought to you by American Book Preparation, editing and rewriting services. Inquire at barngoddess84@yahoo.com.

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

snovalley star

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


SnoValley Star

MAY 2, 2013

By Megg Joosten

Chloe Barber, of Team Dynomite, holds up the correct answer while her teammates look on. From left are Will Desler, Chloe Barber, Lorenzo Perez, Luke Nieman and Oliver Lang.

Battle of the books brings students into the library By Megg Joosten The Fall City Elementary School library was packed with people, students and adults, and a nervous tension is in the air. Students sitting on the floor held construction paper pennants and poster boards with team names on them. “In which book does a character eat a delicious shelled fruit called a ram-

Letters From Page 4 on precisely because I had no “record.” Anyway, Olson, presuming, I suspect, passage

butan?” librarian Meg Handy asked April 26. The students at the tables, five teams of five students, huddle together, whispering. “’Kensuke’s Kingdom!’” Handy said, 40 seconds later. Poster boards are waved as some of the students quietly whisper, “Yes.” Students were competing in the final Battle of the Books, the culmina-

tion of a contest that has been running since December. Every spring for the past 13 years, librarians from Snoqualmie Elementary, Fall City Elementary, North Bend Elementary, Cascade View Elementary and Opstad Elementary schools have gotten together to choose 12 books, which will

of the Senate anti-gun bills, closes with, “But, it’s a beginning.” This sort of echoes then-Rep. Charles Schumer’s cackling, following passage of the original Brady Bill, “The camel’s nose is under the

tent!” How about an end to “feel-good,” “do-something” legislation and those who would vote for it? That would really be a beginning. George Crotts North Bend

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SnoValley Star

PAGE 6

MAY 2, 2013

‘The Wind in the Willows’ blows through North Bend characters’ lines describe the scene for the audience; you can This adaptation of the musialmost feel the sun, see the dust cal, “The Wind in the Willows,” in the air and smell the gas of had never been performed Toad’s newest fad, a motorcar. onstage before the night of April As the musical goes on, the 25, when it debuted at Valley audience is introduced to a variCenter Stage in North Bend. ety of animals: weasels, badgers, Written in story theater form, field mice and ferrets. Despite the musical is being dressed as a combination people, you can If you go of narrative and almost see the ‘The Wind in the Willows’ songs directed animal characThrough May 11 at the audience ters’ personified. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and fellow charPerhaps it is the Friday, Saturday acters. It takes a way they hold 2 p.m. matinee Saturday little getting used themselves, or Valley Center Stage to at first, but maybe it is just 119 W. North Bend Way anyone who has good direction $14.50 to $17 seen the theater’s and casting from production of “A director Gary Christmas Carol” Schwartz. will recognize the style. Several actors, including The musical opens with Dylan Cook, of Issaquah, and Ratty and Mole (played by Greg Julie Lester, of North Bend, Lucas, of Issaquah, and Robin prove to be especially flexible, Walbeck-Forrest, of North Bend, taking on almost a dozen differrespectively), two characters that ent roles. meet in the spring and become Lester switches from sneaky fast friends. They slide along ferret to perky field mouse withthe edge of the stage in a rowout skipping a beat, and Cook boat with a painted background changes from a human train scene of green hills, a mansion engineer to a weasel, sneaking and a tree with a door built in. around and fighting so easily Though the stage is small, the that you almost don’t realize it’s

By Megg Joosten

Police blotter North Bend No big deal Police took a report at 7:15 a.m. April 13 of a possible drug deal on Main Avenue South. Police checked the area but found nothing.

Stop following me Police took a report at 4:51 p.m. April 13 of three males on South Fork Avenue Southwest. The males appeared to be “sketchy.” The reporting party was following the males, and they appeared to be wary of their follower.

Forgot my gun Police responded to a report at 11:40 a.m. April 14 of found property at North Bend Bar and Grill. A customer had left her purse and gun by accident. Police educated the owner of the gun about weapons laws in bars.

Sneaky at the motel Police responded at 1 p.m. April 15 to a report of suspicious activity at the Sunset Motel on West North Bend Way. There was a report of people stopping by all day and only staying a few minutes. Police spoke with the occupants, and

they denied dealing drugs. Management was notified of the behavior.

Needles in the parking lot

Police responded at 12:37 p.m. April 15 to West North Bend Way where a woman had found a bag of used hypodermic needles in the parking lot of Pioneer Coffee. Police disposed of the needles properly.

Just doing a little digging Police took a report at 12:55 p.m. April 15 of a homeless man digging in the dirt behind Sunset Motel on West North Bend Way.

Napping between laundry loads

Police responded at 2:19 p.m. April 15 to the Laundromat on East North Bend Way where a man was sleeping in the business with a beer. Police asked him to leave and threw away the beer.

Unauthorized withdrawals

Police took a report at 2:44 p.m. April 15 of an unauthorized use of a debit card. A woman reported that someone withdrew $3,109.99 from her account at Snoqualmie Casino. She was still in possession of her debit card.

By Megg Joosten

Rat talks to Horse, Mole and Toad in ‘The Wind in the Willows.’ From left, Greg Lucas, Craig Ewing, Robin Walbeck-Forrest and John Cook. the same person. his Toad part by sobbing, moanThe musical takes place over ing and crying when he’s locked several seasons as Toad, a flamin his room. boyant, impulsive, attention-lovHe can’t be held for long, ing character, continues to make though, because crafty Toad bad choices until his friends are always finds a way to weasel his forced to stage a toad intervenway out of the tight situations tion. John Cook, an opera singer he gets himself into. from Issaquah, really gets into Once you get used to the

No more videos Police took a report at 4:17 p.m. April 16 of a burglary from the Si View Apartments office. During the night, the security cameras were stolen, along with a metal box containing money from rent. The security cameras were valued at $400 and the box contained $3,400 in cash and money orders.

Hooligans on the move Police responded at 11:21 a.m. April 17 to a report of a Uhaul being followed by a car with several “hooligan type occupants.” The vehicles made several passes back and forth between 14th Place Southwest and 13th Place Southwest.

Ole, ole Police responded at 1:23 a.m. April 19 to a report of loud Mexican music on Healy Avenue South.

Drug activity Police took a report at 4:35 p.m. April 18 of a male and female shooting up drugs behind the bus depot near East Park Street and Healy Avenue South.

Loud noises Police took a report at 1:50

a.m. April 19 of loud mechanical noises on East Park Street. Police discovered it was the heating system at the community center making the noise.

Smokin’ some meth Police responded to a call at 8:35 p.m. April 18 by a male who had seen four people with a big flame smoking pot or meth in front of his home on Ballarat Avenue South.

Snoqualmie You’ve got mail Police responded at 1:29 p.m. April 19 to the post office where an employee discovered that someone attempted to pry open one of the post office boxes.

Swerving and speeding Police stopped a vehicle at 12:29 a.m. April 20 on Railroad Avenue Southeast that was swerving and speeding. The driver, a 31 year-old woman, was failed several sobriety tests. She was taken to the King County Jail for a DUI.

Seven years bad luck Police took a report at 11:20 a.m. April 20 that someone had broken a mirror in the men’s bathroom at Carmichael Park. There was also blood and graffiti

actors speaking to the audience, and the mimed props the characters use, the musical is quite enjoyable. Toad had the audience in hysterics at several points in the show, especially when he was dressed as a washer woman. The performance of this particular musical is especially meaningful to Schwartz because it was written by Paul Sills, his mentor and teacher Viola Spolin’s son. The musical was an unpublished work of Sills’, and Schwartz was able to get permission from the family to produce it. The script was complete, but the musical only had eight out of 12 songs written. So, Schwartz’s musical director, Michael Matlock, wrote the other four, completing the musical. The composer of the first eight songs, William Bolcom, was raised in Meadowbrook. “It feels like serendipity abounds,” Schwartz said, before the first performance. Megg Joosten: 392-6434, ext. 221, or newsclerk@isspress.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

on the walls.

Disappearing kids Police received a report at 4:40 p.m. April 24 of juveniles hanging around City Hall, making a mess. Police were unable to locate them.

Bear on the loose Police received a report at 10:49 p.m. April 24 of a bear in an alley near a residence on Southeast McCullough Street. Police were unable to locate the bear.

North Bend fire calls q Seven fire engines responded at 4:44 p.m. April 19 to Moon Valley Road Southeast to search for a lost person in water. q Two fire engines responded at 5:37 p.m. April 22 to Southeast 136th Street for a report of unauthorized burning. q Fire fighters responded to a call at 6:27 p.m. April 25 to Southeast 129th Street for unintentional smoke detector activation.

Snoqualmie fire calls No fire calls were received from Snoqualmie this week. The Star publishes names of those charged with felony crimes. Information comes directly from local police reports.


SnoValley Star

MAY 2, 2013

PAGE 7

Joe Galagan to enter retirement as educator of the year By David Hayes After 31 years in education, Joe Galagan figures it’s about time to move on to the next phase of life. As an appropriate send off, the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation named him as one of its three educators of the year. Ironically, Galagan hasn’t actually taught in a classroom in more than 26 years. Rather, he’s helped students on their educational journey as a guidance counselor at Mount Si High School. As department chairman, Galagan is one of four full-time counselors at the school. Each offers academic advice, college advice and personal help when a student is struggling. While Galagan has

helped a lot of teens through their personal issues over the years, one in particuJoe Galagan lar stands out. “There was this one girl, early on in the year, she didn’t pass any classes, was getting straight Fs,” Galagan said. “I got to know her pretty well. I also knew her older sister. Working with her, she was able to turn it around.” Galagan was such a positive influence for her, he said she stays in touch with him to this day. Looking back, Galagan said she’s not the only one. There have been hundreds of students with the

help of their school counselor who have been able to turn their lives around. Right out of college, Galagan figured to start his life in education, utilizing his masters degree in English literature. But, when he was tapped to be a middle school reading instructor, he was introduced to the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program in the ‘70s or ‘80s, he said, that helped kids with learning issues. He was so inspired by its result, he decided to go back to college and earn a master’s in guidance counseling. “That experience is what prompted me to be a counselor,” he said. These days, all counselors are required to obtain a master’s certificate in school counseling.

You should know

The Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation also named teachers Marianne Bradburn, from Opstad Elementary School, and Thomas Burford, from Snoqualmie Middle School, as its educators of the year. Burford was featured in the Star on March 17 and Bradburn was featured March 28. “That wasn’t always the case,” he said. “It used to be anyone with a teaching certificate could do it.” In addition to helping struggling students, Galagan said he has also enjoyed being a key component in laying the foundation for students’ next phase of learning — college. “It starts here to have a good college experience,”

he said. “You have to have good academic habits. So, if you learn to be a good student in high school, you can carry that forth to college. And, that saves you from having to learn it there.” Often, students find their own way, Galagan said, and the trick to good counseling is just guiding students through soul searching, so that

they arrive at their own answers. “Kids are open to that. They don’t want you to tell them exactly what to do,” he added. Helping him through his own journey is his wife Katherine. They met when they were students at the University of Washington and married in 1980. Now, two kids and one grandchild later, Galagan figures they’ve had a great experience. “She works at Virginia Mason and has been there as long as I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s been really See YEAR, Page 9

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Teacher From Page 3 Year award? In honor of National Teacher Appreciation month in May, Ivar’s and Kidd Valley are holding the 10th annual Teacher of the Year contest, according to a press release from Ivar’s. Nominated teachers

will have the opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card for school supplies. Two winning teachers will be selected, by Ivar’s and Kidd Valley. Students ages 14 and younger are invited to nominate their favorite teacher. The students who nominate the winning teachers will receive either an Ivar’s Kids Meal for every student in their class or a Kidd Valley Burger Party.

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In addition to the grand prize, four teachers will receive a $150 gift card for school supplies and 30 teachers will receive a $25 Ivar’s or Kidd Valley gift card. Nominate a teacher at any Ivar’s or Kidd Valley location in the Puget Sound area or go to www. ivars.com or www.kiddvalley.com by May 27 to complete a nomination form.

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SnoValley Star

PAGE 8

YOUR WEEK

MAY 2, 2013

SCHEDULE THIS: Don’t miss your last chance to see the family-friendly musical ‘The Wind in the Willows’ at 7:30 p.m., May 9-11 at the Valley Center Stage, 119 West North Bend Way, North Bend. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and younger and seniors. Purhcase tickets at www.valleycenterstage.org.

Send your news Send items for Your Week to newsclerk@ isspress.com by noon Friday.

THE CALENDAR FOR MAY 3-9 FRI

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q ‘Spring into Gardening’ plant sale, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 and 4, at Remlinger Farms, 32610 N.E. 32nd St., Carnation. Proceeds benefit the Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation. q Snoqualmie Valley School’s District Art Show, 6-8 p.m., Mount Si High School, 8651 Meadowbrook Way, S.E. q Mother’s Day Tea Party, 6:30-8 p.m., Snoqualmie Valley YMCA, 35108 S.E. Ridge St., Snoqualmie. Free for members, $10/family for nonmembers.

q Ela Lamblin of Lelavision, 6:30-8 p.m., Si View Community Center, 400 S.E. Orchard Dr., North Bend. Interactive performance starts at 7 p.m. Free crafts and dinner start at 6:30 p.m. q James Hurley, acoustic singersongwriter, 8 p.m., The Black Dog, 8062 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie

q Annual Kids’ Fishing Day, sunrise to 10 a.m., 34825 S.E. Douglas St., Snoqualmie,www. cityofsnoqualmie.org q Yard waste recycling, 8 a.m. to noon, North Bend Public Works, 1155 East North Bend Way. Call 888-7654. q Town of Snoqualmie Falls Video and Discussion, 10 a.m. to noon, Meadowbrook Farm, 1711 Boalch Ave., North Bend. Free. q All Comers Track Meets, for all ages, 2-4:30 p.m., Mount Si High School, 8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E., Snoqualmie, $5 per meet. q SnoValley Coffee Co and Friends Fiesta, SnoValley Coffee Co., 7811 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie. Meet and greet with Rancho Laguna HEART animals from 2-4 p.m., and music with Shane Shook and Jessie Houghton from 6-8p.m. q Fabulous Flashbacks, 7-9 p.m., Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S. $12. q The Defeyes with Rusty Hand Luke, 8 p.m., The Black Dog, 8062 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie

q Bake Sale Fundraiser for the Relay for Life, sponsored by the DyNoMites team, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Safeway Plaza, 460 S.W. Mt. Si. Blvd, North Bend.

q Preschool Science: Science of music, 9:30-11 a.m., Snoqualmie Valley YMCA, 35108 S.E. Ridge St., Snoqualmie. Call 256-3115 to register, $10/child. q Home school gathering, 1-3 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth Street

q Annual Cinco de Mayo party, featuring the Voodoos, 9 a.m. to noon, Finaghty’s, 7726 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie, q Northwest Railway Museum Train Rides, 38625 S.E. King St., Snoqualmie, at 12:01, 1:31, 3:01 and 3:46 p.m., North Bend station, 205 McClellan St., North Bend at 12:31, 2:01 and 3:31 p.m. q Danny Kolke Trio, 6 p.m., Boxley’s, 101 W. North Bend Way, North Bend. Reservations recommended, go to www. boxleysplace.com/reservations. q Cinco de Mayo event, 6-9 p.m., TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club, 36005 S.E. Ridge St., Snoqualmie. To register call 396-6000 or email tpcsr@brightstargolf.com.

q Preschool story time, 1:30-2:30 p.m., for children ages 3-6 with adult. Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie q Public Works Committee meeting, 5-6 p.m., City Hall, 38624 S.E. River Street, Snoqualmie. Email dhumes@ ci.snoqualmie.wa.us q Planning and Parks meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m., City Hall, 38624 S.E. River Street, Snoqualmie. Email gberry@ ci.snoqualmie.wa.us q Courtney Cutchins Duo, 7-9:30 p.m., Boxley’s, 101 W. North Bend Way, North Bend. Reservations recommended, go to www. boxleysplace.com/reservations. q Planning Commission meeting, 7-8 p.m., City Hall, 38624 S.E. River Street, Snoqualmie. Email gberry@ ci.snoqualmie.wa.us

q Young Toddler Story Time, ages 6-24 months with adult, 10-10:45 a.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. S.E. q Aaron Tevis Project, 7 p.m., Boxley’s, 101 W. North Bend Way, North Bend. Reservations recommended, go to www. boxleysplace.com/reservations. q Home school drop-in playgroup, 1-2 p.m., Snoqualmie Valley YMCA, 35108 S.E. Ridge St., Snoqualmie. Free. q Study time, 3-5 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St. Drop in for free homework help. q Finance and Administration meeting, 5:30-6:30 p.m., City Hall, 38624 S.E. River Street, Snoqualmie. Email jwarren@ ci.snoqualmie.wa.us q City Council meeting, 7-9 p.m., Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S., North Bend. Call 8887627 q North Bend book club: ‘Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern, 7-8 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth Street. q Karaoke, 9 p.m. to midnight, Finaghty’s, 7726 Center Blvd. S.E., Snoqualmie

q Anime Club, 3-5 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. S.E. q International Children’s Day, 4-5 p.m., North Bend Library lawn, 115 E. Fourth St. Celebrate children, culture and books in the community at an outdoor family concert with traditional acoustic music from Latin America and the Caribbean. q Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting, 4-5:30 p.m., Public Works Department, 1155 E. North Bend Way, North Bend q Shoreline Hearing Board meeting, 5-6 p.m., City Hall, 38624 S.E. River Street, Snoqualmie. Email ntucker@ ci.snoqualmie.wa.us q Family story time, 6:30-7:30 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St. All young children welcome with an adult. Wear your pajamas and listen to stories and sing songs. q Open mic, 7 p.m., every Wednesday, The Black Dog, 8062 Railroad Ave S.E., Snoqualmie

q Guiding Good Choices: Prevention that Works and the Teen Brain, 6-8 p.m., Snoqualmie Middle School, 9200 Railroad Ave. S., Snoqualmie. Thursdays through June 6. q Jazz, Blues and Barbeque with Paul Green, 7-9 p.m., The Black Dog, 8062 Railroad Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie.

q Leah Stillwell and Ed Weber, 7-9:30 p.m., Boxley’s, 101 W. North Bend Way, North Bend. Reservations recommended, go to www.boxleysplace. com/reservations. q Family story time, 7 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. S.E. All young children welcome with an adult. Wear your pajamas and listen to stories and sing songs. q Planning Commission meeting, 7-9 p.m., City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N., North Bend.


SnoValley Star

MAY 2, 2013

Matthew Lynne engaged

Matthew Lynne and Elisa Encinias

City of Snoqualmie strives to be the greenest town in Puget Sound Puget Sound Energy and the city of Snoqualmie are teaming up to challenge local residents and businesses to become the greenest town in the Puget Sound through the “Take Charge Green Power Challenge.” If 46 PSE electric customers in Snoqualmie enroll in the Green Power Program in 2013, the energy company will provide the city with a $20,000 grant to fund a community solar energy project, according to a press release from Puget Sound Energy. PSE’s voluntary Green Power Program gives PSE electric customers a way to guarantee that some or all of the energy they use is matched in the electric grid with clean electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources from the West. For as little as $4 a month, PSE customers can purchase a percentage

where they are assigned to Coast Guard cutters as deck watch officers. Grandparents are Tony and Josie Encinias, of Raton, New Mexico, and Wilma Lee Maharrey, of Clarksville, Tenn. Proud grandparents of Matthew Lynne are Sue Lewallen, of North Bend, and Dr. Sheldon and Diane Lynne, of New Orleans. The engagement celebration will be held in New London, Conn., in May of this year. The wedding is being planned for spring 2014.

Elisa J. Encinias, daughter of Lupita Encinias and B.F. Maharrey Jr., of Barstow, Calif., is engaged to marry Matthew Lynne, son of Sheldon T. and Karen Lynne, of North Bend, WA. Encinias is a 2009 Barstow High School graduate. Lynne is a 2009 graduate of Mount Si High School. Both are currently attending their final year at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. The couple, upon graduating in May, will reside in Alameda, Calif.,

of green power to power their home. Sign up at www.pse. com/gpchallenge.

Connect with your water at the Cedar River Watershed Did you know Seattle’s tap water comes from the Cedar River Watershed? Learn about that and more on a tour. The watershed is available for a variety of guided tours and programs. The Cedar River Watershed Education Center is a regional education facility created as a gathering place to connect people with the source of their water. Visit the Cedar River Watershed Center at 19901 Cedar Falls Road. S.E., North Bend, and sign up for a tap water tour, a family waterfall tour or a walking tour of the historic town sites of Cedar Falls or Taylor. Or, take a full-day guided trip to see the connection between the watershed’s protected rivers, lakes, forests, wetlands

and your tap water. Tours, programs and family activities are available year round, but registration is required, according to a press release from Seattle Public Utilities. Call 206-733-9421 or email crwprograms.seattle.gov to register. Admission to the center is free; programs range from $5 to $15 per person.

Local spa named healthiest eco spa in America The Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie was placed on Prevention. com’s list of the 50 Healthiest Spas in America. The only spa in Washington state to be recognized on the exclusive list, The Spa at Salish Lodge was selected based on its locally sourced treatments, location, award-winning cuisine and sustainable practices, according to a press release from the spa. Spas on the list must have eco-friendly credentials, and provide an

Year From Page 7 nice for us.” Now that he’s been recognized by the schools foundation for his efforts after 31 years, he said the time has come to move on. But, what next for someone who’s been in public education for so long? The usual. “Travel and writing a book. A book about school,” he said. “You gotta have goals.” David Hayes: dhayes@isspress.com, 392-6434, ext. 237. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

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Children’s safety fair in North Bend encourages safe play this summer Helmets and car seats are important when looking at keeping children safe. This year, the SnoValley Indoor Playground is sponsoring an annual Children’s Safety Fair, in the hopes of keeping children safe this summer, according to a press release. The safety fair is from 9:30-11:30 a.m. May 3, at the Si View Community Center, 400 Orchard Drive, North Bend. Children will be given the opportunity to meet local firefighters and police officers and sit in a fire truck. There will also be free bike helmets for children younger than 5 while supplies last, free car seat safety checks and a free child ID kit.

PAGE 9

Books From Page 5 become part of the Battle of the Books. “We try to pick books they wouldn’t normally pick up,” said Meg Handy, librarian at Fall City Elementary. Handy said the librarians start by looking at books that are nominated for an award for the coming year, choosing a variety of genres, including historical fiction, fantasy and nonfiction. At Fall City Elementary, the competition started with 24 teams, a totalof 120 students. The teams at each of the participating schools were slowly eliminated until each school had a “final four” competition. The top teams of every school faced each other in the final battle to see who would win the trophy this year. After 40 questions, team Dynomite from Fall City Elementary and the Book Battlers from Snoqualmie Elementary School were tied for first place. “We’ve never had a tie for first before,” Handy said to the watching parents and students. The two teams answered five questions, and Dynomite came out as the winning team. Team members Will Desler, Chloe Barber, Lorenzo Perez, Luke Nieman and Oliver Lang jumped out of their chairs, cheering when they won. Fall City hasn’t had the trophy in several years, Handy

said, so this was an especially exciting win for the school. Barber, who is in fourth grade and was in charge of writing the answer for her team, said her favorite book was “Peter and the Starcatchers,” by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson. Since the students are not allowed to read any other books during the competition, Barber said she is excited to get back to reading what she wants again. “I read pretty much every day,” she said. Desler, a fourth-grade student who has been deaf since birth, said the competitions were sometimes difficult for him. Desler has a cochlear implant, which allows him to hear, but he is still hard of hearing, which sometimes made it difficult for him to hear the questions. “The librarian has to speak louder,” he said. “If I didn’t hear the question she has to show me the card, and some people think she’s showing me the answer.” Desler said he got used to the process quickly, and his favorite part of the whole competition was getting a question right, and the satisfaction of knowing the correct answer. Handy said she notices an increase in students coming into the library to check out books while the Battle of the Books is going on. “I love the enthusiasm for reading that happens with the Battle of the Books,” Handy said.


Sports

PAGE 10

MAY 2, 2013

Mount Si fastpitch sitting at No. 3 as post season nears By Ben Eversen

By David Hayes

Maddie Hutchison (left), a Mount Si High School junior, and her sister, freshman Mackenzie, practice last week passing the baton in the 4 x 400 relay event for the Mount Si High School track team.

Sister act By David Hayes When Maddie Hutchison looks over her shoulder, lately, during relay events for Mount Si High School, it’s her sister

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Competition becomes a way for the Hutchisons to spur each other on Mackenzie who’s passing her the baton. As a junior, Maddie has enjoyed a two-year head start on her younger sister, now a freshman at Mount Si. But, with two competitive athletes under one roof, the Hutchisons are the rare exception that seems to have avoided

the awkward sibling rivalry. “There’s not much competition,” Mackenzie said. “No fighting, no trying to see who’s better at what.” While they both play soccer, they’ve yet to do so on the same field for See TRACK, Page 11

The Mount Si High School fastpitch team is just a few days away from wrapping up the regular season, and holds an 11-5 record as of April 29. With the success, the Wildcats have been able to achieve an 8-3 conference record in KingCo 3A — good enough for third place in the conference. The Wildcats started off the season 4-0, beating Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Eastmont and Juanita high schools. The season pushed on, but Mount Si then dropped three of its next four games. The losses were not close either; a 10-4 loss against Interlake, a 9-2 loss against Bainbridge and then a 17-3 whipping at the hands of Inglemoor left Mount Si at 5-3. The Wildcats opened April with a five-game winning streak. Wins against KingCo opponents Mercer Island, Bellevue, Juanita, a revenge win over Interlake, along with a 13-2 pounding of Sammamish, solidified the Wildcats near the top of KingCo. But, once again, after going on a hot streak, they hit a small losing streak, drop-

By Michele Mihalovich

Mount Si Wildcat Paige Wetherbee pitches April 22 against Lake Washington. The Kangs won 9-1. ping two straight to Lake Washington on April 23, and to Liberty on April 24. They picked up a win against Bellevue by a score of 8-1 on April 25, putting

them at 11-5. With just two games remaining, the Wildcats are in third place behind See SOFTBALL, Page 11


SnoValley Star

MAY 2, 2013

Mount Si falls to Kennedy in lacrosse

Mount Si golf team fights for a win and a loss

TUKWILA — Mount Si fell to Kennedy, 11-7, April 19 in boys high school lacrosse at Foster High School in Tukwila. Mount Si dropped its fourth of the season. Kennedy jumped on Mount Si in the first, scoring four unanswered goals, before Mount Si responded with two in the second while holding the Lancers to just one. Seamus Ober led the way for Mount Si with three goals. Game summary Kennedy 11, Mount Si 7 (Sebastian Ferraro, K, 4 goals, 1 assist; Zach Sleeper, K, 3 goals; Anthony Park, K, 3 goals; Drew Cusack, K, 1 goal; Dimitris Jones, K, 8 ground balls; Charles Borgseth, K, 4 saves; Seamus Ober, MS, 3 goals; Beau Bachand, MS, 2 goals, 4 ground balls; Zane Berhold, MS, 1 goal, 1 assist; Sam Yoshikawa, MS, 1 goal; Tyler Smith, MS, 5 ground balls; Cameron Pike, MS, 5 saves) Source: US Lacrosse – Washington State Chapter

By Michele Mihalovich

Mount Si’s Caitlin Maralack, a freshman, tees off in the April 22 match-up against Bellevue, which the Wildcats won 227234. The team faced off against Mercer Island April 25, and suffered its first conference loss of the season 230-235.

Track From Page 10 the Wildcats, as Maddie is on the varsity squad and Mackenzie played junior varsity last season. “Yeah, there’s not much rivalry,” Maddie said. “But, we do use each other to motivate each other. I know she’s fast, so that motivates me to get a faster time.” The track and field team has brought the two together in a serendipitous path to the post-season as key components of the relay squads. The two helped the 4 x 400 relay team to the following results: q Chuck Randall Relays, March 16 (with Karlie Hurley and Jesse Guyer) — 4:19.39 q versus Interlake, March 21 (with Hurley and Abbey Bottemiller) — 4:22.68 q at Liberty, April 18 (with Pauline Kaczmarek

and Hannah Richmond) — 4:24. In addition, their fastest times resulted in a third place and two secondplace finishes. “The relay has definitely been fun,” Maddie said. “To get to work with her is really cool.” In addition to being the glue that keeps the 4 x 400 relay team together, the sisters are excelling at their own events. Maddie said she started in track in the sprint events. But, when Mackenzie proved to be the superior sprinter in the family (she won a league meet last year in eighth grade), Maddie stepped in to fill a need in the distance events, discovering in the process that she was actually better at them. “It was a pretty smooth transition,” Maddie said. “The toughest part is learning to pace. With sprints, you just go. But, soccer helped me get into good shape.” “She’s got grit and a competitive spirit,”

her distance coach Sean Sundwall said, “which you’ve got to have if you’re running that many circles around a green field. It can get pretty boring.” Mackenzie has also been excelling at the 300 hurdles. “As I come around the last turn, I pass Maddie, who’s warming up for her event,” Mackenzie said. “She then becomes my biggest fan, cheering me on.” Maddie’s goal is to top the school record in the 800. She needs to shave just 3 seconds off, which she hopes to achieve by the end of the season. As a freshman, Mackenzie knows she’s got plenty of time to improve her personal best times. But, she’d still like to cut two seconds off the relay times to secure a spot for state qualifications. David Hayes: dhayes@isspress.com or 392-6434, ext. 237. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.

PAGE 11

Softball From Page 10 Lake Washington and Juanita, respectively. They still have a chance to grab the No. 2 seed heading into the conference playoffs, but as of now they will have the No. 3 seed. In the first round, with the No. 3 seed, they will play either Sammamish (3-9 with one conference game remaining), Bellevue (2-10 with two conference games remaining) or Mercer Island (2-10 with two conference games remaining). Mount Si plays its last conference games at home against Mercer Island on April 30 and will host Liberty on May 2.


SnoValley Star

PAGE 12

MAY 2, 2013

Report details salaries of Snoqualmie employees compared to region By Michele Mihalovich Comparing apples to apples when conducting a salary survey is no small task, but a consultant hired by the city of Snoqualmie presented his findings to the City Council’s finance and administration subcommittee April 16. While putting together budgets for 2013 and 2014 in December, Councilwoman Kathi

Prewitt suggested the council put one item, which proposed a 2-percent increase for management and administrative salaries, on hold. A downturn in the economy resulted in 2012 salary freezes, but before considering raises for city staff for 2013, Prewitt asked that the salary increase request be tabled until the city could conduct a salary survey. She said during the

budgeting process that the last time the city did a survey was in 2006, and that it was important the council have accurate and updated information before making salary decisions. Prewitt said the council wants to offer competitive salaries so it can retain its employees, “but at the same time, we need to be prudent with our budget.” Compensation consultant Cabot Dow, of

Bellevue, conducted Snoqualmie’s salary survey of 21 city positions, and explained his process to Prewitt, Councilwoman Maria Henriksen and Councilman Jeff MacNichols, who are members of the subcommittee. Dow explained that simply looking at obvious comparables, such as population, really doesn’t provide a very accurate comparison.

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For example, Enumclaw’s population is 11,030, which is very similar to Snoqualmie’s population of 11,320. However, Enumclaw does not have its own fire department. So, to get an accurate comparison for Snoqualmie, which is considered a “full-service” city, Dow needed to look at many other comparable factors. He also factored in number of full-time employees, assessed property valuation, that valuation’s per capita and locale. Dow compared Snoqualmie staff salaries with 12 other “primary comparison cities,” ranging from Mill Creek, with a population of 18,450, 61 full-time employees and $2.4 billion assessed valuation, to Gig Harbor, with 7,340 residents, 81 fulltime employees and $1.7 billion assessed valuation. Seven of the cities, which does include Enumclaw, did not have fire departments. What he found in the comparison is that some city employees make more on average than the comparison cities, and some make less. Bob Larson, Snoqualmie’s city administrator, with his benefits included, makes approximately $93.30 per hour, which is 14.4 percent more than that position at other cities. Fire Chief Bob Rowe, who makes $77.28 per hour, earns 2.9 percent more than average. Police Chief Steve

McCulley also makes $77.28 per hour, and earns 0.8 percent more than average. Dan Marcinko, the city’s public works director and who is also working as the interim director for the parks department, makes $72.20 and earns about 1.8 percent less than public works directors at the comparison cities. Debra Whalawitsa, Snoqualmie’s administrative services director who has been with the city for 22 years, makes $73.55 per hour, which is about 12 percent more than average. The confidential assistant to City Attorney Pat Anderson earns $34.85, which is 14.4 percent less than average. Dow recommended that the salaries earning more than 5 percent above the market mid-point be frozen to let the market catch up, at least for 2014. He also recommended that if staff salaries were 5 percent below the market mid-point, that the council consider a market adjustment over time to catch up with the market average. Prewitt said after the presentation that all councilmembers would receive a copy of the salary survey, and that the council would bring Dow to the full council at a future date so councilmembers could ask any questions they might have about the process and the recommendations. Ultimately, it will be the council’s decision about whether to freeze or bump up staff salaries.

Flood District helps manage flooding in Snoqualmie

manage flooding in the Snoqualmie Basin.

As part of the King County Flood District’s ongoing efforts to bring members of our board of supervisors into the communities that experience flooding, the King County Flood Control District Executive Committee will be holding a meeting. The meeting is at 9:30 a.m. May 6 at Snoqualmie City Hall, 38625 S.E. River Street, according to a press release. The agenda will include general action on pending Flood District business as well as specific information regarding current and upcoming efforts to

Snoqualmie student goes three rounds in Seattle spelling bee Snoqualmie Middle School student Emma Duim competed against 70 other children at the KingSnohomish Spelling Bee in Seattle on March 24. Duim made it to the fourth round before misspelling “febrility,” according to a press release from the school. Duim was the Snoqualmie Middle School spelling bee champion, which had allowed her to continue on to the KingSnohomish Spelling Bee.

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