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Mount Si wrestlers bring in former state champion as coach Page 14

Mill Pond plans receive OK to move forward Site owner moving to next phase with environmental impact study BY STUART MILLER

The Mill Pond site development is one step closer to reality after the Snoqualmie City Council voted Nov. 28 to approve the developer’s Annexation Implementation Plan. Thomas Sroufe, a representative for developer and site owner Snoqualmie Mill Pond

Ventures LLC, said the company will submit a Planned Commercial/Industrial Plan in January for building on the site. If the PCIP is approved, the development can begin on the site, Snoqualmie Senior Planner Ben Swanson said, but construction could not begin until applicable permits are approved. Sroufe said that because the development is a big, controversial project, Mill Pond Ventures will move directly into a full Environmental Impact Statement for the site plans. The EIS will ensure that


Duo reaches new heights in ballroom dancing success BY STUART MILLER


Families get their photo taken in front of the tall pine tree at Snoqualmie’s Railroad Park after it is lit up for the fourth annual Holiday Tree Lighting festival Nov. 26.

Annual lighting ceremony brightens holiday spirits BY STUART MILLER

More than 1,000 revelers of all ages enjoyed a variety of holiday hoopla at Snoqualmie’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting in and around old Snoqualmie’s Railroad Park on Nov. 26.

The night of festivities proceeded under the glow of thousands of colored lights attached to nearly every surface of the park. A wind ensemble played holiday tunes while horses pulled a carriage filled with carolers nearby. City-run booths provided free cocoa, cider and cookies

for anyone willing to wait in line. Adults milled around and chatted together while many kids ran free around the gleaming plaza, as if in a state of winter wonder. “My 21-month-old boy tried to touch every light bulb,” said SEE LIGHTS, PAGE 9

Simeon Stoynov and Kora Stoynova, now in their early 30s, have been dancing together for 17 years. They’ve danced all over the world, from inside the Kremlin to a Hyatt hotel in Ohio to the Leipzig Glass Hall in Germany. They competed against each other when they were younger, eventually became dance partners, and then husband and wife. Five years ago, they opened up the Aria Ballroom dance studio in Redmond, where their team of instructors teaches competitive dancing, casual and social dancing, and helps choreograph wedding dances. In October, the Snoqualmie couple danced their way to a seventh-place finish at the 2016 World Professional Ten-Dance

Ballroom Championship. After taking second place in a U.S. dance championship, the couple was chosen as a representative for the United States to compete in the 2016 world championships in Key Biscayne, Fla. Competitors in the tendance category are judged on 10 different dances, a mix of standard ballroom and Latin dances. “Each individual dance is its own competition,” Stoynova said. SEE DANCERS, PAGE 2

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DANCERS From Page 1

The couple received scores for their performances to the cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, jive, waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and quickstep. When the dancing was done, their cumulative score earned them seventh out of 30 couples. Couples are judged not only on the dancing itself, but also costuming and grooming. Many couples dance simultaneously on the same floor during competitions while judges eye each couple for limited amounts of time. Stoynova and Stoynov, as a physically smaller couple, try to stand out with athletic dancing that is constantly moving. While ballroom dancing is generally known by many for its grace and style, it can often resemble a contact sport. “The early rounds are really rough” in big dance competitions, Stoynova said. When Stoynova and Stoynov compete in the annual Blackpool Dance Festival in England, the round of 96 couples can get especially competitive. Half the couples are eliminated after the round, and dancers often sustain cuts and bruises in their efforts to reach the respected top

Gifts from theHeart Warm their

Courtesy of Kora Stoynova

Kora Stoynova and husband Simeon Stoynov perform their ballroom dancing routine that took second place at the 2016 Unite States Dance Championship.

48. Stoynova and Stoynov are currently ranked 25th at Blackpool. “There are games they play,” Stoynov said of competitive dance couples. “We’ve been boxed in before. There are collisions all the time. We all know who does it on purpose.” Stoynov said that East-

ern European countries see ballroom dancing as a sport, in contrast to many Americans’ views. “A Russian parent wouldn’t think twice about letting their kid ballroom dance,” Stoynov said, while American parents might say “not my kids.” American parents often

favor traditional sports like football or soccer, he said. “There is more respect for artistic sports, like ice skating or rhythmic gymnastics” in Eastern Europe, Stoynova said. A year of searching the U.S. for a new Aria Ballroom dance instructor yielded no candidates,

spirit all year long...

so the couple recently turned to Bulgaria and their sleeves over their hired Atanas Malamov, an hands as a buffer between accomplished dancer, to them and their partners. join the team. “There was no mingling Aria Ballroom has 60 to with the seventh-graders,” 70 kids coming in three Stoynov said. times per week for lesBy the end of the week, sons, in addition to adult boys and girls were talkclients. ing freely and comfort“It teaches skills you ably with each other. The don’t learn anywhere couple said that very few else,” Stoynova said. “Soschools teach ballroom cial skills are the biggest dancing. thing.” While dancing can help This was especially ease awkward boy-girl apparent when the interactions, the couple couple taught a weeklong said the result of their intensive class to seventh- dance partnership — marriage — is very rare. The graders. At the beginning benefits, they said, are not of the week the boys and girls completely separated so rare. “It’s an amazing activity,” themselves from the other NEIL.PROOF.SV.CMYK. said. “More people sex. Some students put PDF 1123Stoynov LAM can benefit from it.” 49.18174.FRI.1202.2x2.LAM

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The upper reaches of Alpental (pictured) and other hills have been getting a decent amount of snow, but the bottom half of the hills still need to fill in, Guy Lawrence, marketing director for Summit at Snoqualmie, said. ‘One really good storm or a couple smaller storms would put us over the edge,’ Lawrence added.

Holiday brings season’s first good snowfall


“It was kind of survival, coming ence was checking the ski resort’s down,” he said. “It was much nicer webcams and weather reports up top. all week. Clearly, he was far from Fresh, white and gleaming, the “It felt great, and it was a beautialone. season’s first snow arrived over the ful day up there.” The resort, though not even Thanksgiving holiday weekend, The saw-toothed ridgelines of officially open, swarmed with gracing peaks and slopes. mountain firs poked at the bellies people looking for fun anyWhile at the Alpental Ski Area of soft clouds slinking through the way. By 5 a.m. Nov. 25, Alpental grass still poked through lower on pass. The light kept changing along reported 4 inches of snow over the slopes, up high there was snow with the cloud cover, from brilliant the previous 24 hours, building well worth slipping on the skis. At sunshine on the snow to the oyster an 11-inch base at 3,100 feet, and least that’s sure what Karl Watt, light behind clouds set against the more higher up. fresh off his first skiing of the year, whiter rim of freshly snowed-in Slopes and trails at Snoqualmie thought. peaks. were full of snow seekers eager to “It was an unbroken shot of So eager was Watt for his first try anything that might slide, from powder,” Watt said of his run from ski of the year, the self-described SEE SNOW, PAGE 12 halfwayLAURA downD.noPROOF.SV.CMYK.PDF the second chair lift. ski addict 1129 LAM with 40 years experiLAURA F.noPROOF.SR.CMYK. PDF 1123 LAM

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Santa hats off to the Parks Department I’ll be honest. As I made my way into Snoqualmie on Saturday night, I was not expecting to be wowed by the Holiday Tree Lighting festivities. I figured it would just be some kids sitting with Santa and some parents chatting and drinking Starbucks nearby. And some Christmas lights. But as I walked into the winter wonderland created by the Parks Department and volunteers — I was wowed. The lights were everywhere,

on everything. They mesmerized me as I walked through the heart of Stuart Miller Railroad Park. Colored bulbs lit the faces of hundreds of people young and old. I smelled the “earthy” scent of livestock. Real horse-drawn carriage rides? Classy move, City of Snoqualmie. Then the wind ensemble


STAR Published every Friday by The Issaquah Press Group 1085 12th Ave. NW, Suite D1 | P.O. Box 1328 Issaquah, King County, WA 98027

started up with the holiday tunes, working those freezing fingers over what I’m sure were frigid metal keys on their instruments. I felt like I was in holiday Whoville or something. Apparently I didn’t read the promotional materials very closely, because I was not expecting all that. It was quite a production, made better by the lack of rain and the surprising mass of people who came out to celebrate.

Hats off to the City of Snoqualmie, the Parks Department, volunteers and everyone who had a hand in making the tree-lighting celebration a memorable experience. Also, condolences to whoever is going to have to take all those lights down after the holidays. That’ll be quite a job. Valley View is Stuart Miller’s weekly column. Email him at

STAFF Charles Horton.......................................General manager Scott Stoddard...............................................................Editor Stuart Miller............................................................. Reporter Neil Pierson.............................................................. Reporter Greg Farrar.....................................................Photographer CORRECTIONS We are committed to accuracy at the SnoValley Star and take care in our reporting and editing, but errors do occur. If you think something we’ve published is in error, please email us at

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MILL POND From Page 1

a full review process, with ample opportunity for public input, will occur, Sroufe said. “We want to know the concerns sooner rather than later,” Sroufe said. “It’s a lot safer that way.” City Councilmember Charles Peterson represented the only vote against approving the annexation implementation plan. “I see a lot of traffic problems,” Peterson said. “They haven’t answered all my questions yet.” Peterson said he was concerned about the ability of Snoqualmie Parkway and the onelane Meadowbrook Bridge to handle the increased traffic that could come from the

development. The developer plans to build wine-tasting rooms and production facilities with residential units above during the first phase of construction. The second phase could include warehouse and storage facilities, and the third phase plans for a “campus” facility for a large tenant such as REI or Bellevue College. Sroufe said he anticipates a 10- to 15-year development horizon. At a Nov. 14 City Council meeting, Sroufe said that Weyerhaeuser employed 1,200 people at its peak, and that Mill Pond Ventures hopes to “be in excess of that” in employment numbers when the development reaches build out. Peterson also brought up concerns over water rights. It is unclear

whether the final responsibility to secure water lies with the city or Mill Pond Ventures. Currently, there aren’t water resources available to support the development at build-out. Several community members and planning commissioners have expressed concerns over flooding, traffic, environmental impact and water supply regarding the development. “Pollution problems in the ground haven’t been adequately answered,” Peterson said. The environmental impact statement will likely cover many of those concerns. Sroufe said Mill Pond Ventures would know the scope of environmental impact when they submit a Planned Commercial/ Industrial Plan in January.

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Police and fire blotter Snoqualmie police reports victim’s stolen credit card. Later, an officer in pursuit of a vehicle trying Car prowled, to elude police was the stolen, then aforementioned Chevy Blazer. When the situarecovered tion was over, the victim’s At 2:49 p.m. Nov. 19, the property was returned owner of a 2001 Chevy and two subjects now Blazer reported someface charges of motor one stole a purse from vehicle theft. the vehicle in the 6500 block of Railroad Avenue Funny money Southeast. The suspect At 2:27 a.m. Nov. 20, the was already using the


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manager of the North Bend McDonalds at 735 SW Mt Si Blvd. reported receiving a fake $20. The manager denied the purchase and the suspect left in an older, green Chevy truck. The manager will try to get police the security video of the incident.

Funny business at the food bank

At 5:04 p.m. Nov. 20, an employee of the North Bend Food Bank at 1550 Boalch Ave. NW received an alarm notification and found the front door open. The food bank’s director told police she locked the front door when she left. Officers conducted a building check and cleared the scene. The employee was advised everything seemed OK. Earlier that day, the food bank had an issue with a volunteer (who has a key) who got drunk and caused a scene.

Mud wrestling At 1:20 p.m. Nov. 21, police received a report of a fight between five males in Riverview Park at 38985 SE Park St. Upon arrival, police found five juveniles just wrestling in the mud.


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Sealing the scene Assault At 9:59 p.m. Nov. of no crime

Trees falls across live power lines

At 6:27 p.m. Nov. 23, police received a report of a man using a slim Jim trying to get into a vehicle in the parking lot of the Woodman Lodge on Southeast King Street. Upon arrival, police found a Woodman employee was just trying to fix the seal of the rear, driver’s side door.

At 6:56 p.m. Nov. 18, Snoqualmie firefighters were dispatched to a tree down into power lines, causing arching and sparking on Tokul Road Southeast. The crew arrived to find PSE crews on Tokul Road tending to multiple lines down a half mile from the incident address.

Beer fight At 1:05 a.m. Nov. 24, police received a report of a fight at Smokey Joes Tavern at 38600 SE King St. A male bartender reported a male customer got into an argument with a female bartender. She threw a beer in his face and he threw a beer at the window. The customer told police he just wanted to go home.

26, a female victim reported from Sno Valley Emergency Room at 9801 Frontier Ave. SE being punched in the nose by her boyfriend. The boyfriend was arrested for assault at the Sunset Motel. Snoqualmie fire reports

No smoke, just steam

At 6:30 a.m. Nov. 18, Snoqualmie firefighters responded to a residential fire alarm on 384th Avenue Southeast. Upon arrival, the crew was notified through dispatch of a false alarm, caused by steam from a bathroom shower.

Crew assists on building fire

At 5:11 p.m., Nov. 21, Snoqualmie firefighters assisted EFR units attacking and controlling a building fire at East Ribary Way and Southeast 131st Street. The crew was assigned to the structure and Power problems worked to attack it from the exterior. They At 7:12 a.m. Nov. 18, helped to completely Snoqualmie firefighters knock down the fire were dispatched to the and get it under conSnoqualmie Parkway trol. The crew was then at Railroad Avenue released and returned Fill and flee Southeast for a reported to quarters. At 2:03 p.m. Nov. 24, the transformer arching driver of a Volkswagen and sparking. Upon In addition to the Jetta filled up with gas at arrival, the crew found above calls, Snoqualmie the Gateway Gas & Deli nothing. They did note, EMTs responded to at 8030 Douglas Ave. SE however, that power nine medical aid incithen drove off without was out along Railroad dents bringing the total paying with the gas Avenue Southeast past of calls to date to 996. nozzle still attached to the the train yard, through In 2015, there were 878 pump. town. EMT calls.



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Calendar of events Saturday, Dec. 3 Northwest Railway Museum presents Santa Train, featuring visit with Santa, refreshments and small gifts from Santa to children, departs North Bend every hour starting at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., from 205 McClellan St., to Snoqualmie Depot, 38625 SE King St., tickets are $24 ages 2 and older, Wreath making workshop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., suggested donation of $20 to attend, Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater, 36800 David Powell Road, Fall City, 736-7652, Annual Si View Holiday Bazaar, featuring handcrafted gifts and foods, entertainment, a raffle and more, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Si View Community Center, 400 SE Orchard Drive, North Bend, 831-1900 Matika Wilbur presents Changing the Way We See Native America: Dismantling Native American Stereotypes, for teens, 2-3:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE, 888-1223 North Bend Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting, featuring live music, an appearance by Santa, a community sing along and much more, 4-8 p.m., Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S., Valley Center Stage presents “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m., at 119 W. North Bend Way, tickets are $17.50 for adults/$14 for seniors and students, purchase online at bit. ly/2f8qEXz or at the door, learn more at Ask Sophie Annual Coat Drive, 8 p.m., Black Dog Arts Café, 8062 Railroad Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, 8313647 Vern Sielert Quartet, 7:30-10 p.m., Piccola Cellars, 112 W. Second St., North Bend, northbend

Sunday, Dec. 4 Northwest Railway Museum presents Santa Train, featuring visit with Santa, refreshments and small gifts from Santa to children, departs North Bend every hour starting at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., from 205 McClellan St., to Snoqualmie Depot, 38625 SE King St., tickets are $24 ages 2 and older, bit. ly/2gahRRl Brunch with Sam Jaeger, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Black Dog Arts Café, 8062 Railroad Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, 8313647

Study Zone, homework and tutoring help for grades K-12, 3-5 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554 Danny Kolke Trio, 6 p.m., Vox Outside the Box Vocal Jam, 7:30 p.m., Piccola Cellars, 112 W. Second St., North Bend, northbend

Monday, Dec. 5 Indoor Playground, for ages newborn to 5, 9:30-11:30 a.m., $1 donation per visit, Si View Gymnasium, 400 SE Orchard Drive, North Bend, Merry Monday Story Times, for ages newborn to 24 months, 11-11:45 a.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554 Study Zone, homework and tutoring help for grades K-12, 3-5 and 5-7 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554 Snoqualmie City Meetings: Parks and Public Works meeting, 5-6 p.m.; Community Development, 6-7 p.m.; Planning Commission, 7-8 p.m., City Hall, 38624 SE River St. Study Zone, homework and tutoring help for grades K-12, 4:306:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE, 888-1223

Tuesday, Dec. 6 Seniors trip to Quilceda and Tulalip Casinos and Tulalip Mall, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., meet at Mount Si Senior Center, Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S., $20 for members/$30 for non members, sign up and pay in advance by calling 888-3434 Story Times, Toddlers, for ages newborn to 3, 10-10:30 a.m.; preschool, ages 3-6, 11-11:45 a.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE, 888-1223 North Bend Finance & Administration Committee meeting, 4-5 p.m., City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N. Snoqualmie Finance and Administration meeting, 6-7 p.m., City Hall, 38624 SE River St. Encompass Parenting Workshops: Chores for Children – More Than Just a Clean House, 6-7:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, 9801 Frontier Ave. SE, register at North Bend City Council meeting, 7-9 p.m., Mt Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S.

First Tuesday Book Club: “Last Bus to Wisdom” by Ivan Doig, for adults, 7-8:30 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554

Wednesday, Dec. 7 Indoor Playground, for ages newborn to 5, 9:30-11:30 a.m., $1 donation per visit, Si View Gymnasium, 400 SE Orchard Drive, North Bend, Story Times: toddlers, ages newborn to 3, 10-10:30 a.m.; preschool, ages 3-6, 11-11:45 a.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd., SE, 888-1223 Study Zone, homework and tutoring help for grades K-12, 2:304:30 p.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554 Future Jazz Heads, 6 p.m., Piccola Cellars, 112 W. Second St., North Bend, Open Mic Night, 7 p.m., Black Dog Arts Café, 8062 Railroad Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, 831-3647

Thursday, Dec. 8 Story times: toddlers ages newborn to 3, 10-10:45 a.m.; preschool ages 3 and older, 11-11:45 a.m., North Bend Library, 115 E. Fourth St., 888-0554 Family Open Gym, $3 for adults/$2 for kids, noon to 1 p.m., Si View Community Center, 400 SE Orchard Dr., North Bend, siviewpark. org/virtual-backpack.html Study Zone, homework and tutoring help for grades K-12, 4:306:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd., SE, 888-1223 North Bend Planning Commission meeting, 7-9 p.m., City Hall, 211 Main Ave. N. Family Story Time, 7-8 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE, 888-1223 Milo Petersen Trio, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Piccola Cellars, 112 W. Second St., North Bend, northbend Michele McNanny Christmas Show and toy drive with Aaron Crosby, 7:30 p.m., Black Dog Arts Café, 8062 Railroad Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, 831-3647 Valley Center Stage presents “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m., at 119 W. North Bend Way, tickets are $17.50 for adults/$14 for seniors and students, purchase online at bit. ly/2f8qEXz or at the door, learn more at

City of North Bend photo

Santa returns to North Bend for its Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S. To learn more, go to The Danny Bonaduce Christmas Show with Spike and the Impalers, ages 21 and older, 7:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom, bit. ly/2fLxRMI

Friday, Dec. 9 Indoor Playground, for ages newborn to 5, 9:30-11:30 a.m., $1 donation per visit, Si View Gymnasium, 400 SE Orchard Drive, North Bend, Teen STEM Club: Week of Code Book Club, for grades 5-8, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE, 888-1223 Parents Night Out, for children in grades K-5, $25 per child includes



pizza, Si View Community Center, 400 SE Orchard Drive, North Bend, 831-1900 Friday Night Music Showcase, all ages, free, 7-10 p.m., Sallal Grange, 12912 432nd Ave. SE, North Bend, 831-1900 Valley Center Stage presents “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m., at 119 W. North Bend Way, tickets are $17.50 for adults/$14 for seniors and students, purchase online at bit. ly/2f8qEXz or at the door, learn more at Woodland Band, 8 p.m., Black Dog Arts Café, 8062 Railroad Ave. SE, Snoqualmie, 831-3647 Tracy Morgan, ages 21 and older, 8 p.m., Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom,










More than 1,000 people gathered at Snoqualmie’s Railroad Park (far right) to participate in the fourth annual Holiday Tree Lighting festivities Nov. 26. The festival featured horse-drawn carriage rides (above), free cocoa and cider with cookies, photos with Santa (right), live holiday tunes by a wind ensemble (below right). To view more photos from the event, go to

LIGHTS From Page 1

Annelisa Tornberg, who came from Issaquah for the event. “It’s his first exposure to mass lighting.” Tornberg heard about the event from family members and came to Railroad Park with her kids, their grandparents and a cousin, she said. North Bend resident Cathy Johanson said that many of the people she talked to at the event were from out of town. Johanson didn’t know about the festivities in advance, but happened upon them while walking downtown. “It’s so neat, so wonderful to see all the people,” Johanson said. Saint Nick arrived aboard a fire truck with lights blazing that

pulled up to the crowd on Railroad Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Santa disembarked from his ride and made his way toward the only unlit plant in the park. The tall, dark pine tree looked like a black hole among a sea of lights. The crowd counted down for the main event, shouting together “Ten! Nine! Eight! ...” As the count hit one, a tower of lights lit up the centerpiece and the countdown gave way to applause and cheers. Mr. Claus retired to the gazebo next to the glistening tree and took on a line of kids waiting to sit down with him. It was a happy outcome to what some people worried might be a damaged light display. Seven strands of lights had been sliced apart by an unknown vandal just

days before the event. On Wednesday, after the vandalism was discovered, a Parks Department crew was able to splice together the severed light strands. One man on the crew worried that the vandal might be back between Thanksgiving and the tree-lighting event, and his crew wouldn’t have time to fix the lights again. “I’m really proud that Parks people were able to get that repaired quickly,” Mayor Matt Larson said. “Such a thing has never happened before.” Snoqualmie Ridge has endured the vandalism the last two years. Jacki Antonietti Jones, an administrator for a Snoqualmie Ridge Facebook group, posted that last year, the Snoqualmie

Ridge Residential Owners Association had to replace $4,000 worth of cut lights on Center Boulevard. This year, on Nov. 11, she posted that she’d found five trees near Infusion with the light strands cut. Despite the scare, the treelighting ceremony was fully lit and drew a record crowd. Some estimates maintained the crowd had doubled in number from last year. The crowd spilled into businesses in the historic downtown area, which co-hosted events and activities in conjunction with the tree-lighting. “It’s a great community-building event,” Larson said. “It adds a lot to the culture and character of the community.”






Twin Falls Middle School sixth grade science students built and tested catapults at the end of a six-week project, measuring distance and hang time. Participating were Josh Jimenez, Cade Kirwin and Liam Eubank (above); Robinson Bend and Brienna Grady (above right); Javis Taylor, Luke Hailey, Mason Martinell and Trenton Piché (far right); and Anja Bergerson (right).

Student lessons catapult into Flingin’ Fridays


Looking around the courtyard outside Twin Falls Middle School’s sixth-grade science classroom, one might be inclined to believe a band of adolescents has laid siege to the school. Dozens of catapults, ranging in size from refrigerator dimensions to toaster-sized, sit menacingly just outside the door. It looks like “Lord of the Flies” met the Dark Ages. The materials range

from wood to metal to plastic to rubber and more. They employ a variety of different designs, but are all made for one purpose: flinging beanbags. New national science education standards this school year have helped create “Flinging Fridays” at TFMS. “We were charged as a department to find more ways to incorporate hands-on engineering,” said Kyle Wallace, who teaches science to sixthgraders.

Guidelines for the project changed this year to keep most of the work in the classroom, rather than at home where ambitious parents can have too much influence. “Parents were making amazing catapults,” Wallace said in an email. “In the past, we had them create their catapults at home within a week’s time. This year, they are doing all of it on their own,” with the exception of cutting materials to size. Every Friday since the

beginning of October, the sixth-graders have been following the engineering design format to create blueprints, list materials and bring in supplies to class to build their catapults, Wallace said. Students teamed up in pairs and competed against classmates to see who could get the most hang time or distance out of a beanbag. They recorded data as they went. “I’d say it was a success,” said student Sam Fink, who focused on

hang time. “We got all our averages, and we won.” Fink credited the amount of tension his catapult brought for its success. Trenton Piché opted to shoot for distance rather than hang time. “I like things that launch far. I’m a ‘fast’ kind of guy,” Piché said. “I care more about speed than jumping.” Luke Hailey, Wallace’s student, said he wants to grow up to be a mechanical engineer. “This (project) kind

of sets me up for that,” Hailey said. “It lets me experience building and creating blueprints.” After the launch days and data collection, the students will write up a formal scientific investigation following the classic method. That includes putting on paper the base question, background research, hypothesis, data analysis and conclusions. “It is a highlight of the year,” Wallace said. “It’s been great to watch the process.”










Above: Friends Jessie Stansberry (left) and Gracie Gasca drove up to Summit West to poke around in the powder Nov. 28. At right, Stansberry sits on the lift at Julie’s Chair. Summit West is waiting for more snow to begin operations. Far right: Ayden Beck, 2, and his mother Amanda Beck, sled through fresh snow near the base of Summit West on Nov. 28.

SNOW From Page 1


skis to boards to saucers or just feet. Even a dirt pile by the side of the road was good for little kids, and any clearing fine for a snowball battle. Wet, heavy and perfectly packable, this was perfect snowball and snowman snow. Over at Gold Creek at the Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, the trail up to Snow Lake was busy with families eager to get outside amid firs resplendent in white robes of snow. Fresh powder piled like whipped topping on moss still green on the trees’ trunks. Ice sparkled on branches backlit by sun.

Suddenly the dreary rain that soaked the lowlands over Thanksgiving was a distant memory. Abe and Briah Gillespie of Seattle packed Juniper, age 1, into Abe’s backpack and put jackets on their dogs, Bailey and Ella, to go for a hike up to Snow Lake. “We just wanted a break from the city,” said Briah. They marveled at how much beauty was just a quick drive away. That’s thanks to the crews that clear the pass and work at the Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance yard at Hyak. Snow plows with 12-footlong, nearly 4,000-pound steel blades already were all cleaned up from working overnight to clear the season’s first big snow.

It takes a crew of 40 people up here to keep the traffic moving through the pass, said Kevin Nicholson, maintenance supervisor at Snoqualmie. In this mountain pass in the convergence zone, where cold air on the east side of the mountains meets moisture cruising in from the west, anything can happen, and the workers are always ready. There’s more moisture in the forecast, and it could go either way this weekend, from another nice, big dump of snow to just a big slog of rain, Nicholson said. Like everyone else up here, Nicholson’s preference was clear. “We are definitely rooting for snow.”



A Nov. 11 story about the Snoqualmie Tribe’s relationship with the City of Snoqualmie listed an incorrect title for Carolyn Lubenau. She is the tribal chairwoman.

Encompass gala raises more than $400,000 Encompass, a Snoqualmie Valley organization committed to serving children, raised $402,000 at a 50th anniversary fundraiser event Nov. 5. More than 370 guests attended the gala at Bellevue Hyatt Regency. Donations from local businesses and individuals helped Encompass’ auction raise the huge sum of money. Encompass started in 1966 as a group of Valley parents banding together to provide care for kids with special needs. It has grown into an organization that now serves approximately 1,900 children and families throughout the Snoqualmie Valley and


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016 surrounding areas. The Encompass mission is to partner with families to build healthy foundations for children through a comprehensive array of programs in early learning and pediatric therapy services available to all members of the community. For more information on available services and ways to help, go to

Holiday festival is Dec. 3.

The North Bend Holiday Festival is set for Saturday Dec. 3 at the Mt Si Senior Center. From 4-7 p.m. the festival will feature music, entertainment, a fire pit, refreshments, children’s activities, photo opportunities with Santa, a holiday tree-lighting ceremony and a traditional community sing-along in downtown North Bend Mt Si Senior Center is located at 411 Main Ave. S., North Bend. For more info, find the “North Bend Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting” Facebook page,

or call 292-0260.

Holiday Bazaar is Dec. 3

The 13th annual Holiday Bazaar, hosted by Si View Metro Parks, will feature local, handmade goods from more than 40 vendors Saturday, Dec. 3. Unique arts and crafts, including candles, jewelry, custom art, paper crafts, baked goods and sweets, home decor, photography and more will be for sale at the Si View Community Center. Holiday carolers and youth performers will provide additional entertainment. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Si View Community Center, located at 400 SE Orchard Drive in North Bend. Admission to the event is free. For more information call 425-831-1900.

Black Dog show supports Kiwanis toy drive A show at Black Dog Arts Café in Snoqualmie on Nov. 8 will help sup-

port the Kiwanis Club as it gathers toys for kids across the valley. Aaron Crosby, an Americana singer from Sammamish, will open the show at 7:30 p.m. Michele and Matt McNany will follow, playing from 8-9:30 p.m. Guest musicians Don Herold and Jeremy Rule will join in on mandolin and cello, and a surprise trio is in store during the second set. Unwrapped toys and gifts in new or good condition, for any age group, will be accepted all night. Kiwanis Club members will take the donated gifts to a church, where they’ll be wrapped and given to children based on specific requests.

Valley winter shelter opens

The Snoqualmie Valley Winter Shelter opened its doors Nov. 20 to those in need of a warm place to sleep at night. The schedule for the winter shelter is as follows: n Snoqualmie United Methodist Church: Nov.

20 to Jan. 18 n Mount Si Lutheran Church in North Bend: Jan. 19 to March 4 n Fall City United Methodist Church: March 5 to April 26 The winter shelter will close the morning of April 27. Two upcoming community meetings will be held at Mount Si Lutheran Church in North Bend. The dates are Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 6:30-8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, from 3:30-5 p.m. For more information and for volunteer opportunities, visit

North Bend hosts public hearing A public hearing on a six-month permits moratorium will be held at the Dec. 6 City Council meeting starting at 7 p.m. at Mount Si Senior Center. The public and affected property owners are encouraged to attend the hearing. The City Council



enacted the moratorium Nov. 1 for acceptance of applications for permits or approvals for singlefamily dwellings within certain areas of the city. Applications and approvals for single-family dwellings in the Neighborhood Business zone, Interchange Mixed Use zone and Special Districts areas are barred. These zones include some parcels north of East/West Fourth Street and the adjacent section of Bendigo Boulevard North. Large areas north of East/Southeast North Bend Way, east of Thrasher Avenue Northeast, are affected. Some large swaths of land adjacent to and south of Bendigo Boulevard South are also affected. The moratorium is intended to give the City Council time to review development regulations in the affected zones and review whether they are compatible with allowed commercial uses in the area. The council says it hopes to ensure North Bend’s rural character, natural beauty and smalltown scale are protected.






Photos by GREG FARRAR |

Above, Mount Si senior Mason Morenco wrestles Chase Helgeson of Issaquah in a 170-lb match Nov. 28 during a jamboree at Liberty High School. Below, Mount Si’s Roy Bang wrestles Liberty’s Jordan McCallum in a 220-lb match.

Blast from the past: Mount Si wrestlers bring in former state champion as coach BY NEIL PIERSON

After a successful four-year college football career at Oregon State, Josh Mitchell has returned to his roots as the new head coach for the Mount Si wrestling team. Mitchell, a 2012 Mount Si graduate, was a standout athlete for the Wildcats, winning the 285-pound state wrestling title as a junior. He extended his football career as an offensive lineman at Oregon State, starting the final 24 games of his career at center for the Beavers. After graduating from OSU in March and taking the reins of Mount Si wrestling in May, he has shifted gears to a coach’s mindset. He was the varsity offensive line and tight ends

coach for the school’s football team, and is enveloped in a whirlwind first three weeks of wrestling. “I’m definitely learning on the fly with some things, but I’m having a blast,” Mitchell said Nov. 28 as the Wildcats warmed up for their first competition, a jamboree at Liberty High School. “There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. And I’m lucky – I’ve got a great group of parents, booster club, everybody making my life easier.” It also helps that the Wildcats are a veteran team with several seniors and returning state qualifiers who are self-starters, hungry to win a Class 4A KingCo Conference championship and SEE WRESTLING, PAGE 16





Photos courtesy of TAMMY DAVISON | Tammy Davison Photography

The Mount Si Wildcats celebrate after their 46-16 victory over Bellevue in the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association’s varsity division championship game on Nov. 12.

Mount Si youth team captures Greater Eastside football championship


When the Mount Si Wildcats lost to the Bellevue Wolverines during the regular season, it was a disheartening moment for head coach Mark Norah and his players. But the Wildcats recovered quickly and didn’t lose again. They rebounded to beat Bellevue, 46-16, in the championship game of the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association’s varsity division on Nov. 12 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. The Mount Si varsity, which plays under the umbrella of the Sno-Valley Wildcats Junior Football and Cheerleading Association, finished its 2016 season with a 9-1 record, a testament to the chemistry they built in a little more than three months,

from the first practice on Aug. 8 to this month’s title game. The team of seventh- and eighth-graders, who mainly attend Chief Kanim and Twin Falls middle schools, were on separate teams last year in the GEJFA’s junior varsity division. “You’ve got to combine all those traits and all those personalities … and that takes a while to grow,” said Norah, who has been coaching in the league for six seasons, four as a head coach. Half of the varsity Wildcats were on the JV Red team in 2015 and had played for a championship every year except one dating back to their 2010 rookieball season. The other varsity Wildcats were on the JV White squad a year ago and had never played for a title in any division. “You’ve got two dichotomies,” Norah said. “You’ve got a group

of kids who’ve got expectations to play (for a title) and one that has never had that opportunity.” Running a “multifaceted” offense that balanced running and passing out of “I” and shotgun formations, Mount Si handily defeated most of its opponents but lost in Week 6 to Bellevue, 40-22. The Wildcats responded by rolling through playoff games against Inglemoor (40-8) and Eastlake (40-8), then trounced Bellevue in the title-game rematch. They ran an aggressive, blitzing defensive system that included multiple looks up front. “To come back and beat Bellevue in the championship game was really satisfying,” Norah said. SEE FOOTBALL, PAGE 16

Mount Si varsity went 9-1 during the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association season, beating Inglemoor, Eastlake and Bellevue in the playoffs to win the division title.






Mount Si’s Kaiden Barlow wrestles David Cormier of Issaquah in a 138-lb match Nov. 28 during a jamboree at Liberty High School.

WRESTLING From Page 14

chase hardware at Mat Classic XXIX in February. At the forefront of a talented lineup are the Marenco brothers – senior Mason and sophomore Spencer. Mason Marenco, a regional champion who placed sixth in the 152pound division at the last state meet, is likely to start the season at 160 and drop weight gradually prior to the postseason. The starting shortstop for Mount Si’s baseball team, he said he split time during the offseason between his two favorite sports. And he’s keeping it simple when it comes to improving as a wrestler. “(I’m) focusing on my conditioning and being able to go throughout an entire match without getting too tired … and just being a good situational wrestler throughout the entire match,” he said. Mount Si lost 220pound state medalist Andrew Harris to graduation but has two other Mat Classic qualifiers back in Spencer Marenco

FOOTBALL From Page 15

One of the goals of the Sno-Valley association is to instill teamwork and camaraderie so the players support each other on and off the field.

(126) and senior Brennan Dalgleish (195). Dalgleish went 0-2 at state last winter but is poised to return and improve. “I think just working on his conditioning was his biggest flaw last year … but if he works on that, I think he could really do some good things this year at state and throughout the year,” Mason Marenco said. Senior Jack Weidenbach’s presence will bolster the Wildcats’ upper weight classes. Mitchell said the football standout wrestled when he was younger, but this will be his first high-school season. “It took a lot of convincing and I think he’s happy with the decision,” the coach said. “He’s going to have a lot of success. I mean, you just look at the kid, how athletic he is, how strong he is.” Three seniors – Jack Hamerly, Shane Moses and Henry Foster – along with junior Duncan Harrison, a returning state alternate, could make their first Mat Classic appearances if everything clicks into place.

“I expect my group of seniors to really carry this team,” Mitchell said. “I mean, you stick it out for as many years as you have, your ultimate goal is to make it to state. And not just make it: It’s to place.” Issaquah, the two-time defending KingCo 4A tournament champion, may be the team to beat again. Eastlake and Skyline have many of their key wrestlers back as well, so Mount Si will have to have depth to contend for the conference’s dual-meet and tournament crowns. “I think we’ve got a good, young team and I think there’s going to be a lot of building from the beginning,” Mason Marenco said. “But I think that we have the potential to be a very good team. I think that, by the end, we should be competing for a KingCo title.” “We’re still filling out some weight classes, getting kids eligible,” Mitchell added. “… Luckily, we only have one dual in the month of December, so late starts aren’t going to cost us. Now it’s keeping the team healthy and filling in all the weight classes.”

“These are memories they’re going to take with them forever,” Norah said. While the youth coaches attend an annual clinic with Mount Si High School coach Charlie Kinnune, where they learn things like teaching proper techniques

and formulating practice plans, Norah said the Sno-Valley programs have some autonomy. “We kind of run our own thing,” he said. “Most of the kids that have been running this offense have been running it for three, four years, so they know it well.”