Fuel up for fun with firefighters, Page 10 Snoqualmie FD hosts “green” pancake breakfast
Bounce, play, and pan for gold, Page 12 Encompass hosts Kids Field of Fun activities PUBLISHED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SNOQUALMIE VALLEY RECORD
Snoqualmie Valley Record • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • 9
10 • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Snoqualmie Fire Department brings a big breakfast to Railroad Days weekend By EVAN PAPPAS Staff Reporter
Along with the Railroad Days festivities on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 19, the Snoqualmie Fire Department will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast fundraiser at the fire station. The breakfast raises funds for additional equipment for the staff and volunteer firefighters and also donates some of the funds to local charities and services such as the area’s food banks. Peter O’Donnell, a volunteer firefighter for Snoqualmie, said the event is held every year on the third Saturday of August. Beginning at 7 a.m., firefighters will be cooking up pancake breakfasts for attendees, and also serving coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts. “It involves career staff and volunteers,” he said. “We go out to all the businesses in the Valley, everyone in Snoqualmie, Fall City and North Bend, We get donations from them to help with the cost for the breakfast. The Snoqualmie Ridge IGA donates a lot of the food, we get coffee from Starbucks there are always Krispy Kreme donuts, they are donated from Issaquah.” Along with the breakfast, the firefighters gives tours of the fire station and let children look inside the fire engines and other station equipment. O’Donnell said one of the big things the breakfast helps fund is the maintenance of the original Snoqualmie fire engine,
Guests , including Snoqualmie Police officers, enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Snoqualmie Fire Station in 2016.
Firefighters cooking up pancakes at the 2016 Pancake Breakfast. which they drive during community parades. The funding also helps out with equipment purchases community donations, and to buy jackets and backpacks for children from lower income families who need school supplies or cold weather gear. “We also have a silent
auction, we get a lot of donations from different businesses, everything from golf, overnight stays at the Salish, gift baskets from local businesses,” he said. One of the goals of each breakfast is to make the event as “green” as possible, he said. All of the
plates and utensils used are recyclable and biodegradable. The firefighters keep track of how much is recyclable and how much is garbage and try to keep the build-up of trash as low as possible. “The vast majority of it was compostable or recyclable, it’s a very minimal
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percentage that is actual plain garbage that is thrown away,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a very green event. We worked with Waste Management last year, they brought out recyclable containers to use.” O’Donnell said the fire department is excited for the breakfast as it is not only a large community event, but one of the few
times all of the staff and volunteers get together. “We don’t get a lot of opportunity for everyone to be in the same place at the same time because everyone is on a different shift… usually the separate shifts don’t get to work together all that often,” he said. “It’s really fun to get to hang out and work hard with everyone all day.”
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • 11
Railroad Days honors Ed Wentz with job of Grand Marshal By CAROL LADWIG Editor
After 63 years of tinkering, including four in retirement, Ed Wentz might reasonably be expected to have run out of things to do in his Snoqualmie home. Not a chance. “He’s always busy,” says his daughter, Judi Wentz, who moved in with him six years ago when he developed health problems. “Just just loves to tinker and fix things, and there’s just so much stuff, 50 years worth in the garage.” He’s got another pretty important project on the schedule for this weekend, when he serves as Grand Marshal in the Railroad Days parade, 11 a.m. Saturday on Railroad Avenue. Wentz has lived in Snoqualmie for 63 years, served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for 18 years, served two terms on the Snoqualmie City Council and for 37 years as a volunteer firefighter, eventually becoming assistant fire chief. He did electronics repair for decades, first with Shinner Electric and later for his own company, Wentz Electronics, and spent nearly all of his time, you guessed it, keeping busy. In a 2013 story on Wentz’s retiring from the business and handing the keys to the shop over to sons Bob and Russel, we learned that he has owned a vacation home on Whidbey Island since 1964 but has never spent a full week there. “Dad likes to keep busy,” Russell explained back
Snoqualmie’s Ed Wentz and his family ride in the 2016 Railroad Days parade, in Ed’s first car, a 1930 Model A. This week, Ed will again be in the parade, in the Grand Marshal’s car. then. “He’s not a guy who likes to be idle.” He never has been that guy. Judi, the oldest, remembered moving to Snoqualmie as a child. “Oh, my gosh, when we moved here, there were all these old people living around us,” she said, “and he helped them all.”
Helping people Not only did he fix their electronics — “he loves fixing things,” Judi said — but he kept them running during power outages. Judi recalled that the family had a generator, which he’d use to power the family’s freezer for a couple of hours, then take it to a neighbor’s house to power theirs, and
so on, around the neighborhood. At the time, he was working for Shinner Electric, but he went into business for himself with Wentz Electronics in 1962, in a roundabout way. While at Shinner’s he had been recruited by the Seattle company Tele-Car Communications in 1959; shortly after Wentz signed on with that company, it was sold to a big conglomerate that bought up most of the radio shops in the Seattle area. Ed was the company’s Valley man, working out of his shop in Snoqualmie (the house next door to where he lived) , and working with big customers like Weyerhaeuser, Cadman
gravel, and several towing companies. He’d mail back his reports, and once in a while drive to the city to stock up on parts. “I was the only one making any money for them, so they never bothered me,” he recalled. But 18 months in, Ed and other employees got word that their company was going out of business. “The first thing I did was check with the big accounts,” Ed said. They told him, “’You’re our radio company. We’ll stay with you,’” he recalled. That was the start of the Wentz family’s independent business. “It was easy to swing into full time,” he recalled. “Working for myself made
it worth working hard.” The heart of Ed’s business was maintaining the radios that kept local loggers, truckers and businesses connected. In his blue van, Ed rolled out to logging camps to make sure the safety radios were working properly. He built a special workbench in his van, where he could take apart and fix a radio on the road. “My philosophy is, no matter how small a company I was, the customer should not expect any less service than the largest radio company. Maybe better service,” he said.
Snoqualmie history He also helped save the
siren from the old fire station, demolished in 2007 to make way for a new Snoqualmie City Hall and restored it to working order for a noon alarm which sounded daily until about a year ago. Although he juggled his demanding business, civic duties and his family responsibilities, he says “There was never any time during the 51 years that I had a goal to retire.” He has clearly enjoyed everything he’s done, from flying his single-engine Chinook out to emergency repair jobs in logging country, to rewiring the fire station alarms so they would go to some of the primary firefighters’ houses, including his own. Judi recalled, that emergency calls — mostly aid calls back then — went “to five houses in Snoqualmie, and ours was one of them. So when the call came in, my mom would reach underneath the phone and push these two buttons and that would make the siren go.” She also vividly recalls her always-skinny father carrying a huge keyring that would bounce on his hip whenever a siren sounded, because he was running to the fire station. Ed and his wife Chloe, who died 13 years ago, had “a great marriage,” Judi said, with lots of dancing at the fire hall, which they both loved to do. These days, Ed 87, is not nearly so active, but he will always be busy, with his five children, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and his beloved shop cat, Hank.
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12 • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Encompass brings children’s activities to Railroad Days
Hands-on fun awaits families this weekend By CAROL LADWIG Editor
The Kids Field of Fun area on behind the Snoqualmie Depot at the 2014 Railroad Days. By EVAN PAPPAS Staff Reporter
Thanks to Encompass Northwest, children will have a large event all to themselves during Railroad Days, Aug. 18 to 20. The Snoqualmie Depot grounds will be open for kids all weekend as Encompass hosts the Kids Field of Fun event, noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Marsha Quinn, community outreach manager for Encompass, said the event will feature face painting and bounce houses on the depot grounds along with events by other organizations including Operation Lifesaver, a hands-on booth promoting railway safety education and awareness. The Bedrock Prospectors Club will also return for their third year in the kids area. They will have gold-panning activities set up for children to try and to learn about other types of mining equipment used in the Cascades. Encompass will also provide all the volunteers for the activities. After the parade, the Kids Field of Fun will begin at the depot. “We are going to have a float in the
parade with our Encompass campers, the theme is Star Wars and kids created the float themselves,” Quinn said. “We just encourage people once they come out of the parade, to come right over and have a good time with their families.” This year will be the first time Encompass Northwest has been involved in the organization of a Railroad Days events, Quinn said. In the past, the nonprofit group has had a float in the parade but hasn’t been involved beyond that. Quinn said Encompass was approached by the Northwest Railway Museum to help work on the event this year. Encompass thought the event fit well within its vision and mission as an organization and accepted the opportunity to help. “I’ve been working with Peggy (Barchi) and the committee doing the planning. I started working with them in January of this year,” Quinn said. Quinn said the Railroad Days committee has been a great group of hardworking community volunteers and is happy that Encompass got the chance to be a part of it this year.
Old and new are combining this weekend at Snoqualmie’s end-of-summer festival, Railroad Days, which starts Friday evening in downtown Snoqualmie. Old favorites such as the firefighter pancake breakfast, David Moses Timber Sports Show, Plein Air Paint Out, Arts in the Park and Legends Classic Car Show will be back, along with a new partner for the children’s events, and changes to the beer garden. Encompass Northwest has taken on management of the children’s games, adding a few options of their own to the bounce houses, demos and activities, and Sigillo Cellars, past sponsors of the Wine Garden by the Arts Stage in Railway Park, are expanding into the beer garden, as well. “Sigillo’s is doing a combined beer and wine garden in the King Street lot,” said Peggy Barchi, Northwest Railway Museum marketing manager and Railroad Days coordinator. The museum will host the wine garden she added, with Sigillo wines. And, courtesy of the city of Snoqualmie, the beer and wine garden will be located under a large tent to give shade to revelers. Old meets new, too, in the History Comes Alive display, which will include an area for historical selfies, with a supply of old-fashioned hats and accessories people can wear in photos. “We’re going to use the hashtag #rrdays2017, for people to tag their photos,” added an excited Barchi. “This was one of my harebrained ideas I came up
A Fort Nisqually Time Traveler demonstrates card-weaving. with a couple of months ago, because people like the hands-on kind of thing.” The Fort Nisqually Time Travelers will return to Railroad Park on Saturday and Sunday for living history demonstrations, too. There will be two stages of music this year, the Main Stage in the King Street Lot and the Arts Stage in Railroad Park. It was a difficult decision to not put on a Children’s Stage. “We really love our kids’ musicians,” Barchi said, but organizers decided this year that “We’d rather focus on the hands-on stuff that the kids and the families seemed to want.” Hands-on is what you’ll
find in the children’s area, where the Prospector’s Club will teach guests to pan for gold — with real gold to find, but not to keep — and Operation Lifesaver will teach children about safety around train tracks. Trains will run on their regular schedule Saturday and Sunday, too. Find the full schedule of events for the weekend at http://www.railroaddays. com.
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Schedule of Events Friday, Aug. 18 Wine Garden - 5 to 9 pm, Railroad Park Arts Stage Performances - 5 to 9 pm, Railroad Park Arts in the Park - 6 to 8 pm, Railroad Park Main Stage - 6 to 8:30 pm, King Street Lot Beer Garden - 5 to 9 pm, King Street Lot
Saturday, Aug. 19 Firefighter Pancake Breakfast 7 to 11 am, Snoqualmie Fire Hall Grand Parade - 11 am, Railroad Avenue, line up at Riverview Park Arts Stage Performances - Noon to 8 pm, Railroad Park Arts in the Park - 11 am to 8 pm, Railroad Park Plein Air Paintout - 9 am to 3 pm, throughout Snoqualmie, sign in at Gazebo; reception to announce winner is 3 p.m. at Black Dog Kids’ Paint Junction - 11 am to 3 pm, Railroad Park Music on the Main Stage - 11:30 to 9:30 am, King Street Lot Free Wagon Rides - Noon to 3 pm, Carmichaels Hardware Wine Garden - Noon to 9 pm, Railroad Park Beer Garden - Noon to 9 pm, King Street Lot Kids Field of Fun - Noon to 4 pm, Snoqualmie Depot Model Train Show - 10 am to 4 pm, American Legion Hall History Comes Alive - 10 am to 4 pm, Railroad Park Timber Sports Shows - 1 & 4 pm, Sandy Cove Park
Sunday, Aug. 20 Music on the Main Stage - 11:45 am to 4 pm, King Street Lot Legends Classic Car Show - 8 am to 4 pm, Railroad Avenue Arts Stage Performances- 10 am to 4 pm, Railroad Park Arts in the Park - 11 am to 4 pm, Railroad Park Kids Field of Fun - Noon to 4 pm, Snoqualmie Depot Model Train Show - 10 am to 4 pm, American Legion Hall History Comes Alive - 10 am to 4 pm, Railroad Park Timber Sports Show - 1 pm, Sandy Cove Park
Snoqualmie Valley Record • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • 13
Time for Timber Sports
Watch the chips fly at the Railroad Days Timber Sports show, put on by Snoqualmie favorite David Herman and members of his competitive team. Timber Sports demos will be given twice on Saturday, 1 to 2 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m., and once again on Sunday, at 1 p.m., all at Sandy Cove Park. Get an up-close look at, and education about such events as the springboard chop and the double-buck. Enter your name, if you dare, to try the axe throw event. (File Photo)
14 • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Legends Car Show features classics, customs all day Sunday in downtown Snoqualmie The annual Legends Car Club Classic Car Show returns to Snoqualmie’s Railroad Days all day Sunday, under the direction of Denny Mills. This show, one of the largest in the area, features 21 classes of cars, including 31 and older, Street Rods, Unfinished, Orphan, and classic and modern muscle cars. There will also be games and activities for all ages. The Legends Car Show runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cars will be displayed primarily along Railroad Avenue, plus some side streets. Left: An admiring fan leans in to look at a classic roadster’s engine. (File Photo)
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