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VALLEY RECORD SNOQUALMIE

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2012 • DAILY UPDATES AT WWW.VALLEYRECORD.COM • 75 CENTS

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Service stretch

Music hero Author Clay Eals explores American folk voice with book, Nursery concert

Snoqualmie ops levy would help fire dept. adapt to the times BY SETH TRUSCOTT

BY CAROL LADWIG Staff Reporter

The black-and-white photo shows a row of men hefting fire axes and saws, smiling confidently as they open a new station. The 2005 image chronicles the Snoqualmie Fire Department of a different era—a time of fast growth in the city, when fire and police divisions were being built and staffed to handle a big new population. Fast-forward seven years, and most of the men in the picture still work in Snoqualmie. But their jobs have changed. Their department is busier, but hasn’t grown in nearly a decade. Increasing needs are beginning to tell. A hiring freeze could thaw soon, though, as part of an operations levy that goes before city voters this fall.

Ex-’Cat Nikki Stanton finds excitement with Sounders Page 13

SCENE

A history of growth Pics: Wild time at Valley’s second extreme Warrior Dash Page 9

INDEX OPINION 4 8 CALENDAR BACK TO SCHOOL 11 14 MOVIE TIMES ON THE SCANNER 15 18-19 CLASSIFIEDS

Vol. 99, No. 10

The Snoqualmie City Council greenlighted a 24-cent operations levy on Monday, July 23, to maintain service levels for the fire department, police, parks and public works. SEE OPS LEVY, 7

Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Rushing to connect fire hose to hydrant, Snoqualmie firefighter Darby Summers trains at the city station in July. The fire station’s team is being challenged by increased calls, but could see its first growth in staff since 2003 as part of a new property-tax-based operations levy that goes to voters this fall.

Football dropped at Snoqualmie Valley middle schools Students more interested in soccer, change inevitable, school athletic director says BY CAROL LADWIG Staff Reporter

Football won’t be returning to Snoqualmie Valley School District middle schools when the students do. The sport was been cut from all three middle schools’ extra-curricular offerings this year, in a controversial decision made by the schools’ coaches. Instead,

the schools will offer boys JV), turnout varied at the Soccer plans soccer this fall. other competing schools “Everyone involved is Boys interested in playing in the Triangle League. disappointed, but we knew soccer this fall should plan Tolt Middle School in parwe’d eventually have to on attending their first ticular struggled to meet make this decision,” Chief practice session immediately the 10-player minimum Kanim Middle School ath- after school on Aug. 29. last season, causing them letic director and football to forfeit two of six games. coach Mickey Fowler said. The Triangle League Participation numbers are what includes Snoqualmie, Riverview and the prompted the decision, Fowler said. Mercer Island School District, but Mercer Although Chief Kanim typically fielded Island does not offer football, and Tolt about 50 interested seventh- and eighth- dropped the sport last spring. graders each year (“that made two niceSEE MS SPORTS, 7 sized teams” Fowler said, a varsity and

In one rare moment, Clay Eals is all but speechless. An author and journalist, best known to the Valley as communication director for Encompass, Eals is the guy who makes his living with his words. He is also clearly (if briefly) overwhelmed, when he talks about all the things that a long-dead, almost-famous folk singer has CLAY EALS given him in the last 20 years. They were huge opportunities like the music to court his future wife, and a legitimate reason to travel the continent, STEVE GOODMAN meeting, interviewing, and once or twice going crab-fishing with some of the most beloved musicians in America. They were also simple truths, about the incredible generosity of people, how cruelly short life is, and the necessity of following your dreams. His thoughts and stories about the singer, Steve Goodman, flow so swiftly, they pile up in his mind faster than he can get them out. Finally, he distills them down to one concept, gratitude. He leans over and pats the newly printed third edition of “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, a Biography by Clay Eals,” then grins and whispers conspiratorially, “I got to do my some-day project!” SEE ICON, 2

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ICON FROM 1 The book, an eight-year endeavor when it was first published in 2007, is a 778-page encyclopedia on the performer who people know primarily for his song “City of New Orleans,” made famous by Arlo Guthrie. For Eals, though, seeing Goodman perform ruined him for all other musicians. “He was the best I’d ever seen,” Eals recalled. “He would make you laugh so hard…. and two minutes later, you’d be crying.” A classmate of Goodman’s told Eals “He seemed to be more entertained than entertaining, and that, of course, is tremendously entertaining.” As much as fans appreciated Goodman’s showmanship and wry humor, so did his fellow musicians respect his musical talents. Musician Tom Colwell, who will perform with Eals in a tribute to Goodman at 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 5 at The Nursery at Mount Si, remembered the one time he performed with Goodman, fondly. “I had seen him perform at the Brown Palace, and was just blown away by the guy,” Colwell said. “His energy was like nothing you’ve ever seen.” One night, while Colwell was performing at a bar called Somebody Else’s Troubles, Goodman walked in. He knew Goodman didn’t like want attention when he was in the audience, but decided to invite him up on stage, after he’d listened for a while. Colwell introduced him as Joe Steel, a name that just came to him. Since Colwell was wearing his 12-string guitar, Goodman picked up his much-loved Fender six-string, and backed him up on several songs, including “City of New Orleans.” “I’ve never heard music come out of that guitar like that before or since,” he said. Although he was a phenomenon among musicians, and in the heart of the folk movement at the time, Goodman never achieved the fame that found Guthrie, or Goodman’s friend John Prine,

Photo courtesy of Bob Sirott

Steve Goodman plays “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” at Wrigley Field in 1981. The Cub anthem will be played at an Aug. 5 North Bend benefit show. Below, the jacket for the third printing of Eals’ book on Goodman.

or his protege, Jimmy Buffett. “I know Steve Goodman’s an American iconic songwriter that has legions of followers all around,” said Nels Melgaard, owner of The Nursery at Mount Si. That was pretty much the total of Melgaard’s knowledge of Goodman when he took the opportunity, four years ago, to buy the evening on Steve Goodman, along with Eals’ book donated as an auction item for an Encompass fundraiser. “He was a brilliant songwriter that died young,” Melgaard added. At 20, Goodman was diagnosed with leukemia.

It was 1969, and at that time, Eals said, the diagnosis was “a death sentence.” Instead of submitting to the disease, though, Goodman pursued experimental treatments at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Hospital in New York, and continued making music. If he hadn’t, “we wouldn’t have ‘City of New Orleans,’ we wouldn’t have ‘A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request,’ we wouldn’t have all these other great songs...” Eals said. Goodman’s courage in facing his disease is what inspired Eals to write what he calls his life’s work. “Clay’s energy around this thing is really unflagging… just remarkable,” said Colwell. “I think it’s because he’s developed a great respect for Steve’s commitment to be alive.” Eals explains, “The book is, yes, about a musician, but it’s about how death is sitting on all of our shoulders… he didn’t have the luxury, shall we say, of forgetting about it, because he wasn’t supposed to live out another year.” Goodman enjoyed a long remission from his disease, and lived 15 more years. He died in 1984. Eals had seen him live only twice, but was moved by Goodman’s last album, particularly, the last song, “You Better Get It While You Can.” Within a few years, he had started preliminary research. By 1999, he’d reduced his full-time job to half-time, to focus on interviewing more than 2,000 friends, classmates, and fans of Goodman. Four years later, he quit altogether. He worked on the book and spent time with his mother, who was placed in a nursing home across from his West Seattle home. In an other four years, the book was done, and Eals accumulated 75 rejection letters before finding a publisher, ECW in Toronto. The first printing sold out in eight months. His struggle to write the book has parallels to Goodman’s career, but without the tragic ending. “Facing our mortality is a huge thing for all of us… and that’s the lesson of this book: We are not meant to be hermits in this life. We are meant to connect with and engage with and inspire people,” he said. “He was that, personified.”

In Brief

‘Horses and Hounds’ parade planned in Carnation The Carnation Chamber of Commerce is planning a parade honoring and welcoming the Evergreen Classic horse show. The first Evergreen Classic Horses and Hounds Parade is 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9. The parade begins on West Entwistle Street, continues to East Entwistle, turns onto Stossell and ends on East Bird Street, where there will be food, vendors and entertainment. At 7 p.m., a Mutt Strutt contest is planned, with voting for bestdressed dog, best trick and most obedient. Mutt Strutt winners will be announced at 8:15 p.m. Only horses and hounds will be in the parade. Entry fee for the Mutt Strutt and parade is $5. The Evergreen Classic takes place August 8 to 12. Sponsors include the city of Carnation, Carnation Dog Park, Love Restaurant, Best Buddy Dog Wash and Honey Do Farms. For more information and registration forms, go to www.carnationchamber.com.

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2 • August 1, 2012 • Snoqualmie Valley Record

Music hero  

Author Clay Eals shares his deep love for an American musical hero, Steve Goodman

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