VALLEY RECORD SNOQUALMIE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011 DAILY UPDATES AT WWW.VALLEYRECORD.COM 75 CENTS
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Bond is back, up two cents
Mount Si principal: time to retire Randy Taylor to depart in June after six years at high school helm
Snoqualmie district floats replacement measure for April 26 vote
BY CAROL LADWIG
Full spring 2011 team schedule for Mount Si, Cedarcrest Pages 8-9
Local doctor offers six ways for people to beat heart risks Page 5
Will Valley’s top cop threepeat in Best of the Valley contest? Page 4
INDEX HEALTH 5 6 SPORTS BEST OF THE VALLEY 10 12 OBITUARIES 12 CALENDAR ON THE SCANNER 13 14 CLASSIFIED ADS
Randy Taylor broke out one of his favorite Jerry Garcia-inspired tie-dyed T-shirts last Friday. It was Tie-Dye Day at Mount Si High School, and as principal, he wanted to set the standard. Students and teachers alike teased him about his hippie look, but Taylor beamed through it all. He’s spent enough time in the halls of Mount Si to recognize a good-natured ribbing when he hears it. He’s only got a few months of this treatment left, though. On Wednesday, March 9, Taylor announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year. On June 30, he will close out six years at Mount Si, which is two years more than he originally intended. He still struggles with the transition. “Most of my days, I do not view what I do as a job,” said Taylor, who will miss the daily routine of being around students. The thought of it forces him to take a moment before continuing. “Mount Si is a very fine school. It has a lot to offer,” he said. Taylor doesn’t doubt his decision, though. A new principal, no matter where he or she comes from, will need time to adapt to the school’s upcoming issues, from opening the freshman learning center in 2013, to the
BY CAROL LADWIG Staff Reporter
Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Mount Si Principal Randy Taylor, decked out for TieDye Day, March 11, drew some teasing from students and staff for his colorful attire. Taylor plans to retire in June, after helping to orient his replacement.
SEE YOUTH, 2
SEE BOND, 3
Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Dianna Mattoni lifts her year-old son Simon in a dance at the Snoqualmie Library’s story time on Wednesday, March 2. Newcomers to Snoqualmie, Dianna and Simon are among roughly 40 regulars at Wednesday story times at the Ridge library, where attendance has climbed in recent years. Snoqualmie has the highest under-18 population in King County.
Young Snoqualmie With one in three residents under age 18, community faces youth boom BY CAROL LADWIG AND SETH TRUSCOTT Valley Record Staff
SEE TAYLOR, 3
Lorraine wasn’t ready to go that far, but she did think another attempt to address the worsening challenges of a growing school population made sense. Enrollment projections in the Snoqualmie Valley School District increase overall by about 2 percent each year, and the latest U.S. Census results show that 35 percent of the Snoqualmie population is under 18. That represents the nearly 680 percent increase in the under-18 age group since 2000. By comparison, the overall population increased by 543 percent in Snoqualmie, and the youth populations in North Bend and Fall City increased by about 7.5 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
A unanimous decision by the Snoqualmie Valley School District Board March 10 puts a $56.2 million construction bond on the ballot for an April 26 vote. This bond is a slightly different version from the one that failed by 0.002 percent following a recount March 8, but the goals are the same: build a new Snoqualmie Middle School to replace the one that will become a freshman learning center in 2013, and upgrade eight other school buildings. The only difference is the cost to property owners, 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation of the property. “That’s 2 cents more than the previous proposition,” said Superintendent Joel Aune. “In the time since the first election... interest rates have begun to rise, so we had to go back and review the structure of the bond.” In the February 8 election, the bond missed the required 60 percent supermajority approval rating by one vote. A group of parents raised more than $2,500 for a hand recount of the ballots on March 3, and although two additional ballots had
Everyone, even the children, knew that the latest school bond had failed by the time school let out Tuesday, March 8. When Erik Thurston’s mom, Lorraine, came to Cascade View Elementary School to pick him up, he also knew what she was going to say about it, and finished her sentence. “I think the next logical step is...” began Lorraine. “Run the bond again!” Erik concluded. “Keep on running it ‘til it wins!”
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YOUTH FROM 1 It’s this growing population that got Thurston to throw her support—as a Canadian citizen, she can’t vote—behind the bond to build a new middle school. “When you put upwards of 900 students in a school
building, you start to wonder, not about the quality of education, but about the quality of attention they’ll receive.” The school district could make better use of its impact-fee revenue, she thinks, because the growing youth population is no surprise to anyone.
“Even three years ago, we knew there were 200 2-year-olds up here on the Ridge... that means 200 Kindergarteners in this school this year,” she said.
A young community New census numbers show Snoqualmie at 10,670 population. More than
3,700 residents are children. Snoqualmie has the highest youth population, per capita, of any city in King County. The Valley community of Duvall is second with 33 percent youth population; Carnation is sixth with 30 percent of its 1,786 residents, and North Bend is in 16th place with 26.8 percent children of its 5,731 population By contrast, Bellevue, with 122,000 in population, has a 20 percent youth per-capita population. Issaquah, with about 30,000 residents, has a 23 percent youth component. Even before the numbers came out, Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said the city already intuitively understood that Snoqualmie had a young demographic. “Look at the complexion of the council itself,” Larson said. “For the past several years, you’ve had a relatively young council with a lot of kids.” Besides the mayor, five of Snoqualmie’s six-person city council are raising children. That’s not typical for most cities, Larson said. As the mayor tells it, Snoqualmie’s demographics derive from how residents, planning for the massive Ridge development, sought a new urban feel—spaces for work and play alongside all
Community Snoqualmie Duvall Carnation Tanner Ames Lake North Bend Fall City Riverbend Stillwater
Total pop. Pop. Over 18 10,670 6,940 6,695 4,432 1,786 1,248 1,018 716 1,486 1,083 5,731 4,195 1,993 1,507 2,132 1,613 1,277 970
Pop. Under Percent 18 Under 18 3,730 35.0% 2,263 33.8% 538 30.1% 302 29.7% 403 27.1% 1,536 26.8% 486 24.4% 519 24.3% 307 24.0%
Total Valley Population Snoqualmie Duvall Carnation Tanner Ames Lake North Bend Fall City Riverbend Stillwater
Wendy Fried/Valley Record Illustration
the housing. Their choices ended up being attractive to young couples and families. “They look at this and go, ‘It’s a kids’ paradise,’” Larson said. “One fed the other.”
Playfield crunch Snoqualmie’s new numbers also confirm what city parks employees are seeing in the field—capacity use of local playfields. “There is a real crunch, especially when it comes to field space,” said Gwen Voelpel, parks director for
Snoqualmie. “Even with as much as Snoqualmie has, we’re running out of capacity. We have leagues that want to form new teams, but don’t have places for them.” With 35 parks, nearly 140 acres, Snoqualmie is planning new soccer and football fields at Eagle Pointe. Even that won’t be enough. “We’ll still have needs beyond that,” Voelpel said.
• Next week, see how Valley schools, police and youth organizations are handling the youth boom
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Snoqualmie’s child boom affects schools, police, YMCA By Carol Ladwig and Seth Truscott Valley Record Staff
With the entire second grade set to perform, it was impossible for every parent to get a good view of the Cascade View Elementary stage. So school staff had a simple solution: turn the stage. On Thursday night, March 17, Cascade View’s second grade performed its annual concert along the north wall with a full gymnasium’s worth of onlookers down in front. At 150 students, “that grade level is our largest,” said Principal Ray Wilson. “Each of their parents comes, plus grandparents, aunts and uncles. It really drove the need to look at a different set-up... where they can see their own child.” Cascade View’s first and second grades are its largest, reflecting Snoqualmie Valley School District’s large elementary population as well as the significant number of young people in Snoqualmie, where new census data shows that more than one in three residents is a minor.
School growth In 2006, Snoqualmie Valley School District saw a 7 percent increase in enrollment projections. It was unexpected in a district
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • March 23, 2011 • 3
that had been averaging 2 percent growth for the past quartercentury. “Two percent is a nice, manageable clip for a school district,” said Jeff Hogan, the district’s Director of Instructional Technology. Seven percent, though, meant about 700 more children than usual, and it left district officials scrambling to find space for them. Two failed bonds, in 2007 and 2008, to build a new high school later, additional students have been absorbed and projections have settled back down to the 2 percent range. The speed at which these enrollment projections can change, though, is one reason the district doesn’t rely exclusively on U.S. Census data. “We know about the 5 to 18-year olds, already, but it’s a fascinating data point for us in the 0-to-5 age range,” said Hogan. “It’s not going to help us with the high school population,” though, says District Communications Director Carolyn Malcolm. “It’s telling us the data from last year.” Instead, the district uses a complex formula to predict where and when it will need to add buildings. Going into the calculations are the existing capacity figures for each school, the programmatic needs of the students—some students require smaller class sizes, reducing the overall number of available classrooms, live birth rates in the district and county-wide, new housing starts in the area, historical trends, and analysis from a professional demographer, Calm River Demographics (www.calmriver.com). Enrollment figures from October 1 are also included, since these figures are used by the state to determine the school’s level of government funding—usually 70 percent or more for the Snoqualmie district. “We’re on top of the growth,” Hogan said. Current projections show Mount Si High School exceeding its 1,750-student capacity by 2013, which is why the school board agreed last year to annex Snoqualmie Middle School as a freshman learning center. With the annexation, the high school enrollment
projections show the high school population staying within the capacity range until about 2030. At the middle school level, enrollment exceeds capacity in 2013, when SMS is annexed. If the school bond is approved in April, a new, larger middle school will give the district capacity for students well beyond 2030.
Beyond schools, Snoqualmie’s Police Department has kept pace with the population over the past decade, and grown into the community. Officers work with young children through events like the Tanner Jeans Memorial Foundation’s bicycle safety rodeo and a school crossing-guard program at both Snoqualmie and Cascade View Elementary Schools. The police station is where parents, youth and counselors meet as part of a juvenile intervention program with an Eastside agency. Until 2004, when grant funds lapsed, the department always had one or two school resource officers located at Mount Si High School. “That’s where we could see a definite benefit, having the school resource officers there,” said Capt. Steve McCulley. “They’re very helpful in preventing things.” In the near future, the department will begin another program working with high school students, a Police Explorer program for young people interested in law enforcement. These programs make up the bulk of Snoqualmie officers’ encounters with the youth of Snoqualmie. Of course, there are some juvenile arrests, for vandalism, fighting or possession of illegal substances, but “anything serious, we fortunately don’t come across that often,” McCulley said. In a review of the last decade’s worth of juvenile arrests, he found less than 80 arrests a year, typically, and no real increase in juvenile arrests as the population grew. Overall, though, McCulley anticipates that the department will need to grow again soon. See YOUTH, 5
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King County, which opened the bids and will manage the construction, must formally award the contract, which is expected to happen this week, following approval by all the funding partners. “It’s just been a long time coming,” said City Manager Ken Carter, who estimates the council has been pursuing a stoplight at the Entwistle intersection for more than 10 years. He summed up the council’s feelings as “Relief. Finally, we’re going to get it done.”
JAPAN FROM 1 “For donating, the best way to do it is the Internet,” Harrington said. The Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church is also encouraging people to donate via their website, www.svaonline.org. The donate link connects to the Christian and Missionary Alliance Services page, where people can donate. They can
YOUTH FROM 3 Community Center Snoqualmie’s demographics will drive programming choices at the future Snoqualmie YMCA. Learning of the new census numbers, “it reignites the enthusiasm we have,” said Dave Mayer, executive director of the Snoqualmie facility. The new YMCA, slated for summer 2011 construction at Ridge
Last month, the council postponed action on the signal because the initial bids came in about $50,000 higher than the engineer’s estimate of $460,737. The Transportation Improvement Board, the project’s largest contributor, then cut its commitment because of some non-eligible engineering expenses. Carter said the city had planned to contact all of the funding partners to find a way to cut expenses and raise more money for the project, and they had great success. “We have wonderful partners,” Carter said. King County agreed to reduce
its construction management costs by $12,000, and the TIB agreed to restore the full funding amount of $497,000. Other funding partners included the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Snoqualmie Tribe with $137,000, and the Puget Sound Regional Council with $70,000. The state Department of Transportation also awarded Carnation a Safe Routes to School grant for the Morrison crosswalk. The $514,000 project will not cost the city of Carnation a cent, Carter said. Work is expected to begin this summer.
also write checks to CAMA, with “Japan Relief” in the memo area, for the church’s offering box. Fund raising efforts in Snoqualmie Valley Schools are just getting started, and the students are leading the way. Counselor Mike Cuddihy at Snoqualmie Elementary School said some of his students came to him earlier in the week asking how they could help. “We’re not really prepared to start collecting blankets and
shipping them,” he said, so he started lunchtime conversations with the kids who wanted to help, and they are coming up with lots of ideas. In the short term, Cuddihy said, “We’re trying to get the children to talk with their parents about other community resources.” They are also accepting donations at the school office, which they will forward on to a reliable relief agency. Checks can be made out to SES Japan Relief Fund.
At Fall City Elementary School, Secretary Julie Blaskovich said “I had some kids come to me (Tuesday), and they wanted to get a bake sale going on,” for Japan relief. She encouraged the student to talk with their teachers, and they are currently planning an event, but there are no details yet. Cascade View Elementary School plans a coin drive for Japan relief efforts, reported Principal Ray Wilson.
Community Park, is being designed to meet a need for youth spaces. Mayer said there will be many before- and after-school programs for children and a dedicated area for teens. The teen center will be more than just a hangout. Mayer said teen-oriented programs such as Earth Service Corps, Youth in Government and outdoor recreational activities will get young people involved in their communities in positive ways. “We want to use the build-
ing as a jumping-off point,” Mayer said. “Being able to have those kids participate in YMCA programs will increase the dedication those kids have to the community.” The facility’s Leadership Development Director, expected to be hired in the next few weeks, will work daily to facilitate programs. The $4 million, 11,000square-foot facility is in permitting now and on track to break
ground in May. Local demographics have changed since bond campaigns began for the new YMCA. “At the time, it was very young families,” Mayer said. “Now, those young families have turned into families with teens. The timing couldn’t be better.” “I see it as continuing to be a young and pretty vibrant community,” he added.
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • March 23, 2011 • 5