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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
June 3, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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June 3, 2009

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THE I S S AQUAH PRESS ! SECTION WEDNESDAY~ JUNE 3i 2009 Snequalmle elder Earl Moses (front) and Master Carver John Mullen paddle a dug-out canoe around Beaver Lake. BY CHRISTOPHEI~ HUBER P John Mullen is reviving Snoqualmie Tribe's tradition of crafting canoes BY CHRISTOPH]~ HIfBER noqualmie Tribe Master Carver John Mullen loves his job There's a spiri- tual element to it that most people don't experience on a daily basis, or ever, for that matter. His works speak to him. The Beaver Lake resident hand carves ca- noes, but the craft goes much deeper than hacking at wood. "Regardless of what we work on or even what we do, the water will talk to you, the trees'l] talk to you. It's just sitting here and lis- tening," Mull en said about the spiritual aspect of his craft. I tell them (students), 'Use your imagination. Listen.' It's not just the native people. Everybody has it. It's something you can't teach. It's just there." Before he and his apprentice carvers begin their work on a canoe at the tribe's Snoqualmie shop, they gather in a circle around the un- touched log and thank it for giving itself to them. The next day, they come to work with ideas they dreamed about and begin forming the canoe. "You can't plan it out There's no blueprints," Mullen said. "It's all just knowledge passed on." The canoe Spirit of the Salmon is about 27 feet long. 0Nlllr$] See video of John Mullen discussing his craft at vvwwissaquahpress.com. ,i, Why he does It For the past seven years, Mullen, a former candy maker for Seattle Gourmet Foods and construction worker, has worked to revive the Snoqualmie Tribe's nearly dead practice of tra- BY CHRISTOPHER HUBER ditional canoe carving. The initial draw, he said, was the challenge of carving sea-worthy vessels 25-50 feet long. "I knew the tribe needed it ... someone to bring it back to life," he said He, along with help from apprentices and ad- vice from tribal elders, has completed four dug- out river and ocean-going canoes, as well as other, smaller projects. "He makes you gain more respect for what you See CARVER, Page B3 BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Suzle Kufllk, a parent volunteer at Issaquah Valley Elementary School, started a program in November called the Angel Program, which has helped 30 students in need of new clothing, bedding and personal items BY CHAI TELLE LUSEBRINK |IY0u can tell some of these children have never had a he says angels only work new item in their lifey their magic during the holiday season? At Is- -- Suzie Kuflik ,. saquah Valley Elemen- Parent who started the Angd Program :] tary School, angels are t earning their wings by providing new clothing, bedding and other personal items for students and Parent volunteers, like Kullik, families in need year-round, and school employees identify Parent Suzie Kttflik started the families who may need extra Angel Program in November af- help when theyregister for ter seeing several students with- school, when they come into the out proper winter attire, school office or nursing station, "I would see children on a field or when their children are miss- trip, on a rainy day, with rm jacket or raincoat or proper shoes, and they didn't complain," ing too many days of school, Hawthorne said. Families are also identified if they qualify for the free and re- duced-price lunch program through the federal government. The program gives reduced- priced or free meals to students of parents who earn less than the area's median income. Kuflik said. "One boy had cropped jeans that were too short for him and were obviously a hand-me down from his sister. "Other schools have programs like this during the holidays, but I wanted to do more," she added. "This is our school, our kids and At Issaquah Valley, there are our community." 100 students who qualify for the| To date, 30 children at the program, according to district school have been helped by 30 statistics from the 2007-08 different angels, parents and school year. grandparents of other students The entire program is anony- or employees at the school, mous; angels don't know who Issaquah Valley, like many Is- their children or families are, saquah schools, has families who and families likewise don't know struggle to make ends meet, said who their angels are, Kuflik said. Principal Jennell Hawthorne. Es- After children and families are pecially now, since the economic identified, Kuflik sends the faro- downturn has led to many corn- ily a letter about the program, in- m unity layoffs, chding rules for anonymity, a For a smaller school, we have permission form for participation a higher percentage of students and a questionnaire regarding a that need assistance, but we're child's needs. That letter is trans- not different than other schools," lated into Spanish for families Hawthorne said, adding that there who don't sp, eak English well. are children in need at all schools. On'ce they ve agreed to partic- ; "We don't think of families in Issaquah as needing help, but it exists everywhere," she said. See ANGELS, Page B3 S N BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK The Issaquah eTSA council awarded Sara Niegowski, district communications director, with the Outstanding Educator of the Year award at their luncheon May 14. "She is passionate, informative and inquisitive. We admira her dedication to public education and in recognition for all that she has done to support eTA and Issaquah Schools," said Nancy Campi, co- council president for the PTSA. "Her passion for education and children is evident each day in everything she does." The award is offered by the state eTSA, but awarded by local eTSA councils to educators in their districts. The award is given CONTRIBUTED Sara Nlegowskl, Issaquah School District communications director, (center) receives the Issaquah PTSA's Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from co-council presidents Alison Meryweather (lefL) and Nancy Campi at their annual luncheon. to individuals who go above and beyond the normal expectations of "I was surprised and humbled their job to make the learning en- and grateful. Every day, I am vironment beneficial, challenging thankful for the work of our PTSA and fun. It also recognizes innova- . members in our schools. And so, rive individuals or groups who to receive ,an award of apprecia- have successfully transformed ed- tion from them seems a bit coun- ucation. Local school PTSA units give awards at their building level. See EDUCATOR, Page B4 BY DAVID, HAYES hristine Courtright re- called that when the idea was first floated to host a festival on Lake Sammamish, featuring hydroplane racing boats, it was given little chance to succeed. "We were actually told by a gentleman who also does a bunch of festivals in Seattle we were nuts," said Courtright, executive ;director of Tastin' n Racin'. Well, the committee must have hit upon something right, because the festival returns for its 13th year this weekend, bigger than ' i' ever. Courtright saxd t s hard to name another festival that fea- : rares hydroplane race , a classic car show, live entertainment, arts and crafts booths, a carnival with rides and a "hot rod boat show, all for $10 or less. The only downside, she admit- ted, is the festival is very weather driven as it takes place the first weekend in June, rain or shine. Constant drizzle last year affected attendance, hut Courtright said she was surprised by how little. "We were floored by the FILE Wally Johnson, driver of the E-98 Agitator, of Helena, Mont., is guided by his pit crew to the dock after winning the 5-1itre boat final during last year's Tastin' n Racin' festival at Lake Sammamish State Park. amount that came out, even with the lineup. the crappy weather," she said. The racing docket includes the Attendance was more than following categories: 37,000 last year, which she said ,1.5 hydro held its own to 2007's figure, ,2.5 modified hydro which topped 45,000. With good ,2.5 hydro weather forecast into the foresee- 5-litre hydro able future, she's expecting good National Mod things this year, especially with Grand National hydro IFYOU GO 13th annual Tastln' n Racln' 9:30-7 p.m. June 6 9:30-6 p.m. June 7 Lake Sammamish State Park General admission $10, chil- dren 6-16 and seniors $5, 5 and under free www.tastinracin.com Grand Prix hydroplanes Pro stock andsuper stock flat- bottoms Unlimited turbine and vintage hydro Inboard vintage hydros and flats Personal watercraft series Co ur ight said in the 1950s and 60s, boat racing was just about the only gig in town, and everyone knew their boats. But with the rise of the other four ma- jor sports since, it has taken some effort to get the hydros back out in front of the community's con- See RACIN', Page B4 ,0 .... 1,1, ..... rp I rrl