Couple pours lots of love into their tasty brews

April 15, 2014

John Julum has been producing beer at home for about 20 years, but the past 18 months have been an entirely new experience for tapping his creativity.

Julum and his wife, Michele, operate Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in the city of Sammamish. It’s considered a nanobrewery because of its 15-keg-per-week capacity, but the Julums have achieved an undeniable small-circle success.

Their neighbors helped them purchase a larger conditioning tank, John said, “because we couldn’t make enough beer to make them happy.”

Photo by Neil Pierson John and Michele Julum own Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in Sammamish, and have grown their operation to produce up to 15 kegs per week.

Photo by Neil Pierson
John and Michele Julum own Big Block Brewery, the only licensed brewery in Sammamish, and have grown their operation to produce up to 15 kegs per week.

The brewery takes up most of the Julums’ two-car garage, although the business’s namesake, a 1967 Ford Galaxie with a big-block engine, occupies the rest of the space. The Julums have 11 beers on tap, and distribute them solely to invited guests in growlers and kegs. They’re not licensed to sell by the pint.

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Desire, precision lead Eastlake dancers to the top once again

April 15, 2014

It’s nothing new for the Eastlake High School dance team to impress the judges at the state championships, but this year, the dancers were a bit stunned with the quality of their own performance.

Eastlake entered the March 28-29 state championships at the Yakima Valley SunDome expecting to perform well because of its detailed preparation. With so many quality Class 4A teams to compete against, though, coaches Corrine Cope and Catherine Dubois-Boutet said they weren’t necessarily looking to take first place in any category.

But Eastlake did exactly that, making some team history in the process. The squad repeated as dance division champions – the fourth straight year the program has won a state title in at least one category – and finished second in both pom and the highly-competitive kick division.

Contributed photo by Leslie Keck The Eastlake High School dance team had some historic achievements to end the 2013-14 season at the SunDome in Yakima, winning a fourth straight state championship and receiving three superior ratings. 

Contributed photo by Leslie Keck
The Eastlake High School dance team had some historic achievements to end the 2013-14 season at the SunDome in Yakima, winning a fourth straight state championship and receiving three superior ratings.

The 32-member squad not only outshone most of its opponents, it recorded some remarkably high scores. Eastlake’s point totals in dance (275.5), kick (275.4) and pom (274.6) earned superior ratings, meaning they eclipsed 90 on a 100-point judging scale. Only one other 4A team, Moses Lake, earned three superior scores, and it was the first time the Eastlake program had done it at state.

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Creekside kids get schooled in career-path planning

April 12, 2014

Young children may rarely think about the work they’ll be doing after finishing school, but Creekside Elementary School is trying to open their eyes to the possibilities.

The plateau school held its first career day April 1, bringing more than 40 parents and community members from a wide variety of fields into classrooms. Counselor April Stevens was the brain trust behind the event.

Second-grade students at Creekside Elementary School excitedly interact with builder Dave Ritter as he shows them blueprints during an April 1 career day event.  Photo by Neil Pierson

Second-grade students at Creekside Elementary School excitedly interact with builder Dave Ritter as he shows them blueprints during an April 1 career day event. Photo by Neil Pierson

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Eastlake musical goes after stereotypes

April 12, 2014

New: April 12, 11:14 a.m.

When the Eastlake High School drama club takes the stage April 24, it’ll be reinforcing some stereotypes about teenagers while breaking down others.

Eastlake’s annual spring musical, directed by Rachelle Horner, takes aim at the highly popular and recognizable “High School Musical,” a story that gained fame through the Zac Efron- and Vanessa Hudgens-led Disney films of 2006-08. Read more

Science fair a chance for young minds to shine

April 6, 2014

New: April 6, 4:28 p.m.

Spring is typically a time when students in the Issaquah and Lake Washington school districts have a chance to let their scientific flowers blossom.

That was the case at Endeavour Elementary School last week. The plateau school, located in the Issaquah School District, had roughly 400 of its 660 students participate in its annual science fair, “Little Minds at Work.” Read more

Eastlake senior selected for prestigious scholars program

April 5, 2014

New: April 5, 2:25 p.m.

Less than 1 percent of the nation’s high-school seniors score at least 2,370 on the SAT or 35 on the ACT, the most common tests for measuring college readiness.

Eastlake High School senior Nikhil Auradkar accomplished both tasks.

 Nikhil Auradkar

Nikhil Auradkar

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Beaver Lake thespians take on the task of ‘Shrek’

March 27, 2014

Carol Woodman has directed the annual Beaver Lake Middle School musical for 15 years, and she’s never had as much help as she’s gotten this year.

While middle-school drama clubs don’t typically have the same participation levels as their high-school counterparts, that might not be the case at Beaver Lake, where 89 students have been cast in roles for this year’s musical, “Shrek.”

Beaver Lake Middle School rehearsed scenes last week from its musical, ‘Shrek,’ which will be performed March 27-29. Alexis Jucht, left, plays Princess Fiona, and Hammer Shalawylo plays Donkey.  Photo by Neil Pierson

Beaver Lake Middle School rehearsed scenes last week from its musical, ‘Shrek,’ which will be performed March 27-29. Alexis Jucht, left, plays Princess Fiona, and Hammer Shalawylo plays Donkey. Photo by Neil Pierson

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Eastlake forensics club preaches the power of words

March 27, 2014

Eastlake High School senior Ross Coken believes there’s a virtual color wheel of people who comprise forensics – the world of speech and debate teams.

Coken was one of 10 Eastlake team members who competed at the state forensics tournament, held March 15 at the University of Puget Sound. Although no one reached the finals in their respective events, the Eastlake club qualified a record number of participants for state and has quadrupled its membership over the past three years.

The Eastlake High School speech and debate team sent 10 members to the March 15 state forensics tournament at the University of Puget Sound. Pictured above are team members who won trophies at an event at Newport High School earlier in the year – from left, Lauren Vasquez, Katie Vasquez, Colton Hemphill, Madelyn Mendlen, Greg Lauer, Andy Mohajeri and Ryan Holmdahl.  Contributed

The Eastlake High School speech and debate team sent 10 members to the March 15 state forensics tournament at the University of Puget Sound. Pictured above are team members who won trophies at an event at Newport High School earlier in the year – from left, Lauren Vasquez, Katie Vasquez, Colton Hemphill, Madelyn Mendlen, Greg Lauer, Andy Mohajeri and Ryan Holmdahl. Contributed

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Options growing for readers through neighborhood libraries

March 22, 2014

New: March 22, 11:14 a.m.

When Ann Backman retired last May from a 30-year nursing career at Seattle Children’s Hospital, she was looking for something to do in her spare time.

An idea came to Backman while she was thumbing through a University of Wisconsin alumni magazine. She read about the Little Free Library project, which originated in Wisconsin in 2009, and figured it would be fun to start her own location. Read more

Sammamish firefighter climbs to honor her sister

March 16, 2014

New: March 16, 3:41 p.m.

Emily Harig stood out in the crowd of firefighters and volunteers at the Big Climb March 9 in Seattle. She was the firefighter wearing the pink helmet that read, “Climbing for Julia.”

The Sammamish woman, 21, ran up 1,316 stairs in Seattle’s Columbia Tower during the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“I do the climb for my twin sister, Julia, who died from leukemia eight and a half months ago,” Harig said.

Emily Harig dons a pink firefighter helmet in honor of her sister before the 2013 stair climb.  Contributed photo

Emily Harig dons a pink firefighter helmet in honor of her sister before the 2013 stair climb. Contributed photo

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