LocoMotive makes tracks in the local music scene

August 24, 2014

New: August 24, 11:14 a.m.

Like a lot of rock bands, LocoMotive members have a favorite hangout after they’ve performed at Snoqualmie Valley gigs. Even thought they frequently play at a local pub and restaurant, their hangout of choice isn’t a bar. It’s the local frozen yogurt shop.
The five-member band, all middle and elementary school students, range in age from 10 to 14 and include Tom Guilbert-Newell of Sammamish.
In recent months they’ve appeared at the Radio Duvall event, the Tanner Jeans Bike Rodeo and the Finapalooza at Finaghty’s in Snoqualmie and at a fundraiser for the Mount Si High School Jazz Band. Read more

Eastlake alum flying high with Civil Air Patrol

August 21, 2014

New: Aug. 21, 12:42 p.m.

Like many teenagers, John Hughes got into an activity because his friends were doing it, and more than a decade later, Hughes is the one who has become a leader and positive influence.
During his sophomore year at Eastlake High School, Hughes got involved with the Civil Air Patrol, a nationwide body of civilian aviators who have served as the official auxiliary branch of the U.S. Air Force since 1948. Read more

Skyline alum Daniel Peng taking skills to China

August 5, 2014

At just 24 years old, Daniel Peng is an extensive world traveler, and he’s headed back to foreign lands for the better part of the next year.
Peng grew up in Sammamish and Issaquah, and graduated from Skyline High School in 2008. He’s crisscrossed the globe as a collegiate student and young professional, and he recently earned a prestigious honor that will allow him to spend nine months in China. Read more

Beloved teacher, coach Belcher bids Eastlake High a final fond farewell

August 2, 2014

New: Aug. 2, 3:19 p.m.

Rich Belcher’s oldest son, Mitchell, estimates his father has interacted with more than 21,000 students during his 41-year career as a teacher and coach.
Belcher stopped coaching high-school boys basketball seven years ago, compiling 414 wins during stops at two California schools and two more in Washington – Newport and Eastlake. He was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011, and took Eastlake to the state tournament three times in nine seasons. Read more

Sammamish teen Amol Garg completes the ride of his life for charity

July 31, 2014

Amol Garg is an unusually motivated 14-year-old, and his inner fire fueled another noteworthy accomplishment this summer.
Garg, who will be a Skyline High School freshman in September, has been actively involved around Sammamish for years. He volunteers with a youth-centered charity that uses arts and crafts projects as inspiration, has achieved the rank of Life Scout with Troop 677, and founded a Toastmasters-type club to help fellow children improve their public-speaking and leadership skills. Read more

Skyline senior learning through high-quality apprenticeship

July 31, 2014

When Hari Rajan graduates from Skyline High School next June, there may not be much celebration. That’s because he’s planning to have an even larger academic challenge in front of him.
Rajan is a star student at Skyline, and his major interest is biology. His passion for the inner workings of life is leading him toward a career as a doctor, and he’s planning to apply to some prestigious medical schools – Northwestern, Duke, Johns Hopkins and Pennsylvania, among others – in the coming year. Read more

Father-daughter duo donate time and supplies to Fiji

July 28, 2014

Hot showers and cold drinks are among the things John and Emily Ball have in abundance at home that they didn’t have during a two-week stay in Fiji.
John Ball, a Sammamish resident and Microsoft employee, and his daughter, an Eastlake High School senior-to-be, traveled to the South Pacific island nation last month. They were part of a 25-member crew with Humanitarian Experience for Youth, a Utah-based nonprofit organization that serves impoverished areas in 10 nations around the globe. Read more

Lawyer-turned-author Gullette finding joy in sci-fi series

July 20, 2014

New: July 20, 2:51 p.m.

Rob Gullette has the same pursuits as many of his fellow retirees: He enjoys playing golf, visiting with his grandchildren and spending the winter months in a warmer climate.
But Gullette, 67, who has lived in Sammamish since 1988, also keeps busy in nontraditional fashion. He’s the author of the “Apollo Evolutions” series, which debuted in 2012 with the publication of “Waking Apollo,” and continues with its sequel, “Lyra’s Silence,” later this year.

Rob Gullette

Rob Gullette

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Quidditch makes young ‘Potter’ fans dance at library

July 19, 2014

New: July 19, 11:18 a.m.

Sara Jensen’s job is to get children interested in reading, and she found an effective book series to accomplish that task.
Dozens of children have been coming to the Sammamish Library since January, when Jensen, a children’s services librarian, began leading a book club on the “Harry Potter” saga.
About 30 boys and girls, most between the ages of 10-13, attended the book club’s June 19 meeting. They were there to talk about the sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” but a guest leading a special activity might have been the real reason behind the attendance surge on the first day of summer vacation for Lake Washington and Issaquah district students.

Chris Nguyen, center, an 11-year-old student at Blackwell Elementary School, tries to pass the quaffle to a teammate during a friendly game of quidditch at the Sammamish Library on June 19. Students have been meeting in a monthly book club since January to discuss the ‘Harry Potter’ book series and participate in book-related activities like quidditch. Photo by Neil Pierson

Chris Nguyen, center, an 11-year-old student at Blackwell Elementary School, tries to pass the quaffle to a teammate during a friendly game of quidditch at the Sammamish Library on June 19. Students have been meeting in a monthly book club since January to discuss the ‘Harry Potter’ book series and participate in book-related activities like quidditch. Photo by Neil Pierson

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Volunteers proving crucial to trail building project at Evans Creek Preserve

July 5, 2014

New: July 5, 3:45 p.m.

Evans Creek Preserve is one of Sammamish’s newest parks, and it’s quickly becoming one of the best thanks to diligent efforts from a large volunteer force.
A group of 10 people – including seven community members and representatives from the city and the Washington Trails Association – joined together June 19 for a trail-building outing at the preserve, which encompasses more than 200 acres just outside the northern city limits. Read more

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