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

Firefighters bring career perspectives to Beaver Lake

June 22, 2014

New: June 22, 10:14 a.m.

If Chris Tarkir hadn’t been tenacious, he likely never would have landed what he calls his “dream job” with Eastside Fire & Rescue.
“It’s about believing in yourself, and probably the biggest characteristic a person has to have is that you can’t take no for an answer,” Tarkir told a group of students during a June 5 visit to Beaver Lake Middle School’s !MPACT after-school program.
Four of the Issaquah School District’s five middle schools offer !MPACT as a safe haven for students with working parents. The program generally runs until 6 p.m. on weekdays, and costs between $95 and $230 a month depending on how often a child attends. Read more

Skyline grads develop app to help household harmony

June 21, 2014

New: June 21, 2:30 p.m.

Bill Doerrfeld and Vineet Rastogi are intimately familiar with the typical college-student conundrum: How do you maintain peace with your roommates?
Doerrfeld and Rastogi graduated from Skyline High School a year apart – Doerrfeld in 2009, Rastogi in 2010 – and both earned their undergraduate degrees this month from the University of Washington. They’re hunting for jobs, but they’re also hoping to turn an ingenious idea into a possible money-maker. Read more

Eastlake junior among select company with Seafair Foundation

June 14, 2014

New: June 14, 2:16 p.m.

Jordan Lim has been giving back to her community for many years, and her generosity was rewarded in February when she was chosen as a Seafair Ambassador.
Lim, a junior at Eastlake High School, said she has been “volunteering for as long as I can remember.” In recent years, she founded a homeless outreach project at Inglewood Middle School, and she’s gotten heavily involved with Heroes for the Homeless, a nonprofit group that relies exclusively on volunteers to reach homeless people living in the most inhospitable and inaccessible locations.

Jordan Lim, an Eastlake High School junior, was selected as a 2014 Seafair Ambassador. She earned a $1,000 scholarship, professional mentorship opportunities, and a trip to Japan.   Photo by Neil Pierson

Jordan Lim, an Eastlake High School junior, was selected as a 2014 Seafair Ambassador. She earned a $1,000 scholarship, professional mentorship opportunities, and a trip to Japan. Photo by Neil Pierson

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The secret’s out: Friends have raised nearly $50K

June 7, 2014

New: June 7, 11:17 a.m.

When four Eastside Catholic School students began raising money in 2010 for a summer camp on Orcas Island, they didn’t fully understand what they’d set in motion.
Four years later, the four friends – juniors Arend Broekmate, Alec Baer, Brooks Meadowcroft and Bill Dimlow – have made waves with their Secret Scholarship Fund, which has paved the way for at least 10 full-ride scholarships at Camp Four Winds Westward Ho.
The boys have raised nearly $50,000 to this point, and expect to shatter the mark before they graduate next June. When they created the fund, they didn’t have that goal in mind, but are pleasantly surprised at their success. Read more

Video doesn’t lie: Local students recognized for talents

May 26, 2014

New: May 26, 11:41 a.m.

Music videos are a form of storytelling, and four Skyline High School students decided to weave a story of their own around a well-known song.
Students Damian Banki, Jeremy Millar, Langston Nichols and Andrea Gomez acted in, filmed and edited a 3-minute, 46-second video set to the background of Coldplay’s “Paradise.”

From left, Skyline High School students Langston Nichols, Andrea Gomez, Jeremy Millar and Trevor Thacker-Beach, along with Damian Banki (not pictured) have been nominated for student Emmy Awards for their outstanding video productions.   Photo by Neil Pierson

From left, Skyline High School students Langston Nichols, Andrea Gomez, Jeremy Millar and Trevor Thacker-Beach, along with Damian Banki (not pictured) have been nominated for student Emmy Awards for their outstanding video productions. Photo by Neil Pierson

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Two Eastlake students win merit scholarships

May 25, 2014

New: May 25, 11:14 a.m.

James McCutcheon and Ryan Holmdahl have spent the past four years building impressive résumés, and their diligence has paid off with some rare recognitions.
The Eastlake High School seniors were among the list of 2014 National Merit Scholarship winners announced May 7. A total of five students from the Lake Washington School District were chosen, including Holmdahl, a Redmond resident, and McCutcheon, a Sammamish resident. The other three are also Sammamish residents – Cameron Akker and Samhita Karnati of Redmond High, and Anwell Wang of the International Community School in Kirkland. Read more

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