Volunteer recognized for organizing Music in the Park

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, Staff Writer

staffordThe list of Nancy Stafford’s roles in community service goes on and on: she’s a supporter and former employee of the Woodinville Library, the president of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council, a 25-year member of the Hilltoppers Garden Club, an active member of Water Tenders, a driver for a food bank, a volunteer at the Northshore Senior Center, and a blood donor.

"Depending on who’s talking to you, I’m either blessed or cursed with a very active curiosity," she said.

Perhaps one of her most visible accomplishments was organizing the Music in the Park event, a series of six concerts every summer in Cottage Lake Park.

When Stafford announced that this summer would be her last organizing Music in the Park, King County Executive Dow Constantine recognized her for her community service by proclaiming August 8, 2013 to be Nancy Stafford Day.

Stafford, who was born in Portland, raised in Seattle, and moved to Woodinville in 1985, started Music in the Park in 2000.

Although she admitted she knows "nothing" about music, she thought people needed an opportunity to see live music, especially local music, without driving to Seattle and dealing with the challenges of parking there. For 13 years, the Upper Bear Creek Community Council hosted six concerts on consecutive Thursdays in the summer.

"I tried to get local people, especially groups that were just starting out," she said.

One of the most popular groups was a family that played bluegrass, she remembered.

It was hard to get people in the community involved in planning the concerts, Stafford remembered, but she found some groups to contribute. Woodinville Signs made signs for the events, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (across the street from Cottage Lake Park) provided parking.

The concerts, which usually had 200 to 250 attendees, provided social activity for extended families, as well as a meeting place place for old friends.

"A lot of the time, there were lots of personal reunions going on, which was great," Stafford recalled. "There was everyone from newborn babies in arms to great-grandparents."

She’s asked around for someone else who wants to organize the concerts in the future, but she hasn’t found anyone yet.

For herself, she’s looking for another organization to get involved with.

"It’s time for somebody else to do it," she said. "You only have so much imagination before you get spun out."

Stafford’s volunteer work began when her three children were young. At that point, she had worked at a bank, an optometrist’s office, and a school, so she was already involved in the community.

She describes much of her work as "resource and referral," helping people in the county and the community contact each other.

In the more than 10 years she worked for King County library system, she wasn’t assigned to a single branch, but instead worked at all the branches throughout the county. She also helped raise money for the Woodinville library in the early 1980s.

She’s known as the "worm lady of Woodinville" for her work with the Hilltoppers Garden Club  —  specifically, teaching people how to use worms in their gardens. As a creek watcher, she watches for salmon spawning in Upper Bear Creek and for changes in the water.

With her husband, she delivers food for a food bank once a week.

They also volunteer at events at the Northshore Senior Center, where she uses her food handling permit to prepare food and he pours wine.

"My husband Jerry is partner in most everything I do," she said. Sometimes that’s because he sees a better way to do something; other times, she asks him to get involved.

Although she’s no longer running Music in the Park, Stafford will still serve as the president of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council.

"The county needs to bring changes to the public before they can make a change, and we provided that theater for them," she said.

Community Service Area grants presented to six King County organizations

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert has announced that six organizations in her district have received 2013 Community Service Area grants from King County.

The grants are awarded to projects throughout unincorporated King County that "… offer unincorporated area residents in the Community Service Areas an opportunity to participate and be more connected in their communities."

"These organizations do an amazing job connecting with citizens and sponsoring programs in their communities," said Councilmember Lambert. "I know the funds received will be well used."

The grants require a community match of at least one-fourth of the total project and cannot total more than $5000 to any one organization. The grants in District 3 are as follows:

• Sammamish Valley Alliance: $500 for printing of the Sammamish Valley Guide, a brochure that supports the Sammamish Valley Agricultural Production District

• Carnation Duvall Citizen Corps: $4,000 to fund street address signs for rural homeowners with unmarked access points.

• Fall City Community Association: $3,600 for trimming, health evaluation and repair of the ornamental flowering cherry trees in Fall City and teaching sessions to train local residents how to properly trim them, and $920 for rental of portable sanitary toilets to accommodate the many hikers, bikers, riders and river users who travel through Fall City.

• Sno-Valley Indoor Playground: $1,000 for the acquisition of age appropriate toys for children aged birth – five.

• SnoValley Tilth: $3,500 to support the Snoqualmie Valley Farm Tour.

• Transition Snoqualmie Valley: $3,900 to support the Fall City Learning Garden and Pea Patch on the grounds of the Fall City Masonic Lodge.

"The County Council is the local government in the unincorporated areas of King County," said Lambert, "and I am pleased that we are able to support our citizens in such a positive and practical way that will improve their daily lives."

There will be additional grants available next year. Organizations in the unincorporated areas of King County are encouraged to plan ahead to apply.

Applications will be available in late fall.

Eight inducted to Northshore School District Wall of Honor

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Staff Writer

Wall of HonorPhoto courtesy of Northshore School District. Eight Northshore School District alumni, former staff or board members were inducted to the Northshore School District Wall of Honor for 2013 and recognized at a special ceremony Aug. 15, at Pop Keeney Stadium.Pretty soon it was time to go on.

Former Woodinville standout Marques Tuiasosopo stepped forward with seven others and the festivities began.

It was the 4th annual Northshore School District Wall of Honor ceremony held at Pop Keeney Stadium.

It served to recognize alumni, personnel and volunteers who’ve made significant contributions to our community, nation or world.

"It was a very nice ceremony," Tuiasosopo said. "It was very humbling to be inducted with the other men and women representing their families or receiving their awards. It’s a neat deal because usually for me a ceremony has to do with athletics. But this really had nothing to do with athletics. The fact that this had to do with what you’ve done off the field is really neat.

"When you put others first and try to help people out regardless of whatever you’re doing ... man, you can have a big impact on people."

The idea for the Wall of Honor was brainstormed in the backyard of Bothell alum George Selg, class of 1963.

Chatting with fellow alum Al Strand, they got inspired.

"We started talking about alumni who had gone out and done inspirational things in life," Selg said. "We realized there was a long list of people (from the Northshore School District) who have contributed to make a better community, state, nation or world."

Selg and Strand combined forces with Superintendent Larry Francois, and the trio formed the executive board that brought the idea to fruition. 

"We’re not only honoring the people that have done these things," Selg said, "but we’re trying to get their stories out to the community. The wall itself is down at Pop Keeney (Stadium), and as far as we know it’ll be up forever."

In talking about Tuiasosopo, Selg spoke warmly. 

"Marques is on the wall not because of his sports accomplishments, but because he has always been a mentor to students around him to do their best in sports or otherwise," he said. "He had this legacy of reaching out and trying to impact kids. He did that all the way through his pro career."

Tuiasosopo felt humbled.

"It was neat to hear other’s stories because some of these guys are doing big things," Tuiasosopo said. "I felt like, shoot, what I was doing in high school and college wasn’t to that level. But it goes to show that it doesn’t matter. If you’re helping one person or if you’re helping many, when you help people that can’t help themselves or need help, it’s an awesome deal. But you usually don’t do it for recognition, you know?

"It was just neat to see that regardless of how other people perceive them to be, (the inductees) are just nice, humble and in some cases God-fearing people.

"It doesn’t matter who you are to help people out. You don’t have to be a superstar or have a lot of money. You just have to have a heart and desire, and with hard work you can accomplish anything. It was kind of neat to be around them."

The 2013 Inductees were:

Robert A. Bruzas, BHS, 1961, deceased. (Educator, Advocate for Challenged Students, Coached Gymnastics)

James P. Egawa, BHS, 1958, deceased. (Educator, Advocate for Native American Culture and Education)

Dwight "Dee" Hawkes, NSD, 18 years. (Promoted Personal Growth and Self-Image Through Education)

Lynda W. Humphrey, BHS, 1963. (Educator, Women’s Advocate, Humanitarian Programs in Mexico)

Paul E. Mathews, BHS, 1965. (Renowned Leader for Ecological Design of Mountain Resorts)

Jack Nicholl, BHS, 1931, deceased. (Community Leader, Education Activist, School Board Member)

Dr. Jeffrey Tomlin, BHS, 1972. (Hospital/Medical Administrator, Youth Activist, Military Leader)

Marques Tuiasosopo, WHS, 1997. (Community/Youth Activist, Role Model, Inspirational Sports Leader)

Evergreen State Fair

  • Written by Lisa Allen

grangePhoto by Lisa Allen. Sammamish Valley Grange display

  museumPhoto by Lisa Allen Jerry Senner, co-founder of the Western Heritage Center at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, shows Monroe resident Ben Leib, 12, how a grinder sharpens an ax. Senner and his wife Nancy, who are western artifact collectors, founded the museum in 2007. They are still collecting but have overgrown their spot so are in the process of getting permits for a new building nearby. Although a few items in the museum sport “do not touch,” signs in front of them, visitors are encouraged to handle the majority of them so they can learn how they work.

ridesPhoto by Lisa Allen. The children’s rides are always popular at the Evergreen State Fair. 

sheepPhoto by Lisa Allen. Betty Ostasuc, 18, of Bothell, and “Franklin,” one of two Romney rams she is showing at the Evergreen State Fair. Betty is a member of the Sammamish Valley 4-H Club. Leader Lila Chapman owns the sheep.


The 2013 Evergreen State Fair in Monroe (14405 179th Ave. SE) will run through Tuesday, Sept. 2. 

Tickets can be purchased at the fairgrounds, on-line or over the phone at 1-800-514-ETIX.

For information on admission prices, special days, grandstand entertainment and rodeo shows, visit

Dry conditions cause extreme wildfire hazard

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to be cautious, alert and aware of burn restrictions across Washington state. The fire forecast for most of the western U.S. calls for hot and dry weather to continue into the fall.

While the likelihood of fires is high, resources available to fight fires are stretched thin. The National Interagency Fire Center has moved the National Wildfire Preparedness Level to the highest level, PL-5, indicating that fire suppression resources are becoming scarce.

To learn more about the national preparedness levels, go to the National Interagency Fire Center website at

How to report a wildfire:

Please call 9-1-1 to report wildfires or unattended campfires.

In Washington state, you may also report forest fires by calling 800-562-6010.