Arts celebrated at Duvall Sandblast

  • Written by Robin Akkerman
vvjoe and autumn
Local artist Joe Lee Davidson works on the SandBlast sand sculpture with help from Autumn, a young Duvall resident. Lisa Allen/Staff photo
DUVALL – The first day of the 18th annual SandBlast Festival of the Arts could not have been more perfect.

Held at McCormick Park, on the shore of the historic and beautiful Snoqualmie River, the July 21st and 22nd festival held a full audience both days.

SandBlast featured many endeavors into the arts including a professionally-directed, interactive sand sculpture, live music, community theatre and a juried fine arts and crafts fair. Of the 17-plus artists on hand, this year’s festival featured Kali Bradford, award-winning and internationally known master sand sculptor, and Dan Cautrell, master printmaker, muralist and mixed media artist.

Gerry Kollman, and assistant musical director Cheree Harder, carefully arranged the quality and presentation of this year’s performers on the music stage.  Attendees enjoyed musical talent from all ages and genres from reggae to classic rock, blues to country roots.

Saturday evening, Cascade Community Theatre presented its one act adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

Dan Ackerman, festival chair, commented that, “The event would not have been a success without a strong team in place ensuring execution of festival objectives. We set the bar high, and accomplished our goals.”

The annual event is brought to the community by many local sponsors, the Duvall Foundation for the Arts and the City of Duvall.  They look forward to entertaining the community next year with this free family fun event typically held the 3rd weekend in July.

For more information, contact Duvall Foundation for the Arts at or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Duvall Foundation for the Arts promotes creativity, diversity and cultural awareness by supporting the arts and arts education in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley.

Stillwater PTA pays tribute to Bob Scharer – outstanding teacher, inspiring advocate and lifelong mentor

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Bob Scharer. Courtesy photo.
At the end of each school year PTAs have the opportunity to organize special ceremonies in which they take the time to share their appreciation for the inspiring educators in our schools by nominating them for distinctive Washington State PTA honors.

In most cases, the long list of achievements these recipients have accumulated during their teaching tenure marvels even the most veteran of parents and educators.

This year at Stillwater Elementary parents and staff (past and present) literally lined up for a chance to speak at one of these ceremonies in tribute of their much loved and deeply admired teacher, Bob Scharer, who retired at the end of the school year.

During this ceremony the PTA announced the establishment of the Bob Scharer Scholarship, in honor of Mr. Scharer’s extraordinary contribution to teaching, which will be given to Cedarcrest High School students at their senior awards ceremony each year.

In his 40 years of teaching in the Riverview School District, 27 were as a classroom/PE teacher at Cherry Valley Elementary, and 13 were as the elementary PE specialist at Stillwater. Mr. Scharer is a teacher who will not be readily forgotten by his students or their parents. In some cases he has had the chance to watch his students grow into adulthood, and then have the rare opportunity to teach their children as well!

Stillwater Elementary parent Christine Stefani-Hillstead explains, “I had the pleasure of having Mr.Scharer as my 6th grade teacher years ago when he was teaching at Cherry Valley Elementary. Three years ago my oldest daughter begin attending Stillwater Elementary and had the honor of having Mr.Scharer as her PE teacher. She had heard me talk endlessly about Mr.Scharer’s funny jokes, reassuring smile, and genuine love for his students for years, before ever attending school. After having him as a teacher herself, she now understands how truly wonderful Mr.Scharer is as a teacher and person.

“I would like to say that he is an inspiration to my family and to the thousands of former students who had the pleasure of having him as their teacher. Thank you, Mr. Scharer for positively impacting our lives and for challenging us to always do our best.”

Mr. Scharer is remembered so fondly by past students, that he has had the honor of being asked to speak at high school graduation ceremonies, a privilege rarely given to elementary school teachers. Many past students still treasure their highly coveted “Birthday Poster” which Mr. Scharer made for EACH and EVERY student every year!

When the Stillwater PTA recognized Mr. Scharer as their 2011-2012 Outstanding Advocate they spoke of his ability to teach, challenge, and mentor all students on a daily basis. They shared of his PE fitness classes and the focus on fun creative games for the inclusion of all students, and how he created additional opportunities for students regarding fitness and learning outside of the school day by volunteering his time to organize the popular Skippers Jump Rope Program.

Mr. Scharer is one of those rare individuals with the special ability to really connect with students and take a compassionate and genuine interest in their lives.

Stillwater PTA President Laura Tisdale expressed, “The students and families at Stillwater are blessed to have Mr.Scharer be part of their lives... thank you Mr.Scharer for caring so deeply about our kids!”

Although Mr. Scharer has retired from teaching his legacy will continue on not only in the classrooms of our school buildings, but in the hearts of his students, parents and fellow teachers who were fortunate to have known this impassioned teacher, mentor and friend.

New Duvall Library opening celebration Aug. 25

  • Written by Valley View Staff

To mark the grand opening of the new Duvall Library, a ribbon-cutting celebration and open house will be held Saturday, August 25, 9:30 a.m. at the site of the new library, 15508 Main Street NE, located a short distance from the former library.

The public is invited to join community leaders, library staff and residents in celebrating the landmark occasion. To pass the last few books to the new library, a Book Brigade will start at the old Duvall Library at 8:45 a.m., sponsored by the Duvall Friends of the Library.

The new 8,000 square-foot library is more than three times larger than the previous building. Construction has been underway since July 2011 and is part of the $172 million capital bond, approved by voters in 2004 to fund major upkeep and expansion of KCLS libraries.

The new library was built across the street from the former library, still in the heart of historic downtown Duvall. The library features an expanded children’s area, teen zone, private study room and community meeting room as well as expanded collections and access to a growing number of eBooks.

A sculpture from local artist John Grade is on display, created from wood and resin.

The library was designed to meet LEED Silver standards and is anticipated to gain official certification. A ground source heat pump, coupled with energy efficient interior lighting, will reduce the building’s electrical usage.

Recycled, salvaged and low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials minimize the environmental footprint and a green roof reduces storm water runoff and helps keep the building cool in the summer.

Open hours have been expanded to the following: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday closed.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the public is invited inside to tour the new library and enjoy refreshments and a musical program by children’s performer Eric Herman.

New early learning group begins Sept. 12

  • Written by Valley View Staff
Cottage Lake Early Learning Group (CLELG) is a new opportunity for 3-and 4-year olds and their parent(s)/caregiver(s) that will begin September 12th.

Each Wednesday when CLELG meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m., children and their parent(s)/caregiver(s) will engage in learning activities in these developmental areas: feeling and connecting, sensing and moving, listening and talking, and thinking and remembering. CLELG is currently enrolling children who are 3 or 4 by August 31st.

Although the program will be geared to the 3-and 4-year olds, younger siblings are also welcome to attend. CLELG will be led by three early childhood professionals, each with over 20 years experience. Cost to register is $50 and tuition is $25 per month.

CLELG will meet at Wooden Cross Lutheran Church, 17401 198th Ave. NE, Woodinville. Call (425) 788-3626 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get an informational brochure and application.

Alzheimer’s caregiver support group meets at Sno-Valley Senior Center

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Caring for someone with memory loss?

Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss. A free information and support group for unpaid care partners, family members and friends of individuals with memory loss is held in Carnation on the second Thursday of every month from 1 - 2:30 p.m. at the Sno-Valley Senior Center, 4610 Stephens Avenue, Carnation, WA 98014.

For more information, contact group facilitator Karen Huntsinger at (425) 761-2946.

Alzheimer’s disease remains one of the fastest growing concerns in the United States. Currently, 1 in 8 people ages 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers predict 150,000 people within Washington state will be living with Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 – an 81 percent increase from the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2008, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased by 66 percent. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world leader in Alzheimer’s disease research and support, and we continually strive to progress and make a difference in the fight against this disease. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association, visit