Northwest NEWS

November 5, 2001


The Woodinville Weekly - celebrating 25 years of community news

by Carol Edwards
   Publisher of the Woodinville Weekly
   Twenty-five years ago Woodinville was a very different community than today. There were no stop lights. The downtown area had a mix of businesses and homes along the two- lane, potholed Northeast 175th. There were large areas of undeveloped land and no sidewalks.
   The only business center was the Woodgate Shopping Center, where The Woodinville Weekly is located today, but the section we are in had not yet been built.
   Life was also different then. There were only a few businesses, and those that advertised in the first paper are no longer here today. They were Stan Berry's Floor Decor, Woodinville Pharmacy, Western Auto, Woodinville Hardware, Woodinville IGA Foodliner, Sandwich Shanty and Woodinville Motor Parts.
   Residents had to go to Lynnwood or Bellevue to shop for many items.
   People would ride their horses downtown, and each weekend goats and other animals were sold on the northeast corner of Northeast 175th and 140th Northeast.
   Chateau Ste. Michelle had just opened. Gold Creek was still well known from the 60s, when famous rock stars came to Woodinville to perform.
   The view south across the Sammamish Valley then was unobstructed and spectacular. There were no bypasses.
   My family, including six very small children, had moved to Woodinville in the summer of 1976.
   My parents lived here and I was returning to the Northwest from California. We bought a house, and by September and early October I was desperate for information. What activities were there for kids, where was a library, what was going on in town and what was available in the way of services?
   As a former teacher, social worker, sheriff's marshal and organic farmer, I had had a lot of experience with hard work, information gathering and dissemination.
   I also had an AB Dick table-top press and an eight-foot process camera which I had bought on a whim a year earlier and had hauled with me to Woodinville.
   In my neighborhood I found Louise Miller, Cherry Jarvis, Phyllis Keller, Rosemary Zeutschel and Joanne Hirsh. I invited them over for lunch to talk about starting a newspaper for Woodinville. They thought there was a need and that a monthly publication would be adequate. I, however, thought a weekly would be better.
   In late October I packed up the kids in my blue Dodge maxivan and went to the Woodinville stores and asked for ads to start the paper. That experience is another story, but after some hard selling I came back with enough money to buy the newsprint for 5,000 copies.
   I was committed to a free paper for people paid for by advertising. There were a lot of people who said I was crazy to undertake such a job with so many small children.
   My garage was converted to a production space. I borrowed a carbon-ribbon typewriter from Aide Duplicating and sought out some help.
   Joanne Naganawa, a friend from my Franklin High School days in Seattle, brought out her rapidograph tools and set the ads by hand. Bill Chiles, my neighbor, went out and shot the photos: one of the Saginaw sawmill which used to be on the west bank of the Sammamish River, and one other of many people looking at a train going over the trestle. Ginny Lea signed on to write a column called "Beagle Scouts" about taking kids out on hikes and other excursions.
   The big news was the incorporation study which was underway. There was community calendar with the Woodinville Chamber meeting, a dinner at Mt. View Community Club, events at the United Methodist Church and Frank Ferell with old time fiddling at the Sorenson School. The IGA ad featured hen turkeys at 48 cents a pound and lettuce at 29 cents a head. Eggs were 69 cents a dozen. A ballot was the back page. Ford and Carter were running for president. Dixie Lee Ray was elected governor. The local ballot issues were also covered.
   Once the paper was set I got my neighbor, Gary Loomis, to help me shoot the negatives, make the plates and run the press. The small size of the paper was due to the size of the camera and press.
   Because I didn't know much about printing, I didn't realize that you couldn't run newsprint through an ink and water press the way I was doing it. It took three days to get out 5,000 good copies, with lots of soggy waste to dispose of when we got it wrong. Each day we left the good papers around town, and the next day they were gone.
   It was exhausting work for us all, but there was a commitment then, and now, to the importance of providing community news to residents. To save time, the following week Snohomish Printing printed the 5,000 copies. We haven't missed an issue and are still printing there today.
   Thank you for faithful readership for 25 years, or however long you have been reading the paper. In May of 1984, we were proud to be the first paper in Washington State to be on the Internet.
   Committed to the community, we are launching our next 25 years this week.