There was much optimism at the end of last year that 2021 would bring a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. And depending on who you ask, the light has remained dim, but it’s still glowing nonetheless. 

In reviewing Woodinville Weekly articles, it’s clear that a host of good was also accomplished within the past 12 months. 

Despite financial turmoil from the pandemic, new businesses like Pie Wine Bar and Antojitos Toxicos are flourishing in town. Service groups and volunteers are working hard to ensure that food insecurity is minimal, vaccines are accessible, farmland is protected and students are supported.  

In the face of new variants and challenges, the community has continued to gather—safely—for events like Celebrate Woodinville and the annual Woodinville Christmas Light Cruise. 

After nearly a year of remote learning, kids were finally able to meet in-person again. High school students adapted to abbreviated sports seasons, and still came out victorious. 

According to 2021 readership statistics, the community remains passionate about new businesses and developments in town like the Schoolhouse District, Woodin Creek Village and Harvest.

The Dec. 2 article about King County making moves to shut down a Woodinville-based taproom quickly jumped ahead as the most-read story of 2021. Not surprisingly, the Dec. 2 story updating folks on the Adult Beverage Ordinance legal battle also gained a lot of traction. 

One of the more popular stories from 2020 had to do with Woodinville-raised actress Brooke Butler starring in the feature “Lantern’s Lane.” In 2021, the same actress received high page views for an article on her role in the film “Famous.”

The Woodinville Weekly also took large strides in 2021. Eastside Media Corp acquired OutdoorsNW, a quarterly magazine focused on outdoor recreation, in June. In August, the Weekly published its first Woodinville Magazine. The magazine was initially designed as an annual publication. But due to high demand, a winter issue was printed as well. Stay tuned for the spring edition in 2022!

Here’s a look back at the year 2021:

January:

Service group steps up amid pandemic

A typical mission for a Mormon elder wouldn’t normally involve mowing lawns or helping clean out garages at various Woodinville-area homes. But few things in 2020 could be described as “typical.” 

A group of Mormon elders whose missions were supposed to be in Africa, Peru and elsewhere were called back to the states after the pandemic outbreak worsened. 

WHS alumnus releases self-produced album 

Woodinville-native Brady Engelbrecht, also known as Kopik in the music world, started out the new year with his release of a self-produced album called “Arterial Glow” on Jan. 1, 2021.  

Gary Harris appointed as new mayor

One week following the sudden departure of Mayor Elaine Cook to New Zealand, the remaining Woodinville City Council members elected a new leader: Gary Harris. 

Harris, who had been deputy mayor, began his new mayoral role immediately after council appointed him in a 5-1 vote on Tuesday, Jan. 5. 

First vaccines given to staff and residents at retirement community

Residents and staff at the Woodinville senior living community Fairwinds-Brittany Park exhaled a sigh of relief after receiving their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, Jan. 8. 

County considering Woodinville site for new Eastside dump

King County Waste Division announced the search for a new solid waste transfer station to address expanded capacity and service needs in the Northeast area. In search of a 10-acre site with easy access for transportation, the county narrowed down the options to Woodinville, Redmond and two different locations in Kirkland. 

A taste of pie comes to Woodinville

After over a decade dominating the Seattle pie community, Alyssa Bleifuss decided to bring her unconventional union of pie and booze to the Eastside alongside co-owner Paul Beveridge. 

Pie Wine Bar, located in the Gateway Wine District of Woodinville, features homemade pies with organic fruit from Beveridge’s biodynamic vineyard in Naches Heights. The vineyard-to-table experience pairs his award-winning wines and brandies with Bleifuss’ famous fruit pies. 

Steakhouse and taproom duo to occupy historic schoolhouse building 

Slated to open in the first quarter of 2022, Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing will soon take over Woodinville’s historic Schoolhouse No. 23 building. 

The award-winning steakhouse and taproom will occupy two floors and feature extra space for events and entertainment. As part of the mixed-use Schoolhouse District development, the anchor restaurant will serve as a focal point for the downtown project. 

Chamber intact after tough year advocating for local businesses

Woodinville Chamber of Commerce went into overdrive this last year to promote and strengthen local businesses impacted by the economic downturn of COVID-19. 

Executive Director Kimberly Ellertson presented the annual State-of-the-Chamber during a virtual luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 21. She highlighted advocacy and education for businesses as top priorities in 2020. 

Famous pig stolen from roof of Horseshoe Saloon 

The pink pig that’s been perched atop the Horseshoe Saloon in Woodinville might be a little smaller and less famous than its predecessor at Pike Place Market, but it’s still beloved by many. 

The replica of the 550-pound bronze piggy bank sculpted by Georgia Gerber went missing on Jan. 18, according to Far Ghoddoussi, principal at Westpoint Properties. 

The Woodinville rooftop hog was one of roughly 200 replicas made of Gerber’s creation and sold to nonprofits in the area in the early 2000s. Ghoddoussi’s previous tenants gave him a rendition of the pig when moving out about six years ago, and it’s been sitting on the Horseshoe Saloon ever since. 

February:

School district continues Black history education amid threats  

To open Black History Month, Northshore School District staff participated in a national educational movement call Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, which involved virtual panels and educational activities for students and their families.  

However, as the district shared its plans for the week, staff members began receiving threats and hate speech emails, Superintendent Michelle Reid said during a Facebook live event on Wednesday, Feb. 3.  

Council members support fire district consolidation

The majority of city council members support the merger of Woodinville Fire & Rescue and Northshore Fire Department, a move that will ultimately be determined by voters in an April special election. 

Family-owned butcher shop joining Hilltop Center this spring 

After half a century of service in Bellevue, Golden Steer Choice Meat is opening its second location and bringing its beef to Woodinville. 

The family-owned butcher shop is moving into the Hilltop Center in April, bringing with it an old-fashioned model and a long history of knowledge in the meat industry.  

Mike Millman becomes latest appointee to Woodinville City Council 

Not many city councilmembers can say they recited the oath of office over Zoom. Mike Millman, a resident of Woodinville for nearly three decades, is a unique exception. 

Millman, who was chosen for his seat in a 5-1 vote during the Feb. 16 meeting, marks the third member currently appointed to Woodinville City Council. He fills the vacant seat previously held by former Mayor Elaine Cook ahead of her sudden departure at the end of December 2020.   

NSD’s Michelle Reid awarded National Superintendent of the Year 

Known as a leader in the fields of learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement, many found it only fitting that Northshore School District Superintendent Michelle Reid was acknowledged at the highest level for her commitment to equity and education.  

Reid was named the 2021 National Superintendent of the Year during a virtual conference hosted by The School Superintendents Association (AASA) on Thursday, Feb. 18.  

Buchanan recounts grueling year at annual State of the City

After a bizarre and extraordinary year, the city continues into 2021 with priorities realigned towards improving economic development, transportation and affordable housing options, emergency planning and surface water management. 

City Manager Brandon Buchanan recounted several achievements and pitfalls at the annual State of the City, hosted virtually by the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, on Feb. 18.   

Demand for local farm CSAs blooming during pandemic

While the beginning of the pandemic created major challenges for many businesses in the food industry, farms with CSA programs have been thriving. Community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, fresh food directly from a farmer.

Ahead of spring harvest, National CSA Week is a popular time of year for farmers to begin marketing and promoting their products. Erik Goheen, owner of Sound Vegetables, describes the special week from Feb. 21-28 as a “flurry of activity around educating people” on CSA programs in the area.

March:

Chief Larson recounts crime trends as a result of the pandemic 

As people continue to stay home during the day, residential burglaries have declined in the Woodinville area. Contrastively, cases relating to commercial burglaries, catalytic converter thefts, fraud and domestic violence are on the rise, according to Woodinville Police Chief Katie Larson.  

Larson shared crime trends and highlighted the detrimental impact COVID-19 continues to have on criminal justice during the first virtual Coffee with the Chief on Thursday, March 4.   

Local nonprofit battles with county over food distribution program  

Szabi Pasztor, Farmer Frog director of administration, was hoping for the best but feared the worst last Friday night. Hours before a planned protest of the county’s notice that it was violating the lease on Paradise Farm, the phone rang.   

She breathed a sigh of relief when Snohomish County officials said the Woodinville area nonprofit could, for the time being, continue its large emergency food distribution program despite an earlier letter stating the county would “take necessary actions” to cease the activity.  

High school sports return with abbreviated seasons

After nearly a year without high school athletics, “fall” sports began this month in what will be an abbreviated season with a number of new restrictions and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And teams will only compete against other Northshore School District teams in the abbreviated season, which is set to go until April 3.  

Woodin Creek gains new restaurant and bar  

Woodinville’s bustling new development recently added a new restaurant that offers “new American” cuisine and a wide variety of local beers.  

Woodin Creek Kitchen & Tap opened at 13550 NE Village Square Drive earlier this month, and it marks the second Eastside eatery owned and operated by duo Tim Short and Chef Chris Nelson. 

NSD prepares for in-person transition after year of remote learning

As students and educators prepare for the return of in-person learning after a tough year apart, Northshore School District is celebrating the silver linings made possible by the pandemic. 

Reid addressed important initiatives and successes from the 2020 school year during the fourth annual State of Our Schools on Wednesday, March 10.

INSP finally reaches nonprofit status

After nearly a year of rescuing food and feeding communities in need, International Nutritional Sustainable Partners (INSP) is now officially registered as a nonprofit.  

Brandy Badger, owner of Badger Whole Farms LLC, launched INSP last May to help put free food into the hands of families from Burlington down to Tacoma. She said the nonprofit was formed in November in an attempt to raise money to keep operations running. The tax exemption was finally received on March 10.  

April:

April Fool’s joke goes haywire

The Woodinville Weekly took a swing at an April Fool's joke. And depending on who you ask, we either swung and missed, completely struck out or hit a homerun.  In hindsight, we were unaware that the Trader Joes and dog park stories would hit such a nerve and create so much negative emotion.

Parents rally behind school board recall 

As some students in the Northshore School District return to in-person learning on a hybrid schedule, a group of parents claim the board members have not done enough to get kids back into the classroom.  

Five district parents filed petitions on April 2 to the King County Elections Office to recall all five members of the school board. 

Bothell defeats Woodinville in final game of short season

Capping off an undefeated season, Bothell High School (4-0) bested the Woodinville Falcons (2-2) in a 19-14 matchup at Pop Keeney Stadium on Friday, April 2. 

Head coach Wayne Maxwell said the team was much more satisfied with how they played Friday compared to the first game of the season, which was also against Bothell. The short season pushed the athletes to focus, compete and be appreciative of each day, he added. 

City launches subcommittee in support of climate action  

In light of Earth Day, Woodinville City Council is taking action to identify and investigate city- centric adjustments that will positively and inexpensively impact the local environment. 

Councilmembers Rachel Best-Campbell and Mike Millman introduced the Climate Action Subcommittee during an April 6 council meeting.

Fundraiser for kids raises over $216,000 for families impacted by COVID

After an unexpended and overwhelming year for families, the Northshore Schools Foundation raised $216,547 and counting at the 25th annual All in for Kids event on Thursday, April 8. 

The event featured first-hand testimonies from teachers and students detailing their experiences learning in a COVID-19 world. NSF Executive Director Carmin Dalziel hosted the fundraiser alongside King 5 News anchor Jake Whittenberg.  

Judge dismisses recall petition against Northshore school board 

The effort to recall Northshore School District’s entire board of directors was dismissed in King County Superior Court on Monday, April 26. 

None of the charges set forth in the petition met the criteria for a recall, according to Judge Brian McDonald. His order came exactly one week after the court dismissed a similar case regarding upset parents’ attempt to unseat the Seattle School Board.  

Firefighters clash with commissioners over merger  

After more than a year of planning to put a proposed merger of Woodinville Fire & Rescue and Northshore Fire Department on the ballot, firefighters from both districts are coming out against the move.  

The majority from both boards of fire commissioners supported putting the proposal on the ballot for the April 27 special election, but there has been a recent campaign by the firefighter’s union for the merger to be denied. Kenmore and Lake Forest Park voters will decide whether or not it goes through.  

On March 22, Kenmore city council members voted unanimously to pass a resolution opposing the ballot measure after hearing public comment from firefighters who spoke against the merger as well as fire commissioners who spoke in favor of it.  

Lake Forest Park city council members voted unanimously with one abstention for a similar resolution on April 8.

May:

Farmers market prepares to open again after hiatus

After a tough decision to close the Woodinville Farmers Market last spring and go on hiatus, the open-air market will finally return in May. 

The market will run on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at DeYoung Park in downtown Woodinville. This year’s season begins on May 1 and concludes on Sept. 24.  

Rusty Pelican Cafe prepares to open in May

With the latest addition of Rusty Pelican Cafe in the new Wooden Creek development, 

The family-owned establishment is anticipated to open in May, although the project has been a work in progress for three years now. Johanna Limberopoulos owns and manages the upper scale breakfast restaurant alongside her parents, Peter and Marilyn.  

WHS sophomore publishes novel 

Woodinville High School sophomore Mariam Kazmi’s novel “Footsteps to Freedom” was recently published by The Little Book Company and is available online as an e-book.  

The realistic fiction book follows four refugee teenagers from Somalia, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria as they make their way to Seattle to seek asylum.  

New Woodinville coffee shop is brewing  

Woodinville residents will soon be getting a new sidekick this summer. 

Bothell residents Amy and Josh Siegel will be opening Sidekick Coffee in Woodin Creek Village, hopefully in June, the couple said.  

Former planning commissioner sues city over alleged records act violation  

Contention between a former planning commissioner and the Woodinville City Council has continued to escalate since Duchastel’s abrupt dismissal last June. On May 4, Nicolas Duchastel filed a lawsuit against the city for alleged public records request violations.  

Michele Earl-Hubbard, an attorney for Duchastel, also submitted a letter as public comment at the council’s meeting on May 4 with an offer to settle out of court if certain demands were met.  

Duchastel alleges that he was “bullied” by council members and then later improperly removed the from the planning commission and has sought proof of such conduct through the records. He now believes that the city is violating the law in withholding some of the requested materials.  

WHS girls basketball secures another undefeated season

 Coming off an impressive 2020 record, the Woodinville High School girls basketball returned to the short pandemic-influenced season with a vigor to succeed. 

The undefeated Lady Falcons conquered Inglemoor High School with a score of 74-50 in the final game of the condensed season on May 7. With just five games on the schedule, the team also defeated North Creek High School twice (68-30, 74-29) and Bothell High School twice (67-49, 77-53). 

WHS gymnastics wins district championship 

Woodinville High School girls gymnastics team clinched the district championship title against Inglemoor, North Creek and Bothell high schools on Saturday, May 8. 

WHS finished with a team score of 174.5, followed by Inglemoor (168.15), Bothell (167.15) and North Creek (156.95). Freshman Emily Brouwers took first place in the individual all-around with top finishes on the vault, beam and floor. Senior Sidney Mays finished fourth, trailed by sophomore Katie Barker in fifth.   

Ballard Pizza Co. moves into new Schoolhouse District development 

Slated to open in the second half of 2021, Ballard Pizza Co. plans to open its first Eastside expansion location at the new five-acre Schoolhouse District project in downtown Woodinville. 

The restaurant, which anchors the project’s Wine Walk Row, will feature 3,000 square feet overlooking the Woodinville Sports Field and all-new Festival Street. Mainstreet Property Group LLC and its partner HAL Real Estate announced the new location on May 11.  

1 injured and 10 displaced in condo fire  

A man was burned, and 10 others were displaced in a fire at Timber Ridge Condos in Woodinville on May 12, according to Woodinville Fire & Rescue spokesperson Catherine Breault.  

Fire investigators from the King County Sheriff’s Office said an accidental kitchen fire set off the blaze, according to sheriff’s office spokesperson Tim Meyer. 

Northshore community remembers fallen veterans  

A group of local students and community members, accompanied by two 13-year-old bagpipers, honored the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military at the Northshore Veterans Memorial outside Pop Keeney Stadium on Monday, May 31. 

Woodinville Dance Academy prepares to close May 31 

After 20 years of serving the community with tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop and other forms of dance instruction, Woodinville Dance Academy will be permanently closing its doors May 31.  

The decision to close was not a direct result of COVID-19, but rather the consequence of new building management and huge rent increases. According to studio director and owner Julie McMurray, the old property manager did not raise the rent for many years. Now, the new management company plans to increase rent to more than double the previous price to keep up with market rate.  

June: 

OutdoorsNW Magazine acquired by local publisher Eastside Media Corp

Eastside Media Corp, the news publishing company founded in 2019 that owns the Woodinville Weekly, acquired OutdoorsNW.  

The popular outdoor recreational magazine has been a regional staple for outdoor enthusiasts for over 30 years. Eastside Media Corp will take ownership of the trademarked brand on June 1.  

Congresswoman Delbene visits newly completed Ruby Bridges Elementary 

Northshore School District leaders welcomed U.S. Congresswoman Susan DelBene to the newly constructed Ruby Bridges Elementary School on Tuesday, June 1.  

The brand-new K-5 school, located on Maltby Road, was approved by Northshore voters in the 2018 election as a step toward easing the overcrowding in schools on the district’s north end.  

WHS baseball clinches district championship  

After initially losing their first two games of the season against Bothell, the Woodinville High School baseball team finished the year with a 5-3 victory during the district championship game at Bothell High School on Thursday, June 10.  

New gymnastics facility celebrates diversity in Woodinville 

Ascend Gymnastics aims to let children know they are welcomed and loved regardless of their differences, according to co-owner and coach Cale Robinson. 

Robinson, who opened the gym alongside his partner Owen Sun, said they wanted to create a place for all people in the community to feel comfortable. As LGBTQ owners, he said, it’s a priority to bring inclusion to athletics. 

The facility, which was previously used for indoor soccer, officially opened four weeks ago. 

WHS lacrosse secures district championship in undefeated season  

Woodinville lacrosse capped off an undefeated season with a 14-5 victory over Inglemoor High School to win the district championship game on Wednesday, June 9. 

Price resigns from council ahead of general election 

Councilmember Chuck Price has resigned for a second time from Woodinville City Council. 

One of the candidates who have filed for Price’s seat will be appointed to fill the position until the election.  

Price was first elected to council in 2001 and later announced his midterm resignation in August, 2011. He cited a new job with an international engineering consulting firm as the reason for leaving the council about 10 years ago. 

After retiring, the former mayor was reappointed in a 5-1 vote by council on Jan. 4, 2020. He filled the seat previously held by Paula Waters, who stepped down in November, 2019. According to Mayor Gary Harris, he is resigning this time due to some family health issues and the need to be closer to home.  

Police chief retires from WPD

At the end of June this year, Katie Larson retired as Woodinville’s chief of police after seven years in the position and 37 years in law enforcement.  

Woodinville chocolatier takes home gold prize 

Woodinville chocolatier Julie Berg never thought she stood much of a chance at chocolate competitions.   

But this spring, the owner of Wellington Chocolates, LLC decided to take the leap and submit to the International Chocolate Salon 2021 Spicy Chocolate Awards against much larger chocolate operations. At the end of June, the competition announced that Berg’s passion fruit truffles took home a gold award in the spicy chocolate category.   

July:

Vivi Pizzeria damaged in early-morning fire  

An early-morning fire on Friday July 2 caused extensive damage at Viva Pizzeria, forcing the indefinite closure of the restaurant. However, co-owner Tanya Fraioli said she’s feeling confident that it will open again.  

At around 12:50 a.m., Woodinville Fire & Rescue received a call of a reported dumpster fire than was beginning to spread to the nearby building at 14505 148th Ave NE, according to fire district spokesperson Catherine Breault.  

The flames had spread into the attic of the building when crews arrived, she said.  

City council appoints Phil Mark to open seat

On Tuesday, July 6, Woodinville City Council appointed Phil Mark to fill the seat vacated by former councilmember Chuck Price. Mark was selected in a 4-1 vote.

Woodinville Garden Club returns with its 20th Tour of Gardens

After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Woodinville Garden Club Tour of Gardens is returning for the 20th year.  The annual tour will take place at five locations in the area on July 10.

Proceeds from tickets and the plant sale benefit the nonprofit club’s efforts, such as community beautification, horticulture scholarships and youth gardening programs. 

New police chief aims to focus on ‘community policing’

Woodinville’s new police chief, BJ Myers, is hoping to improve safety in ways that don’t always include increased police presence.  

Myers said this may look like helping establish block watches for businesses and providing information about how environmental design can prevent crime.

Myers took the helm of the police department at the beginning of July after former chief Katie Larson retired. He’s been a member of the King County Sheriff’s Office for the entirety of his law enforcement career after joining the force in 2007.   

Woodinville joins Eastside Fire & Rescue 

After failing to pass the merger with Northshore Fire Department in the April special election, Woodinville Fire & Rescue began the search for other partnership opportunities.  

Following many discussions with local departments, the WFR board of commissioners voted to approve a 10-year contract for fire and emergency medical services with Eastside Fire & Rescue on Tuesday, July 13. The contract, which is set to begin in October 2021, will not result in any firefighter job loss. 

Thousands gather to Celebrate Woodinville 

Several thousand people crowded into Wilmot Park for the annual Celebrate Woodinville summer concert series on Wednesday, July 14.  

The series, which was cancelled last year due to pandemic restrictions, kicked off with music from longtime resident and vocalist Emily McIntosh. A line-up of winery and brewery options were also available as well as several treats from local restaurants. 

The free event continues with different performers on July 21, July 28 and Aug. 4.  

School board candidates face-off is public forum 

With the primary election quickly approaching, 10 candidates for the school board shared why they are the best fit to represent all 23,000 students in the Northshore School District.  

Woodinville Weekly, in partnership with the Sammamish Valley Grange, hosted a forum for all Northshore School Board candidates on Thursday, July 15, at the Grange. 

All-Stars reminisce on district championship 

For the first time since 2012, a Woodinville Little League All-Stars baseball team has clinched the District 8 championship title and advanced to the state tournament. The 11U team defeated North Bothell in the District 8 championship game on Tuesday, July 19. 

Local artist combines birds with shoes 

Birds wearing different types of shoes may seem like a strange concept. However, during the last 18 months, drawings from local artist Jim Sorensen have gained popularity for their odd and whimsical nature. 

In July, Sorenson published a 120-page hardcover book filled with a repertoire of his birds in shoes illustrations as well as informative captions. In the near future, he plans to release two calendars featuring adult and baby birds in shoes. 

New Mexican snack shop takes over Woodinville 

Tajin and Chamoy—two popular fruit seasonings—can be found in almost every menu item at Woodinville’s recently opened Mexican sweet and snack shop.  

Cynthia Perez, owner and founder of Antojitos Toxicos, said the shop officially opened in July at their downtown Woodinville location, 12637 NE Woodinville Dr.

August:

Assisted living facility unveils Wall of Honor for Purple Heart Recipients  

National Purple Heart Day, observed on Aug. 7 each year, is a day to remember and honor those wounded or killed while serving in the military. 

The Creekside, an assisted living facility in Woodinville, honored the day by unveiling its new Wall of Honor. The wall recognizes 16 residents who received Purple Heart awards for their service and sacrifices during combat. 

Two Woodinville sites considered for new dump 

Two potential Woodinville sites are now on the table for a new recycling and transfer station in northeastern King County.  

Initially, three potential sites were narrowed down for consideration across the county. However, most recently, a second location in Woodinville has been identified for possible use along State Route 202.  

The last-minute addition of this site has spread apprehension among local residents and stakeholders about the process and criteria used to select these locations. Members of the community voiced concerns during a public Siting Advisory Group (SAG) meeting on Monday, Aug. 9.  

Valdemar Estates to open new tasting room in Schoolhouse District 

Valdemar Estates, a fifth-generation, family-owned winery, is opening its first western Washington location in the new Schoolhouse District development.  

MainStreet Property Group LLC, along with HAL Real Estate, announced the addition of the new tasting room on Monday, Aug. 9.  

Fire destroys Woodinville home

A Woodinville business owner lost his home in a large house fire on Aug. 10. 

A GoFundMe for John Dick, owner of Golden Steer Choice Meats, has been created and can be found by searching the name of its organizer, Zach Gregoire. Dick was not injured in the blaze.  

Multiple neighbors called Woodinville Fire & Rescue around 11:20 a.m. on Aug. 10 to report smoke and flames at the home on the 1800 block of Woodinville Duvall Pl., according to WF&R spokesperson Catherine Breault.  

Woodinville teens set to host hygiene drive for students, food banks

Volunteering at local food banks opened Woodinville resident Sydney Griner’s eyes to the wide range of necessities that weren’t available there – especially when it came to hygiene products.  

The recent Northcreek High School graduate said that she came together with the rest of the family to brainstorm how to help.  

Last year, the Griners – or Period Peeps, as they call themselves – held a feminine hygiene product drive and collected about $11,000 worth of donations and monetary contributions.  

This year, the family is holding another drive and hoping to collect travel-sized general hygiene items such as soap, shampoos and conditioners, and toothpaste in addition to pads, tampons panty liners.  

The Period Peeps’ second annual hygiene drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Woodinville Storehouse Foodbank.

Rock Harbor Boats joins community

The Woodinville Chamber of Commerce welcomed Rock Harbor Boats to the community with a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Rockingham Marine and Doug's Boats & Outdoor recently merged to form a new, all-inclusive boat experience.

September:

Glass Distillery moves tasting room to Woodinville

A vodka distillery with a passion for glass art is moving its tasting room to Woodinville after 10 years in the Seattle neighborhood of Sodo.  

Glass Distillery, which is the state’s only vodka-centric distillery, is openings its new tasting room just north of Woodinville Whiskey Company along State Route 202 in early September, 2021. Founder and CEO Ian MacNeil said it makes sense to bring his business to Woodinville because his liquor is made from wine grapes. 

Scott’s Soccer Tots still kicking after 30 years

After a long year and a half of uncertainty due to the pandemic, Woodinville’s renowned soccer coach Scott Hall excitedly welcomed back students for his 30th year running the youth program.

Scott’s Soccer Tots is designed to teach both soccer and life skills to young children, while also teaching them how to be part of a team.

On Sept. 7, he said, about 200 students showed up for the first fall session.

Cottage Lake nonprofit to fundraise for milfoil treatments

The Friends of Cottage Lake will host its third outdoor fundraising concert in an effort to reduce invasive milfoil and an unhealthy amount of phosphorus in the local body of water. 

The group hopes to raise $8,000 to cover the costs of milfoil treatment at Cottage Lake next summer, FOCL President Jonathan Morrison said. The fundraiser, which takes place at Bassetti’s Arbor Gardens, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 12.

Another fire breaks out at Vivi Pizzeria

Units from across King County responded to another fire at Vivi Pizzeria in Woodinville on Sunday, Sept. 19. This marks the restaurant’s second fire in less than three months.  

At around 8:25 a.m., Woodinville Fire & Rescue received a call from someone inside the pizzeria at 14505 148th Ave NE. The reporting party said the kitchen was on fire with flames reaching the ceiling, according to WF&R spokesperson Catherine Breault. 

Schoolhouse District is earning top grades ahead of grand opening

On Sept. 21, Mainstreet Property Group and HAL Real Estate announced the grand opening of District Flats, a new mixed-use residential and retail building in Woodinville’s Schoolhouse District development. 

District Flats, located at 17409 133rd Ave NE, features 264 residential units across three, five-story buildings. 

According to Mainstreet, the apartment complex is approximately 34% pre-leased heading into the project’s grand opening weekend. About 65 new tenants are scheduled to move-in by the end of September. 

Local farms and businesses celebrate fall harvest  

As farms prepare for another fall harvest, the message from local farmers remains the same: climate change has taken a heavy toll on crops.  

The Sammamish Valley Alliance hosted its annual Fall Harvest Celebration at 21 Acres, and several other locations around the valley, on Saturday, Sept. 25.  

A slew of farms over on Northeast 124th Street celebrated the harvest with tours, apple picking, fresh food and more. Blooming Market, located at South 47 Farms, displayed an array of local products from a collective of women-owned businesses. Products ranged from henna to hemp.

Local basset hound becomes symbol for remembering loved ones

The basset hound, Woodinville’s floppy-eared mascot, has been celebrated by residents for over three decades. Three years ago, Freddy the Bassett moved to town and quickly became a local celebrity.  

To Freddy, who is 14-years-old, the end of September marks the anniversary of his previous owner’s death and his cross-country move to the Woodinville area.  

October: 

New comic shop opens in Woodinville

Since childhood, avid comic book fan Shane Ahlvers dreamed of opening a shop dedicated to the world of caricatures and “geekery.”  

He officially launched Sir Lonebuck’s House of Comics & Geekery in Woodinville on Friday, Oct. 1. The shop, located on 14132 NE Woodinville Duvall Rd, offers a boutique pop culture experience. 

Salmon season brings more viewers, less fish

Every year, salmon make the treacherous journey from the Pacific Ocean, through streams and tributaries, to finally rest at their spawning areas in the hopes of creating the next generation of fish. 

Chinook, Sockeye, Coho and Kokanee salmon are often found nestled in hidden waterways around King County. One group of volunteers, the North Lake Washington Salmon Watchers, is tracking the type and population of salmon in local tributaries such as creeks in Bothell, Kenmore and Woodinville. 

With increasing water temperatures in both the ocean and rivers, more and more salmon are dying each year.

City hires consultant for permitting review

As Woodinville attracts new businesses and developments, the city’s permitting process can be a crucial factor in any project’s timeline. 

To ensure the process is working efficiently, the city of Woodinville approved a contract with an outside consulting firm to study the current procedure being used for both development and building permits.  

Kevin O’Neill, assistant to the city manager, said the goal of the project is to increase both the speed of processing permits and the level of service provided.  

Growth continues at Woodin Creek Village 

As more multi-family housing options become available in the downtown core, the topic of development continues to be a hot topic in Woodinville.  

Nearly 10 years after its initial land acquisition, Woodin Creek Village is still adding to its selection of housing opportunities. By next summer, the development will account for almost 700 apartment homes. 

When the total investment is finished in the town of Woodinville, the company estimates there will be 1,000 apartment homes. 

NSD Superintendent shares the current “State of Education” 

All 4,036 employees in Northshore School District, including teachers and coaches, either received the COVID-19 vaccine or provided an approved exemption ahead of the statewide mandate on Monday, Oct. 18. 

NSD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid highlighted this statistic and addressed the current “State of Education” during a Woodinville Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Chateau Lill on Thursday, Oct. 14. She focused on topics such as the return to in-person learning, the response to the mental health crisis and the effort to identify language barriers in children.   

Woodinville family donates Legacy Park to city 

One family’s generous donation will add more ways for Woodinville residents to enjoy the Pacific Northwest’s lush foliage and fauna.  

The Schuster family, represented by Ann Schuster, decided to donate their 3-acre parcel of land to the city of Woodinville with the intention of turning it into a park. Woodinville City Manager Brandon Buchanan said the area borders the east side of the Vinterra Highlands development off 132nd Avenue NE. 

The Woodinville City Council voted 6-0 to approve the donation agreement during a regular city council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

November:

Results from local council, school board races

After another dramatic election season, three of the five open positions on Woodinville City Council will belong to new members. Contrastively, the Northshore School Board will look exactly the same. Initial election results were released on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Woodinville boys cross country team finishes strong at state meet  

For the first time in over a decade, the entire boys cross country team represented Woodinville High School at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) 4A state championship meet.  

The WHS boys team placed eighth with an average race time of 17:17.70 minutes at the state championship held at the Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 6. 

Young children join the fight against COVID-19 

Over a thousand kids between the ages of 5-11 arrived in hordes to receive their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at Bothell High School on Saturday, Nov. 7. 

NSD superintendent subs in classroom amid staff shortages 

As increasing substitute teacher shortages continue to plague schools across the country, one local superintendent set aside her administrative responsibilities and returned to the classroom as an educator. 

Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid filled in for an absent teacher during a physical education class at North Creek High School on Friday, Nov. 12.   

Woodinville girls swim team finds success at state 

For the first time in several years, the Woodinville High School girls swim team qualified in two relays and two individual races for the WIAA 4A state championships at the King County Aquatic Center on Nov. 12-13. 

Future Woodinville development changes name to Harvest 

The mixed-use project in Woodinville’s Hollywood District has been called different names over the years, such as Farmstead and Wine Village. Its most recent name change will embody Woodinville’s agricultural and wine-centered ambiance.  

The property now will be named Harvest, according to a news release from Wood Mountain, LLC. Moving away from the previous brand sidesteps any complications with other developments named Farmstead in the Western United States.  

Chamber honors ‘hometown heroes’ from local organizations  

Four local organizations were honored for their service to the community during the first annual “Hometown Heroes” celebration at the Sammamish Valley Grange on Thursday, Nov. 18. 

The event recognized volunteers and representatives at EvergreenHealth, Children’s Country Home, Woodinville Firefighters Benevolent Fund and International Nutritional Sustainable Partners (INSP). Each honoree received a $500 check from the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce. 

Violent threats spread across Northshore School District 

A feeling of uneasiness is circulating around the Northshore School District as numerous threats of violence were uncovered via social media and bathroom graffiti during the past week. 

These threats emerged just after the fatal school shooting in Michigan that left four students dead and multiple others injured on Tuesday, Nov. 30.  

December: 

Champagne bar aims to stand out from ‘sea of wine corks’  

A husband-and-wife team is opening McQueen Champagne Bar in the newly developed Schoolhouse District in downtown Woodinville. MainStreet Property Group LLC announced this addition to the roster of businesses in Wine Walk Row on Dec. 3. 

Winterfest brings holiday cheer to all

For the first time ever, Celebrate Woodinville Winterfest covered several locations across town with holiday spirit on Saturday, Dec. 4.   

The day began with at 5K run and walk at Wilmot Gateway Park, followed by an afternoon of festivities at the Schoolhouse District, Woodin Creek Village, DeYoung Park and Molbak’s. The evening concluded with the annual tree lighting at DeYoung Park. 

Northshore lacrosse teams seek funding to play at Pop Keeney 

For high school athletes in Northshore School District, the Pop Keeney Stadium is the “ultimate stage,” according to lacrosse program director Pete Crowley.  

NSD lacrosse teams are partnering with the Northshore Schools Foundation to raise $15,000 for the purchase of additional netting in order to compete at Pop Keeney.  

Rotary shares the gift of warmth with local families

As another cold winter nears, local Rotary clubs continue to honor the tradition of providing students with new jackets from Operation Warm Coats. Going on 18 years now, volunteers from Woodinville and Northshore Rotary clubs partnered to distribute holiday treats, quilts, coats and breakfast totes to families in the area on Saturday, Dec. 11. Students from the Northshore Rotaract and Interact clubs contributed to the festive event at Maywood Hills Elementary School as well.

Vivi Pizzeria fully reopens after two fires 

After a series of traumatic experiences, Vivi Pizzeria officially reopened to the public for indoor seating on Thursday, Dec. 16. The restaurant is now able to offer its full menu as well as inside dining to the community once again.

Cars parade through town during annual holiday cruise 

Vehicles of all makes and models cruise through downtown Woodinville during the 5th Annual Woodinville Cruisers Car Club Christmas Light Cruise on Sunday, Dec. 19.  

County makes move to shut down Woodinville-based taproom 

The Good Brewing taproom became a crowd favorite during the COVID-19 pandemic because of its large outdoor seating area. Now, the King County code enforcement department is requiring the business to move locations or shut down completely.  

In a letter sent to property owner Michael Tenhulzen on Nov. 18, the county states that Good Brewing Company operated without a King County business license, which violates the county code. The business must cease operations by Dec. 31.  

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