Denmark artist paints Carnation mural

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

Jacoba puts finishing touches on the mural.

CARNATION—The St. Pierre barn off of Hwy. 203 is sporting a new look thanks to Copenhagen-based artist Jacoba Niepoort. 

Jacoba, 32, travels the globe creating 2D and 3D public-art masterpieces. She has painted 45 murals over a 15-year span in places like Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Argentina, Nova Scotia and the United States. 

“We feel so lucky she had the opportunity to come and paint it for us,” Christa St. Pierre said. “We came to know Jacoba through my husband's childhood friend who married her mom. We saw Jacoba this Summer (in Denmark)—they were showing some of her work and I told her she just had to come and paint our barn.”

It didn’t take much convincing, Jacoba said, together to agree to come to Carnation. 

“They told me they are working on a long-term project to open an herbal farm in the Snoqualmie Valley. Words like-existence, diversity and the interest in using the medicinal properties of a range of herbs and weeds were used to describe their vision, from which I was invited to create any muralI saw fitting.

“I found their plans beautiful; plans I would like to participate in. After agreeing to the project, I fought through the Valley’sOctober frost and rains for 10 days. The result is a figure, holding dirt, out of which grow multiple plants, all connected by a root system that weaves in and out of fore and background, representing a connection among all,” Jacoba said.

The plants in the mural are Anise hyssop, Echinacea, and Calendula.

“To me, this mural is about flow and diversity. It’s about showing the connection among all; humans, nature, plants—that which exists within us, and which connects us to the outside world.”

Traveling the world and leaving behind detailed paintings that add such richness to local culture, one would assume Jacobahad extensive technical art training. Not so.

“I have a minor in art, and have always painted as far back as I can remember, but I consider myself mostly self-taught.

“My background is international development with a focus on the social impact of artists who work with public visual art projects. I used to work for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with art projects abroad—but I quit when it became clear I need to dedicate more time to my own murals.”

Jacoba’s murals vary in size. Her small murals are typically around 325 square feet. Her largest is a 36,000 square-foot mural she painted on the side of a building on Hollis Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia just prior to painting the St.Pierre mural.

Christa said they lucked out that the timing would work for her.

“She told us she'd be close by—I guess that's a relative term to a world traveler when you're on the same continent.”

Jacoba paints both in and out of studio but says she prefers working in the open air.

“I paint outside because I believe that unrestricted art is for everyday people and the issue of ownership of public space is worth fighting for. It’s also rewarding and physically intense.”

Jacoba finished the St.Pierre mural last week. She has returned to Europe and is now painting another mural in Denmark.

“It’s my last outdoor one for the season," Jacoba said. “I will be working from a studio in Denmark and a residency in Finland and or the next two and a half months on small—normal size art-works for my upcoming solo exhibition in a gallery in Denmark in February."

Christa said she and her husband do have long-range plans to open a medicinal herb farm.

“We had a trial run this summer planting about 20 different varieties—medicinal and culinary. The idea is maybe next summer we'll have a small retail shop on the property to sell them.”

The St. Pierre mural is located just off the Fall City-Carnation Road at 32112 NE 8th Street. It is fully visible from the highway.


Early Birds run Ragnar relay in Kentucky

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

Early Birds receive their medals in Lexington.


Beginning runners typically run about 16 miles per week. The more advanced run 60 miles a week. Then there are the extreme runners who somehow endure events like the Ragnar relay in Kentucky that covers 200 miles over a two-day, one-night period.

Such are group members of the Woodinville Early Birds, who sprang out of a small contingent of moms and dads who started running about five years ago in the Wellington area.

“We ran our first Ragnar three years ago,” Woodinville Mayor Elaine Cook said. “We ran in two teams of six people and not the usual 12 per team over Northwest Passage. We started in the morning from the Peace Arch in Blaine and finished in Langley on Whidbey Island.”

The 200-mile trek saw the teams run over the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, Deception Pass and along Puget Sound.

Cook said she first became interested in a long-distance run like the Ragnar after watching a documentary called Hood to Coast. The course begins at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and finishes at Seaside on the Oregon Coast.

“It was a relay that started in the morning and they’d run until they were done. Those not running were riding in a van along the route awaiting their leg of the race.”

The Early Birds ran the Northwest Passage relay again in 2017 and one of the runners, Elim Yoon, Cook said, came close to falling asleep during her leg of the race on Deception Pass.

“I had committed myself to take the longest leg in order to get others to join me on this 6-team relay,” Elim said. “One of the legs was a 19-mile stretch from Anacortes to Oak Harbor—had never run that long of a stretch before.

“The leg of the relay was during the middle of the night and no one else was around. I thought it was working out okay the first 14 or 15 miles, but the last 4 to 5 miles, I was so sleepy and tired. I thought I’d close my eyes for a second and I actually nodded of a couple of times.”

Elim has since qualified for the Boston Marathon to be run in April of 2020.

The group ran the Northwest Passage race for the third time in 2018, but this year they decided to do a destination run.

“Most of us wanted to do Napa Valley because it was closest. But someone in the group—it might have been Elim—said there was a Ragnar run in Kentucky called the Bourbon Chase,” Cook said. “You run from Louisville to Lexington with stops at all the distilleries.”

Half of the Early Birds group that included Cook ended up making the trip to the Blue Grass state a little over two weeks ago.

“We started at 5:30 a.m. on a Friday and finished on Sunday,” Cook said. “It was the hardest run we’d ever done before because the hills we’ve run were no match for the Kentucky hills—it was very difficult.

“But it was a beautiful way to see a new location. It was obviously different from riding in a car, as you don’t get to see everything as we did.”

Cook said it was a sight to behold.

“Everyone in Kentucky knew we were coming because Ragnar takes over the roads,” Cook said. “Thousands of runners share the same roads with cars.” 

Early Bird team groups are typically gender-specific, Cook said, but George McKinnon, owner of the Woodinville Running Company and a former Ironman winner was among the van full of women headed east.

“It felt like college students on a road trip —being with a bunch of friends,” George said. “But unlike being with a bunch of guys in a van with sweaty smelly socks, we all had to remove our sweaty running gear and put it in zip-lock bags.”

George said he is the rookie of the group only running with the Early Birds for a short while.

“I do a lot of running on the Burke Gillman Trail and that’s where I met the group a while back. They asked me if I wanted to run with them and I said sure and then they took a hard left and started running up Heart Attack Hill on the Tolt pipeline and I thought, ‘What did I get myself into.”’

Eventually, the group asked George if he wanted to join other runs, but they conflicted with his other races, so he politely declined. He had run a lot of triathlons, but he had never run a 200-mile relay so admittedly he didn’t know what to expect.

“Everyone runs 30-40 mile legs. I knew it was in my wheelhouse, but I ran shorter events,” George said. “Running at 2 a.m. along the freeway at night was different but fun … not something you do every day.”

The other half of the Early Bird group traveled to the Napa Valley, only to learn the race was canceled due to the fires in the surrounding area.

“That was a shame because they had all trained hard for the run and had to adjust their diet as well,” said Cook.

As one could imagine, you must be in tip-top shape physically to attempt a Ragnar run. You must also be strong-minded as well, Cook said.

“There’s always the possibility of hitting a wall on the long runs,” Cook said. “For me, I need to run with a group of people to avoid doing that. Even though there are thousands of runners on the road for a Ragnar run, you might not see anyone for miles and I have a hard time with that. What keeps me going is knowing that my team is waiting for me—I have to get to them because they are counting on me.”

Equally as important as being in top physical and mental shape on extremely long runs is being properly hydrated. 

“I carry a handheld water bottle and on most races, you have van support so I can tell the driver to meet me in five or so miles so I can refill my bottle,” Cook said. “You also have to eat enough calories, but the right food so your digestive system is all in one place and not upset.”

In Louisville the night before the race started.


Local run

The next run Cook and her fellow group members plan to participate in are the 5 and 10K events that take place during Winterfest in Early December.

“I’m calling the 10K a 10K with a twist. We’ll run down the Wilmot Park Trail and a mile and a quarter into it, make a sharp left and go up the Tolt,” she said. “I’m not sure everyone who has signed up for the 10K realizes that.”

Last year Cook said between 450 and 500 entrants participated in the event. It’s guaranteed to be quite the event once again with all decked out in their elf and reindeer garb.



Weekly brings new reporter onboard

  • Written by Weekly Staff
Maddy Coates


Meet Madeline Coats, the new general assignment reporter for the Woodinville Weekly and Valley View newspapers.

Coats is a recent graduate from the University of Washington with double majors in journalism and creative writing and a certificate in leadership.

Coats grew up in Sammamish and first began designing newspapers and editing stories as a senior at Eastlake HighSchool.

As a sophomore at UW, she became the Editor-in-Chief of a publication on campus called the Odyssey. She is passionate about government, racial justice, activism, sports, mental health and education.

Coats hopes to one day begin her own news-paper in Sammamish. She believes the goal of any journalist is to educate society on otherwise confusing matters.

“Reporters have the responsibly of acting as a translator for society,” Coats said. “Government happenings and bill language can be difficult to understand, and I intend to keep the public educated.”

During the 2019 Legislative Session, Coats reported on the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) in Olympia.

She broke the previous record for most articles completed, after writing 37 articles for 88 publications across Washington.

Her passion for journalism was heightened after being exposed to politics at the capitol.

Coats has worked for Sound Publishing, Beacon Publishing, and various other newspapers and aims to use her degree in creative writing to change the way the worldviews news writing.

Her official start date is Nov. 16.

NPRSA Prop 1 M&O Levy passes

  • Written by David B. Clark

BOTHELL—The celebration is in full swing. While it’s not official quite yet, the providers and members of the Northshore Senior and Health and Wellness Centers are ecstatic as it appears voters have approved Proposition 1 M&O Levy that allows an increase to property taxes to fund the essential upkeep of the centers.

The Northshore Senior Center shared the following statement.

“Another day of ballots counted, and it looks official! The levy funding capital repairs at the Senior Center has passed! A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible! 

“A special appreciation to campaign co-chairs Rosemary and Jim McAuliffe for their tireless work and advocacy, and to the elected officials who serve on the Northshore Parks and Recreation Service Area. And of course, thank you to all the volunteers who made phone calls, knocked on doors, handed out flyers, tabled at events, put up signs and so much more. Together, in partnership with the voters, we made a huge difference in the lives of seniors and people with disabilities in our community.”

A 60% majority vote was needed for the levy to pass, and as it sits now, 70.36% of the voters said YES.

While CEO of the Northshore Senior Center Brooke Knight is jubilant over the expected passage of the M&O Levy, she knows this is just the beginning.

“Now on to the hard work of implementing,” she said.

Election results are certified by each county on Nov. 26, 2019. The Secretary of State certifies final results on Dec. 5. The results posted before certification are unofficial.

Woodinville races update as of Nov. 8

Woodinville City Council Position 6

Al Taylor — 50.15%

Nicolas Duchastel —49.69%

Woodinville City Council Position 7

Gary Harris — 50.61%

Paul Hagen — 49.21%

Woodinville Fire & Rescue

Doug Halbert – 50.98%

James Dorney – 448.72%

Woodinville Water District Commissioner Position 2

Dale Knapinski —50.57%

Ty Graham —48.08%

Sammamish River Trail mural defaced

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick


Vandals spewed vulgarity across the mural.


What took more than a month to create only took minutes to mar, as vandals painted vulgarity across the mural Stacey Almgren and Nicole Monahan created alongside the Sammamish River Trail. The defacing was discovered Friday and reported on the Woodinville Neighbors Facebook page Saturday.

The Woodinville City Council unanimously selected Almgren and Monahan from among a half-dozen applicants because they felt that their experience in the medium, personal connections to Woodinville and the creativity of their design and approach best qualified them to execute the project.

Plans are in the works to restore the mural. Dozens of followers on Woodinville Neighbors have offered to volunteer time in helping to do so.

Anyone with information on the defacing is asked to contact the Woodinville Police Department’s non-emergency number.