The 2010 Sandblast celebration featured fantastic sand sculptures. File photo.
DUVALL — The annual Sandblast Festival will be held July 23-24 at McCormick Park on the shore of the Snoqualmie River. The festival features a professional and community sand sculpture event and includes live music, dance and performance, story telling and an arts and crafts fair. The festival is an opportunity to get to know your neighbors’ hidden talents and the "not so hidden talents."
There is also a "call for artists." Applications by artists are due by July 5. See website for entry form. Sandblast Festival hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Entry is free of charge. Music and entertainment schedule will be announced.
Business appears to be on the uptick in Woodinville with several new stores and restaurants opening or slated to come to the area in the near future.
In the dining arena, residents now have additional options, which are sure to make them happy.
Big Fish Grill features fresh seafood and meat entrees and a happy hour in the bar. Photo by Deborah Stone.
Big Fish Grill, a popular Kirkland seafood restaurant, occupies the space that was formerly Ruby’s Diner.
"We’re delighted to be in Woodinville," says Brianna Orrico, one of the restaurant’s managers and daughter of its owner Carrie Orrico.
"It’s a great location and we really like the community."
Orrico explains that Big Fish has been a fixture in Kirkland for the past 17 years.
She adds, "We have a good following in Kirkland and we hope to create a community of regulars here in Woodinville."
The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, as well as a variety of other entrees geared towards meat eaters.
"We’re known for our casual, relaxed ambiance and our amazing service, as well as our reasonable prices," comments Orrico. "In addition to doing lunch and dinner, we also have happy hour in our bar, where we have specials on drinks and a focus on food."
Panera Bread Company offers freshly baked artisan breads, homemade soups, sandwiches and salads. Photo by Deborah Stone.
Across the parking lot from Big Fish Grill, in what used to house the now defunct Hollywood Video store, is a newly opened Panera Bread Company.
The well-established bakery-café chain offers freshly baked artisan breads, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and a variety of baked goodies.
"We’re happy to be here," says Jenny Ladeau, manager of the Woodinville Panera. "The community has been so welcoming and everyone seems very excited that we’re open. Business has been great and people tell us how delighted they are to have us in town." She adds, "What’s nice about Panera is that you can eat in or take out and we’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week."
TCBY/Mrs. Field’s Cookies has also come into Woodinville. Located on the main drag, off of NE 175th Street, the new shop is the first to combine all three of the company’s brands, including Java Detour premium coffee products.
Residents can expect to see another restaurant, the Clay Oven, coming into town soon. Originally established in Monroe, the Indian dining establishment has filed a permit with the City of Woodinville and is planning to move into the La Plaza Garcia shopping center behind 7-11.
Woodinville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Witt comments on all the new food spots: "It’s exciting to see these businesses in our community. They offer great new dining alternatives and the fact that they chose Woodinville confirms the potential of our market. Hopefully, we’ll see more new businesses open here in the very near future."
There’s also quite a bit of action on the winery scene. Trust Cellars and Cougar Crest, both out of Walla Walla, along with Lachini Vineyard from Oregon, will soon be opening tasting rooms in the area.
According to Cynthia Dasté, executive director of Woodinville Wine Country, there are now over 80 tasting rooms and wineries in Woodinville.
She says, "The number just keeps growing and there appears to be no end in sight. I field numerous questions each week from wineries who are interested in opening up in Woodinville. It’s just a matter of finding the right space."
Other new businesses that have filed permits with the City of Woodinville recently include Le Timeless Beaute, a hair salon, and Magnadrive, a manufacturing company.
Later this summer, Balance Yoga will open its doors to offer traditional yoga and meditation classes. Photo by Deborah Stone.
Later this summer, Balance Yoga will open its doors in the building that Venture Bank most recently occupied.
It’s the brainchild of Oasis Spa & Salon owner Michelle Michael.
"We’re planning to offer traditional yoga and meditation classes," explains Michael. "It’s all about finding one’s balance through the practice of yoga, which anyone, young or old, can do." She adds, "The yoga studio is a complement to Oasis and helps complete the circle of inner and outer beauty experiences."
Michael notes the many health benefits of yoga, including stress and pain alleviation, increased flexibility and body strength, weight reduction, relaxation and better immunity, among others.
As for the location of the studio, Michael says, "We knew we wanted to be in Woodinville in order to be closely connected to our existing Oasis clients."
On the retail front, Ross Dress For Less has already established itself in the storefront vacated by Linens ’n Things.
Other companies, including banks, boutique fitness facilities and various service-related businesses, have their eyes on the city.
"There’s serious interest out there," comments Rick Parks, leasing director for TRF Pacific, LLC., a company that manages several shopping centers in the downtown core of Woodinville.
"Woodinville is one of the five wealthiest census tracks in Puget Sound and it has this untapped market potential, particularly in the food and soft goods areas. It is an area that has the size and market distribution for a mall and yet it doesn’t have one, which makes it a highly desirable place."
Parks continues to explain that although businesses might want to move into Woodinville, they are confronted with the geographic limitations of the city.
He notes that there is a finite amount of existing space and that it’s expensive to add new square footage, adding, "Retail is site specific and location is very important. Businesses obviously want the best locations, the most visible places, and the hot spots go first."
Ron Jordan won first place, Ron Sr. got second and Andrea came in third.
Camp Gilead has been around for over 60 years, though there are many people in the area who aren’t aware of its existence.
The Christian camp, which is associated with Baptist Network Northwest and based in Carnation, offers day and overnight camp experiences for children and teens.
During the summer, it hosts 200 campers per week, who come to swim, boat, skateboard and hone their skills in a variety of other sports and activities.
"We have kids from all over Puget Sound who come to our camp," says Kimberly Mallory, Gilead’s program director. "Many are repeat campers and some go on to become counselors themselves."
For those who cannot afford the $260 fee for the week-long sessions, the camp helps defray the cost through scholarships.
This year, to enable more kids in need to participate, Mallory and her staff were motivated to organize a 5K River Run.
The event, which was held on Memorial Day, was a solid success.
The Markerzich team had nine members. Courtesy photo.
"This was the first time we did anything like this," comments Mallory. "We were hoping for 200 runners so we were thrilled that 262 people showed up to participate." She adds, "We raised over $8,000 and all of it will go to scholarships because the entire cost of the race was covered by local businesses. We had an outpouring of support from the community and everyone was so generous with their donations of prizes, gift cards and cash. We are so thankful to everyone who helped make the event a success and we definitely plan to do it again next year on Memorial Day."
Among those who participated in the race were a number of area residents. Of note is the Markezich family, who gets props for having nine members in their group. Ron and Debbie Markezich and their four kids: Jordan, 14, Cambria, 12, twins Andrea and Olivia,10, along with Ron’s father, Ron Sr., and mother Beverly, and last, but not least, the family’s dog, Meeko, all competed in the race.
Four of the clan took home medals in their age groups. Ron and son Jordan won first place, Ron Sr. got second and Andrea came in third. Though this was the first time the family participated in a race together, Ron, Ron Sr., Jordan, Andrea and Olivia are all runners of their own accord.
"My husband ran for Notre Dame," says Debbie Markezich. "He was All-American for cross-country in 1988." She adds, "Jordan competes for his school, Bellevue Christian, where he is the top runner. And the twins are on the track team for their school, East Ridge Elementary."
Debbie’s background is figure skating. She competed in the World University Games and the U.S. Nationals back in the mid-1980s.
Cambria is following in her mom’s footsteps as a figure skater and is already in the competition circuit.
And then there’s Ron Sr., or "Papa," as he is affectionately called. He took up running when his son, Ron, turned 12, and he’s been at it ever since.
Beverly, or "Nana," is no slouch either, though she prefers to walk, not run, and had no trouble finishing the 5K.
As for Meeko the family dog, Debbie says, "He’s very athletic and he goes running with my husband all the time. He and Andrea were a team during the event, so he technically came in third along with her."
Jordan describes the course as flat with a few minor hills. He comments, "It was a pretty good field, especially for a first-time race. I had some decent competition, however, I wasn’t real happy with my time. Even though I came in first, I could have done better. My personal best is 19 minutes and I did the Gilead in 20:15.
He adds, "But the pancake breakfast afterwards was great!"
The Markezich family plans to make the event an annual tradition. Debbie says, "It was so much fun to do it together and we really like the idea of the money going for a good cause."
BOTHELL — On Saturday, June 18, at about 1:21 p.m., a robbery occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank branch located at the corner of 102nd Ave NE and Main Street, in downtown Bothell.
The suspect presented the bank teller with a note demanding money.
The suspect did not display a weapon.
The bank employee complied with the suspect’s demand by giving him an undisclosed amount of cash.
A witness saw the suspect ride away from the bank on a bicycle.
Police made a check of the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.
No one was harmed during the robbery.
The suspect was described as being a white male, approximately in his mid 50s, 6-feet tall with an average build.
He wore rectangular wire framed glasses, a black motorcycle helmet and a forest green and black jacket, and blue jeans.
Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the man who appears in security photos which have been posted online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49110577@N07/sets/72157627025436130/.
Anyone having information about this incident is asked to contact the Bothell Police Department Tip Line at (425) 487-5551.
Denali, a grizzly from Washington State University, rips up a campsite looking for food during a demonstration at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Courtesy photo.
A long winter and low-elevation snow are driving black bears from the North Cascades into campgrounds and backyards looking for food.
They just came out of hibernation, so they are hungry.
In the absence of sufficient bear food, they forage people cuisine, enjoying picnics stored in ice chests, snacking from backyard bird feeders, tasting camping snacks left in the tent and scarfing leftover pizza and beer thrown into the garbage.
"Bears are lazy, if the food is hard to get they usually go on to find something easy," said wildlife biologist Jessie Plumage for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
That can pose a threat to humans, as demonstrated by Woodland Park Zoo’s grizzlies this month as they tore through an exhibit staged with a tent, lawn chairs, a cooler and pots and pans looking for food.
"Don’t feed the bears," Plumage said.
The Grizzly Bear Outreach Project offers tips to stay safe around bears when camping:
• Avoid camping next to trails or streams as bears and other wildlife use these as travel routes
• Avoid camping near natural bear food sources such as berries
• Never leave food unattended in your campsite unless it is properly stored
• Do not bring food or odorous non-food items into your tent. This includes chocolate, candy, wrappers, toothpaste, perfume, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, insect repellent and lip balm
• Place food in bear-resistant storage containers or store it in your vehicle
• Locate your cooking area at least 100 yards downwind from your tent
• Avoid cooking greasy or odorous foods
• Wash all dishes and cans immediately after eating. Wash the dishes and dump the dishwater at least 100 yards from your campsite
• Garbage should be deposited in bear-resistant garbage cans or stored in your vehicle until it can be dumped
• Look for more information about how to stay safe around bears: http://bearinfo.org/