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Candlelit walk welcomes winter

Doug Ramsay photo

As part of celebrating the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, volunteers line Snohomish’s Riverfront Trail with candle-lit luminaries, a tradition that dates for more than a decade now. Due to the dry weather, and the trail’s popularity, plenty of people took advantage to take a nice stroll.


Mill Creek exploring switch of fire agencies

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Mill Creek is looking at changing fire service providers after shopping around. The change came after Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue dug in over how low a price the city pays.

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Omicron variant still poses unknowns

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — The highly mutated variant of COVID-19 still has a number of questions surrounding it. There are clues about available vaccines available today, and indications booster shots can protect effectively.
Meanwhile, millions of free at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests will be distributed. The state is working to obtain these.

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At least 64 died on the streets this year in Snohomish County

EVERETT — Sixty-four people, if not more, died in Snohomish County without shelter during the past 12 months. At the county’s Homeless Remembrance Day Vigil on Dec. 21 — the longest night of the year — a bell rang after each name to honor each individual. Ten were veterans.

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Everett libraries to expand hours starting late February

EVERETT — The city’s library system will expand its hours come late February and has plenty of plans for 2022, the chair of the city’s library board said last week.

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Everett police hiring incentives increased, retention bonuses created

EVERETT — The hiring bonuses to join Everett Police have been sweetened to help the department compete against other agencies. The goal is to fill 25 vacancies at the department.
The City Council authorized a slew of modifications at its Dec. 23 requested by Police Department brass and city administration.
The lateral hiring bonus for in-state hires is now $25,000, up from $20,000.
The lateral hiring bonus for out-of-state hires is now $20,000, up from $15,000.
On top, any lateral hire with five years’ experience already will get $5,000 extra.
Officers who have already gone through Basic Law Enforcement Academy but are still in their waiting grace period can jump onto the Everett Police force with a $15,000 bonus.
Another incentive is to give a one-time 2% salary bonus to all police employees, both civilian and commissioned, who stay on with the department through Dec. 31, 2022.
City Councilman Scott Murphy pushed for fixing the hiring gap. “I hope this once and for all solves this staffing shortage,” Murphy said at the meeting.

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Snohomish Midtown District hearing Wednesday, Jan. 5

SNOHOMISH — Speak up on the recommendations for the Midtown District, a specialty zoning area proposed along the Avenue D corridor, at a hearing Wednesday, Jan. 5 that starts at 6 p.m.
The district is along the Avenue D corridor from 6th Street to where state Route 9 crosses underneath. The district would have special rules for future development, such as allowing taller buildings and requiring parking be limited. The restrictions also would ban future mobile home parks, storage warehouse operations and other types of commerce that currently exist along the corridor. The whole set of regulations are on a webpage at www.snohomishwa.gov
The meeting will be over Zoom. To attend the remote meeting, a shortlink is www. tinyurl.com/MidtownHearing The passcode is 802813. If you want to join by telephone, dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter the Webinar ID 814 2824 2504 and Passcode 802813 when prompted.
At this meeting, the Planning Commission will be reviewing the plans before sending a recommendation to the City Council.
Public comments are encouraged. Send them to the city’s planning director, Glen Pickus, at pickus@snohomishwa.gov or mail to 116 Union Ave., Snohomish, WA 98290.

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Alfy’s in Silver Lake closes after almost 30 years


Michael Whitney photo

EVERETT — The Alfy’s Pizza in Silver Lake formally closed as the building will make way for an 88-unit townhouse development from a subsidiary of D.R. Horton. The Everett Skate Deck next door is also in the project’s footprint and would be demolished.
In the photo, the project proposal sign is seen erected by the front door.
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, a small crew was carting off the arcade games and some of the restaurant’s equipment.
The townhome development is being titled “Grayson Square” and consists of 13 buildings. The developer’s application was filed Sept. 1.
The Alfy’s on Broadway in north Everett, which was closed for remodeling, will reopen in mid-February, a man in the crew named Mark who appeared familiar with business operations said. He wouldn’t give his last name. The Olson family owns both the Silver Lake and Broadway Alfy’s, as well as the one in Monroe.


Monroe Schools’ Superintendent Blasko put on leave by school board, to be investigated

MONROE — Emerging stories of retaliation and fear under School District Superintendent Justin Blasko that surfaced last week led to the school board to put Blasko on administrative leave and to hire a third-party investigator to probe the allegations. Meanwhile, multiple groups have stated opposition to Blasko, and two protests against the district occurred Dec. 13.

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Transition at Craven Farm preserves traditions

SNOHOMISH — Craven Farm grew into a household name for the area. Understanding the impact Craven Farm has made in the community has been eye-opening to new owners Brian and Kimi Chadwick.  

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Countywide affordable housing tax approved for Snohomish County

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — A Snohomish County Council majority last week authorized an increase to the county sales tax rate by 0.1 percent using the authority granted in House Bill 1590 to increase the stock of affordable housing.

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Blackman Lake may receive deeper analysis in coming years

SNOHOMISH — The City Council is interested in pursuing an Algae Control Plan, a deep study of the best strategies for remedying recurring algae, for Blackman Lake.

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COVID survivor publishes paperback of everyday humor

SNOHOMISH — For Carol Cross, writing a book is easier said than done, but she's brought humor from her experience. “Little Book of Covid Survival through Laughter" is a modest volume that chronicles short stories and funny vignettes which went to press in October.

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Course set to fixing Pilchuck Park road and riverbank

SNOHOMISH — The City Council voted on a plan to relocate the Pilchuck Park access road and reinforce the nearby river’s slope at its final council meeting of the year Dec. 7. Right now, the riverbank over the entryway is eroding.

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Carl Gipson Center reopening keeps seniors at forefront

EVERETT — When it reopens Jan. 3, the city’s senior center on Lombard Avenue will retain all of the old favorites: The pingpong tables, the coffee bar, the daily lunches.
But it will have a shorter name and a broader focus. Find out more about the plan from this story.

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EvCC pauses closing Early Learning Center due to public outcry

EVERETT — Everett Community College paused the closure of its Early Learning Center, slated for June 2022 at the end of the school year, after pressure from parents and the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union, including a large rally Tuesday, Nov. 30 opposing the closure. The Early Learning Center (ELC) isn’t a place where people park their kids. It’s a holistic educational development program with a learning curriculum. If it closes, some college students who are parents would lose their only option to go to school.

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St. John’s Episcopal Church keeps renovating

SNOHOMISH — For more than a century, the steeple of St. John's Episcopal Church at 913 Second St. has been a city landmark.
Now church parishioners are planning a second round of fundraising to ensure the icon will endure for the next 100 years.

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County hopes to acquire Everett hotel for homeless shelter use during 2022

EVERETT — County leaders explained to the City Council last week how and why the county is seeking to convert a hotel into a temporary homeless shelter.

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Cold weather shelters open for the changing season

Cold weather shelters have begun to open their doors as temperatures in the region dip below freezing. Last year, people were directed to go to a building at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds due to social distancing requirements. This year these smaller shelters, all at churches, are opening their doors again for those in need.

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Linda Redmon sets plans as Snohomish mayor-elect

SNOHOMISH — Linda Redmon, who ran on reunifying the city, will replace Mayor John Kartak come January. Redmon explains her priorities for Snohomish when in the mayor's seat and defangs a rumor circulating that she'll defund the police.

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Veterinarians in short supply

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Increased workload and a lack of respect and pay are all contributing to veterinary staffing shortages in Snohomish County and across the country. Underpinning the crisis is worker attrition, the most prominent issue animal health care has struggled with through the decades. Veterinarians explain the difficulties in this story.

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Snohomish High School assault has students seeking truth

SNOHOMISH — Students angered by the belief Snohomish High School is burying an on-campus sexual assault from Monday, Oct. 18 led a protest the morning of Friday, Oct. 22 seeking to put this incident, and past assaults, into the spotlight. The mother explains what happened to her daughter.

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Monroe PD’s domestic violence advocate provides bilingual one-on-one support

MONROE — The Monroe Police Department's domestic violence advocate handles every police case where DV is suspected. Her role as supporter, adviser and aide can mean a huge difference for a domestic violence survivor. A look at what resources the advocate brings through Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

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