Year in Review 2017
A year of change
City sues pharmaceutical company Purdue
EVERETT - In a bold move, on Thursday, Jan. 19, the city of Everett launched a lawsuit against OxyContin’s maker with a negligence case that says the city is due damages because the drugmaker’s acts inflamed an opioid crisis that the city was left to combat.
The civil lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma of knowingly allowing OxyContin to be funneled into the black market recklessly — even enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market by not controlling the pills — and that this in turn cost taxpayers money and residents’ lives.
The drugmaker points blame to wholesalers it works with for the drug control issues Purdue was sued for.
The lawsuit was seen as the first of its kind nationally, according to the Los Angeles Times. During the year, more than 30 similar lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies were filed, including one from the city of Tacoma.
Former City Councilman Wilde likely not to face penalty
SNOHOMISH - Former City Councilman Zach Wilde, who resigned in December 2016 following a revelation he no longer resided in Snohomish, was likely not to face any penalties for serving on the City Council while maintaining a residence outside of town. Elected officials generally are supposed to resign if they move out of the area they were elected to serve; while Wilde did purchase a house in Lake Stevens in April 2016, he maintained his registered voters address in Snohomish and rented that home out. When this was revealed in December, he resigned following an awkward council meeting. Wilde did not face any penalties from the state, and paid the city back his salary from being on Council during the months he was living in Lake Stevens and serving in Snohomish.
City ramping up Carnegie remodel
SNOHOMISH - The city was bearing down on its long-discussed remodel priorities list for the 107-year-old building to give it a few new features; alotting $230,000 in its 2017 budget for the remodel work. The Carnegie building, located at 105 Cedar Avenue, was the town library until 2003.
The plans include making the building ADA-accessible with a new elevator or wheelchair lift. The building received a seismic retrofit and new roof in 2013 and last year it was given fresh paint and carpeting.
Longer-term plans are to demolish the 1968 annex built onto the Carnegie. The city had planned to begin its first phase of remodeling earlier this year.
Swifts sculpture now in downtown
MONROE - A new sculpture titled, “Wagner Swifts” was dedicated on Jan. 7 in downtown Monroe at the intersection of Main and Lewis streets. The metal sculpture designed by artist Kevin Patelle, depicts the Vaux’s Swifts and the Wagner Elementary School chimney in which the birds roost in. Twice a year, thousands of Vaux’s Swifts roost in the chimney of the school located west of downtown Monroe on their migratory route between Canada and Mexico. The little Vaux’s Swift is the city’s official bird.
Everett Fire Chief retires
EVERETT - About 40 years ago, Murray Gordon’s cousin had recently become a Seattle firefighter and, with some additional nudging from some of Gordon’s neighbors who were also firefighters, they convinced the 22-year-old Everett local to apply to his city’s fire department. It began a lengthy career that led Gordon to becoming fire chief in 2001.
Gordon, a third-generation Everett resident, retired as the chief on Jan. 20.
Eric Hicks was named as his replacement, but Hicks later left to be the chief in a fire district near Renton. Tim Key is now Everett’s fire chief.
Food trucks in Everett weekly
EVERETT - Food trucks now convene at the plaza as part of an effort called “Food Truck Fridays” put on by the Washington Food Truck Association. The organization opted a second food truck space in the Silver Lake area a block south of Costco at 1831 Silver Lake Road. The food truck association launched in 2015.
Marijuana shop looking at options
SNOHOMISH - The state-licensed owners of a retail marijuana shop at Second Street and Avenue D would like to open the store, even as there’s a citywide retail marijuana ban the city will uphold.
The store’s owners say they have state credentials to open.
However, while they have a state license, if they opened as it stands they would run afoul of city zoning and business licensing rules. The shop, which will be known as The Kushery Snohomish, received its state license for the location Dec. 8, 2016. Shop owner Joshua Shade said right now they’re in a “wait and see” mode. The plan could hinge on the city’s advisory vote this November on whether to lift the Snohomish retail marijuana ban and also if the future city mayor might lift the ban.
Plan puts adult treatment center within Denney
EVERET - Snohomish County began considering a project to convert up to 30 beds at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center for housing people with mental illness and behavioral health issues, and treating substance abuse dependency.
A second option considered putting the services in a building adjacent to the Denney lockup.
A contractor was hired in January to consider the plans.
New Mukilteo ferry terminal
The new terminal, set to open in late 2019, should be bigger, faster and safer. Construction work began in the summer.
The new, two-story terminal will finally replace the almost 60-year-old terminal at the end of the Mukilteo Speedway.
The new terminal will be a few hundred feet eastward on the former U.S. Air Force oil tank “farm.”
The ferry service between Mukilteo and Clinton carried more than 4 million total riders in 2015.
Business manager gets council seat
SNOHOMISH - The City Council appointed Jason Sanders to fill its vacant seventh seat, but it took six rounds of tied votes before council came to a consensus.
This week (Feb. 8) Sanders was sworn in to take ex-councilman Zach Wilde’s seat. Wilde resigned abruptly after being outed for living outside city limits.
Sanders is a business manager at Puget Sound Energy who also chaired the city’s economic development committee. He carried out the the council seat until the November 2017 election, in which he ran for election and won.
Saving Lives in remote places
SNOHOMISH - For 50 years, they have answered when called and gone out on missions supported by volunteers with thousands of hours in training and specialties. The operations come at a price, though, and the nonprofit Snohomish County Volunteer Search And Rescue (SCVSAR) is looking to keep the outfit going through donations, grants and volunteer time.
The group, whose headquarters are perched on Taylor’s Landing above Machias valley, was looking to replace its old and outdated food truck that helps support search and rescue missions. They were also getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The group is not paid by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), but is deployed the Sheriff’s Office for missions. It’s been a working relationship for decades.
Guzak steps out of (weak) mayor role
SNOHOMISH - Councilwoman Karen Guzak gave her mayoral resignation during the Feb. 7 city council meeting. Councilman Tom Hamilton was selected by the councilmembers to be the weak mayor. Guzak, owner and teach at Yoga Circle Studio, was Snohomish’s peer-nominated mayor for seven years. Guzak had been strongly opposed to the city’s change in form of government from Council-City Manger (weak mayor) to Mayor-Council (strong mayor) and with the passing of that movement via Proposition 2 in the November 2016 election, Guzak said “it is what it is” and plans to remain on the City Council for the rest of her term through 2019.
Volunteers scrub trashed banks of Skykomish River
MONROE - Volunteers helped clear out trash and debris from the banks of the Skykomish River near the Lewis Street bridge to help restore the river.
Volunteers were given free fishing items for helping out. A new nonprofit organization called RiverJunky, founded by Jerrod Kirkley, led the cleanup. Over 80 volunteers showed up to help clean, and tons of debris was removed.
Initiative starts for City Council districting plan
EVERETT - A citizen initiative petition was launched Feb. 7 to have the council be elected by geographic voting districts for Everett on voters’ ballots in November. It missed a threshold for the minimum number of signatures, but had heavy support among the community.
The group behind it is Everett Districts Now, which is still continuing its efforts in 2018.
Everett Districts Now had to meet a July deadline for 8,100 signatures to be collected and turned in for the proposal to go forward to the voters.
Their efforts were is supported by the League of Women Voters, the NAACP of Snohomish County, the 38th Legislative District Democrats and mayoral candidate Brian Sullivan.
Stan Boreson dies at 91
Comedian Stan Boreson, “the King of Scandinavian
Humor” who was raised in the Lowell Neighborhood, died Friday, Jan. 27, reportedly of a stroke. He was 91.
Boreson catapulted into national memory with 15 funny albums. An accordion accompanied the yuks. At age 87, his last album release
joked, “I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore.”
For baby boomers who grew up here, he was known for hosting the kids show King’s Klubhouse from 1955 to 1967. He led the 2013 Lowell Days Parade, and attended Everett’s Longfellow School.
Maltby residents get time to chat with county leaders
MALTBY - The county hosted an ‘open house’ style gathering to speak directly with county leaders and officials such as County Executive Dave Somers, County Sheriff Ty Trenary and Council Councilman Sam Low. Among the main topics people questioned the county folks about were traffic, noise and the proposed 360-unit Paradise Lake Road Garden Apartments and how it will impact the area. The meet-and-greet style of the event puzzled and made a positive impression on locals.
Local teens build tiny house for homeless
SNOHOMISH - A shop class of boys at Snohomish High School built a tiny house for the CTE Showcase of Skills in Olympia and to be part of the tiny house transitional housing for homeless people in Seattle at the North 88th Street Tiny House Village.
The boys, ranging from sophomores to seniors, all contributed to the construction in order to learn framing, following plans and teamwork.
Neighborhood block watches aim to launch
SNOHOMISH - A group of residents scattered throughout town want to start a grassroots, citywide coalition of neighborhood block watches following the consistent success of the Morgantown Neighborhood Watch.
The coalition hopes to partner with the city via the Public Safety Commission, and begin a network of watches that share information on reporting crime, uniting neighbors and cleaning up town of petty theft and other property crimes that affect residents. Morgantown Neighborhood Watch coordinator Donna Ray is leading the effort.
Some apartments do not want to put in required fire alarms
EVERETT - Some of Everett’s larger older apartment complexes are seeking exemptions from having to install fire alarm systems. Meanwhile, a handful of apartment complexes are complying and have either begun the process or now have alarms put in, including The Bluffs Apartments on Casino Road, where a fatal fire there in 2015 prompted interest in city-wide compliance.
City fire marshals have made progress in getting apartment complex owners to comply with installing fire alarms, but owners at half the older properties identified as needing alarms are trying to attain exemptions to avoid the requirement.
The City Council was surprised and bothered to hear about this.
In 2016, the city had said the building owners would have to get into compliance by a tighter timeline of mid-2018.
Group’s offer tries to save Longfellow Building
EVERETT - An anonymous donor has offered $3 million for the former Longfellow School, which would save it from the wrecking back and give a home to the Everett Museum of History.
The announcement that somebody offered a bundle to buy the Longfellow from the Everett School District went public at a museum gala in March.
The disused building at 3715 Oakes Ave. is 106 years old, but was destined to face the wrecking ball this spring. The school district had filed a demolition permit with the city on March 7.
The museum’s effort faltered in the fall.
Mayor Ray Stephanson to retire
Everett’s longtime Mayor Ray Stephanson — who was christened the nickname “The Icelandic Hammer” by some cheeky bloggers — announced that he would retire after almost three decades serving in city government, including 14 years as the mayor.
The announcement came as a turnaround from earlier plans to run for another term.
Stephanson’s role in shaping the city includes bringing a focus on prosperity, making the city a regional power and, more recently, developing a homeless housing project to address the emergent homelessness issue.
County Council approves renovating courthouse
SNOHOMISH COUTY - A plan to renovate the County Courthouse — instead of build a new one — for $72 million was approved narrowly by the Snohomish County Council.
The County Council voted 3-2 to approve the renovation plan on March 27 under a plan recommended by County Executive Dave Somers. Somer had proposed to renovate the old 1967 courthouse instead of demolishing and replacing it, which would have cost an estimated $160 million.
The renovation plan is expected to cost $72.1 million.
The Spot Teen Drop-In Center a hub for safe fun
SNOHOMISH - The teenagers that come in to The Spot on Avenue D by the Dollar Tree do so after school for a safe place to hang out, snack, do homework and be among like-minded peers. With its proximity to what locals call the “Stoner’s Trail” The Spot organizers hope the teen gathering place can be a better alternative than going down the path of bad decisions and possible drug use. The Spot opened earlier in the school year to provide a safe place for teens to be after school when most have parents that work full-time or they feel they don’t have a hot meal to go home to; The Spot operates on donations only and could use more food donations to help feed the hungry teens.
Boy turning 13 works to raise $13K for Africa
SNOHOMISH - Blake Habersetzer took action earlier this year to raise $13,000 by his 13th birthday to donate to help supply water to drought-stricken Somalia via the Christian humanitarian organization World Concern. Habersetzer and friends set up stands in front of local Snohomish businesses including Haggen to collect donations and to spread the word about the cause. The efforts paid off - Habersetzer was able to reach his goal and donate the money to aid the Somalians with the drought.
Forum talks homelessness issues
SNOHOMISH - Homelessness hasn’t received a spotlight public forum like the one on April 27 locally in years, but some key indicators who it is growing in Snohomish. Forum organizers hoped to educate the public about homelessness. The homeless population on paper is growing, but some pockets may be going unseen.
Seniors on fixed incomes are one, as waves of Baby Boomers reach Social Security age at 65, they’re finding out the cost of living rising beyond what their monthly checks alone can provide. By the numbers, there are 775 city residents who earn less than $25,000 a year, the city reports, which it says is “a far higher percentage of low income households than the county as a whole.”
Homeless housing project takes next steps
EVERETT - The environmental review for Everett’s two-story low barrier homeless housing site at 6107 Berkshire Drive concluded earlier this month. The city determined no significant impact from the project.
The public has given mixed responses on the city’s proposed 65-unit apartment complex to house chronically homeless people near the intersection of Evergreen Way and Pecks Drive.
The proposed site is at a nexus where the Glacier View, Pinehurst-Beverly, View Ridge-Madison and South Forest Park neighborhoods meet.
People living in the middle class homes within blocks of the proposed site have spoken out against its
siting as disproportionately impacting their area.
The site was chosen against a list of one dozen alternates in both north and south Everett. This site, a city analysis shows, meets all of the city’s criteria for nearby transit, grocery stores, clothing stores and other amenities.
Bob Heirman, who stood for nature, dies
SNOHOMISH - Highly esteemed sportsman, environmentalist, poet, memory-keeper and friend Bob Heirman went on his greatest adventure Saturday, April 29 at the age of 84. Bob was always up for adventuring, often taking walks or hikes to enjoy what he considered a paradise, his beloved Snohomish County. Bob was a longtime contributor to the Tribune since the 1970s, writing articles and poetry about the environment in hopes of educating readers about the local environment and the importance of nature stewardship. Bob lived his entire life in Snohomish. He wanted others to appreciate its beauty and to take care of it: “We have to take care of Mother Nature, leave the land better than we found it, because we walked upon it,” he would often say. “We have to be stewards of this earth.”
Evergreen Branch designs revealed
EVERETT — Design sketches for the Evergreen Branch Library were made public.
The plan is to expand the library at 9512 Evergreen Way by 5,200 square feet, turning it into a 13,000 square foot library.
Future Everett Y site could have city park, possibly a pool
EVERETT - The city of Everett began to solidify plans to build park space on part of the future YMCA site in central Everett.
The property, located at 4730 Colby Ave., will have a parking lot on the north side and the YMCA building in the middle. The south side of the property will become a park. A new pool also has been mulled.
Zion Lutheran church celebrates 125 years
SNOHOMISH - One hundred twenty-five years of congregation, baptisms, confirmations, song, praise and, most of all, community - Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church’s history is as rich as its devotion to its members and they want to keep it up for future generations. The 125th Anniversary marks a special occasion on the church’s calendar and it hosted a large open house and ice cream social to celebrate. The church itself is one of the oldest landmarks in town and congregation members wanted to reflect back on its history while also looking forward to the future. The church seeks to focus on community events as well as worship services for members.
JROTC hits 50 year mark
SNOHOMISH - One of the oldest MCJROTC in the western United States is right here in Snohomish and the organization hosted a fun run to commemorate its 50th year. Snohomish’s program is a U.S. Marine Corps. Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. and was founded by retired Marine, former teacher, principal and then-superintendent Hal Moe in 1967. The program is run as a “leadership laboratory” that teaches military values as well as leadership, responsibility, and community service.
First Street sting nets three bars
SNOHOMISH - Three bars on First Street were caught overserving drinks on Cinco de Mayo Friday, May 5.
Time Out Sports Bar, Piccadilly Circus Pub and Snazzy Badger Pub were all cited for overservice by Snohomish Police officers and state Liquor and Cannabis Board agents following an undercover operation that night. Emphasis focused on First Street as part of Snohomish Police’s continued efforts to patrol the area to look for overservice; conducting a weekend foot patrol each weekend to assure First Street businesses of safety, and to build better relations with First Street bars and bar patrons.
Paine Field may see Alaska Airlines service start in 2018
EVERETT - Alaska Airlines plans to begin passenger flights out of Paine Field by fall 2018.
The airline announced it intends to fly nine flights per day after the new terminal is constructed at the airport between Everett and Mukilteo. The destinations haven’t been announced yet, but the airline will be using Boeing 737s and midsized Embraer 175 jets. Regional hops to places west of the Rockies was suggested by an Alaska vice president in a company blog post.
A private company began building a two-gate terminal next to the control tower in the summer.
In August, United Airlines announced plans to join Alaska Airlines to fly from Paine Field next year.
Opioid abuse report shows mixed results
SNOHOMISH COUNTY - The numbers are in and the outlook on combatting the county’s opioid epidemic looks like an uphill battle, but local health partnerships are trying to push back with education and pill take-back programs.
According to a joint report released by the Snohomish Health District and Providence Regional Medical Center, there were 253 opioid-related overdoses between Jan. 1 and March 31 seen in Providence’s emergency department. The numbers do not include people who may have been treated elsewhere in the county.
The age range of the people who overdosed varies, but the most overdoses were among people between 61 to 70 years old. Second-most were people between 21 to 30 years old; third was in the 51 to 60 years old age range. There were four people aged 11 to 20 years old and one under age 11 who overdosed. The data collected indicates “that most overdoses are not repeat patients and they span all ages,” the report stated.
New Lake Tye playground open
MONROE - The new playground equipment at Lake Tye Park proved to offer more than a neat place to play, but also a ground for community building and inclusiveness. City officials, along with county officials and playground design representatives from Sitelines, cut the ribbon to open and dedicate the park on June 1. Children galloped on the semi-bouncy rubber flooring, whooped with delight, climbed the walls and equipment, and swung on the park’s new, unique merry-go-swing. Local parents who attended with their kids were just as thrilled and said they really liked how kids of several ages could find interest in the new playground.
Ed Stocker dies at age 90
SNOHOMISH - Edwin Stocker, patriarch of the Stocker farming family and Snohomish icon, died at the age of 90 on June 1. His iconography stemmed largely from the fact that he immersed himself in community organizations, causes and had a few memorable quirks that people recall fondly. Stocker volunteered at the Snohomish Community Food Bank, helped pioneer the local “agri-tourism” with his family’s farm and attractions, and was involved for several years with other farming organizations.
Harvey Field gives its master plan update status
SNOHOMISH - Officially, Harvey Field has to update its airport master plan in order to stay in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Snohomish County. But informally, it also has to keep, if not win the trust of, nearby residents. It’s been more than two years since Harvey Field hosted a public update on its airport master plan, so it came as no surprise when 65 people showed up at an open house last week with what seemed like two years’ worth of questions, comments and frustrations. One of Harvey Field’s major proposals is shortening and widening the current runway and providing fill-culverts for flooding as well as a possible “relocation” of Airport Way out of concerns for runway use safety. The FAA and the county have to sign off on the changes. The public’s input will also be considered.
Gang presence growing, detectives say
SNOHOMISH COUNTY - Law enforcers are looking into stepping up their presence within the community to keep innocent bystanders safe as gang violence is becoming more visible. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Force are tracking the increasing number of gang-related incidents countywide. Since 2015, there have been 56 gang-related shootings, 14 victims with gunshot wounds, two homicides and five gang-related events from which guns and drugs were recovered. Most of the gang activity involved juveniles. Sheriff Ty Trenary hopes to focus a full-time gang detective for the growing number of incidents, but currently, there isn’t one at SCSO.
Hawthorne PTA money stolen
EVERETT - Police investigated a situation where Hawthorne Elementary School’s parent-teacher association accounts were wiped out by a board member. About $15,000 was missing. Police later arrested the person responsible.
Sno-Isle Co-Op celebrates 20 years
EVERETT - The Sno-Isle Co-Op food market in Everett hit its 20 year milestone. The market came online at a time where there were none in the area.
Snohomish tops 10,000 people
SNOHOMISH -- The city grew above 10,000 residents this year, and it’s grown by almost 1,000 people since 2010, according to annual state census figures.
Hal Moe Pool likely to be demolished
SNOHOMISH - The City Council decided to go with a staff and advisory committee recommendation to tear down the old Hal Moe Pool building and eventually turn it into a community park. Community survey results reflected for city staff that residents wanted the old pool site to become a remodeled park space, an outdoor community space or event center, or a covered indoor recreation space. The pool closed in 2007. Plans to demolish it and master plan it were still underway through 2017.
Drive-by shooting, car arson in Snohomish targeted teen’s house
SNOHOMISH - Five teenaged boys from Snohomish and Everett were arrested after a drive-by shooting early July 7 in northeast Snohomish and a related July 6 car arson where fireworks were used to burn up a car.
The events targeted two other Snohomish teenaged boys, who resided at the house in the 400 block of 22nd Street northeast of Blackmans Lake. Court documents revealed there had been an ongoing “beef” between the teens. A neighboring house was also hit by bullets, but no one was injured.
A 17-year-old Snohomish male was the primary suspect, Hayden Cross Baus, who was arrested and later tried as an adult for the violent acts. Two guns were used in the shooting, an AR-15-style .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. The other four teens aided Baus in the fireworks car arson and drive-by shooting.
Council may put districts on ballot; vote is July 31
EVERETT - In a twist, the City Council is considering putting out a ballot measure asking the public whether or not the council should be largley reshaped by geographic boundaries.
In the end, they didn’t.
Farmers harvesting power of cow patties
MONROE - The family farmers at Werkhoven Dairy took a huge leap of faith during a time of struggle for dairy farms; they decided to purchase an anaerobic digester that would turn cow manure and other waste products into electricity - as well as reduce odors and unhealthy run-off. The digester sits on state land deeded to the Tulalip tribes and used by the dairy in conjunction with Qualco Energy, a nonprofit organization formed by the tribes, the Werkhoven dairy and several farmers who make up the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alliance, and Northwest Chinook Recovery, a group interested in preserving salmon habitat.
Brian Sullivan bumped in close primary for Everett mayor
EVERETT - Mayoral candidates Cassie Franklin, Judy Tuohy and Brian Sullivan all jostled for the top two positions in the primary to let two through to the general election. A fourth candidate, newcomer Shean Nasin, trailed throughout the race.
Tuohy opened the primary narrowly leading over Franklin and Sullivan in first-night count. Tuohy lost traction later as Franklin and Sullivan gained more votes in the following consecutive tallies from the county election office.
Overall, Franklin and Sullivan were more evenly matched in capturing a larger number of voter precincts than Tuohy did in the primary.
Sullivan, a career politician and former Mukilteo mayor, spoke of reforms in public safety and campaigned on fixing the city. He entered the race gunning for Stephanson before the longtime mayor chose instead to retire.
Everett entertains buying Health District HQ to house part of city public works department.
EVERETT - The city became interested in buying the Snohomish Health District’s headquarters on Rucker Avenue to place part of the public works department in a new home. In early 2018, the city is doing due diligence legwork, but the price tag to buy the building would likely be $8.5 million.
Roesiger relative writes books for locals
SNOHOMISH - Great-niece to Snohomish/Granite Falls homesteader Richard Roesiger, Swiss author Monika Teuscher-Schramm published a book about her great-uncle in English and visited Snohomish to sign copies and tell stories. Teuscher-Schramm, who resides in Switzerland, grew up hearing stories of her great-uncles adventures since he wrote letters home to Germany. Lake Roesiger is named after the late pioneer, who homesteaded on the land in the late 19th century around the lake. Teuscher-Schramm visited the area and the locals, publishing a book with excerpts from Roesiger’s journals that he diligently kept for 30 years while settling the land. Teuscher-Schramm held two book signings in the Granite Falls Historical Museum in late July.
Western museum’s transfer to county will keep it open
MONROE - The Western Heritage Center, which has long been an independently operated interactive agricultural and mining museum with a bevy of antique machines, is set to be preserved as part of the Snohomish County Parks system.
The transfer happened over the Labor Day weekend, but was announced in late August during the Evergreen State Fair days. The museum’s founder Jerry Senner died unexpectedly in November 2015. His widow Nancy Senner, along with volunteers and family members, had been running the museum amid difficulties. The museum operated on donations and was called by Nancy as “Jerry” since he loved old farming equipment and John Deere tractors. County Parks had been in talks with the Western Heritage’s board, which included Senner family members, about the transfer since 2016. The museum is located at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.
Clearview’s traffic woes, heroin questions heard
CLEARVIEW - The annual Clearview Town Hall meeting attendance was sparse this year, but the issues remained the same: Traffic and heroin. Local residents and business owners came out to ask questions of a panel of speakers that include Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, legislators and county councilmen. The Q-and-A style meeting created lively discussions among attendees and the panel, with more discussions after the meeting was over; Clearview had seen an influx of heroin-related crimes and traffic issues in recent months.
$1.5 million claim made against Snohomish County
EVERETT — A woman filed a $1.5 million claim against Snohomish County last week over an incident where deputies arrived at her and her husband’s home in June. The woman had her finger broken in a scuffle, but 911 call logs show medical aid was called off by an intervening sergeant multiple times. Four Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies were disciplined to varying degrees over the incident.
Snohomish Pie Co. donates thousands to hurricane relief
SNOHOMISH - Snohomish Pie Co., located on First Street and operated by Jenny Brien, donated 100 percent of its proceeds from an Aug. 31 pie sale to hurricane relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. The money went to a church in Rosenberg, Texas, outside of Houston that acts as a distribution hub for Harvey victims. The Snohomish pie shop sold out of 50 whole pies wihtin its first two hours that morning. The effort from the shop, and the booth at the Evergreen Fair raised $11,827.36 in sales and donations. Bickford Motors let them borrow a box truck for material donations such as water bottles, cleaning supplies and baby supplies. All of it was collected together for a donation drive with the nonprofit Provide Hope and with the Rock Church in Monroe, which are sending a semi-truck down to Texas. Part of the money raised helped fuel the truck. The idea was spur-of-the-moment that spread quickly via social media.
New Police Chief takes command
SNOHOMISH - New Snohomish Police Chief Lt. Keith Rogers took over from John Flood, who had taken his captain’s exam earlier this year and was promoted up the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office ladder. Rogers was sworn in as police chief Sept. 19. His previous post was with SCSO’s Violent Offender Task Force and he made lieutenant in January. He began his career in Mountlake Terrace several years ago, where former Snohomish police chief John Turner had hired him. All roads eventually led to Snohomish.
Trekking the woods to offer help
MONROE – The city earlier this year hired an embedded social worker and created a Community Outreach and Enforcement Team to help connect local transient or homeless people to services. Each week, the social worker and Community Outreach Team lead Sgt. Ryan Irving go out hiking mainly through Monroe’s wooded park areas where homeless people have set up camps and try to talk with them. They offer services for better options than the woods; such as housing, detox facilities, transportation and information on what they can do. The team has seen success this year – getting dozens of “clients” for services, a few completing a detox program, and others back on their feet with jobs. The Monroe Police Department sees this as success instead of arresting their way out of the transient issue.
Bar fight leaves five guys bloodied
SNOHOMISH – A fight between five men in their mid-20s occurred the night of Sept. 17 inside the Snazzy Badger Pub on First Street, resulting in cuts from beer bottles, bloody pool tables and an assault charge. No one was seriously injured and the pub’s on-duty bartender reported the fight. Police were unclear on who threw the first punch, but what was clear was that it began with one man talking to another man’s girlfriend.
Bikini baristas sue Everett in federal court, city pauses enforcement
EVERETT - A group of bikini baristas and a coffee stand owner sued the city in federal court arguing that a recently adopted minimum dress code for coffee stands and similar quick-serve places violates the baristas’ constitutional freedoms. They want the rulebook thrown out.
The case was filed Monday, Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in Seattle. On Friday, Sept. 15, the city chose to suspend enforcing the rules.
The city had introduced a broad prohibition on baring too much skin with ordinances aimed to help stamp out adult coffee stands where lewd sex acts have happened. The ordinance has a “three strikes” style of violations that ends with a location losing its city operating license.
In August, the City Council had approved the dress code ordinance in part to strengthen law enforcement efforts to halt sex acts at certain stands.
Monroe Police bust drug, gun operation
MONROE – The Police Department’s ProAct Team busted a small heroin and guns operation in late August at an Everett storage shed; having built the case from information about a guy selling heroin and firearms out of his storage shed in Everett. The investigation led to the arrest of Cody Corp, 30, and the search of the shed revealed 10 rifles, shotguns and handguns as well as 10 grams of heroin.
Lake Tye, riverside parks being master planned
MONROE – Plans are underway to mark more definitive futures for Lake Tye Park and the future Cadman riverside site as the city holds several open houses for the public to contribute to the master planning process. Feedback from the public mainly focused on family fun, nature, and security with maintenance. Concerns about the homeless camping in the park, specifically the Cadman site, were prominent among the public input. The city will continue developing the master plans for the sites into the new year.
Everett Station workgroup makes rounds
EVERETT - A private workgroup called the Everett Station District Alliance wants to change the outlay of the Everett Station area, and began making public appearances to present its plan.
The “district” is a 50-block area around the station. The group formed in 2014.
Write-in candidate for mayor appears
EVERETT - Write-in candidate Gary Watts, who was behind the Everett Tweaker Cam online, jumped into the mayoral race attempting to disrupt the establishment. He received about 10 percent of November’s vote, but he called the effort a success because his concerns about crime and homelessness resonated with the main two candidates.
Fire guts historic building
EVERETT - A fire at a historic 1905 building near Broadway and Pacific in downtown Everett gutted the building. The cause was investigated but it could not be determined.
Snohomish-based nonprofit also takes care of families
SNOHOMISH – The nonprofit Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors helps veterans largely fresh from tours of duty, where the need can be high. A Snohomish woman with an unflinching commitment to veterans started the nonprofit to help connect wounded veterans with programs for rehabilitation as well as to offer financial assistance to veterans’ families if needed, especially around the holidays. The organization offers alternative therapy programs such as SCUBA Warriors, Back in the Saddle Warriors (BITS) which is an equine assisted therapy, K9 healing Warriors and BITS Kids for children of veterans with needs. The emergency assistance programs also gives financial assistance. The nonprofit functions on donations and grants, and is always in need of volunteers as well as donations.
Voters reject retail marijuana in town
SNOHOMISH - Voters informed city officials by way of advisory vote that they do not want the city to lift the ban on retail marijuana business in city limits. The city’s ban on the production, processing and sale of legal marijuana will remain following the results of the advisory vote. Over 70 percent voted “no.”
John Kartak elected Snohomish mayor
SNOHOMISH – Voters elected the new chief executive of City Hall for the first time in four decades and that person is semi-retired general contractor John T. Kartak.
Opponent Karen Guzak, a former weak mayor who stepped down in February, lost to Kartak by a 2.5 percent margin. It was a close race. Guzak’s campaign funding topped out around $24,000 while Kartak’s campaign raised less than $5,000. Despite all the political literature, campaign sign drama and social media discourse with anti-Kartak ads as well as anti-Guzak posts, more voters chose Kartak. Kartak, who grew up in the Snohomish Valley and attended Cascade High School, aided in the 2016 Proposition 2 campaign to change Snohomish’s form of government from weak mayor to strong mayor. He has never held public office before and has no prior political experience. The County Auditor’s Office certified the Election Day results in late November, officially confirming Kartak as the winner and new strong mayor of Snohomish.
City manager will receive $100K as farewell payoff
SNOHOMISH – Former city manager Larry Bauman lost his title and his job with the city’s government transition from weak mayor to strong mayor before his contract with the city expired, which means the city will pay up. Bauman will receive $112,000 payoff, or nine months of approximately $12,425 in salary. The one-time payment will come from the city’s general fund. The City Council authorized a contract renewal with Bauman back in June after the November 2016 election to change the city’s form of government was a forgone conclusion. Bauman’s last day was Nov. 22, about a week before the City Hall’s official transition to Mayor-Council form of government.
Everett council districts effort to try for next fall’s ballot
EVERETT - The backers of a initiative to restructure the Everett City Council by geographic districts announced plans last week to get onto the November 2018 ballot. Meanwhile, a city-led effort on council districts will continue discussing its own plan during 2018.
Cassie Franklin wins Everett mayoral race
EVERETT - Mayor-elect Cassie Franklin will take over Snohomish County’s largest city on Jan. 1.
Franklin, a City Councilwoman, will become Everett’s first elected female mayor. She stepped down from a CEO role at the nonprofit homeless teen shelter Cocoon House a few weeks ago.
Franklin outdid fellow Councilwoman Judy Tuohy narrowly in the polls.
The tallies for the Nov. 7 general election tilted in Franklin’s favor on Friday, Nov. 10. Tuohy had narrowly led the race up until then.
The final tally was Franklin winning with 7,819 votes to Tuohy’s 7,623 votes, an electorate difference of less than 2 percent.
The three City Council incumbents — Paul Roberts, Jeff Moore and Scott Murphy — swept their races.
County effort acting on opioid crisis
SNOHOMISH COUNTY – County official announced in late November an action plan that targets the opioid epidemic that has had law enforcement and health officials more stressed and strained the last few years. County Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary and Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Mark Beatty made statements announcing the combined plan; Somers enacted part of the county’s emergency management plan in order to open up lanes for more resources for fighting the opioid epidemic with grant funding, mass communications, data and a combined action plan. The county has been developing the plan since September. The name of the new group is Opioid Response Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group. The MAC Group will get to work through the new year to hit timeframe goals and make busts, a comprehensive education circuit among schools, and drug take-back sites. From 2012 through 2016, the county has experienced a 14.5 percent of all opioid-related deaths in Washington state and had the fourth-highest rate of deaths per 100,000 people during that period.
Local kids find gifts with SCSO deputies’ help
SNOHOMISH - Thirty children from the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club and the Sultan School District got to “Shop With A Cop” and take photos with Santa at the Snohomish Fred Meyer for the annual event. The kids were each assigned a deputy, and with dozens of deputies showing up on their volunteer time to help out, there were plenty to choose from as a shopping buddy. Each child received a $50 Fred Meyer gift card to shop with, selecting gifts with their deputy friend. The event was sponsored by the The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Association, Fred Meyer corporate, and individual private donations.
Search continues for missing postman
SNOHOMISH - Much-loved postman Henry John Groeneveld, 63, went missing on Monday, Dec. 11 aroudn 9:30 a.m. after telling his wife he was going for a walk to the water. He didn’t come home. Search efforts began by Groeneveld’s grown children, family and friends throughout Snohomish. The Snohomish Police released a missing person flyer, and the case was assigned to a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office major crimes unit detective on Thursday, Dec. 14. Volunteer search party efforts have scoured the Snohomish and Pilchuck rivers, as well as in trails and wooded areas in and around the city. Groeneveld’s daughter, Liz Dickson, shared with the Tribune in an intimate interview that her dad was fit, healthy and liked to walk a lot and that he wouldn’t disappear on purpose; Dickson theorized something must have happened to her dad to cause him to go missing. A candlelight vigil was held for Groeneveld Dec. 15, and a mass search occurred on Dec. 23 as a last major search party effort. By this paper’s press time, Groeneveld had not yet been located.
County Council funds Everett homeless housing project
EVERETT - A $1.6 million commitment from the county’s coffers for Everett’s low-barrier low-income housing building was the relief the city needed to keep from potentially losing the project altogether. The County Council had some reservations, but voted 3-1 plus one abstaining vote to approve $1.6 million to the city project.
29 apply for Everett council
EVERETT - Twenty-nine people applied to take over mayor-elect Cassie Franklin’s seat on City Council.
A selection will be made in the new year after press time.
The applicants came from across the city.
Xfinity Arena gets new name
EVERETT - The Stillaguamish tribe secured the arena’s naming rights to make it the Angel of the Winds Arena through 2028 in a $3.4 million deal announced Wednesday, Dec. 13. The tribe took over naming rights from Comcast, which had declined to continue its sponsorship.