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This week in history - from The Arlington Times archives
10 Years Ago 1997
The city of Arlington has submitted two grant proposals, one to fund the development of the Centennial Trail within the city limits, one to create a community park, named Valley Gem Park. The grant proposals were submitted to the IAC, Interagency Committee for Outdoor recreation. The citys Director of Planning and Community Development, John Burkholder, says the agency is leaning toward funding facilities with ball fields this year, while last year its focus was trails. After Arlingtons Parks Board completed its study on potential properties for a new park, Burkholder created a design concept and submitted the proposal to IAC. The proposed park would be located on both sides of State Road 530 just west of Arlington. It would require acquiring 23.10 acres from Mary Hammy Butler, whose properly is locally known as the round house, between SR 530 and the Stillaguamish River. Another 53.54 acres would be acquired from Dan Grewe, south of SR 530. The proposal includes a natural area adjacent to the river, tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds, restrooms and parking. The horse bypass of the Centennial Trail would also pass through the park, joining the main trail at the railroad bridge near Haller Park. The plan recognizes the realignment of State Road 9 straight north from where SR 9 now joins with SR 530 to the new Haller Bridge. Construction of the new bridge is planned to begin in February 1998. The plan is based on the following vision formulated by the Parks board, The 40 60 acre park should have multi-faceted potential. It should have the potential to serve a wide variety of community recreational needs. Ball fields for baseball, basketball and soccer and other active sports are important but the city needs to address an even wider including walking, picnicking, interpretative and educational events. We see a park that is connected to the countywide trail system. It has natural amenities like wetlands, river frontage and wildlife habitats. It can be seen as visitors enter the city and is close enough that citizens can walk or drive a short distance to access the park.
25 Years Ago 1982
Seventy-six persons were found guilty of taking part in a gamecock fighting exhibition during a week of trials at Cascade District Court in Arlington. District Court Judge Jay Wisman concluded trials May 14 and all but two persons convicted were fined $150 plus $34 court costs and given 60-day suspended sentences. The Snohomish County Sheriffs Department arrested the 76 persons Jan. 10, 1981; all 76 pleaded not guilty. Trial dates were postponed because of the defenses attempt to prove the gamecock fighting law of 1901 unconstitutional. The primary legal challenge by the defense was the claim that the defendants are denied equal protection under the law. Because the State of Washington permits the licensing of various forms of hunting and fishing as well as trapping and falconry, the defense argued gamecock fighting persons were being denied equal protection under the law. Wisman disagreed with the claim and ruled March 4 that the state statute banning cockfighting or attending such an event as constitutional. The court is of the opinion that hunting and fishing are substantially different in quality and kind than gamecock fighting, Wisman said. To back his decision, he said, in hunting and fishing, animals are not taken out of their natural environment and pitted against another member of their species for the purpose of engaging in combat with the ultimate goal being the death of one to determine a winner. In all of these ventures, the animal must be contacted in his habitat and man must use skill and knowledge if he is to secure game in any of these endeavors, he added. Wismans ruling was appealed to Snohomish County Superior Court, but the higher court upheld the district court judges decision. The State Court of Appeals refused to hear the appeal. Persons from around the Northwest were convicted in connection with the case. It cost the county $5,096 to feed and care for the cases evidence, 26 gamecocks. They were kept in the county animal shelter for more then a year before being put to death.
The Snohomish County Council decides on the proposed Agricultural Preservation Plan issue on June 7, after three years of study and public testimony. Monday at 2 p.m. was selected as the deciding date, after the Council closes its second public hearing on the plan. Until then, the Council plans to review the preservation plan, consult staff members and digest the great volume of testimony. Persons can still present their comments to the Council in writing for two weeks. The Councils second hearing, held May 10, was similar to the first one with more testimony against the preservation plan. The three Snohomish County Planning Commission public hearings drew divided opinion. The proposed preservation plan recommends that 66,000 acres of county farmland remain free of development. A large portion of the acreage specified is in the Arlington, Lakewood, Darrington and Marysville areas. The Agricultural Advisory Committee began studying Agricultural issues in 1979 at the request of the County Council. Their recommendations came out in April 1981 and designated the 66,000 acres as agricultural use, a zoning that prohibits commercial, residential or industrial development. After three public hearings, the Snohomish County Planning Commission ruled against the proposed Agricultural Preservation Plan. The commissions recommendation came after a Feb. 23 hearing; testimony was first heard by the commission at a December hearing. The hearing drew divided opinions from farmers and persons interested in development. The commissions recommendation was attached to the plan and sent to the County Council, who can approve the plan, reject it or come up with its own public hearing findings. If the Council draws up its own plan it would be sent back to the commission for public testimony. The loss of farmland to urban development caused the council to form the advisory committee to study the agricultural problems.
50 Years Ago 1957
The well-known Matt Soper farm was identified by 84 entries in last weeks Mystery Farm contest, with the name of Mr. John Kroeze of R. 3 being drawn as the winner of a prize from Cady Drugs. No one would guess that the modern style, tile-roof farm home of the Soper Dairy was once a pioneer church building, dating back to the turn of the century. Later it became a sort of community center, where Matt Soper remembers attending a community Sunday School and many a social get-together with the neighbors. Purchased later by a Mr. Van Zandt, it was moved across the road to its present location by Mr. Claude Brazelton, who undertook the job of converting it into a residence. From this first carpenter job, Brazelton gained a good reputation and has done much of the building in the area. The Soper diary is located in the uplands, where soil requires extra attention. Working along lines suggested by the local Federal Soil Conservation office, he has been able to overcome much of the soil handicap and is now milking 26 head of Guernsey cows. The Soper operation is an excellent example of the degree to which dairying has turned to mechanization to combat todays high production costs. Using the open type bunker, rather than a silo, for storage of feed, Soper is able to deliver feed from the field to the animals completely by machine. A rotary chopper cuts the feed in the field, and conveys it into a dump truck. The feed is dumped onto the bunker slab, where a tractor with a ladder attachment stacks it up in the bunker. The cows feed directly from the open end of the bunker, with an electrically charged wire stretched across the feed way. Each day the wire is moved back a few more inches into the bunker, allowing the animals to eat an ample amount without getting stung. While the dairymans investment is considerable, and not a rich mans game, Soper remarked that for those who are suited to it, dairying is a way of life, which has its compensations. Mrs. Soper came to America from Norway at the age of 19, and in 1954, returned for a six-month visit with her 10 brothers and sisters still living in the old country. In contrast to the long, tedious boat trip to America as a girl, Mrs. Soper flew from New York to Norway, leaving one day, arriving the next. There she visited her childhood haunts, in the vicinity of Trondheim and experienced three solid months of daylight in the land of the midnight sun. In northern Norway, the sun is constantly visible for a long period during the summer months. She noted that one must have a priority to own a car in Norway, where transportation is somewhat scarce. On the farms she saw many standard American makes of machinery, however.