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The Year In Review - A look back at some of the top stories of 2007
ARLINGTON It was an exciting year in Arlington, with the completion of the two-year Olympic Avenue project which was a dream among downtown business owners and city officials for many years before.
An even longer dream, the gazebo in Legion Park came together thanks to the contributions of time, materials and labor from the Arlington community. The downtown merchants spent the past 10 years raising $20,000 which covered miscellaneous costs.
Also a result of a grand community effort, the Linda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School was opened with a gala affair May 30 to June 3, after the Arts Alive group announced in March that they had met their fundraising goal. Under the leadership of Superintendent Linda Byrnes they met every Wednesday since before the new high school opened in 2003 to find the money to build the PAC. At the end of the year Byrnes was rewarded for that and her many other contributions when she was named Superintendent of the Year for the state.
The easy passing of a bond to expand Cascade Valley Hospital also knocked the socks of all involved in the campaign. After announcing the bond in February and running a quiet campaign, the May vote reaped a whopping 72 percent, unheard of these days.
While covering the downtown street project nearly weekly, The Arlington Times also reported on traffic issues in Smokey Point as well as the community effort between Arlington and Marysville to pursue a University of Washington campus in the area. While the initial selection named Everett as the preferred choice, advocates are optimistic that north county is still in the running.
The city of Arlington made other progress as well, adopting a transfer of development rights program to help protect agriculture in the valley as well as approving a percent for the arts, recognizing that art enhances quality of life.
While growth and change can be a challenge, there are some beneficial side effects. Weve seen some of both this year and will see some more in the year ahead.
On 1:58 p.m., Jan. 1, Jaiden Hope Isham became Arlingtons own New Years Baby for 2007, and her mother Sarah was just one of the people who was eager to welcome her into the world.
Carolyn Valladres, a promotions coordinator for Babies R Us, presented the Ishams with a gift basket valued at approximately $100, which included items such as a layette and car seat straps designed for newborns, hooded towels and washcloths for the baby, infant-sized gowns, caps and socks, stuffed animals, a teething pacifier and a large fleece blanket.
The Babies R Us gift basket was given in recognition of Jaiden being the first baby born in 2007 in Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3, which covers the Cascade Valley Hospital, where she was born.
While the town of Darrington bore the brunt of a midweek wintry blast, many Arlington-area residents wondered where the big snowstorm was that several local weather forecasts had predicted for Jan. 10.
For Dawn Ambler, a Silvana resident who owns 2 Bits and More in Arlington, the relatively light snowfall for Arlington proved little surprise, since its typically always worse at home than it is here, and we only got about three inches in Silvana, so I figured it wouldnt be a problem.
Bruce Bruch, owner of Broosters Cafe in Arlington, expressed similar skepticism about the probability of the anticipated Jan. 10 snowstorm, but he nonetheless implemented a number of precautions the night before.
According to Clark Jones, the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics are overdue to be renovated and expanded, to keep pace with advances in the healthcare field and the growing population within its service area, which was why he hoped that residents covered by the Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3 would support an upcoming bond issue for the CVHC facilities that spring.
Jones, administrator for the district, recalled that the CVHC had planned on tearing down the facility that was built in 1957, when they planned to built another facility in 1987, but because they werent able to pass a bond issue for that year, the 1987 facility was pared down, and certain services were retained in the 1957 facility.
Not only did Jones contend that the 1957 facility is in poor shape and needs to be replaced, but he also cited the number of medical technologies that the 1987 facility currently accommodates, many of which werent anticipated 20 years ago and act as space-hogs within the increasingly crowded building.
Dozens of Arlington-area residents gathered in the Arlington City Hall plaza Jan. 27 at noon to conduct their own Rally for Peace, in conjunction with several similar peace rallies taking place that day, throughout the state and across the country, including Washington, D.C.
Clyde Cramer, acting as the events master of ceremonies, emphasized that the focus of the rally was not specifically anti-Iraq war, but instead, that its participants hold out hopes for peace around the world and fair treatment of our veterans.
Pastor Deena Jones, of the Arlington United Church, expressed on behalf of the rallys attendees the deep humility they felt, as sinners who have not loved our neighbors as [God] taught us, before Paul Nyenhuis performed a somber flute solo, during which most members of the audience bowed their heads, either in prayer or in silent contemplation.
After the narrowly failed library bond last fall and the announcement of an upcoming hospital bond the spring before, the Arlington School District sought input from the citys residents to comment upon their proposal for a $50 million bond of their own, which they expected could come as early as 2008.
ASD Facilities Advisory Committee Chair Mixie Deeter explained that the bond would fund the addition of classrooms at Arlington High School and Haller Middle School, the replacement of classrooms and addition of a multipurpose room at Trafton Elementary School, and the remodeling of Post Middle School, Eagle Creek Elementary School and Stillaguamish Valley School.
The bond will also fund the upgrade of food service storage at Presidents Elementary School, the improvement of playing fields at Haller, Post, Kent Prairie and Pioneer Elementary School, and facilities preservations for Haller, Kent Prairie Elementary, the transportation department and the former high school, said Deeter.
Dennis Estle was one of a number of Arlington residents who has experienced what some have deemed the flipside of the citys recent growth.
Estle was one of the Kona Crest subdivision residents who suffered from vehicle prowls and broken windows Jan. 20, and he wanted more patrols in the neighborhoods.
Estle spoke to the Arlington City Council at its Feb. 5 meeting on behalf of the Kona Crest Homeowners Association, to report the nine vehicle prowls and five broken windows in their neighborhood Jan. 20, before requesting a greater police presence to address an escalating crime rate.
Eagle Creek Elementarys annual Celebration of Science and Math fair attracted nearly twice its usual number of participants, which typically inspires no more than 80 Eagle Creek Elementary students to perform and report on experiments, with more than 150 kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Parents, teachers and high school students volunteered to critique the grade-schoolers projects and presentations Feb. 15.
The levels of participation by grade level ranged from half a dozen kindergarten students to almost 50 fifth-grade students, just as the projects included both classic favorites and new experiments, many inspired by Internet videos and TV shows such as MythBusters.
The latest fad in fizzing eruptions was showcased for the first time at the fair by two pairs of students, who performed the Coke and Mentos experiment. Shay King and Jake Herring used strings and tubes to drop Mentos candies into two-liter bottles of Coke, while fifth-graders Nate Lewis and Sawyer Williams employed a modified funnel. All four students eventually recreated the results theyd seen in Internet videos, in which the Mentos caused the Coke to shoot out the tops of the bottles, in streams as high as six feet.
A Snohomish Conservation District Award has been presented to Roger Nichols, a watershed specialist and engineering geologist with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, for his work with the West Side Higgins Road Erosion Control Project for the past six years.
Its the first of several similar projects in the North Fork Stillaguamish River Basin, with the U.S. Forest Service and the Snohomish Conservation District as partners.
These projects could not have happened without Rogers expertise and knowledge of the forest roads and their underlying geology, said Christian Hoffman, a resource management engineer with the U.S. Forest Service. His knowledge of the history of these forestlands, and his ability to source the scientific data and references needed to document the erosion problem, has first-handedly contributed to four successfully funded grant applications.
The Arlington Police Department commissioned three new reserve officers at its annual meeting Feb. 21, swearing them in three days before they graduation from the Basic Law Enforcement Reserve Academy at Skagit Valley College.
Officer Curtis Hirotaka, team leader of the reserve officers, recognized Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis for his four years of service to date, as a reserve and provisional officer with the Arlington Police Department, before introducing incoming Reserve Officers Seth Kinney, David Meister and Shaun Murray to the public.
Each reserve officer hails from a different background. Kinney is already a Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Police Officer, while Meister works in the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlifes Marine Resource Management. Murray acts as an Everett Mall Security Supervisor. However, Hirotaka explained that all three new reserve officers completed the same training.
Arlington High School students ate black-eyed peas, rice, greens and cornbread, as members of the Seattle-based Life Enrichment Group performed African dances and recited original poetry to an accompaniment of drums and trumpet.
It was all part of the AHS Respect Teams Soul Food Sampler Feb. 27.
The entertainment was preceded a short pop quiz on famous African-Americans. Students also learned the origins of soul food, as animal scraps that were left over for the slaves.
Flood damage remained a top priority to the Darrington Ranger District, which was still recovering from two floods within the past three years, and area residents from as far away as Snohomish wanted to know what Peter Forbes, the districts new ranger, planned to do about it.
Forbes had been the Darrington ranger since September of 2006, but his first open house with the surrounding community was March 13. Forbes introduced himself to the public, and joined fellow staff members of the Darrington Ranger District in informing visitors about the trails, roads and campgrounds that are still inaccessible due to damage from the November 2006 flood. They also reported the progress made in repairing the trails, roads and campgrounds damaged by an October 2003 flood.
Forbes and Dawn Erickson, trail specialist for the Darrington Ranger District, estimated that between 50 percent - 75 percent of the districts trails were washed out by flooding, but emphasized that final determinations would probably have to wait until the winter snows had melted. Forbes said flood damage repairs had been prioritized according to which sites are most visited and could be repaired soonest, but time, money and planning were also factors.
Captain Thomas A. Tack will speak on behalf of the United States Navy at the decommissioning of the old firehall at the Arlington Airport, Saturday, March 31. The firehall is scheduled for demolition along with two other airport buildings later this year. The demolition will make space for new commercial development at the airport, said airport manager Rob Putnam, but no specific projects are proposed.
Tack was invited by Retired USMC MSgt. Richard L Logg Sr. a life-long resident of the Arlington area who just happened to live in the old firehall from 1949 to 1953 with his family, after the Air Station was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II and returned to the city of Arlington in 1947.
A relic of local military history was honored March 31 by the veterans and community that it had affected.
The Arlington Airport presented a Salute of Remembrance for its former Naval Auxiliary Air Station, while decommissioning the air stations fire hall.
Richard Logg Sr., a retired Marine master sergeant whose family lived and worked in the fire hall when he was a child, introduced fellow veterans Julius Dycus, who served on the USS Salamaua, Maurice Vincent, one of only 269 sailors and Marines who survived the attack on the USS Arizona, Doug McLaughlin, a former member of Strike Fighter Squadron 31, and Robert Sebers, one of six brothers who served in World War II. Logg also mentioned local veterans Don Meier, who taught flying and aeronautical engineering at the Arlington Airport after retiring from the Air Force, and Harry Yost, who worked in the Naval Auxiliary Air Stations air traffic control and prevented the crash landing of a B-24 Liberator from Canada that was low on fuel. Logg commended these men as he commemorated his former home.
As Wal-Mart took the next step toward opening a store in Smokey Point, area merchants spoke out about how the chain has impacted their businesses and communities.
Wal-Marts proposed 31-acre project, at the intersection of 172nd Street and 43rd Avenue, was seeking coverage under the Washington State Department of Ecologys National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit for storm water discharges associated with construction activities.
City of Arlington Natural Resources Director Bill Blake and Senior Public Works Inspector Tim Cross summarized that Wal-Marts plans to meet the NPDES permit would rely heavily on storm water infiltration beds and detention ponds.
Boys younger than I was were allowed to spit on me and kick me, said Everett resident Fred Taucher. I was not allowed to defend myself, because I was a Jew, and we were considered filthy and dirty, but we were not allowed to buy soap. The propaganda was indoctrinated at an early age.
Taucher, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to sailors and civilians at Naval Station Everett April 12 about his experiences in Germany during World War II.
Taucher was born in Berlin in 1933, the same year Adolf Hitler came to power. In honor of this years Yom HaShoah April 15, the Holocaust remembrance day of the Hebrew calendar, he recalled the oppression that he and his family suffered under the Nazis.
Arlingtons downtown financial district was the first to feel the impact of the North Olympic Avenue Reconstruction Project April 23, as the 500 block of the street was closed to vehicle traffic.
City of Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis explained that the first week of the project, through April 27, was set aside to prepare this first segment of the street, by moving equipment on site and hooking in the storm water main.
The 400 block of Olympic Avenue was fenced off the following week, as construction on the two blocks began in earnest, and continued through the months of May and June.
At the age of 82, Arlington native Don McPherson was one of the younger men of VC-27, one of the Navys most highly decorated aircraft squadrons in the Pacific theater during World War II.
McPherson coordinated for the 12th annual reunion of the surviving members of the squadron and ships company of USS Savo Island, its escort carrier, in Everett May 3-7. He recalled many of their experienced in the military and during the war, while admitting that many other memories have been lost.
I try to put together lists, but I forget all kinds of things, McPherson said. A lot of old photos have disappeared over the years.
More than half a dozen area pilots donated their time and fuel to show off the fun of flying to children and adults alike, from across the Puget Sound region, during the Arlington Airport Appreciation Day May 5.
Arlington is lucky to have an airport of this caliber in its community that is willing and able to introduce its citizens to the joys of aviation, said Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association Executive Director Barbara Tolbert, whose organization sponsors the free Young Eagles flights for children ages 7-18. So many airports are fenced off and dont foster a fascination with flight among the young.
Bruce Angell, who has flown countless Young Eagles in his Socata Trinidad TB20 over the past seven years, believes this event demonstrates that the airport and its pilots are good neighbors to the city, by further linking the airport to the community.
Nearly one year to the day after the car accident that left her comatose, the friends and family of Meggi Ward came together to support her care.
The 18-year-old was a junior at Lakewood High School, and the LHS campus served as the cross-country course for the fun run fundraiser for her May 12.
Tanya Davenport, a classmate of Wards who graduates this year, and Nic Caldwell, who graduated last year, organized the event with the aid of Jeff Sowards, who taught Wards advanced placement U.S. history class and coached her in cross-country track.
Friends of the Cascade Valley Hospital celebrated big Tuesday, May 15, when Cascade Valley Hospitals bond request for $45 million was approved by voters in a miraculous result that shows people will pay for taxes in a life or death situation.
Even before 8 p.m. when the polls closed May 15, votes in favor of the bond had already passed 72 percent. The bond required a 60 percent supermajority to pass.
Current results, as of Friday, May 18, have the approved count at 71.29 percent.
Its absolutely wonderful to get this firm, solid support from the community, said hospital administrator Clark Jones after a long list of thank yous was presented by the campaign committee co-chair, Dale Duskin.
Shawn Yanity and Karla Swanson, of the Stillaguamish Tribe, and Lora Pennington, of the Skagit Tribe, convened a simulated smokehouse in the library of Kent Prairie Elementary May 22, to show the students how such gatherings were conducted.
Pennington called a few children closest to her and Yanity, to serve as witnesses for the simulated tribes proceedings.
Yanity and Pennington then discussed the origins of the names of local areas, families and tribes. Pennington noted that the word Stillaguamish was the white settlers best attempt to pronounce the Tribes name, while Yanity translated the name to mean people of the river.
Supporters of music and the performing arts dressed in tuxes and high-healed shoes for four evenings of celebration and entertainment starting Thursday, May 31. The crowd of significant donors to the PAC was surprised Thursday evening when Arlington School Board President Kay Duskin announced that the new PAC has been named for school superintendent, Linda M. Byrnes.
The announcement was made after the first performance of 24 different acts over the four-day gala. Opening the show was the North Cascades Concert Band, with solos by Deputy Superintendent Warren Hopkins, on tuba, who supervised the construction of the PAC, and former assistant superintendent Rob Patterman on trombone. They played a song, The Great Mother Lode March, which was composed by AHS Spanish teacher, Bob LaTorre.
From this moment on, the new PAC will be called the Linda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center, Duskin told the audience.
The 29th Annual Post Middle School Social Studies Fair drew a packed house June 2, and proud parents and school staff turned out to check out the reports and displays that the eighth-grade students have been working on since the end of January.
The gymnasium was filled with more than 200 projects, covering subjects ranging from personal family history to the histories of the city of Arlington and the state of Washington, as well as American history before 1900.
Melissa Skyles, an eighth-grade social studies teacher who assisted with the fair, praised the students for sticking with their projects for eight weeks, noting that the reports and displays fulfill a number of essential academic and grade-level requirements, such as demonstrating the ability to research and write reports with attributions and bibliographies.
Sharon Shaw announced recently that she will be leaving her position as executive director of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce June 30. The chambers board of directors executive committee then hired her assistant, Jennifer Shaw, to assume the management position, with plans to hire a new part-time assistant after Sharon leaves.
Im not going anywhere until the phone directory is done, Sharon Shaw said.
The telephone directory is a major fundraiser for the chamber and this years edition is due to go to press soon.
Alborz Monjazeb has come a long way since he graduated from Arlington High School, but he has further still left to go.
Monjazeb began walking across the country April 14, and after his first 40 days on the road, hed walked from Newport, Ore., to Boise, Idaho. He kept walking until he reached Boston, Mass., a total of 3,365 miles on Highway 20, the longest U.S. route from coast to coast.
Monjazeb was a 23-year-old with bachelors and masters degrees in international relations from the Universities of Washington and Southern California, respectively. He expected his walk would give him a better perspective on his own country, as well as himself.
Motorists in Smokey Point, Arlington, Marysville and Bryant had to factor road construction and closures into their drive times for a few months.
Bridge 91 on Smokey Point Boulevard, just south of Highway 530, was closed to traffic until late September, as Snohomish County Public Works crews widened and renovated the nearly 90-year-old structure.
Bud Klintworth, bridge crew supervisor for Snohomish County Public Works, explained that the bridge would be widened from 19 to 28 feet, between its railings, to bring it up to current standards, while its existing deck would be removed and replaced.
Starting July 7, numerous phone calls reported sightings of a bear in the southern portion of the city of Arlington.
Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield explained that most of these sightings centered on a wooded area to the east of the Arlington Municipal Airport and adjacent to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club and the Arlington Skate Park. She added that sightings were also reported in the Gleneagle neighborhood of Arlington.
Community Transit bus driver Thom Parsons agrees that its a good idea to put benches at all the bus stops in town.
You could start a call-in campaign to CT, but it would be one bench at a time, Parsons said, adding that the squeaky wheel gets the bench and they just install benches when the community demands one.
Parsons drives the Arlington to Smokey Point route, passing by The Fountain Restaurant Daily. He often sits on a fence as a short from his drivers seat
The more people who call and request a bench for a certain site, the more chance youll get one. The bus driver pointed out that CT operates on a pretty tight budget and doesnt have the money to install benches and shelters at every stop like in Seattle.
Installing benches at all the bus stops in the city of Arlington is a project launched by Virginia Hatch, chair of the parks, arts and recreation commission.
Its just gets me when I drive around town and see people sitting on the ground, Hatch said.
He said, Live life to the fullest, and, Put the pedal to the metal, said Terry OToole, grandfather of Marine Lance Cpl. Shawn Starkovich. By God, thats what he did.
The Starkovich family had an impromptu reunion July 20, as Shawns parents, grandparents, aunt, sister and best friend gathered to remember the Marine, who was killed July 17 in Al Anbar province of Iraq. The cause of his death is still under investigation, according to the Marine Corps.
Shawn Starkovich was a field communications specialist assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. His outfit was part of the 1st Marine Division, which now is deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. His unit is based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Dasha and Masha are both little girls who come from Belarus, but their eight-week-stays with local families this summer were no mere vacation.
Belarus, an Eastern European country which borders Russia to the east, was one of the areas most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, in the neighboring Ukraine. As a result, children like Dasha and Masha have permanently weakened immune systems, which makes their visit to America a boon to their health.
Although the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred over 20 years ago, there is still considerable low level radiation found in the food, soil and water in Belarus, said Sherry Smith, president of the Global Family Alliance. More than 70 percent of the estimated 190 tons of radioactive material blew northward and settled in the former Soviet country. There has been a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancers and other diseases since the accident. It is believed that even four weeks out of the contaminated area will help children stay healthy.
Dasha, who stayed with the Brooks family of Arlington, and Masha, who stayed with the Williams family of Stanwood, were among the approximately 60 children being brought to the Puget Sound region this summer through the Global Family Alliance Health Respite Program.
Instead of sending two singers to the Evergreen State Fair, the Arlington Variety House sent six Evergreen Country Idol finalists.
Variety House co-owner Linda Follett informed the contestants after all 10 finalists had performed in the old Arlington High School auditorium Aug. 4.
Because the Variety House was the only venue for the Evergreen Country Idol contest that allows entrants under 21, it boasted a wide variety of hopefuls, from high school students to stay-at-home moms, with a few who hope to make a living doing what they love.
Close to 30 volunteers, representing three community service groups, descended upon Jensen Park Aug. 11 to install playground equipment.
Mike Swanson, with R and R Construction, served as an on-site supervisor for the work, and summarized its progress.
During the previous two weeks, R and R Construction had already poured concrete, dug several holes and set several posts for the swings, slides and climbing structures created by Northwest Playground Equipment, but volunteers from the Arlington Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs dug several more holes and set several more posts, in addition to assembling the playground equipment.
Some people are better at more detail-oriented tasks, but most of the people here are open for anything, Swanson said. We have a whole bunch of go-getters, and all of them are willing. This group has an above-average motivation.
Town meeting on new college campus attracts 150 from around the county
Advocates for various locations and opponents alike were among the 150 people who attended a north county town meeting Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Stanwood High School on locating a four-year college campus to serve Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties,.
The meeting was the first of four to be held, with a second meeting the next night in Mount Vernon, and two more, in Oak Harbor Sept. 26 and in Everett Oct. 3.
The meeting featured three campus-siting committee members providing background on the criteria and the process being used to select a site.
Strider Construction expects to complete utility installation on the third and final section of the North Olympic Avenue reconstruction project this week and plans are being made to put the final surface of asphalt on the first two sections, from Division to Second Street at the end of this week Friday, Aug. 31, weather permitting, Paul Ellis said Monday, Aug. 27. Light poles have been installed from Division to Third Street with more going in the 300 block on Monday, Aug. 27.
Parents and staff of the Arlington School District conducted their first meeting Aug. 29 on two campaigns affecting area schools.
ASD Deputy Superintendent Warren Hopkins noted that the Simple Majority Campaign was already underway, and added that its outcome in November would impact the ASD levy in February of 2008.
The Washington State Senate and House of Representatives have passed Engrossed House Joint Resolution 4204, the simple majority plan for school levies. If approved by the voters, this state constitutional amendment would allow 50 percent of the voters, plus one vote, to authorize a school levy, as opposed to the
60 percent supermajority thats currently required.
After a contentious public hearing at the Sept. 4 City Council meeting, the city of Arlington Planning Commission voted unanimously Sept. 6 to disapprove the proposed ordinance which would allow house-banked card rooms in the city.
The Planning Commission as a whole voiced enough misgivings about the proposed land use ordinance, as it was written, that Planning Commission member Ken Klein made a motion to disapprove it.
While fellow commission member Virginia Collins had asked city staff to supply more data, Klein said, The details dont matter. We dont need the money that bad, with which Collins concurred.
Aerobics, massage, osteoporosis screenings, chiropractic information, weight-loss support and helping seniors live safely on their own were all part of the Stillaguamish Senior Centers first Senior Health and Wellness Fair Sept. 12.
Tables at the fair included depression screenings, nutrition programs and pharmacy assistance, while seminars covered managing drug interactions and advice on medication-free pain management. Yoga, tai chi and other exercises were also demonstrated.
Its a learning experience, said Krystyna Simm, of the Stillaguamish Senior Centers Family Caregiver Support Program, referring both to the topics addressed at the fair and the process of putting together the event. We want people to make healthy choices.
The Arlington Municipal Airport hosted a different type of flying Sept. 22, as pilots from Olympia to Spokane showed up to show off their top speeds on radio-controlled aircraft.
The Pylon Racers of Puget Sound drew nearly two-dozen members to the airport to compete in the sport-quickie, expert-quickie and quarter-40 categories, a relatively low turnout which contest director Thom Martin credited to a similar pylon-racing event taking place that weekend in California.
Martin explained that all categories of RC aircraft race 10 laps around two pylons, for a total course of two-and-a-half miles. He elaborated that sport-quickie aircraft fly approximately 120 miles per hour, while expert quickies go about 180 mph and quarter-40s can make 200 mph.
Construction on Olympic Avenue in downtown Arlington is done, with last minute tweaking in process this week to prepare for the grand opening celebration set for Saturday, Oct. 6.
Its beautiful beyond my expectations, said Mayor Margaret Larson. Its pure excitement in Arlington, she added.
The $4.4 million project includes a new street surface, curbs, sidewalks, trees and light posts, as well as the new infrastructure which inspired the project.
We had to do the infrastructure and we decided we might as well do it up right, said City Councilman Graham Smith.
The firefighters in Oso have been pretty excited lately. After six years of fundraising they got a new tender truck for hauling water. The truck cost $147,000 not including sales tax, and $26,000 of that was raised through local fundraisers and donations.
Save, save, save, was the strategy, according to fire commissioner A.D. Klesick.
With about 20 volunteer firefighters, Oso Fire District No. 25 owns one aid car, two engines, a rescue vehicle and now this new tender truck to haul water.
The latest phase of construction on the Swanson Road bridge recently wrapped up, but Snohomish County Public Works reminded area motorists that the new bridge isnt scheduled to be opened until next summer.
Ken Miller, project engineer with Snohomish County Public Works, explained that the project will replace the existing wood trestle bridge, which has been in place since 1935. The project is widening and reducing the grade of the road, which currently has a blind curve and a slope of more than 10 percent.
Miller elaborated that this project will ultimately benefit not only the residents of approximately 25 homes on the other side of the bridge, but also the timber companies whose logging trucks use the bridge. It will make the road safer to drive on, especially during rain and snow, he said.
George Boulton was the big spender at the Arlington Arts Councils 5th annual Fall into Art Auction Saturday. He spent $675 for a dinner offered by Ray and Merilyn McClure at their Lummi Island cabin a dinner which Boulton wont be able to claim until next summer because its a very small cabin, McClure said.
The auction was a success, increasing its income from last years $8,000 to about $12,000 this year. And people seemed to have fun.
It was very fun, said a local business woman, Penny Gutschmidt of Penny Lee Trucking. She attended with her partner, Glen Rengen, of East Valley Sand and Gravel, and friends Penny Peeters, of Penway Printing. Peeters brought along an artist friend of hers, Barbara Aliaga, of Harman Eye Clinic.
Lakewood and Marysville teens were among the 17 Snohomish County middle and high school students who contributed their Voices of Youth to a countywide summit Oct. 25.
The Kids Futures group convened the youth panel so that the teens could answer questions from community leaders and other citizens about schools, crime, substance abuse, transportation and the environment.
I asked a youth council, why is it important for our leaders to listen to youth? said Kate Reardon, who stepped in as one of the events facilitators when her husband, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, was unable to attend. They said that kids think about what could result, but that adults look at all the problems and the reasons why those things couldnt happen.
Reardon praised the summit for providing a diversity of perspectives. She and fellow facilitator John Becanic, head coach of the Everett Silvertips, soon encountered that variety in viewpoints, as students from Lakewood, Marysville, Gold Bar, Kamiak, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Sultan and Mariner middle and high schools offered their opinions on issues they care about.
World War II veterans shared their stories with patrons of the Arlington Library Nov. 1, giving them a glimpse of what life was like during wartime, both at home and abroad.
Loren Kraetz offered a civilian perspective on WWII, since he was only 5 years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
Lyle Kell brought a painting hed commissioned, of the Battle of Okinawa, in which he served. He also sailed though the Strait of Hormuz, his ship carrying gas and oil, knowing that he and his shipmates were acting as mineshaft canaries, to check whether the strait was safe for fellow supply ships.
Linda Byrnes announced her retirement as Arlington Public School Superintendent during the Nov. 13 Arlington School District Board of Directors meeting.
Byrnes began her tenure at ASD 12 years ago by addressing its need for facility improvements. While key stakeholders and members of the community as a whole shared this priority, it took time to arrive at a solution on which most could agree.
Linda worked tirelessly over the next four years to pass our first capital bond in decades, said Kay Duskin, president of the ASD Board of Directors. Five years after that, we opened seven new facilities and realized that Linda had leveraged our $54 million bond into nearly $100 million in improvements. Her creativity in uncovering and coordinating revenue sources was phenomenal.
Post Middle School students took part in a nationwide effort to break down social barriers by mixing it up during lunch Nov. 13.
The Mix It Up at Lunch day is a project started by the Southern Poverty Law Centers Teaching Tolerance program. Nancy Burns, one of the Natural Helper advisors at Post, explained how it works.
Its a simple call to action; take a new seat in the cafeteria, Burns said. By making the move, students can cross the lines of division, meet new people and make new friends.
Were now a state-of-the-art manufacturing corporation, said Arlington High School Vocational Director Brett Sarver, after announcing that AHS has received $12,400 for 24 Mastercam computer-aided design program licenses.
Not only do these licenses, plus the six that AHS has already purchased, allow them to equip a full classroom of 30 students with the CAD software, but they also represent the latest step in what Sarver described as a three-year process.
Sarver estimates that AHS CTE has received more than $60,000 in cash donations alone, from groups such as Absolute Manufacturing, Ellison Technologies, Aeronautical Testing Services, HCI Steel, the Newell Corporation, ABW Technologies, Checkmate Industries, the Vine Street Group, Smokey Point Distribution, Janicki Industries, Northwest Tech Inc., AWC Incorporated and the Workforce Development Council of Snohomish County. This does not include the $1,900 worth of free shipping that theyve received for their equipment, nor the $1,000 worth of offloading and installation theyve also received free of charge.
The snowfall left just enough powder on the ground to make the Arlingtons Hometown Holidays Santa parade on Olympic Avenue feel appropriately seasonal.
Children and adults alike were bundled up in layers of festive attire at noon Dec. 1, as a succession of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, community volunteers, firefighters, classic cars, Elks, Christmas ponies and a walking, talking tree led into the introduction of the big man himself, Santa Claus, who officially lit the Christmas tree in Legion Park, before taking his traditional gift requests from a long line of children.
The Hometown Holidays are one of many annual events during which city of Arlington Mayor Margaret Larson has expressed her characteristic enthusiasm for the spirit of a small town, seeing the towns turnout for the parade and the days subsequent activities as further evidence of the community connections among Arlingtons citizens.
Close to four-dozen area families received support from regional law enforcement, military members, businesses and other organizations, during the Fraternal Order of Polices fifth-annual Shop with a Cop program in Snohomish County.
The Arlington Haggen Food and Pharmacy store served as the staging grounds for the event Dec. 8, as members of FOP Puget Sound Lodge 15 and military police from Naval Station Everett were paired off with local kids in need, giving the youngsters tours of their duty vehicles before driving them out to nearby stores that took part in sponsoring the event, such as Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart, for holiday shopping sprees of $100 per child.
Arlington Police Officer Anthony Davis explained that the event targets the working poor, people who are living from paycheck to paycheck, as well as children with special needs and families which either began as single-parent households or recently lost a parent.
Volunteers helped replenish the local ecosystem Dec. 7, when the Stillaguamish Tribal Hatchery led a group of eight Snohomish County residents to five sites for this years fish fling.
Nicole Aragon, of the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force, explained that chum salmon carcasses are distributed at various stream locations to simulate what once occurred naturally.
As fish decompose, they release nutrients which feed not only plants and other fish, but also animals and the ecology as a whole, Aragon said. We drop some fish on the shores beside the streams, as well, since bears often leave behind half-eaten fish on the ground.
More than 50 members of the Haller Middle School girls volleyball teams came together Dec. 20 to make the holidays a bit brighter for two Arlington families in need.
Haller Lady Hawks Volleyball Coach Kim Anderson told the girls that shed wanted to conduct a food and gifts drive and drop-off for the local needy for the past five years.
Youre the first group to step up and make it happen, Anderson said in the Haller cafeteria, as the girls divided up into separate tables for card-making and present-wrapping.
Anderson explained that shed received the names of the two Arlington families from Volunteers of America, one of whom has a single father with a 15-year-old son and two daughters, aged 13 and 8, and the other of whom has a mother, a father and three sons, aged 16, 15 and 12.