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The Year In Review - A look back at some of Marysville's top stories in 2010

BY THE MARYSVILLE GLOBE STAFF

MARYSVILLE — When looking back at 2010, people will remember it for a variety of reasons. The following are just some of the stories which appeared on the pages of The Marysville Globe.

January

With 15 years of living in Marysville and 14 years of working with the Marysville School District under his belt, Chris Nation became the board’s newest member. Nation had defeated Heather Thweatt in the Nov. 3, 2009 General Election to replace retiring board member Donald Hatch Jr.

When members of the Marysville School District Board of Directors toured Marysville Middle School, they found outdated original mechanical and electrical systems, out-of-date fire exiting and Americans with Disabilities Act codes, an absence of fire sprinklers, flooded fields and an energy inefficient, 49-year-old structure. The school inspection was part of the board’s tour of district facilities that would be replaced by a proposed construction bond.

John Koster acknowledged that he’d just finished his campaign for his third and final term on the Snohomish County Council in November 2009, but on Jan. 13 he threw his hat into an even bigger ring as he made the official announcement of his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington’s 2nd Congressional District.

Officials recently kicked off a $2.9 million construction project that will connect 88th Street NE to Highway 9. On Jan. 22, representatives from the city of Marysville, the Marysville School District and Naval Station Everett all took part in a ceremonial ground-breaking near the intersection of 88th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE. Construction crews will soon begin constructing a four-lane roadway — called Ingraham Boulevard — that will help provide better access to the new high school under construction nearby.

While acknowledging that 2009 was a difficult year for the local economy, Mayor Dennis Kendall said the city had accomplished many positive things and is on the track to economic recovery. Giving his annual State of the City address before the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce Jan. 29, Kendall said, “The economic recession has caused Marysville and other communities to bend under the weight of housing foreclosures, declining property values, high unemployment, lackluster consumer spending and other financial stresses. Yet, in spite of these pressures that closed out 2009, I am confident that a bright future awaits our city in the new year.

February

Students, parents, school staff, district employees and members of the surrounding community got a chance Feb. 6 to check out the Marysville Getchell High School Campus which is currently under construction. Marysville Getchell Planing Principal Tracy Suchan Toothaker gave hourly guided tours through the nearly completed International School of Communications building while Marysville School District Construction Manager Mike Brady did the same through the rest of the facilities on campus.

Although Joyce Zeigen has stepped down as its director, the volunteers of the Marysville Community Food Bank want everyone to know that they’ll continue to carry on her work. After more than two years with the food bank, Zeigen started her new position as partner program manager for Northwest Harvest on Feb. 17. Interim directors Mary Haynes and JoAnn Sewell are filling in until the food bank’s board selects a new long-term director.

The federal government is mandating changes at two schools in the Marysville School District if they are to receive certain federal funds, according to Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland. He noted that the mandate applies to Tulalip Elementary and Totem Middle School. Tulalip Elementary had failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress on the WASL for five years. Although Totem Middle School only has two years of WASL data, since it was opened in 2007, the OSPI included eighth-grade WASL data from Marysville Junior High in 2007 to obtain a three-year average. In order to qualify for School Improvement Grants from OSPI, funded by the federal government, the schools must adopt one of four federally sanctioned models.

March

In response the failure of a $78 million bond issue in February, the Marysville School District Board of Directors voted to send a drastically reduced $32 million bond back to the voters on the April 27 ballot. The bond would replace and equip Cascade elementary, modernize technology systems and equipment, make basic repairs to the Marysville-Pilchuck pool, as well as health and safety improvements, and cover pre-planning site and facility analysis.

The 2010 Marysville Strawberry Festival April Friesner Memorial Scholarship Pageant was packed with so many candidates that only six of the 14 Junior Royalty candidates appeared in the speeches and talent portions of the program, which still left those finalist and nine Senior Royalty candidates sharing the stage at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium. In the end, the titles of Junior Royalty were passed on by outgoing Junior Royalty Princess Sara Clayton to Cassy Mead and Cassie Coate of Cedarcrest Middle School, and Piper Holiday of Totem Middle School, while Clayton joined out-going Senior Royalty Princess Rebecca Thomas and Queen Shelby Hintze in giving flowers, sashes and tiaras to this year’s Senior Royalty Princesses, Haley Otto and Ella Stefoglo, and Queen Kaija Wilcox.

The 85-year-old State Route 529 Ebey Slough bridge served as the site for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s March 29 announcement kicking off this year’s construction season for Puget Sound. According to WSDOT Northwest Regional Coordinator Lorena Eng, the existing Ebey Slough bridge will be replaced by a steel, fixed-span bridge, with construction set to start in June and expected to be completed in late 2013.

April

U.S. Representative Rick Larsen found himself facing an inquisitive audience April 6 when his tour through the 2nd Congressional District took him to a general membership meeting of the Cascade Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, and NECA members put him on the spot about his support for health care reform. Larsen defended his vote for the final health care bill because it gives Washington state more equitable Medicare reimbursement compared to other states, and it eliminates insurance discrimination based on age, gender or pre-existing conditions.

Many patrons of the Lakewood Red Robin restaurant were surprised to see their servers wearing a slightly different uniform April 17, as more than a dozen members of the Marysville, Arlington and Lake Stevens police departments got a chance to walk in somebody else’s shoes, all on behalf of charity. The annual "Tip a Cop" event raises funds for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits Special Olympics athletes statewide.

First-grade students got a hands-on lesson in horticulture as Liberty Elementary School celebrated Earth Day April 22. Liberty first-grade teacher Corina Hansen explained that four classes of first-graders, each with approximately 25 students, planted flowers and bulbs in the planter surrounding the school’s sign. “There was one plant for each student,” Hansen said. “Since the school’s not going to be rebuilt anytime soon, this is the perfect time for them to do the planting so that they can water and weed around the plants for the rest of the school year. In the process, they learn what it takes to care for plants.”

Ciscoe Morris, the King County Master Gardener whose show airs on KIRO, shared the fruits of his knowledge at the Smokey Point Plant Farm to help support local education. The Lakewood Education Foundation raised an estimated $5,000 through “An Evening with Ciscoe Morris” April 29.

May

The only way Trina Davis would have been soggier was if she had fallen in the drink. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was she caught a fish. The 8-year-old girl, whose pigtails were dripping with water, beamed as Barry Martin of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club held up her catch — a nearly 4-pound trout. Trina was just one of the nearly 300 fishing enthusiasts, parents and their children who braved the rainy weather May 1 during the 19th annual free fishing derby at Kiwanis Pond in Jennings Memorial Park.

The free fishing derby with the Tulalip Resort Hotel May 13-15 to host this year’s North American Motor Officer Association Training Conference. More than 160 motorcycle officers from approximately 70 law enforcement agencies from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Canada participated in the training.

Family members, friends and hundreds of current and former colleagues gathered May 20 at the Tulalip Resort to honor recently retired Marysville Chief Administrative Officer Mary Swenson who stepped down after serving the city for more than three decades.

The Marysville community turned out May 31 to theMemorial Day observance at the Marysville Cemetery. “The fact that so many of you braved the weather to pay your respects is a tribute to the spirit of America,” said Marysville American Legion Post 178 Commander Ken Cage.

June

Within the past decade, Sunnyside Elementary has said farewell to five of its students before their time, most recently Ethan Iverson who passed away June 30 of last year. On June 3 of this year, Sunnyside Elementary invited the families of those students back for a tribute to their “Sunnyside Angels,” which featured a hand-crafted table from Jim Engstrom.

In spite of less-than-perfect weather, large crowds turned out for the final weekend of the 79th annual Marysville Strawberry Festival which culminated June 19 with the Grand Parade down State Avenue.

The Marysville School Board voted 4-0 June 21 to ask fellow boardmember Michael Kundu for his resignation following a June 3 email Kundu sent out regarding the academic achievement gap which cited research which claimed that race was linked to brain size and intellectual aptitude.

After more than six years in office, Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall announced June 28 that he would be stepping down. “It is with considerable thought and consultation with my wife, Sue, and family that my resignation will be effective on Aug. 2,” Kendall said. Marysville City Councilmembers voted unanimously to appoint fellow Councilmember Jon Nehring to serve as Marysville’s mayor upon Kendall’s resignation.

July

Marysville School District Board member Michael Kundu announced his resignation from the Board of Directors July 12, the same day as the first Board meeting since his return from Washington, D.C. The Board voted unanimously to accept his resignation.

Although he won’t start serving in his new office until Aug. 2, Marysville City Council member Jon Nehring was officially sworn in as the new mayor by outgoing Mayor Dennis Kendall at the July 26 City Council meeting. The evening proved to be a tribute to Kendall’s time in office as Council member Jeff Seibert introduced a unanimously approved resolution honoring Kendall for his distinguished service to the city of Marysville.

August

Artists, craftspeople, food vendors and others packed Marysville’s Third Street during the 25th annual HomeGrown street fair Aug. 13-14.

Aug. 17 primary election proved to be bad news for proposed school district levies throughout the state, but especially so in Marysville where voters were asked for a property tax increase to fund a supplemental levy after the state legislature expanded the school district’s levy authority by 4 percent. As of Aug. 20, 58.19 percent of the 12,223 ballots counted voted no on the Marysville School District’s four-year levy which would have added an estimated 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation each year to provide $750,000 for the 2010-11 school year and $1.5 million for the three subsequent school years.

September

It was not only the first day of the 2010-11 school year for all the schools in the Marysville School District, it was also the first day of school ever for the new Marysville Getchell High School campus. The campus features four Small Learning Communities including the International School of Communications, the Academy of Construction and Engineering, the Bio-Med Academy and the School for the Entrepreneur. The campus’ fifth building is a combined gymnasium and cafeteria, with an indoor running track and areas for wrestling matches, weights and exercise machines, as well as a nurse’s room and the campus security office.

Looking to help fund the construction of an overpass at 156th Street NE, the Marysville City Council voted unanimously Sept. 20 to approve the formation of a Local Improvement District. As part of a LID, property owners whose property values increase as a direct result of public improvements pay special assessments to help fund those public improvements. City officials had received petitions from 64 percent of property owners in the Smokey Point and Twin Lakes areas based on acreage, and 51 percent based on property assessment requesting formation of a LID to pay for the overpass.

Citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses, the Washington Department of Financial Institutions closed North County Bank on Sept. 24. The bank, which had branches in Smokey Point, Marysville, Lake Stevens and Everett, reopened Sept. 27 as branches of Whidbey Island Bank which had purchased North County.

October

Wendy Fryberg and Tom Albright are the newest members of the Marysville School Board of Directors. Board President Cindy Erickson and board members Darci Becker and Chris Nation voted unanimously Oct. 4 to appoint Fryberg as the District 4 Director and Albright as the District 5 Director.

More than 40 volunteers from Marysville and Tulalip turned out Oct. 5 to lend a helping hand at the Tulalip Homeless Shelter. The volunteers from the Marysville office of Keller Williams Realty and the Tulalip Tribes Adult Education Services Division conducted improvements on the ground surrounding the six cabins.

Nine months after ground broke on the project, and close to two months after the first day of school, the Ingraham Boulevard corridor was officially dedicated Oct. 26. The corridor is intended to provides safer access to the new Marysville Getchell High School campus.

November

It was a race that pitted one Arlington native against another, and by the final night of their campaigns one of the few things that both candidates could agree on was that it was too soon to say how the Nov. 2 election would turn out. Although U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen initially trailed Snohomish County Council member John Koster in the early returns of the Congressional District 2 race, the following day saw him overtake his opponent. Although the totals remained close, Koster conceded defeat on Nov. 10.

The holiday season can make it even more difficult for already struggling families to make ends meet which is why the Marysville Community Food Bank is once again distributing holiday food baskets to its clients. Marysville Community Food Bank directory Dell Deierling said that the food bank is facing a greater-than-expected need this holiday season pointing out that 865 people had registered for assistance this year, up from approximately 600 last year.

December

After a year’s absence, the Electric Light Parade returned to this year’s “Merrysville for the Holidays” celebration Dec. 4. An estimated 5,000 people attended this year’s event which is thought to be a record turnout.

The Marysville School District is facing mid-year budget cuts as the state government moved to take back more than $2.3 million in funds that it had already committed to the school district. In addition, the district faces the loss of $600,000 in K-3 class size reduction funds, the loss of more than $250,000 in levy equalization funds as well as $21,000 in I-728 and other funds the district has already spent. “I’ve seen this happen maybe once before in my 30-year career in eduction,” Marysville School District Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland said Dec. 20. “it’s unprecedented.”

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