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The Year In Review - A look back at some of the top stories of 2006
MARYSVILLE Take a look back at some of the stories of 2006 that appeared in The Marysville Globe.
It wasnt a happy new year for the worlds largest retailer in Arlington as more than 100 people showed up at City Council Chambers to lambaste a proposed new Wal-Mart on 172nd Street NE. Hearing examiner Ted Hunter heard an appeal of the city approval for the site; he backed the citys decision with some amendments. Wal-Mart and the city both appealed that decision, as did Wal-Marts union-backed opponents. The 204,000-square-foot store was approved by Hunter, but additional conditions he required prompted everyone to pile on the legal mess.
The city of Arlington and Wal-Mart are in agreement for the most part, said Arlington City Attorney Steve Peiffle. I fully expect this to find its way to the superior court, just like the Marysville one is.
Residents of a dilapidated RV park in Lakewood were given a brief reprieve Jan. 12 by Snohomish County Superior Court commissioner Arden Bedle, who barred ongoing evictions from the park next to I-5. The ruling hinged on a state law requiring one years notice for mobile home park evictions; the parks owner contended that his facility was for recreational vehicles. The few remaining residents would later reach a financial agreement that gave them cash to vacate the premises, making way for the Lakewood Crossing shopping center to be built on the site.
Former Marysville School Board director Ron Young said he used his board stipends to pay for signs urging voters to nix the school districts $72 million operating levy on the ballot for Feb. 7. Young was serving the district as recently as two months before the signs sprouted in January; he was still supporting the districts capital projects bond on the same ballot.
My point is that you need all that money to do a good job, you dont need all that money to do a mediocre or poor job, Young said.
Two locals hit the airwaves in a big way with the premier of Trick My Truck on the CMT channel. Arlington brothers Rod and Kevin Pickett added a great deal of style and humor to the reality/makeover show, where each week a deserving trucker has his or her rig turned into a rolling palace reflecting their personality or background.
We saw the way Rod looks, and Kevin, and these guys are like six-foot-five, tattooed. Its like Oh my gosh, weve found the guys! said producer Todd Lewis of Varuna productions. He found the duo at a Reno truck show and from there it was showtime. They are way cool guys.
Marysville tried to reduce animal shelter costs by offering free licenses to pet owners for their cats and dogs who were spayed. Paying $50,000 per year to the Everett Animal Shelter was proving to be too much, so the free licenses were an attempt to make sure Marysville animals didnt get that far. That was the carrot; a $250 fine for loose pets was the stick, but by years end the shelter upped the costs again, making it cheaper to house prisoners in the city-owned jail.
Tulalip Tribal planners and non-tribal residents clashed early in the year over claims the Tribes own the tidelands adjacent to waterfront plots around the 22,000-acre Tulalip Indian Reservation. More than 150 people showed up to speak at the Tulalip Planning Commissions hearing on Feb. 8, where just about every speaker threatened a federal lawsuit to settle the matter.
The burden of proof lies with the Tribes, said an angry Irma Erickson. I own the tidelands.
It was a tentative win as late ballots put the Marysville School District in the money for the first time in 16 years. A $118 million construction bond and a four-year, $72 million operating levy passed narrowly after nine days of counting the Feb. 7 poll.
This is sweet 16, said supporter Dean Ledford, a Tulalip Indian and campaign worker.
It would go into overtime as a group of voters contested the levy results, paying for a recount of 7,184 ballots from 41 precincts where ballots were duplicated so they could go through tabulation machines. The recount cost the group $2,000 and they got one more no vote for their cash; the levy passed by a final tally of 23 votes.
Lakewood celebrates one year in Marysville; most folks in the rural area west of the freeway give the city a big raspberry as the anniversary approaches. And that was before development clogged roads with cars.
Lakewood is more of a small-town feel, where Marysville is just too money hungry, said barber Joyce Padgett, outside her Lakewood Barbershop. Theyre just going to change this area, which I think is a crying shame.
The 459 acres were annexed February, and 51 of those now hold the lucrative Lakewood Crossing shopping center with a Costco and Target, followed by other national retailers.
I think the biggest thing is to keep the commercial where it belongs, said ranch owner Joe McLaughlin. Just leave this area alone as long as you can.
It should take Snohomish County election workers about three hours to examine a couple of hundred duplicate ballots and recount 7,768 ballots cast by voters in the Feb. 7 school construction bond election, according to Snohomish County Elections Manager Carol Deipenbrock.
Five voters put down a $2,000 deposit to recount only the ballots from 41 precincts where ballots were duplicated by elections staff. There are a total of 87 precincts in the Marysville School District and according to Deipenbrock a new election worker mistakenly sliced some ballots as they were being taken out of their mailing envelopes.
Marysville swatted down an attempt to revive the former Crown-Pacific and Interfor sawmill on Ebey Slough. A group of investors wanted to revamp the mill and saw logs for another three years while the city worked on plans for the site. Marysville bought the site for $2.5 million and began to use it immediately for its public works department.
Weve pretty much been rebuffed at this point, said Paul Bialkowsky, a spokesman for Columbia Investments, a company that proposed leasing the site for 18 to 36 months and providing about 65 family-wage jobs. The city said no.
Weve had some discussions but at this point our needs are eminent, said Marysville Chief Administrative Officer Mary Swenson.
Everybody is piling onto the proposed Wal-Mart approved for Smokey Point. Not only have the foes of the planned 204,000-square-foot store appealed the Arlington Hearing Examiners Feb. 14 decision approving the project with additional amendments, the city will also appeal the decision and so will Wal-Marts developer.
Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter approved the project by effectively denying the appeals claims in four main areas, with one exception. Hunter did find that the city relied on a wetlands report that was too old and that didnt have data to verify its results.
The Marysville-Pilchuck High School brain trust took third-place in the three-way semi-finals of the High-Q contest on March 18 at the Everett Mall, losing to Meadowdale High School and Coupeville High School. M-PHS had 20 points to Meadowdales 34 and Coupevilles 30 points.
The 2006 Strawberry Festival Royalty were installed last week, with Lakewood High School senior Katie Bartlett and M-PHS senior Elizabeth Sadile chosen as Ambassadors and Julianne Mack of Marysville was selected as the Royal Ambassador.
The Junior Royalty includes Tulalip Tribal member Shanae Santibanex, and also Jennifer Campbell and Cheyenne Hanshaw; all three are sixth-graders at Marysville Middle School. Maryfest President Jodi Hiatt saluted the ladies for their courage in applying for the honor. The trio of senior royalty made a half-dozen appearances before local grandees such as the Marysville City Council, Marysville School District Board of Directors and other groups.
Marysville Police Chief Robert Carden announced he would return to his California roots, taking the helm of the Visalia Police Department there. His eight-year tenure saw the expansion and growth of the department, including state accreditation. His departure prompted two national searches for a replacement after the first candidate balked at residency requirements and other contract terms. Mayor Dennis Kendall expects Cardens successor to take over by February 2007.
The Marysville Historical Society kicked off a capital campaign to fund a $2 million museum on land next to Jennings Memorial Park on Armar Road. The 6,300-square-foot building will also house a telephone museum and is planned for a one-acre plot owned by the society since 1986.
Marysville teenager Alyssa Zeigler has been appointed the Presidents Marshall for the 75th Annual Strawberry Festival Parade, June 17.
Zeigler, a 14-year-old freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, was chosen by the Maryfest Board in recognition of her courage and stamina in dealing with a congenital disease that often turns to cancer in adults.
Zeigler was diagnosed with Gardners Syndrome this summer, but hasnt let the disease slow her down. The 511 student plays on the M-PHS basketball, volleyball and softball teams, and likes to emphasize that people can still live a full life despite having a challenge like hers.
About 300 parents and teenagers showed up at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium to learn how popular on-line communities such as mySpace and Friendster can bring together a volatile mix of naive teenagers and wily predators. They were given a warning and a toolkit to help keep predators away.
Computer forensics detective Jeff Franzen of the Marysville Police Department displayed a map with 27 dots, each representing a registered sex offender in the Marysville area. Thats 27 reasons not to put your full name, picture and other easily identifiable information where anybody can get it.
A burning roll of toilet paper put Marysville on the news. Vandals set fire to a roll of TP, which caused a porcelain toilet to explode at Marysville Middle School on April 18. Combined with smoke from the fire, that sent officials in high gear, bringing a police and fire response with a TV news helicopter overhead for good measure. The schools 1,000 students were evacuated while the building was searched, and a fight between two special education students complicated matters for the first responders.
We dont believe there was an explosion, said Marysville Police Department Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux as officers searched the building. The Marysville School District was taking no chances as rumors of planned mischief were making the rounds of Marysville-Pilchuck High School on the seventh anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.
We have no information that theres any connection to the rumors at the high school, said assistant superintendent Gail Miller.
Former Marysville mayor Art Duborko was selected grand marshal of the 75th Annual Strawberry Festival Parade. The 92-year-old has been involved in civic affairs for most of his life after serving as postmaster for 27 years.
Ive ridden in the parade before but nothing like this, said Duborko.
Marysville police union members objected to plans to outsource Marysville 911 operations to a county-wide consortium, which would cost eight dispatchers their jobs. Administrators pledged to plow the potential savings of $300,000 back into the department but members of the Marysville Police Officers Association said the switch would reduce their effectiveness. Members of the unions executive board spoke at the City Councils May 1 meeting.
Lets face it, when somebody calls 911 its probably the worst day of their life, dispatcher Tracy Galusha told the Council. They deserve to talk to a person.
A week later at the May 8 meeting the Council voted 5 to 2 to authorize negotiations with Everett-based SNOPAC, which serves three dozen fire and police agencies in north Snohomish County. The Council would vote, by the same margin, to close the citys dispatch center on June 26.
Former Marysville Police Chief John turner has returned to serve as interim police chief while the city looks for a replacement for Robert Carden, who left town last week for a new post in Visalia, Calif.
Turner was police chief here during the 80s, and is now the Homeland Security Program Manager for the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management. He was sworn in at the May 8 City Council meeting. He will serve as interim chief until Cardens replacement is sworn in, sometime in September. His role with the county will be curtailed until then.
Lakewood suffers the first tragedy of the year when a car carrying three Lakewood High School students leaves the road and hits a tree, killing 17-year-old Karlie Jo Kaska. The star athlete and scholar was ejected from the car and a passenger went into a coma. Kaskas peers remembered her with a sunset memorial at the high school the next day.
Kids were hooked on the 12th Annual Fishing Derby last weekend, where 2,000 trout faced a determined bunch of the citys finest anglers at the Kiwanis Pond.
Jennings Memorial Park was filled with children angling for trout on a dry but overcast Saturday when the limit was increased to two fish per child. There was no struggle for a pole position as parents and children thronged the pond.
Most were overwhelmed by a sole catch, including Isabelle Trujillo, a first-grader at Allen Creek Elementary School. The six-year-old was all smiles as she posed for mom Janet Trujillo of Marysville, until the eight-inch trout on the line started wiggling. At that point Isabelle started crying until helper Dan Tierney of the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club stepped in.
The city honored its past and present military heroes in a well-attended Memorial Day ceremony at the Marysville Cemetery, May 29. More than 100 people came to honor and pay their respects to members of all branches of the military under a steel-gray sky.
Prayers were offered and speakers lauded the men and women who have served and currently serve the United States, and people were urged to not forget those who paid the ultimate price to preserve our countrys freedoms and way of life.
The Barquest family was happy to report that it found their beloved Saint Bernard Tiny after a four-month absence. Shawn and Misty Barquest plastered the city and had three pickup trucks with four-by-eight-foot signs on the beds pleading with help finding the 180-pound dog.
Marysville Junior High School raised a new totem pole on June 7, and later in the year got a new name to go with it. Tulalip master carver Kelly Moses worked with students throughout the year to carve the pole from a century-old cedar tree harvested from the heart of the reservation earlier in the year. Carved with an owl, a bear and raven under the schools thunderbird mascot, the pole represented the three smaller academies the junior high was split into. Later in the year the school district would rename the State Avenue campus Totem Middle School, as it switched to a grades six, seven and eight configuration.
The strawberries were ripe, the dogs were jowlin and howlin and the trike race course put riders through the wringer in a fine but messy style as the Marysville Strawberry Festival celebrated its diamond anniversary last week.
A new event sent the festival to the dogs, or rather the dogs to the festival when hundreds of people and their pets attend the first Poochapalooza.
Marysvilles biggest and most famous event has been growing by leaps and bounds and past participants were astounded by the size, sophistication and variety offered at festival events.
The Marysville City Council voted to contract out for 911 services with a countywide consortium at its June 26 meeting. Council members John Soriano and Lee Phillips were the only members voting to retain the in-house emergency dispatch center housed in the city police headquarters.
The other five members cited a need to keep up with technology that only a larger outfit such as SNOPAC could provide that consortium led by the city of Everett and Snohomish County has 71 dispatchers; the Marysville center was the only remaining municipal dispatch center in the north Puget Sound area and currently employs seven dispatchers.
The 5-2 vote came after months of emotional debates, testimony and negotiations. Several dispatchers left City Hall in tears immediately after the vote. They have been promised comparable jobs with the city if they are not picked up by SNOPAC but all lamented the loss of the family atmosphere and service level the police department offered.
Last month more than 100 angry people visited the Marysville City Council Chambers to vent about being included against their will in one of the citys largest annexation attempts.
Property owners in the Sunnyside/Whiskey Ridge area were fuming: covenants they signed when buying their properties obligated them to join the city should a certain number of their neighbors petition to be annexed into the towns boundaries. Speakers ranted, some threatened to run for offices held by current Council members, and few were pleased when the Council voted for the annexation.
The Tulalip Tribes hosted their first farmers market at the brand new Tulalip Amphitheater last weekend.
The inaugural event will be an annual feature and while the Tribes are trying to coax as many tribal and native vendors as possible, there is room for anyone who wants to sell their wares in the green space north of the casino.
We wanted to show off Tulalip, but everyones welcome, explained Mytyl Hernandez, marketing specialist with Quil Ceda Village.
Locals were stunned when a 17-year-old immigrant tossed her newborn baby into a storm water detention pond in the northern part of Marysville. The mother gave birth to the boy in a bathroom and tossed the foundling over the fence surrounding the pond in the middle of the night. Neighbors heard the babys cries and rescued the infant. The action stunned a spokesman for the Marysville Police Department.
This is the first one that Im aware of, I dont remember another one, said Cmdr. Ralph Krusey.
The Marysville School Board plays musical chairs, shifting member Cindy Erickson to district two and appointing Sherri Crenshaw to the district five seat and Darci Becker to represent district three. The moves came as members Carol Jason and Vicki Gates resigned.
Just try to whip up something quick to eat, like nearly a million lunches per school year. Thats the tall order from the Marysville School Board, which abruptly rejected a recommendation to switch food service providers at its July 11 meeting.
The board voted 3-1 to reject the advice of a staff and parent committee to switch food service providers from the current Sodexho School Services Group to Chartwells. Sodexhos five-year deal expires Aug. 31 and staff were expecting board approval to make the switch in August. The board shot down those hopes and told them to go back to the drawing board.
The Tulalip Tribes broke ground on a new $130 million hotel that will tower 12 stories over the casino next to Interstate 5. The resort will boast 363 rooms and will make Quil Ceda Village a destination for gamblers, shoppers and visitors from hundreds of miles around.
A county panel approved the addition of 274 acres to the Sunnyside annexation, bringing more land and people to the citys Urban Growth Area. Residents and adjacent jurisdictions complained to the Washington State Boundary Review Board for Snohomish County but the panel agreed that Marysville is the logical choice to provide municipal services to the Whiskey Ridge area. With the addition, the Sunnyside-Whiskey Ridge annexation will have more than 1,500 acres and 2,500 people stretching to SR 9 down to Soper Hill Road.
Negotiations are being held this week over $650,000 in staff cutbacks for the next year at the Marysville School District.
Members of the union representing para-professionals at the district are objecting to plans to cut 40 classified staff and reduce the hours of the remaining 150 classroom assistants.
Para-professionals tutor children, monitor playgrounds and ride along with special needs students on their daily bus trips to and from school. Members of the Service Employees International Union say the planned cuts will negatively impact students and they resent the fact that the savings will be used to help open new buildings approved by voters in the spring.
This is the biggest layoff we have endured, said Diana McCarthy, a para-professional who said the district in 2001 had 260 workers in her classification and with the proposed cuts the 11,400-student district will have 100 less classroom assistants.
School builders here got a shot in the arm in the form of a $250,000 grant for a new elementary school now in the planning stages.
An elementary school to be built at the intersection of Grove Street and 67th Avenue NE will be the Marysville School Districts 11th, and a grant from the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction will be used to create a more environmentally friendly building that promises to save the district money in the long run by reducing operating expenses.
The $18 million elementary school will be designed to use local materials, according to John Bingham, capital projects manager for the Marysville School District.
The new building will also be designed to use less energy; one of the criteria from the start was to create window-walls that spread natural light evenly through classrooms without losing hear.
The city is asking residents to take a look at a common driveway play implement to make sure that emergency workers arent hampered when responding to calls.
The issue is those ubiquitous portable basketball hoops. On private property they are no problem, but when they are placed on city streets they create a hazard for kids using them and an obstacle for fire engines, street sweepers and garbage collection trucks.
The city is trying to use the soft touch at first planners considered tagging the hoops with stickers explaining the law for the first offense and removing them on the second foul. Instead they will tag the offending hoops with a warning and work to educate residents on the hazards and the laws. Several codes prohibit obstacles for both vehicular traffic and impediments to access by emergency vehicles.
Lakewood suffers another tragedy as Scott Skiles is killed in a wreck on Fire Trail Road. The Lakewood High School cross country star was driving back from visiting his girlfriend in Lake Stevens and was about a mile from his familys home when his pickup collided head-on with a dump truck on a narrow bridge. The 17-year-old was an intense but fun loving young man who was always busy, according to his father Todd, a Marysville podiatrist.
When we went on vacation, when we went on a cruise, he brought his homework with him, said Skiles. He lived life not wanting to miss anything.
An arson fire in the center of town left 10 families homeless at the Westwood Crossing apartment complex on Sept. 6. Smoke rising high in the air brought a three-alarm response from Marysville, Getchell, Arlington, Everett and Lake Stevens fire units, as well as several TV news helicopters overhead. A 14-year-old was charged with first-degree arson and held on $100,000 bail for allegedly setting a couch on fire at the end of Building J.
Face paint is out at Marysville-Pilchuck High School this year leave the face paint at home or expect to be told to wash up or get out.
Several students at the Sept. 8 M-P football game against Snohomish were ejected from Quil Ceda Stadium by school officials for covering up too much of their faces. Earlier that day some students were taken to the corner office for wearing face paint at school. According to M-P principal Tracy Suchan Toothaker, they had more than an M and P on their cheeks, they were also wearing Indian head-dresses. M-P has banned the tomahawk chop and Indian-sounding chants during games as being offensive or culturally insensitive and administrators quickly pounced on the attire.
Beyond the issue of cultural sensitivity for a district that educates more than 1,000 Native Americans, the face painting posses a security risk and gets the kibosh for that reason, whether during the school day or at a sporting event.
When Lake Stevens resident Bill Clough plunked down $1,150.99 for a new Hewlett-Packard laptop at the Lakewood Crossing Costco, he ushered in a wave of new commercial retail activity in Marysville. The $30 million, 148,000-square-foot store is the anchor in a development with nearly a half-million square feet of space, including a Target store that opened in October. Other big names opening in Marysville this fall included a Harley-Davidson dealership across the freeway on Smokey Point Boulevard and a Kohls department store on 116th Street NE.
Im just ecstatic that they are this close now; I dont have to cross over I-5 too badly now, Clough said as he was congratulated by Costco front-end manager Carol Green after making the first purchase in the new store.
Keito Swans family filed two lawsuits claiming $50 million in damages against the Marysville School District and Snohomish County; The Marysville-Pilchuck High School student was hit by a district bus on Oct. 25, 2005. The district settled with Swans family in the fall for $800,000; the money is paid by a state-wide insurance pool and only $1,000 comes from district coffers.
The Marysville Rotary Pumpkins for Literacy Patch opened at the new location at the Plant Farm at Smokey Point. The month-long sale raised funds for the Arlington, Marysville and Lakewood school districts and created a lot of fun for folks in the doing. Over the last seven years the event has raised more than $110,000.
Students at Tulalip Elementary School got Strong-armed last week with a visit from Seattle Seahawk Mack Strong, who kicked off a new Saturday educational program.
The TEAM-WORK Saturday Academy aims to build strong minds, bodies and characters, and Strong and his wife, Zoe, showed up with Seahawks mascot Blitz and a couple of SeaGals cheerleaders to fire up the audience during an Oct. 10 visit.
Zoe Strong is the site coordinator for the program supported by the Project Hope Partnership and has started similar programs in Seattle schools. A Nez Perce Indian, she wanted to get involved with other tribes in the area and picked this school to combine athletics and academics to help fourth- and fifth-graders with a series of Saturday session to create well-rounded students.
The Marysville School District was working hard on plans to split the states second largest high school into smaller academies but an Oct. 12 meeting saw lots of unhappy students and parents. More than 150 people complained about being left in the dark by planners and many honors, advanced placement and highly capable students complained that they would be shortchanged by efforts to stem a 30-percent drop out rate at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. A new 1,600-student high school on Getchell Hill is being designed with small learning communities in mind, and both high schools will incorporate 400-student academies in their new forms.
Neighbors of the Lakewood Crossing shopping center were fuming as traffic clogged roads west of the Smokey Point interchange. Marysville Planners told the Powell Development company to do some more research, but residents of a nearby mobile home park werent pleased. Initial studies showed the new shopping center would attract more than twice the 13,000 daily car trips along Twin Lakes Avenue currently plying the street.
Its a tragedy waiting to happen, said JoAnn DeLazzari, a resident at Crystal Tree Village, a block away from the new Target and Costco.
Im sick and tired of everybody passing the buck, said Crystal Tree manager Elwood Corulli. Its time for some action.
Marysville Getchell will be the new name for a 1,600-student building on 84th Street NE. The Marysville School Board approved the recommendations of a 25-member committee, who also chose Totem Middle School to succeed Marysville Junior High and Grove Elementary School for a new facility at the intersection of 67th Avenue NE and Grove Street in Marysville.
Community Transit has plans for an 11-acre transit center for the Smokey Point area at 169th Street and a two-acre park and ride lot for downtown Marysville.
There are 20 park and ride lots in Snohomish County, and the three in Marysville are already at capacity. Two lots near I-5 and SR 528 downtown are filled on a daily basis; they are augmented by a smaller one at the 116th Street on-ramp. The latter will likely be closed when the interchange is improved and CT is wants to keep pace as traffic grows in the north Snohomish County area.
The agency has scheduled a pair of open houses to gauge community interest and hear from locals. Currently there are 60 bus trips in each direction on State Avenue each day, and 1.1 million bus passengers boarded CT buses in town last year.
We know that the demand for bus riders up there is growing, explained Martin Munguia, public information officer for Community Transit.
CT has put dibs on a two-acre plot of land next to the railroad tracks on the northeast corner of Grove Street and Cedar Avenue. That site could hold 226 cars and would help relieve pressure on the Ash Avenue lots a few blocks away. Rail access could provide commuter rail service in the future and the lot could be used for community events like parades and the like, according to CT public affairs director Todd Morrow. Morrow spoke to the Oct. 23 Marysville City Council meeting, noting that there are 600 spaces between the two Ash Avenue lots and 70 at 116th Street.
If the Pilchuck Chargers are to ever ride again, they will have to convince Marysville students to come along for the ride. If they do ride again, they may take their green-and-gold colors into the sunset with them.
As a committee works to recommend names for several new and current Marysville schools, the question of the mascot and colors for a new high school on Getchell Hill will be kicked over to the students who will likely attend the $79 million building when it opens five years from now.
The green-and-gold Chargers were the mascot for Pilchuck High School, which was merged with Marysville High School in 1976. The combined campus took on the red-and-white colors and the Tomahawk mascot of Marysville High School during the merger, and promises were made to alumni and students that the Chargers would be revived again someday. That is important to some members of the 25-member committee considering the matter, but a consensus emerged last week that todays students should be consulted. Three committee members are students from Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Marysville Junior High School and Cedarcrest Middle School, and they were given the option to consult their peers before the committee sends three options to the Marysville School Board for consideration at their Nov. 27 meeting.
Voters approved a funding increase for the Marysville Fire District that will provide crews for a new firehouse in the Sunnyside area as well as a transition to a full-time staff. Separate votes were needed at the Nov. 7 poll for both the city of Marysville and the rest of the 55-square-mile district to increase property taxes to pay for firefighter salaries. The new 9,000-square-foot station will be built on about two acres at a 26-acre site owned by Marysville. Transitioning to a permanent, full-time staff will be completed by 2009, according to Greg Corn, Marysville Fire Chief.
It was a dark and stormy night, but that just made for a sunny and cold play day as approximately five inches of snow shut schools in the north Snohomish County area.
Lakewood, Arlington and Marysville schools were closed for at least Monday, and depending on weather conditions could face further closures. In downtown Marysville children had a field day in Jennings Memorial Park, sledding and snowboarding down the hills by the Dinosaur Park and next to the Kiwanis Fishing Pond.
It was a busy morning as youngsters converged on the park; Dakota Rice was on his cell phone as he snowboarded down the steep slopes next to the barn, trying to coax a friend to face the elements. The Anacortes teen was in town visiting and said he doesnt always chat on the cell while snowboarding.
The Martin family made the trek from across the street to give their 2 1/2-year-old Aunna a chance to prance in the white stuff.
She likes it, we cant get her out of it, said mother Sarah, who was being pulled in a sled with Aunna by her husband Nick.
It was a very merry festival of lights last weekend as folks from this city braved the cold to see the annual holiday parade on Dec. 2.
Thousands of people lined State Avenue to watch the Merrysville for the Holidays Parade, billed as a festival of lights on a new, shorter route down the towns main drag.
Floats from around the area made the trek from City Hall to Comeford Park, and it was a line-up of the usual suspects, with the Sea-Fair Pirates, Girl Scouts, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School marching band and several drill teams joining fire trucks and police cars.
The Saturday event dodged some wicked weather earlier in the week, and Comeford Park still had snow on the ground as throngs of people listened to a mariachi band usher in the holidays at the Rotary Pavilion while warming up around a blazing fire pit. They were also hitting up the warm chowder and hot cider, while the Marysville Kiwanis did great business with hot dogs, popcorn and other goodies. Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall led the count to light up the city water tower; earlier fire fighters from the Marysville Fire District had strung the lights on the citys icon.
The main event was the parade, with about 20 entries and a cliffhanger to boot. The last minute entry by Thornberry Racing took the award for Best Use of Lights: they had two of their stock cars displayed on flatbed trailers draped with strings of color. The Mayors Award went to the rookies from Sound Harley-Davidson, who had a motorcycle carrying Santa Claus made of lights on the back of their pickup, while they followed a pair of Hogs down the street.
For two Marysville couples, dinner and a movie turned into a real-life drama on a Saturday night two weekends ago.
We had planned to see Bobby, said Kathy Famelos, referring to the Emilio Estevez movie about Robert F. Kennedy, But we all decided to eat in Everett. That took longer than we thought it would and we missed the start time for that show.
We ended up going to Truer Than Fiction, the Will Ferrell movie, said her husband, Gregg Famelos, which, by the way, I wouldnt give one star. Both couples remembered the movie by that title, although it is actually called Stranger Than Fiction.
That combination of events, as often happens in life, changed the course of the evening for the Fameloses and Don and Debbie Whitfield, into something that might be categorized as truer than fiction itself.
Kathy Famelos said if not for that the couples would have been riding in separate cars and going in opposite directions home after the movie.
Instead they were riding south together on State Avenue when they passed Alfys Pizza on the 9300 block. They noticed a Snohomish County Sheriffs squad car parked obliquely, lights flashing and what looked like a fight on the ground next to it. They slowed down.
That officer is on the bottom, said Debbie Whitfield. What came next, they say, was an automatic reaction. The deputy needed help.
They pulled into the parking lot. The two men jumped out of the car. Don Whitfield, who wrestled on the Monroe high school squad where he grew up, remembers thinking they needed to get the guy off the officer and subdued. I just thought the basics, he said. Get the guy in a half-Nelson. They could clearly see the man repeatedly pummeling the officer in the face.
Famelos and Whitfield rushed the guy and tackled him on to his back. The two then subdued him for two or three minutes, said Whitfield, although he said later it was like the surreal time of a car wreck when things go into slow motion. Another officer showed up and they cuffed the man.
Every year for the last 12 years, Lillie Lein, coordinator for Operation Marysville Community Christmas, starts with nothing but 600-700 needy families, 400-500 of those with children, looking at a bleak Christmas.
Every year, said Lein, who is Deputy Clerk for Marysville in her day job, the community comes through. Needed help comes from generous individuals, civic groups, merchants, school organizations and civil servants.
When you see how much the whole community has given, including the volunteers like Lillie and many others, you really see how this works, said Wayne Zachry, Marysville Rotary Club President. Individual Rotary Club members paid for 60 of 66 bicycles and hundreds of dollars in gift cards to the effort, which were collected by the club and presented to Lein for distribution.
The Lions, Kiwanis and Soroptimist Clubs also give to the effort, Lein said. And merchants are very, very generous. Wal-Mart provided the bicycles, including donating six outright, and also portable CD players, everything at considerably below retail. Target, Fred Meyer, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, local theaters, and Zumiez, a national teen clothing retailer headquartered in Everett, were equally generous.
Lein said K-Mart, Thriftway, North County Bank and Home Street Bank put up Christmas trees with gift tags. Locals selected a gift tag from the tree, purchased the present and returned it to the tree for later collection by volunteers to the Marysville Food Bank, which acts as the lead for the campaign and adds food for eventual distribution to the families. DECA students from the high school and other students there, as well as from other middle and elementary schools have done projects and volunteered as well.
Our local firefighters, with their Santa Runs, also contribute food and gifts, Lein said.
Its tale of two cities and the writing is on the walls. For Marysville, that is just the problem.
The city is vowing to put an end to a year filled with graffiti and vandalism and some folks here are looking around to see how other towns got on top of a similar problem a few years ago.
Vandals have hit a number of targets over the last year, including several hits on Marysville parks, including the Strawberry Fields soccer complex north of town, the perennial favorite Skate Park a block from State Avenue, and Jennings Memorial Park, which saw garbage cans thrown into the Kiwanis Fishing Pond and other damage.
When City Hall got tagged in the summer the gloves came off and the City Council formed a graffiti task force to deal with the issue.
Jeff Vaughan is a City Council member who felt the sting of vandalism when his teenagers Eagle Scout project was trashed in Jennings Nature Park. Chris Vaughan is a 15-year-old who plays Taps on his bugle during ceremonies each Memorial Day and he installed two benches in Jennings Park for his Boys Scouts project.
Those benches are now covered in graffiti, said his father. It broke my heart as a father when my son returned to show off his work and somebody covered his work with graffiti. Its just not right and we have to do something about this.