A look back at some of Marysville's top stories of 2008
December 31, 2008 · Updated 9:51 AM
A look back at some of the stories that appeared on the pages of The Marysville Globe 2008.
Lakewood School Superintendent Larry Francois said his district would need to make some $3 million to $4 million in budget cuts should voters ultimately decide against renewal of an existing maintenance and operating levy.
Francois said the levy currently generates about 17 percent of the district’s budget. “There’s no way we could absorb that kind of hit,” he said.
Chancellor Kenyon Chan, of the University of Washington’s Bothell campus, shared his thoughts on the value of higher education with the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce Jan. 9 and, perhaps, inadvertently, offered tidbits of home to advocates of a north county campus.
After relaying statistics on the economic benefit of college degrees (“A B.A. gets an average income of $54,000 and a M.A. gets an average income of $71,000), he went on to say that college graduates make better citizens and college campuses are huge economic engines as well as cultural institutions.
When Joseph Spengler retired at 62, he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do.
He was certain of one thing. “I didn’t want to sit down and do nothing,” he said. Instead, Spengler started hiking. One walk took him past a gym where a flyer advertised organized climbs of Mt. Rainier. Spengler eventually did take a shot at Rainier and made it up a number of the mountains that border I-90.
All those experiences, however, turned out to be a warm up to the morning of Dec. 24. That’s when Spengler, 68, reached Uhuru Peak, the 19,340-foot-high summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the African continent.
Your calendar most likely tells you it is late in January. So why then is The Marysville Globe carrying a story on flu season? It’s over, or at least nearly over, isn’t it?
Actually, according to Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District, flu season normally arrives in western Washington along with the end of December. This year it arrived even later, Goldbaum said, actually just in the last few weeks.
Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed noted the upcoming Feb. 19 primaries, as well as the November general presidential election, are historic in that, for the first time since 1952, neither an incumbent president nor an incumbent vice president will be running.
And with the state hosting it first presidential primaries since 2000, Reed and other observers also are convinced Washington voters can have a direct effect on who gains the major party nominations later this year.
The mailings have gone out and the phone calls are underway, said Tina Ross, one of two co-chairs of a committee working for the passage of a pair of ballot issues benefitting the Lakewood School District.
In this case, the school issues are a replacement program and operations levy and a smaller technology levy.
“At this point, we’re kind of in a holding pattern,” said city Chief Administrative Officer Mary Swenson. “We’re in kind of a ‘wait and see’ mode.”
Swenson was referring to the city’s long, but on-going efforts to land a proposed branch campus of the University of Washington. Those efforts underwent sort of a sidestep last week. At a hearing Feb. 12, the state Senate Ways and Means Committee put on hold three pieces of legislation connected to the construction of the potential campus.
According to Swenson and others, the move means there is little chance of the campus earning legislative approval in the Senate anytime soon.
The election won’t be certified until March, but Lakewood Superintendent Larry Francois said he is feeling pretty good about the numbers coming from the Snohomish County Board of Elections.
“We’re reasonably confident,” Francois said.
Lakewood had two levies on the Feb. 19 ballot.
Proposition 1 is a maintenance and operating levy that would replace an existing levy set to expire at the end of this year.
Proposition 2 will give the district additional dollars for what officials call technology improvements at the schools.
According to unofficial numbers released by the elections board Feb. 22, Lakewood Proposition 1 was passing with 1,779 votes in favor and 1,236 votes against, or 59 percent for to 41 percent against.
Voters also were showing support for Prop 2, if to a smaller extent. The issue was passing 1,657 to 1,349, or 55 percent to 44 percent.
Staged early the morning of Feb. 29 in the Crystal Masonic Lodge on Fifth Street, the actual presentation was quick and to the point.
With the help of one of those oversized checks good for photo ops, Marysville Rotary President Gordy Bjorg presented the local historical society with a quarter-million dollar shot in the arm.
The $250,000 funding is aimed at the society’s proposed $3 million museum.
Besides the check presentation, the morning also featured a keynote speech from Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, a big supporter of preserving the state’s heritage.
“It’s exciting,” Marysville Historical Society President Ken Cage said of the Rotary’s donation.
With the Rotary contribution and some others the society hopes to receive shortly, Cage believes fundraising for the proposed museum will top $1 million within the next few weeks.
“I believed I was going to die from the grief,” said one-time Marysville resident Jenny Wieland Ward.
Ward’s daughter Amy Ragan was murdered at age 17 in an Everett apartment on Nov. 21, 1992. During the lengthy course of the trial of her daughter’s accused killer, the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office referred Ward to an advocacy agency, Families and Friends of Missing Persons and Violent Crime Victims.
Eventually, as you might expect, Ward became a volunteer for Friends and Families, taking the required 40-hour training course to become a facilitator for support groups. In 1994, she founded her won organization, Mothers Against Violence in America. But, in July 2002 her returned to Friends and Families, this time as executive director.
“All in all, we were very, very lucky,” said Lt. Jeff Goldman, spokesperson for the Marysville Police Department, referring to the early morning collision between a train and semi-truck in Marysville, March 17.
Late the afternoon of March 17, after jumping their tracks, the remnants of three locomotive engines and one train car sat looking like something out of a movie on the west side of the 133rd block of State Avenue.
That jumble was in addition to the remains of a semi-trailer load of frozen food that was flung here and there along the street.
Nevertheless, Goldman said no one was seriously injured, there were no fires and no explosions when the northbound train collided with the westbound semi about 5:50 a.m., March 17. Goldman noted high tension power lines near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks were complete unscathed.
According to Goldman, the tractor-trailer was on a private drive pulling into the industrial park near the Pacific Grinding Co., 13120 State Ave., when it was struck by the Burlington Northern train.
Because it’s fun and it’s cool. Oh, and the possibility of picking up $3,000 in scholarship money doesn’t hurt. Those three reasons were at or near the top of the lists given by all five of the local teens vying in the April Friesner Royalty Scholarship Pageant of the Marysville Strawberry Festival.
They were Lila Hart, Michelle Giesler, Danielle Wilcoxson, Che Renouard and Michael Running. In the end, Wilcoxson was named Queen and Hart and Renouard were named Princesses.
Launched in the 1990s as Project Salmon and aimed at preserving and enriching the history and culture of the Tulalip Tribes, the appropriately named Heritage High School now has a permanent home.
The Marysville School District opened the doors to that new home for 86 Native American students March 17. Heritage is the second building to become operational on the district’s so-called options campus off 27th Avenue on the Tulalip Reservation.
Among the dozen or so volunteers on hand, the consensus seemed to be the first attempt would take at least an hour.
Still, when the brand new 2008 Marysville Strawberry Festival float rolled down the ramp from the trailer that will house and carry from event to event, the time needed to fully assemble the creation was about half those initial estimates.
Reflecting the “Wish Upon a Berry” slogan for this year’s festival, the whimsical float bears a genie and fanciful Middle Eastern theme. A man-sized strawberry, complete with arms, legs and a smiling face, rides a magic carpet in the center of the float
With the opening last month of its seventh “mid-major” anchor tenant, the city’s biggest retail development to date is essentially complete in its spot on Twin Lakes Boulevard.
President of Lakewood Crossing owner Powell Development, Peter Powell said only one major tenant has yet to arrive. He added a lease has been signed clearing the way for development of an IHOP restaurant on the last of the center’s four restaurant “pads.”
Another of those pads was filled earlier this year with the arrival of Boston’s Gourmet Pizza. The restaurant opened Jan. 21.
Discount retailer Marshalls filled Lakewood Crossing’s last remaining anchor space, opening in mid-March. Powell Development Vice-President Don Barker said Marshalls claimed the seventh and last mid-sized anchor space available in the center’s current configuration.
Obviously interrelated, water quality and salmon were probably the two most popular topics of discussion during the Earth Day celebration April 19 along the city’s stretch of Ebey Slough.
Standing by a small aquarium filled with various types of young salmon, Kip Killebrew of the Stillaguamish Tribal Hatchery said everything from lawn fertilizers to the types of plants lining local waterways could affect local salmon.
He added that unfortunately, hatcheries such as that run by the Stillaguamish are necessary to keep up the numbers of fish in local waters.
With an emphasis on preparing for the upcoming annexation of some 20,000 new residents, Police Chief Rick Smith last week unveiled a detailed “business plan” for his department.
The lengthy, detailed document covers everything from staffing goals to deployments to possible expansion of the city jail.
Smith’s department currently consists of 83 employees, including 53 sworn officers, 11 custody officers and 13 civilian workers. However, with the annexation of the city’s Urban Growth Area north of Marysville’s current boundaries, Smith sees a need for some 23 new additional employees by 2010 at the latest.
That number includes 11 new patrol officers Smith wants ready to patrol the substantial acreage of the annexation area that is criss-crossed by 67.6 miles of roads. Department predictions see calls for service jumping by some 25 percent.
No one seemed positive, but the best guess from those on hand was that this weekend’s Kiwanis Fishing Derby constituted the 19th annual event.
Still, no matter how many years kids and their families have gathered to reel in the fish from the Kiwanis pond at the Jennings Memorial Park, the 2008 derby did feature a first — a golf club, according to one observer.
While the golf club attracted some attention, what kids were really after were the hundreds of four- or five-pound rainbow trout stocked in the pond courtesy of the Marysville Kiwanis and other sponsors, including the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club.
With only a few changes from what officials have presented in the past, the city Planning Commission, May 6, passed a long-awaited master plan for the Smokey Point area.
The plan now goes to City Council which can accept the plan as it stands, alter it any way they like or send it back to planners.
With city officials aiming to bring in commercial and light industrial development, the Smokey Point scheme affects 675 acres sitting between 172nd Street NE and 152nd Street NE to the north and south and from 43rd Avenue and to the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks, west to east.
“I’m very proud of the city staff for all the time they put into making this a good area for business,” said Planning Commission member Becky Foster.
School Board President Cindy Erickson talked about how this particular day was more than a decade in the making.
Long before she was a member of the school board, Erickson said she attended a PTSA meeting as a parent and heard about how the district’s number one need was for a new high school.
Nevertheless, voters waited until 2006 to pass a $79 million bond issue to support construction of what will be Marysville Getchell High School. Local officials expect the state to pitch in approximately $16 million, making the total project cost about $96 million.
On what was easily the warmest day of the year so far, city and school officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new campus May 17.
Speakers no doubt made very similar comments at very similar ceremonies around the country on May 26, Memorial Day 2008.
Still, the thought of World War II veteran Leonard Martin summed more than nicely why about 100 or so people gathered in the Marysville Cemetery for a brief, roughly half-hour ceremony.
“We must not forget those who gave their ultimate,” Martin said simply, later especially asking those in attendance to make sure their children and grandchildren understand history and some of the military sacrifices made for their sake.
A World War II POW, Martin was the guest speaker for the Marysville Memorial Day ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 178.
During his brief speech, Martin touched on a few subjects, recalling how, just shortly after he graduated high school, he learned of a friend who had been killed in Europe. He was moved to join the service and later named a son after that lost friend.
As expected, City Council on May 27 passed new rules allowing police to address the illegal use of fireworks in the city as a civil offense.
Although the potential $500 fine is less than the possible criminal penalties several officials said the expect enforcement of the fireworks rules to increase.
Naturally, the evening was focused on the graduates who filled the main floor of Comcast Arena at the Everett Events Center. Still, parents and family were just as happy and excited as those in the spotlight.
Judging from the comments of Tulalip Tribes member Able Paco, the story involves not wasting resources, human or natural, and generosity.
“You have to realize we have to be able to make changes to who we are,” said Paco, a recent graduate of Heritage High School and one of the 25 or so of the school’s students who helped create a story pole as a gift for the Marysville School District’s Quil Ceda Elementary School.
On June 10, accompanied by traditional song, members of the Tulalip Tribes raised the finished 15-foot pole into place in front of the school on the Tulalip Reservation.
There is no official count, but Marysville Strawberry Festival organizers are thinking there was a pretty healthy sized crowd lining State Avenue for the 2008 Grand Parade.
Admitting she is lousy at guessing at crowd figures, festival board member Jodi Hiatt put the number of parade watchers at around 30,000. Fellow festival board member Carol Kapua guessed the crowd came closer to 50,000.
In any case, whatever the actually tally, both agreed the crowd probably was the largest ever to watch the parade. All told, the parade featured nearly 140 entries ranging from the Seattle Seafair Pirates to, of course, the official Strawberry Festival float.
The numbers aren’t huge admitted Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux of the Marysville Police Department. Still, he said the numbers are significantly higher than in past years.
Armed for the first time with the ability to write civil citations for fireworks offenses, Lamoureux said police handed out 12 such citations in the days leading up to the July 4 holiday. They also gave out four criminal citations, also for fireworks offenses.
In past years, Lamoureux said. Police generally wrote two to four fireworks citations in total.
The wind carries it to different spots and different people describe it in different way.
But for now, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency alleges the source of an odor that has been reaching the city is the Cedar Grove Composting Plant on Smith Island in Everett.
On this particular day, the group gathered to tend the garden plot across the street from Sunnyside Nursery is a small one.
Nonetheless, as they pull weeds from the muddy field, they voice plenty of enthusiasm. After a month or so of work, today might be the first time the have enough mature vegetables to pick off the vines and stalks and take to the Marysville Community Food Bank.
The budding garden is the result of a collaboration between the Marysville-Pilchuck High School’s International School of Communication and Sunnyside Nursery, which provided space for the garden along with donating seeds, plants and water.
“It’s just something we can do to give back to the city of Marysville,” said Steve Ross, a physician who volunteered to help staff the emergency medical tent during the 2008 Summer Jubilee at Asbery Field, Aug. 10.
Now boasting dozens of sponsors and organized by 14 local churches, Summer Jubilee started out as a fairly simple project undertaken by Marysville’s Turning point Church. For the first Jubilee, the congregation got together and gave out about 50 bags of free school supplies and held a potluck dinner for church members.
Prior to this year’s Jubilee, event coordinator Judi Johnston said volunteers handed out 5,500 bags of school stuffs in 2007. On the day of the event, volunteers said they expected the 2008 Jubilee at least to match that number.
Marysville-Pilchuck grad Haley Nemra competed in the Olympic women’s 800 meters preliminaries in Beijing.
In the Aug. 15 preliminaries, Nemra raced on behalf of her father’s country, the Marshall Islands, in the second of six heats, finishing the course in 2:18.83.
Nemra, who did not qualify for the semifinals, will remain in Beijing throughout the events and will return to the U.S. afterward to begin classes at the University of San Francisco.
If they hadn’t risked their lives and thought outside the box, the Lakewood Elementary School building would have been lost.
The five women and three men who fought the July 23 fire at the LES building were celebrated by the Lakewood School District and the Marysville Fire District Aug. 20. Art Cooper and Jim Venturo were absent, but Angela Ramirez, Tracy Melton, Terri Virdell, Jamie Miller, Dawn Taylor and Justin Bradely were handed plaques and flowers in honor of their hero status.
“Put it to a standstill,” were the words George Clayton used in answer to a question on how State Avenue construction is affecting his business.
He said Saturdays used to be his busiest days. But with the arrival of construction in front of his Home Town Heating Stove Shop, Clayton said his weekend customers have dropped to a trickle.
Clayton is not alone in his complaints regarding the construction that began in June. The $12 million project eventually will see State, also known as Smokey Point Boulevard, widened to five lanes between 136th and 152nd.
For Dennis Haddock, education has been a lifelong love.
“My grandma was a math teacher,” said Haddock, who was starting his first school year as superintendent of the Lakewood School District July 1. “I had wonderful experiences with education growing up and fond memories of the positive relationships that my teachers developed with their students. That’s instrumental when you’re at a young age and it makes education a worthwhile profession.”
Haddock served as assistant superintendent to Larry Francois for three years before being promoted by the Lakewood School District Board of Directors, and has accumulated 28 years of experience in public education. After having worked in the Lake Stevens, Mukilteo, Anacortes and Olympia school districts, Haddock concluded that a community like Lakewood would be an ideal fit for him.
The state board charged with finding a location for a possible new branch campus of the University of Washington hired a sort of mediator to help resolve what became an impasse over the location questions.
In a memo e-mailed to state legislator in Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties, the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board said it had brought on attorney and former state government executive Bill Wilkerson to negotiate a decision on the campus site and write a final report on the location question.
Grove Elementary welcomed its first students into the fresh, new building Sept. 2.
But officials held off on an official ribbon cutting for the Marysville School District’s 11th elementary school until a formal ceremony on Sept. 25.
As of late the week of Sept. 22, one observer said about all that was left of more than 100 years of history was a few scraps that workers were loading into dumpsters.
“It’s kind of sad,” said Tom Ross, who described himself as a fourth generation Marysville resident who had relatives, including his father, who attended the old Kellogg Marsh School near the intersection of 100th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE.
Built in 1902 according to newspaper articles written years later, the school was torn down the week of Sept. 22, said Henry Otter, whose sister has owned the school property for a while.
Otter said the structure, originally a one-room school, was in extremely bad shape. He said city officials complained about the building to Snohomish County, which in turn forced Otter and his sister, Evelyn Mount, to have it demolished.
Asbery Field was blanketed with volunteers Oct. 11, as members of local churches, schools and city staff teamed up to “Serve Marysville.”
According to Kari Lewis, of the Turning Point Church in Marysville, more than 200 volunteers were drawn from more than half a dozen local churches, the Marysville School District and the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation staff, to descend on the baseball and football fields of Totem Middle School with gloves, shovels, wheelbarrows and backhoes.
The volunteers landscaped an area for a sign, refurbished and extended several trail paths, planted close to 40 trees, removed a batting cage, replaced bleachers and improved the fields themselves.
Marysville residents of all ages had chances to celebrate the “spooky season” in safe ways, as the city, its businesses and senior communities all hosted Halloween events.
Jennings Park was once again the site of the annual Halloween egg hunt Oct. 30, which city of Marysville Athletic Coordinator Dave Hall came up with three years ago for a simple reason.
“It was easy to get orange and black plastic eggs,” Hall laughed, as he estimated that approximately 2,000 plastic eggs were laid out for 55 children aged 11-15.
A gray, rainy day became a lot brighter for the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club Nov. 11, when hundreds of community members, Home Depot employees and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram came together to build a playground for the Boys and Girls Club in a single day.
The playground includes a 360-degree spiral slide, a duo rumble slide, lily pods, a rock block wall, a grid climbing wall, a tire swing, six picnic tables and benches, two trash containers and roughly 200 stepping stones.
More than 900 families will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving thanks to the generosity of the businesses and people of Marysville, and the hard work and dedication of a group of very caring volunteers.
The Marysville Community Food Bank will be handing out Thanksgiving food baskets this week to help families in the community.
After 100 years in operation, it’s still going strong. The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce celebrated its centennial in style Dec. 4, with so many distinguished guests that it was rendered standing room only at several points during the evening.
The third-grade students of the Marysville Co-op Program have been busy this holiday season. On Dec. 9, the 24 students of Shawn Jenkins’ class delivered 1,807 pounds of food items to the Marysville Community Food Bank.
In less than two weeks, the students had collected that much food from the parents’ pantries and workplaces, as well as generous local businesses such as WinCo Foods and the Grocery Outlet.
The Marysville Community Food Bank hosted a fundraising dinner at its new location Dec. 16 that drew a veritable Who’s Who of the community and put food bank members and volunteers in a mood to reflect on their past and plan for their future.