Bikinis for beach not business, mom tells council

MARYSVILLE – A Marysville mom complained to the City Council Monday night that she doesn’t like that a bikini barista stand has opened up in the center of town at the corner of State and Grove. Natasha Coumou said there are three schools in that neighborhood, so kids are always walking around. She said she and her husband bought their first home here because they thought the town was family friendly.

“They’re not selling coffee; they’re selling looks,” she said, adding that it “objectifies women, and it’s not appropriate. It gives a bad impression.”

Mayor Jon Nehring said, “We share your concern.”

He said the city wishes it could not allow such businesses in town, but that Everett tried to do that and lost legal action in court.

Police Chief Rick Smith said he doesn’t like it either. “Family is huge for me,” he said.

As a result, when those types of businesses have come to town in the past, police watch very carefully to make sure no illegal acts take place.

He added that this new one already has received one citation when a barista showed too much skin. “We’ll keep up the pressure,” he said.

City Attorney Jon Walker said the baristas can’t show any more than what would be seen at a beach. “They were showing more,” he said, adding if that continues the business could lose its license.

Coumou still wasn’t happy because kids can just walk up there and see.

“It’s not like an adult establishment where you have to show I.D.,” she said.

Pickleball popular

Meanwhile, a local club is in a pickle, and it’s looking to see if the city is sweet or sour about it.

The Marysville-Tulalip Pickleball Club has been using the tennis courts at Totem Middle School to play on. But the school district wants it to move somewhere else because of tape used to make the courts smaller.

Lynn Shinnick said they have everything they need, but the courts.

“Those we don’t have,” she said.

She’s asking for the city’s endorsement and support and possibly to partner with the school district to resurface some existing courts.

Shinnick said pickleball is a growing sport played by “all generations.” The game is taught in many middle schools. But most of its interest is from senior citizens because it’s easy on the joints.

Council Member Jeff Vaughan was intrigued with the possibility. He said usually the city’s focus in recreation is with the youth and young adults. But he liked the idea of something for seniors.

Although not a senior, Council Member Michael Stephens said he likes to play pickleball with friends, and he supports more recreation in the city.

Rick Bomar of Marysville said he helped turn some little-used tennis courts in Edmonds into a thriving recreation area where there are leagues and tournaments, bringing in people from out of town. Edmonds teamed with the Rotary and Boys and Girls Club on that project. Badminton can be played there, too, because the dimensions of the courts are the same.

Shinnick said the local club is playing at the Marysville YMCA, “but not all can afford to belong” there.

She showed pages and pages of locations where cities statewide have such courts, but “We’re not on this list.”

Shinnick, of Arlington, went on to say that such a facility would fit perfectly with the city’s vision that stresses the importance of recreation, health and exercise. Such courts are also economic. One tennis court can hold four pickleball courts. So four times as many participants can exercise in the same amount of space.

The game also is social. “It’s as much about the fun as the competition,” she said.

And it’s an easy game to learn. “It’s a fast learning curve,” she said.

In other council news:

•It approved the sale of $12.6 million in bonds for the First Street Bypass project.

•It approved almost $1 million for a project to widen 88th Street between State and 67th Avenue NE.

•It approved adopting a state law on extreme risk protection orders.

•It approved Quinn Avenue sidewalks to be added to its Transportation Benefit District projects.

•It OK’d a bid for a road striping program.

•Nehring proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 13-19 Police Week in the city.

•He also proclaimed June as Men’s Health Month in Marysville.

•In a consent item, the city will rent out outdoor video services to Lake Stevens.

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