2016 Edmonds news in review: January-June

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    My Edmonds News reviews the top stories of 2016, starting with January-June. Did we miss something you thought was important? Leave a comment below.

    January 2016

    Henry Nelson, 3, is delighted as his dad, newly-elected Councilmember Mike Nelson, is sworn in by Edmonds Mayor Davie Earling. (File photo by Teresa Wippel)

    Following a spirited election season in 2015, five newly-elected — or re-elected — Edmonds City Councilmembers and the mayor were sworn in on Jan. 5 during the first council meeting of 2016. Councilmember Kristiana Johnson was also elected council president, replacing 2015 Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

    Dick’s Drive-in founder Dick Spady joined family members as he cuts the ribbon for the new Edmonds Dick’s in October 2011. (File photo by Char Blankenship)

    Dick Spady, the namesake and co-founder of beloved local burger chain Dick’s Drive-In, died early Sunday, Jan. 10 at the age of 92. After more than 115,000 people voted in an online poll, Edmonds was selected as the site for the most recent addition to the chain. It opened on Highway 99 near 220th Street Southwest to much fanfare in 2011, as the first new Dick’s in nearly four decades.

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    Edmonds-Woodway High School Librarian Karen Rautenberg, left, and Principal Terrance Mims present Edmonds Bookshop owner MaryKay Sneeringer with a ceremonial check for $5,000. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    It was a day of surprises and smiles when a contingent of educators from the Edmonds School District descended on the Edmonds Bookshop Jan. 14 to begin a $5,000 shopping spree. And no one was more surprised than bookshop owner MaryKay Sneeringer, who was handed a ceremonial check to cover the cost of books to be used in the District’s annual “Battle of the Books” competition.

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    Addressing a long-standing request from residents and visitors alike, the City of Edmonds is moving forward with a plan to install public restrooms in downtown Edmonds by this summer. Patrick Doherty, Edmonds Director of Economic Development and Community Services, said the city was meeting Jan. 19 with Barker Landscape Architects to review options for a prefab restroom building that would be placed in the parking lot just south of City Hall on 5th Avenue North.

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    Also on Jan. 19, the city announced that the Edmonds public fishing pier would be closed during the coming spring so that workers could repair and restore key structural elements and give the 40-year-old structure a needed face-lift.

    The stolen car involved in the Jan. 21, 2016 police pursuit. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Police Department)

    A 15-year-old SeaTac boy was arrested in the 19200 block of Highway 99 in Shoreline Jan. 21 after the stolen car he was driving crashed following a police pursuit through Edmonds. After the crash, the driver and three occupants — all uninjured — fled on foot. A Lynnwood K9 unit tracked them to the crawl space of a nearby house.

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    E-W’s Spencer Schultz won against Meadowdale’s Liam Ball, a grueling physical match that went to triple overtime. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

    Edmond-Woodway High School continued its domination in the Wesco South in wrestling, defeating cross-town rival Meadowdale 68-4 to lock up its third consecutive Wesco South 3A title Jan. 21.

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    City Councilmember Dave Teitzel discusses proposal evaluation criteria with citizens. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    It was a night for interested citizens to have their say about the future of the Edmonds waterfront as the second of four planned Waterfront Access Study open house meetings got underway Jan. 27 in the Library Plaza Room. The first open house, held in November 2015, began the public process by inviting citizens to submit their thoughts and ideas for improving access to a waterfront district that is increasingly cut off from the rest of the community by expanding train traffic.

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    Jon Becker, right, accepts the food bank check from Rotarian Jeff Scherrer. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    In an early-morning presentation Jan. 26, Edmonds Food Bank volunteer Jon Becker was honored as the 2016 Professional of the Year by the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club. In addition to running the daily operations of the food bank, which serves more than 400 families in need each week, Becker has been in the forefront of obtaining more than $100,000 in grants and other funding for major equipment purchases including huge walk-in freezers and coolers.

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    After the Edmonds City Council approved a state-required critical areas ordinance at its Jan. 26 council meeting, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said he would veto it, setting the stage for yet more discussion about the regulation governing the city’s wetlands, streams and geologically hazardous and frequently flooded areas.

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    The Edmonds School Board at its Jan. 26 meeting elected officers for the 2016 year. The new legislative representative is Carin Chase. Ann McMurray is the new vice president. Susan Phillips is returning to her position as school board president. She was president of the school board before resigning in 2014 for family reasons, but ran again and was re-elected in November 2015.

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    Edmonds police were seeking a suspect in the stabbing of a 49-year-old Edmonds man who was found wounded at the James Village Hobby Lobby store Jan. 27. According to Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hawley, the victim was stabbed Wednesday night during a fight with his roommate at Andy’s Motel on Edmonds’ Highway 99. Lynnwood police were called to Hobby Lobby in the 19600 block of Highway 99 after the victim entered the store with multiple stab wounds to his head and chest. The man was transported to Harborview, where he underwent surgery and was reported in stable condition.

    The Meadowdale Mavericks pose on the championship podium at the 2016 WIAA State Cheerleading Championships. (Photo courtesy of the WIAA)

    The Meadowdale Mavericks cheer squad on Jan. 30 won their fifth state cheerleading championship over the past 11 years, earning the top spot in the 2A/3A/4A Non-Tumbling Large division at the 2016 WIAA State Cheerleading Championships in Seattle.

    February

    The Edmonds School District Board of Directors has scheduled public meetings to gather input from the public on their search for a new superintendent. Superintendent Nick Brossoit in December 2015 announced his plan to retire at the end of the school year.

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    It’s back to the drawing board for the City of Edmonds critical areas ordinance. In response to Mayor Dave Earling’s veto last week of the City Council-approved regulation — which governs the city’s wetlands, streams and geologically hazardous and frequently flooded areas — the council decided to pull the item off the Feb. 2 agenda and essentially start from scratch.

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    The Edmonds City Council Feb. 2 approved an ordinance establishing a new, nine-member Citizens Economic Development Commission. The City Council allowed the previous 17-member Economic Development Commission to sunset at the end of December. Mayor Dave Earling proposed to the city council establishment of a new, smaller commission, which was approved.

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    The old (top) and newly-approved (bottom) wall design. in the former design, each wall section included a different military service emblem. in the new design, the emblems are located on one wall.

    After criticism from some community members — including Edmonds European travel guru Rick Steves — that the design for a new Edmonds Veterans Plaza was promoting the military rather than honoring veterans, the Edmonds City Council Feb. 2 approved a revised plan for the project. City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite told the council that there have been concerns “from a few citizens” that the project was “too militaristic…and it wasn’t welcoming.”

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    There’s new construction activity at 220th Street Southwest and Highway 99 as the southwest corner of the WinCo parking area prepares to become home to several yet-to-be identified new retail shops. The developer, MPGX Properties LLC, is constructing a 6,162- square-foot, single-story retail shell building and related site improvements. The space formerly comprised several surface parking stalls and associated landscaping.

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    City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite and Mayor Earling sign papers finalizing the purchase of Civic Field

    It’s been a long time coming, but the City of Edmonds is now the proud owner of the 8-acre Civic Field park in the heart of downtown. “Owning this park has been part of our comprehensive plan since 1975,” said Mayor Dave Earling as he inked the deal during a Feb. 3 ceremony at the field. “Acquiring this critical property and securing it for our community’s use has been a top priority for the city. It deserves to be celebrated.”

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    Edmonds-Woodway’s boys basketball team overcame a 12-point half-time deficit to beat Shorecrest, 73-60, giving the Warriors (10-1 league, 17-2 overall) the Wesco 3A South conference title Feb. 5. David Woodard had a game-high 23 points, while E-W’s Jordan Rice added 16 for E-W.

    Interim Director Elizabeth Martin-Calder. (File photo by Janette Turner)

    On Feb. 6, Cascadia Art Museum bid farewell to Elizabeth Martin-Calder, Interim Executive Director. Martin-Calder, a cultural management and branding consultant, joined the museum a year ago to oversee opening plans for the region’s newest arts attraction. The board is seeking an Executive Director to lead “one of the Northwest’s most exciting new institutions,” according to Museum Founder Lindsey Echelbarger.

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    Initial results Feb. 10 show Edmonds School District voters supporting a replacement technology/capital improvements levy. Early returns showed that 61.9 percent of voters in the district approved the levy while 38.1 percent voted no. The four-year, $59-million measure will replace the 2012 voter-approved measure that is expiring in 2016. The majority of funding — $32,388,000 — will go toward technology, including over time providing a Chromebook for every Edmonds School District student in grades 3-12.

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    The graphic says it all. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    It was standing room only at the Edmonds Theater Feb. 11 as the city’s residents, business owners, employees and elected officials listened to Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling strike an overwhelmingly positive note in his 2016 State of the City address, declaring “We ain’t Deadmonds anymore!”

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    Edmonds police reported Feb. 12 that stabbing suspect Shannon Johnson was caught Feb. 11 on Aurora Avenue North by Washington State Department of Corrections officers and Seattle police. Police have been looking for Johnson in connection with the stabbing of a 49-year-old Edmonds man during a Jan. 27 fight at Andy’s Motel on Highway 99.

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    The private road where the house is located was closed down while evidence was being processed. (File photo by Natalie Covate)

    Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies are looking for four male suspects who allegedly forced their way into a home at the 8100 block of 228th Street Southwest in Esperance Feb. 12 and assaulted one of two residents in the home. The victim, a 22-year-old male, sustained a minor head injury.

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    he Edmonds-Woodway bench reacts to the Warriors’ 61-48 victory over the Mountlake Terrace Hawks for the 3A District 1 Boys Basketball Championship. (File photo by Jonah Wallace)

    Edmonds-Woodway’s boys and girls basketball teams earned state regional tournament berths. The boys beat Mountlake Terrace 61-48 on Feb. 20 to win the 3A District 1 Championship and a No. 1 seed in the regional round of the State Regional Tournament. The girls won three straight games to take third place in Districts, also giving them a spot in the regional tournament.

    The Warriors celebrate their fourth-place state win. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

    The Warriors’ Mason McDaniel earned a state title at 160 lbs and Edmonds-Woodway’s wrestling team finished fourth at the state 3A Mat Classic, held Feb. 19-20 at the Tacoma Dome. Meadowdale finished 38th; the Mavs’ Liam Ball earned 7th place at 182.

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    Community Transit says it will be adding “a modest amount” of new service starting March 27, including 15 new trips, six extended trips and earlier/later travel times. A further expansion of service is planned for September, and the agency said it will be hiring more drivers and mechanics to accommodate those plans. The changes were announced last fall just after Snohomish County voters approved a ballot measure to increase local sales tax for more transit service.

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    A dog died in a fire that caused more than $18,000 damage to a home in Edmonds just after midnight Feb. 23 in the 23400 block of 94th Avenue West. Three of the five adult residents were home at the time of the fire, but none of the residents was injured. Smoke and fire damage left the house uninhabitable. A fire investigator determined the cause of the fire was electrical.

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    Surrounded by neighbors and elected officials, Snohomish County District 3 Councilmember Stephanie Wright, center, cuts the ribbon to celebrate what’s to come for Esperance Park.

    A group of citizens, elected officials and a number of four-legged constituents gathered Feb. 27 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Esperance Park improvements. The site of the former Esperance Elementary School, Snohomish County paid the Edmonds School District $1.95 million for the 3.34 acres in the unincorporated pocket of Esperance, at 80th Avenue West and 224th Street Southwest.

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    The judges prepare to sample chowder entries.

    The first Edmonds Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Clam Chowder cook-off Feb. 27 was a sold-out success. Shortly after 11 a.m. the Yacht Club entrance jammed with folks in line and more already inside wielding tasting spoons. The winner was Salt & Iron’s  traditional-style chowder, featuring ample portion of tender clams in a milk broth.

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    March

    Ed Widdis

    Ed Widdis will be stepping down as fire chief of Snohomish County Fire District 1 effective March 8. He made the announcement during the March 1 Board of Commissioners meeting. The board has named Assistant Chief Brad Reading to serve as interim fire chief until a permanent successor can be found

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    About an hour after resuming the search for missing Edmonds woman Amy Kennelly, her body was discovered March 3 in the woods — about 100 yards from the location where her car had crashed on the night of Feb. 29. Edmonds police received a call from Kennelly’s family Wednesday, March 2, reporting her as missing.

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    The trees were planted in stately rows almost a century ago and have not been worked since before 1950. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    A little-known piece of Edmonds’ past is about to fade into history as an old holly farm near the intersection of Third and Caspers becomes the site of four new residential homes. In the process, Shell Creek, flowing along the eastern edge of the property, will receive an environmental lift as the builder plants native vegetation to replace the invasive English holly now growing in the stream buffer.

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    The Washington State Senate March 3 passed a bill by State Rep. Strom Peterson (D- Edmonds) to combat the rising opioid and heroin abuse epidemic in Washington. Peterson’s bill (HB 2730), which passed the Senate 47-1, will expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program, an online system that accesses how many prescriptions are dispensed in Washington and what type of medication they are. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

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    The Warriors pose with the 6th place trophy. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

    The Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team closed out its trip to the 2016 Hardwood Classic on March 5 with a loss, but many on the squad still expressed the pride and joy they felt for battling together as a team and exceeding the expectations of many. The Warriors fell to the Mt. Spokane Wildcats 58-42 Saturday in the 4th/6th place game of the 3A Girls Basketball Tournament at the Tacoma Dome. After the loss, E-W was awarded the 3A girls state 6th place trophy.

    Scratch vodka

    Edmonds-based Scratch Distillery won awards for five products during the American Craft Spirits Association competition in Chicago, Ill: silver awards for Barrel Finished Gin, G&T Style Gin, Pepper Infused Vodka, and Potato Vodka; and a bronze award for its Citrus Infused Vodka.

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    Jan Steves (File photo by Scott Chesney)

    Veteran musher and Edmonds native Jan Steves was taken out of the 2016 Idiatrod race March 7 when her sled toppled over, slamming her to the ground and leaving her with what doctors are calling one or more broken ribs. The accident happened as the 59-year-old Steves drove her 16-dog team toward a hill just before the Yentna checkpoint. She decided to scratch the remainder of the race out of concern that her injuries could prevent her from properly caring for her dogs along the trail.

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    The Edmonds City Council during its March 8 study session received updates on several projects of interest to citizens, but one in particular is likely to be celebrated by local children and their parents: The long-awaited water play feature at City Park will open the week before Memorial Day.

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    Edmonds police sent out a reminder via Facebook March 10 that many citizens are reporting they have received scam phone calls from “the IRS.” According to police, the caller identifies himself as an “IRS agent,” telling the person answering that he or she owes back taxes and needs to pay them immediately — or risk being arrested and sent to jail. “This is a reminder to our citizens that the IRS does not operate this way and does not call you to collect back taxes,” said Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hawley.

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    Jazz clinician Dave Barduhn gives pointers to high school jazz singers at the March 10 vocal jazz clinic at the Edmonds Conference Center. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    The annual DeMiero Jazz Festival opens its 40th season in Edmonds March 11-12. Named for Edmonds resident and national jazz icon Frank DeMiero, the mission of the annual festival is to inspire young people to develop critical life skills through the medium of jazz. The festival also includes clinics that provide a non-competitive atmosphere where students and teachers interact to practice performance skills.

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    The Verdant Health Commission issued four awards to community members and organizations at the recent Verdant Healthier Community Conference: Outstanding Community Advocate Award, Bill Keppler and Steve Pennington, Edmonds Community College Foundation’s Boots to Books and Beyond Campaign; Innovative Program Award, Edmonds School District’s Move 60! Recess Remodel; Service to Our Community Award, Bob Crabtree, Don Chriscaden, Carol Hammon, Sam Rector and Mary Beth Walsh, volunteers with the Puget Sound Kidney Center’s Road Back to Life Foundation; and Community Collaboration Award, Snohomish County Fire District 1 and the City of Lynnwood Fire Department for the Community Paramedic Program.

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    Smoke from a downed power line in the 19800 block of 80th Avenue West. (File photo by Steven Bullock)

    Downed trees and power lines were reported across Edmonds March 13 as a major windstorm hit the area with gusts of more than 50 mph. Sound Transit canceled Sounder commuter train service between Everett and Seattle Monday-Wednesday due to a mudslide across the tracks in Mukilteo. Edmonds police reported that roads in the 600 block of 12th Place North, the 9100 block of Olympic View Drive and the 24300 block of Firdale Avenue were closed by late afternoon, along with other residential areas in the northern part of the city.

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    The Edmonds School District on March 16 announced the list of six semifinal candidates to replace Superintendent Nick Brossoit, who is retiring after 12 years leading the district. The six semifinalists are: Dr. Deb Clemens, Superintendent, Cheney, Wash.; Matt Handelman, Superintendent, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Dr. Flip Herndon, Associate Superintendent, Seattle; Dr. Kris McDuffy, Superintendent, Arlington​; Dr. Carolyn O’Keefe, Deputy Superintendent, Northshore and Dr. Chrys Sweeting, Assistant Superintendent, Puyallup. The school board will interview the candidates Saturday, March 19, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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    A 21-year-old Edmonds man was booked into the Snohomish County Jail March 23 after allegedly hitting his 48-year-old roommate in the head with a baseball bat, Edmonds police said. The victim in the attack, which occurred in Edmonds’ Five Corners neighborhood, was discharged from Harborview Medical Center around midnight after being evaluated and treated for head injuries.

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    A photo of the preferred design as shown to the council Tuesday night.

    The Edmonds City Council at its March 22 work session got a first look at two proposed designs for the long-awaited downtown restroom on 5th Avenue North next to City Hall. While councilmembers generally liked what they saw in the design to locate the restroom building in the parking lot between City Hall and the Rusty Pelican restaurant, they requested that two more family-friendly concepts be created.

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    The Edmonds School Board announced during its March 22 meeting that three finalists have been selected in the search for a new school district superintendent: Dr. Deb Clemens, Dr. Kris McDuffy and Dr. Chrys Sweeting. The district will conduct a final round of interviews the week of March 28.

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    Citizens work together at break-out tables during the first Highway 99 workshop. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    A crowd of more than 50 enthusiastic citizens joined city staff, consultants and elected officials March 24 to give their input to the City of Edmonds plan to revitalize the Highway 99 corridor. The next step in the process is for the consultants to take the ideas generated at the workshop and incorporate them into several alternative plans. These will be presented at a future workshop to be scheduled in late spring or early summer for further public comment and refinement.

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    Kids race for eggs at Frances Anderson Center. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Local children enjoyed the egg-citement of two Easter Egg hunts March 26 — one at the Edmonds Luther Church and the other at Frances Anderson Center Field.

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    A firefighter stands outside Madrona K-8 School following a fire in the building in March 2016. (File photo by Teresa Wippel)

    A fire at Madrona K-8 School March 27 caused more than $250,000 damage. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The fire was contained to the faculty room, although the adjacent school office and hallway had smoke and water damage. Fire investigators determined the fire started in a storage space off the faculty room. They were unable to pinpoint an exact cause, but noted there was nothing suspicious about the fire.

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    Mary Lou Block

    After serving nearly four terms in office over 14 consecutive years, Port of Edmonds Commissioner Mary Lou Block resigned effective March 31. “Her leadership has been noteworthy and she will be missed by her fellow Port Commissioners, staff, community leaders, and constituents,” an announcement from the Port of Edmonds said. Block was first elected to the Port’s Board of Commissioners in January 2002.

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    April

    Snohomish County Councilmember Terry Ryan was the special guest at an Edmonds Center for the Arts reception April 1, during which he presented a $225,000 check from the Snohomish County Lodging Fund to repair the ECA’s leaking gymnasium roof. Ryan, who chairs the Snohomish County Lodging Tax Advisory Board, championed the award of a capital improvement grant — funded by the county’s hotel/motel tax — to repair the roof of the ECA gym, which is used by local sports leagues.

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    Kris McDuffy

    Dr. Kris McDuffy, current superintendent of the Arlington School District, on April 1 was named to lead the Edmonds School District. McDuffy replaces Dr. Nick Brossoit, who is retiring at the end of this school year after 12 years at the helm. She is just the second woman to lead the Edmonds School District; the prior female superintendent was Susan Torrens, who served from 1997-1999.

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    Assistant Police Chief Jim Lawless shares a light moment with Debbie Dawson, who was hired in Edmonds on October 20, 1986.  (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Well-wishers gathered April 4 to say good-bye to City of Edmonds animal control/parking enforcement officer Debbie Dawson, who is retiring after a nearly 30-year career with the city.

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    First Baptist Church of Edmonds (now North Sound Church).

    Following a public hearing, the Edmonds City Council April 5 approved by a 7-0 vote a proposal to list the First Baptist Church of Edmonds (now North Sound Church) on the Edmonds Register of Historic Places. Located at 404 Bell St., the church is the longest continually-operating church in City of Edmonds.

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    Students on the winning team are, from left, in the back row: Riley Beck, grade 10; Jake Miller, grade 12; Harland Ontiveros-Meza, grade 12; and Milo Seal, grade 11. In the front row are coaches Corey Clark, left, and Paul Glaser.

    Edmonds-Woodway High School is one of four teams from the West region that will be headed to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. in late April to compete in the national Deaf Academic Bowl competition. The team of four Edmonds-Woodway High students in March placed second in the Deaf Academic Bowl for the West Regional competition in California.

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    The Edmonds City Council April 12 approved a contract with the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for kenneling services. Edmonds police have been operating under a temporary contract with Lynnwood-based PAWS since terminating its contract with Paws In Paradise (the former Adix) in Edmonds late last year. It’s anticipated that this transition will ultimately lead to a cost savings since PAWS provides a per-animal billing model rather than a flat monthly/yearly rate.

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    Dr. Pepper Schwartz (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Dr. Pepper Schwartz, UW Professor of Sociology, author, and AARP Love and Relationships Ambassador, spoke about love and relationships April 15 at the kickoff event for the inaugural Creative Age Festival of Edmonds (CAFE). Designed to empower retirement-age individuals to learn techniques, skills and activities to enhance their lives, CAFE offers a series of classes, workshops and panel discussions over two days on topics ranging from personal health to travel to creating music and poetry.

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    The scene of the April 19 train fatality. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Edmonds police said the death of a 43-year-old Kansas man hit by a train near the Edmonds Amtrak station April 19 appears to be a suicide. Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure said that witnesses reported seeing the man run from the Amtrak platform onto the tracks as the train was approaching. Railroad crossings at both Dayton and Main Streets were blocked for about three hours following the incident. Edmonds-Kingston ferry service was also temporarily suspended; Washington State Ferries temporarily rerouted ferries to the Coleman Dock in Seattle.

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    The Edmonds City Council by a 4-3 vote April 19 approved a motion to incorporate into the draft critical areas ordinance a 2-foot-higher construction base in the city’s coastal high hazard areas. Those supporting the idea said that the increase in base measurement was designed to accommodate rising water due to global warming, but councilmembers opposing the move said they wanted more information on the effects of sea-level rise before making a decision.

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    A long-awaited Fitch and Associates report on City of Edmonds fire and emergency medical services has been released, and it suggests that the city move to a performance-based contract with Snohomish County Fire District 1. The city’s contract with Fire District 1 is up for renegotiation, so the city council approved the hiring of Fitch & Associate because Edmonds has limited expertise in providing fire and EMS services.

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    An example of a sandwich board sign from 2011 in downtown Edmonds

    The Edmonds City Council during its April 26 meeting engaged in a lively discussion about sign regulations — and in particular whether to restrict or ban A-frame signs that are found on many downtown Edmonds sidewalks. The council is just starting to explore whether and how to regulate signs; the Edmonds Planning Board has already had several discussions about the topic and will address it again during its meeting Wednesday night, April 27.

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    Edmonds Floretum Club volunteers get to work. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    The Edmonds city greenhouses at City Park were a hub of activity on April 26 as a group of more than 20 volunteers from the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club gathered to assemble the hanging baskets that will grace our downtown streets this summer. Each year the Floretum Club pitches in to plant not only the hanging baskets, but also the corner gardens at downtown intersections and the planting beds at Hazel Miller Plaza.

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    Edmonds-Woodway High School girls basketball coach Rebekah Wells has resigned after three seasons coaching the Warriors. Edmonds-Woodway Athletic Director Angie McGuire said that Wells is leaving the Seattle area to pursue work on her master’s degree. During her time as head coach, Wells went 52-27 and took her teams to the state 3A basketball tournament twice. In 2016, the Warriors earned a sixth-place state finish.

    May

    Following the meeting, Walker Macy’s Ann Marie Schneider shares a planning diagram for Civic Field.

    Citizens, staff and Edmonds City Councilmembers gathered in Edmonds City Hall’s Brackett Room May 4 to launch the process for redesigning Civic Field, the 8-acre property that the city recently purchased from the Edmonds School District. The property, which currently includes play fields, a skate park, tennis and petanque courts, and a building housing the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club, plays hosts to several noteworthy events such as the A Taste of Edmonds, the Fourth of July fireworks celebration and the Wenatchee Youth Circus.

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    The Verdant Health Commission was one of five health care organizations statewide recognized May 4 with a Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality. The award, which recognizes achievements in improving healthcare quality and outcomes,  was given to Verdant for its community paramedicine program.

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    Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said May 5 that he won’t veto the City of Edmonds’ updated critical area regulations that were adopted May 3 by the Edmonds City Council. The mayor noted that the current version is better than the one he vetoed earlier this year. Critical areas include wetlands, frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas, fish and wildlife habitat areas, and aquifer recharge areas. They are required to be protected under state law.

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    The Edmonds-Woodway boys lead early in the 1600 meters. (File photo by Doug Petrowski)

    The Edmonds-Woodway High School boys track team came out on top May 7 at the Edmonds School District Championships, a meet that brought together for competition all four schools in the district. The Warriors ran away with the boys’ title by capturing first place in nine of the 10 running events, including the 4×100 and the 4×400 relays. Sterling Mahan, Grady Okeson and Grant Whitcutt all won two events each for E-W.

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    Ron Clyborne

    The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce announced May 9 that Ron Clyborne will be the 2016 Grand Marshals of the An Edmonds Kind of 4th of July Parade. Clyborne, a 25-year resident of Edmonds, is a well-known community volunteer who has supported many local organizations, including development of the Edmonds Center for the Arts and the Edmonds Community College Foundation.

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    A state-bound celebration for the Warriors. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

    The Lynnwood High School boys soccer team controlled both possession and the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes of the May 11 District semi-final soccer game. But Edmonds-Woodway responded with a vengeance, scoring three unanswered goals for a 3-1 victory and a berth in the state 3A tournament.

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    The Edmonds City Council agreed during its May 11 work session to continue discussing two potential changes to how the city and the council conducts business: No longer taking minutes during executive sessions and ending the council’s role as a quasi-judicial body regarding appeals of land-use decisions. In both cases, councilmembers said they wanted more time to obtain additional details and also to receive public input about the ramifications of making the changes.

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    Cutting the ribbon for the project Tuesday are, from left, Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Seaun Richards, Edmonds City Council President Kristiana Johnson and Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

    Officials from the cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace celebrated the completion of the missing link of roadway connecting Mountlake Terrace to Edmonds across Highway 99. The project includes two new signalized intersections on 228th Street Southwest at both Highway 99 and 76th Avenue West, providing a safe way for pedestrians to cross at those intersection, and a safer way for motor vehicle drivers to make a left turn onto the highway. It also extends the center median on Highway 99 to restrict the southbound left turn from 76th Avenue West to Highway 99, which had been a frequent place for traffic collisions.

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    Youngsters try their skills on the rowing machine. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Adults and children alike had a chance to run, jump and play during the 4th Annual Edmonds Health & Fitness Expo at the Edmonds School District Stadium May 14. There were 50 interactive health and wellness booths, along with healthy snack samples, a fun run and a 5K race, a soccer clinic and an obstacle course.

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    Citizens turned out May 12 to hear city officials and project consultant Tetra Tech report on the status of the Waterfront Access Alternatives Study. The project, now at its halfway point, finds consultants and city staff with a significantly narrowed list of alternatives and soliciting public input to help flesh them out in the coming months.

    Foundation Executive Director Deborah Anderson welcomes attendees.

    Hundreds gathered to support the Foundation for Edmonds Public Schools’ work on behalf of Edmonds School District students and teachers during the foundation’s fundraiser May 13. At the end of the annual fundraising breakfast, prepared and served by students from Lynnwood and Meadowdale high schools, more than $77,000 was raised; $6,000 more than last year’s breakfast, according to Foundation Executive Director Deborah Anderson.

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    Workers on the Edmonds Fishing Pier in May. (File photo by Wes Carlson)

    The City of Edmonds said that completion of the Edmonds Fishing Pier Rehabilitation Project will take longer than expected due to “poor quality original construction,” and the Edmonds City Council learned at its May 18 meeting that it will cost nearly $400,000 more than was budgeted to complete the work. The main focus of the project was to repair the underlying support beams, which were showing significant rust and oxidation. But when the contractors began work, they discovered unanticipated significant damage, City Engineer Rob English told the council.

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    Meadowdale’s Morgan Rood and Hannah Peterson and Edmonds-Woodway’s Frances Monahan and Kathryn Schalk punched their tickets to prep state championship tournaments after their finishes in district competition on Wednesday. Rood won the 3A District 1 Girls Golf Championship title after shooting a second-round 84 at Kayak Point Golf Course in Mukilteo. With her opening round 81 on Monday, the Mavericks senior posted a two-day score of 165, which was 10 strokes better than the district tournament runner-up Emmi Modahl of Arlington.

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    Consultant John Fregonese talks about next steps in the Highway 99 project. (File photo by Teresa Wippel)

    Protecting nearby neighborhoods was a common theme as more than three dozen citizens joined city staff, consultants and elected officials May 20 at Swedish Edmonds to discuss City of Edmonds planning efforts to revitalize the Highway 99 corridor, the second meeting regarding that project.

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    Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling congratulates Petanque Club President Michelle Martin. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    An enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers — including nearly a dozen petanque players and Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling — were on hand May 26 to see the Edmonds Petanque Club honored as the 2016 Edmonds Citizen of the Year award. The club has as part of its mission statement giving back to the community, and since its founding has raised $18,000 for the Edmonds Food Bank. Club members also teach petanque to children from the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club, which is located adjacent to the courts. In addition, club members provide petanque lessons to students visiting Edmonds through the Sister City exchange program with Hekinan, Japan.

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    The Edmonds-Woodway High School boys doubles team of Grayson Turley and Arun Kalohke was knocked out of the WIAA 3A State Boys Tennis tournament May 27. Turley and Kalohke lost to doubles teams from Garfield and Mercer Island in straight sets to end their run.

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    State champs celebrate their win. (File photo by Karl Swenson)

    Meadowdale High School’s softball team scored six runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back on its way to winning the state 3A high school softball championship in Lacey. The 10-0 victory over Enumclaw — the first in school history — followed five years of close calls, including a third-place finish last year.

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    The Edmonds-Woodway Warrior girls track team placed 12th in the state team rankings and the boys came in 22nd during state competition that wrapped up May 28. The Warriors’ Yukino Parle won the 3A Girls 3200 Meters in a time of 10:49.05, while E-W’s Olivia Meader-Yetter came in ninth. On the boys’ side, E-W’s Grant Whitcutt finished fourth in the 3A Boys High Jump, giving him a second medal at this year’s state meet.

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    Edmonds-Woodway’s boys soccer took fourth place in the State 3A soccer tournament, losing 6-1 to Lakeside in the consolation match for 3rd-4th place May 28.

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    Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling speaks about lives lost in World War I.

    From veterans in uniform to civilians of all ages, several hundred attendees gathered under blue skies at the Edmonds Cemetery May 30 to remember the fallen during the city’s 34th annual Memorial Day ceremony. Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling told the crowd that “today is the day to honor those who never made it home.”

    June

    Police Chief Al Compaan

    Speaking at the June 2 Town Hall meeting at the Meadowdale Clubhouse, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and his staff addressed the usual topics of managing growth, generating revenue and finding solutions for train traffic on the Edmonds waterfront. But Earling and Police Chief Al Compaan also delved into topics that many in Edmonds aren’t used to hearing about: drug addiction, homelessness and affordable housing.

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    Waterfront run participants get going. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    More than 100 runners of all ages turned out June 4 at Edmonds Civic Field to be part of the 2016 Waterfront Festival Fun Run.

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    Edmonds Heights K-12’s production of Urinetown was recognized for outstanding direction during the 5th Avenue 2016 Awards honoring high school musical theater Monday night, June 6, in Seattle. Productions from Edmonds Heights, Meadowdale and Lynnwood high schools were nominated for awards in a variety of categories based on performances during the 2015-16 school year.

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    By a 5-1 vote, the Edmonds City Council June 8 decided to end minute-taking during its executive sessions. The practice of taking executive session minutes began 20 years, when the Edmonds City Council passed Resolution 853 calling for the city clerk to take “summary minutes of executive sessions subject to release in accordance with the provisions of state law, if and when, the reason for the executive session expires.” In making the motion to rescind the resolution, Councilmember Tom Mesaros reiterated his belief that the council has “created this atmosphere that there are minutes being kept, where in fact there are some notes that are being kept but they aren’t truly minutes because we never review them, we never approve them, we never correct them.”

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    Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan, far right, takes a phone report from city public works crew during the Cascadia Rising exercise.

    Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan and Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling on June 8 led a three-plus-hour Cascadia Rising exercise aimed at addressing how the city would response in the case of a magnitude 9 earthquake . The effort was part of a state-wide simulated field response involving local cities, counties, state agencies, federal officials, the military, tribal nations and the private sector.

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    The fire-damaged building and truck at Edmonds City Park. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Edmonds police said they are investigating a June 8 early-morning fire at Edmonds City Park as an arson. The fire destroyed a storage building and flatbed truck in the Edmonds Parks Department maintenance area at City Park. The storage building and its contents — paper products, light bulbs and other supplies used in City of Edmonds facilities — appears to be a total loss.

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    “Luminous Forest”

    The installation of “Luminous Forest,” the interim art project by Seattle artist Iole Alessandrini, was completed on June 13. “Unlike some art that shouldn’t be touched, this art cannot only be touched — but it can and should be driven on,” said City of Edmonds Arts and Culture Manager Frances Chapin. The exhibition by Alessadrini includes solar LED light elements embedded in the roadway between Daley and Main Streets.

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    After months of monitoring water quality in Edmonds, members of the Edmonds-Woodway High School-based Students Saving Salmon group on June 14 presented their results to the Edmonds City Council study meeting Tuesday night. The goal of the citizen science project, called the Edmonds Stream Team, was to monitor water quality in the Edmonds Marsh, Shellabarger Creek, Willow Creek and Shell Creek.

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    Around 1,700 PUD customers in Edmonds lost power on June 14 after rain and wind gusts blew through the area. PUD spokesman Aaron Swaney said a tree limb was found in a wire. It was removed and power was restored around 7:20 p.m.

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    The City of Edmonds and the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Wednesday issued a notice via Facebook June 15 requesting that parade goers not put their chairs for the Edmonds Kind of 4th of July parade until after 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 3. “Please be respectful of our businesses, pedestrians and parking spaces around town,” the notice said.

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    Larry Vogel captured the action in this photo gallery as the annual Edmonds Arts Festival got underway June 17 under sunny skies.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    The crash scene. (File photo courtesy Edmonds police)

    A 23-year-old Edmonds woman is under investigation for DUI after the U-Haul box truck she was driving slammed into the garage of a home in the 7600 block of 200th Street Southwest June 17. Prior to that crash, police also found evidence that the suspect may have hit other property — including fences, landscaping and mailboxes.

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    Artist’s rendering of the new senior center as viewed from the northwest, showing the proposed enhanced beach habitat in the foreground.

    More than 200 interested citizens gathered in the Edmonds Senior Center downstairs ballroom June 22 to examine the proposed plans for the new Edmonds Waterfront Center developed by The Environmental Works of Seattle, and hear from Senior Center Staff, architects, consultants and city officials. Unlike the present Edmonds Senior Center structure, which was originally designed as a boat storage facility, the proposed two-story building would be built to LEED silver and gold standards, and be designed from the ground up as a community center, with interior space laid out to ensure maximum future flexibility.

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    Strom Peterson with mom Karen.

    The speaker introducing State Rep. Strom Peterson to the crowd during his campaign kickoff event June 22 has it on good authority that the first-term legislator from Edmonds demonstrated a sense of empathy and social justice from an early age. That’s because she’s his mother. Karen Peterson made the trip from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Edmonds to participate in her son’s campaign launch for re-election to the Washington State Legislature.

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    The Sound Transit Board unanimously voted June 23 to send voters a final Sound Transit 3 ballot measure for consideration in November. The plan’s proposals include completion of a regional light rail network as the area’s population grows by an estimated 800,000 people before 2040. The ST3 plan would build a total of 62 miles of light rail with stations serving 37 additional areas. Improvements introduced following public comment on a draft plan in April would speed up most of the extensions by two to five years.

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    A meeting attendee considers comments left during the brainstorming process. (File photo by Teresa Wippel)

    Citizens gathered in the Edmonds Library Plaza Room June 23 to start the brainstorming process for what the city’s newest downtown park will look like.They energetically got to work, using push pins, sticky notes, pens and puzzle pieces to share their ideas for redesigning the Civic Park space.

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    Brandi Clark

    Cascadia Art Museum’s Board of Directors June 23 announced the appointment of Brandi P. Clark as new executive director. She brings 16 years of experience and success in the arts administration field from a broad range of organizations, including the Houston Symphony, the 5th Avenue Theatre, Pratt Fine Arts Center and, most recently, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

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    Woodway and Edmonds police capturing the suspect after Sunday’s alleged attack. (Photo courtesy Woodway Police Department)

    Woodway police arrested an Edmonds man June 26 after he allegedly attacked and attempted to sexually assault a woman on the beach just south of the Point Edwards condominiums. Woodway Police Chief Doug Hansen said the woman was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect fled the scene but was tracked down by a Lynnwood Police K-9 unit and bitten by a police dog. He received medical treatment at the hospital.

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    Demonstrators get ready to march from the Edmonds waterfront to the Council Chambers. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    After listening to more than an hour of public testimony about the health, safety and environmental risks of oil and coal trains traveling along the waterfront, the Edmonds City Council voted unanimously June 28 to approve resolutions urging federal officials to ban transporting crude oil and coal by rail through Edmonds. The votes were taken in front of dozens of red-shirted demonstrators who had earlier marched from the waterfront up Main Street for a rally outside the Council Chambers.

     

     

     

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