We continue our review of top stories from 2017. This installment covers April-June. You can see January-March here.
April 4 The Edmonds City Council agreed on a response to the Washington State Department of Ecology that would address the appropriate buffer for the Edmonds Marsh as part of the city’s draft Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The council unanimously approved Option M, which calls for a 110-foot fixed marsh buffer and a 15-foot setback. The council also moved a step further toward extending for another six months the city’s moratorium on installing turf infill made of recycled tires on all public athletic fields in Edmonds agreeing to move the ban extension to its April 11 consent agenda for final approval.
April 4 As part of its consent agenda, the Edmonds City Council approved amendments to pedestrian or A-board sign requirements. These recent changes updated the amendments that were approved by the council in August 2016. Each ground floor storefront is now allowed 6 additional square feet of sign area to accommodate a pedestrian sign or some other type of permanent signage; there are now exceptions to the rule that pedestrian signs need to be within 10 feet of the business entry and two feet of the building; and sign fees are reduced.
April 5 Wight’s Home & Garden in Lynnwood officially announced that it is closing after decades of being a family-owned business and a Lynnwood landmark. The building, located at 5026 196th St. S.W., was purchased by Snohomish County Senior Services. The non-profit organization, based in Everett, provides transportation, health, social and nutrition services to Snohomish County’s senior residents.
April 5 After years of anticipation, City of Edmonds dignitaries cut the ribbon for the city’s newest downtown park — the Dayton Street Plaza at 200 2nd Ave. S. The parklet includes a seat wall, a hardscape inlay art piece “Fibonacci?” designed by Edmonds artist Darlene McLellan, and a temporary public art installation by another Edmonds artist, Mona T. Smiley-Fairbanks. Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation President Terry Vehrs offered a moving tribute to McLellan, thanking her for her 32 years of service with the arts festival organization.
April 10 Edmonds’ downtown Public Safety Complex, including Edmonds Municipal Court, was closed for about two hours after a woman brought a hand grenade to the police department for disposal. According to Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley, the woman — who lives in unincorporated Edmonds — was going through items owned by her deceased husband when she found the grenade, and decided to bring it to police headquarters. The Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad was called in to remove the grenade, which was located in the woman’s car, and safety detonate it.
April 11 Addressing a public comment made at an Edmonds City Council meeting two weeks ago, Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan and Human Resources Director Mary Ann Hardie came before councilmembers Tuesday night to respond to a citizen’s claim that there are ongoing issues of sexual harassment in the police department. “To imply or somehow conclude that sexual harassment is the norm in our department is absolutely not supported by the facts,” Compaan said during the public comment portion of Tuesday night’s council meeting. “Nor is it supported by our history nor would I as chief find it in any manner acceptable.”
April 11 The Edmonds City Council agreed at its study session to move to next week’s consent agenda an ordinance aimed at opening up more public parking in downtown Edmonds. The council also approved, as part of its consent agenda, extending for another six months the ban on installing crumb rubber turf on public play fields in the city of Edmonds. The parking ordinance will amend the city’s current On-Street Employee Parking Permit Program to eliminate certain areas from the list of exempt places where employees downtown can park. The changes cover segments of Dayton Street, Walnut Street, Maple Street and Alder Street.
April 13 Edmonds School Board President Susan Phillips announced that she will not seek re-election this year. Phillips holds the School Board Director position for District 4. She first served on the school board from 2011-2014, and was elected again in 2015. Her term will expire in November 2017.
April 14 Dr. Jean Hernandez, who has led Edmonds Community College for more than six years, has announced her retirement. Hernandez is expected to stay on board through the end of 2017. Throughout her time at EdCC, Hernandez has been recognized numerous times for her dedication to students. She received the Ruth Woo Citizen Activism Award presented by the Women of Color Empowered in 2009, Honorary Triton Award for Outstanding Administrator in 2011, Oscar Eason Jr. Community Service Award in 2014, and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Award for Patriotic Employer in 2015.
April 14 The Campbell Auto Group has confirmed a pledge in the amount of $100,000 toward the planned Edmonds Waterfront Center being built by the Edmonds Senior Center in partnership with the City of Edmonds. “We love the whole concept of the new Edmonds Waterfront Center, “said Kurt Campbell of Campbell Auto Group, “but what really excites us is what it will mean for local non-profits who can access the center for meetings and fundraising events.”
April 17 Edmonds police said that several victims came forward with reports of swastikas as well as other random graffiti painted on cars and homes in Edmonds’ Westgate neighborhood overnight. According to Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure, when officers interviewed the victims, “there was no information that led them or the investigating officers to believe that they were targeted because of any specific protected class.” However, McClure said, “we are continuing to examine each incident as well as the incident as a whole to determine if there is a specific reason these people were targeted.”
April 23 Speaking before a crowd gathered at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, Josh Thompson launched his campaign for the Edmonds City Council seat held by Kristiana Johnson. Thompson, who serves as Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright, received a strong endorsement from his boss. “It’s about people, with Josh,” Wright told the group. “He gets into the issues, he finds out what the resources are, what he can do and he puts all his extra effort into making it happen.”
April 25 Despite what many people believe, affordable housing and homelessness are issues that affect Edmonds. That was the message delivered by speakers during a well-attended forum on low-income housing at the Edmonds Library’s Plaza Room. Smith was the moderator for “Who Needs Low Income Housing in Edmonds? What’s Next?” The event was presented — in cooperation with the City of Edmonds — by the Edmonds Housing Instability Coalition (EHIC), a group of Edmonds citizens dedicated to bringing awareness of the need for low-income housing in Edmonds.
April 26 The Edmonds City Council approved $71,000 in additional funding to complete the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, after construction work on the site uncovered some unanticipated electrical work and parks staff requested changes to plaza benches to lower maintenance costs and reduce liability. City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite said the goal is to have the Veterans Plaza completed in time for a grand opening on Memorial Day in late May.
May 2 The Washington Department of Ecology said that it has approved the Edmonds Shoreline Master Program comprehensive update that was submitted by the City of Edmonds following a long debate by the Edmonds City Council over Edmonds Marsh buffers. “Finally!” stated City Councilmember Diane Buckshnis upon hearing the news. “It has been a very long and detailed process that involved the collaborative efforts of many individuals.” Buckshnis, who had been a strong advocate of a wider marsh buffer, specifically offered thanks to city staff involved in the project — including Development Services Director Shane Hope, Senior Planner Kernen Lien and City Attorney Jeff Taraday — as well as the Department of Ecology “and of course our citizens scientists.”
May 8 The Edmonds Chamber announced that Edmonds Community College President Jean Hernandez will be the 2017 Grand Marshal of the “An Edmonds Kind of 4th” parade. Hernandez recently announced her upcoming retirement from Edmonds Community College but reiterated her desire to remain connected to the community, supporting both the college and local organizations.
May 13 Behind the arm of senior Nick Hull, a motivated Edmonds-Woodway squad topped Shorewood 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel to win the Class 3A Northwest District title Sat Meridian Fields in Shoreline. The victory was the first for the Warriors over the Thunderbirds this season. Both teams advance to the Class 3A state tournament which begins at regional sites Saturday. Edmonds-Woodway, which will play in Mount Vernon at 1 p.m. next Saturday, returns to the state for the first time since 2012.
May 14 Alhough Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace High Schools weren’t chosen as one of the top three jazz bands during the 22nd annual Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition, individual students from each school were recognized for outstanding performances in New York City. Edmonds-Woodway’s reed section was recognized with an honorable mention. E-W’s Jack Hillman received an award for outstanding on the trombone while Kyle Bainbridge earned honorable mention on the baritone saxophone.
May 17 Alaska Airlines announced that starting next year, people living north of Seattle will be able to fly out of Everett’s Paine Field as an alternative to Seattle-Tacoma International, as Alaska Airlines begins daily passenger flights. Alaska said that pending government approval, it will begin the flights in fall 2018. Specific routes and flight schedules, as well as ticket sales, won’t begin until early next year.
May 18 The defending 3A softball champion Meadowdale Mavericks earned a return trip to the state tournament with a 9-5 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck in the semifinal round of the District 1 softball tournament at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett. The Mavs now meet Snohomish — which won the State 4A title last year before moving to the 3A classification — for the District 1 title, with both teams advancing to state.
May 18 In the 3A District 1 girls tennis championships, Olivia Olson of Edmonds-Woodway defeated Arlington’s Layla Garduno-Craviototo for third place in singles and a trip to next week’s state tennis tournament. Playing at Arlington High School, Olson beat Garduno-Craviototo 6-3, 6-1. Both players advance to the state tournament, which is in the Tri-Cities. Earlier in the competition, Olson had defeated Tessa Rugg of Snohomish 6-1, 6-7 (2) to earn her place in the consolation final.
May 19 Edmonds-Woodway High School’s softball team earned a berth in the state 3A tournament by beating Marysville-Pilchuck 2-1 in the consolation round of the 3A District 1 tournament at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett. Since the top four teams from the tournament go to state, the win qualified the Warriors to advance to Lacey for the 3A championship.
May 20 The Edmonds-Woodway girls track and field team won the 3A District 1 title at Shoreline Stadium on Friday, while the boys team took third place. Both teams also qualified athletes for state competition. Meadowdale boys finished 9th and also had a state qualifier.
May 25 More than 60 citizens, business owners, members of the community and others turned out for Thursday’s monthly Chamber luncheon to join in recognizing and honoring Rick Steves as the 2017 Edmonds Citizen of the Year. Nominated by fellow citizens and selected by the Edmonds Kiwanis Club, Steves is the 24th recipient of this honor. Steves was introduced by John Rutter, Kiwanis treasurer and retired Snohomish County judge, who noted Steves’ generosity in supporting local causes and projects, and how he has enriched the lives of everyone from citizens right here in Edmonds to people around the world
May 27 Edmonds-Woodway High School’s baseball team ended up with a fourth-place finish in the 3A state baseball tournament. The Warriors lost 2-1 to Mercer island at Safeco Field, and finished their season 19-8.
May 27 The final day of the WIAA State Track & Field Championships in Tacoma proved to be the most rewarding for local Edmonds School District prep athletes as a number of state titles were earned. Edmonds-Woodway senior Allyson Ely took home the 3A girls pole vault title with an effort of 12’6”; Ely had finished eighth in the event last year as a junior. Local girl athletes did particularly well at this year’s state meet: Saturday’s podium placers included Yukino Parle, Hannah Hicks and Vernice Keyes from Edmonds-Woodway. As a team, the E-W girls placed fifth among 3A teams, up from 12th place in 2016.
May 29 Just a few hours after Edmonds remembered fallen soldiers during the annual Memorial Day celebration, several hundred local veterans and community members gathered for another event aimed at honoring all who have served — a recognition and ribbon cutting for the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza at 5th and Bell. The event was both festive and solemn as the new space, three-plus years in the making, was officially unveiled for all to enjoy.
June 7 With all of the recent publicity about President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling has taken a stand of his own. Earling announced that he has joined the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda — a group that includes nearly 250 U.S. mayors who are committed to taking action on climate change. “In light of the decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, I feel it is important for our city to emphasize our local commitment and continued effort to improve our environment,” Earling said.
June 11 Angela Harris says it’s time for a “fresh perspective and voice” on the Edmonds Port Commission. Harris officially kicked off her campaign for Port Commission District 1, speaking to a gathering of supporters in the Westgate neighborhood. An Edmonds resident for four and a half years, Harris said she would bring to the port commission more than 20 years of program and project management experience. She has spent the last 12 years at Microsoft, where she has served as senior business program manager, managing budgets and creating work plans.
Citing connection to conservative policy group, council rejects Edmonds man’s appointment to salary commission
June 12 An Edmonds man who was rejected for a position on the City of Edmonds Salary Commission said he was “stunned” that a majority of councilmembers would vote against his appointment because of his connection to the Washington Policy Center, a conservative think tank. During the June 6 Edmonds City Council meeting, Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas argued against the appointment of 31-year-old Tyler Nebeker to the city’s newly-formed salary commission, which will be responsible for reviewing the salaries of the mayor and city council. Her stated reason: Nebeker said during his interview that he supported the policies of the Washington Policy Council (WPC), where he used to work.
June 21 As the Edmonds City Council moves closer to changing zoning and development standards for the two-mile stretch of Highway 99 that runs through Edmonds, citizens had a chance to weigh in with their concerns during two meetings. Among the comments: Providing permanent affordable housing needs to be a priority, and the council should pay more attention to the potential impacts of future multi-family developments on existing single-family homes.
June 21 The Wood Fired Kitchen’s special events room in Lynnwood was full of supporters during Deborah Kilgore’s campaign kick-off event for School Board Director position 4. Kilgore described to the crowd that she believes schools should be safe and welcoming for each and every child. “If it is not, they do not have access to an excellent education,” she said.
June 22 About 50 citizens gathered at City Hall to voice their thoughts and opinions about how to manage Edmonds’ urban forest. The need for a comprehensive urban forest management plan was identified two years ago when the Edmonds Planning Board recommended against adopting a draft tree code put forth by the Tree Board. The function of such a plan is to guide future decisions about the role, value and overall management of Edmonds’ urban forest.
June 22 School Board candidate Cathy Baylor held her campaign kickoff on Thursday afternoon with friends and family during an outdoor barbecue at North Lynnwood Park. Lisa Utter, a former Lynnwood City Councilmember, introduced Baylor. They met during Utter’s time on council when Baylor was on the library board, which was over 15 years ago. Utter said during all that time, Baylor has been a person who is “passionate about education.”
June 23 The National Weather Service in Seattle issued a heat advisory from noon Saturday to 9 p.m. Sunday. “The elderly, youth, and those in poor health without air conditioning will be particularly vulnerable to the heat,” the weather service said. Danny Mercer said that this heat wave comes with some of the longest days of the year, which means there’s not a lot of time for Western Washington to cool down at night. Sunday could be the hottest June 25 in Seattle-area history, according to the weather service.
June 26 As she was trying to decide whether to run for re-election to her Position 1 seat, Edmonds City Councilmember Kristiana Johnson said she had a long conversation with several friends. “It kind of came down to, I really love Edmonds,” Johnson told supporters gathered for her kickoff campaign at Anthony’s Homeport restaurant on the Edmonds waterfront. Johnson, who was originally appointed to her Position 1 council seat in 2012 and won election in 2013, will face Josh Thompson in the November 2017 election.
June 27 For the third time during this school year, graffiti containing a racial slur and profanity were found at Madrona K-8 School in Edmonds. Madrona Principal Lynda Fischer sent an email to families Monday night notifying them that a section of new sidewalks and rooftop skylights were tagged. A photo posted by a Madrona parent on Facebook Monday showed a skylight painted with the f-word and the n-word.
June 29 A triathlete, ultra distance racer-swimmer-cyclist, and double amputee from Edmonds became the first hand-cyclist to complete the 3,140-mile Race Across America (RAAM). Andre Kajlich did it with almost eight hours to spare, finishing in 12 days, 16 hours and 18 minutes.