The Year 2018 in review: July-August

    215
    0
    We continue our look at the top My Edmonds News stories and photos from 2018.
    Part 4, July-August
    July
    The fire scene, courtesy South County Fire & Rescue.

    South County Fire & Rescue crews responded to a two-alarm apartment fire in the 21300 block of 80th Avenue West in Edmonds around 10:30 a.m. July 3. According to South County Fire spokeswoman Leslie Hynes, there were no initial reports of injuries, and three units were damaged in the blaze.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Edmonds City Council President Mike Nelson announcing his proposal to submit city legislation that would mandate safe storage of firearms. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Edmonds City Council President Mike Nelson announced July 3 that he will be proposing City of Edmonds legislation to require that gun owners securely store firearms. “Gun violence is killing too many of our kids today,” Nelson said in a Tuesday morning news conference next to the new Frances Anderson Center play structure. “Children and unsecured guns are a dangerous and deadly mix.” Nelson’s proposal would require gun owners to lock up their guns when not in use. Failure to do so could result in fines of up to $10,000 and forfeiture of the firearms.

    Rep. Rick Larsen reviews plans for the site. (My Edmonds News file photo)

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Rep. Rick Larsen visited Meadowdale Beach Park July 3 to review plans to restore the estuary at the bottom of the park’s one-mile trail. Estuary restoration would happen by creating a trestle bridge for the railroad. That will allow the area below the rail to be open and water from the stream and Puget Sound to flow naturally. A paved walkway is also set to be installed under the trestle bridge. Currently, the park’s trail ends at a raised railroad. Fences line the railroad. The only way to safely access the beach is through a culvert below the rail, but that is inaccessible whenever the water level in the stream rises.

    ~ ~ ~

    North Sound Church members carry a large flag during the July 4th parade. (File photo by Julia Wiese)

    Thousands of people crowded downtown Edmonds streets July 4 to enjoy the annual Edmonds Kind of Fourth of July parade, produced by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce with support from the Hazel Miller Foundation.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Edmonds police were seeking suspects in a shooting early July 7 behind the Edmonds Dairy Queen that sent a 17-year-old boy to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. According to Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure, officers responded just after midnight to a call of five or six subjects in a physical fight behind the Dairy Queen at 212th Street Southwest and 76th Avenue West, across from Edmonds-Woodway High School. “While en route we were advised that shots had been heard,” McClure said. The first police units on the scene located a 17-year-old male with apparent gunshot wounds to the thigh and buttock, police said.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    An Edmonds man was transported to Swedish Edmonds Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following a Sunday night fire in the clubhouse at Ridge Acres Mobile Home Park on Edmonds Way. According to South County Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Leslie Hynes, the fire caused about $160,000 damage to the clubhouse building, and two nearby sheds and a van sustained heat damage.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The existing Welcome to Downtown Edmonds sign is located in a small planted patch on the triangle of land owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation, at the junction of SR 104 and 5th Avenue South. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    The sign welcoming people to the south end of downtown Edmonds is about to get a new look. The Edmonds City Council’s Parks and Public Works Committee gave its blessing to the proposed new sign during its July 10 meeting, forwarding it to July 17 council consent agenda for approval. The city first identified in 2006 that the existing wooden sign, located on Washington State Department of Transportation right-of-way between Highway 104 and 5th Avenue South, was deteriorating. In 2016, the city decided it was time to replace it. Reaction to the plan generated intense public response. (See July 13 followup story here.)

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    An Edmonds man was recovering from injuries suffered in a Fourth of July attack in the parking area of Pacific Park Apartments. Hassan Abukar was robbed and bloodied just outside his Highway 99 apartment by a panhandler to whom he’d just given money. Police called to the scene arrested the suspect, age 35 and from Lynnwood, who allegedly hit the victim with a rock. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail, where he is currently being held on suspicion of robbery with a deadly weapon.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The crash scene, courtesy Washington State Patrol.

    Two Shoreline motorcyclists died July 11 following a collision with a vehicle on Highway 104 near First Avenue Northeast along the King/Snohomish County line, the Washington State Patrol said. Traffic was backed up for four hours as all eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 104 were closed for the accident investigation. According to the state patrol, a 2018 Buick Enclave was attempting to make a left turn onto First Avenue Northeast when it was struck by a motorcycle, ridden by a 26-year-old Shoreline man. A second motorcycle, ridden by another 26-year-old man from Shoreline, also struck the Enclave, which was spun around as a result of the impact

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Not everyone is happy with the prospect of low-income housing in the neighborhood, as this sign placed across the street from the church attests. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    A standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 neighbors and interested citizens filled the chapel at Edmonds Lutheran Church July 13 to learn more about the housing project that could bring up to 90 low-income families to the Aurora Marketplace neighborhood. The project is the result of a unique partnership between Edmonds Lutheran Church, Compass Housing Alliance, and home manufacturer Blokable, is envisioned to be constructed in three phases. Phase one, the first demo unit, was set in place June 29 on the church grounds).

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Dr. Amit Singh (Photo courtesy Edmonds Community College)

    New Edmonds Community College President Dr. Amit Singh has a vision for the college: To make Edmonds CC the school of choice for the Puget Sound region. “It’s a broad vision,” said Singh, Edmonds CC’s fifth president. He thinks the college and the region are uniquely positioned – geographically and economically – to serve the needs of students, the community, and local industry.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    An early-morning fire July 15 caused more than $150,000 damage and displaced a family of five from their Edmonds home. The fire was reported just before 3 a.m. in the 8300 block of 215th Street Southwest. “The father woke to a strange noise. He went to investigate and discovered the side of his house in flames,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for South County Fire. “He woke his wife and three children. They were able to get out safely and call 911.” The fire investigator determined the fire started in the area of a barbecue on the deck and spread up the side of the house into the attic.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Artist Angela Bandurka creates miniatures at the Binder-Veilleux Garden, #4 on the tour itinerary. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Attendees enjoyed the 2018 Edmonds In Bloom Garden Tour July 15, visiting seven private gardens; six in Edmonds and one in Woodway. There was live music from local musicians and plein air art created by local artists.

    City staff will conduct more outreach to citizens and come up with additional alternatives for replacing the deteriorating “Welcome to Downtown Edmonds” sign now located at the junction of 5th Avenue South and Highway 104. That was the outcome of a discussion between staff and Edmonds City Councilmembers during a July 17 council business meeting. On July 10, the council’s Parks and Public Works committee recommended approval of a new replacement for the sign. But the concept — a sleek, aluminum design featuring white-lettered “Downtown Edmonds” against a blue background — struck a sour note with those who preferred the painted wood “Welcome to Downtown Edmonds” version.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Steve Jackson with his 50-year anniversary gift: a working replica of the telegraph used for communication on some ferries. (File photo by Julia Wiese)

    It’s not every day that an employee celebrates 50 years on the job. The Washington State Ferries on July 25 honored Edmonds ferry terminal ticket taker Steve Jackson, who started working part-time for the ferry system in 1967. With the exception of some time away to attend Washington State University and serve in the Vietnam War, Jackson has been with the ferries ever since. He worked at the Mukilteo terminal until 2009, when he transferred to Edmonds.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    A fire caused by food left cooking on a stove caused $150,000 damage to a home in Edmonds’ Lake Ballinger neighborhood July 25. No one was injured in the blaze. According to South County Fire spokeswoman Leslie Hynes, the fire was reported at 1:40 a.m. at a house in the 8100 block of 240th Street Southwest.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    A crab creation. (File photo by Mardy Harding)

    This year’s sand sculpting contest drew an estimated crowd of 400 to sunny Edmonds’ Marina Beach July 25, as returning and new families, children, day camp groups, and adults tried their hand at their best sandy creation. The event included 71 total registered contestants, according to Theresa Catt, vice president of Edmonds’ Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which oversaw this year’s competition.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    An ordinance requiring that Edmonds residents safely lock up their firearms or face a fine passed the Edmonds City Council by a 5-1 vote July 24, generating sustained applause by a contingent of supporters in the council chamber. Since the goal is to educate citizens prior to enforcement, the law will become effective 180 days after passage.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The July 24 Edmonds City Council meeting drew an overflow crowd for several reasons, including the council’s consideration and passage of a firearms storage ordinance. But another equally volatile issue drew numerous public comments and significant council discussion: The ongoing debate over the city’s draft housing strategy.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Illustrations and renderings drew considerable interest from attendees. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    More than 80 interested citizens packed the City Hall Brackett Room July 26 to learn more about the latest design options for the Waterfront Connector project. After a 14-month review of possible options, the current waterfront connector concept was approved by the Edmonds City Council in 2017 as the best alternative to address emergency access to the waterfront when both the Main Street and Dayton Street at-grade crossings are blocked.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Helen Coulston, 103, at left, with Gene Burclay, 91. (File photo by Cody Sexton)

    Stay active. Don’t criticize others. Be nice. Those were among the words of wisdom shared by centenarians during the Edmonds Senior Center’s seventh annual 90 and Older Celebration July 31. The event is aimed at celebrating seniors as valued members of society who can maintain active lives as they age.

    August

    A tentative agreement was reached between the Edmonds Education Association teachers union and the Edmonds School District. The agreement includes an approximately $10,000 raise for starting and top salaries compared to last year’s salaries. The agreement has not yet been ratified by the union or formally accepted by the Edmonds School District. Both are expected to happen later in August.

    Four of the five Port Commissioners were on hand, and clearly enjoyed themselves immensely. L to R – Jim Orvis, Angela Harris, David Preston and Steve Johnston. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    It was a festive scene behind Anthony’s Restaurant Aug. 4 as the Port of Edmonds pulled out the stops to celebrate 70 years of stewardship over the Edmonds Waterfront and adjacent properties. Port Commissioners Angela Harris, Steve Johnston, David Preston and Jim Orvis were on hand to greet visitors and join in the festivities, which included free t-shirts, hot dogs, music and a classic car show.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association on Aug. 7 sued the City of Edmonds for its adoption of a firearms storage law. The two organizations say that the measure, approved by the council July 24, violates the state’s 35-year-old preemption statute. The groups filed a similar lawsuit against the City of Seattle last month.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Early returns in the primary election show incumbents winning and that the  South County Fire Regional Fire Authority (RFA) EMS levy passing with 61.01 percent of votes. This EMS (emergency medical services) levy is a single levy that will replace two separate levies that existed before the RFA was formed — one in Lynnwood and one in the area of the former Fire District 1, which includes Esperance and other unincorporated areas of Snohomish County, but not Edmonds.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    When it comes to the city’s draft Urban Forest Management Plan, there’s still more work to do. That was the consensus after Edmonds City Councilmembers reviewed a revised draft of the plan Aug. 7. There was disagreement over which parks within Edmonds’ jurisdiction should be included as part the city’s existing tree canopy. Should South County Park be included because it is within Edmonds’ boundaries, even though it is maintained by Snohomish County? Should Esperance Park be excluded because it is located in unincorporated Snohomish County, even though it is an island of land surrounded by Edmonds? At the end of Tuesday’s discussion on the matter, the council directed the consultant and staff to “sharpen their pencils” and further revise the report to reflect their concerns.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    By the end of the year 2022, the Edmonds School District is projected to be about $39 million in the red. That is what a four-year projection shows, according to the district budget presentation given to the Edmonds School Board Aug. 7. During the meeting, Stewart Mhyre, executive director of business and operations, made the normal budget presentation for the 2018-2019 school year. Then, for the first time in history, he delivered a four-year projection for the district, which is now required by new state legislation designed to meet the McCleary requirement to fully fund education

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Jan Yerek of Lopez Island Creamery packs a waffle cone. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    The 13 judges at the 2018 Taste Edmonds Tasteoff had their hands (and mouths) full Aug. 10, as more than 20 food purveyors presented their signature offerings, all vying for the honor of displaying the coveted “Best of the Taste” banner during this year’s festival. This year’s Best of the Taste winners: Best Main Dish – The Bulgogi Bowl from Seoul Bowl; Best Side Dish – Roasted corn on the cob from Roasted Corn and  Best Dessert – Ice cream from the Lopez Island Creamery.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Long-time residents gathered at City Park. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    More than 40 long-time residents gathered Aug. 12 at Edmonds City Park to share memories, laughs and good times at the annual Edmonds Old Settlers’ Picnic. A tradition stretching back 119 years, the first Old Settlers’ Picnic was held in 1899.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the local health jurisdictions of King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties on Aug. 13  issued an air quality alert due to pollution caused by wildfire smoke. The agency said it expects air quality to reach levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups overnight and into Aug. 14 in many areas. A high pressure system is pushing down upper level wildfire smoke from British Columbia and the Cascades, and that smoke is continuing to build in the Puget Sound region.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Area of Pine Street where speeding traffic is a concern. (Photo courtesy Google Maps)

    From flashing beacons to a continued police presence, the City of Edmonds now has a plan in place to address concerns of Pine Street residents regarding increased traffic and speeding drivers in their neighborhood. A group of about 20 residents who live on Pine Street between 6th and 7th avenues came to the May 22 Edmonds City Council meeting. Several testified they have seen significantly more traffic along their street as people use it as an alternate route to get to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Leo Dean Echelbarger

    Long-time South Snohomish County civic and business leader Leo Dean Echelbarger died on Aug. 14 at the age of 95. Mr. Echelbarger was a founder and president of the Edmonds Community College Foundation, president of the Snohomish County Economic Development Council, chairman of the Paine Field/Snohomish County Airport Commission, chairman of the first Lynnwood Planning Commission (in 1959) and vice-chairman of Pioneer Bank. He also received the John Fluke Community Service Award.

    From photographer Bill Anderson, smoke over Edmonds August 19, 2018. 

    Program changes and closures due to wildfire smoke-related air pollution continued in the Edmonds area Aug. 21, with the Edmonds School District moving its fall sports practices indoors, and Yost Pool and the Klahaya Swim and Tennis Club both closed. Edmonds School District spokeswoman Kelly Franson said that practices for the district’s fall high school sports programs “are now indoors until instructed otherwise.” City of Edmonds Recreation Program Supervisor Todd Cort said the city has moved all of its outdoor programs into the Frances Anderson Center for Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 21-22.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    An alternative infill for Edmonds-Woodway High School’s new baseball field seems likely now that the Edmonds City Council has extended for another six months its moratorium on crumb rubber for publicly-owned playfields. The council voted unanimously during its Tuesday, Aug. 21 business meeting to extend for a third time its moratorium on crumb rubber turf installation, this time through February 2019. Edmonds School District spokeswoman Kelly Franson confirmed that the school district had a contingency plan if the council voted to extend the ban. “The baseball field project is being designed to accommodate more than one type of infill,” she said. “It will be bid to include an alternative to crumb rubber.”

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    The nine-unit apartment complex being built at 303 Edmonds Street. (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    News that a nine-unit apartment complex being built at 303 Edmonds Street without any on-site vehicle parking prompted the Edmonds City Council at its Tuesday Aug.21 meeting to place a moratorium on new residential construction without parking in the city’s Business District (BD) zone. City of Edmonds Development Services Director Shane Hope sad the moratorium will give city officials a chance to initiate an amendment to the city’s code. The action won’t affect the three-story, nine-unit apartment building now under construction on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and Edmonds Street, as the developer was following current city code when on-site parking wasn’t included.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Cascadia founder and Board President Lindsey Echelbarger at the gala with Edmonds’ David Jaffe, retired CEO of Swedish Edmonds Hospital.

    The Edmonds community came together Aug. 25 as a record-setting crowd gathered at the home of Cascadia Art Museum founders Lindsey and Caroline Echelbarger for the third annual museum fundraiser, an evening of music, fun, conversation, laughter, great food and drinks. The event raised more than $450,000 and as a result, the museum is eliminating entrance charges for children and teens.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    More than 200 citizens filled Edmonds City Hall’s Brackett Room Aug. 28 to hear the latest updates to the city’s draft housing strategy and participate in idea-generating breakout sessions. The meeting got off to a raucous start, as many attendees expressed a mixture of anger and fear over the issue, interrupting speakers at several times during the formal presentation with shouted questions and comments. Other audience members engaged in heated side conversations, all of which prompted organizers to call in a police presence as a precaution. But order prevailed, and the evening progressed without incident.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Madrona K-8 under construction in mid-July, courtesy the Edmonds School District website.

    After 11 hours of negotiations with a mediator, a tentative agreement has been reached between the Olympic View Water & Sewer District and the Edmonds School District regarding the new Madrona K-8 school construction project. The two groups have disagreed over stormwater treatment plans for the site. The agreement reached Aug. 29 is pending approval by the boards of both districts. If approved, it would likely put the new school on-track to open to students sometime during the upcoming school year. Students should expect to begin the 2018-2019 school year at the former Alderwood Middle School, located at 20000 28th Ave. W. in Lynnwood.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Jan Nicholas and Stephanie Johnstone (File photo by Larry Vogel)

    Two familiar faces at the Edmonds Chamber announced on Aug. 31 that they plan to leave their positions. Development and Community Engagement Manager Jan Nicholas and Finance and Operations Manager Stephanie Johnstone submitted their resignations via a memo to the chamber board. Both have been with the chamber for a little more than two years.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *