MLTnews 2019 year in review: November-December

MLTnews continues its look back at the highlights of 2019.

Part 6: November-December

November

The Snohomish County strike team at the base camp in Santa Rosa, Calif. (Photo courtesy of South County Fire)

On Nov. 1, MLTnews reported that three South County Fire firefighters joined a Snohomish County strike team that traveled to Sonoma County, California to assist local fire agencies battle the Kincade Fires. The team was in California for two weeks.

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Photos by Juley Petrowski

The Mountlake Terrace High School Holiday Bazaar kicked off on Nov. 2 with more than 70 vendors at the high school. Tables and booths displaying food, crafts and wares were lined up in the school gym and hallways for the annual event.

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The Mountlake Terrace City Council at its Nov. 4 meeting unanimously approved a staff proposal to raise the city’s sewer rates by 42.5% and its stormwater rates by 95% in 2020. The decision came in response to city’s need to invest in the city’s aging infrastructure. After that initial jump, which becomes effective January 2020, ratepayers will see subsequent lower annual percentage increases through 2024. Those two rate increases will join the average $22-per-month water rate hike residents experienced in January 2019.

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Kris McDuffy

As the Edmonds School District conducted its search for a new district superintendent, district staff encouraged community members to provide feedback on what they wanted in a new superintendent. The district invited community members to attend meetings Nov. 4-6 to give input.

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Erin Murray

Early results from the Nov. 5 general electionshowed that Mountlake Terrace City Council candidate Erin Murray led the polls for the council’s vacant seat. In the race for the Edmonds School Board of Directors, newcomer Nancy Katims led the race along with incumbent Directors Carin Chase and Gary Noble.

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Denise Fan (center), a first-year University of Washington medical student, observes students using a stethoscope to check a heartbeat.

On Nov. 7, MLTnews reported about the Edmonds School District’s first Doctor for a Day event — a University of Washington program aimed at encouraging students of color to explore careers in medicine. More than 70 students were able to participate in hands-on activities.

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In response to the passage of I-976, City of Mountlake Terrace officials — as well as officials from other affected cities — scrambled to decide what the next step would be as they faced drastic transportation budget cuts. According to Mountlake Terrace city staff, the initiative could affect the city’s planned Main Street Revitalization Project. To learn more, read MLTnews’ Nov. 10 story.

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Hundreds of flags mark the gravesites of U.S. veterans on Monday at Abbey View Memorial Park in Brier. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)

In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Abbey View Memorial Park in Brier was adorned in red, white and blue as American flags marked the gravesites of those who had served.

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Elementary instructional coaches Abigail Espegard (left) and Joey Mertel (right) brief the Edmonds School Board of Directors on the proposed Units of Study for Reading curriculum for K-6 grade students.

At its Nov. 12 business meeting, the Edmonds School District Board of Directors held its first reading for the proposed Units of Study in Reading curriculum, which teaches students to read through classroom workshops. The curriculum is part of Teachers College Reading and Writing Project co-founded in 1981 by educator Lucy Calkins. During the meeting, the council heard mixed feedback from community members about the proposed curriculum.

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The Mountlake Terrace City Council at its Nov. 18 meeting unanimously approved proposals for a 1% increase in the city’s general operations and emergency medical services levies. The 1% increase will generate approximately $84,035 for the general levy and $21,471 for the EMS levy. The property tax will result in a $13 annual increase — from $678 to $691 — based on the estimated assessed value of $411,802 for an average Mountlake Terrace home.

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Visitors to the Concern for Neighbors Food Bank in Mountlake Terrace line up with shopping carts and wait for their turn to snake through the tables of food available at a recent Tuesday morning distribution time. (Photos by Doug Petrowski)

The Concern for Neighbors Food Bank in Mountlake Terrace provides assistance for some 80 to 100 households weekly. However, the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the organization expected to see upwards of 150 people for their regular Tuesday distribution of food prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. On Nov. 25, MLTnews published a story about the food bank’s work to help those in need with the help of community partners.

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Edmonds School District officials, staff and students honored School Board President Diana White (center) for her eight years on the board. White is retiring from the board at the end of November.

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors and district staff bid an emotional farewell to former-Board President Diana White at its Nov. 26 business meeting. White was elected to the board in 2014 and served as its president for eight years.

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The pop-up safety fair included a visit from representatives of the Mountlake Terrace Police Department and South County Fire.

The Mountlake Terrace-based Girl Scouts of Western Washington Troop 50529 invited community members to a pop-up party and safety fair Nov. 30 featuring safety information, crafts and LEGO robots lined the walls of the Mountlake Terrace Library’s meeting room.

December

New City Councilmember Steve Woodard is sworn in by City Attorney Greg Schrag.

Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Steve Woodard was sworn in during the council’s Dec. 2 business meeting after being elected in November. He holds the Position 2 seat that was left vacant with the December 2018 death of long-time Councilmember and Mayor Jerry Smith. The council also unanimously voted to award a $10.6 million construction contract to Allied Construction Association Inc. for the new city hall, public plaza and expanded police station.

Following a two-month review, and a public hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 4, the Mountlake Terrace Salary Commission adopted a resolution that provides for a $100 increase to the monthly salaries of the city’s mayor and councilmembers effective Jan. 5, 2020. The last salary adjustment for the City Council was 2001.

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A record 60 first responders volunteered for the 11th annual Shop with a Cop on Dec. 4 at Target. (Photo courtesy of the Lynnwood Police Department)

The 11th annual Shop with a Cop event on Dec. 4 saw a record volunteer turnout at the Lynnwood Target with 60 first responders pairing with Edmonds School District students in need.

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A Mountlake Terrace man was sentenced on Dec. 6 in U.S District Court in Seattle to 10 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release for possession and distribution of child pornography. Christopher Lee Wood, 41, pleaded guilty July 15, 2019 — about a year after law enforcement served a search warrant on his home. A Seattle Police detective working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force had identified Wood as the person using file sharing software to distribute images of child rape.

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The shooting scene at 49th Avenue West Friday night. (Photo by Cody Sexton)

A shooting on Dec. 6 in Mountlake Terrace left one man in serious but stable condition after he was shot in the lower back. While the man was being transported to the hospital by an acquaintance, the vehicle he was being transported in was stopped by Edmonds police. On Dec. 13, MLTnews reported that the Mountlake Terrace Police Department had identified a “person of interest” and that the incident was drug related.

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An Edmonds man who along with another man robbed a Mountlake Terrace marijuana store at gunpoint was sentenced on Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court to 12 1/2 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Bradford Marselas Johnson, 22, was sentenced after being found guilty in an earlier trial of robbery, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. His co-defendant, Eric Henry Woodberry, 23, of Brier, was sentenced in September to 11 years in prison.

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The Christmas Tree on top of the City of Mountlake Terrace water tower is made of 1,800 LED lights.

Mountlake Terrace community members filled Evergreen Playfield Dec. 6 for the city’s 37th annual Christmas Tree lighting event. Prior to the tree lighting, community members gathered on the field to hear students from Mountlake Terrace Elementary and Terrace Park School launch the event with a choir performance of Christmas carols. This year’s choir was the largest yet, with nearly 100 students participating.

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During the VEX Robotics Competition Tower Takeover, teams form alliances and use their robots to work together. (Photos by Cody Sexton)

Mountlake Terrace High School hosted the VEX Robotics Competition for the first time on Dec. 7, inviting students from across Washington state to compete using original robotic designs. VEX Robotics competitions bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to life as middle and high school students design and build a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The competition includes year-round tournaments offered at regional, state and national levels with finalists competing for top honors in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.

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Re-elected Edmonds School Board Directors (left to right) Carin Chase and Gary Noble with new Director Nancy Katims and Superintendent Kris McDuffy.

During its Dec. 10 business meeting, the Edmonds School Board welcomed the newly elected and re-elected board members. Also during the meeting, the board heard support for the proposed reading curriculum.

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On Dec. 12, MLTnews reported that a Mountlake Terrace man pleaded guilty on Nov. 19 to stalking and sexually harassing multiple young women by sending them anonymous text messages. Ray Boughner Jr. III pleaded guilty in the Snohomish County Superior Court to three counts of cyberstalking and two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes after sending anonymous messages threatening to rape multiple young women.

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Mountlake Terrace City Manager Scott Hugill, left, thanks Seaun Richards for his work on the city council. (Photo by Teresa Wippel)

During the Mountlake Terrace City Council’s Dec. 16 business meeting, former-Councilmember Seaun Richards said farewell after serving on the council for eight years. Richards thanked city staff, the city’s late mayor, Jerry Smith, and the voters “for having the confidence for voting me in as their representative for a two-term, eight-year commitment. I’ve always said I’m a two-term politician.”

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Lynnwood resident Patrick Crosby erected a 14-foot Christmas tree dedicated to military families.

A Lynnwood man erected a Christmas tree in his front yard decorated with photos of local military personnel who died in combat and asked for the community’s help sending their families holiday messages by signing cards. Patrick Crosby partnered with the Washington state chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers and Campbell’s Tree Farm in Snohomish County to send cards with messages from community members to more than 70 military families. To learn more, read MLTnews’ Dec. 17 story.

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On Dec. 18, the Edmonds School District announced it received an anonymous $18,000 donation to pay off meal debt for nearly 2,000 students. The donation was made by the family of former Hazelwood Elementary School students who approached the school’s principal hoping to help the school. The family then decided to make a larger contribution after learning about meal debt in the district.

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Hospital workers marching the picket line in August 2019. With the sides no closer to agreement, the workers are threatening to strike early next year.

Nurses and caregivers announced Dec. 19 that they were moving closer to an “imminent strike,” claiming that patient care and severe understaffing have worsened and executive pay has ballooned since Swedish was taken over seven years ago by Providence, Washington’s largest health care corporation.

–By Cody Sexton

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