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November 24, 2014

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Advocates Needed in Everett For Neglected, Abused, Abandoned Children

GAL volunteers

The are a lot of kids looking for advocates in Everett.

The Snohomish County Superior Court is putting out a call for volunteers to serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for kids who have been removed from their homes and need someone to act in their best interest. If you have the interest, here are the details…

The Volunteer Guardian ad Litem (VGAL) program of Snohomish County is seeking adults, 21 years and older, to act as advocates for children who have been removed from their homes due to alleged abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Washington State (RCW 13.34.100) and federal (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act) law mandate that all children in dependency have a Guardian ad Litem to represent their best interests in court.  In Washington, a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian ad Litem (GAL) fulfills that mandate.  A CASA/VGAL is a citizen volunteer appointed by the court to advocate for a child through independent investigations of the child’s situation and written recommendations to the court regarding the child’s safety, well-being, and permanency.

Dependent children in Snohomish County are dependent on volunteers to be their voice. Unfortunately, in Snohomish County there are not enough volunteers to meet the growing demand of children who are in need of a VGAL. Since January 1, 2014 the Snohomish County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem program has received 381 new cases, resulting in over 1,300 children who are dependents of the state.  This does not include the thousands of children who were already in the system prior to January 2014.

The Snohomish County VGAL program is seeking qualified individuals from all walks of life, cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities to submit an application and begin the interviewing process for the next training scheduled to begin on January 31, 2015. 

Applicants must be at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or GED. Interested candidates may call the VGAL Program Office at (425) 388-7854 for more information or view the application online at: VGAL Application or http://snohomishcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7031.

“Volunteers learn the skills needed to become a strong voice for a child during the 32-hour intensive training course that is completed over three days,” explained Jessica Gurley, Community Services Supervisor for Snohomish County Superior Court.  “The training teaches future advocates what they should expect to encounter once they are appointed to a case, how to put together a full picture of the child’s situation and how to navigate the court process,” stated Gurley.  “With the knowledge gained during training, coupled by support received by VGAL Program Coordinators, volunteers can advocate for the best possible future for a child.”

Qualified individuals need to pledge to stay on a case from start to finish.  A case can take anywhere from six to 18 months, or longer, depending on its complexity.  Citizens of Snohomish County have the opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of children who are dependents of the state and who need a voice throughout the court process.  “Our neighbors and friends in the community can help us help kids who need a voice,” stated Gurley.  “If you have the time and compassion to help shape a child’s life,” Gurley said, “My question is, what’s stopping you?”

About Snohomish County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program

The Volunteer Guardian ad Litem (VGAL) Program recruits and trains community volunteers to provide court-appointed special advocates for dependent children who are victims or alleged victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. VGALs are appointed by Superior Court judges to represent the children’s best interests during a dependency action brought against the parents.

Program Goal

The program goal is to ensure that a child’s right to a safe and permanent family is acted on in a sensitive and expedient manner. Working with the judge, attorneys, and social workers, the VGAL advocates for the best interests of the child and seeks to establish a secure placement for dependent children.

Definition of Dependent Child

Dependent children are defined as those children who are under 18 years of age, who have no parent willing or able to care for them, or who are abandoned, abused, or neglected and are under the protective care of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Children’s Administration. A VGAL may be appointed for these children to represent what is in their best interests to the court during the dependency process.

How to Apply

If you are interested in speaking up for a child and becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate with the Snohomish County VGAL Program, please call 425-388-7854 or email (csu@snoco.org) for more information.

http://snohomishcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7031


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November 23, 2014

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Everett Firefighters Continue Tradition of Serving Turkey Dinner To Seniors

EFD Turkey

Assistant Fire Marshal Eric Hicks with a guest of honor.

For the past 15 years members of the Everett Firefighters Association and their families have been serving a turkey dinner with all the trimmings to senior citizens in Everett. That continued today with three separate sittings at the Carl Gipson Senior Center. More than 160 pounds of turkey, 52 pumpkin pies and who knows how many green beans were served. The Everett Firefighters Association pays for all of the food and the firefighters and spouses prepare and cook the meal while their children serve the seniors who today enjoyed not only a great meal but also musical entertainment from students at Cascade High School. Here are a few pictures from the preparation and first serving today. Click photo to enlarge.

Everett FF Assoc Turkey A

Everett FF Assoc Turkey B

Everett FF Assoc Turkey C

Everett FF Assoc Turkey D

Everett FF Assoc Turkey F

Everett FF Assoc Turkey H

Everett FF Assoc Turkey I

Everett FF Assoc Turkey L


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November 23, 2014

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Everett and Puget Sound Boeing Employees Give Big To United Way of Snohomish County

ECF

This year’s donation is a near 9% increase over last year.

Got this piece of good news from Neil Parekh this week…

Workers at The Boeing Company will be contributing $1.86 million to United Way of Snohomish County over the next year through The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound (ECF). The money will be used to support United Way-funded programs in the areas of education; financial stability; integrated and healthy communities and North Sound 2-1-1.

The $1,862,346 pledge represents an increase of $151,746 – almost 9 percent – compared to last year’s and is by far United Way’s single largest annual contribution. As is customary, the funds will be disbursed over the next 12 months.

“Boeing employees are such an important part of our community,” said Dr. Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County.

“They are not only generous with their charitable contributions but they also volunteer during Days of Caring, with the Toys for Tots Drive, Letter Carriers Food Drive and many other community projects throughout the year; like various ramp and deck building projects,” Smith added.

“We have a long-term relationship with United Way of Snohomish County. They are tireless in their effort to ensure the value of each and every contribution is maximized,” said Kathleen Sneden-Cook, president of the ECF Board of Trustees.

“Working with partner agencies, United Way ensures these agencies work to get at the root causes of the issues they seek to address. The result is that ECF dollars partnered with United Way leadership makes a real difference in Snohomish County,” Sneden-Cook added.

This year’s contribution will support several current priority investment areas identified by volunteers on United Way’s vision councils.

These areas include early learning; afterschool/youth development programming; housing; emergency assistance for basic needs; career and job skills training; seniors; and crime reduction / victim support. Funding from this pledge will also be earmarked for 2-1-1- the health and human service information and referral system operated by Volunteers of America Western Washington.

Several members of the ECF Board of Trustees live in Snohomish County.

ECF supports 10 United Ways in Puget Sound counties where ECF contributors live and work.

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound is an employee-owned 501(c) 3 nonprofit giving program. The Boeing Company covers all of ECF’s administrative costs.

United Way is a community impact organization serving Snohomish County for almost 75 years. In addition to funding 107 programs through 40 agencies with a special focus on local health and human services, United Way of Snohomish County supports a number of initiatives focusing on early learning and education, financial stability for families, a youth program, North Sound 211 and an emerging initiative in survival English.

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound (ECF) is an employee-owned and managed charitable giving program. Since 1951 ECF has been building better communities and making a positive impact in the Puget Sound region. Since then, ECF has pledged more than $600 million to local 501(c) 3 health & human service nonprofits, including food banks, job-training programs, shelters, transitional housing, mental health services, low-income medical clinics, youth programs. In partnership with local United Ways, ECF builds strong communities and invests in services and innovative programs that improve lives in our local communities.


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November 22, 2014

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Holiday Decor Going Back Up in Downtown Everett

tree

A downtown Everett tradition continues…

Tree

The whole process takes about 3 hours.

The intersection of Hewitt and Colby was shut down for a few hours Saturday morning so City of Everett crews could again put up the tree and other decor on the structure around the intersection. Back in 2011 the annual tradition almost stopped due to the poor condition of the tree and the supporting structure. A citizen outcry against plans to cancel the display led to the public works department making some adjustments and the downtown tree tradition continued. Here are a couple of pictures from this morning. By they way…Santa Claus arrived at the Everett Mall today.


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November 21, 2014

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Everett Residents Can Give A Friend or Relative Electricity For Christmas

PUD

Need a gift idea? Give a PUD gift certificate.

Snohomish County PUD has come up with a unique gift for the Holidays. Give the gift of electricity. Well, its more like a PUD gift certificate but its still an unusual idea. You can get a gift certificate at any PUD payment office. Pay one of their cashiers the amount you want to give, and the PUD will credit that customer’s account with your payment and provide you with a certificate you can use to tell the lucky person about your gift.

Here are a few other Holiday season money saving ideas passed along by Neil Neroutsos at Snohomish PUD…

 

Energy Saving Holiday Lights

This holiday season turn to energy-efficient LED lights. They use 1/100th of the energy of a C7 holiday bulb and 1/10th of the energy of a holiday mini-light. Plus, they last up to 20 years and are safer since they burn cooler. The bulbs’ epoxy lenses make them more durable, and their low wattage lets you connect up to 20 strings end-to-end without fear of overloading a circuit.

 

LED Night Lights

LED Night Lights have an extremely long life – up to 100,000 hours – and are inexpensive to operate. Annual operating costs are 50 cents per year or less. Many also contain a dusk to dawn photocell that automatically turns off lights during daylight hours.

 

Energy Smart Gadgets

Programmable and smart thermostats automatically lower your heat when you’re asleep or away and/or allow you to control your home’s temperature remotely. Use smart power strips eliminate phantom power drains from electronics when they’re not in use. Or try out a variety of energy monitors, which show you which appliances are using the most energy in your home.


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November 21, 2014

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Naval Station Everett Looking For WWII and Pearl Harbor Veterans

Naval Station Everett

Naval Station Everett to honor Pearl Harbor and WWII Vets

Naval Station Everett is preparing to honor veterans from Pearl Harbor and World War II. If you are a veteran, or know of one, here is the information you need as provided by Naval Station Everett…

Naval Station Everett will host a Pearl Harbor Day and WWII Remembrance Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m. The event will be held on base at the Grand Vista Ballroom. All WWII military veterans from all military branches are invited to attend. The purpose of this event is to honor the Pearl Harbor survivors and their families in the Snohomish County area.

During the event, there will be display tables open for veterans and family members to share pictures, uniforms, cruise books, medals, and other items. Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII veterans, and their family members are welcome to participate in a ceremonial wreath dedication and walk of honor.

This event is not open to the public, however the base is interested in reaching out to as many survivors and family members as possible. Those who do not already have a military identification card will be asked to provide their full name, driver’s license state and number, and date of birth.

Interested attendees are asked to RSVP by emailing Troy Schulz at TROY.SCHULZ@NAVY.MIL by Wednesday, December 3rd.


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November 20, 2014

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Port of Everett Testing Electronic Sign On West Marine View Drive

sign

The sign would take up the area in blue on both sides.

electric sign

The test sign is much smaller than the actual area proposed.

The Port of Everett is in the middle of a request to the Everett Planning Commission to allow the installation of an electronic readerboard at the entrance to its Waterfront Place development at 13th street and West Marine View Drive. Today the Port is testing out a small version of the sign to determine its potential impacts. The Port is asking the planning commission for an exception to the current sign code that prohibits electronic messaging signs. Port of Everett spokesperson Lisa Lefeber says the sign would be used by the Port to promote the events happening at the Port and would replace “A” Boards currently used to notify the public about the events. She says it would not be used to advertise commercial services or tenants. “We have the ability to control the brightness to keep it from being an issue for our neighbors,” said Lefeber. “We can even turn it off after events end so it’s not running 24-7.” The test will run until 8:00pm.

The city is looking for feedback from residents who may see the test today or this evening.
Comments on the proposed sign can be made to:
City of Everett Planning, Jim Hanson
2930 Wetmore, Suite 8A
Everett, WA 98201
or Email: jhanson@everett wa.gov


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