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PUD Warning Everett Homeowners and Businesses About Recent Scams

April 18, 2014


PUD scammer

Scammers have all sorts of ways to take your money.

Got an update today from Neil Neroutsos at Snohomish PUD about various attempts by scammers to steal identities, credit card numbers and collect phony payments. This is happening to both residential and commercial customers. Here’s their latest update and some good suggestions…

Snohomish County PUD reminds customers about potential scams that aim to steal customers’ identity and bill payment information. Criminals use various means of solicitation, including in person door-to-door visits, social media, fliers, phone calls and text messages.

Recent ploys have tried to lure both residential and business customers. They may claim the customer’s bill is delinquent and/or tell them there is special funding for utility bill assistance. Customers are typically asked for personal information, such as social security identification or credit card numbers. They also may provide victims with a fraudulent bank routing number with which to pay their utility bills.

If a PUD customer receives a phone call asking for financial information related to their bill, they should never provide this information. The PUD never calls customers to collect credit card information over the phone. The only time a credit card number is taken over the phone is through an outside, bill payment service. In this case, the phone call and payment is initiated by the customer by calling 1-888-909-4628.

If a customer receives a phone call, supposedly from the utility, and aren’t sure if it actually came from the PUD, they should call PUD Customer Service, at 425-783-1000 to verify the information they were given. The PUD representative will be able to tell them whether or not the call was legitimate.

If a person comes to a customer’s home or business claiming to be a PUD employee, they should ask to see their PUD identification. Employees carry an ID card with their picture on it and will gladly show it to customers.

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City of Everett Development Fees Have Not Kept Up With The Times

April 16, 2014


City of Everett, WA

Everett hasn’t raised most fees to developers in over 15 years.

Currently the City of Everett is trying to address a projected shortfall of $13 million dollars in 2015. To deal with that, Everett has formed a team to try to come up with options to close that gap. As part of the ongoing Structural Deficit Advisory Team briefings at the Everett City Council, it came out tonight that the City of Everett last updated its planning and development fees in 1995. Additionally Everett’s traffic mitigation fees charged to developers have not been adjusted since 1999. As an example, Everett charges $900.00 for traffic mitigation while the city of Sultan charges $5220.00 and the city of Lynnwood charges $7914.00. Everett’s business license fee has remained at $10.00 and there is no annual renewal charge. The Everett Fire Department is required to conduct fire inspections but unlike most cities in the area does not charge for that service.

Tonight’s presentations were about options to raise taxes and fees. Among the items mentioned were doubling the current adult bus fare on Everett Transit from $1.00 to $2.00. For every 25 cent increase in bus fare there would be an annual increase of $250,000.00. There was no talk of raising fares for seniors or youth.

There was a suggestion to bring back parking meters and charge 50 cents per hour for parking in the downtown Everett corridor. Roughly from Broadway on the east, West Marine View Drive on the west, Pacific Avenue to the south and Everett Avenue to the north. That could generate $300,000.00 per year. There was also talk of charging for parking at 36 stalls at the Everett station. Those stalls are currently free two-hour parking and are used by people primarily using the services inside the station, most notably the unemployment office. Making those 36 stalls paid parking could bring Everett about $100,000.00 per year. It was also revealed that if someone received four parking violations, Everett Police can impound the person’s car. However, when the owner goes to get their vehicle out of impound they only have to pay the impound fee and don’t have to pay the outstanding parking tickets to get their vehicle back.

At the start of the presentation many council members stated they had their own ideas for generating revenue and a council committee will be gathering those ideas and presenting them at a future meeting. As the revenue options were being considered, Everett Mayor Ray Stephenson told the city council members that he didn’t want to look backward and place any blame for failing to address revenues in the past but wanted to move forward as fast as possible. He expressed concern that if the council spent too much time studying the deficits and didn’t take fast action that more drastic taxing measures would have to be taken.

The City of Everett has a budget reduction website where all of the presentations and options are posted and available for review. Most of tonight’s documents should be available by the end of the day Thursday.

The next presentation by the Structural Deficit Advisory Team will be on April 30th followed by at least two public meetings in May.

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Everett Gets Its First Legal Marijuana License For Production and Processing

April 11, 2014


Verdavanti logo

Everett’s first officially licensed grower and processor of recreational marijuana.

So far the State of Washington has issued about 10 license approvals for growing and producing marijuana for distribution to wholesale and retail outlets. Last week the State issued its first license to an Everett based firm. VERDAVANTI, LLC was issued a Tier 3 License to grow marijuana for recreational use in an area of 10,000 to 30,000 square feet.

According to State licensing records, the company’s mailing address is a UPS storefront mailbox on Everett Mall Way inside the Everett City limits while the actual growing facility is on 132nd street SE just south of the Everett city limits in unincorporated Snohomish County.

We’ve emailed them questions through the contact page of their website asking about their business operations and if they’re excited about being the 1st marijuana producer and processor in Everett but have not yet received a reply.

As far as buying their product at a retail store in Everett, that will still have to wait. On April 22nd the State of Washington will hold a lottery for the retail licenses. In Everett there are more than 50 applicants applying for 5 slots. The results of the retail lottery will be revealed on May 2nd. Everett’s first retail marijuana stores will likely open sometime in July.

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Great Graphic of New Buildings at Everett Boeing Plant via Seattle Times

April 10, 2014


Seattle Times Boeing Plant graphic

Click to see the Seattle Times graphic of the new buildings at the Everett Boeing Plant

Our news partner, The Seattle Times, has a great graphic by Mark Nowlin showing the new buildings soon to be going up at the Everett Boeing plant in south Everett. There are also two informative articles by Dominic Gates. One talking about the use of robots in building the 777x as well as the way Boeing plans to deal with parking issues that will result due to the construction.

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Now Available in Everett, New Online Tool Analyzes PUD Customer’s Power Usage

April 8, 2014


Snohomish PUD energy advisor

Give it a try. You might win $200.

Snohomish PUD is offering customers a chance to win $200 just by analyzing their power bills between now and June 30th. Using what it calls an online EnergyAdvisor tool, the PUD says customers can see where they are using the most energy and then take steps to reduce that usage. Here are the details from Neil Neroutsos at Snohomish PUD…

Analyze your PUD bill with the utility’s EnergyAdvisor for a chance to win $200 off your PUD bill. Three prizes will be awarded during the promotion, which runs through June 30, 2014. For more information, visit

The free EnergyAdvisor tool was recently upgraded to integrate customer billing information for account specific data.  It’s an easy-to-use online analyzer that enables customers to see where they are using the most energy in their homes, and what they can do to reduce their use and save money.  After answering a few quick questions about their homes, customers receive a comprehensive report with tips for no- and low-cost ways to save, as well as information about relevant PUD programs and rebates. A recent billing integration upgrade to the tool enables customers who input their account number to receive more personalized results.

In addition to the whole-home EnergyAdvisor audit, customers can access several special purpose calculators related to thermostats, lighting, televisions, appliances and holiday lighting. Appliance cost sheets provide additional information about average monthly energy costs for operating more than 100 household items.

Home reference tools also provide a collection of resources, such as a library of topic-specific articles, a “Kids’ Corner,” an electricity primer and a highly-visual interactive home tool.

The PUD has helped customers identify ways to conserve energy since the early 1980s. For a range of tips and resources, call the utility’s Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700. The PUD’s website, at, also offers a wealth of energy-related information.

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Everett Farmers Market Announces Dates For 2014 Sunday Season on Everett’s Waterfront

April 5, 2014


Flowers at Everett Farmers Market

Strawberries at Everett Farmers Market Good news for foodies and art lovers in Everett. For the 21st year, the Everett Farmers Market will be held on the Everett waterfront. The Sunday Market will open for the season on May 18th, two weeks earlier than past years. The season will run to October 5th and the market will be in its usual location just north of Lombardi’s restaurant on West Marine View Drive. Hours will be from 11:00am until 4:00pm. As always you’ll be able to find Washington-grown fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, a wide variety of things to eat, live entertainers, extremely talented artists and if you’ll forgive the editorial comment…a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon on the waterfront in Everett.

Plans have also been set to bring back the Friday Farmers Market at the Everett Mall in south Everett. That will happen every Friday from 3:00pm to 7:00pm beginning June 13th.

You can learn more on the Everett Farmers Market web page.

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Everett Radio Station Owners Buy Former Herald Newspaper Property

April 4, 2014


Herald property in Everett, WA

There are two parcels. One on either side of West Marine View Drive. Photo provided by Skotdal Real Estate

Craig Skotdal, President of Skotdal Real Estate and co-owner of Everett radio station Classic Country 1520 KXA, announced yesterday that his family has purchased the former Herald newspaper property at California and West Marine View Drive near the Everett waterfront. The property has been listed for sale since early 2013 when Sound Publishing bought the Herald from the Washington Post Company. On Sunday, the Herald office and reporting staff finished moving out of the buildings on California Avenue and into a new location at the former Verizon building at 41st and Colby. The printing operation had previously moved to Paine Field. Skotdal did not reveal how much his family paid for the property. Here’s the full press release issued by Skotdal…

Skotdal Real Estate announced today it has acquired the real estate assets of The Daily Herald Company from Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). The property includes two city blocks on the west edge of downtown Everett where The Daily Herald Company previously operated. The transaction was made through the purchase of the company’s stock from Graham Holdings. The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

With the closing of the sale, the real estate parcels now return to local ownership after being sold to the Washington Post Company by the Best family along with their newspaper business in 1978. Graham Holdings Company is the successor in interest to the Washington Post Company. In early 2013, the newspaper assets of The Daily Herald Company were sold to Sound Publishing, Inc.

“The Washington Post Company and Graham family have a long history of responsible stewardship in the Everett community,” said Craig Skotdal, president of Skotdal Real Estate. “Throughout their 35 years as owners of The Daily Herald Company, they invested in quality and took a long-term approach that made a positive difference in our community. That’s the same model we intend to follow.”

Skotdal Real Estate’s latest purchase is another step forward in the company’s goal of accelerating Everett’s transformation as a vibrant urban center. “As a company and as a family, we’re committed to helping downtown Everett become a dynamic urban neighborhood where people can live, work, and play in one great place,” said Skotdal. “The purchase of the Daily Herald properties creates opportunities, now and in the future, that can help achieve that goal.”

The two city blocks included in the property sale are comprised of approximately 4.39 acres of land. The first parcel, located in the 2700 Block of Grand Avenue, includes 83,537 SF of building space with a mixture of office and industrial/warehouse uses. It features the former headquarters office building of The Daily Herald Company. The second parcel is located in the 2700 Block of W. Marine View Drive, immediately west of the other site. Both properties had been extensively marketed for sale.

Skotdal Real Estate’s immediate plans for the property include leasing the available office and industrial spaces to businesses interested in relocating to downtown Everett. As part of this effort, the company will undertake aesthetic improvements to the property to bring it up to the same standards as other buildings in its real estate portfolio. “Our primary focus is to bring people back to the core of the city, and recruiting new businesses to downtown is a big part of that effort,” said Skotdal.

In January, Skotdal Real Estate confirmed it was in the early stages of planning a new 102-unit apartment building to be constructed at the southeast corner of Hewitt and Rucker Avenues. A major goal of the project is to expand the number of urban dwellers living in Everett’s central business district.

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