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Upgraded Tool Allows Everett Residents To Analyze Own Energy Usage

December 6, 2014

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Snohomish PUD energy advisor

The EnergyAdvisor has been upgraded so you can input your specific information. Click above to try.

The Snohomish PUD has now upgraded its “EnergyAdvisor” tool to allow you to input your own energy use to get a more accurate picture of where your energy dollars are going. Here’s the latest information as provided by Neil Neroutsos at the PUD…

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.


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Port of Everett Getting Stronger (Literally)

December 6, 2014

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Port

The south wharf is about to get stronger

Neighbors living near the Port of Everett’s southern terminal may soon notice construction activity later this month as the Port begins efforts to strengthen the wharf. Here are the details from Lisa Lefeber at the Port of Everett…

Starting this month, IMCO General Construction, Inc. will begin work on a $2.55 million upgrade project at the Port of Everett’s South Terminal to strengthen the wharf to support roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo operations.

This major infrastructure investment, made possible through a grant from taxpayers of Washington State, will strengthening 140-feet of the 700-foot dock to create a “heavylift” pad in the northwest corner of the wharf. Work is expected to be complete in May 2015.

“It is critical that we continue to make necessary capital investments in our seaport to ensure our facilities are world-class,” said Les Reardanz, Executive Director/CEO for the Port of Everett. “Moving high value, heavy cargoes is what we do. We are committed to meeting and adapting our facilities to support and grow our customer base.”

Upgrading the South Terminal is vital in the Port’s ability to support the machinery, heavy equipment and other breakbulk cargoes that are regularly imported and exported through the international terminal. Paired with the Port’s recent investment to construct a Ro/Ro cargo berth at South Terminal in 2013, the strengthened wharf will have an immediate impact on the Port’s ability to more efficiently load and unload cargo from some of the largest Ro/Ro vessels in the industry.

The Port is also working to develop its rail infrastructure to improve regional freight mobility and rail loading at the seaport. In 2015/2016, the Port will invest approximately $10.2 million in rail upgrades to add 650 lineal feet of new rail track at the northern end of the seaport, rehabilitate and extend the South Terminal rail spur and construct a double rail siding of approximately 3,600 lineal feet of on-terminal track. This will provide the capacity necessary to move more cargo out by rail rather than truck.

The wharf was originally constructed in the 1970s with a working load capacity of 500 pounds per square foot (psf). This project will double the strength of the dock, bringing the working load capacity to 1,000 psf.

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City Reveals Commercial Developers Honored Everett Mayor and Economic Development Director

December 2, 2014

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Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson

Everett Mayor Stephanson

Got a press release from City of Everett Communications Director Meghan Pembroke announcing honors for Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and Director of Economic Development Lanie McMullin…

The National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) recognized leadership in commercial real estate development at its November Night of the Stars event in Bellevue. Among the night’s winners were Mayor Ray Stephanson and Lanie McMullin, Everett’s economic development director, who were jointly honored as NAIOP’s Public Officials of the Year for Washington state.

The annual event celebrates distinguished companies, real estate projects and developers that exemplify excellence in the field of real estate and development. The award committee evaluates nominees against criteria such as impact on the community, market adaptability and ingenuity.

Shannon Underwood, of Underwood Gartland Development, was president for the Washington state NAIOP chapter in 2006 and is a current member of the government affairs committee that nominates candidates. “NAIOP seeks to acknowledge those individuals who have changed the face of a jurisdiction in which they have influence,” said Underwood. Underwood helped present the awards to Stephanson and McMullin.

The Mayor was celebrated for his efforts to promote job growth and encourage economic development, particularly at the city’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing cluster. Stephanson was also recognized for his attention to expanding higher education opportunities in the region, a major focus since taking office in 2003.

“[Mayor Stephanson emphasizes] the importance of jobs and higher education as the building blocks to sustained economic growth,” said Underwood. “We are always wishing for leaders who understand the value of these building blocks and the importance of economic growth, and who are willing to work in the government arena.”

McMullin has made her mark not only in Everett, but in more than 130 cities around the country. In Everett, McMullin’s achievements include facilitating the development and construction of several downtown attractions, including the Everett Performing Arts Center and KIDSTAGE, The Schack Art Center and Artspace lofts, and the year-round farmers market that will open next spring, as well as supporting the growth of Everett’s major industry sectors.

“Ms. McMullin was chosen because she is a visionary who took a multi-faceted approach to making Everett the vibrant city it is today,” Underwood said.

Other award categories included historic renovation of the year, retail development of the year, office development of the year, and developer of the year.

Established in 1967, NAIOP is a national organization that invites driven developers, owners and investors of all realms of real estate to become members in order to network and develop professionally in their field. For a full list of the 2014 honorees for Washington state, visit www.naiopwa.org/assets/docs/Newsletters/14%20nov_the%20deal_final.pdf.

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Everett’s 3rd Retail Pot Store Creating Controversy

November 26, 2014

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P Haze

The block on Rucker is zoned commercial but contains several rental properties.

P Haze

Purple Haze was forced out of its 1st location on Broadway as another pot store already had a license within 1000 feet of their spot.

There currently are two retail marijuana stores in Everett. The first, High Society, opened on Broadway in early October and the second, Kush Mart, opened two weeks ago on Evergreen Way. The likely 3rd retail store is having a tougher go of it. At last week’s Everett City Council meeting neighbors of a proposed retail marijuana store, Purple Haze at 4218 Rucker, asked the city to stop the plans for the business to open. The area is zoned commercial but neighbors say that a Camp Fire office a block away is within the 1000 foot buffer areas where kids programs including schools, parks and day-cares must be distanced from retail pot stores. MyEverettNews.com spoke with Dave Surface who is the Executive Director of Camp Fire. “It’s not good for our customer base or our core values,” said Surface. “Programs involving children go on here and we are a service center for the programs that take place.” The City of Everett did take that information to the Washington State Liquor Control Board who is in charge of approving State licenses but the board did not agree and on Monday approved the Rucker location. The owners of Purple Haze have now applied for a City of Everett license.

At today’s Everett City Council meeting neighbors asked the city to not issue a license due to the fact that families live next door and the neighborhood is already known for crime according to city statistics. The Everett City Council went into executive session and afterword council member Ron Gipson made a motion asking for an emergency ordinance to stop the issuance of any more retail marijuana licenses until the current ordinance is revised to keep retail marijuana stores from opening next to a residence even if that residence is in an area zoned for commercial use. A friendly amendment was added by council member Murphy to also include camp fire offices within 1000 feet of the proposed stores as reasons to deny a permit. With those two voting yes, council members Roberts, Moore, Bader and Tuohy voted no. That means the city licensing process is moving forward.

MyEverettNews.com did leave messages and contact information for the owners of Purple Haze but so far has not received any response or comment. It should be noted that the Purple Haze business is going into a house that had been converted to a law office and there was also a hair salon that operated as a commercial business for years in that same row of houses. On the end of the block is a house that’s been converted to a Tarot Card-Fortune Reading business. You can’t see the Purple Haze business from the Camp Fire office but there is a bikini barista stand in full view across the street and a tattoo parlor two doors to the south that are visible from the Camp Fire office. If the City of Everett does approve the license, that would leave two last slots to fill the five retail licenses authorized for retail pot stores in Everett.

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Everett Residents Can Give A Friend or Relative Electricity For Christmas

November 21, 2014

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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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Volunteers Needed in Everett For 2015 Free Tax Preparation Program

November 8, 2014

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UWSC tax volunteers

Some of the previous United Way Free Tax Preparation Volunteers. Photo credit United Way

United Way of Snohomish County is continuing to help people in Everett and beyond in innovative ways. One of which is the free tax preparation program. Now through the end of November sign ups are underway for volunteers in the 2015 program. Training classes will begin in December. Here’s a little more of what you need to know…

The Free Tax Preparation Program:
United Way of Snohomish County provides free tax preparation and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax credits to help working families increase their incomes and create savings. The TaxProgram allows low-income people to keep more of their hard-earned money and avoid paying unnecessary fees for commercial tax preparation and also helps connect taxpayers to vital social programs. Being financially stable reduces the risk of becoming homeless, and strengthens our community.
Every year, this work is made possible by the commitment of dedicated volunteers who learn and apply tax law. In 2014:
  • 100 volunteers dedicated4,000 hours to the Free Tax Prep Program.
  • Volunteers prepared 3,489 tax returns and helped return more than$5.8 million in Federal Refunds to the community, including $1.9 million in Earned Income Tax Credits.
  • Volunteer time andknowledgesaved customersover $575,000 in tax preparation fees.
  • Our on-site Asset Specialists screened nearly 600 taxpayers for affordable health care, and another 500 taxpayers for basic food assistance.
Now is your chance to get involved!
We are currently recruiting volunteers for the 2015 tax season!
By volunteering with our program, you will help working families keep more of what they earn and save for the future! You will provide free tax return preparation to taxpayers in the community, including persons with a low to limited income, persons with disabilities, the non-English speaking and the elderly.
If you are having any difficulties registering to volunteer, please contactFunto Balogunat Funto.Balogun@uwsc.org to arrange for volunteer registration.
Who are we looking for?
Volunteers with previoustax preparation experience are always needed, but we are also looking for people who have:
  • Computer experience, includingdata entry and/or tax preparation software.
  • An eye for detail.
  • A passion for learning and applying new skills to help others.
  • The ability to work as part of a team.
  • Any foreign language skills.
  • A great attitude, patience, and general commitment to this volunteer role.

We also have positions available for people who don’t want to prepare taxes!
We need friendly, helpful people to look over taxpayer documents and make sure people are ready to receive tax preparation assistance. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, consider the Intake Volunteer position.

What do you need to do to volunteer?
Volunteering with the tax program is a substantial commitment compared to many other volunteer postings. Our program operates on a schedule, at assigned times and locations, and requires a considerable amount of training and knowledge. Requirements to volunteer include:
  1. Choose which role is best for you: Tax Preparer, or Intake Volunteer.
  2. Commit to volunteer for at least one shift per week, from January 20 until April 14, 2015.
    • Shifts last between 3-5 hours.
    • Volunteer opportunities are organized by location and shift times, daytime, evening and weekend shifts are available!
  3. Attend volunteer training, and/or passing the IRS VITA certification tests
    • Tax preparing volunteers attend three training dates, over one week in December (see below for training dates, times and locations). Tax preparing volunteers must pass the IRS Standards of Conduct and Basic tax law certification tests.
    • Intake volunteers attend one training date (January 3, 2015, time/location below) and must pass the IRS Standards of Conduct test.
  4. Have a great attitude, and a high degree of honesty.
    • Volunteering with the tax program is fun because volunteers bring a positive attitude – this makes all the difference during a highly stressful time for the taxpayers we serve!
    • The average tax refund claimed by one of our taxpayers last season was over $1,600 – through honest tax preparation our volunteers have the opportunity to give thousands back to those who work hard and need the money most!
    • Click here for additional details, schedules and complete information.

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Everett’s 2nd Retail Marijuana Store To Open On Evergreen Way Across From Value Village

November 1, 2014

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Kush Mart

No word yet on the official opening day.

Kush Mart

The store is across from Value Village on Evergreen Way

On Thursday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board approved the 2nd retail marijuana license in the city of Everett, Washington. Kush Mart already has signs up and has posted that they will be open soon. They follow High Society which opened on north Broadway at the end of September. Everett is scheduled to get three more retail licenses. There are dozens of applicants. On October 15th the Everett City Council extended its temporary rules on recreational marijuana until more stores have opened and the city is able to track data on crime, revenue and impacts on the neighborhoods. This store is located at 6309 Evergreen Way across from Value Village.

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