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Everett Library Begins Reduced Hours As Part of City Budget Cuts

August 31, 2014

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Everett Library

Fewer hours, less staff availability and bye-bye bookmobile as budget reduction begins to take effect.

Both branches of the Everett Public Library will be closed Monday for the Labor Day Holiday and when they do open on Tuesday, it will be under reduced hours for at least 3 months. The Everett Library Board reduced hours, trimmed staff and eliminated the bookmobile as part of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson’s Budget Deficit Reduction Plan. Below is a list of the new operating hours for the two branches as posted on the Library’s website. There’s also a request for feedback so the Everett Library Board can evaluate the impacts the cuts will have on patrons.

The Main Downtown Everett Library and Evergreen Branch had been open…

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

New Library Hours Beginning  September 2nd…

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Main Library 1-5 10-8 10-8 10-8 10-6 10-6 10-5
Evergreen Branch Closed 10-6 12-8 12-8 10-6 10-6 10-5

Hours at both the Main Library and Evergreen Branch will be reduced beginning September 2. The change is in response to staffing reductions brought about by the City of Everett’s budget cuts. Although we have tried to maintain as many hours as possible, we recognize that there may be impacts we have not thought about. Therefore, the Board of Trustees has voted that the new schedule be evaluated after three months. During this period, from September through the end of November, please address any comments or suggestions to Eileen Simmons, Director at ESimmons@everettwa.gov, or 425-257-8022.


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Everett Community Streets Initiative Looking For Feedback

August 30, 2014

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Everett map

It’s not all thumbs up on the streets of Everett, WA

What would you do about the following in Everett? Street crime, mental health issues, increasing heroin use and street-corner panhandling. Earlier this year Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson formed a task force to look at these issues and more. Now its your turn to get involved. Here’s how…

Community members are invited to provide input to the Everett Community Streets Initiative task force at a public hearing from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room.

“We’ve had great community turnout at our meetings thus far and we want to provide an opportunity for the public to share their observations and personal experiences,” said Sylvia Anderson, task force co-chair and chief executive officer at Everett Gospel Mission.

Attendees will each have three minutes to speak at the Sept. 9 meeting, and comments will be shared with the entire task force. The public can also provide feedback to the task force via the City’s website: www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=2205.

“As we begin developing our recommendations, we want to hear from residents and other community members about ideas and options we might consider,” said Chris Adams, task force co-chair and attorney with Adams & Duncan.

Mayor Ray Stephanson convened the task force to look at street-level social issues in Everett’s commercial cores and develop recommendations aimed at fostering a safe, vibrant and healthy community. The group is comprised of service providers, business owners, community members and representatives from city and county agencies.

The task force’s first three meetings have been devoted to panel discussions and presentations on topics such as Everett’s demographics, current systems and services, Everett’s commercial cores, criminal justice and street outreach. In the coming weeks, the task force will learn more about what’s being done in other cities and around the country, as they prepare to begin developing recommendations in October.

The task force meets every other Thursday from 3-6 p.m. at the Weyerhaeuser Room. The next regular task force meeting is Thursday, Sept. 4. All meetings are open to the public and are recorded and broadcast on the Everett Channel and the City’s YouTube channel.

· Meeting information
· Everett Channel information


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Should Marijuana Smoke Be Treated Like Cigarette Smoke in Everett?

August 29, 2014

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marijuana smoke

Should public pot smoke in Everett be regulated the same way as cigarettes?

The Snohomish Health District is asking people in Everett and the surrounding communities to weigh in on whether marijuana smoke should be treated the same as cigarette smoke in public. Here are the details as provided by the Health District…

 

Snohomish Health District is currently seeking preliminary public comment on a proposal to adopt and amend the state Smoking in Public Places law (SIPP).

 

The intent is not to change the law adopted by voters in 2005, but to make it more clear in light of current trends. The Snohomish Health District proposes adding language to the local code to make it clear that the law applies to marijuana and hookah smoking, as well as to cigarettes.

 

The local code would also better define the terms “employer,” “employee,” “public place” and “place of employment.”  These clarifications will assist business owners and the public to better understand the law. The Snohomish Health District is responsible for enforcing no smoking laws in Snohomish County, with the support of law enforcement and local jurisdictions.

 

Preliminary comment period Sept. 1-15

The Snohomish Health District is seeking preliminary public comment on the concept of a local no smoking in public places law from Sept. 1 -15. A link to the comment form is on the Health District website, www.snohd.org/localsmokingcode.

 

Written comments may also be mailed to:

SIPP Public Comment

Snohomish Health District

3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 203

Everett, WA 98201

 

Public comments will be used to develop the draft local code. A summary of all comments will be provided to the Board of Health, which will ultimately adopt, modify or take no action on the proposal.

 

Additional opportunities for public review and comment will occur throughout the fall, as draft language for local code is considered.  A schedule for this process is posted on the website.

 

According to the heath district, smoking laws reduce everyone’s exposure to second-hand smoke and increase the likelihood that current smokers will quit. The Smoking in Public Places Law prohibits smoking in all restaurants and bars as well as in all indoor workplaces.

 

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and illness. Locally, 17% of adults and 14.5% of 12 graders use tobacco.

 

Incorporated in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.


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City of Everett Sues Kimberly-Clark Over Gravel Instead of Grass

August 26, 2014

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On Monday, the City of Everett filed a lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark for failing to cover the area that formerly contained a pulp mill and paper processing plant with grass or ground cover as provided in its demolition permit. Here’s the information as provided by city spokesperson Meghan Pembroke…

Kimberly-Clark site

The City of Everett would like green grass here. (click photos to enlarge)

K-C site

K-C propertThe City of Everett today filed a lawsuit in Snohomish County Superior Court seeking a judicial order requiring Kimberly-Clark to cover its now-closed mill site on the Everett waterfront to help protect the surrounding community and environment.

 

When Kimberly-Clark proposed demolishing the buildings at the former mill, the company specified in its environmental checklist and proposed demolition drawings that once demolition was complete the site would be covered with 12 inches of topsoil and hydroseeded or, as an alternative, 12 inches of clean granular material. The purpose of the cover is to limit erosion and impacts to surface water and groundwater, and to stop potentially hazardous dust from leaving the site.

 

The City issued a demolition permit to Kimberly-Clark in 2012 based, in part, on the company’s representation that it would install the site cover once demolition was complete. The City granted a two-month extension to the original deadline of April 15, 2014, to accommodate the company’s cleanup efforts. Unfortunately, Kimberly-Clark to date has chosen not to install the cover that it previously committed to in the permit application. Further, Kimberly-Clark failed to comply with the Shoreline Management Act through the filling and placement of concrete demolition debris within 200 feet of the East Waterway.

 

The City has repeatedly communicated its concern about the lack of cover at the site, and significant dust emissions from the site during demolition only increased the City’s concern. Soils at the site, including the remains of the demolished buildings, which have been spread across the site, contain hazardous substances, including arsenic, lead and cadmium. The City is concerned that dust from the site could contain these and other hazardous substances, potentially exposing people and the environment in the vicinity. The City’s preference is that the site’s cover consists of 12 inches of topsoil and is hydroseeded.

 

Because Kimberly-Clark has refused to install the cover that it previously committed to in its permit application, the City’s lawsuit seeks a judicial order requiring Kimberly-Clark to comply with the law, and install the required cover at the site as soon as possible.

Editor’s note: A message left for Kimberly-Clark spokesman Bob Brand asking for comment has not been returned.


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Nominations Open For Everett Mayor’s Arts Awards

August 24, 2014

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It’s that time of year again…

Everett Arts

Do you know an artist in Everett, WA who deserves recognition?

The City of Everett Cultural Arts Commission invites nominations for the 2014 Mayor’s Arts Awards and the prestigious Richard Wendt Award of Excellence. The awards recognize the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members committed to enriching the Everett community through the arts.

 

This is the 22nd year of the Richard Wendt Award of Excellence, a lifetime achievement award given to individuals whose strong support of the arts has been ongoing through philanthropic and volunteer service.

 

In recognition of Everett’s growing arts community, the commission created the Mayor’s Arts Awards, now in their fifth year. The awards honor art educators, artists in the community and young artists demonstrating promise and commitment to the Everett arts community.

 

Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6. The Cultural Arts Commission will review the nominations and select the recipients. The awards, which are non-monetary, are presented annually.

 

Mayor Ray Stephanson will honor recipients of the 2014 Mayor’s Arts Awards and the Richard Wendt Award of Excellence at a public ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 19. For more information and nomination forms, visit www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=1945.


 

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Everett And Ecology To Revise Arsenic Clean Up At Legion Park

August 19, 2014

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Legion

Legion Park should remain open this fall.

After Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson ordered the parks department to halt the plan to remove 80 trees from Legion Park, as part of a clean up by the State Department of Ecology, the entire cleanup plan has been halted. Here’s the latest from Meghan Pembroke at the City of Everett…

The City of Everett and Department of Ecology have put planned cleanup work at American Legion Memorial Park, including the arboretum area, on hold while they work to modify the project. The work is now expected to begin in the second half of 2015, and will likely focus the cleanup on a smaller area of the park.

“In order to reduce the risk of damage to the park’s trees, we’ve decided to take additional time to review the project and adjust the scope of work,” said Mayor Ray Stephanson. “Our staff is now working with Ecology on a modified plan to ensure the least amount of disruption for the trees.”

Ecology and parks staff will reevaluate the project and identify the park areas that are most in need of cleanup, such as high-traffic areas and locations with higher levels of arsenic contamination. Reducing the amount of soil to be removed and replaced will minimize disturbance and potential damage to trees.

“We know that Ecology and its contractor would take precautions to work carefully around the trees, but with so many root zones in close proximity to each other, it’s impossible to completely avoid impacts to some of the trees,” said Paul Kaftanski, parks director. “We want to take another look at how best to accomplish the cleanup while minimizing risk to the trees.”

The revised project is not expected to require a full closure of the park and may be completed in phases to minimize impacts to park visitors. The narrowed project scope will not require the City’s annual Sorticulture festival to be moved to the park’s ball fields for 2015.

Ecology is the lead agency on the Everett smelter cleanup work in northeast Everett and has been working with parks staff to finalize the park cleanup plan. Legion Park, including the arboretum area, was initially scheduled to close to the public in October, with cleanup taking place between November and May 2015. For more information on the project, click here.


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Everett Wants To Pay Village Theatre $23,961.00 Per Month For Next 12 Months

August 17, 2014

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Village Theatre Everett

The Everett Performing Arts Center as shown on Village Theatre website.

The Everett City Council will get a briefing Wednesday night on the proposed 4-year renewal of the city’s contract with Issaquah based Village Theatre. The four-year renewal starts with the first year’s payment of $287,534.12 with the additional yearly payments tied to the Consumer Price Index. According to the city’s proposal there can be four or five different shows at the discretion of Village Theatre as long as the total number of performances reaches 65. The City of Everett has been working with Village Theatre at the Everett Performing Arts Center since 1998. The city says the Theatre set box office records during January and February of this year with more than 15,000 people attending the production of Les Miserables. In addition to the shows at the Performing Arts Center, Village Theatre also conducts the popular KIDSTAGE program at the former Key Bank building across the plaza. Village Theatre also handles management of the Everett Performing Arts Center including managing and renting the facility, providing box office services and scheduling events. Income from renting the facility and sales from concessions go into the city’s coffers and are not part of the compensation agreement. No word on if recent budget deficit cutting efforts will play a role in the city council’s discussions.


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