June 22, 2024

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The Everett Herald Saga Continues: EverettGuild Members Striking on Monday

Everett NewsGuild petitioning for a living wage. Oct 2023

On Tuesday, June 18th, the new owners of Sound Publishing, Mississippi-based Carpenter Media Group, gave one-day notice that they would be laying off 55% of the workforce.

The next day was full of sadness, especially at their biggest newspaper, the 123-year-old newspaper company, The Everett Herald. One-by-one workers were told that they are being let go.

Herald reporters tried to capture this moment, by writing an article about it. Then it was censored the next morning—removed completely from the site. Then it was put back up, but heavily altered.

The boldest statement in that article remained: the publisher of the Everett Herald, Rudi Alcott remarked, “Moving forward, operations are not going to change much. The readers won’t notice.” As if the 62 people just let go didn’t actually matter.

Carpenter Media Group was probably looking forward to the news dying out over the weekend, but the Everett NewsGuild has other plans.

On Monday, June 22nd, members of the Everett NewsGuild will be striking. 10 of 18 were laid off, but eight remain.

Though just a one-day strike, its intention is to protest the layoffs, along with the company’s “secretive implementation of a quota system that judges journalists not on the quality of their work, but on their story counts and page views,” writes former Herald reporter, Isabella Breda.

Under federal labor law, the employer cannot implement layoffs without first bargaining with the union.

Also, if the 55% number is true, quick math tells me that Carpenter Media Group and Sound Publishing may have also violated the WARN Act, which requires companies with more than 100 employees to notify workers, state, and local representatives 60 days before a mass layoff. If the US Department of Labor determines this is the case, then the former staff may be entitled to an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of violation up to 60 days.

The strike will be Monday, June 24th, from 9am to 3pm, starting at the intersection of Colby & Hewitt in downtown Everett, ending at the intersection of Colby & 41st near the Herald office.

In the meantime, former Herald reporter, Isabella Breda, has put together a gofundme that has already raised $6,755 of their $8,000 goal (at the time of this writing) to help cover the lost wages during the one-day strike.

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June 22, 2024

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Once On This Island Musical Opens in Everett

Now playing in Everett at the Everett Performing Arts Center, Once On This Island is a musical based on the novel, My Love, My Love.

The musical will be playin in Everett from June 22nd through July 14th. Tickets can be obtained here.

Story:

Once on this Caribbean Island, Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl, decided to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, she sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. Can she prove that love is more powerful than death?

Background:

With a Calypso-flavored score from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and RagtimeOnce on This Island is a captivating adaptation of the beloved fairy tale The Little Mermaid.

Relish in this breathtaking and imaginative dance-filled musical, which overflows with love, grief, faith, and hope.

Book and Lyrics by LYNN AHRENS
Music by STEPHEN FLAHERTY
Based Upon The Novel “My Love, My Love” By Rosa Guy
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission

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June 21, 2024

Comments Off on The Crafty B’s is Moving Out of Everett Mall – Grand Opening June 30th

The Crafty B’s is Moving Out of Everett Mall – Grand Opening June 30th

New location for Crafty B’s in Everett, WA

The Crafty B’s originally opened during Covid, when local craft fairs were unavailable. This hurt a lot of small businesses and crafters who rely on the income which came from selling their crafts. They needed a place to sell.

The Crafty B’s launched as an artisan boutique that showcases over 60 local small businesses within the store. It’s a place for local crafters, artists, and small businesses to showcase and sell their products year-round in a brick-and-mortar store.

These sellers are local crafters who handcraft unique and personalized items such as tumblers, crochet items, aprons, artwork, jewelry, 3D printed dragons, their “knotty corner,” and sweet treats.

Crafty B’s even has kid entrepreneurs in the store who are selling crafts while learning the aspects of business and saving for college. It’s a one-of-a-kind place, selling unique items and supporting local families.

They were formerly inside the Everett Mall, but with all of the uncertainty of the mall’s future and redevelopment, they found a place near the mall to call home.

Grand Opening

The Crafty B’s is having their Grand Opening Celebration on June 30th from 12-3pm. The public is invited to attend and check out the new location and unique crafts.

They are now located at 620 SE Everett Mall Way, Ste 210A, Everett, WA 98208.

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June 20, 2024

Comments Off on The Herald Censors Itself After Layoffs

The Herald Censors Itself After Layoffs

Fourteen hours after we reported on the Herald laying off half its staff, The Herald ran its own story. That story was published at 5:29 pm Wednesday. By Thursday morning, the story was pulled down.

Former staff and readers were livid. A news organization censoring itself? The Herald publisher, Rudi Alcott, who lives in Maple Valley and operates out of Kent, said to one of the former Herald editors, it was not his decision, but the article “smacks of an incredible hit piece.”

In response to the backlash (including a potential walkout of the remaining staff), the story went back up at 3:33 pm, but it was altered.

Let’s take a look at what changed. 

The original story subtitle was:

“A dozen journalists were handed walking papers Wednesday, in a wave of layoffs mandated by new owners, Carpenter Media Group.”

The word “mandated” was removed and the statement was altered to soften the blow for “long term success”:

The original story intro was:

Despite the original article being altered online, it still made it to print.

“The new owners of The Daily Herald gutted over half of the newsroom staff Wednesday, including the newspaper’s two top editors.”

This was altered to:
“Daily Herald management announced Wednesday the elimination of 12 positions, including two editors.”

This sentence removed “impending fate” and replaced it with “decision.”

The close-knit staff shed tears and shared hugs as they learned their impending fate of the decision.

Other alterations include:

  • Belittling the Everett NewsGuild Union by changing the statement as only representing 10 of the employees.
  • That leaves the newsroom with only… [list of positions] ” was changed to “The newsroom continues to be staffed with… [list of positions]”
  • “No full-time digital staff or full-time news page designers” was altered to “Digital and news page design staff members are part-time.”

Carpenter Media also slipped in their first public statement after the article into the middle it:

Despite the job losses, ownership at Carpenter reaffirmed its commitment to the long-term success of journalism in Snohomish County.

“We are committed to Everett, The Herald and all who have a stake in its success,” Chairman Todd Carpenter said. “We have deep sympathy for those affected by these changes and will work hard with each of them to see they are well-compensated through a transition period that helps them move forward in a positive way.

“Our responsibility to the community and our readers requires us to make difficult business decisions, and then invest in and organize our team to move forward to produce a product that continues to improve and serve. Our track record in this process is good. We seek to work with the best and brightest and to pay them well. We must have a strong business with highly productive people to meet our standards, and with the help of our team and community we expect to meet them here in the days to come.”

It’s good to see the article back up, even if it has been altered to soften the blow. Just in case it gets taken down again, we wanted to list the names of the reporters who no longer work for The Herald:

  • Phillip O’Connor, executive editor
  • Caleb Hutton, local news editor
  • Annie Barker, photographer
  • Jenelle Baumbach, politics reporter
  • Ryan Berry, photographer
  • Aaron Coe, sports reporter
  • Aina de Lapparent Alvarez, general assignment reporter
  • Kate Erickson, digital news producer
  • Sophia Gates, City Hall reporter
  • Nicholas Johnson, page designer
  • Taras McCurdie, sports reporter
  • Maya Tizon, breaking news reporter
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June 20, 2024

Comments Off on Two House Fires in Valley View Neighborhood

Two House Fires in Valley View Neighborhood

At 12:15pm the Everett Fire Department responded to two houses on the 7300 block of East Heather Way in the Valley View neighborhood of Everett.

The first crews to arrive on the scene found the house fully engulfed in flames, with the fire spreading to the attic of a neighboring home. In a coordinated effort, the fire crews laid down approximately 2,000 feet of supply line and connected to two fire hydrants to ensure firefighters had enough water to battle the blaze. However, the situation became more complex when a transformer blew, breaking power lines in the area. Snohomish PUD arrived quickly to mitigate the hazard, and Puget Sound Energy was on the scene to manage the natural gas utilities.

Primary and secondary searches were conducted on both homes. Firefighters rescued one cat, and sadly, a second cat was found deceased. Both homes suffered extensive fire damage, with the primary home experiencing a roof collapse and the second home having a partial roof collapse. It took a little over an hour to extinguish the fires in both homes and then transition to overhaul.

Two firefighters received medical attention at the scene. One firefighter suffered a non-life-threatening hand injury and was transported to the hospital, while the second firefighter was medically evaluated and released. All residents evacuated the homes before the arrival of firefighters and were unharmed. The American Red Cross is assisting five to six residents who were displaced.

Everett Police assisted with traffic control, while South County and Mukilteo Fire provided automatic mutual aid. An Everett Fire engine will remain on the scene through the night to address any hotspots.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Everett Fire Marshal’s Office.

A Komo News photographer captured the scene:

 

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June 19, 2024

Comments Off on Everett Herald Cutting Staff in Half

Everett Herald Cutting Staff in Half

The writing was on the wall when the Everett Herald owner, Canadian-owned Black Press Media, filed for bankruptcy in January. We only found out through mysterious posts on all Sound Publishing websites.

Mississippi-based Carpenter Media Group, in coordination with Canso Investment Counsel & Deans Knight Capital Management, assumed control of the Everett Herald and Sound Publishing.

Everett Herald Layoff

Odd notice that showed up on all Sound Publishing sites on 1/15/24.

Earlier this month, Carpenter also acquired two dozen Oregon publications.

On Tuesday, Carpenter informed the union that it will lay off 62 people, which amounts to over half the unionized newsroom employees at The Everett Herald.

The Everett Herald had already been shrinking before this layoff. Despite population growth, the daily circulation is one-third what it used to be.

Staff retention issues and low pay led to the editorial staff creating a union in 2022. Later that year, The Everett Herald announced it would start using the U.S. Postal Service for delivery. The paper also ceased publishing Sunday & Monday editions. Readers often complain about reading old news by the time it gets to them.

US Daily Newspaper Circulation (source: PEW Research)

The Everett Herald isn’t alone in the struggle. The entire newspaper industry has been struggling.

Between 2004 and 2023, 2,627 weekly publications closed or merged with other papers. In 2023, nearly 20,000 jobs were cut.

Online, Facebook has been deprioritizing news since 2020. Other social media channels has increased news coverage, but Google has long been the biggest player in driving traffic to news sites.

RISJ’S Digital News findings

Google has long been prioritizing national news sites over local, but when California had a proposal to force Google to pay publishers for news content, Google removed some California news sites to gauge “the impact of legislation on our product experience.”

Now with AI repurposing web content without compensating the original authors, the entire news industry is in panic mode.

 

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June 19, 2024

Comments Off on Fatal Collision at the 1000 Block of East Marine View Drive

Fatal Collision at the 1000 Block of East Marine View Drive

At 8pm on Tuesday evening an automobile collision with a motorcyclist resulted in a fatality at 11th Street and East Marine View Drive.

The motorcyclist was a male in his 30s and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The road was closed for approximately six hours between 10th and 12th while the Everett Police Traffic Safety Unit investigated the incident.

A reader reported seeing a white tarp over the body and sent us the picture of the blocked road.

Three hours later another reader tipped us on another accident, this time a vehicle vs pedestrian accident on 11801 Highway 99. The Pedestrian is sustained injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Then an hour later, at 1am Wednesday, a male reported he had been stabbed at the 11800 block of Airport Road. He reported there was a dispute between him, and a person known to him, who ultimately stabbed him in the chest. The victim was transported to the hospital for his injuries. The suspect was later arrested and booked by the Everett Police.

 

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June 17, 2024

Comments Off on Everett Police Activity on Display During On Patrol Live Episodes

Everett Police Activity on Display During On Patrol Live Episodes

The two episodes of On Patrol: Live aired this past weekend, featuring the Everett Police Department. The hosts were surprised about a couple pieces of technology deployed. The first situation featured Officer Jenny Fuentes looking for a person described as a “suspicious zombie-looking guy with a bright pink backpack on” who was flipping people off. […]

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June 14, 2024

Comments Off on Ahead of Schedule, Kayak Point Regional Park Opens Today

Ahead of Schedule, Kayak Point Regional Park Opens Today

The day-use area of Kayak Point Regional Park two weeks earlier than originally planned. The park reopens today, June 14th, after being closed for construction since July 5, 2023. As mentioned in our previous story, the pier (usually used for fishing and crabbing) will remain closed the entire summer, due to in-water construction for the […]

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June 13, 2024

Comments Off on Northwest Plus Credit Union Donates $10k for Emergency Student Housing

Northwest Plus Credit Union Donates $10k for Emergency Student Housing

Northwest Plus Credit Union recently donated $10,000 to the Everett Community College Foundation for emergency housing for students. The donation will directly benefit 10 EvCC students facing housing insecurity, including five who live in housing on campus, with $1,000 each. “This donation from NW Plus CU comes at a critical time,” said Kristen McConaha, Executive […]

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