Lynnwood Today’s 2019 year in review: January-February

As we enter a new decade, Lynnwood Today is looking back on 2019.

Part 1, January-February

January

Benjamin Goodwin

The Lynnwood City Council at its Jan. 14 business meeting.voted to re-elect Councilmember Ben Goodwin to a second term as council president. Councilmember Christine Frizzell was elected council vice president. Also during the meeting, representatives of the Northwest Veterans Museum came before the council to request city support for expanding the museum’s footprint. The museum is currently tucked away in a single room located in the city-owned Wicker’s Building at Heritage Park, ​19921 Poplar Way. Board member Myra Rintamaki said the museum wants to increase both the number of services it can provide local veterans and the rest of the community as well as enlarge the size of its location.

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During a federal government shutdown that lasted from Dec. 22, 2018, until Jan. 25, 2019, local agencies offered food and clothing to federal government workers while they were temporarily out of work. Food was provided by the Edmonds, Lynnwood and Everett food banks as well as Concern for Neighbors, which serves Mountlake Terrace. Additionally, the Edmonds School District offered furloughed families a chance to apply for reduced-rate breakfast and lunch, to ensure students did not miss a meal while they were in school. The Lynnwood-based Clothes for Kids also offered clothing to furloughed workers and others affected by the government shutdown.

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Three Edmonds School District schools were recognized by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Jan. 17 for signing up more than 70% of their eligible students for the College Bound Scholarship. The district had an overall sign-up rate of 79% for the class of 2022. Three schools in the district will be honored — Alderwood Middle School with a 94% rate, Brier Terrace Middle School at 90% and Meadowdale Middle School at 79%.

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U. S. Rep. Rick Larsen speaks with his constituents Jan. 19 at Mountlake Terrace City Hall about the government shutdown.

On Jan. 19, Congressman Rick Larsen met with his 2nd Congressional District constituents to discuss the effects of the government shutdown. During the meeting, Larsen said his primary concern at the time was to reopen the government and ensure that federal workers received back pay. He also provided updates on his other work, including his initiative H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which he said will help “end corruption, strengthen democracy and voting rights and get dark money out of politics.” The initiative was passed in March 2019.

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An Edmonds Community College student was awarded the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) 2019 Transforming Lives award for her courage and determination in overcoming significant barriers to obtaining higher education. Michelle Grunder was one of 34 Transforming Lives awardees from across the state. Grunder, who graduated in 2018 with an associate’s degree in health and human services, is a single mother of six who escaped a violent sex trafficking ring and a life of addiction. She uses her story and her gift for connecting with others to help other women in similar situations.

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After much discussion, the Lynnwood City Council voted at its Jan. 28 business meeting to approve fee schedule amendments that include the use of 5G-capable small-cell antennas. During its deliberations, the council discussed whether the it should follow the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) lead and charge a rental fee of $270 per pole annually or have the city set its own fee. The vote was 6-1, with Councilmember George Hurst voting against. Hurst said he did not believe it was the right of multi-billion dollar wireless companies to decide how a city regulates small-cell antennas. To read more about small-cell antennas, click here.

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A photo of the new ladder truck, courtesy South County Fire & Rescue.

South County Fire Authority invited community members to attend a traditional roll-in ceremony on Jan. 7 for its new ladder truck. South County Fire paid nearly $1.2 million for the 2018 Pierce truck featuring a 107-foot aerial ladder, state-of-the-art operating systems and improved safety and efficiency. It replaced a 1992 truck that was declared surplus and sold.

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Alternative 2.1, shown in orange above.

After considering multiple designs for the Scriber Creek Trail Redevelopment Project along with community feedback, the Lynnwood City Council decided to replace the sidewalk along 200th Street Southwest and make improvements to the existing trail. The recommendation came from city staff and garnered the most positive feedback from residents. In addition to sidewalk replacement, the design includes a trail widening, a retention wall adjacent to Sprague Pond and vegetation removal.

February

Sprouts Farmers Market will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new location at 19630 Highway 99 on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 a.m.

On Feb. 6, Sprouts Farmers Market opened a location in Lynnwood, making it the second Sprouts store in Washington state. The Phoenix-based healthy grocer offers shoppers a variety of organic, natural and gluten-free products. The store is located at at 19630 Highway 99.

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The Federal Aviation Commission issued its long-awaited ruling that cleared the way for commercial flights from Everett’s Paine Field to begin in March.

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The Edmonds School District Board of Directors voted at its Feb. 26 business meeting to approve an agreement with Right at School. The organization provides a before- and after-school enrichment program that offers hands-on “disguised learning” — a technique used by educators to apply games and fun to teaching — and also focuses on developing skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and leadership. As a result of the agreement, Right at School replaced other enrichment programs like Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA that worked with district schools.

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Anthony Pieper’s tent and belongings. (Photo by Cody Sexton)

In response to heavy snowfall, the South Snohomish County Emergency Cold Weather Shelter opened its doors for the area’s homeless at night. But during the cold daylight hours, people with nowhere else to go sought refuge in coffee shops, libraries and other spaces.

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Due to high-volume snowfall, Edmonds School District facilities closed for six snow days between Feb. 4-15. Additionally, the City of Lynnwood’s Public Works Department worked around the clock clearing and sanding roads. Crews worked in 12-hour shifts to provide 24-hour service clearing the streets to make them safe to drive on. The snow also caused city closures, delays in school sporting events, and Edmonds Community College class cancellations.

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Glacier Peak Initiative from Darrington was awarded a van in 2017. (Photo courtesy Community Transit)

Community Transit announced it would be awarding 10 surplus vans, earmarked for auction, to local nonprofit organizations to further meet the local demand for transportation. Donated vehicles included six, 15-passenger vehicles and four, seven-passenger vans.

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Edmonds Community College presented its fifth Tunnel of Intersections exhibit Feb. 28 to put participants in touch with intersections of diversity in the community. The interactive, multimedia experience featured a series of vignettes created by Edmonds CC student groups and campus programs, to explore a variety of experiences.

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Whispering Pines is located at 18225 52nd Ave. W. in Lynnwood.

As the Housing Authority of Snohomish County (HASCO) prepares to bulldoze and rebuild the aging Whispering Pines apartment complex in September 2021, the Lynnwood City Council during February meetings discussed possible assistance for tenants being displaced by the redevelopment. HASCO sought city approval to rezone the property to allow for a larger building with more units. However, the city received pushback from neighbors concerned about a larger building blocking light into their homes, increased traffic and other issues.

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A rendering of the Lynnwood light rail station. (Images courtesy Sound Transit)

Plans to bring light rail to Lynnwood kicked into high gear as Sound Transit offered community members and the Lynnwood City Council updates on the Lynnwood Link light rail extension. During its outreach efforts, Sound Transit representatives said they wanted to ensure that the construction process was as smooth as possible for the city. Plans include tree removal and temporary noise wall along Interstate 5 and parking reconfiguration around the Lynnwood Transit Center in preparation for the new parking garage. In addition to city council updates, Sound Transit held an open house at Shoreline High School for community members to learn more about th 8.5-mile expansion project. Light rail service is scheduled to begin in 2024.

–By Cody Sexton

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