MUKILTEO BEACON YOUR HOMETOWN NEWSPAPER
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IN THIS BEACON Register for Mukilteo Relay For Life Land Hoe! wins silver medal Kamiak swim wins district title Snohomish to host c
Shooting, pursuit ends in Mukilteo
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Volume XXII Number 28 Feb. 19, 2014
Meet your farmer at county food event
Kamiak girls lose district tournament against Snohomish
Little fairies of Mukilteo
BY SARA BRUESTLE MUKILTEOEDITOR @ YOURBEACON . NET
BY SARA BRUESTLE MUKILTEOEDITOR @ YOURBEACON . NET
etectives continue to investigate a double shooting on Camano Island that led to a high-speed chase and police gunfire in Mukilteo on Sunday afternoon. A 44-year-old male victim, who was shot in the head and neck on Camano Island, is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh said Tuesday. A woman who suffered a gunshot wound to her arm was treated at a hospital and released. The suspected shooter, a 34-year-old Camano Island man, also remained in critical condition on Tuesday, Marsh said. The man was reportedly shot by police following a pursuit that started near Stanwood. “I do know that the two victims are acquainted with the suspect, but as far as motive, that is still unknown,” Marsh said, adding that they are also from Camano Island. The suspect led officers on a chase down I-5, across SR-526, and into Mukilteo at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Witnesses said the man pulled a gun on officers and was shot moments after his vehicle crashed at the intersection of 88th Street S.W. and 53rd Avenue W. in Mukilteo. The road was closed until 1 a.m. Monday for investigation, Marsh said. The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, with detectives from all over the county, is investigating the police pursuit and shooting here. Island County detectives are investigating the double shooting there. “Detectives will go back to the scene where the road was closed today and see if there’s anything they missed,” Marsh said. “The officers involved in the shooting have not been interviewed as of yet.” The Camano shooting was reported around 3:15 p.m. Sunday. A man and woman were shot at the 500 block of Michelle Drive. The suspect reportedly fled the scene in a gold Toyota Camry. Not long after the 911 call, a Washington State Patrol trooper spotted the suspect vehicle on Highway 532. Snohomish County sheriff ’s deputies soon joined the pursuit. The chase continued southbound on 1-5, until see
SHOOTING page 12
More than 60% vote for school measures
Beacon photo by Sara Bruestle Girls and boys, dressed up as their favorite fairy or magical creature, line up for a fairy walk led by Children’s Librarian Katherine Combs through the Mukilteo Library on Feb. 15. About 35 children enjoyed enchanted tea, snacks, crafts and a reading of the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin” at the Fairy Tea Party.
oters passed both Mukilteo School District measures on the February ballot. As of Friday, Proposition 1 to renew a four-year educational maintenance and operations levy that expires by the end of this year is at 66.76 percent, according to results released by Snohomish County Elections around 3:30 p.m. It required a simple majority. Proposition 2, a measure to pay for the construction of new school buildings and to make other improvements with the sale of bonds, is passing with 63.79 percent of the vote, according to election results. It required a supermajority to pass. “We’re very exited about it,” said Andy Muntz, spokesperson for the Mukilteo School District. “We’re anxious to get to work to do the things we’d promised we’d do in the bond.” Judy Schwab, president of the Mukilteo School Board, said that she is both “thrilled and, frankly, still in a bit of shock,” that the bond measure passed because three similar proposals have been on the ballot within the last eight years, and all of them fell short of the 60 percent required for approval. “Honestly, it’s just a huge relief to know that we now have the resources to do the work that we need to do,” she said. “We’re lucky. A lot of districts didn’t have success with their bonds. I’m just very pleased.” A total of 12,786 ballots were returned Tuesday for the Mukilteo Feb. 11 election. About 145 ballots are left to count. The next unofficial results are slated for release at 5 p.m. Frisee
MEASURES page 12
Public Works: the ‘other’ first responder
BY SARA BRUESTLE MUKILTEOEDITOR @ YOURBEACON . NET
hen you think of Mukilteo’s “first responders,” you probably don’t think of Public Works crews – though, technically, they are. Just like police and firefighters, the city’s operations crews are called to help in a number of emergencies. They close off roads, clean up collisions, clear snow and ice, and lay sandbags to prevent flooding. “We are first responders, too,” said Marty Martinis, streets lead for the Mukilteo Public Works Department. “We’re on call 24/7.” I went on a ride along with the Public Works crews to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to do their jobs. Spoiler alert: It’s sometimes dangerous, sometimes gross – and a lot of hard work. The department is in charge of the engineering
for and maintenance of city-owned infrastructures: buildings, streets, right-of-ways, parkland and the stormwater system. On Feb. 10, I rode an hour with each of Public Works’ four crews – parks, streets, stormwater and facilities – as they worked to maintain the city.
Parks The parks crew maintains nearly 500 acres of parks and facility grounds throughout the city. The four-man crew keeps busy mowing and edging lawns, weeding, pruning bushes and trees, fertilizing, cleaning restrooms, picking up trash, irrigating, emptying garbage cans and removing graffiti. They do the occasional odd job, too, such as planting flowerbeds, installing park benches, power washing the totem pole, and decorating the city Christmas tree. see
PUBLIC WORKS page 12
Beacon photo by Sara Bruestle Dave Lange and Marty Martinis of the Mukilteo Public Works Department stand next to 100 tons of sand left over from the last snow. Crews laid 150 tons of sand on city roads Feb. 8.
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patching asphalt, and fixing and upgrading sidewalks. They also get service requests from residents – any odd job that involves streets. “I have a [tall] stack of them that we have to take care of,” Martinis said. “It’s unbelievable.” The crew has been busy replacing upwards of 275 street signs, such as stop or yield, because they no longer meet reflectivity standards. They need to replace every sign in town. “It’s pretty amazing how bad the signs are in this city, when you really take a look at them,” Martinis said. “It’s crazy.” One of the trio is all street sweeper, all the time – in a good week he’ll sweep for 40 hours. He even does maintenance on the street sweeper, so that their crew of three seems more like two.
The streets crew is in charge of caring for 67 miles of city roads, including sidewalks and right-of-ways. The three-man crew is tasked with sweeping streets, plowing snow, laying down sand, mowing right-of-ways, cutting back blackberries, spray painting crosswalks, clearing shoulders, replacing and installing signs,
The Public Works stormwater crew has just three men, too. They maintain 35 miles of stormwater system. The crew is in charge of cleaning detention ponds and catch basins, clearing storm drains, inspecting vaults, installing and repairing parts of the system, opening and closing the boat
The crew’s top priority is Mukilteo Lighthouse Park – they can be found there cleaning up every day. “It never gets missed,” said Christine Allen, parks lead for the department. “It is taken care of every day of the year.” After Lighthouse Park, the crew’s other priorities are Rosehill Community Center, Mukilteo City Hall, 92nd Street Park and the Mukilteo Pioneer Cemetery, followed by all other parks. “Right after Memorial Day weekend, it’s on,” Allen said of Lighthouse Park, adding that the crew gets help from weekend and seasonal workers. “It’s ongoing, keeping this park looking like it never gets used. It’s constant, fast-paced, always on your feet.”
launch, patching asphalt, and locating utilities, as well as maintenance of the city’s parade floats. They go underground to do a lot of their work, as most of the stormwater system is buried. “We’re lucky in this town that we’re perched on a hill,” said Mike Arnett, lead of the stormwater crew. “Towns that are flat have trouble getting rid of stormwater, where we don’t. “The only trouble we have is sometimes it goes where we don’t want it to go.” New development sometimes challenges the city’s stormwater system and can create issues. Impervious surfaces – sidewalks, streets and rooftops – don’t allow water to seep into the ground. As these surfaces increase, so does runoff, which rushes into the Puget Sound. The stormwater crew monitors the system, and works to prevent or fix any issues that may cause erosion and flooding. “We don’t want people getting wet, of course,” Arnett said.
Facilities The Public Works facilities crew is the smallest of them all – it has just one handyman to take care of all the city buildings, including the Mukilteo Light
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day, Feb. 21. The election will be certified on Feb. 25. Prop. 1 asked voters to OK taxes to replace a similar levy approved by voters in 2010 that pays for programs and activities not fully funded by the state, or about a fifth of the district’s total operating budget. It is not a new tax. Prop. 2 asked voters to allow the district to sell $119.2 million in bonds and then pay the principal and interest on those bonds with property taxes. As both measures passed, the owner of a $400,000 home will see their property taxes go up $332 a year, or $27.67 a month.
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the suspect exited the freeway at Highway 526, Marsh said. It was then that Everett police joined the pursuit. The chase ended at the 5300 block of 88th Street S.W. in Mukilteo, when the suspect’s vehicle ran off the road and into a ditch. Surrounded, the man exited
February 19, 2014 Station. He is Jeran Hurst, tasked with replacing lightbulbs, painting siding, cleaning gutters, repairing heating and cooling systems, hanging whiteboards and inboxes, helping with remodels, building cabinets and desks, unclogging drains and more. He gets service requests from staff for any odd job where a handyman’s help is needed. If he can’t fix it himself, he assists a contractor. He’s also gets quotes from contractors and orders parts for repairs. It’s a hard job because some tasks just can’t be done alone. That’s when he asks for help from the parks, stormwater or streets crews – but they can be busy with their own jobs, too. “There’s a lot of stuff I should be doing ... that I just don’t have the time and/or help to do,” Hurst said. “It’s tough.” He said the lighthouse and the fire stations keep him busy because they’re “of a certain age” and require a lot of maintenance. When shorthanded, Public Works crews “borrow” from other crews whenever they can. A parks worker may help
streets one day or vice versa. All of them know how to work the street sweeper and snowplows. “Everybody here wears multiple hats because we’re so small,” Arnett said. “Do we go out and mow? Sure we do. Do we go out and street sweep? Sure we do. “If we didn’t all wear different hats, stuff wouldn’t get done.” Maybe they’re not police or firefighters, but I now know that Public Works employees also have to be brave. They risk their lives whenever they fell a tree, go underground into a vault, or work in or near the streets, especially on the Mukilteo Speedway. “Anything in the streets is dangerous,” said Darron Callahan, who specializes in irrigation. “Sometimes people aren’t as observant as you’d hope they would be, even with signs and cones and orange vests.” Every day, they also do some of the dirtiest, smelliest tasks out there – many dealing with trash, poop or decaying leaves that I don’t even want to think about. Trust me, it’s gross. They do it all, though, because that’s what it takes to keep the city clean and safe.
“We certainly appreciate that they saw the need that was there, and that they responded to that need,” Muntz said. Among a long list of capital projects, with the sale of bonds, the district will build a new elementary school and an earlylearning center for kindergarteners to reduce overcrowding at the elementary level. Enrollment in Mukilteo’s elementary schools has increased steadily for 10 years, and forecasts predict that growth will continue. Most of them are over capacity, even with the addition of portables. A new school to replace Lake Stickney Elementary is expected to be designed and built
by 2016, whereas a kindergarten center adjacent to Fairmount Elementary may be complete by 2017 or 2018. That means the overcrowding issue won’t be alleviated immediately – but relief is on the way. “The overcrowding problem is going to get worse before it gets better, because kids are still coming in,” Muntz said. “We have a couple of more years of dealing with overcrowded conditions. “This isn’t going to happen overnight; it’s not going to wave a magic wand and everything will be fixed. Now comes the work.” See up-to-date election results at http://www.snoco.org/elections/ results/ecurrent.htm.
his vehicle. Shots were fired, striking the suspect, Marsh said. It is unclear how many times he was shot or if he shot at police. No officers were injured. A weapon believed to belong to the suspect was recovered from the scene, Marsh said Tuesday. One Everett officer, one state trooper and two deputies were involved in the shooting, he said. The four are now on paid admin-
istrative leave, as is standard procedure. About 20 investigators from Washington State Patrol, Snohomish County Sheriff ’s Office, Everett Police Department and Mukilteo Police Department were called to the scene where the chase ended. Steve and Christine Schmalz, of Mukilteo, saw the suspect vehicle speed past their home on 53rd Avenue around 3:45 p.m. with police in pursuit. “We heard sirens going on and getting closer and closer,” Steve Schmalz said. “As they got really, really close, I went out to the driveway and saw a car speeding, going west on 53rd from 92nd to 88th.” Soon after that, Schmalz said he heard the pop-pop-pop of gunfire. His guess is that there were 10 shots fired, maybe more. Ted DiPietro, of Mukilteo, was getting ready to walk his dog Sunday near the 82nd block of the Mukilteo Speedway when he saw a number of patrol vehicles in chase followed by the sounds of multiple gunfire. “All of a sudden, I hear what sounded like this long string of firecrackers, and they kept going and kept going,” DiPietro said. He jumped in his car after that and drove the back roads to get closer to the scene, which was taped off by then. He saw the suspect lying in the street after the shooting and paramedics tending to him. DiPietro said the suspect vehicle was left in the ditch with its lights and wipers still on for hours.
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