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Mukilteo Beacon 806 5th Street Mukilteo, WA 98275

Your Hometown Newspaper

Volume XVIII Number 38 April 14, 2010

Business license fee schedule up for review by

I-17! Come on, come on I-17!


editor @ mukilteobeacon . com


Beacon photo by Sara Bruestle

Kindergartener Grace Manimtim and her dad, Tim Manimtim, play bingo together on Family Bingo Night at Picnic Point Elementary. For the full story, see page 8.

Family ties, Locks of Love inspire Mukilteo woman REBECCA CARR editor @ mukilteobeacon . com by


ichelle Keller never saw it coming. The Harbour Pointe woman scheduled her routine annual mammogram during her children’s spring break, went through the unpleasant test and didn’t give it another thought - until the follow-up call a few days later was anything but routine. “They asked me to come in at my earliest possible convenience,” she said. Keller credits the early mammogram, and the confirming MRI, with catching a cancer that’s as elusive as it is dangerous. “There were no red flags, no warn-

ing signs,” she said. “It’s one of those tricky lobular cancers; it lay almost flat between the tissues with no lump.” Keller returned to the clinic for an ultrasound, then a needle biopsy and MRI. “We knew conclusively then,” she said. From that point, Keller recalled, everything kicked into high gear. “I didn’t really have time to think about it,” she said. “We were forced to go from zero to 60.” Two things were for sure in the Keller household that night: Michelle was going to survive this, and the family was going to get through it together. “Dad (Jeff) didn’t want to give the

girls any more than they asked for - when they asked questions, he answered at an appropriate (age) level,” Keller said. “He never, ever wavered from saying I would be fine.” Did she believe him? “At times, no,” she responded honestly. “But those times, my family held me to it.” This was 2006, and Keller was worried whether she would be there for daughter Jordan’s graduation in 2008. Telling the girls was the hard part dad Jeff told oldest daughter Jordan, then 16, and let her break the news to her younger sisters.


LOCKS, page 6

Hockey game nets school spirit at Horizon Elementary by


sara @ mukilteobeacon . com


he fifth graders at Horizon Elementary didn’t win hockey game vs. the staff April 8, but they should still be proud. Horizon won’t be forgetting Thursday’s game for a while. The staff hasn’t lost once since Horizon’s annual hockey games started in 1990, but students put the pressure on this year in a tight 22-29 game “I think the kids gave the teachers a run for their money this year,” dean

of students Bruce Denton said. “It was tough. Usually the teachers stay in the lead for longer, and this time they got ahead. They made us work for it.” The staff started the game guarding two goals set side by side, while the fifth graders were left to guard just one goal. By the third rotation, the teachers added yet another goal to their two. The additional goals – not to mention teachers’ repeated trips to the penalty box – gave the students an advantage to keep the game fun, but the fifth graders didn’t seem to need the help as much as their predecessors

“That was a good game,” P.E. teacher Jim O’Brien told the students after the game. “I was getting a little nervous, [so] I had to get off the bench and play a little bit. Somebody remind me next year not to start with three goals.” Five fifth graders and five teachers rotated on and off the floor throughout the game every three or four minutes. In 19 rotations, about 105 students and 70 teachers got to hit a puck around the school gym in front of a roaring student body. “The games are really loud,”


HOCKEY, page 16

ight now, many aren’t happy with the city’s business license fee policy. Smaller, home-based businesses that generate only supplementary income find the annual $113.50 base fee exorbitant; some simply don’t pay it, causing the city to lose revenue. Those who operate larger businesses find the per-employee fee - one that doesn’t take revenue into account - onerous and confusing. City officials don’t have much way of tracking that missing and needed revenue at this point, except when people apply for permits, or post signs along the right-of-way. “I’ve been hoping we would get to this one for years, the fact it comes on the consent agenda without much discussion that I was aware of, we’re doing a bit of a disservice,” councilmember Kevin Stoltz said of postponing the issue last week. “I talked to (Chamber executive director) Shannon McCarty; she said she’d like to see it discussed in detail with Chamber members having more input in the process.” Under the proposed new fee schedule, businesses that generate $5,000 or less in gross revenue each year would pay a flat $25 fee. One-time events such as fundraisers and garage sales would cost $15. “That seems fair; $113.50 is a significant percentage of $5,000, of what is essentially a hobby business,” councilmember Jennifer Gregerson said. “If we charge a reasonable fee now, they’re more likely to start paying the regular rate when their business grows than someone who hasn’t been paying all along.” The rest would pay $120 for their initial license, and $113.50 annual renewal fees, plus additional rates for full-time equivalent employees. Other special classifications, such as adult entertainment, pay additional fees as well. Under the staff proposal, late payers would be charged $25 for the first 5-30 days they’re past due, an additional $25 for 31-59 days past due, and would receive a citation - plus the assessed fees - 60 days after their expiration date. Stoltz and Gregerson support lowering the current 10 percent monthly penalty, saying it’s excessive enough to scare people out of coming into compliance after they’ve lapsed. “The attitude from years ago (before he joined the council), was, ‘We don’t want these businesses sneaking out of paying their fair share,’” Stoltz said. “I think that is the last thing on business owners’ minds; they want to pay, comply with the law and get back to operating their businesses.” Stoltz, whose home-based business requires him to be licensed in several cities, said Mukilteo is among the most expensive, and easily the most confusing as to figuring out what to pay. “I would like to see us be a leader in


LICENSE, page 12

 - Mukilteo Beacon

April 14, 2010

LOCKS, from page 1 “One thing that’s true in our family is that when something is wrong, we always know there’s a better side,” Jordan, now 20, said. “We knew (the hospital and


of Keller’s chemotherapy sessions, so they could see it didn’t hurt Mom to go through it, she said. “I wanted them to see it wasn’t a scary thing,” she

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry



WHAT YEAR WAS THE FIRST TOOTHBRUSH WITH BRISTLES DEVELOPED? 1) 1498 - in China 2) 1807 - in England 3) 1902 - In the U.S. 4) 1938 - in Germany


425.438.2400 Answer: 1) 1498 - in China

clinic) this was a place for her to get better, not a place for her to be hurt.” The family attended one

- eight rounds spaced 20 days apart, with about three days of misery for each. “Jessica was my lymphedema specialist,” Keller said. “She would put lotion on and rub me down at night.’” “I brought her food and pampered her,” Jessica recalled. Youngest daughter Sydney, 8 at the time, remembers being asked at school if her mom was going to lose her hair. She didn’t know if she could handle seeing Mom hairless. Off to the wig shop, which was, of course, a family affair. “You have to have humor to get through something like this,” Keller laughed. “That means everyone tried the wig on, even Dad.” Jessica not only watched her mother fight breast cancer, but also saw a young friend lose his own cancer battle in March after a prolonged fight. That inspired her to grow her hair long enough to donate to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides wigs for people who lose their hair to medical conditions and treatments. “We watched Brandon go through it for seven years,” she said. “He was just a really neat little kid. His mom is a family friend.” The family ran together in a Race for the Cure competition two years ago, with daughter Sydney doing double time, skipping back and forth, with “In celebration of my mom” written on the back of her shirt. “Everyone kept coming up saying ‘God bless you,’ and that I had made them run faster,” she said. “It’s funny how crystal your life becomes,” Keller said. “The saying, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff ’ doesn’t come true until you go through some-

Photos courtesy of Keller family

Jessica Keller shows the 10 inches of hair she donated to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides wigs to people who lost their hair to medical condtions or treatments. thing like this.” You learn to appreciate the small, daily things in life rather than trying to rush through them, she said. “People tell you how fast your children grow up. You don’t realize it until you’re almost at the end - middle school, then high school, then it’s over.” Husband Jeff was a rock throughout, Keller said, never letting her feel overwhelmed. “He kept it real and in front of me; I never had to do this

alone.” Keller said she’s fully recovered from her breast cancer, and refuses to let it define her. Her twice-yearly checkups are the only time she gives it much thought. The good news - yes, there is good news in these situations - is that her cancer was a mutant form rather than hereditary, and her three daughters have no more chance of breast cancer than any other woman. “I don’t feel this is something I live with,” Keller said. “I treat it as something I’ve beaten, some problematic thing that was a short period of time.” All three girls are thinking about growing their hair for another Locks of Love donation.

said. Chemotherapy was no picnic, of course, but Keller said it was easier than she thought

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M ichelle Keller never saw it com- R ight now, many aren’t happy with see LOCKS , page 6 Kindergartener Grace Manimtim and her dad, Tim Mani...

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