Page 1

May 6, 2009

Mukilteo Beacon - 13

Explorer student travels the world by plane and by book E

xplorer Middle School student Sanjay Chepuri couldn’t have picked a more appropriately named school if he tried. After all, the inquisitive eighth grader started exploring the world when he was barely able to walk upright. “Even when he was 3, he used to just sit and look at the atlas,” mom Melanie Field recalled. Chepuri put his geographical knowledge to the test recently when he competed in the statewide geography bee, coming home with a 12th place finish out of 100 students participating. Had it not been for secondguessing himself on a single question, Chepuri said, he would have advanced to the finals, qualifying him for a trip to the national competition and a meeting with one of his favorite masters of trivia, Alex Trebeck. “I did the finals on a piece of paper in the audience,” he said. “I only missed three more out of 60.” Too late for this particular competition, but if Chepuri ever winds up on “Jeopardy,” his favorite game show, he’ll be 100 percent positive that Lake Itasca is the source of the Mississippi River, that Korea is known as the Land of the Morning Calm, and that Tomsk is the largest city in Siberia.

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“It was fun,” he said of the experience. “Competing was fun, and watching the finals was fun.” Not many would find such mentally taxing activities enjoyable, but then, Chepuri isn’t like everyone else. “That’s how I relax,” he said of reading atlases and learning about the world. “His brain is wired differently than most people’s,” Field said. Chepuri frequently scores well on the monthly quiz in National Geographic, and does as well if not better than the adults on screen playing “Jeopardy.” With this year’s finish, Chepuri wraps up a solid career with the annual geography bee. In his rookie year in fifth grade, he was the only elementary student to qualify for the state competition. The following year, he finished fourth, losing to the eventual national champion. Last year he tied for 22nd in the state, improving to 12th place in this, his final year of eligibility. To qualify for the state bee, Chepuri had to first win his school-level competition, then take a written test. Those with the top 100 scores advanced to state. Like most educational competitions, there’s a lot of luck mixed in with the vast knowledge, and it sometimes comes down to whether you’re asked the questions in your strongest or weakest

areas. “It was a pleasure working with a student like Sanjay, who is diligent about studying a little every day to achieve great end results,” Explorer teacher Naomi Davis said. “He is self-motivated and uses several different strategies to enhance his geography knowledge. “Sanjay's knowledge of geography enhances his ability to have a deeper understanding of the cultures and historical occurrences that he has learned in Social Studies. We're all very proud of him.” Chepuri and his family explore the world in person as well as with books – he’s been to his father’s homeland of India several times, and the family plans to visit Europe this summer. He hopes one day to visit such historic places as the Great Wall of China and the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. When he’s not traveling the world by plane or by book, Chepuri plays the viola and the piano, and is a member of the Everett Youth Symphony as well as his school’s band. His musical tastes vary, and he’s been a fan of reggae since he was a toddler. “When everyone else was listening to “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” he liked Bob Marley,” Field said. And when he’s not making music or traveling, the avid Mariners fan is manning



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right field for the Mountlake Terrace Pony League Cubs, and volunteering at Sunday School classes with his synagogue. Chepuri credits his teachers as well as his parents with his success both in school and in the geography competitions. Teachers Kathy Davies

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at Fairmount, and Davis at Explorer ran the geography clubs and helped Chepuri train for the bees, he said. “My mom and dad bought me all of the books I needed, and drove me all over the place to the competitions,” he said. “Mom also let me quiz her to help build up my confidence.”



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Volume XVII Number 50 July 1, 2009

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editor @ mukilteobeacon . com


Photo courtesy of Nicky Rollins Kamiak 2003 graduate Marc Rollins crosses the 9-mile mark in Saturday’s Rock and Roll Half Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Rollins completed the 13.1 mile race in just 1:40 – in the top 3 percent of finishers, most of who likely haven’t been through what he has these past years. Friday night before the race, organizers presented him with an award for the most money raised in the Washington/Alaska branch of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for this event. Rollins has 30 days to increase his $8,688 total to a nice, round $10,000. He thanks all of the friends, family and teammates and coaches both past and present, for their emotional support, blood drives and fundraising during his 3 ½ year ordeal battling leukemia as well as their generous support toward this year’s goal.

Kamiak grad hits a homerun for leukemia research REBECCA CARR editor @ mukilteobeacon . com by


arc Rollins walked across the Claremont College baseball diamond to take his place at shortstop, more nervous than he’d ever been in his life. This wasn’t typical game-day butterflies; it was the heart-pounding, knot-in-stomach, try-to-remember-howto-breathe kind of nerves. Final game of the championship series? Nope – just the first game of his

sophomore season. But for Rollins, it was quite literally the first day of the rest of his life. Rollins was taking the field again after a yearlong battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one in which the fight was not nearly over. Saturday, he celebrated his five-year survival anniversary by accomplishing an even more impressive physical feat: he completed the Seattle Rock and Roll Half


ROLLINS, page 5

ast June, many people had never heard of Twitter, a rapidly growing social networking system through which users send out “tweets” – messages no longer than 140 characters that answer a simple question: What are you doing right now? This year, some are probably sick of the word, particularly those who recently learned the hard way about non-retractable messages in the age of technology. While Twitter started out as a condensed, instant update version of social networks such as MySpace, LiveJournal and Facebook, its popularity is exploding with an increasing number of politicians, including members of Congress and senators updating their constituents throughout the day. Two weeks ago, councilmember Jennifer Gregerson discovered the power of words when she sent out a tweet referring to “debriefing” after a hearing before the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board regarding the city’s potential annexation. Her unfortunate word choice cast suspicion over a social gathering at Ivar’s involving city staff and electeds, despite no laws being broken. Just days before that, the Mukilteo City Council discussed tweeting while in session, after some councilmembers objected to Gregerson sending out a real time play-by-play of the evening’s deliberations. Those who oppose tweeting from the council table cite a number of reasons from it being a potential distraction to being disrespectful of the current speaker to the appearance of fairness. “To me, using Twitter is really no different than taking notes, as long as I’m not doing it constantly,” Gregerson said. Most, if not all councilmembers, do take notes while listening so they’ll have their thoughts collected when it’s


TWITTER, page 10

New road, land prep at airport SARA BRUESTLE sara @ mukilteobeacon . com by


ou may have noticed some construction going on at Paine Field Airport near the Mukilteo Speedway. That construction is the result of two simultaneous projects expected to be completed by the end of the summer, said airport director Dave Waggoner said. First, the airport is building a new road. Called Bernie Webber Drive, it starts at the intersection of Chennault Beach Road and will provide access to the airport’s new hangars visible from the Speedway. “With the development of the hangars it was time to complete the road,” Waggoner said.

Second, the airport is preparing the land just north of Bernie Webber Drive for later development. Construction workers are merely smoothing out the land by adding a few feet of dirt and flattening it in other areas, Waggoner said. “We do not have any development candidates under discussion at this time,” he said. The land was initially requested by the city of Mukilteo for the construction of a park-and-ride lot about 10 years ago, Waggoner said. But the city never presented the airport with a project proposal for the park and ride, so the land went undeveloped. The airport is open to


PAINE, page 16

July 1, 2009

Chuck’s World On the road, part two “New Mexico is a magical place,” says a character in the film “Off the Map,” a personal favorite. Set in the 1970s , it tells the story of a family who stepped out of civilization and lived off the land in the vast emptiness of New Mexico. This is where I am at the moment. Santa Fe, New Mexico, 7500 feet or so above sea level, beautiful and haunting and magical. I could definitely believe in magic here, hiding in the grasses and plateaus and mountains, just waiting. Magic can afford to take its time. Chuck’s The horizon teases you here, makes you World think it’s possible to see more if only you could get a better vantage point. I watched by CHUCK SIGARS chuck @ chucksigars . com the sun set over the Jimez Mountains a minute ago, watched crimson that looked like flames, and realized that’s where I was heading. Tomorrow I go west some more, fly to Phoenix for a week and then home, but east is where my heart is tonight. It’s where I started a few days ago, excited and anxious and a little sleep deprived, heading in this direction from Massachusetts, and now I have no words, only vignettes. It’s going to take me some time to figure this all out. It was only three hours from Boston to the Bronx, and it rained the entire way. Still, there was enough visibility to see the city, see the New York skyline in the distance, and I knew it was only the beginning. We crossed the George Washington Bridge and I gave the Hudson the respect it deserves, having great affection for big rivers (I would see another one). We hit eight states that first day, a phenomenon to a guy who lives on the left side of the country. On the west coast, going to another state usually requires planning and maybe an ice chest. In the east, you can cross state lines by sneezing. Run out to the store for a gallon of milk and your accent changes a couple of times. It feels crazy. New Jersey surprised me with its lushness, breaking up my movie stereotypes, although the tollbooth sent my daughter and me into a little spasm of “Godfather” quotes. It’s business, not personal, I reminded her while she told me I had to answer for Santino. We were a little goofy by then. Eastern Pennsylvania was gorgeous, green and rolling. Maryland felt flatter, maybe less well maintained, and we did a little road dance then, skipping through West Virginia and Virginia, then back to West Virginia again. It was there that my jaw began to drop, as the highway got narrower and the population sparser, and each curve gave us a vista more beautiful than the one before. By the time we hit the small town of Franklin, where a friend had offered his cottage to us for the night, it was dark and we’d dodged a few deer, but what we’d seen will stay with us. I suppose you could see the mountains of West Virginia on a sunny summer day near dusk and still not believe in something greater, but you’d have to work at it, I think. Our breakfast the next morning at a tiny diner was perfect, filling and really too much, and when I saw the check for something less than 6 dollars for the two of us I had to wonder what year it was. Sliding through the Shenandoah Valley was what you’d expect, also green and rolling, and it was hard not to imagine the hills covered with Union and Confederate bodies, fires burning in the distance. We passed the afternoon in the Carolinas and ended up in Atlanta, where we spent the night with a college roommate of mine and his gracious family. Southern hospitality is alive and well, I guarantee it. Alabama charged us for the cost of a new tire, cheap at the price for the security, and Mississippi was smooth as silk, no problems, although I stepped out of the car for five minutes and saw my entire life sweat in front of my eyes. And then we crossed Ol’ Man River into Louisiana, smelling Texas, and ended our longest day north of Dallas, having spent 17 hours more or less trying to get there. West Texas followed, then the land of Enchantment. Four days, 40 hours, 2600 miles and a couple of conversations I’d like to do over later, we’d seen a chunk of America, and here we are. As I said, it’s going to take me some time. There was just too much to take in, and maybe someday I’ll get some perspective, but not now. Now, I just watch the sunset, think about where I’ve been and where I’m going, and wonder if magic isn’t a strong enough word, really.

ROLLINS, from page 1 Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Typical of the competitive Rollins, just crossing the finish line wasn’t going to cut it – his goal was to race a personal best of 7:45 per mile average, three seconds better than he did in a January competition. Rollins exceeded even his own high expectations, finishing in 1:40:00 for a 7:38 average, good enough for the top 3 percent of the 15,000 half-marathon competitors. It was a long road getting there, starting with inexplicable fatigue during his freshman year at Claremont in 2004. “Warm up drills, just jogging to warm up drills I was getting so tired and out of breath,” he recalled. “I played tennis and baseball all through high school; fatigue had never been an issue.” A series of tests ruled out mono, despite sharing many of the symptoms. Rollins was called back in for yet another test, this time to rule out acute lymphoblastic leukemia, whatever that was. Two hours later, he and his visiting parents, Bob and Nicky, were boarding a plane back to Seattle, minds reeling with the sudden turn of events. The next morning they were at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, embarking on the fight of Marc’s life. “I went back to my room and looked it up; I’d heard the word but had no idea what it actually was,” he said. Rollins said everything happened so fast, he didn’t have time to think much about it. His friends here at home were more scared than he was. “They didn’t know what to say,” he recalled of his old friends seeing their always-active buddy lying in a hospital bed hooked up to

Mukilteo Beacon -  a series of strange looking machines. “We talk a lot; we don’t hold back, but that day, they had nothing.” Nothing to say, lots to do. Rollins learned just how many friends he has, and just how much they all care for him when everyone rallied around him with fundraisers, blood drives, head shaving parties and emotional support. That first year was grueling, with active chemotherapy 3-5 days a week, and weeks

of cranial radiation, which surprisingly, Rollins said, is harsher in impact than chemo. “It was the worst feeling – nothing was painful, just this constant feeling of the worst hangover of your life,” he said. “All day, it never goes away.” Losing his hair was no picnic either, of course,


ROLLINS, page 11


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11930 Cyrus Way – 7:00 PM Approval of Labor Agreement with Public Works Employees Union Approval of Paramedic ILA with City of Everett Precht Building Abatement Approval of Salary Matrix Ordinance 1215 Annexation Discussion Waterfront Project Status Report (AB09-08) Items may be moved to different dates depending upon timeliness of available information. For the most current Agenda, visit the City’s web site located at Persons with a disability that may limit their participation in this meeting should contact the City Clerk’s office at 425.263.8005 at least three (3) business days in advance of the meeting so that a reasonable accommodation can be made. City Hall is located at 11930 Cyrus Way. Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM; Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM. If you wish to discuss matters of concern with the Mayor, please call City Hall at 425.263.8018 to schedule.

July 1, 2009

Mukilteo Beacon - 11

POLICE BEAT June 23 Vehicle Prowl/Theft – 600 block 5th St. A thief stole a GPS unit and an iTouch from a vehicle. There was no damage to the vehicle.

Animal Problem – 10500 block Marine View Dr. Animal Control captured a large brindle pit bull terrier in a trap and took the dog to PAWS.

Burglary – 4800 block 70th St. SW A resident left home for about 90 minutes and returned to find the house had been burglarized. Several items including electronics and jewelry were stolen.

ROLLINS, from page 5 especially since it took a few weeks, long enough to get his hopes up he would escape that particular misery. To add to it, the hair would start to grow back only to fall out again. Sometimes walking 10 feet would completely wind him; he used the interludes in between to work out, lift weights and teach his body how to run again after his muscles had a year off to lose all their training, strength and momentum. “You just deal with it,” he said matter-of-factly, as if physically debilitating, lifethreatening illnesses are as commonplace – and easy to deal with – as grocery shopping. Rollins would live that ordeal for three and a half years, somehow managing to play varsity baseball during

TWITTER, from page 10 and budgeted dollars for, council and commission meetings being televised as well as podcasted – uploaded to the city web site for 24-hour access worldwide. That can’t come soon enough for vice president Kevin Stoltz who, despite his opposition to councilmembers tweeting while in session, thinks the city – staff and electeds – should be doing a lot more to communicate with residents. “We’re currently in the dark ages regarding our implementation of current technology that could achieve that objective,” he said. “I actually kind of like the idea of staff twittering where we

Assault – 11100 block Chennault Beach Rd. A woman was arrested after allegedly punching her ex-boyfriend in the arm during a child exchange.

Harassment – 600 block Randolph Ave. High tech harassment… A resident reported that his ex-girlfriend was harassing him via text message.

Vehicle Prowl – 11800 block HP Blvd. A thief broke a window to gain entrance to a pickup truck, and stole the victim’s laptop, golf clubs and passport.

Residential Burglary – 12300 block HP Blvd.

apartment via the rear slider. He found DVDs knocked over and told police the suspect might have run away through the golf course.

Mental – 4500 block HP Blvd. A woman in Sequim alerted police after receiving a call from her husband who said he had hurt himself. She said he had attempted suicide a few days earlier. Police entered the home after no one answered the door and found him face down in the bathtub, unresponsive, with deep cuts on both wrists. An aid unit took him to the hospital.

Suspicious – 5000 block HP Blvd.

A resident interrupted a thief, arriving home in time to hear someone leave his

A woman reported that the driver of a Monte Carlo was following her and waving a gun. Police located the Monte Carlo and conducted a “high-risk” stop, but found no

all but that first full year of active chemo. “The first and second seasons back were really tough from a physical standpoint,” he said. Life is different now. Before, Rollins lived like the typical college freshman – more parties than studying. After, he got serious, studied hard and graduated with honors – a far cry from that happy-golucky freshman who barely qualified academically to play baseball. The odyssey changed Rollins’ life in another way as well: the former pre-med student switched his major to finance. Yes, that’s working as a stock trader in New York City, the ideal, stressfilled situation for Rollins’ competitive nature. So far, he’s survived the massive job cuts that have virtually gutted his field, although he’s now doing the work of three

or four people. Many are inspired by their own medical ordeals to a career in medicine. Rollins, on the other hand, decided he’d had enough of hospitals for a lifetime. As he’s learned though, there are many ways to give back. His particular approach is raising awareness of leukemia, serving as an inspiration to others who may be just hearing the life-altering news about themselves or a loved one, and raising thousands of dollars in research funds. At first, Rollins considered the marathon’s $1,800 fundraising minimum a formidable hurdle. He forgot to factor in all the lives he’s touched in his 24 years, from EdmondsMukilteo, to California, to his current home in NYC. All of that karma showered upon him in the form of $8,688

are in the agenda as well as the motions being considered and the results.” However, Stoltz said, tweeting from the council

table could give the false impression that the messages represent the entire council or that they constitute a public meeting themselves.

gun. The driver said he caught the woman and her male companion prowling his car in the Home Depot parking lot, yelled at them and told them he had a gun to scare them off. When officers contacted the woman, she refused to identify herself or her companion, said she didn’t want to make a report about the incident and hung up.

June 24 Suspicious – 4400 block 106th St. SW

Animal Complaint – 8000 SR 525 A mother duck and her ducklings were reported wandering at the back of the complex. No criminal intent was suspected.

Suspicious – Bev. Pk./SR 525 A male in his 30s holding a sign and asking people for money was found to have multiple non-extraditable misdemeanor warrants. He agreed to leave the area.

A patient apparently didn’t want to miss his doctor’s appointment; he was snoozing in a sleeping bag at the front door when staff arrived. But officers had to escort him off the property, anyway, after he became upset because the doctor wouldn’t give him a prescription.

Want more police Beat? Read the rest at

in donations so far, inspiring him to try for a nice, round $10,000. “The response has been amazing,” he said. “My family and friends have been wonderful.” Rollins wants people to take one thing away from his story: “Whatever you’re

going through, you can do it – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and you have so many more people in your corner when you’re down than you can possibly imagine.” To donate to Rollins’ fundraiser, visit http://pages. t e a m i n t ra i n i n g. o rg / w a / rnrseatl09/mrollins

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July 1, 2009

Mukilteo Beacon - 

Police, firefighters want a safe Mukilteo this July 4 T

he Fourth of July holiday is here and we need to be thinking about safety issues associated with this celebratory time that affect us and our neighbors. The City of Mukilteo recognizes the dangers to its citizens and their property with the discharge of fireworks. One of the ways the City of Mukilteo adds a level of safety to its citizens is to ban the purchase and use of fireworks within its borders. Through documented history of accidents associated with the use of fireworks, we understand the need to encourage everyone to adhere to these ordinances and codes.

Please join the City of Mukilteo in protecting lives and property this Fourth of July season and enjoy these local shows.


Edmonds Civic Stadium – approximately 10 p.m. Lynnwood Athletic Complex, 3001 184th St. S.W., (425) 670-5732 Port Gardner Bay, viewable from Legion Memorial Park and Harborview Park, approximately 10:20 p.m.

Mukilteo’s Zak Stoltz making award-winning films ver have those dreams where you’re just trying to get from point A to point B, but mysterious, invisible forces keep bouncing you backward, blocking your path, and shrinking your world? What if you found yourself in that familiar nighttime struggle – but you’re wide awake? That’s the premise of Occidental College film student and Mukilteo native Zak Stoltz’s latest creation, In Frame. The six-minute short is already earning awards including first place in the Animation/Digital Media category at the UCLA Shorttakes Film Festival, and is one of just two from his school nominated for the British Academy of Television and Media Arts (BAFTA) award. But best of all for Stoltz, In Frame earned the distinction of being shown at the grand opening of the Cinebarre movie theater in Mountlake Terrace, where it played alongside Disney Pixar’s latest feature, Up. In fact, moviegoers watched In Frame at all four Cinebarre locations throughout the country. “It feels great,” Stoltz said of his creation starting to be recognized on progressively larger stages. “It’s nice to see all of my hard work paying off.” No kidding about the hard work part. Stoltz estimates he spent close to 200 hours on the short film, including many early mornings in order to have the campus free of wandering students. Stoltz wrote the story, chose the cast, and a small crew of dedicated friends built the various props and sets and filmed the short, all

on a miniscule $250 budget. “That included food for the crew, props, all of it,” Stoltz said. Stoltz has reason to be proud: some of his competition – who went home empty-handed – spent upwards of five figures and had access to the best, most expensive technology with which to shoot their film. Stoltz had to make do with his creativity and the stellar acting ability of his friends. “You don’t have to have a huge budget to make a film, but it helps,” he said. “You can make a good film with no money, but a better one with money.”

In Frame stars Jonny Rogers, a fellow college student. In the opener, Rogers is hurrying to catch up to his friends, only to bang his head on the film title that appears in the air as his buddies wander past. “As soon as I thought of this, I knew I wanted Jonny to do it,” Stoltz said. “I’ve seen him play ultimate Frisbee – he’s very physical, and also a theater actor.” Rogers definitely didn’t disappoint, Stoltz said. After bopping his head,


i n d e r m e r e Mukilteo real estate agents recently worked together with local businesses and the general public to benefit he Mukilteo Food Bank, as part of their annual Community Service Day. “The Mukilteo Food Bank was thrilled to have us do this project, as they are feeding a record number of families this year,” broker Evan Johnson said. “The summer is typically the toughest time of year and current economic conditions are driving even more people to the food bank.” Windermere Mukilteo

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agents divided themselves into three groups at three local stores, working a four-hour shift June 19 handing out flyers to customers encouraging them to contribute, then delivered the food and funds collected. “Thanks to the generous public and the cooperation of store managers, we collected 1,300 pounds of food along with more than $200 in cash and gift cards,” Johnson said. Johnson credits the Harbour Pointe QFC, Albertson’s on Beverly Park Road and Food Emporium, located on the Mukilteo Speedway.


STOLTZ, page 12

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July 1, 2009

WORSHIP Where is the Bible in your house? by Pastor Mark Samuelson

O ur S avior ’ s L utheran C hurch


ears ago a 90-year-old parishioner in my church fell and broke her hip. When I visited her in the hospital she told me that she broke it doing “step aerobics” with her grandchildren. Since they didn’t have enough step benches for everyone, she took the old fashioned family Bible, you know the ones that are about

12 inches thick, covered it with a cloth and used it for her step. She asked me, “Do you think I broke my hip because God didn’t want me tramping on his word like that?” Now mind you, she was a Sunday school teacher and probably knew more Bible verses by heart than I did, she certainly had respect for the Bible, a healthy respect I would say, one that understood that it could be used for a step as well as a tool for faith. “I don’t think the God we know in the Bible breaks people’s hips,” I replied. I have often been concerned about how the Bible is understood in our culture. Let’s start with what the Bible is not: 1) It is not a book of rules. The Bible is a relationship. It is the living word of God. It speaks to us in the same way that words do in a relationship

with people we love. Sure there are boundaries and covenants that go with those loving relationships, but they are always dynamic enough to change with changing circumstances. It disturbs me that the Bible is often reduced to a manual, like a manual for a computer that never gets re-written or re-interpreted with new software. 2) It is not science. It tells about the who, not the how. God respects and loves us so much that we are given us the opportunity to figure things out, to “probe the mind of God” so to speak. God’s ways are not our ways, but there is a beauty and symmetry to creation, evolution and geologic time that we get to discern and discover. It is not the Bible’s purpose to tell us about those things, only to help us know the Being behind all that is.

3) It is not literal. It was written by human beings who were inspired by the spirit of God. Therefore it can be studied, interpreted, discussed and argued about. Humans are not perfect, neither is the Bible. God’s spirit is perfect and It has not gone to sleep after the first writing, but is continuing to write on our hearts and engage our minds in every age. Frankly, I get very upset with people who claim to know the “literal truth” of the Bible, they are claiming an authority that only belongs to God. Well then, what IS the Bible? Martin Luther used to say that the Bible is the manger in which the Christ was laid. In all those Christmas scenes at the manger, when people kneel down and worship, it is not the manger they are

worshipping. It is the person in it. The source of the Bible’s power is not its literalness, perfection or rules. The source of the Bible’s power is the person of Jesus. If you were God and loved all that you had made, especially the persons, individually and with a great love. How would you communicate that love to them? You would send a person. God did that when he sent Jesus and the Bible is meant to introduce him to you. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (John 1:1,14) So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

STOLTZ, from page 3


lefa and Ruzzel Eserjose are proud to announce the arrival of the newest member of their family, Makeila Grace Eserjose. She was born at 11:32 p.m. June 10 at their Mukilteo home, weighing 7 lbs, 6 oz, and was 20 inches long. All are doing great!

Rogers stumbles about, confused, only to slam face first into the right wall of the frame – complete with a wallshaking effect as he makes contact. That starts a hilarious struggle with the black frame that seems to block Rogers in, thwarting his progress every which way he turns. At various points,

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he’s struggling to hold the ceiling up, smacking into – and being smacked by – the black frame, punching his way out, elevating skyward and even falling through so he’s divided between frames, all with realistic physical and sound effects along with Rogers’ adlibbing his grunts of bewilderment and pain. “It just kind of came to me a couple of years ago,” Stoltz said of the offbeat plot. Despite his growing success, Stoltz didn’t start out as a film major. His first goal was engineering, with film as a hobby. His high school career centered on improving his transcript and focused on AP classes such as biology, physics and calculus. But even then he was quickly realizing the 9 to 5 grind lifestyle wasn’t his calling. “I took a film class and just loved it; I knew it was what I want to do,” he said of his change in plans.

In fact, Stoltz abandoned his backup plan – a minor in economics – deciding if he was going to do this, he was going to approach it with his whole heart, winner take all. It’s paying off in awards, but so far not so much in income (no industry job yet and a speeding ticket gobbling up his prize money the night he earned it), Stoltz noted wryly, although that could change


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after a series of festivals in New York, Chicago, Tacoma and Pasadena. Meanwhile, Stoltz will head back to California for his senior year, and try to find work in the field, whether as a production assistant, editor, or writer. “That’s the tough irony of the film industry,” he said. “An award-winning filmmaker can be homeless and unemployed.” To watch In Frame, log onto www.mukilteobeacon. com. To see all of Stoltz’s work, visit com/user/zakeroni

September 2, 2009

Mukilteo Beacon - 

Six weeks in Florence, a lifetime of memories by


editor @ mukilteobeacon . com


iking through the lemon groves and castle ruins of Sorrento, cliff-jumping 35 feet to swim among the jellyfish, climbing to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica, exploring the Blue Grotto via water taxi – and it all started with a randomly chosen accounting course at Kamiak. Gonzaga student and Kamiak grad Channing Paradis still isn’t sure what prompted her to fill that last slot on her Kamiak senior year schedule with an accounting class. “I didn’t even know why I took it, but I really liked it, it just clicked with me,” she said. That led to Gonzaga University’s outstanding accounting program (Paradis is working toward a double major in accounting and marketing), which led to her opportunity to spend a summer session in Florence, Italy – home base for a whirlwind tour of Europe every second she wasn’t in

the classroom. “Gonzaga has a campus over there, a huge program,” Paradis said. “I’d always heard about Florence, but it was just incredible – it was the best time of my life!” Paradis studied mostly art history and Florentine history, which opened the doors – for free – to countless museums and a world that existed centuries before. “Normally I hate history more than anything; this helped bring it alive and made me want to know more,” she said. “Why that building was there, what it was used for – it was cool and humbling that these buildings have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.” There’s nothing like that in America, Paradis noted. Some history, no matter how much it’s studied in textbooks and documentaries, is life altering to see up close and personal. “Dachau was one of the most sobering experiences of my life; it was a

very tough morning,” Paradis said of visiting the site of the concentration camp. “It was sobering, intense – it felt weird, there were so many emotions, I couldn’t express anything.” Paradis barely noticed she’d been separated from her group, she recalled, and she stood there alone examining the ovens, the gas “showers” and the gas chambers, trying to wrap her young mind around the fact that such horrors happened only decades ago. “I was kind of glad I got to go through by myself, experience it by myself,” she said. Six weeks seemed a long time at first, especially six weeks without such life necessities as cell phones and Blackberrys. It wasn’t a rule that prohibited technology, rather the exorbitant cost of roaming charges, Paradis explained – and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of the trip. “It sounds silly, but it forced us to really focus on each other, it helped

bring us really close as a group,” she explained. “No one had their computers or anything; we were into that moment, into our travels.” For novice travelers, Paradis and her friends keyed into one of the best ways to explore new worlds: no guide, no timetable and no set agenda. “About 20 of us just took off and went exploring; we wanted to take our time, see what we liked and take a lot of photos,” she said. “It was so fun to get ourselves lost in a new city, see the sights and explore the shops.” Plenty of gelato throughout fueled the group, Paradis said. Paradis likes the Italian approach to dining out – guests are expected to enjoy long, leisurely dinners brought out course by course. “They go for the experience and the fun, not just the food,” she said. “You have to ask for your check; they don’t


FLORENCE, page 8

LEGAL, from page 1 them,” he said. “I don’t say this lightly, but I have seen Sound Transit spend up to $2 million a year just to tie up attorneys for decades.” Public testimony was heavily in opposition to Wednesday’s action, with 11 speakers against and just one in favor. Most who spoke live in Mukilteo, with a few coming from Edmonds and Lynnwood. Speakers chastised the council for not listening to prolific public input against commercial air traffic. Mukilteo resident Pam Spampani called the idea reprehensible, saying that the actions of four of the county councilmembers do not match their words. “This action sends a strong message to your constituents that you are not serving them,” she said.

There’s no threat to FAA funding at stake here, she said, only a threat to the largest employer in Snohomish County. Maureen Hayden of Mukilteo told the council of her negative experience growing up on the south side of Chicago in the shadow – and flight path – of Midway Airport, and implored the council to “use your energy and funds more responsibly.” Edmonds resident Austin Priem said that a county representative had mentioned at another public meeting that “if Mukilteo is going to ‘lawyer up’ we will lawyer up also.” It’s understandable why people see this latest move as an attack on the effort to discourage commercial air service, he said. Melanie Jordan of Everett, the lone speaker in favor of

the motion, implored the council to allocate the funds to ensure that the NEPA and SEPA processes are properly evaluated. Sullivan said he spoke to mayors of several south county cities, all of who are concerned with the county’s actions in regards to commercial air traffic. Cooper said he’s also talked with local mayors and left those conversations with the impression they’ve been misled on what last week’s motion entails. “When the mayor and executive of one city in south county (read: Mukilteo) finish flailing their arms and bragging about how big their

attorneys are, it’s time for the County Council to step back and take an objective look,” he said. Marine said there are no set plans for the city or SOC to fatten up their legal budgets in response to the county’s action. “We’re in a wait-and-see mode right now,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot we can do until something happens.” Marine did not rule out the city adding to the $250,000 it allocated to SOC’s legal team in a previous budget, saying the issue would come before the City Council sometime in October when it discusses the 2010 budget.

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which passed unanimously, clarifying the county will not initiate any legal actions against citizens or citizen groups, except as authorized by the council. “That addresses the one issue, that we’re planning on suing citizens,” he said. “We are not planning to, but we have a legal obligation, if sued, to defend ourselves.” County Councilmember Brian Sullivan, Mukilteo’s representative, was the lone no vote, calling the contract language vague and saying that recent county actions have negatively impacted the public’s trust in their representatives. “We have created a lot of distrust with the local community,” he said. “I’m asking that we put this off until we have something credible to defend.” Cooper defended continuing to retain Kaplan Kirsch, because it already has done work for the county on this issue. “The five people you see before you represent all of the people in Snohomish County, all 680,000 citizens,” he said. The council is responsible for making sound business decisions, he said, which requires qualified legal representation. Kaplan Kirsch acts at the direction of the council and executive, and could very well disagree with the FAA’s assessment, Cooper said. Sullivan disputed that line of reasoning, and questioned the county’s motives in contracting with a law firm before it’s even been sued. “If I were making a bet, I would say that maybe we’re tying up these attorneys so the opposition can’t hire

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rush it over before you’re even finished eating.” There’s a learning curve there, too – the art of pacing oneself so as not to overload on the early courses. “Restaurants were easier; they portioned the food accordingly,” Paradis said. “But at the hotel, they’d bring out these huge bowls of pasta – it was so good I’d just keep reloading, then out comes the next course, and it was delicious, too, so I’d overload on that!” Just one scoop of pasta, Paradis laughed about reminding herself each meal. Paradis, always an adventurous eater, had a rule: she could only eat native food in whichever country she found herself. Brats and sauerkraut in Germany, sea urchin ravioli in northern Italy, octopus salad in Croatia. “I love trying new foods,” she said. “The octopus wasn’t anything like calamari, but it was delicious.” Paradis discovered a drawback to her American appearance – it proved to be quite a stumbling block in her quest to master as much Italian language during her visit as possible.


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“Everyone saw us coming, and they were so glad for a chance to practice their English,” she laughed. “And their English was so much better than my Italian, obviously.” In fact, that was the only drawback, Paradis said, not getting to learn more Italian during the short visit. She recommends the summer overseas to anyone who

has the opportunity, calling it the best experience of her life. “I spent more money than I should have, but looking at it now, I have no regrets – I have my whole life to make more money,” she said. “I have only two more years of college before I have to enter the real world.” One thing she knows for certain – her future includes more trips to Europe.

Learn mixed martial arts at local studio SARA BRUESTLE sara @ mukilteobeacon . com by

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Kamiak grad and Gozaga accounting/marketing major Channing Paradis (left) takes in the Colosseum with friend Anjalee Vasvani on her recent trip to study in Italy.


tudents learning Kajukenbo at the Sew-Dun Martial Arts studio better remove the words ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ from their vocabulary – unless they like doing push-ups and writing essays. Owner and instructor Sifu O’Neill Sewell-Dunlap won’t tolerate that sort of negativity in his studio. “I hope my students get the sense that there’s nothing they can’t do,” O’Neill Sewell-Dunlap said. “I want them to learn how to respect and value themselves. I want them to gain confidence and the know how to trust in themselves that they can do

anything.” Open since February, the studio offers classes in Kajukenbo, kickboxing and

“We’re all about building and not tearing down.” self-defense for kids and adults. Classes are offered in the evenings Monday-Thursday and on Saturday morn-

ings. The martial art style Kajukenbo combines the techniques of Karate (KA), Judo and Jujitsu (JU), Kenpo (KEN) and Chinese and American boxing (BO). Kajukenbo was developed in Hawaii in 1947 by the Black Belt Society, a group of black belts from various martial arts backgrounds who met to train and learn from each other. Kajukenbo is a progressive, ever-evolving style designed to take the best aspects of any martial arts style and incorporate it into one mixed style, said O’Neill Sewell-Dunlap. “It’s still rooted in tradition,



 - Mukilteo Beacon

September 30, 2009

Writing a story of success F

rom the time she was a little girl, Mariner junior Skylar Beckman has had a special connection with animals. Even those known to be shy around people warm up to her immediately, and she doesn’t recall a time in her life when she didn’t have at least one pet. Beckman hopes to turn



“...we still tell others about the work Keith did when we show our home.” - Merl & Darlene Tucker




those skills into a rewarding career as a veterinarian. At 16, Hannah Pennock is the last person one would expect to have low self-esteem. A tae kwon do blue belt, Pennock plays sports at Kamiak and volunteers at the Everett Animal Shelter. She spends half of her school day at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center getting a head start on her post-high school education path. Pennock and Beckman told their stories at a special afternoon tea hosted by Your Place Afterschool, a Mukilteo nonprofit whose purpose is giving girls a safe place at which they can do homework, receive tutoring, serve their communities, learn about themselves and make friends. Telling our stories to the world is an important step toward reaching our goals, according to creativity coach Ann Herman, guest speaker at the tea. “We think our reality determines our stories – what if it’s really the other way around?” she asked the girls. “What if our stories determine our reality?” Then you have your hand on the handle of it; then you can do something about your life, Herman told the crowd.

“Have you ever had someone ask you to do something you felt you couldn’t do, but they had faith in you?” she asked. Herman used to have a paralyzing fear of needles. Then, in one of life’s many curveballs, she not only needed a series of Vitamin B shots; she had to give them to herself. How did she break the grip of fear that needles had on her? “Someone told me a bigger story than the one I was telling,” Herman said of the doctor who matter-of-factly mowed over her repeated “I can’t!” protests, continuing on with his instructions. Another woman Herman knows who used to be overweight now looked slim, trim and full of energy when the two saw each other recently. What was the magic bullet? “I gave up the idea that I’m

not the type who exercises,” Herman said the woman responded. That’s what it’s about, Herman said, deciding the reality you want, telling your story and making it come true. It all starts with one’s core values, she said. Determining those sets the path to the future. Pennock used to be scared witless of tests, expecting to fail every time. Beckman tanked her freshman year, rarely cracking a book and never doing her homework. That’s the stories they used to tell. Today they’re telling different stories, and making those stories reality. “My grades are better and still improving. I study more, and I feel a lot more comfortable at school,” Pennock said. Beckman’s grades have improved and continue to rise, and she now cares about school and where her future is headed. “I want to get a 3.6 this year, and 4.0 my senior year,” she said. “I’m going to work extra hard; veterinary school is hard to get into.” Mariner senior Christina Gamez isn’t sure of her post-college goals yet, but she does know she wants a challenging job and a successful career. In her old story, she usually had low grades and really didn’t care about what happened in her life. That was then. Today’s story includes a schedule full of

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advanced placement classes, a continually improving GPA and a chance at a Gates Foundation scholarship. Gamez has her sights set on Western Washington University, both for its proximity to home and for something even more important: “It’s a college town, so I’ll be surrounded by people who are going somewhere in their lives, who want to do something with their lives,” she told the crowd. “That’s the type of people I want to be around now.” Kamiak’s Lydia Kane wants to be a voice for children who can’t speak for themselves. Whether struggling with autism or rough home lives, children deserve the best we can do for them, Kane said. “People need to help kids more,” she said. “They are our future.” Along with the friends she’s made at YPA, Kane credits her family and her work in 4H with inspiring her and giving her confidence to pursue her goals, including college. “I can’t even express how much Anne (Windsor, founder of YPA) has helped my daughter,” Lydia’s mom Cheryl Kane said. “I was feeling lost. We tried every thing, and nothing seemed to work until now. This is the answer, and it has been for the past year.” For more information on Your Place Afterschool, contact Windsor at, or visit

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