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Everybody’s cruise ship Tour the Sound on a ferry WINTER RETREAT

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Celebrate with the Gothard Sisters

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With its historic downtown and beautiful old homes, Snohomish makes for an entertaining day trip.

ABOVE: Willows Lodge hosts a number of free Holiday Boot Camp events in December, including classes by Barking Frog executive chef Bobby More and pastry chef Matt Kelley. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge

BELOW: Some of the pottery available at Bruning Pottery on Avenue D in Snohomish. Ian Terry | Coast

COVER: A ferry heads from Kingston to Edmonds in the early morning as the Olympic Mountains loom in the distance.





Mukilteo’s police chief, Cheol Kang, is known for his Yoda-like temperament and his love of food — all kinds of food.

Meet the people who ride Snohomish County’s ferries to get to work or for a day on the water.

Ian Terry | Coast









New book about J.S. White includes beautiful photos.

The award-winning trio returns home for their annual Christmas concert.


Mike “Kodiak” MacKenzie finds inspiration in the Northwest for his skin art.


Don’t know what to give? Think art by people you know.

ABOVE: Books on making cocktails are displayed at Bluewater Distilling in Everett. Ian Terry | Coast

BELOW: Every room at The Inn at Langley has a water view, allowing guests to relax to the sound and scents of Saratoga Passage. Photo courtesy of The Inn at Langley


30 WASHINGTON WINE Get expert advice on wines for giving and drinking.


Lombardi’s shares its recipe for 40 Clove Chicken.


Learn how to make infusions for your next holiday cocktail party.

Two festivals celebrate the majestic bald eagle.


 here to cut your tannenbaum W this season.


Choose from backcountry, wine country and the waterfront.


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IN EVERY ISSUE 8 Editor’s Note 52 Our Favorite Events 54 Why I Love It Here


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Washington North Coast Magazine is published quarterly by The Daily Herald, a division of Sound Publishing, Inc. and may not be reproduced without express written permission, all rights reserved. No liability is assumed by Washington North Coast Magazine, The Daily Herald or Sound Publishing regarding any content in this publication. Subscriptions to Washington North Coast Magazine are $14 annually. Single copies are available at select locations throughout Snohomish County and the Puget Sound region. www.WashingtonNorthCoast.com © 2017 The Daily Herald


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WINTER ISSUE: An afternoon on the ferry


If someone asks me where Mukilteo is, I tell them it’s where you catch the ferry to Whidbey Island. Washington State Ferries operates two ferry routes in Snohomish County: the Mukilteo-Clinton and EdmondsKingston runs. I’ve been on both many times. Mukilteo and Edmonds are practically tied as the state’s busiest ferry routes. Both runs carry about 2 million vehicles and 4 million passengers each year. But the white and green ships aren’t just a way to travel across water — they are a symbol of Washington and one of our state’s most popular tourist attractions. I’m typically a walk-on passenger. I like to take a trip to Whidbey Island on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry for lunch and a change of scenery. I’ve also been known to hop on the EdmondsKingston boat for a 30-minute cruise and a short walk into town for a crepe or ice cream cone. On a recent trip to Whidbey and back, I beelined to the bow to get a front-row view of Possession Sound. I took deep breaths of sea air. I watched as the ferry cut through the smooth water ahead, as foamy waves splashed against the boat’s sides, and as gulls glided overhead like kites. I let the breeze wash over my face and tangle my hair. When the wind got to be too much for me, I decided to do some peoplewatching. Ferries are great for peoplewatching. Two men appeared to be organizing sets of nuts, bolts and screws from a pile of hardware. They had a sorting workshop set up on the window sills. A boy pointed out to his mother, “Look, Ma! A military!” because a member of the Navy in uniform was riding our vessel. She was likely on her way back to the Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor. I also played Commuter or Tourist? It’s a pretty easy game: Just look for hooded jackets, backpacks and sport sandals. Those are telltale signs of a walk-on commuter.

with a stranger who was relaxing after a day’s work with a Diamond Knot IPA and some Cheez-Its. He joked that he’d be in trouble if his wife knew he routinely treats himself to a beer and cheese crackers on his way home. My ferry trip reminded me that Washington North Coast Magazine celebrates our surroundings and our culture. Watch for bald eagles around the Stillaguamish and Skagit rivers as they return for the winter. The Skagit Eagle Festival in January and the ArlingtonStillaguamish Eagle Festival in February offer a variety of bird-watching opportunities. You’re likely to see more eagles because Washington’s numbers are up. Go on a retreat to a lodge in wine country, the backcountry or the island. If you’re staying at a hotel with a spa where rooms have tubs for two, fireplaces and their own balconies, and the staff serves multi-course breakfasts, you’ll forget all about the dark days ahead. Try some of Washington’s wines. State winemakers have a reputation for wines that stand against the best in the world. Consider buying a special bottle for the wine lover in your life or to pair with the holiday meal. Our expert has provided a list of 10 must-try local wines. Or tour Snohomish, the first city in Snohomish County to promote itself as a place to visit. It has many antique shops, boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, distilleries and breweries worth exploring. Enjoy the holiday window displays in November and December. As you read this magazine, I hope you find some fun things to do this holiday season.

Sara Bruestle Editor editor@washingtonnorthcoast.com

Then I moved to the galley. I chatted



Sara Bruestle aboard a ferry at the Mukilteo ferry terminal.

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The man who built Snohomish J.S. White, Our First Architect STORY BY GALE FIEGE

and include the Methodist Church (which White finished just a year after arriving), Odd Fellows Hall, the Getchell House, the Elwell House, White’s own modest home, the A.M. Blackman store and house, the O.E. Crossman house, the Burns block and the White Building.

Snohomish is one of our region’s loveliest towns — think old brick buildings, big trees, 130-year-old homes — and it is beautiful in great part because people there appreciate its history. One of those dedicated citizenhistorians is Warner Blake, whose book “J.S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish” was released earlier this fall with the help of other Snohomish folks who wanted to see it happen.

The story of the White Building — the beautiful two-plus story red brick structure at Avenue A and First Street — posed a challenge for Blake. A lot of digging was required. Pieced together from newspaper accounts about the growth of Snohomish, the proof that Blake needed that White indeed designed and built the White Building finally came together with a headline about town council meetings moving to the building in 1892.

If you love this small city or know someone who does, consider this fineart, coffee-table book as a gift, even if it’s just for you. Blake incorporates outstanding photographs by Otto Greule, a foreword by state architectural historian Michael Houser and research help from local historians David Dilgard and Margaret Riddle. The hardcover book also includes rarely seen historic photos and maps. It’s a classy production — there are beautiful portraits of the buildings, end sheets just inside the cover that double as a walking map and the cover-to-cover details Blake has gathered.

Author Warner Blake is a community historian.

People pledged, and a year later there was a book. It takes a village.

Blake deftly sets the scene for the reader in his prologue.


John S. White referred to himself as a carpenter and contractor. A native of New Hampshire, he learned his trade in Topeka, Kansas, before making his way to Snohomish in 1884. Picture yourself and your young family arriving on a dreary day in February, disembarking a boat onto a small dock on the Snohomish River in a place surrounded by forests.

architect and builder of nearly every home and commercial building of note. His designs shaped how Snohomish looks, even today. However, White — who died at age 70 in 1920 in his modest house on Avenue H — left little behind but his buildings.

White showed up at just the right time. The logging town of 700 (many employed at the new Blackman sawmill) was on the verge of a building boom. By 1890, about 2,000 people lived in Snohomish, which remained the county seat until the government moved to Everett in 1896.

Houser, the state architectural historian, has high praise for Blake, who wrote “Early Snohomish” in 2007, for seven years penned a newspaper column in The Tribune titled “Snohomish: Then and Now,” and since 2014 has offered a monthly blog called “Snohomish Stories.”

At one point, White, who also served on the city council, was known as the

What remains of the structures that White built are profiled in the new book



“I could have screamed,” Blake said. It’s been a lot of work, which could not have been done without the help of a core group of people who donated money for the printing of the book, Blake said. “People pledged, and a year later there was a book,” he said. “It takes a village.” Some of the people who stepped up to help include Mary Pat Connors and Janet Kusler, Penny and Gary Ferguson, Melinda Gladstone, Karen Guzak, Leah and Shaun McNutt, Denise Johns and Terry Thoren, Margaret and Randy Riddle, and Joan and Mike Whitney. The $21,000 printing cost of the book is close to being paid off, Blake said. At press time the bill stood at about $4,000. Every $50 purchase of the book helps take the debt down.


$50 | 110 pages The People of Snohomish Available online at snohomishstories.org or from Uppercase Bookshop, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at Second Street and Avenue B in Snohomish.

Sights of


ABOVE: Founded in the mid-1800s, Snohomish still has a strong tradition of Victorian architecture in neighborhoods around downtown Snohomish. BELOW: Cyclists and shoppers mingle on First Street in downtown historic Snohomish. STORY BY GALE FIEGE




hen the city declared its downtown a historic district in the mid-1970s and landed the area on the national and state registers of historic places, it essentially labeled itself a tourist destination. Not only was it the county’s first seat of government, Snohomish really was the first city in the county to promote itself as a place to visit. You’ve seen the slogan: “Antique Capital of the Northwest.” More recently, it declared itself “The Pumpkin Capital of the Northwest.” And in the summer it’s “The Northwest’s premier wedding destination.” These might be arguable claims, but there are literally acres of antiques and interesting collectibles for sale in Snohomish, and the surrounding valley has numerous former dairy farmers who have turned to pumpkins, corn mazes and barn weddings to make a living.

The historic river town offers antiques shops, Victorian architecture, hot air balloons and more

Most of the antique shops, along with the abundance of fun stuff in boutiques, bookstores and bicycle shops, are housed in the historical brick buildings along First Street. Resident artists play a big part in the culture of the city. Snohomish, situated on the Snohomish River, has great restaurants, distilleries, breweries, wine and tea shops, nightlife, concert venues, parks, foot and bike trails, river fishing access, golfing and Harvey Airfield — where you can sky dive or take a hot air balloon ride. But let’s start with a little history, because in a town such as Snohomish, that’s important. The native Snohomish, Stillaguamish, Snoqualmie and Skykomish WINTER 2017 · WASHINGTON NORTH COAST MAGAZINE


Rich in history, the river town was the county’s first tourism destination

people were there when settlers from the East Coast arrived in the mid-1800s, rowing 12 miles up the Snohomish River from what is now Everett through the dark forest to a landing on the north side of the river. At the time, the federal and territorial governments were anticipating the construction of an inland military road from south Puget Sound’s Fort of Steilacoom north to Fort Bellingham, similar to the route of what eventually became Highway 9. The settlers wanted to get there first to lay claim to land and provide the ferry service across the Snohomish River until a bridge could be built. The military road, which was to protect Army troops from British naval attacks, never materialized and for a long time riverboat travel remained the link from Puget Sound to the town, by then established as the county seat, and eventually also served by rails and roads. Like most cities in Western Washington, Snohomish was built on logging and milling as its primary industries. By the 1880s, people were making some money, and that’s when they began building elaborate homes on the hill above the business district. The town’s first architect, J.S. White, is the subject of a book published earlier this year by people in Snohomish who love history. (See the article about “J.S. White, Our First Architect” on page 10.)

ABOVE: A customer walks out of the Victoria Village Antique Centre on First Street in Snohomish. MIDDLE: Artist Joan Pinney looks over paintings in the Arts of Snohomish Co-op gallery. Pinney shares the space with many other artists from the Snohomish area. BELOW: Brian Roys, a distiller at Skip Rock Distillers in Snohomish, uses locally sourced ingredients to create artisan spirits.


After the hill was logged and plats sold, from the hill above the river you could see Mount Rainier and the valley to the south, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. It was beautiful. Along with their houses, residents planted trees that today are centenary monoliths. A visit to Snohomish could start with a tour of these old neighborhoods to see the houses and the trees. Start anywhere, but walk the avenues A, B, C, D and E between Fifth and Second streets. The Blackman House Museum, 118 Ave. B, is a must-see. It’s open noon to 3 p.m. on weekends or by


appointment. More information is at www.snohomishhistoricalsociety.com. Larry Countryman, 76, a lifelong resident, is the owner of Countryman Bed and Breakfast Inn and has volunteered at the visitor information center on the west end of First Street. The visitor center is a smart place to stop, and besides you can see a baseball bat once owned by the great Earl Averill, a Snohomish native who spent much of his career with the Cleveland Indians. Averill is Snohomish County’s only Major League Baseball Hall of Famer. Countryman likes to say that Snohomish will always retain its small-town atmosphere. “We’re landlocked, so the city is unlikely to change,” he said. And because the city has figured out how to welcome new businesses without compromising its historical significance, Countryman can count on touting the charms of Snohomish for many years to come. “Snohomish’s historic district is a great attraction,” Countryman said, “as popular for some people as the Space Needle.” Enjoy the holiday window displays this month. Santa makes a stop in the historic district Nov. 25. The Parlor Tour of historic homes decorated for Christmas is Dec. 10. Enjoy the winter solstice candlelight riverwalk Dec. 21. And if you can’t visit Snohomish before Christmas, the fun Groundfrog Day is Jan. 27 along First Street. That’s a good day to celebrate being halfway to the spring equinox and to check out the antique shops, such as Antique Station at Victoria Village. And then there are the arts. Two galleries to see are the Arts of Snohomish on


· historicdowntownsnohomish.org · snohomishhistoricalsociety.org · snohomish.org/snohomish · cityofsnohomish.com · ci.snohomish.wa.us

First Street and Bruning Pottery on Avenue D. Watercolorist Joan Pinney, honored in 2014 as the county’s artist of the year, shows her work at this cooperative gallery along with many other well-known artists. She also sells a book of her paintings of some of Snohomish’s great homes. Judy and Larry Bruning make and sell colorful utilitarian art pieces, and they maintain a wedding registry that enables young couples in the region to buy dinnerware sets. On Avenue D, award-winning performer Tim Noah operates his Thumbnail Theater, a venue that hosts many independent musicians. The Uppercase Bookshop on Second Street has a devoted clientele and is the place to buy a copy of the book about J.S. White. On First Street, you also might want to check out the hip gifts at Beat Street and Joyworks. The restaurants in Snohomish are too many to list, but here are a few local favorites: Check out Andy’s Fish House, Snohomish Pie Co., The Repp!, Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse, Cabbage Patch, Grilla Bites, Hungry Pelican, First & Union Kitchen and the Snohomish Bakery, and Trails End Taphouse and Restaurant, which is located at the Snohomish trailhead of the Centennial Trail. So, after you eat and get lost in the antiques, grab your binoculars and bicycles because, as the locals will tell you, there’s no better place around to watch birds and bike the roads.

ABOVE: Using a potter’s wheel, Larry Bruning sculpts a 16-ounce mug at Bruning Pottery in Snohomish. On Avenue D, Bruning Pottery offers classes along with handmade items for sale including planters, vases, dinnerware and sinks. BELOW: Stretching along the Snohomish River just south of the historic downtown area, the city of Snohomish Riverfront Trail offers views and traffic-free walking and cycling.

Get on the Centennial Trail, which heads north out of town at Sixth and Maple along the Pilchuck River, or walk the Riverfront Trail, down below First Street. n WINTER 2017 · WASHINGTON NORTH COAST MAGAZINE



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Sisters and best friends

Out in front of the Thumbnail Theater in Snohomish, the sisters from left, Greta, Solana and Willow pause before a concert there.

Performing together is natural for Edmonds’ Gothard Sisters STORY BY GALE FIEGE



These blond beauties and their breakneck speedy ballads will blow your mind.

notch and their harmonies are beautiful. They are very professional. Their concerts here always sell out.”

What are they playing? Are these traditional Celtic tunes? Is it classical music? Bluegrass maybe, “roots” or perhaps folk? Oh, wait, it’s their take on rock ‘n’ roll.

Lots of family bands exist in our region, but a trio of sisters is rare. No, they aren’t triplets and they aren’t married. And for now their music is the best way to make a living. Greta, Willow and Solana Gothard know each other about as well as they know themselves, but whether they get along is a standard question from fans.

The Gothard Sisters of Edmonds play it all, and much of it is of their own composition. These award-winning, internationally known musicians, Irish folk dancers and storytellers will play what has become an annual not-to-bemissed Christmas show Dec. 7 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. The show follows their annual fall concert at the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater in Snohomish. “The Gothards are the total package,” said Noah, who is an Emmy awardwinning performer. “They are great entertainers, their musicianship is top-

“As siblings we work together as a team, but we also like each other. That’s not something you can fake. It wouldn’t work if we were pretending,” said Greta, 30. “Maybe we’re especially close because we were homeschooled. As girls we danced together in the living room, we played games and we made music. Performing together is natural.” Willow, 28, agrees. “We each unconsciously anticipate what the others will do during a show,” she said.

“Playing music together is like talking to each other.” The fact that the trio tours together for nearly half the year also is proof that they like being together, said Solana, 22. “We are connected.” During the winter, the Gothards hang out at their parents’ house in the north Edmonds neighborhood of Seaview. Bert and Lark Gothard have always been supportive of their daughters’ artistic endeavors. Dad books the airline flights; Mom offers suggestions on their dancing. The sisters started out busking for tips at farmers markets and graduated to county fairs and festivals. More than 1,000 performances later, the sisters have completed several national concert tours, perform as entertainers on Disney Cruise Line ships and are well-known musicians on the national Celtic festival circuit. In 2014, they were named best new Irish band at the Irish Music Awards.



The award-winning musicians travel the world playing their own brand of Celtic and roots music The women are on tour so much of the year that being at home in Edmonds in the rainy months is “very grounding,” Willow said. Mondays in the offseason are set aside for practice and composition. Time in a recording studio comes next. The band’s albums include “Story Girl,” “Compass,” “Mountain Rose” and three Christmas albums, one of which — “Falling Snow” — was listed high on the Billboard charts just a week after it was released in December 2016. That’s unusual for an independent band such as the Gothard Sisters. “We write individually, but also together,” Greta said. “We come with ideas and put them together, like soup ingredients.” Solana comes up with the rhythm, Greta writes the lyrics and Willow provides the melody. What they call the “introvert season” also is the time to book tours and concerts and plan ahead for the “extrovert season.” “It’s a good way to balance life,” Solana said. The youngest sister writes the trio’s blog, the oldest is the editor of their website and more, and the middle sis doubles

as the live show sound technician and the band’s style maven, getting their outfits together for the coming performance season. This past summer, the sisters entertained on seven cruise ships plying European waters. One cruise was transatlantic, from Florida to the Azores to Denmark. “Traveling on cruise ships has helped us develop a nice appreciation for songs about being at sea,” Greta said. In between, the Gothards played Celtic music festivals in Montana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, New England and the Northwest, of course. “Travel is great for us right now,” Solana said. “We like meeting people from all over the country.” It’s all about planes, trains and automobiles. “We bring everything but the PA system,” Greta said. “Our airplane seats usually are together, so the overhead bin becomes ours to store our instruments. We rent minivans and pack ‘em tight. We have a good stystem.” What are all the musical instruments the

Gothards pack? All three play the fiddle. Classical violin was the first instrument for each, and they studied under the late Lawrence Fisher. Solana joined her sisters in their public performances as soon as she was old enough to jam. Now she is the lead singer, plays the pennywhistle and specializes in percussion instruments, such as the Irish bodhran and the African djembe. “When I was little, my parents would play recordings of world music. Lots of Mondo Beat,” Solana said. “I love rocking out to a good rhythm.” Willow branched out to include the mandolin, which has the same string setup as the violin. Her primary instrument, however, is the fiddle. “The fiddle dances and the violin sings,” she said. “I like both when I am writing melodies to express emotions. I enjoy listening to instrumental music that includes string instruments — folk, bluegrass and rock.” Greta picked up the guitar at age 21 and studied with Scott Lindeman of Edmonds. “I wanted to add another layer

We like meeting people from all over the country. —SOL ANA GOTHARD

Playing on the beach are, from left, Greta, Solana and Willow. Photo courtesy of the Gothard Sisters



IF YOU GO The Gothards perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. Tickets are $22 general admission, $18 for seniors and students, $10 for children. Buy four or more tickets and get a 25 percent discount per ticket. More information at edmondscenterforthearts.org/ events/2-christmas-with-thegothard-sisters or call 425-2759595. Get a free download of the trio’s new song “Hummingbird” at gothardsisters.com/music.

to our sound. Now I play guitar most of the time,” she said. “And Willow and I add harmonies to Solona’s vocals.” The band plans to continue to evolve and change, Solona said. “Each year is different from the last.” The Gothards are inspired by the likes of fiddlers Natalie McMaster, Eileen Ivers and Kim Angelis, as well as childhood heroes such as the fictional Nancy Drew and American Girl characters. “It’s great now that we inspire girls,” Solana said. “And we pay attention to the

Solana, Greta and Willow make up the Gothard Sisters of Edmonds at the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater in Snohomish before their sold out show on Oct. 1.

fact that we have a responsibility as role models,” Greta added. “It’s not important for us to be glamorous. We want to be good musicians who create beautiful music for all ages.” The band is looking forward to the Christmas concert in Edmonds. The arts center has 700 seats, but it feels more

like 300, and the band likes the intimacy, Greta said. Fans should come expecting Celtic-style Christmas tunes and a Christmas Eve disaster story. “And our version of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ ” Willow said. “It was written in the 1500s, but for us it’s a pretty rockin’ tune.” n

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Passengers await docking on the ferry during the MukilteoClinton run.

A day on the water Set sail on the Salish Sea aboard a Washington state ferry STORY BY ANDREA BROWN

Eat, drink, get married, be buried. You can do all that and more on a Washington state ferry. Those white and green boats are part of our Pacific Northwest culture and one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions. A ferry excursion is perfect for a family outing or to show visitors why we love it here. Why stop at one ride?



Washington has the largest ferry system in the U.S., with 10 routes on the marine highway from Tacoma to Sidney, British Columbia. Snohomish County has two ferry terminals, in Mukilteo and Edmonds.

You can tie the knot or celebrate a life. The ferry will slow to allow the release of a biodegradable urn or for a floral tribute to be strewn on the water. At the captain’s discretion, the horn may be sounded.

Ferries are a cheap way to spend time at sea, with fares are as low as $5.05 for a round-trip passenger ride and half price for seniors and youth. Hence the term “poor man’s cruise ship.” Pets are allowed and ride free.

Ferry ridership topped 24.2 million commuters, tourists and travelers in 2016. That’s a lot of people. It’s OK to chat up a stranger. This isn’t like a bus or plane where everyone sits



ABOVE: Tom French, of Freeland, looks at his cellphone while enjoying a Diamond Knot IPA during his commute home via the ferry. Andy Bronson | Coast

BELOW: Noelle Onstad (foreground) and Jennifer Madsen work out on the ferry as they commute home. Onstad, who lives in Greenbank, and Madsen, from Langley, have been working out together for the past year. Tammy Ohrmund displays a Uli’s Bacon Sausage on the ferry during the Mukilteo-Clinton run.

quietly. There are no assigned seats on a ferry, though people who ride it daily for work get set in their ways. If you get a sideways glance, it just might be because you sat in the usual seat of a commuter. Maybe they’ll sit down with you and you’ll make a new friend. Be patient. Ferries are well-oiled machines yet complicated beasts. They break down, get delayed by any number of factors and are at the mercy of not only the elements, but also people who lock their keys in their car or drop them overboard. Dress for the ride. It’s cooler at sea. Bring a scarf or jacket, even if it’s warm on land. It’s also windy. Don’t wear a skirt unless you’ve got leggings or shorts underneath. Trust us on that one. Try this For a short 15-minute jaunt across Possession Sound, walk on the MukilteoWhidbey Island boat. The round-trip adult fare is $5.05 (senior and youth, $2.50). Buses are free to ride around the island.


For about double the sea time and a few dollars more, hop on the cruise from Edmonds to Kingston, then walk a short block into town for a crepe or a milkshake. Make a day of it. Take the 35-minute ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. For $8.35 (senior and youth, $4.15), you get to see the spectacular Space Needle skyline and stroll the island’s waterfront galleries, cafes and shops. At the Bainbridge marina, there are lots of pretty boats to admire. Relax and enjoy the whimsical art to take your mind off the fact you don’t own one of those yachts and you never will. Weddings, birthdays and funerals Weddings: Ferry captains are not allowed to legally perform weddings, so couples have to bring their own officiant. There are no private changing rooms or separate event spaces on the ferry, so small wedding parties during noncommuter sailings are recommended. Birthdays: Passengers can bring cake and food aboard, but not their own booze. Lighting candles is not allowed.


Andy Bronson | Coast

Memorials: Allowed on these routes: Seattle-Bainbridge, Edmonds-Kingston, Anacortes-Friday Harbor, MukilteoClinton and Port Townsend-Coupeville (summer only). n

BEFORE YOU GO Check the ferry website. It has everything you need to know as well as cameras that show real-time traffic in holding areas and roads leading to terminals. The site lists boat sizes, route times, wait times, travel alerts, tips and fare prices, which differ by route. wsdot.wa.gov/ferries

Morning commuters aboard the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.

Dave Christian plays a travel guitar while traveling to his destination.

A commuter sprawls out on a booth seat during a morning run.

10 ways to make the most of a day on the ferry We asked people via social media what they like to do on the ferry and added a few of our favorite things.

1 HUG AND SMOOCH What is more romantic than gazing at the open sea, the wind blowing in your face and snuggling with the person you love (or at least the one handy at the moment)? Or maybe you should just hop in the back seat. “Make out in the car.” — Carrie Radcliff, Snohomish

2 EAT AND DRINK “It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere” applies to ferries, where you can buy craft beer, ciders and Washington wines. But why wait until 5 p.m. when you can have a glass of wine at noon? Hungry? Find more than chips and soda. Centerplate, the same food service that handles the eats at Safeco Field, now feeds ferry passengers in renovated galley spaces. Local specialties offered include Ivar’s clam chowder, Cafe Vita coffee, Beecher’s mac & cheese, Uli’s sausages, CB’s nuts, Sound kombucha and Seahawks cookies by Schwartz Brothers Bakery. It’s like a floating food court with Washington favorites. “I like to grab a beer and a bite to eat. Sometimes I like to play cards … but I never remember to pack them.” — Andrew Gobin, Tulalip “Feed seagulls popcorn as they fly by the rail. They take it right out of your hand.” — Heather Verhey, Royal City

3 EXPLORE There are many nooks and crannies on a ferry. Learn about all the great adventures around the Sound from the brochure wall. Count the fire safety red axes behind glass. “Our little family just had an outing on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry today. We parked and walked on. Our toddler really enjoyed riding the big boat with all the autos. We took her on the forward-facing deck, and she asked where her jacket was, then said it was too windy. When we arrived in Clinton, we used

our time waiting for the very next ferry to play in the park and fly a kite. On the return trip, we stood on the back deck watching the ferry terminal as it got smaller in the distance. It was the perfect and quick family outing for about $12 with parking.” — Lea Bowers, Everett “I love walking around the ferry to get some steps in, take photos and read about the history they have posted on the ferry in various places.” — Sharon Ade, Mukilteo

4 DAYDREAM Relax. Let your mind drift in the open sea. “A good cup of coffee, with the wind in my face, the smell of the salty sea air and the view of snow-capped mountains on the Edmonds-Kingston route.” — Grant Kendall, Marysville “I like to test out the difference of the front and back. One blows wind in my face until I can’t take it anymore. Then I go to the back for a completely different experience.” — Rudy Giecek, Smokey Point “For me it’s a way to decompress and unplug from all things and prepare to spend some time in a quiet, restorative spot.” — Sharon Salyer, Seattle

5 OBSERVE The ferry is prime spot for people watching. It is also a front-row view to ocean life. “No distractions, it’s all about the scenery. After more than 40 years living in the Puget Sound area, I spend all my time on deck, as weather permits. Otherwise just inside or glued to a window.” — Christine Bickle, Snohomish “I sit by the window and watch for wildlife. My tally this summer: one gray whale, one seal, innumerable gulls.” — Chris Winters, Shoreline “I have commuted to work the same Mukilteo-Clinton route for 10 years and it’s never the same. Combinations of sunsets, mountain ranges, water currents, weather, wildlife, shadows and light paint a unique portrait every day.” — Margi Hartnett, Clinton

6 PLAY Remember to bring a deck of cards. Take funny Snapchat photos. Try your hand at one of the communal jigsaw puzzles. “Reenact the Titanic scene on the bow.” — Cheol Kang, Mukilteo “I play on my phone. Pokémon Go to be precise because the spawns in the Sound are actually pretty good.” — Mattias Lewis, Lake Stevens “My hubby and I go straight to the puzzles on the tables on the Anacortes to Friday Harbor ferry. It makes the ferry ride go super fast. We are sad when we get there.” — Brenda Heckathorn, Redmond “I don’t know if anyone else has ever done this, but back when I was a teenager (late ’70s) I would fly kites off of the back of the Seattle-Bremerton run.” — Geoff Thorp, Everett

7 READ “I read a LOT of books. We take the ferry to either Kingston or Whidbey Island on a regular basis to get away.” — Kathy Arnold, Snohomish “As a Friday Harbor resident, between wait time and the ride to and from Anacortes round trip, it’s at least four hours with my book. I carry along a backup book in case I finish my current read.” — Barbara White Sharp, Friday Harbor

8 SLEEP “I catch some Z’s usually.” — Christopher Herrera, Marysville

9 SING Belt out some tunes on the deck. Hum as you walk laps. “Me and my boys sit in the car and sing songs and record ourselves for Instagram/ Facebook. We sit in our car and start singing and dancing. We don’t get out. Karpool karaoke or a Carcert.” — Jacqueray Smith, Lake Stevens

10 WORK No, don’t work! You can do that anywhere. —ANDREA BROWN



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Commuters make their way to the ferry on the MukilteoClinton run. Kevin Clark | Coast

At sea with the commuters

The joys of commuting aboard a Washington state ferry STORY BY MARGI HARTNET T

Whidbey Islanders say they’re “going to America” whenever leaving the island for the mainland. For a lot of us, the ferry isn’t just a way of getting to and from work — it’s a way of life. Fellow islander Carol Taber dubbed us the “commutants.” Mainlanders often wonder what possesses Whidbey Island residents to commute via ferry. After all, ferries can run behind, and the 2.5-mile sailing adds 15-20 minutes to the commute. There’s a fare to pay and sometimes a three-hour wait during peak travel times. All true — but the traditional commute involves collisions, flat tires, engine troubles, construction slowdowns, traffic jams, aggressive drivers and toll roads. When I walk on the ferry, I’m minimizing the wear and tear on my car, spending less on gas and letting someone else do the driving. Not to mention, I’d rather be looking at the spectacular scenery in the shadows of the Cascade and Olympic



mountains than the serpentine lines of red taillights in stop-and-go traffic. Of course, the largest bonus is living on a breathtakingly beautiful island. “It is always different every day; the water, the lighting and the people you see,” said Ann Goetz, who has commuted via ferry for six years. Plus, when you’re not snarled in traffic or focused on driving, you have time to do other things. Some of us sit down to work on puzzles left on booth tables. Women touch up their makeup and hair; men shave. Others visit the galley for coffee and/or breakfast or squeeze in some reading with a newspaper or book. On the voyage home, some like to relax with a glass of beer or wine. Or you’ll see groups gather with potluck dishes for a quick celebration. Sometimes a musician takes out his guitar and plays. The health-minded take the 15 minutes

to walk laps or meditate. Noelle Onstad’s ferry routine involves a daily workout. She brings an exercise mat, hand weights and her smartphone with a fitness app. Her motivation for exercising on the ferry: “I’m the mother of two boys, and this is the only time I have in my day to exercise.” Others like to spend their time catching up on work. Teacher Carol Ann Leonessa corrects her students’ papers during the commute. Walk-on ferry commuters have a distinct look. When it’s cold, we don our North Face hooded jackets (umbrellas are not for true Washingtonians), Timbuk2 backpacks and waterproof, nonslip footwear. On warmer days, we put on hats to keep the sun out of our eyes and pair shorts or capris with our Keen sport sandals. Every temperature in between requires layering all of the above. We have backpacks to carry our lunch, smartphone, tablet, wallet, flashlight,



Dale Burke stretches aboard the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.

Morning commuters await to depart the ferry from Clinton.

Instead of traffic jams, you get stunning scenery, chummy conversation and wine after work newspaper, book, extra clothing or shoes, and anything else we might need while away from home. Some of us with more to haul back and forth opt for wheeled suitcases. It’s a culture like no other I’ve experienced. I’m part of the 6:30 a.m. community and the 5 p.m. community — both distinctly different. People come and go with job changes, retirement, relocation. And there’s always a rookie to train in the commuter’s ways.

The commuters are like one big family.

While waiting for the ferry at the Clinton dock, I give a morning report to my “ferry family.” We like to share our wildlife sightings and learn about our natural environment. It’s the cheapest marine life and scenic tour around.

exhilarating crossing when passengers are asked to stay seated, stand by their motorcycles or turn off motion-activated car alarms.

Jenny Young knows what I mean by my ferry family. As a ferry commuter for 36 years, she’s watched the children of her fellow commuters grow up.

I especially enjoy the feel of misty sea air on my face. I call it my marine facial. I’m also a faithful follower of the “ferry hair; don’t care” motto.

“The commuters are like one big family,” Young said.

As a marine naturalist — a certification that was inspired by my ferry commute — I’m always wide-eyed and scanning the water’s surface for anything that pops out of Possession Sound. How many can say they see whales, porpoises, sea lions or seabirds on their way to work?

You’ll find me on the car deck for the cruise home, rain or shine. The only time you won’t see me outdoors is when waves break over the bow during a storm. I saw a group take a soaking doing so. Storms are an amazing force to behold when on a ferry. Watching a storm roll in over mercurial waters is as thrilling as seeing waves smashing into the sides of the vessel. You know it’s going to be an



We get to see picture-perfect scenes of Mount Baker, Hat Island, sailboats, sunrises, sunsets and the occasional whale fluke. It’s incredible. And, of course, it’s fun for commuters


Jenny Young, 36-year ferry commuter. Margi Hartnett | Coast

to see tourists standing at the railing of the upper decks with their arms spread in iconic “Titanic” fashion. Even after 20 years (the movie came out in 1997), they still like to yell Leonardo DiCaprio’s (Jack’s) famous line: “I’m king/queen of the world!” I love the whole experience. If nothing else, the ride is a great way to psych yourself up for a day’s work or unwind afterward. Not everyone boats to work, with a skilled and attentive crew, breakfast ready in the galley or a glass of wine waiting for them after work. I can honestly say my ship comes in every day — twice a day. n

A conversation with tattoo artist Mike ‘Kodiak’ MacKenzie COMPILED BY ANDREA BROWN







I always knew I would do something either artistic or a craft, and this is a good balance of the two. It captivated me. I like taking somebody’s vision and putting my spin on it. Tattoo artist Mike MacKenzie is the owner of Tattoosmith & Piercing in Everett.


Ian Terry | Coast

PREVIOUS PAGE: ”Hourglass,” forearm; “Steelhead Battling Upstream,” forearm; “Sleeping Lady Sunset,” forearm. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: “Ford Falcon Gauges,” forearm; “Americana Swallow,” bicep; “TARDIS,” ankle; “Compass Rose,” ankle; “Wish Upon a Star,” shoulder blade; “Rococo-inspired Mandala,” shoulder; “Death’s Head Moth,” shoulder blade.

Who: Mike “Kodiak” MacKenzie, 30, has tattooed his dad, mom and grandmother, as well as countless friends and clients, since opening Tattoosmith & Piercing in Everett six years ago. He lives in Stanwood with his girlfriend, dog and two cats. What: I make tattoos for a living. It’s just natural to me. I tattoo obviously what my clients ask for, but my favorite subjects are animals, birds, flowers, trees, mountains and anything really that occurs in nature. Where: I’ve lived in the Everett area since I was a little kid. Being close to my friends and family is important to me so I’ve never had a strong urge to move away. I do, however, like to travel. I’ve tattooed in Seattle, Montana, Utah and Germany. I enjoy having a trade that I can take with me. But the Northwest is my home. Plus the nine months of rain we get makes a superb setting for an indoor activity like tattooing. I think it has quite a bit of influence on my work. When: I remember being a little kid and telling my mom I wanted anchors on both of my arms like Popeye. It wasn’t until my long-awaited 18th birthday that I would get my first real tattoo. I started drawing tattoo designs for my friends and myself in high school. I wasn’t much into paying attention in class. I’d start drawing on the paper rather than doing the assignment. I would draw things that I wanted to get tattooed and then people started asking me, “Oh, can you draw this design for me?” I bought a little tattoo starter kit off the internet and I realized it was a whole lot harder than it looks. They make it look

so easy at the tattoo shop, just drawing on skin, but there’s a technical side to the craft. I was getting tattooed, and the guy who was doing it was inquisitive about my artwork. He said, “You ever thought about tattooing?” It unfolded from there. I worked there for a couple of years before I decided to open my own studio. With much persistence, I was able to get an apprenticeship just before I turned 20. Why: My curiosity and fascination for this art form has kept me drawn to the tattoo shop. There’s always something new going on with tattooing, especially in this day and age with the world being connected by social media. We can feed off each other’s ideas and creativity on a daily basis without physically working side by side. How: I have between 50 and 80 tattoos, maybe more depending on what you count as one tattoo. I’m just hoping one day to just have one big tattoo. I think I lost track after 10 or 20 and stopped counting. I might get a tattoo and add a background to it where it flows into another tattoo. Favorite tattoo: I’m currently working on a traditional-style panther full-back piece on a longtime friend and client. It’s really cool when you get to a point where you know someone well enough, and they trust me enough to just let me run free with creativity.

MORE INK See more of Mike’s tattoos and artwork on his website at tattoosmith.net.



Artful giving Works by the region’s talented artists make outstanding gifts — and they need not be expensive STORY BY GALE FIEGE


ot your Christmas shopping done? Have you thought about buying art — as in fine art by local artists?

Resist the idea that you can run out to a discount store for a cheapo framed print that matches the colors of your sister’s couch. When you buy art you love, not stuff to match the furniture, it’s more likely to be around for a lifetime. Artwork by artists you know will become treasures to be passed down to younger generations. Camano Island watercolorist Molly LeMaster uses archival paints and paper just for that reason. She wants her paintings to last. Judy Tuohy, executive director of the Schack Art Center in Everett, agrees that great art will outlive any home decor. “I love my art collection more as the years go on,” Tuohy said. “And because I know these artists, it’s even more meaningful.” Snohomish and Island counties are home to dozens of award-winning, well-known painters, sculptors, glassblowers and carvers. It’s easy to get acquainted with these talented folks at gallery exhibit opening receptions, art walks, auctions, festivals and studio tours. Art for gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive. Many painters sell small prints, which, when placed in nice frames, can make lovely gifts. In addition, sometimes artists will allow buyers to set up payment plans for purchases, or will sell unframed work from their studios at much lower prices than you might find in a gallery. “Artists put everything they have into their work,” LeMaster said. “And what you get is oneof-a-kind.” It won’t be difficult to find artwork you will feel proud to present as a gift, whether it’s abstract or an impressionistic view of a Puget Sound scene.

ABOVE: Molly LeMaster, Camano Island watercolorist. BELOW: “Driftwood 2” by Molly LeMaster is displayed and for sale at the Schack Art Center in Everett.



“Many artists here are inspired by nature,” LeMaster said. “The beauty of this place is something we all share. And remember that art can freeze time and preserve history.” Another thing many local artists share is their community involvement, she said. Artists, who depend on the sale of their creations for

their livelihoods, often are asked to donate work for auctions that support schools, museums and all sorts of nonprofit organizations. “So we hope that the community would support us in return,” LeMaster said. “I have a modest art collection. I buy art to support my friends and people I don’t know whose work I love.” Tuohy echoed the economic and cultural value of buying local art. The Schack represents more than 200 local artists. Many of them have works for sale in the gift shop at the art center. “When you buy a piece of art here, you support the Schack, the artist, the art supply shop where she bought her materials and you support the culture of our community,” Tuohy said. Visit the Schack, where through Dec. 31 the annual Holiday Show features works by signature members of the Northwest Watercolor Society. All of it is for sale. LeMaster is one of the artists.

Enda Bardell of Vancouver, Britisth Columbia, painted “Approaching.”

Go to those fundraising auctions LeMaster spoke of. One of the best is the Schack’s annual benefit — H’arts — on Feb. 25 in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Xfinity Arena. Look for artwork you enjoy. Go into public buildings that feature the works of local artists. Colleges, hospitals, libraries, cafes and government buildings in Snohomish and Island counties all display art created by local people. The Arlington Arts Council has helped provide lots of outdoor sculpture for that city.

but Thursday’s A&E section in The Daily Herald in Everett provides good information. Attend opening receptions to meet the artists.

The Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds and the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner both have wonderful gift shops. And the Seattle Art Museum has a fine art sales gallery on its street level.

Take art studio tours, such as the one on Camano Island each May and the one in Edmonds in September. Shop at the Schack’s annual Artists Garage Sale in early June. Watch artists at work during the Schack’s Fresh Paint Festival in August on the Everett waterfront. Enjoy the art walks on third Thursday evenings in Edmonds and Everett.

There are too many local art galleries to list them all here,

You might even find a gift for yourself. n




Washington wine to give and drink T


here’s one gift that is a hit with just about everyone come the holidays — a bottle of Washington wine. You can find something for every wine lover on your list, from a poolside rose or a dinner party chardonnay to an impressive cabernet sauvignon for the collector to hide away in her cellar. Washington’s diverse climate means almost every varietal has found a vineyard to thrive in, and the assiduous attention of expert growers and winemakers ensures that the fruit can stand against the best wines in the world.

accommodate you. And don’t forget to buy an extra bottle (or three) for the holiday meal. If you are in doubt, ask the experts. The knowledgeable staff at our many local wine shops will be able to act as your own personal sommelier and steer you toward the best wine for your meal. Not all turkeys are the same. Is your bird prepared with an apricot glaze? Savory sage stuffing? Deepfried? Smoked? These nuances will make a difference in choosing the perfect pairing. As a rule of thumb, turkey will pair best with a lighter red, such as a pinot noir, or perhaps a dry riesling.

According to Wine Spectator, the Premium Washington wines cost much less average price for a than comparable wine from France. 90-plus point bottle Andy Bronson | Coast of Washington wine is the lowest of any other region in the If you are cooking beef, the pairing same point category, and is less than half gets a bit simpler, as nothing goes the price of a similarly scored wine from better with a glorious standing rib France. So if you’re looking to impress roast than an elegant and complex red the in-laws, start by shopping local. Bordeaux blend. And fortunately for us, Take advantage of the many tasting rooms in our region to explore your own palate and preferences. While the majority will charge a nominal tasting fee, they will usually apply that toward your purchase. Not only will you find a fantastic gift, but the experience is a wonderful break for you in the hectic holiday shopping season. Many wineries also offer special gift samplers, club memberships, special signed bottles — and even custom wrapping. If you are looking for an extra-special gift, consider arranging a day of touring wine tasting rooms. There are numerous companies that will take the wheel so that you need not worry about anything but enjoying the best wine Washington has to offer. Or plan a getaway to the other side of the mountains. A long weekend in Walla Walla will delight everyone — whether it’s a romantic refuge or a familyfriendly group celebration, you will find lodging, restaurants and wineries to


Washington wineries excel at this style.

A Bordeaux blend will typically feature cabernet sauvignon and merlot, with cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec as supporting players. While these wines will age beautifully in the cellar, the blend also allows for most of these wines to drink well right away. A generous decant of three hours or more will soften any tannins and increase your enjoyment of drinking a young wine. n

MORE INFO Rachel Macmorran is a proprietor and director of marketing and sales for Manu Propria. The family-owned boutique winery plans to release its 2014 vintage of Ex Amino, a cabernet sauvignon, in November. The wine, sourced from the Red Willow vineyard, will be available to taste at the Mark Ryan Winery tasting room in Woodinville.


WASHINGTON WINES WORTH EXPLORING Sleight of Hand Cellars 2015 The Magician: An excellent value riesling. ($18) Ross Andrew Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon: A bargain for Red Mountain wine. ($20) Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2015 Shepherds Mark: A lush southern Rhone white blend. ($21) Covington Cellars 2013 Sangiovese: The varietal that launched the winery. ($27) Board Track Racer 2015 The Shift: A rich blend of syrah and mourvedre. ($28) Efeste 2013 Final Final: A popular cabernet-syrah blend. ($30) Sparkman Cellars 2015 Lumiere: An elegant chardonnay. ($32) Spring Valley Vineyards 2014 Frederick Red Blend: A bold Bordeaux-style red blend. ($49) Avennia 2015 Arnaut: A standout Washington syrah from Boushey vineyard. ($50) Boudreaux Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon: A standout Washington cabernet from 10 vineyards. ($60) Howard Stevens, wine steward for the QFC in Everett’s Claremont Village, contributed to this wine list.

Dish Favorite recipes from local chefs

Lombardi’s brings back garlic chicken for its 30th anniversary STORY BY SARA BRUESTLE



erhaps no ingredient is more quintessentially Italian than garlic.

Critics say the bulbous herb is stinky and overpowering. Admirers say it is strong yet satisfying and enhances the taste of every dish.

Andy Hilliard Lombardi’s head chef

Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar is celebrating 30 years of offering authentic Italian fare and fine wines. In celebration, the restaurant is offering some of its favorite dishes from over the years — some with garlic and some without. Although it’s safe to say the restaurant’s head chef, Andy Hilliard, stands in the garlic-lovers camp: One of Lombardi’s throwback dishes is made with an entire head of garlic. “I use garlic in everything. I love it,” he said. “I wouldn’t cook without it.” Garlic aficionados have been enjoying 40 Clove Chicken with abandon for 25 years. The dish features a chicken breast stuffed with a garlic cheese spread, roasted with crispy skin in a cast iron skillet, with Yukon gold potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and Italian herbs. But don’t be fooled by the name: There aren’t actually 40 cloves of garlic in the dish. In actuality, Hilliard cooks up about a head of garlic per chicken breast. Just how many cloves are in a head of garlic? The average bulb grows around 10 cloves. The garlicky dish is on the restaurant’s anniversary menu because it reflects how Lombardi’s has changed over the past three decades to make its recipes with more authentic ingredients and advanced culinary techniques.

Lombardi’s Executive Chef Andy Hilliard sprinkles herbs on vegetables as he makes a 40 Clove Chicken entree.

“We eventually ended up making a hybrid of two or more past dishes,” Hilliard said of the 2017 recipe for 40 Clove Chicken.



40 Clove Chicken is a garlic lover’s dream “Stuffing the chicken breast was what sent this one over the top. So, our 40 Clove Chicken was reborn for our 30th anniversary, a new dish with tastes of the past.” The dish has been showcased in several of the restaurant’s garlic festivals since it was added to the menu in 1992. When the flagship restaurant opened in Ballard, Lombardi’s was missing a signature theme. Italian cuisine wasn’t as popular in 1987 as it is today, so founder Diane Symms turned to the powers of garlic to promote her business. Symms, now 73, fashioned her promotion after the famed festivals held in Gilroy, California, and Long Beach, Washington. The first of Lombardi’s garlic festivals was held over a three-day weekend in 1988. The last promotional festival in 2013 was six weeks long. “We’ve had recipe contests, we’ve had cooking contests, we’ve had garlic-eating contests, we’ve had coloring contests for kids. We’ve done all kinds of things over the years,” said Symms, owner and CEO

of the restaurant. “The biggest prize we ever had was a Vespa scooter for a guesshow-many-garlic-cloves contest.” Lombardi’s has a lot to be proud of after staying in business for 30 years: The restaurant is family-owned, makes just about everything from scratch and gives back to the community. The restaurant was named after the grandfather of its original chef. After opening in Ballard in 1987, Lombardi’s expanded to Issaquah in 1990, Everett in 1998 and Mill Creek in 2012. Lombardi’s now solely operates in Snohomish County — in Everett and Mill Creek. “When we signed the lease on our first restaurant in Ballard, it was a 30-year lease,” Symms said, “and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness — 30 years. A lot will change; I probably won’t be doing this.’ “It’s a lot more fun than 30 years ago because you’ve got the confidence and the experience and lots more people around doing the things you used to do every day just to survive. So I’m really very proud of what we’ve accomplished,

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Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar Everett 1620 W. Marine View Drive 425-252-1886 Mill Creek 19409 Bothell-Everett Highway 425-892-2931 lombardisitalian.com

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“I can’t explain why I was drawn to the kitchen — I just was,” Hilliard said. “The kitchen has always been home for me.”

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Hilliard, 31, was named Lombardi’s executive chef last year, although he took charge of the kitchen in 2014. He’s had a knack and love for cooking for as long as he can remember. Working in restaurants since he was 14, Hilliard moved up the ranks from dishwasher to head chef in just 11 years.

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INGREDIENTS: For the chicken brine: 4 cups water ½ cup kosher salt 4 cloves garlic, peeled 1 lemon

For the garlic cheese spread: 3 ounces ricotta 3 ounces cream cheese 3 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 sprig rosemary 4 (6 ounce) chicken breasts, boneless, skin on

For the chicken breast: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the vegetable medley:

2 tablespoons kosher salt

4 large Yukon potatoes

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 large carrots

1 shallot, chopped

3 celery stalks

2 tablespoons rosemary, thyme, sage mix, chopped

2 zucchini 1 yellow squash 40 garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup chicken stock 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 cups arugula

Lombardi’s 40 Clove Chicken is loaded with garlic.

DIRECTIONS: For the chicken brine: In a large bowl with a lid, stir together water and salt. Stir well until salt is dissolved.

For the garlic cheese: In a bowl, mix all ingredients until they are well incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.

Smash garlic cloves and add them to the water whole.

Stuffing the chicken breasts: Drain the chicken from the brine and discard the aromatics. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel.

Juice one lemon into the bowl and throw in the peel as well. Break rosemary into 1-inch pieces and add them to the brine. Place the 4 chicken breasts in the liquid, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours. For the vegetable medley: In a pasta or sauce pot, bring salted water to a boil while you are preparing the potatoes. Cut potatoes into ½-inch thick wedges and partially cook until al dente. Drain and set aside. Peel carrots and cut in half lengthwise, then cut on the bias (45-degree angle) into ¼-inch thick medallions. Cut celery ¼-inch thick on the bias. Cut zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise, and then cut on the bias into ¼-inch thick medallions. Mix all vegetables and garlic except potatoes. Set aside.

Gently lift the skin from the skinnier side of each breast, working your way to the thicker side, leaving one end still attached to the breast. Place about 1-2 ounces of garlic cheese spread on each chicken breast where the skin would be. Evenly distribute the cheese so that it will melt. Place the skin flap over the cheese, making sure that it covers all of it. Use a toothpick to seal the skin in place where the flap is no longer attached. Set aside. Cooking the chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat cast iron skillet on the stove on medium-high heat. Place butter and olive oil in cast iron skillet. Wait for the butter to start to brown. Season the chicken breasts skin-side

up with part of your salt and pepper. Place skin side down in the pan and season the bottom side. Gently lift the corners to check progress intermediately. When the skin is golden brown, flip the breast and repeat. When both sides are seared, remove the breasts from the skillet and set aside on cooling rack or plate. Add the potatoes to the skillet and brown all sides. Add the remaining vegetables and saute until they begin to sweat. Add shallots, 1 tablespoon of herb mix, salt and pepper. Add chicken stock, lemon juice and arugula, and stir well. Place the chicken breasts back into the cast iron pan, nestling them into the vegetables. Make sure that the bottom of the breasts touch the pan. Dust the breasts with remaining herbs. Place the skillet in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until center temperature reads 160 degrees. Pull skillet from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Plate each chicken breast with ¼ of the vegetable medley. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.



Bluewater Distilling owner John Lundin gives a lesson on making cocktails during a monthly class offered at the Everett distillery.

Infusion Inspiration Everett distiller teaches simpler, fresher approach to cocktails S T O R Y B Y J O C E LY N R O B I N S O N



You won’t find a Jack and Coke on the menu at Bluewater Distilling.

“I believe this palate is actually more approachable to the home bartender than people realize,” he added.

You won’t find Red Bull and vodka either.

One method Lundin prefers is through infusions — the flavoring of spirits such as vodka or whiskey by using fruits, herbs or other ingredients.

Instead, you’ll find cocktails made with fresh organic ingredients and spirits from local distilleries. It’s John Lundin’s quiet protest against the corporate, corn syrup-based food industry — and he’s working to pass that message on to the people. “We have a very strong independent streak with what we do here,” said Lundin, owner of Bluewater Distilling. “We feel very stubbornly that there are better ways to do things.” Lundin shares those “better ways” with home bartenders once a month at classes offered at the Everett distillery and restaurant. Lundin — or one of the creative geniuses behind the distillery’s signature drinks — shows attendees a simpler, fresher approach to mixing drinks. Like a margarita, for example. “You should never buy cheap tequila and never use a margarita mix,” Lundin said. He recommends using fresh lime juice and a simple syrup with a splash of fresh orange juice. Then maybe go a little bolder and start substituting flavors: Muddle a nectarine or add some mezcal for smoke. In no time at all, you’ve created what Lundin describes as a very simple yet elegant cocktail.



Infusions are an alternative to buying big bottles of liqueurs and syrups that could go to waste and/or are made from artificial sweeteners that can leave you feeling miserable the next day. Infusions can be made in small batches by combining the ingredients and spirits in a canning jar. They can be made ahead and left in the refrigerator for a few days. Lundin admits that infusion can be a challenging process as home bartenders discover which flavors work well together and which flavors don’t. But he encourages his students to experiment. “Maybe there’s a certain flavored spice that you love,” he said. “Look for different ways of capturing that and make it for yourself.” The Cocktail Tuesday class is offered by Bluewater Distilling the first Tuesday of every month. Each class has room for about 24 students. The lessons have gained an enthusiastic following. Neighbors Lynn Dolan and Barb Meyers, of Marysville, thought the class would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to make drinks for their annual holiday party.

Samples of Bluewater Distilling cocktails are seen at a class.

“We’d been to Bluewater before, and I don’t think there’s a drink we’ve had that we didn’t like,” Meyers said. “Our goal for New Year’s Eve is to have our own bar set-up with the stuff that we’ve learned to make.” They were hooked after that first class and have taken four, including a private class on infusion. Meyers brought along a co-worker, Corry Venoma-Weiss, who also became a fan of Cocktail Tuesday. “They make it so it’s accessible to people who are very experienced making drinks at home, to people who are just beginning,” said Venoma-Weiss, of Everett. “The infusion class made me feel really brave about where to go next.” After attending the class, they said they feel encouraged to experiment with different tastes and flavors, and feel confident about making their own infused spirits. “It’s just amazing because you think you have to buy special spirits from wherever and he’s like, ‘No, you can make them!’ ” Venoma-Weiss said. “You don’t have to buy triple sec, you don’t have to buy grenadine. I will never buy another bottle of grenadine,” Dolan added with a laugh. Meyers, Dolan and Venoma-Weiss appreciate Lundin’s focus on buying locally. “He’s all about the small-town buying, and that’s what’s great,” Meyers said. “It’s stay local and support your small business.” Lundin believes large corporations are keeping people

Cocktail samples are served up during a Cocktail Tuesday class.

locked into a buying pattern that limits them to what he calls “garbage products.” That’s a pattern he’s hoping to break people out of. “Everything we do at Bluewater is out of respect for the customer,” he said. “I really believe that people shouldn’t have to be subjected to additives and chemicals and not be told what’s in their spirits. “Home bartending becomes much more affordable because you don’t have to buy these expensive liqueurs where you’re paying for the label.” In addition to Cocktail Tuesday, Bluewater Distilling also offers a yoga class on select Saturday mornings. YogaMosa is open to all skill levels and each $25 session ends with a cocktail and a brunch dish from the restaurant’s pastry chef. Bluewater Distilling moved its operation to a larger space on the Everett waterfront two years ago, but began offering the classes even before it moved. “We’ve always known that it’s really important to communicate our philosophy,” Lundin said. “The classes were always something that we knew we would be doing, especially since we built this facility to have this event space.” Lundin hopes to make cocktails more approachable and remove the idea that the drinks are somehow elitist or snobby. “The classes are meant to inspire,” he said. “That’s the whole goal.” n

COCKTAIL TUESDAY Cocktail Tuesday is offered the first Tuesday of every month. Class is from 6 to 7 p.m. at 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 109, Everett. The mixology team will teach new tips and tricks for your home bartending and entertaining. These educational sessions are fun for beginners and experts alike, with several cocktail tastings per class. The restaurant’s light bites menu is available during class. You must be 21 or older to attend. Cost is $5 per person. The next class (Dec. 5) will cover holiday spirits. RSVP required with space limited to 24 people. Call 425404-1408 or go to bluewaterdistilling.com for details.

Friends Donna Massick (left) and Jo Rogers enjoy a cocktail together.



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Our nation's symbol making a state comeback STORY & PHOTOS BY MIKE BENBOW

An eagle takes flight.


he nation’s symbol, which was ailing for decades because of the wide use of the pesticide DDT, has finally been given a clean bill of health in Washington. Members of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission have removed the bald eagle from the protected list, acknowledging its long comeback from threatened extinction. “It’s a real success story,” said the agency’s spokeswoman Hannah Anderson. Eagles had been listed most recently as a sensitive species, meaning they needed to be watched to make sure their numbers continued to grow. And grow they have. A recent state study found eagle numbers are strong throughout Washington, which has some 1,334 nesting sites, although not all are active. “They’re doing really well,” Anderson said. Eagles were first listed as endangered nationally in 1978. That’s when federal officials acknowledged that eagle numbers had crashed because they were ingesting large amounts of the pesticide collected in the fat of their prey. The DDT made their eggs thin and fragile, and the eagles weren’t reproducing well. Things were a little better in Washington than in other parts of the country. Here, the population was listed just as

threatened, not endangered. In 1981, the state had 10 percent of the eagle population in the lower 48 states. The federal government no longer lists eagles as endangered or threatened, but they are still a protected species under several federal laws. Ruth Milner, a regional biologist for fish and wildlife, said it’s still illegal to harm eagles or cut down trees with nests. But she said the birds have made a strong comeback. Milner, whose territory covers Snohomish, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties, said populations are particularly strong in northwestern Washington because eagles like Puget Sound and the many nearby lakes and salmon-bearing rivers. “They like big trees next to water,” Milner said. In the marine waters off Snohomish, Island, Skagit, San Juan and Whatcom counties, they are really coming back in big numbers, Milner added, noting, “There are lots of fish and waterfowl for them to eat.” The state’s list of eagle territories (nesting sites) notes 86 in Snohomish County, 110 in Island County, 108 in Skagit County and 87 in Whatcom County. Eagles instinctively return to the same nest or nesting territory each year. A pair might choose to build a new nest, however, if a previous nest failed to

fledge eaglets. Nests can weigh 2,000 pounds, Milner said. She said that removing DDT from the environment was key for the eagle’s recovery. Eagles were easier to help rebound because the solution to their survival problems was clear. “In some ways, it was an easy success story,” Milner said. “We identified their problem and removed it from the environment.” In addition to banning DDT, officials also worked hard to protect eagle habitat. The state made farmers, developers and all other property owners create plans to protect new and existing eagle nests. And it still keeps records of nest sites, although it doesn’t help property owners make eagle nest plans anymore. In the state study that led to the bird’s removal from the list of sensitive species, the eagle population was described as robust and still growing. “…the species will continue to be an important and thriving part of our state’s natural diversity for the foreseeable future,” according to the report. It expects eagle numbers to continue to grow for the next 10 to 20 years until the population in North America stabilizes at 228,000 birds. Statewide, the number of eagles has increased by about 28 per year since 2005, when eagles were first listed as sensitive.



There are nearly 200 bald eagle nesting territories in Snohomish and Island counties. SEE WASHINGTON’S EAGLES Eagles migrate south from Alaska and Canada in the winter. January and February are good months to spot them in Washington, gathering along area rivers. Celebrate the return of the bald eagle with these eagle-themed festivities: The Skagit Eagle Festival is a month-long celebration held during eagle-watching season in nearby Skagit County. Events and activities take place in Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount each weekend in January. Visit concrete-wa.com/ skagit-eagle-festival-2018 for more information. The Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival is Feb. 2 and 3 along Olympic Avenue. The 11th annual festival includes animal talks, bird walks, river rafting, chainsaw carving, live music and an art show. For more information, including an event schedule and maps, visit arlingtonwa.gov/eaglefest.

Eagles fly, roost and hunt in and around Stanwood, Silvana and Tulalip.




Chief Yoda

Mukilteo Police Chief Cheol Kang talks with Tracey Johnson, left, during a Coffee With a Cop event at Starbucks on Mukilteo Speedway. Andy Bronson | Coast

The city’s top cop’s calm demeanor and holistic approach earns him the nickname “Yoda.” STORY BY ANDREA BROWN


ith his gentle tone and sweet smile, the first thought that comes to mind is: “This guy is too nice to be a police chief.” Cheol Kang might just blow away any stereotypes you have of a top cop. Well, except for doughnuts. “Tell me someone who doesn’t love doughnuts,” Kang said. “Cops are people, too.” He proves it. Kang, 40, who became chief of the Mukilteo force of 29 officers earlier this year, is known for his people skills. He challenges the notion that “cops have to be rough around the edges, direct and gruff.” “If you’re just yourself, it’s the easiest way to be,” he said. “It’s worked for me so far in my career and life, so I think I’ll continue to be this way. I want our staff to have that same outgoing compassion for everyone they come in contact with. Yet there’s a time and place where you do need to be direct and take control of the situation.” Perhaps he takes inspiration from another, albeit fictional, leader of a peacekeeping force. His Facebook profile photo is a selfie with a Lego Yoda taken at Legoland last spring. On his big,

serious desk at the station is a stuffed Yoda, given to him by his detectives.

beat, he’s a public affairs officer with the Navy Reserves.

“Some folks have deemed Yoda as my doppelganger. I like to take a look at things in a very holistic view, and be calm and thorough in our judgment in what we do out there,” he said.

“I’m not known for having fashion sense,” he said. “That’s why I wear a uniform.”

“Unofficially, some of the staff members call me Yoda. I think it’s endearing. It means they like you. At least I’m not Jar Jar Binks.”

He met his wife, Claire, on a blind date in his senior year at Seattle University.

Kang is a kid at heart and a foodie at stomach. To avoid the chuckles, he usually goes undercover in his dad clothes (sweats and a T-shirt) to Henry’s Donut, where he gets an apple fritter or bacon maple bar. He proudly wears his uniform when he makes the rounds on Mukilteo Speedway — for lunch. He can tell you all about the dishes served, his face lighting up when he talks about the fish and chips at Z’s Burgers and the curry at Mukilteo Thai. And so on. He has been known to go twice in the same day to a new place, Hani Hani. “I’m working through every item on the menu,” he said. “The Korean fried rice is phenomenal.” Kang was a baby when his parents moved from South Korea to east Tacoma. He went to the Air Force Academy for two years before deciding that the Navy was a better fit. In addition to his police

How’s he able to fit into that uniform? “I exercise to eat,” he said.

“A Navy buddy of mine said, ‘Hey, you gotta meet Claire, she’s the roommate of my girlfriend.’ I wasn’t a believer in blind dates and things working out. We went to the Red Robin in Bellingham. She thought I was a giant square. I ended up getting some froufrou milkshake as opposed to getting an adult beverage like everybody else,” he said. “We’re coming up on our 18th anniversary in December.” Their two sons, Cooper, 11, and Carter, 6, give him an excuse to pursue his second childhood. “I’m already talking about our Disney cruise next year to Alaska. I’m the one going, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s going to be so fun,’ and the boys are, ‘Yeah, yeah, Dad,’” he said. Kang likes living and working in the same community. “As a parent, it’s great. I can swing by and have lunch with one of the kids and get back to work.” There he goes, talking about food again.



10 QUESTIONS FOR THE CHIEF How is Cheol pronounced? It’s like Joel with a Ch.

east side, we never wanted to go near a cop because it was scary. So let’s change that.

I’ve been called Chloe, Cheryl and Cleo.

How’d you fly up the ranks so fast?

Why did you become a police officer?

It was a combination of timing and hard work. I always look for opportunities to better myself personally and professionally. I constantly volunteer for assignments that help to better the organization. Additionally, timing has a large part in when a promotion becomes available. There were several recent retirements in our organization that led to the promotional vacancies.

We have the ability to effect change and help others who may not be able to help themselves. The more demanding and challenging a profession, the more satisfying are the rewards. Knowing that you helped a family in distress, helping to solve a crime and keeping the community safe are some of the greatest rewards of this job. I want to increase the comfort level for kids with the officers. We shouldn’t have this stigma that cops are these scary people. I want the kids to come to someone in uniform if they need help or have a question. Even for me, growing up in Tacoma on the

Do people recognize you out of uniform? Are you just another guy shopping at QFC? On most days I’m able to wander around town when I’m not working, and not in uniform, in total anonymity under my everyday “dad” capacity. Yes, I truly am just another guy when I go

What are three things in your fridge?

CHEOL K ANG shopping for my snacks at the Mukilteo QFC. If you could have a drink with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Theodore Roosevelt. Arguably one of the greatest Americans of all time (I’ll leave that up for debate later). Naturalist, soldier, statesman, author and reformer are just a few of the labels for the 26th president of the United States. I admire his courage to do what was right, regardless of the political pressures at the time.

A bottle of sriracha hot sauce (because you always need a little spice in your meals). LaCroix sparkling water, a great soda alternative. Baby carrots (Costco-sized bag). What is your pet peeve? Someone picking up and reading their smartphone while you are talking to them. What is your guilty pleasure? Smucker’s Magic Shell on top of my ice cream. What would you say to your 8-year-old self? “Enjoy being a kid. Enjoy life.” When I was 8, I think I spent a lot more time focusing and worrying on growing up and getting out of the east side of Tacoma. What would your 8-yearold self say to you? “Wow, how’d this all happen?”

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anai Hemstrom proudly refers to herself as a tree hugger. So it’s no wonder she decided to grow trees for a living.

Lanai and her husband, Jerry, opened Hemstrom Valley Tree Farm in Granite Falls about seven years ago, and it’s been an adventure ever since. Lanai likes to joke that a Christmas tree farm would be a good setting for a reality TV show. “It’s something to watch people come out and go Christmas tree shopping,” she said. “They’ll wander around for five or six hours and then go back and pick the first tree they liked.” She has regulars who come back every year, like the couple with triplets who always try to find a triple-top tree so they can put a tree topper on for each child. Or the woman who moved to Minnesota, but drove back to Washington for her Christmas tree. “She goes, ‘I just can’t find trees like that out there,’ ” Lanai said with a laugh. Her favorite memory is from the second year they were open. It was late one evening and the Hemstroms were about to close up shop for the night when a truck and trailer pulled into the lot. A couple and their six children — all dressed to the hilt in dresses and suits — had become lost while looking for the farm. “This was around 6:30 and it was pitch black,” she said. “So



we went and got our cars so we could shine the lights onto the trees.” The family found one and the dad gave money to each of his children to give to Lanai. It was a heartwarming moment for her. “It was making us all cry,” she said with a smile. “I mean it was a really happy story!” Lanai and Jerry began planting their trees in 2002, long before they opened the farm for business. Currently about 50 percent of the trees are noble firs, the most popular type she sells. There are also the bushy Turkish fir trees and the stately Nordmann firs. They’re easier to grow and care for than the Douglas firs, Lanai said. It takes about 10 years for a tree to mature to the point where it’s tall enough to be cut, Lanai said. She only sells her trees once they’ve topped 5 feet. She debated opening a year earlier, but wasn’t sure they’d have enough trees above the 5-foot mark. They decided to wait, but then the trees seemed to grow taller overnight. “I was like, ‘Stop growing!’ Jerry said I had to quit telling my trees I love them so much so they’ll quit growing so fast,” she said with a laugh. It can be an emotional job for a tree hugger: Lanai cried when a 1,000-year-old spruce tree on their property fell down nearly three years ago. She has to repeatedly tell herself that it is OK WINTER 2017 · WASHINGTON NORTH COAST MAGAZINE


ABOVE: Lanai Hemstrom feels the dried out top of a Colorado blue spruce at her Hemstrom Valley Tree Farm in Granite Falls.. BELOW: Hemstrom walks through rows of trees at her farm.

to cut down the trees. “The year we started, I walked out, I grabbed a saw and I cut down a tree and gave it away,” Lanai said. She told herself that the tree was going to look pretty in someone else’s house. “That’s the only way I can do it,” she added. A neighbor with a Christmas tree farm suggested to Lanai years ago that she should start her own. “She said to me one day, when they were going to retire, that I should plant Christmas trees,” Lanai said. “And it was just the furthest thing from my brain.” Lanai and Jerry eventually decided to run with the idea, although they say they had no clue how hard it would be until they started. The drought this past summer didn’t make the work any easier. “I look at my trees and say ‘Please don’t die. Please don’t die,’“ Lanai said. “And they’re dying.” Lanai watered the trees in the evenings and at night, when it was cooler. It took about two weeks to rotate her sprinklers around to water all 13,000 trees. She couldn’t prune them because that would have stressed her trees out more. She stopped mowing the grass growing up underneath the trees for fear a spark might cause a fire. Even with all her efforts, many of the farm’s thousands of trees were stressed and dying. “You have to plan a year ahead of time and take a wild guess on how many trees you’re going to need,” Lanai said. “What’s going to be my death toll this summer? It’s already well past what I ordered.” Lanai also worries about insects and disease taking their toll on her trees. She pointed out a neighboring farm whose trees had been taken over by what she called an incurable disease. “We’re hoping that’s not what’s happening to our trees,” she said. “Many, many tree farms are getting this disease and it’s on



the nobles. It’s really hard. It’s not a beetle, it’s a disease, and they don’t know where it came from. “When I see a tree out here that’s stressed, I don’t know if it’s the drought or it’s the disease, and I’m debating whether to cut it out.” Even with all the difficulties, Lanai wouldn’t trade in her trees for anything. “We’ll never be able to retire off our trees,” Lanai said, adding that the money the farm makes helps pay the taxes on the land. The homestead has been in Jerry Hemstrom’s family since 1886, and the couple intends to keep it in the family. “You always hear about the family farm going under,” Lanai said. “We’re trying to keep it going.” n

MORE INFO Hemstrom Valley Tree Farm

4329 Robe Menzel Road, Granite Falls 425-374-9308 · hemstromvalleytreefarm.com Open Nov. 21-Dec. 24


19301 95TH AVE. NE, ARLINGTON 360-435-9260 · bowenchristmastreefarm.com 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday (Nov. 24-Dec. 10) Shop for Nordmann, noble and grand firs. Trees of all sizes. Christmas Cottage store offers unique gifts and handmade crafts.


12017 109TH AVE. NE, ARLINGTON 360-659-6686 · brownxtree.com 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday-Monday (Nov. 24-Dec. 19) Complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider and coffee. Kettle corn available. Bonfire, Christmas music, picnic tables and a wishing well.


18420 THIRD AVE. NE, ARLINGTON 360-652-9030 · facebook.com/fishcreektreefarm 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily (Nov. 24-Dec. 19) Noble, Nordmann, grand, balsam and Douglas firs, white and Scotch pines, Norway spruce and wreaths.


1651 HASTIE LAKE ROAD, OAK HARBOR 360.675.4000 · facebook.com/hennrichtreefarm 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (starting Dec. 2) U-cut and pre-cut trees available. Douglas, noble and grand firs and wreaths. Bonfire, hot apple cider, candy canes.


29726 NE CHERRY VALLEY ROAD, DUVALL 425-844-2816 · duvallchristmastrees.com 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (starting Nov. 18) U-cut, fresh cut and live Christmas trees. Noble, Fraser, grand, alpine and Nordmann firs. Complimentary hot cocoa or cider and firepit to keep you warm. Wreaths, mistletoe, holly and festive items for sale.


5511 GRANITE FALLS HIGHWAY, LAKE STEVENS 425-308-0355 · lochsloyacres.com 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. SaturdaySunday (starting Nov. 24) Noble, Fraser, Nordmann, grand and Douglas firs. Wreaths while they last. No pets or chain saws allowed.


22502 DUBUQUE ROAD, SNOHOMISH 425-737-5310 · facebook.com/promisedlandchristmastrees 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday-Sunday Noble, grand and Douglas firs. Homemade wreaths, free hot cocoa and cider. Fire to sit around and to roast marshmallows, and a manger scene where kids can dress up to take pictures.


7724 171ST AVE. SE, SNOHOMISH 360-568-7391 · stockerfarms.com/reade-christmas-tree-ranch.aspx 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. SaturdaySunday (Nov. 24-Dec. 10) U-cut and pre-cut trees, including Douglas, grand, noble and Nordmann firs and Norway spruce. Complimentary hot cocoa, cider and coffee. Free candy canes for kids. Pets must be leashed.


12909 279TH AVE. NE, GRANITE FALLS 360-691-4274 · redroosterranch.weebly.com 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (starting Nov. 24) Unique nobles from 4 to 12 feet tall. Toasty campfire to warm you while you enjoy a spectacular view of the Cascade Range.


7111 HEGGENES ROAD, CLINTON 360-341-4198 · facebook.com/shultschristmastreefarm 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday Find a variety of trees to choose from. Free hot cider and candy canes while you look for your tree.


17651 W. SNOQUALMIE RIVER ROAD NE, DUVALL 206-605-7563 · snowvalleychristmastreefarm.com 1 to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (until Dec. 24) Noble, grand, Frasier, Turkish and Nordmann firs and Norway spruce. Browse the farm’s gift shop. Complimentary homemade apple cider, hot chocolate, cookies and other treats on weekends only.


2870 TORPEDO ROAD, OAK HARBOR 360-929-6041 · facebook.com/pacificwindsfarm 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (starting Nov. 24) U-cut and pre-cut trees available.

8705 MARSH ROAD, SNOHOMISH 360-568-7391 · stockerfarms.com/christmas-trees.aspx 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (Nov. 24-Dec. 10) U-cut and fresh-cut trees, including Fraser, grand, Douglas, Nordmann and noble firs. Complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and candy canes. Keep warm by a fire. Wreaths and gift items for sale as well. Bring a canned food item to donate to local food banks. No pets allowed.




3606 S. MACHIAS ROAD, SNOHOMISH 425-765-1806 · wintergreentreefarm.com 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (starting Nov. 24) U-cut and fresh cut trees. Cash only with an ATM on site.


1315 188TH ST. NE, ARLINGTON 360-652-7661 · christmastreesucut.com 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Monday (starting Nov. 24) U-cut Douglas, grand, noble and Fraser firs and Norway spruce. Free hot cider and candy canes. Assistance available on weekends. Keep dogs on leash. No chain saws allowed.

9533 MOSE ROAD, ARLINGTON 360-435-9799 · pilchuckxmastrees.com 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily (starting November) U-cut trees include Douglas, noble, balsam, Nordmann, grand and Turkish firs and Norway spruce. Free candy canes for the kids. Crackling fire, hot drinks and snacks. No chain saws allowed.

48907 SAUK PRAIRIE ROAD, DARRINGTON 360-436-1932 · turnerschristmastreefarm.simdif.com 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. FridaySunday (Nov. 24-Dec. 23) Noble, grand and Douglas firs.




Located in the heart of Washington’s wine country and run by Willows Lodge, Barking Frog is a highly acclaimed restaurant with innovative seasonal menus and an award-winning cellar of Northwest wines. Photos courtesy of Willows Lodge

Work is stacking up, school’s still in session and it’s dark most of the time. It’s time to escape. Thank goodness one doesn’t have to go far to get away. The north Puget Sound region has a number of great inns and unique areas to explore.

Step into the warmth of Willows Inn and settle into one of the lodge’s 84 guest rooms, each one with relaxing tub and stone fireplace.

Relaxing Retreats Three posh places to escape this winter in north Puget Sound STORY BY A ARON SWANE Y



THE WINE COUNTRY Willows Lodge 14580 NE 145th St., Woodinville 425-424-3900 · willowslodge.com Wander through the gardens and courtyards at this upscale lodge in the heart of Western Washington wine country and you’ll hear the sound of running water, singing birds and little else. Well, besides the clinking of glasses. Open since 2000, Willows Lodge is tucked away on 5 acres of lush greenway in Woodinville’s Tourist District. A couple of world-class restaurants, The Herbfarm and Willows’ own The Barking Frog border it on one side, and the lazy Sammamish River bubbles by on the other. The pace of life slows as soon as you set foot on the lodge grounds. Willows has 84 rooms that vary from nice, nicer and nicest. All the rooms are spacious and decorated in a minimalist, modern flare. Every room has either soaking or jetted tubs and a private balcony or garden area for sitting (and drinking). Enjoying the sounds of silence is highly encouraged. Want more hands-on experience? The Willows’ spa offers massages, facial treatments and body wraps. When you’re finished, sit in the outdoor relaxation pool and soak it all in.

What to do Grab one of the bikes on the property and hit the Sammamish River Trail, heading south to Woodinville or north to Redmond.

ABOVE & BELOW: Barking Frog executive chef Bobby Moore consistently prepares fresh dishes using local ingredients.

If the weather is dry, head over to Willows Run Golf Complex for a quick round with a foursome. Give your green thumb a workout with a shopping turn at Molbak’s Garden + Home, one of the largest garden centers in the state. For those wanting to shop for something a bit more pret-aporter, head over to the Redmond Town Center.

Where to eat Chef Chris Weber shines a light on local ingredients from the restaurant’s farm on the premises, and finalizes every ninecourse meal hours before service. Barking Frog, Willows’ own restaurant, is no slouch. Executive chef Bobby Moore takes advantage of the proximity of worldclass farms in east King County and beyond to craft a menu full of Northwest-inspired fare. For a cozier environment and informal tavern grub, visit The Hollywood Tavern just down the road. Just make sure to get the ancho chile tots and bartender’s special, a pint of beer and a shot of whiskey from neighbor Woodinville Whiskey.

Where to drink There are more than 120 wineries in the vicinity, including nearly 20 a short walk from Willows Lodge. On Saturdays, Willows offers a wine tour for guests. Woodinville has become a destination spot for spirits lovers as well. Just to the west is one of the best whiskey makers in the Northwest, Woodinville Whiskey, with up-and-coming Grapeworks Distillery a short walk east of the lodge. Willows Lodge’s copper-roofed, open-air Garden Gazebo is a gathering place for guests and a regular setting for weddings.

Since 2012, breweries have been flocking to Woodinville. Sumerian Brewing, Triplehorn Brewing and 20 Corners Brewing are three of the hottest breweries in the Puget Sound region.



T H E B AC KCO U N T R Y River Rock Inn 15425 133rd Ave. NE, Arlington 360-403-7014 · riverrockinnbnb.com Stroll into River Rock Inn’s Great Room and the first thing you’ll notice is the fireplace. Double-sided and standing nearly 20 feet tall, it’s hard to miss. Made of beautiful locally sourced river rocks, the giant fireplace is the centerpiece of the main room at the inn and is a big attraction when it’s cold outside and the fire is crackling away. Run by Bob and Lisa Watkins, River Rock Inn opened in 2005 when the couple decided to become innkeepers after an inspiring trip to Europe. They tore down the original home on the property and built the five-room lodge, complete with spa, kitchen and, of course, the Great Room. Set deep in the woods off Burn Road in Arlington, River Rock Inn is an ideal place to get away from everything. As the gravel road leads visitors away from civilization, they’ll feel their cares recede. As the darkness descends early, warm up by the fire, grab a drink from the fridge and visit with Bob and Lisa or the others staying the night. Time seems to stand still here. Look out from the Giant Room toward the meadow behind the inn and gaze upon the giant evergreen trees looming over the property and old-growth stumps dotting the meadow. Mountain birds, woodpeckers, deer, rabbits and other local wildlife are regular visitors. River Rock Inn has five guest rooms, all with tubs for two and with balconies overlooking the meadow. Original artwork depicting local features adorns the walls. In the morning, a multi-course breakfast is served in the Great Room, helping visitors gear up for a big day.

ABOVE: Sit under a heater on the back deck of the River Rock Inn and take in the giant old-growth forests just beyond your reach. Watch as birds flit by and critters scamper across the grass field in front of you. BELOW: The Stilly Suite is one of two king-sized suites with a jetted tub for two and a balcony overlooking a pond and stream below.

What to do Bring your bike or go for a stroll on the Centennial Trail, which has a number of trailheads in Arlington. Looking for something a little more challenging? Head out on the Mountain Loop Highway. Many hikes are closed in the winter, but a few are still accessible. Check with the Verlot Ranger Station before heading out. It may be the offseason, but there’s still plenty to shop for at Garden Treasures. Pick up some organic fruit, vegetables and flowers. Take a stroll along Arlington’s downtown core and shop at Sassafras Antiques and Salvage and Perfectly Knotty, or get a tattoo at Traditions Tattoo Studio.

Where to eat If you’re in the mood for a little fine dining, stop by Bistro San Martin in downtown. It has a wonderful wine list and white-linen atmosphere. For a more down-home environs, visit Nutty’s Junk Yard Grill and order up the Trunk Junk burger and some homemade onion rings. Head to Kafe Neo for food with a distinctly Greek flare.



Photos courtesy of River Rock Inn

Where to drink One of the best breweries in the state isn’t far from the inn. Near the airport, Skookum Brewery is an award-winning craft brewery that specializes in adventurous IPAs. Down the road, Dave and Shelly McGlothern have turned Dave’s skills on the still into Bad Dog Distillery, one of the county’s best distilleries. Try Grandpa’s Likker, a 90-proof corn liquor. River Rock has a tastings package that includes flights at Skookum and tastings at Bad Dog.

The giant river rock chimney and fireplace is the center piece of the Great Room where guests are encouraged to grab a craft beer or glass of wine and warm their hands by the fire.

THE ISLAND The Inn at Langley 400 First St., Langley 360-221-3033 · innatlangley.com The view that lays behind the front doors at The Inn at Langley on south Whidbey Island is deceiving. But walk out on one of the rooms’ balconies and let the view take your breath away. Looking east across Saratoga Passage, one can see the hustle and bustle while still being able to breathe deeply and forget about it all. Built nearly 30 years ago, The Inn at Langley is what you’d expect a waterfront inn in the Northwest to look like. Plenty of weatherbeaten wood, iron lawn furniture and colorful gardens greet guests. Inside you can dry off, check in and feel the stress melt away. The rooms are luxurious and spacious. There are 22 guest rooms each with a balcony overlooking Saratoga Passage, fireplaces and jetted tubs. Need a little more room? The two cottages are just under 1,000 square feet and the suites are 1,500. Listen to the rain patter on the water just outside the windows and reach next-level relaxation at the Spa Essencia. Located on the ground floor, the spa has three treatment rooms and offers massages, facials, steam baths and body wraps.

The Inn at Langley owner Matt Costello has created a refuge on Whidbey Island. Winter is a great time to visit the island and enjoy the more relaxed rhythms of Langley and surrounding areas.

What to do Langley, the quaint village on the east side of Whidbey Island, has so much to do that you could stroll around town for the good part of a weekend. There are a number of art galleries, including Brackenwood Gallery and MUSEO Gallery, bookstores such as Moonraker Books, and plant stores such as Bayview Farm & Garden.

Where to eat Enjoy the best the island has to offer as chef Matt Costello uses fresh ingredients from around Whidbey Island in his multicourse dinners at The Restaurant at The Inn at Langley. Located on a historic 5-acre farm, Orchard Kitchen is the place to have an intimate farmhouse dinner. Sit on the patio, weather permitting, and take in views of Saratoga Passage while dining on French-inspired food at Prima Bistro. For more casual fare, Braeburn Restaurant serves countrystyle breakfasts and homemade soups and salads for lunch. Where to drink Blooms Winery’s tasting room is at Bayview Corner just outside of Langley and hosts live music and local artists. Stay at Bayview Corner and wander over to Taproom @ Bayview Corner for a pint of craft beer and a basket of bacon. Double Bluff Brewing serves up Euro-inspired ales in its cozy taproom in downtown Langley. Just down the road is one of the best distilleries in the Puget Sound region. Whidbey Island Distillery makes a number of spirits, but be sure to try the blackberry liqueur.

The sun sets on another beautiful day on Whidbey Island. Photos courtesy of The Inn at Langley

Every guest room features a 180-degree view of Saratoga Passage and a large outdoor porch-style balcony.

For entertainment, take in a show at the 1930s Clyde Theater or play classic arcade games at The Machine Shop. Get outdoors and go for a short drive to visit Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, which is 25 square miles of beaches, trails and beautiful scenery. WINTER 2017 · WASHINGTON NORTH COAST MAGAZINE


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Professional dog walker Michael Silva, owner of Scooby’s Dogwalkin, walks 12 dogs in downtown Everett.

The man who built Snohomish RE VIEW BY GALE FIEGE



t 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Michael “Scooby” Silva is hard to miss.

When he’s walking 12 dogs, he’s a spectacle. The affable dog walker is a fixture on the streets of downtown Everett, where he escorts a motley crew of canines about six times a day. Teacup poodles prance alongside hulking Rottweilers in Silva’s furry troupe of a dozen dogs. “I get a little emotional to see how happy they are,” Silva said. “You see their eyes light up. You see it when they walk in a pack for the first time. It’s like they’ve always wanted to do this.” Silva, 36, started Scooby’s Dogwalkin in 2012. He welcomes dogs of every kind, including pit bulls, a breed that gets a bad rep for its temperament. “I don’t think any dog is a bad dog,” Silva said. “They just have a hard time trusting people.” His intuition is palpable to dog owners, too. “He’s one of the kindest, sweetest souls ever,” said Gina Coslett, one of Silva’s first clients.



I get a little emotional to see how happy they are. — MIC H A EL SILVA

Coslett initially hesitated to allow her miniature pinscher mix, Duca, to join a pack walk. Her anxiety dispersed after watching Silva with the dogs. “He’s so gentle, yet he’s in such great control of them. He has an amazing presence with the dogs,” she said.

Silva job-hopped for years, never landing on the right fit. He was a musician, car salesman, burger flipper, security guard and a call center manager, where a coworker nicknamed him “Scooby.” That was the last office job Silva had before being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2011, a chronic illness from a tick bite that causes joint pain and fatigue. After the diagnosis, Silva sank into depression. It’s an almost inconceivable side to a jovial man who answers phone calls in a sing-songy, “Scooby Dooby Doo!” But illness and unemployment took a toll on his mental state. “Emotionally, it’s difficult. Physically, it’s difficult,” he said.

Duca no longer walks with Silva because of a leg amputation in 2016. Coslett plans to enroll her newest adoptee, another petite pinscher, which she named Taser Michael, in honor of Silva.

To pass the time, he began taking the dogs belonging to his then-girlfriend for walks. The exercise and fresh air relieved the anguish that came with the disease.

Growing up in Minnesota, Silva’s dream was playing center field for a Major League baseball team. That changed when his arm was severely injured in a car crash at age 18.

He opened Scooby’s Dogwalkin spreading the word through Facebook and word-of-mouth referrals. He marketed his services to people around his apartment complex, Library Place.

“I had an epiphany,” Silva said.



From Chihuahuas to pit bulls, dogs love to go on walks with Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva “When I started my business, I had 100 bucks to my name,” Silva said. “There’s always naysayers, but I believed in myself.” He’s harnessed more than 50 regular clients. He adapted his hours to suit clients’ schedules, such as midnight walks to accommodate nurses and police officers. “I always tell people the dogs saved my life,” he said. Amy Willoughby was referred to Silva in 2014. Her Chihuahua, Mieshka, was selective about people, but the tiny dog bonded quickly with Silva. “When Mike would pick her up, he would say he’s coming to get her for a date,” Willoughby said. “We started referring to it as ‘Mieshka’s dates.’ ” Despite her skittish nature, the Chihuahua loved walking in packs. “Of course, I was nervous at first,” Willoughby said. “But she just got right in there with the rest of them.” Mieshka passed away in November 2016. Silva was there during her last hours. “He sat on the couch and cried with me,” Willoughby said. “He’s the only person that we saw that day besides my husband. He was the person that we

Scooby’s Dogwalkin owner Michael Silva and manager Alexis Prudnick share their apartment space with dogs the couple helps to board as well as walk during the day.

wanted to see in our saddest moment.” She now has two dogs, Phoenix, a Rottweiler, and Mr. Chunky Chowder, a Chihuahua. Willoughby, a field biologist, is often away on research trips in Alaska for weeks at a time. She credits Silva for being able to make those trips. “There’s points in our lives where we get so busy that it wouldn’t be fair to a pet if we didn’t have Mike,” Willoughby said. “He’s never called in sick. He’s never left me hanging.” She and other dog owners receive cellphone pictures of the pets from Silva during every walk. Silva isn’t a fair-weather dog walker. He bundles up with scarves and holiday garb in the cooler seasons. He celebrates Christmas in Santa hats and a faux snow-white beard. In the muggy summer weather, he wears cargo shorts and cowboy hats for the Fourth of July. Silva is much happier juggling leashes than phone calls. “People are too stressful.” He makes room for one person — Alexis Prudnick, his girlfriend and business partner. The couple met in



2015. Prudnick approached Silva during one of his walks. When she asked for his business card, Silva assumed that she was interested in his services. “I’m pretty much oblivious when people are flirting with me,” Silva said. She called the following day and asked him out to lunch. Prudnick, 25, a graphic design graduate, created a line of Scooby T-shirts that Silva wears on walks. She manages the business from their apartment with the help of 5-year-old daughter, Rose. “I’m convinced that Rose thought that she was a dog before she started kindergarten,” Silva said. Their furry playmates won’t be within paw’s length for much longer. Silva recently rented a 2,500-square-foot space in downtown Everett and plans to open a full-fledged doggy daycare facility by the end of the year. Silva said he keeps his prices low to be fair to every class of dog owners. The cost for a 30-minute walk is $14, daycare is $25 and overnight care is $35. “Everyone should be able to have a dog,” he said. Silva and Prudnick are a notable exception. They don’t have any pets of their own. “I’m too busy taking care of everybody else’s,” he said. n



Colby & Hewitt Avenues

SKETCHER Every year, the intersection of Colby and Hewitt avenues magically transforms into a beacon of holiday cheer. I’m never quite sure when the change will occur, so it has the same effect on me it’s had since I was a kid — a moment of wonderment, of delight. What choice does one have after all, when there is a Christmas tree suspended overhead, but to surrender to the extravagant joys of the season at hand?

— Elizabeth Person

M O R E : E L I Z A B E T H P E R S O N . E T S Y. C O M O R E L I Z A B E T H P E R S O N . C O M







5-10 P.M. NOV. 30-DEC. 3, 7-10, 14-17, 19-23, 26-30

Warm Beach Camp, 20800 Marine Drive, Stanwood. More than 1 million Christmas lights, dazzling displays, live music, theater, pony rides, food, Santa, Bruce the Spruce.




Presented 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave., Marysville. The heartwarming Christmas story of three good-hearted convicts who help rescue a family’s Christmas from the clutches of greed, vanity and doubledealing.


8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, plus Dec. 2 and 16, Edmonds Driftwood Players, Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds. $28 general; $25 for juniors, seniors, military.





7 P.M. DEC. 2 AND 3 P.M. DEC. 3

7:30 P.M. NOV. 25

Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater, 1211 Fourth St., Snohomish. Grammywinning musicians Nancy Rumbel and Eric Tingstad ring in the holiday season. $20.


Favorite Songs of Christmas concert, Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. Features Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” $20 general, $17 students, seniors and military.




3 P.M. DEC. 3

3 P.M. NOV. 26

Music for the Imagination concert includes Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov plus opportunity to “meet the orchestra’s instruments” after the concert. $20 general, $10 for youth 5 to 18.

Directed by Stephen Marshall-Ward of Lynnwood, the Mount Vernon-based choir performs Rejoice! A Celebration of Christmas at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 1305 Pine Ave., Snohomish. $16 adults, $10 students, $45 per family.





Orca Ballroom, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip. Free Community Day includes crafts for kids at 3 p.m. Bring your camera for photos with Santa.

Three of the world’s premier Celtic harpists perform at Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater, 1211 Fourth St., Snohomish. $15.

1 TO 6 P.M. NOV. 29


4 P.M. DEC. 3




3 P.M. DEC. 3

7:30 P.M. NOV. 30

Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave.N., Edmonds. Adults only, because Storm Large’s wicked charm and stunning vocals include adult content. $24-$59.

The Christmas concert will be performed at First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave., Everett. Program includes Mendelssohn’s String Symphony. $20 general, $15 seniors and students.



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1 TO 7 P.M. DEC. 4

7:30 P.M. DEC. 10-11

See Mukilteo and Everett homes, enjoy tastings from local chefs, carolers, raffle baskets, a gift shop, photos with Santa. $30 in advance from the Assistance League Thrift Shop, 5107 Evergreen Way. $35 on tour day.

Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. The program includes works by Leroy Anderson, Strauss, Smetana and tunes from Christmas movies, and features soprano Kristin Vogel. Reserve


tickets at cascadesymphony.org



Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. The world-traveling sisters return home for their annual Celtic (and more) Christmas concert. $22 general, $18 students and seniors, $10 for children.

Abridged version 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 14 (good for young children), full version 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16, 5 p.m. Dec. 17, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. Ticket prices vary.

7:30 P.M. DEC. 7



Abridged version 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 8 (good for young children), full version 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 10, Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. An alternative to driving to Seattle, Olympic Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker production is outstanding. Ticket prices vary.


DEC. 14-17



Sassy, Brassy Holiday concert at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave. Seattle Men’s Chorus has tourned internationally, including at Carnegie Hall in New York and Westminster Hall in London. $25-$55.




7 P.M. DEC. 16

3 P.M. OR 7 P.M. DEC. 9

Holiday Magic: Holiday Memories concert, Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. $25 general admission, $22 seniors, $15 children.


The Everett company will perform the ballet at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. $17.50.




Jose Gonzales jazz trio plays Vince Guaraldi’s gem at Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater, 1211 Fourth St., Snohomish. $15.




JAN. 5-28

The popular rock ‘n’ roll electric six-string violinist brings along the Seattle Irish Dance company and bagpiper Neil Hubbard for this concert at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave. $22-$35.



NOON TO 4 P.M. DEC. 10

This popular Disney musical will be presented at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. “Seize the Day” with the paperboys of New York as they strike and become newspaper headlines. $37-$77.

See historic homes decorated for the holidays. $15 general, $12 seniors and youth. Buy tickets day of tour at the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B.




Edmonds Driftwood Players, Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds. $18 juniors, seniors and military, or $20 adults.

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The Grammy-winning daughter of Johnny Cash teams up with her husband, John Leventhal, for this concert at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. $34-$69.



11 A.M. TO 12:30 P.M. JAN. 27

A local alternative to Groundhog Day is along First Street, starting at the Avenue A Gazebo. Will Snohomish Slew predict an early spring?

snohomishcoc.com/groundfrog WINTER 2017 · WASHINGTON NORTH COAST MAGAZINE


Carl Zapora relaxes at his Edmonds home. Ian Terry | Coast

Why I love it here:


y wife, Cheryl Foster, and I moved to Snohomish County 13 years ago. Having lived around the country due to corporate relocations, most recently in Chicago, we were excited to live in the Northwest. I began work as the chief executive officer of United Way of Snohomish County in 2004. Seven years later I became the CEO of Snohomish County Public Hospital District No. 2, which owned Stevens Hospital — now Swedish Edmonds. We started the Verdant Health Commission in Lynnwood, which funds and develops community health and wellness programs, and also built the state’s first “community wellness center.” Before moving to Snohomish County, we anticipated the beauty of the region, having vacationed twice in the Seattle area. At almost every turn, there is water or a mountain view or beautiful farmland. Cheryl and I decided a few years ago that we would stay and retire in Edmonds. I learned during my career that every community thinks it is special. Pride in great schools, museums, lakes, businesses, parks, governments, hospitals, colleges, etc., may vary, but all towns and cities think they are terrific. So, why are we staying here? Well, it is the beauty, but there is one more aspect of Snohomish County that makes it unique.


Carl Zapora

In this county, the people, companies, organizations and governments work together. In fact, the nonprofit organizations in the county tell newcomers that they’ll have to get used to the lack of turf battles between organizations. When there is a problem or opportunity, everyone gets together and develops a plan with only one question — “What’s the best way to do this?” Not “How will this be good for us?” In some places, United Way, chambers of commerce, community foundations and others battle it out in the marketplace. Here, they all work together for the good of the community. Early on I witnessed this cooperation in action. The economy was worsening at the time and people were losing their jobs. Several organizations — including United Way, Workforce Development Council, Volunteers of America, YMCA and the Economic Development Council — shared the frustration that resources were all over the map. Unemployed people had to go to different places for unemployment help, counseling for stress, food assistance, job interview training, etc. In one two-hour meeting, we agreed on who should take the lead on specific tasks, and developed a one-stop website listing all of the resources available. Community challenges can be difficult, but living in a place where working


together is the norm helps make great things happen. We love living here and know the cooperative tone set by our county’s leaders will benefit future leaders and communities for a long time. That spirit is what makes Snohomish County great. That’s why I love it here. n

MORE ON CARL Carl Zapora is the CEO of Zapora Consulting LLC in Edmonds. Previously he served as the CEO of Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County and also for the Verdant Health Commission. In that role he had responsibility for the hospital district entity and financial and capital assets, including the Swedish Edmonds buildings and property. Before that Zapora was the CEO of United Way of Snohomish County with responsibility for the $10 million United Way budget. He is a trustee at Edmonds Community College, and serves on the boards of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, University of Washington Bothell and Molina Healthcare of Washington. His wife, Cheryl Foster, is a retired Ford Motor Co. executive. They live in Edmonds and have a pet parrot named Edsel.






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Profile for Sound Publishing

Washington North Coast Magazine - Winter 2018  


Washington North Coast Magazine - Winter 2018