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Forget about learning? I know that sounds like strange advice coming from a teacher, but think about this: Have you ever tried looking at a faint star in the night sky? If so, you know that gazing directly at it will cause it to disappear. It is only by looking a little off to the side that …

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On February 12 we will ask you, the voters, to approve a bond for school construction and safety improvements.  The planned projects will require our community to invest in a bond totaling $96 million.   As your elected representatives we do not take this action lightly.  It’s a balancing ac…

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Snohomish County, along with the other 38 counties in Washington State, provides local and regional services to its residents. Many decisions about the County are made locally by the County Council and other elected officials. However, other decisions are forced down to the County from the s…

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Happy New Year, Marysville Tulalip community! We appreciate serving residents, families, visitors and businesses year-round. Let’s reflect on highlights of last year’s accomplishments and look ahead to 2019.

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The strength of the late Billy Frank Jr.’s vision and leadership is once again being called upon to help recover salmon in western Washington.

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On Monday, Nov. 19, the Snohomish County Council adopted the 2019 budget. The budget reflects North County values of fiscal responsibility and prioritizing public safety. 

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As we approach the holiday season, shorter days, the school break, and begin to prepare for a new year, it is a good time to pause and reflect. At the Marysville School District, we begin thinking about first-semester student grades and attendance, but academics are not the only thing that i…

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In last month’s column, I provided a breakdown of the total property taxes collected by the County Treasurer and how those dollars are allocated by various taxing authorities (school districts, local governments, etc.) In that article, I shared that of the $1.4 billion collected in total, th…

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I’ve known Judge Kristen Olbrechts for 27 years and trust her skill, knowledge, and legal acumen in the courtroom as an attorney and as a judge.

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I am writing to endorse Jennifer Rancourt for Judge of Cascade District Court. This judicial position serves citizens of north Snohomish County, including the cities of Marysville, Stanwood, and Arlington. I have been a Judge for the past 14 years, and I know both candidates. Jennifer Rancou…

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I watched the U.S. Senate candidates debate on Channel 5 which was handled excellently as each candidate was allowed only a short time frame to respond to the questions.

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I’m voting Democrat and Republican. The bitter partisanship in D.C. this year has shown me how much I don't want that to become a reality in Olympia, or more importantly Snohomish County.

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Property tax dollars are used to fund much of local government operations at various levels. The process through which property taxes are levied and collected is complex. In this month’s column, I will share some important information about how property taxes are collected, how the amounts a…

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October is always a fun month with friends and family getting ready for fall activities, youth sports, and of course — Halloween! October is a month where we focus greatly on our physical and mental wellness, which is a priority in our Marysville and Tulalip communities year-round. Our commu…

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In an unfortunate reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to reconsider our state’s new water quality standards – the most protective in the nation – based on an industry trade group petition that argues the rules will increase their cost of doing business.

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Recent market studies have shown that the construction industry will grow faster in Snohomish County than neighboring counties in the Puget Sound region. Workforce Snohomish reports that we are poised to see a growth of 25% in the construction industry in Snohomish County over the next ten y…

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The start of a new school year means new beginnings — new beginnings, not just for our local students, but for the entire Marysville-Tulalip community. As businesses, organizations and individuals, we are all responsible for our community’s success and our children’s ability to thrive.

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Federal legislation allowing lethal removal of more sea lions in the lower Columbia River is a good step toward reining in out-of-control populations that are hurting salmon and orca recovery efforts throughout the region.

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Water — how much we have and how clean it should be — is on the minds of many these days as the drought rolls on in western Washington and state government remains stalled on updating decades-old water quality standards.

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One of the most prominent points of discussion in local government is population growth. Snohomish County is currently among the fastest growing counties in the entire nation. With an existing population of approximately 800,000 people, we are the third most populous county in Washington Sta…

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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson didn’t have to take the culvert case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead of continuing the state’s shameful history of denying tribal treaty-reserved fishing rights, he could have chosen a path of cooperation that has shown remarkable resul…

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The federal government plays a huge role in local communities and sometimes their actions can go unnoticed or are not widely covered. One such example is the effort to reintroduce grizzly bears into the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE). This effort has been underway for years and there are man…

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Twenty-five years ago, my wife and I left Atlanta, Georgia, to drive across the country with a book called The 100 Best Small Towns in America as our guide. If you measured the success of our trip by how fast we were able to make it to the west coast, then by all accounts it was a dismal fai…

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Every spring and summer, many tribes throughout the region celebrate the return of the salmon and the beginning of salmon fishing season.

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News last month about Seattle’s new head tax ignited a fiery debate about what our business climate looks like in the Puget Sound area. Rather than imposing additional burdens on business, we are focusing on incentives to attract businesses to North Snohomish County. The Arlington-Marysville…

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What criteria do we use to determine how well our schools are doing? More often than not, we wind up looking at things such as grades, graduation rates, and test scores. This kind of data is relatively easy to measure and widely accepted as relevant to the mission of our schools. It is also …

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It is hard to believe that it is Festival Season already, but we are hard at work preparing for our Festival along with appearances at many out-of-town parades.

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“The spirit of cooperation must guide us. It is how we will be able to bring back the salmon.”

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In honor of Military Appreciation Month, I am dedicating my May column to the great partnership between Snohomish County and our military.

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With the last day of school quickly approaching, we recognize the important role we all play in preparing our local students for their futures. Families, nonprofit and service groups, cultural organizations, city, school district and other government entities all play an important part in a …

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Heart and Soul — that is what the Board of Directors and volunteers of Maryfest Inc. are putting into restarting the organization and improving the Marysville Strawberry Festival. After over a year of turmoil and indecision, we are back stronger and more determined than ever. We are putting …

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Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent executive order to recover southern resident killer whales is a good start if it sparks a long-term effort to recover both orcas and the salmon they depend on.

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I am fortunate to serve with six other individuals from Island and Snohomish counties on a board responsible for the oversight of a critical community resource: our public libraries.

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Snohomish County has reached a milestone in the northern part of the county with regard to the ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic. There remains much work to be done, but I look forward to providing a summary of recent efforts which are coming to fruition following several months o…

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Spring is in the air and the Marysville Tulalip community has so many great ways to get outside and get back to nature. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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My wife and I both work with students who have autism. These young people often have unusually intense and focused interests, so much so that it is extremely difficult for them to engage in any activity that is not directly related to those interests. It is like their brains are wired in suc…

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As the tribal and state co-managers begin the annual salmon season setting process, the effects of drought and poor ocean conditions over the past few years – combined with ongoing loss of habitat – are leading to another year of low returns and restrictive fisheries.

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Snohomish County is represented by 21 legislators from seven different legislative districts in Olympia at the State Legislature. The Snohomish County Council passes an annual legislative agenda to guide and advocate for policies and funding in Olympia to help us better serve our constituent…