Month: October 2013

Continuing the Exploration

My life orbits South Snohomish County, especially Lynnwood. This is where we settled at 10, where I graduated high-school, and now where I raise my son. Several decades of my life right here. I get out, we do “things”, and yet there always remains some place new. So many places, nearby, where my feet have not ventured. For instance, I’ve yet to do more than sail through the San Juans. I’ve never been off the ferry. Never! Perplexes many friends.

With so many opportunities in my proverbial backyard, my interest and fascination with this area grows. Thus, I continue my explorations. And with a new addition. I want to experience some place new, some place I’ve never been before. Whether a new town, new site, new restaurant, new park; I want to make a deliberate choice to seek out new stuff and do new things. Not to discount the stuff I already love, but to add a deeper richness to my knowledge of the area.

Some random ideas: a day trip to the San Juans (actually getting off the ferry), the parks on Whidbey, hikes in the Cascades, and (my favorite) and tour of local burger places (like Dicks, Win’s in Bellingham, Ray’s in Everett, Burger Mill in Marysville, etc…).

WA State Department of Transportation update for Snohomish County

I signed up for these email alerts some time back, and have greatly valued them. Thus, I share them with you, hoping you’ll gain valuable insight and the ability to manage your transportation needs.

Cheers! And, now, with no further adieu…..


WSDOT NEWS        Washington State Department of Transportation
Snohomish County  Highway and construction Updates – October 10, 2013

Daytime paving on SR 9
The weather is getting nastier and that means our construction crews are working against time.  For our SR 9 project, that means we’re making a huge push to get the stretch of highway from 212th Street Southeast to 176th Street Southeast widened to two lanes in each direction.  To do that, we’re going to need to pave during the daytime from Saturday, Oct. 12 to Friday, Oct. 18.  Crews will be laying asphalt as early as 8 a.m. on the weekend, 9 a.m. on weekdays and it could continue into the evening hours.

There will still be one lane in each direction open but drivers should prepare for traffic shifts from one side of the highway to the other and short-term closures of intersection side streets when no turns are allowed.  Also, there may be times when access to local business driveways is briefly blocked.

Why the daytime closures?  This kind of work is weather-dependent.  If you remember, September was the rainiest month in our state’s history, which pushed back most paving.  Now, our temps are dropping below 45 degrees at night and that makes asphalt cool too quickly to compact to the required standard, so we need to do it during the warmer daytime.  The good news is that once this asphalt work is complete, crews will temporarily stripe SR 9 to its final configuration, opening up two lanes of traffic in each direction in most areas of the work zone and that will significantly improve traffic in that area.

Prepare for nighttime SR 522 closures
If you’ll be out late in Monroe – and you know who you are – prepare for full closures of SR 522 from US 2 to 164th Street Southeast/Main Street a couple nights in the next week.  The closures will be 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) and Thursday, Oct. 17.  The US 2 ramps to SR 522 will also be closed and a signed detour will lead drivers around via Main Street, Fryelands Boulevard and US 2.

During tonight’s closure, the Snohomish County PUD will temporarily remove a power line so that crews working for WSDOT can install a noise wall in the area.  They’ll reinstall the line on Thursdaynight.  But don’t worry, there won’t be any loss of electricity during the work and the noise wall installation will happen during the day.  Also, SR 522 Fales/Echo Lake roads to 164th will also closemidnight to 4 a.m. Sunday to allow crews to move heavy equipment. A ll this is part of the SR 522 widening project, scheduled to be completed in late 2014.

Looking for feedback on I-90 tolling
We asked for your feedback and received thousands of comments during our initial outreach earlier this year for the proposal to toll I-90.  We gathered the suggestions we received from the public and other agencies and now we’re presenting a range of possible alternatives that could help us meet the purpose of tolling I-90: alleviate congestion across Lake Washington and help fund the remaining portion of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.  About $1.4 billion is needed to complete the I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project.

Through Nov. 6, we’re asking for the public’s feedback again to help inform our analysis on which alternatives could meet the purpose of the study. We’re considering alternatives in several categories, including tolling, state or regional taxes, mileage fees, federal funding and new highway capacity.  As part of this, we’re hosting three public meetings, starting tonight, Thursday, Oct. 10, in Bellevue and then Oct. 21 on Mercer Island and Oct. 23 in Seattle.  WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will be on hand to listen to public comments at each meeting.  If you’re interested in speaking at a meeting, you can sign up online or on a first-come, first-served basis at the start of each meeting.  If you can’t make it to a meeting, check out our website to learn more about the I-90 tolling project and how to provide your feedback.

Bellevue College
4 – 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10
Bellevue College cafeteria
3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue
Parking: Park in Lot 10 for easiest access to the cafeteria. Parking is free on campus after 3 p.m.

Stay plugged in
Projects are I-5 in Lynnwood/Shoreline, SR 529 at the Snohomish River Bridge and SR 531 in Arlington are all nearing completion though some of them require decent weather to finish.  Stay plugged in to all of the construction and maintenance closures by checking out our Snohomish County Construction Update or What’s Happening Now.

Questions, comments, suggestions, Halloween costume ideas?  Contact Mike Allende at

Life in the Shadow

A key moment of political awareness for me came during my mid-teens. I don’t remember the full context, but I realized that I knew great details about the candidates for Seattle’s mayor, but nothing about mine (Lynnwood’s). I didn’t even  know WHO Lynnwood’s mayor was. That made me aware of the dominance of Seattle in this region. Not simply political, but media-wise and culturally.

For example, media-wise, besides Seattle’s several tv stations (this was the 80s), Spokane had a few, and I believe Yakima had one or two, Bellingham had KVOS, and Tacoma had a PBS station on VHF. Print news had greater presence, but was distributed much the same.

This motivated me to learn more about this region, to explore and understand with greater detail the richer culture. That’s become much easier with the advent of the internet and world wide web. I’m nowhere near where I wish to be, and plan to continue with my explorations.

Toys for Tots – 2013 Campaign Underway

I love the work that Toys for Tots does. Come, give them a hand.

Toys for Tots 2013 Campaign, Located at VFW Post 2100

2711 Oakes Avenue, Downtown Everett (yes, it’s warehouse space)

Check out for hours

The US Marine Corps Toys for Tots South Snohomish County (from Smokey Point down south to include Shoreline…yeah, King County but we still love them (ed)) Campaign 2013 thanks Post 2100 of the VFW for the use, once again, of their facility as this year’s warehouse.  Located at 2711 Oakes Avenue, the warehouse will operate in a 3200 square foot basement.

Also, this year’s campaign received an awesome donation from the new Burlington Coat Factory’s “give back to the community” program.  Thousands of items, ranging from household, clothes and toys- were donated through the campaign to the Everett Gospel Mission; Cocoon House and the Boys at Girls Club at Trailside Village.

Fundraiser for Old Dog Haven this Saturday in Lake Stevens

Old Dog Haven is a great local group that, well, supports homeless senior dogs (check out the website…I’m very fond of their work). Sammeke is the dog/owner of my good friend, Scott Watkins. For more details about the event (though it looks like all the gory details are in the jpeg below), head over to

Sammeke's 10th Birthday Bash
Sammeke’s 10th Birthday Bash – fundraiser for Old Dog Haven

Some Friday Thoughts

Just reviewing my blog content when a thought occurred to me: I’m posting mostly press releases lately. That’s really not my vision for this site, yet it is a component. I receive so many messages with really interesting/relevant information, and cool opportunities that I want to share with you. And, often, the copywriters do a great job of getting a concise statement with a good touch of backstory, it seems pointless to do anything but put it out there. 

I will, soon, add more original content, but one of this blogs purposes is to provide community information. Hope that provides some insight into what the heck I’m doing here. With that, may you all have glorious weekends. 

4th Annual Livable Snohomish County Summit and County Council Candidate Forum

A great opportunity to get involved, meet the candidates and stay informed.


4th Annual Livable Snohomish County Summit and
County Council Candidate Forum
Saturday, October 12, 2013  –  9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PUD Building
2320 California Street, Everett

This event is FREE to everyone and will include a free lunch (with gluten and lactose free options). Because we are preparing lunch, we do need an RSVP so we can plan for food.
Please RSVP before October 8th to

What does it take to build livable, sustainable communities?  How can we be a part of planning our neighborhoods? What do you want your community to look like in 20 years?

Snohomish County is making decisions now – about how and where it will put new homes and jobs – that will shape our future through 2035.  Every step of the County’s process there will be opportunities for you to weigh in and make sure the council adopts policies to make that growth create more livable, sustainable communities.

This is why you should join WEC on Saturday, October 12th at the 4th Annual Livable Snohomish County Summit and County Council Candidate Forum.

Keynote speakers will be Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg, MD, MPH, Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the UW School of Public Health and in the Department of Urban Design and Planning in the UW College of Built Environments; and Sara Schott Nikolic, Principal Planner with Puget Sound Regional Council.

The summit will include 12 breakout sessions covering a wide variety of ways we can build livable communities, films, informational tables and exhibits. There will also be a County Council Candidate Forum for the three council seats up for election in November.  This is a fabulous networking opportunity as well!

The event is hosted by Pilchuck Audubon Society and Growing Transit Communities and co-sponsored by Futurewise, League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, Snohomish Group of Sierra Club, and Transition Port Gardner.

Please RSVP before October 8th to

United Way Coat & Blanket Drive underway

Our neighbors in Grays Harbor are doing great things to help the community.

KXRO Newsradio

United Way of Grays Harbor is teaming with local businesses and organizations during October to make sure that people have coats and blankets for the winter. Collection boxes are out to collect new and gently used blankets and coats in all sizes.

Executive Director Nora LeBlanc said that they will also be collecting new elementary children’s tennis shoes. Due to health concerns, they cannot receive worn tennis shoes. United Way works directly with schools in our area to deliver the shoes.

Les Schwab has stepped forward to sponsor the drive and will be providing boxes for drop sites, the manpower to help move donations and funding. Aberdeen West Les Schwab manager Don Denning said, “We are part of the community, this where we live and work, and we wanted to do something that could involve all our staff and make a difference.”

Donations boxes will be at participating across the…

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