Berg aims to ‘hit the ground running’ as Marysville schools’ new superintendent

By Kirk Boxleitner, The Marysville Globe

Courtesy photo.Dr. Becky Berg officially starts as the new superintendent of the Marysville School District on July 1.

Courtesy photo.
Dr. Becky Berg officially starts as the new superintendent of the Marysville School District on July 1.

MARYSVILLE — Dr. Becky Berg is still mapping out her transition between the Deer Park School District, where she currently serves as superintendent, and the Marysville School District, for which she was selected as the new superintendent on March 28, but between now and when she officially starts her new job on July 1, Berg aims to get up to speed in short order.

“I intend to hit the ground running, listening and learning,” said Berg, whose career in education opened with stints as a classroom teacher in the Renton and Enumclaw school districts from 1986-91, after earning her B.A. in education from Eastern Washington University in 1984. “I’m open to meeting with as many constituents and community groups as possible, so that I can learn as much as possible during those golden hours when I’m still new to the school district. I have no agenda other than continuing the great work that’s already been done in the district, and understanding its future needs.”

Indeed, Berg cited what she deemed the healthy relationships between district leaders, staff members, students, families and surrounding community members as one of the traits that drew her to the Marysville School District in the first place.

“I was impressed,” said Berg, whose stints as acting, associate, assistant and full principals in the Bainbridge Island and Mead school districts, the latter in Spokane, ran from 1991 through 2010, when she began her current job as superintendent of the Deer Park School District. “Innovations such as the Small Learning Communities are the kinds of bold measures that it will take to keep up with the needs of the 21st century. This district’s diversity was also a huge draw for me, since I’m looking forward to working with the Tulalip Tribes, the growing Hispanic community and other partners.”

Berg eagerly anticipates familiarizing herself with Marysville as a resident, a process that she referred to as “knitting in” rather than “fitting in.”

“This really isn’t about me, though,” Berg said. “It’s about the Marysville community and its students. This district demonstrates that dynamic, effective education is possible, and I’m incredibly excited to be part of it.”


Doctor Touts the ‘Fast Diet’ To Prevent Diabetes

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

The “fast diet” involves eating regularly five days per week and fasting the remaining two. Adherents are supposed to consume only a quarter of their typical caloric intake, about 500 calories, for two consecutive days.

While this diet fad it taking England by storm, the concept of intermittent fasting is not new. Dr. Michael Mosley, the UK-based doctor responsible for popularizing the weight loss regimen and author of “The Fast Diet,” spent months researching findings on the practice after he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, reported the Huffington Post. Mosley opted not to take medication to manage his cholesterol and instead to make a drastic lifestyle change.

Mosley tested the diet on himself, closely monitoring his progress, and saw quick improvements. His cholesterol and insulin resistance lowered and he shed 19 pounds of fat.

“I went into it quite skeptical because I’ve looked at diets over the years and I’ve always assumed they’re rubbish. Really seriously rubbish,” Mosley told the Huffington Post. “But the people who study in this area are really top scientists—world-class scientists who are hugely reputable in their areas. And they were all coming at it from their areas of expertise: cancer, dementia, diabetes—they were approaching it from different angles, but coming to the same conclusion. I found that very convincing.”

All fasting is not the same, Mosley clarifies, firmly debunking the theory that juice cleansing—a recent diet rage—is beneficial.

“I think juicing is a terrible idea,” he told the Huffington Post. “The biggest problem is that it removes the fiber. And the really good thing that’s in fruits and vegetables is the fiber. Fiber reduces your risk of bowel cancers — all sorts of cancers — and it also keeps you satiated and it also stabilizes your glucose levels.

If you take an apple and you eat it, you get loads of fiber in it, it fills you up. Studies show that having an apple before your meal means you’ll probably eat fewer calories in that meal. If you drink apple juice, basically, almost all the skin has been removed and all the vitamins are in the skin. A glass of juice is really just a sugar hit. And that is going to make you feel hungry, it’s going to make your insulin levels go up. It’s going to be empty calories.”



The Joys of Fresh, Plump Raspberries

Dale Carson, Indian Country Today Media Network

What’s fresh, fragrant and tastes like springtime itself? Zegweskimen (Abenaki for raspberries).

They peak from May to September in most places yet are available year round. This flavorful berry grows both wild and cultured in temperate climates worldwide. Botanists cannot decide on their origin, although Eastern Asia has two hundred known species; North America has three important species and a few minor ones as well. They are a genus of the rose family mostly in the subgenus (Idaeobatus) category, meaning perennial with woody stems and a biennial growth habit.

These juicy buds are easy to grow because all they need is water, sun and well-drained soil, plus a little mulch to keep them moist. Ninety percent of this very important commercial fruit crop in the U.S. comes from Oregon, Washington and California.

The main varieties in North America are red, black and gold. There are also purple raspberries, a hybrid blend of red and black, which are not often produced commercially. Some do grow wild in Vermont and other places where both red and black varieties grow wild. I am fairly certain those are the ones we found in profusion on this property years ago—so many that they had to be picked every couple of days for about a month.

When picking them, they should slip right off a little hollow core easily. If not, it isn’t ready; leave it on the bush to ripen further. They do have nasty stickers on the stalk, and once my mother fell backwards while picking. We were pulling those pesky, mini balls of spikes out of her back for a week.

When berry picking, not too many made it into the house to be used for freezing or cooking; picking encouraged tasting immediately for maximum flavor. It was hard not to pop every other one into your mouth. Raspberries are a great favorite of those on a low-glycemic diet, or any diet for weight loss, because they have no sodium or cholesterol. Nutrition buffs will appreciate they are high in fiber, vitamins A and C, iron and potassium.

Raspberries are highly perishable so should be used within three days of purchase. Buying loosely packed berries is best.

Raspberries play well with balsamic vinegar as evidenced by today’s popular raspberry-flavored vinaigrettes. But a simple of drizzle of balsamic across raspberries is a very unique and delicious pairing. Raspberries also make a wonderful combo with chocolate in baked items, as well as a topping for cheesecake or other desserts. A lot of people make them into sauces, jams or jelly. Native American use was not limited to pressing them into cakes as is done with chokecherries. Our ancestors (and Natives still today) also dried them for future use, boiled them with meat, or made the berries into a refreshing drink. Native use of the raspberry leaves as tea was medicinal—especially for soothing urinary tract issues, labor pains and menstrual cramps, or to prevent miscarriage in some cases.

There is a myth whose origin I cannot find, but it tells of a fox who didn’t like to eat meat. He loved raspberries and ate his fill every time he came upon them. The more he ate, the redder his fur became. This story is of the first fox, I imagine.

Elegant Raspberry-Rhubarb Dessert

For a base to this lovely offering, try a slice of pound cake, a little sponge cake, or even a homemade biscuit.

1 cup raspberries

1 cup rhubarb, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

½ cup sugar or substitute

4 tablespoons water

1 egg

1 tablespoon corn starch

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ cup sliced almonds

Put the raspberries and rhubarb in a large bowl and gently toss with the egg, cornstarch and sugar. Add the cinnamon and melted butter. Put water in a medium saucepan and bring nearly to a boil and add fruit mixture, reduce heat and stir gently until it thickens and then turn off heat. Let cool; spoon warm fruit over cake or biscuit and top with whipped cream.

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: New Native American Cooking, Native New England Cooking and A Dreamcatcher Book. She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.



World’s Largest Gathering of Nations Celebrates 30 Years of Celebrating Native and Indigenous Peoples and Cultures

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

All photos courtesy Gathering of NationsGrand Entry at the Gathering of the Nations

All photos courtesy Gathering of Nations
Grand Entry at the Gathering of the Nations

Born out of humble beginnings, the Gathering of Nations, the world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Albuquerque, New Mexico April 25-27.  Considered the most prominent pow wow in North America, it will host tens of thousands of people and more than 700 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada, and around the world honoring three decades of Native American culture and traditions through dance, music, food and indigenous dress.


The three-day event includes more than 3,000 traditional Native singers and dancers competing and entertaining a capacity crowd, and more than 800 Native artisans, craftsmen and traders displaying and selling their work.  In addition, dozens of different indigenous bands will perform various musical genres on Stage 49, and vendors will offer a wide variety of food in the Native America Food Court and Powwow Alley

As part of the Gathering of Nations, a young Native  woman is crowned Miss Indian World and represents all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador.  As one of the largest and most prestigious cultural pageants, Native American and indigenous women representing their different tribes and traditions compete in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability, and personality assessment.


“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Gathering of Nations, and we are busy planning for what we expect to be the largest and most exciting pow wow in the event’s history,” said Derek Mathews, founder of the Gathering of Nations.  “The Gathering of Nations strives to be a positive cultural experience that is exhilarating for everyone.  The pow wow features thousands of dancers performing different styles from many regions and tribes, offers the finest in Native American arts and crafts in the Indian Traders Market, a delicious variety of Native American and Southwest cuisine, and the best in contemporary performances in the arena, on Stage 49, and in Powwow Alley.”


The first Gathering of Nations was held in 1983 at the former University of Albuquerque where Derek Mathews was the Dean of Students, and a club campus adviser for the Indian Club.  Four hundred dancers competed and about 1,000 spectators attended the first year.  In 1984, the pow wow was moved to the New Mexico State Fair Grounds where it was held for two years.  Then the Gathering of Nations moved to its current location, the University of New Mexico Arena (affectionately known as “The Pit”), in 1986.  The organizers realized the Gathering of Nations had the potential to  become a larger event and decided to create the Gathering of Nations Limited, a 501 c3 non-profit organization, allowing organizers to seek financial assistance to produce the event.  Throughout the years, it grew to become the largest Native American pow wow in North America, but still honors its original intent of offering a pow wow contest that is fair to all dancers.


The Gathering of Nations is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of a new book and the launch of Gathering of Nations Internet Radio.  The book titled 30 Years of Gathering: Gathering of Nations Powwow is a look back at previous pow wows and is told through photographs and written memories.  The new book will be available in time for the event’s 30th anniversary in April.  Additionally, the Gathering of Nations Internet Radio was recently introduced on iHeartRadio offering Native  music of all genres including pow wow, rock ‘n’ roll and spoken word.

The 30th Annual Gathering of Nations begins Thursday, April 25, at “The Pit” with registration for singers and dancers and the start of the Miss Indian World competition.  The crowning of Miss Indian World will take place on Saturday, April 27.  The much anticipated “Grand Entry,” where thousands of Native American dancers simultaneously enter the stadium dressed in
colorful outfits to the sounds of hundreds of beating drums, begins at noon on Friday, April 26.

Gathering tickets cost copy7 per day, $34 for a two day pass, or $50 for a two day pass with VIP seating.  They can be purchased at the door, or in advance online through mid–April.  For participants and guests traveling to the 30th Annual Gathering of Nations from outside the state, Southwest Airlines has special airfare deals and Enterprise Rent-A-Car has an exclusive rental rate.  In addition, the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel – Albuquerque is the host hotel for the event, and is offering special rates for camping facilities at Isleta Lakes.

For more information about the 30th Annual Gathering of Nations, visit


Cabela’s teaches outdoor classes for women

Source: The Herald

Hey, sisters!

Want to learn how to cast a fly rod? Or maybe shoot a gun?

The Tulalip Cabela’s is having a day for women to do all that — and cook.

The event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 6 at Cabela’s, 9810 Quil Ceda Blvd.

Sessions are: hunting, 10 a.m.; fishing, 11 a.m.; fly fish, noon; handguns, 1 p.m.; archery, 2 p.m.; and outdoor cooking, 3 p.m.

For more information: or 360-474-4880.


For students, Tulalip Tribes’ native language a connection to the past

By Gale Fiege, The Herald
Genna Martin / The HeraldFrom left, Katie Hots, 4; Calista Weiser, 5; KC Hots, 7; Irwin Weiser, 8; Kane Hots, 5; and Aloisius Williams, 2, play Monopoly as Natasha Gobin and her spouse, Thomas Williams, make dinner at their home in Tulalip. Gobin, who teaches Lushootseed language classes, asks her children, KC, Kane, Katie and Aloisius, to count in Lushootseed as they play the game.

Genna Martin / The Herald
From left, Katie Hots, 4; Calista Weiser, 5; KC Hots, 7; Irwin Weiser, 8; Kane Hots, 5; and Aloisius Williams, 2, play Monopoly as Natasha Gobin and her spouse, Thomas Williams, make dinner at their home in Tulalip. Gobin, who teaches Lushootseed language classes, asks her children, KC, Kane, Katie and Aloisius, to count in Lushootseed as they play the game.

A long time ago, a young girl sat at the base of a cedar tree and cried.

She was all alone.

The tree asked why she was crying.

I am very sad, she said. I have no friends.

The cedar tree decided to distract the girl, and told her to pick up some of his roots.

You are going to make a basket, the tree said.

I don’t know how, the young girl said.

I will show you how, said the cedar tree.

In a classroom at the Hibulb Cultural Center at Tulalip, a group of mothers practice the pronunciation of a language that almost disappeared.

Generations ago, at government boarding schools on the Tulalip reservation, caretakers beat the young people who dared to speak their native language, called Lushootseed.

The women in the classroom say the words, taking great care. The sounds are foreign, with back-of-the-throat glottal stops, tongue clicks and exhalations from the sides of their mouths.

Lushootseed was the language of the Coast Salish people living along the inland waters of what would become Washington state. Included were the Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie, who now are part of the confederated Tulalip Tribes.

Throughout Western Washington, various tribes are working hard to keep the language alive, especially as the elders die, taking with them a firsthand knowledge of Lushootseed.

The women who make up the Tulalip Tribes’ Lushootseed Language Department are some of the few who speak it.

Natosha Gobin, 32, has been with the department since she was a Marysville Pilchuck High School student volunteering at the tribes’ annual summer language camp. She started her seventh annual language class for families in February; the eight-week class ended on Tuesday.

The women start this final class by practicing in Lushootseed some commands such as “wait,” “hurry up,” “get ready” and other motherly things they plan to say at home.

“Pronunciation is crucial,” Gobin says. “You don’t want to ask your daughter to brush her hair and then have it sound like you want her to brush her squirrel.”

Using Lushootseed is not a female-only avocation. Some dads attend class when they can, but it’s primarily mothers in their 30s who have the passion for it.

Their children, who soak up the Lushootseed they are taught in their Montessori preschool on the reservation, color pictures of animals and birds in an adjacent classroom and practice the Lushootseed words for them. Occasionally a child runs into the adult classroom to exchange a picture for a kiss.

“When I think about traditional upbringing of children, the women took the kids along when they dug roots and went clam digging, while the men hunted and fished,” Gobin said. “Educating the children was a mother’s job, and that still carries through in many ways. It’s the nurturing and mothering bone in our bodies.”

So the young girl gathered up some cedar tree roots to make a basket.

When she was done weaving as the tree had instructed, she showed off her basket.

Go to the river, the cedar said to the girl. Dip the basket in and gather up some water. Then bring it back.

But the water was dripping from the basket and by the time she got back to the tree it was almost empty.

The cedar tree told the young girl to weave the basket again. This time, the tree said, it must be tighter.

The girl was upset, but she did not give up.

Before the settlers, Lushootseed was spoken from south Puget Sound near Olympia north to the Skagit River watershed, and from Hood Canal east to the Cascade Range.

It was not a written language.

Northern Lushootseed was used by the Skagit, Samish, Swinomish, Stillaguamish, Sauk-Suiattle and others. Southern Lushootseed was the language of the Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Nisqually, Skokomish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie and others. The Snohomish people spoke a mix of northern and southern dialects.

In the 1960s, a few elders in the region could still tell the ancient stories of the Coast Salish people.

That’s when Vi Hilbert, a member of the Upper Skagit tribe, began to help University of Washington linguist Thom Hess and music teacher Leon Metcalf record the language. Hess devised the system for written Lushootseed, with a symbol for each sound. Hilbert, who died in 2008, went on to become a revered teacher of the language and the author of numerous books.

In a video recording of Hilbert made a few decades ago, she talks about believing that the Creator had wrapped around her the work of keeping Lushootseed alive.Natosha Gobin shares the feeling.

“This is what I was meant to do,” Gobin said. “When I was a kid, I could say dog, cat, owl, goodbye and a cuss word. Now I dream in Lushootseed. My colleagues and I have attained a level of fluency. And we are better now than we were five years ago.”

The language department also includes Toby Langen, who learned Lushootseed from the Moses family and worked with Hess at the University of Washington; Michele Balagot, who teaches in the preschool, runs the summer language camp and has a master’s degree in education; and Michelle Myles, who teaches children and college students and has a bachelor’s degree. Four others are in training to be teachers who may soon help teach Lushootseed in the elementary schools and at Heritage High School.

Gobin, who earned an associate degree in Native American studies, has worked for the department for nearly 13 years.

A great-grandmother on her father’s side was one of those beaten for speaking Lushootseed.

“She didn’t want the family to be harmed, so she stopped speaking our language,” Gobin said. Along with banning the language among children, government officials tried to stop the practice of potlatches and other cultural traditions among the tribes.

“On my mother’s side, my great-grandmother Elsie spoke our language at home, as some people still do, with friends and family. My grandmother Della would sit underneath the kitchen table and listen to them joke and giggle together. That same great-grandmother also tried to keep the language going by teaching classes in the community. That’s where I get my passion for it.”

Not everyone shares that passion or can take the time to learn the language, Gobin said.

“We live in a fast-paced world and I understand that,” she said. “But we will keep trying to reach out to share it. That’s what my grandfather, Bernie Gobin, would have wanted me to do.”

The second time the young girl came back from the river, only about half the water had leaked out of the basket.

She tried a third time, but the basket was still not woven tight enough and a few drops leaked out.

On the fourth try, she did her best work.

She returned to the cedar tree with the basket full of water.

Your basket is very nice, the tree said. You did such good work and you did not give up.

The first hour of the family language class is spent eating supper, usually pizza and salad. It’s a time to relax and share the news of the day. After the children are dismissed to their activities, the parents get to work.

This year, the class curriculum focused on words and phrases that could be used in everyday conversation at home. The goal is to keep the children speaking what they have learned already, Gobin said.

The moms ask Gobin for resources, such as flash cards, translations of family songs, framed phrases to hang up around the house and a phonetic pronunciation guide.

The word in Lushootseed for sibling is very similar to the term for cousin. Since many of the women in the class are related, there is a familial atmosphere.

“The women here are comfortable with each other. We want the same thing,” said Udora Andrade, 31, a mother of two. “We want our kids to understand the ancestors and claim the cultural habits.”

Clarissa Young-Weiser, 30, is Tulalip and Shoshone-Bannock. She and her children, Erwin, 8, and Calista, 5, often practice Lushootseed or listen to recordings of the language in their van on the way to school or the store.

With the kids confined in the car, it is a good time for them to help her refine her pronunciation.

Young-Weiser plans to take Gobin’s class every year and each summer to put her children in the language camp. It is important because she grew up without a focus on American Indian culture, Young-Weiser said.

“At one point, I thought about learning another language, like French, but later it clicked for me that I really didn’t want a foreign language, I wanted my language,” she said. “I want my kids to be able to speak to each other in Lushootseed. I want them to know who they are. I want them perhaps to have the honor of being asked someday to offer up prayers for the community in their tribe’s language.”

Norene Warbus, 32, married into the tribe. She and her husband, Shane, teach their children at home, where they work on Lushootseed together.

“I want my children to be able to tell the tribe’s stories in their language,” she said.

Her friend Zee Jimicum says her own focus on the language is not about studying the past, but looking to the future.

“I wasn’t raised at Tulalip, so I missed out on traditional storytelling,” Jimicum said. “So for me, it’s about revitalizing the language and the culture. Besides, when I use one-word Lushootseed commands on my kids, they say ‘Ooh-kaay.'”

Brianne DiStefano, 33, is taking college courses in Lushootseed, as well as the family class with her children.

“It’s an enlightening process, getting to know more about one’s own people and the way they thought,” DiStefano said. “It’s not surprising that the class is mostly women. The Idle No More movement, which is sort of the American Indian Movement of today, was organized by native women in Canada. As mothers, we care about tribal sovereignty, the environment and natural resources. We’re not just thinking of ourselves, but of everyone who lives in America.”

Now, take your basket and give it to the oldest woman in the village, the cedar tree told the young girl.

The girl was upset about having to give away her first basket, but she loved the elders.

Back in the village, there was a gathering. The speaker granted the girl permission to present her basket.

The oldest woman in the village was happy and excited to receive the young girl’s first basket.

The woman knew how difficult it had been for the girl, but she was pleased that the skill had been handed down.

— “Her First Basket,” a traditional Coast Salish story

At American Indian naming ceremonies, funerals, potlatches and other gatherings that require witnesses, traditional items are given to those witnesses. Children of the Tulalip Tribes learn to respect the speakers at these events and to listen intently. They also learn that when they first make a craft, it must be set aside to be given away at a gathering.

The grandparents at Tulalip are always pleased about young children learning traditional ways, Gobin said.

“I yell at my kids, but I want them to learn all the teachings. I want them to be seen and not heard,” she said. “It is not for my benefit. It is so they learn to be good people.”

Gobin has four children: KC, 7, Kane, 6, Katie, 4, and 2-year-old Aloisius.

They understand her commands in Lushootseed, and most of the time they comply. The language is part of the routine at home.

“In a world where they will be labeled, often negatively, I hope my children will know who they are,” she said. “The words of our language have depth and are empowering. It feels spiritual to speak it and to understand it. It teaches our values, such as respect for one another and the world around us. Sometimes we forget what is important and what life is really all about, but the language connects us with our ancestors.”

When Gobin was pregnant with her oldest child, she had the idea that she would raise a first speaker of Lushootseed and not immediately speak English with him.

“The hard part was that I wasn’t as fluent back then and I was really the only one around him speaking Lushootseed,” Gobin said. “When KC got to preschool, he came home and said, ‘My teacher, Miss Virginia, knows how to talk like you, Mom.’ I told him, ‘It’s our language, son.’ Then I realized my kids were thinking their mom was a nut case. They thought what I was saying wasn’t real. I told KC, ‘It’s real, son. It’s real.’ ”

At the last class on Tuesday, Gobin thanked her students and presented Tulalip language department T-shirts to all.

“Without you,” she said, “I am just that crazy lady talking to myself. You make my job worthwhile, because it’s not about me, but about a language that belongs to a whole region of people.”

Gobin said she will never stop teaching or speaking Lushootseed.

“I’m a lifer. I will not give up. I will be one of those elders who talks to the kids and continues to tell our stories.”

Listen and learn

Learn more about Vi Hilbert and hear her tell stories in Lushootseed and English at

Learn more about the Tulalip Tribes’ Lushootseed Language Department and its classes, and check out audio and video clips at

Eagle Eggs Expected to Hatch in Time for Easter

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

YouTube. Superman settling in for his afternoon shift.

YouTube. Superman settling in for his afternoon shift.

Recently on Santa Catalina Island, California a majestic bald eagle laid three eggs that are scheduled to hatch this Easter weekend!

The Pet Collective’s YouTube page is streaming incredible, live footage featuring lifemates and soon-to-be parents Wray, a 27-year-old female from British Columbia, and K01 (affectionately nicknamed “Superman”), a 13-year-old male hatched at the San Francisco Zoo and released onto Catalina when he was 12 days old.

In late February and early March, Wray laid her three eggs in the pair’s cliffside nest overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Eagle eggs incubate for about 35 days, marking at least one of these beloved eagle chicks to be born over Easter weekend.



Warm, dry weekend: 70 may be in reach

Source: The Seattle Times

Sun, sun and more sun: The Easter weekend forecast is  guaranteed to delight many Puget Sounders, with the hint of a 70-degree day on Sunday.

After a few isolated showers Friday, the warmest stretch of the year is expected to kick in, with temperatures building through the weekend.

“Right now, we’re officially forecasting upper 60s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few spots hit 70 on Sunday,” said Gary Schneider of the National Weather Service, saying areas east of Lake Washington are likely to be warmer than Seattle

Forecast highs for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are 60 today, 64 on Saturday and 69 on Sunday.  On Monday, the forecast calls for temperatures to ease back into the lower 60s, but no rain is expected until a chance of showers arrives on Wednesday.

The last 70-degree day at the airport was Oct. 8 of last year. The highest temperature so far this year has been 62, on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Wood Heat and Your Health: Invitation to Participate in Survey

TULALIP – Fires have a long cultural tradition at Tulalip, and heating a home with wood is both affordable and comfortable. But wet wood, an old stove, a broken seal, or even just cold outside air means our cozy fires can create too much smoke and soot. When this happens, some in our community can be at risk of asthma episodes and even premature heart attacks.  For our kids, woodsmoke is one reason they cough, wheeze and get more infections in the wintertime, when we use wood heat more often. For adults with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, woodsmoke is known to put more of those folks in the hospital. Others at risk include elders, because woodsmoke weakens their body’s ability to fight off infections.

The good news is that there are things we can do to burn cleaner and safer. In fact, there are many solutions, like drying (seasoning) your wood, upgrading to a new wood stove, or using the clean-burning Presto type log.  The Tulalip Air and Indoor Environment program wants to know which solutions work best here at Tulalip, so that we can then seek grants and resources. To do this, we’d like to invite those who rely on wood heat (burn more than four times a week), and have a tribal member living in the home, to participate in a survey. It takes about 35-40 minutes and can be done on-line or over the phone. When you are finished, we will send you a $30 gift card. Our goal is to learn more about burning practices, firewood use, and health effects. (All information will be confidential and will be used to help us find programs and funding for cleaner wood heat.)

To find out if you are eligible to participate in the survey, please contact Gillian Mittelstaedt, Tulalip Air and Indoor Environment Program, at (206)512-3293, or by email:

Easter Bunny visits Montessori students

Photos by Jeannie Briones

IMG_4925Easter may be a few days away, but on March 29th kids at the Tulalip Montessori School got an early visit from the Easter Bunny.

After much smiling, laughing and hugging, the kids made a dash through the playground, hunting for candy and eggs, which they stashed in their own hand-decorated bags.

Easter bunny








Tribal member Zakk Boehme

Tribal member Peyton Gobin.