Father of Marysville-Pilchuck shooter arrested on gun charge

(Photo: Sketch by Peter Millett)

(Photo: Sketch by Peter Millett)


Travis Pittman, KING 5 News

SEATTLE – The gun used by Marsyville-Pilchuck High School shooter Jaylen Fryberg to kill four classmates and himself last year was illegally purchased by his father, according to federal court documents.

Raymond Lee Fryberg, 42, appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon on unlawful possession of firearms.

Raymond Fryberg was under a permanent protection order from Tulalip Tribal Court after Raymond’s then-girlfriend claimed in 2002 that he had threatened and assaulted her.

In 2012, Raymond pleaded no contest after being charged with violating the order and was sentenced to a year of probation.

As part of the protection order, Raymond was not allowed to purchase firearms. But the court documents reveal that he purchased five firearms from a Cabela’s store in Tulalip, Wash., between January 2013 and July 2014. When he purchased the guns, he falsely indicated on the purchasing agreement that he was not under a protection order.

Investigators at the Marysville-Pilchuck shooting on October 24, 2014, later identified the gun that Jaylen Fryberg used – a Baretta PX4 Storm – as the one of the guns Raymond Fryberg purchased.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot and killed his cousin Andrew Fryberg, 15; Gia Soriano, 14; Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14; and Zoe Galasso, 14 inside the school cafeteria. Jaylen also wounded 14-year-old Nate Hatch before turning the gun on himself.

Statement from Marysville superintendent Dr. Becky Berg:

“We are saddened by this morning’s news. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families, our students, staff and community as we continue through the long process of recovery. This is part of an ongoing investigation and all questions related to this matter should be deferred to the FBI.”

Statement from Cabela’s:

“Cabela’s strictly complies with federal, state and local laws regulating the sale of firearms. Cabela’s records indicate the transaction was processed in compliance with applicable regulations, including background checks.”

Statement from Tulalip Tribes Chairman Herman Williams

“The Tulalip Police Department continues to coordinate with federal authorities. It is not our policy to comment on an active investigation and at this time we have no further information to share. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be focused on the victims, their families, and the healing of our communities impacted by the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting.”

Father of Washington School Shooter Arrested on Gun Charge

By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press

The father of a Washington state high school student who killed four classmates and himself last fall was arrested Tuesday on a federal charge that he was barred from possessing the gun his son used in the shooting.

Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr., 42, faces one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. An FBI agent alleged in a criminal complaint that even though Fryberg was subject to a domestic violence protection order, he purchased five guns from a Cabela’s outdoor recreation store, including the Beretta pistol his son used in the shooting, by lying on a federal form.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, a well-liked freshman who had recently been a Homecoming prince, inexplicably shot and killed four friends and wounded another last October after inviting them to lunch in the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle.

“Our office has a long history of working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners across Western Washington to prosecute those who illegally possess firearms,” Annette Hayes, the acting U.S. attorney in Seattle, said in a news release. “This case is part of that effort and a reminder that we are united in our commitment to get firearms out of the hands of those who pose the greatest risk to our communities.”

Fryberg was due to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday afternoon. Federal court records did not indicate whether he had a lawyer.

According to the complaint, Fryberg’s then-girlfriend, the mother of one of his children, obtained a protection order against him in Tulalip Tribal Court in 2002, alleging that he had threatened her, slapped her and pulled her hair.

The order became permanent, and in September 2012, Fryberg entered a no-contest plea to a charge that he violated it. He was given a suspended sentence of six months and ordered again to comply with the terms of the order.

Just four months later, Fryberg went to a Cabela’s store on the Tulalip reservation and purchased the Beretta, the complaint said. He answered “no” on a federal form asking if he was subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking or threatening a child or intimate partner, and he answered the same when he filled out forms for the purchase of four other weapons at the store between January 2013 and July 2014, the complaint said.

State Sen. John McCoy, a member of the Tulalip Tribe, said he didn’t know Fryberg had been subject to a restraining order.

“That’s exceptionally troublesome to me,” McCoy said. “It points me to the issue we’ve been arguing about in the state, that people are not going to tell the truth when they fill out the forms to buy a gun, so maybe we should have a registry of people who are subject to these orders. That’ll be more fodder for discussion.”

Pollution partially closes nearly 500 acres of Portage Bay shellfish beds

Ralph Solomon holds clams at the sea sea pond on the Lummi Reservation in this 2003 photo, shortly before the tribe reopened shellfish beds that were closed in 1996 due to poor water quality.THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Ralph Solomon holds clams at the sea sea pond on the Lummi Reservation in this 2003 photo, shortly before the tribe reopened shellfish beds that were closed in 1996 due to poor water quality.


By Kie Relyea, Bellingham Herald


LUMMI RESERVATION — Commercial shellfish harvesting is being banned on nearly 500 acres of Portage Bay for about half the year because of worsening water quality caused by fecal coliform bacteria, the Washington state Department of Health announced Tuesday, March 24.

Portage Bay is home to Lummi Nation’s ceremonial, subsistence and commercial shellfish beds.

State health officials last week changed the classification of nearly 500 of the 1,300 commercial shellfish harvesting acres in the bay from “approved” to “conditionally approved” because of water quality. That means harvesting in the conditionally approved area will be closed each year April through June and again October through December.

Those are the months when tests show the bay is affected by polluted runoff from the Nooksack River carrying higher levels of bacteria into the shellfish harvesting area, the state said.

The partial closure will remain until water quality improves, said Scott Berbells, manager of the growing area section for the department’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

The state’s action follows one taken by Lummi Nation in September, when the tribe closed 335 acres in Portage Bay to shellfish harvesting.

The tribe consulted with the state Department of Health and volunteered to do so Sept. 3 after levels exceeded federal standards for commercial shellfish harvest.

Those 335 acres are within the 500 acres downgraded by the state.

“This closure is devastating for the approximately 200 families on the Lummi Reservation who make their living harvesting shellfish,” Lummi Nation Chairman Timothy Ballew II said in a news release.

Fecal coliform bacteria come from human and animal feces. The bacteria enter Whatcom County’s waterways in several ways — horse and cow manure, pet and wildlife waste, and failing septic systems — and indicate there could be pathogens absorbed by the shellfish that may sicken people who eat them.

This isn’t the first time the tribe has closed its shellfish beds in Portage Bay because of fecal coliform pollution. It did so in 1996 because of high levels of fecal coliform in the Nooksack River and streams that empty into Portage Bay.

At that time, the state Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency led a cleanup plan using state legislation approved in 1998 that required dairy farms to undergo routine inspections and create written plans for how they would contain manure and prevent it from washing into public waterways. Before 1998, dairy farms were inspected only if a complaint was made about a farmer.

Failing septic systems and municipal sewage systems also were addressed.

The effort cleaned up the Nooksack River and its tributaries and allowed 625 acres of tribal shellfish beds to reopen in 2003, and the last 115 acres to reopen three years later.

“During the last 10-year closure, the tribal community lost jobs and millions in revenue. Ultimately, the closure affects all Lummi people because this shellfish area is sacred to our people and critical to our way of life,” Ballew said.

In recent years, the Lummis have expressed concern about water quality once again degrading because cuts to budgets and enforcement created regulatory gaps.

State officials also have been warning about worsening water quality.

“We’ve seen declining water quality in Portage Bay since about 2008. A number of stations have been steadily getting worse,” Barbells said.

Cleanup efforts are once again underway in the watershed.

In 2014, Whatcom County received funding from the EPA to strengthen a locally led effort to identify and clean up pollution sources.

Lummi Natural Resources, Whatcom Conservation District, and the state departments of Health, Agriculture and Ecology are working with Whatcom County and the Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District on the Portage Bay cleanup.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/03/24/4204838_pollution-partially-closes-nearly.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Peaceful place helps keep MP shooting victim’s memory alive

Mark Mulligan / The HeraldGia Soriano's cousins, 11-year-old Gabby (left) and 14-year-old Titan (middle), with Gia's brother, 11-year-old Anthony Soriano, on a memorial bench Gia's grandmother, Elaine, had installed in Legion Park in Everett. Gia Soriano was killed in the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School last year. The family will celebrate Gia's birthday at the park on March 31.

Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Gia Soriano’s cousins, 11-year-old Gabby (left) and 14-year-old Titan (middle), with Gia’s brother, 11-year-old Anthony Soriano, on a memorial bench Gia’s grandmother, Elaine, had installed in Legion Park in Everett. Gia Soriano was killed in the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School last year. The family will celebrate Gia’s birthday at the park on March 31.


By Andrea Brown, The Herald


EVERETT — This Tuesday would have been Gia Soriano’s 15th birthday.

Her name should be on a learner’s permit. Instead, it’s on a memorial park bench.

Gia Christine Soriano was among the four students fatally shot by a classmate in the Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria on Oct. 24. She died two days later.

A bench was recently installed in her honor in Everett’s Legion Memorial Park, overlooking Port Gardner Bay.

It’s a place where her family, her friends and the community can come to remember the sweet girl with the radiant smile.

An intimate birthday gathering is planned March 31 at the bench, which sits about 100 feet from Gia’s paternal grandparents’ home bordering the park.

“When Gia died, I thought right away we are going to get a bench,” said grandmother Elaine Soriano, who led the project. “I know how much people enjoy coming for the view. I wanted it to be close to my house, so when I get old I can still get to the bench.”

She ordered the bench from Everett Parks and Recreation Department and paid the $3,500 herself. Donations reimbursed her the cost.

Many of Gia’s close relatives live in Everett, where the family has strong ties.

“I drive by here all the time on my way to work,” said Gia’s father, Bryan Soriano, a longshoreman like his father. “At first it was hard that it was here. You show up and it’s real. It just reminds you. Just like going to the cemetery is hard, too. It’s still fresh.”

Embedded in the concrete base of the bench is a tiny silver angel. A plaque has an inscription with Gia’s initials framing the sentence: “God’s Incredible Angel.”

The bench is a bittersweet monument.


Mark Mulligan / The HeraldElaine Soriano worked with Everett Parks & Recreation to install a memorial bench for her granddaughter Gia Soriano at Legion Memorial Park in Everett.

Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Elaine Soriano worked with Everett Parks & Recreation to install a memorial bench for her granddaughter Gia Soriano at Legion Memorial Park in Everett.


“It gives some solid ground to how we’re feeling,” said Gia’s mother, Susan Soriano. “It’s a statement and it’s here for life, where she isn’t.”

The park is a calm spot with a backdrop of sparkling waves and multicolored skies.

“A soft-spoken place for a soft-spoken girl,” her mom said. “Because that’s what she was, so I think it’s perfect.”

The bench looks festive, with big shiny bows and colorful flowers.

It contrasts with the aching void that family members face trying to cope with the loss of Gia and the violent way her life was taken from them.

“Everything is different now,” said Gia’s mom.

“Everything is hard,” said Gia’s aunt, Gay Soriano. “I was registering my son Titan for high school the other day and I just started bawling in a room full of people. You can’t get it out of your head. It’s turned everything and everybody upside down.”

“It ruined our family,” said Gay’s daughter, 11-year-old Gabby, who idolized Gia. “It made a gap and it did that to the other families, too. It makes me really angry and mad and sad.”

Gabby sees a grief counselor and speaks openly about her anguish and anger.

“The boys, on the other hand, I worry about,” Gay Soriano said. “Boys don’t say much. They’re thinking about it. They just don’t verbalize it like Gabby.”

After the photo session on the bench, Titan and Gia’s brother, Anthony, 11, raced around the park and climbed a tree.

Gabby soon joined them, wearing Gia’s gray “PINK” sweatshirt.

Gia’s gravesite is in Evergreen Cemetery.

“My daughter and I go to the cemetery a lot,” Gay Soriano said. “This is a better place for people in the community and her friends from school to gather and remember her. It’s more of a grounding place. Where it’s located and how the sun sets on it every day is kind of a special thing.”


Mark Mulligan / The HeraldEmbedded in the concrete base of the bench is a tiny silver angel. A plaque has an inscription with Gia's initials framing the sentence: “God's Incredible Angel.”

Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Embedded in the concrete base of the bench is a tiny silver angel. A plaque has an inscription with Gia’s initials framing the sentence: “God’s Incredible Angel.”


Elaine Soriano and her husband, John, a retired longshoreman, moved to the house adjacent to the park 25 years ago. They wanted a place for the generations to gather. It didn’t get better than having a park right outside the door to play and picnic.

Gia’s dad, Bryan, is the youngest of the couple’s six children. All graduated from Everett High School, as did Elaine and John.

“Giovanni” is John’s birth name, but he got it legally changed when he was 12 for something less Italian and more mainstream.

“All the kids think Giovanni was a neat great name,” Elaine Soriano said. “So Gia was going to be Giovanni if she was a boy.”

There are other memorial benches in the park, but Gia’s is closest to their home.

The grandmother picked the spot. “We’d have leaf fights and walk through the puddles over there, and just run around,” she said. “We had so much fun.”

Elaine Soriano laments it was supposed to be her name on the bench, not her granddaughter’s. “I always told my children I would like a bench in the park,” she said.

The park bench helps her carry on. “Gia would say, ‘Ohhh, this is neat.’”

It’s in plain view from her living room. She keeps tabs on who’s visiting the bench and freshens the flowers. When she’s not home, an angel statue faces out the window to keep watch.

“I’m going to get a little cute mailbox and let people leave a note for Anthony. Or Grandma Elaine,” she said. “A metal mailbox to hang on the side of the bench. I guess I have to ask the parks department first. I’ll tell them I’ll just tie it on with ribbon.”

The house is a shrine to Gia, with pillows and ribbons in purple, the teen’s favorite color, and numerous photos of her stages of life. A favorite is of Gia in her dress at the homecoming dance days before the shooting.

“We have 15 grandchildren,” Elaine Soriano said.

She includes Gia in the count.

Gia’s childhood drawings and Baptismal dress hang along the hallway. She is ever-present.

The park bench on Alverson Boulevard is about a mile from Providence Regional Medical Center Everett where Gia was rushed after the shooting that ended hers and the other young lives at the lunch table that day. Zoe Galasso, 14, Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, also died, as did the shooter, 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg, who killed himself. Nate Hatch, 15, is the only survivor. All the victims were shot in the head.

“There was nothing they could do. We knew that from day one. They gave it to us straight up,” Gia’s father said.

During their bedside vigil at Providence, her mother showed Everett neurosurgeon Dr. Sanford Wright Gia’s school homecoming photo.

“I wanted him to see what she looked like,” she said, “because she looked so different in the hospital.”

The parents praise the medical team.

“We couldn’t have been in a better place. I’m glad we didn’t end up down in Seattle,” Bryan Soriano said.

“The reason we kept her alive for a few more days was for her organs. We’re glad we donated the organs because we got a letter that was just beautiful. It told us where all her organs went. It didn’t say who, their names, it just said their gender and age and what they received. Her liver. Her kidney. Her lungs. A 10-year-old got her corneas, so he can see now.

“They couldn’t use her heart. That would have been the best thing to give somebody, was her heart.”


Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.



Friends of Peace Scholarship

A scholarship at Everett High School has been established in memory of Gia Soriano and Zoe Galasso, two students killed Oct. 24 in the Marysville Pilchuck High School shootings.

The Friends of Peace Scholarship was created by friends and former teachers in honor of the students’ parents, Bryan and Susan Soriano and Michael and Michelle Galasso. The Sorianos and Michelle Galasso are alumni of Everett High.

The scholarship will be granted to an Everett High graduating senior who has overcome a traumatic life experience and who is interested in pursuing more education after high school.

The scholarship will be managed by the Everett Public Schools Foundations. Donations may be sent to Everett Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 3112, Everett, WA 98213 or online at epsfoundation.org, referencing the Friends of Peace Scholarship.

For more information, send email to jlevin@everettsd.org or call 425-385-4693.

Hungry Sea Lions Pile Into The Columbia River

The latest sea lion count in Astoria's East Mooring Basin was a record 2,340, shattering last year's record 1,420.

The latest sea lion count in Astoria’s East Mooring Basin was a record 2,340, shattering last year’s record 1,420. Theresa Tillson/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


by Cassandra Profita OPB


California sea lions are literally piling into Astoria’s East Mooring Basin. They’ve taken over every square foot of the boat docks, and they’re even lying on top of each other for lack of space.

The latest sea lion count in the marina tallied a record 2,340 – a “mind-boggling number,” according to Bryan Wright of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Meanwhile California is seeing starving sea lion pups washing up on shore.

There’s probably a connection there, according to Nate Mantua, research scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mantua said unusually warm water temperatures in the Pacific stretching from the Gulf of Alaska all the way to Mexico have likely affected the fish seals and sea lions typically eat in the ocean. The population of sardines, one of the staples of their diet, is experiencing a major crash. Meanwhile, millions of smelt returned to the Columbia River this year.

“The male sea lions that migrate up the coast in the spring and winter, they’re probably having a hard time finding food in the usual places where they forage,” he said. “Whereas the lower Columbia River has a relative abundance of food with the smelt run and the early stages of the salmon run.”


Sea lions cover the boat docks in Astoria's East Mooring Basin.Sea lions cover the boat docks in Astoria’s East Mooring Basin. Steve Jeffries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Wright said biologists have noticed a jump in sea lion numbers in the lower Columbia River that corresponds with several years of strong smelt runs in the river.

The usual sea lion counts in Astoria’s East Mooring Basin ranged from 100-300. Last year set a record with 1,420 sea lions. This year’s numbers shatter that record.

“It’s doubled and then doubled again and then increased even more, not quite doubling this year,” Wright said. “This year we’ve had a record number of California sea lions in the lower river near Astoria, following on the last two years, which at the time were historic numbers.”

Steve Jeffries, marine mammal biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, photographed a huge group of 6,422 harbor seals at the mouth of the Columbia last month. He said seals also follow the smelt runs, which have been significant the past two years.


More than 6,000 harbor seals were documented near the mouth of the Columbia River at Desdemona Sands.More than 6,000 harbor seals were documented near the mouth of the Columbia River at Desdemona Sands. Steve Jeffries/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

He noted the California sea lion population of around 300,000 “is about as large as it’s ever been,” so changes in food availability are more likely to have an impact. In California, warm water has shifted the sea lions’ food base farther from shore, where females have their pups, he said.

“The females have to forage farther out, and they basically abandon their pups because they have to search farther and longer,” he said. “Their normal prey they eat has been disrupted. So they spend more time foraging and at some point their pups have to nurse.”

Wright said a big question now is how many sea lions will stay in the Columbia River and eat returning spring salmon. Oregon and Washington have authorization to kill some of the sea lions to protect threatened salmon and steelhead at Bonneville Dam.

A new bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., would allow tribal members to kill sea lions and harbor seals to protect fish.

Veterans Gather to Honor One Another in Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration


Retiring of the flags is performed by veterans during the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Retiring of the flags is performed by veterans during the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – A celebration was held today at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club to mark the national ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.’

Due to the unpopularity of the conflict, veterans returning home were often forgotten and abused, suffering years of post stress disorder. In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution to provide Vietnam veterans a proper welcome home.  March 30, the day all U.S. troops and support-troops withdrew from Vietnam, was designated a national day of welcome. The resolution authored by North Carolina senator Richard Burr called the resolution, “a day to give our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home.”

A friendship round dance is performed by attendees to the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

A friendship round dance is performed by attendees to the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces had lost their lives while more than 300,000 were wounded during the conflict.

Today veterans in the Tulalip community came together to celebrate all the veterans who returned home and to honor those who lost their lives serving their country.

Veterans of the Tulalip community perform a song for veterans during the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Veterans of the Tulalip community perform a song for veterans during the, Sunday, March 29, 2015, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration held at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

The celebration was organized by Tulalip veteran Andy James who served in the Marines during the conflict. The event featured a potluck style meal and small pow wow.

Thank you to all those who have served. We honor your sacrifice and welcome you home.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

MARYSVILLE: NW Washington Delegation Applauds Announcement That Marysville School District Will Receive SERV Grant

Grant allows Marysville School District to reimburse school officials for overtime in wake of school shooting last October

Source: Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) applauded the announcement that their request for federal support for Marysville School District has been approved. The grant of $50,000 will go to the school district in the next several days. After the devastating shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in October 2014, Senators Murray and Cantwell and Reps. Larsen and DelBene wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on January 12th, 2015 for a grant to help offset the costs the district incurred in the aftermath of the shooting.

“I am so glad to see the Marysville community receive support to help compensate staff and personnel who acted as heroes after such a tragic event, sacrificing their time, energy, and resources to the school,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This is just a small step in helping them down the long road of recovery, and I know that Marysville is strong enough to keep moving forward while remembering the loved ones lost that day last October.”

“My focus remains on helping the Marysville community heal from this terrible tragedy, and I welcome today’s announcement that vital support is coming for the Marysville-Pilchuck School District,”said Senator Maria Cantwell. “We stand with students, school employees and area residents who were affected, and are inspired by the resilience and unity this community has shown.”

“The Marysville and Tulalip communities remain resilient and strong after last year’s tragedy, and I hope this grant will offer additional support as students, teachers, families and the communities continue to recover,” said Congressman Larsen.
“After a tragedy like this, lives are changed forever and we will always remember the young lives lost,” said Congresswoman DelBene. “I hope these funds help those who gave their time and expertise to support their community in the aftermath of this heartbreaking event.”

Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) grants, issued through the Department of Education, provide funding for short- and long-term education- related services for school districts and institutions of higher education to help these educational institutions recover from violent or traumatic events. The Project SERV grant going to the Marysville School District will help reimburse the school district for transportation expenditures, as extra funds were needed to ensure students were able to get to school, as well as costs for substitute teachers, who stood in for classroom staff who were unable to immediately return to work following the tragedy.

Click here to see the letter the members wrote requesting the grant in January.

Tulalip team sweeps through game tournament

Jay Miranda, Tulalip Boys & Girls Club games room director stands in front of the special display that houses the medals won in the March 7, 2015 Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County Games Tournament. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Jay Miranda, Tulalip Boys & Girls Club games room director stands in front of the special display that houses the medals won in the March 7, 2015 Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County Games Tournament. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – Tulalip Boys & Girls Club gaming team had an incredible performance at this year’s annual Snohomish County Boys & Girls Club Game Tournament on March 7. Players in the Tulalip team took home 12 medals including several first place spots, in a variety of game categories.

The annual event brings together club teams from around the county to compete in games such as bumper pool, checkers, pool, foosball, ping-pong and card games. This year the event was held at the Everett Boys & Girls Club.

The Tulalip team placed in the top three slots for each game category. Tulalip club members Gaylan Grey placed first in checkers and pool, and second in bumper pool. Terrance Phillips second in ping-pong, Mauricio Garcia first in foosball, Joshua Miranda third in pool, and Maximo Gonzalez third in checkers. Matthew Miranda placed first in ping-pong and second in foosball, while Marcella Gonzalez placed second in speed cards and Ayrik Miranda placed first in pool and third in bumper pool.

Tulalip Games Room Director Jay Miranda explains the tournament is more than just a bunch of kids playing games. Unlike other popular sport choices such as basketball and football, games in the tournament are played individually. They also help the kids develop skills that they can use later in life.

Medals won during the March 7, 2015 Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County hang in a special display area inside the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club. (Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Medals won during the March 7, 2015 Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County hang in a special display area inside the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.
(Tulalip News Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

“These games teach the kids strategic thinking, along with critical thinking skills. Bumper pool and pool are games about angles which helps in math at school because they have to look at the angles before they make their move. They have to calculate before they shoot,” said Miranda, who has been the director for just under year and incorporates a philosophy of fair play and respect with players.

“I tell the kids, when you get older you will learn life isn’t fair, but as long as you keep trying you will overcome the things that seem unfair in life. I tell them to always play to win,” said Miranda.

Unlike other clubs in the Boys & Girls Club of America chain, the club at Tulalip is uniquely tailored to the population it serves, which has a large percentage of Native American youth.

“We teach more than just the rules of the games. We teach about having morals and standards for personal growth and we incorporate traditional cultural teachings in our club,” Miranda said. “If there was no games room it would impact the other departments in the club with an overflow of kids. The games room gives them a competitive outlet. If we lose the games room, the kids lose the feeling of accomplishment.”

“This year was a great accomplishment,” Miranda said. “In last year’s tournament we had only three players, but this year we had seven and they did great.”


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com





Recycling: It’s our way of looking out for our great-great-grandkids

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling benefits your community and the environment. As a sovereign tribal nation, the Tulalip Tribes’ core values includes conserving natural resources and sustaining our surrounding environment for future generations. That is why two years ago the Tulalip Tribes set out to implement a tribal wide recycling initiative.

The Solid Waste department was renamed the Solid Waste and Recycling department and was put in charge of the step-by-step process to bring a recycle, reduce, and reuse mantra to the reservation.

The first step took place on the tribal government level. The Tulalip and Quil Ceda Village (QCV) administration buildings received new recycling bins that separated cans, paper, and plastic into their own compartments. These bins were placed in specific common areas of each floor within the Tulalip Administration Building. In some cases, like the commonly populated first floor reception area and second floor lunch area, more specific type of recycling collection bins were used. These bins designated trash/organic, cans, plastic, and white paper only into their compartment.

What started out as voluntary program with the larger, more specific recycling bins on each floor had to evolve as it was observed employees were continuing to put their recyclables in their desk-side garbage bin. The bottom line was that it was more convenient to put recyclables in the desk-side garbage, rather than getting up and walking to the end of isle recycling bins.

“When we started our recycling program about two years ago it was a very small program. Mostly only our tribal government buildings were participating,” says Sam Davis, Solid Waste and Recycling Manager. “There wasn’t a lot of participation. People weren’t getting up and going to the end of the isles to dispose of their recycling, so last year I decided to make it easier and more convenient for everyone. We got these little desk-side recycling bins. We put the recycling bins at each and every desk. In all, we put over 700 desk-side recycling bins in tribal government buildings and Quil Ceda Village.”

Staff at Solid Waste and Recycling noticed a huge increase of recycling output once the smaller bins were put desk-side. It showed that Tulalip employees were consciously aware of what they could and couldn’t recycle, but the recycling program has to be convenient as well.

In 2014, with the larger end-of-isle bins and smaller desk-side bins in place, the Tribal Government collected and recycled 40.76 tons (81,520 pounds) of recyclable materials. Before the implementation of the tribal wide recycling initiative all of that 40.76 tons of recyclable materials would have gone the way of garbage and sent to landfills.

“It’s great to see the Tribal Government recycled 40.76 tons of paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum,” says Davis. “In the next two years I’d like to double that amount. If you were to walk around and look in employee’s’ garbage you’ll still find recyclables in there. In 2014, the Tribal Government had an output of 726,820 pounds of garbage. I’d say that a 100,000 pounds of that is probably recyclable.”

The second step of the tribal wide recycling initiative took place on the residential level. The Solid Waste and Recycling department made life easier for community members by providing curbside recycling pickup services. They proveded a single-stream recycling bin that allows for community members to put all their recyclables into one bin without sorting. You have an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment and these materials are diverted from going into a landfill. The recycling collection crews come around on one of two days depending on your area and empty all curbside recycling bins. For Silver Village and Battle Creek residents, the pickup day is Thursday afternoon. For Y-site and Mission Highlands residents, the pickup day is Friday afternoon.

“Now, we have moved on to our tribal housing homes. We have put recycling bins at every single one of our housing homes except for the homes on the Quil, which is our next step,” continues Davis. “It’s been a step-by-step process because of the cost of each bin. It’s a onetime cost of $95 for each residential recycling bin, so it’ll take a while to recoup that cost, but in my eyes it’s worth it to not see all that recyclable material go to a landfill.

“It’s starting to get to where we want it to. Last month (February 2015) housing recycling did 4.41 tons, which is over 8,000 pounds. My goal is to get to 10,000 pounds a month for housing recycling.”

The residential housing recycling program started very slowly as recycling was a new concept for many in the Tulalip community, but, as the program continues to build momentum, more and more materials once considered garbage are now being recycled. In fact, Tulalip housing members are recycling nearly three times as much as they were only months ago. In October and November of 2014 there was an average of 1.81 tons of recycling collected, whereas in February 2015 there was 4.41 tons of recycling collected.

“I think it’s just people getting used to the program and us being consistent with our pickup. Knowing that we are actually doing something with it,” Davis says of the surge in residential recycling. “Follow through: I think that’s a big thing is knowing that if they put in that little bit of extra time to sort thru and fill their recyclable bin that we are going to be there to pick it up. We want to continue to educate our tribal members so that everything that can be recycled is being recycled.

“Recycling is not just a cost savings for us, it’s our way of looking out for our great-great-grandkids. The future generations.”





Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov