Heritage Hawks take care of business at Tri-Districts, move on to Regionals

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

After an impressive regular season showing, the Tulalip Heritage Hawks took 2nd at the 1B District Tournament. Now, with an (18-3) overall record, the boys earned the right to host an opening round game of the Tri-District Tournament.

On Thursday, February 14, Tulalip hosted the Mustangs of Rainier Christian at Francy J. Sheldon gymnasium. It was a sluggish start for the home team, as the Hawks fell behind 0-8 in the early going. Coach Cyrus “Bubba” Fryberg called a 1st quarter timeout to fire up his team and they responded in a big way. Led by guards Leno Vela and Paul Shay Jr., Tulalip righted the ship and went on an impressive 29-10 scoring run to take a 29-18 lead midway through the 2nd quarter.

With the defense clamping down and forcing turnovers left and right, Heritage was able to transition into their fast-break offense and score easy buckets. Being at the Tri-District stage, every team was more than capable of game changing scoring barrages to shift momentum. Early in the 3rd quarter the boys took a 42-29 lead only to watch it slowly fade away. Rainier Christian didn’t buckle and starting knocking down contested shots. What was once a 13 point lead was whittled to only 4 points, 46-42, with two minutes to go in the 3rd. 

In a pressure filled situation, in front of a raucous home crowd, the boys responded yet again. Shay, Jr. caught fire from long range to hit three consecutive 3-pointers, while Alonzo Jones was attacking the rim and finishing multiple acrobatic shots. A 27-11 run gave the Hawks a 20 point lead, up 73-53, with only four minutes remaining. The big lead allowed Coach Bubba to sub in his bench and let the team’s youngsters get a taste of the Tri-District playoffs.

Tulalip won 84-65. The team was led by Shay, Jr.’s game-high 20 points, while Alonzo and Isaac Comenote scored 17 points each.

“Our defense sparked on our offense in both halves,” reflected Coach Fryberg postgame. “Sometimes we get too comfortable shooting 3-point shots when we could be driving more and feeding our post players. When we force turnovers and are playing aggressive defense it carries over and allows us to be aggressive and attack the basket, like we did in the second half.”

Due to the snow days and resulting school district closures, Tulalip didn’t get any days rest like the Tri-District Tournament usually calls for. Instead, they hit the road the very next day and travelled to Port Angeles for a highly anticipated matchup with Neah Bay. 

The Hawks offensive momentum carried over from the day before, as they took a 15-13 lead after the 1st quarter. But everything changed in the 2nd quarter. One foul call after another quickly mounted and threw Heritage off their game. They only managed to score 6 points in the quarter and trailed 21-26 at halftime. 

In the 2nd half, Tulalip bounced back early. Alonzo Jones and Josh Iukes combined to score 13 of the team’s 17 points in the 3rd quarter. They held their team afloat but still trailed 38-45 going into the final quarter. Neah Bay took complete control in the 4th, while Tulalip struggled again to put up an offensive fight. The Hawks were outscored 6-21 in the game’s final minutes, resulting in a 44-66 loss. The 44 points marked a season-low in scoring for the Hawks. 

The loss to Neah Bay pitted Tulalip in a high-stakes matchup with league foe Cedar Park Christian in a 3rd round Tri-District game. A high seeding and berth in Regionals was at stake. The game took place Saturday, February 16 in Mount Vernon. 

Knowing the stakes and having confidence from beating Cedar Park decisively three times this season already, the Heritage Hawks (19-4) steamrolled for big time victory in front of a large Tulalip crowd that made the journey to cheer them on.

In the 1st quarter, Heritage jumped out to a 15-4 advantage thanks in part to a patient offense that probed Cedar Park’s zone defense. The patience led to uncontested jumpers from the outside or easy buckets at the rim. Leading by 11 points at the halftime, Tulalip hosed Cedar Park in the 3rd quarter by holding their opponent to a measly 2 points. Meanwhile, Paul Shay, Jr. once again caught fire from deep and made three triples to push his team’s advantage to 51-20. 

With a comfortable lead, Coach Bubba was able to get his bench players some run in the 4th quarter en route to a 61-31 blowout victory. Tulalip was led by Shay, Jr.’s game high 16 points, while Alonzo Jones scored 15 and Rodney Barber added 14.

“My team’s season is going great so far,” said senior guard Shay, Jr. following the win. “In the middle of the regular season we did struggle a bit with our mindset by letting little stuff get us down, but now that playoffs are here we’ve been playing really well again. We took a tough loss to [Neah Bay] that has us more than ready to chase a State title. We’ve come together as a team and a family. The mindset of us seniors is getting back to State and winning it all this time!”

The quality showing at Tri-Districts has boosted the Hawks to the #4 spot for all 1B schools in the state, according to the WIAA rankings. Next up, the Hawks will matchup with fellow tribal school Muckleshoot in a Saturday showdown at Jackson High School in Mill Creek.

Mindful Movements: Yoga for Elders

Tulalip elder, Marvin Jones is learning the many health benefits of yoga.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Originally introduced to the world centuries ago, the practice of yoga continues to uplift the spirit, sharpen minds and improve the overall health of millions to this day. Whether you’re a beginner practicing stretches such as the downward dog or a master yogi who can easily flow into a firefly pose, you are more than likely experiencing the endless benefits of yoga. Those who practice yoga often see a number of physical and spiritual improvements such as flexibility, anxiety relief, injury recovery, and muscle and bone strength as well as a strong sense of balance of the mind, body and soul.

One of the many great things about yoga is the fact that anybody can take it up, no matter where you’re at in terms of your own personal journey and fitness level.  Over recent decades, the ancient art of exercise, discipline and mediation has become a popular go-to workout as many yoga classes are held throughout various local gyms and available to stream online on platforms such as YouTube and Glo.com. The majority of avid yogis range in age between their early-twenties to mid-forties, however, new studies are encouraging individuals of the older generations to join in on the fun and incorporate a little yoga and meditation routine into their daily lives. 

“Yoga’s such a good experience. Most people are scared to try something new, but I can guarantee if you try this, you will probably like it – a lot,” expressed Tulalip elder, Marvin Jones. “I did yoga once and now I think everybody should try it out. When we get up there in age, we need to do something, some form of exercise. This could prolong your life because it gets you moving and it’s better than just sitting around watching TV. You can do it at home, you can do it anywhere.”

Marvin is the first student of a new program called Mindful Movements brought to Tulalip by the SNAP-Ed and the Diabetes Care and Prevention programs. On the morning of February 19, Marvin sat in a circle and carefully followed the instruction of Autumn Walker, Diabetes Care and Prevention volunteer, who guided the class through an hour long yoga session. Autumn encouraged Marvin to try new poses but also to know his own personal limits as they focused their attention on breathing techniques and gentle stretches. 

“The intention teaching this class is to provide a space where people can take care of themselves and have some thoughtful reflections on what works for them, both with their mind and with their body,” Autumn explained. “There’s a lot of benefits to yoga and meditation. A lot of our lives are filled and busy, so setting aside some time where we can be quiet and focus on our wellness is beneficial. We can really find some movement and warmth with the stretching of the muscles, which can ease any pain people have with their joints and really facilitate flexibility of joints over time. If these motions and activities are practiced regularly, they can promote good circulation as well as the healing and wellness of the joints and muscles of the body.”

The first of many gatherings, Mindful Movements is held every Tuesday and is catered to the local elders of the community. Throughout the majority of the class, the students are in a seated position as they delicately flow through each pose for a relaxing exercise. A visible smile that seemed to indicate relaxation and ease grew wider and spread across Marvin’s face the further the class progressed. 

“I liked sitting in the chair, I found it a lot easier,” he said. “It’s great for people that can’t stand too long. My left leg is weaker and sometimes I can stand long periods and other times I can’t. If I can sit down and do it, it makes it a whole lot easier because I know I won’t fall. Today I was able to work on my neck, back and shoulders – that’s my main concern because I have weak shoulders. I noticed I got a little sore but that’s a good thing. It goes away after a little bit and you’ll get used to it because exercise helps make you stronger.”

According to many experienced yogis, yoga is absolutely safe for the older generations. Not only does yoga help elders with balance, mobility, heart health and strengthen the respiratory system and blood circulation, it can also relieve stress, inflammation and pain as well as lower blood sugar levels for those living with diabetes. 

After experiencing the benefits of yoga at a few of the Diabetes Care and Prevention Garden Day events, the elders began requesting a class of their own at the Senior Center. SNAP-Ed and the Diabetes program recruited Autumn, who also led the Garden Day sessions, to teach the initial classes of Mindful Movements. After a few months, Autumn will pass the baton to SNAP-Ed Nutritionist AnneCherise Jensen who will take over instructing duties. Originally scheduled to start at the beginning of February, Mindful Movements grew a lot of anticipation from local elders but unfortunately due to the recent snow storms, the first two classes were canceled. AnneCherise extends a friendly reminder that the classes are still occurring and invites the community to participate. 

“The elders inspired us as well as the whole aspect of wellness,” AnneCherise stated. “So bring your aunties, grandparents, anybody who is looking for a spark of motivation to stay active and feel good. We welcome everybody. It’s suitable for all fitness levels and ages. If you have any injuries or disabilities, we’re able to work around it, we work with everybody’s needs.”

Autumn adds, “We really want the class to be accessible for everybody to come and participate in the parts that work for them and to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as well as with a new curiosity about how their bodies operate and what they’re able to do with them. They can take some of these stretching exercises home and incorporate them into their everyday lives. We want people to leave feeling empowered, like yes, I can participate in this program that’s good for my wellness and yes, I found some physical activities that work for me.”

Mindful Movements is held every Tuesday at the Dining Hall between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. For further details, please contact SNAP-Ed at (360) 716-5632 or the Diabetes program at (360) 716-5642.

Tribal nations summit in DC included Tulalip voice

 

By Micheal Rios. Tulalip News; photos courtesy of Theresa Sheldon

From February 11-14, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) hosted a tribal nations policy summit in Washington, DC. Many Native citizens with political know-how and an unyielding desire to see progressive change sweep this country for the better were in attendance. Two former Board of Directors, Theresa Sheldon and Deborah Parker, were present at the tribal summit representing forward-thinking advocacy and the Tulalip voice.

“I started traveling to DC when I was 26-years-old for our Tribe,” reflected Theresa. “I never tire of the possibilities that are there. The ability to educate someone of influence on our treaty rights, the need to fully fund Indian Country as it should be, and to change laws/policies to support our communities. 

“A lot of times we share our own personal stories to explain how the federal government is not living up to their trust responsibility. It can be mentally exhausting having to fight an establishment that wasn’t created to support our way of life. It can be uncomfortable speaking to people who cannot relate to us as Indigenous peoples who have inherent rights. It can feel demeaning and embarrassing, but we never surrender.”

A definite highlight of this year’s annual NCAI winter executive session was the excitement and hope spurred on by the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Democratic representatives Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas attended the tribal summit and shared their political experiences to date, while making time to take photos galore and chat with their Native constituents. 

“For every picture you see of a U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressperson with a Tribal leader, it means something,” explains Theresa. “It means that we are documenting their words with us. That we are keeping proof of their support and holding them accountable. We are documenting our issues with them and showing the world that this Congressional member is going to follow through. If they do not live up to their word, we have proof of it. This may seem silly, but it’s absolutely necessary.”

Theresa and Deborah, a pair of Tulalip tribal members, made the most of their week on Capitol Hill navigating the current political structure while broadening their network of influence. They attended several tribal policy breakout sessions, an Emily’s List event, had countless conversations with Congressional representatives and tribal leaders from all over the country, and made time to attend the 24th Annual National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” Honoring Lunch. 

“Indian Country’s progress should be a lot farther than we currently are, but without the tireless advocates who travel to D.C., we would be completely invisible,” shared Theresa on the importance of having tribal representation present and engaged in the nation’s capital. “I’m thankful to have grown up in the Northwest where we support each other, mentor each other, advocate together, and uplift each other. 

“We have no time or space for competition, jealousy, and animosity,” she continued. “There is so much work to do that we can all shine brightly and there will still be work to do. I’m thankful for the teachings and thankful for the knowledge to be able to arrange Hill visits, find my way in D.C., and believe in the words that need to be shared in the offices of Congress. We are here and we will continue to aspire for good!”

Tulalip wrestlers put on a show at Novice Championship

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Of the many sports children can participate in, wrestling is perhaps the most misrepresented, misunderstood, and underrated. Each year hundreds of thousands of kids participate in this non-violent combat sport, yet the average person knows as much about wrestling as they might know about rugby or polo.

“Wrestling is perhaps the purest form of athletic competition to exist in the realm of organized sports,” explained Young Champions President Bill Campbell. “There are no bats or balls, or pucks or sticks. No pads or helmets or jerseys. There’s no time to rethink strategy, regroup, or even to catch your breath. There’s only you, and your opponent of equal weight and size. Experience, preparation and the will to succeed will determine the victor. There’s no doubt about it, wrestling tops the list of intense, highly competitive sports.”

Put that way, it’s no wonder why there is a multi-generational connection of Tulalip athletes who are coming up in the sport and finding serious athletic achievement and personal growth, on and off the mat. Coached by Tulalip tribal members and former wrestling standouts, Sam Davis and Tony Hatch, the Marysville Tomahawks wrestling program has amassed quite the youth following. They have wrestlers of all ages, skill level, and quite a few girls who prove wrestling isn’t just for the boys.

There are additional youth tribal members who are making quite the name for themselves while wrestling under the Punisher wrestling banner, located in Arlington. Regardless of team camp, the aspiring athletes are learning invaluable lessons such as self-discipline, hard work, skill building, and an inner strength that’s only developed over countless hours of practice. Plus, there are many social skills and benefits that come naturally for athletes who learn what it means at an early age to be part of a team. 

“To us, Marysville Tomahawk wrestling is our family,” shared Katie Lancaster-Jones, mother of two Tulalip wrestlers, Milo and Cole. “We started seven years ago when Milo was six-years-old and Cole was only four. They started with Tony Hatch and his family. Now, we work with coaches Sam Davis and Brandon Davis. From the coaches, athletes and families we are all here to help the youth move forward in life, not just the sport. 

“We motivate our wrestlers to keep their grades up, respect one another, and to stay healthy by being active,” continued Katie. “The team is here to teach and to learn from. Wrestling is a life style. There’s a lot of coordinating, planning, and fundraising that requires commitment by our athletes and their families. The team gives them a place to go; gives them goals to work toward. It’s all about our future generations learning how to handle tough moments on and off the mats.”

A large group of local wrestlers were invited to participate in the WWKWL 2019 Novice Championship, which took place on January 27 at Kirkland Middle School. The novice designation means only wrestlers within their first two years of competition. 

In front of family, friends, and hundreds of onlookers, the novice wrestlers competed in an all-day, round-robin style tournament. Win or lose, the collection of wrestlers demonstrated strong grappling maneuvers and a variety of defensive techniques. Several of the kids’ wrestling prowess stood-out even in a gym where eight matches were going on at any given time. 

One such wrestler was 8-year-old Julie Blevins. Representing Tomahawk wrestling, Julie’s limber frame and quickness caught spectator attention as she went heads-up with the boys. She held her own in every match, not allowing herself to be pinned nor giving up any points easy to her male counterparts, and came away victorious in the hearts of her adoring fans.

“She found wrestling naturally because her dad (Jason) wrestled for coaches Sam and Tony back in his wrestling days. Now, he coaches for the Tomahawks program,” said Julie’s mom, Victoria Blevins. “It’s been so awesome watching Julie grow as an athlete. When she first started she was really scared and tentative, but now she pushes through even if she gets hurt or competes against boys tougher than her. Going up against the boys, Julie relies on technique more and that’s given her opportunities to learn some go-to moves. Her confidence has soared since she has learned she’s capable of picking up her opponent and slamming them for a pin.”

Wrestling, like any sport, has its share of phenoms; those that make excellence look like ease. Five-year-old, Tulalip tribal member Julian Lawrence is such a phenom. This year alone he has accomplished quite a bit, taking 1st place in several tournaments held in Spokane and Oregon. In fact, the day before the Novice Championship, Julian competed in another tournament and entered in two separate brackets. He dominated both and took home two 1st place medals for his efforts.

The dazzling five-year-old put on a show in front of community members who couldn’t help but gravitate to whatever mat he was competing on. Pin after pin, Julian overpowered his opponents en route to being crowned a novice champion and earning yet another 1st place medal.

“As parents, we couldn’t be any more proud of our son. Watching him grow stronger, faster and smarter…pushing himself to be the best that he can be…he has so much passion and heart for the sport,” beamed his mother Honeykwa Lawrence. “We are very proud of his sportsmanship, win or lose. Julian has grown into a polite, respectful little boy on and off the mat.

“He has grown so much within these past few months since joining team Punisher. He is constantly learning new things and he soaks it all up like a sponge,” continued Honeykwa. “After this tournament, Julian’s record is currently 50-4, so 50 wins and only 4 losses. We are looking forward to State coming up next weekend. We have high hopes for him and think he will take State title!”



Out of the local Tulalip/Marysville competitors, quite a few wrestled into a high placing or earned a 1st place medal at the Novice Championship. Julian Lawrence, Donte Luong and Conner Juvinel all took home top honors for their brackets. Karter Wright took 2nd place, Troy Blevins took 3rd, and his brother Jason Blevins took 4th. 

For any parents who are interested in getting their kids participating in youth wrestling, feel free to connect with Marysville Tomahawk Wrestling through their Facebook page or email Marysvilletomahawkwrestling@gmail.com

Chief of Police letter to the Tulalip Community,

Chief of Police letter to the Tulalip Community,

I am reaching out to the Tulalip community for your help, drugs are causing great harm and impact on the lives of the people. I have witnessed and also heard the many personal experiences of pain and tragedy inflicted upon the Tulalip community by drug dealers who intentionally prey upon those afflicted with addictions. These drug dealers traffic into the Reservation dangerous and deadly drugs causing devastating and tragic outcomes to individuals, families, and our community.

The opiate drug epidemic is a national crisis and our community is not exempt.  This problem requires the coming together of the community, police, and other service providers to effectively make a difference. Let my message be clear, for drug dealers, profiting off the pain and misery of others, the Tulalip Police Department will relentlessly investigate and pursue criminal charges.  For those afflicted in the vice of addiction, we offer our support and referral to Tribal service providers and other resources for help.

Today, January 31, 2019, the Tulalip Police Department is out in the Community conducting a neighborhood outreach effort in the Quil Neighborhoods on 27thAve NE. This is part of the Tulalip Police Department’s commitment to working with the Community to address illicit drug dealing, and to assist individual by providing services resource information to those who may be afflicted with chemical dependencies.

Uniformed police officers will be going door to door introducing themselves to members of the community. Officers will provide information and offer any assistance to help improve the livability and safety of the neighborhoods.  The Police Department also is planning to hold Neighborhood Policing Meetings to help facilitate improved communications and trust.  I welcome the community’s input and concerns, my goal is to work collaboratively in partnership to solve problems.

Community members and neighborhood groups interested in scheduling in a meeting with the Police Department are asked to call Cmdr. Paul Arroyos at 360 716-5924.

To make an anonymous Narcotics Complaint please call the Tulalip Drug Task Force Tip Line at 360 716-5990, or call Drug Task Force Cmdr. Jim Williams at 360 716-5927.

 

Sincerely, Chris Sutter

Renovated third floor of King Street Station opens as a dynamic art space with inaugural exhibition offering collective portrait of Native America

 yəhaw̓, on view at ARTS at King Street Station March 23 to Aug. 3, 2019,
highlights contemporary Indigenous creatives
Opening celebration Saturday, March 23, 2019, noon – 7 p.m.
Admission is free

SEATTLE, Jan. 31, 2019 – An exciting new arts and cultural hub opens in Seattle on March 23, 2019, when ARTS at King Street Station debuts with the dynamic exhibition yəhaw̓, which presents some 200 works showcasing contemporary Indigenous creatives.

ARTS at King Street Station was conceived as an innovative, community-powered arts and cultural hub that encompasses art, artists and culture through the lens of racial equity. The exhibition space provides a holistic view of art and the people who make, consume and live it. Informed by an extensive community input process, ARTS at King Street Station was conceived to reflect the creativity and talents of people that continue to create the fabric of Seattle.

On view through Aug. 3, 2019, the inaugural exhibition yəhaw̓ (pronounced yee-hout) will open ARTS at King Street Station, an historic space now dedicated to increasing opportunities for communities of color to present work. “It is fitting that we inaugurate the space with a nod to the incredible artistry of the Coast Salish peoples, on whose land the City of Seattle is built,” says Randy Engstrom, director of the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS).

The exhibition title yəhaw̓ is drawn from the Coast Salish story that tells of Native people from all tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting up the sky together. Appropriately, yəhaw̓ reflects a nuanced, inclusive narrative that firmly establishes Native creatives as belonging in the here and now.  Prior to the culminating exhibition that opens March 23, yəhaw̓  has encompassed satellite installations throughout the region, performances, artist-in-residence, a publication, art markets, in an expansive, yearlong project.

All Indigenous creatives living in the Puget Sound region were invited to participate in the yəhaw̓ project, and all who applied had the opportunity to have their work represented in the programming. Conceived and curated by Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation) and Satpreet Kahlon, the resulting yəhaw̓ project features the work of some 200 creators of all backgrounds and experience, in disciplines including sculpture, photography, design, printmaking, woodworking, film, metalwork, glass and textiles.

Several artists were commissioned for site-specific artworks, including Chai Adera, Natalie Ball, Demian DinéYazhi´, Malynn Foster, Sara Siestreem, Adam Sings in the Timber, Timothy White Eagle, Christine Babic and more. In addition, 10 emerging artists, such as Priscilla Dobler, Randi Purser and Asa Wright were selected to participate in a mentorship program, receiving artistic guidance from established Native artists.

________________________________________________________________

The new ARTS at King Street Station space responds directly to feedback from community focus groups with an emphasis on people of color. Located on the third floor of the 123-year-old train station, the 17,500 square-foot cultural hub was designed by Schacht Aslani to provide flexible, co-use areas for community gathering in addition to professional office and gallery space. The design contains a large multi-disciplinary arts presentation gallery, a public “living room” lobby, a multi-use conference room for large meetings and public presentations, an artist-in-residence space, offices and meeting rooms. In the presentation space kinetic gallery walls designed by Olson Kundig enable community and artists to reconfigure the displays as needed for changing exhibitions and events. Throughout, new architectural interventions emphasize transparency, highlighting and revealing historic elements of the original building such as the historic masonry and steel structural system, ornamental stairway and original terrazzo floor. ARTS at King Street Station is located at 303 S. Jackson St., third floor, Seattle, WA 98104. Open Tuesday – Saturday,
10 am – 6 pm, and First Thursdays, 10 am – 8 pm. Admission is free.

Quil Ceda Creek Casino update

Concept rendering of the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

After months of delay, construction is again underway on the $125 million casino and parking garage that will replace the aging Quil Ceda Creek Casino (locally referred to as ‘the Q’). The lengthy pause in construction was primarily due to the Tulalip Tribes undergoing a strenuous process to replace the original general contractor, Tribal Designs/Wright Hotel Development. 

“Due to a lawsuit brought against the Tulalip Tribes by Tribal Designs/Wright Hotel Development we have not been able to comment in any detail on the reasons for the termination of the agreement with Tribal Designs/Wright Hotel Development,” stated Chairwoman Marie Zackuse. “We are currently in mediation and hope to find a mutually acceptable solution between the Tulalip Tribes and Tribal Designs/Wright Hotel Development.”

Andersen Construction is the new design-build contractor. Presently, Andersen Construction is starting with site work that includes soil improvement work and grading, installing concrete footings, and will soon start on the underground plumbing and electrical. 

The multi-million dollar project will relocate the Q facility from its current location to a fifteen-acre property across the street on Northeast 33rd. Replacing the Q Casino was based on a number of factors, the most prominent being a stagnant revenue stream that is unable to grow due to logistical and structural challenges posed by the current facility. Also, with an ever growing population, it is critical to generate more revenue in order to meet the costs associated with more and more Tulalip citizens. 

“We’re replacing [the existing Q] because it is bursting at the seams,” explained Les Parks, Board of Director Treasurer. “The revenue cannot grow anymore, they are using every square foot they can, and our customers are screaming for more machines and a hotel to stay at. This new journey is going to get us there.”

The project cost is “rolled into the syndicated loan that includes the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino, its parking structure, and the future Gathering Hall,” continued Les. “This is the same amount that was approved by General Council three years ago. Without increasing the loan amount, we were able to add in the hotel by extending the deferred payment process, which is typical of loans we do, to put more money towards actual construction.”

Concept rendering of the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.

The new Q Casino will span 126,000 square feet and allow for 1,500 gaming machines, a lofty increase from the current 1,000 operating at the existing QCC facility. The 500 extra slot machines will bring in millions of additional gaming revenue annually. 

Besides the increase of slot machines, there will be expanded table games, an innovative dining hall experience with multiple cooked-to-order food venues, an upgraded entertainment venue, and a state of the art smoke elimination system included in the new locals casino.

Current parking at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino has always been a nuisance for regulars. The new Q will solve that issue by having a parking garage that holds 1,068 stalls, plus surface parking for 684 vehicles. That’s total capacity for 700+ more vehicles than currently available. 

The design schematic leaves the option open for the opportunity to build on a hotel to complete a casino resort destination stay, like the Tulalip Resort Casino. 

“We have to maintain our competitive advantage by staying up to date with what’s going on in the gaming industry,” said Vice-Chairwoman Teri Gobin. “The Emerald Queen will be opening their new facility soon, Ilani recently had a renovation, and Snoqualmie is looking to add a second tower. That’s our competition and they all have or are going to build additional hotels.

“We all know the Tulalip Resort sells out every weekend, and that overflow of guests who can’t get a room with us end up staying in Marysville. That is lost revenue that we could keep if we add a hotel to the Q,” continued Teri. “Having a hotel is very important in order to keep our customer base while providing opportunity for many new guests to experience Tulalip.”

Potentially, an add-on hotel would feature 150 guest rooms, special event space and meeting facilities, while having recreation space that includes a pool, spa and exercise room. The Tribe is also investing in street improvements to enhance ease of access to the new casino.

“We anticipate this property remaining very popular with our local customers and will also attract new gamers,” said Chairwoman Zackuse. 

The new Quil Ceda Creek Casino and parking garage is expected to open February 2021.

King tides and the impacts of rising sea levels

Crowd gathered at Flintstone Park in Oak Harbor to view the king tide.

By Kalvin Valdillez; photos by Kalvin Valdillez and Ben Lubbers

Bright and early on the morning of January 25, a gathering of about thirty people met at Flintstone Park in Oak Harbor. Similar to Tulalip Bay, the waters of the Salish Sea travel into the inlet of Whidbey Island, providing a scenic view for the citizens of Island County. This morning in particular was gorgeous. While the sun emerged into the sky, fog slowly ascended from the water that was now approaching the paved boardwalk of the park. This was the event the locals came to witness, a king tide. 

On the night of January 20, you may have caught a glimpse of the super blood wolf moon as the sun, earth and moon aligned perfectly. This rare lunar eclipse is also known as syzygy and causes a stronger gravitational pull and therefore, higher tides. At an estimated thirteen feet, the tide was highest at 8:28 a.m. in Oak Harbor that Friday morning. The long stretch of sand, rocks and driftwood that makes up the beach of Flintstone Park appeared to have vanished as large waves splashed against the coast. 

“King tide is not a scientific term, it simply means higher than our normal everyday tides,” explained Bridget Trosin, of Washington Sea Grant, to the crowd. “In this area, we get king tides usually in November, December, January and February. One of the situations where we get a king tide is at a perigee tide. Basically that is when we orbit the sun and as the moon passes in that close section we get higher than high tides. As the moon is hugging the earth in its orbit, it’s bulging out our ocean waters. 

“The other situation is when we have a nice alignment of the sun, earth and moon, that’s where we see a nice king tide from the pull from the sun and the pull from the moon as they’re compounding upon each other. And another event happens only on January 2. That’s as Earth is orbiting around the sun, we’re closer and that creates pull from the sun and makes our tides a little larger than normal. Any one of those situations can happen at the same time and each one gives the tide a directional pull.”

Now that the Oak Harborites acquired both a better understanding as well as a live visual of a king tide, Bridget requested that each member of the group download an app to their phones called MyCoast. The purpose of the app is to measure king tides at local shores by using user submitted photos. She then stressed that king tides are an important occurrence and the need to monitor them is crucial because they give us a glimpse into the future of what normal, or perhaps even low tides, might look like in a few decades due to sea-level rise.

Rising sea-level is a complex topic that will in time impact the entire planet. Many major cities across the world will experience severe flooding and in some extreme cases will be underwater completely. Because sea-level rise is so dynamic and there are several factors in play, it’s hard to determine exactly when specific areas will begin to see major impacts. However, the general consensus appears to be that sea-level will continue to rise at about its current rate until the middle of this century and then will actually accelerate at even a faster pace after that.

So what causes sea-level rise exactly and why should you be concerned? Since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s, the Earth has been heating up due to the burning of fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gases. As the planet traps those emissions in its atmosphere, the warmer Earth gets. And as a direct result of global warming, the amount of water in the ocean is increasing because as water heats, it expands. Another large contributing factor to sea-level rise is the melting ice caps and ice sheets happening in both Greenland and Antarctica. 

“Sea-level has risen eight or nine inches in the last hundred years and it’s accelerating,” says Phillip North, Tulalip Natural Resources Conservation Scientist. “Since global warming is happening faster than we expected, that means the water is getting warmer faster and expanding. We’re getting more sea-level rise than expected. Plus, the warmer ocean is melting the ice faster. Greenland is melting faster, Antarctica is melting faster, all the continental glaciers; everything’s melting faster than we expected. We’ll see a pretty steady progression up until the middle of the century and then it will start to speed up. It does seem that anytime anyone has ever said something like that, it’s happened sooner than expected and more than expected. We are already seeing it.”

Shortly after the King Tides event in Oak Harbor, and we’re talking merely a few hours, reports from major news sources were released. Alerts from the New York Times, BBC News and CNN began to pop-up onto people’s smartphones claiming that Greenland’s ice caps are indeed melting at an even much faster pace than predicted by scientists, environmentalist and conservationists. 

The news was shocking to say the least and sent social media into a bit of a frenzy. The reports show ice caps in Greenland’s southwest region have been melting at least four times faster in the past decade than they have over previous centuries. Due to the combination of global warming paired with oscillation, a weather phenomenon that affects air temperature, Greenland’s ice caps are not only breaking off into large icebergs, which over time melts into the ocean, but are also beginning to thaw at the top of the glaciers which is causing ‘rivers’ of meltwater to pour into the ocean, and is subsequently melting more ice as it travels down the glaciers. Cities along the east coast of the United States will be the first to be affected and will see significant sea-level rise and are also now susceptible to more hurricanes. 

Northwest tribal nations have been anticipating a rise in water for at least a few generations now. As coastal communities, Salish tribes are one the first to feel and witness the effects of sea-level rise. As you may recall, the Quinault tribe is currently in the early process of relocating both of their entire villages of Taholah and Queets because rising sea-level and high tides have already begun to flood the communities.

 As sea-level rises, it has the potential to change entire landscapes. In a report released in the summer of 2018, the Projected Sea Level Rise for Washington State, evidence shows that because of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, many Puget Sound communities are currently sinking while Neah Bay’s land is actually rising. 

In addition to inundation and landform change, another huge impact sea-level rise will have on tribal communities is habitat loss, reducing marshes, mudflats and intertidal habitats. Habitat loss can cause significant changes to the food chain and as Phillip explains, this happens due to the erosion of coastlines. 

Mission Beach, Tulalip.

“One thing we are studying in Tulalip is our outer coast,” he states. “Because as sea-level rises, a couple things will happen. One, the water will be at base more often and it’s the water at the base of the bluff that erodes the bluff more than anything else. But also because it will be higher than the storms that are coming in. When storms come in, you have the distance over open water that the winds are blowing, the greater the distance the bigger the waves. But also the deeper the water, the less those waves are dragging on the bottom of the ocean floor and losing energy. So the deeper the water is, those bigger waves will come further in and hit the bluff more often. So you end up with faster erosion. As it erodes faster, that means that all the material is coming down faster. 

“That material is what makes up the intertidal habitat. So how will the system deal with that, that’s another important question. That’s where all the clam beds, juvenile crab are and that’s where all the juvenile salmon and forage fish hang out. The dynamics of the energy of the waves on the beach sorts all that material, so you end up with patches of fine sand and gravel. All of those different patches are different type of habitat, so if you change the energy on the beach, those things all change. Those changes of energy change the habitat. Most of the detrital food chain are not eating the grass and seaweed directly but they’re eating it when it dies and starts to decay – that’s the base of a food chain. The way the detrital material gets distributed changes the habitat for juvenile crab, juvenile salmon, forage fish and all those organisms that live in those areas.” 

Unfortunately, sea-level rise is inevitable. Yes, you read that correctly. In time, which is proving to be closer than we thought, all of the ice caps will melt and the world’s water to land ration will increase. How much it will increase and when is still yet to be determined but if the recent news of Greenland’s ice caps are any indication, scientists are predicting by the year 2100, cities around the globe can see anywhere from three to ten feet of sea-level rise. And although the east coast will probably see the effects on a larger scale, the entire west coast along the Cascadia subduction zone could be pushed back, making many current coastal cities uninhabitable. Researchers are hoping communities can look at these statistics and estimations to plan for relocation if need be and to prepare for a series of natural disasters such as extreme floods, storms and hurricanes that could result from sea-level rise. 

“Get involved in your communities,” urges Bridget. “Let your planning commissioner know that this is something that you are concerned about, this is something we need to get on board with and make a priority. This is something that is extremely important to the resilience of your community.”

Please visit www.WAcoastalnetwork.com to view the most recent reports and projections of sea-level rise in Washington. And be sure to check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea-Level Rise Viewer at www.coast.noaa.gov/slr/ to see how sea-level rise, of up to ten feet, can impact your communities, as well as for additional information.  

Important Message Regarding Measles

Source: Tulalip Community Health Department

On January 25th, 2019 Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the current measles outbreak connected to Clark Co. As of January 29, 2019 there have not been any lab confirmed cases of measles in Snohomish Co., connected to this outbreak.

Measles is very contagious, and spreads quickly. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune (have not received the vaccine) will also become infected.1

The best way to prevent the spread of measles and protect yourself and loved ones is to make sure you are up to date on all immunizations, including the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Almost all of the cases linked to the outbreak are in people who are not immunized against measles. Children are especially at risk because they generally do not receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine until their first birthday.

The Tulalip Health System is highly encouraging everyone to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations. The Tulalip Health Clinic has the MMR vaccine available. Most insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus.

What are the symptoms ofmeasles?

A high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

How serious is measles?

Measles can be serious for all ages. However, children younger than 5 years and adults older than 20 years are more likely to suffer from measles complications including ear infection, pneumonia and diarrhea. As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children. About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability. Measles may cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or to have a low-birth-weight baby.

How do you get measles?

Measles is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left. A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms. People are contagious (able to spread measles) for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears. After someone is exposed to measles, illness develops in about one to three weeks

How can you prevent measles?

Immunization is the best prevention for measles. The measles vaccine is very effective.

If you have and questions or concerns give Community Health a call at 360-716-5662.