Avelaka Launches Spring/Summer 2013 Collection, Celebrating Native American Traditions

Press Release, Kaitlin Egan, Ballantines PR

Avelaka 2013 CollectionLos Angeles, CA, January 3, 2013– Avelaka is the only apparel line on the market today heralded for its embrace of Native American inspired fashions with a modern woman’s flair. And founder Laura Miranda expands her successful line of unique signature looks even further today with the launch of her 2013 spring/summer collection.

Filled with bright hues such as flame, mimosa, turquoise blue and teaberry, the collection feels like a bouquet of fresh spring flowers. Underscoring that feel are her signature peplum tops and the use of colored laces and bright solids. But the line also draws on strong themes from the American Indian heritage, specifically Southern California’s Pechanga Tribe, where Miranda is a member. For this season’s inspiration, she turned to the Indian songstress Buffy St. Marie, famous for expressing her experiences as a First Cree Woman through music.

“The concept of Avelaka was born out of a passion for sharing my native culture through apparel design,” Miranda said. “Buffy St. Marie expressed her Native heritage through song, before it was fashionable to do so. I want modern woman to see this collection and get lost in the beauty and wonderment of the symbols and designs, just like being lost in the sounds and words of Buffy St. Marie.”

The result is a striking collection of fashionable, yet easy-to-wear designs imprinted with classic Indian themes, such as the lace print inspired by the intricate latticework and antique crochet designs traditionally created by tribal women. Also imbedded into the line are print images inspired by such Native American icons as the Canadian Cree teardrop design moccasin and weave work from Canadian First Nations.

Miranda believes that by using authentic themes and motifs from her heritage for modern day wear, she is not just sharing the beauty of the Native culture.

“I believe it is also a way to encourage women to seize the spirited moments in life,” Miranda said. “We want to inspire women to embrace the beauty in each moment as they move down their paths in life.”

Miranda’s passion for Native American inspired fashions stems from her experiences as a tribal lawyer for more than a decade, advocating for Native American rights. Miranda eventually transitioned into fashion work, founding Avelaka (which means “white butterfly” in the traditional Luiseno language) in Spring 2011. Miranda hoped that by using aspects of the indigenous culture for inspiration, her work could redefine how popular culture depicts the Native American people and their way of life.

Avelaka is sold at fashion forward boutiques across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Austin and Aspen. Her fashions have been featured in Women’s Health, Seventeen, California Apparel News, Los Angeles Business Journal, Refinery 29, Lucky.com, and various regional magazines and fashion blogs. Visit her website at http://www.avelaka.com/


Laura MirandaAbout Avelaka:

Avelaka maintains a unique creativity different from other brands. Looking to indigenous landscapes, authentic themes and motifs, Avelaka shares the beauty of Native cultures encouraging women to embrace the spirited moments in life.

For Spring 2013, Avelaka looks to Indian Country’s fearless songbird, Buffy St. Marie. Through her strong and sweet folk songs she expressed her Native heritage before it was fashionable to do so. By telling her personal story, as a Cree Canadian woman, and staking claim to First Nations tradition her voice sought to reclaim Native symbols while sharing their meaning with all who listened. This collection imagines a classic but modern woman being lost in the sounds and words of Buffy St. Marie.

Miranda, a Native American rights lawyer for over 13 years says she founded Avelaka to, “share the beauty of her heritage and also inspire women in their individual paths through life.”

Avelaka is sold in stores such as Anthropologie, and boutiques throughout the country in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Aspen, Austin, Brooklyn and more. Please also visit: www.avelaka.com.

Flu on the rise throughout Snohomish County

$30 to flu-proof an adult; $15 for a child – book a time at Snohomish Health District clinics 

Press Release, Snohomish Health District

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The state Department of Health reports three flu-related deaths early in the flu season. Snohomish County hospitals also report an increase in flu admissions, up from 3 people hospitalized in November to 23 hospitalized during the month of December as of December 27.

“This is fair warning to everyone in the county that influenza is circulating in our community,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District. “We have vaccine to help protect against the flu – and I advise you to take advantage of it by getting a shot.”

Washing hands and covering your coughs are effective ways to reduce spreading and getting diseases, and stay home if you are sick – but the best way to prevent flu is vaccination. All persons 6 months of age and older need an annual flu shot.

The vaccine is especially recommended for people who

  • are 6 months old — up to their 19th birthday
  • Note: Children age 6 months to 9 years receive two flu shots the first year they are vaccinated
  • are 50 years and older
  • are age 6 months and older with certain chronic health conditions
  • are pregnant and in any trimester
  • live in long-term care facilities
  • live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu
  • are health care personnel
  • are household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of infants age 0-6 months (who are too young to receive vaccine)

The Snohomish Health District is stocked with vaccine to protect you against the flu. The Vaccine For Children program has vaccine for children age 6 months through age 18 years. FluMist nasal spray is available for children age 2 years through 18 who are healthy and not pregnant. Vaccine also is widely available at private providers’ offices, pharmacies and other community locations listed at www.getaflushot.com and www.flu.gov/individualfamily/vaccination/locator.html.

The cost for an adult flu shot at the Snohomish Health District is $30. A flu shot for a child costs $15. The Health District accepts payment by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Provider One (coupons), and Medicare for clients whose primary insurance is not with an HMO. Clients may apply for a reduced fee, based on income and household size.  Please call for an appointment.

Snohomish Health District clinic hours:

SHD Everett Immunization Clinic, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 108, Everett, WA 98201  425.339.5220 for an appointment: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Mon-Wed-Fri; closed on weekends & holidays

SHD Lynnwood Immunization Clinic, 6101 200th Ave SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036  425.775.3522 for an appointment: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tue-Thu; closed on weekends & holidays

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.

Help Break Guinness World Record for Largest Snowball Fight

Seattle is attempting to break the record for the World’s Largest Snowball Fight which is officially held by the Republic of Korea at 5,387 participants.

The Snowball fight will be held at the Seattle Center January 12th 2013. Tickets are $25 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of King County. Participants must be at least 18 years of age or older. Photo ID will be required for entry.

So much Snow and so many people

162,000 lbs. of snow, enough to fill 34 dump trucks.

6,000+ people building forts and participating in the world record.

12 bars and pubs in lower Queen Anne will be offering discounted Snow Day drink and food specials. Click here and visit “Pub Crawl” for the complete bar listing.



12:00pm – Registration opens at Seattle Center

1:00pm — Snow Fort and Snow Castle competition begins

4:30pm — Snow Fort and Snow Castle winners announced

5:00pm — World’s largest snowball fight

5:30pm — Guinness World Record presentation

6:00pm — Pub crawl and war stories!

Snow Fort Competition – Anyone is welcome to come early and play in the snow but teams participating in the snow fort competition have raised at least $1,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County. Participants will receive ten free tickets, Snow Day shirts, a massive amount of snow and prizes if they win! If you’re interested in participating please email us at forts@snow.co.

For more details about the attempt to break the Guinness record for largest Snowball fight check out this website.


The Nature Conservancy: Working for Nature and People in Washington in 2012

The Nature Conservancy brought people together in 2012 to conserve and restore the lands and waters that support our quality of life.

Press Release, Robin Stanton, The Nature Conservancy in Washington

Seattle, WA | January 03, 2013

In 2012 The Nature Conservancy’s Washington chapter restored estuaries, restored forests, created new community collaborations, plucked derelict fishing gear from coastlines and brought science to bear on some of the most pressing problems facing us. From the Washington coast to Puget Sound to east Cascades forests and eastern Washington sagelands, The Nature Conservancy brought people together in 2012 to conserve and restore the lands and waters that support our quality of life.

Here are highlights of how donor support helped people and nature thrive in Washington in 2012.

Puget Sound

The Conservancy completed two restoration projects in Port Susan Bay, restoring estuary habitat for salmon and other marine life and improving flood control measures for neighboring farmers. These two projects—at Port Susan Bay Preserve and at Livingston Bay—improved more than 4,000 acres of tidelands in the vitally important Skagit and Stillaguamish River deltas.

Protecting and restoring shorelines is a vital part of restoring Puget Sound and supporting communities throughout the region. The Conservancy’s work supports the Puget Sound Agenda developed by the Puget Sound Partnership.

Washington Coast

It was a big year for restoration at the Conservancy’s Ellsworth Creek Preserve, at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and on the Conservancy’s property on the Clearwater River, a tributary to the Queets. Funding from the jobs bill passed by the state Legislature last spring enabled the Conservancy to permanently remove 3 miles of old, hazardous road in the Ellsworth Creek Preserve while improving and upgrading an additional 4 miles. The improved roads enabled hired crews to do restoration thinning operations on 200 acres of former tree farm. Thinning the Douglas-firs makes room for spruce, cedar and hemlock to grow.

Locally hired crews and volunteers planted 11,000 trees at Ellsworth and on the adjacent Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, and another 8,000 trees on the Clearwater.

The Conservancy led establishment of the Washington Coast Marine Advisory Council to give local communities a voice in marine and coastal management.

The Conservancy worked with partners to remove 32 derelict nets in Grays Harbor and implemented a pilot derelict crab pot removal on the coast, retrieving 98 pots.

East Cascades Forests

Conservancy scientists published a first-of-its-kind study of how forests in central and eastern Washington have changed over the last 100 years, a study that sets the stage for science to guide forest restoration efforts so they’ll be effective.

As part of the Tapash Sustainable Forests Collaborative, the Conservancy restored 746 acres of forest west of Yakima, improving wildlife habitat and reducing the threat of catastrophic fires. Locally hired crews also removed 13 miles of high-risk roads in the region.

With partners, the Conservancy launched a new collaborative, the Northeast Washington Forest Vision 2020 Collaborative, to improve management on 900,000 acres of forestlands near Colville.


The Conservancy’s 35,000-acres Moses Coulee Preserve is a laboratory for managing sage lands in central Washington. The Conservancy and partners are continuing an experiment on a biological control for cheatgrass, an invasive weed that has devastated rangelands in the western United States. Other ongoing conservation projects include banding and monitoring migrating songbirds, surveying the region’s diverse bat populations and restoring sagelands habitat.


Four young men from Tacoma’s Science and Math Institute (SAMI) spent part of the summer counting bats, looking for marbled murrelets, banding songbirds and overcoming their dislike of spiders as part of The Nature Conservancy’s signature youth program, Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF). The Washington chapter joined the program in 2011, hosting teens from New York, where it started. In 2012, the chapter hosted teens from right here in Washington for this paid internship.

Washington’s coastal treaty tribes—the Hoh, Makah and Quileute Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation—hosted the inaugural First Stewards climate symposium in Washington, DC. The Conservancy and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries were partners in the four day event, which brought together indigenous communities with scientists and governmental and non-governmental organizations to examine the impacts of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures and explore solutions based on millennia of traditional ecological knowledge.


The Nature Conservancy is an international organization, focused on finding local solutions to global challenges. The Washington chapter is connected to the Conservancy’s work around the world. In 2012, the chapter hosted Aurelio Ramos, the Conservancy’s director of conservation programs for Latin America, as he helped to develop conservation strategies for Puget Sound, for Washington’s eastern sagelands, and for temperate rainforests from Washington to Alaska. And the Washington chapter supported the Southern Andes program with science and geographic information staff, and assisted the Coral Triangle Center in Indonesia to develop its own membership program.

New Leadership

Capping off the year of conservation work, The Nature Conservancy welcomed Mike Stevens as the new Washington state director. Stevens arrived on Nov. 26, and in his first month he has visited all major program sites throughout the state.

FDA set to approve Genetically Engineered Salmon

Article by Monica Brown

The Food and Drug Administration has given their approval, pending a 60 day public debate, of the AquAdvantage Salmon developed by the Massachusetts based company Aquabouty Technology. The salmon was developed out of need from the growing human population which outweighs the current salmon population.

The AquAdvantage Salmon have been genetically engineered from Atlantic Chinook to grow at a faster rate on small amounts of food and are made specifically to be sterile females to help prevent reproducing with wild salmon. The idea behind the genetically engineered salmon (GES) to be female is a precaution to prevent escaped salmon from mingling with the wild salmon, had they been sterile males they would cause a disturbance in the spawning grounds by fighting over territory with male wild salmon. Although, Aquabounty has stated there is a slight chance that a small percentage of females may be fertile, but state the chance of them escaping to the wild are very slim.

According to FDA regulations, upon approval, the GES will be required to be grown in a physically contained system to prevent escape and at approved facilities only. When placed at the marketplace the GES will not be required to have any special labels or markings due to the fact that they are genetically the same as wild salmon and pose no threat for human consumption.

The imposition the GES will make on the environment and human diet is still dependent on the future consumption of the salmon.  As well as the impact it will make on the economy in the lives of Atlantic Fishermen. Since it is not clear yet how far the GES will be shipped, and we won’t be able to tell by labels or on restaurant menus, it prefer wild salmon to either fish for it yourself or get it from someone you know.

If you would like to comment on the Aquadvantage Salmon, the comment section for the 60 day public debate can be accessed here. Comments will be accepted until February 25, 2013


Comments by others may be viewed here


Mayor of Marysville establishes new Youth Council

Press Release, Office of the Mayor, Dec. 3, 2012

Mayor establishes new Youth Council; seeks student members to give young people a stronger voice in their community’s future

MARYSVILLE – The voice of Marysville’s youth needs to be a bigger part of the dialogue when talking about how the community builds for tomorrow.

Mayor Jon Nehring is establishing a new Youth Council to create that essential link among Marysville’s teens, the community and city government.

The Youth Council will advise the Mayor on issues affecting young people in Marysville and provide youth perspective on a range of community issues and topics. The Council will also provide a forum to engage with City leaders, participate in a community service project, and connect with their peers, and learn about civics and city government.

“I’m hoping that we get young people to become involved from a variety of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are ready to share their valuable views with city government,” Nehring says. “My goal is that every young man and woman will leave the Youth Council with a better understanding of civic duty and a moral responsibility to our community.”

Nehring also believes young people willbenefit from involvement in the Youth Council through developing their personal and employability skills.

The Youth Council is open to Marysville teens ages 14-18 and enrolled in public or private school, or home-schooled (at the City’s discretion and under some circumstances, 13-year-olds may be permitted to join). Parent or guardian signature required for all ages.

Interested applicants are invited to download the application from the City website at http://marysvillewa.gov/youthcouncil. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. Return in care of Youth Council/Doug Buell, Marysville City Hall, 1049 State Ave., Marysville, WA 98270. Or scan signed copy to dbuell@marysvillewa.gov.

The Youth Council will be structured to meet monthly for one-hour, after-school meetings in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. However, as a substitute for sitting in meetings, field trips such as the Police Department, a Fire Station, Municipal Court, Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center, and a spring community service project, could also become part of the annual agenda, as well as other recreation activities.

For more information contact Community Information Officer Doug Buell, Youth Council Liaison, at (360) 363-8086 or email dbuell@marysvillewa.gov. You will be notified of a kick-off meeting to be scheduled later in January 2013. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Deborah Parker issues Clarion call

Press Release, Communities Against Violence Network, December 19, 2012

Today, Tulalip Tribal Vice Chairwoman Deborah Parker remains united with all 12 Democratic female U.S. Senators in demanding immediate passage of the bipartisan, Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization.

“This issue must absolutely transcend partisan politics, “said Vice Chairwoman Parker, a survivor of abuse in Indian Country, who went public with her story this year in support of the VAWA. “It is one of our fundamental human rights; the right of each and every American woman to live free from threats or acts of physical harm.”

Parker continued: “A woman’s class of origin or race and physical location at the time of sexual assault or physical abuse should not dictate her protection under the U.S.  Constitution. All women and children must be protected, especially the original women of this continent.” It is widely reported that House Leadership is holding up the bill, by objecting to provisions in the Senate VAWA that would restore to tribal governments the limited power to prosecute non-≠‐Indians who enter Indian Country and commit violence against Indian women.

I urge all of my fellow Americans to call Rep. Eric Cantor’s office and urge that he agree to guard against any more Native women being sexually or physically abused in Indian Country,” Parker concluded.

The direct number to Rep. Cantor’s Office is (202) 225-8208;2815.

Tualip says “Hell no to Coal”

Article by Monica Brown and Photos by Francesca Hillery, Public Affairs

Nearly 2500 concerned citizens gathered Dec 13th at Seattle’s convention center for the last Coal meeting in order hear others thoughts and ideas and voice their own opinions about the coal train proposal. Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon was one of many that were able to speak to the crowds.

“The Tulalip Tribes support job creation. We are one of the largest employers in our area,” Sheldon said. “But we will not tolerate anything that poses threats to our cultural resources, our health and our treaty rights to fish, hunt and gather. The tribes and local, state and federal governments have worked hard to improve the environment, but it won’t mean much if we find coal dust in fragile waters of the Salish Sea.”

The proposal is to transport tons of coal by railway, eighteen trains a mile and a half each, from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming through our backyard to Cherry Point for tanker shipment to Asia. Cherry Point, a sacred site for our neighbor tribe the Lummi nation, have vehemently stated their position against the Cherry Point proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal which would be detrimental to the current ecosystem at Cherry Point  which harbors not only a fragile herring population but also a sacred burial site of the Lummi nation.

“Never will Tulalip support the degradation of our ancestral burial grounds as would in this project. Whether they be here at Tulalip, or on Lummi burial grounds at Cherry Point, we stand in solidarity with our Coast Salish relatives  in our solemn responsibility to our ancestors and to our sacred lands” Stated Mel Sheldon

The proposed coal exports to china would mean millions of dollars in revenue and new jobs that would be available for years to come. The negative impacts on the environment from the use of coal outweigh the positives with the damage mining causes to its place of origin, the dust that comes off seeps into everything from water to our lungs and the burning of coal emits CO2 which depletes the ozone layer.

Mel Sheldon finished with, “From whitecap to whitecap, or the peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the Salish Sea, it is our responsibility to our ancestors, our elders, and to future generations to protect and preserve the air, water, fish and other resources that we depend on.”

Recently, tribal members from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation along with the National Wildlife Federation and conservation groups have started protesting the coal mining in the Powder River Basin stressing that the mining is destroying the habitat and polluting the Otter River which connects to the Tongue River and Yellowstone River.

The US is the second largest coal producer, producing and estimated 1004 million tons in the year 2011, with Wyoming being the top coal producing state, mining 438.5 million tons (mt) in the year 2011. China is the largest coal importing and coal producing country, importing an estimated 190mt and producing 3471mt in the year 2011.



Thousands of comments from residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana addressing their concerns of the coal trains environmental impact can be viewed here,



To view the Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal/Custer Spur visit this sight,




Comments can be submitted until January 21, 2013 here,





Statistical information from; World Coal Association and Bureau of Land Management