New Smokey Point Vehicle Licensing Subagency Opens Nov. 18

Source: Snohomish County Licensing
Arlington, WA – Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel announces that a new licensing subagency, Smokey Point Licensing, will open on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The subagency will offer full Department of Licensing vehicle and vessel title and licensing services from its location at 3411 169th Place NE, Suite F, in Arlington. Office hours will be:
Monday – Wednesday:  9:00am-6:00pm
Thursday:  7:00am-7:00pm
Friday:  9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday:  9:00am-5:00pm
For more information, contact Smokey Point Licensing owners Anthony and Kimberley Pellegrini at (360) 691-9556 or
The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office oversees 17 licensing subagencies across the county that offer vehicle and vessel title and registration services. More information is available at or by contacting (425) 388-3371 or

The Tulalip Tribes donates $150K to Oso disaster relief efforts

“When tragedy strikes, we all share together.”

 By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News 

TULALIP – This morning at 10:00 a.m. the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions Fund donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation to aid in disaster relief efforts in the Oso community. On Saturday, March 22, a massive landslide swept over houses, SR530, and even the Stilliguamish River. A concerted relief effort by search and rescue teams, fire crews from around the state, the national guard, and numerous other organizations and individual volunteers continues to clear the road, monitor the river, and search for missing people as families and the Oso community cope with grief.

“We at the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation are so humbled and deeply grateful. Neighbors helping neighbors, and we will help our mutual neighbors as they recover from this devastating loss,” said Heather Logan, Cascade Valley Hospital Representative for the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation.

Chuck Morrison of the American Red Cross also expressed gratitude, offering a few encouraging words.

Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

“We share a mission of making sure the families of those missing are all taken care of,” he said. “This generous gift from the Tulalips will help us serve the families of the missing victims of this catastrophic mudslide. We appreciate the

Tulalip Tribes vice-chairwoman Deborah Parker presents a donation check in the amount of $50,000 to Heather Logan of the Cascade Valley Hospital Health Foundation. The donation will be used for the Oso, WA mudslide victims' fund.Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Tulalip Tribes vice-chairwoman Deborah Parker presents a donation check in the amount of $50,000 to Heather Logan of the Cascade Valley Hospital Health Foundation. The donation will be used for the Oso, WA mudslide victims’ fund.
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

donations from organizations and individuals across the region and the country to help meet the continuing needs.”

He went on to explain what the funds will do for the relief effort, supplying search and rescue teams and volunteers, as well as immediate assistance for victims of the catastrophe.

Logan spoke about what these funds will do long term, being used for assistance for victims, even to help cover funeral costs.

“We will keep it local, and with zero overhead expenses,” she said.

Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr. said, “Our prayers and thoughts are with all the families that have been affected by this. One of those that was lost in the landslide was a close friend of mine. This affects everybody, no matter where you are or who you are, as tragedy strikes, we all share together.”

Historically, the people of Tulalip have suffered similar catastrophic loss. A landslide in the 1820s on the southern point of Camano Island, known as Camano Head, demolished an historic village site killing all of its inhabitants. The slide sent a tidal wave across to the north tip of Hat Island, devastating that village site as well.

Sheldon said, “We remember, through history, how close that comes to us as we think of our friends in Oso. We share our deep condolences with everyone affected by this tragedy, which is heartfelt throughout our community. We hope this donation will aid people as they grieve and work to rebuild their lives.”

Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon presents a donation check in the amount of $100,000 to Chuck Morrison, regional executive director of the Snohomish County chapter of the American Red Cross. The donation will help assist with shelter, food and basic needs for the survivors and families devastated by the Oso, WA mudslide.Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News
Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon presents a donation check in the amount of $100,000 to Chuck Morrison, regional executive director of the Snohomish County chapter of the American Red Cross. The donation will help assist with shelter, food and basic needs for the survivors and families devastated by the Oso, WA mudslide.
Photo/ Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News


Andrew Gobin is a reporter with the See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Phone: (360) 716.4188

Gov. Inslee, Red Cross, Arlington community respond to Oso landslide

Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, left, and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee address the news media at the Arlington Police Station on March 23 about the Oso landslide on March 22.— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner
Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, left, and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee address the news media at the Arlington Police Station on March 23 about the Oso landslide on March 22.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

Kirk Boxleitner, Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee joined fellow elected officials from the federal to the local levels at the Arlington Police Station on Sunday, March 23, to address the landslide in Oso on Saturday, March 22, that’s since blocked both State Route 530 and the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, even as the surrounding community continues to respond in its own ways.

“We always plan for things that we hope will never happen,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, before he introduced not only Inslee, but also U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Susan DelBene. “This is an example of how we have planned, and why it is so wonderful that we have such a great, functioning government in not only Washington state, but also Snohomish County.”

“Olympia is the state capitol of Washington, but today, Oso is the heart of the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “It is a small community of only 200-plus people, but there are six and a half million Washingtonians who, at this moment, are embracing them with our arms and our prayers.”

Inslee called upon his fellow Washington residents to extend aid to a community that had previously managed to remain self-sufficient in relative isolation. Although he was pleased to confirm that at least seven people had been rescued from the site to date, he was nonetheless struck by the scope of the landslide’s impact while flying over the area only an hour before.

“The devastation is just unrelenting and awesome,” Inslee said of the landslide, whose confirmed death toll stands at four so far. “There really is no stick standing in the path of the slide, and it is a reminder that we live in powerful forces of nature, but there is another powerful force of nature, and that is empathy, and compassion, and helping these families who are both grieving and now awaiting words of their loved ones.”

Inslee twice declined to offer any predictions as to when State Route 530 might reopen, but repeatedly pledged that the currently ongoing search and rescue efforts would continue.

“All possible assets that could be beneficial, anywhere, have been brought to bear in this, both from the air and on the ground,” said Inslee, who noted that those assets include both helicopters and hovercraft.

Although the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management lifted its evacuation order, Inslee asked those downstream of the landslide on the Stillaguamish River to retain “a heightened state of awareness,” advice that was later echoed by Chad Buechler, an American Red Cross volunteer at Post Middle School, which housed 27 overnight occupants from the evening of March 22 through the morning of March 23.

Murray echoed Inslee’s sympathies for both the victims of the landslide and their surviving loved ones, before she commended the first responders to this disaster for their efforts.

“The response to this has been incredible,” Murray said. “People are putting their own lives at risk in the search and rescue efforts. Every single person in these communities — local, state, federal — has been working really hard to make sure that they could do everything they can in this incident.”

Murray pledged that needed federal resources will be made available, and was joined by DelBene in praising Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert for her role in supporting those impacted by the landslide.

“She told me this morning that the donations have been incredible,” Murray said of Tolbert. “She said, ‘Please, if you want to help, give donations to the Red Cross directly.’ Monetary donations are what they can really use at this point.”

DelBene extended her thanks not only to Tolbert and the first responders, but also to Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin, whose town she noted has been further isolated by the closure of State Route 530.

In the wake of Washington state declaring a State of Emergency on the evening on March 22, Inslee and other state officials have been in talks with FEMA, and have pushed for a federal declaration of the same, primarily for financial reasons.

“The good news is, we have all of the available assets we really could use right now,” Inslee said. “There is really no missing piece in this rescue effort that we could use that we don’t have. Every single helicopter, every single hovercraft, every single person, every communication system […] we have a full retinue of rescue efforts underway right now. It’s not dependent on the federal financial aspect of this.”

Inslee nonetheless expects those federal dollars to become important down the line, especially given the anticipated expenses of reconstructing the extensively damaged State Route 530.

“Mother Nature holds the cards here, on the ability of ground personnel to enter the slide area,” Inslee said, when asked about the limits imposed on search and rescue personnel by what he described as “essentially a slurry.” “Some of them went in, literally got caught up to their armpits and had to be dragged out by ropes themselves, so they have taken risks already. It’s just the physical impossibility of supporting the human weight in a slurry that is the problem right now.”

At the same time, Inslee reassured the families and friends of the 18 people who remain unaccounted for, “Every human possibility is being explored here, to rescue and find their loved ones.”

Up the hill from the Arlington Police Station, Buechler estimated that as many as a couple of hundred visitors had filtered through Post Middle School on March 22, to utilize the on-site crew of mass care personnel, mental health professionals and nurses, as Red Cross volunteers have kept in constant contact with local fire and emergency medical services personnel.

“Some of them just wanted to get information, and that’s okay,” Buechler said. “We want people to know that this is a place that they can go for support if they’ve been affected by the landslide, whether they’ve been displaced by it, or they need to talk to someone about it, or they just need someone to share some info.”

While Buechler urged folks to stay safe, by monitoring the situation through the news on their radios or smart-phones, measures have been taken to keep people safe, including the closure of the Twin Rivers and Haller parks. Just up the road from Haller Park, the Food Pavilion at 146 E. Haller Ave. in Arlington became a collection site for food, water and hygiene supplies starting on March 23.

“I heard what was going on, so I had to do something,” said Kara Brown, who’s friends with Arlington Food Pavilion Store Manager Loly Ramirez.

Brown and her husband Mike were joined by Ramirez and her daughter Erica, who kicked off their donation drive at 10 a.m. on March 23, and had already filled half their trailer and collected an estimated $800 in cash by 1 p.m. that same day.

“We had cars lined up at the hospital last night, wanting to drop off donations for those in need,” said Jennifer Egger, community relations coordinator for Cascade Valley Hospital, as she stopped by the Food Pavilion on March 23. “Now, we’re just directing them all here.”

“This has been greatly upsetting to us, not in the least because many of these people are our customers,” Ramirez said. “We don’t even know yet whether some of our customers might be among the missing, so we really appreciate the support and generosity that this community is showing for its own. It’s amazing to see so many people pulling together in times like these.”

Egger expressed a similar measure of pride in Cascade Valley Hospital’s response to this situation, citing its capable handling of the six patients who came to them as the result of exhaustive emergency training by hospital staff.

“One of those patients is still in-house with us,” Egger said. “It’s been so sad for everyone.”

The Arlington Food Pavilion will continue to collect cash and supplies throughout the week, during normal store hours, for those affected by the landslide.

Search operations by air resumed at first light on March 23, with two helicopters from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office surveying and mapping the site.

According to Shari Ireton, director of communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, ground rescue operations remain extremely hazardous due to the debris field, which has been described by rescuers as possessing a “quicksand-like consistency.” Crews are attempting to reach the affected area from both the west side in Oso and the east side in Darrington.

Ireton declined to estimate the total number of people displaced by the landslide, but she predicted that the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management would reinstate its evacuation order during the evening of March 23.

Those who wish to help are being asked to donate to the Red Cross by texting “90999.” Those with questions about reunions with family members who may be missing, as well as about evacuation or shelter information, should call 425-388-5088.

State Route 530 remains closed from the Oso Fire Department, located at 21824 SR 530, on the west side of the landslide, and from Little French Creek Road, located at milepost 42, on the east side of the landslide.

Authorities confirm 8 dead in Washington state mudslide

mud slide
Associated Press
Officials in a rural part of Washington state were losing hope of finding survivors of a massive mudslide that killed at least eight people, injured eight others, and caused as many as 18 others to vanish Saturday.

Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Rob Palmer said four more bodies were discovered late Sunday to bring the total number of fatalities to eight. Earlier in the day, authorities said one body had been found on the debris field. Three people were already confirmed dead on Saturday.

Authorities had said that at least 18 people were missing, but that number was given before the discovery of the additional bodies and investigators had described that number as “fluid.” Searchers had planned to continue looking through the night into Monday morning.

The 1-square-mile mudslide that struck Saturday morning also critically injured several people and destroyed about 30 homes.

Crews were able to get to the muddy, tree-strewn area after geologists flew over in a helicopter and determined it was safe enough for emergency responders and technical rescue personnel to search for possible survivors, Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Sunday evening.

“We didn’t see or hear any signs of life out there today,” he said, adding that they did not search the entire debris field, only drier areas safe to traverse. “It’s very disappointing to all emergency responders on scene.”

Despite that, Hots said crews were still in a “search and rescue mode. It has not gone to a recovery mode at this time.”

He said the search would continue until nightfall, at which time conditions become too dangerous.

Before crews could get onto the debris field late Sunday morning, they looked for signs of life by helicopter. Authorities initially said it was too dangerous to send rescuers out on foot.

Rescuers’ hopes of finding more survivors were buoyed late Saturday when they heard people yelling for help, but they were unable to reach anyone. The soupy mud was so thick and deep that searchers had to turn back.

“We have this huge square-mile mudflow that’s basically like quicksand,” Hots said Sunday.

The slide wiped through what neighbors described as a former fishing village of small homes — some nearly 100 years old.

As the search for the missing continued, authorities said some may have been able to get out on their own. The number unaccounted for could change because some people may have been in cars and on roads when the slide hit just before 11 a.m. Saturday, Hots said.

Officials described the mudslide as “a big wall of mud and debris.” It blocked about a mile of State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle. It was reported to be about 15 feet deep in some areas.

Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground made unstable by recent heavy rainfall.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene as “a square mile of total devastation” after flying over the disaster area midday Sunday. He assured families that everything was being done to find their missing loved ones.

“There is a full scale, 100 percent aggressive rescue going on right now,” said Inslee, who proclaimed a state of emergency.

The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. With the water pooling behind the debris, authorities worried about downstream flooding and issued an evacuation notice Saturday. The water had begun to seep through the blockage Sunday afternoon, alleviating some concerns.

Snohomish County officials said Sunday that residents could return home during daylight hours. Even though the evacuation had been lifted, Inslee urged residents to remain alert.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Snohomish County through Monday afternoon.

Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish County sheriff’s office, said Sunday that a total of eight people were injured in the slide.

A 6-month-old boy and an 81-year-old man remained in critical condition Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two men, ages 37 and 58, were in serious condition, while a 25-year-old woman was upgraded to satisfactory condition.

Bruce Blacker, who lives just west of the slide, doesn’t know the whereabouts of six neighbors.

“It’s a very close knit community,” Blacker said as he waited at an Arlington roadblock before troopers let him through. There were almost 20 homes in the neighborhood that was destroyed, he said.

Search-and-rescue help came from around the region, including the Washington State Patrol and the Army Corps of Engineers. More than 100 were at the scene.

Evacuation shelters were set up at Post Middle School in Arlington and the Darrington Community Center.

Dane Williams, 30, who lives a few miles from the mudslide, spent Saturday night at a Red Cross shelter at the Arlington school.

He said he saw a few “pretty distraught” people at the shelter who didn’t know the fate of loved ones who live in the stricken area.

“It makes me want to cry,” Williams said Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Eagle Festival takes flight Friday and Saturday

By Gale Fiege, The Herald

Winter is bald eagle time along the Stillaguamish River.

The return of our national bird is celebrated annually by the city of Arlington with the Arlington-Stillaguamish Eagle Festival.

This year’s event on Friday and Saturday includes walks along the river, fish printing, an obstacle course, crafts and a visit from Predators Of The Heart Wild Animal Show.

Jim Jacobson of Calvary Arlington, the church sponsoring the animal show, said the animals include reptiles, a skunk, a porcupine, birds of prey, a wolf and a mountain lion.

“The Eagle Festival is a great family event,” Jacobson said. “Last year we drew a huge crowd for Predators.”

This wild animal encounter is educational and entertaining and is scheduled twice on Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., at Eagle Creek Elementary, 1216 E. Fifth St. in Arlington.

The seventh annual festival also includes:

Eagle watching expedition at 9 a.m. Saturday from Haller Park, 1100 West Ave. The city’s natural resource manager Bill Blake will lead a short walk through Arlington’s innovative Stormwater Wetland Park and down the Eagle Trail along the Stillaguamish River. Blake plans to describe how the wetland benefits the river and will help find eagles in the cottonwood trees.

Eagles at the estuary from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Wildlife biologists will offer tours at the Nature Conservancy’s property on Port Susan, at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River. People can look through binoculars and a spotting scope to get a close up look at the eagles. To get there from Arlington, take Highway 530 west through Silvana. Turn left on Norman Road, cross over Marine Drive and follow out to the end of Boe Road.

For a close-up look at a bald eagle and other raptors, see the Sarvey Wildlife display from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Arlington City Council chambers. Also there, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., nature exhibits will be provided by Western Wildlife Outreach, Sound Salmon Solutions, Pilchuck Audubon Society and Snohomish Conservation District.

A salmon obstacle course for kids to navigate will be set up in Legion Park. Displays of tractors will be in the City Hall parking lot.

Upstairs at City Hall, people can make fish prints and spin the “Salmon Wheel of Fortune” at the Stillaguamish Salmon Stop, presented by the Stillaguamish Tribe Natural Resources Department.

Hands-on craft projects for kids are made available by Arlington Arts Council’s Youth Engaged in Art Committee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Arlington United Church, 101 E. Fourth St. The church also plans a soup and bake sale lunch.

The Arlington Arts Council offers a show of Northwest flora and fauna depicted by local artists. The show opening — with hors d’oeuvres, wine and a concert featuring bird-related compositions by the five horns of Brass Menagerie — is 5:30 to 7:30 tonight, Jan. 31, at Magnolia Hall, 102 E. Third St. The art show — “Rock, Paper, Scissors” — continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Entries from the festival photo and haiku poetry contests are to be displayed. Textile are will be displayed in the lower level of Magnolia Hall. See demonstrations of spinning wheels, quilt-making, loop-hooking and a display of dolls by the Dollirious Doll Club. In addition, Marysville Rock and Gem Club will display rocks, gems, and petrified wood. Members of the Gold-N-Gem Prospecting Association will demonstrate gold panning.

Chainsaw carvers will be on hand and working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Legion Park, 102 N. Olympic Ave. Artists from across the Northwest, including well-known carver Jake Lucas, will be carving eagles, bears and many other figures. An auction at 3 p.m. Saturday helps fund the event.



Campaign launched to stem panhandling


By Rikki King, Herald Writer 12-9-13

ARLINGTON — Two north Snohomish County cities are trying to curb panhandling by asking people to give to local charities instead.

Arlington and Marysville officials are working with local businesses to post signs and window stickers as part of a new campaign called “Keep The Change.”

Photo source: King5 News
Photo source: King5 News

“It’s okay to say no, just a simple no,” Arlington Police Chief Nelson Beazley said. “This community is tremendous so far as being a giving, caring community, but give appropriately.”

Beazley sees a link between the rise in panhandling problems and heroin use. Not all panhandlers are addicts, but those who are cause trouble, he said.

Panhandlers are creating traffic and safety concerns in Marysville as well, Mayor Jon Nehring said. Some are using their income — up to $90 a day — to buy drugs and alcohol, he said. They’re often seeking handouts a short walk from the local food bank.

“There are places to give the money where it will truly help the needy,” Nehring said. “What we’re trying to do is essentially stop the subsidization of the drug and alcohol habits for some of these folks who stand out there.”Nehring’s office received complaints from parents who said they were approached in parking lots while loading their cars up with kids and groceries, he said. In Smokey Point, young families reported similar issues outside a dance studio.

“Keep The Change” started in Marysville after local barber Kelly Muma learned of an initiative in southwest Washington. Muma and his wife own HotRod Barber Shop on State Avenue.

“I’ve been cutting the mayor’s hair since way before he became mayor,” Muma said.

They got to talking about the panhandling problem.”The community is so giving, but yet unfortunately we’re giving to the wrong people,” Muma said. “This is truly what this sign is about. Those who truly need the help know of the food bank, know of the centers to go to. It’s educating the general public.”

Marysville posted signs along Fourth Street, 88th Street NE, 116th Street NE and 172nd Street NE. Those roads routinely see people posted with cardboard signs, asking for money.

Marysville expects to have window stickers available soon.

Arlington officials saw Marysville’s signs and liked the idea, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. The police chief and others met with local business groups before moving forward.

Police officers are limited in what they can do about panhandling, Beazley said. In most cases, the activity isn’t illegal unless it’s deemed aggressive or it becomes trespassing. An arrest or citation doesn’t always lead to a prosecution.

One of the downtown Arlington business owners who supported the campaign was Jeanne Watanabe, of The Silver Hanger consignment shop on N. Olympic Avenue. Business owners have been working closely with the police department since seeing an increase in illegal activity downtown, she said.

“We wanted to find out why it was occurring and what we could do about both helping people on the street and making sure the street stayed safe. It’s definitely two-fold,” she said. “Our community is amazingly rich with people who have a heart for helping people who are homeless. We have lots and lots of programs for that.”

Arlington has 10 “Keep The Change” signs posted in the Smokey Point and downtown shopping areas and about 100 window stickers have been distributed, said Paul Ellis, the city’s community and economic development director. More signs are planned.

Earlier this year, the Washington State Patrol also asked folks not to give to panhandlers at freeway ramps, citing concerns about traffic safety and pedestrian deaths. That message is ongoing, trooper Mark Francis said.

“Panhandlers are at even greater risk on I-5 on- and off-ramps due to the higher speeds,” he said. “We are citing panhandlers and arresting re-offenders on limited-access highways.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;

More info

Resources in town: Marysville Community Food Bank, 4150 88th Street NE, 360-658-1054,

Marysville cold-weather shelter: 360-659-7117.

Arlington Community Food Bank, 18810 59th Drive NE, Unit B, 360-435-1631,

Arlington cold-weather shelter: To learn if the shelter is open and where it will be, call 360-403-4674. Volunteers are needed: Call 360-435-3259.

You can research charities at the Secretary of State’s website,, and at the state Attorney General’s website,, under “Consumer Issues A-Z.”

New hotel to be paired with Angel of the Winds Casino


October 23, 2013

By Sharon Salyer, Everett Herald writer

Photo source: Angel of the winds casino
Photo source: Angel of the winds casino

ARLINGTON — The Angel of the Winds Casino, which drew more than 1 million visitors last year, has announced plans to add a $20 million, 125-room hotel.

Construction is scheduled to last 14 months. “I would like to see a grand opening maybe on New Year’s Eve of 2014,” said Travis O’Neil, the casino’s general manager, on Wednesday.

The casino, which opened in 2004, is one of the last along the I-5 corridor to add a hotel, he said.

The five-story hotel will make the casino a destination rather than just a day-trip site, he said. “It’s something the guests have been asking for for quite a while.”

The project also will add more than 100,000 square feet onto the casino and include a new gift shop, smoke shop and drive-up entryway.

Bellingham-based Exxel Pacific has been selected as the project’s general contractor.

Plans for the hotel have been under consideration for the past 18 months, O’Neil said. Casino staff went to members of the Stillaguamish Tribe to see “what we could do and what we could afford,” he said.

The hotel doesn’t aim to be a copy of the five-star, 370-room Tulalip Resort Casino, O’Neil said. Instead, he said, it will fit the character of the casino, known by its advertising tagline, “The World’s Friendliest Casino.”

Room prices will be in the $100- to $120-a-night range with plans to offer promotional packages with discounts on those rates, O’Neil said.

Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. Workers erected a fence around the construction site on Monday.

That has greatly reduced the parking on the south side of the casino, but parking on its north side hasn’t been affected. Shuttles are available to help people navigate the area, O’Neil said.

The casino is expected to hire an additional 50 employees to work at the hotel.

“We are truly blessed to have an opportunity to add a hotel to our facility and provide more services to our guests,” Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe, said in a statement. “Not only are we growing our tribal economy, but growing the local economy too by increasing job opportunities and tourism.”

The last major expansion at the casino, at 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, was in 2008, a $44 million project that tripled the size of its gaming area.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Foster’s Fall Pumpkin & Corn Maze Festival returns in October

Source: The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — Foster’s Produce & Corn Maze will host its annual Fall Pumpkin & Corn Maze Festival throughout the month of October, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 1-31, giving visitors a chance to celebrate their farmers and the harvest season on a local farm, and to reward their tastebuds with fresh-picked sweet corn and other farm goodies.

The family-friendly activities are set to include a pumpkin patch and a “Pirate Ship Adventures Corn Maze,” the latter of which will challenge participants to find all the pirates hiding in the maze and solve the riddle. Attendees can also enjoy tractor-drawn hayrides, a pumpkin slingshot, a hay maze and the farm’s animal barn. You can shop at the Harvest Market for local sweet corn and honey, squashes and gourds, apples and apple cider, or explore the selection of gourmet foods and the Halloween gift shop.

In the evening, sufficiently brave souls are welcome to play in the spooky Night Maze and Giant Pumpkin Hunt from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 and 26. Bring your flashlight. The social bonfire will keep you warm, and the Harvest Market will be open to serve espresso, hot cocoa and pies.

Foster’s also offers Vintage Hay Barn Party room rentals and school tours. Call 360-435-6516 or email for more information or to make reservations.

Foster’s Produce & Corn Maze is located at 5818 State Route 530 NE in Arlington. For further details, log onto

This fifth year of the annual Red Rooster Route’s celebration of local farms will also host the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum’s “Pioneer Days” on Saturday, Sept. 21, as well as the Arlington Farmers’ Market Handmade Holiday Indoor Gift Market on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The Red Rooster Route is a self-guided tour through the Arlington farming and downtown area, off Exit 208 on I-5, made up of a nonprofit association of small, family-friendly farms that are open to the public during the harvest season.

To learn more about the farms and festivals on the Red Rooster Route, and to download a tour map, you can visit their website at

Drag Strip Reunion celebrates 10 years in Arlington Sept. 14

Rachel Brown showed off her father Joe Brown's 1940 Willys Coupe at last year's Drag Strip Reunion.— image credit: File photo.
Rachel Brown showed off her father Joe Brown’s 1940 Willys Coupe at last year’s Drag Strip Reunion.
— image credit: File photo.

Kirk Boxleitner, Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — For the 10th year in a row, the west side of the Arlington Municipal Airport will be revving with hot rod and classic car engines this fall, as the Arlington Drag Strip Reunion returns to the blacktop just off the airport’s 188th Street NE entrance on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors will be able to get an eyeful of vintage vehicles and souped-up rigs for an admission fee of $3 for adults and $1 for kids, while entrants in the show will be charged $20 to pre-register or $25 at the gate.

From the 1950s to 1970, the Arlington Airport served as the site of the National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned Drag Strip event, which produced a number of national records in the early years of organized drag racing.

The first Drag Strip Reunion came about in 2004, when the nearby Arlington Boys & Girls Club revived the event to help raise funds for their programs. They received support not only from the city and the airport, but also from the former track manager and track announcer of the original Drag Strip.

Four years ago, Arlington Boys & Girls Club Director Bill Kinney approached the Port Gardner Vintage Auto Club about partnering on the Drag Strip Reunion, since the latter club had been putting on their own auto show to support local charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs, for the past 31 years.

Jake Jacobsen, of the Port Gardner Vintage Auto Club, touted the show’s focus on supporting the surrounding community as one of its biggest draws.

“It’s all done by volunteers, so all the proceeds are able to go to those local charities,” said Jacobsen, who noted that the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Automotive Program has been among the regular beneficiaries of the show’s proceeds. “We select seniors who will stay in the automotive field after they graduate, and sponsor them to get tools, so they can get hired immediately out of school.”

According to Jacobsen, last year’s Drag Strip Reunion raised slightly more than $10,000 for various charities, and this year’s goal is to reach $12,000.

With as many as 500 vehicles on display and more than 2,400 spectators estimated to have attended last year, Jacobsen reminded those who will be gathering in Arlington for this year’s event weekend that there are no activities on Friday, Sept. 13, associated with the Drag Strip Reunion.

Indeed, while the city of Arlington welcomes the auto enthusiasts who will be coming to the community for the event, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission will be working with the Arlington Police Department to enforce the rules of the road by conducting additional patrols that Friday evening, with zero tolerance for any traffic violations.

“The Arlington Police have been very welcoming to work with on this,” Jacobsen said. “They’ve been totally open and cooperative.”

Jacobsen likewise praised the Arlington business community for its willingness to promote the Drag Strip Reunion.

“We’ve gotten lots of great local support, and our local businesses have been a big part of that,” Jacobsen said. “People become very cooperative when they hear that it all goes back to charity. A lot of local merchants just like supporting local events, and 95 percent of them have been very happy to talk to us.”

In turn, the Drag Strip Reunion will further show its support for the surrounding community by collecting non-perishable food items for local food banks, and will even incentivize those donations by rewarding those contributors with free raffle tickets.

The local charities which receive funds from the Drag Strip Reunion will have their own table, and the Burned Children Recovery Foundation’s fire truck will be featured among the hundreds of current and historic classics, street rods, customs and specially restored drag cars from the strip’s heyday in the 1950s and ’60s.

For more information, log onto the event’s website at

Night Out Against Crime returns to Arlington, Marysville, Tulalip

Kirk Boxleitner, Arlington Times

The National Night Out Against Crime is returning to the Arlington, Marysville and Tulalip communities on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Arlington’s Night Out Against Crime will run from 5-7 p.m. in a new venue, in the grassy fields just east of the Stillaguamish Athletic Club on 172nd Street NE, which organizers hope will afford the popular annual event enough room to breathe.

“Last year we held it in the Food Pavilion parking lot, which was great, but we wanted a little more space,” said Paul Ellis, assistant to the Arlington City Administrator for capital projects. “It was also important that we site it near the Smokey Point area.”

Last year’s Night Out Against Crime in Arlington drew an estimated 400 attendees, with the local clubs of Rotary cooking up hot dogs and Kiwanis providing popcorn. According to Ellis, this year’s event includes the Arlington School District and the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics, and promises the return of not only the Arlington Police and Fire departments — complete with fire engines, medic units and a K-9 — but also that of Snohomish County Parks Rangers and personnel from the Department of Emergency Management.

“We’ll see if we can’t get a ‘Touch a Truck’ going with some of the heavy equipment,” Ellis said. “What we really try to address is personal safety, including pedestrians and bicyclists, and home preparedness for events such as disasters, by helping people build their own preparedness kits for their houses and cars.”

Ellis encouraged those with questions to email him at

The Marysville and Tulalip communities share their Night Out Against Crime, alternating between Comeford Park in Marysville and the Tulalip Amphitheatre as its locations, and this year will see the event returning to the Tulalip Amphitheatre from 6 -8 p.m., with a theme of “Give Crime and Drugs a Going-Away Party.”

“Crime and drugs are in both of our communities, Marysville and Tulalip, and this is a great chance for community members to come together and say that we’re not going to tolerate these behaviors,” said Rochelle James of the Tulalip Tribes’ Police Services. “We’re going to work together to gather information and obtain support from people who share our same values and the belief that ‘enough is enough.'”

James explained that this year’s Night Out Against Crime in Tulalip features an even heavier emphasis on drugs than usual, due to the number of people in the Marysville and Tulalip communities who have been personally impacted by drug abuse.

“It’s the one opportunity a year where our communities can get together and openly talk about the issue,” James said. “More importantly, beyond talking about it, we’ll have agencies, departments and community groups here with the resources for families to help rectify these problems, or at least understand them better.”

In addition to the Marysville and Tulalip Tribal emergency management and police departments, Snohomish County Emergency Management and Search and Rescue will also be on hand, along with Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims, the Marysville Fire District and a host of other services from the Tulalip Tribes.

“K-9 units are really popular,” James said. “Special forces for the police departments usually show their equipment, kids like getting in the police cars and taking pictures, and of course, there are usually little treats from each of the vendors.”

James can be reached by phone at 360-716-5945 or via email at for more information.