Stranger Danger!

RadKIDS programs comes to a close


Alieja Elliot demonstrates his escape planAndrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Alieja Elliot demonstrates his escape plan
Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Article and photos by Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Students run from the big man in a bright red suit. No, it isn’t Santa Clause, it’s a stranger. Students of the radKIDS program at Tulalip Quil Ceda Elementary graduated on December 16th, taking turns displaying their defensive skills on Tulalip Police Officer Clayton Horne who wore a bright red padded suit.

The radKIDS program is an eight session program that teaches kids all about stranger danger as well as what to do about bullies. For the first part of the graduation, program instructors Rochelle Lubbers and Razi Liptich had the students circled up in the gymnasium shouting “STOP!” or “NO!” while reviewing their defensive moves like elbowing, toe stomping, kneeing, and kicking.

As the teachers wrapped up the review and explained to parents about the program, the kids suited up in minor padding.

“RadKIDS has gained attention nationally, being noted in several attempted abductions where the child was able to escape,” said Rochelle Lubbers, emergency management coordinator for the Tulalip Tribes.

For the final part of their graduation they were approached by officer Horne in the red suit as he tried to abduct them. The students had to choose their defensive move, then escape to tell an adult.

Grace Davis, now a radKIDS graduate, said, “I liked the program. I learned how to get away and how to tell if someone is a threat.”

Grace Davis.Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Grace Davis.
Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Students fingerprinted their certificates as they received them, which also had a recent photo printed on them. The certificates are now important profiles for authorities, making children easily identifiable. If anything were to happen to a child, the parents would be readily prepared with recent information to give to the authorities.

Santa and Sirens

Tulalip Bay Fire Dept. annual Santa Run and food drive


Santa and the family of Christina Leea singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa and the family of Christina Leea singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Article and photos by Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Tulalip Bay Fire Department brought a little Christmas cheer to the neighborhoods of Tulalip. A parade of the department’s two fire engines and ambulance had Santa riding along on an engine, jumping off to pass out hugs and candy canes to kids from one to ninety-two, all the while trumpeting horns and blasting sirens to let people know that Santa had come to town.

Kids and their families lined the streets on December 14th and 15th as Santa rolled through with his firefighting elves. The children’s faces lit up as soon as they saw him, or maybe that was from all the lights decorating the fire engines. A few times Santa and his elves joined families for a chorus of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Passing neighborhood traffic didn’t seem to mind Santa parading down the street, many times passing cars stopped to join the holiday festivities.

The Holiday Santa run started at 5pm each day and lasted five hours, all the while collecting food and monetary donations for the Tulalip Food Bank. Santa and his elves filled the ambulance with donations over the course of the weekend.

There are many photos of Santa visiting children and their families. To view them please visit, or see our new facebook page; search Tulalip News.

Geoduck industry fighting China’s shellfish-import ban

Washington geoduck farmers and harvesters have turned to politicians to help overturn a Chinese shellfish-import ban that’s all but shut down the local industry.

By Jay Greene, December 14, 2013 the Seattle Times

Washington geoduck harvesters and government officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee, are scrambling to overturn China’s decision to ban some shellfish exports from the Pacific Northwest.

The ban has brought the geoduck industry here to a virtual halt.

Fish inspectors in China notified the U.S. Embassy on Dec. 3 that China was tentatively suspending imports of geoduck and other “double-shell aquatic animals,” such as oysters, because they found high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, in a Nov. 21 shipment of geoducks.

PSP is a biotoxin produced by algae that shellfish eat and, in humans, in high levels it can lead to severe illness and even death.

KUOW first reported news of the ban.

The ban is a particularly nettlesome problem in Washington because China accounts for about 90 percent of geoduck exports from the state. And fisheries in the state harvest and farm 5.5 million to 7 million pounds of geoduck annually, according to Taylor Shellfish Farms, one of the state’s largest geoduck providers. Those companies generally sell geoduck, which is a burrowing clam, for between $7 and $25 a pound.

The ban also affects Alaskan shellfish.

Local fish companies, though, are struggling to understand the ban because testing by the Washington State Department of Health in the area where the geoduck shipments originated found PSP levels well below internationally accepted limits.

“We’ve gone back and looked at all records — they show results way below any human-health concern,” Donn Moyer, a health-department spokesman, said Saturday. “We don’t have any evidence or information whatsoever about any high levels of PSP in any shellfish.”

Geoduck harvesters believe the Chinese inspectors applied a standard for the level of toxicity that is well below what is considered safe for humans.

“The numbers I saw (that Chinese inspectors used) are just plain ridiculous,” said Tony Forsman, general manager of Suquamish Seafoods, a business run by the Suquamish Tribe.

To compound the challenge, communication from the Chinese government has been scant. State regulators and fishery executives say they have heard nothing more from the Chinese since the Dec. 3 notification. Press officials from the Chinese embassy in Washington didn’t respond to an email query Saturday.

That’s led the industry to turn to political leaders to resolve the issue. On Friday, the governor and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark sent a letter to the heads of the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asking them to engage in “direct interaction with the Chinese government” to determine the status of the ban and to gather information about the Chinese inspection.

In the meantime, local geoduck harvesters and farmers are curtailing operations. Suquamish Seafoods, which sends all of its geoduck, between $2 million and $3 million a year, to China, has idled its 24 divers.

“This is unprecedented,” Forsman. “The tribe really depends on it.”

Taylor Shellfish Farms, which sells some geoduck domestically, has had to reduce hours for its workers. And if the Chinese ban continues much longer, prices for geoduck sold domestically will drop because of a market glut.

“That may have an impact on domestic prices,” said Bill Dewey, Taylor’s director of public policy and communications.

Staff reporter Carol M. Ostrom contributed to this report. Jay Greene: 206-464-2231 or Twitter: iamjaygreene

Annual Tulalip Bay Fire Department Santa Run, Dec 14-15

Annual Tulalip Bay Fire Department Santa Run and Food Drive, December 14 and 15, 5-9pm

Santa and his tema of firefighters will be coming through your neighborhood in the Tulalip Reservation, spreading joy and Christmas cheer!

Santa Run_web

Hawks tip-off against Shoreline Christian at 7:30 tonight


By Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Tonight, Tulalip Heritage Hawks  play against the Crusaders at Shoreline Christian High School. Last year the Hawks won a regular season game  against Shoreline 58-17. Meeting them again at districts, the Hawks won 67-40.

Shoreline will be looking to redeem themselves after a devastating defeat early in the season, losing again to the Hawks in the first round of districts.