2017 year in review: January-June

Dec 27, 2017



Everything’s coming up Kang


“This boy is going to be a chief someday.”

That’s what former Mukilteo Police Chief Mike Murphy said to himself 13 years ago upon hiring Cheol Kang as a patrol officer.

“In my mind, there was never a question of him becoming a chief of police,” said Murphy, who served as chief from 1997 though 2010. “The only question was whether it would be in Mukilteo or some place else.”

Kang stuck it out, and Murphy for one is glad he did.

“I would have liked to promote him faster than I really could,” he said. “He is level-headed, gets along with everybody, and he’s a really hard worker. He just has all the makings of a chief.”


Weller to bid farewell


Like clockwork, Joe Weller has risen at 4 a.m. six days a week for the past 16 years to serve breakfast at Weller’s Café along the Mukilteo Speedway.

“My dad always told me that if you don’t open up consistently at 6 a.m., there’s no point in opening up at all,” said Weller, who plans to close the Mukilteo restaurant he and his wife, Pam, have operated together since Labor Day weekend in 2000.

The café’s last day of business is set for Sunday, Jan. 15.

“I’m sad to leave but happy to go,” said the 64-year-old Weller, who has spent more than three decades in the restaurant business. “Now it’s time to let my feet rest for a while.”

Weller said he’s worn out. Health problems, such as a broken hip, have kept Pam away since early last year, leaving Joe to run the place on his own, save for the help of his daughter Krystal on weekends.

“What’s really worn me out is Pam, or the lack of her around here,” he said. “I haven’t been working with my spouse like I used to for months now. It’s always been easy and fun for us to work together, even though we also go home to each other at the end of the day.”


Victims’ loved ones express anguish, pain over mass shooting w/pic


Having pleaded guilty in December, the young Mukilteo man who killed three former classmates and injured another in July 2016 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Jan. 12.

Allen Ivanov, 20, expressed little emotion while sitting in court as a procession of his victims’ loved ones spoke of the ongoing anguish and suffering his actions had caused.

“My whole life, I have never seen my Dad cry,” said David Bui, older brother of Anna Bui, who, along with Jordan Ebner and Jake Long, was killed in Ivanov’s mass shooting attack on a house party in the Chennault Beach neighborhood of Mukilteo.


Appeals court nixes Paine opponents’ challenge


Efforts to stop or slow plans to build a terminal for scheduled passenger air service at Paine Field took a hit Monday from the state Court of Appeals.

The city of Mukilteo and the citizens’ group Save Our Communities (SOC) had argued that an option-to-lease agreement between Snohomish County and an East Coast developer to move forward on plans for building the terminal should be held up pending results of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

But, in a Jan. 23 opinion, the Court of Appeals sided with the county and the developer – Propeller Airports based in New York – who argued that exercising the lease option was not a “project action” that would necessitate an EIS.




Meeting invites dialogue about Islam


In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as all refugees, nearly 200 people gathered Jan. 28 in Mukilteo for a forum on the tenets of Islam and its place in the community.

“We are less than 24 hours removed from an executive order being signed that allows only Christians to come from these seven countries,” guest speaker and co-organizer Rev. Terry Kyllo told an audience at Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church, adding that such actions are fueled by a growing sense of Islamaphobia in the U.S.

“More than $57 million has gone toward funding Islamophobia in the U.S. between 2001 and 2012. Islamophobia preaches that Muslims aren’t American, that they are terrorists, that Islam is a violent ideology and that Islam is planning to take over America.”

The event was a partnership between the church and members of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo, which plans to build a mosque in Mukilteo. It featured six guest speakers who discussed peaceful messages in Islam.

Mohammed Khan, the man in charge of the mosque project, gave an update on the project, saying construction would begin as soon as the city issues a land-use permit.

After the meeting, Khan was smiling.

“I feel wonderful,” he said. “It was great. A lot of people showed up. People have questions, and we have answers.”



Sno-Isle to open library in Mariner area


Sno-Isle Libraries staff are stocking shelves and boning up on Spanish-language skills ahead of the Feb. 11 opening of a new library in the Mariner area.

“We’ve been working as quickly as possible to open this library,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory.

Sno-Isle has leased a 3,600-square-foot retail space, which was previously home to a hot yoga studio, at 520 128th St. SW, Suite A9-10 in the Albertsons store shopping area near I-5.


Remembering Amiyah and Yesterday


Carrying candles and balloons, nearly 100 people gathered in darkness last week on the beach in Mukilteo to celebrate the lives of two girls killed in a car crash a week earlier on Interstate 5 in Lynnwood.

“This is a testament that we have to cherish life,” Ronald Savyon Wallace told a huddled crowd of children, parents, teachers and family friends.

Wallace’s 2-year-old daughter, Yesterday Wallace, and his 12-year-old niece, Amiyah Johnson, were killed Feb. 3 in a three-car collision on northbound I-5, just south of the 164th Street SW overpass.


Bruce Brown makes lasting mark on family, community


Having visited more than 80 countries around the world, Bruce Brown could easily be remembered for his adventurous, cosmopolitan life. Instead, he’ll be remembered for his love for and work on behalf of family, friends and the community of Mukilteo.

Bruce Baden Brown, 83, died peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 14, after several months of declining health.

The community is invited to honor the former Mukilteo City Council member, Historical Society leader and Citizen of the Year at a reception from 2-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the Point Elliott Room at the Rosehill Community Center. Plan to share stories while enjoying some food and wine.




Composing a career in music


Ben Ash is no stranger to the discipline and decorum that symphony orchestra concerts demand of both the ensemble and the audience.

“I’ve been that person playing with a straight face,” said Ash, who held first chair in Kamiak High School’s orchestra before graduating in 2010.

Now, as a composer preparing for the world premiere of his first-ever, orchestra-commissioned work, Ash says he wouldn’t take offense to a little fanfare. In fact, he might encourage it.

“I would love to see people get excited in the middle of an orchestral piece and maybe stand up and cheer during the performance,” Ash, 25, said. “I think there are moments in classical pieces that scream for that, but you will be kicked out if you do it. If I started a mosh pit in the middle of a symphony orchestra concert, I might get arrested.”

The Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO), of which Ash is also an alumnus, will perform his piece, “Collide-o-Scope,” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.



Teachers, students call for full education funding


As lawmakers in Olympia wrestle with how to fully fund public education, teachers and students in Mukilteo are joining educators statewide in reminding them that this is their last shot.

“We’re not just fighting for teachers now, but the teachers of the future,” said Dana Wiebe, president of the 995-member Mukilteo Education Association, whose daughter is studying at Western Washington University to become a teacher.

“I myself have gone to Olympia and met with legislators on this. We are doing this for the children in our classes. We’re really all coming together on this to make sure our legislators do what’s right and just.”

Lawmakers are working to comply with a 2012 state Supreme Court ruling that requires full funding of the state’s basic education system by Sept. 1, 2018. The court has said lawmakers must determine exactly how to do that and how to pay for it before this year’s legislative session ends in April.



Electroimpact’s Zieve says he’s victim of state’s probe


Ask Electroimpact President Peter Zieve about allegations that his company has harassed, discriminated and retaliated against employees, and he’ll tell you he’s the victim.

“I built a company from dirt and water and planted the seeds in this state and they are persecuting me,” Zieve told the Beacon on Monday, March 27.

“And we’re paying their salaries to do this. I can’t believe that’s what we pay public employees to do: read through my emails to find things to embarrass me.”

Zieve not only maintains he did nothing wrong, he says he’s not embarrassed by allegations the state Attorney General’s office has made in a lawsuit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday, March 23.

That suit won’t go forward under the terms of a consent decree filed the same day. The decree requires the Mukilteo-based aerospace company to pay $485,000 and remove Zieve from its hiring efforts.




State sues Eyman over campaign finances


Harbour Pointe resident Tim Eyman is holding his tongue after state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a $2.1 million campaign finance lawsuit against the well-known anti-tax activist.

Ferguson, who announced the lawsuit Friday, March 31, during a morning press conference, accuses Eyman of misleading reporting, concealment of campaign contributions totaling $490,185 and personal use of $308,000 in contributions made to political committees.

“Taking kickbacks from contractors, using campaign funds for personal expenses, redirecting donations made for one initiative to a different initiative — it’s hard to imagine what more Mr. Eyman could have done to show his contempt for our campaign finance disclosure laws,” Ferguson said.

Eyman’s attorney, Mark Lamb, said Ferguson’s comments during the press conference were prejudicial.

“Cases are litigated in court, not press conferences,” Lamb said in a statement.



Council creates tax district for roads


In a 5-2 vote, the City Council on Monday, April 3, created a Transportation Benefit District capable of levying taxes and fees to pay for road maintenance and improvements.

The council did not decide on a specific funding scheme, though most of the evening’s discussion revolved around that issue.

The council is planning to hold three public hearings ­– April 17, April 24 and May 1 – before approving a funding plan and placing it on the Aug. 1 primary ballot by May 12. An initial work session discussion is set for the council’s April 10 meeting.

Six people spoke during the public hearing, including Tim Eyman.

“I really think even if voters were in the mood for higher taxes, which I don’t think they are, Sound Transit has literally just sucked the oxygen out of the room,” Eyman said about that district’s voter-approved increase in car tab fees and sales taxes.

As of April 1, the sales tax in Mukilteo has risen from 9.8 percent to 10.3 percent, with the Sound Transit increase accounting for the difference. Car tab fees jumped by 0.8 percent of the value of a vehicle, or $80 for a $10,000 car.

As the council begins weighing a 0.2 percent sales tax against a $20 car tab fee, some are concerned Mukilteo will end up with the highest sales tax rate in the state, ahead of Lynnwood at 10.4 percent.


Zieve eyes run for City Council


Peter Zieve, president and founder of the Mukilteo-based aerospace automation company Electroimpact, says the City Council should be more focused on serving the community’s youth.

That, he said, is why he’s planning to run this year for a seat on the council.

“The city’s emphasis has been on adults,” he said. “My emphasis would be on youth.”

Zieve, 63, said he began contemplating a City Council bid after the 2015 election. He said he’s eyeing Position 2 – currently held by Council President Bob Champion, who plans to run for re-election – but might switch to Position 3 by filing week, which is set for May 15-19.

He said he won’t, however, run against Mohammed Riaz Khan, who plans to run for Position 1, which is being vacated by Ted Wheeler.

“I may re-evaluate which position to go for,” he said. “But, I’m not going to run against Mr. Khan.”

After the state Attorney General’s Office announced a lawsuit against Zieve and his company in March, which resulted in an agreement that the company would pay some $485,000 in fines, Zieve told the Beacon that he and Khan had begun talking regularly to find common ground.




Pair walk away after single-engine plane crash in Mukilteo


An Oregon man and his passenger walked away from a plane crash in Mukilteo on Tuesday, counting their blessings.

The 30-year-old pilot told investigators he was taking off in his single-engine Piper Cherokee from Paine Field at about 3:30 p.m. and reached about 500 feet altitude when the engine quit.

According to Mukilteo Police spokesman Myron Travis, the pilot tried unsuccessfully to restart the engine, so he spotted Harbour Pointe Boulevard South where he thought it was clear enough of traffic to try to set the plane down.

However, while descending, the plane clipped power lines and a traffic signal at the intersection of Mukilteo Speedway and Harbour Pointe Boulevard. That ruptured a fuel tank, causing burning fuel to rain down on cars below. At least two vehicles were damaged; however, no injuries were reported.


Hed: Agreement would let ferry work move forward


The City Council is expected to adopt an agreement May 15 with the state Department of Transportation that will allow construction of the new, $139-million multimodal ferry terminal on the Mukilteo waterfront to move forward.

A public hearing is set for 6:45 p.m. May 15 at City Hall.

“We’ve worked really hard to incorporate what we’ve heard from the public over the last year and half into this agreement,” said Patricia Love, the city’s director of Planning and Community Development. “The council has the authority to ask for any changes if they feel we didn’t hit the mark on it.”

In March 2014, the city’s hearing examiner approved an Essential Public Facilities permit and a Shoreline Conditional Use permit for the ferry terminal project with some 56 conditions.



City offers $10,000 for help finding school arsonist


The city of Mukilteo is offering $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever set fire to a portable toilet at Columbia Elementary School on May 14.

The Saturday night fire caused an estimated $100,000 in property damages after it burned fiber optic cables and spread to the eaves of a school building, causing smoke to fill the school’s gym and kitchen.

The Arson Alarm Foundation is providing the $10,000 award for information. That foundation works with communities to reduce the occurrence of arson fires, and to apprehend and convict arsonists.

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Mukilteo Police Department are investigating the fire, which the Snohomish County Fire Investigator determined was arson.




‘Welcoming’ resolution divides community


Mukilteo can officially call itself a welcoming city for all people, regardless of immigration status.

In a 4-2 vote, the City Council approved a resolution Monday evening, June 5, affirming Mukilteo as “safe, inclusive and welcoming” after more than an hour of public comment and council discussion.

Councilmembers Ted Wheeler and Scott Whelpley voted against the resolution, calling it a waste of time that has only served to divide the community.

“The city’s divided,” Whelpley said, noting that he and his fellow council members have received more emails regarding “this sanctuary city thing” than any other issue. “Right now, we need to stay united, and this is dividing us.”



Council OKs 0.1% sales tax for fall ballot


Mukilteo residents will get one more chance to weigh in on plans to put a sales tax measure on the November ballot.

The City Council set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, July 17, after voting 4-3 during a work session June 12 to have staff prepare a resolution for the city’s recently formed Transportation Benefit District to put a 0.1-percent sales tax proposition on the ballot.

The council also directed staff to prepare a public education plan and solicit volunteers to write pro and con arguments for the fall voters’ pamphlet.

Revenue from the sales tax, which amounts to a penny on a $10 purchase, would be used for preservation of city streets, the construction and maintenance of sidewalks, trails and other pedestrian facilities, and safety and mobility improvements for bicyclists.

If approved, the tax collections would last for 10 beginning in April 2018, after which the tax would expire unless reauthorized by voters. Also, state law requires that all funds raised by the measure be used solely for transportation purposes.






Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.