Snohomish County

Snohomish County

The third most populous county in Washington, bounded by Puget Sound to the west, the Cascade mountains to the east, King County (home to Seattle) to the south and Skagit county to the north, we offer a unique lifestyle. Mostly suburban communities, we maintain a close connection to Seattle, yet are distinctly different. Many people in the south end of the county commute into Seattle or the East Side. There are plenty of folks, though, who get to work here and live sans commute. 

Snohomish County's main communities consist of Everett (the larges city and county seat), Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Bothell and Woodinville to the south (Bothell and Woodinville actually are part of both King and Snohomish counties), Stanwood, Arlington and Marysville to the north and Granite Falls, Darrington, and the Highway 2 communities like Sultan and Index to the east. Oh, and there are plenty of other communities along the way. 

Though we share a lot of cultural commonalities with the Seattle area, there are very distinct sub-cultures within each community. And even adjoining communities (like Edmonds and Lynnwood) actually have some significant differences. I seek to understand them all. 

Posts Featuring Snohomish County

Edmonds Area Podcast: AquaCast

I met the “Bald Fish Guy“, aka Ryan at the Visitor Station at Edmonds’ Olympic Beach during a recent visit. He’s a docent there, and knows his Puget Sound marine life. So I found it fantastic to talk with him.

He hosts a podcast, Aquacast, focusing on Puget Sound marine life, systems and the eco-system we live in. Sadly, he has only sporadically posted, and it’s been quite some time since his last update, but I find the casts interesting and well researched. And, even the ones a few years old, still relevant and, thus, worthwhile listening. I’m working my way through his library and will keep on digging through them.

Of particular note is his post about Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. Though most of my life has been spent along these shores, I’d not heard of this. His intro to this is a good start into understanding this disease impacting many different species of our region’s sea stars. {UC Santa Clara’s website on this is a great resource for learning more}.

I hope Ryan is able to get more podcasts up. In the meantime, I’ll make my way through what’s there. And, dear friends, I recommend you do the same.



Along Marysville’s Ebey Waterfront Trail

This afternoon I was able to break away from my desk and walk the nearby Ebey Waterfront Trail here in Marysville. It’s really nice trail, just off the river. Many opportunities for wildlife sightings (especially if you like birds)…I saw two bald eagles, a couple of herons and some other eagles, but they too far away to tell if they were juvenile balds, or goldens or something else.

Some photos from my walk are below, plus a video of the eagles. Though quite warm by western Washington standards, I found it a lovely walk and sunny, cloudless afternoon. Plus, I managed to finish my step goal for the day. A recipe for success, methinks.

A fine day on the shore 

Late morning my wife and I made our way down to our favorite beach in Edmonds. It was an exceptionally low tide, which is always a delight to explore. These tides expose much that’s hidden, leaving amazing creatures in the tide pools. Below are just a few examples of all that was there. 

The view of Edmonds’ Brackett’s Landing at low tide

Normally, where all the seaweed is on the sand is below water. Rather deep water. 

I’m pretty sure this is a sea spong

An ochre star amidst the rocks at the jetty

Gobs of sea cucumbers

Grays Moon Snail egg casing

The first time we saw these, I thought they were some kind of gasket. 

Loved this kelp crab. 

I’ve never seen a crab crawl into a piling. 

And the evening ends

Opportunities and All That

I’ve had two conversations today that have me thinking about the area’s economic opportunities.

  1. Seeing the potential from storage rental facilities, with RV spaces in particular. I know a builder who had nearly 100% occupancy shortly after pre-sales started. Complete hearsay, but I still trust it. Well, enough to be willing to do further research.
  2. Storefronts in the City of Everett. Now, after some brief research, looks like commercial real estate vacancies are down. Yet, while walking along Colby a week or so ago, there’s quite a bit of storefront space vacant. I think Everett has a lot of potential, and that it will materialize at some point. I’d like to see a more vigorous effort to promote the downtown of the city. Especially as an alternative to Seattle. But, that’s just my notion.

Anyway, there are other potentials out there. What are you seeing?

Memorial Day, 2017

An amazing weekend. First, perfect weather. Which seems to turn off tomorrow. Giving a more divine feeling to the holiday weekend. Also, though we had plenty of activity, we were able to get quite a bit done around the house. 

Saturday and Sunday were filled with concert preparation and performance in my church, Trinity Lutheran Church by the Snohomish County Youth Chorus. Not only was my son singing, but I ran a PowerPoint and helped with sound. 

We did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Edmonds Farmers Market, and a couple of walks in. Met my Fit bit step goals every day. 

Today was mostly home centric. Finished cleaning out the garage, more cleaning around the house, that sort of thing. Then we wandered down around Edmonds beaches, enjoying the low tide. It never ceases to delight me how opened up the beach becomes. We can walk around the jetty, and under the ferry dock. 

Watching these clams (I presume) feeding through their siphons delighted me. 

Journeying up the hill to Revelations Froyo is a must on warm-to-hot days in Edmonds. Other days, too, but it’s especially welcome in the heat. 

Then we ended with the first salmon of the year. Just splendid! 

I hope your Memorial Day was reflective and refreshing. Of course, tomorrow we’re back into it. 

With the Summer Weather, Please Watch For Motorcycles

A few days ago, while driving down Everett’s Broadway, I saw a car on the side with a large dent. With it, a motorcycle, parts scattered, and, fortunately, the driver standing beside. 

So, my friends, please be cautious, check blind spots and all that. Motorcycles are out, and forget how to share the roads during winter’s dank darkness. 

Memorial Day Weekend + Great Weather = Traffic

This morning I heard a brief blurb about this weekend’s traffic. It’s going to be lovely, and there are some great events like Folklife going on (besides Folklife, my favorite so far is Tankfest in Everett at Paine Field.

Everyone will be on the roads!

Expect horrible traffic throughout the Puget Sound region, and plan extra time to get to whatever adventure you’ll be taking.

Looking for something to do (besides one the two above)? Here’s a few lists of events and activities out there.

Just a small sampling of all that’s going on around here. There’s also all the mountains, beaches, parks…outside stuff!

No reason to be on the couch this upcoming long weekend!


Aviation Film Festival: We Should Have One In The Seattle Area

My son discovered this film festival hosted by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Film Festival

Now I’m wondering, with such amazing institutions like Boeing, the Museum of Flight, the Future of Flight and the Museum of History and Industry, why we don’t have a similar film festival here in Seattle. I really think we’d get great traction on something like this.

What do you think? Would you go?

Let me know!


The Story Of A Neighborhood Eyesore

A few blocks from my house in Lynnwood there’s this beat up home that screams bank-owned to me. The front window is broken out, there are two abandoned vehicles in the front yard with their windows broken out. However, this is a decent neighborhood, close to Daleway and Lynndale parks. The main drawback to the house: it sits on a busy street. Outside of the recession, though, this is quite an unusual state for houses around here.

The homeowner on this one, Marcos Santiago, struggled quite bit. Per county records, the house was in danger of foreclosure, but, if you review the court records, it looks like he managed to negotiate a loan modification back in 2010/2011. Now, though, they received a notice of trustees sale back on November 4 of 2013, which hasn’t been released.

Sadly, Mr. Santiago passed away just a few weeks later on November 20, 2013. The closeness of his death to the foreclosure made me wonder if his death was a suicide, but I don’t see any information supporting that. And I’m not feeling curious enough to pay for a copy of the death certificate.

Another tidbit about this home: Marcos’ son, Marcos Jr., a level three sex offender, actually had a community meeting to address concerns about him living at this home. Shortly after the meeting, he ended up in trouble with the law again. Clearly, a troubled young man. I’m not sure what happened to him after this. He didn’t appear in the sex offender database.

But back to house. It’s again in distress, with a sheriffs levy filled at the end of 2016. US Bank is the entity acting here. I wonder if this will come on the market as an REO (stands for Real Estate Owned, the accounting description for an asset owned by a bank). It was sold with a conventional loan, I don’t expect it to come on the market as a government held one, either. It could sell on the courthouse steps, too. Hard to gauge at this point.

I know how slow these processes can take. As the property is vacant, I expect the heirs don’t feel any great motivation to engage with the process. If so, it’ll be protracted. But, someday, it will be sold and someone else will take this home’s story and make it there own. I hope it will be a happier one.

So, it’s official: passenger service is coming to Paine Field

I came across this at the Seattle Times: “Alaska Airlines will start passenger flights from Everett’s Paine Field

This has been hinted at for years, and then boldly stated (“Paine Field wins FAA’s approval for commercial airline flights” from 2012 and “Snohomish County OKs plan for commercial passenger terminal at Paine Field” more recently, in 2015)…at least that this was a plan. But, aside from Mukilteo’s battles, we seem to be moving this way. It’s definitely happening, and there’s a timeline: flights starting fall of 2018. The likelihood that this will be stopped is quite small (though Mukilteo hasn’t fully given up the fight yet), though I’m hardly an attorney. Delayed: sure. Stopped: hard to picture that happening.

Anyway, I see this as a mixed thing. I’d much rather travel out of Paine Field than driving down to Seatac. I’ve sworn on a few occasions that the next time I fly, I’ll travel out of Bellingham. But I haven’t yet. So, convenience is nice. And bringing in air service opens up events and conventions to the county, through Everett and Lynnwood. It also opens up the south Snohomish County region to businesses that depend on access to airports. At least a little.

I expect that service will start small and light, slowly expanding their operations. I believe the negotiations that have established a 22 flight max and the near normal business hours as sincere, but there will be pressure to increase capacity…and probably as soon as flights start. Especially since Seatac seems to be pretty near capacity and demand is still increasing.

This will bring more traffic to the area. And then there’s the aircraft noise. I’m glad Mukilteo is working with the entities at play to mitigate as much as we can. However, it will come. It will come. I’m also glad that we’re looking at significant infrastructure upgrades to the area (check out the Harbour Reach Corridor Project, for one).

It is interesting that this is just two weeks after a plane crash in the neighborhood. From a PR perspective, it’s a good thing this media cycle played out as it did. Well, for the proponents of this it is.

I’ve always tried to focus on the practical, the effective. It looks like we need to adapt to the new reality. As I see Snohomish County growing more urbanized over the next few years. This is the reality I’m referring to. My little piece of suburbia is moving away from a semi-rural feel to a far more urban structure. And this will fuel it.