Ride to Remember Oso on March 19

The communities of Arlington and Darrington are hosting a bicycle ride and community event on March 19 to commemorate the third anniversary of  the Oso slide.

Sign up for the bicycle ride to remember Oso on March 19, 2017.

The ride will “remember those who were lost and affected by the slide, recognize how far our communities have come, by celebrating our resilience and the completion of Arlington and Darrington’s America’s Best Communities projects,” said Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert and Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin.

The towns have been competing in the America’s Best Communities program. As quarter finalists, they received $50,000 to develop a community revitalization plan.

Twelve economic revitalization projects were borne out of that plan and as the communities advanced to the finals, they received $100,000 to begin implementing them. To date this has included, place making improvements, community wi-fi hot spots and development of a youth council.

On April 19, the towns will find out if they have been awarded the grand prize of up to $3 million for first place, $2 million for second, or $1 million for third.

Congratulations, Arlington and Darrington on your success with this grant program and on coming together to rebuild after the tragic events of March 22, 2014.





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New member joins Snohomish County Council

By unanimous vote, Nate Nehring was selected to fill the District 1 position on the Snohomish County Council formerly held by Ken Klein.

New Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring was sworn in on Monday.

District 1 encompasses north Snohomish County, including the cities of Arlington, Darrington, Marysville, and Stanwood.

Nehring was born and raised in Marysville and currently lives in Stanwood. He has served as a Stanwood Planning Commissioner for the past year and is a science teacher at Cedarcrest Middle School.

At 21 years old, he is the youngest person ever to serve on the Snohomish County Council.

“We are grateful to have had three outstanding candidates to interview for this appointment,” said Council Chair Brian Sullivan in a news release. “Nate is very passionate about public service and will be a great addition to the council.”


Apply for the Livable City Year with UW

The University of Washington has launched a new program that offers one municipal applicant the opportunity to work with dozens of UW faculty and hundreds of students to create livability.

Apply for the UW's new initiative for livable cities by February 15, 2017.

Apply for the UW’s new initiative for livable cities by February 15, 2017.

The program is now accepting proposals from cities, counties, special districts, and regional partnerships to be the municipal partner host for the UW Livable City Year Initiative.

The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2017 for the 2017-18 academic year.

The applicant chosen will benefit from 40,000- 80,000 hours of research and study by University of Washington students and faculty members from a variety of disciplines, working to advance goals identified by the partner tied to livability, environmental sustainability, economic viability, and social equity, inclusion and access.

The municipal partner must be prepared to support the effort through staff time and financial support.

Find out more at http://lcy.uw.edu.

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Take a look at new plans for the downtown Seattle ferry terminal

The state’s busiest ferry terminal is about to get an “extreme” makeover.


The view from Elliott Bay – new state ferry and Water Taxi Terminal

This month Washington State Ferries is asking people to take a look at the latest designs and tell them what they think.

The latest is available in an online open housePublic meetings start on Bainbridge Island on April 19th and will include stops in Seattle and Bremerton.


The new ferry terminal is one of seven related projects to be finished by 2023.

The new terminal at Colman Dock is one of seven major projects now underway that will transform Seattle’s downtown waterfront.

Construction on the new terminal is expected to start next year with the replacement of the current Water Taxi dock, which is expected to be complete in late 2018.

The entire terminal project, including holding lanes, access, buildings – and a new Marion Street pedestrian bridge, are all expected to be finished in early 2023.


Facing Alaskan Way with no Viaduct and a new Marion Street Bridge.

The Colman Dock and terminal project is estimated to cost $326 million and is funded by a combination of federal and state funds, as well as local funds for King County’s replacement of the Water Taxi facility.

The old state ferry terminal is on its last legs – due in part to attacks by ship worms on support timbers – and is rife with safety concerns and operating inefficiencies.

Quality of life here: positives outweigh negatives three to one

People in the central Puget Sound region say the positives about the quality of life here outweigh the negatives: 75 percent to 25 percent.


Redmond Town Center (City of Redmond photo)

And just over half say their own community is headed in the right direction.

These were among the findings of a survey led by Forterra with the help of King County, Amazon and the PSRC.

People within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties were asked: “Thinking of all the positives and negative aspects about the quality of life in the region, what percentage of things do you thinking are positive? What percentage is negative?


People were also asked: “Do you feel things in your own community today are going in the right direction or headed on the wrong track?”

DirectionResidents of Snohomish County were least likely to believe things are headed in the right direction (45 % right direction), while those in Pierce County were most optimistic (58% right direction).

The survey was conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies to assess the values and priorities of the region’s residents as they relate to sustaining the region’s assets, better reflect the region’s values in planning and help improve communication.


Region’s residents tend to be more upbeat

People in the central Puget Sound region are more positive about the quality of their lives than the national average.


50 percent of the people in the region say their quality of life is improving. 13 percent say it’s declining.

And half of us expect our quality of life will improve over the next five years – also beating the national average.

These were among the findings of a survey led by Forterra with the help of King County, Amazon and the PSRC.

When asked to rate their personal life on a scale of one to ten, the region’s residents had a mean rating of 7.2.

The U.S. mean rating is 6.1.

And when it comes to the next five years, people in the region rate their future at 7.8, while the rest of the country weighs in at 6.8.


Thinking about the overall quality of your life here in this region…..on a scale of 1 to 10, on which step of the ladder do you personally stand at the present time? And, say about five years from now?

The survey was conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies, which has done similar work across the country.

Heart and Mind said the region’s scores were among the highest they’ve seen and were similar to two sunnier places: Orlando and San Diego.

Fifty percent of the region’s residents see the quality of the lives improving over the next five years, 38 percent see things staying the same and 13 percent see things declining.

National surveys have shown that 44 percent see things improving and 56 percent see things declining.


Darrington mayor to be honored at White House

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin will be honored at a special awards ceremony at the White House on May 8.

Mayor Dan Rankin last spring at a ribbon cutting for the Fir Street project.

Mayor Dan Rankin at a ribbon cutting for the Fir Street project in Darrington, completed in September 2014

Mayor Rankin will receive a 2015 Phoenix Award for his leadership following the March 2014 mudslide.

The Small Business Administration presents Phoenix Awards to community leaders who display “selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.”

Mayor Rankin told the Everett Herald that the award is “a reflection of my community and how we all reacted in the face of a disaster.”

“Being a small community, we rely on each other and trust each other, and in those initial days that trust we have for each other and that entrepreneurial spirit helped us make the most with the resources we had. Those resources had to be enough.”

In the face of the devastation caused by the major mudslide on March 22, 2014, Mayor Rankin coordinated the search and rescue mission and worked to ensure residents and businesses had access to emergency resources.

He pushed to quickly restore telephone and Internet connections, and worked to ensure that State Route 530—the main transportation link to Darrington—reopened as quickly as possible.