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spring 2017 heroes

On February 16, 2017, Hank Landau and Sandra Ripley Distelhorst, both members of the Edmonds Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee, interviewed members of the Students Saving Salmon Club of Edmonds-Woodway High School. The following article celebrates their efforts and successes in addressing climate protection-related projects.

The Students Saving Salmon Club at Edmonds-Woodway High School, with 20 student members, has been designated as Sustainable Heroes for 2017 by the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee (CPC).

The CPC Sustainable Heroes series highlights community members who make a difference by contributing to sustainable climate-related projects. Climate change may impact Edmonds in a number of ways including an overall rise in ambient air temperature and fresh water temperature, rising sea level, wider range of fluctuation in weather (e.g., more severe storms), change in dominant trees, shrubs and plants, and changes to bird, fish and insect populations.

Changes to the fresh water and marine environment are of particular significance to salmon that rely on and navigate both environments. Understanding how salmon navigate the available fresh water estuaries in Edmonds and identifying barriers to their successful spawning can help our community better understand how to mitigate the influences of climate change and other man-made and environmental impacts.

Hank Landau and Sandra Distelhorst – members of the Mayor’s Climate Protection Committee - interviewed several members of the Students Saving Salmon Club (SSSC): Joe Cooper (President), Malia Clark (Vice President), Jared Yu (Secretary), Taylor Blevins, Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria, Farah Al-Qurishi, and Ava Wilson. Club advisors included Biology teacher Dave Millette, retired NOAA fisheries biologist Joe Scordino, and Valerie Stewart, community advocate.

Every month the Students Saving Salmon Club members take time out of their busy weekend schedules to collect water quality data from several creeks that feed into the Edmonds Marsh as well as samples from the Marsh. Valerie Stewart, club advisor said “This is a very conscientious group who go above and beyond to volunteer their time to help our community.” A few hours a month of water sampling is supported by hours of data entry.

Collecting and recording data is an important part of the project according to Joe Cooper, SSSC President: “Even if conditions are reasonable now, having a baseline is important so you can monitor future activities. In ten or 15 years we will be able to see if any change happened, gradual or dramatic. The data we collect today will still be important in the future.” Students who participated in data entry include: Ava Wilson, Angela Yang, Jared Yu, Erin Francisco, Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria, Joe Cooper, Taylor Blevins, Sabrina Liu, Malia Clark, Emily Hoang, Natalie Flaherty, Farah Al-Qurishi, Ryan Peterson, along with advisor Joe Scordino.

Students get valuable scientific training from their advisors, including proper data recording and quality control procedures for sample taking. Several students have visited the Edmonds City laboratory to see how the City monitors storm water. The group plans to present their data to the Edmonds City Council at the end of the school year. The report will also include data on stream water quality during and after storm events.

Hands on experience is another one of the most rewarding parts of the club activities according to Cooper: “In biology class everything is hypothetical . . . this happened in this ecosystem somewhere really far way. . . whereas this is a hands-on experience we get to see what is happening right here in our community.”

The students also are involved in community outreach. There are three creeks that provide potential salmon spawning: Shell Creek, Willow Creek and Shellabarger Creek, with only Shell Creek currently supporting some salmon spawning.

The students have been surveying stream property owners about salmon in the creeks. Advisor Joe Scordino noted that creeks that run through private property are difficult to monitor. Scordino was impressed that the students were able to survey all 40 houses along Shell Creek with some property owners welcoming students even on a Saturday morning into their backyard and eager to share their stories of salmon sightings. There is nothing more motivating to protecting the stream in your backyard then actually seeing a salmon in the stream on your property, Scordino noted. It makes you appreciate the need and the honor of protecting their habitat.

Jared Yu, club secretary, found working with property owners challenging but rewarding “It was hard to have to talk to strangers at first but it helped build my confidence and communications skills and overall skills that could be applied to any field.” Going out into the community was also something Taylor Blevins appreciated “Going out to residents’ houses, interacting with residents, and being more involved in community.”

“It was encouraging that a lot of the residents were already taking measures to be safe” Jared Yu said, “and we can help by spreading knowledge of what homeowners can do to prevent contamination and improve stream habitat.” One of the first things the students intend to do with the data they have collected is share it with property owners and get their perspective.

A spike in warm temperatures was noted in March 2016 suggesting the need to closely monitor stream temperature. For salmon a temperature above 64 degree F is too hot for spawning. Encourage stream shading all along the stream can help mitigate spikes in temperatures too warm for salmon.

The students have also collaborated with Sound Salmon Solutions, a non-profit regional enhancement group to obtain a grant that provides funds for water quality tests at an accredited laboratory and for native plants that will be planted along Shell Creek. Students and habitat technicians will offer to work with property owners to plan and plant native vegetation along the streambeds on their properties. Salmon depend on plants for shade and shelter as well as insects as a food source. Many property owners were eager to work with students to monitor the health of the streams running through their property and still other were already taking steps to encourage salmon runs. Some property owners expressed concern about trees or shrubs blocking their view of the stream said “People have to be willing to help, and we have to help inform more people about how to protect the environment” said EWHS Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria.

Most of the students anticipated moving on to careers that involve environmental studies, medicine, or other paths that help people and the environment. The club gives them the opportunity to explore their future interests. When we asked the students if they were optimistic about their ability to continue to monitor and protect salmon in our streams they enthusiastically agreed. As Hank Landau noted “When young people are optimistic that makes me optimistic.”

It may be difficult to predict the future, but thanks to the Students Saving Salmon Club efforts and the legacy of their database, we will know what happened in the past. Their model of sustainable community action is truly exceptional.

The City of Edmonds continues to identify opportunities for climate protection including actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The City is also identifying ways to mitigate the effects of climate change through long-range planning that includes the impact of sea level rise and the rise in temperature along our shorelines and fresh water habitats. See www.edmondswa.gov. To find ways you can contribute to climate protection, check your carbon footprint at the EPA website https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/website calculator.

Flags at Half Staff in Remembrance of Americans Lost to COVID-19

flag half staffFebruary 22nd through Sunset on February 26th, by Presidential Proclamation, United States Flags will be flown at half-staff in memory of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

City Seeks Applicants for Economic Development Commission

Applications will now be accepted to fill a position on the Economic Development Commission (EDC) that will become available as of the end of March.
“Promoting economic activity in Edmonds enhances our quality of life and creates jobs,” commented Mayor Mike Nelson. “Our Economic Development Commissioners provide valuable advice on many issues before the City Council, staff, and the Mayor.”

The appointed Commissioner will serve in a volunteer capacity for a term running until March 31, 2023.

The City encourages women, people of color, and other minorities to apply for service on this Commission. Citizens interested in serving on the Citizens Economic Development Commission must fill out and submit the official city application form, which may be found at this webpage:
http://edmondswa.gov/boards-commissions-committees-openings.html

Applications are due by 4:30 pm, Wednesday, 3/10/21.
Commissioners must be residents of Edmonds.

For more information, feel free to contact Economic Development and Community Services Director
Patrick Doherty at patrick.doherty@edmondswa.gov or 425-771-0251.

Public Input Sought - Citywide Bicycle Lanes Improvements

Deisgn Alternatives to be Presented to Residents

The City of Edmonds and its design consultant, Blueline, Inc, have been collecting user data and generating design alternatives for installation of bicycle lanes at various locations within Edmonds. The design team will be presenting this information to residents in various formats including an interactive web-based map and a public meeting to be held by video conference on Wednesday, February 24.

The interactive map and public meeting details can be accessed at the project website: bikelanes.edmondswa.gov.

The interactive project map is based on the City’s GIS platform. Anyone interested in the project can navigate to any spot and toggle the various design options to see how each one would impact accessibility and parking. Users can then submit feedback via the website to let City staff know which option they prefer and why.


City engineering staff and Blueline representatives will be on hand to answer questions and take comment from anyone with an interest in the project during a public meeting that will held on Wednesday, February 24th at 6:00PM. Interested parties are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time by emailing bikelanes@edmondswa.gov. Questions submitted ahead of time will be given priority during the public meeting.

Please contact Ryan Hague by calling (425)771-0220 or by e-mail at ryan.hague@edmondswa.gov for the following:
1. If you have questions about the project.
2. If you are unable to access the on-line information or attend the on-line public meeting
3. If you have difficulty understanding English, you may, free of charge, request language assistance services for this project information

City of Edmonds Hoping to Identify Vulnerable Residents Unable to Travel to Vaccine Locations

The City of Edmonds Recreation staff has been tasked with answering calls Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm to identify Edmonds residents unable to travel to obtain their COVID-19 vaccines once more vaccines become readily available. This program begins Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Edmonds residents who meet the WA State Vaccine guidelines and are homebound and unable to travel to a vaccine location are encouraged to call 425-771-0230 to speak with a City staff member.

“We have homebound residents who are potentially being missed when it comes to getting their vaccines. Our goal is to find our most vulnerable homebound residents in the city and then work with our partner agencies to identify ways to get them a vaccine once they become more readily available,” said Mayor Mike Nelson.

This outreach effort is to identify our citizens who will be experiencing obstacles getting their vaccine once more are available as a first step in problem-solving how to better assist them.

If you aren’t homebound but are currently eligible for the vaccine under the WA State Vaccine guidelines, you are encouraged to contact your primary health care provider.

If you do not have internet access or are facing a language barrier, please call the COVID-19 Call Center for Snohomish County at 425-339-5278 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm) for assistance.

For more information about who is currently eligible or to learn more about the vaccine and how to schedule one, please visit the Snohomish County Coronavirus Response & Community Resource Hub.

Please note the City is not currently in possession of vaccines nor will the City be setting up appointments.

Applications Being Sought for Architectural Design Board

(Edmonds – WA) The City of Edmonds is seeking applications to fill the positions of Landscape Architect and Planner on the Architectural Design Board. The Landscape Architect is a professional working in the field of landscape architecture with the ability to understand and review landscape plans for multifamily and commercial development projects. The Planner position is one who works in the field of urban planning with the ability to deal with land use and design issues in the built environment.

This is a volunteer position and requires the appointed board member to attend up to two evening meetings a month, normally occurring on the first or third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Complex. The ADB is an advisory board to the City on proposed multiple-family and commercial developments including for site, landscape, and building design. The appointed board member does not need to reside within city limits.

Applications may be obtained online at: http://www.edmondswa.gov/images/COE/Government/Boards_and_Commissions/PDF/BC_App_fillable.pdf or by calling the Mayor’s Office at 425.771.0247.

Applications are due Thursday, March 11 by 4:30 pm.

media release

Edmonds Planning Board Seeks New Members

(Edmonds - WA) Edmonds residents interested in serving on the Edmonds Planning Board are encouraged to apply for one or more openings this year.

The Planning Board advises the Mayor and City Council on comprehensive planning, rezones, development code amendments, and other land use issues. The Planning Board, with support from City staff, normally meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m.

Applications may be obtained by contacting the Mayor’s Office at 425.771.0247 or by visiting the city website at: http://www.edmondswa.gov/images/COE/Government/Boards_and_Commissions/PDF/BC_App_fillable.pdf.

Applications are due by 4:30 pm Tuesday, March 2nd.

The City encourages women, people of color, and other minorities to apply for service on this Board.

Qualified candidates will be interviewed by the Mayor who will make the appointment with City Council confirmation.

For more information about the Planning Board’s work, contact key City staff at planning@edmondswa.gov.

media release

Open House for Hwy 99 Revitalization & Gateway Project (Stage 2)

The City of Edmonds invites you to attend an online open house to discuss the Highway 99 Gateway & Revitalization, Stage 2 Project. The objective of this project is to design and construct safety improvements and gateway signage along Highway 99 (throughout Edmonds), between 244th Street SW and 210th Street SW, consistent with the Conceptual Plans developed in the Highway 99 Gateway- Revitalization Stage 1 planning project.

This project will convert the existing two-way left turn lane to a raised median with mid-block left turn pockets along certain sections, as well as landscaped raised median and C-Curb along other sections in order to improve safety along the entire corridor. In addition, a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signal is proposed just north of 234th Street SW to provide an additional pedestrian crossing and improve pedestrian safety along the corridor. Gateway signs will also be added at each end of the City of Edmonds frontage on Highway 99 to help travelers identify the City limits of Edmonds and establish a consistent look that will be extended in future projects along this corridor.

For more information including a clickable link to the Open House Zoom meeting, visit www.EdmondsCorridor99.org.

If you have difficulty understanding English, you may, free of charge, request language assistance services for this project information by contacting Mr. Bertrand Hauss at bertrand.hauss@edmondswa.gov or calling at (425)754-5325.

Edmonds Diversity Film Series Resumes February 21st

Fourth Series Picks up February 21st with Virtual Screening
After two successful virtual screenings in October and November of 2020, the Edmonds Diversity Film Series resumes its fourth season this month, with the next screening scheduled for Sunday, February 21st at 4pm on the Zoom platform. Screenings will be offered FREE to the public and are scheduled for the third Sundays of the month, February through May. Each screening presents a film, or films, related to different topics or groups representing diverse populations and experiences. After each screening there is a brief opportunity for comment and dialogue. And due to the virtual platform, we are fortunate that several of the films’ producers, writers and/or actors will be able to join the Zoom for the comment and question periods.

February’s film is Outside the House by Darnell Lamont Walker. This film has been called a kind of therapy. It is brave men and women sharing their stories, pains, truths, and struggles as they deal with mental illness, showing others they are not alone. Mr. Walker will be joining the Zoom for a Q&A after the filming.  Trigger warning: language, abuse and other difficult topics. The film may be previewed at: http://outsidethehousedoc.com/
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/98864553780?pwd=eGRkQzBsL3M3VTlEelY4QmxHbGR0QT09
Meeting ID: 988 6455 3780
Passcode: 918690


Teach Us All – Elevating Equity in Education for Every Student is March’s film, screening on the 21st at 4pm. Produced by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Teach Us All is a documentary and social justice campaign on educational inequality set against the backdrop of the 1957 Little Rock school crisis. Sixty years after the Little Rock Nine faced violent resistance when desegregating Central High in Arkansas, America’s schools continue to represent the key battleground of the Civil Rights Movement. Teach Us All demonstrates powerful lessons from history within a timely context, emphasizing the need for unity and collective action to rectify the disparities among America’s children. The Teach Us All social justice campaign seeks to build the capacity of students and educators to take leadership in carrying forth the legacy of the Little Rock Nine while activating broader community engagement in today’s urgent need for educational equity. Teach Us All is written and directed by Sonia Lowman.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/91412435510?pwd=WkZ0QUtFN3FZSzBYcWFqVEM5THRXUT09
Meeting ID: 914 1243 5510
Passcode: 252498


On April 18, 2021 the series presents The Homestretch, a film that follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers - Roque, Kasey and Anthony - will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. By Anne de Mare and Kristen Kelly. The film may be previewed at: http://www.homestretchdoc.com/trailer
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92223556572?pwd=ci9HRXNrNUZyak5MUHkyRVZyQVI3dz09
Meeting ID: 922 2355 6572
Passcode: 405164

May 16, 2021 features I Learn America by Jean-Michel Dissard and Gitte Peng. At the International High School at Lafayette, a Brooklyn public school dedicated to newly arrived immigrants from all over the world, five teenagers strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years, and create a future of their own while coming of age in a new land. Through these five vibrant young people, their stories and struggles, and their willingness to open their lives and share them with us, we “learn America.” Jean-Michel Dissar will be joining us for a Q&A after the film.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96842037384?pwd=bWNSakFML2tFeWY4VXhEbUZSVWlNQT09
Meeting ID: 968 4203 7384
Passcode: 169983


Additional information about the films is available at diversity.edmondswa.gov

The Edmonds Diversity Film Series is sponsored by the Edmonds Diversity Commission, MyEdmondsNews, and the Edmonds Centers for the Arts.

Open House to Update Climate Action Plan

The City of Edmonds will be updating its Climate Action Plan this year. Kicking off the update is a virtual open house on February 18th at 6pm. The meeting is open to the public and will be held via Zoom. A link to the meeting can be found online at https://www.edmondsclimate.com/get-involved.

In 2017, the Edmonds City Council adopted Resolution No. 1389 committing the City of Edmonds to achieve or exceed at the local level the goals established in the Paris Climate Agreement. This adoption was based on finding global climate change to be a reality that represents an ever-increasing threat to the health and well-being of residents of Edmonds and beyond.

Since the adoption of Resolution No. 1389, the City of Edmonds has:
·       conducted a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory
·       established a science-based target of limiting the global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures
·       reviewed existing City policies, programs and action to reduce GHG emissions
·       developed a tool and measures for tracking GHG emissions

Building upon these previous efforts, the City of Edmonds will be updating its Climate Action Plan in 2021.

The City will be seeking public engagement throughout the development of the Climate Action Plan. To facilitate public engagement a project website has been established at EdmondsClimate.com. This website will be updated throughout the process with information on future public meetings, project materials, background information, and surveys.

This informational virtual open house on the Climate Action Update process will be held on February 18th beginning at 6 pm via Zoom followed by a workshop in March along with a survey to gather public feedback. Zoom meeting links will be provided on the EdmondsClimate.com website.

If you would like to be added to a listserv to receive further information, send an email to climateaction@edmondswa.gov. Find more information online at https://www.edmondsclimate.com/.

Edmonds Diversity Commission Launches Equity Toolkit for Local Businesses

During its work over the past year the Edmonds Diversity Commission recognized the growing need to consider involving business community members in the work of raising awareness around equity and justice within the community.

As the culmination of a first-ever collaboration between Diversity Commissioners and local business leaders, the Edmonds Diversity Commission has created an Equity Toolkit for Businesses. This toolkit includes resources for local businesses that are interested in learning to become allies and advocates for “creating and strengthening an equitable, welcoming culture for each and every one of our neighbors and visitors” within the Edmonds business community.

The toolkit can be accessed from the Diversity Commission’s webpage:
http://www.edmondswa.gov/diversity-commission-home

In this digital packet, business owners will find a variety of assets including:

·       An Edmonds Pledge of Equity as well as sample pledges that can be used as guide in creating a business’s customized pledge of equity
·       A toolkit of resources to assist business owners, their management teams, and staff to assess their organization through an equity lens and find areas for improvement
·       A curated list of helpful books and workbooks that provide guidance, perspective, and insight on dismantling racism, intersectionality, and inclusion
·       Websites and podcasts to use as resources to provide you with in-depth information on promoting equity, allies, and diversity of all types
·       Contacts for local trainers and leaders who can work with your business to further your equity efforts

Courtney Wooten, local Edmonds resident and owner of Suburbia Rising, a consulting firm offering training, workshops and guidance on issues of inclusivity, community organizing and community engagement, was hired by the Edmonds Diversity Commission to research and compile the Equity Toolkit, which she presented to the Commission at its January meeting.

“After a collaboration with local business leaders, and with the great work of Courtney Wooten, the Diversity Commission is thrilled to be able to offer this Equity Toolkit to the local business community,” stated Diversity Commission Chair Ardeth Weed.  “It is our sincere hope that business owners will take the pledge for equity and share these resources with their employees to help create a welcoming and more equitable community for all.”

The Equity Toolkit will be a “living document,” intended to be updated in the future with additional useful resources. Check the Diversity Commission’s webpage for updates!

Honoring Bill Anderson

Bill Camera 2018 07 09 2Today we honor Bill Anderson and his tremendous contributions to our community. Bill was heavily involved with our Discovery Program and with BirdFest for many years. Bill and his son Daren were frequently found photographing the wildlife of many Edmonds' parks. Bill's photos, patience and environmental leadership will be greatly missed.

Learn more about Bill’s dedication to photography and protecting our local wildlife here

Bill Anderson Proclamationpileated 8

Photo credit: Bob Sears

 Photo credit: Bill Anderson