2013: The year in review

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman


• The City Council enacted a moratorium prohibiting certain uses in downtown for six months after the city received a proposal for an indoor gun shooting range in downtown. The Council also discussed whether to prohibit mobile home parks, destination resorts, amusement parks, gas stations, drive-in theaters, funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries in downtown.

• Local author Kirby Larson published a sequel to her Newbery Honor-winning young adult novel, "Hattie Big Sky." The sequel, "Hattie Ever After," tells the story of 17-year-old orphan Hattie, who travels alone from Montana to San Francisco and makes a life for herself there in the early 20th century.


• The City Council clarified ambiguous rules about sewer and septic systems. New developments are required to connect to the public sewer system only if the development does not have an approved, functioning septic system.

• A 15-year-old Bothell boy was shot by a security guard at a Food and Drug Administration laboratory after the boy struck the guard by backing a car into him. The boy was treated for a foot injury and booked into a juvenile center.

• Mayor Bernie Talmas accused City Council member Scott Hageman of being ineligible to serve on the Council because he had moved out of the city. Although Hageman’s legal primary residence was registered in Kirkland, Hageman claimed he bought the Kirkland house for his wife and son and that he was still living in Woodinville in a house he had leased.


• Bothell teenager Jessica Howe won a conservation award from the National Wildlife Federation for organizing work parties to dig trails and remove invasive species and for promoting recycling at Bothell High School. Only 14 people or organizations each year get the award.

• The Northshore School District relocated tuition-based preschool classes from Cottage Lake and Frank Love elementary schools to Hollywood Hill and Arrowhead elementary schools because the district needed more classroom space. The sudden change left some parents disappointed because they didn’t have enough time to make other plans.

• A bronze statue of a heron was stolen from Northshore United Church of Christ. The pastor explained the congregation was especially saddened by the theft because the church’s founding pastor had created it in memory of his wife.


• Fellow teachers saved the life of Don Wardlow, a health and fitness teacher at Canyon Park Junior High, when Wardlow went into cardiac arrest while playing basketball before school. Paul Jensen, Tom Day and Jeff Varden called 911 and used an automatic external defibrillator to restore his heart rate and breathing.

• Earl "Coss" Cossey, a teacher and coach at Leota Junior High for 25 years who was known for his practical jokes and his generosity, was found murdered in his home.

Although Cossey was known for packing the parachutes that were given to airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper in 1971, police didn’t believe Cossey’s death is related to the unsolved Cooper case.


• The City Council approved the Woodin Creek Village Development, which will include housing, retail business space, office space and a trail in downtown.

• The Chrysalis School, an independent private school that lets students create custom class schedules, was allowed to reopen in a new location after the City Council passed an ordinance allowing secondary schools in the industrial zone.

• The Northshore School District switched to an early release schedule in which students leave school two hours early on Wednesdays, giving teachers and staff time for professional development. Some parents were frustrated that the district changed to an early release schedule when it has been unwilling to change to a later start time for high schools.

• The City Council approved surveillance cameras in public places, despite concerns from citizens and the ACLU about privacy concerns. Police hope the cameras (which will not be monitored constantly) will be able to catch repeat offenders and therefore reduce the city’s crime rate.


• The City Council decided which businesses to allow in downtown. Gas stations are allowed with a short screen to block the pumps from view, motor vehicle and boat dealers can have outdoor sales lots and shooting ranges must comply with noise limitations.

• Woodinville Village, a mixed-use wine development that will include villas, local wineries, restaurants, a day spa and a hotel, was permitted to move forward with development after resolving a lawsuit with the city of Woodinville. However, the city decided in July to challenge that ruling with an appeal.

• Alan Justin Smith allegedly confessed to murdering his wife, Susann Smith, whose body was found in her Bothell home in February.

Prosecutors say Alan and Susann Smith were in the process of a divorce and bitter custody battle over their two young children. Alan Smith later pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder.


• After Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders sent an email criticizing Deputy Mayor Liz Aspen and a former mayor in unflattering terms, the City Council began a quest to end bullying among members and create stricter behavior rules and consequences. Citizens criticized the Council for taking time away from city business to indulge personal conflicts, and the Council decided to postpone the matter until January 2014.

• Police searched for the "elephant man bandit," a serial bank robber who, police believed, robbed Banner Bank in Woodinville. The man, who was linked to two other bank robberies in the area, covered his face with a shirt or fabric with small eye holes and implied to victims that he had a gun.


• Woodinville celebrated its 20th anniversary as a city with a giant birthday cake, the Basset Bash, live music, and local food, wine and beer. In order to avoid snow and rain, this year the 35th annual parade was held in August instead of March or April.

• In downtown Bothell, a realigned route for SR 522 opened and the city began widening SR 527. The Bothell Crossroads project is scheduled to finish in March 2014.

• After closing in 2012, Theno’s Dairy brought its famous ice cream back at the Sammamish Valley Festival.

• August 8 was declared "Nancy Stafford Day" by King County, in honor of a Woodinville woman who organized the Music in the Park summer concerts at Cottage Lake Park. Nancy Stafford also works with other community service organizations, including the Woodinville Library, the Upper Bear Creek Community Council and the Hilltoppers Garden Club.


• A project to fill in a sinkhole in the Mounterra neighborhood of Hollywood Hill drew complaints from neighbors that the slope was too steep and that construction trucks were noisy and drove unsafely. The homeowners association and the contractor for the project reassured concerned residents that the steep slope would never be used to build new houses, and said the project was necessary after the land, including two homeowners’ backyards, sank 35 feet after an earthquake.

• Woodinville High School was locked down for more than an hour as police chased a burglary suspect. The suspect burglarized a home, crashed his truck into a chain-link fence nearby and ran across Highway 522. Police tried to track the suspect with a helicopter and K9 patrol, but weren’t able to find him.

• Samuel C. Sampson, a 27-year-old Woodinville resident, was charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving after he allegedly caused a crash on I-405 that killed Ian R. Beckford of Federal Way. Prosecutors say Sampson reached speeds of more than 120 m.p.h., was under the influence of several drugs and may have been trying to kill himself and his wife, who was in the car with him.

• Deana Maureen Palmer, the former treasurer of the WHS Music Boosters Club, was charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing more than $5,000 from the Music Boosters in February through April 2013.


• Jodie Howerton, a communications consultant and a mother of three Northshore students, started a campaign to create compassionate, up-to-date educational videos about HIV after learning that the Northshore School District used videos from the late 1980s or early 1990s with medically inaccurate information. Howerton’s 8-year-old son, Duzi, is HIV-positive, and she wanted other students to know that HIV is a chronic but manageable illness.

• A group of 10 Woodinville citizens, including City Council member Susan Boundy-Sanders, filed a public disclosure complaint against the Ethical Woodinville, claiming the group was breaking state law by anonymously advertising about political candidates. Ethical Woodinville’s ads accused Mayor Bernie Talmas of bullying and harassing other Council members, although the ads didn’t tell voters to vote for or against a certain candidate.

• Kirkland City Council member Toby Nixon filed a public disclosure complaint accusing Kinnon Williams, a candidate for the EvergreenHealth Board of Commissioners, of not disclosing all of his campaign donations electronically. Williams received $30,000 in donations from the DeYoung family, which Nixon said was unethical since Al DeYoung is the chair of the Board of Commissioners.

• Sydney Katelane Jones, who discovered a dead man at the side of the road while walking her dog late at night, later turned herself in for the fatal hit-and-run. The victim, Joseph David Humphreys, was a longtime employee at Ooba Tooba’s Mexican Restaurant and Grill in Woodinville.


• Election Day brought an end to what some citizens considered a dirty campaign season. Mayor Bernie Talmas was reelected to the City Council, defeating challenger Brad Walker. Paula Waters, James Evans and Susan Boundy-Sanders, who ran unopposed, were also elected to the City Council. Dale Knapinski narrowly defeated incumbent Rick Chatterton for a position on the Water District Board of Commissioners.

• The city of Bothell and the developers of McMenamins announced that the Northshore Pool will be converted into a soaking pool for relaxation rather than a swimming pool. The 4-foot-deep pool will be filled with warm saltwater and will be open to the community.

• The City Council debated whether to turn the Old Woodinville Schoolhouse into a wine center to support new wineries or a cultural center with a black box theater and jazz club — or, since estimates for the project kept getting more expensive, to do nothing with the building. In December, the city conducted a survey of citizens to see if they would be willing to vote for a bond that would pay for the renovation.

• The City Council enacted a moratorium on marijuana-related businesses anywhere in the city, giving the Council six more months to decide whether to ban or permit marijuana businesses permanently. The moratorium made it harder for prospective marijuana producers, processors and retailers to apply during the one-month application period in November and December.


• The holiday season was the perfect time to see local performers show off their skills. The Emerald Ballet Theatre’s production of "The Nutcracker" featured 15 student dancers from the Northshore area. Evergreen Family Theatre and Cascade Community Theatre presented their own versions of "A Christmas Carol." And the Dickens Carolers entertained a large audience at the Woodinville Library.

• Grizzly Ciderworks opened a tasting room in Woodinville’s warehouse district. The city’s first cidery (or hard cider brewery), Grizzly Ciderworks offers dry-hopped ciders that aim to bridge the gap between beer and sweet hard ciders.

• "Buy Nothing," an experiment that began on Bainbridge Island and has spread across the country, came to Woodinville, Carnation and Duvall. Via local Facebook groups, people can offer items or services for free and ask for things they need. No money changes hands in Buy Nothing’s gift economy.

• Snow on Dec. 20 prompted a two-hour delayed start for Northshore schools, but some parents complained that NSD should have closed school for the whole day. Fortunately, there were no serious incidents involving the district’s buses during the morning commute.

• DeYoung’s Farm & Garden, the farm and feed supplies store that’s been open for 69 years, closed at the end of December. The owners, brothers John and Dennis DeYoung, were ready to retire and sold the property to a developer.

• Classic rockers from the bands Boston and Steppenwolf played a greatest hits show at Vessel Wines in Woodinville to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

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