Northwest NEWS

December 28, 1998

Local News

1998 timeline

by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter

   The following is a review of the major local highlights of 1998:

   Jan. 5: Woodinville and Bothell's city councils welcomed new members, and chose new mayors. In Woodinville, it was Don Brocha; in Bothell, Debbie Treen.

   Jan. 9: A King County jury found Ernie Zumwalt, a Duvall City Councilman, guilty of possessing and selling cocaine. He was sentenced to 36 months, but has appealed the case.

   Jan. 12: Readers learned about Annie, a 13-month-old German shepherd who was hit by a car and ran away from her home near Cottage Lake. Last week, Jim Estrada, one of Annie's owners, said he never found the dog, and feels she's gone wild. The Weekly received calls as late as last month from people believing they'd spotted the reddish-coated dog near the West Valley Snoqualmie Road.

   Jan. 16: An Associated Press reporter's child's tip from Bothell High School set off a "live at five" media blitz when four students there are expelled for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Comments Assistant Vice Principal Jeannie Simmons after further students are expelled the next week, "Drugs in high school are a reality because schools are a mirror of the community, and drugs are everywhere."

   Jan. 19: The City of Woodinville named a pair of downtown trees as heritage trees. Plaques can be found at the base of a Little Leaf Linden at Molbak's, and a Spanish Chestnut at Napa Auto Parts.

   Jan. 22: Don Brocha set up a sign reading "The Mayor is in" at Woodinville City Hall, beginning a Thursday afternoon ritual of making himself available to the public. Among those stopping by that first day were city staffers, a gentleman asking directions to the Chamber of Commerce, and Brocha's wife, who had questions about the city for him.

   Jan. 23: A south King County preservation group challenged a King County comprehensive plan amendment that would've allowed soccer fields to be chalked onto agricultural land just south of Woodinville's city limits. Eventually, a state hearings board ruled in their favor, though the King County Council appealed.

   Jan. 26: The Woodinville City Council began discussing a tax on electricity, natural gas, telephones, and garbage collection to improve NE 177th Pl., a side street leading from McLendon's past the new downtown retail development. The tax eventually passed, but will cease to be collected when the $6 to $7 million project is paid for. City officials estimate it will collect $500,000 a year.

   Also this day, following a "tsunami" of permitting activity, Bothell set out to hire a dozen new employees for the city's beleaguered Development Services division, drawing "hallelujahs" from one developer. Some workers had become sick from all the work; one reported more migraines, and rising blood pressure.

   Feb. 2: Faced with the possibility that the Puget Sound's Chinook salmon would be put on the threatened species list, and economic good times endangered, county and state officials mobilized to come up with a plan for protecting and enhancing the seagoing fish that will please federal regulators.

   Feb. 3: Voters in Northshore approved $189.8 million in bonds and levies for the school district, and a King County emergency medical services levy was passed, as well. The latter had failed at the ballot box in November.

   Feb. 9: A transient led Bothell police to bones at a construction site. After a week of cold, wet work, largely done by volunteers, the crime scene is wrapped up. Medical examiners process the bones which turned out to be those of two young half-sisters, Sammiejo White and Carmen Cubias, missing for the past 19 months.

   Feb. 17: A semi-truck that had lost its brakes on I-405 in Bothell, slammed into a van, killing three people inside. No charges were brought against the driver, Stephanie Ponder. An investigation found that she'd had the brakes checked twice that day, but also found over three-fourths of the brake assemblies were malfunctioning.

   Also this day, Woodinville Public Works Director Ron Cameron resigned after disagreements with then-city manager Roy Rainey over expansion of the department versus contracting. It was among the first signs that all was not well at City Hall, and was followed by a number of others in Cameron's department leaving.

   Feb. 26: The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed local stocks of Chinook salmon be studied for listing as a threatened species.

   Also this day, TRF Pacific dedicated two streets running through the downtown retail complex to the city. At first, traffic there was light, but as the year wore on and shops opened, motorists discovered NE 178th Place and 138th Place NE and the roads became more used. Hearkening to Woodinville past, where its retail future is being built, the streets are also known as Mill Place and Garden Way. There were a number of lumber mills in the area earlier this century, and Woodinville Gardens was platted where the development is now.

   March 4: Target was the first store to open in Woodinville's new retail shopping complex.

   March 10: The Snohomish County Boundary Review Board began hearing arguments on the Grace annexation from Woodinville and county officials. In a series of shocking developments (yeah, right), the board recommended against Woodinville coming across the county line, and the city took the issue to superior court.

   March 13: The Bothell Cougars girls basketball team made it to the state semifinal playoffs before falling to Enumclaw.

   March 16: Hoping to provide "places to play and spaces to dream," the Bothell City Council sent a $9.53 million parks bond to voters. It failed in May with less than the needed 60 percent approval.

   March 24: Snohomish County planners recommended against expanding the boundary of the Maltby Urban Growth Area, snuffing one avenue for cityhood proponents.

   March 26: On State Route 522, Mary Stewart died after being hit head-on by a man suffering from diabetic shock. The accident, west of Wayne Curve in Bothell, sparked calls for improvements to the roadway. Later in the year, the state Office of Urban Mobility recommended some kind of raised barrier between oncoming traffic in the area.

   March 28: Ground was broken at Wilmot Gateway Park, Woodinville's "flagship" park during "Celebrate Woodinville" festivities.

   March 30: The Woodinville City Council took up the issue of signs, eventually passing a sign code.

   April 6: Concerned with the recent loss of staff, Woodinville's council appointed an "attitude survey subcommittee" to survey municipal employees.

   April 27: King County Executive Ron Sims recommended building a new wastewater treatment plant somewhere near Bothell as part of a $1.1 billion plan to add capacity to the county's system. Later in the year, a regional water committee agreed and sent the plan to the County Council for a decision which is expected sometime early next year.

Kenmore voting

Kenmore City Council candiates Tika Esler and Elodie Morse watch as favorable election results are posted April 28, 1998. Both were elected to new city's first council.
Staff photo by Andrew Walgamott.

   April 28: Kenmore voters went to the polls, electing an interim city council, which includes Jack Crawford, Dick Taylor, Elodie Morse, Chip Davidson, Tika Esler, Deborah Chase, and Steven Colwell.

   April 30: Residents of the area east of Woodinville discussed forming an Unincorporated Area Council which would represent community needs before King County government.

   May 2: Seeing a city suffering from "'grand mall seizure' with no arts, no live entertainment, and nothing for my fellow citizens to do except buy things," Northern Exposure actress Peg Phillips and others formed the Woodinville Repertory Theater. Their first performance was I Hate Hamlet in August.

   May 8: Kenmore's city council was sworn in, and met three days later to elect a mayor, choose legal counsel, and pick a newspaper of record, among other items of business.

   May 13: A 12-screen movie theater opened in Woodinville, featuring 12-cent shows, 12-cent popcorn, and 12-cent pop. The promotion raised over $7,000 for local teen programs.

   May 14: DeYoung Park, across from Molbak's, is dedicated to the city. The park was created as an open space requirement of the downtown development.

   May 15: A 34-year-old Redmond man, whose car had been impounded in Snohomish by the State Patrol, somehow got to Woodinville, but called Snohomish County deputies to give him a ride the rest of the way home. They said no, he threw a tantrum, and was arrested after hitting officers. On his ride to the county jail, the man took a couple bites out of the squad car.

Cottage Lake Park

Kellie Rose Wallace shows off a squirming rainbow trout she caught from the new fishing pier at Cottage Lake Park. Her mother, B. Lorraine Wallace, admired the catch.
Staff photo by Andrew Walgamott.

   May 20: Part of Cottage Lake Park is reopened for use.

Gary Locke

Governor Gary Locke prepares shovels for UW/Cascadia Community College groundbreaking on May 28 on the former Truly property in Bothell.
Staff photo by Andrew Walgamott.

   May 28: Gov. Gary Locke helped break ground on the Truly Farm in Bothell for the University of Washington/Cascadia Community College branch campus. Said former landowner Dick Truly, "I think it's the second best use of the property, and the first best is a cattle ranch." Classes are expected to begin in fall of 2000.

   June 1: The Woodinville City Council discussed extending an admissions tax to events held at the wineries and breweries in the Tourist District who'd been previously exempted. Businesses there howl, and the idea is dropped.

   Also this day, stone artifacts, which eventually fill over 20 boxes after a summer of excavations, were found at a construction site east of Duvall. While it's clear manufacturing of stone tools was done at the site, which is believed to be up to 8,000 years old, it isn't clear whether it was occupied year round. Snoqualmie Indians refer to the site at the gates of the Cascades as Stuwe'yuk, or "throat." It may have served as a fishing and trade station, as well.

   June 15: The Woodinville City Council took the first step towards firing City Manager Roy Rainey for being rude. Hired on as the interim manager in April 1997 after the previous one resigned, Rainey's severance package totaled over $70,000. The mayor said the cost of keeping him around would've been far greater.

   Also this day, in Bothell, City Manager Rick Kirkwood resigned. Later, his name comes up as one of four finalists for Woodinville's city boss.

   June 30: The City of Woodinville's population topped 10,000 and Bothell's rose above 27,000, according to the state Office of Financial Management's annual report.

   July 11: The Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District celebrated fifty years of fire service. Later in the year, the district buys the Knoll Lumber property in town for a new headquarters station.

   July 16: The Eastside Hurricanes, a girls' softball team from Woodinville with members under 14 years old, placed ninth in a national tournament.

   July 20: After a year of crunching numbers, an economic consultant suggested Bothell focus economic development downtown. The recommendation conformed more with the City Council's slow-growth political climate than with demand for commercial space and services on the Eastside, the consultant found.

   Aug. 1: Local residents attempted to set a new world record by building a 2,600-pound snow cone complete with syrups inside a steel cup at Maltby Community Park. Afterwards, the snow cone was dished up for onlookers.

   Aug. 3: Kenmore adopted a $3.15 million budget for the first six months of the new city's existence.

   Aug. 10: Woodinville established new "no parking" zones around Woodinville High School after area residents say they can't see around student cars parked alongside a city street.

   Aug. 14: King County granted permits for the LakePointe development, a Carillon Point style retail-residential development planned at the mouth of the Sammamish River in Kenmore. Later, a Kenmore resident appealed, and in December, a hearing examiner finds a project permit should be re-examined and the county should explain why traffic mitigations were exempted.

   Aug. 20: The Woodinville West All-Stars came within one out of a trip to the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania. Playing in front of 10,000 people and a national television audience, the team took a one-run lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but saw the game tied before a third out could be made, then lost in extra innings.

   Aug. 31: Kenmore is incorporated.

   Sept. 12: Kenmore got its own zip code, 98028.

   Sept. 14: Petroleum products spill whether they are trucked, barged, or piped, said a draft environmental impact statement on a proposed pipeline which would pass north of Woodinville and east of Duvall and Carnation. A state committee will take up the issue next year and make a recommendation to Gov. Locke who has the final say.

   Also this day, the Woodinville City Council angered property owners who would be affected by a 68-foot road slicing from the downtown Simon & Sons north through Knoll Lumber. The issue was brought up because of the WFLSD's intent to buy the lumber yard. The council dropped the issue until a traffic report comes out this spring.

   Also, Bothell officials began discussing, and eventually pass, a hotel/motel tax to raise money for promoting the city.

   Finally this day, Gary Ackley of Clearview was found guilty of murdering his then-girlfriend's mother, Arlene Jensen of Kingsgate, and covering that act up by killing an old friend, Stephanie Dittrick of Redmond, who he'd confided the act to. He was later sentenced to life in prison, but not before marrying his girlfriend and mother of his three children, Julie Jensen.

   Sept. 15: Hoping to address community issues and how federal money is spent in their neighborhood, residents of Wellswood, a King County Housing Authority complex in Woodinville, elected a family council.


Northshore Firefighters battle a blaze at a Kenmore home on September 17, 1998.
Staff photo by Andrew Walgamott.

   Sept. 18: A cougar was spotted in a neighborhood just a mile from downtown Woodinville.

   Sept. 21: Kenmore passed a utility tax on natural gas, electricity, and telephones. The city estimates it will collect $177,000 in 1999 from the tax.

   Sept. 23: Top Food and Drug opened in the new retail complex in Woodinville.

   Sept. 28: The Woodinville City Council began discussing a proposal that would require homeowners with plans to cut more than five trees of a certain size over a year to get a permit. The regulations' prime sponsor, Councilwoman Marsha Engel, admits this will add red tape "for those who want to clearcut without a thought for their neighbor." After passage, residents of Wellswood inform authorities who want to cut trees there of the city's new rules.

   Oct. 1: Protesting Home Depot's use of wood products from old growth rain forests, Greenpeace parked a 40-foot inflatable chainsaw in front of the company's Bothell store and handed out literature to customers. Though their message was serious, the protest was fairly light-hearted. Jested forest campaigner Mat Jacobson, "The only thing we're really worried about is folks coming by and thinking they're having a chainsaw sale at Home Depot."

   Oct. 3: Former Woodinville High School all-sports star Marques Tuiasosopo goes in for injured Washington Huskies quarterback Brock Huard against Arizona, and ran for one touchdown and passed for another to take a 28-21 fourth-quarter lead. Arizona ultimately wins on a last-second, quarterback-leap-slash-flip upside down into the endzone. The next week, Tuiasosopo started against Utah State, making the mediocre "Dawgs of Montlake" look good in a 53-12 win on a Saturday originally scheduled for the Miami Hurricanes.


Two young girls watch a young roper learn to lasso a steer at Woodinville's Pioneer Days, October 10, 1998.
Staff photo by Andrew Walgamott.

   Oct. 10: Randall Fermstad was arrested for over a dozen bank robberies that occurred in Kenmore, Kingsgate, Bothell, Juanita, Kirkland, and Redmond and points south over the summer. A Kenmore address he gave during booking was just blocks from one of six banks he later pled guilty to robbing.

   Oct. 24: Thousands of volunteers turned out to replant four stretches of the Sammamish River in Woodinville, Bothell, and Redmond. Over 13,000 plants were planted, with help from King County Executive Ron Sims at Woodinville's Wilmot Gateway Park.

   Oct. 26: Sandra Melendrez was killed when a truck that went through a red light in Kenmore struck her vehicle. In December, John Paul Gatchet was arrested by police and charged with the vehicular homicide, felony hit and run, and possession of stolen property stemming from the incident.

   Nov. 2: Frustration with wages spilled onto the streets of Bothell as 50 Northshore School District maintenance, grounds, and warehouse workers held an informational picket around district headquarters.

   Also this day, Kenmore's City Council named the dahlia its official flower, and the heron its official bird.

   Nov. 3: At the polls, voters sent area state and federal Republican legislators packing. Democrats took back the state Senate and will share power in the House, while the Republican majority in the U.S. House was chipped into.

   Nov. 4: Barnes & Noble opened in the new retail complex in Woodinville.

   Nov. 14: The Woodinville Falcons made it to the 4-A state football playoffs, but lose to Wilson in the first round. It was only the second loss of a 9-2 season.

   Nov. 23: Woodinville named Pete Rose its new city manager. Bothell also picked a new manager, Jim Thompson. Both Rose and Thompson start work on January 4.

   Dec. 7: Cliff Crook, a Bigfoot hunter who lives near Clearview, claimed that the world-famous Patterson film of a hairy bipedal figure is really of a man in a fur suit. He bases this on magnified images from the film which show a vague bell-shape on Bigfoot's hip. A WSU professor sticks by his conclusions that there's no way a man could fit inside a suit as big as measurements of the creature he's made.

   Dec. 14: Gov. Locke made improving State Route 522 between Woodinville and Monroe one of six top-priority road projects in his 1999-2001 transportation budget.

   Dec. 19: Snow and cold temperatures hit the region.

   Dec. 24: Up to three inches of snow blanket the area, but it quickly melts away.