Navy base has proven a good fit for county

Naval Station Everett brings millions of dollars of payroll to Snohomish County, but it has a lot of other benefits that add to the fabric of this community.

Just ask Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, a former U.S. Coast Guard sailor, law officer and legislator.

The base and its centerpiece USS Nimitz aircraft carrier bring diversity to this area. Folks from all sorts of backgrounds and races are in the military services, and thus in our community.

It’s part of the reason why there’s a fondness for the Navy.

“That love affair has been here for a long time. That love affair is going to continue with this office of county executive,” Lovick said. “We love these guys. We love the military. We want them. Frankly, we need them in this community.”

Lovick said the Navy and the county share common goals.

“Good healthy communities, good safe schools, roads not being clogged with traffic and jobs with benefits,” he said. “The Navy is interested in the same things.”

Unlike the other major naval stations that have large naval housing complexes behind guarded gates, a lot of the Naval Station Everett families live in the community.

“We see these people in the grocery store, we see them in church. We see them on the soccer fields. They are our friends and our neighbors, so it’s just a great homecoming,” Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said of the arrival of the carrier USS Nimitz and its contingent of 3,000 crew.

Stephanson said the community has adopted the sailors. “Naval Station Everett and the sailors have been integrated into this community in such a seamless way, in all aspects a very positive way,” Stephanson said. “They just fit very well.”

Lake Stevens, Marysville and Arlington have concentrations of naval housing for families, and others are spread throughout the county.

The naval station “doesn’t have a sense of separateness about it that you might have in larger cities around the country,” U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, said. “Here the Navy personnel are a part of our community. Their kids are playing football, baseball, basketball. The kids are involved in the schools, the drama clubs. The parents are involved as well.”

The Navy has found a home here, “and Snohomish County has made a place for the Navy, as well,” Larsen said. “Again, I think that sets us apart from other naval homeports around the country.”

There’s a sense, spread by word of mouth, of many sailors choosing, if they can, to be assigned to ships at Naval Station Everett or to the base.

“Naval Station Everett is the sailor’s choice because it is the most modern naval base that we have,” Larsen added. “It’s located in Snohomish County with a high standard of living,” but one that’s less pricey than San Diego or Hawaii.

And it’s a place where Navy families want to stay.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

Front Porch

EVENTS Snohomish man’s legacy The life and legacy of William Shelton, the… Continue reading

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Most Read