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Emergency Planning

Risking a summer of smoke

The "rainy day" fund is the name given to unspent money that state lawmakers set aside each session, held in reserve for emergencies, unforeseen needs and economic downturns.But considering where sizeable chunks of those reserves have gone the last two years,...

Date: 05/17/2016 | Editorials

Camano Islanders can get kit that stores vital medical info

CAMANO ISLAND — Retired Boeing worker Barbara Libby has lived on Camano Island for 20 years. In that time, she's collected plenty of keys from her neighbors. "We're fairly rural, so we do trade house keys a lot," she said.Neighbors are supposed...

Date: 05/11/2016 | Local News

2 years after Oso slide

Viewpoints: What we know and what we don't

Date: 03/27/2016 | Commentary

Two paths after the Oso landslide

Two years have now passed since a landslide cut through the Stillaguamish Valley's Steelhead Haven neighborhood near Oso, buried the highway connecting Darrington and Arlington, destroyed scores of homes and killed 43 people.Since March 22, 2014, two paths of response have...

Date: 03/27/2016 | Editorials

Two years after Oso slide, we are survivors, stronger and united

The Stillaguamish Valley is home to families, friends and neighbors who have known adversity and come together when crisis strikes. Yet prior to March 22, 2014, few of us could have imagined the tragedy that would befall our community.The Oso landslide propelled us into a...

Date: 03/27/2016 | Commentary

Lynnwood taking steps to prepare for a disaster

LYNNWOOD — The city of Lynnwood has launched a year-long campaign to become more prepared for disasters.About 300 people attended a March 15 public meeting focused on earthquakes and other disasters and south Snohomish County. The meeting was held at Edmonds Community...

Date: 03/23/2016 | Local News

Railroads making upgrades to keep freight moving safely

Washington state is home to a crucial segment of the nation's extensive 140,000-mile freight rail network, which is why the industry is constantly investing in infrastructure, technology and training to improve its already-safe operations in the area.The Evergreen State is a...

Date: 03/20/2016 | Commentary

Body found at Arlington home of fired radio-system chief

ARLINGTON — A man's body was found Saturday at the home of the former director of the Snohomish County Emergency Radio System.The body is believed to be that of Mark S. McDermott, 64. The former radio system director has been the focus of an expanding Lynnwood police...

Date: 03/12/2016 | Local News

New railroad safety rules taking effect next month

OLYMPIA — New rail safety rules will take effect next month as the state begins bolstering its defenses against the risks from a growing number of oil trains traveling throughout Washington.

Date: 02/17/2016 | Local News

Getting ready for the big one

By now our concerns about earthquakes, specifically "The Really Big One" discussed in the New Yorker article of the same name from July — the one that quoted a FEMA official as saying...

Date: 02/11/2016 | Editorials

‘Bad stuff’ over for retiring Everett emergency chief

EVERETT — His favorite part of the job was bringing people together.Or, as one friend put it, being "personality and presence in the middle of bad stuff happening."After 25 years, Dave DeHaan is retiring from the city of Everett. He started as a...

Date: 12/30/2015 | Local News

What to do for Stilly Valley and who can do it

Clearly, thankfully, the Stillaguamish Valley and its communities from Darrington to Arlington have not been forgotten in the months following the March 22, 2014, Oso landslide that killed 43 people, destroyed 36 homes, obliterated Highway 530 and caused economic hardships throughout...

Date: 12/06/2015 | Editorials

Wildfire reforms still needed

This is how persistent wildfires can be: It was only last week — mid-November — that a wildfire in the Olympic National Park's rainforest, which had been burning since May, was finally extinguished by a series of storms that dropped several feed of rain.The...

Date: 11/24/2015 | Editorials

BNSF takes accident prevention, preparation seriously

Freight rail is the backbone of the Northwest economy, and for well over a century, Burlington Northern Santa Fe has proudly and safely brought goods to and from Washington. We move the things we use every day — from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the construction...

Date: 11/22/2015 | Commentary

Speed up oil-by-rail measures

The wheels of government move slowly, as is being shown in implementing legislation passed this year intended to give communities in Washington state advance notice when trains with oil tanker cars are moving through town.The new state law makes a number of improvements with...

Date: 10/02/2015 | Editorials

How we can start preparing to minimize future wildfires

The fires. On a recent weekend, the sky here in Snohomish had an unwholesome cast. Ruddy and thick. You could look directly at the sun and it was a sullen, metallic red.The forests of Eastern Washington are burning still. The fires are three hours away by car, but the smoke...

Date: 09/12/2015 | Commentary

Are we spending wisely when it comes to wildfires?

As wildfires plague much of the American West, one must ask: Who is paying to put them out? The answer is largely the American taxpayer. By that, we mean the taxpayers of Maryland, Tennessee and New Jersey — as well as those in California, Oregon, Washington and Montana, the...

Date: 08/27/2015 | Opinion Columnists

School safety requires a range of responses

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold unleashed a torrent of carnage and mayhem at Colombine High School that left an indelible mark on America's conscientiousness. The destruction left 15 dead and 24 wounded; and a new era in protecting our nation's schools emerged with the...

Date: 08/23/2015 | Commentary

Did Smokey have it wrong?

Viewpoints: We need to change how we fight wildfires

Date: 08/23/2015 | Commentary

Confronting the new realities of wildfires

A hastily scrawled sign on a fence outside a Twisp home implores: "Firefighters, this is just a house — please stay safe."It's a message made more heartbreaking by Wednesday...

Date: 08/21/2015 | Editorials

Experts say best plan for oil train fire is evacuation and containment

EVERETT — Each oil tanker car that passes through Snohomish County carries about 33,000 gallons. Multiply that by 100 to 110 cars per train.Often, it's Bakken crude oil, which is easier to refine but far more volatile. The Pacific Northwest now is averaging 2.5 loaded...

Date: 08/15/2015 | Local News

The big one: Don’t fret; plan

Most of us in the Northwest know we live with the threat of earthquakes, but many of us limit our preparations for disaster by reminding ourselves to buy a case of water the next time we're at Costco.For those who happened upon a New Yorker article that went viral on...

Date: 07/22/2015 | Editorials

$6.6 million from feds to buy properties destroyed by Oso slide

EVERETT Families whose homes and land were destroyed in the Oso mudslide got some encouraging news Wednesday with the announcement that federal authorities had awarded Snohomish County $6.6 million for buyouts.

Date: 06/24/2015 | Local News

Landslides take a toll on state’s economy

Geologic processes have destroyed not just cities, but civilizations. In the Pacific Northwest, we are cognizant of the dangers of geologic processes such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.Landslides are an omnipresent geologic process of our neighborhood. However,...

Date: 06/21/2015 | Commentary

Don’t let it all go up in smoke

Summer starts Sunday, and spring's unusually warm and dry weather already has us planning camping trips, hikes, picnics and more, much of it out in the forests that for most of us are less than an hour's drive away.Allow us a couple minutes, then, to don our bear suit, lean...

Date: 06/18/2015 | Editorials

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