Lake Stevens City Hall. (City of Lake Stevens)

Lake Stevens City Hall. (City of Lake Stevens)

When should you shop in Lake Stevens? Depends on your name

Mayor Brett Gailey suggested shoppers go on certain days, based on the first letter of their last names.

OLYMPIA — Elected leaders at all levels of government have been asking, pleading and ordering us to stay home and become the best hermits we can be.

It’s all about promoting social distancing to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This week, the mayor of Lake Stevens added a twist to the effort: He wants to ration when the city’s residents leave home to shop, bank and carry out other chores.

An emergency stay-home proclamation issued Monday by Mayor Brett Gailey recommends citizens conduct “essential activities” on certain days. Those with last names beginning in A through M get the even-numbered days — for example, March 26 — and those with N through Z get the odd ones.

Gailey said he was trying to come up with a way to curb the kind of congregating he witnessed at grocery stores.

“There’s no science behind it,” he told me Tuesday. “I just thought it might be a method of promoting social distancing by thinning crowds. I ran it by a couple council members and staff and they thought the last name idea was interesting and good.”

Lake Stevens Mayor Brett Gailey

Lake Stevens Mayor Brett Gailey

He posted the order on the city’s Facebook page. Fans thanked him. Critics deemed it an overreach. And there were humorists among the nearly 450 responses.

“If I have a hyphenated last name like Adams-Wilson, can I go out for essential activities on even AND odd days??” wrote one man.

On Tuesday, Gailey returned to Facebook to clarify his motivations and erase concerns about police checkpoints for enforcement.

“I established the RECOMMENDATION of conducting our essential activities by a division of our last names,” he wrote. “The idea is to reduce the numbers of people in the areas of our essential activities by curtailing how often we are there. I do not expect our businesses to police this recommendation, I believe our citizens can work within the concept of this order.”

Pressure on aerospace

A $2 trillion package of federal aid to ease the health crisis and economic disruption caused by COVID-19 came together early Wednesday in the nation’s capital.

Now Matt Yerbic, chief executive officer of Aviation Technical Services (ATS) at Paine Field in Everett, must figure out what it’s going to mean for the work his company does — maintenance, repair and overhaul.

There’s a $25 billion allotment for the airline industry, of which a portion is for loans and loan guarantees for aircraft repair firms, he said. It’ll take time to sort out what’s required to qualify and when the funds could become available, he noted.

It’s a much different concern than he had over the weekend. Then he was deeply worried the benefits for companies like his would slip through the legislative cracks, with so much focus on rescuing airlines.

He praised U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell for not letting that happen.

“I’m really pleased with the hard work our electeds did to get us into the bill,” he said. “While this is all getting sorted out, we’ll still have to find a way to survive.”

Airlines hire ATS to do the heavy maintenance on aircraft that are in service. Not many passenger planes are flying right now. That isn’t going to change in the immediate future. With a shrinking amount of work, Yerbic’s firm has had to shed employees temporarily.

“We think that it’s really important that the businesses do what they can to support U.S. businesses with the (taxpayer) funds in the package,” he said.

ATS is turning 50 this year. The federal bill may prove critical to the company’s ability to make it to 51.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A wanted suspect was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday night. (Bothell Police Department)
Kidnapping suspect arrested after standoff in Bothell

A large police presence contained the property in the 20500 block of 32nd Dr. SE on Tuesday night.

Community Transit's Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)
Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

Doctor Thomas Robey sits in a courtyard at Providence Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’d be a miracle’: Providence tests new treatment for meth addiction

Monoclonal antibodies could lead to the first drug designed to fight meth addiction. Everett was chosen due to its high meth use.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Everett
Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, right, a Democrat, and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, left, running as a nonpartisan, take part in a debate, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Olympia, Wash., with Melissa Santos, center, of Axios Local, moderating. Hobbs and Anderson are seeking to fill the remaining two years of the term of Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who left to take a key election security job in the Biden administration. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sparks fly as Hobbs, Anderson face off in secretary of state debate

Julie Anderson called Steve Hobbs an “inexperienced political appointee.” He’s been in the job since Inslee put him there in November.

Zion Wright, 6, makes a face as Cecilia Guidarrama starts to massage cold facial cleanser onto his face during Evergreen Beauty College’s annual back-to-school beauty event on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of kids get free back-to-school haircuts in Everett

For hours on Wednesday, training beauticians pampered families at the Everett campus of Evergreen Beauty College.

Jose Espinoza Aguilar appears in court via video for arraignment Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prosecutors: ‘Danger’ shot man in head ‘without provocation or warning’

Jose Espinoza Aguilar had just been released from prison in May for another shooting. He now faces charges of first-degree assault.

Former public works site at 1201 Bonneville Ave is slated for affordable in housing in the Midtown District of Snohomish, Washington on April 21, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Small step’ toward affordable housing is big debate in Snohomish

Four months of public hearings have hinged on how much more taxpayers could shell out if the city offers a developer a break.

Most Read