Facility minimizes environmental impact

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Schnitzer_Woodinville_Enviro_system_Page_3Two hundred years ago, the land next to Little Bear Creek was a verdant forest of Sitka spruce trees and sword ferns.

Populations of Chinook salmon and rainbow trout, along with a variety of different species of birds, thrived in the area.

Unfortunately, over time, this land was heavily degraded because it was used for commercial purposes.

The soil became polluted and wildlife decreased in alarming numbers, with salmon nearing extinction.

Today, however, it’s a different scene. And it’s due in part to the efforts of Schnitzer Steel.

One of the largest scrap companies in the country, the 105-year-old corporation owns 57 metals recycling plants, 50 auto parts facilities and one steel mill.

It is known for developing state-of-the-art techniques to enhance recovery of metallics, while minimizing environmental impacts.

Three years ago, Schnitzer purchased a 10-acre site abutting Little Bear Creek in Woodinville with the goal of constructing a modern metals recycling facility.

Initially, the company was informed that it would only be able to utilize two acres of the parcel because of the environmental setbacks.

But, after designing an innovative plan to develop the land that included remediating pre-existing soil contamination and protecting and restoring the fragile habitat, Snohomish County gave approval to the company to expand the footprint of its facility to five acres.

"We basically restored the wetlands next to the creek and built an innovative stormwater treatment system capable of cleaning all stormwater flowing from the property to minimize the facility’s impact on the environment," explains Louise Bray, a governmental and public affairs manager for Schnitzer Steel.

She adds, "We also had a team of habitat biologists remove non-native plants from the wetland area and replace them with 7,000 plantings of native species."

Bray notes that the goal was for the proliferation of native trees and shrubs to persuade wildlife to return to the area and to help cool the waters in the creek in an effort to encourage salmon reproduction and survival.

She notes that this is already occurring: "In fall of last year, salmon returned and other animals like beavers and deer have been seen here. As for the stormwater, all potential contaminants are being captured and removed and clean water is naturally flowing back into the groundwater that feeds the creek through a system that approaches natural hydrology."

She adds, "The environmental features of this site exceed regulatory requirements. And as a result, we have enhanced the quality of the stream."

The Woodinville facility recycles both ferrous and nonferrous metals.

Ferrous metals contain iron, whereas nonferrous are iron-free.

"Some of the ferrous items we get include things like washers, car bodies, chain link fences, pipes, desks and swing sets," explains Joan Hanlon, general manager at the site. "For the nonferrous, we get aluminum cans, copper wire and tubing, brass faucets, barbeque, siding, and so on."

She adds, "Here, the most common items are car batteries and aluminum cans, plus appliances such as washers and dryers."

The plant purchases the metals from commercial and industrial manufacturers, as well as from homeowners looking to dispose of their items.

They come from as far south as Renton to up north in Arlington. Once they arrive, the metals are crushed up and compacted by a baler and then they are taken to Schnitzer’s Tacoma plant, where they are shredded before being shipped overseas or sent to domestic mills.

About 70 percent are exported," interjects Bray. "Purchasers then melt the stuff and reuse it for their own purposes."

Hanlon, a rare female in a generally male-dominated industry, has been working in the field for 15 years. Her background is in steel fabrication.

"It was my family’s business," she says. "When it closed down, I went to work for Arrow down the street and then when Schnitzer acquired Arrow, I went to work for them."

Hanlon enjoys the industry because, in her opinion, it’s always interesting. She adds, "There’s never a dull day. There’s always something happening. And the place is full of activity and energy. I like what we do here. It serves a good purpose."

For information about recycling your metals at Schnitzer’s Woodinville metals recycling facility: (425) 481-1828 or


history comes alive with opening of new Museum

  • Written by Deborah Stone
The Woodinville Heritage Museum is located at 14121 171st Street NE. Photo by Deborah Stone.
It’s been a labor of love for all the dedicated members of the Woodinville Heritage Society. They’ve worked tirelessly over the past three and a half decades to make their dream of having a heritage museum in the community become a reality.

It all started with Beryl Johnson, owner of Woodinville Motors, who suggested at a chamber of commerce meeting 36 years ago that the town needed a historical society.

His comment stemmed from the fact that he had all of John Cook’s belongings (Cook was Woodinville’s first blacksmith) stored in his building and thought there should be some organization devoted to collecting and preserving such historical items for the community.

Phyllis Keller, longtime local resident and one of the founding members of the Woodinville Heritage Society, was at that fateful meeting back in 1975.

She says, "Cherry Jarvis and I decided that we would try and get something going. We called our first meeting on April 23 of that year, in the Woodinville Methodist Church. And that started the ball rolling."

Over the years, the society has grown, along with donations of historical keepsakes from the community.

Trying to find a place to store all of these precious relics was a constant challenge and the members knew their ultimate goal was to find a permanent home for them.

With the gift of the DeYoung house a few years ago, the society finally had its solution.

The traditional Dutch colonial, a city landmark which dates back to 1931, was the family home of John and Ellen DeYoung, early residents of Woodinville.

It originally stood on NE 175th Street at 135th NE, on the site where Chase Bank now stands.

Back then, the street was a state highway known as the Woodinville-Duvall Road, and it ran through the residential part of town. After John DeYoung passed away, the parcel on which the home stood was sold to Shoreline Savings, which over the years became Chase Bank.

Shoreline Savings gave the house to Harlin D. Peterson provided he would move it off the property. Peterson had it moved in 1973 to its current location off of 171st Street NE.

In 2008, two of the DeYoung’s sons, Lowell and Al, bought the house and donated it to the Woodinville Heritage Society for a museum. In order for it to become a museum, however, the structure needed to meet the necessary city, state and federal requirements.

Construction work to the tune of over $100,000 was recently completed and now the museum is finally ready to open.

"It’s very exciting for us," comments Keller. "It’s been a long process, but the effort has been worthwhile. And we’ve had a lot of fun through it all. It’s both rewarding and satisfying to know that we’ve accomplished our goal."

Keller explains that instead of a museum devoted to one era with fixed exhibits, the Woodinville Heritage Society Museum has different displays that will periodically change. The focus is on people and the history of the community, featuring exhibits and vignettes about the individuals who helped shape Woodinville, as well as the different areas of the town and how they developed over time.

Upstairs, the DeYoung Room, for example, contains mementos, photos and genealogy tracings of the DeYoung family. There’s the hand mirror that Ellen DeYoung always kept on her dresser, along with some of her hair that she saved after cutting it off. There are also a few of her tatting samples and a quilt. And in one corner, the family’s 1905 Edison Home Cylinder phonograph sits.

The Grace Room is all about early resident Elmer Carlberg (1894-1987), a well-known eccentric and son of pioneers Julia Anderson and John August Carlberg. Elmer lived in the same house in the Valley for his entire life.

For 40 years, the silver-bearded man, who wore a black trench coat and brimmed hat regardless of the weather, was the curator of the Woodinville Cemetery. On display are Elmer’s old school desk and a composition book, as well as his diaries dating back to 1917, among other possessions. There’s even a pair of his red long johns hanging in the closet.

Young girls will especially enjoy the Derby Room, which has been transformed into a child’s bedroom complete with an old-fashioned doll and dollhouse and some samples of girls’ clothing. For a look at laundry implements of yore, step in the Cottage Lake Room where you’ll find an early washboard, wringer, drying rack, rug beater and other cleaning-oriented tools.

Keller explains that the rooms upstairs are named for communities in the areas. She says, "Most people will be surprised to learn that Derby, for example, was a town that used to be located where Hollywood Hill is now."

The downstairs section of the house contains the kitchen, living room and dining area. Most of the cabinets in the kitchen are original, along with the breakfast nook table and benches, where the DeYoung family, all seven of them, ate their meals each day.

The dining room serves as a media room with a variety of heritage society merchandise available for purchase, including books, postcards and DVDs. There are also display cases full of assorted items, such as a scale from Teegarden’s Store, one of Woodinville’s early businesses, and a lunch bucket belonging John Halver, of the pioneer Halver family.

One of the rarer finds is an 1846 Bible.

"This has a great story associated with it," notes Keller. "The Bible was James C. Campbell’s, who was the father of Susan Woodin. He brought it with him when he crossed the plains in 1846, two years before Susan was born. A hundred years later, a man named David Taylor found the Bible in a used bookstore in Kent. He donated it to us recently after finding us on the Internet."

The house’s living room has been set aside as a meeting space for members of the Woodinville Heritage Society. It contains the home’s original fireplace and a Dexter Horton clock, circa 1860, which Ira Woodin purchased and gave to Frank Woodin in 1906. "The museum really helps to bring Woodinville’s history to life," says Keller. "This town has such a rich and interesting history and we look forward to sharing it with the community."


PSC’s ‘Goose Bumps’ exhibit is heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing fun

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Visitors react to a crawling cockroach in a live demonstration.Photo courtesy of PSC
The phenomenon of fear never ceases to fascinate people and it has been the subject of much research for many years.

With Pacific Science Center’s new exhibit, "Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear," visitors are able to explore their physical and emotional responses to some of the most common fears in society. They’ll discover why their hearts race, their knees shake and their bodies sweat when they are scared through a series of interactive challenges appropriate for all ages.

The exhibit begins with a Fear Challenge Course where guests face four common fears in a safe environment.

The first, "Fear of Animals," dares you to reach into concealed terrariums that might be the home of creepy-crawly creatures.

Next is "Fear of Electric Shock," where you are guaranteed to feel your heart pounding in anticipation of getting zapped by a jolt of electricity.

In "Fear of Loud Noises," you’ll get startled by a sudden loud noise and find out how the startle facial expression differs from that of fear.

Finally, in the "Fear of Falling" challenge, you will experience a sudden loss of support and then watch a video recording of your reaction.

Visitors can also explore the brain’s structures and pathways that drive fear response in the Fear Lab.

One activity involves setting up dominoes to represent the pathways in the brain and initiating a chain reaction to see which route triggers the fear response quickest by reaching the amygdala (a neural structure that plays an important role in the processing and expressing of emotions) first. Meet Mr. Goose Bumps, a larger-than-life figure that illustrates, through animation, how the brain and body work together in response to danger. Note the changes in his body when he gets scared.

On display are real brains and brain slices preserved through the process of plastination. They show similarities between key brain fear structures in humans and animals.

There’s also a brain coloring station that younger children will enjoy.

Another fear-themed area in the exhibit is "Faces of Emotion." Here, visitors can explore the facial expressions of fear and other emotions that may be universal in humans. Through the use of cutting-edge software, facial expressions are analyzed and identified.

"Fear in the Wild" is an immersive video game that focuses on the common responses to danger, including freeze, fight and flight.

Kids will be able to discover how fear helps all animals, including human beings, to stay alive by playing Freeze and Survival Games.

Some fears spread beyond the individual and grow stronger as more people become afraid.

In "Fear and Society," a short film and exhibit displays how people’s collective fears are represented and transmitted through media and pop culture.

Visitors can then experiment with different soundtracks and sound effects to create their own scary movies.

While we are told that a certain amount of fear is normal, some anxieties can get out of control. "Coping with Fear" shows kids what fears are common at different stages in life and also provides strategies to help them move beyond their fears.

The interviews with patients suffering from anxiety disorders are particularly interesting in understanding what happens when the fear system goes awry.

"Goose Bumps!" is a fun, hands-on exhibit that gives visitors a deeper insight into the science behind fear and allows them to experience their own reactions to fear in a safe environment.

"Goose Bumps!" runs through September 5th. For more information: (206) 443-2001 or


  • Written by Karen Hanka, Owner/Instructor, Eastside Dog Training

Training your dog to become a great family member isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you may think. It simply takes practice, patience, love, a sense of humor and a few ‘golden rules’ . . .

1) Never Repeat Your Commands. Repeating commands impresses upon the dog that he doesn’t have to do what you say, when you say it. Don’t let him ‘choose’ whether or not to comply. Say your command ONCE, and if he doesn’t obey, enforce it, by gently placing him in position (sit, down, etc), or going to get him (come). You may have to physically place him in position (or go get him), several times before he understands, so be patient. Not responding to a command the first time you give it, could cost your dog his life.

2) Be Consistent In Your Training. Don’t allow your dog to do something sometimes, but not at other times. Dogs can’t always discern when those ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ times are and be can become confused and frustrated.

3) Be Specific When Giving Commands. Don’t expect your dog to understand you if you ask him to go sit down other there on your bed by the couch in the other room and be quiet. Be clear, direct and precise and help your dog be guiding him using a food treat as a target, bribe and motivator. Break exercises/commands into small parts and daisy chain those parts together after your dog has learned them individually.

4) Never Miss An Opportunity To Praise Your Dog. We humans have a tendency to ignore good behavior, and respond only to the bad. Instead, when you notice your dog doing something positive, like sitting patiently, lying down quietly or not barking at a passing car, dog or neighbor, say Good Sit! or Good Down! or Good Quiet. Reinforcing good behavior encourages your dog to repeat it.

5) Cute Now, Problem Later. Remember that little annoying behaviors can become Big Problems if not addressed and re-directed or modified, right from the start. Management is the key. It is easier to prevent inappropriate behaviors than it is to correct them.

Dogs enjoy learning just like humans do. Contact a trainer to discover the many activities available for you and your dog. Exercise their body and mind and you’ll have a happy, well-adjusted, and well-behaved pet.


Doggie Care

  • Written by Dona Cooper
As you pack the suitcases for that needed summer vacation did you suddenly notice that Fido, your dog, has jumped into one of the suitcases? Climbing into that suitcase is Fido’s way of saying: "Hey don’t forget your special dog."

Being the responsible pet owner, most likely you are considering Fido’s doggie vacation in a quality boarding facility while you are away. Possibly one of the very best facilities for Fido’s needed exercise and happiness is one that is cage free and kennel free.

But how do you select a top-quality dog boarding accommodation? Always take your dog and go look at two or three facilities before selecting a place. Here are the top things to consider in determining a superb dog boarding facility:

1) First, take a critical look to make sure the facility is picked up and clean. Does the facility use anti-bacterial solutions to kill viruses and other germs?

2) Second, observe the other dogs currently boarding. Are they barking wildly, panting in the corner, drooling, crouching with ears horizontal and tails tucked under in submissive postures, hiding behind bushes and looking stressed and fearful? Or are they happily coming up to look at you, tongues hanging out from playing and tails wagging. It is unavoidable that there may be one stressed dog among many, but the great majority should have either mellow, content eyes or eyes that sparkle from excitement plus doggie facial expressions that resemble happy ones.

3) Make sure there are clean, dry indoor playrooms, as well as secure outdoor areas for the dogs to have supervised play, pal around together, romp and exercise. Find a place that allows the dogs to have sunshine and fresh air and that allows the dogs inside or outside as the weather dictates.

4) Next, almost no one ever asks about this very important item: Ask to look at the dog’s eating bowls. They should be stainless steel and cleanly washed after each use. How are the dogs fed? The answer usually will be that the dogs are divided when being fed. But ask how they are divided to ensure that dogs get their own food. At Doggie Care Resort, the only time dogs are caged is at meal times when they are put into individual x-pens with the doors shut which guarantees the dogs get their own food. Subsequent to meals, the dogs are let out again. Is there a separate refrigerator for dog food? How do they handle raw food which if allowed to thaw and left out can hold Salmonella?

5) Ask to look at the sleeping quarters. Each dog should receive a fresh and sterilized bed. All washing machines should be for canine sterilizing only and not for humans. Dog toys should be washed as well.

6) Ask if current vet reports showing dogs are current in all shots are required. All dogs should be neutered or spayed. Especially in a kennel free facility, make certain there is a policy for the facility not to accept canine bullies or aggressive dogs that may bite.

Understand that some dogs may not be well-trained or well-socialized, but these are not the same as truly aggressive or attacking dogs that could put other dogs in jeopardy.

7) Evaluate the dog’s living areas. Are they warm for winter and cooled in the heat? Analyze the outdoor play areas. Are toxic chemicals used to kill weeds and slugs or is the area organic? Are there poisonous plants such as Castor Beans or Wolfsbane (both seriously toxic to dogs as well as to other plants).

8) Check the facility. Are there double gates so dogs can’t escape? Are the fences in good shape and is there a barrier below the fence line in case dogs dig to get free? There should be brick or fencing material about one to two feet down below the fence line. Check the supervision, are the staff trained? Are there numerous bowls of fresh drinking water? How long has the facility been in business? Do they have forms for you to complete? Will they take your dog to a vet if your dog gets sick or has an emergency? Ask questions. Are the owners hobby caretakers or are they professional and knowledgeable about dogs?

After vacation when you pick up your dog, look at his face and posture. Your dog will tell you whether he has had a good time and was treated with patience, love and kindness.