Monthly Archives: August 2016

Community Highlight: Snoqualmie, Washington

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie, WA

Located east of Seattle and west of the mountains, Snoqualmie, Washington provides opportunities to hike, ski, explore, and learn. The town maintains a strong connection to its past while also actively pursuing growth (with the completion of the Snoqualmie Ridge projects.)  Less than an hour away from Seattle, Snoqualmie offers opportunities for adventure to residents and visitors alike.


The 1850s arrival of settlers ignited tensions between the new settlers and the Native Snoqualmie tribes. Fearing the worst, the settlers quickly built a few forts for protection.  When the situation did not escalate, the forts were abandoned.

In the 1890s, a hydroelectric power plant was built to harness power from the nearby Snoqualmie Falls.  Today, over 100 years later, those original generators are still in use.

When major railway construction bypassed much of the area, Seattle businessmen spearheaded the construction of the Seattle, Lake Shore, and Eastern Railway to connect Washington’s communities.  This effort opened up the Snoqualmie Valley to more settlers and tourists.  In 1903, the city was officially incorporated.

In 2010, the U.S. census listed Snoqualmie’s population as 10,670.  Yet Snoqualmie continues to actively grow. In the 1990s, the city annexed additional land and began development of Snoqualmie Ridge I, a planned community complete with a golf course. In 2004, Snoqualmie annexed more land for Snoqualmie Ridge II.  The completion of both projects is anticipated to boost the population of Snoqualmie.

In Snoqualmie, there are many opportunities to explore nature including the majestic Snoqualmie Falls, skiing at the nearby Snoqualmie Pass, hiking at Mount Si, walking, biking, 30+ miles of trails and 35+ parks.  Countless opportunities also exist for biking, fishing, kayaking, and running. Golfers can choose from two courses,  the Mount Si Golf Course and TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.  For those who prefer to adventure in town, there is the Historic Railway Museum, the Historic District, and Art and Wine Walks.

Interstate 90 goes through Snoqualmie, which makes it easy to reach the city by car.  Depending on traffic, Snoqualmie is 30-60 minutes east of Seattle.   It is approximately 4 hours away from Spokane.

Snoqualmie, Washington offers picturesque scenery and opportunities to explore.  Mount Si, Snoqualmie Falls, and Snoqualmie Pass are all Washington landmarks. Bikers, hikers, runners, and fishermen will all find their own spots in Snoqualmie.  The town itself offers golf courses, a Historic Railway Museum, shops, and other town events.  Make the time and take the drive to Snoqualmie.  Explore and see how many things capture the imagination.

Battey, Dave. Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society.  “A Short History of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley.” (
City of Snoqualmie. “Visitors Guide to Snoqualmie.” (
City of Snoqualmie. “Welcome to Snoqualmie.” 2011 (
Wikipedia. “Snoqualmie, Washington.” July 13, 2016, (,_Washington)

Much More than Tulips: Highlights of Mount Vernon, Washington

Mount Vernon, WA

Many people find Mount Vernon, Washington after their first trip to the well-known Skagit Tulip Festival. While the festival is important, the town has so much more.  Mount Vernon’s history stretches back to the native Skagit tribes that lived in the area.  Settlers first arrived in the 1870s. Named after George Washington’s Virginia estate, Mount Vernon became the county seat of Skagit County in 1884.

Since its 1890 incorporation into Washington State, Mount Vernon has grown into a thriving community that offers opportunities and adventure to visitors and residents alike. Take time to explore the city’s 12.3 square miles and see what’s captivating.

Centrally located, Mount Vernon is 62 miles north of Seattle, Washington and 83 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia.  As the county seat of Skagit County, Mount Vernon is a hub of activity for both visitors and residents.

Mount Vernon has a mild climate with regular rain. Average winter temperatures range from the mid-30s to the upper 40s.  Average summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the upper 70s. Annual precipitation averages approximately 32 inches per year.

Downtown Mount Vernon faces a persistent threat of flooding when heavy rains cause the Skagit River to rise above its banks. After massive floods in 1892 and 1894, Mount Vernon residents moved their homes away from the river.  Today, there is a temporary solution to prevent the flooding of downtown Mount Vernon.  City officials are actively pursuing permanent solutions to solve this historical problem.

The 2010 census listed Mount Vernon’s population as 31,743.  Recent estimates list the population of Mount Vernon as 33,132 making it the 34th largest city in Washington.

Downtown Mount Vernon offers a variety of activities ranging from shows at the historic Lincoln Theatre to outdoor summer concerts on the Riverwalk.  Annually, there is the tulip festival in April and the Skagit County Fair in August.  During the summer nearby farms offer U-Pick fruit options to anyone who is interested.  There are also many parks in and near Mount Vernon that offer everything from playgrounds to a Bald Eagle Interpretive Center.

Mount Vernon is a transportation hub.  Its Skagit Station allows passengers to connect to Skagit Transit Buses, Amtrak Cascade trains, and taxi services.  For those who prefer to drive themselves, Interstate 5 and State Routes 9, 20, 536, and 538 are all easily accessible.  Daily ferry service to and from the San Juan Islands is available out of nearby Anacortes.  Seasonally, there is additional ferry service to British Columbia.


Mount Vernon’s rich 125+ year history has created a city with a variety of different options catered to different people.  History lovers will like learning about the native tribal history, the original settlements, and how the railroad changed Mount Vernon.  Nature enthusiasts will enjoy nearby parks, wildlife preserves, and the springtime tulips.  Others will find their own fascinations with Mount Vernon.  There are so many options outside of the famous tulip festival. So take a trip and find what piece of Mount Vernon captures the imagination first.

City of Mount Vernon. 2012. “History of Mount Vernon.”  (
Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce.  “History & Downtown.” (
Mount Vernon. “Getting Here–Transportation Options” (
Wikipedia. “List of cities in Washington.” August 3, 2016. (
Wikipedia. “Mount Vernon, Washington.” July 24, 2016,  (,_Washington)

Community Highlight: Walla Walla, WA

Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla is one of Washington’s most intriguing cities. With more than 100 vineyards and wineries, it is quickly becoming famous for the wine it produces. Another grocery store staple, the Walla Walla sweet onion, is also from the area. Additionally, it is the birthplace of the very popular Magic: The Gathering game. In the 2000s, a national survey named Walla Walla as the friendliest small town in America. It is also home to the 2,000 bed Washington State Penitentiary, which is one of the area’s biggest employers. Here are some more facts about the (locally proclaimed) “place so nice they named it twice.”

Walla Walla is in the southeastern section of Washington. It is 261 miles southeast of Seattle and 153 miles southwest of Spokane. Walla Walla is 13 miles north of the Oregon border. The town is nestled in the Walla Walla Valley and is west of the Blue Mountains.

Located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, there is relatively low precipitation. Average summer temps range from highs in the upper 80s to lows in the mid-50s. Average winter temperatures range from highs in upper 40s to lows in the mid-20s.

The 2010 census listed 31,731 people living in the Walla Walla city limits. With its two suburbs are included, the population is closer to 45,000. Walla Walla is the county seat of Walla Walla County and it is the 36th biggest city in the state.

A fort was established in 1818 that housed pioneers and missionaries from the eastern part of the country. The native tribes named the area Walla Walla because it means “the place of many rivers.” It was incorporated in 1862. At one point, the state was planning to make Walla Walla the capitol.

Whitman College and Walla Walla Community College are located here. For those still in K-12 grades, there is the Walla Walla Public school system and the Walla Walla Catholic school system.

Within the city, Walla Walla Valley Transit operates 9 routes. The Valley Transit Transfer Center provides connections with other regional bus systems that crisscross the area. Getting to Seattle is easy because there are three flights to and three flights from the Walla Walla Airport.

Walla Walla provides an interesting mix of opportunities. For onion lovers, it is the home to one of the most distinctive types of onions on the market. For wine lovers, it is easy to get lost in rapidly expanding world of Walla Walla wine. For students, it’s the home to two colleges and two public school systems. For the nation, it’s one of the friendliest small towns. Now is the time to go to Walla Walla and find what opportunity is most fascinating. There will be at least one, probably more.

City of Walla Walla. “Schools.” 2013 (
City of Walla Walla. “Things to Do.” 2013. (
Dahl, Emma. The Whitman Pioneer. “Magic the Gathering–The Game’s Origins and Influence at Whitman College.” November 26, 2012 (
Visit Walla Walla. “FAQ” (
Walla Walla County: Official County Government Site. “History of Walla Walla.” 2012 (
Walla Walla Regional Airport. “Flight Schedule.” (
Walla Walla Valley Transit. “Routes.” (
Washington State Department of Corrections. “Washington State Penitentiary History.” 2015. (
Wikipedia. “List of cities in Washington.” July 4, 2016. (
Wikipedia. “Walla Walla, Washington.” July 15, 2016. (,_Washington)

Community Highlight: Wenatchee, WA

Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee WA 2009Compared to the frenetic energy of its west side (of the state) counterparts, the city of Wenatchee is relaxed yet beautiful. There are usually 300 days of sunshine and all of the apples you can imagine. Here are some more facts about Wenatchee, Washington.

East of the Cascade Mountains, Wenatchee is found at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. It’s 140 miles east of Seattle and 169 miles west of Spokane.

Located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, Wenatchee typically has 300 days of sun per year. Additionally, Wenatchee is warmer and drier than other areas. Average summer temperatures range from the highs in the 90s to lows in the mid-60s. Average winter temperatures range from highs in the mid-40s to lows in the mid-20s.

The 2010 national census lists 31,925 people living in Wenatchee’s 7.77 square miles. Regardless, Wenatchee is the largest city in and the county seat of Chelan County. In central Washington, Wenatchee is the 2nd largest city and the 33rd largest city statewide.

The town was named after the Native Wenatchi people who lived in the area. There are multiple translations of the meaning of the name that range from the “Great Opening Out of the Mountain” to the “Place of the Rainbow.” Although there has never been agreement on what the correct translation of the name means, one thing is true. The name is so unique that it doesn’t get confused with other nearby areas. (However the town shares its name with the Wenatchee River, the Wenatchee National Forest, and Lake Wenatchee.)

The first white settlers arrived in the 1870s. Fruit orchards were created as early as the 1880s. The first apples were shipped out of Wenatchee in the early 1900s. The Wenatchee Valley has been closely tied to apple production ever since, and apples are ever-present in the town.

There are a lot of different activities to do in Wenatchee. Professional sports enthusiasts can watch the Wenatchee Fire FC, soccer team, or the Wenatchee AppleSox baseball team. Outdoor adventurers can do a variety of hiking, camping, snow, and water activities. Wenatchee also has a growing number of wineries and breweries. On top of all of these options, there are annual events like the Apple Blossom Parade that one can watch or participate in.

Pangborn Memorial Airport has 3 daily flights to and 3 daily flights from Seattle. There’s bus service run by Link Transit which covers most of Chelan County and some of Douglas County. This public bus system was funded in 1989 and began operation in 1990.
Living in Wenatchee means that you’re close to beautiful Washington mountains and rivers, while also accessible to the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. It is a win-win proposition.

The City of Wenatchee. “City Growth”
Pangborn Memorial Airport. “Pangborn Connects.” 2013. (
Radar, Chris. Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. “Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World.” Spring 2007. (
United States Census Bureau. “Wenatchee city, WA QuickFacts” (,00)
US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Economy at a Glance: Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA.” July 29, 2016 (
Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. “About Wenatchee” 2016 (
Wikipedia. “Wenatchee, Washington” July 13, 2016. (,_Washington)

Community Highlight: Bellingham, WA

See open positions in Bellingham!

Although it isn’t as well-known as Washington cities a few hours south, Bellingham is a beautiful place to live and work.   Nestled between Bellingham Bay, Mount Baker, the Chuckanut Mountains, and the Canadian border, Bellingham is a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

Proximity: Bellingham is the last major city in Washington before the Canadian border. For those people who feel the need to visit the “big city” regularly, Bellingham is a 90 miles north of Seattle, 21 miles south of the Canadian border, and 52 miles south of Vancouver B.C.  It’s the largest city in Whatcom County and is also the county seat.

Climate: Bellingham has the typical mild climate of the Pacific Northwest with approximately 33 inches of rain per year.

By Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation - Faithlife Corporation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: According to the City of Bellingham website, there are 83,365 residents living in Bellingham.  This makes it the 13th largest city in Washington.

History: Today’s Bellingham was created in 1903 when Fairhaven, Whatcom, Sehome, and Bellingham merged together.   The city is named after Bellingham Bay, which was originally named by explorer, George Vancouver.

Economy: PeaceHealth and Western Washington University are the biggest employers in Bellingham.

Education: Bellingham boasts one university, three community colleges, three public high schools, four public middle schools, and fourteen public elementary schools.

Activities:  Bellingham has 61 miles of bike lanes and 68.7 miles of trails. The city also has a handful of annual events including the Ski to Sea race and the Bellingham Full and Half Marathons.  Regardless of the season, Bellingham is close to nearly all outdoor activities you can imagine ranging from hiking to snow sports.

Transportation: Bellingham has an Amtrak station with train service to Seattle, Portland, Eugene, and Victoria B.C.  Two southbound trains and two northbound trains depart Bellingham station daily. There’s also Grayhound bus service to Vancouver B.C. and Seattle.  For anyone needing to catch a flight, Airporter Shuttle takes people from Bellingham to Seatac Airport (and some other transportation hubs.)  Depending on the season, Bellingham also has ferry service to the San Juan Islands and Alaska.  For those staying within the county, Whatcom Transportation Authority also operates more than 30 bus routes that crisscross connect cities throughout the county.

Bellingham is positioned between water on the west and mountains to the east.  North is the Canadian border and south holds some of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest cities. As Washington’s 13th biggest city, it boasts some of the associated amenities of city life without the daily costs (i.e. high cost of living and traffic gridlock.)   It’s a fascinating place waiting to be explored.  The only question is when will you do it?


Amtrak Cascades. “Bellingham.” (
Be In Bellingham. “Ground Transport.” 2016 (
Be In Bellingham. “Water Transport.” 2016. (
Bellingham Public Schools.  (
City of Bellingham. “About Bellingham.” (
City of Bellingham. “Schools.”  (
Whatcom Transportation Authority (
Wikipedia. “Bellingham, Washington.” July 17, 2016 (,_Washington)

Is a Masters in Public Health the Right Study Path for Your Career Goals?

The following post is a guest contribution

The public health field is one which is rapidly growing. More people than ever before are starting their careers in this field due not only to its quick rate of growth, but also for the massive range of benefits it offers to them. There are many reasons why pursuing a career in public health and obtaining a master of public health degree is definitely a worthwhile venture. If you are considering entering this field but are still stuck trying to work out whether or not it is the best option for you, here are just some of the reasons why this growing field makes for a great career choice.

Job Growth

When you have studied for a public health degree online, you will be entering a career in a field which has grown significantly in the past few years. In fact, the growth of the public health sector is well above the national average, with demand for workers in the field growing rapidly. This means that those who are thinking of getting a degree in public health or a related topic will usually be able to find a job in the industry, no matter what. More than half of the fastest-growing jobs in the USA are in the field of public health.

Job Security

Although this point is closely related to the first advantage, it’s definitely worth mentioning on its own. Having a stable career is something which means less stress and more enjoyment in your life, so it is absolutely vital to choose a field of study and work which offers as much security as possible. Thanks to the growing demand in the public health sector which doesn’t seem set to slow down just yet, you may well have a job for life.


If you are looking for a career opportunity which is full of variety and allows you to learn a whole number of different things and work in various positions, taking a master’s degree in public health is a great idea. When you work in public health, there are many different roles available which you will be able to work in, and numerous specialties all around the nation. A public health master’s degree gives you the opportunity to either diversify your career or focus on specific areas of it.


If you are considering studying for a master’s degree in the field of public health, there are many chances that it could lead to a leadership position. If you want a career where there are many opportunities for growth, promotion and career progression, public health is definitely a great choice to make. In many cases, a public health career leads to working in a leadership or management position in a certain field or organization, with many rewarding and abundant opportunities available to you.

These are just a few of the main advantages of getting an advanced qualification in public health. If you are looking for a rewarding, stable career which allows you to help others on a national and global scale, this industry is a great choice.