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A Mother Never Gives Up:
Why Kathy Marshack is still fighting Vancouver City Hall

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By Edward Snook
Investigative Journalist

“Why don’t you just let it go?”

Vancouver, WA - Dr. Marshack is asked this question all the time. Since she has successfully beaten back her attackers, won in Court time and again, publically exposed corrupt officials at Vancouver City Hall, and received tidy monetary settlements from the neighbors who harassed her . . . you would think this is enough justice (read entire Marshack case starting here).

So why doesn’t she just let it go after nearly a decade of fighting for her civil rights and her property rights? The answer is simple. She says, “I love my two daughters, Bianca and Phoebe.” What keeps Marshack fighting on is that her daughters got trashed because greedy neighbors and ruthless Vancouver officials could care less who they hurt to get what they wanted. She goes on to say, “I won’t let go until I get my family back. I won’t let go until my daughters feel safe and know that their mother loves them more than anything and I won’t leave a legacy of running from problems or of allowing myself to be blatantly victimized.”

After hearing Dr. Marshack’s story many people think she is brave to take on the Vancouver Police, the Mayor, the City Attorney, Code Enforcement, and Burlington Northern Railway. She has been arrested, assaulted, sued, and maligned. She has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend herself and she has won. But Dr. Marshack doesn’t think she is brave. Instead, she says, “I was backed into a corner. It was frightening when they came after my property rights, my business, and maligned my professional reputation. But when they started abusing my children, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started fighting back with a vengeance.”

Kathy Marshack and daughters
Kathy Marshack and her daughters, Bianca (back) and Phoebe (front) on a vacation in August of 2003.

Kathy Marshack had no idea the fight would take so long, when she was forced into it back in October of 2003. Her daughters were only 13 and 16 when this all started. Now they are grown. With deep regret she says, “I am so sorry dear girls. This is not the childhood I wanted for you. Instead of being there for you after school I was busy drafting answers to interrogatories or meeting with one of my many attorneys. Instead of sitting down with you for dinner each night and laughing about your day, I was working long hours in order to pay the mounting bills. On that horrible weekend I spent in the Clark County Jail, you were frightened and all alone . . . your father wouldn’t even come to take care of you. All I could do was stand in line with the other mothers to make a collect call from the jail phone.”


Dr. Marshack shares some memories of her eldest daughter Bianca. “Shortly after my new neighbor Julianne Leas threatened to have us arrested if we walked past her house, Bianca came to me and asked for help. She had just been chased off the river easement by Julianne’s dog that day and was very frightened. Overly confident in my abilities, she wanted me to do something to stop the abuse. When I told her I was trying to solve the problem but that the attorneys would need some time, she innocently suggested that I just walk on over to Julianne’s house and tell her to stop the harassment. She said, ‘You could make her stop if you wanted to.’ She thought I was Wonder Woman then.”

“Bianca had a hard time after that. . . because I couldn’t stop Julianne’s harassment even when I did walk over to her house to talk. On another occasion Bianca was even angrier with me. She said, ‘If they want the easement so much, just give it to them and then they will stop harassing us.’ I know it was hard for her to understand why I kept fighting for my property rights when it was so stressful on our family. In fact I took her up on her advice and offered to sell the neighbors my easement rights, but of course that didn’t work since the City was after something bigger.”

Not long after this Bianca left for a two week visit with Dr. Marshack’s ex-husband Howard Marshack, and never returned home. It has been six years with no contact. Bianca did write a letter blaming Dr. Marshack for all of the problems. Bianca wrote that her mother was mentally ill and would destroy her sister. She said that her mother was to blame for the neighbor’s lawsuit. She even accused Dr. Marshack of self-inflicting the injuries she sustained when her neighbors and ex-husband allegedly assaulted her. Oddly these are the same accusations made against Dr. Marshack by the neighbors, the police, the City Prosecutor, and Howard Marshack. Who would have told a child these things, especially when they aren’t true?

The tragedy of Bianca’s story is that she suffers from a form of Autism, Asperger Syndrome. This makes her all the more vulnerable to pressure and manipulation. Dr. Marshack reports on one recent occasion, “I sat down and cried when I read the police report filed by my ex-husband. He reported that Bianca was suicidal and had stashed knives all over his house. He never called me. He called the police instead. Bianca is alone and terrified. She needs her mother to protect her and comfort her, but instead she is told that her mother is crazy and dangerous.”

Dr. Marshack continues, “I won’t stop until Bianca knows I love her and that I will protect her. She is a beautiful and intelligent young woman who deserves a chance at life.” We at the US Observer agree that Bianca deserves to know the truth about her mother so she can freely make her own choices.


Dr. Marshack’s younger daughter Phoebe has also suffered. The neighbors have harassed her unmercifully. They have chased her off the easement with a shovel, turned the sprinklers on her, photographed her, assaulted her, and called the police to have them interrogate her. They have labeled her a “retard,” in emails. The police have threatened to arrest her when she tried to defend her mother. Phoebe has been frightened for years to use the river easement at all, even when the neighbors lost their lawsuit and the police backed off.

Dr. Marshack is grateful that Phoebe never blamed her for what happened to the family. In fact she has viewed her mother’s efforts as an example of strength. She posts to FaceBook that her mother is her “hero.” The tragedy is that Dr. Marshack’s ex-husband reportedly totally rejected Phoebe when Bianca left. A witness in this case states, “He blocked Phoebe’s number from his cell phone. He refuses to let Phoebe visit him or her sister Bianca. He refuses to allow her to attend holiday and family events. He missed all of the important milestones in Phoebe’s high school years . . .no soccer games . . .no prom night . . .no awards ceremonies at school. Through others who have spoken to him, Phoebe has learned that her father said he is ‘not ready yet’ to reunite with his daughter . . .after six years of utter rejection.”

With pride Dr. Marshack describes her youngest child, “Phoebe has grown into a delightful young woman. She loves sports of all kinds and wants to expand this interest into a career in recreation management. I know she misses her father and her sister terribly but she is brave. In fact she has not given up. Each holiday, birthday and special event, she goes to her father’s house and leaves a waterproof bag by the locked gate. The bag usually contains a card or small gift for her father and Bianca, or an announcement of one of her accomplishments (plus something from me). No one invites Phoebe in or calls her back, but she never gives up hope. That’s just the way Phoebe is . . . a loving bright shining one.”

The Truth


Now that Dr. Marshack’s daughters are young adults in their twenties, she would like them to know the truth of all that she was going through when they were so young, but how does she sum up the terrorizing she experienced and why it occurred? She says, “I can start by saying that I made a choice to fight back, to stand up for my civil rights, to protect our property, and to expose the corruption at City Hall. But this choice took its toll. My girls lost their parents and each other.”

Dr. Marshack continues, “If I had to do it over again, and with the wisdom of the many years of battle, I would have packed our bags and moved to New Zealand. I think we would have been safer there. In fact, during mediation with the suing neighbors, they made a similar offer. They said they would drop their lawsuit if I would sell our house and move out of the State of Washington. And they gave me 30 days to do so!”

The US Observer hopes that Bianca and Phoebe read this story and the three preceding stories about Dr. Marshack. Now that they are adults, we hope that they come to realize that their mother has never wavered in her love for them even as she fought the ruthless and corrupt individuals who tried to take away her rights and her family, and drive her out of town. In a nutshell, here’s the truth.

1. Influential neighbors, backed by the City of Vancouver and the Columbian Newspaper wanted to improve the value of their waterfront properties by creating a train horn noise quiet zone through the neighborhood near Dr. Marshack’s home. The only problem is that Dr. Marshack’s rights were in the way.

2. In order to further the quiet zone project, they had to revoke Dr. Marshack’s deeded access through Scott Campbell’s property (Campbell is the owner of the Columbian Newspaper). This easement connects to the river easement. So the neighbors sued to quiet title to Marshack’s deeded easement rights.

3. They also needed to revoke Dr. Marshack’s business license in order to reduce the expense of train crossing upgrades for the quiet zone. As long as Marshack ran a business from her home, the cost of the quiet zone would increase by $500,000, which is the cost to upgrade the unguarded train crossing that her clients use. Not only did the City accuse Dr. Marshack’s business of being a danger to the suing neighbors, but they encouraged Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) to make demands that Marshack pay for maintenance and liability at the nearby train crossing, if she wanted to continue her home based business.

4. Not content with taking mere legal measures against her, the neighbors, City Hall and reportedly the Columbian Newspaper, engaged in horrendous harassment, starting with the malicious and libelous memo written by Citizen Advocate Jim Jacks and City Prosecutor Josephine Townsend in which they said that Dr. Marshack was a “diagnosed Functional Sociopath.” This character assassination destroyed Dr. Marshack’s credibility with City employees and her neighbors, thus contributing to Marshack’s victimization through false arrest, assault and battery, stalking , one sided news stories in the Columbian. . . and terrifying Dr. Marshack’s children.

5. Behind the scenes Howard Marshack, Dr. Marshack’s ex-husband has reportedly encouraged ill will toward her. As recently as a few months ago, it is reported that he wrote a supportive email to fired City Prosecutor Josephine Townsend regarding all of the trouble Dr. Marshack was supposedly causing her and the City through her “malicious defamation lawsuit.”

The calm after the storm

By now it is clear why Dr. Marshack hasn’t given up the fight. She says, “I hope it is clear that I want to reach out to my dear, sweet daughters and welcome them home to me and to each other.” The fight isn’t over yet. The City of Vancouver has yet to answer for their brutal actions toward Dr. Marshack and her family, even though her neighbors have settled with her. The US Observer will continue to report this story as it unfolds.

How has she done it? How has she stayed strong when her children were being trashed? Dr. Marshack says, “I couldn’t have come this far if it weren’t for the love of my children. Also, my love of God has helped me hang in there through all of the irrational and painful experiences I have been through. My trust has not been misplaced. I do believe there is a reason we go through these battles in life. . . not just to make us stronger, but to make us more loving. A quote that has inspired me through these hard times is painted on a plaque that hangs in our home:

Sometimes God calms the storm.
Sometimes God lets the storm rage . . .
And calms his child.

“I hope I get another chance to calm my children so that they can heal and know they are loved. And I hope that they accept my apology for the choices I have made that have hurt them. Not all of my choices were the best, but each step of the way I have learned important lessons and I have grown tremendously. I love you Bianca and Phoebe. ”
- K. Marshack

Editor’s Note: The US~Observer highly commends Dr. Kathy Marshack – she is absolutely one of a kind. We also strongly and publicly condemn each and every corrupted individual who has caused this lady or her children one moment of grief or pain. The City of Vancouver, Washington has acted in a vile, underhanded and corrupt manner and we sincerely hope that the abuse leveled at Dr. Marshack and her children by the City will be as completely exposed through a jury trial, as it has been within the pages of the US~Observer.

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