Thursday, April 17, 2014

Letter: Levy Committee Letter to Support School Bond Measure

Reprinted and sourced from Rob Butcher's "Kirkland Views" 

Should elementary school playgrounds and sports fields be filled with children running, jumping and having fun at recess or should portable classrooms fill those playgrounds?

Should kids as young as five or six have to leave for school around 5 a.m. to get to class on time at 6 a.m. or should they still be sleeping as most pediatricians recommend?

Should high school students have to take blankets into classrooms because “schools without walls” failed as a concept and walls and ventilation had to be added later?

With more than 800 new students in the last year and 4000 more kids soon to be knocking at schoolhouse doors in Lake Washington School District, voters in Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish must vote “YES” on April 22. 

More than 58 percent of the school district’s voters said YES in the February election.  A swing of less than two percent will enable us to give students the schoolrooms they deserve and the education that their parents wanted for them when they moved here.

When asked why did you move to Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish, the overwhelming number of residents answered – great education for our children. Keep in mind, residents moving in and buying homes in the District adds value to existing homes.

“Stellar schools” was one of the primary reasons CNN Money ranked Redmond 5th in its “Best Places To Live” in 2012.  Just this year, 25 schools in our District received Washington Achievement Awards from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

Sen. Andy Hill (R), Rep. Larry Springer (D) and Rep. Roger Goodman (D) have endorsed the Bond measure as have the city councils of Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish.  Knowing that good schools sell homes, the Seattle/King County Realtors also believe in investing in LWSD Schools.

With our schools reaching crisis overcrowding, we are placing our children’s educational opportunities at risk.

King5 reported (4-15-14) students at LWSD’s Rockwell Elementary overcrowding is so severe (200 kids over capacity) that classes are being taught in portables, divided classrooms and, yes, even in the hallways. 

To date, our teachers and principals have responded like heroes to the crisis.  However, even their efforts can’t magically make room for another 4000 kids.  As Rockwell Principal Kirsten McArdle's told King5: "We really have run out of options.  Every space we have in this school is being used."

What will an extra $10 – $11 a month buy our children… and the kids soon to arrive… with this Bond?
  •        Three new elementary schools (two in Redmond and one in Kirkland – where the overcrowding is most severe and the most growth is expected);
  •        Rebuild and expand Juanita High School (originally built as an “school without walls” that had to be rehabbed with walls and ventilation);
  •        Build a new STEM-focused high school (giving westside students the same great learning experience of LWSD’s student at first STEM high school on the eastside); and
  •        Expand Lake Washington High School (built before 9th grade students were shifted into high schools).

If the minority of the districts voters say no to better educational opportunities to today’s students and tomorrow’s employees, what options face our kids and their teachers?

Without building more classrooms, “No” voters will force such bad options as:
  •        Kids of all ages starting class at 6 a.m. and ending at noon with others starting at 1 p.m. and finishing class at 7 p.m.  This is what “double-shifting” means in real life terms.
  •       Buying many new portable classrooms.  Where will the money come from to buy dozens of portables at $300,000 each?  Ask the “No” voters.
  •       Students being bussed even farther from their home schools than current (and temporary) overcrowding remedies have caused.  With 4000 new students coming, how long would this band-aid work?
  •        Students attending Juanita High School while the school is being rehabbed once again which not would not only hurt learning but could be potentially dangerous to students and staff.
  •        Canceling all day kindergarten.

This Bond will build energy efficient, environmentally “green” schools designed to house our children while they learn.  Already schools in our District with more efficient and green systems are realizing cost savings that are being passed on to taxpayers.

What the issue comes down to is this: Isn’t an extra $10 - $11 a month a small price to pay to enable teachers to teach and kids to learn in schools that promote learning?

Legacy for Learning Luncheon Program

Lake Washington Schools Foundation

Legacy for Learning Luncheon

Juanita High School

April 23, 2014



Monica Hart, Master of Ceremonies

Lifestyle Specialist and LWSD Parent


Peg Hunt, President

Lake Washington Schools Foundation

Featured Speaker

Dr. Traci Pierce, Superintendent

Lake Washington School District

 Special Award Presentation

Peg Hunt, President

Pathways to Success

Video Presentation

Keynote Speaker

Robert Malte, CEO


STEM Education Panel

Lauren McAllister, Student, Juanita High School

Aaron Johnston, Student, Nikola Tesla STEM High School

Thomas Barnett, Student, Redmond High School

 Looking Into the Needs of Kids and Schools (LINKS)

A Caring Heart

Kristina Williams, Executive Director

Lake Washington Schools Foundation

 Reaching for Success Grants Program

Latino Parent Academy at Einstein Elementary

Melissa Pointer, Principal

Monica Trujillo, Parent

Melissa Avila, Student


Donor Opportunity

Roger Blier, CEO & Cofounder

Passport Unlimited, Inc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bear Creek Summer Camp Offers 70 Camps and Classes


Redmond, WA – The Bear Creek School has expanded its Summer Camp program this year to include over 70 camps and classes, all open to the general public. Bear Creek offers four unique categories of camps: Sports and Athletics, Arts and Crafts, Academic, and Going Beyond. Camps run four or five days, with half-day and full-day options, beginning June 16 through July 31, 2014. Bear Creek offers lunchtime supervision for students enrolled in full-day camps or two 3-hour camps running consecutively. Extended day care is also available at the start and end of the day for students in preschool through grade 8. Summer Camp Director James Woollard enthused, “I am really excited about what we have to offer – to paraphrase the Seahawks; this year’s Camp is bigger, faster, stronger and LOUDER than ever before! Don't be the 12th Man on the sidelines—sign up now to be a part of the team!”  Read More >>

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Redmond Housing Market Speeds Up

By Paul Siemering
We’re well into spring and Redmond’s housing market is as competitive as ever. Many buyers are jostling for popular homes, thanks to an 8.8 percent drop in inventory from last year. Redmond homes for sale receive an average of five offers, with some getting as many as 12 offers.
Buyers should prepare themselves: Redmond is shaping up to be even more competitive than it was last year. To maintain an advantage, I often tell my customers to be conservative with their budget. For example, if they can afford a $500,000 to $550,000 home, they should make an offer on homes priced between $450,000 and $500,000 with the expectation that a bidding war will drive up the price.   Read More >>

Public Invited to Interfaith Dinner Dialogue

Public Invited to Interfaith Dinner Dialogue on “The Common Good: How does your faith community define it and act it out?”
F.I.R.E. (Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside) invites you to the third in a series of Dinner Dialogues aimed at fostering interfaith relationships, on Sunday, April 27, 5PM to 8PM, hosted by Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church, 308 4th Avenue South, Kirkland.  Read More >>

Monday, April 14, 2014

Eastside Republican Club Announces 2014 Scholarship Essay Program

The Eastside Republican Club announced today that it will award a $1,000 scholarship to the author of the best essay, as determined by the Club’s judges, submitted on the topic How would a $15 per hour minimum wage affect jobs?”.
The scholarship program is open to high school students graduating in 2014, and freshmen and sophomores in an accredited college or university. Students must live in King County, or attend a public, private, or home school located in King County.
Essays must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be submitted to the Club by email no later than Friday, April 25. The winner of the scholarship will be announced at the Club’s monthly dinner meeting in Bellevue on Tuesday, May 6.  Read More >>

Lake Washington Institute of Technology Four Day Spring Plant Sale Starts April 25

Kirkland, Wash.: Spring has arrived and it’s time for the Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) annual Spring Plant Sale.  This popular event takes place on April 25 and 26 (Friday and Saturday), and again on May 2 and 3 (Friday and Saturday), from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
The plant sale is open to the public and held every year by Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s Environmental Horticulture program students. The sale will be held in the west parking lot of LWTech’s Kirkland campus, next to the horticulture greenhouses. Customers are encouraged to bring boxes for their purchases.  Read More >>

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Goose on the Roof is Back!

Drivers heading north on Avondale should look at the roof of the old brick house on the right side of the road across from NE 88th Street.  This is the third year in a row that the goose has made her nest up on the roof.  There are really two geese that share the nesting duties, but mostly it's Mother Goose who spends all her time there.
The geese built the nest in spring 2012 out of moss that had grown on the roof.  They returned one afternoon late last week, and since then, one or the other has been sitting on the nest continuously to keep their eggs warm.

The eggs take 24-28 days to hatch so the geese should be on the roof until the last week of April.  When the eggs hatch, the goslings will stay in the nest for one day and then the family will be gone until next spring.

By Susan Wilkins

Friday, April 11, 2014

Season lineup for 2014 Marymoor Park Concert Series

AEG Live, King County Parks, unveil initial season lineup for 2014 Marymoor Park Concert Series

Initial launch includes The Fray, Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson, Robyn + R√∂yksopp, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Heart, Steely Dan, Slightly Stoopid, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Cheech & Chong, War, Foreigner, Styx, 1077 The End’s Summer Camp, Counting Crows, Ray LaMontagne, Rebelution. All tickets go on sale Friday, April 11 at noon, unless otherwise noted. Additional shows will be added.

Building on a successful past year at Marymoor Park, AEG Live and King County Parks are pleased to 2014_marymoor_concertsannounce the initial dynamic lineup for the 2014 Marymoor Park Concert Series presented by Swedish Medical Center Redmond.  Read More >>

Thursday, April 10, 2014

NAMI Forum: "Leaving No Stone Unturned in the Quest to Cure Mental Illness"

Monthly Educational Forum, 7pm-9pm, Evergreen Health, 3rd Tuesday of each month,
Suite Tan 100, 123 NE 130th Lane, Kirkland.  April 15, 2014 presentation is: 
“Leaving No Stone Unturned in the Quest to Cure Mental Illness”
In the quest to help their daughters with mental illness, two parents will share stories that are strikingly similar, but with very different outcomes. On one hand, a precious young life lost, on the other, a cure. Both families did everything they knew how, sought and listened to authorities, and made valiant efforts to save their children. What did they do differently? What led to a cure? The answer lay in getting to the underlying biological causes of brain dysfunction through lab testing and providing the body with the ingredients needed for the brain to heal. They will share lessons learned in finding treatment and dealing with doctors, schools, and insurance companies.   Read More >>

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

City sets conceptual plan for its recreational buildings - Includes $57 million community recreation center

The City is going ahead with their conceptual plans to:  1) renovate the Senior Center, 2) replace the Old Redmond School Community Center (ORSCC) and Hartman Pool with a new community recreation center, 3) build structured parking between the library and city hall, and 4) move the teen center to a new, stand alone building.  LWSD would take over the ORSCC.  Council expects to decide on final plans by June and the Mayor expected financing decisions with or without a bond by October of 2014. 

The conceptual plan to locate the new community recreation center and structured parking between the library and city hall drew the most discussion and concern by councilmembers in their April 7 study session.  There was consensus that it was not the best location but it made the most sense considering the few alternatives for land available.  Council President Margeson made slight mention of using the Heron Rookery forest as a site but there was no discussion on that subject.  Councilmember Myers pointed out a good location for the teen center is next to the Skate Board Park.

Renovation and expansion of the Senior Center is the city's #1 priority.  4,000 square feet would be added for a total cost estimated at $9.2 million.  The Community Recreation Center is estimated to be 85,600 square feet at a cost of $57.3 million.  It would include:  recreation and competition pools, a gym, fitness and walking/running track, indoor play space, classrooms, and rental rooms.  The structured parking space would add 400 stalls at a cost of $6.8 million.  A $200,000 covered walkway would connect the Center to the parking facility.  The LWSD may partner with the City in construction or operations of the Center. 

Reported by Bob Yoder


Vehicle pursuit traffic collision

 Redmond Police Case #14-006432


Redmond, WA – At 6:00 pm Redmond Police began receiving reports of a recklessly driven dark colored SUV last seen in the 18700 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway.  Approximately one hour later Redmond Officers located the vehicle near Redmond Way and West Lake Sammamish Parkway.  Officers were not able to apprehend the vehicle at that time. 

Bellevue Police began receiving reports of a similar vehicle driving recklessly and possibly involved in a traffic collision involving a tree.

Redmond Police then received a report of a traffic collision at Union Hill Road and Avondale Road involving the same suspect vehicle.  Witnesses observed the vehicle flee the scene, and followed her providing updated information.  With the help of those witnesses, officers were able to locate the vehicle in the 17000 block of Redmond Way.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled.  Police initiated a pursuit traveling eastbound on Redmond Way.  The vehicle turned around in the 22000 block of Redmond Way and began heading back into the city.  Officers effectively deployed stop sticks in the 18500 block of Redmond Way.   The vehicle turned north on to Avondale Way.  In the 9000 block of Avondale Way the vehicle became involved in another collision and came to a stop. 
The 30 year old female suspect driver was trapped in her vehicle.  She had to be extricated from the vehicle by Redmond Fire.  The suspect was transported to Harborview with possible broken bones.  Alcohol/ and or drugs is suspected.  The other drivers sustained minor injuries.  Investigation is ongoing. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Community Bike Ride to Obliterate Cancer Comes to Redmond on August 10

Supporters are asked to ‘go orange’ in solidarity to end cancer

SEATTLE, March 27, 2014 – Obliteride participants will enjoy an epic experience and a

scenic ride as they pedal through the Puget Sound area this summer, while raising

critical funds to help Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center obliterate cancer. All new

routes for the 25, 50, 100 and 150-mile rides have just been released. This year’s

event will also include a 1-mile route for kids, so the whole family can get in on the fun.

The routes are designed so everyone, from beginners to experienced cyclists, can do
their part to help end cancer Aug. 8-10, 2014.;
Sadly, cancer touches everyone. Half of all men and one-third of all women in the U.S.
will develop cancer during their lifetimes. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

City Council makes decision to support the LWSD bond - many citizens speak up at meeting

The Mayor and City Council were very busy at last night's Regular Business Meeting hearing comments from numerous citizens.

Parent Lisa Lang got up with a clutch of Redmond El students thanking the Mayor and Councilmember David Carson (and numerous others) for their participation in the Spaghetti fundraiser.  She said they now have enough funds to build a new playground at the school this summer.

Former Mayor Chris Himes and John Couch (her Parks Director) got up to celebrate Chris 85th birthday and all the accomplishments of the Redmond Historical Society.  The Parks Bond measure of 1974 drew Himes into her race for Mayor.  Couch gave Himes flowers. 

Two "frequent flyers" to the podium got up to grind their axes:  Zimmerman an oppositional and defiant speaker to anyone associated with government, especially King County.  And David Warton grinding his ax about pollution from Watson Asphalt Company of SE Redmond.  Another citizen negotiated for more than 4 minutes to address council about recurrent car accidents on a curve on West Lake Sammamish. 

Four citizens got up to encourage Council to vote in favor of Proposition One, the LWSD bond measure.  Superintendent Traci Pierce lauded the district's AAA bond rating and emphasized how fast the district is growing.  She clarified for Councilmember John Stilin that two new elementary schools in Redmond were proposed for the $404 million bond -- one in North Redmond and one in Redmond Ridge.  School Board member Siri Bleisner explained:  the bond is specifically designed to address over-crowding in schools, that extra space is designed in the new schools to create room for art, music, etc, that the district has a track record for building on time and on budget and that the cost of the bond will be about $125/year for an average home. 

Councilmember Byron Shulz gave a long speech about the importance of schools to Redmond and at the end of the meeting suggested that council work directly with the school board to improve the district.  Councilmember Margeson and Stilin agreed to a closer association with the district governance.  Council voted 5-2 (Carson/Myers) to approve a Proposition One resolution for the school bond.  Carson and Myers usually always vote No based on the principle the voters are responsible to decide for themselves what's best.

Reported By Bob Yoder

Have you seen the numerous colorful sticks in Redmond's Downtown Park?

Have you seen the numerous colorful sticks (or wands/ribbons) in Redmond's Downtown Park?   Mayor Marchione announced there's a tag on each ribbon stating:  "I want __________ in my downtown park."  Citizens can fill in the blank with their idea for what they want going on in the park --- a creative way to engage the public!   Stop by and fill in a blank!

Redmond Bike Park moves forward

Hello Redmond Bike Park followers,
The revised Redmond Bike Park project plans were not appealed.  Staff and the consultants will be meeting soon to plan a schedule and approach to construction.  I will follow up with details soon. 
Thank you,
Carolyn Hope
Park Planning & Cultural Services Manager
City of Redmond, Parks and Recreation Department
15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond, WA 98052

City Attorney advises Council to close ears to Mosque Land Use issues - possible appeal

Anyone interested in the Mosque Land Use Action on 51st Street should listen to the last part of Tuesday's City Council meeting.  Mr. Haney, the City Attorney gave a study session to Council on the Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Officials where he specifically addressed the Mosque issue.

The Mosque Land Use Action is a Type 2 Permit decided by city staff (Technical Committee) appealable to the Hearing Examiner (closed record) with the Examiner's decision appealable to City Council in Quasi Judicial proceedings.  Haney advised council that even though the Hearing Examiner's proceedings are not Quasi Judicial that Council should not read emails or talk to citizens making comment on the land use.  Haney based his recommendation on "Appearance of Fairness" doctrine where council needs to appear unbiased should the appeal go to Council.  Also, in a closed record proceeding only those comments and evidence submitted to the Hearing Examiner are considered admissible when Council hears an appeal.  So Council remains pure from extraneous comments if they keep out of it.   

Councilmember Kim Allen, the city Ombudsman for the month said she did not read any emails that came in from concerned citizens about the Mosque.  She is a land use attorney.  Comments sent in by the comment deadline are considered admissible for the Hearing Examiner's record during an appeal.  Comments made to the Hearing Examiner during an appeal to the Examiner are also items for the record which the Council could hear in their Appeal should it go that far.  In Quasi-Judicial proceedings Council may not take comment from any party.

Haney referenced the Redmond Bike Park and Tent City as similar Type 2 Land Use Permits that hindered Council's interaction with the public.  The City of Redmond is one of the few cities in Washington State that uses the Quasi-Judicial system for land use appeals.

Reported By Bob Yoder

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bear Creek School Constructs LEGO Model of New Building

 Bear Creek’s New Upper School and Fine & Performing Arts Center


Redmond, WA – On March 26, Dan Parker, a certified LEGO® professional, worked together with more than 100 Bear Creek students in grades 5 and 6 to construct a LEGO® model of our new Upper School and Fine & Performing Arts Center. The model is as part of the school’s REACH UP Campaign to raise $10 million to finance the construction of its new building.

Mr. Parker is one of 13 certified LEGO® professionals in the entire world and lives in the Puget Sound area.  The Experience Music Project is currently hosting an exhibit, “Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture,” featuring 10 famous skyscrapers constructed from LEGOs® by Dan and his team. The exhibit will remain at the EMP through April 20.

To date Bear Creek has raised nearly $7.4 million for construction of the new Upper School and Fine & Performing Arts Center. The school is planning to raise the rest of the needed funds this spring, so that groundbreaking can occur in June.  Read More >>

Friday, March 28, 2014

Habib bills to aid entrepreneurs, boost kids' health signed into law

Governor approves “crowdfunding” and gastric-illness measures
OLYMPIA – The state’s economy would get a boost from entrepreneurs tapping into an innovative source of financing to start businesses and create jobs, under the Washington Jobs Act of 2014, a bill signed by Gov. Inslee today.
“Start-up businesses – from food trucks to software developers – can get the money they need to get off the ground,” the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Cyrus Habib, said when the bill passed the House earlier this year. “And ordinary people from across the state can share in those businesses’ success.”  Read More >>

LETTER: Land Use Action for New Mosque on NE 51st Draws Neighborhood Reaction

If you drive by the northbound on-ramp to 520 on 51st street, you probably haven’t noticed the small yellow sign posted to a gate announcing plans to develop a 20,000-square foot religious facility and community center. My fellow residents of the adjacent neighborhood north of 51st and East of 520 didn’t notice it either.
But when we did find out, we were concerned. Our neighborhood is purely residential: 51st Street is the natural divider between our homes and Microsoft corporate campus to the South. The proposed 20,000 sq. ft. structure, is ten times the size of the average 2,000 sq. ft. single family homes in our subdivision. Not only would this be the first non-residential addition to our community, but it would also be really, really large.  Read More >>

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Race Boats Ruled the Sammamish Slough: Recollections and Memories

Before Major League sports in Seattle, boat racing was king and the Sammamish Slough Race was one of the premier Northwest events. Every April thousands of spectators watched drivers jump logs and dodge bridge pilings on the narrow and winding 13-mile slough from Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish. Steve Greaves, a four time slough racer and national champion boat racer, will share the history and memories of this bygone era on Saturday, April 12th at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center in Redmond. He is speaking as part of the Redmond Historical Society Saturday Speaker Series and will be joined by a panel of other former racers: Dave Culley, John Laird, Lee Sutter and Drew Thompson as well as former race official Penny Anderson. A boat will also be on display outside.

 “It was a challenging race as is had 63 turns and a lot of unpredictable obstacles.  I remember coming around a bend going through Redmond and having to dodge a cow getting a drink in the water,” recalls Greaves, who participated in his first race at fourteen and went on to set over 30 World and National water speed records.   Read More >>