Monday, December 5, 2016

Redmond Lights Luminary Walk, Christian Church event

This is a Timberlake Christian Church event featured on the Redmond Lights Luminary Walk last Saturday. Redmond Lights gets better and better every year.  Ask anyone!  Timberlake was one of 7 faiths featured this year.  Did you see any of the others?

Bob Yoder

Friday, December 2, 2016

Updated: Public Works Art is all over the downtown and neighborhoods - with much more to come

1% of  expenditures for new city sidewalks, bridges, parking lots, the downtown corridor and other Public Works construction projects are allocated for art installations. That's right!  1% goes to art!  "Public Works art" is in our downtown and in our neighborhoods -- big and small.  This heron was found on a sidewalk near the Leary Way bridge. Salmon artwork is under the 90th Street Bridge. This "brass leaf" art on a traffic-calming sidewalk is only a few steps from where I live.  A lot of this smaller "street art" was installed during the Ive's administration.  Marchione's public works art is a huge undertaking. It includes the ERRATIC, SIGNALS, and the SKY PAINTING parking lot. Of great significance, Public Works art is planned for the Cultural Corridor build-out of the couplet conversion possibly the Downtown Park. Wouldn't it be nice to know what they're planning for art there so we could give the planners some input?

Bob Yoder

Questions?  e-mail Art's Administrative Manager Ms. Rubenacker at or contact one of our Arts commissioners.  

King County passes budget - $2 million funded to support development of aquatics/recreation facility in the Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland area.

"Throughout our budget deliberations, we kept returning to the most urgent issue of our day – affordable housing and homelessness.  By weighing priorities we were able to identify $5.9 million that will be used to fund a men’s shelter and a navigation center in and around downtown Seattle.  Another $1 million was set aside so the County can partner with cities that want to address homelessness in their jurisdictions.  For example, a city like Kirkland, which is currently moving to build a women’s shelter, could seek support from this fund.
Beyond responding to the immediate crisis I urged my colleagues to also think about the larger problem of housing affordability and how we can prevent people from losing their homes in the first place.  As a result, the Council approved my motion to work with our regional partners, such as cities, non-profits, private business, and faith-based organizations, to develop a long-term plan for how we can ensure all our residents have a safe and affordable place to live throughout King County.
In addition to looking at the big picture needs of the county, I am excited about some of the great projects and services we will be funding in District 6;"
  • $2 million to support the development of an aquatics and recreation facility in the Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland area
  • $50,000 as a first investment for the I-90 Trail on Mercer Island
  • $7.6 million in funding for the Eastside Rail Corridor which will ultimately provide a unique “highway without cars” connecting Woodinville, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue and Renton
  • $50,000 to help complete the capital vision for the Bellevue Youth Theater
  • $200,000 for small grants to District 6 programs that will help youth and older adults get and stay active (to be allocated in 2017)
  • Restored full funding to domestic violence, sexual assault and civil legal aid programs, including the Eastside Legal Assistance Program"
The City of Redmond wants to hear from you about their plans for an aquatics center. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"The Last Test," by Bruce Holmes

"The Last Test" by Bruce Holmes, 2001

From the City of Redmond Visual Arts Collection a few steps north of the 90th Street Bridge on the Sammamish River Trail.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lessons learned from Redmond's homelessness forum

On November 3rd, my wife and friend John Reinke attended a forum on Homelessness at the Redmond library.  It was excellent. The panel included:  Two speakers from Hopelink (case workers,) NAMI-Eastside (a bipolar spokesperson,) Resource Police Officer Dave Sowers, Kent Hay (Redmond's homeless outreach specialist,) Karina Woodruff of Friends of Youth (FOY,) the Executive Director of Teen Feed (Seattle based,) and Mellisa Munn responsible for monitoring and enforcing the "rules of conduct." at the  Redmond Library.

We learned the homeless are welcome to the library without I.D. at any time as long as they abide by the rules of conduct. "Friends of Redmond Library" sponsors community service providers to assist the homeless at the library on the first Wednesday of every month.  Kent Hay runs the program.  .

Mr. Hay's primary job is to work with the police as a buffer to the homeless, in part, to overcome the police stereotype of crime enforcement.  In Kent's buffer role, the homeless are more approachable and receptive to human service assistance.  Officer Sowers was thrilled with Kent's police/homeless assistance and complimented Police Chief Wilson for initiating the program.

Severe mental illness is approximately four times more common in the homeless population. I asked officer Sowers what the incidence of  involuntary commitment of the mentally ill was in our community.  He couldn't answer me but indicated the commitment process in our State is very involved.  Earlier this year when I had a public coffee with the Chief Wilson I was told the police involuntarily commit about one citizen a day. I just can't believe this and emailed the Chief to clarify. She didn't respond.

The NAMI-Eastside spokesperson, a valued and generous volunteer, quoted a 60% incidence of mental illness within the homeless community.  In my opinion, 60% is way too high and saying so contributes to stereotyping the homeless. Scientific literature finds 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness.  Upon questioning, he clarified 60% included mild illnesses.

The Friends of Youth manager said 30% of their clients have a severe mental illness and another 30% have milder "homeless induced" illnesses.  Friends of Youth (FOY) shelter and care for the Eastside's homeless teens -- many with a: 1) mental impairment, 2) substance abuse, and/or 3) sexual abuse issue. Their extensive programs and services are described here.

The manager, Karina Woodruff, didn't know anything about HERO House -- a non profit devoted to providing the seriously mentally impaired with socialization opportunities, job rehab and housing assistance. I've attended two HERO House galas and two luncheons and have tried very hard to help them reach-out to the community for new consumers. They have the resources. Unfortunately. it doesn't appear they have the will at this moment.

Some of the homeless could find comfort from their belief in a God. We need to start thinking about the usefulness of  compassionate spiritual caring and include clergy in the discussion.

Bob Yoder, opinion

According to "one in five of Americans have a mental health condition in a given year".--  "Only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009.)"

What can you do to help the homeless?   There are many,many ways.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Artist-Commissioned Light Installations at Redmond Lights

Redmond Lights returns on December 3, 2016 to celebrate the City's diverse winter traditions, cultures and faiths. In addition to traditional luminaries, light displays, and performers, this year’s event will feature a stronger arts presence than in years past.

Four temporary artist-commissioned light installations and a balloon installation by Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu Pai will punctuate the event along the Luminary Walk.
Near City Hall, Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu will share some of her poetry at Redmond Lights via a custom balloon installation. Poetry balloons will be available for the first 250 attendees.
A floating light installation in the shape of holiday lights by Suzanne Tidwell will illuminate the Sammamish River. The installation can be viewed along the Luminary Walk or from above on the 85th Street bridge.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

layered leaves

credit: John Reinke
John Reinke of Education Hill found these leaves at the Senior Center and layered them into photographic art. See his 'portfolio' of photos and stories.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vandalism at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Redmond

LETTER:  As you may have heard, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) has been vandalized at least twice in the last week.  This sort of activity has happened before in Seattle and other places, and the community stood up to assist.  Typically these acts are temporary and are the result of incidents in the news or thugs feeling emboldened by perceived political permission.  I hope the need of our neighbors is temporary, but I would like to assist in making a community statement through helpful action.
There are two steps that may assist, and I will contact the mosque to see if either would be welcome.  First, we can assist in repairing damage.  That may require carpentry, graffiti removal or other steps.  Second, there may be an opportunity to assist or supplement overnight patrols of the property.  This would only be done if the Redmond Police approves, but I expect that this is already being done by MAPS congregants.  To some extent this is also a symbol of community values, but I do believe the physical risk is minimal.
I welcome your responses and advice, as well as support if your feel it is appropriate.
Hank Myers

11/22 4:15 pm 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Lake Washington School District is considering later start times, task force formed

 ' Night Owls' May Face Special Challenges
Credit New York Times
A study published in Pediatrics this month evaluated sleep patterns of adolescents, further documenting why students suffer from early start times. All the recent literature recommends start times no earlier than 8:30 am. 

Presently Redmond, Eastlake, ICS and Tesla STEM all start at 7:30 am. Lake Washington High and Everson High start at 8 am. And, it can take well over 30 minutes to arrive at school requiring some students to wake as early as 5:30 am

In 2015 the CDC reported that adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight (1); not engage in daily physical activity (2); suffer from depressive symptoms (2); engage in unhealthy risk behaviors such as drinking, smoking tobacco, and using illicit drugs (2); and perform poorly in school (3). However, insufficient sleep is common among high school students, with less than one third of U.S. high school students sleeping at least 8 hours on school nights (4). In a policy statement published in 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged middle and high schools to modify start times as a means to enable students to get adequate sleep and improve their health, safety, academic performance, and quality of life (5). AAP recommended that "middle and high schools should aim for a starting time of no earlier than 8:30 a.m."

Kathryn Reith, LWSD Communications Director, said a Task Force is currently underway to study this problem. The Seattle School District already raised their start times. If you want to get involved in the dialogue or comment e-mail: or the school board at  

Bob Yoder

Friday, November 18, 2016

Incredible array of PTSA Scholarship Auction Baskets are on display at District HQ

LWPTSA Council Scholarship Basket Auction
Auction closes:   Thursday, December 110-11am, LWRC Lobby

Bidding is now underway!

Support our students and get some holiday shopping done at the same time!  
Please join us on December 1 for the close of the LWPTSA Council basket auction and reception. Free espresso drinks, desserts and a lively raffle await! All proceeds from the event support post-high school learning opportunities for Lake Washington students and continuing education opportunities for our staff.
The Lake Washington PTSA Council began its scholarship program over 35 years ago to assist graduating seniors with their college education.  In 1990, scholarships were added for district staff to help defray the costs of continuing education. 

Funding for these scholarships is primarily provided by the PTAs in the Lake Washington School District. Each PTA makes an annual donation to the scholarship fund and contributes a themed basket to be auctioned off at the Lake Washington Resource Center. The generosity of community partners such as the LWSD Central Leadership team, Lake Washington Schools Foundation, Lake Washington Education Association and individual donors, help make this event a successful tradition for the LWPTSA Council.
The auction closes at a reception that is open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend on Thursday, December 1, from 10-11 am(immediately following the Council Membership meeting.) There will be many opportunities for supporting the LWSD seniors and staff.
In addition to the auction, there will be a raffle, bring-a-buddy door prize, gift card wall (purchase gift cards at cost) and donation opportunities starting at $10.
Please join us for fun, tasty treats, and an opportunity to help students from across the district achieve their potential!
Questions? Contact

Now's the time to sign-up to play "the fastest game on two feet."

Lacrosse is "the fastest game on two feet."  

RLC Facebook Page
The Redmond Lacrosse Club is dedicated to promoting lacrosse and providing students athletes the opportunity to learn the fundamentals and develop their skills while fielding competitive teams and honoring the game.  The Club serves players from K-12 who reside in the area served by Redmond High School.
Now is the time to commit to Spring lacrosse and tell your players to tell their friends. This is the best way for them to have fun.  - Rob Leavitt, President, RLC

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

EvergreenHealth's Board of Commissioners Appoints Tim McLaughlin as its Newest Member

Experienced financial executive and long-time Redmond resident fills Redmond/Sammamish board seat
Kirkland, Wash. – Last night, EvergreenHealth’s Board of Commissioners formally appointed Tim McLaughlin as its newest board member. After a thorough search and selection process, the board selected Mr. McLaughlin to fill the seat that represents the Redmond/Sammamish area. The position was held formerly by Auggie Kempf, who announced his retirement in September.
Mr. McLaughlin brings an abundance of professional and community experience to the board.
“Tim has an impressive business and financial background, combined with decades of experience as a trusted community leader,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “His experience managing the financial, procedural and business functions for national organizations will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we continue to expand our services and offer exceptional care to the communities we serve.”-
About Tim McLaughlin:
Mr. McLaughlin is an experienced financial executive currently serving as chief financial officer of SightLife, a global health organization with a mission to eliminate corneal blindness, and its subsidiary, SightLife Surgical. Over the last decade at SightLife, McLaughlin oversaw a $50 million operating budget and is responsible for accounting, treasury, financial reporting, facilities, information technology and purchasing functions.
He brings more than 35 years of financial experience across multiple industries, and his former positions include: CFO of Eddie Bauer; vice president and controller for AT&T Wireless Services; and CFO of National Cash Register Corporation’s microelectronics division.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Redmond Lights" Annual Winter Festival

Image result for winter lights redmond imageREDMOND, WA - The City of Redmond presents Redmond Lights, its annual Winter Festival, on Saturday, December 3 from 4:00–8:00 pm. The event brings community together to experience light displays, performances, and activities that celebrate the magic of the winter season and the City’s cultural diversity. 
Starting at 4 pm at the Redmond City Hall Campus, attendees will enjoy highlights such as lantern making, watching light performer Kingsley Casayuran, and collecting their signature Experience Redmond light blinkers (while supplies last). Mayor Marchione, along with special guests, will then light the campus oak tree, before departing on the enchanting luminary walk to Redmond Town Center.
During the walk down the Redmond Central Connector visitors will take in the sights and sounds of returning favorites such as Japanese Taiko drummers, fire twirlers, and Keith Highlanders Pipe Band, and enjoy eye-catching new light installations by four featured local artists.

Redmond H.S. Principal elaborates on school district's protest policy.

Notice:  A  "Community Truancy Board" informational session will be held this Thursday, 11/17, 7-8pm at LWSD HQ.  Please call Chris Robison if you plan to attend. 425-936-1270  If you can't make this session, there may be others.  - Editor

From Principal Todd, RHS via email.

Dear Redmond High School families:
Dr. Pierce sent a message to all district families earlier today (11/14).

We have learned of the possibility that some students may be planning to walk out today (11/14) in protest at 1:30 p.m. I have received questions from some parents.
While Dr. Pierce’s message included information on how our policies apply, I would like to provide additional information here.
• Students are expected to be in class during class time. Students choosing to leave class during class time will accrue an unexcused absence.

• Students can peacefully protest in a manner that does not violate LWSD Human Dignity Policy or Civility Policy in designated areas during lunch time or before or after school.

• Students may not protest in a manner that substantially disrupts the orderly operation of school (i.e. leaving class, encouraging others to leave class, blocking hallways, causing disruption, violating the Human Dignity or Civility Policy).

We are committed to upholding students’ constitutional rights and the district’s civility policy and human dignity policy.

Jane Todd, Principal
Redmond High School

Monday, November 14, 2016

City of Redmond Fire Department trains ten new firefighters

Takes almost a year to hire and train new Redmond firefighters through a very competitive recruiting process. 

REDMOND, WA - The City of Redmond Fire Department welcomed ten new Firefighters to the department during graduation ceremonies on November 10, 2016. Fire Chief Tommy Smith and Redmond Mayor John Marchione recited the “Oath of Office” and issued the graduated recruits their fire department badges.
The new Firefighters have been assigned to their shifts and stations after spending more than 16 weeks in recruit training with the East Side Metro Training Academy and fire service instructors from the Redmond Fire Department. Firefighters began their training by practicing Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) skills that will used be during cardiac arrests and complex trauma and medical emergencies in the field. The training moves on to 12 weeks of learning basic and advanced firefighting skills that builds on teamwork while working in dangerous environments. The Fire Academy is an intense course that is physically and mentally demanding and designed to push individuals and teams to learn how to handle dynamic fire situations with confidence while stressing safety.
The newly graduated Probationary Firefighters (FF) include: FF Tesa Betz, FF Reichle Erchinger, FF Heather Herdt, FF Joshua Hughes, FF Joseph Lee, FF Austin Marshall, FF Russell Reece, FF Loren Seefried, FF Joel Swift and FF Dylan Walsh.
It takes almost a year to hire and train new firefighters through a very competitive recruiting process. The ten Probationary Firefighters were selected from more than 200 applicants and only after weeks of pre-screening interviews, background checks, psychological and medical evaluations and ultimately the Fire Chief interview for final selections to attend the recruit academy. “The recruits have excelled in their training to become firefighters,” Chief Smith said, “I’m extremely proud of these firefighters and know they will serve the citizens of Redmond and Fire District 34 with great pride and service.”
For questions and more information contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at or 425-556-2427. This press release is available on

Friday, November 11, 2016

"Seattle Stand Down" serves our Vets

My name is Lauren Link and I am the mobility projects coordinator at Hopelink. My work focuses on transportation challenges for Veterans in King County as well as other vulnerable populations. I am also the transportation coordinator for the Seattle Stand Down (SSD). The Seattle Stand Down (SSD) is committed to assisting military Veterans and their families in every aspect of their transition from military to civilian life; whether they just became a Veteran or have been one for a long time. The SSD provides a place where Veterans can have “one stop” access to various community and Veteran Affairs (federal, state, and county) social services, focusing primarily on those Veterans and families that are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Transportation has always been a barrier for Veterans wanting to access services at the SSD. This year, we partnered with King County Metro to provide “free fare” days for Veterans travelling to and from the SSD on December 1st and 2nd, 2016. Vets are able to board ANY King County Metro bus with an acceptable ID (shown on the attached flyer) or a special SSD pass (Vets able to get passes from service providers). The goal with the SSD bus passes  is to get these passes into the hands of Vets who do not have one of the IDs listed or are not able to obtain an ID by the time of the SSD.
Laureen Link's email:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Musings on the city's Community/Aquatics Center plan

I've lived here 36 years and  love Redmond, but I'm not a proponent of the city's proposed $80M - $100M Recreation/Aquatics Center.  I'm concerned I and some of my neighbors will get taxed out of Redmond or even lose our homes. The schools are by far my family's budget priority and now with ST-3 passing I'm not 100% sure I can even pay for them.  In my opinion, the proposed Center is "Downtown Park v.2"  Too expensive, primarily for urban dwellers, a burden on the neighborhoods, hard to get to, and subject to cost over-runs.

When the Hartman Pool is demolished, it should be replaced with a Neighborhood Community Center.  The footprint is large and there's plenty of space.  A recent Education Hill Neighborhood Association poll indicated only 5 of 478 members wanted a new pool. Many asked for child services and a cafe with sandwiches and pastries. Meeting rooms, an organic produce market, music classes, teen life-skills classes, and revitalizing the beautiful treed land south of pool were some other requests.  

A downtown community/aquatics center is primarily an amenity for the urban dwellers.  Other than the city, who's to say our existing community center won't  have the capacity for Historical Society Meetings and recreational programs?  The Lake Washington School District would know.  We should start going to their business meetings and requesting transparency.

As for the aquatics center the train has left the station.  Our elected majority should have partnered with Kirkland and Lake Washington School District a long time ago to build an aquatics center when development costs were cheaper. I've heard Bellevue is considering aquatics near Bellevue College. Couldn't that be a viable alternative?

The incredibly rapid pace of city growth has put the Administration behind the eight-ball and panicking to "catch up."  Mine is one opinion.  I encourage you to visit the city's Redmond Community Center website and give them yours.

Bob Yoder, opinion 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Lake Washington School District is building for success - be prepared to support them.

Kathryn Reith District Communications Director is narrating.  Ms. Reith provides a valuable bridge between the District and our community. She's always happy to hear from you.  

Be prepared to support our District's bonds and levies: 
$398,000,000 Bond measure passed on April 26, 2016.  
$288,000,000 proposed Bond measure in 2018
$278,000,000 proposed Bond measure in 2022 
$207,000,000 proposed Bond measure in 2026. 
EP&O (Educational Program and Operations) Levy in 2018. 
EP&O Levy/Capital Project Levy in 2022.
EP&O Levy/Capital Project Levy on 2026.
Sound Transit 3, a probable $90+ million city aquatics/community center measure, city, county, library taxes and more will all be competing with our schools for your tax dollars.  All the while our property taxes are rising significantly.  Schools are first for me! I just hope my family won't be taxed out of here.  

Bob Yoder

Monday, November 7, 2016

News and opinion of Local and State elections are sadly smothered

For the last 9 months the Presidential candidates and media have dominated and smothered  the  information we need to make our decisions on the election of our State and local representatives.  We  have for the most part only the voter's pamphlet  to inform us.

Though partisan I hope this comparison gives you a little more information about the 45th District legislative Representative contenders and about whoever will represent us for the next two years.   Thanks for this information Ramiro. .

Saturday, November 5, 2016

School District is "Building on Success"

Community support provides the resources for quality learning environments, experiences

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District (LWSD) is a high performing and successful public school district by many measures. The district’s growing enrollment is evidence that LWSD attracts families to the area it serves in Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish, Washington. To serve that growing enrollment, the district is “Building on Success.” That’s the district’s long-term plan to continue to build schools and to provide quality learning environments and experiences.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Redmond Assembly of God sponsors "Prayer for Unity" at City Hall election night

News about Redmond's churches are rarely posted, but this one is worthy and related to city government.  

Redmond Assembly of God (Redmond AG) has a special relationship with the city.

In 2006 Ps. Robroy Ranger opened his church to the City of Redmond for their "Education Hill Caucus" meetings. Hank Margeson, now President of  City Council ran alot the meetings - staffed by city planners Sarah Stiteler and Kimberly Dietz.  Pastor Robroy was quoted in the "Seattle Times" about the character of Education Hill, as a result of the church's contribution.

Pastor Robroy Ranger
Fast forward to the present:  Just a few days ago, Mayor Marchione and the city administration signed of permit to allow Redmond AG's non-denominational Christian "Prayer for Unity."  Mr. Mayor felt so strongly of it's merit that with only one week's request from Redmond AG, he expedited the 90-day permit process and agreed to locate the prayer on the steps of City Hall!

During Council's "Items from the Audience" this week Janet Richards said, "after we cast our ballots there's nothing left we can do but pray."  She thanked the Mayor and Council and invited them to attend the event.

Janet is a Redmond AG board member and one of the founding members of the Education Hill Neighborhood Association. The prayer is hosted by the Christian community but open to all, regardless of what you believe.  This  non-partison event is a great opportunity for all churches in Redmond to unite for a good cause with the community at large.  Please no partisan speech....the prayer is next to the ballot drop-off box.

"Prayer for Unity" will be held at the City Hall campus, Nov. 8th, election night, 5:45 - 7:15pm. Prayers, songs, music will begin at 6pm. The city has advised us to park off campus since voters will be driving to the ballot drop-off box.

Bob Yoder

The Redmond United Methodist ChurchSt Jude and Revive Church have city connections, as well.  St. Jude and Revive Church apply for city permits to host tent-encampments.  Every year the Methodist Church plays bell music during Winter Lights. They've also attended Items from the Audience to ask Council and the community for support of their Open Kitchen.