Wednesday, October 26, 2016

UPDATED: EvergreenHealth is the State's only Five-Star Medical Facility, as rated by the "Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services"

 Among just 112 hospitals in the US to achieve the highest possible national quality rating score.
Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth Medical Center earned a five-star rating in the most recent Hospital Compare overall quality systems rankings released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.) The health system has the only five-star rating from CMS in Washington state.
“We know that today’s consumers increasingly consider ratings and reviews before making purchasing decisions, and evaluating hospitals and health care providers has become no different,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “To be the only hospital in our state to achieve this five-star rating is a reflection of the exceptional care and service that our providers, employees and volunteers deliver to our patients every day.”

Poetry inspired by Art, exhibit closes this Sunday

"The Jester's Dream" by Peter Juvonene
When I want solitude
sometimes I seek a crowd.
In cafe clatter and train station rush
I am one soul and stillness
wraps me in
cocoon threads.
It’s not like that in
my too quiet house
where the crowd of my thoughts
rattle and scrape
like broken shells
in the surf.

Poem by Eva Moon
Redmond Arts commissioner

"Ekphrastic Art Exhibit"  at VALA Art Center, Closing Reception: October 30, 6-8 pm

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Updated: Barred Owl spotted on the Powerline Trail

Credit:  Ron Reiger
Susan and Ron Reiger, Education Hill neighbors, spotted this Barred Owl on the Powerline Trail last night. "He was near 110th Street close to where at the trail splits around the tower." Susan reported her story on the Chat Cafe facebook group.

Doreen Gallespie, another neighbor on Chat Cafe reported "Barred Owls moved into the PNW only in the last 15 years."  She gave this great link that fully describes the bird, even giving it's hoot.

"Barred Owls live in large, mature forests made up of both deciduous trees and evergreens, often near water."  Huh...I wonder where this owl lives?  Where's the closest "large, mature forest near water?"  A heavily forested just west of Evans Creek Trail. Would they fly that far?  Hartman forested wetlands?  

City is Seeking Input for Redmond's Community Centers

REDMOND, WA - On October 24, the city launched a campaign to engage the community in a dialogue about the future of Redmond’s Community CentersFrom now until spring 2017, the City will work with a neutral facilitation consultant (EnviroIssues) and with a community stakeholder group to lead a series of community conversations. The goal is to meet with seniors, teens, neighborhood associations, and cultural and civic groups; individual community members; and focus groups to explore the community’s wishes and hopes for the future of Redmond’s Community Centers. This process is coordinated with a larger strategic effort to evaluate and prioritize investments in all city-owned buildings.

Monday, October 24, 2016

UPDATED: Another one bites the dust

According to Chat Cafe facebook group, these trees were leveled today to make room for an "extended-stay hotel."  This project is south of Home Depot, and south of the cemetery near the almost completed Hampton Inn.    Photo credit:  Julie Meghj

City Code regulating tree retention

To inquire, comment or complain email the City Ombuds. at  or attend the 7:30 pm meeting on Tuesday, Nov 1st, City Hall  and comment of complain directly to the Council and Mayor -- you'll have 4 minutes.

The City's "Project Viewer"  ("Woodspring Suites")

Personally,,the owner of this land has every right to build his project as long as he follows the City's tree retention and building codes.

However, I 'm still appalled the City approved the clear-cut of ALL 1000  trees on the Group Health site.  And, I was surprised Council member Kim Allen, a land-use attorney, didn't openly represent the people prior to the clear-cut. It's my understanding she campaigned specifically about her expertise and voice on these issues.  Comments are welcome.  

UPDATED: The City of Redmond's Vision Statement

The City of Redmond's Vision Statement:  "A community of connected neighborhoods with vibrant urban centers - inspired by nature, powered by innovation, and committed to excellence." 


Creeks, Sammamish River and Lake Sammamish (riparian & in-stream habitat)
Tree canopy, green ridges and hills   
Open space and wetlands (mostly developed except for Hartman, Keller and Evans Creek)
Distant mountains
Fish and Wildlife

A community of connected neighborhoods inspired by Nature:

Woodland,creek,river and powerline trails for hiking, bicycling, equestrian, birding
Green Redmond community forestry stewardship
Community and public works parks (Safeway,Tosh,Grasslawn trail,,Smith wetlands,Ferral-McWirther's Macky Creek, Perrigo forested wetlands)
Green, wooded neighborhoods protected from urbanization
Outdoor recreation (birding, crewing, canoeing, powerline mountain and BMX biking)
Art:  Sammamish River Trail pubic works salmon art, Grasslawn? (minimal)
Culture:  biking, bird watching (heron),tree preservation, Perrigo Springs
Neighborhood views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades  
Community health: Trail walking, biking, running, meditation

Vibrant urban centers:  Overlake & Downtown.  One Redmond Foundation.

Powered by innovation:  Microsoft and other technology companies. One Redmond

Committed to excellence:  Council, Mayor, Commissioners, other volunteers, schools

Bob Yoder, opinion

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Opinion: Advocates for mental health - please vote for McBride, Kuderer, Valderrama, and Bryant.

A few of you may know, I'm advocating for the mentally ill. It's generational in my family.

Last Thursday, I went to the NAMI Eastside Mental Health Legislative Candidate Forum. (Roger Goodman didn't show.)  Candidate Ramiro Valderrama was upset that 1 in 5 Americans (20%) have a mental condition, yet the State spends only 3% of their budget on mental health. In addition, Washington State ranks 48th in access to community hospital psychiatric beds. Mr. Valderrama called for systemic change. Please vote for Ramiro.

Johnathan Martin, a columnist for the Seattle Times participated in the forum.  He was very sensitive to those telling their story, as were Joan McBride and Patricia Kuderer.  Please vote for Joan McBride and Patty Kuderer.  Recently, Mr. Martin wrote an Opinion, "The Man who stands-up for mentally-ill patients on Western State Hospital's waitlist."  He concluded, "If anyone should go to jail for Western State Hospital's continued dysfunction, it's Gov. Jay Inslee."  Johnathan's Opinion is here:

According about 30% of the homeless have a mental health condition.  Below, is a KING 5 story and video on gubernatorial challenger Bill Bryant speaking on homelessness and the mentally ill.  If you've never seen or listened to Bill, this is a good one (if the video works.)

See you at the polls!  :)

Bob Yoder

Friday, October 21, 2016

LWSD is now the 3rd largest school district in the State

Enrollment growth continues, to over 29,000 students
Lake Washington School District’s enrollment grew by 1,178 students last year, from 27,830 students in 2015 to 29,008 on October 1, 2016. Based on September counts, it appears Lake Washington is now the third largest district in the state, passing the Tacoma School District. Lake Washington now trails only the Seattle and Spokane School Districts in size.

This year’s increase follows seven straight years of enrollment increases. This upward trend began in the 2009-10 school year after a decade of little change in enrollment. The average increase has been over 700 students each year, the size of a middle school or large elementary school.

Enrollment growth is forecasted to continue. The district’s 
Long-Term Facilities Planning Task Force developed recommendations, which the district is implementing, to provide facilities for this growing enrollment.

Source:  LWSD "Connections" newsletter

Volunteer Opportunity: Serve on new Community Truancy Boards

B, Yoder's note:  I'm attending the November 1st session at the Redmond H.S. library.  Anyone want to join me? 

Redmond, Wash. –  Community Truancy Boards are an approach to reducing student absences. Lake Washington School District is forming new Community Truancy Boards. The district seeks 40 community members to serve on two boards. One board will cover the Eastlake and Redmond areas. The other will cover the Juanita and Lake Washington areas.
The mission of Community Truancy Boards is to improve attendance and school engagement. They find positive solutions to the reasons for each student’s absences. Community Truancy Boards help families address obstacles that prevent students from attending school.
Washington’s truancy law, often called “the Becca Bill,” is intended to stop absenteeism before it becomes a problem. If a student does not attend school, the law requires the school district to take action. A new law requires Community Truancy Boards as a middle step before formal legal action. Each Community Truancy Board will be made up of educators and community members.
Interested volunteers must attend an information session to apply. Here is the schedule of information sessions:
  • Thursday, October 27 from 5-7 p.m., Lake Washington High School library
  • Thursday, October 27 from 5-7 p.m., Eastlake High School library
  • Tuesday, November 1 from 6-8 p.m., Redmond High School library
  • Thursday, November 3 from 5-7 p.m., Juanita High School library
Training sessions will be held in November prior to serving on a board. Volunteers will receive training in identification of barriers to school attendance. They will learn how to assess specific student needs and learn evidence-based treatments that have been found effective in supporting at-risk youth and their families. They will also learn about services available in the community.
The Community Truancy Boards will begin in January. Each session will include four to five volunteers. Upon selection, volunteers will be asked to participate in at least one Community Truancy Board session per month during the school year.
To sign up for an information session, contact Chris Robison at 425-936-1270 or via email at:

EvergreenHealth Named One of America's 100 Best Hospitals in Five Specialties

Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth today announced it has been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best™ hospitals in five specialties: stroke care, pulmonary care, critical care, gastrointestinal care and general surgery. These achievements are part of findings released this week in the Healthgrades 2017 Report to the Nation, which studies clinical performance indicators nationwide, offering patients data-based resources to make informed decisions about physicians and hospitals.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Proposed City Budget - Up Close and Personal

 Council President Hank Margeson lives on Education Hill

Here's what I picked up on RC-TV during the Mayor's presentation of his Preliminary 2017-2018 Budget:
First, the Mayor looked back to the budget of 2015 - 2016 and was proud the city 1) partnered with Providence Health Care to build the Gabrial House (74 units of housing for Seniors.)  2) partnered with Metro to create the Redmond Loop and 3) partnered with the tribes and State to restore Lower Bear Creek for flood mitigation and salmon habitat improvements.   
As for the budget:  It will increase 3.6% from 2015/2016 for a total of $679M.  Of that, $132M is allocated to capital improvements....a $26M increase. The capital expenditures are identified as improvements to parks,trails, roads and sidewalks. I hope I'm wrong, but it doesn't look like any of this capital will go towards building or developing new parks along the East Redmond Cultural Corridor or elsewhere. There's always a slim chance, though?
The mayor proposes to add 8 new workers to focus on environmental initiatives.  One of the initiatives is to maintain the city's new investments in parks (not develop new ones.)  Mr Hays, the part-time homeless coordinator may given a full time job. Despite the addition of 8 new workers, employment since 2008 is actually reduced from 13 workers to 11. 
The mayor is asking for a 1% increase in property taxes, even though we will have an "ending fund balance" of 17%., I'm not sure exactly what "ending fund balance means - hopefully Council will clarify....perhaps at the November 15 budget Hearing?  
I'm glad the Mayor wants to beef up Safety.  He's proposing 4 new community police officers.  And, he wants to re-allocate 5 peace officers so we have added safety services for property crime investigations and improved evidence gathering.
As for Operating Fund revenues:  21% is property tax, 28% is sale tax, 13% is utility tax (up 2%) and 13% is development fees. Other sources are less significant by percentage.

I'm pretty sure the Mayor will get what he wants. He's developed a comprehesive, innovative and accountable budget process that Council can trust. .

Bob Yoder

Friday, October 14, 2016

Lake Washington School District SAT scores well above state and national averages

New test makes comparisons with past years difficult

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District (LWSD) students continue to score higher on standardized tests than state and national averages. They scored on average 76 points higher on the SAT reading, writing and math test than the state and national averages in tests during the last school year.
However, because a new SAT was given starting in January 2016, the averages cannot easily be compared to previous years.
 “I am proud of Lake Washington students,” noted Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent. “Our students score well above state and national averages. These results show that our students and teachers are working hard every day.”
A total of 1,103 students took the SAT this year. This number is down from a district high of 1,135 last year.

Critical Reading:

Interactive Map of Redmond Neighborhoods and the City

Don't miss the description of Redmond on the left sidebar!
and more!

"Redmond Neighborhood Guide" to Redmond Neighborhoods

I can't recommend this site highly enough for newcomers and residents alike!  - B. Yoder

History of Redmond
Who Lives Here
Activities and Attractions
Neighborhood Map
Redmond Homes
Homes for Sale
Redmond's News Feed
and more!

Graffiti art in Redmond's Edge Park

Graffiti in Redmond's Edge Skate park -- a colorful slide show (it takes 3 seconds to load)

Bob Yoder

Thursday, October 13, 2016

District 45th and 48th Candidate Mental Health Forum

NAMI Eastside's Candidate Forum is Next Thursday!
Free and open to everyone! 

The NAMI Eastside community believes that the topic of mental health should be a part of political discussions before this coming election.

We are grateful to have Candidates from District 41, 45 and 48 in attendance.

North Bellevue Community Center
4063 148th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98007
Thursday, October 20th, 2016, 6:30 PM - 8 PM
Click here for more information.
Please RSVP to

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Seniors Can Apply for Affordable Rental Apartments in Redmond

Providence John Gabriel House rendering                            Applications for housing will be available starting after 11:00 am on October 31, 2016 on the Providence Supportive Housing website at;expected to open March,2017

Construction is well underway on the Providence John Gabriel House, an affordable senior housing project located at 8632 160th NE. Applications will be available for prospective residents starting on October 31, 2016.  Individuals must meet certain income and age qualifications in order to submit an application for housing.

The development will provide 74 affordable rental apartments for seniors aged 62 and over in Downtown Redmond.

Monday, October 10, 2016

"Ekphrastic Assimilations" Art line-up, VALA Art Center, RTC

EKPHRASIS (org. Greek "ek" -- out, "phrasis" -- to speak) is the art of using words to describe something beautiful, usually visual art.  EKPHRASTIC ASSIMILATIONS is an interactive project designed to bring together poets, artists, and art-lovers of all kinds from China and the United States.  The artworks were created by six Chinese and six American artists, many of them explicitly for this project.  We invite you to follow these links to find the ekphrastic poems, written in either Chinese or English, behind each image.  If so moved, please contribute your own poems to our Ekphrasitic Assimilation project.  All images and poems will be exhibited at the VALA Art Center in Redmond, WA. in partnership with ryan james fine arts.

All the artwork is exhibited at VALA Wednesday - Sunday, 9 am - 5 pm

Ekphrastic Assimilation events schedule (free)
VALA Art Center, Redmond Town Center (RTC)

Friday, Oct. 14th Ekphrastic Poetry Writing Workshop, curated by Michael Dyan Welch, with presenting poets Duane Kirby Jensen, J.I. Kleinberg, Jared Leising and Joannie Stangeland, hosted by the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP), 6:30 pm - 9 pm,  RTC

Saturday, October 22nd Paint and Panda Workshop with Maggie Ho, 1 pm - 4pm, RTC

Sunday, October 30th Ekphrastic Assimilations Exhibition Closing Viewing and poetry reading, 6 pm - 8 pm,  RTC

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

UPDATED: The Muni league's viewpoint on ST-3

Image result for Sound transit st3 images
Sound Transit
Proposition 1 requests a $54 billion investment in transit facilities for the Puget Sound region. Although the cost for households ($29 billion in new taxes over the planning period) sounds large and is significant, it is smaller compared to the large typical annual cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle ($3,000-$4,000 a year for fuel alone) or the projected losses from time spent in gridlock (not to mention reduced aggravation) that will accompany truly region-wide reliable mobility. Opponents of the measure raise legitimate concerns about the cost and appropriateness of adding 62 miles of light rail system to our region. Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems are often cited as a cheaper alternative that can be more quickly implemented. BRT systems, however, do not always offer exclusive rights-of-way and the escape from congestion that light rail does. Sound Transit has responsibly managed significant public works projects and has earned the region’s trust as a result. Should the voters of our region provide the significant commitment to extending that trust by authorizing this proposition, the Agency should be very careful not to jeopardize that authorization with a lack of transparency or misuse of public resources. There is no perfect solution to this region’s transit challenges and, to their credit, proponents of ST3 have not presented the plan as such. Four decades ago, we rejected Forward Thrust, and this region reaped the whirlwind. We now have the opportunity to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

Arguments Against Presented by Maggie Fimia (former King County Council member) and Kevin Wallace (Bellevue City Council member)

People for Smarter Transit (NoST3) ● ST3 will not reduce congestion on the streets and highways of the region. ● It is impossible to predict population growth and transit demand so far into the future; expanding the light rail network to relatively low density parts of the region rather than relying on alternative solutions reduces our ability to adapt to future needs. ● Adding 62 miles of light rail and some new bus services will cost 54 billion dollars, with a substantial portion of the cost deriving from light rail extensions with the lowest projected ridership. ● Light rail is a transit solution for high density urban cores and is not the right answer for lower density parts of the region. There are alternative ways to improve mobility in the region at far less cost; improvements in bus service – including capital improvements for bus rapid transit (BRT) services– can provide the necessary added capacity more quickly, improve the flexibility of service planning far into the future, and do so with large cost savings when compared with the ST3 plan. ● The new facilities and services will result in only modest increases in use of the system ● ST3 proponents cite an annual tax increase of $169 per individual. This number assumes $39,740 annual income, $5,333 vehicle value and $183,931 home value for the individual in question. A more appropriate assessment would be a family in the region with an annual salary of $90K that owns vehicles worth $45K, and a property valued at $450K. Such a family would pay $1000 per year. ● The legislature granted Sound Transit “senior” taxing district status. If the region’s voters authorize ST3 property taxes and then the legislature authorizes additional property tax collections to fully fund state education programs, the total property tax load in certain areas could exceed the statutory limit. “Junior” taxing districts in these areas - such as water, fire and library systems - could see their taxing authorities automatically reduced or eliminated (to fit the total property tax rate within the statutory limit) if the legislature does not provide a remedy when making changes to total property tax rates. ● According to the Puget Sound Regional Council, our region will spend $174 billion on transit and transportation improvements between 2010 and 2040 – not including all of ST3’s planned billions – and still be $36 billion short of meeting all the projected need. ● There is too much flexibility in the ST3 plan – voters have no assurance that the promised system will actually be built ● The voters of the region should turn down the expensive ST3 proposal, press the legislature to solve the education funding problem, and then work on a smaller program (“ST2.5”) that fits within funding realities, delivers the most cost effective solutions, and addresses congestion while increasing mobility

Arguments For Presented by Claudia Balducci (King County Council), Maud Daudon (Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce), Abigail Doerr (Mass Transit Now), and Rick Stoltz (One America)

● Our region is projected to grow by 1 million people in the next 25 years ● Our transportation system has already lost its resiliency; a single accident can tie up traffic in the entire region (citing regional traffic impacts of overturned fish truck on SR 99, March 24, 2015) ● Building additional highway capacity is expensive everywhere – and virtually impossible in many key corridors of our region. It is not possible to absorb or effectively mitigate projected growth through our highway system. ● Congestion is already extreme in many parts of the region, with marked increases in travel times on popular routes, heavy costs for businesses, and damage to air quality – not to mention to our quality of life ● We are at a moment when we have a chance to get it right and build a transit system that will serve our region far into the future; doing it by bits and pieces is more expensive and will take longer ● Sound Transit has proven itself a responsible, accountable agency that can and has delivered major construction projects ahead of schedule and under budget; the Agency’s early missteps have not recurred ● The ST3 plan is responsive to strong public demand; over 40,000 comments were received with many people asking that the plan include more and be completed quicker; modifications from the initial proposals made it possible to respond affirmatively to some of these requests ● Expansion of light rail is expensive because of the region’s geography and because of Sound Transit’s commitment to separating the right of way from streets and highways; As an example, a good deal of the expense comes from tunneling in order to create a separate new right of way rather than operating on the surface (in contrast to systems in other cities). ● ST3 will provide assured mobility for residents among all the major residential, commercial, and industrial centers of the region ● Light rail, the largest cost item in the ST3 proposal, is a superior method of assuring mobility which integrates well with other modes – such as local buses, park-and-ride facilities, and bike trails – while operating on dedicated rights of way to improve reliability and minimize interference with road traffic; it offers the best option to urbanize our region without destroying our quality of life ● Extending service to further out population centers, as ST3 will do, makes a major contribution to equity for low-income, immigrant, and other disadvantaged people who cannot find affordable housing and meet other costs in major urban centers ● Sound Transit has been a leader in identifying parcels of surplus property that can be used for transit-oriented development that serves low-income families and communities well ● Even the best designed bus rapid transit (BRT) system is vulnerable to traffic delays and inevitably adds to highway congestion at some point; the operating costs of BRT are far higher than light rail on a per rider basis.

UPDATED: EvergreenHealth Honors Third Quarter 2016 Health Heroes


EvergreenHealth Honors Third Quarter 2016 Health Heroes

Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth is pleased to announce the recipients of its Health Hero award for the third quarter of 2016. The award is given quarterly to staff, providers, volunteers and teams across the health system who work to provide patients and families with the best possible care and experience, exemplifying the core values of compassion, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence that EvergreenHealth is built upon.

“Bestowing this award is one of a handful of ways we thank employees and providers for their commitment to offering exceptional care and service to the patients and families in the community we serve,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “We applaud this quarter’s Health Hero recipients for continually displaying excellence in their field and embodying the values and principles that represent our health care system.”

The third quarter’s Health Hero award recipients are recognized for their ability to provide superior care and experiences that demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of those they serve. These awards span multiple “hero” categories that include clinical, physician, patient safety, organizational, volunteer and team. The third quarter “heroes” are:

·         Clinical Hero: Mariana Shank, Physical Therapy
·         Physician Hero: David Island, PA-C, Emergency Department
·         Patient Safety Hero: Kira Maloof, RN, Surgical Services
·         Organizational Hero: Jeff Sterritt, Health Unit Coordinator, Family Maternity Center
·         Volunteer Hero: Alex Llop, Emergency Department
·         Team Hero: Security & Safety Team

The Health Hero award program acknowledges the efforts of employees and providers who consistently display EvergreenHealth’s core values while working interminably to ensure patients receive exceptional care. EvergreenHealth Health Heroes receive a personalized trophy at a ceremony where they are honored by an audience of more than 50 organizational leaders.

Editor's Note:  I'm not sure if a volunteer Community Advisor has ever received or been considered for a Health Hero award. If not, then I encourage the Administration to do so.  Advisors make recommendations to the Board and CEO and are critical to the success of the organization.