Thursday, October 19, 2017

UPDATED: Massive King County Sewer Project Planned For Redmond


King County is upgrading nearly 4.5 miles of sewer pipe in Redmond to meet the needs of your growing community. Construction is expected to begin in 2020. While the sewer pipe is under construction, King County will also install 1.5 miles of pipe to carry recycled water. When complete, the new pipes will provide reliable sewer service and an important connection for the potential future use of recycled water in the area.

Segment 1: New sewer and recycled water pipes will be installed along the Sammamish River Trail. There will be temporary trail closures during construction. We are committed to safe detour routes for all trail users.
Segment 2: The existing sewer line runs under the Sammamish River north of Leary Way. We will replace this line with a larger pipe. A recycled water pipe will also be added in the same location under the river. To reduce our impact to fish and wildlife, we are considering underground construction methods that won't require us to dig a trench across the river.
Segment 3: A new sewer line will installed north of NE 50th Way. South of NE 50th Way, a second pipe will be added along the existing pipe to hold more flows. The new recycled water line will stop just north of the West Lake Sammamish Parkway Marymoor Park entrance.
We recognize that Marymoor Park is widely used for recreation and events, particularly during the summer. We will maintain park access and try to work around major events, when possible.
Segment 4: Two pipes that currently run under West Lake Sammamish Parkway will be replaced. A third pipe will be added to hold additional flows. Delays and detour routes are expected. We are working closely with the City of Redmond to understand traffic patterns and identify ways to minimize disruptions.
Segment 5: The existing sewer in the Idylwood neighborhood will be replaced. While the sewer route follows roadways as much as possible, it does run along some private property, including Audubon Elementary.
To the extent possible, we will conduct work adjacent the school during the summer months, outside of the normal school year.

In my opinion, we and the city need Steve Fields on Council  to coordinate with the county so the project will be completed on time and with fewer mistakes.  Steve has 11 years work experience with King County.  He would be a perfect councilmember to represent us and the city during this project.  Dr. Jeralee Anderson with her civil engineering road sustainability expertise would also be a big asset on council. - B. Yoder

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vote for Steve Fields on November 7!

Steve Fields is running for Redmond City Council Postilion 2  
The race between Byron Shutz and Steve Fields for Redmond City Council Position 2 is a study of contrasts. Do you want:

Four years of city budget participation (Shutz) OR 20 years of professional Seattle and King County budget experience? (Fields)
Back-door “Group think” meetings with omnipresent 7-0 decisions (Shutz) OR an inclusive, innovative problem-solving approach with fearless leadership? (Fields)
Community volunteerism with the Kiwanis Club and Together Center (Shutz) OR a Redmond CERT ("Community Emergency Response Team") volunteer and King County emergency preparedness expert (Fields).
A developer-focused “OneRedmond” board member (Shutz) OR business owner and small business advocate? (Fields).
Bob Yoder

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

It is important to note EvergreenHealth doesn't have a specialty in behavioral health care. 
B. Yoder

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, gastrointestinal care, general surgery and critical care. These achievements are part of findings released this week in the Healthgrades 2018 Report to the Nation, which studies clinical performance indicators nationwide to illuminate differences in care between high- and low-performing hospitals.

This is the fifth consecutive year EvergreenHealth ranks among Healthgrades’ 100 Best™ hospitals for pulmonary care and for gastrointestinal care, and the fourth straight year of recognition for general surgery. It is also the third year in a row the health system earned the distinction for both critical care and stroke care.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LWSD to place bond, two levies on February 13th ballot

Bond, levies and Building on Success

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District is planning three ballot measures for the February 13, 2018 election. The measures are a bond (the second of four planned bonds) a replacement Capital Projects Levy and a replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy. A recommendation was presented to the Board of Directors on October 2, and they formally approved the bond and levies at last night’s board meeting (October 16).

Monday, October 16, 2017

King County Council to Decide on Ballot Measure to Address Opioid Epidemic

Council to Decide on Ballot Measure to Address Opioid Epidemic

You may have seen press reports about a new King County proposal to have a public vote on drug safe consumption or safe injection sites – called “CHELs” for “Community Health Engagement Locations.”  I support the proposal being placed on the ballot for public vote, so that voters will have a full range of options for consideration, in the face of an unprecedented and tragic epidemic of opioid overdoses. If this proposal appears on the ballot in February, 2018, voters will have an opportunity to fully and finally answer the question whether these CHEL sites should be tested as a possible way to connect drug users to treatment and save lives.

This new proposal responds to Initiative 27 (I-27), a measure sent to the King County Council in July, which will ask voters whether safe consumption sites should be banned.  The new proposal, introduced Monday, asks whether a limited number of safe consumption sites should be allowed as a pilot.  A few key points about the new proposal:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This sidewalk meanders behind the Redmond library, November 11, 2011 / CREDIT John Reinke

LETTER : LWSD is behind neighboring school districts in SAT and ACT scores.

Image result for letter to editor imagesLWSD issued a press release on October 4th celebrating LWSD's SAT and ACT scores--touting that they were above state and national average.  With a closer look, LWSD actually scored below Bellevue, Mercer Island, and Issaquah....not too impressive in my book.  

Bellevue:  610 (Reading/Writing)  623 (Math)
Issaquah 608 (Reading/Writing)  610 (Math)
Mercer Island 641 (Reading/Writing)  652 (Math)
LWSD 600 (Reading/Writing 598 (Math)
Northshore 590 (Reading/Writing)  597 (Math)

 -- This letter was submitted by a reader wishing to remain 

UPDATED: Ramiro Valderrama brings growth and traffic into perspective

City of Sammamish councilmember Ramiro Valderramo is interviewed and touches on concerns with the growth management act, pace of growth, impact fees, 3 new high schools within a mile of each other, lose of tree canopy....

Our Redmond council candidates, electeds and voters need to listen to Ramiro's interview..  He is a wise man with a good sense of humor; they could learn a lot from him.  Though Duvall may have wiggle room it's almost too late for Redmond to adjust to our growth cycle. This is a must listen for Redmond City Council and Mayor Marchione. I'm sure the council candidates are listening.

B. Yoder

"King County Assessor Wilson says tonight at a [Sammamish] city council meeting we should expect average Home in Sammamish will pay $1,400 more for McCleary Tax alone -add ST3 property tax, car tabs and sales tax and he says “we are precariously close to pricing people out of homes” and encouraging having a CA proposition 13."

-- Quote from Ramiro Valderrama, City of Sammamish councilmember.

Eugene Zakhareyev, Council Candidate Position 4

Eugene Zakharevev

Balance Urban Growth
The Eastside is growing, and Redmond must accept its share of growth. Yet, this growth does not have to change our city into Seattle. In the last few years, we have seen family businesses in Downtown Redmond give way to rental apartment buildings; the majority of capital investment projects are also located it this area. The cost of Downtown two-way conversion project is over $20 million, total cost for the two-acre park in Downtown Redmond is over $40 million - but all the while, the needs of our city are not limited to Downtown and Overlake neighborhoods.

It is time to review current policies to balance development in designated urban centers with the needs of other neighborhoods, as we all are affected by growth in Downtown and Overlake. We need a proactive approach to address traffic congestion and population growth across the city, with solutions implemented before the approval process of development projects and not afterwards.

Empower Community in Land Use Development

Tanyika Padhya, Council Candidate Position 4

Tanika Padyha


Ensuring balanced growth
I believe that while our city is growing, Redmond has the heart of a small town.  Its unique neighborhoods, parks and trails and thriving economy, have made it the number one city to live in Washington. 
However, our city is on the cusp of change with record growth in the region that requires smart planning that preserves our residential neighborhoods, protect rural areas, and safeguards our natural resources.  This growth poses many challenges and opportunities.  I am committed to continuing my work on:  
  • Low impact development that preserves our natural resources
  • Supporting both small and large businesses so they can thrive
  • Revitalizing our aging community centers
  • Maintaining our parks and trails
  • Complying with the Growth Management Act to ensure transportation and infrastructure funding for Redmond
  • Promoting multi-modal transportation options such biking, carpooling, increased bus service and light rail
  • Monitoring transportation projects in order to ease traffic congestion

Safeguarding Affordable housing

Monday, October 9, 2017

SCHOOLS: Candidate Forum for 45th Legislative District and LWSD.

Candidate Forum for the 45th Legislative District and LWSD School Board
Wednesday, October 11, 7:00-8:30pm, Redmond High School Performing Arts Center

Co-sponsored by the Lake Washington PTSA Council and the Redmond High School PTSA

As a voter in the 45th Legislative District the future of the Washington State Senate rests in your hands, as the political party (Democrat or Republican) that wins the election in November will hold the majority in the State Senate. What that really means is that you hold the power, and there is no better time to learn about the candidates and how their positions will impact our schools and our community.

Lake Washington School District is the third largest school district in Washington, serving nearly 30,000 students. That number is growing every year. Do you know your candidates? Do you know their goals for our students and our schools? Lake Washington PTSA Council and Redmond High School PTSA are sponsoring a candidate forum so we can all get to know our candidates better before the voting deadline. This is a neutral, nonpartisan event to which all candidates have been invited.

Candidate Forum Participants
45th Legislative District:
Manka Dhingra
Jinyoung Lee Englund

LWSD School Board:
District 3
Anita Damjanovic
Cassandra Sage

UPDATED: Redmond Candidate Forum

A Candidate Forum was held at the First Baptist Chruch on Education Hill last week.  The first up were school board candidates.  Besides the Voter's Pamphlet, this forum probably gives you the best information on the candidates you can find.  

Paige Norman, the founder of "Educatiion Hill Neighborhood Association" (EdNHA) organized and moderated the forum.  Miki Mullor, a City of Sammamish resident and entrepreneur will speak about their moratorium at the EdNHA meeting on November 2nd, 7 pm. 

Thank you Paige!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

UPDATED: Redmond's vanishing forested views

Three stories up, and three to go (click to enlarge)
A view from 166th showing Redmond's somewhat dwindling hill of evergreens. It's worse as you drive down the hill, though you sure can't complain Redmond's lush natural surroundings.  Notice the cranes?  I counted 4 from the top floor of the Evergreen medical building yesterday.

Have a nice weekend.

B. Yoder

The Planning Commission openly deliberates on key issues, the Comprehensive Plan

(l-r)  Stephanie Rodriquez, Vidyonana Rajpatkak, Chair Scott Beithan, Vice-Chair Roy Captain, Phil Miller, Sherri Nichols.
 Planning Director Karen Haluza and  two Senior Planners are sitting with backs turned.  
Every year the City offers citizens, developers, property owners and other entities an opportunity to amend (update) the Comprehensive Plan. This amending process is a Planning Commission duty of high significance and importance.

The Planning Commission has been meeting for months to take input and review five re-zoning proposals for consideration of being "calendared" or docketed for further review and approval by the Commission and Council.     

This LINK provides every topic currently under review by the Planning Commission.   It includes docketing proposals, memos, staff recommendations, public/developer comments, exhibits and project approvals. Below are a few topics under review:    

1)  The City is currently proposing to update to their Capital Facilities Element titled   "Future Vision for Redmond - Capital Facilities Element."  The proposal is already docketed and contains a lot of interesting information about the City's future plans. Find it HERE

2)  It's my understanding a proposed "Quadrant Homes" rezone from "Business Park" to "Mixed-Use Development" will be re-docketed.   Quadrant is considering constructing 165 town homes, 300 apartments, and 10,000 s.f. of retail/commercial space on 15.57 acres -- on the SW corner of NE 124th & Willows Road. Installing a stoplight on the corner is in the proposal.  

The N.Y,C. developer
3)  A controversial, long-winded proposal by an aggressive N.Y.C developer, Capital Partners is under consideration by the commission.  The developer wants to rezone 4.21 acres on the corner of Avondale and NE 104th from R-4 to R-30. Staff members (the "TC") are not recommending approval though a rezone to R-12 for senior housing is a possibility.  (It seems the commission usually goes along with many or most of the TC's recommendations.)  

4)   A while back, the owners of Redmond Town Center (RTC) proposed a modification of their "Open Space Designation" agreement with the city.  They have since withdrawn this proposal.  

Interesting background:  A 1997 agreement between the City and RTC conveyed a perpetual, non-inclusive easement to allow "among other things, the right to operate a farmers market"  Presently, the "Saturday Market" is located on this 2-acre easement.  Termination of the Open Space Designation requires a mutual agreement between the City and RTC.  

5)  Susan Wilkins, a Redmond citizen, asked the commission to docket an amendment to the zoning code to "adequately plan school facilities" so students residing inside the City of Redmond are not required to travel outside the Urban Growth Boundary in order to attend school. The Planning Commission voted against the proposal.  Ms. Wilkins put in a ton of work, without pay, to formulate this proposal.  Planning commissioners don't get paid either.  

The commissioners are citizen volunteers living in Redmond, appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council.  They don't make land-use decisions; they conduct Hearings and serve only as an advisory body to Council.  


Disclosure:  Trying to understand the Planning Commission's reviews of complex topics is very challenging.  Expect errors, omissions and mis-representations. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Highlights of a City Council Meeting

Image result for redmond WA city council hall imagesHIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OCTOBER 3RD CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Brian Baker approached the podium in a wheelchair and complained:  1)  the City claims 360 ADA parking spaces are available but few of them are accessible by van.  2) the "sandwich board" signs on the sidewalks create an obstacle course.  Mr Stilin  said the city should not allow signs on sidewalks and Mr. Carson reminded him current regulations require signage be located in streets, not sidewalks.  

City Council reluctantly approved Burnstead's "Hawthorn Park" Final Plat.  In this, and a prior meeting a total of ~8 neighbors including Pat Vache' a retired councilmember **vehemently complained about the disruption and degradation to their private road by an off-site sewer line Burntsead is installing.  ** Mr. Vache' only mildly complained.   Burnstead insisted they will fully inspect the project when completed for "performance, restoration and maintenance" to ensure all parties are satisfied; and assured that bonds were on file. Pres. Hank Margeson gave an eloquent summery of council's sentiments before the vote.

UPDATED: LETTER: Fields is focused on solutions that benefit everybody

After hearing (repeatedly!) from my neighbor that Steve Fields is the guy for Redmond City Council Position 2, I decided I wanted to find out more for myself. I met Steve at his Thursday Community Coffee Time, heard his insights about issues affecting Redmond – and then he listened.
When Steve talks about his vision for Redmond, “Build Community not Just Buildings,” it actually means something. He believes that the best civic leadership is based first on trust, then making sure residents are well-informed, then engaging the community in a dialogue before important decisions are made. His process is to bring stakeholders together and figure out a solution that benefits everybody. I like that he’s a “project guy”.

LETTER: Actions we can take towards sustainable living

U.S. cities, states, companies, and organizations have banded together in the face of federal withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, pledging to move to 100 percent clean energy and adopting the climate agreement themselves. Now more than ever, it seems individual actions can make a difference.

Here are twelve ideas you can implement on an individual level:

Don’t buy a new home; renovate an old one. The greenest home is one that’s already built. But older housing stock is often less energy efficient. The true green home is an old house brought up to speed with 21st-century sustainability solutions. Harvard’s "Center for Green Buildings and Cities" seeks to transform old homes into affordable models for energy efficiency. Inefficient existing buildings are one of the world’s biggest energy problems; the best place to start making a difference is at home.

Xeriscape your yard. Huge lawns use a lot of water to maintain, so consider adding drought-tolerant plants in order to reduce your water consumption by 50 to 75 percent.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The development of North Redmond -- Before and After


"The Curry's use to own most of that side of the street back in the day. I use to buy hay from Mr Curry in the early 90's, and graduated from Redmond High, with one of his son's in 1970. 116th from Redmond Woodinville Road to Avondale was a pleasure to drive on admiring the farms". - Constance


"Hawk"s Glen" a Quadrant development on 116hth -- 27 lots --  Million dollar homes are likely here.  At least 4 large residential developments are currently under construction along 116th / No. Redmond.  No significant developable land remains.   (Click to enlarge the photo.) 

B. Yoder
photos/ by

Friday, September 29, 2017

OPINION: Our perceptions of homelessness, living on the fringe

Jamie is sitting on the left with his friend (click to enlarge)

A blog reader emailed  me about a little known, highly littered bike trail just west of the Redmond Target parking lot.  (See a map below.)  She thought cleaning it out and recycling the cans would be a good community project. Out of curiosity I took a look. 

On the trail I saw these two Mexican men sitting next to each other with a grocery cart and an opened rack of beer. They waved.  Hidden behind trees and bushes my first thought was they were homeless so I continued on, avoiding eye contact. 

On the way back to my car I decided to engage with them. Jamie was very open, friendly and warm-hearted. He was clean, well-groomed, with two missing front teeth.  Proudly pointing at the dirt on his knees he said he finds temporary day-labor work at the nearby Home Depot.  Jamie insisted he was resting with only one beer after building a cement ramp on Redmond Ridge.  He was waiting for a bus to take him to his apartment in Bellevue. I couldn't believe he could afford to live here, but he manages to get by -- sharing an apartment with three others paying $1200/mo rent. I asked if he or his friend would like to know about the City's human services but he wasn't interested.  Jamie said he has lived in America over 20 years and has 5 children in Mexico.  He mentioned Obama and the Recession.  

Jamie's friend had nothing to say -- I don't think he could speak English.  He was wearing good working boots. He didn't appear drunk.  This man reminded me of an Italian immigrant I worked with on a golf course when I was a teenager.

After Jamie distanced himself from his friend and the grocery cart he reluctantly allowed me to take this picture.

"Read More" for a map of the bike trail 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

LETTER: Vote for Cassandra Sage, School district Position 3

Image result for letter to the editor imageCassandra Sage for Position 3 on the Lake Washington School Board is the right choice.

I know Cassandra through the PTSA, an organization dedicated to student’s success and welfare.  Volunteers serving the PTSA are the most hardworking, dedicated and organized people I know. The PTSA awards volunteers for their work and the Golden Acorn award is their highest honor. Cassandra has earned FOUR, Golden Acorn awards, over her 22 years of service to the PTSA from four different schools. Being awarded once is no small matter, but four awards tells you something about Cassandra. This is an amazing achievement and few are in her elite class of volunteers. The award criteria language states: “awarded to an individual who has given outstanding volunteer service to ALL children and demonstrated commitment to helping them achieve their potential, beyond what is recognized as part of their responsibilities, duties of office or job in the PTSA”.

Not only has Cassandra dedicated herself to the PTSA, as a parent with special needs children, she has years of experience with the issues of Special Needs students throughout the district. She is a thoughtful listener, speaker and writer and would serve the district well as it continues to grow as one of the highest rated school districts in the state. I have no doubt in my mind that Cassandra will dedicate herself to this position. She should be your number one choice as well.

Lile Ellefsen

School district recaps Boundary review meeting

Bethany Pendergrass said there will be another opportunity to comment in October 
The exact date is unknown.

The District held a Community Boundary meeting at Redmond Middle School this Tuesday to review their four scenarios.  Pam and I attended; we met several of the district executives and neighbors.       Bethany Pendergrass, Director of Communications and Community Engagement just published an EXCELLENT RECAP of the meeting which includes these videos. (Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jon Holmen is narrating.)  The recap offers a good opportunity to give feedback.  The comment period ends in October.

"Read More" to see 2 more scenarios