Friday, February 16, 2018

Downtown Redmond Parkscape

Richard Morris at SW corner of the Downtown Park.  (double click picture to enlarge)

look at the vanishing ridge of green trees

Help the victims of the school shooting -- donate blood


Image result for donate blood images As Bloodworks NW celebrates their 10th year….will you step up to donate on Feb. 27th?  

💝Bloodworks NW sent off units of O negative to Florida to help victims of the school shooting this week…each week there are needs from train accidents or car accidents or just for those undergoing radiation or chemo.  Plain old O and O negative are always needed! 💝

Join hands with donors from across Redmond to meet our communities need for 900 units of blood/ day!

WHEN:   Tuesday, Feb 27th

TIME:  1-7PM  (tech break from 3-4pm)


Make an appointment by contacting Tina Paul, call 425-485-5620. or drop in.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Updated: LW School District hit hard by higher State property taxes

Results:  Proposition #1-- Replacement Education and Operations Levy       YES by 65% of vote
Results:  Proposition #2-- Replacement of Existing Capital Projects Levy      YES by 55% of vote
Results:  $299M Bond --- 54% Yes; 46% No;  60% supermajority required             NO by 6%

My King County state property taxes increased 18% this year.  My Education Hill home is 2020 sf.

EvergreenHealth is a public hospital district:  Their tax represents 3.3% of total King County property taxes or $200.42/ year.  

ST-3 is a Transit tax.  Their tax represents 2.3% of King County property taxes or $140/year.

B. Yoder

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Redmond mother appeals to council for Green power resolution

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Rachel Molloy's daughter stands up for the environment
At the last Regular meeting of  Redmond City Council, Redmond resident Rachel Molloy stood up to ask Council for a resolution to "close coal strip mining by 2025 and replace it with clean energy and no new natural gas."

Ms. Molloy asked the council and the public to join the City of Kirkland and the City of Olympia on a trip to Renton, Wednesday, February 21st to speak to the "Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission."  The commission is reviewing Puget Sound Energy's 20-year plan for supplying their rate payers (us) and King County with energy.  Currently, 60% of PSE power is supplied by fossil fuels -- coal and fracked gas -- and the commission could "lock these fuels in for three decades."  If you can't make the trip to Renton, write the commission on their Public Comment Form or call them toll free 1-888-333-9882. 

The City of Redmond is a member of the King County Climate Collaboration and passed three ordinances to commit to Green energy.  Council was influenced by Ms. Molloy's talk and decided to hold a study session on February 27nd to consider drafting a resolution to commit to clean energy.

-- B. Yoder

Source:  Regular council meeting, February 6th.

Sign up HERE for PSE's Green Power residential renewable energy program.

LW school district levies pass, bond fails

Dear Lake Washington Colleagues [and Community members]

Image result for traci pierce lwsd image
Doctor Pierce, Sup.
February 13 election night results are in. Over 50% of Lake Washington School District voters approved both the Educational Programs and Operations Levy and the Capital Projects Levy. This means that both levies are passing!  We are grateful and pleased with the support from our community. As a result, we will be able to continue to provide high quality educational programs and staff; technology access; and warm, safe, and dry facilities for our students and staff.

While over 50% of voters also approved the bond measure, sadly, it is not passing. Bonds require 60% voter approval to pass.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Citizen-environmentalist gives tips on how to combat climate change

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor, nature and water
David Morton with his wife
Dr. Morton is a regular speaker on environmental issues at City Council meetings. He's both activist and advocate.  You can watch him speak at Regular Council meetings on Redmond City T.V. at 7:35 pm every other Tuesday. Below is his talk from last week:  

By David Morton, PhD

By signing an initiative called the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda in June 2017, Mayor Marchione affirmed Redmond’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement goals to combat climate change.

Here are some ideas everyone can consider:

74. Push your city to support 100 percent clean energy. Switching to 100 percent renewable power may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s not as far off as you think. Many cities have started pledging to switch to renewables, joining the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. By making the commitment, mayors and city leaders have started to change transportation, planning, and energy policies, embarking on the long road to cleaner air. And, as many who have signed on have discovered, renewables will save significant money in the long run.

75. Come together to combat climate change. Villagers in the rural English town of Ashton Hayes didn’t need government help, special technology, or extra funding to fight climate change. Over the last decade, neighbors there have achieved a 24 percent reduction in emissions by collaborating and changing everyday behaviors, sharing tips on weatherproofing, and reducing energy usage.

Friday, February 9, 2018

UPDATED: My e-bike hill climb

Richard Morris holding the PIM bike (see the battery?)
We had our first good weather in months today!  The sun even came out!  It was time to finally roll my PIM e-bike (electric bicycle) demo out from the garage.  I invited my neighbor, Richard Morris, to come over, check it out; he immediately wanted on.   Richard walks 2-3 miles everyday with his dog so had no problem climbing this gentle hill  He didn't need any power, just down-shifted some. I think this particular bike has 18 gears....just like a regular bike.

I tried the bike months ago but it was way too frigid to shift and I was in crappy shape.  I was dying to get out today to try Power level 3 since I had trouble finding it earlier.  I needed Power 3 to get up 166th.  Pam, my wife, was on me to be safe so I took 171st from the Redmond Bike Park down to Redmond El. (virtually no traffic.)   A few huffs or two and I was up.  Yikes! time I'll gear up for a better fat-burn.

It was awesome to get some fresh air and see the green native-growth easement again.

B. Yoder

PIM: 206-784-2097 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Lake Washington School District student art exhibit.  I love this piece, It says so much. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Vote "yes" on school measures

OPINION:  I've talked to activists on both sides of the levies/bond measure for hours on end.  I'm 67 years old, on a fixed income and the rising taxes are starting to really stress me out.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to pay for the pending 2022 and 2026 measures but after looking at my budget I've decided I can pay for this one.

Building on SuccessThe data the district gives us is confusing and quite frankly I'm burned out trying to figure it all out.  I found a July 1, 2017 article in PATCH that's helped me a lot and makes good sense.  The "tax rate" gibberish is removed so you can focus on the real thing, tax dollars.  Tax dollars directly affect our pocketbooks not rates.  It's important to remember rising school taxes aren't the district's fault.  If you need someone to blame, point to the State legislature.

The PATCH article centers on the House measure passed late last year that raises state taxes by $2.70/ $1000 assessed value to fund education.  (The good news is local levy dollars are reduced.)  If you're really interested in an estimate of how the state increase will affect your household budget I suggest you read the article.  Though I may be wrong, I figure if my wife and I have one less latte per day our state tax increase will be paid.

The bond measure is another story. It's too confusing for me to explain how the tax is derived despite hours of study.  I do know we are in a terrible hole for lack of classroom space and if the bond doesn't pass our district will be entering a dark age.  On a bright side, should the bond pass the benefits to our kids and teachers will be immeasurable.  OPEN THIS LINK.

In addition to this measure, we need to budget for two more bond measures -- one in 2022 and another in 2026.  And, we can expect other taxes over time; for example every biennium the city consistently raises taxes 1% and the water utility tax 2%.  We live in an affluent area under the "Amazon effect" and we have to accept high taxes or move out.  Fortunately tax discounts are available for seniors.

At Paige Norman's "Education Hill Neighborhood Association" EhHNA meeting Eric Campbell, a developer on the Bond Committee addressed cost efficiencies from new architectural and construction practices.  New schools will be larger with connections for new wings. The  Middle School on Redmond Ridge and Juanita High will have two stories with straight walls and fewer corners.  Eric says $44 million will be saved by these practices alone.  The district is doing the best they can do to educate our children.  Now it's our turn.

Please VOTE "Yes" on February 13th

Redmond Community Member 

This opinion was published in the Redmond Reporter, 2/12/18  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Letter: Building thriving neighborhoods

I'm a Redmond resident and member in Leadership Eastside's two-year enrichment program. My final project focuses on building thriving neighborhoods on the Eastside, and my project team and I were hoping you could help us by posting our survey on your blog. It's about neighborhood engagement and takes no more than 2-3 minutes to fill out. It will provide us with invaluable data. Peoples answers will be completely anonymous unless they provide their email address at the end for the opportunity to join a focus group on this topic in the March-April timeframe. I'm happy to answer any questions about the project or Leadership Eastside [E-mail]  Thanks if you are able to post the survey, and I hope you and your readers take it, too:

-- Aaron Knopf

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mayor Marchione responds to City of Everett's initiative to transfer land for housing mentally ill homeless

Below is an "Everett Herald" article announcing the transfer:

City votes to transfer land for homeless, mental ill housing

Everett Herald, Updated: 

EVERETT, Wash. - The Everett City Council voted to approve the plans for low-barrier housing and to transfer land to Catholic Housing Services.
The Everett Herald reports the Safe Streets housing project on Berkshire Drive is set to be a 65-unit complex with around-the-clock staffing primarily for the chronically homeless or those living with mental illness.

Tenants cannot have convictions for arson, sex crimes or producing methamphetamine.
About half the residents would be from Everett.
The construction budget is $10.5 million. Most of the costs are borne by Catholic Housing Services and funded by tax credits and grants, which the city helped secure.
Groundbreaking is planned for later this month.
An artist’s rendering of the Safe Streets housing project designated for Berkshire Drive. (Catholic Housing Services)
Rendering of Everett's "Safe Street project"
Mayor Marchone's comment on the Everett Herald article:
Thank you Bob. We are always interested in, and staff work to stay apprised of, what other jurisdictions are doing to address the challenge of homelessness.  That said, not every strategy is appropriate for every jurisdiction.  Everett is essentially the Seattle of Snohomish County, with both the largest population and greatest concentration of resources.
As one of many connected suburban cities, Redmond works closely with our Eastside neighbors to craft policies and strategies that will serve the sub-region as a whole.  In addition, Redmond has been very proactive in developing strategies focused on our local community. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Redmond's First Parks Director to Talk About Early Years

John Couch, City Parks Director of 30 years with speak on Saturday, February 10th, 10:30 am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center located on 16600 NE 80th Street.  

Redmond, WA January 5, 2018 - Ask locals what they treasure about Redmond, and you’re likely to hear parks and trails.

But those recreational spaces didn’t just happen. Fifty years of planning have gone into them -- starting on Jan. 1, 1968, when the city created a Parks and Recreation Department. Within a decade, 16 parks and more than 200 acres had been acquired for public benefit. By 2000, Redmond had 34 city parks and 25 miles of trail.

John Couch, Redmond’s first and longest-serving parks director (1968-2000), will look back on the department’s first decade at the upcoming Redmond Historical Society Speaker Series program on February 10.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Become a FAN of Music Arts

It’s a bad idea to take your tuba on the bus.
Consider the obvious problems: shoving it through the folding door, heaving it down the aisle, and jamming it onto a seat. Even if you can manage all that, nobody will fit next to you. Not good for your social interactions or your instrument, which suffers wear-and-tear when traveling.
That’s one reason why our schools purchase instruments for orchestra and band students to use at school. This policy also helps ensure that anyone who wants to play gets to play, regardless of their ability to purchase or rent their own instrument.
But these school-owned instruments are showing their age, and the need is only growing. The Lake Washington School District needs to purchase nearly $300,000 in instruments over the next five years. The state doesn’t provide funding for this, and while booster clubs perform an amazing service, this funding gap is too big for a booster.
So we’re coming to you for help.

Click to learn which instruments are needed in each school and contribute to the school or learning community of your choice.

- Larry Wright, PhD
Executive Director of LW Schools Foundaiton

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

EvergreenHealth offers resources for healthcare costs

What Will Your Care Cost?


Our commitment is to be your partner in health and to provide our community access to high quality health care at a great value. To help you make the best decisions about your health care, we embrace transparency. The resources offered here will provide you with a deeper understanding about your healthcare costs. You can even reach out to us to discuss your individual questions and obtain a personalized estimate for your out-of-pocket cost.

Call or email us for your personalized price estimate.

Robert H. Malte
We welcome your request for a price estimate related to your upcoming treatment at EvergreenHealth!  Call to speak to a member of our Patient Financial Services team, who will provide an estimate* based on your services and your health insurance provider, including the specifics of your coverage plan. 
Things to know about your request…
  • It is helpful to know the CPT code of your procedure (your provider can give this to you). If your procedure is already scheduled, our staff may be able to help get this code for you.
  • Please allow up to 24 hours for some estimates as it may take extra time to obtain certain information related to your request.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kirkland Town Hall: "Youth Mental Health"

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EvergreenHealth and the Kirkland Chamber are sponsoring a community event on youth mental health next Tuesday, January 30th. 6-8:30pm at the Kirkland Performance Center.  


"Kirkland Town Hall:  Youth Mental Health."  
Tuesday, January 30th, 6-8:30 pm 
No charge, donation is welcome
Refreshments at 6pm
Panel discussion starts at 7pm.  

Key topics are:  1) facing the facts, 2) breaking stigma, and 3) Identifying the resources.  The panel will discuss and answer questions about the challenges youth are facing with their mental health.  

If you have any questions please e-mail Ms. Laurene Burton, EvergreenHealth,  

Teachers, students, physicians and community members will be attending.  I hope some of you can make it!

EvergreenHealth is Among Top 5% of Hospitals Nationwide for Clinical Performance

EvergreenHealth Medical Center, Kirkland, WA
Healthgrades names health system to its Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ list for the ninth time in 10 years

Kirkland, Wash. – Today, Healthgrades released its annual Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ list, with EvergreenHealth named one of just 250 hospitals nationwide to receive the prestigious award in 2018.

EvergreenHealth has earned the award from Healthgrades for the ninth time in 10 years. The distinction places the Kirkland-based health system among the top 5 percent of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for its superior clinical performance.

Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, announced the award along with data on clinical outcomes, risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complication rates to recognize the nation’s top-performing hospitals.

Over the last year, EvergreenHealth has earned several other Healthgrades recognitions, including its America’s 100 Best™ hospitals award for stroke care, pulmonary care, critical care, gastrointestinal care and general surgery, and in 2017 joined Healthgrades’ elite group of America’s 100 Best Hospitals, which represent the top 2 percent of hospitals across the country for consistent quality care.

Monday, January 22, 2018

LETTER: Vote 'Yes' for LWSD Levies and Bond. A very good investment.

Image result for LWSD bond levey imageThis February, you will be asked to vote on 3 measures for the Lake Washington School District (LWSD).  On behalf of the 29,572 students in LWSD, most of whom are not eligible to vote for their educational resources and opportunity, I humbly ask you to vote YES on all 3 measures.  It is a wise investment not just for our students and families, but for our community’s quality of life.  We are quite fortunate to have a strong public school system, and voting Yes this February can keep it that way.   I truly believe that a strong school system helps develop capable children who will be our helpers and leaders in the community for years to come. 
Proposition 1, the Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O), replaces an expiring levy.  The EP&O Levy funds 19.2% of LWSD’s operating budget, including essential staff and programs in place such as substitute teachers, Special Education, Highly Capable programs, English Language learning, nurses, early learning, teacher training, and athletics.   As the state will be increasing its investment in education for all districts across the state, LWSD was able to reduce the amount requested locally and therefore will REDUCE its local tax rate for this levy.   By voting Yes on Prop 1, you are voting to maintain the strong schooling LWSD offers today.  The state’s approach is not meant to cover 100% of programs, that’s why local levies will continue to exist.  To be accountable to taxpayers, the state legislature set a limit for local school districts to collect on this levy, and LWSD has taken this even further to collect $41.6M LESS than the amount authorized by the state.  To maintain what LWSD offers today, we need to vote YES and pass this Levy.  [Read "MORE" to learn about the other levy and capital bond.]

Thursday, January 18, 2018

UPDATED: Seattle Times columnist describes his personal experience with mental health

For over 35 years I've lived with moderate mood swings wherein suicide ideation or completion is about 10 times greater then the general population.  I'm treated with 3 medications by an outstanding doctor at Overlake  (EvergreenHealth is a public hospital though they don't employ psychiatrists.)  The following is a "Seattle Times" article by Columnist Matt Calkins describing his personal experience and challenges of  poor brain health. He was interviewed by Q13 last week.  I met Matt last year at the NAMI Legislative Candidate Forum. He's a great guy! B. Yoder


My last appointment with a psychiatrist was two weeks ago, when we talked mostly about relationships. It was far more pleasant than previous sessions, in which topics ranged from depression to insomnia to suicidal thoughts.

My brain, you see, hasn’t always been good to me. It has been known to cripple me with anxiety or sink me with despair.  [Lord knows I’ve been there. When Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau killed himself in 2012, I penned a column describing my own suicidal fantasies.]

Fortunately, the people I’ve turned to for help have been great to me — talking me through hardships, offering coping strategies and, yes, prescribing medication.

Right now I’m on an antidepressant called Pristiq, which I pair with a more benign drug called Buspirone. And after experimenting with other medications such as Effexor, Lexapro and Remeron, I think I’ve found the combo that suits me best.

I feel good now, really, but I’ll likely have to treat my mental health for the rest of my life. So why am I telling ypu this?

Simple — because there shouldn’t be a stigma attached to admitting this stuff

Letter: "Pantry Packs" feed vulnerable LWSD students

We currently are sending out 855 packs of food each week to LWSD students that are food insecure so students always have available food and don’t go hungry over the weekend.  This program is run by three very dedicated volunteers (Karyn Matveyenko, Janice Vache’, and me) and as of July 1, 2017 we are now part of the Lake Washington School’s Foundation.

I invite you to go to our webpage to find out more about Pantry Packs.  The foundation also interviewed me if you would like to read more about the history/growth of Pantry Packs.

We welcome those to  sign up to one of our next packing parties on either February 7th or March 7th – this is where we pack around 3,000 packs with 50 volunteers at the Kirkland Hopelink. Sign up is required owing to limited space.  

I hope you will support Pantry Packs efforts in getting the word out to our community about this important program that serves so many LWSD students

Marlene Vacknitz
Pantry Packs Volunteer Leadership Team

Weekend Food for Hungry LWSD Students
We’d love to connect with you on Facebook
Website: Pantry Packs

A class on Government Civics for Residents scheduled for January 31.

Learn with long-time community and Council member Valderrama, as he helps residents explore:

  • Local Government political systems and processes
  • How to interact with City Hall, Commissions and School Board
  • Upcoming Local Tax issues and School Bonds and Levy
  • How to effectively use your voice and participate (including the initiative process)

  • How to become involved – a call to action to join commissions with vacancies, and volunteer
  • Location:  Central Washington University, Sammamish, WA  120 228th Ave NE Room 201A  The first class is  January 31st, 7-9 pm.  Cost:  $35.00 and will include speakers who are elected School Board members and the Chair of the Planning Commission.  This class may be a good opportunity to discuss the upcoming LWSD bond.