Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LWSD Holds Two Public Meetings To Select New Superintendent


Redmond, Wash. – At the June 14 special board meeting, the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Board of Directors screened 58 candidates for first-round interviews for the position of Superintendent.

Ray and Associates contacted 1,110 individuals regarding LWSD’s Superintendent vacancy. Out of those 1,110 contacts, 58 candidates completed the application process by providing Ray and Associates, Inc. with the required candidate materials. These 58 applicants were screened based on administrative experience, academic background and the qualities and criteria determined by the LWSD Board of Directors and printed on the LWSD Job Profile.

Ray and Associates, Inc. then performed a comprehensive interview with each of the top candidates. A thorough investigation of each candidate was then made through references, state officials, other school administrators and individuals who knew each candidates’ abilities and strengths. Following these investigations, the determination of the best candidates for the LWSD Superintendent position was finalized. Eleven candidates were then screened by the LWSD Board of Directors at the June 14 special board meeting. The LWSD Board of Directors narrowed the list of candidates down to the top five. These five applicants will be interviewed by the LWSD Board of Directors during a special board meeting, in executive session (closed to the public) on June 22, 2018. Following the executive session, the board is scheduled to reconvene the special board meeting in the LWSD Resource Center Board Room at 7:00 p.m.  -- open to the public -- to take action to select the superintendent finalists.  The Superintendent Search page of the LWSD website will be updated as well.

The public is invited to attend a Town Hall with each of the finalists on Thursday, June 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the LWSD Resource Center  The Town Hall will also be streamed live from the Superintendent Search section of the LWSD websiteThere will be an opportunity for community members to provide feedback on each candidate to the School Board via the “Candidate Impression Form” that will be available on the website as well.
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Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington. It is the third largest district in the state of Washington, with over 29,500 students in 52 schools.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Bikes as advertisements?


OPINION:  This red bike adjacent to Banner Bank has been advertising "Three Lions Pub" for over 10 days now.  When driving on 164th it's easy to get distracted by the "sign" at this busy intersection, posing a hazard.  In addition, the advertisement takes up bike docking space. I reported this to the city's Code Enforcement Officer since there's an ordinance governing the placement of signs.  It's interesting this novel advertisement was placed right next to Banner Bank where the past President of One Redmond works.  A Lime bike share was placed in the same location for over a week about a month ago. In my opinion, especially with the redevelopment of Sears, the Mayor should hire a third Code Enforcement officer to enforce an amended sign and the pending bike share ordinance.

B. Yoder  

Make Your Voice Heard on Sear's Redevelopment Plan

You may have heard that there is a large, multi-year redevelopment plan being proposed by Seritage Growth Properties for the Overlake Sears location.  After several months of City Council review, the public is now encouraged to provide formal feedback at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, June 19, 7:30 PM, City Hall.  Extensive project materials are available at City of Redmond

Suggested topics:  transportation, bike travel, mobility, affordable housing, affordable services, parks, building design and height, performance center, transit services, landscaping, connectivity to Bellevue and Downtown Redmond.  

The proposal calls for the redevelopment of the approximately 13 acre Sears site for a mixed-use development that includes:
  • 500 multifamily units
  • 210 room hotel
  • 100,100 square feet of street level retail space
  • 23,000 square feet of market/food retail space
  • 266,800 square feet of office space
  • 62,700 square feet of restaurant space
  • 2,245 stalls of underground parking
  • And approximately 2.1 acres of parks and open space

Special thanks to Tom Hinman for his community outreach efforts and keeping us informed of the Seritage re-development plan.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LETTER: The city should reconsider fluoridating our water

Image result for fluoride imagesMr. Welton wrote the Mayor of the negative health effects from putting fluoride in our drinking water.  Below, is the Mayor's response and a copy of Mr. Welton's letter.  

Mr. Welton,

Thank you for the article you sent for review along with your request for the City of Redmond to reconsider adding fluoride to its drinking water. I want to assure you that I do appreciate your concern.

Staff and I understand that fluoride has been controversial for many years, with countless studies and activists both for and against the ionic compound being added to water. In reviewing the article you provided, the basis of concerns comes from studies conducted in China on the effect of naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water where concentrations are much greater than 1.0 mg/l.

As you may know, the City’s well water that serves roughly 40 percent of Redmond has naturally occurring fluoride, as most natural water does. A small amount is added to reach a level of 0.7 mg/l, which meets the City’s community fluoridation objective set forth by the Department of Health. Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a news release to recommend a slightly lower optimal level (from 1.0 mg/l to 0.7 mg/l) of fluoride in drinking water because Americans now have increased access to fluoride from other sources such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

Redmond follows the guiding principles of the Primary Drinking Water Regulations to meet the guidelines of the Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The safety and effectiveness of fluoridation of public drinking water has been studied for over 65 years, and the City has been adding fluoride to its drinking water since 1975. (About 60 percent of Redmond's drinking water is purchased from Seattle, and a 1968 referendum vote directed Seattle to fluoridate its drinking water.)

The fluoride used in treatment meets the quality and safety standards of the American National Standards Institute and the American Water Works Association. The most respected health agencies in the world, including The American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the American Water Works Association, the CDC, and the World Health Association, continue to support this public health practice. The CDC encourages all public water systems to fluoridate to protect people from tooth decay and dental disease. Nationally, just shy of 80 percent of all drinking water is fluoridated.

The City will continue to monitor the research and required standards to see if the recommended concentration of fluoride in drinking water is lowered and will respond accordingly.

John Marchione, Mayor, City of Redmond

###
Dear Mayor Marchione,

First of all, thank you for answering this E-Mail about the negatives of fluoride in our drinking water. I’m skeptical as to whether the any efficacy or safety studies have been performed since:

1) Study after study is coming out, numerous of them I have sent to you in the past, showing the harm that is caused by fluoride including dentalfluorosis and osteofluorosis as well as may be linked to Hashimoto’s Disease causing elevated cholesterol and underactive thyroid.

As a child I was riddled with cavities and had three root canals. As an adult, I continued with issues until I started taking better care of my teeth but still had a cavity or two a year. About 7 years ago I quit drinking city water, quit using fluoridated toothpaste, and started a regular regimen of brushing and flossing twice a day. My first visit to a dentist in well over four years resulted in significantly reduced Periodontal Pockets and no cavities. Yes this is anecdotal evidence but it is the case. I take thyroid replacement medication daily for treatment of Hashimoto’s Disease, my thyroid has returned to normal activity and cholesterol is down significantly. Elevated Cholesterol led me to take Crestor which is a Statin Drug. There are numerous Statin Drugs on the market and they all have the same possible side effect, Type II Diabetes. Since being Diagnosed with Type II Diabetes I’ve quit taking Statin Drugs but I believe it is too late and the harm caused is permanent. So to recap, since being off most of the fluoride in the average American’s life I have less cavities. I have Hashimoto’s Disease that could have been caused by fluoride, the Hashimoto’s Disease caused elevated Cholesterol which caused me to be prescribed a statin drug that most likely caused Type II diabetes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A fly-fishing sport in Redmond



Walking from the Eastside Gym over the "rusty bridge" yesterday I saw some Pike minnow fly-fishermen casting from a raft.  The fishermen were targeting their white fin.    

According to Tom Hardy, City of Redmond Stream and Habitat Planner, lots of these unwanted,  Northerrn Pike minnow are swimming around Lake Sammamish and the River eating  salmon smolt and eggs. Mr. Hardy stated:  "The curious thing about Northern Pikeminnow is that they are native fish to Washington but they are voracious salmon eaters, too."  As you'll see from the video, numbers are so high in the Columbia River there's a bounty on them.  I don't think we're there yet. 😀 But it sure looks like a fun sport! The season is from May 1 to August 31.  Go for it!

B. Yoder

Monday, June 11, 2018

At first glance

StationHouse in 2018
The Education Hill 166th Avenue road to downtown Redmond is probably the most significant urban gateway of any in Redmond next to Leary Way.  Residents from the north Redmond neighborhoods travel 166th most any day of the week.  I must admit, in my 38 years on the Hill I've taken our evergreens for granted.  This all changed with the StationHouse development. 

Below is a photo of StationHouse in 2017.  One year later it reached it''s maximum height and white finished color.  StationHouse is the embodiment of the new Redmond.  At first glance from the Hill I was shocked if not repelled by this white cubed "flat top."  Numbed, already I'm getting used to it.  
   
StationHouse in 2017
B. Yoder 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We need more downtown art

2002 manhole public art 
OPINION:  Redmond is becoming a dull place to live and it will get worse.  Installing green street trees and the build out of the Downtown Park will help but Redmond needs more "punch" to make us a great city.

On May 8th council discussed a much greater emphasis of art in their budget.  Major projects like Buoyant in the Down Park need funding.  It will cost >3% of the total park construction.  The present grass and concrete downtown park is of course better than another one or two 6-8 story rental buildings.  A "landmark" art installation like Buoyant near the pavilion would make it a true park and sparkle our downtown.

"Signature" art installations are needed too.  They would cost 2-3% of total constructions costs at places like the main streets of Overlake, the Marymoor Village gateway, key public buildings or high traffic parks or trails like the Connector Trail Signals art.

Then there is the "Hallmark" public works art funded currently at 1% of construction costs. It's scattered all over the city and few probably notice it.  However, if you look hard you can't complain about the cement-colored salmon hidden under the Redmond Way cement bridge.  Here's the ultimate... leaf art on a local manhole cover celebrating the installation of a traffic calming improvement on our street.  I've never seen my neighbors dancing around it.

Per the Administration, if council approves the new art ordinance  -- to make our city more livable and lively -- the average investment in public art would increase from $188,778 per biennium to approximately $370,000.  Is this asking too much?   

Monday, June 4, 2018

Redmond's downtown anomaly


Council member Angela Birney stated on social media that this art was paid for by the builder.  At first I thought it was gaudy but now I find it a pleasant change from the plethora of our downtown monotone box buildings.  "162" is located just north and across from the Downtown Park. Can we expect more to come?  

Friday, June 1, 2018

UPDATED: City council deserves higher pay

Tom Hardy in a CCOW meeting asking Council to put his
 Mackey Creek Project on the Consent Agenda
OPINION:  Our city council works very, very hard and they should be paid more than their $1000/month salary.  They put in well over 14 hours per week not counting community events.

Besides weekly "study sessions" and "regular meetings" where business is transacted, they participate in four "council committees" to meet with staff and keep current on city business. [Planning and Public Works, Parks and Human Services, Safety, and Finance, Administration and Communications.]

Until April 7th and for the life of this city, three Council members, were assigned to  council standing committees to meet weekly for information and education by staff on existing city programs and issues in preparation for possible policy decisions.  Owing to a State Open Government revision and the city's tremendous growth --now 68,000 residents -- with much more to come, Council changed their standing committee structure to "Council Committee Of The Whole" (CCOW) where all seven council members participate weekly. The council is now working even harder and longer. And so is staff.  I've been to a couple CCOW meetings where staff has asked Council to put their programs on the Consent Agenda.  City business is speeding and government is now in a better position to keep up.

The new Council Committee Of The Whole should significantly increase participation of our elected and encourage staff to be more active, open and accountable to council.  As a result, study sessions and regular meetings, when aligned with CCOW, will be more productive and final decisions more effective and timely.  CCOW meetings are held on Tuesdays, 4:30 pm at City Hall and are open to the public.

Over the years standing committees have been very important to the operation of our city and they've evolved.

Fred Reil, the city's first Mayor instituted standing committees six months after our city of 300 was founded in 1912.  It's fun and interesting to see how Mr. Reil arranged them  Saloons were the largest source of revenue back then so it's obvious why a "licence" standing committee was set up.

In Mayor Selwin Young's time, one of his 1978 standing committee's was "Rules and Ethics."  Amazingly, the city ruled that Planning Director Jonathan Hartman could not retire until he reached the age of 65.  And, there was no specific Parks or Human Services committee....only a reference to them under "Human Resources."

Mayor Doreen Marchione's 1990 standing committees further evolved and are referenced here. They are much like Mayor Rosemary Ives's committees.

B. Yoder

Special thanks to the Redmond Historical Society for their resources and help in laying out this story; and to Michelle Hart, City Clerk, for digging out the standing committee iterations and her leadership in the formation of CCOW.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The bird with the broken wing, By John Reinke


While walking along a portion of the Bear Creek Trail south of Leary Way here in Redmond, I encountered a friend who used to live in the condo below mine.  After we greeted each other, she motioned through the open gates of an adjacent fenced-in maintenance area.

She wanted me to see a robin-sized bird with long legs, whose young were skittering about on the open gravel-covered surface.  I was quite surprised and pleased to see them, and explained that this was a killdeer with its chicks.  

I mentioned that I had photoed a pair of killdeer at the nearby pond more than a month previously.  We were now evidently looking at the resultant offspring

After my friend departed, I continued to observe the scene.  A second adult killdeer flew up on the grass outside and scampered into the enclosure.  Now both parents were on the scene to protect their young.

I set out to try to photograph the young.  This was difficult, as they were small and quite nimble, plus they were far enough away to put my zoom camera to the test.  I did manage to get at least one shot of a parent and two youngsters in the same frame. 

Can you find her head?  (click pic to enlarge)
I watched for awhile, and considered my next move. I knew that killdeer will try to lead away anyone who approaches their young.  They do this by pretending to be wounded and flapping about on the ground.  

When this causes the person to pursue them, they immediately move further away and repeat the act.  When they have successfully lured away their would-be predators, they fly off and eventually circle back to their young.

Knowing this, I decided to see if I could instigate this behavior by approaching, with my camera at the ready.  Sure enough, one of the adults took me up on my tactic.  It ran a short distance and proceeded to put on a spectacular act of appearing mortally wounded.  I managed to get off a few shots as I approached, before it moved away again.  

After that, I concentrated on getting a good closeup of a chick, but without much luck.  This fuzzy image was the best I could do.

Story and Photos by John Reinke
Redmond, WA

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mayor Marchione's 2018 State of the City Address



Mayor Marchione is way underpaid.  His salary is ~$137,000.  In contrast, the Communications and Community Engagement Director at Lake Washington School District is paid $169, 285 and only works 10 months a year.  Nine Associate Directors are paid $153,800 per year.

This video is a must listen even if you see only the first 5 minutes.  

Superintendent Search Update.

Lake Washington School District Superintendent Search Update
Ray & Associates consutlants
The Lake Washington School District Board of Directors is working with Ray and Associates, a Superintendent Search firm, to hire the next LWSD Superintendent. Starting in late April, Ray and Associates held five community forums and 32 focus groups around the community. They also posted two surveys on the LWSD website, gathering 1,470 responses. The results of those meetings, focus groups and surveys are posted on the Superintendent Search webpage. This feedback also informed the creation of the job profile, also available on the LWSD website.

The job is now posted, and is open through June 4. An updated timeline is available on the Superintendent Search webpage.

Save the date! The community is invited to a Town Hall event with the final 2-3 candidates on Thursday, June 28. The Town Hall is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center (16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA 98052). This event will also be broadcast live from the LWSD website. Community members will have an opportunity to submit feedback on the candidates that evening. More details will be shared soon.

Monday, May 21, 2018

My PIM commute

Last Friday GO REDMOND held a "Bike Bash" event awarding commuters colorful GO REDMOND tee shirts.  Though I'm retired and not much of a commuter I signed up for a ride on the 520 Bike Trail starting at Leary.  My destination was Kirkland for an espresso at Rococo; but  prior commitments confined my journey to 2 hours from my home on Education Hill.

On my PIM electric bike, I did it without a sweat.

520 Trail - yellow specks are struggling
road bikers.  My PIM is front center
The 520 Bike Trail was most interesting.  Most of the road bicyclists struggled up the first hill. I cruised at almost 3x the speed -- and could have gone faster.  They had to breathe the 520 exhaust fumes for a long time.  I was out of there and soon high above SR520 and it's noise.

My first stop was a Microsoft water station serving iced water infused with fruits. On 148th Ave. NE I met a Honeywell worker biking to Burger King.  I passed quite a few Microsoft pedestrians walking briskly from one office to the next; but no electric bikes.  Those guys were probably already at their office from the Seattle burbs.

Love them fries!
(click to enlarge)
Had I more time, I could have easily ridden by pedal assist to Seattle and seen some of the sights.  However, I did savor the fries  at Burgermaster!  The bike trails are well marked with way-finding signage.  On my way into Kirkland I saw a "Lake Washington Loop Trail."-- youser!

Kirkland is not a bike friendly town.  There's a nasty intersection at Lakeview and Lake Washington Blvd.  Lake Washington Blvd. is dangerous the whole way with cars parked inches from the bike lane.  Only one door has to open from the inside, and smack.  The espresso was a delight but the ride from Kirkland up 85th was terrible and I couldn't have done it safely without my PIM.  Ascending Education Hill was a breeze.  I made it home with time to spare while tapering my pedal-assist to an
exercise plan.

The GO REDMOND tee-shirts are colorful and cool!  Their website is too!  I can't wait for my next commute!  😎

B. Yoder

Friday, May 11, 2018

May is Arts Month for Schools

LWSD student art

May is Arts in Education Month

May is Washington State’s Art Education Month – a time to celebrate the wonderful arts education in our schools and the terrific art our students create as a result. What does art mean to you? For LWSD students, art provides a way to express themselves. It is fun, magical, creative, beautiful and awesome. 

I really like going to the school board meetings sometimes just to see the art.   At every board meeting there's a "host school" where the principal and staff explain their accomplishments and challenges.  The students from the host schools always draw art.  It's posted behind the dias and all around the room.  These kids have fun!  They are creative!  And they are good!

B. Yoder

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A look into the bowels of a 166th Ave. construction site

View from the 166th Ave. sidewalk
   
This construction site at 8360-165th Ave. NE is visible from 166th Ave. and 165th Ave.  It's currently named "The Village" and will have 96 multi-family apartments.  The entrance will be from 165th.

At last week's school board meeting, LWSD Director Mark Stuart suggested taking students to the school construction sites to study construction engineering AND the trades. Hiring and pay is strong in the trades. What a novel, innovative teaching idea!    Board member Cassandra Sage agreed with Mark. President Bliesner tabled the idea to move the meeting on.

In my opinion, the construction sites shouldn't have to be restricted to schools like Juanita.  This site can be easily and safely studied from a sidewalk, rain or shine with no mud.  Teachers could plan field trips around convenient times for the workers to learn from them,,,, maybe lunch time.

B. Yoder

Archaeology Day at City Hall


The Lower Bear Creek re-alignment project uncovered 6-10,000 year old Indian artifacts.  The geology and environment of Redmond are reviewed.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Light rail connecting the Overlake Village to the Redmond Technology Center is well under way

NE 148th is in the foreground.  The light rail piers are paralleling SR 520.

This photo was taken by me on 148th Avenue NE, just south of NE 29th Place on the SR 520 bridge sidewalk.  It's my understanding the three concrete piers will support light rail from the Overlake Station to the Redmond Technology Center station. (RTCS.) Completion is expected by 2023.  Once the link extension is complete it will be 10 minutes to Bellevue and 30 minutes to Seattle from RTCS.

It's my understanding the three cranes in the distance are in Overlake Village. 

The light rail will continue from the RTCS to the SE Redmond Station and on to the Downtown Station located across from Redmond Town Center. Completion is targeted by 2024. It's anticipated the East King County Regional Aquatics Pool and recreation center will be located near the SE Redmond Station.

B. Yoder

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

City Celebrates Cyclists with Annual Bike Bash

Image result for bike bash images Redmond

Redmond, WA – The community is invited to celebrate bicycling at the annual Redmond Bike Bash. The party takes place on Bike to Work Day, Friday May 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the Redmond Central Connector trail between Leary Way and 161st Ave NE.
Whether you are an avid Redmond bicycle commuter, a weekend rider or simply someone interested in learning more about biking, you’re invited to come to the party and enjoy:
  • Music by local band “Superhit”
  • Food trucks
  • Redmond Bar & Grill’s Beer and Wine Garden
  • Information from local bike shops
  • Bike skills clinics
  • $10 bike helmets from the Redmond Police Department
  • Bike Rodeo to help practice kid’s biking skills with prizes
It is free to join us so pedal over and help us celebrate cycling. Attendees over 18 years old who log a bike commute trip on GoRedmond.com before May 18, or who bike to the event, will earn a free bike t-shirt to pick up at the Bike Bash.
For more information about the Redmond Bike Bash, visit www.GoRedmond.com/bikebash. For questions and more information on this press release contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at lmaher@redmond.gov or 425-556-2427. This press release is available on www.redmond.gov.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

UPDATED: Mustang Lacrosse Club Senior Night


Mustang Boys Lacrosse Club on Senior Night
Lacrosse  is probably the fastest growing sport in Redmond.  Rob Leavitt led the Mustang Boys Lacrosse Club program to what it is today. The program now teaches and coaches youth K - 12.  Coach Rob Edison is the High School Coach and Program Director though the team isn't officially a LWSD Varsity sport.  They are working on it.  Kate Roper is the current President. According to their website, 9 parents coach high school and 15 coach the entire program so there's a groundswell of family support.   

Having played the game for 16 years I was dying to watch the high school boys play.  Last night was Senior Night!  While walking to Redmond high with my wife we saw a rainbow!  Watching the game, many fond memories were sparked from when I started playing 49 years.years ago.  Back then we had no high school program.  I enjoyed sharing my memories and knowledge of the game with my wife and was happy to see the game has lost its "preppy" image.  The game was very exciting to watch.  The team was very positive and no matter the circumstance and it was obvious "having fun" was an underlying principle of the Mustang game.  

Out of 34 players on the team, four were Seniors.  

Jeremy Anderson - Prior to lacrosse he played elite hockey and baseball.  He plans on attending Chapman University in the fall where will major in Data Analytics and Business.

Lucas Castro (Capt.) - Only played three years on the team and is a team Captain.  After graduation Lucas plans on working construction and attending Central Washington University.  

Max Emigh - This is Max's first season playing for the Mustangs. In the off-season he surfs and 
snowboards.  He will be attending Colorado mountain college where he plans to pursue his passion for Ski and Snowboarding.  

Jack Motzkin (Capt.) - Jack's played Mustang lacrosse for three years. He also plays Mustang football and is completing his Eagle scout.  He plans on attending University of Arizona to study Architecture.  

Lacrosse is so much fun and it's rewarding to see the players honoring the game.  Go 'Stangs!

B. Yoder
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The Vision of the Redmond Lacrosse Club is to be recognized as a competitive program for players K-12 that emphasizes proper lacrosse skills, sportsmanship, and good character.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Updated: Road bikes, ebikes, and bike shares are a wave of the future in Overlake


 View of "Redmond 148" from the southwest.  According to
Senior Planner David Lee it includes two stories of underground parking.
The only access is from the north
OPINION  Completion of this "Redmond 148" structure is targeted for late 2018.  It's located on 3040 NE 148th and will be a significant hub for bicycle commuters. If you look under the 3rd traffic light you might see a trail head.  The trail travels counter-clockwise around the building to Redmond with access to the Microsoft campus along the way.

The 520 Bicycle Trail from Seattle to Bellevue and Kirkland is behind me so you have to take the crosswalk to get to the Redmond 148 trail head.

A bicycle connection to 520 Bicycle Trail is planned nearby which will provide residents with an easy connection to the Microsoft campus and Redmond via the pedestrian-bicycle bridge to be built over SR 520.

Road bikes, ebikes, and bike shares will be a wave of the future in Overlake.  I have a PIM ebike and will be riding it on the 520 Bicycle Trail during Redmond's Bike Bash.

B. Yoder