Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Redmond splendor, by Reinke


Hello friends, My blog platform has changed and I'm having serious problems editing, posting pictures, links and videos. I'm not sure when I'll be back. Thanks for being a reader! Best wishes! Take care and Stay healthy, Bob

Thursday, October 15, 2020

State Of Washington Voter Information

 What’s on the November 3 ballot?

General Election Voters' Pamphlet

Check out the variety of formats! Accessible PDFs, audio files, flat text, and videos. Teachers and students can participate in the 2020 Student Mock Election, too!

Online Voter Guide 

For best results, use a mobile device or Chrome/Firefox browser to load the guide. For a personalized guide, use the lookup tool at VoteWA.gov.

Voting in Washington?

Three Ways to Register

Check your registration at VoteWA.gov. After October 26, Washington citizens who still need to register (or update) must complete the process in person at a county elections office until November 3, 8:00 PM.    

Voting by Mail FAQ 

If you are registered to vote in Washington, there is no need to request a ballot. Your ballot packet is mailed out October 16 to the address where you're registered.

General Election Fact Sheet

Key dates, resources, and contacts. Election results are tabulated and posted after 8:00 PM on November 3. Each county certifies results November 24, and the Secretary of State certifies final results December 3.

Where do I vote?

At home! Your ballot is mailed out October 16. Use the state Voters' Pamphlet to learn about candidates and measures (look for the green cover) delivered to households Oct 3 - 12. You may also vote an accessible device in person at a local elections office or voting center until 8:00 p.m. on November 3.

  • List of Drop Boxes and Voting Centers Excel | PDF | Map )
  • There is a drive-through drop box at Redmond City Hall
  • BellevueBellevue Regional Library, 1111 110th Ave NE, 98004. Crossroads Shopping Center (south entrance),. 15600 NE 8th St, 98008. Newport Way Library 

Download this comprehensive list of official ballot drop locations, or, for a personalized list sign in to VoteWA.gov. The statewide list will be updated periodically as Election Day approaches. For more information contact your local elections office.

Who voted? 

Daily Ballot Return Statistics and Turnout

Updated at the end of each day, this report breaks down the number of ballots received and turnout percentage by county.

Daily Ballot Status Report

Also known as the matchback report, this daily report contains ballots received, accepted, or challenged. Matching it back to the voter registration database reveals who has yet to vote. All voter information in the report is public information.

Voter Registration Database | Request Form

Request a complete list of voters and publicly available information. The extract is large and may require particular expertise or tools to navigate.

Doing some research?

District Maps

Available in paper format, PDF, or GIS compatible precinct shapefiles.

Data & Statistics

This page contains links to publicly available election information for both current and historical data. Drilling down? Here’s contact info for each county elections office.

See "Who's Filed"

List of candidates who filed for office this year. Search by district, office, name, party preference and more.

Where can I find information about past elections?

Information on past elections, including results, voters' pamphlets, offices open for election, lists of candidates who filed, and other data can be found on our Election Results and Voters' Pamphlets page.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

UPDATE: The City Of Redmond Budget

Mayor Angela Birney presented the proposed 2021-2022 biennial budget on Oct. 6. In a letter to the Redmond City Council and city community, she stated the recommendations in the budget were produced through Civics Result team of 30 Redmond volunteers, questionnaires, focus groups and **public hearings. 

The city forecasts that revenues from taxes and fees will decline by *$6.3 million in 2020, with expenses outpacing revenues starting in 2021, depleting the fund balance each year through 2026. In light of the economic hardships anticipated in the city, the budget cuts 26 full time positions from the 2020 staffing, including almost 10 Parks Department positions, eight capital investment, utilities and development services staff positions, and four vacant police or fire services staff positions. Some of those positions were also removed due this year as they were unnecessary during the shut downs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excerpts from the Redmond Reporter. Halely Ausbun, 10/8/2020

Thank you Mayor for your courage and smarts to trim FTE's. Keep it up.

*CARES funding providing $2M this year will lighten the load.

** two public hearings remain

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Old Redmond Schoolhouse Opens To Preschoolers

 Old Redmond Schoolhouse opens to preschoolers for their first day of school

Building updated as part of 2016 bond passed by voters

Redmond, Wash. – Staff cheered Monday, September 14, as the first preschool student walked confidently into the Early Learning Center at Old Redmond Schoolhouse. It is the first time in more than 20 years that Lake Washington School District (LWSD) has held classes in the building. 

After a remodel, approved by voters in 2016, the 98-year-old building now serves as one of LWSD’s Early Learning Centers. Remodeled spaces include 10 preschool classrooms, therapy spaces, the Child Find office, a family resource library and family meeting space. Most special needs preschool students are attending class in-person, though some are starting the year remotely. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Community Building Update - Chuga, Chuga

"The Council will be asked to make a decision on the Community Building 10/22/20 to move forward so staff can continue without further delay. The Council has an active motion that was postponed from the September 15, 2020 Council Business meeting and will be taken up on the October 22nd Council special meeting. 

The motion made by Councilmember Carson, seconded by Councilmember Kritzer is as follows: Authorize the Mayor and staff to move forward on the construction of a community building on the existing site of the Redmond Senior Center in the size of approximately 42,000 square feet with optional expansion capabilities with costs not to exceed $46.7M and with the funding mechanism of capital improvement program funds and councilmanic bonds." Parks Council Comm. memo 10/6/2020.

Thank you CM David Carson and CM Vanessa Kritzer for your leadership in moving this project on, I've never seen a valuable Redmond project like this one get so bogged down by **bureaucracy.  Yoder



**"At the study session on July 28, 2020, the Community Stakeholder Group presented the recommendations for the future of the Redmond Senior Center. Throughout the study session discussion, and during subsequent Council discussion, Council had additional questions, which were addressed at the PHS Committee of the Whole on August 4, 2020, the PPW Committee of the Whole on August 11, 2020. The PHS Committee of the Whole on September 1st, and the City Council Business Meeting on September 15th .

Recently, there have been questions about the public engagement efforts, decision points that will be requested from the City Council and the City’s bonding capacity. The need for Community Center and Recreation space to serve everyone in Redmond has been discussed over many years in Redmond. 

In 2009, 327 people engaged in a statistically valid survey to inform the Recreation Buildings Master Plan. This plan called for an 80,000 sf facility and a $69-71M investment to adequately serve the residents of Redmond. This effort was not implemented. 

In 2015, 830 people engaged to help inform the PARCC plan, of which the need for a larger Community Center space was a high priority. 

In 2017, 30-35 people made up the Recreation Stakeholders group who engaged with 3600 people to help inform the Communities Priority for the Future of Redmond Community Centers in 2017.

In 2019-20 the Recreation Stakeholders assisted in engaging 2500 people to help inform their recommendation found in the report, “Envision the Future of the Redmond Senior Center”. 

This has been the longest and most engaged public engagement process for any project in Redmond. In order for staff and the community to move forward with the design and ultimately the construction of the Redmond Senior and Community Center, Council will need to provide direction on the size and scale and financial model to fund the project.

Provided in the presentation and on the Council Question Matrix is a timeline of the capital outlay and decision points needed from the City Council."  Parks Council Comm. 10/6

City Receives Round Two of CARES Funding

The City has received notice that it is the recipient of additional Coronavirus Relief Funds made available through the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Through Round 2 allocations, the City will receive an additional $987,900. Staff is proposing that fund acceptance be placed on the consent agenda in order to facilitate both the allocation and expenditure of this time-sensitive funding.

-- Park Council Comm. memo, 10/6

Valuing our indigenous students

Not to forget our indigenous students and their families!

Interdistrict cooperative contracts for services to American Indian and Alaska Native students in the Bellevue and Northshore School districts resulted when the Eastside Native American Education Consortium was formed in 1984. At that time the Lake Washington School District agreed to be the overseeing agency (sponsoring school district) to receive annual Title VI – Indian Education funds from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Since the level of Title VI funding does not adequately cover program costs, each school district agreed to contribute a prorated cost per native student enrolled in the Title VI programs. 

Estimated cost charged to each participating district for the 2020-2021 is as follows: 

Bellevue School District 57 Students @ $65.00 = $3,705.00 

Northshore School District 89 Students @ $65.00 = $5,785.00 

Lake Washington School District 120 Students @ $65.00 = $7,800.00

Reported by Yoder


Friday, October 2, 2020

It's Salmon Seeson! One month left!

Excellent article and Youtube from Army Corps of Engineers.

Sockeye or Chinook? (photo, Army Corps)

You may be able to see adult coho, sockeye, and Chinook salmon in September and October from the 90th Street bridge when they migrate up the Sammamish River to their spawning grounds in Bear Creek. For best viewing, visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid glare and bring polarized glasses.  No. Bear Creek at Juel Park is another excellent viewing location.

The 2020 sockeye run returning through the fish ladder at the Ballard Locks is the third lowest return on record, after last year’s record low return. Sockeye are affected by the changing climate, with variable ocean conditions and warming of streams and lakes. Warmer water increases predator metabolism and consumption of juvenile salmon and makes salmon more susceptible to disease.

Rearing sockeye:

Juvenile sockeye rear for one or two years in a lake (Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington) although they are also found in the inlet and outlet streams of the lake. Sockeye fry are often preyed on by resident lake fish, and because they use freshwater year-round, they are susceptible to low water quality. (John Reinke.)

While average annual Chinook returns fluctuate and are well below population recovery goals, 2017 saw the second highest return to the Cedar River since before 2000 and this year, as of mid-August 2020, the count through the Ballard Locks was almost double the 10-year average. Lake Sammamish’s native kokanee population has also been in decline for the last few decades and King County and partners have recently taken emergency actions to prevent possible extinction.

Salmon are tasty and great for your health! We are so blessed to have fresh, wild salmon in our "backyard.".A quick and easy way to cook it is: place the fillet on a pan, skin down, sprinkle with olive oil and salt.  Bake for 325 degrees for about 14 minutes depending on its size.  Simply amazing!

-- Bob Yoder

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

LWSD Board Adopts 2020-21 Budget

 Board of Directors of the Lake Washington School District No. 414 hereby adopts the 2020-21 budget:

General Fund $491,088,202 

Associated Student Body Fund 6,470,521

 Debt Service Fund 79,128,277 

Capital Projects Fund 132,906,498 

Transportation Vehicle Fund 1,161,241

-- Excerpt from LWSD Board Packets, 8/24 and 8/10/2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Opinion - Labeling Councilmembers

I recently wrote a post where I labeled three councilmembers harshly and I want to apologize. Below are my changes:  

In cultural, religious situations Varisha Kahn is an effective activist. She's a very good speaker and deeply concerned about the community.  Jessica Forsythe is a kind, soft-spoken councilmember in the Fields camp. She cares a lot about the environment. Mr. Fields is hard working, assertive, ambitious, a driver and cares about the environment too.  An accountant, he brings much to the table during the finance and budget process.  

Bob Yoder, opinion, 9/28

Video of Councilmember Varisha Kahn


Find a good video of Varisha in this article 

The New Normal: When your living room becomes City Hall
Redmond City Councilmember Varisha Khan is navigating her first term from home while supporting her community through the pandemic.
by Dorothy Edwards / June 22, 2020 - Crosscut 

Varisha Khan is a first-time city council member in Redmond. She drafted, proposed and passed recent legislation that protects Redmond residents from late fees and evictions, and offers support during other hardships. She recognizes this pandemic as a collective trauma for society and the only way she feels she can cope is by doing what she knows: helping her community through writing humane policy that mends a frayed social safety net.

Dorothy Edwards, June 22, 2020, Crosscut.

Entertainment In The Downtown Park

During our Sunday walk downtown we noticed several street poles were posted with the following announcement:  

Feeling the blues?  

Come outside and feel some tunes

@ the Downtown Redmond Park

Featuring DJ: Kimere

from 7-9 Tuesday and Sunday 

Don't want to come out? Stay tuned on Instagram on Kimere_vibez

So my wife and I strolled in at 7:40 and  I took this video.  Personally, I loved the music.  I counted 23 people there including 2 kids.  Had there been more, surely we would have danced up a storm. As is, the only dancers were my wife and two kids. 

When the bad weather comes the public with have to tune into Instagram. Maybe the City will put up a tent. I just hope this doesn't go away!

-- Bob Yoder, 9/28

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Council Limits Some Meeting Topics To Ten Minutes

At the beginning of Council's Study Session this week councilmember Varisha Kahn proposed each item on the agenda be limited to 10 minutes owing to a full agenda. It was unanimously approved.  Councilmember David Carson was concerned that the Light Rail topic may need more time for study but was assured by staff the presentation wouldn't be long.

The meeting breezed along.  In the past, meetings could last as long as 11 p.m. -- by law meetings must end at 11 p.m.  Many other meetings have lasted to 10 p.m.  In my 13 years of reporting on Council I can't recall ever seeing a problem with excessively long meetings until recently.

Perhaps these meetings have been long owing to the process of educating three new representatives.  Meeting management may also be a contributor. Though I'm certainly not one to judge! 

Bob Yoder, opinion

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Two Patients At EvergreenHealth Tested Positive For COVID-19 This Month

 Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth confirmed today that two patients receiving inpatient care at the EvergreenHealth Kirkland campus have tested positive for COVID-19. The organization notified the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) immediately following receipt of the test results.

 “We believe these two patients contracted the novel coronavirus while in our care. However, due to the nature of how this virus is transmitted, the actual transmission source is unclear,” said Ettore Palazzo, MD, Chief Medical & Quality Officer of EvergreenHealth. “The virus may have been transmitted through a health care worker, family member or visitor. We cannot be definitively certain. What we are sure of, is that this serves as a very unfortunate reminder that everyone needs to remain astutely vigilant to ensure we’re collectively working to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

UPDATED OPINION: MAPS-AMEN Should Unclench Their Teeth

In a Facebook Forum Aneela Afzali of Maps-Amen mildly attacked four members of council (Padhye, Anderson, Kritzer, and Carson.)  She was after them to approve a Resolution supporting her cause. (AWWPP) related.  

Fields threw me under the bus when I challenged him about Aneelah's "bridge building."  In cultural religious situations Varisha Kahn seems an activist; Jessica Forsythe is kind and soft-spoken, in the Fields camp. Redmond has a strong interfaith community!  What makes the Muslims so special?  Let's treat all faiths equally!  Let's focus on the rich diversity of religions we enjoy in our city!  - Bob Yoder, 9/17/2020

                     Aneelah Afzali

                               Executive Director

Aneelah Afzali is Executive Director of MAPS-AMEN. She is also on the board of the Faith Action Network, and on the Steering Committee of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network.  A graduate of Harvard Law School, Aneelah left her legal career in 2013 to serve as a community activist and interfaith leader.  Since then, she has worked on addressing the growing divide in our nation by building bridges of understanding and unity to advocate for justice together.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Redmond's Pandemic Plan

City of Redmond's Pandemic Plan:



Redmond Officials Urged To Declare A State Of Climate Emergency

 Dear Mayor Birney and esteemed council,

 First, while I am a member of the Redmond Parks and Trails Commission, I'm writing solely in my capacity as a resident of Redmond and a concerned parent.


This past week, we have seen climate catastrophe fall upon the west coast. What we saw in Australia in January is here now. Entire towns are being burned to the ground, and others evacuated due to fire danger or deadly air quality. 10% of the entire state of Oregon has either been evacuated or put on some form of evacuation notice.


What is worse is that climate scientists are telling us that today’s disasters will pale in comparison to what will come. We no longer have the luxury of time. We can no longer think that this is an issue for the future, that we can take small steps. The timeline for action, not just planning, needs to be months instead of years or even decades.


Therefore, I urge in the strongest possible words and in no uncertain terms for the mayor and council to take immediate action and declare a state of climate emergency.

EvergreenHealth Launches Clinical Trial To Study COVID Antibody Therapy

I’m reaching out to share that Kirkland-based EvergreenHealth, the hospital with the nation’s first recorded patient death due to COVID-19 back in February, has launched a new clinical trial to study an antibody therapy as a potential treatment for the virus.

The BLAZE - 1 Study is designed to look at the safety and efficacy of treating adults who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, and who are not hospitalized, with the investigational study drug, LY-Co-V555. EvergreenHealth is the only health system in Washington state to serve as a trial site for the BLAZE-1 Study.

-- EvergreenHealth Press Release, 9/15/2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

School Board Limits Their Comment Period To Thirty Minutes

The City of Redmond Council has recently been burdened with over 30 hours of verbal comment on an anti-Muslim religious issue.  They also received over 1300 emails on the same topic.  A Muslim council member appeared  pleased with the hundreds of emails she received.  Is it possible the City of Redmond  could learn from our LWSD Board in dealing with testy issues?

"In the 8/10 Board meeting there were 13-pages of public comments compiled on three topics: Inclusion/Equity (4) and Return to School/Fall. Board members read the comments for Inclusion/Equity and summarized comments submitted for Return to School/Fall for the 30-minutes set aside for public comment."

"In the 8/20 meeting there were 6-pages of public comments regarding Inclusion/Equity; these comments have also been posted on the district websiteBoard members read all of the comments submitted during the 30-minutes set aside for public comment."


 In order to provide a full remote learning environment in September, every K-5 student will be provided a device and mobile hotspots will be provided to ensure that all students have connectivity. 

Board of Directors of the Lake Washington School District No. 414 hereby adopts the 2020-21 budget:

General Fund $491,088,202 

Associated Student Body Fund 6,470,521

 Debt Service Fund 79,128,277 

Capital Projects Fund 132,906,498 

Transportation Vehicle Fund 1,161,241

-- Excerpts from LWSD Board Packets, 8/24 and 8/10/2020

-- Bob Yoder, 9/14//20