Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Redmond Overlake Village Station construction

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credit/ Ryan Bianchi
This photo shows the concrete pour at the future Overlake Village Station’s pedestrian bridge over SR 520 

Ryan Bianchi, of the Sound Transit Outreach Division spoke at the Senior Center's "first Friday Coffee Chat" at 10 AM last week.  He's was (and is) helpful in getting us up to speed on our Redmond East Link Extension.  His Facebook page is an excellent source of information and a great way to comment on the projects.  

Ryan Bianchi
Community Outreach Division
206-398-5070 link 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

LWSD to Place Capital Projects Levy on April Ballot

At its December 3 meeting, Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD) Board of Directors passed Resolution No. 2259 to place a Capital Projects Levy on the April 23, 2019 ballot. This measure, if passed, authorizes a six-year levy totaling $120 million or an average of $20 million per year for six years.

Levy funds would pay for critical projects to address rapid enrollment growth and student safety and security. Proposed projects include: classroom additions at Lake Washington High School, including auxiliary gyms and commons; classroom additions at Carson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Rose Hill Elementary, and Twain Elementary, including expansion of core facilities where feasible; and support student safety by adding exterior security cameras at elementary schools and create entry modifications for security at Eastlake, Redmond and Lake Washington High Schools. (Juanita High School’s entry modifications will be added during the current construction project.) 

According to Shannon Parthemer, LWSD Communications Director "The April Capital Projects Levy includes permanent (brick and mortar) classroom additions at four elementary schools (Carson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Rose Hill Elementary and Twain Elementary) and Lake Washington High School. These are not portables."


Friday, December 7, 2018

Massive Bear Creek Mixed-Use project underway

Bear Creek Mixed Use Rendering

Bear Creek Mixed-Use Description:

Anyone walking the Luminary Trail during Redmond Lights would have seen this boxed gargantuan project.  At present it's being excavated for underground parking with 2 cranes on site. It's located on north side of Bear Creek Parkway between Redmond Way and 161st Street NE.

According to the Design Review Board minutes it's a 6-story, mixed-use building with 360 residential units, 5,000 sf live/work apartments and associated parking. At a later date, the live/work apartments could be converted to retail.  363 parking spaces are partially below grade.  Storage for 360 bikes.

The project is currently proposed in two phases. Phase one would consist of approximately 190 units and phase two would introduce the remaining 170 units and common open space features on the 75,575 square foot site. The project will be adjacent on the north side to the Sound Transit rail tracks which are proposed to run the length of the property east to west. The massing of the building will offer the opportunity to conceal the rail tracks, maintenance area and associated facilities from being in view from Bear Creek Parkway.

Location: 15806 to 15904 Bear Creek Parkway Applicant: Gary Noyes with NW Pacific Development, LLC Staff Contact: Sarah Vanags, 425-556-2426, Ms. Vanags stated that this was a 5 story mixed-use building

Reported by Bob Yoder

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Schedule of Santa's visits to Redmond neighborhoods!


Dec. 06 (Thu)Education Hill WestLive mapPDF *
Dec. 07 (Fri)English Hill South Live mapPDF *
Dec. 08 (Sat)Avondale Park Apts.Live mapPDF *
Dec. 09 (Sun)Trilogy Community CenterLive mapPDF *

Redmond Ridge East
(Bristol Park Picnic Shelter)
Live mapPDF *
    Redmond Ridge
(Park & Ride)
Live mapPDF *
Dec. 10 (Mon)Rose Hill North & SouthLive mapPDF *
Dec. 11 (Tue)Southeast RedmondLive mapPDF *
Dec. 12 (Wed)Union HillLive mapPDF *
Dec. 13 (Thu)Grass Lawn SouthLive mapPDF *
Dec. 14 (Fri)Grass Lawn NorthLive mapPDF *
Dec. 15 (Sat)No route scheduled
Dec. 16 (Sun)Viewpoint North
(Westside Park)
Live mapPDF *

Viewpoint Central
(Cascade View Park)
Live mapPDF *

Viewpoint South
(Audubon Elementary)
Live mapPDF *
Dec. 22 (Sat)Downtown Redmond (rescheduled from Dec. 15)No scheduled route

Rockwell El Outdoor Education

Students sing holiday songs

Get in the holiday spirit! Join our students as they perform at Redmond Town Center. More schools will perform throughout December. The event is free and open to the public. 
December 6
Horace Mann Elementary at 6 p.m.
December 8
Norman Rockwell Elementary at 1 p.m.
December 11
Louisa May Alcott Elementary at 4:45 p.m.
December 12
Lakeview Elementary at 10:45 a.m.
December 13
Redmond Middle School at 6 p.m.
December 15
Rose Hill Elementary at 10 a.m.
John Muir Elementary at 10:45 a.m.
Franklin Elementary at 4 p.m.
-LWSD site

Variety and abundance of Sammamish River wildlife

Male common goldeneye dining on a lamprey / credit Reinke, 3/25/2018

This afternoon between 3:38 pm and 4:07 pm I walked from the Opportunity Bldg down to the Leary Way Bridge and back, along the Sammamish River Trail.  I only had my small camera with me and didn't take any photos.

On the way south, I saw some buffleheads and common goldeneyes in the river.  When heading back north, I counted 4 male and 2 female common goldeneyes.  

I also counted one male and 2 female  buffleheads. states that buffleheads are the smallest diving duck in Washington state, and I did indeed observe that they were noticeably smaller than the common goldeneyes.

The most interesting wildlife I saw were four river otters swimming north in the river.  I spotted them about a hundred yards north of the Leary Way Bridge, up very close to my side of the river.  They were rapidly heading north, and a pleasure to watch.  All appeared to be large and the same size.

As they approached, the common goldeneyes all took flight and headed south down the river, over the heads of the otters.  Next, the buffleheads did the same thing as the otters started to get close to them.  (The two groups of birds were separated by maybe 25 yards.)

As I got back to the parking lot on the south side of the Opportunity Bldg, I observed a great blue heron fly northward well above the river.  It squawked loudly, once it saw the bald eagle perched up by the nest on the opposite side of the river.

-- John Reinke
   Redmond resident

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Blue-lit construction cranes

This is a fireworks scene from "Redmond Lights."  Numerous blue-lit construction cranes are dotting the downtown.  I have no idea why they are all blue.  Do you?  One reader said it was to honor Paul Allen.

-- Bob Yoder (photo)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Redmond Lights

Redmond, WA – Mark your calendars as Redmond Lights returns on December 1 and 2, 2018, in celebration of the City's diverse winter traditions, cultures, and faiths. In addition to traditional light displays, this year’s event will continue to incorporate public art by featuring six new temporary artist-commissioned light installations. Installation details and locations are listed below beginning with the City Hall Campus and ending at Downtown Park.

Garage fire in Redmond

Image result for garage fire images
Redmond, WA – Firefighters from the Redmond Fire Department extinguished a house fire Tuesday evening with the assistance of the Kirkland and Woodinville Fire Departments. Firefighters responded to a home off NE 114th Way in Redmond to find heavy smoke coming from the garage with a car on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished by fire personnel with the help of the home’s sprinkler system. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“With the automatic activation of the residential fire sprinkler system, this fire event was quickly and successfully contained to the garage. Incoming crews were able to rapidly extinguish the fire with no reported injuries,” stated Todd Short, Fire Marshal. “It is estimated that in this case the sprinkler system kept the fire damage from being more extensive and saved over $100,000 in additional fire damage. This is a great example of the benefits of residential fire sprinklers and the reason that Redmond adopted a requirement for fire sprinklers in all newly built homes since 2007.”
For questions and more information contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at or 425-556-2427. This press release is available on

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Friends of Sammamish Valley protects the character of our Rural Area

Image result for friends of sammamish valley imageFriends of Sammamish Valley (FoSV) is a group of local citizens, businesses, and organizations with the goals of protecting the Sammamish Valley Agricultural Production District (APD), maintaining the character of the surrounding Rural Area, and preserving the rural lifestyle for local residents. Learn more.
The Sammamish Valley is currently being threatened by a proposal before the King County Council (e-mail them here) that would allow for commercial and retail businesses to operate in protected rural and agricultural areas. There are a handful of businesses including remote tasting rooms and event centers that have been illegally operating outside of the urban boundaries. Rather than working with those businesses to relocate into the urban areas, this ordinance would permanently establish them in the protected areas.
Wineries and similar businesses are an important part of the region and we want them to flourish, but remote tasting rooms and event centers belong in the urban area where the vast majority are already legally operating. The result of allowing these businesses to operate on rural land will be increased traffic, parking lots on rural land, pedestrian safety issues, water runoff that damages agricultural areas, lighting and noise pollution, and more. This ordinance threatens a rural oasis that is needed more than ever as greater urban density comes to Redmond, Woodinville, Kirkland, and Bothell. Increased commercialization in the Valley would also hurt the vast majority of legally operating businesses that rely on the rural nature of the Valley as an attractive setting for visitors. We need to make sure that the voice of the Sammamish Valley community is heard by the King County Council.

AVID - student advancement program

AVID: Advancement Via Individual Determination
Cassandra Sage
School Board Director
Every Tuesday morning at 7:30AM I can be found in an AVID classroom full of 9th grade students. The teacher is amazing. She exudes energy. She has the respect of the kids. She is shaping the future of her students, so they have career and college options. AVID is an elective and participants are encouraged by their school counselor to apply. They have a good attendance record, a willingness to learn, and average grades.

My role is that of facilitator. On Tuesdays we break into small groups and the students each bring a homework item they are struggling with. Individually they give a 30 second speech about the problem. They show the group what they know about the topic, what they assume and what they have tried to solve the issue at hand. The student’s peers and I ask relative questions such as; “Is there a formula your math teacher gave you to solve this?” Or “Did you take notes during this chapter?” My job is NOT to solve the problem for the student, but rather to facilitate critical thinking to spur the student to solve it themselves.

The D in AVID stands for Determination. The students who are taking this elective have committed to putting forth their best effort. They are determined to work hard to expand their options. AVID is a college readiness program to assist students with critical thinking, organization and other skills to prepare them for a global workplace. Many of the students will be the first person in their family to attend college. Some will choose to enter the workforce directly, where the skills they learn will make them valuable employees. The vital component is having the option to take either path.

Interested in making a difference? You can become a facilitator and bring options to local students. Contact Matt Gillingham, Director of Student Services:

Redmond swim and dive coach named Coach of the Year

Making a splash – Redmond High swim and dive coach named 4A swim coach of the yearMaking a splash – Redmond High swim and dive coach named 4A swim coach of the year

Redmond High School (RHS) girls’ swim and dive head coach, Julie Barashkoff, has been named the Washington State Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association 4A Swim Coach of the Year. She was presented with the honor at the State Swim and Dive Championships November 9-10.
John Appelgate, LWSD Athletics & Title IX Specialist, said, “This award is indicative of Julie’s commitment to educational athletics, emphasis on sportsmanship and her positive interactions with colleagues.”
The RHS swim and dive team finished in tenth place at this year’s state meet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Opinions and Letters

Opinions and Letters are welcome, whatever your position.  E-mail them to  

Monday, November 26, 2018

LETTER: School taxes are growing too fast

Image result for letter to the editor imagesLWSD is considering an additional $120M levy. 

This 6-year [school] levy will cost homeowners $29.00 for every $100,000 in assessed value. So the owner of a $700,000 house would pay $203 more per year in property taxes (2020-2026.)

Property taxes on the $700,000 house are already:

State School Taxes: $1330
McCleary School Taxes: $700
LWSD School Taxes: $1900
Roads, City, ST3, Hosp, etc: $2,800
Total: $6730

School taxes now make up 60% of our property taxes. This levy provides 4 elementary school additions and an addition at Lake Washington High School that was rebuilt in 2011. The District isn't even addressing the construction projects authorized by the Long Term Facilities Task Force. They will ask taxpayers to fund these in the 2020 bond measure. Additionally, the McCleary tax is scheduled to increase by 30% in 2021.

I've lived in the same house for 20+ years. In 2012, my property tax bill was $4998 and the school taxes were $2600. In 2018, my property tax bill was $7,900 and the school taxes were $4700. The McCleary tax accounted for $795 of my 2018 tax bill. It appears that nearly $1200 of my annual property taxes are dedicated to paying off LWSD construction bonds for all the new schools that were built in the last 20 years. I don't feel that the quality of education has improved with all the money that has been spent.

 -- Susan Wilkins
    Redmond Learning Community

Note:  McCleary taxes pay for salaries and teacher support, NOT for classrooms.  BY

SchoolPool for student commutes



SchoolPool Students Walk, Ride, Bus and Carpool in Record Numbers

This past October, over 2,500 local Redmond students chose alternative modes of transportation for their school day commutes during the Walk to School Month SchoolPool program. Kudos to their outstanding contributions towards reducing neighborhood traffic and local air pollution! Learn more about SchoolPool and the next opportunity to participate at

Shoreline Master Plan Update

                                 Image result for Redmond shoreline master plan update image

Redmond, WA – On December 4, 2018, the City is holding an “Office Hours” event to share information and answer questions regarding its Shoreline Master Program (SMP) Periodic Update. This event will be held in the Alpha and Bravo Conference Rooms on the first floor of Redmond City Hall, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 
State law requires jurisdictions to update their Shoreline Master Programs every eight years. Redmond’s Program is due for adoption by June 2019. This review ensures the City’s SMP stays current with changes in laws and rules, remains consistent with other Redmond plans and regulations, and is responsive to changed circumstances, new information, and improved data. 
Properties affected by Redmond’s Shoreline Master Program generally include lands within 200 feet of Lake Sammamish, the Sammamish River, Bear Creek, and Evans Creek. SMP’s act as an overlay to underlying land use and zoning. Note this update does not change the existing shoreline jurisdiction.
Over the next six months, this update will go before the Redmond Planning Commission for a public hearing, deliberations, and a recommendation to the City Council for their review and decision. 
More information can be found on the City’s website at 
For questions and more information contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at or 425-556-2427. This press release is available on

Sunday, November 18, 2018

LWSD considers additional taxes totaling $120,000,000

2522 -- A RESOLUTION of the Board of Directors of Lake Washington School District [ ] providing a special election to be held therein on April 23, 2019, for the District’s Capital Projects Fund for constructing and equipping additions to four elementary schools, constructing and equipping additions to Lake Washington High School classrooms, auxiliary gym and commons, and district-wide building safety and security modifications to meet the current and future educational programs for its students.

The proposition is to authorize the district to levy for an additional tax of:

$20,000,000 in 2019 for collection in 2020,

$20,000,000 in 2020 for collection in 2021,

$20,000,000 in 2021 for collection in 2022,

$20,000,000 in 2022 for collection in 2023,

$20,000,000 in 2023 for collection in 2024,

and $20,000,000 in 2024 for collection in 2025

Proposed projects include: classroom additions at Lake Washington High School, including auxiliary gyms and commons; classroom additions at Carson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Rose Hill Elementary, and Twain Elementary, including expansion of core facilities where feasible; and district-wide student safety and security upgrades.  The district currently funds construction projects through prior bond measures. With the addition of a 6-year levy, the tax rate for construction will be maintained at the current rate of $1.16 of $1,000 assessed valuation (AV) through the combination of prior bonds and the 6-year capital project levy.

The overall tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation, including this measure AND previously approved bond and levy measures is estimated to be $2.60 in 2019 and is estimated [ ] at $2.60 in 2020 and beyond.

An overview of the Capital Project Levy recommendation will be presented to the board of directors at the regularly scheduled meeting on November 19, 2018. Board action on the measure is scheduled for December 3. The public may comment at these meetings and the 11/19 meeting. 

Reported by Bob Yoder
Source:  LWSD Board Packet, 11/19/2018

Note:  EvergreenHealth will put a $325M bond on the April 23 ballot for seismic retrofits  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sound Transit Link light rail ridership up 6.9 percent

Sound Transit logo

Sound Transit Link light rail ridership up 6.9 percent in third quarter

Publish Date
More than 6.6 million riders rode Sound Transit’s popular Link light rail trains during the third quarter 2018, an increase of 6.9 percent compared to the same period last year. On an average weekday, more than 81,000 people ride Link, up from 74,900 last year. Overall, more than 12.6 million riders took advantage of Sound Transit trains and buses, a 2.8 percent system-wide increase from third quarter last year. 
“More riders are discovering how Sound Transit trains and buses can make their commutes easier,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Those numbers will only increase as the light rail system expands to Lynnwood, Bellevue and Federal Way and more people are able to avoid traffic congestion.”

Sound Transit’s growth in ridership is in sharp relief with other regions in the country. According to the most recent data available from the American Public Transportation Association, transit ridership nationally declined nearly two percent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter 2017. By contrast, transit in the Pacific Northwest is so popular that Puget Sound voters in 2016 approved a $54 billion measure to expand the existing system with 62 miles of light rail with stations serving 37 additional areas. 
The third quarter ridership report is available on the Sound Transit website.