Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fat and sassy Redmond coyote

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"This guy visited our front yard, where some cute bunnies live, and was napping at 3pm this afternoon. It's been a few years since I saw a coyote on our street, so close to downtown. We're by SR202 and NE 98th St."

 -- Angela McAuley Smale

FB:  Permission given to publish

OPINION: Bike Shares will pollute our city

Image result for lime green bike images seattle
These Lime bikes and other "bike shares" will be invading Redmond.

Well, it looks like the ugly "Lime Greens" will shortly be seen on most corners of our downtown and some even polluting our neighborhoods and trails unless the city doesn't put firm regulations on them. The "Limes" and other bike shares come out of Seattle and could pressure our three bike shops out of Redmond and we'd lose the tax income from these shops.

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Lake Union (Kiro.)  Lake Sammamish next?
I saw a large clump of about 20 Limes tangled up at the Bothell bridge by the Sammamish River;  and saw one abandoned on the Sammamish River Trail green-belt.  I guess someone wanted to ride from Bothell, to a nice spot on the river, dump the bike (like trash) and hike back.  And then, there's the safety issue.  People who have never ridden a bike, especially in downtown streets, are more susceptible to a collision.   

The Limes are now electric so have the capability to run through our downtown transportation corridors-- and be left on East and West Lake Sammamish Blvd., Rose Hill and Education Hill neighborhoods,  124th, 116th, Willows Road. the Connector trail and soccer fields.

Shelly Bowman, Redmond Parks commissioner and Chair of the Redmond  PED/BIKE Advisory Board is aware of  the pollution these bike shares bring and that permitting will solve the problem.  She sells sturdy aesthetically pleasing ebikes like PIM at a new shop in Bothell.  "Read More" for the City of Redmond's plans.

EvergreenHealth's designation as Level III Trauma Center in renewed

Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth’s designation as a Level III Trauma Center was renewed by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) last month. To achieve this level of certification, the Kirkland-based health system successfully completed the state’s Trauma Designation Site Survey, which it conducts in eligible hospitals across Washington every three years.

Friday, April 20, 2018

School Board selects search firm for superintendent

Redmond, Wash. – During a special board meeting on Thursday, April 19, Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) Board of Directors selected Ray and Associates, a national education search firm, to conduct a broad search and thorough selection process to name LWSD’s next superintendent.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

V 2.0 - High LW School District Salaries Burden Our Community

Image result for opinion imagesLake Washington District Central  Administration leadership as indicated by salaries is nonadaptive; the end result our students suffer from miss-use of  public funds. 

The new LWSD Communications and Community Engagement Director of less then one year is paid a flat $169.285 per year  This is outrageous.  The Mayor of Redmond is paid less than $138,000.

On the district's Central Leadership Team Organizational Chart I counted 16 Directors each earning $169,285 on a flat scale.  I counted 9 Associate Directors with salaries of $153,330. All salaries are flat without a low-midpoint-high range.  The administrator salaries should be on a sliding scale based on performance and experience. Keep in mind, school business slows or ceases in many departments when school is out ... for example "Communications and Community Engagement."

Another benchmark:  Redmond's Deputy Administrator, Chief of Police and Chief of Fire are paid the upper range of $165,372 per year with a bonus. Both governments have similar budgets of approximately $300,000,000.

Not all Directors are over-paid. Dr. Jon Holmen, the district's Deputy Superintendent oversees five Directors who should be elevated to "Executive Director."  In my opinion, these Directors are almost sacred. They bridge the schools and Central Administration and oversee all the principals. According to School Board Director Cassandra Sage they are required to be in the schools 2.5 days per week.

Director Matt Gillingham runs "Student and School Support Services and also deserves "Executive Director" status.  Mr. Gillingham is responsible for student safety, social-emotional well-being, mental health recovery, and bullying issues and also oversees the athletic department. I first met him during Truancy Board training.  He and Associate Superintendent Barbara Poshumous gave an impressive presentation to city council about the Old Redmond Schoolhouse community center transition.

The district has too many overpaid chiefs and not enough indians.  Our new superintendent will be the CEO of the third largest school district in the State and should be very well paid to attract the best. The time is ripe for a new leader.  A good superintendent will know the capabilities of his/her workers, their roles, and rank to pay them accordingly.

The School Board of Directors has an excellent opportunity to right the ship and bring efficiencies and innovation to the organization.  Selecting a superintendent is the most important and significant duty our school board has.  Opportunities for parents and the community to actively participate in the selection process are a necessity.

B. Yoder

Sources:  December 14th, 2018 School Board meeting packet / public record request
                City of Redmond public record request
                Redmond City Television, Comcast 21
                Barbara Posthumous, Assoc. Superintendent

LWSD Offers Parent Information Sessions on Sexual Health Curriculum

Lake Washington School District Offers Parent Information/Input Sessions on Sexual Health Curriculum

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will offer two parent information and input sessions where community members will be able to view the proposed materials being considered for sexual health education, and give input.
Information nights will be held:

  • Monday, April 23 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Resource Center (16250 NE 74th St, Redmond 98052)
  • Thursday, May 3 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Resource Center (16250 NE 74th St, Redmond 98052)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Youth Bike Camps at Marymoor Park

When I learned about Pedalheads Bike Camps at the Redmond Town Center Extravagance festival I was blown away.  Twenty years ago when my daughter Lexie was learning how to ride we struggled teaching her, she fell a lot, became anxious about the sport and never tried it again. Had a bike camp existed we would have immediately put her into it.

I rode the PIM ebike to Extravaganza and chatted with
Pedalheads at their booth
Even though Redmond is known as "The Bicycle Capital of the Northwest" it's hard to believe the city's  never offered a bike camp.  We have lacrosse camps, softball classes, flag-football clubs, soccer camps, swim classes, basketball camps, baseball clubs, a variety of community center classes but nothing for parents wanting to teach their kids how to ride safely and securely.

I called Pedalheads to learn about their Marymoor Park classes.  The popular Level One class, June 26-29 is already filled.  They have a special, July 2-6 for $188.00.  July 9-August 27 half day classes cost $235/week and are still open. To register call 1-888-886-6464 or visit their website.

B. Yoder

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mountains to Sound Greenway

Image result for Mountains to Sound greenway imagesDunn to Congress: Support Mountains to Sound Greenway

Congressman Dave Reichert and former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton testified today before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands in support of HR 1791, the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Act.

The legislation, authored and championed by Congressman Dave Reichert, concerns a 1.5 million acre landscape that stretches from Seattle to Central Washington.

Currently in Washington, DC, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn also submitted testimony in support of the legislation. Dunn has been an active participant in the effort since playing a vital role in the county’s acquisition of 226 acres of high-quality forest that was once partially slated for logging in 2014. The move preserved Squak Mountain Forest in the Issaquah Alps.

King County has played a major role in the creation of the Greenway, having invested millions of dollars in land acquisition and recreational development over the past 20 years. Purchasing the land prevented areas from being logged, and instead safeguarded salmon-bearing streams and other wildlife, as well as deep forests, hiking trails, and more.

School Board Describes First Steps in Selecting New Superintendent

Redmond, Wash. - Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) Board of Directors will be initiating a national, open search for LWSD’s next superintendent with the support of a consulting firm experienced in identifying and recruiting leaders for high-performing school districts like LWSD. The same process and search firm will be used for considering internal and external applicants.

“The Board has already started researching options and is working to determine the next steps in identifying Lake Washington School District’s new superintendent,” said LWSD Board President Siri Bliesner.

Recognizing the importance to students, parents, staff and communities as well as the future of the district in selecting a new superintendent, the Board will seek input from the community throughout the process. The Board will develop a search timeline and provide opportunities for community involvement and input via forums and an online survey.

UPDATED: Superintendent Pierce steps down to a Directorship role

Traci Pierce, PhD
Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce announced today she will be stepping down from her 6-year role of superintendent and into a different role within the organization. She will will take on the position as Director, College and Career Readiness.

Pierce was named superintendent in 2012.  During her tenure LWSD enrollment grew to 29,500 students.  Pierce led the district through a successful transition to K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school, and four-year high school system.  The graduation rate climbed to an all-time high of 93%, the highest among all large districts in the sate.

She oversaw development of a long-term facility strategy and funding plan, resulting in passage of levies in 2014 and 2018 and a bond in 2016.  As a result, eight school construction projects are underway.  The district's bond credit rating was upgraded to Moody's "Aaa" rating.

Pierce joined the District in 1994, and has served as a teacher, principal, director, associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and superintendent.  She received her doctorate at Bellevue College.

Dr. Pierce serves on the Sammamish Family YMCA Board, the Kirkland Performance Center Board, and the One Redmond Board. She was recently invited to participate in the "Influential Women of Washington State" series sponsored by Bellevue College.

The change in leadership will take effect July 1st, 2018 -- ten weeks -- barely enough time for a nation-wide search, public engagement and a decision. The Lake Washington Board of Directors is beginning the process to identify a new superintendent and will notify the community of their progress. 

B. Yoder, opinion

UPDATE & OPINION: City of Redmond City Council passes historic "Council Committee" legislation

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Looks like 1913 was the first adoption [of standing committees] through Ordinance No. 4.   The next amendment, according to the legislative history, occurred in 1974.   From my read on these two documents alone, many rules, procedures, and most likely, applicable laws, have changed.   
I hope this helps.

Michelle M. Hart, MMC
City Clerk|City of Redmond

MS: 3NFN|15670 NE 85th St.|Redmond, WA 98052
-- March 28, CC Hank Myers

Council Passes Historic Legislation 5-2 (Fields & Anderson) to create Council Committee of the Whole and Edit Rules and Procedures.  

March 27, 2018, 7:00 pm, City Hall, Special Council Meeting:


Redmond City Council Special Meeting Amending RMC 2.08, 2.32, and the Council Rules of Procedure to Codify Committee of the Whole

1. ORDINANCE NO. 2917: An Ordinance Amending RMC 2.08, Council Meetings, and RMC 2.32, Standing Committees of the Council, to Modify the Council Committee Structure from Standing Committees to Committee of the Whole; to Clarify the Definitions of Meeting Types; and to Update Outdated Code Where Necessary  -- Agenda published 3/20/2018


Minutes, March 27, 2018.  


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"Seattle Times" obituary of Selwyn "Bud" Young by Carol Beers.  Bud Young was a city council member for 12 years and mayor for 12 years.  

Hi Bob,

There is an irony in this change in that more members will have to attend the COTW meetings.  Because all members are allowed, a quorum is now four members rather than two.  At the same time, we have decided to excuse all absences from the COTW because not all members might be able to attend all meetings.  We hardly ever have had fewer than four members of the Council attend Committee meetings in the past.  Now the mandatory number of meetings drops from six to five for those members who are Committee Chairs (I think we will change that title to something like Presiding Officer), and to just the basic four regular Council meetings for those members that do not preside over COTW meetings.  Those are Angela, David and Jeralee.

Jason Antonelli [2018 council candidate] raised the issue in an email that he thinks having smaller Committees makes for more efficient and in-depth relationships with staff.  In my ten years of experience, the added members do not burden the meetings and generally ask questions that might not have otherwise been raised.  If the other four members were excluded from the Committee meetings, then they would only have two or three working days to bring them up to speed on a new topic and get questions answered individually, which is not efficient.  It is not a matter of the four excluded Councilmembers not trusting the three Committee members, it is a matter of all Councilmembers doing full due diligence in the performance of our jobs. 

Personally I found it offensive to be told that I could not get first hand information, or spend additional time on my own to understand issues better.  The three members only format put an artificial cap on how active I can be as a Councilmember.  At the same time, the number of mandatory meetings is reduced.  Historically we did a report showing Committee and Council attendance records by member, and I hope we will do that again under the COTW arrangement.

Best wishes-

Hank Myers
Redmond Council Member
Chair Parks and Human Services Committee
Member Public Works and Planning Committee

CC: Michelle Hart


Mar 31 ,2018
Thank you for emailing me with your question about the Parks and Human Services meeting on Tuesday.
Yes, it will be a meeting of the whole.  The ordinance goes into effect 5 days after passage, which would be before our next meeting day of Tuesday.
As for how the agenda will be available, you can find it online here:
In past practice the agenda has been handed out inside the meeting room, but you raise an interesting question. [about leaving copies in or outside the Counsel Conference Room.]  I will confer with our clerk Michelle Hart on this matter to figure out the best way to share the paper copies.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts,
Angela Birney

Angela Birney
Council President | City of Redmond
MS: EXEC | 15670 NE 85th Street | Redmond, WA 98073


Continuing the conversation --   the meetings calendar is also an archive.  The information, including the agenda, will remain there and always accessible to the public.  This information does not go away.  At such time that we are able to move these meetings into the Chambers, the committee information will show in 2 places… on the meetings calendar with all other meetings and their respective information; as well as in the back end archive.  I have no control over the technology limitations in this regard, which, will be resolved as soon as committee meetings are recorded in the Chambers (that is the current limitation). 

I see no reason we cannot post the committee meeting agendas with the other agendas in the lobby.  I think this is a good addition, with the recent change in structure, and makes sense. 

With respect to making copies of agendas and meetings materials for committee meetings and leaving these outside the meeting room doors, this is something that we would notdo, as most of our meetings are fully electronic, and access to that information is through the City’s website.  This is by design in an effort to become a paperless meeting. 

I hope this answers it.


April 4th  cc Angela Birney

I disagree.  The clerk places paper agenda copies on the Council Chambers front desk for the regular business meetings and study sessions.  Council Committee meeting agendas should be placed inside the Council Conference Room as well.  In addition the Customer Service desk should have a copy of the agenda and be informed where the Committee meetings are held should the public inquire. 

B. Yoder 

Council Standing Committees

The standing committees shall function to inform and educate the Council on existing city programs and issues, to provide an opportunity to explore the implications of policy alternatives as part of the policy development process, and to serve in an advisory capacity to the Council as a whole in reviewing policy matters referred to them by the Council, and such other matters as the whole Council by simple majority vote may direct. The committees shall have no power or authority to commit the city or to take any binding action on their part without the express authorization of the Council as a whole. The committees shall be concerned primarily with policy matters and matters vested in the legislative body of the city and shall not become involved in the administration of the city government and city interests. (per RMC Chapter 2.32)
--Source:  March 30, 2018

The Committee of the Whole

The Committee of the Whole will function to inform and educate the Council on existing city programs and issues, and to provide an opportunity to explore the implications of policy alternatives as part of the policy development process. The committee shall review items put before it by the city administration and shall take up matters referred to it for study by a majority of the Council. The committee shall be concerned primarily with policy matters and matters vested in the legislative body of the city and shall not become involved in the administration of the city government and city interests. (per RMC Chapter 2.32)

The membership of the Committee of the Whole consist of all of the Members of the City Council.  The meetings are open to the public., April 11, 2018


Committees of the Whole

A.  Committee of the Whole “Committee” is hereby established as regular meetings of the Council with the purpose of studying matters of Parks and Human Services; Planning and Public Works; Public Safety; Finance, Administration, and Communications; and Regional Affairs, as codified in RCW 2.08 and 2.32.


UPDATED: City of Redmond Appoints Interim Planning Director

Redmond, WA – Redmond Mayor John Marchione has announced the appointment of Erika Vandenbrande as the interim Planning Director, due to Karen Anderson’s resignation in late March.

Erica Vandendbrand
Vandenbrande started with the City of Redmond in 2001 and currently serves as the Deputy City Administrator. She will continue operating in both positions until a new Planning Director is hired. Vandenbrande has held various management positions in her seventeen years with the city including Transportation Demand Management Manager and Economic Development Manager. Before joining the City of Redmond, Vandenbrande held planning roles at the US Environmental Protection Agency and South Coast Air Quality Management District. She was also a manager at Southern California Association of Governments where she was responsible for developing the local government portion of the regional Air Quality Management Plan.

Erica's extensive knowledge and understanding of city planning projects in addition to her passion for the Redmond community make her an ideal fit for the interim Planning Director, stated Mayor John Marchione.  We re in the process of conducting a national search.
Vandenbrande is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a Master of Public Policy Analysis and a Bachelor degree in Geology.
It is interesting to note the Mayor appointed Parks and Human Services Director Maxine Whattam as interim Planning and Public Works Director due to Linda DeBolt's apparent resignation in February. Ms. Whattan now has a duel role.  Mr. White is running the Public Works operations. (Over the years he's presented to council on Redmond water.) The Redmond Natural Resource Manager oversees 30 employees many of them involved with the management of the city aquifer, including Redmond's geologist.  In my opinion, the Planning and Development Director (Karen Anderson) and Planning and Public Works shake up might be attributed to development problems associated with the aquifer. 

B. Yoder                                                 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Flowering Trillium in Idylwood Beach Park

 White flowering Trillium have emerged at Idylwood Beach Park!  Many are growing all along the south bank of the creek!  Trillium are very fragile and a protected species so please don't touch.  I kind of think of them as wild Easter Lilies.  
 B. Yoder / photo

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

UPDATED: City Council reviews regional aquatic pool partnerships

No. 2 of Series:  Council Meeting Of The Whole

During the Special Meeting, as seen this video, President Birney clarified that King County is contributing  $2M to towards a regional aquatics center in north east King County. Council Vice President  Carson mentioned he had talked with council members in Kirkland and Bellevue about a partnership with positive results.   Council member Margeson was "very pleased to see Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond are working together despite initial reluctance from one of the communities" (probably Kirkland.) President Birney was thrilled.

The Park's & Human Services "Council Committee Of The Whole" was canceled by President Birney owing to inadequate agenda noticing.  The meeting devolved to a "Special Meeting of a Parks and Human Services standing committee."  In this video, Parks & Culture Manager Carloyn Hope is presenting to council.  Council had minimal conversation amongst themselves; it was mostly informational.

Five Council members were present:  Chair Hank Myers (sweater), member David Carson (short sleaves,) member Jeralee Anderson (white jacket,) President Angela Birney (left of HM,) Hank Margeson (tie.)

High level staff were present:  Parks Director, Dep. Parks Director, new Planning Director, Parks & Culture Manager, Parks Operations Manager.

After multiple "Where As" statements the Mayor summarized his draft statement [in part]:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

UPDATED: Cottonwood Controversy at Idylwood Park

Resident posts eagle notices
on city notice board
Thirty Cottonwood trees are scheduled for removal from Idylwood "Regional" Park sometime early this Spring.  The trees are prime perching and foraging habitat for park eagles and are highly valued.

I learned about the city's plans from a Letter to the Editor in the Redmond Reporter.  The city didn't hold a neighborhood meeting despite this being a regional park. Public notice was limited to two sandwich boards in the park and a blurb on the city website. Not good!

I called a phone number on the sandwich board. (The sign announced 30 Cottonwoods would be removed!)  David Tuchek, the Parks Operations Manager (and Parks "risk manager") kindly arranged a park tour.

David Tuchek in front of tree #10
 near Idlylwood Creek bridge
Mr. Tuchek was a city arborist at one time; and during the tour we discussed the following:

1)  The Bald Eagles spend most of their time in the Douglas Firs on the park's west side; there are no inhabited nests in the firs and no nests in the Cottonwoods. 2) Last year a serious summer drought caused the Cottonwoods to suck water into their branches, making them heavy and prone to falling. 3) Dave showed me a color picture of a large branch that fell on a park picnic table cracking it in half and landing on condo property. He noted two weeks later, a limb hit a park-goer sending her to Harborview. 5) Dave explained the 30 trees planned for removal were "target trees" that could hit people. 6) He pointed out the tape surrounding the Cottonwoods, saying falling limbs can "cartwheel" about 30 feet from the tree, 7) A mix of 60 conifer / deciduous replacement trees will be planted.  I recommended deciduous trees on the north side to provide shade from the southern sun. 8) Landmark Cottonwood #10 was growing in two riparian zones (river & lake) through which Kokanee salmon pass.  I noted how the tree was holding the bank. Dave indicated he would save as much of this target tree as possible. Besides mitigating erosion of the creek bank, the Cottonwood cools the water for salmon, and provides perching habitat.  9) The southern forested wetland will be enhanced and restored with replacement trees and shrubs.  The wetland will be fenced off and it's possible part of a Cottonwood can be saved for perching and bio-mass.

It was so kind of Dave to take me on this tour.  A few days later KING 5 reported on the city's plans, residents hired a lawyer requesting "cease and desist," (Read More,) and over 60 showed up at the Council's Audubon annual "Neighborhood Conversations" meeting - most of them emphatically objecting to the project. The final decision will be made by a Hearing Examiner. Yesterday, I took a video for posterity.

B. Yoder

Lake Washington School District Budget earns Meritorious Budget Award

Image result for budget imagesAward reflects district’s strategic goal of being fiscally responsible

Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District’s (LWSD’s) 2017-18 Budget has earned the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Meritorious Budget Award (MBA). This award promotes and recognizes excellence in budget presentation in school districts.
Last year, LWSD received the Pathway to the Meritorious Budget Award for the 2016-17 budget. The Pathway was the first step towards earning the full Meritorious Budget Award.
“We’re accountable to the community for responsible use of funding,” said Dr. Traci Pierce, Superintendent. “We’re proud to be recognized for our efforts to be transparent in our financial reporting. Our budget staff works hard to prepare easy-to-read and understand budget reports for our community, and I appreciate all of their efforts.”