Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How does the City define "community centers," or do they?

I copied this from a comment I made on facebook in response to J.A.. My apologies for the font:

"I watch RCTV all the time. Months ago Council had frustrating study sessions to evaluate (vet) possible locations for "the Community Center." If I remember correctly, at the time they envisioned the Community Center "as a whole" -- aquatics, meeting and event spaces,visual and digital arts space, etc. I think they firmed up the location somewhere just west of City Hall near light rail, but am not sure. If by miracle an aquatics/recreation center is sited in Marymoor, the re-defined "downtown community center" footprint might be smaller and less expensive. I'm a senior and definitely hope so. The buzz I've heard discussed lately is a downtown community center is top priority."

Bob Yoder,  opinion

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mysterious habitat sign by stream 0102

I found this charming home-made habitat sign today on a decaying, stream viewing platform overgrown by creeping blackberry stems. The platform was under the powerline, near a City road, close to a commercial center, about a mile south of the Overlake Christian Church.  The stream (class 2) appears ditched and seemed sluggish for this time of the year.  They're some some beautiful birches on the trailway south to the church..

Pacific Chorus Frog?  Long-Tailed Weasel? Willow Fly Catcher?  American Robin?  Stream 0102? No City or PSE logo?  This is no ordinary place.
.Photos b.y.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Years past, a Council Meeting in the Park

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A meeting in Perrigo Park years ago 
I little bit of history:

"I think this was a Parks and Human Service Committee meeting in 2008 or 2009.  I was Chair of the Committee, but don’t see myself in the picture.  Pat Vache' had suggested, and I went along with having our Committee meetings at key parks and human service agencies.  I thought is was a great idea, but nobody carried the idea on.  When I had Public Safety we had a few meetings away from City Hall, but you would be surprised about the pushback I got from other Council members let alone staff."

--  Councilmember Hank Myers, 1/23

Editor's Note:  Parks and Rec. Director Craig Larson is on the far right of the front bench.  CM Richard Cole to Craig's left facing back.  CM Pat Vache' is on the back bench second from left. CM David Carson is back bench 3rd from the left.  Looks like that could be city planner Betty "B" Sanders across from Mr. Vache'?  To me, it looks like Hank is to the left of Richard.

Bob Yoder, Editor
Photo by Yoder

An Aquatics/Recreation Center -- Do You Believe In Miracles?

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King County's Marymoor Park velodrome and climbing rock
An Aquatics/Recreation Center here?

Do you believe in miracles?  Outrageous news!  A process is underway between the County, Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland for an East King County  "Aquatic/Recreation Facility."  King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci successfully advocated for up to $2 million for a facility during the 2017-2018 budget process.

According to Balducci's Senior Policy Analyst, Joe Cunningham:
There is not a location yet for the regional aquatics facility. Discussions thus far have focused on identifying public land. A process is underway (with the cities and County) to explore what locations are conceivable and public input will be sought. Councilmember Balducci is interested in ensuring a location is found that would be easily accessible from all three cities.
There's buzz around "town" that the cities may choose King County's Marymoor Park as the preferred site. It seems a good location for all.  If you look South from the climbing rock and velodrome you'll see an incredible large piece of fallow open space.  So, there's plenty of acreage for a very large aquatics facility and parking, without infringing on the dog park, bird loop and other uses.

However, not all Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue citizens center their indoor recreational needs around aquatic swimming, therapy pools, and children splash areas. I don't. Some may want a gym for basketball, dodge ball, a weight room, a running track, exercise classes and martial arts.  Then there's family activities, play areas, dance and art opportunities to consider.  Parks commissioner Tom Sanko suggested the Sumner-Y as a model for activity ideas. Check it out!

After looking at the Sumner-Y website, you may well decide an Aquatic/Recreational Center is the way to go.  And VERY important, the facility should be cost-effective with the two other cities and the county partnering.

An aquatics/recreation facility is a wonderful thing, but we Redmondites need to focus even more in deciding on a downtown Community Center.  The Center location has already been vetted, but what do we want to put in it?  Business and personal meeting spaces, children play areas, clay studios, other hobby areas, space for large community events, digital and visual art space, computer areas, education opportunities, and a help-center are some of the ideas floating around.  If you can think of other uses, please contact Mayor Marchione's office staff at info@redmond.gov.

Bob Yoder, opinion
photo B.Y.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Redmond Way Construction and Parking Updates

Thank you Paige Norman for posting this on your EdNA facebook site.  This conversion looks like an incredible amount of work.  Makes you wonder if they'll come close to completing it by.their estimated date.
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Estimated Completion: 4th Quarter, 2017
January 19th City road construction update:

• An excavation necessary at 164th Ave NE and Redmond Way to relocate an underground utility to make room for drainage placement.

 • We will continue to have two west bound lanes open on Redmond Way with periodic reductions to one west bound lane during the day. This configuration will be in place for the next several months.

• The contractor is continuing the ongoing placement of signal system work throughout the project; placement of underground conduits for PSE and Frontier as well as sewer line and drainage installations. 

• Zayo, a fiber optic utility provider, will be relocating their facilities along Redmond Way from Avondale Way to 164 Ave NE for the next few weeks.

• The Contractor is scheduling night work the week of the January 30th to install hydrants and drainage in traffic sensitive areas.  

Light Rail is Coming to Downtown Redmond

Voters approved ST3 which will bring Link light rail to Downtown Redmond in 2024. But what will that look like, where will the station be located Downtown, and how will our current transit service integrate with light rail? Come learn about options and give your input. Join us for a public meeting on Jan. 26, 6-8 pm at Redmond City Hall.

Live or Work Downtown? Catch the free shuttle from several apartment locations Downtown and we'll bring you right to City Hall. Click here and scroll down to "Free Shuttle to Public Meeting" for the shuttle details on the route and times.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Historical Society Membership Celebration Meeting (part 2)

About 35 members attended this meeting, most of them "old-timers," except for John Stilin, his wife, the Normans, yours truly, and maybe a few others. I put up a list of the old-timers on a different YouTube clip. I've got to say, sadly one of the co-founders, Miguel Llanos, couldn't make it. He's been an incredible volunteer not just for the society but also the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and Landmark Commission.

A few days after the meeting I had coffee with Joe Townsend at SoulFood to discuss Allan L. Pope's Craftsman house on Adair Street. It was built in 1924.  Now, which Mayor would that be?   Unannounced, Joe brought along John Oftebro,  a retired pharmacist and Chairman of the Board at Kelly-Ross.  John's involved with the finances for the RHS; he's incredibly tuned into local history.

Of note, when I asked Joe if he was open to a Tourism Office in the Justice White House he said others were talking about it and he'd probably be okay with it. IMO we really need a Tourism Office or Information Center, preferably at the City's front door.

I was surprised when Joe told me the RHS is a One Redmond member.


Bighorn Sheep

Where in Washington did I take this picture?  
Chelan!  3.5  hours from Redmond

And don't miss the huge herd of Elk that graze north of Mt. Si High School in the Fall, early mornings and late afternoons. Can't miss em from the road!

EvergreenHealth Hosts Special Community Event: "Disease vs. Disgrace: Conversations to End Mental Illness Stigma"

EvergreenHealth Medical Center
Join EvergreenHealth and a panel of experts -- including Todd and Laura Crooks, founders of the mental health advocacy foundation Chad’s Legacy Project -- for a viewing of the documentary Chad’s Legacy: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, followed by a discussion around support and treatment opportunities for those battling mental illness. The event will be held on Thursday, February 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the EvergreenHealth Medical Center Surgeons and Physician Pavilion.  (directions.) 
While society continues to learn and understand more about the complex dimensions of mental illness, the prevailing stigma of a diagnosis strongly impacts the lives of all those it touches, and can affect their interactions with society, social services and healthcare, as well as the legal and judicial systems. This Panel is dedicated to providing more information around mental illness and facilitating a public discussion.
Todd and Laura Crooks founded Chad’s Legacy Project in honor of their son, Chad Crooks, who lost his battle with the disease and took his life, less than a year after his diagnosis. Todd and Laura have embarked on a journey to share Chad’s story, and developed the foundation to help eliminate mental health stigmas, improve access to care, advance research of mental illness treatments, and support those who battle various mental health conditions.
This event is free and open to the community, but space is limited to 150 registrants. To register, please go online (broken link) or call the Healthline at 425.899.3000.  
Event Location:

EvergreenHealth Medical Center
Surgeons and Physician Pavilion  (directions)
Tan  100/101
12303 NE 130th Lane
Kirkland, WA  98034

Please share this with your friends and neighbors.  I have a mental health condition and know what it feels like.  B. Yoder

Questions?  E-mail  Laurene Burton at:  lhburton@evergreenhealthcare.org or call: 425-899-3000

Downtown mixed-use "apartment box buildings" on 166th

Just the beginning.

On deck:

9-story twin towers at the old post office site -- 7-story apartment box building adjacent to the future Downtown Park -- Beijing / Nelson Legacy 6-story box on Redmond Square -- 7-story boutique hotel at RTC -- 6-story box near the Marymoor Storage Center, east of the urban center on a trail (despite CM Cole's objection.) -- Hampton Inn by Home Depot.

The "Camwest" building abuts the Heron rookerie. See the line of tall evergreens in the distance?   I think it was actually identified as the Heron project.

I can't remember them all, or which others may be lining up.  It's a gold rush.  My guess is CM John Stilin may know best since he's President of the One Redmond Foundation, associated with One Redmond.

I think the Open Kitchen has been at the Redmond United Methodist Church for over two years now.


Redmond area school boundary process begins

The first step of the process is to seek feedback from parents on the criteria the boundary committee will use to evaluate possible new boundaries. Parents of students in the schools listed below will receive an email by the end of January with a link to the boundary criteria survey. B.Y. 
Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District will build three new schools in the Redmond area to meet the needs of its growing enrollment. New schools draw enrollment from neighborhoods now assigned to existing schools. As a result, a boundary committee is beginning the process to determine the boundaries for two new elementary schools and one new middle school.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

City of Redmond Adopts Cultural Inclusion Resolution

Cultural Inclusion Resolution
Credit City of Redmond
"We want to ensure that everyone in Redmond feels welcome and part of this community, no matter their heritage, ethnic background, religion or any other factor"  - President Hank Margeson  

Are the mentally ill and homeless a factor?  B.Y. 

REDMOND, WA - At last night’s City Council meeting, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Redmond City Council passed a resolution affirming the City’s ongoing effort of being a culturally inclusive community. The resolution was brought forth by the Mayor and City Council with recommendation from the Arts and Culture Commission.
The resolution affirms the City’s commitment to welcoming and engaging with all community members and visitors regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion, income, political persuasion or cultural practices.
The City is also committed to the principles of inclusiveness and incorporating diversity into every part of its operations. This includes future policy and programming decisions citywide as City officials and City staff are urged to be mindful of inclusion in the work that they do, so as to continue improving Redmond’s culture of inclusion. 
“Redmond continues to grow and become increasingly diverse in so many areas. It's what makes our community richer and stronger. We want to ensure that everyone in Redmond feels welcome and part of this community, no matter their heritage, ethnic background, religion or any other factor,” said Redmond City Councilmember Hank Margeson.
Councilmember Margeson read the resolution aloud at last night’s meeting. Numerous Redmond cultural and faith-based organizations were represented in the audience, showing support of the resolution.  
For questions and more information contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at lmaher@redmond.gov or 425-556-2427. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Finally some City humor

Oh my gosh!  What role models we have here.  :)  Thanks for looking out for us Mr. Mayor.

After further thought:  "Hands on the wheel"... the driver could be reaching for a gun rather than registration papers or a licence. Maybe not so funny after all. Why on earth didn't the City explain this in the video?

When I posted this in a FB group, Becky Range RPD, got on and said the video was made about 2 years ago. Apparently, City newcomers from other countries often jump out of their cars when pulled over....and the police don't want this.  


Speedy work on the Downtown Park

Completion scheduled for mid-2018.   Yep, speedy.

Peat (from eons ago) was trucked-out last year.  My and Susan Wilkins (a Redmond geologist), guess is Bear Creek once meandered here leaving vegetation in it's wake; peat was the by-product. I personally think native Indians once camped here along the creek leaving artifacts behind, but we'll never know because a specific law prevents disclosure.


The historic Justice White House, a piece of the Community center puzzle

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Justice White House
credit Redmond Historical Society
This historic Justice White House was initially put up as the Hotel Redmond by Emma McRedmond White and Justice William White, her husband.  They also lived in the building.  Emma lost the house during the depression because of the common problem of not being able to pay the taxes.

The Society is currently interested in this building to, 1. bring it into the nonprofit or even public sphere where its long-term existence is more likely.The house is currently owned by the Town Center Shopping Center.  It is zoned as Old Town and not as a part of Town Center zoning.  The building is landmark protected at the state, county, and local levels.  The owners are respecting that landmarking.  But, as it says on the state Archaeology and Historic Preservation website, landmarking does not prevent building owners from tearing them down if they want.  It's merely a set of incentives so they are not inclined to do that.  The building has been retained in its nearly original form on the exterior but has been thoroughly remodeled, rehabilitated, and modernized for office use on the interior.  The current tenet is Jensen Fey Architects.

2nd, the Society would be thrilled if we could move our offices into the building and create a museum.  Certainly this is part of the consideration of our facilities task force as we look for alternate office and exhibit space to replace Room 106 in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center.  However any notion that the Justice White House would be a venue for our meetings or speaker programs is simply not the case. It is not a place of assembly and does not have a room large enough to hold a large audience.

As Rachel Van Winkle, Deputy Parks and Recreation Director, said in her comments about Redmond's Community Centers the Lake Washington School District is working on their educational objectives towards placing preschool classes in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse.  A report from the school district is expected in February and March  on how they will or will not use the building for that purpose and how much of the building they will retain.  The Parks Dept of course has a lease from the school district and the Redmond Historical Society has a lease from the Parks Dept for our space and the use of the auditorium.  As the Parks Dept is making broadly known, they anticipate their lease being terminated or significantly revised effective July of 2018.   Our lease also hangs in the balance.

One of the big unknowns is whether the auditorium in the old Redmond schoolhouse would continue to be available to the Society for our speaker programs if the school district takes back the entire building.  There are a few other facilities in Redmond that would accommodate audiences such as ours, up to 275 people.

--Joe Townsend, President of the Redmond Historical Society.  

Here's a YouTube video on the Society's impact to the community; as presented by Joe Townsend at their "First Annual Membership Celebration."  When asked, Joe said he was open to having a Tourist Center at the Justice White House.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

City Council to choose Vice President

David Carson
David Carson
Opinion:  Ms. Kim Allen is Council Vice President; after over a decade of  dedicated service she's retiring January 31st.  My wish is Council will choose David Carson as Council V.P. this month. (Providing he wants the job.) Not only does David have tenure (10 years,) he's in it because he loves our community. Mr. Stilin, IMO is groping for the office to build his resume for better things. A "Driver" type, his primary asset is "controlling.."  At times, he's autocratic.  John works very hard for the City, is intelligent and savvy.  I just prefer a more friendly, approachable and passionate person like David. He's a big advocate for us.    .

Bob Yoder
Mr. Hank Margeson is Council President and a good guy too.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Redmond High School Art

At the Monday business meeting, Principal Jane Dodd of Redmond High School gave a "host school" presentation to the Board of Directors. The entire wall behind the dias was filled with Redmond High School art.  This piece was centered behind Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce. The art will remain for a month according to Pres. Nancy Bernard.

Bob Yoder

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Camp Unity proposes homeless encampment at St. Jude's Parish

The encampment is scheduled to open February 3
"The only new information related to encampments is a resolution to the fees. The new fee is $2,684.36. No new ordinances have been approved by the City Council with respect to encampments.  Please refer to RZC 21.46 Temporary Uses for relevant Code language.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions?  Thank you." 
Ben Sticka
Planner – City of Redmond

UPDATED: PSE installs new electric lines in residential neighborhood -- New water lines are next.

PSE is installing new electric lines on Education Hill.  Above, a crew is working on NE. 96th Street not far from the Bike Park.  The entire street is lined with equipment.  The foreman said 100's of miles of PGE line are old and deteriorated; the really bad lines like this one need immediate replacement. He said residents on this street are experiencing black-outs in the absence of storms.  Electric lines are also being installed on 172 Ave. and 98th NE the Ct.  That's it. The construction is non-invasive with only moderate road tear-up. It's two week project.

Except for the drum of a jack-hammer, it was pretty quiet.

But this work is mild compared to what's coming.  According to a September 13th, 2016 staff report, a new water line will be installed in roads near Nike Park in early Spring. (March - November.)  It has something to do with restoring water pressure.  The construction will be highly invasive and the affected residents have already been noticed and have had a neighborhood meeting.  Last year, I reported this and other residential projects that are in the books.  Check it out here.

Bob Yoder
photo by

Updated, 1/15: Vacant position on Redmond City Council - Council to hold study session.

The appointment process will be discussed in the January 31st study session, City Hall, 7:30 pm. It's possible there will be public Q&A with the candidates.  
--Council President Hank Margeson, 1/11/2017
REDMOND, WA - City of Redmond residents with an interest in local government and community issues are invited to apply for an opening on the Redmond City Council. With Councilmember Kim Allen's resignation (effective January 31, 2017), there is an opening for Position 4 on the City Council to fill the remainder of her term until the November 2017 election. 
To be eligible to serve on the Council, applicants must be a resident for one year and be a registered voter of the City. If a person has residency questions in this regard, please contact the City Clerk’s Office.
 The seven-member City Council establishes City law and policy by passing ordinances and resolutions. The Council also adopts the city budget, approves appropriations, contracts in the City's name, levies taxes, and grants franchises. Regular business meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday evenings of every month, with special meetings or study sessions on current issues scheduled for the second and fourth Tuesday evenings. 
 To apply, please submit a letter with a statement of your qualifications and interest (1000-word limit, 12 point font).  No additional materials will be accepted.  All submissions are public record. Letters of Interest shall be submitted to the City Clerk’s office: 
  • Personal Delivery – 2nd Floor, City Hall, Customer Service, 15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond WA (c/o City Clerk)
  • Certified Mail – Michelle M. Hart, City Clerk, City of Redmond, P.O. Box 97010, Redmond, WA 98073-9710
The application deadline is Friday, January 27, 2017, at 4 pm, to be followed by interviews in February.

For questions and more information contact Lisa Maher, Communications & Marketing Manager, at lmaher@redmond.gov or 425-556-2427. This press release is available on www.redmond.gov.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CycleBar Grand Opening January 11

Indoor cycling studio opens in bicycle capital of the U.S.
Redmond, Washington – January 10, 2016 – The premium indoor cycling studio, CycleBar, opens its doors to the public this week with a Grand Opening Celebration Wed., January 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The studio, which offers a high energy workout in a theater environment, is located in Redmond Town Center (7425 166th Avenue NE Suite C250).
Mayor John Marchione will join owner JP Green in a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. to kick off the event. Food from Matt’s Rotisserie and light refreshments will be served for those checking out the new studio. The studio is also giving away prizes including ride packages and merchandise to those attending.  

Monday, January 9, 2017



January 9, 2017
This Press Release was published tonight by the City at 10 PM.  
DeC-52REDMOND, WA -  The Muslim Community and Neighborhood Association has partnered with Eastside police departments to host an Eastside Muslim Safety Forum on January 10, 2017 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The educational event is being held at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound located at 17550 NE 67th Ct in Redmond. 
This event is open to the public and there will be childcare available.  Media are also invited to attend.  
The following police chiefs will attend: