Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Youth Climate Strike

Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet responding to youth protesters.
The four student leaders are shown above.

At Kirkland's Marina Park on Friday, December 6th, 1:30 p.m. Eastside students led a peaceful "Youth Climate Strike" -- one that was taking place across the country on the same day.  (The march was on not on December 7th.) Student leaders from Lake Washington High, Bellevue High (2) and Overlake High organized the strike. After speeches to mostly adults at Kirkland's Marina Park, they led the strikers to Kirkland City Hall chanting: "hey hey! ho ho! climate change has got to go!"  Many marched with signs; it's estimated the turn-out was 30-40. Kirkland mayor Penny Sweet thanked them for bringing attention to the climate crisis and explained the city's progress towards lowering CO-2 emissions.

One of the students said another strike is planned for April or May at another location. The strike by local youth at Seattle city hall was much larger.  KOMO reported on it, including a good video of the event.

Reported by Bob Yoder

Monday, December 9, 2019

Redmond High School Lacrosse Program Looking Up

*16th annual lacrosse Space Needle Shootout

Coach Rob Edison's Redmond High School Lacrosse Club entered the 16th annual Space Needle Shootout early December.  The Stangs defeated Juanita High 6-2 and Madlax (Portland All-Stars.) 9-0.  They lost to a mixed bag of Bainbridge-Shoreline players 4-12 and Seattle Prep (3-7.)

Coach Edison recounted: "We played Seattle Prep but had several starters out with injuries and actually had two more go down during the game, leaving us with only one sub. We hung in there though and considering Prep will be likely playing Odea for the State Championship for the Private School league this year, it was a nice morale victory considering our circumstances. I think the final was 3-7, or something like that.

Our season kicks off in March and between now and then, it will be all preseason conditioning and captains led practices and such. Our HS program should have around 40 guys this year. A vast improvement from years past. Feel very good about this upcoming season. I have built a very competitive schedule. We should have one of the strongest RPIs in the State with rarely a night off. It will be a major test and we will take our lumps here and there, but I have faith that if everyone stays healthy and we continue what we have been doing, we have an opportunity to do something very special at Redmond. While State Championships seem far off, it is not unreasonable to think about us making a run at it if everything comes together and we should certainly be in discussion as one of the top 10-15 teams in the State this year. I hope – depends now on the kids and the work they put in, but they are a great group of kids and are very resilient."

-- Coach Edison, 12/8

*I plan more reporting and promise improving my interview skills.

The 16th annual Space Needle Shootout is the oldest and largest boys lacrosse tournament in the Northwest. The Shootout provides the chance for high school teams, town teams, regional teams, select teams and all-star teams to compete from around the Northwest.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Myers - Kahn Race

History is happening. Women now have a total of 6 seats, including the mayor. Varisha Kahn secured 6666 votes winning by 66 votes.

Varisha Kahn / Hank Myers


Voters' Pamphlet:

Education:  Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication journalism, University of Washington.
Occupation:  Community Organizer; Former Political Action Committee Director, OneAmerica Votes.
Statement:  As a proud Redmond resident, I running to make Redmond a leader in solving issues we share across the region.  If elected, I will prioritize environmental sustainability solutions to reduce our carbon pollution an the face of climate change, and advocate for better, accessible transportation options so residents can get around with less traffic.  I pledge to make Redmond a more affordable place to live, work, and play and will up uplift our diverse vibrant communities through meaningful collaboration and inclusion. We need new leaders with the courage to put people's needs first,and that's why I'm the only candidate this race rejecting money from developers,  Proudly endorsed by: National Women's Political Caucus; King County 45 and 48 LD, KC Young Democrats; Planned Parenthood; State Senators Patty Kuderer and Mona Das; State Representative Vandana Slatter; City Councilmember Tanika Padye.  I would be honored to earn your vote.  Thank you!

Voters' Pamphlet:

Education:  Bachelor of Arts, English, California State University.
Occupation:  Transportation consultant.  Past clients include Microsoft's Award-Winning commute program.
Statement:  Hank Myers brings together the best of Redmond and is an energetic voice for compassion and fiscal responsibility. He is Redmond's advocate for salmon recovery and clean water in our region.  A leader in reducing the cost of government, he fights to keep property taxes affordable.  As former board chair for the Together Center, Hank served those in our community who need help.  From volunteer days in Redmond's parks events to events supporting our police officers, Hank is out with the public, listening to concerns and solving our problems.   Call him at 425-830-4265 and see for yourself. That approach earned him the support of police officers, environmental activists, small business owners, seniors, education advocates, and leaders in our diverse communities.  Redmond is changing and facing new challenges. Hank will represent what is best about our community today and for the future.

The Myers-Kahn race was possibly the closest recorded in Redmond history. Ms. Kahn is only 24 years old which could be a record as well. So what contributed to this loss?  For one, probably the rapid change in our demographics.   

Myers conceded November 25, 2019:  "With only 52 votes in doubt against a 64-vote lead, it is time to concede. My 15 years as a King County poll judge made that decision easy."  

31,140 registered voters.  46.92% ballots counted.     
Of Note:               
Angela Birney vs. Steve Fields. Birney won the mayoral position with 60.04% of the votes.
Vanessa Kritzer defeated Eugene Zakhareyev for the open seat with 70.98% of the votes.
Jessica Forsythe challenged Hank Margeson for Position 3 and won with 54.67% of votes.
Varisha Khan challenged Hank Myers for Position 1 and won with 50.15% of the votes.
Incumbent David Carson defeated Carlos Jimenez for Position 7 with 53.02% of the votes.
Steve Fields, Tanika Padhye, and Jeralee Anderson remain on Council.

Varisha's campaign was run by a 17 year-old Muslim woman ( Rail Johnson - Twitter)

-- Reported by Bob Yoder, December 6, 2019

Sources:  King County Official Local Voters' Pamphlet, November 5, 2019
               Public Disclosure Commission (PDC)  
               Candidate websites

Friday, December 6, 2019

Women Rule In Redmond Politics

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor
Angela Birney / Facebook / November, 2019
Well, the votes are certified with Angela Birney winning the coveted mayoral position. Four women won Council positions this election, plus two sitting women councilmembers, so in total, six women officials will represent the citizens of Redmond. Steve Fields and David Carson remain.

Angela Birney vs. Steve Fields. Birney won the mayoral position with 60.04% of the votes.
Vanessa Kritzer defeated Eugene Zakhareyev for the open seat with 70.98% of the votes.
Jessica Forsythe challenged Dayle "Hank" Margeson for Position 3 and won with 54.67% of votes.
*Varisha Khan challenged Hank Myers for Position 1 and won with 50.15% of the votes.

Ms. Kahn secured 6666 votes vs. Mr. Myers' 6600 after a machine recount.  Mr. Myers lost by 66 votes...the closest Redmond race in memory. The final count was officially certified by King County Elections on December 6th. 27 write-ins. The Seattle Times wrote an excellent article on Varisha, December 6th. I encourage you to read it!

Councilmember Tanika Padhye's Seat #4 will expire on 12/31/21. Councilmember Jeralee Anderson's Seat #6 will expire then as well.

Reported by Bob Yoder

2019 Candidate Contributions

Image result for hank myers images
Hank Myers
"Campaign Funds For Community," Hank Myers  Redmond Reporter, 11/14/2019

"Thanks to all the Redmond voters that made this election energetic and the best reflection of public values in 12 years. I sent the following message to all 10 candidates for city offices and hope they will join me.
As we close down our campaign accounts, perhaps you have some money left over. There are several things you can do with the money. I am hoping you will join me by donating any money left to nonprofit operations that benefit Redmond and its residents.
My first give is to the Green Redmond program. One-gallon Douglas fir and Sitka spruce trees cost the city $3.50 each. I am hoping to donate $350 to plant 100 trees. If all 10 candidates do that, we can reforest a couple of acres at least.
My second choice is The Sophia Way women’s shelter. They have had a rocky time recently with organization and management. Additional money should help stabilize them and help them hire a permanent executive director.
Third on my list is the Landing, the young adult shelter operated by Friends of Youth at the Together Center in Redmond.
If I have any money left over, it will go to Union Gospel Mission, which is ramping up its Eastside efforts. You may know Jason Dick, a Redmond resident who is their development director. By next Tuesday, I should know how much I have left, and will again encourage candidates to put any leftover funds into community good."
Hank Myers
Redmond city council candidate

Candidate Contributions:
Hank B. Myers $19,575   Varisha M. Khan $38,175.98
David M. Carson $9,730.00   Carlos S. Jimenez $4,595.00
Vanessa E. Kritzer $30,804,51   Eugene Zakharaeyev $1,839.95
Jessica G. Forsythe $13,530.98  Dayle "Hank" Margeson $16,460.58
Angela E. Birney $105,636   Steven J. Fields $22,524.40

Reported by Bob Yoder

Thursday, December 5, 2019

2020 City Pay Plans Approved

The following Pay Plans were approved by Council on their 12/3/19 Consent Agenda.

Image result for government pay images2020 Redmond City Hall Employees Association (RCHEA) Bargaining Unit Pay Plan Approved By Council:

Midpoint, some RCHEA examples:

Planner $84,708; Senior Planner $96,420 [Highpoint $110,772];  Principal Planner $106,524; Cultural Arts Administrator $89,232; Environmental Scientist $102,373; Engineer SR $115,128; Transportation Strategic Advisor $118,608; Programmer Analyst SR $113,436; Communications & Marketing Administrator $88,704; Building Inspector $80,625; Senior Accountant $80,976


Meter Reader $58,440; Maintenance Aid $50,388


Non-Represented Employees(Midpoint) Some examples:

Administrative Assistant $57,996  [$66,636 Highpoint]
Parks, Planning & Cultural Arts Manager $113,268
Police Captain $154,608
Deputy Fire Chief $153,048
Deputy Director Public Works Director/City Engineer $147,695
Deputy Finance Director $133,416
Deputy Parks Director $127,884
Recreation Division Manager $112,344
Security Compliance Manager $139,992
Communications and Marketing Manager $118,360
Emergency Preparedness Manager $118,152
IS Manager $136,272
City Clerk $136,908

Directors are paid significantly more...with bonuses.  

Updated: Building X Project On Willows Road Under Review

Making way for Facebook?  This project is still under review.  E-mail : czapata@redmond.gov to comment. I have grave concerns about traffic congestion though they will have a shuttle, stop light and 140 bike racks.
Demolish existing 307,408 sf office building. Construct an approximately 350,000 sf building, up to five stories. New building is designed to accommodate research & development, office, meeting space and associated parking.  The site is in the Business Park (BP) Zone on Willows Road, and across the street from the Willows Run Golf Complex.
Project Number:  LAND-2019-00136
Project Type:  Type II - Site Plan Entitlement
For more information on on this project view the Notice of Application Project Details (PDF)

Bear Creek Stream Enhancement Project

One of Redmond's biggest assets is our natural environment.  Federally protected Chinook and several other species of salmon run through Bear Creak and the Sammamish River. This enhancement project will protect their stream and riparian habitat.

Photo of completed Bear Creek at 95th work

Enhancement location / redmond.gov

Council approved construction of the "Bear Creek at 95th Street Stream Enhancement Project," with Olson Brothers Excavating, Inc. of Puyallup, Washington, and Approval of Final Contract in the Amount of $410,686.41. 

The project will enhance about 680 feet of Bear Creek habitat downstream from the 95th Street bridge.  Large woody debris will be installed in the stream banks and channel.  The stream banks will be graded to create alcoves and gentler slopes.  Trees and shrubs will be planted.

Project Map

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Updated: It's Estimated The Senior Center Will Re-Open In 2.5 - 3 Years

Image result for Redmond senior center image

The estimated cost to demolish and rebuild is about $21 million; estimated cost to renovate is $20 million. Owing to the Critical Areas Ordinance, the new building will move 20-30 feet away from the river with possible impacts to the green house.

The Parks and Recreation Director Carrie Hite and Project engineer Eric Dawson updated Council on the status of the Senior Center during their December 3rd Regular meeting. In August, two stucco panels near the loading dock fell off (fortunately no one was hurt) and serious dry rot was found throughout the plywood of the exterior walls. Though the roof is about 30 years old it was in satisfactory condition. Owing to dangerous conditions, the Center was immediately closed on September 9th. Ms. Hite said many of the Center's activities were re-located to 1) City Hall (Bytes Cafe and the conference rooms, 2) Marymoor Village, Old Redmond School House, 3) Grasslawn Arts Center and other places. 

In response to Councilmember Jeralee Andrson's timeline question, Hite said it's estimated the Center will re-open in 2.5 years if renovated and 3 years if demolished and rebuilt. For sustainability Jaralee recommended the waste be recycled.

Ms. Hite suggested an opportunity to expand to 4-stories was possible -- for work force housing, affordable housing, an urban school, etc.  Councilmember Hank Myers said he was by no means in  favor of an expansion. He insisted on rebuilding ASAP; the audience clapped. It seemed a salute, with parting thanks.  (Hank lost to Varisha Khan in the general election by 46 votes; this was one of his last council meetings.)  Hank asked the City to do preventative maintenance on all their buildings on a regular basis, just as people do with their cars.

Councilmember Steve Fields agreed with Hank.  He noted black mold was regularly bleached out of the green house.and had anecdotal evidence someone pushed their hand through one of the walls. He recommended anecdotal feedback be a part of the preventative maintenance program. Councilmember Tanika Padhye asked if the public engagement process would be thorough and fast-tracked.  Ms. Hite suggested a few Public meetings would probably be sufficient.

Council President and Mayor-elect Angela Birney was "encouraged that to rebuild or to fix is about the same, so at least that doesn't seem to be a big task to go one way or the other."  She said over the years she learned a lot about what improvements Seniors wanted in their Center. Angela looked forward to establishing partnerships.  She was "a little sad about the 2-3 years."

Vice President Councilmember David Carson said it was "a chance for amenities to be added."  He was not for renovating or remodeling.   

Hank Myers calculated the city already had the funds to re-build saying $15 million was authorized for Senior Center improvements in November of 2018.  (Unfortunately, the improvements weren't done until it was too late.)  Hank also noted the city was sitting on $6 million of one-time money from the 2017 -2018 budget. Thus, with the $15 million, there's money in the budget to re-build. Hank received another clap.  He was one of my favorite Councilmembers.

Reported by Bob Yoder

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Redmond Lights Shuttle

Redmond Lights is this Saturday, December 7th, 4-8 p.m. and Sunday, December 8th, 5-8 p.m.  

The Redmond Lights shuttle is only scheduled for Saturday.  There will be no shuttle services on Sunday.  The shuttle will be available starting Saturday at 3:30 pm and will run until 9:00 pm.  The pick up and drop off locations are in front of the (now closed) Senior Center building and in front of Gene Jarez at Redmond Town Center.   

Saturday, November 30, 2019

EvergreenHealth Receives "A" Grade For Patient Safety

EvergreenHealth Receives “A” Grade for Patient Safety Kirkland, Wash.

EvergreenHealth  announced that it has again received an “A” grade for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group, a leading national nonprofit watchdog on hospital quality and safety. The EvergreenHealth is one of only 15 hospitals in Washington to achieve an A rating this fall, according to Leapfrog’s latest Hospital Safety Grades report.

 “Earning recognition from respected health care quality organizations, including The Leapfrog Group, is affirmation of the commitment and results achieved by our staff in providing safe, high quality care and service. We are grateful for the recognition, knowing that safety and quality are continuous journeys,” said Jeff Tomlin, MD, CEO of EvergreenHealth.

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've Updated My Redmond Blog Profile And Linkedin Account

The Young Bob
I'm 69 years old. My wife Pam and I have lived in Redmond on Education Hill 42 years. Our one daughter graduated from Gonzaga with two degrees; then achieved a University of Montana Masters degree in Environmental Science. My  hobbies of yesteryear were lacrosse and mountaineering; now I hike, bird watch, bike, loving all things outdoors.   

For 13 years, I've been publishing about 4 blog entries per week without pay or a sponsor.  Yes, I'm passionate about Redmond. I have a special interest in mental health since a few of my relatives have been diagnosed with the illness; and because it's stigmatized in our culture. A big source of my blog news and opinion is from city, school and Evergreenhealth events and their government public meetings and memos. Now, I'm reaching out to more of our residents and neighbors to hear their stories.  

Bob Yoder
Linkedin Account 

Seattle Times: "Sound Transit will keep collecting its car-tab taxes, despite I-976 vote"

Sound Transit will continue to collect car-tab taxes but avoid 
suing for now to overturn Tim Eyman’s tax-cutting Initiative 976, 
approved by voters statewide this month.

That strategy emerged from a transit-board meeting Thursday
 in which Eyman said he will run for governor against Democratic
 incumbent Jay Inslee, only to have the microphone cut off 
by transit-board Chairman John Marchione, who cited a board 
rule against campaign speeches in public-comment sessions.

Marchione emphasized that 53% of voters within the transit district 
sided for keeping the car-tab taxes and against I-976. That
 followed 54% district support in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) 
balloting in 2016 to impose the tax increase. 

Significant cuts would delay projects to “provide our citizens with a 
path out of ever-worsening congestion,” he said, “that pollutes our air 
and warms our planet.”

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Redmond Lights : "A Joyful Celebration" And "A Peaceful Journey"

December 7, 4-8 p.m.
December 8, 5 -8 p.m.

Image result for Redmond Lights imagesShuttle starts from Redmond Town Center at 3:30 p.m.  Shuttle drop off at Senior Center.  

Saturday, December 7, 4 - 8 p.m. A Joyful Celebration: Begin at City Hall with live entertainment, activities, and a tree lighting at 5 p.m. Join a festive luminary walk to Downtown Park and Redmond Town Center for more performances, art, and fun.

Sunday, December 8, 5 - 8 p.m. A Peaceful Journey: Experience a contemplative evening luminary walk with art installations between City Hall and Downtown Park.

  • City Hall Campus (Redmond Light Blinkers until they run out!)

Fun family activities (Sat. 4 – 8 p.m.) Live performances (Sat. 4 – 5:30 p.m.)
Tree Lighting (Sat. 5 p.m.)  Begin Luminary Art Walk from City Hall Campus.

  • Luminary Art Walk to Downtown ParkArt and light installations (Sat. & Sun.) 
Fire barrels (Sat. & Sun.)

  • Downtown Park:  Live performances (Sat. 5:30 – 7:15 p.m.) Face Painting & Interactive Booths (Sat. 4 – 8 p.m.) Digital Art Show on Buoyant (Sat. and Sun.) Beer & Wine Garden (Sat. and Sun.) Food Trucks (Sat. and Sun.) Art and light installations (Sat. and Sun.)

  • Redmond Town Center Saturday, Dec 7  (4-8pm)

Live performances, Ice carver, Carousel Train Rides, Santa Photo ($)
Interactive booths, Fire Truck & Police Car, Skating rink

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Redmond High Band Director Selected For Hall Of Fame

Andy Roberston, RHS band directorAndy Robertson has put in multiple decades of work at Redmond High School (RHS). He has been at RHS for nearly 30 years. Robertson has directed the school’s band, the RHS jazz band and multiple concert bands over his many years with the school. And now, the school’s band director has been selected to join the 2020 class of the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Hall of Fame. 
The WMEA Hall of Fame was established to give recognition for exceptional support, inspiration and outstanding contribution to the growth and development of music education.
The Seattle Times wrote an article on Robertson back in 1997. It says that Robertson was the recipient of the 1997 Redmond Volunteer Arts Award. He has organized a summer concert series to the Microsoft campus as well as evening performances at a local church. Robertson has also brought RHS bands to Carnegie Hall in New York City to perform for the MidAmerica Productions’ Ensemble Spotlight Series. 
Robertson will be honored at the Hall of Fame and Local Recognition Banquet on Thursday, February 13, 2020, in Yakima. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Homelessness, Climate Legislation, Health, $450 Million Budget Vote

Image result for king county images
Expansion of the West Wing downtown shelter, addition of electric vehicle charging stations as part of broader investments in fighting climate change, a new human trafficking awareness campaign, investment in criminal justice technology and more are included in a $450 million supplemental budget that’s up for a vote Wednesday at the King County Council.

The budget also includes funding for electric buses as part of the county’s transition to an all-electric fleet by 2040, and a host of local investments.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20
WHERE: 10th Floor, King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle

Thursday, November 14, 2019

School Musical About Student's Journey With Schizophrenia.

We went to this musical.  The students were amazing!  A must see!!  B. Yoder

Panther Playhouse & Kirkland Middle School PTSA proudly present WORLD PREMIER MUSICAL "(SCUZZY) Summer Arts School"  at Lake Washington High School, Performing Arts Center, Kirkland. 

During the summer of 1979, a twelve year old boy starts hearing voices and finds his thoughts are being scrambled while he unknowingly starts a journey with schizophrenia.

Join us for this heart-warming original musical where one boy's adventure to find himself helps an entire school discover who they are, too. Written and directed by Johnmichael P. Monteith

Friday November 22 at 7pm
Saturday November 23 at 2pm and 7pm at Lake Washington High School’s Performance Art Center 12033 NE 80th St, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for youth at www.pantherplayhouse.org or $10 at the door.  Also, click the link for a fabulous website about what's to come.

PRICING $5 for everyone 18 years old or younger, $9 online for adults or $10 at the door.