Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Sustainable Redmond" to hold booth at Derby Days; launches new website

Sustainable Redmond is hosting its first in a series of public events, beginning on July 22nd from 7-9 pm, at the Redmond Library, in Meeting Room 2. Cecile Andrews will talk about “Living Sustainably: Simpler, Slower, Smaller.” Cecile is the author of three books related to sustainability and voluntary simplicity: the recently released “Less is More”, along with “Slow is Beautiful” and “The Circle of Simplicity”.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to learn more about Sustainable Redmond - a grassroots organization focused on local sustainable actions. A group of dedicated Redmond-area citizens have been meeting since November to form Sustainable Redmond, which is part of the Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS) network ( Some of the current group members come from a variety of other local organizations related to sustainability, such as the Audubon Society, Redmond Parks and Trails Commission, Water Tenders, Green Redmond, Redmond Pedestrian and Bike Advisory Committee, and the Marymoor Community Garden.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Many Faces of Ananda Mela - The Joyful Festival of India

Slides of Ananda Mela Festival, Saturday, at Redmond City Hall Campus.  

There's one more day of fun - Sunday 6/27, from 12 - 9 p.m.   The music, art, crafts and vendors are great!    

Photos by Yoder

Friday, June 25, 2010

Do you know you need a city permit to remove trees from your property?

Do you (and your neighbors) know that a city tree cutting permit is required to fell trees on your property?   Single Family Homeowners on lots < 10,000 sf are allowed to remove 2 healthy, "significant" trees per year.  A "significant" tree is defined as 6 inches to 30 inches in diameter.  In addition, diseased and/or dangerous trees may be removed with a city permit. 

A city permit is required to remove any significant tree or any tree over 30 inches.   Take a picture of the trees you want removed and map out the tree's location before heading down to the City Hall Permit Center (2nd floor).  A certified arborist should be able to help you with the permit. 

Summer is a good time to remove large, diseased trees growing dangerously close to your home.  Winter storms can easily knock down large trees.  If you confirm a neighbor is felling trees without a permit, contact the authorities.   For more information on tree-cutting visit this City of Redmond web page:

Opinion By Bob Yoder

Commuting out of Redmond on SR 520 will be easier, 6/25 WSDOT Report

REDMOND – Commuters out of Redmond will be using a new lane on State Route 520 Monday morning. Over the weekend, WSDOT and contractor crews will move barrier and open the new westbound lane between SR 202 and West Lake Sammamish Parkway. A newly rebuilt off-ramp to West Lake Sammamish Parkway will open Monday morning.

Two Fun Cultural Events This Weekend Put On By Redmond Citizens!

7730 Leary Way NE
Redmond, WA 98052
Saturdays 9:00 - 3:00
May 1 - Oct 30

City Hall Campus
Saturday - Sunday, June 26 - 27
12 NOON - 9 p.m.

'Neighborhood Meetings' Will Be Required In Redmond For Some Land Use Projects

Have you ever felt left-out of the land use review process or wanted to learn more about a development in Redmond?  Good news! 

This week, Redmond City Council  approved a new land use law that will require the developer hold a "neighborhood meeting" to meet with citizens about the project, listen to constructive input, and address citizen concerns and suggestions.  A city representative is required to be present to register participants and guarantee the review process.

For years neighborhood meetings have been suggested but not required -- usually leaving citizens hung out to dry.  No longer.   Effective in the Spring off 2011, one neighborhood meeting is required for all Preliminary Plats (10 or more lots) and smaller Short Plats (Type II) that meet any of the following criteria: 
  • three or more lots
  • have critical areas on the site
  • are forested with 75% tree canopy. 
Under the old law, if a meeting was conducted it was usually held so late in the process that opportunity for any meaningful input with the developer was lost.   The new law says neighborhood meetings are required early in the process -- no later than 66 days past the project application.   In addition, the developer (or applicant) may hold the meeting prior to submitting his land use application.

You may wonder why a neighborhood meeting wasn't required for a the Evergreen Redmond Medical Plaza development.  Good question!  Any thoughts?   But, for now we can give thanks to the Code Re-Write Commission with a shout-out to Sue Stewart and Robert Pantley for recommending this code!  

Opinion By Bob Yoder

5K Derby Days Dash supports cancer research

old story - 2010
The Dr. John McCormick Foundation is organizing a 5K Race Walk called the Derby Days Dash that will run on July 11. The goal is to raise funds and awareness to support pancreatic cancer research.   John, a 22-year resident of Redmond  lost his battle to pancreatic cancer in 2007 at the age of 56.  Dr. McCormick left behind his wife, Ann, and  four children--Kinsey, Kerry, Johnny, Meghan.  

Redmond Town Center Mall
Bear Creek Pkwy & Leary Way
Redmond, WA.
July 11, 2010 at 09:00 AM

John received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and graduated from USC Medical School. After moving to Redmond in 1985, John practiced orthopedic surgery on the Eastside for  for over two decades while raising four children with his wife, Ann. 

John McCormick's son, Johnny is organizing the event and is excited about your participation and any support you can give!   Brian and Elizabeth Hansford of  Zephyr 47  is supporting the event with promotions and registration.  They have also helped organize the PTSA Hawk Run/Walk. 

Cancer Resources:
Swedish Pancreatic Cancer Web Page
Evergreen Hospital general cancer patient information
Overlake Hospital Cancer Center patient resources

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Redmond Pool at Hartman Park will remain closed to evaluate and make repairs

The Redmond Pool at Hartman Park will remain closed while City staff work with contractors to evaluate the situation and make repairs.

All 70 pool filters require replacing. They are ordered, but the City has been informed they are on back-order and will be available for installation in about three weeks. The City hired a plumbing contractor to work on the deck drains, gutters and other pool equipment. In addition, two pumps for the main pool drain will be replaced.

The pool ventilation system was evaluated and is in need of major service including parts replacement. City facilities staff is power washing the concrete deck and restrooms and will also be performing repairs to the pool deck.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Letter from Councilmember John Stilin in this Summer's new Efocus

The Efocus Council Letter is being written by Mr. Stilin this year. 

Teen Movie summer series programs start July 9 (and a Special Needs matinee)

The Redmond Youth Partnership is sponsoring the Fourth Annual Summer movie series with seven movies this summer, alternating locations between the Redmond City Hall great lawn and Idylwood Beach Park. All movies are free.

All movies start at dusk (around 9:30pm); however, everyone is encouraged to come early with a picnic basket and stake out the best spot for an evening of fun.

This year’s movie series begins on July 9 and ends August 20.  Special Needs matinee begins June 26.  For the movie times and locations for both venues,  "Read More": 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Swedish/Redmond ER is on schedule for December Opening.

Swedish/Redmond ER Facility (on left) is scheduled for completion in December.  It is located on Union Hill Road just west of Millenium Park and across the street from UPS.  Free surface parking for patients and Families will be ample.  Evergreen Medical Plaza (on right) in Bella Botegga is expected to be completed "in about a year" or less.  36 free "underground parking" spaces are reserved for Evergreen's patients.  (Both photos were taken on the same day last weekend.)   

Swedish/Redmond ER.  Construction crews hoisted 130,000-pound concrete wall panels into place at Swedish Medical Center’s new Redmond site at 18100 Union Hill Road.  Designed to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 86,000-square-foot, three-story building will feature a freestanding emergency department with 18 exam rooms, an advanced diagnostic imaging center (including X-ray, mammography, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI) and on-site laboratory services.  From  90 to 100 full time ER staff will work at the facility once it's fully operational.  The emergency department and ambulatory care center is scheduled to be completed December, 2010.  Total cost of the long-term lease with Hames Company is $23,000,000.

Three Swedish Primary Care physicians and staff are moving from their office in Redmond (15670 Redmond Way) into the Swedish/Redmond ER center.  Specialty physicians will be in the turn-key suites.  Swedish is currently evaluating  the mix of specialty physicians.  They expect to have medical oncology and potentially some cancer-based surgical providers available.  They are also evaluating the addition of infusion services for early summer 201l.  13,000 - 15,000 patient visits are expected by 2011.  1300/ of these patients may need transportation to the hospital.   (A 172-bed Swedish Hospital is under construction in the Issaquah Highlands, visit:

For more information on Swedish/Redmond ER, visit or email:  

Seminar on Washington's Public Records & Open Meetngs laws, June 23

The Washington Coalition for Open Government will present a special program focusing on Washington’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 23 at the Plaza Room above the Edmonds Library, 650 Main Street in Edmonds. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kirkland and Sammamish are lukewarm to a community aquatic center

Prior to the closing of  Hartman Pool on June 18, Redmond City council had been actively seeking a city partner for funding a community aquatic center.  

During joint meetings with Kirkland council on May 28 and Sammamish council on June 8, Redmond floated the idea of creating a new taxing district to fund a community aquatic center.  Kirkland staff estimated a new aquatics facility would cost between $42-46.5 million.

According to the Kirkland Reporter:   Councilmember Allen said the Redmond pool was "on life support" and that recommended economies of scale between Kirkland and Redmond could pencil out.   Redmond City Councilmember Pat Vache' felt that, "Trying to combine parks departments would create all sorts of complications that we are not even thinking about," saying "Cities have different philosophies on how to run their parks."  Another issue of combining the city's Parks departments would be existing funding.  Mayor Marchione wasn't present at the Kirkland meeting. 

According to the Sammamish Review:  Council members in Sammamish grappled over the question of why citizens would want to tax themselves for a new facility when they could wait for a neighboring city to build one and go use it.  While the Sammamish council said they’d keep the idea in mind as discussions continue, their response was lukewarm.   "Read More" for my comments:

Redmond Hartman Pool is closed

According to Marta Gronlund, City of Redmond, the Redmond Pool at Hartman Park was closed June 17 due to an equipment failure. "The pool filtration system is unable to maintain water clarity and therefore requires repair. The pool will remain closed until a full evaluation and needed repairs are completed."

According to NW Center Pools staff, effective June 18, 2010, Northwest Center will no longer be operating the Redmond –Hartman Pool.

The Redmond Reporter has a good story on this.

Northwest Center’s lease expired May 28th, 2010 and after working diligently with the city of Redmond,  they could not agree to new lease terms.  Pools staff thanked the city of Redmond for their support for the past seven years and thanked their customers.

For refunds on lessons purchased and punch cards, contact NW Center staff at (206) 296-4370 or via e-mail at   Any questions concerning the pool's closure can be forwarded to Sandra Bettencourt, Redmond's Recreation Division Manager, at (425) 556-2319.

The following is a list of other pools in the area. In addition to these pools, Idylwood Beach Park has a swimming beach with lifeguards on duty, now through September 6, from 11am to 6pm.

Posted by Bob Yoder
Ref:  C.O.R. press release / NW Center Pools / email from RNB reader

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Redmond Councilman Myers named Executive Director of King County Ferry District

The King County Ferry District board of supervisors named Hank Myers of Redmond, Executive Director with a unanimous vote.  Myers is a transportation economics consultant who is also serving his first term on the Redmond City Council.

Source:  West Seattle Blog

LETTER: Citizen Input to Redmond's "Budget By Priorities" is a failed process

Howard Frazier has left a new comment on your post "Redmond's BP budget process - not a 'catastrophe',...":

LETTER   If the budget process has ‘citizen input’ as a core principle, then all evidence indicates that it is a failed process. If there was substantial notification of reasonable opportunities for input from citizens, then there would be substantial input offered.

I think that the persons responsible for collecting input did not use contemporary tools and methods to notify citizens of the opportunity and/or the methods available for input were not acceptable.

Several years ago, I received a form in the mail from the city which asked me to indicate my interest in various services so budget priorities could reflect citizen opinion. I filled in the form and returned it because I am interested in providing my input on the use of the revenue collected by the city.

What is the current method that the city uses to communicate with the citizens? How successful is it? I get regular e-mail from my HOA and from King County about how to participate in the decision making process.

I looked at the city web site about the budget process and the information published there is outdated and frankly embarrassingly sparse for such an important issue.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Road construction closures planned for intersection of NE 124 Street & SR202 and on 116th St

Two Redmond roadways will be closed this summer.

I.  NE 116th Street between 167th Place and 172nd Ave NE will be closed to thru traffic beginning June 22.
This project will reconstruct NE 116th to meet site distance and safety standards in advance of construction of Fire Station 17. Preliminary work has begun and the closure is expected to last through early September. Local access for emergency vehicles and to properties in the construction zone will be maintained. Detour routes will be clearly marked.

LW School District seeks parent perspectives

District Seeks Parent Perspective

Each year, the Lake Washington School District invites all parents to take a survey on how the district is doing in different areas. It covers the instructional program, facilities, technology, communication, and more.

This information is used by the district to help improve its work to serve your students. Please take a moment to take the survey. To take the survey on the Internet, you can simply click here: 
Please take the survey by June 25 to be included in this year's results.
Submitted by Beth Angelo

Ananda Mela Festival: A Joyful Festival of India in Redmond, June 26 - 27

Redmond Event Listing: Ananda Mela Festival: A Joyful Festival of India:

"Vedic Cultural Center in partnership with many Indian-American Associations, is pleased to present a free, lavish, two-day outdoor festival of India to Redmond’s residents and visitors.

The festival, titled "Ananda Mela: A Joyful Festival of India" will take place at the Redmond City Hall campus on Saturday June 26th and Sunday June 27th, from 12 noon to 9 pm."

Read More

Posted on "Experience Redmond"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Redmond's BP budget process - not a 'catastrophe', but close to it.

OPINION:    UPDATED:  The Administration couldn't have picked a worse name for their "Budgeting By Priorities" process - BP!   Unfortunately, the name is fitting.   As far as public participation is concerned, the BP process was a disaster.  

Mayor Marchione (in photo) held a Public Hearing last night to wrap up the BP process.  No one showed to speak pro or con.  Did anyone know about it?   As usual, city advertising of BP public participation events was faint.  Only 6 citizens signed-up for the first meeting and 12 for the second.  The key purpose of BP is to engage citizens in the budget process.  This pitiful Hearing combined with the others make for a Triple Storm - a public process disaster.

The Mayor was prepared for the worst.   Melissa Files, his finance manager, spoke immediately after the Hearing to PR the  BP.  I listened in on the tapes of the meeting and bent over, laughing in pain, when Melissa stated,  "The BP process gets a whole bunch of citizens and employees involved in the budget".

Truth came out on how the Administration measures our capacity for taxation and budgetary needs.  Administration obviously can't rely on pubic input.  Rather, they use a book (Osborne and Hutchinson.) as their gold standard for deciding on how much taxation we can take.  Melissa summarized the book:
"there's a band within which citizens are willing to pay taxes based on total city revenues as compared to personal income.  The band for Redmond is 5-6% of personal income." 
Oh, so THAT'S how Mayor John Marchione knew he could raise our property tax 1% last election?  He applied the formula! 

Melissa promoted transparency and accountability in the BP process and claimed the six key priorities of BP were "developed in 2008 by the citizens of Redmond".  Huh?  What did she say?   First, I went to all 2008 BP public meetings; the 6 priorities where predetermined and stated without any public input.  Second, the Mayor claims he has "identified" $2.6M in efficiencies this biennium, but he's still opaque on their implementation.

This BP process looks like a lost cause but you can still "participate" at, or please comment here.  Two state-mandated public Hearings on the budget will be held this Fall.   

Opinion By Bob Yoder

6/15 Council meeting tape
2009-2010 Mid-Biennial Review Performance Management
Public Record:  BP Innovation/Efficiency Initiative, 4/2010
Participation at 2008 / 2010 BP Meetings.

7 Reason Why the Window 7 Phone is THE iPhone Killer

7 Reasons Why The Windows 7 Phone Is THE iPhone Killer

The sleeping giant is back. With yesterday’s announcement of the new Windows Phone 7 I believe we are seeing the rise of Phone 7 as the iPhone killer. Forget Android, this is the one you need to pay attention to.

Read More
Posted by Jamie Riddell on March 16th, 2010

thesledgehammer said...on 6/17

As much as I'd really like to see MS do well in this market, there's one big reason that Windows Phone 7 is doomed to be an also-ran: It should have been out at least a year ago. When it comes out it'll not only have to fight against the iPhone, but it'll also have Android (which, quite frankly, has stolen a big chunk of WP7's potential users already) to deal with. And a good chunk of the iPhone users WP7 is targeting are either a) Apple diehards (see also: MS haters) or b) people who bought their iPhones as fashion accessories. A good chunk of the people in between those have already jumped ship to Android (myself included, having purchased an EVO to replace my aging WM6 phone a couple of weeks ago)

I actually think WP7 looks quite nice, and I'd really like to see it do well. I just happen to think that it's chasing after a horse that's already long since left the barn, and it's going to be a serious uphill battle for it to ever become anything but a niche player in the market.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

County gives recycling crew voluteers free entry to Marymoor summer concert series

King County seeks volunteers for recycling crew at Marymoor summer concert series

Music lovers who want to help King County Parks at one of the region’s best outdoor concert venues can sign up to be a part of the “Marymoor Recycling/Composting Volunteer Crew” at this summer’s Concerts at Marymoor.

Recycling crew volunteers get free entry when they help promote recycling and waste reduction during shows.

Read More

Source:  King County Web Site
List and times of Concerts

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The names of 23 Redmond establishments cited during the liquor sting on June 3.

From Jim Bove
Redmond Police Department

Below is a list of establishments where an employee was issued a citation during the liquor sting on June 3, 2010 (in no particular order)…..

Top Foods
Chipolte Grill
Jade Dragon
Fat Burger
Bandidos Mexican Café
Fine Wine & Cigars
Thai Ginger  (read more)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Evergreen Redmond Medical Plaza is changing the face of Redmond's "Valley View" downtown gateway

"Evergreen Redmond Medical Center Plaza" in Bella Botega Shopping Center is under construction with completion expected in about a year. 

As described in the Redmond Development Guide, the project is sited in an area known as the "Valley View downtown gateway."

The structure was recently approved by the City to increase in height from three stories to four stories. A neighborhood meeting wasn't held by the city, which surprised the Ombudsman.  But, the City's Design Review Board said in their 2/4/2010 Review: "The elevation of the existing building has not really changed with the addition of the new floor."   How could that be?

A city planner, Gary Lee, described the building height:
"At the intersection, the building will be extending approximately 32 feet above the short concrete wall, where the wall and the street are at their highest point." (For scale:  the Sign is 4 feet x 8 feet.)  
The new Evergreen Redmond plaza will open with 16 emergency care exam rooms, and will have the capacity to provide care for 35,000 patients per year. Its 75-member emergency department staff will include physicians, nurses, social workers and support staff. Comprehensive Laboratory, Diagnostic and Specialty services are planned. According to a Redmond Reporter article, the new clinic will also combine two Evergreen family practice facilities and the Evergreen Urgent Care center. Primary care staff is 50. Total staff is 125.

Regarding emergency services, the Evergreen Administrative Director wrote:
Evergreen has no plans, at this time, to install a ramp onto NE 90th Street. Based on our current Redmond Basic Life Support volume and the competitive effects from Swedish, we estimate approximately five Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances per day. Also, because BLS ambulance usually are non-life threatening transports, more often than not, ambulances will not be using their sirens.
Ambulance parking will be in the back of the building so patients can be discreetly picked up and taken to the hospital. (DRB, 2/4).   Patient parking (36) is on the first level.  Staff parking will be behind QFC, between the theatre and clinic, and in the construction staging area between the clinic and Coho. 

"We want to see steady, smart development in and around our downtown core" said Mayor John Marchione in a December press release. "I am pleased that Evergreen Healthcare is continuing to make investments in our community to provide necessary services for our community.  

How do you feel?   Are four levels smart here?  I will update the progress of construction with new photos.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Public Trust: "Customer Service and Public Engagement" : Countywide Community Survey

Countywide Community Forums is an award-winning and independent program of King County. Our goal is to make democracy more user-friendly and to provide convenient opportunities to share your opinions on important issues impacting your community.

What follows is an online information and survey tool for you to give us your comments on the topic of Public Trust: Customer Service and Public Engagement. This includes a video panel discussion with County Executive Dow Constantine, Councilmember Bob Ferguson, and Rita Brogan, CEO of PRR, a Seattle-based public affairs firm. Hosted by Joe Copeland, Co-Editor for, these community leaders offer their insights into ways to make county government more accessible and responsive to you — the public.  The survey ends next week.

Take Survey.

Submitted by: 
Matt Rosenburg
Social Capital Review

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yousef's, "Redmond Fan Guide to the World Cup"

J.J. Mahoney's in Bella Bottega 
Three Lions Pub, 161st St. NE
Canyons in Redmond Center
Pub 85 on Rose Hill

Yousef says....The 2010 World Cup will be in South Africa, marking the first time the tournament is held in the African continent. A total of 32 teams will be competing for the coveted World Cup trophy, won by only 7 countries since the tournament's inception in 1930. Past winners are Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Germany, France and England. In many countries around the world, normal life will cease for a month as fans watch the 52 games, supporting their countries or favorite teams. It is estimated that over 1.3 billion viewers will be watching the world cup. Besides the games, the world cup is a great opportunity to learn about the 32 countries and their cultures.
When I arrived in this country in 1980's, soccer was a third class sport, played mainly by kids and immigrants like myself. One had to search hard to find a game on TV with the only thing being shown then  was "Soccer Made in Germany" on PBS. Things have changed a lot since then.
Like many local soccer fans, I look forward to watching most of the 52 games. Games will be televised live at 4:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 showing every game. USA played England on Saturday 6/12, starting at 11:00 a.m. Pacific on ABC.   It was a draw, 1-1.  Many folks will be putting their DVRs to work while others will watch the games on internet.
Here in Redmond, several local pubs will be showing the games live for those who prefer to watch the games with their friends or other fans. Three Lions Pub, JJ Mahoneys, Pub 85 (on Rose Hill) , Canyons and other Redmond establishments will be showing the 11:30 a.m. games.
For the diehards, Three Lions Pub is the place to be. They plan to show all the 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. games live (the 4:30games will be recorded and shown at 9 a.m.).   Have a favorite neighborhood spot I forgot to list?  Let me know.    
By Yousef  Habash
1st Vice President, Board of Directors
Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association (LWYSA)


"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
Madison is often referred to as the “Father of the United States Constitution.” His priceless contributions to the founding of the nation include co-authoring along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton the Federalist Papers which apart from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself, provided the philosophical framework and intellectual justification for the Bill of Rights and government we know today.

It is therefore fitting that one of the state’s top government watchdog groups. Washington Coalition for Open Government, presents it’s highest honor each year in Madison’s name to an individual or organization that exemplifies a deep commitment to open government,

-- Toby Nixon, President W.C.O.G.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stephen Colbert went on an hilarious Bing binge last night

Stephen Colbert went on a hilarious Bing binge last night, with the comedian earning a $2,500 charitable pledge from Microsoft each time he uttered the name of company's search engine. CNET's Ina Fried notes that Colbert managed to mention Bing some 40 times, earning $100,000 for the Colbert Nation Gulf of America Fund. Here's the opening clip.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Charity Begins at 11:30
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

I am sure Microsoft wasn't too happy about this zinger from Colbert: "By the way, Bing is a great Web site for doing Internet searches. I know that because I Googled it." Later in the broadcast, the show's producers bleeped out a Colbert cuss word with a "Bing" and then showed the Bing logo numerous times as an actor playing BP CEO Tony Hayward gets tossed off a building and run over by a SUV driven by a sea turtle.

Read More

By John Cook
Tech Flash

"Up, Up and Away" with the Randalls

Over Memorial weekend, I enjoyed a fun day watching the Randall family of Redmond, WA. and his club launch hobby rockets up to 7,500 feet into the air.  Dave Randall, a Microsoft Program Manager, was one of two staff running Washington Aerospace Club's "Fire in the Sky 2010" event. Every year Dave & Linda and their sons Thomas and Josh drive their RV to the wheat lands of Mansfield, WA. for club launch events. (The next Mansfield launch is 6/26-27). At 60-acres South, the rockets are limited to 2,000 feet; in Mansfield the ceiling is 7,500 feet.   Watch John Norris's humongous "hobby" launches here.

Linda Randall, introduced me to Mansfield's Mayor Snell and his dog. Snell has been mayor for 20 years and he runs the show in Mansfield, as "strong mayor". (pop. 300) He is pleased eight seniors graduated this year from their K-12 school and is grateful 3-4 launch events are held in his city every year.  Linda works for the LWSD. 

The Randalls' are active outdoor volunteers in the Redmond community. Josh, Thomas and their BMX friends have played a key role in the early development of the Redmond Bike Park. They attended the clay-modeling design workshops, went on BMX field trips with the city, attended Steering Committee meetings. The whole family pitched in to help restore the forest surrounding the Park during a Cascade Conservancy event.  Both boys are active scouts.  When they are not "Up, Up and Away" you can usually find the Randalls' on Thursday at Oddfellows Grill's  "Trivia Night".

Reported By Bob Yoder
Slides by Yoder

Some related announcements: 

The Cascade Conservancy invites Redmond citizens to a Land Steward sign-up meeting on June 12.

"Brighter" -an exciting movie premier and fundraiser for the Redmond Bike Park
June 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Final Draft Design Input Meeting  for Redmond Bike Park on June 30 - open to all.

Hartman Park - Redmond Bike Park area forest restoration work-party:  September 25 - 17300 NE 104th Street

Monday, June 7, 2010

8th-Grader Stephen Patterson wins Eagle Scout Rank

Stephen Patterson of the Boys Scout’s Sammamish District Troop 509 recently received his Eagle Scout award at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor held at Beaver Lake Lodge in Sammamish. In attendance were over 45 friends, neighbors, family and fellow scouts.

Stephen has been actively involved in scouting since he was 8 years old and quickly worked his way through the various scouting ranks earning 21 merit badges to date and has accumulated over 23 nights of camping – he is currently serving as his troop’s Senior Patrol Leader. His Eagle Project was coordinated with the City of Sammamish to reclaim and restore an area along the Illahee Trail in Sammamish with new trees, shrubs and mulch.

Stephen is currently in 8th grade attending Inglewood Jr. High School. His interests are aviation, model building, music, camping, and helping his younger brother, Joseph, an 11 yr. old scout, to become an Eagle Scout.

Congratulations to Stephen and all those who have helped him along the way in achieve this monumental goal in his life.  For more information about Scouting, please see the Chief Seattle Council website at .

Submitted by Paige Norman
Pictured are Mike Patterson, Scoutmaster and Stephen Patterson, New Eagle Scout

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sammamish Slough crow with snake

The attached photo was taken on May 30 along the Sammamish Slough, just south of the rust colored footbridge here in Redmond. It was definitely a "shoot from the hip" photo, and I only partially succeeded in getting the crow in the frame.

I couldn't figure out what it had in its beak, until I looked at the photo later. Initially I thought maybe it was a stick or branch. It's a pretty good sized snake. The crow was evidently hunting in the grass as I approached it, and then it suddenly flew up. I was lucky to catch the action.

John Reinke
Sammamish Slough photographer
Education Hill neighborhood

A collection of John Reinke's Sammamish Slough nature photographs will be on display at the Redmond Library thoughout July.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Liquor Control Board and Police do a "liquor sting" on local estabishments

A joint enforcement operation conducted last night between the Redmond Police Department and the Washington State Liquor Control Board found that 22% of establishments weren't doing their job correctly.

Officers and agents worked with underage informants in an attempt to purchase alcohol within the City of Redmond. Of the 103 businesses visited with liquor licenses, 23 sold to the informants, a 78% compliance rate.

Violators were cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor. The Washington State Liquor Control Board will follow up with offending businesses with administrative actions. At all locations, when ID was requested of the minor, a valid Washington State ID showing actual date of birth was presented.

“The good news is that an overwhelming majority of establishments and employees are doing things correctly,” commented Lt. Erik Scairpon. “We will work with those in violation along with the Liquor Control Board in hopes to educate them and bring the number of violations down in the future. At the end of the day, we want people to be safe.”
Locations busted:
Redmond Way (4) - City Center (16),  Avondale (2),  Education Hill (3)  
Source:  Jim Bove
Redmond Police

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food & wine | 'Top Chef' tour bus pulls into Bella Bottega on Saturday

Food & wine 'Top Chef' tour bus pulls into town Seattle Times Newspaper

The wildly popular "Top Chef" tour bus — yes, these Bravo channel reality-show contestants are like rock stars now — makes its first-ever stop in the Northwest this weekend.

Season 6 contestants Ash Fulk and Eli Kirshtein will offer cooking tips, dish on the behind-the-scenes stuff and answer fan questions about host Padma and whatever else is on your mind. Fans get to sample food and compete in a Quickfire Challenge, one of the show's popular contests.

The tour bus will stop in the parking lot of QFC Bella Bottega, 8867 161st Ave. N.E. in Redmond, on Saturday, 6/5, and in Seattle at University Village on Sunday.

The demo times for both days: 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. Tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the event.
Tan Vinh, Seattle Times staff reporter

KOOZA Opens at Marymoor Park!

KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world.

"KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.  The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.

Between strength and fragility, laughter and smiles, turmoil and harmony, KOOZA explores themes of fear, identity, recognition and power. The show is set in an electrifying and exotic visual world full of surprises, thrills, chills, audacity and total involvement."

Order tickets

Lake Washington Schools Foundation funds academic summer school

A grant of $63,000 from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation will enable 115 elementary students who are academically at risk and in financial need to attend Core Academic Summer School at no charge.

Read More.

By Kathryn Reith
LWSD Website

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Staying Close While Standing Back" - For junior and high school parents

"Staying Close While Standing Back: The Art & Science of Parenting Your Increasingly Independent Adolescent"

Presenter Julie Metzger, RN
Monday, June 7th from 7 – 9 PM
Location: Redmond Senior Center Multi-purpose Room (8703 160th Avenue NE, Redmond)  Next to City Hall. 

Don’t miss this outstanding presentation for parents of junior high & high school students
Practical information as the summer approaches & your teen will have more unstructured time

One of the greatest balancing acts parents face in today’s world is knowing when to step forward to help and guide their teen’s lives and when to let their teen make independent decisions and choices for themselves. These moments can be as simple as what they wear to school that day to a decision to not attend college. How do families work together in a partnership of trust and respect as children and parents encounter new experiences? What are specific ways we can encourage our teens to be resilient, accountable, and inter-dependent people in a fast-changing world? This presentation will also include how to communicate with your child about potentially risky choices. You will learn - What are the right questions to ask? What information do your students need? How can you assess the risk?

Julie Metzger, RN, the Co-Founder of Great Conversations, is a well respected presenter on a wide range of parenting issues. She has developed and taught classes on puberty, sexuality and decision making for pre-teens and families for 20 years and has worked with tens of thousands of families in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, and throughout the Puget sound region. In addition, she has developed health curriculum for middle school students on decision making. Julie is a Nurse Consultant at Children’s Hospital and a parent to three adolescents. She and her colleague, Rob Lehman, MD have a website reflecting their work with families –

Recommended for Parents of Junior High & High School Students

Sponsored by the Lake Washington PTSA Council

Questions? Contact Joanne Hall, Chair, Parent Education at or

Submitted by Beth Angelo
PTSA Council

OPINION: A truthful perspective of Mayor Marchione's "Budget By Priorities" process

When I read the following "Redmond Reporter" headlines on May 2, I never laughed so hard! 

"City asks citizens to help prioritize next budget" 

"Public input will help drive city spending for 2011-12." 

Why is this so funny?  

Only two public budget meetings were conducted by the John Marchione Administration and only 18 total citizens showed up!   Six attended the March 1 meeting and twelve attended the May 3 meeting -- both held on a Monday close to the dinner hour.   Could you pick a worse day?

Redmond has a night-time, resident population of  ~50,000 citizens and only 18 residents turned up?   This year's  "Budget By Priority" process is more than a belly laugh, it's much worse.   Six of the 18 residents were lobbying a special interest.  Businesses were invited but none registered.  Six citizens were hand selected by the Mayor to participate in the process with staff,  but never engaged with the Public.   

John Marchione's "Budgeting for Priorities" process asks four basic questions"

1. What priorities matter most to our citizens?
2. How much revenue will we have and what price of government will we charge our citizens?
3. How much should we spend to achieve each priority?
4. How can we best deliver each priority to achieve the results the citizens expect?

What citizens?   (Read more).  
When you compare the 0.0004% citizen turnout to the Reporter's headlines, it's apparent citizens weren't empowered by the "Budget By Priorities" process.   The program didn't have legs -- certainly, not enough legs "to help drive city spending and prioritize the next budget".  

This is just one example of why I write this disclose a truthful perspective and cut the P.R.

OPINION By Bob Yoder

The City stalls on landscape maintenance at Camwest's "Perrigo Heights" development.

Opinion:  The cement box photos show a "wet vault" (tagged with graffiti).  Vaults are designed to remove stormwater sediment and polluting chemicals.  This vault was built by Camwest Development, Inc. over two years ago as part of a 24-home "Perrigo Heights" urban forest housing project in Redmond. The vault was tagged with red graffiti in mid-January of this year.  This small photo was taken from the popular Ashford PED-BIKE Trail that connects 6 neighborhoods and two parks to three nearby schools.

VAULT SCREENING:  The city removed the graffiti (right photo) four weeks after it was reported to Mr. Fischer, a city development planner.  The deciduous saplings planted next to the vault by Camwest (see photo) will give no visual screening seven months of the year.   Furthermore, small deciduous trees create no physical barrier to graffiti vandals.   In response to citizen feedback, the city administration established a vague plan to install evergreen screening, as follows:

City Planner Steve Fischer said in a February email:
"I am working with other city staff to implement the planting of some evergreens between the trail and the vault. The response that I have received has all been positive so I am hopeful that that we can enhance the screening of the vault. This is still early on in the process so I do not have information about quantity or type of plant materials or when planting might take place. I am hopeful that I can begin to obtain answers to those questions in the coming weeks."  February 10, 2010. 
Almost four months later, the Administration has taken no action and it's now past the planting season. In a meeting with a Camwest manager, I was told the City IS responsible for maintaining vaults on parcels larger than 9 lots, like this one.  But, Camwest is responsible for removing the fencing and meeting landscaping requirements.

FENCING: It's been almost four years since the Final Decision of the Perrigo Heights preliminary plat and two years since construction began. Yet, the black cloth fencing and orange construction fencing is still staked up.  The Administration is sitting on Camwest landscaping maintenance performance bonds and taking no action.  Why? 

I showed these pictures of the "unfinished business" to the Code ReWrite Commission.  One photo showed two houses only 6-8 feet apart from each other.  They looked, yawned, and moved on. 

The Camwest Development, Inc. "Perrigo Heights" project has been controversial from the day it was zoned low-moderate density, single family home, over ~15 years ago, during the Ives Administration.  Approximately eight of 12 buildable acres of hillside mixed conifer - hardwood forest was clear-cut, after 500 citizens marched in protest through the woods.  "Perrigo Heights" development seriously impacts three State Fish & Wildlife Priority Habitats:   Hartman bog-wetland habitat and Priority Urban Forest Open Space habitat and woody debris log habitat.   
OPINION By Bob Yoder
Photos by Yoder
Seattle Times Communities Partner

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Test drive a Ford this Saturday and raise funds for Redmond High athletics!

The Redmond High School Football team has an event at the high school this Saturday, June 5 between 9:30 and 4:30, where Ford Motors will have cars there to test drive!
Ford will donate $20 for every test drive given!  There will be other prizes given away as well. If you are looking for a new car or interested in seeing the newest line of Ford cars, come to Redmond High School this Saturday and help benefit the football program by test driving a car!
The NW Mustang Club will be showing off their cars from 11:00 to 2:00 as an added attraction.
Joe Kirsch
President - Redmond Jr. Mustangs
Submitted By Paige Norman
Education Hill neighborhood