Saturday, July 2, 2016

Rob Butcher, Kirkland's man-about-town

Rob Butcher
About ten years ago -- before social media really took off as a source for news  -- "hyper-local blogs" were the in-thing.  The Seattle Times caught onto this and started up "News Partners" to organize and link popular hyperlocals to their online paper.  Rob Butcher's "Kirkland Views" was one of them. I first met Rob at a News Partners orientation and we've stayed in touch ever since.

Kirkland Views has evolved into a vibrant, highly successful community "news forum" filling a void left by Kirkland's struggling print media. Read "About Us."  What I admire most about Rob's media are the engaging conversations his readers have with each other. Check it out, you'll see!

Last week we spent 2 hours over coffee catching up. I learned a lot. Rob's highly engaged with his community; in my opinion, in many ways he's Kirkland's "man about town."

Kirkland Views is set up to have a life of it's own, giving Rob plenty of time to participate and volunteer in the community.  He's the Creative Director for Kirkland Events and now works year-round as the organizer of  "Octoberfest with a Northwest Twist."  Proceeds go to community non-profits: the Sibling House, Eastside Time Bank, Imagination Housing, Meow, and the Kirkland Downtown Association.  I suggested  VALA -- a nonprofit in Redmond dedicated to the arts. VALA's Director of Art is also the Chair of Kirkland's Art Commission. He was quite interested. Art is a great connector.

We discussed what makes our cities a great place to live and play. Kirkland's downtown waterfront and village atmosphere is a huge draw.. (My daughter and her friends do most their playing and dining in and around Kirkland's downtown.)  Redmond's the Edge city of Microsoft so we have a more culturally diverse and urban look and feel. I suggested Marymoor Park, linear park activities, our historic Derby Days, tall evergreen trees, and a network of trails and salmon-bearing creeks make Redmond special.

I'm planning to go to Octoberfest in September, insisting he make it to our Derby Days. We'll bump into each other soon I hope!

Bob Yoder  

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