|Bob, Lexie, and Pam|
The "Redmond Neighborhood Blog" mission is to keep our community better informed, connected and responsive to each other, with attention to local governments. My vision is positive, progressive change in our community.
I've lived in Redmond 38 years and started blogging about 10 years ago. When I first moved here from the mid-west to sell medical supplies, Redmond was a rural one-stoplight town. My family loved visiting the downtown feed store to play with the chicks; golf the downtown course; drive through the horse farms; line up at for ice cream and fresh milk at Thenos and generally just enjoy a peaceful lifestyle away from the big city. Well, those days are over.
I've been writing "Redmond Blog" under a known premise that governments fostering "transparency (openness) and participation" are good governments. My open government reporting of the City includes reporting on the Lake Washington School District and EvergreenHealth District governments. Transparency is improving and our local governments are healthier.
Several environmental issues in the mid-2000's tormented me so I started blogging to cope, "get the word out," and leverage voice. (A city planning commissioner Korby Parnel suggested I write a blog.) Environmental Issue 1: A housing project on Education Hill threatened the neighborhood forest and an important wetland frequented by science teachers. Public notice was pathetic so we got the word out. Mayor Ives negotiated a wider buffer. Notice was improved; two neighborhood meetings are now required. Issue 2: Hiking along Evans Creek in the city's southwest industrial district we found and reported riparian buffers severely abused by a wood recycling company. We were surprised the city "let this go" so leveraged voice. Soon, six state and local agencies were called in for remediation. Mayor Marchione later proclaimed "Riparian, as habitat of local importance." Issue 3: Years later, Lower Bear Creek was threatened by a WSDOT SR520 widening project. We worked with city and state officials to raise awareness and request funding. The creek was eventually re-aligned to preserve federally protected salmon habitat.
Years ago, I found Evergreen Hospital's concealed public commission chambers (now labeled "Community Room") and started attending their meetings and reporting on them. Public Record Requests revealed an executive/pediatrician's salary of $600,000 and other misfeasance. In short time, CEO Brown abruptly resigned and the commissioners scrambled to hire Bob Malte from Colorado Springs as CEO. Mr. Malte reshuffled personnel and re-branded Evergreen to "EvergreenHealth." The hospital currently is winning many regional and national awards under Malte's helm.
One in five of the American population have a mental health condition and only half are treated. Under the Malte Administration, EvergreenHealth developed a new mental health service (I think required by law.) but our bursting EvergreenHealth community still doesn't have an out-patient psychiatric clinic nor employ a single psychiatrist. I will be attending their Board of Commissioner meetings in 2018 to raise awareness, suggest improvements and push for change.
During the Lake Washington School District promotion of the 2016 bond, my blogging activities pivoted in large way from an anti-tax bent to a broader scope of community advocacy. I'm connecting more; it's been a pleasant change. However, I remain an activist for mental health access and other significant community issues.
Besides health and wellness, popular topics and blogging focus this year is on our rapid urbanization, the environment, student education, and local politics. I'm presently working within the community to further Council member Steve Fields "Build Community, Not Just Buildings" agenda. I'll be attending more public government and non profit meetings. I recently connected NAMI Eastside with LWSD and Eastside Pathways. For personal care, I'm attending Celebrate Recovery program at Overlake Christian Church and will help in forming their prospective mental health support group. My mental health goals are to advocate for those who can't and to improve access to psychiatric services.
I'm a catalyst, connector and truth-seeker of sorts. I'm very excited about what's to come in 2018. Your feedback, personal stories, news and opinion are invaluable. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writing and publishing Redmond Neighborhood Blog is consuming and without monetary compensation. However, it's been my passion and avocation and will hopefully lend to positive change.
Disclaimer: I'm a "Seattle Times News Partner," but far and away not a journalist. Errors. omissions and miss-representations occur on a regular basis; and my posts aren't always sourced.
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