|Bob, Lexie, and Pam|
My family's lived in Redmond 38 years and I started blogging about 10 years ago. When I first moved here from Ohio 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 early 2000's tormented me so I started blogging to cope, get the word out and leverage voice. Environmental Issue 1: A housing development on Education Hill threatened neighborhood woodlands and an important wetland frequented by science teachers. Public notice was pathetic so launched my blog. Mayor Ives negotiated a wider buffer. Noticing was then much improved and two neighborhood meetings are now required. Issue Environmental issue 2: Hiking along Evans Creek in the city's southwest industrial district we found 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." Environmental Issue 3: Years later, Lower Bear Creek was threatened by a WSDOT SR520 widening project. We raised awareness with State officials. The creek was eventually re-aligned to preserve federally protected salmon habitat.
EvergreenHealth is a public hospital yet they don't employ a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner at this time. Things could change. One in five of Americans have a mental health condition, half are treated and 20% of these patients have a serious illness like OCD, anxiety, eating disorders and mood disorders. Evergreen's service area includes one million families. Since Evergreen is a public hospital they collect taxes for community programs and capital improvements. EvergreenHealth is constructing a mental health transitional short-term. service to care for acutely mentally ill patients entering the ED. I will be attending their Board of Commissioner meetings in 2018 to raise awareness, suggest improvements and push for more emphasis on mental health services..
During the Lake Washington School District promotion of the 2016 bond, my blogging activities pivoted from open government activism 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, the environment, school district improvements and other significant community issues.
Besides mental health this year my blogging will focus on Redmond culture, 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. The city council recently started video-tapping their Council Committee of the Whole meetings providing an excellent source for community and government news.
I'm a catalyst, connector, promoter, reporter and truth-seeker of sorts. I'm very excited about what's to come in 2018. Your feedback, personal stories, news and opinion are appreciated. (Comment below each post.) Writing and publishing this neighborhood blog is consuming and without monetary compensation. However, it's been my passion and avocation and I love it! I hope you do too!
My profile has been updated
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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