|Bob, Lexie, and Pam|
My family's lived in Redmond 38 years and 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. (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. Noticing was much improved; two neighborhood meetings are now required. Issue Environmental 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." Environmental 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 Board of Commission's secluded Public chambers and started attending and reporting on their meetings. Public Record Requests revealed an executive/pediatrician's salary of $600,000 and misfeasance. In short time, CEO Brown abruptly resigned and the commissioners scrambled to hire Bob Malte from Colorado Springs. Mr. Malte reshuffled personnel and re-branded Evergreen to "EvergreenHealth." The hospital currently is winning many regional and national awards under Malte's helm and the Board was enlarged to seven commissioners.
EvergreenHealth is a public hospital yet don't offer hospital or clinic mental health services. One in five of the American population have a mental health condition and only half are treated. 20% of these patients have a serious illness like bipolar and OCD. EvergreenHealth has no full-time psychiatrists. EvergreenHealth may develop a mental health emergency short-term service but they still don't have an out-patient psychiatric clinic or employ a psychiatrist. Their service area is one million and they collect taxes. 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 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 health and wellness, 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. I recently became a member of NAMI Eastside and will tap into to their resources to move mental health care forward.
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 invaluable. (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!
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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