Recreation, community service boosted with Hill support

Sen. Hill at Cross Kirkland Corridor groundbreaking in 2013. Photo courtesy of City of Kirkland.

Sen. Hill at Cross Kirkland Corridor groundbreaking in 2013. Photo courtesy of City of Kirkland.

The Senate passed its capital budget with significant investments in projects for Eastside King County with a focus on recreation and community services. Sen. Andy Hill advocated for the investments and supported the bipartisan plan.

 

“This budget is an investment in our quality of life and our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Hill. “Projects such as Hopelink’s new service center and the Cross Kirkland Corridor will be incredible assets for everyone in our community.”

 

The Senate capital budget included $2.4 million for Hopelink, a Redmond-based local homeless and low-income services agency, to develop an integrated services center on NE 65th Street and E. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE in Redmond.

 

“Hopelink is thrilled to be able to build our permanent home for families to receive help in Redmond,” said Lauren Thomas, chief executive officer of Hopelink. “This funding will allow thousands of low income residents to meet their basic needs and gain the skills they need to exit poverty. We are grateful for the support from Sen. Hill and the Senate and House capital budgets to make this essential resource a reality.”

 

The budget included development of parks and trails in local neighborhoods. Hill continued to support the Redmond Downtown Park, youth soccer improvements at Marymoor Park, the Cross Kirkland Corridor and Big Rock Sports Park in Duvall.

Peter Kirk Students Enjoy Field Trip to Park Lane

Peter Kirk Elementary School’s second graders participated in an interactive ecology lesson on Friday on Park Lane.

From the Park Lane project staff, the 80-plus students learned about stormwater—where it comes from and how most of it drains directly into Lake Washington without treatment. They also witnessed several of the devices the City of Kirkland is using on Park Lane to prevent stormwater pollution from draining into the lake.

Those devices include porous brick pavers that allow stormwater to drain through them and bio-retention cells that ensure tree roots have plenty of loose, moist soil through which to chase stormwater.

Of course this was a field trip of second graders. And the highlights for many of those second graders were stops at Sweet Cakes, where they purchased a $1 cupcakes, at Simplicity ABC, where they received a gift bag of toys and at a 20-foot banner of the art project they completed last fall. 

That art project was led by arts docent Stacy Mehlberg, who taught the second graders one-point perspective and asked them to use the technique to create an image of a street. The assignment rendered more than 80 different interpretations of one-point perspective. 

FastSigns of Kirkland, printed 20 photographed images of the resulting artwork, along with the artists and the artists’ commentary about the artwork. 

Readers can view the artwork by visiting Park Lane or by visiting the Park Lane webpage at kirklandwa.gov/parklaneproject

AWC Marijuana Data Shows Impacts on Cities

AWC Marijuana Data Shows Impacts on Cities

According to information provided by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), there seems to be a growing body of evidence that indeed, cities with marijuana businesses are negatively impacted. The AWC data (below) supports the recent Op-Ed we published by Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen and Mayor Denis Law of Renton suggesting that the state should share with the cities any marijuana tax revenue collected in order to offset local impacts. 

Some vocal readers have attacked any notion that a city such as Kirkland might have negative impacts of allowing marijuana production and/or sales. The AWC data below indicates otherwise.

If there is contradicting data out there, I encourage readers to continue the discussion, but only if you supply data to support contrarian positions. I will, of course, post that information on these pages. We advance the discussion with facts and data. Opinions about the facts are most persuasive when supported by data.

For those of the opinion that crime does not occur in, around, because of or associated with marijuana, one need only look at the recent incident in Kirkland where a man used a sledge hammer to try and break into Kirkland's first marijuana store. Local law enforcement officers employed by our city -- not the state -- are on the line.

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Town Hall RE: local food and farm systems, April 20

Town Hall RE: local food and farm systems, April 20

King County Council Town Hall to explore how our local food and farm system contributes to the health and economic vitality of our region

County farms and the collaborative road from farm to table

With the third highest number of farms in the state, King County’s economy is more than jets, software and coffee. The Metropolitan King County Council’s Committee of the Whole will be holding a special Town Hall meeting to discuss the regional economic impact of King County farms and the challenges their operators face as shrinking county budgets impact the rural and unincorporated communities they are part of: 

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Toxic Blue-Green Algae Alerts Continue at Kirkland Waterfront Beaches

Kirkland’s waterfront parks remain posted with algae alerts

Waverly Beach closed while water samples being tested

 

While city officials await water quality test results from blue-green algae samples taken from Kirkland’s Waverly Beach last week, the beach remains closed.  Lab results are expected by April 28, 2015.  All waterfront parks in Kirkland along Lake Washington continue to be posted with warning signs advising that toxic algae is present and that the water could be unsafe for humans and pets if ingested. City staff will monitor the waterfront parks throughout this weekend.

 

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) warns that blue-green algae blooms can be different in colors, may appear as foam, scum or streaks on the surface of water and can poison animals, wildlife, and people.  To report toxic algae online go to www.nwtoxicalgae.org. If symptoms of illness appear after exposure for either people or pets, please consults your physician or veterinarian immediately. For more information, visit the State DOH website at www.doh.wa.gov or the King County’s Major Lakes Monitoring Program website at http://green2.kingcounty.gov/lakes/Bloom.aspx and search about blue-green algae. 

Kirkland Artist Studio Tour held May 9-10th

Kirkland Artist Studio Tour held May 9-10th

The 12th annual Kirkland Artist Studio Tour (KAST), one of the largest studio art tours in Western Washington, will be held Mother's Day weekend (May 9 and 10) from 10am-6pm. 

KAST 2015 will showcase 43 artists at 21 home studios, local businesses and galleries. Almost half the artists are new to participating in this event, and most are residents in King and Snohomish counties.

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LETTER | The consequences of Prop One

LETTER | The consequences of Prop One

Editor:

So far, the Council does not plan to spend any of the newly found 20 million dollar surplus it on safety.  They plan to spend on everything else but.

 

For those Councilmembers who proclaim they believe in funding safety first.  It’s a bunch of bull.  We need them to be more accountable.

 

Of the newly found 20 million, Kirkland’s share to fund the County’s Prop one would amount to less than a million, approximately $927,674.13.  But no.  Now they are telling us they will not do it but rather let Prop One pass so they can use the $927 thousand to spend on something other than safety.  That bait (Prop One) and switch ($927 thousand) will not be on the ballot; however, it’s a consequence if Prop One passes.  

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Project to provide Waverley Beach Park with new picnic shelter

Project to provide Waverley Beach Park with new picnic shelter

Kirkland Parks Foundation joins with the Rotary Club of Kirkland and the City of Kirkland to fund construction of a picnic shelter at Waverly Beach Park

 

Kirkland Parks Foundation announced a collaborative project with the Rotary Club of Kirkland and the City of Kirkland to fund the construction of a new picnic shelter at Waverly Beach Park.

The picnic shelter is part of a larger park improvement plan that will replace the playground, add ADA accessibility, improve public access to the park, enhance drainage and improve habitat for fish in Lake Washington.  

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LETTER | City must adopt a fair policy for parking

LETTER | City must adopt a fair policy for parking

City Council, 

I am writing to you as a result of the many discussions going on concerning parking for the downtown area / Central Business District of Kirkland.  As a 10-year resident of Kirkland and Norkirk and Market neighbor, my family loves Kirkland and frequents the downtown area for its shopping, restaurants and parks.  The proximity to downtown is one reason we chose to live here.

I hope that the City Council will reaffirm their responsibility for the safety and preservation of the neighborhoods and residents when deciding how to improve parking for downtown.  My concern arises when I read and hear comments that the neighborhoods surrounding the business corridor should be expected – even encouraged – to take spill-over parking for Central Business District.  The City must adopt and enforce a fair policy for dealing with this business parking in residential areas.

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Op-Ed: Marijuana Revenue Sharing Is Needed For Success

Op-Ed: Marijuana Revenue Sharing Is Needed For Success

The following Opinion Editorial is by Amy Walen, Mayor, City of Kirkland and Denis Law, Mayor, City of Renton 

Cities and the state must partner for Washington’s new marijuana system to work, and that partnership begins with revenue sharing

 

In November 2012, the voters of Washington State approved Initiative 502 (I-502), legalizing recreational marijuana statewide. With legalization, it was predicted we’d see a more tightly-regulated legal marijuana market that would eradicate the black market, and a decrease in marijuana-related crime. Revenues for public safety and health were also projected to increase. 

Whereas I-502 now generates new revenue for the state, it does not require this revenue be spent at the local level...

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Juanita HS Students Achieve “Top Scores in the World” Award on Cambridge Exams

Cambridge International Examinations, the world’s largest provider of international programs and qualifications for school education between the ages of 5 and 19, announced today thatthree students from Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington, are recipients of the prestigious Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards. Two students received the Top Scores in the World award on a Cambridge Advanced Subsidiary (AS) examination, while another student was recognized as having the Top Score in the USA in his respective category. The students and teachers were awarded at a surprise gathering at the beginning of the school day last week. 

 

The Juanita High School students honored:

·         Hayden Anderson, 16, 11th grade, AS Global Perspectives, Top in the World

·         Maxine Beeman, 16, 11th grade, AS Level Mathematics, Top in the World

·         Jason Carroll, 17, 11th grade, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Physics, Top in the USA

 

Students passing a set of these examinations can quality for the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE). About 1.5 million students in more than 160 countries take AICE exams each year, according to Cambridge International Examinations, which administers the exams for AICE Programs. Seven students in the U.S. earned Top in the World Awards for their scores.

Bob Gray, Everyday Hero honored by Kirkland Kiwanis Club

Bob Gray, Everyday Hero honored by Kirkland Kiwanis Club

On March 30, 2015 the KCK honored Kirkland resident, Bob Gray, for his many years of selfless giving of his time and resources to the Kirkland Community and surrounding areas.  

 

Bob’s service to the community started when he retired at 55.  He got involved working with kids at a pre-school in Kirkland and that set him on a path of service and giving for the next 35 years.  As an example of his caring and generosity, Bob personally sponsored several young adults in our area through college– an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

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Would new signage make parking in Kirkland easier to understand?

Would new signage make parking in Kirkland easier to understand?

A hodgepodge of regulations aptly describes downtown Kirkland's public parking situation which creates confusion, inefficiency and even prevents visitors from returning after a bad experience. 

Here is my recollection of the parking rules in downtown Kirkland (forgive me if I am not current): You can have two hours of street parking between 9am - 7pm, three hours of free parking in certain lots between 9am and 5pm, after which it costs $1/hour unless it is Sunday or unless you are in the Library Parking Garage, which is 4 hours of free parking on certain levels, other levels require are marked Permit Parking Only during certain hours and others spaces are reserved for Library patrons only. Then there is the Antique Mall Lot, which is $1/hour between 9am and 9pm unless it is Sunday or a holiday. Some street parking spaces on Central Way have a 4 hour parking limit. Violate any of these rules and you will receive a parking ticket of $35 which must be paid within 15 days or it becomes $65. 

Admittedly, I may be off on a detail here or there but the point I am trying to make is that for an area as small as downtown Kirkland, we have a dizzying array of parking rules. It is no wonder visitors complain about parking here.

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Say Yes to Public Safety- Approve King County Prop 1

The following Op-Ed is from Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen regarding Prop 1:

 

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Every day police officers, firefighters, and other emergency response personnel in Kirkland work in unpredictable settings to save lives and keep our communities safe. To do this work effectively, first responders need to dispatch and coordinate resources on an emergency responder radio network. The radio network that provides this capacity throughout King County is dangerously out of date and needs to be replaced. The current network is nearly 20 years old, and each year becomes more prone to equipment failures, dead zones in coverage, and unexpected outages. Firefighters and police officers are sometimes forced to use different radio channels to communicate when responding to life-threatening situations. Voting to approve King County Proposition 1 will make sure that our responders have the tools they need to keep our communities safe when called upon.

 

Public safety professionals are called to serve in every part of King County- from downtown urban settings to rural back roads and highways. No matter what the situation brings, the radio network is a vital link between an emergency responder and other resources that they might need to get the job done. I certainly don’t want our police or firefighters to have to second guess their radio system during a life-threatening situation. Please say yes to public safety and join me in voting to approve King County Prop. 1 for the April 28th election.

Mayor Amy Walen

Toxic Algae Alert: Waverly Beach Closed; Warning Signs Posted on Other Beaches

 

 

Water quality test results from blue-green algae found at Kirkland’s Waverly Beach reflect an unsafe level of microcystin and for health and safety reasons, the beach is closed.  Additionally, all waterfront parks in Kirkland along Lake Washington have been posted with warning signs advising that toxic algae is present and that the water could be unsafe for humans and pets if ingested. 

 

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) warns that blue-green algae blooms can be different in colors, may appear as foam, scum or streaks on the surface of water and can poison animals, wildlife, and people.  To report toxic algae, contact Seattle-King County Public Health at 206-296-4600 or report it online at www.nwtoxicalgae.org.  For more information, visit the State DOH website at www.doh.wa.gov and search about blue-green algae.