Monday, November 30, 2015
Redmond Lights is unique to Redmond. The event starts at City Hall at 4 pm and meanders through a luminary walk through the Redmond Central Connector. Participants will be entertained by various community and regional groups. Don’t be surprised when you see fire dancers and twinkling lights on the Heron Rookery! This year, DigiPen staff and students will be presenting a special light installation for the community. Local businesses will provide warm beverages, opportunities to make
This time of year always highlights a time to give and support those in need. To give the community an opportunity to give; Hopelink will be at Redmond Lights collecting canned food and new toys.
“The entire community is invited to Redmond Lights. Come celebrate and learn about our different cultural traditions through light displays, music, fun activities and food,” said Redmond Mayor John Marchione.”
For a detailed event schedule and parking information, please visitwww.RedmondLights.com.
Monday, November 23, 2015
WINTER LIGHTS, Saturday, December 5, 4-8PM www.redmondlights.com
Downtown is Bustling with Activity
Directory of all Redmond businesses: www.ThinkRedmond.com
"Park for Free and Walk Your Way Around Downtown" www.redmond.gov/parking
"City Agrees to New Solid Waste Contract" Garbage residential rates will increase from $1.85 to $5.43 per month http://www.wmnorthwest.com/redmond
"Subscribe to City News" www.redmond.gov/news
"Redmond's Snow Plow Routes" www.redmond.gove/snowice
City Web Site: www.redmond.gov
Sunday, November 22, 2015
I went to Barbara's office and she took out a photocopy of Horace Mann's floor plan and proceeded to number the rooms at Horace Mann with a pen. She numbered the classrooms from 1 to 19, then she looked at another sheet and said that two rooms were "resource rooms" so that Horace Mann had 17 rooms. Which rooms were 'resource rooms' and what were the resource rooms used for? She did not know. I pointed out that my directory said that Horace Mann had 19 classrooms that were clearly used as classrooms. We argued whether Horace Mann had 19 or 17 rooms for another 30 minutes until she needed to get to another meeting. Two rooms is not a lot; however, the district has 56 'resource rooms' in its elementary schools - enough classroom space for 3 additional schools.
I found the whole experience to be unreal. Was the district really keeping track of millions of dollars of classroom space using a pen and paper? The district says that they have 56 'resource rooms.' What are they all used for? Many members of the task force asked for a space audit and a classroom inventory to find out what the classrooms were being used for. From January through June, Janene Fogard refused to authorize a space audit until school was out and then stated that the district would do a space inventory in the future.
The district isn't sure how all of its classroom space is being used, or if it's being used efficiently, but they've declared a space shortage because of surging enrollment and they want taxpayers to fund a bond. I have my concerns.
Commentary by Susan Wilkins
Member of the Task Force for Facilities Planning
Saturday, November 21, 2015
- Graduation rates continue to rise and far exceed the state standard
- LWSD’s graduation rate has risen over the past three years from 89 to 92%. The state average is 77%.
- 92% of seniors graduated on-time last spring, and half of the students who did not graduate on-time are still enrolled and working to complete their high school diploma. The target is 100% graduation by 2018.
- Our students are prepared to succeed in college
- Currently, 81% of students enter a 2- or 4-year college directly after high school compared to 62% statewide. The target is 88% post-secondary enrollment by 2018.
- 89% of students earn college credit while still in high school.
- LWSD students outperform state and national averages on tests
- Average SAT critical reading scores in the district rose by 11 points over last year. Reading scores across the state of Washington fell by 8 points, and nationally, reading scores decreased by 2 points.
- SAT writing scores rose by 11 points; state scores fell by 7 and national scores fell by 3.
- SAT math scores were the highest they have been in the past four years. They rose 9 points over last year, while state scores fell 8 points and national scores fell by 2 points.
- Students in grades 3-8 performed 23-27% higher than the state average on the new state assessments.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
In times of severe wind storm and earthquake disaster how can "Community Emergency Response Team" training help?
Spokane was especially hit hard with two dead and hundreds of trees down. Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency in Washington State when at one time 500,000 residential units were without power. The complete story can be found HERE.
With the storm fresh on our minds, we can now begin to think about how we could be better prepared for the next one. Remember the wind storm of 2006 when power was down for seven days? Terrible. What if an earthquake hit our city or region? We are overdue for one. Do we keep more non perishable food and water on hand? Stock up on batteries and flashlights? Buy a generator? Battery powered radio? Tune into Redmond's AM 1650 for community storm news? Keep an extra supply of your medicines? Plan an exit strategy from your house in case of fire? And on......
One thing you can do is become a member of Redmond's CERT program -- "Community Emergency Response Team". I just graduated from the 29th class and felt really prepared for this storm and prepared for the disasters to come. The next class is February 1, 2016 and you can go HERE to register and get more information. Janeen Olson of the Redmond Police Department has been running the program for over six years and makes the learning fun with guest speakers (City fire specialists, police specialists, and the city Chaplin), hilarious but educational videos, snacks, prizes and more! The course is eight weeks long -- every Monday for three hours. You graduate as a community volunteer prepared to take care of yourself and your neighbors in time of disaster.
In the course, we learned: Disaster Psychology, Medical, Search and Rescue, Fire Safety, Triage, Terrorism, Personal and home preparedness, and how to work in a Team with fellow CERT's during community disasters. My favorite class was a four hour drill simulation where we played out a disaster response. Redmond High School students take CERT classes now too. I developed a deep appreciation and respect for our Fire and Police.
So far over four hundred Redmond residents have graduated from CERT. There is no CPR training in this course. If you want CPR and first aid training you can sign up for the City of Redmond's "Redmond Ready" It's a one day class and very affordable. Next class is January 23.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
COMMENTARY: Ok, let us take the situation in Warren Township, New Jersey, in 1985. The town has grown by a factor of 3 in 10 years. They have just approved 900 new units of zoning. The town fathers argue that expecting an increase of 300 kids in kindergarten is unrealistic.
Schools are crowded beyond belief. There is much unhappiness. House prices crash, town becomes worth millions less in money. School levys finally pass, and they have to spend TWICE AS MUCH due to inflation and money cost, to build the same space.
It's finally built. New (positive growth) bunch voted in. Land prices rise, people move in, all is well.
The lesson is simple, strangle the school system and you'll pay for it in your own home value and town environment.
Having said that,
Dear Lake Washington School District,
Please stop with the architectural masterpieces, and build much, much bigger, cheaper, more environmentally sound, school buildings. Boxes are not as pretty, but the kids do fine in them.
James D. Johnston
Source: "Education Hill of Redmond, WA" Facebook Group
Monday, November 16, 2015
And for the record people. Daesh (IS) recruits people from all over the world to its war. The primary group of international recruitment are young marginalized muslim men that feel excluded from community life in their home countries, such as Britain, France etc. So, when Daesh (IS) attacks Paris, they know that it will feed racism and intolerance, mostly towards Muslims and people of color. Which means that Daesh (IS) recruitment will become a lot easier as countries as France become more and more intolerant towards its own population on the basis of religion. Marginalized frustrated people is not what the world needs right now, that only feeds extremism. What the world needs is unity, tolerance and peace. We need love. We need France to say: "You know what Daesh (IS), this attack only makes us even more sure that we need to open our homes for people fleeing what you are doing to them everyday. We need to stand united and strong in this difficult time. We need to summon world leaders and disregard our differences to seek a solution backed by governments all over the world. We need to show real leadership. Hate and terror will not win."
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Monday, November 9, 2015
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Hats off to those who run for office.
"As someone who has run for public office — once in vain and twice successfully — I understand the experience of candidates and elected officials. I therefore wish to honor those who have just completed another grueling campaign season."
Past Mayor of Newcastle, WA.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
$74M apartment sale near Microsoft sets a record for downtown Redmond
A reader informs me this apartment complex is right across the street from the brick ThinkSpace office building in Downtown Redmond. If you have any interest in Redmond's rapid downtown growth this is a must read.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Thursday, October 29, 2015
LETTER: Lake Washington School District Director gives the Facts on the District's facility planning process
Read More >>
Brightmont Academy is offering a new rocketry club for middle and high school students, including LWSD students. Students will build skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as they learn how to design, build and fly a rocket. The Brightmont team will compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world's largest student rocket contest.