Thursday, March 3, 7PM, Baptist Church on 166th. Any resident is welcome. Please RSVP at email email@example.com.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Education Hill Neighborhood Association's speaker for the March 3 meeting will answer questions on the design and costs of building of our schools
Thursday, March 3, 7PM, Baptist Church on 166th. Any resident is welcome. Please RSVP at email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
My personal problems with the Bond measure have been resolved and I've recently endorsed it. As a result, my blog is taking on an advocacy role.. Therefore, I won't be publishing opposing Letters on the Bond measure until after the April Election.
I'll still be publishing Letters on neighborhood issues other than the Bond measure. Please send them in!
Letters on other neighborhood issues are appreciated and will be posted. My blog is as only as good as the visitors who read it and participate in it.
If you want to say something to about this Notice --good or bad -- please COMMENT below. If you're looking for an outlet to share your opposing views on the Bond you might look into the Education Hill Neighborhood Association here:
To become a member of Education Hill Neighborhood Association email: email@example.com
Thanks for visiting and participating!
Friday, February 5, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Partly as a result of this situation, newly formed "Education Hill Neighborhood Association" (EdHNA) will be hosting Eric Campbell as a Speaker for their EdHNA March 3 meeting. Eric has been involved in much of the effort around cost-effective design principles -- as a school Task Force Member and Bond Committee Member. He was the owner of Kirkland based Camwest Development which has since been sold. Special thanks to the LW Citizens Levy Committee for lining up Eric.
The School Board approved the 2016 Bond measure last night. There's been quite a bit of chatter about how future LWSD school buildings will be designed to be cost effective. In my opinion, the District has more work to do to be specific and transparent about cost savings derived from "rebuilds" and "remodels". For instance, what are the specific savings derived from the "rebuild" of Kirk Elementary? As you will note below, the District currently relies on vague "Principles" to express "specific cost savings". I'm an advocate for the Bond measure but I think we need better information.
As noted, the Task Force and District centers their report of building design savings around 7 "Design Principles", as follows:
1. Aesthetics: Emphasis is placed on aesthetics that are "pleasing and fit with neighborhood context but not on design awards". A "consideration" is made that "limiting aesthetics on non-frontage sides could impact the 'look and feel' of schools to both students and neighbors." "Specific Cost Savings" are "dependent on specific project/implementation of design principles." That's it.
2. Stacking Buildings: Stacking "eliminates or minimizes 1-story designs." "Specific Cost Savings": " A cost study showed 3% savings for 3-story over two story buildings."
3. Efficient and Simple Design: Buildings may be "designed in a more compact manner ie. Boxed shaped..." "Specific Cost Savings" are "dependent of specific design, estimated to be 2-3%."
4. Grouping Multiple Projects To The Extent Possible: "to consider combining together using the same design team." "Specific Cost Savings": "Potential 3-4% savings if two similar projects could be combined."
5. Accountability To Design Teams: "The benefit is any required deviations from standards are vetted and approved." (Other benefits are listed.) "Specific Cost Savings": are "dependent on specific project/implementation of design principles".
6. Standards: One of the "benefits is consistency among schools (replacement or new)". "Specific Cost Savings": are "dependent on specific project/implementation of design principles."
7. Photo-Parts: involves "re-using portions of design concepts across projects." "Specific Cost Savings": are "dependent on specific project/implementation of design principles."
I hope some of you can make it to the March 3 meeting to hear Eric Campbell. There may be time for Q&A. Please RSVP so we can set up enough seats. School Board Director Siri Bleisner is scheduled to speak briefly at the February 4th meeting.
The complete 257 page Task Force Document can be found here. The building design recommendations reported above are located in Appendix F, Pages 64-65. My report contains only portions of the 7 Principles. Special thanks to LWSD Communications Director Kathryn Reith for her assistance in finding Appendix F.
Notes: Read More>>
Monday, January 25, 2016
• Pay their utility bill with a Visa or MasterCard
• View bill, current balance and due date
• Access billing history, payments and charges
• View historical consumption data
• Elect to have only electronic bills
To sign up for online utility billing or make a payment, follow the instructions atwww.redmond.gov/ubonlinepayment. To access your account, you will need your full account number, plus the last name or business name on the account. Payments made by mail and via the automated phone system will continue to be accepted.
For more information or to access the online utility billing system, go towww.redmond.gov/ubonlinepayment or call the Utility Billing Office at 425-556-2152. This press release is available on www.redmond.gov.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Man leaves KKK-type robe and rope at local business
Redmond, WA - On Jan 20th, 2016 at 5:45pm, Redmond Police responded to a local store near the 16000 block of Redmond Way when a store employee called to report they felt threatened. A white male, mid-20s, brown hair, 5'10'' with an athletic/stocky build, had entered their store and left behind items that resembled Ku Klux Klan items.
An employee and the store owner reported that he came into the store and offered to sell some clothes. The store purchased some articles from the customer. After exhibiting some suspicious behavior, the man left the store and the staff noted that he left another bag behind. After looking through it, they found a white robe, white hood with eye holes, and a loose rope, all of which appeared to be items similar to those worn by the Ku Klux Klan. The store owner, who is black, believes this was a threat to herself.
Redmond Police is taking this incident very seriously and immediately started a thorough investigation. We have determined the robe has two patches on the back that resemble the "Blood Drop" symbol associated with the "KKK".
We are not aware of other incidents, but as a precaution, we have increased patrols in the area and are engaging closely with store employees.
We are currently attempting to identify the harassment suspect, depicted in this sketch pictured below. If you have information that may help with this investigation, or believe you know the identity of this man, please contact Detective D'Amico at 425.556.2669, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will release updates when appropriate.
Our association is in the forming stages. We had our first meeting on January 3 to get acquainted and organized. Our next meeting is Thursday, February 4, 7-8:30pm. at the Baptist Church on 166th Avenue. We will be pounding out our Mission Statement. You don't have to be a "member" to attend If you plan on coming please RSVP here (and see a picture of us!) so we can set up enough chairs. I won't promise but cookies may be provided! :)
EdNHA is the brainstorm of activist Paige Norman. Many, many thanks to Paige! (She runs a productive, fun meeting, too.) Hank Myers, David Carson, Planning Commissioner Scott Biethan, Arts Commissioner Rob Levitt and Steve Fields participated in the first meeting....along with about 25 other residents. Paige set up a Facebook Group. All are welcome to the meetings. Our email address is: email@example.com. We are all very passionate and excited about our new association! I hope you are, too! This is a "first" for Redmond.
Note: Learn about novel ways the City will be improving communications with our neighborhoods.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I believe the free-standing ER's are in place to provide emergent care to those when time to care is critical, 10 minutes less without proper care in an ambulance can actually mean life or death in some cases.
I would argue that as population increases in such areas, those free-standing ER's create a perfect landing zone to build a medical center around an existing, well-known facility. In addition, the stand-alone ER's create a wise business incentive that can meet the needs of the community and the hospital network. Hospitals are a business. They must make money or at least break even.
They may be costly but nonetheless I would argue that there has been at least 1 life saved by each of these free-standing ER's..
How many lives does it take to justify the cost of building the facility?
The good news! Two-way communication between the city and neighborhoods is improving by leaps and bounds. Besides a recent update of the city website (check it out!) Rhodes reported the following communication improvements:
1) The city "is in the process of searching for a new Community Outreach Member to function as an ambassador with the community and hopefully enhance our 2-way communication." This Member's responsibility will be to provide "PR and community outreach and engagement."
2) The Communications Department is in the planning stages for putting on a Community Outreach Roadshow! Rhodes said "Four to six community meetings per year, focused on one or more key messages, are being planned so yourselves (council) and Mayor to communicate directly, face-to-face on a consistent basis with the community." Council members Kim Allen and Hank Myers have been pushing for this for some time, and the Mayor has delivered.
Take a quick look at the city website and you'll notice important neighborhood information is now at your fingertips! One of my favorites is "Issues and Questions" where you can get answers to your traffic concerns, drinking water issues, and more. (When in doubt don't by shy about contacting our city Ombudsman about anything that bothers you or things you're seeing in the city you like.)
Council Member David Carson had some very good questions about the city website during the meeting. He asked Rhodes to include the email addresses of all city council members and key staff on the Staff Directory page. His concerns were about citizens wanting to "communicate something after hours." Rhodes said she'd update it. Carson reported the website's Search Engine "is kinda awful." Rhodes agreed and said they are working on it with a "revamp" hopefully by the summer.
Redmond's newest Council Member, Angela Birney suggested a more interactive webpage for our parks -- perhaps a place for maps, tennis court reservations, park area reservations, and the like.
Council Member Vice President Kim Allen touched on one of Education Hill neighborhood's key issues surrounding the city's rapid growth. Allen said "we're halfway there on my pet peeve for the website -- which is under the development tab. How do people find out about land use actions?" Rhodes said she'd fix the "development tab" right away. Allen thanked Rhodes for her hard work saying, "One of the key focuses of the Council Retreat is going to be developing our own communication strategies."
Council Member John Stilin (can't remember his email address) was concerned about "civility" on social media sites. Rhodes said her department is planning innovative online face-to-face webinars which is expected to help.
REGARDING TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION: I'm excited to announce the new "Redmond Hill Neighborhood Association" (EdHNA), It is in the forming stages and now holds monthly meetings at the Baptist Church on 166th Avenue. You don't have to be a "member" to attend. EdNHA is the brainstorm of activist Paige Norman. Many, many thanks to Paige! (She runs a good, fun meeting, too.) Hank Myers, David Carson, Planning Commissioner Scott Biethan, Arts Commissioner Rob Levitt and Steve Fields participated in the first meeting along with about 25 other residents All are welcome to the meetings. Please RSVP here so we can set up enough chairs. EdHNA's new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 15, 2016
Thursday, January 14, 2016
In the meeting, Superintendent Traci Pierce reported that the $398,000,000 April 26, 2016 Bond measure will fund: 1) a remodel or replacement and enlargement (RR) of Juanita HS, 2) a RR of Kirkland El, 3) a RR of Mead El, 4) a new middle school on Redmond Ridge, 5) a new elementary school in north Redmond on 172nd, 6) refurbishment of the Old Redmond School House for preschool space, 7) a modular replacement of Explorer school. 8) Rockwell El will not be remodeled or replaced on any Bond. Pierce said the Capital Funds Levy would cover maintenance. The "ask" includes $21K from potential State construction funding and $10K from impact fees.
According to Assist Sup.Janine Forgard, the bonding schedule is intended to reduce and eliminate portables. Councilmember (CM) John Stilin asked Traci Pierce "Do you own the portables and how are you going to re-purpose them? Could we relocate them in a park to be used as community centers? Could they be retrofitted as housing? Could an organization like Hopelink pick it up?" Pierce answered "We didn't really talk about this" but that the District does own the portables and "green portables" could be relocated if needed, though it's expensive. She said they would "get rid" of the old portables. School Director Siri Bliesner mentioned one green portable is at Redmond MS and four are at Redmond El. They are presently building a permanent six classroom wing at Redmond El and CM David Carson wanted to know what they were going to do with the green portables there. The answer was vague.
Traffic: CM Stilin asked for a study on how many hundred trips could be moved off of 166th once the new "Pope" elementary school on 172nd in north Redmond is built. He thought the voters would be very interested in this. School Director Bliesner said "the middle school on Redmond Ridge would help reduce traffic on the Avondale corridor".
Pierce said the proposed 2018 Bond ($288M) would fund: 1) an addition to Lake Washington HS, 2) a new elementary school in the Lake Washington Learning Community, 3) a remodel or replacement (RR) at Kamiakin MS, 4) Eastlake/Redmond Learning community Choice School, 5) a RR at Alcott El, 6) land, 7) Special Ed learning spaces.
The proposed 2022 Bond ($278M) would fund: 1) a Lake Washington Community Learning Center (LWCL) Choice school, 2) a new LWCL Elementary school, 3) a new Redmond Learning Center elementary school, 4) a RR of Evergreen Middle School, 5) a preschool on the westside, 6) Special Ed learning space, 7) land.
The proposed 2026 Bond ($207M) would fund: 1) a Finn Hill middle school addition, 2) a RR at Smith Elementary school, 3) Special Ed learning space, 4) land.
Superintendent Pierce emphasized the present 2015 tax rates will not increase during the 2016-2026 bond funding period.
Note: I updated an earlier opinion post on the District's bond schedule. The proposed Bond in 2018 is $288M, The total 2016-2026 Bond amount is $1171M. Capital Project Levys are planned for 2018, 2022, and 2026.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Redmond, WA –The Redmond Fire Department will award the CPR Gold Lifesaving Medal to Brian Funk and Teresa Kingsbury for saving the life of Jason Kingsbury, (45 YOA) when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at an indoor recreation facility on September 7, 2015.
UPDATED: Superintendent Traci Pierce quotes funding schedule for building more schools -- my opinion
$278,000,000 proposed Bond measure in 2022.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
According to the Public Lane-Use Notice: The applicant, "Redmond Projects" plans to construct 250 dwelling units, 25,000 sq ft of retail space and 83,000 sq ft of office space on a 2.29 acre site. No Public Hearing is required but you can Comment to the Administration by calling Gary Lee (425-556-2418) or emailing him. The City is only accepting Comments until January 27th.
Gary Lee writes: "Construction is anticipated to begin between the 4th quarter of 2016 and the 1st quarter of 2017. If things go as planned the first tower will be completed in the Spring of 2018."
As for parking, Gary Lee writes: "There should be sufficient parking (with 362 stalls). Because the office use and residential uses have opposite peak hours, they can realistically share a lot of the parking stalls (and it's close to the transit center.)"
Personally, I was blind-sided to learn the City zones for 9-Story High Rises in the Downtown. I had earlier been informed only 6-story buildings were allowed. When was the zoning changed? Why wasn't the public notified of this change? Will the boutique hotel planned for Redmond Town Center be higher than 6 stories?
What part, if any, does One Redmond play in this? Why can't they give the community timely development updates?
This project (and others) are buried in the City Web Site "Design Review Board Agenda". There is presently an opening on the Design Review Board for a "Redmond resident".
One Redmond Facebook page
Monday, January 11, 2016
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Redmond Elementary wins award, runs a vibrant Lunch Buddy program, and is now constructing a wing of six classrooms