On Monday, we had our last membership meeting until Fall, and our big one...election time! Thanks for all the folks who made it out and participated in the process with us!Another part of that meeting was all those speakers, and all that information! With the City's Comprehensive Plan update coming up, they came out to share a BUNCH of information with us on what to expect, how to give feedback or be involved, what to look for in the coming year(s). To hold it all in, we have put up a special page HERE on our website to help gather, glean and keep track of everything coming our way.If you'd like us to gather questions for you, send them in and we'll post up on the page as we find out answers to what's happening, when the meetings are, and so on. With big parts of OUR neighborhood set to be included in the plan for the first time (annexation), it's a good time to get your voice heard and make sure we have a neighborhood we're proud of for decades to come!REMINDER: Our adopted section of the Cross Kirkland Trail, good old "Section 17" gets it's first work party and love this weekend. May 18th, 9:00 am for just about an hour or two we'll do some light weeding, scoping out and start our planning process in-line with the City's timeline and show little Section 17 some love. Contact Ken Albinger at EMAIL for details.Our section can be accessed off of Forbes Creek Dr/106th between 113th and 115th Ct.
In the coming months, we hope to bring you more features that spotlight life around here. Artists, crafters, the story behind that "business that's been there forever", history and more. For our first installment of local artists, we chose: Brian Forrest - "Painting is a cross between a crap shoot, finding your way out of the woods, and performing a magic act. Each time I begin to paint I feel like I am walking a tightrope—sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, sometimes very quiet, and always, always surprising; leading me where I never expected to go. Doing art makes me lose all sense of time and place and go inside one long moment of creating.
Whenever I feel a painting in my gut, I know this is why I paint. The colors are the message, I feel them before my mind has a chance to get involved. Color
is the most agile and dynamic medium to create joy. And if you can find joy in your art, then you’ve found something worth holding on to."
Born in Canada and bred in the U.S., Brian Forrest works in many mediums: oil painting, computer graphics, theatre, digital music, film, and video. Brian studied acting at Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, digital media in art and design at Bellevue College (receiving degrees in Web Multimedia Authoring and Digital Video Production.)
He works in the Seattle, WA area in design/media/fine art. Forrest is modern expressionist painter, who's work is influenced by past and current colorism in art.
You can view Brian's The “Fair Trade Coffee Paintings” currently on display at Vovito Caffé and Gelato, located in Bellevue Washington’s Shops at The Bravern through May 31st, 2012. Find out more from this local talent by visiting him at his painting art blog: http://brianforrest-art.blogspot.com/ and check out his flickr showing more of his work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/35433428@N08/ We're a little partial to the series of landscapes in Kirkland! We're partial to his series about Kirkland! but check out the full array to see work from Seattle, Bellevue, Fair trade coffee and so much more! You can contact Brian directly at email@example.com
Stamp Out Hunger is the country's largest single-day food drive and takes place on Saturday May 11, 2013. Food Lifeline, Western Washington largest hunger relief agency, partners with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to fill the shelves of local food banks, shelters and meal programs.
Created to help fill a gap in food donations between the holidays and the increased demand of summer, Stamp Out Hunger lays an important role in ensuring that hungry families and children can access the food they need.
How to participate: It's simple, fill your blue plastic bag, with non-perishable food and place by your mailbox before 8am on Saturday May 11, 2013.
Good items to include: One of the reasons that local food banks value this food drive so highly is the huge variety of canned goods it brings into the donation system. Remember, too, that families who turn to food banks have an *increased* need when their children are no longer receiving meals at school during summer vacation, toiletries and household items are always in short supply and costly. Consider adding in an extra jar of peanut butter or more canned items, a bottle of shampoo or toilet paper in with your food donations!
Coming up on May 10th and 11th
Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop has their Storewide 50% off sale
Friday and Saturday, May 10 & 11 from 10-5
Located at 12451 116th Ave. NE, Kirkland (in the same parking lot as Value Village)
This lovely little thrift shop is staffed entirely by volunteers and donates their proceeds to Eastside Baby Corner, Friends of Youth, Eastside Legal Assistance, Hopelink, Sophia Way, KITH, Sibling House, and many others.
This little shop is a favorite in our house, they have so many unique items and hard to find (like *real* Pyrex dishes!) all the time and the best prices! ~admin Karissa
Our next work party is schedule for May 18th! We begin to assess the needs and do some basic beginning maintenance for our adopted section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. For more information, keep an eye out on our events page, upcoming newsletter or email Vice chair Ken Albinger @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for fun activities in the neighborhood and around town? Check out Explore Kirkland for calendar of events, newsletters and more on what's going on out and about the town. Speaking of, there's some fun things coming up just here in Juanita featured there this week
On April 13th, join us for Family Birding Walk at Juanita Bay from 10am - 11:30am. April is when birds begin migrating back to the area. Juanita Bay is routinely featured on Audubon Society's top birding spots in the area, so a great time to learn, explore and maybe be the first to spot an American Goldfinch for more info: 425-576-8805 FREE event. You can also take wildlife tours with the Juanita Bay Park Volunteer Ranger on the first Sunday of every month at 1:00p.m.
Dates: 4/7, 5/5, 6/2, 7/7, 8/4
Location: 2201 Market Street
(meet in the parking lot)
For more bird watching opportunites through the season, try Juanita Bay Park Bird Walks Join a park ranger for a relaxed morning walk, looking for birds in the area.
Dates: 3/19, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18, 7/16, 8/20
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Juanita Bay Park, 2201 Market Street (meet in the parking lot)
And before you know it, It's MAY and the return of the Juanita Friday market at Juanita Beach!
If May is here before we know it, then so is June. Which means senior kids becoming college bound adults and juniors scoping it out for their turn next year. On that vein, Kirkland Kiwanis still has a few scholarships available to students from Lake Washington or Juanita High Schools. Awarded on a variety of criteria, and in amounts of $500 to $1000. If you're interested in finding out more, contact their Scholarship committee chair, John White @ email@example.com Deadline for application is April 15th.We also want to thank everyone for all their responses to the pet waste survey. If you missed it in the post below, please fill it out! We contacted the City to see if the new Parks Levy would find funding for things long cut from parks for pet waste stations. The answer we received seems it isn't even on their radar, so it's definitely not in their plans. If you feel strongly in support of it (100% of survey responses so far want them in parks) then here's some more that can be done:Email Jason Filan, Parks Maintenance director at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know you want to see pet waste stations back in parksFill out our survey below
Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find us at local businesses and parks the week of April 8th through the 13th. We'll be out and about in the neighborhood with an informal petition, collecting donations (dollars and materials), recruiting volunteer clean-up crews and seeing if the JNA can get the ball rolling on multiple fronts through the City and community support to keep our parks clean and providing useful services we all want!Coming up in the blog in the next month. We launch our "Local Spotlight" features where we will be bringing you bios on local artists, featured articles on local businesses, Juanita through the eyes of a life-timer and a newcomer and updates on all the amazing and fun events coming this summer.
We all know it's the 'right' thing to do to watch our pooches and clean up when we're at the park, out in the neighborhood or on the beach. It's just one of those things where one person's oops-with-the-poops can ruin it for all. Whether it's the risk of spreading disease to animals, risking water quality and wildlife, ruining that perfect pair of new shoes, or a real mess with a curious toddler, it is a real "stinky" problem.
We've had some inquiries and offers recently from concerned neighbors who are noticing a real increase in the amount of noticeable pet waste that seems to be "forgotten" when it comes to clean up time. So we thought we'd reach out and see what you all have to say with our survey. Is it a growing problem? Can we do more about it? Or is it just a fact of life and no big deal? Let us know what you think Juanita!
Our next general neighborhood meeting is coming up! Monday, March 11th at 7:00 pm, at Juanita Elementary.
The planned agenda topics will include:
Prop 1 and 2: Well, they passed, so now what? The City Parks and Public Works departments return to give us a breakdown of how the revenue from the propositions will be used, what projects are upcoming.
Cross Kirkland Trail corridor: We have a chief engineer on the project coming in to give us a description of the goings-on on this project. Also, we will be tentatively looking to schedule the clean-up work party for the section the JNA adopted.
Upcoming Elections: Our annual membership meeting in May is elections for new Board positions and committees.
We will have 3 open "members-at-large" positions
Volunteer coordinator committee chair (and some committee slots if founded)
Beautification Committee members (possibly a chair slot)
Edith Moulton call for hands and update: We return to Edith Moulton on April 20th @ 10am.
Paul Erickson from Kirkland Summerfest and KirklandVolunteers.com will be by to tell us about KirklandVolunteers.com and getting involved in the area and events.
This is a recap and extension of our blog post of 2/4/13. This item is tentatively scheduled to be brought back to the City Council on March 19, 2013, at which time interested parties will have an opportunity to address the Council. Recently, stories are revving up on the City's proposed ordinance change over the discrimination of Section 8 housing vouchers recipients. Op-ed letters and blogs seemingly exploded with concern the City failed to notify people in advance of these issues to allow time for people to comment. Some information you can use to help figure out the Facts from the fictions out there. The proposed ordinance wording can be found HERE and you can also review and learn more about how the Section 8 voucher program works HERE from King County Housing Authority's Landlord page and HERE from an informative page on Wikipedia (that includes reference links to federal statutes as well). The City Council first considered this item back in November, held a public meeting in January and is tentatively scheduled to review the issue at their next meeting on February 19th. If you are a landlord, HOA manager, property manager or other potentially effected person we encourage you to research this program and discover there are many benefits to accepting such programs and dispel the myths and rumors for yourself! The City has a page on their website HERE detailing the issue, including the ordinance, previous meeting minutes, and a Question/Answer for that details answers to the most common questions and misconceptions, which you can view HERE
As time has gone on, the misinformation only seems to be spreading. What a shame! There may be other means the City could use to educate landlords on how the Section 8 program works, or ways to reduce discrimination, sure... but it really needs to be repeated, again and again and again because the City's proposed ordinance *DOES NOT* "mandate" anyone to accept the voucher program. The City has issued statements, updates to their site, and letters to editors acknowledging that those in charge of notifying the public did not get the notice out as far and wide as should have been attempted. They have also added time for public comment, kept regular updates to the website, provided all the ordinance wording (linked above) and scheduled another meeting to discuss this ordinance with everyone. If you have a vested interest on either side (tenant, Landlord) we encourage you to contact the City (see below) or attend that meeting. Our March 11th general meeting will have a report from the City on the basics of the actual ordinance. (March 11th, Juanita Elementary, 7pm)But let's talk about some of the big concerns. We scoured the web, talked to the City and Housing Authority and gathered some intel from folks who've worked directly with the program from both sides (Landlord and tenant):Inspections of the property: All Housing Authorities charged with providing this program, and in this case specifically the King county Housing Authority, do a pre-inspection and an annual one on the home where a voucher is providing all or part of the rent. Pre-inspection: This is to ensure the property is up to code and mandated requirements of the program. That's it. Think no leaks, functioning appliances, vents in bathrooms, no broken windows, no lead paint and safe electrical. If your rental unit were not to pass, you DO NOT have to repair it so someone can move in. You can opt out, as you are not under contract with the tenant or the Housing Authority at this stage. You WOULD NOT be in violation of the Ordinance if you opted out at this stage. Annual Inspection: This is a requirement faced by the TENANT in order to continue to receive their voucher. Each year, months in advance of the expiration of the lease, the Housing Authority begins the renewal process. This includes sending an application to the tenant to re-certify all their assets, income, desire to remain (a tenant may choose to renew their lease, request to move, or leave the program) and schedule the annual inspection. The inspectors have access to ALL previous inspections of the property, and do a walk through to ensure it's still up to code. They check smoke detectors, make sure there are no needed repairs, ensure the tenant is not damaging your property. Tenants are required to have *professional* carpet cleaning done (and provide receipts) once a year on units with carpeting, they are held responsible for ensuring smoke detectors work, and they are held responsible to ensure the yard (if any) is kept to standards equal to or above that of the neighborhood, the home is clean and orderly, and so on. The "mandates" of the inspection are NOT intrusive to the Landlord and all the "teeth" of enforcement are towards the TENANT.If a home fails an annual inspection, both the tenant and the Landlord receive a letter detailing what the nature of the issue is, whom is responsible (Under the Landlord-Tenant law, not some arbitrary choice), a time frame is given to adhere to repairs, and a re-inspection date is scheduled. If the unit continues to fail past these times, the process then goes to one of two things: Landlord required repairs: The tenant is not allowed to remain and will be granted the ability to move out of the home. They will not lose their voucher, and the Landlord will not face intrusive demands. Tenant required repairs: The Housing Authority terminates the tenants assistance for failure to follow the program and the Landlord may enter into a lease contract with the tenant responsible for the entire rent, or proceed with eviction processes.Rent amounts: There seems to also be a lot of "confusion" over the use of the word "rent limits" and others. The Housing Authority does NOT "tell you" what you're allowed to charge for your rental unit. They take into consideration the features of your unit, the area it is in and simply make a determination on whether it is a comparable and within the fair market. Tenants on the program know what their voucher amount, and it's limits, are before they even look for a unit. They will not be coming to you on a $1200 voucher for your $3000 home. They have limits on both the amount of rent and the size they are allowed to look for. In the event a tenant approaches you, you agree to rent to them on Section 8 and the Housing Authority determines your rent is not within those comparable (every other 2 bd in your area is $600, but you are charging $900, as an example), the Housing Authority notifies both tenant and you that they will not approve the tenant's request for that unit. That's it. You have an opportunity to lower the rent if you wish, but you are NOT required to, it has no bearing on your property's value, is NOT a judgement upon you as a Landlord and if this occurs and all parties opted out, you would NOT be in violation of this proposed ordinance. The current rent guidelines used by the King County Housing Authority are:Area 0-Bed 1-Bed 2-Bed 3-Bed 4-Bed 5-Bed 6-Bed King County $730 $830 $1,030 $1,440 $1,990 $2,220 $2,510 East King County $1,010 $1,100 $1,330 $1,760 $2,320 $2,530 $2,860As you can see, they allow higher rents for the Eastside already and are indeed very reasonable to current listings available today. Each time the lease is up for renewal, and that re-certification process mentioned above is initiated. You will receive a letter from the Housing Authority, letting you know how to proceed if you wish to raise the rent. If the market has changed in your area and the condition/features of the home allow, you may raise the rent as you would any other tenant over time and through the same process. You are not hindered to remain on the program if the market increase or your desire for more rent income put you outside the limits of both rent and increases the Housing Authority must follow under Federal Law. The Housing Authority also guarantees their portion of the rent, or "voucher", will arrive by the 5th of every month and they also offer a direct deposit option.Hopefully this provides some more clear information on how this program works to dispel all the hyperbole and fears going around.Remember, none of this is in the ordinance. The ordinance simply states you cannot openly discriminate against someone who has applied to your unit solely on the basis that they are on Section 8. You may use the screening process you already use for any other tenant to determine their suitability for your unit. If you have questions, concerns or comments the City contact is:Dawn Nelson, Planning Supervisor
Planning & Community Development
425-587-3230 (phone)To find out more about Section 8 or get clarification on your concerns:King County Housing Authority Section 8 Office 700 Andover Park W. Tukwila, WA 98188 Tel: 206-214-1300 Fax: 206-243-5927
The City has released an announcement regarding their storm management and is looking for the public to assist and comment. The announcement: Kirkland residents are invited to provide comments by March 15, 2013 on the 2013 Storm water Management Program. This program identifies the City’s strategies to engage and educate the public about storm water management, prevent spills and dumping into the storm water system, and require development projects to control and treat runoff. These efforts are designed to improve the quality of water in lakes and streams. Comments can be provided via e-mail to email@example.com or via mail addressed to the City of Kirkland Public Works Department, 123 Fifth Avenue, Kirkland, WA 98033. This program is part of the City’s compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm water pollution results from everyday activities such as driving, land development, and even yard care. Cleaning up storm water will involve both reducing the amount of pollution that we put onto the landscape (source control), and removing contaminants from runoff before it reaches local waters (treatment). ___And wouldn't you know it? There's a way you can help reduce storm water run-off, surface flooding and pollutants while also getting a FREE yard overhaul. The City is continually recruiting for their pilot Rain Garden program.
Forbes house rain garden after installation
We had Betsey Adams from the City of Kirkland at one of our meetings last fall to fill us all in on this program. The City is looking for clusters of neighbors who'd like to help pilot this program. The City helps homeowners design a rain garden and then covers the installation costs through this grant. You work with a landscape design/architect and the City, you have say in how it looks or what it's design is for (low maintenance, high flowers, etc) and you get a beautiful new yard! What's not to love about that!? For the pilot parts of this program the City is requiring that:there be cluster of homes on the same street/neighborhood interestedit must be your front yardyou agree to have signage explaining Rain gardens visible from street You can contact Betsey Adams via email at BAdams@kirklandwa.gov or at (425) 587-3858 Some other sites to check out are:King County's storm water run off info12000 Rain Gardens projectKirkland's website on storm water prevention tips and info
Photo by Alejandro Ramirez, flickr
We could not be more proud of our hard working Treasurer and the Board member behind so much work behind our efforts to update and renew the historical and informational signs at Juanita Beach and Juanita Bay parks! Go Karen!
As she mentions during her interview, for this budget cycle, we will continue our work with signage at these sister parks, focusing this year on some very outdated and damaged signs at Juanita Bay. When all is finished, both parks will have updated, new signs with historically accurate information, designed to resist graffiti and damage and be a nice cohesive pieces throughout both.
SAVE THE DATE!
Our next general meeting will be on March 11th, 2013 at 7:00pm
at Juanita Elementary School
As we finalize our agenda, we will be working on nominations for those who are interested in holding Board positions for the upcoming year, some fresh speakers and topics of interest and updates on some really fun events we have upcoming this year! Look for our newsletter with the announcement in the coming week and we hope to see you there!
At our recent General Membership meeting in January, we had the City come and give a great presentation on Recycling here in Kirkland. Did you know Kirkland is the #1 recycling city in ALL of King County?! YAY for us! Here on the City's web page you can find a bunch of great info. Did you know you can recycle used cooking oil at a FREE drop off at the North Kirkland Community Center? The Waste Management will pick up electronics to recycle for FREE? That food scraps can now be composted with and tossed right into your yard waste bin? (and that the City is offering FREE samples of the biodegradable bags to reduce odor for food, too?) You may have also recently seen Waste Managements and the City's new packet about recycling sent in the mail in early January. It is filled with loads of information on what you can recycle, what you can't, where to recycle the weird and hazardous stuff and much more.As you may have heard, Mandy the lost pup was FOUND and returned to her owner. Kirkland Patch updated their original story to include some great tear-jerker pictures of the happy reunion. Good job to our neighbors and the efforts of Finn Hill and our community in keeping up the search and supporting her owner.Recently, stories are revving up on the City's proposed ordinance change over the discrimination of Section 8 housing vouchers recipients. Op-ed letters and blogs seemingly exploded with concern the City failed to notify people in advance of these issues to allow time for people to comment. Some information you can use to help figure out the Facts from the fictions out there. The proposed ordinance wording can be found HERE and you can also review and learn more about how the Section 8 voucher program works HERE from King County Housing Authority's Landlord page and HERE from an informative page on Wikipedia (that includes reference links to federal statutes as well). The City Council first considered this item back in November, held a public meeting in January and is tentatively scheduled to review the issue at their next meeting on February 19th. If you are a landlord, HOA manager, property manager or other potentially effected person we encourage you to research this program and discover there are many benefits to accepting such programs and dispel the myths and rumors for yourself! The City has a page on their website HERE detailing the issue, including the ordinance, previous meeting minutes, and a Question/Answer for that details answers to the most common questions and misconceptions, which you can view HERE