Search This Blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

Reminder - Ronald School Hearing TONITE 2/28

Remember, Shoreline City Council Hearing on Landmarked Ronald School is TONITE, 2/28, 7pm at City Hall.
View of Front Portico and Entrance
with Arched Window of
Ronald School, built 1912
The Landmarked building is threatened by a plan to significantly alter the building by the Shoreline School District.  The "Certificate of Appropriateness" is required for the SSD to move forward with their plan. 

Oral Arguments will be heard, FOR and AGAINST the plan at a closed record, quasi-judicial Hearing
before the Shoreline City Council. The decision is in their hands 

The public is invited to attend.
It's YOUR history.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inside Job Wins Oscar for Best Documentary

Now Playing at The Landmark Crest Cinema
16505 5th Avenue NE at 165th
Shoreline, WA 98155
(206) 781-5755
Crest Cinema in Shoreline
Inside Job - Academy Award Winner
Director: Charles Ferguson - Cast: Matt Damon, William Ackman,
Daniel Alpert, Jonathan Alpert, Sigridur Benediktsdottir
From Academy Award® winning filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, comes "Inside Job," the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs . Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, "Inside Job" traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
2:00  4:20  7:00  9:20pm

Go see it and see why we are all in such a mess!

Meet Your Legislators, March 9th at Third Place

32nd District Legislative District Representatives to hold Town Hall in 
Third Place Commons

Residents of the 32nd    Legislative District will have the opportunity to speak with State Senator Maralyn Chase of Edmonds, Representative Cindy Ryu of Shoreline and Representative Ruth Kagi of Lake Forest Park during a Town Hall on Saturday March 12th.  The meeting will run from 10:00AM- noon in the Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park.
The three legislators are eager to answer questions and share their thoughts on the current legislative session, now underway in Olympia.  Each welcomes ideas and input from constituents as they seek to find ways as the close the State's multi-billion dollar budget gap.
3rd Place commons is at 17171 Bothell Way NE, LFP 98155
Chase, Kagi, Ryu

State Legislative Contacts

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ryu Bill to Prevent Mortgage Fraud Passes House Unanimously

Rep Cindy Ryu passes important bill in House to prevent mortgage fraud. 
32nd LD Rep Cindy Ryu (D)
The bill will renew funding to an existing account that would have died otherwise.
Ryu represents the 32nd Leg District and live in Shoreline.
Ryu’s fraud-fighting bill wins unanimous House approval
February 26, 2011
OLYMPIA—State Rep. Cindy Ryu reached a major milestone today in her effort to save Washington’s Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account.
The House of Representatives voted 97-0 for Ryu’s proposal to cancel the scheduled July termination of the fraud-fighting account and extend its life to the end of June, 2016.
“Criminals continue to prey on Washington’s residents with a variety of mortgage fraud schemes,” said Ryu (D-Shoreline), who represents the 32nd District. “Local prosecutors would not have the resources to pursue these criminals without this resource.”

The Legislature created the Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account in 2003 to help pay for prosecutions of mortgage fraud, which often involve lengthy, complex and costly cases that would otherwise impose heavy burdens on the budgets of county prosecutors. Funds for the account are generated by a $1 surcharge on county recording fees fordeeds of trust.

Deb Bortner, the Director of Consumer Services at the state Department of Financial Institutions, said her agency requested the Ryu bill (HB 1191in order to keep the original law alive and “continue the good work of the prosecutors’ offices all around the state.”

“Before the statute passed, mortgage fraud prosecution was really almost non-existent,” Bortner told a Jan. 18 public hearing. Bortner said the fund has already helped to produce dozens of felony convictions for mortgage fraud, but the crime remains a serious problem for homeowners.

“We know that many Washington homeowners are now suffering as a result, and they’re in the process of losing their homes, all because of mortgage fraud,” Bortner said. “One dollar per deed of trust is really not a lot to provide this kind of service and put those bad actors away so they can’t do this to our homeowners again.”

The $1 surcharge on deeds of trust is unusual in that it was originally suggested by the mortgage industry, which is now urging lawmakers to protect homeowners by passing Ryu’s bill before the fraud-fighting account expires.

“We wholeheartedly support it,” said Steve Buckner on behalf of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals. “We do not want the bad actors in the industry. We want them out.”

The chair of the House Business and Financial Services Committee, Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma), said it was surprising to see a bill that continues a state fee earn universal support.

“Not one single person in the state of Washington has signed in opposed to this bill,” Kirby remarked during the public hearing.
Today’s House vote sends Ryu’s measure to the Senate for further consideration.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ronald School - The Truth Will Set You Free!

Monday Night, Truth Will Be Told on the Historic Ronald School and the Shoreline School District's Plans to Engulf It in a Huge New HS Complex
Front Portico of Ronald School
built in 1912
The Hearing will be held to determine whether the Shoreline School District should receive the "Certificate of Appropriateness" to impact a Landmarked Building with the proposed development of the Shorewood HS.  The COA was appealed by the Shoreline Preservation Society.

The scene will be a Shoreline City Council Hearing. The meeting starts at 7pm at Shoreline City Hall.

Shoreline City Hall - Council Chamber17500 Midvale Avenue North
Shoreline, Washington 98133

The Public is welcome to attend the hearing and witness the presentations.

The Hearing is to be a Quasi-Judicial Closed Record matter. This means that no public comment will be taken and councilmembers may NOT speak to each other or anyone else on this matter beforehand, but attorneys for Shoreline School District and the Shoreline Preservation Society will be presenting arguments. The hearing will be televised.

One controversial aspect of this hearing is that as of today, the deliberations of the Council are scheduled to be in "Executive Session". That means IN SECRET for a matter regarding the School District and the oldest building in the community!

You can see the agenda and click on the item, and access the documents in the record here.
Rear section of Ronald School, part of the oldest section( 1912)
 of the school to be encased by new HS.
These windows will be replaced but "bricked in" and
"encapsulated" by a glass hallway.

The main issues at stake are the following:

This is NOT about whether to build a new High School.
It is about whether a precedent setting plan to "Significantly Alter and Impact" the 1912 Landmarked Ronald School will be approved by the Shoreline City Council.

The Shoreline Preservation Society is an all volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is:

“To foster the preservation of historical heritage, cultural and 
environmental assets throughout the Shoreline Area.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bird Banding - A Personal Account

Chris Southwick - Recording BC Chickadee
Chris Southwick is a local expert and bird banding volunteer. 
Junco is banded and recorded in the birdbook
ph credit - Chris Southwick
© Neil D. Scott
Hairy Woodpecker- Cornell Lab
Townsends Warbler - photo credit Linda Stein

She is implementing "citizen bird science" in her own backyard. She can do this project because of her expert knowledge and a special permit from USGS (United States Geological Survey).  This project is also part of the SSEA Shoreline Community Backyard Habitat Project. It is meant to determine the habits of local bird populations.
Wilsons Warbler - ph credit Chris Southwick

She is a board member of the Puget Sound Bird Observatory and participant in Sustainable Shoreline Education Association's Shoreline Community Backyard Wildlife Project, and WOWTA Tour.

This last weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count, a nationwide project to count as many birds as possible by volunteers and millions of birds were counted.

If you're wondering about how the birds stay warm enough in this icy weather, Chris has a little advice to help them. 
 I put out extra suet, a hand warmer on the hummingbird feeder, and scattered some extra seed on the ground for the ground feeders.
Sunday Banding -
Last Sunday banding was at Site#1--CHSO.  The day was dry and still and started out at 30 degrees.  We had to wait about 40 minutes until it became warm enough to band; then we only opened two nets for another hour. Then we opened the third one. We kept a very close watch on the nets all day, and no bird stayed in the nets longer than five minutes.  That means we probably scared some away--we never did get any Spotted Towhees [SPTO's], and only two Song Sparrow [SOSP's].

But, we bagged some really neat birds!  We caught a Second Year [SY] 
Hairy Woodpecker [HAWO]--Ben  has the scars to prove it.  A gorgeous male Townsend's Warbler[TOWA], a Pine Siskin [PISI], and two Yellow Rumped Warblers,[YRWA] Audubon, one a male, rounded out the extra good birds.
Total:  42 birds!

29 new:

"Mist Nets" erected temporarily to capture
birds for banding. The birds are only
held for a few minutes and then released.
        6 Black-capped Chickadees [BCCH]
        2 Chestnut-backed Chickadees [CBCH]
Bewick's Wren [BEWR]
      14 Oregon Juncos's [ORJU]
Red-breasted Nuthatch [RBNU]
        1 SOSP
        1 TOWA
        1 HAWO
        2 YRWA

13 recaps
        6 BCCH
        3 CBCH
        1 BEWR (twice)
        1 ORJU
        1 SOSP
        1 RBNU

Not bad!  and Mary took some pictures that I'll share when she sends them to me.

Thanks for the help from the volunteers:
Ben Vang-Johnson, Jason Minne, Mark Colombino, Mary Huff, and 
Susan Ford.
I thought we worked well together.

We also had two copies of the Tabulated Pyle.  I know I really like using it!  Now I don't have to use my "cheat-sheet" note cards.  The Tabular Pyle really lays out the comparisons in such easily and quickly read columns.

Christine Southwick

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eric Nelson - Candidate for KCD Board of Supervisors

Eric Nelson is a running for King Conservation District Supervisor.
"King County Conservation Voters endorsed Eric Nelson for KCD Board of Directors.  A third-generation farmer with a commitment to environmental stewardship, Eric is the right person for this very important job."

 Eric has received many endorsements for his candidacy including the 
The District oversees roughly $6 million environmental dollars. That money goes to fund programs that clean up streams and waterways, restores habitat, educates farmers and assists city projects that will promote the overall health of their communities

His other endorsements include:

Key Endorsements
• The Honorable Dow Constantine, King County Executive
• King County Conservation Voters
• The Honorable Louise Miller, former King County Councilmember and state legislator
• Bill Knutsen, Chair, King Conservation District Board of Supervisors
• Laura Ruderman, former state legislator
• Gretchen Garth, Founder, 21 Acres
• Chris Curtis, Director Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market Association
• Mary Embleton, Executive Director Cascade Harvest Coalition
• Andrew Stout, Owner Full Circle Farm and Chair, Sno-Valley Tilth
• David Burger, Executive Director, Stewardship Partners
• Terry Lavender, Bear Creek Advocate
• Nancy Hutto, Chair King County Agriculture Commission
• George Irwin, Vice Chair King County Agriculture Commission and Chair of King Pierce 

 • Cattlemen's Association 

• Michaele Blakely, King County Agriculture Commission

• Dr. Larry Pickering, member of King County Agriculture Commission and local veterinarian
• Bob Tidball, member of the King County Agriculture Commission and longtime farmland preservation advocate 
• Mark Sollitto, former North Bend City Councilmember and former co-chair of the Snoqualmie • Watershed Forum

The KCD "Online" Election is underway NOW.
Check the KCD Website for how to vote online.

Eric's Candidate Statement:
I am a candidate for the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors.  I currently operate a dairy farm in Duvall.  I am also a King County native and a three generation farmer.  I have served on the King County Agriculture Commission as a representative of the dairy industry and was its first Chair.  I am currently also serving as a Commissioner of Drainage District #6 and am serving on the King County Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program Advisory Committee.
I have had the opportunity to work with the King CD for many years, both as a user of their farm planning and cost-sharing assistance, and as a partner agency when I worked for King County as Livestock Program Manager and as the County’s Agriculture Program Manager.  I have always found their programs to be very helpful and have seen the great job the district does in working with the county’s residents and jurisdictions with resource protection and conservation needs.
I feel my background as a farmer, a former agriculture commissioner, and as a former Agriculture Program Manager for King County, that I am uniquely qualified to serve as a member of the KCD’s Board of Supervisors.  I understand the importance of resource conservation for all of our county’s residents, rural and urban alike, and will do my best to see that the conservation needs of all of our residents are met and would appreciate your vote in the upcoming election.
I have a simple website up that has the above statement as well as some key endorsements to date.  Please see and check it out.
 I am pleased to have been endorsed the King County Conservation Voters as well as a number of key members of the community that care deeply about resource conservation, agriculture, and the food systems in King County.  More endorsements will be coming soon.

I hope you will consider voting in this important election, and consider voting for me as the next Supervisor for the King Conservation District.

Eric Nelson

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Popcorn Snow!

Here we go again! Just a little popcorn snow this afternoon, 
but more in the forecast for tomorrow!

Not really sticking but it's visible

Cliff Mass Weather Blog has a warning.

Tuesday Update

Folks...this is serious. So serious that Ivar's is canceling my presentation tomorrow night at their Mukilteo Landing Restaurant....looks like we will try March 9th. There has been plenty of snow already in the convergence is a recent radar image, See the band with green in the middle...that is the convergence zone.

Kenmore Controversy

The Kenmore City Council has been a hotbed of 
intense debate and argument over the last several years.

TOM CORRIGAN, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
City Manager Strouder recently offered to have his contract cancelled.
Here seen making a statement at the Council meeting.
ph credit -

But now it is reaching the level of nearly operatic drama.

"I just think, to me, it's intimidation and political thuggery. It's an attempt to avoid talking about the facts." said Councilmember John Hendrickson. (Bothell/Kenmore Reporter)

Even though Kenmore has built a new City Hall in the last couple years, it was also not without controversy. Councilmember John Hendrickson has been relected twice, while continuing to raise many questions about the budget, and how the City conducts it's fiscal policies.  Clmbr Hendrickson is an accountant by trade and has challenged the Council, Mayor and City Manager about the way the Capitol Budget is used for road maintenance and other concerns. 

The Council has made many threats, and has censured Clmbr Hendrickson, tried to sue him, and also threatened to try to expell him from office, though it is doubtful that would hold up in court.

Last month, the City Manager made a statement at a council meeting asking to be released from his contract. But the Council denied him, saying the had confidence in him to carry our his job.
"In over 40 years of serving the public, I have never encountered a more disruptive, manipulative, destructive and dangerous elected official or citizen than councilmember John Hendrickson," Stouder asserted.

Thus far, John Hendrickson still has many supporters in the public. The fight does not relate specifically to any partisan-party politics, but more to factions in the City. Hendrickson has also championed environmental protections for local streams.

Mayor Dave Baker has made an issue of his arguments with Hendrickson. Also, last year Mayor Baker ran for State Senate against Maralyn Chase. Chase won the election overwhelmingly.

Article from Bothell/Kenmore Reporter below:

Kenmore City Council feud boils over, city manager asks to be released from contract

Bothell Reporter Staff writer
Jan 25 2011 

With some harsh words directed at City Councilman John Hendrickson, Kenmore City Manager Fred Stouder asked Jan. 24 that local legislators consider terminating his contract as soon as possible.
Reading from a prepared statement during council's regular meeting, Stouder said he made the request as a direct result of the alleged "continued disruptive behavior" of Hendrickson.
"In over 40 years of serving the public, I have never encountered a more disruptive, manipulative, destructive and dangerous elected official or citizen than councilmember John Hendrickson," Stouder asserted.
Stouder added a couple of times that city managers should have thick skins and called his request unusual.
"However, I strongly believe that my being clear about John Hendrickson's actions and their effects and my making this statement may be the most important contributions I can make to this community and future city governments," he said.
Hendrickson has become a controversial figure, drawing the ire of not just Stouder, but also the rest of Kenmore City Council, which has voted to censure Hendrickson twice. Hendrickson is outspoken in his criticism of how the city is run, particularly regarding financial matters. He has repeatedly insisted that Kenmore is running up a deficit, something Stouder and Mayor David Baker have just as repeatedly denied.
Added Hendrickson following the meeting: "I just think, to me, it's intimidation and political thuggery. It's an attempt to avoid talking about the facts."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Varied Thrush Counted in Great Backyard Bird Count

The beautiful Varied Thrush was counted today in Highland Terrace Neighborhood in the 
Great Backyard Bird Count

Not too late to get in on it today.
Photographer Linda Stein spotted
a Varied Thrush in her garden
Go to GBBC today and plug in your list. It only takes a few minutes and helps the scientists who are
tallying what bird populations are like across the country. It's a way to take a "snapshot" of the bird health all across the land.

So far this weekend here's what's been counted.
Statistics from 2011
Total Checklists Submitted: 29,712

Total Species Observed: 532

Total Individual Birds Counted: 3,708,447

Updated: February 20, 2011 6:10:13 PM EST

It only take a few minutes to input your list and it's fun!

Put Shoreline on the wildlife map!

Heritage and Culture Bill to Be Considered in State Leg

4Culture has a Story about a possible solution for funding the Arts, Culture and Heritage Programs in our WA State. 

The public arts, culture and heritage agency has been a proponent of new funding mechanisms for our state.  The funding mechanism that has been in place for decades is reaching a deadline. That is the so called "hotel/motel" tax.  

Communities and non-profits have been able to access these funds for decades to preserve their cultural heritage and promote tourism and arts programs. These programs have provided millions of dollars to local economies as shown in a recent study by the UW.

Can we afford NOT to fund these programs?

(see previous article in Of Paramount Importance Blog

An advocacy program has also sprung up to promote the solution. It's called Advocate 4Culture.
Over 700 organizations and individuals have joined forces to promote the solution.

4Culture is an Public Development Authority that promotes cultural and heritage programs in the region.

Ronald School built in 1912
4Culture has funded grant
programs that have benefitted
this historic building and the
Shoreline Historical Museum


   Advancing Conversation About Culture in King County, Washington
As many of our constituents are well aware,  the state credit on lodging taxes that support 4Culture’s programs will sunset for cultural use in 2012, and would result in a 90% cut in 4Culture’s funding and programs as early as next year. In September 2010, 4Culture’s board renewed their commitment to resolving this funding crisis, by passing Resolution 2010-02 which makes “securing the use of future lodging tax revenues for arts and heritage” among their highest priorities.
The Board has been working with King County leadership and the state legislature toward this end. Today, a bill dropped in the House, HB 1997, that will secure the future for 4Culture’s arts, heritage, and preservation funding programs.
HB 1997, was drafted by King County leadership in conversation with key support from key legislative champions in the House and Senate. The lead sponsor is Representative Orwall. The bill proposes to secure existing visitor taxes and direct them toward economic development activities: arts & heritage, tourism-related facilities, such as the convention center, community development activities, low-income housing developments, and revitalization of the historic Pioneer Square district and culturally rich International District.)
Public hearing(s) for this bill should be scheduled in the next few days, and may occur mid-next week. We will post updates on hearings, as they are scheduled.