Farewell from Councilmember Neir, City begins work on Totem Lake Connector, Shop with a Cop, and much more!

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this week in kirkland

December 11, 2019

city of kirkland washington

This past Tuesday, December 10, was the final City Council meeting for both Councilmember Dave Asher and Councilmember Tom Neir. This week we're including a farewell from Councilmember Tom Neir. In next week's edition of This Week in Kirkland (the final edition for 2019) we will include a farewell to Councilmember Dave Asher. 

Farewell from Councilmember Tom Neir

councilmember Tom Neir

Dear Kirkland community,

With the end of the year comes the end of my service on the Kirkland City Council. It has been a highlight of my life and an honor to serve the Kirkland community these past two years. During my time on the Council I have been continuously impressed by the community’s dedication, willingness to be involved in important discussions, and genuine care for their neighbors. I’d like to thank every single individual that took the time to call, email or sit down for coffee to discuss an issue that was important to them. Our democracy depends on this kind of robust participation.

I’d also like to give tremendous thanks to my colleagues on the City Council, our City Manager Kurt Triplett, and our City staff. Kirkland has an extraordinary collection of public servants. I sincerely marvel at the serious yet civil deliberations on this City Council, and the ability for all to be agreeable, even if we all don’t agree.

Though my time on the City Council has come to an end, I remain a proud member of the Kirkland community. I look forward to continuing to engage with you all as friends and neighbors.


Councilmember Tom Neir

City Begins Series of Major Investments in Totem Lake

Contractors will begin relocating an 8” sewer pipe the week of December 16, as part of a series of City investments in Totem Lake including the Totem Lake Connector Bridge, Totem Lake Park and the Village at Totem Lake.

The Northshore Utility District sewer pipe must be relocated to allow for contractors to build the Totem Lake Connector bridge. When completed, the Totem Lake Connector will be a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will connect the two ends of the 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor currently separated by one of Kirkland’s most complicated intersections: Totem Lake Boulevard and Northeast 124th Street.

During construction, which is estimated to be completed by the end of January, the southbound lanes on Totem Lake Boulevard will be closed from 124th Ave Northeast to 120th Ave Northeast. Southbound traffic will be detoured via Northeast 128th Street onto 116th Ave Northeast. Access to businesses will be maintained. Two northbound lanes will be open throughout construction. Construction will have an impact on traffic in the area. If possible, travelers are advised to avoid this area during peak commute times. New shops and services at the Village at Totem Lake will be accessible throughout construction.  

“We’re very excited to continue progress toward achieving our vision for a revitalized Totem Lake,” said Mayor Penny Sweet. “The City’s investments in infrastructure, including the Totem Lake Connector bridge and Totem Lake Park, along with private investment in The Village at Totem Lake, will result in a walkable, vibrant and green urban center.”

The City of Kirkland, the State of Washington, Sound Transit and King County are investing more than $150 million into Totem Lake—to lay its groundwork, prime it for redevelopment and prepare it for the thousands of new residents who, by 2035, will be living there, and the 20,000 employees who will be working there.

For more information on what’s happening at Totem Lake, visit https://www.kirklandwa.gov/Residents/Totem_Lake.htm.

detour map for totem lake

City Council Proclaims Pride in Lake Washington High School Kangs Girls Soccer Team

During their meeting on December 10 the Mayor proclaimed the City of Kirkland's pride in the Lake Washington High School Kang's girls soccer team and commended the team for its first ever stage championship title. The proclamation, which was read by Councilmember Jon Pascal, can be viewed in its entirety on the City website. Go Kangs!

Lake WA Kangs Girls Soccer Team

Shoreline Master Program Public Meeting

shoreline master program public meeting on December 17 from 6 to 8pm in Council Chamber

The community is invited to attend a meeting on Tuesday, December 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber to discuss proposed amendments to the Shoreline Master Program.

During the meeting City staff will review the proposed amendments and provide an opportunity for interested parties to have a discussion with City staff. Links to the Q&A addressing comments received through the first two public meetings held during the summer, a simplified matrix of proposed amendments, the science behind the amendments, a comparison of SMPs adopted by other communities around Lake Washington, and the proposed amendments themselves, are available for viewing on the Shoreline Master Program Periodic Update project website . 

To allow staff to better prepare for the meeting, please email your questions about the proposed amendments to Planning Supervisor, Christian Geitz at cgeitz@kirklandwa.gov.  

This is the community’s opportunity to learn more about the current recommendation by the City’s Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council prior to the City Council’s final consideration of the amendments on January 21, 2020.   The current recommendation was presented to City Council at the November 6, 2019 meeting, and is viewable online at the council agenda website.

Kirkland Police Officers Participate in Shop with a Cop

Kirkland Fred Meyer customers were a bit surprised to see the store’s entryway, toy aisles and clothing department filled with Kirkland Police Officers, but most seemed to instantly recognize that they were witnessing something extraordinary.

The Kirkland Police Department’s inaugural Shop with Cop event took place Saturday, December 7, at the Kirkland Fred Meyer, located in Totem Lake. Sponsored by the Kirkland Police Guild and the Kirkland Police Department, the event was meant to bring gifts, toys, clothes and a healthy dose of holiday cheer to a few Kirkland families whose Christmas season may have otherwise been a little less bright. The event was coordinated by Corporal Doug Dreher, who stressed that it was a team effort that wouldn’t have been possible without support from command staff, patrol and everybody in between.

Shop with a Cop is all about strengthening relationships, celebrating positive outcomes and building community, said Dreher. Often, when police officers interact with children, it’s during times of high-stress in unpleasant circumstances. Events like Shop with a Cop give officers the opportunity to have interactions with families that are wholly positive.

“Shop with a Cop really gives us a chance to connect with the families we serve in a way that’s gratifying for everyone involved,” Dreher said.

Made possible through employee contributions and donations, the Shop with a Cop budget supported five Kirkland families, allowing each individual family member to spend a total of $100 on clothes, gifts and toys. Roughly 25 Kirkland police and corrections officers volunteered their time to push toy-filled shopping carts as their accompanying tiny tykes contemplated the latest Avengers action figure or Frozen-inspired trinket. Some helped teens shop for clothes and shoes, while others helped families select bicycles, toy pirate ships, race cars and more.

Families were referred to the program by patrol staff and Kirkland’s New Bethlehem Day Center. Whether four years old, 14 or 34, Shop with a Cop recipients were able to shop for themselves, their siblings, or other members of their family. The Kirkland Fred Meyer served as a gracious host, providing delicious baked goods and beverages.

Thanks to the Kirkland Fred Meyer for hosting this wonderful event and providing refreshments!

shop with a cop event officers with children and gifts

Participate in Creating Kirkland's Newest Public Art Piece: Peace Has Come

If you’ve driven through Juanita lately, you’ve likely noticed the vibrant splashes of color decorating the east side of the Michaels building. The mural, titled Peace Has Come, is being painted by local artist, Nathaniel, who invites Kirkland community members to come and be a part of the project!

Nathaniel welcomes anyone who wants to enhance the artwork and leave their imprint on the budding design. He’ll be onsite from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15, to offer artistic guidance and help aspiring artists apply stencils, designs or their thoughts – whatever inspires them the most. Stop by to learn the story of the mural, which features an elephant holding a white poppy, which is known as a symbol of peace.

Nathaniel applied this same interactive concept to his mural underneath the Northeast 85th Street overpass, called “What is…” in which individuals wrote their ideas on the wall in response to questions like “What is love?” “What is happiness?” and “What is beauty?” 

Passionate about raising awareness of endangered species, Peace Has Come is the amalgamation of Nathaniel’s love for elephants and humanity’s eternal quest for peace. Since its initial conceptualization, Peace Has Come has evolved artistically and taken on an even broader meaning.      

Nathaniel was inspired by one of his volunteers, who decided that the elephant’s name is “Pace” (pronounced “patcha”), which is the Italian word for peace. It hadn’t dawned on Nathaniel to name the elephant, but he liked the idea and it rapidly blossomed into something bigger. He agreed that the elephant’s name is “Peace,” but the name is not limited to the English language. Instead, it’s “Peace” in all languages, whether Italian, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish – or wherever a person is from.

It felt like a great way to include community members from all over the world, Nathaniel said, and allow them to build a connection with the mural no matter where they are from.   

Peace has Come was funded by the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission, a volunteer board that works to guide the City on art acquisition and help Kirkland’s vibrant artistic presence grow and thrive. The funding was obtained through a grant from 4Culture, a King County-based cultural funding agency.

The Michaels store is located at 9755 N.E. Juanita Drive. For more information about Nathaniel, visit: https://www.nathanielart.com/. For more information about the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) visit the City website. 

Peace Has Come mural with artist Nathaniel Art

Holiday Safety Tips from the Kirkland Fire Department

For many families, the pursuit of the perfect Christmas tree is an important, heartfelt family tradition passed down through generations. But Christmas trees, in all their beauty, can become a fire hazard if precautions are not taken. To help keep your family safe this holiday season, the Kirkland Fire Department Prevention Bureau would like to share a few very basic tips for making sure your holiday tree does not go up in flames. 

Here are our top five tips for Christmas tree and holiday light safety!

  • When it comes to fire prevention, fresh trees are safer for home use because they are less likely to catch fire. When selecting your tree, be sure to choose a tree with vibrant green needles that are difficult to pluck from the branch. Avoid trees with brittle, browning needles, and opt for something fresher. A simple way to test this is by gently running your hand down the length of a branch. If your hand comes away filled with needles, select a different tree! You don’t want a tree that sheds its needles readily.
  • Always take care to place your tree away from all heat sources including fireplaces, heat vents, radiators, candles and lights, and make sure you keep your tree stand filled to the brim with water to keep the tree as fresh and hydrated as possible.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been lab tested by the UL or the ETL/ITSNA, both nationally recognized testing laboratories. Throw out any damaged lights! Also, when decorating your home outdoors, make sure the lights you use are suitable for exterior placement. Plug them in to an outlet protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter, which can sense an imbalance in electrical load and will shut off electrical power if something goes wrong.
  • If you prefer artificial Christmas trees, be aware that the dust that can accumulate on an artificial tree is highly flammable. Pre-lit artificial trees, while very convenient, are especially susceptible to this and should be used with caution. According to public safety authority, UL, pre-lit trees can have dangerous metals and chemicals, including mercury, cadmium and chromium.
  • Whether you opt for a fresh tree or an artificial one, always turn tree lights off at night!

-Happy Holidays from the Kirkland Fire Department 

holiday safety tips from kirkland fire department

Traffic Alerts for Dec. 11 thru Dec. 18

At times we may share private development projects that are impacting major arterials. These are provided as a courtesy, please check apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

312 Central Way

The developers of a mixed-use building at the corner of Central Way and 3rd Street have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along the project frontage on Central Way to facilitate the construction of an underground parking garage. Additionally, there are traffic lane closures that restrict westbound lanes to one lane during normal construction hours. Other impacts include the sidewalk on 3rd Street, which is closed to pedestrian traffic for the duration of this work. These closures started in September and are ongoing. Pedestrian access around the site continues to be limited during construction hours but will be restored after hours once the concrete phase of the work is completed.

434 Kirkland Avenue

The developers of a six-story mixed-use building at 434 Kirkland Avenue have closed the bike lane and the sidewalk along the project frontage on Kirkland Way to facilitate the construction of an underground parking garage. These bike lane and sidewalk closures started in August and are ongoing. A temporary sidewalk is provided at the conclusion of each work day, while the bike lane will remain in a merging state.   

Aegis Senior Living – 1002 Lake Street South

The developers of a new, four-story senior assisted living and memory care residential building at 1002 Lake Street South have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along Lake Street South while they build an underground parking garage. The bike lane and sidewalk are open at the conclusion of construction each day. These bike lane and sidewalk closures have been ongoing since August.

Lakeview Office Building – 5501 Lakeview Drive

The developers of a new, two-story office building located at 5501 Lakeview Drive have closed the bike lane and sidewalk along the project frontage of Lakeview Drive to facilitate the construction of an underground parking structure. Additionally, the sidewalk along Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to facilitate deliveries to the construction site and other needs. These bike lane and sidewalk closures have been ongoing since August.

Upcoming Events

senior property tax forum

Senior Property Tax Forum 

Friday, January 10, 2:30 to 4 p.m. 

Peter Kirk Community Center

Join the Kirkland Senior Council on Friday, January 10 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Peter Kirk Community Center for a presentation from King County Tax Assessor John Wilson. Learn about the new income eligibility rules for 2020, and find out how to qualify and where to get with an application. Pre-registration is required, call 425-587-3360 or www.kirklandparks.net Course #9026

community bonfire

Community Bonfires at Marina Park 

The Kirkland Parks and Community Services department warmly invites the community to join in the lakefront bonfires that celebrate the 2019 Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship™ Festival. Bonfires take place rain or shine! Gather in front of a warm fire and watch as the Argosy ship, the Spirit of Seattle, glides by in a flurry of holiday cheer.

Our community bonfire series includes the following dates and times:

Saturday, December 21 from 3:30 – 3:50 p.m. at OO Denny Park (12032 Holmes Point Drive NE)

Saturday, December 21 from 6:35 – 6:55 p.m. at Marina Park (25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive)

Sunday, December 22 from 3:35 – 3:55 p.m. at Waverly Beach Park (633 Waverly Way)

Sunday, December 22 from 6:45 – 7:05 p.m. at Juanita Beach Park (9703 NE Juanita Drive)

For more information about the bonfires, visit the Kirkland Parks and Community Services Facebook page.

Google Lights

Google Lights

Friday, December 13, 5 to 6:30 p.m. 

747 6th Street S on the Cross Kirkland Corridor

Google Lights invites the community to celebrate the holiday season with a light show featuring more than 25,000 lights choreographed to music! This event is sponsored by Google, the Kirkland Downtown Association, SRM Development, LLC and the City of Kirkland. Google Lights features carolers, a photobooth, Blitz from the Seahawks, free cocoa and cookies. Guests are invited to bring unwrapped toys and nonperishable food items to donate to Hopelink and Lifewire!

The event is free to attend but donations are encouraged. For more information, visit https://kirklanddowntown.org/google-lights/.

grand menorah lighting

Grand Menorah Lighting

Sunday, December 22, 4:15 p.m.

Marina Park Pavilion 

The community is invited to Chabad of Kirkland's annual Grand Menorah Lighting event. Join featured speaker Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet at this holiday celebration, which marks the beginning of Chanukah, an eight-day wintertime festival of lights. For more information about Chabad of Kirkland, visit: https://www.jewishkirkland.com/