April 8 COVID-19 Special Edition: COVID-19 Update from City Manager Kurt Triplett, Gun Safety, Police Arrest Car Prowl Suspect, Community Engagement Appreciation Awards Series Part 1, Tips to Reduce Food Waste, State Offers Small Business Grants, and More!

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this week in kirkland

April 8, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Message From City Manager Kurt Triplett: Update on the City's COVID-19 Response

During the virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7, City Manager Kurt Triplett gave an update on COVID-19, including how the City is responding to protect public health, and how the City is preparing for the future after the stay home, stay healthy order is lifted. 

COVID-19 Update Image

Council Recap

City Council

The City Council held its third ever "virtual" Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7. Below is a summary of some of the highlights from the meeting. You can view the entire meeting on the City website

Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG)

Staff presented Council with the full ComSAG report, along with a Resolution accepting the recommendation. The ComSAG’s recommendation to the Council came after five months of meetings to educate group members and discuss what elements of this potential ballot measure the ComSAG believes are most important for the City. The ComSAG is recommending two measures be placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot for Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The Council discussed revisions to the resolution in response to COVID-19 and its impacts on the City and its first responders. City staff expects to present the revised Resolution during the Council meeting on Tuesday, April 21.

For more information on the ComSAG, please visit the ComSAG webpage.

Shoreline Master Program

The City Council approved the pending Shoreline Master Program (SMP) proposed code. The approval included two ordinances, one for the proposed changes to the Shoreline Policies located within the Comprehensive Plan (Ordinance O-4700), and the second covering the update to the Shoreline Regulations of Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 83 (the Shoreline Master Program), along with several associated updates in the Zoning Code.  The decision by Council is the final recommendation from the City that will be transmitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology for final approval. 

The passing of the ordinance included direction from the Council for staff to establish a policy allowing the demolition of an existing boathouse to be deferred to a future update while the matter is studied. The next Periodic Update is scheduled for 2028.

For more information on the SMP update process, please visit the City's SMP Periodic Update webpage

Making Your Food Last is Good for You, Your Neighbors, AND the Planet

Food waste image

Making sure your food stays good to eat for as long as possible is more important than ever right now, when we’re all minimizing trips to the store and trying to make sure that food is available for everyone.  

Keeping food from going to waste isn’t just helpful for reducing your shopping trips and going easy on your wallet, it’s also great for the environment! While single-use plastics like straws get a lot of attention, food waste is an even bigger environmental problem. Food waste that goes to the landfill doesn’t break down.

A lot of resources go into producing food, from the amount of land the crops need, to the water used to grow them, to the gas used to ship them to your local store. Wasting food means that all the resources used to grow and ship it are also wasted. Composting food is better than throwing it away because composting returns nutrients to the soil, but it still wastes a lot of resources. 

Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help your food last longer so that you can use it up: 

1) Plan your meals and make a shopping list 

Planning your meals ahead of time helps you use up what’s in your fridge and buy the right quantity of all the ingredients you need. Then when you grocery shop, you can buy what’s on your list with confidence that you’ll have what you need. 

Download a printable meal planning guide and shopping list (pdf) to make meal planning easier. 

2) Store your produce to last and use your freezer to “pause” food 

Produce, baked goods and dairy are some of the most-wasted food items. If you realize you won’t get to them in time, freeze them! Refer to this searchable storage guide to find the best way to store them and freeze them.

Food tips

Download the printable poster above (pdf) to hang on your fridge for easy reference! 

3) Use up the food you have 

Including one “odds and ends” meal, like a casserolefrittatafried rice or soup, in your meal plan can be a good way to use up the little bits of ingredients left over from other recipes. Find more ideas for meals made from scraps or out of pantry staples.

The City of Kirkland celebrates April as Earth Month. Each week we'll highlight an environmental topic, sharing ways that you can help. You can also join our community Earth Month Bingo game with actions to help the planet that you can complete at home. Get your Earth Month Bingo card here

Earth Month Banner

Apply For Up to $10,000 in Emergency Funding Through the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant Program

Startup Washington

Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to $5 million in funds are provided through the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund and administered by the State Department of Commerce. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000. Applications are available here: http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/covid-grants/

You can find more resources for businesses on the City's COVID-19 Resources for Businesses webpage. 

Community Engagement Appreciation Awards Series, Part 1 of 3

Community star

The City of Kirkland traditionally celebrates those who volunteer their time with the City at an annual April event.  While COVID-19 response is precipitating a postponement of this event, we take this opportunity to share these volunteer stories of outstanding service to the community.  This is the first of three in a series which recognizes City of Kirkland volunteers who have during the recent year gone the extra mile.

Leadership Award 

This award is given to the volunteer who demonstrates ability to lead a group toward a goal; to provide guidance to others; to coordinate people and processes toward the attainment of a goal.

Nicole and Dustin Neurath, both pee wee soccer volunteer coaches for age divisions three-to-four years and five-to-six years, have been involved with pee wee sports for years and consistently create a positive experience for participating youth and families. Nicole is kind and positive and her practices are well thought out, ensuring each child learns soccer in a fun and safe environment. Dustin engages kids in fun, interactive ways using well-developed and high-energy practice drills and games.

Behind the Scenes Award 

This award is given to the individual or group who consistently fulfills their volunteer commitment, is supportive, reliable and can be counted on in a pinch.

Lauren Schulz is a consistently positive force in the City’s pee wee sports program. She helps children, ages three to six, to be successful and have fun, while supporting new coach volunteers. Lauren ensures that kids feel supported and cared for while learning basketball.  Her kindness and knowledge make her a great coach while inspiring others to positively impact our community.

Travis Merkel takes pride in his volunteer assignment. As a new Kirkland homeowner, he recognized an opportunity to better his neighborhood.  He has transformed a public area ravine—initially covered in invasive blackberry brambles and knotweed and previously used as an unsanctioned dump site. Following months of debris removal and invasives clearing, the ravine is now safer and looks like a park.

Kirkland Fire Milton ‘Bob’ Knight KECT Award 

This award, named after the founder of the Kirkland ham radio team, is given to the Kirkland Emergency Communications Team (KECT) volunteer member who has given selflessly of their time and knowledge, just as Bob Knight did.

Josh Saran is committed to building a strong, capable Kirkland Emergency Communications amateur ham radio team. Josh spends hours each month addressing technical equipment needs and supporting organizational team requirements. Josh mentors new radio operators and serves as a technical advisor to the Office of Emergency Management. Josh is passionate about the mission of amateur radio operations and helping the community.

Current Volunteer Opportunities 

While most new volunteer onboarding is currently on hold during COVID-19 response, feel free to contact Patrick Tefft, Volunteer Services Coordinator, to discuss these and other City of Kirkland volunteer opportunities. Check back next Wednesday (April 15) for the second installment in this three-part Volunteer Appreciation series!

Kirkland Police Ask Gun Owners to Securely Store Firearms in the Home

KPD logo

Currently, schools are closed, and our children are home in response to Governor Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order. During this public health emergency, our children and teens are spending a lot of time in the home. An estimated 13 million households with children in the U.S. have at least one gun. Not all these firearms are stored securely, with approximately 4.6 million children living in a household with at least one gun that is stored loaded and unlocked. Adults should always assume children and teens know where guns are stored, and it is our responsibility to keep them locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition.

Consistent with RCW 9.41.360, Unloaded firearms should be secured with a firearm locking device, such as a trigger guard lock or cable lock, or in a locked location, like a safe or lock box. Ammunition should be stored separately from the firearm in a secure location. Gun safes and gun lock boxes come in all sizes and are available with quick access entry codes if needed.

As parents and adults, we are doing everything possible to keep our children safe and healthy during this medical crisis. Let’s also do our best to keep our children safe while at home by not providing them access to a loaded firearm. The men and women of the Kirkland Police Department would like to thank you for your help and support during this time of crisis and want you to know we will be here when you call.

The 2019 Enhanced Police Services and Community Safety ballot measure approved by Kirkland voters included funds for gun safety measures. If you would like a free trigger lock for your weapon, please contact us at police@kirklandwa.gov.

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Kirkland Police Pro-Act Team Puts Prolific Car Prowler Behind Bars

KPD news release

A suspect has been arrested in conjunction with multiple reported vehicle prowls at the Kingsgate Park and Ride, located at 13001 116th Way NE in Kirkland. In February, multiple victims reported having their parked and unoccupied vehicles prowled. Some of the victims reported that the catalytic converters on their vehicles had also been removed. This resulted in victims having replacement bills that exceeded multiple thousands of dollars.

The Kirkland Police Pro-Act Team was assigned the cases for follow-up investigation with the hope that a suspect could be identified. During the month of March, numerous hours were dedicated to this investigation which subsequently lead to identifying the suspect. On April 5, the suspect was arrested in Duvall with the assistance of detectives from the King County Sheriff’s Office. His vehicle was seized at the time, as it was believed stolen property was possibly inside along with the reciprocating saw that he used to cut the catalytic converters from the vehicles.

Full press release is available on the City website

Traffic Alerts for the Week of April 8 Through April 14

Cross Kirkland Corridor

To the south, the Cross Kirkland Corridor remains closed between between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street until April 20 while the Northshore Utility District’s contractor improves the reliability of Totem Lake’s sewer system. Using orange detour signs, Razz Construction is directing trail users around the construction site via 120th Avenue Northeast, Northeast 116th Street, and 124th Avenue Northeast.

The rest of the Cross Kirkland Corridor remains open to the public. However, the City of Kirkland is urging everyone to practice social distancing. City crews will soon add temporary signage along the Cross Kirkland Corridor to remind people who are walking, jogging, and biking to practice social distancing. 

As such, drivers will have access to one northbound and one southbound lane. A pedestrian detour is in place along the southwest side of Totem Lake Boulevard. King County Metro has temporarily relocated the northbound bus stop along Totem Lake Boulevard to 120th Avenue Northeast.

Marshbank's crews are also closing two lanes along 120th Avenue Northeast and Totem Lake Way while they rebuild the sidewalk and roadway. The sidewalk on the southeast side of the road is closed as well.

North of 120th Avenue Northeast, the Northshore Utility District’s three-lane closure of Totem Lake Boulevard ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, when its contractor repaves the trench it dug to improve the reliability of Totem Lake’s sewage system.

Razz Construction will keep open one southbound and one northbound lane from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Thursday and Friday.

For more information, visit: www.kirklandwa.gov/ckc

108th Avenue Northeast

Drivers should continue to expect minor traffic impacts this month on 108th Avenue Northeast while a Kirkland contractor upgrades an aging water and sewer main along the north-to-south arterial.

Marshbank Construction is replacing the two systems—both more than five decades old—to increase their capacities to serve Kirkland’s growing population and to reduce the systems’ needs for maintenance.

That need is most urgent in the sewer line, which runs from Northeast 68th Street to Northeast 53rd Street. Settling soil has created a sag in the sewer line, allowing sewage to accumulate there and requiring maintenance crews to periodically flush the line.

The contractor is also replacing the water main between Northeast 68th and 60th streets.

Marshbank expects to complete the upgrades by December. 

For more information, visit: www.kirklandwa.gov/108thavewatersewer

Totem Lake Boulevard

To expedite the installation of a retaining wall along Totem Lake Boulevard, a Kirkland contractor is closing all but one of the arterial's five lanes. 

As a result, commuters will have access to one of the Boulevard's southbound lanes until the end of April or until Gov. Jay Inslee ends the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation.

Marshbank Construction, the contractor, has established a detour for northbound Totem Lake Boulevard traffic.

The extra lane is allowing Marshbank’s crews to work more efficiently while they

rebuild the street and install a new retaining wall that will help support the road.

For more information, visit www.kirklandwa.gov/totemlakeconnector or www.kirklandwa.gov/totemlake

Traffic alerts for April 8

Cancelled Events

Because physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 11
The Fountain Court at Kirkland Urban
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandurban.com/event/KU-Kids/2145540093/  

The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland's 46th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12 
Peter Kirk Park
For more information, visit: https://kirklandkiwanis.org.

ORCA Card Service
Wednesday, April 15, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
Kirkland City Hall
For more information, visit: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/fares-orca/neighborhood-pop-up.aspx

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through the month of April are cancelled
For more information, visit: https://kirklandchamber.org/

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit: http://www.kpcenter.org