Coming up at Council, Inslee Announces Contact Tracing Initiative, Face Coverings: What You Need to Know, Virtual Plant Walk, Kirkland Food Hotline, Traffic Alerts and More!

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this week in kirkland

May 13, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Coming up at Council

City Council

The Kirkland City Council’s next “virtual” meeting takes place Tuesday, May 19. The meeting uses video conferencing technology provided by Zoom in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The regular business meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is preceded by a 5:30 p.m. study session.

The agenda for the May 19 meeting will be available on the City website prior to the meeting at: Kirkland City Council agendas. The meeting can be viewed in real time via the live stream on the City website at: and is televised on Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Frontier Cable Channel 31.

Fire & Emergency Medical Services 2020 Potential Ballot Measure

At the next Council meeting on May 19, EMC Research will present the Council with the results of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services ballot measure survey. This was a statistically valid survey that was conducted from April 21 through April 28, 2020, totaling 400 responses.

Also, at the May 19 meeting, staff will present the results from the online version of the survey. That survey is a variation of the telephone survey conducted by EMC Research and is currently in the field and available to take until Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. The Council wants to hear from you! Please click this link to take the survey.

The Council understands this is an uncertain financial time and is continuing to evaluate a potential ballot measure as all proposed investments would be essential not only in response to this pandemic, but to the City of Kirkland in all emergency scenarios. No final decision has yet been made, and the results of both surveys will help guide the Council’s ultimate decision. For more information, visit the City website

Affordable and Supportive Housing

The Council will contemplate an ordinance which authorizes a sales and use tax to support affordable housing and/or facilities that provide supportive housing. If passed, the ordinance allows the City to capture a small portion of the State sales tax and apply it to affordable housing in alignment with the Council goal to “ensure the construction and preservation of housing stock that meets a diverse range of incomes and needs.” This use of sales tax is in accordance with Substitute House Bill 1406, passed by the state legislature in 2019 for the purpose of providing local governments with a new source of funding for affordable housing. This is not a new tax, but rather a credit against the existing State sales tax, so it does not increase sales tax for the consumer. For more information, please visit the City website.  

Public Participation

As always, the Kirkland City Council welcomes public involvement at its meetings and would like to encourage community members to take advantage of its available options for remote participation. Comments can be provided through voicemail at: 425-587-3090, and email at: Comments received by 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, will be read into the record during the Council Meeting, with the following caveats:

  • When and if a particular agenda item receives a large number of comments, the City will read into the record three (3) comments representing each side of the presented issue. The comments will be selected based on the date and time received, giving priority to the earliest received comments.
  • City leadership will read submitted emails verbatim up to a three (3) minute limit, exactly as if the commenter was providing their testimony in person. (Comments from the public received during “Items from the Audience” in a typical meeting are limited to three minutes in length.)
  • The deadline for comment submittal for inclusion in the meeting (provided the comment is not related to a heavily commented agenda item as outlined above) is 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. NOTE: comments received after the deadline will be provided to the Councilmembers for their review at the City’s earliest convenience.

Community members may also attend the meeting via Zoom. Instructions to participate via Zoom will be provided on the City Council webpage prior to the meeting. For more information about the Kirkland City Council, please visit the Council webpage

Gov. Inslee Announces Contact Tracing Initiative

State of Washington

On Tuesday, May 12, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the launch of a statewide contact tracing plan that will allow more businesses to open and more people to be active in public while helping to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Contact tracing is another tool in our toolbox for tackling COVID-19 in Washington,” Inslee said. “While we need to continue physical distancing, this will allow us to get a better handle on who gets sick and how the virus is spread, which is vital to re-opening our economy.”

Local health departments will lead these efforts and the state Department of Health and its partners will support this work.

The information collected is only used by public health professionals and is confidential. It will not be shared. Contacts will not be told the name of the person who may have exposed them to COVID-19.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

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What You Need to Know on King County's Directive on Face Coverings

Public health logo

A new Health Officer directive strongly urges people in King County to wear face coverings in public places, both indoors in places such as grocery stores and businesses, and also outdoors when it’s difficult to maintain six feet apart from others. While face coverings do not replace proper hygiene or social distancing as protection measures, they can help to protect others and slow community spread of COVID-19 by blocking infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or speaks.

What kind of face coverings should you wear?

Wear non-medical face coverings in public spaces, such as cloth face masks, scarves, and bandanas that have multiple layers of fabric. Face coverings should fit snugly over your mouth and nose.

Medical-grade masks need to be saved for healthcare workers and others who have special health needs or work in high-risk settings. If you aren’t someone in one of these categories, please don’t wear surgical masks or N95 respirators. Surgical masks may look similar to other types of disposable masks. Look for labeling on the box: medical-grade masks may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental, or medical procedure masks.

Face coverings 1

Where to get a face covering

If you don’t have scarves, bandanas or other cloth coverings at home, CDC has instructions for making your own cloth masks, including how to make a simple one from a cut-up T-shirt and a couple of rubber bands. Some disposable, non-medical masks may be available online or at hardware stores, pharmacies, big box stores and other retailers.

In addition, King County will supply approximately 115,000 face coverings and masks through community-based organizations. The City of Seattle will distribute 45,000 free face coverings to vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, older adults, and staff at food banks. The City’s community partners are identifying eligible people based off their existing client lists.

If you are part of an organization that needs free cloth face coverings, contact the Seattle Mask Brigade.

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Where to wear a face covering

Wear face coverings at establishments like grocery stores, pharmacies, big box stores, take-out restaurants, and other retailers, whether you are working there or a customer. King County Executive Dow Constantine has also announced that that operators and riders on King County Metro transportation will be required to wear face coverings.

Businesses are required to post signage advising individuals to wear face coverings on the premises. Businesses can download a sign that can be used for this purpose at

Face coverings don’t need to be worn outdoors unless you can’t maintain a physical distance of six feet from others. If you can keep the physical distance, a face covering is not needed when you are outside walking, exercising, or otherwise outside.

Who does not need to follow this directive

We recognize that it’s very challenging for some people to wear masks, and actually harmful in some specific cases. The following people do not need to follow this directive:

  • Children ages 2 years and younger. Babies and toddlers under age two should never wear cloth face coverings.
  • Children ages 2-12 years. Children in this age group should only wear a face covering if a parent or caregiver supervises to make sure it’s worn safely.
  • Anyone with a disability that makes it hard for them to wear or remove a face covering.
  • Anyone who is deaf and moves their face and mouth to communicate.
  • Anyone who has been advised by a medical professional to not wear a face covering because of personal health issues.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or unable to remove the face covering without help.

Discrimination for wearing or not wearing face coverings is against the law

Wearing face coverings protects the community from the spread of COVID-19, but as noted above, there are some legitimate reasons for some people not to wear face coverings. There is a long history of racism and discriminatory policies that Native, People of Color, immigrant and refugee, LGBTQ communities, homeless, and other marginalized communities have faced in Washington state that may impact an individual’s ability to feel safe while wearing a face covering. Across King County, racial and ethnic communities are experiencing increased acts of racism, racial profiling and violence, including as a result of wearing a face covering. Fear of discrimination and bodily harm may impact whether someone feels safe to wear a face covering, especially for Black and Brown men.

Everyone deserves to feel safe while wearing a face covering and not be subjected to stigma, bias or discrimination when wearing one. If someone is not wearing a face covering, we should also be accepting that the individual has a valid reason, including concerns for their own safety. We want to reiterate that King County will not tolerate hate and discrimination of any kind by anyone, including those agencies who are sworn to safeguard the welfare of our community. Discrimination, harassment, racial profiling, violence, and other hate crimes for wearing or not wearing a face covering is against the law.

We’re stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination. If you witness or experience discrimination, you can report it using the resources listed on our Anti-Stigma Resources webpage.

Safe use of face coverings

To protect yourself, wear face coverings properly.

  • Your mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before you put on a face covering and after removing it.
  • Change your face covering when it gets moist.
  • Wash your cloth face covering daily

For more information, including frequently asked questions about the face covering directive:

Face coverings 3

Online Plant Walk and Natural Area Tour with Green Kirkland Partnership

Join the Green Kirkland Partnership for an online plant walk and natural area tour on Thursday, May 28, from 7 to 8 p.m.

You’ll see fun plants, cool habitat features and learn about steps that volunteers are taking to restore a natural area at one of your local Kirkland parks. Visit the Green Kirkland webpage for more details and to register.

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Kirkland Food Hotline Helps Community Members in Need

Food hotline image

The City of Kirkland has partnered with Sound Generations to field calls from residents in need of food but who are unable to get any due to the impacts of COVID-19 on our community. When someone calls 425-207-4777, call center staff at Sound Generations will ask a few questions about the caller’s situation to connect them with needed services. The only requirement to receive assistance with food is to be a Kirkland resident. If callers cannot afford food, then volunteer drivers will pick up and deliver foodbank boxes. For those callers that can purchase food but have no way to get it, volunteer drivers will call back and arrange for meeting food needs. Please share this with friends, family and neighbors who might need this service.

For more resources, visit the City's webpage for resident support during COVID-19. 

Traffic Alerts for the Week of May 13 through May 19

Totem Lake Park

Construction begins Monday on the Totem Lake Park renovation. Wyser Construction’s traffic impacts will be mostly limited to the staging area, which is the parking lot previously owned by the Yuppie Pawn Shop. However, the contractor’s trucks will be using Totem Lake streets, such as 120th Avenue Northeast, for access. For more information, visit 

Neighborhood Safety Program

Drivers should expect minor traffic delays at seven locations this month while Kirkland’s contractor implements the 2019 Neighborhood Safety Program.

NPM Construction is improving safety on Lakeview’s Lakeview Drive, Houghton’s 108th Avenue Northeast, North Rose Hill’s Slater Avenue, Kingsgate’s Northeast 132nd Street, Finn Hill’s 87th Avenue Northeast, Norkirk’s Northeast 87th Street and Juanita’s Northeast 120th Street.

NPM Construction will be building these projects until August. 

For more information, visit:

Totem Lake Boulevard

Drivers have access again to all of Totem Lake Boulevard’s lanes, between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 128th Street.

Kirkland’s contractor re-opened the lanes it had closed earlier this month to repave the street.

However, Marshbank Construction is continuing to close until late May the sidewalk near 120th Avenue Northeast’s intersection with Northeast 128th Street. The closure allows Marshbank’s crews to build sidewalk and repave a section of 120th Avenue Northeast that has been failing. 

Meanwhile, Marshbank is continuing to close all but one of Totem Lake Boulevard’s five lanes between Northeast 124th Street and 120th Avenue Northeast.

That closure will end when 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.

Visit or

Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake

A section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake is closed through mid-May due to construction. The closed section starts where the CKC intersects Totem Lake Boulevard, and it extends northeast along the trail for 250 feet. Fencing prevents southbound trail users from entering the construction site, and orange detour signs direct people walking and biking to use the sidewalk on Northeast 124th Street and 128th Lane Northeast.

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 spring of 2021. 

For more information, visit:


Upcoming Virtual Events

7 Hills of Kirkland

7 Hills of Kirkland: Shifting Gears

May 1 through May 30, 2020

Virtual Event

7 Hills of Kirkland is now virtual! 

Visit the Attain Housing website today to learn more about digital participation in 7 Hills of Kirkland, and to experience firsthand what can be done to transform a negative situation into an opportunity! Rather than just a one-day event, 7 Hills of Kirkland takes place throughout the entire month of May, featuring cycling challenges, weekly mileage and elevation goals and community support.

Riders who join the challenge will enjoy GPS routes, rider leaderboards (to spark your competitive edge), games, contests and amazing prizes from all your favorite Kirkland businesses, To register, visit the website!

Kirkland Urban

KU Kids at Home by Kirkland Urban

10 a.m., Saturday, June 13

Virtual Event

KU Kids is now virtual! This free, family-friendly series takes place on the second Saturday of the month from now through August! Join in the fun at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, as Julie from Clown Buggie Entertainment takes over Kirkland Urban’s Facebook page to host a craft-a-long creating melted crayon art on canvas and answering questions along the way. To participate, guests can pick up a free craft kit on Thursday, June 11, from Shake Shack, Mud Bay or Restore at Kirkland Urban. Follow Kirkland Urban on social media (@kirklandurban on Instagram and Kirkland Urban on Facebook) for more details as they are announced, or visit the Kirkland Urban website!

Cancelled Events

In alignment with the recent extension of Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, and because continued physical distancing is critical to halting the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
Thursday, May 21 through Monday, May 25
Kirkland Performance Center
350 Kirkland Avenue
For more information on SIFF, including Virtual SIFF Cinema, please visit:

Recycling Collection Event

Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
11605 132nd Ave. N.E.
For more information, visit:

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through May 21 are cancelled
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows have been postponed until further notice
For more information, visit: