Black History Month | Community Conversation | New Firefighters | Smoke Alarms | World Wetlands Day

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this week in kirkland

February 3, 2021

city of kirkland washington

Council Recap

City Council

Thanks to all who attended and gave comment during last night's City Council meeting, which took place via the Zoom videoconferencing platform in alignment with current public health recommendations and guidelines.

The public is always welcome at Council meetings, which are a great way to have your voice heard while gaining a better understanding of how your City government operates. The public comment period, identified as "Items from the Audience" on the Council agenda, is your chance to address the Council directly, with both compliments and concerns. We appreciate the commenter who spoke last night and exercised their option to educate our Council on the things that are important to them. 

For more information about Council meetings, including the Zoom link and instructions for providing public comment, please visit the City website. To view this council meeting or any past council meeting, go to Watch Council Meetings on the City’s website.

Here are a few highlights from the meeting:

Study Session: Countywide Growth Targets Briefing

At the Study Session that began at 5:30 p.m., the City Council received a briefing on the current update of the Countywide Planning Policies, including growth targets. 

Other items included:

  • The second State legislative update of 2021;
  • A resolution setting the City’s priority goals for 2021-2022 and adopting the 2021-2022 City Work Program; and
  • Amendments to Title 21 of the Kirkland Municipal Code regarding building and construction and Chapter 110.10 of the Kirkland Zoning Code regarding building permit valuation.

The next City Council meeting takes place Tuesday, February 16. For more information on the Kirkland City Council, please visit our website

Kirkland Celebrates Black History Month

On February 2, 2021, the Kirkland City Council proclaimed the month of February 2021 as Black History Month in Kirkland. The community is invited to join in commemorating the countless contributions of Black people to our region, our nation, and the world, as well as participate in conversations about race, racism, and racial justice.

Please find the full release on our website

Black History Month

Join us for a Virtual Community Conversation about Racial Justice 5:30 - 7 p.m., Thursday, February 4

City logo

Come give input on how Kirkland can become a place where Black people feel safe and respected and where interpersonal, institutional and structural racism no longer exists. On August 4, 2020 the City of Kirkland passed legislation (R-5434) committing to examining and dismantling institutional and structural racism in Kirkland and ensuring the safety and respect of Black people.

An overview of early actions related to this work was presented to the City Council on January 5, 2021 and is available on the City’s website. The first update will be presented on February 16 during the City Council study session. These actions come with significant funding over the next two years, and we need your input to advise us on how best to use this funding and how to reimagine Kirkland.  Your input will have a direct influence on various City and Police Department culture, policies, programs, and practices.  There are many ways to provide input:

  • Join a virtual Community Conversation. The first of these events will be held 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, February 4, and will be facilitated by Chanin Kelly-Rae, Founder and President of Chanin Kelly-Rae Consulting. Register now
  • Provide feedback now through our Community Experience Feedback survey. 
  • Visit the City’s website for information about this initiative, how to stay informed, and how to schedule a focus group with City staff.

Thank you for being involved in our community!

R-5434 Image

KirklandTalks: 2021 Dialogue Series on Race and Racism

Join us for a 90-minute interactive session featuring structured dialogues on race and racism. We’ll use the inclusive dialogue model to practice skills for engaging in conversations about racism, build relationships and understanding between participants from diverse racial backgrounds, and support anti-racist action in the community. The first event of the series is on Saturday, February 20 at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom. 

Community members (high school age and up) may attend one or more sessions. Although the training material will be repeated each time, the question sets will vary. Returning participants are invited to deepen their skills and learning. Each session offers an opportunity to meet new people and explore different aspects of race, racial identity, and racism.

This is a virtual event. The event series is sponsored by the City of Kirkland.

About the Facilitators

The series is designed and facilitated by Debbie Lacy, Founder and CEO of Eastside For All, and Nura Adam, Founder and Executive Director of the Immigrant Women’s Community Center (IWCC). Debbie has a mixed ethnic background. Her mother is a Mexican immigrant with Mayan Indigenous and Spanish ancestry. Her father was white, mostly Italian. Debbie grew up in the Midwest and East Coast. Nura is ethnically Somali, raised in the U.S. Both live and work in East King County.

Community dialogues are part of broader efforts by Eastside For All, IWCC, and others who are committed to social justice and community-building that fosters solidarity, belonging, and compassion.

Registration will open on February 5. To get an announcement, please sign up for the Eastside For All email list.

Kirkland talks

Kirkland Fire Department Welcomes Five New Firefighters


The City recently welcomed five new firefighters, hired after an extensive recruitment process that took place during the latter part of 2020. The five probationary firefighters will join the ranks of the Kirkland Fire Department in mid-June, after completing their fire academy and emergency medical technician (EMT) training.

Congratulations to Keenan Huschke, Andrew Claussen, Spencer Hart, Jordan Burton and Hunter Marshall. Welcome to Kirkland!

These five new employees are filling vacancies due to retirements. For more information on the Kirkland Fire Department, visit:

KFD Firefighters

Celebrating World Wetlands Day


Happy World Wetlands Day!

In honor of World Wetlands Day (Tuesday, February 2), we decided to pay homage to one of the City’s most industrious contributors to the health and vitality of our wetlands: the beaver! Although they sometimes get a bad rap, beavers play a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. These small-but-mighty semiaquatic critters have a dramatically positive impact on the natural environment with a multifaceted ability to improve riparian environments.

Here are four fun facts about beavers and how they help our environment:

• Beavers create and maintain wetlands, which are often referred to as the “earth’s kidneys” because of their incredible ability to purify water. Wetlands naturally filter pollutants, provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, help manage flooding, and help sustain a diverse ecosystem.

• Beaver dams and ponds create nutrient-rich habitat for both plants and animals including mammals, fish, turtles, frogs, birds, ducks and others. Spend some time at Juanita Bay Park and you can visually observe this vibrant biodiversity with your own eyes. You’ll see various species of the above listed wildlife, along with evidence of the beavers that enhance the health and wellness of the Forbes Creek Wetlands.

• Beaver dams actively improve water quality! It is no mistake that beavers are often referred to as “ecosystem engineers” for their skilled knack at building dams that enhance a stream’s ability to break down toxins. Beaver dams and ponds replenish groundwater while providing a cleaner, more consistent water flow into our surrounding streams and lakes.

• Beaver dams deliver natural flood management by helping to slow peak stream flows during storm events. Studies have proven that beaver dams can mitigate flood flows, helping to reduce flood damage by keeping the water where it belongs.

For more information about the City’s efforts to improve the health of our creeks, lakes and wetlands, visit our Storm & Surface Water Division webpage

More about Storm & Surface Water

The public is invited to comment on Kirkland’s 2021 NPDES (EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan by February 24, 2021.

This Plan outlines Kirkland city actions to protect area waterways by reducing stormwater pollution. Actions include educating citizens about natural yard care techniques or vehicle maintenance, tracing and eliminating pollutant discharges and spills to the City’s stormwater drainage system, and maintaining an extensive network of city-owned Stormwater ponds, vaults, rain gardens, and ditches that store, treat, and transport stormwater prior to discharge to local creeks, wetlands, and Lake Washington.

Comments can be provided via email to To see the plan and learn more about the City’s Storm and Surface Water Management Programs, check out

Beaver 1

Message from the Kirkland Fire Department Prevention Bureau: Do You Have Working Smoke Alarms?

Smoke alarms save lives!

Not only can functioning smoke alarms give you peace of mind and help you sleep better at night, they’re required by state law.

The new law, known as the “Greg ‘Gibby’ Gibson Home Fire Safety Act,” was passed in 2019 in an effort to save lives by ensuring that all residential dwelling units in the state of Washington have working smoke alarms. This law is the result of over two years of continuous effort by Edmonds residents Bonnie and Gerry Gibson, who lost their son Greg in a home fire in 2016.

Greg’s Shoreline home caught fire in the early morning hours, killing Greg and his dog Nino as they slept. There were no working smoke alarms in the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Modern homes burn faster than ever, making smoke alarms a vital part of your home fire prevention plan. Once installed, they need to be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years.

Quick facts about smoke alarms:

• Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping area, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

• When possible, use interconnected smoke alarms, so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.

• There are smoke alarms available for those who are hard of hearing! When triggered, these specially designed smoke alarms shake the bed or employ a strobe light.

• Smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old. The new year is a great time to install new smoke alarms because it’s easy to remember. Also, keep your batteries fresh by changing them twice a year. Daylight Saving Time adjustments in the spring and fall serve as great reminders to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

• A smoke alarm should be installed on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen and at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms.

The Kirkland Fire Department and Fire Prevention Bureau provides a wide range of critical fire and life safety services to Kirkland’s 93,000 residents. Learn more at our Kirkland Fire Prevention Bureau webpage

FEMA smoke alarms

Reminder: The N.E. 85th Street Station Area Plan Comment Period is Extended Through February 19

The City is working toward a regional gateway that supports transit, creates opportunity for all, and reflects Kirkland’s unique identity. In this phase of the project, the City is seeking input on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS).

The DSEIS is a detailed analysis of each potential Station Area Plan alternative and looks at possible impacts and mitigation measures across elements such as air quality, aesthetics, stormwater management, transportation, housing, public services, and more. The community’s input will be taken into consideration as decisions are made about which parts of each alternative should, or should not, be incorporated into the final Station Area plan.
In recognition of the great input the City is receiving from community members, the DSEIS comment period has been extended to give people more time to learn about the project and share their thoughts. The extended comment deadline is February 19, 2021.

Comments can be provided by completing the DSEIS survey, or by emailing comments directly to project planner, Allison Zike, at Learn more at

School Zone Safety Cameras to be Reactivated February 18, 2021

The Lake Washington School District has announced that in-person services will begin on Thursday, February 18 starting with kindergarten and first grade students and then phasing in additional grades over the following weeks.

For the safety of students, school zone speed enforcement will resume on February 18, including school zone safety cameras. Drivers must obey speed limits as posted in school zones or they could be ticketed and fined. For more information about school zone speed enforcement, visit the City website

Thank you for driving with care in order to keep returning students safe.

Traffic cameras

The Valentine’s Day Challenge From Shop Local Kirkland

SLK logo

Do you want to support Kirkland businesses and nonprofits while simultaneously spoiling your sweetie? We have a challenge for you! Use to plan every aspect of your Valentine’s Day celebrations and revel in the knowledge that you’re sharing the love with not only your better half, but also our local businesses who need your support!

It’s as easy as 1… 2… 3...

1. Prep! Getting ready is super easy on Use it to find a salon or barbershop to make sure you’re looking your very best.

2. Got gifts? You’ll find unique, handcrafted jewelry, beautiful boutique clothing, home décor, fine art and much more on Shop Local Kirkland. Use it to shop for your significant other and take advantage of a variety of options including private shopping hours, in person shopping, curbside pickup or home delivery, depending on where you shop!

3. Dinner and a show! From In-Car Dining, to gourmet takeout, to dine-in services at one of our award-winning restaurants, we’ve got you covered. And to complete your night, check out a livestream performance at our local nonprofit performance center (details in Upcoming Events below).

We hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!  

Shop Local Kirkland

Upcoming Events

Heart of Kirkland

Kirkland Parks & Community Services presents "The Heart of Kirkland" Scavenger Hunt

Friday, February 5 - Friday, March 5

Self-guided event

Kirkland Parks & Community Services invites you to join this fun citywide adventure starting Friday, February 5!

Follow the clues, find the letters, solve the final riddle and submit your answer by Friday, March 5 to be entered into a drawing for prizes. Clues will take you to the four corners of Kirkland, test your knowledge of local businesses, parks, and our local history.

Starting Friday, February 5, clues will be emailed weekly on Fridays. Your registration fee supports Kirkland Parks & Community Services Scholarship Fund which helps enable families to participate in programs. Please check the box yes when asked to donate.

Win prizes donated by local businesses. 

Register today at

Studio East Laramie

Studio East presents: The Laramie Project

February 5 through February 7

Streaming online

The Laramie Project tells the true story of Matthew Shepard, a college student, who was killed in October 1998 in a hate crime for being gay.

In the months following Shepard’s death, The Tectonic Theatre Project conducted interviews with citizens of his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming. The play, which will be adapted into a radio drama by Studio East, takes verbatim dialogue from real-time accounts to tell its story. “A deeply moving testament to the character of one small town,” says Director Zach Barr, “The Laramie Project investigates our collective responsibility in the face of tragedy and how each individual responds as that great work begins.”

For more information on this production, visit the Studio East webpage

Color Your World

Kirkland Parks & Community Services presents "Color Your World!"


Online event

Skin comes in many different colors, and all are beautiful. Draw a picture of yourself, show us the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Let us see how beautiful and proud you are! For more about Color Your World, watch this great video on the Parks & Community Services Facebook page

Email your picture with your name to Your art will be featured on the Kirkland Parks & Community Services Facebook page! 

Library image

King County Library System 

Meet the Author: Nicole Tsong

6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 10

Online event

Meet Nicole Tsong, author of 24 Ways to Move More and former Fit for Life columnist for The Seattle Times, to learn new ways to move your body, and make movement fun and inspiring again. Nicole shares her experience trying hundreds of fitness activities, and talks about how movement helps you feel energized and fulfilled every day.

Register by February 9. You will be sent a Zoom link the day of the program. 

If you don't receive the link, please notify no later than 5 p.m. that day.

KPC at Home

Kirkland Performance Center presents: Stephanie Anne Johnson is Back for a Virtual Concert

8 p.m. Thursday, February 11

Live, virtual show

Tune-in on Thursday, February 11 at 8 p.m. as Stephanie Anne Johnson joins KPC for a virtual concert.

You may remember Stephanie from KPC's first ever KPC at Home: LiveStream in May of 2020, or from her amazing opening set at our 2020 Mavis Staples concert, and we can’t wait to have this talented musician back again.

About Stephanie

KPC Singles

Kirkland Performance Center presents... The Singles Soundtrack Experience: A Virtual Benefit Concert

7 p.m. Sunday, February 14

Live, virtual show

Welcome back to Grunge City.

Thirty years after Cameron Crowe captured a moment in cultural and musical history with the hit movie, SinglesFM Collective and Rain Light Fade are excited to announce The Singles Soundtrack Experience— a virtual concert benefitting MusiCares, an organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need.

The Singles Soundtrack Experience, premiering on February 14th at 7:00 PM PST, will be a musical celebration that allows fans to re-live the soundtrack of a movie and movement that defined an era and a city. Livestreamed through Kirkland Performance Center this special benefit concert will feature some of the artists that were instrumental in putting the grunge scene and Seattle, on the map.

The concert will be performed by Seattle recording artists Rain Light Fade, who will be joined by additional artists, including: Ben Smith (Heart, Love Mongers) Glenn Cannon (Windowpane/Bruiser Body/The Damage Done), Kathy Moore (Super Power Tria), Aisha (from the all-female Soundgarden tribute band, Bleedtogether), and a special welcoming from Nancy Wilson  (Heart, Lovemongers).

Cascade Flyer

Cascade Water Alliance presents FREE Virtual Cascade Gardener Classes

March and April, 10 a.m. Saturdays

Online virtual events

Cascade Water Alliance is pleased to provide the 2021 Cascade Gardener virtual class series. All classes are free and will be held through Zoom. Cascade presenters are regional gardening experts who will help you create beautiful gardens and landscapes that are water efficient and sustainable. Space is limited, so register today!

You'll learn about natural yard care, choosing the best plants, gardening in small spaces, sustainable landscaping, garden design, veggie gardening, gardening year 'round and practical gardening. Visit the website to see the class schedule and to sign up!