Thursday's flowers

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Photo by Lee Lageschulte

Flowers in Richmond Beach



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Community Update from Kenmore Mayor and City Manager

Photo courtesy City of Kenmore

Kenmore Community, 

We are proud of our community continuing to stand strong together as we are experiencing the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We are deeply concerned for those who have been suffering and have lost loved ones. 

It is vital that we continue to be on our guard and do our part to help slow the spread of the virus and keep it from resurging. 

Your health and safety are our top priorities as we navigate through this crisis.

We are also very concerned about the pandemic’s effect on the economy. We know that many Kenmore residents, business owners, and employees are also going through great stress and anxiety as their businesses and places of employment are shuttered. As a city organization, we are moving forward and focusing on ways to support our community as we face these challenging times together.

City Goals and Priorities

The City of Kenmore has shifted its priority and focus to responding to the pandemic, and have developed the following thematic goal:

Lead and support employees and the community through the social, mental, health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

We are working towards this goal with the following objectives:
  • Help slow the spread of the virus in our community
  • Maintain essential city services
  • Keep city employees safe
  • Communicate like crazy
  • Respond to budget impacts
  • Look after each other
  • Develop a recovery plan

Budget Impacts and the Financial Forecast

We have been keeping a close eye on the city’s revenues as well as regional and national economic indicators. We are currently projecting a decline in operating revenue in the General Fund and Street Fund of 11.5% to 13% in 2020. This decline amounts to a $1.7 million to $1.9 million loss in revenue out of $14.9 million in budgeted revenues for 2020. It is a difficult task to make up for a loss in revenue of this magnitude in the remaining eight months of the budget year; however, we are moving forward with a two-phased approach:
  1. Cut discretionary expenditures (contracts, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.) down to essential services and preserve essential city services (public safety, maintaining basic transportation and city building infrastructure, etc.).
  2. Reassess our budget situation after we have two or three more months of revenue data and economic indicators; then respond accordingly.

We have combed through and scrutinized the budget reports and have already cut approximately $1.024 million in discretionary expenditures for the remainder of 2020. Many of these cuts are unprecedented and far from easy to make, and these discretionary expenditure reductions down to essential services will result in noticeable service level reductions.

Thankfully, the City has relatively healthy cash reserves and a rainy day fund. While the reductions in the discretionary expenditures get us more than halfway toward the 2020 projected deficit, we may need to access our reserves for the difference.

Summer Event Cancellations

One example of a difficult discretionary spending reduction was the decision to cancel most special events for the remainder of the year. While 4th of July Fireworks, Movies @ the Square, the Holiday Tree Lighting, and most summer concerts are canceled, we are holding out a ray of hope that we will be allowed and able to have two concerts in the second half August at Saint Edward State Park. 

We know these events provide meaningful community connections and are beloved traditions. Staff are already being creative in finding ways to host virtual events that still bring us “together” at little or no cost to the city. Stay tuned for these updates.

Other Reductions
  • Street banners on SR 522 and in our downtown will be discontinued for the remainder of the year. 
  • Responsibility for landscape maintenance on several arterial roads will be transferred back to the adjoining property owners, as this property owner responsibility is already required in the City’s code, and property owners on collector roads and residential streets already comply with this requirement.
  • The City’s Kenmore Business Incubator will be discontinued by the end of this year, and are working to transition this program to a solid and qualified operator so that services can continue. Other economic development services will also be reduced. 

We have also cut the budget in other areas, including training, supplies, and equipment, as well as a hiring freeze (we currently have one vacant position that we are not filling at this time).

Work Continues

Despite these developments, Kenmore city employees continue to serve our public by keeping essential city operations running during the stay at home order. Park and road capital project design and development, surface water facility inspections, park safety and road safety maintenance, responses to public records requests, policing, permitting, building inspections, and much more continue today.

Work on essential public infrastructure, such as the West Sammamish River bridge replacement project, is moving forward with safety measures in place. This week, we opened bids on one of the Walkways and Waterways Bond Measure projects: Juanita Drive sidewalks and bike lanes project. These capital projects are funded separately by grants, bonds, and other revenues that can only be spent on capital projects (not on city operations).

City parks remain open, although park amenities, including play structures, sport courts, and restrooms are closed. City Hall remains closed for the time being, although the public can still contact us and request city services through the City’s website.

We are also continuing to keep a watchful eye on potential grants and other funding sources that may be coming to cities like Kenmore through federal and state channels.

Silver Linings

On a positive note, we are inspired by what we affectionally call “love notes” throughout Kenmore—many wonderful people have been stepping up to help neighbors and those who are less fortunate. For example, many of you have made masks from your home and have donated them to human services agencies and the city. Thank you! We will be calling on you for more assistance like this.

Looking Ahead

With anticipation, we await the Governor’s direction on what will begin to reopen and what will remain closed after May 4th. As a partnering member of the Northshore Emergency Management Coalition, we will consult with our neighboring agencies, including King County Public Health and King County Department of Emergency Management to respond as conditions change. We will have you, our Kenmore residents, at top of mind when we do so.

These are undoubtedly very difficult and heart-breaking times. It’s a sad day when we make the decision to cancel many of our city events for the year or discontinue street banners on our main thoroughfare. Nevertheless, I have been more encouraged than ever by the acts of dedication and kindness that I have observed from City staff and the community. I know that our organization and our city will be better and stronger on the other side of this pandemic. With such an amazing community, I know we’ve got this.

Sincerely,

David Baker, Mayor
Rob Karlinsey, City Manager



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May Day - the Day of the Worker



May 1 is International Day of the Worker

All workers deserve a living wage. They deserve healthcare. They deserve to work without jeopardizing their health or safety or the health and safety of their families.

In the U.S., workers hit hardest by COVID-19 are Black and other People of Color; thousands descend from immigrants or came to America on their own. 

These workers are the people the country will rely on to survive and recover from COVID-19. Yet, it's workers and their families who need support and resources, right now and in the future. We can't just survive the pandemic, we have to thrive, because we are the backbone of this nation.

Recovering from COVID-19 for Washington state and everyone living here is directly tied to a complete census count - that means everyone, especially essential workers, first responders and immigrant and migrant workers.

The Federal government gives funding to states based on data from the census, and data from the census comes from the people. 

This is part of our power. Use it today to help protect workers and their families tomorrow. Be counted now. This is something we need to be intentional about in solidarity with each other, in fighting for economic and social justice for those who need it the most.

COMPLETE THE CENSUS: HERE

Online Day of Action Hosted by 


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Shorecrest seniors pick up caps and gowns

Photo courtesy LFP Rotary

Seniors picking up caps and gowns at Shorecrest High School.

LFP Rotarian Jacqueline Drew was there helping and smiling at students behind her mask.

Thank you Jacqueline and to all the teachers and support staff making the Seniors feel special.

Because of the pandemic, no traditional graduation ceremonies will be held.



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That's right, Clark, Millard repeated for the zillionth time today, one step at a time

Photo by Gloria Z Nagler


 lift that foot a little higher... (sometimes Millard thought he wasn't cut out to be a physical therapist)

--Gloria Z Nagler



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Inslee announces plan to allow construction projects previously underway to be completed



Gov. Jay Inslee, in consultation with the state’s construction industry, announced a plan today to allow current construction projects to be completed.

The recommendations were informed by workers, contractors, health and safety experts, and local government officials, for safe construction standards.

“I thank all those involved in the construction work group in helping us get to this decision in a responsible way that supports workers, businesses, and communities in a way that protects the health of all of their families and ours,” Inslee said. 
“Our strategy is working and we need to keep with it. We would much rather protect people from sickness and death now, so that we don’t have to go through this crisis all over again later.”

The requirements developed by the work group are as follows:
  • Restart existing construction projects with COVID-19 safety plans that allow work which only can be performed while meeting social distancing requirements.
  • Prior to recommencing work, all contractors are required to develop and post at each job site a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan.
  • All contractors are required to post at each job site a written notice to employees, subcontractors and government officials the work that will be performed at that job site and a signed commitment to adhere to the requirements.
  • All contractors have a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy job site in accordance with state and federal law.

Specific safety requirements include:

COVID-19 site supervisor; A site-specific COVID-19 supervisor will be designated by the contractor at every job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan.

COVID-19 safety training; A training must be conducted on all job sites on the first day of returning to work, and weekly thereafter, to explain the protective measures in place for all workers.

Social distancing; Social distancing of at least 6 feet of separation must be maintained by every person on the job site at all times.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) — employer provided
  • Employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate, or required, for the work being done.
The plan also includes proper sanitation and cleanliness for workers, as well as policies to encourage workers to stay home or leave the job site when they are sick.

The order includes public construction projects underway from the state Department of Transportation as well. WSDOT staff and contractors will implement similar protocols and crews will need to demonstrate how they will adhere to safety protocols and compliance.

The governor was joined by members of the Construction Roundtable working group for the announcement.

“My office and the Department of Commerce will convene stakeholder groups to develop plans similar to what we have seen with the Construction Roundtable, to have procedures in place when the time is right to modify restrictions,” Inslee said. 
“Their work has served as a model for reaching consensus on strict safety guidelines. And this is how we intend to work with other industries and groups on eventually lifting restrictions on other sectors of the economy. We cannot yet say when more businesses will reopen because that will be driven by health data.”

“This is really good news, not only because construction is such a critical part of our economy but also because it shows the steps we’ve taken to slow the spread of the virus in Washington are working,” said Michael Ennis, director of government affairs, Association of Washington Business.

“The construction roundtable that worked with the governor’s office to develop these new protocols allowing for the safe restart of construction looked at everything through the lens of worker safety. It was a great team effort, with business and labor representatives working side by side.”

The governor signed an addendum to Proclamation 20–25. The memorandum serves as the criteria for a limited Phase 1 Construction Restart.



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Time to Laugh: Alternative meanings

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. 

The winners are:
  1. Coffee (N.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (V.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (V.), to attempt an explanation while drunk
  5. Willy-nilly (Adj.), impotent.
  6. Negligent (Adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  7. Lymph (V.), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (N.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (N.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (N.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Testicle (N.), a humorous question on an exam.
  12. Rectitude (N.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  13. Pokemon (N), a Rastafarian proctologist.
  14. Oyster (N.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
  15. Frisbeetarianism (N.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
  16. Circumvent (N.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year's winners:
  1. Bozone (N.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  2. Foreploy (V): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  3. Cashtration (N.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  4. Giraffiti (N): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  5. Sarchasm (N): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  6. Inoculatte (V): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  7. Hipatitis (N): Terminal coolness.
  8. Osteopornosis (N): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  9. Karmageddon (N): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  10. Decafalon (N.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  11. Glibido (V): All talk and no action.
  12. Dopeler effect (N): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  13. Arachnoleptic fit (N.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  14. Beelzebug (N.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  15. Caterpallor (N.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (N): A person who's both stupid and an asshole



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Gov. Inslee announces easing of certain COVID-19 social distancing restrictions



Gov. Jay Inslee has announced the state’s first steps to ease certain COVID-19 restrictions including allowing certain low-risk construction projects to restart and allowing the partial re-opening of some outdoor recreation activities

The governor, during a news conference on Monday, also discussed the state’s approach to easing restrictions, which is based on several factors including:

  • Rate of infection: Case counts overall have flattened and data from the Puget Sound indicates that for each person infected, the disease is spread to just under one additional individual. While that shows social distancing is helping slow the spread, the governor said medical experts warn there is high risk that infection rates could increase again if we modify restrictions too soon.
  • Ability to test: To accurately determine the rate of infection, the state needs to significantly increase testing. While the state now has the lab capacity to test large numbers of people, it does not yet have enough testing materials including swabs and viral transmission medium to get the samples to the labs. The state is aggressively pursuing options to get more testing materials from the federal government and other sources soon.
  • Contact tracing: Once the rate of infection is low and testing capacity is in place, the state needs the ability to reach people who come in contact with someone who is infected to make sure they are isolated, as well as their families. That is the only way, currently, to ensure the virus does not spread out of control. The state is creating a contact tracing workforce of 1,500 people, primarily from the Washington State National Guard, local health departments and the state Department of Health.
  • Status of the healthcare system: The state wants to ensure the hospital system has the capacity to handle another surge of patients in case the virus again spreads rapidly through the population.

“Not one of these metrics is dispositive,” the governor said. “You have to consider all of these factors together and when they reach the point where we're highly confident that we can reopen our society, then we will make a decision to do that as soon as we can.”



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Case updates April 29, 2020 - county opens new temporary homeless shelters


In a continuing effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent transmission through the homeless shelter population, King County has negotiated with two additional local hotels to serve as temporary shelter locations for people experiencing homelessness. King County is taking this step to reduce the density of people sleeping in shelters. These are not isolation and quarantine sites. 

  • Catholic Community Services is moving approximately 40 people from the King County Airport shelter to the Inn at Queen Anne.
  • The Salvation Army is moving about 60 people from the King County Administration Building and the King County Fourth and Jefferson Building Shelter to the Civic Hotel.

Both agencies will be onsite 24/7 and will provide case management services and meals. King County will provide security at both locations. Neither hotel will be open to other guests during this time. Moves to the hotels will be completed today.

The Jefferson Day Center, located in the Fourth and Jefferson Building, will remain open seven days a week from 7am to 7pm to offer hot coffee, snacks, bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities. 

Case updates

60 people are currently staying in King County isolation, quarantine and recovery facilities, including Shoreline.

State - Dashboard
  • 14,070 known cases - up 228
  • 801 deaths
King county - Dashboard
  • 6,182 known cases - up 128
  • 436 deaths -  up 9
Shoreline
  • 285 known cases
  • 41 deaths
Lake Forest Park
  • 29 known cases
  • 1 death
Kenmore
  • 72 known cases
  • 5 deaths


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Wednesday sunset

Photo by Mary Igl


Sunset over the Sound on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.




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Inslee issues guidance to clarify limits on elective surgeries

Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash


Gov. Jay Inslee today announced additional guidance for the existing order on limiting non-urgent medical procedures. 

Last month, the governor issued Proclamation 20-24 to ensure appropriate surge capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals and other health care facilities to manage an influx of COVID-19 patients.

"Washingtonians have taken the threat of COVID-19 seriously, and that includes our doctors and nurses. 
"But there are some much needed procedures that aren't being performed that should be, and we need to make sure that everyone gets the care they need during this time," Inslee said.
“Through the great work of our hospitals and medical delivery system, we are clarifying that some procedures should go forward while still ensuring there is adequate capacity to deal with COVID-19 and other emergency situations. 
"Personal protective equipment continues to be in high demand, and we must make sure that all medical professionals have what they need to stay healthy and protected while serving the needs of their patients.”

The guidance provides clarification on what type of procedures are permitted under the order and lays out guidelines for what PPE health care workers should have and how long they should use it.

Read the full guidance document here.



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Caravan to Celebrate the Shorewood Seniors



CARAVAN to CELEBRATE the SHOREWOOD SENIORS 

Shorewood Class of 2020 get ready to be celebrated! 

We look forward to seeing you along the caravan route 
on FRIDAY, May 1st between 2:45-3:30pm. 

Wear your cap and gown and stand along the street!

Parents - join the caravan to celebrate the graduates!

Spread the word! Go T-Birds! #Classof2020#weloveyou



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Hope chalked on sidewalks

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Photos by Lance Neubauer

As people confined to their homes and limited to walks around the neighborhood find creative ways to express themselves, everyone seems to be discovering their cache of sidewalk chalk.

Lance Neubauer documented the sidewalk drawings in his Richmond Beach neighborhood, but news reports say that this is happening all over the United States.

It has rained several times since Lance took these photos, so the artists have a clean slate for new drawings.

Photos by Lance Neubauer


The drawings are artistic or whimsical and the messages are cheerful and positive.




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Scene on the Sound: The USS Nimitz

Photo by Jan Hansen


Few things on Puget Sound are as dramatic as the USS Nimitz, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier based at Naval Base Kitsap

On Monday, April 27, 2020 the Nimitz sailed north past Shoreline.

Photo by Bill Schnall

"USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. 

"One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched, and commissioned as CVAN-68, "aircraft carrier, attack, nuclear powered", but she was later redesignated as CVN-68, "aircraft carrier, multi-mission, nuclear-powered", on 30 June 1975, as part of a fleet-wide realignment that year.
"The ship was named after World War II Pacific fleet commander Chester W. Nimitz."

Wikipedia · Text under CC-BY-SA license

Marine app courtesy Bill Schnall

It's impressive from all angles.

Photo by Lee Lageschulte




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AG Ferguson sends cease and desist letter to Seattle business selling COVID-19 “vaccine”



Attorney General Bob Ferguson is warning a Seattle-based business to stop selling and administering a so-called COVID-19 “vaccine.” Ferguson warns that if the company, North Coast Biologics, or its owner, Johnny T. Stine, don’t stop making false or unsupported claims about the product, they could face a lawsuit from Ferguson under the state Consumer Protection Act.

In a social media post, Stine claims to have developed a “vaccine” that has made him immune to COVID-19, and offers his “vaccine” for $400.

“Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Ferguson said. 
“Scammers take advantage of fear and uncertainty to make you go against your better judgment. There is currently no proven treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. We will use all of the tools at our disposal to protect consumers during this public health emergency.”

In the letter, Ferguson notes that no effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 has been identified, and that “consumers should not have to worry about being misled about the health benefits of products that have not been evaluated or established as effective to treat or prevent the virus.

Ferguson calls on Stine to “immediately stop making misrepresentations about your COVID-19 ‘vaccine.’ ” Failing to do so, Ferguson warns, could result in a lawsuit filed by his office under the state Consumer Protection Act, which allows for a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per individual violation.

Scammers trying to capitalize on COVID-19 fears

Scammers are sending texts and emails promising to protect people from the virus, or offering cash payments to help weather the crisis. In reality, these messages are trying to obtain personal information, efforts known as phishing, or install harmful software on your device, called malware

Some types of software, known as ransomware, can be used to lock you out of your device until you pay the scammer. The risks of clicking unknown links are serious and real.

Washingtonians should be wary of these types of messages. Tips for avoiding COVID-19 scams:
  • Be skeptical — there is no cure for COVID-19.
  • Don’t click on links — they can be malicious.
  • Don’t provide your personal information to unknown sources who may be trying to get your personal or financial information.
  • Don’t donate money without researching who is asking for your money — there are many bogus charities offering to help.
Visit trusted resources for legitimate information about COVID-19, like government health departments or your healthcare provider.

The Attorney General’s Office is continuing to investigate reports of unfair business practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. To file a complaint, visit the Attorney General’s website



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Case updates April 28, 2020

If each person in a household visited "just one friend"
UW Medicine “Just One Friend” data visualization: 

Epidemiologists at UW Medicine created a data visualization page that outline the risk of widespread transmission that could happen if we all visited “just one friend”. 

Public Health Seattle/King County featured their work in the most recent Public Health Insider blog post titled, “Not Seeing Friends and Family is Hard but it’s Worth it”.

Case updates

60 people were in the isolation centers on Monday, including Shoreline.

State:
  • 13,842 known cases - up 156
  • 786 deaths
King county:
  • 6054 known cases - up 64
  • 427 deaths - up 11
Shoreline:
  • 297 known cases
  • 40 deaths
Lake Forest Park:
  • 29 known cases
  • 1 death




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Cartoon by Whitney Potter: Exercising to the stock market










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Notes from Shoreline council meeting April 27, 2020

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Shoreline City Council Meeting
April 27, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross

Pursuant to Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City Council’s Regular Meetings will take place online using the Zoom platform and the public will not be allowed to attend in-person.

You may watch a live feed of the meeting online or listen to it over the telephone. Council is providing opportunities for public comment by submitting written comment or calling into the meeting to provide oral testimony. To provide oral testimony you must sign-up by 6:30 p.m. the night of the meeting.

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm

All Councilmembers were present. City Councilmembers participated in the meeting remotely by calling into an online video conference.

The Mayor reiterated Council’s empathy for those who have been directly affected by the coronavirus. Sadly, the number of Shoreline residents who have died from COVID-19 has grown from 18 to 40.

Proclamation

Proclamation Declaring May 2020 National Bike Month in the City of Shoreline

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Governor Inslee’s order remains in effect until May 4th. Everyone is to stay home unless absolutely necessary to go to a grocery store, a doctor or an “essential” job. Walks are acceptable. Remember to continue to practice social distancing while walking or visiting city parks.

Group games are prohibited. All public and private gatherings are prohibited. The Governor will be providing updated information later this week. Go to shorelinewa.gov/covid for updated information on what’s open and what’s closed.

The Governor has announced the restart of Phase 1 Construction. This allows construction work which can be performed only by meeting social distancing requirements. Work, a COVID-19 Job Safety Plan, and COVID-19 Supervisor must be identified. L/I will enforce compliance. Complaints can be reported to 1-800-423-7233 or adag235@Ini.wa.gov

If you need help:
  • Hopelink Food Bank and Supplemental Weekend Food Support are food resources
  • Statewide moratorium on evictions, including commercial occupancies
  • Utilities will remain on
  • Unemployment benefits have been expanded
  • Health Benefits Exchange is enrolling
  • Call 211 for other resources

You can sign up for email alerts at shorelinewa.gov/alerts
There is a dedicated COVID-19 webpage: shorelinewa.gov/covid
City Social Media Facebook@shorelinewa and Twitter@shorelinewagov

Through May 10th, you can complete a survey regarding how to encourage commercial uses in the North City and Ridgecrest neighborhoods. Neighbors, developers, and business owners are invited to participate in this Ground-floor Commercial Survey.

The N 148th Street Bridge Online Survey is going on now. Visit 148thbridge.infocommunity.org

Learn more and provide your input on the proposed non-motorized bridge that will reduce travel times for people walking and biking between the east and west sides of I-5, and improve safety for everyone.

Council Reports

Councilmember Chang attended the King County Metro virtual town hall meeting. The current number of Metro boardings is about 100k per day. Prior to the coronavirus, boardings were closer to 400k per day. To assist in social distancing, passengers are limited to 12-18 per bus, riders are asked (but not required) to wear masks. Metro is attempting to retain enough buses and routes to get people to essential locations. If you have difficulties accessing an area, public comment is welcome on the metro website. Some funding was received through the Cares Act although this will hardly be enough to meet the revenue shortfall.

Public Comment (remotely)

Kathleen Russell of Shoreline spoke about the importance of trees as part of Shoreline’s sustainability.

The agenda was approved unanimously

The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.

Study Item 8(a) 2019 Sustainability Report

You can view the report on the Sustainable Shoreline webpage at shorelinewa.gov/sustainability
Autumn Salamack, Environmental Services Coordinator, provided the staff report

Shoreline has long had a commitment to leadership in environmental sustainability. The City developed an environmental sustainability strategy in 2008, and subsequently a climate action plan, carbon wedge analysis, and achieved the first in Washington Salmon-Safe Certification.

In March 2020 the City released the first annual sustainability report to highlight sustainability indicators and actions in the community.

The core focus areas include:
  • Climate, Water and Energy;
  • Materials, Food and Waste;
  • Transportation and Mobility;
  • Trees, Parks and Ecosystems; and
  • Resilient Communities.

2019 featured achievement of the goals set for: solar panel installations; certified “green” commercial spaces; increased registered electric vehicles (EVs); and trees planted.

Highlights of 2019 included the launch of the Green Shoreline Partnership, increased Built-Green projects, improved water quality scores, enhanced green business efforts and enhanced waste reduction efforts.

Watch for additional details:
  • May 13 and 16 there will be a free online natural yard care workshop
  • 2020 in May there will be an online Shoreline Climate Challenge
  • 2020 Climate Leaders Training for community members

Discussion

Councilmembers had praise for the Sustainability Report’s clear, easy to read format. Right now it is available at online link shorelinewa.gov/sustainability and on Facebook.

Some events mentioned in the report would have occurred during the stay home order so they were cancelled until a new date can be determined.

How is the City doing with water usage? Response: The breakdown by residential vs. commercial use is no longer available from Seattle or North City water districts. The staff is working with the water districts to see what kind of information they will be able to provide in the future.

Single family recycling appears to be doing well, but not multifamily dwellings or commercial enterprises. With more density from apartments, condos and townhouses, they have to do their part.

Response: Yes, this was a key component of last year’s contract with Recology. However, the coronavirus resulted in a delay in implementation. When able to get more people in the field, Recology will start the planned monitoring protocol to address contaminants in multi-family complexes.

To meet City goals, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced each year. Even now, with people staying home, greenhouse gasses remain high from the production of energy, rather than transportation. What can the City do to strengthen efforts to improve our greenhouse emissions numbers?

Response: We often start with the smaller, easy to implement, very accessible actions even if they don’t have the biggest impact because it’s something people feel like they can do immediately. This gets them engaged in the process. The larger actions that we need like transforming the transportation system, and increasing use of electrical vehicles are much larger investments that take more time. People should consider whether an electric vehicle will meet their current transportation needs. We hope that the new Shoreline Climate Challenge next month will spark some conversation.

Although the City is working to stop use of fossil fuels in new construction, we need to discuss retrofitting older homes to electric from oil heat. What is the cost benefit to the City to move residents away from oil heat? Perhaps a subsidy can be offered.

How many trees are cut down vs how many are planted? It would be interesting to see. Recognizing maintaining tree balance is complicated, are we making gains overall?

The next report will probably be available the first quarter of next year. They want to try to get as close to Earth Day as possible.

Meeting adjourned.

The Shoreline City Council meeting for Monday, May 4, 2020 has been cancelled.

The next meeting will be Monday, May 11, 2020 at 7pm



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Hopelink offers free GED and high school diploma program online


Hopelink is helping students earn their GEDs and high school diplomas during this COVID stay-at-home period. We now have a few openings in this fine program!

Our GED and High School+ Program is a good fit for those who have:
  • Interest and willingness to study at home
  • Time to meet with a teacher and to attend Zoom classes
  • A phone or computer with internet access
Hopelink can offer:
  • Individualized support and tutoring
  • Learning materials and tools (both physical and online)
  • A community of learners
This is how we’re doing things this spring and summer:

GED students work on math every day, following a learning plan designed just for them. Twice each week, students meet with a Hopelink tutor using FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or a phone call. The meeting is a chance to ask questions, get pointers and learn new concepts.

GED students gather for a Zoom class twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursdays, 4:00-5:30). In class, students discuss key information and learn skills that help them in science (biology, physics, chemistry) and social studies (U.S. government and history).

Some students would rather earn a high school diploma than take the GED tests. These people may join the High School Plus (HS+) program where they will complete independent projects to earn high school credit.

Interested students can contact Debbie Margolis at DMargolis@hopelink.org.

For more information, such as eligibility criteria, visit the website


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Commerce provides $9 million in rent and energy assistance to serve estimated 5,000 low-income households


Washington state residents currently participating in the federal Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may apply for special crisis benefits

The Department of Commerce last week provided up to $1,000 in rental assistance and up to $500 in energy assistance for households that qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The crisis funding will be distributed through Commerce’s statewide network of community action agencies, and is expected to serve an estimated 5,000 eligible households.

“Imagine not having enough funds to pay rent, the heat bill, and put food on the table. Thousands of families in Washington face this predicament, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this crisis in our state,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. 
“We are working with our partners to disperse this funding as quickly as possible.”

Community action agencies will distribute the money on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in place. Of the $9 million available, 15% is available for rental assistance. Tenants who are behind in their rent and meet the other qualifications for crisis benefits must apply to their local community action agency. If approved, the rental assistance payment will be made directly to the landlord.

Similarly, those unable to pay their energy bills must apply through their local community action agency. When approved, the benefit is paid to the utility that serves the qualifying household.

Who can apply and how

To qualify for the COVID-19 crisis LIHEAP benefits, a household must be at 125% of the federal poverty level and have received – or will receive – a LIHEAP or Low Income Rate Assistance Program (LIRAP) benefit in the current program year (October 2019 – October 2020).

Last year, LIHEAP dispersed an average rental assistance benefit of $800 to 430 households.

In 2019, a family of four, with an annual income of $32,188, or a monthly income of $2,682, qualified for the program. See LIHEAP Eligibility Guidelines

To find out if you qualify for assistance, contact your local community action agency. An interactive map with contact information is linked here.

Commerce has implemented temporary policy changes to allow for quick, safe distribution of these funds, without personal contact. Community action agencies are accepting documents by mail, email, fax, text or telephone. Commerce implemented the program with currently available funds in anticipation of receiving federal government Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding to states soon.



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State continues aggressive procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Disposable PPE for medical staff
Photo courtesy New England
Journal of Medicine


Just because the numbers have decreased does not mean there is less of a need for Personal Protective Equipment PPE for first line responders and health care workers.

The state continues its aggressive procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Because PPE supplies remain limited, state officials continue to prioritize Tier 1 needs which include hospitals, long-term care facilities and first responders. 

Though purchase orders are placed nearly every day, arrival time for orders can take weeks. 

Purchases are the primary way the state has secured PPE, accounting for more than 70 percent of items received so far - a percentage that is growing. 

Of the $342 million worth of PPE that has been ordered to date, only $8.3 million in PPE has arrived and been distributed or is being processed for distribution (some 10.7 million items).

Washington businesses continue to answer the call to produce needed items, with more than 100 manufacturers retooling so far. 

The state is purchasing directly from five of them, and the others are selling directly to local entities including hospitals. 

Information about purchasing and distribution of PPE is available on the state’s coronavirus website.

This is what is included as PPE and medical supplies needed for COVID-19
  • Biohazard Waste Bags
  • Cleaning Spray
  • Coveralls
  • Face Shield
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Gowns
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Sanitizer Refill
  • Hand Soap
  • Respirator Masks
  • Sanitizing Wipes 
  • Surgical Masks
  • Surgical Procedure Mask w/Shield Attached
  • Swabs
  • Thermometers
  • Ventilators
  • Virus Sampling Kits - Viral Transport Medium Only



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Now streaming: Forests and Fins

While schools are closed, the Greenway education team wanted to make sure kids could still learn about the natural world around them.
 
Becca Kedenburg, Val Watson and Maria Sheldon teamed up from their respective yards to create an entertaining and educational series of videos about the salmon life cycle with suggested activities that kids (and adults) can do at home. 

Thanks to funding from King County Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Flood Control District, and WRIA 8 for making this possible.

Watch the series here



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Anonymous donor sends treats for Senior Center staff and volunteers


The staff and volunteers at the Shoreline - Lake Forest Park Senior Center have turned their dining room into a staging area for their mobile food bank. They are working hours every day to feed all the elderly shut-ins who are being referred to them in increasing numbers.

They were surprised and delighted to receive a "care package".

Thank you!
To the wonderful anonymous donor who had Starbucks deliver
fresh brewed coffee & snacks, to our doorstep.  What a treat!


From the staff and volunteers of Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center
We aren’t going anywhere, we’re with you to the end!


                                          

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The Washington Invasive Species Council wants your help locating Scotch Broom

Scotch Broom 


The Washington Invasive Species Council, state agencies and researchers are calling for a census in May to help determine the location of Scotch broom throughout the state.

“We need everyone’s help to size up the problem,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. 
“Without baseline information about the location and population size, we don’t have enough details to determine solutions. The information from the census will help us set short- and long-term action plans.”

Yellow flowered, Scotch broom is hard to miss when blooming. It can be found in 30 of Washington’s 39 counties. While known to be spread across the state, specific locations and patch sizes are not well documented, leading to the council’s call for a month-long census.
How to Participate in the Scotch Broom Census

“We’re asking people to send us information from their neighborhoods,” Bush said. 
“The information can be transmitted easily to the council by using the Washington Invasives mobile app or by visiting the webpage.
"Sightings should include a photograph of the plant that shows enough detail that the plant can be verified by an expert. A description of the size of the patch is also helpful, such as whether the patch is the size of a motorcycle, a car, a school bus or multiple school buses. 
"Photographs also can be shared with the council on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtags #TheGreatScotchBroomCensus and #ScotchBroom2020Census.”

Scotch broom is a problem because it crowds out beneficial native species and clogs healthy habitats. It can form dense, impenetrable stands that are a problem for grazing, farming and recreating and it creates fire hazards. 

Dense stands may prevent or slow forest regeneration and harm sensitive areas near streams and wetlands. Scotch broom also produces toxic compounds, which in large amounts may poison grazing animals.

Scotch Broom close up
Photo by Jo Simmons

While widespread and not likely to be fully eliminated from the entire state, action is being taken to remove Scotch broom from parks, roadsides, forests, riverbanks and other at-risk landscapes. The information from the Scotch broom census will help invasive species managers better understand the needs of landowners and managers.

“We don’t have the resources at a state or local level to remove every Scotch broom,” said Greg Haubrich, pest program manager with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 
“But organizations like your local noxious weed control board can provide education and technical assistance so that you can efficiently and effectively manage Scotch broom on your property. 

Best Practices is available from King conservation district about Scotch broom.


What You Can Do to Prevent the Spread

When around Scotch broom and any other invasive species, care should be taken not to inadvertently spread it to new locations. Each mature plant can produce thousands of seeds, which are viable up to 80 years. Taking precautions not to move seeds on boots, tires, pets or vehicles is very important.

People that have Scotch broom or would like to get involved in stopping it can find additional help with an online seminar series June 2-4 being organized by the council and its partners, who are working together to share the newest information from throughout the Pacific Northwest so everyone can better address this shared problem.



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Watching maple tree blossoms ripen into spinning seeds

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Photographer Hitomi Dames, who wrote columns for the Shoreline Area News on photography in 2015 (Sound Shooters) sent in this series on a four day evolution of maple tree flowers.

Photos and notes by Hitomi Dames

The first three were shot on April 20 when I went for a walk.

#1 April 20

#2 April 20

#3 April 20

The maple trees on NE 155th St were all yellow with blossoms on April 20. But soon they turned to yellow green because their leaves opened. 

#4 Samaras forming - April 24

#5 Samaras are well formed - April 24

And if you look carefully the flowers were becoming samaras. The 4th and 5th photos were shot on April 24.

Mature samaras are the winged fruit of the tree which spin through the air by the hundreds.

#6 A different tree at Hamlin Park
April 25

Those flowers on NE 155th St didn’t became samaras completely, but I found this last one at Hamlin Park yesterday April 25.




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Inslee announces Colorado and Nevada will join Washington, Oregon and California in Western States Pact

In the absence of a federal strategy, the states are forming
their own coalitions, both formal and informal


Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak are joining Washington, Oregon and California in the Western States Pact -- a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.

From Inslee:
"In Washington state, our decisions are guided by public health data and science and this is a principle we share up and down the West Coast. Governor Polis and Governor Sisolak are taking that approach as well, and the addition of their states will strengthen this regional partnership and save lives," Inslee said.
From Colorado Gov. Polis:
“Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states. I’m thrilled Colorado is joining the Western States Pact," Gov. Jared Polis said. "There’s no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, keep our people safe and help our economy rebound.”
From Nevada Gov. Sisolak:
“I’m honored to have the state of Nevada join the Western States Pact and believe the sharing of critical information and best practices on how to mitigate the spread, protect the health and safety of our residents, and reopen responsibly will be invaluable as we chart our paths forward,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback.” 

Earlier this month, Inslee, along with California Governor Gavin Newsom and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, announced they would be working together under a shared vision for gradually modifying their state’s stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.

They listed three shared principles as foundational to the agreement:
  1. Our residents’ health comes first. As home to nearly one in five Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
  2. Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.
  3. Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with its local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.

As part of the Western States Pact, the governors commit to working together toward the following four goals:
  1. Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  2. Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.
  3. Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
  4. Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.



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Rob Oxford: Already Making Plans

Display and photo from Isaac and his mother April


By Rob Oxford

For the very first time since this pandemic began, I felt the funk.

It was last Wednesday, my 3rd day of vacation and although our family trip had to be postponed, I was determined to continue taking the week off and accomplishing as much around the house as possible. So far I had been somewhat successful, but Wednesday was difficult.

Wednesday it did nothing but rain…all day.

I woke up expecting to be as productive as I had the day before but something hit me and it hit me hard. I literally did not want to get out of bed. I tried to turn on the television, but it was the same old nonsense. Even “Leave It to Beaver” failed to cheer me up. I attempted to write but didn’t feel like typing. I attempted to go through a box of home movies, but the DVD player was unable to read some of them and that only added to my frustration.

Admittedly, I feel very fortunate to be deemed an essential worker. Although my hours have been cut and my income slightly diminished, I’ve not felt the severe economic effects, depression or loneliness that many of you have and for that I send you my very best.

What I hope to do with this article is continue to focus on the positive. Life will return to normal; we will win and we will again have our freedom.

While working on my car in our driveway, Isaac, who is a 5th grader at my wife’s school was out for a bike ride with his mother April. They stopped to say hello but were careful to maintain a safe distance. April indicated Isaac was being rewarded for finishing his school work. Great job Isaac!

I asked Isaac the first thing he wanted to do once the stay at home order was lifted? As you might imagine, his immediate response was “hang out with my friends”. I laughed and said, me too.

Later that afternoon I started making a list of all the things I’m going to do. All the things I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, but somehow found a reason to postpone.

  1. I’m going to go bowling with friends.
  2. I’m going to hug my in-laws.
  3. I’m going to spend far too much money at a local restaurant where I’ve never eaten before.
  4. I’m going to take my wife to a movie.
  5. I'm going to learn to Square Dance. On second thought, no I'm not.
  6. As soon as it’s warm enough, which around these parts is usually August, I'm going to swim in a river.
  7. I’m going to visit Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.
  8. I’m going to get another pedicure… those things are awesome! Especially the massage chairs.
  9. I’m going to rehearse with my band and then have them over for a BBQ, all of them except Jeff our Tenor Sax player (inside joke).
  10. I'm going to Regina, Saskatchewan to see my Aunt Lois and Uncle Roger.
  11. I’m going to gather all of the parents who coached and/or volunteered for North King County Little League and have a softball game. After which someone will need to take me to the emergency room.
  12. I'm going to go to a local beach and keep my shirt on.
  13. My wife and I are going to find a garage sale and buy more stuff we don't need.
  14. I’m going to thank our frontline workers… personally.
  15. I’m going to just “pop” by the house of a friend I haven’t seen for far too long.
  16. I’m going to see my son excited to return to school.
  17. I’m going to help plan a celebration for the Seniors of 2020.
  18. I’m going to walk down the aisle at my local grocery store, realize I forgot something, turn around and head the other direction without breaking the rules.
  19. I’m going to go to San Francisco and then Los Angeles with my family like we had planned.
  20. I’m going to a Mariners game.
  21. I'm going to admit my mistakes and apologize more frequently.
  22. I'm going to take my wife to a casino, walk in with $60.00 and when it's gone...leave.
  23. I'm going to sell my television.
  24. I’m going to smile at a stranger and know they’re smiling back because we’re not wearing masks.
  25. I’m going to miss the smell of my wife’s perfume that she puts on for her Zoom meetings.
  26. I’m going to comb my hair…what’s left of it.
  27. I’m going to once again attempt to lose weight and fail.

Finally, I’m going to donate all of the toilet paper I have stored in my garage.

But most importantly, I’m going to take a deep breath and continue to be thankful.



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