Councilmember Dembowski: Important senior property tax exemption news

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

From King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski

Too many senior homeowners struggle to pay their property taxes.

That’s why for years I’ve advocated for a change in the state’s senior property tax exemption law to allow more seniors to qualify for relief.

Beginning this year, folks 61 years or older, who own their home, and have an annual income of $58,423 or less in King County, are now eligible for property tax relief. In previous years, the threshold was fixed at an annual household income of $40,000.

The obvious good news here is thousands more King County seniors are eligible for property tax relief.

Unfortunately, thousands of senior homeowners who applied for the program have waited months for a decision from the Assessor’s office. I have been hearing from these seniors, who fear that as we approach November 2, when the second half of property taxes are due, they will be forced to overpay their taxes this year, and wait for a possible reimbursement next year.

In response to these understandable concerns, I authored legislation, that passed the County Council on September 29, to allow individuals with pending applications to extend their property tax payments until January 31, 2021, without penalty or interest. Taxpayers seeking relief should not have to pay a bill that may well not be owed.

If you have applied for the program, but your application is still pending, and you do not pay property taxes through escrow, you are eligible for an extension. To obtain the extension, opt in here:

This is a “clean extension,” meaning you will not have to pay any fees or interest, while the Assessor’s office continues to process your application and you receive a final tax bill. More information can be found here:

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my staff member, Elizabeth Evans at any time. Elizabeth can be reached at 206-477-0911 or


Culvert at NE 178th due for completion by the end of the month

Photo by Tracy Furutani

Work continues on the installation of the new fish-friendly culvert at the intersection of NE 178th St. and 44th Ave NE in Lake Forest Park, which necessitated the closure of both roads in the area.

Photo by Tracy Furutani

According to City Engineer Neil Jensen, the roads are slated to be open on or before October 30.


Case updates October 18, 2020

Case updates October 18, 2020

United States
  • cases 8,128,524 - 47,035 cases since yesterday
  • deaths 218,986 - 475 deaths since yesterday

Washington state - *DOH does not report deaths on the weekend
  • cases 98,661 - 460 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 8,077 - 59 since yesterday
  • deaths* 2,258 - 19 since last report

King county
  • cases 25,269 - 172 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 2,498 - 18 since yesterday
  • deaths 785 - 0 since yesterday

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 639 - 2 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 106 - 0 new
  • deaths 64 - 0 new

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 74 - 0 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 4 - 0 since yesterday
  • deaths 1 - 0 new


Hit and run collision on NE 205th pushes vehicle across highway and into ditch

Victim's vehicle at wrecking yard
Photo by Angela Maria

Early Sunday morning, at 2:50am October 18, 2020, Shoreline resident Angela Maria was waiting in the left turn lane on NE 205th / SR 104 to turn onto 6th Ave NE.

She was waiting for a clear space for the turn when an oncoming, eastbound vehicle jumped the raised median separating the turn lanes and plowed head-on into Angela's vehicle.

The sheer force of the collision caused my airbags to deploy and pushed my car back about 80 ft to the opposite side of the road onto the grassy ditch in front of the Nile golf course.

I was able to get out of the car and while screaming for help, the man driving the car suddenly threw it into drive and drove off east down NE 205th.

At least two neighbors heard her screams and called 911. One ran down to the scene and waited with her until the police, state patrol and medics arrived.

Ironically, she had met the two paramedics earlier in the day when they admitted a patient to the Seattle Children's emergency room where she works.

They were shocked that I was standing and were expecting much, much worse when they got the call.

She is very sore, but did not need hospitalization and is recovering at home.

Her car is totalled.

Because pieces of the vehicle were left at the scene, investigators know that this is the model of the vehicle that hit and ran. The vehicle was black with gray trim.

The man who hit her was driving a newer, shiny and clean, black Subaru Crosstrek with a grey trim and tinted windows. It will have significant front-end damage.

The driver was wearing a white t-shirt and was of a heavier set build.

If you have any information, contact the Washington State Patrol.
Trooper Rick Johnson (Primary PIO)
C: (425) 766-0812


Kenmore police capture burglar - thanks to security cameras

Burglary in Kenmore. Photos courtesy Kenmore Police

On Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 5:20am, a Kenmore business owner was alerted by his security cameras of motion in the fenced area of his business in the 18000 block of 73rd Ave NE, near Bothell Way NE.

The business owner called 911 and Kenmore Police quickly responded. On arrival, they located the suspect, a 39 year old man, still on the property.

The suspect had cut a small hole in the exterior fence to gain entry onto the property. He then used an axe to break a window to the business, but he was caught before he could get inside.

The suspect's backpack was located on the business property as well.

The same male is suspected in a second burglary at a business nearby. He was arrested without incident and booked into the King County jail on investigation of Burglary.


Train - pedestrian collision Monday

Shoreline fire vehicles parked near RB Saltwater Park
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Around 5pm on Monday, October 19, 2020, Shoreline Fire and Aid were out in full force to Saltwater Park to respond to a pedestrian who was hit by a train.

Aid vehicles in the lower parking lot at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park
This is as close as they can get vehicles to the beach. Photo courtesy Shoreline Fire

It is unknown what the person was doing near the tracks or what route the person took to get down to the tracks.

Fire reported that the patient was alert when being treated.

No other information is available at this time.


Death investigation on Aurora after female found injured in parking lot

15300 block of Aurora
At 10pm on Monday, October 19, 2020, the sheriff's office reported that Shoreline police were conducting a death investigation in the 15300 block of Aurora Ave N.

The block starts with Shari's restaurant and includes half of the Safeway parking lot.

A female was found injured in the parking lot. Responding deputies and Aid performed CPR but the victim died at the scene.

No more info is available at this time. King county Major Crimes will handle the investigation.


Here's lookin' at you, Bud

Monday, October 19, 2020

A close up of a hawk sitting in a tree with his head turned to stare directly at the camera
Cooper's hawk
Photo by Steve Schneider

Steve relates: After getting back from taking our ballots to the drop box, we had a visitor in our yard. He stayed for about 20 minutes.

Update: apparently this is a Cooper's Hawk - not a sharp-shinned hawk. They are said to be very similar in appearance.


King county elections: "We're emptying the drop boxes daily"

Photo by Janet Way
King county elections reports that "In 2016 we collected 16,000 ballots from drop boxes the first 5 days after mailing.

"This year, we have 60,000 ballots and it's not even been 5 days!

We hear you and are sending out staff to empty drop boxes daily!


Letter to the Editor: Serious concerns about the 'enhanced shelter'

To the Editor:

Many Shoreline citizens have serious concerns about the "enhanced shelter" the City is proposing for 165th and Aurora. We have secured legal counsel, and have formally submitted a letter to the City:

The City faces two big problems in its push for this "enhanced shelter": 1) the site is in an R-48 residential zone. Current zoning allows "homeless shelters", but only in commercial zones 2) the "homeless shelters" allowed by current zoning require more stringent safety restrictions than the proposed "enhanced shelter".

To push the shelter through, the City has proposed Ordinance 906, which creates interim zoning regulations allowing "enhanced shelters" in R-48 zones. Under this zoning, eight residential sites around Shoreline could house "enhanced shelters". The regulations could be reversed after 6 months, but any shelter authorized while the regulations were in effect would be vested, and could stay forever.

One of the issues our attorneys raise in their letter is that the City's proposal would create inconsistent development regulations. It's questionable whether shelters should be allowed at all in residential zones, but if they are, the rules should be more stringent, not less stringent, than in commercial zones, and Ordinance 906 would do the opposite, even allowing sex offenders in "enhanced shelters".

For the City to do this properly, they would have to: 1) rezone the area from residential to commercial 2) change the definition of "homeless shelter" to remove some of the current safety restrictions. This would require an extensive public review process.

Instead, they are trying to slip a new, more dangerous, type of shelter, into residential areas by adopting Ordinance 906. We believe they are engaging in rule bending, should stop immediately, and follow the rules scrupulously.

Vinay Venkatesh


Third Place Books presents: Sandy Sabersky and Ruth Neuwald Falcon with Elisabeth Mitchell

Sandy Sabersky and Ruth Neuwald Falcon with Elisabeth Mitchell - The Elderwise Way

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 4:00pm

This is a livestream event, taking place via Zoom Webinar! Register for this event here!

Based on a program now more than two decades old, The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia summarizes the principles and practices of a unique adult day enrichment program that has a spirit-centered approach to working with people with dementia. Based in Seattle, Elderwise is at the forefront of the expansion of our understanding of how to be with those with cognitive loss.

Reading about dementia can be hard and frightening. While there is more understanding and information available than ever before, it is easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. One of the core takeaways from many of the books is the belief that when someone is diagnosed with dementia, they are no longer there -- instead, they are lost to those who know and love them, no longer accessible or knowable. One reads and grieves.

Reading The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia has a different effect. It opens the heart and mind to the awareness that cognitive losses do not eradicate the essence of a person. It opens the reader to the possibility that someone with memory loss can still expand in ways of the heart. Though relationships will change, they can still be meaningful and loving. Through stories and concepts, it illuminates approaches that can provide opportunities for persons with memory loss to become more joyful, more tolerant and more loving.

This book does not minimize the loss and necessary adjustment required by all involved. It does, however, offer concrete examples of how to adapt and enjoy the relationship in its present form. It provides opportunities for growth, for both the person with memory loss and the care partner.

The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia is filled with compassion and connection, humor and honesty. It reminds us of our own humanity and deep capacity for love.

Sandy Sabersky has, for all of her adult life, focused her professional and personal attention on the fields of aging and spiritual growth. After more than two decades as a Physical Therapist, these two threads were brought together when she co-founded Elderwise in 1997. She is grateful for all the opportunities Elderwise has given her: for learning, growth and expansion. She appreciates the opportunities it brings to express herself--artistically, verbally and through movement--and for the community of fellow travelers.

Ruth Neuwald Falcon is an Emmy Award-winning editor, writer, producer, web content creator and blogger. She has also run a small business and been executive director of two non-profit organizations. She enjoys working collaboratively with other authors and filmmakers. At the beginning of the pandemic, as a way of building virtual community, she started the Corona Support Blog. You can learn more about her work as a Creative Content Collaborator

The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life with Dementia (Paperback)
By Sandy Sabersky, Ruth Neuwald Falcon
ISBN: 9781098308858
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: BookBaby - September 22nd, 2020


Contrast in the weather

Cranes in the sunset. Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Photos and text by Marc Weinberg

One day it's the warm glow of a wonderful sunset and the next it is fog, rain and wind. I've lived many places in the US, but our area takes the prize for rapid changes in the weather.

Saturday sails. Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

I think that the notion to "dress in layers" and the "intermittent windshield wiper setting" might have originated here for this reason.


Case updates October 17, 2020

Case updates October 17, 2020

United States
  • cases 8,081,489 - 53,157 cases since yesterday
  • deaths 218,511 - 593 deaths since yesterday

Washington state - *DOH does not report deaths on the weekend
  • cases 98,201 - 530 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 8,018 - 24 since yesterday
  • deaths* 2,239

King county
  • cases 25,097 - 105 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 2,480 - 2 since yesterday
  • deaths 785 - 0 since yesterday

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 637 - 2 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 106 - 0 new
  • deaths 64 - 0 new

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 74 - 2 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 4 - 0 since yesterday
  • deaths 1 - 0 new


Fire in Richmond Beach commercial building Sunday

Photo courtesy Shoreline Fire

On Sunday evening, October 18, 2020 Shoreline Fire was called to a commercial structure fire at 600 block of NW Richmond Beach Rd. 

Clothes in a dryer as well as items brought outside were quickly extinguished.


Free Fall Gardening Seminar: Designing Successful Gardens

The City of Shoreline is partnering with local gardening experts to help you learn how to design attractive garden beds with plants that provide multiple benefits. The next one is this Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30pm. You need to RSVP at and more information is available there as well.

FREE Gardening Webinar - Fall Prep for a Thriving Garden
Create a Tidy Winter Garden that Restores Itself for Spring
Date:10/21/2020 6:30pm - 8:00pm

The City of Shoreline is partnering with local gardening experts to provide a series of free lawn and garden webinars.

Learn how to create a tidy winter garden that restores itself for spring. In this session, Garden Hotline experts will cover fall clean-up practices, like mulching and pruning, that will keep your garden clean and help it thrive for next season. Discover techniques that create healthier plants and support local pollinators and birds.

Register here:

This event is provided for free with sponsorship from the Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.


My aunt's hummingbirds

Photo by Wayne Pridemore

By Vicki Westberg

The hummingbird is one of my favorite birds. If it didn't exist no one would believe it could. Must share an intimate experience I had over on the Olympic Peninsula on my Aunt's porch. 

She has since passed away, but I used to enjoy visiting her in the 1990's, providing transportation to family events over there, and taking her on trips.

She was a gardener and had a flowering vine on the sunny end of the long porch of her double-wide prefab house that the hummingbirds frequented. 

She also maintained a hummingbird feeder. She could sit out there and enjoy them and the cool air.

Photo by Wayne Pridemore
She told me that at some point in the fall a hummingbird would always come and hover very near her and that was his way of thanking her and saying they would be back next year. 

And then they would disappear and she would not see them again until the next spring.

I thought "Well that's a nice story." But one afternoon in the fall we were sitting out there together and a hummingbird actually did come and hover in front of us, facing us for about maybe 25 seconds.

Doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're experiencing it it is significant.

They did not appear again till the next spring just as she had predicted.

My aunt is gone now but I have many fond memories of her. I transplanted part of her honeysuckle bush as well as the clematis vine to have as family "heirlooms". The vine didn't survive, but the honeysuckle which my hummingbirds also love is thriving.


LFP Rotarians glean a truckload of apples to help fight local hunger

LFP ROTARIANS in action to support food insecurity in our community’s

Harvest Against Hunger (formerly Rotary First Harvest) connects farmers, truckers, volunteers and food banks to reduce hunger and food waste by bringing surplus food from farmers to cities.

LFP Rotary volunteers traveled to Cashmere, Washington to box up apples from a local farm and bring them home to area food banks.

We filled 30 maxi bins, which is equal to 40 wooden bins - a full truckload of apples!

Join us for the fun of it... our weekly gathering is Wednesday 7:45am. We welcome guests...

--Robin Roat


Letter to the Editor: New trees do not equal mature trees

To the Editor:

New trees do not equal mature trees Recently, the City sent out a press release, stating that it was in the process of planting 62 new street trees on the east side of Shoreline. Shoreline spent $11K of its Tree Fund to plant 62 new street trees. It further states that "[t]he trees are Zelkova and Norwegian Sunset Maples, which are known for their fall colors”. According to the 2019 ROW Street Tree List, these are large and median trees, respectively, but not native to Pacific Northwest. Why isn’t the City planting native trees or evergreens? In June 2020, the City paid for and received a Climate Impacts and Resiliency Study from Cascadia Consulting Group and Herrera Environmental Consultants. The Study stated in Appendix B, Recommended Resilience Strategies, that evergreen trees would improve water quality and catchment for stormwater, as well as increase carbon sequestration. They may not be as “pretty” as Norwegian Sunset Maple, but evergreen trees certainly contribute more to a healthy environment. The Study further recommends planting “additional native tree, or native tree cultivars / hybrids to support local habitat, fauna, and flora, and increase native canopy cover.”

Shoreline’s new street tree planting and replacement program cannot be considered a solution for removing existing mature trees in Shoreline. It is important to protect all of our tall trees as well as plant new trees. To summarize, I recommend everyone read a recent online article entitled “US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here's why it matters and how you can stop it.”

Susanne Tsoming


“Story of Plastic” Virtual Screening and Panel Discussion

Join the City of Shoreline and local zero waste experts on Saturday, November 14 for a virtual screening and panel discussion of “The Story of Plastic” documentary.
This 2019 film takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it (watch the trailer on YouTube) ( 

Experts from Recology, the City of Shoreline, and Zero Waste Washington will debrief key themes from the film and discuss how we can address the plastic waste crisis and create a waste-free world, from everyday consumer choices to systemic, legislative solutions.
The panel discussion will run from 11:00am -12:00pm on Saturday, November 4, 2020.
Participants will receive the link to view the film on their own up to three days prior to the event. Register for this Zoom event to receive a link to view the film for free prior to the event:


Talks on track for Northshore Fire Department and Woodinville Fire and Rescue consolidation

Northshore Fire has two stations. This is station 57 in Lake Forest Park
Photo by Jerry Pickard

The Boards of Fire Commissioners for the Northshore Fire Department and Woodinville Fire and Rescue continue to move forward the idea of merging into one agency. The purpose of consolidation is to improve service and be more cost-effective for taxpayers.

Throughout King and Snohomish counties smaller fire agencies are partnering together to provide residents with better service and cost efficiencies. Northshore and Woodinville already share training programs for emergency personnel, administrative positions (fire chief, deputy chief, and a chief administrative officer) and joint departments, including finance, human resources, IT, and payroll. Finalizing the partnership through a merger would make these administrative efficiencies permanent.

Kenmore station. Photo by Jerry Pickard

Both agencies are approximately the same size and fund emergency services with a fire levy and fire benefit charge. Board members also share the same financial philosophy of maintaining reserve funds to pay cash for capital items to save taxpayers money instead of financing these purchases. In addition, merging would reduce the impact to taxpayers for future capital items (such as stations and apparatus) because costs would be shared by more property owners.

A merger would maintain the same number of personnel but allow better deployment to provide an improved emergency response for both communities. Each agency also owns specialized apparatus and equipment that the other benefits from when responding to emergency calls.

Training tower for Station 51 in Kenmore
Photo by Jerry Pickard

Merging also has the added benefits of providing better training opportunities for firefighters, stronger fire prevention programs in local schools, more community engagement, and economies of scale in purchasing goods and services. There is likely to be a cost savings for taxpayers in both communities, and that information will be shared when data from the county is available later this fall.

Boards of Fire Commissioners from both agencies will hold two public meetings later this fall to take input from the public. If approved, voters could see the merger request on ballots sometime in the spring of 2021. 

Because Northshore would merge into Woodinville Fire and Rescue, the election would only apply to Northshore voters. The agencies would develop a new name that reflects both communities if the merger is approved by voters.

Northshore Fire Department provides fire and emergency medical services to approximately 37,000 people over 10 square miles, including the cities of Lake Forest Park and Kenmore. Its emergency call volumes average 3,600 a year.

Woodinville Fire and Rescue provides fire and emergency medical services to approximately 37,000 people over 30 square miles. Its emergency call volumes average 4,000 a year.


I just wanted to see a flower

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Photo by Mike Remarcke

This flower was blooming at the end of March. I just wanted to see a pretty flower. I'm not ready for the change of season. November 1 we have to change our clocks and I'm not ready for that either.

Enjoy the flower.



King county taxpayer transparency tool for November election

King County Assessor John Wilson released his November 2020 Taxpayer Transparency Tool, a website which provides each King County taxpayer an individualized accounting of where their property tax dollars go, and the estimated cost of any proposed property tax measure to be voted on.

“Taxpayers have a right to know where their money is going, and what each proposed property tax levy will cost them,” said Wilson. “Property taxes keep going up. We need to make sure the public understands why.”

Residents in areas with property tax measures on the ballot will be able to see how those measures will affect them. The following property tax measures are currently before voters, and listed in the tax transparency


Proposition 1: Harborview Medical Center Health and Safety Improvement Bonds

The tool can be found at There is a link to the tool on left side menu of the Assessor’s web page

The Transparency Tool only shows the impact of property tax measures. Other ballot measures, including sales tax measures or benefit charges, are not included.

The Tax Transparency Tool was introduced by Assessor Wilson and first used during the April special election in 2018.

The Tax Transparency Tool was developed for the King County Assessor by Spatialest Inc, a unique enterprise software company focusing on Location, Value and Technology. 

The company also created “Localscape” for the King County Assessor in 2014, a map-based visualization tool that aggregates data to present information. 


LFP Council COW to discuss parking structure design concepts and draft revisions to code update at Monday meeting

City of Lake Forest Park 
Council Committee of the Whole
MONDAY, October 19, 2020
6:00pm - 8pm

Meeting to be Held Virtually
Join the meeting at this link:

Discussion Topics
  • Presentation and Discussion of Parking Structure Design Concepts for Town Center
  • Review of Draft Revisions to Planning Commission 4/14/2020 recommended Town Center Code Update in response to Council discussion at recent Work Sessions and Committee of the Whole meetings 

Citizen Comments (Each speaker has three minutes to comment)

Click on the following link for information about how to provide oral Citizen Comments:

Because the City has implemented oral comments, written comments are no longer accepted under Citizen Comments.


Case updates October 16, 2020; in the U.S. a thousand people died of COVID-19 yesterday

Case updates October 16, 2020

United States
  • cases 8,028,332 - 70,078 cases since yesterday
  • deaths 217,918 - 1,001 deaths since yesterday

Washington state - *DOH does not report deaths on the weekend
  • cases 97,671 - 777 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 7,994 - 23 since yesterday
  • deaths* 2,239

King county
  • cases 24,992 - 219 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 2,478 - 3 since yesterday
  • deaths 785 - 1 since last report

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 635 - 8 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 106 - 0 new
  • deaths 64 - 0 new

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 72 - 1 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 4 - 1 since yesterday
  • deaths 1 - 0 new



Photo by Lee Lageschulte

A lovely sunrise photo from Lee Lageschulte


Wonderland offers free developmental milestone screener for children birth to three years of age

Wonderland Developmental Center in Shoreline has launched a FREE developmental milestone screener
for families with children birth to three years of age.

Parents no longer have to wait for a doctor's appointment to find out if their child's development is on track. 

It takes less than 15 minutes to complete this developmental screening questionnaire (using the ASQ-3 system) online, and Wonderland’s team of highly skilled therapists will follow up with results and recommendations for next steps.

They are also offering a free screening of the child’s social and emotional well-being (using the ASQ:SE 2) because they know how hard the pandemic has been on families.

If issues of concern are raised on either screener, a comprehensive virtual developmental evaluation will be offered at no cost to the family.

If you know any families with young children who might benefit from these free assessments Share this link to the screener with them.

Wonderland provides services to five local school districts.


Hunger Intervention Project offers free to-go meals for kids and adults

File photo of HIP volunteers giving to-go meals in Lake Cty.
Photo courtesy HIP

Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is offering to-go meals with drive through or walk-up at Spartan Recreation Center (202 NE 185th St, Shoreline, drive back to the rear door) from 11:30am - 12:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  

Meals for kids AND adults. No sign-ups necessary – just drop by! 

Contact or 206-538-6567 with any questions. 

  • Monday - lunches and a pack of four breakfast meals
  • Wednesday – two meals
  • Friday - one meal and weekend food pack (includes 6 meals)


Ballots should arrive by Monday Oct 19

King county workers pick up ballots from the Shoreline Library drop box on Saturday afternoon. 
Photo by Janet Way

Voters who do not receive a ballot by Monday, October 19, or who have questions should call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683).

Already the mail thieves have gotten in the way. Residents on Stone Ct N in Meridian Park had their mail stolen and their incoming ballots dumped in a nearby ditch, along with their junk mail.

They can call elections at 206-296-8683 to get a replacement ballot.

Incoming ballot envelopes are blue and outgoing ballot envelopes are red. 

The drop box at the Shoreline Library is now accessible. County workers are picking up ballots regularly.

Track your ballot online at My Voter Information

If your mail is stolen, file a police report. It will help police see trends.


Councilmember Dembowski to hold Town Hall with King County Elections Director Julie Wise on Tuesday Oct 20

Elections Director Julie Wise and Rod in 2016

From County Councilmember Rod Dembowski

Join King County Elections Director Julie Wise and me for a town hall on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 6:00pm. 

We will discuss the upcoming November 3 election and answer your questions. You can submit your questions during the town hall or before by emailing me at with “town hall question” in the subject line. 

The town hall will be streamed live over Facebook 

As a reminder you have until October 26, 2020 to register online or by mail, in time to vote in the November 3, 2020 presidential election. 

To give yourself and our Elections team plenty of time to get you your ballot, I encourage you to check your registration or register to vote today. If registering online is a challenge or you miss the deadline, Washington state allows voters to register in person at an election vote center until 8:00pm on Election Day.

As voters, it’s important we understand the role we play to help ensure a smooth and accurate election. 

Here are some voting tips from Director Wise:
  • One of the most important things voters can do is make a plan to vote. Take two minutes now to make sure your registration is up-to-date. Set an alarm for October 19 – this is when you should have received your ballot. If you haven’t go online or give us a call at 206-296-VOTE to get a replacement.
  • You can track your ballot to make sure that your vote was counted. Use the My Voter Information tool on the King County Elections website. If there is an issue with your signature, you’ll be able to see it and correct it to ensure your vote is counted.
Vote early! This is what’s going to help us stay ahead of any USPS issues and post as many results as possible on Election Night.

As Director Wise advises, please vote early! I am a big fan of placing my ballot in a ballot drop box. In fact, in 2016 I partnered with Director Wise to expand access to ballot drop boxes, while ensuring geographic equity and convenience for voters. We now have over 70 ballot drop boxes in King County. About half of all ballots were returned to Elections by use of drop boxes in the August 2020 primary election.

We are fortunate that here in King County, we have had an accessible, safe, and secure vote by mail system in place for years. King County Elections is prepared and well positioned to conduct the November 3 election, where voter turnout is forecasted to be record-breaking. We hope you can join us for our town hall.


Neighbors watching out for neighbors - be a Block Watch captain

Your neighbors are your best defense against crime.

The Lake Forest Park Police Department appreciates the eyes and ears of its residents and their participation in preventing crime.

One of the best methods is a local block watch.

If you are a Lake Forest Park resident and interested in being a Block Watch Captain, email Lieutenant Rhonda Lehman, or give her a call at 206-364-8216 x560 for more information.


Shoreline plants 62 new street trees

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Photos courtesy City of Shoreline

The City of Shoreline is in the process of planting 62 new street trees on the east side of Shoreline. The trees are Zelkova and Norwegian Sunset Maples, which are known for their fall colors. They are both suitable street trees that will help us maintain our urban tree canopy.

Funding for the trees came from fees collected in lieu of property owners replacing trees removed from their property.
The City’s tree code has tree replacement requirements. However, sometimes it is not always possible to replant trees on the same property. In such cases, property owners must pay a fee for each tree not replanted. 

The fee is dependent on the size of the tree to be replaced, but averages about $2,500. The City uses fees collected to purchase, plant, and maintain trees around the City. The City used $11,000 from the tree fund to purchase and plant the 62 new trees.


Case updates October 15, 2020

Case updates October 15, 2020

United States
  • cases 7,958,254 - 63,486 cases since yesterday
  • deaths 216,917 - 892 deaths since yesterday

Washington state - *DOH does not update deaths on the weekend
  • cases 96,894 - 709 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 7,971 - 15 since yesterday
  • deaths* 2,239 - 7 since yesterday

King county
  • cases 24,773 - 124 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 2,475 - 3 since yesterday
  • deaths 784 - 2 since last report

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 627 - 3 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 106 - 0 new
  • deaths 64 - 0 new

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 71 - 0 since yesterday
  • hospitalizations 3 - since yesterday
  • deaths 1 - 0 new


Storm aftermath

Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Steve Robinson drove around on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the day after the big storm. He found this taped off and compromised power line  at 190th NW and Richmond Beach DR NW. 

He said "I got there as Seattle City Light was moving on to find more areas of compromise in the neighborhood."

Photo by Alan Charnley

Alan Charnley said that two hours before he took this photo, the tree was standing upright.

This is what happens when the ground get saturated with water. The weight of the tree will then pull the tree's shallow roots out of the ground. The high wind gusts would have helped.


Book review by Aarene Storms - Crows: genius birds

Crows: genius birds 
(Science Comics series) 
by Kyla Vanderklugt

Buddy the dog doesn't know much about crows, but that doesn't mean a crow can't teach him tricks -- like tipping over the green garbage cans to get food, while leaving blue recycling bins upright (dogs are colorblind, but crows aren't, which is something new I learned from reading this book).

Crows are amazing -- and smart. Crows can make and use tools, they remember human faces (and teach their young to remember also). Crows can imitate the sounds of other animals, like dogs or even the speech of people. Scientists study crows to figure out why they are so smart although their brains aren't very big.

Just in case you think that a crow teaching a dog skills is a little outlandish, read the introduction to this book: the author relates the story of a friend's dog who was coaxed away by a crow calling "Here boy, here boy!" 

Library crow Photo by Aarene Storms

This is a fun, quick-and-fun-to-read introduction to crow science, written by a scientist and illustrated in comic form. If you like science, you'll like this book. If you like comic books and science, you'll like this book even more. If you like science and comics a lot, I recommend this whole series!

And if you like crows, come to the Richmond Beach Library and look for the two crows we call "Patience" and "Fortitude": they live in the park near the library and frequently beg for snacks from the library staff.

Aarene Storms 
Teen Services Librarian
King County Library System


Easy come, easy go, sayeth the Crow:)


Photo by Gloria Z Nagler

Easy come...

Photo by Gloria Z Nagler

Easy go...


Affordable Housing 101 in Shoreline/Lake Forest Park

Are you interested in learning more about affordable housing options in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park - and the best practices for making sure everyone has a place to call home? 

Join on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 5pm to share your insight on local housing needs and learn the tools and strategies needed to effectively implement policies that will make a difference in OUR community!

Co-hosted by the North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) and the Housing Development Consortium (HDC), this presentation and workshop is designed specifically for residents, advocates, community leaders and others in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park.

Special guest Mayor Will Hall will provide welcoming remarks and share how Shoreline is working to provide accessible housing options for all.

Please register here. For more information, see here.


Cartoon by Whitney Potter: concerto

Previous cartoons by Whitney Potter here


The League of Women Voters answers first time voter questions

First time voter training and youth ambassador programs are just some of the ways the North King County Unit is working to get out the vote during COVID-19

The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County takes its Get Out the Vote (GOTV) work very seriously. Voting is the foundation on which the League was built 100 years ago. 

Created to help women make informed decisions when the 19th Amendment passed, the League has upheld its mission of creating an empowered, informed and engaged voter base, and has rallied around the work needed to activate voters during every election.

The North King County Unit, one of several active units in King County, has always been a leader in these efforts, working area schools, colleges and food banks to help register and engage citizens in the voting process.

This year was no exception, and as COVID-19 rendered traditional voter registration and GOTV activities impossible, the North King County Unit sprang into action by creating new and exciting ways to engage new voters.

Based on the understanding that new, first time voters were at a disadvantage like never before, the League’s Voter Services team created a video to help answer first time voter questions, from filling in every bubble to why mail-in- ballots come with two envelopes. 

The video can be found here and will be shared on the League’s social channels.

Another new project this year is the League of Women Voters Youth Ambassador program. Aimed at young voters, the initiative is set up as a peer-to-peer voter engagement program that gives ambassadors social media toolkits they can use to encourage their friends to register and vote. 

The League is also encouraging people to sign up for text reminders by texting GOVOTE to 88-202 for text reminders prior to the election.

Democracy is not a spectator sport — make a plan to have your ballot postmarked by Election Day on November 3 or drop it off on or before November 3 in one of King County’s 70+ ballot drop boxes. 

Take pictures of yourselves mailing or dropping off your ballot! Share the good news about voting and tag us on Twitter at @LWVSeattleKC, on Instagram at @lwvseattlekc, and on Facebook at League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County.

About the League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate. We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy. 

Learn more at

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