WeatherWatcher: Rainy week ahead

Sunday, January 31, 2021

 

Rainy day in Lake Forest Park.
Photo by Carl Dinse.


A relatively uneventful week is expected weather wise. Rain is expected for the majority of the time between now and Tuesday afternoon. We've received about a half inch of rain already over the weekend; we are expecting another half inch to one inch of rain between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening.

Tuesday evening the rain is expected to taper off into showers. Wednesday is expected to be our driest day during the week with only a slight chance of showers through the day and a dry and mostly cloudy Wednesday night. 

A chance of showers returns Thursday with steady rain increasing Thursday night, tapering off to showers Friday morning. High pressure then is expected to move through the area Friday through Saturday evening. The high pressure will bring us dry and mostly cloudy conditions. We could see partly sunny skies on Saturday.

Temperatures through the week are expected to run in the mid to upper 40's for a high and lows near 40, dipping into the upper 30's on some nights. A chance of rain returns Saturday night and Sunday.

Long range: There is nothing significant in the long range forecasts right now, though forecast models have been unusually bad this winter in the long range so anything could change over the next week or two. It is rare for us to get through a La Niña winter without a widespread snow event. Models right now show a jet stream bringing us normal Pacific rain storms from the west through February 8th or so, with a dry pattern beyond that.


For current weather conditions visit www.shorelineweather.com



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Super sonic scrub jay, about to launch...

 
Photo and photoshop by Gloria Z Nagler

OK, replaced the sky via Photoshop coz the actual background was urbanly cluttered. Couldn't resist this look:)
--Gloria Z Nagler





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Case updates January 29, 2021

2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

  • Vaccine Phase Finder Vaccine Locations
Case updates January 29, 2021


United States
  • cases 25,780,144 - 164,876 new cases in one day
  • deaths 435,151 - 3,532 new deaths in one day

Washington state - information not available
  • cases 309,801 -  in one day
  • hospitalizations 17,543 -  in one day
  • deaths 4,285 -  in one day

King county
  • cases 76,650 - 305 in one day
  • hospitalizations 4,787 - 16 in one day
  • deaths 1,264 - 15 in one day

Seattle - population 744,995 (2018)
  • cases 19,128 - 51 in one day
  • hospitalizations 1,137 -  2 in one day
  • deaths 325 - 11 in one day

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 1,919 - 17 in one day
  • hospitalizations 173 - 0 in one day
  • deaths 85 - 0 in one day

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 243 - 2 in one day
  • hospitalizations 18 - 1 in one day
  • deaths 4 - 0 in one day


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Shoreline Park soccer field restored and in use

The soccer field turf was replaced by King county
Photo by Gidget Terpstra

During the early pandemic in 2020, when no one could predict how widespread and extensive it would be or how many people would need to be hospitalized or quarantined, King County took aggressive actions to be prepared for the worst.

Both fields are now in use
Photo by Gidget Terpstra

This included setting up the Shoreline Isolation and Recovery Center on the soccer field north of the Shoreline Center on 1st NE. 

Shoreline Isolation and Recovery Center in 2020
Aerial photography copyright Marc Weinberg

These were sturdy but temporary structures for whatever needs came first - potentially the need to shelter hundreds of cruise ship passengers or hospital patients moved to make room for COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

The structures were used, but fortunately not to the extent first feared.

As promised, King County hired contractors to completely redo the soccer field, removing and replacing the artificial turf.

It is already in use.

--Diane Hettrick



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State unveils COVID-19 vaccination ‘Get Ready’ plan for school employees when they are eligible

Kaiser Permanente Washington
president Susan Mullaney
Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal and Kaiser Permanente announce bold plan to vaccinate school employees

OLYMPIA — Equitably and safely vaccinating Washington educators and school staff is the goal of the new ‘Get Ready’ plan announced today by State Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal and Kaiser Permanente Washington president Susan Mullaney.

The plan is designed to be launch ready when personnel become eligible under Washington state’s vaccination protocols, and will focus on supporting a safe return to school for communities across the state and ensures a commitment to fairness, equity, and consistency in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Keeping our educators and school staff safe is very important to me,” said Governor Jay Inslee. 
“This announcement does not allow educators to move ahead in the current prioritization, it means when it is their turn, we are ready to move ahead. 
"I’m excited about today’s announcement and look forward to working with Superintendent Reykdal, Kaiser Permanente, and our labor partners as we continue our efforts to make sure our educators and school staff have rapid and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible.” 

 

Chris Reykdal, Supt of
Public Instruction, State of
Washington
OSPI and DOH are additionally planning further efforts to define potential sites more proximate to Central Washington school employees.

School districts are encouraged to maintain existing vaccination plans already in development; however, this integrated approach will offer an equitable approach to vaccinating school employees in Washington. 

All vaccination efforts will be in coordination with the newly formed Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, and vaccine availability will continue to be dependent upon the number of vaccines the state receives.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine or to determine which phase you fall in, visit the Washington Department of Health website.



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League of Women Voters SnoCo presents Futurewise speaker on creating environmentally friendly laws



REGISTRATION REQUIRED! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 6-7pm

Tim Trohimovich, Director of Planning and Law for Futurewise, will explain the steps involved in creating environmentally friendly county laws.

Tim will explain the WA Can't Wait campaign for adding new language to the GMA (Growth Management Act) so our county can meet crucial growth challenges.

Presented by League of Women Voters Snohomish County and Sno-Isle Sierra Club



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If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it

Photo by Seattle Poppy

... they would probably be in trouble.

This tree came down across one of the trails in Hamlin Park, date unknown. 

Suspect that the tree was diseased as it broke rather than pulling out by the roots.




 

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MyEdmondsNews: GoFundMe campaign raises $22,000 for owners of Firdale Market burned in arson fire

Yong and James Kwon, owners of Firdale Market
Photo courtesy Lyann Kwon
According to reporting in MyEdmondsNews.com, a GoFundMe campaign for the owner of Edmonds’ Firdale Market — destroyed in a Dec. 23 suspected arson fire — raised $22,000.

Lyann Kwon, daughter-in-law of Firdale Market owner James Kwon, said she and her husband Jay — who launched the fundraiser — were able to surprise Firdale Market owner James Kwon recently with the GoFundMe campaign proceeds. 

“He couldn’t believe it,” she said.

She also stressed “how thankful our dad is by this generous love offering from the community.”

No decision has been made yet on rebuilding the market as insurance issues are still being sorted out, Lyann Kwon said.

Firdale Market destroyed in arson fire
Photo courtesy Edmonds Police
Fire investigators determined the blaze, which was reported at 4:42am December 23, 2020 and heavily damaged the convenience store in Edmonds’ Firdale Village, was intentionally set. 

Edmonds Police Department detectives identified 62-year-old James P. Doggett as a suspect in the fire (see article). 

According to Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure, Doggett is in Skagit County Jail for attempted arson in another case, with bail set at $50,000. 

“We’ve forwarded charges for arson and Seattle is also investigating an arson with him as a suspect,” McClure said.



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Street racers were back on Friday

200 cars gathered in Shoreline in October to do donuts on SR 104
Photo from Guardian One video

A group of street racers, between 20-100, were back in Shoreline on Friday evening. They were reported on Aurora, then on 185th near Meridian.

One eyewitness said she passed a group of 20 on Aurora where they were traveling with their lights off. Police set up a roadblock on NE 185th around 3rd.

Helicopters were following. Guardian One did not report being involved but it may have been another KCSO helicopter out of Renton.

Neighbors heard the cars, sirens, and helicopters around 10:30pm.

Police were aware they were coming. Seattle Police posted an article beforehand, warning about an event over the weekend.



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I know you're sitting there with your camera, photog..

Saturday, January 30, 2021

A beautiful power blue pigeon asleep on a branch with her head to the side. She looks like she was stuffed with foam pieces - a little lumpy. The tip of her beak is bright blue, as if she dipped it in paint.
Photo by Gloria Z Nagler


haven't you ever seen a Power-napping Pigeon before? (aka Band-tailed Pigeon who looks like she just had her nails done:)

--Gloria Z Nagler






 

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Shoreline Naval Hospital Chapel at Fircrest Landmarked by King County Landmarks Commission

Fircrest Chapel
Photo by Janet Way


Thursday night, January 21, 2021 the King County Landmarks Commission decided to Landmark the historic Seattle Naval Hospital Chapel at Fircrest School in Shoreline, WA.

Interior of chapel
Photo by Janet Way

The Commission also took the unusual step to landmark most of the interior of the chapel and approximately three acres of surrounding native forest.

The forest was specified by Base Commander, Captain JT Boone in 1944 as one of his main inspirations to build the chapel. The setting of the Chapel within the beautiful forest makes it quite unique, especially in Shoreline.

Three acres of woods around the chapel were also given 
landmark status. Photo by Steven H. Robinson

 
The building is a lovely but humble “Tudor Revival” style and is distinctive in its brick exterior and custom designed original interior. Captain Boone was actually quite notable as one of the most decorated officers in American History and eventually served three presidents.

The Chapel is extraordinary and notable because it was the very first freestanding, nondenominational Naval Hospital Chapel in America. It was built at the height of the World War II in the Pacific theater.

The nomination was made by a small non-profit, the Shoreline Preservation Society and the research and submission undertaken by historical experts at Northwest Vernacular.

Shoreline Preservation Society Chair, Janet Way said, “We are extremely proud and happy to have this beautiful building and its surrounding forest at Fircrest School protected with this Landmark designation. 
"We hope to host a celebration of this Landmarking later this year and invite the community and the Navy to participate.”

Naval Hospital Chapel, 1902 NE 150th Street Shoreline, WA 98155



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Latest FBI poster from Capitol invasion


The FBI continues to work to identify, investigate, and charge individuals involved in the attack on our nation's Capitol and our elected representatives.

These photos are of one person. If you can help identify him, submit a tip at http://tips.fbi.gov When leaving a tip, reference photo 138. http://ow.ly/PtvT30ruO32



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Who is that masked man?

It's JP Mahar, President of LFP Rotary
inviting you to a Masquerade Party!
You are invited to a Masquerade party

LFP ROTARY, President JP Mahar is ready! 


NOW THRU FEBRUARY 6, 2021 
(party night🎉🎉🎉) at 6 pm

The silent auction has started and the live items are posted this weekend. 

Reminder - anything you purchase, even a small donation, will provide the Rotary Club of LFP the means to support our over 40 community projects!

COME TO A FUN Zoom meeting?

LFP Rotary meets every Wednesday at 8am, email for the link.


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Local resident earns advanced degree at George Fox University

George Fox University
NEWBERG, ORE. - Mwoyondishe Mvududu of Shoreline was among the undergraduate, adult degree and graduate-level students who received diplomas from George Fox University in the fall of 2020. 

Mvududu earned a doctor of business administration.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News and World Report as a "Best National University." 

More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor's degrees in more than 35 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, seven seminary degrees, and 13 master's and doctoral degrees.



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Cartoon by Whitney Potter: Biden's cabinet


Previous cartoons by Whitney Potter here



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Jobs: WSDOT Transportation Engineer

WSDOT
Assistant Area Consultant Liaison Engineer (Transportation Engineer 4)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is eager to hire a technical engineer to join WSDOT’s Northwest Region (NWR) Consultant Liaison Office in Shoreline. 

This position will perform essential functions including but not limited to consultant contract administration, acquisition services, and assisting with project development and construction ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations. 

In addition, this position will play a strategic role in developing and facilitating contract procedures in accordance with State and Federal regulations, as well as WSDOT Headquarters Contracting Services Office.

Job description and application



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Jobs: Administrative Assistant at college

Shoreline Community College is recruiting for the following position:

Administrative Assistant 3 – Workforce/STEM
Date of first consideration: February 15 2021

Under the general direction of the Director of Employer Engagement, this position is responsible for providing comprehensive administrative support to the Workforce and STEM division, including divisional and grant-funded budget tracking, the coordination of events, meetings, schedules, and communication with internal and external stakeholders.
  

Interested applicants may apply at www.shoreline.edu/hr for our full-time and part-time positions. It’s easy to search for open positions using the search bar and filtering tools.



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Wolf moon

 
Photo by Jo Simmons


Thanks to Shoreline resident Jo Simmons for going out in the cold to get this photo. 

I like all the interesting names, but when did we start naming moons? I asked Mr. Google what a Wolf Moon is and this was the response:

The first full moon of January will blaze in the sky on Thursday, reaching its fullest point at 7.16pm that day. It's called the 'wolf moon' traditionally, due to the howling of wolves in midwinter when food is scarce. ... This is the length of time it takes for the moon to go through one whole lunar phase cycle.”

Maybe because we don't have any wolves here.




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Case updates January 28, 2021

2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

  • Vaccine Phase Finder Vaccine Locations
Case updates January 28, 2021


United States
  • cases 25,615,268 - 158,598 new cases in one day
  • deaths 431,619 - 3,993 new deaths in one day

Washington state
  • cases 309,801 - 1,992 in one day
  • hospitalizations 17,543 - 26 in one day
  • deaths 4,285 - 42 in one day

King county
  • cases 76,345 - 663 in one day
  • hospitalizations 4,771 - 8 in one day
  • deaths 1,249 - 7 in one day

Seattle - population 744,995 (2018)
  • cases 19,077 - 157 in one day
  • hospitalizations 1,135 -  8 in one day
  • deaths 314 - 2 in one day

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 1,902 - 16 in one day
  • hospitalizations 173 - 2 in one day
  • deaths 85 - 0 in one day

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 241 - 1 in one day
  • hospitalizations 17 -  -1 in one day
  • deaths 4 - 0 in one day


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Northwest Hospital vaccinates all comers after freezer fails at Kaiser Permanente

 
This is a story that people will tell for generations.

In the middle of the pandemic, a hospital freezer fails at 9:30pm with thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has to be used by 5:30am or thrown away.

The word is put out on social media, the vaccine is distributed to local hospitals, and people line up outside all night.

Priority is for those over 65 but most in line are young.

All vaccine was used - none was wasted.

The Seattle Times did a great story on it. 




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Roadmap to Recovery: What's allowed in Phase 2

 

Here's the latest version of the allowed activities under Phase 2. This list is valid for two weeks, from February 1 - 15, 2021 when the Department of Health will reevaluate the health risks.



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Scene on the Sound: The Finest

Friday, January 29, 2021

Photo by Jan Hansen

The high speed ferry, Finest, headed to her port of Kingston while passengers enjoyed a beautiful voyage.

According to Wikipedia,

MV Finest is an aluminum-hulled[6] catamaran fast passenger ferry built at Derecktor Shipyards in 1996. She is owned and operated by Kitsap Transit on a Seattle–Kingston route since 2018. Finest is a former NY Waterway vessel and at one point provided service from the Massachusetts mainland to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Read more here



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Case updates January 27, 2021

2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

  • Vaccine Phase Finder Vaccine Locations
Case updates January 27, 2021


United States
  • cases 25,456,670 - 155,504 new cases in one day
  • deaths 427,626 - 4,107 new deaths in one day

Washington state
  • cases 307,809 - 2,520 in one day
  • hospitalizations 17,517 - 68 in one day
  • deaths 4,243 - 32 in one day

King county
  • cases 75,682 - 393 in one day
  • hospitalizations 4,763 - 0 in one day
  • deaths 1,242 - 1 in one day

Seattle - population 744,995 (2018)
  • cases 18,920 - 64 in one day
  • hospitalizations 1,127 -  -1 in one day
  • deaths 312 -   -1 in one day

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 1,886 - 15 in one day
  • hospitalizations 171 - 1 in one day
  • deaths 85 - 2 in one day

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 241 - 1 in one day
  • hospitalizations 18 - 1 in one day
  • deaths 4 - 0 in one day


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Oaks enhanced shelter in Shoreline: Opening update

Volunteers help to paint the interior
Photo courtesy Lake City Partners
By Donna Hawkey

Melanie Neufeld, Director of Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness, anticipates opening the “Oaks Enhanced Shelter” at 163rd and Aurora Ave by the end of February. 

This is the former 60 room nursing home that was purchased last year in a significant effort to end homelessness in our area. 

Ms. Neufeld states in admirable anticipation that “this will be the first enhanced 24/7 shelter in Shoreline and the entire North end.”  

Twenty rooms are ready. These rooms will be lived in by unhoused people who now participate in their winter shelter.

The Courtyard at The Oaks
Photo courtesy Lake City Partners
There are a total of sixty rooms - starting with twenty as a first step - and they will grow the room availability after they experience this early stage.

Lake City Partners works closely with the City of Shoreline and King County. 

All three groups meet together once per week to maintain a healthy communication flow. 

However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the first opening target date of December 31, 2020, was not met. Currently, King County faces challenges with fire panels and security systems, which they are working to resolve.

Melanie Neufeld, Director of 
Lake City Partners

The process of hiring key staff for the Oaks shelter has begun. Her hiring plans include a lead case manager, outreach and case manager, and support staff. 

Ms. Neufeld reported the shelter status at the recent January 27, 2021 NUHSA (North Urban Human Services Alliance) monthly meeting  

Lake City Partners are recipients of NUHSA’s 2019 Outstanding Human Service Award. NUHSA meets every month and states they are “advocates for human services in North King County (NKC) on behalf of its residents and the agencies that serve them. “

Melanie Neufeld is the Director of Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness and a Minister at Seattle Mennonite Church.  See our previous article for more background.



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Roadmap to Recovery: Puget Sound moves into Phase 2

Thursday the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced that based on Governor Jay Inslee’s updated Roadmap to Recovery phased reopening plan, Puget Sound (Snohomish, King, Pierce) and the West region (Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, Lewis) will move into Phase 2.

“The fact that these two regions are moving into Phase 2 is encouraging news,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, secretary of health. “As we continue our community efforts, we hope more such progress will be made. Ultimately our goal remains ensuring the health and safety of all of Washington.”

Phase changes will go into effect on Monday, February 1, 2021 and remain in effect until Monday, February 15, 2021. They will be evaluated by DOH every two weeks.

Steven and Miles eating lunch outside the LFP Subway on Thursday.
Next week they can eat inside. Photo by Cynthia Sheridan

Here's what's allowed under Phase 2:

As Governor Inslee announced, regions now need to meet any three of the four metrics outlined in the Roadmap to Recovery plan in order to move into Phase 2. The four metrics have not changed and include:
  1. Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100k population
  2. Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100k population
  3. Average 7-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds
  4. 7-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests


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Scene on the Sound: Night Gig

 
Photo by Lee Wolf

A lonely tug makes its way through Puget Sound, headed for a night job, decorated by its running lights.



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Learn how to communicate confidently in online workshop from Shoreline Community College

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Have months of remote meetings and Zoom calls left you struggling to feel confident when it comes to communicating with others?

Join facilitator Megan Toney in Mindful and Assertive Communication: Practical Exercises and Techniques to Elevate Your Communication Skills! 

This online class is designed to help you practice active listening and mindful communication in a positive way. 

Leave conversations feeling like you've said what you needed to say! 

This course is offered by Continuing Education at Shoreline Community College.

Fee: $29
Dates: 2/6/2021 (Saturday)
Time: 10 am - 12 pm
Location: Online via Zoom

Click here to view the full details for this course and register today! Questions? Please email continuing-ed@shoreline.edu



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Salomon bill would limit discipline provisions, accountability provisions in police-union contract

State Sen. Jesse Salomon D-32
By Evan Smith

State Sen. Jesse Salomon, a Shoreline Democrat, has introduced a bill that he hopes will rebuild public trust in law-enforcement agencies by placing limits on law-enforcement collective bargaining agreements related to officer discipline and accountability, and preventing police unions and their employers from setting up privately paid-for disciplinary review systems.

Senate Bill 5134 would place several limitations on disciplinary processes for law enforcement officers, such as
  • Prohibiting privately paid-for, for-profit third-party arbitrators from overturning disciplinary decisions by police chiefs;
  • Prohibiting police-union contracts from negotiating away the rights of community members to secure access to equal and just due process for cases that involve excessive use of force — issues that go beyond working conditions as traditionally defined in contract negotiations; and
  • Prohibiting contracts that allow sealing, redacting, or destroying records of officer misconduct, allow officers to review video recordings and witness statements prior to giving statements to internal investigators, or limit the authority of civilian oversight boards.

“It is critical that law enforcement have the trust of the community,” Salomon said last week.
“The killing of George Floyd and so many others demands that the relatively few police officers who act in bad faith do not get protected by a special disciplinary review system that doesn’t exist for most employees.

“If I get disciplined at work, I can’t go pay for a lawyer who will sit in judgment of the discipline I received and decide to overturn it.

“Why should those who hold such a position of public trust have that ability? These contract provisions lead to reduction in discipline and the overturning of termination decisions in about half the cases that are decided. Thus misconduct often goes unpunished, or lightly punished, which significantly undermines public trust.

“No other state has enacted this kind of reform, so Washington lawmakers have an opportunity to lead the way on this much-needed change.”

The legislative director of the ACLU of Washington, Eric Gonzalez Alfaro, expressed support for the bill.
“Police are unique among public employees because they are equipped with deadly weapons and entrusted to protect and serve the people,” said Alfaro, a former OPEIU Local 8 union member and former legislative and policy director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. 
“Police should not be able to use collective bargaining to shield themselves from the consequences of using excessive force or other serious misconduct against members of the public. 
"Collective bargaining is necessary for employees to secure fair wages and working conditions from their employers, but because of the exceptional power over life and death that we as a society give to police officers, the responsibilities to deploy those powers wisely cannot be bargained away.”

SB 5134 would also require all state and local law-enforcement agencies to develop policies for investigating misconduct complaints and officer-misconduct disciplinary procedures in a transparent manner.

“As a former union member, I am a proud supporter of unions,” Salomon said. 
“But I believe that collective bargaining should be about negotiating fair wages, good benefits, and employee safety,” That process shouldn’t be used to shield officers from accountability when they commit egregious acts of misconduct. 
"We place a lot of faith in our law-enforcement community. Police officers who abuse their power and violate the public trust need to be held accountable and removed from the law enforcement profession.”

Salomon’s bill is one of several police reform and accountability bills that will be introduced during the 2021 legislative session.

SB 5134 had a public hearing before the Senate committee on labor, commerce and tribal affairs Jan 14.

Salomon represents the 32nd Legislative District, including Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, the town of Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of south Snohomish County, the city of Lynnwood and a small part of Mountlake Terrace.

He is vice chairman of the State Senate committee on agriculture, water, natural resources and parks, and a member of the Housing and Local Government Committee and the Law and Justice Committee.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com



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Connie threaded her way impressively through trees and branches

Thursday, January 28, 2021

 
Photo by Gloria Z Nagler

once she'd scrutinized our yard for a likely dinner and came up empty(phew!).
(Best guess is Cooper's Hawk coz of rounded tail, but I'm sure expert birders will weigh in:).

--Gloria Z Nagler





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Rob Oxford: Dinner is Served


Dinner Is Served
Go to: www.neighborhoodgrills.com for menu and pricing

Ask people what it is they look forward to most once this whole thing is over and I’m going to bet many will say taking the family out to eat. Picking out a restaurant or like me relying on the same old favorite, getting dressed up (or not), sliding into a booth and setting aside a couple hours to be “waited on,” “pampered” and “served.” A chance to finally reconnect over a good meal and maybe a glass of Washington wine.

Of course, for a large family, dinner out can be rather expensive… but always, ALWAYS worth it. Besides, who says you ALWAYS have to take the kids?

It wasn’t something we did a lot when I was growing up. We tended to “live within our means” (a favorite saying of my Mother’s) and both my parents were excellent cooks. So, this left very little excuse for paying someone else to feed us. 

Dad was in charge of the Mess Hall at Madigan Army Hospital (JBLM) where quantity, efficiency and variety (in that order) were paramount in keeping the stomachs of our men and women in uniform full and satisfied. Where Dad’s specialty was quantity and efficiency, Mom’s was quality. Her Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding will never be beaten.

Restaurants, especially casual dining and family style establishments, have been hit hard by the pandemic. Many of our favorites are closed, some never to reopen and others are barely keeping afloat. The number of workers affected, who rely solely on the food industry to support their families, is astonishing. 

Thankfully with their patronage, our local community has done a stellar job in keeping some of the smaller, take-out only eateries in business.


In 2005, a space that had been sitting empty in Town Center for five years prior became The Lake Forest Bar and Grill.

The third franchise for the rapidly growing Neighborhood Grills restaurant brand, LFBandG helped revitalize what was a struggling Lake Forest Park Town Center and has been for many years now, one of its primary anchors.

John Schmidt, CEO of Neighborhood Grills, has been supporting the Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Mountlake Terrace communities since the doors of his restaurant first opened. 

The list of clubs and organizations who’ve benefited directly from his company’s generosity is quite lengthy but worth acknowledging. North King County and Shoreline Little Leagues, Richmond Junior Football, Shorelake Soccer, Highlander Football Gridiron Group, Briarcrest Elementary, Shorecrest Boosters and PTA and presently the Shorecrest Senior Spree 2021. 

All are but just a few who have experienced success reaching their financial goals with help from John and his team at Lake Forest Bar and Grill.

Having never been a business owner myself, I was curious as to why John was so generous? Why is supporting the local community so important to him, when other restaurants (and there are many) don’t see the benefit? Why doesn’t HE say no? How could giving away free food possibly help a struggling business? With my last question I was sure I’d had him cornered.

I didn’t.

John explained that he, “…appreciates the opportunity to be community first and generous,” but that his first priority is running his business. A business that when in full operation employs and supports upwards of 300 people, but a business that understands the importance of being a community partner. 

John went on to explain that “every dollar spent promoting or sponsoring a nonprofit is paid for by extra business.” Business he may not otherwise have received were it not for hosting a successful charitable event, followed by a positive social media post or a personal recommendation to a friend.

With an emphasis on quality service, John and his business partners believe strongly in serving great food and in the community. Luckily for us philanthropy and profitably does indeed coexist.

A family-owned business, it is important to mention that LFBandG is responsible for introducing many of our young citizens into the workforce, mine included. A “first job” for some, the restaurant allows them to grow and experience different positions within the food industry, all the while instilling confidence and encouraging responsibility.

After 2 ½ months closure because of the pandemic, the Lake Forest Bar and Grill is once again open and we couldn’t be happier.

To celebrate, on the evening of January 29, 2021 from 4 – 7pm, all food proceeds will benefit “Shorecrest Senior Spree 2021,” the annual end-of-year celebration for our graduating Seniors. 
Orders can be placed for pick up (only) right now. Go to: www.neighborhoodgrills.com for menu and pricing.

There is finally reason for real optimism. Soon we will once again be joining our friends for happy hour at one of our favorite watering holes. You’ll find me at Lake Forest Bar and Grill, where unashamedly, everybody knows my name.

--Rob Oxford




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Case updates January 26, 2021

2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

  • Vaccine Phase Finder Vaccine Locations
Case updates January 26, 2021


United States
  • cases 25,301,166 - 148,733 new cases in one day
  • deaths 423,519 - 3,692 new deaths in one day

Washington state
  • cases 305,289 - 1,807 in one day
  • hospitalizations 17,449 - 95 in one day
  • deaths 4,211 - 44 in one day

King county
  • cases 75,289 - 388 in one day
  • hospitalizations 4,763 - 27 in one day
  • deaths 1,241 - 1 in one day

Seattle - population 744,995 (2018)
  • cases 18,856 - 118 in one day
  • hospitalizations 1,128 - 8 in one day
  • deaths 313 - 1 in one day

Shoreline - population 56,752 (2018)
  • cases 1,871 - 8 in one day
  • hospitalizations 170 - 0 in one day
  • deaths 83 -  -1 in one day

Lake Forest Park - 13,569 (2018)
  • cases 240 -  -1 in one day
  • hospitalizations 17 -  -1 in one day
  • deaths 4 - 0 in one day


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Department of Health welcomes new leader of public-private vaccination effort

Dan Laster
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced the appointment of Mr. Dan Laster as Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center to create public-private partnerships. 

In this role, Mr. Laster will tap into the unique capabilities and resources of the private sector to support vaccination efforts across the state of Washington.

He has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. 

For the past 10 years, he has been Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer for PATH, one of the world’s leading innovative global health non-profit organizations. 

In his role at PATH, he has played a key role in developing many key relationships that have led to long-term solutions

On January 18th, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Microsoft, Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, SeaMar, and SEIU 1199 would partner with the state to support the vaccine distribution efforts.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dan Laster to the vaccine team,” says Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “He has a wealth of experience and knows how to get things done. We believe he is exactly the individual needed to harness the power of the private sector in helping with our vaccination efforts – this unique public-private partnership will be a model for others.”

“Getting COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of Washingtonians is a massive undertaking,” said Laster. “In Washington state we have companies that lead the world in technology, distribution, healthcare and more. By creating public-private partnerships that tap their knowledge and resources, we will be able to expedite and improve our vaccination program in an equitable way.”

The vaccine rollout plan for Washington is extensive, and updated information is being released on a regularly basis. Visit the DOH website for the latest COVID-19 vaccine information for the state of Washington.



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