Gloria's Birds: Ol' Blue Eyes is back!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Photo copyright Gloria Z. Nagler

(Barry the Barred Owl agreed to a portrait sitting on the condition that I'd use that caption:). Actually, Barry's eyes are nictitating. Birds protect their eyes via this extra membrane, or third eyelid, which can be drawn across their eyes both to moisten the eye and protect it while retaining the ability to see).

--Gloria Z. Nagler


Field trip #2: Duwamish Clam Garden with historian David Buerge

Duwamish Clam Garden (Field trip 2)

Let's go look for signs and learn from a local historian about the history of the Duwamish clam garden that was tended here for generations.

Low tide Carkeek Park Beach (map)
Monday May 16th - 11am - 2pm

Everyone's welcome! Feel free to share.

See Facebook page KNOWING PLACE


Cartoon by Whitney Potter: College

 Previous cartoons by Whitney Potter HERE


Annual enrollment for GET closes May 31, 2022

Washington families still have time to start saving for future education costs with Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET), the state’s 529 prepaid tuition program. The 2021-2022 annual enrollment period closes on May 31, 2022.

For the first time ever, the purchase price of a GET unit exactly matches the payout value, meaning savers in Washington have a historic opportunity to buy tomorrow’s tuition at today’s price. Once a GET account is open, the last day to add units to an existing account at the current price of $114.01 is June 25, 2022.

The State of Washington guarantees that a family’s GET savings will keep pace with in-state tuition and state-mandated fees. While GET account values keep pace with in-state tuition, beneficiaries have the freedom to follow their ambitions wherever they choose, as GET can be used at nearly any public or private university, community college, or technical school in the country. GET units can even be used to pay the costs associated with apprenticeships and for student loan repayments.

“Whether your student’s future plans include college, trade school, or another form of career-readiness training, GET is a great way to ensure those dreams become reality,” said Luke Minor, director of Washington College Savings Plans.

The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program opened in 1998, and since then, thousands of Washington families have saved billions of dollars toward their students’ future higher education expenses. To date, GET has distributed more than $1.3 billion to 60,000+ students who have used their GET accounts to attend higher education in all 50 U.S. states and at least 15 countries worldwide.

The GET program is one of two college savings options offered by Washington College Savings Plans (WA529). The DreamAhead College Investment Plan was launched in 2018 to create additional choice and flexibility for families as they plan for college costs. WA529’s website ( offers details, charts, planning tools and answers to questions that families may have about either program. Accounts can be opened online, and the GET Contact Center is ready to help at (800) 955-2318 or


Compass Housing: Gardening with volunteers

 Program Manager Corinne Stipek McKisson
and Case Managers Addisu and Amy.
Story and photos from Compass Housing

Volunteers from Shoreline Covenant Church, Ronald United Methodist Church, North Seattle Friends, The Practicing Church and Lake Forest Park Rotary put on their gloves, tugged on their boots, and worked with Compass staff and residents to revitalize our amazing garden beds at Ronald Commons!

Fifteen volunteers weeded, raked, and shoveled for nearly four hours and the results speak for themselves!

The volunteers worked alongside Ronald Commons residents and staff.
Before and After
It is so wonderful to be able to have volunteers back and serving our programs! 

If you want to get involved with Compass, check out where we could use your help here:

4-30-2022 story updated


Jobs: WSDOT High School to Highways program

High school to highway

Attention: recent high school grads!

Have you recently graduated high school or will you be graduating this spring? Our High School to Highways program is looking for a diverse and hard-working group of young people between the ages of 18 to 23 who want to do the important work of maintaining our state highway system.

These positions pay between $3,400 and $5,000 a month and include the great benefits that come with state employment. To learn more, visit our WSDOT jobs website.


Dr. Dahlia returns to the Senior Center with webinar and tuber sale

Dr. John Hibbs with his dahlias and tubers

Thursday May 5th Annual Spring Planting Webinar with Dr. John Hibbs. Time: 2pm

Dr. John Hibbs, Shoreline-LFP Senior Center’s former site supervisor for Bastyr Naturopathic Medical Clinic at the Center, returns this spring with two outstanding Dahlia events.

Dr. Hibbs - or Dr. Dahlia as we like to call him - will host an online FREE webinar to help guide you on spring planting on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 2:00pm.

Call 206-365-1536 to register for attending in-person or to receive the Zoom meeting number and password to tune in from home.

Thursday May 12th Annual Dahlia Tuber sale with Dr. John Hibbs. Time: noon-2pm

Then on Thursday, May 12th, drop by the senior center as we host in person, our ANNUAL DAHLIA TUBER SPRING SALE with Dr. Hibbs! The sale runs from 12pm-2pm in the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Senior Center Multi-Purpose Room. Doors to the sale will open at noon.

The Senior Center is located in the southernmost building on the Shoreline Center campus, facing NE 185th. Address 18560 1st Ave NE #1 Shoreline WA 98155.


King county libraries to wipe out late fees on May 4 under Fresh Start program

Richmond Beach Library photo by Steven H. Robinson
On May 4, the King County Library System (KCLS) will clear late fines for all patrons with a new initiative called A Fresh Start for All

This one-time waiver gives patrons a fresh start on their account and enables access to all KCLS materials. 

A Fresh Start for All was approved by the KCLS Board of Trustees on April 27, 2022.

The coronavirus pandemic placed many hardships on King County communities. 

To help patrons, KCLS temporarily stopped assessing late fines in March 2020. The System also lifted electronic access on blocked accounts during this time so patrons could still download digital materials.

KCLS will return to pre-pandemic circulation practices on September 15, and will start assessing late fines again at that time. After their accounts have been cleared on May 4, patrons will have until September 15 to return items before late fines resume.

KCLS is also introducing a new automatic renewal service on September 15. KCLS will automatically renew holds for patrons if their items are eligible for renewal. This will allow patrons to keep their materials longer without accruing late fines. Patrons may opt out of this service if they choose to.

Late fines add up when a patron does not return library materials by the due date. Late fines over $25 lead to a blocked account. A blocked account limits access to library services, books and other materials.

Lost fees are different from late fines. If library materials are more than 30 days overdue, they are considered lost. A Fresh Start for All will not apply to these fees; under state law, KCLS cannot waive lost fees. On May 4, the System will begin processing lost fees again. KCLS will mail billing notices to accounts with over $25 in fees. Patrons will have until September 15 to return items or pay fees before accounts are blocked.

Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest public library systems in the country. In 2021, residents checked out 7.8 million digital eBooks and audiobooks through OverDrive, making KCLS the fourth-highest digital circulating library system in the world and the highest per capita in the U.S. 


Give BIG to your favorite charities

During the GiveBIG statewide fundraising campaign, individuals and organizations come together across Washington to invest in our community. 

When we give, we take a proactive step towards creating the society we want to live in. 

This year's GiveBIG campaigns kicked off as early as April 19, and will culminate with a 48-hour giving event on May 3-4, 2022.

Find your favorites on the GiveBIG webpage (Discover and Donate) or go directly to your organization's web page  to make your contribution.


Lifejacket and luck: teen kayaker rescued from the icy waters of Lake Washington

Photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash

By Diane Hettrick

A middle school student was kayaking with a club on Lake Washington April 11, 2022 when his racing kayak got caught in fishing nets close to shore and flipped over, tipping him into the water. 

His life jacket kept him afloat but he was unable to get back on his overturned boat, still tangled in nets.

After 90 seconds in the cold waters of Lake Washington he was unable to focus or swim without extreme difficulty. 

Fortunately for him, the lakeside property owner saw he was in difficulty and ran down to the dock where he talked the boy in close enough to reach him. He fished the teen out of the water within two minutes but already the boy could not use his hands or think clearly.

The Lake Forest Park resident who saved the teen from the water was Deputy Mayor Tom French.

I suppose there is a certain irony to the fact that he was rescued by the policy maker who sponsored the life jacket ordinance in LFP, but I for one am deeply grateful that he was wearing his life jacket and that I was nearby.

There are many "what ifs" in this story but for French, the biggest one is: what if the young man had not been wearing a life jacket?

I have no doubt that in another minute he would have succumbed to hypothermia and fallen unconscious. 

French says "The waters in our community are in the mid to low 40s and are very, very cold. Wearing a life jacket is just one way to keep yourself and ones that you love safer. The dangers of hypothermia upon immersion are very real."

As of May of 2021, the LFP Municipal Code Ordinance 1222 that French helped create requires wearing of a Coast Guard approved life jacket (personal floatation device or PFD).

While state law requires that a Coast Guard approved PFD be on board a paddleboard or kayak, LFP Municipal Code requires the actual wearing of a Coast Guard approved life jacket (personal floatation device or PFD). It cannot simply be on board the human-powered craft or paddleboard- it must be worn properly.

Tom's message to residents: Wear your lifejacket while enjoying our waters.

When I sponsored this Ordinance last year, it was with these first time or more casual users of human-powered watercraft that I had primarily in mind. I hope it will help contribute to their awareness of the dangers of the water, particularly in the spring and early summer when the water is so cold.

Importantly, this is not like a helmet law- if someone chooses not to wear a helmet (they should wear one as required by our law), they are not placing a first responder in danger. Failing to wear a PDF can place a first responder's life in jeopardy out on the water.

National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27, 2022 and is a perfect time to begin the process of ensuring everyone who wants to access the water this season is safe and educated.


Save the date for the LFP Garden Club plant sale Saturday May 14, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

A previous LFP Garden Club plant sale
Photo by Jerry Pickard

The Lake Forest Park Garden Club will have their annual plant sale on May 14, 2022 at the LFP Elementary School from 9am to 2pm (or sooner if all the plants are gone).

First come gets the best plants and garden art!


Fire chief Matt Cowan: Shoreline and Northshore Fire combine forces

Photo courtesy Shoreline Fire
Good news! Last night the Board of Commissioners from both the Shoreline Fire Department (SFD) and Northshore Fire Department (NFD) met and approved a contract for SFD to provide services to NFD. 

The contract, or Interlocal Agreement (ILA), details the specifics of how NFD will pay SFD to provide full administrative, operational, and support services. 

The NFD will still remain as a fire department with a Board of Commissioners managing funds and the level of service being provided. However, all the existing employees will transfer into the SFD organization, and essentially, we will be working almost like one fire department.

As one of our Fire Commissioners put it last night, we have been talking about doing this for forty years! We may not have been actively working on this for that entire time, but this has taken many years of effort. 

By combining forces we will be able to serve all of the communities better, with a higher level of service. 

Also, a contract for services isn’t the same as a merger, but there are still significant savings that will occur due to improved efficiencies. And please be assured that this will not impact any of our other activities either, unless it is to improve on those areas too. 

We will still offer the same classes, services, and community events such as the Easter egg hunt and Christmas engine.

Regionalization efforts such as this are occurring nearly everywhere, with the focus of being able to deliver better services for less money. This allows us to stretch your tax dollars further, reducing the pressure on our citizens. 

We are very excited about the positive changes that will be occurring because of this contract and believe that this is a great step forward.

If you have any questions on this or other fire department functions please contact me at


Matt Cowan
Fire Chief


Lee went on a walk today

Lee Lageschulte went on a walk today
and met up with some old friends

Lee has never met a flower she didn't like


Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities expand assistant and payment plans for customers

SEATTLE (April 28, 2022) - Seattle City Light (SCL) and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) today announced new flexible payment plans and expanded assistance for customers who are struggling to pay their bills. 

Customers are urged to visit or contact the utilities immediately to learn more about their options. Both utilities offer flexible payment plans with no late fees for all customers, and for income-eligible residential customers, significant discounts and emergency assistance money are available.

“We know many of our customers face economic uncertainty that has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Andrew Lee, Interim General Manager and CEO of Seattle Public Utilities. 
“We are taking steps to ensure our customers are aware that assistance is available. We encourage any customer who is behind on their utility bill to contact us today for assistance.”

Approximately 8,500 SPU residential customers and 36,000 SCL residential customers are behind on paying their utility bills. About 1,200 SPU commercial customers and 4,000 SCL commercial customers are in arrears.

While the City of Seattle moratorium on utility shut-offs expired on Friday, April 15, SCL and SPU are focused on proactively engaging with delinquent customers to help them access assistance to get current on their bills. 

SPU and SCL will be communicating directly to customers who are in arrears to make sure they’re aware of resources available to them before beginning the process of shutoffs for non-payment. 

Customers who remain current on their payment plan and current bill will not be at risk for shutoff. 

Customers at risk of having their services shut off will receive additional, direct communications prior to a shutoff taking place.

“Many customers have struggled financially and made tough decisions about which bills to pay. We want them to know that there are options to help get them back on track and alleviate some of the stress through flexible payment plans or assistance programs,” said Debra Smith, General Manager and CEO at Seattle City Light. 
“Our aim is to get customers to a place where they aren’t facing shut-off for non-payment when the process resumes. We’re here for you and want to help.”

Residential customers can visit or call 206-684-3000 to set up a flexible payment plan and to find out what assistance is available to them. The City’s Utility Discount Program offers discounts of 60% off electric bills and 50% off water, sewage and solid waste bills for income-eligible residential customers. Utility representatives will also let customers know what types of emergency assistance money might be available to them.

Commercial customers who are behind on their utility bills may also sign up for payment plans. They are encouraged to visit, call (206) 684-3000 or contact their SPU or SCL representative directly for assistance.

To learn about other assistance for customers financially impacted by Covid, including those seeking assistance to avoid eviction, please visit City of Seattle resources.


Annual No Homeless Kids Luncheon for support of Vision House - Jacob's Well

Vision House is a local non-profit organization providing transitional housing and supportive services to help families experiencing homelessness achieve self-sufficiency. The agency owns and operates 45 units of debt-free housing in two apartment buildings with child care facilities in Renton and Shoreline.

The Jacob's Well facility in Shoreline was built with the support of a dozen local churches and organizations.

The annual No Homeless Kids Luncheon is the major fundraiser for Vision House. Virtual during the pandemic, this year it will be held on Tuesday May 3, 2022 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue – with a fundraising goal of $680,000.

Nationally recognized mental health expert and author, Dr. Gregory Jantz, is the guest speaker at the Annual No Homeless Kids Luncheon.

A mom who graduated the Vision House program will share her story on her challenges raising a child while experiencing addiction and homelessness and how she overcame barriers to permanent housing.

Tuesday May 3rd

Check in: 11:30am
Event: 12:00 - 1:00pm

Questions - 425-228-6356
No cost to attend - please bring a friend!

2022 Vision House highlights  
  • Vision House served over 194 parents and children with housing and support services over in 2021: 128 children, 56 mothers, and 10 fathers.
  • 84% of families who completed the Vision House program transitioned to permanent housing in 2021.
  • Vision House’s Diversion Services provided - 476 families received referrals to permanent housing; support for legal, educational or employment needs; counseling and recovery referrals.
  • Provide educational classes for families – critical “soft skills” - to promote housing stability: Boundaries, Cooking, Education Sustainability, Financial Literacy, Housing Sustainability, Parenting, and Self-care.


ShoreLake Arts announces winners of 2022 Awards - presentations to be made at the Gala on May 14

2022 ShoreLake Arts announces winners of 2022 Awards
Meet the awardees at Myths and Legends - A Gala for the Arts
on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 6pm

The community is invited to join ShoreLake Arts at Myths and Legends - A Gala for the Arts as we honor four people and organizations who make ART happen in our area. ShoreLake Arts' biggest fundraising event of the year is coming to the Nile Shrine Golf Club on Saturday, May 14, 2022. There’s also an online Silent Auction with previews on May 7 and bidding from May 9 -15.

For 33 years ShoreLake Arts has presented art in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, from public events such as the Lantern Festival, Concerts in the Park and Battle of the Bands, to quality art education for all ages, community grants and the ShoreLake Arts Gallery in Lake Forest Park Town Center. 

In 2022 more than 32,000 people attended our events, both in person and online. And, as we’ve learned over the past few years, the arts add immeasurably to our quality of life and sense of community.

ShoreLake Arts only succeeds by working in partnership with our community, and we’re delighted to honor four outstanding individuals and organizations at our 2022 Gala for the Arts.

Jack Malek
The heART Award
: Presented to a member or members of the ShoreLake Arts community whose long-standing and consistent commitment to the organization has advanced our mission in significant ways. The award winner’s lasting impact has been vital to our organization’s ongoing health and longevity.

2022 heART Award winner - Jack Malek

Jack is a local Realtor and Shoreline resident for 21 years. Jack developed a love for the arts through an elementary school music program, and later acting in local theater. Jack is a longtime admirer and patron of the arts. Jack’s enthusiasm and support is instrumental to ShoreLake Arts programming success, from events to arts education.

Community pARTner Award: Presented to an organization that inspires and encourages arts and culture in the cities of Shoreline and/or Lake Forest Park. With passion, innovation, and commitment to advancing the arts, this organization significantly contributes to our community, promoting the richness of life provided by arts and culture. This award honors past achievements and expresses excitement for future endeavors.

2022 Community pARTner Award winner 
Shoreline Community College: Film, Drama and Cinema Department

For decades ShoreLake Arts has been fortunate to partner with Shoreline Community College in many ventures. We are delighted to honor the work of the Film, Drama, and Cinema Department. We honor them for making excellent, engaging film and theater education broadly accessible and for their commitment to promoting emerging artists.

Led by accomplished actors, directors, writers, designers and technicians, the Department is a community of faculty, students and industry working together to create theater and film productions. For the past six years ShoreLake Arts has been privileged to present the Shoreline Short Short Film Festival and other events in the College's recently renovated 360-seat state-of-the-art theater. The Theater also hosts the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and a variety of both student- and faculty-led plays, musicals and operas.

Dave Grohl with Robert Lang and Tina Lang
Community Arts Impact Award

Presented to someone who's made substantial and long-lasting contributions to the arts in Shoreline and/or Lake Forest Park.

This award honors those who have elevated arts and culture in our community through visionary leadership, creativity, philanthropy, advocacy, and/or volunteerism and embody ShoreLake Arts' mission by cultivating creativity and inspiring our community through the arts.

2022 Community Arts Impact Award winner - Robert Lang and Tina Liberio Lang

Robert Lang
For the past 47 years, Robert and Tina have co-owned Robert Lang Studios, a major recording studio in Shoreline. 

In 2020 the studio opened its doors to aspiring music producers and audio engineers with the founding of the Robert Lang Studios Academy. 

Artists including Nirvana, Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Steven and Damian Marley, and Peter Frampton have called the studio their home. 

Through the decades, Robert and his team have recorded hundreds of local artists like The Sonics, Death Cab for Cutie and Macklemore.
Tina Lang

"Working with ShoreLake Arts, in particular the Battle of the Bands [competition] has been very rewarding ... I love discovering new local talent and finding a way to help them succeed." Tina Liberio Lang

Spotlight Artist of the Year Award

New in 2022, the Spotlight Artist of the Year honors an artist who lives or presents work in Shoreline or Lake Forest Park and whose creations have contributed to the excellence of the arts in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park.

Sandra Garcia-Arceo
Spotlight Artist of the Year Award winner - Sandra Garcia-Arceo

A Latina filmmaker, director, writer, producer, who was born and raised in the greater Seattle area, Sandra studied film production at Shoreline Community College. 

Since graduation, Sandra has worked as a freelance filmmaker. In 2021 she was the inaugural director of the BIPOC Film Project. The three short films she produced focused on BIPOC business owners in Shoreline and their companies: Black Coffee Northwest, Plaza Latina and Teriyaki Plus. 

Through Alma Mía Productions Sandra produces an array of stories including short films, documentaries and commercials.

For more information about the 2022 award winners, to purchase Gala or silent auction tickets, or to make a donation, please visit

Questions? Email Sahana at or Quinn Elliott at

ShoreLake Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate creativity and inspire our community through the arts. Established in 1989.


Public welcome at Shoreline Invitational Track and Field Meet Saturday

On Saturday, April 30, 2022 Shoreline Athletics is hosting its annual Shoreline Invitational Track and Field Meet at Shoreline Stadium 18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155. This event draws athletes from 60 schools to compete starting at 9:00am and running all day.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend and watch these stellar athletes perform! Tickets for entry are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students w/ASB, seniors, and children.

Parking in the stadium lot is limited, so allow plenty of time to park and get into the stadium without missing your favorite event.

The schedule for the events can be found within the "Shoreline Invitational Bulletin" document on their Athletics home page.


LFP Garden Club's last Zoom meeting of the season on May 10 with Fred Wemer

Photo courtesy Bellevue Demonstration Garden
The Lake Forest Park Garden Club will hold its last zoom meeting of the season (hopefully back to a live meetings in Sept) on Tuesday May 10, 2022. 

Speaker starts at 10:30am after a 1/2 hr general meeting. Speaker usually continues until around noon.

Opportunistic Propagation Tips - Fred Wemer 

Propagation from cuttings is a fun and money-saving way to create more plants for your garden. 

Let’s look at the why, the when, the medium and the timing of your next gardening science project. There are new ways to expand what you have in the yard, or, perhaps, want to share with your neighbor. Let’s experiment!

Fred Wemer is a seventeen-year veteran of the Master Gardener Program and 40+ years in the UW’s School of Dentistry. If not working in his own yard, Fred spends his time as a volunteer at the Bellevue Demonstration Garden where he gives talks and works with the composting program, edible flowers, perennial vegetables. He also works with grafting tomatoes and other vegetables.

If interested please email for zoom details.


AG Ferguson files lawsuit against Postmaster DeJoy for violating bedrock environmental law

Photo by Steven H. Robinson
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) asserting that they violated federal environmental law when deciding in February to replace up to 165,000 vehicles with primarily gas-powered models rather than making a larger switch to electric vehicles.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asserts the Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), often referred to as the “Magna Carta of environmental law,” during a deficient review process. 

For example, USPS chose a manufacturer, signed a contract and put down a substantial down payment for new vehicles months before it released any environmental review of a decision. When USPS published its environmental review, it did not consider reasonable alternatives, like buying a majority of electric vehicles and opting for gas vehicles where electric vehicles were infeasible. 

The Postal Service also ignored key environmental impacts, like the effect of continued poor air quality in already-polluted communities. USPS also did not consider whether purchasing a majority of gas-powered vehicles was consistent with climate policies in states like Washington.

Instead, the Postal Service’s environmental review depended on a contactor with no experience making electric vehicles, ignored reasonable alternatives, discounted the air quality and climate effects of a new fleet of gas-powered trucks and relied on an assumption that any upgrades to its vehicle fleet would be environmentally beneficial.

USPS has one of the largest civilian vehicle fleets in the world, consisting of approximately 212,000 vehicles that are on the road delivering mail at least six days per week to nearly every community in the U.S. Most of these vehicles were manufactured between 1986 and 1994 and are now beyond their intended service life. As a result, they are increasingly expensive to operate and maintain.

In February 2021, DeJoy, a Trump Administration appointee, chose Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to build the replacement fleet. USPS will spend billions of dollars over the next decade to replace its aging vehicles. Oshkosh does not currently manufacture any electric vehicles.

When making its decision on the replacement fleet, Ferguson asserts, USPS ignored or discounted the environmental impacts — including air quality in communities already burdened by pollution, environmental justice and other climate harms — by simply assuming that any upgrade to its vehicle fleet would be positive.

More information here


Notes from Shoreline council meeting April 25, 2022 - responding to homelessness in Shoreline

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
April 25, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

The remote meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Mayor Scully.

All Councilmembers were present.

Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry
Presented by Ms. Tarry

Public Reminders

The PRCS/Tree Board will hold a remote meeting on Thursday, April 28.

Council Reports

CM Mork attended the King County - Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) which was the first meeting for electeds. It was very informative. They talked about the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the kinds of money that are available. Dow Constantine was the Chair. The City of Bellevue talking about the second half of the bill which is about their Vision Zero Plan (zero fatalities from traffic accidents), and how that works in conjunction with the climate change initiative because if people feel safe biking or walking, then they won’t be driving and this saves us from greenhouse gas.

DM Robertson attended the Regional Transit Committee for King County. One of the highlights was the announcement of the opening of the electric charging station for the Metro bus fleet. It can charge up to 9 buses at a time. It will also be used for other electric vehicles in their fleet.

Public Comment

Each speaker allowed 3 minutes.
There were no written comments at the time this report was prepared.
Link to public comment received

The Oaks Enhanced Shelter
Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
Heidi Shepherd, Shoreline

Saving Shoreline Trees
Nancy Morris, Shoreline
Kathleen Russell, Shoreline

Dealing drugs, racing etc. with limited police response
Rodrigo Celis, Shoreline

Proposed 7-story apartment on Linden Ave N
Derek Blackwell, Shoreline

Approval of the Consent Calendar
The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously.

Study Item 8(a) Update on Lake City Partners and King County Regional Homelessness Authority

Presented by Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, Community Services Manager

In 2015, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 379 supporting King County’s proclamation of emergency regarding homelessness in King County. We also had a Council Goal to site a shelter in North King County. The availability of The Oaks location and the King County Regional Homelessness Authority made this possible.

In addition to The Oaks Enhanced Shelter, Shoreline’s Severe Weather Shelter is in its 3rd season. In 2021-2022 it was activated 12 times with an average of 7 guests each night. This is done in partnership with St. Dunstan’s Church and the North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA).

The City also funds an outreach specialist at Lake City Partners (LCP). This person comes out to the severe weather shelter site to provide additional support and services. They also spend time in the community and the parks, and respond to calls placed to the Crisis Response Team (CRT).

Homelessness is a regional and national problem so it is important to coordinate with our other North King County cities and other agencies. Shoreline belongs to NE Funders, North Urban Human Services Alliance, North King County Shelter Task Force and King County Regional Homelessness Authority.

The Oaks Enhanced Shelter opened April 1, 2021, and has a 60-person capacity. It is operated at capacity with a waiting list. It is managed by Lake City Partners (LCP) who previously ran a rotating overnight winter shelter (not severe weather). They also manage a Day Center called God’s Lil’ Acre in Lake City.

A total of 96 people were served at The Oaks.

Presentation by Walter Washington, Outgoing Executive Director of LCP

My transition is going to take some time. I anticipate I will be intimately involved with this for the foreseeable future.

We just celebrated one year at The Oaks. We are happy and proud to say we have helped more people into housing, and we’ve had a great deal of resiliency with our staff considering the difficulties resulting from COVID, especially for a 24 hour program. We think it’s the most progressive 24 hour shelter in the region. 60 individual rooms with 60 guests. It’s a fantastic facility with high ceilings and wide hallways. More than 15 bathrooms. There is a secret garden located in the middle which allows people to safely go outside.

We are the first contact for some of the people and many have been homeless for many years.

Housing readiness can take about 4-6 months. We want to place the people who leave in a community they are familiar with. When they move into a familiar community they have access to senior centers or other services they might have used before. And we want to follow up in 6 months to see if they still are where we placed them and if they have connected to the community.

We are focusing on community-based case management following outreach. The contract with Shoreline has been really successful. The outreach worker does a lot of triage work and resource navigation no matter where folks are located - in a park, in a car, or standing in front of a store. She gets to know them by name. She works to get them either on the waitlist (we call it the service lobby) at The Oaks, or to connect them to other resources in the area.

At The Oaks we know where they are so we can provide them with services. The next step is community-based case management. We had some fantastic success with the diversion program at the end of the year. Stemming from the cold weather and with United Way funding and our relationship with St Dunstan’s Church providing cold weather shelter, the diversion program was able to get some folks out of the cold weather shelters and directly into housing - skipping the shelter entirely. These people were housing ready and just needed the housing. We placed one individual in Florida.

We are lucky to have a nurse on staff so we are include health services. This was helpful not only for our guests but for our staff as well.

There are challenges: the wait list. We have only 60 rooms and we try to keep 25 people on the waitlist.

Housing inventory is a problem by itself, but that is coupled with where is it located. If it’s located in the southern part of the county, many of our participants want to stay in north king county where they have lived for many years.

We need more diversion funds. That way we can work with folks to get them housing ready. Sometimes all they need is just an ID.

Presenter Mark Dones, CEO KCRHA

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (Authority) was formed because a regional coordinating solution was necessary if we were going to make any meaningful change in King County.

The Authority started with just me as an employee, after a few weeks there were three of us, and Alexis made four. We are now about 55 folks. Most of our core operating systems are in place. Our contracting is about halfway implemented. We have 220 contracts.

We started out with zero infrastructure. We were a start-up and I had to do everything from setting up an email account and using my own credit card to get a Zoom account. There aren’t a lot of guide books for a government start up.

This year we are going to publish our 5 year plan in September. So 2023 is when we should start seeing significant change.

Our Theory of Change
If we create a homeless response system that centers the voices of people with lived experience, then we will be able to meet needs and eliminate inequities, in order to end homelessness for all.

Our staff is about 50% those with lived experience, including me. We also have technical expertise. I’ve been working in public policy for over a decade and I’m a Psychiatric Anthropologist by training.

Collaboration is important to us. This is not the Authority’s road show. We play a coordinating function and a funding function, trying to set goals and help folks move towards them. The level of crisis that we are at is so significant that it will only be possible to solve if we are actually all behind it, and that doesn’t happen when you force people. That happens when you build a relationship and really hold and share a common value for how to move forward.
Part of our role was the creation of a new Ombuds Office to serve as a single point of contact to support system navigation and maintain accountability to people experiencing homelessness.

We are also responsible for the establishment of clear metrics and milestones for measuring success, and for ensuring accountability and transparency.

We are the thing that people think of when they think of the homelessness crisis response system. But we are not housing capital and development or encampment clean. We are not the behavioral health system (although we may coordinate with them).

The Authority’s staff breakdown is, and I’m quite proud of this:
  • 62% identity as non-white
  • 42% identify as LGBTQ+
  • 50% identify as having lived experience
This is reflective of our attempt as the leadership team to shape an agency that reflects the community we serve. To my knowledge, the number of people who stated Shoreline was their last place of residence prior to experiencing homelessness was 210. Our goal, just to be very clear, is to make sure that every community in the county has the infrastructure necessary to support the number of people who experience housing instability in their community, and that folks are not forced to migrate around the county in order to get services.

There is a hyper concentration of services in Seattle, in particular Downtown Seattle, that pull people in. But when I talk to folks around the county who are experiencing homelessness, what I hear most often is they “don’t want to end up in Seattle.” That’s the thing they are trying to avoid - they want to stay in their community. For this reason we are attempting to align shelters and supporting services for each community based on what we see from the data.

We do work within an equity-based framework. We lead with the people who are most impacted; identify existing inequities and power dynamics; act with transparency and accountability; and proactively eliminate racial inequities and advance equity.

Presenter Alexis Mercedes Rinck, KCRHA Subregional Planning Manager

Some of you remember me from when I was with the Sound Cities Association where I was staff for human services, public health committees, and so forth with services relating to homelessness. Coming to this position I have experience and understanding of jurisdictions outside of Seattle. I did an initial canvass on what is actually our landscape and who are the players regionally when it comes to addressing homelessness.

The 7 subregions are North KingCo, East KingCo, the Snoqualmie Valley, Seattle Metro Urban and unincorporated KingCo, South KingCo, and SE KingCo. 

Snoqualmie Valley and SE KingCo are more rural and the types of services the homeless community is able to access are dramatically different.

In North King County we are engaging with the North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) and the North King Co. Coalition on Homelessness (which evolved from The Oaks). We are in contact not only with the various service providers in N. KingCo but the various system partners that are serving N. KingCo. 

While they’re not specifically a homelessness service provider, they are often serving people that are experiencing homelessness. I’m thinking of the RADAR/Navigator program as well as the Center for Human Services. We are also working with some of our other countywide partners such as King County Public Health and the library locations. Many libraries are serving as kind of default day centers for those who are experiencing homelessness and are a tremendous community resource.

We recently underwent our Understanding Unsheltered Homelessness Project

We invited folks to share their stories and we asked a variety of questions that were formed by a series of workshops that we conducted around the region. We had over 200 participants in these workshops.

The Aurora Commons is located at 8914 Aurora Ave N, Seattle so we provided bus tickets to people from Shoreline so they were able to get to the location. All people that agreed to be interviewed were compensated for their time. We had an unprecedented 600 interviews - the most this country has collected at a single time. We hope to turn out a community report on the findings by this summer.

In the North KingCo subregion, we have about 143 emergency shelter beds that are specifically for children, in addition to the adults at The Oaks. There 18 beds for transitional housing in Bothell primarily for young adults, and 63 beds for permanent supportive housing. All 63 beds are serving veterans, so that’s an important element to add that these are very subpopulation specific beds. (Total 224)

Our Homelessness Management Information Systems (HMIS) data on North KingCo individuals accessing homelessness service showed (as of 3/10/22) 410 people who identified a North KingCo city as their last residence. 210 (51%) of them specified Shoreline. Note that these numbers do not include those who are not currently accessing services.



We appreciate all you do. And Alexis does a great job but she has a lot of territory to cover (seven sub-regions). So in the future we would really like a subregional planning director for North King County.
  • Reply: We are trying for a more robust operation budget for 2023 so that we can expand some of our planning functions. We are less than optimally staffed right now.
I continue to advocate for The Oaks. We know that it’s successful and we want to secure that future.
  • Reply: I think The Oaks is a remarkable program. It is one of the most significantly advanced non-congregate shelters in the county. The model is sound and the data is good. I would certainly encourage that LCP to look at our non-congregate shelter funding and start applying. We do have to fund through competitive procurement, though. We cannot fund something that does not win a bid through a competitive process.
I was impressed by my tour of The Oaks. We’ve found that short stays don’t work. It is not the facility I thought it would be - it is better. People stay there for a while to get housing ready. I hope we can work with other regional partners to provide the needed services.

Is there any tracking of long term follow up for people who just leave enhanced shelters? Say at 6 and 12 months.
  • Reply: There haven’t been funds available to do follow up of people who just leave. If we can secure resources it would be something we want to do.
Everything is centered around Seattle. We don’t want everything centralized around Seattle. In the 5 year plan, how are you working to establish an equitable distribution?
  • Reply: We created 7 subregions, created by Alexis and her team. We will have subregional planning strategies, both initial goals for the subregions and also longer term targets.
You talked about deep collaboration with communities. What can the Council do to help collaborate with your efforts? Should we look into move in rental caps like Kenmore? Should we advocate for more low income housing? Would it be helpful to advocate for another enhanced shelter in Shoreline?
  • Reply Mark Dones: Housing solves homelessness. If we had the affordable housing stock we need in this country, we would not have this problem. We need housing for the very low income. Not everyone needs permanent supportive housing. This is a very specific housing type with very specific service attachment that is for some people. Many people just need low income housing. But low income housing does not pencil without significant assistance from the government. The more that we can do through zoning, and waiving fees etc. to make it pencil in for people who are developing housing in that space, the better off we are. Again, we do not control any of the housing stuff.
I do think Shoreline needs at least one more enhanced shelter in order to hit the number we’re seeing in Shoreline. I think that will be important. Obviously the siting and facilities conversation is going to be really key. I would love to see it more like The Oaks than some of the other shelters that have existed in the past.

And we need to ensure that there is throughput - people are actually able to move from the shelter into the appropriate housing. That is going to be on KCRHA to really assist both from the technical assistance perspective as well as a resource outreach perspective.

It really matters for those who hold elected office to be vocal about how important this work is. Across the country there is a kind of sophisticated movement that is blaming everything that is bad in society on folks experiencing homelessness and is undermining housing first as a fundamental way forward. 

Elected leaders need to be able to step up and say no, this is what we need to do. That housing first does not create the problems you’re being told it does, and this is what it really is. It is only through the creation of the appropriate housing resources that any of this ends. It does not end in a more complex and more byzantine shelter system. 

In New York they have a billion dollar shelter system and no path out of it. They don’t have a way to get into housing because they hyper invested in shelters and that’s all they can do now. We don’t want to follow that path. Rather than becoming like NY in 15 years, I hope that the KCRHA is made up of 4 people who are maintaining a steady state of the right shelter resources and the right housing resources and are simply updating the planning. This is a little Pollyanna, but I think we need to start having this conversation, in public, with our various constituencies in order to drive towards the change we need to see.

I’m concerned that one of the requirements for a grant application through KCRHA is to have a City of Seattle business license. If you don’t have one from Seattle, are you ineligible? This is a regional issue and must be approached in a regional manner.
  • Reply: I would need to look into what that specifically applies to. We are working through this type of thing because some of the funds came from Seattle. Seattle and King County have to work towards equitable outcomes. We are committed to infrastructure development in helping to equip every community with the threshold of services they need to have to keep folks stabilized.
King County bought quite a few hotels. What type of services are those folks receiving? 
  • Reply: This is something we follow closely in terms of how they’re making progress because our fates are intertwined. This is considered permanent supportive housing so services include case management, support for recovery, behavioral health counseling and things like that.
Metrics are important. When do you think more will be available?
  • Reply: The 5-yr plan should be ready in September so they should be available then.
When I was on the continuum of care committee a few years ago, one of the thing we talked about from Sound City’s perspective is how to get all of these things? Nobody knew what a lot of what it was. 

Alexis was with Sound City at that time so I’m glad that we have somebody who understood the problem from a long time ago. What I’ve heard tonight is fantastic. I note that the funding is part of the problem - it’s coming mostly from King County and Seattle. Of course we all pay county taxes. Do we need to look at paying into it as a city in order to get more equitable treatment, or will it balance it out?
  • Reply: We would to love to move in a direction of what it would mean for North KingCo cities particularly to partner together in a potential pooling of funding and how it would work.
End of discussion.

Council retires into Executive Session

No further action taken following the Executive Session.

Meeting adjourned.

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