Northshore schools chief proposes reassignments in kindergarten and EAP programs

  • Written by Bill Lewis

Kindergarteners at Fernwood Elementary School and students in the Elementary Advanced Program (EAP) at Shelton View Elementary School would attend classes outside of their neighborhood school boundaries beginning this fall, under a preliminary recommendation from Northshore School Superintendent Michelle Reid.

Under the proposal, all-day kindergarten students who live within Fernwood’s boundaries would participate in the program at Frank Love Elementary School, and the Shelton View EAP students would attend classes at Lockwood Elementary School. All four schools are in Bothell.

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Commission approves hotel-lodge at St. Edward State Park

  • Written by Bill Lewis

The state Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously Jan. 9 to approve a proposed renovation of the former seminary building at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore, and turn the building into a privately operated lodge-style hotel.

With the vote, the Parks and Recreation Department entered a 62-year lease agreement with Daniels Real Estate of Seattle.  Under the terms of the lease, Daniels will renovate the seminary building for use as an 80-to-100 unit hotel, with a spa, restaurant, conference center and space for environmental education programs.

The vote ends a long debate about what to do with the crumbling seminary building, which was used for 40 years to train future priests, and which the state acquired when it purchased the park from the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese in 1977. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, but is deteriorating after sitting unused for decades.

Daniels has restored other historic buildings in the area, including Union Station, King Street Station and the Starbucks Center. Daniels says the lodge proposal will enhance the park by opening an otherwise abandoned structure to the public.

“The Archdiocese had many offers from developers but decided that its best and highest use was as a state recreational park, where the land and buildings could be used by the public,” said Trevina Wang, Daniels vice president for historic properties.

“The buildings were never intended to be closed and unused,” Wang said. “The park exists because of the buildings.”

Days before the commission vote, about 200 people attended a public hearing on the proposal, and most of those who testified endorsed the lease agreement.
Opponents at the hearing told commissioners that the lodge would alter the tranquil nature of the 316-acre park, which includes picnic areas, hiking trails and more than a half mile of Lake Washington shoreline.

“Nature should be the priority here, not a commercial enterprise,” said Kenmore resident Patrick O’Brien.

Under the terms of the lease, Daniels will also purchase an adjacent 9.7 acres of undeveloped land on the north shore of Lake Washington, valued at $3 million, and transfer ownership to the state as partial payment of rent for the seminary building. The state estimates that the agreement will generate about $260,000 in annual revenue through access fees paid by lodge guests, as well as increased state park Discover Pass sales.

The land purchase is in addition to the estimated $40 million price of renovating the building, a cost that parks officials said was unlikely to ever be funded by the state Legislature.
With the development of the lodge, “we are going to be able to change a significant liability into an asset for our state,” Commission Chairman Steve Milner said in a statement after the vote.
“I think the historic structure will draw new people into the park and introduce them not only to the historic features, but the natural aesthetic of the park and our state,” Milner said.


County joins effort to reduce prescription cost

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

King County residents now have a new option in paying for prescription medications with last week’s announcement from Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert and Patty Hayes, director of Public Health-Seattle and King County, of the county becoming part of a nationwide program that provides discounts on prescriptions.

“I’m so happy this day is finally here. Since I first heard of this program several years ago, I’ve been working to bring it to King County,” said Lambert, a member of the King County Board of Health. “Prescription health care costs are expensive and this program is a way to cut costs – for both our citizens and their pets! I’m pleased that over 375 pharmacies in King County are already participating and available for all county residents.”

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Old Woodinville Schoolhouse is part of Heritage Society program Jan. 21

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Old Woodinville Schoolhouse will be featured in a free program Jan. 21 presented by the Woodinville Heritage Society at 10 a.m. at Brightwater Education Center.

Heritage tourism recently got a boost, thanks to a group of students and new technology. Led by Tim Fry of 468 Communications, the students launched their app, Washington State Insider, in June of 2016. Since then, communities and schools are starting to take a fresh approach to how to engage citizens with history.

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Bills to ban sale, enhance background checks for deadly, military-style firearms

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson last week announced the introduction of two bills aimed at reducing deadly mass shootings: a previously announced proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and a second, alternative bill enhancing background checks and raising the minimum age required to buy such weapons and magazines.

“I believe a ban on the sale of assault weapons is the right policy for Washington, and I will keep fighting for that,” Ferguson said. “I’ve said from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle. My alternative represents meaningful reform that will enhance public safety now.”

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