Boat fire in Lake Forest Park

  • Written by Northshore Fire Department
The Northshore Fire Department was dispatched at 8:23 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30, to a fire on a trailered boat in the 15000 block of 37th Ave. NE. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a large black column of smoke and flames coming from the boat located approximately 30 feet from an apartment building.

Quick actions by the responding firefighters limited damage to the boat and prevented the fire from causing damage to any nearby property. The boat owner had been working on the boat, a 1988 24-foot Bayliner Trophy, approximately 30 minutes before the fire was noticed by a nearby maintenance worker.

Multiple 911 calls were made by people driving on NE Bothell Way – who saw the large black plume of smoke.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.  Damages to the boat, which is considered a total loss, are estimated at $16,000.The Northshore fire investigator Jeff LaFlam determined the cause to be accidental in nature and it was most likely due to a problem related to the wiring on the boat.

What will become of Woodinville’s golf course?

  • Written by Don Mann
About 100 concerned citizens filled the Brightwater Education and Community Center on Tuesday night for the second open house concerning the future Wellington Hills Regional Sports Park, which will be built on about 100 acres about a mile south of the massive wastewater treatment system on Route 9 in Woodinville.

The park will be built, like it or not, across Wellington Hills Golf and Country Club, soon to be defunct.

Snohomish County Parks and Recreation Director Tom Teigen welcomed the crowd, many of whom attended the first open house at the same location three weeks earlier.

“A number of the neighbors have expressed concerns — very typical with park development — about things like traffic or noise or lighting or ingress and egress,” he said. “It’s very important for us to hear from you and for you to have a voice. We understand that you have concerns, but we’re here to build an amazing park, something that you’ll want to use every day and be able to enjoy and spend time with your dog, your grandkids, your friends and family.”

Snohomish County purchased the property near Maltby from the University of Washington for $9.7 million to be used exclusively for a sports park.

The property, purchased with Brightwater mitigation funds in 2011, is large enough to accommodate several sports facilities and recreation opportunities.

King and Snohomish counties — the 100 acres spans both jurisdictions — agreed to the mitigation package in 2005 prior to the construction of Brightwater.

Exactly what the sports facilities and recreation opportunities will be is still being determined and, along with citizens’ concerns, was the topic of discussion at the open house.

Teigen, after his opening statement, handed the mic to Bruce Dees of Bruce Dees & Associates, the 32-year-old Tacoma-based, award-winning landscape architecture firm whose resume includes, most recently, the Marymoor Soccer Fields and Valley Ridge Park in SeaTac.

Dees spoke about the “project program” and where it stood now, based on input from citizen surveys and public comment.

Pointing to a chart, he broke down the public’s preferences based on high, medium and low priority.

Seventeen categories were listed, 14 of them “high:” eight synthetic fields with lights to serve soccer, lacrosse and football, including one “signature” field; two baseball/ softball fields with Little League dimensions; a paved 10- to 12-foot trail surrounding the facility; a 50,000 square foot indoor sports facility; an indoor/outdoor mountain bike facility; an off-leash space for dogs; educational features; informal open space including a grass meadow; a greenbelt; a picnic shelter with tables and BBQ; a basketball hoop or two — but not a full court; a playground area with swings; adequate parking to minimize impact on neighbors; and a maintenance facility to house equipment.

Those public preferences, apparently, will be boiled down by an “ad hoc” committee of advisors which includes, Teigen said, Woodinville City Manager Rich Leahy.

Some things, obviously, have got to give to make it happen. Dees said in deciding design criteria, safety is the overriding factor.

Among the opposing opinions, he said, are local traffic issues, environmental preservation (including impact on wildlife, trees and wetlands), safety and security for neighbors, lighting and stormwater issues.

Teigen mentioned to this reporter that lighting technology is now much less invasive than it was.

Other concerns include garbage and littering, maintaining current vistas for local residents and the resultant parking issues –the spill-off that may be brought to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Dees projected 100-foot surrounding buffer zones for the locals. But that may not be enough for satisfaction.

Ziplines zapped at Gold Creek Park

  • Written by Don Mann
The people spoke loudly and, apparently, the folks at GravityWorks got the message.

There will be no zipline adventure park in Gold Creek Park. The amusement ride company which specializes in cutting-edge thrill rides notified King County Parks officials Thursday it was withdrawing its proposal for a zipline facility in the 38-acre Hollwood Hill park.

According to King County Parks Program Manager Bruce Lovelace, GravityWorks will pursue another location within the county for its proposed zipline park.

A June 6 public meeting has been cancelled.

GravityWorks, which operates a rope-climbing course adjacent to Redhook, proposed the idea to county park officials in April, hoping to build 12 state-of-the-art ziplines, a lodge and gift shop, a maintenance building and provide shuttle service between Gold Creek Park and at least two wineries.

Its owners projected it could generate up to $160,000 in annual revenue to King County and estimated it could attract up to 40,000 annual visitors.

Quickly Hollywood Hill residents organized an opposition group in order to preserve the quiet, well-forested nature reserve enjoyed by local hikers and equestrians.

The “Preserve Gold Creek Park” group used social media on Facebook to start an on-line petition, created a YouTube video and organized a well-attended “walkabout” to peacefully protest the proposal.

Dozens of articles and letters to the editor were sent to local media outlets.

Melissa Holmes, a 32-year Hollywood Hill resident and one of the group’s organizers, said she was overjoyed that the project had been dropped but was astonished that King County Parks would even consider such a large scale commercial development for Gold Creek Park in the first place.

“I thought the project was totally ill-conceived as it impacted residents, habitat, traffic, the local school, horse riders and hikers and horse-related business on the hill,” she wrote in an email.

“Our group is made up of amazingly talented people. We came together out of a shared concern to save the environment. We were well organized and intensely focused on our goal to stop the ziplines.”

She said one of her neighbors commented that besides saving the park, one of the best things to emerge from the undertaking was getting to know neighbors and having a sense of community.

On the Hollywood Hill Association website, there was a public message from a board member: “Thanks to everyone for adding your voice to the opposition of this project. Together, we made a difference for all of the citizens in King County who believe that public land held in public trust should remain open to all.Congratulations to every one of us!”

Woodinville woman recovered near Mukilteo ferry dock identified

  • Written by Don Mann
The female body recovered from a submerged pickup truck near the Mukilteo ferry terminal early Thursday was identified Friday by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner as Sandra M. Sieczkowski, 45, of Woodinville. A Google search indicated Sieczkowski lived on N.E. 181st. Place.

In a prepared statement the M.E.’s office said the cause of death was drowning. The manner of death is pending further investigation.

Law enforcement officials are still trying to determine why the 2000 Dodge full-sized pickup ended up in the water.

The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. and was captured on surveillance video, Mukilteo Police Chief Rex Caldwell said, but wasn’t discovered until several hours later when a ferry captain spotted the vehicle under about six feet of water.

Mukilteo police were notified about 7 a.m. and a Snohomish County Sheriff’s dive team was dispatched and recovered the body shortly before 7:30 a.m.

Ferry operations were briefly disrupted while divers searched the truck but service resumed at about 7:45 a.m.

The vehicle was extricated from the shallow water and towed away at about 9:30 a.m.

It was reported by KOMO news that surveillance footage shows the truck speeding down the hill toward the ferry dock, maneuvering around the closed gate, hitting the yellow tire barrier and then flying off the ramp out into the water.

Caldwell could not say whether the incident was being treated as accidental or intentional.

“We’ll let the medical examiner figure all that out,” he said.

Pharmacies offering low-cost whooping cough vaccine for uninsured

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

People without health insurance or who can’t afford to pay for whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine are now able to get it for low cost at two local pharmacy chains, made available with help from the AmeriCares patient assistance program. Whooping cough continues at high levels in King County and vaccine is the best protection against the disease.

Local QFC and Bartell Drugs pharmacies are now offering low-cost adult whooping cough booster shots).

A full listing of pharmacy locations with low cost vaccines, as well as locations with vaccine at full cost for those with insurance, is available at

In addition, low-cost whooping cough vaccines for children and adults are also available from many community health care centers and clinics. People seeking low-cost whooping cough booster shots should check with their healthcare providers.

Health care providers and pharmacies may charge a fee up to $15.60 to give the vaccine. In comparison, the normal cost of the booster shot without insurance is from $60-$100.

People who cannot afford the administration fee can ask to have the fee waived. Vaccine protects against whooping cough, and prevents the disease from spreading to infants, pregnant women and others.

People of all ages can get whooping cough, but infants are at greatest risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death. Pregnant women with whooping cough near the time of delivery may spread it to their newborns.

Talk to your health care provider to make sure all children, teens and adults in your household are up to date with whooping cough vaccine, especially if they are in contact with infants or pregnant women.