‘If you see something, say something’

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Executives from several Puget Sound area police agencies are concerned by a recent report in USA Today suggesting that bomb squads in major eastern cities have been overwhelmed with reports of suspicious packages.

They fear the article will discourage local residents from reporting suspicious packages.

The article reports that most of the suspicious package calls turn out to be benign, such as forgotten purses or backpacks. That’s just fine with King County Sheriff Sue Rahr.

“We’d rather respond to a hundred false alarms than miss the one real threat,” Rahr said.

“We are not overwhelmed, and we still want those calls,” said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. “Our mantra remains ‘if you see something, say something.’”

Tips and calls from citizens are critical to protecting everyone, according to Washington State Patrol Chief John. R. Batiste.

“You know best what is normal in your neighborhood, your workplace or at your local bus stop,” Batiste said. “If you see something unusual, make the call. Let us be the ones to figure out whether it’s a threat.”

The executives acknowledge that suspicious package calls can be disruptive, especially at airports or state ferries. But local officers and bomb squads never know which purse or backpack will be “the one.”

“I would rather explain why someone missed a ferry than explain why a loved one was injured or killed,” Batiste said.

If you see a package that strikes you as suspicious, don’t touch it. Simply call 9-1-1.

Bothell wins award for downtown revitalization

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

From left to right: Bothell Councilmember Tris Samberg, Councilmember Tom Agnew, Mayor Mark Lamb, Councilmember Patrick Ewing, VISION 2040 chair Jennifer Gregerson, Councilmember Del Spivey, Councilmember Bill Evans and PSRC Executive Director Bob Drewel. Courtesy photo.
SEATTLE — The City of Bothell has won a 2011 VISION 2040 Award from the Puget Sound Regional Council for its Downtown Revitalization. The awards recognize innovative projects and programs that help ensure a sustainable future as the region grows.

“Bothell has accomplished so much with this project,” said Mukilteo Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson, chair of the VISION 2040 Awards Selection Committee. “The realignment of two segments of SR 522 will streamline traffic through downtown and establish three new gateway parcels for redevelopment. Bothell has been working steadily to assemble land for projects in these gateways and, as a result, established a public private partnership with McMenamins to redevelop the Anderson School into a 70-room destination hotel.”

“Bothell is using infrastructure improvements to leverage private sector investments,” said Josh Brown, Kitsap County commissioner and PSRC president. “Bothell’s Downtown Revitalization is a model for how we can improve our cities while creating jobs.”

VISION 2040 is the region’s growth management, economic and transportation strategy, designed to meet the needs of the 5 million people expected to be living in the region in 2040 (compared to the 3.7 million people living here today). It is an integrated, long-range vision for the future that lays out a strategy for maintaining a healthy region — promoting the well-being of people and communities, economic vitality and a healthy environment.

PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of over 80 entities, including all four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region. In 2012, PSRC will select projects for the roughly $400 million in federal funds the region can expect to receive over the next few years. PSRC is also the lead regional economic development planning resource and home to the Prosperity Partnership.

Help keep tabs on native salmon

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The salmon are headed home – and King County needs volunteers to count returning fish. Many Pacific salmon species have begun the final stretch of their remarkable migration from the open ocean back to the King County rivers and streams of their birth, where they will spawn then die as their offspring begin life in the gravel below.

King County and partnering jurisdictions are looking for volunteer “salmon watchers” to keep an eye out for fish at streams throughout the Lake Washington watershed. Salmon watchers spend about 15 minutes twice a week at a designated site along a stream and look for returning salmon during the fall.

This volunteer work of monitoring salmon migration and spawning activities is an important part of fisheries management. The data collected are used by agencies and groups working to help restore weak salmon runs and improve habitat for all fish and wildlife.

You can become a salmon watcher by attending one of four, free classroom trainings to learn how to identify the salmon that spawn in King County streams. Training is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22, at Woodinville City Hall from 7-9 p.m. Those interested in volunteering should arrive a few minutes early to sign in.

Salmon watchers can choose a place to watch from among hundreds of established sites, or King County will create a new salmon-watching site that is convenient to work or home. No experience is necessary, although past volunteers are always welcome.

For more information about the Salmon Watcher Program, please contact ecologist Jennifer Vanderhoof, (206) 263-6533, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wallace Swamp Creek Park Trail to be temporarily closed

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Wallace Swamp Creek Park trail will be closed Friday, September 9 through Friday, September 16 as part of the annual dredging operation of the sediment pond. King County crews mobilize to the Wallace Swamp Creek Park Sediment Pond site on September 9. It will take approximately two days to divert the stream to the bypass channel and drain/de-fish the pond. Excavation is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 12, and hauling operations will continue through Friday, September 16.

Any updates will be posted on the city’s website, For more information, please contact the City of Kenmore at (425)398-8900 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New playscape a natural fit for kids

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Woodinville Family Preschool celebrates a playground renovation

Friends of Woodinville Family Preschool were invited to a playground celebration September 10  to celebrate the transformation of the preschool’s outdoor play space into an innovative natural playscape designed specifically with young children in mind.

“The outdoor learning environment is as critical for child development as the indoor classroom,” explains the school’s founding director Cecile Mielenz. “Our vision is to create an innovative and inspirational space for children that embraces nature, engages all the senses and fosters exploration, investigation and discovery.”

Guided by landscape architect Leon Smith the school added plenty of natural play value for little ones.

And what do kids like?

“Young children are extremely guided by their senses,” says the school’s outdoor curriculum specialist Jodi Spitalli. “They’re especially drawn to loose parts, such as rocks, sticks, dirt and leaves, which hold constructive play value for them and appeal to their senses.”

The new playground will offer plenty of opportunities for such manipulative play, as well as hills, pathways, gardens, native plants and trees to fill the senses and satisfy large motor play.

Generous donations from community partners made the transformation a reality.

“We couldn’t have done this without the ongoing generosity of our community partners,” said parent Deborah Shultz.

“This might appear to be just another playground,” says parent Mia Fiore, “but to us it is a landscape on which children’s dreams are built. We’re creating a canvas for their curiosity.”