Kirkland looks for new pool site

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman

With Kirkland’s Juanita Aquatic Center possibly closing in 2017, the city is studying several sites for a replacement pool.

The pool, which is at Juanita High School, is used by the Woodinville High School, Bothell High School, Inglemoor High School and Lake Washington High School swim and dive teams.

Several other groups also use the pool: WAVE Aquatics swim team and swim lessons, Lake Washington Masters Swimming, the Seattle Synchronized Swim Team and the public.

The Lake Washington School District decided last year that the pool was nearing the end of its useful life, and this year, chose not to put funding for a new pool on the February special election ballot as part of a bond to modernize Juanita High School.

“You can keep a car that has 200,000 miles on it and continue to pour money into fixing everything that breaks. But you can’t rely on that vehicle to perform reliably and safely,” reads LWSD’s website. “While we may be able to eke a few more miles out of the Juanita pool, we are reaching the point where we can’t expect it to perform reliably and safely.”

The Kirkland City Council felt it was unacceptable to not have a public pool, said Jennifer Schroder, Kirkland’s parks director.

Now, Kirkland is considering five possible sites for a replacement pool: Juanita Beach Park, the North Kirkland Community Center, South Norway Hill Park, a parcel in Totem Lake that might include the mall and Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore.

In the meantime, the city will consider enclosing Peter Kirk Pool with an inflatable cover as a temporary measure to allow for year-round use if the Juanita Aquatic Center closes before the new pool is built.

The city will also study whether the sites would be suitable for aquatic (lap and leisure pools) only, or a full community recreation center with gyms and classrooms.

The Kirkland Council has also expressed interest in partnering with neighboring cities — Redmond, Bothell, Woodinville or Kenmore — or other entities like the Lake Washington School District, community colleges or EvergreenHealth.

The Park Board will continue studying the pool replacement on March 19 and the Council will study it again on April 1, Schroder said.

Leota and Wellington PTSAs to launch food drive for Hopelink & Maltby Food Bank

  • Written by Shannon Michael

Canned Food DrivePhoto by Christian Cline. The Wellington Wolverine and Leota Lion mascots have their paws on the “CANbardi” trophy that is up for grabs in this year’s renewed PTSA-sponsored effort to increase donations for the canned food drive at both schools. The school with the most donations will win bragging rights and the trophy, but the biggest winners will be families served by Hopelink and Maltby Food Bank.In 1989, Leota Junior High students collected more than 19,600 pounds of food during the school PTSA’s annual food drive. It was a big deal, according to former student and current Leota parent Christina Isaacs.
Last year, though, the Leota PTSA-sponsored drive netted only 747 pounds of food and $1,545 in cash donations for a total value of 1,777 pounds of food for Hopelink.

Isaacs is out to reverse the trend, volunteering as the PTSA committee chairperson for the canned food drives at Leota and Wellington Elementary where her younger child attends.

The Leota PTSA drive runs March 10-18 and will benefit Hopelink, while the Wellington PTSA drive will be March 10-14 and will benefit Maltby Food Bank. Students will be seeking donations of non-perishable food, personal care items, household cleaning supplies, and money.

“When I was a student, the canned food drive was a really big deal that successfully created a strong sense of school spirit as well as community spirit and pride,” Isaacs said, adding, “There were competitions between teachers and classes and lots of daily prizes as well as prizes for the overall top contributing students.”

Now that her daughter attends Leota, Isaacs took her out collecting food for the canned food drive last year. “But, when I helped her carry the food into school I discovered that things have changed.  There was no recognition for her contributions, there were no prizes or competitions like there had been, and most importantly there was hardly any food being donated!” she said.  
According to Hopelink spokesperson Kris Betker, the 1,777 pounds of food collected last year would provide 1,318 meals or 88 food bank visits. In comparison, the 19,600 pounds of food collected in 1989 would provide in today’s conversion rate 14,543 meals, or 970 food bank visits, Betker wrote by email.

Isaacs found out that parent volunteers were needed in order for the food drive to be successful again, so she volunteered.

“My main goal is to get the students inspired and motivated to contribute to their community,” she said. To do so, she reached out to the local business community who has responded generously with prize donations for students who work hard to help make the food drive a success.

Isaacs is confident that with some tangible recognition, the students will realize as they are serving that the real prize is in giving. Recalling her own experiences as a Leota student, Isaacs said it felt good to be recognized and feel that she was making a difference. That’s the same feeling she wants today’s students to experience.

To generate a friendly competition between the two schools’ PTSA drives, a trophy has been made out of tin cans, called the CANbardi Trophy, which will be awarded to the school that collects the most items.

That’s where parents and the local community come into play. Isaacs wants students, their families, and their neighbors to get inspired and motivated to impact the greater community by helping families served by Hopelink and the Maltby Food Bank with a donation to the Leota and Wellington food drives.

Isaacs also suggests the community gather some items to donate and have them ready to give to students when they come knocking on their door.

“It is when we actually go out and are actively serving that we learn that the real reward is in the giving,” Isaacs said.

Bike shop thwarted by parking rules

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman

Bike shop 673Photo by Briana Gerdeman. Todd Huhman and Brandon Maltby hope to open a bike shop, Coastal Cycleworks, in the building between Bill the Butcher and the Twisted Cafe. Zoning regulations require the landlord to add more parking, but the Coastal Cycleworks owners hope the city will change regulations to let them use the parking spots in front of the building, which are on the city’s property.The would-be owners of Coastal Cycleworks have their Facebook and Twitter pages ready for their business to open this spring. But they may not be able to move in to the building for which they’ve signed a lease.

Todd Huhman and Brandon Maltby, co-owners of Coastal Cycleworks, want to open their store in a building in the Old Town area of Woodinville, next to Bill the Butcher. However, a zoning requirement for parking is preventing them from opening. They and their landlord, Dick Shawver, have appeared at several City Council meetings to ask the Council to address the issue quickly.

The issue of allowing on-street parking to count toward required parking in the Old Town area has been on the Council’s docket list for several years as a high priority, but the Council hasn’t taken action yet.

The owners of Coastal Cycleworks have been working on opening their business for two years, and have had their eyes on this location on NE Woodinville Drive for almost a year.

Although they considered other locations in Bothell, Everett and Monroe, “we really like Woodinville and we really like that area, so we’re just waiting around,” Maltby said.

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WHS students help kick off Read Across America Week

  • Written by Shannon Michael

Read Across America 1Members of the Woodinville High School ASB organized and hosted an event last Friday called Read Across Woodinville.With the assistance of ASB/Leadership advisor Nicole Skone, about 120 WHS students visited over 60 classrooms at the five elementary schools in the WHS pathway (Bear Creek, Eastridge, Kokanee, Sunrise, and Woodin).

Pairs of high school students spent time in an elementary classroom, read a Dr. Seuss book to the students, had the students take the “Read Across America Reader’s Oath,” and talked with them about their love of reading and what it is like to be a student at WHS.

The event is part of the celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which is when the National Education Association kicks off its annual Read Across America Week.


Photo by Shannon Michael.WHS ASB president Natalie Kelley, left, sat beside Keenae Tiersma, a fellow WHS student, as Tiersma read Dr. Seuss’ “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to the students in Stacy Hansen’s first grade class at Kokanee Elementary.

Neighbors near future park complain about traffic, loss of rural atmosphere

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

Sharon Peterson held up a binder with 600 pages of complaints about the proposed Wellington Hills County Park.

"The Neighbors to Save Wellington Park has a name for this book," Peterson said at last week’s City Council meeting during a public hearing about the park. "They call it the ‘thud factor.’"

She dropped the volume on floor, and it lived up to its name.

Peterson was one of about 20 people at the public hearing who said they opposed the planned park, which would be built at the site of the former Wellington Hills Golf Course in Snohomish County on the border of Woodinville. No one spoke in favor of the park.

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