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Northshore community rallies together to feed area families

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

BOTHELL — Supporters of the Northshore Schools Foundation have gone above and beyond their typical donation by helping to raise more than $39,000 in a little more than two weeks to provide meals to needy families in the Northshore School District.

“Local donors have fed an unprecedented number of hungry families – 197 since March 20,” NSF Executive Director  Carmin Dalziel stated in an April 4 press release. “In 2018, we started the Basic Needs Aid Program with the intention to help restore normalcy to a student’s life during an immediate crisis, but had only served 54 families since.”

That amount has more than tripled in the past 20 days due to COVID-19 and is sure to be much higher before this is all said and done.

“Never in a million years did we fathom that donors would be able to help so many families. Honestly, we were hoping we would never have to,” Dalziel said. “The need we are hearing about now from Northshore families is unprecedented. Families are experiencing the immediate loss of the major breadwinner’s income and the stories are heartbreaking. I am so grateful our community is stepping up to help.”

Earlier this year the Foundation received an angel donation to help remove barriers for students in the classroom. When the crisis hit, Dalziel said the donor immediately redirected funds to help families in the Northshore community. Since then, two other angel donations she said, have been received and several companies and organizations have stepped forward as well.

“The partnership with Northshore Education Association (NSEA) is most significant. NSEA is the professional association representing approximately 1,300 certified and 500 ESP employees in the Northshore School District,” Dalziel said. “Northshore School District staff make up 80% of the donors supporting the fund at this time, making it possible to support 100 additional families in need of groceries.”

Dalziel said each family nominated is eligible for a $200 grocery gift card. 

“The Foundation expects to have gift cards in each nominated family’s hands within one-to-six days of being nominated.  If you are a family in need, please contact your school’s administrator by email to get connected to Basic Needs Aid resources. 

“Like everything now, this is all new and unexpected. We don’t know how much more the need will grow, but we are committed to continuing to offer the support as long as we are able to do so,” Dalziel said.

Visit NorthshoreSchoolsFoundation.org to donate to the Basic Needs Aid Program. Gifts of stocks and other nontraditional gifts can also be accepted. 

The Northshore Schools Foundation is a local 501(c)3 non-profit that serves students and teachers in the Northshore School District. Foundation donors have funded more than $2 million in grants to benefit the district’s students and teachers since 1995. Visit www.northshoreschoolsfoundation.org to learn more.

School district releases updates on construction

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick
Courtesy photo

 

BOTHELL – Ruby Bridges Elementary is rounding into shape as interior and exterior work is progressing as expected. 

Flooring and lighting fixtures have been installed in several sections of the building and rockery on the accessible playground has been placed. 

The final paving and striping of the parking lot, the installation of outdoor light poles and landscaping was in place as March wrapped up.

During the month of April, the gas meter is expected to be set and the asphalt on the playground laid. 

Skyview and Canyon Creek 

The expansion of both schools is nearing completion. During the mid-winter break, construction was completed on the health classroom addition and the new administration offices at Skyview.

The majority of work was completed on the gym addition and the landscaping at Canyon Creek. All of the furniture and equipment have been installed.

Crews continued to work on the project’s punch list in March. The sand was placed on Skyview’s softball field and a few finishing touches were completed in Canyon Creek’s gym addition.

The grand opening celebration for both schools is on indefinite hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but once a new date has been set, the NSD will announce the date to the public. 

Crystal Springs praised for conservation efforts

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

BOTHELL – Crystal Springs Elementary was one of three schools recognized as a King County Level One Green School. The kudos were handed out to CSE from the King County Green Schools Program for its efforts to reduce waste and conserve energy.

“Crystal Springs students and staff have taken many green steps to earn the county’s recognition," said Northshore School District Communication Director Lisa Youngblood Hall. "They made recycle signs that were then posted in classrooms and hallways. “The school uses durable, reusable trays and utensils —the Silverware Superheroes, a group of first-grade students, reminds all students to set aside the durable utensils for washing and reuse."

“Green Tips” on conservation practices, such as how to pack a waste-free lunch, were shared daily with the school community during morning announcements. Students also created and shared a video with the school on how to sort waste and recyclable materials.

The PTSA, Youngblood Hall said, has also purchased durable water bottles for each student and unwanted books and whiteboards are used by other teachers or donated instead of disposed of.

Public and private K-12 schools and school districts in King County outside the city of Seattle are eligible to participate in the program. Fourteen school districts and more than 300 schools have participated in the program.

NSD calls for student and staff poets

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

BOTHELL — April is National Poetry Month, and if you fancy yourself an aspiring poet who is looking for a venue to express your work, then you’ll want to be a participant of Northshore Speaks.

The event, sponsored by the Northshore School District, is scheduled to take place Wednesday, April 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. 

“The location is to be determined, or it will be held on Northshore’s Virtual Stage,” NSD Communication Director Lisa Youngblood Hall stated in an April 2 press release.”

Northshore School District students and staff members interested in participating are asked to submit original spoken word poems to flipgrid.com by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 to be considered for the event.

“If an entry is selected, District Communications will connect directly with the student and their family, or the staff member,” Youngblood Hall said. “If students and staff are not interested in speaking, they are more than welcome to attend.” 

Hall said the spoken word entries will also be highlighted on the District’s Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the month of April. She added the event is intended to connect, reflect and hear multiple perspectives from the Northshore community.

The community is encouraged to reserve tickets (eventbrite.com) as seating may be limited, depending on whether the event is held on campus or virtually, Hall said.

West Sammamish River Bridge project underway

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick
Workers are building a berm and landing area for a crawler crane. Photo courtesy of the City of Kenmore

 

KENMORE — Work continues on the $43.3 million West Sammamish River Bridge project. The city of Kenmore is replacing the western portion of the bridge that carries southbound traffic over the Sammamish River. 

The project also calls for the construction of new sidewalks and bike facilities on the west side of the road between NE 170th and NE 175th Street, and for the installation of new signals, new street lighting, utility undergrounding and new landscaping. 

“Funding for the project was made available through the Federal Highway Administrations Highway Bridge Programs, the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, the Federal Surface Transportation Program, the Connection Washington State Fund, the city of Kenmore, the Northshore Utility District and other utilities within the project limits,” Communications Specialist with the city of Kenmore, Lauren Chomiak, said. 

Crews are making use of the quieter roads during the Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee. Utility relocation work on the bridge is underway and the sidewalk on the west side is currently closed. Workers have also been building a berm and landing area for the crawler crane that is due to be set up soon.

“The berm is one of many temporary erosion and sediment control conditions mandated by environmental permits,” said Kenmore City Engineer, John Vicente. “It is designed to provide a barrier for the protection against pollutants entering the river from crane activities.”

According to the information posted on the city of Kenmore website, commuters can expect intermittent southbound single lane closures Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to accommodate construction. The speed limit has been reduced to 25 MPH throughout the work zone for the safety of both the public and the construction team. All pedestrian traffic will be shifted exclusively to the sidewalk on the east side of the bridge.

The southbound King County Metro bus stop on the north side of the bridge will be temporarily relocated during construction and will be moved back to its current location once the project is complete. 

Boat traffic underneath the bridge will temporarily be closed for 15-minute periods in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard during in-water work. The City will also be working with the Coast Guard to determine the best way to accommodate access during Seafair.

Nighttime access under the bridge is expected to be restricted for up to 10 hours at a time during the summer months. Some of the parking stalls on the east side of the boat launch lot are earmarked for construction and unavailable for parking during July and August of 2020-2022. 

The access road under the bridge that connects the Kenmore Boat Launch and Rhododendron Park will be closed until fall of 2022. Those using mass transit are advised that temporary bus stops will be located relatively close to their existing locations. 

Construction started in March on the 90-year-old structure and is expected to be completed in the late fall of 2022. Updates on the project can be viewed on the city of Kenmore website.

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