Dave Fox: The Journey from Pedaling to Painting

DaveFox1      DaveFox3      DaveFox4

You probably remember Dave Fox and his wife Angela from their years as owners of Bassline Fitness in downtown Kirkland.  You could often find Dave sweating and pedaling his spin bike on stage while motivating large groups of fitness junkies in their signature "Mash-Up" classes. This dynamic duo opened their first gym, Gorilla Sports, in 1995 and then continued to open 13 more gyms all over the US (and sold some along the way).  This magical formula of challenging classes with great music and an upbeat, high-energy vibe created quite a local following. But things changed for Dave one day in 2017 when he suffered from a blood clot in his right leg that had gone to his lung.  He stopped teaching to focus on his recovery and then, you guessed it, a pandemic shut us all down.  Bassline included.

  DaveFox2      DaveFox5 

Covid did have a few upsides, one being the self-discovery and emergence of talents and exploration many of us never had time for before (you'd think I would be a better cook by now?) Dave always had an interest in art, but never before did he have the time to let this creative side of him unfold.  Years used to go by between his art projects, so when he stepped away from the gyms, he was excited to give oil painting a go.  He said, "the only way to learn how to paint is to paint."  He started out doing YouTube and art instructional videos and is enjoying the evolution of his artistic style. Oil is a slow-drying medium and typically a piece takes him 3-4 weeks to complete.  Dave starts with a photo that he edits digitally before using that as a reference for the final piece that he will layer and create with his brush.  A spare bedroom in their home has been transformed into his studio where he puts on some music and can quickly lose himself in 3-4 hours of painting.  His dogs, Kai and Kula (photo), seem quite content in this space also.


When Dave takes or finds a photo to paint he just asked himself, "can I see myself painting this?" It's whatever strikes his fancy.  Then when it feels right, he builds his plan, starting from the back, then the forefront, and then refining everything at the end. Many of his works are from around Kirkland in familiar settings we all know and love such as  T-dock, the stairs on Central, and the blow-up floaties at Via Lago.  Some take more time than others, like the big bear (photo above, not a Kirkland bear, LOL) that has the detail of hairlike brush strokes to make him pop off the canvas. Dave also does commission pieces and lots of his art can be put in different formats such as bags, phone cases, etc.  Check out his website at davefoxstudio.com.  I was lucky enough to score a pack of Kirkland-themed blank greeting cards (final photo above, cards are $6/ea, and various seasons!), a great gift for a fellow Kirklander.  You can follow Dave on Facebook here.  

Jump Into Fall with a Harvest Party, Porsches, and Pumpkins

It's time, people. Back-to-school season is in full swing and a cool fall breeze is in the air.  We just did "senior pics" with my youngest this evening (sniff, sniff) after recently road-tripping our other two kiddos back down to college.  Pretty soon we'll be packing away our Aperol (just as the shortage is over?!) and ordering up pumpkin lattes.  Costco has shamelessly dragged their Christmas gear onto the floor already.  I will desperately hold on to every last shred of summer and sunshine but realize we need to talk about these kinds of things now....  

Logo Design Contest for Pumpkins in the Park

Are you a talented and dynamic artist that can help design the next "Pumpkins in the Park" logo? The winning design will be featured on Kirkland Downtown Association's social media channels, on Pumpkins in the Park merchandise, and will get a special feature in their newsletter.

The winner will also receive complimentary merchandise with the winning design. Deadline for submission: Friday, Sep 9th (5:00 pm PST).  Submit here

 All Porsche Grand Display 9/11

On Sunday, September 11, the Pacific Northwest Region of the Porsche Club of America will be holding their 10th annual All Porsche Grand Display on the top, uncovered section of the 2000 garage at Carillon Point. This event showcases all things Porsche and is open to the public at $10 per adult (free to those under 15). Doors open at 9:00am, with the show concluding around 2:30pm.  There will be jazz playing all day.  For more information, visit the online event page here.

Harvest Party at Kirkland Urban 9/16

On Friday, September 16 from 4-6 p.m., Kirkland Urban is hosting a Harvest Party to celebrate the arrival of the fall season! Kirkland Urban is inviting Eastside kids and families to come by, enjoy the last weekend of summer and get into the autumn spirit. 

The main feature is the “Instagram-able” Harvest installation designed by Top Knotch Events. Event attendees are encouraged to take photos in front of this backdrop and post, tagging Kirkland Urban! Additionally, there will be several environmentally focused events. Seattle-based beekeeping educator, Alvéole, will be hosting a live bee workshop for all guests to show off the resident beehives at the Kirkland Urban Plaza. Plant with KU, an initiative sponsored by Forest Nation, will also be offering Blue Spruce starter kits for attendees to bring home. For every tree kit planted, Forest Nation will plant additional trees in a developing country.  

For the kiddos, Hoopla Face Painting will join the fun by providing glitter tattoos and face painting. There will also be kid-friendly games in the plaza and treats provided by local businesses.  

This event is free and open to the public, brought to you by Kirkland Urban in partnership with Top Knotch Events.          

Kirkland Urban is an inclusive and accessible open-air shopping center. To support children and adults of all abilities, sensory-sensitive toolkits will be available onsite during all Kirkland Urban events. Toolkits include noise-canceling headphones, sensory/fidget toys, earplugs and an identifier sticker/badge and can be picked up upon arrival. This event is free and open to the public. 

And don't forget... Fall Harvest Festival Series at Salt & Straw-check out these seasonal flavors!!!         



Farewell to Beach Café


The Beach Café at Carillon Point will be closing on September 3rd.  But fear not! You have a couple of days left to dine there.  The space is in good hands with the new owners who are working on something exciting and new for us.  We will have to be patient and wait for the unveiling in Spring 2023, but 
I'll get you more inside scoop as it becomes available. 

Mike Warga Found

Heartbroken about this sad outcome in the search for Mike Warga. Sharing this letter from his family….


Family and Friends,

We are sad to let you know that Michael Warga, our beloved husband,son, father, grandfather and friend, passed away this weekend. Mike took a casual walk in Kirkland mid-Saturday morning. When he did not return home, his family and friends spent the next several days searching for him. Unfortunately, his body was found Tuesday morning off the shore of Kiwanis Park in the City of Kirkland.

Mike led a rich and full life. He was kind, hardworking and full of joy. He was loved by all. We will have more information later, but we wanted to thank everyone who shared their concerns, sent their love, and participated in the efforts to find Mike. We cannot express how much we appreciate these acts of kindness, which shows how much this community loves him.

We will love and miss him forever. He will always be in our hearts.

Love,The Warga family


Need your Help! Missing Person in Kirkland

There is currently a massive search going on for this Kirkland man. Have you seen him? Please lend a hand and spread the word…
Missing Person - Michael Warga Updated August 28, 2022 at 9:42 AM PTMike Warga has been missing since 10am on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Prior to going missing he was in good spirits. The only thing out of the ordinary was that he was sick earlier in the week which negatively impacted his sleep and intake of food and water. However, he seemed to have recovered and was feeling fine by the day prior to missing. 
Search Effort Mikey Warge Jr (Mike Warga’s son is coordinating search efforts). For critical updates text me at 425-785-9874 or email me at mtwarga@gmail.com. Sorry if I don’t respond as there are a lot of messages coming in. 
Here is where we are organizing the Search Effort. It’s a work in progress. 
Major Points:Kiwanis Park has been extensively searched by Police, Police drones, and volunteers. Efforts should be placed elsewhere.
Appearance and SightingsHe was wearing a one-quarter zip blue / purple pullover and black jeans. (Note the security footage may make the pullover look more purple than it is).
9:53am Mike was seen walking down 14 St West

Sighting (9:38am)Recent Headshot

Timeline (in chronological order)7:30am - He was last seen in person that morning at 7:30am in his bedroom (222 5th Ave West Kirkland WA 98033, see pin drop here, Red Icon Below). 
9:17am - The next door neighbor’s security camera recorded Mike leaving his home at 9:17am. He followed his Saturday routine of driving to McDonald’s for a breakfast sandwich as evidenced by a credit card purchase and wrappers in the home garbage can. He also stopped by the dry cleaners as evidenced by receipt in car with timestamp of 9:34am and shirts hanging at home on the door handle of the front door closet. 
9:35am - The next door neighbor’s security camera recorded Mike returning to his house. 
9:38am - The next door neighbor’s security camera recorded him at 9:37am walking northwest along the alley behind his house towards 3rd St W along the alley between 5th Avenue West and 7th Avenue West (see pin drop here, Blue Icon Below). 
9:53am - The security camera at 678 14th Ave West recorded Mike walking northwest briskly at 9:53am. He was heading northwest along 14th Ave that turns to 10th St via a walking path as it changes direction. This is the last sighting so far. 
9:56am - According to Find My Device for Apple, his cell phone was last registered near Kiwanis Park along 10th St W (see pin drop here, Brown Icon Below). 

Other Known FactsMike’s 
MISSINGMichael (Mike) Joseph Warga
Date of Birth: 11/1/1958Age: 63Sex or gender: MaleRace: WhiteEyes: BlueHair: GrayHeight: 5’9”Weight: 158 lbsWearing: Blue or purple longsleeve shirt and black jeans

LAST SEEN: West of Market Neighborhood, Kirkland, WA on August 27, 2022
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT MIKE PLEASE CONTACT: Police (911) and Sue Warga at (425) 503-5811
For more details see https://bit.ly/3QYM9Zd or QR Code:

Janis Rabuchin
“Be in the Know”


Sent from my iPhone

Kirkland Waterfront Car Show 8/14

  Carshowpic        RacecarJanis

This Sunday Aug 14th from 10 am - 4pm is the Kirkland Waterfront Car Show at the Marina Pavilion. Expect to see over 300 cars and 30 vendors to chat with about classic, antique, muscle, and high-performance vehicles.  And as you can see, I am a part-time racecar driver now, so I'm sure you will see me down there.  Vrroooooom!

Expect road closures in the downtown core from 5am to 6pm that day.  And maybe ride your bike? They are expecting over 10,000 car enthusiasts throughout the day.  This event helps raise money for the Kirkland Downtown Association, and you can donate here if you like. 

Lakeside & Fireside at the Woodmark Hotel

Woodmark4         Woodmark4

Steve and I were lucky enough to attend a lakeside event last week at  The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa in Carillon Point.  This classic Kirkland mainstay has done an amazing job reimagining its outdoor living space that shows off five custom firepits with surrounding Adirondack chairs on their sweeping waterfront lawn.  And don't forget the vino! Clearly, they know us well and have recently launched a wine program to accompany the firepits, which guests will receive information about upon check-in via QR code.  Expect to see bottles such as Treveri bubbles, Delille, Betz, and Patterson whites and reds to accompany the disposable fireside wine tumblers. Whether it's summertime views where you are watching the boats, kayaks, paddlers, and sunsets, or wintertime where you can snuggle up under one of their Pendleton blankets and watch the stars, this is an epic location to experience Lake Washington's shoreline.   The fire pits are available daily from 6-10 pm (weather permitting). 

Woodmark4   Woodmarkreno2022 (photo cred: The Woodmark)

The Woodmark has also renovated its lobby to represent a luxurious residential comfort where guests can lounge and relax in the color palette that emulates a timeless Pacific Northwest mood.  Don't forget about this long-standing lakeside gem the next time you have an event or visitors in town that want to experience the best of Kirkland.  

Sparrow's Patio a New Fave for Locals

SparrowExt  SparrowExt   SparrowExt

See you later J-Bay Bar & Grill!  After much anticipation, Sparrow  (like the bird- Be free!) opened in their old spot about a month ago at 9736 NE 120th Pl. They have spent some time re-branding and remodeling to elevate your dining experience.  Gem, one of the owner/managers, is truly his namesake as he greets customers with a giant eye-connected smile at the front door and then continually whizzes around to each table soliciting feedback and making sure everyone is happy.  Sparrow is a great addition to Kirkland's Juanita neighborhood, and the dog-friendly patio is a bonus on these great summertime nights.  Gem was reminiscing of his younger days when he used to live up the street and was a regular with his two brothers at JBay ( he kept the riding bull for posterity) and they would joke about how they 'owned the place.'  And now they really do!  

SparrowExt  SparrowExt

The interior now shows off a dark more intimate hipster feel, with lots of wood and tall private cozy booths in the dining area.  When you wisely make your reservation on OpenTable, I'd recommend getting a summer-day spot on the patio, which was lovely paired with a fresh house-made sangria (photo below).    The menu is striving to please every diner, offering a section of shareables, soups/salads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrees  (desserts too).  The food was pretty good. My friend and I shared the burrata avocado which came with 4 small crostinis ($16) that was lovely,  and the birria lamb tacos (3 for $19,) which everyone online is raving about but I found to be a bit bland and greasy.  I really want to go back and try some other menu items so I can find my go-to's.  Online reviews keep mentioning the sausage rigatoni as a fave.  

SparrowExt  SparrowExt

Definitely go experience this new find, however, also be prepared that Sparrow is high-end Kirkland style pricing ...a burger is $23.   But it is a tough time to be opening a restaurant with rising food prices and a tight labor market.  I like that they are invested in this space and our community, and as my friend said when we were leaving, "They really are trying!" Sparrow has really cleaned this location up (yes, even the bathrooms are lovely now), and  I'm super excited to welcome this new concept to Kirkland.  Also notable, the drink menu is reasonable with some creative summery cocktails being offered in the $11-12 range.  They are open every day for dinner at 5pm. And you can be an 'angel' when you're here too- find the photo op on the wall out back.   Go check it out and add your comments here too! I'm looking forward to going back.