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The Dancing Hot Dog Man

Hotdogman_004 You know exactly who I am talking about!  Every time I'm at the corner of 124th and 116th in Totem Lake my kids get all excited -- "Mommy!  It's the dancing hot dog!"  He just cracks me up- dancing and flailing under the guise of a frankfurter.  If you're ever having a grumpy day, make sure to take this route home so you can get a chuckle.  I wonder how many people he flags in for Matt's Gourmet Hot Dogs?  BTW, I think that's the first time I've ever seen the words 'gourmet' and 'hot dog' in the same sentence. ~J

There's a New Boss in Town

Chiefolsen_002 Meet Kirkland's new Chief of Police, Eric Olsen.   I always thought it sounded so cool to have the title "Chief" or "Commander" come before your name- doesn't every kid dream of that?   Chief Olsen has earned this honorable promotion from Captain with 25+ years of service in policing.  He's not big on titles though (I just think of myself as "Eric the cop"), he's focused on being accessible and creating a greater collaboration between the police dept and our community.  And he must be true to his word, because he was willing to sit down at lunch with a Kirkland blogger to tell me what's up.  He was probably kicking himself when my first question was, "Who's your biggest baddest ticket-writing cop that I should be shaking in boots for when he pulls me over?"   It's about public safety.  Not ticket-writing.  Darn, I knew that.

As we sat at a table outside at The Slip, despite not being in uniform on that day, he's got the cop vibe.  You probably don't know this, but I also sell tactical equipment part-time, so I know the cop vibe.  The one where he's constantly and calmly scanning his surroundings for any notion of danger or suspicion.  Luckily, we were safely tucked behind the plastic fence. 

Chief Olsen grew up in West Africa and went to high school and college in Minnesota.  Apparently his wife wasn't too keen when he told her he wanted to be a police officer.  But she must have gotten used to the idea, because they live happily in Snohomish with their 14 year old triplets - two boys and a girl(Eric is a twin himself!).  He enjoys living in Snohomish and it also allows him to separate his personal life from his work.

"Kirkland is a great place with great people," says Eric, "and I try to encourage our officers to get out of their cars and get to know the neighbors and business people."  He also stresses the importance of public safety and mentions how often crimes are solved when citizens call in suspicious activity or felt like something just wasn't right.  Don't hesitate to call.  And if you'd like to be on the receiving end of that call, Kirkland PD is also hiring.  There are at least 5 open headcount for officers and if (who are we kidding- when) annexation happens, we'll need an additional 44 officers.  That's a lot of blue.  And while we're on the annexation topic, I was asking about the proposed new jail which still nobody seems to know the location of, but he did confirm the need for a 75 bed jail if we annex.  Right now we have 4 cells that hold 12-16 people and we can rest easy b/c no-one has ever escaped! Airtight- minus the ceiling ducts, of course!

To net it out, our new Chief is a down-to-earth guy and he's got his listening ears on.   And he's funny too.  When asked which Kirkland restaurant is his favorite he responded, "I'm a big guy, I like them all."  Fresh in his new office and so PC!  If you see him around, be sure to introduce yourself.  He can also be reached at 425-587-3403 or eolsen@ci.kirkland.wa.us .     ~Janis

Juanita Beach CLOSED to swimmers

Juanita_beach_park52041 Every year we hear about an overload of goose poop taking over Juanita Beach Park and causing closures.  But THIS time, it's an 8 inch sewer line leak from Lake Vue Gardens Convalescent Center.  So, if little Butchy wants to hit the beach this weekend, I'd head for fresher waters until Juanita Beach is cleared.  Helloooo Bellevue!

Tulips1 Come to think of it, I was water-skiing in Juanita Bay this morning.  No wonder there was nobody else out there on that glassy water! I didn't notice any snickers bars but now I'm starting to feel sick.   Please send tulips to my hospital room, they're my fave.  ~Janis

Sneak Peak into The Heathman

Heathmanphotos_013 What happened to the Heathman's countdown til opening, you ask?  Well, some materials got hung up in customs and you know how that goes.  So you'll have to wait just a wee bit longer. 

Heathmanphotos_011 I got a tour the other day with Don Holt of Corbett Holt Properties and snapped some pictures to share with you.  The top (fourth) floor rooms are being completed first (photo rt), and the suites look amazing.  Each room is different and there are some fabulous views of Kirkland and Heathmanphotos_008 the lake.  Some of them have incredibly huge party patios.  Lots of Heathmanphotos_004 teak wood everywhere and glass lighting and warm neutral tilework.  The main level and entry feels like a boutique hotel already with the 125 person restaurant "Trellis" (left) anchoring the corners of Kirkland Ave and State St with a patio for outdoor seating.  The spa is downstairs Heathmanphotos_014 and even has accomodations for couple's getaways where there are  2 tubs in a room or 2 treatment tables.

Heathmanphotos_010 And there I am at the bar (already?  Big surprise).  Minus the hardhat when they open. ~Janis