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Kirkland Dog Owners: Watch out for CREEPY GUY!

Dog There have been a few incidents in Kirkland parks recently where a man impersonating an enforcement officer has approached dog owners with their off-leash pets and threatened them with a fine.  It's true that there are leash laws and that we have a real guy contracted by King County to enforce the law, but this creepy guy is described as being strange and aggressive and is giving people the willies.

So, here's what you need to know:

Real Guy: Could give you a $66 ticket, but usually will give a warning
Creepy Guy: Threatens you with a $250 fine
Real Guy: Drives a county vehicle
Creepy Guy: Drives an older white car with a roof rack
Real Guy: Wears a uniform and badge
Creepy Guy: Wears his own creepy fake patch on his shirt

If you are approached by an off-leash enforcement officer, be sure to ask for identification.  If you suspect it is Creepy Guy, call the police (911 or 425-587-3400) and the parks dept (425-587-3300).  And for extra credit, it would be great if you could oh-so-discreetly get a photo or a plate number too.  ~j

Annexation Rears Its Head Again

No nodding off over there.  Because if you aren't paying attention, City Council plans to just sneak annexation right on by us this time.  Last year there was a very long and public campaign around the feasibility of Kirkland annexing the "PAA" (proposed annexation area) which consists of North Juanita, Finn Hill and Kingsgate.  There were about 612 meetings, 392 forums, 213 discussions, 927 debates and then at the end of this very heated topic's lifespan came the conclusion that it was just going to be too costly for the City of Kirkland.  The numbers could not be justified.

So- fast forward to present day and suddenly the numbers can magically work!  Abracadabra!  There's a deadline that's getting ready to expire in order to qualify for state and county financial incentives, so the couSternoffTASER 003ncil quickly had a study session last Monday that was followed by a special council meeting on Tues  where they heard public comments.  Alas-the council voted in favor of annexation by a margin of 5 to 2.  I had Bob Sternoff tased when I found out he voted in support of it (photo left).  Ok, maybe that's a pic from the Police Academy class we're in together--so we just have to agree to disagree. This means that annexation will now go before the Boundary Review Board and be on the ballot in November (only for members of the PAA, not Kirkland residents?!).

 Now I am admittedly grossly over-simplifying this topic, but I still can't understand why annexation would be a good thing for Kirkland or its citizens.  Nobody ever gives a straight answer on this one. Or at least an answer with some compelling information.  At least let us vote on it.  We're in our own financial pickle right now (last I heard?).   I've listened to people talk about how the PAA residents already use our parks and shop in our shops.  That's great!  Go ahead! Enjoy! Then someone was saying that Kirkland cherry-picked the business districts in Totem Lake in the last annexation and now we have to 'do the right thing' and annex the neighborhoods.  Huh?  This is an emotional decision now?  That's like adopting a baby when you can't feed your own kids.  My favorite is when someone told me that we can't afford NOT to do this- and that Kirkland could in fact be annexed itself by another neighboring city, like Redmond or Bellevue, if we couldn't get our act together.  ACK. The funds we'd receive from the state/county might help initially, but our expense structure would also inflate and what happens when that catches up with us in ten years when the money runs out?  And what about the service levels we're already accustomed to? Would we be paying more for less? I know this would be great for the PAA and I would love for them to have better services.  But why is this a good business decision for Kirkland and its people?

Wizard Go ahead and comment away, but for the record, I'll say I don't think it's going to make a difference one way or the other.  This annexation seems to be part of some predetermined plan that is operating with the wizardry of OZ.  City workers all talk about this as if it's already been decided.  They're excited for their bigger teams and breadth and budgets.   It's not an 'if' it's a 'when'.  ~j

Party in Your PJ's!

PJBowl Go grab five friends and your bowling bags for this fun annual fundraiser.  Sleep Country USA's "Pajama Bowl" at Tech City Bowl is coming up on Sunday 4/19 with start times running from 11-2.  Each team needs to raise or donate a minimum of $250 to participate (check out the angel bowlers from last year, photo left).  Your entry fees go directly to 20 different Pacific Northwest foster children's charities.  So break out your favorite jammies and sign up at pajamabowl.com.   Bonus, for those of you that can actually throw a strike (like my 6 year old that bowled a 135 last week!?), the team with the most points wins a new Simmons Beautyrest Mattress set.  I want to know how the team manages to share this prize??????  ~j

BeachHouse Bar + Grill Opens Just in Time for Summer

BeachHouse 002 Just when you were feeling sad about the closing of Trenditions, Costco Home and Yarrow Bay Grill we've got an opening for you! We just happened to pop in at BeachHouse Bar + Grill on Thursday night which was their first evening open to the public.  You'll find them at 6023 Lake Washington Blvd which was formerly Fiorente, formerly Clancy's, and formerly The Foghorn restaurant depending on when you blinked.

But the BeachHouse is here to stay!  They have a totally casual vibe which, in this economy, is a really smart move.  Lots of happy hour appetizers and fun drinks at half off between the hours of 3-6 and 9-close.  The inside is the same general layout as its predecessors with some fun new paint colors and the familiar dark beams overhead.  It's a laid-back spot where you can walk in with flip flops on, listen to The Cure  being piped in (don't laugh, it was really on and this was my fave in high school) and be comforted by heartfelt belly chuckles coming from the crowded bar.

And the view doesn't get any better than this!  They are looking into adding a waterfront patio area so keep your fingers crossed.  Another perk-you can even call ahead with an order and pull up to their private dock and they'll deliver to your boat (or just dock and stay).  If they could deliver breakfast and coffee to my boat after my 6am water-ski runs I'd be in heaven.   A girl can dream, right?  Check out Chef Ricky Eng's (formerly of Newport Bay and Stanford's) menu here- you'll find lots of finger food (appetizers, burgers, pizza), a handful of entrees (salmon, rib-eye) and soups/salads too.  I enjoyed my chop chop salad and  friendly service while Steve had the wedge salad and french onion soup which were also very good.  Between that and a couple of drinks we spent $50 which is a very reasonable date night.   Right now BeachHouse serves lunch and dinner from 11am until 10 or close, and plan to serve breakfast in the future.  Go check it out and let us know what you think. ~j