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Get to Know the "Giving Chicks"

Sometimes a little really can go a long way.  Since the season of giving is upon us,  I wanted to share with you a story about a group of eastside women that team up to make a big impact.

In 2007 Kirkland resident, Rose Klein, started a group of 12 big-hearted ladies that get together once a month.  At each meeting, a member presents a couple of charities that may be local, national or international, but always represent women/children's issues. After a majority vote, each member writes a $20 check to the charity (whether you attend the meeting or not).  The Giving Chicks have grown to 60 members and average $1000/mo in giving.  They have donated almost $30,000 over the past few years.   Now that's a lot of $20 bills!

Some of the organizations they have supported include: NW Children's Fund, Olive Crest, Pediatric Intensive Interim Care, Women for WomenMama's Hands and Hopelink just to name a few.  The Giving Chicks welcome new members.  This could be a great fit for you if your time and resources are limited, but you still have a passion for helping others in a big way.  Their next meeting is on December 8th and you can email Rose to get an invite and directions. ~j

The McLeod Project: A Lifeline for Downtown Kirkland

Finally!  Some development is on its way in downtown Kirkland and I think it's something to get excited about. I sat down with Stuart McLeod, 55 year Kirkland resident and owner of the property spanning from Hector's to Ben & Jerry's, to get the inside scoop on his vision and plans.  He's a long-term thinker and loves the creative process around development (which means we're in luck). 

To minimize risk, this project will be happening in three phases.  The first phase involves some re-vamping of the more southern  building by opening up the corner where Mixtura used to be (it will still be a restaurant but with more outdoor seating).  The target date for completion is March 1st. Expect to see brick and awnings to keep the Kirkland feel we know and love along Lake Street.  Ben & Jerry's closed recently and will be re-opening in early spring and Thin Pan is also remodeling and has signed a new long-term lease to stay.  Not firm yet, but there might also be a really cool and casual healthy food restaurant in this building.  The second floor could be office space or retail space-an artist gallery or maybe even a boutique athletic club? What do you think would be a good fit?  Stuart is in discussions re:leasing right now, being mindful of having high quality tenants that can be complimentary.

StuartMcLeodProject 002 StuartMcLeodProject 001

Phase 2 is the coolest part- check out the rendition to the left (click to enlarge).  This is to begin in early summer 2010 and finish winter 2010.  Hector's original 1918 building will stay intact, aside from some modest expansion in the bar, kitchen and back outdoor seating.  The structure to south of Hector's and north of the parking lot (ie World Wrapps/Manhattan Boutique) will come down and be re-built as a 2 story building that coincides with its surrounding structures-- brick, bay windows, awnings.  But it will also incorporate new comfortable village-like spaces- fireplaces, sitting areas, cobblestone pathways winding through  storefronts (see overhead photo).  Stuart loves Peppertree Lane in Laguna Beach and has modeled some of this development after that concept. There's a 7000 square foot rooftop restaurant with outdoor seating and  panoramic views. Kudos to Chesmore/Buck Architecture for thoughtfully putting this all together with Stuart.

Phase 3 is not designed yet and will likely be retail or restaurant space (dependent on market demand then) at grade level above the subterranean parking.  This is the area that is currently Calabrisella and the parking lot.  

This urban village feel could be a real jump start towards re-vitalizing our downtown.  Stuart even commented on how Kirkland has one of the most underperforming waterfront communities on the west coast. When questioned about other opportunities he saw in Kirkland, Stuart commented, "Marina Park could have tremendous potential for gathering people and events.  If it was done carefully and respectfully."  One step at a time- right now I'm just looking forward to hanging out on that rooftop deck next summer. ~j

Limited H1N1 Vaccines Available at King County Pharmacies

Everyone is talking about getting their vaccines!  I shouldn't mention that my one child that has had one is the one who had 103 fever this weekend.  I know there's no correlation, but I swear it happens to us every time.  Still, better safe.........here's the scoop.....

Forty-four participating King County pharmacies will be offering H1N1 flu vaccines and are taking appts by phone or holding walk-up clinics.  There are a  total of 15,000 doses of vaccine, with more available in future weeks.  The fees range from $12-22 and is covered by most health insurance companies. Eventually, there will be enough vaccine for everyone, but right now we are still dealing with limited supplies.  King Co has received approx 142,000 doses and a new allocation of 71,000 doses is being ordered.  Most of it is being made available through health care providers. 

You are eligible to receive a vaccine through pharmacies if you are pregnant, live with or care for kids younger than 6 mos, are 6-24 years old, are 25-64 with a chronic health condition or weakened immune system, or area a healthcare/emergency worked with direct patient contact.  A full list of participating pharmacies can be found here.  Many pharmacies are not able to vaccinate young children due to staff licensing.

Visit the Public Health H1N1 influenza website at www.kingcounty.gov/health/H1N1 for updates on vaccine availability in the community or call the Flu Hotline at 877-903-KING (5464), which is staffed with operators to answer questions from King County residents about H1N1 influenza. Hours of operation with operators are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with special 24-hour nurse line service extended over this weekend for people with flu seeking medical care advice.  Recorded information will be available 24 hours a day.

Mark your Calendars.....

Once we are past Halloween, it seems like a sudden landslide of holidays rush in at us (along with the unrelenting rain).   Yes, we are already talking about the tree lighting ceremony!  Catch that and handful of other things here:

Kirkland Tree Lighting
- November 28th 4-8pm @ Marina Park.  They still urgently need donations by 11/16 to buy lights.  $7500 has been raised of the $20000 they need, so consider giving- no amount is too small.  You can drop off a check at Banner Bank or the Kirkland Downtown Association on Park Lane or email them. 

9th Annual Turkey Trot- Hopelink's 5K funwalk in downtown Kirkland. Sunday November 15, 2009 @1pm (registration starts at noon).  Pre-reg is $20/pp or $15/pp on a team, day-of is $25/pp or $20/pp on a team of four or more.  You can also register here- this is a great way to help out local low income families and get a little exercise too!

Secret Santa Toy Drive- Nov 2nd thru Dec 13, 2009.   Drop new unwrapped holiday items at the Totem Lake-Kirkland Sleep Country USA store to help make sure every foster child in the PNW receives a gift this year. 

4 for 48- Sundays thru Thursdays in November you can get a four course meal for $48 at Trellis and bin on the Lake.  There are 13 participating restaurants in Seattle and the Eastside, but why leave Kirkland when you have Trellis and bin on the list? Although I have been dying to try Crush (whose founder started this concept). Great deals for fabulous food no matter where you choose!

Other random tidbits for ya.........

Michael Jackson's 'This is It'- Saw this movie last night and it was really good- worth seeing- especially if you were an MJ fan.  It makes you wish his concert tour was still on its way.  Nothing on his personal life- it's all documenting his rehearsals for the tour- you'll hear all of your favorite old tunes-what an amazing talent.  And speaking of legends...

Chuck Morgan's Services- If Chuck Morgan touched your life, you should know that 'Mr. Kirkland's' memorial service is Friday 11/13 @ 2:30 at the Kirkland Performance Center.  Just where he would have wanted it. :-)

Merrill Gardens- WAY TO GO! Merrill Gardens Kirkland was just announced "Project of the Year" for senior housing communities across the US.

And congratulations to our brave new City Council elects:  Amy Walen, Penny Sweet, Joan McBride and Doreen Marchione.  We look forward to having you represent us.  ~j