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To all the Die-Hard Polar Plungers

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The City of Kirkland has announced it will NOT be putting on the Polar Plunge this year at Marina Park.  Have no fear, even though we can't afford this $300 event we can still swing the $2 million + for annexation (sorry, I couldn't resist).  For many, this event is a New Year's Day tradition.  Last year (see photo) there were a few hundred people, some of which came from other local plunges (Seattle, Renton to name a few) to test their frigid-meter endurance.

It is supposed to be a balmy 50 degrees on Friday.  And it's a public park.  So I'm going to do it anyway.  It's like a double dog dare that I can't turn down.  And now I have a six year old that wants to try it too (is she nuts I wonder? ironically...).    If you're crazy as well, then come on down and join us.  Rob Butcher from Kirkland Views will be there too.  Usually I spend New Year's eve recruiting some sympathetic friends to join me, but this year will be a mellow celebration, so I need your help. Friday, New Year's Day @ 1pm at Marina Park.  Don't forget some water shoes, warm clothes and a towel. It's a great awakening for a new year! ~j

Portable North Pole for your Children

It's getting awfully close to Christmas and Santa is watching the little ones with a sharp eye these days.  Want to freak your kids out?  I love this site.  You put in some basic info and Santa creates a personalized video message for them.  They've added more detail from last year. The kids' fascination and amazement is well worth the 3 minutes.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanza! Whatever you celebrate......enjoy it and this special time of year.  Warmes wishes from the Kirkland Weblog!! ~j

Extra Police Patrols on the Lookout for Holiday DUIs

Crashed Car Bad
There's plenty of partying that goes along with this warm holiday season, so it's a perfect time to remind everyone to be safe. Be sure to have a designated driver or call a cab if you've had too much to drink.  It doesn't take much to get to the .08 legal limit for blood alcohol content.  Like me last night, for example, where a few laughs and a strong lemon drop sent the room spinning.  Luckily the party was across the street from our house so I was able to crawl home with pride.  But if I would have been out- I'd be calling Eastside for Hire on my speed dial for sure.

Kirkland PD is one of many King County law enforcement agencies that will be working together and beefing up their coverage to keep the roads safe.  Last year this special effort resulted in 5,061 contacts with dangerous drivers,  3,619 tickets or infractions and 105 motorists arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also made 14 felony arrests.  Police departments across King Co will be working together to conduct DUI patrols on 12/18, 12/19, 12/20, 12/25, 12/26 and 12/31.  Kirkland has assigned overtime officers (on grant funding) and plan to be out "in force" says Lt. Mike Ursino, of our Investigations Division.

I know you love those hot buttered rums.  But here are some sobering stats: A total of 94 people died in King County traffic crashes in 2008 and 669 people were seriously injured.  Please don't let one of these statistics be you.  Because we need our readers. ~j

Tis the Season....

You know it's cold when fountains get frozen in time (click to enlarge photo).  But I am not complaining because it's sunny and the sky is clear!   Although I do get a bit jealous when friends in Florida are telling me it's 86 degrees there now.  Speaking of which, how many of you are polar plunge fans?  The city is not hosting the event this year, but I'm thinking I might just do it anyway.  Be a renegade plunger.  Embrace the cold.  If I still fit in my bathing suit, of course. Would you join me? ~j  

Papa John's Pizza Supports Families of Slain Officers

We are all shocked and saddened by the violence that killed four Lakewood police officers last week. Here's a simple way to show your support (even the kids can help on this one).  On Tuesday 12/8 and Wednesday 12/9, Papa John's Pizza will be donating 100% of their profits to the families of the slain officers.  That's a lot of pizza dough. They are staffing up, so get your orders in.....order some for your family, your office, your next door neighbor, freeze a pizza, send some to our PD, get some delivered to a homeless shelter, get creative!!  You can call the store closest to you or order online. Papa John's nationwide are also able to accept donations on their behalf. ~j

Why can't I shop in Kirkland? Please?!

Personal Shopper
I was heading out for an evening of shopping with a girlfriend on Saturday night and instead of cooking up an intricate crowd-fighting Bellevue Square or Seattle plan, I convinced her we should 'buy local' and meet in downtown Kirkland.  Easier said than done.  Everything seemed to be closing at 6:30 or 7.  It's a Saturday in December, people!!!!  As we peered down the block, it looked spookishly dark, so we hopped in our cars to salvage the evening in Bellevue.  I know it's not all of the businesses, so don't  get in a tiss.  I'll bet ya that John@ Bikini Beach, A@Simplicity Decor and Liberty @ Liberty 123 on Park Lane were open because they are reliably available 'late' to capture the after-dinner business (yes, I notice).  Kudos to you guys!

Does anyone know the December hours for the downtown stores this year? If you are a biz owner or have some scoop, please let us know.  I need you to be OPEN if you want me to BUY things from you! ~j

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

The 2009 Christmas push seems to have started before I swallowed my last bite of turkey. Retailers aren't wasting any time and I've got to say, I can't help but to follow their lead.  On Friday I threw out our pumpkins and then we put up some lights, placed the pointsettas, and dragged the decorations out.  After years of resistance, we even purchased an artificial tree and our floors are amazing needle-free now. 

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Did you go to the tree lighting downtown Kirkland on Saturday?  WAY better than last year.  What a fun surprise to have all the streets blocked off, with big fires, carolers, music, vendors, etc.  Wish we had gotten there earlier! Photos of some fun street dancers to the left.  And all of the downtown lights look fabulous!! 

If you're still brimming with cheer and want to treat the family to tea with Santa, you're in luck!  This Saturday, December 5th from 2-4 the Woodmark Hotel will be hosting its first annual Holiday Tea with Santa.  There will be photo opportunities, holiday treats and cookie decorating.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hopelink (cost is $40/per adult, $20/per child). Call for a reservation: 425-827-1986.

Or- if you find yourself at Carillon Pt but your kids are deathly afraid of Santa, (this could likely STILL be my children.  And Steve) there's an idea for you too.  The Beach Cafe has just revamped their 'blunch' menu for kids and adults.  Kids can choose from a “little kids” menu, featuring mini cheeseburgers, pizza, and mac n’ cheese with chicken (all for $4) or choose from a “big kids” menu, where you'll find slightly bigger meals including fish and chips, salmon and mashed potatoes, and roasted chicken (all for $7). Blunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 7 am – 2 p.m. (the kids menu is available after 10 am). 425-889-0303.  

And don't forget to stop in the Third Floor Fish Cafe before they close on Dec 19th.  This has been a Kirkland mainstay (15 years!) so it will be sad to see it change.  Plans are still in the works to remodel and possibly turn it into a private event space that could accomodate up to 200 people.  Where will I go when I crave their grilled romain salad? :( We'll miss you guys!

And happy holidays to the Proposed Annexation Area!  You voted, but our City Council is actually just going to decide things for you anyway- welcome to the city! :-)  Steve is just stewing to share his thoughts with you on this one.  He may actually come out of his blogger semi-retirement.   But that would require him to put down his Blackberry for an hour. I'd give it a 50/50 chance.  Stay tuned. ~j