Upcycling in Kirkland

Nickel Bros Moving Co has been keeping busy around Kirkland lately.  Last Friday, not long after the Trueblood house from 7th Ave got moved to its permanent location, my neighbor's house got picked up and barged away to its new home in Canada. This was no small project as neighbors, spectators, drones and news crews hovered around watching in amazement as workers scurried around underneath the house carefully calibrating, and slowly inching forward, all while seemingly un-phased by the small sways and creaks in the process.  Everyone wins - the homeowner who doesn't have to pay for demolition, the buyer who got a screaming deal on a large home, and of course, Mother Nature who was saved from more waste.  The Kirkland Reporter has the details here.  

Check out the pics:

Baerwald5      Baerwald5        Baerwald5

        Baerwald5              Baerwald5

The Houghton Buzz

Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center Map 2016 (photo from kirklandwa.gov)

Everyone is talking about it.  You've probably heard the chatter around town about the potential land use and zoning changes being considered at the Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center.  That's the fancy name for the big intersection at 6th and NE 68th St where you'll find Met Market and PCC. There's a public hearing tonight (Thursday 3/23) at City Hall 6-7 Open House, 7pm is the open hearing. There are three scenarios being considered which are the 'Preservation', 'Moderate Change', and 'Greater Change' options.  There are already plenty of citizen concerns around traffic/congestion, schools that are already maxed out, the impact on the Cross Kirkland Trail, and also how the combination of development here would fare with the Kirkland Urban project that is still underway just down the street.

Get up to speed here and if you have feedback, get involved!

PS- Speaking of traffic, there's an "Eastside March for Justice" this Sat 3/25 going from Houghton Beach Park (9:30) to Marina Park (speakers until 1pm). So if you're not participating you may want to sleep in or drive the long way around. :-)

Kirkland History Month & Woman's Club GoFundMe

February is Kirkland History Month.  Each February, the Kirkland Heritage Society, a non-profit all volunteer organization supported by its members, the City of Kirkland, and 4Culture, promotes the history of Kirkland.  They are proudly sharing some of Kirkland’s history by having volunteers deliver “History Month” plaques to participating merchants that are graciously displaying them from February 1 to February 28.

Kirkland was founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1905.  Peter Kirk came from England to build a steel foundry and dreamed of making Kirkland the Pittsburgh of the West.   Although, the mill never opened and all plans were finally abandoned about 1908, Kirkland had been platted and settled.  It is this platting that we all enjoy today with the ambience that we love about Kirkland. 

The plaques can be seen at Carillon Point/Houghton; Juanita; Kingsgate; Totem Lake, Downtown Kirkland, and Market Street.  We hope you will agree that they are educational, interesting and FUN! 

Comments and/or suggestions are welcome. Kirkland Heritage Society, (425) 827-3446, www.kirklandheritage.org

And while we are talking about Kirkland's heritage, you should know that there is a GoFundMe page for the Kirkland Woman's Club.

The Kirkland Woman’s Club is one of Kirkland’s most charming Landmark Buildings.  It was constructed in 1925 and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

Located on 1st Street just a couple of blocks north of downtown Kirkland, the building is a popular venue for small weddings, birthday parties, memorial services and other events.  Rentals from these events provide income to the Club for its numerous charitable and service projects to the community, including scholarships for young women graduating from Kirkland high schools and layette gift baskets for new mothers who cannot afford all the things their newborns need.

Club members report that although the building is very charming, it is in need of substantial repair, restoration and updating, totaling about $200,000.  The Club has started the massive project but will soon exhaust its own funds.  The Club has received some grant funding but needs to raise substantial funds on its own.  Members have started a GoFundMe campaign to ask for community assistance.  If you appreciate historic landmarks and would like to help preserve this one, go to https://www.gofundme.com/kirkland-womans-club.

New members are always welcome! The club members meet at 11:45 on the first Thursday of the month for lunch and a speaker and also meet for coffee on the 3rd Thursday at 1:00. They are hoping to start an evening group soon. Please join and help as you are able! 


"Hawk Time" Sundays at Waxing the City

Waxing the city seahawks
Have you ever been watching a Seahawks game on a Sunday and while everyone else is screaming at the TV you're thinking yourself, " I should really be getting waxed right now?"  Ah-ha!  I knew it.  You're in luck. Waxing the City in Totem Lake is starting up "Hawk Time" for those that would prefer to sip wine from Northwest Cellars, nibble on light appetizers and get some silky smooth skin during the game.  Wear your Seahawks gear to receive 10% off your waxing service. 11515 124th Ave NE. Appts available online.  Go Hawks!

SeahawkHouse2015 (6)
Oh, and a little birdie told me that the 'Seahawks House' in the Highlands neighborhood (with the over-the-top light display) might be showing up in a major network holiday decoration light fight show. Go Kirkland!

Healthy Bonez- Drink Your Juice!


I know you've driven by the Healthy Bonez cold-pressed juice truck in The Market St parking lot at 1720 Market Street and wondered, "when is the Kirkland Blog going to try this  place for me?" 

Well, it's today my friends.  Imagine this....  just back in town.  Hot/cranky/starving kids and running late to an appointment with only 5 minutes to spare.   Aversion to junk food and need some nourishment FAST.  Let's just say it was quite the bonus to stop in at this raw juice bar food truck and meet Shandy.  I smile just thinking of her.  And she's a Juanita chick! After just a week and  half in her space she appears to have a following of steady customers that pop into her window with questions and special juice requests.  She and her husband Collin (who built the super cute deck and adorable setting outside the window) make cold-pressed juices in rented kitchen space at The Market St. restaurant and package them for sale.  Cold pressing juice is really popular right now for it's fresh taste and ability to retain much of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients from the fruit/veggies.  They make smoothies and bowls in the truck on-the-spot.  

HealthyBonez (1)  HealthyBonez (2)

What is a bowl?  (photo) At Higher Leaf this could be something much different, but here it is a quart-sized to-go container filled with acai, smoothie, granola, blueberry, pineapple, strawberry, banana, coconut flakes, hemp seed and honey drizzle.  OOOhhhhh yeah.  So good and too big for one person in one sitting- share one with your sweetie for sure. Riley and I got one with two spoons and fought over bites til the bottom.  You can also find shots of wheatgrass or ginger to cleanse the soul.  And the menu is ever-changing based on what is fresh and available.  In case you want this delicious awesomeness delivered to you, luck is on your side.  Delivery is available currently in Kirkland and Bellevue.  I'm looking forward to trying more of the juices, so far I have tried the activated charcoal lemonade (traps chemicals and prevents their absorption..see ya later hangover!) and it was sweet and delightfully fresh.  Go stop by and say hi to Shandy and try a fresh and healthy liquid snack. Let us know which flavor is your fave!  Hours are M-F 8-4, Sat 10-4.

Oh- and last shout-out for Summerfest this weekend! They still need some more volunteers if you can lend a hand, it's never too late. 

1st Rate Insurance: New 'Digs' on Market Street


Have you been wondering what the big hole is they've been digging at 820 Market Street?  Wonder no more.  My hole investigation is complete.  It used to be a beautiful pale yellow eyesore 4-plex hogging up the corner of Market and 9th.  Now 1st Rate Insurance is building a new structure that will be 1300 sf of office space for their agency (upstairs) and two 2BR/2BA luxury apartments below (heated floors, granite, FP, pet-friendly).  There will also be 518 sf of commercial space available.  1st Rate is ten person insurance brokerage firm that offers auto, home and life insurance through over twenty reputable companies.  The Kirkland Reporter gave them the "Best of Kirkland" award for 2012-2013.  It is owned by Ken and Diane Martin, both active parents in the Kirkland community.  They've been in business 20+ years and their company has been in Kirkland since 2005, so they really wanted to stay local after the Ford dealership in Totem Lake bought their property on Slater Ave.     

4D Architects designed the building (rendering above) and Stark Construction is the General Contractor on the job. The Martins donated the old building to the Kirkland Fire Department for them to do a training exercises before it got torn down.  Now it's a patient...very patient... wait on building permits, but hopefully they will have everything complete by August if things go according to plan. Questions/inquiries can be sent to [email protected] .425-821-1000 ~j

You Voted for It- Marijuana is Coming to Kirkland

Lots of marijuana notes flying around so wanted to share this.  

In 2012, Washington voters (that's you) passed Initiative I-502 legalizing possession, sales, processing and production of marijuana.  In July, the State Liquor Control Board created proposed regulations for issuing licenses to sell, process or produce the controversial Dorito-binge inducing herb. The SLCB is planning to accept applications for licenses in mid-September.  

How does this impact me, you ask? There is a map the City of Kirkland has created identifying all of the areas where sales, processing and production are prohibited and allowed.  The pdf is named 'marijuanamap' which for some reason makes me giggle that a city even has to create a document with that title?! So, let's cut to the chase and identify the hot spots:

Locations available for sales are:

1)      Two very small areas on the west side of I-405 in the Totem Lake Neighborhood;

 2)      A strip of land along Market Street from about 12th Ave. to nearly 19th Ave;

3)      A small area at the northeast corner of the Central Business District;

4)      An area on the east side of I-405 along NE 85th St; and

5)      A very small part of Carillon Point.  (<--really!? how very Kirkland to have a boutique pot shop)


Two areas are available for processing and production :

1)      The far northeastern portion of the Totem Lake Neighborhood; and

2)      A small part of the light industrial area in the Norkirk Neighborhood


Here's a summary of the regulations (that may still be undergoing revisions):

  • Licenses will not be issued to businesses in “…a location where law enforcement access, without notice or cause, is limited. This includes a personal residence.” Thus it appears that home occupation businesses are not allowed;
  • Licenses will not be issued to businesses and advertising may not be located within 1000 feet of “the perimeter of the grounds of any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or any game arcade (where admission is not restricted to persons age twenty-one or older);”
  • On premises advertising signs for retailers are limited to 1600 square inches (a little over 11 square feet);
  • Licenses will normally not be issued to those who have a criminal background that exceeds a threshold based upon a point system developed by the Board;
  • Marijuana is not permitted to be consumed on licensed premises;
  • Three types of licenses will be issued: producer, processor and retailer; The Board will determine the maximum number of retail licenses to be issued in each county based upon a formula that distributes the number of locations proportionate to the most populous cities within each county;
  • There will be a 30 day period following the submittal of an application during which the Board will forward license applications to applicable local jurisdictions with a 20 day opportunity to submit comments. This will also occur for annual license renewals;
  • Hours of operation for retail licensees are restricted to between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m.;
  • Alarms and surveillance camera are required; and
  • Businesses must buy liability insurance.



Cross Kirkland Corridor- Lawsuit for Kirkland

Just saw this letter from the City Manager's office I thought you might be interested in...huh...

April 2, 2013

message about the Cross Kirkland Corridor

Dear Community Member,

It is with great disappointment
that I share with you that the City of Kirkland was served on April 1, 2013
with a Federal lawsuit which seeks to stop the City from removing the rail
tracks and ties along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The lawsuit was filed by
Ballard Terminal Railroad Company (“Ballard”) in Federal District Court in the
Western District of Washington.  In addition to the injunction, Ballard
has filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board (“STB”)
seeking to reactivate the Eastside Rail Corridor for freight service from
Woodinville to Bellevue, WA.  These actions make it necessary for the City
to carefully evaluate Ballard’s claims and to consider our legal options.

As you may be aware, the City has
hired a contractor to remove the rails to make way for an Interim Trail along
the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  The removal has been anticipated to begin
this month; with construction of the Interim Trail to begin this fall. We
intend to keep with the community’s desire to allow use of the trail as soon as
possible, even if it requires us to put our plans on hold as we take time to
better understand the impacts of the lawsuit and petition.

The Cross Kirkland Corridor is 5.75
miles of the 44+ mile Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC).  Apart from the
segments owned by the City of Kirkland and the City of Redmond, the ERC has
been recently acquired by King County. 

It is our initial understanding
that Ballard seeks to keep Kirkland from removing the rails on our Corridor so
that freight use can be re-established.  We are hopeful that the Federal
District Court will rule on the injunction case in the coming weeks and that
the STB decision regarding Ballard’s request to reactivate our Corridor as a
freight (not transit or excursion train) corridor will also be expedited.

We are confident that Kirkland will
ultimately be able to carry out our citizens’ vision for the Corridor. 
However, there are many complexities to this issue and your understanding and
patience is appreciated.  Updates will be released through the City’s
email notification subscriber lists and posted to the Cross Kirkland Corridor
webpage at www.kirklandwa.gov/crosskirklandcorridor.

If you have a specific question,
please send it to Pam Bissonnette, Director, Public Works Department, at
425-587-3802 or [email protected].



Kurt Triplett

City Manager

City of Kirkland

Squatting in Style

These are tough economic times for many. When I think of the traditional 'squatter' I can't help but envision some transient that moves from abandoned house to abandoned house.  But not the 2010 version. Not when you can get the locks changed on a vacant bank-owned $3.2M West of Market Kirkland home that is staged with $80,000 worth of furniture.  Just bring your boyfriend, settle in your children in and relax- who will notice?

Apparently people DID notice after a locksmith opened up the home and 'no trespassing' signs began going up. When police arrived on the scene, the alleged squatters said they owned the home and produced some insurance papers and stated they had paid money to their broker.  This isn't the first time this brilliant plan has been cooked up. Check out this website (whoa Nelly!).  The occupants may have later stated that they did not pay the broker anything and ever-so-kindly let the staging company have their furniture back. But they are staying put.  There is no Purchase of Sale agreement and none of the documentation provided seems to have been recorded. 

It sounds like the strategy is that if you occupy something that isn't yours, then you can assume ownership of it. And we're not talking about a fence line or an adverse possession claim.  This does sound a lot like my five year old's philosophy on many things, but in my grown-up mind these folks are simple intruders.  I guess if you're going try something this nuts, you might as well go big?! The whole convoluted story to the PD over the weekend (this is now a civil matter) was just to buy time so that they could go down to the courthouse on Monday and state they have a 'vested interest' in the home because they are occupying the house. The bank that owns the house served an eviction notice last night and they have 3 days to vacate. The lesson here is if you own or live by a vacant home be sure to check on it often. And keep in mind that just because we are losing our bottom lines doesn't mean we have to lose our ethics too.

By the way, WA state has very liberal laws to protect occupants, but this is most commonly seen with renters that stop paying. So, either these guys wait around for some sort of legal loophole pipe dream that will gum up our court system for months before facing prosecution or (if I were in their shoes) maybe they just disappear in the middle of the night.  Where to next, honey? I think I saw a fabulous place for sale in Medina.

Prostitution Ring Reaches Kirkland

Prostitutionhouse_002 A friend of mine lives not far from the house at 1942 Market Street (photo left) that got raided on Friday night.  She said she had been noticing more traffic in and out of the house, along with some unfamiliar cars parked at odd hours.  It appears  "Lisa Thai Massage" was merely a front for prostitution and was also linked to 3 other locations in Bellevue and SeaTac with common owners, managers and workers.  Maybe when they saw the graffiti a few doors down, they thought this was their kind of neighborhood.  No arrests were made at the Kirkland location, but detectives from King County Sheriff's Dept will be checking records and receipts (who knew those kinda joints were so organized?).~j