Kirkland Softball Heads to the World Series!

IMG_6787 photo credit: Deb Nielsen

Our very own Kirkland Major's softball team has won the Western Regional Softball tournament and are headed to the World Series in Portland, OR this week 8/8-8/15. How cool is that?!  The "West" team has their first game on Weds 8/8 at 7pm.  You can find the entire schedule here (in EST) and watch it on ESPN.  That's big time ladies, way to go!  The ESPN app will be streaming all games and has a free 7 day trial so you don't have to miss a moment.  Good luck out there, we're all rooting for you!!! woot woot! 

Little League: Life Lessons

Things got a little crazy on Everest Field A over the weekend at the Softball Junior League World Series.   National news outlets like USA Today and even Sports Illustrated picked up on the controversy when a team from Atlee, VA was disqualified for a photo that got posted on Snapchat.  No, it wasn't a shot of victory smiles for their 1-0 semi-final win over Kirkland for these 12-15 year old girls, it was 6 of their players flipping  the bird to our host team (possibly provoked when we had a coach and player ejected for stealing signs).  Google it- I don't have the heart to post the photo here. Although the Snapchat post was quickly removed and apologies issued (kudos to their coach), it was determined by the Little League International Tournament Committee that this use of social media was unsportsman-like conduct and the Southeast team was disqualified from the World Series.  The irony was that Kirkland was then given their spot to compete in the championship game, which they lost 1-7.

So many life lessons here.   Despite the fact that these are kids, I appreciate that there was a swift and immediate consequence.   It's how we learn  (perhaps the NFL should take note?).  And these girls are plenty young to move forward easily with class, resiliency and wisdom. The teammates that didn't partake in the photo quickly learned that you rise (they hadn't lost a game) and fall as a team.  Certainly this was a Softball World Series with a twist, but I know that thousands of conversations around the pitfalls and rapid-pace of social media have bubbled up in families as a result.  And that's a chat we all need to have with our kids.  

Vote for Kirkland's JHS Softball as Team of the Year

The public gets to vote for KING 5's teams and athletes of the year and Kirkland has one in the running!  Give your support to Juanita High School's girls softball team.  As of this writing, we are trailing by just a handful of votes behind Auburn Riverside's volleyball team.  C'monnnnnn Kirkland.  You know we're winners!  Takes 2 seconds (no registration needed) and you can vote once a day until they announce the winner on June 16th.

Vote here and show a local team the love! ~j 

Attention SEAHAWKS fans !!!!


Let's do this!!!!!  Kirkland is ready to show our team the love.

There will be fans, flames, and 12th Man flag rally at Kirkland’s Marina Park, Sat. January 18, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
People formation to shape the number 12; Best dressed fan contest

 “True-blue” (and even fair-weather) Seahawk fans are invited to Kirkland’s Marina Park on Saturday, January 18, 2014, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., for a “12th Man Fan Fair.” The fan fair is in honor of the Seattle Seahawks advancing into the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers to be held on Sunday, January 19, 2014.  Beginning at 3:30 p.m., Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen and fellow city council members will raise a “12th Man” flag to a drum roll by the Seahawks Blue Thunder.  The event will begin at the Plaza of Champions, located at Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive.  Following the raising of the flag, fans are to form the number 12 on the beach for a photograph and video to be shared with media.  Fans can take their picture with Blitz, the official team mascot and with inflatable Seahawks players (a few beers and this could get interesting ;-).  The City will host a bon fire on the beach.  Come dressed in your best Seahawks fan costume to be judged by local officials.  Activities and promotional materials will be provided by Sea Hawkers Booster Club the at the Marina Park pavilion throughout the event.

Kirkland fans are encouraged to share their cheers, fan “selfies,” and pictures of where their “12th Man” flags are displayed on the City’s Explore Kirkland Facebook site:

Kirkland restaurants will be offering food and beverage game-day specials and airing the game on January 19 which starts at 3:30 p.m. (PST). 

Event goers are encouraged to plan for their parking in advance.  For public parking, including the Kirkland Municipal Garage, go to

Columbia Athletic Club: New Aquatic Center Opens 2/11

Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay is excited to announce the completion of their NEW aquatic center, which will be ready for swimmers, splashers and oglers on February 11th.  The much anticipated multi-million dollar project was constructed by Red Hawk Group and includes a 25 yard lap pool, a 17 yard teaching pool for aqua therapy/lessons, and a hot tub.  In addition to the salt water pools, surrounded by white and blue tile work and new high ceilings, there are also four new private family changing stations. 

CACaquaticcenter 001  CACaquaticcenter 006  CACaquaticcenter 010

Above is a rendition shot taken from the southeast corner of the building.  Don't worry, you don't have to wear a speedo like the cartoon man in there.  Below that are some current photos I took as the tiling gets completed and they start preparing to fill the pools with almost 100,000 gallons of water.  The lap pool will be kept at 84 degrees and the teaching pool at 90 degrees.  Dave Hamilton, Manager of the club  (photo) said, "We appreciate everyone's patience through the process.  Not only the members, but the neighbors and others that have been impacted too." 

 Sounds like a great reason to have a party!  Everyone can come check it out (members AND non-members) and celebrate at the grand opening on Feb 18th from 8am-8pm where there will be food, raffles and giveaways. ~j 

Paddleboarding in Kirkland- Be Smart

I'm on the waters of Lake Washington 4-5 times a week and I've been watching you.    And I worry about you.  Really, I do.  I think the SUP (stand-up paddleboard) phenomenon here is fantastic.  It's a great chance to get on the water, work those shoulders/balance/core and take in some beautiful scenery while you are at it.  For those of you that don't know me, I am a boater/waterskiier and I own a SUP too.  I get it.  But here's the problem----when I am boating and you are paddling straight across the middle of the lake, I CANNOT see you (especially at sunset).  You look like a toothpick, which in other circumstances might be a compliment, however here it is not.  I've been taking some photos lately so you can see what I am talking about.  It's like a "Where's Waldo?" photo-shoot..

PaddleboarderInvisiblewarrow  Paddleboardersareinvisiblewarrow  Paddleboardersatskicourse

Maybe I'm getting old. I don't want to lecture, but I do want to make you aware because I know that you feel so tall and obvious standing there on your board..... but you are almost invisible, especially when you are dressed in a black wetsuit.  There are no traffic lanes or speed limits in the open water and often boaters are looking into the sun and have a 30mph wind whipping them in the face (and unfortunately many aren't paying full attention or have a beer in their hand too).  Stay along the shoreline if you can or wear some brightly colored clothing. 

The US Coast Guard now considers a SUP a 'vessel' which means you must have a PFD on board and a sound-producing device (besides your voice).  So now I see people paddling with a vest thrown on top of their boards.  PUT IT ON.  It seems slow and calm and harmless but nobody ever expects an emergency.  "Boats don't have brakes and unconscious people don't float" was one of the notable comments I found on this US Coast Guard Blog about SUP.  A few years ago I gashed my head open with my waterski in a bad fall---it was crystal clear on that day why you always have a driver AND a spotter.  Never thought I would need my third person to help drag me out of the water and adminster first aid that day.  Just like you never think you'd 'need' a lifevest on a paddleboard. 

Paddle-boarding is totally worth trying if you haven't done it. Places like Perfect Wave do rentals by the hour and will get you geared up.  Just be smart- wear your ankle leash, flotation device, a whistle, some bright clothes and stay along the shoreline where you can.

I spoke with Deputy Chris Bedker of the King County Sheriff's Office Marine Rescue & Dive Unit today.  If you are in a designated swimming area, you are not required to have a lifevest  (Houghton Beach, Juanita Beach, Waverly Beach Park). He emphasized that for kids 12 or under you MUST be wearing your PFD. The Deputy also advised that you wear brighter colors and be aware of the weather and water temperature and wear thermal protection accordingly.  The fee for a citation of not having your PFD is $87, and they try give SUP's a break by giving warnings when you don't have your sound device on board.   Enjoy these last weeks of summer........safely!  ~j



Mother's Day Ideas

I know my sister is doing the Kirkland Half Marathon on Sunday 5/13, but I am still deciding if Mother's Day will include sleeping in or not.  Tough choices.  It does sound like a great way to get a day started. Here's the link for all you moms that won't be enjoying breakfast in bed at that time (or those that choose to celebrate in their running shoes).

A few local restaurants are doing something special too.  Check out Purple's Mother's Day menu- they are opening early (10am), featuring sparkling wine and mimosa flights, and of course fun specials for the kids.  Bin on the Lake's new chef, Dylan Giordan, has carefully crafted a Mother’s Day brunch, with unique seasonal offerings for the occasion from 10-2.  Beach Café will offer a  Mother’s Day breakfast buffet in the morning and then brunch buffet until  3 p.m.  Adults are $39 (plus tax and gratuity), and children 5-12 years old are $20. Brix is doing a Mother's Day brunch from 10-2 (call for reservations!) with special scrambles, crepes and delights for the adults and the kids.

I've noticed some good conversation going on about a previous post re: the two new frozen yogurt shops in Juanita Village.  Maybe you should take your mom to both of those on Sunday so you can do a taste test and report back to us with your review.  Cherry de Pon vs. Chilly Wave .  We like them both for different reasons-hopefully there are enough fro-yo eaters in Juanita to keep them both around!

And spoiler alert- LOVED  Happy Hour by Marisa, the new gym in Totem Lake where you can take some killer classes.  Review is coming with all the juicy details- but wanted to share this asap since you will be eating brunch and frozen yogurt with your mom, you should go work it off with her too.  Marisa is offering our readers a "flight of classes" to try out-- for the month of May you can buy 3 classes for $30  (normally $22/ea).  Get in there- you'll be glad you did!

And Happy Day to all of you Mudders out there ;-)

Kirkland Events- Mark Your Calendar!

First things first- grab at least $10 and head down to Simplicity Decor on Weds 4/11 at NOON for the 'cash mob.'  It's a fun and thoughtful way to support local business and this community effort will be the first of its kind in Kirkland.  Find a fun gift for someone and stimulate the local economy while you are at it!

Captain Jack's 8K is Sun 4/15 at 8:30 am at Juanita Beach Park.  Proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Everyone gets a prize!  Free kids dash too.  Register in person at Everyday Athlete.  425-821-4301. 

On Friday 4/20 the band, Wickerman, is going to be rockin' out at the Kirkland Eagles Aerie #2681 at 258 Central Way.  Just $5 at the door is entry/donation to help support "Celebrate Kirkland" which puts on our 4th of July festivities.  Those fireworks aren't cheap.  And notably, the FOE makes some stiff drinks, so you might be seeing fireworks that night anyway.

Canvas Paint & Sip, at 122 Central Way,  is holding a benefit to raise money for the Kirkland Summer Concert Series on Thursday 4/26 7-9:30pm.  For $45 per person,  you will enjoy complimentary appetizers and a wine tasting and will walk out with your own masterpiece and maybe even a door prize (a stay at the Heathman Hotel perhaps??).  Register here or call 425-822-2266.

All out of money to share for this array of good causes? No worries.  Donate your time.  The 7 Hills of Kirkland Bike Event needs lots of volunteers still for 5/28.  Contact Marylue Gutow if you'd like to learn more about what jobs are available (I saw one was to 'chat' with the riders, c'mon, even you can do that!). 425-821-5553.


Baseball's Opening Day Parade

Parade_route_2 Kirkland American Little League will be kicking off it's Opening Day with a parade on Saturday, March 18th at 10am.  They asked Steve to sing the National Anthem, but he's too shy (be thankful).  It starts at Everest Park on 8th St. South and winds through downtown Kirkland to Lee Johnson Field at  Peter Kirk Park on 3rd St.    Be aware of road closures that morning.

Special bonus:  a pic from my old softball career, hehe.  Love that Jersey hair, ladies!  FYI, to my left (I'm 3rd in)is Tammy Trenta who happens to be on The Apprentice right now.  Guess we know who made it big and who didn't.  ;-) ~Janis


**Looked like a big crowd at Lee Johnson Field this morning when I drove by- see pic-Baseballparade