Just saw this letter from the City Manager's office I thought you might be interested in...huh...
April 2, 2013
Important 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems strange to breathe the word 'summer' in January, but the Kirkland Summer Concert volunteers are working hard to firm up the program for us now, so that we can enjoy the shows when the sun (hopefully) returns. The concerts are paid for entirely through sponsorships and donations and sponsors are needed to support the 2013 series. As a sponsor, you receive valuable print and media publicity, and the opportunity to set up a table at the events. And, of course, a good feeling in your heart knowing that so many Kirklanders will be thankful for your generosity.
The Kirkland Summer Concerts recently won the "Best of 2012" Award from Seattle Magazine for "Best Live Music Venue/Nightlife in Kirkland." This past summer marked 35 years of free community concerts at Marina Park. The lineup for 2013 will be announced soon (perhaps after you decide to sponsor?)...Thursday evening concerts will feature a variety of blues, swing, classic rock, Latin, and reggae bands. Tuesday morning concerts will MOVE to Juanita Beach Park, which has ample onsite parking, a large beach and playground, and easy access to Juanita Village.
It's not often you hear a Chicago accent in Seattle but Caren Shepsky is the real deal. And as a recent graduate of Hot Dog University, she is serious about her dogs. Caren's Chicago Grill is the little green house at Houghton Beach Park (used to be Agua Verde, 5811 Lake Wa Blvd) where she opened in mid-April. She's working lots of hours to bring you the real Vienna beef dogs (made from bull meat) and neon green relish that mid-westerners can't live without.
I really like this lady- she's enthusiastic about being here and even after being a real estate broker and retiring, she confessed, "I always wanted to open a hot dog stand!" So here she is- and the least you can do is go visit her and order up a few dogs for the fam. You can get a Chicago Dog, a Cheesy Dog, Seattle Dog, Matty Dog or even polish sausage or a vegan dog. Caren also has paninis, sandwiches, nachos, fries, snacks, beverages and frozen treats (do I feel tingling down my left arm?). With the kids play area behind her, she of course also has a children's menu (nuggets/grilled cheese/dogs/pizza) and sells buckets, bubbles, SPF too. Most everything on the entire menu is $4-8. Hours are generally 11-7:30 "everyday it's sunny." Tell Caren I said hi. Love that accent. Welcome to Kirkland. ~j
Kirkland needs your vote! We are a finalist in PetSafe's National Dog Park Contest, with the contest winner receiving $100,000 to build their dog park. The City of Kirkland and Kirkland Off-Leash Group (KDOG.org) worked together on a video for the semi-finals for this contest, and then became one of just 15 cities in the country to make it to the finals. You can vote every day until August 3rd for Kirkland at www.barkforyourpark.com & at PetSafe's Facebook Page. You'll also be able to view Kirkland's darling video submission there with dog, Lucky, visiting Kirkland parks and businesses, and even talking to the mayor. Kirkland's Off-Leash Dog Group has an approved park site for the dog park, but is building their park without any City funding. Please help them by barking for Kirkland by voting each day until August 3rd. For more information about the dog park and park sponsorships, please go to www.kdog.org. The winner gets announced on Aug 5th- GO KIRKLAND!!!
I did a double-take driving past Peter Kirk Park today when I saw a cyclone fence surrounding the play area in shambles. A quick call to the parks dept revealed that the playground is being refurbished. Recycling started today and it is expected to take three weeks. Since the previous structure was 14 years old and consistently needed new parts to keep it safe, the Parks Board chose PK park as the recipient of approx $60K from the CIP (Capital Improvements Plan) budget. Each year CIP funds, which can only be used for infrastructure, go towards improving a local playground. Looks like the kids of Kirkland are in for some new fun this spring! ~j
Be sure your kids take their 'potty' break before heading out to the parks this season. Due to budget cuts, ALL honeybuckets have been removed and the following neighborhood parks have closed their restrooms: North Kirkland Community Center (my kids call this the "Train Park"), Phyllis Needy Park (aka Houghton's Tot Lot), and South Rose Hill Park.
That's not all folks...no garbage cans in neighborhood parks either. So be sure to keep our parks tidy and still pick up after yourselves. Or don't bring food or drink to the parks and then you won't have to clean up or go to the bathroom. ~j
Kirkland Parks is mixing it up for us a bit this summer by allowing a few local businesses to have concession stands in the parks. Keep an eye out this weekfor the Market Street Cafe trailer at Marina Park and Jimmy's on Houghton (owned by St. James Espresso) at Houghton Beach Park. I love this idea! Often in the summer we end up on these beaches for hours in the sun and have to take a break to search for food. This year the food is coming to us!
Market Street Cafe, whose main location is just up the street from Marina Park at 609 Market St, will be offering more 'park-ready' foods than their upscale restaurant. Here's a sneak peak at the menu where you'll find salads, kabobs and kid-friendly snacks. They will be located over by the Argosy ticket stand (south of the restrooms)--to the left is a photo of their future spot. Expect to find them seven days a week. This will really come in handy during those concerts in the park which start on July 8th, btw. Or you could dock your boat at the Marina to stop for a quick bite to go.
Jimmy's on Houghton, whose mother-ship is St. James Espresso at 355 Kirkland Ave, will also be opened 7 days a week during daylight hours. You'll find them right across from Kidd Valley in the multi-purpose building in Houghton Beach Park. Check out the rendition of their new sign (left). The menu is still being finalized, but you should be looking for lots of espresso drinks, blended drinks, frozen treats, baked goods, wraps/kids sandwiches, soup, salads, and don't forget the dog treats! You can even use your pre-paid St. James cards at this location too.
Sounds like spending even more time in our parks this summer just got easier. Once my kids spy these stands there will be no going home. :-) j
Seems like any time I'm in North Kirkland and looking for a park to run the kids, I end up heading back to the usual suspects of the downtown Kirkland area. Then I discovered 132nd Square Park sitting on the corner of NE 132nd St and 132nd Ave NE (why do we use numbers as all the streets around here? That's crazy). You enter the park from NE 132nd Street.
This park is GIANT. Baseball fields, soccer fields, plenty of parking, walkways, picnic benches, bathrooms, lots of grass and brand new play structures for the little people. There are plenty of big trees so you can choose whether you prefer the shade or sunshine. SUNSHINE?! Huh? There are two play structures, one geared towards ages 3-5 and the other bigger one is for ages 5-12. Of course, my 2 year old wants to play on the big one, so you need to keep a close eye here b/c it's really designed for the bigger kids. There's one part that looks like a giant rolling pin that even I thought looked like fun. I can do this, I thought, in a gerbil-on-a-wheel sort of way. After multiple attempts (you didn't see me did you?) I cannot recommend that wheel for 35 year olds.
Anyway- you should check this one out. Many improvements were recently made in a collaboration between the Totem Lake Neighborhood Association, King County Parks and the North County Parks Coalition. Bonus: the play structures have been pretty empty each time we're there, so you can get the place to yourself. It's expansive with a good feel, and it's all nicely tucked far away from the roadways. If the parks dept would put a trash can over near the entry/exit to the park (by the bathrooms) it would be almost perfect! ~Janis