Fairwood Community News







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Event Calendar

Now - February 28
Skål! Scandinavian Spirits
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

January 13, 14
Jack and the Beanstalk
Kirkland Performance Center

January 15-24
Lake Chelan Winterfest
Lake Chelan

January 16
Conconcully Outhouse Races

January 16-17
Bavarian IceFest

January 16-18
Model Railroad Show
Pacific Science Center, Seattle

January 22-24, 29-31
Winter Festival
Seattle Chamber Music Society
Benaroya Hall, Seattle

January 29-30
Winter Indie-Rock Music Festival

February 13-14
Snowshoe Softball Tournament

February 18-28
PDX Jazz Festival
Portland (multiple locations)

February 19-20
Everett Film Festival

February 25-28
Wintergrass Music Festival

February 27
Green River Glass Show & Sale

February 27-28
Kitsap Antique Show

Mystery Weekend

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Fire District December Notes

December 15
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)
Significant November Incidents
November 1: Renton Fire responded to an apartment fire on the 700 block of Harrington Place SE.  Upon arrival it was discovered this was a cooking fire contained in the kitchen.  The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries.

Holiday Tree Safety

Holiday Home Fire Safety Tips

November Fairwood Area Crime Activity and MoreThe map above displays crime activity from November 1-30. Reporting was provided by King County Sheriff and Renton Police.

December 9
Police activity was busy in Fairwood. Many of you have requested specific information about multiple incidents in the same area. That information is included in this report. Please be vigilant and call 911 if you see suspicious activity.

Holiday Package Delivery Thefts Increasing
Of note, neighborhood chatter of local package delivery thefts are on the increase. Neighbors are encouraged to provide an alternate delivery address, such as work or a neighbor, if you are unable to be at home for immediate delivery pickup.

Below is a photo of an individual captured on camera, caught in the act of brazenly stealing a package in the Fairwood Greens neighborhood. Apparently, she was confronted, and the thief "said she thought it was free stuff that she had left out for anyone to take." Thanks to Forest Estates for sharing this information.

Back door break-ins are also being recorded, with many occurring during the morning, daylight hours when many are at work. Common approaches are to ring the doorbell and wait to see if someone is at home. If no one answers, they move to the backyard to gain entry. Although alarms aren't the sole answer to the problem, many attest to using this tool as a deterrent.

All neighbors are encouraged to proactively be on the watch for suspicious activity.

Renton Man Arrested for Covington Murder

December 7
King County Sheriff
An 18 year-old Renton man was arrested Saturday afternoon for a murder that occurred in Covington on November 18 (see story below).

On Saturday afternoon the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC30 team (SWAT) and Sheriff’s detectives served a search warrant on a house in the 200 block of Williams Ave N in Renton.  Detectives also had an arrest warrant for the 18 year-old that lived at that location with a relative.

The suspect was arrested and booked in the King County Jail.  The suspect will have his first appearance at 2:45 pm today, and more information is expected to be released by the King County Prosecutor's Office at that time.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Missing From Local High School List

December 1
This year, no seniors were listed as National Merit Semifinalists for Kentridge and Lindbergh high schools. The list was released September 9 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

For as long as Fairwood Community News has tracked these achievements, Kentridge students have continuously been on the list of National Merit semifinalists. That's not the case this year.

Lindbergh's list has varied each year.

National Merit Scholars are eligible for academic scholarships, most locally awarded by The Boeing Company. This year, local students will miss out on this opportunity.

We reached out to both the Kent School District and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for additional information. The Kent School District did not respond to our requests for feedback on whether this is a trend and reason(s) for this result.

FCN also asked the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for results dating back to 2005 to research whether a trend exists. The organization declined to provide this information, noting that the release of this current list is "only for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the academic achievements of the students," said spokesperson Matt Burdreau.

Neighboring Districts and School Count
How did other local schools and districts do in comparison to ours? The list below provides a quick summary of other school districts' list of National Merit Semifinalists.

Kent School District
Kentridge - 0
Kentwood - 1
Kent Meridian - 0
Kentlake - 0

Renton School District
Lindbergh - 0
Renton - 0
Hazen - 1

Tahoma School District - 1
Issaquah School District - 35
Highline Public Schools - 0
Auburn School District - 1
Federal Way School District - 6
Bellevue School District - 69

No More Bargain Movies, Renton Regal 13 Sold

November 25
If one of your Thanksgiving Day traditions is to head down to the Renton Regal 13 for a bargain movie, you'll need to go elsewhere. The theater has been sold.

Fairwood Community News reader Steven Schwartz provided the tip that this longstanding movie theater, located just north of IKEA, was sold this past September to Richmond, Virginia-based used car dealership CarMax. The owner, Regal Entertainment Group reportedly sold the real estate for $9.25 million, which amounts to about $124 per square foot. The theater opened in 1996.

"I occasionally caught a movie at the Regal East Valley 13, and it was sad to hear that it had closed," said Schwartz.

"The Regal East Valley 13 theater tickets were $3.50 for any movie, any time, but the movies were not first-run movies. They tended to be movies that were recently released on DVD."

This soon-to-be-massive car lot on East Valley Highway now creeps farther south of the group of Renton-area dealerships situated along the Grady Way area. The 12.3-acre lot includes the 74,306-square-foot theatre structure.

Sources say the new owner purchased the site because of the large lot size and location.

Covington Shooting Results in Death

Above shows the approximate location of the death. Citizens are asked to report any and all suspicious activities
in the area to assist the investigation of this case.

November 18
King County Sheriff's Office

At approximately 3:17 am, a woman driving in the area of SE Timberlane Blvd and 185th Ct SE called police and reported a man lying in the street bleeding.  When police arrived, they found the man lying on the side of the road, bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound.  King County Fire responded and pronounced the man dead when resuscitation efforts failed.

Police said a neighbor reported hearing a gunshot shortly before the man was found.  The victim is described as a black male in his 20s.

Detectives have very little information at this time and are asking anyone who may have information on this shooting to call 206-296-3311.   Additionally, detectives are asking anyone who was the victim of any crime near the area last night to call police to file a report.  This includes burglaries, car prowls or suspicious circumstances.

Fairwood Area Crime Report for October

The map above displays crime activity from October 1-31. Reporting was provided by King County Sheriff and Renton Police.

November 9
Police activity was more busy in Fairwood than September (see incident map below). 

Please be vigilant and call 911 if you see suspicious activity.

Kentridge Drama's Fall Offering, 'Addams Family' Runs November 11-21

November 7
Kentridge High School

The Broadway musical The Addams Family will be Kentridge High School's fall production, scheduled to run November 11-21.   

"This musical comedy brings the beloved and bizarre first family of comedy to life, complete with show-stopping musical numbers and plenty of fun," said spokesperson Olivia Torres.

According to Torres, this version comes to life in a new story, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams.

"The magnificently morbid family is put to the test when outsiders come to dinner, hurling them into a night that will change their lives forever," said Torres.

In a prolific career spanning six decades, Charles Addams created several thousand cartoons, sketches and drawings, many of which were published in The New Yorker. But it was his creation of The Addams Family characters that brought him his greatest acclaim. His characters have entertained millions worldwide and served as the inspiration for multiple television series, motion pictures, and KR's musical.

Tickets for The Addams Family are on sale now. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:00 PM and additional 2:00 Matinees on both Saturdays.  Tickets can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com or at the door.  The show will be performed at the Kentridge Performing Arts Center.

Fire District November Notes

November 7
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)
Significant October Incidents
October 4: Renton Fire responded to a float plane accident on Lake Washington.  The accident resulted in no injuries and the occupants made it off the plane safely.

October 18: Renton Fire responded to a building fire on the 1700 block of Talbot Rd. S.  The incident had no injuries and the fire was extinguished and confined to the attic.

October 13: Renton Fire responded to a building fire on the 1400 block of Hillcrest Lane NE.  The fire was extinguished upon arrival by a neighbor.  The resident was transported to the hospital. 

October 23: Renton Fire responded to a fire on the 1300 block of Pierce Place NE.  The cause of the fire was a grease fire on the stove.  The fire was extinguished with no other damage or injuries.

Tips For Winter Weather

November 7
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)
Power outages are a common occurrence in the winter months. With winter coming, everyone is encouraged to “Take Winter by Storm” by getting ready now and staying ready. Go to www.takewinterbystorm.org for ways to prepare your family, home and vehicle for winter and inclement weather.

Winter Preparation Tips
>> Have heating systems checked by a professional.
>> Clean gutters and downspouts.
>> Clean storm drains.
>> Install and/or replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (per the manufacturer’s recommendations).
>> Have chimneys cleaned.
>> Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
>> Disconnect all garden hoses.
>> Insulate exposed plumbing and pipes.
>> Have trees trimmed if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
>> Add flashlights with extra batteries to emergency supplies.
>> Check your disaster supply kits:
Make sure you have extra bottled water, non-perishable food supplies, blankets, first aid kit and food to sustain you and your family for at least three (3) days.  Also remember supplies and food for your pets.

Winter Heating Reminders
Heating your home during the colder months of the year can prove dangerous, if you do not follow a few simple safety precautions.
>> Check baseboard heaters often and remove objects that may have fallen on top of or near the heater.
>> Be sure your space heater has tip-over protection with an automatic shut-off device.
>> Always turn portable heaters off if you leave the room and/or at night when you are asleep.
>> Close the screen and/or doors on your fireplace to protect your home from sparks.
>> Only burn dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or woodstove.  Burning green wood can lead to a buildup of creosote and a possible chimney fire.
>> Clean out ashes when cool and place in a metal container outside of your home and away from other combustibles.

Celebration of Life for Former Mayor set for Saturday

November 6
A public “celebration of life” will be held at the Renton Community Center Saturday, November 7, at 1 pm, in honor of former City of Renton mayor Don Custer, who passed away October 29.  

“Don will be missed by this community,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “He has remained active since serving as mayor, devoting a lot of time to the Renton Historical Society and the Friends of Renton High School alumni association. I will miss his wisdom and his great sense of humor."

Donald Ward Custer was born on November 5, 1935 to Donald N. Custer and Dorothy Thompson Custer. His grandfather Bertram H. Custer was the founder of Custer (later Renton) Hardware.  Don graduated from Renton High School in 1963 and attended the University of Washington, where he graduated in 1957 with a degree in marketing.  He married Loraine T. Rosa in 1960 and they had three children: Rosemarie Custer, Richard Ward Custer, and Timothy Custer.

Don was very active in public service for the City of Renton.  He served as a Renton City Councilmember from 1961 to 1964, after which he became Renton’s youngest mayor at age 28. He served one term.  Under his watch the City moved forward with a 20-year plan for a civic center, a new City Hall, new library, and the start of Carco Theatre and Renton Community Center.  The Custer administration spent $6 million on land acquisition and parks improvement, and upgraded underground infrastructure with storm sewers and utility improvements.

Though he was no longer mayor, Don remained active in Renton public service.  In 1980 and 1982 he ran for state representative but was not elected, and he served as a staff assistant to the General Assembly in 1981 and 1982 and was assistant manager of the King County Real Property Division and the owner of CENTA Corporation.  He was an active volunteer with Friends of Renton High School and the Renton Historical Society, and in retirement he was an instructor in the Continuing Education Department of Highline College.

Maple Valley Four Corners Area Extreme Accident
Suspected Drunk Driver Injures Self, Family of Five

Overturned SUV, carrying a family of five. All were secured in seatbelts and received minor injuries.

Car of driver, suspected of driving while intoxicated. The driver sustained serious injuries.

November 2
King County Sheriff
Last night around 6:30 pm, a 30-year-old Gig Harbor man ran a red light and drove into the rear of an SUV that was carrying a couple and their three children.

The accident occurred near the intersection of SE264th St and Hwy 169, Maple Valley's Four Corners shopping area.  The suspect was driving southbound on SR169 at a high rate of speed.  A witness, who was also southbound and stopped at the red light at SE264th St, said the suspect vehicle drove around her and ran the red light. 

After crossing the intersection, the suspect rear ended the SUV that was also southbound, and pushed the vehicle onto the median causing the vehicle to rollover on its roof and into the northbound lanes.  The SUV was occupied by a man and woman, both 35 from Maple Valley, and their children ages one, four and seven.

The family members had minor injuries and investigators said more serious injuries did not occur because the parents had seatbelts on and the children were properly secured in the SUV.

The man driving the other car received serious injuries, including a head injury, numerous broken bones and possibly internal injuries. He was transported to Harborview with serious injuries. Investigators said alcohol is suspected.

Millions in Illegal Marijuana Plants, Cash, Cars, Weapons Recovered in Local Grow Operation

October 19
City of Renton

Following an anonymous tip, several houses were raided October 14, part of a two month long Renton Police Department investigation into an organized illegal marijuana growing operation.

Over sixty officers from multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies took part in serving the early morning search warrants. 

SWAT and investigative teams searched eight houses in quiet neighborhoods throughout south Seattle and Renton. Renton neighborhoods involved in the raids were Cascade and Skyway.

Inside the homes, Investigators discovered over three thousand marijuana plants, over one hundredand fifty pounds of processed marijuana, sophisticated growing and processing equipment, approximately $440,000 in cash, and a handgun. Eight vehicles were seized including two luxury SUVs. The value of the marijuana alone was estimated to exceed two million dollars.

Several people were detained during the raid and two men, ages 46 and 32, were arrested in connection with running the operation.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Upward Trend for Fairwood Home Values

October 17
By now, all Fairwood area homeowners have received their 2015 property values, mailed by the King County Assessors' Office in August. According to KC Assessor Lloyd Hara's staff, Fairwood residential properties (Area 30) increased 7.3 percent on average.

Just east of the traditional "Fairwood" area, properties increased 11 percent on average. The 11 percent increase begins with the newer Woodside development, extending east and south to Highway 18.

Other neighboring communities include the Highlands (6 percenter) in the Renton School District area, and east of the school lines where the Issaquah School District begins (11 percent). The Benson Hill area shows an increase of 4 percent.

King County noted individual properties vary within that average range.

Additional news from this office is the launch of an interactive online app, LocalScape, enabling users to track area and individual property value changes online, along with a rich landscape of neighborhood data including census, education, permits, and sales. Residents may track property value changes specifically for Area 30 – Fairwood residents by clicking here. Individual property value history is available by selecting the “My Property” tab.

The King County Assessor’s Office annually revalues all properties and conducts a physical inspection of each property once every six years. 

The 2015 property values are set as of January 1, 2015, and assessed at the full market value based on sales of comparable properties in the same area. For more information about property values, contact the Assessor’s Office at 206-296-7300, or email assessor.info@kingcounty.gov.

Property owners have 60 days after the mailing date listed on the property valuation notice to file an appeal of their assessed value with the Board of Appeals/Equalization. The Board is an independent body, separate from the Assessor’s Office, and is comprised of King County residents.

Exemptions for qualified property owners
Some low-income seniors, disabled veterans, and disabled persons retired because of a disability may be eligible for a property tax deferral or exemption. The King County Assessor’s Office encourages those who may qualify to contact their office to determine eligibility.

The Assessor’s Office sets property valuations and administers exemptions. It does not set taxes, and there is not a dollar-to-dollar correlation between your property value increase and future property taxes. King County taxpayers who need advice and assistance with property tax related matters, including appeals, should contact the King County Tax Advisor at 206-477-1060 or by email at taxadvisor@kingcounty.gov

Fairwood Area Crime Report for September

The map above displays crime activity from September 1-30. Reporting was provided by King County Sheriff and Renton Police.

October 16
September police activity was less busy in Fairwood than August (see incident map below). 

Please be vigilant and call 911 if you see suspicious activity.

Fairwood's Stafford to join King County Parks
Citizen Oversight Board

October 3
Thomas Stafford has been nominated by Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn to become a member of the King County Parks Levy Citizen Oversight Board.

“I am delighted that Tom Stafford is excited to serve on the King County Parks citizen oversight board,” Dunn said. “Tom and his family are very passionate about our Park system and I’m confident the residents of our area will be well served by his representation on the board.”

Stafford is a frequent user and is very involved in the stewardship of a large tract of open space owned and managed by King County that abuts his home in the Fairwood community.  Most recently, Stafford and his wife Heather worked with Councilmember Dunn and King County Parks to improve the lighting for users at King County’s Petrovitsky Park, helping to decrease light pollution and lowering energy costs.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve on the Citizen Oversight Board and represent the 9th District,” said Stafford, an Engineering Manager with the Federal Government.  “I look forward to supporting the goals of the board and Parks Department while working collaboratively with each member towards our common objectives and improvement to our County Park system.”

The ordinance that placed the renewal of the King County Parks Levy on the ballot in 2013 included language creating a citizen oversight board to review levy expenditures and ensure transparency for the public. The citizen oversight board includes nine members, one from each King County Council district.

Dunn nominated Stafford to become part of the citizen oversight board. The Executive will review the nomination and send the appointment to the County Council for final confirmation.

Local Fairwood Haggen Store Scheduled to Close

September 29
In a press release issued by Haggen on September 24, the Pacific Northwest Food Chain has announced it will close an additional 37stores in five states. Fairwood's store, previously an Albertsons store, is a part of this group. The Haggen on NE 4th Ave. in the Highlands area, previously a Safeway store, is also scheduled to close.

The Fairwood conversion from Albertsons to Haggen occurred in early June this year, just four months ago. The Highand conversion occurred in February this year.

The chain announced the stores will continue to operate while they begin the process of closing down store over the next 60 days.

The 37 closures are a part of the Chapter 11 process Haggen announced on September 11. In a previous press release, Haggen addressed its reason for the filing.

"Haggen grew from an 18 store regional grocer to 164 stores through the purchase of Albertson’s locations in December 2014. The associated conversion process of the stores made Albertsons cooperation and good faith implementation of the terms of the deal in the Asset Purchase Agreement essential. 

"This did not occur, as set forth in the Company’s recently filed lawsuit against Albertsons, which details a number of Albertsons’ actions, which ultimately led to Haggen’s failure in its efforts to convert newly acquired stores and ultimately resulting in the Chapter 11 filing."

The current announcement summarized its request to the Bankruptcy Court to approve the closure of identified store locations in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Haggen stated that employees will continue to receive their pay and benefits through the normal course of business as previously approved by the court."

On September 1, Haggen announced it had filed a lawsuit against Albertsons Holdings, seeking more than $1 billion in damages.

King County Flood District $400K Grant
For Molasses Creek Pipe Replacement

September 4
King County Communications
A deteriorating pipe that could cause Molasses Creek to flood Fairwood West’s neighborhood park and surrounding areas is one more step closer to being replaced with funding the HOA received from the King County Flood Control District (FCD).

The District’s Board of Supervisors gave its unanimous approval to the project along with other projects throughout the region that focus on both flood prevention and flood mitigation.

“These are the kinds of projects the Flood District grants are intended for,” said Reagan Dunn, chair of the Flood Control District. Dunn represents Fairwood on the FCD.

“Once completed this project will help to protect nearby residents from potential flooding while also helping to reopen portions of the creek to fish habitat,” said Dunn.

The $400,000 will be used to replace a pipe segment owned by the Fairwood West Homeowners Association that conveys Molasses Creek under the HOA’s Park by replacing the pipe with a fish passable culvert. Total pipe failure may cause flooding upstream and sedimentation downstream. With new regulations, fixing the failed pipe without outside assistance would have placed a severe financial hardship on the homeowners of Fairwood West.

“The Board of the Fairwood West Homeowners' Association thanks the King County Flood Control District for their approval of a generous Flood Reduction Fund Grant. A special thank you also goes to Councilmember Reagan Dunn and his office staff whose dedication made this grant a reality,” said HOA President Adrian Ryneveld.

“The grant will enable the removal of the potential threat of flooding by Molasses Creek as it flows through the HOA Park and areas downstream. The cost of this project cannot be shouldered by the limited number of homeowners in Fairwood West alone. This financial help from the King County Flood Control District benefits all those that are in the potential flood zone of Molasses Creek,” said Ryneveld.

A total of $2.8 million in grants were available in 2015 for projects throughout King County. The funds were awarded on a competitive basis by the Flood Control District. Eligible applicants included homeowner associations, private non-profit organizations or associations, schools, special districts, tribes and King County jurisdictions.

Funded projects must be completed within 36 months of receiving funds.



Fairwood Crime Report for August

The map above displays crime activity from August 1-31. Reporting was provided by King County Sheriff and Renton Police.

Fire District September Notes

September 2
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)

Significant August Incidents
August 12: Renton Fire responded to a residential fire at the 1300 block of N. 3rd St.  The fire started in the dryer and spread to clothing on top of the dryer and was put out.  Skyway assisted in extinguishing the fire.  There were no injuries and all residents were safely accounted for.

August 17: Renton Fire responded to a residential fire at the 2300 block of NE 8th St.  The fire started in a shed/playhouse attached to the garage of the residence and was quickly put out.  Bellevue and Tukwila assisted in extinguishing this fire.  There were no injuries due to this fire and all residents were safely accounted for.

August 18: Renton Fire responded to a residential fire at the 3100 block of SE 7th St.  The fire was concentrated to the kitchen and was put out.  Tukwila and Skyway assisted in extinguishing the fire.  There were no injuries and all residents were safely accounted for.

August 19: Renton Fire responded to an apartment fire at the 12200 block of SE Petrovitsky Road.  When Renton Fire arrived, the deck of a 3rd floor unit was fully engulfed in flames.  Tukwila and Maple Valley assisted with extinguishing this fire.  There were no injuries but 35 residents were displaced and provided shelter by the American Red Cross.

Please be vigilant and call 911 if you see suspicious activity. 

Staggered Start Dates for Local School Districts

August 31
Are you still on vacation? Hopefully the kids are all on schedule and have or are ready for the new school year.

For those of you without kids in the school pipeline, note these start dates and please exercise caution while driving to keep all safe.

School District Start Dates
Kent - August 31
Renton - September 2
Tahoma - September 1
Rainier Christian Schools - August 31

Burglar Posing as Firefighter Victimizes Elderly

August 27
King County Sheriff's Office

A 93 year old Enumclaw woman fell victim to a burglary likely involving a man impersonating a wild land firefighter. 

The victim reported on August 25 that some of her property was stolen from her garage on August 24, recalling she had been visited the day before by a Black male wearing yellow work and clothes and carrying a clipboard.  The clothes and fire safety ruses led investigators to believe that the visitor was impersonating as a wild land firefighter.

The man said that he visited her to check on fire hazards inside her home, and she allowed him entry into her house.  He looked around, checked her appliances, and told her everything appeared okay.

The visitor did not enter the garage during the inspection, the location where items were stolen.  King County Sheriffs believe that the man may have acted to distract the victim while one or more accomplices stole items from inside the woman’s garage. 

Residents are encouraged to call 911 if questionable activity or visits occur, including firefighters attempting to complete unscheduled safety checks. 

The Sheriff’s Office has requested the public's help with leads for similar people/activities fitting this incident. To report crime tips, call (206) 296-3311. 

Petrovitsky Park to Receive Lighting Upgrade
Reducing Glare in Fairwood Neighborhoods

August 18
King County Department of Natural Resources

Better visibility is coming to sports fields at King County’s Petrovitsky Park, thanks to an LED lighting upgrade. The upgrade will provide state-of-the-art illumination for field users and less glare for park neighbors.

“By converting to LED lighting, everyone wins,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “This upgrade will bring better visibility for players, less light pollution for neighbors, and cost savings for the public, while helping King County meet its goal to be more sustainable.”

"We are excited about bringing this new technology to ‘Petro Park’ because not only will it mean less shine and reflection from the field lights, there will be energy savings from these fixtures,” said King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, located in Councilmember Dunn’s 9th District.

King County Parks estimates the retrofit will result in a 68 percent reduction in energy use for the lighting system, or about $9,500 in annual savings.

Field to Close August 17-31
The project will require closure of the sports fields Aug. 17-31 as crews install and test the new lights. The fields will be available for “day use only” Aug. 31-Sept. 4 before returning to its regular scheduling.

The lighting will enhance previous upgrades at the park, which included the addition of synthetic fields in 2012.

The project involves replacing the older “Musco” lighting to the latest generation LED lights. The retrofit will also reduce the amount of poles by about half.

Located just north of Petrovitsky Road in the Fairwood area of unincorporated King County, Petrovitsky Park is an 88-acre park with four baseball fields and soccer fields, a playground, and picnic areas.

Fire District August Notes

August 17
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)

Significant July Incidents
July 23, 4:40 am: Renton Fire responded to a commercial building fire on the 900 block of Bronson Way S.  The fire was a large fire which resulted in assistance from multiple jurisdictions including Kent, Tukwila, Skyway, Burien and Maple Valley.  There were no injuries from the fire however; the property was a total loss.

July 22, 5:51 pm: Renton Fire responded to a residential building fire on the 15600 block of 123rd Ave SE.  Upon arrival it was discovered to be small electrical fire.  There were no injuries from the fire and the cause was being investigated.

July 6, 5:32 pm: Renton Fire responded to a brush fire on the 17200 block of 120th Terrace SE with possible danger to a 3 story apartment building.  The brush fire was extinguished and there were no injuries.

July 7, 4:19 am: Renton Fire responded to a residential building fire on the 150 block of Hoquiam Ave NE.  Upon arrival it was discovered residents has already been evacuated from the building and some smoke was seen from the outside of the building.  As the inside of the building was being inspected by fire crews they discovered flooring charred by heat and smoke.  Once the fire was located it was extinguished.  There were no injuries from the fire.

July 1, 12:21 am: Renton Fire responded to a residential fire on the 6600 block of SE 4th Pl.  Upon arrival the flames from the fire were visible in the brush, decking and fence and had spread to an exterior wall and the attic.  The crews were informed this was an unoccupied house.  There were no injuries and the fire was extinguished.

July 12, 4:19 pm: Renton Fire responded to a fire on the 800 block of Houser Way N.  Upon arrival crews discovered this was a cooking fire that was contained to a coffee roasting machine.  The fire was extinguished and there were no injuries.

At The Ridge Theatre Presents 'Annie'

August 3
At the Ridge Theatre (ART) enters its second week of classic musical 'Annie.' The three-week summer production runs through August 15 at Kentridge High School's Performing Arts Center.

See Fairwood Community News' Calendar in the right column for specific dates and times, including matinees and Sunday performances.

The musical is the heartwarming story of a spunky young orphan Annie. The story recounts her journey from a rough life in a New York City orphanage to a glamorous life in the home of a billionaire. 

According to ART's Publicity Coordinator Brittany Todd, "Annie is filled with humor and heart, and features some of Broadway’s most memorable musical numbers, including 'Little Girls,' 'It's the Hard Knock Life,' 'Easy Street' and the legendary anthem of optimism, 'Tomorrow.'" 

"Theatre-goers of all ages will enjoy this rags-to-riches tale, featuring exciting new choreography and unforgettable characters portrayed by talented actors between the ages of 6 and 55, from throughout Washington state," said Todd.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com and at the door day of show.

At the Ridge Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit community theatre dedicated to providing quality musical theatre experiences for our community.  All profits from the production are awarded to the actors in the form of college scholarships. This year, ART is celebrating its 15th year, with over $300,000 in scholarships awarded.

Fire District July Notes

July 21
Renton Fire Department (Also Serves Fire District 40)

Significant Incidents
June 2:
Renton Fire responded to a commercial building fire located on the 600 block of Park Ave.  This fire spread to vehicles in the garage and turned into a dangerous, growing fire.  Due to the complexity and size of the fire, we received automatic aid from the Kent and Bellevue Fire Departments to help extinguish the fire.

June 11: Renton Fire responded to building fire in a one-story house on the 2200 block of High Ave.  The fire started at the electrical connection to the house.  Due to the size of the fire, we received mutual aid from the Bellevue & Tukwila fire departments to help extinguished the fire.

Warm Weather = Open Windows - Be Safe!

Remember Water Safety
According to the WA Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and teens, ages 1 to 17, in our state.  In 2013, there were 103 unintentional drowning deaths to Washington residents of all ages; 13 of these were of children younger than 18 years old.  Again, all were unintentional, which means they are preventable.  Know your surroundings and know how to swim.

Typically hotels/motels do not provide lifeguards, so never leave children unattended.  If you intend to use a pool, you should take a Water Safety Education Class from the Red Cross to prevent drowning to know what to do during an emergency.  Anyone who does not know how to swim or is a weak swimmer should wear a US Coast Guard approved lifejacket, no matter how deep the water.  It only takes 1” of water to drown.

General Water Safety Guidelines:

  • Learn to swim.
  • Take water safety class, learn first aid and CPR.
  • If boating in the state of Washington – you must have a Boater Education Card.
  • ALWAYS supervise children on, in or around water.
  • Do not drink alcohol while swimming or boating.
  • Do not attempt a rescue unless you have specialized training and/or equipment.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and potential water hazards.
  • Pay attention to the weather and tide tables.
  • Know the temperature of the water to prevent hypothermia.

Most boating accidents are caused by the operator, not by the boat or the water environment.  Approximately 80 percent of boating fatalities in the US are drownings, and most would have been prevented if the boater had been wearing a US Coast Guard approved lifejacket.  Because of this, Washington State implemented a new law in 2008 requiring anyone operating a powered watercraft of 15 hp or greater to take a safety education course and obtain a Boater Education Card to operate a boat in Washington. 

For more information on this program you can go to www.boat-ed.com.  Before going on vacation or going to a local lake for a picnic, make sure everyone knows how to be safe in/near the water and pass the information on to other family and friends.

Summer Burn Safety

Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Don't wait for skin to change color or feel uncomfortable before covering up or applying protective lotion. Observe personal time limits for sun exposure.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply after exercise or water play.

Ultraviolet rays penetrate clouds and clothing, and reflect from sand, water, streets,
and patio floors.

Sunscreen is also needed on cloudy days, in shade, and on sensitive skin areas under clothing when sunlight is strong.

For further sun protection, wear a hat, sunglasses, and light-colored clothing.

Sand or asphalt can severely burn your feet. Always bring footwear to the beach.

Use a beach umbrella for extra sun protection.

Set time limits for sun exposure.

Use only charcoal lighter fluid to start charcoal briquettes.

Keep children and pets away from barbecues and camp stoves

Avoid letting children play in close proximity of a campfire

Remember if someone’s clothes catch fire – Stop, Drop and Roll, smother flames with a
coat or blanket and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Wait for the engine of a lawn mower to cool before refueling, never refuel while the engine is hot or running.

Fairwood Greens Holds Community Garage Sale
This Weekend

July 11
One of the largest and oldest established Fairwood neighborhoods is holding its HOA-sponsored community garage sale.

Check out the Fairwood Greens Garage sale, running Friday through Sunday, July 10-12.

Fairwood Greens' main entrance is located north of the Fairwood Greens Golf Couse on the east side of 140th Ave. SE.

At the Ridge Musical Theatre Camp
Enters 14th Season

July 10
Entering its 14th season, At the Ridge Theatre will offer a week-long musical theatre camp, located at Kentridge High School's performing arts center.

Registration is still open for two sessions of camps, divided by age. Cost of the camp is $125.

The Pre-K through Grade 2 camp is set for August 3-7, from 9 a.m. - 12 noon. The Grades 3-6 camp follows the next week from August 10-14, from 9 a.m. - noon.

More information and registration forms can be obtained at www.attheridgetheatre.org.

In addition to the two weeks of camps, At the Ridge Theatre will offer a full production of 'Annie' from July 30-August 15. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. An additional matinee is offered each Saturday at 2 p.m.

Hot Fireworks Shows for the Fourth

July 3
Fantastic Fourth of July fireworks shows are all over the Puget Sound region!
Grab your picnic basket and watch the sky light up at your favorite location.

Haven't decided where to go? We've started a list for you! Have a safe, fantastic Fourth, everyone!

Bellevue Family 4th
Bellevue's Downtown Park

Burien Independence Day Parade
Downtown Burien

Kent's Fourth of July Splash
and Fireworks
Lake Meridian Park

Maple Valley Fourth of July Family Picnic and Fireworks
Lake Wilderness Park

Renton's Fabulous 4th of July
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Freedom Fair & Air Show
Ruston Way, Tacoma

Orcas Island 4th of July
Weekend Celebration

San Juan Island 4th of July Celebration
Friday Harbor

Seafair Summer Fourth
Gas Works Park & Union Park, Seattle

Two Fairwood Neighborhood Sales This Weekend

June 27
You don't have to travel far to check out two neighborhood Fairwood community sales this weekend!

Fairwood West: This established neighborhood is directly west of Fairwood Greens. Access the community from 140th Ave. SE. The sale officially runs from Friday through Sunday.

Maple Ridge Estates. Running this Saturday and Sunday, Maple Ridge Estates is located halfway down the hill on 140th Ave. SE, just south of Fairwood West and south of Maplewood Golf Course.

King County Parks Seeks Volunteers
for Renton Park Clean Up Event this Saturday

June 23
With 200 parks in the King County Park System, volunteers are vital contributors to ensure our parks remain healthy. This Saturday, Fairwood neighbors have an opportunity to continue that work at one of our area's parks.

In addition to removing invasive plants that disrupt a healthy ecosystem, volunteers will receive a mini ecosystem lesson, meet new friends, and get some excellent exercise.

This specific project is to remove the invasive plant English ivy.

The volunteer event is organized by King County's Lina Rose, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Renton Park.

The park borders the south end of the Lindbergh High School campus and directly east of the Renton Park Elementary campus. Volunteers can access the park by parking along the dead end residential street, 130th Ave. SE, and walking to the park entrance at the end of the block (see map - red bullseye).

According to Rose, the "event will begin with a discussion that includes information about King County Parks, the work for the day, why this work is important, and tool use and safety." 

"King County will supply work gloves, a jug of water, light snacks, all instructions and tools.  Young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Any minors attending the event without a parent or legal guardian must also bring a signed youth waiver to event in order to participate," said Rose. 

What to Bring
Rose says events run rain or shine so all are encouraged to arrive prepared for the weather. Currently, the forecast is very warm weather, expected to get as hot as 92 degrees.

Rose recommends volunteers should:

~ Wear clothing that can get dirty.  Jeans or thick pants are ideal; stretchy leggings, shorts or capris are not recommended.

~ Closed –toed shoes are essential.  Sturdy sneakers or hiking boots are ideal

~ Full water bottle

~ Lunch and snacks

For planning purposes, Rose encouraged interested volunteers to contact her in advance so she can provide more details on the project and ensure all have everything needed. Reach Rose at 206-491-5014.

Fairwood Scouts Receive Eagle Award

June 18
by Heather Smith

Three scouts from Fairwood BSA Troop 455 recently received their Eagle Award, the highest rank in Scouting. The new Eagle scouts are Zachary Schlosser, Edson Smith, and Will Ngugi of Renton. The Eagle Court of Honor was held on June 1 at Fairwood Community United Methodist Church.

Zachary Schlosser
Zachary’s Eagle Project was to lay the foundation for the creation of an Outdoor Environmental Center at Academy Schools in Tukwila. He led a group of 30 volunteers over three work sessions, clearing weeds and brush from a hillside behind the school and hauling over a ton of debris to the yard waste recycle station. Paths were forged and small native trees and flowers were then planted.

Zachary’s scouting experience began in first grade as a Tiger Cub with Pack 714, where he earned the Arrow of Light.  He transitioned to Boy Scout Troop 455 where he served as Patrol Leader and Troop Guide and also led a couple of service projects: building of a retaining wall to provide better access to a troop storage area and forming a sandbag volunteer group to help a community threatened by the decaying Green River levees. 

He attended several different summer camps including Camp Meriwether in Oregon, Camp Parsons, Piggot, Hahobas, Black Mountain as well as the National Youth Leadership Training Camp.  

One of the highlights of his scouting career was the 50-Miler he accomplished by canoe at Bowron Lakes, Canada in 2012.  At Academy Schools in Tukwila, Zachary received the most prestigious award given, the Joshua Gooding Award in 2013 and graduated in 2014. 

Zachary is currently is taking time off from school while deciding what he wants to do next. In the meantime, he is working at his family business, Tents and Party Rents in Kent.

Edson Smith
Edson’s Eagle project was the construction of four curved metal/composite benches around the fire pit at the Lake Desire Community Clubhouse in Renton. He led a group of 18 volunteers for a total of 330 hours building and installing the benches as well as painting and other enhancements at the clubhouse.

Edson’s scouting experience began in first grade as a Tiger Cub with Pack 449 where he earned the Arrow of Light.  He transitioned to Troop 449 for a few years, and then transferred to Troop 455 where he served as Senior Patrol Leader. Edson earned a total of 28 merit badges during his scouting career.

He served on the staff at BSA National Youth Leadership Training at Camp Sheppard as the AV Technician.

Other interests are FIRST Robotic,s where he has been active on the Skunk Works Robotics Team for four years. He has also helped coordinate a Scout Robotics merit badge clinic for several years with Skunk Works.

Edson graduated this year from Raisbeck Aviation High School, and plans to study Computer Science at WWU in the fall.

Will Ngugi
Will’s Eagle project was the construction of four wooden and cement benches outside the Lutheran Church of the Cross in Kent.

Will’s scouting experience began in first grade as a Tiger Cub with Pack 714 where he earned the Arrow of Light.  He then transitioned to Troop 455.

Will served on the staff at BSA Camp Parsons as a counselor for several summers and especially enjoyed counseling youth at the Ecology and Craft areas at camp. Other interests are basketball and golf.

Will graduated this year from Kentridge High School, and plans to study at WSU in the fall.

Boys 6th-12th grades are invited to join Boy Scouts. Troops are available in your area. Contact www.seattlebsa.org for more details. 


Fairwood 5K Walk, Health Fair this Saturday

June 12
Saturday morning, June 13, Fairwood neighbors are encouraged to join others in Fairwood's third annual 5K Walk and Health Fair, beginning with registration at 8 a.m. at Fairwood Community United Methodist Church.

The church is located inside Fairwood Greens on SE Fairwood Boulevard, and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

Registration for the 5K is just $15, which also includes a t-shirt. Proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

The 5K walk is just one of several activities that will take place on Saturday, said Karen Hake, unofficial organizer of the event.

Another major activity is a blood drive, organized by the Cascade Blood Bank. The blood drive is set to run from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and blood donors can set up a time by emailing Karen Hake at karen.hake@heart.org or call Cascade Blood Bank at 1.877.24.BLOOD. Neighbors can also just show up to donate.

Fairwood Lions Provide Essential Assistance, Service
in Our Own Backyard

June 10
Some serve in visible, low income neighborhoods and others serve abroad to the poorest of the poor. While many are prompted to serve in more distant areas, Fairwood Lions are called to serve in our own backyard.

Fairwood Lions Club members have generously donated countless hours, some for more than 30 years, to raise funds for individual functional needs such as cornea transplants, eye glasses and hearing aids, guide dogs.

Lions also support neighborhoods, from picking up trash, to adopting a needy family, sponsoring youth baseball, assisting disaster victims in Oso, Washington, and providing food bank donations. 

Phil Johnson's introduction to this group began with a dare.

"For years, a friend, neighbor, and a Lions (member) asked me to attend a Lion meeting.
Finally, on a dare, I attended a meeting, and I have been a member ever since.... I am now 30 years a Lion," said Johnson. "It is rewarding to do something, help someone, be a positive energy.

"We are all volunteers, and 100 percent of our income is donated back to the community," said Johnson.

Reflecting on his response to a simple dare and its impact on his life, Johnson teasingly offered the same dare to Fairwood Community News readers.

"I dare you to attend a meeting. You don't have to join, but you can help," said Johnson. The group welcomes both men and women.

Those interested in giving locally and making new friends are welcome to check out the group at one of their regular meetings, held twice a month.

Fairwood Lions meets the first and third Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are at the second floor banquet room at the Golden Peacock Restaurant, located at the east tip of the main Fairwood shopping centers on Petrovitsky.

Three Fairwood Neighborhood Sales This Weekend

June 5
You don't have to travel far to check out three neighborhood Fairwood community sales this weekend!

Boulevard Lane: It's time for the annual Boulevard Lane Community Garage Sale, June 5 through June 7 (Fri - Sun) from 9am to 5pm.  Many houses throughout the development participate in this popular event, each hosting their own sale!  Maps showing registered participants will be available at the entrance.  This is a FREE event!

Boulevard Lane is located near Fairwood off 192nd Ave., across from St. Stephen the Martyr Church and next to Meeker Middle School. 

Forest Estates: This community's sale runs the same days as Boulevard Lane. East east of Boulevard Lane on 192nd Ave. to check out the deals in Forest Estates.

The Parks: While we don't know all the details, signs are posted at The Parks neighborhood entrance for a community garage sale this weekend. If you're out and about, don't forget to drive by and check it out. The Parks neighborhood is located just east of Northwood Middle School off on Petrovitsky.

If your neighborhood has scheduled an upcoming community sale, please contact us with your information at info@fairwoodcommunitynews.com!

Renton Fire District May Notes

Note: Renton Fire District holds the contract for Fire District 40, serving the greater Fairwood area.

Significant Alarms:

Renton FD responded to a 3-alarm apartment building fire on April 19th at SE 155th Place.

This was a fully involved fire upon arrival and multiple units were dispatched from other agencies such as Kent, Bellevue, Maple Valley, Skyway and Tukwila to assist in extinguishing the fire.  There were no injuries.

Renton FD responded to a house fire on April 24th at 110th Ave SE and SE 181st St. 

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers during Prom and Graduation

While spring is the time for students to celebrate prom and graduation, it is also the time when car crashes kill more teens than any other time of year.

Alcohol Influence

  • Three out of every 10 high school students reported riding in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking.
  • Three out of four teens say their parents are the main influence on whether or not they drink alcohol.
  • Each year teens lose their lives to injuries associated with alcohol and motor vehicle crashes.  Alcohol-related injuries claim the lives of more than 5,000 teens every year.


  • 49% of teens reported that they have IM/texted while driving.
  • Remind teens to silence their cell phones because talking on a cell phone drastically reduces a person’s reaction time.

Experience Level

  • Inexperienced drivers are twice as likely to crash at night (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
  • Speeding accounts for 44 % of fatalities among 15 to 20-year-olds.


  • Remember to Always Buckle Up.  Seatbelts lower the risk of dying in a car crash by 45%.  Enter into a contract with your teenager that both you and they will always wear seatbelts whenever inside a passenger vehicle

Error in Fairwood 'Abduction' Rumor
Accurate Label: Failed Teen 'Luring' Near Northwood

May 13
A story of a rumored failed abduction of a Northwood Middle School student has been downgraded by King County Sheriff's office.

Concerned Fairwood neighbors originally circulated information about a possible abduction of a 14-year-old girl at around 3:30 p.m on Monday, May 11.

The subject was described as a white male with brown hair, driving a tan truck.

In an effort to communicate an accurate account of the incident, Fairwood Community News asked King County Sheriff's Media Relations Officer Sergeant Stan Seo to confirm the details of this attempt.

"To be clear, there was no abduction attempt.  This was a situation where the male was asking the 14-year-old if they wanted a ride," said Seo.

The male was described a being about 16 years old with brown hair. His efforts were thwarted when a citizen successfully "scared off" the suspect, according to Seo.

The word Seo used was "luring," a more accurate description of the situation. The incident occurred near the 18100 block of 172nd Ave. SE, just north of Northwood Middle School.

Seo also noted that the Sheriff's office has seen no patterns of this type of behavior in the area over the last six months, so neighbors are encouraged to continue to respond as they have in the past.

All are urged to report suspicious activities to 9-1-1.

We also want to thank the diligent citizen who scared off the teen.

Fairwood Town Hall: Home Values Up Over $50K

Photo: King County

May 6
A full house at last night's Town Hall meeting at Ridgewood Elementary included reports from King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, King County Sheriff John Urquhart, and Chief of Operations Rhonda Berry.

The King County's Assessor's office also shared good news about increased home values for the area. Over the past year, median home values increased from $260K to $313K.

Fairwood Scholars Receive
National Merit Scholarship Corporate Awards

May 4
National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released the names of the first group of winners in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors
provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, who are
residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single
payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.


Student School Awarding Company Career Goal
Kelson Kaiser Kentridge Boeing Engineering
Raymond Tat Kentridge Boeing Physics
Lucille Tibbetts Tahoma Boeing Biomedicine



Cat Burglars from Kent, Renton caught in Newcastle

Newcastle and King County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two adult males from Kent and two juvenile males from Renton for residential burglary. All were taken into custody and booked into jail.

At about 1:45 a.m. on Sunday April 26, deputies responded to a residential neighborhood in Newcastle at the 11400 block of SE 83rd Street and found a car occupied by four young males.  A subsequent search in the area led to the discovery of a home burglary.

Removing an open, second floor window, the suspects allegedly burglarized the home while the family slept inside. The suspect car was impounded and a search warrant will be served to recover the family's stolen property.

Newcastle detectives are investigating if these same suspects are connected to other cat burglaries in Newcastle and Renton.

With the warmer weather, residents are encouraged to lock windows and doors and report suspicious activities, people, and cars in their neighborhoods.

Kentridge's 'Bring It On: The Musical' Opens April 29

April 27
Kentridge High School's award-winning drama program opens this week with its spring performance of "Bring It On: The Musical" at its performing arts center.

The show explores the challenges and unexpended friendships through the extreme competition of cheerleading and promises to make you laugh, cry, and cheer with explosive dancing and stunting.

According to KR's spokesperson Cyndy Okawara, the show forces one to question perceptions of other people, whether you are living your life to the fullest, and who you truly are. Okawara noted the musical addresses issues of stereotyping, discrimination, and disparity in socioeconomic class. Additional topics explored include the definition of winning, the importance of living in the moment, and how we can better ourselves by learning from our mistakes.

"Through 'Bring It On: the Musical,' Kentridge Players address issues of stereotyping, discrimination, and disparity in socioeconomic class, as well as the definition of winning, the importance of living in the moment, and how we can better ourselves by learning from our mistakes," said Okawara.

“The themes addressed through 'Bring It On' are so relevant to today’s time and really have the power to make an impact on the community. It is definitely not your average musical,” said KR Senior Emi Okawara.

"Bring It On: The Musical" runs April 29-May 9, with performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. Additional matinee performances are offered on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.

Ticket information can be found on the Kentridge website, or at showtix4u.com.

KC Responds to McGarvey Park Harvest Concerns

April 19
Fairwood area residents recently expressed strong concerns about a number of items related to the upcoming plans to harvest a significant number of alder and maple trees in the McGarvey Park area. Fairwood Community News also wanted a better understanding of potential impacts, so we asked King County to respond to questions covering five areas about this program.

Below are responses by Kelly Heintz, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks spokesperson. Of note, community concerns were heard, and out of those discussions, King County has made a number of changes to the plan, including a harvest reduction of over half the number of acres.

To review a larger image of the harvest area, click the thumbnail image. King County's answers to our questions follow.

King County (KCDNRP): Thank you so much for your email explaining concerns of the Fairwood Community and for publishing my responses to help distribute information about the planned forest harvest at McGarvey Park Open Space.  King County is planning the forest harvest at McGarvey Park to increase biodiversity and improve forest health.  The harvest will accelerate development of a conifer forest and will improve wildlife habitat. 

1. Quantity
Fairwood Community News (FCN): We have heard that King County will be selling logging rights to all alder and maple trees bordered by Woodside Drive and 174th Ave. NE.  How many trees does this involve in each of the impacted areas?  What is the anticipated revenue for the sale of these trees?  What is the anticipated cost for this reforestation work?  Your stewardship plan identifies the mix of alder and maple trees as an inferior mix.  What are the density goals for trees per acre, and how will you ensure this goal will be maintained?  Please provide the mix of trees you will add to support the health of this area.

KCDNRP: The King County Parks Division forest harvest plan refers to the area bordered by Woodside Drive and 174th as Unit 3.  The original size of this area was 27 acres.  Based on public input we have reduced it to 13 acres and that will be at least 100 feet north of the trail that connects the Woodside community to 174th Ave SE.  The attached map shows the new area.  The plan includes removal of approximately 800 trees in Unit 1, 280 trees in Unit 2 and 450 in Unit 3.  Our preliminary estimate of revenue based on current log prices is $55,000.  All costs have been accounted for in the estimate of revenue. 

There are currently approximately 100 trees per acre.  The plan is to cut approximately 30 trees per acre which will result in a residual of 70 trees per acre.  The contract will include cutting guidelines to ensure this goal is met.  The King County forester will have a meeting with the contractor prior to the harvest to ensure they understand the density goal.  The King County forester will also establish plots within the units that allow him to accurately track numbers of trees that are taken and retained.  The forester spends a lot of time with the contractor to ensure all instructions are followed.  Once the project is underway the forester visits the site frequently to ensure the contract is being followed correctly.  After the harvest King County will plant a mixture of Douglas-fir, western red cedar, white pine, and grand fir at an average density of 250 trees per acre. 

2. Aesthetics
If logging will occur, please describe how this removal impacts the aesthetic and safety concerns of the community as logging typically tends to be extremely unsightly.  Additionally, tall trees serve as a wind buffer when grouped. What you are doing to ensure the quality of life will remain the same?

KCDNRP: The King County Parks Division has revised Unit 3 as described above to address community concerns about aesthetics and safety.  Most of the logging will occur on the north end of the property near the power lines that already have a significant aesthetic impact.  Signs will be posted at critical points along the roads and trails approximately 2 weeks before the harvest begins.  In addition, we will post signs indicating that trails leading to and within the harvest area are closed during the harvest.  The harvest plan is to retain 2/3 of the existing trees and we do not anticipate significant impacts from wind.  I have attached a map that shows the location of the harvest units and a smaller Unit 3 which excludes the trail.

3. Schedule
Has King County established a schedule for tree removal that is sensitive to the quality of life of the neighborhoods [number of days, start/completion dates, hours of operation (noise & traffic), etc.]?  Please provide those details.

KCDNRP: King County understands the impacts of forestry on neighborhoods and will do everything we can to reduce those impacts.  We want to limit the hours of operation to reduce impacts but also keep the project duration short.  Our plan is to limit hours of operation to week days from 7am to 5pm. 

4. Lessons Learned
Concerns exist because of previous Peat Bog removal work by King County, with runoff adversely impacting Lake Desire.  Second, this work deforestation work has been completed in several other areas owned by King County.  What lessons were learned that will be applied to this effort?  Please provide information on how you will mitigate risks to ensure impacts will be negligible.  

KCDNRP: The currently planned harvest is different from the previous one in that is contains a lower percentage of dying alder and poor quality maple.  This will result in a higher percentage of the trees being retained compared to the harvest that was done in 2012.  Also, we will change the way the contractor handles the material left over from the logging.  We will ensure the contractor scatters any remaining logs and debris over the area rather than leaving it in a pile.   

5. Sensitve Areas
Your stewardship plan identifies this parcel contains “King County Sensitive Areas,” including coal mine hazards, erosion hazards, landslide hazards, and wetlands.  Please explain the mitigation measures you will implement to protect this area. 

KCDNRP: The proposed forest practice is regulated by Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR).   WA-DNR forest practice rules cover all of the critical areas you mentioned except for coal mine hazards.  Unit 3 and a portion of the haul road leading to it is the only unit mapped as coal mine hazard.  In our field work to date we have not noticed any evidence of coal mines.  If we find any we will mark it as an area to be avoided by the contractor.  In the 2012 harvest we did find one area that could have been a coal mine which we marked and avoided.

The unit boundaries will be flagged with pink and black surveyors tape.  We have configured the units to avoid impacting erosion hazards, landslide hazards, streams, and wetlands based on the WA-DNR forest practice rules.  A King County archeologist is assessing the cultural resources of the harvest area in accordance with federal, state and county regulations.

Thank you again for your thoughtful questions. 

Phone Activity While Driving Results in Senseless Death, Serious Injuries Near Lake Youngs

April 14
King County Sheriff’s Office investigators suspect distracted driving is responsible for a fatal collision last night in unincorporated Kent.  It is believed the driver looked down at his phone
as his vehicle drifted in to oncoming traffic.

King County Sheriff’s Office urges drivers to minimize distractions while driving, as this sad incident reminds us of the potential cost.  No text message, phone call, or social media
update is worth the damage done by taking your eyes off the road.

The head on collision occurred just before 8 pm on the 20200 block of 148 Ave SE, the road that borders the west side of Lake Youngs. A Ford sedan crossed the center line and collided with a Honda Civic approaching from the opposite direction. 

The three occupants of the Honda were all seriously injured. The adult female driver died on scene, and two passengers were transported to Harborview Medical Center.  The 25 year old male driver of the Ford, who investigators believe took his eyes off the road to look down at his phone, had no reported injury.

King County Sheriff’s Office Major Accident Response and Reconstruction Detectives are investigating.  No arrest has been made at this time.

Renton Fire District April Notes

Note: Renton Fire District holds the contract for Fire District 40, serving the greater Fairwood area.

Barbeque Safety/Outdoor Burning Regulations
Spring is finally here and hopefully with warmer weather.  People will be thinking about getting outside to clean up their yards and begin preparations for those enjoyable backyard barbeques.  The list below includes tips to assist in keeping all safe this season.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors; never inside a home, tent, vehicle or any other enclosed area.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Reduce unintentional fire risk by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill
    and lower trays.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Charcoal Grill Safety

  • When using a starter fluid, use only starter fluids specifically made for charcoal fires.
  • Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely; then dispose the coals
    in a metal container.

Gas Grill Safety

  • Inspect the cylinder of the propane tank for bulges, dents, gouges, corrosion, leaks or evidence of extreme rusting. Replace if necessary.
  • Examine and replace any hoses that are brittle, have leaks, holes, cracks or sharp bends.
  • Keep propane tanks upright; move gas hoses away from dripping grease
    and hot surfaces.
  • Never use cigarettes, lighters or matches near a gas grill. 
  • Never try to remove the valve from a propane tank.
  • Always close the tank valve when finished using.
  • Never bring your propane tank indoors.
  • Never store spare gas containers under or near your grill.
  • Don't store other flammable liquids, such as gasoline, near propane tanks.
  • Never dispose of a propane tank by throwing it in the trash.

Outdoor Burning Regulations

  • Outdoor burning is only allowed for a limited religious or ceremonial event, cooking, patio fireplaces, and charcoal and gas barbecues.
  • Burning debris is not allowed.
  • Never burn during a burn ban.
  • Burn only charcoal, dried fire wood or manufactured fire logs

Burn Ban Info

  • Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at 206-343-8800 or www.pscleanair.org
  • Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-323-2876

Patio Fireplace

  • Commercial patio fireplace is allowed.
  • Follow the manufacture recommendations.
  • Unit must be 15 feet from structures or combustibles.

Significant Alarms

  • March 14, 2015, 11:36 am: Renton Fire responded to a commercial fire at 16700 block of 174th Ave SE.  Upon investigation of the scene it was determined that the smoke was caused by a short circuit and melting of some electrical wiring.  No fire had spread and all affected rooms were ventilated.
  • March 5, 2015, 9:14 pm: Renton Fire responded to a two-vehicle, head-on accident with injuries at the 18400 block of SE Petrovitsky Road.  Injured people were appropriately triaged at the scene and transported to the hospital for treatment.

Detectives find fugitive hiding under house

March 30
Last Saturday, King County Sheriff’s Office detectives found a wanted man hiding in a crawlspace under a house in unincorporated Kent.  The 50 year old Auburn man, wanted for trafficking in stolen property, spent seven hours in the fetal position hoping the police wouldn’t find him. 

On Saturday afternoon, detectives applied for a warrant to search the house.  These detectives were also investigating possible stolen property at the vacant house near the raceway areas south of Covington. While the warrant application was being written and reviewed, police remained at the house. After about seven hours, the warrant was granted and detectives began searching. 

When detectives checked the crawlspace under the house, they located the wanted subject curled up underneath the far side of the house.  He had been under the house since police first arrived in the afternoon.  He was brought out of the crawlspace and arrested for a $20,000 King County Superior Court warrant.

The male was the same that had previously eluded arrest from members of the KCSO TAC 30 Unit (SWAT) on Wednesday at a house in the same neighborhood.  He was booked in to King County Jail late Saturday night.

Fairwood Neighborhoods Receive King County Grants

March 27
Three Fairwood area communities were recently awarded grants to fund community projects focused on connecting communities throughout unincorporated King County. The following neighborhoods received 2015 grants from the Community Service Area Program:

Fairwood Greens HOA - Neighborhood Day Event ($1,500)
Lake Desire Community Club - Chairs for Community Events ($500)
Woodside HOA - National Night Out Event ($1,000)

King County awarded a total of 36 grants to support activities in unincorporated areas. Grants sizes can be as large as $5,000, for a total of $60,000 awarded each year. A total of 55 applications were received by the county.

Both Fairwood Greens HOA and Woodside HOA received grants the previous year for their neighborhoods, totaling $4,500. A total of 27 grants were awarded in 2014.

The grants offer residents in the county’s seven Community Service Areas a chance to participate and be more connected in their unincorporated area communities. Activities must be accessible to all residents regardless of race, income, or language spoken.

King County typically solicits for applications during the final quarter of each calendar year, and applications are due early December for the next year's awards.

Car Prowlers Target Trovitsky Park

March 18
A Fairwood neighbor recently reported car prowling activity in the Trovitsky Park neighborhood early March 14.

Two male prowlers were described as mid-to-late 20s, caucasian, height around 5'10 to six feet, slim, and both carried shoulder bags.

Another neighbor noted they parked in the neighborhood early, around 4 a.m., and methodically walked the complete block, checking each vehicle. This activity took about 30 minutes.

Apparently, two years ago, very similar activity occurred during similar conditions in the same neighborhood. At that time, a vehicle was stolen. A neighbor noted that the weather was also the same, rainy, and that person speculated the noise from rain could have been used to diffuse noise and remove scent trails associated with prowling activities.

To better protect our neighborhoods, all Fairwood neighbors are encouraged to remove all valuables from sight in vehicles, lock all doors, turn on and leave on porch lights, notice all unusual neighborhood activities, and call 9-1-1 for assistance.

McCarvey Park Public Meeting set for March 16

March 15
This summer, King County will harvest 71 acres of forest in McGarvey Park Natural Area as part of the 2011 McGarvey Park Forest Stewardship Plan.

The goals of this harvest include:
 Restore 71 acres of forest - See map
 Harvest dying and poor quality hardwoods
 Retain all existing conifers
 Plant conifers following harvest
 Retain wildlife habitat snags
 Protect streams and wetlands

King County Forestry and Parks employees are hosting a public meeting at Northwood Middle School at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 16 to discuss the proposed forest restoration activities, and to answer any questions.

The map below shows areas where the harvest is planned. Those identified areas are highlighted in yellow.

The McGarvey Park Open Space Forest Stewardship Plan and answers to frequently asked questions are available by CLICKING HERE.

For information contacct Kelly Heintz at 206-477-6478, kelly.heintz@kingcounty.gov.

Northwest Trail Runs Tackles
Cedar Mountain Trail Run

March 15
This past Saturday morning, Northwest running group, Northwest Trail Runs, sponsored both five and 10-mile trail runs in Fairwood's back yard at the Cedar Mountain Trail.

The group organizes trail run events for the runner in mind, often within 50 miles of Seattle, notes their website.

Participants pay an entry fee for each event to cover costs.

For the Cedar Mountain Trail run, participants enjoyed a clearly marked trail and etiquette tips for respecting others using the trail during the event.

Brian Abrams was the overall winner for the five mile run, and Michael Smith was the

overall winner for the 10 mile race.

Past run locations include the Redmond Watershed, Whidbey Island's Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Run, and Kirkland's Bridle Trails. Future runs include a trip to Eastern Washington for the Rock Creek Ramble near Sprague Lake, the Spring Eagle Trail Run in Sammamish, and the Tenaway Trail Run near Cle Elum.

For more information, see www.nwtrailruns.com.

Man Arrested, Lured Meeker Student on Facebook

February 26
On Tuesday, King County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a 35-year-old Seattle man for allegedly kidnapping a 12-year-old girl from her Kent school after luring her through communication on Facebook.

The student was located in Bremerton by police the same day she was taken from school.  Detectives from the KCSO Special Assault Unit began investigating, eventually identifying the suspect and communicating with him through a false Facebook account. 

On January 30, the suspect drove his van to Meeker Middle School in Renton and messaged the student, who came out and got in the van with the suspect.  Shortly after school was over, the student’s mother reported her missing. 

The student was located about five hours later in Bremerton at a friend’s house.  She was treated at a local hospital for possible sexual assault.

Detectives using Facebook to contact the suspect, posed as a 14-year-old girl and got him to agree to give the supposed girl a phone and computer.  The suspect agreed to meet at a library in Renton, where detectives arrested him.

The suspect was booked at King County Jail for second-degree kidnapping and commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Fire District February Notes

February 14, Renton Fire Department

February is Renton Heart Month

February is Renton Heart Month and an important time for everyone to learn more about their own cardiovascular health and the benefits of prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease. Renton Heart Month provides people with the tools and knowledge they need to take the next step toward better health and a longer life. Renton Heart month is important because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

During the month firefighters will be out in the community at many locations providing free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings.

Good news - the chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced.  Steps to take include developing good eating habits, being physically active - a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, taking advantage of preventive screenings, and working with health care professionals about other ways to reduce risks.

Warning signs of a heart attack include discomfort in the chest and other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Warning signs of a stroke include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; and severe headache with no known cause.

Learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED)

Significant Incidents

On January 28 at 11:52 pm, Renton Fire was dispatched to a three-story structure fire on 140th Ave SE.  Upon arrival, a fully involved fire was already happening.  Firefighters found that the house was abandoned, and the fire was caused by a mattress being ignited on the second floor of the house.  Because of this cause, the incident is being treated as an arson fire.  Two nearby, abandoned houses have also had arson fires.   The fire was contained and extinguished without further damage to other properties.

KC Sheriff offers tips on mail theft

Shown above, more than 1,000 pieces of stolen mail were recovered during the month of December.

January 11, 2015
The King County Sheriff's office reported an increase in mail thefts, with 68 reports in a recent 14 week period. Reasons for this uptick are unclear.

Detectives have arrested several suspects, but mail boxes continue to be an easy target of for thieves.

"Suspects are looking for mail that contains items they can turn around quickly, such as gift cards and/or cash. If they find checks, they’re washing them, making them out to themselves and changing the amounts," said KC Sheriff's Sergeant DB Gates.

While the thefts happen at all hours of the day, most occur during two different time periods: noon to 2 PM, and midnight to 2 AM.

Gates noted suspects readily target traditional mailboxes, but locking mailboxes are also accessed. Thieves pry open locked boxes and have even used a torch on the hinges banks of mailboxes found in many housing developments.

"To protect yourself from these thefts, make it a habit to collect your mail every day. Don’t ever leave your mail in the box overnight. Also, consider buying a locking mailbox.

"If you’re going on vacation, either arrange for a neighbor to collect your mail or ask the post office to hold your mail until you return. When sending mail, don’t place it out for your mail carrier; drop it off at the post office. Remember, that red flag is a notice to everyone that there is mail in the box," said Gates.

Most importantly, Gates said local neighbors are the experts for knowing neighborhood suspicious activity.

When suspect activity occurs, all are urged to call police if someone is spending time at or near mailboxes or following mail delivery.

"Several arrests of mail thieves have happened because citizens called about something they saw that just didn’t seem right," said Gates.


From the Community

"The Lake Desire Community Club is appreciative of having a place on the website to post our community updates.  It is great to have our local Fairwood community information one click away.  Thanks for all of your hard work on this website!"

- Heather Smith
Lake Desire Community Club