2014Spring-Bookmark-BACK2x8Advertiser Just Between Friends is coming to the former Staples store location in Burien with a 4-day only sales event from April 24 – 27 sure to please thrifty families all around the South King County area.

Here is more information in their own words:

April 24 – 27 at 14907 4th Ave SW, Burien ***NEW Location***
(we’re adding one more shopping day!) located in the former Staples Store at Burien Town Plaza

Public Shopping Hours:

  • Thursday, April 24 – 9:00am to 2:00pm – EARLY BIRD SHOPPING – $5.00 Admission
  • Thursday, April 24 – 2:00pm to 7:00pm – FREE Admission
  • Friday, April 25 – 9:00am to 7:00pm – FREE Admission
  • Saturday, April 26 – 9:00am to 7:00pm – FREE Admission
  • Sunday, April 27 – 9:00am to 3:00pm – FREE Admission – DISCOUNT DAY*

Many items are half price on Sunday only!

For those unfamiliar with their unique service, here is some information from their national website:

Helping families and communities across the country save money and make money while providing for their families is what drives Just Between Friends. Even from its small beginnings as a living room sale back in 1997, local families brought items to sell, while other families were able to purchase items they needed. In the years since we began, the economy has brought challenges which have left some struggling to make ends meet. We are so blessed to hear story after story about how JBF has helped make that happen—giving families a way to provide quality items at bargain prices for their kids. And for those that sell their items, a sales event can make the difference in being able to cover their bills.

More info on the sales event here: http://www.seattle.jbfsale.com/homeView.jsp

by Marine View Law & Escrow

DID YOU KNOW…

…that Marine View Law & Escrow offers Title and Escrow Services along with free home warranties?

At the office of Marine View Law & Escrow, we have the skill and experience to insure successful residential and commercial real estate closings. Our attorneys are licensed real estate brokers in the state of Washington and have a comprehensive knowledge of the issues that arise in real estate transactions.

Once you have a signed a purchase agreement, we will open escrow and prepare to close the sale. We will carefully examine and address all potential title issues, liens or encumbrances, in order to convey clear title at closing. Because of our real estate experience, we know how to resolve complex title problems and minimize delays in order to close your real estate transaction on schedule. We will also review or prepare the closing statement, meticulously reviewing all items on the statement for accuracy.

We also offer convenient signings at your location and can make special arrangements to accommodate the needs of our clients. We take pride in making sure your real estate sale or refinance closes as scheduled and make every effort to insure a successful transaction. For all single family residential purchase transactions, we provide the buyer with a free one year home warranty.

In addition to traditional real estate closings, we have considerable experience handling closings involving short sales of real property. We bring a wealth of experience to every short sale transaction we close, as our attorneys negotiate short sales on a daily basis, and understand the issues involved.

“Working with you (Marine View Law & Escrow Employee) and Marine View Law was a pleasure as well. My questions were answered in a very timely and professional manner and the transaction closed on time. In what could have been a difficult closing, it went very smoothly and I attribute that to great communication between escrow and all parties concerned. Thank you so much. I hope I have the opportunity to work with you again as well.”

- Satisfied Real Estate Broker

Contact our office today if you or someone you know may be in need of title or escrow services. Call (206) 878-8777 or visit us at www.marineviewlaw.com.

Benefit Brunch flyer

The ‘Common Good’ Brunch will be held Saturday, April 26 at the Des Moines Activity Center, from 8:30 a.m. – Noon.

Cost is $10 for Adults, $7.50 for Seniors (62 and over) and $5 for children under 10 (first child with each group will be FREE).

There will also be a raffle for two gift baskets including Des Moines area gift cards for restaurants and services along with CDs from the bands playing in the Concerts in the Park 2014 summer series.

Proceeds will support free-admission Destination Des Moines activities for the whole family including:

  • Des Moines Waterland Festival
  • Fireworks over Des Moines
  • Art on Poverty Outdoor Sculptures
  • Free summertime Beach Park concerts
  • Preservation and restoration of the historic Des Moines Beach Park Event Center

WHEN:   April 26th, 2014 from 8:30am – Noon

WHERE: Des Moines Activity Center, 2045 S 216th, Des Moines, WA 98198

COST:      $10 Adults, $7.50 Seniors (62 and over), and $5 for children under 10 (first child with each group will be FREE)

MENU: Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage links, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and juice.

Co-Sponsored Destination Des Moines and Des Moines Arts Commission.

Story by Ralph Nichols
Photos by Scott Schaefer

Highline cities have weathered the recession and now their economic futures look bright, mayors of four area cities told members of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce on Friday, April 11.

Mayors Dave Kaplan, Des Moines, Lucy Krakowiak, Burien, Mia Gregerson, SeaTac, and Jim Haggerton, Tukwila, all said at the annual luncheon that city revenues are increasing as new economic development boosts their local economies.

DMMayorKaplan

Des Moines Mayor Dave Kaplan

DES MOINES
“It’s been a very eventful year,” Kaplan declared. “Our best days are ahead.”

Delayed time and again by the recession, the Des Moines Creek Business Park immediately south of Sea-Tac Airport “is now ready for development,” Kaplan said. Ground will be broken for both the Phase I and “a lot of” the Phase II projects this year due to “strong tenant interest.”

He expressed appreciation to the Port of Seattle, which owns the business park property, for its cooperation with the city in the development plans.

As Des Moines readies for this construction, the city’s Gateway Project to improve highway access from Pacific Highway S. to the business park just off S. 216th St. is nearing completion and will be finished yet this year.

Kaplan said another major construction project, the five-star Artemis Hotel along Pacific Highway S., is on schedule with foundation work now done – and is expected to open in time for the U.S. Open golf tournament at the new Chambers Bay course near Tacoma in June 2015.

Highline Place Project, a transit-oriented development at Highline Community College adjacent to the planned Sound Transit light rail route, is in the planning stages.

For the first time, he continued, the City Council has selected a contractor to build “a five-acre prime waterfront development” at the Des Moines Marina. The five-story multi-use building will cater to senior living.

Marina expansion “ties in with renovated, historic Beach Park, Kaplan said, where the dining hall – a popular attraction – will be upgraded with an $850 million grant from the Washington State Historical Society.

Significantly, added Kaplan, local crime went down in 2013 and the police department in cooperation with other agencies is targeting human trafficking.

BurienMayorKrakowiak

Burien Mayor Lucy Krakowiak

BURIEN
“Our budget improves as the economy improves,” including a marked increase in sales tax revenues, Krakowiak said.

Ninety percent of the condominiums in the long-vacant Town Square condo-retail complex downtown have now been sold – and two new residential complexes, one for senior housing, are planned for development on vacant parcels in Town Square, Krakowiak continued.

“We have a great town center that’s starting to come together,” she observed.

Grant-funded construction of a major water retention facility immediately north of Sea-Tac Airport’s third runway, the acquisition of adjacent properties, and planning for an off ramp from SR 518 to Des Moines Memorial Drive all are readying Burien’s Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA) for economic development there.

And the $10 million Phase II Seahurst Park Rehabilitation Project, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to restore the north beach to its natural state will be completed later this summer.

In addition, Krakowiak added, Burien has grown to the point where it can now bring its public works equipment and facilities in-house. Previously this was contracted with King County.

Of special significance, she also noted, Burien – with its strong arts community – is partnering with the Highline School District for an Arts in Education program.

SeaTacMayorGregerson

SeaTac Mayor Mia Gregerson

SEATAC
The beginning of Sound Transit’s light rail line extension southward from the SeaTac/Airport station and the start of work on the Angle Lake light rail station at International Blvd. and S. 200th St. made this past year “eventful,” said Gregerson.

As did the passage last November of Proposition 1, which mandates a $15 minimum wage for certain employees in SeaTac and requires city government to regulate the initiative’s wage and benefit requirements.

“The increase in revenues and permit fees has been phenomenal,” Gregerson continued. “All this economic development revolves around new infrastructure,” which is largely financed by the Legislature’s 2013 transportation funding package.

“Permits are also the result of our booming economy as we come out of the recession … 2013 was very successful with revenues almost recovered to pre-recession levels.”

Gregerson said the Angle Lake light rail station, in addition to a large parking area, will feature a number of amenities including pedestrian- and bike-friendly facilities that link with the Des Moines Creek Trail, a variety of shops, and a public plaza.

Another significant transportation project that she noted, one that will “unlock five million square feet of land for economic development,” is a new 24th Ave./26th Ave. connector – being developed in cooperation with Sound Transit and the Port – to provide vehicle access from the south to Sea-Tac Airport.

Enhancing SeaTac’s designation as a Tourism Promotion Area – as a significant regional hub with the international airport, light rail, and Interstate 5 – is the addition of lodging facilities with a major expansion at Cedarbrook Lodge and plans to build the Hyatt Place, a new hotel.

She added that last year’s merger of the SeaTac and Kent fire departments was a “seamless transition” that continues to go well.

TukwilaMayorHaggerton

Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton

TUKWILA
Major strides were taken in removing criminal activity from Tukwila International Blvd. – improving its character and setting the stage for economic development, something he is “especially proud” of, Haggerton said.

Last August some 400 law enforcement agents converged on an area along the boulevard zoned as an urban renewal area, where they made numerous arrests and seized illegal guns and drugs. The city subsequently legally seized the properties where the illegal activities were taking place.

Now, as part of a city priority “to fulfill our vision,” Tukwila is buying the seized properties, Haggerton said. They will then be demolished, “and we already have several good businesses that want to move” into those locations.

This area neighbors Tukwila Village at Tukwila International Blvd. and S. 144th St., a long-planned six-acre mixed use project for which ground is now expected to be broken this summer, he added. The development is a two-phase housing-condominium project that will be built concurrently.

Going up in the expanded Southcenter Mall area will be three new hotels, Haggerton said, including a 19-story story where Circuit City was located before the company went out of business.

And a nearby pedestrian bridge for both foot traffic and bicycles will be built over the Green River.

Haggerton is pleased with progress made by city staff in implementing the strategic plan of a 2012 task force that focused on ways to provide local services more efficiently and improve communications with the public.

Despite a growing city population, Tukwila has the same number of full-time employees today as 10 years ago, Haggerton noted. This has been accomplished by finding efficiencies to handle the added work load, including “cross-departmental teams to address many issues.”

With many long-term city employees approaching retirement, Tukwila has begun a “succession plan” to replace them – something he encouraged the other mayors to consider.

Haggerton also recounted his recent sobering experience when he visited the Oso mudslide area and told local officials there that communities well south of them are supporting them in any way possible.

by Dave Markwell

While sitting in my truck down at my Des Moines Marina, I was writing a different column in my notebook. As I pondered important words and profound thoughts, I watched some seagulls sitting on the old, abandoned “touch-n-go” dock rail. The birds were in constant motion cleaning and preening. It was a nice distraction from my important thoughts.

While observing the scratching, digging and primping gulls do their thing, I was content. I don’t like seagulls that much and often think of them as “flying rats”, as they are rodent-like in their propensity for annoying people and eating trash. Nonetheless, they were interesting.

Proving, once again, that inspiration can strike in some strange places, the birds delivered: As the gulls on the lower rail carried on with their very deliberate cleaning efforts, another bird on the higher crossbar over the deck released a big and bold dump directly onto the back of the bird below him. (It had to be male…) I chuckled, maybe because I am male…or juvenile…or both.

Either way…I wondered how the “victim” in the “assault” felt about this incident. During the few minutes I was watching these birds, I noticed that they were very intent about their cleaning. It seemed like their life’s work. Having an overhead colleague suddenly destroy all that hard work would be a little frustrating, I suspect. The lower bird may have glanced up with a cross look. I can’t be sure. Seagull expressions are hard to read.

Here is where the inspiration struck me: the seagulls are US. Our lives are an endless act of “cleaning”: Dirty dishes return to the kitchen. Unexpected car problems soil our bank accounts. Kids need braces and casts and new shoes. The grass grows…and we must mow it again.

Just when we think we have life squared away “stuff” happens. And we have to clean it up. This happens forever. Life is not a clean business. It requires constant maintenance. Though, no matter how diligent we are in our endeavors to keep things tidy, it’s still a mess. But, it’s a beautiful mess.

Life for all of its confusing, frustrating, head-shaking, fist-shaking, confounding moments of “why me?” is worth it. The tough times make the good stuff better. We need the bad things to appreciate the good. It’s an undeniable relationship.

Following the “episode”, the lower bird just started over. He started cleaning again. He didn’t squawk or scream about it. He didn’t bow his head and hide in his wing. He went back to work. It was quite dignified.

So, like the seagull, when life unloads on us, we should simply get back to work and keep moving. Life is never perfect and it never will be, but it’s still pretty great. We clean what we can and keep trying and smiling and cleaning some more. This is a solid recipe for a good and happy life…and not crapping on other people trying to clean their messes is important, too…

[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called "A Feel Good Life" (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

WLB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this Sunday, April 13 – is an absolutely lovely Northwest Contemporary home with soaring ceilings, gleaming hardwoods on main level and huge sun-filled windows – in Normandy Park with beach rights!

This 3-bedroom home features a beautifully-updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, an extremely spacious master suite, two other bedrooms, plus bonus room and office/craft area.

The updated main bath is truly amazing and the dining room is large enough for several guests. Outside features a fabulous wraparound deck and 2 car garage/2 car RV/carport.

Oh, and did we mention Lot A beach rights?

Here are some pics (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

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Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House.

WHEN: Sunday, April 13 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: 128 SW 208th Street, Normandy Park, WA 98166

INFO:

  • List Price: $499,950
  • MLS Number: 605580
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Year Built: 1978
  • Approximate House SqFt: 2,920
  • Lot Square Footage: 15,681

Site Features:

  • Bath Off Master
  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Dining Room
  • Security System
  • Skylights
  • Pantry

Marketing remarks:

Absolutely lovely Northwest Contemporary home with soaring ceilings, gleaming hardwoods on main level and huge sun-filled windows!

This home features a beautiful updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, an extremely spacious master suite, two other bedrooms, plus bonus room and office/craft area.

The updated main bath is truly amazing and the dining room is large enough for several guests.

Outside features a fabulous wraparound deck and 2 car garage/2 car RV/carport.

Lot A beach rights!

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Prudential Northwest’s Open Houses.

Be sure and stop by Advertiser Normandy Park Market’s Open House this Thursday, April 10, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Normandy Park Market, located at Normandy Park Towne Center, is the newest full-size, full-service grocery in the greater Normandy Park, Des Moines and Burien area.

Come on in and meet a variety of vendors sampling their products. One product to be sure and enjoy is Lemon Love, a gluten-free salad dressing.

Tropical juices, including one called Ryan’s Juice, will be featured.

And members of the Normandy Park Market team will be demonstrating some tasty variations on the Pineapple theme.

Paul Wilcox is owner and operator of Normandy Park Market.

“Our goal is to provide the community of Normandy Park and surrounding areas with a market that offers traditional elements of grocery shopping, additional efforts on new dynamic product selection, strong relationships with local fresh and organic suppliers and, most importantly, maintaining an affordable pricing structure to meet the needs of of our everyday shopper,” Wilcox said.

Normandy Park Market
19900 1st Avenue South
Normandy Park, WA

Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week

normandyparkmarket.com/events

Phone: 206-651-7794

Cox Financial will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary with a party on from 5 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16 at their offices at 112 SW 157th Street in Burien.

Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and prizes will be awarded.

To attend this FREE celebration, please RSVP to (206) 433-1700.

The Wastemobile is coming to the Des Moines Marina the weekend of April 25-27, offering free household hazardous waste disposal to all King County and city residents.

Residents can safely dispose of old car batteries, oil, paint thinner and many other household hazardous items at no cost from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the marina parking lot (22307 Dock Street) both days.

Residents can drop off household hazardous waste items including pesticides, oil-based paints, automotive products (oil, antifreeze, auto batteries, etc.), fluorescent bulbs/tubes and other items without a charge. The service is pre-paid through garbage and sewer utility fees.

About the Wastemobile
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, the Wastemobile was the first traveling hazardous waste disposal program in the nation. It is operated by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program and goes throughout the county from the spring through fall.

Residents help protect the environment and public health by safely disposing of the hazardous materials and keeping them out of drains and landfills. During the past quarter century, the Wastemobile has collected more than 16,000 tons of hazardous household waste from 450,000 customers.

The Wastemobile also provides free reusable products to the public, such as oil-based paint, stain and primer, plus wood care and cleaning products. These products are subject to availability, and residents sign a release form prior to receiving the materials.

For south King County residents, the Auburn Wastemobile, is a convenient alternative for disposing of household hazardous waste. It is located in the northwest parking lot of The Outlet Collection (formerly the Auburn SuperMall), 1101 Outlet Collection Dr., SW, near Sports Authority. It operates every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Qualifying businesses may also use the no cost disposal services. Call or find details at www.hazwastehelp.org/BusinessHazWaste.

For more information about disposal, including acceptable materials and quantity limits, call the Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except holidays. Recorded information is available after hours, or by visiting the Wastemobile website at www.HazWasteHelp.org.

The Wastemobile is one of the services provided by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program through a partnership of more than 40 city, county and tribal governments working together in King County to reduce threats posed from hazardous materials and wastes.

April-23-Open-House-Flyer-Draft-1

The City of Des Moines will be hosting an Open House on Wednesday, April 23 to provide an opportunity for the community to offer input on the Comprehensive Plan Review and Update.

The open house will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Des Moines Activity Center, located at 2045 S. 216th Street.

Topics covered at this workshop will include: land use, environment, economic development, and housing.

The City of Des Moines is updating its Comprehensive Plan in accordance with the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) governed by RCW 36.70A. Most jurisdictions in the state are required to adopt a comprehensive plan consistent with the GMA and update their plan every eight years. Des Moines will take about one year to complete its review and update which is due to the state in June 2015. Public participation is a key component of the effort to update the Comprehensive Plan.

The citywide Comprehensive Plan promotes community livability and vitality for the long-term and is the basis for the City’s investments, regulations, and many other activities. Although the city’s comprehensive plan and regulations already comply with state law, some parts may be updated to reflect newer requirements.

Anyone who wishes to stay informed about the comprehensive plan review and update as it progresses or would like to receive more information about the upcoming open house should contact Nikole Coleman-Porter at ncoleman@desmoineswa.gov or 206-870-6551.

The Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce will hold its April Membership Luncheon this Friday, April 11, at the Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center.

The Mayors of Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila will update the business community about specific issues in their community.

Speaking at the luncheon will be:

  • Mayor Dave Kaplan, Des Moines
  • Mayor Mia Gregerson, SeaTac
  • Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, Burien
  • Mayor Jim Haggerton, Tukwila

During their addresses, the Mayors will focus on economic development activities within in their communities.

The Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center is located at 17620 International Boulevard, and the event will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. A new member orientation will begin prior to the event at 11 a.m.

The cost to attend the luncheon is $22.00 paid by Noon the day before and $35.00 paid at the door. Registration can be completed on the Chamber’s website at www.swkcc.org or via phone by contacting Carol Kolson at 206-575-1633. When registering please note if a vegetarian dish is preferred or any severe food allergies.

This event is sponsored by Marine View Law and Escrow, Recology CleanScapes, Aesthetic Rejuvenation by Dr. Brecht, Cox Financial, Equinox Business Law Group, Port of Seattle and Rainier Cancer Center. For more information or questions about the April Membership Luncheon visit www.swkcc.org or call the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce at 206-575-1633.

About the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce
The Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization that has served the business communities of Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1989. The mission of the Chamber is to be a leader in Southwest King County and a regional voice and resource for building business success. The Chamber focuses on business advancement in the region by helping to build and maintain a strong economic environment.

Acme-Bowl-2
We welcome ACME Bowl, our newest Advertiser.

ACME, located in Tukwila just east of the mall, is closer to Des Moines than you might think.

We checked it out. You can get to ACME from downtown Des Moines in less time than it takes to put on your bowling shoes and bowl your first frame.

The food. Have you eaten there lately? Well, check it out. A perfected menu awaits you at their restaurant, The Break Room. Gourmet burgers and sandwiches, salads and much more personally crafted by chefs who very much care about what they’re serving you.

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The Break Room is a great place to take a date, treat Mom and Dad, meet old friends or co-workers.

Planning a meeting or company event? Put ACME Bowl on the top of your list. ACME staffers are first rate professionals. They’ll help you impress your boss, the staff, your new clients.

ACME is locally owned and operated by people who like bowling, enjoy running a good business and truly care about the Pacific Northwest.EntireVenue

Plenty of parking and they’re close to the freeways.

ACME Bowling • Billiards • Events
www.acmebowl.com
100 Andover Park West
Tukwila
(206) 340-2263

Walk-the-Plank-tease

Ten public officials including the mayor, police chief and a King County Councilman are teaming up this month to combat drowning in Des Moines and Normandy Park – but which one(s) will ‘Walk the Plank’ at Mt. Rainier Pool Saturday, April 19?

Each participant is prepared to walk fully clothed off the Mount Rainier Pool diving board if their supporters pledge the most money to help support swim lesson scholarships for disadvantaged youth – to vote online, click here.

Their efforts are in response to statistics that show eight people drown in Southwest King County last year, four of them within the City of Des Moines. The Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District Board of Commissioners determined it was time to act.

“Our job is to promote aquatics within the community. It became obvious with the release of those figures that we need to focus on water safety in general,” Commission President Gene Achziger said.

“We could just teach people about water safety, but swim lessons are the number one deterrent to drowning,” Achziger said. “But swim lessons can be expensive for those with little income so we’re raising money to help disadvantaged youth learn to swim.”

Billed as “Walk the Plank for Kids,” the campaign involves the public voting at $1 per vote which public official will be “forced” take the walk. Voting will be both online and in person at Mount Rainier Pool’s observance of April Pools Day on April 19. April Pools Day is a nationwide promotion of water safety.

WHO-GETS-DUNKED_

Des Moines Mayor Dave Kaplan, Police Chief George Delgado and King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove will be joined by Des Moines city councilmembers Melissa Musser, Jeanette Burrage and Jeremy Nutting, plus Normandy Park City Councilwoman Stacia Jenkins, Des Moines Municipal Judge Veronica Alicea-Galvan, Des Moines Harbormaster Joe Dusenbury and Des Moines Pool Metropolitan Park District President Gene Achziger in the competition.

The Walk the Plank ceremony will be the highlight of a five-hour water safety exposition that includes two sessions of demonstrations, two open swims, an Easter Egg Hunt and raffles for life jackets and free pool parties. There will be food vendors as well as marine touch tanks staffed by Highline Community College’s Marine Science and Technology Center.

Oh yeah, there will be free fish, too.

“Each person who shows up and has parental permission can get a free fish from Midway Tropical Fish and Pet,” Achziger added. “We’d like to see all of the kids in the community able to swim like fish.”

Achziger called the level of community participation “overwhelming.”

“It’s truly inspiring to see how enthusiastically these participants have jumped in. They understand the critical need to teach kids how to swim,” he said. “You’d expect some of them to say walking the plank is undignified for a public official, but I’m reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s quote: ‘No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.’ ”

The pool district has teamed up with South King Fire and Rescue to sponsor the event, along with several vendors and organizations. Other sponsors include: Schwan’s Ice Cream, Freedom Snacks, Normandy Park Market, Odd Fellows Lodge 305, Underwater Sports and Des Moines Animal Control.

“We’re looking at two sessions. The first begins at noon with water safety demonstrations and a free open swim,” Achziger said. “The intermission will include the Walk the Plank event and be followed by a second round of demonstrations capped with a free swim.”

“Plus, it’s the day before Easter and we’ll have an in-pool egg hunt with prizes. But hopefully the biggest prize will be a water-safer community,” he said.

Mount Rainier Pool is located at 22722 19th Ave South, Des Moines; (206) 824-4722.

Advertiser Des Moines United Methodist Church will be presenting an evening of music with meditation interludes – Rutter’s “Requiem” – on Thursday, April 10th at 7:30 p.m.

This will include a choir and instrument ensemble, with Teresa Lin soprano soloist, and Martin Culbert conducting.

FREE admission, with donations accepted for the music ministry.

Des Moines United Methodist Church is located at 22225 9th Ave. South (9th & 223rd); 206-878-8301

www.desmoinesumc.org

Ellen Dorr believes moving sixth grade to middle school will have a positive impact on students.

Teacher Ellen Dorr believes moving sixth grade to middle school will have a positive impact on students.

The Highline School District announce Friday (April 4) that it will be moving 6th grade to Middle School, starting in the 2015-16 school year “or later.”

The district said the decision to make the move comes “after months of studying enrollment projections, staff and community feedback, and academic research.”

“I am thrilled that sixth-graders will finally be in a place that is developmentally appropriate for them. Sixth-graders belong in middle school,” said Des Moines Elementary School teacher Nicole Malmgren, who has taught sixth grade for five years.

“Everybody always talks about the fear of putting 11-year-olds with 14- and 15-year-olds, but what about putting 11-year-olds with five-year-olds?” added Malmgren. “How is that pushing them forward? They fit in with their middle school peers better than they do five-year-olds in kindergarten.”

Malmgren plans to work with Human Resources to obtain her math endorsement so she can move with her sixth-grade students.

Currently, Highline’s elementary schools are grades K-6, and middle schools are grades 7 and 8.

“In our current model, middle school can be overlooked as simply a bridge between elementary and high school, but I believe middle school has its own merit and deserves its own focus,” said eighth-grade teacher Ellen Dorr, who has taught language arts at Cascade Middle School for ten years. She is excited for sixth-grade students to join the Cascade community.

Teacher Nicole Malmgren wants to move with her sixth-grade students to middle school

Teacher Nicole Malmgren wants to move with her sixth-grade students to middle school, saying they belong in middle school.

The 6-8 grade configuration is the most common middle school model nationwide, and it’s not a new concept in Highline. A task force made up of Highline teachers, administrators, and parents researched middle school models in 2009. The research showed that K-6 and 6-8 configurations can be equally successful and that quality of classroom instruction and school climate are the primary factors in student achievement.

“At the end of the study, there was a desire to move sixth grade to middle school, but we didn’t have nearly enough space,” said Chief Accountability Officer Alan Spicciati, who co-chaired the task force. Building new middle schools was not an option at the time, given the recession.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a while now,” said Spicciati. “We just needed the right opportunity to make the move. Now, we have an opportunity to do it.”

Today, Highline needs more classroom space at elementary schools. The state is now funding full-day kindergarten and offering money for smaller class sizes. To take advantage of class size dollars, Highline must add 55 more classrooms across the district. Elementary schools are already full or over capacity. Without available classrooms, Highline may lose out on up to $2.2 million annually in new state funding for class-size reduction.

Cascade Middle School students reading independently during class.

Cascade Middle School students reading independently during class.

“I am confident the decision to move sixth grade to middle school is in the best academic interests of our students at all grade levels,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “It allows us to eliminate crowding and decrease class sizes at elementary schools, and it also gives us an opportunity to increase the academic rigor and broaden learning experiences for sixth graders.”

In middle school, sixth-grade students will be taught by subject area specialists who get deep training and professional development in their content areas, rather than generalists who have to be able to teach all subjects. The rigorous instruction prepares students for higher level course work, especially important in math and science.

“Right now I have a classroom with students at a third-grade level in math and reading, and students at a ninth- or tenth-grade level in math and reading,” said Malmgren. “It is difficult for me, as one teacher, to teach such a huge range of learners. When the students move to middle school, they will be able to take classes that are specific to their needs.”

Sixth-grade students are also likely to become more engaged in school as they pursue subjects they are particularly interested in–electives such as engineering, journalism, and vocal and instrumental music.

“Middle school students attend elective classes daily, which allows them to explore a subject more deeply,” said Cascade Middle School Principal Diana Garcia. “In elementary school, they only get music and PE twice a week.”

In addition, families and students will have three full years to develop relationships with teachers and staff, providing consistency and predictability during a critical period in students’ lives.

Teacher Ellen Dorr believes sixth-grade students are ready for middle school.

Teacher Ellen Dorr believes sixth-grade students are ready for middle school.

“The fact that students will attend the school for another year means we can create a stronger sense of community with students,” said Dorr. “Seventh-grade students are more than ready for the transition to middle school. With smart work at both the elementary level and the middle school level, we can ensure that sixth-grade students finish elementary school ready to enter middle school.”

This spring, Highline will begin a year-long planning process with teachers and parents to design the sixth-grade program.

“This is an opportunity to reinvent the sixth-grade experience for our children and improve the entire middle school program,” said Superintendent Enfield.

Creative ideas for sixth grade were already being suggested at recent community meetings on the transition proposal. For instance, sixth grade could be designed as a self-contained program within middle schools. Camp Waskowitz could be a sixth-grade orientation and community-building experience in the fall.

In middle school, students will get a chance for a jump start at advanced coursework like world languages, algebra, and the sciences. They will benefit from greater exposure to the fine arts and leadership opportunities. And they will be challenged to develop the behaviors, attitudes, and habits they will need to succeed in high school and college.

by Dave Markwell

My son, Aden, turned fifteen. How this happened I do not know. Time, I suppose, does this. Time and a couple of rare, but fortunate, demonstrations of parental self-discipline during those moments when I wanted to kill him myself. Kids can make us crazy and this boy is no exception. For a while, “bonehead, “knucklehead” and a variety of other “head” suffixed names became his. At fifteen, I believe we may have turned a corner. (Jinx alert here!!)

While he is still highly capable of some supremely stupid things, these incidences are increasingly rarer. His mind and heart are good. He is kind and works hard at the things he should work hard at, a notable exception being cleaning his room. He is funny and creative and thoughtful. He’s smart and articulate and wise in ways that are good to be wise. He cares about the world and is shaping his role in it. It’s fun being his dad.

I really like him. As parents we are probably obligated to love our kids, though I’m not sure we have to like them. Some kids are very challenging to like, even for their parents, I suspect. Liking someone may be more personal preference and choice than love. Sometimes, we can’t help loving someone, even if we don’t like them. I’m glad I like this boy.

As a dad I worry about my influence screwing up a pretty good kid. I can recall in great detail my own dad’s successes and failures. Moments when he said or did the right things shaped me, as did the moments when he said or did the wrong things. We never know our score as a parent. Our kids keep the scorecards to themselves, though occasionally when observing them in action, we catch a brief glimpse of our influence. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad. The results speak for themselves.

So, at fifteen, my son and I still have a few miles ahead of us. My hope is that we travel well: we make a few good choices and throw in some bad ones for a little color and share some smiles about both. Perfect parenting has never been my goal. I am not foolish enough to prescribe myself a destiny of failure. My only wish for my kids is joy in life. Joy will only come through the truest expression of their unique gifts, of which they are blessed with many. I hope to support this whenever and wherever I can. My place in their journey is sometimes conductor, sometimes riding shotgun. They decide where I sit. And this is ok with me…

(Sidenote: To all the other parents believing their son is the best one…you’re wrong…because, I’ve got him.)

[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called "A Feel Good Life" (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

WLB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this Sunday, March 9 – is a stunning, remodeled 5-bedroom view home in West Seattle!

With Sound and Mountain views, this 2460 square foot home has it all.

Hardwood floors, Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite counter tops all filled with natural Light from the sunny south western exposure.

All the work is done just move in and enjoy your view deck and backyard patio this spring!

Walking distance to restaurants, Starbucks, West Seattle Thriftway and renowned Lincoln Park.

Here are some pics (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

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Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House.

WHEN: Saturday, April 5, 1 – 4 p.m. and Sunday,April 6, 1 – 4 p.m.

WHERE: 6340 40th Ave SW West Seattle, WA 98136

INFO:

  • List Price: $619,000
  • MLS Number: 603995
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 1.75
  • Year Built: 1912
  • Approximate House SqFt: 2,460
  • Lot Square Footage: 4,800

Site Features:

  • Bath Off Master
  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Loft
  • Skylights
  • Walk-in Closet
  • Deck
  • Fenced-Fully
  • Patio

Marketing remarks:

Sound and Mountain View Gatewood Home!

This stunning remodeled 4 bedroom 2 bath 2460 square foot home has it all.

Hardwood floors, Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite counter tops all filled with natural Light from the sunny south western exposure.

All the work is done just move in and enjoy your view deck and back yard patio this spring!

Walking distance to restaurants, Starbucks, West Seattle Thriftway and renowned Lincoln Park.

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Prudential Northwest’s Open Houses.

Advertiser Wesley Homes will be holding a seminar called “Living Large in Small Spaces” on Thursday, April 17, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

“Join us and see how a few key features bring personality, space, comfort and functionality to any room,” reads an announcement. “Say no to the burdens of a big house, and say yes to the freedom of a cozy home.”

Guests will enjoy a tasty lunch, win door prizes and get tips on living more simply.

“Plus, see current move-in specials on apartments that are perfect for you!”

Wesley Homes is located at 816 S. 216th Street in Des Moines.

RSVP online at wesleyhomes.org of call Joanie or Lynn toll free at 1-855-445-8827.