Des Moines United Methodist Church’s Huge Community Swap Meet will be this Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Indoor and outdoor tables.

Something for everyone!

Stop by on your way to the Waterland parade!

Crafts, toys, tools, electronics, collectibles, home made goods, clothing and rummage sale stuff.

Des Moines United Methodist Church is located at 22225 9th Ave. S., Des Moines 98198.

Contact the church at 206-878-8301 for more information.

Here’s episode #10 of our SoKing News Podcast, which is sponsored by a generous grant from J-Lab’s Encore Media Entrepreneurs program, supported with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation:

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in unincorporated King County ordered closed by Prosecutor Dan Satterberg; 3-car collision in Des Moines sends 6 to hospital; Burien Police seeking help finding mail thieves; Commentary from Jack Mayne; Comment of the Week & more…

Please subscribe to our Podcast, hear previous episodes and rate us on iTunes here!

2015 Waterland events flyer_jpg

The Waterland Festival is coming up the weekend of July 17-19, with a bunch of great activities for all:

  • Kid’s Fair & Pony Rides: July 17-19 at Field House Park
  • 5K Fund Run, Walk or Roll: Saturday, July 18 at Beach Park starting at 9 a.m.
  • Grand Parade: Saturday, July 18 with Kid’s Parade at 5:45 p.m. and the Grand Parade at 6 p.m.
  • Wheels & Keels: Sunday, July 19 at Marina North Lot from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Great Food: Sunday, July 19 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Also, here’s a letter sent out to residents from Destination Des Moines:

Dear Des Moines Residents and Businesses:

Destination Des Moines is preparing for this year’s Waterland Festival! We are inviting you and the community to enjoy the festivities beginning Friday, July 17th and continuing through Sunday July 19th.

We want to make you aware of the street closures in the area that will be necessary the day of the Parade – Saturday July 18th from 4:45 PM to approximately 7:30 PM

Marine View Drive S: From S 242nd to 216th (the parade route is S 240th to 216th on Marine View Dr S)

Kent-Des Moines Road: From 16th Ave S to Marine View Dr S

S 240th and S 242nd: Between 16th Ave S and Marine View Dr will be limited access only and closed from 12th Ave S to Marine View Dr, from 5:00PM to 7:30PM. Please be particularly careful as this is the staging area for the parade.

Traffic Management will be supervised by our Des Moines Police Department. Please comply with the officers’ instructions, as they are concerned for our safety and the overall success of the Parade.

We hope you, your friends, and family will enjoy the wide variety of events that will be part of this year’s Waterland Festival!

Friday, July 17

  • Kid’s Carnival and Pony Rides (Des Moines Field House) Noon – 9:00 pm (Pony Rides 3:00-7:00PM)

    Saturday, July 18
  • Kids’s Carnival (Des Moines Field House) Noon to 9:00 PM (Pony Rides Noon-6:00PM)
  • Waterland 5k Fun’d Run Walk & Roll (Des Moines Marina & Beach Park Trail) 9:00AM – 10:30AM
  • Waterland Wheels & Keels – Wooden Boat Viewing Day 1 (Des Moines Marina) 10:00AM – 4:00PM
    Junior Parade and Waterland Grand Parade – Starts at 5:45PM

    **Please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Des Moines Area Food Bank’s PARADE FOR HUNGER – they will come through the paradefirst, collecting donations – Thank You!**

Sunday, July 19:

  • Kid’s Carnival and Pony Rides (Des Moines Field House) 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM (Pony Rides 1:00PM – 5:00PM)
  • Waterland Wheels & Keels: Car, Motorcycle, & Wooden Boat Show (Des Moines Marina) 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

with Live Music, Food Trucks, and Beer/Wine Garden until 6:00PM

Find us on the web:

by Jack Mayne

Four new employees were approved by the Des Moines City Council because virtually all of the Des Moines Building division staff would be retiring in the next five years.

New people must be brought in not only to bolster the department but also to get the experience needed to take over the department in the future, Councilmembers said

Councilmember Bob Sheckler moved to authorize an additional four full-time staff be added, a motion that passed unanimously.

‘Very cyclical’
Sheckler told the Waterland Blog on Friday that the department is “very cyclical” because during some periods staff in that department is laid off, only to be needed a year or so later to carry on the duties of the complex department.

“Succession planning is a very good idea,” said Councilmember Vic Pennington at the Council meeting Thursday (July 9).

Councilmember Jeremy Nutting told the Council he believes the addition is “the right move … we want builders here in Des Moines.”

The money for the four positions will be partly paid for by Surface Management Fund money, which legally cannot be used for general city expenses, and partly from city development and building fee revenue, City Manager Tony Piasecki told the Waterland Blog on Friday.

No money for police
The Waterland Blog received an unsigned email prior to the Thursday night session that criticized the addition in public works and surface water management rather than add a previously authorized four additional city police officers.

The email said the person had been told by “a couple of Des Moines officers” that “the police department has not ever been authorized to hire the four officers to bolster the strength of the department that we were told would happen last year and as I understand were also budgeted for. The officers told me they believe the reason the police department hasn’t been allowed to hire is due to lack of funding.

“It certainly seems like to me if the Council passes this item tonight they have their priorities very messed up and truly have no understanding for the needs of our community.”

Piasecki said Friday the officer had been authorized in the budget but that he had informed the Council that projected city income for 2016 might very well be insufficient to continue paying additional police officer next year. The city income problems may begin to get better in 2017 and beyond as Des Moines Business Park and Sheraton Hotel projects get completed and begin producing revenue for the city.

The city manager again emphasized that the money for the public works and surface water management workers could not legally be used to pay for police officers.

by Dave Markwell

Life is full of hard things. Work, kids, money, fear, hope, relationships and change all serve to challenge us in ways that stretch us, sometimes uncomfortably so. The confounding element of hard things is that they are often also the RIGHT things. Doing the right thing can be hard. For this reason, it may be even more important to do them.

The other day my eleven year old daughter dropped a jar of raspberry jam on her foot. The jar exploded when it hit the ground and her foot at the same time resulting in a nasty gash. My girl barely winced. She comforted my very “wincy” wife as the depth of this gruesome little injury became known. She didn’t flinch in the emergency room during the anesthetic shots or the stitches. She’s a tough girl in ways that gratefully don’t often reveal themselves. She handled a hard thing with a stoic acceptance of events and provided comfort to her mother and me. It was a proud moment for me which alleviates many concerns about her capacity to handle the hard things this life will invariably deliver to her. She’s gonna be fine.

Life is like this. Hard things happen and we choose a path. We rise or shrink with them. We allow them to diminish us and hide from the truth or we accept them and forge a new path with a new truth. We recognize the truth as the right thing but it takes some serious balls to face the truth as a hard thing and act anyway.

These moments define us. They shape us and change us. It is during these times that we grow. Hard things force us to be more and when we ARE more, we BECOME more…forever. This is a valid result for our efforts in navigating life’s hard things. Extending ourselves, logically, extends us. We are bigger. And while hard things don’t always feel good, surviving them does. This is why in the face of the hardest things this life presents us, a speck of hope always lives in the truth that things will get better, if we just keep moving.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going…”

–Winston Churchill

Good advice and good reminder that hard things end. The rain stops and the streets dry. The grass grows and sun warms the new skin of our new life as a survivor of hard things…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is 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 both this Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 – is a grand West Seattle Entertainment Home!

This home features 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3 kitchens AND a mother-in-law.

Entertain your guest from the bar/foyer entry to the penthouse floor with views of the entire Seattle Skyline!

Tile roof, Cedar Siding, updated fine finishes throughout the home, which could be a great vacation rental as well.

Located across the street from Don Armeni Park, and minutes to all the amenities along Alki.

A Must See Home!

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

















Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, from Noon – 3 p.m.

WHERE: 4013 SW Maryland Place, West Seattle, WA 98116 (MAP)


  • List Price: $1,100,000
  • MLS Number: 807249
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 2.75
  • Year Built: 1985
  • Lot Square Footage: 3,750

Site Features:

  • 2nd Kitchen
  • Wet Bar
  • Wine Cellar
  • Dining Room
  • Skylights
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Walk-in Closet

Marketing remarks:

Welcome to Emerald City’s Grand West Seattle Entertainment Home!

This home features 3 Kitchens with a mother in law.

Entertain your guest from the bar/foyer entry to the penthouse floor with views of the entire Seattle Skyline!

4 Bedroom, 3 Bath. Tile roof, Cedar Siding, updated fine finishes throughout the home!

This home could be a great vacation rental as well.

Across the street from Don Armeni Park and minutes to all the amenities along Alki.

A Must See Home!

Click here to see the full, detailed listing.

Click here to view all of Berkshire Hathaway’s Open Houses, and click here to “Like” them on Facebook.

WHAT? (Wesley Homes Actors and Thespians) present their very own original Follies production “Stuck in Traffic”! On July 25th at 7 p.m. in their auditorium.

Wesley Homes residents have pulled together sketches and music for an evening of comedy and song that is sure to have you toe tapping and humming – even after the evening ends.

“Sentimental Journey,” Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to her Face” are a few of the songs you’ll hear in this theatrical romp.

Tired of sitting in hot cars in road construction, and trying to navigate detour signs? So are we. Take a break and restore your happy summer thoughts.

FREE Admission.

Wesley Homes is located at 815 S 216th St Des Moines; 206-870-1127.

For more information, visit

NOTE: This post was updated with new information at 3:12 p.m. on July 7, 2015:

A three-car collision near 16th and Kent-Des Moines Road sent six people to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, July 7.

Here’s the latest, courtesy Sgt. Doug Jenkins of the Des Moines Police Department:

No pedestrian was hit as was originally reported. No vehicles “fled the scene” and all the involved vehicles have been accounted for. The “pedestrian” we thought was involved was in fact the driver of one of the vehicles involved and he did approach a vehicle being driven by a woman. She drove away, not knowing what his intentions were.

All of the injuries were minor.

Kent Des Moines Rd is closed at 16th Ave with detours available. The officers are still investigating the collision. They need some time to complete their investigation, impound the involved vehicle and clean up the debris. We anticipate the road will be open in about two hours.

Here are some relevant Tweets:

Boy, lots of stuff happening last Saturday on the 4th! People, cars, trucks – you name it – were all jockeying for space. The marina staff did an outstanding job directing traffic. There was however a traffic accident where a person was struck by a car backing up onto Dock Avenue. The market asks that everyone please slow down and watch out for people coming and going to the market.

Market shoppers and vendors continue to recycle and compost. Our weekly garbage collection is down 80% from last year. Keep it up.

The next Clutter to Cash Sale will be held August 15, 2015. You can sign up at the Information Booth or on our web site. Remember to sign up early as space is limited. You must provide your own table, chairs, canopy, etc.

Community Group: King County Noxious Weeds

Music: 3 Guys Band

Food Trucks: Buddah Bruddah, Fusion on the Run, Jemil’s, Mini the Dough-Nut and Stella Fiore Pizza

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.41.49 AMMarket sponsor: Airport Touchless Car Wash has been a longtime sponsor of the market and invites car owners to stop in and see what it has to offer. You can use the automatic system or DIY. It is located just north of 216th on Highway 99.

This Wednesday, July 8th at 5 p.m., our special Tent Talk speaker is Ciscoe Morris, talking about Incredible Edibles.

Sunset Markets happen every Wednesday from 3-7pm in July and August. There will be over 30 vendors, some that will be new to us and plenty of Food Trucks. After shopping and eating people can walk into the beach park and enjoy the Des Moines Art Commission’s free summer concerts at 7pm. Check their web site for performers appearing.

The Farmers Market is reaching out to support local business this season. To any Des Moines brick and mortar, independent, locally owned and operated business, the market is offering a free booth space for one market day during the 2015 season to promote their business. To make it easy, canopy, table & chairs will be provided. To participate, go to and download the application and mail it in.

The Des Moines Area Food Bank kids free summer meals program is every Saturday at the market. Snacks are served from 10-11am and lunch from 11:30 to 1pm. There will also be free meals at the Sunset Markets starting Wednesday July 1st. Snacks are from 3-4pm and dinner is 4:30 to 6:30pm.

Upcoming Events:

Remember to PITCH IT IN!

To keep up with all the special events, featuring what’s fresh and entertainment at the market, please log onto the website and sign up for our e-newsletter that comes out once a week. You can also keep up on all the activities by visiting the markets Facebook page.


by Dave Kaplan
Mayor and Councilmember
City of Des Moines

If you build it they will come – if you build it in the right place.

As my good friend Dr. Sell recently noted, Sound Transit will soon decide on a preferred alignment and station locations for the Federal Way Light rail Extension. Barring unforeseen circumstances, that decision will be made on July 23, 2015.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions and misperceptions regarding the project, and the rationale behind the decision on the part of the cities of Seatac, Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way to support a SR 509/I-5 alignment.

First, I want to take note that it took ten months of careful consideration of each city’s future needs before arriving at a consensus position for the SR 509/I-5 alignment. It wasn’t pulled out of thin air. It wasn’t based on temporary impacts or concerns, but the long-term implications of where the alignment and stations should go. The four cities, each with their own visions of future land use and their own needs to meet those visions, came to the table to find a creative and supportable solution that would work for all. With some necessary compromises, we accomplished that goal.

Only a SR 509/I-5 alignment works for Des Moines. There is no benefit to the alignment portion of the project; there is only benefit where there are stations. If on Hwy 99, running an elevated rail line down the median past the third or fourth floor of new buildings creates a negative impact for those buildings already built or under construction, and provides a disincentive for anyone to build there. It essentially reverses our incentives for Pacific Ridge up-zoning … zoning intended to take advantage of the transit connections that already exist, and which easily connect with future light rail station locations. Running the alignment in a trench through the commercial properties on the west side encumbers access, values and use of those commercial properties, and destroys the single-family neighborhood immediately north of the Highline College campus. We have a limited amount of commercial land in Des Moines, and a Hwy 99 alignment will do nothing to increase the value of it.

Regarding additional stations, and the potential benefits that would bring, the voters have only approved stations in the vicinity of Highline College and around S. 272nd Street … nothing in-between. Given that there are likely only enough funds to build to Highline College, it is not realistic to expect stations to be approved at S. 216th or S. 260th for some time to come. (Stations run $50-$80 million a copy for an elevated alignment.) In fact, it would likely require a ST3 proposal on the ballot next year to complete the project down to S. 272nd, let alone completing the link down to the heart of Federal Way. In short, a Hwy 99 alignment guarantees at least 20-25 years of impact, with no guarantee of benefit to the residents and businesses of Des Moines in the form of a station.

Transit Oriented Development & Station Locations. No one from any city or other stakeholder in the process has advocated a station on I-5. None. Des Moines has and continues to strongly support a station in the vicinity of Highline College. In fact, given our saw-toothed border, the City of Des Moines worked cooperatively with the City of Kent on Envision Midway back in 2008-09. Envision Midway was in part a joint visioning exercise for future land use in the area of a future light rail station. Both cities have rezoned the area for development that would be considered “transit-oriented development” (TOD), and last fall Des Moines changed its zoning for our four parcels on the west side of Hwy 99 to create a Transit-Commercial zone.

Highline Place is a $50 million project that will be built on the west side of Hwy 99 under those zoning rules. In fact, Highline College has been in negotiations to take space in that project, which would also provide a large number of apartments that would be (presumably) rented by students attending the College. An existing structure has already been knocked down, and construction will likely begin this fall. A station located on the west side of Hwy 99 would actually wipe out this $50 million investment that is intended to be the type of TOD everyone would like to see.

Regardless of alignment, a station on the west side of Hwy 99 does not work to the benefit of Des Moines. We support a station east of Hwy 99, and no further east than 30th Avenue S. The City of Kent makes a compelling case for having the station on the west side of 30th Avenue S. This is closer to campus than the Lowe’s parking lot, city neighborhood streets, and the park and ride lot at Military Road and Kent-Des Moines Road (east of I-5) that a number of students park in today to get to campus. All four cities support construction of a pedestrian-bicycle skybridge across Hwy 99 to tie directly from the station to the campus. In addition to the construction of a street and signal at S. 236th Lane (where the Baskin & Robbins is), this would be a great, safe connection with the campus.

Residential Displacements. The bulk of the residential displacements with a SR 509/I-5 alignment occur in Des Moines. However, over half of those residents will be displaced with construction of SR 509, and more will be displaced with some of the developments already being considered in Pacific Ridge. Based on conversations with Sound Transit’s relocation assistance people, it is apparent that their relocation efforts and assistance are far superior to those of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Accessibility. Some want to put stations only where anyone can walk. The reality is people live further away than walking or biking can accommodate. Accessibility means accessibility for all. Not only those who live in Des Moines, but those who live in Kent too. Key to making this work is the east-west connections to get people to the light rail stations. That’s where King County Metro’s plan to dovetail its service is critical. Getting people from the east hill of Kent or Kent valley is as important as getting people from Redondo and Woodmont to a station. Again, accessibility means accessibility for all.

Social Justice. Futurewise, One America, and students at Highline College have advocated for a Hwy 99 alignment. Having a station immediately adjacent to campus is understandable, but ignores the needs of the entire City of Des Moines. But what is it that the immigrant and other communities want from transit, be it light rail or buses? According to Sound Transit’s Draft Environment Impact Statement they want transit that is affordable, fast, and frequent. These students are already making their way to Highline College, and they will continue to do so. The College does an excellent job of meeting their needs, and we support and applaud their efforts. These students are no more disadvantaged in getting to the College if the station is east of Hwy 99 than if it was on the west side of Hwy 99. A difference of 500 feet doesn’t provide an impediment to students motivated to better their lives. People will get to where they need to get for work, for play, and for educational opportunities.

Of course none of this speaks to the fact that there is little difference between a SR 509/I-5 alignment and a Hwy 99 alignment (with a station no further east than 30th Avenue S, regardless of alignment) in terms of ridership numbers or time to travel. They are nearly identical.

Given all of these considerations, all with an eye toward the future of our great city and that of our neighboring communities, a SR 509/I-5 is by far the best alternative for Des Moines’ residents into the future.


Want to go to the bestest, bluesiest and brewiest music festival of the summer?

Here’s your chance – just enter to win 2 Tickets to the 6th Annual Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Festival, coming Aug. 29!

Must be 21 or older to enter, no purchase necessary, and 1 entry per person:


Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Festival from Olav on Vimeo.

Dozens of Micro-Brews, world-renowned blues acts and over 2,000 civic minded individuals are forecasted to attend and support the 6th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival located on the shores of Puget Sound at the Des Moines Beach Park on Saturday, August 29th, 2015.

For the past five years the Rotary Club of Des Moines and Normandy Park have conducted this vibrant event to benefit Highline Music4Life, a program that is dedicated to providing instruments for school-aged children in the Highline School District who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

Music4Life President Steve Swank spoke to the critical nature of the funds received from the 6th annual event:

“For those kids who would like to participate in instrumental music activities but can’t because of limited family income, the Highline Music4Life Program is a godsend. It helps them across the very first barrier they encounter, the acquisition of a playable musical instrument. And it gives them something meaningful, creative and productive to do with their time. That’s why we call it ‘Music4Life’!”

Last year’s event saw record breaking attendance with over 1,600 people from across the Northwest and Canada coming to enjoy world renowned blues and dozens of tasty Micro-Brews. This year, the event is forecasted to grow by over 20%. Des Moines/Normandy Park Rotary member and event organizer Brian Snure attributed the growth due in part to the incredible stable of Blues musicians featured, many whom play for a greatly reduced rate to support the kids and music, “This last year, the Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival was honored to be nominated by the Washington State Blues society for the Best Community Blues Festival for 2015. We’ve seen a steady growth in attendance for this event and we are very grateful for all of those who have attended in the past and those who will ‘Drink to Music’ in support of children and music at this year’s event.”

The Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival’s line includes four acclaimed musical acts:

  • BRIAN LEE & THE ORBITERS: 12:30–2:00
  • STACY JONES BAND: 4:30–6:00
  • CD WOODBURY BAND: 6:30–8:00

One of the key draws to this event will be the 20 plus local and regional Micro-Brewers on tap. This year event will feature Micro-Brews, Hard Cider and Wine from the following:

Georgetown Beer, Diamond Knot Brewing, Fish Tale Ales, Fremont Brewing, Mac and Jacks, Big Al’s Brewing, MT Head, Silver City, Airways Brewing, Pike Place Brewing, Stoup Brewing, Deschutes Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Schooner Exact, Hilliard’s, Der Blokken, Schilling, Finn River Farms, Wicked Cider, Sun River Vintners.

To complement the 6th Annual Poverty Bay Blues and Brews Festival, The Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park will be barbecuing Bratwurst and B&E Market’s famous Tri Tip for your dining enjoyment. The Festival will be located on the shores of Puget Sound at the Des Moines Beach Park. This is an outdoor event and will be held rain or shine, and attendees must be 21 or older to attend this pet-free event.

No outside food or beverages allowed. Low lawn chairs and picnic blankets allowed. There will be plenty of free parking with a free shuttle circulating town on a regular basis.

Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased on line at Tickets may be purchased for $30 at the gate while they last. Five tasting tokens included with the price of admission. All beer tastings this year will be one Token! 100% of the net proceed support the Des Moines Rotary’s charitable projects including the primary benefactor Highline Music4Life.

Where do all these people come from????

Amazed by another huge crowd, I walked thru the market introducing myself and asked people where they lived. I was blown away – half the people I talked with did not live in Des Moines. Here are just some of the places people came from: Kent, Federal Way, Tacoma, Auburn, Kirkland, Normandy Park, Burien, Sea-Tac, Tukwila, Renton, White Center, West Seattle, Seattle, Everett and as far away as Florida, California, Germany, Oregon and Japan. Almost all of them said they came on a regular basis because of the friendliness of everyone here and of course the fabulous venue. Four ladies from Kirkland carpool a couple times a month.

The Clutter to Cash Sale was a huge success and both shoppers & vendors said they would like to see more. Right now the market is looking to set aside a date in August. Keep checking this column, the market’s web site and information booth for more details.

DMFMWineTo help celebrate the 4th of July, we are having Farmers Market Wine Sale, purchase any four bottles and receive a 20% discount and a free canvas wine tote.

GingersTreatsVendor Profile: This week we are featuring Ginger’s Treats, offering gourmet USDA organic dog snacks with handcrafted flavor and quality. Owner Katie Metz says “we are a local company and our treats contain No wheat, No soy, No corn, No preservatives, No artificial flavors and No artificial colors. We want nothing more than to have happy healthy dogs everywhere.” When she isn’t at the market, you can stop by the Wine Tasting booth for coupons and free samples for your doggy.

Music: PK Dwyer

Food Trucks: Curb Jumper, Fish Basket, Hot Revolution Donuts, Lumpia World, Nibbles

New Vendor: Bear’s Breath: Ketchup for the Bold

Market sponsor: Law Offices of Gehrke, Baker, Doull & Kelly donated their booth space this week to Friend to Friend America which recruits and matches volunteers to visit (one-to-one) with elderly and disabled persons who live in nursing homes, assisted living and retirement homes. The volunteer friends make a commitment to visit at least twice a month at their convenience, for a minimum of one year.

Seniors don’t forget that the market and the King Conservation District, along with partner Senior Services, are offering the HYDE Shuttle providing local door to door transportation to the market to seniors 55 and older and people with disabilities of all ages living in Des Moines, Normandy Park, Burien and this year Sea-Tac.

Sunset Markets happen every Wednesday from 3-7pm in July and August. There will be over 30 vendors, some that will be new to us and plenty of Food Trucks. After shopping and eating people can walk into the beach park and enjoy the Des Moines Art Commission’s free summer concerts at 7pm.

The Farmers Market is reaching out to support local business this season. To any Des Moines brick and mortar, independent, locally owned and operated business, the market is offering a free booth space for one market day during the 2015 season to promote their business. To make it easy, canopy, table & chairs will be provided. To participate, go to and download the application and mail it in.

The Des Moines Area Food Bank kids free summer meals program is every Saturday at the market. Snacks are served from 10-11am and lunch from 11:30 to 1pm. There will also be free meals at the Sunset Markets starting Wednesday July 1st. Snacks are from 3-4pm and dinner is 4:30 to 6:30pm.

Upcoming Events:

July 4th –    Fireworks over Des Moines.

July 18thWaterland Festival Activities.

Remember to PITCH IT IN.

To keep up with all the special events, featuring what’s fresh and entertainment at the market, please log onto the web site and sign up for our e-newsletter that comes out once a week. You can also keep up on all the activities by visiting the markets Facebook page.

A high-speed crash into a utility pole at S. 216th and Pacific Highway South in Des Moines early Thursday morning (July 2) sent one to the hospital with serious injuries, according to South King Fire & Rescue.

Officials add that before emergency personnel arrived on the scene, some alert citizens helped the injured driver out of the smashed-up car.

Here are some relevant Tweets about the incident:

Late Wednesday afternoon (July 1), local dignitaries, residents and former campers gathered in the sweltering heat for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly-restored Des Moines Beach Park Dining Hall, also known as the Covenant Beach Bible Camp.

Built in 1934 and located in the Covenant Beach Bible Camp Historic District at Des Moines Beach Park, the building has been closed since 2002 due to the Nisqually Earthquake and Des Moines Creek flood damage. Since that time, the City of Des Moines has worked extensively with federal, state, King County and heritage leaders to save, preserve and reopen this iconic building.

The Dining Hall was designed by Marvel Johnson, a former camper and one of the first female graduates of the University of Washington School of Architecture.

The Covenant Beach Bible Camp Historic District consists of eight rustic craftsman-style camp buildings influenced by Swedish heritage, located within the 18-acre Des Moines Beach Park. The setting includes Des Moines Creek which opens onto the saltwater beach of Puget Sound, archaeological components, natural features and a system of paths and trails connecting to the Des Moines Marina.

Scott Schaefer was on hand and he took these photos (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):











Here’s more info on this project:

Phased construction projects over an eight year period include: Phase 1 (2008): Structural stabilization and construction of a new steel foundation spanning the creek, lifting the building three feet above the 100 year flood level, disconnection and capping and/or removal of deteriorated building utilities at a cost of $1,207,011; Phase 2 (2011-2012): Construction of ADA access to the building via ramps, decking and the replacement of exterior apron around building at a cost of $476,450. Phase 3 (2012) Modifications to Des Moines Creek with an extensive berm walls, deepening and widening of the creek to keep it within its banks and to protect the Historic District at a cost of $1,241,892 and Phase 3 (2013-2015) Reopening of the Dining Hall and Kaffe Stuga construction to install structural posts, beams and framing, repair dry rot, replace insulation and plywood sheer walls, install a fire suppression system and grease trap, update interior restrooms for ADA access, replace and reconnect utilities, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems, replace flooring, restore windows, replace doors, replace roof, gutters, downspouts, repair exterior siding and trim, add exterior lighting and paint the building at a cost of $1,292,623.

Giving credit to the champions that worked with the City of Des Moines to save this resource by providing matching funds totaling $1,934,000 include: 4Culture, King County Preservation Office, Washington Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Washington Historic Commission and Washington Heritage Capital Fund with leadership by former Gov. Christine Gregoire, State Senator Karen Keiser and State Representatives Tina Orwall and Dave Upthegrove, and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Giving praise to the people and organizations that advocated tirelessly to save this resource include: Artifacts, Des Moines Creek Basin Committee, Des Moines Historical Society, Des Moines Landmarks Commission, Des Moines Legacy Foundation, Northwest Covenant Church Council, Seattle Southside Visitors Services, Washington Department of Archeology, Historic Preservation, and, especially to the current and past Des Moines Mayor and City Council’s who’s vision for the City is: An inviting, livable, safe waterfront community embracing change for the future while preserving our past. Lastly, this project would not have come to pass with the tireless leadership, dedication and passion of former Councilmembers Carmen Scott and Susan White.

by T.M. Sell

If you build it, they will come – if you build it in the right place.

Sound Transit soon will decide where to site its extension of the light rail from Angle Lake toward Federal Way. The two main options bring the route along Interstate 5 or along Pacific Highway South.

Local cities are lining up in favor of Interstate 5. Des Moines apparently fears the temporary disruption a Pacific Highway route will produce, while Kent sees the economic development potential of having the rail line run within its borders.

It’s a great leap forward to even get to talk about where to put the rail line. Going back to 1968, local voters consistently rejected transit funding measures. In the late 1980s, a Bellevue mayor publicly questioned why we needed a rail line to South King County, opining “Nobody lives there.”

That’s been the flaw in transportation planning in this region since they built Interstate 5, which at its busiest point goes from six lanes down to two. Planners couldn’t foresee anything different than people driving into and out of Seattle – never through. And so we have one of the most dysfunctional stretches of urban freeway outside of Canada (where, at several major cities, the freeways just end).

So we do need a rail line, for all of the reasons we’ve always needed a rail line. Until we decide to fill in either Elliott Bay or Lake Washington, or start bulldozing the Cascades, we don’t have room for more roads. Anything we do to get cars off the roads saves us money both in time, traffic congestion and pollution costs.

From the perspective of Highline College, naturally we want to see a station as close to the college as possible – on the west side of Pacific Highway. Unlike the rest of Des Moines, we don’t have enough parking. The state will not pay for anything that doesn’t include a classroom, let alone a parking garage.

It is the city’s parking problem that makes its decision to favor the I-5 route so curious.

Des Moines’ issue is that there’s no reason to park there. I meet a lot of people who say “I’ve never been there!” and unless you work here, attend Highline, or own a boat, there’s no reason to come here.

The problem isn’t new. For decades, city government purposefully made it difficult to do business in Des Moines.

The City Council tried to make redevelopment of a restaurant contingent on the developer building a parking garage underneath. The city tried to make a building permit for the college contingent on the college building a sidewalk on a street away from the college. Many business owners who wanted to expand or locate in the city concluded that it was just too difficult and chose to go elsewhere.

The end result is that Des Moines has the lowest per capita tax base of any city over 10,000 in the entire state. I’ve lived in Des Moines for nearly 30 years, and I like it. But if I want to shop, I go to Burien.

The City Council has recognized its problem, which became serious when the car tab tax was slashed and the sales tax equalization fund that bailed out bedroom communities such as Des Moines was ended. And that train isn’t coming back.

Which brings us to the light rail. Serious studies show that transit development produces benefits both in terms of retail development and activity, and in higher land values.

However, these benefits will be reduced by putting the route, and especially the stations, farther away from where people actually live.

For example, the Tukwila station hasn’t produced much of anything, being located away from someplace people might actually want to go, such as Southcenter. It’s great to have a station in South King County – we could use a few more – but one located near a major draw would have produced benefits for nearby businesses and hence for the local community.

Even more than where the line runs, it matters where the stations are located. Experience and multiple studies show that if something is not within walking distance, people don’t use it.

At least one local city councilmember is apparently convinced that the Kent-Des Moines Park and Ride fills up every morning with Highline College students, so they won’t be discouraged by a light rail station just as far from Highline and CWU-Des Moines.

This is absurd. The park and ride is small – it fills up with commuters by 7:30 a.m. — and it’s a mile from the college. A walk from there requires crossing two major arterials, Pacific Highway South and Kent-Des Moines Road.

Nonetheless, it’s somewhat understandable why local leaders want to see the rail line essentially run along I-5. Extending the line along Pacific Highway South will cause more short-term disruption. In the case of Des Moines, any disruption of business threatens the city’s finances.

But while the city has recognized that it needed a different approach to economic development, pushing the rail line east to the freeway only makes sense in the short term. If there is any business development along I-5, it will be in Kent.

Sound Transit predicts a healthy amount of ancillary development around its Angle Lake station, which is just off Pacific Highway, and not without reason. The line will run from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the Angle Lake Station at South 200th Street, and so far the project hasn’t torn a hole in the heart of SeaTac.

Des Moines should favor the Pacific Highway/SR99 route, because in the long term, it will mean a more vibrant community.

Not everyone is going to agree with this (and that’s OK). The SR99 route costs half a billion more dollars than the I-5 route, and it displaces more businesses.

But it also generates three times as much commercial development potential, and is expected to attract 3,000 more riders a day. That’s a lot of cars off the road. The I-5 route also displaces five times as many homes as does the SR99 route.

So while in the short term it will cause some disruptions, in the long term it will mean more commercial development and more retail sales tax revenue for the city.

Obviously, this really matters to the college. The fact that it does should matter to everyone else.

Because of lower rents, South King County has attracted a large number of immigrants and lower income people. Their best hope of gaining the skills necessary to get better employment is education and training.

Highline College is the leading institution for providing that training. One-quarter of our 10-15,000-strong student body are ABE/ESL (Adult Basic Education/English as a Second Language) students. The college has made great progress in convincing these students to stay longer than it takes to learn basic English, to stay long enough to get added job skills and a better-paying career.

To the extent that students can get to campus, more of them will come. And the more students we have, the less likely the college is in jeopardy of losing state funding.

Moreover, putting a station a mile east of the college increases the likelihood that Metro will move more bus routes there and away from Highline, further reducing students’ access to higher education.

Before you respond that you don’t have any kids in or about to be in college, try to look at it all with a slightly longer view: The students at Highline, today and in the future, are your employees, customers, clients and, for some of us, our caretakers of tomorrow.

As Highline economics professor Dr. James Peyton has adroitly said, we should be investing for our grandchildren, not for ourselves.

T.M. Sell, Ph.D. is professor of political economy at Highline College, and the author of Wings of Power: Boeing and the Politics of Growth in the Northwest, and An Introduction to Politics.

A man was shot in the abdomen in the parking lot of the Red Robin in Des Moines Tuesday afternoon, sending him to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Sgt. Doug Jenkins of the Des Moines Police Department told The Waterland Blog that around 2:05 p.m., police received several 911 calls about a shooting outside the restaurant.

Two men – who knew each other – apparently decided to meet at the Red Robin parking lot, where they got into verbal argument. This argument escalated into a physical confrontation, where the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot the victim once in the abdomen.

The suspect remained on the scene, waiting for officers – a “rare occurrence,” according to Jenkins.

The victim is a 40-year old Hispanic male, and the suspect is a white male in 20s. The suspect was transported to Highline Medical Center by police for treatment to his arm. He will be treated and questioned by police.

Detectives were still on site investigating as of 3:30 p.m.

Red Robin is located at 22705 Marine View Drive.


Featured artist Michael Sorenson with his artwork.


Featured artist Floyd Tokuda.

The Highline College Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center’s new art display features inspiring artwork by some very inspiring artists.

The pieces – all of which are created by artists with disabilities – highlight the damaging impact of litter and pollution in our world’s waters. The artists channel their unique talents and vision in an effort to motivate others to save our oceans.

“Having an exhibit where differently-abled artists are the voice for marine organisms and their plight is a profound message that speaks to everyone,” said MaST Center Director, Dr. Kaddee Lawrence. “I am incredibly pleased that the MaST Center has had the good fortune to partner with the Elfin Group for this exhibit.”

The Elfin Group is a local organization that is comprised of differently-abled artists.

All of the pieces are for sale and 80 percent of the proceeds will go to the MaST Center to support programs for the public. The display will remain at the MaST Center until the end of August.

The MaST Center offers free exhibit space to artists that feature the natural world of the Puget Sound in their work. For more information on the MaST Center or displaying art at the center, or visit

WHAT: Marine Life Matters: Differently-Abled Artists Painting the Unheard Voices of Marine Life

WHEN: Saturdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.and Thursdays, 4–7 p.m. through August 29, 2015


WHERE: Highline College’s Marine Science and Technology Center, located on Redondo Beach Drive, next door to Salty’s; address: >28203 Redondo Beach Dr. S., Des Moines, WA 98198.

Sponsored by: The Highline College Marine Science and Technology Center.


Press “Play” button to view/hear the live, local weather stream.

by Chris Scragg
Puget Sound Weather Geek

Thunderstorms rumbled through the South Puget Sound and Cascade foothills early Monday morning (2:00 – 5:00 a.m.). Frequent lightning lit up the horizon for a beautiful, yet ominous display (click image to see larger version):

Photo by Chris Scragg.

Here’s a radar loop showing the thunderstorms developing along the Cascade foothills and South Sound.

These storms came just after another round of storms fired up on Sunday morning.

Thunderstorms today will be confined to the Cascades and Eastern WA which will unfortunately impact their already drastic fire danger.

The skies will quiet down by the middle of this week and our temperatures will hover in the mid 80s.

For the latest local weather, be sure to follow the Puget Sound Weather Geek:

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