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by Chris Scragg
Puget Sound Weather Geek

It’s looking like the big storm moving in will soak us all for the entire weekend, with a possibility of up to 5 inches of rain by Sunday(!):

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

Thanks for visiting! If you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback please email me at

by Dave Markwell

A couple of years ago, after an evening out, my wife and I headed to Denny’s for the obligatory late-night gut-bombing. Per normal procedure, my wife drove as I was, once again, over-served and not capable of operating any type of vehicle, motorized or otherwise. It had been a good night with friends and I was happy. We were seated at our table and my wife took the booth side, which she always does. I like the booth side better, too, but never get it when I am with her.

The waitress brought us waters and menus. I chose the “Moons Over My Hammy”, a delicious egg, ham, and cheese sandwich, with hash browns. Sometimes, I get the “Superbird”, another yummy grilled sandwich with turkey and bacon, but this night, the “Moon’s” had it.

Sitting a table away was a young man. He was in his early twenties, I would guess. He was obviously in the military as his dress blues and haircut made this clear. He was sitting alone with an empty plate and a cup of coffee and the saddest look I have ever witnessed on a human face.

After a few minutes of hesitant looks over to him, our eyes met and I said “Hi”. He replied with a soft smile and we began talking. He was from somewhere in the Carolinas and was awaiting his red-eye flight back to his base. I don’t remember which branch of service he was in, but I remember that his grief hung like smoke in the dining room.

Through our course of small talk, I asked him what he was doing in town. He replied that he had come for a funeral. A fellow soldier and buddy had been killed in Iraq and the fallen man’s family was from the Seattle area. So, this soldier and other members of his unit had flown here to honor their lost comrade. The service was held earlier that day. This poor boy had just lain to rest a friend and brother. He had spoken with the weeping parents detailing the events that resulted in the lost life of their child. He was there when it happened and witnessed it and tried to save his friend, but couldn’t. His young heart was heavy and had changed.

This revelation made me want to hug this kid. I wanted to take him in my arms, like any good father, and tell him it would be ok. I wanted to turn back the clock and change the world for this sad boy. I could do nothing but shake my head and say “I’m sorry.” My heart was broken in this moment. His eyes had seen things they could not un-see. The soft and hopeful part of his youth was gone and I knew that it would not be ok. It would never be ok and the life he knew before that tragic moment would never return to him.

As he looked in my eyes pleading for an answer that I did not have, we connected. I honored his duty with my own profound sadness. All I could do was be sad for him and his friend and his friend’s family and the countless people impacted by the death of a single soldier. The look in my eyes said there is no answer, no truth, no tidy insight that can deliver the peace he was looking for. Perhaps it doesn’t even exist.

Before leaving I paid his bill and shook his hand, thanked him for his service and wished him good, safe luck for the rest of his tour. Then, my wife and I walked to the car and cried.

I still cry when I think deeply about this poor kid. He was real. His eyes were real and they revealed the true depth of his confused anguish. It is a depth known to so many soldiers and families of soldiers. It is a place that no one wants to be, but many volunteer to go and stare it down and hope their fortune holds. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

This Veteran’s Day please imagine, deeply and truly, losing what you love most in this world and recognize that the men and women who chose to serve our great land risk losing and indeed, lose, what they love most, regularly. They do this for us. And it is with enormous reverence and gratitude that we must honor them, thank them, take care of them and do EVERYTHING in our goddamn power to keep these kids from getting killed. They are the most valuable things we have. God Bless them all…and their families…this day and every day….

[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!]




by Abigail Gerken

It’s a balmy Fall Sunday morning as Pacific Middle School students, me inclusive, set out to clean-up Des Moines’ downtown. While most children are enjoying their time to sleep in, or families are attending services, we met up at the Des Moines Marina determined to clean our city. The Des Moines Marina looks pretty good, so we moved on to Red Robin in town to continue our efforts. With gloves on and garbage bags on the ready, a small group and I began to beautify the city.

Once we cleaned up Red Robin’s parking lot, we moved north/north west to continue to sweep the streets. We cleaned parking lots, street corners, sidewalks and even the bushes! We noticed a parking lot next to a vacant old movie theatre, and other vacant businesses that needed particular attention. We learned that the vacancies probably meant low upkeep as there were not businesses to care for adjacent areas. Along the way, we made some interesting discoveries, like finding a pocket knife among an abundance of cigarette buds. In fact, we found that cigarette butts were the number one source of the waste we cleaned up.

We also found about one cigarette disposal station per block, on the average, which did not seem enough to cover the distance between finding the next station. So, “What if we could propose to the City of Des Moines Council, or adjacent businesses to put signage up for eliminating cigarette butt waste? We could make the signs, possibly. Or, increase the number of cigarette stations along the streets?” We really need to do something to keep cigarette butts from going down the storm drains that feed into the Puget Sound. Many of the storm drains we cleaned had piles of cigarette butts on them or in them.

Along the walk, we learned from our teacher, Jennifer Muscolo (former science teacher), that cigarette butts “might have an ecological benefit – that they might deter bird parasites in bird nests, but overall that the harm outweighs the potential benefits. Cigarette butts, which contain thousands of chemicals, have been shown to be quite toxic to our marine life in our beautiful Puget Sound here in Washington.”

My fellow middle school students, including Dawit Solomon, Payton Hayes, and me may have only spent four man hours cleaning up Des Moines, but we learned many valuable lessons. All of this energy was partly motivated by the October 29th Des Moines City Council Meeting some of my fellow Leadership students attended. There, we heard many citizens proclaim that much needed to be done to help clean the city. From that, we had an idea: Why not help our citizens out? Since the beginning of this school year that is what this class has been doing. Maybe you have seen some of our Pacific Middle School Leadership students or me at the “Brat Trot, Freaky 5K Zombie Run, Ride Around the Sound, Reach Center of Hope, Zombie Fest, or a number of other events or activities around town”?

Next Sunday, Nov. 22, we will be cleaning up the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, a hidden gem North of SeaTac International Airport from 8:00 a.m. until noon. We will be back in Des Moines City Down Town to clean again on November 22nd from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. So come join us! If you are missing a foldable pocket knife contact us, too, but you will have to describe it well. It was found outside the Sports Bar on the corner of S. 223rd Street and Marine View Drive.

Pacific Leadership students are involved in many projects, but we are always looking for other ways to serve our community. If you want them to help you with a project, please contact our Leadership Teacher, Jennifer Muscolo at

The Des Moines Police Department released the following Crime Alert, warning residents of suspicious subjects going door-to-door:

Monday evening (early evening) the Des Moines Police Station received several calls regarding suspicious subject going door-to-door. These subjects stated they were performing fire and safety checks and wanted to inspect the clothes dryer vents to make sure they were not increasing homeowners potential fire risk. These subjects were not found to be affiliated with any organizations.


Associated with a bright blue smaller sedan (possibly a Fiat)

  • Subject 1 – White Male, 20’s 6’00 thin build with long hair
  • Subject 2 –Asian or Pacific Islander Male, 20’s 5’10 heavy build

There could be another subject involved driving the vehicle

Please be vigilant in your crime prevention efforts and if you see these guys in your area please call 9-1-1 immediately and please do not allow them access to your home.

Here’s the Des Moines Police Department Crime Blotter for the week of Nov. 1 – 7, 2015 (click images to see larger versions, or download a PDF file here):



















The Des Moines Historical Society will be discussing the 1930’s Depression in Des Moines TONIGHT – Tuesday, Nov. 10 – at Des Moines United Methodist Church. located at S. 223rd Street and 9th Ave S.

Listen to the last of the “Boo Hoo Babies” share their stories of the hard times growing up in Des Moines during the Depression. Joyce “Bubbles” Crowder, Bill Rydberg, Mark “Bill” Van Gaskn, and John Rayback will begin the discussion and encourage you to also take part in adding your thoughts and experiences doing those trying times.

With Veterans Day following the day of our meting we will also have a color guard to present our country’s colots.

Please bring along any memorabilia you wish to share from the Depression or the World War II years.

For more information, call Jim Langston, Program Chairman, at (206) 878-7205.

by Jack Mayne

Despite a warning that it was unconstitutional to infringe on freedom of religion, the Des Moines City Council effectively banned most of the city’s churches from housing homeless encampments because they must be 1,000 feet from any school.

The Council on Thursday night (Nov. 5) passed the new city rules on such encampments 4 to 2 with Councilmember Luisa Bangs and Mayor Dave Kaplan voting no. Councilmember Bob Sheckler was absent due to illness.

Earlier in the meeting, the Council heard Des Moines Municipal Court Judge Lisa Leone give her first report on the city court and that the Redondo Boardwalk should be open for public use by next summer.

The Councilmembers were also scolded by a resident for cutting off a citizen who was commenting at the previous meeting.

Proposed homeless rules
Denise Lathrop, the city’s community development manager, discussed the city’s proposed ordinance on religious facilities having homeless encampments on their property. The Washington Legislature in 2010 required local ordinances on possible encampments but city officials said there are no such requests at this time.

Lathrop said the one in 20 students in the Highline School District are homeless. The recent homeless count came up with over 10,000 people homeless countywide.

Seattle and King County just recently declared a state of emergency for the homeless, she said.

“There is often the perception that all the people that are in homeless camps are mentally ill or have substance abuse problems,” Lathrop said. “It often is that the people we tend to see because they are more out in the open.

“A lot of it is has to do with housing affordability … particularly in our region. The permanent solution is, obviously, is to provide housing. It has been proven to reduce homelessness and it becomes less of a tax burden for our taxpayers.”

Lathrop said that while encampments are not a solution they are a safety net.

The state law on encampments on the grounds of churches says the city cannot impose restrictions “other than those necessary to protect public health and safety.”

Des Moines does not have any rules regarding homeless encampments so one could be set up without city approval unless an ordinance is passed.

Lathrop said the proposed Des Moines ordinance would limit the number of potential encampments to one each 365 days and it could not last more than 92 days. The ordinance would require notice to nearby businesses or homes and hold a public meeting during the planning process.

Religious groups would have to apply 75 days before the encampment was to begin and notices sent out of nearby residences and businesses. Inhabitants of camps must have valid IDs and go through sex offender and warrant checks before they can stay.

Resident Kevin Isherwood wondered if the valid ID was the reason people in other areas are not allowed in encampments and Lathrop said there were no specific reasons in the data.

Could be near schools
The proposed ordinance did not have provisions banning homeless encampments near schools because most of the city’s churches would have not have been able to hold encampments, a violation of freedom of religion standards.

But Deputy Mayor Matt Pina, wanted camps to be banned within 1,000 feet of “an elementary or secondary school” despite freedom of religion concerns.

Mayor Kaplan had concerns because 17 of the 24 religious institutions in the city would be forbidden to have homeless encampments “and they may be the only ones who have the space to accommodate it.”

Pina said he understood the right of a religious organization to host the sites, but it was “our responsibility to ensure that the children in our community are safe.”

Councilmember Victor Pennington, who said the state law banning anyone under 18 at homeless encampments “makes a statement”, seconded the motion, adding the city should be proactive and not reactive.

“If we get challenged then we will defend it – they shoot us down? I don’t know,” Pennington said.

Councilmember Luisa Bangs asked what options do the 17 churches excluded have.

City Manager Tony Piasecki said, “Nothing, they can’t have them … if you include this buffer, then these 17 cannot (have a homeless encampment.”

The Council voted 4 to 2 to add the 1000-foot ban, with Kaplan and Bangs voting no.

‘Very offensive’
Resident Mary Eun, said she watched the recording of the Oct. 29 meeting and “the first thing that happened was to cut off Rick Johnson because he was talking too long.

“I just thought there needs to be a process improvement.”

Eun said there was nothing at the public podium to show the time elapsed and suggested systems that many organizations use to keep speakers aware of time limits, “graceful, non-offensive ways to give people a warning.”

“What I saw in last week’s recording was very offensive,” she said, adding that Johnson and others have been pressing their cases to the Council.

“They have not disappeared and they won’t disappear,” Eun said, adding that four minutes was given to another speaker later on.

She asked which member of the Council would be he first to apologize to Johnson, no one did.

Kaplan said he agreed there could be a better way to warn people that their time was up, maybe a clock on the speakers lectern.

“So that it is not so offensive to the folks who are doing what you want your citizens to do in voicing what is going on and bringing awareness…

Furlough list needed
Kevin Isherwood said he wanted to clarify his suggestion the week before about a city employee furlough. There should be a list of “truly essential employees, those charged with the safety and security of the city” and if there is not a list, Isherwood said there should be.

He said bargaining units should realize that “something is better than nothing and if we continue on the path that we are going as demonstrated at the last meeting on the budget, we are going to be bankrupt and no one’s going to have a job.”

Isherwood said Councilmember Sheckler has been leaving after public comments and before the budget is discussed.

“What I want to know is if he feels comfortable voting on an agenda item as important as the budget when he’s not been part of the public discussions on that topic,” Isherwood said.

Judge’s Court Report
Des Moines Municipal Court Judge Lisa Leone gave her first report after taking office last May.

She said she planned to build a model court which means increasing access to the court without having to come into the to the courtroom by finding and filing items on line. People will be able in some cases to file statements and photos on line and receive a letter of the judge’s decision.

Judge Leone said she goes into the community to talk with groups about what the court is and how it works.

“It is important that it be transparent and accountable which I and the court will try to be at all times,” Leone said.

Caseload trends show a downward trend beginning in 2012 for both criminal and civil infractions, Leone said.

Criminal cases fluctuate over time due to economic conditions, crime rates, police staffing changes, populations and changes in laws. The judge said there have been more criminal trials of late and with the addition of police officers she expects and increase in demands for trials.

She said she has had a number of calls from officers in Des Moines and in Normandy Park for warrants, noting that the officers of both cities had “done an incredibly professional job.”

Boardwalk next summer
Transportation Engineer Andrew Merges said it is hoped to get the Redondo Boardwalk in operation next summer and the storm damage a year ago. The repair design has been nearly completed and pending some final decisions and permits before starting construction. The boardwalk will become one of color-stained concrete to look like boards.

He said the cabling and posts will be stainless steel so it doesn’t rust and break, but also to lessen the danger from logs impacting the walk supports.

There will also be low level lighting at deck level.

Here’s episode #27 of our SoKing News Podcast Weekly Recap, 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:

Weekly Recap for the weekend of Nov. 6, 2015: 16% tax hike coming to Des Moines?; SeaTac apartment fire displaces 3 families; woman killed in Burien motorcycle crash identified; Highline Public School graduation rate rises; Food Bank needs help; Puget Sound Weather Geek forecast; Jack Mayne Commentary and more…

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

The Mt. Rainier High School Choir Fall Concert will be at the Highline Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

All are invited – and admission is FREE – for an evening of performances by the Ram Singers, Bella Voce, Concert Choir and Music Company.

As part of our fundraising efforts toward Spring Break travel to Disneyland for workshops / performances there will be a Bake Sale (cookies, candy, H2o): $1 each) and sale of “Hands Around Highline” Coupon Books ($20 each).

Purchasing one or more of these books is an ideal way to support many layers of our community at once as the money raised at this show will be shared between the MRHS Choir and the Highline Schools Foundation

Enjoy great savings at local restaurants and retailers, too. (You may elect to direct proceeds to a specific choir member or the choir as a whole to help offset total trip costs.)

Questions: or Mardi Anderson

by Dave Markwell

I cleaned my kitchen this morning. I did this while warming some cinnamon rolls in the oven for my kids to enjoy on a cool and drizzly morning. Pandora radio played as I scrubbed some pots and pans and wiped down the counters. I performed some bathroom monitoring duties to ensure no conflicts regarding this valuable space. My beautiful offspring came down stairs well-coifed and ready for their days. After breakfast, my son drove himself to high school and I drove my daughter her middle school. All in all, it was a pretty typical, uneventful morning. Just the way I like it.

In looking back on my early days, I remember sitting at our kitchen table eating my breakfast cereal as my dad drank his coffee while working on a crossword puzzle and KJR radio played. After finishing my Count Chocula, I would stroll into the living room and position myself and favorite blanket over a heat register and watch cartoons. My dad would come into the living room to put his work boots on before leaving the house. This ritual was a staple of my days for many years and it’s what I remember most and what I love remembering best.

In my life I have seen some fantastic places and visited some exotic lands full of new and beautiful experiences. In doing these things, I have realized that I like home better. I like my family better. I like soft mornings listening to music and loving my kids better.

It’s easy in the busy, stressful, challenge-laden lives many of us live to look for an escape. We look forward to a big vacation or a big change with grand hopes that it will provide some relief. There’s a tendency, I think, to believe more in explosions and events as the path to joy than the mundane dailies. I believe we miss something with these thoughts. We can overlook our days. And we have some good ones. These days pass and we will miss them when they’re gone.

In examining the days of my life, I am always warmed by the simple ones; breakfast with my dad, playing cribbage with my son and buddies, eating ice cream with my daughter, sharing a couch with my wife. These wonderful things happen every single day.

While I enjoy a vacation or event as much as the next guy, I always look forward to coming home and mowing my lawn or helping my kids with some homework. These are the days of our lives. They are finite and they are precious and they are worthy of regard. There is much beauty in the simple and real moments of our days. The non-event IS the event. The ordinary IS the extraordinary and when we look back on the pages of our lives, I think we will know this as truth…OR we can accept this as truth now and enjoy each day a little bit more with this understanding…

[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!]

1 in 6 header

Food Drive Poster Elements

The Rotary Club of Des Moines & Normandy Park is teaming with civic groups, hometown merchants and individuals to come to the aid of the Des Moines Area Food Bank during the first-ever Des Moines Bank Food and Fund Drive.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Normandy Park Towne Center, directly in front of Normandy Park Market.

The Rotary Club of Des Moines & Normandy Park, which has been a long time financial supporter of the local Food Bank, has decided to head a fundraiser for the Des Moines  Area Food Bank after learning some startling statistics:

  • The Des Moines Area Food Bank serves over 1,000 families every month in a large geographic expanse including the communities of Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and the West Hill portion of Kent.
  • 1 in 5 children in the Des Moines Food Bank area of service, suffers from food insecurity, a rate starkly higher than the national average of 1 in 8 children.
  • The Des Moines Area Food Bank operates at a loss for 10 months out of every 12.

These numbers prompted the local Rotary club to take action to assemble a community Food/Fundraiser aimed at accomplishing three things:

  1. Raising funds to help this organization which helps so many
  2. Increasing awareness about hunger in our hometowns
  3. Galvanizing groups, business and citizens of our area to support the Des Moines Food bank in an on-going fashion

The Rotary Club is seeking merchant sponsors to donate $250.00 each. Merchants who support the Des Moines Area Food Bank Food and Fund Drive would see 100% of those tax-deductible funds going directly to the Food Bank. They are also asked to set out a Food Donation Bin (supplied by the Rotary club) in their business and encourage patrons to donate nonperishable food items, or funds from now until Dec. 5.

The public is encouraged to become what organizers are calling “Square Meal Partners,” credit card donors who contribute $10 monthly automatically on their credit or debit cards directly to the Des Moines Food Bank.  The goal is to get a minimum of 100 Square Meal Partners before the end of the drive at 4 p.m. on Dec. 5.

This event will be graciously broadcast via a South King Media video stream and will be featured that day on the Waterland Blog, The B-Town Blog, The SeaTac Blog, and The Normandy Park Blog. The video feed will be filmed by volunteer students of the Puget Sound Skills Center Broadcast Communication Department, a Highline Public School in Burien.

In addition to broadcasting the donations of individuals, organizations and merchants, SoKing Media will also broadcast the jailing and release of “Local Dignitary Hostages.”

“The Rotary Club of Des Moines Normandy Park has been proud to support the Des Moines Food Bank over the years,” said Rotary President Janel Stoneback. “We are very pleased that so many others are answering the call to help an institution which helps so many people find their footing in the face of hard times.”

The Rotary Club isn’t alone in this effort; many other non-profit groups are rallying behind the cause, including Des Moines, Cubscout Pack 955, which will be conducting a special “Scouting For Food” day before and on Dec. 5. In addition the Normandy Park Economic Development Committee which organizes the annual Winterfest Celebration at the Normandy Park Towne Center on Sunday Dec. 6, has declared that the Food & Fund Drive will be the kick-off event of the Winterfest Celebration.

Scores of local businesses are proving sponsorship support including: The Normandy Park Town Center, Normandy Park Market, South King Media, Marina Medical, Rose Pho, Wallingford Financial, Wesley Homes, Normandy Perk, Can’t Stop Smakin’, Salon Michelle, Pierview Chiropractic, Priceless Pet Clinic, Flora Laura, Razors Edge, Judson Park, and Normandy Park Ace Hardware.

Rotarian Steve Swank, one of the event’s organizer and the Past President of the Des Moines Food Bank remarked about the impetus for this event:

“All of us who live here realize what a special area this is, with breath-taking views, wonderful neighbors and a vibrant business community. When Rotarians and the business people we’ve reached out to learned about the Food Bank statistics, many were shocked to learn that the hunger rate in our hometowns was so high. The Des Moines Food Bank does so much to help those in need, and all of us felt compelled to help the Food Bank. This Food Bank provides more of a ‘hand up’, not necessarily a ‘hand out’. Many people who utilize the Food Bank’s services come back to donate to the Food Bank once on their feet. We are confident, that with enough support, awareness and continued generosity from these communities, we can help the Des Moines Area Food Bank eliminate hunger in our hometowns. I’d like to personally invite any group, business or individual who was not happy learning that 1 in 5 kids in this area suffer from food insecurity to step up. Please attend the Food & Fund Drive on December 5th at the Normandy Park Towne Center and please consider becoming a Square Meal Partner. Together, we can change these numbers.”

The Normandy Park Market is located at 19805 1st Avenue South, Normandy Park, WA 98148.

Pledges are now being taken at www.SquareMealPartner.Org.

Questions, Merchant Sponsorships, and organizations that would like to get involved are invited to email

WLB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this Saturday, Nov. 7 – is a quality-built, 3-bedroom 1 3/4 bath rambler on a .25 acre lot in the Springwood Park community of Federal Way!

This home has been lovingly pampered for the past 41 years by its current owner.

Stay cool in summer and warm in winter with a new 50-year roof.

Beautiful level lot (11,266 SF) leaves plenty of room for expansion if desired.

Great neighborhood with underground utilities.

Walking distance to Mirror Lake Elementary School.

Convenient access to shopping & major highways.

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
















Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: SATURDAY, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: 31600 7th Ave S Federal Way, WA 98003 (MAP)


  • List Price: $244,000
  • MLS Number: 828506
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 1.75
  • Year Built: 1967
  • Approximate House SqFt: 1,420
  • Lot Square Footage: 11,266

Site Features:

  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Skylights
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Cable TV
  • Fenced-Fully
  • Gas Available
  • High Speed Internet
  • Patio

Marketing remarks:

Come home to this quality built 3 bedroom 1 3/4 bath rambler on a .25 acre lot in the Springwood Park community of Federal Way.

Home has been lovingly pampered for the past 41 years by the current owner.

Stay cool in summer and warm in winter with new 50 year roof.

Beautiful level lot (11,266 SF) leaves plenty of room for expansion, if desired.

Great neighborhood w/underground utilities.

Walking distance to Mirror Lake Elementary School.

Convenient access to shopping & major highways.

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.

The Des Moines Auxiliary of the Seattle Children’s Hospital presents its annual holiday bazaar on Nov. 20 and 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Des Moines United Methodist Church, 2225 9th St. South.

There will be door prizes, raffles, Santa pictures, home made crafts, baked items and home cooked food for sale.

The proceeds will go toward the uncompensated fund of Seattle Children’s.

For more information call Janice at 253-833-9293 or Marilyn at 206-243-1081.

From our sister site The SeaTac Blog:

An apartment fire in in the 19200 block of 11th Place South (map below) in SeaTac displaced three families Thursday morning, Nov. 5.

No injuries were reported, and a cat that went missing was found.

Kent Fire says that the cause of the fire was accidental, due to combustibles being located too close to an electric baseboard heater.

The Red Cross is on the scene to assist.

Here are some relevant Tweets:

The second round of results for Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) General Election have been released by King County Elections, and Luisa Bangs still holds a commanding lead over Alexander Szabo for Des Moines City Council Position No. 2.

Also, looks like South King Fire & Rescue Prop. 1 will easily pass, and Bill Fuller and John Ricker will join the Commission Board.

City of Des Moines Council Position No. 2:

  • Luisa Bangs: 2213 • 65.78%
  • Alexander Szabo: 1143 • 33.98%
  • Write-in: 8 • 0.24%

South King Fire & Rescue Proposition No. 1:

  • Approved: 10427 • 61.70%
  • Rejected: 6472 • 38.30%

South King Fire and Rescue Commissioner Position No. 2:

  • Bill Fuller: 8909 • 60.61%
  • Roger Flygare: 5717 • 38.89%
  • Write-in: 74 • 0.50%

South King Fire and Rescue Commissioner Position No. 3:

  • Marty Grisham: 3337 23.49%
  • John Rickert: 10799 76.02%
  • Write-in: 70 0.49%

The first round of results for Tuesday’s (Nov. 3) General Election have been released by King County Elections, and the early tallies for Des Moines City Council shows that Luisa Bangs will win easily, while in neighboring SeaTac Mayor Mia Gregerson is losing to Erin A. Sitterley:

City of Des Moines Council Position No. 2:

  • Luisa Bangs: 1878 • 65.99%
  • Alexander Szabo: 960 •33.73%
  • Write-in: 8 • 0.28%

City of Des Moines Council Position No. 4:

  • Jeremy Nutting: 2318 • 98.26%
  • Write-in: 41 • 1.74%

City of Des Moines Council Position No. 6

  • Robbie Back: 2254 • 98.26%
  • Write-in: 40 • 1.74%

City of SeaTac Council Position No. 1

  • Rick Forschler: 1412 • 67.95%
  • Craig Baker: 652 • 31.38%
  • Write-in: 14 • 0.67%

City of SeaTac Council Position No. 3:

  • Peter Kwon: 1301 • 60.04%
  • Sally Andrews: 861 • 39.73%
  • Write-in: 5 • 0.23%

City of SeaTac Council Position No. 5:

  • Michael Siefkes: 1345 • 64.23%
  • Dave Bush: 742 • 35.43%
  • Write-in: 7 • 0.33%

City of SeaTac Council Position No. 7:

  • Erin A. Sitterley: 1254 • 58.35%
  • Mia Su-Ling Gregerson: 887 • 41.28%
  • Write-in: 8 • 0.37%

City of Burien Council Position No. 2:

  • Bob Edgar: 2503 • 57.49%
  • Holli Giffin: 1836 • 42.17%
  • Write-in: 15 • 0.34%

City of Burien Council Position No. 4:

  • Lucy Krakowiak: 2624 • 60.34%
  • Jon Scherer: 1710 • 39.32%
  • Write-in: 15 • 0.34%

City of Burien Council Position No. 6:

  • Austin Bell: 2163 • 49.84%
  • Darla Green: 2161 • 49.79%
  • Write-in: 16 • 0.37%

City of Normandy Park Council Position No. 1:

  • Doug Osterman: 833 • 97.09%
  • Write-in: 25 • 2.91%

City of Normandy Park Council Position No. 3

  • Jonathan Chicquette: 770 98.72%
  • Write-in: 10 1.28%

City of Normandy Park Council Position No. 5:

  • Michelle N. Sipes-Marvin: 782 98.24%
  • Write-in: 14 1.76%

City of Normandy Park Council Position No. 7

  • Shawn McEvoy: 511 • 44.55%
  • John L. Rankin: 630 • 54.93%
  • Write-in: 6 0.52%

City of Normandy Park Proposition No. 1:

  • Yes: 529 • 42.42%
  • No: 718 • 57.58%

City of Tukwila Mayor:

  • De’Sean Quinn: 664 • 43.06%
  • Allan Ekberg: 873 • 56.61%
  • Write-in: 5 • 0.32%

City of Tukwila Council Position No. 2:

  • Kathy Hougardy: 1162 • 98.81%
  • Write-in: 14 • 1.19%

City of Tukwila Council Position No. 4:

  • Dennis Robertson: 1113 • 98.41%
  • Write-in: 18 • 1.59%

City of Tukwila Council Position No. 6:

  • Charles Richard (Dick) Tyson: 402 • 28.61%
  • Kate Kruller: 994 • 70.75%
  • Write-in: 9 • 0.64%

Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 2:

  • Courtney Gregoire: 180979 • 84.91%
  • Goodspaceguy: 31109 • 14.60%
  • Write-in: 1051 • 0.49%

Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position No. 5:

  • Fred Felleman: 112167 • 56.18%
  • Marion Yoshino: 86401 • 43.27%
  • Write-in: 1088 • 0.54%

South King Fire & Rescue Proposition No. 1:

  • Approved: 8731 • 61.69%
  • Rejected: 5422 • 38.31%

Highline School District No. 401 Director District No. 1:

  • Tyrone Curry, Sr.: 8164 • 98.60%
  • Write-in: 116 • 1.40%

Highline School District No. 401 Director District No. 3

  • Joe Van: 7640 • 77.27%
  • Miles Partman: 2205 • 22.30%
  • Write-in: 42 • 0.42%

Highline School District No. 401 Director District No. 4:

  • Bernie Dorsey: 8113 • 98.73%
  • Write-in: 104 • 1.27%

Highline School District No. 401 Director District No. 5

  • John D. Burdine: 4713 47.72%
  • Michael D. Spear: 5119 51.83%
  • Write-in: 45 0.46%

As we sift through other results, we’ll update this post, so hit “Refresh” to see the latest.

We’ll post another update Wed. (Nov. 5) sometime after 4:30 p.m., so stay tuned…

by Jack Mayne

A proposal to impose a new 16 percent tax on sewer and water districts drew the ire of a large number of Des Moines residents at last Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

For well over an hour, residents and the utility districts involved in budget balancing taxes scolded, chastised and criticized the city administration and Council, many calling for staff cuts and the freezing, even lowering, of city staff salaries.

In the end, the utility taxes were put over to the Council session on Nov. 12, while smaller taxes on surface water and cable utilities were moved on for final passage at a later meeting.

More for less
Des Moines resident David Diedrichsen told the Council on Thursday (Oct. 29) that he has been laid off from Boeing four times and each time was rehired to work at a lower pay rate, and said the city is going to have to do more with less.

“Maybe the City of Des Moines needs to be liquidated as a legal entity and absorbed by SeaTac or Normandy Park,” he said to chuckles from the audience. “I don’t understand as a resident, the value to me adding 16 percent to my water bill when the water district is already self-contained and self-funded.

“Why can’t you make do with the funds you’ve got, or cut? Everyone else is cutting. Do more with less.”

Several resident suggested cutting city employee salaries or not giving them raises, even turning some activities over to volunteers.

Mayor Pro Tem Matt Pina said later that there is a view that the city has not been cutting, but it has. City Manager Tony Piasecki said the city staff has been cut often and is in some departments half what it was in 2000.

Adding police officers
Bob Pond said the city voted three times but “we were scammed out of our promised police officers.”

But three officers are included in this budget proposal, but that did not placate him.

“This Council is going against the will of the people,” Pond said.

This increase in utility taxes to 16 percent “is a tax and spend liberal plan all on the back of the taxpayers,” said Pond.

“This is outrageous.”

He said more cuts should come at the same time as the city should strengthen police and fix city streets.

“We are a struggling city and need to focus in on the basics,” he said. “I think the people of Des Moines will never pass a tax again if you do this to people.”

Another resident, Harry Steinmetz, said the increase was too much for the utility districts and that “any raises for anybody is absolutely ill advised.”

Steinmetz said the Council was “having a real problem with transparency and showing that you understand the outrage and the frustration of the community.”

Utility tax may be illegal
Resident Martin Metz said the “drastic increase in the utility taxes of 16 percent” might not be legal. The decision on that will come with a future court case testing whether it is legal for government entities to tax each other.

Metz said the imposition of a 6 percent utility tax last year in SeaTac has led to “a full-blown voter revolt” there.

He said he urged the Council to continue to seek out new business in the city as well as keeping existing ones.

“If as much effort was placed on this as on antagonizing the citizens things would be a lot smoother with jobs and employment bringing the needed revenue that the city needs to operate,” Metz said.

John Rayback, a director of Water District 54 which serves downtown Des Moines, said the city should not tax the district because it provides water for fire suppression. He also noted that the city is one of the district’s customers so the water will cost it more as well as other users.

Candace Urquhart said that since a lot of city residents make less than $40,000 a year that the city consider a 2.6 percent decrease in salaries of city workers, instead of an increase in taxes for hard pressed citizens. She received cheers and applause from the audience.

Several other citizens suggested the city’s financial condition was such that no city worker salary increases should be made.

Utilities protest tax hike
Midway Sewer District manager Ken Kase said his billing system is not set up to collect the tax and also to pay the state additional excise taxes on increased revenue and wants people from the city to “come and talk with us and figure something out here.”

Then it was Southwest Suburban Sewer District’s Ron Hall who said he wondered why the city did not seek to meet with the district to see if some sort of accommodation could be worked out.

Hall wondered if the city was going to inform residents of the 16 percent tax rate “or leave that up to us through a bill,” and that it appeared that the city was “forcing the utility districts to do its dirty work.” Then he noted that some of the city’s calculations on the tax increased revenue projections are faulty.

Nor was there any attempt to negotiate a franchise agreement with the district that could include a utility tax, Hall said. Such agreements are now under negotiation with the cities of SeaTac and Normandy Park where similar utility tax increases recently have been approved.

Hall wanted the city to put the increase on hold and negotiate a franchise agreement.

General Manager Matt Everett of Highline Water District said Des Moines was the third city in the last year to propose increases in the tax rate. He said he was “shocked” when he found that Des Moines was a 16 per cent tax when Normandy Park and SeaTac sought only a 6 percent tax.

Hardship on residents
“The district strongly opposes the city’s proposed utility tax,” said Everett, because it would cause a hardship for Des Moines residents and is a regressive tax. He noted that it was a problem to get the billing software in place to collect the tax, especially since the district spans other city jurisdictions.

Everett noted that the Highline Water District has cut staff by about a third in the past few year and “it has not be without pain.” He suggested the city would be unwise to add three police officers when the city is financially struggling.

Councilmember Matt Pina said the reason to add three police officers was “because we need them.”

At the opening of the public comment was “Redondo Rick” Johnson who read a two-year old state auditors report concerning the declining income to the city and continued to read from the report and from comments about the Council forgetting for whom they worked. Mayor Dave Kaplan said his time had expired, but Johnson continued to talk until his microphone was turned off.

When Johnson left the speaker’s rostrum, Kaplan was clearly heard to say, “Same obnoxious bullshit every week.” Here’s a video:

YouTube Preview Image

In point of fact, a new auditor’s report says the city is on the path to repair areas outlined in the report Johnson was reading. That auditor’s report is slated to be discussed at an upcoming Council meeting.

Homeless encampments
The Council will hold a public hearing on the homeless ordinance Thursday, Nov. 5 at City Hall, but resident Doreen Harper said the city’s proposed rules for faith-based homeless encampments needed to include requiring a 1,000-foot buffer around schools.

“You don’t need homeless people roaming around schools,” Harper said.

City Manager Piasecki said the state law requires the city not have any rules “that unreasonably burden” religious organizations in having an encampment and would address issues at a meeting later.

“The draft (of the homeless ordinance) is the most restrictive that I have seen” that still is within state law,” Piasecki said.

Lawyer on Woodmont
Sheila Brush said it was “very ironic” you are using money to pay for an attorney to review the environmental policy decision on the Woodmont recovery center application when you made it clear it was “for all of you” and “not for any of us here.” She wanted the name of the attorney hired.

Piasecki said they city has not hired an attorney as yet, but the Council ordered final discussions with an attorney.

Brush asked if the name of the attorney would be public when a person is hired and City Attorney Pat Bosmans said a copy of the attorney’s contract would be provided if there were a public records request.

Brush said the Council was putting up a “barrier to justice” and the citizens would have to hire their own attorney to “undo what you did in your negligence to push this through.”

Here’s episode #26 of our SoKing News Podcast Weekly Recap, 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:

Weekly Recap for Oct. 30, 2015: Shooting in SeaTac kills 1; Police seeking help finding White Center stabbing suspects; Kent woman beaten, robbed in Burien; Meals on Wheels seeking Volunteers; Puget Sound Weather Geek forecast for the weekend; Jack Mayne Commentary and more…

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

Des Moines United Methodist Church will be holding a Halloween Trick or Treat Festival from 3 – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 31.

Decorated tables and games to enjoy.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be at Fellowship Hall at their church campus at 22225 9th Ave S., Des Moines.

Contact the church at 206-878-8301 for more info, or visit

UPDATE: The final Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market – set for Saturday, Oct. 31 – has been cancelled due to “weather related safety issues.”

Wayne Corey told The Waterland Blog early Friday afternoon (Oct. 30):

After many discussions with all the groups that put on a successful Saturday market, we are sorry to announce the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market for Saturday October 31st and the annual Chili Cook-Off have been canceled due to weather related safety issues.

Previously the market had to close early because of severe wind conditions that caused some damage to vendor’s equipment. Luckily no one was injured, and it looks like the same conditions are predicted for Saturday.

All vendors and chili cooking teams are being notified to give them as much notice as possible.

WLB Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest’s Open House – set for this SATURDAY, Oct. 31 – is a very Modern 4-Star, 5-BD Home in a Lake View Oasis!

This new Hunny Homes construction features a rooftop deck with Lake Washington views, quartz countertops, NON-NAUF self close 2-tone lacquer cabinets, stainless steel appliances, natural gas stove and a one-of-a-kind must see Microwave Drawer.

Grohe European water faucets, dual flush toilets, a rain shower, tankless water heater, high-efficiency mini-splits for AC/Heat, blown-in insulation, and so modern that t’s wired with an electric car charger & security camera system.

Roughed in 2nd Kitchen, with possible Mother-In-Law unit.

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


















Here are the details:

WHAT: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Open House

WHEN: SATURDAY, Oct. 31, from 1 – 3 p.m.

WHERE: 9321 55th Ave S Seattle, WA 98118 (MAP)


  • List Price: $679,000
  • MLS Number: 859030
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • Year Built: 2015
  • Approximate House SqFt: 3,571
  • Lot Square Footage: 5,500

Site Features:

  • 2nd Kitchen
  • Wet Bar
  • Dble Pane/Strm Windw
  • Security System
  • Skylights
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Walk-in Closet

Marketing remarks:

Hunny Homes Presents A Modern Home Targeting 4 Star Built Lake View Oasis!

Home features a rooftop deck with Lake Washington views, quartz countertops, NON-NAUF self close 2 tone lacquer cabinets, SS appliances, Nat gas stove and a one of kind must see Microwave Drawer.

Grohe European water Fcts, dual flush toilets, a rain shower, tankless Wtr Htr, High Efficiency Mini-Splits For AC/Heat, blown in insulation, wired for Elec Car Charger & Sec Camera Syst.

Roughed in 2nd Kitch, with possible MIL.

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.

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

by Chris Scragg
Puget Sound Weather Geek

Mother Nature is participating in Halloween this year, and it’s arriving with a dousing of rain. Not cool.

  • Thursday: Showery and mild. An unsettled transitional period will make for a mostly grey day with temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.
  • Friday: Oh boy, here it comes. The wind and rain will start picking up in the morning, before subsiding slightly during the afternoon. The models then show the moisture and rainfall ramping up and hitting it’s crescendo late in the evening. It’s going to be POURING in the Cascade and Olympic mountains where flooding of some streams and rivers may become an issue.
  • HalloweenAfter a night of dousing rain, you’re going to wake up to…more rain?! This relentless river of thick moisture suspended in the atmosphere is going to continue to drench the Northwest through Saturday morning until the atmospheric river slides southward and impacts Oregon and northern California. At this point, it looks like night-time Halloween festivities will only have to deal with occasional showers rather than the persistent downpour predicted for Friday.
  • Sunday: Showers will be prevalent yet again as the upper level system churns south and destabilizes the atmosphere. Sunday will also bring the mountains their first chance of good snowfall.

Keep in mind that forecasts can shift quickly in the short-term, so stay tuned. I will have more details as the weekend nears.

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

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