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Inside 4 6 8 9 11 17 23 24 26 28

| Introduction | Early Bellevue | Bellevue College | Public Schools | Feeding hungry kids | Social services | Many lives for ferry | City parks and gardens | City of Art | Neighborhoods

Courtesy photo

Looking east from Bellevue Way down N.E. 6th Street at night, the streets and buildings, glow. Day or night, the city offers its residents a plethora of activites, enrichment and fun.


Louis kahn


inspiring beauty





Welcome to Bellevue

ellevue means "beautiful view" in French, which could fit the city's view of the future. It's downtown is a modern-day metropolis, full of skyscrapers and upscale shops. Yet elsewhere in the 31-square mile city, there are neighborhoods, parks and amenities that evoke a small town feel.,

But as the fifth largest city in Washington and with a population of more than 130,000, the city and its environs is changing rapidly to accommodate more people and their needs - from housing to transportation to social services for a growing population of people in need. The population is growing and becoming more diverse. According to the census, minorities constituted 41 percent of Bellevue's population in 2010, 30 percent are foreign born and more than 80 languages are now spoken by children in Bellevue public schools.

The city knows how to celebrate. There is an annual Fourth of July celebration complete with fireworks, food William Shaw, Publisher wshaw@soundpublishing.com Mary L. Grady, Editor mgrady@soundpublishing.com

Insiders know that the sheep shearing at Kelsey Creek Farm is too cool to miss. And the best place to go for Halloween is Crossroads Mall. In the winter, Bellevue residents celebrate the season with Garden d'Lights at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. More than 500,000 tiny lights are shaped into flowers and animals. Outdoor ice skating is featured over the holidays as is Holiday Lane, a nightly musical performance along Bellevue Way Whether it is looking for a new home, a place to spend a sunny afternoon or just the place for a quick bite or a celebratory dinner, Bellevue is the place.

Bellevue residents are some of the most highly educated in the state, with well over half of adults holding a bachelor's degree or higher. The city's public schools, consistently rated among the best in the country — for public and private.

and a symphony performance at Downtown Park. Later in the summer the annual arts and crafts fair attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the country. Bellwether, a festival of sculpture, returns in 2015, with art pieces on display from City Hall to Downtown Park.

There is a place here for everyone - the right place for a child to go to school, a place for older residents to find services and housing. There are many houses of worship. There are places to shop for back to school shoes, snowboards or a diamond ring. There are places to celebrate culture and tradition and places to work and play. It is a place to call home.

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Contributed photo

The Bellevue First Congregational Church, shown here against the backdrop of the Symetra Center, sold its 1.5-acre downtown property for $30 million to an investment group. The church, which was founded in 1896, has held services on the corner of Northeast Eighth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast since 1901.

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2700 Richards Road, Ste. 201, Bellevue, WA 98005 425-453-4270; FAX: 425-453-4193 www.bellevuereporter.com


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A lot can happen in

Winter quarter, 1966: Bellevue Community College opened its doors to 464 students. Winter quarter, 2016: Bellevue College projected to enroll more than 33,000 students. With roots firmly planted in the community, Bellevue College has grown with the Eastside. From a quiet, rural community to a busy, ethnically diverse, high-tech hub.

Join us in 2016 as we celebrate 50 years of service to the region and look forward to the great things to come in the next 50. Sign up for classes at www.bellevuecollege.edu



From forests to farms, ferries to freeways Bucolic early Bellevue grew slowly until the floating bridge was built


n 1863, while Seattle was still a rough town of dirt roads and scattered homes, the first settlers began to drift across Lake Washington and claim land in what is now Bellevue. The first claim is thought to be that of Aaron and Ann Mercer, members of the famous Seattle family, who staked out 80 acres along what is now Mercer Slough. William Meydenbauer, a baker from Seattle, staked out his claim in 1869, around the bay that would later bear his name. In the 1870s and 1880s more settlers trickled over. Most of

the area was logged off during this period, leaving open areas that became orchards, vegetable patches and berry farms. Bellevue developed a reputation as a peaceful, pleasant farming town. Regular ferry service began in the 1880s, linking Eastside communities with markets in Seattle. Bellevue’s first school opened in 1883 in a log cabin in the Enatai area. By 1900 the greater Bellevue area had about 400 residents.

Eastside Heritage Center

Phone service reached the Eastside in 1907, and mercantile stores opened in Medina and Bellevue. In 1913 the new Leschi ferry hauled cars across the lake. Bellevue and its surrounding communities grew gradually,

The Albert S. Burrows home in Bellevue was built in the 1880's. It burned down in 1925. with the census showing about about as fast as it is today. 1,500 residents in 1920. Then Today, the 62-year old Bellevue everything changed. is the fifth largest city in In 1940, the Mercer Island Washington state at 134,400 Floating Bridge opened, bring- people. Between 2010 and ing an end to ferry service and 2014, the city's population making a trip to Seattle just grew by nearly 10 percent.

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Even biodegradable soap can pollute our water.

A Clean Ride Shouldn’t Lead to Dirty Water Dirty car wash water contaminates our waterways with petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediments.

Soaps dissolve the protective mucous layer on fish and natural oils in the gills, making fish more susceptible to diseases.

Use a commercial car wash!

Commercial car washes send dirty water to the sewer for treatment.

Questions? Contact Stream Team at 425-452-5200 / streamteam@bellevuewa.gov




Bellevue College

ellevue College celebrates it's 50th anniversary in 2015. The school continues to stick to its mission of providing affordable and accessible education. They offer close to 100 professional and technical programs, as well as the Running Start program for high school students and Continuing Education courses for people wishing to advance their careers. More than 37,000 students take higher education courses at Bellevue College every year, making it the state's third largest

institution of higher learning. Five years after transitioning from a community college, Bellevue College is in the midst of forming a partnership with Washington State University. Bellevue College President David Rule and Board of Trustees have given approval to a non-binding memorandum of understanding, and the two institutions continue to discuss what a partnership would mean for both schools." To find out more, visit http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/ Reporter Staff photo

This sculpture by Northwest artist Harold Balazs, entitled "Collection" is one of many examples of regional artwork that dot the campus at Bellevue College. This two-story tall sculpture, is located on the west end of the N Building and is made of stainless steel, aluminum, and concrete.

How do parents and community members advance excellence in Bellevue schools? By contributing to Bellevue Schools Foundation. Bellevue Schools Foundation develops, promotes, and funds the best possible learning opportunities for all students in Bellevue’s public schools.

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Bellevue Schools, a place for all learners


he Bellevue School District is home to 28 school campuses, including 15 regular elementary, two dual-language elementary, five middle schools, four high schools and two choice schools admitting students in grades 6-12. The district's dual-language curriculum was established in 1986, beginning with the Spanish Immersion program, guided by the philosophy that an early dual-language education fosters greater neurological development, intellectual growth and superior performance on standardized testing. Puesta del Sol ("Sunset") is

the first stop for families interested in enrolling their elementary students in Spanish Immersion. Students are taught the standard K-5 curriculum in Spanish by instructors with native or near-native fluency. English-language education is introduced in third grade; By this time, English ability will have fallen behind that of peers in other schools, but performance reaches equivalency or better by fourth grade, the District reports. Students who stick with Spanish Immersion move on to intensive Spanish electives in middle school and high school, including two Advanced Placement immersion classes

Courtesy photo

Cherry Crest Elementary School was rebuilt in 2012 as part of a major effort to upgrade Bellevue Schools. It houses about 600 students. during high school. Jing Mei ("Beautiful View") Elementary was opened in fall 2013, expanding the district's dual-language Mandarin Chinese program to its own campus in order to meet community demand. Jing Mei is

located at the site of the former Bellewood Elementary. Students are accepted by lottery. The district's two choice schools, covering grades 6-12, are the International School More SCHOOLS page 10

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10 | SCHOOLS from page 9 schools, covering grades 6-12, are the International School and Bellevue Big Picture. Big Picture operates under a non-traditional ethos that allows students to learn under a personalized curriculum for which they provide input. The campus is small, bringing in only a few hundred students each year. s. The first class of students having attended 6-12 grade at Big Picture graduated on June 1, 2015. The International School challenges its students to consider their academic curriculum from a global perspective. Students take an international studies course in addition to standard subjects and commit to studying French or German, with the intent of achieving fluency by graduation. The International School is

Staff photo

Students from Phantom Lake Elementary School visited residents at Aegis of Bellevue on Valentine's Day last year. just one of the Bellevue School District's high schools to be nationally ranked among the best and most challenging in the nation. International, Interlake, Newport, and Bellevue high schools took four of the top five spots for Washington state, respectively, in the Washington Post’s 2015 list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”

on the percentage of seniors who passed their Advanced Placement exams. Nearly 99 percent of the school's seniors passed their AP exams, and all International students took at least one such exam.

Four Bellevue High Schools: International, Bellevue, Newport and Interlake, continue to rank high in U.S. News and World Report's "Best High Schools" rankings. The publication's College Readiness Index was based

The Bellevue School District's high schools have also repeatedly earned notice on Newsweek's "America's Best High Schools" list.

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National Rank













* Rankings based on 2015 U.S. News & World "Best High Schools" Report

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Volunteers help feed hungry students


undreds of students in Bellevue School District's schools are hungry, sometimes eating their only meals at school.

"We all live like kings and queens, so many of us, but we don't realize that there are kids who go home and there's no food in the refrigerator," said Janet Starr, founder of Backpack Meals for Kids. Around 4,000 kids in the Bellevue Schools District come from low-income families and qualify for free or reduced lunches. Some are homeless. "There are kids who aren't getting enough to eat, and there's over 100 kids in the district who are homeless. People didn't believe that at first because we are an affluent community, but it's true," said Starr. The organization provides between 130140 bags of food to students grades 5-12 at 27 schools. They also bring cartons of milk, cereal and other items to three schools that don't have a breakfast pro-

gram, including Enatai and Newport Hills. Volunteers pack bags with around 20 food items that students can eat cold or microwave, because often parents aren't home to help with the stove or oven because they are working, Starr said. The bags are available every Friday in the schools' main offices, where students can discretely pick them up and put them in their backpacks.

Backpack Meals packs up and delivers food between 8:30 and 10 a.m. each Friday during the school year. More information can be found at http://backpackmeals.org/

The organization, which started in 2011, receives funding from churches and private donations, but always needs more. The bags of food cost around $10 per student every week. A May fundraiser raised about $8,000, but Starr said more donations could help the organization expand its reach to students she knows they're missing. "As rents get higher and higher around here, I expect we'll find more and more kids needing bags," said Julie Foster, who has been volunteering with Backpacks for three years.

Staff photo

Julie Foster packs food for low income students.

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Bellevue's government by city, community East Bellevue Community Council

Bellevue City Council

city council is comprised of A seven elected members and governs Bellevue. The mayor

and deputy mayor are both council members, chosen by the others to serve two-year terms. The mayor cannot veto council decisions, but acts as both its chairperson and the city's official host. Residents also have a voice in Bellevue's government through several volunteer Conrad Lee boards and commissions.

Claudia Balducci

Kevin Wallace

John Chelminiak

Established in 1969, the East Bellevue Community Council is empowered by state law with approval/disapproval authority over certain land-use actions in a part of East Bellevue. The EBCC also acts in an advisory capacity on other land-use issues that affect its jurisdiction.

Jennifer Robertson Lynne Robinson

Bellevue's current council consists of Mayor Claudia Balducci, Deputy Mayor Kevin Wallace, John Chelminiak, Jennifer Robertson, Lynne Robinson, John Stokes and Conrad Lee.

John Stokes

Bellevue operates under a councilmanager form of government in which city council members are elected by residents of the community to represent their interests. The council selects a city manager to oversee operations, and this year hired Brad Miyake.

The current council consists of Chair William Capron, Vice Chair Betsi Hummer, Ross Gooding, Gerald Hughes and Steven Kasner.


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Bellevue Police: Serving a growing community


he Bellevue Police Department is comprised of more than 170 law enforcement officers, operating out of a main station at city hall and two substations in the Crossroads and Factoria neighborhoods. The Crossroads and Factoria substations are committed to a full range of police services including Community-Oriented Policing and Problem-Oriented Policing. Substation officers emphasize proactive enforcement, problem solving, neighborhood safety presentations and the hosting of a variety of community special events like National Night Out. The Crossroads substation is located on the east side of the Crossroads Mall and the Factoria substation is located inside

the Factoria Mall. They are manned by one full-time officer and a number of department volunteers. There is also a downtown unit that handles patrol and community services. One of its core missions is to increase the sense of safety among residents downtown, which was up in 2014, according to a neighborhood safety survey. Police patrol made 343 felony arrests in 2014, as well as 1,400 arrests for misdemeanors and 590 warrant arrests. The department received an average of 87 crime reports each month in 2014. The police department offers a community academy every year, where residents can learn how the department operates and the challenges it faces.


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Message from Bellevue Police Chief

The men and women of the Bellevue Police Department consistently deliver high levels of professional services to the Bellevue community every year. Employees work closely with all stakeholders to maintain Bellevue’s reputation as being one of the safest cities in the Northwest. Bellevue continues to be a city of choice to raise families, build successful businesses and visit. The Bellevue Police Department witnessed many successes this past year, and looks forward to serving our community with pride and distinction. On behalf of the men and women of the Bellevue Police Department, we thank the Bellevue community for their Steve Mylett trust and support. We value our close relationships with residents, elected officials, businesses, and other city departments as we continue to serve and protect the public. – Chief Steve Mylett

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Fire and Safety


he Bellevue Fire Department provides fire and emergency services to residents and to the those living in Beaux Arts, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, King County Fire District #14, Medina, Newcastle and Yarrow Point. It also is a regional provider of advanced life support services in Chief Mark Risen King County. The Fire Department’s comprehensive emergency medical services program currently operates four Medic One units, which provide a high level of patient care to approximately 250,000 Eastside and Snoqualmie Valley residents spread over a 301-square mile area.

Courtesy photos

Fire fighters train for every situation, from medical emergencies to construction accidents as well as structure fires. Below, Fire Station No. 5 at 9621 N.E. 24th St. is one of nine in Bellevue.

BY THE NUMBERS Fire Department Personnel: 201 (199 suppression/EMS personnel)

Fire Stations

Total incidents/responses: 17,739 (2014, suppression, rescue and EMS combined)

Station One – 766 Bellevue Way

S.E. (Downtown/West Bellevue) Station Two – 2802148th Ave. S.E. (Eastgate/Lake Hills/W. Lake Sammamish) Station Three – 16100 NE Eighth St. (Crossroads/Northeast Bellevue) Station Four – 4216 Factoria Blvd. S.E. (Factoria/Somerset) Station Five – 9621 NE 24th St. (Northwest Bellevue) Station Six – 1850 132nd Ave. N.E. (Bridle Trails/Wilburton) Station Seven – 11900 SE Eighth St. (Wilburton/Woodridge) Station Eight – 5701 Lakemont Blvd. S.E. (Eastgate/Cougar Mountain) Station Nine – 12412 Newcastle Way (Newcastle/Newport Hills)

Cardiac Save Rate: 58 percent (Utstein formula, 2014) Patient transports to area hosp tals: 6,032 (2014, ALS and BLS)

Fires confined: Fires confined to room of origin: 91 percent (2014)

Medic Unit Locations Medic 1 – Overlake Hospital Medical Center:

1035 116th Ave. NE

Medic 2 – Bellevue Fire Station Two: 2802 148th

Ave. S.E.

Medic 3 – North Bend Fire Station 87: 112 W.

Second St. (North Bend) Medic 14 – Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 73: 1280 NE Park Dr. (Issaquah)

Fire and life safety inspections in 2014: 7,113 (4,940 completed by firefighter crews, 2,172 by fire prevention staff ) Operating Budget: $44 million (2014, combined fire suppression, EMS and fire prevention) Firefighter starting salary: $5,715 monthly ($68, 5682 annual), 2014.



he water you use and drink, and the trash you toss – all come under the control of the Bellevue Utilities Department that manages:

Drinking Water Bellevue’s drinking water comes from protected watersheds of the Cedar and South Fork Tolt rivers in the Cascade Mountains It meets or exceeds state and federal water quality requirements. Residents can learn more about their water in the annual drinking water quality report at www.bellevue. gov/water_quality.htm. To ensure reliable water service to residents, Bellevue Utilities has a water main replacement program that targets pipes that are most susceptible to breaking. If there is sudden water

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outage or water quality issues call Bellevue Utilities 24-hour Emergency Response at 425452-7840.

Storm and surface Water Water flowing off a property, whether from rain or a hose, ends up in the Bellevue Utilities storm and surface water system. The system is a combination of streams, lakes, wetlands, pipes, catch basins and flood control sites – private and public systems. They provide the safe movement of stormwater to streams, lakes and wetlands, and protect natural habitat. Anything on the surface, such as fertilizer or soap from a washed car, can wash into storm drains which flows without treatment into a streams and eventually lakes. It

can harm the natural environment. If you notice polluted water running into a storm drain or stream or if your home or business is in danger of flooding, call Utilities 24-hour Emergency Response at 425-452-7840.

Wastewater Wastewater is all the water that leaves the inside of a building hrough sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. and enters Bellevue's wastewater (sewage) collection system. Wastewater then flows through city pipes into King County's regional sewage system, where it is treated to meet federal and state water quality standards. easements. Residents can help prevent wastewater backups into homes and maintain the health of the city system by


flushing only toilet paper down the drain and keeping wipes and other products labelled as flushable out. Fats, oil, and grease from cooking should also be disposed of in the trash and not down the drain.

Recycling and organics Bellevue contracts with Republic Services for garbage and recycling services that include garbage, general household trash, food scraps and yard trimmings. The contract with Republic Services (Allied Waste) lets residents in single-family homes recycle small appliances, computer equipment, small TVs, clothing and linens free at the curb. Visit www.bellevuerepublic. com call 425-452-6932.

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here are scores of organizations in the area that offer help and assistance to people in a wide-variety or ways. Here is a sampling of some with a thumbnail sketch of their activities. Assistance League of the Eastside: Help for children and adults touched by hardship or violence. eastside. assistanceleage.org Bellevue LifeSpring: Works to foster stability and selfsufficiency for Bellevue's children and their families through programs that feed, clothe and educate. Programs include school-break meal programs, emergency financial assistance and services to help returning to school. www.bellevuelifespring.org

Community Services Catholic Community Services: Help for elderly and disabled persons who are living independently in their own homes. Also, serves food to the hungry and tutors youth struggling in school. www.ccsww.org Congregations for the Homeless: Volunteers help homeless men on the Eastside by helping with meals at shelters, clothing donations, shelter sundries, bus passes and haircuts. cfhomeless.org Eastside Baby Corner: Provides food, clothing, beds or safety equipment for babies in collaboration with virtually every organization helping families in the area. www.babycorner.org Elder and Adult Day Services(EADS): Provides affordable day programming for adults with disabilities,

whether they’re seniors with dementia or younger adults with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, or other acquired disabilities. eadscares. wordpress.com Friends of Youth: Develops, provides and advocates services for children, youth and their families. www.friendsofyouth.org Hopelink: Offers food banks plus food deliveries to elderly and disabled individuals who are homebound. Also provides eviction prevention support, energy assistance and emergency financial assistance. www.hope-link.org Kindering: Provides comprehensive services for children with special needs and their families. www.kindering.org

LifeWire: This agency is the largest comprehensive domestic violence service provider in the state of Washington. Provides 24-hour help line and counseling services. www. lifewire.org The Sophia Way: The only staffed shelter for homeless adult women in King County. www.sophiaway.org Youth Eastside Services: Helps young people and their families deal with emotional issues, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, dating violence, gang activity and bullying through counseling and prevention and treatment programs. www.youtheastsideservices.org For information about services through the City of Bellevue http://www.bellevuewa.gov/ human_services.htm

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Services for all residents

ellevue has become increasingly diverse in the last few decades, now housing minority groups as more than 40 percent of its population. As the city skyline has grown, the city's diversity efforts will too, with the creation of a new diversity team. The City of Bellevue Diversity Program was created in 1994 after the city's 1993 Diversity Task Force Report and Community Action Plan. The strategy at the time focused on engagement through programming, partnerships, events and activities. While the initial program saw the creation of diverse commu-

nity programming and community services, the city began reassessing in 2014. The vision statement for the recently completed Diversity Advantage plans reads: "Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength." With that in mind, three diverse individuals have taken the reins of the city's diversity actions. The new team of city diversity officers will cover a wide scope of diversity issues, including includes engagement and outreach, diversity work within the city government, and ADA and Title VI issues. Among the recommended actions are the establishment of

Courtesy photo

Bellevue's new diversity team. From left: Elaine Acacio, Jennifer Mechem, and Mark Manuel. a "Bellevue Diversity Institute," a Cultural Liaison Program, explore additional Mini-City Hall locations, and create a year-round homeless shelter. Diversity Outreach and Engagement Administrator Mark Manuel comes from a diverse personal background. Born in the Philippines, Manuel traveled the world

as part of a military family before settling in the Pacific Northwest. The collision of cultures and backgrounds that have inhabited Bellevue in recent years can greatly benefit the people and industries here. "When you have a wider group of perspective, you end up with a better product," he said. More SERVICES page 18

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18 | SERVICES from page 17 Manuel is joined by Diversity and Inclusion Administrator Elaine Acacio, and Jennifer Mechem. Both represent different facets of diversity. Acacio comes from a large multi-racial family, and says that she wants to shape what the world will look like when her children are grown up. Mechem, who has a hearing disability herself, comes to Bellevue after working in civil and disability rights for more than 15 years. "What I hope to do, bottom line, is provide better access to programs and services, so that people with disabilities have the same access to any interactions with the city," she said.

Current Bellevue Services Accessibility The city is adding curb ramps

to improve accessibility on an ongoing basis. The locations are based in part on resident requests. Ramp request forms can be downloaded on the city accessibility website, or by contacting Mike Rodni at mrodni@bellevuewa.gov.

Assisted Listening Devices Devices are available upon request for anyone attending meetings in the public meeting spaces at City Hall. Make a reservation during business hours by calling 425-452-6800 or emailing ServiceFirst@bellevuewa.gov.

Crossroads MiniCity Hall Multi-language materials and services, community events, connection to services, and much more information is available at the Crossroads Mini City Hall. Service is

currently provided in nine languages (including Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Bengali and Urdu), and assistance with more than 100 languages is available through Language Line Services. Employment, medical, legal, financial, and housing services are available through the Cultural Navigator Program. For more information, contact Barb Tuinginga at 425-4522735 or Ying Carlson at 425452-4342.

Neighborhood Liaisons Each neighborhood in Bellevue has a liaison from the Neighborhood Outreach team that can respond to neighborhood-related issues. For more informtation, contact 425-452-6836 or neighborhoodoutreach@bellevuewa.gov.

Home Repair Assistance

Home repair assistance is available for homeowners who have a) lived in the residence needing repairs for at least a year, b) live within city limits, and c) meet the program's income requirements. More information about eligibility can be found at http://www. ci.bellevue.wa.us/homerepair_assistance_eligibility. htm. To apply, contact the loan specialist in the Home Repair office by e-mail at aoreilly@ bellevuewa.gov or by phone at 425-452-6884.

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Shoe entrepenuer seeks to empower others Software engineer starts business with a soul by Dan Aznoff It all started with a shopping spree. The sun was bright and the smells from the market reminded Afshan Abbas why she had crossed an ocean to visit her hometown of Karachi in Pakistan. Abbas admits that she has always loved shoes, but the brightly-colored sandals known as Kolhapuri had their own special appeal that day in the market. “After seeing them for the first time, I knew I had to have a

pair,” said Abbas. “The leather shoes are all hand-made. The colorful stitching made them trendy and a little bit funky.” The thread designs were so unique and attractive that she not only bought several pairs for herself at the market that day, but went back the next afternoon to buy multiple pairs for her friends and co-workers. The khussa, she said, attracted attention when she wore them to work in Seattle, when she was shopping near her home in Bellevue or just taking a stroll along the waterfront in Kirkland. “They looked perfect with everything I wore, whether it

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was a casual outfit with jeans, dressed-up with a skirt or to accessorize a pair of slacks,” she said with a sly smile. “The amazing thing is that I was bombarded with compliments every time I wore them. That’s when I knew I had to share my discovery with women across America.” The young professional understands how to write code and is confident enough to accessorize virtually any outfit, but needed help with the logistics of imports. Like any enterprising entrepreneur, she reached out to friends with her concepts for the new business. They all loved the idea and More SHOE on page 20

Dan Aznoff

Afshan Abbas wears a pair of shoes from her company, Fushia Shoes. She wants her company to promote artisans in Pakistan and empower women.

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20 | SHOE from page 19

shoes to promote artisans in Pakistan and empower women with more opportunities in the male-dominated society. According to Sajwani, that begins with schools in the rural villages.

together they created Fuchsia Shoes. Redmond resident Hamad Khawaja handles operations and logistics for the start-up.

“Our long term plan is to run independent programs,” said Abbas. “But that will happen organically as we grow and get into a position where we can invest towards women empowerment programs that provide training and create employment opportunities for mothers and daughters.”

The third partner is Bothell resident Rameez Sajwani. He is maintains the supply chain plus taking care of the software essential to the growing company. True to their discipline as software engineers, the Fuchsia partners began with a Beta test that consisted of a small collection of hand-made khussas from artisans in the small village of Sangla. The first shipment received rave reviews from friends and co-workers. The second shipment was larger. The partners posted the shoes on a website that featured trendy foot ware. The entire shipment of 300 pairs sold out in less than one day. That’s when the partners knew they were on to something special.

Courtesy photo

These bright hand-made shoes are made of soft leather and feature detailed embroidery. ON A MISSION Fuchsia Shoes is more than a business opportunity. The trio also considers the business a chance to give back to land of their birth. Abbas would eventually like to use profits from the sale of the leather

To support their long-term vision, the partners have teamed up with Faces of Pakistan, a non-governmental agency that already has programs in place that focus on quality of life issues in the Asian subcontinent. Abbas smiled again when she visualized the future for Fuchsia Shoes. “Beautiful shoes that empower women. What could be better than that?” To view more shoes and to order, visit http:// www.fuchsiashoes.com.

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| 21

The Bellevue Botanical Garden

Volunteers are always needed at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Volunteers participate in educational programs, special events, horticultural assistance and fundraising—all essential in enriching visitor experience. The garden is a resource for young and old, for recreation, relaxing, and learning. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is

an urban refuge, encompassing 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands. The living collections showcase plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is located at 12001 Main Street, hours are dawn to dusk with the Visitor Center is open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Call (425) 452-2750 for more information.

City of Bellevue/ file photos

At left: An artist's rendering of the new education and visitor center, expanded parking area, and new gardens at the Bellevue Botanical Garden that began last year. Top: A young gardener anticipates her first move.

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22 |

Boy's and Girls Clubs Camp Sampler Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue is committed to providing high quality programs for youth during the summer. The programs focus on keeping kids engaged and active during the summer months. Staff members are carefully selected for their experience, skill, and passion for working with children. The programs include: Free Meals throughout the Community The Club is working in partnership with Food Lifeline to provide free meals to youth at several of our locations this summer including: Eastside Terrace, Hidden Village, Spiritwood Manor and The Club Teen Center.

Specialty Camps for K-6th Grade Fall 2015 Specialty Camps give youth the opportunity to participate in specialized programming. This year's themes include Technology, The Arts, Sports, Nature, Cooking, Lego Robotics, Science and more. Day Camps (Entering K-4th Grade Fall 2015) Campers will enjoy a day of fun, educational, and engaging activities that keep with the weekly theme. there will be field trips or a special event each week. Traveling Camps for 5th-9th Grade Fall 2015 Caravan and Voyager will travel daily to different local attractions and parks in the Greater Puget Sound area.

Summer After School Programs: The Y's Summer After School Programs will include learning activities to extend your child’s school day with fun, educational, and engaging activities. Transportation is coordinated by the Bellevue School District. Great Futures Preschool Camps ages 3-5 Great Futures Preschool’s Summer Camps are for children who are 3 years old (by May 1, 2015 and toilet trained) - 5 years old (not yet in Kindergarten). The camp runs five mornings a week from 9 am to 1 pm. Campers will be engaged with a series of fun and interesting activities each and every day.

Athletics Camps K-10th Grade Fall 2015 Athletic Camps give youth the opportunity to participate in specialized programming. This year our camps will feature Sports Camp, Soccer Camp and EBI Basketball Camp. These camps are offered at the Main Clubhouse, South Bellevue Community Center, and Hidden Valley Fieldhouse. Additional Summer Programs include: Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Parkour and Futsal. Teen Programs The Teen Center is offering a variety of programs this summer to volunteer this summer and earn school credit. For more information about activities year-round and to register go to www.bgcbellevue.org.


Founded in 1952 with one Clubhouse in downtown Bellevue, we currently operate 12 sites in Bellevue! For 63 years, the Club has provided the young people in our community, from 21/2 - 18 years old, with an environment where adults respect and listen to them; a place where they can have fun and be safe. Scholarships are available. For more information visit www.bgcb.org.



| 23

The many lives of a Lake Washington ferry How did a steam ferry built in 1914 in the Eastside neighborhood of Houghton end up along the shores of San Francisco Bay


he Lake Washington ferry, the Issaquah had quite a history behind her when she was retired from service on San Francisco Bay in 1948. The pretty little 114-foot ferry with twin smokestacks and pilot houses was said to be revolutionary for the times, being the first, and last, privately owned inland waterway, double-ended steam ferryboat. And she sported a maple dance floor. Affectionately known as “Squash,” she was built in Houghton, Wash., and launched with great fanfare on Lake Washington in March 1914. With appropriate banners and festivities involving both the mayors of Seattle and Issaquah, as she went down the launching ways, her 9’ draft proved too deep for the lakeshore bottom, and, in front of dignitaries making speeches, Issaquah nose-dived into the mud and got stuck there until the next day. It was perhaps a premonition of things to come, eight decades later. Nonetheless, by May 1914, she was serving ports on Lake Washington, and in between scheduled runs, was used as a floating and cruising dance hall and party center. But in just a few years, competition from the state-owned ferry system put her out of business, and in 1918, the Issaquah was purchased by the newly formed Rodeo/Vallejo Line of San Francisco Bay.

Thirty years later, she was retired from service and laid up, “mothballed,” at Vallejo. Then the Issaquah was brought to the town of Sausalito —to a slot at the side of Gate 6 Road near the bay in the heart of all the new activity burgeoning in what had become called “The Gates.” The Gates was an outlaw settlement, made up of a variety of cobbled together, and sometimes barely floating, houseboats and a community of "free-thinking" bohemians and hippies. It was a loose and largely illegal settlement that flourished for years. After two decades of lying at the side of Gate 6 Road, Issaquah became a deteriorated victim of benign neglect and inevitable decay. She sagged and sank deeper into the mud, her lower decks awash at high tide. Yet she was still inhabited by a hardy community of waterfront dwellers. At 114’, the vessel could house 10-12 persons comfortably on the upper deck in small bedrooms tucked away in cubbyholes, and considerably more in flop-house mode. It was often mentioned that the wind whistled through the planking, and the maple dance floor had curled up, and “the

Courtesy photo

Above, the ferry boat Issaquah, built in Houghton, Wash., in 1914, ended up in Sausalito, Calif. decades later where it became a place for people looking for a bohemian lifestyle in the 1960s. boat was gracefully sinking.” Indeed, the lower deck —open space where cars had once been carried, was awash at high tide and not used as living space. Progress inevitably crept up to the old ferryboat as developers finally secured permits to build a houseboat marina. In 1977 construction began on a dock that would carry her name,. The dock brought a new kind of waterfront dweller and a new kind of waterfront living; ordered, comfortable, with amenities and utilities. As the dock grew, new vessels were towed into the new berths, some custom built, some the same built-upon,

haphazard structures that had been there before there was a dock. A new kind of community emerged as professional people, executives and retirees with money to spend got on board. The dock The dock, lined with bright flower-box gardens and greenery, was still inhabited by artists and writers, cats and dogs, seagulls and pigeons and people bonded by a desire to live on the water. Nearly everyone who lived there felt it was just like being on vacation every day. This story is excerpted from a forthcoming book by Annie Sutter titled “The History of Issaquah Dock.”


24 |


Bellevue, the city in a park

ellevue calls itself the "City in a Park" for good reason: the city contains more than 70 parks and nearly 100 public recreational facilities in all, including numerous trails, some of them that link one part of a neighborhood to another. Bellevue lies among urban forests, wetlands, and streams that support a wide variety of wildlife. City-employed park rangers provide information for visitors and oversee park activities. Kelsey Creek Farm Park, straddling the border of the Wilburton and Woodridge neighborhoods, offers a preserved slice of the pastoral society that defined Bellevue

prior to the postwar growth boom. The park offers a number of summer children's performances in its amphitheatre, classes to demonstrate life on a farm and rental services for parties. Have a dog? Many Bellevue parks are largely friendly to dogs kept on their leash. Robinswood Park is home to an off-leash corral open all year. However, dogs are not allowed in the Bellevue Botanical Garden and are restricted from all beachside parks from June 1 to Sept. 15. On Kelsey Creek Farm, leashed dogs are welcome everywhere except the barnyard areas — in other words, no "Lassie" reenactments allowed. Here is a list of the city's parks:

Community Parks Bannerwood Sports Park: 1790 Richards Rd. Botanical Garden: 12001 Main St. Coal Creek Natural Area: Coal Creek Parkway Southeast, north of Southeast 66th Street Crossroads Park and Community Center: 16000 N.E. 10th St. Downtown Park: 10201 N.E. Fourth St. Eastgate Park: 14500 S.E. Newport Way Hidden Valley Sports Park: 1905 112th Ave N.E. Highland Park Community Center and Skate Park: 14224 Bel-Red Rd. Kelsey Creek Park Farm: 410 130th Pl. S.E. Lake Hills Community Park: 164th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 16th Street Lake Hills Greenbelt: 15416 S.E. 16th St Lakemont Community Park: 5170 Village Park Dr. S.E. Lewis Creek Park: 5808 Lakemont Blvd. S.E.

Marymoor Park: 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E. (Redmond) Mercer Slough Nature Park: 2102 Bellevue Way SE (for Winters House); Park is accessible from Bellevue Way Southeast and Lake Washington Boulevard Southeast/118th Avenue Southeast Pikes Peak Greenbelt: 3850 122nd Ave. N.E. Robinswood Community Park: 2430 148th Ave. S.E. Somerset Greenbelts: 4738 136th Ave. S.E. South Bellevue Community Center: 14509 S.E. Newport Way Sunset Ravine Greenbelt: 13400 S.E. 40th St. Surrey Downs Park: 585 112th Ave S.E. Weowna Park: 1420 168th Ave S.E. Wilburton Hill Park: 12400 Main St. Highland Park Community Center and Skate Park: 14224 Bel-Red Rd. Kelsey Creek Park Farm: 410 130th Pl. S.E.

More PARK page 25

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Lake Hills Community Park: 164th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 16th Street Lake Hills Greenbelt: 15416 S.E. 16th St Lakemont Community Park: 5170 Village Park Dr. S.E. Lewis Creek Park: 5808 Lakemont Blvd. S.E. Marymoor Park: 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E. (Redmond) Mercer Slough Nature Park: 2102 Bellevue Way SE (for Winters House); Park is accessible from Bellevue Way Southeast and Lake Washington Boulevard Southeast/118th Avenue Southeast Pikes Peak Greenbelt: 3850 122nd Ave. N.E. Robinswood Community Park: 2430 148th Ave. S.E. Somerset Greenbelts: 4738 136th Ave. S.E. South Bellevue Community Center: 14509 S.E. Newport Way Sunset Ravine Greenbelt: 13400 S.E. 40th St. Surrey Downs Park: 585 112th Ave S.E. Weowna Park: 1420 168th Ave S.E. Wilburton Hill Park: 12400 Main St.

Burrows Landing: Southeast 15th Street and 100th Avenue Southeast Chesterfield Beach Park: 2501 100th Ave. S.E. Chism Beach Park: 9600 S.E. 11th St. Clyde Beach Park: 2 92nd Ave. N.E. Enatai Beach Park: 3519 108th Ave. S.E. Meydenbauer Beach Park: 419 98th Ave N.E. Newcastle Beach Park: 4400 Lake Washington Blvd. S.E.

Neighborhood Parks 99th Avenue Street End: 99th Avenue Northeast, west of Lake Washington Boulevard Ardmore Park: 16833 N.E. 30th St. Ashwood Playfield: 10820 N.E. 10th St. Bel-Red Mini Park: 12300 Bel-Red Rd. Bovee Park: 1500 108th Ave. N.E. Chandler Neighborhood Park: 16692 S.E. 56th Place Cherry Crest Mini Park: 2532 127th Ave. N.E. Cherry Crest Park: 12404 N.E. 32nd St.

| 25 Collingwood Mini Park: 16030 S.E. 46th Way Commissioner’s Waterway Mini Park: 1669 148th Ave. N.E. Deer Run Park: 17600 block of Village Park Drive Southeast Enatai Neighborhood Park: 10661 S.E. 25th St. Evergreen Park: 15655 Lake Hills Blvd. Forest Glen Neighborhood Park: 5911 Forest Drive S.E. Forest Hill Neighborhood Park: 13232 S.E. 51st St. Forest Ridge Mini Park: 15439 S.E. 67th St. Goddard Mini Park: 715 100th Ave. N.E. Goldsmith Neighborhood Park: 14475 N.E. 35th St. Hillaire Park: 15803 N.E. 6th St. Ivanhoe Park: 16600 Northup Way Keeney Park: 17203 Northup Way Killarney Glen Park: 1933 104th Ave. S.E. Lakemont Highlands Neighborhood Park: 15800 S.E. 63rd St. Lattawood Park: 4530 155th Ave. S.E. McCormick Park: 11190 N.E. 12th St. Meadow Wood Park: 13817 S.E.

60th St. Newport Hills Park: 6029 120th Ave. S.E. Northtowne Neighborhood Park: 2800 104th Ave. N.E. Norwood Village Neighborhood Park: 12309 S.E. 23rd Pl. Robinsglen Nature Park: 16357 S.E. 16th St. Saddleback Mini Park: 5501 152nd Pl. S.E. Silverleaf Park: 4900 block of 164th Avenue Southeast Sixth Street Park: 10116 S.E. 6th St. Skyridge Park: 13601 S.E. 20th St. Spiritridge Park: 16100 S.E. 33rd Pl. Spiritwood Park: 1813 146th Ave. S.E. Sunrise Neighborhood Park: 17551 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. S.E. Sunset Park: 2837 139th Ave. S.E. Tam O'Shanter Park: 1655 173rd Ave. N.E. Viewpoint Park: 134th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 24th Street. Westwood Highlands Neighborhood Park: 5501 136th Pl. S.E. Wildwood Park: 260 101st Ave. S.E. Woodridge Water Tower Park:1843 125th Ave. S.E.


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26 |

he city of Bellevue established its public art program in 1976, creating a means to fund artists and commission public art installations. Many commissioned sculptures have been installed to emphasize the city's intended "art walk," a pedestrian pathway from city hall to the Lake Washington waterfront.

The Bellevue City Council ihas pledged $20 million in May towards completing the Tateuchi Center. The longdelayed "studio theatre" would be used for arts education classes, black box performing space for smaller or emerging performance companies, social events and more. The Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is unusual among museums in that it has no permanent collection, instead making itself a temporary home to a revolving series of touring exhibits. Founded in 1975, the museum moved to its own building, designed by Northwest architect Steven




The arts program emphasizes this walkway through its Bellwether program. In 1992, the program established a biennial sculpture exhibition to engage the community with a broadly inclusive presentation of contemporary sculpture. The exhibition, renamed Bellwether in 2010, draws artists from across North America, working with myriad

materials, techniques and content. The exhibition returns this year.

Courtesy photo

Planning and funding efforts continue on the proposed Tateuchi Center for performing arts and education in downtown. Holl, in 2001. The museum provides free admission the first Friday of each month.

the principles of S.T.E.A.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Many of the exhibits emphasize strong ties to the Pacific Northwest. Currently located

The KidsQuest Children's Museum is a private nonprofit that encourages learning through play, guided by

More CITY page 27

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2015 BELLEVUE RESIDENTS GUIDE CITY from page 26 in the Marketplace at Factoria, KidsQuest will relocate downtown in 2015. The Bellevue Jazz Festival is an annual concert series, begun in 2008, that takes place in late May and early June. The festival draws local and nationally recognized musicians to venues around the city to perform. Live at Lunch is a summertime event throughout downtown Bellevue that features free performances every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Community-based performing groups entertain often at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center. Among the organizations that perform at the facility are: Bellevue Civic Theatre: A professional theatre company in Bellevue has a unique com-

| 27

bination of Equity and community actors in each of its shows. The BCT presents contemporary theatre and modern musicals. Bellevue Chamber Chorus: A non-profit organization consisting of 28 professional and avocational musicians of diverse backgrounds, performing music of various styles from all musical periods. Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra: For more than 35 years, the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra has worked to provide a positive and stimulating musical environment for students. Bellevue Youth Theatre Program: Bellevue Youth Theatre's mission is to provide opportunities in the performing arts for all young people, regardless of income or ability, and allow these young people to perform before a live

Staff photo

Live at Lunch involves local musicians perform at various places in downtown during the summer months. audience. International Ballet Theatre: The International Ballet Theatre performs classical ballet repertoire with full-length productions that reflect traditional as well as original choreography. IBT performances,

which are designed for audiences of all ages, inspire imagination and an appreciation of the performing arts through the beauty of dance. For more, visit the city's website at www.bellevuewa.gov





28 |

Bellevue neighborhoods Bellevue is a city of neighborhoods, each special in its own way. Here is a look at each.

Bridle Trails

Demographics Population: 4,560 Percentage of city: 4 percent Under 18: 1,177 (26 percent of the area) Housing Units: 1,730

Bridle Trails is unique in its accommodation of resident equestrians, with acres of residential property devoted to pastures and trails for horses. Bridle Trails is heavily wooded, with an extensive trail system and predominance of large single-family lots. Nearly twothirds of the area is covered with second-growth timber, and residents have accepted extra regulation to protect those trees. Local residents also have taken the initiative to preserve Bridle Trails State Park, a 482-acre preserve with 28 miles of equestrian and pedestrian trails.


Demographics Population: 13,347 Percentage of city: 11 percent Under 18: 2,635 (20 percent) Housing units: 5,930

Crossroads is the cultural epicenter of East Bellevue, with a dense, increasingly diverse population that enjoys entertainment, shopping and community services away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. The Crossroads Shopping Center, at Northeast Eighth Street and 156th Avenue Northeast, features regular stage entertainment and spe-

cial events, an ethnic food court and activity area where local residents gather to play games. The city operates three major facilities to address the needs and interests of East Bellevue residents: Mini-City Hall, which provides city and community services in nine languages; the Crossroads Community Center, which offers a variety of recreational, educational and social service programs; and the Crossroads police substation, providing public safety services to the area. Crossroads offers a variety of housing, but in general is one of Bellevue’s more affordable areas. Many of the community’s nonprofit human service providers are located nearby.

Eastgate/Cougar Mountain

Demographics Population: 16,820 Percentage of city: 13 percent Under 18: 4,205 (25 percent of the area) Housing Units: 6,190

Single-family residential neighborhoods rise up the slopes of Cougar Mountain in this scenic part of the city, adjacent to natural, untamed stretches of countryside. While cougars are rare, it isn’t unusual for residents to spot local wildlife taking an early morning stroll through the neighborhood. In 2012, the large unincorporated Eastgate neighborhood at the foot of the mountain was annexed into the city, adding nearly 5,000 residents and 1,896 homes to this neighbor-

File photo

Bellevue residents and their best friends gather for a Fourth of July celebration in the downtown park. hood area. To protect the spectacular views of Cougar Mountain and other neighborhood qualities, many of the subdivisions in this area have strictly enforced covenants and restrictions on the use of private property. Many neighborhoods have community-owned greenbelts and other amenities. Except for downtown, no area of the city has grown as rapidly in the last 15 years as the recently developed neighborhoods in the higher elevations of Eastgate/Cougar Mountain. Lakemont, Vuemont and other hilltop neighborhoods look out over Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Mountains to the east, downtown Bellevue, Lake Washington and Seattle to the west. A pedestrian trail system links

homes to neighborhood parks, the regional Cougar Mountain Park and the shopping center at Lakemont. About half of this area is in the Bellevue School District; students in the other half attend schools in the Issaquah district.


Demographics Population: 3,708 Percentage of city: 3 percent Under 18: 896 (24 percent of the area) Housing Units: 1,635

Factoria is a major commercial and employment center, surrounded by retail development like the Market Place at Factoria and a number of business offices and corporate headquarters, including T-Mobile. More NEIGHBORHOODS page 29

2015 BELLEVUE RESIDENTS GUIDE NEIGHBORHOODS from page 28 The small and intensely developed commercial area is bordered by Interstate 405 on the west and I-90 on the north. A significant amount of multifamily housing and outlying single-family neighborhoods ring the commercial district.


Demographics Population: 9,455 Percentage of city: 8 percent Under 18: 2,159 (23 percent of the area) Housing Units: 3,728 The Newport area includes two distinct communities — the Newport Hills/Lake Heights neighborhoods east of Interstate 405 and the Newport Shores district lying along the Lake Washington Shore, west of I-405.

The Newport Shores neighborhood is built around a series of

man-made inlets, with homes oriented toward the waterfront, boating and lake activities. Newport Hills, covering a plateau between Coal Creek and Lake Washington, was nearly fully developed when the city annexed it in 1992. The Lake Heights and Newport Hills neighborhoods are cohesive communities, featuring a wide variety of housing types. Both neighborhoods enjoy a strong sense of community, and both are represented by longstanding, active neighborhood associations.

Northeast Bellevue

Demographics Population: 17,222 Percentage of city: 14 percent Under 18: 3,565 (21 percent of the area) Housing Units: 7,253

Stretching from Lake Sammamish to the Microsoft

| 29 campus in Redmond, Northeast Bellevue is a tapestry of housing developments, parks and schools. Aside from the businesses along 156th Avenue Northeast and Bel-Red Road on the neighborhood’s western border, the area is entirely residential. Neighborhoods in the western portion of Northeast Bellevue were built mostly in the late 1960s, 70s and 80s. The southeastern portion of the area features two miles of frontage along Lake Sammamish, with large homes hugging the lakeside and other homes nestled in the heights above the lake. Some of the subdivisions include private recreational facilities, such as tennis courts and a golf course. The woodsy character of the neighborhood is reflected in subdivision names, such as Sherwood Forest. Three of

Bellevue’s 16 public elementary schools and one of its four high schools are in this neighborhood.

Northwest Bellevue

Demographics Population: 12,292 Percentage of city: 10 percent Under 18: 2,050 (17 percent of the area) Housing Units: 7,415 Northwest Bellevue is a mixed residential area with wellmaintained neighborhoods.

The Northtowne Shopping Center provides retail for area residents. Bellevue Way runs north-south, bisecting the community into west and east halves and connecting residents to downtown businesses. Neighborhoods west of Bellevue Way blend into the communities of Medina and Clyde Hill, which are sepaMore NEIGHBORHOODS page 30

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30 | NEIGHBORHOODS from page 29 rately incorporated. Between 2002 and 2006, this area was dramatically affected by a local boom in residential development. Small homes were purchased for development, torn down and replaced by very large homes, causing some residents to protest. In response, the city adopted regulations to ensure that new development was respectful of existing neighborhood character.

Sammamish/East Lake Hills

Demographics Population: 10,375 Percentage of city: 8 percent Under 18: 2,175 (21 percent of the area) Housing Units: 4,033 One of Bellevue's older, established residential areas, East Lake Hills enjoys an extensive open space and parks system built around unique natural assets, including Weowna Park, with its old-growth forest, and Phantom Lake, with its connections to Larsen Lake and the Lake Hills Greenbelt. To the east, upscale residential areas with expensive homes flank the western shore of Lake Sammamish.The city annexed much of this area in 2001. Upland neighborhoods to the west include Spiritridge, Phantom Lake and part of Lake Hills.


Demographics Population: 7,659 Percentage of city: 6 percent Under 18: 1,819 (26 percent of the area) Housing Units: 2,519

Residents say Somerset is what the founders of Bellevue — French for "beautiful view" — must have had in mind when they named the city. The hill called Somerset, which tops out just under 1,000 feet,

turned out to be a favorite spot to gaze out across Lake Washington and Seattle to Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. And the beautiful view continues today, with Somerset being a favorite vantage point from which to watch the Blue Angels during Seafair, enjoy Fourth of July and New Year's Eve fireworks or to just take in panoramic views of Bellevue and Seattle. Due to its proximity to Interstate 90 and Interstate 405, Somerset provides quick and easy access to employment, entertainment and recreation. The Somerset Community Association is a well-organized group representing neighborhood interests and offering various interest groups, including a singles group for those 50 and older, a "Sunshine Committee" to send cards and fix meals for ailing residents and a covenant review committee. Neighborhoods in the Somerset area include Hilltop, Horizon View and Tamara Hills, which were unincorporated until 2012, when they were annexed to Bellevue.

West Bellevue and Downtown

Demographics Population: 11,488 Percentage of city: 9 percent Under 18: 1,936 (17 percent of the area) Housing Units: 7,692 West Bellevue and Downtown

West Bellevue — the original Bellevue — is an area that continues to grow, with a mix of attractive neighborhoods, downtown retail and office buildings, and an extensive park and open space network. High-rise, mixed-use buildings and a thriving regional retail center (Bellevue Square,

The Bravern and surrounding retail) dominate the downtown core. Restaurants, theaters, a convention center, an art museum and other facilities provide services for Bellevue and the region. Main Street — sometimes called Old Bellevue — is another thriving retail area, with unique shops and restaurants and newer, mixed-use buildings. An expanded waterfront park at Meydenbauer Bay is on the drawing board. A significant residential population is developing in the downtown core, as more high-rise condominium and apartment complexes are built. The area also contains long-standing well-maintained

single-family neighborhoods to the north and south, sharply delineated from the high-density downtown by Main Street on the south and Northeast 12th Street on the north. The vast Mercer Slough Park, a unique wetlands habitat and recreational area, and Bellevue Downtown Park — acclaimed for its award-winning “belvedere” design — are also landmarks of West Bellevue.

West Lake Hills

Demographics Population: 12,484 Percentage of city: 10 percent Under 18: 2,721 (22 percent of the area) Housing Units: 5,225


2015 BELLEVUE RESIDENTS GUIDE NEIGHBORHOODS from page 30 Originally developed in the late 1950s as a planned community with the Lake Hills Shopping Center at its core, the area contains much of Bellevue’s relatively affordable single-family and multifamily housing. The richness of the community lies in its extensive system of open space, trails and wetlands. The Lake Hills greenbelt is a wetland corridor encompassing more than 172 acres of woods and wetlands. The Lake Hills Ranger Station on Southeast 16th Street provides a convenient source of information about the greenbelt, which connects Phantom Lake on the south with Larson Lake and its surrounding blueberry fields on the north. Looking north from office and research facilities along Interstate 90, West Lake Hills is home to the growing cam-

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pus of Bellevue College and Robinswood Community Park. The neighborhood’s dominant roadway, 148th Avenue, is a busy thoroughfare, not only carrying local traffic, but also accommodating a significant amount of regional traffic between I-90 and SR 520. The East Bellevue Community Council, an elected five-member body, has jurisdiction over land use decisions affecting this part of the city.


Demographics Population: 3,966 Percentage of city: 3 percent Under 18: 711 (18 percent of the area) Housing Units: 1,880

Platted in 1904 as the company town for the Hewitt-Lea Logging Company, Bellevue’s historic Wilburton neighborhood is an enclave of single-family and multifamily

housing known not only for its rich history, but also for its beautiful views, parks and wooded areas. Major parks include the widely acclaimed Bellevue Botanical Garden and the 160-acre Kelsey Creek Park, which features barns and farm animals. The Wilburton area also contains significant light industrial uses — at the southern end along I-90 — and in the Bel-Red corridor. Bel-Red — between the densely developed downtown and Redmond’s urban center at Overlake — has been rezoned for mixeduse development, oriented around new East Link light rail stops and the area’s physical amenities (Goff Creek, West Tributary, Lake Bellevue).


Demographics Population: 4,541

Percentage of city: 4 percent Under 18: 869 (19 percent of the area) Housing Units: 2,217

The Woodridge neighborhood area includes the entirety of Woodridge Hill, a residential area south of downtown and east of I-405, and a long strip of multifamily, office and light industrial development flanking Richards Road. Woodridge is characterized by quiet streets and comfortable family homes —many with views of Lake Washington, downtown Bellevue and Seattle. Much of the community’s daily life revolves around Woodridge Elementary School, at the top of the hill. Norwood Village, built on Woodridge Hill by World War II veterans in the late 1940s, adds historical and architectural significance to the community.

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RECYCLE Your torn and worn clothes You can donate your torn, stained and faded clothing for recycling. Donation locations want all of your clothes, shoes, and linens – in ANY condition except wet.




RECYCLE THEM! Damaged clothes and linens can be recycled into carpet padding, insulation and more. So gather up your mismatched socks, ripped t-shirts, and faded sheets and bring them to a local donation location. Find out where you can drop off your damaged clothing at www.kingcounty.gov/threadcycle. Bellevue single-family residents can also call Republic Services to schedule a curbside pick-up at 425-452-4762.

Profile for Sound Publishing

Residents Guide - 2015 Bellevue  


Residents Guide - 2015 Bellevue