Somerset Community Association Board of Directors - responsibilities Francis Brito Diane Fern Johannes Grad Pete Mansfield Muriel Mittelstrass Sue Sander Sylvia Vasilik Marie Vieth Maggie Yeh
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
President, CRC Vice President and CRC Chair Communications Emergency Preparedness School Liaison, Escrow Demands Landscaping Membership Database Treasurer Secretary
The Somerset Community Association bylaws provide for a Board consisting of 12 to 15 Directors who are elected at our annual meetings and each serve a 3-year term. Our officers of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are chosen following election to the Board. If you are interested in possibly filing the vacancies we have on the Board or the Covenant Review Committee, or aren’t sure who to contact with a question, please see our website or send an email to email@example.com.
Somerset Sun Advertising deadlines: February 12, 2021 – Spring issue May 14, 2021 – Summer issue August 13, 2021 – Fall issue November 12, 2021 – Winter issue Sizes and rates per issue (same for color or black & white): Business Card (3"w x 2"h) Quarter Page (4"w x 5¼"h) Half Page Horizontal (8"w x 5¼“"h) Half Page Vertical (4"w x 10½"h) Full Page (8"w x 10½" h)
$25 $140 $300 $300 $550
There is a 10% discount for Somerset residents, OR for committing to the next three issues.
Thank you for your interest in advertising in the Somerset Sun. Together, we are neighbors helping neighbors.
2019 Financial Review Pursuant to Part IV, Section 1 of the Bylaws, a review of the financial records of the Somerset Community Association (“SCA”) was completed on November 14, 2020, by a Finance Committee appointed by the President. The Committee examined the financial records of the SCA as provided by the Treasurer, including but not limited to the legal records, checkbook, canceled checks, bank statements, income and expense ledger, bills, receipts, financial reports, and budget. The Committee hereby finds that during the time period covered by the Review (January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019): 1. the Treasurer was cooperative during the Review and with the Committee, 2. the books and financial records of the SCA are being kept in a well-organized and appropriate manner, 3. the funds of the SCA were administered properly, and
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4. the Board of Directors acted responsibly and in the best interests of the members in all financial business conducted. If you are interested in being on the Finance Committee next year and participating in the Financial Review, please contact the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Neighbors, I trust that you are all doing well as we head into the holiday season and the new year. On behalf of the Somerset Community Association Board, I send you Season’s Greetings! Two of our Board members will be leaving us in January after completing their terms: Sylvia Vasilik, the Membership Committee Chair, and Maggie Yeh, Board Secretary. Earlier in the year, we lost Bozhong Lin, our Communications Chair who transferred to China for his job. Sylvia, Maggie and Bo, you prioritized time in your busy schedules to join the SCA Board and contribute to our wonderful community - job well done and thank you!
SCA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
On behalf of the entire Somerset Community, I want to thank our Board for the magnificent job they did, making the time to deal with new challenges in this troubled year, including dramatically improving our communication abilities, reaching out to the community for support against the COVID-19 virus, helping our residents work with the City and the Utilities to deal with problems related to increasing vandalism, and the electrical discharge by the PSE power line in July. A common complaint I hear is that people are concerned that Somerset no longer appears to be seen as a “garden community.” Further, in each of the last three years, we have seen about a 2% decline in residents paying their dues. I can hear Somerset residents saying, “Francis, we get the point, as this is the third time you are broaching this subject.” And you know what, you are right! However, if people don’t pay their dues and only complain, things will not get any better. While I’m sure there may be many and complex reasons for this situation, our community must rise to the challenge. Toward that end, we have reduced next year’s annual dues from $80 to $75, and removed the additional fee for paying online! Your SCA Vice President, Diane Fern, is Chairing the Nomination Committee; please contact her and volunteer. I am eager that we not only fill the PRIDE vacancy on the Board, but also collect a team from our many divisions to support this Chair; doing so will help us better get to know and comply with our respective division covenants, and build fellowship as we work towards invigorating our “garden community.” This will not be a heavy lift. Finally, our Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on January 21st, starting at 7:00 pm. You should get the membership forms with proxy statements in the mail by the first week of January. Additional details and the Zoom link to access the meeting will be available on our website somerset98006.org. Stay warm, Francis Brito SCA President
2020 Directory Published!
Annual SCA General Meeting
The 2020 issue of the Somerset Directory was mailed in early October to all paid members of the Somerset Community Association. Published biennially, the Directory includes community information as well as both alphabetical and geographical listings of all Somerset property owners and their contact information. This resource is one of the valuable benefits of being a paid member of the SCA, and if you’d like to receive one, be sure to pay your annual dues. The next Directory will be published in 2022.
save the date! Please join us on thursday, january 21, 2021 for our annual general meeting, this year to be held as a VIRTUAL event. Beginning at 7:00 pm, we will report on our activities in 2020 and plans for 2021. We will ask members to approve our annual budget and elect new board members. Please be sure to have paid your 2021 dues and returned your proxy statement before the meeting.
CorrECtIoN – On page 66 of the Directory, the heading for properties listed on 139th Avenue SE was inadvertently left out. The good news is that the 31 properties on the street are all still included on the page and in the alphabetical listing. Only the heading was missed. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused, especially to our neighbors on 139th Avenue SE!
Join us via Zoom from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can even call in by telephone. The planned agenda and additional details about how to join the meeting will be announced on our website somerset98006.org/meeting. Hope to see you there!
By Councilmember jennifer robertson This holiday season, celebrate and shop locally for the health of your community
COUNCIL CORNER As this unprecedented year comes to a close and we enter the holiday season, I know that people are struggling to find ways to connect with each other and keep their cherished holiday traditions alive. Like many of us, local businesses are also suffering this year with the COVID-19 shutdowns. So, while this year will be different, there are still many ways to connect with your community while supporting your local businesses and celebrating the season. Shopping local has never been more important. Bellevue’s small businesses are a critical part of our community, representing our neighbors who own and work in them. With local tourism down and fewer people commuting into Bellevue for work, our local businesses need extra support. By shopping and dining (or getting takeout) locally, we can help to keep our favorite restaurants and retailers open and keep people employed. Additionally, sales tax makes up 10% of the city’s budget, so shopping at Bellevue Square or Factoria instead of University Village or Lynwood helps pay for important services like police, fire, parks, and roads. To get inspired or discovery a new hidden restaurant, check out Bellevue Downtown Association’s “Heart of Bellevue” campaign (bellevuedowntown.com/heart-of-bellevue/stories) which provides discounts and bonus courses for dining out in Downtown. Also check out Visit Bellevue’s “Bite of Bellevue” dining promotion (visitbellevuewa.com/things-to-do/bite-ofbellevue/). Follow and explore these great resources because
when we spend locally, small businesses thrive, and our community benefits. While some of our cherished holiday activities in downtown are not happening this year due to COVID-19, there will be other ways to get you into the holiday spirit. For example, instead of the ice-skating rink, the Bellevue Downtown Association is working to add festive lighted displays in the Downtown park and across Old Bellevue to keep some of the whimsy of Magic Season. More details to come at bellevuedowntown.com. Snowflake Lane has been reimagined with light displays, holiday music, and a few nightly surprises. The traditional evening parades are expected to return in 2021. More details at snowflakelane.com. The city’s annual arts week, Bellwether, which typically adds public art throughout the Downtown will take place December 11th through January 16th (bellwetherart.org/). This year’s show has adapted to COVID-19, allowing you to experience all of the artwork online or visit the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) to see curated video and projection-based artworks from local artists paying homage to this year's theme of Growth. Special this year are three featured performances filmed in Bellevue at the Downtown Park, BAM, and the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Also planned is an online marketplace for all current and former participating Bellwether artists. Visit BAM’s website to schedule a visit in-person at www.bellevuearts.org/ As the holiday season ends and we ring in 2021, I will be counting my blessings for living in such a wonderful neighborhood and community. I feel very lucky to live in such a safe and welcoming community and do believe that, for Bellevue, the best is yet to come. I send to each of you the happiest holiday and new year wishes from my family to yours and wish you all health, safety, and comfort in the months ahead. Jennifer Robertson is a 4-term member of the Bellevue City Council and a municipal attorney. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Somerset.
Get Ready for Winter! Time to get those snow tires on, make sure your shovel is in good working order and you have sand or salt on hand to clear ice. Every year we get a little taste of full-on winter with the extra challenges of living in a hilly neighborhood. This winter will be no exception. Maintaining safety is no accident! When conditions are forecast to be bad stay off the road if you can. Keep enough food at home to get your through a couple of days of nasty road conditions. If you must drive, pay careful attention to downhill grades. This is where losing control of the vehicle is most dangerous. Throw a shovel and a set of tire chains in the trunk. Please see Somerset98006.org to review specific hazards on Somerset and for links to resources providing additional information on preparing for weather-related events. Send any questions, comments or concerns to SomersetPrepares@gmail.com. Happy Holidays! Pete Mansfield, SCA Preparedness Chair
Candy Cane Fudge From allrecipes.com Ingredients • 2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract • 1 ½ cups crushed candy canes • 1 dash red or green food coloring Directions Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, and grease the foil. Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.
Good Reads When You see Me, by Lisa Gardner, 400 pages (2020) When You See Me is another rocketfuel-propelled thriller from Lisa Gardner. “This book unites three of her most beloved characters — Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy — in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past which points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime. Starts out chillingly intimate and explodes into a sky-high denouement that will leave you breathless.” Even though it’s part of a series, it is a great stand-alone read. Marie Vieth, Somerset Resident
small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, 480 pages (2016) Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than 20 years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? I read this book in 2016, but it is even more relevant today, bringing the reader face-to-face with racial injustice, privilege, and prejudice. Bev Edwards, Somerset Resident
By School Board Member Dr. francine Wiest Education is vital. Today’s students are tomorrow’s citizenry who must be prepared to handle the next big challenges. In Bellevue we are fortunate our community supports education, including the passage of important levies that fund technology and other key services, enabling a more robust educational experience than what state dollars alone would provide. All Bellevue School District (BSD) students have access to a district issued learning device (laptop or iPad) and internet for remote learning. Educators have worked to create engaging lessons and find a balance between online meetings and independent work. Activities and ways for students to feel connected occur virtually and in pods. Protocols and personal protective equipment are in place to mitigate risk for those educators and students on our campuses, including small groups of students needing in-person special education services and other supports. However, because of increased costs and declining revenue from enrollment and previously self-sustaining areas like nutrition and childcare, there are anticipated budget shortfalls. The superintendent has convened a broad-based
committee to make recommendations while holding to our core values and vision “To affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.” Community members are also welcome to write in suggestions to email@example.com.
BELLEVUE SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATE Despite the challenges in the COVID era, our community’s ongoing support and BSD’s commitment to providing an innovative, individualized, and relevant education ensure our students will emerge ready for the future. To see the latest on how BSD is providing exemplary education, or listen to virtual board meetings or superintendent advisory sessions, visit BSD405.org. Francine lives in Somerset with her husband and 3 children. She is Vice-President of the Bellevue School Board and can be reached at WiestF@bsd405.org.
Somerset Celebrates Halloween! Thank you to everyone who sent us photos of their Halloween celebrations. We were so impressed by our neighborhood’s creative ideas to make the holiday special for kids while still maintaining safety protocols required by the pandemic. What fun!
tree trimming and “Grandfathered” trees Complaints about trees growing into views is the most common complaint that the CRC receives. It seems that a reminder to property owners about their tree responsibilities is in order.
COVENANT CORNER Most of the Divisions in Somerset have Covenants that read: No trees of any type, other than those existing at the time these restrictive covenants [. . .] are filed, shall be allowed to grow more than twenty (20) feet in height provided they do not unnecessarily interfere with the view of another residence … The [CRC] shall be the sole judge in deciding whether there has been such an interference. The 20-foot provision means two things. First, “new” trees shall not be allowed to grow taller than 20 feet. Second, the 20-foot height restriction does not apply to Grandfathered trees, provided they do not unnecessarily interfere with the view of another residence. If either tree unnecessarily interferes with the view of another residence it must be trimmed to a lower height or narrower width so the resulting view restoration is sufficient to prevent the tree from “unnecessarily interfering with the view of another residence.” The various Covenants date back to the 1960s when the area was being developed. Grandfathered trees are those that were in existence at the time your home was constructed. Grandfathered trees are not restricted to a maximum of 20 feet in height; they can grow taller but still can NOT unnecessarily interfere with a neighbor’s view providing the
neighbor had a view at the time their home was built. For example, your neighbor’s Grandfathered tree could have only been 8 feet tall at the time your home was built and you had a view of the lake. Suppose now it is 30 feet tall and it is beginning to interfere with your lake view (that you had at the time your home was built). That was a pre-existing view and the tree, even though “Grandfathered,” must be trimmed. Alternately, if the tree existed and already was part of the view when your home was built, it is a condition that will continue to exist until the tree dies or is removed. Any new tree would then be restricted to the covenant 20-foot restriction. You can usually ascertain whether your tree (or a neighbor’s tree) was existing (and at what size) when a home was built by researching the King County Archives. All the homes had photos taken at the time they were built for the county assessor’s records. It is a tree-owner’s responsibility to provide such proof to the CRC that their tree should be designated as “Grandfathered” for purposes of resolving neighbor View disputes. We encourage all Somerset property owners to review and understand the “View Guidelines” on our website, Somerset98006.org, under the “Covenants” tab. Lastly, the CRC approaches these issues by following a twofold "good neighbor" policy. We encourage communication and cooperation as the best methods to resolve any sort of dispute, and in fact require such efforts to be made before we will become involved. To gauge which way the CRC might rule in your tree dispute, be aware that our interpretation of a “good neighbor” is one who considers the pruning of trees to be an annual responsibility, and not something that is only done, grudgingly, in response to a complaint. Diane Fern, Chair Covenant Review Committee
Somerset Elementary Fundraising Drive Somerset ranked #1 Elementary School in the Puget Sound region this year, according to Puget Sound Business Journal analysis. Last year Somerset had 670 students. Standardized testing was cancelled in the 2019-20 academic year, but the year prior about 93% of Somerset students met standards in English and 91% students met standards in math. Somerset’s high ranking helps maintain the neighborhood’s high property values while providing our children with the highest quality education. We know the pandemic significantly affected our whole neighborhood, but we still need your support for our Fall fundraising drive! We set a $100,000 fundraising goal. While this season is far from normal, we have so far received funds in the amount of $54,280 Thank you to those who have donated -- we couldn’t do any of this without you! But we need more families to participate in this drive. Each dollar donated helps support our children. Your contribution will keep our General School Assistants helping in classes (the #1 request from our teachers), will ensure our programs such as Chess Club and Math Circle continue running, and provide our teachers with class supplies.
What do our funds pay for? General School Assistants (GSAs): $150,000/66% Curriculum Enhancement and programs: $40,000/17.6% Grant to School: $23,000/10.1% Admin (PTSA website, banking, software, etc): $14,000/6.3%
If you are interested in donating to the Somerset Elementary School PTSA, you can make donations on our website at somersetptsa.org or use this QR code:
This article is the first in a series we plan to share on the history of our wonderful Somerset neighborhood. If you have a story to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMERSET WOMEN FOR MEDIC ONE A brief memoir by Martha Garmanian The history of Bellevue is helpful in understanding the founding of Bellevue Medic One and the creation and dissolution of the support group known as Somerset Women for Medic One.
My part of the story of began in 1958, when my family – my husband, two children, and I – arrived in the area, courtesy of The Boeing Company. We settled in the Lake Hills area, which was a newly developed housing area on the Eastside. Boeing was heavily involved in the defense industry, which resulted in a transfer to Vandenberg Airforce Base in 1960, followed by moves to other Boeing locations, including Huntsville, Alabama, and Washington DC. Finally, in 1972, we returned to the northwest, now a family with four kids, and settled in Somerset.
Early settlers of Bellevue were William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer, both of whom, in 1869, homesteaded in the area now known as Bellevue; Meydenbauer, on the bay that still bears his name, and Mercer, on what is now known as Mercer Slough. By 1900, population had grown to 400. It was not until the opening of the first Lake Washington bridge, in 1940, that the population began a dramatic increase. In 1946, Kemper Freeman opened Bellevue Square to serve the growing population. The Square was anchored on the west end by Frederick and Nelson. There was also a movie theatre, the Crabapple restaurant, an A & P grocery, a hardware store, and a five and dime, plus a variety of specialty stores. In 1958, Nordstrom opened its first store, selling only shoes. The city of Bellevue was incorporated in 1953. The population at that time was 5,050. By 1956, the Puget Power building was completed, and with four floors, was for many years the tallest building in Bellevue. There was no hospital – Overlake hospital opened in 1960. The only fire station, located off Main Street, was covered by King County Fire District 14, and was staffed by volunteers. The first professional firefighters were hired in 1960. In 1965, Bellevue started their own firefighter organization. There are currently nine fire stations in Bellevue, with a tenth under development, serving a population of approximately 150,000 residents. By 1970, emergency medical services were undergoing rapid change. Seattle had developed a successful Medic One program which helped launch Bellevue’s own paramedic program. In 1970, the first class of firefighters was trained as paramedics, and in 1972 Bellevue Medic One was established.
Officers of Somerset Women for Medic One attend a 1994 ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the introduction of an emergency disaster vehicle that the group helped to fund.
In late 1974, a chance meeting with an acquaintance from the days in Huntsville produced an invitation to join a new group named Somerset Women for Medic One. Monthly meetings were held in member’s homes, and always included wonderful lunches. Usually, a representative of the fire department attended, and updates concerning Medic One activities and needs were presented. Memorial funds, donations and monies raised by the group have, over the years, been utilized to cover expenses associated with training of paramedics, CPR training, trauma mannikins, water rescue equipment, DUI Prom Night Accident drills, adult and baby backboards which enhance safety while in transit to emergency rooms, and other lifesaving equipment.
Somerset Women for Medic One was founded in 1974, the first non-profit organization to support Bellevue Medic One. The group of twenty women, residents of the Somerset area of Bellevue, decided to donate proceeds from a bridge tournament to benefit Bellevue Medic One. Other fund-raising activities included bake sales, golf tournaments, and car washes. These funds were used to purchase some of the first Medic One equipment.
Forty-six eventful years later, it has been my heart wrenching duty as President of Somerset Women for Medic One to preside over the dissolution of the group. In recent years, there has been a dramatic change in both membership in the organization and in the size and number of donations. Articles have been written and published in local newspapers and neighborhood publications, inviting new members. Unfortunately, this produced little response and membership has both aged and declined in numbers, to the point that not only is there little for the members to record, it became difficult for members to perform the duties required of them.
A major function of Somerset Women for Medic One was to manage donations to the new Medic One program at the Bellevue Fire Department. This involved banking, recording, and acknowledging donations to Bellevue Medic One. Large donations, sometimes hundreds of dollars, were common.
In September, 2019 a discussion was held detailing the challenges presented by these changes, and a decision was made to vote on dissolution. At the final meeting, in November 2019, the membership approved dissolution which was effective June 30, 2020.
NEWPORT WAY SIDEWALk UPDATE According to the City Project manager, construction on Newport Way continues to make significant progress and the roadway is planning to reopen to eastbound traffic before the end of the year. However, due to weather restrictions, final paving of the roadway will not occur until the Spring of 2021. Please continue to use construction detours at Allen Road and Somerset Boulevard to avoid long delays driving through the construction zone. Pedestrians will be allowed to walk through the corridor.
Photo by Cindy Richey Photography
Other Somerset residents on the committee are
The Newport Way Sidewalk Committee is Curt Allred, Randy Brown, and Jan Medley the result of an effort initiated by a concerned neighbor back in 2005. You may have seen the great coverage of their work in a recent issue of Somerset Neighbors. If not, you will find it and other details of the project at the Newport Way Sidewalk Committee’s website, newportwaysidewalk.org. Kristi Weir, Somerset resident Newport Way Sidewalk Committee
What is a “Go Bag”? What would you take with you if you had five minutes to leave your home and might never see it again? In addition to preparing your home and family for disaster with two weeks’ supply of food, water and other supplies, you may find you are forced to leave your home in a hurry and shelter elsewhere. Having a pre-packed bag will save time and help ensure you have not left critical items behind. Taking the time to consider what to pack ahead of time is important. It is even more important to pack the bag! These bags are also referred to as “Bug-Out Bags”. What to consider preparing and putting in your Go Bag: • Copies (or a flash drive containing scans or photos) of important documents (deeds, titles, IDs, birth certificates, etc.), images of valuables and images of your home inside and out • A change of clothing • Weather-proof outer clothing, hat, shoes, and gloves • Face masks and hand sanitizer • Water and snack bars • Flashlight and batteries • AM/FM/weather radio • Cash in small bills • Medicines and First Aid kit • Sanitary needs (toilet paper, etc.) • Checklist including critical steps to remember prior to leaving the home (grab the cat, etc.) This list is a starting point. Your personal circumstances will be unique. Our website Somerset98006.org contains links to many resources discussing personal preparedness and safety under the “Preparedness” tab. Please have a look and feel free to contact the SCA with questions or concerns at SomersetPrepares@gmail.com.
Store Your Boats, Trailers and RVs, please As we prepare to “hunker down” for the winter season, please be aware that no recreational vehicle, watercraft, or utility trailer can be stored in your Somerset driveway or elsewhere on your property where it can be seen from neighboring properties. Most of the divisions in Somerset have Covenant language prohibiting such storage, but more importantly, the City of Bellevue Land Use Code Section 20.20.70 specifically prohibits parking or storage of these vehicles on your property except inside a garage or carport, side or rear yard, AND “completely sight-screened from abutting properties by solid board fencing or sight-obscuring landscaping at least six feet in height.” (There are 3-day exceptions for the beginning and ending of boating season when boats are being moved between storage facilities/water.) This means that your RV/boat/trailer cannot be stored anywhere on your property where your neighbors can see it. Additionally, you cannot construct such fencing or screening without advance CRC approval. Please make arrangements to properly store your RV/trailer/boat inside your garage or somewhere outside of Somerset. If you do not, you risk being fined by the City of Bellevue when a neighbor reports you for violating the City Code. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep Somerset a beautiful neighborhood!
Early Bird registration 2021 SUMMEr PrE-SALE NoW oPEN! SAVE tHrU December 31, 2020 Join or renew before December 31, 2020 to lock in your family membership pricing for 2021! Save $75 with your early bird membership of just $620. If you miss this early pre-sale, registration for Family Memberships (returning and new) will re-open in early 2021 at the regular price of $695. join or renew for 2021 today – somersetrec.org Please note if COVID-19 continues to impact our facility’s ability to operate normally in the 2021 Summer Season as it did this past season, SRC will refund full or partial membership fees, as may be applicable. For those interested, SRC is once again offering payment plans (two installments). Junior Memberships and other membership types will be on sale in early 2021. reminder: SRC no longer charges an annual maintenance fee. We will continue to need volunteers for our planned Spring Community Service Days during the pre-season to get ready for the summer. Volunteers can pressure wash, weed, landscape, clean, and paint. If you work for a company that will match your donation of time to non-profits, please sign up for a pre-season spring cleanup party. SRC can receive corporate matching donations for volunteer hours at the club. In addition, students can receive volunteer hours towards graduation or club volunteer requirements. Watch Facebook throughout the year for additional volunteer opportunities as they arise. Questions? Please email email@example.com.
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just select Somerset Recreation Club as your charity. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a small portion of your purchase price to Somerset Recreation Club.
2020 fUNDrAISING UPDAtE - As of the end of our fiscal year on September 30, thanks to you, SRC had raised $35,923.59 of our 2020 Season $100,000 goal! While we fell short of our goal, we are so very thankful to those who were able to donate, especially given the financial challenges COVID-19 brought to our neighborhood and pool this year. We have a few projects we are working on in the off-season trimming trees to retain the view and overhauling SRC’s entire electrical system. In addition, we have sourced an engineer to draw up plans that meet health department guidelines for the new slide installation. This project has proven more difficult than expected, but we aim to get it completed before Summer 2021! reminder: SRC is a 501(c)(3) corporation and charitable donations to SRC are allowed as tax deductions by the IRS. This also makes SRC eligible to receive additional “matching funds” for donations made by individuals working for various employers in the area. Please consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to understand how charitable donations would impact your tax status.
NEW 2021 SrC BoArD Thanks to those who joined us at the general membership meeting on October 6. We would like to introduce the 2021 SRC board: Michael Ketchum, President Megan Pike, Vice President (NEW) Luke Aass, treasurer Megan Reed, Secretary Liane Harnar (NEW), Swim team Shannon Gregory-Lowe, Swim team Emilie Castle, Events Michele Brown-Ruegg, Marketing/Social Media Greg Shaw and Kip Fern (NEW), Website Mark Alkhazov, Member at Large Roman Brewer, Member at Large
WINtEr PooL LANE rENtALS AVAILABILE - If you know of an area swim coach or swim team looking for pool lanes to rent this winter in Bellevue, please tell them about SRC! We have a few lanes and days available to rent so please have them contact SRC pool manager Jim Umbeck at (206) 601-3492 for details.
Back to basics on Energize Eastside Today’s column is an interview with Don Marsh, president and co-founder of CENSE, the nonprofit organization opposing PSE’s “Energize Eastside” power line project that runs through Somerset and other Eastside neighborhoods. Don and his family have lived in Somerset for 24 years, near the Somerset Rec Club.
Don, you have been working on this issue for years. What keeps you “energized” about it? Don: It certainly has been an interesting journey! Steve O’Donnell and I started learning about this project seven years ago, and we created CENSE soon after. It’s an important topic, and I must admit, I’ve become a bit of an energy nerd along the way. So is it true that we might have power outages if PSE doesn’t double the voltage on the power lines? It is extremely unlikely that Somerset will experience power outages due to a lack of capacity on our current power lines. Outages are more often caused by trees, downed distribution lines, and other kinds of equipment failure. But as we electrify our homes, cars, and appliances to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, won’t we need those bigger wires? Usage trends show the current wires can deliver all the electricity we need. Only under extremely rare circumstances might a brief power outage occur. What are these rare circumstances? PSE’s studies assume that half of PSE’s big transformers serving the Eastside would fail on a very hot or very cold day. At the same time, PSE assumes half a dozen gas generation plants would be offline. Adding even more stress, PSE assumes huge amounts of electricity would be sent to Canada or California. Those three conditions have never happened simultaneously, and probably never will. But even if they did, PSE would rotate outages throughout the Eastside for a few hours at most. Somerset’s turn would likely last less than half an hour, significantly shorter than the outages we often experience during winter storms. Fortunately, newer technologies (solar panels, batteries, smart grid) are now available that PSE could install to prevent that unlikely outage. How sure are you about that? CENSE has engaged several industry experts to review PSE’s studies. Recently, the City of Newcastle hired an expert to provide a second opinion on the need for the project. The expert determined that winter demand for electricity has been falling during the last decade. The expert concluded there is no longer a need for Energize Eastside to address that situation.
Is the project completely unnecessary then? There is currently some debate about the Eastside’s demand for electricity on the hottest summer day. Newcastle’s expert found a scenario where summer demand might overtax the system, but as with the winter overload scenario, only if all three unlikely circumstances occur simultaneously. Even if summer demand is a real issue, solar panels offer a clean, inexpensive solution. Neither PSE nor the Environmental Impact Study conducted by Bellevue fully evaluated the potential of solar panels to meet any increases in peak demand. A number of questions have yet to be answered. How will those questions be answered? At Newcastle’s public hearing for the project, CENSE will ask the city to require updated information from PSE. Before obtaining its land use permit, PSE must demonstrate that an upgraded transmission line is the safest and most costeffective way to serve future peak demand. When will the public hearing be held? Newcastle would like to hold its hearing in December or early next year. Probably on Zoom. It would be helpful to have lots of people stating their preference for less destructive and less expensive technologies to serve our energy future. Can we prevail? Many changes have occurred since PSE applied for the project seven years ago. PSE’s own data shows demand for electricity is not increasing at the rate PSE predicted five years ago. Multiple transmission projects have been canceled north and south of the Puget Sound area due to lower-than-expected demand. Alternative technologies like batteries are being used by utilities worldwide to serve peak demand in a costeffective way. Also, increasing concerns about climate change prompt us to question the wisdom of cutting down thousands of valuable trees in Eastside cities. Sounds promising! Is it too soon to start celebrating? Honestly, PSE has a lot of clout. Many businesses and politicians do not question the decisions of a multi-billiondollar company. CENSE and other citizen organizations have raised substantial questions about PSE’s choices. We are grateful for the community’s strong support of CENSE and hope we can all celebrate the use of more appropriate technologies to serve our needs. Can Somerset residents help? Yes, three ways: 1. Attend the hearing (watch for the date on CENSE.org, the CENSE newsletter, and Nextdoor). 2. Tell your friends. 3. Donate at CENSE.org if you can. We don’t want to beg, but it costs a lot to pay for experts and attorneys. And be patient. It may still be years before we know the end of this saga.
Neighbors Working Together to Address Safety Problems One of the most important ways we as a community can become more resilient to disasters or other adverse situations is to know our neighbors. Emergency services will not be responding to 911 during the critical first few hours following a major widespread event. We will need to rely on each other. Knowing the situations of the people living around you will help all of us focus best efforts to assist each other. So how do we meet our neighbors? Well, we can start by saying hello! You might be surprised how many people are happy to greet you in return. That single outreach might â€œbreak the iceâ€? and create a conversation. You never know who you might meet. You can also organize picnics or block parties, hold safety and preparedness events, or simply work together to solve a problem of mutual concern which is the topic for today. I have two examples of Somerset neighbors recently working together to address issues of neighborhood safety. In both cases, residents reached out to each other to share concerns and discuss possible ways to address them. Email addresses and phone numbers were shared among the groups to facilitate communication. In both cases, interaction with the City of Bellevue was required and the SCA helped facilitate various aspects of this. The first case involves the disrespectful visitors mentioned in the last Somerset Sun issue. Two separate areas of Somerset were severely impacted by this problem. Each area has formed a neighbor group to share information and concerns. These two groups also communicate with each other to discuss common goals, share experiences with attempts to control the problem and possible additional approaches to reducing the problems. The SCA has been involved to help facilitate communication with the Bellevue Police Department and each group has worked with the city to determine what specific actions can be taken to help reduce the problems. Traffic counting studies have been implemented. Installation of signs to limit parking hours and similar measures are being pursued. The work is ongoing.
Before and Progress. Somerset residents and the city joined forces to clear out ivy on respective properties under PSE power lines where discharge and fire occurred this past July. Work is ongoing to completely remove the tall trees under the lines. New ground cover and low-growing trees will be planted.
The second case involves the PSE electrical discharge and fire this past July. Overgrown trees and ivy had been allowed to reach the transmission wires. Neighbors concluded they could not rely on PSE to trim vegetation and were motivated to improve safety and appearance in the vicinity. Through mutual communication and some input from the SCA it was established that several parties, including the City of Bellevue, owned portions of the area needing safety improvements. The plan for cleaning up the area involves removing all the ivy from the ground and removing trees under the lines that required periodic topping. New, non-climbing ground cover will be planted along with a few low-growing trees that will never require topping. The work is ongoing with good progress and great neighbor involvement. If you have similar safety or other concerns in your area of Somerset, talk to your neighbors to see if they are concerned too. Perhaps you can also form a group of neighbors that want to address the issue. Come up with a plan and be prepared to put some effort and time into it. Let the SCA know if you need assistance communicating with a broader audience or the city to help move things along.
Meeting with Police. Residents meet with Bellevue Police to discuss challenges with disrespectful view-seekers.
Pete Mansfield Emergency Preparedness Chair
Landscaping Update Winter is almost here with shorter days and with many tree leaves falling fast. It was a long summer and therefore, a late fall with many of our plants blossoming a second time. Enjoy the great fall colors and winter plants in your flower beds and pots! The Somerset entrance looks great with many of the plants recently trimmed, leaves raked up, and winter flowering plants added. Dawn Till Dusk Landscapes (Tom Copestake) has been doing an excellent job maintaining SCA’s areas and has now winterized our vegetation to protect it from winter’s cold temperatures. They have also turned off the irrigation system and fountain until spring. Gary Albert has continued to help maintain our irrigation system and resolve any issues. We greatly appreciate his support and dedication to our community. Thank you, Gary, for always being there for us! Our annual holiday lighting has been turned on at the main entrance. The area looks beautiful with lights on the large tree at the end of the island and six trees behind, along Somerset Blvd. Fleming Lighting inspected and restrung our light strands, and the lights will be on through early February. Also, several residents have started to decorate their homes with festive decorations; please join us all in celebrating this special time of year and make your home look great too! As part of the Newport Way project, the City of Bellevue has been working on our entrance’s north corner to reconstruct the curb ramp, replant shrubs, etc. The City hopes to have this completed soon and we will be coordinating with them to ensure our entrance looks great and everything affected has been replaced or repaired. In addition, please be sure to maintain your curb strips, property between your house and the sidewalk, and the islands in your cul-de-sac. These areas are the responsibility of each resident to maintain. Please prune your trees annually to minimize having to cut them down. Trees attract native birds which in turn eat insects and minimize our use of pesticides. If there is an issue with your trees, please contact me or our Covenant Review Committee for help. If you haven’t already, it is time to winterize your yard by gathering leaves into yard waste containers and/or placing them around the trunks of plants and bushes to protect them. Mow
your yard one last time, spread winter fertilizer and trim overgrowth. Take in your pots, as many will not last the winter, unless you place them inside or under cover. Water periodically and return outside after the risk of frost has ended. You can now plant bulbs and winter-hardy and flowering plants, such as camellias, clematis, cyclamen, heather, and winter perennials that will bloom all winter. I encourage you to feed the birds and squirrels that winter in the NW. We even have hummingbirds that stay in the area if you keep their feeder full throughout the winter months. It is a joy to watch them feed and listen to the birds sing.
If you have questions on winterizing Camellia your home, please check PSE’s and the City of Bellevue’s websites on how to protect your home in the winter (for example, disconnecting your hoses and placing outdoor covers on all faucets, and reducing Black-capped Chickadee your energy bills by adding insulation, double paned windows, energy efficient appliances and heaters). These suggestions may save you energy, money, and enables our neighborhood to be greener and have a better PSE rating. Thank you for your support for our community, maintaining your yards, and making your street look great! If you have any questions regarding any landscape or maintenance issue, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care, stay safe, remember to always be GREEN and Happy Holidays to you all! Sue Sander Landscaping Chair
PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID SEATTLE WA PERMIT #1809
Somerset Community Associaton PO Box 40531 Bellevue, WA 98015
Local Holiday Events 2020 Many holiday events have been adjusted to accommodate to CoVID-19. If you plan to go out, wear masks, be safe and observe social distancing!
Snowflake Lane - Reimagined, yet still memorable! To keep
everyone safe, there will be no parades or street performance, but every night from 5-9 pm (November 27 to December 24) along Bellevue Way there will be twinkling lights with holiday music! Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. More info at snowflakelane.com.
Gingerbread Candy Shoppe - Bring the family to Bellevue Square and set off on a candy journey through our old time, classic Gingerbread Candy Shoppe! Choose all your favorite sweets, then end your candy quest by grabbing a gingerbread kit which comes complete with all youâ€™ll need to head home and create your one-of-a-kind decorated gingerbread house. More info at kidsquestmuseum.org/programs/gingerbreadcandy-shoppe.
Illuminate Your Holidays - This holiday season, explore
Woodland Park Zoo like never before with a brand-new lantern festival unlike any in the Northwest! Come for an immersive experience featuring large scale animal and nature scape lanterns representing wild places from around the globe. Open 4:00-8:30 pm through January 17, 2021 (closed Mondays and December 24 & 25). More info at zoo.org/events.
redmond Lights 2020 - Redmond Lights is a celebration of
light, art, and culture. This winter through January 3rd, experience this art and light installation at Downtown Park. Follow the lights down Cleveland and 164th by foot or by car to Redmond Town Center where the festivities continue with Santa, business window decorating contests, and blinker stops. Honoring the holiday spirit that is an integral part of the community, this yearâ€™s experience will emphasize hope, joy, and safety in a new way. More info at redmond.gov/1139/Redmond-Lights.
A Drive-thru Christmas! - A wonderful way to experience
the magic of Christmas this year! Located in Stanwood, WA, The Lights of Christmas presents ... A Drive-Thru Christmas, providing a holiday outing for all families to enjoy during this challenging year. See spectacular lights, dazzling displays, wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus, while listening to Christmas music from the comfort of your own car. Fun for people of all ages and affordable for everyone. Grab your keys, pack up the kids, and get out of the house for an event with Christmas spirit in Snohomish county. Dec 2-6, 9-13, 16-23, 26-30. 5pm-10pm More info at thelightsofchristmas.com. Prefer to stay home and enjoy the holidays? Find virtual holiday events at eventbrite tinyurl.com/y4uohdfh or meetup tinyurl.com/y5dyd4pr. While most of the events listed were planned with safety protocols in mind, we suggest you call venues and check websites in advance to confirm details.
BSD Update; CENSE News; Council Corner; Somerset History; Local Holiday Events; Neighbors Working Together