Helping those in need


While you’re out shopping and dining and checking off your Christmas list, please consider grabbing a few more items for those in your area that are in need.

There are a number of ways you can help in your community — from food banks to homeless shelters, gifting trees at malls and other organized giving groups.  But I’d like you to consider just a couple more ways you can help in your local community.

This week I received an email blast from our high school principal.:

Our Counseling Department and our PTSA have asked me to send the following message to you. As a bit of background, every Friday, we provide food for the weekend for close to 30 of our students who would otherwise have little to eat on a non-school day. These same students have no money to buy clothing or school supplies for themselves, much less anything to get a small gift for the holidays for someone they love. In the past, we have counted on the incredible generosity of our community to help make these students’ lives just a bit easier.

Our Pantry Pack elves would like to include a small gift card in our last Pantry Pack delivery before the holiday break. Our hope is for $25 gift cards to Target or Fred Meyer – this way kids can get presents, clothes or food over the holidays. We also use these cards throughout the school year when we find students need new backpacks, school supplies or other items. Our stash of these cards is running very low at this time so we do not have enough to give one to all 38 of our Pantry Pack kids, not to mention other emergencies that come up. In the past we have had students tell us these cards made their season!

All gift cards can be dropped off in the counseling office! Please drop off by Tuesday December 13th, that way all the students will have time to receive their items. Thank you for helping to make the holiday season memorable for our students!

Now I’m pretty sure that there’s a local school in your area that has the same type of program.  Maybe it’s not called “Pantry Packs”.  Maybe you no longer have kids in school or you’ve just moved into the area and don’t know anyone.  Or maybe you just would like to spend your money in a way that would help local families but cannot stand the idea of going to a mall or toy store.

Go to your local grocery or grocery-department store and buy a gift card.  Any amount, or several different amounts would be great.  Next, go to any of your local schools  — elementary, middle/jr. or high school.  Let the office staff know you’d like the card(s) donated to their families in need.  I can guarantee that they know who they are and will make sure to get them to those families.

DO IT RIGHT NOW.  School closes (for our District at least) this Friday, December 16th.

Merry Christmas!


Redmond Census Information


Population and demographics of Redmond (Washington) as of April 1, 2010 was 54,144; increasing to an estimated 60,598 by July 1, 2015.    This is a 11.6% increase in that period.


Numbers taken from

Demographics are not given for Redmond for 2015; however 2010 information is listed for both King County and Redmond:

8.1% persons under 5 years
22.7% persons under 18 years
9.5% persons 65 and over
49.1% female

65.2% White alone
1.7% Black or African American alone
.4% Native American and Alaska Native alone
25.4% Asian alone
.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone
4%  Two or More Races
7.8% Hispanic or Latino
61% White alone, not Hispanic or Latino

Housing Units April 1, 2010  24,177
Households 23,520
Persons per household  2.39
Owner-occupied housing rate 50.9%
Median gross rent $1445
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2010-2014   $2385

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2010-2014  95.5%

Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent  8.3%

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2010-2014   71.2%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2010-2014  59%

Median household income (in 2014 dollars), 2010-2014     $99,586
Percent of persons in poverty           7.6%

“Did You Know” series, Volume 1


A friend of mine suggested that I start a series of informative posts with all the pieces of information I’ve gleaned about a variety of topics.  They’re not really long enough for a blog post (I like to be extra wordy) so I haven’t really had the want to post them.  But maybe my readers will find them interesting as well and easier to digest than my War and Peace style posts…  🙂

So, here is the first in the “DID YOU KNOW?” series:

Lake Washington School District lists their “Student Enrollment, October 2016” as

Elementary School  14,549
Middle School  6,650
High School  7,809

Total  29,008

The enrollment detail is here

Education Hill elementary school enrollment (K-5) are:

Einstein 428 students
Mann 482 students
Redmond 729 students
Rockwell 632 students

Total 2271 (roughly 16% of elementary students)

The new school at 12001 – 172nd Avenue NE (tentatively called “North Redmond) will have the capacity for 550 students.  It is planned to open in 2018.



Many of my friends are posting open letters, so I guess this is mine.


I didn’t vote for him.  I didn’t vote for her.  I did vote for president.  I’ll let you untangle that (but don’t overthink it).


I am the same person I was Monday; in fact the same person I was before this election season started.  According to the news media and some people on social media, that is the problem.


I am white.  Apparently this makes me a bigot.

I am Christian.  This makes me a hater of all other religions.

I don’t support abortion.  This means I don’t understand and support a woman’s control of her body.

I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.  This makes me a homophobe.

I am the granddaughter of legally emigrated and naturalized immigrants from Ireland, Scotland and Italy.  This means I’m here wrongly because of the Native American’s plight.

I don’t agree with someone, so I am now a hater.


I don’t understand labeling people.  We are more than just a label; everyone is.  Not every cop is bad, not every doctor is good.  People irritate, confuse, astound, hurt, encourage and amuse me from all walks of life.


If I don’t agree with you it doesn’t mean I don’t understand what you’re saying.  I doesn’t mean I hate you.


This new president will be difficult for all of us.  No one won in this election, least of all our country.

Thank you for serving


Family Members that served

Jim Kirkwood – Navy – 1969-1970

Lewis Norman – Dad was in ROTC in College – due to graduate in 1942, I think. Got called up after D-Day in Dec 1941 and commissioned as a first lieutenant. They were stationed at Ft. Warden for a while where he was in coast artillery, and then he was sent to the south. I believe they were in Texas, and Mississippi. Not sure where else. He never went overseas. He left active duty after WWII ended in 1945, and returned to Seattle. For several years after that he was in the reserves. Fort Sill in Oklahoma after his Coast Artillery service. He was being trained for the invasion of Japan.

David Maitland Trippett – 1916 ???

Bill Trippett – Navy Reserve as a JAGC officer in the 80s.

Julian Carswell Johnson Navy, WW2 (Linda Johnson Trippett’s dad) 1940-45

Jerry Lial, (Jays birth grandfather) Army

Sean Toole, Navy (Linda Johnson Trippett’s nephew) currently serving

Howard Christ (Todd’s Dad) National Guard

Leonard Roberson (Dode’s Brother in law) Vietnam

Tom Hanks – Navy 50’s

Claude Hanks – WWI

Al Delzell – Navy — joined the battleship Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor shortly after the bombing and served on it throughout the rest of the war. He was at the Battle of Surigao Strait which was the last crossing of the T between battleships and sank the southern phalanx of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

John King Joyce – Merchant Marine

James Albert Roper – Army (Civil War) 1861 – 1865

William Wallace Roper – Army (Civil War) 1861 – 1864

John H.B. Roper – WWI

Gaye Lewis’s dad (??) Army WW2 stationed at Fort Lewis and overseas.

Johnathan (Gaye’s brother) Army, stationed in Germany


Thank you all for serving your country!

Traffic and Left turns


Below is an email I sent to Redmond City Council, Redmond Neighborhood Blog and the Redmond Reporter (editor Andy Nystrom asked that I shorten to 500 words so that it could be included in “Letters to the Editor”) on October 31, 2016.

My intent was to shorten content to 4 minutes and speak at the November 1st Council Meeting in “Items from the Audience”; however my son had football playoffs that night and I attended that instead.

It was pretty hard to shorten this to 500 words/4 minutes; so it’s actually better in some ways that I didn’t have to give it in speech format.


Left Turn Signalization

My daily ‘commute’ is driving 3 children to 3 schools on Education Hill between 8 and 9 am; then reversing the order somewhat for pickups between 1 and 3:30 pm.  This round trip commute requires that I use several roads on Education Hill to reach each of the 3 schools.

In the morning my trip begins by turning right from my house on 97th onto 166th, heading up the hill to Horace Mann Elementary.  As the majority of traffic is heading southbound at this time of day, this is usually a simple task.  Leaving Horace Mann, I need to drive to Redmond Elementary.  I turn onto 104th, heading west around 8:20 am, and turn left onto 166th.  Turning left onto 166th is helped by the left turn signal at 104th/166th; however impeded by the traffic coming up the hill from 104th/109th/Red-Wood Rd/Hwy 202.  This 4 block trip from Horace Mann to 166th and 104th takes approximately 5 minutes.

Due to the traffic on 166th, I need to decide whether to stay on 166th southbound until I turn LEFT onto NE 80th street or to turn LEFT onto 100th, following it to 172nd and down the backside until I turn onto NE 80th Street.  From 104th to NE 80th Street is approximately 2 miles and takes between 10 and 15 minutes, regardless of the route I take.

Due to the absence of a left turn signalized light, turning left onto 80th from 166th is variable as vehicles in the left turn lane must wait for the northbound traffic on 166th to pass by.  There are very few breaks in traffic to allow a left turn in a safe and timely manner.  With the addition of Station House Lofts, Redmond Triangle building and the completion of the Anderson Park Hotel in 2017/2018, THIS SITUATION WILL ONLY BECOME MORE PRONOUNCED; adding another 300 units and numerous pedestrians and vehicles to the traffic at this intersection and others nearby.

Returning home is a straight shot back up the hill to 97th UNLESS I want to run errands anywhere between Redmond Way and NE 90th Street.  I have waited many mornings through several light changes to turn left from any of the three intersections that cross 166th:  NE 85th, NE 83rd or NE 80th.  As there are no left turn signalized lights at any of these 3 intersections, the wait is caused by the steady stream of cars heading southbound on 166th. This inability to turn left onto any of the 3 streets leading to the retail areas along Redmond Way or 85th means that an errand that took perhaps 15-20 minutes only 2 or 3 years ago now takes nearly that long just to arrive at my destination.  Most mornings I just decide to skip the errand and do it later in the day when I can turn right off 166th on my way down the hill.

What is my point?  Redmond has a traffic problem NOW; and it will only increase over the next 10 years.  What is being done to resolve the traffic issues NOW?  The City of Redmond has pinned all our transportation hopes on Sound Transit 3 which is a decade or more away from completion.  10 more years of 4 blocks in 5 minutes; no turning left from 166th or attempting to turn left without left-turn signalized intersections.  Another decade of sitting in “rush hour traffic” on a residential thoroughfare just to take your children to school or to run down the hill to get milk or a coffee.  10 additional years of being shamed for driving your car instead of cycling or using mass-transit to commute to work.

The City of Redmond is projecting the addition of nearly 20,000 more housing units in 10 years as well.   Traffic will continue to increase with the addition of houses and multi-family units that are being built all over Redmond and surrounding areas.  Businesses that rely on customers from the Education Hill area will continue to lose income to businesses in Kirkland, Crossroads, Overlake, Bellevue or Seattle; wherever people commute from for work.  With Sound Transit 3 at a MINIMUM of 10-15 years away traffic on 166th will be almost completely at a standstill between the hours of 7:30 to 9:30 am and 4:30 to 6:30 pm.

The City of Redmond needs to address traffic patterns, signalization and safety for all of these roads NOW before adding another residential project into our City.  These traffic issues could be financed through impact fees and mitigation requirements paid for by developers and builders in Redmond.  Developers who are making a profit on project after project, then moving on to other locations and projects while leaving the citizens and residents to deal with the traffic jams and safety issues they’ve helped to create.

Residents of Redmond should not have to wait another 10 years for the hope of reduced traffic.  Please resolve traffic problems NOW by investing in left turn signalized lights at the intersections of 166th Ave. NE and NE 85th, NE 83rd or NE 80th streets as soon as possible.


Paige A Norman



Family Vacation


It started when we visited a friend for a long weekend.  This friend offered to let us use their lake house for a family vacation.  The weekend mutually agreed upon was the last long weekend of the summer.  Throw in a football game, a dead battery, lost keys, several hours of driving and a couple of Wal-Mart’s and you’ve got a family vacation.

I under packed — which is pretty amazing considering I always pack for several families even if we’re going to be gone for 3 days.  I should have packed flip-flops, shorts or capri’s and maybe a tank-top or two; I did remember to pack a bathing suit, several pair of underwear and a couple of books as well as all the electronic paraphernalia needed to overthrow a small country.  I also packed a coat, rain coat and fingerless gloves.  And appetizers.

I’ll back up a bit.  Friday of Labor Day weekend is the first football game of my last child’s last year of high school.  We just changed divisions, so many of our games are at distance — including our first game of the season which is a 2 hour drive from our home.  So we need to pack for a long weekend trip, organize travel arrangements, juggle vehicles, plan for meals, and figure out how to get into the vacation house.

I drove my husband to work on Friday morning so I could pick him up on the way to the game Friday night; AND so son could drive car over on Saturday morning and then back home on Monday to make practice.  As we were driving to Chelan directly after the game, this was a perfect plan. We had planned to tailgate with other families before the game, but I got *lost* in Everett which took extra time to get to husband’s work, then extra time to get out of Everett, arriving just a few minutes before game start.  So, appetizers in my car with ice bags went to Chelan instead.

A football game we lost by 6 points, then a 3 hour drive (for us) to Chelan.  We arrived at 1:30 in the morning; the plan was to use the key box code to get into the rental so we didn’t wake up the ENTIRE HOUSE.  Fail.  Key code will not open the box so we call 1, 2, 3, 4 adult children (who don’t answer right away because it’s 1:30 in the morning).  The lock box sticks we find out (see leaving day).  Trudge into the house, fall into bed.

In the morning, we wake up to the giggling of grandchildren (which is really better than any alarm clock) and I stumble out to the kitchen to get coffee.  My son-in-law tells my grandchildren not to look at me before my coffee.  Because they don’t see me every weekday morning before I’ve finished a cup of coffee.  Giggling and kissing ensues.  Breakfast cooked by the older kids, lazing around for the morning, a late-morning dip in the hot tub.

My son-in-law brings me wine in the hot tub at 10:30 am because “something just didn’t look right”.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Somewhere between Redmond and Arlington and Redmond Son #2 *lost* the keys to dad’s car and had to walk home after the game.  He called several times but we were on the pass so there was no coverage.  Irritated, tired, anxious teenager is not a good combination, so when he finally reached us on the phone to tell us the news there was some temper involved.  We revised the plan, problem-solved the key situation which necessitated driving the Suburban over the pass instead of his dad’s car.

We’re waiting around for the youngest to arrive — Son #2 rode home from the game with the team, spent the night at home, then he and his brother made the trip to Chelan in the morning. After a dying battery and more traded phone calls, the 2 youngest arrive in Chelan.

Now it’s time for lunch and then a trip to Wal-Mart.  Yes, there are Red Apple and Safeway markets, but I under-packed.  So we pack 9 of us in 2 cars (2 stayed home) and make the trip to Wal-Mart.  Beer, veggies, shorts, fruit, cereal and a few other necessities later and we drive back home.

I feel like I’ve crossed into some alternate reality as I’ve now physically been in 2 different Wal-Marts in 2 different counties in under 24 hours.  Usually I try to keep my Wal-Mart visits to under 1 a year.  Friday night after the game I wanted to use the restroom and get a coffee; both completely practical requests before a 3 hour road trip; we missed the coffee (nothing open after 10 pm) but my husband dropped me off in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart outside of Arlington and then parked and waited.  (I will not comment in writing about the fact that he dropped me off in the parking lot…)

After the shopping trip to Wal-Mart #2, a nap is in order for me; the guys are going to work on the car and play pool; the kids are going to walk down to the beach with the moms.  Tough duty, this vacationing with family stuff.

Weather is sunny, people are relaxed.  After a delicious dinner of marinated flank steak, mashed potatoes and a spinach salad there was another hot-tub trip, bed time for the kids and a game of Cards Against Humanity.  This is the 2nd time I’ve played this game and at 53, I’m nowhere nearly adult enough to not be embarrassed by almost every aspect of this game.  I’ve learned things about my adult and almost-adult children that I’m not sure I want(ed) to know.  And laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a long time.  Of course there’s adult-beverage consuming (for the over-21’s) and more laughter.  I’m not sure it’s a good thing that I won.


Sunday is not so sunny, we walk to a local coffee place (some of the kids went to church). After coffee and lunch, we rented a boat and took turns bouncing across the choppy water with water and wind everywhere.  A couple of hours on a boat is never a bad way to spend a day, regardless of the weather.  Followed by hot-tub soaking and a fantastic dinner, we decided to save our sanity and play Ticket to Ride instead.  I don’t remember who won.

On the ride back from the boat, the conversations ranged from cup size to etymology of civil-war words and everything in between.  And then there was the discussion about asses, burros, jumping over dead donkeys being good luck and feral burros.  There was always a game or two of cribbage going on, laughter and more food.

Monday is the drive home.  Should be about 3 hours but it takes 6.  It’s the downside of a long weekend away that there are multiple accidents and there’s no good way to go home.  Originally the plan was to drive home Hwy 97 to I-90, stop at North Bend and then home in time for the JV football game.

We get the house cleaned up, pack the cars.  Son In law attempts to put the key back in the key lock box and slices his hand open.  Find the first aid kit and bandage him up.  A few photos of the packed cars and start the drive home.  Youngest son left about 8 am because he wanted to get home in time for practice.  He calls at 10 (as I’m in the drive-thru at Starbucks) and says he’s turning around because of an accident closing the highway for 3 hours.  We decide to take the other route, Hwy 97 to 2 through Leavenworth.

It is the first time I have ever been in Leavenworth and eaten at McDonalds.  It is also the first time I haven’t bought cannoli, a hat, T-shirt or taffy while in Leavenworth.

Everyone else is going this way too, so although it SHOULD have been easy-peasy to get home by say, 1 PM; we pull in the driveway about 4:45.  Seriously the deer on the side of the road were moving faster than we were.  We have enough time to unpack the car, change clothes, grab our football volunteer gear and go to the game.

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND SCHEDULES A FOOTBALL GAME ON A 3-DAY WEEKEND MONDAY?  Oh KingCo, that’s right. So, off to the JV football game we go.

So, to recap the vacation was 2 football games, 11 people, 4 cars, 1 boat trip, no cannoli, great food, 2 Wal-Marts, 4 days, 3 nights and only one injury.

Aren’t family vacations fun?