Sunday, August 29, 2010

All Aboard the Redmond Central: The Park Bench Project

The City of Redmond is hosting a visioning event, the “Park Bench Project”, for the Redmond Central Connector in downtown Redmond. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, 2010 and runs from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The event location is at the corner of Bear Creek Parkway and Leary Way. Click here for more info.

Redeveloping the RedmondCentral Connector

Light refreshments will be served at the event, and music will be provided by the Toy Boats. The Toy Boats are a Seattle-based ensemble of toy and small instrument musicians who play original compositions and arrangements of European folksongs.

History of the Redmond Central Connector
On June 30, 2010, the City of Redmond acquired the Redmond Spur of the Woodinville Subdivision of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Rail Corridor. The corridor extends 3.9 miles from the junction of SR-520 and Redmond Way to the intersection of Willows Road and NE 124th Street.

BNSF Downtown Study Area (click for larger image)The master planning process will include an integrated design that ties the north and south sides of Downtown together to develop a cultural corridor within the heart of the City. For more information on the planning process, see BNSF Rail Corridor Master Plan.

Redmond Library Board

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Unofficial Jaime’s Jaunt – Dingle and Tralee Libraries, County Kerry, Ireland

Official KCLS jaunts in August have been a bit slow (non-existent, really) due to a just completed journey to Ireland and an upcoming trip to the Midwest.  But, have no fear, I’m still visiting libraries!  While on an 128 mile hiking adventure through Ireland, I happened upon a County Kerry Library branch in Dingle (An Daingean, in Gaeltacht). Unfortunately, it was closed and I didn’t get to go inside! 

Dingle Library, County Kerry, Ireland

However, we more than made up for it with our visit to the library in Tralee.  Tralee is the start and end point in the Dingle Way.  It’s the largest town on the Dingle Peninsula, with a population of ~23,000. Originally, we only meant to spend a night in Tralee at the beginning then maybe an hour one afternoon at the end while we waited for a train.  Circumstances changed along the way and we found ourselves in Tralee with nearly 8 hours before our train.  The weather was less than agreeable, and though Tralee has beautiful shops and architecture (plus the Kerry County Museum that we visited later), after 128 miles, more walking, especially on pavement, wasn’t too appealing to us.  At this very opportune moment, I recalled seeing a sign for the library on our first pass through the town. We set off to see if we could find it and if we could find a comfy chair to read away the morning before lunch.

After a few more marked turns, we found it!  And they were open!  And they had free wi-fi to boot! When I arrived home, I checked out their website and discovered that, like KCLS, Kerry County Libraries also posts a “most requested list”.  I randomly selected May, and we shared several authors, Jodi Picoult and Stieg Larsson

Tralee, Ireland

My time in the Tralee library was a lovely late rainy morning sojourn, whiling the time away with our books, local magazines, and the wi-fi. Our appetite eventually sent us along our way but what a wonderful find in the meantime. It was a bit off the beaten path and a part of the fabric of the community that I’m not sure many visitors seek out.


p.s. In case you are wondering, I spent nearly 0 hours in Dublin when places were actually open. So, I wasn’t able to visit the Old Library at Trinity College or the National Library of Ireland.  Next trip, for sure. . .

National Library of Ireland, Dublin

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lake Hills Library: Version 2.0

Construction of the new Lake Hills Library is complete, and the staff is now preparing the interior of the library. The new library will reopen to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Saturday, September 11, at 10:00 am. Once the doors open, community members are invited to tour the building and enjoy refreshments and musical programs. For more info, click here

The new Lake Hills Library in Bellevue

The new 10,000 square foot Lake Hills Library is located at 15590 Lake Hills Blvd in the Lake Hills Shopping Center in Bellevue. There is also covered parking underneath the building.

Lake Hills Library: large windows bring in plenty of light

Like many of the newly built or remodeled KCLS branch libraries, the Lake Hills Library features high ceilings with lots of windows. Inside, it is bright and spacious. Outside, the landscaping creates an inviting entrance to the library.

Lake Hills Library entrance

So stop by and join the celebration!

Redmond Library Board

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Point Robinson: A Distinctly Vashon Point of View

The 980-foot long freighter moved through the water so much faster than I thought it could go. And it seemed so close to the shoreline. Welcome to Point Robinson — where “island time” and urban hustle and bustle converge. 

Freighter off Point Robinson (click for larger view)

Point Robinson is the easternmost point of Maury Island, which is a small island connected to Vashon Island. This location is right on the narrowest part of the Puget Sound shipping lane. It’s a great location for watching ship traffic coming in and going out of the Port of Tacoma.

Point Robinson aerial view (click for larger map)
One of the main attractions here is the lighthouse. The Point Robinson Lighthouse began as a fog signal station on July 1, 1885. Since then, it has provided maritime navigational aids for Puget sound marine traffic. The lighthouse may look familiar to you, since the tower is a twin of the Alki Point Lighthouse.

Point Robinson Lighthouse

In 2008, the Coast Guard replaced the original Fresnel light with a replaceable plastic beacon mounted outside the lantern room. However, the original Fresnel lens remains in the lantern room where it can be viewed by visitors.

Point Robinson Lighthouse: Fresnel lens

Point Robinson Park
The Point Robinson Lighthouse and the surrounding area is now part of a 10-acre shoreline park and marine conservancy that is managed by the Vashon Park District. The park includes an extensive sandy beach, walking trails in woodland areas, and picnic tables.

Point Robinson Park map (click for larger view)

You might even consider spending the night here. The lighthouse keepers’ quarters are available for rental. Quarters A (pictured below) has three bedrooms, and Quarters B has two bedrooms. Both rentals have full kitchens for cooking and dining. For more info, see Point Robinson Keepers’ Quarters.

Point Robinson keepers' quarters

Here’s a list of other Redmond Library blog postings on days trips in the Seattle area:
The Long and Windy Road: A Visit to the Wild Horse Wind Farm
English Boom Historical Park: A Camano Island Gem
Experience Washington: Your Staycation Travel Guide
Washington's Lighthouses: Point No Point
Padilla Bay Shore Trail: A Path to Nature
Historic Murals: A Walk Along Bothell's Past

Redmond Library Board

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #29, #30, and #31: Fairwood, Renton Highlands, and Renton

Go South!What a whirlwind of activity at the Renton libraries!  Trip number 17 brought Chris and I south to visit Fairwood and the newly annexed Renton Highlands and Renton libraries.

Wheelie and Fairwood


Ready, Set, Read! We started our journey with a visit to Fairwood. Nestled amongst many residential areas, the library and lot present a very welcoming oasis.  Once inside, we headed straight for the information desk, where we met the delightful Bernadette.  She is the children’s librarian for the cluster and we caught her just before she headed to Southcenter for a Recess Monkey show.  In addition to learning about all the things that make this cluster special, we also learned that the O’Brien Garden Club maintains the beautiful plants outside of the library.  Before we departed for the Highlands, we also met Peter, who was kind enough to look up a few details about Fairwood for us.  (It’s such a sunny, spacious floor plan, that I’m shocked it’s only half the size of Redmond!)

Wheelie + Highlands
Highlands Art

After Fairwood, we headed up into the Renton Highlands. At this branch, Angie, the Managing Librarian for the cluster, gave us a tour of the art in the building, including a particularly relevant piece from Renton’s history, Coal Miners by Jacob Elshin which dates from the Works Progress Administration. She also relayed stories on how wonderfully involved Renton neighborhoods are in their communities. There are 59 recognized neighborhoods and the city has an amazing Picnic Program to honor them! 

We also departed Renton Highlands with a brunch recommendation from Angie – an Irish pub near the downtown Renton library named A Terrible Beauty.  As an Eggs Benedict fan(atic), Chris was hooked as soon as she heard “9 different kinds of”.  I happen to be leaving for Ireland for a two week trip on Wednesday, so I figured it was a sign we should eat there.  And we were so glad we did!  I devoured 2 eggs, a rasher, and 2 huge slices of French toast.  Similarly, Chris enjoyed her eggs and we both pretty much needed a nap after eating.  But, we had our most anticipated library visit yet to come!

Renton's Front Yard

The downtown Renton library is uniquely situated over the Cedar River.  Yep – on a bridge over the river.  Looking out the windows that face the river is a very unique library experience, to say the least!  We met Laurie at the information desk and she gave us a great tour of the building.  She told us about salmon spawning season and the naturalists that are available at the bridge at the library entrance to answer questions as patrons enter.  This library also has an extensive Pacific Northwest section as well as deep resources on Renton and surrounding areas.  I also loved the cases available for kids to display their collections. There’s at least a year waiting list for the opportunity to display!

Renton + Highland
Wheelie Looking Up History

We had such a great day in the Renton area.  We were greeted so enthusiastically at each of the libraries, it’s easy to see why patrons are so passionately connected to their local libraries!


Library Map