After a winter hiatus, Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas reports that the city’s bike patrols will be back on the streets May 1. There will be four officers and a supervisor, scheduled to be on the street seven days a week. Focuses will be on the downtown transit center, shopping areas and parks including Town Square Plaza, Kaibara Park and the gazebo. The bike unit will also be available to deploy to other areas of Kent, as needed.
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke said in an April 15 press release, “I’m very happy our police are again providing this valuable service to residents, businesses and visitors. It’s just in time for the better weather and increased use of outdoor spaces.”
[Photo by Dana E. Neuts for iLoveKent.net]
Help your family safe with these tips from the Northwest Burn Foundation.
The City of Kent experiences nearly 60 car related incidents per week. With this in mind, and the holidays around the corner, consider these car safety tips so you don’t become another statistic:
1. Lock your car, every time, even if you are just leaving it for a minute!
2. Put valuables in your trunk BEFORE arriving at your destination (like the gym or grocery store). Someone can see you put them in your trunk, and still break in.
3. Don’t leave your car running to “warm it up.” It is way too easy for a stranger to hop in and drive off.
4. Report suspicious people in parking lots who are lingering and/or looking in windows. Call 9-1-1.
5. Be aware of your surroundings.
If we all take just a few seconds to practice these safety techniques, we can reduce the number of car prowls in and around Kent.
When I started iLoveKent.net in 2009, I did it to showcase some of the great people, places and things in Kent, Washington. I wanted to show the rest of the world, or at least South King County, that Kent has a lot to offer — from basic shopping, dining and recreational options to deeper values like culture, diversity and creativity.
Over the years, my passion for Kent has grown, and I’ve tried to reflect that in the pages of iLoveKent.net and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve done this as a service to the community, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I will continue to provide this service because I believe in Kent, and my readers have shown that they believe in Kent too.
But my mission is evolving and I want your help. Kent needs us now, perhaps more than ever. Over the last several months, we’ve heard about fatal car crashes, missing teens, vandalized stores, closing businesses, shootings and other crimes. Financially, our city is in danger as well. Businesses are being asked to pay more to run the city, the city is cutting valuable services and programs, and job layoffs continue. With so much going on, particularly at election time, it may seem like we as individuals can’t make a difference…but we CAN and we need to! Our city needs us, our schools and businesses need us, and our neighbors need us.
Many of you are already active in the community. You volunteer at school or church, participate in local government, or serve as a mentor or board volunteer somewhere. Those contributions continue to be important, but I think we need to do even more — at the most basic level, we need to look out for each other. We need to report burned out streetlights, call 9-1-1 when we see suspicious vehicles and erratic drivers, and need to avoid unnecessary distractions when driving, biking or walking through town. We need to remember to be kind and compassionate, pay attention to our surroundings, and clean up after ourselves when out in public. While these may seem like minor actions, each time we help someone else in a small way, it adds up to big change and a safer, more secure community.
In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll use iLoveKent.net to share ideas and resources with members of the community to show you ways you can help. I welcome your suggestions and comments as well. I don’t have all the answers; together we do! Let’s show Kent we care.
Caring for our community,
Dana Neuts, Publisher
[Pictured above, right: Kent Fire Department at Kent Cornucopia Days, 2012. Photo taken by Dana Neuts.]
The number one trigger for the shaking and abuse of infants is the frustration from a crying infant. In an effort to help spread awareness about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking an infant, Valley Medical Center (VMC) is participating in the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome’s public education campaign, Period of Purple Crying: CLICK for Babies.
VMC was a pilot hospital for the Period of PURPLE Crying, an evidenced based program that educates parents about normal infant crying, ways to cope with the crying and the dangers of reacting in frustration by shaking or abusing an infant. In 2011 VMC and UW Medicine were the only delivering hospitals in Washington State providing this kind of prevention program. Today 21 Washington State hospitals have implemented this program.
CLICK for Babies is a grassroots effort that invites knitters and crocheters across North America to make purple baby caps which will be delivered to families in November and December with the Period of PURPLE Crying program. Now in its second year, CLICK for Babies is a collaborative effort between the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and invited states and provinces who have implemented the Period of PURPLE Crying. Oregon, Washington, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, North Carolina, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine have joined the 2012 campaign in addition to the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
“It’s been gratifying to see this program grow so quickly,” said Kelle Baxter, MSN, RNC, FNP-BC, IBCLC, Perinatal Clinical Educator for VMC’s Birth Center, a member of the Shaken Baby Prevention State Task Force and the VMC ambassador for The Period of PURPLE Crying. “Parents and caregivers need to understand the sometimes exasperating features about normal infant crying, and how to reduce the stress and frustration parents experience when they have a baby who cries. Shaken Baby Syndrome causes such devastation and yet is completely preventable.”
Valley Medical Center is accepting purple caps through December at the Birth Center Admitting desk (on the 2nd floor of the hospital). More information about the CLICK for Babies campaign, including patterns for caps, guidelines and details about the national campaign are available at www.CLICKforbabies.org.
KENT, Wash., Aug. 24, 2012 — The King County Prosecuting Attorney has charged Justin Cordova, 18, with vehicular homicide in the crash that killed 56-year-old David Daniel earlier this week. The fatal crash occurred at 6:44 a.m. Wednesday on SE 223rd Drive in Panther Lake when Cordova’s 1986 Nissan struck Daniel’s 2006 Suzuki motorcycle.
According to the charges, Cordova was driving in a reckless manner while intoxicated, causing his vehicle to cross the centerline and strike Daniel. Daniel was ejected from his motorcycle and died from his injuries.
“From the beginning, evidence from this crime spoke for itself,” Kent Assistant Police Chief Pat Lowery said. “This investigation became a matter of putting the pieces together to tell the whole story, which is the basis for this charge.”
Cordova was arrested shortly after the accident and was in custody at the Kent Corrections Center until late Friday when he was moved to the Regional Justice Center. He is being held on $100,000 bond.
Photo courtesy of Kent Police Department
It’s back to school time and that means it is also time to update your children’s immunizations. To help parents with those expensive but necessary shots, Kent School District and Valley Medical Center are teaming up to provide two free immunization clinics in September. Valley Medical will immunize children entering 6th, 7th or 8th grades. The children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and bring their immunization records with them, or have them on file with the clinic. Dates, times and clinics are:
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Valley Family Medicine
3915 Talbot Road S., Suite 401
Renton, Wa 98055
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
24920 104th Ave SE
Kent, Wa 98030
*Immunization requirements for children entering the 6th, 7th and 8th grades:
- Three doses of Hepatitis B
- Five doses of Dtap and one dose of Tdap
- Four doses of polio
- Two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Two doses of Varicella or one dose and verification of the disease
by Brooke Blozis
Heard about break-ins and car prowls recently? Do you want to do something about it? Get to know your neighbors at National Night Out.
National Night Out is coming back to Kent on August 7! Participate in a neighborhood barbeque, dessert social, or just bring your community together. Let crime know that you’re aware that it’s happening, and you’re not afraid to do something about it. Local events will run from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. We were ranked number 13 out of the entire country for the new population category last year, let’s do it again!
Register your neighborhood’s event online, and request a banner, invitations, give-aways, t-shirts and balloons for your event! Call Sara Wood, Kent Police Department, at 253-856-5851.
This morning the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority issued a message to residents and visitors of Kent and Covington regarding the Fourth of July.
Fireworks Hours (only on July 4th):
Kent: 9 am – 11 pm
Covington: 9 am – midnight
1. Attend one of the many area fireworks displays. Click here for a list.
2. Only purchase and discharge legal fireworks.
3. Have a garden hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby while using fireworks.
4. Fireworks should be discharged under an adult’s supervision.
5. Do not discharge fireworks in areas that are dry or where the danger of a fire is high.
6. Do not discharge fireworks near pets or animals.
For safety tips and more information on which fireworks are legal and which are not, visit the Kent Fire Authority online.
Call 9-1-1 to report illegal fireworks, but please keep in mind that call volumes will be high and non-life and non-property threatening calls will be secondary to more serious emergencies.
Please enjoy your holiday safely!
Click It or Ticket Patrols to be Increased through June 3
Washington State has a 98% compliance rate for seat belt use, but the state – and Kent PD – want to make it 100%. To reach that goal, area law enforcement is putting an extra emphasis on seat belt compliance through June 3. Watch for extra patrols during this time, and please buckle up every time. Additional patrols are being paid for by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
Kent PD Hosts Community Meeting May 30
The Kent Police Department is hosting its next Community Meeting at Panther Lake Elementary School (10200 SE 216th St.) from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Attend the meeting to meet Kent Police Chief Kent Thomas and Kent PD staff, learn about crime trends in the area, get an update on the police department, learn crime prevention tips and how to safeguard yourself and your family against crime. Q&A follows the police department’s presentation.
Kent Crime Trends
During the week of 5/15 – 5/21, 14 stolen vehicles were recovered in Kent. Most were mid-1990s model Honda Civics and Accords. After they’ve been stolen, the vehicles are usually left abandoned in parking lots or isolated streets where the thieves won’t be noticed. There were 9 commercial burglaries in Kent last week, including 5 in one night in the Kent Valley. Kent PD is working on leads from a video taken at one of the crime scenes.
To prevent crime, be aware of your surroundings. Get to know your neighbors and the vehicles they drive. If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1. See a damaged vehicle in a parking lot, or someone walking away suspiciously from a car they just parked? Call 9-1-1. Kent PD has recovered stolen vehicles by officers running license plates of unfamiliar cars in unfamiliar places.
Please remember to lock your windows and doors when not at home. Warm weather is a welcome opportunity for thieves and burglaries who have easy access to your home.
Did you know that prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused narcotic preceded only by marijuana? A nation wide effort to reduce drug abuse, Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Sat., April 28 from 9 am to 2 pm at the front of the Kent Police Station, next to Kent City Hall, 220 Fourth Avenue South in downtown Kent. The goal of this unique program is to provide a safe and secure environment for the community to turn in unused, expired or otherwise unneeded medications.
Medications that can be dropped off include controlled, non-controlled and over the counter medicines; all solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers and liquid products like cough syrup, cold medicines, etc.
Let’s reduce drug abuse! If you have any of the above medications to get rid of, support the Prescription Drug Take Back Day by taking them to the Kent Police Station on Saturday, April 28 from am to 2 pm.
Re: Proposed UGM Homeless Shelter
A Different Open Letter to the City of Kent
A subject with as much potential for polarizing various sects of the community must be discussed with a wide angle perspective. Where there are many who would consider themselves interested parties, it is imperative that none of the interested parties be seen as more important, and certainly should be no more influential, than any other. The recent reactions from a couple of Kent business owners, whose implication of representing the opinions of the majority of business owners is unfounded, should not be allowed to reduce the issues at hand to merely a question of money, industry and their view of progress.
I too am a longtime resident of Kent. I have owned a business in Kent, have many commercial clients on whom my livelihood depends that are based in Kent and I have long been involved with working with two of the fine organizations that serve the homeless in Kent. I disagree with Mike Hanis’ statement that we are all “warriors in the battle against homelessness”. Sadly, some of the initial reaction to this very attractive proposal to improve the service levels to our least fortunate indicates that many are reluctant spectators willing to pretend that Kent does not already suffer the negative consequences of homelessness.
This proposal can be evaluated using any number of criteria. Critical in my view is that, simply put, the population of homeless on the streets of Kent exists right now, and according to estimates, in significant numbers. Services currently providing evening meals have no provision or resources for providing services during the day. Our homeless population is left to wander the streets, often in retail centers or in the library. Loitering is prohibited, but moving a person does not make the person any less real in their next location. Inadequate public restroom facitities presents an obvious problem, leading to the necessity of using city park and retail restrooms, and of course inappropriate places. People without shelter add a burden to police and other public services both in time and resources.
The Union Gospel Mission proposal addresses these concerns, and what’s more, they’ll pay for it, offering to fund all operating costs of the proposed facility in return for rent-free use of the space. UGM mandates that overnight guests are drug and alcohol free, dispelling speculation that those guests would be a threat to neighboring businesses at night. The shelter would provide meals and restroom facilities that would reduce panhandling and using our outdoors as bathrooms. The shelter would provide a place for the homeless to go by day, reducing the burden on the library and other public facilities. UGM provides drug and alcohol programs. And although I am loathe to engage in the type of speculation that opponents have demonstrated, it does stand to reason that sheltering the homeless at night will reduce the burden on police services.
It is not imperative that we even discuss so-called “warm fuzzy” aspects of the proposed shelter to see its value. Certainly there is a significant humanitarian aspect to the proposal, perhaps best dealt with by those who see a city as more than just a conglomeration of money-generating businesses. But we can evaluate this proposal in more practical terms. The negative issues of a significant homeless population exist in Kent now. The strain on public facilities and services is real. The quality of life in Kent can be improved when citizens are not faced with their fellow citizens urinating on their front lawn and clogging the library because they have nowhere else to go. And finally, a significant portion of the homeless population is in transition; homeless by misfortune and needing a safe place to rest and set their belongings as they seek work and permanent shelter.
A city is a living community, dedicated to the welfare of all its citizens in a dynamic array of interconnected relationships, where the good for one should benefit the many. Kent, as the sixth largest city in Washington, has to face all of the issues of a growing city, and cannot avoid or procrastinate on the negative issues hoping they will solve themselves. This proposal is attractive, well conceived and presented by an organization with the infrastructure and experience to manage the facility and perform as excellent city partners.
[Address Provided But Withheld by Publisher]
Reprinted with permission from Kent resident Eric Greiling
An open letter to the public from Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas:
Holidays encourage time with your family and friends. Most people celebrate America’s independence by lighting fireworks on the 4th of July. Many celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending flowers. In addition to the fireworks and flowers, some people celebrate holidays with alcohol too. Unfortunately, these aren’t always responsible celebrations and, we see a spike in impaired driving arrests and crashes. My message to you today is celebrate safely – choose a safe ride home if your celebration involves alcohol.
St. Patrick’s Day is approaching on March 17th. While the holiday is commonly known for Irish culture, corned beef & hash, shamrocks, and wearing green, it is also known for drink specials at bars and restaurants, green beer, fun runs with beer gardens, and a massive advertisement campaign sponsored by the alcohol industry. Unfortunately, some people think luck is on their side and fail to plan ahead before drinking at these events.
Too many times, law enforcement must knock on the door of a home to notify loved ones of the tragedy that occurred. I have seen too many tears shed and too many hearts broken. Alcohol-related traffic crashes don’t only affect the impaired driver; one-third of these deaths are passengers, occupants in other vehicles, or pedestrians. And the societal and emotional costs are never ending.
These deaths and crashes do not need to happen. We all have a role in making our roads safer. Law enforcement will be out for DUI patrols across the State in hopes that our presence will discourage impaired driving and remove dangerous drivers from our roads. Last year in King County, 310 people were arrested for DUI during the St. Patrick’s DUI campaign from March 11-20th. This number tells us there is still much work to do.
If you are going to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, please plan a safe ride home before your party begins. Designate a sober driver, take a taxi or the bus, and help your friends do the same. If you’re planning a party at your house that includes alcohol, you can be held liable if a guest is involved in a DUI crash. Make sure there is plenty of food available, offer non-alcohol drinks, and help guests locate a safe ride home or provide a place for people to stay.
I want to remind you that law enforcement officers from Kent Police and other King County police departments enforce DUI and traffic laws on our roadways as part of Washington State’s Target Zero plan. What is the goal? Zero alcohol-related driving fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Our officers and troopers participate in DUI emphasis patrols throughout the year and during major holidays, including this St. Patrick’s Day.
Please celebrate safely this St. Patrick’s Day. If your celebration involves alcohol, please choose a safe ride – don’t get behind the wheel. Please keep us from having to knock on anyone else’s door. Be Safe and thanks for reading.
Kent Police Chief
At Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke’s annual State of the City address today, Mayor Cooke asked businesses to participate in helping the city out of the economic downturn.
“This is your city,” Mayor Cooke said. “Be a part of the solution.”
Mayor Cooke was referring specifically to the city’ significant revenue losses – including a 32% reduction in sales tax revenue and a 75% reduction in real estate tax revenue. The city’s administration and seven-member Kent City Council have been tasked with finding ways to continue offering critical services with fewer staff and less money. Among the creative solutions being considered are imposing a local Business & Occupation (B&O) tax and creating a transportation benefit district. Mayor Cooke asked businesses to stay or become engaged with the city to help it find solutions for expensive problems like the$3 million price tag to remove sandbags along the Green River.
The two-term Kent mayor highlighted several projects in the works, including the Kent City Center project which will replace the now-demolished parking garage that was located at Smith and Fourth in downtown Kent.
“It was such a dream that went awry,” she said.
But she is encouraged to see Kent City Center in the works, a five-story, 164-unit mixed use building go up to include residential units with corresponding parking, lower level retail space and 35 parking stalls for downtown shoppers and visitors. In addition to this project, the economic development department is working on a bid to the GSA and FAA to bring a 2,000 employee facility to downtown Kent. There are other properties under consideration, including nearby Renton, but the Mayor is optimistic that Kent will be considered a strong candidate.
Another portion of her discussion focused on infrastructure and the importance of maintaining and upgrading it as needed. With nine top tier suppliers to Boeing in Kent, Mayor Cooke stressed the importance of being smart with our educational and infrastructure decisions, particularly in meeting the needs of the aerospace industry.
“We cannot let our infrastructure deteriorate,” she said.
Inviting Kent Chamber president-elect Ken Sharp and executive director Andrea Keikkala, Kent City Council President Dennis Higgins, KDP president Dawn Colston and executive Barb Smith to join her on stage, Mayor Suzette Cooke urged each of them to be part of Kent’s solution, asking each of them to hold hands and recite their commitment to the City of Kent.
She closed with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
The Kent Police Department reports that there were four robberies during the week of Jan. 17 – 23, 2012. Each included the taking of purses when victims were at an ATM, walking down the street or getting out of their cars to go into a store. They occurred at various times of day ranging from morning to around midnight. The city offers these tips for your safety:
If someone approaches you or seems to be following, cross the street or change directions and look for a safe place to go.
For more safety tips, visit the Kent Police Department online.
King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an Emergency Declaration earlier this week to provide free disposal of wood debris, following our snow, ice and wind storms. Wood debris only can be recycled Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5 in Kent:
Free Wood Debris Recycling
Russell Road Park
24400 Russell Rd. (across from Riverbend Golf Course)
Jan. 28 – 29: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Feb. 4 – 5: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Workers will be available to help Kent residents unload their wood debris. They ask that you place a tarp under the materials before bringing them to the park. This will make unloading easier. Stumps, logs and limbs shorter than six feet will be accepted. Other yard waste, such as brush, leaves and grass clippings, will not be accepted.
Please cover the wood debris while traveling from home to the park to prevent road litter and potential damage to other vehicles if the debris becomes loose during travel.
For more info., call 253-856-5549 or visit KentRecycles.com.