Kid’s Concerts Again. Yay!

Library Park Stage ready for Children’s Concert.

The Friends of The Mill Creek Library,  the City of Mill Creek Parks & Recreation & local sponsors are once again presenting a Summer Children’s Concert Series. The concerts are on Wednesdays from 12PM – 1PM at the Library Park adjacent to the Mill Creek Library!

August 1 — Alleyoop AKA Allan “Al” Hirsch is the featured performer. “He is an author, storyteller, historian, poet, riddler, puppeteer, musician, singer, teacher, dad, and now a grandpa!” “An upbeat concert that includes musical games & active playful songs & so much more. The children become the show as they dance & play along. Then there are the puppets.” Excerpt from:

August 8 — Tia’s Quackertunes  “Tia! is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning children’s song writer and an international recording artist who has been nominated for “Best Female Music Artist” by the American Academy of Children’s Entertainment and has won the Gold Parents’ Choice Award for her audio recording ‘Tia’s DINO-STEW ZOO.’ ” Excerpt from:

August 15 — Last but not least in the series for the Summer!  Buck & Elizabeth return to the Mill Creek Library Park all ready ” . . . to lasso you for cowboy or cowgirl costume contest. So come ready to strut your stuff and enjoy a fun & exciting show.” “For 20+ years Buck has been pursuing his passion in ‘Education Through Entertainment.’ ” ” ‘Animated personality’ ‘Dynamic vocals’ ‘the best ventriloquist EVER’ are just a few of the many talents Elizabeth brings to the stage.  From character voices to soulful blues she is comfortable with Looney Tunes and Patsy Cline.” Excerpt from:

Technically these are free concerts. However, PLEASE bring a non-perishable food item to support the New Mill Creek Food Bank located at Jackson High School. Do tell.

Note: Parking is available at the Library parking lot on the north side of the street off 156th St SE Mill Creek. Parking is also available near Azteca Restaurant. Please use crosswalks at all times for safety. If you need additional information please call Parks & Recreation at (425) 745 -1891

Green Choices Recycling Challenge

A few weeks ago you should have received a flyer in the mail from Recycle Rewards, Inc.,/ with information about a recycling challenge for our area. It may have seemed a little confusing. I wondered if it was bona fide. I am happy to report that it is! 

Mill Creek is one of 50 communities across the country chosen to participate in  The SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge.  The goal is to be the community with the highest percentage of their population reporting they recycle each month. The winning community will be rewarded with a $100,000 grant for a project or program that promotes sustainability. Do tell.

I contacted the City of Mill Creek to check on this, and they are in fact serious about this & working to organize the program & get the word out to the residents. Look for information at the City of Mill Booth (spaces 25-26) at the Mill Creek Festival running this weekend July 14th & 15th —11:00AM  on Mill Creek Boulevard. In addition to self-reporting, Waste Management-NW has agreed to help with verification/reporting tonnage weight of recyclables they collect in Mill Creek. For more information and to sign up go to:

The Challenge has already begun! It runs from July 2, 2012 until December 31, 2012. To find out more about the collaboration between communities, including Mill Creek, SC Johnson & Recycle Bank visit this great link from:  SC johnson Green Choices   Excerpt from the site: While the challenge aims to increase consumers’ recycling, it will also contribute to the company’s goal of becoming landfill neutral by 2015.

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Invite to Sign Code Open House

Mill Creek residents & businesses place a high value on the community’s appearance. One way the City maintains its beauty is through regulations that minimize visual clutter such as excessive signage. At the same time, Mill Creek residents & businesses desire a thriving business community that provides goods & services to the citizens in close proximity to where they live. To meet both objectives, the City’s sign regulations must balance the need to prevent visual clutter with the need to provide exposure to businesses.

Over the past few years, several City Council members have expressed a desire to consider revisions to the City’s sign regulations to allow larger freestanding signs for commercial properties, which would allow the display of the center name plus one or more tenants. The City has also identified a need to revise the building (wall) sign regulations regarding maximum area calculations to make them uniform throughout the City. Currently, there are two separate calculation methods for building signs, one used in the Mill Creek Town Center and one for the rest of the City. Staff is proposing to apply the Town Center regulations citywide. For these reasons, the Community Development Department is working with the Mill Creek Planning Commission to prepare potential revisions to the sign code for consideration by the City Council. Do tell.

The City would like to hear from both residents and the business community on their ideas for potential code amendments. To provide a forum to receive public comments, the Planning Commission will be hosting an Open House on Thursday July 19, 2012 at 7:00PM in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 15728 Main St., Mill Creek, WA 98012

At the Open House, additional information will be provided about the proposed sign regulation changes, and there will be an opportunity to participate in a Visual Preference Survey to let the City know which types of signs you think are, and just as important —are not, appropriate in the City of Mill Creek.

Over the next months, staff will review with the Planning Commission the public comments received and prepare potential revisions to the sign regulations for Planning Commission review. The goal is to have a Planning Commission recommendation on any revisions to the sign code available for City Council review by late 2012.

There will be additional opportunities for public input, including a formal public hearing before the Planning Commission. Please contact staff at the numbers listed below to be added to a mailing and/oremail list to receive updates on this project, or to share your comments.

Camille Chriest, Senior Planner   (425) 921-5726   (contact with questions & suggested code amendments)

Sherrie Ringstad, Planning Specialist (contact to be added to email and/or mailing list)    (425)921-5717

Information provided by Office of Tom Rogers, Community Planning Director

Want to Rent some Rain?

Have you ever seen one of those big tanks or containers at construction sites & wondered what they were for. Some are a round & look like silos; some look like shipping containers & they often have ladders and walkways around the top. I’ve even seen some marked with the company name Rain for Rent, which I find intriguing. Say what? Who would want to rent rain in the Pacific Northwest?

Well, there just happens to be one of these things on the construction site in Mill Creek Plaza. It is green & is of the “cargo container” variety. It has a ladder up the side & a railing around the top. I’ve wondered if they are for emergency haz-mat decontamination or something. You never know until you ask, right?

Well, I didn’t have it exactly right, but it does turn out they are for environmental purposes. These tanks can be used for a variety of reasons, but in this case it turns out this tank is there to collect surface run-off from construction site. If it rains or if the contractors are using water, incidental construction materials could be washed through & from the site. We wouldn’t want that going into our storm drains to the streams & creeks.

Soooo, in this case the surface run-off water drains into a special collection pond built on the site. It is then pumped into the tank where it is stored and/or filtered until it can be safely removed from the site. Do tell.

Brick by Brick in MC Plaza

Brick by brick a new building is going up to replace the recently razed Round Table Pizza Parlor. The multi-tenant commercial structure designed by Donahou Design Group and owned/managed by Panos Properties, will contain 5,250 square feet of retail space. The exterior will have alternating horizontal bands of brick with red & sandstone colored masonry. Grey metal bands will accent the roof line as well as the metal awnings.   

Three individual storefronts with their own entrances will occupy the building. One of the  establishments will sport a drive-through window & a small outdoor patio. Rumor has it that it will be a new Starbuck’s, like we need another one of those. If it is a coffee shop, I would at least like to see another brand for some variety & to give us some choices.

Other features include floor to ceiling windows along the Northeast and West facades. The South side windows — the 164th Street side — will be semi-opaque allowing light in yet screen tenant storage areas from view by passers-by.

The parking lot & landscaping in that area of Mill Creek Plaza will also be reconfigured. New crosswalks & walkways will increase pedestrian access & safety. New landscape plantings will include more drought resistant plant species. Existing trees will be retained.

Just like the updates made to Mill Creek Square last year, across 164th St., it is exciting to see a fresh new look coming to this corner of the Plaza. It is an important step to maintain the vitality of the Mill Creek business district & the entire community. A little more variety would be another step in that direction. Do tell.