Renton425 - Life in North Renton

Things That Catch My Eye


In what no one is calling yet another casualty of our sour economy, Renton425's blog has been shut down due to lack of interest--not just from readers, but Renton425 himself.

I may pick it back up later if there seems to be something worthwhile to talk about, but beating the same dead horse over and over again just doesn't appeal to me right now. 

Until then, go get your "news" from; your rumors from Lady P and your nastiness from the Renton Reporter comment section.  And if you wanna know what Renton425 is up to, go friend Rich on Facebook.

A few things from Rev Folmar's December 2009 chaplaincy and a year end report

Allan Folmar’s Chaplaincy Ministry Notes for December 2009


My sweetheart and I are returned from a cruise along the Mexican Riviera for a break and a time of rest and rehabilitation. But after that, it was really back to business big time. During the last two weeks of December I made 3 home and hospital visits, 7 care visits, I made 25 visits to the police and fire stations that I support, and I responded to 6 extreme trauma situations. I drove 285 miles attending to these duties and I spent 77 hours doing them, plus another 20 hours in my home office doing the paperwork part of my ministry. 

 For those of you who like to play with numbers, like me, or who think I may be sitting around a lot in my retirement years, here is a brief summary of my responses and chaplaincy activities during 2009.   Over the entire year I made 69 home and hospital visits, I made 114 personal care visits with folks, I visited police and fire stations 405 times, I responded to 103 death scenes, and I drove 8,231 miles and spent 1,610 hours doing them. Whew!


When it comes to raising your kids, choose your battles carefully. 

It makes a lot of sense to be the “Rock of Gibraltar” on clear moral issues,

and flexible on minor ones.


During the past few weeks a really bad string of events have taken place around here. The most horrible event so far in my ministry career happened the day we were leaving on our Mexican Riviera cruise – the shooting death of four Lakewood Police officers at a coffee stand in Lakewood, just south of Tacoma. It happened so swiftly that they really had no time to react. I was angry that a thing like this would even happen in a civilized society like we are supposed to be. And I was frustrated because I was flying away to board a ship and could not respond to assist there or to be with my departments to walk with them through the emotional rubble afterwards. A week earlier there had been a drive-up ambush shooting death of a Seattle police officer and the injury of his partner while they were sitting in their patrol car discussing a just completed routine event. It happened so fast that, again, they had no time to react. What is going on?! And then this past week two Pierce County deputies were shot while they were on scene at a domestic violence house call out in Eatonville, WA, a little ways west of Mount Rainier and a ways south of Lakewood, in south Pierce County. At this writing, one of them will survive for sure, but the other one is barely clinging to life on full life support in our local trauma hospital. What is wrong with our world; no, what is wrong with our State; no, what is wrong with our local area; no, I think we have to ask what is wrong – period – that this sort of thing can happen over and over and over again. These are the young men and women who have made a choice to be extremely highly trained and then they have sworn to uphold the laws of our land and to protect us and make life safe for us. But what about them? Why isn’t life safe for them, too? They have taken an oath, a promise before God and their peers, to if necessary, step into harm’s way to protect us and make our society, our neighborhoods, our own homes, a safe place to live. And for that there are people who want to kill them? What is wrong with these people? Well, I have a thought about that. Since our society has virtually eliminated right and wrong, since the God of the Bible has been removed from our schools, our institutions, our government, and our media, since we have made the murder of countless unborn babies an acceptable practice, since our evening news has become a look-alike to that old rag, The National Inquirer, since our Saturday morning cartoons show the constant random killing of people, and since our movies and TV shows now have so much violence, perversion, and killing going on that we are becoming used to watching it, well, we have probably developed into a society nearly as bad as that of Sodom and Gomorrah of the Bible. In Genesis we read, “And the Lord said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great and their sin is exceedingly grave. . . Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” Whew! Perhaps it is time for all of us to take what is happening around us today personally and to get down on our knees and pray. In 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 we read, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” God, help us. Amen.


Make sure each family member has access to a Bible

that is translated to their age level and understanding.

It was an interesting callout. It sounded big and a media event when it began. The page I received was for a confirmed commercial fire at Ikea in south Renton. Wow, I thought. This will be bigger than the apartment fire a while back in the Renton Highlands. So I put myself on the call and headed down there, watching for a plume of smoke in the sky or at least a traffic backup of onlookers. But none of that happened. It was a serious enough of a call for them to close the store, sending the customers home and the employees in a back lot to wait it out. Apparently most of the huge warehouse building had smoke in it so everyone knew something was wrong. When I arrived and reported to the Incident Commander I was directed to the employee gathering area to assist in bystander care, and to encourage them away from the firefighters who were working the event. As I passed the customer entry area I saw an Ikea Security person who was having some issues with argumentative customers, so I swung by to see if I could assist. Because I wear a fire helmet and a vest with lots of ID all over it sometimes I can represent the event enough to provide satisfactory answers in cases like this. As I approached the group I overheard one of them telling the security person that they had “just driven there all the way from Bellevue and by golly they were not going to leave until they had finished their Christmas shopping.” I interrupted the discussion when the customer took a breath and said that the store would not be reopening that night – it was about 8:30 PM and I knew that they close at 9:00 PM – and that the fire fighters were still sweeping the entire complex to be sure the fire hadn’t spread and were just 50% complete with that task. Except for the few who left purses and car keys inside that seemed to satisfy them and the group pretty much disappeared as they all headed off into the night with their own stories to tell of what they had just been a part of. It was at about this time, as I finished my walk to the area where the employees were standing around, that I learned the smoke was from a faulty air conditioner unit on the roof and not from anything burning inside the building. I didn’t have to be a mouth piece with this group because they had their own communications network set up between their location and the senior Ikea employee standing with the Incident Commander right among the working fire rigs. Being a big call there were fire apparatus from Kent, Tukwila, and Seattle besides the Renton folks. Being able to cut the power to the faulty air conditioner and being able to turn fans on to blow out the smoke the employees were able to reenter the building about 9:30 PM to close their cash registers, finish their paperwork, get their own personal effects, and head on home. As they all walked back into the building I headed back to the Incident Commander and cleared myself from the call. It wasn’t a huge conflagration, thankfully, but it was still nice to be able to come alongside folks and bring a calming presence into a possibly volatile situation. I am reminded of the helpful scripture from John 21:16, where Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." Lord, thank you for giving me a ministry where I am able to do that, too. Amen.

Limit your news consumption to one news outlet

 (either television, radio, internet, or newspaper) per day.


Usually, when I knock on someone’s front door at 3:00 AM and have two uniformed officers with me the occupants can figure our fairly quickly that I’m not selling raffle tickets or asking them to join me at church the next Sunday. For this sort of call, making a death notification, I have been called The Grim Reaper at times. This nice lady looked at my Chaplain outfit and the two officers and said, “Oh, this is about my mom isn’t it?” I asked her if we could please come inside where it was more private and she let us in right away. As I headed towards her living room and asked her to have a seat she asked me again if this was about her mom. I made sure the information I held was actually regarding her mother by asking a few name key questions and she responded that yes, that was her mother and all there was in her family was her mother, her brother, and herself. She wasn’t married. She didn’t have any children. There were just the three of them. I took a big gulp of air, threw up a quick arrow prayer, and told her that her mother had just passed away that night in her home, and that when her brother, who was the caregiver for Mom found her dead he took out his gun and killed himself. Now I have to assure you, that is not the kind of information that makes you instant friends with someone when you share it with them. She didn’t get mad. She didn’t begin wailing or throwing things around. She just looked at me with damp eyes and began to silently weep. I asked her if she had any friends I could call to come and be with her and she said there were not. I asked if there were any relatives who she could contact to come alongside her and she again said that no, there were just the three of them. Then she looked at me and said “You know, I’m a third grade teacher and later this morning I’m supposed to go to my classroom on this last school day before Christmas break, and wish all these kids a Merry Christmas. How am I going to do that?” I suggested that maybe she shouldn’t do that, and that maybe she should stay home. She looked at me for a minute, straightened up a bit and said “No. I’ll be there for them.” That was about the end of our visit. The two officers and I extended our apologies to her and headed out the door. We never heard from her again and probably never will, but I have to believe that our awesome God was right there, right then, beside her to walk beside her through this huge tragedy. I remember a short piece of scripture from Matthew 28:20, where Jesus tells us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Thank you for that, Lord. Amen.


Make sure your children and spouse are always allowed to be vulnerable around you.

Allow them to let their fears come to the surface without having to worry about

 being lectured or their fears being used against them.

 I know, when I receive a call from the hospital’s Critical Care Unit Charge Nurse asking me to come and assist a family with end of life issues, that I am going to be really leaning on our Lord to give me His direction, His words, and His strength to make it through the next few hours. That was certainly the case again this time, with the added frustration that the decisions had to be made just before Christmas. I could have told the nurse that, no, I was already busy and to find someone else. But that isn’t why I do what I do; just to reach out and help when it is convenient for me. So, there I was in the room with a spouse, a sister, and two adult children. The patient experienced an unattended massive heart attack and had gone way too long without oxygen to his brain by the time paramedics arrived to work on him. But the help was successful enough to transport the patient here to the hospital where he was now “alive” only because of the life support equipment attached to him and keeping him that way. My role in these cases is to be a listening ear and guide for the family to use to help them vocalize the thoughts and concerns that are usually swirling around in their heads. I don’t tell them what decisions to make – let him live or let him die. That would be way too heavy for me to be responsible for; to decide if a person should live or not. But I do help the family members discuss among themselves the quality of life issues based on the medical doctor’s prognosis. In this case the family members were all Believers and knew that if they released their loved one from the bonds of the situation he was in he would be better off than if they kept him alive in a nursing home only because of his being attached to a respirator. Once they reached that spot in the ordeal they had two things to do. First, they had to tell the medical staff to stop the machines and let life take its natural course. And then second, they needed to each one of them come beside their loved one and tell them their last thoughts and wishes. Then I prayed with them and with their loved one and we waited and watched nature take over. In this case it only took about an hour and a half for his weakened heart to stop and for him to stop breathing. It was at that point, I told the family, when his spirit left his body to be forever in the presence of his just reward. Because of their belief system they were okay with that and were able to actually rejoice in their grief. His spouse looked at me and said, “He’s free now, isn’t he?” I told her that Yes, I believed he was. Soon the attending CCU care nurse came in the room with a packet of things for them to be thinking about during the next few days – things like burial or cremation, things like dividing the assets, things that I don’t have to add to my agenda when I’m called to these scenes. I took that as my sign to leave so I thanked the family for the honor of letting me accompany them through such a special time in all of their lives during those last few hours. We all hugged and they all said thank you. Because of that I was able to thank my heavenly Father for guiding my words, my actions, and my presence in that room because I knew that it was His words, His actions, and His presence that this family had experienced. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” And that truly is something to hang onto. Amen? Amen.

 Worry can become a series of hairline fractures running through the foundation of your home.

It’s the arch-enemy of faith. Every morning when you get up, put every member of your family and every event of the day in the watchful care of your loving heavenly Father.

Let Him handle the things you can’t do anything about.

 I am going to violate one of my own rules regarding these monthly notes to you. I am going to include a name because I want you to work with me at making this person real to you. His name is Kent Mundell, and this evening he died. In itself that is a sad thing. But Kent is (was) a family man. His wife’s name is Lisa. And his family is (was) very special to him. The oldest of his children, his daughter Kirsten, is 16 years old, just beginning to drive a car, and just beginning to bloom into her own young womanhood. The youngest of his children, his son Austin, is 10 years old, and just beginning his growth spurt into young manhood, and just beginning to develop the muscles that will carry his into whatever life experiences he chooses to follow as he matures. Kent will never get to admire and watch these young people grow and mature and he will never again get to hold and caress his loving wife. Why? Because several years ago he chose to become a helper for our society; he took on a huge amount of physical, mental, and psychological training and became one of our finest – a Deputy Sheriff with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. He went into what we call law enforcement. But even while he was doing that he was still a loving husband and dad. He was just like you and me. He had flesh and bones. He smiled when he was happy. He wept when he was sad. He breathed the same air as we do. When it rained and we got wet, so did he. When it was sunny and we went out and worked on our tans, so did he. When it was coming up on Christmas he went shopping for gifts for his family, just like us. What I am trying to do is to make him real to you. I don’t want any of you to say that his life didn’t matter, or in fact, doesn’t still matter. Because it did, and it still does. Just three days before Christmas he and his partner responded to a plea for help from the public they serve - us. The two of them were asked to again get into harm’s way. You or I would probably have said no thank you, that sounds too dangerous. But they went because that is what they were expected to do – expected by their peers in law enforcement and expected by us who keep asking to be protected from danger. But this time it was different. The person (and I can think of lots of more fitting words to describe this fellow) they was going to remove from a home at the request of the home owners . . . he shot Kent – he shot him many times. And his partner was also shot many times. Tonight Kent died from those wounds. He died from wounds received in the line of duty. He died keeping us and our world a safer place to live. And I don’t want any of you to forget that, or to forget Kent Mundell. Why? Because he deserves being remembered. He was a good man and a good husband and good father, and it grieves me that he should die like that. We are reminded in Psalm 116:15 that “the Lord's loved ones are precious to him; it grieves Him when they die.” Care for him, Lord. Hear our prayers. Amen

 Any time you feel a strong urge to have something “now” – and don’t want to wait –
it is probably a sin. 
Shortcuts aren’t always what they seem.

 And thank you, my supportive friends, for your dedication to being there with me. Thank you also for your friendship, your encouragement, your prayer support, and for your continued financial support for my ministry through all of my police, fire, hospital, and church ministry opportunities. Because of your encouragement and prayers I am still able to minister with and through the Renton Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office, and with and through the Renton Fire & Emergency Services Department and the Skyway Fire Department.  I am there because our awesome God has called and placed me there to serve Him. God and you are all so good! Thank you for being my friends, and thank you for caring enough to be supportive. If you haven’t yet done so, and wish to support my chaplain ministry, you can do it in a couple of ways. Number one, you can simply pray for God's guidance, enlightenment, and protection for me as I respond as His representative. And then, number two, you can also support me financially. Gifts made out to and sent to Charteris Foundation, P.O. Box 24766, Federal Way, WA 98093 with a small post-it kind of note attached stating that it is for Rev. Allan Folmar, will go directly into my account. I get 100% of it and you get to claim it as a deduction.  We both benefit from your kind generosity. Thank you and God bless you.


Rev. Allan Folmar CSC
City of Renton Police and Fire

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Here's wishing all the best to you and yours as we draw to an end of the year that was 2009.  Let's count our blessings and hope for an even better 2010!!  

- Rich.

Thanks Everyone!!

Thanks to everyone that supported me, and voted for me, in my bid to retain my seat on the Renton City Council!!

It’s been a wild ride and I couldn’t have made it as far as I did without your help!!

I have to give special thanks to my wife, Martha, and my other family members for putting up with me during this campaign.  Their support has been invaluable.

Special thanks also goes to all that endorsed my campaign, but especially State Representative Marcie Maxwell, Mayor Denis Law and the Renton City Council.

More special thanks goes to my campaign manager, Ed Prince, and my campaign advisors Ray Giometti and Mike O’Halloran.  Super! Special! Thanks! to my web guru and ad man Kevin Poole, that kept my website, ads and signs looking great. 

I also appreciate the support of the Rich on Council Sign Team: Mark, Dave, Bernie and Gary, for keeping the message on (in?) the streets.

And a big shout out to my friends in The DTR!!

I look forward to continuing my service to the citizens of Renton and keeping us Ahead of the Curve. 

All my best to Jim Flynn, his wife Lynette, and his family.  I hope Jim knows he can always count on me in his efforts to serve the Citizens of Renton. 

Please Vote for Rich Zwicker, Renton City Council

I can make this short and sweet:  Please vote for me so I can retain my seat on the Renton City Council.

That’s it.  That’s all I ask—just your vote.  If that’s enough to get you to mark “Rich Zwicker” on your ballot then I thank you for your time and you can get on with your day.

However, if you’d like to know a bit more about me and why you should vote for Rich Zwicker, then let’s continue on.

I was appointed to my seat on council in early 2008.  At that time I pledged that I would run to retain my seat if three conditions were met:  1) I enjoyed being a councilmember; 2) I was an effective councilmember and 3) a majority of the council would want me to remain on council.  I think I have met all three conditions.  This is how I think I fared:

1)      I am humbled and honored to serve the citizens of Renton as their councilmember and I am honored to work with some of the best and brightest in city government.  This includes the Mayor and his staff and my council colleagues, but most importantly the day-to-day employees of the City.  I have met some extraordinary people that serve our needs as residents in our police, fire and public works areas.  Our community services programs and employees are amazing and continue to serve every aspect of our city with caring and compassion.

2)      I believe I am a very effective councilmember.  I study and work hard, I am prepared for committee meetings and because I am effective in working with others I am able to bring my experience and perspective to deliberations and decision making.

3)      I have received the endorsement of all of the sitting city councilmembers.  All six!  I have also received the endorsement of Mayor Denis Law.

A Brief History of Rich.

 I’m a lifelong resident of Renton.  A graduate of Renton schools, I earned a certificate of completion as a Legal Assistant in 1989 from the Renton Vocational Technical Institute (now Renton Technical College) and I returned to RTC in 2009 and converted the certificate to an Associate of Applied Science degree.

I am married to Martha Zwicker, a local attorney, and have family throughout Renton, including my mom, Bette (for you longtime Rentonites, my dad, Don Zwicker, had the “Zwicker Quicker Service” Texaco stations), sister Cheri  and her husband Ken Taylor; sister Donna and her husband Terry Rydberg and my brother, Don, and his wife Marcey. 

Along with my job as your councilmember, I have served you as a Trustee at the Renton Technical College since 2005 and I work as a paralegal with the Attorney General’s Office and have been there since 1990.

So why vote for Rich?

I am extremely proud of our City.  Over my 45 years I have seen a lot of changes and a lot of growth.  I’ve seen Renton expand on its blue collar roots to become a player in international trade and a regional force.  As a councilmember I assist our regional position by serving as the
Suburban Cities Association’s representative on the King County Regional Water Quality Committee, and I serve as the City’s representative on  WRIA 8 (watershed preservation district) and the Cedar River Council.  Prior to becoming your councilmember I was the President of the North Renton Neighborhood Association (one of the City of Renton’s recognized neighborhoods in its neighborhood program) where I still serve as a board member, a member of the City of Renton’s Airport Advisory Committee and a member of Piazza Renton.  And I was rated "Outstanding" (the highest rating) by the Municipal League of King County.

Bi-Partisan Support.  As you know, Renton City Council is a non-partisan race, which means a councilmember should be free of political affiliation and should be able to work with leaders from both political parties.  The endorsements my campaign has received shows that I am the non-partisan, independent, candidate for this position.  I have received the endorsement of Attorney General Rob McKenna, 41st District Senator Fred Jarrett, Representative Judy Clibborn and Representative Marcie Maxwell (a
complete list of my endorsements can be found here) among many other Representatives, mayors, councilmembers and other appointed and elected officials.  While gathering my endorsements,  I accepted no endorsements from political parties; nor would I pledge an “allegiance” to any party to obtain an endorsement.  I have many endorsements from individuals, along with political action groups and unions, including Renton Local 864 of the Renton Fire Department and the Renton Police Officers Guild.  My support is broad-based, local and regional and full of supporters of the City of Renton.  Most of my opponent’s support is politically biased.

Community Involvement.  I also believe that a councilmember should be a part of the community in Renton to be able to effectively govern.  Again, my record shows I am clearly the candidate that connects with Renton.  I serve on the Board of the Renton Technical College Foundation.  I am a supporter of Renton community mainstays such as Vision House, Renton Rotary Salvation Army Food Bank, Communities in Schools of Renton, Renton High School Excellence in Education, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) and Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (D.A.W.N.), and many more.  My opponent does not—and cannot—claim that he is a part of the Renton community.

There are many differences between me and my opponent.

But the biggest difference is that I am on council and am actually doing the job.  I can offer concrete examples of what it takes to keep Renton running and have done so for the past two years.  My opponent only offers vague solutions such as taking a “sharp pencil” or blaming the unprecedented global recession’s impact on Renton’s budget on Mayor Law and the council calling it a “failure of management.”  Simply put, I have a better understanding of the City’s position in the region.  Here’s an article I wrote for the Renton Reporter about the partnerships that keep Renton strong. 

We also differ wildly on public safety and the neighborhood program.

Public Safety.  I believe that public safety is the most important service the City of Renton provides.  I am a strong supporter of our Renton Police Department and Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department, I will continue to support them and make sure that the safety of our citizens is the top priority of Renton’s government.  I have participated in Fire Ops 101 and ride-alongs with Renton Police officers to better understand the day-to-day issues faced by the men and women keeping us safe. I have received the endorsement of the Renton Firefighters Local 864 and the Renton Police Officers’ Guild.   My opponent believes that our police and fire are stretched “too thin” and are no longer effective because of their regional partnerships.  I cannot disagree more. 

Neighborhoods.  I believe that Renton’s strength comes from its neighborhoods. I am a strong advocate and participant in the City’s Neighborhood Program, I served four years as the President of the North Renton Neighborhood Association and continue service as a member of the board of directors.  I am a fixture at neighborhood picnics, and have also served as a panelist at the City’s annual Neighbor to Neighbor program and have facilitated a training session on the creation of bylaws for other recognized neighborhoods.    My opponent believes our neighborhoods should be “more self-sufficient” and that the neighborhoods take away jobs.   Again, I disagree:  Our neighborhoods need to be an integral part of our government; not “self-sufficient.”  Here’s an article I wrote for the Renton Reporter about our neighborhood program.

And finally, I believe that I bring a much broader understanding to these five important issues: 
Efficient Government.  My many years of government service allow me to study governmental operations with an eye for efficiencies.  Since joining the City Council, I have assisted City staff in streamlining internal processes for more efficient handling of committee meetings and reports. I was recognized by Governor Locke for efficiencies I championed in providing customer service to the Department of Revenue, received an outstanding team award from Attorney General Rob McKenna, and received multiple Commendations from then Attorney General Christine Gregoire.   My opponent, a former employee of the Port of Seattle, has much less governmental experience than I. 

Public Participation.  I believe strongly in public participation in the process of government.  I worked closely with the administration for increased public comment opportunities during the recent negotiation for a new waste management contract.  I continue to advocate for televised committee meetings and will continue to encourage the City’s adoption of occasional “town hall” meetings throughout the community. 

Economic Development and Responsible Growth.  Currently, the economy has stalled the unprecedented growth the City underwent in the early 2000’s.  However, when the economy strengthens and growth begins again, I will advocate for responsible development and a balance between industry, business and obtainable housing. I will continue the City’s tradition of encouraging living-wage jobs, along with business growth that will continue to allow the City the financial ability to provide the basic services for our citizens.

Environmental Concerns.  I understand Renton’s unique environmental position and the impacts created by growth and development.  I serve as a member of the Cedar River Council and King County’s Regional Water Quality Committee.  I will continue to make decisions about Renton’s future understanding the environmental needs of Renton.

Equal Rights.  I am strongly in favor of equal rights under the law.  Renton's diversity requires its government to be cognizant and supportive of the differences that make a strong community.  My service on the council, outreach in the community and activism shows my commitment to those of all walks of life.

Well, you’ve read this far and, again, I hope I have your vote.   Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further.  I can be reached at or 206-579-8804.

Thank you for your time, support and vote!!

- Rich.

Campaign Website:
Facebook (Rich’s Campaign):

Our Library's Future

As you know Renton’s Library System is going to go through some changes in the near future.  One way or another, the City will be asking you to support an upgrade to our system, because status quo just isn’t an option.

Coming this spring the question “should we annex to the King County Library System?” will be on the ballot.  To help you understand the issue the City now has the answers to some of the questions we’ve been hearing while we’re out and about and through a survey we recently conducted.  I highly encourage you to take a look and let us know what other questions you may have. 

Here’s the link to the FAQ’s.

Let us know what you think. 

- Rich.

And special thanks to Marty Wine, Assistant Chief Administrative Office and Bette Anderson, Director of the Renton Public Library, for their hard work compiling this very important information.

Renton Community Plan - Open House 10/17
Shaping the Center of Our Growing City”

As your councilmember, one of the exciting things I have had a chance to be a part of is the development of the City’s new “Community Plans.”   This is a bold initiative developed by our Department of Community and Economic Development to vision Renton’s future using public input to create dynamic community areas.  As part of the Business Plan Goals 2008-2013, the City Council sets goals to “promote neighborhood revitalization,” and to “manage growth through sound urban planning.”  The purpose of this initiative is to give communities greater control over how the Comprehensive Plan is implemented, to preserve and establish community identity, and to participate in local governmental decision making on issues that affect quality of life.

Implementation of the Community Planning Initiative will take several years and involve generating nine Community Plans. Once the Community Plans are completed, every area of the City and the Potential Annexation Area will be included in a Community Plan. This is a new way of approaching planning in Renton. Thus, it is appropriate that there are goals, objectives and policies to guide the Community Planning effort.
While especially important to those that live and work in that area, these community plans really impact everyone in the City.  And while the first plan is in the City Center, there will be plans for everyone in the City. 

First up is the City Center Community Plan.  This area encompasses the North and South Renton Neighborhoods, Downtown (the DTR to us in the know!) and the Rainier/Grady commercial corridors. 


So join us at the City Center Community Open House this Saturday, October 17, 2009, at the Renton High School Commons (400 South Second Street, Renton) at 9:00 – 11:00 am.  Some of the topics to be discussed are pedestrian and vehicle circulation; economic development, community identity; parking and new development.  You will also have a chance to learn about the input already received from the community and business workshops, as well as have a chance to provide feedback about some of the ideas regarding the future of the City Center.

Again, this is for everyone, especially our recently annexed areas, like Cascade/Benson.  It’s a great chance to get an idea of the types of opportunities available to you in the future as this program is expanded.

If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact Angie Mathias at 425-430-6576 or

I’ll see you there!!


Renton FilmFrenzy is Coming!!

Please share this information about this fun opportunity! You don't have to live in Renton to participate!


September 29, 2009

50-Hour Filmmaking Frenzy Returns to Renton; 2009 Registration is Now Open

Renton, WA - If you are an aspiring, ahead of the curve filmmaker, Renton, Washington, will be the place to be this October for the epic 50-hour Second Annual Renton FilmFrenzy. This year's Renton FilmFrenzy is scheduled for October 16 - 18.

Registration for the 2009 Renton FilmFrenzy is now open, with an application deadline of October 9. Details about the 2009 Renton FilmFrenzy can be found at

New for 2009:

ü The 2009 FilmFrenzy organizers have commissioned a video, "You can never get away from the paparazzi in Renton," to help promote this year's Frenzy. The video was written and directed by Sam Graydon and Chris "Bob" Anderson, who produced the Renton FilmFrenzy's 2008 Best Picture winner, "Finger of God." To view the videos, visit the home page.

"We are excited to bring back the Renton FilmFrenzy after its overwhelming success last year. The Curvee Awards will be even more coveted this year, so mark your calendars and prepare for the action!" said Renton Mayor Denis Law.

The FilmFrenzy, October 16-18

The heart of the FilmFrenzy is a 50-hour filmmaking competition taking place in Renton.

Competing filmmakers will have from 5 p.m., Friday, October 16, through 7 p.m., Sunday, October 18, to write, shoot, edit and submit a short film. At the beginning of the competition, participating filmmakers will be provided with "CurveBall" Challenges, which may include incorporating a line of dialogue, a task and/or filming at a specific location in Renton.

Films can be up to four minutes in length and must be shot completely in Renton. All genres are welcome, although films must be appropriate for all audiences.

Renton FilmFrenzy filmmakers may enter their films in one of two divisions: Student Division (high school and below) and Open Division. There is a $50 entry fee for the Open Division and a $25 entry fees for student competitors. There is no limit to the number of films that may be entered.

The films will be judged by local filmmakers, representatives from the media, and a Renton Municipal Arts Commission member.

The deadline to apply to participate in the FilmFrenzy is 5 p.m., Friday, October 9.

Curvee Awards Gala, October 27

The top films produced during the competition will be screened in front of a live audience during the Curvee Awards Gala at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center on October 27.

Celebrating the slogan "Renton, Ahead of the Curve," special "Curvee" awards will be crafted by local artisans for presentation to the award-winning filmmakers. In addition, the following cash prizes will be awarded during the Curvee Awards Gala:

Best Picture $500

Open Division

First Prize $250

Second Prize $200

Third Prize $150

Student Division

First Prize $250

Second Prize $200

Third Prize $150

Other Curvees will be presented for:

Best Actor

Woman Filmmaker

Best Use of Renton

Special Judges Award

Renton Downtown FilmWalk, October 28-29

The Second Annual Downtown Renton FilmWalk will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, and Thursday, October 29.

During the FilmWalk there will be a special screening of all the films entered in the Renton FilmFrenzy at Downtown participating Renton theatres, restaurants and other businesses. Filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their work and their filmmaking process.

People's Choice Award

Thanks to the Renton Reporter (, members of the public will have the chance to vote on their favorite FilmFrenzy films. All films entered will be posted on the Renton Reporter website for viewing. The winning film will receive a special "People's Choice" Curvee award.


The Renton FilmFrenzy is sponsored by the Renton Community Marketing Campaign, which includes the Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton School District, Valley Medical Center, Renton Technical College, Renton Visitors Connection and the City of Renton.

The Renton Community Marketing Campaign also is sponsoring the SIFF's Futurewave program in 2009. This program offers the region's youth a direct link to SIFF Cinema, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the diverse local filmmaking community.

Visit http://www.RentonFilmFrenzy.comfor application forms, rules and other information.

For further information contact:

Suzanne Dale Estey

City of Renton

phone: 425/430-6591

Ken Saunderson

Phone: 206/282-6858


Renton City Council Opposes Initiative 1033

October 1, 2009

Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Renton City Council Opposes Initiative 1033

Renton, WA – The Renton City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on September 28, 2009, expressing opposition to Initiative Measure No. 1033 (I-1033), which will appear on the November 3, 2009, general election ballot as “Initiative Measure No. 1033 concerns state, county, and city revenue.” 

The City Council held a public hearing inviting speakers and the public to present pro and con positions on the initiative. This measure will appear on the November 3 ballot for all Washington voters and, if passed, would limit certain state, county and city revenue to annual inflation and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue increases.  Revenue collected above the limit would reduce property tax levies. 

As part of the public hearing, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Jay Covington explained that the initiative would place broad annual limits on the growth of state, county and city general fund revenues received from taxes, fees, and other charges not expressly approved by the voters. Revenues above the limit would be rebated through property tax reductions.  Using 2009 as the base year, Initiative 1033 would limit the rate of growth in deposits to a jurisdiction’s general fund to no more than the sum of the jurisdiction’s population growth for that year and the national rate of consumer price inflation (CPI). The initiative excludes new voter-approved revenue from the growth limit.  The Office of Financial Management has estimated the fiscal impact of this initiative to be at least an $8.1 billion loss to the state general fund, $3.0 billion to city general funds, and $.09 billion to county general funds.

Covington stated that if I-1033 passes it will significantly impact the city’s ability to invest in infrastructure and to support economic growth and vitality.

“When we invested $23 million in infrastructure for The Landing, we planned to use the increased sales tax revenue from that development to pay for our investment,” Covington said. “If voters approve I-1033, those revenues will likely be diverted to reduce property taxes, severely impacting the city’s ability to afford future investments in infrastructure.”

He also stated that the Growth Management Act emphasizes high density development in cities like Renton.  Under the rules of I-1033, there would be no incentive or benefit for cities accepting that growth.  

Opponents to the initiative included Bill Taylor, President of the Renton Chamber of Commerce, and another Renton resident. Despite being invited, none of the proponents of the initiative came to the Council meeting.

“This initiative would result in our inability to fund education,” said Bill Taylor. “It takes away any incentive for economic development or annexation, and severely impacts economic recovery. They couldn’t have picked a worse year than 2009 as the baseline. This year we’ve experienced one of the worst recessions in 70 years.”

“I-1033 will have a tremendous impact on the level of service that we can provide to our community,” said Councilmember King Parker. “At a time when we are already cutting government services due to this recession, we would be forced to cut even more.  The most basic and critical services would be impacted.”

Renton City Council President Randy Corman emphatically opposed the initiative and had the unanimous support of all the Councilmembers.

The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) estimates that I-1033 would reduce state general fund revenues that support education; social, health, and environmental services; and general government activities by $5.9 billion by 2015.  To view OFM’s “Fiscal Impact Statement of Initiative 1033” visit For more information on the City of Renton visit

Renton Housing Resource Fair on September 15th

Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director 425-430-6591

Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569


Renton Housing Resources Fair to Feature over 25 Exhibitors,

Valuable Information for Buyers, Homeowners and Renters


RENTON - The City of Renton is continuing to make every possible effort to stimulate local economic activity during these challenging times.  As part of this effort the city is partnering with financial institutions, non-profits and real estate professionals to facilitate a Housing Resources Fair on Tuesday, September 15, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Renton Community Center (1715 Maple Valley Highway).  


The goals of the Housing Resources Fair are to promote resources available to consumers and to stimulate additional housing purchasing and rental activity. 


"We are excited to offer this clearinghouse of resources for those who are considering buying a home or are struggling to stay in the home they own.  This is another creative economic stimulus program that could only be possible through the strong partnerships in this community," said Mayor Denis Law.


The event is FREE for consumers and will include workshops for both home buyers and home owners.  A workshop for home buyers will be held from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. and will feature information on the soon-to-expire first-time homebuyer's $8,000 tax credit and mortgage loan options, products and programs.  A workshop for home owners will be held from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. and will include information on refinancing options and loan modification tools, home improvement loans and foreclosure assistance.


In addition to the free information and workshops being offered, each exhibitor has contributed three $25 gift cards to Renton businesses to serve as door prizes, so a considerable number of $25 gift cards will be given FREE to randomly selected Housing Fair attendees.  Light refreshments will also be provided.


Over 25 organizations are expected to participate in the event as exhibitors, including multiple financial institutions, real estate agents and nonprofits with significant resources for consumers.  During the event, consumers will have a chance to visit one-on-one with lenders, real estate professionals, financial and housing educators and representatives of Renton's major apartment communities.  Hundreds of attendees are anticipated. 


The Renton Housing Resources Fair is made possible through a sponsorship with Freddie Mac.  This event is another initiative of the City of Renton Community & Economic Development Department, which is working to help stimulate the local economy and preserve and create jobs during these challenging economic times.  Additional efforts include successfully pursuing millions of dollars in state and federal stimulus funding, the innovative corporate real estate website, "Survive and Thrive" workshops for businesses held jointly with the Renton Chamber of Commerce and featuring the Renton Small Business Development Center, and the city's ongoing "Shop Renton, Buy Ahead of the Curve" campaign.


Members of the public who have questions about this event may email them to or call 425-430-7214.



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