The Northwest tradition of lights, sights and sounds continue this year with the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival.

The public is invited to celebrate this year's parade of ships in their own boats, or standing by the bonfires along the shore of Carillon Point. Enjoy some of the area's choirs, visit with Santa, view the Christmas Ship lighting, and enjoy a special performance by the Seattle Girl's Choir.

The opening night ceremony is Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., with the Argosy departing at 7 p.m. from Kirkland Marina Park. Cruises are on Dec. 17, 18, 19 and 23, and depart from Kirkland Carillon Point Marina and Marina Park.

For more information on other Kirkland holiday events and activities, visit www.explorekirkland.com.

Windermere to auction LWSD student art

Throughout the month of Dec., the Gallery at Windermere, located on Central & Market Streets in downtown Kirkland, will be featuring artwork created by elementary age children from the Lake Washington School District .

Winderemere will showcase and sell this artwork at auction on Dec. 9 during the Kirkland Art Walk. Their doors open at 6 p.m. and the auction will end at 8:30 pm. There will be snacks and non-alcoholic beverages available.

Some of the profits will benefit Windermere's Shoes from Santa program. This program currently benefits over 300 children attending schools in the Eastside, and provides them with new shoes, socks, hats, gloves and a turkey dinner for their family.


Larry's Market is Recycler of the Year
The Kirkland City Council recently named Larry's Market in Totem Lake as the winner of the 2004 Business Recycler of the Year. To be considered for the award, a business must demonstrate that it practices at least six waste prevention activities; have a disposal rate of no more than 40 percent; use at least six recycled products; and conduct at least two activities that help prevent waste.

The application, site visit and audit of the store proved that Larry's has "an exceptional waste reduction and recycling program that diverts at least 60 percent of their waste from the solid waste stream," according to a city memorandum.

The store recycles cardboard, wood pallets, shrink wrap, and paper products. It donates food to local food banks and sends produce scraps to local farmers. Durable plastic containers are reused instead of waxed cardboard.

In addition, Larry's donates $2.00 from every purchase of a Larry's Market reusable shopping bag to FareStart and YouthCare, which provide outreach and employment training to homeless people.


Everest Park upgrade
Everest Park will be transformed from a site once used for World War II housing to a centerpiece of the Everest Neighborhood. To commemorate Kirkland Rotary's and Kirkland's centennial, Rotary approached the city with the idea. The project, which consists of a large picnic pavilion in Everest Park, is expected to be completed by early spring.

The project is expected to cost in excess of $100,000, so Rotary has been raising funds for the past two years, and has to date spent about $50,000. Additional resources are coming in the form of money, pro-bono architectural and site work, and volunteer landscape labor, including:

* $22,000 from the Everest Neighborhood Association

* $10,000 Neighborhood Grant from Starbucks Coffee

* $25,000 from the city of Kirkland, mostly in the form of site work and

landscaping.

The project dedication is scheduled for late February or early March and will include representatives from Rotary, the city, Starbucks, and the Everest Neighborhood.

For more information, contact David Aubry, chair, Everest Neighborhood Association, at 827-3811.

Central Way storm drain improvements

From January to February, 2005, construction will take place on the Central Way Storm Drain Project. At a cost in excess of $300,000, the project will consist of making the necessary improvements to reroute the existing 48-inch diameter storm drain pipe that drains east to west under the Lake and Central municipal parking lot.

The project will install approximately 135 lineal feet of 48-inch diameter storm drain line in Main Street, between the alley located south of Central Way and a storm system located near the center of Central Way, a new oversized storm drain manhole to make connection to an existing 72-inch diameter storm pipe, a new storm drain system flow control structure in an existing 72-inch storm pipe just east of 3rd Street, and a new manhole in the alley south of Central Way.

Restoration will also include a new curb, gutter, and sidewalk along Main Street.


LWTC receives marketing awards
Lake Washington Technical College has been recognized with one gold and three bronze awards in the 2004 District VII Medallion Awards, sponsored by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. The college received a gold award for best promotional campaign for A Chef's Affair and bronze awards for best electronic ad for LWTC Partnership Radio ads; for best flyer or postcard for their foundation's annual appeal, The Faces of Lake Washington; and for best promotional campaign for Oktoberfest.