County Roundup: Football Departures, War Memorials, and School Closures

A weekly recap of King County news.

After 20-plus years of educating children, Bellevue-based Three Cedars Waldorf School will say goodbye for good to its last class of students as they head off for summer break this June.

In its place will emerge a new private school—the Eastside Community School. While its name and leadership will be different, the school will have similar attributes of the highly esteemed Waldorf way of teaching, it will have some of the same teachers from Three Cedars, and will be on the same 4.75-acre property, for now.

So, why the reset? Members of the Three Cedars community have been asking that question, and more, since they learned of the shutter last summer.

“When that announcement went out, everyone went ‘Whoa, let’s back up. What’s going on?’” said Chris Spurgin, a father of a Three Cedars student and husband of a Three Cedars teacher. “There were no special messages sent out previously saying ‘Oh, this year’s not looking good, we better get going. We gotta fundraise, otherwise you’re not going to make it.’ Zero of that.”

When Spurgin heard the news, his immediate thought was where would he send his son and where would his wife work?

Parents and faculty were told they had the 2017-18 school year to transition.

While Spurgin and others felt shock from the news, Tracy Bennett, the head of Seattle Waldorf School said there were signs of Three Cedars’ financial difficulty. Bellevue Reporter

• Seaplane Restaurant and Bar broke ground in January, and its owners hope it will become a major cornerstone of downtown Kenmore this fall. Deming Maclise, one of the two restaurateurs behind Seaplane, said his team chose the location in part because Kenmore holds a special place in his heart.

“I actually went to Bastyr years ago, so I was going through Kenmore on a daily basis for about four years,” he said. “I just loved it out there … (but) had wished that there were more choices for me to eat.”

Maclise and his counterpart James Weimann are Seattle-based restaurateurs who aim to create unique and welcoming interior spaces for their patrons. The duo have opened multiple restaurants throughout Seattle including Bastille Cafe and Bar, Poquitos, Stoneburner, and now Seaplane. Jason Stoneburner, owner and executive chef at Stoneburner in Seattle, will be leading the kitchen as the head chef.

“We’ve had our eye on different areas in the metropolitan Seattle area just outside the city limits,” Maclise said. “We’re looking at the whole area as a potential opportunity for us to bring our current teams that we have in Seattle and give them more opportunities to have more ownership and more opportunities outside of Seattle.”

The restaurant itself will feature a 5,000-square-foot, family friendly dining area and bar, while primarily serving American fare. There will also be a 3,000-square-foot office space adjacent to restaurant available to lease. Maclise said he expects the restaurant to add 70-80 jobs that they’ll be hiring for once construction is further along.

Kenmore has been accumulating land for its downtown over the past 15 years and has been developing multiple projects including City Hall (completed in 2010), the Kenmore Library (completed in 2011) and the Hangar Cafe (completed summer 2017). Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

• Bellevue Wolverines head football coach Mark Landes made one of the toughest decisions of his entire life in early March.

Landes, who graduated from Bellevue High School in 1988, announced last week he would be resigning as coach of the Wolverines. The Bellevue Football Twitter feed @BellevueFB officially thanked Landes for leading the program in a tweet on March 12. Landes, who has worked full-time in the Aviation industry for the past 20 years, said the expansion of responsibilities at his full-time job was the reason he turned in his letter of resignation.

“My job was changing and unfortunately it wouldn’t allow me the time necessary to remain head coach,” Landes said in a phone interview on March 12. “It was unfortunately a little bit out of my control. It was a really tough decision because I absolutely loved coaching and spending time with these players.”

In his two seasons at the helm, Landes oversaw a program that was operating in the shadow of WIAA sanctions, the result of investigations into recruiting and coaching practices that took place under longtime coach Butch Goncharoff. Landes, who was special teams coach under Goncharoff, finished his tenure with an overall record of 16-3. The Wolverines, who finished with an 11-2 overall record during the 2017 season, lost to the O’Dea Fighting Irish 34-33 in double overtime in the Class 3A state semifinals on Nov. 25, 2017 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. Landes said he met with players before announcing to the general public that would be leaving the program.

“I had a meeting with the team and as many kids as possible but with spring sports starting I didn’t get to meet with everybody,” said Landes. “I tried to talk to as many kids as I could. It is hard to get everybody [together] at the same time and was a tough situation.” Bellevue Reporter

• The sun shone on the flags of two nations earlier this month at Les Gove Park in Auburn—the Stars and Stripes and the flag of the Republic of Vietnam, a nation that has been out of existence for 43 years come April—at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam War Memorial, the soon to-be actualized dream of the Vietnamese-American War Memorial Alliance.

After more than 100 people sang the national anthems of the two countries, speaker Rosalie Nhung Nguyen talked about the hopes she and others hold for the spot to become a place of healing for still-open wounds.

“Today, this memorial is being built as a sign of unity,” Nguyen said. “It is being built to honor those who sacrificed for the values of freedom and self determination. This historic memorial is also for our children, and grandchildren, for their futures, so they may learn the full and true story of the Vietnam War and the many heroic acts.”

It will be, Nguyen continued, a memorial for those American-born veterans who were sent halfway around the world to fight. Most of those soldiers, she said, were tragically unprepared for what they saw, heard and suffered there, and when they came home, many of their fellow Americans spat at, cursed them, told them to shut up, forget about it.

The memorial will also be a place for Vietnamese veterans and their families, who came to the United States after their own country had fallen to communism, to begin new lives.

Construction on the memorial began March 12 and is to conclude with a dedication ceremony on or around Memorial Day. Donations may still be made to the alliance, which had to take out a $37,000 loan to secure the money needed to complete the memorial. On May 12, there will be a fundraising dinner at Tea Palace in Renton. Auburn Reporter