New cop helicopter unveiled for county
A multi-million-dollar helicopter for crimefighting and search-and-rescue work has arrived in King County.
The new Guardian One, a Bell 407 model officially unveiled by the county’s Sheriff Department during a media event last Wednesday at Boeing Field in Seattle, has a spotlight, infrared equipment, mapping software, and a downlink so a ground-based command post can see what the pilot sees, officials said.
The airship was built in Canada by Bell Helicopter and outfitted in Tennessee by Edwards and Associates at a combined cost of $3.4 million. It was paid for with federal money from the Department of Homeland Security, which selected King County to deploy the new rig but to share it regionally with Pierce and Snohomish counties, as well as with the State Patrol.
Guardian One is available at no charge for police work in any of the three counties. In addition, the Sheriff Department has air-support contracts with the Coast Guard (for finding and tracking oil spills), the state Department of Ecology (tracking environmental incidents), and the county’s Department of Natural Resources (finding river hazards).
Officials said the new Guardian One essentially is a replacement of the Sheriff Department’s 1970s-era, military-surplus helicopters, which are becoming increasingly expensive to operate.
The new one will be the primary helicopter for police work, while a UH-1N Huey will be used for rescues involving the hoist.
Garden on display
Redmond’s Tom and Judy Briggs will again participate in the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society’s Public Days event called “Railroads through the Rhodies” Aug. 16-17.
More than 550 people signed the Briggs’ guest book at last year’s event. This year, their spectacular garden railroad display will be open to the public on Aug. 17 only.
An Official Program containing maps and layout descriptions for the participating gardens with model railroads is available for $10, at hobby shops and nursery/garden centers including Redmond’s Russell Water Gardens, 6848 180th Ave. NE; (425) 869-6700. The program admits all occupants of a car for both days.
For more information about the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society, visit www.psgrs.org.
TomatoFest set for Aug. 23-24
The South 47 Farm in Redmond invites you to celebrate the taste and fascinating lore of farm-fresh heirloom tomatoes at the TomatoFest Farm Celebration, Aug. 23-24 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The farm grows a dozen varieties of hard-to-find tomatoes including Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, Green Zebra, Brandywine, Japanese Black, Striped German, and Fargo Yellow Pear. Learn the stories behind colorful, old-time tomatoes and take home recipes and ingredients for your own tomato feast. (Not all varieties are available at any one time.)
Sustainable Living Fair coming up
The 2nd annual EcoCommuting and Sustainable Living Fair will be held Thursday, August 21, from 5-9 p.m. at Redmond Town Center, Center Street Plaza. This information-packed event will present an opportunity to learn bout the impact our choices are making on the environment.
Held in conjunction with Redmond Town Center’s Summer Concert Series, featuring ‘60s/’70s Northwest Folk Rock legend, The Daily Flash, performing from 7-9 p.m., the Eco-Commuting Fair will feature more than 25 educational booths, demonstrations and activities from environmental groups, governmental agencies, transit organizations, and green businesses—as well as fun activities for children.
A featured event at the fair is the “Tour de Redmond” Summer Bicycle Commuter Challenge awards ceremony from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, which features 600 bicyclists in the two-month commuter bicycle competition in contention for 25 trophies.
Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association, Redmond Town Center, Genie Industries, Microsoft, Golder Associates, and the City of Redmond are sponsoring the event.
For more information on the EcoCommuting Fair or Tour de Redmond, visit www.GRTMA.org.