2019 saw snow, gang violence, pedestrian deaths

The news of the past year in review.

  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020 12:01am
  • News

With 2020 ushered in, we would like to continue our annual tradition of looking back on the news of the past year.

This past year, 2019, saw suspected gang violence, development (including a new park) and a month of snow.


“More neo-nazi flyers appear in Bellevue,” published Jan. 18, 2019. A sad trend on the Eastside as people find flyers with hate speech in their yards. It’s not limited to Bellevue residents. While some people put the apparent garbage in a garbage can, others understandably are concerned and potentially intimidated by the hateful messages. City representatives and neighbors were outspoken in opposition to the flyers.


Snow, snow and more snow. Significant snowfall generated several headlines in the Reporter in February 2019. Headlines included: “Snow hits lowland areas of King County” published Feb. 8, 2019, along with “One of the snowiest months on record,” and “Overlake staff gets hotel rooms during snow storm,” both published Feb. 15, 2019.


“Meydenbauer Bay Park grand opening,” published March 22, 2019 (headline typo fixed for this recap). Following 30 years of planning, preparation and anticipation, a new flagship park on the waterfront was unveiled and opened to the public. Terraces, walkways, a beach, a picnic area, a playground, a beach house with restrooms, and a pier — what more could anyone ask for?


Gang violence took center stage in April 2019. First, an 18-year-old male was killed when shots were fired at Goldsmith Park, as reported on April 5, 2019. two weeks later, “Increased Crossroads violent acts may be gang related,” published on April 19, 2019, detailed a news conference with Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett who said he believes the uptick in violence — including the Goldsmith Park shooting — is gang related. He vowed increased police presence in the neighborhood.


“Firearm safety program rejected,” published May 31, 2019. Gun violence prevention groups were upset when the city’s planning commission rejected a citizen-proposed comprehensive plan amendment for a “Vision Zero for gun safety” program. City staff recommended the commission reject the amendment because it was not consistent with zoning.


“Why is Bellevue taking so long to finish its shelter?” published June 21, 2019. Reporter Aaron Kunkler took a close look at the situation behind the shelter’s construction. The city made a commitment in 2012, but a permanent site wouldn’t be ready until 2022. The story noted the setbacks and roadblocks the project has faced, and the ongoing complications that has kept the project stalled.


“Amazon’s tower plans reveal serious commitment to Bellevue expansion,” published July 12, 2019. The 43-story, 1 million square foot tower made headlines in nearly every major media publication and outlet when it was announced in July. Earlier in the year, the company’s plans for a second headquarters in New York (HQ2) became complicated, and in the recent past the company and the city of Seattle had battled over proposed taxes. However, The company was quick to note that its expansion plans into Bellevue had long been in the works and were unrelated to those complications.


“City council proceeds with bike lane, sidewalk project despite pushback,” published Aug. 9, 2019. The city of Bellevue continued to make investments in pedestrian infrastructure, even in the face of limited opposition. The opposition to that particular project noted that other streets would be more appropriate. The city council disagreed and decided to move forward. While the story seemed like it was minimally important at the time, stories of accidents between vehicles and pedestrians would surface during the next several months to close out 2019.


“Cyclist dies after car collision on 145th Avenue,” published Sept. 27, 2019. Tragedy struck when a bicycling resident (a 72-year-old man) was killed in a traffic accident by a Kenmore motorist. It was the second fatal accident of 2019 in Bellevue between a motorist and a cyclist.


“Police arrest 4 in connection to Goldsmith Park murder,” published Oct. 4, 2019. Following a six-month investigation, police arrested four people connected to the Goldsmith Park murder (see listing above for the month of April). Chief Mylett noted that he confidently believed the murder was gang related. It was the first murder in Bellevue in more than three years.


“Twelve arrested in police prostitution sting,” published Nov. 22, 2019. Salacious or just plain interesting? Whatever the case may be, the Bellevue Police Department held a sting operation by luring would-be Johns to an undercover Jane at a Bellevue hotel. When the suspect knocked on the hotel room door, he was believed to be completing the act of soliciting sex.


“Police exercise educates drivers and pedestrians on safety,” published Dec. 13, 2019. In 2019, five traffic fatalities were recorded in the city of Bellevue. Two were pedestrians on foot, two were cyclists, and one was a single vehicle accident. In an effort to curb the trend, the Bellevue Police Department held an exercise, pulling people over — both drivers and pedestrians — to educate them after they broke a traffic rule.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok/Pexels
Bellevue reopens aquatic center

Swimmers must make reservations for pool use

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Screenshot of the 2020 Bellevue Downtown Association State of the City. Pictured: Mayor Lynne Robinson, Deputy Mayor Jared Nieuwenhuis and BDA President Patrick Bannon.
City leaders talk economic outlook, police reform and more with Bellevue Downtown Association

The annual State of the City with the BDA was held as a virtual fireside chat, livestreamed Thursday, July 30

County Fire Marshal issues burn ban

Dry conditions and high heats are in the forecast this week

Most Read