Apr 26, 2007

Calendar and Blog updates

(you've seen some of this before. This is to get back on a regular Thursday schedule, after the recent listserv outage)

Everything gets posted to the Miller blog, and I remind you that you can get E-mail notice of blog updates. Click on "Get blog updates by E-mail" on the "Miller Links" section on the right side.


Calendar items :

  • Sunday, April 29, 2:00pm Bike repair self-help
  • Monday, April 30, 6:00pm Capitol Hill Panel Discussion (at CHHIP Annual meeting)
  • Monday, April 30, 6:30pm City Neighborhood Council: talk with TWO Councilmembers
  • Wednesday, May 2, 8:00pm Design Review - 305 24th Ave E
  • Thursday, May 3, 6:00pm Neighborhood planing: Central Area
  • Friday, May 4, 4:00pm Farmers' Market opens for season at MLK/Union
  • Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm Bike repair self-help

For details (and some bonus entries), visit the calendar at:

http://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller

and click on an entry for details and links.
You can subscribe to the calendar at:webcal://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller.ics if you have a Mac and iCal or a PC and Office 2007 ( http://tinyurl.com/35wy3s).
******************************

Recent items on the Miller blog ( http://millerparkseattle.blogspot.com/ ):

Sustaining a vibrant and diverse neighborhood

Power Pole down: East Madison Street blocked

East Madison Street Redevelopment

Fratelli's Cow Mural: enjoy it while you can

Administrative Design Review: 2311 E. John Street

Supplemental Early Design Guidance Meeting: 305 24th Ave E

Apr 25, 2007

Sustaining A Vibrant and Diverse Neighborhood

Dear Friend of Capitol Hill Housing,

As you may know CHH has its Annual Meeting in April each year. This year it will be on April 30th at 6:00 at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue. The event will mix a little organizational business and a panel discussion we think you will find interesting about development and change for Capitol Hill.

The business items will be brief, but important. We elect two community members to our Board, provide a summary of the organization’s activities for the year, and ratify the selection of our independent auditor. People who are residents or property owners in Capitol Hill are eligible to vote.

Our panel-“Sustaining A Vibrant and Diverse Neighborhood”-will feature representatives of some of the most current developments on Broadway, Pike-Pine, and 15th East. These projects are place makers for Capitol Hill’s future and include examples of new construction and preservation. How does the “market” see Capitol Hill? How do they connect with Capitol Hill’s character? The panel will be hosted by Channel 21 and Capitol Hill resident, C.R. Douglas. He will also moderate a question and answer segment from the audience.

Panelists: Dana Behar, HAL Properties, Cameo & Braeburn Projects at 14th and Pine

Anne Michelson, Pike/Pine Neighborhood activist/developer with project at 12th and Pike.

Maria Barrientos, Developer with three projects currently in development on Capitol Hill.

Chuck Weinstock, Capitol Hill Housing, just completed Broadway Crossing and Silivian.

Bob Burkheimer, owner of the former QFC/Bartells site currently under redevelopment.

We hope you will take the opportunity to check in with us, help us take care of some organizational business, and take part in an important community conversation. Space is limited so please rsvp to rsvp@chhip.org as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Chuck Weinstock

Executive Director
Capitol Hill Housing
1406 10th Avenue, Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98122

Here's a colorful meeting flyer to download, print and share.

Apr 24, 2007

Power pole down: E. Madison Street blocked




It's the block of East Madison Street just east of 23rd. Lots of Police cars but no drug dealers: it's a downed power pole, hit by a truck, that's causing all the action on Madison. The P-I initially said a car did it, and there's a crushed little car on the street, but it's hard to believe that such a little thing could bring down such a sturdy looking pole (and the P-I update mentioned a truck) . And we heard a Police officer telling someone that it was a truck.

Sadly, the Bottleneck has lost power for the evening, and Crush looks closed also.

Apr 18, 2007

East Madison Street Redevelopment

The closing of Deano's Grocery Store may herald a great wave of redevelopment on East Madison Street in our area.

Marching east down the street, here's what I know:

1) 1700 E. Madison Street: the Trader Joe's building. Permits for the apartments at the rear of the Trader Joe's building are still pending?

2) 1818 E. Madison Street: the "Fratelli's" site. Val Thomas is a very well respected Seattle architect and builder, who built the 19th Ave lofts a few years ago. His plans for the redevelopment of the "Fratelli's" site were approved years ago (but not implemented) but he recently noted:


....the status of our project at 19th and Madison. We are now fully permitted and hoping to proceed. I will let you know as things fall into place.


His presentations at Miller neighborhood meetings, and the Design Review meetings, are exhaustively documented on the old Miller website. I think it will be a fine addition to our neighborhood. Here's the DPD page. Project will have 134 apartments, 170ish parking spaces and retail on 19th.

Go see the cows before they go away.

3) 2040 E. Madison Street: Dean Falls' property. Bar and store closed, site pretty much empty. Rumors abound about Dean demolishing and building, selling etc. Just checked the County website: still belongs to DEF Inc. No bulldozers yet. Here's what I know about plans for the property, here are pictures of the models and plans. and here's another Miller page about it.

4) 2051 East Madison Street (the new "Twilight Exit") had "For Sale" signs on the building for some while, and now does not. Property had been sold (check the King County website) but no signs of planning for redevelopment yet.

5) 2216 E. Madison Street (the Madison Temple site ) also had "For Sale" signs for a long time, but now does not, but has not been sold (according to the King County site). The site has been fenced: somebody may have an "option" on it, although the realtor's website is still active. The Miller website has details of all the Design Review Hearings etc (in 2001) that led to the Master Use Permit for the project.

Note that the rezoning of the property from 85' to 65' means that the exisiting plan for an 85' building (and no other) is "grandfathered in".






Apr 17, 2007

Fratelli's Cow Mural: enjoy it while you can!

For about 20 years we've all been enjoying the cow mural that's painted on the old Fratelli's ice cream factory at 19th & Madison. The site will probably be developed soon (details), so I suggest you all go and admire the cows while you may.

In 1992 the owner of Fratelli's, Mr. Peter Morse, shared with me some details of the mural, which was painted by his brother, and I'd like to share them with you now, so that you can better enjoy the mural.
Here's a Seattle Times art critic's column from 1987 about the mural and its creation and here are some notes from the artist about his work, and here's a link to a Seattle Times article about the Fratelli's ice cream company.

The Quicktime VR files I made of the whole wall doesn't seem to work well anymore. Here's a link to a folder containing all the photos I took of the cows (on April 15th, 2007)

Below is my amateur attempt to preserve the mural: a Quicktime VR panorama of most of it. It no longer works in Quicktime on the Mac but does work with the (old) RealPlayer on my Mac. (seemed more high-tech in 2007!)

Here's the Quicktime VR file: cows.qt

I recall cycling to work to the Hutch on First Hill, back in 1987, and watching the mural evolve a little every day. It's been a wonderful addition to our neighborhood, and I'll be very sad to see it go. Let's hope the developer manages to incorporate the image into the new building.

Apr 16, 2007

Notice of Administrative Design Review: 2311 E John St

The proposal is for a triplex townhouse building with accessory parking. This proposal has been submitted voluntarily for Administrative Design Review in exchange for departures from the following development standards (based on the preliminary design concept):

  • Open space
  • Structure depth
  • Setback

OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMENT:
The Director will accept written comments to assist in the preparation of the early design guidance through April 25, 2007.

Link to DPD (Department of Planning and Development) notice on the project and to a DPD page explaining Design Review.

Administrative Design Review is handled at DPD offices by DPD officials. I personally think there should be a provision to expand the review to a full public Design Review if enough neighbors request it.

Supplemental Early Design Guidance Meeting: 305 24th Ave E

The Director of DPD is convening the Design Review Board for a 2nd early design guidance meeting.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Central Community College, 1701 Broadway, Room 3211

Link to details of the meeting.

Link to a copy of the report from the February 7th meeting.

The developer has requested to change the property's zoning from single family (SF5000) to multifamily (L1 and L3 zoned) zoning, via a "contract rezone" which is being vigorously opposed by many of its neighbors.

I surveyed the Miller neighborhood's views (and gave some background & links) on the project back in February, and then reported a summary, and the details, of the survey (many people supported the project), as well as neighbors views on the process. BTW here's the developer's website.

At the initial Design Review, the volunteer board members had numerous concerns about the project: presumably the applicant will be addressing these at this (unusual) second Early Design Guidance meeting.

As described at length in the meeting notes, the Design Review and rezone issues are handled entirely separately, and so there will be ample time to comment on the actual rezoning in due course: it all ends up at the City Council, which will surely have a Public Hearing for your your comments!

Apr 12, 2007

Calendar and Blog items

Calendar items for the next week or so:

  • Sunday, April 15, 2:00pm Bike repair self-help
  • Tuesday, April 17, 6:30pm POSTPONED (new date - April 23rd): CNA Meeting on emergency preparedness
  • Thursday, April 19, 6:30pm Meth 101
  • Saturday, April 21, 10:00am Central Area Spring Plant Exchange
  • Sunday, April 22, 11:00am Madison Valley Plant Exchange
  • Sunday, April 22, 2:00pm Bike repair self-help

For details, visit the calendar at:

http://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller

and click on an entry for details and links.
You can subscribe to the calendar at:
webcal://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller.ics
if you have a Mac and iCal or a PC and Office 2007 ( http://tinyurl.com/35wy3s).

******************************

Recent items on the Miller blog ( http://millerparkseattle.blogspot.com/ ):

Farewell Dan Okada; Welcome Tienney Milnor

Our neighborhood has benefited for many years from the City Attorney's "Precinct Liason Program". Assistant City Attorneys, assigned to the East Precinct, have been invaluable in dealing with Liquor License applications and renewals, Good Neighbor Agreements with bars and minimarts, and many other services they can tell you about.

Dan Okada has been our attorney for several years: his masterpiece, for which we will be always grateful, was the negotiations with the owner of Club Chocolate City, which resulted in that bar relinquishing its liquor license. Dan has now returned to prosecuting cases for the City. He has our eternal thanks, although he (very ethically) refused our small gift at a recent cleanup.

His replacement is Tienney Milnor, who worked alongside him for a couple of months to learn the ropes. The City's directory is outdated: Tienney and Dan have essentially swapped jobs and offices, but the links still show their old phone numbers.

Tienney's already hard at work attending neighborhood meetings, and is working on the public safety issues at the 23rd & Union shopping area - things got bad there about the time that Club Chocolate City closed, although the crowds hanging out in the two areas seemed different.

Do contact Tienney (206-684-4375, tienney.milnor@seattle.gov ) if there are public safety issues that might benefit from her help. And don't be shy about dropping Dan a note to thank him for all his help.

City funds available for neighborhood improvements

Bridging the Gap & Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF)/ Cumulative Reserve Fund (CRF) Dollars are Available Now!

Money and resources are available for groups and individuals to get involved in improving their neighborhoods. The City needs your help in identifying Transportation and Parks projects to be completed in the next several years. Your input is essential for ensuring that our communities have a voice in this process and that we get the best results possible.

There are two sources of money for two different types of projects. Applications for both are due May 18th.

1. Funds Available from Bridging the Gap Levy! (Larger Transportation Projects)

2. Neighborhood Street Fund and Cumulative Reserve Fund (NSF/CRF)
(Smaller Transportation and Parks Projects).

All the details and appication forms available on this Department of Neighborhoods webpage:

http://seattle.gov/neighborhoods/btgnsfcrf/

Anybody care to submit the Miller project from the list of proposed but unfunded Parks projects:

(page 3): East Parks -- Miller Playfield - Park funishings. Install tables, benches and other furniture.


Apr 11, 2007

Official neighborhood song revealed

Here are the lyrics (and some explanatory notes) from a song I fondly remember from my youth, which you can (of course) buy at Amazon.com. And here's a little snippet to enjoy and here's another one (that's immediately after the first one!)

Apr 10, 2007

Young adults (18-29) needed for City Boards and Commissions

(Start em young!)

Get Engaged places people ages 18-29 on boards and commissions each fall. Serving in an advisory capacity to the mayor and City Council, commissioners help shape policy decisions, make recommendations, and provide citizen participation in city government. Even if you’ve never considered a role in public service, our city needs you. Experience doesn’t matter. Passion does.

Here are all the details, the application form and the Mayor's press release.

Farewell Captain Black; Welcome Captain McDonagh

Captain Landy Black has left the East Precinct to become the Police Chief in Davis, California.

Captain Paul McDonagh is the new Commander of the East Precinct, and has leapt straight into the fray! I've seen him at several events, and I'm sure you will too.

Apr 6, 2007

Calendar and Blog items

Calendar items for the next week or so:

  • Tuesday, April 10, 7:00pm Miller Community Center Advisory Council
  • Thursday, April 12, 6:00pm Central Neighborhoods District Council
  • Sunday, April 15, 2:00pm Bike repair self-help
  • Tuesday, April 17, 6:30pm CNA Meeting: emergency preparedness

For details, visit the calendar at:

http://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller

and click on an entry for details and links.

You can subscribe to the calendar at:

webcal://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller.ics

if you have a Mac and iCal or a PC and Office 2007 Outlook ( http://tinyurl.com/35wy3s).

Recent items on the Miller blog ( http://millerparkseattle.blogspot.com/ ):

Respectfully,
Andrew Taylor
tayles@jps.net

Apr 5, 2007

New Bottleneck Lounge promotion



Just got this press release about a rather odd promotion (the Ugliest Chihuahua in Seattle) at the Bottleneck Lounge

Central Neighborhood Association notes

(Some notes from longtime Central Neighborhood Association [CNA] member Jean Tinnea, posted with her permission)

Just a couple of historical notes: Louise Thompson and family have always worked with the police to stop the drug dealing, loitering and shootings. Louise started the 23rd & Union Crime Prevention Task Force that morphed into the Union Street Business Group (USBG). Louise has gotten death threats and had her windows shot out for cooperating with the police. Shutting Thompson's down is not a reasonable response nor is it fair. Working with Louise and family is a better choice.

The USBG hasn't been active for a couple of years, but this kind of negative activity may spur some participation. Please support our local businesses by shopping, movie-watching and eating and let the business owners/operators know that you want their support to stop the dealing, shooting and loitering. Most of these owners are aware of the response to Louise's pro-police, pro-safety position and may be in fear. Not everyone has Louise's courage. It should help if we stand together and talk to each other.

Officer Tim Greeley stopped by my office yesterday and is well aware of the new level of drug dealing and shooting along Union. Time confirmed that there is also a group of kid burglars at work. If a couple of cute kids come by selling candy and ask to use the bathroom or want to come in and get a drink of water, be harsh and point them at the nearest public bathroom. They are casing your house for robbery. Sad but true.

Tim is willing to work with us and keep the patrol officers in the loop. In my experience, there is often a disconnect between us and the patrol officers. It makes me crazy. I walk to the PO every day and stop to talk to any police officers I see and ask them if they're aware of the latest concerns. Sometimes they give me that 'huh?' and I fill them in. I also want the officers to get out of their cars and walk among us.

As to what to call yourselves, a block watch is one plus you are welcome to join the Central Neighborhood Association (CNA) that has been active here for at least 20 years. It started with crime and safety concerns and grew to include the Union St Improvement Project, seven Garden Tours and a few street parties. The CNA has a good reputation with the City, the police, and other neighborhood associations. (We have street cred and carry some weight!)

Once we completed the Union St Improvement Project (19th - 24th, $500,000 in grant and City $$ and ten years' of work) we were worn out and haven't been very active since. We just held a CPR class and the next meeting is Disaster Prep 6:30 April 17th at the Lutheran Church 22nd & Union. There will be time for general discussion after the disaster preparedness presentation.

We need our website set up anew and some people to lead (President, anyone?) and/or organize meetings and events.

I am pleased that the owner and some customers from Earl's Cuts and Styles at 23rd & Union came to the CPR class and plan to attend the disaster prep meeting. My personal goal has always been to have a diverse, real representation of the 'hood at CNA functions.

Another good way to combat street crime is to be in the streets. The spring free Plant Exchange will be held Sat. April 21st 10am-2pm at the Copymaster parking lot at 20th & Union. You don't need to bring plants to attend. Come meet your neighbors, air your concerns, pick up some free plants and gardening tips. Sonja Richter, our retiring SPD safety liason, is one of the organizers of the Plant Exchange.

In October Nic Pottier set up a CNA google group for just this type of conversation. Please join, see below. Jean Tinnea

CNA Google Group:

http://groups.google.com/group/centralna

You'll need a (free) Google account, and can then sign up for the CNA group.

Apr 4, 2007

Deano's Rumor Mill & Public Records

Rarely a week goes by without someone reporting that Dean Falls' property on Madison is about to be knocked down and redeveloped. Two reports today:

Yesterday I noticed a fridge sitting on the sidewalk outside of the old Twilight Exit. Are they cleaning out the place in anticipation of demolition?

I was out for a walk & I stopped into Deano's Grocery yesterday and the place was almost totally empty of merchandise. I asked the clerk if they were closing down and he said they were closing next week and that the building would be demolished. Is this true?


I checked with a property developer whom I know to have been negotiating with Mr. Falls for over a year and he had no comment.

Mr. Falls received his Master Use Permit to redevelop the property on March 31st, 2005, but has not done so. Here and here are details of the development plans, and here is a photo album of the design.

So, if Mr. Falls is not going to develop it himself, we will know that something is happening when we can see, in King County records, that the property has been sold.

Open the King County Parcel Viewer and "search by address": enter "2040" and "Madison" and you'll get a map like this.
Select the "Identify" tool (right margin) and click on any property to identify it and then click on "property report" to see ownership. The red highlighted "Recorders Office: Excise Tax Affidavits Report" link produces actual copies of Real Estate Excise Tax Affadavits, signed by buyer and seller, if the property has been sold recently!

Note the parcel number and go to the King County Assessor's eReal Property System and enter the number to find out more about the property. The "Recorder's Office" link from the eReal record (upper window, scroll down a bit) also takes you to the Real Estate Excise Tax Affadavits.

The King County Property Tax web search lets you look up the name and address of the taxpayer for the property, and will show if they are behind in their taxes and (it appears) might even let you pay peoples' property taxes for them!

From these resources it's clear that Dean Falls' properties are still owned by his company, DEF Inc, so the demolition rumor may be premature (though County records may take a while to be updated).

But if you keep checking on the County records, you'll be the first to know if the property is sold!

I'd be intersested to learn of (and will pass on) any better, easier ways to get this information.

South of Madison Contact Information

1) (via Jean Tinnea) The Central Neighborhood Association (CNA) is still active. The next meeting is Disaster Preparedness Tuesday April 17th, at the Lutheran Church, 22nd & Union, at 6:30pm. There will be a general Q&A/discussion time after the presentation. Please come and share your concerns/solutions.

Our CNA email list, set up by Nic Pottier, is http://groups.google.com/group/centralna

2) From Officer Greeley

My name is Tim Greeley. I am a Seattle Police Officer. I have been assigned to the Henry Sector Community Police Team for seven years. One of my first projects was the 23rd & Union. I formed a team of people that comprised of city officials, business owners and community activists. We saw a lot of successes and positive changes. Because of the positives changes over the years the "Union Street Business Association" hasn't met regularly in awhile.

Tim Greeley
East Precinct
Community Police Team
206-684-4349

Apr 3, 2007

Offical Neighborhood motto revealed


Life in our neighborhood remains "stranger than fiction". Deano's Grocery Store is a prime example. The store's window has in the past been observed to be decorated with a post-it note offering the services of a (presumably) nearby woman, and still advertises the interestingly named "Pimpjuice" energy drink.

Recently I noticed this carefully printed, meticulously applied sign displayed on the window. It's a quote attributed to the existential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Yes, we have a mini-mart with existential leanings.

It confirms, yet again, my belief that our official neighborhood motto should be:

"You couldn't make this stuff up"


Need further proof? Consider the following. For about a year now, we've been helped in our efforts by Lt. William Edwards of the Narcotics Division. He always appeared in plain clothes, presumably due to the nature of his work. We were therefore surprised when he turned up at the March 17th MaDCAP street cleanup in a Police Uniform!

We were even more surprised when a passer by proceeded to sell some crack right next to him. Yep, sold crack next to a Police Officer in uniform!

Say after me: "You couldn't..............

Crime Watch: be alert to seemingly innocent kids

(via the usual chain of friends of friends)
For those of you in the Central District\Madrona area...

Subject... Recent house break in and suspicious behaviour
Forwarding from my area blockwatch group

Hi All,

I just heard from my wife that an work acquaintance just had their
house broken into last night. Her friend lives at 29th and
Jefferson. Their computers and some other stuff got stolen. About
two weeks ago, two kids came to his door selling candy and asked to
use the bathroom (and also for some water). He said they could see
his computers from where the kids went.

What is troubling is that a couple of Saturday's ago I had a very
similar experience. Two children, a boy and a girl came to my door
selling candy. The boy asked if he could use the bathroom. I was a
bit nervous about letting him. The girl was very forward about
getting into the house and this also made me very uncomfortable.
She then proceeded to ask inappropriate questions, including whet her
or not I owned a dog. She really gave me the feeling that they
were "casing" our house and I refused to give her any more answers.
Since this experience I've been on high alert!!

Has anyone else had a similar experience lately? I'm going to
followup tomorrow with the police and report my experience and see
if they have heard of this. I'll ask them what they suggest to do
should anyone else have these kids knock and let everyone know what
they say. It's a shame to think that its possible that such young
kids might be being used by others to perpetrate these crimes...

Video of Sally Clark's Committee Meeting at Miller


Streaming Video of Councilmember Sally Clark's Economic Development and Neighborhood Committee meeting held on 3/15/2007 in the Miller neighborhood is now available on the the SeattleChannel website:

http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2180705

You'll need RealPlayer (or most web browsers) to play it. You can stop, start, rewind and FAST FORWARD!

The first 6 minutes are a very animated introduction from Sally.

From 6 minutes to about 23 minutes, members of the public gave testimony about the Mayor's proposed nightlife ordinance (see the bottom of Sally's webpage), including some very poignant testimony from the Barclay Court community (Seattle Times article). Andrew's testimony (also quoted in the Seattle Times article) is at ~ 15 minutes.

The last 25 minutes of the meeting (2:03:00 to the end) feature a presentation from the Miller Park/MaDCAP community, featuring Andrew Taylor, Jon Vandemoortel and Heidi Ob'bayi talking about present and future issues in the Miller area, Chuck Weinstock from Capitol Hill Housing (talking about affordable housing) and Ellen O'Neill-Stephens, a King County Prosecutor, whose neighborhood taskforce is helping to address the public safety issues along Madison (and now 23rd & Union).

Neighborhood vignette

Monday 4/3/07: Had to go out @ ~ 10 PM: Deano's Grocery open, but no obvious customers. E. Madison Street deserted.

11:30 - Returned home via 23rd & Union/24th & Spring. Streets empty, Thompson's Point of View closed (shut Monday?), nobody on street, nobody outside Richlin's Super Mini!

While Club Chocolate City was in business, any similar drive-by would reveal 5 to 20 people on the street. Where are they all?

Back home via (deserted) E. Madison Street. Deano's Grocery now closed and chained up for the night. I've often seen the owner leaving at ~ 8PM (and not opening till after 9 AM). All the drinks compressed into one cooler. Shelves even more deserted than normal? Will the store stay open much longer?

Apr 1, 2007

Public Safety issues move to 23rd & Union

After the closure of Club Chocolate City, we were all concerned that the problems might resurface elsewhere in the area. A first snoop around seemed to suggest that they'd just vanished, though there was a report of some of the Madison Street regulars being seen at 2nd & Pike (they'd previously commuted there by #11 bus). However, there are increasing numbers of reports of a disturbing increase in drug activity and violence around the 23rd & Union area.

3/28/07: This evening there was a drive-by shooting across the street from Thompson's Point of View. Two of the bullet entered the Casey Foundation building across the street. This organization supports the needs of foster children.

3/30/07 (very early AM) : Drive-by shooting and car chase: CHS blog, KING TV, Seattle P-I reports.

Neighbors' reports:

incident_type = drug deal drug consumption public alcohol consumption rowdy behavior excessive noise gunfire
description = Here's some feedback about increased activity in other neighborhoods.
We live near Thompson's on Union. Last night, about 6 shots were fired. They sounded like they came from 24th ave just north of Pike. (Shots were also fired the previous day in the liquor store parking lot across the street from Thompson's.) There's been a huge increase in drug activity etc around Thompsons since CCC closed. (received via the MPNA web report page).



I have some friends over near 23rd and Pike, who are taking the brunt of the purge of the nasties (nice for us on this side of Madison). I told them that part of our effectiveness was having such a good neighborhood liaison. Are you the liaison for them, or can you refer them to another who can help them keep their family safe? They have small kids.
So, what's to be done? I'll contact the neighbors there, and tell them what we did, and offer what help we can offer. And I await your suggestions...

Yes, yes, yes, I know that we're only treating the symptoms here, and that the BIG issues are racism, poverty, jobs, empowerment, etc, etc. However, we are doing what we can, by supporting Lt. Hayes' GOTS program (which brings support, treatment and housing opportunities to those on the streets) and by lobbying for more effective affordable/mid-level housing programs from the City of Seattle. At the risk of reducing issues to catchphrases:
And don't forget, one bullet can change your whole life.

Ms. Helen cooks again!


Ms. Helen's Soul Food Restaurant used to be in the Coleman Building at 23rd & Union, which was condemned after the Nisqually earthquake. She moved her kitchen to Deano's Bar (which was renamed Club Chocolate City) and continued operating there until the bar closed. I saw this flyer in the bar window at the weekend. Recall that Ms Helen's cooking has received many rave reviews from the media, eg Seattle Times, The Stranger, Seattle P-I and this news article from the P-I.

She's now taken up residence at the Rose Pedal Restaurant at 6901 MLK South.

Homer Harris and his park


Homer Harris, for whom the park at 24th & Howell (behind the YMCA on 23rd) is named, has passed away. He was able to attend the dedication ceremony for the park in 2005.

It has long been my concern that the park would become a haven for the people who used to hang out outside Club Chocolate City and Deano's Grocery Store. That has not yet happened (some of them seem to have gone to 23rd & Union), but I remain concerned. Legitimate park uses are the best deterrant. I would encourage those living nearby to find ways to keep the park lively: walk there, play there, barbecue there, etc.

There was an independant outdoor film series there a couple of years ago, but the adult themes of some of the movies caused some concerns.