Nov 29, 2007

124 24th Ave E Land Use Decision

The Land Use Application to subdivide two parcels at 124 24th Ave E into seven unit lots has been approved.

The construction of townhouses is being reviewed under Project # 6095063. (note links to 4 related permits on the project page)

This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

Here's how to appeal the Land Use Decision, should you wish to.

Nov 28, 2007

Neighborhood Traffic Improvements

View Larger Map

Please join me in thanking the various Miller area neighbors whose efforts are shown here: their long and dedicated efforts have resulted in significant traffic improvements in our area. Click on the blue markers on the map above, or admire the pictures below.

So remember, you CAN make a difference. Contact them (or me) for hints as to how to get your favorite traffic issue addressed. And be sure to thank them if you meet them in the street.

Lonnie Lusardo's efforts resulted in the installation of the left filter arrow on the John & Madison traffic light, which makes it much safer turning from (eastbound) John to Madison: it was impossible to see westbound traffic coming up John. (click on any photo for bigger version)

Robert Njegovan rallied his neighbors on 22nd Ave E. to apply for grants and supply volunteer labor to get these 2 traffic circles installed on 22nd . They help to greatly slow down the "cut through" traffic that's bypassing the traffic lights on 23rd.

Andy Haas lobbied long and hard for this curb bulb on 21st Ave E. at E. John Street, which will help stop a constant stream of wrong-way traffic on this one-way street pass the playfield and school. Both he and Lonnie (above) got to explain their concerns to the Mayor when he toured our neighborhood.

Not all our efforts have yet been successful. Richard Samuel and Andrew Taylor are lobbying the City to fix this constantly flooding corner at Denny & 21st. Here's the City's letter about the problem: they have not yet actually done the work.

You may recall that (back in 2002) Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) carried out an extensive traffic study in our area, and made a number of suggestions, some of which have been carried out by SDOT alone, and others (shown here) were accomplished after much prodding by the people acknowledged here.

If there are other things on the SDOT report (or ideas of your own), that you'd like to pursue, please contact me (Andrew Taylor) and I'll put you in touch with SDOT people (and perhaps with the neighbors noted here, who can provide much useful guidance).

Nov 27, 2007

Goodwill Site redevelopment

OK, so it's a little bit out of our area, but the proposed redevelopment of the Goodwill site on Dearborn in the International District could have effects on our lives, so it's worth learning about.

A neighborhood group, the Dearborn Street Coalition for livable neighborhoods, has put together a website that eloquently documents their concerns and proposed solutions to the problems they perceive with the proposed project. They have an online petition that you might care to sign.

Here are some other sources of information about the project:

Many groups have joined the Dearborn Street Coalition.

Should the Miller Park Neighborhood Association join the Coalition?
Please respond by noon on 12/08/07. Thank you.

Nov 25, 2007

Leaves in street: City can help you help yourself!

I was alarmed by the huge piles of leaves in nearby gutters: way too many to dispose of in my household "clean green" pickups. Wrote to the City and learnt of a new Adopt-A-Drain program to help groups of neighbors use City supplied tools to bag leaves, which are then removed by City trucks.

I will apply for a set of equipment, and encourage you to do so for your street (or you could come and borrow "mine").

Andrew Taylor

The City's full-time drainage crew is still out there working to remove leaves from the gutters but unfortunately they can't keep up with the number of drains, etc. In the end of October the City launched a new Adopt-A-Drain program which aims to help support volunteers/ neighborhoods that are doing exactly what you are doing. This program was established to help provide folks with the supplies needed (rakes, gloves, bags and free pickup for people who get the yard waste service) to keep the drains clean/clear of leaves.

If you have any questions about the program or would like additional information please get back in touch.

Gretchen Muller
Environmental Outreach Program Mgr.
206.684.0570 Office

Odd Fellows Hall

You might be interested in this Capitol Hill neighborhood generated website, which is gathering support for an effort to save the Oddfellows Hall. They have a long list of newspaper articles about the project.

Ann Donovan writes:
Help us compile a list of the top reasons for saving the Odd Fellows Hall (OFH). Here are some to start with:

  • 1. OFH draws thousands of patrons to the Capitol Hill Community each month for classes and performances.
  • 2. It is home to several of Seattle's performing arts incubators including Freehold Theatre and Velocity Dance Center.
  • 3. Is a cultural institution/center for Seattle and for the greater Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Others in the neighborhood have suggested working with the developer:
With regard to Odd Fellows, one thought might be to work with the developer to see that the Century Ballroom is preserved and that rents are kept low enough for this space to ensure the current uses can continue.

I believe in preserving historic buildings and maintaining important/historic uses but I think the best way to get there is to fight irresppnsible development but to support and work with responsible development.

As far as a buyer for Odd Fellows is concerrned, we could not have done much better than Ted Schroth as he is commited to Capitol Hill and committed to preserving historic buildings. If we fight the responsible developers, we will scare them off.

Again, I would encourage concerned citizens to meet with him and voice your concerns. I bet there is a good chance that there is a win win solution here.

And Ann's reply:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It seems though that you aren't very familiar with the history or current uses of the building beyond the ballroom.

Also, I'm sure you are aware that with a offer made on the space, based upon plans to convert it to market rate offices, in itself negates its ability to retain its non-profit tenants -- including the Century Ballroom. While Schroth may be well intentioned in preserving the facade of the building, its value to the community is in its present use as a performing arts center, he might as well tear it down if that's all he cares about. The loss of the space if this deal goes through is one that cannot be recovered from -- plus driving out the non-profit tenants may well do them in entirely.

I think you need to learn a little more about this building.

Nov 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 21, 2007

Subdivision of 227 23rd Ave. E.

This Land Use Application is to subdivide one parcel into three unit lots. The construction of residential units is being reviewed under Project #6120908. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

This project has been assigned to one of DPD's Planning Consultants (Geoff Appel). If you would like more information about the project, please call the assigned planning consultant at (425)741-3800 x211 with the project number (3008134 ,227 23rd Ave. E.).

Comments due by

Nov 20, 2007

Investigative Journalist, Silja Talvi, Reads at The Bottleneck Lounge

Sunday, December 2, 7-8:30 PM, The Bottleneck Lounge,
2328 E. Madison St. (206.323.1098)

The BottleNeck Lounge, in conjunction with ColorsNW Magazine, is pleased to present Seattle-based [98122 resident!] investigative journalist Silja Talvi on Sunday, Dec. 2 for an intimate reading followed by a celebration of the release of her ground-breaking new work, Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System (Seal Press/November 2007). The reading is open to the public and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with the journalist.

Over the course of the past several years Talvi, Senior Editor for In These Times magazine, has traveled to women’s prisons both domestically and internationally, interviewing current and former inmates neglected or forgotten by a penal system that has become overloaded to capacity. Although the number of women in prison has soared to record heights, the system itself has not exponentially increased its services to deal with the high female population. Talvi illuminates the lives of women in prison, putting a human face on the motives behind the crimes and a human story behind the abuse, harassment and lack of proper medical and mental care that is often suffered as a result.

The BottleNeck is delighted to host Ms. Talvi, who will remain at the lounge after the reading for cocktails and conversation.

Nov 19, 2007

East Precinct Police Appreciation Events

There hasn’t been an effort to show officers at the East Precinct appreciation in over two years. You are invited to join us for the East Precinct Police Appreciation 2007 event. We will be serving food and sharing thank–you cards and stories at each of three shift changes, 11am, 8pm (November 27th) and 3am (November 28th). We need your help in one of three ways:
  • Volunteer one hour of your time to help set up and serve food at one of the shift changes
  • Contribute a thank-you card, letter, short story or anecdote showing appreciation
  • Donate food (sealed) / get a restaurant, bakery, cafe or grocery store to donate food
If you’d like to be involved please contact Sita: 322.9330, or Denise: 322.6134,
Please pass the word along!

Thank You

Note: We are not able to accept home baked or home cooked foods. Food from restaurants/bakeries/cafes/grocery stores will be brought to the precinct by our designated pick-up team.

Nov 18, 2007

Parks Department Strategic Business Plan

Dear Community Organization,

This is to let you know about 32 upcoming meetings Seattle Parks and Recreation will hold to gather input from you to help us in the development of a Strategic Business Plan that will guide us in the next five years.

We welcome input in any form, even if people cannot or choose not to come to a meeting.

We also invite you and your members to fill out a short survey, available online (along with details of the plan and the meetings) at

Thank you, and we hope to hear from you.


Dewey Potter
Communications Manager
Seattle Parks and Recreation

(Meetings near to us)
Date Time Location
Monday, Nov. 26 5 – 7 p.m. Garfield Community Center, 2323 E Cherry St.
7 - 9 p.m. Montlake Community Center, 1618 E Calhoun

Wednesday, Nov. 28 5 - 7 p.m. 100 Dexter Ave. N (Parks Administration Bldg.)

Tuesday, Dec. 4 6 – 8 p.m. Graham Visitors Center, Washington Park
Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr. E

Wednesday, Dec. 5 5 – 7 p.m. Yesler Community Center, 917 E Yesler Way

Saturday, Dec. 8 10 a.m.-Noon Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E

Nov 14, 2007

Emergency Preparedness Program this Saturday

The City Office of Emergency Management is offering its SNAP! (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare) training program at Miller Community Center on Saturday November 17th, from 10 AM to 11:30 AM

SNAP is a simple and flexible process designed to help neighborhoods create plans that are specific to the neighborhood needs. You and your neighbors can help each other become prepared by organizing together.

Why Prepare for Disaster?

The Seattle area is likely to experience a moderate to major disaster in the near future. While it is difficult to predict when disasters will happen, the consequences of disasters are very predictable and therefore, the efforts you make to prepare yourself, your family, your workplace and your neighborhood will go a long way in improving both the response and the recovery of our community.

Neighborhood resident speaks at Microsoft Annual Meeting

Microsoft shareholders question exec stock sales

(Here's The Stranger's take on it.)

The Q&A portion included comments by the Rev. Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church, who previously threatened a boycott of Microsoft in response to the company's support of workplace-related gay-rights legislation. He cited past discussions with Microsoft executives and alluded to the possibility of further action against the company, saying he is "probably one of the worst nightmares that this corporation can have."

Later, shareholder Lonnie Lusardo asked what shareholders could do to support the company in opposition to Hutcherson. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, cited shareholders' previous support of the company diversity policy.

Nov 12, 2007

Two Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Events

1) The next MaDCAP neighborhood cleanup will be Saturday, November 17th, beginning at 10:00 am and ending at 11:30. The positive changes in the neighborhood of late allow for a later start time and an earlier finish as we've found there just isn't as much to clean up. We will gather in the open space behind the Prince of Wales apartment building at 1818 20th Ave. Starbuck's coffee will be available beginning at 9:40. The MaDCAP cleanup is designed to bring together committed neighbors interested in bringing about positive change to the area. Being a presence on the street while keeping the neighborhood clean is our goal. We hope you can take the time to join us.

2) Sunday November 18th is the LAST Broadway Farmers' Market of the 2007 Season. Here's a list of what will be available.

The Broadway Farmers Market takes place every Sunday, 11 am - 3 pm, from May 13 through Nov. 18, in the lot behind the Bank of America at Broadway & E. Thomas. The market is operated by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening Washington's small family farms.

Hello Market Shoppers! This Sunday is the LAST MARKET DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING – and the last market day of the 2007 season. Stock up with winter squashes, potatoes, apples, onions and other long-storing produce (keep in a cool, dark cupboard or cellar – check out the links below if you’re inspired to learn more and plan on saving money by buying in bulk from local farmers).

There are plenty of winter greens and vegetables to choose from, for side dishes, raw salads and soups (and remember, left-over soup freezes easily for use at a later date).

Other great stuff to get: local honey, pastries, fresh pasta, delicious salmon, cheeses, meats and eggs (YES, we’ll have eggs on Sunday!). If you don’t see what you’re looking for, be sure to ask at the market info tent – market staff are knowledgeable and it can be surprisingly easy to miss something, even when you’re sure you’ve seen every market stall.

Application to subdivide 1920 E. John Street

The recently sold property at 1920 E. John Street is being developed as 6 townhouses.

You may comment on the application to divide the property into 6 lots for separate sale.

The project is being built as two separate townhouse buildings, fronting onto both E. John Street and onto 20th Ave E.

View Larger Map

1) 201 - 20th Ave E: EAST TRIPLEX (BLDG 1) - NORTH UNIT-203 20TH AVE E; MIDDLE UNIT-201 20TH AVE E; SOUTH UNIT 1928 E JOHN ST. Construct a 3-unit townhouse (east bldg) with attached garages and occupy, per plans (Establish use as multi-family structures, two 3-unit townhouses with garage parking / review & process for 2 AP's under #6139732).

2) 1920 E. John Street: WEST TRIPLEX (BLDG 2) - NORTH UNIT-1920 E JOHN, MIDDLE UNIT- 1922 E JOHN, SOUTH UNIT-1924 E JOHN ST. Description of Work Construct a 3-unit townhouse (west bldg) with attached garages and occupy, per plans (Establish use as multi-family structures, two 3-unit townhouses with garage parking / review & process for 2 AP's under #6139732).

Note to those living in the immediate vicinity: expect puzzled people knocking at your doors looking for these new addresses in due course. East Thomas Street turns effortlessly into East John Street at 20th and John [and both sides of the little island are technically E. John Street] and the adjacent block of 20th Ave E. is the 100 block on one side and the 200 block on the other side of the street! We wondered, when we bought our house, why it said "2009 EAST JOHN STREET" on the porch pillars in such large letters. After the first few visitors got lost on the "wrong" segment of East John Street, we realized why!

Nov 7, 2007

Townhomes, parking, storage

I told you recently of our City's ongoing efforts to update the building code for multifamily housing, which may affect much of our neighborhood.

The proposed changes are fairly minor for our neighborhood: mainly the combining of the lowrise L3 (35' height limit) and L4 (45' limit) into a zone which will only allow 35' buildings, unless some affordable housing is included (then it's 45').

I would like to propose a couple of changes to the townhouse regulations, and seek your input.

Almost all new multifamily construction is townhomes rather than condominiums (we can discuss that, if you wish). I note that most townhouse owners can't get even small cars into the tiny garages provided, and typically use the "garage" for storage instead. Given the proliferation of townhouses (and the failure of the transportation initiative), this is going to create yet more street congestion.

I propose:

1) that the parking garages in townhouses be required to be big enough to allow them to be easily used to park typical cars (and for the occupants to be able to get in and out).

2) that townhouses be required to provide sufficient storage space to allow the residents to stockpile the supplies necessary to survive the emergencies that the City is so eager for us to prepare for.

Questions for you:

a) am I right about the townhouse parking problems, and the lack of storage space?

b) care to send me letters/photos to support the idea?

Andrew Taylor,

Nov 6, 2007

2311 E. John St & 2320 East Madison Street: Land Use

This recent DPD decision gives the go-ahead for a three-story, three-unit townhouse structure at 2311 E John Street. You can read the DPD decision document and you have till 11/19/07 to lodge an appeal, should you wish. The project underwent Administrative Design Review (no public meeting).

The project abuts a larger proposed project (
#3006349) at 2320 East Madison Street: a four-story, mixed use building with five apartment units over 1,245 sq. ft. of commercial. The project had a public Design Review hearing on 3/21/07, and will presumably have one more before it's approved.

Nov 3, 2007

Salmon in Carkeek Park

OK, so the salmon filling the waters of Piper's Creek in Carkeek Park aren't in our neighborhood, but they were an unexpected find during my hike down the trail there on Saturday, and I thought you might like to know about them.

We parked on NW 100th Place, near Holman Road and walked down the trail from the McAbee entrance (map), past the old Piper Orchard, to the stream (and on to the Sound).

Nov 2, 2007

Tuesday is Election Day

Confused? Undecided? Indecisive?

It could be worse! ( This could be true... at least I think it isn't)

Nov 1, 2007

Assorted crime reports

(After several quiet months, all these reports appeared over the last week.
Please submit comments if you can enlighten us about any of them)

speaking of halloween, did anyone hear those shots last night around 10pm? 19th & Howell I believe? Cops were combing the area but none of them would tell me what happened.

11/1/07: 2000 Block E. Madison

Looks like it (Deano's) got tagged with graffiti recently -- all over the doors and one side of the building. Would call the graffiti hotline, but the several times I've tried them in the past had zero response.

10/26/07 300-400 block 22nd Ave E.

We have either left our doors unlocked or someone has slim jimmed into our cars the last few days. The old ones of the fleet that is.. and for that matter the latter is the highest concern. Just wanted to send an email and alert everyone and see if anyone else has had to deal with such nuisance recently.


I wanted to share a neighbor's experience that is greatly upsetting.
Yesterday, 10/31/07, while at home a neighbor who resides near the corner of 23rd and Pine became aware of suspicious activity next door to her home. Upon investigating, she observed 3 young boys (approximately 12-13 yrs.of age ) forcing the garage door open and entering the home. The neighbor, upon observing this activity, then asked the young boys what they were doing where upon they immediately ran off. The neighbor then called the police and waited for their arrival. The police arrived approx. 20 min. later and apparently found crack cocaine that the boys had thrown from their pockets in their haste to leave the scene. Obviously this is upsetting as far as the attempted robbery is concerned but the additional tragedy in my mind is the age of the alleged perpetrators and the possession of the crack. The blatant attempt in mid day by these young boys is very unnerving and leads me to question whether there are serious hard timers directing this guess would be, Yes.
I only know that we as a community need to be aware and do whatever we can to help
save our youth from repeating the cycle of drug use and all it entails.

Remember this for next year....

Everyone in the neighborhood still seems to be relaxing and basking in the warm, happy aura of the "post Club Chocolate City" era.

Sometime soon we'll realize what we want from our City and will have to go and ask City Council for it.

This Crosscut article explains how the Council's budget process works (sort of).