Sep 28, 2007

Former Madison-Millerite runs for Mayor of Mount Vernon

This just in:

Hi Andrew, I am running for Mayor of Mount Vernon--
can you believe it?
no one filed to run against the current mayor, and i think he should be replaced, so i filed myself and now i have a growing campaign!
you can see me on the front page of today's skagit valley herald

--Doris Brevoort

I am keeping reading what's up with my dear Mad-Miller neighborhood, and am frequently referring to the Urban Village work I was involved with in our CAP group when people ask me what was my experience that makes me prepared to be the Mayor? goodness!
Best regards to all of you there at MMad--- Doris

Sep 26, 2007

Blog and Calendar Updates

New on the Miller blog:

  • Multifamily zoning rules changing

  • 22nd & Madison development: Design Review

  • Madison Valley flood prevention may involve Miller area

  • Neighborhood featured in SPD Newsletter

  • Sex Offender in neighborhood

  • County Council Public Safety Town Hall report

  • A few seconds of infamy

  • And on the Miller calendar ( you might be interested in these events: click on them on the calendar to see details and links.

    Multifamily zoning rules changing

    Save the date! The City's revisions to the Multifamily building code may well affect the whole look and feel of our neighborhood. Drop by the meeting, learn, comment, let the City know your views.

    The Multifamily part of neighborhood is mostly the area between Madison and John, consisting of a mix of condos, townhouses, apartments and older single-family houses. The proposed rules will, I suspect, serve to make things more dense. I haven't read them yet. Take a look at them and let me know.

    The business oriented areas around Madison are in Neighborhood Commercial zones, and their building code rules were updated a year or so ago.

    22nd & Madison development: Design Review

    The Sept. 19th Design Review meeting for Jim Mueller's proposed development of the Twilight Exit / Oscar's II site at 22nd & Madison went very smoothly. Both the Design Review Board and the (small number of) neighbors present seemed very impressed with the project. I'll post the Board's report when it's available.

    Jim described his plans to research and memorialize the music history of the neighborhood in the new building. The architects from Mithun then described several alternative plans for a six-story mixed use project on the site (most of the site is zoned 65', a bit of the south end is 40'). Everybody preferred their first scheme. Below (thanks to Jim and Mithun) are a copy of their illustration of it, and a couple of my pictures of their model .

    (click on any image for larger copy)

    My only real concern (echoed by René Soulard) was that the garden terrace was buried in the building and did not benefit from the stunning view of Mount Rainier that the site offers. Below are a couple of views from the adjacent "Views at Madison Park" apartments above the Safeway.

    Madison Valley flood prevention may involve Miller area

    This Seattle Times article summarizes the City's two main possible solutions to Madison Valley flooding. (also a PI article). Details from Greater Madison Valley CC:

    Seattle Public Utilities will host a community meeting to discuss its solutions to the flooding of Madison Valley on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Garfield Community Center. (SPU website has details, contact info.)

    Here are the five alternatives, with storage capacity (mg = million gallons) and cost attached. Seattle Public Utilities favors options 3 and 5.

    1) retain existing detention pond, use Washington Park Playfield as
    storage. 1 mg at pond, 2.5 mg at playfield
    for a total of 3.5 mg . $45 million

    2) distribute storage throughout watershed create new detention sites at Miller Playfield, 650,000 g; 22nd and Madison, 260,000 g; and three sites on MLK, 500,000 g each; retain existing detention pond 1 mg for a total of 3.2 mg
    $40 million. (She noted: The assumption for Miller Playfield is detention will be in a vault beneath the playfield. Ditto for 22nd and Madison, except detention
    happens in a vault beneath the street.)

    3) Divert northwest lobe of watershed to storage facility in Washington Park Arboretum, expand existing detention pond. 1.5 mg at playfield, 1.5 mg at 30th & John for a total of 3.0 mg. $18 - 28 million

    4) Expand storage at 30th & John. 2.4 mg tank. $22 million

    5) 200 block above ground storage Acquire 200 block homes on east side of 30th and west side of 31st plus two homes south of pond; demolish homes and create detention pond/natural drainage feature. Expand existing detention pond.
    4.2 - 4.6 mg total $16.4 - 18.9 million

    Please note that the driver for the selection of options 3 and 5 as preferred alternatives comes from the Mayor. His directive to SPU is threefold:
    • find a solution
    • fast, and at the lowest cost
    • solution should provide highest performance now and into the future
    Wallis Bolz
    Engineering Sub-committee member and
    President, Greater Madison Valley Community Council
    I asked Parks if this might affect the plans for artificial turf at Miller. Kevin Stoops (acting Director of Parks Planning and Development Division) replied:

    It is our understanding that SPU has two primary alternatives for correcting Madison Valley flooding-a storage and conveyance option that would involve use of Washington Park for a storage tank (and there are several options that combine the park site and the new detention site in different fashions) and a buy-out of the homes that are susceptible to the flooding at 30th and John.

    We met with SPU staff to talk about the scenarios that involve Washington Park about a month ago. They did not directly speak to any alternative that involved Miller other than to say that they may look at other storage possibilities in the drainage area at some time in the future, and that Miller is at the far easterly tributary end of that drainage. As such, I do not see any affect on our future Miller PF field resurfacing project at this time. The Miller conversion to synthetic turf is funded for design in 2008, and earmarked for construction in 2009.

    Sep 25, 2007

    Neighborhood featured in SPD Newsletter

    Below is an excerpt from the Sept. 16th Seattle Police Department "Report to the Community", which came with the Sunday newspaper, and is now available online.


    In the East Precinct, it was another kind of outreach. In the Miller Park neighborhood, particularly the intersection of Madison and 21st, precinct officers joined forces with neighborhood Blockwatch groups and various agencies to address the lawlessness and drug-dealing that had made the neighborhood unsafe.

    Police arrested the hardcore lawbreakers and entered them into the criminal justice system. But in addition to more assertive policing, officers tried something completely novel: they set up a kind of outdoor “street school” in which free classes were offered to neighborhood denizens. The classes, which took place in an alley every Tuesday afternoon, offered lessons on everything from how to get a job to learning how to take care of one’s vision. The classes provided a way for people in need to “connect” with people who could help.

    In the long run this dual approach, enforcement and education, improves safety and security.

    At the same time the street school was in session, police worked with the liquor control board to shut down a local tavern that had become a magnet for drug dealers and buyers and an assortment of other lawbreakers. With the tavern closed, the trouble-makers jailed and the needy given help, residents reclaimed their neighborhood.

    Capt. Paul McDonagh, recently promoted to command the East Precinct, credits Lt. John Hayes and Ofc. Tyrone Davis for bringing about the transformation. Said McDonagh: “They have done a lot of good work out there.”

    Sex Offender in neighborhood

    I note a level 2 sex offender in our neighborhood. (See SPD FAQ )

    You can look them up by Census Tract. Census tract 76 (most of our neighborhood) has none. Tract 79 has nine: one is noted above, the other 8 all live in the 900 block of 16th Avenue, presumably at "Interaction Transition", a wonderful halfway house whose residents have never (to my knowledge) caused any problems in their neighborhood.

    Here's SPD's general sex offender information page, with links to this page of safety information, among other resources.

    County Council Public Safety Town Hall report

    The Stranger's blog (the SLOG) has this report on last night's King County Council Town Hall meeting on "Criminal Justice Reform: what is to be done?".

    I've added my letter to the Council as the first comment on the Slog entry (I couldn't stay till the end of the meeting). I cc:'d the letter to the City Councilmembers who worked on the issue, and got this reply from Tom Rasmussen:

    Thank you Andrew I appreciate receiving your comments. I was not able to attend last night due to scheduling issues.
    Councilmember Licata and I added funding into the city's budget to support these programs. The GOTS program appears to be very promising and will have my continued support. The Clean Dreams project may need more adjustment and work to ensure that it is making a difference in the community.

    I would like to work with Councilmember Gossett to continue our efforts to reduce crime and to help the people who are involved or likely to be involved in crime to change their lives for the better.

    Tom Rasmussen

    Seattle City Council

    (Here's a Real Change article about the Clean Dreams project, and a couple of Seattle Times articles (first, second one)

    Sep 24, 2007

    A few seconds of infamy

    Some people get their 15 minutes of fame.

    Others of us have to make do with about 15 seconds.

    Sep 20, 2007

    What Seattle is reading?

    Seen on Facebook today.

    This says something deep and profound about Seattle.

    I'm just not sure what!

    Sep 19, 2007

    Local Madison Street Bars to patronize

    Flyer below (click on it for legible version) is by request of the Bottleneck Lounge. Here are more details.

    And to give equal time to the "competition", did you know that the (soon to be redeveloped) Twilight Exit was voted "Best Dive Bar of 2006"?

    And note that you can VOTE in the 2007 poll!

    Sep 17, 2007

    Events for week of 9/17/07

    Wednesday Sept 19th, 6:30 PM, at Miller Community Center

    Design Review Early Design Guidance Meeting for Jim Mueller's project ( at
    2051 E MADISON ST) to demolish and redevelop the land where the Twilight Exit (formerly Oscar's II) now sits. Your comments at this first meeting will carry extra weight with the Board

    Here's an overview of the Design Review process, and here are notes on how to get involvedpermit status information and here's what little we know about the project.

    This is the first development on Madison since the Safeway project was built. It's a large piece of land - runs all the way down 22nd to Hank and Judith's furniture workshop. The development will surely set the tone for the rest of the development that will be coming to Madison. Jim is very concerned about neighborhood views and will welcome your views and desires. It's an open secret that he's been negotiating with Dean Falls to purchase and develop his properties (using essentially the existing plans - here are pictures) - no news on that front.


    Thursday September 20th, 6 PM, Yesler Community Center

    You are cordially invited to join Seattle Neighborhood Group in honoring community volunteers at the Sixth Annual Community Builder Awards Reception. The awards celebrate grassroots efforts to make local communities better and safer places to live (MPNA and MaDCAP have been awardees in the past). Here are all the details.

    This year's awardees include the Coleman Neighborhood Association, a very active and well-organized group of neighbors in the Central Area and Lt, John Hayes (who's been such a staunch supporter of the neighborhood) . Please join us in celebrating these local neighbors' efforts:

    Location: Yesler Community Center, 917 Yesler Way, 6 - 7:30 PM. (Short program at 6:30).


    Saturday, September 22nd, 10:15 AM to noon: MaDCAP neighborhood cleanup

    The positive changes in the neighborhood of late allow for a later start time 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 10:15. 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.

    Monday, September 24, 6 PM, 1522 - 14th Ave.

    The King County Council is formally hosting a Town Hall meeting in the Central Area:

    6:00pm-Public Reception, 6:30-9:00pm-program

    First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), 1522 14th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122

    Our neighborhood has been long aware of the effects of lawlessness on our lives. We were all very relieved when the problems went away, but were very concerned when similar issues arose down at 23rd & Union.

    I've been very impressed by the innovative efforts of Lt. Hayes' GOTS team, and of King County Prosecutor Ellen O'Neill-Stephens outreach efforts in our community. I'm eager to hear what's being planned by the County Council. I hope that the Councilmembers will hear a balanced spectrum of views from the audience. They should be particularly interested in hearing of the long term effects of lawlessness on our lives.

    Don't forget the online Miller area events calendar, for easy access to these and other neighborhood-related activities.

    Town Hall meeting: "Criminal Justice Reform: What is to be done?"

    Dear Friend,

    For only the third time in 14 years the King County Council is formally hosting a Town Hall meeting in the Central Area and I would like very much for you to attend and participate in it. The theme of this forum is, "Criminal Justice Reform: What is to be done?" The meeting is designed to allow concerned citizens to hear about programs the county has introduced to reduce crime, prevent recidivism, lower the disproportionate number of minorities in our jails and courts as well as other innovative reforms we've instituted to improve the operations of our criminal justice system.

    But the most important part of the meeting, however, is to hear community folks ideas on what King County government officials should be doing to lower the crime rate, reduce jail cost, help victims and offenders and make neighborhoods throughout our city and County safer. Any one desiring to testify will be given two minutes to do so. This exciting interchange with County Councilmember's will be held:

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    6:00pm-Public Reception, 6:30-9:00pm-program

    First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME)
    1522 14th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122

    About 70 % of all the general tax revenue ( $386 million) coming to County government goes to support criminal justice agencies-sheriff deputies, prosecuting attorneys, District and Superior Court, two adult and one youth jail, Public Defense-and approximately 4% ($20 million) in tax dollars is used to fund alternatives to incarceration-drug and mental health courts, Work Release, day reporting, youth and family counseling, employment assistance programs for youth and young adults and so on. One crucial question the County Council will be addressing in the near future is whether or not we should invest more of your tax dollars on jails or on intervention and prevention programs.

    This event is in my district, therefore, I really want a good showing of community folks there, so PLEASE do everything you can to clear your calendar next Monday evening, September 24th, in order to join me at First AME Church. Bring relatives, friends, coworkers, if at all possible. RSVP me NOW, if you plan to come!

    Kamilah Brown on behalf of Larry Gossett
    Legislative Aide to Councilmember Gossett
    516 Third Avenue, Rm 1200, Seattle, WA 98104
    (206) 296-1002
    (206) 296-0198 (fax)

    Sep 14, 2007

    Cottage Housing in Madison-Miller Urban Village

    During our neighborhood planning efforts about a decade ago, and the subsequent rezoning efforts, the southern part of the Madison-Miller Urban Village was rezoned (map) to allow "residential small lot, tandem cottage" housing - see this City zoning chart for a terse explanation.

    Our intent, as I recall was, to prevent too much "gentrification" by:

    • allowing people to stay in the neighborhood by developing part of their property, while remaining in their existing house on the rest of the property.
    • allowing more small developments like the "Pine Street Cottages" to keep housing affordable.
    I note that, after a decade, one such "cottage housing" project has finally been proposed and approved. Here's the text of the DPD decision, which notes "This will be the first cottage housing development on this section of 22nd Avenue." (It goes from 22nd to 23rd).

    I'm glad to see that at least one of our ideas is finally coming to pass. Let's hope that it helps to make some part of our neighborhood a little less unaffordable. And maybe it will inspire us to take part in the new neighborhood planning efforts that the Mayor is promising us!

    View Larger Map

    Sep 13, 2007

    Outdoor Pool Project

    Dear Outdoor Pool Enthusiasts:

    We now have a name for our organization and a draft manifesto. Your comments are welcome.

    "We are Project Splash! Neighbors dedicated to building an outdoor public pool in Seattle, east of I-5, for the enjoyment of all citizens. No waitlists. No membership dues. No more driving across town to splash in a pool on a hot summer day. This will be a pool in your area, one you belong to already."

    If you'd like to be a part of the project team, please join us for our next
    Steering Committee Mtg Thursday Sept 20th at 6:30pm in the Northeast Public Library Community Room

    Please attend one of our public meetings. Kevin Stoops, Parks Dir. of Planning and Kathy Whitman, Parks Aquatics Director will be in attendance. Show your support for this project and help us shape the initial design concept.

    Monday October 15th - Miller Community Center - 330 19th Ave E in Capitol Hill 7:00pm

    Tuesday October 23rd - Meadowbrook Community Center - 10517 35th Ave. NE at 7:15pm

    Christine Larsen
    Project Splash!

    Oct. 3rd Party to honor Chuck Weinstock

    Party to celebrate Chuck Weinstock's retirement after 19 years as service with Capitol Hill Housing. Here are full details.

    Capitol Hill Housing is the major landowner in the Miller area, and runs its several low income apartment complexes in our area impeccably. Chuck has been a wonderful advocate for everything we hold dear in our neighborhood.

    in brief:
    Wednesday, October 3rd, 4 to 8:30 PM
    Upstairs at Capitol Hill Housing office:
    1406 - 10th Ave
    Seattle WA 98122

    food, beer and wine
    rsvp to

    Sep 12, 2007

    Election Suggestion: a virtual election meeting

    The General Election is on Nov. 7th. The only City Council seat in any doubt is:

    City of Seattle Council Position No. 3, with these votes in the Primary:

    Venus Velazquez
    31554 43.72%

    Bruce Harrell 20520 28.43%

    I hereby suggest that you:

    1. Click on the candidate's names (above) , visit their websites and read their platforms
    2. Send me ( a couple of questions to the candidates (perhaps about neighborhood issues). Even better, post your question as a comment to this post, then we'll all see what the popular questions are.
    I will forward a selection of questions to the candidates and post their answers here.

    Sound like a plan? Save us all some (lovely fall evening) time!

    Dog in Deano's Grocery

    A neighbor noted:

    I live in the neighborhood and for the past week I have notice a puppy inside Deano's Grocery. This morning, there was a note on the door stating "the dog is well cared for - owner"
    It concerns me very much as I find it odd the owner would keep a puppy inside the awful store. The puppy has license tags on it and I have notice water in there, but I find it sad as the puppy appears to be alone when I leave in the morning and when I come home at night. Just wanted to know if anyone knew why this dog was being kept in there. I have considered calling animal welfare, but considering the dog looks healthy, there is little they would do. Rather the dog may be moved to even worse location.

    My reply:

    Thanks for your concern. I noticed the dog a few days ago and assumed it was a guard dog.

    As far as I know, there's only one person living in the building, a caretaker who lives above the store. A while ago he emerged from a doorway on the side street (Denny, between Deano's Market and the Tire place) and chatted with me.

    You could try knocking on the side door and talking to the caretaker, or you could call Animal Control, or perhaps our Community Police Team Officer (Tyrone Davis, 206-684-4373,

    I'm bcc:ing Jim Mueller (who's interested in buying the property, and talks regularly with Dean Falls): maybe he can spread some light on this.
    As I noted, I presume the dog is to deter squatters from breaking into the store, which seems all for the best.

    And her reply:

    Thanks for your reply. I didn't know someone lived there, so it would make sense if it was their dog. I will continue monitoring the dog to make sure it continues to appear healthy and taken care of. It will be great when someone eventually does something useful with the property.

    Sep 11, 2007

    Neighborhood Development activity

    (vacation over, time to catch up on City activities)

    Here are some recent Planning Department Public notices for major development projects in our area that might interest you.

    2203 E UNION ST: Land Use Application for Jim Mueller's project at 23rd & Union.

    Here are several Miller blog posts about it:

    A neighbor wrote in to URGE YOU to send your comments to DPD, if you have put them on the website (and even if you haven't):

    Comments on the Miller Community Council site are not official to the City design process unless they are also sent to the city. Joanna
    The comment period has been extended to the 19th of September.

    Thank you!

    General Info:

    Department of Planning & Development
    Public Resource Center
    700 Fifth Ave. Ste. 2000
    P.O. Box 34019
    Seattle, WA 98124-4019

    (206) 684-8467 phone
    (206) 233-7901 fax

    Send comments to:

    Lisa Rutzick
    Project: 3005925 ( 2203 E UNION ST)
    Land Use Planner
    Department of Planning & Development
    700 Fifth Ave. Ste. 2000
    P.O. Box 34019
    Seattle, WA 98124-4019
    T: 386-9049
    F: 386-4039


    2051 E MADISON ST: Notice of Design Review Early Design Guidance Meeting (Sept. 19, 6:30 PM, Miller Community Center). This is the first Design Review Hearing for Jim Mueller's project to demolish and redevelop the land where the Twilight Exit (formerly Oscar's II) now sits. Your comments at this first meeting will carry extra weight.

    Here's an overview of the Design Review process, and here are notes on how to get involved and here's the permit status information and here's what little we know about the project.


    2320 E MADISON ST: Notice of Application. A NEW application for a development on Madison. Anyone know any detials, or anybody involved? A Design Review Hearing surely awaits us!

    Sep 8, 2007

    Storm in a D-cup

    (explanation of title: Anglo-American issues)

    On Thursay night my wife reported having seen signs on the Brix condominium project on Broadway (where the old Safeway was) indicating that Hooters was moving in there!
    On Friday morning I took pictures of the signs and posted them on the Capitol Hill Yahoo group and sent them to some newspapers.

    The results included articles on the Seattle PI Big Blog and in Saturday's newspaper, and an extensive discussion on the Stranger's blog, all of which figured out that it was in fact a hoax.

    The Stranger's blog posting generated an huge number of comments, with a wide-ranging discussion that including speculation on where the gay center of Seattle now was (the Central Area, they speculated), the location of good gay bars there, and whether Thompson's Point of View could become a gay hangout!

    From a Capitolhillnews subscriber:

    The ACTUAL tenants set to occupy the 7,500 sq ft of available retail space at Brix are:

    - Dilettante Chocolates (replacing their old site just down the block with this new, larger flagship store featuring an expanded menu including brunch and lite suppers, and the company's first Chocolate Martini Bar...)

    - Espresso Vivace (slated to be one of the two "flagship retailers" at the location)

    - Hour Eyes Optical

    - With only ONE retail space of 820 sq. ft. remaining, you can pretty much rest assured that whomever DOES take the space will have a minor retail presence.

    And the final word.