Feb 28, 2008

Land Use Notice: 1920 E. John

1920 E. John (DPD decision document)
Land Use Application to subdivide one parcel into six unit lots. The construction of residential units has been approved under Project #6139732. 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.
Appeals of this decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than 03/13/2008.


15th Avenue dining....

Feb 26, 2008

Playing possum...

Feb 25, 2008

Neighborhood Planning Forum this Saturday

This coming Saturday (March 1st) the City and the U-Dub are holding a neighborhood planning forum. It's by invitation, but you're free to ask to attend. The SmarterNeighbors blog has a copy of Sally Clarke's invitation to the event.

You may recall hearing rumblings about the neighborhood plans that many of us worked on a decade ago being dusted off and updated. The Mayor brought up the idea, but some people were concerned that he was just trying to hijack what had been a wonderfully democratic idea. Councilmember Sally Clark (who'd been a Plan Steward in a previous life), got involved, and is helping to run this forum. She's also produced a "Neighborhood Plan Implementation Audit Report", which addresses the ugly truth that we all worked hard to produce our neighborhood plans, then the administration changed and...... not a lot came out of the plans.

The Spring 1996 edition of the Miller Times will give you some of the flavor of (my) enthusiasm for the the planning process. The final (Fall 99) Miller Times noted some progress, but you'll see that the grand revitalized Madison Street is hardly finished yet! The final product, the Madison-Miller Plan is now online for your perusal.

So, are we ready to give neighborhood planning a second chance? I remain guardedly conflicted! I learnt a lot about land use, and met many enthusiastic and capable people (both volunteers and City personnel) but there's really very little in the way of actual RESULTS of all that work for me to point at. Maybe if we all go along to the forum and keep up a low mutter of "Implement, implement, implement, don't just plan.....", something good will happen.

However, the Department of Planning and Development has already revamped its planning rules for neighborhood commercial areas, and is busily working on revising the rules for multifamily residential zones, so there may not be much leeway available for neighborhood planners anyway....

BTW there's a bubbling undercurrent of neighborhood concern about the revised multifamily zoning codes, of which you may be hearing soon (you can revisit my previous rant in the interim).

Boren Avenue / Madison Street paving projects

See: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/boren_madison_pave.htm

Project Location

• Boren Avenue from Broadway to Denny Way
• Madison Street from Terry Avenue to 18th Avenue E


• Paving: April 2008 through October 2008
• Street trees and spot sidewalk repairs: During 2008 and 2009

What to Expect During Construction

• Lane closures during off-peak hours
• Pedestrian detours
• Parking restrictions
• Moderate construction noise and dust
• Normal work hours will be 7 am – 4 pm, with occasional night time and weekend work
• SDOT will distribute regular notices with more location specific information during construction

Project Contacts
• George Frost, Public Outreach Coordinator, george.frost@seattle.gov, (206) 615-0786
• Jessica Murphy, Project Manager, jessica.murphy@seattle.gov, (206) 684-0178

Feb 23, 2008

Gangs in your community?

Recall the recent concerns about gangs around Meany School (and an apparent gang-related shooting at Northgate)? Here's a Thursday, Feb. 26th community forum at the Douglass-Truth library: click on the notice for a larger, readable version. 

Click image for larger image

Feb 21, 2008

Meet the new Principal of Meany School

Sent: Sat 2/16/2008 9:54 AM
To: McCrath-Smith, Stacey

Saw you mentioned in the Seattle Times today, as the new principal of Meany Middle School.

Our neighborhood association has been supporting the area around the school ever since we started the association when we found drug dealers setting up shop there in 1989.

Welcome to the neighborhood,

February 20, 2008

Thank you. I will be at Montlake Elementary on Monday the 25th from 3:30-4:30 for a meet and greet. Stop by. I look forward to coming back to the neighborhood and working with you.

Stacey McCrath-Smith

GOTS Project at 23rd & Union

The GOTS project, which started on Madison, and moved to 23rd & Union when Deano's closed, is described in today's Robert Jamieson column in the PI: a simple, practical, humane way to bring help to the people trapped on the streets. Here's a longer PI article about it.

Feb 20, 2008

Doggie doo

(Yes, it's come to that). As the owner of a corner lot with many yards of parking strip, across the street from some condos, I seem to get to enjoy dog owners' little leavings rather more than I would care to, especially when stumbling out to the car in the dark.

I write to note that we're a lot nicer about this issue than are New Yorkers, but even Seattleites may have a finite supply of patience. And yes, dear dog owners, you're welcome to put your little bag of goodies in my trash can. I remain puzzled by the people who go to the trouble of scooping and bagging, but then abandon the baggie: doesn't happen much round here, but you do see it around town. At least I assume that's what's in the bags: haven't actually looked.

And yes, the baggie dispensers in the shapes of bones or fire hydrants dangling from leashes are terminally cute.

Helicopter noise

Woken up this morning at about 6 AM by helicopters hovering persistently overhead?

I suspect it was news helicopters reporting on a fire in a building at 19th & Pine....

Yep, the Central District News is right on it! Check back with them, they're professionals, they'll keep you updated with video, pictures, etc!

Affordable Housing Forum

(click for larger image, or go to http://www.seattle.gov/planningcommission/ )

Our neighborhood has always supported a wide range of housing options.

Feb 19, 2008


Feb 18, 2008

Feb 16, 2008

Like natural foods, want to get more involved in your community?

Madison Market's Central Coop is looking for volunteers to run for its Board of Trustees. If you don't know the Coop already, here's the website: http://www.madisonmarket.com/
Any member is eligible to run. Applications are due March 15 and voting will be done in May (if you don't run, at least vote!). The commitment is 5-10 hours a month. The full Board meets once a month (the first Tuesday of the month at 6pm), and Trustees are required to serve on one committee. Committees meet one Tuesday a month, also. It's fun, it's a great way to serve the community, there are always great snacks at the meetings, and Trustees even get a discount at the store!

If you are interested, you can pick up an application at "Info Central" at the Coop, or please email me with questions.

Thank you!

Anna Teter

New Principal for Meany Middle School

District appoints Cleveland principal

Meany Middle School principal Princess Shareef will become principal of Cleveland High School next year, Seattle Public Schools has announced.

She'll replace interim principal Wayne Floyd, who is taking a district position, helping to implement part of the Southeast Education Initiative. Cleveland's previous principal, Donna Marshall, left the district abruptly just before the beginning of the 2007 school year, when Cleveland's remodeled building opened on Beacon Hill.

Stacey McCrath-Smith will replace Shareef as principal of Meany in July. McCrath-Smith is now interim principal at John Marshall Alternative School, ushering the school through its final year. John Marshall is closing this spring.

Feb 14, 2008

Land Use Notices: 22nd & Union; 23rd & Madison

From the DPD Land Use notices for 2/14/08:

Design Review Hearing for 2203 E. Union Street - Jim Mueller's big proposed project at 23rd & Union.

The proposal is for a six-story structure with a 91 residential units and 4,232 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level. Parking for 95 vehicles to be provided below grade. Project includes a contract rezone from Neighborhood Commercial 2 with a 40 ft. height limit and pedestrian designation (NC2P-40) to Neighborhood Commercial 3 with a 65 ft. height limit and pedestrian designation (NC3P-65').


Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Seattle Central Community College
1701 Broadway

Room 3211

Here's assorted information about the project.


2331 E. Madison Street: application to subdivide a parcel.

Land Use Application to subdivide one parcel into three parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 1,721 sq. ft., B) 671 sq. ft. and C) 1,172 sq. ft.

No hints of any proposed buildings on the site yet.

Gangs & Meany Middle School (and Monday's safety forum)

I recently pointed out a couple of reports on the Central District News police scanner transcripts about strange occurrences at Meany Middle School.

Today the KING TV website has a feature about gang activity near Meany Middle School: both the report and the embedded video of the 6:30 TV news feature include an interview with MPNA co-founder René Soulard.

Note also:

  • KUOW program from Wednesday about gang activity in Washington: summary, links, audio.
  • A Central District News summary of the KUOW program.
  • A KING TV /MSNBC report about gangs & Meany from earlier in the day.
Several reports available about the meeting this Monday regarding the shooting murder at 23rd & Union:

Happy Valentine's Day

Feb 11, 2008

Yours Truly is now 59

Colleagues at the lab helped me celebrate with brownies.

Local News on Police Scanner

The Central District News people dutifully listen to the Police scanner and transcribe it for us.

Two local items from Monday's report:

2:05pm - Three black males, teens, hanging out around Meany Middle School, appear to be waiting for kids to get out. Later said that this group was different than last week, that this group was retaliation for last week's group. Dueling gangs at a middle school? Today's group last seen headed toward Safeway at 20th & Madison.

2:51pm - 23rd & John - Group of about 10 black males, 13-14 years old, throwing rocks at passing cars

Previous Meany School report was 1/24/08:

3pm - Meany Middle School - School security is asking that two non-students be removed from the property. Described as known gang members, black male 14, red sweatshirt, other in a black hoody.

Central District News also has a good report on the 23rd & Union Safety Forum.

Feb 9, 2008

Democratic Caucus at Mt. Zion

A few thoughts about Saturday's Democratic Caucus:

  • Great crowds of people, coming from all directions
  • Sign-in lines moved quickly and efficiently (Thank you, Mike Clarke, for helping with our precinct)
  • Many young voters, some older ones, even a few babies and children.
  • Saw assorted friends and acquaintances, got to meet our next door neighbors!
  • Longtime Miller neighbor Andy Bates did a wonderful job in keeping the whole show running efficiently, despite the very large crowds.
  • We were a number of precincts from the very southern border of the 43rd District.
  • Our precinct (43-1887) is roughly Madison to John to 19th.
  • We were meeting at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, but much of the 43rd District is north of Madison, perhaps explaining the small number of African-Americans in the crowd: our precinct (43-1887) roughly corresponds to Census tract 76, which reported 15% African-Americans in the 2000 Census.
  • Some precincts had to be sent to an overflow site across 19th.
  • Some groups in other rooms at the church, about 4 precincts in the sanctuary
  • Our precinct (43-1887) got the choir stalls.
  • A very efficient and unflappable young man volunteered to lead us: the rules were interpreted loosely, to everyone's satisfaction.
  • Votes were tallied, preliminary delegate tally announced: 7 Obama and 2 Clinton delegates. Headcount included 1 Edwards and 5 uncommitted votes.
  • People got to speak for 1 minute to promote their candidates: we heard from both Obama and Clinton supporters.
  • Speakers were all warmly and respectfully received. Nobody seemed too shy to speak
  • We learnt to applaud by waving our hands in the air (a "deaf clap"), rather than clapping them together, to avoid interfering with other groups in the room.
  • Several people then changed their votes, but the delegate tally remained unchanged.
  • We broke into groups to elect delegates and alternates to go to the District convention.
  • We then dispersed, all still apparently friends.
  • Here's a SLOG report from the adjacent precinct ( 43-1888): 7 Obama 2 Clinton 1 Kucinich.
The crowds seemed larger than anybody's expectation, but it was all handled in a cooperative and cheerful manner. Potential for chaos, but everything worked out well, and democracy (at the very grassroots level) seems to be alive and well.

Here are notes from another precinct, a report from the Central District News and a Capitol Hill roundup. Ths Stranger has oodles and oodles of peoples' reports and impressions.

Andy Bates said that turnout was about twice their wildest prediction: about 25% of the registered voters in the area!

Feb 8, 2008

Land Use Application for 2051 E. Madison Street

Land Use Application to allow a six-story building, containing 96 residential units with 6,711 sq. ft. of retail at ground level. Parking for 104 vehicles will be located below grade.

Project: 3007358
Address: 2051 E MADISON ST

Comments may be submitted through: 02/20/2008

Here's lots of information about the proposed development

Feb 7, 2008

Vote as you please, but please vote.

You might care to cast a vote TODAY for your favorite neighborhood blog in the Metroblogging Blarch Badness competition.

Th candidates are:

  • Ballard Avenue
  • Blogging Georgetown
  • Capitol Hill Triangle
  • Mid Beacon Hill
  • Miller Park Neighborhood Association

Here are the background details.

23rd & Union Neighborhood Safety Forum

Click image to enlarge, print, share

Citizens Budget Conference

Addendum: Seattle P-I article about the budget conference

(click to enlarge)

Here are all the gory details.

Get in at the beginning as the City of Seattle kicks off its two-year budget process! Find out why budgeting matters to you and how to get involved in the decisions that affect your neighborhood. Join the Mayor, City Councilmembers, and representatives of many City departments in dialogue about Seattle's revenue and spending priorities.




Feb 6, 2008

Public Safety News

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat has an article about our 19 year struggle with the drug issues on Madison, based partly on a long talk I had with him. See CD News for responses to the article.

Other Seattle Times articles today:

Felon charged in Central Area restaurant shooting

Not-guilty plea in fatal Capitol Hill stabbing

Seattle police hope to meet hiring goal

Excellent summary of 23rd & Union murder information at Central District News.

23rd & Union Neighborhood Safety Forum

Monday February 11, 2008

6:30PM – 8:00PM
The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
2116 E Union St. Seattle WA 98122
(E. Union St. between 21st and 22nd Ave.)

Where's your Caucus?

Some lucky people get to go to a Caucus on Feb. 9th at Victrola!

Yes, the Washington Presidential Caucuses are on Saturday Feb 9th.

Do they matter? Apparently a bit, but not much!
(That was written a while ago, now they DO MATTER: see 1st comment and this post)

If I were a
Democrat, I'd go to the WA Democratic Caucus finder, and learn that I should report to Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 1 PM on Saturday Feb 9th. (I'm Precinct SEA 43-1887, your mileage may vary).

If I were a
Republican, I'd go to the King County GOP Caucus locater, and learn that I have to go all the way to Roosevelt High School at 1 PM on Saturday Feb 9th.

Here's an explanation of caucusing from Crosscut, and a Seattle Times article and a Seattle Times explanation.

The Washington Primary is on February 19th, and will matter some for Republicans, but not much for Democrats. You've missed the mail-in registration deadline, but can register in person to vote, up to 15 days before the election (which is Feb 19).

Community Police Academy

Want to learn about the role of police officers? What is CSI (Crime Scene Investigation)? How about having the opportunity to ride-along with a police officer when patrolling Seattle neighborhoods?

The Seattle Police Department is now taking applications for the Spring Community Police Academy to start Thursday, March 13, 2008. Classes are held once a week for 10-weeks from 5:30 pm to 9:15 pm.

The Community Police Academy is designed to provide Seattle residents an opportunity to learn first hand about how the Seattle Police Department works. Classes focus on patrol operations and procedures, narcotics, SWAT, CSI, use of force, domestic violence, arson/bomb, arrest procedures, and criminal law, including ride-alongs with patrol officers. Graduates benefit from the facts and best practices of policing, and receive a program certificate upon completion of the course.

Space is limited, so you are encouraged to apply early. The deadline to submit your application is February 8, 2008. To apply, go to http://www.seattle.gov/police/programs/policeacademy/default.htm or call 206-684-8672 for more information.

Feb 3, 2008

23rd & Union and Police presence

(Why should we care, other than general humanity and John Donne? Well, decades ago, before the local drug trade was all Deano's, all the time, the "business" used to ping-pong back and forth between Madison, Union or Cherry, depending on which neighborhood made the most noise. They all left us when the bar closed, but will they be back if it gets too hot for them on Union?)

The tragic killing at 23rd & Union will probably accelerate plans to bring a mini Police Station to that block, and will surely result in a public meeting, similar to the one regarding Shannon Harps' death. (BTW see pictures and appeal)

Robert Jamieson's Seattle P-I article, "23rd and Union claims another", reminds us of of the many tragic events that have happened near that intersection over the years, and provoked a wide range of comments. I'll reproduce a very pertinent one here (because I can't link directly to it):

Posted by DefendYourLife at 2/2/08 12:22 a.m.

23rd and Union... brings back some wonderful memories.

I worked that area about 16 years ago. I was a 3rd watch East Pct patrol officer. It was terrible then. Gangs. Drugs. Shootings on a nightly basis. I really tried hard to help clean it up.

One night, my partner and I saw a drug deal going on. The guy saw us and ran into the liquor store at 23rd and Union. We followed him and questioned him.

In the process, he punched my partner in the face, and grabbed me by the neck. I held on, pulled my nightstick and hit him once in the head.

I got pulled outside, where he landed on me and tried to pull my gun out of my holster. My partner came to help, and all the while we were surrounded by "members of the community" who kicked at us yelling "Rodney King! Police Brutality!" A nice white couple driving by filed a complaint for excessive use of force, despite the fact that I was pinned on my back.

After 2 more officers arrived we were able to get the guy off me. He had a big bag of rock cocaine in his pocket and was built like a professional body builder. Of course, Ide probably be that buff if Ide just been released from prison 2 weeks earlier for a violent forceable rape of a stranger.

I was investigated for six months for excessive use of force, for hitting him once with a nightstick. I was put through hell with questioning and statements. I put my transfer in to go the North Precinct immediately after the investigation, which said of course we were completely justified.

So while the media (not Jamieson) is busy slamming cops, I still remember what happened to me when I put my life on the line to help clean up 23rd and Union.

And any of you that want to say "Well thats just part of the job." Um.. no it isnt. That was my reward for doing a great job.

Being a really good cop means putting your nose in other peoples business. It means telling people what to do when you need to. It means you do it, or you are now the problem because I might just have enough to deal with already, without dealing with your mouth too.

But being a really good cop in this city is just to costly to your mental health, physical health, and your career.

Feb 1, 2008

23rd & Union Candlelight Vigil views (and a memorial fund)

From the Central District News blog:
I spoke with a member of the family and he expressed his gratitude for the kind gestures and sympathy from the neighborhood following this tragic event. He stated that the family plans on sending Safei's body home to Ethiopia. They can use all of the help they can get because it is a very expensive process.

If you would like to make donations, they can be made at any Bank of America branch to the Degene Fund (acct #35678655) Any amount is appreciated.