Apr 30, 2008

Pedestrian Safety website from Councilmember Licata

Councilmember Nick Licata today launched “Critical Crossings,” , a new, interactive website dedicated to pedestrian safety. Councilmember Licata said, “This site is dedicated to improving
pedestrian safety in Seattle by posting images of traffic intersections and crosswalks submitted by citizens who believe intersections are critical to their safety.”

He invites you to snap a picture of an intersection and email a digital version to the address below. Please be sure to format your picture according to the instructions at the bottom of this page. Sorry, but he will not be able to post photos that are not formatted accordingly nor will he be able to post hard copy photos you might want to snail-mail him. (what, no scanner at City Hall? the one on my $99 printer does just fine!)

To submit your entries:

  • Email your digital photos to his legislative assistant at frank.video@seattle.gov. In the subject line type: "Critical Crossings".
  • Include any comments you wish to make about each intersection you submit.
  • Let him know if you want to post your email address next to your photo so others can contact you.
  • Submit images in JPG or GIF format. The image should be 640 x 480 pixels or larger. To insure quality, images smaller then 640 x 480 pixels will not be posted on this site.
Visit the website for more details: pictures to be posted mid-May and monthly thereafter.

Apr 28, 2008

Live music at 15th Ave Volunteer Cleanup on May 10th

WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2008 • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

WHERE: Group Health Courtyard, 15th & John

START 10:00 AM: Live Music! Matthew Meldon, a renowned guitarist fluent in a wide range of styles, from elegant jazz to romantic Spanish classical music. Welcome by special guests, free t-shirt, Starbucks coffee and pastries, bagels provided by The Bagel Deli

SWEEP: 15th Avenue between Denny and Roy, all cleaning supplies will be provided

FINISH 12:00 PM: Live Music! Better World with trombonist/vocalist Marc Smason and diva Joanne Klein, a set that will range from fusion to bebop, and vocal ballads to Latin grooves.

The 15th Ave Street Sweep is a community cleanup by neighborhood residents, teams from local businesses and organizations, and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce members. Volunteers will sweep the sidewalks, pick up litter, clean windows, paint over graffiti, and remove outdated posters from light poles. Nearly 100 volunteers showed up for the cleanup last fall. All cleaning supplies will be provided.

“This will be a wonderful chance for neighborhood residents and business owners to get to know each other,” said Robert Sondheim, Chair of the CHCC Clean and Safe Committee. “By volunteering a few hours of their time, each person will have the satisfaction of contributing to the beautification of Capitol Hill, and they’ll have fun doing so.”

This is the first cleanup on 15th Avenue, but in the past two years, there have been similar events on Broadway and the Pike/Pine corridor. The CHCC would eventually like to include all of Capitol Hill’s business districts in future sweeps.

About The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce:
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is committed to supporting an economically vital, livable community and promoting Capitol Hill as a unique urban neighborhood that is welcoming to everyone. The CHCC accomplishes this through a variety of methods including but not limited to: studying the retail climate along the Broadway corridor, building a relationship with the Mayor's office and City Council, engaging Sound Transit leadership on the Capitol Hill light rail station and public property improvements. The CHCC is also developing "clean and safe" programs that are community-controlled and not subject to the fluctuations of the City budget.

Sponsored by Group Health, Starbucks, and BECU


Sandy Stahl
(206) 325-1493

Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
(206) 328-6646

Two Bottleneck Lounge Events

1) Join Skillet (the wandering Airstream trailer diner) at The BottleNeck Lounge for The Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 3

2) Monday, May 5th: Will those big hats and that giant guitar really fit in the Bottleneck Lounge?

Apr 27, 2008

Neighborhood Calendars and Sites

The Miller neighborhood sits at the confluence of Capitol Hill and the Central area. I've been using this blog and my online calendar to keep you updated on neighborhood events, and have been sort of straying over the edges in both directions.

I'm happy to report that help in these efforts is converging from both directions.

To the south of us, the Central District News blog is allowing everyone to report and discuss all sorts of issues (don't miss their Skillet news). They have an online neighborhood calendar.

To the west of us, the actively reviving Capitol Hill Community Council has a new website with forums, announcements etc (on the forums page), a calendar and probably other good stuff I've not yet found. (And don't forget the swarm of Capitol Hill blogs)

You can check any of the calendars by visiting their websites or you can subscribe to the Capitol Hill or Miller calendar using many calendar programs, (iCal, Facebook, Microsoft Outlook/Works are the biggies) to get real-time updates. Here are the Miller and CHCC feeds.

Capitol Hill Community Council News

Hello Capitol Hill denizens,

Thank you to all who came out for the CHCC Candidates Forum on Thursday night. It was great to see so many new faces and to meet people who are interested in shaping the future of Capitol Hill.

For those of you who are not very familiar with the Council, please check out the CHCC website. You can also sign up for an account and post to the Community Forums to discuss the Council and find out what's going on in Capitol Hill. It's easy and it's free. And if you have questions about the upcoming CHCC elections or about any of the officer candidates, please post to the CHCC Elections Forum.

As was stated at the Forum, the first job for the Council is to elect a new set of officers to lead the organization. Once this is complete, we will be in a much better position to guide the future of our community. However, if the Council is going to have any real effect on Capitol Hill it will require each of us to contribute at every opportunity. This means showing up at meetings and helping to shape the Council agenda. Ultimately, each of us holds the success of the Council in our own hands.


CHCC Steering Committee meeting
WHEN: Tentatively scheduled for May 7th from 6:30pm-8:00pm
WHERE: 1651 Olive Way (underneath Coldwell Banker)
WHAT: This meeting will review the election outreach plan, election format, voting logistics, etc. Come join us and get to know the other people involved in CHCC. An email reminder will be sent out a few days in advance.

CHCC Elections
WHEN: June 5, 2008 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
WHERE: 1621 12th Ave (Capitol Hill Arts Center lower level)
WHAT: Come vote for your favorite candidates and help inform the Council's post-election agenda.

Thanks again for coming out to support your community. This is important work and there is no one better to do it than you. Please email me or use the Community Forums if you need anything or want to get in touch with other members.

Best regards,
Daniel Rizzuto ( dan.rizzuto at gmail.com )

Apr 22, 2008

Capitol Hill Safety Forum

As ever, click image to enlarge, read, print, share, etc

Apr 21, 2008

Miller Anniversary Party Recap

I hope you all got to come and enjoy the celebrations at Miller Community Center last Saturday: many thanks to all who helped out.

If previous commitments (or the ever-changing weather) prevented you from attending, here's a link to Julie Renick's speech, which gives a great history of the neighborhood's involvement in the Community Center, and a collection of pictures taken during the event. Click on picture to view the slides [then find and click the tiny "slideshow" button], or go to the picture collection for lots of Miller-related photos.

Miller Anniversary Party
Yes, we did have rain, hail and snow while we waited for the Mayor. However, when it was time for the Mayor to go out and turn on the fountain, the sun came out -- I hope it won't go to his head.

Assorted notices, meetings, links

Stuff I got behind on while working on the Miller Anniversary Party. No particular order. Should be in the Miller Calendar: http://ical.mac.com/andrew_taylor/Miller

Do You Feel Safe?: Capitol Hill Responds to Violence

One Day Safety and Self Defense Workshop. Sunday, April 27th from 9:30am-3:00pm, Miller Community Center, 330 19th Avenue East. Free event hosted by Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities, Seattle Police Department and the SPD LGBT Advisory Council For more information please call the Seattle Office of Civil Right at 206.684.4500 or email: david@sexualminorities.org
Flyer for this event: Capitol Hill Responds to Violence

--Self Defense Workshop by Home Alive
--Healthy Relationships Workshop by NW Network
--Hate Crimes 101


Capitol Hill Community Council – Candidates Forum
Build Community and Effect Positive Change on Capitol Hill

The Capitol Hill Community Council (CHCC) is electing new officers. On April 24 come hear the candidates discuss their vision for the future of Capitol Hill and ask questions.

Thursday, April 24, 6:30pm-8:00pm @ the Capitol Hill Arts Center (lower level)
1621 12th Ave (and Pine St)

For more info see: chcc.wikidot.com

Capitol Hill Housing’s Annual Meeting and Development Forum
Monday, April 28th, 5:30 PM

This year, we’re delighted that our panelists encompass a great mix: Real estate developers and economic developers who are shaping the future of Capitol Hill.

We’re kicking it off with a wine reception at 5:30pm, and the meeting itself begins at 6pm at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue. See you there. Poster & RSVP details

2008 SEARCH PARTY benefiting Seattle Inner City Outings is set for Capitol Hill, 1pm on MAY 31st

City launches Seattle ReLeaf

Seattle’s trees need your help. Seattle has lost more than half of its tree canopy since the early 1970s. The City of Seattle has launched Seattle reLeaf to help reverse the decline.

It is not possible to rebuild the urban forest without engaging the people who live in the city. That means you. While restoring trees in urban parks is important, that’s not enough. Most of the land in Seattle is in private hands; in fact, most is residential.

You can help by planting trees in your yard, pruning trees correctly, and caring for trees throughout their lives. Visit Seattle reLeaf to find out more: www.seattle.gov/trees.


Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Announces 15th Ave Street Sweep.
Volunteers Needed. Details HERE

WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2008 • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


On Monday, April 28 Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center will be holding a community open house at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) from 6 pm to 8 pm. The event is free to the public and we would like to invite members of the Miller Park Community Council to attend. Children’s staff will be on hand to answer questions about planned growth at the Hospital’s main campus and a conceptual model of the Hospital’s proposed development will be available to view.

For more information about Children’s master plan, visit http://masterplan.seattlechildrens.org or contact: Desiree Leigh, Director of Regional Government Affairs and Community Relations, (206) 987-5269.

For more information about OBCC, visit www.odessabrown.org.

(note from Andrew: the Laurelhurst neighbors of Childrens' Hospital seem somewhat opposed to the expansion plans)


Community meetings scheduled across Seattle (see Andrew's previous rant)

Seattle Parks and Recreation is engaging the public and its 1,000 employees in developing an action plan that will guide the department over the next five years. Parks employees intend to refer to this plan when making future decisions to ensure efficient stewardship of public assets and provision of useful, high quality services. Parks is holding 13 more meetings in neighborhoods across the city to seek feedback on what has been developed so far.

In the past six months Parks conducted 57 community meetings and eight all-staff meetings to identify the major issues and policy questions relating to Parks and Recreation’s current strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

That process led to the draft Strategic Action Plan, which is divided into six goal areas where the department plans to dedicate its energies and resources over the next five years. The goals are:
· Active stewardship of parks and open spaces
· Support for healthy lifestyles and diversity through recreation opportunities
· Strengthening relationships with the public
· Maintaining parks and facilities
· Developing internal team capacity and organizational culture
· Strengthening internal organizational systems and structures

At the remaining community meetings, (most convenient one listed below) , Parks staff will elaborate on the proposed actions within each goal area and solicit feedback on comment cards. The draft plan is available online at www.seattle.gov/parks and residents are encouraged to look at it before attending a meeting. If you have questions, please contact Malia Langworthy at malia.langworthy@seattle.gov or 206-684-8020.

Seattle Parks and Recreation
Strategic Action Plan Community Meetings
Tuesday, Apr. 22
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center
104 17th Ave. S

Small Earthquake in Verlot. None Dead.

Claud Cockburn (British journalist and the cousin of novelist Evelyn Waugh) and some colleagues had an unofficial competition to devise the most factually accurate yet most boring newspaper headline. Cockburn claimed the honours with "Small Earthquake in Chile. Not many Dead." However, this is almost certainly apocryphal, as no copy of The Times featuring this headline has ever been located.

Today the KING website brings us:

Small earthquake near Verlot
12:21 PM PDT on Monday, April 21, 2008
By KING5.com Staff
SEATTLE - A minor earthquake shook the area east of Verlot, in Snohomish County on Monday morning.

A report from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says the quake at 11:40 a.m. had a magnitude 3.4 and occurred about 7 miles east of Verlot.

The depth was 0.0 miles. No injuries or damage were reported.

(The London Times had a chance to use a similar headline recently, and I wanted to emulate them).

In closing, again from Claud Cockburn: 'Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.'

Apr 20, 2008

CHHIP Annual Meeting & Forum

click image to enlarge/read

Please come to Capitol Hill Housing’s Annual Meeting and Development Forum on Monday, April 28th.

This year, we’re delighted that our panelists encompass a great mix: Real estate developers and economic developers who are shaping the future of Capitol Hill.

We’re kicking it off with a reception at 5:30pm, and the meeting itself begins at 6pm at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue. See you there.

Betsy Hunter, Director of Development
Capitol Hill Housing

1406 Tenth Avenue, Suite 101
Seattle, WA 98122
206.329.7303 phone
206.329.1857 fax

Local House in Times magazine

Today's Seattle Times magazine features an environmentally friendly house that's just across the street from Meany Middle School.

I note that the house's builder, Scott Engler of Heartwood Builders, is the gentleman who proposed a cottage development in a single-family area on 24th: that proposal caused a great deal of neighborhood concern. After much debate, and several meetings, that proposal seems to have died.

Apr 18, 2008

Aerial view of Miller Fountain

Google maps has updated its Seattle aerial photos since I last looked. Here's the Ron K. Bills fountain, captured in action on a sunny day (such as we are expecting on Saturday) , and below is a "live" view to play with.

View Larger Map

Apr 15, 2008

Bonus bucolic picture

Yes, it was sunny last Saturday. You weren't imagining it.

Saturday April 19th: Miller Anniversary Celebration

(Click on picture to enlarge. Click here to download flyer to share)
Capitol Hill Times article about the event.

Below is a list of the events planned for the anniversary:

Multipurpose Room
  • Michael Yasutake and his Emerald City Jazz Ensemble 11 – 11:20
  • Jeff Evans’ Magic Show 11:20 – 11:45
  • (Speeches: by fountain if weather allows)
  • Lunch and Cake 12:30 – 1 PM
  • Hip Hop Dance Demo: 1 – 1:15
  • Swing Dance Demo 1:15 – 1:30
  • Jujitsu demo: 1:30 – 1;45
  • Youth Speak Open Mike/Poetry: 1:45 – 2 PM
  • Display about life of Ron K. Bills (all day)

Fountain Area (in multipurpose room in case of really bad weather)
  • Chess Demo 11AM – 2 PM
  • Mayor’s Speech/Turning on Fountain 12 – 12:30
    • Introduction & Welcome: Advisory Council Chair Heidi Ob'Bayi
    • History of Center, grounds and fountain: Julie Renick
    • Mayor Greg Nickels
    • Parks Superintendent Timothy Gallagher
    • Mayor turns on Ron K. Bills Fountain
  • Toddler Play Time 11AM – 2 PM
Meany School Gym
  • Volleyball Tournament 9AM – 5 PM
Miller Community Center Gym
  • Basketball Tournament 9AM – 5 PM
Field Activities
  • Balloons 11 – 2
  • Face painting 11 – 2
  • Bounce Toys 11 – 2
  • Coyote Central Arts and Craft Table: 11 – 2
  • Teen Program Carnival Games 11 – 2
Small Meeting Room
  • Sewing Demo: 11 – 2
  • Tutoring Information: 11 – 2
Lobby Area
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation Information Booth
  • Information on Miller Playfield resurfacing (synthetic turf) from Parks planners
  • Neighborhood Matching Fund information: Department of Neighborhoods
  • Samples and info from Full Circle Farm, community supported organic agriculture
  • Miller Community Center Advisory Council Information
  • Park Strategic Plan information
Computer Room
  • Movie, "Dreaming in Stone", about the Fountain Project: shown on demand
  • Slide show documenting fountain construction
  • computers available

Another activity for Saturday, April 19th.

If you're not coming to the Miller Community Center Anniversary Party next Saturday (which you certainly should be) and not going to the neighborhood planning forum, then you might consider celebrating Earth Day with a guided tour of the Renton sewage treatment plant

Treatment plant tours will be offered at 10:30 a.m. and Noon. Tours of Waterworks Gardens, an award-winning stormwater management park and community amenity with public art and open space will also be offered at 11 a.m., Noon and 1 p.m. Directions to the South Treatment Plant are available on the Web.

I forced Meg to accompany me on a tour of the West Point plant last year: it was fun, totally odor free, and there was cake!

Apr 14, 2008

Madison Street Paving Project starts April 28th

The overall project work will be done in four (4) phases described below, with some overlap between each phase:

1. Madison Street from 10th Avenue to 18th Avenue E (late April - mid June)
2. Madison from Terry Avenue to 10th Avenue (late May - mid July)
3. Boren Avenue from Broadway to Seneca Street (late June - late August)
4. Boren Avenue from Seneca Street to Denny Way (late July - mid October)

The work in each phase will roughly follow this order: (1) pavement base repairs and curbs/sidewalks; (2) pavement grinding; (3) drainage grates and manhole adjustments; (4) lighting and traffic signal detector installations; (5) final paving and pavement striping.

Pavement grinding and final paving will happen during the night and/or on a

What to Expect During Construction
• Lane closures
• Pedestrian detours
• Parking restrictions
• Moderate construction noise and dust
• Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. - 4 p.m., with occasional night time and weekend work
• Regular notices with more location specific information during construction

For More Information
Please visit SDOT’s website at:
to view information updates or to sign up to receive email news on project status.

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

Apr 13, 2008

Miller Fountain construction slideshow

Here's a long (240 slide) slideshow of the construction of the Ron K. Bills fountain at Miller Park (or you can view the slideshow separately): it'll be a (small) part of the celebrations at Miller next weekend. We'll also be showing "Dreaming in Stone", a video about the fountain project (and the neighborhood association) made by professional videographer Sidney Beaumont.

Mayor Nickels will turn on the fountain for the 2008 season as part of the festivities at the April 19th Community Center 10 Year Anniversary celebration.

Parks Strategic Plan: somebody goofed

Last December I went to one of a series of Seattle Parks Department meetings to gather peoples' input for their strategic plan (recall that Parks has a new Superintendent, who will be at our Miller celebration next Saturday).

They have now published a draft of their Strategic Plan, and are holding a series of meetings to get feedback on it. There was one such meeting on Saturday at Miller. You didn't go, perhaps because I didn't tell you about it. And I didn't tell you about it, because Parks didn't tell me about it (and I went to the last meeting and am on umpteen City and neighborhood lists). I only heard about it by chance, via the director of Miller, who told me of a meeting at Rainier with ONE participant.

I briefly stopped by the meeting at Miller: two Parks officials and ONE participant. They seemed surprised by my concerns about lack of notification. The solitary participant had heard about it via a ballfield organization. (Sorry, I didn't stay. I had other things to do.).

If you want to know/comment on what the Parks Department is planning you could:

BTW I strongly advocate this statement from the plan summary:

Improving maintenance and the up-keep of land and facilities was also a top priority, with some advocating for ensuring maintenance before any new acquisitions.

Ironically, they also noted:

Most agreed that Parks and Recreation needs to improve its public engagement.

Apr 11, 2008

Seen on 15th ....

Apr 10, 2008

Neighborhood Planning Forum

City Neighborhood Council Neighborhood Planning Workshop Program
Saturday April 19th 2008 - 8:30 am – noon
Bertha Knight Landes Room, City Hall

Why have Neighborhood Plans?
How and by Whom should a Neighborhood Plan be crafted?
What Can a Successful Neighborhood Plan help citizens accomplish?

Homeowners, renters, business owners all have a stake in the upcoming decisions on how the city will “update” the existing 38 neighborhood plans. Changes in neighborhood plans and policies are a precursor to land use and zoning changes as well as a way to identify and prioritize needed infrastructure improvements to accommodate growth.

The City Council is weighing a proposal from the Mayor to spread the updates over several years, group plans by geographic sector, and rely heavily on city staff for professional guidance.

The City Neighborhood Council has raised questions about this approach particularly the way it differs from the grassroots model used when the plans were prepared in the late 1990’s.

Come and join in the Conversation on Neighborhood Planning II and help the Council decide what to authorize and how to allocate those resources. Hear from and talk to:

• Richard Conlin, City Council President
• Sally Clark, City Council Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Chair
• Stella Chao, Department of Neighborhoods Director • Jim Diers, author and consultant on neighborhood development
• Tom Hauger, Senior Planner with DPD
• Fellow citizen panelists with diverse experience in the successes and shortcomings of neighborhood planning and the current approach to dealing with the impacts of growth on neighborhoods citywide.

Sequential Plenary Sessions So You Don’t Miss Any of the Topics!

PANEL 1: Why do Neighborhood Planning – GMA Compliance and More?

PANEL 2: How Should Planning Be Done and by Whom? – What are the successful models to keep citizens engaged and respected?

PANEL 3: What does Success Look Like? – Can planning improve our quality of life? Provide fair distribution of growth and public investment?

Light refreshments – Program Begins Promptly at 8:30am – Don’t Be Late

Questions to: Chris Leman at cleman@oo.net and Irene Wall at iwall@serv.net

Looking for Neighborhood Planning focus group participants

Do you live in Capitol Hill, Central District, First Hill, Interlaken, Leschi, Madison Valley, Madrona, Montlake, or the Pike/Pine Corridor?

If so, we would love to have you participate in a focus group. The focus group’s purpose is to find out how neighborhood residents feel about the last neighborhood planning process, and identify issues that the City will need to consider during the neighborhood plan update process.
Focus groups will be led by a graduate class from the University of Washington’s Urban Planning Department. Our class is working with the City of Seattle on the Neighborhood Plan Update Process. We’ve been asked by the Department of Neighborhoods and Department of Planning and Development to conduct several focus groups in your area.
We look forward to hearing from you and your neighbors!!

When (choose one):
Thursday, April 17, 6:30-8 p.m.
Monday, April 21, 6:30-8 p.m.
Thursday, April 24, 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E, Seattle (19TH and Thomas St.)
RSVP: Limited space, so please contact us in advance at kem7@u.washington.edu

Volunteers needed to deliver Miller Anniversary flyers

The Miller Community Center Anniversary party will be Saturday April 19th. We'd like to ensure that everybody in the neighborhood knows about it.

Woudl you have time to deliver copies of our flyer to houses/apartments in our area? You can pick up copies at the Center (contact Thavy Pen, 684-4753 ) or you can download and print them yourself, or you can drop me a note and I'll bring you some. Either way, please tell me which blocks you covered.

Many thanks
Andrew Taylor
Miller Advisory Council

Apr 8, 2008

Stay Out of Drug Area (SODA) program: your support needed

(see the neighbors' comments on the Central District News version of this story)

Dear Community Members,

For over a year the Seattle Police Department and the King County Prosecutor's Office have been working together to implement a Stay Out of Drug Area (SODA) program for defendants charged with narcotics trafficking crimes.

As a part of that effort, the Seattle Police precinct commanders have identified geographic locations in their precincts as high narcotics trafficking areas . These areas were identified as such based upon citizen and business complaints, crime statistics and police observations.

King County deputy prosecutors will soon be asking Superior Court judges to order defendants arrested in these SODA zones to stay out of these zones as a condition of their pre-trial release. This order will also authorize the Seattle Police Department to contact and/or arrest defendants who violate the court's order. (A copy of this order is attached for your review. The East District SODA map, shown here, will become readable if you click on it)

At this point, we need to convince the court that the program is worth the effort and necessary to the public safety. Since the effort to implement this program was driven in large part by residents and businesses it may be helpful for judges to learn what it is like to live and work in areas near open air drug markets and how the issuance of SODA orders might be useful in reducing these problems.

Mark Larson, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, will soon be meeting with King County Presiding Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer to explain the reasons for the SODA program. If you would like for Mr. Larson to include your comments in his meeting with Judge Hilyer, then please address a letter to the judge and send it to me by April 21, 2008.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Ellen O'Neill-Stephens
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Office of the King County Prosecuting Attorney
King County Courthouse
516 3rd Ave. W554
Seattle, WA. 98104

Update/Explanation from Ellen:

  • The Pre-Trial SODA order makes exceptions to the restriction for places of employment, court/government offices, social services provider, attorney office, medical services, and school between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. If an individual lives in a SODA zone then the order is usually not imposed. The request is made only for the SODA zone that the person was arrested in, not all the zones in a precinct.
  • The order is for a 90 day period from the date that a defendant is arraigned for the offense. Most cases are adjudicated by that time.
  • Pre-Trial SODA orders have been issued in other cities in the United States.
  • Superior Court Judges often place pre-trial restrictions on charged defendants if the restriction if related to the charged crime.

Below is a Q & A between Phil (who posted the comment below)

>>> Phil 4/10/2008 9:36 AM >>>
Answers by Ellen O'Neill-Stephens to questions from Phil:

Dear Mr. Mocek, I'm in a time crunch at work and this is the best I can do to respond to your questions. Would you mind posting my responses to your questions on the blog post? Thanks so much, Ellen
First and foremost SODA orders are issued on a case by case basis and the issues you raise are discussed by the parties before the judge decides to enter such an order. SODA orders can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals.

We are trying to implement this program because it is common for people charged with drug crimes to immediately return to these open air drug markets and continue selling drugs.

The sticky part about SODA is that it bypasses various checks &
balances and creates a crime out of a non-crime.

When someone is issued the SODA order, he has been neither
convicted of nor tried for wrongdoing. At that point, if he is
found to be in the applicable SODA area, then he is in violation
of the law, even when he's not doing anything that would otherwise
be unlawful.

Judges often place restrictive conditions on a defendant charged with a crime. For example, judges almost always place no contact orders on defendants charged with assaulting others or stealing from stores. When a judge does this he/she is balancing the rights of the defendant with public safety issues or concern for the safety of alleged victims. (This would also creates a crime out of a non-crime.) If they violate the order they are in contempt of court.

Is there is any appeals process for a SODA order?

Defense counsel represent their clients when a SODA order is requested. The matter could be brought before the court of appeals

Are they issued only as conditions of pre-trial release, or can
they also be issued by police officers? I have previously been
told that the latter is the case.

Only a judge can issue a SODA order. SODA orders have been used for years by our King County Drug Courts and Seattle Municipal courts as a condition of treatment or sentencing.

I know my way around the Internet and am pretty handy with a Web
browser, but I can't find a Seattle SODA map anywhere besides here
in this blog post. I had no idea that these areas now covered the
entire core of the city. This is crazy.

It is very unfortunate that open air drug markets are so commonplace in Seattle.

Ms. O'Neill-Stephens' update states that exemptions are made for
certain places during certain hours. I'm left wondering, though,
whether it would be possible for people to get to and from their
jobs, homes, or court without violating a SODA order. And what if
someone is ordered to stay out of Zone 4, which includes a major
bus transfer points?

Please review the pre-trial order referenced in the blog. The order allows for travel within the zone Travel is defined as movement on foot or in a vehicle from one point to another without delay.

She also states that if a person lives in a SODA zone, the order
is usually not imposed. I read this to mean that sometimes a
person is ordered to stay out of a SODA zone that includes his
home. That is ridiculous.

If someone lives in a zone and the judge elects to issue a SODA order than the judge can modify the prohibited area of the zone to allow for the defendant to live in an area of the zone.

I understand the desire to keep people who have been accused of
crime out of areas where we suspect that they may be likely to
commit more crime, but somehow this seems unconstitutional to me.

If someone has been accused of crime, arranged, and released until
his trial (without SODA order), and that person is later found in
one of these SODA areas, isn't he a sitting duck? It seems to me
that the wise course of action would be to watch him closely when
he's found in that area, and if he is seen committing another
crime (which we feel he's very likely to do or else we wouldn't be
suggesting all this SODA business, right?), arrest him again,
thereby collecting even more evidence to use against him in court.

The police usually watch an individual to determine if he/she is moviing through an area without delay or engaging in activity consistent with narcotics trafficking before deciding to investigate and/or arrest for a SODA violation. People at bus stops are given a much longer period of time to catch a bus before the police contact the individuals.


Thank you for your time.


Residential Parking Zone Policy Review & Sounding Board

(Way back in 2000 our neighborhood flirted with becoming part of a Residential Parking Zone, but nothing came of it. Details on this old page [October 2000 MPNA Meeting, near bottom], with the nitty-gritty on this page. I vaguely recall a neighbor trying to enlarge the Capitol Hill RPZ a couple of years ago, but there was little neighborhood interest.
Now the City's revisiting the issue. Maybe parking is now enough of a pain for us to be interested? Here's general RPZ information)

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is now engaged in a review of the Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) program in Seattle. The RPZ program is designed to help residents who live in congested areas by discouraging long-term parking of non-residents on residential streets. Staff is looking at all aspects of the program, including program goals, permit issuance; zone creation, and enforcement practices. This work is being done in the broader context of the city’s goals with regards to parking management, transportation, land use, sustainability, climate change, and race and social justice. Staff is also looking at best practices for RPZ programs elsewhere.

SDOT wants to hear from you about the Residential Parking Zone Program. To learn more, to fill out an online survey, or to subscribe to the mailing list, go to: www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/rpz_policy_review.htm


The same department also invited me to join an RPZ Sounding Board:
Please join the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on a Residential Parking Zone Policy Review Sounding Board. This Sounding Board is one of the ways SDOT is getting feedback from stakeholders regarding the review of the Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) program. The RPZ program is designed to help residents who live in congested areas by discouraging long-term parking of non-residents on residential streets. After nearly thirty years of operation, all aspects of the program are being evaluated, including program goals, permit issuance, zone creation, and enforcement practices.

I would be happy to let some other Miller neighbor take on this important task: we can keep the neighborhood updated via this blog. Here's the letter of invitation from SDOT. Please contact me (Andrew_taylor@mac.com) if you'd like to take on this important neighborhood task. In the event of a flood of applicants, we'll have to have an online election for the post!

Apr 6, 2008

Central District News Blog: lots of good stuff

The Central District News blog appeared last fall, and is becoming a wonderful one-stop shopping site for all sorts of Central District neighborhood information. The two young men running it are programmers (the site showcases what the software can do) and neighborhood enthusiasts: an unbeatable combination. The site also lets YOU add your own pages, calendar events, pictures etc, and generates quite spirited conversations on many of the topics.

Here's what's caught my eye:

1) Neighborhood Redevelopment News:

2) Neighborhood Plan News:
3) Public Safety News:

In summary, they're covering most of the topics that I feel need publicizing (and for which I started this blog), and their lovely software makes it all very accessible with their integrated slide-shows, video segments, calendar etc. I encourage you all to check their site regularly, and to contribute news for the area.

Thanks, CD News: you'e made my job a lot less onerous!

Coming April 19th: Miller Anniversary Party

(Click on picture to enlarge, print, share)
Only two weeks till the Miller Community Center Anniversary Party. Your taxes will be done (won't they?) so you can come to the Center on April 19th and join in the celebrations.

If you'd like to help out you could:
  • Contribute to the Center scrapbook.
  • Volunteer to help out on the day: the Wednesday April 9th, 7PM, Advisory Council meeting (at the Center) would be a good place to learn how you can help.
  • Tell your friends and neighbors about the party: share this notice, or print and distribute the official invitation (above).
  • E-mail Andrew (andrew_taylor@mac.com) with questions, suggestions, offers.
Below is a tentative list of the events planned for the anniversary:

Multipurpose Room
  • Michael Yasutake and his Emerald City Jazz Ensemble 11 – 11:20 (new info)
  • Jeff Evans’ Magic Show 11:20 – 11:45
  • Lunch and Cake 12:30 – 1 PM
  • Hip Hop Dance Demo: 1 – 1:15
  • Swing Dance Demo 1:15 – 1:30
  • Jujitsu demo: 1:30 – 1;45
  • Youth Speak Open Mike/Poetry: 1:45 – 2 PM

Fountain Area
  • Chess Demo 11AM – 2 PM
  • Mayor’s Speech/Turning on Fountain 12 – 12:30

  • Toddler Play Time 11AM – 2 PM

Meany Gym
  • Volleyball Tournament 9AM – 5 PM

Field Activities
  • Balloons 11 – 2
  • Face painting 11 – 2
  • Bounce Toys 11 – 2
  • Coyote Central Arts and Craft Table: 11 – 2
  • Teen Program Carnival Games 11 – 2

Small Meeting Room
  • Sewing Demo: 11 – 2
  • Tutoring Information: 11 – 2

Lobby Area
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation Information Booth
  • Information on Miller Playfield resurfacing (synthetic turf) from Parks planners (new info)
  • Samples and info from Full Circle Farm, community supported organic agriculture (new info)
  • Miller Community Center Advisory Council Information
Miller Activities slideshow

Capitol Hill Community Council needs YOU

(click "poster" to enlarge, print, share)

Contact Justin Carder at 206-956-4205 for more information
chcc.candidate@gmail.com | http://chcc.wikidot.com

Apr 2, 2008

Strong Neighborhood Action Program Grant Time

(Miller neighbors on 22nd used one of these grants as part of the funding for their traffic circles)

It's time to award another round of Strong Neighborhood Action Program Grants to communities in the federally designated Weed & Seed areas of Seattle and Tacoma. (Description from the application: SNAP provides grants to neighborhood groups in federally designated Weed & Seed neighborhoods in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The program empowers communities to create change by taking a leadership role in the development and implementation of neighborhood restoration and community building projects. )

Here is the 2008 Strong Neighborhood Action Program Preliminary Application: map of the eligible area is below. The Central Area, Miller Park and most of Capitol Hill are eligible.

The Preliminary Project Description will be due May 31st and the Final Application will be due July 31st. Bylaws will be due at the time of the Preliminary Project Description. Determination regarding eligibility will be made prior to the applicant being asked to submit a final proposal.

Thank you for your participation with this program and I look forward to working with you in the coming months.

Caryn Badgett
Grants Director
NW Insurance Council
(206) 624-3330


(click image for readable version)