Sep 26, 2008

Homelessness and "Car Camping"

This Ballard News-Tribune article caught my eye:

The Ballard Homes for All Coalition is preparing to create car camps in neighborhood parking lots this fall for homeless people living out of their vehicles.

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36th District), founder of the coalition, said the purpose of the car camps, which would be four to five vehicles large, is to create a safe and secure place for the homeless to park.
The last comment on the the article noted a successful program in Santa Barbara (recently profiled in this BBC article). My spy in Santa Barbara notes:
suspect the reference is to a small program in which churches offer overnight parking in their parking lots. I believe there is some screening as to who is accepted -- no drunks, etc. -- and could find out more if you are interested. A lot for city employees is also used, I believe, because I remember reading a complaint about the mess left behind by the overnighters but the complainer is someone extremely concerned about her neighborhood, to judge from other comments she has made.
It makes a small dent in a big problem.
Lots of church parking lots in our neighborhood. Is this something we should encourage?

Rolling tour highlights need for parks in all Seattle's neighborhoods

SEATTLE — Seattle Parks for All kicks of the official Yes on Proposition 2 campaign on Saturday, September 27th, with a Rolling Bus and Bike Tour. The campaign is traveling by bus and bike across Seattle, showcasing its grassroots support for the 2008 Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy at neighborhood parks.

"We wanted to kick this campaign off all over the city, to show how we need to invest in our parks and green spaces as Seattle grows more dense." said Brice Maryman, a volunteer for the campaign." Preserving our quality of life starts in our neighborhoods."

During the Rolling Bus Tour, two buses will be traveling across Seattle, one in the north and one in the south. A bike tour will visit the West Duwamish Trail. A schedule of events and locations is attached and available online at The kickoff will conclude at 2 p.m., with a rally and traditional dragon dance in the International District’s Hing Hay Park.

Local and neighborhood media are invited to join Seattle Parks for All on all or a part of the tours by riding on the bus or meeting at the below locations:

North Tour
10:00am – Northgate Urban Center Park (5th Ave NE and NE 112th St)
10:45 – 11:15 – Crown Hill School (9250 14th NW)
12:30 – 1:00 – Lower Woodland Park playfield # 7 (Green Lake Way N at 55th)
1:15 – 1:45 – Gas Works Park (2101 N Northlake Way)
2:00 – Hing Hay Park (423 S Maynard Ave)

South Tour
9:30am – Delridge Playfield (4458 Delridge Way SW)
10:30 – 11:30 – Jefferson Playfield (1600 S Columbian Way behind Asa Mercer School)
12:15 – 12:45 – Genesee Park (4316 S Genesee St.)
1:15 – 1:45 – Seattle Children’s Play Garden (At Colman Playground, 24th Ave S and S Grand)
2:00 – Hing Hay Park (423 Maynard Ave S)

The Rolling Bus Tour will visit a handful of the nearly 100 projects listed in the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy, and offer great photo and interview opportunities as neighborhood groups meet the bus at each stop to share their stories. A list of all projects and more is available at

Joyce Moty, another Parks Levy volunteer, described the importance of passing Proposition 2. "We've benefited from earlier investments in public parks, and we owe it to future generations to leave a legacy of vibrant parks and green spaces. Prop 2 makes sure we keep providing the public amenities that make our neighborhoods great as our community grows."


Todd Burley
Communications Director
Seattle Parks Foundation
860 Terry Ave N, Suite 231
Seattle, WA 98109
206.332.9900 x12

Sep 25, 2008

Worth Noting

  • Councilmember Clark's latest newsletter has a cogent explanation of City Council's action on updating neighborhood plans, with links to explanatory documents.
  • Most Terrorism Cases Rejected
    Study: Minor offenses are now classified as terrorism related (from the Skanner)
  • Assorted Bottleneck Lounge events, including the Presidential Debate on Friday (if there is one), the return of Skillet and Elysian Pumpkin Ale. See picture below ( click to enlarge it and make it legible). (Sorry, you can't click on the links: you'll have to ask Erin)

City Neighborhood Council: Mayor's Budget revealed

City Neighborhood Council
Monday, Sept. 29, 2008
6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
West Precinct Conference Room
810 Virginia Street

Chair: Chris Leman (Lake Union),, (206) 322-5463
Vice Chair: Pete Spalding (Delridge)
Secretary: Peter Aberg (Northeast)


6:30 Introductions, review/approval of agenda and of July minutes (see link below)

6:35 Unveiling of Mayor's 2009-10 budget proposals--Finance Director Dwight Dively

(and a whole lot of other stuff: see Miller calendar for details)

Pike Market Levy, Pro-Parks Levy and the Sound Transit Prop—Speakers Yay & Nay, Wednesday, October 1

Be an informed voter! Hear both sides of the important local issues on the November ballot. Pro and con speakers to discuss the Pike Market Levy, the Pro-Parks Levy and the Sound Transit Proposition I. Wednesday, October 1, 7:30 PM at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th S, one block south of S. Jackson Street.

Please let everyone know. The meeting is open to all and we invite all other community groups and block watches. The following tinyurl gives the location of the Central Area Senior Center on GoogleMaps. If you have never been to the Senior Center, it is well worth a visit as it has one of the best views of Lake Washington around.

Our regular meeting starts at 7:30 pm and the speakers will start at 8:00 pm so you can skip the preliminaries if you'd like.

matthew goossen
leschi community council

Presidential Election: plausible outcomes

    1. Accept today's (9/25/08) predictions from the Princeton website.
    2. Accept the site's 95% confidence predictions (dark red, blue) and give all the lighter red and the undecided (North Carolina) to McCain. Result: Obama 237, McCain 236 electoral college votes: needs 270 to win.
    3. All the states in doubt have a "winner take all" rule. Maine (4 votes), Nebraska ( 5 votes) are more complicated: initally assume they cancel each other out!
    4. Consider the 4 Obama-leaning states (PA [darker blue], MN, IL, VA). Obama needs at least 2 of them to win. First guess he takes PA, then guess he doesn't.
      1. Obama takes PA, VA: 271 votes: WIN
      2. PA, IL: 279 votes: WIN
      3. PA, MN, 268 votes: LOSE
      4. IL, MN, 268 votes: LOSE
      5. IL, VA: 271 votes: WIN
      6. VA, MN: 260 votes: LOSE
    5. The smart money is on an Obama win, but the admitted uncertainties still allow for McCain!
    6. Uncertainties in Maine (4 votes), Nebraska ( 5 votes) could lead to a 269: 269 DEAD HEAT (Temporary President Pelosi).

Sep 24, 2008

Election polls: average the averages!

This Princeton University site presents a running average of election polls, and claims great accuracy. The interactive (Java) maps are also fun to play with.

Sep 23, 2008

A sensible little homily

Not from me! I download assorted radio shows from KUOW and via podcasts, and was most taken by this week's little talk from Stuart McLean, host of the Canadian show "The Vinyl Cafe".

Here's a link to the podcast of the September 2oth show. It's described as follows:

Stuart explains why he is disappointed with how we are constantly told, both directly and indirectly, that our world is a dangerous place.
The story takes a little while to get going, but it's worth the wait. You'll even get a Canadian "oot" or two to enliven things. (Here's a different link to the podcast)

Sep 18, 2008

Public Hearings on MegaHouses and Comprehensive Plan Amendments

(The Seattle Community Council Federation blog has details and some thoughts
I'm posting a couple of their pictures here. Here's a West Seattle Herald article, a Central District News article and a Seattle P-I article)

What: Public Hearings on MegaHouses and Comprehensive Plan amendments

Who: Councilmembers Sally J. Clark, Tim Burgess, Tom Rasmussen and Council President Richard Conlin

Where: Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Second Floor, Council Chambers

When: Monday, September 22, 5:30 p.m.
(signup sheet at 5 PM).

The hearings are free and open to the public.

The first public hearing will be on new legislation that addresses Seattle residents concerns about MegaHouses- out-of-scale,

out-of-character houses seemingly plunked into neighborhoods,
overshadowing houses around them.

The second public hearing, beginning at the conclusion of the first

one, regards proposed amendments to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. The
Comp Plan articulates a vision for how the city will accommodate
residential and employment growth over the next 20 years. The Council
received and drafted proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments since in
January. Department of Planning & Development staff has analyzed the
proposed changes. Public comment on Monday will help councilmembers
understand the intent behind the various proposals.

Speakers can sign up starting at 5 p.m. outside Council
Comments will be held to two minutes per Comp Plan amendment proposed
with a maximum time limit of 10 minutes. Details of proposed
legislation can be found at

Sep 17, 2008

Happy Birthday US Constitution

Today is the 221st anniversary of the adoption of the US Constitution.

I became a US Citizen on 9/19/1987 (i.e. 21 years ago!): the ceremony was part of Seattle's celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. I immediately registered to vote.

The Bill of Rights was not adopted till December 15th, 1791, so we shouldn't dwell on the sorry state of the 6th Amendment till then.

Missing cat: 20th & Denny

I live on 20th and Denny in the little white cottage on the Southwest corner. My roommate and I have been cat-sitting for a friend who's out of town, and it appears as though the cat somehow slipped out of out house and out of the yard early this morning (9/15/08). We are frantically trying to find her, and will be hanging signs this afternoon, but wanted to see if maybe you could put the word out?

She's about 6 years old, a very sweet mid-to-large sized Siamese cat named Pedal. She's got bright blue eyes that are slightly crossed, and doesn't have a collar on (she's an indoor cat!) As I'm sure you can imagine, we are DREADING telling our friend what's going on, and would love to have Pedal back at home.

Thanks so much,

mobile: 917.494.8648

Capitol Hill Community Council Meeting this Thursday

September 18, 2008
Cal Anderson Shelter House

Officer Intro/Purpose 5 mins

Community Intro 5 mins

Minutes 2 mins

Finance Report 2 mins

Committees 20 mins

  • - Tech- Justin Carder
  • - Bylaws- Becki Frestedt
  • - Art- Charlette Lefevre
  • - Open Space- Jen Power

Break 5 mins

Outrech Committee Proposal 5 mins
-Renee Fentres

Tree Petition Proposal 5 mins
-Saunatina Sanchez (for Charlette Lefevre)

Spraypaint Letter 5 mins
-Justin Carder

Pike/Pine Parking Presentation 15 mins
-Alison Schwartz

Logo Contest 5 mins
-Saunatina Sanchez

Open Floor 30 mins

9/18 -- Sound Transit Walking Tour before our CHCC Meeting

Want to see the light rail station construction area and ask Sound Transit questions while standing in the very area where the construction will happen? Gather in Cal Anderson park this Thursday, 9/18 at 6p for a walking tour of the area before the CHCC meeting at 7p.

Capitol Hill Station Walking Tour
Want to know more about the Capitol Hill light rail station design and construction activities? Curious about what kind of construction work will take place and when? Please join us for an informal guided walking tour of the future station site on Thursday, Sept. 18, starting at 6 p.m. The tour begins in the northwest corner of Cal Anderson Park (near the corner of Denny Way and Nagle Place) where Sound Transit staff will guide the group on a short walk around the future station site. Along the way, staff will point out the entrance locations and discuss the various stages of construction and what activities you can expect to see (see sidebar for tour details).

Immediately following the tour, the Capitol Hill Community Council will hold its regular monthly meeting. We encourage you to attend the meeting to find out more of what is happening in your neighborhood.

For questions about the tour please contact Wilbert Santos at 206-370-5516

Sep 14, 2008

Sun & Food

Leftovers from Sunday breakfast, looking delightful in the sun.
I'm just not used to seeing food in the sun!

Came back from a afternoon bike-ride yesterday with lots of ripe blackberries, which Meg converted to jam and a crumble. Location available on request.

Sep 13, 2008

Worth noting

Sep 11, 2008

1917 Seattle Map

Sep 9, 2008

Burglary Report

From CD News' Police Scanner:

1:16PM - 500 18th Ave E - Burglary - Caller says someone is breaking into his mother house next door. He sees two Asian males on the back porch. They left and headed northbound just before police arrived. Update: The suspects got away

Sep 6, 2008

Public Safety Alert

From Captain McDonagh of the East Precinct:


Over the long weekend an incident occurred that is rare and unusual for the city. I am bringing this forward to the community as a safety reminder for everyone in the East Precinct.

Out of respect for the victim we are not providing the exact address or names. Time of Incident: aprox. 0330 am. Lovcation; In the area of the 100 blk, east of 12th Av and west of 16th Av

A female caller reported she was sleeping when she heard a noise outside her ground level bedroom window. She heard and saw a male attempting to enter her slightly open window. The victim screamed and the suspect fled without getting inside the location. Officers responded and conducted a suspect/evidence search but did not locate the suspect. Officers are continuing to patrol the areas and we request citizens call 911 when they note suspicious people loitering in their neighborhood.

Please take this information as a reminder to maintain your personal safety by securing your property, windows and doors, at all times.

Sep 3, 2008

Monday Council Hearing on Neighborhood Planning

Yes, the weather's still lovely, and we should be out enjoying it. Nonetheless, it's important for Sally Clark's Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee to hear from us.

The 1996-1998 Neighborhood Planning process resulted in many good ideas, but also helped form lots of lasting relationships between people and organizations who might not otherwise have got together. I felt that it helped us all understand each other a bit better. We (especially the City) were all kind of making it up as we went along. But by the end, we all seemed to be pretty happy with the process and the result.

A decade's gone by, and it's time to re-evaluate where we are (and where we'd like to be). Surely we can benefit from all our experience last time?

You'd think so, but the Mayor seems to want us to do things in his typical top-down, controlled way, while the neighbors I've talked to want to have the free rein that they enjoyed last time round.

Councilmember Clark (who was a "plan steward" in the 1998 plan process) is calling this public meeting to assess how the neighborhoods think planning should be done this time. My views are obvious. Your views are what count. The meeting is at City Hall at 5:30 PM on Monday September 8th.

Notes on testifying (based on past meetings):

  • Typically a sign-up sheet goes out at 5PM. Line up by (say) 4:30 and you'll get to testify fairly early. City Hall is at 600 4th Avenue
  • Evening parking at the SeaPark garage is $5
  • There's free Wi-Fi at City Hall, so you can keep busy!
  • Alternatively, you can watch from home, and nip down and testify towards the end of the proceedings.
  • You can also E-mail the Committee members.
Some background reading:
There's been lots of discussion about the proposed planning process by the City Neighborhood Council, and I think that the Mayor's ideas may have mellowed a bit as a result.

Nonetheless, I feel strongly that it's to our benefit to take the time to tell City Council that the way we did it before worked well: it ain't broke, don't fix it.

(this Thursday's Neighborhood Plan Stewardship meeting would be a good place to discuss these issues: see calendar for details).