Nov 29, 2008

Another Miller Park in the news

Miller is a fairly common last name (more popular than Taylor!). There are several Miller Parks in the world: the second most famous one (after ours) is the home of the Milwaukee Brewers. There is even another Miller Park Neighborhood Association.

You may well be aware of the Seattle Zoo's Zoo Doo program: a clever way to make money by getting the public to pay for the animals' droppings.

Now the Miller Park Zoo in Illinois has gone one better: reindeer droppings as Christmas Tree ornaments. Brings us back to our official neighborhood motto.

Nov 28, 2008

Celebrate the repeal of Prohibition!

"There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn." (Samuel Johnson)

Nov 25, 2008

Proposed changes at Meany Middle School

Tonight's school closure meeting (covered live by the West Seattle blog in a blogging tour-de-force) proposes multiple changes to the Meany School building in our midst:

  • close the present middle school there and disperse the students
  • move the Nova program from the Horace Mann building [near Garfield] to the Meany building
  • move the secondary Bilingual Orientation Program (BOC) from Queen Anne Hill to Meany.
The Seattle Times notes:

One of the more interesting recommendations is for NOVA alternative school to share space with the secondary BOC in the building that now houses Meany Middle.

The hope is that the two programs would give the BOC's immigrant students more opportunity to talk to English-speaking peers, and give NOVA students, many of whom are interested in world affairs, the chance to interact with students from all over the world.

There also are plans to turn the secondary BOC into a school where students stay for their full high-school careers.

(the map from the P-I article, reprinted here, summarizes all the proposals nicely)

Thanksgiving travel advice

Washington State Department of Transportation has its usual very useful predictions about times to travel over the weekend. I believe these are based on historical observations, and not on examination of the entrails of turkeys.

Nov 23, 2008

20th & John through the decades

Inspired by the new CD News "CD Rewind" feature I went poking around in the City photo archives, and found several interesting shots of my house (2009 East John) showing the view before and during the birth of the funny little bush-covered traffic island (the Miller Triangle) where Thomas Street mysteriously turns into John Street (see this Miller Park history for details of origins of street names, etc).

1936: Looking down Thomas towards my house.

1955: Same view, during street straightening and Miller Triangle construction
1955: looking up John, towards Thomas, from 21st Ave E.

Nov 21, 2008

Reminder to stay alert

From the CD News Police log:


5:24PM - 19th Ave E and E Thomas St - Purse Snatch - Woman's purse was stolen. Suspect is a black male, 20s, black coat, blue jeans. He got into a gray Acura last seen Westbound on Thomas

Nov 18, 2008

Worth noting

  • (From the Capitol Hill Yahoo Group) With the leaves falling in mass and the rains starting storm drains start to clog. It is a great time for volunteers to help out by taking
    a few minutes to remove any debris blocking the drains.

    If you find a drain in need of further servicing (I found one yesterday blocked with dirt) then use the form on the Seattle Public Utilities site to report it in for service -- noting location of the problem.

  • Reminder: Wednesday evening Design Review Hearing for Jim Mueller's redevelopment of the "Twilight Exit" property on Madison.
  • Project Status Report on 2026 E. Madison (the old Deano site)
    Thursday, December 11th, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
    Miller Community Center Multipurpose Room#2

    Local neighborhood developer, James C. Mueller, is hosting the meeting to provide a project update. He met with neighbors earlier this year during the Capitol Hill Community Garage Sale and wants to provide a status report. A new rendering of the project will be available at the meeting. Hope you can join us!

    Lis Soldano, Director of Development, JC Mueller LLC

  • Last Broadway Farmers' Market of the year.
  • "Ask the Mayor"
  • Thanksgiving has caused a pile-up of neighborhood meetings in the next week. See Miller Calendar: Capitol Hill Community Council (i.e. local) & Seattle Community Council Federation (i.e. Citywide) both on Thursday.
  • Several other posts on Miller blog: a video ("Tales of an Urban Grocer"), a new website (Central District Neighborhood Plans), and the hope for the end of a puddle.

Watch It Now: Tales of an Urban Grocer

(City Press Release. Steve Shulman was the power behind the East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition for many years)

Sneak peek of Seattle Voices interview with Leschi Food Mart’s Steve Shulman; Show premieres Tuesday, November 18, 7 p.m.

SEATTLE — It all started in Russia. Steve Shulman’s grandfather and great uncle made their way from Europe through Ellis Island to Nashville and then Seattle. Once in Washington, they combined their old-world violin with country music and made a living calling square dances and playing the fiddle. “They worked like dogs,” says Shulman. Eventually Shulman’s great uncle started the Leschi Food Mart, the iconic neighborhood store that Shulman owns and operates today.

Shulman started as the butcher in his great-uncle’s store. When he became the owner, he also found he had to become an innovator as he had to fight competition from big-chain groceries that moved in nearby. In addition, he became a community leader, as he helped organize the first partnership between the Seattle Police Department and the Leschi neighborhood. “At the time, the police department was very guarded,” recalls Shulman. The problems in the neighborhood with drug addiction and public safety were too great for Shulman and his allies to fail, however. Working with the police, he learned to the art of public-interest lobbying, first at City Hall and then the State Legislature. Hear about the unexpected twists and turns in the life of an urban grocer on the next episode of Seattle Voices.


Join host Eric Liu for this fascinating conversation in its entirety on Seattle Voices, Tuesday night at 7 p.m., SEATTLE CHANNEL, Cable 21 or watch it online at .

Nov 16, 2008

Central Area Neighborhood Plan websites

Lake Denny Redux

The rains of November have brought the accustomed floods at 21st & Denny, which persist most of the winter and make it so hard to get around that area on foot.

I've communicated with Councilmember Rasmussen's office and with Jim Mueller in the past, with the hope of getting it fixed. They seemed confident that things would happen.

I reminded them of the issues and they replied:

TO: Linda.Moreno@Seattle.Gov; Tracy.Burrows@Seattle.Gov
This is Ann Corbitt in Councilmember Rasmussen's office. The Councilmember has been communicating with the Miller Park neighborhood folks about the attached message for the last 2-3 years. The issue is a drainage problem that turns into a small lake every fall/winter/spring.

We have communicated with folks in SDOT and SPU about this project numerous times. There seems to be some discrepancy about which department owns this problem and who needs to fix it. I would go straight to the staff we have dealt with before, but my archived emails were lost in an unfortunate computer snafu, so I no longer know who I previously worked with.

That aside, each year that we bring this issue to the attention of SDOT and SPU, nothing happens. Councilmember Rasmussen would really like to see this problem fixed so that we don't deal with this one more year. Councilmember Rasmussen understands that there are likely hundreds of these spots around the city, but these neighbors have been working hard on this for too long and they deserve a resolution to the problem, whatever that may be. Councilmember Rasmussen will leave that up to the experts.

Andrew Taylor, copied here, is the main contact for the neighborhood. Please copy him on any responses so that the Miller Park Neighborhood Association can track the progress of this project. And I would appreciate being kept in the loop as well.

I really appreciate your guidance and expertise on this issue. I look forward to hearing back from the appropriate person in either SDOT or SPU on how we're going to fix this.

Thank you,
Ann Corbitt
Office of Councilmember Rasmussen


You are right - this is an unacceptable drainage situation. We have been so busy with permits and financing (imagine what that is like these days) that I have not had time to deal with this.

You know it is probably about a $2500 fix, so I am not sure why the City has not done it. There just needs to be a trench from the storm drain to the low spot, a new drain grate and pipe and an asphalt patch for now.

I'll check in with them when I get a chance.

Thanks for the reminder.


Nov 9, 2008

Worth Noting

  • Not many blog posts here recently, due to excellent neighborhood coverage on the Capitol Hill Seattle and Central District News blogs. I've taken to posting my more general neighborhood news for the areas North of Madison and South of Madison on those sites.

  • Several interesting meetings soon (details on Miller Calendar) :
    • East District Council (11/10/08): Meet Councilmember Sally Clark, Chair of the Planning/Land Use & Neighborhoods Committee
    • Central District Council (11/13/08): Chat with Councilmember Licata (CORRECTION: he can't attend).
    • Design Review Hearing (11/19/08) for 2051 E. Madison, the "Twilight Exit" site: details.

  • Google Maps now has the Street View feature for Seattle: lets you "drive" around Seattle and look all around you. Much discussion (see comments) about when the pictures were taken and how intrusive it really is. Picture of my house was taken last Fall but that of the Deano's site on Madison was taken during the demolition this Spring, so you can relive the thrill whenever you want to.

  • CNN has recently produced a travel show about Seattle, looking at our city through the eyes of local musician Quincy Jones. There's an accompanying website, with lots of local information (suitable for your visitors) and a video feed to the show. One of the web features is a lovely little essay about Seattle from Central District News blog owner Scott Durham.

I've been repeatedly using the good weather as an excuse for not posting here. Now that the weather's changed (and I've swept up the leaves) I've run out of excuses, and will have to get back to work. Coming soon will be a report on the Miller Playfield Resurfacing meeting, and a report on my Madison Street Survey from this Summer (and a new survey about what stores we'd like there).

View Larger Map

Design Review Hearing for 2051 E. Madison

The Capitol Hill Design Review Board will have a public meeting regarding the proposed project at 2051 E Madison (the Twilight Exit/Oscar's II site, next to Safeway at 23 & Madison). This will be the second (and final?) public hearing on the project.
The proposal is for a six-story building, containing 96 residential units with 6,711 sq. ft. of retail at ground level.

Date: Wednesday, 11/19/2008

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: Montlake Community Center
1618 E Calhoun St
Youth Activity Room

Available information about the project:

In brief, neighbors pretty much approved of the original designs last year. Most of the suggestions made back then have, according to Jim Mueller, been incorporated into the revised plans. We'll see on the 19th.