Aug 30, 2008


Pete Seeger shows that some of the things we're still busy fussing about aren't really all that new...

(original post with lyrics and comments)

Aug 29, 2008

Adopt a cat: Sat. September 6th

Foster cats and kittens from the Seattle Animal Shelter will be available for adoption from 12-3 pm on Saturday September 6th at Miller Community Center. Foster parents will be there to tell potential adopters all about their foster cats and help make the best match. Adoption fees are $87 or less and include vaccinations, Pet License and Microchip, Spay or Neuter, Feline Leukemia Testing, Deworming, and a free health exam at a local vet. Links below to just a few of the many available cats who will be there -


Aug 27, 2008

Public Safety Warning

A longtime neighbor writes with this warning:

There was a horrific home invasion this afternoon [August 22nd] in my block (600 22nd Ave E).
(3) young males entered a house through an open back door, pistol whipped the owner and held him at gunpoint while they cleaned out the house of all valuables.
No neighbors saw anything even though they carried a safe and a 60” TV out the front door and down 12 steps to a car.

Please alert people to keep their back doors closed and locked even during the nice hot daytimes.
My home was invaded by a mentally disturbed man a few years ago: it's a very scary thing to experience.

I WOULD ADD that you should keep your front doors locked also! I was out working on my car and thought I could see the front door, but the guy walked in anyway, when I was looking the other way.

Aug 17, 2008

Time to hit the hills

Off on a backpacking trip. Let's not think about neighborhood issues until after Labor Day.

Remember that you can keep up on all things neighborhood related via:

What should we be thinking of after Labor Day?

  • Jim Mueller's Madison Street redevelopment plans: he promised us a meeting.
  • Parks Department will be coming to us about resurfacing Miller Playfield: we should engage them about the bathrooms, and about getting players to use the parking lot.
  • Neighborhood planning: the Mayor wants to revisit neighborhood plans, but in his regulated top-down way. Neighbors want to revive the grassroots way we did it before. I'll feed you more information before Councilmember Clark's September 8th public meeting.
  • I'll post the details of my recent Madison Street parking survey, and will let you vote on the top ten (or so) suggestions for new businesses along Madison. Then we'll try and sell our ideas to the developers. Anybody want to start a hardware store here?

Dear Councilmember Rasmussen...

This is a reply to the message you left on my answering machine recently, asking how things were in the Miller area. I'm posting this on the Miller blog, and am inviting others to add their thoughts via comments (at the end of this post) or by contacting you directly.

Newer neighbors may not know that you took walking tours of our neighborhood on a couple of occasions, and learnt firsthand from the neighbors about all the issues that were associated with Club Chocolate City and Deano's Grocery Store on Madison.

As you recall, all of those issues went away overnight when the bar closed. We now know that there were indeed (as we long suspected) drug dealers operating out of the bar. The manager of the bar was also charged with selling cocaine in the bar, though I have heard no more about this.

Almost all the problems in the neighborhood vanished overnight. We also noted that the volume of trash that we picked up during our neighborhood cleanups decreased dramatically.

Developer Jim Mueller has now purchased Mr. Falls' Madison Street property, and is making great efforts to keep the neighborhood happy as he starts to develop his property on both sides of East Madison Street. Many neighbors gleefully supervised the demolition of the buildings on the site, and are awaiting Jim Mueller's promised neighborhood outreach efforts this Fall. Jim moved with commendable speed when the demolition efforts set a plague of rats loose on the area. This article from the Stranger's blog, and its many comments from readers, is a great summary of the plans and (some) peoples' feelings about them.

In brief, our neighborhood is now very peaceful, and we are awaiting such challenges as may come with the redevelopment of the Madison Street area. The developers active right now (Jim Mueller and Val Thomas) both seem very responsible and eager to work with the community, so we are generally optimistic about the area. Other developments are also starting: I've got a Google map that summarizes what's going on.

We noted that many of the crime issues that used to plague the Madison Street area have moved down to 23rd & Union. The Police Department GOTS outreach program, which you kindly helped to facilitate, has also moved to that area. I note that the (long dormant) Central Neighborhood Association is starting to revive: perhaps you'd care to go on a walking tour with them.

That's enough from me. I'll let the neighbors chime in with their views.

Thanks again for your concern, and for all of your help in the past.
Andrew Taylor

Aug 14, 2008

Worth Noting

Residential Parking Zone changes

This week's Capitol Hill Times has a long article explaining the City's proposals to change the Residential Parking Zone regulations. Pick up a paper copy while you can, or go here for the (unformatted) electronic version. Here's the City webpage, with information and a place for you to have your say.

The general theme (as also seen in zoning changes that the City is proposing) is to make parking and car ownership more difficult. The argument is that car ownership is un-necessary if there are easy alternative ways to get to work: bus, walk, bike, light rail, SLUT.

The flaw in those arguments (IMHO) is that the City is only thinking of us as WORKERS, and all that matters is to them is how we worker bees get from our bedrooms to our desks.

But we're more than workers and the State of Washington is more than a collection of bedrooms: it's a majestic State full of all sorts of outdoor opportunities that we probably all want to enjoy. And, let's face it, it's awfully hard to do most of that without your own car. I commute by bike (and my wife does so by foot) and we use our car principally for recreation: getting to hiking, camping, cycling, snowshoeing etc.

That's all a verbose way to encourage you to study the City's Residential Parking Zone suggestions, and to make your views known (loud and clear) to the folks in the City.

See also:

Back at the blog (briefly)

Long silence while my "children", parents-in-law, etc, visited, then I was busy at work, and now I'm getting ready for a backpacking trip. In the interim, let's hope there's time to clear out the pile of things I meant to post!