Dec 27, 2011

Some personal notes

Links to my Annual Family Newsletter, and to a load of photos of what I've been up to and to the blog about his late wife Meg's journey with brain cancer.

The one paragraph summary is that Meg's death in October was expected, left an immense hole in my life, but was made very much easier by the love and support of everyone around me. I apologize if I have not thanked you all personally for your letters and E-mails of support, your kind inquiries, your offers of help.

My intention in the New Year is to ease back into neighborhood activities, and to inquire gently if there is a desire for more active neighborhood participation in the immediate Miller Park area.

Wishing you all a happy and as prosperous a New Year as circumstances will permit!

Oct 12, 2011

Emergency preparedness: your voice is needed

Click to enlarge to readable size

Sep 19, 2011

"Deano's" Madison Street Project in the news

The September 17th Seattle Times Pacific Magazine main article, "Architecture 2011" is about local architectural innovations:

Seattle AIA's FutureShack showcases projects by local architects, creative responses to our fast-morphing urban lifestyles, across a wide range of building types, budgets, constraints and social agendas. It is part public debate, part recognition of innovative architecture.
The featured designs can also be seen on the AIA website.

Jim Mueller's design for the large empty lot at Madison and Denny is one of the featured projects.

From the Times' article:
Firm's description: Situated on a corner in the commercial core of Madrona, Pike Station is a sustainable community for residents and the neighborhood. Each live/work unit has a retail space opening to the sidewalk. The units have private rooftop decks for urban agriculture and two-bedroom/two-bathroom living spaces. A community courtyard allows south light into each unit and nurtures a living wall. The property owner, an artist, seeks to create a community of artists, environmental activists and architects.There is groundwater recharge with permeable paving, cisterns and a living wall for graywater reuse. Rainwater will be stored in underground cisterns to service rooftop irrigation, toilets and laundry appliances. Photovoltaic arrays provide power for community lighting. Each unit is designed to accommodate photovoltaics and incorporates energy-efficient assemblies to reduce heating/cooling loads.
Jury comments: Promotes sustainability and demonstrates how it can be done within small-scale infill. The idea of live/work combined with sustainability is commendable; reinforces the idea of sustainability with life/work balance. Many live/work units are just lofts, so this could be more flexible. It fits in with the neighborhood despite different style. There is value in keeping artists in the city, not pushing them out.

When will it be built? Maybe Jim will comment on this post!

Madison Street closure, Sept 26th - 30th

Madison Valley Stormwater Project Update – September 19, 2011

Reminder: Stop by a drop-in session to learn more about the planned temporary intersection closure at E Madison St and 28th Ave E starting September 26 for pavement restoration:

Wednesday, September 21, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Café Flora
2901 E Madison St

The temporary intersection closure to complete this work will require crews to:

·         Detour traffic off of E Madison St to local streets. Detour routes will be one-way and clearly marked (see below and attached map for details).
·         Place no park signs along the detour route.
·         Work extended hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., starting Monday, September 26. Traffic is planned to be restored on E Madison St on Friday, September 30.

SPU is working to provide temporary load and unload zones along E Madison St to accommodate deliveries to businesses and garbage pick-up to the neighborhood. Emergency vehicles will always have access during this work.

Sep 17, 2011

Aegis of Madison (2200 E Madison) Neighborhood Meeting

(links to older posts about this application)

Aegis Senior Communities, the owner of the proposed Aegis on Madison Assisted Living Community, is hosting an Open House for the neighborhood next Tuesday, September 20th at the Elizabeth James House Community Room (109 23rd Avenue E) starting at 7:00 PM.  

Aegis is proposing a six-story 103-unit assisted living and memory care community with a 1,400 sf retail space on the corner of 22nd and Madison.  The project will have underground parking.  The project has completed two “Early Design Guidance” submissions and will have its first Design Review meeting the next night, Wednesday the 21st.  Details of that meeting are located at the bottom of this note.

Representatives from Aegis Senior Communities and Via Architecture will provide an update on the project design and schedule and be available to answer any questions.
As of this posting, design drawings are not available yet on the DPD website.  Aegis will have images to present at the Open House.

(The applicant's presentation slides will probably be available soon at this link. Andrew)

Some essential project information is as follows:
DPD Project Number 3001064
Design Review Board Presentation Information:
Project: 2200 E Madison St
Design Proposal available at review meeting
Review Meeting:
September 21, 8:00 pm

SU Alumni Relations and Admissions Building

824 12th Ave  map

Meeting Room
Review Phase:
Recommendation past reviews
Project Number:
3001064 permit status | notice
Lisa Rutzick

Link to Aegis;

Michael J. Derr
Vice President of Development
Aegis Senior Communities LLC
17602 NE Union Hill Road
Redmond, WA 98052
(O) 425.861.9993
(C) 425.749.2990

Sep 5, 2011

19th & Mercer development meeting

(development site is just south of Kingfish, on east side of 19th: former funeral parlor, a gift store and a hairdresser, Capitol Hill Hair)

Urban Life, Heavy Sigh...

(from a neighbor on 22nd, near Madison)

For the second time this year, my ancient station wagon has been broken into and things stolen.  More times than not, I street park the car on 22nd.  As with the first time, either I had left windows down to allow for easy access, or simply not locked it, for even easier access.  This is in good part my own damn fault.  There is definitely the "Big City Car Prowl" argument for leaving ones cars unlocked to avoid malicious persons breaking windows, which can come with a big repair cost, but regardless, leaving things of "Value" in the car is never a good idea.  First time the car was gone through it was mostly just rifled through, not much taken.  This time, however, they cleaned me out. Including the car's owners manual, an emergency kit, and the very odd theft of a bag of my dogs' toys we keep in the car to keep them entertained on longer trips.  And a pair of "Crocs", shoes so unpleasant I don't like them in my house, relinquishing them to reside in the car in case of emergency.  Also taken, a set of inclement weather gear, gloves/hats/sweatshirts, that sort of thing - including a nice hooded rain jacket.  Doh!  

One assumes the theft of a crate of engine oil, transmission fluid, and assorted car tools put the neerdowell's off stealing the actual car, which is clearly on it's last legs.  

Upshot of which is - although the neighborhood is so very much improved since the bad ol' days of drugs & guns in the street - it's still urban living and one should still lock one's doors and not leave anything of any even visual interest in one's car, even in the event one owns a very old and rustic car full of dirty gloves, oil, ugly rubber "shoes", and dog toys.  

Jun 15, 2011

Sidewalk Repair on Thomas: trees could not be saved

My name is Lou Stubecki. I’m the Arboriculturist for SDOT Urban Forestry working on the sidewalk repair project in your neighborhood. We gave our best efforts, but unfortunately, we were only able to save 3 of the 15 trees involved in the sidewalk repair. We were lucky to have been able to move the sidewalk over at the park, otherwise we may have lost all of the trees. Removing 12 trees is a significant loss of canopy that is inconsistent with the City’s goals for increasing tree canopy. We would love to put trees back in the 1900 block of E Thomas St, but we can’t because the right of way has effectively been shortened from 12’ wide to 8’ wide due to property encroachment. We would like to find spots in the neighborhood where we can plant new trees, and I thought, with your intimate knowledge of the neighborhood, you would able to help me identify spots in need of trees. Please contact me and let me know if we could meet to look over some sights. I look forward to meeting you.

All Best,

Lou Stubecki
Certified Arborist /Certified Tree Risk Assessor #483
Seattle Department of Transportation-Urban Forestry
PO Box 34996
(206) 684-7570 office
(206) 423-1837 cell

Bilingual Students' Dance and Artwork Show on Saturday

The Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center (the SBOC) is Seattle's and Miller community's own World School - home to middle and high school newcomer students from all over the world.  Sharing the Meany School with NOVA students, SBOC students are learning English and adjusting to their new country.  They bring with them wonderful traditions and each year students perform their traditional dances at the Folklife festival, and this Saturday, for their families, friends, and the larger SBOC community.

We invite the Miller community to the SBOC this Saturday for an informal presentation of multicultural dances, artwork by SBOC students, a show of 
fabulous photos from SBOC students' Club Photo (recently showcased at Seattle Symphony's Benaroya Hall) and a sale of students' art cards to raise funds for student scholarships.  We would love to share our wonderful school with our neighbors - come meet our students, staff, and friends of SBOC.

The dance program is Saturday, June 18th, from 12:30 - 2 -- come at 12:15 to see the art and check out our beautiful art cards. 

any questions:  890-8897 or 784-0843 

May 23, 2011

Madison Street neighbors in the news

Sunday, 5/22/11, Seattle Times Pacific Magazine "Then and Now" features a streetcar crash at 19th & Madison: the building involved, which now houses the Capitol Hill Alano Club and which recently suffered a fire, seemed little harmed by the collision and looks pretty similar today.

Monday 5/23/11 Seattle Times NW Monday has a big feature about 22nd & Madison fixture , and Central Area Chamber of Commerce Chair, DeCharlene Williams. She's also featured in this interesting book about race, basketball, gentrification and the Central Area (in which I get a cameo appearance).

Bonus (just south of us):  Seattle Times Pacific Magazine article about upcoming June 4th  Central Area Garden Tour.

May 17, 2011

SDOT working on sidewalk repairs at 21st Ave E and E Thomas; UPDATED

5/20/11: "Today SDOT crews poured sidewalk along the south side of Miller Playfield. 
Check out the hop scotch!"

From SDOT, about progress on the previously noted project in our neighborhood:

SDOT crews continued with breaking out sidewalk at 21st Ave E and E Thomas. Two trees will be removed Wednesday by a contractor. One is at the NW corner of 21st Ave E and E Thomas. The other is at the SW corner of 20th Ave E and E Thomas. Three trees adjacent to Miller Park are being protected and will be root pruned and given more growing space as we are shifting the sidewalk two feet further and narrowing it to four feet.

I’ll provide updates as we know more. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Liz Ellis
SDOT Street Maintenance
Sidewalk Repair Program

May 14, 2011

May 22nd Potluck celebration of René Soulard's life

Potluck celebration of René Soulard's life

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2011

Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Place: Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E., Seattle, WA 98112.

What to bring: The organizers are trying to "seed" the potluck by requesting that different groups bring different categories of food. You are invited to bring salads and side dishes with serving utensils.

Buses: #12 stops outside Center, #8, 43 half a block away. 10, 11, 48 nearby.

Parking: Small lot off 19th just south of Center. Larger lot accessed from 20th: north on 19th, right on Republican, right on 20th.


May 5, 2011

Video about fountain, neighborhood, René, volunteers

Dreaming in Stone: The Ron K. Bills Fountain at Miller Park from Andrew Taylor on Vimeo.

This 40 minute video was produced by Sidney Beaumont, a (then aspiring) video producer who stumbled upon the neighborhood and the fountain project early on. As I recall, the video was a training exercise for him and was a wonderful gift to our neighborhood. I rewatched it soon after learning of René's death, and saw what a great tribute and memorial to him it would be.  Took a while to get it together, but here it is.

Apr 15, 2011

More about René Soulard

(again from Debrah, René's neighbor)

A Memorial and Celebration of Rene's life will  be held on Sunday, May 22nd, at the Miller Community Center. I'm not sure of the time yet. Frank Chaffee has offered to coordinate that event and if you want to help, Andrew can forward E-mails to him (
Rene's  obituary will be in the paper this Sunday and there is talk that a blog site may go up so people can better  exchange their thoughts about Rene and maybe post some favorite photo's. 
Several of you have asked for further details about Rene's passing and I just wrote to Pascal and Marie in France about that so I'll copy that note here. 
As almost everyone has said Rene's passing is pretty unbeliveable because in most ways Rene was so strong and healthy.  Never the less he had high blood pressure and things had been pretty tough for him for a while.  On Thursday night a friend spoke with him on the phone and his speech was slurred. Some time that night he had a massive stroke followed by a series of small ones. In the MRI there was a hemorrhage in his brain and blood work showed he had had a minor heart attack (probably caused from the strokes). When he collapsed he hit his head pretty hard as well. 
The neighbor who found him on Friday called emp's and he was helicoptered off Orcas Island to a Bellingham hospital. Larry arrived to the hospital on Saturday and although Rene was not able to open his eye's or speak  he was responsive to Larry and motioned with his right hand. He knew that Larry, and later Gary was there, and responded when he was told that others were on their way.  The doctors told them that recovery would be long and hard if at all. We all believe that Rene would not have wanted to survive all that. 
Each day is a little easier. Yesterday they were able to find his will and instructions for a "celebration of his life".  Rene wants his friends to come together for a good time and that just might be the best way to honor his life and memory. There is something very positive about these instructions. I hope you can be there.

Apr 11, 2011

Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Project: East John & E. Thomas

(click to enlarge/read)

I will be distributing these as fliers to all of the abutting property owners tomorrow and also sending this information to the Capitol Hil Blog. SDOT plans to start this work in May after we have heard from the community.

Liz Ellis
SDOT Street Maintenance
Sidewalk Repair Program

Death of René Soulard, MPNA co-founder

This message was received at 2PM 4/11/11 from René's next-door neighbor:

"Rene passed away about an hour ago.

He has been living and working up on Orcas Island and was found on the floor unable to move last Friday. The last time anyone saw him was 24 hours before that. He initially was able to say his age and that he wasn't assaulted. Rene was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Bellingham. In the last few days he was not able to speak but clearly knew people. Gary and Larry, Ron's brothers were with him and their folks have been in constant touch from Idaho.

If any of you know other friends please let them know.
There will be a lot to sort through and make sense of in the next few weeks.  We are in shock, in fact I can't take in that Rene could be gone. It doesn't seem possible.  We will be in touch as we know more.


I will pass on any inquiries to Debrah.

Andrew Taylor,

René was the co-founder of the Miller Park Neighborhood Association. He was a very dear friend, a wonderful neighbor and a tireless advocate for our little neighborhood. News of his death has shocked me more than almost anything else in my life.
He will be sorely missed. I will post more details here as they become available.

Mar 17, 2011

Treatment Plans

(wrong blog! sorry)

Mar 9, 2011

March 22nd Mayor's Town Hall

Most of us in the Miller Park neighborhood look towards Capitol Hill (or at least to 15th) for our needs and our identity.
However, we were lumped in with the Central Area for neighborhood planning purposes, and our attention may turn in that direction if/when the East Madison Street commercial area gets developed.
So, you will certainly be welcomed at the Mayor's Town Hall on the 22nd.

Many neighborhood organizations are offering information/meet & greet tables at the event. If you would like to represent the Miller neighborhood, please see the information after the poster. (For personal reasons I will probably not attend). Contact me if you want some handouts, etc. Andrew Taylor

(click poster to enlarge and read)

To date, 17 community organizations have confirmed their participation by agreeing to staff an information table that evening between 5:30-6:30 p.m.  They are:

1)   Madrona Community Council; 2)  Center for Multicultural Health; 3)  Center Seattle Parent Resource; 4)  African American Veterans Group of Washington; 5)  Central District Public Art Project; 6)  Jackson Place Community Council/Jackson Street Music History Project; 7)  12th Avenue Neighborhood Plan Stewardship Committee; 8)  Squire Park Community Council; 9)  Seattle University Youth Initiative; 10)  Central Area Development Association; 11)  Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center; 12)  Coyote Central; 13)  Washington Hall/Historic Seattle; 14)  First Place School; 15)  Pratt Fine Arts Center; 16)  Northwest African American Museum; and 17)  Seattle Neighborhood Group.

Please contact me with questions or if your organization would like to reserve a table.  –Stan      

Stan Lock, Neighborhood District Coordinator
Department of Neighborhoods
Central Region
2301 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA  98144
(206) 233-2045 - Office
(206) 423-9917 - Cell

Mar 7, 2011

Feedback needed on Neighborhood Project Funds application

Apologies for very late notice, but I'd like your advice/feedback on an application for  Neighborhood Project Funds that I would like to submit on behalf of the Miller Park Neighborhood.

Essence of proposal (here's a Google Streetview of an example):

What is the physical location of the proposed project or problem? Please provide the EXACT address and/or cross streets. If it is near a school, please identify.
The 2009 block of East John, Some spot repair adjacent to Miller Park on East John, and if there is funding, sidewalk repairs  at 1820 and 1821 East Thomas.
City trees have damaged the sidewalk all along East John and east Thomas from 15th Ave E to 23rd Ave E. In many cases sidewalk has been repeatedly shimmed by the city and now needs to be repaired. We understand that some removal of street trees may be necessary to make lasting repairs.
This stretch of sidewalk serves shopping, transit, Meany School (NOVA Alternative High School AND Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center) and the Miller Community Center.
Continue with sidewalk repair along East John/Thomas with a phase 2 NSF to repair sidewalk adjacent to Miller Park and west of 19th Ave East where there is a Metro bus stop.

My proposed application is posted here.

The application is due tomorrow (Tuesday March 8th) so I'll need to hear from you by 2PM Tuesday.
(apologies for very late notice: personal issues).

E-mail me your thoughts, if desired.

Feb 23, 2011

Parks Survey

Seattle Parks Foundation and their partners are asking for our input on a how we should address the chronic funding shortfall faced by Seattle’s park system.  They have prepared a short survey here to voice your opinion, as well as a webpage where you can download a copy of the report.  Since the results of the survey are available to those who take it, it is not only a great opportunity to voice your opinion on this important issue (and maybe win a $50 REI gift card!) but also to see what others have to say.  Please take a moment to share your opinion now.  Thank you!

4 Year Anniversary

On March 1st , 2007, Club Chocolate City closed, and the decades-long street crimes that had surrounded the bar vanished (literally) overnight. [OK, so the pictures were taken on Saturday 3/3/07, but you get the idea].
Club Chocolate City closed on 2/28/07 
All the drug dealers etc immediately disappeared 
And regular neighbors took back the streets 
I thought the dealers might move down to the store (which stayed open for a few weeks) 
but none did. Guess there must have been some direct connection between the bar and the street dealing!
PS (before you ask), it was NO FUN living around the bar back then.

Feb 15, 2011

Money for street or park improvements

Have Ideas for Neighborhood Improvements?
Propose a Project Today!

What is the Neighborhood Projects Funds (NPF)?
NPF consists of two City budget sources: the Neighborhood Street Fund and the Cumulative Reserve Subfund. Through this program, approximately $1.2M  is set aside in the 2012 City budget for small scale improvements to neighborhood streets and parks. These funds are unique because NPF projects are proposed by the community.

What projects are eligible? 
The NPF can be used for projects valued up to $90K to fund street or park improvements, such as sidewalk repair, traffic circles and traffic calming, sidewalks, school zone speed limit signs, playground improvements, etc. NPF projects are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Projects funded by the Cumulative Reserve Subfund (approx. $1 Million total) can only be used for maintenance or repairs, projects which address safety issues, or upgrades related to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) like wheelchair access improvements; and must relate to the implementation of an existing Neighborhood Plan. View Neighborhood Plans online at
  • Projects funded by the Neighborhood Street Fund (approx. $200K total) must be transportation-related. These projects may include new construction and do not have to relate to Neighborhood Plans, but there is less money to go around in this fund.

Who decides which projects will be funded?
Each District Council will review applications and choose three projects. Then the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) will perform detailed feasibility and cost analysis, and provide feedback.  The City will make funding decisions based on recommendations from District Councils, Parks and SDOT, with the final decision made by the Mayor. For more information, contact your District Coordinator

How are proposals evaluated?
District Councils are looking for projects which meet one or more of the following criteria:

ü     Significant Impact: The project will have a widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.
ü     Neighborhood Plan Implementation: The project implements one or more recommendations in an adopted neighborhood plan. Priority will be given to projects that are located in or provide service to urban centers and villages.
ü     Broad Support: The project has the support of multiple neighborhood or community groups. Both residential and business groups are encouraged to apply.
ü     Leveraging Opportunities: The project also qualifies for funding from another City source, and therefore leaves more NPF money available for other projects.
ü     Equity: Funding is to be equitably shared among the districts over time. Neighborhoods that are already receiving significant public investment from other sources may be also given lower priority.

What is the project review timeline?
The flow chart below describes this year’s timeline.

MCj04398050000[1]Neighborhood Projects Funds
 Timeline (2011)
Applications due to Department of Neighborhoods (DON). DON begins sorting applications by Neighborhood District.
DON distributes new 2011 applications and applications prioritized but not funded in 2010 to Neighborhood District Councils.
Neighborhood District Councils review applications and submit their preliminary list of top 3 projects to DON.
DON forwards feasible projects with cost estimates back to Neighborhood District Councils.
Neighborhood District Councils submit prioritized projects to DON.
DON announces funding recommendations to Neighborhood District Councils
Mayor’s proposed budget includes funding recommendations.
Seattle City Council considers recommendations and adopts 2012 budget.
DON announces funding awards.
Project implementation.

How do I propose a project?
Complete a simple one page form which is available from your Neighborhood District Coordinator or online at
Applications may be submitted by mail, (PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA  98124-4649, Att: Pamela Banks) fax 206-233-5142 or email to

Questions or Assistance?

Christa Dumpys, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 684-4812 or  

Tim Durkan, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 684-4054 or 

Stan Lock, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 233-2045 or

Central Region Team
City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods 
2301 S. Jackson St., Suite 208
Seattle, WA  98144-2357

Feb 14, 2011

The Aging Your Way Initiative

(or see CD News post)

Graphic illustration from the Shoreline - Lake Forest Park gathering.

Conversations for Community Change
What would your community have to look like to support you as you age?
Would you like to take part in designing that community?
Senior Services is asking local Baby Boomers to do just that – design “communities-for-all” that will support us so we can age confidently and safely.  It’s part of our new initiative, “Aging Your Way”. 
If you’re like most people, you don’t like to think about aging; yet every day about 10,000 Baby Boomers hit their 60th birthday.  The current programs, services and structures just don’t have the capacity to deal with that demographic.   “Aging Your Way” provides the opportunity for you to tell us what you want and what talents you can contribute to make it happen.
We’ve already held events in SE, SW and NE Seattle and in Shoreline, with five more communities in line next and a summit in the fall.  Everything about these four events outstripped our expectations:  we had capacity crowds; the participants represented the individual community demographics; they easily created and communicated their visions; they identified projects that would help make those visions a reality; and they signed up for Action Teams where they can bring their individual passion, knowledge, skills and resources to the process.  
What key factors have contributed to our success so far?  First, the time is right for this work to begin – Baby Boomers are often in denial about their own aging, but as they step in as care givers for their parents or spouses, they’re finding that some neighborhoods just aren’t equipped to support an aging population.  They know it’s time to re-think and prepare.  Second, we hired Jim Diers, professional community organizer and former Director of Neighborhoods for the City of Seattle to be our facilitator and Anne Jess to capture the energy in a graphic.  And third, we seem to have a lot of “spark plugs” in King County.  When our residents find a topic they feel strongly about – they engage.  
Who should attend?  We are looking for residents of these communities, ages 45-65 and other younger-thinking older adults who are creative and who are ready to bring ideas and action to the table. The gathering in your neighborhood will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 5:30 until 8:30 at the Garfield Community Center, located at 2323 East Cherry St.  Attendees must pre-register to attend a gathering.  Please go to:, then click on Aging Your Way to register online.   If you have questions or would prefer to talk to someone in person, please contact Sabrina Jones at 206-268-6702.