Welcome to the 2015 Seattle City Council District Games (UPDATE)

Earlier in April, the City of Seattle finally released the official 2015 map of the Seattle City Council Districts. The reason for the map and the new way of electing our city councilmembers being (via seattle.gov):

In 2013, Seattle voters passed a measure amending our city’s charter to establish City Council districts. In 2015, voters will elect seven out of the nine City Council members by district. The remaining two positions will be elected “at-large” (city-wide) in positions 8 and 9.

Our Ravenna neighborhood is located in Council District 4, along with Bryant, Roosevelt, View Ridge, Sand Point, Windermere, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, the University District, Eastlake, half of Wedgwood, most of Wallingford, and a touch of Fremont — which is why it is so great to finally have a city-approved map with hard boundaries.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Northern portion of the Council Districts map. Click to open the interactive version.

Within the interactive map above, Seattle residents can search for their address to find out which Council District they are located in, or just zoom in and around to see what neighborhoods are located in which districts.

On Wednesday, March 12, Crosscut held an event called “Mapping Seattle’s New Political Landscape,” where contributors Ben Anderstone and Knute Berger talked about Seattle’s newly created City Council Districts.

While we did not attend, we did follow along on twitter. Here’s what the duo had to say about our District 4, in one slide:

As for how City Council races will be scheduled in the future, the City Clerk’s office lays out the following timeline:

In 2015:

  • All nine Councilmember seats will be up for election and the transition will occur during that city election
  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms
  • The remaining two at-large Councilmembers will be elected to a two-year term

In 2017:

  • Seven districted Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms*
  • The two at-large seats will be elected to four-year terms
  • The at-large Councilmembers will from this point forward be on the same election cycle as the Mayor and City Attorney

Then in the fall of 2022 (and every ten years thereafter), “a five-member Districting Commission will be created to redraw the district boundaries.”

Current City Councilmember Jean Godden has already tossed her hat into the ring for the newly created District 4 seat (she’s a View Ridge resident). But so far, at the time of writing, and with the filing deadline being over a year away, only current CMs have filed for reelection.

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One of Councilmember Tim Burgess’s legislative aides, Alex Pedersen, made a suspicious move earlier in April: His monthly “4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter,” published online or sent via email since August 2013, showed up in paper form in the Seattle Times. When asked if he’s considering running, fellow Council District 4 resident Pedersen told us (via email):

We hear a lot from interest groups but not enough from families because they are busy working to get by. So the newsletter highlights not only important neighborhood issues, but fun stuff that will be engaging and relevant each month.

I support Jean Godden and she’s aware of the newsletter :)

The deadline for getting on the ballot in 2015 is Friday, May 15, 2015, so District 4 residents have plenty of time to decide to run. You can track all the City Council candidates running in the 2015 Primary here, on seattle.gov.

And to all present and possible future Council District candidates, I say: May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

UPDATE (10:07 AM): Serendipitously, Crosscut’s Knute Berger has a piece out just this morning about this very topic: “New survey offers tips for implementing Seattle’s new city council districts.”

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* Correction: We accidentally repeated the “Seven districted Councilmembers…” line in both lists. Thank you, Tony Provine, for alerting us to this error.

Funtiques officially calls it quits; “BIG sale” to come

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Funtiques, one of two long-time vintage and antique stores just east of where 15th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street meet, has been vacant for quite some time. And this week, orange notes taped to the business’s windows finally made it official:

Hello FUNTIQUES Clientele and Neighbors,

After 20 years, Funtiques is officially closing its doors. It has been a wonderful adventure! Many friendships have been built and are cherished. Knowledge that has been freely shared is greatly appreciated. Thank you fall for your support. Thank you so much Tom for the many years of dedication, it is upon your talents that much of Funtiques was built. Thanks to Silhouette for watching over us. Much gratitiude CEO for the care of my entire family for so many years!

My family has spent many hours supporting so many shops in the Roosevelt area and thank you all for taking such great care of us!

We are posting this notice for 30 days in hopes that the few consignors that have product left will leave contact information. After 30 days all items will be considered abandoned and become the sole property of Funtiques and will be disposed of at our discretion. After 30 days all contracts are Null and Void.

20140418-145955.jpgThis notice was posted on [handwritten] 4/16/2014

If you have any items left and would like to collect them, please follow these instructions:

  • Make a copy of your original receipt
  • Place in a sealed envelope and include a current address, phone number or email where you can be contacted.
  • Drop in the mail slot in the front door of FUNTIQUES

You will be contacted and arrangements will be made for pick-up of items prior to the liquidation sale. A donation to the Teen Center will be made from the sale of the leftover consignment items.

The entire building has been entered into a long termed lease agreement at this time and will not be place on the market.

Thank you so much

FUNTIQUES [initials]

PS: Keep an eye out for further posting of the BIG sale! This one will be great fun!

Three of the four buildings along the north side of the 1500 block of NE 65th Street now sit unoccupied: Vacant Funtiques joins empty Espresso Express (which closed on July 15, 2013) and the boarded up craftsman in between them. The other building, home of Silhouettes, is still open for business.

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The King County Parcel Viewer names the taxpayer of the property at 6502 15th Ave NE (Espresso Express) as “SISLEY HUGH K.” Both the house at 1508 NE 65th Street and the Funtiques property are listed under “SISLEY HUGH K+MARTHA E.” The building that houses Silhouette (1516 NE 65th St) is listed under “MROCZEK LUCILLE B.”

Fill Empty Bowls and support North Seattle families

Choose a hand-crafted bowl by a local student or artisan, fill it with delicious food from a selection of neighborhood restaurants, and support families in need in north Seattle.

Empty Bowls 2013

Empty Bowls Event 2013

North Helpline‘s 5th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is Sunday, May 4th, Noon – 3:00 p.m. in The Commons at Nathan Hale High School (10750 30th Ave NE). Soup, salad, bread, and dessert will be provided by a number of local restaurants including Piatti Restaurante, Got Soup?, Wedgwood Ale House, and Kaffeekaltsch. There will also be an extensive silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets are $25 purchased in advance, or $35 at the door.

The event is part of the the Empty Bowls Project, an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The bowl you enjoy a warm meal from and take home with you becomes a tangible reminder of hunger in our community.

North Helpline (12736 33rd Ave NE) combats hunger and homelessness in greater North Seattle by providing critical human services to more than 1,700 clients each week. They operate a food bank and health care clinic in addition to offering move-in support, eviction and utility shut-off prevention, help with obtaining a driver’s license or ID, and hygiene packs.

If you’re unable to attend the event but are still interested in supporting North Helpline, here are some other opportunities:

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Food Bank distributions in 2010

  • Visit the Wedgewood Ale House on Thursday, April 17th and 30% of your order will be donated to North Helpline.
  • Volunteer to sort or distribute food in their Food Bank, to pick up donations at local grocery stores, or to provide emergency services to clients.
  • Donate food or money, anytime.

 

Car strikes local convenience store; driver injured

Just after 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 16, Seattle Fire and Police units responded to a car-into-building call at the Wedgwood Mart (6236 35th Ave NE).

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A man in a silver Lexus had a seizure (per Seattle Fire PIO Sue Stangl), and ended up driving up over the sidewalk along 35th Ave NE and into the convenience store’s parking lot, coming to rest on the front sidewalk of the store and against a brick pillar.

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A witness who called 911 on the convenience store’s phone told us that the car struck a small tree in the parking strip before it struck the building. She also said that the shopkeeper was standing just to the left of the car’s final position and was nearly hit as well.

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The witness also said that first responders broke a window of the vehicle to gain access to the driver. The adult male driver was later removed from the vehicle, conscious and alert from our vantage point, and was taken to a nearby hospital in an AMR ambulance.

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Above, an officer stands nearby the vehicle as it is prepared to be towed out of the parking lot. Traffic nearby was impacted only briefly as the tow truck entered and exited the lot.

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After the damaged car was removed, it appeared as though very little damage was done to the convenience store.

Scramble for eggs this Saturday

[in our best monster truck voice]: SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

This Saturday, April 19, at 10 AM SHARP, Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding Spring Egg Hunts all over the city. You can see the full, city-wide list on their website, but here are the hunting grounds closest to our area:

NORTHEAST

April 19 Spring Bunny Trail
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center [6535 Ravenna Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

April 19 Spring Egg Hunts
Nathan Hale Stadium [10750 30th Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Laurelhurst Park [4554 NE 41st St], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

NORTHWEST
April 19 Spring Egg Scramble
Green Lake Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 3 and under
Green Lake Community Center, 10:30 a.m., Ages 4-7
Green Lake Community Center, 11 a.m., Ages 8-10

Another option in NE Seattle is Calvary Christian Assembly’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Cowen Park (5849 15th Ave NE). From the CCA website:

Registration begins at 11:30 am. We partner with Roosevelt Neighborhood vendors for this event that features 3 age-specific egg hunts as well as crafts, games, prizes, inflatables and more! Want to help? We will need people to donate candy and work at the event.

For all of these events, you’ll want your kids to bring baskets with which to carry their ovate loot.

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Ravenna Blog publisher posing with the largest holiday decoration in NE Seattle (outside of Candy Cane Lane).

Wedgwood principal heading to West Seattle

Parents and guardians of students at Wedgwood Elementary School (2720 NE 85th St) found the following message from Seattle Public Schools in their inboxes this afternoon:

Dear Wedgwood Elementary School community,

I am writing today to let you know that a leadership change will take place at the end of the school year. Your Principal, Mr. Chris Cronas, has been appointed Principal for Highland Park Elementary, effective July 1, 2014.

I know Mr. Cronas has provided excellent leadership as Principal of your school for four years and has been deeply engaged with the school community. He has had a strong relationship with families and has established opportunities for parents to support classroom teachers. I know you join me in wishing him the best in his new assignment.

Under his leadership, Wedgwood has become the highest achieving school in our District. I am proud of all of the work he has accomplished, and I know much of that success is because of the hard working staff, families and students at Wedgwood.

Kim Whitworth, Executive Director of Schools for the Northwest Region, will be in contact with you soon to talk about next steps for hiring a new Principal to continue the great work Mr. Cronas provided for Wedgwood.

Sincerely,

José Banda
Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

Chris Cronas is replacing Ben Ostrom, who is moving from Highland Park Elementary to K-5 STEM at Boren, reports the West Seattle Blog.

Help Sound Transit develop light rail station symbols

What single image would you use to represent the Roosevelt Light Rail Station? Or rather, what three adjectives and three landmarks you would use to describe the station area?

Sound Transit is developing “pictograms” to identify the new transit stations that are opening in 2016 and beyond. You can help by completing their Pictogram Questionnaire, open now through Monday, April 14.

First section of the Sound Transit Pictogram Questionnaire (click to start the survey).

First section of the Sound Transit Pictogram Questionnaire (click to start the survey).

From the survey:

Pictograms are intended to be station identification symbols for non-English audiences, primarily those that use a non-Roman based alphabet. To be effective, Sound Transit’s Link light rail station pictograms must meet these requirements:

  • Simple in form, and are an easily recognizable symbol
  • Readable at many scales; including signage, print material, online and mobile devices
  • Are individually distinguishable and read as a family

The pictogram may reflect the nature of the environment: neighborhoods, landmarks, geographic locations and may include points of interest around the stations.

Existing station pictograms — Westlake Station all the way south to SeaTac/Airport Station — were developed from points of interest around the station and in the community. Those points of interest were connected like stars in a constellation, and an image representing the station was developed.

The International District Station is a dragon. Pioneer Square is a ship. SoDo is an anvil. Westlake is… a tiara? I’ve always been curious and a little confused by these pictograms and admit to being pretty amused by this extremely thoughtful process (which we’ve heard that Sound Transit is NOT continuing for the new stations). Check out the “Stellar Connections” brochure explaining these transpo-constellations (1.1 MB PDF).

The University Link extension (Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations) are expected to open in the first quarter of 2016). The Northgate Link extension (U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate stations) are expected to be open for service in 2021. Approximately 8,000 daily riders are projected to board the train by 2030. 

The other station on the pictogram survey is Angle Lake Station, set to open in 2016 south of the SeaTac/Airport Station at S 200th St.

Eckstein Band Rummage and Bake Sale this weekend

Eckstein Middle School’s Annual Rummage and Bake Sale is coming up!  On Saturday, April 5, from 9 AM – 3 PM, come for the deals, the baked goods, but especially to support Eckstein’s music program. All while accompanied by their award-winning jazz combos!

One of Eckstein Middle School’s bands performs at a concert on June 7, 2014. (From the EMS Band Facebook page)

The sale is also looking for your donations to help make the event a success. (Spring cleaning, anyone?)

Bring clothing in wearable condition, household items others could use, books and music for fresh ears and eyes to enjoy, furniture in good condition, toys, games and puzzles with all pieces and parts, and sporting equipment for a budding athlete to the Eckstein cafeteria on Friday, April 4, from 1:30 – 4 PM. Please no electronics, unassembled furniture, baby carseats, or strollers. The cafeteria’s exterior entrance faces the garden area in the back parking lot.  

Monies raised from the rummage sale go directly to the Eckstein’s music program and are used to help offset some of the cost of off-campus music performances (like performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and bringing home LOTS of awards), repair damaged instruments, and provide scholarship to children who need assistance.

Editorial: Everything in this post today is true*

Ah, the first day of April: The one day a year when you can’t trust ANYTHING on the internet.(1)

Every year as April Fool’s Day grows near, I think about potential tales I could tell about the neighborhood. I ponder writing a post that seems a little strange, but perhaps has just enough truth to it that it might be real.

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But I always chicken out. Two reasons:

1. It’s a tricky thing to write a good April Fool’s Day story. My favorite “big media” April Fool’s story is the one that NPR broadcast in 2003: The Library of Congress was (supposedly) hurrying to copy various audio formats (like cassettes and CDs and such) “onto a single, easy-to-access format that is absolutely stable.”

However, the story continues (emphasis mine), “[T]hanks to a grant from the Smolian-Giovannoni Foundation, all of these audio formats are being transferred onto 10-inch wide, 78 rpm shellac disks — the one rock-solid format archivists have identified that works every time.”

It made so much sense to me. “You can’t trust those zeros and ones, man,” I thought. “They wander off! But a groove is FOREVER.” April Fools.

2. To date on this site, the Ravenna Blog has been occasionally silly, crafty, and even whimsical, but it’s never tried to pull one over on you.(3) As well-meaning and good-natured silly hoaxes might be, they can cause trouble.

Seattle legend Ivar Haglund was known for his pranks. Paul Dorpat, of HistoryLink.org, is not.(4) However, in 2009, Dorpat helped Ivar’s (the restaurant) pull one over on the city (and the Seattle Times, which publishes Dorpat’s “Now and Then” columns on local history on Sundays).

In August of 2009, a large billboard for Ivar’s was hauled out of Elliott Bay. Supposedly, this billboard was  made in the mid-1950s and placed purposefully underwater at that time (and kept in place with anchors) to advertise the restaurant to divers. Plans for seven more were supposedly found in Pier 54, the current headquarters of the restaurant chain. A mini-documentary was filmed during the supposed discovery.

“Seattle historian Paul Dorpat [...] says he doesn’t believe the billboards are hoaxes,” wrote Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis in September 2009. Then, in November, Lacitis wrote, “So, OK, it all turned out to be a hoax.” Ivar’s Inc president Bob Donegan and Dorpat pulled one over on the city in true Ivar Haglund style. And then the Seattle Times executive director told Dorpat his “continued freelance relationship with the paper [was] ‘under review.’” Oops.

We’re no Seattle Times,(5) but I believe it is important that readers know that this place, this weblog of Ravenna neighborhood news, can be trusted. And it’s not worth marking a goofy holiday to wreck that ideal.

HOWEVER, I’m not going to let reasons 1 and 2 from stopping me describing the various April Fool’s Day posts I’ve considered writing. Coming up with the titles is pretty fun, actually (and happens the way the pros at The Onion start writing their stories).

Here are my Ravenna Blog April Fool’s Day Story Ideas That I Will Never Write About, in no particular order:

Rav-Eck Community Center and Ravenna School Apts to be sold back to school district, be turned back into school

Post accompanied by a picture of overcrowded Bryant Elementary students pressed up against the inside of a window the school.

Wedgwood Community Council finally realizes namesake boulder is in Ravenna, moves to rename it “Ravenna Rock”

While there are no official city-drawn neighborhood boundaries, the by-laws of the various community councils in Seattle DO have such things. The Wedgwood Rock is located south of NE 75th Street, clearly in Ravenna-Bryant Community Association territory. (Sure, this glacial erratic came through Wedgwood during the last ice age, but it’s OURS NOW.)

NE 65th St to be closed to ALL traffic, turned into dog park

We’ve fought about it enough, drivers, cyclers, and pedestrians: Now NOBODY gets to use it.

New Roosevelt Station night construction mitigation and safety plan includes glow-in-the-dark googly eyes on heavy machinery

This one nearly happened, sort of. Not long after our Northgate Link photo essay post went up, we had a conversation on twitter with the Archie McPhee account:

 

Should you need your own googly eyes, glow-in-the-dark or no, Archie McPhee has a nice selection.

Jeannie Hale declares self Laurelhurst Community Club president for life, invades Windermere

We’re not sure just how long Jeannie Hale has been president of the LCC, but we did find a Seattle Times article from 1996 where she was mentioned as holding the title.

Scarecrow Video to start movie delivery by drone

Hey, if Amazon can dream…

Roosevelt Way NE to be renamed Ravenna Way NE to further confuse local businesses

Do more people visit your restaurant if you say it’s in Ravenna and not next to Interstate 5 where it is actually located? </hyperlocalbloggerrant>

Driver still looking for a surface lot spot at University Village 3 days later

People, those parking garages are filled with parkings spots ALL THE TIME. Just go straight there and save yourselves the frustration. Besides, the view from the south side of Level F (Flute) of the new south building is quite impressive.

City readies plans to turn empty Roosevelt Reservoir into giant ball pit

Back in 2011, somebody fashioned a legit-looking Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign and put it up in front of  the long empty Green Lake Vitamilk pit. It read, in part, “one ground level ball pit pond containing 1,200,000 cu. ft. of rainbow plastic balls.” It wasn’t an April Fool’s Day prank — sign went up in August — but might as well have been.

And my personal favorite for last:

Roosevelt High School purchased by Hugh Sisley, closed

To be honest, I thought up around a dozen more involving Gentleman Sisley. But he seems to be a rather litigious sort of fellow, so I’ll be keeping the others to myself out of an over-abundance of caution.

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* As far as I know.

(1) The rest of the days average 90-95% untrustable material. (2)

(2) This is based on my own personal experience, and not any actual “data” or “studies.”

(3) Knowingly, anyway. And if/when a fact needs correcting, I try to do so as quickly as possible.

(4) In his professional life, anyway. Or perhaps he’d refer to it as “storytelling.”

(5) I’m not quite sure what I mean by that. Perhaps just, “Not on your lawn in a bag at 6 AM.”

Meet new Ravenna Blog contributor, Oralea Howard

SO EXCITED to share this news: Ravenna Blog now has a writing staff of TWO. (Intern #1, who is currently writing and reading thanks to kindergarten, is not quite ready for prime time.)

Oralea & Violet Meet Oralea Howard. She and I met through Ravenna Blog Intern #2′s preschool class at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Her family lives in Ravenna, too, and she’s graciously offered to join up to help me bring you all the hyperlocal news that’s fit to publish electronically.

After graduating from the University of Oregon’s Journalism program, Oralea began an eclectic career path which most recently found her teaching science and art to first graders. Now, when she’s not cleaning up art or craft projects gone awry, she’s trying her own hand at quilting, printmaking, or gardening. You can frequently find Oralea, her husband, and their two-year-old out on the sidewalk, covered in chalk, and sharing beers with their neighbors.

Oralea and I had our first editorial calendar meeting last week, and we look forward to many more!*

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*Coffee is involved, and our kids are not.

EDIT: Oralea’s last name is actually Howard, NOT White as I previously wrote. The publisher really regrets that error.