New collaborative play equipment debuts at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

There’s some brand new fun to be had at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE), and it’s called Imagination Playground.


New-to-the-RECC coordinator Tim Ewings puts together a sample structure while a Ravenna Blog staffer looks on.

Perhaps, as a younger person, you enjoyed playing with Tinkertoys. Now imagine how much fun it would be if those Tinkertoys were HUGE and made of lightweight foam.

That’s what this stuff is like.


Pieces come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, some pock-marked with holes for adding foam tubes and connecting with other pieces.

The community center debuted the new play set, a purchase by previous coordinator Terri Burns (who is now at the Yesler Community Center), on Thursday, with cupcakes, juice, and coffee (for the grown-ups).


The pieces all fit *just so* inside one of two wheeled carts (both with diagrams like that above taped to their sides).

The playtime was free for the inaugural construction session, but will cost the usual drop-in fee of $3 per child in the future.


A separate “pint-sized” engineer area was set up with more basic pieces on a foam mat.

If you and your tiny engineers would like a turn at some constructive playtime, Imagination Playground will be waiting for you in the gym on the following days:

  • Thursdays, April 4 through June 13, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM for kids ages 1-5
  • Saturdays, April 6 through June 8, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM for ALL AGES

This was a “gas station” that a boy had put together…


…and here it is, back to its component parts, ready for its next pint-sized engineer.

RBCA community meeting on crime/NE 75th Street (LIVE COVERAGE)

Our live coverage of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association Spring Community Meeting will be posted below starting around 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 2.

You may download the agenda here (62 KB Microsoft Word document). Or refer to the abridged version posted below:

7:00 PM:  Moment of silence (Lead by Virginia Gunby, RBCA Board Member, Transportation Committee Chair)

7:05: Welcome (Sarah Swanberg, Outgoing RBCA President)

March 25 vehicle/pedestrian double fatality collision on NE 75th Street

7:10: Traffic & pedestrian safety, DUI enforcement & prosecution

  • Seattle Police Department
    • Captain Robin Clark, North Precinct
    • Sergeant Don Smith and Officer Eric Michl
  • Seattle City Attorney’s Office
    • John Schochet, Deputy Chief of Staff
    • Rachel Cormier Anderson, Criminal Division Attorney
    • Jana Jorgensen, North Precinct Liaison

 7:30: Report from Harborview

  • Eileen Whalen, Executive Director, Harborview Medical Center
  • Dr. Beth Ebel, Director, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center

7:50: NE 75th Street improvements

  • Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer, Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Peter Hahn, Director of Transportation

 8:20: RBCA business

  • Sub-committees to address traffic, safety, DUI issues in Ravenna-Bryant
  • Election of RBCA officers

8:40: Q and A with local leaders

City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Rebecca Deehr, Mayor’s Office
Senator David Frockt

Community meeting on Tuesday to address crime, NE 75th Street safety issues (UPDATES)

The spring community meetings of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association (RBCA)  are used to elect new board members, inform the community about any local, recent concerns, and perhaps have a guest speaker from the City Government.

The RBCA Spring Community Meeting this Tuesday, April 2, will feature officials from at least six City departments, including the Seattle Police Department, the City Attorney’s office, and Harborview Medical Center. The meeting will take place in the gymnasium of the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE) from 7-9 PM.

Our LIVE COVERAGE of this event will be HERE (page will go live on the afternoon of April 2 prior to the meeting.)


 The list of confirmed attendees includes (via the RBCA homepage):

  • Council Member Tom Rasmussen will be coming with Eileen Whalen, Executive Director of Harborview Medical Center and Dr. Beth Ebel, Director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.
  • From the Seattle Police Department, North Precinct Captain Robin Clark will be there to introduce Captain Mike Nolan from the SPD Traffic Section.  DUI enforcement experts will also be on hand to answer any questions/concerns the community may have.
  • Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer from the Seattle Department of Transportation will be there to address improvements that can be made to NE 75th.  The Director of Transportation Peter Hahn will also be in attendance.
  • Members of the law department from the City Attorney’s Office will attend to discuss the prosecutorial side of DUIs.
  • The Mayor’s office will also be on hand, should you have questions for him.
  • Gina Iandola, Homestreet Bank’s Wedgwood Branch Manager will also be there should you want to donate funds.  You can read more about ways to donate on Wedgwood Community Council’s website.

The Mayor’s office staff members attending include:

  • Beth Goldberg, City Budget Director
  • Beth Hester, Director of Public Affairs and Management
  • Rebecca Deehr, Mayor’s Office lead on their Road Safety campaign and on the new school road safety initiative

Everyone is welcome to attend. We also expect a large number of Wedgwood Community Council board members and neighbors to attend.

We have spoken with the staff at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center about the meeting, and have been told that the gymnasium will be in use up until the 7 PM meeting start time. Neighbors: Please come prepared to be patient and/or help set up some of the approximately 200 chairs available for seating.

UPDATE (Monday, April 1): Senator David Frockt (D) representing the 46th District is also scheduled to attend.

The agenda order appears to be: SPD and the City Attorney’s Office, then CM Rasmussen, Senator Frockt, and Harborview, and then the Department of Transportation at the end.

Also, to further inform the officials attending Tuesday’s meeting, you may want to contact them in advance with your questions and concerns (or later, if you still have questions/concerns):

[NEW] Senator David Frockt (D), 46th District: (206) 729-3225 and email form

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair: (206) 684-8808 and

Eileen Whalen, Executive Director of Harborview Medical Center: (206) 744-3036

Dr. Beth Ebel, Director of of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center: (206) 744-9430 and

North Precinct Captain Robin Clark: (206) 684-0850 (N. Precinct front desk) and Public Information Officers (206-684-5520)

[NEW] Sergeant Dianne Newsom, North Precinct Community Police Team supervisor: (206) 684-0794 and

[NEW] Sergeant Don Smith, Traffic Section supervisor, Seattle Police Department

[NEW] Officer Eric Michl, Traffic Section/DUI Squad

Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer from the Seattle Department of Transportation: 206-684-5106 and

Peter Hahn, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation: 206-684-5000 and

City Attorney’s Office: 206-684-8200 (Civil main phone number), 206-684-7757 (Criminal main phone number), (Communications Director)

Beth Goldberg, City Budget Director: (206) 233-7115 and

Beth Hester, Director of Public Affairs and Management, Mayor’s Office: (206) 684-3493 and

Rebecca Deehr, Mayor’s Office lead on the Road Safety Initiative: (206) 233-2662 and

Local Spring Egg Hunts looking sunny-side up for Saturday

On your marks…get set…



The annual Spring Egg Hunt is ON this Saturday, March 30, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE). 10 AM SHARP.

Kids from the ages of one- to eleven-years-old are invited to bring their own basket (B.Y.O.B.) for collecting plastic eggs with goodies inside. Eggs recycled on-site will be reused at next year’s hunt.

The event is FREE, and the weather forecast looks AMAZING:

UPDATE (10:33 AM): By request, other local NE Seattle-area egg hunts on Saturday:

Spring Egg Hunt on the Nathan Hale High School Track/Meadowbrook Playfield, 10 AM

Spring Egg Hunt at the Laurelhurst Community Center, 10 AM

Community Egg Hunt at Cowen Park (put on by Calvary Christian Assembly in Roosevelt): Registration at 11:30 AM, hunt at noon. Crafts, games, inflatables, and Peaks Frozen Custard will be there.

If we’re missing any, let us know in the comments!




NE area community centers locked down, evacuated after nearby shooting (UPDATES)

All community centers city-wide were in lockdown today, with Northeast centers later closed and evacuated, after one employee shot another at a north Seattle Parks and Recreation facility.

View Location of N. Seattle Parks and Recreation shooting in a larger map

Via the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

At approximately 1:57 p.m. officers responded to a Seattle Parks and Recreation Department office in the 8000 block of Densmore Avenue North for a 911 report of a man needing medical assistance. Updated 911 calls reported that a man had been shot. Fire department medics responded to the scene and transported the 70-year-old male victim to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of a life-threatening gunshot wound to the chest.

Screen grab from a Magnolia News story from April 2011. Bill Keller is picture at right. (Click to be taken to the webpage.)

Screen grab from a Magnolia News story from April 2011. Bill Keller is picture at right. (Click to be taken to the webpage.)

The victim is now known to be 65-year-old Bill Keller, Executive Director of the Associated Recreation Council. The Seattle Times is reporting that he is currently in critical but stable condition at Harborview Medical Center.

Seattle Parks and Recreation employee Carolyn Piksa's driver's license photo (five years old; current hairstyle shorter).

Seattle Parks and Recreation employee Carolyn Piksa’s driver’s license photo (five years old; current hairstyle shorter).

The suspect is Parks employee Carolyn Piksa (nickname “Zoom”). Piksa is 46-years-old, with a thin build, 5’7″ tall, 140 pounds, last seen wearing a tan corduroy jacket and jeans. She is an assistant community center coordinator. We’ve learned from KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy via twitter that this picture is around five years old, and Piksa’s hairstyle is currently shorter.

Piksa remains at large, possibly driving a blue 2007 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck or a 2013 Ford Flex. If you know her whereabouts, CALL 9-1-1.

Locally, the entire Ravenna Blog newsroom was outside at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center playground at the time of the shooting. When the lockdown order came (just before 2 PM), staff came outside to usher everyone into the facility. We stayed inside, away from the windows, until the order came to evacuate (just after 3 PM).

UPDATE (4:25 PM): West Seattle Blog reporting, via twitter, that the suspect’s vehicle (the blue 2007 Chevy Colorado truck) has been found in Burien:

UPDATE (4:50 PM): Seattle Police Department reporting that the suspect is in custody. Headed to the SPD homicide office from Burien’s Boulevard Park area.

Our friends at the West Seattle Blog have been following this story as well, and you can read their coverage here.

UPDATE (5:05 PM): Watched the KIRO 7 news live stream at 5 PM…the Bitter Lake Community Center connection was Piksa showing up and pulling a gun on another employee. No shots fired.

UPDATE (6:31 PM): Information now from the press conference about today’s shooting held in City Hall.

Mayor McGinn starts. First 911 call comes in at just about 2 PM. Mayor’s office called shortly after. Parks employee, potential “workplace violence” case. Thanking staff of City Hall, SPS, Parks. And Police.

Chief Diaz: Thoughts and prayers to Parks Department employees. Incident began at 1:52 PM. Suspect had access to Parks facilities around the city, hence the city-wide lockdown. Still very early in the investigation. Arrest occurred at 4:49 PM.

McGinn: Thanks to Harborview staff. Keller in stable but serious condition (upgraded from critical). And Fire as well.

Chief Metz: This is all preliminary information. Suspect currently being questioned by detectives.

At 1:52 PM, 911 call comes in from a Parks facility; a medical emergency, and Seattle Fire responds. Person on call later says he was shot (caller thought to be Keller himself). Seattle Police the dispatched. Medics take victim (Keller) to Harborview. No other shots fired.

Same time as officers arrived at the shooting location, another call to 911 comes in 12-15 minutes later. A female Parks employee showed up at Bitter Lake CC. Parks employee at BLCC says a conversation occurred between (the now known to be )suspect and another female Parks employee. A weapon brandished (no details for us at this time), suspect leaves. No shots fired, no physical altercation. Bitter Lake staff calls 911. Officers arrive and debrief staff.

Called a “city-wide emergency” due to the suspect’s access abilities, and community centers across the city are shut down.

SPD intel unit works with phone company to track suspect’s phone to her home, in the Burien area. Intel and SWAT triangulates the area, checks out similar vehicles, does not find the suspect. Moves in on the home, where SWAT uses their PA to call out to the suspect, who comes out of the home, unarmed, and is taken into custody without incident.

Additional information from audience questions: Motive? Too early. Relationship not known at this time (other than both employed by Parks and Rec).

Between 5-7 people were in the office at the time Keller was shot. Not yet known if he was the intended target or not.

More information on the investigation should be available early next week.

Mayor: Parks and Recreation facilities to be open tomorrow, as suspect was arrested.

UPDATE (6:59 PM): And now the press conference video is available:

Spring AND Summer Parks and Recreation Brochure now available

Yes, it is only February 15, but it’s time to think about signing you and the kids up for spring and summer activities at community centers and pools across Seattle.

Spring/Summer 2013 Parks and Recreation Brochure, Northeast Seattle (click to download the 3.1 MB PDF)

Spring/Summer 2013 Parks and Recreation Brochure, Northeast Seattle (click to download the 3.1 MB PDF)

Registration for spring quarter classes starts March 12.

Registration for summer camps starts April 4.

And registration for summer quarter classes starts May 21.

Soup Swap event at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center on January 26

The high feasting holidays are over, and the leftovers are gone (or should be).

What culinary escapade should you try next? How about a SOUP SWAP?!

Join us at 3 PM on Saturday, January 26, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE) for this hopefully-to-be-annual event.

Cooked soup by La.Catholique (via Flickr)

Cooked soup by La.Catholique (via Flickr)

All you need to do is bring from one to six quarts of soup (frozen) with you on Soup Swap day, and you’ll go home with an equal number of different soups to enjoy throughout the winter.

We’ll also be giving away a few loaves of locally-made bread to go with those soups.

For some more detailed Soup Swap directions, you can visit the National Soup Swap how-to page.

And if you need any recipe ideas, let us know in the comments below: We’ll help you out!

Here is a rather delightful video about a Soup Swap event in Seattle from 2011, when this particular group was celebrating their 13th annual swap (WOW):

We’ll also be collecting for the Northwest Help Line Food Bank at this event, so if you have any extra cans of food that you couldn’t fit in your soup, be sure to bring them with you.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center holiday Play Space and Tot Gym schedule

Parents of tots, we have a Christmas present for you.

Did you know that the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6545 Ravenna Avenue NE) is OPEN on Christmas Eve? OH YES, oh yes.

The community center’s Play Space is open from 9:15 AM – 5:30 PM. And we can tell you, from personal experience, sending the small, unruly ones down there with a parent to get their wiggles out before dinner, is a FANTASTIC idea.

It’s only three bucks a kid. (But they could charge 10, and it’d still be a great deal.)


Here’s the Play Space and Tot Gym schedule through Saturday, January 5, 2013:

Play Space

Christmas Eve: 9:15 AM-5:30 PM
Christmas Day: CLOSED
Wednesday the 26th: 2-8:15 PM
Thursday the 27th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Friday the 28th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Saturday the 29th: 9:15 AM-1:30 PM

Monday the 31st: 9:15 AM-5:30 PM
New Year’s Day: CLOSED
Wednesday the 2nd: 2-8:15 PM
Thursday the 3rd: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Friday the 4th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Saturday the 5th: 9:15 AM-4:30 PM

Tot Gym

Wednesday the 26th: 10:15 AM-2 PM
Wednesday the 2nd: 10:15 AM-2 PM

Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Velo-Mayor with Vegetables

This is a picture of the mayor riding away on his bicycle with a bunch of carrots:


Mayor Mike McGinn was in our neighborhood on Saturday, December 1 for a “Tour de Ravenna” and a town hall at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. This picture was taken after the last stop on the tour (the Ravenna Community Garden) where he was presented with a bunch of carrots grown there.

Do YOU have a Moment of Ravenna Zen to share? Email, or use our handy dandy comment form to tell us about it.

Mayor McGinn in Ravenna for tour and a town hall (LIVE COVERAGE)

As a part of the Engage Seattle initiative, Mayor Mike McGinn is coming to the Ravenna neighborhood for both a tour and a town hall with residents on Saturday, December 1.

The town hall/Q&A portion will be held in the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center gym (6535 Ravenna Ave NE) from 11 AM – noon. Everyone is welcome to attend. The mayor, members of his staff, and representatives from various city departments will be on hand to answer questions.

Prior to the town hall, from 10-11 AM, the mayor, members of his staff, and select community leaders and members will be touring parts of Ravenna both on foot and by bicycle (the latter for the first time for this type of event). Ravenna Blog is along for the ride, providing live coverage, and speaking at a couple of the tour stops.

Live coverage of the tour and the town hall can be found below, once the event starts. The Seattle Channel has recorded previous town halls in other neighborhoods, and should they do so for ours you will find the video embedded in this post once it becomes available.