NE 65th St Town Hall at Ravenna-Eckstein CC (LIVE COVERAGE; UPDATE)

On Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation will hold a town hall-style meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

City officials will be on hand to to address residents’ and area business owners’ concerns about the Bicycle Master Plan Draft Update and the potential role NE 65th Street may play in it.

Our live coverage of the meeting will begin below, around 6:45 PM.

UPDATE (Thursday, August 15): The Seattle Channel has posted their video of the event, and you can watch it right here (Flash required):



Town Hall on Monday, August 12 to address NE 65th St/Bicycle Master Plan concerns

The time to comment on the Bicycle Master Plan Draft update is over.

Or is it?

According to the Cascade Bicycle Club’s blog, the Seattle Department of Transportation “received more comments on the NE 65th Street protected bike lane than any other project proposed in the draft Bicycle Master Plan Update.”

Not a surprising observation to hear, especially after a less-than-stellar open house on the BMP Draft on June 13 at Roosevelt High School, and a “small business owners/residents meeting” held on June 23 at the Varsity Restaurant on NE 65th St.

We think it is a fair point to make, for all sides of the issue of NE 65th Street’s place in the BMP Update, that there is a lot of confusion around the issue.

Which is why we are grateful to see that a neighborhood town hall regarding NE 65th St and the Bicycle Master Plan Update is being held at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6353 Ravenna Ave NE) on Monday, August 12, from 6:45-8 PM.

NE 65th St

Click the image above to view the Neighborhood Town Hall invitation in full.


If you yourself are not able to attend this meeting, and/or would like to read about it after the fact, the Ravenna Blog will be providing live coverage of the events. We’ll post the link here on Monday the 12th.

If we may be so bold: If you are planning on attending the meeting, please consider taking an alternate mode of transportation than your usual. The journey might give you some insight into the concerns of others in the area.

Heads-up! The Fall 2013 Parks and Recreation Brochure is out!

We have had an amazing summer so far, have we not?

Still, it’s time to start planning for FALL.

The Fall 2013 Seattle Parks and Recreation Brochures are out! Pick up a physical copy at your local community center, or click the image below to download the Northeast Brochure now (2.95 MB PDF).

BEHOLD: The Northeast Seattle Parks and Recreation Fall 2013 Brochure. Click to download the 2.95 MB PDF.

BEHOLD: The Northeast Seattle Parks and Recreation Fall 2013 Brochure. Click to download the 2.95 MB PDF.


Registration opens on Tuesday, August 6!

Common themes to residents’ NE 75th Street safety concerns revealed


SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin (in white) talks to a group of residents about NE 75th Street concerns at the April 25 meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Current Department of Neighborhoods Northeast District Coordinator Jenny Frankl also attended (in blue).

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Coordinator, Jim Curtin, sent an email to the NE 75th St email listserv this week, summarizing the input shared by neighbors about NE 75th St.


Those attending the community input meetings were directed to describe street safety issues on Post-It Notes and stick them directly to maps of the area around NE 75th Street. The red stickers also indicate residents’ trouble spots.

Curtin’s email said “[h]undreds of comments have been collected through three public meetings and we’ve received more than 100 emails, letters, and completed comment sheets.”

The common themes of these comments have been:

  • Channelization improvements were requested along segments of NE 65th Street, NE 75th Street, 25th Avenue NE, 35th Avenue NE and Banner Way NE and at several signalized intersections.

  • Speeding is a problem along the NE 75th Street corridor and along segments of nearby arterial streets.

  • The eight schools in the area increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle volumes twice a day. Speeding on non-arterial streets during drop-off/pick-up hours is a problem near schools. Many students walk and bike to school and student safety is a priority for residents. New construction at Thornton Creek Elementary will likely change traffic patterns.

  • There is a strong desire to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the area. Suggestions included adding more and improving existing marked crosswalks, constructing sidewalks, adding bicycle facilities to NE 65th Street and NE 75th Street, and improving signal performance for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Improve access to parks throughout the area and reduce speeds on adjacent streets Improve existing traffic signals to reduce turning movement conflicts with pedestrians and bicyclists and improve traffic flow.

  • Encroachments in the right-of-way limit pedestrian mobility and reduce visibility for all.

  • Congestion is an issue along several corridors during peak hours. This often leads to cut through traffic on non-arterial streets.

  • Existing parking restrictions should be reviewed and existing parking laws should be more strictly enforced. New parking restrictions are needed in a couple of locations.

  • Increased enforcement efforts are needed area-wide to address speeding, distraction driving, impaired driving, and pedestrian and bicycle safety issues.

  • Educational efforts should focus on behavioral issues like impairment, speeding, and distraction with more information about student, pedestrian, and bicycle safety.

Next week, a map of geographically-specific concerns and suggestions will be sent out to the listserv, Curtin said. You can request to receive future NE 75th St Road Safety Project emails here.


Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang (white, center) and Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty (navy, right) listen to residents concerns and take notes at the RECC community meeting held April 25.

After the map is complete, SDOT’s next steps in the NE 75th St Road Safety Project involve combining this public input with the already existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans and traffic data. Options for future improvements will then be developed and presented to the community in July.

Family Movie Matinees at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center

The Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE) has added a few movie matinees to their schedule that may be of interest to you and your toddler/preschooler.


All movie dates are Fridays, with a start time of 2:30 PM, and include popcorn and coloring sheets.

April 12: Brave (PG), 93 minutes

April 26: Ice Age: Continental Drift (PG), 88 minutes

May 17: Born to be Wild (G), 40 minutes

The event is free (with donations accepted for refreshments).

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: