Monica Guzman, the head Big Blogger, will soon be moving to Eastlake along with her boyfriend, Jason Preston. She had lots of questions about hot issues in the neighborhood (transportation, land use, crime) and what we're expecting for the Fourth (something between "ho-hum" and Armageddon).
It was a nice night to be out and walking the neighborhood, chatting with friends and enjoying the quiet at the day's end.
Thanks to Louisa's for letting us invade.
What's a neighborhood plan? According to the city's Dept. of Neighborhoods website, neighborhood plans "identify actions needed to ensure that each neighborhood will continue to thrive and improve as Seattle grows over the next 20 years in ways that meet our commitments under the State's Growth Management Act."
The city is now looking at updating the neighborhood plans, and they're looking for our input. For background reading, take a look at Eastlake's current neighborhood plan, which was developed about 10 years ago. (Be forewarned -- it's very detailed.)
Next step in the process: the city will be doing more public meetings, tentatively scheduled for October, where comments and survey feedback will be reviewed and then they will start the process of documenting the status of the neighborhood.
To stay informed, join the ECC announcement email list and we'll let you know when the next public meeting takes place. Have questions or want to send your thoughts to the ECC board? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday morning was busy in Eastlake's P-Patch as volunteers gathered to clear vegetation in preparation for a planned expansion. At least 20 people (probably more) were chopping and clearing.
The P-Patch, in the 2900 block of Fairview Ave. E., is set to grow from 27 plots to 47 plots. Most of the new plots will be on the hill overlooking the original garden. The new plots will be 100 square feet each versus 200 square feet for the original plots.
Saturday's work group cleared brush from the area where the new plots will go, put leaf compost on planting beds next to the stairs and did other work around the garden.
Contact Rebecca and Bryan Partington for more information on the expansion plans. They can be reached at email@example.com or (206) 601-3453. Rebecca's recent post about the expansion is here.
A post from April about Spring preparations in the P-Patch (along with a photo gallery) is here.
Seattlepi.com's Monica Guzman, blogger extraordinaire, will be having her weekly Big Blog meet-up at Louisa's on Wednesday. This is a chance for bloggers and others interested in new media or what's going on online to gather and chat.
Or, look at it as a chance to tell Monica about what's up with Eastlake (she may be moving to our neighborhood). The Big Blog group met at Voxx last winter and it was fun and interesting with a great mix of people.
I used to work with Monica at the P-I, so I'm a little partial, but I think her meet-ups are some of the better gatherings of this type I've been to.
And, this is a good chance to try out Louisa's new evening hours and menu. See you there!
About 70 people attended Wednesday night's celebration of the completion of the Boylston and Harvard avenues noise wall projects. The event was on the now-much-quieter front lawn of Harvey and Hisako Nakaya on Boylston Ave. E.
State Sen. Ed Murray stopped by to thank the neighbors and talk about the project. Erin Fletcher, Washington State Department of Transportation project engineer for the noise walls, thanked Sen. Murray. She also talked about the upcoming study of noise-reducing material on the Ship Canal Bridge Express Lanes (a video post about this week's informational meetings on that study is in the works).
Thanks to the Eastlake Community Council for sponsoring the event and providing soft drinks, assorted sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs.
The WSDOT sent along the photos.
We've lived in Eastlake for 8 years and have always enjoyed taking walks and exploring the neighborhood (especially this time of year when the days are so long). Sometimes I like to bring a camera along. I took these one evening a couple of weeks ago.
The Eastlake Community Council is holding a free picnic and cookout, and everyone in the neighborhood is invited!
ECC has been working since the 1970s to reduce I-5 noise, and now we can celebrate the recently completed I-5 noise walls and hear about proposals to extend them to the Ship Canal bridge and do a noise retrofit of the bridge itself. At 6:30 we'll recognize WSDOT, its contractors, and others who have made the project possible.
There will be free soft drinks, cookies, cake, hot dogs, hamburgers, and gardenburgers — or bring something else to barbecue (or your own beverage). Longtime residents Harvey and Hisako Nakaya are kindly hosting the event on their beautiful (and newly quiet) front lawn.
Time: 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, June 24
Place: 2623 Boylston Ave. E.
Information: Chris Leman, ECC Vice President (206) 322-5463, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your plans for the holiday? (Let us know in the comments if you aren't able to vote. Click "show results" to see how the voting is going):
Your friendly community garden, the Eastlake P-Patch, is beginning an expansion project!
The Eastlake P-Patch is a community garden located at 2900 Fairview Ave E. The garden currently has 27 plots, and the expansion project will add 20 more. The P-Patch provides a space for organic, pesticide-free gardening of vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
We’ve just scheduled the first work party for June 27, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. We’re going to be clearing vegetation from the area in which the new plots will go. If you’d like to come, contact Rebecca Partington (contact information below) and don’t forget to bring your gloves!
If you want to help but can’t make it to the work party on June 27, don’t worry - there will be more work parties, and the dates will be announced as soon as possible.
We are also in need of materials, so if you or someone you know would like to donate rebar, plumbing supplies, concrete, cash, food for volunteers, or plants (especially blueberry bushes), we’d love to hear from you.
If you've ever been curious about all those sailboats on Tuesday nights on Lake Union in the summer, wonder no more: it's Duck Dodge , a tradition in the Seattle sailing community dating back a few decades.
The rules are simple and mainly revolve around following the basic sailing rights of way, not hitting each other (which accounts for 5 of the top 10 rules), and never making a duck change its course (dodge a duck -- hence the name).
For most participants, it's more fun than serious, which is why there are themes for many of the races -- this year's themes include pirate night, prom night, and tropical night (where they hand out beer to boats as they round one corner of the course). After each race, it's customary to raft up with the other boats that raced that night and exchange stories, catch up with old friends, and thoroughly enjoy a uniquely-Seattle evening.
Besides actually being on a boat, the best viewing spots for watching the action in Eastlake are the street-end parks. Gas Works and South Lake Union parks are also very popular spots for spectators.
If you ever do get an opportunity to go out on a boat for Duck Dodge, don't miss it -- Fodor's has called it one of the top 100 things to do in North America, and Tropical Night has won the Seattle Magazine award for Best Night on the Water.
Want to see more? There are some spectacular pictures of Duck Dodge on Flickr.
The new light at the Boylston/Lynn intersection makes no sense whatsoever. I turn at this intersection, like many others, to access I-5. I have, in my month of living here, used this intersection over a hundred times. At no point have I ever witnessed any traffic problem from any direction; including rush hour! All that changed when this afternoon the new stop light turned on. When I approached this intersection at 4pm on 6/3 the traffic was backed up to the I-5south onramp when coming north on boylston, to the I-5 offramp and roanoake street when going south, and all the way down to eastlake ave when coming from there. This light clearly creates traffic problems rather than solving them. And in this case causes a problem where one did not exist in the first place.
I hate to make this my first submission to the news site, but here goes...
I work in this neighborhood, but due to Metro's schedule and location of my workplace, I end up driving. I am a Seattleite and my employer provides some parking. However, the medium-sized employer I work for does not have nearly enough spaces for the approximately 100 people that work on-site.
Two employees are able to utilize the employer's transit benefit, which isn't as strong as many of the area employer's offerings.
I had never received a parking ticket in my life and then I moved to Seattle. I have received four tickets over my years in this area and the parking only seems to be getting tighter. To clarify, only weekday parking seems to be tighter. I have dropped by work on the weekend and am amazed at how open this area is.
Does anyone work with the Fred Hutcheson/Bill Gates complexes on parking policy? What about, as the Eastlake Community Council said in their newsletter, lobbying the city to do away with "commuter parking restrictions"...
In New York City in the mid-1960s, hundreds of residents listened but did not respond to a woman’s prolonged screams for help. The woman was murdered, but a national re-understanding of the value of neighborhood-based security was born.
Block Watch in Seattle was launched in 1974. In Eastlake, we have an annual Night Out Block Watch party for the 2600 block of Franklin. The Floating Homes maintains an e-mail system for reporting crimes. The Eastlake Community Council occasionally has well-attended “Crime” public meetings. And after a particularly horrendous local violent crime or aggressive wave of property crime, there are always calls for more Block Watches.
I want to try a new approach. The original concept of Block Watch was a grassroots growth of neighborly interaction to suppress crime. Eastlake Ave. blog seems the ideal location to assemble ideas from which to build a sustainable anti-crime framework.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll try to write to one topic within the following themes:
Which Crimes? Which crimes do we remove – such as graffiti, litter? Which do we report and archive – such as car prowls? Do we encourage a separate organization for the neighborhood’s commercial interests who don’t care about car prowls on Fairview but do care about shoplifting?
Strengths and Weaknesses. We have the advantages of numbers and home turf. The criminals have the advantages timing and desperation. How can we exploit their weaknesses? How can we protect our weaknesses?
Sustainability. How do we create a perpetually sustainable information dissemination structure? How do we prevent ourselves from expanding into encroachment?
How Political? Do we work to ban high-octane beer from our convenience stores? Do we organize courtroom observers to monitor local cases to their most appropriate conclusion? Do we train teams to supervise court-ordered clean-up crews under the freeway? Do we endorse a City Council candidate who promises to restore funding for our police liaison?
Patrols and Incident Response. What are the pros and cons about bike patrols? Litter Patrols? Graffiti patrols? Sidewalk patrols? Broken windshield glass at 3:00 AM inspected with a flashlight, orange vest and cell phone isn’t my wife’s ideal Saturday night.
Electronics. Phone trees to voice mail, e-mail blasts, Twitter, Face book, surveillance cameras, cell phones. Phones were at the end of the hallway when Kitty Genovese was murdered in 1964. So how do we use our new electonic tools effectively and efficiently?
Public Presence. We likely need a public name. But we don’t need neighbors asking us to go clean up syringes on the playground. And we don’t want graffiti punks to target our leadership. What should be our public presence, both as projected and as a receptive community institution?
The Police. The East Precinct sacrificed their Block Watch liaison to budget cuts. The West Precinct is busy organizing Belltown to defend itself against regular gunfire and drug dealing. Eastlake was split at Lynn Street last year between the East and West Precincts. The Floating Homes are split between Harbor Patrol, East, West and North Precincts. How much help can we expect – and do we want -- from the Seattle Police Department?
Others hopefully will contribute ideas, directions and topics as they see fit.
A small but enthusiastic group of Eastlake neighbors gathered at Seward school on May 5. The topic: Surviving the hard economic times and what we can do to help each other.
Craig MacGowan of the Eastlake Community Council (ECC) lead the discussion. The focus was on three areas: What the ECC can do to help; what resources and groups are out there that can help with more modest living; and ideas on how people can get by with less.
Craig had assembled some resources already, including pamphlets on how to use transit and where to find listings of free community events. Two representatives from Seattle Tilth provided information on everything from how to make a worm bin to smart watering, composting, container gardens and how to get rid of weeds in an environmentally sensitive manner.
Among the ideas the group came up with were:
Feel free to add your ideas about how Eastlake neighbors can help each other during these hard to the comments on this post.
Chris Leman is looking for volunteers to help finish, clean up and water the new, native plant garden on the Lake Union shoreline between NOAA and the Lake Union Drydock (1500 and 1600 blocks of Fairview Avenue E.), from 9 a.m. to noon. Bring gloves and sturdy shoes (there are a few gloves to borrow if you forget).
It's part of the annual Lake Union clean up, which means there's a free cookout and party at South Lake Union after.
Chris says the group working on the garden urgently needs donations of hoses, nozzles, soaker hoses and sprinklers, which you can leave by the tool hutch at 1609 Fairview (near the trash can), or phone and we'll pick up from your home. Call (206) 322-5463 or e-mail email@example.com
Next up: Watering the new plantings in the coming months. "Once the plants get established," Chris writes, "they won't need watering, but they do need it for the first two summers."
Contact Chris to arrange to water for a couple of hours on a future weekday or weekend. Thanks to Lake Union Drydock and Peterson Yacht Services for giving us water, Chris writes.
People jogging and walking their dogs around Minor, Yale and Fairview have probably seen me clicking away on my camera. I really love the variety of flowers, plants and trees that Eastlakers put in their yards. And it's great that some bloom now, while others wait until late summer, so the show lasts a while.
Attached are some shots I've recently taken around the neighborhood. Hope you enjoy. You may even spot your house.
Chris Leman sends the following:
Volunteers are needed tomorrow (Thursday, April 23), 8:30-11:30 a.m., on the east Lake Union shore between NOAA and Lake Union Drydock. Join 20 high school students in helping with the remaining planting and to spread mulch. The mulch keeps weeds down and helps keep the soil moist during the summer. Bring raingear, gloves and sturdy shoes.
And now that we've restored the lakebank between NOAA and Lake Union Drydock with native plants, we need to water them in the coming months. Once the plants get established, they won't need watering, but they do need it for the first few summers. Please call (206) 322-5463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a future weekday or weekend. Also, we need donations of hoses, nozzles, soaker hoses and sprinklers, which you can leave by the tool hutch at 1609 Fairview (near the trash can).
Volunteers are also needed to help inventory Eastlake's trees, especially the large ones which we are fast losing from lack of priority. This will involve filling out an inventory form and it would be good also to take a photo. Instructions and advice will be provided. To get involved: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. See the article on page 4 of the April/May Eastlake News (PDF), which is also available at www.eastlakeseattle.org.
It was easy to tell it was Spring on Saturday: The sun was actually visible and gardeners were preparing their plots at the Eastlake P-Patch on Fairview.
Dirt was being turned, planting beds were being cleared and the water was on. Some early flowers were even blooming, signs of what is to come when the mini-gardens begin growing in earnest.
The P-Patch is planning to expand, say the volunteer site coordinators, Mary Jones and Barb Donnette. There’s a lot of demand for space in the P-Patch and a long waiting list to get a spot.
The expansion would add 20 new plots to the 28 already there. The new plots would be smaller (100 square feet instead of the 200 square feet of the current plots) and would be situated on the hill above the current plots. There would be three new plots that would be accessible to those with limited mobility.
Eastlake garden designer Lisa Hummel has designed the expansion. In addition to the new beds, the plans include a new pathway to connect the lower garden with the new upper space.
The volunteers have applied for a $15,000 matching grant from the City’s Department of Neighborhoods to help fund the expansion. Donnette says they have $30,000 in volunteer matching donations (labor, materials and in-kind services) and $2,000 in cash matches.
Donnette says they are also hoping to get surplus material from the City’s Department of Transportation to be used in the project, everything from old street signs to rubble.
“We are still reaching out to neighborhood folks who want to get involved in work on site or to support the effort through the donation of services, goods or cash,” she says.
Check the pledge form online at the Eastlake Community Council’s web site for more information or to donate. Contact Mary Jones at MEJ(at)raincity.com or Barb Donnette at jandbdonnette(at)comcast.net for information on the P-Patch and the expansion. For information on the City's P-Patch program, click here.
Currently showing in the P-Patch’s arbor is “Partly Sunny,” a piece of fabric art by Barb Matthews, a student in the University of Washington’s Fiber Arts Certificate Program. Her artwork in the P-Patch features a sunburst design done in an array of brightly colored cotton fabric on a blue nylon backing. Look to the back of the garden to see it. On Saturday afternoon, a gentle breeze made “Partly Sunny” dance in the sunlight.
Click the arrow to see the slide show. Click on an individual photo to see caption info in Flickr.