Author Archives: Lake City Live

‘Private property’ signs go up at formerly public beach on Lake Washington

"Private property" signs recently went up at a beach that for nearly 80 years was public.

“Private property” signs recently went up at a beach that for nearly 80 years was public.

“Private property” signs were recently staked into the ground of a piece of waterfront property that for nearly 80 years was used as public access to the water of Lake Washington. Marks on the ground show where a sign that was announcing improvements planned by the City of Seattle was dragged away.

Lake City Live has been following the controversy and the court’s ruling that gave ownership of the property at the end NE 130th Street to the adjacent property owners. You can see our coverage here and here.

Neighbors advocating to keep the land public have been organizing via a Facebook group. They are asking the City of Seattle to condemn the property so it can be returned to public use. And in a Wednesday report, KIRO/7 said that the effort seems to be gaining traction with City of Seattle leaders.

KIRO/7 visited the site on Wednesday and filed this report. In the video below they try to talk to one of the property owners without success.

Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle DOT, Seattle PD launch traffic safety initiative at Lake City Library

Mayor Ed Murray in front of the Lake City Library

Mayor Ed Murray in front of the Lake City Library

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Council members and officials from the Seattle Police Department and Department of Transportation announced “Vision Zero Seattle” during an event outside of the Lake City Library on Thursday afternoon.

Vision Zero Seattle is a program with the aim of ending traffic deaths and injuries in Seattle.

From the Mayor’s office:

While Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, more than 10,000 traffic collisions occur each year. In 2014, 3,449 injury collisions were reported to the Seattle Police Department. Fifteen people died in traffic crashes, including five who were walking or riding a bike.

At the core of Vision Zero is the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. The Vision Zero approach emphasizes smarter street designs – forgiving streets that account for human error. When paired with targeted education and enforcement, the effort will save lives.

The effort will include:

Pedestrians run across State Route 522, aka Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

Pedestrians run across State Route 522, aka Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

  • Reduce the speed limit in the downtown core to 25 mph by the end of 2015.
  • Improve safety at 10 high-crash intersections downtown by eliminating turns on red lights, installing leading pedestrian intervals to give walkers a head start, eliminating dual turn lanes and other engineering improvements.
  • Install 20 mph zones on residential streets in up to ten areas near parks and schools with documented collision histories.
  • Enhance safety on arterials — like Rainier Avenue S, 35th Avenue SW, Fauntleroy Way SW and 5th Avenue NE where 90 percent of serious and fatal collisions occur — by installing speed reductions, radar speed signs and enhanced street designs.
  • Add twelve new school zone safety cameras in six school zones to improve safety for kids as they make their way to and from school.
  • Add seven miles of protected bike lanes, more than 40 crossing improvements and 14 blocks of new sidewalk to make travel safer across all modes.
  • Conduct targeted enforcement throughout the city for school, pedestrian and bike safety, along with enhanced DUI enforcement.
  • SDOT and SPD will work together to educate people in advance of these patrols, so everyone will expect enforcement and better understand the rules of the road.

The Seattle Bike Blog reports that this is the second time City of Seattle leaders have gathered press for an announcement to end traffic injuries and deaths. The previous plan announced, the Road Safety Action Plan, had a similar goal. From the Seattle Bike Blog:

Since that plan, the city has launched a brilliant and successful school zone speed camera program, which slows down traffic and helps to fund safety projects like Safe Routes to School. The city also crafted a new Bicycle Master Plan.

But more must be done. Will the new Vision Zero plan be bolder? Will there be serious funding? Stay tuned for details.

Hip Hop and healthy food Tuesday at Lake City Presbyterian Church

Hip Hop Green Dinner

Hip Hop Green Dinner

Want to see some “groundbreaking Hip Hop performances” and eat a healthy meal?

Lake City Presbyterian Church is hosting a Hip Hop Green Dinner on Tuesday, February 10th at 5 pm.

What Happens at the Hip Hop is Green Dinner?

The Green Dinners serve as a unique way to reach out to the community to deliver a vegan dining experience geared towards urban youth and young people who identify with Hip Hop culture. The dinners are designed to be a perfect combination of information and entertainment. By breaking bread and sharing information in a relaxed and entertaining environment, the Hip Hop Green Dinners help youth and their families make the connection between their diet, lifestyle and their health.

1. A beautiful dining presentation
2. To taste some of the best vegan food available in their area
3. To witness some groundbreaking Hip Hop performances and meet the artists involved
4. To meet and learn about healthy eating and living from leading health professionals
5. To network with agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals in their area who can help them transition to a healthier lifestyle

Click here to register and learn more.  The Green Dinner will be held at the Lake City Presbyterian Church (3841 NE 123rd Street).  There is only room for 150 people, and seats are limited.

Here is a video explaining previous Hip Hop Green Dinners.

Flyer below

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35th Avenue Northeast reopens after months long closure

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After a seven-month closure, 35th Avenue NE has reopened to traffic. The road will still have periodic lane closures as finishing touches are put on the Thornton Creek Confluence Project. The reopening of the road will allow for the return to normal of Metro routes 64 and 65.

We drove the route soon after it was announced that it was reopened. The road surface still needs some obvious work as uneven surfaces make for a rough ride in spots. But the project significantly transformed and improved the route for Thornton Creek. The new culvert and flood plain will be put to the test on Saturday evening after the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for King County

The project included:

  • Landscaping.
  • Completion of a new two-acre floodplain and meandering channel for the creek.
  • A new bridge where 35th Avenue NE crosses Thornton Creek.
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat.

After 82 years, public beach ruled to be private property; neighborhood groups advocating for public access

 

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

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New stairs were constructed to the beach before the lawsuit.

The only public access to Lake Washington in Lake City and Cedar Park was ruled to be privately-owned property, and the State Supreme Court recently upheld the ruling. This after 82 years of paddling, swimming, wading and enjoyment for land-locked folks in the community. After a unanimous vote by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, a network of organizations are now advocating to keep the beach access public.

The lawsuit came just as funding was secured and improvements were made to the park via a recent Parks and Green Spaces Levy. Lake City Live first reported about the legal dispute in April 2013. Click here to read story.

From the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance:

This small, local, Cedar Park community beach, established 82 years ago, is the only water access in the Lake City neighborhoods. It is the only public access to Lake Washington in the 5-mile stretch from Matthews Beach to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.

Since 1932 this beach has been open to public use. Nobody questioned the public nature of this property until it was purchased in October of 2010 and then 2 years later, the new owners and an adjacent neighbor sued King County and Seattle for ownership. By exploiting a technical procedural error made 82 years ago, they were able to take this property away from the public. There is no question that this beach was intended to remain public in perpetuity. Only a legal loophole allowed the adjacent landowners to succeed in their court case.

Resident David Pope has been working for years to bring awareness of the loss of the beach to the community. He regularly contributes to the Facebook Group “Friends of NE 130th Beach.” He will make a presentation to the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance in February.

You can read the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance letter to City of Seattle leaders below.

Download (PDF, 286KB)

You can see a Google Street view of the area below:


View Larger Map

Nathan Hale Urban Farm, first design meeting Dec. 14

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An urban farm is planned near Nathan Hale High School. And the first design meeting for the project is being held on December 14th. The public is welcome to attend.

Nathan Hale Urban Farm First Design Meeting

Sunday, December 14, 2014
9:00am-9:30am, tour at the Greenhouse, north of Jane Addams Middle School (11051 34th Avenue NE)

10:00am-2:00pm, Community Forum at Nathan Hale High School (10750 30th Avenue NE)

Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP by clicking here.

‘World of Tastes’ in Lake City Passport Winners announced

Lake City Future First recently wrapped up their first ‘World of Tastes’ passport program where people that visited neighborhood businesses received stamps on a “passport.” Those that completed the passport were then eligible for a prize. The goal of the program was to encourage people to discover some of Lake City’s diverse neighborhood offerings. (Previous coverage here.)

Participating businesses included Mania Manila, Elliot Bay Brewing Co., Pho An, Erawan Bankok Thai, Lake City Gyros, Beer Authority, and Kaffeeklatsch.

From Lake City Future First:

Passport Winner 2

From Left to Right – Brent Norton from Elliot Bay, Joseph and Larissa, Annette Heide-Jessen from Kaffeeklatsch, Chris Leverson with Lake City Future First.

Congratulations to Larissa and Joseph, the winners of our very first “World of Tastes in Lake City” passport program. Larissa and Joseph will enjoy their $50 gift cards courtesy of Kaffeeklatsch, Elliot Bay Brewery, and Lake City Future First as well as 10 free yoga classes from Two Dog Yoga.

A special thanks to all the businesses and the people of Lake City who participated. Be on the lookout for our second “World of Tastes in Lake City” in the next few months featuring new tastes and more prizes.

Lake City Lions to host Pancake Breakfast for Olympic Hills Elementary on December 6

 

The Lake City Lions Club is sponsoring the 9th annual Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for Olympic Hills Elementary School. The breakfast takes place at the Lake City Community Center and will include pancakes, turkey sausage, eggs, juice and coffee. Live entertainment provided by the Taiko Drummers and the P4 Singers; a Comic Book Club display, and a book give-away for all children.

Olympic Hills Elementary is a small, neighborhood school with a rich and diverse population of students, representing 30 different countries and 18 languages. Their vision for the community is for all its members to embrace and value the worth, dignity, and diversity of all people. Their commitment is to provide a differentiated and rich educational program that promotes self-respect, respect for others, encourages social responsibility, and prepares students to be intrinsically motivated leaders in an interdependent global community.

The Lake City Lions Club has supported a number of local schools over the years and is part of an international service organization founded with a desire to serve their community. The club has many fundraising projects for both adults and children alike and meet the 1st, 3rd and 4th Tuesday of every month.

When: Saturday, December 6, 2014 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave NE

Tickets are $6.00 for adults; $4.00 for children, to be purchased at the door.

Street trees cut down in front of Rick’s, replaced with much smaller trees

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Back in May we reported that DreamGirls at Rick’s trimmed back street trees in front of the business. At the time the pruning seemed severe. It prompted complaints from the community.

They were then required by City of Seattle arborists to replace the trees along Lake City Way that were pruned, because at the time it was thought the trees may not survive the pruning or were damaged. The city determined then that topping of the trees was illegal.

From a KIRO Radio report at the time:

The strip club will have to pay for the city to replace the five trees on SR 522 and restore the area to its former appearance. The city won’t say how much it will cost to remove the damaged trees and replace them with new trees of similar size. “The cost will be ‘substantial.”

But over the summer the previously pruned trees recovered and filled out with new branches and leaves, regaining some of their previous size. They survived just fine and looked healthy.

Now those trees that survived the shears, have been cut down. They have been replaced with much smaller trees. The new trees are shown above. The previously pruned trees below.

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Your help needed to advocate for new community center, Monday deadline

This message comes from the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and is an important one. The deadline to write the City Council to advocate for a new community center is Monday, November 10:

The current Lake City Community Center

The current Lake City Community Center

IF YOU HAVE JUST FIVE OR TEN MINUTES TO DO SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY—DO THIS. We need you to write to the Seattle City Council in support of a full-service Lake City Community Center. Please do this by Monday, latest!

Background

Over the past several weeks, the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance has been steadily advocating for a full-service community center in Lake City, to serve children, youth, seniors, and all of us. Lake City offers pitifully few services for our children, youth, and older adults. Those of us with means and mobility can go to other neighborhoods, but our many neighbors who don’t are left behind. We need and deserve the recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities that come with a full-service facility here in Lake City.

Right now

Three of our City Council members, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien, are sponsoring a “Statement of Legislative Intent” that calls upon the Parks Department to report back to the Council by August 2015 with alternatives, including funding plans, for rehabilitating or rebuilding Lake City Community Center. Council Member Nick Licata has been the driving force behind this, but because he is the council budget chair and needs to be a neutral negotiator, he did not sign on—although he can still vote to support.

What we need from you

As an individual or a representative of a group, write an email to all of our City Council members, expressing in your own words why we need a full-service community center in Lake City. We need these communications to go out as soon as possible. You can do it over the weekend, but do it by Monday!

Here are some factors:

  • A growing population of children and youth
  • Many older adults with few senior services
  • Very little park space
  • No consistent programming such as that found at other neighborhoods’ community centers

What would you like to see—sport courts? A pool? A senior center? A community kitchen? Meeting rooms? All of the above? Tell the Council!
We have an historic opportunity, here. We must show a groundswell of support for the current council action, as it is a critical first step on our way to getting a full-service community center in Lake City. We want all of the Council members to vote in favor of this project!

You can send just one email to all the council members at once. Cut and paste these addresses into your recipient line and write your unique request:

sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

sally.clark@seattle.gov

bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

nick.licata@seattle.gov

mike.obrien@seattle.gov

kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

jean.godden@seattle.gov

tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov

tim.burgess@seattle.gov

Thank you, friends! Let’s make this happen together.