Author Archives: Lake City Live

‘Olympic Hills Elementary Departure Advisory Committee’ seeks volunteers to consider zoning for construction of new school

IMG_6601.JPG

The City of Seattle is seeking community members to serve on a committee that will help consider zoning modifications as Seattle Public Schools plans to build a new school at the Olympic Hills Elementary School site.

From the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:

Here’s your chance to serve on an advisory committee that will recommend whether to grant zoning modifications needed for construction of the new Olympic Hills Elementary School. Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is seeking interested persons from the neighborhood to serve on this committee.

This committee is being created because the Seattle School District is requesting a waiver (departure) from some City zoning regulations for the construction of the school to be located at 13018 20th Avenue NE. These modifications are: 1) greater than allowed height, 2) less than required on-site parking, and 3) continued on-street bus loading and unloading.

The process for considering this request involves public meetings before an advisory committee composed of representatives from the neighborhood, School District, and City of Seattle. The Committee will receive briefings from the School District, and gather and evaluate public comment on the departure requests. Following these meetings, the committee will forward a recommendation to the City to either grant or deny the requested waiver. The committee may also recommend relevant conditions to be applied to granting these changes to minimize its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. The City of Seattle will make the final decision.

The Committee will be composed of eight representatives from the following:
1. A person residing within 600’ of the proposed site.
2. A person owning property or a business within 600’ of the proposed site.
3. Two representatives of the general neighborhood.
4. A representative-at-large to represent city-wide education issues.
5. Two representatives of the Olympic Hills Elementary PTSA.
6. A representative of the Seattle School District.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please send a letter of interest by either e-mail or regular mail to:
Steve Sheppard
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
700 5th Avenue Suite 1700
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649
E-mail: Steve.sheppard@seattle.gov

Letters of interest should be received by September 17, 2014. For more information call Steve Sheppard, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, at 206-684-0302.

Lake City Halloween, Christmas decorations in need of a home

Holiday decorations are put up along Lake City Way in 2013. (LCL photo)

Holiday decorations are put up along Lake City Way in 2013. (LCL photo)

The holiday decorations that make Lake City come alive each Halloween and Christmas are in need of a new home. Pierre Auto Centers loaned a house to the Lake City Lions for storage of the Christmas street decorations and some Halloween items. For the last three years the space was provided for free.

But this summer the house was remodeled for use as a rental and all the decorations had to move. The decorations have since been kept in a storage locker for the short term, but at the end of September they will need to move again.

A new, free space is being sought for storage of the decorations. Ideally about 800-1000 square feet so there is room to repair the wreaths and bells as well as store them, said North Seattle Chamber Executive Director Diane Haugen.

If a new home for the decorations cannot be found it is feared that they may be lost.

You can contact Haugen via email if you have a lead on a new storage spot for Lake City’s decorations: northseattlechamber@gmail.com

Seattle Mayor, local leaders participate in Lake City ‘Find it, fix it’ walk

Mayor Ed Murray and community members at the Lake City Mini-Park before the walk. (LCL photo)

Mayor Ed Murray and community members at the Lake City Mini-Park before the walk. (LCL photo)

Local leaders came to Lake City Monday night for Mayor Ed Murray’s sixth “Find it, Fix it” community walk. Previous walks have visited other Seattle neighborhoods and crime hotspots.

Murray, along with Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean, Sen. David Frockt, and other officials and City of Seattle department representatives, toured the neighborhood with about 50 local residents. The tour highlighted troubled areas and elements of the community that are in need of improvement.

The walks, as described in a press release, allow community residents, police, and city officials to “walk together to identify physical disorder and solve it.” The goal of the walks is to help Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Department of Planning and Development, and Seattle Public Utilities to make improvements in Seattle’s neighborhoods.

As noted during the walk, city departments often rely on reports from residents about transportation problems, crime, derelict properties and other issues in a community. One speaker said that if a problem area is not continually reported by the community, it is more difficult to deal with because it has to then be noticed by a department employee. And that can take much longer.

Community members gather near the intersection of 30th Avenue NE and NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Community members gather near the intersection of 30th Avenue NE and NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Reporting a safety or crime concern is easy to do with the City of Seattle’s Find it, Fix it mobile app (the app can be downloaded by clicking here for iOS and Android.) The app allows users to easily report graffiti, potholes, illegal dumping, abandoned vehicles, and other issues. You can also use the City’s website to report problems by clicking here.

During the Monday walk, plenty of those reportable items were found, and eight large trash bags of litter were gathered by volunteers from the North Seattle Family Center and Hunger Intervention Program.

Mayor Murray watches as young volunteers gather piles of trash from a lot at NE 130th and Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

Mayor Murray watches as young volunteers gather piles of trash from a dump site on a lot at NE 130th and Lake City Way. (LCL photo)

The walk with community members —and an earlier walk with members of the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and city leaders— gave people a chance to air concerns about the community.

When a speaker from the City stood in front of the dilapidated Aqua Dive site to talk about graffiti removal, the structure provided a strong backdrop for the way some property owners have allowed their buildings to become eyesores and contributors to behaviors that negatively impact the community. The Aqua Dive and neighboring structures are know to be popular places for drug users and others that have been kicked out of homeless housing projects in the neighborhood. At one point, one of the leading advocates for Lake City’s homeless community shouted out that the structure needs to be torn down.

The dilapadeted Aqua Dive provides a backdrop for a talk about graffiti removal. (LCL photo)

The dilapadeted Aqua Dive provides a backdrop for a talk about graffiti removal. (LCL photo)

The walk also meandered over to the old Fire Station 39 and the Lake City Community Center —both city-owned properties in the core of Lake City that debate has swirled around their future use.

The City has proposed leasing the old fire station to the Pierre Auto Centers for two years, delaying development of the property. A previous proposal was to build transitional housing for formerly homeless people on the site. That proposal generated significant opposition and some would say was a catalyst for the formation of some of Lake City’s current active community groups.

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

The walk ended at the Lake City Community Center, where Mayor Ed Murray thanked community members for taking the time to walk around the neighborhood. Earlier discussion with the Mayor and Lake City leaders centered around the future of the building, its lack of amenities, and spaces that are not ADA accessible. The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance earlier sent a letter to the Mayor’s office advocating for a new, full-service Lake City Community Center to support the youth, families, and seniors in the Lake City Hub Urban Village.

People gather at the Lake City Community Center during the walk. (LCL photo)

People gather at the Lake City Community Center during the walk. (LCL photo)

The walk gave community members a brief moment to point out issues in the core of Lake City, a likely more effective way than trying to explain a problem in a meeting environment. General topics such as our overall lack of sidewalks —a topic that historically dominates community meetings here— was only discussed a few times as other specific problem areas prompted residents to enter discussions with representatives from the City of Seattle Departments.

Residents speak to the Mayor. (LCL photo)

Residents speak to the Mayor. (LCL photo)

The walk was led by Seattle Police officers and roads were shut down by officers for the group of pedestrians to safely walk on the streets —something that one resident pointed out is not available to pedestrians that regularly have to walk in Lake City streets.

As city officials and residents dispersed after the evening walk, another crowd started to fill in the Lake City Mini Park. The usual suspects were out there drinking tallboys, with one man pacing back and forth yelling at passing motorists. Officials from the walk watched the scene unfold as they returned to their cars near the Mini Park.

Construction kicks off on Olympic Hills Greenway

IMG_6459.JPG

Construction has kicked off on Lake City Greenways’ Olympic Hills Neighborhood Greenway with the installation of new speed humps on 25th Avenue NE, NE 127th Street and one block of 27th Avenue NE.

The project, largely led by community members, will try to create a safer street that gives more priority to pedestrians and bike riders. New features will attempt to enhance safety on the road. Speed humps, stop signs, bike sharrows and other safety improvement elements are part of the project.

The Olympic Hills Greenway is the first in a planned network of routes for cyclists and pedestrians in Lake City.

More about the project from the City of Seattle Department of Transportation:

Seattle is building a network of neighborhood greenways. Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer residential streets for you, your family, neighbors and customers. On streets with low car volumes and speeds a greenway can:

- Improve safety
- Help people cross busy streets
- Discourage cut-thru traffic
- Protect the residential character of our neighborhoods
- Keep speeds low
- Get people to where they want to go like parks, schools, shops and restaurants

Neighborhood greenways are not car free zones, do not add bike lanes and there are minimal if any on-street parking impacts.

Free car washes at Brown Bear on LCW today, August 21

IMG_6387.JPGDoes your car look like it’s been mud bogging or still have a layer of dead bugs from a summer road trip? Well, then this info from Brown Bear Car Wash is for you:

Brown Bear is offering free car washes today, Thursday, August 21, to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the founding of the company.

The local company is offering free “Bear Essential” washes at all of their 21 automated “tunnel wash” locations, including the Lake City location at 14312 Lake City Way NE.

More from Brown Bear:

For the past eight years Brown Bear has provided over 200,000 free washes on the company’s anniversary and Veterans Day.

Founder and owner Vic Odermat started Brown Bear in Seattle in 1957 with one location at 15th Ave West in Seattle. Through its parent company, Car Wash Enterprises, Inc., Brown Bear owns and operates a total of 41 car wash facilities in Washington State as well as a large network of gas stations and convenience stores.

It is one of the largest privately held car wash chains in the U.S. and is widely recognized within the industry as being a leader in the environmental movement.

Matthews Beach scheduled to reopen Saturday after closure

20140801-160405-57845948.jpg

(seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Matthews Beach is scheduled to reopen on August 9th after being closed because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water.

The bacteria likely flowed into the beach area from Thornton Creek, which has been reported to have dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

Seattle Parks sent out the following press release.

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation will reopen Matthews Beach Saturday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m. Water samples collected this week revealed low bacteria counts that are within the safe swimming level.

For more information, please visit http://green.kingcounty.gov/swimbeach/BeachData.aspx?locator=0818SB&CurrentYear=true.

Matthews Beach hours are 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on weekends and noon-7 p.m. on weekdays.

Photos: Lake City celebrates SalmonFest Seattle and Pioneer Days Parade

Lake City’s SalmonFest Seattle kicked into high gear Saturday —after a brief thunderstorm brought a bit of excitement to festivalgoers. And the grand Pioneer Days Parade wrapped up a day of fun in Lake City.

The popular annual salmon bake, a fundraiser for the Community Center, started serving tasty fish from Loki Fish Co. at noon as people browsed the street fair and car show that lined NE 125th Street and part of 28th Ave NE. The street fair will return Sunday from 10-5 pm —for the first time as a two day event— and the salmon bake will continue serving the tasty fish from 12 to 5pm.

On Saturday the Pioneer Days Parade brought thousands of spectators to Lake City Way. And the evening properly wrapped up with a spectacular sunset over Li’l Ol’ Lake City (see last photo.)

You can see all the fun in the photos below.

Brayden and Payten at SalmonFest Seattle

Brayden and Payten at SalmonFest Seattle

Tom works the salmon grill

Tom works the salmon grill

Dancing in the street

Dancing in the street

Anya enjoys bubbles at the festival

Anya enjoys bubbles at the festival

The car show

The car show

A wild Rainier

A wild Rainier

The Vigilantes

The Vigilantes

The SalmonFest street festival

The SalmonFest street festival

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The Pioneer Days Parade

The sun sets in spectacular fashion over Lake City.

The sun sets in spectacular fashion over Lake City.

Fruit in yard of ‘Fig King’ ripe, ready for picking

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Bill Farhat profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine

Last year Lake City resident Bill Farhat was profiled in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine. The publication named Farhat the “Fig King.” The native of Lebanon has a yard described by The Times as “ringed with grape leaves, planted with Persian plums and packed with his prized fig trees.”

Well the fruit of all Farhat’s labor is ready —early this year— and the Fig King is ready to share his backyard bounty. He is asking $4 per pound for the delicious figs from his 35 trees. You can read more from Farhat below.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to be called the “fig king” by The Seattle Times magazine, which wrote a feature story on me—as well as a video blog.

I have 35 trees in my backyard. (I’d probably have more, but there’s no more space).

I’m writing today because I would love to share my Desert King figs with others in the Lake City and surrounding community. They are ripe!

They are 10 days early this year, due to our incredible warm weather. Come get em! (If you want to plant a tree in your own backyard, I can help you with that, too).

I sell figs for $4/pound. Email boufaris@hotmail.com or call 206-363-0121

If you stop by and get some of his figs, make sure to let us know how you dished them up in the comments section below.

Matthews Beach closed due to bacteria in water

20140801-160405-57845948.jpg

(seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach to swimmers because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The beach park regularly attracts geese and other waterfowl. The beach is also adjacent to Thornton Creek, which is know to have dangerous levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The beach closure comes at a time of year when many would be enjoying the cool waters of Lake Washington.

From Seattle Parks:

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Routine weekly water quality testing revealed that the bacteria levels in the water were too high for swimming.

The water will be tested again on Monday and the beach could re-open as early as Wednesday, Aug. 6. For updated information, please visit http://green.kingcounty.gov/swimbeach/BeachData.aspx?locator=0818SB&CurrentYear=true.