Category Archives: News, etc.

Seattle Drum School building being sold, looks to old Fire Station 39 as possible new location

Steve Smith, owner of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building  in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Steve Smith, director of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building on 15th Avenue NE. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

In a post on The Stranger’s Slog, writer Trent Moorman reports that the Seattle Drum School in NE Seattle will likely have to move because their building is in the process of being sold. The building is in need of extensive and costly code updates.

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 post on Slog titled “DEAR MAYOR MURRAY, Please Don’t Let an Automotive Parts Storage Lot Go Where Seattle Drum School Could Go” says that school owner Steve Smith is working to convince the City of Seattle that the school should be allowed to reopen in Lake City’s old Fire Station 39 building.

The City of Seattle has announced previously that a lease was being worked out with Pierre Auto Centers to use the building as parts storage for the car dealerships until a permanent decision can be made on the future of the property. That lease was planned to be for two years and was supported by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance as a mechanism to buy time while plans for the future of the civic core of Lake City are drawn up.

From The Stranger’s post:

Drum School director Steve Smith says the city has other options for this fire station property, and they need supporters to let the Mayor’s office and the city council know that Seattle Drum School belongs in Lake City.

Smith said, “What we need now more than anything is the city’s cooperation and support. We think there’s a lot of enthusiasm inside the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) for our attempt in acquiring the fire station. They have stressed repeatedly that getting politicians involved in the process is going to be critical to our success.

However, relocating to the old fire station is complicated. Like their current building on 15th Avenue Northeast, the fire station needs significant updates to bring it to code, including a seismic retrofit. And in a recent social media post, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance representative Janine Blaeloch —acknowledging the importance of the Seattle Drum School to the community— explained that Lake City is in the middle of creating an Urban Design Framework for Lake City’s Hub Urban Village and that the Pierre storage lease would keep the site as-is for two years while the Urban Design Framework is formulated. It has also been proposed that lease money paid to the City by the Pierres could go to help fund the Urban Design Framework effort.

“This is a more complicated siting issue than it may appear,” Blaeloch wrote. “It’s clear the Drum School has a lot of good will in the community, and I, too, hope they can stay in the Lake City area, but the old FS 39 site is not the uncomplicated solution it may seem.”

We will keep you updated as we get more info on the future of the Seattle Drum School. If you know of a good and available location that could keep the beloved school in Lake City please share it in the comments or email lakecitylive@gmail.com and we will pass it along.

Seahawks player, Sea Gals deliver needed school supplies at Olympic Hills Elementary

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Sea Gals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students at Olympic Hills Elementary had a big surprise Tuesday morning when Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse dropped by the school with members of the Sea Gals, staff from Woodland Park Zoo and representatives of Chevron. The entourage showed up at the northeast Seattle school to deliver school supplies as part of an online request made by first grade teacher Julie Solarek.

Kearse and the other visitors opened a pair of boxes that included learning games and supplies for first graders at the school.

Television cameras and photographers were there capturing the moment as staff members and officials from Seattle Public Schools watched the excited students. State Senator David Frockt of the 46th Legislative District attended the event and staff from Woodland Park Zoo even brought along their spectacled owl Coba for the visit.

After the official school supply hand-off, Kearse and Sea Gal Jackie and Sea Gal Kylie briefly visited a few other classrooms, getting everything from chants and cheers to reserved smiles and a few shy shoulders. They posed for photos as they walked through the school.

The photos below are shared courtesy of the Seattle P-I. You can see more photos from the visit by clicking here.

Students look over new supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look over new supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron’s “Fuel Your School” campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and State Sen. David Frockt participate in a presentation by staff from the Woodland Park Zoo as they deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and State Sen. David Frockt participate in a presentation by staff from the Woodland Park Zoo. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Principal Helen Joung speaks as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Principal Helen Joung speaks as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

First grade teacher Julie Solarek thanks donors as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to her first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

First grade teacher Julie Solarek thanks donors. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look at their new classroom supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Students look at their new classroom supplies as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seagal Jackie and Seagal Kylie talk to students as Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seagal Jackie and Seagal Kylie talk to students. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Karen Ofsthus of Woodland Park Zoo shows the zoo's spectacled owl Coba as school supplies are delivered to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Karen Ofsthus of Woodland Park Zoo shows the zoo’s spectacled owl Coba. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is introduced by Mark Traylor of Chevron as members of the Seagals, and representatives from Chevron deliver school supplies to a first grade classroom at Olympic Hills Elementary School in northeast Seattle. Chevron and DonorsChoose.org donated the supplies. Through Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign it is expected that $600,000 will be awarded to public schools in King County. Photographed on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Woodland Park Zoo’s spectacled owl Coba is shown during the event.. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)

Car crashes into Backdoor Pub, injuring woman

A car smashed into the back side of the Backdoor Pub on Lake City Way early Thursday morning injuring a woman. A woman suffered a broken leg and was transported to Harborview Medical Center after she was pinned between the car and the rear wall of the business.

The first rescue call came in at 12:35 am and Seattle Fire dispatched 15 units to the heavy rescue.

There was initial concern that the building was structurally compromised but it was determined to be safe.

The owner of the business told a reporter for Q13 Fox News that they still plan to be open for Thursday night’s Seahawks season opener.

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

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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.

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.

Matthews Beach closed due to bacteria in water

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(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.

Speed humps installed in front of Olympic Hills Elementary

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As part of a an effort to make the walking and biking route to Olympic Hills Elementary School safer, speed humps were installed by the Seattle Department of Transportation on NE 130th Street in recent days.

The speed humps are intended to slow traffic in the immediate vicinity of the school. The Safe Routes To School program and a grant from the Washington State Department of transportation also recently completed a segment of missing sidewalk on the route to the school along NE 130th Street. Previously students were regularly seen walking to school in the street.

Although many streets in the area of the school still lack sidewalks, the recent additions show government officials are paying attention to pedestrian safety in the neighborhood. The topic of pedestrian safety has been the dominant topic of public meetings in the Lake City area for decades.

More speed humps and other traffic calming measures are planned for a stretch of 27th Avenue Northeast, NE 127th Street, and 25th Avenue Northeast as part of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways project to make roads more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.