Greenways Letter to City

Greenways logoGreenways logoGreenways logoAfter news like the permitting of Ricks’ street sign, we often hear from readers asking what can be done. When writing to city representatives, articulate and compelling arguments are more likely to be heard than angry rants. Here’s a great example of an advocacy letter written by Lake City Greenways in response to the recent permitting of digital pole signs along Lake City Way.

You can lend your support to a letter like this by simply copying and pasting it, adding a small section expressing your own views on the matter, and emailing it to council members (addresses below).

Mayor and City Council email addresses:

Wind gusts bring down large tree branch across 35th Avenue Northeast

A branch is shown after it fell on 35th Avenue Northeast. (LCL photo)

A branch is shown after it fell on 35th Avenue Northeast. (LCL photo)

A tree branch fell onto a van during gusty winds on Friday. The end of the branch landed on the van with a woman and dog inside. They were uninjured but the van had some dents and scratches from the tree.

The branch was first reported about 11:45 after it fell near Northeast 123rd Street.

The traffic impact from the branch was minimal as 35th Avenue Northeast is already closed south of there for the Thornton Creek project near Nathan Hale High School.

Ricks Permits New 16 Foot Sign

A sample image of what Rick's new sign might look like from Lake City Way.

A sample image of what Rick’s new sign might look like from Lake City Way.

Rick’s will soon have a new electronic two-sided pole sign to help advertise its adult entertainment along Lake City Way. A new permit approved by the Dept. of Planning & Development (DPD) allows Rick’s to install an 8’ by 16’ double-sided display board. The digital board will include changing imagery – up to 7 different images per minute. This will be similar to the pole sign installed earlier this year at the Pierre-owned car lot across the street. Neighborhood advocates already working to address safety issues via the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor project are concerned this will add even more visual clutter to an already busy thoroughfare.


Backpack sign advertising Ricks at the intersection of LCW and 125th

Backpack sign advertising Ricks at the intersection of LCW and 125th

Rick’s is also known in the neighborhood for “pushing the envelope” when it comes to its advertising. Just last month, Rick’s was cited for illegally topping the street trees located in front of its existing billboard display. Before that, neighbors successfully fought provocative backpack boards worn by Rick’s employees along the sidewalk during rush hour. And before that, they successfully fought the Rick’s Dreamgirls van (pictured below) parked streetside for days at a time.

Van parked in front of Ricks

Van parked in front of Ricks


But this new sign is legal and DPD does not have legislation to enforce the content of the sign. Signage issues have been a challenge throughout the city as legislation has not kept up with changing technology.


Parents with curious youngsters are already familiar with the questions these images generate. Rick’s location makes it well-suited for catching the eyes of school children, as school bus routes for John Rogers and Jane Addams travel through the intersection of 115th and Lake City Way twice daily during the school year. High school students are also known to frequent the bus stop just across the street from Rick’s.


So what can you do?
Get involved! The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance can help you get connected with your local community group, or if you’re interested in bolstering positive economic growth in Lake City, consider volunteering with Lake City Future First.


An Urban Design Framework (UDF) is currently underway for the Lake City hub urban village (HUV). Request a signage “overlay district” be added as part of this process. An overlay district would require a Lake City design review board to approve ALL exterior signs and would restrict the sign type, size, quantity, lighting, material, shape, etc. Katie Sheehy has worked closely with the Lake City community to develop the UDF. Contact her at


Raise awareness among elected officials. Write to City Council and the Mayor’s office to request updated sign codes. This isn’t just a Lake City issue, similar signage concerns have cropped up throughout the city businesses find new ways to outpace dated signage laws. Be sure to cc DPD’s Steve Sampson on any message -

Summer Meal sites for Kids and Teens open Mon-Fri in Lake City

Lake City-based Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) works to bring food to local families and now seniors through its Healthy HIP Packs Program, meal programs, and by advocating for our hungry neighbors.

Credit: Craig P Stehling, Momentum Imagery

Credit: Craig P Stehling, Momentum Imagery

Five sites in the Lake City/NE Seattle area are now open for kids and teens to visit all summer long to enjoy free meals and snacks.  On top of that free activities, games, reading and more are offered at each site.  The overall goal is to provide fun meal sites that make sure kids get the nutrition they need while out of school and get in all the fun play time that a summer should be filled with.

Lake City nonprofit, Hunger Intervention Program, runs four meal sites in the neighborhood.  All meals are made fresh by HIP volunteers.  To see specific hours and locations, visit HIP’s blog.  Families can check out the weekly menu there too.

Menu - Week of June 23          Credit: Craig P Stehling, Momentum Imagery

Summer meals are also a great place for volunteering.  If you would like to help prepare meals, help out at a meal site or lead kids in your favorite activity this summer, sign up to volunteer with HIP this summer at HIP’s website or contact Julia at (206) 457-2871.  We still need many volunteers at our meal sites and are looking for volunteers to drive our meals to sites.

For families that live outside of the Lake City area, the best way to find the nearest summer meal site to you is at ParentHelp123.  Just type in your zip code for a listing of sites closest to you.  Or call 1-888-436-6392 or text FoodWA to 877-877


Rick’s strip club adding new 16′ x 8′ illuminated sign on LCW


DreamGirls at Rick’s strip club is installing a new, 30-foot-tall, illuminated pole sign, according to a permit issued by the City of Seattle. In recent days, painters have also been working on the building, painting it bright red.

20140626-133650-49010322.jpgThe illuminated sign and paint job come just weeks after the business severely pruned street trees along Lake City Way. The city has ordered the business to replace the trees that they say were cut illegally and improperly, according to a report from KIRO Radio. The cost of replacing the trees will be significant, said a spokesperson for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

The permit for the pole sign is for one similar to the style of signs at Bill Pierre Ford and Chevrolet. The permit for the Rick’s sign says the image on the sign “shall not change more than 7 times per minute. No flashing, no video display methods, and no off-premises advertising is permitted.” The Department of Planning and development said they cannot enforce the content of the sign.

The permit also says that the existing neon roof sign must be removed before installation of the new illuminated pole sign. The new sign will be 30-feet-tall from street level, and each sign face will be 8-feet by 16-feet.

In recent years, DreamGirls, owner of Rick’s, has battled with the Seattle Mariners over the location of a strip club and notably the illuminated sign next to Safeco Field. The dispute over the strip club led the Mariners to sue DreamGirls’ and the City of Seattle. Lawsuit filed here.

The Mariners eventually dropped the suit in an agreement with DreamGirls after the strip club chain agreed to not show certain types of images during days that the team was hosting events for children.

North Helpline Needs Your Help

The shelves are low at North Helpline.
Join the
Chamber Food Drive 
North Helpline feeds families from 5 zip codes.
Can you or your business help North Helpline?
This call is to everyone, every business
in NSCC’s service area:
Sandpoint to Aurora, NE 145th to NE 85th
What to buy?
Canned Soups
(low sodium and non-condensed preferred)
Canned Fruits
(in water or juice)
Granola Bars
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Peanut Butter
Canned Chili
(easy open tops preferred)

Bring an assortment of items or focus on one area of nutrition.
What a difference could it make if your office collected 100 cans of soup or 50 cans of Chicken? 150 boxes of Granola Bars or 75 jars of Peanut Butter? 
Where to take your food
North Seattle Chamber/Lake City Community Center
12531 28th Avenue NE
Monday-Friday, 9AM-4PM
North Helpline Food Bank
12736 33rd Ave NE
Tuesday – Friday 9AM – 4PM Saturday 9AM – 1PM
Don’t delay. Shop today.

New Program at Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City Keeps Seniors “In Balance”

Podiatrists are perfectly poised to address the issue of falls in older adults, and Dr. Rion Berg, owner of the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, understands this well. Dr. Berg’s office recently announced its new “In Balance” Fall Prevention Program to address this growing problem. Although he treats a varietyof foot concerns in patients of all ages, Berg has been a fixture at Northwest Hospital’s Wound Care Center for more than 15 years and sees many older adults in the North Seattle community.

Here are some sobering statistics about falls, according to the National Council on Aging and the U.S.Centers for Disease Control: One out of three adults over 65 falls each year; every 15 seconds an olderadult is treated an emergency room for a fall; amongst the elderly, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions. Fear of falling can also lead to limitation of social activities, isolation, and depression in this population.

“I developed this program because I saw the devastating results of falls in so many of my own patients. I knew I had to do more than I was currently doing,” says Dr. Berg. Although he’s been assessing patient’s balance for years, the “In Balance” Fall Prevention Program goes the extra mile in keeping people independent and on their feet.

Every patient over 65 is asked to complete a fall risk questionnaire before their appointment. If the podiatrists determine the patient is at risk, a comprehensive balance assessment is performed. Manypatients benefit from a custom, low-profile brace specifically designed to improve balance. The doctors educate at-risk patients about the four key elements of fall prevention, including how to conduct a home hazard assessment. Other components of the program may include physical therapy for balance improvement, information on Senior Services Home Repair Program for grab bars and handrail installation, and classes offered through local community and senior centers to improve strength and stability.

One of our long time patients has been so grateful for the program. Since she’s gotten her braces she feels much steadier on her feet and now has returned to doing the things she loves including window shopping at the mall with her daughter.

To determine if you or a loved one are at risk for a fall, complete this simple questionnaire that is part of a CDC brochure called Stay Independent. If you’re concerned about falling, contact the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or go to the website at to request an appointment online.

Dance of Universal Peace – Family Dance! July 11

Dance 7-11-14

Potluck 6:30 PM
Dance 7:30 PM- 9 PM
Each Dance of Universal Peace is taught and this program will be aimed at pleasing the whole family.
These are simple dances to live music. The focus of each dance is in the singing of a particular sacred phrase or phrases. inspired by a large variety of religious traditions from around the world.
We sing and move together in a circle. Live music and an experienced Leader will guide you into a delightful way to connect with your neighbors within a rich pallet of humanity’s wisdom.
No experience is necessary; come alone or bring a friend. All dances are taught to the group each time. Donation requested; no one will be turned away.
Lake City Community Center
12531 28th Avenue NE