A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Entries from June 2010

Ballard High School sports paperwork deadline extended

June 30th, 2010 by Doree

Earlier this week we reported that the paperwork for fall sports at Ballard High School would be accepted until today, June 30th. But that deadline has been extended. See our sister site, MyBallard, for more information.

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Animal rights advocates sue Seattle over treatment of Woodland Park Zoo’s elephants

June 30th, 2010 by Doree

The Animal Legal Defense Fund yesterday filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle over what it calls Woodland Park Zoo’s poor treatment of its elephants. The suit was brought “against the Zoo for its ongoing failure to provide proper and humane facilities for the elephants in its care, resulting in a decline in their health and well being,” according to a press release.

Our news partners, The Seattle Times, has a full story here.

In more zoo elephant news, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants is having a “Stripped Down Elephant Event” from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, July 9, in front of the zoo’s north entrance.

The 3 Woodland Park Zoo elephants will be represented by 3 beautiful, stripped down girl “elephants”. One girl will be caged in a 4’ x 4’ enclosure; the human equivalent to the elephants’ barn stall. All 3 girls will perform neurotic behaviors exhibited by Bamboo, Chai and Watoto.

The 2,700 acre Elephant Sanctuary has offered to give our elephants a home for life. Come show your support for the Zoo to make this humane decision.

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Crime prevention coordinators in jeopardy

June 30th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen.

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the west precinct. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one-on-one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinions, here’s a link to the mayor and City Council.

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Neighbors speak loudly on Greenwood Town Center rezone proposal

June 29th, 2010 by Doree

There’s nothing like a discussion on neighborhood rezoning to bring out the passionate crowds. About 100 people came to an open house presented by the city’s Department of Planning and Development at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church on Tuesday night.

The topic was the proposed rezoning of the Greenwood Town Center site (Fred Meyer and Greenwood Market on NW 85th Street), as well as surrounding residential areas. Several months ago, the Greater Greenwood Design Development and Advisory Group (GGDDAG), which includes some members of the Greenwood Community Council, proposed rezoning a 100-foot-deep swath across the street on NW 85th Street, NW 87th Street, and 3rd Avenue NW to allow for multi-family units. The idea was to provide a “step down” between the major development that Fred Meyer has proposed and the surrounding single-family neighborhood.

After hearing from angry neighbors, the council backed off on the part of the proposal that upzoned the residential areas, but the city decided to go ahead and get neighborhood input on the entire proposal.

The proposal is divided into three subareas.Virtually everyone seems to agree on rezoning Subarea #1, which includes the site currently occupied by Fred Meyer and Greenwood Market and their parking lots, from C1-40 (commercial that promotes 40-foot high “big-box” stores and large parking lots) to NC-65 (neighborhood commercial that is pedestrian and transit friendly and encourages mixed-use developments up to 65 feet tall.)

Proponents say rezoning Subarea #1 will protect the neighborhood in case the Fred Meyer development doesn’t go through (their current design for a mixed-use development adheres to the general neighborhood commercial guidelines).

The controversy comes with Subarea #2 and Subarea #3. Subarea #2 would rezone a 100-foot deep parcel along NW 87th Street from 1st Avenue NW to 3rd Avenue NW, and along 3rd Avenue NW from NW 88th Street to NW 85th Street from Single-Family 5000 to Lowrise 3. That would affect dozens of single family homes.

Subarea #3, which includes the old “Checkers” building on the corner of NW 85th Street and 3rd Avenue NW, and the area south of NW 85th Street between Palatine Avenue North and just west of 3rd Avenue NW, would be rezoned from NC2 P-40 (neighborhood commercial, pedestrian overlay with a 40-foot height limit) to NC2 P-65 (increasing the height limit to 65 feet).

“What you’re doing here tonight is very difficult,” City Councilmember Sally Clark told the crowd at the beginning of the meeting. She said talking to neighbors about zoning is hard, especially as a neighborhood grows and changes. The idea is that someday when you leave that neighborhood, “what do you leave behind as a map?”

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark (right) talks to concerned neighbors.

DPD Senior Urban Planner Andrea Petzel started off the meeting by emphasizing that each of the three subareas is being treated as separate entities.

“Each of these subareas is being considered separately. It is not a package deal,” she said.

Two people from the GCC or with knowledge of the proposals were stationed at each Subarea station to answer questions. People wandered around the room, writing comments (mostly negative) on sticky notes and placing them on the appropriate drawing.

Leslie Moynihan’s house on the southwest corner of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 87th Street was featured in a photo on DPD’s presentation board because it will be inside the rezone area.

“We bought a home on an arterial street and we understand the implications of that,” she said. But she says the wide street acts as a natural buffer and there’s no need for a step-down area, especially since it would be just feet away from a single-family home. “Moving the buffer into the middle of a single-family block doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Neighbor Brian Hart agreed. “I think the street is a much more natural buffer than the eight feet to my neighbor’s house.”

Hart’s house on NW 86th Street and 3rd Avenue NW would be just outside the buffer area, meaning his house could be just feet away from a taller multi-family building. He and other neighbors think there’s plenty of empty multi-family space in the neighborhood, and we should fill that up before changing the zoning that could add even more. “Ask me in 10 years. Maybe it will be really different,” Hart said. “Now I don’t think that it’s necessary.”

Janet Dockery lives on NW 87th Street inside Subarea #2 and went door-to-door informing neighbors of the proposal and about the meeting.

“I like my neighborhood and I like the single-family homes,” Dockery said. “I like the character of the neighborhood…and I sure don’t want to live next to one of those things,” she said of taller, multi-family buildings.

She says any stepping down in height should be done inside Subarea #1, with higher buildings in the middle of the Fred Meyer site and lower ones along the edges.

“People say they like their neighborhood. It’s affordable single-family houses and they understand there’s going to be some density in the middle,” she said. “But moving it into the single-family block is really upsetting to some people.”

Neighbor Matt Heilgeist agreed. “It seems everything is a foregone conclusion these days, like it’s going to happen no matter what. And most of my neighbors feel the same way,” said Heilgeist, whose house on NW 87th Street would be just outside the rezone area.

There’s still time to make your voice heard on the proposal. The DPD is collecting feedback through July 15. You can take an online survey (only one per IP address). DPD will then develop a draft of rezone recommendations and will present those to the GCC in August. DPD will finalize those recommendations in September. If DPD does recommend any rezoning, it will then begin a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) review, along with an email comment and appeal period in October. Rezoning Subarea #2 would have to go to the City Council as part of a Comprehensive Plan Change to the Future Land Use Map in late 2010 or early 2011, followed by a city council public hearing sometime next spring.

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Man charged in Greenwood drive-by shooting

June 29th, 2010 by Doree

SeattleCrime.com reports that a 34-year-old man has been charged for opening fire on a Greenwood apartment building six weeks ago.

Prosecutors allege Vaa Ta’ase, 34, fired at a third floor apartment on 105th and Greenwood in the early morning hours of May 15th following a fight at a party.

Court records say Ta’ase knocked another man unconscious earlier in the evening after the man accused him of stealing a co-worker’s cellphone. Several hours later, Ta’ase and the other man exchanged words over the phone before, prosecutors say, Ta’ase showed up outside of the man’s apartment building and fired off six rounds. No one was injured in the shooting.

Read SeattleCrime’s full report here.

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Spoke and Food fundraiser is today

June 29th, 2010 by Doree

Ride your bike to a participating restaurant today and 15-20 percent of your meal’s profits will be donated to Lettuce Link, a program of Solid Ground through the new Spoke and Food program.

In our neighbrhood, Naked City Brewery & Tap House and the Barking Dog Alehouse are participating. Other participating restaurants include:

Here are some instructions from the Spoke and Food website:

Upon arriving at the participating restaurant of your choice, please mention to the host and your waiter that you are participating in the Spoke & Food event. Please thank the restaurant for agreeing to donate a percentage of your dinner bill to the Lettuce Link program at Solid Ground. All of our host restaurants have been provided with instructions on how to track your attendance and to tally the total donation that they will make. Since it is a first year event, at the time of paying for your dinner, please remind your waiter that they are to donate a percentage of your bill to the Lettuce Link program.

Twelve of the fourteen restaurants will have Spoke & Food volunteers at them. Be sure to introduce yourself to the volunteers so that they know that you are dining in support of the event. The volunteers will also be available to answer questions you have about the Spoke & Food event while also helping to count the number of people who are participating in the event.

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SPD launches online crime map

June 29th, 2010 by Doree

The Seattle Police Department just launched on online map of police reports, available for anyone to see.

The Police Reports Map will show mapped crime icons based on initial police reports taken by officers when responding to incidents around the city. After the information enters the Department’s Records Management System it populates this map.

Links directly to the related police reports from the map icons will also become available. As with the existing Police Reports application announced earlier, care is taken to redact victim and other sensitive information from what is available online.

The crime reporting map is a short-term view of crime: it provides a good sense of what is reported to be going on in a certain neighborhood or the city at large at any time. It is also good for seeing patterns of types of crimes happening (such as an unusual amount of reported bike thefts in your area).

The Police Reports Map will not link to a redacted narrative of a police report on every crime. However, every icon on the map will have a related General Offense (GO) number. You may use that number to request a copy of any unavailable report.

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BHS sports paperwork accepted until Wednesday

June 29th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

To avoid the lines in August, Ballard High School is accepting fall sports paperwork until June 30th (that’s tomorrow.) If you have a student hoping to play a fall sport at BHS, paperwork is due during the summer break. If you miss the June 30th cutoff, the paperwork won’t be accepted until August when the lines can be pretty long. Here are the August dates to turn in paperwork, pay the sport fees and buy the ASB card:

Football players:
August 11 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

All other fall sports:
August 17 between 9 a.m. and noon
August 18 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Here is the packet (.pdf) that needs to be filled out completely and the parent release form (.pdf) that also needs to be filled out. Forms that aren’t completed will be given back to the student.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact athletic secretary Sharon Davis at 252-1000. Sharon is in the office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June 30. More information on Beaver athletics can be found here.

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Collette is Pet of the Week

June 29th, 2010 by Doree

Update: Collette has been adopted.

This week’s PAWS Cat City Pet of the Week is Collette.

Collette is a quiet, gentle, and friendly 9-year-old who is perfectly happy to spend her time curled up on your lap and taking life easy. She is mildly interested in cat toys, but prefers not to waste too much energy on them. Collette likes everyone she meets, but would love to have you to herself. She could live with the right cat, though.

Collette is waiting for you to rub her belly at PAWS Cat City (8503 Greenwood in Seattle). She is spayed, microchipped, litter box trained, and up-to-date on her vaccines. Until the end of June, her adoption fee is only $25 or free to a senior human (60+)! After that, her adoption fee will be $75 or $35 to a senior human. Cat City is open Tue, Wed & Fri noon – 6 pm, Thu noon – 7 pm and Sat – Sun 11 am – 5 pm.

PS – Our other Colette is still waiting for her forever home, as is Missy!

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