Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today the Seattle Times is reporting on the mercury that Duwamish area cement plants are spewing into our air.

It's not clear whether mercury from the Seattle plants winds up concentrated in surrounding neighborhoods. One kind of mercury from smokestacks spreads into the atmosphere, while other kinds are more likely to come back to earth nearby.

There's no evidence that people in the area are at additional risk, Ash Grove Cement spokesman Scott Matter wrote in an e-mail response to questions.

"Operations at Ash Grove and other facilities are closely monitored by EPA and other regulatory agencies," he said.

State and local health and environmental agencies said they knew of no studies looking at the mercury from the Seattle cement plants. The amount of mercury coming from the plant isn't directly monitored by agencies. They rely on annual estimates from the companies.

Yesterday Blogging Georgetown wrote about the West Seattle Blog writing about this same issue.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Georgetown Rock Wall Coming Down

The locally celebrated art trio SuttonBeresCuller will be tearing down this old Georgetown rock wall and "reusing" it somehow:


I don't know anything about this; just read about it in the Stranger blog at the link above.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jefferson Park Funding Upped in Green Space Levy

Just as I was writing to encourage you all to write to City Council to increase funding for Jefferson Park in the proposed Green Space levy, this came in from Jefferson Park Alliance member (and my dear pal) Mira Latoszek:

Hello all,

Just wanted to send out an update of some info that another JPA member received from Councilmember Sally Clark's office. The funding for Jefferson Park has been increased! (see the copy of the email message below).

With this change to the levy, I am ready to support it. Though the amount is still under what we have estimated is necessary for Phase 2, it get it close enough that we could leverage other funding for the balance of the funding. It is also good news that the Maple Leaf reservoir park is getting increased funding. Maple Leaf Park is heading into Phase 1 and was seriously underfunded in the levy.

Lowering SAAM funding and increasing the levels for defined projects in major parks means that these projects will require less money from the opportunity fund. The opportunity fund should be used for just that, "opportunities", rather than projects that we already know need to be done. There are smaller parks and green spaces all over the city which have not had the level of planning that the major reservoir parks have had - places like Dr. Jose Rizal Park, Lewis Park, and the Cheasty Greenspace in our own neighborhood. I'm sure there will be many others that will come up over the coming years. The opportunity fund should be reserved for these projects.

In addition, I am also hearing that the Council is considering stronger language and better defined guidelines for the $10.8 million that is allocated for synthetic turf. The EPA is about to study the toxicity of synthetic turf and the underlayment of ground tires. It would be a giant waste of money for Seattle to install fields with these materials if it is found to be toxic.

I will send more info as I find out more. But I hope that you will join me in supporting these changes to the levy and encourage the Council to put together a levy package that is green in more than just its name.



On Monday, Council just increased Jefferson and Maple Leaf monies to five million, plus Jefferson gets a million dollar skate park, while SAM funding was scaled back. At $6 million, Jefferson is the 2nd biggest recipient of funds in the levy, so I don't hear much conversation to give it even more. That would get some things done on phase 2, but probably not all of it.


Dan Nolte
Office of Councilmember Sally Clark
Seattle City Council

Hit the Beacon Hill Pinata Party This Saturday

From Beacon Hill neighbor Jon Gould:

This year’s Beacon Hill Piñata Party will be Saturday, July 19th from 12-3pm at Triangle Park (17th Ave. S, between Forest and Stevens Streets).

This is a free block party for children and families in the Beacon Hill area. 17th Ave. S. along the park will be closed.

Food, entertainment, piñatas, and fun! Everyone is welcome.

Want to help? Things we need are snacks to share and piñatas to hang. Picnic blankets, too.

Here’s a draft schedule of events:

Noon Franklin High School Lion Dancers
12:30 Songs by the Bay Bay Girls
1:00pm Music by Lushy
1:45pm Piñatas (age 10 and under) and watermelon seed spitting contest

Music by Krab Louie


Beacon Lutheran face painters and clown
Mr. Lieu’s calligraphy
Mike Carney’s balloons
Water balloon tossing
Drawings by Aram

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Jon at 206-328-8310 or

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Georgetown's Newest Loft Project

Clean lines. Recycled building materials. Efficient use of space.


Already sold!


"Eclectic Urban Oasis ... close to all the hip Georgetown action!"


Honestly, when I first saw this, I wasn't sure if it was a joke or an actual sales pitch for some new townhouse project. The language used in some of the real press materials for these places sounds just like that.

From a June 18 ek Real Estate Group press release (first mocked at Blogging Georgetown):

The Rebel Is Yelling: Georgetown Development Asserts Community's Gutsy Energy

Sales of Five Industrial Georgetown Lofts Begin

Anyone who steps foot into the artsy community of Georgetown knows that it walks to the beat of its own bohemian marching band. The new Georgetown Lofts, developed by Murray Kahn of Gordian Development, at 6708 Corson Ave. South, is no different. Comprising five, two-bedroom lofts -- priced from the 300,000s -- these offer loft-like living with an edgy, "distinctly Georgetown" vibe.


Kahn believes buyers will be drawn to Georgetown's eclectic, tight-knit vibe, where residents and merchants alike are heavily involved in community associations, activities, and events. Larry Reid of Fantagraphic Books says of the area, "The city is in danger of losing its soul, and right now, Georgetown is the soul of Seattle. Georgetown is the last outpost for the blue-collar, bohemian, industrial arts community in Seattle."

So buy some soul before it's all gone?

Photos from Today's Georgetown Art and Garden Walk










Monstero! Our friend Kevin, a Beacon Hiller, helped build this thing.



I haven't posted anything about James Paroline, a casualty of a terrifying hostility that seems to plague Southeast Seattle more than anywhere else in the city.


The 60-year-old man was a passionate gardener, a Vietnam vet, and possibly a bit of a neighborhood curmudgeon who lived down by Kubota Garden. Wednesday night he was tending to the plants in the traffic circle he'd pushed for, and he put up some traffic cones where his hose stretched across the street, indicating to drivers that they should proceed the other way around the circle while he finished his work.

I haven't read all the stories about what exactly went down, but it sounds like some young women in a car got upset that they were being asked to drive on the other side of the circle, so they got out of the car and started arguing with him. When one of them started moving the cones herself, he squirted her with his hose. (I'm not sure what to make of different stories I've heard about whether or not he pushed one of the girls, whether they stomped on his plants, and whether one of them called her mom, who then had a young man come out to take care of things.)

Anyway, a young man in his 20s got out of his car, and punched Paroline in the face so hard that he fell backward onto the pavement, cracking his skull. The young man, still unidentified, then left the scene, leaving the older man lying there, bleeding and unconscious. He died from his injuries in the hospital the following day.

Oh, this is a sad story to have inserted into these photos of the garden tour. Here's the P-I story about a vigil held by neighbors for the man.

Anyway, the Georgetown gardener paying tribute to Paroline today had an especially lovely garden.





Jules Maes Now Serving Weekend Breakfast

This morning we acted on a rumor that Jules Maes is now serving breakfast on weekends. It turned out to be true -- 10 to 3 on Saturdays and Sundays.