Local artists have submitted their work depicting scenes of Leschi in watercolor, drawings and photographs for a 2013 calendar, sponsored by the Leschi Community Council (LCC). We are fortunate to have so many talented artists in our neighborhood. And, of course, our visual beauty lends itself to artistic interpretation.

The cover of the 2013 calendar is the ink-and-watercolor work of Izabela Gabrielson, who stated, “I have been drawing and painting since I was a child. After earning my master’s degree in fine arts in Poland, I continued my education in New York at School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design and The Art Students League. I split my time between fine art and illustration and let these two genres influence each other.”

For more of Izabela’s work, check out her blog: www.artmilky.blogspot.com.

Calendars will be available in December for $15 each. To preorder, e-mail leschinews@comcast.net or call (206) 726-0923.

The LCC will hold a wine tasting on Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. BluWater Bistro has graciously offered the space, and Leschi Market will bring in its wine representatives to offer tastes of a multitude of wines. Appetizers will be provided by BluWater Bistro. 

Tickets are $30 each, available through brownpapertickets.com. Proceeds benefit the work of the Leschi Community Council.

— Diane Snell, co-president


Madison Park

What comes next in the new year for the Madison Park Community Council (MPCC) is both a continuation of this year’s projects and new ones to come. 

Early in the new year, we will examine how to make the neighborhood safer for walkers, bikers and drivers of mechanical beasts and our sidewalks, which are showing their age. Bikers need new pathways for safer travel. This may include thinking about divided roadways with a physical separation, permitting each form of transportation an exclusive lane for travel. For drivers, we’ll take a look at how to redesign dangerous and accident-prone intersections like East Madison Street and McGilvra Boulevard East. 

For those looking to meet and learn more about their neighbors, as well as neighborhood events, there is the social media of Madison Park Facebook, Madison Park Twitter and Madison Park Nextdoor. In the wings is our new Madison Park Community Council website. 

To provide more stimulation right in your own neighborhood, try attending the cooperative program with Park Shore Retirement Community, featuring some of our “Extraordinary Neighbors.” You just missed listening to the melodic strains of Toby Saks’ cello and her story of creating and shepherding the Seattle Chamber Music Society to national prominence. Look for the next program early in the new year. 

Superstorm Sandy and Fukushima nuclear disaster are recent reminders that we should prepare our neighborhoods to deal with the eventuality of a disaster by having a plan in place to help each other and those who cannot help themselves. We are exploring an emergency-preparedness program for our five neighborhoods. Do you want to add your expertise to our efforts? Contact MPCCPres.gene@gmail.com.

The New Year plan is filled with some continuing problems, such as what our neighborhoods will end up with if the replacement of the state Route 520 bridge is built as presently planned. Can we expect to see the “Montlake mess” cleaned up so we can travel between our neighborhoods and University Village without idling engines for many precious minutes? Will we be able to bike or walk to and from the University of Washington by a direct route instead of an indirect one that discourages us from using any form of transportation other than our cars? These are questions that will be asked and, hopefully, dealt with in the coming year.

Whether it is the nitty-gritty of noxious signs appearing overnight, fences being removed from waterfront parks, keeping the business district’s sidewalks from being treacherous places to walk, the refurbishment of the benches in front of Bing’s or maintaining the garden surrounding those benches, the Madison Park Community Council is our resource for dealing with all of these neighborhood needs. 

What do we need from you to succeed? We need your thoughts as to how to continue to improve our neighborhoods. We need you to volunteer to work on one of our projects. And we need your financial support to help us realize our goals. 

May the coming year be a fruitful, joyous and healthy year for all of us, our families, friends, neighbors and those who aren’t lucky enough to live in our community.

— Gene Brandzel, president