Join the Leschi Community Council on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. to hear Carver Gayton speak about his great-grandfather Lewis Clarke, who escaped from slavery in Kentucky to reach the North and help of abolitionist movement (see story on Page 1). 

Clarke became a popular speaker, a role model for the rebellious slaves in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and he told his life’s story to a Boston minister who published the account. This original can be found in the Library of Congress. Gayton has produced a facsimile book of that original account and supplemented it with his own research of that era. Books will be available for purchase and signing. 

The meeting will take place at the Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave. S.

The March program will feature a panel discussion on guns and public safety, with representatives from the mental health sector, Seattle Police Department, public health and Washington CeaseFire. This program is March 6 at 7 p.m., also at the Central Area Senior Center.

— Diane Snell, co-president


Madison Park

The Madison Park Community Council’s (MPCC) exciting news for February is that the new president of the University of Washington, Michael Young, will be the guest speaker at the next meeting, on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Park Shore Retirement Community, 1630 43rd Ave. E. This joint program, sponsored by MPCC and Park Shore, highlights “Our Extraordinary Neighbors.” Everyone is invited.

Young will describe his short- and long-term goals for the UW in this time of shrinking revenue and expanding expenses. There will be opportunity to ask Young questions relating to the UW, in particular, and higher education, in general.

Unfortunately, this issue of the Madison Park Times went to press before we could invite you to attend the Jan. 31 “Extraordinary Neighbors” program, which featured Catherine Roche, our resident art history expert. Roche spoke about the influence of Japanese art on French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, from Manet and Monet to Van Gogh and Gauguin. Roche’s teenage triplets are second-generation Madison Parkers. 

The monthly MPCC meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, provided insight into the many programs we are currently working on, including developing a Disaster Relief Plan for our neighborhoods, planning a campaign to make sidewalks in the residential parts of our neighborhoods safer, expanding programming for the community at the Bathhouse on some weekday evenings and weekends, beginning work with the Seattle Department of Transportation to make the intersection of East Madison Street and East McGilvra Boulevard safer for both vehicles and pedestrians, and finalizing the Greenways school safety improvements at 37th Avenue East and East Madison.

We now have 12 volunteers who will shortly begin a survey of the conditions of sidewalks in residential parts of Madison Park, Washington Park, Canterbury and Denny-Blaine. If you would like to help with this survey effort, contact liz.brandzel@gmail.com.

— Gene Brandzel, president


Madison Valley

At the Jan. 16 Greater Madison Valley Community Council meeting, it was discussed that the council’s minutes will be posted in the kiosk in the valley (please see madisonvalley.org for information; for neighbor-to-neighbor communications, please consider joining nextdoor.com). Cathy Nunneley will fabricate a sign to post at the kiosk, reminding the community of the monthly meeting.

Someone placed large playthings in the Valley retention pond, which is unacceptable. The retention pond is not a park; it is a construct that enables huge floodwaters to be retained and directed out of the valley to prevent flooding. Playing at the bottom of the pond could become a life-threatening endeavor in times of high water. 

Seattle Public Utilities has notified us that it will be forced to fence in the entire area as a safety precaution if people continue to place playthings in the area. Please refrain from this activity, and caution others if you see anyone placing objects in the pond.

An ad has been placed in the Daily Journal of Commerce requesting proposals from businesses interested in the restoration of the Triangle at Martin Luther King Jr. Way East and East Madison Street.

Council president Lindy Wishard wrote a grant application to the Washington State Department of Transportation, requesting sidewalk repair along East Madison; it was not accepted. Grants for sidewalk maintenance are routinely rejected throughout the city to the frustration of many communities. Technically, the property owners are responsible for the repairs, as the city deems the repairs too expensive for its budget. 

The new path from 29th Avenue East to East Madison has been opened, providing a lovely shortcut. There is no lighting on the path so be prepared with your own safety lights if necessary.

Lindy Wishard visited the Central District Council and reinforced our commitment to the organization; she will be our representative. We will not have voting rights at this point because we have chosen to participate in the East District Council for that privilege, and organizations may only vote in one district council. We chose to belong to the East District for ease of grant-application success.

— Cathy Nunnelly, secretary



Amy Fink, secretary of the Leschi Community Council (LCC), attended to enlist Madrona Community Council (MCC) interest and support for a James Street stair cleanup project, presented the first item of business on Jan. 8. The particular stretch of stairs is 106 steps from Lake Washington Boulevard to 38th Avenue East. 

The MCC unanimously agreed to partner with LCC to clean up the stairs. The date will be scheduled for the spring. 

Attention then turned to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) representatives Elizabeth Sheldon and Barbara Gray, who presented a draft plan for the scope of SDOT work to address tree/sidewalk conflicts. According to the draft plan (found on the www.Madrona.us website), the project begins with hiring a consultant who will manage the project and prepare as many as five case studies, one of which must be the 34th Avenue corridor in Madrona. Madrona residents are strongly encouraged to read this draft plan and send their feedback on it to SDOT by Thursday, Feb. 7. 

The MCC and neighbors heard more about renovations for the shelterhouse to make bathrooms ADA-compliant for wheelchairs and accessible during the winter. Susan Minogue suggested that we repaint the shelterhouse interior after the bathroom remodel to enliven the space. Others wondered if renovations would take place during Mayfair. 

In a previous meeting, MCC members discussed the possibility of changing the venue for meetings to attract more people and new members, but it was decided to remain at the shelterhouse for the February meeting. 

Finally, a general discussion took place regarding USPS plans to close the 23rd Avenue and East Union Street post office station. Calls and visits to the USPS have produced varying accounts of what is to occur or why.

Reprinted from Madrona News