COMMUNITY CORNER | September 2015


The Leschi Community Council will have its fourth-annual ArtWalk on Sept. 12 from 11 to 4 p.m. Look for artist booths in front of the businesses on the east (lake) side of Lakeside Avenue.

Festivities will begin with perhaps the biggest little kids’ parade ever. There will be music throughout the day, as well as business specials: Leschi Market (103 Lakeside Ave.) is offering its prime rib sandwich (it’s a full half-pound of prime rib meat) for $10 during the ArtWalk hours, and shaved ice will be offered near Park Postal (140 Lakeside Ave., Suite A).

Watch for the posters, which are a tribute to late Madison Park artist Art Messer, who graciously donated his watercolor for this purpose last year.

The third-Saturday stairway-cleaning project is back at the King Street stairs by the Central Area Senior Center (500 30th Ave. S.). This is a heavily used stairway, and litter is one of the biggest tasks. Join us at the top of the stairs at 10 a.m. for a two-hour session, which will vastly improve the landscape.

Also, save this date: Oct. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., for a candidate forum featuring the primary winners for District 3 and the two citywide seats.

— Diane Snell, co-president

Madison Park

Aug. 4, 2015 was an auspicious day in Seattle politics — that was the date of the first primary election for voters to select their top two choices for Seattle City Council by city district. The Madison Park Community Council (MPCC) is in the newly created District 3, which also includes Capitol Hill and the Central Area. The final District 3 tally: incumbent Kshama Sawant, 52 percent; Pamela Banks, 34 percent; Rod Hearne, 10 percent; Morgan Beach, 2 percent; and Lee Carter, 2 percent.

However, the breakdown of the vote totals by sub-district was far more interesting to MPCC. The leading candidate, Sawant, received 60 percent of the vote in Capitol Hill and 64 percent in the Central Area, but only 16 percent in Madison Park, 16 percent in Washington Park and a mere 6 percent in Broadmoor, thus equating to barely 13 percent within MPCC’s boundaries.

If the voting pattern stays the same in the fall general election, it is likely that the bulk of the minor candidates’ voters and votes will switch to Banks and, thus, drop the 13 percent even further.

The end analysis is that, for us, district elections may indeed be good for democracy as a whole but may leave us very locally with a theoretically representative council member whom hardly anyone hereabouts supported.

The month of August for many years now has seen us in the Park being entertained for free with Thursday-evening concerts. The biggest turnout ever for these Music in the Park events was on Aug. 20, with just shy of 300 people in attendance, mostly sitting on blankets and enjoying a picnic dinner. Thanks to Parkshore Retirement Community and Aegis Living for being the prime sponsors.

We have nearly completed the grant application process for the HUB program for emergency preparedness and hope to be under construction with the concrete pad before the rains fall; it will serve as the base for our heavy steel lockbox container of emergency supplies. Many thanks, once again, to MPCC executive board member John Madrid for his leadership on this project.

We are, of course, still hoping to restart the East Prospect Street waterfront street-end cleanup project this fall, provided we get full buy-in from the immediate neighbors.

MPCC had another small meeting concerning bus service to Madison Park in the middle of August; this time, it included a walk-around with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) representatives. The topic was the possible establishment of a new Rapid Ride route. It seems that the primary reason for SDOT’s interest in Madison Park is that, while Madison Valley wants the addition of a Rapid Ride line, they do not, theoretically at least, have a logical place to turn around the buses, nor wish to accommodate the necessary bus layovers — up to three very long articulated buses.

Our walkabout just served to confirm that, contrary to our wishes, SDOT has a strong interest in both relocating our bus stops and taking out parking in the process; adding more bus layover space and, thus, taking out more parking; and straightening the drivelines for the potential new buses, thus both speeding up the buses and taking out yet more parking.

MPCC’s policy for more than four decades now has been to maintain, if not increase, our business district parking, to enhance the viability of the businesses and, furthermore, to slow down traffic. We attempted to demonstrate how we could maintain MPCC’s goals yet still allow for more big buses, but our suggestions didn’t receive any significant level of interest.

Is this extension of a Rapid Ride bus system down into the Park, as one of the attendees said last month at our public meeting on the subject, “a solution looking for a problem”? Your thoughts on this are welcome.

And talking of businesses in the Park, don’t forget to come down on the evening of Friday, Sept. 11, for our annual and very popular Art Walk and avail yourself of not only the chance to see the art and mingle with your neighbors but sample a little free wine and hors d’oeuvres.

The Madison Park Business Association and MPCC jointly sponsor this event, with special sponsorship this year from HomeStreet Bank.
See you there!

— Maurice Cooper, president