Seattle Night Out Planning

2011-08-02 20.24.12Quick reminder that Seattle Night Out is coming up not this Tuesday, but the following Tuesday, August 5th. As in past years, streets across the neighborhood and the city will be blocked off, card tables and lawn chairs will be hauled out front and folks who have recognized each other as only “that guy with the stubby legged dog” and “that lady that looks like she’s into cosplay” will get tipsy, eat sausages, learn each others names, and share recipes for massaged kale salad.

You don’t need to do anything special to “register” your event, but the mayor’s office did send me this somewhat befuddling request:

We are currently trying to sign up events around the city to be Night Out Events, for the big Seattle Night Out on August 5th.

You guys have your Trivia night event, which would be great to get signed up!  Basically what signing up does is put your event on a map with all the other events around the city, for members of the community to meet that night.

Attached is the link to sign up a Night Out Event, which puts your event (the trivia night) on a map with all other events in the city.

I say befuddling because Wallyhood has encouraged Night Out events, but not actually organized them, and definitely not trivia night. But maybe someone else out there in Wallingford has?

Register your trivia night, your pie eating contest, your live band, your Tangletown-to-Gas Works 18 hold disc golf tournament!

Or just use your office copies to run off an announcement, drop it in your neighbor’s mailslots and plan to get neighborly.

Another View: Parks Funding No

(Yesterday, we ran a post from a supporter of Prop 1, the ballot measure that would replace the expiring Parks Levy to create funding for maintaining Seattle parks. Toni Long replied with this counterpoint, arguing against the measure. Ballots are due August 5th.)

7524424592_0cdf706719_zProp. 1 permanently establishes a Metropolitan Park District for Seattle.  I worked for Seattle Parks in the 1980s and polled some of my former maintenance and planning colleagues (all retired within the past couple years).  All recommend voting no, as does the League of Women Voters. There are many good organizations and individuals in favor of Prop. 1, which honestly I do not understand.  Although I am usually a “good Democrat” and vote yes for these property tax measures, I will be voting NO.
We all agree that Seattle Parks requires more money for the parks to be properly maintained, the issue is whether the MPD is the correct long-term solution.  My major concerns are:
  1. This new District could only be dissolved or its actions reversed by its governing body (Seattle City Council) or a change in State law…not by local initiative.  Thus, if it does not meet the public’s expectations in 4 years or 10 years, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to reverse.
  2.  Currently, the public has an opportunity to approve how Seattle Parks plans to spend levy funds when it votes for them.  If approved, Prop. 1 would shift that public voice to the City Council.  Yes, we would have the opportunity when it comes time to re-elect City Council Members, but few of us are single-issue voters, so this is unlikely to happen.
  3.  Current State law allows MPD’s to sell, commercialize and privatize park assets.  Thus it could shift Parks’ assets for other uses.
  4.  Prop. 2 includes an “interlocal agreement” that guarantees that the City would maintain its current general fund support for the Seattle Parks system for 6 years. After that, however, general fund support can be cut or eliminated without public input. I anticipate this will occur due to the constant pressure on general funds to be used for other purposes.
  5.  Property taxes can be increased up to 75 cents per $1,000 of valuation without a public vote. The Voters’ Pamphlet  states that to be “$.0.33 per thousand dollars of assessed value or $145 per year for an average home with a value of $440,000.  As a separate taxing authority from the City of Seattle, the District could levy additional property tax above the current “lid” restrictions that state law imposes on Seattle.”  I anticipate general funds directed at Seattle Parks to decrease over time and MPD taxes to increase.  It’s just my prediction.
 We all agree that Parks maintenance funds need to be increased.  I would like more work to be done to develop a solution that includes more accountability for decisions about how funds will be spent beyond the first 6 years and how funds will be increased in the future — a solution that keeps the public empowered to participate in these decisions.
Clearly, we won’t all agree, but I thought I would share my thoughts.  Read your Voters’ Pamphlet carefully.
(Photo by Michael Martin)

Do You Go To The Park?

(Wallyhood reader Antoinette Angulo offers this explanation and endorsement of Prop 1. Ballots due by August 5th.)

What is Prop 1?
Proposition 1 will create a stable revenue source that will direct dedicated funds to support the maintenance, upkeep and operations of our more than 6,000 acres of City parklands spread over more than 450 separate parks, our 26 community centers, 185 athletic fields and more than 120 playgrounds. Prop 1 would create a park district, which would levy $.33 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is equal to an increase of $4 per month from the expiring parks levy.  The park district would be overseen by the City Councilmembers, soon to be elected by district themselves.  Prop 1 is quite simple; it creates a new revenue source and all current rules that apply to the operations and maintenance of Seattle parks would still apply.  The Mayor will continue to propose park budgets, the Council will approve them and the Parks Department will administer our system of parks that is consistent with City policy and administrative code.

There is more citizen oversight and opportunities for public comment built into this than any other funding proposal in the past. In addition to the Seattle Parks Board oversight responsibilities (also created by the City Charter), a Community Oversight Committee shall be formed to provide advice to the Mayor, City Council, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation and to provide oversight of the projects, programs and services undertaken jointly by the City and the Seattle Parks District. Implementation of the Seattle Park District will also mandate annual performance audits of the Parks Department.

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How does Prop 1 differ from the levies?
Levies have served Seattle reasonably well, but they have shortcomings and there have been significant changes in the last decade. First, I-747 (Tim Eyman’s effort to limit taxes to 1% increase per year) means that our city budget is growing slower than the rate of inflation, resulting in a decline in real dollars each year. With the Great Recession, our parks suffered a 33% reduction in budget over the last six years, resulting in $267 million in deferred maintenance. Finally, levies are constrained and Seattle is approaching the limit of what we can levy.  A park district allows us to fund parks in a stable way, without competing with human services, education, transportation and other worthy causes that rely on levies.  Prop 1 addresses these challenges using a state authorized funding mechanism. Just as fees and general funds flow into the budget process, so too would funds from the park district.

What will Prop 1 do?
If passed by the voters, Prop 1 will dedicate nearly 2/3 of the funding to “fix it first” – investing in our existing parks and community centers to make sure they meet our needs for the long run.  (Remember the $267 million backlog in deferred maintenance?)  As any homeowner knows, there is always a list of repairs. The same is true for our parks, even more so. We will see and feel some of these improvements in Wallingford.  There is funding in Prop 1 for repairs and maintenance on the Burke Gilman Trail, Meridian Playground, Gas Works Park, and nearby at Green Lake and in Woodland Park.

Other dollars are invested in programs for kids and seniors, to ensure everyone can afford to participate in public sports leagues and community centers activities. Funding parks for all is very much in line with the Department of Parks and Recreation’s values:  Access, Opportunity, and Sustainability.

Consider this: kids need activities – especially when school is out in the hot summer. If kids can’t afford to participate in programs at public community centers, they will find other things to do – sometimes to our collective detriment. Research and common sense shows that well-maintained, affordable parks and community centers are also a public safety strategy.

In addition to repairing parks and community centers across the city, Prop 1 will also invest in new parks. Opponents – and there is an organized opposition – claim to be “standing up for the status quo.” In some neighborhoods that may be fine, but in others that means closed community centers, major repairs, deferred expensive public sports leagues and unaffordable programs.  Seattle is better than this.  The City’s Race and Social Justice Framework will also be applied to the Seattle Park District.  Prop 1 will ensure that kids in South Park have as much access to park and recreation programs as kids in Laurelhurst.

If Prop 1 passes, it will represent the most progressive investment in parks in Seattle since we hired the Olmsted brothers more than 100 years ago.  After nearly a year of public process, that’s why it is endorsed by the Municipal League, The Stranger, Mayors Murray, McGinn, Nickels, Schell, Royer and Rice, the 43rdDistrict Democrats, and over 70 non-profit organizations in our City including the Sierra Club, El Centro de la Raza, Forterra, King County Labor Council, Sierra Club, Seattle Human Services Coalition, Washington Conservation Voters, and Senior Services. Can you think of another issue where this is true?

Seattle is currently the fastest growing large city in the U.S.  It is totally unacceptable that we don’t have the financial ability due to past taxing constraints on our city budget to provide our citizens with a park system they want and deserve.  Proposition 1 is our opportunity to ensure we have safe, inviting and healthy parks for everyone in our City to enjoy.  Seattle loves its parks.

I urge you to vote Yes on Prop 1, to take care of our neighborhood parks and community centers.  This is our single best chance to invest in parks for the long term.  As a homeowner in Wallingford, I will happily pay it forward for future generations to come.  Join me.

Regards,

Antoinette Angulo
Your Wallingford neighbor

PS If you want to get involved in making history and preserve our park system, please share on Social Media:

  • Take a photo of your ballot – after voting YES ON PROP 1 – and post to FB.
  • Follow the Seattle Parks For All campaign page and share posts.
  • Take a selfie in a park and post it to FB
  • Post “I just voted YES ON PROP 1 to renew our commitment to Seattle’s neighborhood parks – Please join me! #VoteYESforParks” on Twitter

(Photo by Ramanathan Kathiresan)

Kids Camp at Fuerte Fitness

Fuerte Fitness has returned as a Wallyhood sponsor, and just in time for Wallingford Moms looking for some summertime activity for their little ones:

This summer, we will be offering a day camp for kids that will take place each MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, and FRIDAY from 9am-12pm, beginning July 21. Each week will be $129 per child. Parents can drop their children off at Fuerte Fitness (1225 N. 45th Street. Seattle, WA 98103) and then use our facility to workout, or take the time to run errands, or just take a breather at a coffee shop.

Call us at (206) 420-3142 or email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or are interested in signing up!

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The Invisible War

Joanne Factor wrote to let us know about a film followed by a panel discussion this coming Tuesday, July 29th at Mosaic Cofeehous (4401 2nd Ave NE):Invisible-War_pdf

A female solider in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. That was a “secret” nobody was talking about in public. Until this film came out.

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and (formerly) best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, The Invisible War is an indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling the women’s struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.

This screening available and free to the public on Tuesday, July 29. Showtime is 6:30 pm at Mosaic Coffeehouse, 4401 – 2nd Avenue NE, Seattle WA 98105. Seating is limited to only 40 people, so registration in advance is required. Please register online.

After the film we will hear from an expert panel of a veterans’ psychologist and women veterans who have been working with rape survivors long before it became a trending topic. Dr. Ann Cotton is a psychologist at Seattle’s Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and co-director of Taking Charge: Self-Defense Therapy for Women. Julia Sheriden is a veteran and founder of OARS for Women Veterans. Janis Clark is also a veteran and founder of Ladies Operation Moving Forward.

New Belgium Clips July 25

New Belgium Brewing’s Clips Beer and Film Tour returns to Gas Works Park this Friday, July 25th:

New Belgium Brewing’s annual Clips Beer & Film Tour is hitting the road again, making its ninth stop of the 2014 tour in Seattle, Wash. on July 25. The event will take place in Gas Works Park from 8:00-11:00 p.m., with the films starting once dark descends. This beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show is going coast-to-coast hitting 21 cities in its fifth year. The best part is that 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales benefit local nonprofits working to improve communities nationwide. Since its inception in 2010, Clips has raised close to $370,000 for nonprofits nationwide and raised $9,348 in Seattle last year. Since this is a fundraiser, outside alcohol is not permitted.Clips Film Screen - Kansas CityClips offers a venue where guests can try New Belgium’s most esoteric beer offerings, while watching short films created by New Belgium fans. Many of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beers can be hard to come by and Clips offers the best way to try them. Up to 17 varieties from Lips of Faith to brewery classics will be on tap.

New Belgium beers will be available in 3-ounce samples or a 12-ounce pour. Served up by local beneficiary volunteers, there’s plenty of fun to be had alongside a host of traveling tricks and contests. KEXP’s very own DJ Greg Vandy will be there spinning some warm summer vibes and food from The Sammich Truck, Evolution Revolution, and Hallava Falafel will be available.  
 
New Belgium selects approximately 20 short films for the tour each season. All selected filmmakers for the 2014 tour receive a trophy-worthy beer in a custom screen-printed bottle, made exclusively for the winning submissions. This year, the chosen films include a banana with an attitude, ultra marathoners running with stubborn animals, neon spandex, and much, much more! It’s a diverse and highly entertaining line-up with something for everyone.

Admission is free, children and leashed dogs are welcome (children may not drink beer, dogs may) and you are welcome to bring a picnic dinner (but no outside alcohol).  

(Photo taken in Kansas City, so, ya know, that’s not Gas Works.)

Design a Winning Little Free Library

LFL Design ContestI have a love affair with Little Free Libraries. To the point that my children now try to distract me whenever we walk near one (“Look Mom! Over there!”). Despite my offsprings’ best efforts, I have located three more nearby LFLs since I last wrote about them (see below).

Apparently I am not alone in my book lust, as Little Free Libraries are riding a wave of popularity that has crossed the globe. And now, the local architect/ humanitarians at Architects Without Borders bring us Libraries on the Loose, an LFL design contest with the ultimate goal of making LFLs even more accessible to homeowners, community groups and businesses through good, affordable and replicable LFL design. The contest has the added benefit of raising funds for some inspirational architecture projects such as the building of schools in developing nations.

New projects and existing LFLs are eligible for the contest, which will consider such components as affordability, replicability, adaptability and creativity. The LFLs will actually be installed as part of the contest. Interested parties need to register their intent to participate by August 1st, and submit by August  27th. Entries will be part of the Seattle Design Festival on September 6-7 and 13-14th.

You can get inspired by visiting your local LFL today! The fun but difficult to search LFL official map has thousands of LFLs listed, but as I have found from walking the neighborhood, most of our local LFLs aren’t on it. The following list of Wallingford’s Little Free Libraries was generated by reader contributions. If you know of an LFL that should be on this list, please let us know!

  • 3634 Woodlawn Ave N
  • Southwest corner of 39th and Burke
  • Bagley Ave. N between 36th and 37th
  • N 38th between Bagley and Corliss
  • Bagley just north of 41st
  • 4111 Midvale
  • 1200 N 44th Street
  • N 43rd, a few houses east of Corliss
  • Densmore N. at the top of the 4300 block
  • 4550 Thackeray
  • 1815 N 47th St
  • 5420 Kirkwood
  • 53rd and Wallingford
  • Northwest corner of Latona and 51st
  • 5738 Ashworth N
  • 1831 North 57th St.
  • 6110 Latona
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