Aki Kurose Middle School to close tomorrow due to swine flu outbreak

Aki Kurose Middle School and Stevens Elementary will be closed tomorrow (Friday) through Thursday, May 7. Two of the newest H1N1 flu cases are students that attend those schools. Madrona K-8 was already closed until next Wednesday because of an earlier flu case. Seattle Schools recommends these tips for students of closed schools:

“To avoid spreading infection, students should not gather outside of school during the week that school is closed. If students or staff do become ill, avoid contact with others and remain at home from work and school either for 7 days after illness starts or for a full day after the illness is over, whichever is longer. If your symptoms are more severe, call your health care provider to discuss if you need to be seen and evaluated, and tell them about the school closure for swine flu.”

Public Health – Seattle and King County has a page set up to provide up-to-date information about the flu outbreak.

Kidney Health Fest and Cinco de Mayo free events this Saturday


There are a couple of free events on the Hill this Saturday, May 2:

Kidney Health Fest for African American Families (and everyone else)

Northwest Kidney Centers are sponsoring a Kidney Health Fest where guests can take part in health screenings; try healthy food samples by local celebrity chefs; enjoy entertainment, music, and exhibits; try an obstacle course for all ages; enter to win prizes such as iPods, and more. The fair is from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the African American Academy, 8311 Beacon Avenue South.

Cinco de Mayo celebration with El Centro de la Raza

Saturday is also El Centro de la Raza’s 4th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm at the Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Avenue South. Guests at this event will enjoy live entertainment and a DJ, traditional foods, children’s activities, a fashion show, and local vendors. Admission is free!

Need to keep up with upcoming events on Beacon Hill such as these? Check out our events calendar.

North Beacon Hill Council to elect new directors, discuss neighborhood plan

Next week’s North Beacon Hill Council meeting will include the election of a new board of directors, as well as updates on the Neighborhood Plan update process, Jefferson Park, and the Pedestrian Plaza/Festival Street. Interested in becoming a board member? The council asks that you be a voting member (having attended one meeting), are willing to attend each monthly meeting, and “have an interest in the future of North Beacon Hill at this time of transition.”

The meeting is May 7, 7:00 pm, at the Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South.

Read on after the jump for the full agenda.
Continue reading North Beacon Hill Council to elect new directors, discuss neighborhood plan

Beacon Hill middle schoolers honored as Mayor’s Scholars

Several local middle school students have been chosen for Mayor’s Scholars Awards for service to their schools and communities. Criteria for selection include overcoming obstacles or meeting challenges, giving back to the community, and maintaining good academic standing. To compete for the award, students wrote essays about how they contribute to the community, and how they would use the cash award. In addition, they provided recommendations from adults familiar with their service work.

Each winner will receive $500 that can be used for education or donated to a charity, and a Mayor’s Scholar letter jacket.

Gizelle Gando, an 8th grade student at Mercer MS, volunteers at church as an altar server, sets up the parish hall for special events, and helps her younger brother with his reading. Gizelle’s favorite subjects are science and math. Last summer, through the Technology Access Foundation, she learned how to start and successfully manage a business. About college, Gizelle says, “My goal is to go to college to get that very special treasure — an education — a treasure that no one can take away from you.”

Daniel Gonzalez learned how to fix bikes and continues to do so at Bikeworks, a group that donates bikes to foster kids. Learning this skill has fostered his interest in an engineering career. He understands that a college education willl help him improve his family’s lives. As the oldest son in a fatherless household, Daniel has assumed many responsibilities, including translating for his mother and grandmother. A 6th grade student at Mercer MS, Danny is a mentor at his brother’s elementary school where he helps other kids learn to read.

An 8th grade student at Mercer MS, Adriana Meraz-Gonzalez is in a motivational youth group called Latino Dream, which encourages all students to avoid negativity and better themselves. Adriana presented a resolution to the School Board on behalf of undocumented students that choose higher education and, because of her testimony, the school board passed that resolution. She met with local District Representatives to share her ideas on solutions to immigration, student struggles and youth violence/gang involvement issues. Adriana said she has faced a lot of racism which has fueled her educational pursuits.

A 6th grade student at The New School @ Columbia, Jessica Walters shows leadership by singlehandedly organizing a 6th grade dance and donating the proceeds to charity. She helps other students and participates in an after school program and church choir. Jessica dreams of becoming a singer/songwriter and recognizes the importance of education to help with her goal. Jessica’s teacher says, “She has dealt with every obstacle society can throw at her and still maintains a sunny disposition and always does her best work in school.”

Congratulations to Gizelle, Daniel, Adriana, and Jessica!

Beacon Bits: crocheted art, construction photographs, and fighting crime with coffee

Crocheting by Mandy Greer, for the project "Mater Matrix Mother and Medium", an interactive, process-based art installation. Photo by Jennifer Zwick.
Crocheting by Mandy Greer, for the project "Mater Matrix Mother and Medium", an interactive, process-based art installation. Photo by Jennifer Zwick.
  • Artist Mandy Greer is creating Mater Matrix Mother and Medium, a “process-based temporary public art installation” that uses recycled fabric and yarn along with the volunteer help of many hands to build the installation. You can help crochet this artwork at the Beacon Hill Library on May 24 — all skill levels welcome! Details are here.
  • Peter de Lory, the Photographer in Residence for the Sound Transit Central Link light rail project, has posted some interesting recent pictures of the Beacon Hill and Mount Baker stations under construction. (Go here, click “Visit the gallery now”, and choose March 2009 to see the slide show. Flash required.)
  • Beacon Hill neighbor Lorraine reports on the mailing list: “I was waiting at the northbound bus stop at Beacon and Hanford (yesterday) morning
    when a guy tried to grab my phone from me. I held on tight and whacked him with my coffee thermos and he ran off. Then I followed him and watched him get in his small, black pickup truck and take off.” The unsuccessful thief was white, with short brown hair and brown facial hair, about 5’9″ and 180 pounds, wearing a short-sleeved, plaid shirt with a collar and pale blue jeans. Lorraine adds, “The guy asked me a few questions and what time it was before he grabbed my phone. I had turned the phone to show him the time after he acted like he hadn’t heard me. So, lesson learned. Please be alert at those bus stops, everybody!”

Jefferson Park expansion followup: your input sought

Overview image from PDF below
Overview image from PDF below
Following up on the well-attended Jefferson Park expansion meeting April 21st, Joel Lee points us to the updated project status page containing updated options that differ from the original park plan.

On that page, you’ll find a series of PDFs including a prioritizing worksheet that can be downloaded, filled out, and returned to the parks department by FAX (how quaint!) or email (see further below), providing them with your valuable input. Just do it before May 8th! Full instructions excerpted below.

  1. First, read the Park Element Description: These elements are items that have been discussed in the past either in the 2002 Long Range Plan or as part of the process.
  2. Next, look at the Images of Options: This rendering shows what is included in phase one. The numbers on it correlate to the park elements discussed above so you can see the location of each item.
  3. Next, review the Preliminary Costs and Options: The options listed are to be used as food for thought only. This should give you an idea of what combinations are possible given the range of funding that may become available.
  4. Last, open the Prioritizing Worksheet: Fill out this form, add your name and address, and FAX (206) 233-3949 or Email to kim.baldwin@seattle.gov

If you prefer to email your feedback, we’ve put together a simplified text-only version of the Prioritizing Worksheet you might wish to copy and paste to fill out instead of trying to figure out how to get your feedback entered into the PDF and email it.

Thanks Joel!

Updated: Bye bye Buggy

Buggy, neighborhood baby outfitter and monthly knit-night host, is closing up shop on Beacon Avenue South and heading to new digs in Madrona, as confirmed on their soon-to-be-anachronistic website at www.buggybeacon.com.

Jon Gould dropped the news on the mailing list yesterday, noting that the 2200 square foot space will be available in June for $1300/mo.

This, along with the closing of Culinary Communion, is another sad departure from the hill just 81 days before the light rail station opening.

Update: A message from Buggy co-owner Sarah Dublin below. Click to read: Continue reading Updated: Bye bye Buggy

Neighbor warns about disturbing activity

Neighbor Melissa writes to warn us about a disturbing occurrence in which a local 13-year-old was frightened by a man who was acting strangely:

She told me there was a guy circling the block gesturing and smiling at her. I was walking my dog with another neighbor, and while we were waiting a car came around the corner. The driver was cruising slowly in the middle of the road, looking right at the young woman. When I waved at him, he looked at me and waved back, then accelerated and drove away.

Both my neighbor and I thought his behavior was strange, and the young woman was fairly distraught. She said she’d seen him around the library and the gas station/convenience store on Beacon (used to be the C&C…what is it now?) and he always made her and her friends nervous.

I called the police non-emergency number & reported the incident and the license number. So did the other neighbor. The police said the plate number matched an SUV–but that’s not what this guy is driving.

Melissa adds, “Please let people know to watch out for a creepy middle aged guy cruising the ‘hood in a maroon-ish sedan-type car. Scratch that–look out for creeps in general. Tell your kids and the neighbor kids to tell an adult and/or contact the police if they’re scared. Go over the standard stranger-danger stuff.”

Beacon Bits: bravado, acrobatics, and coyotes

Coyotes have been seen in many parts of Seattle, including North Beacon Hill.  Photo by emdot.
Coyotes have been seen in many parts of Seattle, including North Beacon Hill. Photo by emdot.
  • “Health-department rules are critical for people who don’t know what the f— they’re doing. We’re chefs,” is the telling quote from Gabriel Claycamp in Jonah Spangenthal-Lee’s take on the Culinary Communion/Swinery/Lunch Counter tale. We just want to know if something else will be moving into that building on Beacon Avenue — The Stranger
  • The folks at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts just down the hill in Georgetown will be holding their Annual Spring Showcase on Saturday, May 9, at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center. They tell us the show will feature “Two unique, circus-variety shows featuring the spectacular SANCA Youth Company, the amazing Circus 1-ders, incredible SANCA instructors and fabulous friends of SANCA!” See their website for further info.
  • That same day from 9:00am – 2:00pm, Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool is hosting a fundraising rummage sale at 3818 S Angeline Street in Columbia City. See this and other upcoming events on our events page.
  • David Gackenbach reported on the Beacon Hill Mailing List this weekend that a trio of coyotes were “loping down the sidewalk” at 18th and Plum on Saturday night. Keep an eye on your pets and keep them safe.

Lost black and white cat near 17th and Stevens

Kristen writes:

Greetings Neighbors!

This morning about 11:15, it seems our black and white tuxedo cat made a run for it. The cat disappeared from the corner of 17th and Stevens St.

The kitty’s name is Ivy. She is a VERY LARGE (overweight) tuxedo (black and white) cat. Ivy is an indoor cat. She’s probably out there and scared silly.

She is friendly but shy, but will be easy to catch because she sort of waddles. She looks like she is wearing a black tuxedo jacket that doesn’t close in the front. She has a round face and very large round gold eyes.

Thanks for keeping your eyes open for her–

Kristen Turner

If anyone sees her, please contact us here at the Blog and we will forward your message to Kristen. Thanks.