People-Powered Park Parade and Lewis Park Celebration coming 5/21

Photo by Charles Willgren, via Creative Commons.
A “people-powered” celebration is coming to North Beacon Hill on May 21 when cyclists, pedestrians, park fans, and other neighbors take part in the People-Powered Park Parade and Lewis Park Celebration.

The PPPP is a bike and walk parade that will tour the proposed bike boulevard on 17th and 18th Avenues S. The parade will include a bike decoration contest with prizes, and a pedal-powered float! Paraders should meet at Jefferson Park Playground at 11:30 a.m. The parade will leave the park at noon, and arrive at Lewis Park at 1 p.m. You can see the parade route at this PDF link.

When the parade arrives at Lewis Park (904 Sturgus Ave. S.), the event turns into a celebration of the park’s restoration from 1-5 p.m., featuring free food and BBQ, entertainment, park tours, and urban forest restoration information.

This event is organized by Beacon Walks and Bikes and Friends of Lewis Park, and funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. For more information, contact Dee Dunbar at or Dylan Ahearn at

Encounters art opening at NEPO House May 7

Image courtesy of NEPO House.
NEPO House is presenting Encounters, another in the series of NEPO Little Treats art exhibitions. Encounters is curated by Chauney Peck and features works by Debra Baxter, Tim Cross, Matt Hilger, Jason Hirata, and Nicholas Nyland.

According to NEPO’s Klara Glosova,

“For this show Chauney chose five artists whose work she truly enjoys. She asked each artist to select a work of their choosing. Rather than controlling the exact collection of objects herself, she hopes that this method will present an unknown discovery. The works together will be a surprise encounter similar to putting wild animals in a room together.”

The opening event is Saturday, May 7, from 6 – 8 p.m. Apple crisp with ice cream will be served, and the event will be followed by a screening of Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World at 8 p.m.

Open computer lab time next Thursday at Mercer MS

The YMCA of Greater Seattle will offer open computer lab time at Asa Mercer Middle School on the first Thursday of the next two months (May 5 and June 2) from 5:30-7 p.m. YMCA technology instructors will be there to answer technology and internet questions and help with online tasks. All community members are welcome to attend. Mercer Middle School is located at 1600 Columbian Way S.

Arts, food, fashion, and more at El Centro Cinco de Mayo Celebration

El Centro de la Raza is hosting their 6th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration next Thursday, May 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Activities will include children’s arts and crafts, traditional Mexican foods, arts and crafts from local vendors, a health and services fair, a desfile cultural/cultural dress fashion show, performances by the Seattle Fandango Project and Ameyaltonal Danza Azteca-Chichimeca, and more.

Admission to the celebration is free, but donations are welcomed.

Models are needed for the desfile cultural dress fashion show. If you’re interested in wearing a Mexican folkloric outfit for the celebration, contact Hilda Magaña at 206-957-4627 or at No experience necessary.

El Centro de la Raza is located at 2524 16th Avenue S.

Neighborhood watch on N. Beacon?

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski via Creative Commons.
A poster named “Observer” recently posted this question on the BHB Forum:

“Anyone know if there are any organized block watches on N Beacon Hill? Mark Solomon the SPD coordinator for our area apparently notified someone but I never heard from them. Just wondering. Seems a good idea.”

Anyone have any information? Comment here or in the forum.

Learn about e-books at Beacon Hill Library events

The Beacon Hill Library is hosting two events in the next few weeks where you can find out more about digital audiobooks or e-books.

The first event, from 1:30-3 p.m. on May 2, is a class to demonstrate how to search for, check out, and download audiobooks from the library using the OverDrive digital book service. Registration is required for this class; please contact the library at 206-684-4711 to register and find out more information.

On May 21, the library is also hosting a drop-in Digital Book Roadshow that will give an overview of e-books, demonstrate how to transfer digital books to portable devices, and let you test drive various e-book readers. The presentation on e-books and readers starts at 3 p.m., followed by an informal Q&A session and test drive until 4 p.m.

Both the May 2 class and the May 21 roadshow are free and open to all. The Beacon Hill Library is located at 2821 Beacon Avenue South.

An assortment of e-readers. Photo by edvvc via Creative Commons.

Old-time barn dance at Garden House 4/26

Feel like dancing? Kick up your heels at the Garden House at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, at an “old-time barn dance!ROCKiT Space‘s ongoing Tuesday Folk Club series continues next week with a dance featuring the bands Scatter Creek and Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, with dance calling by Tony Mates.

No experience or partner is necessary; all are welcome. Admission is $5 at the door, and kids get in free. The Garden House is located at 2336 15th Ave. S.

If a different genre is more your style, you may want to plan ahead for the monthly swing dance night on the following Tuesday, May 3.

Egg hunts on the Hill tonight and tomorrow

Photo by jamieanne, via Creative Commons.
It’s that time of year—time to go egg hunting!

The springtime festivities start tonight with two teens-only free Flashlight Egg Hunts at Jefferson and Van Asselt Community Centers. Bring your own flashlight and goodie bag to hunt for prize eggs that contain candy and games. The hunts are rain-or-shine, so dress appropriately if it rains.

The event at Jefferson starts at 8 p.m., and is open to ages 11-17. The event at Van Asselt starts slightly earlier, at 7:45, and is open to ages 12-17. (If you are going to the Van Asselt Flashlight hunt, meet on the Van Asselt Playground, 7200 Beacon Ave. S.)

Tomorrow, everyone is invited to Jefferson Community Center for the Spring Egg Hunt and Pancake Social, from 9 a.m. until noon. Children 10 and under should bring a basket or a bag to collect treats at the egg hunt. Pancakes are available for all ages before the egg hunt, so be there early. The egg hunt is free. The cost for pancakes is $3, pancakes and sausage are $4, and the whole shebang—pancakes, sausage, and eggs—is $5.

Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Ave. S.

Many options for family fun on the Hill

Beacon Hill is a great place for people of all ages and features many opportunities for entire families to have a great time. Here are a few ideas to get you started—please share your favorite places/activities in the comments!

ROCKiT Space is thriving after the relaunch in January. Headquarters are now in the Garden House at 2336 15th Ave. S. (directly behind Baja Bistro; parking in the alley, on street or just walk there) and events are happening there and all over Beacon Hill.

High Chair Happy Hour happens every third Tuesday (the next ones are on April 19 and May 16) from 3:30-6:30 p.m. BYOB (baby/bigger kid). It’s good, cheap fun on Beacon Hill: $5, or free for ROCKiT members. No alcohol sold, but you’re welcome to bring your own (as well as other food/drink) to share.  Must be accompanied by a minor to attend.

Tots Jam, a ROCKiT Space favorite, is held at El Centro every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Bring your toddler and $5 (free for members) and rock with Suzanne.

The Beacon Hill library has story times for toddlers, preschoolers, and the whole family. Toddler story time, Spanish story time, and Bilingual Kaleidoscope are only a few of the choices.

Thanks to our neighbors’ successful efforts to improve the parks on Beacon Hill, we have three (3!) awesome new playgrounds on Beacon Hill.

The play area at Jefferson Park has been open for several months. Don’t let the fences surrounding the future Beacon Mountain deter you—head over and check out the many ways your kids (and you) can climb, swing, hang and rock. Several refreshment options are available in the south end of our business district, including the Jefferson Park Field House, Victrola 3 and El Quetzal (now serving beer; just sayin’).

Jefferson Park also boasts a fantastic indoor playground on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Inflatables, riding toys, push toys, balls, and tons of other ways for toddlers to tire themselves are available for only $2!

Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park at El Centro de La Raza is now open to the public (closed during posted hours to protect the safety of the children enrolled in programs on site) and features new playground equipment for a variety of ages. Amenities such as benches for parents and a permanent chess board are in the works. I highly recommend a visit to The Station (directly across the street) before or after your park visit.

Beacon Hill Playground has new play structures, too! Swings, slides, a secure tunnel, and other fun await at our northernmost playground.

I’m sure I”m missing something—please share your ideas/events in the comments!

A few of the ways to keep busy in the playground at Jefferson Park. Photo by Joel Lee.

Neighborhood Plan Update moves forward

Part of the Beacon Town Center concept plan as seen in the proposed Urban Design Framework.
On Monday, April 11 the Seattle City Council approved Council Bill 117114. This bill moves the North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan Update “action plan and goals” into the Seattle Comprehensive Plan. (There’s other stuff in there, but this is only a summary of changes relating to Beacon Hill. Read it; it’s interesting. Really.)

Here’s the proposed Urban Design Framework for North Beacon Hill Town Center, created with input from you and your neighbors. Here’s the Neighborhood Action Plan.

Some of the “Key Action Items” include:

  • Maintain the remainder of parcels and storefronts north and south of the immediate station area along Beacon Ave. S. for new and small businesses.
  • Rezone key opportunity sites to encourage redevelopment of parcels around the light rail station in a manner that incorporates housing, commercial services (such as a grocery store and small businesses) and amenities.
  • Evaluate a height increase within the Town Center for some but not all properties that have a current height limit of 40 feet, allowing up to 65 feet with required street and upper level setbacks.
  • Where land use changes are considered, give particular attention to zone transitions.
  • Change the land use and zoning to support the envisioned mixed use development on the El Centro site.
  • Develop neighborhood design guidelines and an urban design framework plan for the North Beacon Hill station area. Framework elements could include building height options, incentive features such as affordable housing, open space, and pedestrian connections.