Traffic congestion expected in Sodo tomorrow

We love the Mariners, but those afternoon games make traffic no fun at all. Photo by Wendi.
Beacon Hill neighbors planning to travel through nearby Sodo tomorrow, June 1, should be prepared for traffic congestion. In the morning, approximately 4,000 students will arrive to attend Weather Education Day at Safeco Field. This event will be followed by a Seattle Mariners day game against the Baltimore Orioles. The game begins at 12:40 p.m., and post-game traffic and rerouting will affect the afternoon rush hour commute.

In the BHB‘s experience, this means that you should not even consider driving from Beacon Hill to Highway 99 via Sodo tomorrow after about the 5th inning. Take alternate transportation if you can, or alternate routes that keep you away from the stadium area.

“Jungle,” Alcohol Impact Area on NBHC agenda

Here is the agenda for this month’s North Beacon Hill Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. in the Beacon Hill Library community meeting room.

  • 7:00 Introductions, agenda
  • 7:10 Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith will update us on City plans for the greenbelt commonly called “the Jungle” and the Mountain to Sound Trail. Volunteers are needed to make this idea come to fruition.
  • 7:25 Question and Answer time: Discussion of City plans, and the displacement of homeless camps. Where will the long-term camp residents go? The increase in homeless street inebriates is causing a problem on N. Beacon—what is being done? Establishment of an alcohol impact area (AIA) on N. Beacon.
  • 8:00 Community announcements and concerns
    • Executive Board vote on officers
    • Nominations for Board Members
    • Other community concerns, including the formation of an Alcohol Impact Advisory committee
  • 8:30 Closure followed by Executive Board Meeting

The Beacon Hill Library is located at 2821 Beacon Ave. S. All are welcome at the meeting.

Beacon Hill Festival features extra music this year

This lion dancer performed at the Beacon Hill Festival in 2009. Photo by Jason.
The nineteenth annual Beacon Hill Festival is coming soon! Next Saturday, June 4, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., the Festival will bring music, dancing, acrobatic performances, local food, carnival games, a silent auction, and more to the Jefferson Community Center. This year the event will have two performance stages and sixteen free performances to enjoy. The second stage will highlight local singers and songwriters.

Here is the schedule of performers:

Main Stage

  • 11:00 Jun Hong Kung Fu and Sports Association
  • 11:45 Kimball
  • 12:30 Dearborn S.C.A.T.
  • 1:30 Jumbo
  • 2:15 Chava Mirel
  • 2:45 More of Anything
  • 3:30 Ala Carte

Small Stage

  • 11:15 Nelson Wright
  • 11:45 Stefanie Robbins
  • 12:15 Jack Lenoir
  • 12:45 Jim Marcotte
  • 1:45 Leaf Color
  • 2:15 Hank Davis
  • 3:00 Jean Mann

As always the event is open to everyone! Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Ave. S.

People-Powered Park Parade a success

Judith Edwards of the North Beacon Hill Council and City Council member Sally Bagshaw have a discussion at last Saturday's People-Powered Park Parade. Photo by Dan Bennett in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool.
I was very sad to have to miss last weekend’s People-Powered Park Parade in which neighbors on bicycle and foot toured the proposed bike boulevard on 17th and 18th Avenues S., and celebrated the 100th birthday of Lewis Park. Though the weather wasn’t perfect, the rain stayed away, and those who were able to attend report that it was a lovely celebration.

A neighbor going by “Observer” posted this recap in the comments to last week’s post:

It was a two-fold community celebration. The Friends of Lewis Park and Beacon Bikes joined forces with the City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, North Beacon Hill Council and Green Seattle Partnership in sponsoring the People Powered Park Parade and celebration of four years of restoration of Lewis Park Natural Area.

The colorful bike parade was in celebration of the vision of a kid-friendly bicycle and pedestrian path connecting our Seattle Parks with safe and enjoyable neighborhood greenways. An estimated (I didn’t count) 50 or more bicyclists of all ages departed the Jefferson Park playground and rode the proposed path to Lewis Park to the north.

Upon arrival the riders and walkers (who seemed to double in numbers) were greeted by the Friends of Lewis Park and several dignitaries from the City of Seattle. Two of the more popular neighbors were Jay Hollingsworth and J.J. Lund. People lined up and down the block to meet them as they flipped the burgers and dogs and stirred the chili.

Director Dee Dunbar introduced several dignitaries that included Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. Each of them shared a similar message of congratulations to the citizen volunteers who are providing the many hours of hands on labor to achieve the goal of restoring the Lewis Park Natural Area to a beautiful, family-friendly environment. They expressed great appreciation to citizens of the neighborhood who are making it happen. They also recognized the grants awarded to the project were really quite small when compared to the investment of time and work of the citizens of north Beacon Hill.

This is certainly not an official report but rather an observation from a long time citizen of north Beacon Hill.

Kat Marriner posted her take on the day’s events, with photos, on the Yellow Tent Adventures website. City Council member Sally Bagshaw also blogged about the event.

Dan Bennett posted a wonderful bunch of parade photos to the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr, and Observer emailed us some great photos as well. (Thank you to both of you!) Here are a few of our favorites:

City Council member Sally Bagshaw and others on the People-Powered Float. Photo by Dan Bennett.

Photo by Observer.

Mayor McGinn meets Beacon Hill neighbors. Photo by Dan Bennett.

Bikes brightly decorated. Photo by Observer.
Cyclists wait to cross Spokane Street. Photo by Dan Bennett.

Neighbors help solve library purse snatching case

Neighbor Kevin Haag posted this to the beaconhill mailing list yesterday. We are reposting with his permission:

A sad story (but with a happy ending):

At 7:30 tonight at the Beacon Hill library, I was unlocking my bike while—I found out later—in the children’s section, a young man pulled on a ski mask and snatched an elderly woman’s purse. He burst out the main doors behind me and ran northeast across Beacon Ave. Several of us chased him and at 18th and McClellan his ski mask and the purse were recovered. The young man got away, but witnesses returned to the library to offer descriptions to the police officer called in by the library staff. The purse was returned to the owner and her ID was still inside, but all of her cash was gone.

About one hour after I spoke with the officer at the library as a witness, he personally called to clarify what I had seen and informed me that everyone’s care paid off. He said that thankfully a neighbor noticed a young man acting suspiciously a few blocks away from where the purse was found, called 911 and ultimately SPD arrested the young man on a metro bus and
found the missing cash on him.

Thanks to everyone that spoke with SPD regarding the incident—especially the neighbor who happened to notice someone acting oddly on their street. I, for one, will recall this time less as a tragedy and more as a positive experience that really brought out the best in our community, including caring neighbors and a responsive police department.

Together we can proclaim that this is our community, and when you’re on Beacon Hill you will be cared for.

Thanks, Kevin!

Volunteers wanted to join international visitors at Lewis Park

Christine Cole sent us info on an International Work Party at Lewis Park this weekend:

Hello Neighbors!

This Sunday, May 29, Lewis Park has the honor and privilege of hosting 18 professional delegates from 15 African nations. This special group has been selected by the U.S. Embassy in their respective countries to participate in the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The World Affairs Council of Seattle will be hosting the delegation as they experience “Grassroots Democracy in the U.S.” in action.

  • When: May 29, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Stay for it all or come at your leisure!)
  • Where: Lewis Park (900 Sturgus Ave. S.)
  • Why: Share your stories and thoughts on volunteerism with leaders from around the world!

To RSVP for the event, please visit this link and locate “Lewis Park Restoration” on the Volunteer Calendar list. Then, click on the “Sign Up” button to register.

This is a free event and people of all ages are welcome to attend. The Friends of Lewis Park will supply gloves, tools, coffee, and snacks.

Have you seen Chutney?

Neighbors Nathan and Miranda sent us this plea to help find their orange kitty Chutney:

We lost our cat, Chutney who is a very friendly, large orange indoor cat. He’s a large, orange classic tabby with a white chest and paws and has a loud, low meooow and a loud purr. Since he’s an indoor only cat, he may be scared. He’s microchipped but doesn’t have a collar. If you see any orange cat you don’t recognize, please hold him and call us at 206-335-7812 and 206-335-8139. We live on 22nd & McClellan/Lander, so he’s probably in that vicinity. Thanks, Nathan and Miranda

20110520-123602.jpg 20110520-124001.jpg

People-Powered Park Parade and Lewis Park Celebration this Saturday

As mentioned previously, the People-Powered Park Parade and Lewis Park Celebration is this Saturday, May 21. The PPPP is a bike and walk parade that will tour the proposed bike boulevard on 17th and 18th Avenues S., and celebrate the 100th birthday of Lewis Park. You can see the parade route here.

Here is the event timeline; come for the entire event, or just part of it, if you prefer.

At Jefferson Park Playground, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.:

  • 11:30 a.m. Gather and decorate bikes
  • 11:40 a.m. Lion dancers
  • 11:45 a.m. Introduction, CM Rasmussen speaks, parade instructions
  • 12:00 p.m. Leave Jefferson Park and travel the proposed Beacon Hill Bike Boulevard/Greenway

At Sturgus Park, 904 Sturgus Ave. S.:

  • 1:00 p.m. Event begins (BBQ, music, arrival of bike parade)*
  • 1:25 p.m. Mayor arrives, mix and mingle
  • 1:30 p.m. Welcome by Friends of Lewis Park
  • 1:35 p.m. Duwamish blessing
  • 1:45 p.m. CM Sally Bagshaw (3-5 min)
  • 1:50 p.m. Mayor’s remarks (3-5 minutes)
  • 1:55 p.m. Christopher Williams (3-5 minutes)
  • 2:00 p.m. Bernie Matsuno (3-5 minutes)
  • 2:15 p.m. Tours of Lewis Park Natural Area begin, music resumes
  • 5:00 p.m. Event concludes

*Due to limited seating, it is advised that you bring a blanket/something to sit on to Sturgus Park.

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

Food news: Travelers, Bar del Corso aim for June opening

The Street Treats van on Beacon Hill last summer. Photo by Wendi.
The work at Bar del Corso (the former Beacon Pub, at 3057 Beacon Ave. S.) is continuing, with a projected opening date of mid-June. You can see a few more photos of the site in progress on the Bar del Corso blog, along with a picture of the blue-and-white-tiled pizza oven.

They’ve also posted a possible menu—see it here (PDF). According to the blog, “Menu offerings will be based on what is seasonally available so it will change quite often. But here’s a sample of what the menu could be.”

* * *

We previously mentioned the new Travelers restaurant which will soon be serving Indian food in the Culinary Communion/Tasha’s house on Beacon Avenue. Allison Austin Scheff at posted a short article about it this week, with a bit of information about the menu and the projected opening date: late June.

The CHS Capitol Hill Seattle Blog posted an article about Travelers last week, discussing owner Allen Kornmesser’s intent to continue operating the original Travelers Tea Co. on E. Pine St., while expanding to the larger Beacon Hill space.

* * *

It’s not quite summer yet, but it’s getting closer! Along with a bit of sunshine, another sign of summer this year is the return of the Street Treats dessert van, serving cookies, ice cream, and dessert bars. Owner Diane tells us the van will return to the vicinity of 16th and Lander this Friday night from 6:30-8 p.m.

We’ve heard this “locked out” plea before

Several North Beacon Hill neighbors on the beaconhill mailing list have recently had encounters with a panhandler who sounds familiar. It may be the same fellow who has been seen in the CD and previously on Beacon Hill, or someone else who is running a similar scam.

The basic interaction typically goes like this:

  • He knocks on your door and asks for a small amount of money to pay a locksmith because he is locked out of his house or his car.
  • He says he’s gay, and he’s new in the neighborhood and just moved nearby with his boyfriend. (Sometimes he gives a location that is known to be false.)
  • He usually claims to be a janitor at a nearby school or university. (It has been verified that he does not work at Beacon Hill International School as he claimed to at least one individual.)

He is African-American, about 5′ 9″, 145 pounds, and probably somewhere around 45 years old.

If it is the same person who has done this previously in the CD, he may be the well-known “Patrick” who has been telling this particular story, with variations, for at least 14 years. However, there may be more than one person who does this; the panhandler in other neighborhoods has been described with heights ranging from 5’7″ to 6’0″, and one person in the Roosevelt neighborhood last month (described as “younger-looking,” unlike Patrick) used a different name, “Clark Lewis.”

There are many reports of this activity from other neighborhoods.

There is no concrete evidence that he is casing houses or is a danger to anything other than your wallet. However, please be aware that if someone approaches you with this story, it is probably a scam.