Benefit Playground skatedot meeting tomorrow

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a follow-up public meeting tomorrow, September 1 from 6 – 7 p.m. to discuss the design of a skatedot (a skateboard facility) at Benefit Playground. The meeting is a follow-up from input received in the August 11 design meeting, and will take place at the park picnic shelter. Benefit Playground is located on South Beacon Hill at 9320 38th Ave. S.

According to Parks and Recreation:

A skatedot is a skateboard feature within an existing park that can range in size from 1,500 to 10,000 square feet. It is considered a neighborhood facility that can accommodate up to 13 users at a time. This skatedot is expected to be located within the existing sport court area of the park. For more information on Seattle Skatepark planning, please visit the skatepark website.

You can see the notes from the previous meeting at the Parks website for the project.

Denise Louie Education Center receives literacy grant

Photo courtesy of Denise Louie Education Center.
Denise Louie Education Center (DLEC) recently received a $2,000 grant from the Target Foundation to help instill a love of reading in the children the organization serves at sites on Beacon Hill, in the International District, and in Rainier Beach/Lake Washington.

The funds from the grant will allow DLEC to purchase books for their Raising a Reader Program, a national program that gets families engaged in daily reading through parent training and rotating book bags that children check out each week.

The Raising a Reader program encourages daily “book cuddling,” described by DLEC as follows: “Parents follow the child’s lead and either read or invent a story using the pictures from the book. That way, a book can be shared regardless of the parent’s language or literacy level. Parents learn how to use prediction, open-ended, and leading questions to engage their children. By the end of the program, families sign up for a library card so they can continue with daily reading which will help their children become proficient readers and successful students.”

The Beacon Hill branch of DLEC is located at 3327 Beacon Ave. S. in North Beacon Hill. For more information about the organization, visit the website.

Mid-Beacon burglary yesterday

Neighbor Julie writes:

Thought I would let you guys get the word out. Our house in Mid-Beacon Hill was broken into between 8:30 and 5pm today (August 29). They got in through the alley level backyard entrance and stole a laptop, gaming consoles and other small electronics. Not sure if anyone saw anything but appreciate you guys getting the word out.

Yesterday at Beacon Rocks!

The last Beacon Rocks! of 2011 was yesterday at the newly dedicated Roberto Maestas Festival Street. Here are some images of the sunny Sunday event:

This tiny ukelele player stole the show as part of the Seattle Fandango Project. Photo by Wendi.

Mayor Mike McGinn spoke during the dedication of Roberto Maestas Festival Street. Photo by Wendi.

El Centro representatives with a display at Beacon Rocks! Photo by Wendi.

Baby Sophie enjoys sidewalk chalk. Photo by Melissa Jonas.

Continue reading Yesterday at Beacon Rocks!

BBQ, lawn bowling, and blues come to Beacon Hill this weekend

This is a busy weekend on and around Beacon Hill, with events including music, BBQ, lawn bowling, and more taking place throughout the next few days.

Today (August 26), the US National Lawn Bowling Championships continue at Jefferson Park through August 28. Here’s the schedule of events. All games are open to the public.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Beacon Blues and BBQ starts at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S. On the menu are Quarter House BBQ glazed chicken, salads, and dinner rolls, catered by Gourmet Your Way. The meal is followed at 7:30 pm by an acoustic concert featuring the Smokin’ J’s. The concert is $10 (free for members of ROCKiT space and kids under 12), and the price for dinner and the concert together is $22.

Saturday, August 27, at 9 a.m. is the Second Annual Beacon Avenue Health Walk, a benefit for Japan earthquake relief. The walk will begin at Jun Hong Kung Fu (4878 Beacon Ave. S.), and then take the Beacon Avenue walking path south to Van Asselt Community Center (2820 S. Myrtle St.) for a water stop, and back to Jun Hong Kung Fu. The total distance is approximately three miles, and the event should finish at noon. Registration for the event closed on August 25.

Just north of the Hill, on Saturday night, is the Chinatown-International District Night Market. The Market will include local vendors of arts and crafts, as well as international cuisine. Performances will include Chinese lion and dragon dances, Brazilian and traditional martial arts, live painting demonstrations, and a free outdoor showing of the new Karate Kid movie at 8:45 p.m.

On Sunday, August 28 from 1-6 p.m., the final Beacon Rocks! music event of 2011 comes to Roberto Maestas Festival Street (S. Lander St., just north of Beacon Hill Station). Along with the usual musical performances, this event will include a ceremony to rename Lander Festival Street as Roberto Maestas Festival Street. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, representatives from El Centro de la Raza, and other dignitaries will attend, and new memorial street signs will be unveiled during the ceremony. The event will also feature bubbles for the kids and a beach ball volley contest with prizes.

ROCKiT space will be hosting a clothing exchange at Beacon Rocks! to help neighbors of all ages and sizes prepare for the new school year, so bring new or gently used clothing to trade. Leftovers will be donated to Wellspring Family Services. Everyone and all sizes are welcome.

Rizal Bridge repair work extended until 9/9

Photo of the Jose Rizal Bridge by Seattle Daily Photo, in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
The Jose Rizal Bridge repair project has been extended until Friday, September 9, while Seattle Department of Transportation crews continue to work on the underside of the bridge. During work hours, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the northbound right lane will be closed. The sidewalk remains open.

Biking on Beacon: Why did the neighbor cross the road?

…To get to our brand new park!

Jefferson Park is a wonderful community gathering space located in the heart of Beacon Hill.  It offers amazing views, brand new tennis courts, playground, cricket, lawn bowling, golfing, a community center, and soon we will have a skate park and spray pad (which would not have gotten much use this summer, somewhat diminishing the sting of construction delays).  But the irony is this community nexus acts as a physical division within our neighborhood. The golf course is not permeable by car or foot, while the park is surrounded by arterial and collector streets (Spokane, Columbian, Beacon) that are wide and unsafe to cross except at stoplight-controlled intersections.  Due to the current configuration it is difficult to access the park in a safe and efficient manner without getting in your car and driving there, which I must say, though I love my car, does take the neighborhoodiness out of things a bit—when was the last time you had a meaningful interaction with a neighbor when driving past them on 15th?

Neighbors have noticed that many people try to access the park by foot by crossing Spokane between Beacon and 15th Ave. S. (at 16th, 17th, Lafayette, and Alamo).  Though legal, crossing Spokane at these intersections across 4 lanes of fast-moving traffic with no marked crosswalks and difficult sightlines is not the most relaxing stroll to the park.  A solution proposed in Beacon Hill’s Bike and Pedestrian Circulation Plan is to create a safe pedestrian crossing at Lafayette Ave. S.  The first step to adding a new pedestrian crossing is data collection.  Within the past month folks from Beacon B.I.K.E.S. have conducted pedestrian crossing counts and even shot a nice video at the proposed crossing.

The results from the counts indicate that during peak hours around 20 people per hour will cross Spokane at these dangerous intersections.  This is considered a high enough rate by SDOT to justify a pedestrian crossing.  SDOT will soon be conducting their own counts and studies and hopefully we will get the crossing installed next year!  Of cou, it won’t happen without a lot of community support, so if you are interested please contactBeacon B.I.K.E.S. and send an email to Peter Hahn (SDOT director) letting him know this is something the neighborhood needs.

See you at the Park!

Clothing exchange at Beacon Rocks! this Sunday

Need to get ready for the “back to school” season? There will be a clothing exchange during Sunday’s Beacon Rocks! event to help neighbors of all ages and sizes prepare for the new school year.

To participate, bring gently-used clothing to Beacon Rocks! this Sunday, August 28. Sort your contributions by size and gender on the tables provided, then take anything you can use, free. Leftovers will be donated to Wellspring Family Services. Everyone and all sizes are welcome.

Beacon Rocks! will be at Lander Festival Street (soon to be Roberto Maestas Festival Street), just north of Beacon Hill Station, from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Food, arts, and film Saturday evening at Chinatown-ID Night Market

Just a few minutes down the hill from North Beacon this Saturday evening is the annual Chinatown-International District Night Market. The Night Market is a street fair on South King Street and in Hing Hay Park that will feature local vendors of crafts and international cuisine. There will also be live performances including Chinese lion and dragon dances, Brazilian and traditional martial arts, live painting demonstrations, and a free outdoor showing of the new Karate Kid movie at 8:45 p.m.

Restaurants participating include Jade Garden, Sub Sand, and Oasis Tea Zone. Food trucks will also take part in the event, including Fusion on the Run and Lumpia World.

Admission to the Night Market is free, and the event runs from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. For more information, see the event website.

Lion dancers at last year's Night Market. Photo by Wendi.