Asa Mercer Middle School on Beacon Hill has made a remarkable transformation, going from a school in which only 13.8 percent of eighth graders passed the state science test in 2005, to one in which 84.3 percent passed last year. Brian M. Rosenthal of The Seattle Timeswrites about the “Mercer model”: teaching “urgently,” relying on data and team coordination, and using a customized math curriculum.
“The central administration was largely unaware of Mercer’s approach, School Board member Kay Smith-Blum said.
“‘They did it sort of undercover,” she said. “They just did what their kids needed.’
“The results were clear: The number of students passing the state math tests more than doubled, to 70.8 percent, during [former principal] Lutz’s tenure.”
Art Thiel at Sports Press NWcomments about the Valero Alamo Bowl, where the Huskies will play against Baylor on December 29: “Then there is the issue of figuring out what a Valero is. Turns out it’s a large petroleum company with a small presence in Washington. Next time you’re on Beacon Hill, check out the C&C Mart. It’s the only Valero store in Seattle.”
Heirloom tomato plants are also one of the attractions to be found at this weekend’s Franklin High School Arts Festival, on Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Elizabeth Lowry writes:
This year, Francis Roque, a Franklin alum and ceramicist, has worked with FHS art students to create approximately 100 mugs called Quaker Cups, which we will sell at the festival for just $15 each. And, Principal Dr. Jennifer Wiley’s steel drum band will perform, along with the lion dancers, jazz band and other groups. Habesha, a group of East African students, will present a fashion show.
The National Honor Society will sell heirloom tomato plants (the best deal in town!), and other student clubs will have games, rummage sales, sno cones and so on.
May 14 also is the Orca Plant Sale and the open house for Fire Station 30 just down the street from Franklin – oh, and the Mt. Baker yard sales! Big weekend!
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A quick reminder—save the date of June 4 on your calendar for the Beacon Hill Festival at Jefferson Park, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. As usual, there will be music and other entertainment, food, booths showcasing local groups, and more. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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You should also save a date for the annual Beacon Hill Piñata Party, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 from 12-3 p.m. at Stevens Place Park (sometimes known as Triangle Park). The event will include live entertainment, music, food, dancing, and piñatas. All ages are welcome. The event is free. Please stay tuned for more information as the date approaches.
The event organizers are seeking neighbors to make or donate six piñatas for the event. If you would like to be a part of the planning process or have a donation, please contact Jon Gould at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hello Bicycle at 3067 Beacon Ave. S. has recently remodeled, so they are having a Grand Re-opening sale throughout this week. To celebrate, they are giving out free ice cream on Saturday, May 14 (while it lasts). The folks there also want you to know that the shop’s hours are changing; they will be closed on Mondays instead of Tuesdays, but open every other day from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
It’s been a while since we posted Beacon Bits, so we’ve got some catching up to do. With no further ado, here goes!
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Beacon Hill International Elementary School will have a new principal in the fall of 2011. The current principal, Dr. Susie Murphy, is retiring and will be replaced by Kelly Aramaki, currently the principal at John Stanford International School (JSIS). While at JSIS last year, Aramaki won the $25,000 Milken Educator Award, given to promising young educators. (See this article by BHB news partners The Seattle Times for more information.) For the last two years, JSIS was named as a “School of Distinction” by the State Office of the Superintendent, an honor to mark schools that score in the top five percent on standardized math and reading tests.
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Bounce your way down to Jefferson Community Center on Friday, April 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Bounce Fest! The event promises a family fun event with bounce toys, jumping games, double dutch and more. Admission is $2 per child. Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Avenue South.
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Speaking of festivals, plan ahead for El Centro de la Raza’s Sixth Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration, to be held on Thursday, May 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at El Centro, 2524 16th Avenue South. The event will include traditional Mexican foods for sale, children’s activities, arts and crafts from local vendors, a health and services fair, and dance and musical performances. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. For more information, call 206-957-4649 or email email@example.com.
Beacon Hill artists are among those participating in Artists For Japan, an art sale to benefit relief efforts in Japan. The sale is on Saturday, March 26 from 12 noon to 8 p.m., and again on Sunday, March 27 from 12 noon until 5 p.m. All artwork has been donated, no commissions are being paid, and all event costs are donated. All funds raised will be donated directly to the International Red Cross.
For more information including a list of participating artists, see the website. (Thanks to Beacon Hill artist Elizabeth Jameson for sending us the heads-up on this one, and for helping to organize the event.)
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Your opinions are wanted! Seattle Parks and Recreation is planning for the future by updating the Parks and Recreation Development Plan. Part of this process is identifying what should be prioritized, with the input of park users. To do this, the department is holding meetings, and hosting an online survey to get your opinions.
Mea culpa, we missed that there was a meeting right here on Beacon Hill on Wednesday. But there is another, in the North End, next Wednesday evening at Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Avenue North. For more information about the meeting and an overview of the process, see the website.
El Centro de la Raza is offering Spanish classes again from April 12 until June 9. Classes are taught by professional native Spanish speakers in an
interactive community-based setting. Class fee is $300, and class sessions will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. For information, call 206-957-4605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last, a nice and neighborly story from Jessica De Barros we’ve been meaning to post since last month:
Just wanted to share a good BH neighbor story—this morning I accidentally left my bank card in the BofA cash machine on Beacon Ave, and returned from a long day of skiing to a Facebook message from John at Kabayan Karinderya (the Filipino restaurant across from Valero) that he’d found my card. I was able to walk just a few blocks to get it from a good neighbor! Kudos to John and Kabayan Karinderya for being such great BH neighbors.
Apologies to everyone. We are way behind on posts this week. Here’s a catch-up edition of Beacon Bits to fill you in on the latest.
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Notice the newspaper up in the windows of the old Beacon Pub? According to the Bar del Corso blog, they have started work on the building, where their pizzeria will be opening later this year.
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Just south of the former pub, another change is about to take place: ROCKiT space is moving. Betty Jean Williamson reports that ROCKiT will continue regular hours of operation at the current location, 3315 Beacon Avenue South, through January 31. After that, Open Mic moves to Kusina Filipina (3201 Beacon Avenue South) on Saturday, February 5. The event starts at 8:00 pm and costs $5. Tots Jam is moving to El Centro de la Raza room 310 (2524 16th Avenue South) on February 2 at 9:00 am. Classes are $7.
In the meantime, the ROCKiTeers have a lot of work ahead before vacating the building at 3315 Beacon and moving their activities into other locations. It sounds like they will need some volunteer help, including cleaning, repair, and moving. Contact Betty Jean at 206-658-0187 or email@example.com if you can help.
There will be a ROCKiT space moving sale on January 29 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. If you have loaned ROCKiT anything, please pick it up soon or let them know if you want to donate to the sale.
On the less-happy side of things, you may have heard that some very bad people were out and about last week, posing as Water Department workers to convince neighbors on Beacon Hill and in Columbia City to let them in their homes for a “water quality check,” but stealing their stuff instead. Here’s a Seattle Times (BHB news partners) report. The Seattle Police South Precinct Email Community Newsletter went out yesterday with their own take on the subject:
“For those of you who are ‘seasoned’ enough to remember the song ‘Let ’Em In’ by Paul McCartney & Wings from 1976 (I know, so last century), it should not be a surprise that we disagree with Sir Paul. Just because someone knocks or rings at the door does not mean that you let them in.”
The SPD reminds you that City employees will have laminated picture ID that includes a name, department, and serial number. If you see a suspicious person come to your house, and that person can’t produce a City of Seattle picture ID, call 911 to report the situation immediately.
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The Nova High School Book Night is coming on January 26. We are told it’s a “book fair/book exchange with books of all kinds, free for all!” Beacon Hill neighbor Levecke Mas is collecting books for the the book exchange; contact Levecke at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also drop off your book donations at the Nova office, in the Meany school building on East Capitol Hill (300 20th Avenue East).
The event is from 6:30-8:30 pm on Wednesday, January 26, and it is open to all.
Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool invites the community to learn about the school at an open house on Saturday, February 5, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, and Thursday, February 10, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
“I can certainly appreciate wanting to protect plants from senseless mutilation but Plant Amnesty seems to have nominated themselves the arbiters of taste with comments like ‘When the inherent beauty of a plant is compromised, it’s painful for those of us who know what it should look like.’ Who gave Plant Amnesty the authority to decide what plants should look like?”
The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mt. View, together with Cascade Land Conservancy and Washington Conservation Corps, are co-hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. service day on Monday, January 17 from 10:00 am to 12 noon. All are welcome to help, including families with children (it’s a school holiday). To participate, meet at 2809 South Alaska Place, one block west of Columbia City Station. Volunteers will work on forest restoration and invasive species removal. Gloves and tools will be provided.
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Mmmmm, pancakes. MMMMMMMMmmm, all-you-can-eat pancakes for $5! The Cleveland High School softball team is hosting a pancake fundraiser on Saturday, January 9 from 9:00 – 11:00 am. Breakfast is served at the Cleveland cafeteria, the same building where the gym is located. Questions? Email Kyrsten at email@example.com.
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We previously mentioned that Gage Academy of Art is offering free drop-in art classes for teens aged 13-18 in the Rainier Valley. We have more information about the classes now. January’s classes are “Imaginative Plaster Forms” with Katrina Wolfe, February’s are “Cut It Out” (cut paper in two and three dimensions) with Celeste Cooning, and March features “Explorations in Paint” with Jeanne Dodds.
Classes are on Saturdays at The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South. Classes will be from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. For more information, call 206-323-GAGE. Art materials and pizza will be provided.
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There is a new Yahoo group/listserv for Beacon Hill parents. Go here to join and chat with your fellow parents in the neighborhood.
“‘You can’t drive down a block on Beacon Hill without seeing them,’ says Joel Lee of the plant sculptures he refers to as bonsai on his popular neighborhood blog. Lee moved to the area a couple of years ago, drawn by the promise of light rail and the Jefferson Park expansion. But as soon as he started walking his dog around the neighborhood, he became fascinated by the display of sheared and shaped plants.”
Unfortunately, author Valerie Easton seemed a bit put off by the Hill’s topiary art.
The Times is also hosting a “map the potholes” project. There are a few Beacon Hill potholes already included, such as the “giant holes heading west on Holgate at approx 14th” (we hit that one a couple of weeks ago—ouch!), but if your most annoying tooth-rattler isn’t listed, please add it.
Neighbor Robert Kangas has noted some extreme water leakage along 14th Avenue South, west of Jefferson Park. The leaks caused some dangerous ice patches. He posted a series of photos here. In discussion on the Beacon Hill mailing list last week, some folks noted a history of artesian wells on the Hill, and suggested that these are the source of some of the leaks around the neighborhood. Others think it’s a leaky water main.
If you notice a potential water leak on public or private property, you can report it by calling 206-386-1800, and Seattle Public Utilities will then check it out.
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The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting three free workshops to educate neighborhood groups and community organizations on the funding process and requirements for the Large Projects Fund, the matching fund that awards up to $100,000 for community projects. Next Tuesday, January 11, there’s a workshop in Southeast Seattle, at the Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Avenue South. The workshop is from 6:00-8:00 pm. More information about the Large Projects Fund and the three workshops may be found here.
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Sustainable South Seattle is hosting the third of a workshop series dedicated towards creating a climate co-op for South Seattle neighborhoods. The event is Wednesday, January 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Southside Commons, 3518 South Edmunds Street. Food, refreshments, and childcare will be provided. Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for:
Men and women who are positive, fun and excited about performing and singing harmony. We will possibly be doing 1 to 2 gigs per month starting in the Spring.
We want to be:
16 in total. (We have 10 right now) Put together performances that are tight musically, visually and are funny and entertaining to most people. You don’t have to dance or want to make a fool of yourself, but it is a bonus. Diverse in anyway possible—age, race, musical background, sexuality…
A couple of changes to liquor licenses on the Hill occurred last month. The Station coffee house at 2533 16th Avenue South was approved for a license as a “direct shipment receiver – in WA only.” But every new beginning is some other beginning’s end: on the same day, the liquor license for the ill-fated Tasha’s Bistro Café was discontinued.
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the shirts will be re-released at Deli Seattle, 1307 First Avenue. They will have men’s and women’s shirts, as well as onesies for babies this time. Sizes are limited, and the shirts are very cool, so if you want one, don’t let it get away this time.
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Do you have an interest in Pacific Northwest ecology? Do you like to share what you know with others? Are you over 18 years of age? Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer experience? You may be interested in the Seward Park Audubon and Environmental Center Master Urban Naturalist program. The program provides free naturalist training workshops and certification in exchange for 10 hours of donated service and completion of a final project or presentation. More information here.
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The newly-revitalized ROCKiT space has a few things going on that you might want to know about.
Need a good place to wrap Christmas gifts, or want someone to wrap them for you? You can wrap your gifts at ROCKiT space, where your loved ones won’t see what you’re up to. DIY gift-wrapping is $5/day site use fee, plus a $2 supply fee. All materials are supplied. Bring your own wrap and they will waive the supply fee.
If you’re a wrapping klutz or just don’t have time, you can also drop off gifts, and they will wrap them for you to pick up later. The fee is $2 each for small packages, and $5 each for large packages.
On Tuesday, December 28 at 7:00 pm, ROCKiT space is hosting a Tuesday Folk Club with two old time/country bands: Red Dog and Dram County. The minimum donation is $7 at the door or $5 in advance. Tickets are available at Rockit Space during business hours.
The Tots Jam with Suzanne Sumi is continuing on Wednesdays, from 9:00 – 11:00 am , but there is no session on December 29.
The Department of Planning and Development has approved an application to subdivide a site at 4010 14th Avenue South into five unit lots for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the lots. The property will continue to be zoned for duplex multifamily development. Read the decision here.
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There is at least one place to ring in the New Year nearby. The new St. Dames restaurant at Columbia City Station is hosting a party on New Year’s Eve, starting at 10:00 pm. The event will include appetizers, dessert and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Make reservations by calling 206-725-8879. St. Dames is located at 4525 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.
Do you know of any other Beacon Hill places that are open for New Year’s? Let us know!
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Gage Academy of Art is offering free drop in art classes for teens aged 13-18 in the Rainier Valley. Classes are on Saturdays at The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South.
Classes will be from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. For more information, call 206-323-GAGE. Art materials and pizza will be provided.
Skin Deep Dance troupe is performing tribal-style belly dance at Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine on Saturday December 11 and again on December 18. Shows are at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and waiter Louie will also appear in drag. There’s no cover, but bring cash for tips. Inay’s is located at 2503 Beacon Avenue South.
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Neighbor Lily sent this report a week or so ago: “I just wanted to report that I believe I’ve heard coyotes howling a lot this morning near Dearborn Park.” We at the BHB have actually seen Beacon Hill coyotes within the last couple of years, crossing the street near 17th and Walker. It’s definitely not a new problem. Please keep your pets safe.
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El Centro is hosting a tree lighting ceremony later this month. Las Posadas, “A Neighborhood Celebration of the Holidays,” is from 4:30-6:00 pm on Monday, December 20 at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Avenue South.
Besides lighting the Christmas tree, the event will feature caroling by the Beaconettes, a visit from Santa, holiday treats, and more.
Beacon Hill’s own a cappella group, The Beaconettes, recently took the People’s Choice award at the Great Figgy Pudding Street-Corner Caroling Competition for the second year in a row, singing Seattle-centric versions of carols including “My Favorite Things” and “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
The event, a fundraiser for the Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank, was held last Friday, December 3 at Westlake Center. 35 choirs competed in front of a large and cheerful crowd. Here are a couple of videos of the Beaconettes’ performance.
Judith Edwards of the North Beacon Hill Council sends this information about this month’s NBHC meeting:
Come join the North Beacon Hill Council at 6:30 pm, Thursday, December 2 in the Beacon Hill Library Community Room. No speakers, just food and a chance to meet your neighbors! We’ll do a bit of bragging about what has happened in the past year, thank the Board members for their hard work, and enjoy spending time together. Pizza, salad and water provided by the NBHC Board. Plan to join us!
St. George School is holding their annual Holiday Bazaar on Sunday, December 5, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the school hall, 5117 13th Avenue South. The bazaar will feature over 25 talented jewelers, artists, crafters, and Fair Trade and commercial vendors from the local community. There will be a continental breakfast available for $3.00, and entertainment will be provided by students, family, and friends of St. George. There will also be a themed gift basket raffle.
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The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board is accepting applications for new members. This volunteer board plays a role in implementing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan, and also advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, and evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Board members serve two-year terms; they must be Seattle residents who are not city employees, and should be frequent walkers of any age, level of mobility, area, or “walk of life.”
Interested? Email a resume and cover letter explaining your interest by December 17 to Brian Dougherty at email@example.com. For more information, call Dougherty at 206-684-5124, or send e-mail to the address above.
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Registration is now open for Adult Beginner to Intermediate Spanish classes at El Centro de la Raza. The classes will run from January 11 through March 17 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Information and a registration form is here.
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A new restaurant is having their grand opening this weekend in the Valley near the eastern edge of Beacon Hill: St. Dames, a “neighborhood joint for vegetarian fare and spirited care” in the old Maki and Yaki location at 4525 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, just a block north of Columbia City Station. They promise “Food, drinks and fun for the whole family!
Friday 12/3 Happy Hour all night long! Drink specials through the weekend!”
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The Goodwill Job Training and Education Center just north of the Hill at 1400 South Lane Street is holding registration this month for free classes that will be offered in January and February. Classes will include a nine-week Retail and Customer Service Traing Program, Community College 101, English for Speakers of Other Languages, basic computer skills, writing, math, and cashiering.
Registration will be held from December 13-17 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. For class availability and enrollment information, call 206-860-5791.
You can still win a NAMSAYIN #36 bus t-shirt and a $50 gift card to The Station coffee shop (and, folks, that’s a lot of potential caffeine!) if you’re the first person to identify the 16 locations pictured in our contest post from earlier this week. Better work fast, though — we already have some guessers who are very close to getting all of them.
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The Seattle Department of Transportation wants to know “what you think about transit in Seattle and how it could be better.” You can tell them by taking their survey. It’s fairly short.
You might have noticed sheep baa-ing somewhere on Beacon Hill lately.
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Dylan Ahearn mentioned it the other day, but here’s a reminder: Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Walk & Bike Beacon Hill Neighborhood Transportation Summit. It’s a neighborhood meeting to discuss ways to improve safety and mobility while walking and biking on Beacon Hill. The event is from 10:00 am to noon at Beacon Hill International School, 2025 14th Avenue South. Activities will include designing safe walking and biking routes, learning about bike safety for children, and more. Refreshments will be served. All ages are welcome. For more information, please contact Frederica Merrell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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If you’re already thinking ahead to Christmas, you might want to get your Christmas tree right here in the neighborhood. No, don’t chop one down in the Cheasty Greenbelt, please. Instead, you can get one from El Centro de la Raza. Trees will be available at their lot Wednesday through Sunday, starting November 26 and running through December 19. Order before the 26th and there will be a discount. There will be 2′-7′ Grand and Noble Firs, live trees, and 20″ and 30″ wreaths. Purchases will support El Centro’s many programs. El Centro is located at 2524 16th Avenue South.