Category Archives: Meetings

Jefferson Park expansion projects topic of December 1 forum

Beacon Hill skaters could be doing this in Jefferson Park very soon. Photo by Roger Price.
Beacon Hill skaters could be doing this in Jefferson Park very soon. Photo by Roger Price.
“Who lives on Beacon Hill and wants to go to the Jefferson sk8 park? Dec 1 630-830 @ Jefferson Park Community Center – $1million allocated!” said skatelikeagirl on Twitter last night. The planned Jefferson skate park is just one of the projects to be discussed on December 1, at a community forum to talk about future developments at Jefferson Park including Beacon Mountain, the Park service road and promenade, improvements to Jefferson Playfield, and the Jefferson skatepark and basketball court.

Comments made by the community at this meeting will be incorporated in the planning and design of all of these features, and then there will be two follow-up meetings: one at which schematics will be presented, and another to present the final design.

The meeting is at Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Avenue South, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm on Tuesday, December 1. Skaters, park enthusiasts, basketball players, and all others interested in Jefferson Park’s improvements are welcome.

Jefferson Park Project Advisory Team meeting tomorrow

From Mira Latoszek on the mailing list:

The Parks Department has scheduled a Jefferson Park Project Advisory Team meeting. The meeting is this Tuesday, 11/10, @ 6pm at the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling club house.

The agenda includes the following topics:

  1. Jefferson Park Expansion Project — Construction status/update
  2. Jefferson PAT [Project Advisory Team] — Do we want to add new members? Does everyone want to continue for the next few years?
  3. Jefferson PAT lessons learned — How can we improve.
  4. Upcoming projects at Jefferson associated with the new Levy.
  5. All PAT meetings are open to the public.

    Hope to see you there,

The lawn bowling club house is behind the restaurant and main building at the golf course on the west side of Beacon Avenue South.

Some emphasis added by me. Thanks, Mira!

NewHolly hosts mayoral, city council candidates tonight

Tonight from 6 to 8 pm is a candidates forum at NewHolly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Avenue South.

All the council candidates save President Richard Conlin, plus mayoral candidate Mike McGinn and, a little bit later in the evening, his opponent Joe Mallahan are expected to be there, addressing budget cuts, immigrant rights, education, and gang violence and taking questions from the hosts and the community.

The event is sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and OneAmerica.

More info in The Times.

City Light’s Carrasco pitches alternative for unsightly power lines

“We feel terrible that the community was made to feel like we didn’t take enough time to bring you into the assessment of this project.”

Addressing a fairly large crowd of 30-40 people including many new faces at the October NBHC meeting last week, Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco came to discuss the impact that new higher power poles and thicker cables have had on neighbors near 12th Avenue South and South Stevens, where new lines have been installed to supply additional power for Sound Transit and anticipated load growth in Rainier Valley, on Beacon Hill, and Capitol Hill.

Mr. Carrasco first learned of the problems via email shortly after the new lines went up. He admitted that, while there was good engineering work done on the project, a community outreach component was not included, and that work is being performed internally at City Light to determine why a project of this size was done without input or feedback from the community. He has asked their engineering department to require that affected communities be contacted and a communication strategy be implemented before final designs are implemented for any future projects. This process, however, is not yet finalized.

With large towers and cables going up the western bluff and along Stevens Street from 12th to 15th Avenue, design issues included soil stability issues, and whether or not lines could go underground. Among possible overhead wiring implementations, multiple cost alternatives were looked at. This one was chosen because other options included a mid-slope pole partway up the hillside. A mid-slope pole would have meant maintenance access issues for City Light, so they engineered around it, pulling the lines up higher and using stouter poles at the top and bottom of the slope.

When asked why the Sound Transit tunnel was not used for the power lines, Mr. Carrasco mentioned concerns from Sound Transit as well as within City Light about having these general purpose power lines running alongside transit power lines. If there were a fire in the tunnel, it would not only damage train power but also likely cut power to a big chunk of Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill. Additionally, access for maintenance and repair would require working around the transit schedule.

A buried cable option was not pursued not only due to its expense in construction and maintenance, but also because, as a utility, City Light is actually restricted from spending money for non-utility use. If undergrounding is pursued for aesthetics, the city has to chip in.

“We’re not punting on this project.”

Along the line path, there are currently sets of double-poles. Many of these are there because another utility is still using the old pole. Mr. Carrasco said that by the end of this* week, the cable television wires should be removed, bringing seven poles down. The remaining poles include four Qwest poles which City Light doesn’t have authority to address, but they are in contact with Qwest to get them removed as well. (* From my notes, I’m fairly confident Mr. Carrasco said this week, but Mike Eagan from City Light commented that they won’t be gone until the end of next week. Thanks for the clarification, Mike! –Jason)

As for remediation to the view blockage for neighbors nearby, a mid-slope pole alternative will be reconsidered. With a mid-slope pole, the pole at the top of the hill could be about 20 feet lower, however the cables would be the same thickness and run in the same number. Mr. Carrasco estimated that this change could be done fairly quickly, being completed within a month and a half to two months after work begins. This is only an option they’re prepared to look at, and City Light is interested in discussing it further, setting up another meeting, bringing some concept photos, etc. The ballpark expected cost of this alternative is about $200,000 and would be using the same cable, adding a mid-slope pole, and swapping out a shorter pole at the top of the hill. Not addressed (and seemingly not well understood by City Light when brought up during the Q&A by neighbors) is what would happen with the new, higher poles now on the plateau between 12th and 15th.

Streetlight replacement also came up during the nearly hour-long conversation with Mr. Carrasco. A process of “group re-lamping” is underway in quadrants city-wide, and currently on Beacon Hill. Group re-lamping involves changing out all of the streetlights in an area at once, instead of addressing lights one at a time as they fail. This process allows for replacement in bulk every 4-5 years. The process is expected to be complete here by November 1.

Judith Edwards, NBHC Chair, is working to schedule a follow-up meeting with Mr. Carrasco and City Light. We’ll keep you posted when the meeting has been scheduled.

If you attended the meeting or have insights or opinions to share, we’d love to have you join the discussion at the linked Forum topic, or leave them here as comments on this article.

Saturday on the Hill: McGinn Town Hall, Mid-Autumn Festival of Lights

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn is hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow (Saturday, October 3) on South Beacon Hill. The location is the Van Asselt Community Center, 2821 South Myrtle Street. The town hall meeting starts at 3:00 pm.

Quite nearby is another event, the Mid-Autumn Festival of Lights (Trung Thu) at John C. Little Park, 6961 37th Avenue South. This event is free, and includes moon cakes, storytelling, lanterns, face painting, and more celebratory fun. It’s from 6:00-9:00 pm, so you can easily attend both events.

County Council Town Hall meeting in Columbia City tomorrow

As posted earlier, there is a Town Hall Meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council in Southeast Seattle tomorrow, September 30. The topics of the meeting are the impact light rail will have on the regional transit system, and the fiscal challenges facing Metro Transit, which is facing a deficit of $213 million for 2010-2011. Presenters will take questions from the audience and Councilmembers will take public testimony on any issue at the end of the program.

The meeting will be held at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South. The site is only one block north of Columbia City Station. The public is invited to meet with Councilmembers at an informal reception starting at 6:00 p.m. The Town Hall will begin at 6:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet with both officials from Metro Transit and the members of the County Council, including Larry Gossett, the Councilmember who represents the Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley communities on the County Council.

Here’s a video invitation from Bob Ferguson and Larry Gossett with more information about the town hall meeting:

Unfortunately this does conflict with the Neighborhood Plan Update Open House which is scheduled from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, but the site of that open house is just up the street, at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, 3639 Martin Luther King Jr Way South, so it may be possible to stop in at both if you need to.

NBHC meeting agenda for Thursday

The NBHC meeting this Thursday brings a couple of guests with presentations in addition to regular business. Remember: if you live in the neighborhood and you’ve been to even one NBHC meeting before, you’ve got a vote.

North Beacon Hill Council Agenda
Thursday, October 1, 2009, 7:00 PM
Beacon Hill Library Community Room

Please join us in making decisions that affect our community. All are welcome!

  • 7:00 Introductions and hellos
  • 7:10 Superintendent Jorge Carrasco, Seattle City Light; presentation on placement of sight-line obstructive poles on West Beacon Hill in 12th Ave. neighborhood with Q&A afterward
  • 7:25 Brian Dougherty, Seattle Department of Transportation; presentation on proposed parking changes for 15th Ave. S.; presentation with Q&A afterward
  • 7:55 Community reports and council business:
    • Seattle Police Department
    • Neighborhood Planning Ad Hoc Committee (vote needed, quorum required); if motion is passed, formation of committee to draft a grant for ongoing neighborhood planning work
    • Other: Matthew Stubbs as NBHC representative to GDDC – vote required; announcements from Steve Louie, Neighborhood Coordinator; other announcements and any concerns from the community
  • 8:30 Closure

Thanks Judith!

Community to discuss airport noise September 29

Dave Upthegrove
Dave Upthegrove
State Representative Dave Upthegrove (D-33: Sea-Tac, Des Moines, Normandy Park and part of Kent and Burien) sent the following message, relevant to Beaconians who, like the folks in Upthegrove’s district, live under a flight path:

Dear Neighbors,

As you know, our August 19th Community Meeting on Airport Noise was attended by more people than the venue could accommodate. I know that many of you took time away from your families and other duties to attend this meeting and I apologize to everyone who was turned away. Please know that simply by showing up, you helped to demonstrate just how deeply this issue affects our community.

We have scheduled a follow-up meeting to accommodate those who were turned away last month. Please join me, along with Senator Karen Keiser, Representative Tina Orwall, Des Moines City Councilwoman Susan White, and King County Councilmember Julia Patterson, to discuss airport flight operations and noise mitigation programs.

While the state legislature and county and city governments have no direct authority over SeaTac Airport flight operations (where and when planes fly), we have heard from many of you with questions and concerns about increased noise since the third runway has gone into use. This meeting will be an opportunity to hear directly from the Noise Programs Manager at SeaTac Airport and to ask questions and share information and concerns.

Follow-up Community Meeting on Airport Noise
Tuesday Evening
September 29th
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission Auditorium:
19010 1st Ave S, Burien

Some of the questions to be addressed:

  • Who decides who gets money for noise insulation?
  • Who is responsible for determining runway usage and flight patterns?
  • How does current use of the Third Runway compare with previous projections?
  • How has airplane noise changed in the last decade?
  • How can community members monitor and track runway usage and flight operations?

Noise from airport operations significantly impacts our quality of life.
The more informed we are about how flight decisions are made and how noise mitigation funding decisions are made, then the more effective we all can be advocating for the interests of our community.

Thanks to Curtis Bonney, Patty Fong, and Brett Fish for passing this info around.

* * *