Bands and individual performers who are interested in performing at this summer’s Beacon Rocks! music series are invited to perform in Beacon Idol. Beacon Idol will take place at the ROCKiT Space open mic (3315 Beacon Avenue South) on these Saturdays: March 27, April 24, and May 29.
Beacon Idol is geared for smaller acts, but bands are encouraged to perform as well as long as they make arrangements with Jessie beforehand.
If you would like to submit your band/music or other talent that you think might be a good addition for the Beacon Rocks! event series, but are unable to perform at a Beacon Idol event, you have the following options:
Send a link to your webpage where your music can be found (three songs minimum), a brief bio, and some pictures of you to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a CD (three songs minimum) with a one-sheet/brief bio to ROCKiT space, 3315 Beacon Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144
Or drop your CD and bio off in person at ROCKiT space (you may leave it in the mailbox if no one is around)
The Beacon Rocks! series is all-volunteer—artists will not be paid. The series is intended to be a fun opportunity to build community and give local musicians a place to play in their neighborhood. Music and performances must be family friendly. All bands/artists will be chosen by May 29.
The 17th annual Beacon Hill Festival is coming Saturday, June 5th to the Jefferson Community Center at 3801 Beacon Ave S. Applications for vendors are being accepted now and must be submitted by May 7th. Donations for the silent auction fundraiser are sought, and tax-deductible donations and sponsorships are also welcomed.
Perhaps the biggest change proposed in this draft is increasing the height limit of buildings surrounding the light rail station. There’s also a proposal to update El Centro de la Raza’s zoning. It’s currently single family residential—no, I’m not joking. In case you’re unfamiliar with El Centro, there are dozens of programs operating out of that building, serving thousands of people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Childcare, senior meals, homeless services, a food bank, immigrant advocacy, and more. There are also businesses operating within El Centro: CommuniChi acupuncture, Excelsior Travel Agency, and others. For a complete list and to learn how to volunteer or make a donation to El Centro, visit their website. El Centro hopes to develop affordable housing and expand their program facilities. This is an incredible opportunity for our entire neighborhood.
Many people have concerns and fears about changes to our neighborhood, especially around the idea of increasing density. What’s important to you? What makes Beacon Hill a place you want to live? What would you change? I’m concerned about preserving the character of our neighborhood and encouraging good design. I want to keep what we have (Red Apple, Baja Bistro, La Cabaña, etc.) and add businesses that serve our community (a bookstore, a consignment store). I want to preserve the charm of our single family blocks and add dense, affordable housing near the station. I want our sidewalks and crosswalks accessible to the seniors who’ve lived here for decades and to those of us pushing strollers through the neighborhood.
My priorities around neighborhood planning were honed when we were looking for a house in 2003. I attended Seattle Midwifery School at El Centro (they’ve now moved) and loved Beacon Hill. It only took one walking tour to convince my partner that this was a great place to live. Our goal is to live in this house for 20-30 years. We planned where we were going to buy a house based on what was important to us:
walkability/run-ability (safety, accessibility, comfort, quality of sidewalks and trails)
transit access and easy access by car to other places
parks and green spaces
We’re expecting another human member of the family in May. I’m excited to see baby/kid-friendly businesses opening in our neighborhood. We always assumed we’d send our kid to the neighborhood school, and were content with Beacon Elementary and Kimball as choices. The Seattle School District is shifting to location-based school assignment, which will (hopefully) mean that our south-end schools start achieving parity with the rest of the city.
Change can be challenging. For some perspective on all the changes in Beacon Hill over the last 100 years or so, check out Seattle’s Beacon Hill by Frederica Merrell and Mira Latoszek. (Merrell is an occasional contributor to the BHB. — ed.) The book is chock-full of photos from the Jackson Regrade—when neighborhood planning meant washing huge portions of the city down into the Sound! Now is our chance to shape our community for decades to come. Get informed; get involved. Attend meetings (the North Beacon Hill Council meets on the first Thursday of every month at the library) and talk to your neighbors.
(Editor’s note: If you’d like your own copy of Seattle’s Beacon Hill, you can order one from Amazon through the link on the lower right of this page.)
A reminder: Saturday, Dec. 5, at 10:00 AM, Festival Street (South Lander Street between Beacon Avenue South and 17th Avenue South, next to Beacon Hill Station) will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Coffee, donuts, and city leaders will all be there.
The next North Beacon Hill Council meeting is a special one: a year-end potluck celebration to recognize community members who have contributed to the neighborhood this year, and to plan for next year. The potluck and social will be followed by the monthly business meeting. All are welcome to attend. You are a voting member of the Council if you have attended one meeting previously.
The agenda, as forwarded by Council Chair Judith Edwards:
6:30 – Social time, potluck
7:00 – A time to honor those who have given so much (and finish eating!)
7:15 – Business meeting
Estela Ortega, Executive Director, El Centro de la Raza: Future plans for development of S. parcel of El Centro property (25 minutes, including Q&A)
12th Ave. and Stevens St. neighbors request to become an ad-hoc committee of NBHC in order to challenge City Light’s installation of obtrusive power lines (5 minutes)
— vote required
Discussion of final draft, Department of Planning and Development’s Neighborhood Plan Update (15 minutes)
— vote required to approve/disapprove
Letter to Council Member Sally Clark, Chair, Planning and Land Use Committee: Action to ensure that N. Beacon Hill Development Design Guidelines are employed in future construction (10 minutes)
— vote required
8:05 – Future focus: where should we put our energy in the coming year? What are the issues the community is concerned with?
Jesse Vernon, of The Stranger, recently discovered the Chief Sealth Trail, which, he says, starts on Beacon Hill and then “transports you to Kubota Garden via Ireland. Or New Zealand. Or some other place with rolling green hills I’ve never been.” However, some commenters on Vernon’s post complained about the trail’s hills, and one commenter, Kinkos, suggested that the best way to ride the trail is to “take light rail to beacon hill, ride to the trailhead, then ride downhill on the trail to near the end – to the rainier beach sta. catch the train back to beacon hill, and repeat.”
After the post earlier this week about public art on Beacon Hill, Joel Lee was inspired to create a website dedicated to the public art all around us on the Hill. The site, Beacon Hill Public Art, contains pictures of and information about artworks from all parts of Beacon Hill. Lee welcomes your information, ideas, and photos to add to the site.
Apparently the new lights on the Beacon Hill station that we featured in a photo post the other day are not just for looks. We’re told they have a function, too. The lights are blue when the elevator reaches the street level, then change to purple as the elevator goes down to the platform. If this is true, it makes it easier to see which elevator to stand in front of while waiting for the door to open — as long as it’s dark enough to see them, and if you are not color-blind.
Edited to add: I watched them tonight and the colors constantly change, whether the elevators are moving or not. When an elevator opens, the light over that elevator does turn blue — but it also turns blue randomly when the elevator isn’t even moving. When the elevator closes and goes down again, it does seem to turn purple. But since the colors randomly change, and the blue color change does not come until the doors open, it doesn’t seem very functional. It’s awfully pretty, though!