…Several neighbors said they had been personally contacted by King County Executive Dow Constantine earlier in the day.
“Three members of the group were contacted by the King County Executive’s Office indicating that a decision on PacMed should made by end of this coming week (Thursday or Friday),” reads the post on Facebook.
In a separate email circulating on the BAN list another neighbor writes about those phone calls:
“Earlier in the day several of us received a call from Dow Constantine’s office to inform us that the PacMed building probably won’t work for the project and we should expect a formal announcement sometime later this week.”
“We had a very constructive meeting on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 to discuss ‘No Jail at PacMed’. Earlier in the day several of us received a call from Dow Constantine’s office to inform us that the PacMed building probably won’t work for the project and we should expect a formal announcement sometime later this week. Needless to say that would be VERY good news. However, even if the jail does not locate to the building we still intend to make every attempt to engage Wright Runstad and let them know that the North Beacon Hill is very interested in whoever they select as a tenant and we would welcome the opportunity to work with them as a neighborhood.”
“At least one other prospect may still be in the picture: the Bellevue-based City University of Seattle, which, true to its name, has been trying to move to Seattle. ‘We have looked at their building, as well as a dozen other sites in Seattle,’ says City University spokesperson Christopher Ross. ‘We’re not far enough along in any of our negotiations to comment.'”
The Seattle Times (BHB news partner) reports that King County’s juvenile court and jail could move into the historic PacMed building on the north tip of Beacon Hill under a proposal from the current leaseholders, development company Wright Runstad.
Wright Runstad were granted a 99-year lease on the PacMed property in 1998, and then converted the hospital to office space which it then subleased to Amazon. However, Amazon recently vacated the building for a new base in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the Times writes that this has put Wright Runstad “in a financial bind,” owing more than $300,000 per month in lease and loan payments.
The Wright Runstad proposal is one of six proposals for the future of the county’s Youth Services Center and Youth Detention Center, and the only one that calls for moving the facility from its current location. County officials won’t comment on its viability, but according to the Times, it is “the leading proposal” among the six.
Utility poles in a row on S. Stevens St. Photo by Wendi.
The power lines and tall poles that have concerned neighbors in the vicinity of 12th and Stevens will be changed starting next week. City Light crews will install new utility poles along S. Stevens St., as well as replacing the 71-foot pole at 12th Ave. S. and S. Stevens with a 55-foot pole. Additionally, one circuit of power cables will be moved underground to reduce view impacts in the area.
The work will begin on June 13 and continue until September.
The changes are the culmination of two years of discussions between Beacon Hill residents and City Light after a new power circuit was added to the Hill to support Link Light Rail and expected future demand. When the large poles and new wires went in, neighbors in the area of 12th and Stevens found the views from their homes were affected. Neighbors also expressed concern about the impact of the poles and power lines on the nearby 12th Avenue S. Viewpoint park. Over 100 neighbors signed a petition asking that the poles be removed.
Previous posts about the poles/power lines are here:
Neighbors in the area strung ropes and put up warning tape while Sound Transit security staff moved some of the metal banners to a safer location after gusts of wind caught some of the downed banners and started blowing them down South Lander Street.
The damaged pole appeared to have broken at the point where it was welded to the base. The poles still standing seem to be constructed similarly, but were still holding steady this evening though they moved quite a bit in the wind gusts. Luis Rodriguez, owner of the nearby Station coffeehouse, was helping mark the area with warning tape about half an hour after the fall, and expressed concern for the stability of the remaining poles: “They should close this. Someone could get killed! These [poles] keep on moving.”
The North Beacon Hill Council sent a letter today to all members of the Seattle City Council, protesting the planned closure of the Neighborhood Service Center located at the Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South.
Information on heating bill assistance and food banks
Information on city and other job opportunities, including summer youth employment
Land use and zoning information
Application forms and assistance for the Neighborhood Matching Fund, business licenses, voter registration, and passports
Additionally, Louie’s access to the building allows the North Beacon Hill Council to use the space for council meetings even though the meetings usually need to run later than the library’s normal closing time.
If the Neighborhood Service Center is closed, neighbors on North Beacon Hill seeking equivalent city services would need to go to the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center instead, located 3.5 miles away on South Othello Street.
North Beacon Hill Council Chair Judith Edwards says, “The loss of our District Neighborhood Coordinator and Neighborhood Service Center would have a tremendous negative affect on all of us. Please contact the City Council.” You can find contact information for all Council members here. The council will vote on the new budget next Monday, November 22.
Here is the letter sent by the North Beacon Hill Council to the Seattle City Council today. Judith suggests that people use this as a starting point for their own letters to the Council.
North Beacon Hill Council
3211 Beacon Ave. S., Suite 14
Seattle, WA 98144
November 15, 2010
Dear City Council Members,
This is a final plea from all 150 members of the North Beacon Hill Council (NBHC) and its Board of Directors. We ask that you leave the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Service Center open to the public which it serves in our diverse, but active, neighborhood, and retain the services of our Neighborhood Coordinator.
If the Neighborhood Service Center no longer exists in the Beacon Hill Library, an average of 3-5 citizens per day will have no one to turn to with questions regarding the City and other neighborhood problems. Many of these citizens speak English as a second language, use bus transportation or walk, and find the Service Center to be very accessible when they come into the Library for other services, such as classes, computer use, etc. Since diversity and reaching out to under-represented populations is a high priority for the City, closure of this Neighborhood Service Center will be a great injustice to one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, and will diminish greatly the City’s outreach to under-represented populations.
Our District Coordinators have helped many members of the North Beacon Hill Council to apply for and receive many Small Sparks and Neighborhood Matching Fund grants. Without this guidance, I suspect that the applications for these grants will diminish in number. Stairwells have been cleaned of drugs and prostitution; cross walks have been made safe; parks have been restored—all thanks to the guidance of our Neighborhood Coordinators.
The North Beacon Hill Council will be without a meeting place if the Neighborhood Service Center is closed. As many as fifty (50) concerned citizens and citizen activists regularly attend these meetings. We are able to use the Beacon Hill Library Community Room for meetings which end at 9:00PM only because our Neighborhood District Coordinator is housed in the Library and has authorization to lock up after hours.
We, the Board and members of the North Beacon Hill Council, ask that you give strong consideration to keeping the Neighborhood Service Center and Neighborhood Coordinator in the Beacon Hill Library, where a very strong community need is now being met.
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has determined, through rigorous business case analysis, that the most cost-effective solution for the Beacon Hill Reservoir Gatehouse is to mothball the building and perform routine maintenance as required in its mothballed condition.
The mothballing approach preserves the opportunity for making future improvements to the gatehouse. It mainly consists of safe removal of dangerous lead-containing coating on the exterior walls and applying a new application of aesthetic paints around the gatehouse.
SPU will review the gatehouse mothball status as part of its routine three-year maintenance planning cycle.
Mothballing tasks will begin in early 2011, in coordination with the Parks Department Jefferson Park project team.
Two loud booms just before 2:00 pm startled people throughout a large part of Western Washington today. BHB news partner The Seattle Times reports that they were sonic booms, caused by two F-15 jets that were scrambled in response to a violation of the temporary airspace restrictions put in place for President Obama’s visit today.
Here at the BHB the booms felt (and sounded) as if something had slammed into the south wall of the building. The cats freaked out a bit.
Twitter lit up with reports from people who heard the booms and wondered what happened. According to Travis Mayfield at KOMO, people have reported hearing the booms from Chehalis in the south all the way north to Edmonds.
Did you hear the booms? Tell us about it in the comments here.
(Ed. Note: Post updated at 2:59 to reflect that they were F-15s, not F-16s.)