Sweet Dreams at Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies

Ice cream at the shop in the movie Sweet Dreams. Photo by Lisa Fruchtman.
Ice cream at the shop in the movie Sweet Dreams. Photo by Lisa Fruchtman.
On Friday, June 19, Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies will celebrate its first birthday. All neighbors are invited to enjoy the special movie Sweet Dreams, indulge in free popcorn and free drumsticks. Movies are screened at the Garden House (2336 15th Ave. S., across from the Shell station). Doors open at 6:15 for neighbors to chat and movies start at 7 p.m. sharp.

The movie series got its start in 2014 with a Small Sparks grant from the Department of Neighborhoods which funded the first six movies (paying for rent, screening rights, posters and popcorn). Since then community support from local business Joe McKinstry Construction Company and donations from moviegoers have funded the program. Our local series is a program of Beacon Arts and an affiliate of the Meaningful Movies Project based in Wallingford.

Three neighbors, Devin Hollingsworth, Jonis Davis and Christina Olson steer the project, hunting for great documentaries, inviting resource folks to the discussion circles that follow the movies, and searching for grants to sustain the program. They report that they have welcomed over 500 people in their first year from as many as 34 zip codes. Olson says, “It was meant to be a local movie series, an opportunity for neighbors to meet and discuss social, economic and environmental issues spurred by the movies. We’ve had some great discussions, and met some wonderful local film makers.”

Sweet Dreams, June’s movie, tells the story of the hard work of reconciliation after the Rwandan genocide. Women from all ethnic groups form a drumming performance troupe, and then move on to form a cooperative to build a business. They choose to bring ice cream to Rwanda for the first time. According to Christina Olson, “The movie chronicles the difficult road to making a dream come true. This is a movie that captures the great spirit of women who dare to dream.”

(Thanks to Christina Olson for this story submission!)

The Station celebrates 5 years with an all-ages Block Party

The Station block party 2015

The Station Coffee House has been serving up coffee and supporting neighborhood arts for five years now (can you believe it?). To celebrate, they are hosting a free, all-ages Block Party on Saturday, June 20 from 2-9 p.m., with local food and beer, kids’ and families’ activities, live performances and more.

A small selection of the acts to be featured includes: Prometheus Brown, Gabriel Teodros, Otow Gang, Spekulation, Julie C, King Khasm, Jusmoni, Tulsi, Seattle Capoeira Center, The Fandango Project and many more. DJs will include WD4D, Ear Dr. Umz and Absolute Madman.

The Station is located at 2533 16th Ave. S., across from El Centro de la Raza.

Georgetown Carnival this weekend

Georgetown Carnival 2015Just down the hill from us, the Georgetown Carnival will happen from noon to 10 p.m. this Saturday, including four separate stages featuring a variety of music and entertainment, plus the ever-popular power tool races on Airport Way South. The event is free of charge and all ages are welcome.

The carnival will mark the first use of Georgetown’s new “festival street,” similar to Beacon Hill’s Roberto Maestas Festival Street next to Beacon Hill Station. SDOT Director Scot Kubly will speak briefly at 1 p.m. to dedicate the street and thank those involved.

Find out more info at the Georgetown Carnival website.

What happened to the Beacon Hill Blog?

Photo by Darius Norvilas via Creative Commons/Flickr
Photo by Darius Norvilas via Creative Commons/Flickr
This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time now. The blog went on hiatus in 2014, and I’ve gotten a lot of emails since then from people asking “What happened to the blog? Why don’t you post something?” When you get right down to it, the blog has been on hiatus for a variety of reasons, both practical and personal, and this story is not terribly unique.

There are a few things I should probably clarify to get started.

  1. The blog is not run by the city. I started it with Jason Simpson in 2008 because I personally felt the community needed it. But we never got any support from the city, or the North Beacon Hill Council, or anything like that. The “seattle.wa.us” domain name doesn’t indicate government ownership, though I can see why some people have been confused about that.
  2. The blog never brought in any income to speak of. We did have some ads, but most were just Google ads that didn’t really pay anything. Occasionally we had more ads, but never to the point where anyone involved could be paid any sort of reliable income. I did pay one contributor for a few articles, but it was unsustainable.
  3. We could do this because we had other means of support at the time. When the blog started, Jason and I were married, and both of us were employed. I had a job and he had a great job. There was no real reason for the blog to earn a ton of money. I wanted it to become self-supporting someday because I wanted it to become my full-time job, and I believed that Beacon Hill could support a blog, but I knew that would take a while.

I don’t have that support any more. Suffice it to say that the marriage ended. A while later, my employment situation got drastically worse. And yet, I continued keeping the blog running, as much as I could, while trying to earn money, attend school, and more. I won’t go into all the details, but the stress of doing that took a major toll on my health. At the end of 2013 I decided I needed a break from the BHB over New Year’s. And as 2014 began, I realized I needed to take a break from the blog entirely. I never intended it to be permanent, but it absolutely did need to happen.

So, here we are now. It’s been a bit over a year, and I’ve been thinking recently more and more about how to resurrect the blog. (As have others on Facebook and elsewhere.) People have offered to help over the last year, and I have followed through with some but not always with others. Most people get excited about it but then never get back to me. Without the funding to allow me to devote enough time for this, I can’t do what I used to do here by myself.

I still am not in a financial situation (not even close) that would allow me to work full-time on this. But I want to make it clear that the blog is still here, still alive, and I am absolutely willing to print submissions. They have to meet editorial guidelines, most of which are probably common sense. But if you want to write something up about an Artwalk or the Beacon Hill Festival or new public art, that’s great! I’d love that. I’m also open to talking to people who want to take on regular “beats,” and who aren’t just interested in beating the drum for a particular pet cause.

I am going to try to post a bit more when I can. I have pretty high standards, which makes it a bit more difficult, sometimes. Do I take the time to meet my own journalistic standards, or just get something online and get back to the business of making a living doing something else?

Beacon Hill community members, business owners, and so on: a blog like this cannot exist without actual support. Whether that support comes from other employment to pay the bills (as it once did for the BHB), local businesses buying ads (in enough volume), paid subscriptions through something like Patreon, forming a non-profit and applying for grants, or a critical mass of community members volunteering — the support part is vital. This is why so many local blogs and printed publications have gone under. When a blog relies on one or two people to keep them going, they are one major life change away from ceasing to publish, unless there is other support to keep them going.

There is not a lot of support for journalism these days, despite the large audience. Are you willing and able to change this? Let’s talk about it here in the comments.

Panel to discuss Cheasty Greenspace mountain bike project 7/12

The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition is hosting a panel discussion this Saturday, July 12 at 9 a.m. on the proposed mountain bike pilot project in Cheasty Greenspace.  The panel will include Mark Mead from Seattle Parks and Recreation, proposal proponent Jay Gairson and opponent Patricia Naumann, natural areas expert Ruth Williams, and former Parks Board member John Barber.

The SNC meets on the second Saturday of each month at The Central, located at 500 30th Ave. S. in the Leschi neighborhood in the Central District. The Central is one block south of South Jackson Street and the #14 Metro bus.

This is a breakfast meeting (complete rotating buffet and beverages, $12 or $5 for beverage service), with the first 30 minutes focused on networking and engagement with fellow activists.  This is followed by a speaker’s presentation and up to an hour of lively Q&A.

Read more at the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition website.

Beacon Hill Library celebrating ten year anniversary Saturday

Neighbors wait for the library to open on a typical day. Photo by Jason Simpson.
The Beacon Hill Branch of The Seattle Public Library is turning 10 years old and the neighborhood is celebrating this Saturday, July 12!  A fun-filled day is planned with refreshments, a panel of speakers, poetry reading and entertainment. Beacon Hill writers, young and old, are invited to share their creativity during an open mic program.

Schedule of events

  • 12:30 p.m. – Neighborhood celebration/social hour
  • 1:30 p.m. – Architecture panel reviews the vision, design, and process of Beacon Hill’s new library building
  • 2:45 p.m. – Ken Mochizuki, author of “Beacon Hill Boys,” reads from his work
  • 3:15 p.m. – Open mic for local writers to share their work
  • 4:30 p.m. – Learn break dancing from members of the Massive Monkees crew

Cheasty Greenspace, PacMed Tower, skateable art sculpture, and Board Elections on NBHC agenda

There will be an open house for the Cheasty Greenspace tonight (Tuesday, June 3), at the Beacon Hill library from 6:10 to 6:50.  There will be photographs of the Cheasty forest featuring native plant and tree species, birds, maps from the Seattle Parks Department “Cheasty Greenspace Vegetation Management Plan,” information on Cheasty wildlife and history, and lively discussion about the future of South Seattle’s own Cheasty Greenspace Forest.  Mark Mead from the Seattle Parks Department will be on hand to give an update and answer questions during the regular North Beacon Hill Council meeting starting at 7 p.m.
Also on display will be images of the skateable sculpture by artist C.J Rench that will be installed at the north end of Jefferson Park later this month.  More info on the project can be found on the project page at the DPR website.

Full NBHC Agenda:
  • 7:00-7:05   Introductions, Greater Duwamish District Council and Department of Neighborhood updates
  • 7:05-7:20   Happening on the Hill—community calendar and construction updates: there’s a lot going on this summer! SPL librarians will be on hand to share news about the July 12 Anniversary Celebration of our branch! TEN YEARS!
  •  7:20-7:35   NBHC board nominees: brief presentations from those interested in running for a two year position on the NBHC board; bylaws available for review if desired
  •  7:35-7:55   Pacific Tower and Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority
  •  7:55-8:20  Cheasty Greenspace update: Seattle Parks Department Urban Forester Mark Mead 
  • 8:20-8:25   Board elections (if you’ve attended one meeting in the past calendar year, you’re a voting member)
  •  8:25-8:30  Old/New business
  •  8:30-8:55  NBHC Board meets in Beacon Hill Resource Center (open to the public)