Category Archives: City Services

Beacon Mountain spray park runs dry

Photo by Furchin in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
Neighbors have reported some disappointment that the new water spray park at the Beacon Mountain playground in Jefferson Park is not working. We have contacted the Parks Department to ask what went wrong (so far, it seems that it may be the drains), and if there is an expected date for the water feature to return to service. Watch this space for more information as we get it.

Library to offer free computer classes

Photo by go-team in the Beacon Hill Blog Photo Pool on Flickr.
Need to learn computer skills? The Seattle Public Library will offer free computer classes at the Beacon Hill Library (2821 Beacon Ave. S.) during January and February. These courses include a series of classes for people who have little or no experience with computers, as well as a few more advanced classes.

All classes are free and open to the public. Registration is not required, but seating may be limited. For more information, call 206-386-4636.

The class list:

  • Computer Basics 1: Learn how to use a computer keyboard and mouse.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 2
  • Computer Basics 2: Learn how to use basic features of the Windows software operating system. The session will cover using the toolbars, scroll bar, and text boxes.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 9
  • Email Basics: Get a free email account and learn how to use it, including how to send email, send attachments, and use the address book.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 6
  • Internet Basics 1: Learn about Web browsers and how to navigate a Web page.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 23
  • Internet Basics 2: Learn how to use search engines, evaluate websites, and print from the Web.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, January 30
  • Library Catalog Basics: Learn how to search the Library’s catalog to find DVDs, CDs, books, and other materials, and how to reserve and renew items.
    10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, January 7
  • Downloading E-books & Audiobooks: Learn how to download e-books and audiobooks from the Library’s website.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 13
  • Web 2.0 Basics: Learn about blogs, wikis, Facebook, and more.
    6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 27

You’re invited to a virtual “ride along”

Next Tuesday, November 15, everyone is invited to “ride along” with Seattle Police officer Nate Shopay to get a taste of life for a patrol officer on Beacon Hill. That’s right, everyone. There’s room for the whole neighborhood, since it’s a virtual ride along — a Tweetalong! Shopay will use Twitter to post his experiences on a typical day patrolling Beacon Hill between South Orcas Street and South Othello Street, during the second watch shift from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Seattle Police Twitter account is @SeattlePD. On the day of the Tweetalong, search for #tweetalong on that account to follow the tweets.

Input wanted on new directions for Community Centers

Jefferson Park Community Center. Photo by Wendi.
Seattle Parks and Recreation has been challenged by the City Council to re-think the way community centers should operate in this time of budget difficulties.

A citizen advisory team has worked for a while on developing new ideas for the operation of the centers, and now Parks would like to hear from residents in the wider community at two meetings, one at Bitter Lake in the far North End, and the other right here on Beacon Hill.

All are welcome to attend. The Bitter Lake meeting is on Wednesday, June 15, 7 – 8:30 p.m., at Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N. The Beacon Hill meeting is the next day, Thursday, June 16, 7 – 8:30 p.m., at Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.

A draft of the options that have been proposed so far will be available tomorrow, June 8, at all community centers and on the Seattle Parks and Recreation website. There will also be an online survey posted on the same website starting June 8 which you may fill out if you’re unable to attend the community meetings.

For further information, please contact Susan Golub at

Mayor follows up on town hall questions

Mayor McGinn at the Beacon Hill Town Hall at Jefferson Community Center on February 15. Photo courtesy City of Seattle.
Mayor Mike McGinn this week sent out a follow-up email addressing unanswered questions that were brought up at the February 15 town hall meeting at Jefferson Community Center. Topics addressed include broadband access, future use of the closed Neighborhood Service Center, a possible Alcohol Impact Area on North Beacon Hill, and the SeaTac flight paths overhead.

There were some questions raised that we weren’t able to address that night; here they are, along with our answers:

1. What power does the City have to regulate Broadstripe and other broadband providers? The City of Seattle regulates cable television service for Seattle residents, and we also own the physical conduits through which the cables that provide that service travel, but the Federal Communications Commission has restricted the ability of cities like ours to regulate internet service providers. Where we do have power is in our contract negotiations with these companies. Our next opportunity to renegotiate our cable contract with Broadstripe will be in 2017. They have little capacity for significant service improvements, as they are now in bankruptcy (although still complying with the contract). The last contract renewal led the Department of Information Technology to look into creating a city-wide fiber-optic network in the first place. We know that there’s a huge need for faster and more reliable Internet access across the city, and that’s why we’re working on a business plan for municipal broadband.

2. Can members of the community use the old Neighborhood Service Center site as a volunteer-run community information center? The different departments involved are still discussing how to use the space going forward, and no decisions have been made so far. In the meantime, Department of Neighborhoods staff are using the space on a drop-in basis, and community groups can also make use of other meeting rooms in the library.

3. What will it take to make Beacon Hill an Alcohol Impact Area? As Captain Nolan and I mentioned on the 15th, the designation of an Alcohol Impact Area is something that’s done by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. More information about the designation process can be found here; links to studies of the effectiveness of AIA’s are here; and information about the processes that the City went through specifically in 2004-2006 are available here.

4. Is there anything that the City can do about flight paths going into and out of SeaTac? The Federal Aviation Administration regulates flight paths; the City, County, and Port don’t have direct regulatory authority over the airspace around the airport, but the FAA has been receptive to community input in the past. The Magnolia Community Club, for example, had a recent success when the FAA decided not to lower the level at which aircraft would be allowed to fly over Seattle neighborhoods. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the FAA’s Next Gen initiative, which will include re-evaluating flight plans that affect SeaTac and Boeing Field. Please E-mail me directly with your comments and concerns regarding flight paths over Beacon Hill, and I’ll be sure that we pass them along to the FAA. For more information about the Magnolia Community Club’s efforts, please contact Robert Bismuth at or 206-941-1923.

I hope the information in this E-mail is helpful; if you have input on how to improve our Town Hall follow-up going forward, feel free to contact Sol Villarreal in my office at or 206-427-3062.

For other opportunities to talk to myself or other City staff in your community please see our Public Outreach and Engagement Calendar at, and as always, please write to me with any questions, comments, or concerns that you have at

It’s an honor to be able to serve as your Mayor; I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

Mike McGinn

(You can read a compilation of the February 15 town hall discussion here and see complete video of the event here.)

Neighborhood Service Center closed, changes coming

Cuts to the city’s budget have led to the closure of the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center, located in the Beacon Hill Library on North Beacon Hill. District Coordinator Steve Louie will be relocated across the bridge to the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. He sent out the following letter with information about the closure and the resulting changes to the Neighborhood Service Center program:

Happy New Years. As a result of the 2011-2012 Adopted Budget and Department changes, here is an update on my status. I am currently in the process of closing down the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center on Beacon Hill and will now be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. Now that we are down to 10 from 13 District Coordinators we will be serving the City through a team approach. I will be working with 3 other District Coordinators and the 4 of us will be covering the South Division. The Districts we will be covering are SE, Greater Duwamish, Delridge, and Southwest. Below is more information from our Department.

Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Changes and Neighborhood Service Center Closure: Background and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As a result of the 2011‐2012 Adopted Budget, the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is restructuring services provided by the Neighborhood District Coordinator Program as well as the number of open Neighborhood Service Centers. Following are frequently asked questions and responses. If additional information is needed, please contact Pamela Banks, Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Manager at 206‐233-5044 or Kimberlee Archie, Deputy Director, at 206‐684‐0463.

DON 2011 Budget Impacts:

  • Neighborhood District Coordinators (NDCs) reduced from 13 to 10, effective 1/4/11. The Neighborhood District Coordinator (NDC) interim service plan divides the city into 3 geographic areas, each served by a team of NDCs.
  • Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs) reduced from 13 to 7, effective 1/4/11. The remaining NSCs are all payment sites where few changes will be experienced for those who visit for information or payment services; however, co‐locators and those who utilized space at nonpayment sites will experience major changes with the closures of the 6 non‐payment sites.
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