Category Archives: Neighborhood Pride

Beacon Hill middle schoolers honored as Mayor’s Scholars

Several local middle school students have been chosen for Mayor’s Scholars Awards for service to their schools and communities. Criteria for selection include overcoming obstacles or meeting challenges, giving back to the community, and maintaining good academic standing. To compete for the award, students wrote essays about how they contribute to the community, and how they would use the cash award. In addition, they provided recommendations from adults familiar with their service work.

Each winner will receive $500 that can be used for education or donated to a charity, and a Mayor’s Scholar letter jacket.

Gizelle Gando, an 8th grade student at Mercer MS, volunteers at church as an altar server, sets up the parish hall for special events, and helps her younger brother with his reading. Gizelle’s favorite subjects are science and math. Last summer, through the Technology Access Foundation, she learned how to start and successfully manage a business. About college, Gizelle says, “My goal is to go to college to get that very special treasure — an education — a treasure that no one can take away from you.”

Daniel Gonzalez learned how to fix bikes and continues to do so at Bikeworks, a group that donates bikes to foster kids. Learning this skill has fostered his interest in an engineering career. He understands that a college education willl help him improve his family’s lives. As the oldest son in a fatherless household, Daniel has assumed many responsibilities, including translating for his mother and grandmother. A 6th grade student at Mercer MS, Danny is a mentor at his brother’s elementary school where he helps other kids learn to read.

An 8th grade student at Mercer MS, Adriana Meraz-Gonzalez is in a motivational youth group called Latino Dream, which encourages all students to avoid negativity and better themselves. Adriana presented a resolution to the School Board on behalf of undocumented students that choose higher education and, because of her testimony, the school board passed that resolution. She met with local District Representatives to share her ideas on solutions to immigration, student struggles and youth violence/gang involvement issues. Adriana said she has faced a lot of racism which has fueled her educational pursuits.

A 6th grade student at The New School @ Columbia, Jessica Walters shows leadership by singlehandedly organizing a 6th grade dance and donating the proceeds to charity. She helps other students and participates in an after school program and church choir. Jessica dreams of becoming a singer/songwriter and recognizes the importance of education to help with her goal. Jessica’s teacher says, “She has dealt with every obstacle society can throw at her and still maintains a sunny disposition and always does her best work in school.”

Congratulations to Gizelle, Daniel, Adriana, and Jessica!

Beacon Hill identity crisis: who are we?

Writing these blog posts for the last month now, it has become apparent to me that we on Beacon Hill have a problem — one shared with a few other Seattle neighborhoods, and a small problem in the overall scheme of things, but a problem nonetheless. What do we call ourselves? Beacon Hillites? Hillians? Hillers? Or even… Hillbillies?

I looked through Seattle’s Beacon Hill and the term used there was usually “residents of Beacon Hill.” That’s a little too long, I think.

Some other Seattle neighborhoods seem to have settled on reasonably short and snappy names for their residents: Ballardites, West Seattleites (well, that one’s easy). Wallingfordians seems to have seen some use, though not much. Capitol Hill, our neighbors to the north, have used Hillites and Hillians occasionally, but Hillers seems more popular, according to Google.

Residents of Beacon Hill, what do you call yourselves? The headline writers of the Seattle neighborhood blogosphere need to know. If you’re from another neighborhood, what do you call residents of your neighborhood? We’re curious about that, too.

(We could always be… Beacon Hellions!)

What we love about the Hill

Looking down a Beacon Avenue sidewalk. Photo by Wendi from the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool.
Looking down a Beacon Avenue sidewalk. Photo by Wendi from the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool.
The other day we asked “what are five things you love about Beacon Hill?” The results are an interesting snapshot of the reasons many of us live here.

The most common answer was “convenience.” Our location has “convenient access to just about anywhere (except perhaps Ballard),” and it’s particularly convenient if you like to visit Georgetown (two people mentioned our neighbors to the southwest). The light rail — and the access it will soon give to Sounders FC games — are something a couple of us are excited about as well.

Many people mentioned particular Beacon Hill businesses that they love. Most loved were the Red Apple, El Quetzal, and Victrola (ex-Galaxie), but Yoga on Beacon, Kusina Filipina, MacPherson’s Fruit and Produce, El Delicioso inside the ABC Supermarket, and Culinary Communion also got some love.

For being so close to Downtown and industrial SODO, Beacon Hill has a lot of nature to enjoy, and quite a few of you mentioned that. From “watching raptors over the greenbelt with my daughter from our front window” to “cloud-watching from my back porch” to enjoying “the fall colors along Beacon Avenue south of Columbian Way,” we get a lot of nature enjoyment from our perch above the city. And for that matter, we have some views, too. “The winter view of the Olympics” and “the stunning view of the Seattle skyline coming off of Beacon” are something we get to see all the time — don’t you feel lucky?

Views and buildings and even businesses are not all that make up a neighborhood, however, and so several people included their neighbors in their list of what they love about Beacon Hill. Some neighbors have Obama/Biden signs. Some “don’t mind when my other daughter plays her fiddle in the front yard.” And some are just amazing friends who are “not allowed to move away, ever.” The diversity of our neighbors is another thing we like: “going to the bank and hearing Cantonese, Spanish, and a bit of English.”

You can read all of the answers people gave and see who said what on the original post, and add your own comments if you like. Thanks to all those who answered so far!

I’ll post another question soon.

Cleveland students create mural

Correction:The original post had the correct date, but incorrect day.

The Rainier Valley Post reports that Cleveland High School students are currently involved in a project to design and create a 9 x 31 foot mural for the school’s entryway, with help from SEED’s Public Art Program and Urban Artworks. You can see the mural and celebrate the achievement at a community celebration of the completed work on Saturday Thursday, November 20, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm at Cleveland. More information, including photos, at the Rainier Valley Post.

What are five things you love about Beacon Hill?

I love that I can get a cappuccino like this only 5 minutes walk from home! Photo by Wendi.
I love that I can get a cappuccino like this only 5 minutes' walk from home! Photo by Wendi.
The Ms. Adventures in Italy blog had a post the other day, “Five Things I Love About San Francisco.” She invited readers to post their own “Five Things I Love About _______” lists on their own blogs. I started thinking about what I love about Seattle, and then thought “hey, why not Beacon Hill?”

So I ask you all, what are the five things you love about Beacon Hill? Please post in the comments. If you have photos, please email them to us or put them in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool at Flickr.

I’ll get things started with my list. I live in North Beacon so this might be biased toward that area:

  • The light rail that will be serving us in less than a year!
  • The lovely old Craftsman bungalows that haven’t been “remuddled” beyond all recognition
  • The tasty food and drink available on Beacon Avenue these days (particularly El Quetzal and Victrola)
  • The new library: beautiful, and full of the best things in the world: books!
  • The sound of the gospel singing from the Baptist Church across from the Library, echoing through the evening air in summer when the windows are open

So what are your five?

Next week I may ask for the five things you’d like to improve about the Hill, but for now, we’ll stay on the positive side.

New Holly playground completed in one day

You’ll remember a few days ago, when we published an appeal for volunteers to help build a playground for New Holly’s 2,500 children in six hours. The day was yesterday, and the playground was completed on time with the help of many volunteers. The Seattle Times has a nice story about it, including video (but I wish they’d have shown more video of the playground — anyone out there take any photos at the event?).