Tag Archives: dogs

Beacon Bits: Clean air, new shoes, and a Mercer miracle

Photo by Wendi.
Asa Mercer Middle School on Beacon Hill has made a remarkable transformation, going from a school in which only 13.8 percent of eighth graders passed the state science test in 2005, to one in which 84.3 percent passed last year. Brian M. Rosenthal of The Seattle Times writes about the “Mercer model”: teaching “urgently,” relying on data and team coordination, and using a customized math curriculum.

“The central administration was largely unaware of Mercer’s approach, School Board member Kay Smith-Blum said.

“‘They did it sort of undercover,” she said. “They just did what their kids needed.’

“The results were clear: The number of students passing the state math tests more than doubled, to 70.8 percent, during [former principal] Lutz’s tenure.”

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Michael Harthorne from BHB news partners Beacon Hill KOMO reports that Denise Louie Education Center (located on Beacon Hill, Rainier Beach, and the International District) has received a donation from Payless that will allow the organization to provide shoes for 50 children in need.

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The SunBreak draws our attention to Beacon Hill’s air quality: though Seattle is currently under an air stagnation advisory, Beacon Hill has the cleanest air in town.

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Art Thiel at Sports Press NW comments about the Valero Alamo Bowl, where the Huskies will play against Baylor on December 29: “Then there is the issue of figuring out what a Valero is. Turns out it’s a large petroleum company with a small presence in Washington. Next time you’re on Beacon Hill, check out the C&C Mart. It’s the only Valero store in Seattle.”

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The Seattle Times featured a photo of romping dogs at Dr. Jose Rizal Park in “Is Seattle a cat town or a dog town?”

Rizal Park Off-Leash Area reconfiguration announced

Dr. Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area reconfiguration. Click on this image to see a larger PDF of the area.
The reconfiguration of the Dr. Jose Rizal Park Off-Leash Area (OLA) has been announced. OLA suppporters had feared that the 5-acre dog area would be reduced to 1.5 acres in the new site design, but after community input, Seattle Parks and Recreation announced that the reconfiguration would give the OLA a 4.1 acre space. This would provide about the same amount of usable space as the previous site had, since part of the previous site was inaccessible.

Acting superintendent of Seattle Parks, Christopher Williams, sent the following letter out to the community:

Dear Off-Leash Area Supporter,

Thank you for your participation in our efforts to reconfigure the Dr. Jose Rizal Park off-leash area to accommodate the new Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail. We listened to what you told us in the recent public meeting, and I’m very pleased to let you know that Parks staff have identified a 4.1 acre area that maximizes the available, usable space in the park to serve as our off-leash area. To see the new configuration, please see the attached schematic.

Major change has come to Dr. Jose Rizal Park because of the construction of the trail. The trail, which is a wonderful new amenity for the city and for the neighborhood, unfortunately took about one acre of the original off-leash area. It has also brought about renewed interest in the park, increased volunteer activity by the ever-active and much appreciated Beacon Area Neighbors, and recent Parks improvements that include:

  • Thinning the quaking aspen and birch trees. This thinning, consistent with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, improves sight lines in the park, both within and outside the off-leash area. It also gives the remaining trees the opportunity to thrive and creates more usable space in the off-leash area.
  • Along with volunteers from Beacon Area Neighbors, maintenance crews cleared approximately 1.5 acres of blackberries, which also creates more usable spaces within the off-leash area.

Continue reading Rizal Park Off-Leash Area reconfiguration announced

Dog park, trail, greenbelt on NBHC meeting agenda

The North Beacon Hill Council meeting, usually the first Thursday of the month, was delayed until this week because of the library’s closure. This month’s meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8, at 7 p.m. at the Beacon Hill Library meeting room. As always, NBHC meetings are open to all interested neighbors. The Beacon Hill Library is located at 2821 Beacon Ave. S.

As mentioned previously on the Beacon Hill Blog, a major topic of discussion at this month’s meeting will be proposed changes to the Jose Rizal Park off-leash area. However, the city is also looking for community feedback and ideas for the Duwamish Greenbelt Area and the Mountains to Sound Trail.

Here is this month’s agenda:

  • 7:00 Welcomes and introductions
  • 7:05 Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, and other city officials, will ask for community input and ideas for the Duwamish Greenbelt Area, which includes the newly finished Mountain to Sound Trail, and the off leash area at Jose Rizal Park
  • 7:25 Community input and Q&A
  • 7:55 Community concerns and announcements
  • 8:30 Closure followed by Executive Board Meeting

Is this your dog?

This cute dog is hanging out at 12th and Massachusetts without a leash.
Neighbor Joseph writes, “Can you help finding an owner for this dog? He hangs out around 12th and Massachusetts. He seems to be friendly and I am sure he lives near by so if anyone knows who he belongs to, I have an extra leash!”

Seattle does have a leash law which requires dogs to be on-leash at all times when on public property, except at off-leash areas. There is an off-leash area on North Beacon Hill at Dr. Jose Rizal Park.

Beacon Bits: new neighbor, new jobs, and an old thief

These steps, which once led to Culinary Communion, will soon lead to Tasha's Bistro Café. Photo by Wendi.
The population of North Beacon just went up by one — Beacon Hill Blog contributor Melissa Jonas brought a new Beacon Hill neighbor into the world on Friday. Congratulations to Melissa and Shane, and welcome to baby Sylvia Grace!

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Tasha’s Bistro Café in the old Culinary Communion space, scheduled to open late this month or early next, is hiring servers. Tasha’s has also applied for a liquor license in the category of restaurant (beer and wine) and direct shipment receiver, with a catering endorsement.

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Need to train your dog? Today is your lucky day. A dog training class, Dog Training: The Pet Adult Dog, starts tonight from 7:45 to 8:45 at the Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Avenue South. The class is for dogs over five months of age (and their humans, aged 15 and up) and will include basic obedience, loose leash walking, polite greetings, handling, solving in-home behavioral problems, and impulse control. The class fee is $78.

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The Transportation Choices Coalition is sponsoring On The Move, an incentive program to get Southeast Seattle residents out of their cars and onto buses, trains, bicycles, or feet. Participants who commit to riding transit, walking or biking 2 days a week this summer may receive prizes, discounts to local businesses, and free ORCA cards. For more information, sign up here or call 206-329-2336.

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Northwest Kidney Centers will hold its 8th annual Kidney Health Fest for African American Families on Saturday, June 5, featuring free health screenings, entertainment and healthy food samples made by local celebrity chefs. The free event, open to all, runs from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at Van Asselt Elementary (formerly the African American Academy), 8311 Beacon Avenue South. The event is co-hosted by Mount Zion Baptist Church and the First AME Church.

More information is at the event’s website.

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Cesar Chavez Demonstration Garden is having an heirloom vegetable plant sale at 2524 16th Avenue South (El Centro de la Raza) this Saturday, May 22, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; Wednesday, May 26, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; and Saturday, May 29, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

(Editors’ note — The correct date of the third sale is Saturday, May 29, not May 30 as reported earlier.)

The garden is located just north of Beacon Hill Station and is run by the Master Gardeners of King County. They will be selling heirloom vegetable starts, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, melons, onions, and leeks.

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North Beacon’s “larcenous landscaper” appears to be back for another season of plant thievery. Neighbors on the BAN mailing list are reporting new plant thefts, and one witness on 13th Avenue South reports that the thief appears to be the same one as was caught on this video last May. The witness describes him as “an older Asian gentleman, dressed in sport coat and slacks, smoking a cigarette,” and saw him return to a silver Toyota SUV — with the irises he’d just taken from someone’s yard.

If you too have had plants stolen, or if you see the plant thief, contact the police. The SPD case number is 2010-161547.

Beacon Bits: Cleveland Eagles championship edition

Go Eagles! Photo by Tambako the Jaguar, via Creative Commons.
We have been remiss in not mentioning that Beacon Hill’s own Cleveland High School won the girls’ basketball state championship on Saturday night, beating Holy Names by a score of 47-44 in the Class 3A final and ending the Cougars’ 19-game win streak. Not only is this Cleveland’s first state title, but two years ago the team finished 3-16. Congratulations Eagles!

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In other Cleveland High School news, the school, which was recently named one of the state’s lowest-performing, will be starting their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) option program this fall. But the $800,000 contract with the New Technology Network to help phase in the program is being revised from the version approved by the School Board last month. The Seattle Times (BHB news partner) explains the delay here.

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Willie Weir finds that the new Google Maps Bike Route option is, sadly, “not ready for prime time,” sometimes sending cyclists on dangerous routes like Rainier Avenue South.

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Overheard on Twitter recently, from @danaeK: “Bars in Beacon Hill and Lake City have more in common than one might expect.”

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Yesterday’s hot topic on the Beacon Hill Mailing List was the search for a good local vet. Anyone have any good suggestions for vets in the Beacon Hill/Rainier Valley area?

Also on the mailing list: the local canines seem to have spring fever. There have been two reports of dogs running loose in the last couple of days. The first, reported by Alex, was “an unattended mid sized beagle looking dog running freely west on Stevens St. toward 23rd avenue… it seemed a bit skittish and was enjoying freedom and kept going before I could get to it.”

Yesterday neighbor Francine reported “an adorable little black dog west up Columbian Way toward the Beacon Avenue… She/he crossed the BUSY Columbian and I tried to coax her in my car, but no luck. She tore off again.” We hope that both of these dogs have returned home safely.

Oh, the in-dog-nity and more fall events

Dog-o-ween 2008s Most Original winner Sasha as The Center of the Universe. Photo from dogoween.org.
Dog-o-ween 2008's Most Original winner Sasha as The Center of the Universe. Photo from dogoween.org.
Citizens for Off Leash Areas hosts “Dog-o-ween 2009” at the Genesee Park off-leash area today. Well, now. From 11am to 2pm.

Jefferson Community Center is hosting a Toddler Trick or Treat on Thursday and a Halloween Howl and Carnival on Friday. For more information, check the events page.

If you missed the Student Conservation Association and Boeing employee volunteer event in the Cheasty Greenspace today, there’s another chance coming up on November 7th for Green Seattle Day.

Eric Spivack from Soaring Crane Massage encourages folks to come out on Monday evening to wave signs in support of Approve Referendum 71. More details, again, on the events page.