Friday, February 1, 2013

Tim Burgess supports a Comprehensive approach to Lake City

Back in the mid to late 90's, hundreds of Lake City residents and business owners worked many hours with the city to develop the Lake City Comprehensive Plan. The overarching theme of the plan was to “create an atmosphere of safety”. There was concern at that time that increasing density would bring urban problems to the area. The Plan was to mitigate them by providing physical improvements to our public areas and supporting positive commercial and recreational uses of our neighborhood.

Many of the requests were for sidewalks, open spaces, a new community center, ways of improving people’s perception of Lake City so they will get out of their cars and walk / shop, crime prevention through design, etc. All these are needed just as badly now as they were 15 years ago.

Our public spaces are where we form connections with our neighbors and we need to feel safe using them. The current conditions are an impediment to us forming a sense of community and identity.

At the Full Council meeting on Monday, a resolution was passed to review and further implement our neighborhood plans. Later that day, Councilmember Tim Burgess wrote a letter to city staff regarding Fire Station 39 and our neighborhood Comprehensive Plan.

The letter emphasized a comprehensive approach that honors our neighborhood plan as well as our feedback that we have given at the two Public Involvement Plan meetings ( here and here ) regarding the concentration of extremely low income housing and the lack of other much needed assets and services - like sidewalks, civic space, and recreational programming.

In addition, the letter directed the city to:

- Create a status report on our Comprehensive Plan ( full plan here / adoption matrix here ) to review what has and has not been completed as well as updating the city contacts for each action item. 

- Create a report on current efforts to increase safety, economic development, and housing opportunities for a variety of income levels ( mixed income model ). 

- Provide a timeline for an update to our Neighborhood Plan.

- Look at the Pierre Visioning efforts when updating the Plan. 

An update of this policy document will help us rethink and / or re - emphasize our needs in a way that the city can act in a coordinated effort with us to realize them. We have a significant opportunity here to participate in the development and governance of our neighborhood and we should seize it. Many things being discussed now have the potential to bring millions of dollars in capital investments to our neighborhood: the Pierre's stated intent to redevelop their property, the BEX IV ( if it passes ) will be providing millions of dollars for new schools and remodels of nearly every school in our area, and  the possibility that we would get a high priority for a new community center on the next Green Space Levy are all near realities that will significantly and positively impact our community.

DPC block party singer featured on David Letterman last night

Recently we wrote about Ray Dalton, the Seattle singer that joined members of Douglas Park Cooperative for our annual block party and helped lead our kids parade with his powerful voice.

Along with local hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Dalton's memorable voice has shot to the top of the charts with the track "Can't Hold Us."

Well, last night Dalton, Macklemore and Lewis were the featured artist on the David Letterman Show in the Ed Sullivan Theater. Their performance was flawless. You can see the video below. Watch until the end to see how Letterman mixes up the artists and creates a mildly awkward moment.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

North Helpline thanks community, needs continued support

Recently our own Lake City North Helpline went through a crisis.

In December KING/5 reported that 2012 was the worst year yet for the food bank. They serve more than 1,700 people a week and giving from corporations and foundations was down. Donations at the time were also dwindling.

North Helpline Executive Director John Klevins looked at the numbers and realized something drastic had to happen for the organization to continue to operate. So he stopped drawing a salary in October and some staff took pay cuts so the emergency services and food bank could continue helping people in tough situations.

"This food bank is about love. This food bank is about transforming lives," Klevins told KING/5.

This week the organization sent out an update letter saying that because of an "inspirational" level of community support during the crisis, they have returned to their full array of food bank and emergency services.

But the letter also stresses the need for continued donations. 

"Of course, now that we have moved beyond our financial constraints of 2012, our focus must be placed on creating a new and more robust financial future," said the message to donors and the community.

The message also reminds who North Helpline's clients are. They are your neighbors, friends, family members and those you see in your community.  They could be any one of us.

"It just takes one lost job, a few missed mortgage or rental payments and a bad illness and we could all be in our long lines."

You can learn more about North Helpline on their website by clicking here.

You can donate here.

The KING/5 report is embedded below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lake City Library Calendar on DPC website

A screen shot of the Lake City Library calendar on their website
The Lake City branch of the Seattle Public Library regularly hosts educational programs and events. Some of these are events that would benefit many in our community. The challenge sometimes can be to get the word out.

This is something we have heard from neighbors and event organizers many times. It can be difficult to know all that is going on in our own community.

People in our neighborhood are working to solve that problem.

The Lake City Library has a wonderful online calendar and we have embeded the RSS feed from their calendar on the right column of the Douglas Park Cooperative website.

To find out more about a particular event just click on the item in the RSS feed and the details will pop up. We hope to have a similar feature from the Lake City Community Center in the future. The exchange of information is an important part of what will better our community.

Update: We have also imported info from their calendar into our Google calendar featured on the right of our website. But we are unsure if it will automatically update so that is a test of the data.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Neighborhood support needed Monday evening for skate spot

Click this image to view larger and to see ideas for the skate park

Correction: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect number date. The meeting is in fact Monday the 28th.

Members of our community will give a presentation to the Seattle Parks Department Levy Oversight Committee Monday evening, January 28th, to make a case for a skate spot at Virgil Flaim Park in our neighborhood.

A funding application was reviewed and scored and this presentation may be one of the last opportunities to make a case for funding for the neighborhood skate spot as it seems the funding may not be approved.

Here is how you can help:

Come to the Levy Oversight Committee meeting tonight, Monday, January 29th.

Visibly show your support for Lake City and a proposed skate spot.

Bring a skateboard, wear a LCW sticker from Elliott Bay, help make our community visible to the decision makers and let them know that a skate spot would bring much-needed life to a park that is often a hangout for chronic public inebriates.

The meeting details from organizers are below:

6:00 - 6:45: Open House: display table for committee members
7:00 - 9:00: Sometime in here, we have a slot for a 3 minute presentation.

Where: Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave NE

Stand with us at our display table during the open house to demonstrate neighborhood support and/or stick around for the presentation and stand with us (with your LCW sticker) during the presentation.

To learn more about efforts to build a skate spot at Virgil Flaim park go here: