4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

2015 February

1 Meeting to Connect

Roosevelt Neighborhood Association

Your “4 to Explore” newsletter connects you with 15 neighborhoods in Northeast Seattle from Wallingford to Wedgwood — from the shores of Gas Works Park to the shores of Magnuson Park. One neighborhood that seems to be confronting a lot of pivotal issues — all at the same time — is Roosevelt. The issues bring hope and excitement as well as fear and frustration.

The best way to work with all of this change is to connect with your neighbors — build friendships, stay informed, and get ready for collective action to support good ideas or to rally against bad ideas (usually floated by out-of-town, profit-motivated developers). If you want to connect, but have limited time, attend the ROOSEVELT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION. Those who live in adjacent neighborhoods within Ravenna, the U District, Maple Leaf, and Green Lake are welcome, too.

Connect with your neighbors at this month’s meeting:

  • WHEN: Tues, Feb 23 Feb 24, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Calvary Christian Assembly at 6801 Roosevelt Way NE (northeast border of business district)

The RNA also publishes The Roosie which is hand-delivered by volunteers every month to over 2,000 neighbors. The RNA also organizes the Bull Moose Festival every July.

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association is one of the many “community councils” that joins together every month to form the Northeast District Council (NEDC), co-chaired by Gabrielle Gerhard and Tony ProvineCLICK HERE for a list of community councils in NE Seattle or contact Tony Provine directly at tprovine@msn.com.

As neighbors pointed out at the most recent meeting of the RNA, we will soon be able to vote for a neighborhood-based City Councilmember who will need to understand and be responsive to these neighborhood issues.

There is so much to enjoy in Roosevelt, from Rain City Burgers to Teddy’s Tavern to yummy Indian cuisine to all of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt High School. CLICK HERE for a map and listing of neighborhood businesses.

NOTE:  The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association is different than the Roosevelt (Way) Neighbors’ Alliance, which is also abbreviated as RNA. The Alliance represents the Roosevelt Way area directly south of Ravenna Blvd to NE 45th Street.

1 Issue to Engage

Where are those buses?

CORRECTED 2/17/2015 TO HIGHLIGHT LACK OF EXTRA BUSES FOR NORTHEAST SEATTLE COMMUTERS. 

Where are the buses we are paying for? In Nov 2014, Seattle voters generously approved a Seattle-only increase in taxes and fees to BOOST BUS SERVICE from King County Metro — even after some transportation leaders flubbed the finances or lost our trust.

Many residents of Northeast Seattle rely on Buses 2530, 64, 65, 72X71X, 74X, 75, 76, and other routes. [Click here for a map of all routes.] You are not alone if you have been wondering, “When will new buses arrive to relieve the overcrowding, especially on routes for commuting downtown?”

Here’s the answer: Metro recently announced that, “Seattle residents would see expanded bus service beginning in June and then again in September [2015].” The list proposed by SDOT and Metro (see page A-1 of Exhibit 1) to the City Council and Council Council in January 2015 looks like it is based on solid data is supposed to increase reliability and reduce overcrowding. Based on Metro’s “Service Guidelines” and the City’s Transit Master Plan, the new city funding will add 230,000 hours of bus service within Seattle, which represents a 15% increase.  And SDOT says it is making sure King County does not use these special city tax dollars to over-charge us or supplant non-city routes. After a technical explanation from a seasoned transportation planner at SDOT, we agreed their proposal and the availability of the new funding was “totally awesome.”  A technical explanation from a seasoned transportation planner at SDOT made the expansion details seem reasonable. But after hearing from “4 to Explore” readers who commute downtown taking buses on 65th Street (like the #76) and then taking those overcrowded buses myself, it was clear that NE Seattle buses will still be crammed. That’s because SDOT plans to only “adjust [the] schedule” rather than “increase frequency” or “add trips.” We have communicated our concerns to SDOT.

With the short-sighted and suffocating design of the Sound Transit stop at Husky Stadium — with an entrance only on the eastside of Montlake Blvd and without a kiss-and-ride to drop off commuters —  will new Metro buses deliver commuters from Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, etc. to light rail or is that light rail stop just for UW students and cyclists? A volunteer group selected by Metro and Sound Transit called the “Sounding Board” is meeting now to coordinate both agencies (see meeting dates below).

The City is also preparing to ask for yet another tax increase THIS YEAR for a much larger “Bridging the Gap” transportation package. (“Bridging the Gap” is the measure that was supposed to fix our roads and bridges but is nearly $2 billion behind schedule.) The City also seems to be moving ahead with an incredibly expensive and redundantCenter City Connector” ($4 million just to design it) when there are already buses and light rail along much of the same downtown route. There is also some movement for a so-called “Sound Transit 3” to expand light rail throughout the Puget Sound region.

With the previous disappointments from transportation leaders, it’s imperative that city officials not take voters and taxpayers for granted, but rather earn our trust with these large new investments.

To stay engaged on expanded bus service, follow Metro’s blog or contact DeAnna.Martin@kingcounty.gov (Public Affairs).  To stay engaged on Metro connections to Sound Transit light rail, check out their special website and attend the “Sounding Board” meetings. The next ones are Feb 4 and Feb 11 at 6:30 p.m. at University Christian Church 4731 15th Ave NE.  Ideally, the Seattle Dept of Transportation will eventually update the bus info on the SDOT Transit website.  “4 to Explore” will post any updates it receives on our Facebook page.

The all-volunteer Northeast District Council (NEDC), co-chaired by Tony Provine and Gabrielle Gerhard, will also continue to monitor these transportation issues for the residents and neighborhood businesses of NE Seattle.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Modern Art and Music at Magnuson Park

Want to see what happens when a renowned local artist combines forces in Northeast Seattle with a renowned musician who spent much of his childhood on a boat? This month’s “Fun to Enjoy” is MODERN ART AND MUSIC at the amazingly renovated Building 30 at Magnuson Park:

Seattle’s Robb Kunz presents musician Jherek Bischoff “Lost in the Hall of Spinning Howlrounds.” Stay with me. I know this modern exhibit might sound unusual, but that will make us seem even more hip when we mention it to our neighbors. According the art gallery’s website, “A collaboration three years in the making, sound artist Robb Kunz has created a synchronized array of dozens of sculptures and contraptions to reimagine the raw instrumental elements of Jherek Bischoff‘s new unreleased orchestral ambient album.” I could not make that up. Bonus: Robb Kunz will be there during the exhibit.

It may be similar to the cutting-edge exhibit from 2012 at the Frye Art Museum located on First Hill, as featured in Seattle Magazine. The only way to know for sure is to be there.

  • OPENING RECEPTION: Thurs, Feb 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • ART EXHIBIT (free): Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until Saturday, March 7 from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.
  • LOCATION:  Bldg 30 at Magnuson Park which located is 7448 63rd Ave NE.

Organized by the local nonprofit Sand Point Arts & Cultural Exchange (SPACE), the exhibit is made possible by a grant from 4Culture, “the cultural services agency for King County.”

[Last month, “4 to Explore” reported on the radium clean-up at Buildings 2 and 27. Note that Building 30, with the art exhibits, is relatively far away. For updates, go to the U.S. Navy‘s website or our Facebook page.]

BONUS FUN: Visit the FIRE STATIONS in Green Lake (#16) and Wedgwood (#40) 11-1 p.m., Saturday, Feb 14 for “Neighbor Appreciation Day.” (But don’t make that your romantic Valentine’s Day date!)

Families can find other fun events this month on the calendar websites of Parent MapRed Tricycle, and Seattle’s Child

1 Store to Adore

Pazzo’s Pizza in Eastlake

When neighbors say, “Meet me at the pizza place in Eastake,” you can bet a fistful of dough that they are referring to PAZZO’S IN EASTLAKE.

A neighborhood leader and pizza connoisseur friend of mine recently proclaimed, “Pazzos is worth exploring and [has] the best pizza in town.” I enjoyed dinner with my daughter there during a windstorm that knocked out much of the power in Northeast Seattle — except, miraculously, for the lights and ovens of Pazzo’s!  Some patrons love the gritty cornmeal they put on the bottom of their pizza crust, but if that sounds too crunchy, request your pizza without it.

Although PAZZO’s has more of an adult vibe than a family vibe and there is no “kids menu,” it is pizza after all and children are welcome. In addition to the pizza, consider the Pazzo salads, calzones, caprese, and panini sandwiches.

But don’t take our word for it, check out the reviews of Pazzo’s on Yelp.

LOCATION: 2307 Eastlake Ave East, Seattle, WA 98102 (Eastlake neighborhood).

HOURS: Pazzo’s Pizza is open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to past midnight.

MORE:  Pazzo’s is located near at least two other adorable stores:  Louisa’s Cafe/Bakery/Bar at 2379 Eastlake Ave E. and Current Consign at 2335 Eastlake Ave E.

NEIGHBORHOOD: To explore more of the Eastlake neighborhood, checkout the Eastlake Community Council website or Facebook page.  Because Eastlake is sandwiched between lovely Lake Union and I-5, the quality of life for existing residents and businesses is often put at risk by short-sighted city “planning” that allows over-development without adequate transportation and parking.

The Eastlake neighborhood is located in the newly created City Council District 4, which also includes neighborhoods from Wallingford to Wedgwood.

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