4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

2015 June

1 Issue to Engage

Threat to Expanding Education and Affordable Housing: the biggest tax for transportation

Unless our City Council makes bold changes this June, many believe the biggest THREAT TO EXPANDING EDUCATION AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING is the sticker-shocking $930 million “Move Seattle” Transportation Levy.

While political polls indicate Seattle voters have the appetite for another big tax (even after the expensive Parks Levy), the polls did NOT gauge voter willingness to fund the cumulative amount of taxes coming in 2015 and 2016:

Another flaw with the political polls: it’s not clear that all renters (residential and neighborhood businesses) understand that these levies on “property owners” are routinely transferred to them as increased rent.

Many believe it’s high time for City Hall leaders to prioritize and economize. But instead of reducing the proposed tax rate as assessed values rose, City Hall chose to increase the spending by $30 million from $900 million to $930 million.  To put that cost into perspective, the nationally-recognized Seattle Preschool Program will fund only $14 million per year. When parents run into waiting lists for their preschoolers this fall, many will question City Hall’s priorities. But by then it will be too late because the City Council will have already placed the $930 million transportation levy on the ballot.

TO DO:  CLICK HERE for a list of the $930 million in transportation projects (many of which are new, rather than fixing our current roads and bridges) and see how easy it is for you to find at least $100 to $200 million in non-urgent items to trim.

If City leaders had the courage to cut the cost from $930 to $730 million, the City could pay for 50% ($365 million) by renewing the existing transportation levy and fund the other 50% from an array of other sources. So far, only Councilmember Nick Licata has had the courage to propose alternatives, including Impact Fees on for-profit real estate developers (which can also fund schools and fire stations.)

Those who want to spend the full $930 million say, “There is a back-log of $1.8 billion” in road maintenance. That’s true, but why does over $200 million of the $930 million NOT address the backlog? What will be done differently this time to repair roads more efficiently? How will results be tracked and communicated? Who will be held accountable this time? And, as the Seattle Times pointed out, why does “Move Seattle” not tackle traffic congestion?

To contact city officials about the proposed Move Seattle Levy, anyone can send an e-mail to council@seattle.gov. For guidance on how to write an effective e-mail to your city officials, CLICK HERE.  Residents can also attend a public hearing Tuesday, June 2 at 5:30 at City Hall and sign-up for e-mail updates from SDOT.

PREVIOUS MONTH’S ISSUE: City Transportation Tax Doubling?

1 Meeting to Connect

Debate for City Council District 4 (Northeast Seattle)

It’s time to choose your City Council Members and this is the first time you get to choose one to represent your neighborhood. Bring your passion for your neighborhood and your questions to this June’s Meeting to ConnectCITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE DEBATE FOR District 4 (Northeast Seattle)

If you missed the debate sponsored by the 43rd and 46th Legislative District Democrats in April, this promises to be another informative debate.

  • WHAT: a debate among the candidates competing to represent our neighborhoods from the shores of Eastlake and Gas Works Park to the shores of Magnuson Park
  • WHO: You and the five candidates vying to represent us in the new District 4 (Northeast Seattle). Sponsored by NEDC.
  • WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: University Heights Center at 5031 University Way NE (“The Ave”), Room 2

CLICK HERE for a map of District 4.

Here are the candidates who officially filed for the position of District 4 City Councilmember:

  • Jean Godden, currently one of the nine at-large City Councilmembers
  • Rob Johnson, Executive Director of Transportation Choices
  • Michael Maddux, Member, Parks Levy Oversight Committee
  • Abel Pacheco, Assistant Director of External Affairs for the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity
  • Tony Provine, former Co-Chair of the Northeast District Council (NEDC), President of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, Vice Chair of the City Neighborhood Council, and Chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging and Disability

(Taso Lagos ended his campaign in April.)

Disclosure:  After attending several neighborhood events and carefully considering the candidates, including their knowledge of our neighborhoods, Alex Pedersen (as an individual, not as creator of this newsletter) has officially endorsed neighborhood leader Tony Provine for the new District 4 City Council seat. The purpose of letting you know is not to promote any candidacies, but to be transparent. We have no opinion yet on District 5, which includes Lake City and Maple Leaf.

Here is a link to Seattle Ethics and Elections (SEEC), which lists ALL candidates for ALL City Council contests. The SEEC website also shows you who is contributing money to each candidate so that you can see the unfortunate influence of special interest lobbyists. Follow closely these historic elections to represent our neighborhoods and ENGAGE! Thank you.

If you want to connect at a more micro-level, here are links to some of our community councils:  Ravenna/BryantHawthorne HillsLaurelhurstRooseveltU-DistrictView RidgeWallingfordWedgwood, and others. The LCC is among the many community councils that connect to our Northeast District Council (NEDC).

BONUS MEETING: Live in or near the U District? Attend the University Park Community Club. Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m. at University Lutheran Church at the corner of NE 50th St & 16th Ave NE.

1 Fun to Enjoy

Thistle Theatre’s Little Red Riding Hood at Magnuson Park

“Grandma, what big eyes you have!”
“All the better to see you, my child.”
“Grandma, what big teeth you have!”
“All the better to…”

If you’d like to see how this kid-friendly version of the adventure ends, don’t stray from the trail to Magnuson Park for June’s “Fun to Enjoy”:  THISTLE THEATRE’S LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

If you’ve never seen the Japanese puppetry called “Bunraku,” this is your chance — right here in Northeast Seattle! Yes, we featured Thistle Theatre in our March 2015 edition of “4 to Explore,” but this is a new show of an old classic. Bring the children and bring Grandma (and Granddad), too!

If you’d like to read the different versions of this old and Grimm classic, click here for a folklore expert. Did Little Red Riding Hood really bring wine and cake to make her sick Grandma feel better? Time to switch primary care physicians!

According to their website, “Thistle Theatre specializes in a tabletop style of Japanese puppetry called Bunraku. Puppeteers, dressed in black, operate the handcrafted puppets from behind… Thistle Theatre serves as a training ground for puppeteers/actors, designers, puppet builders, songwriters, and playwrights...”

  • WHAT: Thistle Theatre puppet show “Little Red Riding Hood.”
  • WHEN: Sat, June 13 and Sun, June 14, 1:00 p.m. AND 3:00 p.m.
  • LOCATION CHANGE: Magnuson Park Theatre,  at Building 30, Southeast corner studio 6310 NE 74th Street, Suite 131, Seattle, WA 98115 at Magnuson Park (a.k.a. Building #47 a.k.a. Seattle Musical Theatre Building)

Questions? info@thistletheatre.org or call 206-524-3388. Each ticket: $10.  Buy online in advance because the number of seats in this month’s venue is limited. Red cap and red cape are optional.

Learn more about the Magnuson Park at the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee. MPCC is one of many community councils that serve on our Northeast District Council (NEDC), co-chaired by Gabrielle Gerard and Tony Provine.

BONUS FUN: Summer Solstice Fair in Fremont (featured in “4 to Explore” last summer) is June 19 thru 21.  Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21.

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

1 Store to Adore

Wide World Travel Store in Wallingford

For any place you wanna explore around the globe or around the corner, all you need is a great travel store in the neighborhood to inspire and inform — and that’s what we adore about WIDE WORLD TRAVEL STORE in Wallingford.  Also known as “Wide World Books & Maps,” this month’s “Store to Adore” has it all.

Wide World was founded when Gerald Ford was President. Per their website, “Wide World Books & Maps, founded in 1976, has the unique distinction of being the oldest travel-only bookstore in the country. Since then we have continued to be home to a consortium of travel sages, inspired wanderers, book lovers and cartographic connoisseurs.”

MORE: In previous issues of “4 to Explore,” we highlighted other gems of Wallingford including Chutney’s Bistro (Indian cuisine) and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. Park near Dick’s Burgers for lunch, walk to a film at the Guild 45th Theater, enjoy gelato at Fainting Goat, browse the books at the Wallingford library, and get lost in the zany toys of Archie McPhee. You can keep strolling down Stone Way toward Lake Union and stop by Ro Ro’s for barbecue and Fremont Brewing for a beer.

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Wallingford, subscribe to their blog Wallyhood and attend meetings of the Wallingford Community Council and Wallingford Chamber of Commerce. The Wallingford neighborhood is located in the newly created City Council District 4, which also includes neighborhoods from Eastlake to Wedgwood.

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