News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

City Council: Should homeless tents be allowed in our parks?

October 7th, 2016 by Mike

A week from today a Seattle City Council committee will hold a special meeting on the homeless crisis – including whether tents should be allowed on public property which might include Maple Leaf, Green Lake and Thornton Creek parks.

(Note that the Maple Leaf park is over an enormous drinking water reservoir.)

This is a proposal supported by council members 7-1 in September. Since then, a lot of news coverage has questioned it, and it’s unclear what an amended version might look like.

The meeting will be Oct. 14th at 9:30 a.m. It is of the council’s Human Services & Public Health Committee.

Councilman Tim Burgess, a committee member who was the “no” vote, earlier this week posted:

As introduced on September 6, the proposed law establishes a new right to camp on public property across Seattle, including in our parks and greenbelts, and on sidewalks and planting strips….

Read the proposed new camping legislation carefully. It contains a few key phrases that require the city government to allow camping on public property for at least 30 days per location.  In addition, even when an encampment is in an unsafe or unsuitable location, the City cannot remove it until the City has provided 48 hours’ notice, and must offer the individuals alternative locations in which to camp.

His full post is here.

Other coverage:

The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat earlier this week:

Last month, some homeless-aid groups wrote up a controversial ordinance giving the homeless a right to camp on some public property. It was retitled as “Council Bill 118794” and introduced with 95 percent identical wording (though it has not yet passed). The city staff’s memo says bluntly that the bill didn’t come from any elected official: “CB 118794 was drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services.”

(Original September story from the Times is here.)

KIRO TV: “Camping in the end zone: How Seattle’s homeless crisis is spilling onto playfields.”
KING TV: “Maps show possible homeless encampments.”

Contact your council member? Debora Juarez (who was absent for the original debate) represents most of Maple Leaf: debora.juarez@seattle.gov

The full list for mayor and City Council:

ed.murray@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.gov, lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov, rob.johnson@seattle.gov, debora.juarez@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

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Abolish single-family home zoning in Seattle?

July 7th, 2015 by Mike

Seattle zoning is back in the headlines, just as campaigning heats up for next month’s primary City Council election.

“Get rid of single-family zoning in Seattle, housing task force says in draft report,” the headline in question, is on Danny Westneat’s column posted today.

“We can still be a city for everyone, but only if we give up our outdated ideal of every family living in their own home on a 5,000 square foot lot,” a draft letter from the committee co-chairs reads….

The committee voted 19-3 to recommend replacing single-family zoning with a “lower density residential zone” that would allow duplexes, triplexes, rooming houses and more backyard cottages and mother-in-law units in areas now dominated by single houses on lots with a yard.

The draft report was not supposed to be public – yet – and the task force is not happy with Westneat and The Seattle Times.

“My co-chair and I are very disappointed that you and The Seattle Times have chosen to undermine the efforts of the HALA, a citizen advisory group, by prematurely releasing an unapproved draft of our report,” (Faith) Pettis and David Werthheimer, the other co-chair, emailed in a statement.

I’m electing to release it anyway because I have always felt these advisory committees on crucial topics facing the city should be open to the public and not conducted in secret.

If neighborhoods are given more political power by our new system of electing council members by district, this report won’t go unnoticed. In comments on the column: “Poll the city council candidates. Find out if they would support abolishing s.f.d. neighborhoods, or if they would reject any such efforts. Let voters know.”

The draft report is here. Final recommendations from the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Advisory Committee are due to the mayor on Monday.

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23 City Council candidates invited to Maple Leaf forum

May 26th, 2015 by Mike

Update May 26 with this link from coverage of the last District 5 candidate forum.

This email arrived this morning from the Maple Leaf Community Council:

We have invited candidates for District 4, District 5, Position 8, and Position 9 — some 23 candidates in all — to attend our June 3 Candidate Forum. This will be Maple Leafers’ best chance to hear directly from candidates before ballots arrive in July.

Because of the huge number of candidates, we are deviating from our normal routine of having community members ask questions of the candidates directly. Instead, we are asking you to send your questions to us in advance. Our moderator will then ask as many of them as time will allow..

As a reminder, Maple Leaf’s candidate forums not only help you be a better voter, they help Maple Leaf. When we have a great turnout, candidates remember this. It makes the job of your Executive Board much easier down the road.

So we hope to see a great turnout on June 3rd.

The forum is from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School.

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf's City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.

——————

So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf’s City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.

——————

So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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Candidate questions and answers for next month's city council election

July 15th, 2011 by Mike

On the Seattle City Council, Tim Burgess supports red light cameras and more trees. His opponent in next month’s council election, David Schraer, also backs red light cameras.

But, in a tree-tome length answer , it appears Schraer wouldn’t have backed the Maple Leaf Community Council in its successful fight to save trees at the old Waldo Hospital. He says, in part: “The current situation, where people are free to decide after-the-fact that a tree, grove, building or institution merits preservation and use that decision to disrupt the long-term plans of individuals, institutions, companies and even the entire city, must end.”

That answer is part of the community council’s election questionnaire, now posted at the council’s website.

The council’s executive board sent out the questionnaire on June 13.  “Our goal was to create something to help community members be better-informed voters for the primary election,” said the board’s David Miller.

We solicited questions from the community and developed a 16-question questionnaire…..All candidates received email reminders and a phone call to the contact information listed on the Seattle Ethics & Election Committee web site. The due date for questionnaire return was July 13.

So far, it appears 12 of the 13 candidates have responded. You can read the questions and their answers here.

Primary election ballots will be mailed July 27  and must be returned via mail to King County Elections by Aug. 16. Voting is entirely by mail. You can find information from King County Elections here.

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Candidate questions and answers for next month’s city council election

July 15th, 2011 by Mike

On the Seattle City Council, Tim Burgess supports red light cameras and more trees. His opponent in next month’s council election, David Schraer, also backs red light cameras.

But, in a tree-tome length answer , it appears Schraer wouldn’t have backed the Maple Leaf Community Council in its successful fight to save trees at the old Waldo Hospital. He says, in part: “The current situation, where people are free to decide after-the-fact that a tree, grove, building or institution merits preservation and use that decision to disrupt the long-term plans of individuals, institutions, companies and even the entire city, must end.”

That answer is part of the community council’s election questionnaire, now posted at the council’s website.

The council’s executive board sent out the questionnaire on June 13.  “Our goal was to create something to help community members be better-informed voters for the primary election,” said the board’s David Miller.

We solicited questions from the community and developed a 16-question questionnaire…..All candidates received email reminders and a phone call to the contact information listed on the Seattle Ethics & Election Committee web site. The due date for questionnaire return was July 13.

So far, it appears 12 of the 13 candidates have responded. You can read the questions and their answers here.

Primary election ballots will be mailed July 27  and must be returned via mail to King County Elections by Aug. 16. Voting is entirely by mail. You can find information from King County Elections here.

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Crime prevention coordinators face layoffs

October 19th, 2010 by master

Unless the budget changes, three of the seven crime prevention coordinators in Seattle will lose their jobs. As for the remaining four coordinators, including the one serving Maple Leaf, no one is sure if they’ll be forced to cut back on their hours or cover larger areas to fill the holes.

One highly visible result could be the elimination of the popular Night Out programs here.

Crime prevention coordinators, civilian employees in the Seattle Police Department, work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’d been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money that runs out in the spring.

With the help of the nonprofit Common Language Project and communications students at the University of Washington, we take a closer look at what the loss of these coordinators could mean to our neighborhoods.

Continue reading “Crime Prevention Coordinators Face the Budget Axe”.

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Mid-year budget cuts coming Monday

June 11th, 2010 by master

We’ll soon know the fate of the Northgate Community Center and the nearby Dahl Playfield Wading Pool and Meadowbrook Community Center. The mayor’s mid-year budget cuts will be announced on Monday (6/14), including any cuts to the city’s Parks and Recreation department.

The cuts being announced for the rest of this year could involve closing centers or pools, scaling back hours, or doing nothing at all. Even if the centers and wading pool in our area survive this mid-year round of cuts, there is still concern about even more cuts for 2011.

The mid-year cuts will be unveiled during the City Council’s budget committee meeting on Monday at 10:30am. We’ll bring you all the details, or you can watch live on the Seattle Channel (21 on Comcast) or online.

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Update on fate of community centers, wading pool

May 17th, 2010 by master

Concern continues to grow about the future of the Northgate Community Center and the nearby Dahl Playfield Wading Pool and Meadowbrook Community Center.

Today, Maple Leaf Life learned the city’s Parks Department submitted its “budget papers” for 2011, which identify issues and potential service cuts. We’re told some facilities are on that list, but a spokesperson for the Parks Department could not provide any specifics until the mayor’s office makes its recommendations.

As for the rest of 2010, the mayor is set to announce mid-year budget cuts around June 1. Community centers, pools, and wading pools across the city are facing closure as the Parks Department tries to trim its budget.

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