Monthly Archives: August 2009

King County Valuation Notices

Fellow homeowners — Have you gotten your King County valuation notice yet?  Confused by the results?  I am.  I predict that King County’s 2010 property tax valuations are going to be a big story again this year. 

You may recall that in a declining market, lots of people felt their property had been overvalued by the County last year and appealed.  My partner and I successfully appealed the valuation of our townhouse on Minor, as did all our neighbors. 

On Friday, I was shocked to see the County dropped us 36% for 2010.  None of the market trends I’ve seen (most prominently the Case-Shiller index) would suggest this is a true representation of the Seattle market.

A spot check of homes on Minor in the County’s parcel data reveals wildly divergent results.  Some are down 20% or more from 2009.  Others are unchanged.  Still others are up 3% or 4%.  It’s odd that you get these results for parcels that are right next to one another.  One would think the neighborhood would move up or down roughly in tandem, all other things being equal.

I’d be curious to hear your stories.  County data is available at

Eastlake Movie Night: A wonderful evening under the stars

What a great evening!

The Eastlake Movie Night 2009 finished just a bit ago. It was a perfect evening: great weather, good neighbors, stars in the sky and stars on the movie screen.

And “Groundhog Day” was a perfect choice for the movie.

Kate Dulemba deserves a big round of applause from her Eastlake neighbors for organizing the event, which included moving in and installing a movie screen (daredevil work by James Metz on hanging the beast), arranging for a projector, sound equipment and a generator to run it all. It’s more complicated than it looks. Thanks, Kate!

James Metz did great work finding more sponsors to help make the night a reality. I’ll put up a list of all the sponsors tomorrow.

And thanks to everyone else who helped out. Can’t wait for next year!

Eastlake Movie Night weather forecast: clearing and warmer

Despair not! The forecast says the rain should taper off by the end of the morning, followed by clear skies (with maybe a dash or rain in the afternoon) and a high of 73 today. Perfect for outdoor movie watching!

Kate Dulemba says she’s off to pick up the movie screen. 

The show (“Groundhog Day”) starts at sundown. Bring something dry to sit on and join us at Rogers Playfield!


Movie Night posters will be available; plus, today’s trivia

Eastlake Movie Night poster by Mary Hansen

Kate Dulemba, who has been organizing Saturday’s Eastlake Movie Night, says she’s received many requests for copies of Mary Hansen’s great poster for the event. Yes, Kate says, they will be available at the event and they will be free … but donations are always welcome.

So, don’t be cheap! Help make this event happen by giving them a few bucks for your poster.

Which reminds me: I don’t think I’ve said it for a while but this whole event is FREE! Thanks to the Eastlake Community Council and the sponsors (Melissa Ahlers of Lake Real Estate, Video Quest, Lake Union Mail, the Eastlake Community Council and who help make it possible.

Event Details:

  • What: Eastlake Movie Night 2009
  • Where: Rogers Playfield
  • What’s showing: “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray
  • When: Saturday, Aug. 29, starting around dusk
  • Cost: As noted, totally free

Today’s “Groundhog Day” trivia (courtesy of the Internet Movie Database): 

  • Bill Murray’s room at the bed and breakfast was actually a set in a warehouse in Cary, Illinois.
  • When Phil Connors plays Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paginini” at the piano teacher’s house, that’s actually Bill Murray playing. “He does not read music, but he learned that much of the song by ear,” says the IMDb.

Port of Bellingham, Seattle property owner both appeal NOAA move

Update at 6:30 p.m.: The Seattle Times reports that the owners of the property NOAA occupies at Lake Union filed a protest on Friday of the move to Newport. The Times quotes Roque Deherrera, of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development as saying: ”I think we have a great chance.”

Original post continues after the jump: reports that the Port of Bellingham decided late Thursday to file an appeal of NOAA’s move of their base to Newport, Oregon. The basis for the appeal: A regulation from the Carter presidency that prohibits building federal facilities on wetlands and flood plains. And the Newport base would sit on a 100-year flood plain.

From Crosscut:

At that [Bellingham Port Commissioner's] meeting (August 19) Bellingham Port attorney Frank Chmelik told the Commissioners that while NOAA might have miscalculated some of the technical factors in choosing Newport, those factors weren’t likely to lead to overturn the agency’s decision. But the flood plain restriction is of a different nature. This could be a game-changer, Chmelik believes. “With the new information we have found, ” Chmelik told the commissioners, “I believe that if this issue prevails the Port will have the opportunity to actually get NOAA.”

No word if this will help Seattle’s case to keep NOAA on Lake Union.

Movie Night weather forecast; plus: a missing movie scene

AccuWeather says we’ll have good weather for Saturday evening’s Eastlake Movie Night: cool and partly sunny.

Their forecast is 73 for a high on Saturday, with a low of 59 and patchy clouds.

We’d recommend packing a jacket or blanket with your lawn chair and your movie snacks. It might be cool!

To recap: “Groundhog Day” will be screened at the Rogers Playfield this coming Saturday, Aug. 29, starting at dusk. Sunset is officially set for 8:01 p.m.

Today’s “Groundhog Day” trivia (courtesy of the Internet Movie Database):

  • The IMDb reports that the movie has a “lost scene:”

“The original version that was released to the movie theatres contained an extra scene with Phil and Rita at the bar. In it, she explains how she likes sweet vermouth with a twist because it reminds her of how the sun hits the buildings in Rome in the afternoon, and also how she would like to live in the mountains. In the VHS release, this scene has been cut, but the next scene in which Phil repeats these things to Rita, still remains.”

The scene has been re-instated in some DVD versions of the movie. Will we see it on Saturday? Stay tuned!

Big grading work begins on Eastlake P-Patch expansion

UPDATED at 9:13 p.m. with more details.

Big grading work has begun on the Eastlake P-Patch’s long-planned expansion.

Mary Jones reports that, after a four-plus month process, the community garden, located at 2900 Fairview Ave. E., received permits from the city to begin the big work that will ultimately add 20 more plots. Heavy equipment is on the site now and the grading work began Monday.

Rebecca Partington says via e-mail that there was a big work party Sunday to clear vegetation, clear paving stones, remove some arbors, remove some plants and generally get things ready for the earthmovers. A few people have been coming out each day since Monday to work on leveling out the upper area where the new plots will go.

“The earthmoving will hopefully be finished by mid-September, at which time we will move on to the next steps in the expansion project,” Partington says. “We’re going to build a new retaining wall and put in some drainage, build the new path and stairs to the upper level, do some plumbing work, build the plots, and build a fence to enclose the expansion area. We will do some other things along the way, but  those are the main goals.”

“All of the people working on this project are volunteers or have volunteered skilled labor,” Jones says in an e-mail. “It is a pretty amazing show of dedicated individuals who are very community minded. There are so many to mention, I don’t know where to start.”

One person she does mention is Eastlake resident, gardener and garden designer Lisa Hummel, who created the plans for the expansion.

Partington notes they can “always use more volunteers.” They really need people with knowledge of building dry wells and drainage, building rubble walls, masonry, plumbing, carpentry, and fence building. Interested in helping out and have some skills that might be useful? There will be a meeting at the P-Patch at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Previous Eastlake Ave. posts on the P-Patch and its expansion:

Eastlake Movie Night: Meet the sponsors … plus, today’s trivia

The Eastlake Movie Night 2009 doesn’t just happen by itself. Numerous volunteers help set up the screen, arrange for a projector and sound system and a power supply, and see to it that everything is in place and ready to go by dusk on Saturday.

There are also sponsors who help with expenses for the event. This year’s sponsors are:

Be sure to let the sponsors know how much you appreciate their generosity.

Eastlake Movie Night is this coming Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Rogers Playfield. It starts at dusk. The feature is “Groundhog Day.” Be there!

“Groundhog Day” Trivia (courtesy of the Internet Movie Database): 

  • Early drafts of the script explained Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s) weird experiences as the result of a curse put on him by a disaffected ex-lover to teach him a lesson.
  • In the original draft of the script, Connors was trapped inside Groundhog Day at the start of the movie.

Four days until Eastlake Movie Night! Plus: movie trivia!

Eastlake Movie Night poster, by Mary Hansen

The Second Annual Eastlake Movie Night is coming this Saturday. This year’s feature is “Groundhog Day,” the classic comedy with Bill Murray.

The show starts at dusk on the grass at Roger’s Playfield. Bring your blanket or low-slung lawn chairs and settle in for a great evening. Or bring dinner and make an evening of it. There are a few tables around the edge of the playfield if you feel the need for a stable surface to dine on.

One note: The playfield does get watered so it’s likely to be a little damp. Bring something to sit on that will stay dry.

Kate Dulemba is organizing the event. Mary Hansen did the movie night poster (which is reproduced here). See our recent post about Mary. 

Today’s “Groundhog Day” trivia (according to the Internet Movie Database): The movie wasn’t actually filmed in Punxsutawney, Penn., but in Woodstock, Ill. The IMDb says there’s a plaque in Woodstock that says “Bill Murray stepped here” and marks the place where he constantly steps off the curb in the film.