Monthly Archives: October 2009

Seattle Times: Foreclosure bus tour includes Eastlake home

The Seattle Times has a story this morning about two enterprising real estate agents who have organized two-times-a-month “Property Dog” bus tours of foreclosed properties in Seattle.

One of the stops on a recent tour was a home in Eastlake:



The tour kicks off with a visit to Eastlake, where a 5,390-square-foot home previously appraised at $1.5 million hit the market earlier in October for $965,000. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home has Lake Union views, a four-car garage and a basement in-law apartment.

A contractor on the tour thinks the house will eventually go for $850,000.

Also on the tour: A partially landlocked, 350-square-foot Portage Bay houseboat priced at $335,000.

Read the whole story here.

It’s Halloween! Send us your events and photos

Happy Halloween!

How are you celebrating? Any special events going on in the neighborhood? Post in the comments so everyone can see what’s up.

If you take photos of Halloween events you can share them by uploading them to Eastlake Ave. (look for the “upload photos” under the “post” link above … I’ll connect them to this post later) or, if you’re on Flickr, by joining our Flickr Group (it’s free) and posting them there.

If you have problems uploading, let me know: curtmilton (at) comcast.net.

Boo!

‘Cornerstones’ artwork at East Howe St. damaged in sidewalk repair

Two Eastlake Ave. readers wrote this week to say that one of Stacy Levy’s “Cornerstones” artworks, on the southeast corner of Eastlake Ave. E. and E. Howe St., had been damaged in last week’s sidewalk project.

Sadly, what they reported is true.


I stopped by today and photographed the piece, “Plagiotoma in Earthworms’ Gut.” The glass pieces in the work have been chipped and, in the case of the Eastlake Ave. street label, broken in two. The compass star has been removed and replaced incorrectly. It’s now 90 degrees clockwise from where it should be (the dot on the compass should point north, Levy says).

Check the photos to see how the piece has been damaged and how it looked when I photographed it in mid-August.

I wrote about the artwork, which was installed in 1997, earlier this month. Levy said that one of the “Cornerstones” pieces had been destroyed last year during sidewalk construction. She had recast the glass and replaced the piece. She wrote:



“The stones are made to be easily saw-cut out of the sidewalk before demolition of the concrete. But many companies like to cut corners and trash the cornerstones. Really a pity. The last time this happened the construction company was liable for the full cost of replacement.”

On the Howe Street piece, it’s the glass that has taken the brunt of the damage. The sandstone, which features the illustration of the plagiotoma, appears to be undamaged. The piece has alot of stray cement over it and needs to be cleaned.

I’ll forward this story to Stacy Levy and the Seattle Department of Transportation and let you know what I hear from them. It’s a shame to see one of Eastlake’s few pieces of public art being treated this way.

July crime stats: Big increase in vehicle thefts

The July crime statistics have been released by the Seattle Police Department. Vehicle thefts were up dramatically — 140% — in the two precincts Eastlake is a part of.

As I’ve explained before, it’s difficult to see Eastlake’s exact numbers in these statistics. We’re included in two larger police beats (Capitol Hill and the Cascade neighborhoods). To make it even more difficult, Eastlake is split between two police precints: North of E. Lynn, you live in the East Precinct; south of Lynn, you’re in the West Precinct (check the attached precinct map to make sense of this).

So, crimes that show up on this report may, or may not, have occurred in Eastlake. My unscientific observation is that our crime rate seems to be lower than Capitol Hill or downtown.

In July, vehicle thefts took a big jump to 12, up from five in June. But, that was one less than July 2008.

Burglary and theft were both up four from June 2009, but both categories were down from July 2008.

There was one rape last month (not sure where), compared to none in June 2009 or July 2008.

The Seattle Police Department reports that, citywide, major crimes were up 6% from a year ago, but that’s down from a 7% increase at midyear. The SPD also says:



“Violent Crimes are up 22% compared with the same period one year ago; and Property Crimes are up 5%. The year-to-date Major Crime increase has moderated each month in 2009, since the beginning of the year.”

You can see more from the SPD here.

Thanks to Scott of Central District News for the stats.

Eastlake architect’s Minor Ave. project wins green award

I’m late to post on this but it’s worth noting:

The Lakeview Lofts, 2350 Minor Ave. E., designed by Eastlake resident and architect (and petanque player) Carsten Stinn, has received LEED Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for homes certification program.

The project consists of six single-family homes arranged around a shared courtyard. Green features include green roofs on four units, solar heated water used for drinking and interior heating, energy efficient lighting (LED, compact flourescents and Energy Star® light fixtures), flooring made of sustainably harvested wood and bamboo, induction cook-tops (96% efficient) and pre-installed conduits for the future addition of photovoltaic energy panels, along with many other features.

Said Stinn about the award:

 



“We created homes that redefine urban living with a social conscience, and in the process, departed from many of Seattle city codes with regard to townhome development. Our hope is future developments will use our project as an example for greater diversity and smart growth within the city limits of Seattle. Today’s recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council enables us to showcase what we hope is the future of Seattle development, with a large focus on sustainability.”

Stinn lives and works in the Eastlake community with his wife, Linda Furney, and son, Enzo.

Pizza shop owner apologizes to Eastlake for pot guilty plea

Dave Mendoza, the owner of Pazzo’s Restaurant, 2307 Eastlake Ave. E., has issued a letter of apology to the Eastlake community for his role in importing Canadian marijuana into the U.S.

Mendoza pleaded guilty in June to importing thousands of pounds of marijuana into the U.S., “much of it by helicopter,” according to the Associated Press. He was expected to be sentenced in September but it appears that he is still being held at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center.

In his letter, Mendoza says he has owned Pazzo’s since it was established in 1987. He and four friends originally opened the restaurant. He also owned a theater in Bend, Oregon.

“The intent of this letter,” he writes, “is not to seek remorse, but rather to express a sincere apology to my Eastlake community for what I have done.”



“I am truly sorry for my actions, the results of those decisions, and the breach of trust, in which you as a neighborhood had given me. No matter where you sit on the morality, or legality of marijuana, I still broke the laws of the United States, and more importantly, the integrity of my community, and the trust of my family. For this, I sincerely hope that you, as my community, will accept my deepest apologies.”

Mendoza writes that he has received close to a hundred letters of support (and a few of “condonment”) from Eastlake residents.

You can read the entire letter here.

Check out our Forum and join the discussion

Take a look at — and please feel free to use — the Forum space on the site. It’s a great place to discuss a topic with your neighbors. I’m working on a way to promote the discussions on the home page.

In early October, reader EastOfTheLake asked whether anyone saw space in the neighborhood for another park. Yesterday, reader striatic offered some suggestions that look intriguing.

What do you think? Where could we put a new park? Should we even have another park in Eastlake?

Weigh in on that topic and anything else that interests you on our Forum.

ECC discusses school assignment plans, land use issues and more

Without a quorum present, the Eastlake Community Council Board could only discuss issues but not vote when it gathered for its monthly meeting last Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Jules James reported on the latest developments in the new assignment plan being drafted by the Seattle Public Schools. The goal of the new plan is to let children attend schools in their neighborhoods as much as possible. The previous assignment plan was focused on racial balance and often saw children being bused far from their neighborhood.

The new attendance maps were released Oct. 6. Eastlake falls into the attendance zone for Montlake Elementary. 

Seward is an “option” school, which means that children from all over the city can apply to go there. When children who live near an option school apply to go there, the district uses a series of “tiebreakers” to determine whether or not they can attend. One of the tiebreakers is a new “geographic zone.”

James said that the school district has yet to release the map of Seward’s geographic zone but that action is expected soon. Previously, the ECC Board has expressed their desire that a way be found to allow more Eastlake kids the opportunity to attend Seward, possibly by making the geographic zone encompass as much of the neighborhood as possible.

Brian Ramey reported on the ongoing city effort to update Seattle’s Neighborhood Plans. The plans, which were written in the 1990s, guide city policy in areas like growth, transportation, housing and more.

Ramey was discouraged about the process and felt the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) wasn’t listening to what the neighborhoods were telling them. He feels the city is strongly favorable toward developers.

There was a series of public meetings in June and July where the DPD heard comments from the neighborhoods. There was also an online survey on the DPD’s web site. Ramey questioned whether comments from the web survey truly represented neighborhood opinions.

He fears that possible changes to Eastlake’s plan “would make a canyon out of our neighborhood.” He suspects the citizens’ part of the process may be put on hold until after a new mayor is elected on Nov. 3.

There will be a public meeting on Nov. 10 so the Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee and the Seattle Planning Commission can report on progress on the plan updates:

  • Time: 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • Place: Seattle Central Community College, 1701 Broadway, Room 1110/11 (first floor of the main building off Broadway on the south end of the building)
  • Parking: Harvard Garage, 1609 Harvard Ave.

The Eastlake Community Council is planning a public meeting on the Eastlake Neighborhood Plan and other land use issues the next night, Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 7–9 p.m. in the library at Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E.

ECC President Tim Ahlers said the hope is to have experts come and give a “Land Use 101” talk as well as have representatives there from CORA (the Congress on Residential Architecture) to discuss neighborhood architecture. There are several important land use projects involving Eastlake currently under way.

The next ECC Board meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. at Seward School.

Seattle Times: Lk Union Crew to build community center in Peru

The Seattle Times reported last week that the Lake Union Crew Outreach Foundation will be sending 82 volunteers to Peru to build a community center.

The center will be built in the community of San Francisco de Asis, an hour south of Lima. The foundation has raised $140,883 of its $150,000 cost of the center. Volunteers will start flying to Peru on Dec. 16 and the project is expected to take eight weeks to complete.

Lake Union crew is located at 11 E. Allison.

Read the Times story here. More information on the project is at the Lake Union Crew Outreach Foundation’s web site.