Monthly Archives: March 2011

Public meeting Wednesday night on improvements to Eastlake’s Roanoke Street End Park

Seattle Parks and Recreation will be sponsoring a public meeting at 6:30 Wednesday evening (March 30) to discuss improvements to the Roanoke Street End. The meeting will be in the library at TOPS@Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E.

The street end, where four trees were dedicated as Heritage Trees last April, is at Roanoke and Fairview.

The improvements are being implemented as part of the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Master Plan. The Eastlake Community Council came up with the idea for the improvements. Seattle Parks and Recreation is working on the changes along with the Seattle Department of Transportation and the ECC.

According to a meeting announcement, the English ivy that was threatening to take over the park has already been removed. Asphalt will be removed later this year and native plantings will be brought in.

The street end is a quiet spot with lovely trees and access to Lake Union. And it has some history: Bill Boeing’s first airplane was assembled on this site in 1916.

If you’d like more information, contact David Graves, a senior planner with Parks and Recreation, at 206-684-7048 or Website for the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is at

Last week to volunteer and have it count toward Eastlake P-Patch plot assignment

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The time for today’s work party has been changed.

If you’ve been wanting a garden space in the Eastlake P-Patch, this week’s two work parties are your last chance to volunteer your time and have it count toward getting a plot this year.

Rebecca Partington says there will be two work parties on the P-Patch expansion this week: 1-4 p.m. TODAY, Wednesday, March 30, and 10 a.m.- 2p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Bring your own gloves and water. The more hours you work, the more likely you will be to get a plot.

Plot assignments will be determined by Sandy Pernitz, the city’s Community Garden Coordinator, and announced on April 9.

Rebecca says that even if you’ve worked a lot of hours, you may still want to show up for this week’s work parties. The additional hours might push you farther up the list and give you more control over which plot you get.

There will be more work parties after this week, Rebecca says, and hours worked will accrue toward eventually being awarded a plot in coming years. The Eastlake P-Patch is scenic but, even after the addition of more plots, still not very big. The waiting list to get a space can be five years long. The more you volunteer, the better your chance of getting a plot sooner.

If you’d like more information about the expansion project or about volunteering, contact Rebecca and Bryan Partington at or (206) 601-3453.

See our previous post for more information about the expansion project.

Paving on Lakeview today, be ready for lane closures

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will be out today (Tuesday, March 29) paving a section of Lakeview Boulevard around Harvard E. and E. Howe. Work is scheduled between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. SDOT says to be prepared for lane closures in the area.

Both lanes of the street are open right now (7:45 a.m.) but they’re getting ready to close it later. 

Eastlake weekly police reports: two residential burglaries

Highlights from this week’s Eastlake police reports include two residential burglaries:

  • March 23: Burglary, no force, residential, 2300 block of Franklin Ave. E., 5 a.m.
  • March 23: Burglary, forced, residential, 2300 block of Boylston Ave. E., 8 a.m.
  • March 23: Fraud, identity theft, 200 block of E. Boston, 12:45 p.m.
  • March 27: Fire, E. Allison and Eastlake Ave. E., 10:31 p.m.

See the complete map at

Eastlake restaurant notes: Little Water Cantina gets closer, Chef Kitamura on NPR, more

Eastlake’s great restaurant scene is getting a new addition, plus other notes:

Little Water Cantina: I met Shannon and Laura Wilkinson, the folks behind the new Little Water Cantina, at the Eastlake Merchants Association gathering last week. The Wilkinsons are in the final push to get their new restaurant open later this spring. Shannon says they’re excited about their location in the Eastlake 2851 apartment building. Little Water will have a great deck space right above the Eastlake P-Patch. Should be a wonderful view of Gas Works Park, Lake Union and the Fourth of July fireworks. We’ll have more on the restaurant as they get closer to opening. For now, check out their Facebook page.

Sushi Kappo Tamura: Chef and owner Taichi Kitamura was featured on a national NPR story on March 18 about how the Japanese earthquake and tsunami are affecting the Pacific seafood trade. Kitamura told NPR that he’s worried about the safety of seafood coming from Japan and also whether the fish he imports will even be available. “Food is something you eat not only with your tongue, you eat it with your brain, so any negative news about any food products, people are very sensitive about it,” he told NPR.

Fundraiser for Japan: Sushi Kappo Tamura is one of the Eastlake restaurants that will be participating in “Red, White, Unite!” an April 6 fundraiser to help in the recovery in Japan. Also taking part will be Grand Central Bakery, Pagliacci and 14 Carrot Cafe as well as numerous other restaurants in South Lake Union, Belltown, Capitol Hill and all across the city. Participants will donate 10 percent of their sales on April 6 to Peace Winds America, which will direct 100 percent of the donations to help those in the Tohoku region of Japan. There’s an updated list of participating restaurants at the project’s website.

Family Night at Louisa’s: Every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to closing is now Family Night at Louisa’s Cafe Bakery. They’re offering a half-price menu for children, $5 glasses of wine for parents and toys, art and games for the youngsters.

Serafina’s 20th Anniversary: Hard to believe it, but Serafina will be marking its 20th anniversary in Eastlake later this spring. Watch for more information about the celebration planned by owner Susan Kaufman and her staff. Buon compleanno!

Thanks, Metro! New Eastlake bus shelter installed

Neighborhood news tipster Tim Ahlers sends this photo of the new Metro bus shelter installed at Eastlake and Lynn Sunday morning. Tim says the Metro crew was busy installing the shelter at 9 a.m.

Since it looks like the wet winter weather will never end, a nice, new, dry shelter will come in handy for Eastlake’s commuters. Thanks, Metro!

Eastlake school issue propels neighborhood activist Michelle Buetow to school board run

What started with a realization that her kids might not be allowed to attend the school just blocks from their home has lead Eastlake resident and activist Michelle Buetow to a run for the Seattle School Board.

Buetow recently formally declared as a candidate for board position 3, currently held by Harium Martin-Morris. Martin-Morris is seeking re-election to the position.

Buetow and her husband, George Heynen, moved to Eastlake in 1994, first as renters and then, in 1998, as homeowners. Buetow says she was surprised to discover that her children might not be allowed to attend TOPS@Seward School, which is just a few blocks from their home. TOPS is an alternative school that draws from all over the city and there were very few slots at the time for Eastlake kids.

Buetow soon connected with Jules James, a long-time Eastlake resident who had been working on the TOPS@Seward issue for years, trying to find a way to get more Eastlake kids into the school. Because local kids couldn’t easily get into Seward, the neighborhood in 1998 had few families with children.

“I only knew two families with kids,” Buetow recalls.

So began a seven-year odyssey as Buetow joined James on a quest to find a way to allow more Eastlake children to attend TOPS@Seward. The two went to countless meetings, talked to parents and district staff and cajoled anyone who would listen, trying to find common ground between the neighborhood and parents of TOPS students.

It was her initiation into the politics and bureaucracy of the school district, Buetow says. She was hooked. She learned how the school administration works and how people can have different yet valid positions on the same issue.

In January, the school board approved a new geographic zone for TOPS@Seward that will allow more Eastlake students to attend the school, and Buetow and James celebrated.

“This is still an alternative school,” Buetow says of TOPS, “but now it’s an alternative school with neighborhood support.”

Buetow says people in Seattle don’t tend to think of their neighborhood school as part of a whole system. She wants to change that perspective and strengthen the whole system while she’s at it.

“A good school does not make a good system,” she says. “Out city can’t be healthy if the schools are not healthy.”

Buetow is a former journalist who worked at the Seattle Times in addition to smaller papers in the city. She also worked in marketing for high tech firms both domestically and internationally. She intends to bring her organizing and analytical skills to the board.

She also brings something she says no current board member or currently running candidate can bring: She has children in the kindergarten to eighth grades. Those years are crucial to a child’s education, she says, and they need to be better represented on the board.

Two areas she particularly wants to focus on if elected are K-3 literacy and the role of special education in the district. Her goal is that children in the third grade will be reading up to standards for the grade.

“It doesn’t sound like much,” she says, “but it would be huge.”

Special education families are a large group, say says, that aren’t able to advocate for themselves well. She’d like to be their voice to the board and the district.

She also cites accountability and transparency as a goal for the district as well as community and collaboration.

Buetow wants to be sure everyone is heard by the school district.

“We have to be welcoming and respectful of the diversity of opinion,” she says. “Bringing in many voices makes things messier but that’s part of the democracy of our schools.”

You can learn more about Buetow and her campaign at her website,

Week’s police reports from Eastlake: Bikes stolen from two buildings

Highlights of this week’s Eastlake police reports include bike thefts from storage lockers in two different buiildings:

  • March 15: Burglary, unoccupied structure on residential property, 3100 block of Franklin E., 11:07 a.m.: A bicycle was stolen from the locked bike room in the basement of a condo building sometime between November and now.
  • March 15: Disturbance, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 11:49 a.m.
  • March 16: Burglary, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 12:01 a.m.: Bicycle stolen from storage room in apartment building.
  • March 16: Vehicle theft, 1000 block of E. Lynn, 8 a.m.
  • March 16: Burglary, no force, residential, 2000 block of Broadway E., 6 p.m.
  • March 18: Suspicious circumstances, 2300 block of Franklin Ave. E., 6:02 a.m.
  • March 19: Noise disturbance, residential, 3000 block of Harvard Ave. E., 3:46 a.m.
  • March 19: Burglary, residential, unoccupied, 1500 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 2:52 p.m.
  • March 20: Missing person, 2200 block of Yale Ave. E., 4:58 p.m.
  • March 20: Noise disturbance, 2200 block of Franklin Ave. E., 8:27 p.m.

To see the complete map, go to

Latest I-5 noise reduction panel readings: No change from first round

UPDATE: This post has been updated since it was first published. A link to the WSDOT results has been added.

The latest results from the I-5 Ship Canal noise panel test are in and they don’t look much different from the first test which found a reduction in traffic noise but not as much as expected.

Results for the February tests, according to an e-mail from the Washington State Department of Transportation, show “virtually no change from the first round of post-construction readings in October, 2010, but some measurable decrease compared to pre-construction in April 2010 when there were no panels at all.”

You can see maps and a table of the February results here.

The October readings found the panels were reducing noise as expected in only about a third of the locations monitored. In two-thirds of the locations the results were less than expected with reductions of zero to three decibels. The goal was a four to five decibel reduction. Humans can detect a three decibel drop in noise.

The February results again show reductions of zero to three decibels. In two locations along Harvard Avenue E. readings actually went up one decibel from the pre-construction levels. The WSDOT website says these results are “not unexpected.”

Noise was sampled at 18 locations around the southern end of the Ship Canal Bridge.

The $5.9 million study began in 2005. The Washington State Department of Transportation is testing what effect large flexible panels hung under the top deck of the Ship Canal Bridge would have on reflected traffic noise. The project is also testing how durable the panels would be.

The WSDOT will make two more tests this year and then do an annual test in 2012. The Legislature allocated money from the 2005 gas tax for this project to “learn more about how reflected noise behaves in a complex urban environment and in double-decked structures,” according to the WSDOT’s e-mail. 

Two Eastlake events this week: Spring Gathering, merchants gathering

Time to shake off the winter blahs and get out! There are two social events in Eastlake this week that will give you a chance to get out of the house, meet your neighbors and have a good time:

Spring Celebration, 7-10 p.m., Tuesday, March 22: This is the latest in a series of neighborhood gatherings sponsored by the Eastlake Community Council and a local restaurant. The fall event at Louisa’s drew a big crowd and was lots of fun. This latest gathering will be at Pazzo’s on Eastlake, 2307 Eastlake Ave. E. They’ll be offering beer for $2.50 a pint, wine for $5 a glass and Pazzo’s will provide various appetizers and slices. Or, if you’d like, you can order off their full menu (at your own expensive, of course). These events are always lots of fun. Come celebrate spring and the new blooms that are sprouting along Eastlake Avenue!

Eastlake Merchants Association gathering, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 24: The Eastlake Merchants Association invites local business owners and those who work for local businesses to an after-work gathering at Lake Union Crew on Thursday. The group wants to add more members. They’ll be talking about what they’re planning as well as seeking input and ideas from those new to the group. Food and drink are promised.