Author Archives: jjmccoy

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

Lake Union 10k

Caught up with the start of the Lake Union 10k at South Lake Union this morning.  Despite a bit of morning chill and a gray start to the day, folks seemed ready to race.  Didn’t stay for the finish, but I did catch up with the leaders on Fairview on my way back home.  Results can be found here /

Full-screen version of the shots can be found here. Maybe next year my partner and I will actually race and get some exercise!

I Rode Link Light Rail — DAY ONE

Went to opening day of the new Link Light rail on Saturday.  It’s a nice smooth ride, and a fun time was had by all.  Lots of train excitement, live music, clowns and jugglers for the kiddos to entertain them in line.  For comparison, I also attended the opening day of Dallas’ DART rail in the late 1990s, and I can say that Sound Transit did a much, much better job of crowd management.  In Dallas, we were packed on like sardines that first day, and you wondered if it was safe.   Here, they carefully controlled how many people got on to the platform at a time.

I took some pics of the festivities.  Hope you enjoy.  I predict lots of new interest in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill and Columbia City, as they’ll be super convenient to downtown now.   My final shots are on the way back to Eastlake.  It was a rail day — Streetcar to LInk and back. Here’s the link to Flickr if you want full screen

More Eastlake summer shots


We ran into Curt and Tim yesterday at the Bouledrome.  Turns out all 3 of us shutterbugs had our cameras at the ready.  I think we have a photo club in the making.  It’s been a lovely summer in Eastlake.  Hope you enjoy the pics.  If the full-screen feature isn’t working, you can get them bigger at

Not a taco and not a truck, but yum!

Partner and I just had a bite at Tako Truk, the new streetside offering in Eastlake that’s furthering the street food meme currently captivating Seattle. NW corner of Eastlake & Lynn, next to the Zoo.

It’s very good. We’ll be back. Fresh flavorful ingredients. Good char on the grilled items. Fun, inventive combinations in fresh, tiny tortillas. They’ll tweet you the menu and when they run out if you like.

The name is playful. Very decidedly not Mexican tacos — tonight’s fillings included pork belly & lentil, octopus, sweet yam & black bean, chicken & slaw & microfries. Also not in a truck — they borrow 13 Carrot Cafe’s kitchen during the evening when it’s closed, and you sit outside.

$5 gets you 2 or 3 tacos, depending on the ingredients — each about two good bites.

It’s a nice adjunct to the Zoo next door. With that and Louisa’s new evening hours, dinner in Eastlake is getting more options. Yea!

Furlough Friday

The City saw fit to turn me loose without pay on Friday, part of this year’s budget-cutting exercise.  Since it was so nice out, I didn’t mind at all.  Here’s how I spent the afternoon in Eastlake. Hope you enjoy.



Spring in Eastlake

People jogging and walking their dogs around Minor, Yale and Fairview have probably seen me clicking away on my camera.  I really love the variety of flowers, plants and trees that Eastlakers put in their yards.  And it’s great that some bloom now, while others wait until late summer, so the show lasts a while. 

Attached are some shots I’ve recently taken around the neighborhood.  Hope you enjoy.  You may even spot your house.