I have been a resident of Montlake since 1987. After 38+ years, I recently retired from the Bird Department at Woodland Park Zoo. I plan on doing short bird walks around South Portage Bay and the Montlake Playfields every Wednesday. If you would like to join me, let’s meet in the parking lot of the Montlake Community Center at 9AM (times will change as spring approaches). Beginners and all are welcome. Walks will be about 1 hour. The first bird walk will take place on Wednesday, March 15. Please bring binoculars and weather appropriate clothing. Let’s make this into the beginning of something fun! If you have any questions, you can contact me at email@example.com. Thank you, Eric Kowalczyk
Kathy Laughman believes in community. That’s not just your TV sitcom version, however. She’s committed to an older, more deeply rooted communal idea–where people living and working in a neighborhood share resources, and support the success and the very survival of each other. Kathy is inspired by the years she spent in southern France where she was taken into membership in such a community. We’re fortunate to have her back home and leading the Montlake Business District Development project, for she is bringing that classic concept of community with a French touch to her role.
Kathy first came to live in Seattle in 1970, found a staff position at the UW, and bought a home in Montlake for proximity to her work, and for love of the drawbridge, the beautiful parks, and the architectural details of the homes. Later, after gaining an advanced degree in design and working in the local garment industry, she was wisely hired by Nordstrom to work on the Fauçonnable product line. Following much travel to France, Europe and Asia on Nordstrom’s business, Kathy rented out her house and was on her way to Nice, France to oversee creative design for the company for seven years. It was in Nice that she first experienced what she perceives as real community.
Kathy explains: “People there had a sense that it was their responsibility to take care of each other. Here, there was a tendency to see that as butting into other people’s business, but over there, they see themselves as responsible for each other. It’s simple things, like I would leave for work in winter … and I wouldn’t have my neck scarf on. The concierge would notice it and remind me that I should go back up and put my neck scarf on so I wouldn’t catch a cold.” She goes on, “The local businesses, many of which have been in their location for generations, believe that it is their obligation to see that their customers are happy.” This commitment, she says, extended to such actions as a shop owner accompanying her home, carrying her newly purchased floor lamp up the stairs, unpacking it, placing it, and making sure it worked. Kathy laughingly offers that: “This is a level of service that not even Nordstrom will give you!” She doesn’t see this as “just about customer satisfaction, but about a sense of community. He wanted to make sure that I was being taken care of….Their idea is that if an individual succeeds, it is good for the community, so its really not so much being generous and self-sacrificing, it’s in everybody’s interest to take care of everybody because then the group prospers….”
Responsibility for enhancing the community within neighborhoods extends to City governmental bodies as well. Laughman recounts, “Nice is definitely organized into neighborhoods and the City spend its tax dollars on landscaping, seasonal decorations, repairing the roads, keeping the sidewalks clean, with proper crosswalk signage and street lights. They take safety and welfare of the people in each community very, very seriously. And they put their money where their mouth is!”
Kathy Laughman thus sees the need in Montlake for the same reciprocity among business owners, residents, and City government. That general principle shows up in how she’s led the Montlake Business District Development Project. For example, she’s engaged the Montlake Business Association (MBA) in a series of meetings to gather the business owners’ ideas for development of downtown and uptown Montlake. Business owners have had roles on the project committee including meetings with the City and hiring the project consultant. Juan Lopez of Glam & Tonics and Carla Leonardi of Café Lago have been particularly active.
In the same spirit, Laughman has made sure that the project engages Montlake residents in the business district development plans and in support of its business owners. She has sought to provide the community with regular project-related information and progress reports via the Montlake Flyer Intrepid Reporter postings. She has assured opportunities to gather concerns and design ideas from residents through community meetings and comment options on Montlake.net. Further. She has helped lead the residents’ efforts to support our Montlake businesses– the Blvd Market & Service Station that have been seriously threatened by WSDOT’s late-declared needs for 520 bridge reconstruction. As Kathy declares: “We support them—they support us.”
Then there is, finally, the reciprocity with that important third party—the City within which our neighborhood exists. Here Kathy Laughman becomes mildly militant. She says, “We pay taxes to support City services; they provide us with the services our businesses and residents need.” Sometimes, of course, “they” needed to be reminded. As project lead, Kathy has assured that Montlake has made and maintained strong connections with representatives of SDOT, City planners, and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods that funds the project. It’s no accident that we’ve had the opportunity to explore ideas for the future of our business district and neighborhood, tell our side of the story about what’s happening to Montlake and just possibly persuade the City representatives to be our champions. Laughman makes sure those representatives are at the table and quickly informed of what’s happening, what outcomes the community wants, and what’s needed from them.
Yes, we’re lucky to have Kathy Laughman in Montlake. She is helping us live into a model of community like the one she first experienced in southern France. It calls each of us to get engaged; to support and look out for each other, whether business owner or resident; to expect a fair share of service from the City government commensurate with the taxes we contribute. Kathy’s seven years abroad enriched her life and deepened her understanding of community, no question. We in Montlake are the lucky beneficiaries. Thanks Kathy.
*8th report of the Montlake Business District Development Project
**Coming soon, an update on the Montlake Business District Development Project –what’s happening, and what’s known and unknown about what’s coming.
If you’re interested in traffic safety improvements and potential routes for a neighborhood greenway connecting the Montlake and Madison Valley neighborhoods, don’t miss an important open house this Saturday, February 18. The meeting takes place at the Bush School Community Room from 10:30 AM to noon, 3400 E Harrison St, Seattle WA 98112.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) through the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund are partnering with the Arboretum Neighbors for Safe Streets and Madison Valley Greenways neighborhood groups to study traffic safety improvements and routes for a neighborhood greenway connecting the Montlake and Madison Valley neighborhoods. Join us at our second open house to share you ideas for this route on Saturday, February 18th. We are eager to hear more from our fellow neighbors who live, work, shop and play along these streets.
The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan recommends a neighborhood greenway along the Lake Washington Loop in the vicinity of 26th Ave E and 28th Ave E, between East Harrison and Boyer Ave E. We studied potential neighborhood greenway routes, identifying traffic safety improvements and developing a conceptual design. This is a neighborhood-led study.
This is the second of two meetings on the neighborhood greenway. The first meeting shared traffic data and helped us understand where people want to walk and bike and barriers to doing so. At this meeting we will share the results of technical analysis and public comment and the most promising route with recommended safety improvements, including the intersection of 26th Avenue East and Boyer Avenue East.
Project Website: www.seattle.gov/transportation/lakewashingtonloopgreenway.htm
Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets: https://arboretum.nextdoor.com/groups/724004/
Madison Park Greenways:
Department of Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Park and Street Fund: http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/neighborhood-park
From the late 1800s through the 1940s, engineers designed sewers to carry sewage and stormwater to the nearest body of water. At that time, planners believed that diluted pollution would not harm the water bodies. The system took care of horse manure and garbage on the streets along with human waste. Today, cities in King County build separate pipes; one to carry sewage to a treatment plant and another to carry stormwater to the nearest water body. However, there are still combined sewers in the oldest neighborhoods in Seattle. (source: King County website)
In Montlake, there are four CSO locations that spill combined sewage and stormwater during heavy rains. Here is a link to a map of CSO locations that also shows the current status of each site. This combined sewer overflow status page is provided and maintained by King County.
Typical overflow contents include approximately 10% sewage and 90% stormwater. While discharging untreated sewage into our public waters is certainly gross, the water temperatures are generally too cold for most bacteria in sewage to survive for very long. However, due to health concerns (contact with polluted water can make you sick), King County recommends that people stay out of the water for 48 hours after a combined sewer overflow event.
Hello Montlake Neighbors,
Montlake Elementary will hold our annual auction on March 18 to raise critical funds to help reduce class sizes, provide extra reading and tutoring support, and ensure a full range of specialists including art, health and fitness, vocal music, instrumental music, library and technology, and greenhouse education.
Here are 3 ways you can help the auction:
DONATE AN ITEM
Airline miles, hotel points, vacation homes, a cool product from your company, experiences, sports tickets (Procurement form on website.)
BE A SPONSOR
Are you looking for more visibility for your business? We are looking for sponsors to help underwrite the auction. In return we will make you look like a rock – err disco – star! (Sponsorship packages on website.)
BAKE A DESSERT
Calling all bakers and dessert makers! This year’s auction will once again feature the much-anticipated Dessert Dash and we need your help! We anticipate needing around 30 desserts for the event. Yummy ideas from past events include Port and a selection of gourmet cheeses, a salted caramel chocolate ding dong cake, and a gingerbread stack cake, just to name a few. If you are willing to make (or procure from a local retailer, friend or relative) a scrumptious dessert, please reach out to Meredith Helmick @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for supporting our wonderful public elementary school in the heart of Montlake.
Please feel free to reach out to auction chair, Amy Anderson, at email@example.com with questions.
On Wednesday December 7th from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Graham Visitors Center (2300 Arboretum Drive East), the Washington State Dept of Transportation will hold another public meeting to discuss the “Montlake Phase” of the 520 bridge construction which is expected to begin in 2018. Topics will include the West Approach Bridge North (WABN), the West Approach Bridge South (WABS), the Montlake lid and land bridge, and a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan. I urge all concerned residents to turn out for this meeting because we are running out of time to have an impact on the design of this project. WSDOT also indicates they still plan on taking the Montlake Blvd Market and 76 gas station through purchase or by eminent domain so please speak up and let them know this is unacceptable and alternatives to this plan must be part of the discussion. Let’s keep up the fight and I hope to see you there!
-Bryan Haworth, Montlake Community Club President
As leader of Seattle’s Vision Zero road safety initiative, Senior Traffic Planner Jim Curtin has a lot to say about how to make 24th Avenue in Montlake’s Business District safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles. At the November MCC Board meeting, he and those present discussed “right sizing” as part of the SDOT plans for Aloha Street to SR520 –Phase 3 of the 23rd Ave Traffic Corridor Improvement Project.Curtin, MCC Board members, and concerned community members offered information, raised questions, and shared concerns. An hour passed quickly with upbeat, civil discussion about what may result when Phase 3 of the traffic safety project reaches Montlake.
“Right sizing,” Jim Curtin explained, is shaping streets not just to efficiently move vehicles and bicycles, but also:
* to save lives;
* reduce collisions;
* improve pedestrian mobility along and across streets;
* and raise awareness about the neighborhoods and businesses.
Right sizing can mean altering the number of lanes devoted to moving vehicles forward, and changing some lanes into turn lanes, or into transit only lanes. It can mean adding stop lights, reducing right turns on red lights, reducing speed limits, and/or installing traffic calming measures of various kinds. Choosing from all these methods of moving vehicle traffic while keeping everyone safe is just what professionals like Jim Curtin are tasked with doing on our behalf.
It’s fantastic, but no surprise, that these methods and outcomes mesh with the design being created through the Montlake Business District Development Project. Jim Curtin was at the table representing SDOT when your Montlake Community Club planning team first met with Seattle Department of Neighborhoods representatives back in May. Even at that City Hall session, he was enthusiastically seconding the ideas the MCC planning team and consultants were expressing about our main street.
Jim Curtin has led a wide range of transportation projects for municipalities in Washington State over the past 15 years. He created SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, and headed up the Aurora Traffic Safety Project that reduced serious and fatal collisions by 28 percent. Public education and engagement were critical to the success of those projects, says Jim, and they are standard elements in his Vision Zero approach. That’s welcome news here in Montlake, where we’ve often felt engaged in a token manner as City and State projects pushed through our neighborhood.
You can expect to be talking with Jim Curtin in a Montlake Community meeting in the not too distant future—as Phase three of the Corridor Project becomes a reality.
For more on Vision Zero in Seattle, see Josh Cohen’s Feb 12, 2015 article for Crosscut.
While you are finalizing your Thanksgiving menu, don’t forget to pre-order your Christmas tree from Montlake Elementary by Friday, November 18th!
For those new to the Montlake Elementary Evergreen Sale, here are some details:
- You order your a beautiful tree in time for Christmas and support the local community at the same time
- Stop by the school on Saturday, December 3rd 11am-2pm for the big, fun, festive pick up day to pick up your tree
All proceeds go to support our local elementary school; a fundamental element of the Montlake community.
Once again, three choices of Christmas trees are being offered; sheared Douglas Fir, Natural Noble, and Natural Grand Fir, along with Noble Fir wreaths, swag and Cedar garlands. The latter make excellent gifts that last well into the New Year.
Act fast as this Friday, November 18 is the final date for Evergreen orders. All trees and decorations are pre-sold only.
Thank you for all your support of Montlake!
Questions: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Say hooray for our neighbors who rallied Saturday to support our beloved Montlake Boulevard Market in their clash with Washington’s Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
Saturday afternoon, Montlake elders, “middlers” and youngsters–nearly 50 strong–gathered to protest and parade at the Market corner near the bridge. They waved, held homemade signs high, chanted “Save Our Market”, and “12-Year Dirt Pile, No! No! No!” Hundreds of cars and pedestrians passed (slowly, of course– it was game day). Everyone took a look. How could they help it? Got some honks! Some shouts! Some thumbs up!
Our BLVD Market-WSDOT confrontation and rally caught media attention too. Friday, KIRO Radio featured an interview with Montlake activist, Kathy Laughman. She told how WSDOT provoked the planned rally by a surprise summer pronouncement that the Market & gas station land was needed for 520 replacement work. Montlake objected immediately. (*Hear Kathy’s interview at one of these sites below.)
On game day afternoon, KJR Sports Radio’s Softy Mahler, broadcasting from the Montlake Blvd Market parking-lot-turned-tailgating space, gave MCC President Bryan Haworth time to put in a plug for the cause. A tad later, KIRO TV news reporter Deborah Home & video crew swooped in and stayed around to capture the protest rally issue in time for broadcast Saturday evening.
Our David and Goliath clash is getting some City-wide notice. We may even be seeing some WSDOT reps’ willingness to negotiate. In the interest of the Boulevard Market, of Montlake, and of the principle of “fairness to the little guy,” we need to keep up our support effort.
Be ready for future opportunities to show your backing for our Montlake Blvd Market neighbors.
“Like” the Montlake Community Club on Facebook.
“Like” and see 15 more photos of the rally on Montlake Boulevard Market’s Facebook page.
Come show your support for our Montlake Market this Saturday, November 12 from 2pm-3pm at the store.
As you’ve heard, the Market could be demolished under WSDOT’s current construction plans. We can’t let that happen.
Let’s rally to show our community support to SAVE MONTLAKE MARKET–and let’s do it while we have lots of fun prepping to cheer on the UW Huskies before the big football game.
Bring a homemade “Save Montlake Market” sign**. Join your neighbors, enjoy complimentary coffee, and have fun waving, chanting, and basically getting attention.
**For the super supporters, come to the Blvd Market at 5:00 Friday eve. (the 11th) to make some signs—we’ll have supplies.
GO MONTLAKE! GO DAWGS! #savemontlakemarket