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Seattle City Council Elections: Why This Year is Important


This is an unprecedented year in Seattle city politics. This fall, voting for Seattle City Council positions will be by district, a result of a measure Seattle voters passed in 2013. In the upcoming primary and general elections, voters will elect seven out of nine council members by district. The remaining two positions (8 and 9) will be elected “at-large” (citywide). All nine council members will be voted in this year, with the at-large positions having an initial 2-year term.

What does the council do?
The Seattle City Council is the lawmaking body of the city of Seattle, and as such has a great deal of impact on our day-to-day lives. Its nine members are elected to four-year terms in nonpartisan elections. It has the responsibility of approving the city’s budget, and also develops laws and policies intended to promote the health and safety of Seattle’s residents. The Council passes all legislation related to the City’s police, fire, parks, libraries, and electric, water, solid waste, and drainage utilities. The Council is responsible for transportation — both Metro and SDOT. The Council is responsible for laws related to building, development, and the City’s comprehensive plan. The Council is responsible for approving or rejecting increases to property taxes, auto taxes, and a host of other taxes. The council is also influential in legislation related to minimum wage, rent control, and a variety of other hot-button issues. 

What is the point of redistricting?
The idea behind redistricting is that each geographical district should have representation on the city council. That way if a neighborhood has specific needs from the city, in theory, they can go to their district representative to get assistance. 

What district are we in?
Madison Valley, Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Montlake, Madrona, Central District, and Leshi are all part of District 3. View map of District 3.

Which current council members are NOT running?
Sally Clark, Nick Licata, and Tom Rasmussen. Note: the other current council members will run in their districts or at-large. They would need to win a seat at the new council table. 

Who is running in our district? 

Pamela Banks
Morgan Beach
Rod Hearne
Kshama Sawant
Lee Carter

How do I learn more about the candidates running in District 3?

Madison Valley and Madison Park are hosting a District 3 Candidate Forum on June 8. The forum is free to the public. 

Seattle City Council District 3 Candidate Forum
Monday, June 8th, 7:00 PM
Bush School Auditorium
3400 E Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98112
Facebook Page

How do I volunteer to help with the candidate forum?
The candidate forum is being organized by community volunteers and we could use your help. 

To volunteer please sign up here.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Set Up Room
Sign In Table
Greet Guests
Greet and Assist Candidates
Put up posters in the community

When Are the Elections?
Primary is August 4, 2015.
Elections are November 3, 2015.


Post a Comment | Topics: Politics

New Business Update: MoveMend

APRIL 27, 2015 | EDITOR

The prime retail location of the old Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse wasn’t idle long after HPC’s mysterious demise. Let’s welcome MoveMend to the neighborhood. MoveMend is a new clinic specializing in shoulder, arm, and hand therapy as well as medical fitness training. Aaron Shaw, a Madison Valley resident and highly experienced therapist, along with his associate, physiologist Sahba Seifi, provide expertise in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation and individualized personal training services. 


Fitness training assessments are performed as a team, meeting with their clients to develop a custom science-based training program that’s safe and fun. One-on-one and pair training sessions are available, and MoveMend will be offering small-group “boot camp” sessions in the summer. 

MoveMend is currently offering a:
10-pack of training sessions
: $1219.
Includes 90-minute assessment with Aaron and Sahba and a welcome gift package valued at $50. 

You can sign up for their newsletter at to hear about special offers and their free seminar series on health and fitness-related topics.

Therapy services start April 28th and personal training services start May 11.

2818 E. Madison St., Seattle (Next to FastFrame)
Phone: 206-641-7733
Email: [email protected]
Open M-F 7 am – 6 pm. Weekends by appointment


Post a Comment | Topics: Healthcare

Madison Valley Spring Clean: Big Success!


Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the Spring Clean this Saturday morning. Our neighborhood looks amazing! 

More than 40 volunteers came out to help. Merchants, neighbors, and families from McGilvra Elementary School all joined together for a few hours of dirty work.

Graffiti removal from the street signs.

Volunteers removed hundreds of stickers and graffiti from street signs. An amazing family painted over the graffiti on the dry cleaner wall. The residents of Madison Lofts scrubbed the Madison Valley kiosk clean and got it ready for a new coat of paint. A resident artist stenciled “No Dumping” signs at the storm water drains.

Gary painting No Dumping next to the storm water drains.


Sticker Removal — so many stickers! 

Finally, thank you to the Merchants Association for paying for the landscape crew who was hired to pull weeds in the sidewalk cracks, tree wells, along the sides of buildings, and who also cleaned up the traffic triangle on MLK behind Essential Baking Co. 

Erica, removing stickers

Aaron, Owner of MoveMend, not only swept up but also manned the sign in table all morning. 

Thanks to everyone for taking such good care of our community. Special thanks to Luc and Cafe Flora for providing coffee and pastries. Photos by neighbor Gary Wood. 


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Dr. Jenn’s Health Tips: Are you using these eco-friendly products?


In light of Earth Day, I want to provide you with sustainable ideas for products that benefit you and the environment. At Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, we have an extensive selection of non-toxic, sustainable, recycled or upcycled health and beauty products to aid you in doing your part in reducing waste and pollution. 

Ditch the Plastic

Rather than contribute to the billions of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, invest in a bottle you can use over and over again.  For added benefit, using a glass or stainless steel bottle helps you avoid the chemicals that act as endocrine (hormone) disruptors found in most plastics. Lifefactory glass water bottles and food storage containers come covered in a silicone safety sleeve and are available in many fun colors. Earthlust stainless steel water bottles are another great option. 

Upcycle Your Toothbrush!

Radius toothbrush handles come in three upcycled styles: wood, paper and money. They are comfortable to hold and do the job, plus, replaceable heads are available for purchase. Preserve toothbrushes are made of recycled materials, and SenzaBamboo makes a biodegradable bamboo handle toothbrush. 

Earth-Friendly Feminine Hygiene

Although it can take some getting use to the idea of using products other than the traditional disposable tampons and pads we are accustomed to, there are alternatives.  The Moon Cup and Diva Cup are both sustainable substitutes to tampons. GladRags can replace pads or panty-liners. Switching to these reusable options is not only eco-friendly, but also saves money, and helps you avoid the toxic chemical bleaches, petrochemicals and plastics used in many conventional tampons and pads.

Cleaner and Safer Housecleaning

Conventional cleaners contain harsh chemicals that over time do a number on the environment and our health. Instead reach for the more natural options, such as Dr. Bronner’s all-purpose castile soap, Biokleen, Seventh Generation, or Grab Green products.

Purify Your Beauty Routine!

Skin is our body’s largest organ and a primary route of absorption for any substance we come in contact with. For this reason, we should be aware of the products we use on a daily basis. Pharmaca has many skincare and makeup options that are safer for you and the environment. Zuzu Luxe cosmetics are all-natural, vegan and gluten-free. They have absolutely beautiful lip colors to choose from, along with other makeup products to create a lovely look. Devita skin care products are also vegan, considered safe for those with gluten sensitivities, and contain no parabens. The “Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+” is fantastic, as is the “Optimal Rejuvenation Serum.”  Acure skin care products are organic, fair-trade certified and avoid the use of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and harmful preservatives. Pharmaca’s in-store staff of licensed estheticians can help point you to the appropriate products for you. 

Do Your Own Research!

My favorite resource for checking the safety of products is the Environmental Working Group’s website: Click to the consumer guides to look up specific products pertaining to cleaning products and skincare/cosmetics. If you are app-savvy, download the “EWG’s Skin Deep” app to be able to quickly scan a barcode on a product and receive a safety rating. I recommend using products that rate less than 3 on the scale (out of 10) for skincare and cosmetics, and A or B for the cleaning products. 

Please feel free to stop into the Madison Park Pharmaca to speak with one of our licensed professionals on staff for more information and tips on living a natural, earth-friendly lifestyle!


Post a Comment | Topics: Health & Beauty

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Study


For the past nine months, SDOT has been studying the feasibility of a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) from the waterfront to Madison Valley.

Two public meetings to review the results of the study are coming in May.

May 5, 3-4:30 PM
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave E, Seattle

This briefing will focus on the Capitol Hill and Central Area segments of the Madison Corridor. 

The purpose of the briefing is to:

• Review conceptual design options, including routing, terminals, and station locations.

• Share the results of the technical analysis, including key performance measures like travel time, ridership, impacts to auto travel and parking, and pedestrian, bicycle, and public realm opportunities. 

Discuss benefits and trade-offs and seek your input on priority elements for the project. 


May 6, 5-7:00 PM
Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences
Jaffe Room
1432 15
th Ave, Seattle
Enter off 15th Ave, South of Pike Street

Please join your neighbors to review design options, discuss benefits and trade-offs, and provide your input on priority elements for the project. SDOT would like your input on:

• BRT design options, routing, terminals, and station locations

• Priorities for transit service and capital investments

• Design concepts for a Central Area protected bike lane


If you are unable to attend, please visit the project webpage to complete a survey (available May 6) about your project preferences and priorities:


Post a Comment | Topics: Transportation

Peaches the Neighborhood Cockatoo


A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk and from the window I saw a tropical bird land on the railing of our back porch. I immediately sent out an alert on NextDoor asking if someone had lost their pet bird.

peaches & her

Soon friends and neighbors responded informing me the bird is named Peaches. She lives one block over and apparently she frequently visits homes around the neighborhood. Peaches has returned most days, and we have gotten to know one another. She’s beautiful and smart. Having a neighborhood bird makes me smile. I love our neighborhood, its people, pets, and most recently the neighborhood cockatoo.

peaches & her


Post a Comment | Topics: Pets

Monday Street Closure and Party


Arboretum Neighbors for Safe Streets have a SDOT permit to close the block to cars and they are throwing a party!


The volume and speed of cars driving through the neighborhood to avoid busy arterials is a problem. 26th is not an arterial. Our goal for this event is to increase awareness among commuters of the safety concerns along our residential streets. And to have a good time with our neighbors! 

Join us on the closed street for children’s play-time, potluck snacks, and to thank commuters at the barriers for using the arterial! Bring the kids! Bikes, balloons, games and a Scrabble tournament. 

After the Street Social we’re invited to join the other party 6:15 PM at 1210 26th Ave East to discuss how we can create a safer walking, biking and living community in our Arboretum Neighborhood.


Monday April 13 from 4–6 pm
26th Ave East from E. Boyer to E. Galer, including under the bridge.

For further information:
Join our mailing list by sending an email to [email protected]

Watch for postings of events on


Post a Comment | Topics: Transportation, Safety

March 2015 Police Reports


Police received reports of 46 incidents in Madison Valley during March, about 25 percent fewer than had been reported in recent months. This drop was largely due to a drop in reported car prowls and vehicle thefts, which had been averaging around 27 incidents per month but dropped to 15 during March. In contrast, the number of burglaries during March was similar to the numbers in previous months.

mar 2015 crime map

1. On Friday, March 6 someone entered an unlocked residence on 30th Ave. near Pike during the daytime while its residents were away. The burglar apparently entered and left through the front door and took approximately $2000 worth of computer and entertainment equipment. Next door neighbors did not notice anything suspicious during the day and the police were unable to find any place in the residence where usable fingerprints might be taken.

2. On Tuesday, March 10 police were called to a commercial building on Madison near 31st by an occupant who noticed while opening for the day that a ground floor window had been smashed open during the night. The burglar searched through the office containing the smashed window, but ignored various valuable items and apparently took only a box of chocolates worth approximately $25. The police found no fingerprints in the office and there was no evidence that the burglar had entered other offices in the building.

3. On Friday, March 13 police were called to an apartment building on E 23rd Ave. near Aloha by residents who reported that someone had stolen a TV from their apartment sometime between midnight and 3:30 AM while they away from home. There were two guests sleeping in the apartment during the burglary, but neither were awakened by the burglar(s). The police report notes that the apartment was unlocked during the burglary, and that they found no usable fingerprints at the scene.

4. On Friday, March 20 police were notified about an attempted forcible-entry burglary at a specialty store on Madison near 27th that occurred at about 2 AM that morning. Although the burglary was unsuccessful, the police have not subsequently given a detailed description of the incident.

5. On Sunday, March 22 at about 6 AM police were called to a commercial building on Madison near 31st to investigate a possible burglary there. Police found that the the building’s emergency fire exit was unlocked and ajar, and that someone had forced open a door leading from the fire exit to a group of offices on the second floor of the building. The burglar then broke down the door to one of the offices on the second floor and proceeded to rummage through the office. Police found an empty beer carton in the office and an two empty hard apple cider bottles, but at the time the police report was filed it was not clear that anything had been stolen. The cider bottles and some tools presumably used in breaking into the office were submitted to the police lab to determine if they had usable fingerprints.

6. On Monday, March 25 at approximately 11 AM a burglar broke into a residence on 20th Ave. E. near Prospect by smashing a patio door at the rear of the home. Smashing the door apparently set off an alarm, which police responded to, but because the address associated with the alarm was incorrect, the police were unable to follow up. Later a neighbor phoned and told the police that an alarm had been ringing for some time and gave the police the correct address. When the police arrived at about 12:30 the owner showed them that the burglar had taken a large amount of jewelry and an iPad from the bedroom, but had ignored valuables in other rooms of the house. Although the owner didn’t have specific information about the value of the items taken, he estimated that it could be around $10,000 - $12,000. Police found no fingerprints.

Finally, on Tuesday, March 10 police were called to a store on Union near 24th by a worker who reported that a robber had entered the store, told her that he had a gun, and that she should give him all of the cash in the store, which amounted to about $200. After a description of the robber had been broadcast to police units in the vicinity, police found a person fitting that description at 24th and Cherry and detained him. When the witness identified him as the robber, the police searched him and found approximately $200 in cash. After being interviewed by the Robbery Unit, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail.

Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.


Post a Comment | Topics: Climate March at The Valley School

Madison Valley Spring Clean!


Volunteers needed to help tidy up the neighborhood.

The Madison Valley community and McGilvra Elementary School are getting together on Saturday morning to clean up Madison Street. We’ll be scrubbing the storefronts, removing stickers, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and doing paint touch-up. Meet your neighbors and help fight the blight!

We'll have some supplies on hand: garbage bags, paint, cleaning supplies, etc. Please bring: gloves, paint scrapers, and garden hand tools.

Sign up to Participate

Saturday, April 25, 9:00-Noon

Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM
2840 E Madison Street

Free coffee and pastries provided by the Merchants Association and Community Council.

Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at — just click on the Donate button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes field. Contributions of any amount are appreciated!

For questions contact: Lindy Wishard, [email protected]


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification

Metro Alternative Three - Updated Apr 2, 2015


Updated April 2, 2015 to Alternative 3B

Madison Park resident, Reg Newbeck, has been following the more than 100 comments posted on NextDoor* regarding the two alternatives presented by SDOT for new Metro bus routes to Madison Park and Madison Valley. Reg studied the concerns voiced in the comments, and has put together a suggested Alternative 3. Please note this is not an SDOT official alternative—this is a recommendation from a resident. It addresses many of the concerns related to our neighborhoods. This Alternative 3 has been shared with the SDOT project coordinators.



 – Run down MLK to MLK & E Madison, to E John, then to CHS (Capitol Hill Station) only.

 – Look into covering 19th Ave E portion of route 12.
 10 – Leave run as is.
 11 - Run to and from Madison Park to the Coleman dock at 15 minute intervals. Run to from Madison Park to Broadway and Pine south to Madison to Coleman dock. Downtown Pike/Pine access via tunnel at CHS or at Broadway.
 12 – Drop, replace with 9 and 11.
 38 – New Run from CHS to Seattle Center and SLU (South Lake Union).
 43 – Drop in favor of 48.
 48 – Run from current route on 23rd/24th Ave to UW.
 49 and 60 – Combine with route 60 to pick up north portion of 49.

Major transfer points:

MLK and E Madison 8 and 11
22nd Ave E and E John 8, 11 and 48
CHS 8, 38, and 49
Broadway & Pine 9, 11, 49, 60 and street car


Keeps access to business all along Madison, Central Community College, places of worship, Seattle University, Swedish Medical Center, Pill Hill, Virginia Mason, Poly Clinic, major downtown hotels, downtown financial district, downtown Public Library and Coleman Terminal plus the new waterfront. The John corridor gives access to Group Health and CHS.

The new routing should drive traffic to the 8 and 11 and people can still easily get to the shopping area downtown via Light Rail or bus from Broadway.

The 11 goes diagonally through town, and still services downtown and the businesses on Madison. This could be replaced with BRT if and when.

Route maps at:


*If you are not using the website NextDoor, I encourage you to subscribe. This neighborhood based website allows for discussion of issues related to our communities. Sign up at


Post a Comment | Topics: Transportation

Captain Pierre Davis Transferred to a Different District


To the East Precinct Community:

Many of you have heard of Chief O’Toole’s unfortunate decision to transfer our outstanding East Precinct Captain Pierre Davis to the Southwest Precinct. In my many years of volunteering in community-police partnership initiatives, I have not experienced another commander that is such a good fit for our community as is Captain Pierre Davis. Pierre works very well with everyone, he has brought much added value to our community. After four transfers of Captains in the recent past, we were hoping that we would not be subject to yet another transfer.

Below is an excerpt of the several emails and letters I wrote to Chief O’Toole, Deputy Chief Best, and Assistant Chief Wilske to encourage them not to transfer Capt. Davis:

“A multitude of long-term, ongoing problems have been resolved under Captain Davis’ watch:

“Successfully negotiating a safety plan with the owner of the Midtown property on 23rd and Union to mitigate criminal activity.

“Successfully influencing Waid’s nightclub to surrender their liquor license after years of late night noise, shootings, drug dealing and other criminal activities, forcing the neighbors to sell and abandon their homes.

“Successfully serving warrants on the house at 27th and Spring, the location of nearly 20 years of drive-by shootings, drug dealing and other serious criminal activity that has been a source of fear and worry to the neighborhood.

“Successfully working with and gaining the trust of the Pike/Pine nightclub community to implement a safety plan that is ongoing and will reduce strong armed robberies and hate crimes.

“Pierre grew up in the Central Area, knows our community and works well with our diverse citizens. People trust him. We are experiencing difficult times in the East Precinct, for example, racial and cultural inequity, hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens, biased policing, sky-high rents and ongoing gun violence. Criminal activity requires tough police response, other issues such as racism, classism, poverty, and substance abuse issues need a leader with diplomacy, sensitivity, and understanding of the root cause of these individuals’ behavior. 

“Captain Pierre Davis has been outstanding in demonstrating all of these requirements. The East Precinct has had far too many command staff changes before Captain Davis arrived 13 months ago. 

“That said, I hope to continue to volunteer in police-community partnerships and strongly believe you will keep Captain Davis in our East Precinct. Thank you in advance for your support!”

Sadly, I wasn’t successful in persuading the SPD Command Staff to respond to our community wishes to keep Captain Davis.

If you would like to comment on Captain Davis, please email:

Kathleen O’Toole, Chief of Police
Steve Wilske, Precinct Captain

[Editor’s Note] We contacted Chief O’Toole about the reason for the transfer. While expressing personal and professional support for Captain Davis, she cited “complicated HR and legal issues” that could not be discussed publicly. “Please know that I agonize over difficult decisions like this,” O’Toole wrote, “but feel I made the right one after weighing all the factors. I know Chief Wilske is making every effort to make the transition as smooth as possible. We really want to bring continuity to precinct leadership throughout the City.”

The author is the Chair of the East Precinct Advisory Council


Post a Comment | Topics: Climate March at The Valley School, Safety

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