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Seattle Japanese Garden Opening Day


First Viewing

The Seattle Japanese Garden’s 2014 season opens on Saturday, March 1 with a celebration from  11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To ensure a wonderful season, Reverend Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine will honor the Japanese Garden with the traditional Shinto blessing at noon.

Seattle Japanese Garden

This 3½-acre formal garden evokes another time and place, a unique and artistic representation of nature influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Tao philosophies. Designed and built under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juko Iida in 1960, the garden is a quiet place, allowing reflection and meditation through the careful placement of water, garden plants, stones, waterfalls, trees and bridges.

Admission fees for First Viewing are: $10 for adults 18-64, $5 for youths 6–17, senior adults 65+, college students with ID, and people with disabilities, and free for kids younger than 6.

For free, the community is invited to enjoy the opening of a beautiful new photography exhibit “A Celebration of Spring”  from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Tateuchi Community Room.  The juried show also on March 1 celebrates nine photographers and their fantastic views of the Garden from a spring workshop in 2013.

The Japanese Garden offers monthly tea presentations and demonstration at the Tea House and other great community events during the March – November season when it is open to the public.

The Japanese Garden is located at the south end of the Washington Park Arboretum at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For more information visit the website or call 206-684-4725.

Post a Comment | Topics: Arboretum, Nature

Meeting Minutes MVCC Feb 19, 2014

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council

The City Wants Your Opinion!


The City is currently asking for feedback on two issues relevant to Madison Valley. 

Pedestrian Zone:

The first issue is making East Madison Street between 27th and 32nd a designated pedestrian zone. 

You can learn more about pedestrian zones on the City’s website.

Or attend the next Madison Valley Merchant Association meeting, March 19th, 8:30 AM at Cafe Flora where Aly Pennuicci, Seattle City Planner will be on hand to answer any questions about the pedestrian zone designation. 

Also, please take the pedestrian zone survey

Department of Neighborhoods:

The new mayor would like to learn what is is not working in our neighborhoods. To do so, he is holding a Seattle Neighborhood Summit Saturday, April 5th from 9–1 PM at the Seattle Center Pavilion Room. I plan to attend, and I would love for anyone interested in neighborhoods to come with me. To learn more about the Neighborhood Summit visit:

In preparation for the meeting the city is asking us to fill out an online survey with questions related to how the city is doing with neighborhoods, and what could be improved. Please take the online survey.


Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Off-Leash Dog Park Udate


First let me start off by saying a big WOOF to all those who supported my proposal to acquire an off-leash area here in the Washington Park play field. Over a hundred locals signed the petition to let the City know that we want and need a place to exercise our four-legged friends.

Last month I received word from Leah Tivoli, Sustainable Operations Manager – Parks Division and she sent me the following: “after speaking to our Planning and Development Division about the possibility of using this site, I learned that this site is not acceptable for an off-leash area. In the event of a storm, the area may be flooded and in an extreme storm event the water would overflow out of this basin into the adjacent play field. If an OLA was built at this site, all the material would flood and contaminate the adjacent ball field.”

After breaking the sad news to my pug Ruby, we both realized that there are still other potential sites that may allow an OLA either in Madison Valley or Madison Park. However, we will need someone else to take the leash on this.

If you feel that there may be an area in your neck of the woods, I strongly encourage you to contact the President of C.O.L.A (Citizens for Off Leash Areas), Patrick Jones. He has worked in establishing many wonderful off-leash parks throughout Seattle and has an in-depth knowledge of the entire process from start to finish. He will gladly work with you and inform you of how to get the tennis ball rolling for a possible new off-leash park in your neighborhood. Patrick’s info is: 206-913-7261 or [email protected].

Thank you all very much for the support and interest you have shown to ensure our furry friends are happy, healthy, socialized and well exercised — it may not have worked out for this area, but may work out in yours.

Have a dog gone great day!

Richard Winsler {and Ruby too}


Richard has been a resident in Madison Valley since 2000. He owns and operates his own dog business: check him and his pooches out on Facebook at: Catch Me If You Can - Dog Outings.


Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Pets

Plant Bare Root Fruit!


Mid-winter is when bare root fruit shrubs and trees arrive at garden stores. Often looking like not much more than a stick sitting in a pile of sawdust, you might find it difficult to imagine the bounty of edible fruit that will spring from them. But if you look closely you’ll see the buds swelling, and in fact, bare root plants will establish more quickly and often perform better than their later-arriving cousins who have been bound in a pot and delivered in foreign soil. Buying bare root is also economical as you are not paying for the pot or the dirt.

Bare Root 1

When you pick out your bare root plants make sure the roots are neither mushy nor dried out. Dig a hole twice as wide as it is deep and spread the roots out.  You’ll need to mound the dirt below the stalk of the plant to help it stay upright. Clip the ends of the roots just before planting, then water in. Be careful not to plant it too low. As it grows, it may sink in a little and you want to keep the flare of the trunk just above the soil line.

Bare Root 2

City People’s Garden Store has bare root blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, as well as some rhubarb, Jerusalem artichokes, and asparagus. Bare root fruit trees include apple, pear, nectarine, peach, plum and cherries.

These days you can find fruit trees with a combination of varieties in an espaliered form, so you can plant one apple tree and get 6 varieties of apples!! There are also smaller varieties these days, perfect for container gardening.  

And if you do end up looking at the bare root fruit selection at City People’s Garden Store, a portion of all sales will be going to the nonprofit City Fruit. The 5-year old organization collects fruit from residential trees throughout Seattle and distributes it to food banks, senior centers, and shelters — last year they collected 50,000 pounds of fruit. City Fruit also teaches fruit tree owners how to grow healthy fruit and organizes volunteers to care for the heritage orchards in Seattle parks. The nonprofit organization depends on grassroots support from the community and its business partners to do this work. Learn more about them at


Post a Comment | Topics: Home & Garden

Arboretum Multi-Use Trail Public Meeting


Seattle Parks and Recreation, the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the Arboretum Foundation invites the community to a public meeting for the Washington Park Arboretum Multi-Use Trail. The final public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Graham Visitors Center located inside the park at 2300 Arboretum Dr. E.

The Arboretum Multi-Use Trail project provides a trail from the intersection of East Madison through the Arboretum to the intersection of Foster Island Road and Lake Washington Boulevard.

At the meeting, design development drawings will be presented that take into consideration input from public meetings held in 2011-2012.  Parks staff will be on-site to answer questions and collect feedback. The community is encouraged to participate and all are welcome.

In June 2013, City Council approved $7.8 million from Washington State Department of Transportation to fund implementation of the Arboretum Multi-Use Trail. This project, as outlined in the in the Arboretum’s Master Plan, is a key element in mitigation effects of the upcoming replacement of the State Route 520 Bridge.

For more information about the project visit If you have questions about  the project please contact project manager Andy Sheffer at [email protected] or 206-684-7041.


Post a Comment | Topics: Arboretum

Pets of Madison Valley Feb 2014


The puppy in the first photo is so new that he didn’t even have a name yet. This adorable schnoodle puppy is in training to become a service dog and needed a rain jacket for the wet weather. 

Pets: Schnoodle

The second photo is of Domino, a basenji/shiba inu mix who was a bit shy about taking treats, but loved posing for the camera! Domino is the sister of one of our team member’s dogs. They came from the same litter three years ago. The sibling dogs look almost identical and it was so fun to have her visit! 

Pets: Domino


See special offers from All The Best on pet food and supplies.

Logo-All the Best Pet Care


Post a Comment | Topics: Pets

Crime Reports Jan. 2014


The first month of 2014 brought a substantial increase in the number of Madison Valley incidents reported to the police, and the increase was due to a spike in car prowl theft. Numerically, car prowls accounted for 21 of the 60 incidents reported during January and 12 of these car prowls occurred in or adjacent to the Arboretum (the parking lot just north of the intersection of Lake Washington Blvd. and E. Interlaken Blvd alone accounted 8 of those incidents). There were also 6 reported vehicle thefts and one case of license plate theft.

In addition to all of the vehicle related crime during January, there were four burglaries.

1. On Jan. 6 at approximately 2 PM police were called to a residence on 22nd near Pike by a woman who reported that she had heard a voice in her basement and after calling out “who’s that in my house?” heard a door close. She then witnessed a man carrying two backpacks leaving her yard. The police subsequently located a suspect who had two backpacks (and also a glass pipe in his jacket). After the resident identified him as the burglar, he was informed of his Miranda rights and booked into the King Co. jail.

2. Residents of a two unit building on 23rd near Aloha called the police on Jan. 9 to report that someone had recently stolen four bicycles from a storage area in the basement of the building. As there were no signs of forced entry to the storage area, the victims and the police concluded that someone who had previous or current access to the building probably had stolen the bicycles.

3. On Jan. 17 a burglary occurred at a home on 27th between Pine and Pike sometime between 3:30 AM and noon while the resident was at work. Taking advantage of an unlocked window, the burglar entered the home and stole a laptop from the den. The burglar was in the process of taking a television from the bedroom when he was apparently frightened away by an unknown event. The burglar then left the house through the front door. Police were not able to find usable fingerprints at the scene.

4. Police responded on Jan. 27 at about 12:30 PM to a report of a burglary in progress at a home on 32nd Ave. E near Highland Dr. The neighbor who had called confronted the burglar as he left the home and noticed that he had a plastic bag full of objects. The burglar then fled east and jumped over a fence into Broadmoor. When conducting an area search, the police learned that the burglar had been seen in a Broadmoor resident’s back yard and they also located a plastic bag, which contained a necklace, various cards, and non-valuable papers. The police then notified the residents of the burglarized home, but had not heard from them by the time the police report was filed. No finger prints were found on the contents of the plastic bag or the window through which the burglar had entered the home.

Finally there was a serious assault and a robbery during January.

1. On Jan. 25 at approximately 1 AM a woman who was sitting at a bus stop near 27th and Union was assaulted by a male acquaintance who apparently was very intoxicated. She reported that after throwing objects her, he struck her above the eye with an object that may have been her cane and then ran southbound on 27th. Although the woman knew only her assailant’s first name, she gave a detailed physical description that led police to identify a likely suspect who lives in the neighborhood and has an SPD felony warrant and a history of gang involvement. The woman was treated at the scene by the Seattle Fire Department and then transported to a medical facility for treatment.

2. On Jan. 30 police received a call from a woman who reported that at about 2 PM two men approached her from behind and snatched the phone she was carrying while she was walking north on 23rd near Denny. She pursued them as they fled south on 23 and then east on Olive, until at 25th they got into a tan vehicle and drove away. The victim reported that her phone case contained credit cards and other items. The police canvassed the area through which the robbers had fled, but were unable to find any evidence or witnesses.


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 Park Conservatory to Close



As reported by the Madison Park Blogger on Feb 2nd, the Madison Park Conservatory will close February 15th. Just another reminder of the importance of supporting our local businesses. 


Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink, Local Publicity

Merchant Profile: Zander Natallani


Local resident Pippa Kiraly begins a monthly series of Madison Valley merchant profiles. 

Coffeehouses began in Turkey in the mid-17th century, reached Europe not so much later, and by 1739 there were 551 coffeehouses in London. They’ve always been places that attracted people to talk business, play games, socialize with likeminded people—and drink coffee. Fast forward to mid-20th century when they began to become popular in the U.S. Not just Starbucks but other independent coffeehouses sprang up, offering snacks as well as coffee and tea, as well as game boards, newspapers, armchairs and tables where meetings could be held.

It’s our good fortune that this type of coffeehouse has arrived in Madison Valley. Zander Natallani opened Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse at 2818 E Madison a year ago, with the intention of making it a community go-to place to hang out with a cup of good coffee, hold a meeting, attend a class, or just enjoy a newspaper.


Zander Natallani

He’s not just offering coffee and tea, but baked goods he makes himself on the premises. When I interviewed him early one morning he was rolling pastry and lining mini pie pans preparatory to making individual savory tarts which he is offering as one item on of his new brunch menu.

As far as possible he uses fresh organic ingredients, and always has something vegan, even a vegan pastry, for those customers. “I don’t use any processed ingredients, everything is made from scratch. A lot of stuff is farm fresh, from a friend.”

To Natallani, it’s all about community. “It’s a big thing in my life,” he says. “A coffeehouse is where people meet, for food, entertainment, games, books, movies, parents’ date night, video games. That’s what we serve.” Almost all of these he is now offering—a bookshelf with books to borrow, PTA meetings, French classes on Tuesdays, art classes for kids, and soon adults: “Painting With Coffee.”


Harbour Pointe Interior

He chose Madison Valley because it just felt right. “My family is all spread out and not close, and I need a community.” His dad was a chef, and Natallani watched, listened and learned from him and from working in restaurants since age fifteen (he’s now 35). “I was invited to learn from a school for chefs in Tuscany, but I was too young and stupid to realize what it meant,” and he didn’t go.

His clientele is building with people of all ages. “We’re busier than we’ve ever been,” he says as he tips flour onto a wooden board, but has quite a way to go yet to reach his goal of 6–8000 customers a month. One of his latest ventures is working with the Bush School to teach about entrepreneurship. Some of the staff come to the coffeehouse, and the plan is for the Bush students to have their own coffee shop, business plan and all, Natallani helping as a mentor.


HPC Exterior

In the spring he hopes to have his beer and wine license so he’ll have a wine bar after 5.30 p.m. For now, Natallani works long hours daily, 7 A.M.–7 P.M., a bit shorter on Sundays, and down the road, he’d like to open another coffeehouse, in the U district.


Pippa Kiraly is a Madison Valley resident and merchant, teaching the Buteyko method of retraining breathing. You can find her at She is also a longtime classical music critic writing under her given name of Philippa Kiraly.

Photos by D.I. Forbes


Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink, Local Publicity

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