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Woody Lane

MAY 29, 2013 | EDITOR

Resident Andy Goulding recently had a local street widened with a gravel shoulder as a safety improvement.

The curved lane on the west perimeter of the Arboretum connecting 26th and 28th Avenues East has long been hazardous to walkers and pets.

With guidance and support from Councilman Tom Rasmussen, Andy applied for and was awarded $30,000 from Department of Neighborhoods. The road improvement was completed by the Seattle Conservation Corps and the Department of Transportation.

Woody Lane Before

Andy named the refurbished thruway Woody Lane, after his golden retriever. “In my youth,” he says, “I drove our ’58 Chevy fast through this neighborhood, on this street, as a shortcut to I-90. Now we live here and I hate cars driving fast on the street!”

Woody Lane Proposal

Woody Lane After

In addition to being dangerous, the lane was plagued with litter, which Andy personally cleaned up over the years. Taking inspiration from his cause, he composed a “little song.” In the key of C: 

I found a Hostess Cupcake in their trash on Woody Lane,
The packaging looked tidy and intact.
If you were me what would you do, to lighten up your load,
Eat it or throw it in your sack?

I am a litter picker, that’s how I spend my time
To ease my guilty conscience and my woes.
Other people help me; they throw out junk and grime.
Co-dependency keeps me on my toes.

I have a small conundrum, that bothers me a bit,
Like one hand clapping in the woods:
Do people like a road that’s clean, after I’m done cleaning it,
Or do they just like all those packaged goods?

Andy Goulding
View Andy’s Facebook page on the renovation.


Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Aegis Living Scheduled to Open October 2013


Several people have asked me about the construction on the northeast corner of East Madison and 23rd. The new building will be the location of Aegis on Madison, an assisted-living community providing care for seniors. Headquartered in Redmond, Aegis is a locally owned company with 28 communities in Washington, California, and Nevada.  

To find out more, I met with Marc Nowak, Vice President of Operations at Aegis Living. Marc gave me a virtual tour using a touchscreen television, which illustrated areas of the facility in detail. The thought and care that has gone into the building design and the needs of the guests is impressive. 

This first image is a view of the building, heading east on Madison. Notice the Queen Bee Cafe on the corner. Open to the public, this cafe will offer gourmet coffee and crumpets with speciality toppings.

Aegis 1

This next image is an illustration of a studio apartment. Lovely!

Aegis 10

This is the entrance to the building on 22nd Ave East. The building was design by architect Wolf Saar of VIA Architecture, a firm headquartered in Vancouver, BC with an office in Seattle. The builder is Andersen Construction. 

Aegis 2

The building is designed to look like a fine boutique hotel. In this rendering of the lobby you can see the finishes and furnishings.

Aegis 3

This is the dining room. The sous chef from Cafe Juanita was recruited to work at the Aegis in Bellevue. A decision on the chef for the Madison location has not been finalized, but based on my conversation with Marc it's clear they are putting thought and effort into the selection. 

Aegis 4

A Tuscan-inspired wine cellar and private dining room are available for guests to host private dinners.

Aegis 5

On the main level is a movie theater! Marc tells me Dancing with the Stars is a popular show at Aegis in Bellevue. 

Aegis 6

An all-inclusive spa and fitness center is available on-site. Working with local educational partners, Aegis is constantly in pursuit of the latest holistic wellness treatments, both Eastern and Western. 

Aegis 7

The Sky Lounge and rooftop deck will provide a wonderful place to have a cocktail, view the skyline, and enjoy an outdoor fireplace. 

Aegis 8

The Man Cave is a sports bar in the basement, which will offer six wide-screen televisions, a poker table, beers on tap, and dart boards. 

Aegis 9

Aegis Memory Care

The second floor of the facility is dedicated to those in need of Memory Care. This specially designed space has a secure outdoor patio, which is designed to look like Madison Valley of yesteryear. The faux building facades are actual reproductions of buildings that were once in the area. 

Aegis 11

Short Term Stay

In addition to providing full-time care for residents, Aegis will also provide short-term stay options. If you're caring for someone at home, but need to leave town for a few days or weeks, Aegis can provide short term care for your loved one. 

Day Care

Along the same lines as short-term care, if you have a loved one who would simply enjoy activities and the company of others during the day, Aegis will offer day programs. 

Aegis Madison Facts

  • 104 units. Most units are studios or one bedrooms ranging from 300-700 sq. ft. 
  • 52 parking spaces in the underground garage
  • Pet friendly

For More Info:

Starting in June, the Aegis Sales office, located in Madison Park, will be open 10:00–6:00 every day. 1928 43rd Ave East #8, Seattle 98112

Aegis and Bastille Bash

Aegis will have a booth set up at Bastille Bash for neighbors to learn more about the new Aegis Madison facility. 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Housing

Community Supported Agriculture


For over 25 years, the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been a way for consumers to receive locally grown, seasonal food in partnership with farmers. CSAs are a win-win for everyone involved. Small independent farmers receive dollars up front at the beginning of the season that can be used to buy seeds and stabilize their overall cash flow, while customers are supplied with fresh produce and other farm products on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. 

We are fortunate to have access to many different programs in our area. A few of them operate on the traditional model where you receive produce directly from the organizing farm for the duration of the growing season, which averages about 20 weeks out of the year. Others are built with an extended infrastructure that provides products year round, but rely on an expanded network of small farms located in areas with longer growing seasons like California and Mexico. Once you determine which format works best for your lifestyle and interest, it’s easy to get signed up to receive your weekly produce along with other farm or grocery items that may be fulfilled by the CSA.

You can find a complete list of all the CSAs available in our area at Local Following is a list of those who deliver directly to Madison Valley and surrounding neighborhoods.

Full Circle Farm

Much of the CSA share comes from Full Circle Farm during our local growing season, and the rest is sourced from other CSA cooperatives located in warmer climates during the rest of the year. Fully customizable boxes come in 4 different sizes ranging in price from $22.95 (about 15–20 servings) to $44.95 (about 45–55 servings) per week. The weekly crop contains fruits and vegetables, as well as the ability to add many locally sourced grocery items that are delivered to a site host in the neighborhood. Permanent exemptions can be requested and you can review the order contents each week prior to delivery. The service allows for vacation holds to be made so your weekly share won’t go to waste.

New Roots Organic Delivery

New Roots is a year-round produce home delivery service that offers locally sourced products. The bins come in two sizes and range in price from $30–$40 per week. One is sized for singles/couples and the second is for a family of four. You can indicate whether you want to receive both fruit and vegetables, or only fruit or only vegetables. The service also allows for substitutions to be made, as well as vacation holds to be requested.

Oxbow Farm

An Oxbow share provides 20 weeks of fresh, local, organic produce that is grown almost exclusively on their farm and harvested within 48 hours of delivery to Cafe Flora for pickup. The CSA offers 2 sizes: a family share for $630 and a small share for $420 per season. Additional subscriptions can be made to receive the following: a fruit CSA from Eastern Washington, a mushroom share, a jam share, and a sauerkraut share. If you are planning on being away on vacation, be sure to ask a friend to use your share so it doesn’t go to waste.

Tiny’s Organics

Tiny’s Organics, a small family-run farm located in East Wenatchee, WA, appears to offer the most versatile options. They can deliver to Cafe Flora or your home year-round or only during the 20-week growing season. The 6 different boxes associated with the two plans range from $19.95–$42.95 per week for 52 weeks, or $367 to $756 for the season. 

The Goose and the Gander Farm

Run by two Columbia City residents, this 2-acre farm located in Fall City has begun offering a seasonal CSA this year. Boxes come in two sizes, a partial size ($360) and a full size ($540) and are delivered each week to Cafe Flora. Additional items from other farms and favorite local businesses, like the Columbia City Bakery, can also be added to each order. Vacation holds can either be donated to a food bank, passed on to a friend, or credited to receive an extra box later at the end of the season. Contact via email for sign-up information until their site launches.

Blue Lettuce


Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink, Home & Garden

Meeting Minutes

MAY 16, 2013 | EDITOR

Read the minutes (PDF) from the May 15, 2013 Madison Valley Community Council meeting.

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council

Stormwater Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

MAY 8, 2013 | EDITOR

Seattle Public Utilities will be hosting a ribbon-cutting event in Washington Park to celebrate the completion of the Madison Valley Stormwater Project.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 22, 10–11 a.m. Councilmember Jean Godden will be speaking at the event as well as SPU leadership. 

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the community is welcome to take a self-guided tour of the new Washington Park facilities. Event info (PDF)

Post a Comment | Topics: Stormwater Project

5 Secrets to Becoming a Little Bit French!

MAY 7, 2013 | EDITOR

French native and local resident Virginie Blackmoor is offering a free introduction to the French language and culture at Luc restaurant.

Virginie has been teaching the French language for ten years in Europe and the US. She uses a natural learning method of role-playing and immersion in French culture and cuisine.

In describing her approach, she says, “I offer a different experience with both the French language and the culture of France. I use a great deal of caring and humor, which I have come to realize is an incredibly helpful learning tool. When you are relaxed, happy and connected, you open up, everything just sinks in and, most important, stays there.”

“Learning something new as an adult can be humbling, so my priority is to make you feel good about yourself. I do this by helping you focus on the positive while having fun. I’ve found that encouragement and kindness do wonders for everyone.”

You can sign up for the events at her website or phone her at 206 617-2716.


Logo French TrulyIntro

The best way to learn the French language is to explore and immerse yourself in French culture. French Truly invites you to go beyond the language and enjoy fascinating French experiences.

  • Improve your French through playful events
  • Explore the incredibly rich French culture  
  • Discover and enjoy delicious French food and wine

With French Truly, you can become a little bit French!

Move away from the standard language school format and come with us to enjoy a truly fun and fully comprehensive real French life experience, regardless of your level.


Virginie Teaching Class


1-French Discovery Group

Welcome to our free French Discovery group, designed to help you find out what French Truly is all about. Join us for conversation, play and tons of fun.

Who? Everybody welcome, regardless of language level

When? Every last Friday of the month from 11:30 am to 1 pm

Where? LUC - French restaurant in Seattle

This is a onetime experience only.


2-French Hands-on Experience

In this 1.5-hour class, we spend the first half learning theory and then we spend the second half putting it into practice through role-play. This is not only incredibly fun and bonding, it is also the best way to remember the theory. French food and drinks are included to provide more inspiration.

French Hands-on Example:

Let’s pretend we are learning what to do and say in a French restaurant, from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. Person A is the customer and person B plays the waiter. A and B play their roles covering all sorts of topics, from inquiring whether a table is booked, to asking about the food and ordering, to dealing with problems and paying the check. We always have a lot of fun playing this way and it is amazing how much you retain when you are truly involved in a scenario, rather than just listening to a teacher and taking notes.

Who? Beginner but welcome intermediate people looking for a brush up!

When? Every Thursday starting in June 2013, from 11:30 am to 1 pm

Where? French Restaurant LUC in Madison Valley Seattle


3-French Conversation

In this 1.5-hour guided conversation group, everybody gets a chance to speak about themselves and a chosen topic, and to ask other speakers questions. Unlike other conversation groups, our group offers themed topics to make sure everybody gets their say along with clear guidance and yummy French food and drinks. I am there to keep everyone on track, answer questions and clarify vocabulary, grammar or idiom issues as they arise.

Who? Intermediate but great for beginners looking for a helpful challenge!

When? Every Saturday starting in June 2013, from 10 am to 11:30 am

Where? French Restaurant LUC in Madison Valley Seattle


4-French Story Platform

The purpose of this event is to use a culturally rich French drama, documentary or set of interviews as a platform to discover and discuss French culture. I use a projector and big screen to give you a real cinema feel while practicing both listening and speaking skills. In each session, we learn about a certain era, event, region or artist, enjoying a completely new topic each week.

Sample Topics:

  • The artists of the Belle Époque and how their works matched the political and social events of their time
  • The rise of feminism in the twentieth century and its direct influences on fashion
  • The historical and culinary particularities of Provence
  • Great French icons and how they impacted the French people

Who? All levels welcome!

When? Every last Thursday of the month starting in June 2013, from 6:30pm

Where? To be confirmed


5-French Field Trip

Come and venture on a French Field Trip with our French community. Each time, we go on a different adventure to somewhere interesting and lively that gives us a wonderful opportunity to bond, practice our French, learn lots of new things and, most important, have fun!

Imagine spending a Sunday morning at Pike Place Market, stopping by the flowers, fruits and vegetables, describing everything we do and see in French, as if we were at a French market.

When we are done strolling, why not go to one of the nearby French cafes or boulangeries, eat a pain au chocolat, drink a chocolat chaud and chat? Very French!

For more information, please contact me directly. The price varies depending on our destination.


Virginie Blackmoor Large


51 Comments, Join In | Topics: Lessons

Monday is Parents’ Night Out

MAY 7, 2013 | EDITOR

Parent Date Night is a new event on Monday nights. Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse is partnering with local restaurants to provide childcare while adults enjoy kid-free dining nearby.

LUC is the first restaurant to launch Parent Date Night on Monday, May 13th from 6:30-8:30pm.

Parents can rest assured that their kids are well taken care of. Zander Natallanni, owner of Harbour Pointe is a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and has worked with children with autism. Natallani is also enlisting help from local nannies to ensure Parent Date Night is a success.

The coffee shop will close to the public at 6:30 when the kids arrive. The cost for one child is $25, and an additional $5 for each sibling within one family.

For more information please visit or call (206) 420-1187.  

Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink, Childcare

Madison Valley Starts a Dinner Club


Tuesday night marked the inaugural dinner of the Madison Valley Dining & Sipping Society. The event was a big success with more than 50 people in attendance. 

The idea for the group occurred to me last fall when I met with Audrey Seale, who started the Madrona Dining and Sipping Society (MDSS). She started her club a few years ago with the mission of supporting local restaurants and getting to know her neighbors. The members have formed lasting friendships. I thought the idea was wonderful, and that we should try to start a club in Madison Valley.

To kick off the first event, Audrey and 28 members of the MDSS attended our first dinner. Madison Valley had more than 30 guests in attendance. Apparently Madison Valley residents love food and wine—the event sold out in four days!

Cafe Flora hosted our first dinner. Dinner included a variety of shared appetizers, a selection of entries, and desert. Guests included a wide range of ages and professions. Attendees from Madison Valley included lots of tech folks (no surprise), a few doctors, musicians, artists, and retirees. It was a wonderfully eclectic group, and I hope we will have more time to get to know one another. 

Wilridge Winery, based in Madrona, donated the wine sold at the dinner with proceeds benefiting both the Madrona and Madison Valley Community Councils. Paul Beveridge of Wilridge attended the dinner after spending the day bottling. Wilridge’s new wine release party on May 30th. 

Given the great demand, it’s certain there will be future Dining and Sipping Society events. I’m currently working on a Happy Hour event at Luc and a weekend brunch at Harvest Vine.

If you’d like to be on the email list for future Dining and Sipping Society events please send an email to: [email protected]

A very special thank you to:

The Madrona Dining and Sipping Society
Wilridge Winery
Cafe Flora













Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink, Social Events

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