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Opening of the New Zealand Garden in the Arboretum


Although the rains poured down just 30 minutes before the opening ceremony on September 15, a crowd of interested neighbors, officials, gardeners and Kiwis (the New Zealand natives, not the birds) came to hear the speeches and learn more about this grand new garden in our Washington Park Arboretum. 



Luckily the warm rains stopped and the Maori dancers, scantily clad, sang and danced to open the gardens. This unique garden is designed to show seven distinct plant communities indigenous to the mid- to high-level elevations on the South Island. Although it is a plant museum of New Zealand native plants, it is also designed to show Pacific Northwest Gardeners new and exciting plants that are adaptable to our climate and soils. As the years pass, watch how they grow and behave in Seattle — maybe you will want to plant some in your home gardens.

Another feature of the garden that will be appreciated is its topographical design. Although planted on a steep slope with an expansive view down Azalea Way, the gardens are ADA accessible. There are ADA parking spots and gradual-graded gravel trails. Access by car continues to be open from the north end entrance of the road at the Graham Visitors Center. 

You can read more about the New Zealand Garden in this article (PDF).








Red Tussock Grass


NZ Garden Large


Post a Comment | Topics: Home & Garden, Arboretum

Bird Walk on Foster Island - October 5


Join Penny Bolton, a fledgling graduate of the Seattle Audubon Master Birder program, for a walk through the north section of the Arboretum and Foster Island to find water birds and become familiar with the local winter birds. Penny will point out the common birds and hopes to be present for the returning migrant waterfowl on the lake. Bring binoculars if you have them, shoes for muddy walking, and be prepared to walk a mile and a half. Penny notes that this walk is good for kids since they’ll be looking at birds sitting on the water. The group will be strolling slowly and stopping frequently to listen and watch.

Meet at the Graham Visitors Center at 10 AM and return at noon. Dress for the weather. No charge.


Arboretum: Chatting Mallards
Chatting Mallards


Arboretum: Heron
Great Blue Heron


Arboretum: Sleeping Duckling
Sleeping Hybrid Duckling


Arboretum: Two Ducks
Mallards on Lake Washington


Arboretum: Swimming Duck
Swimming on the Lake


Post a Comment | Topics: Classes, Social Events, Arboretum

Sep 18, 2013 Community Council Minutes


Read the minutes (PDF) from the Sep 18, 2013 Madison Valley Community Council meeting.


Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council

Find It, Fix It


Fighting graffiti just went digital. The City of Seattle has developed an app called “Find It, Fix it” that allows users to report graffiti via their smartphones. 

With Find It, Fix It, reporting an issue is as easy as snapping a photo with your phone, adding some details, and tapping Submit. The app’s “drag and drop” map feature or the phone’s own technology can be used to pinpoint the location. The report is automatically routed to the appropriate department for response.

In addition to graffiti, you can also report abandoned vehicles, potholes, parking enforcement, and make other inquiries.

What happens once you’ve submitted a photo? 

Submissions are entered into the city’s Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system, and departments responsible for providing that specific service will manage and track requests. The City of Seattle began using the CRM system in December 2011, and cautions that there may be some initial delays in response time as city departments adjust to any increase in service requests. 

The City anticipates adding other request types in the future and welcomes feedback on the app and ideas for additional features. Users should choose the Find It, Fix It app’s “other inquiry” category – found under the “New Request” icon – to submit feedback.

You can read more about Find It, Fix It on the city’s website, and this GeekWire review

Download the app for iOS or Android.


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

Madison Valley Home on Solar Home Tour


The Seattle Solar Home Tour is happening this Saturday, September 21, and several Central District homes will be featured, including one in Madison Valley. Mia Devine and Chris Henderson's home, located at 1830 MLK Jr Way, features both a solar hot water and a solar electric system. Combined with other energy-efficiency measures, the solar system produces nearly 100% of their annual energy needs. The system includes micro-inverters, which allow real-time display of power production from each solar panel. The solar tour is open from 11:00am to 2:00pm, and a self-guided map of other homes in the area is available online at

Devine Solar Panel


Post a Comment | Topics: Energy & Conservation

August Crime Reports


There were approximately forty incidents reported to the police during August, a higher number than in previous months. Most of the increase involved what the police consider minor crimes: shoplifting, graffiti/property damage, car prowl theft, etc. The police reports give detailed accounts of only four kinds of incidents: burglaries, robberies, aggravated assaults and homicides. Thankfully, no homicides have been reported since we started summarizing Madison Valley police reports (March 2013) and only a few aggravated assaults. Burglaries and robberies have been more common. There were five burglaries in Madison Valley during August.

1. Sometime between 7 and 11 PM on Aug. 5 two apartments in a building on 19th Ave between Aloha and Prospect were burglarized. The burglar(s) damaged a door and its frame, but the police report does not include information about the tenants’ losses.

2. On August 7 between 10 and 11:30 PM a burglar entered a home on 21st Ave. between Olive and Pine through an unlocked front door. The occupants were visiting a neighbor at the time, and when they returned home they found that cell phones, a laptop computer and a wallet were missing. The laptop had a tracking feature and the last address it gave was an apartment building in Kent.

3. Also during the night of Aug. 7-8 someone broke open the front door of a house in the same neighborhood (21st Ave. close to Pike). The next morning a neighbor reported the break in to the police but was unable to tell whether anything had been taken. As of the time of the police report, investigators had been unable to contact the occupants of the residence.

4. During the afternoon of Aug. 22, a burglar entered a house on 24th Ave between Olive and Pine via an open window and stole computer equipment worth approximately $2200. Police officers found fingerprints at the scene.

5. During the night of Aug 23-24 a burglar smashed open the front door of an office on E. Madison near 31st Ave. and ransacked the office. No fingerprints were found and the police report does not specify the number or value of the items that were taken.

During August there were also two robberies, both in the same general neighborhood, both in the early morning, and both involving the theft of cell phones. Readers of the Madison Valley police reports will note the similarity of these robberies to an incident in late July in the same area.

1. On Aug. 16, a little after 1AM, a robber grabbed a pedestrian who was carrying a cell phone and walking south on 19th Ave. near John. The robber pressed a pistol against the victim’s ear, and demanded that he hand over the phone. After taking the phone the robber ran north on 19th to Thomas and then turned east. The victim described the robber as a black male, approximately 5’4” tall and weighing about 145 lbs. Police located a suspect a little later, but the victim told them that the suspect was not the person who robbed him.

2. On Aug. 20, at approximately 12:45 AM, a bicyclist riding North on 23rd Ave. near John stopped to call a friend on his cell phone. He was then approached from the rear by a robber who placed an object on the back of his head and demanded the victim’s phone. The victim asked “Are you joking?” at which point the robber pushed him to the ground and took his phone. The robber fled north on 23rd and then west on Thomas. After being summoned a half hour later, police conducted an unsuccessful search for the robber.

A new feature of the crime reports map that the Seattle Police Department provides is a “number of incidents” tile. This simplifies the map a bit, but also makes it more difficult to see the specific incidents. You will notice, for example, the large number of crime reports at 22nd and Madison. These are mostly shoplifting incidents. Also, the police reports for August do not include the well-publicized arson that occurred at 23rd and Union on August 12.

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

Sound Community Bank to Hold Open House


Sound Community Bank, headquartered in Downtown Seattle, opened its sixth office in Madison Valley in March. The Madison Valley location is a Loan Production Office where seasoned lenders Joshua Buckingham and David A. Raney specialize in both conventional mortgage lending, but also land, construction, and portfolio loans. Many in Madison Valley may know David Raney, the VP & Residential Lending Manager. David grew up in the neighborhood and formerly worked at the Washington Mutual in Madison Park. David believes that local lending is an excellent addition to the banking mix currently found in the Madison Valley.

Sound Bank - BuckinghamSound Community Bank, celebrating a new office and 60 years of business, invites you to experience the one-of-a-kind, individualized service that it provides. They feature in-house loans with flexible terms, super-jumbo loans, loans that compliment various tax and financial strategies, plus — all loans are underwritten and serviced right here in Seattle.

Please join bank staff including Senior Management on Thursday, September 19th from 2–7 PM at the Loan Product Office for an open house. Enjoy a drink or two, conversation, and assorted heavy snacks sourced from local merchants. Sound Community Bank is located in the Landmark Group Building — 3101 E. Madison Street, at the corner of Lake Washington Blvd. E. and E. Madison St.


Post a Comment | Topics: Local Publicity, Services

Pets of Madison Valley


Today we introduce Pets of Madison Valley, an occasional feature brought to us by All The Best Pet Care.





Pets: Frasier

Frasier is a happy-go-lucky boy with an irresistible little face.


Pets: St. Bernard

Magnum is a St. Bernard puppy who is fairly new to his parents and the Madison Valley neighborhood.


Pets: Doodle

Doodle is a Devonshire Rex. He came in to All The Best Pet Care with his brother Sam, but Sam was not as camera-happy as Doodle was. (Yes, he was actually enjoying himself!)


Pets: Oscar

Oscar came in with his new mom, so he didn't quite know his name yet. He's just five months old.


Pets: Arrow

Arrow is a Catahoula Leopard Dog Mix. The Catahoula is believed to be the first dog breed developed in North America.


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

Logo-All the Best Pet Care


Post a Comment | Topics: Pets

McGilvra Elementary Gets a New Principal


McGilvra Elementary is so pleased to welcome its new principal, Maria Breuder. Maria was raised in Seattle where she attended Seattle Public Schools as well as a local private school. She moved to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark College, where she received her B.A. in Psychology, and her M.A. in Teaching. Oregon was Maria’s home for many years, until she and her husband, Paul, decided to move back to Seattle in 2005. Maria and Paul have two children — Dante is 7, and Giovanna (Gia) is 5. 

Maria has been an elementary teacher for the past twelve years, beginning her career at North Plains Elementary in the Hillsboro School District in Oregon. Upon returning to Seattle, she accepted a teaching position at McGilvra Elementary, where she has taught for the past eight years. 

Maria acquired her Principal Certification through Seattle Pacific University, and served as an Administrative Intern while teaching at McGilvra. The parents and PTA at McGilvra are really looking forward to working closely with Maria and her entire family. Maria has said that it is her goal to work with our entire community (Madison Park, Madrona, Washington Park, Central and everyone in between) to make this a fantastic and successful school year for all and hopes that the community, not just the families who attend McGilvra will become more involved with helping our kids and our community.

Post a Comment | Topics: Local Publicity, Schools

Youth Vitality at MLK


It has almost been a year since the Madison Park Times article, “From Conflict to Community,” was published. The article highlighted the history, challenges, success, and aspirations of the MLK FAME Community Center. As a long time arts educator, artistic director of Ewajo Dance Workshop located in Madison Valley for 15 years and youth arts coordinator at MLK, I am excited and inspired by the progress over the past year. 

Steel Pans

Since January 2012, there has been a successful and well-attended after school and summer program. It is designed so each student is introduced to dance, music, theatre, and visual arts within a 12-week session. The age range is 5 – 15 years. It is fun, energetic and open to all levels. 

Having taught for many years and seeing programs come and go, you get used to the status quo and what it brings. Closing the achievement gap and students having equal access to resources has been a prime topic of discussion and debate for a while. Having taught youth from public and private schools and different socioeconomic backgrounds, I see how vital it is to create an environment that excites, challenges, and emphasizes equal contribution from all participants. 

This summer we had a group of students from CAYA (Central Area Youth Association) and the Valley School learn, practice, and perform traditional Caribbean rhythms and songs on the steel pans (the main percussion instrument in the Trinidadian Carnival festivities). They had to work together supporting and encouraging each other while focusing on playing as an ensemble. The end result was extremely inspiring and boosted self esteem for all the students. I feel that before an achievement gap is closed, there must be a common interest and consistent interaction over a period of time. This created camaraderie and a sense that their capabilities are the same. The creativity and excitement of the performing arts makes it the perfect medium to achieve this. 

For information about class registration visit and click on the youth link. If you are interested in volunteering in the program please email me at [email protected]


Post a Comment | Topics: Classes, Local Publicity, Schools

Kitchen Circus - Reality Web Series Now on YouTube


Hosted by Thierry Rautureau, the “Chef in the Hat,” the web series features nine home cook contestants who each make one course (the appetizer, entrée, or dessert) for 45 diners at Rover’s restaurant (before it closed). 

The series is “Real” TV rather than reality TV. “The drama happens all by itself,” says Chef, “it’s the result of what really happens in the back of the house every evening you go to a restaurant.” In each episode, local celebrity guests join the diners to give their professional opinions, including Steve Scher (NPR radio host), Jason Wilson (chef/owner of Crush), Tom Douglas (Seattle restaurateur), Maria Hines (chef/owner of Tilth, Golden Beetle, Agrodolce), and many more. Each evening a favorite course is chosen, and the winner moves on to the finale at the end of the season. 

Kitchen Circus 2

Kitchen Circus was produced, shot, and edited in Seattle by Kellie Eickmeyer of MAD Valley Productions, and used a local Seattle crew. We were supported by sponsors including Charlie’s Produce, Gene Juarez, Le Creuset, and OpenTable. We hope you enjoy watching Kitchen Circus; we recommend watching it on your TV with an internet connected device (ex. Xbox, Wii, PS2, Apple TV) and YouTube app. Each episode is ~30 minutes and is free to watch, available in HD, with no commercials. Watch on YouTube. Like on Facebook. More info.


Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink

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