An Open Letter to Mike O’Brien From a Greenlaker

November 30, 2016 6:36am

We’ve received numerous emails and comments from residents who have expressed concern about the proposed policy changes to the homeless encampments throughout Seattle. So when Greenlaker Tom Donnelly shared his letter with us that he wrote to Councilman Mike O’Brien, we thought we’d share it as it echoes many of the concerns we have heard throughout Green Lake.

Mr. O’Brien;

Thank you for attending the Green Lake Community meeting on November 9th.

I regret there was a breakdown in civility and as a result many of the questions and concerns surrounding the homeless issue and to some extent the HALA upzoning issue were left unanswered. Obviously emotions are quite high on both of these subjects.

I and many of my neighbors have serious concerns about the direction of the Council’s and Mayor’s solution to the homeless “encampments” in and around our neighborhood.

My wife and I live on the West Side of Greenlake near Aurora Ave. N. and as a result are bounded by both Green Lake Park and Woodland Park (upper and Lower).

Green Lake has long had an issue with homelessness, whether caused by economy, addiction, or mental issues; but, there historically has been a decent record of the issue being kept in control. Recently, however, we have seen an up tick of violent encounters with the homeless in the Park.

Woodland Park, especially upper Woodland just above the tennis courts, has become a haven for squatters. The trash that is strewn around their tents is at the least unsightly but who knows what is in that trash. Does it contain needles, human waste, and other toxins? We don’t know.

I do know that my wife and most of the other women in my neighborhood no longer feel safe walking to upper Woodland Park either in daylight or definitely at night due to reports of attacks.

As property owners we agreed to support the parks through the Park Levy and the implicit contract with the City is this support would provide us safe and enjoyable areas for us, our kids and grandkids. Allowing occupation of the park lands by uncontrolled squatters, aka homeless encampments, is a breach of this contract.

Homeless encampments have no place in our parks….developed or undeveloped lands. The concept that squatting on undeveloped park lands is OK belies the fact that these undeveloped lands abut developed park lands. The facilities at developed areas, such as bathrooms and water, provided for the public’s enjoyment and use attract squatters and thus puts them in immediate contact with park users.

I know there is a large amount of lip service given to providing accommodations for those displaced by new high priced developments, but in today’s housing market the end result is people are forced onto the street or have to leave town.

I have no idea what is needed to demand developers to provide affordable housing in situ in perpetuity but this is the only real solution. Being able to buy their way out of supplying housing does not allow the workers needed for that community to live in the community.  As a result, the low income workers are facing long commutes and quite probably poor performing schools since the tax base for the areas that absorb the affordable housing developments will be far lower than the communities where the high end condos or apartments were built.  This policy only perpetuates the segregation of the haves and have nots.


Tom Donnelly


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Green Lake’s Pathway of Lights December 10; Volunteers Needed

November 28, 2016 6:53am


Green Lake’s Pathway of Lights is only a few weeks away.

Volunteers are needed to help place and light the thousands of luminaria and to clean up after the event. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and school and scout groups are welcome to participate.

Setup takes place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and cleanup from 7:30 to 9 p.m. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Vicki Allgood at 206-684-0780 or



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Mandolin Messiah Concert Comes to Green Lake

November 25, 2016 6:54am

unnamedOn Saturday December 3rd the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra (SMO) brings Handel’s Messiah to Green Lake played entirely on plucked strings.

“Messiah is one of the most popular and well-known pieces of music in the world,” said Joseph Pollard White, SMO Artistic Advisor and conductor for the evening’s performance. “Changing the instrumentation can help us hear it with fresh ears, as if for the first time. The transparent quality of the mandolin sound supports the voices beautifully, revealing aspects of Handel’s music that one might not notice in a conventional setting.” The orchestra will present an abbreviated version of the oratorio, featuring Part I, or the “Christmas section,” plus the famous “Hallelujah” Chorus.

Sat., Dec. 3, 7 p.m.
Green Lake United Methodist Church, 6415 First Ave. NE, Seattle
Tickets: $20; $15 students/seniors
For more information, visit


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Bus Schedule For the Holidays

November 23, 2016 7:00am


The upcoming holidays means bus service may be on a different schedule, so be sure to check before you head out to the stop.

Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving holiday, Sunday schedules in effect

Friday, Nov. 25, day after Thanksgiving: Reduced weekday and UW reduced service

Monday, Dec. 19, through Friday, Dec. 23: Regular weekday service with UW reductions (UW not in session)

Sunday, Dec. 25, Christmas holiday: Sunday schedules in effect

Monday, Dec. 26, Christmas holiday observed: Sunday schedules in effect

Tuesday, Dec. 27, through Friday, Dec. 30: reduced weekday and UW service (UW not in session)

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, New Year’s Day: Sunday schedules in effect

Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, New Year’s Day holiday observed: Sunday schedules in effect

Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: reduced weekday and reduced UW schedule

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, President’s Day holiday: reduced weekday schedules and reduced UW schedules

For more information, go to:


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Black Friday Shopping in and Near Green Lake

November 22, 2016 7:13am


We are always fans of buying local, especially on Black Friday. And this year there are several options that are in or around Green Lake.

Little Boxes, a city wide shopping event and prize raffle on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. For the two days after Thanksgiving, welcome in the holiday season by discovering the quality and variety of the indie and local shopping scene, unlock 10% off*, and enter to win prizes. While none are in Green Lake, they are in Wallingford, Ballard and throughout Seattle.

Be sure to check out Hello Friends and Things, a collaborative of local vendors (some are Greenlakers) who provide an alternative to big box Black Friday shopping. In addition to cool, local vendors there will be raffle prizes and 15% off everything– Black Friday and all weekend long.

We just learned about this local Seattle startup called Get Wrench that is a full service car mechanic service that comes to your door. They are having a deal on a year long membership over at their website
And, because we are not afraid to shamelessly plug our own little Green Lake store. Don’t forget you can adorn your favorite Greenlaker with Green Lake totes, coffee cups, mugs, even a shower curtain or comforter (seriously!). Check out our online store with our map of Green Lake.

Happy shopping Greenlakers!


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Volunteer Crew Beautifies Green Lake

November 22, 2016 6:52am


If you walked the lake this weekend you might have seen a  volunteer crew working. The Green Lake Stewards with the help of the Nature Conservancy placed 150 native plants in the ground, cleared more blackberry bushes and helped to spruce up some planting areas around Green Lake.

Thank you volunteers for helping to make Green Lake beautiful!  

Another work party is slated for January to help clear more more of the blackberry bushes around the lake; time and details to be determined. If you would like to join in we will post more when the date is set.


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Green Lake Beach Improvements and Temporary Trail Closures

November 21, 2016 8:38pm
Photo via

Photo via

Green Lake Park’s two beaches will be getting some work done. Starting tomorrow a project will begin that will replace selected wood pilings used to secure swim area ropes and floats with steel helical pipe piles. Seattle Parks Department says the piling replacement will improve safety at these public beaches.

The Seattle Park District provided $500,000 to improve swim beach improvement projects which includes both the west and east swim beaches at Green Lake Park and the beaches along Lake Washington: Seward Park, Mount Baker Park, Madrona Park, Madison Park, Matthews Beach Park and Magnuson Park.

According to Seattle Parks, the projects at Green Lake Park will require temporary closure of the trail near the Small Craft Center. On the morning of Tues. Nov. 22, there will be intermittent closure of the trail to launch the barge and crane. They anticipate closing the trail again on the morning of Tues. Dec 6 to remove the barge and crane.


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Thanksgiving in and Around Green Lake

November 21, 2016 6:09am

via PCC

Thanksgiving is this week! So if you want to…

Grab a coffee on Thanksgiving morning head over to Cafe Lulu which is open 7 a.m. till noon.

Need to find a recipe: Check out PCC’s website where you can find recipes for every dish. Don’t want to cook? They can deliver to your door too.

Eat good food but not cook. Agrodolce in Fremont is offering a Thanksgiving meal on November 24 designed to be shared with family and friends. The three course meal is offered from 3 – 6 p.m., is $65 per person with optional wine pairings for $35. Full menu details can be viewed here. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting or by calling 206.547.9707. Agrodolce is located in Fremont at 709 N 35th Street.

Just be. Grab a friend or the family and walk around Green Lake. Sunset on Thanksgiving is 4:24 p.m.


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This Week in Weird Green Lake News

November 18, 2016 6:39am

istock_chips_cropped-300x291Green Lake is often in the headlines but the most recent reason is a bit weird. The Seattle PI reported that a man broke into a Green Lake taco shop last week because he wanted chips. Like really wanted chips.

And just incase you need more weird Green Lake news, here’s some from the archives.

Lots of people walk their pets around Green Lake. They just aren’t normally a 137-pound pig. Meet Atticus.

Fishing in Green Lake with a Crossbow is a No-no. 

We find out more about that mysterious lot filled with stuffed animals.

Happy Friday Greenlakers!


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