More Answers About the New Proposed Green Lake Community Center

September 21, 2016 7:54am
via Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr

via Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr

In case you missed it, we recently discovered that the the Seattle Parks Department is seeking input on a potential operating partnership for a new Green Lake Community Center because of a capital shortfall. We posed several questions to the Parks Department about how and why it was determined that a new Green Lake Community Center was needed.

Below is our interview with Seattle Parks Department Acting Communications Manager, Dewey Potter:

Seattle Greenlaker (SG): How did the Green Lake Community Center move from a line item of renovations that was included in the Park District to needing to “look at partnerships and innovations” to fill the capital shortfall for a new facility?
Seattle Parks (SP): That was the prevailing plan at the time. During the course of work on the Community Center Strategic Plan, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) hired a consultant to conduct architectural/engineering studies on eight community centers considered in the most need of renovation. Six of the eight require renovations. Two, Green Lake and Lake City, require replacement. The estimated price tag for Green Lake Community Center/Evans Pool is $25 million. Parks and Recreation does not have access to the funding needed for the replacement. You’re correct that the Seattle Park District funding will provide a tremendous boost to our operating and capital programs, but not at that scale. In 2016 SPR has $47 million in District funding. You can see here how the funding is allocated for this year under the six-year spending plan (2015-2020) approved by the City Council.

SG:  How much would a new Green Lake Community Center cost?
SP: $25 million

SG: How would an operating partnership change the way residents experience/interact with the Green Lake Community Center?
SP: We do not yet know.

SG: If Green Lake Community Center was part of an operating partnership how would that be different from what we have now?SP: We do not yet know.

Dewey also said, “One option we plan to explore is an agreement with an operator who would invest in the facility and then operate it for a time; another is debt financing. Not only have no decisions been made, public discussions have not begun.”

We also asked Dewey to confirm that there has not been any discussion with the YMCA, to which she replied: “There have been no discussions with the YMCA.”

So, we have some answers but, like you, probably many more questions. But that’s what the next meeting with the Parks Commission is about on October 27 (location/time TBD) where this issue will be open to discussion to the public.


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Little Big Burger is Coming to Green Lake

September 19, 2016 10:42pm
via little big burger

via little big burger

Green Lake is getting a new burger restaurant, and one with quite a cult following. Little Big Burger, the Portland-based chain is slated to open an outpost in Green Lake Village in early 2017. LBB is known for its minimalistic yet upscale menu that features just six items; hamburger, cheeseburger,  veggie burger, fries, floats and soda.

Earlier in the year LBB announced it would be adding 10 locations to the Seattle area. Rumors were of a Capitol Hill location among other urban locations as reported by Seattle Met Magazine.  But as it turns out the Green Lake location will be the first LBB outside of Oregon.

Little Big Burger’s Adrian Oca says the 1,200-square-foot Green Lake restaurant will be similar to the atmosphere and menu of the Oregon restaurants.

We will keep you posted on an opening date as we hear more.


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Could the Green Lake Community Center Become a YMCA or Something Else?

September 19, 2016 10:35pm


Remember last week when we mentioned that you should attend the Parks Department meeting for future decisions of Green Lake’s Community Center? Well we just learned that there is more to the story.

After fielding several emails from concerned Greenlakers and the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce (thank you!) we found out that the meeting last Friday for public comment was also seeking input on potential operating partnerships for the Community Center. What exactly does that mean? Initally we thought it was around programming, but the Seattle Parks Department has confirmed that they are exploring a partner to help fund a new facility for the Green Lake Community Center. This struck us as strange because wasn’t a Park District created and money set aside for this from the 2014 election?

According to Seattle Parks Department Acting Communications Manager, Dewey Potter, Green Lake Community Center “operations are covered with the additional Park District funding. However, the capital need is so large that we are looking at partnerships and innovations.” And Green Lake is not alone. Lake City is also experiencing a shortfall and will be investigating a operating partnership.

In 2014 we interviewed Seattle Parks’s representative David Takami who said the money allocated to the Green Lake Community Center from the Park District funds were earmarked for renovations and mechanical/electrical work.
So how did the Green Lake Community Center move from a line item of renovations to needing to “look at partnerships and innovations” to fill the capital shortfall for a new facility? The simple answer is we don’t know. But we are trying to find out.

We’ve asked the Parks Department to comment on that and the following questions, which they had not responded by the time of this writing.

  • If the Seattle Parks Department determines that renovations are not feasible, does that mean a new Community Center building is under consideration? If so, how much would a new Community Center cost?
  • How would an operating partnership change the way residents experience/interact with the Green Lake Community Center?
  • If Green Lake Community Center was part of an operating partnership how would that be different from what we have now?

While we await a response from the Parks Department, you should also mark your calendar for a Board of Park Commissioners meeting that is scheduled on October 27 (location/time TBD) where this issue will be open to discussion to the public.


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Meet Innovative Greenlaker Sarah Barnard

September 15, 2016 6:09am

We recently learned about a Greenlaker that is trying to solve some pretty big problems with an invention that she posted to Kickstarter. Her name is Sarah Barnard and she created an organization board called Chart á la Carte. Within 9 hours of posting to Kickstarter Chart á la Carte exceeded her fundraising goal. We chatted with her to find out more.

SG: What inspired you to create Chart á la Carte?
SB: For the past 10 years, I’ve been haunted by a statistic I remember hearing in college, where I studied psychology and sociology. “The average married woman believes she does 90% of the household chores, and the average married man believes he does 60% of the household chores.” Much conversation has been had around what the actual numbers are, and the gender inequality of domestic labor distribution, but what caught my attention was the fact that, apparently, BOTH men and women FEEL that they are contributing more than their share. This is significant because, as a result, they may both feel frustrated about having to do more AND frustrated that their partner is not acknowledging their contributions (because they themselves feel that they’re doing more than their share and not getting acknowledgement). It seemed obvious to me that it came down to a communication failure, but, having lived with 5 roommates, I personally understood the undesirability of making chores a primary topic of conversation. So, I created an interactive system involving dry-erase magnets that focuses on teamwork, and validates each person for their actual contributions, so that no one has to feel frustrated or unappreciated.

Believing that my system could be helpful to support healthy marriages and families, I set about designing a board that could use both push pins and magnets, hold extra pens and magnets in a storage compartment, and have a detachable frame so that the fabric could be changed to suit the asthetics of any home. During the design process, it occurred to me that there may be a great many uses for this board, and, with the free printables I designed to fit with our dry-erasable display magnets, and other decorative and functional magnets, the board could be used for a wide range of purposes from jewelry organizer, to menu planning station or memo board or chalkboard or just decorative. One of the most exciting options involves ready-to-color task pieces, to empower children who are learning to complete daily routines.

SG: What’s unique about your invention?
SB: The product is unique because, until now, there has not existed a magnetic pin board that allowed you to easily customize the fabric. Similarly, I have not seen, on the market, acrylic, magnetic holders for making printable charts and lists dry-eraseable.

SG: What’s this we hear about trying to get onto the TV show Shark Tank?
SB I have been obsessed with Shark Tank and have believed that a positive response to our Kickstarter would give us a good boost toward both applying to be on the show and also the potential of getting investment from a “Shark.” However, in the meantime, I was recently contacted by a casting director who is working on a similar style of show, to be aired on ABC in early 2017, and am excited to be in the application process.

SG: Any other info you think Greenlakers should know about your invention?
SB: We’re excited about the product, the response from our local community on Kickstarter (we met our funding goal in 9 hours) and we’re especially excited in our anticipation to see our online community grow into a place of sharing tips, photos and inspiration about what they’re doing with THEIR Chart á la Carte, how to organize and live life.


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Green Lake Community Center Feedback Needed This Week

September 14, 2016 5:52am
via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

Recently Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre unveiled the Community Center Strategic Plan calling for new investments to the City’s Community Centers. If the City Council accepts the plan, Green Lake Community Center would be one of the many Community Centers in the city to receive funding for upgrades/changes.

According to information provided by ARC, Associated Recreation Council,
The Green Lake Community Center is proposed to receive the following operating benefits if City Council accepts the plan as part of the 2017 budget process:

Additional Staffing:
Ensure Safety, Cleanliness, and Accessibility/ Meet Community Needs: Additional custodial staffing will help improve cleanliness and address the needs of the homeless and unsheltered population that uses the center for showers.

Operating Partnership:
Explore partnerships to manage the center in exchange for private funding for facility needs.

System-wide Improvements:
· Elimination of Drop-in Fees
· Simplification of Scholarship Application Process
· Recreation Program Performance Management System
· Improve Advisory Council System

The City Council Parks Committee will be discussing the Community Center Strategic Plan this Friday, September 16 and has asked the public to send comments of support and feedback on the plan THIS WEEK by phone or email to the Parks Committee Members.

Committee Member Contact Information:
· Debora Juarez, Chair:; 206-684-8805
· Sally Bagshaw, Vice Chair:; 206-684-8801
· Bruce Harrell, Member:; 206-684-8804
· Kshama Sawant, Alternate:; 206-684-8016

Testimony to the Parks Committee will be taken at the beginning of their meeting, and the public is encouraged to attend to share comments of support and feedback on the plan.
Friday, September 16
2:00 p.m.; public comment is first on the agenda
Council Chambers at City Hall: 600 4th Avenue


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Wallingford Wurst Festival This Weekend

September 13, 2016 6:46am

The Great Wallingford Wurst Festival is this weekend – Friday and Saturday.

The Octoberfest style event has been an end-of-summer celebration for 33 years. The once small fundraiser for St. Benedict Catholic School now draws more than 10,000 visitors during the two day event.

More than wurst, the Festival also includes games for kids of all ages (bouncy houses!), craft booths, homemade sweets via a bake sale, a book sale, a Biergarten, a raffle, plus live entertainment on an outdoor stage.

St. Benedict Catholic School
4811 Wallingford Ave N

Friday: 4-10pm
Saturday: 10am – 10pm
Beer Garden open until Midnight on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, go to their Facebook page or  website.


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Green Lake Path To Close Temporarily Sept 14

September 12, 2016 6:40am
Circle indicates approximate area of closure.

Circle indicates approximate area of closure.

FYI: Seattle Parks and Recreation will close off access to a small section of the Green Lake path around the lake to perform maintenance on the Fish Drum and water weir just south of Meridian St. on Wednesday September 14. The path will be closed for about five hours. No word on when exactly that will occur. When the Parks Department has done work like this in the past they have diverted the path up onto the grass.


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Former Greenlaker in Need of Support

September 9, 2016 6:27am


Former Greenlaker Greg Wickenburg could use a bit of help. Greg was in an automobile accident when he was a teen that left him a C-5 quadriplegic. Unable to control his body temperature after the accident, he moved from Green Lake to Arizona in search of warmer surroundings. The warmer weather has helped him but his aging van is no longer reliable and can’t get him around town.

He is now in search of a reliable wheel chair accessible van and created a Go Fund Me page to help him get one. Check out the link and more on his story and how you can help. Currently, Greg is a little over half way to his goal.


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