Rep. Gerry Pollet, Wedgwood’s 46th District representative in the state legislature, has continued to monitor the radioactive contamination cleanup at Magnuson Park and has published this update. As previously reported here, the radioactive contamination at Magnuson was the result of activities at the site when it was the Sand Point Naval Air Station. The cleanup issues at Magnuson are a complicated interaction between the Navy, which is responsible for cleanup, and the standards of the State Department of Ecology.
The City of Seattle has approved a lease for two organizations to use Building 11 at Magnuson, a building which is undergoing renovation and for which there are unanswered questions as to safety due to soil contamination. Rep. Pollet and representatives of Heart of America Northwest have met with Seattle Waldorf School and Cascade Bicycle Club about these issues and their use of Building 11.
The little building at 8605 35th Ave NE was demolished on November 26. Seen in the background is the Jasper Apartment building.
The little building at 8605 35th Ave NE was demolished just before 8 AM on Tuesday, November 26. This long-running story is explained in greater detail here. The corner lot is owned by Seattle City Light. It is to be purchased by Seattle Parks Department using previous levy funds. However, there are many more steps to be accomplished before the site actually becomes a park.
The owner of the little building had a ground lease from City Light and since 1968 she had rented out the building to different businesses, including a real estate office, a counseling center and most recently to CC & Co. Hair Salon. The owner of the building is not the same as the owner of the hair salon business.
The building owner was required to move the building if she wanted to keep it, but there were no takers for it. Seattle City Light oversaw today’s demolition and a representative told me that the site will remain as-is, with asphalt and a tree at the corner. On the back half of the site, work has already been completed to dig out contaminated soil. No contamination was found on the front section, so no more clean-up work is necessary and that is why the asphalt will remain in place.
The Wedgwood Community Council continues to monitor the process and advocate for the site to become a neighborhood “pocket park.” But we know that another Parks levy, tentatively to be on the ballot in 2014, will be necessary for funding for more sites like 8605 to be developed into a park.
Interior of 8605 35th Ave NE just before demolition.
Attendees at the Jan 12th 2011 Parks Meeting
It’s hard to believe, but nearly 3 years ago we co-hosted a wildly successful community meeting with the Seattle Parks Department. About 150 people attended, the vast majority of who were in support of the Parks Department acquiring the former Morningside Substation where the CC & Company Salon was located. Out of that meeting, the Parks Department began a process to acquire the Morningside Substation from Seattle City Light for a future Wedgwood Park.
Due to minor surficial contamination on the former substation portion of the site, clean up had to occur before the Parks Department would purchase the property. This clean up took place earlier this year. The only remaining physical hurdle to the Parks Department acquiring the site was the former CC & Company building itself. While Seattle City Light owned the property, they had a ground lease to allow the building to be located on the site. Unfortunately, the owner of the building found it difficult to remove the building from the site after Seattle City Light terminated the ground lease. The Parks Department would only accept a “clean site” though before it would acquire the site though so their Department budget or park development funds wouldn’t be siphoned off to pay for the removal of the building.
Crew getting ready to cap utilities at the former Morningside Substation Park
If you drive by the CC & Company lot today (the former Seattle City Light Morningside Substation), you’ll notice a small crew of contractors getting ready to cap the utilities today in advance of tomorrow’s main event: DEMOLITION! According to the contractors, the building demolition will be completed by Thanksgiving…maybe even tomorrow! After that, we understand that Parks Department intends to introduce legislation into Council to formally approve the purchase of the parcel from Seattle City Light. Once this occurs, the parcel will be “land banked” for a new Wedgwood park. There are no funds available to develop any additional parks unfortunately, so this parcel will remain vacant for some time. But it’s expected that the Parks Department will take a ballot measure to the voters in 2014 to fund the Legacy Plan, a funding package that the Parks Department has been working on for some time.
Equipment is in place at 8605 35th Ave NE ready for the demolition to take place on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
The Legacy Plan Committee is currently debating whether or not to include $10.53 million to develop and maintain 14 “land banked” park sites within this funding package. The Wedgwood Parks Committee wrote and submitted a letter to the Legacy Plan Committee urging them to fund the development of the Morningside Substation and a proposed Inverness Ravine Park Trail project. You can read that letter HERE on the Wedgwood Community Council Cloud.
Paul the Pumpkin Man awaits your selection at the Hunter Farm in Wedgwood.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 25 to 27 is the final weekend of pumpkin sales at the Hunter Farm Pumpkin Patch, 7744 35th Ave NE. There are still plenty of pumpkins available, and don’t forget to get an extra one to donate for kids at Ryther. Ryther is a non-profit in Wedgwood which offers behavioral health services for children and families facing complex challenges. There are forty-eight children in residential treatment at Ryther, 2400 NE 95th Street. Ryther is staffed around the clock by counselors and psychologists who guide, coach and teach in order that the children may have a better life.
Look for the Ryther pumpkin donation box at the Hunter Farm Pumpkin Patch this weekend, and help the kids at Ryther have a fun season of fall decorations. On weekdays you may bring pumpkin donations directly to Ryther, 2400 NE 95th Street, during office hours: Monday through Thursday 8 to 7 or Friday 8 to 5.
UPDATE: Thank you, Wedgwoodians, for your generosity! By Sunday, October 27, enough pumpkins had been donated for each child at Ryther to have one for a fun and festive Halloween activity.
In addition to their webpage and blog, you can also read about Ryther on Facebook and the history of Ryther, dating back into the 1880′s, on Valarie’s blog.
The Pumpkins are coming! Seasonal pumpkin sales open at Hunter Tree Farm, 7744 35th Ave NE as of the weekend of October 11 to 13, 2013. Get your pumpkins early! Do your part to support our local pumpkinistas and inject pumpkin dollars into the economy. There is no pumpkin shut-down because all parties agree on the benefits of PumpkinCare. We thank Hunter Farms for making Wedgwood the Center of the Pumpkin Universe.
PUMPKIN DONATIONS: Ryther in Wedgwood, a treatment center which does fantastic work with emotionally disturbed children, needs donations of pumpkins for the kids to decorate. Look for the donation box at the Hunter Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch and help make a difference in the lives of kids. You can also bring pumpkins directly to Ryther, 2400 NE 95th Street, during office hours: Monday through Thursday 8 AM to 7 PM, or Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. UPDATE: October 25 to 27 is the final weekend of pumpkin sales and Ryther still needs pumpkins for the 48 kids who are in residential treatment. Look for the donation box this weekend at Hunter’s Pumpkin Patch, and tell Paul the Pumpkin Man that I sent you.
Ryther’s work dates to the earliest days of Seattle when Mother Ryther vowed never to turn away a needy child. Read more about Ryther on Valarie’s neighborhood history blog.
On Friday evening, October 11, from 5 to 7 PM there will be an Open House Celebration at Building 30, Magnuson’s new home for arts and culture. The historic building is a former hangar and officer’s club, now renovated for performance and artist gallery studios. More photos and info are at Space at Magnuson.
Everyone is invited to come out on Friday evening to enjoy the Open House Celebration with live music and the public gallery of artists.
The Mountaineers organization was founded in 1906 by some of Seattle’s earliest environmentalists, including Prof. Edmond S. Meany of the University of Washington and photographer Asahel Curtis. Winlock Miller, a UW Regent and Mountaineers member, owned the (future) Wedgwood Rock property at 7200 28th Ave NE and the Rock was used for Mountaineers and Scouts climbing practices. With this storied history in northeast Seattle, it is fitting that the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center was able to move from a previous location to their present site at 7700 Sand Point Way NE in Magnuson Park.
On Monday, September 30th from 6 to 9 PM there will be a Meet the Mountaineers evening at the Seattle Program Center. Representatives from each of the activity committees will be on hand to answer questions about courses and upcoming events. The Climbing Wall will be open all evening and staffed by the climbing committee — you don’t need to bring any equipment. Visitors will have access to the Gear Grab where members sell their gently used gear, along with new supplies. The Mountaineers Bookstore will be open, offering an extensive assortment of guidebooks for hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, skiing and other mountaineering literature. Think ahead: holiday gift-shopping alert! Mountaineers gear, books, hats, shirts and etc. make good gifts!