Friday, August 14, 2009

Short takes

One of the glories of summer in Madison Park

Blog reader Alice Lanczos tells me that I ought to rave about the lovely Crape Myrtles that line the north side of E. Madison Street in the area between Bing’s and McGilvra’s. I’m happy to do so. Though in past years I barely noticed these splendiferous beauties, they are certainly not to be missed this year. The blooms are expected to last at least until the end of the month; so if you haven’t done so already, get down there, look up, and enjoy the show (if driving, please pull over first).

Do New Multi-Lot Houses Have Consequences?

I’ve done some additional digging since my story earlier this week on the census numbers; and I’ve discovered that there is, in fact, an official government estimate of the current population of Madison Park. The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) estimates that our neighborhood has actually lost population since the 2000 census.

The current population estimate for our census tract shows a decline in population from 5,006 in 2000 to 4,937, a loss of 69 Madison Parkers. If true, this would mean a decrease in population of 1.39% over the eight- year period, the kind of thing that happens in the rust belt.

The State’s population estimates are “derived from the current housing stock using decennial census-based occupancy rates and household size that have been adjusted based on other estimation information,” according to OFM. I guess we can hardly argue with that methodology, can we?

Private profit using public resources?

Some Madison Park residents (and probably a few merchants) are miffed that the City’s Parks and Recreation Department issued a permit to the concessionaire who sets up a tent near the Bath House on sunny days and sells ice cream and pop to beach goers. Part of the irritation stems from safety concerns about the electrical cord which snakes its way across the grass, over a dirt path and cement walkway and into the women’s room (where I am told it sometimes sits in water that ponds on the floor).

A bigger concern for many, however, is that allowing a vendor to operate on Park property—using taxpayer space and electricity—creates unfair competition for Madison Park merchants, such as Scoop du Jour, that make most of their revenue during the summer months. Topping it all off is the fact that the City acted—as usual—without apparent notification to anyone in Madison Park. This is something guaranteed to drive the Madison Park establishment (Community Council and Business Association) crazy. Apparently it has.

If you believe that the City acted unwisely in granting the concession, you may sign a petition to that effect which is available at Madison Park Hardware.

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