Monday, February 28, 2011

March Happenings

Those who feel they haven’t already heard enough about the planned replacement of the SR-520 floating bridge will have two opportunities in March to get the word directly from the Washington State Department of Transportation.   On March 9 (1-3 pm) there will be a public meeting on the subject at the University District Tully’s (4700 University Way NE), and on March 14 (11 am-1 pm) another such meeting will be held at Seattle Central Community College, Edison Building Commons (1701 Broadway Avenue).   If you are interested in knowing more about what the opposition thinks of the bridge-replacement plan, there’s a recent posting on the Seattle PI site that does a pretty good job of summarizing the perceived negatives of the Governor’s “preferred alternative.”  Another source of anti-WSDOT rhetoric is the Coalition for a Sustainable SR 520, whose most-recent set of misgivings is available here.

[By the way, if you want to sign up for SR-520 electronic tolling (which will begin this Spring), you can—in theory—do so at this website.  We say in theory because the site apparently has had a few bugs.   And if you’ve already signed up for the Good to Go! program (WSDOT’s clever moniker for the electronic-toll payment system), so sorry: you’ll just have to start all over again.  Let’s just say the bureaucrats screwed up the original registration system. If you don't want to go internet, you still can buy a Good to Go! pass the old-fashioned way at your neighborhood Safeway and at other locations.]

There will be two opportunities in March to learn what’s happening with the Madison Valley Stormwater Project by attending “drop-in” sessions, presented by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). One session will be held on March 5 (9-11 am) at Casa Del Café (2818 E. Madison Street), and another will be held on March 11 (8:30-10:30 am) at Café Flora (2901 E. Madison Street).  If you are a Madison Valley resident or business owner in the area you may want to attend one of these sessions as a matter of self-interest.  SPU is asking for input concerning how to handle the following:  1) potentially doing some construction at night, 2) temporarily eliminating some additional parking along E. Madison Street, and 3) reducing traffic to one lane on E. Madison during certain periods of the open-trench construction.  In any event, Madison Park residents (like everyone else) should expect delays on Madison in coming months, whatever the specifics of SPU's ultimate plan. We will cover that story once decisions have been made on the timing and extent of these traffic restrictions.  In the meantime, information on the Madison Valley Stormwater Project is available at SPU’s project site.

The Pioneer Association of the State of Washington hosts its General Meeting on Saturday, March 26, at Pioneer Hall (1642 43rd Avenue E.), 12-1:15 pm.  Following the general meeting, speaker Jeff Rodgers (great, great grandson of Governor M.E. Hay) will share his Washington State pioneer family history, and John and Steve Lundin, Seattle attorneys and amateur historians, will share the story of their grandfather, Mark Odell, and his historical Northwest connections.  Doors open at 11:30, and the public is invited both to attend the session and to view the pioneer memorabilia on display at the Hall

Senior Services is sponsoring Aging Your Way, a gathering of “Baby Boomers and other older adults who plan to age,” on Thursday, March 3 (5:30-8:30 pm) at the Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry Street).   The goal of the meeting is to bring people together to “envision a community that will help support everyone as they age.” According to Sabrina Jones, Community Organizer for Senior Services, the meeting is intended to be inspirational and to motivate people to work on projects that help make their community friendlier to everyone.  Specifically, participants will attempt to identify what “services, programs and supports will help people (including you) age confidently” in our part of town.  Reservations are required for the session, with the RSVP deadline being Tuesday, March 1.  Visit for more information, or contact Joanne Donohue at (206) 727-6206 (  Food will be served!

The UW Botanic Gardens is sponsoring a class in Pruning Woody Plants on Thursday, March 3 (9 am-3 pm) at the Graham Visitors Center in Washington Park Arboretum (advance registration required: $70, including lunch).  Another class “designed for the general audience,” Plant Identification, will include six classroom sessions on Tuesdays (7-9 pm), beginning March 8, plus two fieldtrips (March 26, 1-3 pm and April 16, 8 am-4 pm).  Advance registration is required: $160.  Information on both of these classes is available here.  Or you can call (206) 543-8801.

The UW Botanic Gardens is also bringing back the Environmental Summer Day Camp program this year for First through Sixth Graders (ages 6-12).   The cost is $250 per week for sessions that run from 9 am until 3 pm, Monday through Friday.  Drop-off and pick-up is at the Graham Visitors Center in the Arboretum.   Week One (July 11-16) is entitled “Native Plants and People”; Week Two (July 18-22) is entitled “Little Green Thumbs”; and Week Three (July 25-29) is entitled “Arboretum Detectives.”   There is a limit of 36 campers per week, and there are optional “extended camp” programs (at additional cost) for before and after the camp programs each day.  Information is available here, or you can call the phone number listed above.

Pharmaca (4130 E. Madison St.) is sponsoring an all-day (well, 11 am-6 pm) event on Sunday, March 13, entitled “Are all those pills you’re taking still relevant?”  Erik Altmann, ND, encourages you to bring in your supplements and pills for his evaluation of what he thinks is necessary and what isn’t.

[Photo of 520 Floating Bridge by David Hogan (Cap’n Surly) on Fickr, used by permission.]

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