Cheer On Cyclists In The Obliteride Fundraiser On August 10

ObliterideLogo_rgbCyclists taking part in the 2nd annual Obliteride fundraiser benefiting the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will pedal down Lake Washington Boulevard through Madrona and Leschi as part of the 25-, 50-, 100-mile race routes on Sunday, August 10. Organizers are encouraging the community to come out and cheer on the riders as they make their way through the neighborhood, and are also suggesting that spectators make signs to display along the route honoring anyone they know who has been affected by cancer.

Participants in the ride commit to fundraising a set amount of money for each distance – $1,000 is the minimum – and 100 percent of funds raised will go to Fred Hutch and its efforts toward ending cancer. Last year’s event raised more than $2 million. Riders will start at Magnuson Park and head south on Lake Washington Boulevard, passing through Denny Blaine, Madrona, Leschi, Mount Baker, and on to Seward Park, so there is plenty of room for spectators to line the whole route along the lake. There is also a 150-mile ride that will take riders to Bainbridge Island and down the Kitsap Peninsula to Tacoma and back.

If you would prefer to ride instead of spectate, there is still time to register! Visit the Obliteride site to get all the details for registering, fundraising, and ride-day details. At the very least, head down to Lake Washington Boulevard on the 10th to give the riders some extra encouragement!

Bike Lane Added to Madrona Drive to 34th Avenue

East Denny WayIf you been driving around Madrona along 34th Avenue, East Denny, and/or Madrona Drive you have noticed the temporary markings for the new bicycle lanes.  Well, Seattle Department of Transportation have the new permanent markings for the lanes on the streets now.  It looks pretty good, but I would not want to open my driver’s side door if I was parked on the east-side of the street where 34th Avenue meet East Denny Way – it is tight and there is little visibility.  Nevertheless, bicycles will now have more room whether traveling from Madrona, Denny Blaine or Leschi when coming up the steep hill on Madrona Drive, along East Denny, and up the incline on 34th Avenue until they get to Pike Street and the Madrona Business District.

Construction on East Harrison Closes Street for Summer

Last week, Seattle Public Utilities began construction  of local sewers and storm water improvements and work will close a section of Harrison Street between 30th and 31st off for the next several months. Construction will include a 35,000 gallon underground storm water storage tank and a new 18″ combined sewer pipeline on East Harrison Street between 30th and 31st Avenue East. This work will greatly reduce the potential for sewer backups and storm water flooding along 31st between E. John St and E. Republican St, an area experiencing heavy problems.

Given the extent of the construction that is needed, work is scheduled to be completed in October, and work hours are scheduled typically between 7:30am-6:00pm, Mon-Fri. Construction will include installing a new fencing and mobilizing equipment on the site, removing pavement on E Harrison St, removing soil, installing the new 18″ sewer pipe among other things. Traffic will be detoured off of E. Harrison St between 30th and 31st for the duration of the construction work. Pedestrian access will be permitted during construction, please be aware of the traffic congestion this may cause for the duration of the summer!

Rumor: Obama to Visit Madrona / Denny Blaine

Obama SeattleRumor is that President Barack Obama is attending a political fundraiser (reportedly raising $17,000 per person) this weekend in the Madrona / Denny Blaine area.  While I am not sure about the date, the Seattle Times reported earlier this month that Obama was to be in Seattle on May 10th.  Thus don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse or see evidence of the president in Madrona / Denny Blaine this weekend or in the coming weeks.

This will not be the first time Obama has visited Madrona / Denny Blaine.  Central District News had a blog, complete with pictures, about Obama’s visit to the our local Seattle neighborhoods in 2010.

Madrona Neighborhood Appreciation Day

Madrona AwardsMadrona Neighborhood Appreciation Day is this Saturday, March 24th at 10 AM in the Madrona School (K-8) Library (map).  The event is open to the community so residents from all Seattle neighborhoods and especially the surrounding neighborhoods of Madrona, Leschi, Denny Blaine, etc. are invited to attend.

Neighborhood Appreciation Day is celebrated in conjunction with Madrona K-8.  Madrona Elementary School will recognize some teachers and students while the Madrona Community Council has four different awards to recognize Madrona residents.  The four awards are: The Nora Award, The Local Hero Award, The Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award, and The Madrona Resident for Life Award.    The Nora award, named in honor of Madrona activist Nora Wood, is given to a resident who has left their mark on the community.  The Local Hero Award is bestowed to a Madrona resident for an act of heroism, kindness, or generosity.  The Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award is dedicated to a Madrona resident for service to others in the greater community.  And The Madrona Resident for Life Award is granted to a longtime resident who has left Madrona but is dearly missed.

Click link to see last year’s Madrona Neighborhood Appreciation Day winners.

Seattle Times Blasts Madrona Rep. Santos, Praises Rep. Pettigrew

Sharon SantosA Seattle Times editorial blasts Madrona’s Washington State House Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (Democrat) while praising  Madrona’s State House Representative Eric Pettigrew (Democrat) for their stances on how to fix the state’s school system.  The Seattle Times editorial said Santos along with her counterpart in the State Senate blocked even a vote on educational reform involving both teacher evaluations and charter schools.

The Seattle Times praised Pettigrew who recently spoke about his struggles at school while growing up in South Central Los Angeles.  Pettigrew wrote a bill to add limited charter schools to the state, but his counterpart Santos would not allow a vote on his bill.

If you have an opinion on this matter, you can click on the links above to either Santos’ or Pettigrew’s bios.  Once on either of their bios you can click “email” and after adding your address you can contact your Madrona Representative.  If you check the box on your email then it will go to all three of your State Representatives.

Santos and Pettigrew not only represent the Seattle neighborhood of Madrona, but Denny Blaine, the Central District, Leschi, Mount Baker, Seward Park, and most of southeast Seattle.

The Integrated History of Madrona and Denny Blaine

Denny Blaine

Denny Blaine Lake Park

One of Seattle’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Denny Blaine owes thanks to its adjacent neighbor: Madrona.  Charles L. Denny and Elbert F. Blaine were among some of the first developers to plat subdivisions in the area, although they benefited from an even earlier developer, J.D. Lowman, who first platted Madrona around 1889. While today Denny Blaine and Madrona are in the middle of Seattle, back then the neighborhoods were “way out of town” and only accessible over a few rutted and muddy roads.   In order to draw people to Madrona, the developers created a park on Lake Washington and a trolley car line from the north side of the park up through the “deep wild canyon” that was described as “one of the most scenic trolley rides to be had in the city.”  To this day the #2 Metro bus line runs along the same path (now Madrona Drive, Denny, and 34th Avenue) as those trolley cars once did, and the buses still turn around at the north end of Madrona Park.

C.L. Denny and E.F. Blaine benefited from the trolley line since they owned adjacent real estate at the head of the ravine.  In 1901, they named their subdivision Denny-Blaine Lake Park and built their sales office along side the cable line.  Their office was built with a waiting area for the trolley car as well as place to picnic.  To make the wait more enjoyable, they created a small park characterized by a fountain which was named Minerva Fountain, after Minerva Stone Blaine, Elbert’s wife.  Today, the waiting area is still used to wait for the bus and children still enjoy “The Duck Pond” where you can find ducks and their ducklings swimming among the lily pads.  This park is still referred to by its original name “Denny Blaine Lake Park” although the name has often been confused with the “Denny Blaine Park” which is on Lake Washington.  An attempt was made in 1961 to remove the sign and presumably the confusion, but the Park Board decided to leave the sign and the name of the park as it was.

Click the links to learn more details about Madrona History or Denny Blaine History.