City Proposes New Parking Payment Plan

Do you hate standing in the rain at a slow meter paying for parking?  I do too, but the City of Seattle has proposed a new system for the process involving, of course, a cell phone.   As part of the new 2012 budget, the city is proposing a Pay-by-cell plan which will allow for payment through cell phones.  Users will enter time and payment info and be alerted when their time is near expiration.  At that point, you can extend your time without going back to the meter and/or car.  I think this is a great idea (avoid the rain, avoid ditching a lunch date), but some officials feel this will result in less revenue for the city.  The system could lower parking violation fines which typically bring in a big chunk of change.  Pay-by-cell could begin as early as next year.  For more info, please see the full article from Seattle Pi.

Garfield Community Center May Have Extended Hours

This week, Mayor Mike McGinn proposed a change regarding the city’s 25 community centers; cut staff and hours to most, but turn the remaining in to high-use centers.  The purpose it to reduce the cost of community centers and this particular program would save the city $1.2 Million in 2012.  Under the proposal, the community centers are split into 5 geographical regions.  Within these regions, high-use centers will have specialty programs and extended hours.  The 7 centers with extended hours and activities would be Bitter Lake, Garfield, High Point, Jefferson, Loyal Heights, Meadowbrook and Rainier.  The Garfield Community Center in on E. Cherry St. in Seattle’s central distric.  For more information on the proposal, please read the full  Seattle Times article.

Seattle Greek Festival Happening This Weekend

The Saint Demetrios Greek Festival is happening this weekend at the St. Demetrios Hall & Cultural Center on Boyer Ave. E in Capitol Hill on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This is the 50th year of the annual event that uses proceeds to support ministries and community charities.  The festival will feature authentic cuisine including favorites like gyros and delish baklava (MY personal favorite).  Attendees will also have the chance to tour the church and watch Greek Foll Dancing performances from over 120 dancers.  If that’s not enough, stop by a variety of shops with beautiful jewelry, imported arts and crafts, and Greek clothing and literature.  Please visit the official webpage to find festival hours, parking, directions and general information.  See you there!

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1894 and closed in 1995 to make way for REI.  It reopened at its current location in 1963.

Man Assaulted in Cal Anderson Park

A 21-year old homeless man was beaten and hospitalized on Sunday in Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.  The man was with a group of people, one of whom knocked him to the ground and beat him after a verbal argument.  Mayor McGinn is currently working to increase the safety of the park with more rangers and patrols to monitor for disruptive and/or illegal activities in the park.  In addition, he hopes to connect more of the homeless population that frequents Cal Anderson Park to human-service programs.

The victim was last reported in stable condition at Harborview.

 For more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Plan Proposal Hits Design Review Board

A stalled development project by NK Architects, apartment building Stream Belmont on Belmont Avenue in Capitol Hill, will be facing the Design Review Board this week.  The project was initially drafted in 2007 and has since been revised from a 40-unit condo building to a six-story 65-unit apartment building.  NK Architects is also the developer for another Capitol Hill development near the Federal-Republican Park.  See more info about this project here.