Show Will Go on for Fremont Solstice Parade

The future looks bright for the Fremont Solstice Parade thanks to a new partnership between the Fremont Arts Council and Seattle City Light. A permit for use of a City Light property has been signed by the Fremont Arts Council to store materials for the community-based arts parade, which was in danger of shutting down, as their lease could not be renewed at their current storage location due to construction.

In June 2017, Seattle City Light learned through the City of Seattle’s Finance and Administrative Services that the Fremont Arts Council was urgently looking for a new site to store float trailers and parade materials. The Environment, Land and Licensing Unit identified a City Light-owned property that was about to become vacant and contacted the Fremont Arts Council.

“As an important part of the history and fabric of our City, I am pleased we were able to work with the Fremont Solstice Parade to find a great space that allows us to preserve the parade,” said Mayor Murray.

“The Arts Council brings a huge amount of social and cultural good to the City of Seattle. We have an amazing legacy of community art and have accumulated supplies over time that allow us to put on the Fremont Solstice Parade, but those things need to be stored. A month ago we got to a point where we realized we might have to destroy our floats. We were squarely looking the end of this parade in the face,” said Peter Toms, co-founder of the Fremont Solstice Parade. “City Light contacted us and wanted to help. The new site is literally on the staging area for the parade. It’s fantastic. It couldn’t be any better.”

The approximately 4,000 square foot open-air site is located at 3616 3rd Avenue NW in Fremont. To assist in a timely transition from their current location, the Fremont Arts Council is signing a month-to-month permit for use effective Aug. 1 with the intent to pursue a long-term contract.

“This is a great example of partnership that will keep a beloved tradition alive,” Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO Larry Weis said. “I applaud our employees, the community leaders and volunteers involved in this agreement for coming together to ensure the Fremont Solstice Parade will go on. I’m particularly thankful to Real Estate Manager Maureen Barnes and Senior Real Property Agent Greg Aramaki for their leadership in securing the space and permit for parade.”

“The Fremont Solstice Parade is one of the most popular parades in Seattle,” Kate Becker, Director of the Office of Film + Music + Special Events said. “Thousands turnout every year to celebrate the summer, display their creative spirit, and embody Seattle’s whimsical nature. I am delighted the tradition will continue.”

“We are so grateful for the support from City Light. We intend to use the space to continue to enliven Seattle through celebration arts! Next year is our 30th Annual Fremont Solstice Parade. Thanks to their creative thinking and quick action, we will continue with our human-powered spectacle of colorful and quirky delights!” said Fremont Arts Council President Susan Harper.

City Light Continues Electronic Equipment Upgrades in March 2017

Starting in mid-March 2017, Seattle City Light will be supporting enhanced cellular and data services in the Phinney Ridge and Fremont areas by upgrading electronic equipment to 11 utility poles throughout the public right-of-way of these neighborhoods.

This project is an expansion of existing communications networks. The equipment modifications will increase public safety and enhanced-911 capabilities. The work will also improve wireless services to areas, allowing for enhanced connectivity and faster 4G service.

During this project, City Light crews will also have the opportunity to upgrade its infrastructure and replace utility poles that are in poor condition.

There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.

This project is anticipated to start in mid-March 2017. Construction will last approximately three weeks. Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Jake Hamilton, Seattle City Light Project Consultant at (619) 341-9208 or jake@virtualsitewalk.com.

Visit Seattle City Light’s construction website for the latest updates on this project: http://www.seattle.gov/light/atwork/release.asp?RN=326.

Electronic Equipment Upgrades Planned in Fremont and Wallingford

Starting in late December 2016, Seattle City Light will be supporting enhanced cellular and data services in the Fremont and Wallingford areas by upgrading electronic equipment to 11 utility poles throughout the public right-of-way of these neighborhoods.

Map of the construction work areas in Fremont and Wallingford.

This project is an expansion of existing communications networks. The equipment modifications will increase public safety and enhanced-911 capabilities. The work will also improve wireless services to areas, allowing for enhanced connectivity and faster 4G service.

During this project, City Light crews will also have the opportunity to upgrade its infrastructure and replace utility poles that are in poor condition.

There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.

This project is anticipated to start in late December 2016. This work will last approximately four to five weeks. Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Matt Clark, City Light Project Consultant at (503) 250-0863 or matthew.clark@acomconsultinginc.com.

Visit Seattle City Light’s construction website for the latest updates on this project: http://www.seattle.gov/light/atwork/release.asp?RN=326.

Seattle Parks and Recreation needs input for A.B. Ernst Park addition

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to provide feedback on design options for the addition to A.B. Ernst Park. Please join us on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fremont Branch Library, 731 N. 35th St.  This project will expand upon the existing A.B. Ernst Park, provide access for people with disabilities and improve safety and other park features. Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased the parcel to next to A.B. Ernst Park, 719 N 35th St. in 2010.  

Funding for the development of this project is provided by Seattle Park District. Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 is the first full year of implementation and will include funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog; and will fund the improvement and rehabilitation of community centers; preservation of the urban forest; major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo; day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities; more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, programs for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults; development of new parks; and acquisition of new park land.

If you need an interpreter or accommodations please contact Karimah Cooper Edwards at 206-233-0064 or Karimah.edwards@seattle.gov. For more information about the project please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/a_b_ernst/

 

Advancing Equitable Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director

Mayor Murray recently issued an Executive Order directing the city to approach outreach and engagement in an equitable manner. Putting an equity lens on our approaches is bold and, yes, brave. It shows a commitment to practices that address accessibility and equity.


What does this mean?

  • We often hear that meetings can feel like we are “checking a box.” The Mayor’s action means we can create processes that are more relationship-based and build authentic partnerships.
  • It means that we can create plans that are culturally sensitive, which includes an emphasis on translated materials.
  • It means we broaden access points, identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities.


What else does this mean?

  • It means we have an opportunity to recreate, re-envision and reconcile many lingering issues, including defining the difference between neighborhoods and communities, providing clarity about roles, and creating a system of engagement that builds partnerships with, and between, communities throughout the city of Seattle.
  • It means that we will be working to expand choices and opportunities for community members throughout this city, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of those who face barriers to participation.
  • It means that we’ll work with city offices and departments on community involvement to ensure that they are effective and efficient through the wise use and management of all resources, including the community’s time.
  • And it means we will expand the toolbox and make some investments in digital engagement.

 

Seattle is a unique city, and we are fortunate to have so many valuable partners currently at the proverbial table. Those partners play an important role and that role will continue. While we are appreciative of the countless hours our volunteers spend making our city better, we recognize and acknowledge there are barriers to participation. There are communities who cannot be at the table, while there are some communities who don’t even know there is a table. This is where the Department of Neighborhoods comes in.

This is not a power grab. It is a power share. At the heart of this Executive Order is a commitment to advance the effective deployment of equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies across all city departments. This is about making information and opportunities for participation more accessible to communities throughout the city.

 

“This is not about silencing voices. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about bringing more people into the conversations or at least creating opportunities for people to participate so they can be heard.”

 
Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important and those are not going away. But not every person can attend a community meeting, and the ability to do so should not determine who gets to participate and who gets to be heard.

We’d love to hear what tools YOU need to be successful and how WE can help you. Share your ideas with us:

  • Send an email to NewDON@seattle.gov.
  • Share your comments below.
  • Contact us at 206-684-0464 or mail us at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.
  • Join and follow the conversation online using #AdvancingEquitySEA at:

Facebook – @SeattleNeighborhoods
Twitter – @SeaNeighborhood

This is about making things easier and less exhaustive. This is about connecting communities to government and to one another. This is about moving forward.

Kathy Nyland, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods