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Seattle Parks and Recreation

The View From Denny Park
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent


No. 33. March 7, 2003
A periodic electronic newsletter
about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events
from Seattle Parks & Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds

The View from Denny Park: News and Views from the Superintendent

COMMUNITY CENTER LEVY PROGRAM

This is a watershed year for Community Center Levy Program with most of the nine projects well under say. Seattle voters approved the $36 million levy in 1999 to renovate, expand or construct nine community centers. Since then we’ve been actively planning, designing and working with our community partners on the projects.

As of the end of February 2003, construction of a new community center in the International District/Chinatown has begun. We are set to award a construction contract for the renovation of “Building 47” at Sand Point Magnuson Park, and the High Point Community Center renovation project is out to bid. The High Point and Sand Point projects should be complete or nearly completed by the end of the year.

In other Levy news, we’re in the design stage in the Jefferson, Southwest and Yesler projects. At Northgate, we have selected a site for an exciting joint development of a new community center, park and a library, working in concert with Seattle Public Library.

For more information, and the latest updates on these projects, please visit the Community Center Levy page on our web site: www.seattle.gov/parks/centers/comcenlevyprog99.htm

SAND POINT MAGNUSON PARK

Late last month, the Seattle Hearing Examiner’s Office ruled that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for 65-acre wetland/athletic field project at Sand Point Magnuson Park is adequate on seven of the eight issues that were the subject of an appeal by the Friends of Sand Point Magnuson Park. Parks staff will develop a “Supplemental” EIS on the impact of sportsfield noise on park wildlife. We plan to issue a draft of this document in late March.

I-80: “THE CREEKS INITIATIVE”

On February 23, the City Council voted to place Initiative 80, an initiative intended to protect Seattle's urban creeks, on the ballot. Mayor Nickels had submitted an alternative to I-80 which contained measures to support our urban creek and inland water habitats. At this point, the Council has not placed an alternative initiative on the ballot but could choose to include an alternative to I-80 on the ballot at a later date.

STATE CONSIDERS LOCAL BUSINESS & OPERATIONS TAXING AUTHORITY

Two bills have been introduced in the State Legislature at the request of Governor Gary Locke that would diminish cities’ authority to collect Business and Operations taxes. HB 2030 is sponsored by Rep. Kessler and SB 5900 is sponsored by Sen. Horn.

Included in these bills is a provision called “apportionment” that would eliminate the “throwback rule.” Right now, when a business is located in a B&O taxing jurisdiction, such as Seattle, and it provides services or goods to a customer in a city that has no local B&O tax, then 100% of the gross income tax reverts back to the business’ home city. Eliminating the rule would cost Seattle an estimated $15 million a year. Clearly, our budget would feel a direct impact from this legislation.

OLMSTED CENTENNIAL UPDATE

We were delighted by the news that the display garden “Reflecting the Olmsted Tradition,” sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation won a gold medal at last month’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Designed by landscape architect Phil Wood, the garden featured a naturalistic landscape with a reflecting pond, flowers and native plantings, including several large trees. The garden occupied much of the Convention Center overpass over Pike St. For photos of the exhibit, please visit our web site at www.seattle.gov/parks

Also well received at the show, was the Olmsted educational exhibit, which will now travel to various community centers. Please check it out! The exhibit will be at Miller Community Center until March 11, at Rainier Beach from March 11-25, at Delridge from March 25-April 8, at Meadowbrook from April 8-22, and at South Lake Union from April 22-May 4.

Huge accolades to Parks Horticulture Manager Duane Penttila, Horticulturist Lisa Chen, their staff and many staff from our Westbridge shops who worked so hard and so well on this prodigious undertaking.

In case you missed it, I co-authored an op-ed piece with Park Board Chair Bruce Bentley on Frederick Law Olmsted’s anti-slavery views. It appeared last month in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. See http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/110057_olmsted26.shtml

I will be in touch soon.

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