Thursday, September 17, 2020

Miller Park featured in 9/20/20 Seattle Times "Then and Now" article

 Seattle Times:

(This, somewhat coincidentally, marks my departure from Miller Park, after 37 years in the neighborhood. Stay in touch. Andrew Taylor )

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Miller Playfield: campers, field scheduling

 (I contacted the City a couple of times: here's part of my 2nd message:

The untidy nature of them speaks to mental health issues that we need to address. The shields seen in one of the pictures are of great concern to some of my neighbors on : they interpret them as indicating that the residents are equipped for violence (perhaps similar to that seen in the recent riots). As I noted before, many of the tents are small, neat and unobtrusive, and can surely be accommodated while the City ramps up its outreach to the unhoused. It is the large untidy encampments and collections of seemingly random objects that speak to potential mental instability. ) September 2, 2020 Andrew, hello. Thank you for your August 21 and August 24 emails, addressed to the Mayor and the Superintendent, about the Miller Playfield encampment. The City's Navigation Team is aware of the campers at Miller, and I've forwarded your report to them as additional information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has made the decision to allow sheltering in place. The City's Navigation Team (which includes specially-trained police officers and social workers who go out every day to contact vulnerable people living unsheltered in homeless encampments across Seattle) will continue to do outreach to persons camping, to provide safety direction and small safety kits that include hand sanitizer. They'll continue to clean up litter as resources allow. The team will also continue to track encampments, and will take action according to the City's Administrative Rule once the emergency is over. I’ve also forwarded to the head of our Athletics unit your observation and suggestion about when scheduled play at Miller Playfield resumes. [See my note, below] Thank you for writing, and thank you for your patience during this public health crisis. Sincerely, Laurie Dunlap Superintendent’s Office, Seattle Parks and Recreation ____________________ My note about field use: I have a wonderful view of all the activities on Miller Playfield from my couch. In pre COVID-19 days, the (lighted, Sportsturf) playfield was fully booked all day (up to 10 PM) every day with organized league sports: softball, soccer, lacrosse. Now that organized sports are cancelled, the field has become a wonderful neighborhood gathering place, but a very COVID aware one. Small groups of people gather, in well spaced groups, and engage in all manner of safe, healthy activities: yoga, exercise, little baseball games, little soccer games, even little cricket games. This gives our field much more of a friendly neighborhood feel than previously, when the field hosted team play from the whole region. I therefore suggest that, when COVID-19 is over and team-play resumes, specific well-advertised times be set aside for pick-up local neighborhood use of the field. At a rough guess I’d suggest an early evening hour each weekday, and both a morning hour and an afternoon hour on each weekend and holiday day.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Miller Community Solar Microgrid Art Projec

 The public is invited to participate in the design phase of the Miller Community Solar Microgrid Art Project. Could you please share with your networks by forwarding the message below or this link to the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog ( 

Thank you!



Public Art in Progress for Miller Community Center

The design process is underway for a new interior artwork at the Miller Community Center. Seattle City Light, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Arts & Culture have commissioned the artwork as part of a larger project to install a power-generating solar microgrid at the Center.    

This art project aims to involve and reflect as many of Miller Community Center’s patrons as possible. Lead artist Julia Harrison invites the public to participate in the design process in these ways:


Visit the project webpage to respond to a short survey: 


Learn more about plans for the project at either of these online public meetings:

Tuesday, August 11, 4:30-5 pm

Monday, August 17, 12-12:30 pm

Please RSVP to for the Zoom meeting link. 


Send your Miller Community Center stories and photos to


What does the Miller Community Center mean to you? What’s your favorite thing about visiting? Can you capture these feelings in a doodle? This video demonstrates a kid-friendly technique that can be used to create new doodles:

The project webpage ( will continue to offer updates as the project progresses.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Break-in on Thomas Street near Miller Playfield

Break In. This morning (8/2/20)at around 5:30 a.m. a man in a grey hoodie broke into my house on E. Thomas St. near the Miller Playfield. He was slight and lean and white. He climbed in through my bathroom window. Luckily I woke up and he ran out of the house the same way he came in. The police came. But, what can they do? Ever since the homeless camps started cropping up, I feared something like this would happen and now it has. The homeless encampments are untouchable by the police. Too politically charged. The situation is dangerous and untenable. The Mayor and the City Council do nothing. The good neighbors make no demands of the Mayor and City Council to shut down the camps. They just spew ineffectual compassion in pointless posts. Hope this or worse doesn't happen to you.

(From the local Nextdoor group)

And a commonsense reply:

ok maybe we need to look at the granularity of experience and keep in mind stats are unreliable but every summer or earlier the “high pains grifters” arrive from more desolate parts to live of the cream of our latte-land. The seasonal pattern is clear to anyone involved with maintenance or security. Yet after six decades here, while improvements to building security is evident there’s no doubt street level disorder is on the increase. the drugs are cheaper, more available, more addictive, more life destructive if anyone cares to open the eyes....we don’t bother reporting many things and our standards have lowered.

And the original poster again:

I don't know if the man was homeless. He may have been homeless or not. What concerns me is that the homeless encampments are untouchable to the police and they degrade the neighborhood and attract down and out, messed up people. Some are good and some are desperate and out of it. I don't argue that they need help. But encampments in a public park is not help. It's foisting the problem onto a very specific neighborhood because the City can't or won't deal with it more broadly and properly. Until recently the Mayor was opposed to taxing the wealthy in the City to pay for the homeless as were a number of City Council members. I know poverty and inequality and injustice are the problem, but that's not going to be solved very soon. Defunding the police is not going to be enough. Plus, I'm not interested in calling a social worker when I'm robbed. I want the police and I want them to be able to do their job!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vote for Park and Pedestrian Safety community projects

Please remember to vote by tomorrow evening. This is Participatory Budgeting for Park and Pedestrian Safety projects in your community. And remember, you can vote for three projects in every City Council District if you are so motivated. (Sorry to all you friends and family who do not live, work, play or pray in Seattle and do not have this opportunity. Perhaps you can petition your own city or town to enact Participatory Budgeting!)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Miller Community Center Selected for $3.3 Million Solar Microgrid

I attended an informational meeting about the selection of the site for this demonstration project a few months ago.

The City was choosing between Miller and Van Asselt Community Center for the location of the microgrid. The concerns were, as I recall, that the infrastructure of the (older) Van Asselt Center would be less able to support the solar panels on the roof. Other arguments centered around the central location of Miller vs. the overall lower socio-economic conditions around Van Asselt.

The Miller Community will now have a safe (and powered) haven in the event of any long-duration emergencies.

“In an emergency that causes power outages, the microgrid will continue to power the community center so kids, seniors, and other neighbors will be able to stay warm, charge their phones, do homework and most of all stay safe until we get the lights back on at their homes.”