Madrona Houses Looking for New Homes

Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle. These days it seems that everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint and live lightly on this planet we all share. Seattle has one of the most active recycling programs in the nation and most folks in Madrona proudly separate glass from plastic from cardboard and put out our big green tubs once a week. But what if we could do more? What if we could save something bigger and more significant than junk mail and table scraps? What if we could save a house—or four?

The expansion at Epiphany School has made four perfectly good vintage classic houses on Madrona Drive superfluous. The school needs the land the houses sit on, but the buildings themselves are of no use. But instead of calling in the demolition team, the school is hoping to have the houses rescued and relocated. It’s the ultimate in recycling—purchasing an unwanted house, moving it to a new location, and making it a home again. One house of this size represents about 80 trees-worth of lumber, the equivalent of one person recycling paper for 100 years. Picture these Madrona box ceilings relocating to Magnolia. Envision these leaded glass Madrona built-ins in Kent. Imagine these old growth Madrona hard wood floors in Capital Hill. In reality, these houses are so large they can’t go too far and need to stay in or around Madrona or Madison Valley. The homes range in price from $152,000 to $170,000. Take a virtual tour at and adopt a Madrona home today, won’t you?

From Madrona News

Madrona K-8 Boys Basketball Wins City Title

There are lots of basketball coaches way more famous than Thatcher Wood, head coach at Madrona K-8, and Pat Riley even looked better in a suit. But no coach loves his players more or spends as many hours thinking about them as students, and more importantly, as kids. That’s why Madrona basketball’s undefeated season is so special.
Everyone suspected that good things were coming; though all were afraid to jinx it by saying so. When you’ve spent years on the losing end, it‘s hard to believe in the bounty that befell Madrona hoops this year. Coach Wood has had good players in his 6 years but never like this.
On the floor diving for balls, Daeshon’s voted Player of the Game. Tucker contributed his high basketball IQ and sweet jumper, and Will–Was that a behind-the-back pass in the championship game? Oh yes!–commanded the floor. Everyone played their part: Jimaun, Tayshawn, Jamala, Keontre, Darnell, John, Louis, Michael, Craig, and Keasean.
The sweetest part of the season was that Wood showed other coaches what winning with dignity is about. In the past, coaches from schools four times Madrona’s size ran up scores on them by 70 or 80 points. Now they witnessed calm, assertive strength on the winner’s bench. Wood doesn’t yell, stomp, or degrade; he motivates, encourages, and sometimes consoles; never forgetting that’s somebody’s kid out there.
As these boys go on to bigger and better things, and several have a future in basketball, they will surely value their experience with Coach Wood. He is deservedly well-loved in the Madrona community, and they are proud of their middle school championship win. Ask any student, staff, or parent, and they’ll tell you, “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
But I’m partial; I’m his wife.

By Christine Kaufman
From Madrona News

New Owner & Chef at Cremant

When Cremant opened on 34th Avenue a couple of years ago, it made a big splash in the Seattle restaurant scene. The changes that have taken place behind that oversized white door the past couple of months have been much quieter but just as profound. Founders Scott and Tanya Emerick have sold Cremant to restaurateur Mike McConnell, owner of Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali pizzeria. The new Chef of Cremant is Brendan McGill, and a few of the key original Cremant players in the kitchen and on the floor have stayed on to help the restaurant evolve and prosper.

Already the vibe is shifting to make dinner at Cremant less of an “occasion” and more accessible to a wider range of guests. A new lounge menu focuses on the casual neighborhood diner with playful, cosmopolitan food that complements the French “cuisine traditionelle.” The invigorated front-of-the-house staff brings new energy and enthusiasm as the whole team works together to recraft Cremant into a more frequently-enjoyed member of Madrona’s restaurant row.

It’s a tough time for small businesses in general and restaurants in particular as people tighten their belts and cut back on luxuries such as eating out. But the folks at Cremant are hanging in there, and are encouraged by the very positive responses from new guests and neighborhood regulars alike. The updated brunch is getting rave reviews, and promotions like Dine Around Seattle (formerly 30 for 30) are bringing in people from all over the city. Whatever your opinion of the old Cremant, it’s worth giving the new one a try. How lucky for Madrona that this little French gem is getting a second chance.

From Madrona News

Neighbor Authors Book on Black History

We pass our neighbors often, but when you take a little time to sit down and get to know people even a bit, everyone has some hidden story, experience, or expertise in their background. This is certainly the case with my neighbor Judson MacLaury, who worked as the historian at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC, for 34 years. His job was to provide information about the history of the programs that the department instituted and administered to benefit working people. Judson retired in 2006, and he and his wife Judy, a librarian at Seattle University, moved to Madrona. Judson has earned a certificate in editing from the UW and now has a retirement career as a freelance book editor.

Judson mentioned to my wife that he had written a book that was published in 2008. When I asked him about it, it sounded very interesting, so I asked him for a copy. The book is titled To Advance Their Opportunities, and I really enjoyed it. The book chronicles the struggles in the workplace that African Americans faced in America from 1914 thru 1964. This period begins with World War I and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and ends with the Civil Rights Act and the birth of the Great Society. The book details programs that were implemented by the federal government to try to improve the quality of life for African Americans.

The book chronicles the origins and growth of the federal government’s role in addressing the emergence of black labor in the national economy and in improving their opportunities for good jobs. Judson’s research leads him to three conclusions:

1.) There were significant, measurable advances for African American workers.

2.) The concept of affirmative action was born and underwent considerable development during this period.

3.) Most major actions by the government were only taken in response to pressure from the African American community.
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Most of us have heard about many famous acts of bravery in the Civil Rights Movement, like Rosa Parks being jailed for not sitting in the back of a bus, Martin Luther King, Jr., leading marches, the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, etc… But Judson’s book details a less well known piece of the puzzle—the efforts of our federal government. He explains what each president and his cabinet did in relation to civil rights, from Woodrow Wilson, who didn’t seem too concerned about African Americans, to Lyndon Johnson, who was President when the Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1964. The first significant progress took place during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency.

Having been born just before the Civil Rights Act came into effect, I had few ideas about what, if anything, our government was doing to improve conditions for blacks’ lives in America. This book explains the government’s position towards blacks and the executive orders that were established in this regard. Judson includes statistics throughout the book, along with instances when great gains were made. These included the Public Works Administration, which was meant to stimulate the economy during the Great Depression, and the World War II-era Fair Employment Practice Committee, through which the federal government encouraged equal participation in the national defense program by all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin.

If you are interested in the history of America then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book, because it captures the challenge of trying to integrate a race that not so long ago was enslaved. The book is free to individual users online at the University of Tennessee’s Newfound Press website: It can also be ordered there as a paperback. Thank you Judson for opening my eyes to this important part of American history and for sharing this story with me and the rest of Madrona.

By Benjamin Chotzen
From the Madrona News