A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Entries from July 2008

Just $1 a month could help Feed Washington

July 31st, 2008 by Dale

A former board member from the North Seattle Boys & Girls Club in Greenwood, Eirik Olsen, has a small non-profit called Feed Washington with zero overhead costs that raises money to feed people.

Their fundraising model is pretty painless – donate $1 per month via an automatic credit card payment. That money is then distributed monthly to organizations that need help to feed people.

The North Seattle Boys & Girls Club will be the recipient of the monthly money sometime in the next year (the club is very close to being able to cook hot meals) and the more people participating, the more money the club will get.


Graffiti mars water tower by zoo

July 31st, 2008 by Dale

Someone recently left their mark on the water tower, an outbuilding and a nearby utility box just south of the zoo’s west entrance on Phinney Avenue North.  

Calling it in to the Graffiti Report Line at (206) 684-7587, I was told the Seattle Parks Department is usually pretty fast at responding to graffiti reports. If it turns out it’s not the parks department’s responsibility, it could be 10-12 days before the city’s Graffiti Rangers can get around to it, according to the person answering the phone.

We’ve also gotten a report of more graffiti overnight around North 48th Street and 1st Avenue Northwest. There’s more graffiti information on this post.

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Raw milk co-op in Phinney

July 30th, 2008 by Doree

If you’re interested in getting weekly deliveries of fresh raw milk, a neighbor in Phinney/Ballard wants to start a co-op. Amy says Dungeness Valley Creamery, which sells raw Jersey milk and has other drop-off points around Seattle and sells at Whole Foods, will drop-off the milk to her house on Thursdays if she can get enough people together for at least 10 gallons a week.

The price is $8.25 per gallon or $4.20 for a half gallon. Folks could change how much they receive each week.

There’s a lot of debate about the safety of raw milk, which is unpasteurized, but many people say the health benefits trump that.

If you’re interested, email Amy for details.

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Pig ‘N Whistle reopens Friday

July 30th, 2008 by Dale

The Greenwood favorite, Pig ‘N Whistle, reopens for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to the new owners.

The bar, which closed in March, has been remodeled and the menu revamped. The menu retains a British flavor, but also strays across the English Channel with items such as duck fat fries with smoked tomato jam and homemade semolina gnocchi with tomatoes and olives.

The new owners are no strangers to good food: They also own Portage on Queen Anne.


Thanks, Christopher, for the tip! And, yes, Rene the bartender is back.


Settling Greenwood land prompts new regs

July 29th, 2008 by Dale

If you’ve compressed a few vertebrae negotiating the dips and rises around the traffic islands on 87th west of Greenwood Avenue, you’ve had first-hand experience with a “peat settlement-prone area.”

When settling started in that area around 2001, the City of Seattle did some research and came up with new regulations for areas prone to ground settlement due to subsurface deposits of peat. Peat is plant material that typically forms in wetland environments where acid conditions keep it from completely decaying.

Peat deposits tend to compress and settle when you put new buildings on them or lower the groundwater table. That settlement can result in serious damage to buildings, roads, sidewalks and utilities, hence the damage on 87th, cross streets and some nearby homes.

The city council has passed a bill that would call for identifying areas of the city that are settlement-prone. It would also then ensure that new development in these areas doesn’t hurt neighboring properties. The legislation is expected to take effect in August.


Tully’s on Greenwood closed

July 29th, 2008 by Dale

The Tully’s at 8551 Greenwood Ave. N. is no more. The windows are papered over and the phone is going unanswered. While the store is still listed on the Tully’s Web site, Tully’s corporate staff confirmed today the company-owned store permanently closed on Friday.

Thanks, Anna, for the tip!

The next question is whether this is part of a larger closure plan, considering Starbucks is closing 616 stores, including a bunch in Australia. We’ve asked and are awaiting an answer.

Don’t panic though, there’s plenty of other opportunities to find caffeine in Greenwood.


Mystery of Green Lake spikes solved

July 29th, 2008 by Dale

When word broke of sharpened metal spikes being found in Green Lake, a Seattle Parks Department spokeswoman speculated someone maliciously put them there to “hurt people.” A Seattle Times editorial called the perpetrator a “sick puppy.”

Now the mystery is solved. And the sick puppy responsible for placing them there? The Parks Department. D’oh!

It turns out the spikes used to have a hook on the end that corroded off. They were placed in the pond in the 1980s to hold down black plastic to control milfoil, an aquatic weed.


Endangered pond turtles get head start at Zoo

July 29th, 2008 by Dale

Tiny two-ounce endangered western pond turtles, some with tiny radio transmitters glued to their shells, will be released into the wild in Pierce and Mason Counties. The 10-month-old turtles were collected from the wild as hatchlings and “head started” at Woodland Park Zoo to improve their chance of survival into adulthood.

Credit: Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo

The reintroduction of the turtles is part of an effort of the Woodland Park Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service save the species from extinction.

Once common from Baja, Calif. to Puget Sound, including the Columbia River Gorge, the western pond turtles were decimated by loss of habitat, disease and predation by non-native species such as non-native bullfrogs.

The turtles will be released Thursday.


Coming soon to a store near you: 20 cent bags

July 28th, 2008 by Dale

The Seattle City Council has approved a 20 cent fee on disposable paper and plastic bags which will take effect Jan. 1 at local stores including Greenwood Market, Bartell’s and Ken’s Market.

Some styrofoam containers will eventually be banned too.

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When will Dance Institute graffiti be removed?

July 28th, 2008 by Dale

It’s been there for some time on the south side of the American Dance Institute building at the busy intersection of Greenwood Avenue and 80th.

I called the city’s Graffiti Rangers hot line, but learned all they can do is send a letter to the building owner to ask them to clean it up. The Graffiti Rangers crew only does battle on public surfaces.

A message has been left with the American Dance Institute to see what they know about it.

Regardless, cleaning brick is probably not going to be very fun.

UPDATE: It’s being cleaned now. The head of the institute had been travelling and just got back to approve the work.


Fire Station 21 rebuilding update

July 27th, 2008 by Doree

Architects from The Miller/Hull Partnership tell us that the new Greenwood Fire Station 21 is deep into the design stage after community meetings a few months ago. Over the next few months, the project will have several Design Commission meetings, City Council review and another open house for the community late this fall. The architects expect it to be ready for contractor bids next summer.

The new station will reportedly be two stories. The city also bought a piece of land directy east of the current building for a bigger footprint.

Besides one fire engine, Station 21 also houses the Fire Department’s Multiple Casualty Unit. The building is being revamped because it’s too small to accommodate modern fire fighting equipment and required staffing levels. Anyone who’s taken a tour of the station knows that the Defenders of Greenwood have one small kitchen/living room, plus a small sleeping area with bathroom. It’s okay, but certainly not spacious.

The temporary Station 21 will be five blocks down in what is now a mostly empty lot on the corner of Greenwood and NW 68th St., across the street from the new Fini condos. Firefighter Mike tells us they’ll be housed in “tents and trailers” for about a year during construction.

Check out what Station 21 looked like circa 1916. As soon as the architects have a set of preliminary drawings ready, we’ll post them.


Mystery of the Green Lake spikes solved?

July 26th, 2008 by Geeky Swedes

They may have been installed back in the 1980’s to control a weed called milfoil. But for now, Seattle Police are keeping the case open.