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


Entries from February 2009

‘Why did they cover the sand?’

February 28th, 2009 by Dale

That’s what our 3-year-old asked today in a tiny, questioning tone, as he stood staring at the edge of the wood chip covered space that was a sand box up until a week or so ago.

A couple other kids who came prepared to dig in the sand at the park near the corner of Phinney Avenue North and North 59th Street, pecked away halfheartedly at a bare patch of ground nearby, before giving up and moving on to something else.

We haven’t heard back from the Parks Department yet, but we’ll let you know when we do.


City crackdown on off-leash dogs in parks

February 28th, 2009 by Dale

The Seattle Parks Department and the Seattle Animal Shelter are stepping up enforcement at city parks being turned into unofficial “off-leash” areas by dog owners.

Park staff have created a “Top Ten” list of worst offender sites including Green Lake Park, West Queen Anne Playfield, Gilman Playfield, Bitter Lake Playfield, Ravenna/Cowen Parks and Volunteer Park.

Last weekend – the first weekend of heightened enforcement – Animal Shelter officers handed out 14 off leash citations, mostly at Volunteer and Ravenna/Cowen parks. Get this: Fines for off-leash, license and scooping violations range from $54 to $162, and can be up to $500 at a beach, according to a press release.

Dogs are allowed on leashes in most Seattle parks. They are not allowed with or without leashes at organized athletic fields, beaches, or children’s play areas. Here’s more info on official off-leash areas, including this little nugget: “If you’re female and you’re in heat, you are not allowed in off-leash areas (SMC 9.25.084).” To eliminate any confusion, they’re referring to the four-legged variety.

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Crown Hill day care molester sentenced

February 28th, 2009 by Dale

Curtis Allen Rapp, arrested last March for suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl at Small Faces Child Development Center where he was a teacher, has been sentenced to at least 5 1/2 years in prison.

According to the report, Rapp will remain in prison until a state board decides he no longer threatens the community.

Prosecutors say they don’t know whether Rapp, who has admitted to nearly two dozen assaults on kids in Washington and Texas, has come completely clean about the extent of his crimes. They’ll pursue more charges if more victims come forward.


Snoose Junction finally opening in Greenwood

February 27th, 2009 by Doree

6:40 p.m. update: You’ll have to wait a couple more days, it turns out. They’ve decided to delay their opening until Tuesday, according to one of the managers, Erin Streitz. “…we are delaying our opening until Tuesday March 3rd at 4 p.m. Our staff is all so tired from this long week of getting ready to open… we feel we could not give the energy and attention to our patrons that they so deserve.”

Its opening has been delayed for months, but Snoose Junction in Ballard is finally opening its second location in Greenwood on Saturday. I stopped by Snoose Part Dieu at 10406 Holman Road today to get a sneek peek. The ground floor level is the restaurant that’s open to all ages:


And the upstairs bar is for 21 and over:


Both the restaurant and bar open at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The restaurant closes at 11 p.m., but the bar is open as long as people are there, so as late as 2 a.m. Like its Ballard counterpart, most of the building materials are recycled. The tables were created from the bowling lanes of Sunset Bowl, and the lounge floor is Brazilian Mahogany from Garfield High School before its remodel.

Keeping with the environmentally green theme, delivery will be by bicycle, but they are talking about later using some scooters so they can expand their delivery area.

The name “Part Dieu” is an homage to the legendary Gare de la Part-Dieu train station in Lyon, France, where Manager Chris Jolles has spent considerable time with relatives.

Snoose Part Dieu has a collection of 650 vinyl LPs (art and music curator Tim Hayes says vinyl gives them a much broader selection of music), and they’ll have rotating art shows.

Jolles says the original name of the restaurant – Snoose Junction Greenwood Crossing Part Dieu – proved to be too long, so they’ll be changing their signage soon to reflect the shortened name of Snoose Part Dieu.


PNA now officially owns Allen School site

February 27th, 2009 by Doree

After years of hoping and negotiations, the Phinney Neighborhood Association now owns the buildings and land it has called home for the last 25 years.

The old John B. Allen School was surplused by Seattle Schools in the 1980s, and the PNA had rented the two buildings at 6532 Phinney Ave. N. since its inception. The PNA signed a purchase agreement with the school district for $3,050,000 last October, but a lawsuit had to be resolved first.

The PNA’s blue building houses a number of classrooms, PNA offices, preschool co-op and an art gallery:

The brick building houses more classrooms, a Montessori school, the Well Home Program and Tool Lending Library, catering service, and other programs:

The PNA is in the midst of a $12 million capital campaign to remodel the buildings and landscape the grounds. Here’s what PNA Board President John Smith wrote to PNA supporters today: 

“Just an amazing, amazing gift (in so many meanings of that word) to the community from all our givers so far, and a testament to the hard work of so many of you (and leaders who came before). The center is truly the heart of the neighborhood and this means that we’ll have it as our neighborhood center for generations!”


Casting call for ‘The Anarchist Songbook’ tonight

February 27th, 2009 by Doree

Singers, musicians and actors are invited to the Phinney Center tonight for a casting call for “The Anarchist Songbook,” a contemporary opera based on the 1999 WTO demonstrations in Seattle.

Seattle School is looking for performers for lead roles, minor characters, chorus, pit band and orchestra: singers representing a variety of vocal backgrounds, experiences, interests and styles; musicians representing a variety of music backgrounds, experiences, interests and styles, particularly percussion, brass, woodwinds or electric guitar (bring your own instrument); actors/performers representing a variety of ages, backgrounds, experiences and styles.

Friday’s casting call begins at 6:30 p.m. (but you’re asked to arrive 15 minutes early), in room 31 of the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. For more information on the casting call and production, click here.


Multiple-car accident at Greenwood & 90th

February 26th, 2009 by Doree

Paul sent us some photos of a multiple-car accident on Greenwood Avenue near 90th St., which happened just before 2 p.m. today.


Paul said it looked like three to five cars were involved. He wasn’t sure if anyone was taken away in the ambulance, but he said some of the cars were in pretty bad shape. Thanks for the tip and photos, Paul.


Registered sex offender may have been seen near Loyal Heights Elementary

February 26th, 2009 by Doree

The emails first circulated back in December, now there’s a new warning that a Level 3 sex offender may be lurking near schools in our area.

Salmon Bay K-8 Principal Jodee Reed sent this email to families, which contained information sent to all North End school principals:

Quick note to warn you a Level 3 sex offender is patrolling the schools in our area. Whittier Elementary sent warnings out in December. He was spotted yesterday 1 block from Loyal Heights Elementary. Keith Gerald McFadden, a Lynnwood resident and registered Level 3 sex offender was sited at Saleh’s yesterday (80th & 24th NW). You can pull up a picture of him at www.familywatchdog.us. He looks a little more scruffy than his mug shot. Just be aware.

I spoke with the receptionist at Loyal Heights Elementary this afternoon, and she said they had received the same email, but couldn’t confirm whether McFadden had actually been seen near the school.

More information on McFadden can be found at The Washington State Sex Offender Information Center.


Snow returns

February 26th, 2009 by Dale

Woke up at about 4:30 a.m. to an eerie quietness. Looked out the window and saw thick snowflakes and a thin coating of snow that looks like it started falling a short time earlier.

At 5 a.m., there was no word on Seattle school closures/delays, or Metro Bus issues. Check here for Metro Transit updates and a look at the radar.

5:17: a.m. update: Seattle Public schools will be delayed for two hours, but the snow is tapering off. More details.

5:35 a.m. update: Metro Route 5 is steering clear of its Fremont Avenue routing south of 46th due to adverse conditions.

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Mud Bay Granary moving to Piper Village

February 25th, 2009 by Dale

We just got word that Mud Bay Granary, which will be displaced by a new development, has signed a lease to move a few blocks away into Piper Village.

The development under construction on 87th between 1st and Palatine fit Mud Bay’s criteria for a new location: Near to the current store at 8221 Greenwood Ave. N. 82nd and Greenwood, accessible by foot, and have about 5,000 square feet of space, said Mark Derricott, director of store development.

Derricott likes the “new urbanism” of the development, including its walkability and elements like pervious asphalt to let water back into the boggy soil. “Even though it’s new construction, it’s construction I can get excited about,” he said. “People won’t have to walk their pets across a parking lot to get to the store.” Here’s a shot we posted recently of a sidewalk going in.

The new location is about 20 percent larger than their current store, giving them some much-needed space for storage, unloading and other back-of-the-store needs. The store could open in July.

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Design review meeting on proposed 6010 Phinney apartments gets testy

February 24th, 2009 by Doree

Phinney resident Paul Andrews attended last night’s Design Review Board meeting of the proposed apartment/retail building at 6010 Phinney Ave. N. and wrote a very humorous review. The project would demolish the current building, which houses Roosters, Chef Liao, Daily Planet Antiques and Phinney Ridge Cleaners.

According to Paul, about 80 neighbors of the proposed building voiced their opposition to the project, which they feel would create a canyon effect with the Roycroft condos across the street, places the garage entry in the wrong location, and doesn’t require enough parking.

Paul’s post has garnered dozens of interesting comments on both sides of the issue.

On a related note, the Department of Planning and Development is holding an environmental review of the project on March 26 at the Phinney Center from 6:30-8 p.m. Written or oral comments may be submitted at the meeting.


Viaduct open house draws 100+

February 24th, 2009 by Dale

More than 100 people attended an open house at Adams Elementary Monday evening to learn more about plans to replace the Viaduct with a deep bored tunnel. The open house was organized by representatives from WSDOT, the City of Seattle and King County, who answered plenty of questions.

Phinney Ridge resident Robert Douglas wanted to know how he’d be affected. “I use the viaduct all the time,” he tells us, “So I was kind of curious to see how it was going to impact me, obviously, and my traveling back and forth from here to Sea-Tac, to West Seattle, to other destinations I go to.” WSDOT provided this map explaining how Ballard and other North Seattle commuters will access the tunnel (see larger map in .pdf format).

More details on our sister site, MyBallard.

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