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


Entries from August 2009

Friday night in PhinneyWood

August 28th, 2009 by Doree

If you’re looking for something to do in the neighborhood tonight, stop by the Phinney Farmers Market (a PhinneyWood sponsor) in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Association from 3-7 p.m. Pick up your fresh fruits and veggies, homemade pasta, bread and cheese, have a dinner of Pan-African food or Veraci Pizza, and top it all off with a little ice cream and some fresh-cut flowers to brighten someone’s day. As always, the kids’ slides are the social center of the Market.

Then leave the kids with a babysitter and head over to the Greenwood Senior Center for Bingo Karaoke Night from 7-10 p.m. For just 10 bucks you get all the bingo and bad singing you can handle and the opportunity to win cash prizes. Snacks and adult beverages are for sale. All proceeds benefit the Senior Center’s programs.

And at Wayward Coffeehouse at 8570 Greenwood Ave. N., legendary local folk artist Jim Page performs from 8-10 p.m. with Joe Martin. No cover charge.

If you know of anything else fun happening in the neighborhood, please let us know in comments below.

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Greenwood Park set to party on Sunday

August 28th, 2009 by Doree

Don’t forget Sunday’s party at Greenwood Park to review improvement designs and get to know your neighbors better. Greenwood Park is on N. 87th St. between Fremont and Evanston avenues.

Hosted by Vision Greenwood Park, the party is from 1-4 p.m. and includes plenty of free food and music. Mr. Gyro’s and Olive You are donating food, and there’ll be home-cooked barbecue by volunteers. Molly Moon’s is donating ice cream.

Vision Greenwood Park is a group of neighbors working to improve and expand the park. After receiving a Neighborhood Matching Fund award, the group hired SiteWorkshop as landscape architect consultant. Vision Greenwood Park and SiteWorkshop have been talking with community groups, park users, neighbors and others about new ideas for the park expansion. Based on feedback, they’ve developed a range of alternative designs for adding more features and activities to the park. The community is invited to see the range of plans and give feedback about the future.


Second penguin dies at zoo

August 27th, 2009 by Geeky Swedes

A second penguin has died at the new Humboldt Penguin exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo.

According to a press release sent out today, 21-year-old “Burkles” died Tuesday night from complications related to a possible case of avian malaria. The bird had been undergoing intensive treatment, including a blood transfusion, since the onset of the symptoms last week. “Penguins are known to be especially prone to avian malaria. However, like other diseases spread by mosquitoes, avian malaria is not typically a major concern in the Pacific Northwest because of our relatively small mosquito population,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo Director of Animal Health. “It’s important to stress that zoo visitors are not at risk. Neither birds nor mosquitoes can transmit avian malaria to humans,” Dr. Collins added.

This is the second penguin death this month. It was thought that the first bird died after ingesting sealant material from a pipe. Subsequent tests done on that bird revealed the presence of avian malaria, which may have contributed to his death. Three other penguins are showing minor symptoms of avian malaria and are undergoing treatment. The zoo has sent in blood samples to the lab and results are due back within ten days. (Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo)

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Boys and Girls Club to receive neighborhood grant

August 27th, 2009 by Doree

The North Seattle Boys & Girls Club in Greenwood is receiving an $80,000 neighborhood grant from Mayor Greg Nickels at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The club applied to the Neighborhood Matching Funds for Large Projects for a new car-free entry and community plaza.

The project aims to create a gathering space for neighbors of all ages and backgrounds to connect and a process in which they can participate directly in planning, design & implementation. In anticipation of this project which will kickoff this fall, the design & engineering process for the Neighborhood Street Fund sidewalk project reconfigured the street so that when the new entry and plaza is developed, they will work perfectly together. Service vehicles, club vans and other limited vehicular circulation is now via the alley just west of the club. The new curbs and sidewalks along Fremont Ave provide ample on-street parking with several short term spots just south of the corner of N 87th St.So please join us on August 29th at 11am for the festivities that will include neighborhood food, beverages and good company. We’re very proud and excited about the award and would love it if you could make it to the event.

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Last chance to nominate your favorite business

August 27th, 2009 by Doree

Greenwood and Phinney are full of fantastic, independent businesses, and next Wednesday is the deadline for nominating one of them for the Mayor’s Small Business Awards. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at Town Hall on Oct. 13.

The Mayor’s Small Business Awards honor the diversity and excellence of small businesses in Seattle, and their contribution to the city’s economic vitality and quality of life.

Read more about the award nomination process or download the nomination form here.

And as long as we’re talking about local, independent businesses, there’s a renewed push to shop local through the 3/50 Project.

3: Think about which three independently owned stores you’d miss if they were gone. Pick up a little something to show your support and to thank them for their business and how important they are to the neighborhood.

50: If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000 in revenue. Imagine the positive impact that would have.

68: For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 of it returns to the community in which you live, through taxes, payroll and dollars also going into the other businesses in the neighborhood. Spend it local and keep it local. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

1: The number of people it takes to start the trend….you.

Pick 3. Spend $50. Save your local economy.

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New cell towers aid affordable housing

August 26th, 2009 by Dale

Some public notice billboards for new cell phone towers have recently popped up in the neighborhood, all at properties run by the Seattle Housing Authority. In what’s news to me (at least) the housing authority has been renting out roof space for years to cell phone and wireless companies.

One antenna is slated for Lictonwood, at 9009 Greenwood Ave. N., which is for low-income residents. It’s just a few blocks up from Safeway, and has 80 one-unit apartments.

Another antenna is proposed for Phinney Terrace, at 6561 Phinney Ave. N., right across the street from the Phinney Neighborhood Center. It’s senior housing, with 51 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The third antenna is slated for Fremont Place, 4601 Phinney Ave. N, which has 31 senior housing units.

“We’ve been renting our rooftops for antennas for some time,” says housing authority Communications Director Virginia Felton, who knows of antennas being installed on agency buildings for at least the past 10 years. “We do it as a way we can increase revenue we can put into low-income housing.”

Annual rental rates for each antenna range from $7,600 to $25,000, according to Felton, who says 17 housing authority buildings are graced with anywhere from one to four pieces of cell phone and wireless hardware, each. 

These three proposed cell towers, along with at least another seven others proposed for a range of other buildings across in the city (not all on housing authority units), are all being requested by Cricket Communications.

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Road work at Greenwood & 85th extended

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation crews will need a day or two longer to finish fixing the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and 85th St. where the water main broke two weeks ago.

SDOT had hoped to be done by Thursday, but now says concrete paving crews will work at least until Friday night, and possibly on Monday.

Unexpected voiding under the street and sidewalk (where soil washed away, undercutting support beneath the pavement) resulted in additional work. Also, work on the street drainage system and a utility line added to the scope of the effort.

Currently, one lane is open on North 85th Street for eastbound traffic, and westbound traffic is detoured. The crews plan to open one lane to westbound traffic by 7 p.m. on Friday, leaving one lane open for each direction through the weekend.

According to the work crew, they hope to have the road completely reopened sometime Tuesday.

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City Fruit still harvesting in neighborhood

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

Harvest season is in full swing and City Fruit is still harvesting incredible amounts of pears, plums and other fruits from neighborhood trees. As of yesterday, City Fruit’s Phinney-Greenwood team had harvested 2,616 pounds of fresh fruit to donate to local food banks, senior centers, and low-income child care centers in the neighborhood.

City Fruit was even featured on the front page of The Seattle Times yesterday.

Here’s Johanna Wearsch and Jen Mullen picking pears at a house in Phinney Ridge:

And here’s some plump Italian plums sharing space with a bird’s nest. (Both photos by Cheryl Klotz.)

They’ve conducted 27 harvests in our ‘hood since mid-July, and another eight harvests are scheduled for this week alone.

The donation sites have expressed appreciation for the fresh, local fruit and report that they’ve had no problem distributing all the fruit to folks in the area. Fruit trees harvested include asian pears, bartlett pears, greengage plums, italian plums, golden plums, gravenstein apples and more. Some fruit tree owners share that their properties and fruit trees were once part of historic orchards in the area, dating back 80 to 100 years.

City Fruit is looking for more volunteers through October, especially people who can transport a ladder to harvest sites and take the fruit to food banks. If you’re interested in harvesting, or have a tree with extra fruit you’d like to donate, just email them.


Tweed closing, may reopen soon after

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

NWSource.com reports that Tweed, at 424 N. 85th St., is closing its doors on Sept. 27, but hopes to reopen in November with more affordable clothing lines. Tweed will have a two-for-one sale on regular (not sale) priced items from Aug. 28-Sept. 26.


PhinneyWood and other blogs partner with Times

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

We’re excited to announce an editorial partnership with the Seattle Times that encompasses PhinneyWood, My Ballard and the rest of Next Door Media’s sites: Queen Anne View, Magnolia Voice and Fremont Universe. The partnership originated with a grant by American University’s J-Lab, which aims to explore how established media companies can work together with promising neighborhood news sites.

Our friends at West Seattle Blog, Capitol Hill Seattle and Rainier Valley Post are also part of the partnership.

This new partnership is a testament to how our readers and advertisers have helped make PhinneyWood and the other neighborhood news websites an integral part of the neighborhoods they cover. Most of our stories originate with tips from readers. Now, some of the best stories will be linked from Seattle’s largest news site. We’re very pleased that the Times has chosen to work together with organic, neighborhood-grown news sites, instead of creating competing efforts designed to draw advertising dollars away from the neighborhood.

For the full scoop, and The Seattle Times official announcement, check out the story on MyBallard. And keep those story tips coming!

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New parenting group coming to Phinney

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

Parent coach Rebecca Michi will offer a new parenting group at Phinney’s Playmatters. She calls it more than a playgroup and more than a mom’s group.

…allowing the children to play whilst the grown ups enjoy the company of other parents, and the guidance of a parent coach. Every other week Rebecca will give a presentation on different parenting issues we all deal with, such as taming tantrums, sleep issues, sibling rivalry, ditching the pacifier, food without fights and much more.

There are also a whole range of special guest speakers who will come and demonstrate new and exciting products and discuss a whole range of topics. As well as having a parenting expert on hand to answer your questions, you will have unlimited access to Rebecca Michi – Parenting Consultants resource list. This list includes aromatherapists, naturopaths, breastfeeding support, cloth diaper experts, to name a few. Many of these resources will offer my group members discounts on their products or services. You will also have access to a list of questions to ask Nannies and day care centers, as well as an extensive list of groups and classes available in the area.

The groups are open to anyone with children under 3 years old. Space is limited to 10 families per group. The PlayMatters group starts on Sept. 15 and meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Cost is $80 per month, and includes complimentary drinks and snacks.

For more information, contact Rebecca at 206-446-7572 or by email. You can sign up here.

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All city libraries closing next week

August 26th, 2009 by Doree

You’ve only got a few more days to pick up your books, CDs, DVDs or use the computers at all city library branches before they close next week to save money. The libraries will be closed from Monday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). They’ll reopen on Tuesday, Sep. 8.

No items will be due during that week and library fines won’t accrue. Book drops will also be closed, so hold onto your items until the library reopens. And you won’t even be able to access the library system’s website during that week. The closure will save the library system about $655,000.

Greenwood Library’s hours for the rest of the week are: Wed., 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sun., 12-5 p.m.