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

 

Entries from October 2009

Scenes from the Safe Trick or Treat

October 31st, 2009 by Dale

Well over a thousand kids, with parents in tow, packed the sidewalks of the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge business districts for Safe Trick or Treat today. The annual event is sponsored by the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce.

The carnival games at the 5th annual Harvest Fest sponsored by Green Bean Coffee House, became a focal point for the kids.

The games used in previous years were stored in the basement of the Eleanor Roosevelt Building, which was deliberately set on fire Oct. 23. Organizers were relieved to find the games survived the blaze, probably in part because three feet of water from the fire hoses filled the storage area.

Community volunteers stepped up to clean up the games and staff the event.

Here’s one of the salvaged games:

And here’s one of several new ones people hurriedly built or donated after the fire, along with lots of candy for prizes.

All along the route, we kept seeing calls for donations for the businesses victimized by the fire, including this cauldron outside Terra Bella.

There was even a bake sale outside SPACE: A Design Build Collective. Neighbors donated the baked goods and 100 percent of the proceeds went to the Greenwood Fire Relief Fund.

Besides that serious note, the event had a carnival feel, with plenty of business owners and parents getting into the spirit, dressed up as every creature or person you could think of, including this guy outside of Cowboys & Angels Salon.

This guy had Michael Jackson and his moves down pat:

And we liked this juxtaposition of a fairy princess and a zombie:

While the decent fall weather held up, the candy didn’t for some businesses not prepared for the influx of kids. Several of these signs popped up later in the afternoon.

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Trust us though, there was still plenty of candy to go around. And with many of those same kids heading out tonight for neighborhood trick or treating, we’re pretty sure they’ll have no problem getting their share of sugary treats. Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween! How to get your sugar fix…

October 31st, 2009 by Doree

You can get your Halloween off to an early start with some trick or treating at Greenwood and Phinney businesses at the Safe Trick or Treat from 12-3 p.m. today. Participating businesses have an orange poster in their windows, and they’ll pass out treats to costumed youngsters accompanied by an adult.

The Green Bean Coffee House is still sponsoring its annual Harvest Fest with carnival games from 12-3 p.m. today. Instead of its usual spot behind the Green Bean, it will be on Greenwood Avenue in between Romio’s and the old McDonalds building. If you’d like to donate candy for prizes, just drop it by Harvest Fest today.

Furnishments consignment and home staging store at 7216 Linden Ave. N. is hosting a haunted house from 12-8 p.m. today. Cash and food donations will be accepted for Art with Heart and NW Harvest. Mainly for children 10 and under, but older kids and adults are welcome. Treats and apples provided. Get a 10 percent discount storewide (20 percent on custom furniture orders).

PlayMatters at 7720 Greenwood Ave. N. is participating in the Safe Trick or Treat and hosting a Halloween party from 1-4 p.m. It will have fun events for children under 5. Pumpkin decorating, mask making, pumpkin bowling, color sheets, and prizes for events.

Karma By The Cup espresso stand at 333 NW 85th St. (between the Chevron and the laundromat), is participating in the Safe Trick or Treat and also providing free pumpkin painting and games. They’ll also have free treats and hot cider for parents and kids.

ALL of the day’s proceeds are being donated to our featured charity of the quarter. Our featured charity is Childhaven. We will also be raffling off awesome gift baskets full of bath and body items and gourmet foods and sweets. Each basket is about a 100 dollar value. Again all proceeds go to help a cause near and dear to our heart. Come say hello to the only drive through Espresso joint in the neighborhood. From 12-3 pm for the party. BUT ALL the day’s $$ goes to Childhaven.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting Nature’s Halloween in the Forest, at Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., from 6-8 p.m. “Under cover of night, discover Halloween symbols in their natural settings. Bones, bats, owls, and slithering things will delight.” Bring a flashlight; treats provided. For ages 2 and up; $8 per adult, $6 per child.

And the Seattle Police Department wants us to make sure you keep safety in mind tonight.

  • Don’t allow children to go trick-or-treating alone. An adult should accompany young children and make sure that all children carry a glow stick or flashlight and wear reflective clothing.
  • Accompany young children to the door of every house they approach. Stay within sight of the door when opened. Children should be cautioned to never enter a home without prior permission from their parents.
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods and only visit well-lighted homes that have their outdoor lights on. Parents should be familiar with every house and with all people from which the children receive treats.
  • Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless they know the owner and are accompanied by a parent.
  • All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant. When using facemasks, make sure the child can see and breathe properly and easily.
  • Don’t cut through yards, parks or alleys. Walk, don’t run, and stay on the sidewalks, cross only at intersections and crosswalks, not between cars. Don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Be sure to carry a flashlight with fresh batteries and make sure your child knows your phone number and address. For children under 12, attach a tag with their name, address and phone number (including area code) to their clothes in case they get separated. Older children who might be going out with friends should have a cell phone, mapped route and set a time to come home.
  • Children should be cautioned to remember any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, a trusted adult or the police.
  • Children should be cautioned to run away immediately from people who try to lure them with special treats. Children should be instructed to scream and make a scene if anyone tries to grab them or force them, in any way, to go with them.
  • Don’t approach unknown animals or pets; they could be frightened by the costumes or strange noises.
  • Parents should inspect all treats and dispose of anything that has been opened or has never been wrapped. The police should be notified if something has been tampered with.

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Fire relief fundraising reminder

October 30th, 2009 by Doree

So many people want to know how to help the victims of last week’s horrible arson at 85th and Greenwood, here’s a recap, and some new info.

Sanctuary Church, which held services inside Taproot Theatre and created the Green Bean Coffee House, set up the Greenwood Fire Relief Fund at Chase Bank at 85th and Greenwood. This fund will be distributed to all the businesses affected by the fire.

You can also donate directly to the Green Bean through a PayPal link on their website.

The Wing Dome is donating money from certain burger and beer sales at its Greenwood location, 7818 Greenwood Ave. N., this Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Wing Dome will donate $2 for each Mac & Jack beer and $4 for each Firehouse burger sold. Donations will go to the Greenwood Fire Relief Fund.

Browns Coffee at 19042 15th Ave. NE in Shoreline, which roasts coffee beans for the Green Bean, has developed a special “Burnt Bean Blend.” It sells for $16 a pound, and $12 of that will be donated to the fire victims. That blend is not currently available on the website, only in the Shoreline shop. But, owner Neal Brown would love to place some of that coffee in Greenwood and Phinney shops, so if your business would like to help, call him at 206-661-9654 or email him.

And several people have emailed us about wanting to set up some kind of fundraising event, possibly a concert. If you are organizing such an event, please let us know in comments so we can spread the word.

If anyone knows of any other fundraising effort, please put a note in comments.

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New crime blog covers entire city

October 30th, 2009 by Doree

There’s a new blog in town covering crime across the city, SeattleCrime.com. Jonah Spangenthal-Lee wrote to us this morning to let us know about an article he just posted about an attempted abduction and robbery that happened last week in north Greenwood. The incident wasn’t on Seattle Police Department’s Blotter.

Spangenthal-Lee goes to the police precincts and pulls reports to find most of his info. He says he also talks to a number of cops and “other sources.”

Thanks for the help, Jonah!

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Daylight Saving Time, change smoke alarm batteries

October 30th, 2009 by Doree

It’s time to “fall back” and set your clocks back one hour when you go to bed Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time.

And the Seattle Fire Department reminds you to change the batteries in your smoke alarm this weekend as well, especially in light of the recent arsons in our neighborhood.

Most fire deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms. The most commonly cited cause of nonworking smoke alarms: dead or missing batteries. In a home fire, a working smoke alarm can cut the risk of death by half.

The Seattle Fire Department can install smoke alarms and batteries free of charge in homes where the homeowner is either a senior citizen, living on a low income, or has a disability. If you live outside the city of Seattle, please contact your local Fire Department to request assistance.

Smoke alarm maintenance is one of the simplest methods of protecting your home and family from fires. For more information or to request assistance changing smoke alarms and batteries contact the Seattle Fire Department at (206) 386-1337.

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Fire Department: Greenwood Fire was arson

October 29th, 2009 by Doree

The Seattle Fire Department reports that last week’s fire that destroyed four businesses and damaged several others was arson, and had been set inside the Green Bean Coffee House.

According to Helen Fitzpatrick, spokeswoman for Seattle Fire, “The fire was set in a coffee shop by an unknown suspect. Damage is estimated at $2 million, and that includes damage to the building and the contents of four businesses.”

This was the scene around 4:30 a.m. last Friday. The fire was reported just after 4 a.m.

Fire investigators began their investigation on Tuesday and wrapped up late this afternoon. The fire department announced the cause just after 5 p.m. today.

Seattle Police will now take the lead on this since it’s a criminal investigation.

There had been speculation that the devastating fire could be arson, after a series of arsons in Greenwood and Phinney a few months before. This brings the total number of arsons in our neighborhood to five.

I just got off the phone with Scott Nolte, the producing artistic director of Taproot Theatre, which was heavily damaged and which also owns the entire Eleanor Roosevelt Building that was destroyed.

“It is just so horribly disheartening to the four businesses that lost everything,” Nolte said. “The Green Bean was a nonprofit and the staff there poured their heart into it. And then we’ve got families that owned the other businesses… and lost everything. And our theater has basically been dismanted. It’s just astounding, it’s just numbing that someone for whatever reason would torch a little coffee shop.”

He said the theater is already dealing with trying to find an alternate site for its traditional Christmas show. And they’re working with a contractor in the hopes of getting the theater ready for the 2010 season by the third week of January, which seems pretty hopeful. Nolte said subscriptions for next season are ahead of last year.

“I don’t feel angry as much as it just makes me feel tired… everybody has to just start over,” Nolte said. “It’s just so sad.”

Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce President Steve Giliberto was stunned when I told him the news.

“I’m outraged,” Giliberto said. “Hearing that this was arson, I’m white knuckled angry.”

With four restaurants in the building, Giliberto initially figured it was some kind of accidental fire due to grease or something else.

“I honestly did not believe that it was arson. My first instincts were I couldn’t see that piece of property being targeted,” Giliberto said. “I did not look at the Green Bean and three Asian restaurants as being politically or socially on the wrong side of somebody. Maybe it was naïve.”

Giliberto said the neighborhood has a lot to face in the next few weeks or months as police try to arrest the person or persons responsible for all the arsons. “We have to grow up a little bit. And I mean that in a sincere way. Unfortunately, our view of our neighborhood as a quiet, mellow, cool place to be, has changed,” he said. ”Not that those things have changed, but they’ve been challenged. We’re being looked at as prime pickin’s.”

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Green Bean looks forward at tonight’s meeting

October 29th, 2009 by Doree

Friends of the Green Bean Coffee House, which was destroyed by last week’s fire, are gathering at Romio’s Pizza at 8 p.m. tonight to figure out where to go from here.

Friends of the Green Bean will be gathering to look ahead and discuss the future. We hope those in the community who are interested will come and offer input. This is a start to the process, an idea-gathering event, to help us move forward.

Neal Brown, who roasted coffee for the Green Bean, sent us this photo of his kids and their contribution to the recovery effort. Sam, Wes and their friend Kyle (far left, his head is barely visible above the sign), created this sign for Brown’s roastery in Shoreline, at 190th and 15th Ave. NE.

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8 Limbs Yoga to open Nov. 21

October 29th, 2009 by Doree

8 Limbs Yoga (a PhinneyWood sponsor) announced in August that it was moving into the Fini condos on Greenwood Ave. N. and N. 68th St. sometime this fall. Director Anne Phyfe Palmer told me this morning that they’ve now got an official opening date set for Saturday, Nov. 21 (just in time to start working off those holiday over-indulgences).

But even before they open, they’ll be participating in the neighborhood’s Safe Trick or Treat event from 12-3 p.m. on Saturday.

8 Limbs has yoga studios in Capitol Hill, Wedgwood and West Seattle. They offer Hatha yoga for all levels (including special intro classes), parent and toddler yoga, yoga for guys, yoga for seniors, and yoga for athletes.

Their Phinney Ridge location will have two studios, limited childcare and a boutique. They’re offering membership specials for people who sign up before they open.

They’ll have a Thanksgiving Day benefit class from 9:30-11 a.m. with proceeds going to Solid Ground. It’s a sliding scale donation, with a suggested donation of $20.

Their grand opening event will be from 4-8:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. A free parent and child and yoga class is from 4:30-5:15 p.m. (the rest of the studio will be open for visitors); music, food and “blessing of space” from 5:15-7 p.m.; and a free all levels candlelit yoga class from 7-8:15 p.m.

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Roosters closed ‘temporarily’

October 29th, 2009 by Doree

A number of people commented in the forum over the last few days that Roosters Breakfast Club at 6020 Phinney Ave. N. appears closed. I stopped by there Wednesday night and saw a hand-written sign on the front door saying they were closed temporarily, but would reopen soon.

I called Roosters this morning but the phone rang numerous times without an answering machine picking up. We’ll keep trying to find out more information. If anyone else has any info, please put a note below in comments.

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Halloween events roundup

October 28th, 2009 by Doree

Plenty to do around our neighborhood and nearby ‘hoods to celebrate Halloween this week.

Safe Trick or Treat along Greenwood-Phinney’s business district from 12-3 p.m. Saturday. Participating businesses have an orange poster in their windows, and they’ll pass out treats to youngsters in costume accompanied by an adult. Here’s the scene outside Taco Del Mar last year.

Harvest Fest, sponsored by the Green Bean Coffee House. (Yes, we’ve been assured it’s still happening, even after the horrible fire.) Carnival games from 12-3 p.m. Saturday on Greenwood Avenue in between Romio’s and the old McDonalds building. If you’d like to donate candy for prizes, just drop it by Harvest Fest that day. Here’s one of their carnival games last year.

Furnishments consignment and home staging store at 7216 Linden Ave. N. is hosting a haunted house from 12-8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Cash and food donations will be accepted for Art with Heart and NW Harvest. Mainly for children 10 and under, but older kids and adults are welcome. Treats and apples provided. Get a 10 percent discount storewide (20 percent on custom furniture orders).

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a number of events nearby.

  • Halloween Carnivals at Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, and at Loyal Heights Community Center, 2101 NW 77th St., both from 6-8 p.m. on Friday. Activities, games, and challenges, including areas for littler kids. Complimentary refreshments, and high school students can earn service learning hours. For ages 10 and younger; $3 per person or $10 per family.
  • Flashlight Pumpkin Hunt, Green Lake Community Center, 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N, from 7-8 p.m. on Friday. Rain or shine, come hunt for toys, coins, and candy outside. Bring your own bag to collect goodies, and a flashlight to light your hunt; dress in costume and for the weather. Kids will be separated into age-similar groups. For ages 4-11; free.
  • Nature’s Halloween in the Forest, Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday. “Under cover of night, discover Halloween symbols in their natural settings. Bones, bats, owls, and slithering things will delight.” Bring a flashlight; treats provided. For ages 2 and up; $8 per adult, $6 per child.

If we’ve missed anything, please put details below in comments.

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Fire investigators on site of Greenwood fire

October 27th, 2009 by Doree

The Seattle Fire Department reports that fire investigators are on the scene of last Friday’s devastating fire that destroyed four businesses in downtown Greenwood. The investigators couldn’t get in until today because they were waiting for contractors to shore up what remains of the Eleanor Roosevelt Building to make sure it didn’t collapse.

SFD says investigators will likely remain on site until dark, but won’t have a cause or estimate of damages for a few days.

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Where should a new park go in our ’hood?

October 27th, 2009 by Doree

Just a reminder that you can help plan a new park somewhere in Greenwood-Phinney. The Seattle Parks Department will meet with neighborhood folks from 6-7:45 p.m. next Monday, Nov. 2, at the Greenwood Library.

If you know of a spot in the neighborhood that would make a great park, then this is your chance to be heard. Funds for this new potential park are coming from the 2008 Parks & Green Spaces Levy. Here’s the Parks Department’s acquisition criteria, to help you find a suitable site.

  • Site location within or adjoining the Urban Village
  • Minimum area = approximately 10,000 square feet (about 1/4 acre)
  • Frontage on key pedestrian routes
  • Flat terrain or gentle slope to facilitate ADA accessibility and uses such as short-term sitting and picnics, as well as to minimize site development costs
  • Sun orientation and avoidance of shading from existing or future Midrise buildings (i.e., location on SW or SE corner of block preferred)
  • Location adjoining existing and/or immediate future uses that will generate appropriate park uses and provide “eyes on the street” to deter inappropriate uses – both for as much of the day as possible
  • Willing sellers
  • “Underutilized” sites without existing uses or structures that contribute significantly to property value or to demolition costs; i.e., vacant properties or properties with “tear-down” buildings
  • Properties with no or minimal relocation costs; i.e., vacant properties or those with fewer tenants
  • Absence of development permit activity or development very early in process
  • Minimal remediation costs for hazardous materials

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