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


Entries from November 2009

Was police slaying suspect in our neighborhood?

November 30th, 2009 by Dale

Here’s another one from our friends at SeattleCrime.com: Seattle Police got a report that the suspect in the slaying of four Lakewood police officers was spotted today at near the north end of Green Lake74th and Corliss.

We can’t vouch for the veracity of this, but it is a reminder to keep an eye open for Maurice Clemmons. Doubtless there will be many more reports of sightings across the region until he’s caught.

Thanks, Neighbor, for spotting the post.

Update: At about 12:30 p.m., police formed a perimeter around Cowen Park in nearby Ravenna, according to SeattleCrime.com. And whether the Green Lake area sighting was for real or not, we felt it was in the public interest to mention it. That said, there’s a report of him being spotted in Auburn and other far-flung locations too.

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Donating to those in need this holiday season

November 30th, 2009 by Doree

As always, you can help out those less fortunate in a number of ways this holiday season. Here are a few:

The Phinney Neighborhood Center hosts its annual Giving Tree for kids in need. Pick up a tag with a child’s age and gift request, then return the wrapped present by Dec. 13.

The Greenwood Senior Center at 525 N. 85th St. will have a Giving Tree set up by the end of this week. It will have gift requests from the Dorothy Day House, a housing program for formerly homeless women.

Greenwood Hardware (a PhinneyWood sponsor) at 7201 Greenwood Ave. N. has its own Giving Tree just as you walk in the front door.

PlayMatters at 7720 is sponsoring visits by the Binky Fairy with a donation to Toys for Tots. The Binky Fairy flies into PlayMatters from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. Your child can put their binky in a special box, then choose a new big kid toy from a treasure box. After making your donation to Toys for Tots, your child can stay and play for half off the regular price.

National Drycleaners at 8757 Holman Road is teaming up with the Ballard Food Bank for their 2009 Holiday Food Drive. The shop is now collecting any shelf stable, non-perishable food items, as well as any hygiene items (shampoo, deodorant, etc.). Drop off donations in the National Drycleaners barrels during normal business hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

We’re sure there are numerous other businesses around the neighborhood with Giving Trees or other ways to help, so if we’ve missed something, please put a note in comments.

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SeattleCrime.com’s take on arson arrest

November 30th, 2009 by Dale

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee at SeattleCrime.com put together a rebuttal to the Stranger’s story that asked why it took so long to arrest Greenwood arson suspect Kevin Todd Swalwell.

Spangenthal-Lee, himself a former Stranger reporter, questions the premise of the Stranger article in a post titled “Burning sensationalism,” saying police didn’t have probable cause and had to follow due process before they arrested Swalwell.  

The Stranger’s case against SPD seems to hinge upon two facts in the investigation: that Swalwell, who has a history of arson, was well known in the Greenwood area; and that police found a handprint left on a bottle of lighter fluid left at the scene of a fire.

Sorry, but that’s not enough for police to make an arrest that would’ve held up in court.

A lot you posted comments here about last week’s story.

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Have you seen this jacket?

November 28th, 2009 by Doree

Jeannette tells us that her car was broken into near 100th and Dayton Thanksgiving night, and the thief stole something very special to her.

Not much was stolen except for a very special jacket – it’s always the sentimental stuff that they go for, right? It’s a vintage mustard yellow leather jacket with metal buttons, missing its belt (because I have it!!) If you see in you alley, or in a ditch or your local consignment/vintage store, PLEASE call me. It’s just a jacket, but means a lot to me. Jeannette (206) 617-2476.

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Alleyoop performs at Ridge Romp Saturday

November 27th, 2009 by Doree

Alleyoop performs at the PNA Ridge Romp Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the brick building. Doors open at 10 a.m. Cost is $3 per person (child or adult). The show lasts about 45 minutes.

Alleyoop’s concert is a big hit with children of all ages, but most especially for children ages 3 to 9 years old. His original musical games get the children involved. This is audience participation to the max. The children become the show! He plays guitars, ukuleles, and mountain dulcimer. He brings his pal, Billy Bear the Silly Bear, for a humorous interlude.

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Assemble Gallery & Studio opens Saturday

November 27th, 2009 by Doree

Assemble Gallery & Studio is opening Saturday morning at 7406 Greenwood Ave. N., next to where Rising Stars was located until a month ago.

Assemble is a “craft/modern art gallery, studio & shop,” owned by pals Emily Grosse & Andie Wurster. They open at 11 a.m. Saturday for their soft opening. The grand opening is set to coincide with the December Greenwood-Phinney Artwalk, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.


Small pitbull mix lost near Holman Rd. QFC

November 27th, 2009 by Doree

A small black and white pitbull mix went missing near the Holman Road QFC today. He’s got a white cross-shape on his chest. He’s very friendly and responds to “Cruz.” If you’ve seen him or found him, please call Eileen at 206-730-5673.

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Give your ‘heart and sole’ with shoes

November 27th, 2009 by Dale

A group of local retailers are setting up a gently used shoe collection drive for Soles4Souls, a non-profit that provides footwear to people in need in more than 125 countries.

During the month of December, you can drop off those shoes you’re not wearing at selected businesses, knowing that a victim of a natural disaster, or a person living in extreme poverty, will put them to good use.

As a special incentive on Dec. 12, all participating locations will provide a 20% discount off a new pair of shoes upon donation.

Locally, you can donate shoes at these locations:

Phinney Ridge
The Sneakery, 612 NW 65th St.

re-soul, 5319 Ballard Ave.

evo, 122 NW 36th St.
Shoes ‘n Feet, 3409 Stone Way North, Suite 102

Other participating Seattle-area stores are GEMS Sneakershop, ian, RPS-Rock Paper Scissors, Sole Food, Upper Playground, and Zebra Club.

For more information and other locations and donation options, see souls4seattle.com and the national organization at giveshoes.org.

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Things we’re thankful for

November 26th, 2009 by Dale

Despite the focus on football, stuffing ourselves silly and being bombarded by advertising for the Friday shopping madness (shop local, we say!), we wanted to make sure we set aside some time to mention some of the many things we’re thankful for:

  • Our growing readership. We’re overwhelmed by the growing number of people who tell us they read PhinneyWood and we’re blown away by the quality of comments, tips and feedback you supply. You’ve really helped steer the discussion in this community. Thank you.
  • Our local businesses. We’ve got a great mix of locally owned businesses here in our community, from restaurants and bars, to specialty shops and services. We encourage you to support them, because they add detail to the fabric of our community.
  • Our local services. From the Phinney Neighborhood Association, to the Greenwood Senior Center, GAIN, the Greenwood Community Council, the Greenwood Library, the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce, Fire Station 21, the North Seattle Boys & Girls Club and others, these organizations are an integral part of what makes Greenwood and Phinney a desirable place to live. 
  • Our local sponsors. Their support is helping us to grow this into what we hope will someday make this “hobby” a sustainable business with a long future in the neighborhood. If you think what we’re doing is of value, please tell these businesses you appreciate what they’re doing by supporting them in turn.
  • Our community. You’ve pulled together in the face of a tough economy and a scary series of arsons. You staged nighttime walks and kept an eye out for your neighbors. We love living here in large part because of you.

We encourage you to share what you’re thankful for in comments.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Signed, Doree, Dale and Alex, a.ka., The PhinneyWood Kid


‘Stranger’ asks: Why did it take so long to catch suspected arsonist?

November 26th, 2009 by Dale

The Stranger has a very interesting story asking why it took so long to catch suspected Greenwood arsonist Kevin Todd Swalwell.

According to the article, “court documents show that police had clues as early as this summer that Swalwell—a neighborhood fixture with a criminal record as a repeat arsonist—was the culprit.”

Olive You owner Timur Leno says that if Swalwell was captured sooner, his business wouldn’t have been damaged in a Nov. 9 fire.

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Dental office burglary suspect sought

November 25th, 2009 by Dale

Remember that recent string of dental office burglaries in Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and other surrounding neighborhoods where someone was stealing dental gold and drugs? Well now the Seattle Police Department has named a suspect: 26-year-old Shane L. Carlson.

Police say he’s the prime suspect in burglaries stretching from North and West Seattle, to Bothell, Shoreline and Bellevue, dating as far back as May.

According to the police, Carlson has several warrants for his arrest, including for burglary, possession of stolen property and drugs. SeattlePI.com has a more extended report. And here’s the police description:

He is described as a white male, 26 years old, 5’6” 155 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a thin build. He has a scar on his face and tattoos on his left shoulder, upper left arm and back. He may be driving a green 1998 Range Rover or a champagne-colored 2001 Cadillac DeVille. He may frequent North King County or South Snohomish County.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call either 911 or Det. Bauer at (206) 233- 7830. Those wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800 222-TIPS (8477) or send a text to CRIMES (274637). Your text message should include “TIP486” to ensure proper routing. If a tip leads to an arrest and the filing of charges, callers may qualify for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Calls are taken 24 hours a day.

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Wacktastic Holiday Light Contest returns

November 25th, 2009 by Doree

We know lots of people who put up their Christmas lights the moment they finish Thanksgiving dinner, so here’s an added incentive to start glamming up your house for the holidays. Wacktastic Holiday Light Contest is back for its second year, enticing homes and businesses to go all out with their decorations, so neighbors can vote for their favorites in a number of categories.

Here’s one of last year’s winners, Midnight at the Oasis.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, enter the contest and have your house placed on a map. Boundaries are from Aurora Avenue to 8th Avenue, and 65th to 105th streets. 

You can vote online from Dec. 10-17 for the top 10 residential winners. Celebrity judges will view  businesses from 65th to 105th and Greenwood Avenue and choose their top two favorite Retail Light Displays that are The Most Wacktastic. Prizes for both residential and retail winners will be awarded at the Wacktastic Awards Party at The Greenwood Collective on Dec. 20. The winning business gets an advertising package. (PhinneyWood is happily donating one month’s free advertising to that winning package.)

Prizes include tickets to the Dec. 30 performance of “Nutcracker” at Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as certificates from local businesses, including Greenwood Academy of Hair, Hop to Signaroo, J&J Antiques, Prost!, Santoro’s Books, Strut Shoes, and Whole Life Yoga.

Categories judged will depend on what people come up with. Last year’s categories included: Harold and the Purple Crayon; Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow; Best Decorated Windows; The Sexiest: Feng Shui and Fake Snow; Best Use of Invisible Accordionists; and Best Sucky-Uppy to Wackiness. Check out last year’s photos.