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


Entries from January 2012

Missing a sled?

January 20th, 2012 by Doree

Someone at the bottom of 65th Street found this makeshift wooden sled painted with Mickey Mouse. If it’s yours, please email us and we’ll get you in touch with the person who’s keeping it safe.


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Snowy scenes from the neighborhood

January 20th, 2012 by Doree

PhinneyWood readers sent us a bunch of cute snow photos on Thursday. So here they are, for your enjoyment. (Sorry we didn’t post sooner, but we’ve been having photo uploading issues today.)

Theresa sent us this photo of neighbors sledding on Sycamore and 67th St.


Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Broadview displayed its humor.


Kathy found this cute fella at Woodland Park Zoo’s rose garden.


Greg said Fire Engine 21 couldn’t make it up North 67th Street between Phinney and Dayton avenues Thursday afternoon, even with chains, and had to back down the hill.


Mike V sent us this photo of a seagull on top of a chimney. Maybe it was trying to get warm?


Professional photographer AJ Mallory sent us the next two photos of some very happy people sledding.



And Greg sent this picture of the most creative sled idea yet: a car bumper!


And here’s a great video from Elliot, showing sledders on NW 65th Street.

And Duncan videotaped himself snowboarding down North 67th Street.

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Schools closed, buses still on snow routes, temperatures should rise and begin melting ice and snow on Friday

January 20th, 2012 by Doree

Update 9:30 a.m.: Woodland Park Zoo has reopened today after two days of closure. It is open until 4 p.m.

Update 8 a.m.: The route 28  route has changed as of early this morning.

Due to road conditions, Route 28 is now traveling via Greenwood Av N and Holman Rd in both directions between N 143rd St and NW 103rd St.

When Route 28 is operating via its designated snow routing, board or exit it at posted bus stops along Greenwood Av N.

The forecast calls for warmer temperatures and rains that will start to melt that snow and ice on Friday. Here’s the official word on closures, etc.

Seattle Public Library branches will open at 1 p.m. Friday.

Seattle Public Schools are closed again on Friday.

Next Tuesday, Jan. 24 is a three-hour early dismissal from schools because of a scheduled furlough day. That day cannot be used as a snow make-up day. District administration will determine tomorrow if Friday, Jan. 27 – a scheduled day off for professional development – can be used as a snow make-up day.

Metro buses will remain on snow routes on Friday. As of Thursday night, Metro planned to cancel 27 routes on Friday, but that could change as weather conditions change. Expect delays on routes that are still running. Dress warmly and be prepared to wait at the bus stop.

Seattle City Light reminds customers not to call 911 to report power outages. Instead, call City Light’s Outage Hotline at 206-684-7400. You can see an outage map here.

With the forecast for snow turning to rain Friday, stormwater runoff will challenge Seattle’s drainage system. Seattle Public Utilities is asking residents and businesses to locate the storm drains in the street and clear them of snow, leaves, and debris to help prevent localized flooding. Clearing storm drains is the single most important thing that residents and businesses can do to protect their property and prevent ponding in streets that poses traffic hazards.

If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call SPU at (206) 386-1800.

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Schools closed, no garbage collection, buses on snow routes on Thursday

January 19th, 2012 by Doree

We’ll continue to update this post throughout the day.

Update 11:14 a.m.: According to KING 5, Gov. Gregoire has declared a state of emergency, 100,000 people are without power across the state, and one man died near Issaquah when he was hit by a falling tree.

Update 11 a.m.: If anyone has driven on neighborhood roads or taken the bus, please put a note in comments and tell us about it. We’re curious to know how well the buses are running.

One man took to his skis to get around the neighborhood (thanks to Lynn for the picture!)

Update Thursday 8:30 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for the Seattle area until 12 p.m. today.

According to the NWS, an ice storm warning means “severe weather conditions are imminent or occurring. Significant amounts of ice accumulation will make travel dangerous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged…Ice accumulations will likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches that add to the danger.”

On traffic cameras, television or from your window, streets may appear bare and wet but they may still be covered with ice. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) continues to treat major arterial roads with salt brine and granular salt. Some secondary or neighborhood streets are very slick and changes in conditions between treated and untreated roadways can be very sudden. Four wheel drive is not a solution – vehicles need chains to have traction. Keeping the roads clear of traffic is extremely helpful for emergency vehicles.

Many sidewalks are icy. Pedestrians should use caution while walking and crossing streets. It is the responsibility of property owners to keep their sidewalks clear of ice to protect pedestrian safety. SDOT is dispatching 22 crews to activate the Pedestrian Safety Element of the Winter Response plan to clear and salt pedestrian landings, crossings, and intersections.

Seattle Public Utilities will not pick up garbage, recycling and yard waste today as planned, because the roads are too icy.

Weather permitting, garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste service will resume Friday, on a revised schedule — with customers scheduled for pickup today collected Friday, and Friday customers collected Saturday.

If your materials are not picked up this week, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge.

All Seattle Public Library branches are closed on Thursday.

Woodland Park Zoo is closed again on Thursday.

Many King County offices are closed today, including District and Superior Court, Council offices, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Assessments. For a full list of county closures, click here.

Someone created some great snow creatures in front of Santoro’s Books on Wednesday. (Thanks to LS for the pictures!)

Earlier: Wednesday was a very fun snow day of sledding and drinking hot chocolate. Unless, of course, you had to drive somewhere. The roads will likely be very icy on Thursday, so please drive carefully if you must go somewhere.

Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday:

Seattle Publish Schools are closed again.

Seattle Public Utilities will pick up Wednesday’s garbage, recycling and yard waste on Thursday, weather permitting. That means regular Thursday pickups will now happen on Friday, and Friday customers should set their refuse out on Saturday by 7 a.m.

If your materials are not picked up on the revised schedule, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge.

Metro Transit will continue to operate on snow routes, with 27 routes canceled. Other routes may experience significant delays, so check Metro’s Snow & Ice page for updates before you head for the bus.

Greenwood Hardware was all out of sleds on Wednesday, but they’re getting more on Thursday.

We may be out of sleds for today, but we’ve seen a lot of creative solutions: garbage can lids, cardboard+rope+tarp… Send us pictures of your ad-hoc sled-like device and whichever we think is the most creative we’ll hold a sled for you from tomorrow’s truck!

Lexy sent us a photo of the hordes of sledders at Woodland Park on Wednesday.

Next door, at the Woodland Park Zoo, the animals frolicked in the snow.

Photo by Kirsten Pisto, Woodland Park Zoo.

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PhinneyWood neighborhood wakes up to snow

January 18th, 2012 by Doree

This post will be updated throughout the day with new information and pictures.

Update 4:30 p.m.: Seattle Public Schools just announced that all schools will be closed again on Thursday.

Update 11:30 a.m.: The 65th Street hill between Phinney Avenue North and 3rd Avenue NW was closed to traffic today, which meant it was packed with sledders. We saw some interesting items being used in place of sleds, including a skateboard with the wheels off and a large plastic bin that previously held Christmas decorations.

Cafe Bambino, just two blocks away at 65th and 5th, was packed with families drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows, and it even had a firepot going outside.

Update 9:15 a.m.: Woodland Park Zoo is closed today; and Seattle Department of Transportation is temporarily suspending repaving work on 85th Street, because, obviously, crews can’t see the pavement under all that snow!

Phinney-Greenwood woke up to more than an inch of snow this morning.

The snow is beautiful, but will likely cause traffic problems today.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has closed NW 65 Street from 3rd Avenue NW to Phinney Avenue North on the west side of the ridge, and from Phinney Avenue North to Linden Avenue North on the east side. SDOT deployed 30 plow trucks overnight to clear major arterials, and four tanker trucks applied anti-icer to elevated roadways and known trouble spots along the snow route network. Check SDOT’s Winter Weather page for updated information on closed roadways, and its Travelers Information Map for current traffic information and roadway images.

SDOT also reminds property owners that they are responsible for clearing snow and ice off sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

Metro Transit is on snow routes. Check out Metro’s Snow & Ice page for updates and transit alerts. Up to30 routes have been canceled, including the 355 through north Greenwood, and buses that are running may not stop at every bus stop. Metro advises bus riders to walk to major transfer points or cleared arterials.

Seattle Public Schools are closed today.

Seattle Public Utilities has canceled all garbage, yard waste and recycling pick-up today due to dangerous road conditions.

Today’s missed customers should set out their materials tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 19) by 7 a.m. If your materials still have not been collected by the end of the day Thursday, put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Customers who were missed on Monday, Jan. 16, should set their materials out on their next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge.

When setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable food items in their collection containers and set bagged, non-perishable items next to the containers.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will continue to post service updates on www.seattle.gov/util. Customers can also reach SPU for information by calling Customer Service at (206) 684-3000.

Seattle Public Library locations, including the Greenwood Library at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., will be open from 1-5 p.m. today.

King County has closed District and Superior Courts today. King County closures are updated continually here.

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Get ready for possible snowstorm Wednesday

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

The city, utilities and schools are all getting ready for possible major snow on Wednesday. KING 5’s Jeff Renner is forecasting snow accumulations of up to 10 inches in the foothills tomorrow.

Seattle Public Schools has canceled all classes and activities on Wednesday.

The Seattle Public Library has canceled Wednesday night’s meeting for community input on library services at the Ballard Library. The meeting will be rescheduled.

Seattle Public Utilities says Wednesday customers should set out all garbage, recycling and yard/food waste carts by 7 a.m. tomorrow, but collection will depend on the weather.

Please put your garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste out by 7 a.m. Wednesday. If your collection is missed, please leave your materials out for one more day. If your materials still have not been collected by the end of the day Thursday, put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Customers, who were missed today, Tuesday, Jan. 17, should set out your materials for pickup Wednesday morning. If your material is not picked up Wednesday, please set it out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Customers who were missed Monday, Jan. 16, should set your materials out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge.

SPU is also asking people to make sure the storm drains in the street in front of their homes are clear of leaves, ice and other debris. Blocked storm drains can cause localized flooding. Seattle has about 80,000 storm drains.

Metro buses remain on snow routes, and some routes will be canceled on Wednesday. Metro plans to cancel as many as 30 routes tomorrow morning, depending on how severe the storm is.

Due to the weather forecast for treacherous and impassable roadways, Metro is scaling back some service Wednesday to be able to operate the rest of its system safely and as reliably as possible. The routes scheduled to be canceled for Wednesday are: 2EX, 38, 42, 45, 46, 51, 53, 79, 114, 161, 162, 175, 192, 193, 197, 205, 210, 215, 216, 219, 224, 237, 251, 268, 277, 316, 355, and the Center Park Shuttle.

Information about these Wednesday route cancellations will be added to Metro’s snow page after midnight tonight. But, service on those routes could be restored depending on overnight weather forecasts and actual travel conditions tomorrow. So before traveling, riders should check either online or by phone (206-553-3000) for the most current status of Metro service.

For travel on Wednesday, check Metro’s snow web page before leaving. Updates to the online information begin as early as 4 a.m. and continue as needed until travel conditions improve. Also, it is important to sign up for Transit Alerts so you can be alerted when bus service status changes.

Even though weather and road conditions in the morning may not be bad in your area, delays and service disruptions can occur in other parts of the county that affect bus service in your area. Buses will also be chained, which means they have to travel at slower speeds.

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Seattle Public Schools are closed on Wednesday

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools has just announced that all schools will be closed on Wednesday, due to anticipated snow and ice. That includes all before-and after-school programs and preschools.

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Whittier Elementary PTA opposes School Board proposal to add fourth kindergarten class

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

Update: Wednesday night’s School Board meeting has been postponed to Jan. 25 because of snow.

Earlier: of Whittier Elementary School’s PTA plan to attend Wednesday night’s Seattle School Board meeting to oppose a proposal to add a fourth kindergarten class next year. Whittier, which is at 13th Avenue NW and NW 75th Street in Ballard, currently has three kindergarten classes of 23 students each.

Whittier Elementary on a sunnier day

Whittier’s boundaries include the very western edge of parts of Greenwood and Phinney Ridge.

The School Board is dealing with capacity issues at north end schools, and the fourth kindergarten class is part of a larger proposal to deal with overcrowding.

If the Board votes to add a fourth kindergarten class, the school would lose its on-site childcare program or preschool program, so that the room could be turned into another kindergarten class.

The PTA sent a detailed letter to school families today, and now families are sending around a petition against adding the fourth class, unless the district comes up with better enrollment figures and a longer-term plan.

The letter from PTA Co-Presidents Lisa Melenyzer and April Brown states that 80 percent of this year’s kindergarteners live within the school’s attendance area, and that there was no waitlist for kindergarten at Whittier this year. The two say that there is room within the current three classes to add any anticipated population growth in the next few years.

The PTA also says school capacity data does not show a need for a fourth kindergarten class, and that there is no plan for how it would affect the three existing first-grade classes the following year and the higher grades after that.

The PTA is also worried about the strain another class would add on school resources, including the P.E. and music teachers, as well as the library, lunchroom and recess supervision.

From the PTA letter:

Please note that we are not suggesting that kids in the attendance area who are entitled to come to Whittier should be turned away. We also want the siblings of Whittier families to be served, and for Whittier to be a welcoming place to the community. We simply don’t want Whittier to be appointed a fourth kindergarten – with this lack of planning and foresight – merely to help serve a capacity problem in the rest of our service area.

You can write to all School Board members by emailing: schoolboard@seattleschools.org. The Seattle School Board meets from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at the John Stanford Support Center, 2445 3rd Ave. S., in the first-floor auditorium.

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City conditionally approves development for old Leilani Lanes site

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

The city’s Department of Planning and Development has conditionally approved the proposed four-building development at 10201 Greenwood Ave. N. The developer proposes 263 residential units in three, four-story buildings, plus six live-work units, 212 enclosed parking spaces, and 3,900 square feet of commercial space.

Sketch courtesy of Grouparchitect.

The city determined there were no significant environmental impacts associated with the project. You can view the full decision. Appeals of the decision must be received by the hearing examiner by Jan. 31, 2012.

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Seattle Public Schools out 2 hours early today

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools started two hours late on Tuesday morning, and now the district has announced that classes will dismiss two hours early.

All after-school activities are canceled.

We are cancelling all classes this afternoon because of recent winter weather. Buses in the north end are having difficulty on the roads. This will be operated as a two-hour early release. Weather patterns changed this morning in the north end of the District requiring us to dismiss classes early. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused today but predicting the weather is not an easy task. Safety is a top priority of our students.

SPS will send an automated phone call to all families notifying them of the two-hour early release. Families who are using childcare services at a school should contact the childcare provider directly for hours.

Seattle Public Schools is closely monitoring the weather this week, especially for school on Wednesday. Families will receive an automated phone call if school is cancelled.

Families can learn if there is a school delay or closure through:

  • local media (TV, radio stations, newspapers and blogs)
  • the District website at www.seattleschools.org
  • an automated phone call
  • the Public Schools Emergency Communications System at www.SchoolReport.org

For the latest weather updates, you’ve got a smorgasbord of options. Check out the weather blog of UW Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass; KING 5’s weather forecast; KIRO 7’s Stormtracker radar; KOMO4’s weather blogs and forecasts; and the National Weather Service.

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Middle school students can participate in city-wide reading marathon at Greenwood Library

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

The Seattle Public Library is hosting a city-wide reading marathon for middle school students at six library branches, including the Greenwood Library, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 28.

The marathon is also at the libraries in Ballard, Beacon Hill, Douglass-Truth, Lake City and Southwest.

The middle school with the most reading hours logged will win an exciting grand prize. All Seattle middle school students are encouraged to participate. Everyone is welcome to attend and support the readers. No registration is required. Pizza and snacks will be provided for the students. Free parking is available at the branches.

For more information, call the Library at 206-615-1410.

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18th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day on Feb. 11

January 17th, 2012 by Doree

Celebrate the people who make our neighborhood great with Seattle’s 18th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day on Feb. 11. The event was started by Phinney Ridge’s own Judith Wood, who suggested the city set aside a day to honor great neighbors.

From the city’s press release:

  • Plan an activity for your neighborhood such as a block party, potluck, or work party. The website, www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborday, provides ideas, tools, resources, and templates to help community members organize an activity. Once organized, the event can be posted to the online calendar atwww.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborday/eventsubmit.htm (the submission can be made public or private).
  • Send out Neighbor Appreciation Day greeting e-cards to your neighbors. The selection of e-cards feature artwork from past winners of the Neighbor Appreciation Day Student Art Contest.
  • Share a story or two about your favorite neighbors. Community members can visit the Neighbor Appreciation Day website to post stories about great neighbors or their neighborhood.
  • Attend one of the many community activities listed on the online calendar. Seattle Fire stations, Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers and pools, and other organizations have special Neighbor Appreciation Day events and work parties planned.

Artwork by Alex Taylor.

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