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


Entries from April 2012

City will issue ruling on environmental appeal of Fred Meyer by next Wednesday

April 30th, 2012 by Doree

The city’s hearing examiner has until next Wednesday to issue her decision on an appeal of environmental concerns about the major expansion and remodel of the Greenwood Fred Meyer.

The appeal hearing was April 25. City Planner Scott Kemp says the hearing examiner has two weeks to issue a ruling.

Fred Meyer closed the store on Feb. 25 and planned to immediately begin construction of a major remodel and expansion. But neighborhood activist Kate Martin appealed the city’s Determination of Non-Significance.

Martin tells us she has a number of concerns about drainage on the site, as well as pedestrian safety, and she didn’t feel that the conditions the city placed on the project were adequate.

“I asked for a more walkable streetscape on 85th and 3rd where the Fred Meyer plans show no changes to enhance the 4’ buffer between the moving cars at curbside and the sidewalk,” she told us today in an email. “I also asked for them to meter the water going into the storm sewer from this site so that we could see a before and after quantification of dewatering. The existing FM lower level floor is built at, near or below the groundwater level and dewaters vast amounts of groundwater which is disposed in the sewer before it can make its way to the peat bog and eventually Piper’s Creek. Several times in the SEPA report, it is claimed that no new water will leave the site, but water leaving the site is not measured, so the claim will always be unsubstantiated without meters.”

We have asked Fred Meyer for an update on construction timelines, but they have not yet responded.


Greenwood and 85th Street weekly paving update

April 30th, 2012 by Doree

Downtown Greenwood is quite a mess to get around these days with all the roadwork on N/NW 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North, but remember that all business are open. In some cases, plywood ramps have been placed over ripped up streets and sidewalks to allow access to businesses.

This week, Seattle Department of Transportation crews are doing asphalt paving on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The eastbound lane of N/NW 85th Street remains closed between 8th and Greenwood avenues; traffic is detoured to N/NW 80th Street.

Crews are also working on Greenwood Avenue North from North 85th to North 73rd streets. They’re constructing new curb ramps on corners, and stormwater improvements. On-street parking has been temporarily removed from corners. The sidewalks at the intersection of North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North are still being replaced.

The intersection of North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue North will be closed this weekend and next weekend.

If you couldn’t attend either of SDOT’s two drop-in sessions last week, you can check out their website for information and fliers that were provided at the sessions.

Metro bus stops are detoured as well. Sign up for Metro rider alerts or call (206) 553-3000 for the information on route changes.

You can sign up for weekly email updates at pave_85th@seattle.gov, or call the 24-hour project line at 206-496-9993.

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‘Preschool at the Harbor’ opening in Crown Hill in September

April 30th, 2012 by Doree

Harbor Church, 9204 11th Ave. NW in Crown Hill, is starting a new preschool called “Preschool at the Harbor” (PATH) beginning in September.

PATH is for children ages 3 to 5. Classes will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., either three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or two days a week (Tuesday, Thursday).

Enrollment is now open. Call 206-743-5253 or email walkonthepath@gmail.com for more information.

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826 Seattle receives NEA art grant

April 30th, 2012 by Doree

Writing and tutoring center 826 Seattle is one of 788 non-profits around the country to receive a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant.

826 Seattle will use the $36,000 grant to support its “Creating a Community of Young Authors” project. The NEA is giving a total of $24.81 million in art grants.

From the press release:

Research clearly shows that writing skills are imperative to success in our knowledge-based economy and that the world needs critical and creative thinkers to tackle the complex challenges we face as a planet. While schools focus their limited resources on math, science and reading, the task of engaging children to think creatively falls increasingly on the shoulders of organizations like 826 Seattle.”

“We believe that 826 Seattle’s Community of Young Authors project is an essential investment in the lives of our young people, and our community,” said 826 Seattle founder Teri Hein. “We’re proud of our efforts and of the young people, volunteers, supporters, board and staff who made it possible.”

826 Seattle is located inside its fundraising arm, Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., at 8414 Greenwood Ave. N. It provides free tutoring for children ages 6 to 18.

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Next ‘Think & Drink’ at Naked City celebrates ‘Harlots and Heroines’

April 30th, 2012 by Doree

Naked City Brewery’s monthly “Think & Drink” events, sponsored by Humanities Washington, are quickly becoming THE place to be on a weekday evening. April’s event on “Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness” was standing room only.

Coming up on May 9, “Harlots & Heroines: Images of Women in Media and Pop Culture” features scholars Jennifer K. Stuller and Amy Peloff, with moderator Marcie Sillman, discussing the media’s portrayal of women – from Wonder Woman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Lady Gaga and the Kardashians. The conversation will range from conceptions of gender to sexuality and politics.

Stuller is the author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology and co-founder and programing director of Seattle’s GeekGirlCon. Peloff is the associate director of the Comparative History of Ideas program at the University of Washington, where she teaches gender, women and sexuality studies. Sillman is a senior reporter with KUOW who produces in-depth news segments on Northwest life and culture.

The event is free. It starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at Naked City Brewery & Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N.

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Parks Department holding public workshop on applying for money to create new parks

April 27th, 2012 by Doree

Thanks to the 2008 Parks levy, $15 million was allocated for communities to develop new parks. $7 million has already been allocated, but another $8 million is available in the 2012-13 cycle.

Project proposal letters are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, June 11, and full project applications are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17.

Parks Department officials will help applicants at a workshop from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

Check out the Parks Department’s online application system, which includes templates for proposal letters and applications, a detailed timeline, criteria, and analysis maps.

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Live music, play time, food bank drive, community garden work party and more in Greenwood-Phinney this weekend

April 27th, 2012 by Doree

Plenty to do in the PhinneyWood ‘hood this weekend. Here’s a sampling; check our Events calendar any time for more.

Umpqua Bank at 7120 Greenwood Ave. N. is celebrating National Teach Your Children to Save Week with treats and arts and crafts from 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, plus a sing-along with Phinney Ridge’s own Gary Paine.

Julie Massey and The Five Finger Discount and Jean Mann in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at Empty Sea Studios, 6300 Phinney Ave. N. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 at the door. (Also webcasting live and on-demand in HD via Empty Sea Television.)

Bill Davie and Kat Eggleston in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Couth Buzzard Books Espresso Buono Café, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N. On Saturday, hear “Music of the Blue Divide” from Pint & Dale, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Both concerts are free; food and beer and wine available for purchase.

Greenwood Elementary School is having a work party and community meeting for its new garden on Saturday. Ground breaking starts at 9 a.m.; community meeting and refreshments are at 9:30 a.m. Work parties are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Children welcome – and encouraged – to help!

PlaySpace at Emmanuel is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at 510 N. 49th St.

Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club is holding a plant liquidation from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at the boathouse at 5900 E. Green Lake Way.

The Greenwood Food Bank is collecting food and hygiene items at two sites around the neighborhood this weekend. Volunteers will be at the Greenwood Safeway and Ken’s Market from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. In addition to non-perishable food items, the Food Bank likes to be able to hand out hygiene items such as bars of soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo.

Phinney Preschool Co-op‘s Gently-Used Kids Clothing & Gear Sale, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Shop for shoes, toys, books, strollers, bedding, furniture, safety equipment, sports gear, car seats, swimwear, maternity wear, etc. Fifty-percent discounts on many items starts at 12 p.m.

PhinneyWood Prenatal Women’s Fair from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Free for expecting mothers and women with children. Sponsored by Vitality Specific Chiropractic, Whole Life Yoga, and Northwest Association for PostPartum Support.

Are you having a baby or thinking about it? Join us to learn more about prenatal yoga, doula & postpartum services, prenatal massage & chiropractic, prenatal & newborn photography, midwifery services, parenting services, and hypno-birthing. Learn the difference between doula and midwife services; sample organic baby food; meet lactation specialists; get answers to questions about vaccinations; enjoy a FREE massage; lots of prizes and services will be given away.

The Chocolate Shoe Box, 7410 Greenwood Ave. N., is part of the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale all weekend. Money raised goes to Action for Animals and Precious Life Animal Sanctuary.

Pinkerton Design Studio Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 7003 3rd Ave. NW. Cash only. Greeting cards, journals, calendars, invitations, gift wrap, etc.

Brother Sun performs a Seattle Folklore Society concert from 7:30-10 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Brick Building. Cost is $16; $2 off for SFS & PNA members and seniors, kids $8. Reserve your spot online or call 206-528-8523.

MKG Martial Arts and friends are holding another fundraiser for 17-year-old Ruby Smith, who is battling Burkitt’s Lymphoma. (Her father is co-owner of Greenwood’s Couth Buzzard Books). On Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at MKG at Northgate, 10722 5th Ave. NE, pilates instructor Mari LaRocca will teach a workshop on using foam rollers for self-massage, myofascial release, core-stability, development and stretching. The workshop is free, with all donations of any amount going to Ruby’s family to help pay her medical bills. Please RSVP on Facebook or call 206-789-2411. And you can watch a touching video that Seattle Children’s put together on Ruby learning photography while in the hospital.

The Top Pot Doughnut Dash is Sunday morning at Green Lake, starting and ending at the Community Center on the east side of the lake. Be prepared for about 3,500 runners and lots of cars in the area.

The Guitar Store at 8310 Aurora Avenue North is hosting a “Sunday Morning Greenlake Guitar Mob” from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and collecting donations for the Greenwood Food Bank.

Everyone is welcome. We meet at The Guitar Store or in The Boardroom Cafe at 9:30. At 9:45 we head out to walk around Greenlake. The first 200 people with a non perishable donation gets a t shirt , a chance to meet fellow guitarists and just a bit of health. If this takes off we may just do it all summer. Everyone who participates gets 15% at The Guitar Store for the next year (very limited exceptions). Bring a can of food for the Greenwood Food Bank.


Police arrest Ballard robbery and assault suspect in Phinney Ridge

April 27th, 2012 by Doree

Last night Seattle Police arrested a Ballard robbery suspect in Phinney Ridge.

From the SPD Blotter:

On April 17th, just before 3:00 pm, a woman was sitting in her parked car in the 8000 Block of 24th Avenue NW. She was confronted by three suspects, a male and two females, who she knows, over money owed to them. The suspects began attacking her, punching her in the head and upper body. One of the females began hitting her with a screwdriver. During the assault, the suspects grabbed the victim’s purse and fled in a van. North Precinct officers responded and the victim was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire. Officers conducted an area search, but did not locate the suspect van.

The case was referred to the Robbery Unit. The suspects had been identified and a wanted bulletin was distributed. On April 26th, at 11:00 pm, North Precinct Anti-Crime Team officers saw the male suspect in a vehicle in the 6000 Block of Phinney Avenue North. Prior to officers stopping him, he was seen funbling with something underneath the driver’s seat. The officers stopped the vehicle and took the suspect into custody. As he was getting out of the car, a holster fell from his body and officers observed a handgun underneath the seat. The vehicle was impounded pending further investigation. The suspect was transported to the Robbery Unit office where he was interviewed by detectives. The 46 year old man was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery and Violation of Uniformed Firearms Act. Robbery detectives continue to investigate this case.

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Free six-week parenting workshop at Viewlands Elementary

April 26th, 2012 by Doree

Sanity Circus is a free, six-week series for parents, teachers, and caregivers “who want more cooperative, respectful, and joyful relationships with children.” The series is from 7-8:30 p.m. on Mondays, starting April 30 and running through June 11, at Viewlands Elementary School, 10525 3rd Ave. NW.

Free childcare provided for kids ages 3 and up. Register online.

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Your precious pet is lost — what can you do?

April 26th, 2012 by Doree

By Ilona Idlis, UW News Lab

Greenwood resident Becky Refae never expected her cat, Sugar, to go missing. After all, the chatty Siamese had been an indoors cat for most of her 11 years and, like a dog, always came when called. But after years abroad, the Refae family returned to Seattle and decided to try to allow their pet a little more freedom. They were reassured by Sugar’s behavior. The kitty stayed close to home during her outdoor ventures and still preferred her indoor kingdom.

So when Sugar didn’t return one night last September, Refae panicked.

“We just couldn’t imagine what happened. Did she get spooked by a raccoon, or follow another cat? Did she get hurt nearby and get disoriented? There were a million scenarios running through our heads,” she recalled in an email.

Refae immediately set to work on the search. She phoned her local veterinarian and the Seattle Animal Shelter, printed up posters and hung them on telephone poles, then walked the neighborhood calling Sugar’s name and straining to hear the familiar meow.

The community board at the Seattle Animal Shelter is plastered with missing animal fliers. The most effective postings use large, color photos and bold headings with memorable descriptions, like “BLACK LAB.”

Her husband decided to expand the search by posting to the PhinneyWood forum. The online response was immediate. Tips and sightings poured in as comments and phone calls. Though the Refaes sped to the mentioned locations, Sugar was nowhere to be found.

“It did keep our hopes,” Refae said. If people were seeing her, she was at least OK.

By the fourth day, Refae wasn’t so sure. Then she got the call. A family living off Aurora Avenue North and North 110th Street — almost 30 blocks away from home — found Sugar trembling under their car. Both of her back legs were broken and she crouched, terrified, unable to move.

Refae rushed Sugar to an emergency animal hospital, fearing permanent damage. Thankfully, a next-day operation and weeks of love and painkillers helped Sugar to a full recovery and the Siamese now bounds around the house with lots of energy and a slight limp.

Becky Refae’s Siamese cat, Sugar, was missing for four days before a Greenwood family found her hiding under a car, injured. They used the phone number on Sugar’s ID tag to contact Refae. (Photo by Becky Refae.)

This story wouldn’t have a happy ending if it wasn’t for Sugar’s collar. The family that found her was outside the mile radius of paper fliers and hadn’t seen the online forum. Instead, it was Refae’s phone number on the cat’s ID tag that proved crucial to Sugar’s rescue.

“Best $10 I ever spent,” Refae concluded.

Seattle Animal Shelter (SAS) worker Kara Main-Hester, too, cannot over-emphasize the importance of pet identification. This means microchips, licenses and collars.

“If you have all of those three things up to date, your animal will get home to you,” Main-Hester assured. But no amount of posters or postings can help a found animal that can’t be traced to its owner.

The SAS takes in strays daily and the pattern of reunification is telling. Of the 821 stray dogs received last year, over 65 percent were reunited with their owners. Conversely, only 12.3 percent of the 739 found cats made it home. Why?

“Dogs are more likely to have identification,” Main-Hester explained. “A lot of people believe that cats shouldn’t have to wear collars, but that leaves no way to reunite them.”

Proper identification is a three-step process that can ultimately save a four-legged family member. A grain-sized microchip implanted in an animal’s nape is the first and most permanent form of ID. Most of the time, dogs and cats are tagged at their local shelters and vet’s offices, which makes those locations the default address on the chip.

Seattle Animal Shelter worker Kara Main-Hester demonstrates the microchip scanner on Melissa. The grain-sized chips are usually implanted in the animal’s nape, and just a swipe of the scanner will pick up the coded number and company information.

Jessica Ancheta of Phinney Ridge Animal Hospital encourages owners to update the microchips with their personal information and phone number. The re-registration process requires a small fee — around $20 depending on the company — but provides a direct route back to the owner.

“If [owners] don’t have the chips registered, it’s keeping [the Animal Hospital] as the middleman,” she explained, which means the company calls the animal hospital first and delays the process.

Pet licenses are the next line of defense. They’re required by law for cats and dogs in the city of Seattle and usually provide the SAS with the most accurate data for its license/microchip cross-reference database. Moreover, license fees directly fund the shelter’s facilities.

“Collars are third on the rung,” Main-Hester said. “It’s the easiest to use for you and me as normal public citizens, but it’s the most likely to get lost.”

Keeping dogs on leashes and cats indoors are common sense ways of preventing physical escape, but if they fail, the chances of finding your animal are greatly increased by following the guide below.

If Your Animal is Lost:

First, notify and visit the shelter immediately. The SAS is a central location for the area’s found pets and should be the first place an owner checks. This step is particularly important if the animal has no form of ID, as the shelter is only required to hold unidentified pets for three business days before they’re put up for adoption. So, come in person to visually verify your animal and come often.

Second, alert the community. Main-Hester says online and print postings play an equal part in establishing “a local rescue network,” increasing the number of people looking for your animal. Do both. Post to Craigslist and local blogs, such as PhinneyWood and MyBallard. Print fliers with large, color photos and emphasize key descriptor words, like “CALICO TABBY” or “BLACK LAB.” Hang them in your neighborhood vet’s offices and community centers. Mount your fliers on fluorescent poster boards and pin them by busy intersections. You only have a few seconds to grab drivers’ attention so use bright colors and bold type to convey what’s missing quickly. (For more tips on formatting fliers, visit missingpetpartnership.org.)

This flier is an example of poor formatting. The black and white photo doesn’t help the viewer recognize a generically colored cat and the type doesn’t jump out with an immediate description. Since this cat doesn’t have any identification, like a microchip or collar, the chances of reunification are slim.

Third, hit the pavement. Walk the streets while calling your pet’s name. Talk with your neighbors. Physically check hiding spots like porches and garages. (This step is particularly important when looking for cats, who tend to hide silently when hurt.) If your animal is hiding nearby, you may need to set up feeding stations with humane traps to lure them home. The SAS can deploy workers to build them.

If You Find a Lost Animal:

Let the animal come to you. Unfortunately, there’s no way to calm a skittish pet. Chasing after a scared dog or cat will only drive it farther from home. Worse, you may get bitten and “that’s a situation no one wants,” Main-Hester reminded.

“If they’re handle-able and friendly, they’re probably just a couple doors away from home,” she added. In that case, try to entice the animal with food and corral it inside a fence. Check the pet for a collar with owner information, as it may be your neighbor’s.

Notify the SAS of your find. If there’s no visible identification, don’t just house the animal. Instead, take it to any local veterinarian or shelter during business hours to be scanned for a microchip. You don’t need an appointment. Check local bulletin boards and online forums for matching descriptions. Finally, if none of these methods yields results, do not hesitate to take the animal to the SAS. The owner will think to visit the shelter, not your house.

Fortunately, the SAS has an excellent adoption record and will find the animal a good home, even if reunification isn’t possible. With 300 available foster homes and large on-site facilities, the shelter never euthanizes for space. In fact, the SAS had a 91 percent “save rate” for all its animals last quarter, placing it in the top ranks nationally.

“We’re really, really proud of it,” Main-Hester said. “’We’re one of the highest municipal shelters in the country and that’s because the Seattle community is absolutely amazing and really cares for its animals, and adopts here first.”

(Ilona Idlis is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)

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Greenwood photographer wins international award

April 26th, 2012 by Doree

Greenwood photographer Sandra Coan has won an international award from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers International Image Competition. Her image titled “Hello Bunny” took first place in the Babies category.

Coan, who specializes in maternity, infant, and family photography, has a studio at 310 NW 85th St.

Congratulations, Sandra!

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Taproot Theatre expansion design will be reviewed by city on May 14

April 26th, 2012 by Doree

Taproot Theatre’s expansion is on the agenda for the city’s Design Review Board on May 14. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St., in the library.

Taproot is expanding to the east, to 208 N. 85th St., to the parcel of land formerly occupied by four restaurants that were destroyed in a 2009 arson. Taproot proposes a two-story, 12,200-square foot space that would include a second theater, scene shop, office space and a café.

Rendering by the Miller Hull Partnership.

At the meeting, Taproot will present updated designs after presenting an initial concept to the Early Design Guidance Board on Dec. 13, 2010.

The public is invited to comment.