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

 

Reader warns of auto repair scam in Fred Meyer parking lot

December 9th, 2013 by Doree

Susan tells us she was approached as part of a scam in Greenwood Fred Meyer’s parking lot on Saturday.

This afternoon, I was approached in the parking lot at the Greenwood Fred Meyer by two young Hispanic men who offered to repair the dents in my old Toyota for $500. Their white pick-up truck had magnetic signs reading “Mobile Auto Body.” I’d already received an estimate of $1,000 for the same work from a reputable body shop on Greenwood Ave. The men insisted that I let them do the work on the spot. Alternatively, they offered to follow me to my home where they could do the work.

I realized it was a scam and asked them for a card and for references. They said the price they offered me was good only for today. One of the men flashed his WA drivers’ license and cited his car’s magnetic signs as proof that he was legitimate. After I decline and got into my car, another young man knocked on my window. He claimed they had done satisfactory work for him and urged me to accept the offer. I declined again and drove away.

When I got home I Googled “mobile auto body repair scam” and learned that con artists like these guys target elderly people, vandalize their cars and demand payment. http://www.city-data.com/forum/los-angeles/1647022-have-you-been-approached-one-these.html, http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=120739&showcomments=T, http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2141459/dent-repair-removal-scam

Did anyone else experience this?

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Controversial extra-wide turn lane into Fred Meyer on 3rd Avenue slimmed down

July 17th, 2013 by Doree

Neighbors of the remodeled Greenwood Fred Meyer complained after an extra-wide truck turn lane was painted on 3rd Avenue NW before the store’s grand reopening in February. The wide lane meant street parking  in that stretch was prohibited, and cars heading northbound drove dangerously close to the curb and driveways of neighboring houses.

But, a neighbor tells us that after repeated complaints to Seattle Department of Transportation, the turn lane has been repainted and is much smaller, allowing more room for drivers going straight.

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Neighborhood news roundup: business closed, arts, live music and poetry, recycling, lion cubs

March 21st, 2013 by Doree

Here’s a roundup of various neighborhood news, in no particular order.

Snoose Junction, 10406 Holman Rd. NW, closed its doors on March 9.

Tony’s Coffee Bar, 7001 3rd Ave. NW, is hosting the second in its literary series on Friday evening. “Three Washington Writers and One From Portland” is from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, March 22. Four authors will read from their works: Nicole Rosevear, Ellen Parker, Jennifer D. Munro and Erin Gilbert. The event is free; refreshments will be served. Tony’s also will be giving away free Italianos from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. that day to celebrate the literary event.

Greenwood nonprofit writing and tutoring center 826 Seattle is partnering with Couth Buzzard Books for a “Whipper Snapper’s Cabaret” Saturday night. Talented students from 826 Seattle will take the stage for poetry and singing. Joining them are jazz musician Kenny Mandell’s jazz workshop Students, spoken word artist/DJ William Higareda (MC Vajra), humor essayist Marianne Hale and “trickster/wordsmith” Holly Brown. Free; food and drinks available for purchase. The Cabaret starts at 7:30 p.m. at 8310 Greenwood Ave. N.

Phinney resident Howard Snyder, a fine art landscape photographer, has a solo photography exhibition called “Chasing Shadows, Chasing Light” at Seattle Creative Arts Center through the end of this month.

PhinneyWood reader Joey Pauley contacted us, seeking witnesses to a car accident at the intersection of North 80th Street and Linden Avenue North on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.

This is a photo of Pauley’s red car…

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And the other driver’s black car.

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If you witnessed this accident, please call Joey at 206-651-5639.

A PhinneyWood reader contacted us because they were concerned about the new Greenwood Fred Meyer’s lack of recycling containers for customers to use. We contacted Fred Meyer and received this response:

Fred Meyer takes pride in the recycling program we have in each of our stores. It is part of our commitment towards a more sustainable business. We work hard to wrap up all loose ends with a new store opening as quickly as possible. Recycling stations for Customers are now available at your new Greenwood store. Thank you for shopping with us and for recycling!

Woodland Park Zoo’s new lion cubs now have full access to the entire lion exhibit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, weather permitting. The waiting line to view the cubs in the lion shelter has been removed.

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Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo.

“The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Seattle” author David Volk is looking for recommendations on freebies and deals in Greenwood and Phinney Ridge for his book’s second edition, due in May. (We profiled Volk in December 2010.)

If any of your readers know about great happy hours, places to go to hear live music for free, ways to see movies for free or cheap, amazingly cheap restaurants and places to see comedy for cheap, please have them drop me an e-mail. All people who make suggestions that he uses will be named in the book’s acknowledgements, the top five win a wonderfully kitschy prize and the best one wins a free copy of the new book when it comes out.

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Reminder: Greenwood Community Council meeting tonight to discuss the future of Greenwood Town Center

March 19th, 2013 by Doree

Just a reminder that the Greenwood Community Council’s bi-monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. On the agenda is a report from the Legislature by 36th District State Rep. Gael Tarleton, and a panel discussion about Greenwood Town Center (the area encompassing Fred Meyer, Piper Village and a few other properties.

Panelists include Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin; Gary Brunt of Greenwood Shopping Center; Scott Nolte, Producing Artistic Director of Taproot Theatre; and Matt Anderson, Heartland LLC.

Eight years ago the Greenwood Community Council joined with the (former) Phinney-Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, representatives from city departments, the Greenwood Shopping Center and Fred Meyer to develop a plan for Greenwood’s Town Center. It was a pro-active approach by the Community Council to develop a vision for new development, and the focus was on things that would make the Town Center more active and pedestrian-friendly, uniting the pedestrian downtown with the more car-friendly shopping center. Consultants were hired to look at the mix of businesses that could be attracted to the area, the urban form and transportation system, and their work was discussed in large public forums. The plan called for new design guidelines (since adopted), mixed use development on the shopping center site, and a walkway or street connection between downtown and the shopping center among other things.

The new Fred Meyer is completed, the first stages of Piper Village are done, a new street connecting Greenwood and the shopping center is shaping up, and the Taproot is getting ready to construct their theatre expansion. So the questions for this meeting is: What still needs to be done to make the Town Center active, walkable and economically healthy? How can the Fred Meyer be an anchor for activity throughout the Town Center that results in a better downtown Greenwood?

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Fred Meyer mechanical pony is back

February 21st, 2013 by Doree

If you’ve got young children, chances are they rode the mechanical pony that sat in front of the Greenwood Fred Meyer for years (my son was obsessed).

Now, after numerous requests to bring the pony back, Store Director Pete Laudadio had the horse refurbished and installed on Tuesday in front of the newly remodeled store. Get your quarters ready!

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Fred Meyer reopens to huge crowds, donates $25,000 to 5 community organizations

February 2nd, 2013 by Doree

Fred Meyer reopened its Greenwood store on Friday to huge crowds, which continued through Saturday. The remodeled store added 55,000 square feet, for a total of 192,000 square feet on two levels.

Neighbors turned out for the grand opening ceremony, complete with hundreds of cupcakes, on Friday afternoon.

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And Fred Meyer donated $5,000 each to the Greenwood Senior Center, Greenwood Food Bank, Greenwood Library, North Seattle Boys & Girls Club in Greenwood, and PAWS.

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Store Director Pete Laudadio presents a $5,000 check to Greenwood Senior Center Director Cecily Kaplan (right) and PNA Board President Kris Cummings (left). (Photos courtesy of Phinney Neighborhood Association Business Membership Group.)

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Greenwood Fred Meyer opening at 7 a.m. Friday

January 30th, 2013 by Doree

Just a reminder that the remodeled Greenwood Fred Meyer will reopen at 7 a.m. Friday, at 100 NW 85th St.

The parking lot was full of construction vehicles and workers making last-minute preparations this morning.

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The old Greenwood Market sign on the corner of NW 85th Street and 3rd Avenue NW was finally taken down last week and has been replaced with a Fred Meyer sign.

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Fred Meyer employees will serve cake at 2 p.m. Friday, and they’ll be donating $25,000 to local charities, including $5,000 to the Greenwood Senior Center and $5,000 to the Greenwood Food Bank. The store also will have a food drive for the food bank for the month of February, and will use its coin collection boxes at registers to collect donations for the food bank until May 25.

Fred Meyer also plans to donate perishable food items to the Greenwood Food Bank five days a week through the Grocery Rescue Program.

Update: Fred Meyer Public Affairs Spokeswoman Melinda Merrill just told me that neighbors are invited for a sneak peek inside the store from 4-8 p.m. Thursday. Customers can use the grand opening ad that will be in the newspaper; there will also be lots of food samples.

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Sneak peek inside new Greenwood Fred Meyer, opening Feb. 1

January 15th, 2013 by Doree

I got a sneak peek inside the new Greenwood Fred Meyer on Saturday, as employees work double and triple shifts to get the store ready for its grand opening on Friday, Feb. 1.

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The new store is 55,000 square feet larger than the old store, for a total of 192,000 square feet on two levels.

“There is not a store like this in all of Fred Meyer,” Store Director Pete Laudadio said.

Laudadio previously worked at the Issaquah store, but has been with the company since 1990. “I started as the kid who brought the carts in,” he said.

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Kevin R. Ruoff, Fred Meyer Human Resource District Coordinator (left), and Greenwood Store Director Pete Laudadio.

Inside the Greenwood Fred Meyer, the Service Deli is bigger than most other Fred Meyers (even bigger than Ballard’s), and Fred Meyer chefs in Portland are formulating some new recipes that will be rolled out first in Greenwood. There’s a special sushi section, a grilling station in the meat department for cooking samples, a huge wine section with a wine steward on duty seven days a week, a gift registry, and a Murray’s cheese shop. Murray’s is a New York cheese company renowned for its customer service.

“What Starbucks is to coffee, Murray’s is to cheese,” Laudadio explained.

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Murray’s cheese shop counter.

This will be the first Murray’s in a Fred Meyer store (there are a few in QFCs, including the store at University Village). The Ballard Fred Meyer will get a Murray’s about a month after the Greenwood store opens.

Murray’s flew a Fred Meyer crew out to New York to learn more about the company’s philosophy, and hand-picked the employees who will work in the store’s cheese shop.

The new store’s upper floor comprises groceries, housewares, home entertainment, toys, luggage, sporting goods, pharmacy, and personal needs (including baby items). All of apparel and half of the Home Department is downstairs (furniture, hardware, paint, storage, etc.)

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Employees set up furniture in the Home Decor department downstairs.

More than 60 skylights cut down on the need for fluorescent lighting, which will be on sensors to turn the lights down when there’s more ambient light. Grocery cooler aisles have LED lights on sensors, so they’ll turn on when a customer is in the aisle but turn off when no one is there.

Checkstands will be “piggyback” style (like Target stores), with two stands in a row.

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Upstairs also has “Euro checkstands,” small manned checkstands with no conveyor belt. They’re designed for customers who only have one or two items without a cart, and are designed to speed up the checkout process. Self-checkout will be between the regular and Euro checkstands.

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A line of Euro checkstands.

The main entrance lobby will include a Red Box movie rentals, a U.S. Bank ATM, and a shredding machine that can handle up to 50 pieces of paper at a time. A Starbucks is just inside the main entrance.

A wide staircase is next to the escalators, including a cart escalator.

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The company included showers in the downstairs employee restroom area to encourage bike commuting.

The Greenwood store will have about 250 employees (the old store had about 100). It is still hiring for about 25-30 positions (most in the service deli or as courtesy clerks). Applications are accepted online.

Grand opening festivities on Feb.1 include a cake cutting at 2 p.m. Mayor Mike McGinn, a Greenwood resident, has been invited.

Fred Meyer Greenwood will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

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Greenwood Fred Meyer now hiring

October 1st, 2012 by Doree

The Greenwood Fred Meyer, currently under reconstruction at 100 NW 85th St., is now hiring for all positions.

Kevin R. Ruoff, Human Resource District Coordinator, tells me that the store is looking to hire an additional 150 associates. Former employees have been working at other Fred Meyer stores around the region since the Greenwood store closed in February.

They’re looking to hire in all departments: food, home, apparel, photo and electronics, service deli, produce, nutrition, and cashier.

You can apply online (select Greenwood Store Opportunities from the left hand column). Qualified candidates will be contacted by WorkSource to schedule interviews that will begin at the end of October.

The Greenwood store will open on Feb. 1, 2013, but employees will begin training in November at other Fred Meyer stores (Ballard, Lake City, Shoreline, Lynnwood, Bothell, Mill Creek and Kirkland).

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Fred Meyer construction as seen from the air

August 13th, 2012 by Doree

Update Aug. 18: Project Engineer Patrick Barnum tells us that large rectangle in the middle is indeed a storm water vault.

Earlier: PhinneyWood reader and photographer John Marzulli sent us this amazing photo he took of Fred Meyer from the air. This gives you a much better sense of the scale of construction. The intersection of 3rd Avenue NW and NW 87th Street is at the top middle of the photo.

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New look at Fred Meyer construction

July 9th, 2012 by Doree

Thanks to James McFarlane for sending us pictures of the massive construction project on the Greenwood Fred Meyer. Here’s a picture of the north side taken on Friday.

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Fred Meyer gives $10,000 to Greenwood Food Bank

June 12th, 2012 by Doree

Fred Meyer today presented a check for $10,000 to the Greenwood Food Bank, to help make up for food donations lost when Greenwood Market closed. The Greenwood Food Bank is run by Volunteers of America.

Left to right: Kevin Ruoff, Fred Meyer’s Regional Human Resource Supervisor; Lori Drabant, Volunteers of America Regional Vice President for Development and Communication ; and Leann Geiger, Director of Volunteers of America’s Food Bank Services.

Greenwood Market closed in February and was demolished last week to make way for an expanded Fred Meyer. Greenwood Market donated an average of 4,000 pounds of groceries to the food bank each week.

Lori Drabant, Volunteers of America Regional Vice President for Development and Communication, said that $10,000 represents about 30,000 meals for food bank clients.

“It’s a big shot in the arm, because some of our donations have dropped with the economy, while the need has risen. It’s huge, it’s huge,” she said of the donation. “It’s the right gift at the right time.”

“I’m constantly amazed at the work you do,” Kevin Ruoff, Regional Human Resources Supervisor for Fred Meyer, told V of A staff, adding that the remodeled Greenwood Fred Meyer will be making regular donations to Food Lifeline, which distributes food to many area food banks, including Greenwood.

Fred Meyer employees also donate to community organizations through the United Way and the Fred Meyer Fund. Customers also can donate through coin boxes at checkout stands. Ruoff said he presented an $87,000 check from the Fred Meyer Fund to Food Lifeline last week.

Ruoff, who began his Fred Meyer career as a security guard at the Greenwood Fred Meyer in 1976, said all 100 employees of the Greenwood store were offered jobs at other Kroger stores, and all will be offered a job at the Greenwood store when it reopens. Ruoff said the store will need to hire an additional 125 employees.

The grand opening of the remodeled Greenwood Fred Meyer is now scheduled for Feb. 1, 2013.

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