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


Phinney Ridge author Kari Aguila set to publish second book

September 3rd, 2015 by Doree

KariAguila-resizedAward-winning Phinney Ridge author Kari Aguila is ready to publish her second book, “Run Ragged,” the sequel to “Women’s Work,” which won an IndieReader Discovery Award. Her books look at gender stereotypes and relationships in a “dystopic future.”

She has a Kickstarter campaign to help get it published.

Fifteen years after the Last War devastated families and infrastructure, women have taken over under the banner of peace and equality. Only too late do they realize it’s a slippery slope to oppression. In RUN Ragged, Rhia, a strong and independent sea captain finds herself trapped in The Center, a re-education facility designed to help people fit into the rules of the new matriarchal society. The warden claims to be guiding those in her care, but Rhia quickly sees the cracks in the system. Faced with the terrifying torture and brainwashing the warden inflicts, those cracks become gaping holes that threaten to pull Rhia down into the depths of despair. Can she resist this slow subversion and become the reluctant hero the inmates need?

RUN RAGGED-resized

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Phinney Ridge mom writes children’s book, ‘Even Superheroes Have to Sleep’

March 30th, 2015 by Doree

Sara Crow, Phinney Ridge mom of three little boys, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish her new book, “Even Superheroes Have to Sleep.”


Sara wrote the book after struggling to get her boys out of their superhero costumes and in to bed one night. The rhyming story is designed for children ages 1-6 and stars characters such as a scientist, superhero, princess, doctor and pirate. The book is illustrated by Adam Record.

She’s hoping to raise enough money to self-publish the book by August. The Kickstarter campaign ends on May 3.

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Phinney Ridge parents invent child’s travel chair that straps to rolling suitcase

January 22nd, 2015 by Doree

Phinney Ridge parents Jennie and Jon Helman have spent the last seven years trying to figure out a better way to transport their three young children through airports. So they invented Lugabug, a collapsible fabric chair that straps onto the outside of a roller suitcase. Its motto is “A snug seat for tired feet.”


“We’ve been motivated for many years to give the gift of ‘family travel made easy’ to the world,” Jennie said. “Lugabug makes traveling with our kids a breeze and we want others to experience the same.”

Lugabug collapses fully so it can be left on your luggage when you store it in the plane’s overhead bins or go through security.


It’s designed for ages 2 and up, with a limit of 70 pounds. It can also be used as a stand-alone chair or sitting pad, or used as a bag for carrying extra items.

The Helmans have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money for the initial round of production. They need to raise $25,000 by Feb. 27 for the project to be funded. Their Kickstarter page has more pictures and videos of the product in use.

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Young Nordic folk musicians raising money for Sweden trip

November 4th, 2012 by Doree

A group of young Nordic folk musicians, including one from Phinney Ridge, will travel to Sweden next summer to broaden their musical and cultural perspectives.

Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag has performed locally at the Folklife Festival, the Swedish Cultural Center’s Pancake Breakfasts, and for local dances hosted by the Skandia Folkdance Society.

In Sweden, the group, including Anika Anderson from Phinney Ridge, will perform at festivals and attend workshops by master Swedish fiddlers. They’ll also participate in a cultural exchange with their sister group in Sweden, the Malung Lilla Spelmanslag.

Anika Anderson of Phinney Ridge is at far right.

To help raise funds for their trip, they’re looking for donations to their Kickstarter campaign.

The group’s next performances will be at the Nordic Heritage Museum’s Yulefest on Nov. 17-18.

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Greenwood native cycling across Europe and Asia to break bread with locals

February 22nd, 2012 by Doree

Next week, Amie Thao and her partner, Olli Tumelius, will begin cycling 15,000 miles across Europe and Asia, searching for good meals and good stories along the way. The 29-year-old Thao and 31-year-old Tumelius are calling their trek the International Supper Club.

Olli Tumelius and Amie Thao.

They will start at the western edge of Continental Europe and end at the eastern edge of Asia. Thao came up with the idea for the journey after cycling 5,000 miles across Europe in 2011, sharing meals with strangers along the way.

“My love of food and cooking led me to spend a lot of time in kitchens. Everywhere I went, I found that people were struggling with how to make meaning from their lives. Meal time is the perfect space to sit together and tell stories,” Thao said in her press release.

Amie and Olli ride their bikes in any kind of weather.

In an email exchange with PhinneyWood, Thao said she graduated from Greenwood Elementary School in 1993, and has fond memories of Top Ten Toys and the Greenwood Library. Her parents still live in the neighborhood.

The pair are soliciting funds through the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, and were featured in that website’s Staff Picks as one of their favorite projects. The International Supper Club is trying to raise $7,500 for the trip.

Route map for the International Supper Club.

The pair will be posting stories of people they meet and regular updates of their trip on their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. And you can see a short video of their project here.

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