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


Court dismisses charges against Phinney Ridge man in Mother’s Day stabbings after he’s found incompetent to stand trial

October 25th, 2016 by Doree

Criminal charges against the Phinney Ridge man accused of stabbing two neighbors on Mother’s Day have been dropped after he was found not competent to stand trial, after more than four months of treatment and evaluation at Western State Hospital.

The court found that John Christopher Altshuler lacked the capacity to understand the charges against him or to aid in his defense. It also found he was “unlikely to become competent within a reasonable period of time.”

Altsuler had been charged with two counts of assault, malicious mischief and violation of an anti-harassment order when he allegedly stabbed two of his neighbors on NW 74th Street on May 8. Both men were taken to Northwest Hospital, where they were treated and released after several hours.

The court dismissed the charges “without prejudice,” meaning the prosecutor could refile charges at a later date.

Altshuler remains at Western State, pending a civil commitment evaluation.

Western State diagnosed Altshuler with Unspecified Schizophrenia Spectrum or Other Psychotic Disorder with paranoid delusions and Unspecified Neurocognitive Disorder secondary to a traumatic brain injury he allegedly suffered in 1986.

According to the original charging documents, Altshuler had a long history of harassing his next door neighbor, who then filed an anti-harassment order against him. The Oct. 14, 2016, Western State competency report stated Altshuler believed his neighbors were part of the Italian Mafia and out to get him.

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Ballots have arrived, vote by Tuesday, Nov. 8

October 25th, 2016 by Doree

Just a reminder that election ballots should have arrived in your mailbox by today and are due back (postmarked or dropped in an official Ballot Drop Box) by Tuesday, Nov. 8.

If mailed, use a first-class stamp (some counties have longer ballots that require extra postage, but King County does not). No postage is required if you put in a Drop Box. Drop Boxes are open 24 hours a day, and close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Here are the nearest Ballot Drop Boxes to our neighborhood:

  • Ballard Library, corner of NW 57th Street and 22nd Avenue NW
  • Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.
  • Green Lake Community Center, 7201 East Green Lake Drive N.

Click here for a full list of all King County Ballot Drop Box locations.

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High school students can get college financial aid help at local libraries

October 24th, 2016 by Doree

High school students wanting to apply for financial aid for college next year can get free drop-in support at several library branches, including nearby Ballard. Trained volunteers will answer questions and offer help with applying for scholarships. Financial aid experts will provide support for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and Washington Application for State Financial Aid.

Volunteers will be at the Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W. from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13; the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Boeing Technology Training Center Room 4, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30; and at the Douglass-Truth Library, 2300 E. Yesler Way, from 2-5 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12.

To fill out the FASFA and WASFA, students should bring the following items:

  • Driver’s license or identification card.
  • Social Security number or Green Card.
  • Income information. This includes bank statements, a W-2 or pay stub, and a past tax return.
  • Additional financial information. This might include child support statements, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or welfare information, real estate, investments, family business or farm information.

Students who are age 24 or under must also bring a parent or legal guardian with them, along with the following items:

  • One parent or guardian’s Social Security number or Green Card.
  • Parents’ or guardians’ financial information. This includes a copy of their 2015 tax return.
  • Parents’ or guardians’ additional financial information. This might include child support statements, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or welfare information, real estate, investments, family business or farm information.

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Fix broken electronics at ‘Repair Café’ at Greenwood Library on Sunday

October 24th, 2016 by Doree

The PNA Tool Library’s Fixers Collective will help you repair broken electronics at its “Repair Café” from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

“Children, teens and adults are invited to learn how common household items work and save money while exploring the lost art of DIY fixing,” according to the press release.

Free; no registration required.

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Early Design Guidance meeting for North 132nd Street & Greenwood Avenue development is Nov. 7

October 24th, 2016 by Doree

An Early Design Guidance meeting for a proposed development at 147 N. 132nd St., near the corner of Greenwood Avenue North and North 132nd Street, is set for 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, in the Sunset/Captain Ballard Room.

The project would demolish the west wing of the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church and replace it with a three-story, 63,000 square foot apartment building with 59 units and below grade parking for 23 vehicles.

You can comment on the project by emailing PRC@seattle.gov or mail to City of Seattle, Seattle DCI – PRC, 700 5th Ave., Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019.

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Movie Marvels, theater, concerts in Greenwood-Phinney Ridge this weekend

October 21st, 2016 by Doree

Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., hosts Professor Fred’s Movie Marvels – “Giant From the Unknown” at 7:30 p.m. Friday; Jim Page and Grant Dermody in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and Open Jazz Jam with Kenny Mandell (all levels welcome) from 2-4:15 p.m. Sunday.

Taproot Theatre’s production of “Joyful Noise” plays on the mainstage through Oct. 29, at 204 N. 85th St. “The God Game” plays in the Isaac Studio Theatre through Oct. 29.

Soccer Saturdays presented by the English Premier Soccer Academy at 9 a.m. Saturday at the North Seattle Boys & Girls Club, 8635 Fremont Ave. N.

Seattle Folklore Society presents Kenny White at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Brick Building. Tickets in advance are $16 general, $14 SFS/PNA members, seniors and students; kids half price (all tickets are $2 more day of the show).

Traffic wise:

  • The Huskies play Oregon State Beavers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium.
  • The annual Dawg Dash 10K and 5K run starts at 9 a.m. through the UW campus and nearby neighborhoods to the north of campus.
  • Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake at 1 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

Coming up next week:

Luso Food & Wine, 8218 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting a book release party for “Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD,” written by David Kopacz and Joseph Rael, from 7-9 p.m. Monday. Kopacz will be present to discuss the book and read a few passages. Snacks provided; beverages available for purchase. The book will not be available for purchase at the event, but is available on Amazon and will be available for purchase at the book signing at the UW Bookstore at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7. RSVP by emailing davidkopacz369@gmail.com.

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Take old prescription drugs to any police precinct Saturday for National Drug Take Back Day

October 20th, 2016 by Doree

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day, when you can take expired or unwanted prescription drugs to any of Seattle’s five police precincts and they’ll properly dispose of it. The semi-annual event is a cooperative effort between SPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Drop off prescription drugs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at the North Precinct, 10049 College Way N., by North Seattle Community College. This free service is anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—more than 3,200 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

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First design proposal meeting for new park coming to 81st and Greenwood is Nov. 2

October 19th, 2016 by Doree

Learn more about the new park coming to North 81st Street and Greenwood Avenue North and review initial design proposals at a community meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

Check out the project’s webpage for links to community input from an online survey and open house at the June Greenwood Car Show.

The two buildings on the east side of Greenwood at 81st are scheduled to be demolished before the end of the year. The south part of the block (where the small strip mall of restaurants and convenience store was) will be developed in 2017 with funds from the Seattle Park District. The north parcel (where Bleachers Pub used to be) will be open lawn until more funding is received for development.


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Ada’s Restaurant and Bar opens at 59th & Phinney

October 18th, 2016 by Doree

Ada’s Restaurant and Bar has finally opened at 5910 Phinney Ave. N., in the old Santa Fe Café space.

Ada’s serves what it calls “social plates” (appetizers or small plates) like Bacon and Blue Cheese Fries, Smoked Salmon Cakes, Crispy Skin Pork Belly and Grilled and Chilled Pawns. Main dishes include seafood, steak, chicken and burgers, plus several pastas and salads.

Many options are labeled as gluten free and/or vegan.

Ada’s is open for dinner from 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus brunch from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone is 206-397-3253, and yes, they do take reservations and are family-friendly.

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