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By Bill Thorness, special to the Blog

For decades, many real estate deeds in Seattle and King County had covenants written into them that would restrict housing sales based on race. The practice was outlawed with the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in 1968.  

But its legacy and how people can get involved in repairing the damage done by this practice is the topic of “The History and Legacy of Racial Restrictions in Seattle Real Estate,” a public meeting at the Phinney Center on Wednesday, March 29, 7 p.m. It will be in Room 6 in the PNA’s blue building, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle. The event is sponsored by the PNA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee

Learn about the UW Racial Restrictions Covenant Project and the history of racial segregation in King County real estate from UW Researcher Samantha Cutts and hear the perspective on the past and present from long-time Seattle Realtor Mack McCoy.  

King County has a prevalent history of segregation and exclusion. Racial restrictive covenants are distinct from redlining, another discriminatory practice. Covenants were used widely in King County and Washington state but were not the only means of enforcing segregation. A recent Seattle Times article delves into the history. 

The University of Washington project seeks to identify such covenants in real estate deeds, using project researchers and volunteers from the public. It involves reviewing language in individual deeds and reporting the results to an online database.  

Even though the covenants are now illegal, this work is relevant, because the legacy of racial restrictive covenants and other means of housing segregation still impacts our communities. 

The UW project and a bill currently being considered in the Washington State Legislature have recently been discussed in local media, on public radio stations KNKX and KUOW. A Seattle Times editorial spoke in favor of the legislation.  

For more information on the issue, see the project website.

Come join your neighbors at the Phinney Center this Saturday, March 25, 1-3pm to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

Layer up (it’ll be a clear day but we’re forecasting 48 degrees) and wear something you don’t mind getting colored powder on. There will be a joyful color fight, tasty kathi rolls, piping-hot chai, lively dancing, kid-friendly educational activities, and more! 

At this time, there are a limited number of tickets left. Tickets are available online now until sold out. Advanced tickets are required as no tickets will be available at the door. Tickets are between $7-$12; the cost of one ticket includes three color packets, additional color packets are 5 for $10.

Folks from all religions, cultures, backgrounds, and ages are invited to participate in this day of celebration. Learn more about why the PNA celebrates Holi here

The well-loved Satay Bar, located at 8317 Greenwood Ave N, has re-opened after temporarily shuttering earlier this year. According to ownership, Satay Bar reached a breaking point due to lack of available staffing and were not able to continue until they had a chance to hire and train enough people to keep the doors open and maintain their high level of quality.

They have re-opened with a consolidated menu due as they continue to staff up, and are asking the community to refer any qualified cooks or cashiers who are looking for a good place to work to them.

Satay Bar’s lead chefs hail from Bangkok where they were street-food vendors who learned the art of Thai cuisine from their parents and grandparents. They are now open from 11am-3pm and 4pm to 8pm Tuesday- Sunday. Drop on by and help support this small family business!

New to our neighborhood, but a veteran organization established in 1996, Dance Fremont (8420 Greenwood Ave N, above the Hummus Café) is now offering early registration for a bountiful summer lineup of classes. Summer is a wonderful time for dancing! If you register before April 30th, you can enjoy 10% off your classes. More information and registration can be found here.

Dance Fremont offers summer dance classes and camps for ages 3 through adult, novice through advanced. Highlights include themed camps for younger kids including Encanto and Frozen to develop their creativity and storytelling skills; intensives to allow tweens and teens to grow by leaps and bounds; and introductory modern dance and ballet classes for adults. In every class, our caring and experienced faculty will help students exercise their bodies and their minds, explore their creativity, and build a supportive community for learning and fun.

  • Dance Fremont offers a variety of summer classes for youth and adults, including:
  • Youth Classes and Camps for ages 3-18
  • Themed camps for kids ages 3-9 – Encanto, Frozen, Broadway Dance, and more!
  • Youth Intensives and Workshops
  • Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Intensives
  • Choreography Workshop
  • Adult Classes
  • Modern, Ballet, and more

Dance Fremont is a welcoming dance community for people of all ages. We inspire a lifelong love of dance in each student in a nurturing atmosphere full of joy and creativity. Dance Fremont is committed to creating equity in our art form and justice for Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color. We understand our responsibility to help dismantle white supremacy and other harmful structures in dance and ballet. We celebrate differences, including differences in race, gender expression, and body type, and see this work as crucial to our ability to serve youth, families, and adults.

Architectural rendering by Johnston Architects

James Beard award-winning chef Renee Erickson will open “Lioness”, a small plate Italian wine bar in PhinneyWood this summer. Erickson is an author and co-owner of numerous establishments around Seattle such as The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Westward, and General Porpoise Doughnuts and Coffee.

She will join a star-studded group in the long-awaited Shared Roof apartment building at 7009 Greenwood Ave. N. Neighbors will include Ben’s Bread, Holy Mountain Brewing Company, and Doe Bay Wine Co. Lioness is planning a shared plate menu and feature dishes such as “ricotta gnocchi, oysters, Umbrian sausages and meatballs, along with cheese and charcuterie,” according to Tan Vinh of the Seattle Times.

Building owners report that the Shared Proof project, after many delays over the past few years, is on track and awaiting final permitting in order to open for the summer.

Flowers are blooming, weeds are growing, and we need your help beautifying the yards and gardens of your elder neighbors on Earth Day! The PNA Village is looking for 30-50 volunteers to do a huge and wonderful Spring cleaning of some beautiful neighborhood gardens.

Volunteers will split into groups of 5 and then head out to homes in NW Seattle. Each team will tackle two yards before heading home in time for lunch. Gardening experience is not necessary, you only need the desire to make a difference in the lives of others. This is a great way to volunteer with your friends and families of any age, so be sure to bring your whole crew. No experience necessary. Feel free to bring your favorite tools and gloves if you got them, and get ready to get your hands (and clothes) a bit dirty!

Learn more & sign up: https://www.phinneycenter.org/volunteer/volunteer-gardening/#village

We will also have a Spring cleaning and gardening opportunity at the Phinney Center – details on both event below.

Spring Cleaning at the Phinney Center
Saturday, April 15
9AM to noon
Phinney Center: 6532 Phinney Ave N, 98103
Spring cleaning the gardens and grounds: weeding, pruning, spreading mulch, etc
Learn more & sign up: https://www.phinneycenter.org/volunteer/volunteer-gardening/#yard

Spring Cleaning with the PNA Village
Saturday, April 22
8:30AM to 12:30PM
Meet at Greenwood Senior Center: 525 N 85th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Learn more & sign up: https://www.phinneycenter.org/volunteer/volunteer-gardening/#village

Free Fix-it Fair on March 18th

Busted seam? Broken something-or-other? Don’t throw that thing away, bring it to the next Fix-it Fair where volunteer tinkers, tailors, and general repair geeks will do their very best to get it back into working order! Zero Waste Washington and the PNA Tool Lending Library are proud to bring to you a chance to keep something useful out of the landfill and give it new life.

Though walk-ins are more than welcome, it’s helpful to know what will be worked on. If you would like to pre-register your item(s), you can do so here.

Fix-it Fair 
Saturday March 18th, 2-5pm
Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St.

This is a monthly contribution to the Blog by Greenwood realtor Doron Weisbarth

The market is picking up speed again! Now, if you compare this month’s stats to those from last February, it might seem bleak. But remember that last year the market was overheated and appreciating at an unsustainable pace. To get the correct story, you need to compare this month’s stats to those from the last couple of months. The story there is that of renewal, but without the craziness. You can see the full report online at PhinneyWoodHomes.com.

The market is full active buyers who are earnestly looking for good homes. You can see that in the strong increase in the number of listed homes that go pending and the number of closed transactions, and the drop in the number of days on market and in the overall inventory levels. All these trends are pushing home prices higher, although at a modest pace.

With interest rates rising recently, it’s not yet clear what will happen to all this buyer momentum. on the sellers’ side, we see new listings every week. What’s interesting is that the sellers seem to have internalized the new market pricing, which helps keep the buyers interested.

Thinking of selling your PhinneyWood home, or buying a home in our neighborhood? Find out how the PhinneyWoodHomes data can guide you to make better decision. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call Doron Weisbarth at 206-779-9808.

Participate in an open discussion about density and zoning in our neighborhood. Become informed on policies currently proposed by Washington State Legislature (House Bill 1110) increasing density to provide more housing statewide.

Several proposals being debated significantly increases number of units on a single property and decreasing minimum lot size to encourage new multifamily development. The reasoning is that more housing units will lower the cost of housing.

Phinney Ridge Community Council Meeting
Tuesday, March 7, 7pm via Zoom
Meeting ID: 870 0579 6220

The Phinney Ridge Community Council (PRCC) is a volunteer, not-for-profit organization that tracks issues such as public safety, transportation, transit, land use, zoning, city budget priorities, capital improvements, parks, open space use and other civic issues.