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


Entries from March 2011

Sandel Park play area renovations complete

March 31st, 2011 by Doree

The Seattle Parks and Recreation yesterday reopened the play area at Sandel Park, after extensive renovations.

Neighbors of the park, at North 90th Street and 1st Avenue NW, first proposed the renovations, and received a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to begin designing it. The 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy paid for the final design and construction.

The play area is much larger than before, with more play structures, and an accessible pathway that runs around it and up to the northwest corner of the park.

Orange fencing remains in place on one side to keep people from walking on the newly-planted grass.

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Van crashes into two parked cars on 8th and 76th

March 31st, 2011 by Doree

A driver who says he was distracted by his phone crashed his van into two parked cars on 8th Avenue NW between NW 75th and NW 76th streets just after 11 o’clock this morning.

The driver of the dark blue van, William Barnes, told me he was driving north on 8th Avenue NW when he looked down at his phone, and apparently drifted to the right. He hit a parked silver car, pushing it into a parked black 1976 Plymouth Volare.

The owner of the black car, Jeff Minto, said he was asleep at the time of the crash. Nikkolas Wheatley, who owns the silver car, said he and his wife and newborn baby had just driven up from Lewis County last night to visit friends, and were inside the nearby house at the time.

“I was inside getting ready to make a bottle and heard a huge crash, and came outside to this,” Wheatley said.

Barnes, the van’s driver, was not injured, but said he had some scrapes and bruises. His van ended up backwards from the direction he was driving, and on its side.

William Barnes, the van’s driver, removes his belongings from his vehicle.

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Rising Stars children’s store closing April 28

March 31st, 2011 by Doree

Rising Stars children’s store, a fixture in Phinney Ridge for the last 15 years, is closing its doors at the end of April, due to the economy. The store, at 7321 Greenwood Ave. N., will celebrate its 15th anniversary this weekend with a sale and cake.

Photo courtesy Rising Stars.

Owner Elonna Marci-Salmon sent us a copy of the letter she sent to her customers this morning.

Dear Friends,

This weekend we celebrate our 15th Anniversary in the neighborhood! We will have cupcakes or cake and offer 15% off items in the store, April 1, 2nd and 3rd. Our hours are Fri & Sat, 10 – 6, and Sunday, 11 – 4, and we hope that you can stop by to shop and say hello.

In addition, this anniversary is somewhat bittersweet. As many of you know, we have struggled to maintain Rising Stars, and the stock we like to carry in this dire economy. When the tides turned economically, now over three years ago, we tried to be creative to meet the changes, first shrinking our square footage into the original Rising Stars space, then moving across the street when our old space became financially prohibitive. We have so appreciated your support as our business flexed and adjusted.

However, we have seen the economy slow, and slow again, without reaching bottom we feel. As a result, our business is suffering, and has for some time. We find it necessary to close the doors after 15 years of business in Phinneywood.

We are thankful to have been part of your family’s lives, to have known many of you and shared birthdays, baby showers, school news, and receive parenting tips. It has meant so much to us to feel part of a community of families here in Phinney, and in the larger community of schools in North Seattle.

In addition, it has been an honor to know and support many creative moms with cottage industries in Seattle, and sell their creations here at the store.  From animal towels, flannel burp cloths, lavender-filled bears, contrast-leg tights, jewelry, to organic baby clothing, these wholesale consignors have brought interest and energy to shopping locally at Rising Stars.

We will be closing as of Friday, April 28th and urge you to come shop in this time. Not only would we love to see you and say goodbye, but we urgently need the support. Consignors and gift certificate holders are urged to come use their credit or gift certificate amounts.  We will be spending the next few days boxing up current consignment items to be returned to each consignor. We can offer credit only at this time through April 28th. We apologize to those who prefer to cash out their consignment but financially, it is simply not possible. We are glad that we have new stock and furnishings, basketry, holiday decor, etc. to offer.

We have been so grateful to own a business that the community has valued for 15 years, and to know many of the families in the neighborhood. We will be leaving on that thankful note. Remember to stop by this weekend for cake and 15% off your shopping!

With warm regards,

Elonna Marci-Salmon & Jay Salmon, owners

Rising Stars

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Heron spotted in pond behind Piper Village

March 30th, 2011 by Doree

Gregg sent us this lovely photo of a heron he saw today in the pond behind Piper Village, next to Fred Meyer, on North 87th Street.

Thanks for the photo, Gregg!

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Chocolat Vitale opening first retail store in Lower Phinney/East Ballard

March 30th, 2011 by Doree

Chocolat Vitale, the maker of rich European-style hot chocolate, is opening its first retail store on the corner of NW 65th Street and 3rd Avenue NW.

No one was there when we stopped by this afternoon, but they do have a small sign in the window and a large sign resting against the back wall, and you can see new flooring being installed.

Until now, Chocolat Vitale has had a web and wholesale business only.

Thanks to Evan and Nancy for the tips!

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Donations wanted for Bakesale for Japan

March 30th, 2011 by Doree

Update Monday, April 4: Organizers say the Bakesale on Saturday raised $2,000, and they raised another $1,100 selling leftover goodies at the Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday.

Earlier: This Saturday, communities nationwide are participating in the Bakesale for Japan, to raise money to help those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Seattle’s event is taking place at CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine St. All of the proceeds will be donated to Peace Winds, a Seattle-based charity working in Japan.

CakeSpy will be selling donated baked goods from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Organizers tell us that bakers and chefs from all over Seattle are donating, but they’re looking for even more donations (and people to buy those goodies).

If you’re interested in donating to the Bakesale for Japan, email seattlebakesale@gmail.com.

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Basic computer classes at Greenwood Library

March 30th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle Public Library is once again hosting basic computing classes at many local libraries. The classes are free and registration is not required (unless noted), but seating may be limited based on room capacity. For more information call 206-386-4636.

Here are upcoming classes at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

Computer Basics 1 – Learn how to use a computer keyboard and mouse: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7; and 10–11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 1.

Computer Basics 2 – Learn how to use basic features of the Windows software operating system. The session will cover using the toolbars, scroll bar and text boxes: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14; and 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 8.

Internet Basics 1 – Learn how to navigate a Web page and how to use Web browsers and search engines: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5.

Internet Basics 2 – Learn how to find information using Web directories and search engines: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12.

Digital Book Roadshow – Learn about e-books and test drive various e-book readers: 3-4 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. Saturday, April 9.

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One of zoo’s snow leopards moving to Kansas

March 30th, 2011 by Doree

One of Woodland Park Zoo’s two juvenile snow leopards is moving to a new home in Salina, Kansas.

Twin snow leopards make their zoo debut in 2009. Photo by Ryan Hawk, courtesy Woodland Park Zoo.

Two-year-old Gobi (go-bee) will leave Woodland Park Zoo on April 7 for Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure. This weekend is the last chance to see Gobi.

Gobi and his sister Batu (BAH-too) were born on Memorial Day in 2009. They are the first and only offspring for mother Helen and father Tom, 6 and 5 years old, respectively. The last birth of snow leopards at the zoo had been in 2000.

Gobi’s move is under the recommendation of the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), cooperative breeding programs that work to ensure genetic diversity and healthy populations in North American zoos and aquariums. The SSP does not have immediate plans to breed him. Batu will remain at the zoo for several months before she is moved to Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The departure of the snow leopards follows the natural course of young snow leopards living in the wild. “Snow leopards are essentially solitary animals and typically leave their mothers to live alone at about 18 months old,” explained Jennifer Pramuk, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “We are touched by how strongly our visitors connected with these beautiful cats. As conservation ambassadors for their species, they did exactly what we hope our animal residents do and, that is, to inspire people to learn more about how to save this endangered cat that is struggling to survive in their range countries.”

The snow leopard is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. Snow leopard scientists estimate as few as 3,500 remain in the wild.

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Time to clean up the neighborhood for city’s Spring Clean

March 29th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle’s long-running neighborhood cleanup program, Spring Clean, is back, and hundreds or even thousands of residents will spend April and May painting out graffiti, picking up litter, and cleaning up the city in other ways.

Spring Clean is now in its 25th year. Last year, more than 20,000 volunteer hours were put in.

Spring Clean activities include painting out graffiti, picking up litter and illegally dumped materials, stenciling storm drains, cleaning school yards, removing invasive plants in planting strips and traffic circles, and planting trees.  All projects are conducted on public property.

The City of Seattle supports volunteers with FREE bags, gloves, safety vests, and waste disposal. Spring Clean information, including neighborhood cleanup activities and sign-up packets, is available by calling 206-233-7187 or by visiting www.seattle.gov/util/springclean.

Spring Clean is a partnership between Seattle residents and Seattle Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities at: www.seattle.gov/util.

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