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


Entries from March 2011

Community Happiness Circle on Thursday nights

March 29th, 2011 by Doree

Cecile Andrews, Phinney Ridge resident and author of “Less Is More,” “Slow Is Beautiful” and “Circle of Simplicity,” is organizing a “community happiness circle” on Thursday nights at the Green Bean Coffeehouse.

We all know that happiness is our basic goal in life. The problem is that we’re confused about what will make us happy. We think that being rich or famous will do it, so we focus on ambition and achievement. But the research is clear: After a certain point, more money does not make us happier. In fact, money can get in the way of happiness because the pursuit of money can undermine caring and social ties — the true determinants of happiness. Money becomes more important than relationships and destroys happiness.

So our first step is to begin to build community. We need to get to know our neighbors and join with them on projects to improve our lives because we’re also happier when we find a way to contribute to society. Most of us search for our calling, something that brings us energy and enthusiasm and makes a difference.

Finally, we need a new orientation toward life. Our Puritan heritage has influenced us to focus on work and getting ahead, and we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way. We look around and all we see makes us bitter and angry. Instead of conversing, we rant and rave about how horrible everything is. We need to learn to approach life with joie de vivre, the French word for “joy of living.” We need to learn how to cultivate the emotions that give us energy and joy. Yes, there’s a lot that needs fixing, but we need to begin to focus on positive ways to change things.

The Community Happiness Circle meets from 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursdays at the Green Bean Coffeehouse, 8533 Greenwood Ave. N., through April 14. For more information, contact Cecile at cecile@cecileandrews.com.

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Student exchange programs needs host families for next school year

March 29th, 2011 by Doree

International Student Exchange needs host families in our neighborhood for the 2011-12 school year. Students will be coming from Germany, Brazil, Sweden, Spain, Vietnam, Austria, Denmark, South Korea, China, Norway, Belgium, Thailand, Japan and France.

Students come with good English skills, full health insurance and their own personal spending money, and mainly the desire to be a member of an American family. We ask our families to provide a bed (shared room is okay with similar age range) and meals eaten with the family. Host families do not
need to have teenagers of their own; young families as well as empty nesters are excellent high school student hosts this year.

For more information about the students and the program, contact Jamin Henderson at 360-661-0552 or j.henderson33@hotmail.com.

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Seattle Met names Phinney-Greenwood one of top 20 neighborhoods to live in

March 28th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle Met’s latest issue proclaims Phinney-Greenwood as one of the top 20 Seattle neighborhoods in which to live. And the author seems to give a whole lotta credit to PhinneyWood for bringing the two neighborhoods together, but we all know we were super close pals long before that.

In case you haven’t heard, Phinney and Greenwood like each other. Like, they like each other. They started blowing kisses at each other years ago. Then they hooked up in July 2008 when Dale Steinke and Doree Armstrong launched the phinneywood.com neighborhood blog. And this summer, well, they want to get hitched.

No really. Members of the Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce are kicking around the idea of having the communities tie the knot August 12, as their third annual joint street party mobs Greenwood Avenue North. If it happens, it would be a mock civil ceremony to join the platonically involved neighbors; the city doesn’t have any plans to officially merge them. But the sentiment is real. “Our neighborhoods are too small to be promoted by themselves,” says Sheri Hauser, owner of the year-old Phinney-based art gallery and collectible store Tasty. “It would be a real shame not to unite and have a bigger voice.”

You can read the full article here.

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Santoro’s Book Fair for preschool co-op

March 28th, 2011 by Doree

Santoro’s Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N., is hosting a Book Fair from 12-6 p.m. Saturday, to benefit the Ballard Preschool Co-op, a program of the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Twenty percent of the book fair’s total sales will be donated to the co-op for future book purchases. Teachers will have story times at 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

You do not need to be a co-op family to participate, just mention the co-op when making your purchase so they get the credit.

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Camp Fire USA looking for youth volunteers for summer day camps

March 28th, 2011 by Doree

Camp Fire USA is looking for students in grades 8-12 to volunteer at its summer day camps, including at Woodland Park and Carkeek Park.

Day Camp is about doing, not watching. It’s about enjoying nature and living outdoors, and working together with kids from a variety of socioeconomic, racial, cultural, religious and disabled populations. Camp Fire USA Day Camps operate using caring, well-trained, responsible volunteer staff.

We are currently seeking volunteers! Youth in grades 8 – 12 can volunteer at any of the sites (except Camp Sealth) as a junior staff counselor at $15 per camp, plus a one-time $25 fee for non-members. Adults can volunteer at any of the sites (except Camp Sealth) as counselors, activity specialists, purchasers, equipment managers or camp nurses. Full-time adult volunteers get a discount on day camp registration for their own children. Camp Fire provides the required training for all volunteers.

See 2011 Day Camp Schedule with dates & rates or contact Janelle Kitson at 206-826-8910 janellek@campfire-usa.org for more information.

Camp Fire campers at Carkeek Park. Photo courtesy of Camp Fire USA.

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7-Eleven gets new fiberglass underground gas tanks

March 28th, 2011 by Doree

The 7-Eleven on Phinney Avenue North and North 59th Street is getting new fiberglass underground gas tanks. James took this photo of one of the old tanks being taken out last Thursday.

When I stopped by on Friday just as the construction workers were getting off work, they told me the old steel tanks only last about 20 years or so. They’ll be installing new fiberglass tanks, which are designed to last about 40 years. They told me it will take them about another three weeks to finish the job.

Here’s the deep hole where the tanks came out.

The store remains open for business during the construction outside.

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7-year-old boy curates latest art show at Bherd Studios

March 26th, 2011 by Doree

Greenwood’s Bherd Studios is preparing its latest show, “Monsters & Aliens,” opening on April 8. But much of the work is being done by 7-year-old Zinn Bellevie, an art lover and, now, curator.

Zinn Bellevie looks at some of the art he chose for the latest show at Bherd Studios.

“Monsters & Aliens” features the urban contemporary work of Seattle artists Kevin Gosselin, Justin Hillgrove, Solace, and John Osgood (co-owner of Bherd Studios).

From Bherd Studios:

Bellevie is a 7 year old art enthusiast who has been attending art shows for over 2 years now. His inspiration for this exhibit “Monsters & Aliens” is based on his attraction to these characters and the freedom it gives artists to create them. He said that there is really no wrong way to make them look. He hand-picked the artists due to his familiarity of their work and knowing that they would be the right fit for this theme.

His parents were surprised at first when Bellevie started recognizing work by different artists, remembering their names, and having no compunction whatsoever about walking up to them and introducing himself. He wanted to know more about their art and how they came up with their ideas. One of the artists he befriended in this way was John Osgood, co-owner of Bherd Studios, who was impressed by Zinn’s inquiries and maturity for his age. Bherd Gallery’s approach to art is meant to be accessible at all levels, and what better way to illustrate this than to invite Bellevie to curate a show for the gallery.

Bellevie’s parents said that Seattle art and artists have been a really important part of growing his confidence and sense of belonging, as Bellevie has struggled with Asperger’s Syndrome. It has been difficult for him to socialize with his peers and a lot of sensory input that most people take for granted, totally overwhelms him. However, he enjoys looking at art and has found a talent in networking with adults in the art community.

“Monsters & Aliens” has its opening night reception from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, April 8, during the monthly Phinney-Greenwood Art Walk. It will remain on display through May 6. Bherd Studios is inside the Greenwood Collective, 8537 Greenwood Ave. N. Suite 1.

“Migration” by Justin Hillgrove.

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Interim schools superintendent lays out immediate priorities, time for meeting with parents, teachers

March 25th, 2011 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield has presented a new plan to get the school district back on track after the recent firing of Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. Enfield’s plan, titled “Earning Public Confidence in Seattle Public Schools: Every Student Known, Challenged, Cared For,” is available online.

In the plan, she details her immediate priorities, how she’ll work with teachers, principals and parents and create a better system of accountability, and outreach to parents and the community through school visits and weekly office hours for any individual or group to express their concerns.

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Dinosaurs no longer extinct at Woodland Park Zoo

March 25th, 2011 by Doree

Woodland Park Zoo’s latest exhibit is not about live animals. Instead, it will feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

Photo courtesy Billings Productions, Inc.

“Dinosaurs: Real Close” opens April 30 and runs through Sept. 5.

The limited-engagement, outdoor exhibit setting will evoke a primeval forest where visitors will encounter the mighty dinosaurs, from the 19-foot-tall herbivore Brachiosaurus to a full-size, fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. Visitors will encounter more than 10 dinosaurs representing seven species that once roamed North America throughout the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods.

See the brilliant colors, scales and fins that latest scientific research reveals may have adorned these incredible beasts. Learn about the amazing adaptations that allowed them to thrive for millions of years and that connect them to modern birds today. Spy the next generation of dinosaurs with baby Tyrannosaurus, Styracosaurus and Dilophosaurus robots, and a nest full of Edmontosaurus peeping hatchlings. Then capture the once-in-an-eon experience with a Tyrannosaurus rex photo opportunity that lets you pose atop the giant. Special programs, from keeper chats to dinosaur biofact exploration, will allow visitors to dig deeper into the science of dinosaurs and find connections to some of the living species at Woodland Park Zoo.

For the curious-minded, head to Zoomazium to get an exclusive peek at the inner workings of the animatronic dinosaurs designed by Texas-based Billings Productions, Inc. There you can explore the robotic wizardry beneath the shell of a dinosaur robot and even try your hand at operating it.

Though dinosaurs ruled for more than 165 million years, their well known die-off helps to shine a light on the massive extinction crisis many species are facing today, from birds—now accepted by scientists as modern dinosaurs—to turtles, a group that outlived dinosaurs yet today is going extinct faster than any other vertebrate terrestrial. Visitors to the exhibit will learn about the current extinction crisis and the ways Woodland Park Zoo is working to protect wildlife around the globe and in our own backyard.

The dinosaurs exhibit will be adjacent to the North Meadow, directly inside the West Entrance on Phinney Avenue North, between North 55th and North 56th streets. The exhibit costs $3, in addition to zoo admission. Ticket holders receive unlimited free re-entry to the exhibit on the day of purchase.

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